Things I Think

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18 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    Number 8 needs to be shouted from the rooftops!! Most of the ministries I have ever been involved in are from being “dropped in my lap.” Amazing!

  2. filbertz says:

    we little shavings polarize pretty easily…perhaps we are not so much a chip off the Ol’ Block as a chip off the old (nature) block.

    “Artist” is an undervalued person in the “Church.” It didn’t used to be that way…

    Our measurements for inclusive/exclusive are wrongly calibrated…

    If my good needs to outweigh my bad, I’m in serious, irreversible deficit. 😉 Perhaps that’s why we put so much weight on appearances.

    In all likelihood, it is unlikely I’ll be liked by all.

  3. As to #8 I would even go further with the doctrine of vocation. If you go looking for ways to serve God you either
    1.) are ignoring what he has already given you to do – husband, wife, parent, employee or employer, citizen etc – or …
    2.) you are telling God that you are better than to have to do the mundane and you want the big stage.

    Ministry is you daily life.

  4. 1.) I would guess that I was the most vocal critic of your previous two posts about Chuck. I, for one, found nothing objectionable in your TGIF post on his passing. I thought it was fair. In the last few days I am understanding part of why Chuck was so influential: He didn’t have multi-site video campuses. Instead of putting up 1500 video screens of himself, he empowered 1500 pastors. That’s influence.

    5.) That’s a good thought. I wonder how that would work?

    7.) In fairness, I would guess that very little of church culture actually endorses MMA. But yes, there is that small group that sees it as the ultimate expression of Biblical masculinity. Weirdos.

    8.) Blackaby couldn’t have said it better!

    9.) Yes. The artist has a way of speaking past the exterior of man directly to the soul, often with things to primal to be spoken. Every artist is a prophet, taking the unseen and giving it a face, calling each of us to take another look at all that is around us and discern again what is really real.

    10.) Maybe, but its a temptation we all fall victim to. Must be the strongest temptress out there.

  5. Michael says:


    One of the friends I have left among the CC pastors sent me a text that said “Thank God Chuck didn’t believe in multi-site or 1500 men would never have had an opportunity to pastor”.
    Great observation, Josh.

  6. Steve Wright says:

    I appreciate a new term I have heard in recent years. “Violence porn” – I think many of the so-called horror movies would fit that description. It used to be horror movies were to scare you, make you jump out of your seat. But now it seems many of them are about wild special effects to make grisly, bloody deaths as vivid as possible. To watch long scenes of torture. There is little “scare” in such scenes anymore….Violence porn.

    Having said that, I do see a big difference in the Scriptures in the general terms of violence and sex.

    I do not see the sin in watching the bloody violence in something like Saving Private Ryan – which seeks to do honor to bravery and courage and a great event in human history.

    However, I do not see how it would ever be appropriate to watch two people, even if they were a happily married couple, copulating on screen.

  7. Muff Potter says:

    However, I do not see how it would ever be appropriate to watch two people, even if they were a happily married couple, copulating on screen.

    Steve, I’m an unabashed liberal about many things. But on this point I am in total agreement with you, it has no place on the public screen. It’s also too bad that extravagant special effects are relied upon as a substitute for a good story.

  8. EricL says:

    Michael, I appreciate your attempt to walk through an emotional minefield. I felt you were fair overall, while still letting people voice their diverse feelings about Chuck Smith. And thanks for practicing the “art” of clear writing, it is a needed skill within the church community. I might disagree with some of your theological perspectives, but I so often agree with your sentiments and find myself challenged by things expressed by you, your links, and your readers’ comments. Keep up the craft of writing!

  9. 1. I agree with Josh, I didn’t find it that objectionable. May have been a bit early, but tame
    6. Yeah, numbers get counted, but how do we count faithfulness? I think this goes back to your #3, worshiping people for good work. I really think the whole “be radical” thing has poisoned how we see good works. If you aren’t out there doing “crazy wild” stuff for Jesus, then people say you must be lukewarm (substandard) or not even a Christian. People forget about the person watching kids in the nursery, doing the Sunday school class, or just helping to set up tables and chairs. I think there is a lot to be said for the Theology of Vocation that MLD keeps touting.\
    7. Meh. I can’t see promoting MMA from the pulpit, but neither can I see condemning it. It isn’t on the same level as pornography. It is just a sport.
    8. See my comments on #6. Sometimes the mundane stuff counts just as much.
    9. No higher than others. All are part of the body.
    10. Truth.

  10. brian says:

    I agree with MLD on what he said.

    I was wondering about your number one, in the many losses I had in my life both family and friends my christian brothers and sisters would ask, at times even before expressing any sympathy. Were they “saved”? A few times it lead to well they may not be with the Lord because of this or that think I mentioned. At times, mind you this is with in a day or two of the loss, what did I do or not do to witness to them to lead them to the Lord, basically where did a fail and they are in hell because of me. Not many said it that way, a few times it was like their blood is on your hands or some such phrase. One thing that as almost universal in loss, at least with me in my personal experience was the showing of grief, of any kind for any reason. To this day that has stuck with me.

    7. Violence is effective, it sells sort of like sex but sex is yucky unless it is done in the correct environment I E married to someone that magically appeared to you while you were serving God. Violence is in the Bible extreme horrid violence, even x rated snuff film type violence in some passages. The MMA type violence is tempered and “controlled”. Like its ok to beat the hell out of your kid as long as you are not angry.

    9. If it generates revenue.

    10. It depends on their income.

  11. Jim says:

    As a 7 year CC’r back in the 80’s with a pastor from CCCM, I had no problems with your Chuck articles. The interwebs are full of critics, and blog hosts catch the brunt of keyboard commandos’ ire. Michael is more community minded than most, and is either silent or more temperate than most when under fire.

    Violent sports are not the same as violence. Porn is evil and degrading to all involved.

    I think a desire to be liked is a symptom of a deeper issue. Be yourself and let the chips fall.

  12. Bryan says:

    “I’m close to agreeing with those who believe that this country is about to come apart at the seams. The only reason I believe that is because when I see people trying to get in the middle of polarized opposites both sides shoot at that person until they’re tired. When we can no longer speak with each other to solve an issue, the only alternative left is war. When every dispute becomes an all or nothing battle…you either get all or nothing. Those who end up with nothing go looking for bigger guns.”

    Certainly the direction we are headed in. Os Guinness is speaking much more urgently about this in his two most recent books. I’m sad for the West, and have a vested interest in it. I still have hope that it can turn around. I also gain hope by watching the expansion and general health of the global Church, and there is much to rejoice about outside Western nations. On a spiritual scale of 1-10, America is near a 3 at best. In Asia and Latin America it is about an 8-9. Much of our problem in the West is an unhealthy preoccupation with ourselves.

  13. I did a recording yesterday which will be podcast this week. The presenter begins with the idea, “we want to say ‘thank You for another day’ but we can’t say it to ‘The Bully In The Sky'”

  14. erunner says:

    1. I think people need context before stating your article was out of line or insensitive. That article would have been totally different if written five or six years ago when you were in a different place. Having been around here for some time your article reflects how you have changed in how you see all that is Calvary Chapel. You’re in a position that no matter how you address certain topics you will take heat as things are so polarizing.

    4. At times I wonder if this nation has either already come apart at the seems or is in the process of doing so. Be it in politics or in the church many of those who should be leading us by example are exampling pride, selfishness, and lack of conviction which shows me how positions of power can undo anyone who reads their press clippings. As a result many in their sphere of influence display the same traits and in turn pass them onto those in their sphere, etc. And soon we’re all doing and saying what’s right in our own eyes.

    7. I think MMA gets a lot of unfair criticism. Many of the MMA’s most vocal critics love pro and collage football as well as professional boxing. I would contend that these sports may be more violent than MMA. Take a look at the terrible injuries that take place in these sports and in boxing we’ve seen fatalities. While blood is spilled in the MMA the worst thing as far as bad injuries I see is the dreaded cauliflower ear! 🙂

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    Re number 9. Thanks for acknowledging us artsy people. Too bad most churches either look like big shopping centers or sanitariums (catholic churches don’t count in the eyes of evangelicals unfortunately). I was part of an artists Bible Study/fellowship group back in Minnesota, but such groups are extremely rare.

  16. Babylon's Dread says:

    In truth Chuck Smith postdated the video remote site craze. We don’t know what he would have done if he were a younger man when it rose as an option. I suspect he would have joined it. Hard to argue that a man of so many innovations would have not been on the edge of a trend. Changing music was much more dramatically controversial.

    The great icon has gone. We can only look back and marvel. Time to evaluate will come soon enough.

  17. Babylon's Dread says:

    While at it let me say that I would not choose a video church and a Mars Hill site has opened less than a mile away and is certainly affecting us but I rejoice that Christ is preached and I know that I will have a ministry as long as I desire and walk in the graces of Jesus. Let the kingdom increase by all means used by all men in all places and let those of us who walk in lesser portions learn to be at peace with the mercies of our LOR

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    “mercies of our LORD”

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