Things I Think…

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33 Responses

  1. Dread says:

    10. What do we still have in common?

    Hmmm … not much

    This is where my lament about deconstruction is more severe than has been written about here… I do recognize that there is healthy deconstruction but we are way past it…

    I WROTE this elsewhere about 3 years ago … perhaps less but it is more clear today:

    There is an urgent need for people to understand the destabilizing force of deconstructing the organizing categories of a culture. What does that mean? Order comes from agreed upon definitions. When too many things are redefined at once a culture is filled with chaos. Chaos inspires all kinds of resentment and fear. People look for remedies. Those remedies are often violent.

    The prophets warned against such things, “20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Is 5:20. To speak a woe always implies that the chaos will swallow order and a rectifying cycle will result.

    At an astonishing level people no longer have stabilizing principles within that cause them to resist deconstruction. Sentimental compassion masquerades as love and leads unthinking souls to partner with all kinds of lies. They think that the way to show kindness is to destabilize the strong in favor of the weak. Order will only give way so far and then it recoils at a force unforeseen and catastrophic.

    It has been a very long time since the world has faced one of these horrors. It won’t last.

    Violent repercussions are likely … and they are leaking already

  2. Michael says:

    Dread,

    There is much truth there…I think I would argue that both sides of our divisions are contributing to this culture of lies.

    I heartily amen the part about agreed upon definitions.

    Deconstruction doesn’t bother me much…if the tools of reconstruction are present and helpful.

  3. greg says:

    Deconstruction without truth based reconstruction is a futile and dangerous place to be

  4. Michael says:

    Where does one find truth?

    I think the current Christian deconstruction is good and necessary…and just beginning.

  5. pstrmike says:

    “Deconstruction doesn’t bother me much…if the tools of reconstruction are present and helpful.”

    Me neither. However, it appears that the fires of deconstruction are attempting to burn those tools along with everything else that is antithetical to the new, developing narrative.

  6. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    Socially, the deconstructors have no tool to build anything that won’t collapse.

    In the church, they may bring renewal and revival…

  7. DavidM says:

    The Uvalde video is incredibly disturbing. That large group of big, brave men with guns and shields ran away like frightened children when they heard a gunshot. Those who took up the call to protect and serve did neither. True bravery would have compelled them to run toward the violence to save the innocent but they seemed to have wanted to save themselves instead. My heart breaks for the children and families.

  8. DavidM says:

    Oops, the above is from DavidM, not Favid!!

  9. Michael says:

    DavidM,

    It may be the most sickening display of cowardice I’ve ever seen.
    It’s unbearable for me to contemplate…

  10. Michael says:

    I fixed it…

  11. victorious says:

    #6 is not a fever
    Lean in hard to the hope and labor long and learn to embrace His love in the suffering.

    At a minimum you will begin to wake up each day and savor small deposits of His grace that have become part of you and those you love. Hesed love is not so much about what you know but more about how and who you love.

    I.e. patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

    This what I am embracing for myself.

  12. Michael says:

    Vic,

    The question is whether we can build community around those things…or if they will remain the possession of outliers…

  13. greg says:

    Truth is found in the correct teaching of scripture. I know of no other place….certainly no truth in man’s attempt to govern himself as evidenced by the entire body of historical evidence

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    5 – one of the worst trends I am seeing online is Christians saying to other believers “if you would read your Bible/you aren’t a Christian because ____________” and you all know what topic or topics can go in the blank.

    8 – over at the Christian (com)Post was an article that claimed that COVID mandates were adressed in the Bible.

    10 – I am finding out that I have nothing in common with those who think our faith and the exercise of said faith centers around “owning the libs”

  15. Dread says:

    New communities of faith is intriguing. Say more. I doubt you mean denominationally. Is that something like new religious orders. That seems to be somewhat the call of Dreher Live Not by Lies and the Benedict Option.

  16. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I’ve been saying this for years.
    I don’t know about religious orders, but I do believe that churches should be counter cultural communities that are fully invested in following Jesus and relatively unconcerned with the surrounding culture.
    We have not yet learned that we are a nation within a nation and a community within a community…it’s time to explore that more fully.

  17. Michael says:

    I’m not real interested in Dreher’s theorem…I am more interested in expanding Baxters notion of the parish priest to an entire religious community that takes on responsibility for a distinct geographical area…believers and non-believers alike…

  18. Dread says:

    I think the common school both public and private makes counter culture communities very difficult. You simply cannot put your children under voices that do not share your counter cultural views and expect to get anything other than culturalized kids.

    The how is always the issue …

    Having common values is key… I don’t think you can have common values while immersing the most impressionable members of the community into a common value system that is anti- what you are establishing.

    Has this not always been the problem. At least the illusion that public values match our religious faith is able to be torn asunder

  19. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I hear you…
    The interesting thing is that it’s evident from here that there are people with similar views who long for community that is “safe”.

  20. Muff Potter says:

    @ Nr. one up-top:
    I do have the emotional capacity for the Uvalde video.
    Let’s call it an extreme ratio of anger and pissed-off.
    Let’s call it what it is.
    Pure cowardice on the part of the cops.
    And please, no ‘Christian’ mumbo-jumbo.
    It is what it is.

    Post Script:
    I hope they (Uvalde PD) get their a$$es sued off.

  21. Dread says:

    What’s needed in Uvalde is the rising of priestly believers for all the suffering. The losses will wreak havoc on already devastated families. The public will be carrying an anger that threatens to explode in post volcano earthquakes. The police will suffer endless mental anguish and spiritual alienation… expect suicides to radiate for years unless… Here is a moment of Gospel opportunity but only in the incarnation of myriads of burden bearers instead of blame casters. The sin is done and more will come if healing does not flood.

    Uvalde has a corporate wound and thousands of individual embodiments. Go church… love, wash feet, speak forgiveness, bind wounds, listen, pray, learn silence, avoid offense taking, mediate restoration, cook meals, stand in the emotional firing line for others… there is much to do and there has been enough death… wipe the tears.

    Here is a true door of sacred being.

  22. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I just graduated my godson in one of the most liberal states in America and his education was exemplary and his teachers saints.

    I actually find all the carping about education offensive…

  23. Dread says:

    Michael,

    I’m ok with your wrath — as you say results vary… not all school experiences are one thing…

    I know why I take this position and don’t recant it…

    My carping was not vitriolic

  24. Michael says:

    T learned his values inside a community of believers that lived love of God and neighbor in front of him.
    They care for each other and him in tangible ways.
    This is what I want to grow and export…without any concern about outside forces.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Somehow, these discussions seem to follow a well trodden path.

    I can observe society but I cannot change society, nor do I think that is what we are called to do. If we are looking for common values, or at the very least common definitions, I think we need to start where we are, that is, in the church. The tragedy is that we can no longer even do that… We can speak about educating the masses, but we cannot even educate those within the circle of the church concerning our faith. We lament the immorality of society, yet we cannot even deal with the immorality that takes place within the church. Before we set about seeking to change others I think we need to change ourselves first…

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Again, Michael and I are not on the phone…😁

  27. Dread says:

    Duane

    What familiar path and who?

    I’ve merely responded to Michael’s actual list

  28. greg says:

    For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

  29. Em says:

    Greg @2:20pm
    Amen

  30. philistine says:

    Reimagination of the expression of faith within the Christian community seems to be the way forward. It will entail an examination of what has served well and what hasn’t. That process will be painful and controversial…like a corporate deconstruction/reconstruction. Frankly, it is like purging one’s home of the clutter of sentimentality and overspending. It will require not only openness to historic input, scriptural integrity, and personal piety, but willingness to cultivate spiritual practices foreign to experience, exploration of and reliance upon the work of the Spirit, and separation from much of the cultural influences that have been toxic to many churches and countless believers. This expression of Christ and his Church will likely be a leavening agent–having an effect without being obvious, seeking notice, or fanfare. Personal preparation will be necessary–confession, humility, and openness–even a passion–for change & progress.

  31. Michael says:

    Phil,

    That was excellent…thank you.

  32. philistine says:

    The tragedy of Uvalde continues to be compounded by further investigation of the incompetence of authorities and subsequent attempts to cover-up cowardice and buck-passing. The carefully curated swagger of Texas will never ring true again. I’m embarrassed for the legitimate law enforcement personnel who will be tarnished by the buffoonery displayed in the hallways of that school. I offer a hearty ‘amen’ to Dread’s 7/13 @ 1:37

  33. bob1 says:

    Phil
    4:51

    So well put. Perfect, really.

    What you’ve described is tough…but necessary, IMHO.

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