Things I Think

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151 Responses

  1. Dodger Dog says:

    Great way to start the week. Great observations. Did you really lose a tooth?

  2. Michael says:

    I really did.
    I’m at one with the players… 🙂

  3. Kevin H says:

    1. The Mars Hill stuff is disgusting. Just one more black eye on the name of Christ placed there by a man/group of men who are apparently much more interested in power and control and appearance than they are in serving the people the Lord has placed in their care.

    2. C’mon, Michael. My 2 year old finished off a whole Tootsie pop on her own yesterday after church with no problem. Now who’s tough. 🙂

    6. I rarely bash the President as I think it is far overdone and often in a wrongful spirit. And that is not to speak of all the lies and slander that is often mixed in. That being said, I am being more and more convinced that this President could care less about the well-being of Christians in troublesome situations, while being willing to bend over backwards in the name of tolerance and understanding and political gain for far worse people.

  4. Michael says:


    I survived the first two Tootsie Pops without incident.
    Gluttony cost me… 🙂

    Mars Hill is just the one in the news at the moment…that attitude seems to be inevitable when a group reaches a certain size.

  5. dswoager says:

    I only got around to reading that post from Tullian, and you are right, that may be one of the better things that I have read from a Christian “leader” in quite some time. Refreshing.

  6. Michael says:


    It’s really hard to keep a check on your emotions when writing about these situations.
    What Tullian showed me was that he is willing to do what those he criticized wouldn’t…

  7. Dusty says:

    ouch Michael! going to the dentist?

  8. Michael says:


    Not until I absolutely have to…

  9. dswoager says:

    I had occasion once to confront something that I heard a pastor say in a sermon, the man knew me fairly well, so it wasn’t as someone coming out of left field to criticise him. He admitted in his response that he has the tendency to get fired up when preaching and what he said came out of that. Unfortunately, rather than admitting that what he said was perhaps over the line or severe, he went on to compare himself to men with passion like Jesus, and left it at that. It was a frustrating situation, that made me lose some respect for someone that I had once held in high regard. It is pretty awesome to see someone who has been more exposed to the public eye admit when what he had to say may not have been said in exactly the right heart.

  10. Ricky Bobby says:

    I don’t think Tullian owed anyone an apology, but it’s his conscience he has to satisfy, not mine. I just hope it wasn’t due to caving under undue pressure.

    Good to see the bloggers making some head-way with Mars Hill and Mark Dickscoll.

  11. Xenia says:

    We were at a BBQ with friends from church yesterday and you will not be surprised to hear that the name of Mark Driscoll never passed anyone’s lips. I don’t think anyone there ever heard of him. My opinion is that most people at Mars Hill know about all the scandals and don’t care, they are in a cult-like organization and are proud to be members. People are like that, nothing you can do about it but give it some time. When they are *personally* offended, they will wake up. All the other episodes happen to someone else and *those people* probably deserved it. They see themselves (for now) as cooperate team players, on the side of God.

    Yesterday the discussion around the BBQ grill was how to raise up kids so that when they are teenagers, they will care about the things of God. One friend is very concerned about social media, says it makes him feel like an intruder in his own house, that it’s as if his house has glass walls where not only can you look out at the world but the world can look in upon you. He talks like a poet, but what he says is true. But has there every been a generation when teenagers cared more about God than about music, food, clothes, fashions and romance?

  12. Ricky Bobby says:

    Interesting you mention Shamans.

    Studied Shamanism as part of Anthropology studies in college.

    The “spirit world” was opened up through drugs, hallucinogenic drugs. The “spirit realm” was in the mind.

    …evidence of a more gnostic reality of “spirit”

  13. “The spirit never manifests itself but in the song; the singer is the vehicle, the voice of the spirit. Song and spirit are one and the same thing.” Klamath Indian shaman.

    Nice sentiment, but this one strikes a bittersweet chord for me.

    Truth is, being a singer or musician is damn constant hard work, years of practice, and discipline to maintain the skills and prevent damage to the body which is needed to perform.

    I saw Stephen Stills on 5/24/14 in Santa Barbara and there is no magic about craftsmanship or the tragic reality that time eventually takes its toll on each of us so we’d best use our hone and humbly showcase our talents while our bodies will cooperate. Stills needs to partner with awesome vocalists for at least half of his catalog. He still has wicked guitarist chops and makes the human connection to be a lovable artist but his hearing loss is a stark reality that he is Helplessly Hoping to ever sing that or other songs without causing his loyal fans to wince.

    Still, props to our Klamath Indian shaman friend for the good vibes.

  14. Michael says:


    Your # 11 contains more than a little truth…

  15. My friend Dave Brisbin rightly points out that there very few things that we humans do in groups

    1) Eat food
    2) Tell stories
    3) Sing songs

    Human cultures revere all the craftspersons who are skilled at
    1) not poisoning us
    2) captivate our imaginations
    3) blend our voices in a moving way

  16. Ricky Bobby says:

    Also, noted that you beat the defeatist drum with me on your blog regarding “makes no difference!” etc etc…yet you acknowledge and laud other bloggers taking on Mars Hill.

  17. Ricky Bobby says:

    you essentially stopped the continuing efforts on your blog to try and reform Calvary Chapel…citing often that it makes little or no difference…and that it only served to scare off your readers (I can pull many of your blog comments stating such as evidence).

    Yet, the incessant pressure does work…and you laud it with regards to other church groups.

  18. Michael says:


    This is a combined effort from leaders in the movement, lay people, and bloggers as well as other social media.
    It takes that combination to make this kind of impact.
    Real change has to come from within as well as from outside the organization.
    Even with all that, there have yet to be any structural changes for reform from the movement itself.
    Even with all that, thousands still support these churches.
    While I will be revisiting CC controversies shortly, I will never do it daily or “incessantly”…there is much more in life and faith that I want to talk about.

  19. Michael says:


    The connection between song and spirituality fascinates me…it is one of the beautiful mysteries of faith.

  20. Xenia says:

    This is America and there’s no state church. If congregants are aware that their leader has a defective character and that he swats away all accusers with the phrase “they are from Satan,” it is not up to outsiders to attempt reform. (Physical abuse would be the only exception, I think.) So leave them to their delusions. Most of them seem happy enough* which is more than you can say for a lot of people.

    *I have some relatives who attend a Mars Hills church and they are as happy as clams.

  21. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, you have many CC pastor friends…why is the CC situation not similar to Mars Hill?

    You have been an agent for complacency and you let your CC pastor friends off the hook all the time…and you create a situation that is not similar to the success of the bloggers and pastors of Mars Hill who are challenging that situation.

  22. Michael,
    it’s one of the deepest human connections in the arts, so full of mystique, and most performers, if they’re smart, maintain that and use it to make a name for themselves and have a music career.

    The behind the scenes reality for the artist is far from mystical in that there is no “gift of music”, no special “anointing from God” poured out on the singer/musician that moves the listener, it’s the simple and profound reality that 2 humans, the performer and the hearer, make a connection through their emotions, they share a real-time connection that is still deep and profound.

    Having said that, I’m off to see One Republic tonight, a great band, great performers.

    Here’s a clip from their making of “Preacher”…

  23. Ricky Bobby says:

    You seem to jump in when it is convenient for you or something that will grab a big headline. Why do you still cover it at all when you’re heart clearly isn’t in the CC stuff?

  24. Michael says:


    The friends I have within CC will be the change agents if it’s ever going to happen.
    The only reforms we’ve seen in CC have been at the local church level, not in the institution itself.
    If enough of those changes occur, then there will be the kind of transformation hoped for.
    You are welcome to your views and criticisms of how I choose to engage this matter and you have your own site where you can engage it in the methods you prefer.
    I will continue to do as my conscience and views dictate.

  25. Michael says:

    Right now, my heart and the bulk of my time are spent dealing with real life.
    I can only address these issues on a macro level until things settle down.

  26. RB,
    Speaking only for myself, I’ve burnt out on “Calvary Chapel Reformation” as a concept.
    I think Michael is right, those who he has a relationship with, he has their ear, they are reforming their own little parts of the CCUniverse. Other than that, honestly, who the heck cares about their “Movement”. There are very few anymore who regard CC as “God’s Movement in The Last Days”, and if they still view the world like that than they are the sadder for it and miss the wider connection with the Christian church and those of different faith or no faith.

    Just my thotz, y’know, only worth the consideration if you think so.

  27. I think leading by example, regarding Calvary Chapel, will make all the difference, even if it’s “live & let live”

  28. RB,
    I think you ride on Michael’s coattails and are floundering for information. I noticed over at your blog that you have not written an article of substance against the CC machine for almost 2 months.(April 16 & 18)

    Don’t you care? Are you burnt out? Are you letting them get away with it?

  29. Michael says:


    Right now the “leadership” of CC is in transition and there is much internal conflict that will be brought to the fore later.
    Until that is resolved, it’s real hard to now where to effect the group as a whole.
    Individuals don’t have to wait for cues from leaders…they can make changes and lead well by their own volition.
    That, inside the local church, is where the rubber meets the road.

  30. Ricky Bobby says:

    OK G.

  31. Michael says:

    Lets stick to what I wrote on my blog.
    If you want to engage RB’s ideas and thoughts, do so on his blog.
    There’s room for differences on these matters, but I’m not interested in debating or defending them here.
    It never leads to resolution, only conflict.

  32. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I think Michael is much better than I am at dealing with the Calvary Chapel abuses etc. I wish he’d do more. I do it b/c no one else will. I am too busy to do it, have a wife and kids and growing business as well as local issues I advocate for, involved in local politics (support role), militia, etc etc. B/c I am talented I get pulled in a lot of directions. I do the CC Abuse stuff b/c there’s a huge gap that needed to be filled and I’m standing there as I can.

  33. Xenia says:

    I was pretty interested in CC for the first few years after I left them because I was trying to sort out my theological differences with them and the fact that the PhxP was dishing out the dirt on various leaders only made me feel more secure in my choice. Except guess what- Ortholandia has its own scandals. If I am going to take the attitude (which I have taken) that my own personal walk with the Lord will not be affected by “bishops behaving badly,” then it follows that I should not concern myself with CC pastors behaving badly. Frankly, after Pastor Chuck (who I loved very much) died, my last connection with CC died with him.

  34. Ricky Bobby says:

    I have often goaded Michael in the hopes it would motivate him to do more. Hasn’t worked much, but I tried.

  35. Xenia says:

    Oops, sorry Michael, I posted after your #31.

  36. Michael says:


    Again, some wisdom there.
    These abuses at the institutional level all look the same…only the brand changes.
    I see my place as being someone who shows what it looks like from a historical and institutional level and hopefully, educating people on how to deal with it.

  37. Michael says:

    Those kinds of articles do take a tremendous amount of time and research to do accurately and fairly.
    We’re working on some CC stuff, but my priorities are with my own issues and family right now.

  38. Back to Mars Hill – I can’t say that I have ever seen one here in SoCal so I don’t know much about them (I know much about Driscoll – but is he Mars Hill?) By the fact of location, I am sure that I don’t know anyone who has attended or who has been dissatisfied.

    If there is a Mars Hill SoCal, does that pastor work for Driscoll?

  39. Michael says:


    There is only a “campus pastor”. Driscoll is beamed in every Sunday.

  40. Ricky Bobby says:

    To be an effective church abuse blogger…it really seems you have to be unemployed and single…or have multiple folks working the blog.

  41. “Driscoll is beamed in every Sunday.”

    That I didn’t know that – I thought they just did that while they were getting a new church started as a publicity thing..
    So Mars Hill has only one dynamic preacher? Hmm.

  42. Papias says:

    Just have time to pop in and say hello.

    I love the end of playoff matches, even when it doesn’t go the way we wanted it to. To see two teams locked in competition, and then 2 minutes later shaking hands…. its a great moment in sports.

    GO KINGS GO!!! 😉

  43. Michael says:

    Papias…we are agreed. 🙂

  44. PP Vet says:

    “The finest moment in sports is when after an brutal playoff series in hockey both teams form a line and shake hands with all the combatants on the other side.”


    Which is why I was so impressed that after being mocked, belittled, and abused by the bad sportsmanship of Lance Stephenson for several basketball games, Lebron James first crushed his team on the court, and then simply hugged the young man with obviously genuine affection.

    It was almost unbelievable.

  45. Michael says:

    Good to see you pop up again, PP Vet…

  46. Michael says:


    It’s interesting…if Driscoll goes down the whole chain goes down…and that gives added incentive to franchise holders to prop him up.

  47. Ricky Bobby says:

    Why’d you mod that one? Yikes the skin is thin around here.

  48. Michael says:

    I haven’t modded anything.

  49. Dusty says:

    Michael, I did it

  50. Michael says:

    I let it go…it’s not obscene. 🙂

  51. Michael,
    “if Driscoll goes down the whole chain goes down…”

    So, he is a one man domino 🙂

  52. Dusty says:

    “Driscoll is beamed in every Sunday.”

    wasn’t Coy doing the same thing?

  53. #6 has had me surly for a few days now. Surly isn’t good enough, enraged would be more like it, which is why I have tried to refrain from talking about it. Usually, talking about things like that just get me more upset. I have no idea why we traded for him.

  54. Just A Sheep says:

    Mars Hill and Calvary are the same.
    If Driscoll goes down, Mars Hill is done.

    Calvary is already done. Within 5 years it will be breaking up.

    I believe Michael is right about Calvary leadership transition issues
    There are older guys hoping for one last shot at glory
    They are all terrified of the younger guys (especially the more influential ones) because they are not company guys.
    So Calvary is dead in the water.
    Yesterday’s news

  55. #3- I notice I have seen no apologies yet from the other side.

  56. Dusty says:

    Derek, I doubt we will ever see apologies from the other side. 🙁

  57. Dusty says:

    it was raining here a little while ago and it killed me not to be able to go play in the rain. Did not want to get my ‘boot’ wet and have to wear it wet all day/night….My favorite thing to play in the rain – it feels like it is washing all the bad stuff away.

  58. Dusty says:

    on an up note, I did get to see a mama bird teaching her babies how to eat from the feeder…that was amazing.

  59. Dusty,
    I think you are right.

    Did anyone else notice that Bergdahl’s father is always referred to in news articles as “Calvinist”. They sort of say it like it is some kind of exotic animal.
    I put this on FB so I am going to put it here to with a bit of editing:

    I am just going to say it. We traded 5 terrorists for some piece of dung who left his post and basically went to be with the enemy.
    Bow Bergdahl does not deserve to be touted as some kind of hero.
    I have more respect for some nameless TOC rat who never left the FOB than I do for that worthless steaming pile.
    There rant done.

    TOC = Tactical Operations Center, A TOC Rat is someone who works there.
    FOB = Forward Operating Base

  60. I just read on a local news stations FB feed that apparently the father has now converted to Islam.
    So, apparently not a “Calvinist” anymore.
    My friends in the military are not happy about this and neither am I.

  61. Derek,
    In what context did the ‘Calvinist’ thing come up? I had the grandkids for 3 days so I don’t know what is happening in the world.

    Now, if you want to know what is happening in Bikini Bottom – I can tell you all about it.

    For the uninitiated ‘Bikini Bottom’ is the place where SpongeBob Square Pants lives. 🙂

  62. Ricky Bobby says:

    Bergdahl just got back in our town.

    It’s a big deal here and I know many who know him and his family.

    Derek, not many here are happy with some of the stuff his dad has said and tweeted. Not many are happy with the circumstances surrounding how Bergdahl got captured in the first place.

  63. Ricky Bobby says:

    As far as a deal goes…0bama sucks at trades.

    Maybe he’d trade me Airforce One for my dodge pickup.

  64. RB,
    I don’t know – we now have 5 less guys living off the government 🙂

  65. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, good point. Club Gitmo was a good gig…much better treatment than our Vets at the VA get.

  66. Ricky Bobby says:

    Who’d want to go back and live in that s***hole place Afghanistan…if I was one of those 5 Club Gitmo clients, I would have said, “No thanks, I think I’ll stay”

  67. Ricky Bobby says:

    All they needed was conjugal goat visits and good to go…far better than Crapistan.

  68. MLD,
    I saw it first in one article and again in this one.

    Here is the paragraph:
    As a teen, the home-schooled son of Calvinists took up ballet — recruited to be a “lifter” by “a beautiful local girl,” Rolling Stone reported, “the guy who holds the girl aloft in a ballet sequence.” The strategy worked: Bergdahl — who also began dabbling in Budd­hism and tarot card reading — soon moved in with the woman.

    Still trying to verify the conversion to Islam which was reported by our local CBS affiliate.

  69. thanks for the info Derek

  70. Ricky Bobby says:

    Dunno what it is about Boise…Bowe Bergdahl and Saeed Abedini.

    Since we’re into trading prisoners now, I’m sure we can trade some Iranian assets for Saeed who seems to be a good man.

  71. Ricky Bobby says:

    In fact, I propose we trade 0bama for Saeed, straight across. If that isn’t enough, I’d be happy to throw in Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Al Sharpton and I’ll even throw in Dennis Rodman and Donald Sterling.

  72. Jean says:

    To any Christians on this blog, I would like to convey these principles:
    1) If you were worth redeeming by our Lord, then your neighbor, Bowe, was worth redeeming by the USA; and
    2) The USA didn’t bring Bowe home because he deserved it, the USA brought him home because we don’t leave our POWs behind. If he deserves punishment, that’s the army’s job, not the Taliban’s.

    I’m disappointed by some of the self-righteous indignation coming out this afternoon.

  73. Fine Jean.
    Be disappointed.

  74. Jean – That’s an odd mixture of church and state.

    But I do need to ask this – whatever happened to “we don’t negotiate with terrorists”?

    Why didn’t we justclose down Gitmo, release all the prisoners and say “it’s not our job to punish these Middle Easterners – it’s the Middle East’s job to punish their own.”

  75. Let me make it clear.
    I apologize for nothing I have said on here in reference to Bowe Bergdahl.
    There are a lot of military personnel out there who feel the same way.
    What about those five guys who died trying to find this loser?
    Where is the righteous indignation for that?
    War is hell and when someone fails their job it is often understood.
    But, not when you turn on your brothers.
    Not when your actions of desertion lead to others dying.

    Watch…there will be no trial….no justice for the others who actually died. You know the real heroes.

    Sorry, but this is an instance of justice being needed. Not some parallel to biblical principles.

  76. Let me say one other thing.
    If there is no justice….no court martial for a deserter…then that is a failure by the state.
    Military discipline is a must.
    If soldiers think they can do whatever and there are no repercussions then discipline breaks down.
    I have seen this in action.
    A platoon with little discipline does things that are bad.
    Higher discipline creates a more controlled ability to manage a platoon.
    The most of the military is watching and crying “Shame!”
    But, there is always that portion who is saying “Well, if this guy can do that then I can do this.”
    We don’t need this kind of message to the troops.

    Christian principles are great, but we cannot sacrifice the good discipline of the military just because we want to show them.
    When Jesus comes back, we will have true justice.
    Until then, we need to have the UCMJ and all to keep discipline and order.

  77. covered says:

    Derek, I understand that many here hate all things Fox News, but they just reported that it was 14 soldiers who died trying to find him. He’s a trader and guilty of treason. Feed him, bathe him, then punish him accordingly.

  78. 15? Good Lord!

    Meanwhile, Saeed Abedini rots in an Iranian prison for preaching Christ.
    Why aren’t we trading these guys for him?

    Could it be because it isn’t cool to our President to help Christians?
    I would be interested to know the answer.

  79. Nonnie says:

    Agree with Covered and Derek. What about the innocent woman and her US citizen children locked up. Where is our president in freeing her? Where is this president in freeing Saeed? This is beyond evil .

  80. Dude says:

    Having spent 20 years in the Army…….this guy really yanks my chain.You may not like the mission but you do and complete it.The scorn he’s getting is well deserved and he should be tried for the deaths of those men.

  81. Ricky Bobby says:

    Agree with Derek. Wish it wasn’t so with regards to Bergdahl b/c they are a local family, but the stories from military personnel in his squad don’t sound good. What I’m hearing from locals who know them isn’t good either. The deal was a terrible deal in a 5 to 1 swap where the Taliban got high level dangerous guys back.

  82. Exactly, Nonnie.
    But yet I am supposed to be happy that Bowe Bergdahl is home.
    A man who made a choice to leave his comrades and venture forth into the dark Afghanistan night alone.
    My stupidest Private would never have done that.

    I see the courage in Saeed Abedini and Meriam Ibrahim.
    Imprisoned but they will not deny Christ.
    If they die, I can hear what they will cry out some day:

    “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

    These are who we need to be focusing on as a government to bring home.
    Instead we get this.

  83. Jean says:


    If the U.S.A. is a democracy and if it consists of a majority of people who profess to be Christians, then in my opinion, our foreign and military policies ought to reflect Christian ethics. That is just my opinion, but I don’t see how individual voters can bifurcate their ethics into religious and secular. Moreover, I think our first citizenship is in the Kingdom of God and ethically our citizenship there is all encompassing.

    Regarding your question, to fully explain my position, would take a very long response, which I’m not prepared to do. I do agree that there is a dilemma and the possibility of unintended consequences, including negative consequences. However, I am persuaded by the following: I don’t believe that the cycle of violence begetting more violence will ultimately succeed, nor is it the Christian ethic. I don’t believe peace with the Islamists can be achieved through military force. I believe that reconciliation is the only possible solution. I lean on 2 Cor 5 for this view.

    I understand perfectly well, as a veteran and as someone who has and continues to struggle with this issue, that what I’m proposing is risky; I’m not naïve. But it is what I find in the Bible.

    I do respect and am open to other biblical views. There’s a huge part of me that wishes that Christ was the warrior messiah; it would gel much better with my flesh. But, alas, he’s the crucified messiah, who has called us to pick up our crosses and follow him.

  84. Ricky Bobby says:

    The USA is not a democracy, it’s a Republic.

  85. Ricky Bobby says:

    The USA is supposed to be a Constitutional Republic…but we are increasingly more of an Oligarchy of the uber-wealthy, Big Multi-national Corporations and Big Govt…but we are technically a Constitutional Republic not a true democracy, though we have some democratic processes.

  86. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jean said, “There’s a huge part of me that wishes that Christ was the warrior messiah”

    How do you know it’s your flesh? I have struggled with this one my whole life…which is the real Jesus? The Conquering Warrior Jesus of the Old Testament and Revelation or the Hippie Peace and Love Jesus of the Gospels? I dunno.

    Part of the bible narrative certainly presents Jesus as the Conquering Warrior, many times.

  87. Jean says:

    RB, Thank you for the correction. Whether we’re a democracy or republic does not, for purposes of my argument, make a difference.

  88. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jean, IMO it does…your comment here: “If the U.S.A. is a democracy and if it consists of a majority of people who profess to be Christians, then in my opinion, our foreign and military policies ought to reflect Christian ethics.”

    The USA as a Constitutional Republic is intended to protect the Minority from the Majority and is not “Majority Rules”. It’s why Separation of Church and State is a big issue.

    Our Govt. is to reflect the constraints of the Constitution as a Constitutional Republic…not the ethics of the Majority.

  89. Ricky Bobby says:

    The whole reason our Founding Fathers constructed a Constitutional Republic was to constrain a Majority from imposing it’s ethics/beliefs on a minority (within reason, we cannot tolerate radical Islam…but we can and must tolerate atheists, humanists, buddhists, hindus etc).

    This was due to the example the Founders lived under in England and the Church of England as a quasi Govt. Theocracy.

  90. Ricky Bobby says:

    Conversely, Liberals and atheists and humanists etc who may become the Majority must be constrained and tolerate the ever increasingly-in-the-minority Christian* position (as long as it isn’t extreme like Islam).

  91. Jean says:

    RB, I want to respectfully respond to your 89, 90, and 91, but I’m a little confused. Is there something in our Constitution that prohibits our Commander in Chief from trading a POW for 5 Taliban?

  92. BTW,
    I think we should have pulled out of Afghanistan a long time ago.
    I am tired of our soldiers fighting and dying for places that go back to the same or worse after we are gone.
    I always re-enlisted not because I thought our cause was super right.
    I did it cause I had experience and someone needed to train the new guys right and keep the unit operating so that unit cohesion and tactics were followed. That way most of these guys came home alive.
    In the end it is not about the American way of life….it is about the guy fighting beside you.

    When RB talks about the things his squad members say about Bergdahl, they are showing the deep betrayal they feel.
    You train beside someone for months. You know they may mess up sometimes and that’s okay.
    You never expect them to actively betray you.
    When I read what the squad and platoon feels like….I feel them.
    Here you are deep in Indian country (excuse the metaphor as it is used by most of the military) and some guy decides he hates America and then decides to take a walkabout outside the wire.
    Then, command says “We gotta find this guy!”
    They send out missions and people die.
    All to find someone who has decided the enemy is better than his brothers.

    I am all talked out on this.
    I feel emotionally exhausted by all this and realize why I kept my mouth shut all weekend about it.

  93. Jean says:

    I honor your honesty. If Bergdahl is the guy he’s reported to be (and all accounts I’ve seen thus far confirm this is so), then he’s a traitor. You won’t get any argument here.

  94. Jean,
    I want to make sure you realize that I am not mad at you.
    This whole situation has just been an emotional drainer to me.

    To everyone else, realize that if you talk to a service member about this, that at least 9 times out of 10, the reaction will probably be the same.
    This brings out the latent bonds that military members feel towards each other and shows how they react to a betrayal of that bond.

  95. Jean,
    Are you saying that if the majority of Americans become Muslim that you think Sharia law would be perfectly ok?

    Our government should have absolutely no religious bent.

  96. Jean says:

    Thanks Derek. I appreciate you and your honesty.

    Remembering back to my days in the military many years ago, I have many of my fondest memories, including the close bonds I made with my fellow airmen while stationed overseas. At this stage in my journey, the prayer I have is that Christians of all expressions would have these same strong bonds to each other.

  97. Dusty says:

    Derek, ((((hugs))))

  98. Jean says:

    MLD, No, what I’m saying is that Christians should vote for candidates that conform to Christ’s ethics.

    I don’t believe Christians should abstain from voting. As long as Christians have the right to vote, our vote should reflect the ethics of Christ.

  99. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jean asked, ” Is there something in our Constitution that prohibits our Commander in Chief from trading a POW for 5 Taliban?”

    Seems 0bama broke a law that required Congress to sign off on GITMO prisoner release…but that’s not my personal beef. It was simply a bad deal…and for a guy who left his post and got himself captured (it appears according to several reports) and to add insult to injury the dude and his family (if reports are true) seem to be anti-war/anti-america which begs the question of why he voluntarily joined the US military in the first place.

    The searching for him came at a high cost and the trading for him came at a high cost…and like Derek said…no such trades for a Saeed Abedini.

    I don’t think we disagree on much, other than the role of our Govt. as a Constitutional Republic vs. a pure democracy where the majority rules in all matters.

  100. brian says:

    Pfc. Matthew Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen. Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews.

    Dear Lord You know I dont pray that much and often it is for rather pathetic things. But I ask You to please be with the families and friends of these six soldiers who lost their lives while searching for the one “sheep”. These brake soldiers deserve our honor and respect.


    It seems rather correct to add this given the topics raised in this article and comments. Were it true that many of the spiritual leaders discussed here who are the shepherds of people under them would show just 1% of the bravery these six soldiers showed. They went after this other soldier not because he was worth saving but because he needed saving. If he did wrong and put those soldiers and other lives at risk and these six died because of his actions, he should answer for it.

    Personally I think we should remember these six and all the others who have been injured and killed in these wars. Hope everyone has a nice evening.

  101. Ricky Bobby says:

    Christians should vote their conscience IMO…and they have the right to voice their opinions…even if unpopular…as guaranteed by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights…as a key part of our Constitutional Republic construct.

  102. Ricky Bobby says:

    brian, well done.

    Those soldiers lost their lives upholding their end of the bargain…even though it appears Bergdhal didn’t hold up his end of the bargain.

    Those soldiers showed good character…to the point it cost them their lives.

  103. Jean,
    Perhaps your folks running for office reflect the ethics of Jesus better than my SoCal people.

    Who have you found to vote for that lives Jesus’ ethics – just go with the 6 commandments he gave the young ruler. I know of no one who even comes close.

    Who is your lady or gentleman?

    I have been out of the partisan system long enough now (registered decline to state) I no longer get any political mail – so to be truthful, I don’t know the ethics of the candidates.

  104. Ricky Bobby says:

    I don’t admire a man of poor character like Bergdahl appears to be. However, he is/was a US soldier and it is our collective duty to try and bring him home…and that finally happened…even though it was a bad deal and even though he appears to be a deserter of some sorts and seems to be anti-american.

    Now that he’s back and once he recovers, I think the military will investigate the desertion issue…though the five years in taliban hands was probably punishment enough. I just hope the Bergdahl’s don’t go Jane Fonda and become assets for the enemy in the PR/Propaganda war.

  105. Dusty says:

    Amen, agreeing with you in prayer Brian

  106. RB,
    The bad part is that we can no longer say – “we do not negotiate with terrorists.” Because they will just say “yes you do.”

    Now they have motive for kidnapping Americans – “hey if you want this young lady back, it will cost you 5 Gitmos.”

  107. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, agreed.

    Personally, though, I have no problem trying to negotiate with terrorists and/or the Taliban etc…just make a good deal that benefits us at least as much as them.

    I’d love for 0bama to walk into one of my pawn shops wanting to make a deal…what a sucker.

  108. Dusty says:

    MLD said ‘Now they have motive for kidnapping Americans – “hey if you want this young lady back, it will cost you 5 Gitmos.” ‘

    5 or more 🙁

  109. Ricky Bobby says:

    I think we need a new negotiator. Call in Rick from Pawn Stars…0bama sucks.

  110. Jean says:

    MLD, I never said I new of the perfect candidate. In fact, I’m sure you’re perfectly aware that there is no one “that lives Jesus’ ethics.” Was was my point? No! My point was that from the slate Christians given, Christians should vote for the candidate that most closely professes the ethics of Jesus.

    Do you like to just argue for the sake of arguing? Why not just come out and say how you think Christians should cast their votes and we’ll either agree or disagree, and we’ll both be okay.

  111. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jean said, “Christians should vote for the candidate that most closely professes the ethics of Jesus.”

    They, generally, all “profess” good ethics…I try to observe which ones seem to actually demonstrate those ethics and vote for those ethics etc.

  112. Ricky Bobby says:

    “vote for those ethics” meaning the candidate’s voting record.

  113. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jean, agreed in the sense that Christians should vote their conscience and select the best candidates they can that represent their conscience.

    It’s probably similar to doctrine/theology issues and I’m sure there is a hierarchy and some core essentials.

    Personally, I would have a very hard time voting for someone who isn’t pro-life and I would have a very hard time voting for someone who was a rabid interventionist or a dyed-in-the-wool Big Statist etc. Narrows down the field a lot.

  114. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’m sure that by that criteria/filter above…you can guess who I am voting for in 2016 🙂

  115. Jean says:

    As to the argument that we should not negotiate with terrorists because doing so will motivate our enemies to kidnap or capture Americans, I personally think this is an overrated argument. In my opinion, our enemies are doing everything possible all the time to kidnap and kill Americans for a variety of reasons and aren’t materially motivated by ransom. I believe that if any of our enemies in Afghanistan had the opportunity to kidnap or kill an American, they would take it in a second irrespective of any ransom. Heck, there’s an endless supply of suicide bombers. If no ransom, then just kill us. Kidnapping is probably more dangerous to our enemy than killing us. Just my opinion.

  116. Jean says:

    RB, I agree with your #113. We would probably part company on your #116 🙂

  117. Jean says:

    Evil given and evil returned is a dirty business. I have not heard a lot on the following issues:

    1) I wonder if the politicians that condemn the trade would feel the same way if it was their son who was the captive.

    2) What should the USA’s long term strategy be to deal with Islamic terrorism? Is the current or any past strategy working?

  118. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jean: 1. I would trade our nuclear launch codes for my son.

    2. Non-interventionist within reason. If we have actionable solid intel, drone/SF…get in, get out, don’t nation-build and don’t make our soldiers police officers and nation-builders (which is code for sitting ducks and targets).

  119. Ricky Bobby says:

    It was a great deal for the Bergdahl parents…they win. Most parents would trade the entire US for their kid…though there are some “parents” who would give up their kids for a mere fake “ministry” and some small pulpit and fame and money.

    Unfortunately, while the Bergdahl’s are winners in the deal, so is the Taliban and the US is probably the net loser and so are the families of the soldiers who died looking for him and the soldiers and US folks who will die when these 5 really bad guys start killing people again.

  120. Jean says:

    So, RB, #2, you evidently like your martini shaken not stirred. 🙂

  121. anonymos says:

    “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor — then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values — because you don’t.”

    Jimmy Carter

  122. Well, since I have never seen a candidate run on the slogan – “I am a cheat and a crook, and that is how i have made it to the top.” I don’t think you trust what any of them say. So, I say go with the guy who represents your own special interest the most.

    Voting doesn’t matter anymore. it’s the old saying “If voting really made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

  123. My 2 senators are Christ denying women – but they are much better that all the GOP white men who have run against them the past 20 yrs.

  124. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    MLD, I think there’s a Mars Hill Huntington Beach now that was once Mars Hill Orange County (prior to that eviction in 2012). Driscoll preaches live at Bellevue (currently) and then after editing the sermon is rebroadcast to the other campuses and eventually made available for outside consumption. It’s been working this way since at least the middle of 2009. I’ve documented Driscoll’s pulpit explanation for when, how and why this was set up. That MHC has been scrubbing most of Driscoll’s content before 2008 and even some after 2008 has been practically the makings of a part-time job to document.

    A bit belated but since the question you had earlier about where MH was in California and what the deal with the campuses was is something I can field I wanted to make sure I fielded it. Campus pastors preach about 20% of the time depending on how much vacation Driscoll takes in a year. Or at least that’s how it’s been a lot since the multi-site transition circa 2007.

  125. Ricky Bobby says:

    Driscoll and Mars Hill are acting like they are preparing to be sued.

  126. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’m guessing there’s something there…and they are concerned they will be a target someday just like CJ Mahaney and SGM…

  127. Ricky Bobby says:

    Just a matter of time. I bet you Driscoll and Mars Hill get sued big time in the next 5 years.

  128. Ricky Bobby says:

    The laws are more friendly to victims in California, Oregon and Washington.

  129. Muff Potter says:

    Derek @ 93 & 95,
    I’m with you. It’s because of an E-6 from Mobile Alabama who taught squad cohesion and discipline in the Central Highlands that I didn’t get a scratch.

  130. Dude says:

    The word from the street is that Barry Obama is going to be chosen as the new General Manager for the Cleveland Browns.His trading skills meets their low…….

  131. Dodger Dog says:

    Once again, Ricky Bobby dominates the blog with 41 out of 132 comments. Great job Ricky. People wouldn’t know you have your own blog. Is hanging out on Michael’s a full time gig for you? How do you make a living? There’s only an hour and a half to make it to 50. Run Forrest run.

  132. Ricky Bobby says:

    Once again Dodger Dog exaggerates that one thread is the “whole blog!”

    I make a good living…a much better living than your blog host.

  133. Mark says:

    RB your obnoxious lack of self awareness is pathetic. There was absolutely no need to make reference to our blog hosts income which you know has been challenge by his struggle to find employment. I wonder how your children would find your pompous know it all posts if they ever read them

  134. EscondidoSurfer says:

    You are right to back off from criticizing CC. It is in transition as you say.

    Chuck Smith was the sun, Without the sun, the ageing planets are wandering. Some with egos think they can become the sun but they are not CS and CS refused to pick a new sun. God apparently does not want a new sun either. Leading CC would be like herding cats.

    CS knew it would not work. Each church will need to find its own way and it will not be easy because the model of Moses style leadership is deeply flawed. It doesn’t work if the rapture is delayed. It is also contrary to Scripture and good sense.

  135. Jim says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out 0bama’s end game on this deal. I understand that liberal politicians have to tow the line, but I can’t imagine that O’s base agrees with this.

  136. Muff Potter says:

    Escondido Surfer @ # 136,
    Agreed. Good analysis for any archivist. Chuck Smith was the most gifted orator I’ve ever heard in my lifetime. He could have you believing that the moon was made of green cheese if you listened long enough. Loved your metaphor about the sun, aging planets, and herding cats!

  137. EscondidoSurfer says:

    Muff: Thanks for your response to my comment.

    I guess I read too many books written by Englishmen:

    “American and Canadian writers use aging. Ageing is the preferred spelling outside North America. The dropping of the e in American and Canadian English does not extend to ageism (meaning discrimination based on age), which is the preferred spelling everywhere.”

  138. #131 from Muff.
    Exactly. That is what it is all about.

  139. Ricky Bobby says:

    Mark it was a blunt and true statement in response to Dodger Dog’s statement somehow asserting I don’t make a living. Just point out the irony of the PhxPer’s comment.

    I’ll be honest with my kids and continue to treat them well and continue to support them well.

    1 Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

  140. Ricky Bobby says:

    Mark, I am fully self-aware and know exactly what I said and why I said it.

  141. Ricky Bobby says:

    Doubtful those comments will make it through b/c the truth can hurt. Others are allowed to make equally cutting comments…at least mine are true.

  142. Michael says:

    I allowed RB’s comments through.
    There is no need to defend me or cause more strife.
    He’s entitled to his opinions about me and we will just move on.

  143. RB,
    Take it easy on Michael and be sure to fill the tip jar with a couple of sawbucks.
    You know you love him in that manly-brotherly-sidehug way 😉

  144. Dusty says:

    nothing like kicking a man when he is down!!! 🙁

  145. Dusty says:

    Still praying for Tray, and for you Michael. Any news yet on his condition? Did yall stay all night at the hospital?

  146. Michael says:

    they released him, but advised us to watch him carefully.
    We are watching him for possible appendicitis.
    Doctors appt in about an hour.
    Thanks to everyone for the prayers…

  147. Dusty says:

    So I’m guessing you got no sleep last night. will continue to pray

  148. Nonnie says:

    Praying for Trey and for you , my friend.

  149. Francisco says:

    1Tim5:19-20 says not to admit an accusation against an elder unless it from at least 2-3 witnesses. Those who are sinning, rebuke in the presence of all so that others may fear.

    There are many people who have come forward now in this Driscoll situation. The fact that nothing has yet been done despite the number of grievances and press releases is speaking volumes on the character of the rest elders of this church. The lack of response essentially tells outsiders this ministry has no elders.

    Either Mark is reformed by other men who love him or he will soon become irrelevant. The Lord will not be mocked.

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