Things I Think

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29 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Lot’s of heavy stuff there. The only one I can comment on with clarity in my mind, due to my experience on another site, is number 4. This lack of compromise is a troubling aspect. On that other site there was literally only one person who could acknowledge that someone else on the site who voted for the other guy was a true follower of Christ. Neither side seems to be giving an inch to the other, and you will be damned if you dare concede anything.

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    This is good. Dark thoughts carry it but it is good. Partisan politics is death to religious faith. Aligning ones faith with such things is virtual denial of that faith. Like nowhere else we Americans perceive ourselves to be intrinsically part of the story of God’s kingdom on earth. Likewise, we are utterly confused as to the true nature of that kingdom in that no democracy can faithfully emulate the theocracy of the kingdom.

    We were conceived in liberty and are thereby deceived as well. This system like all the others has an apocalypse. Yes, we tested that more than 150 years ago but we did not see it to the final outcome.

    Our genius founding fathers did not perceive the evils of our party politics nor the dangers of a system wherein the courts would run amuck so wildly.

    Trump is the apotheosis of presidential autonomy to date but he is unlikely to be the end of that route.

    When we pray for the kingdom to come we unleash terrible consequences on our presumptions.

  3. Michael says:


    My soul is troubled by all of this…and this is how i wrestle with things in community.
    I’d be better off with a therapist… 🙂
    There can be no compromise when we mark the other as an enemy…enemies must be defeated.

  4. Michael says:

    “When we pray for the kingdom to come we unleash terrible consequences on our presumptions.”

    We need to keep saying that and fleshing it out…for I believe it true.
    It’s not a comfort in the short term…

  5. Michael says:

    “Partisan politics is death to religious faith. Aligning ones faith with such things is virtual denial of that faith. Like nowhere else we Americans perceive ourselves to be intrinsically part of the story of God’s kingdom on earth. Likewise, we are utterly confused as to the true nature of that kingdom in that no democracy can faithfully emulate the theocracy of the kingdom.”

    I may just make that an article of it’s own…brilliant writing, BD…

  6. Em says:

    Michael, your thinking this morning was in fellowship with God… Every point one we need to think on… IMHO ?
    Thank you

  7. Michael says:

    Thank you, Em…

  8. Em says:

    “….. no democracy can faithfully emulate the theocracy of the kingdom.” Amen and amen again
    without Jesus Christ as the perfect King, there can be no perfect kingdom…
    Yes, the Church needs more grounding, deeper understanding of both our importance and our function in time… or so it seems to me… Dunno, tho, do i? ?

  9. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    My two cents, for what it’s worth…which likely most of you will confirm as worth one cent.

    I too am a civil war “buff.” And while I was chewing on what you wrote here Michael, another perspective came to me. Having been fairly involved in the 60’s anti war movement and a supporter of SNCC, it occurred to me that while the present times are certainly polarizing, a time in which violent actions are at play and justified regardless of whether you are from the left or right, pro-Trump or anti-Trump, et al…the bottom line is the 60’s and early ‘70’s was also a time of somewhat comparable troubles in this country, both from a government POV as well as cultural. I remember Kent State, Chicago 7, Democratic Convention, quasi-armed insurrectionists, radicals, John Birchers, destruction of property, Police actions and rioting, etc…all the things that we see today.

    Yet from this came, to my limited knowledge, the most recent revival. Having been a part of the left in those times and having seen those on the left disallusioned by their leaders and having had my hopes dashed in the expectation that government can be radically improved; and those on the right experiencing similar disallusionment (e.g Watergate, etc.) and also seeing their government and movement leaders fail, many of us sought clarity, truth and values that were not accomplished through our efforts to reform government as well as achieve cultural reform. Think of the times when the Jesus Movement launched. Think of how many devolved into drug use.

    All this to say that God is good, revival may yet come upon this country and its people and perhaps the grace of the King may yet come to pass once again. The best efforts of mankind have always led us to these times and the only answer was found in Jesus Christ.

    This simpleton will now go back in his hole with this glimmer of hope. Blessings.

  10. surfer51 says:

    The simple Jesus People Movement that I got to participate in was full of love between all participants.

    I got to know a lot of people. People enjoyed one another as they worshiped together. There was no polarization among them.

    The unity was amazing!

    Then as older men of God took them into their churches I began to hear questions like, “what church do you go to?”

    It was to define what sort of Christian you were and if you could be fellowship-ed with.

    Being from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa the underlining unspoken theme I observed was if you were of another church you were in a lesser sort of Christian church in a sense.

    Then over the years it became what were your political leanings. Pastor Chuck Smith was strong in his political leanings and replicated that in most of his sheep.

    Today the sharp defining political polarization we see among Christians is a far cry from what I experienced in the Jesus People Movement.

    Wheres the love? The unconditional love? The agape love?

    I don’t think we will experience such a simple move of God like the Jesus People again.

    It was a rare moment in time when most of us were hippies who embraced Love and Peace.

    “All you need is love” by the Beatles was our theme as it were. We were ripe for gospel harvest having explored drugs and as a result wanting to know who made us and what for etc.

    I think we were better off loving one another unconditionally as Jesus People then we are today being so politically oriented.

    Even though most of us know more about theology and such and can quote the Bible backwards and forwards.

    If we don’t have love we are just noisy sound according to apostle Paul.

  11. Michael says:


    That’s a really valuable thought, actually…it brings some hope.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    Jeff and Surfer 51

    Yep we experienced it and somehow we lost it. I’ve been wondering for years about what happened. This may sound crazy, but I think the election of Jimmy Carter had something to do with it. I remember when he was elected so many of us thought, “We’ve made it! We have a born-again Christian as President…” It wasn’t about his politics. Then we became disillusioned.

    I don’t think it is as much about right and left as it is about thinking that somehow a person, a political leader, is going to usher in the kingdom. Maybe we should heed Scripture and not but ort trust in Princes…

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    “put our trust in Princes”

  14. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    I can’t help but break a smile and always shed a tear whenever this is sung:

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand,
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.

    His oath, His covenant, His blood,
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.

    When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    In Him, my righteousness, alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

  15. Linnea says:

    #8 🙁 Amen, brother. Has anyone read Generational Theory by Strauss and Howe…we’re in the 4th Turning. Sigh…

  16. Linnea says:

    Michael at 10:38am…I read that you’d be better off a Trappist…my suspicion is, we’d all be better off that way!

  17. Michael says:

    “I read that you’d be better off a Trappist”
    Don’t think I haven’t considered It!

  18. Em says:

    Trappist? Does Michael know how to make good fruitcake? ?

    Jeff at 1:50 pm… A beautiful hymn – powerful for these times! We should all be singing it. Solid Rock? indeed the real kind

  19. CM says:

    I thought Tr.appists were known for their liquid refreshments.

    A nice Trappist Bockbier in the either double or triple is truly one of the finest beverages ever made.

  20. The New Victor says:

    I’m so turned off my my church’s political advocacy. I’m debating switching to a smaller church here, one that champions the homeless, and this is a huge issue in the bay area. I flew back from Portland tonight and driving through downtown and off the beaten paths earlier (thanks to Google rerouting me from the 84 mess and through downtown and through outlying areas) I saw a few signs of it, but nothing like how bad it is in San Jose, for example. There is a huge issue here. All over the place. I think: I can help. How do I help?

  21. Em says:

    It troubles me that the administration trumpets they’re creating jobs – a good thing – when those jobs won’t pay enough to put a roof over your head… I see the opposition just lurking, waiting to make the homeless an issue in 2020… In the meantime? … well… here’s a tarp… Political chicanery is, swiftly, destroying us
    Our great grandparents might label this a depression? Up here about 90 years ago they camped above the tide flats and dug clams to survive… can’t do that now… the ground is occupied by statement houses…
    A stratified society may be normal and work until the privileged, the elites, get complete power… The Church should pray for wisdom… among other things …. IMHO

  22. Michael says:

    We just had someone freeze to death…we don’t want to solve the problem, we just want it to move away…

  23. Em says:

    I grew up in a neighborhood of mostly elderly retired people in big old craftsman style houses… It wasn’t unusual or looked down on to rent a room to someone who couldn’t afford an apartment… Do people still do that? I realize that increased drug use complicates things …. But …?….
    What if church folk volunteered to modify homes so that an unused room could be given an outside entrance, a bath and the church served as a clearing house for tenants? Just a thot, maybe not a good one … dunno … Maybe not doable in an era saturated with ACLU lawyers… ❓

  24. Jerod says:

    Out in LA they’re trying to push housing the homeless on residential properties. The two biggest problems with that are that
    1. In my area homelessness and alcoholism and/or drug use is majority of the time an irreducible complexity. Bigger towns will often drive homeless into our smaller community. As a result we have the worst crime rate in our county and it’s only getting worse. God allows the believer to take into account their personal safety when providing hospitality.

    2. People do not choose to live rightly simply because they are given new, cleaner environs than they were able to provide themselves due to their own life choices.

    3. The government should not be allowed to kick the can down the road to their constituents. They have squandered every tax hike while they tried to push rent control, legalized marijuana, are trying to push the homeless into the taxpayer’s personal privacy while raising property taxes.

  25. Em says:

    Once upon a time in a land far, far away…. ?
    Before the ACLU got in the act, if you couldn’t take care of yourself, you were institutionalized…
    One night my uncle was staying with us (Glendale, CA) and he couldn’t sleep, so he got up and went for a walk about midnight. The police picked him up. He hadn’t bothered to take his wallet and the doorbell rang about one in the morning.
    “This fella says he lives here. ..” He had to talk hard to convince the police to check before they took him to jail as a vagrant.
    Might not be the best approach, but…

  26. Jerod says:

    Well, yeah, the pendulum of intervention never stops in the middle. We can’t chuck every homeless person in an institution, but it isn’t legal to live on the street, either.

  27. Jerod says:

    Why exactly did the state take over that role from the church? Was it because the church was doing such an awful job?

  28. The New Victor says:

    I went through this with my mother. I got a lot of grief from people who thought I could fix her problem. Even when APS (Adult Protective Services) got involved, the social worker told me, “we can’t just take your mother from her property without due process, people have rights.” I heard the me mayor of San Francisco talking about altering Conservatorship laws. She said that there was a small but significant cohort of homeless on the streets of San Francisco who resisted or refused to take advantage of services, and that in many cases they knew who they were.

    As for the government, the city of San Jose charged an organization I sometimes volunteer with $3000 for a permit to feed the homeless on thanksgiving. They also raffle 2-3 new bicycles per event, hook people up with donated clothes and haircuts. When we left, all you could see was slightly trampled grass though we served over 150 people. The health inspector stopped by and forbade volunteers from carrying plates to tables, even with gloves, because it was unsanitary. I heard that there were elements in city hall that didn’t like that it was a Christian organization. We only did one more event on government property: the city library.

    In the last two years, the group has partnered with various local churches to hold the monthly events on church properties. When that isn’t possible, volunteers put together meals, sleeping bags and such, and visit any of the many camps around here.

    As for renting rooms for the quasi-homeless: my buddy in a foothill county inquired about converting their detached two car garage into an apartment. That county has a big problem and there are many people literally living in the woods in tents and campers parked illegally (As my mom and I were there in the 80s).

    He’s handy and could do a lot of the work himself, but they told him that just the permits would be $27,000. So out isn’t going to happen. He and his wife actually wanted to help people, not make money.

    Welcome to mobbed up California….

  29. Jerod says:

    But the gubbermint never misses an opportunity!

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