Things I Think

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244 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Loved #10!

    Baptist and Catholic.

    Progressive and Conservative.

    Lutheran and Catholic.

    Pentecostal and Baptist (not picking on Baptists btw).

    Will be at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

    This is what I believe.

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    …obviously meaning that I believe that many of us (myself included) will be surprised at who “made it”.

    And unfortunately, who didn’t.

  3. dswoager says:

    Can I agree with you on your number 8, that church history is important, while still maintaining that church membership is stupid? 😉

  4. gomergirl says:

    #7…. Been thinking on this a lot lately. But it is hard sometimes not to be afraid, both of world events and things in my own home (or work) I am working on this. Slowly, but it is good.

    And I have been culling FB lately. It is the only way I have to stay in contact with certain people, and I like cute baby animal videos and pictures. I also like being able to get information from very different sources all in one place. But I have to re-examine those sources periodically, as they pull stupid stunts or seem unreliable. I try to read from all sides of the political spectrum, but lately the election cycle is making some outlets less reliable for news than they have been.

    I wish we lived closer, I’d love to hear you teach on Matthew. I is my favorite of the gospels, and maybe the whole bible.
    Cheers

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “5. The real issue in this election is a fear of change. I get that…”

    I don’t think you understand partisan primary nominating season. Sane people do not pay attention at all – the only ones who watch the “debates” (and they are far from anything a sane person would consider a debate) – no sane person cares what FOX or MSNBC has to say during this season.

    Who is paying attention right now — the lunatic fringe on both sides – and that is who all the candidates play to – not a one plays to the sane majority center … not yet – that does not happen until after the conventions.

    After the conventions, whoever the candidates may be, will each turn to the center and drop all the crazy talk.

    I am afraid you and your FB feed are card carrying members of that lunatic fringe — and it doesn’t matter which side or party.

    ***I have not watched a single debate, have not spent a minute on cable news (I don’t have cable) and I will know as much as the next guy come election day without having downed antacids for 6 months 😉

  6. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Fully agree at #1…

  7. Michael says:

    dswoager,

    I guess it depends on how we define “membership”.
    The early church had it…and in this culture of corporate Christianity I think it’s vital.

  8. Cash says:

    MLD,

    Antacids? More like anti-anxiety medication. 😉

  9. Xenia says:

    I think Kasich actually sounds like a Christian. He says immigrants are made in the Image of God. That’s my kinda talk!

  10. Michael says:

    gg,

    I’m really enjoying and being challenged by what I’m teaching…it turns our usual narratives upside down.

  11. Xenia says:

    I am not scared, I am looking forward to the challenge of living as a Christian in an increasingly crazy environment.

  12. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think there’s more than a little merit in your theses…however, I think you’re underestimating both the depth and breadth of the fringe on both sides.

  13. Xenia says:

    I finally located a personal friend who is for Trump and he is not a fringe person at all. He himself is a Type A personality and appreciates other Type A’s, from what I can tell.

  14. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Your # 11…
    Something clicked in my spirit last night and I agree with having a measure of excitement over the opportunities I see coming.

    They also scare the hell out of me.

  15. Xenia says:

    All the area’s youth groups have given themselves names and mottoes like “Extreme Christians” or similar. What would really be extreme would be if they dropped all the hype and glory and quietly worked on the Beatitudes.

    We sing the Beatitudes every Sunday at our church.

  16. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I decided last night that part of our ‘liturgy” from now until Jesus calls me home will be the corporate reading of the Beatitudes before every teaching.

    If I start shopping for icons then we’re in real trouble… 🙂

  17. Xenia says:

    At my church, the Beatitudes are held up as the idea for Christian life. Since we sing them every week, even the little kids have them memorized. We all know we fall very very short but we still hold them up as the ideal. There are no sermons saying they aren’t for the Church Age, or that Jesus just rattled them off to prove we couldn’t do them, etc. We take them seriously and of course, that drives us straight to Christ. They reflect His heart and that is the kind of heart we want to have as well.

  18. Xenia says:

    the IDEAL, not idea. Sorry.

  19. filbertz says:

    nostalgia clouds our view of the past and fear obscures our outlook regarding the future. Presently, I’m just in the dark. 🙂

    regarding the prophesy conference–there’s more than a little premature sheep vs. goat judging going on there, and it isn’t from a position of humility nor broken-heartedness.

    this election cycle is going to be one long shrill season. One thing Americans seem to be growing better at is denying others the same benefits or rights they enjoy–whether immigrants, the other party/candidates, other racial groups, religious groups, or classes. Our ability to think critically has been replaced by an ability to react instantly.

  20. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I agree wholeheartedly with this piece of Orthodox belief and practice.

  21. Pastor Al says:

    1. Disagreed. Freedom of Speech is a pure Concept and Construct….and in order to truly have it, you have to “tolerate” the dissenters and those who don’t play by the rules or express uncomfortable things etc. Traditional Liberals used to be about that…Lenny Bruce and George Carlin would both be called “Trolls” today….

  22. Pastor Al says:

    “8. Church history classes should be mandatory for church membership…”

    You mean “Only the good parts of Church History…”

    ^^ That’s what you really mean, b/c I doubt you’d want folks to read Luther’s “On Jews and their Lies” or study Calvin’s and Geneva’s role in murdering/executing Servetus over doctrinal difference of opinion, or the good Christians burning folks at the stake and drowning them ISIS style etc.

  23. filbertz says:

    Pal,
    freedom of speech necessitates ability to listen.

  24. Chris Long says:

    Michael, a very good “Things” across the board. Your #3 and #9 especially – Very well put.

  25. Pastor Al says:

    If Ideas and Philosophies and Issues cannot stand the test of mob-rule scrutiny often a result of truly Free Speech….then they are not worthy of being held as Sacred Cows by the Majority.

    Don’t fear Free Speech. It is a virtuous Dynamic, not an evil one.

  26. Michael says:

    I’m all for dissent…but todays “dissent’ means interrupting and obstructing so other views cannot heard.

    I don’t like Trump…but I despise what happened in Chicago.

    Trumps people had a right to hear him in peace…and the protestors could protest and be heard as well.

    People should have the right to assemble online and off and be able to express themselves without having to contend with disruption.

  27. Michael says:

    I’ve never read a legitimate church history volume that didn’t deal with both issues with Calvin and Luther.

  28. Pastor Al says:

    Fbertz “freedom of speech necessitates ability to listen.”

    That sword cuts both ways. That’s why it is necessary to defend the Principle of Free Speech.

    Group Think and Fascism is the by-product of limiting Free Speech. History demonstrates this, many times.

  29. Em says:

    free speech comes from your mouth, not a clenched fist … and we need to be careful of those who shout “fire” in hopes of stirring up some excitement …

    what’d she say? … dunno 🙂

  30. London says:

    2. Smokey Bear (no the) was real

  31. Michael says:

    Thank you, Chris!

  32. filbertz says:

    Pal,
    I think we’re tooting the same slide whistle.

    Michael’s 26 is correct.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How far on free speech – are lies a part of free speech?
    Can a professor in university teach that the Holocaust was a fabrication and be allowed to continue under the guise of free speech?

  34. Em says:

    “If Ideas and Philosophies and Issues cannot stand the test of mob-rule scrutiny often a result of truly Free Speech….then they are not worthy of being held as Sacred Cows by the Majority.”

    that makes no sense at all …?… what in the world is “mob-rule scrutiny?”

  35. Josh the Baptist says:

    If you think about it, things like the concept of Free Speech, require moral citizens for it to actually work.

  36. Michael says:

    London,

    Trust me I know…and I know he was from New Mexico, not Oregon.
    My grandpa was a lifer in the Forest Service…

  37. London says:

    Yep. New Mexico. That’s why I am compelled to verify his existence. 🙂

  38. Michael says:

    Josh,

    That’s a whole different can of worms.
    For any democracy to survive, the citizens must have moral virtue…

  39. Em says:

    actually, Smokey’s name was “Smokey” and he was a bear; hence Smokey, the bear – originally lol

  40. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Speech can only be free if both that which is reprehensible and noble can be expressed.
    I would rather know who believes things like Holocaust denial, then have them working in secret.

  41. Michael says:

    Smokey showed up at the only birthday party I had as a child.
    He came in and picked me up…which terrified me and caused me to empty my bladder on his costume.
    Party over…

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for free speech, but within the concept itself is the idea of self-limitation.

    I don’t think I agree about church history being necessary for membership. In fact, no, that is way over complicating things. While not a bad subject to know, it would be tying people to an unnecessary burden in order to experience church life. (This is really the only one I disagree with today 🙂 )

  43. Michael says:

    Josh,

    You may be right…but I have huge issues with people who believe learning about the family is a burden.

  44. London says:

    On a more serious note. I can’t stand Trump or what he says. I think he’s the most embarrising and dangerous candidate running. He’s divisive, hateful and has zero boundaries for what he’ll do or say.
    I could not understand why anyone in their right minds would support this guy, until I saw a reporter interview one of them. This guy was a redneck for sure. But, his words changed how I viewed those that support Trump, though I will NEVER be in that group.
    This guy truly believed that Trump could “get our sovereignty back” amoungst other things…what I realized is that his supporters aren’t all crazy, some of them are truly patriots, and it has helped calm some of my angst about them all being whack jobs.
    I will still continue to speak against him every chance I get, and I will still continue to actively campaign for whomever gets the Demogratic nomination, hopefully Bernie, but at least now, I have a better understanding, I think, of why some would support someone I concern is spouting pure evil.

  45. Em says:

    #41 – that reminds me of my darling grandson’s second birthday… little boys love dinosaurs, don’t they? my daughter’s childhood friend put on a dinosaur costume to surprise him … it did, it really did, but not in a good way

  46. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ehh, I would have had no interest had I not been forced in college. Now I enjoy it, and have two more course coming up in my Mdiv studies, but no, I don’t see it as a crucial issue for salvation or ongoing Christian life.

    Put it this way – I’ve been teaching adults at my church for 6 years, youth for about a year, and I have pretty free reign as far as the topics go. I haven’t gotten around to church history yet.

  47. London says:

    Actually Em that is not correct.

  48. Steve Wright says:

    Kasich is the biggest theocrat in politics at present. Hands down.

    Very conservative on some issues, very liberal on others – but always ready to bible-thump an opponent (whether on the left or the right) while personally saying his heart, and not the Bible is his main guide and God is with him wherever he goes but he does not find him at church. He goes to church “because that’s what you do”. An odd bird indeed. He sounds a lot like a Christian politician you would expect to sound, except for the parts when he doesn’t even sound Christian at all. (He is not too big on the grace, sin, cross aspects of the faith in anything I have ever heard him speak in public. Not that I am looking for that from my politicians but if they are going to throw the Bible at us for everything else, might be wise to mention on occasion the chief message and Person of the Book)

    “We need to own our own actions and be responsible for our own decisions. Don’t blame others. There are no excuses. Take responsibility for yourself. Own your life. Own it. It’s yours….“You know, it’s like my mom always used to tell me: . . . ‘It’s a sin not to help someone who needs it, but equally a sin to continue to help someone who needs to learn how to help themselves.’ ”

    ‘I don’t know about you, lady,’ he said as he pointed at Kendrick, his voice rising. ‘But when I get to the pearly gates, I’m going to have an answer for what I’ve done for the poor.’”

    ‘Now, when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.’  ”

    “You know, I don’t like read a Bible to figure out what I think. But I have a heart for people.”

    I go to events where people are yelling at me (about Medicaid expansion). You know what I tell them? I mean, God bless them, I’m telling them a little bit better than this. But I said, there’s a book. It’s got a new part and an old part. They put it together. It’s a remarkable book. If you don’t have one, I’ll buy you one. And it talks about how we treat the poor.

    He’s got plenty of quotes too on his opposition to gay marriage, abortion, support of the death penalty and so forth…

    I imagine you could split the Kasich quotes down the middle with the political spectrum and everyone would have something to be mad about and something to shout Amen towards – which is to me sort of the point. Sort of the political version of when someone talking to you says to every single thing that “God showed me…” – you either are arguing with God or arguing that God would never show you that.

    Is political opposition to Obamacare really what the sheep and goats judgement is going to rest on? What’s next? Using the Sermon on the Mount to divine the top marginal tax rate?

  49. Jean says:

    “The real issue in this election is a fear of change. I get that…”

    There is a lot of truth to this.

    Can the U.S. wall its in from the change, like a fortress, using literal walls and virtual walls (trade tariffs)?

    Who’s got a plan to make American education for K-12 “great again”? Surely, a country won’t be great if it can’t properly educate its children.

    Who’s got a plan to restore some reasonable bell curve where the majority of the wealth in America is held by a middle class? Have we given up on trickle down yet, or do people want to double down on it?

    Who’s got a plan to for an affordable healthcare system where everyone doesn’t have to choose between 3 squares a day and their medication? We spend the most, but don’t demonstrate the best outcomes.

    Who’s got a plan to provide Americans with affordable college education opportunities, to build a healthy middle class? At our fine universities, a massive percentage of graduate programs in engineering, math and science are being filled with foreign students, because Americans either are not interested or can’t qualify.

    Who’s got a plan to attack political and campaign finance corruption?

    In a nutshell, there’s a lot of unhealthy change that people should be afraid of, but where are the honest solutions?

  50. Michael says:

    London,

    Your #44 is gold.

    Thank you…

  51. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I tend to agree.
    The world has changed a lot in the last ten or fifteen years and it can be scary…but we can’t simply try and isolate ourselves from it.

  52. Em says:

    i think a few Trump types show up here … maybe there’s a little Trump in all of us

    i also think that i agree somewhat with #42 as history is so subjective … the trick is to find a historian without bias – even in the churches – still, with a little grounding and discernment our history is just a miracle, an amazing study

  53. Em says:

    #47- what ? ? ? ? that never happens – ever! 🙂

  54. Michael says:

    Steve,

    As I read the Bible the fact is on every page that Jesus was concerned about the sick, the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized.

    The great law is to love God and your neighbor as yourself and the Sermon on the Mount and Matt 25 speak to what that thinks like and acts like.

    No politician or political party represents that worldview…so I have no use for either as representing anything “Christian”.

  55. Steve Wright says:

    One of the things that happens when Christians tell you their problems and ask for a solution is that you occasionally meet someone who has made mistake after mistake after mistake, each choice choosing the way of the world rather than God’s way and then ask you for the “God answer” to get them out of their mess – when there is no answer because they did not do it the God way earlier and so now they have consequences they must live with.

    I believe history tells nations that there is a way to “do government” the right way and the wrong way, and if a nation does things the wrong way for too long then there may be no government solution to the mess. Just reap the consequences

  56. Steve Wright says:

    Michael @54 – I agree. It is without dispute. We are responsible for our neighbor. Especially the poor neighbor.

    There are political arguments to be made as the best and most effective way to help the greatest number of people, and when politicians on either side of the aisle claim that THEIR way is the Biblical way…I take exception. Mainly because every political answer must have the use of the sword behind it to back it up.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    Here’s an example of Kasich in action from the past. Might sound OK to some..to take 10 million dollars of other people’s hard earned money and use it to help disadvantaged students. Until he then threw on a faith-based partnership requirement giving access to any students who want the money to connect with that group.

    And if that still sounds fine – ask what happens when the program bloats to 30 or 40 million dollars and the future governor of Ohio is a Muslim, or Mormon – getting to call the shots as to which organizations qualify to receive other people’s money to indoctrinate yet other people’s children.

    There are half a dozen ideas through the tax code that could meaningfully help students in this situation through the private, business, charitable, and individual sectors. Likely with far more success in the lives of the kids. But, speak against such a government program and one will quickly be accused of not caring for poor kids – and if Kasich is in the room, be accused of not loving the poor as the Bible orders you to…..

    Like I said, the guy is a theocrat.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/12/14/ohio-governor-says-schools-wanting-tax-dollars-for-mentorship-program-must-partner-with-faith-based-organization/

  58. Michael says:

    All I know is that he is the only candidate on that side who has dared hint that undocumented aliens are indeed made in the image of Christ.

    That took some courage in this political climate.

  59. Pastor Al says:

    Michael said, “I’m all for dissent…but todays “dissent’ means interrupting and obstructing so other views cannot heard.

    I don’t like Trump…but I despise what happened in Chicago.”

    Agreed.

  60. Pastor Al says:

    Interesting that the same Liberals that obstructed Trump’s Free Speech…are the same the were all for Ahmadinjihad of Iran, a Holocaust Denier and rampant Jew-hater, to speak at Columbia University b/c “Free Speech!”

  61. Pastor Al says:

    “All I know is that he is the only candidate on that side who has dared hint that undocumented aliens are indeed made in the image of Christ.”

    I think every candidate believes that Mexicans are fine folks in general and children of God or whatever. The issues are the Gangs and Cartels running amok with Federal Laws and violating them with impunity and bringing murder and crime and drugs into our cities, along with the many many good peaceful law abiding Mexican folks who also come across the border.

    I’m cool with keeping the good folks and sending all the Gangs, Cartels and Criminals back to Mexico. Let’s do that.

  62. mike says:

    “Can the U.S. wall its in from the change, like a fortress, using literal walls and virtual walls (trade tariffs)?”

    No. There’s no returning to the good old days. I don’t care what Drumpf says.

    They weren’t that good anyway.

  63. filbertz says:

    Pal,
    what’s to keep the gangs, cartels, and criminals from coming back, often the next week? Perhaps the market for their product needs to dry up. Who is offering concrete initiatives for that problem? (crickets)

  64. Pastor Al says:

    “what’s to keep the gangs, cartels, and criminals from coming back, often the next week? ”

    A 50 foot wall? 😉

  65. Michael says:

    I have no problem with deporting criminals.
    The problem, as I’ve stated before, is that these migrations will continue all over the globe until we help change the places they are coming from.

    The Mexican migration is now and has been in reverse for a few years now…but the Central American migration will increase as those countries become failed states in terms of being able to control cartels and violence.

    This is the issue that will define our times…and when we try to simply the solutions we are simply bringing more hell upon ourselves.

    Europe could have saw this coming…and they weren’t ready.
    Things are going to end very badly there…

  66. Pastor Al says:

    The Pope and Vatican has a nice wall. The White House has a fence, but that hasn’t been working too well recently LOL, maybe they need a wall, too. Lots of fence-jumpers.

  67. Michael says:

    A wall will keep out the poorest of the poor.

    The criminals will use the ports of entry, just like they do now.

    How many Border Patrol agents to you have to bribe to bring across a truck full of meth?

    One…

  68. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, agreed, Europe is in big trouble….macro-economically and with their immigration and refugee crisis.

    No easy answers.

    You’d have to legalize drugs via prescription and let the Pharmaceutical Companies make money off of it and let the politicians and Wall Street get their Cocaine legally if you want to shut down the Cartels.

    But, you’d have to make it affordable and not over-tax it or the Cartels would still have customers looking to get a better deal…like we see with over-taxing Marijuana in Marijuana States. The Cartels are still selling weed b/c the State stuff is over-priced.

  69. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, valid points.

  70. Michael says:

    Pastor Al,

    Ironically, Trump gets one thing right.
    NAFTA created the Mexican migration when it wiped out peasant agriculture and farming.

    That drove those peasants into the American owned border factories…who then left for Asia.

    It was join the cartel or jump the border…and most were moral enough to try the border.

  71. Michael says:

    I will leave this conversation with my own conspiracy theory for those of you who don’t trust the government.
    Walls don’t just keep people out…they keep people in.
    Do what you will with that…

  72. Michael says:

    Jean,

    It’s possible…I’d like to think it’s true.

  73. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, agreed again. You are very informed on this issue and I think you’re correct on those points as well.

  74. Pastor Al says:

    I think, GASP, you know more than I do about a major issue 🙂 Good info and insights, thanks.

  75. Pastor Al says:

    I don’t like the Gangs and Cartels, but I can never “hate” Mexicans b/c I grew up in an area where it was half latino/hispanic and half my good friends are such folks…and great people. The US benefits from the good Mexican folks (who outnumber the bad ones by far)…but we need to address the Gangs, Cartels and Criminals. Easy to say, hard to do…and hard to talk about w/o making the good Mexican folks feel bad and like we hate them or don’t like them. I love them. I think finding a way to keep the vast majority of the Mexicans who are good folks here is a great idea. They are good for America (minus the Gangs and Cartels).

  76. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Thank you.
    It’s taken a lot of years and a tremendous amount of study.
    Even with all that, it’s hard to find solutions…I certainly don’t have any magic wands to wave and make things better.

    The other side of this issue that has been completely neglected is assimilation…it is one thing to assimilate a Roman Catholic Mexican with a long history of both religion and work ethic and a Muslim from an utterly different system of held beliefs and virtues.

    There is nothing wrong with the expectation that any refugee or immigrant will be expected to conform to the ethics and rights laid out in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    That’s why they came here in the first place…

  77. Michael says:

    The cartel issue is more than difficult.

    It is estimated today that 70% of Mexican cities are under the control of some sort of organized crime.

    The “cartel” idea actually worked better than what is happening now.

    As the old line cartel heads are captured or die, they ( the cartels) split into hydra headed gangs which are too numerous to control.

    The capture of guys like “El Chapo” are purely for the benefit of American audiences.

    Bottom line is that drugs are more important to the survival of the Mexican state than ever before…it is now the primary way of attracting currency.

    Some of us think it is really high on the list for American banks as well….but that is just an informed theory.

  78. filbertz says:

    you don’t have to go over a fifty foot wall. cartel-types have repeatedly shown the best way in is tunnel under…One would think a Trump advisor would whisper that into his ear.

  79. Michael says:

    For those of you who might be interested in this topic beyond what you’re fed…

    Charles Bowdens classic “Down By The River” is unmatched in understanding how we work with Mexico and drugs.

    “Dark Alliance” by Gary Webb tells you more.

    Both men are gone now…

  80. filbertz says:

    AND, the bigger question remains, how do Americans end the insatiable appetite for addictive drugs which the cartels are too happy to supply? Which candidate has addressed this? Oh, they’ve bantered around more funding for treatment, but that is like painting the barn after the cows have escaped.

  81. filbertz says:

    Perhaps we should deport drug addicts to Mexico.

  82. Michael says:

    fil,

    I frankly don’t believe it is possible.
    When you combine the legal and illegal drugs the culture ingests, it’s obvious we have a far bigger issue that none of us have addressed.

  83. Em says:

    was there ever a State whose engine was not the gathering of wealth in one form or another?

    i thank God for the blessed hope – peace and prosperity for all will take a miracle

  84. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think they should just legalize drugs across the boards. It is funny that innocent people die to fuel the illegal drug trade and the ones who use just go along their merry way.

    Legalize the drugs, take the cartels and gangs out of the picture – raise revenue through taxation and if anyone is going to die, let it be the users. It doesn’t bother me if 100s of Wall Street types OD in their penthouses.

  85. Patrick Kyle says:

    #9 is truer than we suspect and it keeps me up at night.

  86. Josh the Beloved says:

    MLD one would think is positioning himself to run as VP with Bernie Sanders the socialist.

    MLD, how many times have you been to the Netherlands?

  87. Michael says:

    JtB,

    It’s actually a Libertarian view, not a socialist one.
    Tell us your solution.

  88. Josh the Beloved says:

    The libertarians borrowed this view from the European socialists. Because it was there in the Netherlands, that this is actually law.

  89. Babylon's Dread says:

    What institution do you actually trust right now?

    Bottom line is Americans are suddenly virulently anti-establishment. We have not seen this since the ’60s. As a churchman I deal with the anti-church spirit that is everywhere. But now we see people distrust government, political parties, corporations, courts, schools, and on and on. Same goes for movements that are organized to advocate. People in large numbers disregard them.

    No voices inspire us to noble sacrifice or virtue. No statesmen or women cause us to want to be or do better. Every politician in this election inspires acidic hatred. The hate speech against one another is nearly unbridled.

    There is no Kennedy, no King, no Reagan, no Graham, no voices that herald us unto higher things. So perhaps the vacuum might be filled by someone but if so they are not readily on the horizon.

    So what voices inspire you? What institution do you trust? What systems make you hope? I know as Gospel people we can all give proper faith answers but I am wondering about something concrete. As for myself I actually am simply hopeful that whatever crisis is coming will usher in a new and better day. The immediate future looks very ominous to me.

  90. John Schmidt says:

    Yes, Smokey Bear was real! I saw him with my own eyes. I remember seeing him at the National Zoo in Washington DC when I was 3 or 4. He was in a bear pit that looked like any other bear pit in a zoo. And, like any other little kid at the zoo, I was disappointed that he just sat in his corner lazily, looking like he wanted to sleep. I distinctly remember being surprised by the fact that there was nothing that made him look any different than any other bear in a zoo.

  91. Michael says:

    BD,

    Great question!

    First off, the worse things get, the more “concrete” the Gospel is to me.

    I’m not inspired by any well known since Bowden died…but the people here have filled that void.

    There are so many here that speak faith and truth into our lives that it restrains my fears.

    The folks in my church just live their faith out in front of each other in a way that inspires as well.

    I’m writing Xenia and MLD in on my ballot… 🙂

  92. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh the other B, so I should concern myself because some socialist, liberal European country got it right? I say good for them on this one.

    btw – I have never been to the Netherlands

  93. Michael says:

    BD,

    Is this a rebellion against institutions…or authority?

  94. Pastor Al says:

    fil said, “Perhaps we should deport drug addicts to Mexico.”

    But, we’d lose half our politicians…and quite a few democrats.

    Hmm, maybe you’re onto something…. 🙂

  95. Officerhoppy says:

    I think the current political climate just reveals how deep the divide is in many Americans. We all should step back and ask why.

  96. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    For sure it is another wave of rejection of authority, but it seems to be particularly a hatred against institutionalism.

    I would love to find some coherent analysis of what all the proliferation of weaponry and conspiratorialism will produce.

    That remnant spirit at the Calvary conference is among many groups with variant outcomes.

    Pastor Al is highly reflective of the spirit of the times. Deconstructionism abounds.

  97. Pastor Al says:

    “What institution do you actually trust right now?”

    Fedex. They haven’t let me down. Yet.

  98. Babylon's Dread says:

    I would NEVER have dreamed that a candidate who advocates deportation of 12 million people would be so popular.

    I would NEVER have dreamed that a candidate who is so completely irrational about government programming and spending would be so popular.

    I would have imagined that a candidate who foments a religious conservatism would have some traction.

    I would have imagined that a candidate who panders so flagrantly to complete to secular liberalism and political correctness would have some traction

    I imagine you can name those candidates.

  99. Pastor Al says:

    “Pastor Al is highly reflective of the spirit of the times. Deconstructionism abounds.”

    Very true. Which is why I’m valuable here despite the baggage I come with 🙂

  100. Michael says:

    BD,

    Historically…when you combine the conspiratorial with weaponry and eschatology you get bloodshed.

    If the right situation presented itself this country could explode.

  101. Josh the Baptist says:

    BD asked a good question. Who inspires you? Who do you trust?

    I’m too cynical to trust anyone…well, I trust that everyone will follow his own best interests, but who inspires me? Funny, cause I was just thinking of that.

    Here’s David Platt, leader of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board speaking on the refugee crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRa8HTtMT64

    Russell Moore is always saying things that are challenging to our culture, both in the SBC and the USA.

    Just heard that NC Pastor J.D. Greear will be nominated for the presidency of the SBC this summer. J.D. is a good guy. Brilliant scholar. Strong preacher. Took time to help me out a few years back, and he certainly had nothing to gain from it.

    All these guys are right around my age. Same generation. New group of leaders for the SBC. My group. I am very inspired by them. Very hopeful for the future.

  102. Pastor Al says:

    Actually, I blame it all on the Internet.

    There is an Egalitarian Dynamic to the Internet. It has diluted the Power.

    When you have a dilution of Power you have fragmentation.

    When you have Fragmentation, you have many Cooks in the bigger Kitchen.

    We will see more Options, more Leaders, more Factions. Maybe even the end of the 2 Party System in time.

  103. Pastor Al says:

    The 2 Party Hegemony and Media Hegemony that defined for folks what is “correct” and what to think and do is dead.

    The Internet has leveled the Playing Field…but like the Reformation, it has opened Pandora’s box.

  104. Michael says:

    Josh,

    All three got ripped to shreds in that prophecy conference.
    I do like Russell Moore a lot…

  105. Pastor Al says:

    I was wrong recently about something….so that’s out of the way for this decade…so I’m right about that analysis above 🙂

  106. Michael says:

    I probably should explain a bit more.

    Whenever you hear those in the right wing patriot movement speak they inevitably reference Ruby Ridge and Waco.
    Thus, I set about to try to understand both.

    The common denominator was a fervent end times eschatology that expected an end time fight with the government…so when the government over reacted to both situations it was as if the prophecies were coming true.

    Prophecy conferences like that one on Saturday are fueling the fires for similar incidents…

  107. Pastor Al says:

    Interesting Michael, I didn’t see it from that perspective.

    On my end, I’m just drawn to fights where there is an injustice and a Bully.

    In the recent Bundy and then Oregon thing, I learned that I’m to privy to all the info and got my hand smacked by a well connected friend.

  108. Pastor Al says:

    learned I’m NOT privy to all the info (above)

  109. Filbertz says:

    Babylon’s D
    What institution do I trust? Hospitals, the NHL, Make a Wish Foundation, the military, public education (not collegiate), and most law enforcement.

  110. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael @ 105 – Ha! I’m guess I’m picking the right voices.

    Listen, I don’t agree with everything any of those three say. I appreciate that they speak against the SBC current when necessary. We can disagree on topics and still both have integrity. I would vouch for the integrity of any of those three men. I’m glad that young men of integrity are finding leadership roles in the SBC.

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    BD’s thoughts on deconstruction reminded me of something I posted on facebook on March 8, 2014 :

    Bought some new Dr. Marten’s this week, and it got me thinking…My generation is full of deconstructionists. We rejected every institution that came before us , and set out to make up our own world. Our own conventions. Our own institutions. We spit on all those who came before us, and did it our way. Musta been all that punk rock and gangsta rap. Now, we run the institutions and what we have created is so shallow and consumer tested. It’s like a steady diet of cotton candy, with sugar on top. We should be ashamed, but we’re not. We stand proud with our balding heads, bulging guts…and new Dr. Marten’s. We still think we’re cool, but Lollapalooza ’92 was along time ago. Hint to the next generation: when you go about reinventing the wheel, please remember that “round” is actually a pretty good design feature for a wheel.

  112. Babylon's Dread says:

    Trump is the best get out the vote candidate that I can remember … if you cannot get inspired to vote for or against the Donald you are truly disengaged.

  113. Scott says:

    #1 We have our forefathers to thank for securing our right in the constitution to free speech.

    Thank God I live in America!

  114. Em says:

    #47 – i still say Smokey’s name is Smokey – Miss Kitty’s last name is not Cat and our horse Sud’s last name is not Horse – Miss Kitty, the cat – Suds, the horse aaand… Smokey, the bear
    “He can spot a fire before it starts to flame. That is why they call him “Smokey.” That is how he got his name – so there! 🙂 thank you, Lord for a little innocuous nonsense today

  115. Scott says:

    #2- Not true! I hear Smokey Bear on radio commercials all the time. He’s real!

  116. Pastor Al says:

    Fil said, “Hospitals, the NHL, Make a Wish Foundation, the military, public education (not collegiate), and most law enforcement.”

    Hospitals: Screw you over by over-charging you which drives up the cost of insurance which now covers less and charges you more and you are forced to get it or get fined.

    Make a Wish Foundation: Fundraising and Administrative expenses take up over 25% of every dollar you “donate”

    The Military: I trust my friends in the military but Obama has replaced a lot of the good Generals with UN Liberal Yes-men.

    Public Education: You trust them to what? Dumb down our kids? US is 16th in the world. Our Education system sucks.

    Most Law Enforcement: In general, I trust “most”…but then there’s the Good Old Boys stuff that does go on, I experienced that first hand with my step-dad and his close ties to law enforcement there. It happens. I trust our LEO’s and agencies in the Boise area, they have a good record and are run by good folks in general.

  117. Pastor Al says:

    ^^ Dreadly, how’s that for a little Deconstructionism! 🙂

  118. Babylon's Dread says:

    Knew I could count on you Al.

  119. Babylon's Dread says:

    One thing is obvious; the Republican party is screwed in this election.

    Trump is a hijacker
    Cruz is a tea partier

    Both are nightmares for the establishment.

    The Republican Party will desperately struggle to win the general with these guys

  120. JTK says:

    Gold, Sir Dread. Pure gold.

    Rebellion, anti-institutionalism, independence, mistrust of authority…all in all, we are our own gods. At a costly sacrifice of 3,000 babies per day. Leaving us 32 million 16-43 year old workers short. Immigration fills that vacuum, and just like we don’t like the consequences that are created by our sexual individualism, we don’t like economic and demographic consequences.

    As a father who homeschools his kids, I find few worthwhile fathers around. Not none, just few.

    And our culture hasn’t had a worthwhile dad for 30+ years in main film or tv.

    Those I meet in the SW, the land of mañana in particular, who homeschool their kids out of rebellion and independence (with a Christian fish on), not from submission to the Word of God or inline with godly authority in the local church. It is very troubling to me.

    Too much of a rant…?

  121. JTK says:

    I’m so grateful for the men of God in my life. Or my marriage wouldn’t have made it, much less my kids. The men of God in the local church saved my life. And I hated male authority. Thank God I listened at some point….

    Our collective individualism will ruin many lives individually. If only we Christian men (and of course the good Christian women) will do our jobs, run into the burning towers to save some…

  122. Babylon's Dread says:

    JTK

    Thanks and no the rant is not too much

  123. Mike says:

    One thing is obvious; the Republican party is screwed in this election.

    Yep.

    10% of Repubs. in Ohio say they’ll vote for Hillary if Drumpf wins the nomination.
    9% in Michigan.

  124. Scott says:

    Anyone who votes for Billary Clinton or Bernie Slanders is stupid.

    There, how’s that for trolling? 😉

  125. Josh the Beloved says:

    @ MLD

    Ive been to the Netherlands many many times. Moreover, traveled to 3rd world nations on the opposite side of the globe. So ive seen and experienced first hand what socialist (humanist) values do to a culture that legalizes drugs. Incidentally which you believe is a brilliant idea. You really have no have no idea idea what you are talking about, and the consequences that follow with such socialist policies are horrific.

  126. Pastor Al says:

    “and the consequences that follow with such socialist policies are horrific.”

    Can’t be more “horrific” than the Democrat Utopias of Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC, Oakland, Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Louis, Flint, New Orleans etc. AKA the Crime and Murder Capitals of the World.

  127. Josh the other B – why should I believe what you say? You have stated some pretty weird ideas in the past and this is no different.

    So you believe it’s better that innocent people get killed at the point of origin of the illegal drug trafficking so that your buddies can toke up here in America.

    I say let’s take the crime out of it at the source and if anyone is going to die, let it be the users.

  128. Em says:

    “Can’t be more “horrific” than the Democrat Utopias of Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC, Oakland, Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Louis, Flint, New Orleans etc. AKA the Crime and Murder Capitals of the World.”

    this is what troubles me… these are the areas that the Democrats repeatedly target with the same old promises to solve their problems… how many tries do they get?

    simple truth is that it isn’t politics, but good role models – old fashioned white hat heroes that are mentioned by some in this thread that will interrupt this cycle of self pity and violence – IMNSHO – pray for it

  129. Josh the Beloved says:

    @ MLD until that “user” who died or is dying in the streets is your grand child.
    I guess thats not such a bad idea.

  130. Michael says:

    JtB,

    I’ll ask again…what’s your solution?

  131. John The Beloved says:

    Jesus says the poor you will have always. And this view would be the same thing with drug trafficking. A solution implies, eliminating drug trafficking, which is impossible. Hence, the best outcome is to minimize drug trafficking. We can kill terrorists 1/2 way around the world, topple governments with no problem. But our Federal Gov willingly allows the traffickers into this country for several reasons. But we wont get into the politics of that here. Simply put, deploying our national guard along with the US military at both borders. And expanding the NAFTA agreement to include military operations dealing with these drug runners, the El Chapos of the world would be rare as a unicorn. If cocaine, heroine as an example was so rare because of an affective US military crackdown. Then it wouldn’t available to the masses, and young Joey wouldn’t have to feel pressured because its not around at the parties. Instead he would be subject to drinking coors light.

  132. Michael says:

    Never going to happen.

    Deploying the National Guard would accomplish nothing, neither would the wall or 20,000 more Border Patrol.
    50 billion worth of drugs doesn’t sneak across the freaking desert… that is a right wing fantasy.
    It rides on trucks through ports of entry and flies over in 747’s.

    The United States is well aware that without the currency from drug money the Mexican economy collapses.

    You also overlook the fact that the entire Mexican government, from the local level to the Presidency, is corrupt and profits from drug money.

    Mexico just allowed DEA agents to carry weapons in the last couple years…they rarely allow our military there because they believe it is a violation of their sovereignty.

    As I stated earlier, the cartel systems collapsing is is being replaced by gangs…much more difficult to control.

    The United States at one time did train an elite group of the Mexican Army with weapons and advanced training.

    That group defected and became Los Zetas…the most feared cartel in the country.

    There are no simple solutions…

  133. Josh the Beloved says:

    Deploying the National Guard would accomplish nothing, neither would the wall or 20,000 more Border Patrol.
    50 billion worth of drugs doesn’t sneak across the freaking desert… that is a right wing fantasy. It rides on trucks through ports of entry and flies over in 747’s.

    Its not right wing fantasy. Ive been personally involved in one of the nations largest security monitoring deployments working with homeland security. You sir are dead wrong in thinking that it cant be greatly minimized. However you are right,that such an operation would hurt the mexican economy. Hence, the reason why the US war on drugs is a failure, is because its designed to fail. Ports, Airplane etc which are some distribution points for narcotics again can greatly minimized. If the President and his merry men really really wanted made it a top priority. Its just that its not a priority, but it should be and could be, but sadly its not. The man power, the technology, the resources are here. But the future of America seems to be shifting where the US will be like europe, where there will be open borders, and in our case that will be Mexico and Canada.

  134. Josh the other B,
    So look at the crime and the number of killings, although on a much smaller scale) during prohibition in the 1920s. Once it was the forbidden fruit everyone had to have it at all costs – and the cost of lives to others.

    At the end of of prohibition, Elliot Ness was able to put away his Tommy Gun and life moved on.

  135. Steve Wright says:

    A point of observation. I assume most would agree that it is not the Christian thing to do to use narcotics for recreational use. Nor encourage others to do the same. I assume most would agree that it is the Christian thing to do to help those who are addicted to such drugs and assist them is turning their lives around.

    Yet, here is a discussion about drug policy in America that argues for a net positive effect for the most people by radically changing the current laws. And it is an argument based on knowledge, history, reality. One can offer a counter argument of course, but one can’t simply shout “That would be unchristian”

    Now…apply this to economic, tax, and healthcare arguments as well…and you might see where I have been coming from for the last several years in this community. I may not know enough to talk intelligently about the illegal drug cartels and relations between our nation and Mexico and others….but I know plenty about what works in areas like insurance and tax policy and human behavior in response. Yet in these areas the kneejerk response is so often “unchristian, not what the Bible teaches” – which would be easy to do when it comes to drugs (and alcohol) too but really is no argument about public policy at all.

  136. Jean says:

    “the Christian thing to do”

    There probably is no consensus among this community as to what this is, so I will provide my own analysis. As it pertains to the role of government, the Bible provides the following, which I would argue establishes the Christian thing to do regarding government:

    “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.”

    From this, we could summarize the role of government as preventing and punishing evil.

    When it comes to drugs, there might be someone who in the privacy of their home could use recreational drugs once in a while without becoming addicted or negatively effecting other areas of their life. On the other hand, there might be someone else who would easily become addicted and it would ruin that person’s life. What is the optimal government policy? When if for every one person who could “control” their recreational drug use, there are 10 people who can’t. For the good of the 10, should the one be prohibited from using drugs via a law?

    I don’t know if pragmatism is a particularly Christian concept. In other words, I’m not sure you can justify legalizing drugs, if shown that drug use will harm a lot of people, just so that you can reduce or eliminate drug cartels. If you put government in the business (through taxation) of engaging in evil (and the same can be argued when it comes to cigarettes and gambling), are you subverting Romans 13?

  137. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “the Christian thing to do”

    Heck, some don’t even agree that a real Jesus is necessary as “the Christian thing to do”

    But back to the drugs – even though alcohol is legal does not mean that I promote it’s use. There are still laws that control the sale and use and I think those laws are good and necessary and the same can be applied to drugs.

    But none of that keeps people from destroying their lives by it’s use.

  138. Kevin H says:

    Steve is right in his point about how we apply the “unchristian” label to public policy. There are different thought approaches on a variety of issues as to what is the best way to solve the problem. Some thought processes entail that the best solutions to the problem(s) involve limited governmental intervention and more freedom/power to the individual, community, and private sector. Other thought processes entail greater governmental involvement as the best solution to the problem(s).

    What is unchristian is when somebody doesn’t want the government to get much involved to fix a problem and help those in need but also has little desire that they themselves or that the Church help those in need either. Or when somebody wants to the government to get very involved to fix problems and help those in need but has little to no desire that they or the Church contribute to fixing the problems or helping those in need.

  139. Michael says:

    JtB wants to play the semantic game that’s popular this year.
    That is offering two extreme choices… one being a completely militarized “closed” border and what they are trying to sell as being an “open” border.

    The truth is that the border is 1913 miles long…and while it can be secured, it can never be completely closed without killing the god of international commerce that NAFTA created.

    History buffs will know that Reagan did shut down the border for a few weeks in the 80’s allegedly searching for the killer of DEA agent Kiki Camerena.

    Both countries economies tanked and the world of commerce went nuts.
    The killers were actually part of his administration,but that knowledge avoided him somehow…

    I have not yet spoken of the at least 60,000 Mexicans who have died in the war for drugs since 2006.

    I have not yet spoken of the fact that the private prison industry,the counseling industry, and the prison guard unions need both drug users and drug sellers to survive and fight reform tooth and claw.

    I’m sorry that this is complex…most things are.

  140. Michael says:

    “the Christian thing to do”.

    I enjoy watching the Christian candidates compete to see who can destroy Obamacare the fastest.
    I especially enjoy it after a trip to the cardiologist.

    My favorite moment of the debates was when Trump had the decency to say that he wouldn’t let anyone die in the streets and Ted Cruz thought he now had DT by the balls and tried repeatedly to rip him for that merciful statement.

    Praise the Lord for strong conservatives.

  141. Jean says:

    Michael at #142,
    That’s why I get so annoyed when I see pastors endorsing parties and candidates. Basically baptizing their positions in the name of God. To me it’s a flagrant violation of the 2nd Commandment.

    By the way, some endorsements are more subtle than others, but are not lost on the flock.

  142. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I probably need to shut up.
    I’m sure there are much better ways of doing things then we are doing them now…and I’m sure that there is much waste and abuse in all entitlement programs.
    I’m sure that limited government is probably better than too much.

    However, I also know that my life depends on some very expensive care in the near future and neither my church, nor myself can afford it.
    My surgery will cost more than our complete budget for the last 10 years…

    On a side note, I had to go to the ER the other day to visit a parishioner.
    She was in a bad way…
    After the initial exam and hooking her up to all the machines a hospital employee wheeled in another machine…to take the patients credit card to cover her co pay.

  143. dswoager says:

    BD’s topic up top was a very thought provoking one. Given the amount of information that is available to people today, it is very difficult to maintain the trust of people as an institution or organization. If you are trusted it means…

    1. You are legitimately trust worthy
    2. You are supplying something so desirable that people are willing to look the other way at your shadier practices.
    3. You are very good at creating smile screens to obscure your untrustworthiness.
    4. You have predicated your system on people burying their heads in the sand.

    There seem to be so few of number 1, that we are left with the pragmatism of number 2, and the manipulation of 3 and 4. You can also end up in a place where you are so frustrated with all of it that you practically just give up.

  144. Pastor Al says:

    “My surgery will cost more than our complete budget for the last 10 years…”

    It wouldn’t in another Nation that doesn’t spend so much on Entitlements and Obamacare has simply subsidized Big Health and made them richer and surgeries are now even MORE expensive.

    You could get your same surgery in Costa Rica for about 1/10th the price or less.

  145. Pastor Al says:

    The reason your surgery is ridiculously expensive is because of Crony Capitalism.

    The Government and Big Health are in bed together.

    Big Health can charge astronomical amounts of money for procedures and care that in other Nations costs pennies on the dollar for the SAME stuff.

    Obamacare doubled down on the bad dynamic and Big Health has NEVER had it better. Their stock prices have gone straight up since Obamacare….and it’s NOT b/c you and I are getting such a great deal now.

    That’s the truth.

  146. Pastor Al says:

    Who do you think WROTE Obamacare? Obama? Hahahahaha, NO.

    Big Health, Big Pharma, Big Hospital, Big Health Insurance and their well-paid lobbyists.

    You were sold a bill of goods. You bought in hook, line and sinker b/c you are stupid (you being the general american uninformed citizen not “you” you).

  147. Cash says:

    Health care is a human right. Pro-life Christians should be in support of a nationalized health care plan. Nobody should have to go bankrupt for being sick.

  148. Pastor Al says:

    “You’ll be able to know what’s in the bill [Obamacare] after it passes!”–Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

    If you opposed Obamacare you were a “racist!” or you hated poor people without health insurance. That was the mantra.

    In fact, I opposed Obamacare b/c I actually read the stuff and could see it was a terrible deal for the US taxpayer and average citizen. But, any opposition to the bill was attacked vehemently as “hating Obama!” “racism!” and “you hate the poor!” etc.

    SMH. People, in general, are stupid. The mAsses are idiots. Make me king and I will rule with an iron-fist and keep the idiots from breeding.

  149. Pastor Al says:

    “Health care is a human right.”

    Why didn’t Jesus heal everyone when he walked the planet then? Why did he let so many remain sick and die?

    Jesus must’ve hated the poor

  150. Pastor Al says:

    The whole “Jesus was a Socialist like Bernie Sanders!” is actually quite wrong.

    Jesus didn’t heal very many folks, just a small fraction of those he came in contact with.

    Jesus also didn’t lift anyone out of poverty. He fed 5,000 a meal or two once, that was about it.

    Jesus actually taught the poor to endure being poor and the sick to endure being sick.

    If you claim the bible is “God’s Word!!!!!” and “perfect!”….that’s what it actually says and examples…but you (general you) are idiots and have terrible reading comprehension and make all sorts of bullcrap up

  151. Pastor Al says:

    I get so frustrated with ignorance. Folks are so blind. SMH. You make up whatever you want and you believe whatever false narrative you want. SO much b.s. that passes as “truth!” and so many that get rich off of selling their b.s.

  152. Cash says:

    Health care wasn’t Jesus’ mission. His mission was to die. It’s like saying, Well, Jesus didn’t feed everyone on the planet, so Jesus must’ve hated the hungry.

  153. Pastor Al says:

    Cash, what did Jesus teach? What did Jesus example?

    What was the Construct of that day and age?

    Your “his mission was to die!” is a cop out. If that’s all his mission was then you have to throw out the rest of his teachings and example as non-factors….yet you claim his teachings and examples for everything you like and then dismiss his teachings and examples for everything that doesn’t fit your political narrative. Very human. Very dishonest.

  154. Cash says:

    It’s a logical fallacy.

  155. Pastor Al says:

    Jesus taught that the Temporal stuff was happening for a reason and that “the poor will ALWAYS be with you”

    Jesus didn’t preach to “end poverty!” in fact he promised it would always be a part of human existence.

    The Socialists have a warped view of what Jesus taught and exampled. It’s an Anti-Christ as much as any other.

  156. Pastor Al says:

    “It’s a logical fallacy.”

    What is? Be more specific. Make the assertion and support your claim and we’ll check it out and see if it holds water.

  157. Cash says:

    Pastor Al,

    You type very fast. 😉

  158. Pastor Al says:

    I think fast, type fast and I’ve already asked and answered every question you will ever have a thousand times over and I can basically have our discussion for you. I’m already 7 moves ahead and know exactly where this one goes. It’s how “God” made me.

  159. Pastor Al says:

    If you don’t like it, take it up with Jesus 😉 🙂

  160. Cash says:

    Well, I certainly couldn’t compete with your superiority, so I won’t try. I said my opinion and that’s what it is.

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

    In a story he told, Jesus commended the outcast who personally dug deep and did what he could to help the immediate need for housing of a person who had been beat up and robbed. He also defined “neighbor” in the process and showed the rich & powerful religious & legal types as being law twisters so they could get a pass at an opportunity to exhibit true human compassion.

  162. Pastor Al says:

    Not superior, just some animals in the jungle have different talents, different capabilities. It’s like being upset at an alligator for being able to grab onto something and not let go, or a monkey for being able to climb trees. Some are wired differently than others. Don’t hate.

  163. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Get out a concordance and see how many times the word “compassion” is in the Gospels in reference to Jesus.

    There are places in the Gospels where He did heal everyone gathered.
    There are times when He didn’t.

    The reasons are far more complex than you seem to grasp.

    His miracles were to affirm who He was more than anything else…an announcement of the kingdom that had come.

    We do not know why He didn’t heal everyone…but we know He healed many.
    We know that He always acted in compassion…and we should as well.

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

    #FeelTheBern

  165. Pastor Al says:

    One irony….if you “end poverty” you make Jesus a liar and a False Prophet 😉

  166. Pastor Al says:

    “We do not know why He didn’t heal everyone…but we know He healed many.
    We know that He always acted in compassion…and we should as well.”

    That is a cop out.

    Jesus, in fact, did not nearly heal “everyone” he came in contact with. In fact, the bible says in some instances it was the “faith” in the person being healed that determined whether or not they were actually healed and that many were not healed.

    Again, you present a false narrative as part of a System of theology you support when I can point chapter and verse that contradicts it.

  167. Pastor Al says:

    There were many Jesus had no compassion toward. Some he did, many he didn’t.

    It was as random as the fact that according to your Theological Box, the vast majority of humanity is tortured in a fiery hell forever w/o ever hearing a gospel message and only a select few are ‘saved’

    Jesus and his “healing” were about that dynamic….very few healed compared to the many more he came in contact with in his time on the planet. <—That is fact if you accept the biblical record as fact.

  168. Pastor Al says:

    “We don’t know why Jesus didn’t heal everyone”

    Yet you claim to know all sorts of other stuff that he exampled.

    Jesus didn’t heal very many, supposedly Jesus doesn’t save very many.

    Compassion is one thing, healing and saving are another.

  169. Pastor Al says:

    Jesus is the “same” “God” in the OT, correct? Jesus drowned the vast majority of humanity except supposedly Noah and his family and some animals, correct?

    “Compassion”?

    You’re getting soft on me Calvinist…..

  170. Pastor Al says:

    1 Cor. 11:29-30 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. hat is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.

    “Jesus’ supposedly MADE these people sick, even to death as “judgment’….should we try to heal them?

  171. Pastor Al says:

    Again the bible presents quite a different record than your narrative. It’s very convoluted and complex.

    We see it say one thing and example one thing, then quite another.

    You can pick and choose from the buffet and craft a narrative, but there are plenty of other verses and examples that contradict it squarely.

  172. Michael says:

    Alex,

    All you really point out is that you only have a handshake acquaintance with both Scripture and theology.
    Anytime someone deals with the whole narrative of Scripture and it’s complexity you scream “cop out” as if you, the great genius have finally dealt the death blow to 2000 years of Christianity.

    You bet.

    Those of us who believe and teach the Scriptures understand and accept that there is both paradox and mystery in the faith, that we are finite creatures trying to understand the infinite.

    You want to strip the book down to the ‘quantifiable” and the rational.

    Faith is not subject to either.

    The church has survived rationalism and it will survive you as well.

  173. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, all you demonstrate is your Idol and love for a System of Theology that is “god” and a penchant for a lack of Critical Thinking and then a defensiveness when that is challenged.

    The truth is we don’t know much. Theology is about as reliable as any other human construct and the bible presents quite a mixed message.

    There is a yin and a yang to the entire biblical message. It is very raw and brutal and un-compassionate and it is very loving and good. It portrays the Human Condition and the range of Human Nature.

    Supposedly “God” made us in his image….when likely we created “god” in our image.

  174. Pastor Al says:

    My 175 contains more raw honesty than you’ll get in 20 years of going to church.

  175. Cash says:

    Pastor Al,

    Is there not times when the compassionate thing to do does not “look” like compassion, but really it is? Like maybe the people Jesus didn’t heal had a greater lesson to learn from their illness. Or, in the example of Noah and Sodom, compassion precipitated their destruction. God’s compassion is seen from cover to cover.

  176. Pastor Al says:

    I don’t know how the Universe/Multi-verse works….just a glimpse. We sense that “God” is real and likely is….we just cannot understand. Humans have sensed it ever since we became intelligent and “like God”….and humans will continue to make crap up and create their Boxes/Systems and their Gurus will continue to elevate themselves to God-status and attract followers and sell books and sell Theologies etc. That’s how we roll, truth be damned.

    …and there are plenty of suckers to buy in.

  177. Michael says:

    Alex,

    We know what you think.
    I’m not defensive, just weary of this.
    You are not going to be convinced.
    Neither am I.
    This blog is for weary stragglers like myself who believe…not for acerbic critics who wish to rant about what we believe.
    There are lots of places to do that.

  178. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “My 175 contains more raw honesty than you’ll get in 20 years of going to church.”

    I know you would never entertain the thought, but your “raw honesty” could be 100% incorrect.

  179. Pastor Al says:

    I’ll leave for awhile so I don’t suck the oxygen out of the room. Food for thought for those who are open minded and not afraid to consider. Read the bible yourself. Be honest. It’s a mixed message. That doesn’t mean God isn’t real…it means your leaders are likely not as correct and god-like as they want you to think. They don’t know near as much as you give them credit for. Stop worshipping men and theologies.

  180. Michael says:

    Linkathon is late…I’m fighting the back end to get it posted.
    Soon, I hope.

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

    In the face of unknowable and irresolvable theological wrangling one thing comforts me, knowing that we have it within our power to be compassionate, to mitigate anyone in our path’s suffering, to feed, to clothe, to set aside our silly scripture twisting and STFU and actually DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE.

  182. Michael says:

    G,
    One can do both.

  183. Em says:

    reading this thread as far as i have this morning made me stop and think – just how far down the road into a morass of twisted values society has come in one generation – people haven’t changed in their basic nature, but something has changed… maybe society as a whole used to know and value the difference between good and evil? maybe the basic depravity of man was understood and wasn’t celebrated as self expression? dunno

    one thing i do know – it hasn’t been that long ago that every neighborhood had a policeman in every house on the block and when the kids came home after school she was there thinking that it was her job to watch what her little darlings were up to … or most did … Also, even though my Grandparents had very high standards and I did grow up knowing right from wrong and I’m sure that influenced me, yet what VALIDATED those principles for me were the movies being made in an era of idealism and good Roman Catholic censorship. Syrupy? Maybe, but there must be a lesson in there somewhere that is applicable even now. What messages is society giving children today? A child’s environment does program his brain, i believe.

    it may sound focus-on-the-family-ish, but laws aren’t going to fix our problem and for sure politics won’t

  184. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex,
    Mixed messages are resolved when you read the scriptures in light of the 2 ways God gave them. I know that I sound like a broken record (should it be a broken MP3?) – but if you read in light of his law and his gospel … well, then I realize (1) you have no training in that and (2) you wouldn’t avail yourself to it anyway as it would not serve your purpose to have this harmonized down to just a tension.

  185. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, back in your generation they were still lynching black people.

    We had Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best on TV to cover all the bad stuff up.
    Things are no worse than before – but now we make all the bad stuff into TV shows and have 24 hours news channels to announce our sin.

  186. Em says:

    #181 – is, like so many human observations, part right – close, but not close enough

  187. J.U. says:

    After reading Michael’s number 1 and 2 thoughts and then reading this entire thread, I think this has been a pretty good discussion. The conversation covered many typical combative issues including the upcoming election.

    I found most the comments and commentators were able to make their points and refute others without a lot of negativity and name calling. I read facts and knowledge supporting opinion and applying our Christian world view to these issues in a fairly comprehensive and detailed manner. I learned from the discussion and it was helpful in shaping my opinions..

    My opinion would be that this specific example of the internet and democracy and free speech was pretty good. I applaud Michael and the other commentators for an enlightening and quite respectful discussion. Thanks

  188. Em says:

    MLD, yes “they” were, but “they” were not celebrated except by their own… but you’ve raised a good example of how ignorance begets ignorance… of how a brain can be molded by the environment that nurtures it… and the TV today? that makes my point

    the point is the Beaver and the high principled Father were celebrated – whether it was true at your house or not, we liked those guys, we liked the message …

    things are no worse than before? depends on what things we’re talking about – one thing we did do was clear up smog in So. Calif., tho. And we did avoid a polio epidemic of Biblical proportions when the oral vaccine we gave our babies almost infected the whole nation. You’re too young to remember the immunization stations on the street corners… and we avoided a catastrophic (long overdue) revolt by the nation’s blacks when we found the other Martin Luther to lead the whole nation to resolving that horrible blight on our country… although we still have unresolved residuals to that

  189. J.U. says:

    OK, I hadn’t read all the thread when I wrote my last comment. Only to about comment 150 or so. I see the discussion did take its typical turn. Paster Al, I think sometimes in your rush to dissect the faith you end up killing the patient. I suppose we are all questioning and have many different ways we seek answers. I’ve followed your journey a bit on this blog.

    I can only add that my personal journey has been more like G-man in that I look to the people who state these beliefs and judge how they act in “real life.”

    Like you, I have found many that claimed Jesus, but acted more like an anti-christ. Yet I’ve also experience what I would call true Christian love from many who claim this faith.

    I just try to be someone that Jesus would be glad that I claim his name in my faith. Like all fallen creatures I probably fail much more than I succeed, but I keep trying.

  190. Michael says:

    J.U,

    Thanks for the kind words.
    It’s a bit like herding cats, but it’s been ok.

  191. Jean says:

    Pastor Al,

    I think you could make a good Lutheran. Lutherans believe two things I think you could embrace (which are very difficult for many other traditions to deal with): (1) God hasn’t revealed his entire will to us, and where his will is not revealed, it is none of our business and we are not to speculate; and (2) There are paradoxes in Scripture, and we are to hold these paradoxes in tension and not dilute or ignore certain parts of Scripture in order to harmonize them with other parts.

  192. filbertz says:

    I was the only one to actually answer BD’s “good question” Who do you trust. Either we are an incredibly suspicious lot, fear our list being shredded, or like questions and abhor answers. 😉
    I didn’t answer for Pastor Al. We all know he doesn’t trust anyone/thing. I answered for myself.
    I trust hospitals because, despite the outlandish bills, if I or someone close to me is injured, sick, or needs surgery, I’ll drive ’em to the hospital. Am I going to let ’em die because it’s costly to fix a body? Duh.
    I trust the NHL because what you see is what you get–hard hitting, fast, skillful play without a lot of meddling rules changes.
    I trust Make a Wish Foundation because they do some amazing things for terminally ill kids–like the local boy who was my student & wanted to meet Billy Graham before he died–and arranged for Franklin Graham to come to his house and spend the day with him because he was too ill to travel. I don’t care about their overhead–I care about what they DO.
    I trust the military because they are skilled, committed, prepared, and will lay down their lives for each other, their families, and country. My boys have served. I respect the services, Period.
    Public Education is still the best thing going–what is the alternative? Public ignorance. It’s popular to bash the teachers, but as a whole, we are committed to the kids, their learning and achievement, and ultimately to their success–despite a host of complications, and factors which war against our mandate.
    Law enforcement is pretty important in a culture that prides itself on the ‘rule of law.’ When my house and property were broken into, I called 911, not 9mm.

    This is my list. My opinions. I couldn’t care less what Pal thinks. I dare the rest of you to answer the list, too.

  193. Em says:

    to finish my thought on the past … the good old days syndrome is in the memories of the kids for whom the grown ups were dealing with the bad things and making their children’s days good … at least that’s how i think it went down – dunno, tho, do i?

    so many of the criticisms/observations here of the Faith make me wonder just what kind of Christianity folks have been exposed to … and how much of their disappointment is from their dependence on people rather than on the Book and the God of it

  194. Em says:

    filbertz, your list works for me … FWIW

  195. Pastor Al says:

    “I couldn’t care less what Pal thinks. ”

    For someone who claims that, you sure have spent a lot of time over the years writing about me on here.

  196. Pastor Al says:

    Fil, of course we all trust those institutions in that regard. No duh.

    Dreadly means “trust” in a different context.

    Do you trust your doctor and hospital implicitly? No. How do I know this? B/c they have major Medical Malpractice insurance that costs a fortune b/c you all sue the crap out of them when they screw up.

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

    Michael,
    “…irresolvable theological wrangling…”

    that’s what I’m objecting to.
    Instead I’ve taken up oil painting and composing music, far more fulfilling 😉

  198. Pastor Al says:

    We don’t really trust the schools implicitly either or we wouldn’t have all the angst and scrutiny and controversy over the school system and the school is made up of humans who hurt kids, don’t do their jobs properly, lie, cheat, steal, have sex with the kids you name it.

    You present a very basic definition of “trust” like saying ‘well I trust McDonalds! When I order a burger, I get a burger!” Ya, no s**** sherlock.

  199. Michael says:

    fil,

    I don’t know that I “trust” any institution.
    I don’t think I have a category for them…I trust some people within institutions at times.
    I used to trust Les Schwab, but that passed.

  200. Pastor Al says:

    Our Society has Governments and Law Enforcement and Courts and Laws etc etc etc and so on and so forth BECAUSE we collectively don’t trust Institutions and human beings….and shouldn’t.

    That’s why we need a Democrat Republic with checks and balances.

    What has happened in the US is that Government has become a tool of the Special Interests whether it be Al Sharpton or Wall Street.

    We need a System where the everyman has as much power as the loud racist leader and the rich white wall street CEO.

    Dilute the power, you level the playing field….you build in more accountability b/c we CAN TRUST other humans to do what humans do….and that’s good…and that’s bad….and that’s ugly.

  201. Pastor Al says:

    Calvary Chapel polity TRUSTS its CEO Moses Pastors too much.

    That’s why they have so many problems.

    They shouldn’t trust these jerks to be “Jesus” b/c they are in fact not Jesus, not nearly.

  202. Pastor Al says:

    “Trust, but verify”

    “Power corrupts….absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    Don’t trust. Or do trust, but trust that humans and human insinuations will do bad things. Guaranteed.

  203. Pastor Al says:

    INSTITUTIONS! (above)

    Don’t trust autocorrect! 🙂

  204. Josh the Baptist says:

    Filbs – I answered way back at 102.

  205. filbertz says:

    Pal, you flatter yourself @197. I’ve spoken to you, rarely about you.

    Never said ‘implicitly.’

    There are always exceptions.

    Never said I spoke for anyone else, just the opposite.

    If trust doesn’t mean trust, then it wasn’t a good question. Trust means you’ll use something–like a bridge. I won’t drive over it if I don’t trust it. It doesn’t mean there is never risk nor short-coming. If I don’t trust a person, I won’t share an opinion, secret, or opportunity with him. Not as rocket-science as one supposes.

  206. filbertz says:

    Josh–you are correct. I missed that one. sorry.

  207. Em says:

    the trust issue is addressed over on links … at least a bit … “How God ruined church for me…”

  208. filbertz says:

    Pal,
    you build your case on the exceptions. If parents don’t trust the public schools because a teacher in Arkansas had sex with a fourteen year old in 2003, then they can pay tuition at a local private school, but it doesn’t mean public schools are dangerous or untrustworthy. Exceptions don’t nullify the rule, they qualify it.

  209. Josh the Baptist says:

    I trust my wife. Absolutely, 100%.

  210. Em says:

    IMV – there are wonderful teachers in the public schools (my oldest just went back to teach high school math to help put her daughter thru college)… i just wish we had a better system than what they and we have to contend with today

  211. Pastor Al says:

    Fil, you’re hyper-focused on a very non-philosophical pedestrian view of what Dread was getting at.

    Stop digging, your hole is getting deeper.

  212. Pastor Al says:

    But, I think you were or are an elementary school teacher, which makes sense. That’s the world you live in and that’s not a knock on you. If you were a University philosophy professor, you’d have a different world view and likely respond to that question differently.

  213. Pastor Al has a Master’s College education which is one step below elementary school 😉

  214. London says:

    Flip,
    I’ve been thinking about BD’s question. As far as institutions go, The only answer that came to me was that I trust the library.
    I trust individuals in the groups you mentioned of course, but the institutions those indivuals work for, I don’t always trust.

  215. Xenia says:

    I trust my Church. My parish has sinners, my diocese has sinners, Orthodoxy has sinners and is led by sinners. Yet it’s endured for 2000 years and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. It is the only institution that I trust.

  216. What goes that mean “trust” when we speak of an institution? Can you apply “trust” in those categories.

    Do you “trust” the President? What does that mean – I don’t know the guy and no one who works with him. If someone says I trust or I do not trust,for example, our military – isn’t that a nonsensical statement?

    Don’t you need to know someone or something to place trust in them / it? I could say I trust the post office to deliver my mail – but I have absolutely no idea if some of my mail is delivered to a wrong address.

    I do place trust in 2 things (1) that my chair will support me when I sit down and (2) that the other guy will stay on his side of the yellow line as I drive 50MPH on a desert 2 laner.

    I think there is a category error in the conversation.

  217. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – I agree, and that’s why I changed it a bit to “Who inspires you?”.

    So, who inspires you?

  218. You know Josh, at my age I don’t think anyone inspires me. I know that all folks have faults and everyone over the age of 20 fakes it.

    My grandkids give me happiness.

  219. Josh the Baptist says:

    Kind of what I said in the disclaimer to my answer @ 102:

    “I’m too cynical to trust anyone…well, I trust that everyone will follow his own best interests, but who inspires me? ”

    I can be inspired by someone and still disagree with them, still know that they are flawed, all that.

    I should have included John Mark McMillan among my group of inspirational figures. That dude is an artist like few others nowadays. Beautiful music. I usually don’t have a clue what he is talking about, but that sometimes is the best art.

  220. Em says:

    amen to #-220… but faking it starts long before age 20 – some just improve their craft

    i do like “inspire” as something to think on though… so many people inspire and remind me that we are God’s creation and sometimes i see a little bit of why He wants us back

  221. Pastor Al says:

    “Pastor Al has a Master’s College education which is one step below elementary school”

    LOL, nice, FEEL THE BERN!

    Actually my main prof. is a PhD from USC and taught the same classes as an Adjunct at USC as well. She said I was one of the brightest she had at either school so s***k it! 🙂

  222. Pastor Al says:

    ….and, truth be told, I’ve learned vastly more since college as I read and study every day. That’s the difference between the truly curious (intelligent, high IQ) and the regular folks. I keep learning and learning and studying and studying. You’re stuck in your Lutheran-based Dogma and haven’t learned a new thing in probably 30 years.

  223. Josh the Baptist says:

    Who inspires you, AL?

  224. Pastor Al says:

    “Who inspires you, AL?”

    My kids. My best friend 23-year MARSOC Marine, Ben. Michael. Dreadly. Derrick Boles. Dorian Michael Willes. Dennis Richardson. Darrell Flores. Steven Crowder. Ron Paul. Rand Paul. John Strickland. Brandi Swindell. Kelly Clark (now deceased). Francisco Nunes. My Navy SEAL friends (can’t name them). Alexandria Kincaid. Greg Pruett. Mike Moyle. Raul Labrador. Nate Shelman. Lamont Oliver. Many others, mainly locals who are in our Community doing great things.

    Intellectually, I’m inspired by Plato, Aristotle, Plonitus to Jung and Skinner, to Tesla, to Sam Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens, to Rowan Williams, to Giddens, to Stiglitz, A.Smith, Marx, Rand, Mises, Roubini, Ferguson, to Kaku, Krauss, Tyson, Sagan.

    Too many to list, really.

  225. Pastor Al says:

    Marcus Lemonis inspires me as well. Met him, got to hang out with him and observe him. Wow.

  226. Pastor Al says:

    My brother Geoff inspires me as well. He’s achieved great success despite a terrible obstacle of such an abusive upbringing. He’s had to fight off his demons caused by all the abuse and has turned into a good dude with a beautiful daughter and great high-paid high-powered career.

  227. Jean says:

    “You’re stuck in your Lutheran-based Dogma and haven’t learned a new thing in probably 30 years.”

    I consider myself a lifetime learner too. However, speaking strictly of Christian Dogmatics, what new thing is there?

    Seems to me that a lot of what passes for “new” today is repackaged old ideas (or worse, heresy) that the early church councils or reformers dealt with hundreds or over a thousand years ago.

  228. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Pastor Al thinks philosophy and critical thinking are new 21st century endeavors – worse yet, he thinks he is the first to make the discovery.

    And he has lost his first love of the Dodgers. 🙂

  229. Pastor Al says:

    MLD, I have, the MLB sucks. Free Agency and over-priced players have killed the love. The NFL is getting really close to the same for me. I like College Football and maybe March Madness….and that’s about it for sports for me, other than MMA.

    No, I know they are not new at all….but those things have been abandoned by the mainstream of the “church” and evangelicalism in general. We’re a long long way from the Englightenment and our Founding Fathers in the US, to our detriment.

  230. Pastor Al says:

    “Seems to me that a lot of what passes for “new” today is repackaged old ideas (or worse, heresy) that the early church councils or reformers dealt with hundreds or over a thousand years ago.”

    Ironically, you hit on a very true dynamic in reverse. Relative Truth and Spirit or Zeitgeist of the Age.

    Everything was NEW and then at one point some of you stopped listening to the spirit and trust that one group of guys in Age had it 100% correct.

    None have it correct.

    It doesn’t work that way.

    The irony is you have to ascribe God-like powers to men who came well after Jesus walked the earth…and then say “Well THAT small Group of dudes had it right!” and then you are stuck in the 1500’s and the Philosophical Thought of that day and age (well in general).

  231. Josh the Baptist says:

    “None have it correct.”

    Then who cares? Why abandon one group of guys who has it wrong for another group of newer guys that have it wrong?

  232. Pastor Al says:

    “Correct Doctrine!” and Theology is a MASSIVE waste of time and a False Idol. Many fall in love with their Doctrine and Apologetic….which is not “God”

    It’s very Pride-based Ego-based and you can see the “fruit” of such when these types are challenged strongly. They always respond “NOT” with “fruits of the spirit”

    If there is any truth to the Gospel….it isn’t a Theological System or Sect or Guru.

    Love your neighbor. Love God. Whether you are the Samaritan, a tax collector, a prostitute or even much worse, an evangelical Pastor.

    We don’t know what’s going to happen for sure. We do have a Conscience and our spirit and we are somehow connected to “God”…whatever that truly means and however that truly works.

  233. Pastor Al says:

    “Then who cares? Why abandon one group of guys who has it wrong for another group of newer guys that have it wrong?”

    It’s a heart-issue.

    It’s a humility.

    “I don’t know for sure” is actually requires more faith than the Game most play in a life-long pursuit of living up to a System and defending it and playing church etc. and putting heavy burdens on folks that they need to do this or do that or believe this or believe that and if they don’t express certainty in those things they are going to burn in hell forever.

    It’s very not Jesus IMO. It’s actually very Matthew 23.

  234. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “and we are somehow connected to “God”…whatever that truly means and however that truly works.”

    What do you say to those who have come to the conclusion it means “screw your neighbor and eat their kids.”?

  235. Pastor Al says:

    I’ve spent the time to learn more than most. Not the smartest on the planet by far, but nearer the tip of the pyramid than most humans. I’ve spent countless hours hashing these issues out….pretty much daily. It’s a compulsion, a thirst, a pursuit. I wanted to find out for myself instead of just swallowing what other Sects and Gurus are feeding folks.

    The truth as I know it is this: We don’t know for sure. That’s scary for the vast majority of folks who require certainty to hang their hat on. Certainty is their false idol and “god”….certainty in a Sect, a Guru, a System of Theology.

    That is not faith and that is not “God”

  236. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok. You think theology is a massive waste of time. I disagree, and think that it is a more noble pursuit than most other areas of study.

    That doesn’t make your opinion correct, and doesn’t necessarily make it invalid. However, speaking of massive wastes of time, what would you call going on a discussion board full of adults who mostly enjoy studying theology and constantly telling them over and over again that your areas of interest are more important than their’s?

    Just a thought.

    We all agree to love your neighbor, and to Love God, which is of course, derived from some sort of Theology.

  237. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The truth as I know it is this: We don’t know for sure”

    If you don’t know for sure, how could you possibly be certain that someone else isn’t more sure than you are? Is the mindset, “If Alex doesn’t know it, it can’t possibly be known”?. Really?

  238. Jean says:

    “Everything was NEW and then at one point some of you stopped listening to the spirit and trust that one group of guys in Age had it 100% correct.”

    My question to you was “what new thing is there”? You didn’t answer.

    I said above that I am a life long learner. I am open to new discoveries, improved exegesis, etc. Therefore, I do study outside strictly Lutheran authors. In the mean time, however, in the 500 years since the Reformation, I’m still waiting for the someone to demonstrate that the original “evangelicals” misread Jesus and the apostles.

    Anything “new” that I’ve seen, at least in America in the last several decades, has been in one way or another away from the foundation of evangelical teaching: that sinners are justified before God by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), in Christ alone (Sola Christo), on the basis of Scripture alone (sola scriptura).

    Is there anything incorrect or new that should be added?

  239. filbertz says:

    I think trust is a very ‘pedestrian’ concept. If you can’t walk it, it doesn’t exist.

  240. filbertz says:

    philosophy, on the other hand, pays poorly both figuratively and literally.

  241. Em says:

    i had a harsh thought as i read this thread now… i don’t think there is much difference between spending one’s time mastering philosophy than there is spending one’s time mastering juggling … i find it strange when someone says the Bible is full of contradictions and unknowable mysteries… it is there that i have found every great truth that matters to me … other than remembering to say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate 🙂

  242. Jean says:

    Not harsh at all. When you consider that the Bible is God’s Word, hidden in and under human authorship, then one is not surprised that therein lies every great truth.

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