Things I Think…

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73 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    We must now learn the meaning of presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice and having our minds renewed.

    Paul urged the Roman church and we must take up that same revelation.

    We can – we must – and some definitely will.

  2. Michael says:

    Alan,

    On this we completely agree…the question is how we make that more desirable than it is at the present…

  3. Dave says:

    Michael,

    For many years I had been blessed in worshipful quiet time with Steve Camp’s convicting lyrics still ringing in my head and tenderizing my heart. Sad to note the contrast in this perplexing public sentiment…especially in light of his support of Compassion international. (Then again, I’m sure folks could look at me and similarly wonder; ‘Huh, what happened?’)

  4. Michael says:

    Dave,

    It is strange…he got a lot of pushback, but defended it all…sad…

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    I knew Steve as a young man… he should have stuck to songwriting…

  6. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Indeed…

  7. Alan says:

    Preach the cross continuously – know nothing except Christ crucified. Make ourselves of no reputation with him. Empire is not the beauty of Christ.

    I think we are seeing how vain that pursuit is and how devoted to it our nation is.

    The American Hour as Os Guinness called it is over. The kingdom of our God and of his Christ is forever.

  8. Terry G DeGraff says:

    #1 – I was once with a short term mission team in the Bucerias area near Puerto Vallarta. At breakfast, the guy I was sitting across from (who owned a condo in Mexico and split his time between Mexico and California), out of nowhere started saying that we Americans should have military snipers stationed at our border to pick off illegals one-by-one as they try to cross. The irony was shocking on multiple levels, as this man could live freely in both countries, and was on this trip to serve the Mexico’s poorest people.

  9. Terry G DeGraff says:

    Also #1. My experience is pretty much all of the CCM artists I knew of from the 70s are now full MAGA. The only ones who aren’t are either obscure artists, or are simply being coy about the subject so as not to burn any bridges. (Don Francisco might be the only real exception?)

  10. Michael says:

    Terry,

    It’s hard to figure out … I’m sure he was adamantly “pro-life” at the same time…

  11. Donner says:

    If only refugees were illegally crossing our border, you’d have a point. The border problems aren’t as black and white as you make them seem.

  12. Em Wegemer says:

    Donner, criminals?

  13. Michael says:

    Donner,

    The border is anything but black and white.
    The vast majority of people seeking to come here are looking for a better life and freedom from violence and poverty.

    There are also those who wish to come here to commit criminal acts.

    Most that are at the border at the moment are applying for asylum…they are not “illegal”…they are following the laws of this country as to how to apply for asylum.

    Yes, there are massive issues with drugs and human trafficking…mainly because we offer the worlds largest market for both.

    How we address those issues hasn’t been broached by anyone with anything but rhetoric, most of which they know is false.

    My point is that the Scriptures speak more often to this issue than most of the moral issues we are concerned with…and our leaders choose to ignore both that council and anything that would solve the problem.

  14. Michael says:

    Alan,

    Yes, and amen…and a sober look at the prophetic books as they pertain not only to the future but to today…

  15. Donner says:

    Michael, exactly.

  16. bob1 says:

    I’d be really surprised if Ken Medema joined the CCM/maga crowd. Hope not.

  17. Alan says:

    Ken Medema … still have a cassette copy somewhere of a concert he did in the mid 70s at my alma mater Mississippi College. Around the time he canonized a sermon by Jack R Taylor on Moses into a narrative song of the call and the burning bush.

    Last I heard of him he was making the circuit in mainline churches with more socially conscious applications of the Gospel. Not the social justice progressivism of today’s universities though he may have traversed that far.

    He was an incredible talent and gift.

  18. Officerhoppy says:

    So the question for me is what’s the loving and reasonable thing to do regarding the border crisis? I don’t know. Violence is out of the question. How can we regulate it?

    The other question is is it a right to be allowed access to this country or a privilege?

  19. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Many books have been written on this topic…because it takes a book to adequately answer such a complex issue.

    Politically, the first thing to do is address the reasons they are fleeing from the countries of origin.
    The better it is there, the more likely they are to stay home…no one wants to walk over 500 miles fraught with danger of every sort if they don’t have to.

    Most of the time when the news hypes an “invasion” of immigrants, it is a group legally seeking asylum. The first step in the process is to surrender to a Border Patrol agent.

    We also need to streamline the processes and standards for seeking asylum and engage with organizations and individuals willing and able to sponsor families who can start over here.

    One of the great difficulties at the present is that we need to co-operate with these countries, (especially Mexico) on policy…but Mexico is eternally corrupt at every level. They make big money off criminal activity…and I believe a lot of that money ends up in the pockets of American policy makers as well.

    Walls are expensive symbolic gestures that don’t stop the main drug traffic or human trafficking…the vast majority of that comes through ports of entry that are among the busiest in the world and defy detailed security measures.

    You could line the border with the American army and tons of drugs would drive past you at a nearby port.
    We may want to investigate why the U.S. is the worlds busiest market for drugs and people…

    Finally, (and I’ve just scratched the surface) we have to have a national will to really address the problem instead of demonizing people for voting capital or pretending to care for the same…

    As a Christian, I am to have an open heart toward the alien and the stranger while also honoring the laws of the land.
    It’s a privilege to cross any border, but a command to love my neighbor…

  20. Michael says:

    One of the newer plagues that have come in my lifetime is the governments inability to solve anything.

    On a local level we have issues with homelessness, drug addiction, rampant crime and even cartel activity.

    We don’t seem to have any answers…or even good questions…

  21. Eric says:

    Maybe the Mexico/Guatemala border? Anyway, all three countries’ flags are in the picture.

  22. Officerhoppy says:

    Appreciate your thoughtful response, Michael.

    Some things to think about.

    Question: how will the influx of migrants be supported? I live in Jacksonville where the property taxes are high, and there are surcharges for police and fire, and now the forestry is attaching another fee to our taxes.

    While I am truly empathetic to many migrants, I am nearly on a fixed income.

  23. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    That is a legit question.
    Particularly these days when many natives can’t afford even rudimentary housing.
    Part of the answer is in the hundreds of unfilled jobs around the valley…generally speaking, immigrants are not entitled to public assistance except for health care and even those without documents pay into social security,though they cannot receive it.

    Many economists believe the illegal worker paying SSI taxes is what is keeping the system solvent.

    Part of any change we make will have to be clear guidelines on these issues so we all know both the costs and benefits.

  24. bob1 says:

    Alan, thanks for the update on Ken! Very talented and creative musician.

  25. Dan from Georgia says:

    Micheal @5:03pm…appreciate your answer there! Very balanced and thoughtful.

  26. filistine says:

    It’s nearly impossible for me to respond to Steve Camp without sin.

  27. Captain Kevin says:

    I wonder if Steve Camp approves of running down migrants with a hummer. Sheesh!

    I enjoyed his music back in the 80’s.

  28. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Thank you…conversations are possible on this topic if we avoid turning blue or red as soon as the subject is broached…

  29. Muff Potter says:

    “The American Hour as Os Guinness called it is over. The kingdom of our God and of his Christ is forever.”

    I disagree.
    America is still the best act to ever hit the world stage, and she will endure.

  30. filistine says:

    when push comes to shove and one chooses the constitution over scripture, he risks his own soul.

    may our identity and portion always be in Christ.

  31. UnCCed says:

    Michael,
    And to think there was a time in this country when “minister” was synonymous with educated, doctor, professor, etc.
    I know history is just one long arc between two extremes, but please tell me we’re started back the other direction before “the called” are illiterate!
    I’m beyond tired of “leaders” embarrassing the rest of us.

  32. Josh says:

    Are things worse now, or are we just old? Doesn’t every generation think it was better back in the good old days? I’ve heard sermons about end times, end of America, end of Evangelical Christianity…my entire life. Since day one, in the fundamentalist end of the Southern Baptist Convention, this is what we heard.

    I am anti 2A, and pro open borders, by the way.

  33. Alan says:

    Muff,

    You should have disagreed without quoting the whole sentence.

    “The Kingdom of our Go and of his Christ is forever… ” stands

    However, America most certainly is not.

    Josh,

    Things are both better and worse, but nations most certainly fall and the end of America has nothing to do with the end of the world.

    I doubt you’ve heard fundamentalist SBC sermons about the end of Evangelical Christianity. Those are mostly preached in blogs. But I suppose the “christians are going to be persecuted” crowd may have a few of those…?

  34. Josh says:

    Maybe they said “the end of Christianity in America.”

    But yes, heard it since my earliest memories.

  35. Josh says:

    “Things are both better and worse, but nations most certainly fall”

    This is also the way I see things.

  36. Michael says:

    UnCCed,

    The problem isn’t education as much as prejudice and avarice…

  37. Michael says:

    Muff,

    I’m sure it will sustain in some form for quite a while before collapsing as all other empires have.

    There is little left of a common national identity and leaders are no where to be found.

    Decent, normal people are seeking some form of authoritarian rule to set things right.

    We cannot agree on any facts of the issues that concern us and corruption runs rampant in both parties.

    We are angry and afraid and the reality that we are run by an oligarchy escapes us.

    We can no longer speak freely and we have lost the wisdom of shame.

    I won’t live to see it fall…but you might…

  38. Linn says:

    Undocumented folks are some of my best friends. I’ve worked with them for the past 45 years. Most have been Hispanic, but some have been from other countries. Statistically, they have low crime rates (I know there are bad apples, and I never cry when one of them is deported), high work rates, and our economy would flounder without them. I probably attend church with many, but that’s not what I ever ask about. I do think we need better border policies and better communication with the countries they leave behind, who often use some of their best people due to lack of opportunities in the home country. As to Mr. Camp, I’m very disappointed in him!

  39. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Well said.

  40. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I am not for open borders, despite what my critics say.
    We don’t seem to be able to grasp the depth of the evil in the drug and human trafficking trades…the sheer carnage they bring and the skill the have at what they do.
    We legalized marijuana in Oregon thinking it would put the illegal pot trade out of business.
    They simply came here and took over the business…took over an entire county in Northern California.
    The Achilles heel of the left is that doesn’t understand evil…

  41. Michael says:

    As to the end of all things…and the beginning of good things…

    I would commend that anyone here forget everything they think about the topic and do a study on the books of Daniel and Revelation with a non-dispensational commentary or two.

    I found Tremper Longman to be clear and eye opening, especially on Daniel…

  42. pstrmike says:

    “I doubt you’ve heard fundamentalist SBC sermons about the end of Evangelical Christianity. ”

    I did, years ago. Not many times, but it did stick in my mind. Of course, such dire predictions were also accompanied by the assertion that we are the few who are doing it right, and we need to continue to be faithful to our practice, etc. etc. I remember the lack of humility astonished me.

    Civilizations come and go. History bears that out. I think we as people have some type of fascination with the possibility of the end of the world, but we often see it as someone else’s problem and that we will somehow rise above the malaise.

    If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times. Why is it that new converts in dispensational church settings set out to learn all they can about “end times” before learning what it really means to be a follower of Jesus? There is something there that is attractive and feeds the ego that they thought they mortified.

  43. Michael says:

    ‘If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times. Why is it that new converts in dispensational church settings set out to learn all they can about “end times” before learning what it really means to be a follower of Jesus?”

    Indeed!

  44. bob1 says:

    Speaking of Steve Camp:

    “The Day Steve Camp Blocked Me”

    https://kevinyoung.substack.com/p/the-day-steve-camp-blocked-me

  45. Kevin H says:

    The lyrics from the chorus of one Camp’s biggest song hits:

    “Don’t tell them Jesus loves them till you’re ready to love them too
    Till your heart breaks from the sorrow and the pain they’re going through
    With a life full of compassion may we do what we need to do
    Don’t tell them Jesus loves them till you’re ready to love them too”

  46. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Ironic, isn’t it?

  47. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    No, “Ironic” was an Alanis Morissette song. Camp’s song was titled, “Don’t Tell Them Jesus Loves Them”.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  48. Josh says:

    I am for open borders. What gives me more right to this area than someone else? Most of the borders weren’t drawn under fair and legal circumstances anyway.

  49. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    My bad….:-)

  50. Michael says:

    Josh,

    You’re correct in saying that we took a lot of territory in a war we started to do just that.

    However, we’re a long way down the road from that and open borders would be an absolute disaster…unless you are for doubling the number of addicts and murders in the U.S….

  51. Josh says:

    I don’t see why open borders would have that consequence. I think you’d get a lot of good people in too.

  52. Michael says:

    Josh,

    If you had spent the years I have studying this issue…you would get it.
    The cartels are set on fire by hell and they are very good at what they do…we would be in a war we are ill equipped to fight.
    Unless one has exposed themselves to the insane violence of the cartels, you can;’t understand.

    Yes, most migrants are the kind of folks you can build a country around…hard working, family oriented, people of faith.

    We need them.

    We can’t afford the others…

  53. Josh says:

    Why would they leave a place they run for a place that will be much more difficult for them? I would assume they would stay put and just continue shipping their product over the border.

  54. Josh says:

    But true, I haven’t studied the issue like you.

  55. Michael says:

    Josh,

    That’s what a number of us assumed when we voted to legalize marijuana and decriminalize other drugs.

    We were about as wrong as we could be.

    They have taken over a number of pot grows using forced labor and violence and have stolen so much water that there isn’t enough for legitimate agriculture.

    They are learning that American officials love bribes as much as Mexican ones.

    We have a crisis here that few know of, but everyone will soon.

    They come because this is the market and there is less risk when you don’t have to transport the stuff over a border.

    They will do here what they did in Juarez.

    In the good old days, cartels would not sell to locals…it was an unspoken rule and part of the deal they had with the law.

    As the old guard of cartel leaders passed on or were killed, that agreement went away.

    They started getting the locals addicted and they became employees of the gangs to get their fix.

    Also, when the economy nosedived and we put the hurt on the subsistence farmer, the only employment choices were American factories on the border or the cartels…you could make 5 bucks a day for working 12 hour days or the cash of the drug business.

    In America, a full time entry job will no longer afford you a place to live…think about it.

  56. Michael says:

    The current situation…
    https://immigrationforum.org/article/title-42-faqs/

    There is much good info on that site…

  57. Officerhoppy says:

    FYI
    Jury found Trump civilly liable for sexual assault of E. Jean Carroll

    My guess is he’ll convince his constituency that he was railroaded and leverage it to his political advantage.

  58. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Sadly, you’re probably right.

  59. Officerhoppy says:

    And defamation—smearing Carroll’s reputation

  60. Em Wegemer says:

    Linn @9:09 “best friends?”
    Point is they do not understand the blood, sweat and, yes, tears that made this nation!

  61. Michael says:

    Em,

    You couldn’t be more wrong.
    I have many close friends that I don’t know whether they are documented or not.
    They know more about blood, sweat, and tears than most natives I know…and also work harder and contribute more to my community.

  62. LInn says:

    HI, Em,

    Most of the people I know who have immigrated from Mexico and Central America have a great deal of respect for our country. They respect our orderly elections, the fact that people can do what they want and actually make a future for themselves, our freedom of worship (this is particularly true of evangelical Christians that are still harassed in some places), and the educational opportunities available. They put up with a lot in order to help their children make it here. I’ve had teaching jobs with home visitation as a requirement where two families share a two-bedroom apartment, each family living in one bedroom, and sharing the common kitchen/living room/bathroom areas. I used to work at another school where every single garage on the block was occupied by a family (not by a car). Many of these families celebrate both Thanksgiving and the 4th of July with great rejoicing for the freedom and safety that they are afforded here.

    I do think we need to do something about our immigration/border mess. I have thought that way for years. However, my teaching career has always brought me into close contact with these folks. I find that the majority are hard-working, dedicated to making a life here (they don’t go back and forth because they might not get back in), very concerned about the education their children receive and supportive of their teachers. I decided long ago that I can’t “fix” the mess at the border, but I can serve and share Jesus with these folks.

  63. Alan says:

    “Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals four. If that is granted all else follows.” 1984

    That is very much under threat.

    Truth is the most crucial thing.

  64. UnCCed says:

    Michael,
    I didn’t write education was the answer.
    I was alluding to we’ve thrown the baby out…
    I believe once we reinstituted learning is of the devil, and to not also love the Lord with all your mind, our leaders enjoy free license to push the limits on ignorance, and even revel in it.
    And, since they portend expertise in every field in which they speak, and do so in our Lord’s name, it’s seem fair to expect them to at least possess the basic facts.
    Several pastors have already board-certified themselves in at least one medical speciality and people are following their medical advice!

  65. Michael says:

    UnCCed,

    I utterly concur…well said.

  66. Muff Potter says:

    So Camp claims to be a ‘Christian’ huh?
    He’s about as much a Christian as Heinrich Himmler was.

  67. UnCCed says:

    Michael,
    Thanks. I was worried my reply started with a defensive tone, which I didn’t intend.
    I should’ve remembered, you had discernment, and though I’m a a** sometimes, I do mean well.
    As Paul said, he wished he could speak in person so they could see his heart.
    I’m just so darn scared/anger/depressed, etc at where/how/why the Church in America is being steered.
    It’s so blatantly Antichrist.
    And then I/HS reminds me of His plan, how He foresaw and described all of it, and I am only responsible to persevere!
    I am not responsible for anyone or anything else.

  68. Michael says:

    UnCCed,

    It is depressing and I amen your call to perseverance.

    When I saw the Camp tweet, I knew it was worthy of public rebuke.
    I also knew that if I delivered that rebuke, I’d lose a quarter to a half of my reader base and would spend the next year rebuilding it, if it could be rebuilt.

    Looks like I was right again.

    The Bible speaks exponentially more about the treatment of migrants and aliens than it does homosexuality.

    Few give a hoot in hell what the Bible says about it…because we are Americans first…

  69. Muff Potter says:

    Michael wrote:
    “The Bible speaks exponentially more about the treatment of migrants and aliens than it does homosexuality.”

    Why then are so many fundagelicals so fixated on it (homosexuality)?

  70. Alan says:

    Actually the Bible is obsessed with sexual immorality. Can’t get through a book of the New Testament without some version of it being rebuked. It is fundamental to the message of Gentile inclusion in the Christian faith. The homosexual version is just the most recent to be actually endorsed by large numbers of adherents to christian churches.

    I don’t think there is more about immigration in scripture than about sexual morality but that kind of math would be tedious and the definitions would get tortured by everyone involved in the calculations.

    I think the Catholic opposition to sexual immorality exceeds that of fundagelicals. My catholic coworker used to make fun of us and say he was from the BIG church.

  71. Muff Potter says:

    I hold to the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed as non-negotiable parameters up-front and on the table.
    The rest of the stuff?
    I pick and choose as I see fit.

  72. Alan says:

    “I pick and choose as I see fit”

    Yes — chilling admission — like god knowing good and evil

  73. Judy says:

    I have suffered chronic pain for ten years. The one big lesson I have learned is that I must keep my focus on the kingdom of heaven and as much as possible turn away from looking at myself or feeling bad for myself. I have become convinced that God isn’t going to remove it and it is just a part of life that I must choose to believe is not greater than God’s love for me. It has made me kinder and more loving and accepting of others. I would have preferred to learn that some other way.

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