Things I Think

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131 Responses

  1. gomergirl says:

    #8 is truth! period. I have heard it taught, but rarely. But it is truth.
    #9…. dude and I have been saying this for years, but not one in main stream churches can stop waiving the flag long enough to see it.

    #3 just proves that they don’t care about the issues, and they are just as power hungry and power grabbing as the party I was taught was evil. IMHO, they are both equally evil, and I have pretty much given up on either one being able to save our political system. People do not learn from history or current events, and therefore it is one more wilderness those who can still see truth will have to navigate.

    But that’s why it is not just evangelicalism that is over. I believe that society as we have known it is over. As I read articles defending sex abusers using the same toilets as their prey, and being forced to not only tolerate, but venerate and celebrate behaviors that are sinful and wrong, ignorance masquerading as wisdom and knowledge….. it is all over. And we are going to have to figure out how to navigate this new reality where sin and evil are celebrated and righteousness and truth are ridiculed and scorned.

    And I miss Micheal Spencer. I discovered his podcast and blog only a couple of years before his death, and I cherish what I learned from him.

    And, I am sorry for your suffering. I wish that I was able to ease your burden. But praise God that you see the bigger picture, and you are seeing some answers to prayer, and healing and renewal. The things learned in suffering and trials are never for naught.

    That’s all.

  2. Josh the Baptist says:

    1. As much as I’d love it to be so, it’s just not happening. All the mega-churches are exaclty what we talk about when we decry “evangelicals”, and most of them aren’t closing down in the next four years.

    2. Maybe those conferences, idol worship, and the ole’ boy’s club are on their last legs. That will be easy to tell, though. Just check the attendance. If the events are sold out, people aren’t as down on it as you are.

    3. Trump is a nightmare for everyone involved. I think most republicans don’t trust Trump when he spouts their views. He is just saying things, but doesn’t seem to even know what he means. And he may end up as our president.

    4. Yep! And that may be why I feel like I said in # 1. I’m already living as if Big Evangelical has collapsed.

    5. It will take a long time for me to trust them.

    6. I followed Dread’s experiences there, and was somewhat envious. I wish I could enjoy those kind of experiences. I just can’t.

    7. Is that what they are calling the NBA playoffs nowadays? 🙂 Forgive me, southerners don’t do hockey.

    8. True.

    9. I asked my pastor about that idea when he was teaching through Revelation a few years ago. He’s a smart, educated, loving man. Devout dispensational, but still all the rest too. You’d have thought I was speaking a different language 🙂

    10. Great. If you’d have started with that, I wouldn’t have wasted my time 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you, gomergirl… good thoughts of your own this morning.

  4. Michael says:

    Well done, Josh… 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    Everyone knows I love and respect Dread.
    I tried to view that event with an open mind and heart…but that was pure nonsense to me…to say nothing of weird.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    Everything I’ve read of Azusa itself would seem the same.

  7. Michael says:

    Josh,

    At # 6…you’re right…which brings up a bunch of other questions.
    I believe that God still moves supernaturally and I’m not a cessationist…but I don’t believe that He works the way they do at events like this.

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    Totally agree.

  9. Michael says:

    Even if I could ignore the “manifestations” and the “healings ” that rarely happen, I would dismiss the whole movement based on the load of bullcrap “prophecies” I have heard spouted over the years.

  10. filbertz says:

    you are correct in your assessment of Zahnd’s quote, though Israel was often sinful and in need of dire measures of correction (which is often overlooked).

    Yancey’s book “Vanishing Grace” outlines many of the same reasons for evangelical decline, but also offers some ‘solutions’ to consider. An invaluable book, in my opinion.

    There is no explaining the current Republican chaos. They’ve sown seed and don’t like the fruit. Buyer’s remorse? more like buyer beware.

  11. dswoager says:

    I’m more convinced all the time that not only are American Christians living as exiles in the Babylon of America, but many of us are living as exiles in Babylonian churches.

  12. Michael says:

    fil,

    Thanks for the book reference…I’ll pick that up.

  13. Michael says:

    dswoager,

    I couldn’t agree more.
    We are supposed to identify as exiles and sojourners…it’s when we don’t do so that the problems arise.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    Fil – I too liked Yancey’s Vanishing Grace. Plus, I got it for free 🙂 Here is what I said about it on February 4th:

    “Reading Phillip Yancey this morning and thinking: The people who are loudest and angriest at God or the Church might be the people who have searched the hardest for love, and been most disappointed in what they’ve found. These people are not the enemy, they are just very thirsty.”

  15. dswoager says:

    Josh, that’s a pretty awesome quote. Thanks.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think the downfall of American Evangelicalism should be the piss poor preaching. But you know what? I think that is what keeps it propped up.

  17. Dan from georgia says:

    I often think that despite the so-called cultural warriors desire that God judge this nation, God may very well judge the church instead for its ignored sins. I may be wrong, though, and Anne Graham Lotz or Franklin Graham may be right. Oh well, maybe I will move to Canada because they are safe from Gods judgement because they are not Gods chosen modern-day Israel, and they certainly don’t practice gay marriage….

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I found a new station (at least one I hadn’t seen before) on my Sirius XM and listened to Ed Young Sr. I was amazed at what passed for a Sunday sermon. In the end, I learned about his vacation to the beach condo, I think Inow know the names of his 4 grandkids and several other details about his life. Don’t get me wrong – I think he has a better grip on life than his son. Oh, and I learned how I should have raised my kids.

    Now to me this seems like it should mark the slow death of the church — but as we all know, he is a giant among the mega churches and I think his audience heard exactly what they wanted from a church & pastor. None of that sin, repentance and absolution stuff and how Jesus provides – nope, they heard about themselves and went away happy with a promise to return next week.

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    “God may very well judge the church instead for its ignored sins. ”

    I think God is judging the church. The Driscolls and Perry Nobles are the judgement that we have brought upon ourselves.

  20. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I suspect that in a hundred years the decline will be traced to the time when creeds, confessions, and catechisms stopped being used.

  21. Dan from georgia says:

    Agreed Josh!

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael? In 100 years, they will look back to the 1500’s as the start of the decline?!?!

  23. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I think you’re quite close to the truth…

  24. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The confessional Reformed, Anglican, Lutheran, and even some Baptists still teach from the older confessional documents.

    Most of the great Protestant confessions were written in the 1500’s.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh, got ya. Sorry. Misread that as the 3 early creeds.

  26. Xenia says:

    A few Christmas Eves ago, I attended the local mega-church’s Christmas Eve service with my daughter, hoping to hear some Christmas Carols. (My own Christmas was still 2 weeks away.) The sermon was so terrible and everyone was so happy with it that I really do despair for the Evangelical world.

    Here it was, Christmas Eve. The sermon was all about the pastor’s decision to accept the job offer at this church a few years back. He was so important back east, you see, where he was so essential to so many ministries. But God spoke to him, yadda yadda yadda and he decided to come to our area, blah blah blah. You would have thought he was the One in the Manger that night. The stage was set with boxes decorated like big Christmas presents and ever so often he would open one out and withdraw an object with related to his journey to our town. Worst sermon I ever heard.

    I don’t know how typical this sort of thing is.

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    When evangelicalism finally dies, who are we all gonna hate on?

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    I vote for the Lutherans. Those guys are obnoxious 🙂

  29. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    It’s very typical because in the corporate model of religion growth is based on the CEO…

  30. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    There’s a post I’ve got at the blog where I was able to compare a Driscoll sermon from ten years ago to the form it’s in now. It went from 71 minutes to 27 minutes. What got cut out from ten years ago? Well, it looks like in the case of one sermon if you sliced out Mark bragging about the killer real estate deals MH got ten years ago, and cut out talking about how transparent the leaders were being about changing plans … you cut out two thirds of the sermon. And that’s the Driscoll who said he was just preaching through books of the Bible. He was considered one of the better-than-average sorts ten years ago.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, I don’t hate evangelicals – in fact some of my best friends are evangelicals. But then again, some of my best friends are Giants fans also – so perhaps I don’t have good judgment. 🙂

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wenatchee – that is why we give our pastors 15-20 min – preach to us the law & the gospel and sit down.

    You can tell us about your vacation later on the patio over coffee and donuts.

  33. Josh the Baptist says:

    The problem is that you have no basis, scriptural or historical, for claiming that your way is the right way. It is just your preference.

    That being said, of course I don’t sign off on every self-obsessed mega-church pastor.

  34. Josh the Baptist says:

    Do you know how many Baptists would prefer their pastor to speak shorter? I’d guess all of them. Maybe if we were a give ’em what they want church, we’d limit the pastor to 15 minutes.

  35. Josh the Beloved says:

    One cannot fault those who attended the Azusa Call for not being passionate about there savior and the kingdom. To there credit, they are active in sharing the gospel and praying for the sick in there communities. Are they fools for Christ? Sure, and who’s fool are you? Certainly there drum beat is more in line with the Great Commission. Than say arm chair Christian experts, who do little, in bringing the gospel of the kingdom to the lost. Does not the scripture say we are to do the work if an evangelist? If evangelism where easy everyone would be doing it. So why judge your brother and sister’s who like big gatherings to worship, praise and permit the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate. Paul himself declared, despise not prophecies!

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    I didn’t realize the Azusa thing was a “Call”. Is this a Lou Engle event?

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course, nobody dogged them for large gatherings, but for false prophecies. Quite a different thing, indeed.

  38. Brandon says:

    Love that Zahnd quote!!

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I just thought it was funny that one of the guys was calling out people to give them personal prophecies – but he did so while reading from his phone. I just wondered if the app store had a Jesus prophecy app to download – that would be cool at parties.

  40. Josh the Beloved says:

    Ok Josh,

    What was the exact false prophecy that was spoken at the event?

  41. Josh the Baptist says:

    I didn’t watch the even, or call out a false prophecy.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I followed Dread’s experiences there, and was somewhat envious. I wish I could enjoy those kind of experiences. I just can’t.”

    That is what I said about the event.

  43. Josh the Beloved says:

    In just curious then by what you mean. People dogged the event because of false prophesies. So again, what are the false prophesies.?

    You said.
    Of course, nobody dogged them for large gatherings, but for false prophecies. Quite a different thing, indeed

  44. Mr Jesperson says:

    Michael, I agree with your post on #7 and think you have a good list of items this week. I am not a Cessationist for a different reason. I would have to lie about my personal testimony and the things that God has done in my life and through me to be one. I could no more do that than the Apostles would have lied about seeing the risen Christ. I very much agree with list #4 and have seen that coming for a long time now. We are moving into a post-evangelical period of the Church. I do not know exactly how severely things will change but they already are with the younger generations. I will also note how personal trials and tribulations do help to form us into the image of Jesus. I have experienced that and it is a reason to be positive about the end result even when life totally sucks.

  45. Josh the Baptist says:

    Fake Josh – Michael at #9 mentioned the false prophecies.

  46. once a cc guru says:

    JTB: Trump is a nightmare for everyone involved. I think most republicans don’t trust Trump when he spouts their views. He is just saying things, but doesn’t seem to even know what he means. And he may end up as our president.

    Really?

    I pray to God Turmp does end up as POTUS and tries to make America great again… ALL of the past archaic cronies (whether Dem. or Rep) have led us into the gutter to become like a 3rd world country while they have stolen Trillions of $ from the working middle class and you dare bash Trump for wanting to change it?

    The other clown he’s running against is bought and paid for by the establishment who pretends to be Christian but is just another talking head puppet groomed to maintain the status quo, just like many cc pastors I know.

    The 3rd guy is a nonstarter.

    TRUMP 2016!!!

  47. Em - again says:

    only one thing has corrupted the church – wavering belief, no fear of a holy God, with the resulting compromising spirit – lack of understanding of the word Word… IMHO … “and hath God said…?”
    nothing is wrong with the Church that a few good teachers can’t fix… course, that would eliminate some 80% of many congregations (i suspect that it already has)

    i think of that old saw: we aren’t sinners because we sin – we sin because we are sinners…

    America is in disarray because of the corrupted behaviors that are demanded as acceptable, yet making them acceptable is what got us here … for the last hundred years the churches have wavered and molded themselves like jello

    just sayin – cuz i can 🙂

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I want to get a bumper sticker that quotes Lindsey Graham about Trump;
    “The Republican party has gone bat shit crazy.”

  49. once a cc guru says:

    Hey Gene-ious,

    We are 21 Trillion $ in debt… and we can not survive because they keep stealing our money and now WE’RE BROKE!!! But it’s business as usual in the good ole USA as we print more fiat paper dollars that have no value.

    Hey, no one will notice… just give them walmart and circus…

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I pray to God Turmp does end up as POTUS and tries to make America great again… ”

    Good for you!

  51. Babylon's Dread says:

    “For unto us a child is born”

    Imagine the enemies of Ahaz scorning his prophets. It only took what 700 years for Isaiah to be vindicated?

    I am not saying “this is that” I am just saying that scorning these guys is a fruitless endeavor.

    Now as for Azusa Now, of course I had many, many friends there. I had no interest in going to a 15 hour stadium event nor did most of the ones who said they were going. Overall it seemed to be a disappointing event that got little traction.

    It was a typical Lou Engle CALL … repentance, reconciliation, an emphasis on honoring first nations and other minority groups.

    I loved the worship, loved the people, loved the reports, didn’t think much about the prophecies.

    I was amused by the evangelical advertisement of the event this summer on the mall in Washington.

    I was home looking after my church and raising money for sex traffic workers.

    If something good comes of it… GREAT, if not, nothing changes much in my world.

  52. filbertz says:

    oh, and with the Don we’ll get…another casino and a circus?

  53. once a cc guru says:

    Thanks Josh… Good for you too 😉

  54. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am very interested in the so-called death of evangelicalism

    The lever is the Supreme Court decision.

    In one day moral became immoral and immoral became moral. We are sticking our heads in the sand if we do not think that the world is not the same.

    Right now the corporations are shaming and bullying the state legislatures that resist this move into rivers without levies … not one state will be able to withstand the withering scorn unless the already poor state of Mississippi holds out a while.

    Next the same kind of shame and bullying that is on the government realms will come to religious groups. Don’t kid yourself they are coming.

    This move will make anyone who self-identifies with a church with traditional values into affiliation with a hate group.

    This whore will ride the beast all the way until it does her bidding.

    This whole thing is closer than we imagine and there will be no respite.
    Either you will approve of their agenda or you will be denigrated
    The SS is putting on their boots and no one will speak up until the deed is done.

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think you are correct Dread.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    once a CC guru – have you heard a Trump plan to cut back spending? He still must deal with Congress which controls the purse. He will be like any other – he will pander to his supporters beginning the day he takes office.

    Trump is a cartoon character.

  57. once a cc guru says:

    At my old cc you got a for-profit hotel/spa, cappuccino bar/restaurant, wedding hall, and a huge money making jesus paraphernalia bookstore… and reserved parking for the pastors!

    Where does all that jesus money go???

    just say’n

  58. once a cc guru says:

    Well said BD!

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But the democrats are no better as their platform seems to be a single issue. Let everyone use the same bathrooms and showers.

  60. Josh the Baptist says:

    Trump…plan?!?

    HAhahaha. Yeah, right.

  61. once a cc guru says:

    have you heard a Trump plan to cut back spending?

    He doesn’t need to cut spending, we’re bleeding enough already! He will bring industry and commerce back to American shores which will inturn put Americans back to work again. That’s what made America Great! Is anything “American made” anymore?

    He will trade Internationally with strength and wisdom with his proven successful business sense, and that why TBTB are afraid of him… They will lose control of the global monopoly game they run and they are the bankers.

  62. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Has Trump said what he is going to offer these companies to come home. I see where Ford is closing a plant here to open a new state of the art in Mexico.
    Average comp plan in Michigan = $60 hr. fully loaded
    Average comp plan in Mexico = $9 hr fully loaded.

    Practice his pitch on me – you be Trump and I will be Ford.

  63. Steve Wright says:

    Trump’s campaign employs a core team of about a dozen people; his campaign lists 94 people on the payroll nationwide, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing (Hillary Clinton has 765). Trump has no pollsters, media coaches, or speechwriters. He ­focus-groups nothing. He buys few ads, and when he does, he likes to write them himself……..I was well aware that Trump runs a bare-bones operation, but college-newspaper offices have more robust infrastructure than his national campaign headquarters—to say nothing of Hillary Clinton’s 80,000-square-foot headquarters in Brooklyn Heights.
    ————————————————————-
    (The above is from the New York magazine article on Trump from a week or two ago.)

    We have nationwide elections in this country every two years. The manpower and cost to keep not just the government but the “system” going is threatened by the very existence of Trump. The biggest lie being pushed now in all this delegate controversy is somehow Cruz is taking them due to his “organization” – ridiculous. It is not some candidate’s organization it is the entire political beast trying to save itself and Cruz is simply the name still left that has floated to the top of the bowl.

    It is no coincidence that government has gotten this big, with deficits to Pluto, while also never having any real businessmen in elected office – certainly not in the White House.

    Can you imagine if there was even one powerful voice in Washington that would even think in terms of a cost/benefit analysis before starting a war or (insert any other operation of government)

  64. Steve Wright says:

    If you ever saw the Kevin Kline movie where he is hired to pretend to be the President and he and his local accountant balance the budget in one night over pizza…….

  65. once a cc guru says:

    Wow Steve, just WOW!

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Can you imagine if there was even one powerful voice in Washington that would even think in terms of a cost/benefit analysis before starting a war or (insert any other operation of government)”

    Well Trump hasn’t thought of a cost/benefit analysis when it comes to building his wall … other than the same political mumbo jumbo – “we will get someone else to pay for it.”

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    this isn’t a Kevin Kline movie, although Trump supporters think it is. Great proposal – let’s balance the budget over pizza.

    Balanced budgets are not what Republicans want? OK, let’s raise taxes until the budget is balanced. Are you for that?

  68. nathan priddis says:

    Michael,

    Item # 2. What’s with the Grace and Truth workshop theme at C Pastors Conference?

    Church disciple is featured top of the page. So when did CC’s start needing increased disciple? I thought the Moses Model was for that.

    Grace and Truth? I have never associated that phraseology with CC 10-15 years ago.

    What is happening here?

  69. Michael says:

    I disagree with BD.
    I don’t think the evangelical decline has anything to do with politics or culture except that it has drank deeply from both.
    Christianity historically flourishes under persecution.
    Maybe we need some…

  70. Michael says:

    nathan,

    I’ll comment on that later…it’s all smoke.

  71. Bob Sweat says:

    The only plan that I have heard from “The Donald” is to make America great again, and to build a wall that Mexico will pay for.

    I’ve wondered all along if Trump is just a Hillary plant to disrupt at party that has been disrupted for years.

  72. nathan priddis says:

    (Edit @ 68)

    I am specifically wondering about this quote. “Purging” sounds like throwing people out.

    “…..But it’s impossible to be a healthy, disciple-making church without it. Attempting to purge out the old leaven of sin, and at the same time, help erring/repentant believers toward restoration, is challenging indeed……”

    http://pastorsconference.calvarychapel.com/

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob Sweat – wouldn’t that be funny 🙂

  74. Michael says:

    nathan,

    I can’t find that quote…but they aren’t in any position to throw anyone out.

  75. Xenia says:

    I cannot and will not vote for either Trump or Hillary but if Hillary wins, it will be four more dreary years but I don’t think anything new will happen. Trump as president will be the cause of incredible civil unrest (riots) and possibly WW3. If it comes down to the two of them. I prefer Hillary although I am in disagreement with most of her ideas. Trump is a catastrophe just waiting to happen. Some people need to read a history book…

  76. Michael says:

    I’m at a point where I hope Trump gets elected so that people will actually have to deal with the consequences.

    You have to be completely ignorant of border issues and trade policy to believe his nonsense, but it will have intense repercussions.

    Intense.

    Have at it…I live close enough to the woods to avoid you if need be.

  77. Xenia says:

    All Trump has to do is call Putin or the nut job in North Korea a liar like he calls Cruz Lyin Ted and all hell will break loose.

  78. Xenia says:

    And I will hold everyone who supported Trump personally responsible. Let it be on your heada.

  79. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – “it will be four more dreary years but I don’t think anything new will happen.”
    I am just wondering how the past 4 dreary yrs have impacted you directly.

    I find so many who say that but their lifestyle has not changed at all. So when I ask, then people begin to speak in generalities and about the “well I heard of this family .. etc”

    But when I ask folks I find that they are working as they have planned or they have retired as they planned.

    Just wondering – my Medicare is great! 😉

  80. Michael says:

    His brilliant idea to get Mexico to pay for his wall is to take remittances from migrant workers.

    This will immediately stop the single most successful anti poverty program the world has ever seen.

    It will also cause an even greater shortage of migrant labor which means that all prices for agricultural goods are going to skyrocket.

    It also floods an already unstable country with even more impoverished people setting them up for a revolution and a war on our border.

    It’s freaking brilliant.

  81. Michael says:

    By the way…many economists believe that SSI taxes from undocumented aliens are the only thing propping the system up.

    I hope all those Trump people are young or ready to support those over 62…

  82. Xenia says:

    MLD, that is more or less my point.

    Hillary and the libs support things that I strongly disagree with, such as abortion and the homosexual agenda. However, these are personal sins, governed by my own conscience. No one forces me to have an abortion or participate in homosexuality. It is true that the liberals have promoted these issues, even in the elementary schools, but it’s still a matter of conscience.

    Trump can set into motion situations (wars, riots) that go far beyond me and my conscience. If he mocks the North Korean leader, we might just get a nuclear bomb thrown at us or at our friend South Korea.

    So with Hillary it will be drip drip drip, more enthusiasm for homosexuality and so-called women’s rights but with Trump it can be Ka-BOOM because that man simply cannot control what he says.

    I won’t vote for either but with Hillary I won’t be scared to turn on the news in the morning, wondering if WW3 has started.

  83. Xenia says:

    We have a Korean lunatic with his pudgy finger on nuclear weapons. Is this really the time to have a man who loves to make outrageous statements, regardless of the consequences, as president?

  84. Michael says:

    “Hillary and the libs support things that I strongly disagree with, such as abortion and the homosexual agenda. However, these are personal sins, governed by my own conscience. No one forces me to have an abortion or participate in homosexuality. It is true that the liberals have promoted these issues, even in the elementary schools, but it’s still a matter of conscience.”

    That is more wisdom than we usually get here in a week…amen and amen.

  85. Ixtlan says:

    After years and years of being disappointed/disillusioned by Evangelicalism, they have become more and more irrelevant in my world even though I am officially still counted in their number. Unfortunately, I don’t see any other viable alternatives, and I’ve already had my dance with atheism. Perhaps the future will center on home or small church expressions, but such a movement might require too much of most people.

    I spent over about an hour and half watching the highlights of Azusa Now, with my attention focused on the music. I think men like Engle and Johnson are nuttier than a fruitcake, but I signed off with a haunting question of what if they are right? While it seems like revival comes from the ranks of the marginalized within Christendom, it cannot be said that either Engle or Johnson are from those ranks. Rather, they are power brokers with strong followings of people who have forgotten what door they checked their brains at.

  86. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    Well said…good questions.

  87. Steve Wright says:

    MLD speaks of a balanced budget as if it was the loch ness monster. This country had one for four straight years in the very recent past.

  88. Michael says:

    Obamacare saved my life, so complaining would be unseemly for me…

  89. Steve Wright says:

    Back to the election(s) – for you see, in all the discussion about the GOP’s demise there is little notice to the fact that Sanders keeps beating Hillary in state after state and in every category but the black voter (who votes Democrat 90% no matter who is running).

    You think the Republican convention is going to be exciting? Wait until the Democrats have theirs. Sanders has been a Democrat for less time than Trump has been a Republican. He has no loyalty to the Democratic Party, and has no desire to shake hands at the convention. He is going to use the power of his delegates to seek permanent change on the Democratic party – if you think last time when they voted God out of the platform and needed the mayor of LA to put Him back in over the voice vote objection of the delegates was something, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    2016 is going to go down as quite a year – the year a majority of Americans (counting both parties) realized the fix truly was in – and their vote did not matter at all.

    Meanwhile, our sons and daughters are sent off to die in Muslim lands in World War 3 (which has been going on for quite some time) in the name of democracy and freedom.

  90. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve – Clinton had balanced budgets.
    Balanced budget only come around if we agree to pay our bills on time.
    “We” are the people. If the bills are too high we need to pony up the money to pay for it and / or, we need to give up things that we think we need that we don’t.

    Why any public funds go to any private entity, I will never understand.

  91. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “.. if you think last time when they voted God out of the platform…”

    And why is it you think God being positioned as a party platform plank a good thing?

    And I will keep repeating it until I am blue in the face – in national politics, especially partisan party politics, your vote has never counted.
    You vote only chooses delegates – not presidents. Delegates are hand picked by the party. Steve, I hope you never had any delusions that you were actually voting for a president? Oh, and that doesn’t include at the end the electoral college.

    Tell me again why people think they are voting for a president? (I sent you that video last month – did you watch?

  92. Em - again says:

    i’ve read that it took somewhere around 7 budget proposals from Clinton before Congress approved one (a Republican Congress BTW) – someone has said that our only hope now is elect a decent congress… Trump seems to have a Teddy Roosevelt personality without T.R.’s strong character, but one thing about Trump is that Europe and the Brits hate him… that might be a good thing…

    it does feel like we’re choosing how we want to expire, tho – slow or fast up here in the PNW we are very away of is how close we are to Kim Jong-un (= fast) and China (=slow) 🙂

  93. Michael says:

    “And why is it you think God being positioned as a party platform plank a good thing?”

    Thank you.
    I dislike the Republicans representation of God more than I dislike the Dems exclusion of Him.

    I wish both parties would cease taking His name in vain…

  94. Jean says:

    If evangelicalism collapses, what will take it’s place? I have a suggestion. How about the churches of the Reformation reclaim that title, which originally was given them as an insult because they prized the Gospel above all other doctrines?

    “A minister preaching the Gospel can not open his mouth without constantly remitting sin.” – Martin Luther

  95. Neo says:

    #93….well said!!

  96. filbertz says:

    the only talk about education has been Bernie’s (and to a lesser degree Hillary) proposal to give away college educations–much like parents do when they send their kids off to university and pay for them to drink themselves unconscious, change majors incessantly, run up huge debts to the institution and credit cards, and take six years to complete a degree in a field they will never use. Brilliant.

  97. filbertz says:

    Don’t get me wrong–as an educator, I’d prefer to do without another round of ‘reform.’

  98. filbertz says:

    As to with what to replace the ‘evangelicals?’ How about Christians? Disciples? Followers of Christ? We could flush the term and its inherent philosophies and thrive. Most non-christian folks associate the term ‘evangelical’ with “hatred.” Why would anyone invest efforts into redeeming a bankrupt system?

  99. Michael says:

    fil,

    I’m excited about the replacement possibilities…I don’t know what’s coming, but God does.

  100. EricL says:

    I’m also excited about what’s coming. I just hope I don’t miss out due to my “spiritual prejudices.” The next Awakening will be a movement of God but also of man. There will be secondary doctrines that I will disagree with, emphases that I will dislike, and so on.

    I want to be open to what God’s going to do, but I fear I might be too jaded and cynical already. It will be so easy to look at the weird fringe and just declare all of it a bunch of baloney. God help me to see it with young eyes, with more innocent awe and less of a critical spirit. Cussedness is not the same thing as discernment.

  101. Nonnie says:

    I don’t know that I believe evangelical churches will fail in 10 years. I know too many folks in Christ centered, grace filled churches who are living out the gospel in word and deed.

    However, I am concerned when I hear the law preached, without the Gospel in some evangelical churches.

    I grieve when I hear a sermon that all about what I have to DO to be a better Christian and be closer to Christ, and yet don’t hear the gospel of what Christ has already done.

    Just my 2 cents.

  102. David says:

    re: Azusa and False Prophecies, Lou Engle has been part of the International House of Prayer, where their own leaders have claimed that at least 80% of the “prophecies” at their place have been BS. It’s on YouTube This was said with a smirk, and explained away by Michael Brown and Sam Storms after the “Strange Fire” thing (NOT endorsing Strange Fire, BTW, I’m part of a decidedly non-cessionist church).

    This is also the same place where the leaders began screaming in tongues at the friend of a recently dead IHOP student, claiming that God told them he was responsible for her death. He confessed under duress to a murder he didn’t commit, and they took credit for hearing God’s voice before the confession fell apart.

    Red Flag. Abuse in Lou Engle’s back yard. Run. Full Stop. This is not the wing of the church — let alone the wing of the charismatic movement — to be running renewal efforts.

  103. Erunner says:

    I watched Dread’s service from Sunday and enjoyed it. The worship was beautiful especially as I was able to read the lyrics. The lady who shared and who also sang spoke about their ministry in Brazil to so many society turns their back on. The stories were sad and uplifting at the same time. I saw people who clearly love Jesus. I am not accustomed to how some worship and some being on the floor but I am not about to judge them or declare them outside the body as some might. It was very timely for me.

  104. dswoager says:

    EricL, I don’t know why this example comes to mind, especially since there is probably a more current one to use, but I’ll go anyway. I have just as little faith in some movement coming down the road as I do in the prevalent ones today. As you said, it will be both a work of God, and a work of man, but I think that we largely get distracted by the things of man.

    Now my outdated example:

    I remember when I was growing up, and Hideo Nomo can into the league. He had this whacky motion to the plate that was largely responsible for him being unhitable for awhile. That motion of his was distracting, it was deceptive, but eventually the ball had to come out of somewhere. You had to locate the ball, and keep your eye on it to hit it. To a certain extent, all hitting is that way. Find the ball, see the ball, hit the ball.

    No matter what movement comes down the line there will be distractions, and deceptions, but if God is working in it, He will show himself. We need to find him, see what he doing, (probably not hit Him) and point others past the distraction as well.

    Hideo Nomo had a decent career, but he didn’t stay unhitable for long. We need to train to be good hitters out there, but also get that scouting report out there and be good hitting coaches as well.

    (MLD, as a Dodgers fan, feel free to school me if I butchered the Nomo narrative for my own purposes)

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    dswoager,
    You had it correct.
    The same example I use is the other end – hitters. No matter what their crazy stance is, no matter if they are still or wagging the bat etc, when the ball is released, they all, everyone come to the standard hitting position. No spiritual thought there.

    Let me just say one thing, a movement is not the church. To some degree, a movement is anti church.

  106. dswoager says:

    No arguments from me.

  107. Mr Jesperson says:

    #102 David, your comments about IHOP are only partially true. Here are actual links to the things I believe you are referring to, manifestations of the Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=511_SiErw0U
    The suicide of Bethany Deaton: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/love-and-death-in-the-house-of-prayer-20140121
    I was part of a small group that is now a very small franchise IHOP. The reason I left is because what Mike Bickle describes as a “false manifestation” is exactly what the local leader does week after week, for probably over 20 years now. My opinion is the problem is more severe than Mike admits in this video.

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Ha! I am glad the blogging media has caught up to what I posted live. The guy using his cell phone to deliver prophecies to individuals at Azusa Now.

    http://www.piratechristian.com/museum-of-idolatry/2016/4/holy-spirit-uses-smart-phone-to-help-shawn-bolz-do-cold-readings

  109. Josh the Baptist says:

    What is that guy supposed to be doing? Clearly, he is reading names and addresses of his phone, but he is purporting something else…right?!? That’s hard to follow.

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But the guy is honest as he asks questions about what he just gave prophecy on. He would ask, “does this mean anything to you?” if not he would give something else. Not much different that the local palm reader.

    This is the same old 3rd wave stuff of the early 90s that became the Toronto Blessing, then Brownsville with rolling on the floor and barking like dogs, that has passed through IHOP and a couple of other identities and is today the New Apostolic Movement.

    In the end, I identify it all as the ‘manifestation of me.’

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    No doubt, it is your basic Psychic Friends reading, I just can’t imagine what the cell phone was for.

  112. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think he had the conference registration list on his phone and was using it to call out names. I don’t think the prophecies were actually on his phone as I like to tease about – I think he made up the prophecies in his head.

  113. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, the addresses and names and such were clearly on his phone. He just read it, said does that mean something, and they said yes or no. Apparently, we are supposed to believe he was not being fed info on his phone? He linked that video on twitter and said:

    “Exciting moment where I am prophesying at the Azusa now call! High risk but awes us all with his love!”

    What was the risk? Oh, this guy is more full of it than most of these sacks of crap.

    Ahh, sorry. This stuff really triggers some very bad times for me. It angers me to see people fall over and again for the simplest of tricks. The real Jesus is just not enough. Gotta add some smoke and mirrors.

  114. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bill Johnson’s calling out healings was just as phoney. After he announce heallings he told people to start doing what they couldn’t do before. I wondered how the guy who prayed to have his ED healed was supposed to manifest his healing?
    Hey, it’s the way my fallen mind works 😉

  115. David says:

    #107 Mr. Jesperson, I think what I said was quite accurate since I’ve done research (and done it far removed from the “discernablogger” atmosphere that can taint this stuff quickly). The only part I botched was punctuation, since neither Storms of Brown were part of the talk, sorry if I made it look otherwise. Here’s the actual video. “Smirk” may be been overstating it, but his dismissing an 80% failure rate is not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoGrrcCe0Rc

    And here’s a family friend of Deaton talking about the atmosphere I described. A number of people in the Deaton cult (including the one who falsely confessed to murder thanks to the assistance of IHOP leaders) have been prolific online about their experiences.

    https://thecosmiccathedral.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/what-rolling-stone-didnt-tell-you-about-tyler-deaton/

    https://thecosmiccathedral.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/what-48-hours-didnt-tell-you-about-micah-moore/

    That said, I’m glad you’re out. For too many these false prophecies and manifestations aren’t bugs, they’re features.

  116. Em - again says:

    does anyone else feel like these detours into examining miracle meetings have an affect on the Church rather like a gawkers slowdown?”

    it is one thing to get hit with an unexpected miracle – that happens and quite another to hold meetings for the purpose of getting a performance out of the Most High God – IMHO
    could be wrong – dunno

  117. Josh the Baptist says:

    agreed

  118. Mr Jesperson says:

    #115 That is the second half of the exact same video that I posted up. I have watched it multiple times over the past few years. Mr. Bickle never states that 80% of prophecies are fake. He states that there are fake “manifestations” wherever there are Pentecostal meetings. I do believe that most of what is called “prophecies” from the pulpit there are not accurate and never come true. But Mike never says that unlike your original quote. I have already been around the mountain with the local conspiracist theory commenter on Throckmorton’s blog. I am not ignorant about any of it. I do believe that the real situation is bad enough without it being exaggerated. I know people who are a part of this. I am not judging all based on what I have read third person on blogs.

  119. I don’t think that there are manifestations of spirits at these gatherings. However, the leaders and participants have not taken the time or have chosen to ignore which spirits.
    1.) at best, the spirit of mans own self interest
    2.) worse than that – the spirit of the evil one

    But someone is promoting this deception. A couple of us tried last week to make the point that there are forms of not acceptable worship in today’s church. We met with great blow-back. What was the common refrain? “We don’t do it in our church, but God’s hand is still in theirs.” To use that great Latin theological term – “Hogwash!”

  120. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – I think I was the only blowback, and that quote is not from me.

  121. Jean says:

    When I hear of or see these prophesy services, healing services and other services designed to demonstrate Holy Spirit manifestations, I’m reminded of Paul’s boring statement “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” These services, like Azusa Now appear to want to overturn Paul. Do they think that faith is not enough or it isn’t working?

    Didn’t Jesus and all the apostles, except John, meet martyrdom despite working many signs and wonders?

  122. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jesus and the Apostles seemed to have a purpose for their miracles.

    And their miracles seemed real.

  123. Jean says:

    “And their miracles seemed real.” They were, but people are not moved to faith in Christ through their reason or their senses. It is only by the external Word, from which the Holy Spirit proceeds, that people are turned to God.

    Listen to the words of Jesus from his High Priestly prayer: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,” (John 17:20)

  124. Em - again says:

    i suppose that these sort of meetings discussed above are spinning off of the Church’s beginnings as related in Acts …? at best childish and misdirected, but God knows and I don’t

    i absolutely know (faith born, not experientially – well maybe somewhat) that God can pour out His spirit upon us, but i am convinced that it is wrong to seek signs and miracles… will it damn your soul to do so? dunno – probably not

    “study to show thyself approved unto God. a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed…”
    what do we study and what work is the workman doing?

  125. Josh the Baptist says:

    Right Jean. But the real miracles displayed by Jesus and the Apostels were to establish authority, right?

  126. Michael says:

    I have to run…but hopefully after watching the Azuza Now nonsense you can understand why some of us on the West Coast consider Bethel the most dangerous bunch around. The church is three hours from us here…

  127. Jean says:

    “But the real miracles displayed by Jesus and the Apostels were to establish authority, right?”

    I’ve heard that rationale used, especially by cessationists. The Bible doesn’t explicitly tell us. That would be an inference. The recipients of the miracles certainly needed and benefited from them.

    Looking back, we see that the signs and wonders gave the apostles credibility, because that’s how we think (e.g., “show us a sign”; “what sign will you give us?”). We have the Thomas complex. But, there, at the time, even the signs and wonders didn’t always/usually work. Some people thought they were frauds, others thought they were doing the work of the devil, and a few glorified God.

    So, I’m not disagreeing with you, but am hesitant to agree, because I don’t know.

  128. Josh the Baptist says:

    Good thoughts. Thanks for the response.

  129. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think we see in John 15 (or somewhere around there) was that the purpose of the holy spirit is to point people to Jesus. I do not think we see any evidence that the holy spirit would do anything to point to himself.

  130. Michael says:

    This is one area where we do far too much theologizing.

    Jesus did many miracles because He had compassion…and that’s why He still does them.

  131. Mr Jesperson says:

    #130 Michael, I agree with you. I grew up in a Charismatic church and spent time in an AOG church and then later what became an IHOP branch which should not be a branch because the video that both I and David posted up shows Bickle plainly stating what he said is false, and it is what the local leader does as regular practice. The problem I have seen is that the false was given permission by John Wimber and is encouraged and promoted in some circles. Satan does produce counterfeits. Many in the prophetic movement have selfish ambition and there is worship of famous leaders, just like what happens in other circles, even Calvinist, Baptist and Lutheran. There are many prophetic people who are like Simon the Sorcerer, lusting after Spiritual Power with wrong motives.

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