Things I Think

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104 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    It really is perplexing as to when America was fully turned to God and was safe from Divine displeasure.

    When you live within a narrative you never seem to assess the veracity of it.

  2. Jean says:

    #1, “Third, why is God so upset with the U.S?”

    I was asking myself the same question. You and I can both think of several countries which would be in front of the U.S.A. on the volcano hit list, if the sin of a country’s people is the criteria.

  3. Jean says:

    #10, “Lord knows I’m on a lot of meds right now and my thinking may be skewed…but I truly believe that there never has been a better time in history to be alive.”

    Christianity, to my knowledge, is the only religion that includes God’s promise, in the face of suffering and weakness, that: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

    I can’t explain why America to moving in the direction it is, and I can’t prophesy its future, but I have a life to live in the midst of it and I am not going to permit Mr. Laurie or anyone else to distract me from repenting of my sin and trying to love God and the people who he as placed in my path.

  4. Michael says:

    This narrative completely distorts the Gospel and the true heart of God who came to seek and save the lost.

    I’m out for a bit…busy morning.

  5. Laura Scott says:

    Concerning #4: No. You are definitely not the only one. #buffalosabres

  6. “I watched another video of Laurie’s where he said that the reason that America isn’t found in Bible prophecy is that all of us are taken out in the Rapture.”

    So I guess we don’t get destroyed like Pompeii. Instead we find that God is not mad at America, in fact he takes the whole nation to heaven in the rapture.

    Now I believe in destroying volcanoes more than I do the rapture, but that is a discussion for another time. 😉

  7. Kevin H says:

    “So I guess we don’t get destroyed like Pompeii. Instead we find that God is not mad at America, in fact he takes the whole nation to heaven in the rapture.”

    There is a cognitive dissonance among some. Thoughts and beliefs that conflict with each other and yet the holders seem to be blind to the conflicts.

    On one hand, America is blessed by God and the greatest nation on earth and how dare anyone ever say anything bad or unpatriotic about “my” country. On the other hand, complaints are without bound by the same people of all the bad things happening in our country.

    On one hand, America is going to pot because of all the sinners and it is greatly risking God’s judgment and God could strike us at any moment. On the other hand, America isn’t prophesied in Scripture because it is so full with Christians that when the Rapture happens there’s not going to much of anything left of the country. Meanwhile, Russia has very few evangelical Christians and so most of that country will be left and that is why we see them in the end times attacking Israel.

    It ain’t the first time I have heard these conflicting lines of reasoning.

  8. Scott says:

    The narrative of divine judgment is in our dna. God has and will bring judgment on all nations as he determines.

    I agree that it all gets murky when we try and qualify what is happening in our given generation with biblical prophesy and apocalyptic interpretation.

    It seems though that every generation and it’s leaders do it. It has certainly been true in our nations history. Lincoln believed America was under divine judgment for slavery.

    I was reading that Luther believed that the war of the Ottomans moving across Europe was God’s divine judgment against anti-christ, the papacy, and that to resist the Turks was to resist God, using Romans 13:1-2 as his proof text.

  9. Dallas says:

    4. Celebrating a happy ending, but otherwise have that feeling of having eaten too much ice cream. Too much of a good thing, I’m lucky the Pirates have been giving me good reason to take some time off from sports.

  10. Kevin H says:


    That “happy” ending is relative to what side of the state you live on. 😉

  11. Judy says:

    Pornography is doing so much damage in the church and very few are talking about it. If 50% of Christian men (including pastors) are into porn (as some places report that they are), then 50% of Christian marriages are in crisis, wives in terrible hurt, children who are watching an awful scenario play out at home (or at least very dysfunctional). But no one is talking about it.

    I think it’s because so many pastors have the problem…

  12. Muff Potter says:

    Mr. Laurie will just as easily manufacture a new ‘crisis’ tomorrow. All sanctioned of course by what the Bible ‘teaches’. As always, the lemmings will shut off their cranial processors and hang on his every word.

  13. Sarah S says:

    Yes yes yes, to all of this. Bravo

  14. Dallas says:


    I know, I was so excited about the Pens playing well that I completely forgot to celebrate the Flyers being eliminated. 😉

  15. Em ... again says:

    well … 🙂
    1-in grammar school, early on, we studied Mexico and the volcano that erupted in the farmer’s cornfield… for a long time as i walked the half hour to and from school, i worried about where the next one would turn up – in someone’s back yard? as i walked by?
    2-gooood morning, Lord, eh? what will He do today? thinking…
    3-it is only by God’s mercies that we are not consumed… (i read that somewhere)
    4-saw a tribute to Gordie Howe online yesterday… and i caught the fellow singing the Star Spangled Banner before the basketball game yesterday… best rendering i’ve ever heard, but i love acapella – outshouting the band, just doesn’t entertain/move an old lady, i guess
    5-IMV (and i bet i’m right on this) a great deal of homosexual proclivities are the result of too much exposure, too young to too much of the s*xual part of life
    6-if ALL of America goes up in the Rapture, i’m not goin’
    7-amen to that – i heard the same thing from a dear Baptist minister some 50 years ago and never had reason to doubt it… although it does worry me a bit when someone identifies with their denomination of choice above their place in the Family
    8-i’ve experienced enough false accusations and treachery to not care much about how i am remembered – never let a vindictive person who is a master of the half truth into your life, if you can avoid it
    9-somehow that reminds me of Donald Duck losing his temper … lol
    10-amen to that
    God keep

  16. Xenia says:

    The moment that you accept that there are “real” believers in traditions other than your own, you acknowledge that your tradition may have errors in it’s understanding of “what the bible teaches. <<<<

    Not at all. It just means that doctrinal purity is not the only standard God uses when saving people.

  17. AA says:

    #5 Totally agree, porno is one of Satan’s favorite tools to devastate the family.

    #7 One of the things I’ve learned to appreciate by hanging out here.

  18. Jtk says:

    So correct on pornography.

    The average age of first porn exposure is now 8.5 years old!

    Unfettered and unfiltered internet access….tablets and smartphones….

    I’ve only met 1 young man whose dad had “the talk” with him (or did it before the son knew waaaayyy too much) in many many years of asking a lot of young men.

    Let’s do this, Christian men!

    Let’s be thankful!
    Amazing times…

  19. Papias says:

    Our churches Men’s summer study is to watch and discuss the series “Four views of the end times” by Timothy Paul Jones. Looks like a an overview of the following positions: Dispensational Premillennialism, Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Historical Premillennialism.

    I am a bit surprised that other positions are being considered… we will see when it gets to the discussion portion… 🙂

    Laurie wants to scare non-believers into the kingdom… wonder if he is working on a book of End Times??

  20. everstudy says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only Pittsburgh fan here.

  21. Papias says:

    #4. “My guess is that I’m the only person here mourning the end of hockey season…”

    My hockey season ended when the Ducks were knocked out of the playoffs.

    Only 125 days until the home opener for the Ducks, and only 114 days for the Kings!

  22. CostcoCal says:

    So, why is everyone taking shots at Greg Laurie? Did he do something wrong? Or something that hideous? I mean, can’t you (we) cut the guy some slack? He is preaching the Gospel, even if it is not exactly the way you might preach it.

  23. Papias says:

    CC – Is God going to judge America or rapture it?

  24. CostcoCal says:


    I don’t believe He is going to rapture it. I may be wrong.

    I don’t believe He is going to judge it. I may be wrong.

    I do know Jesus is God and will come again. I am not wrong.

  25. nathan priddis says:

    # 10- It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. There has never been a better time to be alive. It is a blessing

    I wouldn’t know about #1 and #6. I’m not worried about not knowing though, because Laurie does not know either.

    But a little CC trivia for everyone.. Today is Solstice day, in about another 4 hours, in my time zone. It also happens to be a very rare Strawberry or Honey Moon. This has not happened since 1967, the summer of love.

    CC fans should remember that this Moon saw Lonnie Frisbee in San Francisco with the spreading Jesus Movement. He is about to hitch-hike down to LA when he will get a ride from a guy dating Chuck Smith’s daughter. A fateful meeting is going to take place on Smith’s porch, that results in a dead-end church, led by a go nowhere pastor starting the largest religious movement in church history.

  26. Josh the Baptist says:

    “starting the largest religious movement in church history.” ?!?!?!?!?

    What movement is that?

  27. nathan priddis says:

    #6 There is a likely alternative answer to this question. It is because my people, who are called after Amerigo Vespucci, and their land, regardless of whether they humble themselves and pray, don’t matter to the story. But then again, neither does Zimbabwe, Trump Tower or Area 51.

  28. nathan priddis says:

    Josh, you don’t think the JM changed church history?!?!? 🙂

  29. Xenia says:

    led by a go nowhere pastor starting the largest religious movement in church history<<<

    Ha Ha Ha! LOL!

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m mostly thinking about ways to bring people together nowadays. I’m sure my eschatology is wrong, and I’m not confident in anybody else’s either. So, I’ll just let that be secondary and see if we can find some common ground elsewhere.

    I’m not just talking about Christians either. I want to bring Christians and Muslims together. Let’s stop fearing one another. Stop killing. Let’s be friends. We can talk theology and disagree, and I’ll still help you fix stuff around your house.

    Same with homosexuals. We’ve allowed a wall to be built between us for no good reason. Let’s get together. I bet there is more to you than being gay, and there is more to me than being homophobic. Let’s talk about music, or go get some food. I want you to feel welcomed and loved and not afraid that I secretly agree with the Orlando shooter.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sorry, I didn’t catch the sarcasm. 🙂

  32. Mr Jesperson says:

    I could not agree more with #2 and #7. Regarding the latter, to be honest I think there is a strong delusion at work that makes some people take too much pride in their tradition/denomination/theological position. I also think that in reality it has more to do with the person who claims that they found perfection then what they claim to have found. It is more about taking pride in how brilliant you are than how brilliant what you found is. I know this all too well, because I went there myself as a young man decades ago. At least I discovered that the only thing perfect in Christianity is Jesus. Just the way it needs to be because idolatry comes so easily to us. It is hard to idolize what is flawed, like people, traditions, denominations and human theological systems.

  33. Em ... again says:

    #18-agreeing with Jtk – yes, “the talk” that my generation handed down to their children at puberty … needs to be rethought, revamped and delivered much, much earlier – a proactive mass move by adults who care … and understand what’s goin on? … this could do more to save the nation (mental health, at least) than the war on terror IMNSHO again

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s kind of funny – the only time I hear anyone defending their denominational practices is when some non denom comes along bragging how free they are in their theology and not bound by any limitations.

    Yes, I have denominational limits that do not allow me to be a “free thinker” like Greg Laurie and make up future judgements that are not in scripture – that keeps me from telling people that they personally are responsible for the governments actions that bring about this judgement.

    I see it here all the time – I will state a case with no reference to my denomination and some non denom will pipe up saying, well you are bound by Lutheranism or you follow Luther – even though I made no reference. But their point is that they are free to think on their own

    I plead guilty to the denominational limit of sanity.

  35. Jean says:

    Mostly what I’ve seen from the wholesale abandonment of tradition in American evangelicalism to twofold: (1) reliving the heresies that the early church identified and condemned (e.g., the resurrection of subordinationism in very recent news); and (2) innovations the apostles and early church fathers would never have recognized. I see no benefits to Christianity from the abandonment of tradition.

  36. Em ... again says:

    #33-finding the most perfect denomination may have to do with pride in one’s mental ability, but, might it not also be driven by a desire to function as a Christian as close to the Creator’s design as possible?…
    for my part, i suspect – dunno – that most chose their denominational direction according to their God-designed personalities … so as God matures us, we may rethink our choices of fellowship and worship – thus i don’t see changing churches as a problem, necessarily…

  37. Michael says:

    JtB @ 30…amen.

  38. Michael says:


    I think I agree with your #6.

    Chuck Smith didn’t start the Jesus Movement.
    He was part of something already happening.

    Without Frisbee and the musicians, nothing moves…

  39. Michael says:

    Costco Cal,

    Greg uses his media (and is paid by cyber rags) to push his eschatology almost daily.

    I’m using mine to refute it.

    If that’s a problem…the problem is going to be all yours.

  40. Em ... again says:

    #36- i’m pretty sure that should we dig into history a bit, we’d find that the problems you mention have tracked along beside the Church with consistency down through the years – all the way from it’s very beginning … and i, as a non denom person (the term does not indicate that sound doctrine is cast aside), have no problem with those whose security in Christ is bound in their tradition of choice
    yet, the chief end of man is to know God and enjoy Him forever… some things are etched in stone, no matter the denominational bent

  41. Em ... again says:

    praying your morning went well, Michael?

  42. Donner says:

    Yay for number 2!

  43. Josh the Baptist says:


    Sorry Donner, I am immature.

  44. Michael says:


    It did.
    I had to get T enrolled in a summer program so he can get caught up after missing most of last year and losing lots of others to Lyme disease.
    They weren’t going to let him…then they discovered my bark and bite are both intact.

    I have to pick him up after school soon… 🙂

  45. CostcoCal says:

    Michael…. well said. 🙂

  46. Owen says:

    Count me in as another mourner of the end of hockey season….. even though the Pens aren’t my fave, I still enjoy them…..

    As far as having “the talk” with young children, I think it’s more of an ongoing thing rather than a one-timer. And the modeling aspect carries a whole lot more weight than just a talk or two. I believe many parents are lost on just how much their children are watching, and picking up on the parent’s behaviour.

    Have to agree with Em – so much current media is laced with sexual content, and I think it contributes towards quite a few problems. I wish more parents were willing to restrict their children’s screen time. It becomes a habit very difficult to break.

  47. Hip NY says:

    It took me nearly 15 years to get ” deprogrammed ” from this kinda stuff from CC. I thought it was me. They just could not get this square peg to fit into the round hole. Why, these theories? What is the motivation?

  48. Donner says:

    Hey Josh, ha. I guess I should have specified Michael’s Number Two. Well, the number two on his list of things I think. Yeah, that #2.

  49. Dan from Georgia says:

    Could not agree more with your number 7 Michael. I get sooooo tired of certain people thinking that their faith tradition is the cats meow/apple of God’s eye, and looking down on other’s who don’t subscribe to their set belief system.

  50. Dallas says:

    1. I’m not sure which is the more generous viewpoint. That the people who spread this garbage are well meaning morons, or clever scoundrels. One assumes that the person couldn’t be nearly this manipulative or underhanded. The other assumes that the person isn’t a compete idiot.

    Of course I just outed myself as being really arrogant… so there’s that too.

  51. Dan from Georgia says:


    Did my number 50 comment end up in moderation due to some key word being flagged?


  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “yet, the chief end of man is to know God and enjoy Him forever… some things are etched in stone, no matter the denominational bent”

    LOL – that is a denominational statement for the Calvinists through the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster confession.

  53. Jean says:

    “i, as a non denom person (the term does not indicate that sound doctrine is cast aside), have no problem with those whose security in Christ is bound in their tradition of choice
    yet, the chief end of man is to know God and enjoy Him forever”

    Christians who are in communion with historic Christianity (i.e., tradition) are no “bound”, they’re free. They don’t have to wonder whether their local guru is giving them BS or the truth. They can pull out their ecumenical creeds, for example, and compare what’s being taught in the pulpit against what the church has confessed for 1,500+ years.

    What are the chances that some non-denom church pastor has discovered something in the Bible that was unknown to the historic church until, well, he came along? Michael would be out of a job if it wasn’t for the stuff that people are coming up with today which they call theology.

  54. Michael says:


    I don’t think Greg is either, but his group is very heavily invested in eschatology and politics.

    He surprised me on another video by being quite clear that he holds to American exceptionalism and sees “parallels” between Israel and America.

    A lot can go wrong there…

  55. Michael says:

    I’ve spoken to the traditions issue before.

    Let me address it simply.

    I’m a Calvinist and love both the 39 Articles and the Reformed catechisms.

    My tribe is quite clear about Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy being of “another gospel”.

    I used to be a real (fill in the expletive) about enforcing and teaching that.

    Then my friend Xenia converted to EO.
    The fellow that put this site together and kept it running during the wild days converted to EO.

    I had a choice…condemn them as apostates or affirm them as family anyway.

    It was an easy personal decision and a difficult conundrum theologically.

    I decided to let God figure it out…He knows them both.

  56. Papias says:

    So Greg went to Pompeii and made the video…does that trip count as a write off for tax puposes?

    Call me jaded…. 😉

  57. Michael says:

    I would rejoice if T decided to join the EO.

    I would not rejoice if he hooked up with American evangelicalism.

    He’s inheriting my Packer books, so hopefully he’ll become an Anglican in exile like me. 🙂

  58. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I would not rejoice if he hooked up with American evangelicalism.”

    Even if he loved Jesus and was just trying his best to serve Him?

  59. Xenia says:

    I would be thrilled if some of my agnostic children decided to return to the evangelicalism of their childhood.

  60. Michael says:


    This is probably where public persona and private home should separate.

    If, after being raised around me for years, he chooses to join in with what I dislike more every day, that would be disappointing.
    It will mean in my eyes that I failed to teach him properly.

    I doubt it will happen that way, though we have a dearth of confessional churches here.

    The Lutherans, Anglicans, and Presbys need more church planters…

  61. Dan from Georgia says:


    I once was one of those who, well, just passively accepted the premise of American Exceptionalism and walked in step with the Israel=’Murica crowd. Over time I saw the fallacies of this viewpoint. I cannot agree more with your comments in point #1 and #6.

  62. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think quite often the grass is just greener on the other side. After living that life for a while, one might find it less attractive as well.

    I’m sorry you feel the way that you do. I know good and bad in every Christian sect I am aware of. The majority of the very best pastors, missionaries, professors, and just people that I know are evangelical. Many of them are laying down their lives right now for the cause of Christ.

    I sometimes feel like in order to participate here, I need to engage in some kind of self-hatred. I know Jesus. I love the Lord. I am an American Evangelical. I am not the bad guy here, nor are millions of others just like me.

  63. Michael says:


    I think you’re a great guy and I love having you here.

    I live in a place where there’s a Calvary Chapel or a spring off from CC every few miles.
    Evangelicalism is wrapped in a flag and right wing politics on the airwaves and in the local bookstore.
    I’ve spent most of the last part of my life fighting the corruption and abuses in the church, about 10% of which get published here.

    I want T to hear the Gospel, receive the sacraments, and worship His God without all the trappings, encumbrances. and corruption that I have seen.

  64. Michael says:


    That doctrine has led to all sorts of mischief for too many years…

  65. Jean says:

    I thought you were SBC. Although it may self identify evangelical and there may be entrepreneurs in your midst, aren’t there Confessions by which a S. Baptist could consider himself as part of a long tradition which has stood the test of time?

  66. nathan priddis says:


    I had to re-think my understand of the Jesus Movement. It was because Lonnie was edited out of the story. Chuck Smith came late to the party in 1967. Lonnie was huge.

    I never paid much attention to Harvest or Laurie, so I knew little about him. Since I never had a connection to Vineyard’s, I didn’t know Wiimbler was in the JM from the start either.

    I feel like I was 420.

  67. Michael says:


    If memory serves me, Wimber was at CC Yorba Linda.

    Smith asked him to leave over the exercise of charismata…and soon after that Tom Stipe joined him at the Vineyard.

    Stipe and the musicians are the great untold story of the Jesus Movement…

  68. Michael says:


    We used the 1689 London Baptist Confession when we started our church.

    I’m not sure how much of the SBC would confess it today.

  69. Em ... again says:

    #53-yes, i know its origin – doesn’t make it not true 🙂

    #54 – being (mindlessly?) tied to tradition relieves one’s self of discernment – or so it seems to me … once your mind is settled there and you are content, God keep you there in tradition … i have no problem with you doing so, but …
    false teachers can be priests and pastors and popes, too
    think of the child, of the mind that questions… it is, IMV, a privilege and a directive to explore and grow in the Faith… it isn’t necessary to question tradition, if the traditions are sound or even a bit skewed, but…
    i do hold to the view that one can spend one’s whole life exploring the Faith and the recorded Word and never master the whole of it… discernment and growth is such a God given privilege – if tradition is what gets you there …?… that’s the path to follow, i guess – dunno

  70. Lutheran says:

    I do think making blanket statements about evangelicalism is sorta unfair. I mean, popular evangelicalism does tend to suck out all the air from the ecclesiastical room, so other groups (Lutherans/Reformation churches, EO, mainline/progressive Protestants, even the RCC) don’t get as much airplay. But that’s OK, because most church is done at the local level.

    Maybe it’s like the blind men who are asked to describe the elephant — everyone has a different answer.

    Me, I’ve been very fortunate, for the most part. In my ‘evangelical’ experience, I rubbed shoulders (well, not quite literally) through my reading and study with the likes of John Stott, James Packer (“Knowing God” had a huge influence on me) and the late Paul Little.

    I was always encouraged to NOT “swallow and follow.” Later I did get involved with a couple of groups that were like that. But thankfully didn’t remain long.

  71. Michael says:

    Stott and Packer were Anglicans…my guys. 🙂

  72. Michael says:


    If one is convinced that an entire confession is true, I have no problem with them at all.

    My problem has always been that I could affirm most of a confession, but not all of one.

    Unfortunately, these tend to be all or nothing propositions…

    The 39 Articles give me the most breathing room…

  73. Eric says:

    Why isn’t America in the bible? I suspect it’s the same reason Japan isn’t, Canada isn’t, the United Kingdom isn’t, et al. But “Babylon,” or “kingdom of this world” are biblical descriptors of them and all the other nations as well.

  74. bob1 says:



    But Stott was raised in a Lutheran family. And he was a big Luther fan, from what I understand.

    Does that count?


  75. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, I am SBC, which is usually referred to as the largest evangelical denomination. We do have the Baptist Faith and Message, but we are pretty much the picture of the “no creed but the bible” crowd.

    I think more of what we blanket as evangelicalism here is really the Mega-Church culture. Something like 80% of SBC churches have 100 members or less. I think if you visited those churches, you’d see more in line with traditional expressions of Protestantism than any thing close to a Greg Laurie crusade.

    I just think the brush is too broad and used here way too often. If we tried, we could probably find something in common, rather than keep digging until we can condemn one another.

  76. nathan priddis says:

    To anyone..

    The political ideologies show by certain CC personalities are completely at odds with the early CC eschatology. The idea of 60’s and 70’s Jesus people turning into political tyrants is weird. When did they ideas begin showing up in CC’s?

    How did the summer of love turn into a police state? Some reading this may be confused by what I am referring to. If you have been involved with Re-Constructionist, you will know why I find this so alarming.

    Rushdooney finished his book in 73, in the So-Cal area, but would have spit on Jesus People probably. Somebody else must have been introducing Re-Constructionist and Neo-Evangelical ideas to the young CC guys.

  77. Em ... again says:

    true this is copied from Wikipedia, but for the record:

    “Stott was born in London to Sir Arnold and Emily Stott. His father was a leading physician at Harley Street and an agnostic, while his mother was a Lutheran churchgoer who attended the nearby Church of England church, All Souls, Langham Place. Stott was sent to boarding schools at eight years old, initially to a prep school, Oakley Hall. In 1935, he went on to Rugby School.”
    soo… Stott was not raised Lutheran, but undoubtedly knew somewhat of their tenets…
    don’t sell evangelists’ work short; there’s way too many of us that they’ve pointed to a saving understanding of God via John 3:16 🙂

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    re Stott – I doubt he was raised Lutheran – heck he turned out a universalist

  79. Michael says:

    John Stott did no such thing.

    Stott was an annihilationist, not a universalist.

  80. Michael says:


    Almost all Reformed/Calvinists are big Luther fans.

    The love doesn’t flow the other way, however… 🙂

  81. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    same thing – its just a quasi denial of full frontal hell 😉

  82. Michael says:


    As someone steeped in all things CC…I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    There is no Reconstructionist strain in the group.

    They are very nationalistic and have been since the beginning…many were influenced by Schaeffer and the beginnings of the religious right…

  83. Michael says:


    If you’ve ever read Stott you would know he makes careful distinctions between the two and argued persuasively against universalism.

  84. brian says:

    Michael could you delete my first post it came out messed up I was trying to add footnotes to make it clearer. The second post is correct.

    First, Pompeii was “destroyed” was most likely destroyed by a pyroclastic flow caused by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (1) and the people did not have time to suffocate from the poisonous gas from the eruption. It is true that volcanoes can give off noxious gases that can suffocate individuals rather quickly. What causes volcanoes is fairly well understood (2). From what history and modern observations appears to show there is no divine agency in when or why volcanoes erupt, we are also getting better at predicting them so that people can get out of the way if possible, an erupting caldera (3) like the one under Yellowstone would be so massive and if it unexpectantly erupted I don’t think there would be much folks could do to get out of the way or avoid the huge environmental effects of such a large eruption. Again I am not a volcanologist or a geologist.

    I dont think Vesuvius was any kind of judgement from God on the people of Pompeii because of the total annihilation of people in the path of the pyroclastic flow, if it was some type of divine punishment then God is a very bad aim or He prefers Nuclear bombs to scalpels when administering His justice. But I am not God so I am speaking in merely human terms.

    On to Mr Laurie I have to admire his use of the same schtick for so many years and that he still generates interest attention and far more important revenue from it though most likely from indirect sources. It sort of reminds me of when the tsunami of 2004 in the Indian Ocean hit and 227,898 people were killed.(4) About a day after a few folks here in the states were talking about divine justice, sign of the fall, punishment for them not being Christian, many were Muslim, divine wrath, consequences of the Fall and Adam’s sin etc. And interesting story about 100 people, right in the middle of all this that lived because of a young girl that recognized the signs of a Tsunami. (5)


  85. brian says:

    Michael I am sorry for the double post moderation but because I had so many links I think it moderated me. Could you please delete the first post from me with the double article thank you, sorry about that.

  86. I remember the tsunami and all (I use all in the same way the Calvinists use all 😉 ) the evangelicals ran around saying this was the it the sign was delivered — I would ask them “Really, God was waiting for a tsunami in Japan to inaugurate his return?”

  87. Em ... again says:

    message to all my fellow lollards, don’t seek after signs… there may be some, but don’t look for them 🙂

  88. There is only one sign to look for – Jesus is clear Matt 24:30 “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (or as Raul Ries likes to say ‘with Greg Laurie — LOL I told a CC joke. 🙂 )

    But that is the only sign. You see the sign and the event happens – the sign being the sight of Jesus.

    Read above in ch 24 and Jesus says that all of history is pointing to his return, because all of history lets us know how bad and frail man is – so our doom is on the way.

    “6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.” (all of this is not the end)

    7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.(just the beginning of a preliminary event)

    Everything for all history points down the road – but nothing points to a day or event.

  89. Just Me says:

    Thank you, Michael, for mentioning #5. This is rarely discussed in Christian groups, and if so, it is a passing “Don’t do that, it’s bad”, the men squirm, and the speaker moves on. Men don’t talk about it bc they don’t want to implicate themselves, and wives can’t either bc they don’t want to implicate their husbands.

    Sadly, the world is doing a better job publicly addressing it. I ran across a secular organization called Fight The New Drug, which discusses how it hurts The Brain, The Heart, and The World. It has pages like “P*rn Hurts Families”, “P*rn’s Harm Is Changing Fast”, “P*rn Is A Lie”, “P*rn Kills Love”, etc.

    There is an absolutely amazing video with Russell Brand talking a mile a minute about the harmful effects of p*rn, how it has hurt him, and quoting research articles. I can’t link his video directly, but it’s at the bottom of this page:

    I’d love to see a whole article here with honest dialogue, pseudonyms welcome. (Even I am using a pseudonym of my normal pseudonym.) I am praying out how to approach my husband and help him fight this, as I’ve once again had suspicions confirmed.

  90. Sarah says:

    It must be summertime…I had time to sit and read a whole thread here for the first time in probably a year. And finish a cup of coffee in one sitting!

    I watched the videos posted the other day about “Follow the leader” at CCABQ, and realized how far I had moved from that setting. Like Josh, I still consider myself an evangelical, but it is tempered. The fellowship we belong to now teaches verse by verse, and yet there is nothing of politics. Frequently in election cycles our pastor will remind us that he only has two things to say about elections: Pray. Vote. He strongly encourages us to not put bumper stickers on our cars or parade buttons in to the church….and reminds us we are probably sitting within arm’s length of someone who voted differently than us. And that is very true in this fellowship.

    Still, there is a feeling of having the rug pulled out from under me at times, with all that is happening culturally…and with all that I see in FB conversations. The hatred and the fear is somewhat staggering. We lash out instead of listening, and the cycle gets deeper and deeper. I just saw one friend who posted about how is very open to discussion and differences of opinion, he simply wants better manners from those he considers friends…and then he ended with if you don’t agree, grow the **** up. Hmm.

    I’m thankful for where we are, for the people my kids are doing life with and learning about God. Thankful for a pastor and his wife with energy and humility in equal measure. Thankful for them in their pursuit of study as well as mission.

    Oh, and I just began a women’s reading club and we are reading Packer’s Knowing God. Some great discussion already, and only one other person in the group had read the book before.

    Anyway…sorry, rambling. Enjoying a chance to enter the banter here!

    I really came by to say I miss hockey as well. At least a little…we just had tryouts for the travel team here this past weekend, so it kinda feels like hockey never ends around here.

  91. Al says:

    Good stuff.

    I can’t really disagree with any of it LOL.

  92. Al says:

    MLD is a jerk!

    …sorry, had to do something to keep up my reputation.

  93. Al says:

    I like Greg Laurie (other than the $500K a year salary and that he’s become a very wealthy man selling books about Jesus etc and basically makes every dime from selling Jesus).

    I think he’s sincere. Just sincerely wrong and has created his own nonsensical narrative and is hyper-focused….like his spiritual father Chuck Smith….on things that really don’t matter like the End Times and Rapture nonsense. Greg will die, he won’t be raptured.

    But, Greg Laurie is generally a good dude and not nearly as big an issue as many other Leaders in Christianity or politics or biz or other religions like Islam.

  94. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sarah! Good tho see you here. I agree with your post, very much. Except about hockey. What is this hockey stuff you guys speak of? 🙂

    My pastor speaks more about politics and current events than I would like, though not openly supporting candidates or parties. So, he’s not perfect, but I love him. We work well together despite our differences or disagreements. I wish that could happen on a larger scale. It just seems that there are some on each “side” who benefit from keeping us separate and afraid.

    Al! Good to see you too, man! Hope everything is going well?

  95. Muff Potter says:

    brian @ # 85:

    Well said. Some folks believe in a strict determinism on the part of the Almighty, others do not. Either way, it doesn’t add one paving stone to the road forward on all of our journeys. We are here and we are now, let’s make the best of it with the tools we have and the time we’re given.

  96. Sarah says:

    Josh…good to be seen 😉

  97. Randy says:

    The SBC is not really a denomination, though some would like to change that. It is a cooperative of churches working together to carry out common causes like missions and evangelism. It does have a confession, The Baptist Faith And Message 2000 which is a revision of the 1963 version which was a revision of the 1922 version which was essentially the New Hampshire Confession dated about 1825. If you work for an SBC entity, say a seminary, you will have to sign the confession.

    State conventions and Associations probability have adopted the BFM2000 due to social pressure. The same with most churches. But there are still some churches that hold to the Second London Confession of 1689 which is a revision of the famed Westminister Confession. The 39 articles would have been foundational for the early Baptists since they were English Separatists.

    No SBC office holder can speak on behalf of our churches since each church is autonomous. As to what churches and members believe, they may have the BFM as their confession, not many practice. Social, cultural and denominational are the greatest influence on the churches.

    It is not completely true that Baptists hold to nothing but the Bible or else we would have no confessions at all. We are children of the reformation, who like all denominations, have been influenced by contemporary movements. Once most Baptists would have been mail. Now most are dispensationalist. I did my dissertation on a German Lutheran and found much in common with his theology. The older I get the more I realize how much more in common I have with other “denominations” than I would have guessed. I think I am more attracted to what Lewis called Mere Christianity, another Anglican. I would say that most of my theological influences have been dead Anglicans and Scotsman.

    Just thought I’d give some explanation.

  98. Michael says:

    Thank you, Randy!

  99. Babylon's Dread says:

    After 25 years in the SBC I found the claim of local church autonomy to be true but largely overcome by the conformity fostered in the rank and file by the system. It quacked like a duck the whole time I was there.

  100. surfer51 says:

    An evangelist comes up with themes to persuade his audience to repentance through a mixture of his narrative and the gospel.

    Some themes play well others not so much as Michael has pointed out here.

    My friend Erik once called it “Evangelastic.”

    A term relating to the flexible nature of most evangelist narratives.

    Michael’s sane rebuttal I am sure brings much relief to anyone who buys into the destruction of America narrative.

    That is not to say we couldn’t be nuked during Hilliary’s term as pres… 🙂


    “Stipe and the musicians are the great untold story of the Jesus Movement…

    Your so right!

    The abused and taken advantage of musicians quietly went off into the sunset without anyone actually telling their story.

    Stipe’s main beef was that he didn’t feel that Chuck Smith was being the shepherd that he needed as I recall but I could be wrong, it was so long ago.

    Stipe is a big hearted man of God who let Lonnie Frisbee vent at Tom’s church when Lonnie was Angry at both Chuck Smith and John Wimber.

    My friend Erik obtained a VCR tape of that day from Stan Frisbee and rendered it to the internet…28,768 views thus far.

  101. OK, I watched the first 15 min of the Frisbee tape. Complete lunacy – Stipe should have escorted Frisbee off the stage.

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