Things I Think…

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115 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    but isn’t it just as likely that no one knew exactly what the right thing to do was and they did what they did with the best intentions for the most people?<<<<

    This is what I have always thought. I myself don't really know what the right thing to do in in this situation and I waffle all over the place, as any attentive reader of my posts has probably noticed. It helps to think the best of everyone.

  2. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Particularly when the pandemic began…who was equipped to handle that?

    I have lots of questions and even some suspicions…but my guess is that most started with good intentions.

  3. Rob Murphy says:

    Some question as to motives two years ago, but to hold onto that, you’re being deliberately obtuse today. You have Johns Hopkins, med professionals, real investigative reporting and a literal tsunami of evidence that none of these measures have accomplished anything and that there’s rampant corruption, concealment and huge profiteering over all these measures that are costing literal lives and harming the most vulnerable and you go “eh, shrug, they meant well 530 days ago; eggs and omelettes, man’.
    And I’m the guy who said that the people who continue to contribute to the imposition of tyranny – no matter their paygrade or position – are jackboots and brownshirts.
    At some point, you cannot hide from the fact that pushing brooms or papers that make it easier for the higher ups to implement tyranny make tyranny easier. “I just follow orders” doesn’t work in Mei Lei or in the squad car or in the ER OR IN THE CHURCH BOARD ROOM!!. You used to know that. You used to say that. Now you say it’s political bias to say that and refuse to acknowledge it in your own words.
    Here’s the kind of reporting you used to do.
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/how-the-federal-government-used-evangelical-leaders-to-spread-covid-propaganda-to-churches
    You could have written that 10 years ago, and you used to rail against some of the chicanery of the people in that article and now you refuse to even see it. Is it possible that all that chicanery and corruption you used to preach against began with good intentions? Maybe, but with all the bodies and destruction, you RIGHTLY called it out. Now the same thing is happening and you shrug and blame mean, lazy people who won’t respond to truth …. while being unresponsive to truth right now.
    What happened, man?

  4. Kevin H says:

    Some of the OT prophets died without ever seeing the repentance and reform they appealed to for large chunks of their lifetimes, even up to the very time of their deaths.

    Despite their lack of “success”, they were faithfully carrying out what the Lord had called them to do.

  5. Xenia says:

    And I’m the guy who said that the people who continue to contribute to the imposition of tyranny – no matter their paygrade or position – are jackboots and brownshirts.<<<<

    And you will be accountable to God for saying this.

  6. Officerhoppy says:

    “It was no surprise to me that Trump was so popular among evangelicals…he was exactly the kind of sociopath that many had chosen as pastors”

    Me either. I’ve learned thru the years that the person who hold the office of president is a reflection of culture and it’s values rather than a shaper.

  7. Kevin H says:

    Rob Murphy,

    If my pastor called me a brownshirt or jackboot for following the orders of my employer and/or government and simply asking someone to put on a mask, outside of an abrupt apology and repentance, I would immediately be looking for another church that far more reflected the love of Christ and didn’t allow political values to so greatly skew that love.

  8. Xenia says:

    I think of all the crazy things I have read on this site over the past 20 years, this comparison of grocery clerks with brownshirts is the most egregious. In fact, it is evil.

  9. Michael says:

    Rob,

    “And I’m the guy who said that the people who continue to contribute to the imposition of tyranny – no matter their paygrade or position – are jackboots and brownshirts.”

    I didn’t call you out…but I probably should have.
    What a graceless thing to say about people who are simply trying to navigate this mess and make a living.

    What happened?

    Here’s what happened…whenever I wrote about someone I had to have proof.
    If I was wrong, I would get sued and worse…I would bring shame to the name of Christ by my actions.

    My proof had to hold up in court, not just the court of public opinion.

    Your “evidence” is met with conflicting “evidence”…and I barely know where to start sorting out what is truth.

    What I do know is that it’s not a faith issue and to use my platform to call out people trying to make a living…comparing them to Nazis…is a complete betrayal of the Gospel.

    This is shameful.

  10. Officerhoppy says:

    “ Some of the OT prophets died without ever seeing the repentance and reform they appealed to for large chunks of their lifetimes, even up to the very time of their deaths.”

    And neither will we, until Christ’s physical kingdom is established upon the earth. All I can control is my own life and my surroundings. And while I do my best to be Christ like and follow his teachings and example, I still fail and hurt and offend people.

  11. Linn says:

    Oh, Michael. I know a lot about kids, cats, and the Bible. And, I’m frustrated with the state of Christianity as we know it, too. I just keep coming back to Scripture and those Christians I know who are active in their churches/communities and haven’t swallowed the crazy-ade. I remember Elijah moaning about being the only faithful prophet, and God reminding him of the thousands who had not yet bowed the knee to Baal. We live in trying times, but the faithful are out there. And, God has promised to be faithful, always!

  12. Michael says:

    Linn,

    You are right, of course…but more and more every day I prefer the company of cats… 🙂

  13. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    Being retired and my wife working, i am enjoying the companionship of Pat Matheny, Lyle Mays and my dog Lucy who loves me unconditionally!

  14. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I hear you…

  15. Michael says:

    I’ve written here that I am opposed to vaccine mandates and I’ve questioned the veracity of the CDC for years.

    Mistakes made during the pandemic will affect us for another generation.

    I have a lot of questions and some suspicions as well.

    You won’t hear any of this in my church…it doesn’t belong there.

    I am dealing with a vaccine injury myself…but I would never discourage anyone from getting a shot that may save their lives or the lives of others.

    I have vaccinated and unvaccinated loved ones and they remain loved ones whatever they choose.

    Jesus knows all the details of what has happened…but He hasn’t shared that info with me…and He hasn’t given me a message for my church about it.

  16. Derek says:

    jackboots and brownshirts: I was just following orders.
    Also, jackboots and brownshirts: and I made up some of my own at the same time.

    They won’t listen to any evidence besides that which they have convinced themselves is true long ago, Rob. Go to a people who will listen, Rob. There are no open ears here and I have convinced more people in real life who can now trust the evidence of what they are now experiencing.

  17. Michael says:

    These jackboots and brownshirts were perhaps trying to protect themselves and others while keeping their jobs.
    Kind of a Christian thing to do…

  18. Josh the Baptist says:

    My daughter is a 90 pound, struggling college freshman who works in the lower end of food service.

    A-holes like Rob Murphy have made her life a living hell.

    I don’t take that kindly.

  19. Michael says:

    “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
    (Matthew 5:40–41 ESV)

    Was Jesus submitting to tyranny and expecting us to do likewise?

  20. Michael says:

    One of the reasons I didn’t call out Rob Murphy was because of what I believe I know about him.

    I believe he loves Jesus and I know he loves his family and his church.

    I don’t know how to put that together with this statement about clerks trying to survive a pandemic.

    I don’t know much anymore…

  21. bob1 says:

    Go to a people who will listen, Rob. There are no open ears here

    Yes, please. Now. Go.

  22. Michael says:

    bob1,

    We can shoo him off…but it won’t change anything.

    There are more who believe what he does than what we do…

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    I bet those SS troops make you wear pants when you go to their restaraunt too!

    Tyrants, I say!

  24. Derek says:

    Last week at work, one of my employees fell out sick. I helped her and got her to the nurse. As I took her to the nurse, I listened to her say how she felt. The symptoms were familiar and I told her it sounded like she had Covid. She was bewildered, she had done everything she had been told to do, masked, vaccinated and boosted. She did not really believe me. She is back this week, it was Covid. She was lucky, she is an older lady and not in great shape. I am glad she is okay. Don’t believe everything you are told about science. Most of the time people are just telling you to do what they read that someone else told them to do.
    Trying to micromanage a virus was about as successful as catching wind.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    “There are more who believe what he does than what we do…”

    Brainless, soulless, Christless Christianity.

    Have I said I want out?

  26. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I know people who are sitting at home right now trying to figure out how to make it after being ran out of retail.
    I hear your heart….

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    Derek – have you found someone who disagrees with what you just said? We all know that happens. Has nothing to do with being a jerk to fast-food workers.

  28. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The challenge is to leave and hang on to Jesus…

  29. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael- I think he left the building a while ago.

  30. Derek says:

    Bitterness abounds because John Hopkins proved masking and lockdowns never worked. In the end, churches were divided and you were on the side they divided for no good reason because you were wrong. The other side was right and you continue to be bitter at them?

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    You are so locked into whatever it is that you are talking about that you are incapable of even having a conversation anymore.

  32. Em says:

    Michael, keep doing what you’re doing on this web site. You ARE. giving devout Christians a website worth their time.
    Our Lord directed us to pray to the Father for deliverance from evil. We are no match for Satan, but we pray for deliverance from evil AND your website helps us do that ! ! !

  33. Michael says:

    Derek,

    This isn’t bitterness.
    There are studies that support masking…but I do think we did a lot of things wrong.
    We didn’t know they were wrong at the time…we were doing the best we could with the info we had.

  34. Xenia says:

    We know that people who have been vaxxed can get Covid. Everyone know this, it’s not a “gotcha” thing you can trot out to prove a point. But the fact that the lady was back at work and not dying in a hospital says there is benefit to getting vaxxed.

  35. Derek says:

    I only came here to defend Rob. I don’t really care what any of you think or what you ignore.
    Don’t let your faith be destroyed though when you were the one on the wrong side of an argument though.
    By all.

  36. Xenia says:

    I am so *$&%^$ tired of this conversation.

    We’ve decided, since there is no longer any good reason to avoid Covid as strenuously as we had the past year, to go back to church, take communion from the common spoon, and eat pirogis with the folks afterwards. We’ll wear masks and try to avoid too many mushy Russian-style embraces. We are no longer listening to reports and comments from either side. Be I do recognize non-Christian behavior when I see it….

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have no clue what Derek is even talking about.

  38. Everstudy says:

    “it just as likely that no one knew exactly what the right thing to do was and they did what they did with the best intentions for the most people?”

    I think this is how it was in the beginning. Even though at the time I thought the lockdowns were completely wrong, I worked from home for a few weeks.

    But I think, and this is my opinion, is that unelected bureaucrats suddenly found themselves with power, authority, and influence that they never had, and some ran with it, regardless of the longer term harm to the culture and economy.

    And then there was the completely different routes that states took to deal with it. I look at my home state and states were family and friends live, they’re out and about, maskless, and we’re dealing with vaccine and mask mandates, and there’s very little difference in the numbers.

    And the media is a whole other post…

    And as much as I think this whole thing has been handled wrong, I’ve been very purposeful in not taking it out on the workers, either at the store or the restaurant, and being especially respectful. I can’t imagine being a 20 something and having to deal with that.

  39. bob1 says:

    we were doing the best we could with the info we had.

    That’s right.

    Small wonder we tried lockdowns — the former pres., “girth, wind and liar.” shamefully caused the deaths of tens of thousands with his reckless and irresponsible behavior. Leadership? Don’t make me guffaw. It was the opposite.

    The JH study certainly doesn’t say we shouldn’t continue to mask up, for example, in high-risk situations. Lockdowns don’t work, but what works is following the advice of the medical experts — especially your doctor.

    I just read a piece in the NY Times about how omicron is causing a lot of danger for individuals with preexisting conditions. And the majority of Americans have at least one.

    Do not believe the Right. They are, and continue to be, harbingers of death and destruction.

  40. Em says:

    Calling anyone here a “jackboot” or a “brownshirt” shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the evil that Germany gave birth to….. IMNSHO! ! !

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    “I have no clue what Derek is even talking about.”

    That’s alright, neither does he…

  42. Michael says:

    bob1,

    It’s a huge mistake to make this a left or right dichotomy.
    There are things being done on both sides that defy sense…

  43. Kevin H says:

    It is amazing how people who previously blasted organizations like John Hopkins as, at best experts not to be trusted, and at worst part of the sinister conspiracy to control and conquer the world and to kill innocent people, suddenly trumpet them as having “proved” that masking and lockdowns don’t work. (And by the way, the study dealt with lockdowns, not masking.) Contrarily, one study like this gives evidence to a potential truth or outcome, but one study alone does not “prove” anything.

    Talk about confirmation bias: a previously maligned and condemned organization by the anti-vaxxers/anti-maskers/anti-COVID is suddenly help up as a beacon of truth and light after one group within the entire organization conducts one study which shows results that agree with one aspect of this entire pandemic that the anti-vaxxers/anti-maskers/anti-COVID people have espoused. Sheesh.

  44. Michael says:

    “And as much as I think this whole thing has been handled wrong, I’ve been very purposeful in not taking it out on the workers, either at the store or the restaurant, and being especially respectful”

    I make it a point to thank them for coming to work…because a lot of people aren’t…

  45. Michael says:

    The more I think about this the worse it gets.

    I simply can’t imagine standing in front of my congregation and saying that the kid next door who works at the 7-11 is a Nazi….knowing that many in my congregation would treat the kid as such.

    Indefensible.

  46. Officerhoppy says:

    Like X, I’m pretty tired of the whole covid conversation. While I won’t say a word either for or against vaccines or masks, I will say this—It’s disheartening and sad that it has created division between brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.

    I’ll say it again…Sad

  47. Officerhoppy says:

    The one word that I thinks describes Christian’s best is the word “Different”. Unfortunately, While we claim to walk to beat of a different drum, And claim allegiance to a different king and kingdom, we often times look and at no different than the culture around us.

    My comment has no one here in my sights. Just a general comment

  48. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    It is sad…the last five years have caused many divisions and ended many relationships…online and off.

  49. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    It is indefensible. It is evil as Xenia previously said.

    It is an allowance for political ideology, theory, and desires to take over the mission of the church.

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    Like 19 year olds in this country aren’t having enough trouble holding onto faith, angry “christians” show up at their work and accost them on a daily basis.

  51. bob1 says:

    It’s a huge mistake to make this a left or right dichotomy.
    There are things being done on both sides that defy sense…

    Yes, but they’re not equivalent. To value truth, facts and science is preferable to hyperbole, throwing sand in gears and causing confusion and chaos.

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think calling this a Johns Hopkins study is disingenuous. It is not a peer-reviewed study, but a survey of previous studies done by economists from Johns Hopkins. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value, just just quite “Johns Hopkins” proved kind of value. – Confirmation bias for sure.

    You can go to the Johns Hopkins medical page right now and see that they are still in the forefront of pushing vaccines and other measures to prevent the spread.

  53. Kevin H says:

    Some months ago, a Christian “friend” of mine went off on a rant on Facebook about how a girl at a pharmacy wouldn’t serve him until he put on a mask. He ranted about how he told her off about her ridiculousness and blindness in following what she was told to do.

    I asked him if he thinks she felt the love of Jesus from him. He responded that he spoke the “truth in love”.

    What a sad state of much of Jesus’ church.

  54. Michael says:

    bob1,

    There are scientific questions abounding now about the efficacy of vaccinating small children and teenagers…especially with the Moderna shot.

    What we have going on is that anything our side decides to do is fine…whether it’s giving shots to babies or calling clerks Nazis.
    We have to find some middle ground of sanity…

  55. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I don’t think that much of it is actually His church…most of what we see is a synchrity of faith and folk religion centered on American mythology.

  56. Xenia says:

    Told her “the truth in love.”>>>

    Except that’s not the kind of truth Jesus and St. Paul were talking about.

    I am of the opinion, as are the hierarches in our Russian church, that the vaccine itself has no spiritual significance, that is, it’s not the mark of the Beast, etc. I believe how we treat our neighbors during this crisis *IS* of great spiritual significance.

  57. Xenia says:

    So I would rather my blood be corrupted by the vaccine than my soul be corrupted by hatred.

  58. bob1 says:

    Michael, agreed.

  59. bob1 says:

    The JH study was purely an economic one. The lead author is a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute and contributor to National Review.

  60. Michael says:

    It’s amazing what a kind word can mean to workers in this season.

    I always thank them for showing up so the business can be open…because a lot of the businesses here aren’t.

    The mask mandate isn’t enforced here, though I wish it was…but I don’t accuse the bald faced ones of trying to murder me…

  61. bob1 says:

    but I don’t accuse the bald faced ones of trying to murder me…

    Yes.

    I think all of us could consider refraining from attributing motives to people when all we’re really doing is speculating. But we act like our convictions are “the truth.” Us sinners should know better!

    I think it was Luther who advocated, in modern terms, putting the best (not the doom and gloom worst) foot forward when regarding and speaking about our fellow human beings.

  62. DavidM says:

    Michael, a few weeks ago you said that “we are morons wearing academic caps, lovingly gazing into carnival mirrors”. That what this discussion looks like: people whose “research” about the pandemic consists largely of Googling articles and cherry-picking what appeals to them. You who know so much about what does and does not prove effective against COVID should either flash your medical credentials or run for public office or how about admitting that you know only what others have told you. There is no end to this chatter.

    Someone also recently said that we live in a “culture of mistrust”. That is the sad thing to me. I have always trusted the advice of the medical professionals in my life: MD, ophthalmologist, oral surgeon, dental professional, and more. They have never steered me wrong. But in this culture, who needs them? We are pseudo medical experts and we only listen to what we want to hear.

    It is actually a pandemic of mistrust. It began in earnest in around 2016!

  63. Michael says:

    DavidM,

    “It is actually a pandemic of mistrust. It began in earnest in around 2016!”

    Indeed …and I’m not sure there is a cure…

  64. Muff Potter says:

    I sense a disturbance in the force…

  65. Bob Sweat says:

    “It is actually a pandemic of mistrust. It began in earnest in around 2016!”

    I’m hoping there’s not a second coming in 2024.

  66. jtk says:

    I’ve ministered for YEARS, yet there still are a lot of unsaved people with a lot of unsavedness all around me.

    Miguelio, you shouldn’t judge the fruit EXCLUSIVELY the way you’ve stated.

    I don’t know how many clergy are on here, but many of us have been influenced positively by what you’ve written. And we’ve influenced others in that same direction.

    And many of us congregants have been likewise influenced and done influencing.

    Not that you’ll take that encouragement 😉

  67. Michael says:

    jtk,

    I appreciate that…even when I’m as cranky as I am today… 🙂

  68. jtk says:

    Xenia February 3, 2022 at 12:40 pm
    So I would rather my blood be corrupted by the vaccine than my soul be corrupted by hatred.

    —> SOLID GOLD

  69. JimmieT says:

    bob 1 11:56am
    I sincerely hope you find wisdom & understanding with Michael’ response.

    Blessings!

  70. bob1 says:

    You missed my response.to Michael.

    t’s a huge mistake to make this a left or right dichotomy.
    There are things being done on both sides that defy sense…

    Yes, but they’re not equivalent. To value truth, facts and science is preferable to hyperbole, throwing sand in gears and causing confusion and chaos.

    Have a wonderful evening.

  71. Eric says:

    Fortunately the Church in Australia hasn’t had so much of the “crazy-ade” of our times. Maybe it’s because we lost the lower class so badly in the past that the Church is more educated and I think more likely to remember Christian principles than get too carried away by politics. Maybe it’s because we have a Christian conservative Prime Minister and few in the Church want to criticise him. Will that change if he gets voted out this year?

  72. Eric says:

    Well said Michael! I was the equivalent of an Executive Pastor of a large CC many years ago. The closer I got to the inner workings of a large church the more I realized that it was really very much a “Christian Religious Business” that was more consumer oriented than Christ/gospel oriented. I truly thought that Christ was calling me out of all that and to Himself. I simply said, “Yes!” Since that time my wife and I have been to approx. 25 churches in 5 or 6 states and with very few exceptions I can honestly say that the church has lost its way and it breaks my heart. It also saddens me deeply to hear about all the people especially the young men and women that have deconstructed themselves into oblivion…much of which has been precipitated by “leaders”and their antics in the church.
    I believe deconstruction is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy, growing faith. Having said that, I also believe that deconstruction while being a necessary part is only a part…the other part is reconstruction and both must be present to create a whole. The moment we deconstruct the fundamentals, Christ, the Triune Godhead, the Gospel etc. we are chipping away at the vey foundation and once that happens the outcome is typically ruin.
    I am thankful for places like this and others that give voice to the multitudes struggling through the morass of disparity between current mainstream Christianity and what they see in the Holy Scriptures. Places like this are necessary and life giving…keep going and keep up the good work.

    “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” Jude 3

    Grace and peace to you!

  73. Michael says:

    Eric,

    Thank you…and thanks especially for the thoughtful comment.
    It’s easier to get through this with thoughtful companions…

  74. Steven says:

    Michael, maybe your “mission” has evolved recently?

    I was originally led to this site because of your Calvary Chapel articles and you have given me much to think about and many of my views have been changed over the past few years.

    Many.

    I don’t write much here…previously due to time constraints, and more recently due to “coming late to the party,” so to speak, on topics.

    You may feel you have not made a dent in the army of abusers, ego-maniacs and blasphemers that seem to keep swelling into the church like the tides. Yet, I hope you can take some encouragement that your work has affected many individuals for the better.

    I am one of them.

    I could go on and on, but I don’t want to drag this on and..quite frankly…no offense intended, I dont know if anyone believes me or even cares.

    Just know that it’s nice to have this site available where I can find likeminded saints. Lord knows I don’t see them, with the only exception being my wife, anywhere else.

    If it wasn’t for this site, I’d be tempted to think we were alone in our way of thinking. We still wouldn’t change them, but there is comfort in knowing you are not alone.

  75. Michael says:

    Steven,

    Thank you…I hope we still make some sort of positive impact.
    These are hard times for all of us…

  76. filistine says:

    Interesting TITh and fascinating responses. I agree with your assessment of the scoundrels in leadership and the codependent behavior of the folks in the pews. I agree with your puzzlement over the divisions politically and with the pandemic. I especially agree with your thoughts regarding the Lord deconstructing things to the foundation–the church is not the Church. The hirelings have sold out for a palm full of coins. But Christ will honor His Church, and it will stand. May all the falsehood and fakes fall away sooner than later.

    As to the jackboots comment–ignorant. foolish. tacky. shameful. juvenile. provocative. The later sticks out to me because it seems the only way people without reasoning skills can remain in the mix is to provoke, to shock, to attempt to shame and manipulate. It certainly, in my opinion, disqualifies one from representing Christ and his gospel every bit as much as if he doinks his secretary.

  77. Michael says:

    fil,

    These are difficult times to parse and to know what to say and when.
    I do think the church will survive, but the form may be radically different.

    The jackboot comment situation is simply sad…this is what we’ve come to,.
    There is a part of me that believes it disqualifying as well…

  78. filistine says:

    I only hope when the smoke clears, I’m on the proper side of the debris field.

  79. pstrmike says:

    This thread has been an interesting read. Some people who I thought I knew a little about surprised me, while others have become very predictable.

    “People are so blockheadedly binary in their thinking.” `~ Rod Dreher.

    I wonder if that hasn’t always been the case, and Covid and the other social crisis have only served to bring it to the surface. I remember many years ago talking about a doctrine, and a woman became obstinate and harshly told me, “that’s not what Church Smith believes!” Now mind you, we lived a days drive from SoCal and this woman had never lived there and attended CCCM, but she couldn’t handle the possibility that there were other points of view that might be worth a conversation.

    Everyone is trying to control the narrative. The mentioning of jackboots and brown shirts gave me an interest to do some reading on the Nuremberg Trials, another example of controlling the narrative, both during and after the proceedings.

    I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the future. I guess it makes me grateful I live in a rural environment that I am not as bombarded with the competing voices as I would be if I lived somewhere else. I feel for my kids and grandkids, and pray for them regularly.

  80. Michael says:

    Thinking about this some more…in this age “narratives” are beyond control.

    People can congregate around all manner of ideas on the internet…and if those ideas are inaccessible or not allowed in one place, they flourish in another.

    No one is really censored…though they may be displaced.

  81. bob1 says:

    I think black and white (binary) thinking is, to some extent, baked into us.

    Doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be better off thinking in gradations, however.

    I think especially when it comes to the outrage machine that too many seem addicted
    to (thankfully, fewer and fewer as time goes on), well, it goes hand in hand with black and white thinking. Like horse and carriage.

    There are better ways to think about things!

  82. Em says:

    Horse and carriage is useless without an intelligent hand on the reins…. 😇

  83. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael and all
    Yeah, the oft used term “your truth” is a very polarizing term IMO. People retreat to their own tribes where they all think alike and anyone who disagrees is an adversary.

  84. Michael says:

    I think we have to understand the presuppositions that people have brought to the table.

    For some, any attempt to deal with the pandemic with behavioral mandates was an attempt to seize liberty and therefore the foundations of the democracy were at stake.

    For others, mandates were simply means to preserve public health and it was reasonable to assent to them as we do live in community.

    One side sees a political apocalypse, the other a plague.

    In hindsight, we may well find that many of the measures taken were done in error and have been and will be costly into the future.

    That doesn’t mean that this was the intent behind them.

    Will we learn of corruption and vice?

    Of course we will…any social and political project of this magnitude will be full of both.

  85. EricL says:

    I’m German-American. My father and uncles were drafted into the German army during WWII. My great-uncle died in one of the concentration camps for the crime of being half Jewish. That great uncle attended my parents’ wedding while wearing a Jewish star and soon after was grabbed off the street and wasn’t seen again by his family or friends. It was a horrible time full of horrific crimes.

    Whenever someone equates those evils to some piddly aggravation like face masks or vaccines or gathering restrictions or controversial podcast topics or … that person just reveals how small they are. When you have to try wrapping something in Nazi garb, you are desperate in trying to prove your viewpoint. Just stop it.

  86. Duane Arnold says:

    EricL

    Thank you…

  87. Muff Potter says:

    EricL,
    I agree, there is NO COMPARISON whatsoever with what happened in Germany all those years ago.
    My wife and I were just kids when the Salk vaccine for Polio came out, and we were damn glad to get it. We cannot understand why anyone would not want a vaccine that could potentially save their lives.
    It’s almost as if we’re moving into a new dark age, complete with present day peasant equivalents cowering in their hovels and looking for a witch to burn.

  88. Em says:

    Vaccine – the Covid vaccine is not the same formula as the Salk vaccine or other vaccines that we are familiar with – my late husband’s uncle, a biochemist, was part of the team that developed Jonas Salk’s vaccine
    One should listen to the people with the bona fides to describe the effects of the Covid vaccine…. IMNSHO

  89. Linn says:

    Muff Potter,

    Our society either glorifies all things scientific/technological or we downplay it to the point where we are in our hovels. Finding the middle, especially in the church, has been a difficult task, especially in the churches where everyone is looking for signs of the Lord’s return (I expect Him to return; I also know that He expects me to serve Him in the here and now). I keep hoping that, as things continue to get weirder with politics and stuff like QAnon, that people might get a clue as to how weird it all is. Outrage finally occurred over the McCarthy hearings, and at some point it should occur over some of the things that are being pushed now. Not everyone will change, but if enough come back to some kind of “normal” point, it will be helpful.

    I am a bit younger than you, but I remember getting a polio vaccine sugar cube circa 1961/62 at the local school. My parents were thrilled as I had already had walking issues due to my hip condition, but I would be protected from polio. Later on, I had a friend who was in a wheelchair because his mom was afraid of the vaccine. I limped, but I wasn’t permanently in a chair.

  90. Nathan Priddis says:

    I recall a public health nurse in our gradeschool gym. Specific grades where lined up and vaccinated. No parental involvement. Kids not up to date where yanked out of line for additional shots. Nurse had a list of names.

    Prior to Spring 2020. I only knew a couple families with vaccine refusal. All where homeschooling families.

    On the brightside..
    I finally heard a good 5G mention this week.. About time we get back to the good old pre-covid days, and the scary 5Gees. The only issue I had with “The Beast System” controlling everyone’s every thought was..I thought we where supposed to be terrified about the World being…OUT..of control.

  91. Michael says:

    Em,

    There are a great many doctors with bona fides who support vaccinations.

    The issue is not whether they are the same kind of vaccines…the issue is whether they are safe and effective.

    They are safe for most and effective at reducing deaths.

    I believe they may have more risks than we are hearing…but the risk of Covid is still greater.

  92. bob1 says:

    Yes, thanks Eric L. Sorely needed (by a few) perspective.

  93. Em says:

    Safe and effective…. That IS the question, Michael
    God keeo

  94. Xenia says:

    My doctor has “bona fides.” He’s been our doctor for 40 years and is an honest, decent, compassionate man who keeps up with the science. Why would I trust some unknown guy on the internet over him?

  95. Em says:

    Xenia, ? ? ?
    Trust unknown guys on the internet ? ? ?
    An assumptive thecomment…
    God keep

  96. Jeff loves Chili dog says:

    I remember getting the sugar cube when I was seven at the high school. I did not even know why but it was fun.
    I have strong opinions about the covid but I never felt it was right to make life difficult for store workers or anyone else so I wore the masks. I had A hole Christian friends who not and did not mind making life difficult for others. I was/am embarrassed by them. Our pastor made the strong point that we were not to question the faith of members who stayed home. People have different levels of what they perceive as risk.

  97. Em says:

    Jeff LCD, wise words….. IMHO

  98. Duane Arnold says:

    I note that Greg Locke is now burning books…

    “Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.”
    Heinrich Heine

  99. bob1 says:

    Too bad there’s no off switch for “stupid.” Sad.

  100. Officerhoppy says:

    Maybe they should make an App for the brain. Then people might start using it.

  101. Em says:

    “Stupid?”
    That is why we have discernment – weigh the facts and choose your side

  102. Linn says:

    Em,
    Instead of choosing a side, I choose truth. I think part of our problem is that we are so focused on which side we’re on than whether or not we are actually subscribing to the truth. We fight very hard for our sides; I’d rather fight for the truth.

  103. Officerhoppy says:

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”—Anne Lamont

    Linn
    Truth? You choose truth? Which truth would that be? Just looking for clarification.

  104. Linn says:

    Officer Hoppy-The historic truths of Christianity-that’s where I stand first. Everything else gets filtered through that. So, in my case, I will obey government regulations around COVID because I hold to Romans 13 and loving my neighbor. However, I don’t make that a condition of fellowship with other believers. I think that has been one of the big pitfalls of how Christians approach each other. If you’re not in agreement with whatever my side is, you’re not worth my time. That’s sad.

  105. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks Linn, for the clarification. As I said earlier, we live in a culture where everyone has their own truth. Even us Christians. We believe the scriptures to be inspired and true.

    The challenge for is not what scripture says but how each of us interpret what it says. That’s the rub, isn’t it?

    Erik Thoennes professor of theology at Biola University in his book “Life’s Biggest Questions: What the Bible Says about the Things That Matter Most”, writes, The ability to discern the relative importance of theological beliefs is vital for effective Christian life and ministry.

    Both the purity and unity of the church are at stake in this matter. The relative importance of theological issues can fall within four categories:

    1. absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith;
    2. convictions, while not core beliefs, may have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church;
    3. opinions are less-clear issues that generally are not worth dividing over; and
    4. questions that are currently unsettled issues.

    Problem is we get stuck in the area of opinions and questions. That’s where we lose fellowship—unfortunately. Hence, my comment “if our brains were Apps, maybe we’d start using them!

    Snarkeyness is my spiritual gift btw haha

  106. Em says:

    Discernment, prayerful discernment should result in ” truth.”
    The side only defines your conclusion, which hopefully IS truth

  107. Officerhoppy says:

    It should, but doesn’t always.

  108. Everstudy says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Erik Thoennes is one of the teaching elders at my church.

  109. Officerhoppy says:

    Ever
    You are a fortunate man!

  110. Steve says:

    Michael @ 11:50. “No one is really censored…though they may be displaced.”
    ———————————————————–
    Michael, this is an interesting perspective but is entirely not true globally. The censorship that goes on in other countries is undeniable.

  111. Michael says:

    Steve,

    And if we were addressing that issue, I would have said so…

  112. Steve says:

    Michael, in regards to the pandemic and our knowledge on the etiology of Covid, if we don’t have accurate information coming from China than we all are being censored. Just saying.

  113. Michael says:

    Steve,

    That’s a weird way of thinking, but whatever works for you…

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