Things I Think…
1. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is confusing and tragic enough without dragging the Bible and eschatology into the fray…biblical Israel and the modern secular nation are two different things…
2. News came last week that an old friend and former employee died of Covid…he believed the Covid deniers and paid for it with his life…this will not move them…we are willing to die for our lies these days…it’s less painful than admitting error…
3. My county is only at about 40% vaccinated…the blue part at a much higher rate than the red…evidently, the virus has a vote…politicizing a public health crisis or baptizing one view of it is both stupid and dangerous, but this is the path we have chosen…
4. Things can never go back to the way they were because too many of us are no longer here…
5. I cannot help but wonder how all these sermons on “liberty” and “rights” would sound in the Chinese underground…
6.“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8–9 ESV)…and all Gods people said… we’ll do that right after we win…
7. When teaching through 1 Peter I’m struck by the fact that we’re expected to expend effort to become better than we are…don’t hear that preached much these days…
8. ““Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
(1 Peter 3:10–11 ESV)
This was my favorite lesson from last week…you have to chase peace down…it isn’t dropped on you from heaven. What are you pursuing?
9. A quick search reveals that we are also to pursue righteousness, love, and “things that make for peace”… good luck putting any butts in the seats with that…chase them down anyway…
10. Finally, I have to expend more effort myself…I saw two churches advertising services…one because a famous surfer was speaking, another because an old military guy would be in the pulpit…this is like getting medical advice from a famous farmer…I kid because I care…
#5-I grew up as a Christian hearing that Christians had “no rights” because we serve a God who is more about obedience than rights. Now, we have “rights” under the constitution, including the rights to refuse vaccination and die from COVID. I honestly do not understand it. And, Michael, I am so sorry about your friend….
I’m sorry as well because it was preventable…and in another day and age would have never happened…
People just can’t think these days for themselves in regards to COVID, vaccines, etc, but have to have some pundit think for them. A week or two ago a very intelligent co-worker went off on a 5-10 min loud rant in the office about vaccines, COVID, masks, Dr. Fauci (co-worker called him other names in this rant..very Christian of him to do so btw), and company policy. EVERYTHING this co-worker said sounded exactly like what you’d hear from Tucker Carlson, almost word for word.
Something about the last days believers won’t put up with sound doctrine/teachings. Apparently we need to be entertained by some person grabbing their 15 minutes of fame to learn (supposedly) about faith.
10…sounds familiar these days. No one wants to hear from experts anymore if said expert says something they don’t agree with. Waaaaahhhh…like the proverbial kid with his fingers in his ears…
The problem now is that opposing the vaccine has become a badge of fidelity to Christ and conservatism.
I have concerns about the vaccine…but the preponderance of evidence and sense seems to point to being vaccinated.
Therefore, I got the shot.
I was just over on Facebook…Franklin Graham is now considered a traitor and “deep state” because he advocated the shot.
And I did laugh…
Wow (about Franklin Graham)!
I wasn’t sure I wanted the vaccine, but considering my health and having a wife who I am sure wants me around, I got vaccinated also.
Yes, God will protect me, but not going to taunt him.
God is with me…but I also have to manage my medical conditions, take medication, and have surgery.
These ways of remaining alive are gifts…
my nurse daughter hears that the ugly strain of covid from India IS in the US and the vaccine will help….
If you think you’ve had covid (me) then the shot may not be safe… Wish it were better understood….
Another FWIW. Chairman Mao advised defeating us with germ warfare, rather than a shooting war…. I belong to the school of thought that says China let covid loose on purpose.. .
And did we financed the Wuhann lab? Dunno…. 🙆
Still praying – God keep
“The problem now is that opposing the vaccine has become a badge of fidelity to Christ and conservatism.”
As a conservative, that’s something I can’t wrap my head around.
A funny thing, in my office, it was the lefty millennials that refused to take it since it was “Trump’s vaccine”, and it took me and the other conservatives to finally convince them to take it. We’re still working on the last four.
I would realistically need to be categorized as Christian Zionist based on the average position I’ve held over my lifetime. It’s not that I abandoned my position, it’s more that things look different after a lifetime of observation.
There’s something I overlooked about CZ. The first stirring of a future prophetic Israel occurred in the London area circa 1800. Darby goes on his famous horse ride resulting in him laying the foundation of Dispensationalism, and a separation of Israel and the Church, in 1827. His encyclopedic sermon notes are published in 1866.
Dispensationism’s understanding of Israel was drawn from a modern European understanding of 2000 year old Bible stories. The concept of “jew” was just that, a concept not based on real jews. European society was highly segregated and historically excluded jews from normal society. Europeans would be largely ignorant of Jewish beliefs. All the prognostication of a future Israel was not accounting for an actual Jewish society in an actual State. It would be 1890’s before serious Zionist thinking began in Russia and spread to Western Europe.
Unanswered in my mind is why the conflict of Talmud and Kabbalah, with the Gospels and Epistles, have never been addressed by Evangelicals. Christian Zionism becomes a contradictory term when thought through.
#1 When I was a young evangelical and thought of the Middle East, all I could think of was Israel. All these years later, when I think of the Middle East I think of Palestinian Christians who have almost disappeared. I think of Syrian Christians who are on the brink of extinction. I think of Coptic Christians in Egypt who are persecuted and killed. I think of Jordanian Christians whose population has been decimated. I think of Marionite Christians in Lebanon who have suffered under Israeli invasion and civil war. I guess that I just have a different point of view…
Dr. Duane, what is the cause? Persecution or relocation or? ? ?
“Refusing the vaccine has become the badge of fidelity to Christ and conservatism.” So true, but it is sad that it has become so. My son-in-law has conservative Christian parents and I heard a puzzling comment from my daughter about her in-laws and the vaccine. Apparently her father-in-law wants to get the vaccine and his wife is staunchly opposed to the vaccine. They are both very dedicated Christians. He is now considering getting the vaccine and hiding it from his wife! It almost sounds funny but she is a diabetic who has to take medication for diabetes -that puts her in the high risk category for complications and death should she contract Covid. Indeed, he may be trying to protect her by getting the vaccine himself! Sadly, the vaccine is even coming between people and dividing them even if they are in the same marriage together!
In my old evangelical fellowship back in the late 70’s and early 80’s it was the Soviets/China vs the US over Israel with an all out nuclear war where billions of people would die. The number at one bible study was at least 3.4 billion in the bowl and plague judgements not counting how many God will fake out in heaven when they thought they were really saved and will be tossed down basically a trash shoot directly to hell in the presence of people in heaven. Some were truly excited at the possibility that they would return with Christ to wipe out who ever was left. It was exciting. Being the vile filth of a subhuman I am/was having that many people suffer, die, be resurrected into perfect bodies only to be tortured for all eternity bothered me, actually it made me sick. I was informed how much I hate Jesus and if I really loved these people I would not care if they die and go to hell it will bring glory to God.
Another reason I most likely am damned was I helped out with folks who had covid and struggling with money help etc. It was hard to watch people die, especially that way. I get I am trash trust me this last year I heard it all when trying to convince people covid is real.
This entire situation has broken my heart at the suffering, again a reason I am trash if I truly loved God I would not care. I dont get religion I really dont.
I’m diabetic and also have some other health issues.
Even if that was my only preexisting condition, I sure as hell would take the vaccine. I feel sorry for this lady.
Don’t understand why folks want to open themselves up to a world of unnecessary hurt.
Life is tough enough, as is. without making it even more difficult.
Just read that one of Pres. Biden’s top aides has a teenage son who’s dealing with long-term complications of covid. This virus is no respecter of anything.
I have to agree with Bob1 and others about why we try to make life so much more difficult. From what I have gotten from the true believers online is they feel it is part of the communist/socialist/fascism/antichrist/Chinese/democrat/BLM/Jesuit … etc conspiracy. Virus like most actually almost everything in life works along logical lines of physics, biology etc. We have answers, magic thinking is not helpful in this area.
You have a heart of gold.
One reason some folks are leaving religion, IMHO, is this one-sided fixation on punishment and vengeance.
You might enjoy this book.
brian, remember that the Word teaches that God takes no pleasure in the deaths of the wicked… like you, He knows hell is not a good place to end up God keep
Been watching CP to gauge the frequency of India covid stories. Finally have one..
120 priest die in 2 weeks. At least it’s a covid story, but triggered by the loss of priest, not the underlying virus that killed them.
When I think of the Middle East the first thing that pops into my head is Muslims and Islam.
With regard to vaccine and fundagelical craziness, my reaction is the same as old-timey actor Edward G. Robinson’s in the film Soylent Green, the scene where he weeps into his hands saying:
“How did we come to this?”
“SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE”
Still the best in Charlton Heston angst and over the top reaction is this one:
Watched that movie a few times as a kid (Planet of the Apes). That is pretty much the only scene I remember. Possibly the best plot twist/reveal of all time!
The ending that movie is iconic. Probably one of the best Simpsons reference to Planet of the Apes is below:
That’s great. You know The Simpson’s did a “Planet” musical episode, right?
CM and Dan from Georgia,
In all honesty, how did fundagelicalism get so far off the train tracks so to speak?
I got the PotA box set. I hadn’t seen the movies in decades, since I was a kid. The 3rd, 4th-6th movies are obvious commentaries about racism,very relevant of the times. The last movie is the weakest, IMO.
A 90s episode of the Simpsons had Dr.Zauis, set to the one hit wonder Rock Me Amedeus from the 80s.
That’s a hard question to answer. I think you could get 10 different answers from 10 people.
Are we believer’s listening to the wrong people? Have we been so ingrained with a distrust of science? Too much end-times speculation (books, conferences, etc)? Are WE being given over to delusion because we don’t seek God FIRST?
Dan and Muff,
Perhaps Mark Noll’s book “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” written in 1994 is one place to start. This was written over 25 years ago and was a clarion call back then. But no one apparently heeded the warnings. As a result, things have gotten _much_ worse.
Mark Noll wrote the article linked below in 2004 (10 years after his book) and the state of things then.
I wonder what he would write in 2021 (almost 30 years later than his book).
Thanks CM! I remember that book, but will have to check it out.
There are a number of what I would call “true prophets” out there who spoke of this mess way before it went really off the rails/jumped the shark. One was Michael Spencer, whom many of here have heard of. He went Home a number of years ago, and his website is no longer available, but he also was a herald, so to speak, of our mess and messed-up priorities.
These genuine prophets don’t tickle the ears of those who wish to have the Church go their way.
The New Victor,
That is the Simpson’s episode I was referring to! Thanks!
Dan and TNV,
The name of Planet of the Apes musical episode was “A Fish Called Selma” featuring Troy McClure in the lead role in the musical. Troy McClure of course was voiced as always by the late Phil Hartman:
“this is like getting medical advice from a famous farmer…”
“I was just over on Facebook…Franklin Graham is now considered a traitor and “deep state” because he advocated the shot.”
“The problem now is that opposing the vaccine has become a badge of fidelity to Christ and conservatism.”
And we wonder how we got here? SMH
It is simple. We have gone from “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” in Mark Noll’s 1994 book to “The Tragedy of No Evangelical Mind” in 25 short years. AND WE HAVE STILL NOT REACHED THE BOTTOM….
And evangelical in the US wonder why the “Nones” and the “Dones” are increasing in numbers? And they wonder why more and more Gen Xers, Millennials, and Zoomers want NOTHING to do with Christianity (especially those with STEM backgrounds/interests).
Isaac Asimov was right when he said this:
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
And the Evangelical Church has that in spades.
great quote of Asimov’s