Things I Think…

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31 Responses

  1. bob1 says:

    #10 — Michael, you and I are kin. I have a hunch that a lot of Xns of our generation have been “around the block” WRT various churches, movements, denoms, etc.

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    #8….THANK YOU!!!!

    #9…THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!

  3. Michael says:


    I think you’re probably right…I’m beginning to believe that a lot of people are just looking for Jesus…and that will end up being a very good thing…

  4. Michael says:


    You’re very welcome, as always…

  5. bob1 says:

    #2 Yes, we need to use our heads WRT Julie Roys and her work. Having worked many years in journalism I’ve noticed that she only used qualified writers/journalists for the stories on her site.

  6. Michael says:


    I’ve only worked with one of her reporters and she is really good…

  7. Just a Sheep says:

    What did Roys do that is bringing the heat?

  8. Michael says:

    She described an inappropriate relationship…inappropriately.
    There are some other things coming out…but she’s lost a chunk of the survivor bloggers and the usual suspects already hate her…

  9. Reuben says:

    #9 yes, yes, yes, and amen.

  10. jtk says:

    #5, I won’t ask but I will express a desire to hear this SOMEDAY…

    Overall, I love your sentiment about loving the Body of Christ. Despite all I’ve seen, heard and read, I can’t shake the need to hang tight with the Bride…

  11. Reuben says:


    Never gonna happen. Nationalism is so inextricably bolted to religion in the United States of MAGA that it will likely only be stripped away by total social, political, and economic collapse. And even then… maybe not.

    I am pretty convinced that Christianity made MAGA happen. It started with Trump proclaiming Mexicans were drug dealers and rapists, and ended with punishing mothers for abortions. For Christianity, the abortion punishment comment sealed the entire deal, entirely. Entirely. It’s why Republicans, who believe in less government and restriction, adopted abortion as a talking point. This is not debatable. It was the fulcrum point in winning the Christian vote.

    News flash, Roe V. Wade will not be overturned. Ever. So move on to issues that are conducive to humanity. There is far too much social, political, economic stuff to consider, and if you bought the Regan lines on all three, stop and consider humanity for a second… PLEASE

  12. Michael says:


    The short version is that I got really full of myself and decided the ends justified the means…and God leveled me.

  13. Dread says:

    The mother of nationalism is dispensational theology — the elixir that Smith used to rid his movement of the charismata and keep the faithful dutifully embattled enough to rally was to expect upheaval.

    The SBC got sucked into it in the 1980s despite a strong history of amil presence of the kingdom theology. The flags in the churches post WWII and pledges to the flag assured a co-mixing of faith and religion.

    In this arena if you are conservative you’re guilty — if progressive then you’re passed over by the death angel.

    It is conspiratorial eschatology that fuels the nationalism that you all hate and most once espoused. So show kindness to your frustrated neighbors. They just want the decline of their nation to reverse.

    As for Julie Roys. I’m unimpressed with her ‘sin’ unless I missed something. It seems like garden variety stuff made bad by the age gap but 19 is an adult, for good or I’ll.

    I don’t care much for her arrogant crucifixion of others but mom said when you live in glass houses don’t throw stones. She did.

    Humans are full of their depravity — all of us — I’d probably defend Julie at this juncture and admonish her to be more compassionate with her quarry. We live in an era of condemnation not reconciliation. No one gets forgiven — just exposed.

    It’s always good when your worst moments are not adjudicated by the online mob.

  14. Michael says:


    Russian Orthodox are not dispensational…but deeply nationalistic.

    Dispensationalism may be a factor in the American flavor, but I think we have to dig deeper.

    I have no problems with normal conservatives…most of my church and my support here comes through them and they bring their own gifts to the square.
    If there were a sane, solid leader among them, I might join them…but I would say the same for the opposition.

    I despise the mixing of politics…far right or progressive…with the faith.

    As I noted elsewhere, the “progressive” church is shrinking and is of little influence…and may not exist in ten years.

  15. Michael says:

    “So show kindness to your frustrated neighbors. They just want the decline of their nation to reverse.”

    I get this.

    My issue is that I don’t believe that the decline is reversible by political means…and in some areas.not reversible at all.

    Involving the faith in alignment with one party is deadly…

  16. Dread says:


    As you know I have not one time praised or advocated nationalism.

    The roots of American nationalism no doubt go back to our founding. The “America/Israel” language parallel is very deep but until any moment rapture theology theology ascended it was not the driving narrative.

    I welcome the death of nationalism and it’s eschatology.

  17. Michael says:


    My understanding throughout the conflicts here has been that you were advocating for people who may hold to opinions I find odious, but are good people of faith that we at times unfairly maligned.

    I think that’s beneficial to us all in understanding the dynamics we’re dealing with.

    You have always been far more conservative than myself, but it’s never affected our personal relationship.

    We couldn’t hear each other cuss in cyberspace… 🙂

  18. Dread says:

    At least when we’re in the same space the echoing dims and usually the cussing.

  19. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Having gone on a bit of a Crawford Gribben spree in the last few years the thing he pointed out about the American South was Confederates were just great being postmillennialists but after the Confederacy lost the Civil War people began pivoting to premillennial dispensationalism. Entitled postmillennialist Manifest Destiny took longer to wane and Gribben pointed out that in the New England area postmil optimism increased post-Civil War and wasn’t stopped in its tracks until World War I. So dispensationalism as an eschatological system probably “doesn’t” account for superiority complexes and, per Michael’s comment above, the Russian Orthodox have their nationalists without the slightest trace of dispensationalism. A writer I know has proposed that the United States has had a tension between the John Winthrop and Roger Williams approaches since before becoming the US and that seems to make sense of the history I’ve picked up in my life.

    I don’t think the decline is reversible either but we can choose to accelerate or decelerate that decline by how we treat people. One thing I don’t think will hold true is that all those guys in Idaho who think that they will build the future society in the American Redoubt are going to succeed.

    Btw Duane, finished the Harrison book on Augustine’s De Musica. Thanks for the recommendation!

  20. Linn says:

    I believe there are many people, like me, who are neither conservative nor liberal, but with different views in different areas. I do believe racial discrimination is a huge issue in our country, but I don’t believe in CRT. However, I’ve been jumped on several times for being “woke” because I have concerns about racial profiling and the number of blacks who die at the hands of the police. I think the church can do more to encourage women with unplanned pregnancies and support adoption. I don’t believe in publicly ridiculing those with alternative sexual lifestyles. I think we need to find better ways to reach the gay and transgender community for Christ.

    Just some of my thoughts. I do try to make good on what I believe through service. I think people need to be able to disconnect Christians from Fox News and Trump.

  21. Michael says:


    Well said.
    I think people should turn off all TV news, period…

  22. Linn says:

    I think we have lost our distinction as a “peculiar people.”

  23. Dread says:

    Does anyone here think that bunch at Corinth were regarded as a “peculiar people” or the churches of Asia Minor such as are listed in Revelation. There simply is no era of Christianity that we can point to that did not have both mess and message. There is no golden age of Christendom in the earth.

    What really disappoints us is that we intended to do better and didn’t.

  24. Michael says:


    If you read secular histories from the first couple of centuries it does appear that the Christian community was known and recognized for its ‘peculiarity”…

  25. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    failures in 4 and fiery cases of 3 seem intertwined, particularly if breaching 4 entails presupposing that a set range of doctrinal distinctives are uniquely favorable to abusive behaviors while other doctrinal distinctives preclude even the possibility of abuse. Abusive conduct can happen in any confessional, dogmatic or ideological/political community, particularly when people take it as given that orthodoxy precludes abusive conduct.

    For 1 … I did everything I ever did at WtH on my own time at my own expense and I’d never change that. The second sponsors are involved is the moment sponsors can spike stories. The work you did wasn’t and isn’t the kind that benefits from having people who could spike stories, Michael, so I’m actually glad you’ve not had sponsors. The downside is, as an acquaintance of mine put it, the institutional press only ever takes itself seriously so “mere” bloggers like you (or me) are precluded from being considered as having done any kind of investigate journalism. It can be lame in a lot of ways and it is what it is, but there’s a freedom in not publishing material that is at the mercy of sponsors who have incentives to spike stories.

  26. Michael says:


    It worked out for the best…I’ve never been good at taking orders.
    We got big enough that the mainstream had to pay attention…even if they didn’t give us much credit for the work.

  27. Dread says:

    Yes Michael

    Rodney Stark affirmed that with regard to Christians in times of plague and with the treatment of women and their fearlessness in the face of death.

    But we are hard pressed to find that having lasted enough for it to be said that “we” lost it.

    I’ll concede the matter

  28. Michael says:


    I think more about how they dealt with the infanticide of the day. They would gather the infants left out in the elements and raise them…a quiet, loving response to the days culture wars…

  29. Dread says:

    Culture war?


  30. Michael wrote: “The short version is that I got really full of myself and decided the ends justified the means…and God leveled me.”


    I’ve had my taste of this as well. It is a bit of mystery to me that in trying to undo an injustice or abuse, and getting ahead of myself or taking shortcuts, I’ve been quickly
    disciplined…while the person doing the hurtful things appears to remain protected and carries on with the harm.

    But just because I had to sit in penalty box did not mean the other person was innocent.

    I actually take such quick discipline as a show of God’s love for me.

    It’s a challenge to be pure as a dove but shrewd as a snake.

  31. Em says:

    #9… But He didn’t – I wonder why?
    Maybe He wanted people to experience the grief that goes with loss? ? ?

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