Things I Think

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117 Responses

  1. Fusco says:


    #3) Bummer – On another note, I was thinking about JJS’ journey from CC to Presbyterian to Catholicism – Interesting

    #10) Ouch and Amen.

  2. Fusco says:

    I said bummer because I always dreamed in my ambition of being a Cardinal 😉

  3. Jess says:

    7. Well, water baptism regeneration is a false gospel that cannot save. Kill me for saying it.

  4. Michael says:

    I would be interested in hearing from JJS how he came to grips with that part of RC tradition.

  5. Jess,
    “7. Well, water baptism regeneration is a false gospel that cannot save. Kill me for saying it.”

    I don’t know about using well water, but you make a liar of the Bible because you don’t believe that God uses physical means to deliver his grace vs it just falls from the sky like pixie dust..

  6. Fusco says:

    I am with you Michael. I have always enjoyed reading JJS’ stuff and have been following his evolution since the Wild West days of PPX.

  7. Michael says:


    Let me get this right.
    If someone believes that Christ died for their sins, then Christ cannot save them if they err in some way theologically.
    Is that really what you’re saying?

  8. filbertz says:

    Pixie dust doesn’t fall from the sky; it is either sprinkled by pixies or emanates from their wands. Sheesh. 😉

  9. Jess says:

    Yes, Michael, that is my reading of Scripture. I must go with that and not what is popular and even if it opens me up to attack from religious people.

  10. filbertz says:

    All roads lead to Rome.
    All roads also lead from it.
    Perhaps those who fear a Roman exodus should focus on creating a worthy alternative destination.

  11. Michael says:


    What you’re saying is that one must have an absolutely correct set of doctrines to be saved.
    My Bible says that salvation is through a Person, not a set of doctrines.
    The Gospel as I understand it is that God incarnated, lived a sinless life, died for my sins, ascended to heaven and will return again to judge the quick and the dead.
    I think the DD guy believes that, but you would damn him anyway.
    How do you defend that?
    Is Christ bound by certain rules concerning those He chooses to save?

  12. Michael says:

    Once I saw Geneva, Rome had no attraction for me… 🙂

  13. filbertz says:

    Geneva is a looker, I’ll admit that. 😉

  14. Fusco says:

    Great meatballs in Rome though 😉
    Some of the best in the world – LOL

    Rome is nice
    Geneva may be a looker
    But there is nothing like SoCal

  15. Jess says:

    And my Bible says that salvation is thru a Person about which you must have the right doctrines, about thar Person (2 Cor.. 11:4) in order to have that Person at all.

    So that is my reading of Scripture, and I know I am right, but you believe me to be wrong. What if you are wrong? Just for the sake of argument.

  16. filbertz says:

    by Jess’ definition, I’m not headed for Rome, Geneva, nor SoCal. Lake front condo in hell for me. 🙁

  17. Lutheran says:

    ‘water baptism regeneration is a false gospel that cannot save’

    Jess, you need to get out more.

    And no, you don’t get to wear the false persecution hat for your oh, so righteous stand.

  18. Michael says:


    If you know you are right beyond a shadow of a doubt, then there is little use for discussion.
    Evidently, one must belong to your particular faith tradition to be saved so we all will just hope God has mercy on the rest of us.
    Just for fun, lets look at your Scripture quote.

    “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough”
    (2 Corinthians 11:3–4 ESV)

    Everything must hinge here on how you define what the Gospel is…and what doctrines you consider “essential” to salvation.

    I told you from 1 Cor 15 what I believe the Gospel is…how do you define it?
    What doctrines do you have to have “right” to be saved?

  19. Michael says:


    We can share a room… 🙂

  20. “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:4

    Jess, I’m not a believer in baptismal regeneration, but how is that another Jesus, spirit or gospel?

  21. Michael beat me to it.

  22. Jess says:


    It does matter how a person defines things. 1Cor.. 15 is how Jesus saves, but my response to it is in Rom.. 4:5, where baptismal regeneration is rejected by Jesus Christ.

    You would rightly dismiss a mormon as unsaved (correct me if I am wrong), based on doctrine. I do the same with what I believe based on my reading of Scripture.

    You are right, the discussion is pointless and I doubt continuing will make anybody happy. But I wanted to answer your question.

  23. bishopdave says:

    Because Jess said it is.

  24. Michael says:


    That was silly.
    Mormons believe in a “different Jesus”.
    That is indisputable.
    The Duck guy believes in the biblical Jesus…and that will save his soul.

  25. Scott Barber says:

    Jess, I tend to think about it like this: I know my dad, and truly love my dad, and I know that he knows me and loves me and forgives me for all the crap I have done in my life. Now, I don’t know him perfectly, there are things about him (maybe many) that I misperceive, misunderstand, and there are times I act wrongly towards him based on this inevitable imperfect understanding. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t truly know him or love him. This just what it means to have a relationship with a real person. As Saint Augustine reminds us, real people made in the image of God are like endless caverns of mystery. Having a relationship with someone is so fun and exciting because you never know what interesting and wonderful thing you will discover next about that person: a hidden talent, sudden courage, a quickness to kindness etc. Our relationship with God is similar. We know in part, and act on that partial knowledge in love. Like any parent, God enjoys what fumbles and bungles we make towards him however silly or misguided they are so long as we are responding to his call. All he wants is for us to love him as he loves us. Ispo facto, not even baptismal regeneration will keep you from the arms of God. Both Augustine and myself are happy that we can afford to be wrong on that one 🙂

  26. fyi says:

    Jess @22; the DD guy s have the right Jesus. Mormons, of course, do not.

  27. gomergirl says:

    first, I thought unicorns farted pixie dust. just saying.

    #8 it happens every sunday in most every church I have been to (that has a worship team/band/leader) save one. musicians who can not /will not make it in the music biz use that as their time to shine. the only time i have not felt that way was in Nashville, of all places, where most of the people who did music were professional musicians, who did not need that glory directed at them on sunday. (i mean no disrespect to anyone here who leads worship or participates, this is just my experience)

    #10 the root of the problem. you are right on.

  28. Kevin H says:

    1. I remember when I first heard about Evander Holyfield and all his kids with various different women. I always thought the guy was a bit nutty before that, but it still is quite disappointing to find out about a man who is constantly proclaiming Christ with his words only to learn he’s living a completely opposite lifestyle. Dwight Howard is another one. I don’t want to go ahead and throw AP in the same group as I don’t know nearly as much about him. This current situation certainly is a tragedy. But it is still disappointing to hear of some of the details about AP.

    2. Yeah, and he’d probably be on the Road to Rome, too. 🙂

    7. I do also rejoice that this family appears to be believers and although I don’t know much about the show, they apparently do get some small opportunities to express their faith on the show and to cast Christ in a good light, unlike much of everything else that is on tv nowadays. But I do also cringe at the fact that popular Christian culture will so often latch on to any kind of celebrity who happens to be a Christian and start propping them up without discretion. I remember from a few years back when Steven Baldwin (of the Baldwin brothers) apparently became saved and then you suddenly started seeing him all over the place on Christian media. I don’t know much of the man so I can’t really say too much about him. But I do then remember seeing a campaign he was apparently running a year or two ago for people to give him money, because he had hit some hard times (relatively) and he was struggling to maintain the luxurious lifestyle he was used to. His reasoning was that he needed to continue to live at this type of lifestyle so he could continue to reach out and minister to others who lived at this same lifestyle. If he couldn’t maintain his high lifestyle, then he could lose his influence in the lives of others who were still living there. What a crock!

    9. Yeah, but I bet there are some Calvary Chapels on the banks of the Tiber just waiting to jump in. 🙂

  29. Scott Barber says:

    By the way, not a perfect analogy but I was just trying to get at the relational nature of faith over and above (while not excluding) the factual nature.

  30. Jim says:

    I’m gonna rightly dismiss Jess as ignorant, but I’m not without hope for him/her.

  31. Michael says:


    That was close to perfect…thank you.

  32. Michael says:


    I think when celebs are Christians it makes us feel like we can be cool too.
    It’s nonsense, but I’ve learned not to rail against it as much as I want to…

  33. Michael says:


    Sarah says the same thing about Nashville…

  34. Muff Potter says:

    @ # 2 from Things I Think,

    Careful what you wish-pray for. The sincere Puritans of England did the same in the 17th cent. and got Oliver Cromwell.

  35. Rob Murphy says:

    #5 – You have finally given me a place that I’m ahead of the curve. I’m only 45 and the weather is reminding me that my shoulder, knee and hip feel like I might need
    an oil can.

    I have finally found somewhere I’m an overachiever. It’s kind of a pyrrhic victory, like meeting my insurance deductible. But I’ll take the landmark achievement with thanks.

  36. Nonnie says:

    Number 5: I feel your pain. I’m going to the chiropractor tomorrow. I’m preparing for a trip to see my grandkids in a couple of weeks and need my back and hips to be in the best of conditions.
    Nonnie needs to be able to hold her babies!

  37. filbertz says:


    Sarah says the same thing about Nashville.”

    what, that they fart pixie dust too!!??

  38. sarah says:

    Nashville is a mixed bag like anywhere…I’ve seen some churches where literally the worship team hands out their demo tapes. However, I ‘m thankful for the churches where there is the maturity to have musicians who are not obviously recogniousable and not overly impressed with themselves playing.

    Takes leadership that is comfortable in their own skin and that is not always easy.

  39. gomergirl says:

    Sarah and I have mutual friends there. that is why… 🙂
    that was also the church (in spite of being CC) where I experienced the best vision of how church should be. I hold that time in my life most dear, and unfortunately hold all subsequent experiences to that standard. and those are hard shoes to fill.

  40. gomergirl says:

    and that church is no longer there. if that says anything…

  41. Most of my family goes to Christian Churches (Church of Christ with instrumental music).
    I was saved at a church camp in this denomination.
    I still have a lot of friends in this denomination and see them all still as brothers and sisters in Christ.
    I myself have a different understanding than I did when I was younger and align more with Baptist doctrine.
    The Church of Christ doesn’t have any primary doctrinal differences, that I have ever been able to see, with most denominations.
    Really, baptismal regeneration is a difference that some will have, but it isn’t anything to ever say that some will not be saved because they believe that or don’t believe that.

    I do really like the motto they use a lot:
    “Christians only, but not the only Christians”

  42. Lutheran says:


    ‘Turns out the fellow is Church of Christ and believes in baptismal regeneration.’

    This has gotta be one of the few low-church Prot. groups that do so. In the rest of Christendom, it’s the standard, though.

    If my apologetics memory serves correctly, isn’t Max Lucado (“America’s pastor,” according to a recent radio ad for his latest book, LOL) a C of Cer?

    I doubt it’s something he broadcasts because then people like Jess would likely experience some heavy-duty cognitive dissonance.

    And really, who in their right mind believes Max wil be in hell?


  43. Another comment on #7.
    First a question to all the pastors that are on here.
    Would any of you want elders who don’t have the slightest idea of theology?
    No, of course not. They must be qualified to teach.
    Now, I understand when someone gets mad because some celebrity starts expounding their ideas on theology. Usually it is a bunch of junk that they think and not really any theology at all.

    I will say this though, Phil Robertson is an elder of his church.
    He has been for years.
    This should at the least give him a little leeway that most celebrities don’t have.
    Yep, he will have his own ideas that don’t agree with some other denoms, but I guarantee that the primary doctrines will all be the same.
    And yes, he does have his own political ideas, but hey jack, who don’t.

  44. Lute, Max is a Methodist.

  45. Never mind, Lute, you were right. I don’t know why I thought that.

  46. Lutheran says:



    I think my problem with CofC wouldn’t be baptismal regeneration per se, but the way they do music.

    Of course, I’m part of a tradition that includes JS Bach and Mendelssohn.

    I’d have a tough time with just a cappella!


  47. I love a capella singing, but not a steady diet of it.

  48. fyi says:

    Max is NOT a methodist. He is church of christ. His church dropped the name but he has not personally changed. Still, the man loves the real Jesus with all hisheart!

  49. The difference between what the Church of Christ and the Lutherans believe about baptism is this. We both believe that baptism saves – that God uses the physical means of water and his preached word to deliver his grace … but the C o C believes that you must be baptized to be saved (no baptism = no salvation) – Lutherans believes that God uses different ways to deliver his grace – baptism being one.

  50. Sarah says:

    When done right, with a congregation which has grown up understanding harmonies and how to sing…it is pretty powerful 😉 I couldn’t do it all the time either, but I have to say, there is something pretty special about some of these southern congregations that break out in the parts when all of us who have no idea what they are doing stand around rather stunned and then start catching on. It’s pretty cool.

    Every congregation has its issues. I knew nothing of Church of Christ growing up in Albuquerque, but I married a Southern boy. He was the first one in his family who had left the Church of Christ. When he made the decision to leave that congregation he met with great questioning, including hard lines about acceptable and unacceptable sacrifices. He met with a lot of guilt placed on him. He met with those who questioned his salvation.

    By the time I was dating him it had been a few years. Still, Steve was the only one at the time not in the Church of Christ. I’ll say to his dad’s credit that his dad has been nothing but generous to me. We’ve had lots of conversations about the faith, and his Dad is probably a lot like a cleaned up version suburban version of Phil.

    The one thing that we have all talked about…those in our home groups and those in our church here who have come out of Church of Christ background…that is interesting is there is vehement opposition to Catholicism. Yet, we have several in our group who came from Catholic background, and the similarities are striking. It really is amazing…

    We all have our hangups and the things that we use as our “additions”. We all have out things in the faith that we grew up with that form our seems like we project them on so many aspects of the faith that others have. Our vision is so clouded. Our sin, our failures, our disappointments, our frustrations, the hurts others have added to us…all these things cloud our vision and understanding.

    And yet we still stamp our feet and say we have it figured out and we demand that we know the clear understanding of the Gospel.

    I don’t.

    I know that I have friends in so many different denominations that have shown me glimpses of Jesus, and for that I am grateful. And then…some who have shown me glimpses of Jesus and who I have thought known him, and still trust do know him, who do astoundingly and staggeringly difficult to understand things. THings so completely in opposition to the Gospel. And I don’t know quite what to do with that.

    Other than to say we are wounded fallen people with clouded minds who by the gift of the Spirit get glimpses of understanding and sometimes get it right.

    Sometimes we sing a capella and it sounds like hallelujah.

    Sometimes we sing a capella and it sounds like a football match.

    Sometimes we sing with instruments and it sounds like Justin Bieber singing about Selena Gomez…and hoping everyone is watching.

    Sometimes we sing with instruments and it sounds like an orchestra, maybe a hint of what it sounded like on a hillside in Bethlehem announcing the coming of a Messiah.

    It’s all glimpses. We can’t stamp our feet and demand everyone agree with us. We can at best suggest we’ve caught a glimpse and share our testimony and bear witness as the Spirit says amen. We can suggest when the Spirit gives us a check and something disagrees with the testimony of Scripture…but damn, it’s not worth beating each other up.

    Sigh. sorry…rant, over.

  51. Kevin H says:

    There’s an article o Lucado from about 8 years ago. His church doesn’t seem to be a normal Church of Christ.

  52. marklepard says:

    1John 3:2 – Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    Don’t these verses imply that everyone has the wrong Jesus to some degree, and we won’t see Him fully until glory? The question becomes, at what point is one’s wrong Jesus powerless to save, right? I think there’s a big difference between Mormons and the Robertsons.

  53. gomergirl says:

    #7. I don’t get the whole Duck Dynasty or Tebow hoopla that is out there. (I guess this relates to #1 too) Any celebrity who uses their christianity or use the name of jesus to be noticed, seem to be defeating the whole idea of faith. Dropping to one knee after a TD or thanking jesus for your gramy or praying in front of a camera seems to be rather exploiting of the gospel and akin to the “men who pray in public on street corners for everyone to hear” I find the obsession with these christians really counter-intuitive.

  54. gomergirl, you mean you don’t TeBow everytime the boss comes in and say “we got the sale!”?

  55. Jim says:

    Duck Dynasty is about a bunch of rich rednecks who goof around a lot. They end each show with a family meal, and Phil says grace. I don’t think DD is making any money off of Jesus.

  56. j2theperson says:

    The summer before my first semester of college I attended a summer filmmaking program at USC. While I was there I met some students who belonged to the International Church of Christ. We hung out and I went to some of their events. They were holding a baptism at the beach and I talked a bit with one of the guys who was going to get baptized. He told me a bit about his life and his love for Jesus and told me a story about an interaction he had with one of his roommates once that left me thinking that he had good respect for people and loved God. One of the ICC people came up after that and, to the guy I was talking to, said, “Hey, Brother. Er, I mean, future Brother.” I was quite taken aback by the idea that the ICC person seemed to seriously believe that the guy I had been talking to would not actually be a Christian until he was baptized. It shocked me because throughout our entire conversation he had shown a great deal of Christian spirit, and it really disturbed me that character or a transformed life indicated nothing but somehow being baptized did. When I came back for the fall semester at USC I did not reconnect with that church group.

  57. erunner says:

    #1… I believe Peterson learned of the child only three months ago and it’s reported he has children with two other women. Our “heroes” do indeed have feet of clay. Right now the focus should be on the murder of a defenseless child which isn’t all that uncommon in our country.

    #2… I don’t think we’ll ever see that person and even if Jimmy Stewart were president things are so polarized I’m not sure what real good he or anyone else could do. We simply aren’t able to govern ourselves and the only answer is a Theocracy that will not be the result of any person(s).

    #5… In the circles I run in we talk about our prostate and how many times we wake up at night to make rain! 🙂

    #8… A lot of the music discussion can be quite subjective as we all approach worship and what constitutes worship differently. I often wonder about some of the music that nobody seems to like yet it was written by a person who expressed their heart which in the eyes of God is beautiful.

  58. Uh.... says:

    #55 DD stars do not speak at churches for free 😉

  59. #55 Exactly.
    They were already rich.
    Besides when they say grace, religion doesn’t even come into the show that much at all.
    It is basically just a fun show to watch.
    Now the stars go around speaking on their faith at many events.
    Phil was doing this years before the show even started.
    It really isn’t like they are doing much different than they were before.

  60. Bob says:

    I kind of like this “wacko”

    “If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His
    cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!”
    — Keith Green

  61. “If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!”
    — Keith Green

    Truly tragic.

    The “abundant life” Jesus came to give knows nothing of such a dark and false piety that would deny any of us the joys of imagination and creativity as expressed in storytelling, the visual arts, or the simplicity of minds meeting in conversation.

    May this damnable extremism perish with the Taliban and Westboro Baptist, just as it perished with the late Keith Green’s arrogance and imbalance.

  62. I agree with G here.
    I see nothing wrong with enjoying things while we are here.
    As for being ecstatic every minute for God in this life, don’t see it happening.
    I would truly put myself in an unrealistic place to think I could always be like that.
    Set myself up for depression and failure probably.
    Even the psalms show that that is unattainable right now.
    More of a striving.

    I used to wonder about that, you know, getting bored in heaven, just praising God and stuff all the time.
    That is only looking at it from the perspective of life right now.
    I am not fully sure of what life will be like after death.
    I figure God will fix us and all will be clear after and our ability to find Joy in him will be made perfect.

  63. Steve Wright says:

    Well…sitting alone in a room today in prayer with God is a far cry from what it will be like to be with Him in a glorified body, enjoying face-to-face fellowship so the comparison starts with a fatal flaw.

    And I think we are going to spend some time with other believers there too and not spend eternity in some “heavenly isolation” with the Lord.

    All that sort of attitude by Green did (and does) is put a legalistic guilt trip on people.

    God forbid one enjoy a good and decent book, movie or TV show and certainly not hanging out with friends. Good grief let’s cancel all the potlucks and make everyone go home to their closets, not to mention two people just enjoying each other’s company over coffee (or a blog).

    If I ever shared like that from the pulpit I hope somebody would call me out on it before I left church that morning.

  64. But I don’t agree with his calling it “damnable extremism” and equating it with Westboro and the Taliban.
    I understand where you are coming from and I would love to be that way myself to an extent.
    Just finding more pleasure in Jesus as I go through life would be great for me.
    But remember, you can enjoy things without letting them rule you.

  65. Michael says:


    Amen and amen.
    Green was a legalistic theological train wreck.

  66. Michael says:

    It’s just bad theology from the get go.
    Heaven and earth will be one place and we will enjoy earth as it was intended to be.

  67. Solomon Rodriguez says:


    We are to live as biblical Christians balance isn’t a label that will describe us

  68. Lutheran says:

    #22 Rom.. 4:5, where baptismal regeneration is rejected by Jesus Christ.

    No, Jess. Rom. 4:5 says not a word about baptism. And Jesus didn’t write Romans — the apostle Paul did.

    I think what you’re reading into the text is that you think baptism is a “work.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    God does all the work and He does it through baptism. All we do is present the child. His promises in His Word are given through the waters of baptism.

    But again, it’s God that does all the work. What could be more of a beautiful picture of the unmerited love of God in Christ than a helpless baby?

    If you want to continue to spout your narrow beliefs, have at it. But you will be challenged.

  69. Solomon,
    I couldn’t disagree more.

    Life is a full spectrum of challenges, joys, sorrows, seasons. These are only some of the things which enable us to deal with the inevitable ebb and flow of life and that is the blessed thing we call “balance”.

    Some think we’re to be total ascetics, but, well, how can I put this gently?
    Mr. Green was married and enjoyed the conjugal blessings that marriage sanctifies.
    Why didn’t he chide all of us for enjoying s*x, after all!? As far as I have ever been able to determine from the Judeo-Christian scriptures, there just ain’t no s*x described in the afterlife. Why didn’t Mr. Greene mock us for enjoying that little joy of life? Because no one, including him, could live out such an extreme statement.
    It was, is and ever shall be total bullpucky.

    If we are not to be balanced and enjoy telling stories, create visual art, write plays and screenplays, poetry, and enjoy the simple wonder of conversation with friends then we are a mockery to The Living God Who is King of the Universe, who paints the sky with the constellations, inspires us to explore, gives us minds which can develop telescopes to peer into the heavens and microscopes to see the very cells which make up our bodies. We share delicious meals, take trips, relate the wonders of who we met and what we saw in our travels. We muse and make allegory and tell cautionary tales in our novels, we imagine worlds and speak of Hobbits and Vulcans and The Force, all with the values we find transcendent, and The Lord God uses each of these small and wonderful things in life to reach us, teach us, give us community and common ground, entertainment and relief from life’s burdens.


  70. Xenia says:

    1. This is one of the reasons for marriage, so a man can protect (or be aware of the existence of) his children. All those moral laws that modern people think are so archaic have been given to mankind for a very good reason. If this football player was married to the mother of his children in all likelihood there would be no rogue boyfriend in the house murdering his children.

    2. We are too polarized. One group’s dream-prez is the next group’s anti-christ.

    3. It would do CC good to move a little closer to Rome, IMO.

    4. I can think of plenty of things that are more detrimental to faith.

    5. In my circle we mostly talk about our fading memories.

    6. Nothing irritates me more (keeping with the hyperbole) than a new book that claims to have new insight on theology.

    7. God bless Phil Robertson and his bearded family. Baptism does now save us.

    8. True.

    9. Holy Theotokos, pray to God for us.

    10. This is probably true.

  71. Xenia says:

    Balance. Oh yes, we can’t have too much of that God stuff, we have to balance it out with some worldly stuff.

  72. The world is The Lord’s, He is God in every facet and spectrum of life.
    Worship The Lord in the beauty of photography.
    Glorify Him in the telling of the tale,
    In the sketch on the paper,
    In the midst of discovering shared skills of musicianship,
    Of the discovery of a new resturant

  73. Steve Wright says:

    We have always, ALWAYS been deeply polarized as a nation. Even the Constitution was not ratified without a huge fight.

    When have we ever had a leader that united us as a nation? We’ve always had competing factions (i.e. political parties)

    The difference is the federal government has far FAR more power than it ever has had in the past. The states have more power too of course, but even their power is dwarfed by the federal government and the states have no power to grant freedom that the feds have chosen to take away.

    That’s why so many people keep looking for a government leader to arise as President, or a Senator or House Speaker – because they think the answer lies in Washington.

    Washington is where the problem lies. Frankly, a few handcuff amendments on spending and foreign entanglements, and we could recess the Congress for all but a few weeks out of the year.

  74. Her’s an example of simple storytelling in just a few words, using a link to a photo.

    It is called “Terminally Ill Man Attends Daughter’s Wedding”

    Is there any way that Jesus Christ is not glorified in this?

    Is there not a soul here who isn’t moved to compassion?

    And now you have a story to tell, one of inspiration, of nobility, of courage.

  75. Muff Potter says:


    Sadly, some have no interest in beauty, human compassion, or human feeling — only their narrow view of what it is to be a ‘Biblical’ Christian. And of course they get to decide what ‘Biblical’ is supposed to mean for all of us.

  76. Babylon's Dread says:

    Spent the last few days hanging out with a Catholic theologian.What an amazing person and thinker she is. Another friend of mine has announced that he is converting to the big church. Mary is the big hurdle but those guys know how to make a case for things.

  77. David sloane says:

    As I sat in my reclining lawn chair in my back yard, enjoying my cigar and a Heineken while looking up at my 50 foot Ash tree in my back yard last Sunday, I had no thoughts of Keith Green…

  78. brian says:

    “Sadly, some have no interest in beauty, human compassion, or human feeling ”

    My personal experience we cant do that, we are evil, vile, filthy god hating heathen and not one of us can see true beauty, have any type of human compassion, and feelings well they are of Satan and are to be totally denied. No wonder many of us go nutz. Maybe God could get it straight, he gave us emotions only to deceive us, I know some that say so. From what I understand we need to have understanding in what is effective, efficient and overcomes, any other such nonsense is of Satan himself and should be rejected.

    Nope no good news here, maybe someone could offer some. Just a thought.

  79. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Muff Potter,

    Not true. Just got done reading 1 John ch 3 and if that is not a call for love and compassion I don’t know what is. And that is part of the narrow way of the bible to be willing to lay down your life for your brother.

  80. Bryan Stupar says:

    What’s “not true” w/ Muff Potters statement?

    “only their narrow view of what it is to be a ‘Biblical’ Christian. And of course they get to decide what ‘Biblical'”.

    This happens all the time! Christians make rules & set standards as somehow being the picture of a righteous path, “the narrow way”…Most of what makes that list has no anchoring in the scripture. In other words they’re NOT on God’s GPS, and should one follow that map, regardless of the promise of moral superiority it offers, they’ll still be lost..(think Pharisee).

    You pointed to 1 John 3. Most (if not all) here would agree w/ this…

    As you stated (and I agree heartily) “the narrow way of the bible” would be “to be willing to lay down your life for your brother” so THEY may live.

    Thus the “broad way” (or, the default setting on the human GPS) that leads to destruction (which no doubt hints at a final judgement, BUT also imply’s the opposite of “human thriving”, HERE/NOW) would be to lay the life of your brother down (berating, attacking, killing, gossiping, maligning) so YOU may live.

  81. “If we are not to be balanced and enjoy telling stories, create visual art, write plays and screenplays, poetry, and enjoy the simple wonder of conversation with friends then we are a mockery to The Living God Who is King of the Universe, who paints the sky with the constellations, inspires us to explore, gives us minds which can develop telescopes to peer into the heavens and microscopes to see the very cells which make up our bodies. We share delicious meals, take trips, relate the wonders of who we met and what we saw in our travels. We muse and make allegory and tell cautionary tales in our novels, we imagine worlds and speak of Hobbits and Vulcans and The Force, all with the values we find transcendent, and The Lord God uses each of these small and wonderful things in life to reach us, teach us, give us community and common ground, entertainment and relief from life’s burdens.”

    G, this is really good. Perhaps when we enjoy these things, if we relish in the fact that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights, we wouldn’t even have to refer to it as balance.

  82. Bob says:


    I think you miss Keith Green’s point. While no one can speak for Keith, or anyone else for that matter, I believe he is saying what’s missing is often people really only want Jesus for what He can do for them. In the very old days that is known as “idol worship.” If I do this, then I will get this…

    Being Christian is not just fire insurance, it is a walk, a way of life or maybe the popular idea of a journey. If one can’t live with God daily, hourly or even by the second how do they expect to live with Him for eternity.

    I once heard a preacher proclaim, “God would never put someone who hates Him into heaven, because to do so would make it hell to the one who hates God’s presence.”

    I think you can see I don’t believe in universalism (I like the idea, but it makes no sense), but I also have to admit I’m a bit swayed by the idea of annihilation. However the point here is if people love God why don’t people walk with Him in everything they do, including all the stuff Keith Green mentioned?

  83. Bob says:

    G (and any one else)

    Here’s a link to an article about a man who walked the talk. May we all learn more from his example.

    MLD He’s Jewish so you might not want to read it

  84. ( |o )====::: says:

    I’m on the road so no dialog possible today.

    Green’s quote doesn’t say what you’re hoping that it did. It’s purely unrealistic and not the gospel

  85. “not the gospel”

    The irony.

  86. Nonnie says:

    Shortly before his death, Keith Green repented of his legalism.

  87. casual observer says:

    ( lo )—-::: is made of irony Purity is not legalism.

  88. ( |o )====::: says:

    asceticism is not purity.

    Purity is love, acted out, and all of those things disdained by Green’s quote are completely wholesome and beautiful.

  89. casual observer says:

    Keith Green may be over the head of some.

  90. “May this damnable extremism”

    What does damnable mean to a Universalist?!?

  91. It’s a literary device to voice my extreme aversion to the stupidity of Green’s statement

  92. Are there any early Vineyard people from this blog … if so I want to chat…

  93. I will say that your literary device sounds a lot like “Agree with me or you will go to Hell”.

    Just so you know.

  94. ( |o )====::: says:

    It’s the same literary device Jesus used to express His disdain for the legalistic religious twits of His day.

    To call a way of thinking “damnable” is not to conclude the person stating it is “damnable” or damned.

    One need not believe in a literal hell to wish that a way of thinking be consigned to it.

  95. Seems awfully convenient, but I’ll drop it. I know you aren’t interested in discusasing such things with me.

  96. casual observer says:

    Holiness is not legalism.

  97. Disengagement is not holiness

  98. Gary says:

    It can’t be helped. You die. You disengage.

  99. erunner says:

    Nonnie, I was aware of your # 87 long ago. Keith had a heart for God and uncontainable zeal. He erred in some of his thinking that found its way into his music “i want more than Sunday’s and Wednesday nights….. ” but he regretted it. He did much to advance the kingdom and had a huge influence on my early Christian life. Another example of Christians in the spotlight who had feet of clay.

  100. Josh,
    I’m traveling, driving hundreds of miles a day, sorry I cannot sit at my iPhone and banter from its teeeency-weeeency poor excuse for a “keyboard” while I’m ham-fingering and correcting the autocorrect my wonky technology insists on throwing my way. I’m on a break now, actually sitting still with an iPad.

    Keith Green’s quote illustrates a type of stupidity rarely found expressed in christianity. We evolved from such a Talibanesque mind set except in small inbred cultic groups which die off when the members step back and complete a thought without such strong personalities like Green haranguing them (Green’s Last Days Ministries comes to mind).

    His Last Days Ministries bio says about him,
    “Somewhat reluctantly, Keith was thrust into a “John the Baptist” type ministry –”
    If you want to talk about “convenient” then that’s a great example of being an a-hole and projecting it into a moneymaking endeavor.

    A friend of mine worked one of his concerts in Castro Valley, CA and was appalled at Green’s focus on how much money the offerings were bringing in. Most of the volunteers were similarly disillusioned. Nothing like letting the common folk peek behind the curtain of Oz and see the icky reality.

    Green was working through his personal stuff, granted, fine, but to idolize him and use him as a role model in any way is romantic stupidity. The man didn’t have enough respect for the laws of aerodynamics and physics to avoid overloading his airplane.

    But, back to what you want to “call” me on, that while being “a Universalist” that somehow precludes me from using biblical literary devices?

    The rules are simple, I can use any literary device I choose when it suits me, like if I “like” something and say, “it was bliss… Nirvana” that doesn’t suddenly require me to wholeheartedly embrace Eastern thought and culture. We Westerners like to borrow what suits us. It’s idiomatic, like “darmok and jalad at tanagra” ( except that for 99.9275% of the readers here at PhxP, most of them didn’t think it was an issue.

    Back to my use of the word “damnable”.
    An idea, a concept can be considered “damnable” even if the person using the term doesn’t believe in literal damnation or a literal hell. The same strong expression of aversion still remains widely understood within Western English speaking culture.

    Besides, polite company would prefer my use of the term “damnable” over anything stronger and more seasoned with f-bombs. I know the readership here and respect Michael.

    As to any aversion of discussing such topics here on Phoenix Preacher, it depends on my mood and available time and tech to engage. You and I have no problem. You be a Baptist. I will be a Universalist. We can still coexist if you choose to, just don’t try to tell me Dunkin Donuts is in the coffee business, now THAT’S freekin’ damnable heresy.

    Ok, getting back in the car for another few days of a few hundred miles of XM Radio and spending time with my beloved.

  101. You can use whatever phrase you like, but some will be hypocritical.

    I take it you would not approve of me saying “Universalism is a damnable heresy”.

    Yet when it is something you don’t agree with, “damnable” works just fine. I don’t know anything about Keith Green. Never listened to him much at all. He was before my time, and not my style. I’m just going on the quote given. IN THAT QUOTE Green didn’t consign anyone to Hell, however you consigned him to Hell (given, you don’t believe in such a place).

    Furthermore, while I wouldn’t have stated the quote in the same manner, there is some truth to it. Spend less time with TV, less time plugged in, more time in quiet, more time in prayer. Totally agree with that idea.

  102. Josh,
    Did you read a single thing I just posted?
    If what I posted isn’t at all clear you’re then just ignoring what I posted or you’re trying to make a issue where none exists. I don’t have time to revisit my earlier posts, I’m packing my car in a few minutes.

    I never consigned Green to a theoretical place of eternal suffering, only his inane sentiment as expressed in his quote posted by another poster.

    You admit you don’t know much about Green. I do, I was an avid supporter and follower of his “ministry” and much of what he spewed was tragic. He even repudiated much of it before he caused his own death.

    Some of us old farts have actually lived through and participated in these mistakes, learned hard lessons from them, especially the timeframe from the 1970s to the present, of The Jesus People Movement, Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, TBN, PTL, Harold Camping and Family Radio, Jerry Falwell and the wide arc of the neo-conservative hijacking of American Evangelical Christianity as documented by Frank Schaeffer. We’ve made our mistakes, wrecked our testimonies and our country and some of us are learning that what we thought was a great end times revival was rather a cultural shift where we played a part but are quickly realizing that we have much to apologize for in the trashing of our world instead of the redemption of it.

    “Universalism is a damnable heresy”. Knock yourself out.
    “( |o )====::: is a damned heretic and is going to hell,” go ahead and say it, I don’t give a flying fig in a rolling donut what you or anyone else believes my final outcome shall be, it in no way elevates or diminishes me in any moment of my journey.

    “Furthermore, while I wouldn’t have stated the quote in the same manner, there is some truth to it. Spend less time with TV, less time plugged in, more time in quiet, more time in prayer. Totally agree with that idea.”

    Yeah, that’s a far cry from The Green quote, because you are seeking to express something more…

    …wait for it…


  103. Xenia says:

    I love Keith Green.

    A few years ago, some Orthodox friends and I were travelling together to a remote monastery in northern California. Our driver had an old Keith Green CD which she popped into the CD player. When the song “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful” was done playing, we played it again. And again. And again, as we drove through the mountains.

    I love Keith Green.

    And I agree with that quote upthread, too. Call me an unevolved cultist with Taliban leanings whose belief system is damnable, go ahead, I don’t care.

  104. G- Unfortunately, you are a guy who cannot accept disagreement. I’m done with it.

  105. Xenia says:

    Often people who start out espousing a doctrine of religious toleration end up the most intolerant of all.

  106. Seems to be the case. I didn’t know G in his earlier days, but he seems to have traded one fundamentalism for another.

  107. ( |o )====::: says:

    Hey, knock yourselves out.

  108. Ricky Bobby says:

    I don’t think that about G at all. I think he simply has a position that he believes is correct and lobbies for it like everyone else. I think his arguments are compelling and he points out valid inconsistencies and anomalies in your arguments, which usually is interpreted or intentionally labeled to minimize as “intolerance”.

  109. RB, that is because you are currently in agreement with him. When you disagree, he doesn’t like it.

    But that’s all good. He’s free to be whoever he wants to be, you just see things here that sometimes make you scratch your head.

  110. ( |o )====::: says:

    “RB, that is because you are currently in agreement with him. When you disagree, he doesn’t like it.”

    Actually, I respect RB quite a bit, even when we disagree.

  111. Didn’t use to be the case, oddly when you had more disagreements with one other. You don’t disagree well, G. Sorry.

  112. “You don’t disagree well, G. Sorry.”

    Just too funny.

    Ok, you win, listen to Keith Green, find a bunch of his quotes and live your life by his standards.

    Knock yourself out.

  113. Gary the casual observer says:

    I’m waiting for the Keith Green study Bible with musical notes.

  114. London says:

    I like some of Keith Greens songs…especially the one about manna.
    Bamana Bread??

    Cracks me up every time.

    And I do think “oh Lord you’re beautiful” is a wonderful song.

    His guilt tripy stuff….not so much.

  115. Gary says:

    manna burgers

  116. Gary says:

    I don’t like guilt trip sermons either.

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