Things I Think…

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23 Responses

  1. pslady says:


  2. DavidH` says:

    Michael, I feel for you. I had to move my mom to a boarding facility. My mom took two really bad falls, and could no longer care for herself. She’s a hoarder, which made here condo a death trap. At 93, my mom is really sharp, but I can see her starting to loose cognition. I’m the son who was given charge of my mom’s wellbeing. My own brother pretty much through up his hands and said, “you take care of her.” So that’s what I did, now he’s trying to throw monkey wrenches in the works.

  3. Michael says:

    Than you, pslady…

  4. Michael says:


    These are really difficult situations…made more difficult by relatives who want to advise, but not help.

    Until you live with it. you just don’t know…praying for you…

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Those are some really hard times you are going through and having to make some difficult decisions. Prayers my friend.

    In regards to your number 6 (and a shout out to number 4)…I am glad we have some very thoughtful believers here. It’s a balm in the space we occupy in the Church. I am all for stirring the pot, so to speak.

  6. Dave LIndsay says:


    I tried to you your PayPal interface to make a donation and it gave a 404 error saying:
    “Something’s not right. This page doesn’t exist.”

  7. Michael says:


    Thanks for letting me know…I think it’s fixed.

    Thanks in advance for donating…it means a lot these days…

  8. Michael says:


    Thanks for the kind words.

    I think a lot of these things deserve to be talked about, read about…pondered.

    The interesting thing to me is that as I have drifted away from some dogmas, I am actually more assured about the big stuff…

  9. filistine says:

    I think I understand your thoughts on our long-term teaching & current state of holding things more loosely. I’m embarking on a return to the various disciplines of the faith without (hopefully) the echo chamber of my upbringing and adult pursuit of Christian practice. Since I’ve stepped outside the walls of the routine church, I recognize I haven’t grown in love, mercy, and grace as I’d hoped, and need a season of renewal and regeneration.

  10. Michael says:


    You’ve also had a lot to deal with over the last few years….

    Much of the Christian life is about finding what fits….

  11. Reuben says:

    5 is a big one for me.

  12. Paul T says:

    What you shared in #5 has been lurking in my soul as well. For me the question turns to how I can “finish well” with integrity grounded in Truth.
    Thank you, Michael, for opening your heart. You have my prayers, and I am looking forward to reading Duane’s book!

  13. Michael says:

    Thanks, Paul T…you’ll enjoy Duane’s wrk.

    Reuben, Paul… #5 is tough because we’ve been indoctrinated our whole lives.

    Two things have helped me a lot…seeing that the early church did a lot of wrestling with things we codify and listening to scholars who come at Scripture from a historical and literary position.

    I just expanded the fences on my pasture, so to speak…and still came out with (mostly) orthodox beliefs…..

  14. DavidP says:

    My Grandmother has had 3 homes in the past 6 months due to memory issues. It’s not easy to watch. We have no manual, at times we just have our best guesses.

    It’s interesting to note what was considered scripture in the first century or two. Even to this day portions of The Church consider things like Enoch cannon. I’m 100% in favor of the NT/OT as preserved in the past 2000ish years, but once in awhile I find things like Clement and the Didache worth reading. So dang interesting and affirming that our concerns today are not always that new.

    I believe that you can do a good job at work and make money at it. That doesn’t mean I support MLMs and shady businesses. In the same way I believe in healing today. Like, really believe it. That doesn’t make me a fan of the spiritual version of MLM peddlers. As a general rule I’m weary of iconoclastic people with grandiose visions and dreams with little/zero accountability.

  15. Michael says:

    ‘We have no manual, at times we just have our best guesses.’

    It’s very confusing and there is no guide…you just try to honor the person the best you can…

  16. Xenia says:

    Even though I have joined a Church that is pretty much the opposite end of Christendom (Calvary Chapel to Eastern Orthodox) I find that the vast majority of the things I learned as a Baptist or a Calvary Chapelite I still find to be true. The basic Christian doctrines still hold true, such as the Trinity*, the two natures of Christ, the Virgin Birth, the 2nd coming of the Lord, and so on. (“Trinity” gets an asterisk, for those who know, you know.) What changed was how I respond to these truths, but my best friend is a Baptist and we agree on so very much and I find her way of living to be God-pleasing even though different, in some ways, than the way my husband and I now live.

    When I first become Orthodox, I felt I had to disenfranchise myself from everything I learned as did as an Evangelical, but after a few years I got over that. Those of you who have known me from the beginning days of the PhxP might have noticed the gradual change in my tone about my Evangelical past, which I now realize was quite precious. I’m not going back but I’m not wrathful anymore and I’m quite thankful for much of it, which set a biblical foundation for my later adventures into Orthodoxy.

    The first step for me was reconciling and asking forgiveness from CC people I was rude to as I flounced out of their world. They graciously accepted. You can’t stay mad forever.

  17. Xenia says:

    The Ethiopian Church accepts the book of Enoch. It is a fascinating book and has become quite popular in some corners of the Church.

  18. Michael says:

    I still hold to all the major doctrines of Christianity.

    What has changed, (or more accurately is in the process of changing )is what I believe about God.

    I was raised on an angry God who only tolerates humanity because of the death of Jesus…and who is looking for any reason to roast us even now.

    That is garbage…but deeply ingrained garbage.

    Everything God does is out of love we can’t fathom….

  19. bob1 says:

    I really like and resonate with your last line, Michael. I have a strong sense that you’re far from alone.

    “I came back (to the church), though not without resistance, took years for me to trust God as the smiling source of every good thing on this planet” Philip Yancey, “Rumors.”

  20. Reuben says:

    “ I was raised on an angry God who only tolerates humanity because of the death of Jesus…and who is looking for any reason to roast us even now.”

    Same. I still have a hard time now. There is ample scripture to support this.

  21. PaulT says:

    Xenia, I have been exploring Eastern Orthodoxy for the past three years and have found it to be enriching and encouraging to my faith. As a Baptist pastor for 40 years this has made my journey, uh…, interesting, to say the least! I am seeking to hold on to what I see as best and true of both traditions, while being faithful to my own conscience. This has not been and still is not easy. Prayers appreciated! 🙂

  22. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I’ve been cross-referencing Thomas Aquinas and John of Damascus on Trinitarian dogmatics. It’s been interesting. John of Damascus treatise on the Orthodox Faith is not all that hard to read, though the concepts are fairly weighty. Charles Twombly has a fun little book on perichoresis and personhood in the writings of John of Damascus I read a few years back and that got me curious to start to read his work.

  23. Michael says:

    Paul T,

    I applaud that kind of openness to new ideas…or, as I call it, Gods buffet table….

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