Things I Think…

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114 Responses

  1. Greg T Enright says:

    please pray for the sexually abused girls at Applegate Christian Fellowship at the hands of Ben Courson, and the ongoing coverup being led by Jon Courson and others.

    Praise God that our Lord Jesus is on the throne and He will not be mocked

    Merry Christmas

  2. Em says:

    Good ponders all Michael, good things to think on……. 🙆
    IMNSHO

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    Well put all the above Michael. I can’t stand it when some groups or individuals act as the gatekeeper of who’s in or out. Some were up in arms over Hank Hannegraf becoming Orthodox (?).

    Because of my work schedule on the 24th and 25th wife and I may go to a midnight Mass. I know we won’t be able to partake of Communion, but I need some kind of contemplative Christmas.

    A special amen to #7! In these days of constant disappointment, I am learning that peace in my mind and heart don’t come automatically.

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    one more note about your #10: and not just for Advent, but for all time. I wish we as a Body of believers would lay aside our grandstanding, posturing, and anger about vaccines, race, voting, etc, and look more humbly towards Jesus. Then maybe we won’t hate and revile each other so much?

    That includes me too!

  5. Michael says:

    Thanks Em…thanks, Dan…these things are increasingly harder to write, but hopefully, there’s some value here…

  6. sarahmorgan says:

    I seriously wish there were an Anglican church near where I live so that I could attend; the one I have the good fortune to attend when visiting a distant friend has been the only church I’ve been in within the last 10 years that doesn’t give me panic attacks or put me on high alert for encounters with “mean Christians” as soon as I cross the threshhold. The nearest one that I can find is over 100 miles away.

  7. Michael says:

    sarahmorgan,

    That’s a hard situation…and not all Anglican churches are safe, either.
    I wish I had answers for this …but I don’t.

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    I was a cradle Lutheran but spent 26 years among the Southern Baptist they taught me to love Jesus, his church, the bible, missions, the family, christian education, widows, orphans, and pretty much every other good thing you can think of. They also taught me to fight those who don’t think the ‘right’ way. So there’s that. When Chuck Colson left the Episcopals for the Baptist some wag noted that the academic standing of both organizations was increased. Something of the moral goodness of both groups may have been improved this time… oh I know the Anglicans and Episcopals have their own dustups.

    Beth Moore was nearly untouchable but alas she transgressed. Al Mohler might be next he is on the horns of his own dilemma …

    The world can take comfort from the fact that I’m no longer in business … it heartens me some too.

    The world has been hit with another great flood … the fountains of the great deep are whelming us again. Perhaps another sign will brighten the sky when it is all over and another 8 souls can begin again.

    Perhaps not …

    Harvest is past summer has gone and we are still lost.

    And yet a child is born a son is given …

    something may come forth yet

  9. bob1 says:

    I think I read that the first time Beth Moore experienced the Anglican liturgy, she was pretty moved by it.

    Not a unique experience, I’m sure.

  10. Linn says:

    Dan from Georgia,
    My step-dad was Catholic. Out of respect (we had mutual respect for our different flavors of Christianity) I attended Midnight Mass with him if I was in town. I always found it beautiful and moving. I heartily recommend your attendance!

  11. LInn says:

    Beth Moore was never my style (presentation more than content), but I really respected her for the way she was able to craft Bible studies that were accessible to all women. I am beginning to think that the SBC will eventually implode as it continues to devour its own. What they are doing to Moore is really despicable.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    I’ve read a number of the scurrilous reports of Beth Moore’s defection to Anglicanism. Beyond the sheer vitriol and hatred, I am astounded by the open display of ignorance concerning historic Anglicanism on the part of the writers. Have these people ever opened a book in their lives?

  13. Xenia says:

    It is hard to believe that some “Christians” prefer Donald Trump over Beth Moore. If anyone reading this thinks it was fantastic that Trump gave a heretical “Christmas message” in Dallas yet decries Beth Moore for reading Sunday’s Scripture out loud in her new church, you might want to ask yourself if you are still in the faith.

  14. Greg t Enright says:

    your kidding me right now……right

  15. Michael says:

    Xenia,
    At the very least, they have a heretical understanding of the faith…

  16. bob1 says:

    Have these people ever opened a book in their lives?

    Duane,

    Fair question. Sad to say.

  17. Michael says:

    Duane,

    We know the answer to that…and it dawned on me this morning that there is a strong oral tradition in place that maintains these notions…

  18. Michael says:

    Greg t Enright,

    None of us are kidding…that stuff doesn’t belong in the house of the Lord…

  19. Muff Potter says:

    Well said Xenia, well said (@ 1:06 pm).

  20. pstrmike says:

    Dread,

    I don’t understand your comment about Moher . As you probably know, he ran for SBC president last summer and was defeated. He also signed a statement along with all the other SBC seminary presidents condemning CRT as incompatible with the BFM. I tend to think he’s a bit too traditional for helping cast a future vision for the SBC.

  21. Linnea says:

    I was raised an occasional Methodist, and when I got saved, that’s where I went first. It didn’t take long to abandon Methodism, and I went to Calvary Chapel Saturday nights, the first service of a local charismatic church Sunday morning, followed by the last service of a Baptist church. I had a tremendous hunger for the Word and fellowship.

    Since then, my husband and I have tried on for size and served in numerous non-denominational churches, Anglican churches (twice), have attended Catholic masses when visiting cousins, and now attend a Spirit and Word church (hat tip to Dread – we miss you and your precious wife terribly).

    Once you know the Lord and how he works, you see him in every liturgy, every remembrance, every teaching of the Word, every communion, in every beauty in nature and kindness. Does it matter where we worship Him? Don’t the rocks cry out?

    You may have your preferences and they may change during your walk as Holy Spirit guides you through sanctification. Follow the Lord where he leads.

    We all have different paths and lessons to learn, and I’m thankful that God optimizes my walk with him.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    If it is an oral tradition, it has the theological depth of a Chick tract…

  23. pstrmike says:

    ” you might want to ask yourself if you are still in the faith.”

    I ask myself that question—about myself and others—often. Sometimes I think we are all in the faith, other times, I think non of us are. Both views are probably wrong. The inconsistencies of our orthopraxy both comfort and bewilder me. I give little credence to either mine and other’s ability to determine who is in and who is out.

  24. Em says:

    I’ve been subject to extreme hostility by Roman Catholics neighbors and relatives (some, not all as I have been respected by both nuns, priests and Bishops ), United Methodists and Lutherans. A neighbor (a Bible Study Fellowship leader) who knew I was a Christian called me a liar when I asked her why they were tearing my fence down. This even though I explained that we put it one foot inside our boundary line when the survey stakes were still in the ground. We let them claim one linear foot of our land – seemed more Christian than an argument. Give them your cloak also…… errr something.

  25. Babylon's Dread says:

    Mike

    Mohler was a leader in the conservative takeover of the SBC. Now he is the establishment and finds himself under fire. Most of what I know centers around the dilemma he is in over CRT. Mohler has repeatedly asserted that the “stain of racism” is upon the SBC due to its history of formation in 1845 over issues of preserving slavery. The use of “stain” presents the problem of a matter that cannot be removed or resolved. To believe it is removed is to risk the charge of ongoing racism. Forgiveness is not a possibility in CRT so to partner with the idea of a stain is to embrace CRT. To renounce CRT is to be a racist by definition.

    Mohler must live in a constant state of sin and constantly be seeking an absolution that no one can grant. Mohler has tried to thread the needle. He’s retained professors who indeed follow CRT viewpoints — he cannot afford to fire black professors lest he renew the moniker of racism.

    So the SBC tried to use their resolution system to solve the matter. There too they tried to thread a needle that cannot be achieved.

    Bottom line … to renounce CRT is to be guilty of sin and to maintain CRT is to embrace a viewpoint and tools that want to destroy the faith. So he’s toast and so is the convention… as noted they have many problems and none get solved. They just get worse.

    I mean even here to be white conservative and evangelical is anathema … that’s a pretty large constituency in SBC

  26. pstrmike says:

    ” even here to be white conservative and evangelical is anathema … that’s a pretty large constituency in SBC”

    Such has been my experience in certain circles as well. But then again, there is conservative, and there is conservative……. thanks

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    It should be pointed out that you are using your own definitions/opinions concerning CRT. There are other points of view of this 40 year old academic theory.

  28. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    Well said…

  29. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I have no issues with whites, conservatives, or evangelicals as descriptors.
    Those who would adopt those labels who fall inside historic orthodoxy will be considered brethren here.

    The problems begin with further definitions.

    White, conservative, evangelicals are most prone to Christian nationalism and equating certain political stances with the favor of God.

    That is where the issues start, not with the basic identifiers you have posited…

  30. Michael says:

    There is no biblical or historical justification for adding the modifiers “conservative” or “liberal” to the word evangelical…or for adding any political identifiers to theological descriptors.

  31. Dread says:

    I am white by birth
    Evangelical by rebirth
    And conservative by conviction

    But all that matters is knowing Christ and being found in him.

  32. Michael says:

    “But all that matters is knowing Christ and being found in him.”

    Amen.
    How do we spread that word?

  33. pstrmike says:

    Michael,
    AS you know, those modifiers are well used in theological contexts. I don’t feel that we need either biblical or historical—although I think there are enough historical uses—to further identify a particular position or epistemological construct. Important to remember that the New Testament conveyed what some believe to be one faith (belief system) while others will contend that the different New Testament writers put their own spin on their works. It then becomes our task through means of a hermeneutic—that I believe are all socially and environmentally influenced—to determine what the Scripture means. Hence, the necessity of qualifiers, or if you will, modifiers.

    As you know, the seminary I received my doctorate from was considered by some as “liberal.” They themselves identified as “moderate.” All these mean different things to different people, but they are at least helpful in the attempt to establish some type of benchmark for discussion.

  34. Dread says:

    I don’t think there are ears to hear.

  35. Dread says:

    Mike

    What school?

  36. Rick says:

    I am glad Beth Moore has found a home in an Anglican Church. I am Anglican at heart; I love the liturgy and I love that they seem the least angry of denominational systems with which I am familiar.

  37. Kevin H says:

    Looks like Rebecca Hopkins is inheriting the Phoenix Preacher crown.

    I hope she likes cats. 🙂

  38. pstrmike says:

    Dread,

    pstrmike@gmaildotcom

  39. Officerhoppy says:

    Two things I learn from luke 2 and the arrival of the Messiah:
    From Caesar and the Roman Empire—God is bigger than the government.And from Joseph—God is there even when you don’t see Him.

    Without knowing it, the great and mighty Caesar was merely a tool in the hands of God to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy.

    Jospeh took his pregnant wife on a 70 90 mile trip so Jesus could be born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of scripture. There was no hospital, and no rooms available. I wonder if he thought, “where is God? If this is His plan it’s not going the way I thought it would go. If this is hasty he planned you’d think God would make it easy to do. All doors would just open to me. But they didn’t . Truth I learn is God is involved in your story whether you see it or not.

    This Christmas, I thank God for Beth Moore. I pray for the current administration, and I am even praying for Jon and Ben Courson (and that’s big because I bore 20 years of bitterness toward Jon—but I’m tired of being pissed off all the time. I have to believe that God is bigger than the Courson’s, ACF, Nancy Pelosi, and he can even use evil people to accomplish his goal).

    Just sayin…

  40. pstrmike says:

    Dread ,

    Make that pstrmike01Atgmaildotcom

  41. Em says:

    If you were pregnant and rode 70+ miles on a donkey, you’d probably give birth also…🙆
    Someone has said, “God moves in mysterious ways…”

  42. A CC Pastor (barely) says:

    If history is any guide, Don McClure will remain silent (“trusting the Lord to defend”) on this one until it blows over, then it will be business as usual… sigh 😔

  43. Officerhoppy says:

    CC Pastor
    Having been a CC pastor for 20 years, I’ve learned not to expect much from their leadership. I stopped attending pastor’s conferences years ago, and was a CC in name only. I established a form of governance that was different than the typical CC model. At this point, it is really no advantage to identify as a CC. The movement is ad relevant as 8 track tapes.

  44. JD says:

    I recently learned that my late mother’s Lutheran Church considers my wife to be a member, even though she only visited a couple of times years ago with me. I am not a member. Weird, huh?

  45. josh hamrick says:

    I don’t wanna jump back in, but Dread is blowing my dog whistle 🙂

    Needless to say, I think Dread is wrong in his assessment of CRT, Southern Seminary, and Mohler. Mohler came out in support of Trump. The Sbc is happy with him. Those who spoke against Trump (Rusell Moore, Beth Moore) are having to leave. We’re not nearly as progressive as you give us credit for. If CRT is a problem in the SBC, (I don’t think it is), Is ay we deal with it after we deal with the blatant racism, which is still a huge problem.

    pstmike, can I sort of apologize for yesterday? I do think you misread the conversation and spoke out of turn, so to speak. I was already a little worked up, so that got on my nerves. I wasn’t kind to you, and I am sorry for that.

  46. Dread says:

    Supporting Trump does not mean Mohler is not on the horns of a dilemma by his own choices. I didn’t say he’s in trouble or danger of leaving. I said he is now the object of controversy whereas he began as the antagonist of such controversy.

    I don’t know if CRT is in the seminary though the evidence I have seen suggests it is. I DO know that the attempts to assuage that matter via resolutions has only exacerbated the matter.

    Racism was indeed always a problem in the SBC but I think it less than ever even as it is less than ever in our culture. The church largely reflects that public.

    I knew the whistle was blown

    I definitely am not inerrant in my knowledge of the matter.

  47. Dread says:

    Why don’t you give us a primer on resolution 9 of 2019.

    That was the blade that cut the vein.

  48. pstrmike says:

    Hi Josh,
    Apology accepted…. sort of (I’m kidding). You and I are on the same team. That’s a given. And not because we are both SBC. Most of us who read and comment here are on that team.

    Perhaps at a later date we could talk some about CRT. It is the theory that drives some of this, and a point of contention within the convention. I think Dread is right concerning the SBC, with its thin line that may become impossible to walk…

    We elected a moderate as president and did not undue Resolution 9, acknowledging CRT as “a useful tool” that passed in Birmingham in 2019. But, I think it’s far from over…… Much wisdom and humility will be needed.

  49. josh hamrick says:

    Resolution 9 was useless. I would have simply voted against it because terms were undefined. Since we have very few black people, and the resolution was presented by one of those few, I think the people in the room felt like they would be racist for voting against it. I think most were like me, did not know what it was, and should have had it officially clarified before passing the resolution.
    It does seem to have opened a can of worms, because now they find themselves with the dilemma you pointed out. Overturn the resolution by the one black guy, and you are racist, run with CRT, and who knows.
    The other thing is that now every discussion of race is CRT, which is a shame because we seemed to be making strides towards erasing some of our shameful history. Now those strides are viewed as CRT.
    It is one of the many things that has me so perplexed right now. Just seems like such an unnecessary distraction.

  50. josh hamrick says:

    If Ed Litton is a moderate, that definition has drastically changed since the 90’s.

  51. josh hamrick says:

    That being said, I don’t know Ed Litton, and don’t have the energy to condemn or defend him. Sorry I piped up on that one.

  52. A CC Pastor (barely) says:

    Officerhoppy,
    Agreed… there is no value/benefit to being “associated” w CCA (at least for us). Knowing the level of leadership McClure holds within the association is a telling indicator that integrity, Godly character and prioritization of the Kingdom of God (over tribal culture), are of low priority. It’s unfortunate yet, true.

  53. pstrmike says:

    A CC Pastor (barely),

    We decided to leave CCA about 4 years ago. We probably saw the same issues, and I could not ignore them. There wasn’t any recognizable mechanism to address my concerns, and I felt that I would not have been heard anyway. Another CC pastor I know did address his concerns, and he was told that if he felt that way, it was better for him to leave. So, I took the counsel he was given and applied it to us.

    I also no longer accept pre-trib as the only possibility for end-time fulfillment, so it really was incumbent on me to leave. It was a good decision for us.

  54. A CC Pastor (barely) says:

    pstrmike,
    Weighing out, “pro’s vs con’s” the only, “pro’s” boiled down to friendships made over the years.

    We used a loose version of this below to help us asses it all:

    Conferences: these can be attended anywhere and through a variety of, “Kingdom-oriented “gospel-centered” communities. (The Gospel Coalition/Emotionally Healthy Leadership/etc). CCA’s stagnant lineup of “speakers” has felt like a fraternity of OG’s repeating the same “distinctives of CC” for years. To their credit CGN appears to have broken out of the inbred status which CCA has been locked into.

    Content:
    CCA’s content has been more focused on an ideology of, “faithfulness to the teachings/ways of Chuck”, over a theology of Jesus.

  55. A CC Pastor (barely) says:

    … continued

    Culture:
    Tribalism IS problematic. The culture in CCA has been, and is currently one where something akin to amnesia (at best) or arrogance (at worst) has insulated its leaders from the width/breadth of the historic universal Church, generating a suspicion toward those beyond the CC tribe.

    The CCA leadership has often stated that it is powerless to “interfere” with other CC’s polity or problems.

    This at best, is dishonest.

    These same leaders will steadfastly drive out a pastor they suspect of edging toward reformed teachings or calling out one who has questioned dispensationalism (pre-trib/pre-mil rapture), and rigorously practice silence when scandalous behavior has been revealed of one of its token pastors.

    Character:
    Phoenix Preacher has done a thorough job chronicling the quality of character at the center of CCA. When self-preservation, empire building, or brand protection becomes the driving motivation instead of, “take up you cross and die”, while prioritizing His Kingdom, you can be certain, character will degenerate into corruption.

    The beauty is, there is hope for all, as Jesus has equipped his Church with self corrective measures. Should humility, repentance, and confession be rightly employed then, instead of being a community perpetuating hurt/grief, can actually become a community that brings healing.

  56. Dread says:

    Josh makes the point – a partially good one – that CRT obscures the real issues of race. In one way he’s correct Critical Theory is the wedge – race is the hammer. But the hammer changes. Race is a proxy. Critical Theorists are obsessed with power transfer.

    Power transfer is far more accomplished than we think. The case of the swimmer at Princeton proves it. A man is swimming against women beats them by obscene margins and everyone is cowed to silence. 100 years of feminist press to mark out a space for women is dashed by a spirit of intimidation.

    Consider listening to Abigail Shrier on Honestly podcast. Her speech at Princeton – which was forced off campus – decisive. However the public power is on the side of the masquerading man.

    That is Critical Theory in practice. The race applications are so pervasive that Josh can plead ignorance while being fully discipled. I’m not accusing deceit. I’m demonstrating that the matter is done.

    Justice gives way to transfer of power. Because power doesn’t give a damn about justice. And some Christians are as easily deceived by empathy into endorsing the power shift as the rabble at FBC were deceived last Sunday into endorsing incipient nationalism.

    Madness Dread

  57. Michael says:

    CRT is the newest version of “border issues”.

    Nobody understands it but everyone has an opinion on it.

    The far left uses it as a hammer for it’s agenda and the far right does too.

    The far left claims everyone is a racist, the far right claims no one ever was.

    It’s a perfect, unsolvable , construction and thus will be a money making mother bleeper for years to come…and that is all it is or will be…

    Many of these social issues at the university level will be fixed when the fragile little darlings have to leave the campus and find out that real life doesn’t give a damn about their sensitivities …and they will all go on social media and whine until they ruin themselves or decide to deal with life as it is.

    CRT is also a perfect hiding place for those in power…and power in this country does have a lot to do with race and wealth…and arguing over an arcane theory will keep it that way.

  58. Steve says:

    Amen Dread. As I am still learning, what is the intersection between CRT and black liberation theology? It seems that CRT is focused in the legal sphere where as black liberation theology is focused on faith communities. But they seem to be closely related. CRT can and has influenced all of our civil institions and is now becoming main stream in many churches. Does black liberation theology put spirituals overtones and narrative towards the broader secular goal of critical theory? Or is critical theory itself religious?

  59. Duane Arnold says:

    CRT is certainly being used as a wedge issue… here.

  60. Michael says:

    CRT is not becoming mainstream in many churches.

    That’s funny…half the pastors out there couldn’t pass a basic theology test, yet alone embrace a diverse and complicated academic tool like CRT.

    What is happening is that we are all becoming aware that racial injustice still exists and we’re wrestling with ways to address it.

    The far left has utilized the university system to promote stupid stuff they will renounce in ten years if they want to be able to buy rolling papers.

    What else is happening is the right has found a boogeyman to scare the white off some people and they are acting like the house is one fire…”there’s an invasion on the border!!!!!”

  61. Michael says:

    I sympathize with some of Dreads concerns.
    I don’t like the fact that people who believe in basic biology will be silenced.
    I don’t like “former” males competing in female sports …and my cure for that confusion is less than Christ like.

    Perhaps if we clean our own filthy house we will again have the moral authority to speak and be heard…if not, the the end of some matters is in Romans 1…

  62. Dread says:

    Michael

    None of that addresses what I actually said. All of it was a “nothing to see here” critique.

    I demonstrated how it’s working with the Princeton case – I don’t care about the arcane issues. My concern is ground level.

  63. Linn says:

    CRT reminds me of how the term “Communist” was thrown around in the 50s and 60s. If your thoughts on politics didn’t fit the standard white Republican narrative, you were a Communist. Now you’re a CRTer , even if you don’t know what it means.

  64. Dread says:

    I posted without seeing Michael’s last comment. That helps

  65. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Exactly…

  66. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    Exactly… Only now, instead of “Red baiting” it is a new version of “race baiting”…

  67. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I see how it’s working right here in the university community.

    For me, there’s nothing much to see…because I know it’s doomed to failure.

    My concern is that the fact that we really do have racial and class sins to deal with is being obscured by a bunch of kids playing with matches…

  68. Michael says:

    As I said CRT is being used to obfuscate real issues, the same way the right obfuscates border issues.

    We can’t have immigration reform because a random migrant committed a heinous crime somewhere.

    Now, It’s we can’t address racial issues because “CRT”!

    It’s effective…

  69. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    It is effective, but given the evidence of history, it is also intellectually dishonest.

  70. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I will also confess I should be much more offended than I am about the chilling of intellectual debate and social intercourse.

    It’s dangerous and will lead to untold mischief before it’s protagonists find that their utopia is a burning garbage pile.

  71. Dread says:

    Doomed to failure — always

    You can live in hell a long time before it fails

  72. Michael says:

    Dread,

    The assumption by some is that the radicals have the power to take the whole system down.

    I don’t believe that.

    I believe they can and will make a hell of a mess of some important things and fail miserably.

    I’m much more concerned about people who’s answer to this is totalitarianism from the other side…they have a chance of success…

  73. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I think almost all political intercourse in this country is dishonest.

    The left denies biology and the right denies history…it is all a fetid stew…

  74. Nathan Priddis says:

    I am not threatened by individuals feeling confused and uncomfortable with the junk in their pants. If they choose to lop it off, it’s their choice. It’s their junk. I certainly don’t see civilization as we know it, to come crashing down.

    When Christ alluded to cutting things off that offended…I kinda think he WASN’T referring to genitalia. But, neither do I see it as a crisis if some take that route.

    Growing up in religiously conservative schools, I recall the regular hellfire chapels. God was mad..we where bad. Sex officially did not exist. It was only a mythal word, forbidden to be spoken.

    Now comes an era of significant a-sexuality, declining fertility rates and marriage, and many rendering themselves permanently unable to perform standard sexual functions. You would think Conservative Evangelicals would be overjoyed.

  75. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    I don’t have the background to address issues of biology/sexuality. All I could offer would be opinions, likely informed by my own presuppositions and prejudices. History and the denial of history is a different matter. Facts are stubborn things and do not yield easily to presuppositions and prejudice, no matter how vociferously they are put forward…

  76. Em says:

    Michael @8:49
    Good comment!
    My hope lies in what is described in Psalm 94

    Dec. 22 – 64 years ago this was my wedding day….. I lost my husband to AML in 2008 Time does fly🙆. BUT it seems slow up here in these snow covered mountains…

    Have a blessed Saturday to all who visit Michael’s website here

  77. pstrmike says:

    “You can live in hell a long time before it fails”

    Yep. Based on who I talk to, their assessment is that it has been that way for a long time.

    This is a good discussion. CRT is about power. The problem with power is that too many don’t know how to steward it properly —isn’t that right, barely CC? The problem is our inability to use power well.

    Whether CRT is the wedge and race the hammer (good analogy), or CRT is the new, more powerful air compressor that powers the jack hammer of race (I like that analogy too), I found it interesting that in my work five years ago at a social justice school, no one ever mentioned CRT, at least not to my recollection. If Josh is right, it seems someone slipped this into the 2019 convention and hence the shitstorm reactions have been occurring ever since.

    A CC Pastor (barely),
    Looks like you guys have done some good work reading the times, thanks for posting. We are still CGN, although I live in a semi-remote area, and don’t get out much. Not sure our CGN affiliation does us or them again good. I still have a few friends in Calvary, and there are guys that I actually like in CC but find it difficult to fellowship with. We are on two different wave lengths. We tried being completely independent for a season, that had more minus than pluses so we became a cooperating church with the local SBC convention, which was the church I grew up in before CC. Would be happy to connect and hear more from you. pstrmike01ATgmaildotcom.

    I would love to spend more time on this subject with all of you, but my schedule is getting increasingly tight this week. Y’all have a Merry Christmas.

  78. Steve says:

    The left denies biology and the right denies history…it is all a fetid stew…
    ______________

    The left doesn’t technically deny biology, they just believe they have the power to change it, manipulate it, transform it, interpret it and transcend it and when it comes to history they are masters of turning simple biology into evolutionary biology which is really their overarching understanding of world history.

  79. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’m not a supporter of either side…the mistake here is in believing one side is holier than the other.

    I’m only concerned with theological applications …and there are theological traditions and Scripture to inform us about both race and sexuality.

    Neither political party exemplifies either…

  80. Michael says:

    The church has to separate from left and right and just be faithful to the moral teachings of Scripture and tradition.

    American politics is a sewer …we need to regain the moral authority to call out all the effluvia…

  81. Steve says:

    Michael,

    I don’t get too bent out of shape with boys becoming girls and vice versa. At least they are still human. I’m curious why there seems to be little discussion about things like humanized mice in the laboratory for research. Probably ongoing research for covid vaccines among other applications. This kind of stuff is more prevalent and concerning to me from a theological perspective than anything else. What happens when scientists start crossing humans with animal species, how do we treat them? Are they human or animal?

  82. Michael says:

    “I’m curious why there seems to be little discussion about things like humanized mice in the laboratory for research.”

    Because I couldn’t care less.

    I’m grateful for the Covid vaccines…they will probably save my life and the lives of countless others.

    Humans were given brains by God and they use those brains to try to cure what ails us.
    This is a noble pursuit.

    The boundaries of our abilities to create or mess up creation are set by God and he will superintend the outcomes.

    Nuclear weapons scare me…but the same principle applies.

    When are Christians going to be as concerned about the deformation of their souls and the corporate church instead of this ephemera?

  83. Steve says:

    “The boundaries of our abilities to create or mess up creation are set by God and he will superintend the outcomes.”

    Michael this is a good perspective. Previously you talked about kids playing with matches when it comes to CRT in academia. I think you were spot on.

    Likewise, in science someone in a lab somewhere maybe responsible for playing with matches that unleashed covid on the world. This is certainly a believable possibility.

    I know God super intends it all, but in both cases kids are playing with matches. Matches in the hands of kids are always dangerous.

  84. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I have little room to care about such.
    My primary identification is as a Christian and my preoccupation is with the church.
    There are those inside with lighters…

  85. Steve says:

    Michael, I commend that. Those with lighters on the inside though need an accellerant. The accellerant comes from outside. It really is all the wordly ideologies coming into the church. They need each other to start the combustion. How do we put flame retardant on this?

  86. Dread says:

    I am not talking about junk in people’s pants. I’m talking about freedom and tyranny and its presence.

    All I get is yawning failure to perceive.

    I’m talking about a totalitarianism that is upon you already.

    When people are not free to speak opinions lest they suffer actual punitive injustice there is a real concern.

    The 50s and 60s communist threat was real but it lacked any cultural access. This stuff is rapidly becoming the dominant culture. This stuff has done the long march through our institutions. This stuff is murderous and far more concerning than Trump.

  87. Michael says:

    Steve,

    With all due respect, that is nonsense.
    The amount of abuse and corruption in the local church is the real pandemic…and that has nothing to do with outside ideologies.

    The outside ideologies are carried in by people who don’t understand that they now represent a King and a kingdom and all the political institutions are beasts.

  88. Michael says:

    Dread,

    To a degree you’re right.
    Are you as concerned about the rights desire to rewrite history textbooks and accomplish the same thing?

  89. Xenia says:

    The accellerant comes from outside.<<<

    The accelerant comes from Satan. If we have not been mindful of God's truth, we are sitting ducks.

  90. Michael says:

    While the far left has weaponized the universities, the far right is attempting to take over the school boards.

    Both will ruin all they touch…but what about our own house?

  91. Dread says:

    Michael

    The right has no hegemony in the schools at present. The rewrite of history is well underway. The NY Times gave Pulitzers to its authors.

    What specifically do you reference?

    Totalitarianism is demonic. But freedom may be worse — we certainly my make a good case for that. God knows. For me I will side with freedom since that’s the Gospel promise.

  92. Michael says:

    Dread,

    Neither does the left own all universities.
    The far right is making an organized attempt to take over school boards all over America…and they are finding success in doing so.
    In the South (Texas and Georgia at least) textbooks are being edited and slanted as badly as the 1619 project or whatever the hell it was called.

    If totalitarianism is demonic, it is so from either side…

    Freedom as we define it here is a blessing, but not a Gospel promise for now …that is over realized eschatology… 🙂

  93. Dread says:

    Wait — people show up at school board meetings and that’s the lesson you draw?

  94. Duane Arnold says:

    “For me I will side with freedom since that’s the Gospel promise.”

    In my Bible it is not speaking of political freedom… and, I might point out, Imperial Rome was not Madisonian democracy but the Church did well…

  95. Michael says:

    “Wait — people show up at school board meetings and that’s the lesson you draw?”

    I will have the grace to believe you are not being disingenuous here…it goes far beyond showing up…it is an organized movement to take over.
    Those people scare me as much as the ones you fear….

  96. Duane Arnold says:

    Actually, my New Testament says very little about political systems and/or culture wars…but it says a good deal about the Church…

  97. Dread says:

    Duane

    When I cite Gospel freedom I’m not confused as to what it is.

    Gospel freedom is the reason inside with all forms of true freedom.

    There is a freedom that enslaves —which is why I was not talking about a man’s self mutilation. Like Paul I’m happy for people to be idiots.

  98. Dread says:

    **I side not inside

  99. Duane Arnold says:

    That does not make sense, unless, as our Lutheran friends would say, you are confusing the two kingdoms. Our Lord said his kingdom was not of this world… the early Church understood that…

  100. Dread says:

    Duane

    Then let the totalitarians come

    And return to your solace

  101. Steve says:

    “The accelerant comes from Satan. If we have not been mindful of God’s truth, we are sitting ducks.”

    Xenia, exactly. Col 2:8 comes to mind. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”

  102. Steve says:

    “The amount of abuse and corruption in the local church is the real pandemic…and that has nothing to do with outside ideologies.”

    Michael, I respectfully disagree. I do believe all the abuse and corruption in church is real and I believe a lot of it has to do with worldly ideologies. It’s an ideology that says I’m entitled to be an abusive pastor because God anointed me. The ends justify the means because that is what our worldly ideology tells us. Churches model the corporate world because they are the movers and shakers and vision castors. It’s all wordly ideology disguised in religion.

  103. Duane Arnold says:

    Our problem is not some approaching secular apocalypse in which we fight culture wars and identify the “enemy” as the politics of the right or left. You simply cannot find that scenario in the New Testament. Our problem has much more to do with remembering to fulfill what it means to be Church and that is shown not by seeking secular power or influence but by the exercise of self-sacrificing love…

  104. Nathan Priddis says:

    Duane nails it here.

    The Church has the ability to alter it’s understanding of what it is. It’s self identity. It can turn aside to temperal objectives such as political power.

    But it can not do so and remain faithful to it’s original purpose. Alterations to the purpose of the Church will lead to confrontation with the God head. It will be an inevitable outcome.

  105. josh hamrick says:

    I will again assert that I am not a disciple of CRT. I am guilty of having black friends and family, reading MLK, Malcom X, and Ralph Ellison, and working hard to understand the divides in the churches for the past 27 years.

    I think guys like Dread have gone so far down that rabbit hole that no conversation on race issues could take place that he doesn’t hear through the grid of CRT. Honestly, that’s exactly the type of stuff I want to avoid. If there is a racial issue, I just want to discuss the elements of that issue without someone dismissing the whole thing because of some preconceived CRT slant, that doesn’t exist.

    Race is only 1 of a millions issues that I am bothered about right now, but I think its a good snapshot of my major complaint. There are real things we could be dealing with, but it takes hours and hours to defuse the already loaded code words that keep us from making any real progress. Its the same for race, politics, hermeneutics, theology. I’m starting to feel like I have PTSD from the CRT conversations. It sounds silly, but I’m serious. When it comes up, I’m immediately triggered. You can’t say love you black neighbor without 10 people objecting on the grounds of CRT.

    I know that’s not Dread’s intention here, and trust that his motives are pure. I still think he is way off base. Or maybe he is right on base, and I just don’t want anything to do with that base anymore.

  106. Officerhoppy says:

    IMO, the church in America has lost it’s bearings. Rather than live the kingdom that Jesus taught or build relationships with outsider so as to earn the right to be heard, we hunker down in our comfortable cloistered groups where we consume goods and services, learn to speak the same language, and sit around and wait until Jesus returns or we die—which ever comes first.

    We listen to sermons and nod our heads in agreement with what the teacher says yet do nothing about it. We should study the scriptures to know them then to do them. And when we do them, them we become or are transformed.

    Too many think that getting saved means sitting on our KJV donkey, watching and waiting, when it’s the beginning of an entirely new adventure.

    I was a pastor for 35 plus years and in church leadership for about 40.We talked a lot about church growth. We’d applauded ourselves when it happened. But a loser look told me that the people who came to my church were. Just transfers from other fellowships. They’d consumed all the goods and services of their former church, were bored and decided to consume ours because they were better or newer.

    I got frustrated with spending 20 -30 hours a week in prep for a study or a sermon and seeing no results or impact.

    So I decided to go outside the Evangelical ghetto and do what I like to do.Play music in bars, wineries and pubs. I’ll have a beer with them or a glass of wine and develop relationships with them. I ha e a small group of people who join me at gigs for the purpose of inviting people to their table or what ever not to ambush them with the 4 spiritual laws on them but converse with them and develop relations with them and listen to them.

    It’s not an efficient means of sharing Christ—we can’t count the number of people who “came forward” or were “baptized” but it’s effective.

  107. Dread says:

    Having never once seized secular power I am oblivious to your blathering.

    I’m interested in people with courage to say no to the powers while they are devouring children. Therein giving our self to their scorn and their evil backlash. Standing up is exactly our business. The true work of the church will always have us at odds with the powers. You always think you know me and not once have you got it right.

    You’re business is being as useless as Artemis’ busom and just as proud.

  108. Dread says:

    That rant was for the Augustinian

  109. Michael says:

    Dread,

    That… was uncalled for.
    Which powers are we to stand against?
    The ones devouring children…on the border?
    Probably not…because you’re only interested in keeping certain children from being devoured by certain things.
    The church doesn’t stand against the powers politically…it suffers and dies and receives the power of Christ to transform in return…

  110. Duane Arnold says:

    Well, at least one or two correct remarks… “oblivious” and “rant”.

  111. pstrmike says:

    ” I’m starting to feel like I have PTSD from the CRT conversations. It sounds silly, but I’m serious. When it comes up, I’m immediately triggered.”

    I believe it. That’s a sign you outta take a break.

    “You can’t say love you black neighbor without 10 people objecting on the grounds of CRT.”

    That’s a hyperbole based on your perception. But I recognize that’s all yah got.

    I contacted Michael and asked that he close commentary for a few days. Everybody is too damn raw and prickly. We cannot do our best work as a community under these conditions. I’m taking a break and getting back to Advent. Unless of course I can get hoppy and Duane to appreciate Counting Crows on the other thread…..

  112. Dread says:

    Someone said whoever saves one person saves the whole world.

    It will take us all Michael.

  113. Duane Arnold says:

    pstrmike

    Saw them four years ago live… met them back stage.

  114. Dread says:

    Oh and Josh

    Nothing about me is pure … but I mean what I say.

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