Things I Think…

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33 Responses

  1. filbertz says:

    in church-ish circles, the Ravi story got as much traction as a ten-speed bike in a snow storm.

    I had to explain the word “yule” to my junior high students–they had no clue to its meaning. I fear the word “repent” is nearing that category of neglect.

  2. Ron says:

    #5. I am leaning toward retiring from watching the NFL myself. I watched about two minutes of the Vikings vs. Atlanta game and I had no interest in it at all.I watched some of it last night, and after some time, I really wondering…”What am I doing with my time.I am slowly and trying patiently to introduce the desire to get rid of our cable altogether, as I just have no interest in the media/Washington DC agenda that spews forth.

    Personally, as I have been going through some training on the Gospel, Pauline letters, a book my Martin Luther, and Tim Chester, I am more and more persuaded to imitate these men in their uncomprimising zeal to know Christ and Him crucified, and a greater zeal for a demonstration of the Spirit to serve my family, church, workplace and city. And I convicted by my lack of follow through, my fraility and laziness.

    I recently really “blew it”..regarding my idolatry. I play guitars, have a small collection, and have been under the conviction that I spend to much time playing, looking, trying to trade one guitar for the next, in the hopes that i will find that perfect tone, feel, look, etc. I find “it” and then my lack of satisfaction in Christ makes me want yet…,:”another one.” I really blew it, by increasing our debt by condoning buying Les Paul, on credit, because I have four years to pay it off interest free. Now, it is hanging on a wall, and I am feeling guilty.

    Sorry this rambled, this stuff is on my heart…

  3. JM says:

    ” What have we learned again? Never, never, repent, just ‘explain”… repentance is for losers and people who can’t afford lawyers…

    OMG, Michael! Perfectly said! Also perfectly sad. 🙁

  4. Don says:

    I am Ravi Burned . . .

    As one who was truly shocked at the mere suggestion of Ravi’s misappropriation of scholarly titles and even more shocked at the depth of his inappropriate internet fantasy . . . The real burn is from his lack of honesty in the face of being caught and choosing to neither confess nor repent nor seek counseling with accountability which could lead to Biblical restoration.

    The Sanskrit meaning of Ravi in India is ‘god of the sun’ I am Ravi Burned. 🙁

  5. MJG says:

    Michael: I used to really like Ravi and I am disturbed by his spin on this story. It makes me wonder who, of those who are in the spotlight, really walks with God. I’m beginning to think that maybe no one. So, I’ll continue listening to the classic voices that fed God’s sheep before this whole phenomena of “church as business and little men building big empires” really began.

    On the prophets thing: Prophets have always walked alone. They have always understood that walk. I doubt it’s any different today. Of course, you could be a razzle/dazzle type prophet like some pretend to be today and that’s really where all the fun and the money is.

    And then I remember Gehazi.

    I am so thankful for God’s word because it can warn me of every danger if I search it out.

  6. Babylon's Dread says:

    Love of your enemies is a wonderful abstraction. The example of turning the other cheek is equally abstract. No one ever thinks of doing it unless we are helpless to retaliate anyway. We also think it is purely a personal reaction never corporate.

    The NFL has become more and more unwatchable, horrible injuries, incessant penalties, micro judging possession calls. I wonder if it will exist in 40 years. I suspect not at all as we recognize it.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    9. The cure for cynicism is Advent…

    It would take a lot to condition American Evangelicals to work with Advent. If any are familiar, they think if is about Christmas.
    This past Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent, the message in the 3 yr, as it is every year, was the triumphal entry into Jerusalem – a Passion Week theme.

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs – the NFL may go – some of us still mourn the demise of Roller Derby.

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    The training and equipment have made football unplayable. We have created human weapons that other humans cannot survive. We are not actually rams and our head cannot sustain the force our bodies can attain.

  10. Eric says:

    1-2. 2 Chr 24
    Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’”
    But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the Lord see this and call you to account.”

    David could have done the same – he didn’t need no lawyers – but instead repented.

    5. In Australia we have four flavours of football, all of them safer than American football.

  11. Dan from Georgia says:

    1. I am so sick of this scenario I am increasingly of the belief that God will indeed judge…not the county, but he church. Many think that God will rain fire down on ‘Murica because of gay marriage, abortion, democrats, liberals, prayer not in public schools, yada yada yada. BULLCRAP. Sean Hannity just said the GOP is weak and morally bankrupt. Well guess what….

    5 & 8. As a Vikings fan staring down the possibility that the Vikes COULD be the first team in NFL history to host a Super Bowl, I am also staring down the possibility that no one will care…

  12. Captain Kevin says:

    Ron: “And I convicted by my lack of follow through, my fraility and laziness.”

    I think I’m the president of that club. God forgive me.

  13. Tohu Wabohu says:

    “This past Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent, the message in the 3 yr, as it is every year, was the triumphal entry into Jerusalem – a Passion Week theme.”

    The 3 yr? Do you mean 3-year lectionary?

    This last Sunday, the Gospel text at our (LCMS) church was Mark 13:24-37 (destruction of the Temple and signs of the end times)….

  14. John 20:29 says:

    I think judgment on nations is separate and apart from the Church… plus we are not Israel subject to the laws that God gave Moses … Michael has started to publish MLD’s teaching on the book of Revelation which begins with warnings to the churches… I deduce from that reading that God withdraws when a church is tolerant of corruption… Since we live in a world where the devil still does his work, that should be enough to make us humble and faithful… but we are, most of us, very sheep-like and when our leaders go low we do also… dunno… But then I am an evangelical dispy… so… ?

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tohu – the Mark 13 was the alternate reading – we used the primary Mark 11:1-10.
    But it is all good reading.

    Still within my point, the Advent service was not Christmas lite. 🙂

  16. Reuben says:

    Thought 6. This is where the book is boiling out of me, and I am working hard on it.

    I spent Thanksgiving with a Muslim family, and they walked me through a number of foundational beliefs they hold, and live by. I had read the Quran, but the Hadith additionally creates a way of life, and it is so similar in so many regards to Christianity that I now find myself wondering why Islam is so hated by Christianity.

    The big foundation in the big three is absolutely this, “Created sick, and commanded to be well.” A phrase coined by Christopher Hitchens that is probably the most profound description of what Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has done to humanity in ways that I aim to measure. It started with the same god, and that god divided Isaac and Ishmael, and straight away called both lineages to violence. Even before this, god reportedly created a scenario in which all of humanity would have to be evil by it’s very nature, “born into it”, and be required to acknowledge a god for the ability to know right from wrong, toil for the rest of their lives, and/or die eternally in fire.

    Now this is not even an argument amongst Biblical “Scholars” nor could it ever be, especially in Christianity because the savior/prophet of that religion said it was either his way, or you were damned to eternal fire.

    Billions of people on this planet believe to the core of their being that they are evil in their very DNA, and without Allah, Jesus, or God the Father, they would not even be capable of doing any good, and humanity would collapse in self destruction. Created sick and ordered to be well through exchanging yourself for ideals that you must adopt or be punished eternally.

    No I contend that this is a psychological mind rape. It shaped humanity in ways that could not be altered for countless generations of massive cultures, many of which were wiped out by the god of all three religions because they did not tow the party lines in genocides Hitler could not imagine in his wildest dreams.

    Historically, what killed the advancement of science and math in the world was Islam adopting a position of distrust for the sciences, and the entire middle eastern society collapsed. I really want to get into what Christianity did to perpetuate this, even today, and tie that directly to why the great Christian USA is spiraling right now. The Federal Government just endorsed an Evangelical Pedophile, and Evangelical Christianity is going to put him into office, added to daily events of immoral actions, makes me wonder if people are looking in the right directions for the sources of evil, because it is the Evangelicals making it actually happen.

  17. Jean says:

    MLD and Tohu,

    At my LCMS congregation, we’re on the one year historic lectionary and the Gospel reading was the triumphal entry, but from Matthew. However, my pastor threw us a curve ball and preached on the epistle Romans Thirteen, eleven through fourteen.

  18. Francisco says:

    If we have to file a lawsuit against another member of the body then we’re probably not interested in reconciliation. When Paul said it is much better to suffer wrong then proceeding with a lawsuit against a brother he meant for one’s own good. Lawsuits are very draining both emotionally and spiritually with no winners except for the attorney’s pockets.

  19. John 20:29 says:

    It’s an old saw, I know, but Rueben’s grief is the result of religion, which I define as man justifying himself to God by doing what is right in his own eyes…
    But, perhaps his book will be cleared than the post above was to me … That said, this has been a trying day and I may not be interpreting it as it was intended ?

  20. Reuben says:

    Acts 20:22-24 were my life’s meaning. So what do you define as man justifying himself to god by doing what is right in his own eyes?

    That was an insult, and I demand an apology.

  21. Josh The Baptist says:

    Oh good grief.

  22. John 20:29 says:

    I apologize Reuben. – not intended as an insult… Evidently I misread your post… I thot that you were blaming Christianity for hampering civilization’s progress…

    To answer your question about man justifying himself to God … there was a time in my life when I looked around me and judged God as cruel …. I was right in my own eyes… I would have told God, if there was one, that He needed to change His ways…. Self righteous and self justification are identical twins
    Any time we tell ourselves – congratulate ourselves for – manufacturing good that is raising our score in heaven, we are self justifying … even Christians get caught up in self justifying… not to be confused with pleasing God which we can and should do
    If there is a one sentence answer to you question, it escapes me tonight

    If there is more to be said on this tonight, you’ll be conversing with some other PhxP contributor… It’s been a challenging and tiring day up here in the mountains and cold (probably should go back and proof read this little tablet post, but I’ll take my direction from Pilate and say what is written is written) ?

    Praying for the folks in Ventura whose day has been much worse ….

  23. Michael says:


    We all construct narratives to live in that enable us to make sense of the world.
    Here and elsewhere you have expressed your narrative that the great evil is religion.

    I reject that narrative while still acknowledging the evil that has been done and is done in the name of my faith.

    As this is an overwhelmingly Christian community, you are going to find little support here for your thesis, but you will create a lot of strife.

    Strife for the sake of strife is neither healthy or productive, so find another arena to do battle in.

  24. JoelG says:

    #5 – I hate to say it, but this is a good thought.

    “We have created human weapons that other humans cannot survive.”

    This is true, BD.

    Reuben, I hope you are able to rediscover the endless love our Father has for you.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jews do not believe that humans are born bad or by nature are evil or prone to evil. They believe man is born a clean slate and can go either way.
    So your buddy Hitchens was wrong – but what’s new.

  26. Reuben says:

    Hitchens postulated no such thing, I do. You clearly have not read the Old Testament, MLD, but your namesake did, and he postulates otherwise as well.

  27. Reuben says:

    Michael, I will always consider you a friend and a mentor. Set that aside. Here, you publicly say Christ saved us from the moral corruption, and I will push back publicly because the moral corruption is coming from your team, not mine. I don’t believe a sane person could assert any less.

    What happened today, the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital by the Trump administration, is declaring a religious war. You know it. Pence knows it. This is a sick bringing about the end times fantasy that nobody could rationally agree with on any level if they have any value for humanity. People who stand against religion stand against this. I will do it loudly. I will do it here if you fail to point to your team when they actually cause harm to the entire planet. They are causing death again, and standing silent is complicity. Period.

  28. Michael says:


    As a former moderator and long time friend, you know the folly of telling me what you will or won’t do here.
    As someone who has fought against the moral corruption in the church for most of my life, I’m somewhat of an expert on this topic.
    No one can deny that we in the church have more than our share of moral turpitude.
    I personally have more than my share of moral turpitude.
    These facts are made more awful because of who we claim to represent.

    I don’t know who is on your team, but they aren’t any better.

    Jesus is.

    That’s all I’ve got.

    It’s not about Trump and politics and atheists and heathens, it’s all about the person and work of Jesus.
    I am a Christian and (along with many other Christians) I do not support Trump or his policies.
    Some Christians do, but I can nether affect that or their consciences on the matter.
    As I wrote somewhere earlier today, whether I like it or not, he was duly elected by the people of this country… and he is doing exactly what he was elected by them to do.

    In less than two years, we’ll see if peoples opinions have changed.

    I am not an expert on Middle Eastern political matters, nor do I think the Bible itself is.
    We shall see what the fruit of todays announcement will be.

    I am a bit of an expert in communication and I believe that one must communicate in a way that can be heard if one is serious about the message one wants to convey.

    Strident histrionics are not effective.

    So…I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing the way I feel led to do it.
    The issue you have with Trump and evangelicals on this and other issues has been fully covered by more erudite writers than myself.

  29. Reuben says:

    The Virgin Mary was 12 years old, and that is why Roy Moore will win. That is history happening. You call historians strident. Man, that is out there. Jesus called you against your mother, father, brother, sister, and you call historians “strident”.

    Am I the problem because I can’t communicate right? Is that a serious leveled accusation?

  30. Michael says:


    We can quote the stupidity of various religious and cultural factions all night.
    It will avail nothing.

    As a Christian and a reasonable person, I can’t support Roy Moore.

    I’m not responsible for those who do.

    Again, this has been roundly criticized by other Christians more erudite than myself…and I’m not going to invest any time in it.

    I’m investing my time at home and in my community and here…with people trying to follow Jesus and understand Him more.

    There are Christians doing amazing work in my town…even while avoiding the ones you like to harangue constantly.

  31. Reuben says:

    Fair enough.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Hitchens postulated no such thing,”
    I quote you above @16 – “The big foundation in the big three is absolutely this, “Created sick, and commanded to be well.” A phrase coined by Christopher Hitchens that is probably the most profound description of what Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has done to humanity…”

    Note you say that the “big three” (which you later describe as the 3 Abrahamic faiths) believe man is ‘created sick’ (which the Jews do not believe) and you attribute that “coined phrase” to Christopher Hitchens.

    As I said, he is wrong (and so are you if that is your position) – and for Hitchens, being wrong is nothing new.

  33. John 20:29 says:

    Reuben’s accusation of the Christian community reminds me of one of the neighborhood kids (a punk who ended up in jail – the kid, not Reuben)… maybe I’ve told the story…
    I was coming up the hill after walking our German Shepherd as this kid came down the hill on his bike with his dog… his dog spotted us and lunged at us, barking wildly. It pulled the boy off his bike, landing in front of us. He gathered up his dog and his bike and yelled at me, “You need to get rid of that vicious dog. It’s going to kill somebody.'” All the while my ‘vicious’ dog sat beside me watching the show, never having uttered a peep, not doing a thing. But it was my dog that had caused the problem by just being there, I guess. ? It all depends on your point of view, maybe? … dunno

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