Things I Think

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137 Responses

  1. CrucifiED says:

    I’ve noticed that dispensationalist are very narrow minded and critical of others who don’t believe as they do while the non-dispensationalists are very derogatory with their words towards the dispensationalist.

    Non-dispensationalists consistently speak of dispensationalists with negative labels much like the liberal media does with conservatives and their opinions. They aren’t just labeled conservative, instead they have to call them right-wingers or a variety of other terms. Dispensationalist are always referred to as prophecy wonks or a variety of other terms.

    I get that there are differences of opinion but I personally have a hard time taking anyone seriously who uses pointless and derogatory labels as a part of their argument. If their perspective is true then the truth will stand on its own without any extra help from the sharer trying to color people’s opinions with derogatory labels.

    I applaud the attitude of those on the White Horse Inn who refer to the other side as their “dispensational friends” when they discuss eschatology. They are setting a good example by peacefully discussing their perspective without tearing down those who have a different perspective.

    I like to keep an open mind to hear the good points made by both groups and think I can pretty well know when any part of either perspective seems too speculative. I wish both sides could chill out a bit and give space for both perspectives so I can clearly hear their main points without the extra clutter that comes from bitter differences and attitudes.

    I grew up with dispensationalism and pre-trib rapture doctrines and now am trying to learn what there is to learn about amillennialism now that I’m a Lutheran. The main thing I have learned so far is both sides are very ignorant of all that the other believes and teaches and will relate a lot of bad information to those listening about what each other believes. You really have to dig into it all yourself.

  2. CrucifiED says:

    Michael, none of what I shared is being directed toward you by the way. Just making some general observations about the whole eschatology scene from my little slice of perspective.

  3. Michael says:


    I hear you…trying to come to a place of being able to speak to these issues without my natural snark.

  4. filbertz says:

    The beginning, middle, and end of Christian experience in this lifetime is touched upon in your thoughts this week–the Gospel, our conduct in this life, and the consummation. It’s amazing how dysfunctional we can be and still be in His family. 😉

    Yancey’s book may provide some helpful perspective. I would submit that mankind’s arrogance and sense of superiority has contributed to our vulnerability in matters of ‘natural disaster’ because we think we’ve tamed nature or insulated ourselves to its deadliness. Where is God? Right where he’s always been. We’ve moved.

  5. Michael says:


    Dysfunction is a requirement to join the family…

  6. filbertz says:

    You’d think the recognition of our dysfunction would result in some humility…

  7. Michael says:


    You hit it…I think that the one thing I dislike about others is what I dislike in myself.
    Today, it’s that lack of humility that makes me want to dislike another part of the Body…and feel righteous in doing so.

  8. CrucifiED says:

    Michael, it sure is a difficult thing to do and I appreciate not only the boundaries you respectfully set for yourself, sharing all that you do on this blog, but also the struggles that you openly suffer through on this blog, allowing us to see the changes in each other over time that stems from the good, honest, truthful conversation happening between vulnerable yet secured people of faith.

    I would rather see the mistakes of an honest person than the perfections of a dishonest person. Mistakes are real and we learn from them with God’s help. Perfection is only found in Christ while the perfections of any one person are obviously a facade. Give me the real stuff and we’ll all keep praying for each other.

  9. So, were the councils and the reformation wrong?

  10. I know that Xenia will say the reformation was wrong. 😉

  11. Michael says:


    Thank you for the kind words…and we will keep praying for each other.

  12. Michael says:


    Did the councils come up with a different Gospel than mine?

  13. Michael,
    No, but they poked at fellow believers for what they considered “flaws” in their doctrine – sometimes quite forcefully.

  14. Michael says:


    That’s true.
    I was bemoaning how harsh we are last night then I found some woodcuts from the Reformation…we are effeminate and genteel in comparison. 🙂

  15. And they were men in tights – what does that make us? 🙂

  16. Michael says:

    How did you know what I was wearing?

  17. CrucifiED says:

    True MLD, but I would also think that if someone is poking at their opposition more than explaining their own, it gets difficult to keep listening to them. Those who we look back on as great communicators of the faith obviously knew how to use their talents in an effective way that drew people into their message.

  18. Michael says:

    These contain some very foul language…but are examples of the woodcuts I was speaking of.
    These would have been circulated widely…the blogs of the Reformation.
    I will confess that the sheer meanness of it all makes me laugh out loud.
    I’m trying to repent…

  19. filbertz says:

    ‘apologists’ would argue the ends justified the means, and therefore excuse poor judgment, boorish behavior, insulting words, and mean-hearted hostility as collateral damage. Instead, it is human/fleshly efforts to achieve heavenly/spiritual goals. If anything, we have less excuse in that we have the (bad) examples of those reformers to learn by.

  20. filbertz says:

    I imagine that would also be the gist of any comment I might make about the so-called discernment ministries…

  21. j2theperson says:

    It’s difficult to take the Rapture seriously when you spent the first 20 years of your life being told that it was going to happen really soon, but then it never did. I think the Left Behind people have done more harm to their cause than they could possibly realize by how much date-setting and quasi-date setting they have done. You just can’t take them seriously.

  22. Xenia says:

    Well yeah, the Reformation was wrong, of course, but quite understandable, considering the state of the RCC at that time.

  23. Xenia says:

    Remember that Santa Claus smacked a Jehovah’ Witness at the the Council of Nicea.

    (St. Nicholas of Myra hit Arius.)

  24. Becky says:

    Then there is this. Pertaining to #4 Colorado is so going to hell. God hates every single one of us here. Evil wretches scum of the earth. Flood and famine for us.

    Starts around 1:56

  25. Ricky Bobby says:

    Gotta love Luther. He makes me look like an alter boy (don’t get any ideas Catholic priests out there, you know what I’m sayin’) 🙂

  26. Q says:

    I think they were asking for those who disagree, to set aside their delivery (considered unloving) and logical fallacies (in this case, appeal to consequences e.g., division) and show them where they are wrong on what they are teaching concerning contemplative/mysticism issues.

    If you can’t do that then why bring it up?

  27. Muff Potter says:

    @ # 2 in Things I Think,

    Much as I hate to admit it (liberal socialist that I am), I think Sarah Palin got it right on the Syria thing when she quipped:

    “…Let Allah sort it out…”

  28. Pam Kulwiec says:

    As always, the things you think always make me stop and ponder about the way I think. Thank you.

    Now, about that book proposal…I think I like that you’re working on another book! Will be praying for you.

  29. Michael says:

    Thank you, Pam!

  30. Michael says:


    I brought it up because it’s my blog and on Mondays I write what I’ve been thinking about…and I’ve been thinking about this subject quite a bit.
    It’s relatively easy to refute their nonsense…

  31. PP Vet says:

    “When I think about Syria, I wait for the great statesmen to act and speak.”

    My favorite stateswoman has spoken.

    Sarah P says, “Let Allah sort it out.”

  32. PP Vet says:

    What’s interesting to me is that, after seven years of screaming and ranting and calling people heretics and complaining as he worked out his salvation, our gracious host has ended up posting a page full of good old-fashioned plain and simple Christianity.

    Not that he ever believed anything different.

    It’s just that on our journey from the Alpha to the Omega, it can take us a long time to realize they are the same Person.

  33. 1. Not a big believer in waiting till I am closer to perfect till saying something. Nothing would ever get said. Just type a response out in some type of word processing medium, look it over or maybe have someone else look it over, make sure the tone is not harsh sounding and then when satisfied respond with it. If you wait till you are in the right mode, then the time will pass by and the moment you could have seized will be gone. I mean how often do ODM’s give a chance like this?

    2. Everyone seemed to think Putin a great statesman for his op-ed. I wasn’t impressed. Much like our own leaders it was just another grab for influence and power, but because he was speaking from the side most people have taken it was made to be greater than it was.
    Nope, no great statesmen right now.

    4. Sad, that they couldn’t figure this out themselves.

    6. Love “the Blessed Hope”, just I by no means think that this age is that much more wicked than ages past.Of course the main problem here is that American prophecy people tend to look at wickedness through the lens of what they think is going on in America compared to what they think has gone on int he past in America. They need to read more in depth American history.
    I could be wrong though. By that I mean, that Christians around the world are being persecuted and killed at rates not seen before. But, that never seems to be the lens that American prophecy people look through. Me, I worry more about what happens to my brothers in other countries than western countries right now.

    7. What is the term…yeah, preaching to the choir.

    8. I picked it up while it was free Haven’t started it though, need a break from christian living books. Regular old fiction is doing it for me right now.

    10. Hope the work on the book goes well. Will be praying about that.

  34. Nonnie says:

    I’ll be praying about your new book! Wonderful news.

    Yancey’s book looks good, but I am trying to find an article or “booklet” for a friend with MS. He’s only 40, married and has a young son. I would love to find something that would minister to he and his wife. They are not believers, but we have had some good conversations. Anyone have a suggestion?

  35. Q says:

    “It’s relatively easy to refute their nonsense…”

    Then it should be easy, go ahead, that’s what they are asking for.

    So far you said they are sinning, unloving, causing division, and nonsense without one fact to back it up.

    That is what the article said their critics do.

  36. Solomon Rodriguez says:


    As a fellow Vikings fan I would say, don’t lose hope yet. The defense finally started playing better at, the end of the first half. With all the 1st round picks it takes a bit of time to jell. Ponder will be ok, he actually played alright and I like his mental makeup. He played very good down the stretch last year without perrenial headache Percy Harvin. Two games does not a season make, its a marathon not a sprint. I have seen a lot of football and every year there are teams that start out fast and then fade and vice versa

  37. PP Vet says:

    The Bible is not designed for proving anyone wrong on baptism, the charisma, the role of women, divorce, etc. It does a pretty good job at helping the hungry heart grow in grace.

    So to ask someone to prove you wrong from the Bible is a phony challenge.

    It is a remarkable tool. It will feed you, encourage you, and strengthen and correct you, and you can use it to do the same for others.

    But as an intellectual bludgeon it can be turn into a wet noodle.

    It is empowered in the hands of love.

    If they had asked, Someone please use the Bible to strengthen, encourage, and even correct us, that would have made sense.

    But to say, We dare you to attack our carefully constructed impregnable doctrinal fortress using this book….

    Answer not a fool according to his folly.

  38. Chile says:

    Re: Becky @ 24,

    So they are saying Colorado should repent? … I thought it already happened when Coloradans recalled the State Senator who voted against the people’s will by voting for strict gun laws. Yeppers, they threw that guy out! Then, wasn’t there a celebration at the State Capital where free pot was handed out as a protest against the new pot taxes? Fire, rain, guns and pot … Gotta love Colorado! Maybe God didn’t really mean it when He said He would not judge by flood again? Gotta love those prophecy dudes!

  39. Solomon Rodriguez says:


  40. Xenia says:

    I don’t know about the rest of the state but Colorado Springs is full of Christians. They even play Christian music in the stores. The best coffee shop in the whole wide world is in CS, Agia Sophia!

    (I hope they are ok)

  41. Chile says:

    Xenia, Agia Sophia is absolutely the best coffee shop, hands down!

    Here’s some context for Colorado. Boulder is to the north of Denver and known as the Cult capital of the world! Colorado Springs is to the south where there is a plethora of headquarters for many Christian ministries. It’s oft called the “Dead Sea.” You know the saying … “Too much salt in one place makes a dead sea.” 😉

  42. Dude says:

    I have empathy for you about the Vikings.Just think about all those disgruntled Cleveland Browns fans who year after year watch the dawgs roll over and play dead in the 3rd quarter.

  43. Q says:

    “So far you said they are sinning, unloving, causing division, and nonsense without one fact to back it up.”

    And PP Vet added fool.

    That is quite a list for someone who said;

    ” I believe that they are loveless toward brethren who differ in doctrine”

    Surely you can see the irony!

  44. Michael says:


    I may do that article but here’s step one.
    To accept their teachings, first you must be an adherent to their particular tradition and it’s eschatological narrative.
    That tradition is only about 200 years old and even today is the minority position in the church universal.
    Thus, they are really positing that the entire church of God was in error for 1800 years and most of the church universal is in error today.

    I might add that depending on what day it is they occasionally deem this as damnable error, in which case the first 1800 years of believers split hell wide open.

  45. Jim says:

    “Some people must have an aversion to big families…”


  46. Michael says:

    Second, they believe that “spiritual formation” is some sort of obscenity.
    Paul didn’t.

    “It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!”
    (Galatians 4:18–19 ESV)

    I like the definition of the term from George Fox Seminary:

    “Christian spiritual formation is the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit and grounded in Scripture and a faith community.

    The process of becoming Christ-like involves three interwoven processes:
    Orthodoxy Right-thinking about Christ and the Christian faith
    Orthopraxy Right-action/piety and devotional living
    Orthopathy Right-feeling toward God, self, and others
    “… He may grant that you be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” Ephesians 3:16-17a”

    Boy, that just sounds demonic doesn’t it?

  47. Q says:

    They may have a minority position but the position being wrong based on majority or minority is still a fallacy of logic.

    If the church was not in error what was the reformation about, and was that a minority position?

  48. Michael says:

    “We also became completely convinced that the roots of contemplative spirituality were based in panentheism (God in all), interspirituality (all paths lead to God), and universalism (everyone is united with God in spite of belief).”

    I know many people who practice some sort of “contemplative spirituality”, ( including myself) who are not panentheists, inclusivists, or universalists.

    None of the evangelical proponents of it are any of the above.

    It is an entirely empty accusation.

  49. Michael says:


    If you’re willing to disfellowship the historical church and most of the church today over a hotly debated eschatological scheme there little I can say that will make any sense to you.

    The Reformation was a battle for two basic doctrines…justification and authority.
    There were other factors involved in those debates, but they weren’t about secondary doctrines, nor were they unique formulations like dispensational eschatology.

  50. Q says:

    Where did they speak against –

    Right thinking, right action, and loving God and others?

    They are talking about mysticism.

    That is where the professing church was at until the reformation and the word of God was given back to the people.

  51. Q says:

    You accused them of things you yourself did in this post.

  52. Michael says:

    They specifically said “spiritual formation”.
    Define mysticism.

  53. Michael says:

    “For over 11 years, Lighthouse Trails has been issuing a warning about a mystical spirituality, known as contemplative prayer, which is coming through the conduit of the Spiritual Formation movement.”

    Many very fine conservative Bible believers practice some form of contemplative prayer.
    Where is that even spoken to, let alone forbidden in the Scriptures?

  54. Michael says:

    Then there is their favorite whipping boy, Rick Warren.
    I disagree with Warrens methodology and some of his theology…but there is not one cardinal doctrine of the church that he denies, nor any dissent from the historic creeds and confessions.
    He is not a heretic, not a New Ager, he is a run of the mill American evangelical with a very big church.
    To deny that makes them accusers of the brethren.

  55. filbertz says:

    what is the alternative…mindless prayer and incidental spiritual development?

  56. Michael says:


  57. London says:

    Honest question…why do you care so much what they think?
    I absolutely disagree that they are correct about the contemplative prayer thing, Rick warren and 99.99% of anything else you say they say.
    But, I don’t care what they say. I just know what I know.
    I don’t get why you let them get your goat so much. Can’t you just let them be ill informed and focus yourself in things more pleasing and less annoying?

  58. brian says:

    What struck me, well actually it did not really, is how much they literally loath Rick Warren. I mean they hate him more then I hate myself on one of my worst days. It is a true, refined, and pure loathing of every single cell in his body. They hate him more then they do Satan actually. They sure talk about him a lot more.

  59. Michael says:


    I’ll tell you why.
    I spent most of the last few days explaining this stuff in private to people that ended up breaking fellowship with me because they believe that the church is going to hell and I’m helping to grease the skids down hill.
    People are influenced by this stuff, churches are split by this stuff, and I have a forum to address it in.
    That’s why.

  60. Michael says:


    It’s surreal how much they hate him…and it’s sinful as hell.

  61. London says:

    We live very different lives.

  62. Q says:

    “Define mysticism.”

    Non Mystic – Operates in the realm of the conscious mind (objective reason and ideas)

    Mystic – Operates in the realm of subjective experiences and altered states of consciousness having employed some technique to get in touch with a supernatural force or power.

  63. brian says:

    “It’s surreal how much they hate him…and it’s sinful as hell.” It is surreal and very childish as for sinful I am not sure it can be because it is effective and from my personal experience in the corporation that negates all sin until it no longer is effective then it becomes sinful again. But that is another post.

  64. Michael says:


    By that definition every sort of prayer or exercise of a spiritual gift is mysticism.
    Without the supernatural, Christianity is a large Kiwanis Club.

  65. Michael says:


    I’ve written about the faith online for over ten years.
    We have a substantial readership and I get email and mail from all over the world.
    I’m sure you’re quite tuned in to your vocational environment and it has it’s own issues and conflicts that I’m not aware of.
    I write about the ones in my world.

  66. Q says:

    Rick Warren brought criticism on his teaching himself; and in new age ideas into the church, but to disagree does not mean to hate.

    I could disagree with what you are saying strongly maybe even hate it but it is only what you have written that is hated, it and does reflect on the author but one not need hate the author because you despise what is written.

    I can hate words written but they have no flesh and blood the author does.

  67. Q says:

    Are you able to judge motives? That is another logical fallacy.

    If you cannot refute what they are saying say it’s their motives or delivery (logical fallacy) maybe they are fat too.

  68. Q says:

    Another logical fallacy (I’ve been doing this for blank amount of time so I am right).

    Or it’s my blog so I am right.

  69. Michael says:


    Your reading comprehension needs some work.
    London asked me why I did this and I told her why.
    She said we lived different lives and I was simply saying that the difference in our vocations and avocations explain that.
    I have answered all your questions without assigning motive, but you have not yet responded to my answers.

  70. Bob Sweat says:

    George Fox Seminary, a fine Quaker school! I had a great time going to school at George Fox, too bad I was too immature to learn anything! 🙂

  71. London says:

    It was an observation Michael, not a judgement.

    Ill leave you all to it…

  72. Michael says:


    They have great spiritual formation classes…but you knew that.

  73. brian says:

    I get your point Q but no they hate him, personally, passionately and with divine mandate. As for refuting them they are self refuting anyone who thinks Warren is some Jesuit shill seeking to lead us to Rome in some One World Religion is a nut “in that area of their belief”. I am a nut in some ways I act and blabber on we all have pet peeves. Rick Warren is a cottage industry for some of the up and comers with in some of the smaller franchises trying to break into the bigger markets or even land a gig on TBN or one of the other conglomerates. I Dont fault them, but wonder about how many trees have fallen at the alter of the discerning of Rick Warren. I mean Rick is in competition with Joel Olsteen when people come after him, the thing I like about Olsteen is that he could care less what they say, he does not even know who they are. I remember hearing him say that concerning some of his greatest detractors and I laughed for a good 15 minutes thinking how that must really tick of the true believers and self appointed keepers of the sacred path.

  74. Lutheran says:


    To equate in any way, shape or form dispensationalism with the Reformation…that’s beyond ridiculous. Way beyond. Just plain stupid. One seminary class would be all it takes for one to vow to never conflate the two again.

    As the college professor said about a really bad term paper: “This isn’t right. It isn’t even wrong.”

  75. Michael says:


    There are great church history classes for free online from RTS and Covenant Seminary…I’m not sure if Concordia has any up.
    Free for the investment of time…and priceless.

  76. Q says:

    “To equate in any way, shape or form dispensationalism with the Reformation…that’s beyond ridiculous”

    Not at all, the reformation took on the powers that be about justification and authority (in Scripture or church tradition), 1200-1400 years before the idea of allegorical interpretations entered and was not fully addressed by the reformers but stayed in line with the Augustinian and reformer views, until Darby and others thought maybe this should have a literal hermeneutic applied through out, so does that make them haters or unloving? no.

    If the Catholics were wrong and the reformers challenged them but left eschatology pretty much the same, why can that also be questioned and discussed civilly, without being labeled, sinning, unloving, causing division, and nonsense and a fool.

    And now we can add ridiculous, hate, stupid, nut to the list, so we now have:

    they are sinning, unloving, causing division, nonsense, fool, ridiculous, hater, stupid and nut.

    Can you show me where they accused the brethren like that?

  77. Lutheran says:


    More books have been written about Martin Luther than anyone else, save our Lord.

    My point is that the Reformation was widespread and culture-shaking. And I’m not even counting the other parts of the Reformation — Calvin, Zwingli and the Anglican Reformation.

    And you’re conflating Darbyism/dispensationalism with that?


  78. Lutheran says:


    Thanks for the sem links.

    I’m told Concordia-St. Louis has lots of free stuff on iTunes.

  79. Lutheran says:


    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the scope of the two are radically different.

    You’re talking about eschatology.

    That’s not even a major part of any theology. It’s minor — a peripheral issue.

    Luther did talk about the end times…

    But I would guess it was probably .constituted 0000000000001% of all he wrote and preached about.

  80. Xenia says:

    Mystic – Operates in the realm of subjective experiences and altered states of consciousness having employed some technique to get in touch with a supernatural force or power.<<<

    Sounds good to me!

  81. Ricky Bobby says:

    Q said, “Non Mystic – Operates in the realm of the conscious mind (objective reason and ideas)

    Mystic – Operates in the realm of subjective experiences and altered states of consciousness having employed some technique to get in touch with a supernatural force or power.”

    The irony.

    By your definition, anyone who claims Christianity* in any form and claims a belief in the supernatural is a “mystic”

  82. Ricky Bobby says:

    Q, you invoke and appeal to logic, fallacy and reason to criticize “mysticism”…yet you don’t apply logic and reason to the whole of your Belief System.

    This is my beef with Selective Fundamentalists.

    Appeals to Logic, after-the-fact. Logic is an Authority, all Groups appeal to it underneath the Christian* umbrella, yet very very scant few understand Logic and apply it thoroughly to the whole of their Belief System.

    If you do…you’ll end up in the Liberal Camp (Theologically speaking).

  83. Lutheran said to Q – “You’re talking about eschatology.”

    This is usually where I upset the house, but to those who hold to rapture theology that is their main point. They will claim it as a secondary issue when pressed … but they lie. It is their primary issue and it colors and shapes their entire theology.

    A dispensationalist even reads the Bible backwards as they use the OT to interpret the NT. To a dispensationalist, if you want to know what a NT verse means, you need to look for a corresponding verse / passage in the OT – but it’s the only way to make their system work (even though time and again Jesus and Paul told us what the OT passages meant.)

    A very well known pastor who comes here occasionally has taught in Hebrews 8 & 9 that the new covenant IS NOT for the church but for Israel and that the church by being faithful to God reaps benefits from that new covenant,,, but is not the recipient.

    Talk about a 2 path system to salvation. The salvation may be the same, but there are 2 completely different paths in that system.

  84. Kevin H says:

    The question was posed earlier in the thread as to why you care what these ODM’s think. I, for one, am glad that the ODM teachings are discussed on occasion here as it has helped me to gain understanding and clarity on some of the issues they rail about. In fact, in a way, this is how I stumbled across the PP and found it in the first place.

    I have seen the influence of ODM teachings in my church and among some friends/family members/acquaintances. No, my church is not the worst when it comes to ODM stuff, but it certainly has some influence. Of course, it is just about all wrapped up in eschatology. I certainly have seen its influence in conversations I have had with some other attenders. Generally, I avoid getting into the subject much with them as I generally am a conflict-averse person. But I have had a couple instances with people closer to me where conversations went very bad because they saw any Christian who was not fully committed to the “pre-trib/pre-mill, the world must be coming to an end very soon, just look at all the bad stuff happening in the world, including mis-leading by so-called Christians” viewpoint as majorly screwed up and believing dangerous things.

    So I am thankful the conversations take place here. I am not saying that ODM teachings hold a dominant place in Christianity universally. But they do have some influence of significance. I have seen it myself.

  85. Nonnie says:

    Kevin H, I think you have spoken for many here.

  86. Muff Potter says:

    Lutheran wrote @ # 79:

    My point is that the Reformation was widespread and culture-shaking. And I’m not even counting the other parts of the Reformation — Calvin, Zwingli and the Anglican Reformation.

    In my opinion, the Reformation was a good thing as was the invention of the movable type printing press (Gutenberg). It disabled the stranglehold the Catholic Church once had over the Western mind. Curiously enough, the www (world wide web) is causing both Catholic and Protestant traditions to catch up with the Enlightenment. And that also in my opinion is a good thing.

  87. Muff Potter says:

    Xenia wrote @ # 82:

    Mystic – Operates in the realm of subjective experiences and altered states of consciousness having employed some technique to get in touch with a supernatural force or power.<<<

    Sounds good to me!

    Sounds good to me too Xenia. Except that the talismanic power that you derive from your Eastern Orthodox icons and traditions, is for me derived from my own Native American tradition of the red-tailed hawk as totem and talisman.

  88. filbertz says:

    mysticism that relies on ‘shrooms or peyote or other mind altering substances to access the ‘supernatural’ is quite different than quieting your environment, settling yourself down, considering/contemplating the character and works of God, then quietly responding to him verbally or within your heart/mind. The term ‘mysticism’ is too broadly applied, in my view, by those within the so-called discernment camp. It is like casting a net into the sea to catch pollock, and when a dolphin is caught, the fisherman calls it a pollock because it was caught in his pollock net.

  89. Q says:

    Lutheran “conflating”…no. Reformers went so far others like Darby years later took the word and read it literally and taught what they believed.

  90. Q says:

    Eschatology does seem to be more than a peripheral issue, it seems to be a main issue.

    What I mean is, they believe contemplative spirituality is one of the things causing a falling away which will lead to a one world religion the anti-Christ will rule over, so they are concerned for the brethren.

    On the other hand some here seem to believe the church is entering into a “golden age” and read authors who teach this way.

    What a person believes about the future affects what they do today e.g., if a person thinks they will need a good income in the future they may go to college today.

    Both seem to see the world having prosperity like the world has never seen, one sees it causing people to fall away and some see it as the advancement of the kingdom.

    I guess both see it as an advancement of a kingdom, just different ones, both profess Christ, one says those who embrace contemplative begin to see things more like a New Ager, others say it doesn’t.

    They have documented what they are seeing, and have been called sinning, unloving, causing division, nonsense, fool, ridiculous, hater, stupid and nut.

    Is name calling the fruit of contemplative spirituality?

  91. Michael says:


    The name calling started on the other side…when people question the faith of born again believers for different practices and traditions that fall well within historical orthodoxy.
    You truly lack understanding of eschatology at the time of the Reformation…Luther believed Christ could come back in his lifetime and grew discouraged when He didn’t.
    The Anabaptists had a very apocalyptic eschatology.

  92. Q says:

    Ricky Bobby

    Abraham did not use mysticism when he ‘considered’ his own body and ‘considered’ the barrenness of Sarah’s womb..but did not waver in unbelief but believed God was able to do what He had promised.

    Abraham reasoned it out and yet believed God would and could keep his promises.

    You seem to be wavering.

  93. “but did not waver in unbelief but believed God was able to do what He had promised.”

    did Abraham actually believe God would give him and Sarah a child? If you follow the story, it does not look like he ever told Sarah of the promise. Personally, I don’t think he believed it.

  94. Q says:

    According to Romans 4 he believed the promise that Sarah would give him a son despite the presumed impediments.

    “Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness.”

  95. Michael says:

    In other words, he believed in a supernatural provision of God…which according to your definition is mysticism.

  96. Q says:

    No, not at all.

    He believed God, He objectively thought through the situation but believed God was able to do what he promised.

    He did not enter some altered state of consciousness to contact some supernatural power for direction or peace.

    Maybe what he didn’t believe about this promise is that God could lie.

  97. My earlier point was, if he really believed God about him and Sarah having a child, why does it appear that he did not tell her?

    It seems if he really believed it he would have gone home and told Sarah “I was talking to God today and he told me that you and I are going to have a baby.” but when she overheard it from the angels sometime later, it was a surprise to her.

    I think he was hedging a bit.

  98. crownedone1 says:

    Re: point #6 (blessed hope)

    I do not hate the blessed hope either. My blessed hope is simply in Christ’s return…not that He does so ‘prior to me encountering tribulations’.

    Re: point#9

    Can you define “hating another part of the body”? I do not hate others because they do not agree with me, but neither do I desire unity (compromise) with them in regard to faith.

    Christ didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. And likewise, I plan to bring a sword (bible) into battle…even if it starts to poke parts of the body in uncomfortable ways.

  99. Q says:

    It seems if you go home and circumcise all the males and change your wife’s name you may be saying something.

    Maybe not a surprise but she thought it incredible and funny.

  100. Q says:

    They believe in a virgin birth the resurrection and many other miracles, they also believe in prayer… so they must be talking about something different when the are talking mysticism.

  101. Q – I know that Abe believed the promises of God – I think he held back on this one a bit. Can you say Hagar?

  102. Q says:

    The promise was restated after Ishmael.

    Hagar – Gen 16

    Restated promise which Romans 4 is talking about – Gen 17

  103. Q says:

    Hagar – Abraham’s body still alive 75 years old

    Sarah – Body dead Abraham’s body about 100 years old.

  104. Q – I think you will find the Romans passage is actually referencing Gen 15:4-6

  105. Q says:

    MDL – The promise is restated in Gen 17 that It would be through Sarah.

    Not the child born the natural way but the child born through promise.

    Romans 4 is referencing at least Gen 12, Gen 15, Gen 17.

    Abraham considering his body as good as dead and the barrenness of Sarah’s womb is a reference to the restated promise in Gen 17 after Hagar Gen 16.

  106. Q – you say restated – I say restated for a reason … Abe didn’t quite buy it.

  107. Q says:

    If you start calling your wife Sarah instead of Sarai seems you are saying something.

  108. When God asked Abe why Sarah laughed, I think Abe’s honest response should have been ‘because I did not tell her when you made the promise to me.’

  109. Q says:

    “Abe didn’t quite buy it.”

    Concerning Gen 17, Rom 4 says he did not waver in unbelief. He believed God!

  110. Michael says:

    Abraham believed God would create new life in his and his wife’s ancient bodies, spoke to angels, and watched God cut a covenant, but it wasn’t supernatural or mystical?


  111. Michael says:

    Paul must have repented of this “altered state of consciousness”.

    “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.”
    (2 Corinthians 12:2 ESV)

  112. Michael says:

    ““And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”
    (Joel 2:28 ESV)

  113. Q says:

    Believing God can or does miracles is not the same as entering altered states of consciousness or some other experience to contact a supernatural power for direction or peace.

    I already stated they believe in the virgin birth the resurrection, other miracles and prayer so when they are talking about mysticism they must be talking about something else.


  114. Michael says:

    They clearly state that only prayer that is officially sanctioned by them is the right kind.
    The scriptures say they are full of it.

  115. Michael says:

    The only supernatural power contemplative Christians are trying to contact is Jesus.

  116. Q says:

    “They clearly state that only prayer that is officially sanctioned by them is the right kind.”


    Are you making that up?

    At least they document what they write.

  117. Q says:

    “The scriptures say they are full of it”

    What scriptures say that?

  118. Michael says:

    They have written about “contemplative prayer” the lector divine” and other traditions of prayer as being “wrong”.
    Evidently if there is a “wrong” way, there must be a “right” way or else they view you a heretic.

  119. Michael says:

    The scriptures speak of meditation, of visions, of prophecies, of all sorts of “mystical experiences.

  120. Q – can you explain what you mean by; ” is not the same as entering altered states of consciousness”?

    How does one do that on their own? If one does do it, could it be provided by God?

  121. If I count sheep to fall asleep is that “entering altered states of consciousness”?

  122. Q says:

    MLD – Ask George Harrison.

  123. Q says:

    I think they are in agreement with the bible in Hebrews saying that in the past God spoke to our fathers in various ways but now has spoken to us once for all through his son and is now asking us to have faith in his word and fellowship with His Spirit.

    I do not know if they are cessationist, but were does the bible say you are to try to contact Jesus through mystical experiences?

  124. Michael says:

    Prayer, by it’s very nature is mystical.

  125. Michael says:

    Joel speaks of end times prophecies and dreams.
    I guess we better be watching out for that…

  126. Q says:

    Some teach it is okay to contact dead believers, is that okay?

  127. Michael says:

    Does it violate any part of the Gospel or any cardinal doctrine of the faith?
    If not, it’s utterly irrelevant.

  128. Michael says:

    Here is the real question.
    Is justification by grace through faith…or is justification by faith, knowledge, and acceptable practices?

  129. MLD – Ask George Harrison.

    He’s dead – I would need to go into an altered state to communicate wih him. 🙂

  130. Muff Potter says:

    crownedone1 wrote @ # 100:

    Christ didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. And likewise, I plan to bring a sword (bible) into battle…even if it starts to poke parts of the body in uncomfortable ways.

    Wouldn’t you rather beat your sword into a plowshare? Haven’t we had enough war, human misery and suffering?

  131. “Wouldn’t you rather beat your sword into a plowshare? Haven’t we had enough war, human misery and suffering?”

    The Bible – the root of all human misery and suffering. LOL – hey Muff, very interesting point of view.

  132. Lutheran says:

    One of the things I’ve come to love about the Lutheran church — and I’m sure it’s not the only one — is all the emphasis on peace. From the “peace of the Lord” liturgical greeting during worship to several other times, well, it’s really great.

    I’d guess that in the NT there is a lot more emphasis on peace than on the sword. As just one quick example, think about the peace we now have because of Christ exposited in the book of Colossians.

    As I get older, I find myself agreeing more with Muff’s comment, that the world needs more peace, not conflict. Christianity has been a leavening force for peace in the last 2,000 years.
    So much so that I think it was the historian Gibbons who blamed us for bringing down the
    warlike Roman Empire.

  133. Muff Potter says:

    @ Martin Luther’s Disciple,

    My comment says nothing whatsoever about the Bible being the root of human ills down through history. If anything, it argues for a different viewpoint than the one which casts Jesus as the author of Jihad. This is nothing new.

    The Book of Kells, a Celtic illuminated manuscript copy of the Gospels, uses the word “gaudium” meaning “joy” rather than “gladium,” which means “sword” — rendering the verse in translation: “I came not [only] to bring peace, but joy”. The Irish monks refused to use St. Jerome’s rendering because they felt it made no sense in the larger context of Jesus’ other sayings.

  134. Xenia says:

    Some teach it is okay to contact dead believers, is that okay?<<<

    If they died in Christ, they are not dead. In fact, they are more alive now than they ever were.

  135. To Xenia’s point – when we who believe that the true body and blood of Christ is presented at the Lord’s Table, when we partake we believe we are communing with the entire church, both militant and triumphant.

    I have no problem participating with those who passed on to their eternal reward.

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