Kevin’s Conversations: A Defense of Celebrity

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73 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    Ironic that I wrote this article and then on the other thread we end up arguing about how we just can’t equate fame or big numbers with anointing or being right.

  2. Michael says:

    It fits in well…even with the Packer reference. 🙂

  3. EricL says:

    We love you Kevin!!!! squeeee

    I just thought you might want a little taste of celebrity-hood for yourself 🙂

  4. Dallas says:

    Celebrity is largely unavoidable, and even desired as far as spreading valuable information, but I would wonder if the social construct of how we define celebrity is so deeply flawed that elevating even someone worthy to a celebrity status is risking the destruction of their worthy aspects. You are going to have exceptional individuals, or individuals who do things exceptionally well that are going to rise to wide recognition, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but the way that we interact with them once they have been elevated throws out potentially corrupting influence all over the place.

    Even the celebrity of Jesus is in a way tainted by the supposed entourage that he has accumulated for himself over the centuries.

    Celebrity is a form of power and anywhere that there is power you will find corruption, even if it isn’t in the person of the celebrity themselves, there will be someone who will look to manipulate or seize the power for themselves. You don’t even have to climb very far up the ladder for it to be the case. There’s not much we can do about these dynamics but train ourselves to try to resist them and make others more aware that they exist.

  5. Kevin H says:

    EricL, please no squeeee’s for me. People may start to think I’m anointed. 😉

  6. John 20:29 says:

    this is a really good post, Kevin… IMNSHO, of course 🙂
    Christians need to think on this… it is more vital to us than it is to the world at large, even tho the whole of humanity needs to think on it (they/we won’t, i guess)
    from what i’ve seen over my lifetime, God honors anyone, no matter how foolish, who declares His Truth … unless they are distorting it to manipulate and get personal gain

  7. Xenia says:

    Here’s something that a person in danger of becoming a celebrity needs to think about: How affected are they by the crowd? If they said hard things when they were unknown, will they stop saying the hard things when they are popular? If they sat to eat with Walmart clerks when they were unknown, will they abandon them for rich people when they are popular? If they ignored flattery when they were unknown will they eat it up when popular? If they were content to wear simple clothing and live in a humble neighborhood when they were unknown, will they insist on the latest fashions and nicest neighborhood when popular? If they can past this test (and similar ones), maybe they can handle celebrity.

  8. Steve Wright says:

    Well said, Xenia. That’s spot on.

  9. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Steve.

  10. Michael says:

    I’m very grateful that Dr. Packer became something of a celebrity because of how he has handled it.

    Most people don’t know that while Packer is known for his writing,his life has also been filled with controversy.

    The man has always stood publicly and often at great cost for what he believes.

    He has always done so with a humility that so far has utterly evaded me.

    It’s not his theological acumen that keeps me tethered to J.I. Packer…it’s his demonstrated humility that rebukes me without a word and sets me on a better way so very often.

    That…and the fact that he is aware of the power of his name…and is willing to lend it to so many others that they may be heard as well.

    Yes, celebrity can be used of God…

  11. Steve Wright says:

    I’ve shared before my one meeting with Bill Bright a few years before he went to glory, and how awed I was by the humility of the man and his Christlike spirit that just oozed out of him.

    I will never forget it.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    This is true. A few years ago, divers in the River Wear in Durham discovered gold and silver items in the bottom of the river near to a bridge. These items were later identified as items that had been given to Archbishop Michael Ramsey during his time as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was an amazingly humble man. It is believed that during his retirement in Durham, before his death, he took his most precious possessions and threw them into the river. When we learned of this, all of us who knew him were not surprised… he wanted to die as simply a poor priest without any riches…

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Ramsey’s actions seem a little odd and perhaps irrational. The stuff could have been sold and use to provide food or educations to some poor waif such as Oliver Twist.

    Perhaps Ramsey had dementia by that time – I know I feel it creeping up.

  14. John 20:29 says:

    #7 – reminds me again that somewhere inside of Xenia lies a book that needs to be written…
    in defense of WalMart clerks, i do a lot of my shopping there these days and those folk are wonderful people… 🙂

  15. Xenia says:

    The archbishop was acting like a fool for Christ. We need more fools for Christ.

  16. Xenia says:

    #13

    Why waste these costly items? They could be sold and given the poor.

    Someone else said this once….

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – having just taught that passage last Sunday – that is not close to the context. Jesus gave us instructions how to properly dispose of our earthly goods if we were to follow him — and it was not to toss your stuff in the river.

  18. Jerod says:

    Kevin I disagree
    At Christ’s pinnacle of celebrity status, he was weeping for those who worshiped his celebrity.

  19. Michael says:

    We’re getting hammered on the back end of the blog with a hacker attack.
    Prayers appreciated that it will fail…

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    Agree with Xenia, disagree with MLD…

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hmmm, someone disagreeing with me. I don’t think that has happened before. 😉

    Well, perhaps aside from some funny backstory, you must admit that Jesus said to sell your goods and give the money to the poor. But I am sure dump your gold in the river was a close 2nd.

    Come on, even the best of us get a bit nutty.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    #21 You obviously did not know him…

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is the problem with celebrity – we can’t even say the celeb may have been a little off kilter at the end.

    OK, tossing your goodies in the river is the accepted Christian behavior.

    But this is why Oliver Twist and Tiny Tim remained poor until their dying days in England. 🙂

  24. Steve Wright says:

    To MLD’S point, Scripture clarifies Judas did not care for the poor but was a thief wanting some easy loot…the criticism aimed there, not at the idea of selling stuff for the poor.

    I’m the sort that gets guilty about throwing anything of possible value away that could be sold or used by another….I don’t hoard but I have to find a bin or library or something when I’m cleaning out….

  25. Kevin H says:

    Jerod,

    I’m not sure where you’re finding where Jesus wept for those who worshipped his celebrity. Certainly, He wouldn’t have wanted people worshipping Him just because He was famous or could do miracles. But where in Scripture do we ever see Jesus telling people not to worship Him or weeping for those who did?

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    #23 In the scope of Christian history, from the Desert Fathers through to early monasticism, to the Franciscan movement of the 12th century to the Holy Fools of the Orthodox tradition, it is not an unusual occurrence, as I’m sure you know… By the way, Bishop Michael was compos mentis until the time of his death.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, let me introduce myself. If I get this far into a conversation I am usually just baiting you. Couldn’t you pick up by the Oliver Twist and Tiny Tim references.

    But is it that harmful if our heroes are nutty at the end?

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If my pastor burned down his house to show his favor to poverty, as an elder of the church I would assist in having him placed in a facility for his own protection.

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD
    No problem, if I could deal with the Preus brothers and David Scaer… I can manage to deal with you.

    Obvious answer to your question is “no”. One of my dearest friends, a renowned patristics scholar, multiple books, eight languages, is now 90 and cannot make sense when I call him on the phone… nonetheless, he is still a hero to me…

  30. Steve Wright says:

    I know many have issues with his theology but there are not too many men in the history of the Church who can inspire and convict on the money issue as John Wesley and his testimony and his lifestyle…I guess, as a child seeing your pastor dad be taken from your home to the debtor’s prison will do that sort of thing.

    He was also unique in that he was single most of his life, and he definitely lived in a different age.

    However, he fits well with Xenia’s #7 comment, celebrity that he was (and quite the money earner, relatively speaking), eating with the poor etc.

  31. Xenia says:

    My patron saint, Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, was a holy fool for Christ.

  32. Jerod says:

    Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    #31 Xenia… yes. My wife and I worked with Metropolitan John back in the 90s to help establish the charitable hospital named for her in St. Petersburg… we learned so much, it was such a privilege…

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    From the OrthodoxWiki;
    “A saint who has the title Fool-for-Christ is one who is known for his apparent, yet holy, insanity. This title in Russian is Yurodivyi. ”

    If this is so, I will never again speak roughly about Todd Bentley’s antics or the rest of Bill Johnson’s crew up at Bethel Redding

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, my favorite David Scaer story.

    Back in the 90s Scaer used to do the speaker circuit with the Calvinists at The White Horse Inn.(it seems that the WHI guys always needed a Lutheran to keep themselves straight).

    One time Scaer was sitting in the Concordia lunchroom when Mike Horton and Kim Riddlebarger walked in and Scaer called across the room “hey Horton, when Jesus returns is he still coming down on a rope?” Cracks them up every time 🙂

    It’s OK, the story was told by Horton.

  36. John 20:29 says:

    #34 – it’s kind of scary as i’m tracking with MLD today…
    however, i’m not sure that Bentley, from what i know and that’s not much, could be called a fool FOR Christ… however, we do read that God does use the foolish and the base* things… so… dunno

    *someone on another thread opined that we shouldn’t use outdated language, so:
    ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French bas, from medieval Latin bassus ‘short’ (found in classical Latin as a cognomen). The senses in late Middle English included [low, short] and [of inferior quality] ; from the latter arose a sense [low on the social scale, menial,] and hence (mid 16th cent.) [reprehensibly cowardly, selfish, or mean.]

  37. ( |O )====::: says:

    John 20:29,
    “*someone on another thread opined that we shouldn’t use outdated language, so:
    ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French bas, from medieval Latin bassus ‘short’ (found in classical Latin as a cognomen). The senses in late Middle English included [low, short] and [of inferior quality] ; from the latter arose a sense [low on the social scale, menial,] and hence (mid 16th cent.) [reprehensibly cowardly, selfish, or mean.]”

    Ummm, just exactly to whom are you speaking to and what are you saying? 😉

    For me, I’m about connection, communication, plain speech, avoiding arcane & dated, or “coarse or vulgar”. F-bombs not withstanding, I admire someone who can communicate skillfully in a straightforward manner.

    I’m also in awe of those who are skillful enough to bid someone go jump off a bridge and watch in wonder as the one bid actually looks forward to the swim.

  38. ( |O )====::: says:

    Also, my point on the other post is to respect but do away with KJV because of the cultic idea that it’s somehow truer to the original language, something ChuckSr adhered to, as does one camp in the CCSplit. Sorry, we’re not Muslims who must believe that God preserved the Koran in Arabic, any more that Jesus spoke in archaic KJV in TheGospels. Verily, He spoke Aramaic.

  39. Kevin H says:

    Jerod,

    Okay, I don’t get it. I asked you where you got your contention that Jesus wept for those who were worshipping his celebrity. You come back and post a bunch of Scriptures which have nothing to do with said subject. In fact, in all of those Scriptures there is only one reference to Jesus weeping and it has nothing to do with a concern of people worshipping him for his celebrity. What’s going on here?

  40. Xenia says:

    His Matt 21 reference actually says the opposite of what Jerod wants to prove.

  41. CostcoCal says:

    Do away with the KJV?

    Yeah, great idea!

    Why don’t we just “do away” with Handel, Michelangelo, and anything from the Renaissance era?

    Or maybe I’ll keep my KJV along with my ESV.

  42. John 20:29 says:

    Gman, i think i understand your thinking – was just joking as your comment came to mind as i was about to quote some old King James – i use and love my NKJV (& ESV & some others, too)… but the actual verse that came to mind says, in the KJV “base” and foolish things ARE used by God – a great comfort to me… 🙂
    the language of the day, time and place should certainly be used when one wants to be clearly understood by others – heaven knows, for some of us being understood is hard enough at best – so much truly is frame of reference

    or to be more succinct (is that word okay?), yeah, what Costco said …

  43. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    Based on your concern for doctrinal purity and the examples of your exegesis, I strongly suggest you get into a good Reformed or Lutheran church as soon as possible.

    Perhaps even sit under Brodersen for a season…because someone has taught you very poorly…

  44. John 20:29 says:

    #37
    “John 20:29,
    “*someone on another thread opined that we shouldn’t use outdated language, so:
    ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French bas, from medieval Latin bassus ‘short’ (found in classical Latin as a cognomen). The senses in late Middle English included [low, short] and [of inferior quality] ; from the latter arose a sense [low on the social scale, menial,] and hence (mid 16th cent.) [reprehensibly cowardly, selfish, or mean.]”

    Ummm, just exactly to whom are you speaking to and what are you saying?

    the asterisk was supposed to be the notation that referenced the origin of the word “base” BTW – i wasn’t referring to a particular person… yikes, hope you didn’t think that was an obtuse snark of some sort

  45. John 20:29 says:

    chiming in on Jerod’s reference to Jesus weeping… i think He did look over the city and weep over their blindness to exactly who He was, did He not? Was that not because they thought He’d was there as to conquer – to begin an earthly reign? He was there at that time and place to accomplish something waaay far greater than that…
    just sayin … hang in there Jerod – things will jell in time – pray for good teachers … and time

  46. Steve Wright says:

    Costco Cal.. G was speaking of a specific issue that did float around in CCCM and that is crossing the line from KJV preferred to the KJV only position. I saw it personally and know one guy, 20 years later still engulfed in that error. Chuck sometimes straddled the fence but more than a few jumped it.

    G specifically said to respect the KJV, and it is a pretty silly comment from another that would have me defend a comment from G

    But I experienced what he described.

  47. Jerod says:

    Kevin H.
    All those verses are usually called context.

    Jesus’ triumphal entry
    The crowd praising God for what?
    Jesus’ propitiation for our sins

    Oh wait, no-
    FOR THE MIRACLES THEY HAD SEEN

    and Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, telling them that, in the midst of their praise, their peace (Him) was hidden was from their eyes because
    Why?
    Because they did not recognize the time of God’s coming to them, per Jesus

    The first advent. Praising miracles, not Jesus, wilfully ignorant to his deity, tossing coats and donkeys and Hosanna and, and, and, he’s weeping because they are blind.

    This isn’t confusing

    What more describes celebriocrity ? (Trying to jump in on coining a term).

    Xenia. How is this opposite?

  48. Jerod says:

    Thank you John 20:29

    I think,

    Wait, what’s supposed to gel? :-\

  49. Jerod says:

    Another fun example would be
    Can opening
    (What’s in the can? )

    John 6, in its entirety.

  50. Kevin H says:

    Jerod,

    At your # 47 – “This isn’t confusing”

    It shouldn’t be. Yet you are making it that way. You are seeing things there that completely aren’t there. You are seeing them seemingly only because you want to see them.

    You say it’s about context. And then you go and contend that the people are praising God for the miracles they have seen and not Jesus’ propitiation of sins. Of course it wasn’t for his propitiation of sins. It couldn’t be because He hadn’t gone to the cross yet. This is a meaningless argument. But where do you then see anywhere in the “context” that the praising is based on the miracles they had seen. Sure, that could have been part of it, but there is no explanation of what the praising is based on. And there is no rejection or weeping over the praising. That gives us a hint that the praising was welcomed. You are completely reading in things that you want to. It is NOT in the context whatsoever.

    Later we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem for their failure to recognize Him and their rejection of Him and the coming destruction of the city. He was weeping for the city and its people as a general whole. This does not mean that there were not true believers and true worshippers interspersed within the city. Just like we weep at times for our country. There are still true believers within. And so to then make the connection that Jesus is weeping for those who are only worshipping his celebrity when he is weeping over Jerusalem is to read something into the “context” that is just not there.

  51. Jerod says:

    I thought my sarcasm was apparent. Should’ve used 😉 Your argument is based on the same kind of exegesis that claims there is no rapture or trinity taught explicitly in scripture. But it’s worse, because in this case I am quoting verbatim, which means you are not reading the text. Tell you what,

    Post the text from Luke 19 and Matthew 21

    Where does it say they praised God, not Christ, for the miracles?

    Luke 19:37 And as He is drawing near, already at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples rejoicing, began to praise God in a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen,

  52. Jerod says:

    “Later we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem for their failure to recognize Him and their rejection of Him and the coming destruction of the city. He was weeping for the city and its people as a general whole. This does not mean that there were not true believers and true worshippers interspersed within the city.”

    This is as he is riding. Nothing in the chronology tells us this was a later in the day as you imply. Before he weeps he tells the pharisees,
    If they keep quiet, I tell you, the stones would cry out.

    Why does Jesus say this, do you think?

  53. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think we all need to chip in and buy Jerod a Bible for Christmas. I don’t think he has ever seen one before. 😉

  54. Jerod says:

    That is just the sweetest thing, MLD. Thanks for thinking of me 🙂

  55. John 20:29 says:

    as i’ve observed before, there is a great mix of Believers here on the PhxP … some come with an agenda, some truly are gifted as teachers, some are gifted as ‘goaders’ 🙂 , some have attacks of pontification, once in while someone stops by to inform all that Christianity, whatever form we practice is a crock, some of us simply have a passing thought that we must post for our own peace of mind…
    the interesting thing, for me at least, is that this is a great place to grow in the Faith if one is truly seeking to grow… no matter what denomination one clings to

  56. Kevin H says:

    Jerod,

    I don’t think I’m going to continue to engage on this issue because I’m afraid we’re not going to get anywhere.

    But I do say this truly without trying to be condescending, try to take Michael’s advice back in his #43. Your interpretation and application of these things from Scripture are really lacking in support. I myself am not high on the totem pole on all things theological or doctrinal, but I try to learn from those who are greatly more studied in the Scriptures than myself. I think you need to seek out some good teachers that are robust in their studied backgrounds.

  57. Michael says:

    Jerod actually just needs a commentary.

    A commentary that would explain to him that the triumphal entry passages speak to us about the Jewish expectation of the Messiah and the crowds belief that he had arrived in the person of Jesus.
    He would be able to note the parallels with Ps. 118.

    “The multitude of disciples is rejoicing, an activity that Luke alone notes.15 God’s miraculous works are the source of the praise (see BDR §294.5 on the syntax). Jesus’ ministry has been one continuous demonstration of God’s power: the deaf speak, the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the gospel is preached (7:22). It is not only an exciting time to watch God’s work, it is unique (Luke 13:10–17; 14:1–6; 17:11–19; 18:35–43; Acts 10:38). Luke’s unique reference to praise fits his emphasis, since αἰνέω (aineō, to praise) is used elsewhere by him five times (Luke 2:13, 20; Acts 2:47; 3:8, 9) but only twice in the rest of the NT (Rom. 15:11; Rev. 19:5; Luce 1933: 301; Marshall 1978: 714; Fitzmyer 1985: 1250). Those who understand Jesus’ purpose rejoice.

    19:38 Luke details the praise offered for God’s work: it is really praise for Jesus and the time that his activity indicates (Marshall 1978: 715). With Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem comes another allusion to Ps. 118. In the earlier allusion to this psalm (Luke 13:35), Jesus lamented Jerusalem’s failure to respond to him. Here the disciples, in contrast to the nation, confess Jesus as God’s messenger. It is not correct to see 19:38 as the fulfillment of 13:35, because (a) it is the disciples, not the nation, who utter the note of reception and (b) Jesus’ remark about missing the day of visitation (19:44) shows that some still reject him. Luke 13:35 has a still future day of Israel’s reception in view.

    The use of Ps. 118:26 is typological in originally depicting the king leading pilgrims to the temple and receiving a greeting of welcome from the priests at the temple, probably on the occasion of some major victory. This greeting/blessing recognized that the king and his entourage came with the Lord’s approval (Bock 1987: 118, 125). As it was then, so it should be in Jesus’ time. He should be welcomed as a leader and agent of God. The association of Ps. 118 with eschatological hope and the Feast of Tabernacles also heightens the sense of nearness of eschatological fulfillment. The cry is full of hope because the king is here. Reference to “one who comes” is common in Luke (3:15–17; 7:19–23; 13:35; Ellis 1974: 225; Danker 1988: 313).

    The key difference between the citations of Ps. 118 here and in Luke 13:35 is the addition of ὁ βασιλεύς (ho basileus, the king). Luke has previously alluded to Jesus’ Davidic connection (1:32; 18:38–39), but here he explicitly calls Jesus king. This reference to the king makes it clear that a regal figure is in view, and it may be an additional allusion to Zech. 9:9. When one puts the regal confession next to eschatological imagery, a messianic claim is present. This combination gives the event its eschatological flavor and shows that messianic intimations operate at various levels.

    Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke: 9:51–24:53 (Vol. 2, pp. 1557–1558). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

  58. Jerod says:

    Michael thanks so much for all that useful information.

    What I should have clarified is that He had already rejected celebrity status.

    Yes, he accepted the praise, he publicly made the claim, he fulfilled the prophecy, but he did not accept the worship of his celebrity over the worship of his deity, as it says in Ecclesiastes, you take the bead with the good. He accepted their praise because it was due him as the king and messiah. Yet, Israel’s praise “for the miracles they had seen” was also rejected 1 1/2 years before when Jesus pronounced judgement on them for committing the unpardonable sin, calling Satanic what was from God.

    After admittedly much searching, I found some support in Edersheim, Sam Nadler, and Fruchtenbaum.

    Apparently, the crowd was singing the wrong psalm (118) at the wrong time of year. That was a Psalm sung at the feast of Tabernacles, according to Nadler.

    Edersheim says,
    “It is surely one of the strangest mistakes of modern criticism to regard this Entry of Christ into Jerusalem as implying that, fired by enthusiasm, He had for the moment expected that the people would receive Him as the Messiah.5040 And it seems little, if at all better, when this Entry is described as ‘an apparent concession to the fevered expectations of His disciples and the multitude . . . the grave, sad accommodation to thoughts other than His own to which the Teacher of new truths must often have recourse when He finds Himself misinterpreted by those who stand together on a lower level.’5041 ‘Apologies’ are the weakness of ‘Apologetics’ – and any ‘accommodation’ theory can have no place in the history of the Christ. On the contrary, we regard His Royal Entry into the Jerusalem of Prophecy and of the Crucifixion as an integral part of the history of Christ, which would not be complete, nor thoroughly consistent, without it. It behoved Him so to enter Jerusalem, because He was a King; and as King to enter it in such manner, because He was such a King – and both the one and the other were in accordance with the prophecy of old.”

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/lifetimes.x.i.html

  59. Jerod says:

    “Yet, Israel’s praise ‘for the miracles they had seen’ was also rejected 1 1/2 years before when Jesus pronounced judgement on them for committing the unpardonable sin, calling Satanic what was from God.”

    That is Nadler
    “According to Matthew 12:22-45, Israel
    rejected the Messiahship of Yeshua about
    a year and a half earlier than the day of
    His Triumphal Entry into Jeruslaem.
    Because of Israel’s national rejection of
    His offer, Yeshua declared the generation
    of His day guilty of committing the
    “unpardonable sin.” From that time onward,
    Israel fell subject to the judgment that would
    come in 70 AD. Furthermore, the Messiah’s offer of the
    Kingdom to that generation of Jews was rescinded and
    would be re-offered to a later Jewish generation: the
    generation of the Great Tribulation…
    …No amount of Hosanna’s and refrains of Blessed is he
    that comes in the name of the Lord could change what
    had already occurred a year-and-a-half earlier.”

  60. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    Again, I will suggest that you purchase a standard exegetical commentary.

    Even better, I would heartily recommend that you take any one of a number of free online courses in theology and church history.

    This would be an excellent place to start;

    https://www.biblicaltraining.org/foundations

  61. Steve Wright says:

    One should not confuse the national rejection by Israel, and the judgement that fell as a result, with the fact that a whole lot of Jews did sincerely believe in Christ.

    Not just the 12, but the women that were part of their company, we read about the many women weeping as He went to the cross. A great multitude followed Him to the place of execution. Of course there is Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, who took care of His burial, and the women at the tomb at the resurrection.

    We are told there are 120 believers in the first chapter of Acts, gathered together when Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. That He appeared to 500 at once after His resurrection.

    I’ve heard people preach “These same fickle people shouting their Hosannas would in a few days be shouting to Pilate ‘Crucify him, we want Barabbas’.

    Well that is the sort of preaching that is totally unsupported by Scripture. As if Jerusalem at the time of the Passover was some backwater town with just a handful of folks keeping the lights on. There is every Biblical reason to believe Jesus had plenty of loyal believers, even as He obviously had His enemies (and people in the early morning crowd His enemies could “stir up”).

    “National” rejection does not mean every last individual.

  62. “National” rejection does not mean every last individual.”

    No, but it does mean that every last one of them has been ban from the Temple, the Priesthood and the Sacrificial system.

  63. Jerod says:

    The person telling me to get solid foundations in biblical exegesis links to a site pushing Contemplative Prayer and Spiritual Formation.

    SMH.

    God love ya

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    Spiritual formation is absolutely essential to the Christian life.

    It’s one thing to be ignorant, it’s another thing to be prideful in your own ignorance.

  65. bob1 says:

    Jerod,

    Oh, my God — spiritual formation! How horrible. Tip: don’t be put off by words you don’t understand. ODMers are especially good at this. Pretty soon, everybody’s part of the New World Order or some other nitwit conspiracy theory. Tee hee.

    See #64.

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    bob1 – Right.

    I was a little rough. Apparently someone has Jerod afraid of words like “spiritual formation”.

    Spiritual formation is stuff like prayer, bible study, church attendance…you know, being a Christian.

    Contemplative prayer and ecumenical are equally harmless. Once you stop reading those fear-mongering websites, the trouble disappears.

  67. Steve Wright says:

    At the School of Ministry at CC Costa Mesa, to equip and train pastors for pastoral ministry, in the year 1995, I took a class titled Spiritual Formation.

  68. Xenia says:

    A snippet from Wikipedia:

    “Some authors and speakers concerned with spiritual formation assert that believers can attain spiritual growth through the practice of religious disciplines.”

    Yes, we CAN attain spiritual growth through the practice of religious disciplines. How can anyone find a problem with this? Especially when the discipline mentioned include Scripture reading, regular prayer, etc.

    If “spiritual formation” has some devotees who think it includes yoga and mantras, don’t follow those people. Use your brains, for crying out loud!

  69. Xenia says:

    Jerod, relax. You are missing the whole point of being a Christian. You have backed yourself in a corner where you are condemning pastors who don’t preach vs by vs thru Numbers on Sunday mornings and who encourage people to have a disciplined Christian life. You need to sit quietly for a while and re-think all this. Contemplate the Person of Jesus for a while….

  70. Josh the Baptist says:

    “If “spiritual formation” has some devotees who think it includes yoga and mantras,”

    I don’t really think those exist so much, just that someone uses that as a scare tactic.

  71. Xenia says:

    Josh, that’s what I think but I anticipate a post where this is brought up.

  72. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    When I went online for the first time many moons ago I went about on what was then the equivalent of blogs straightening out everyones theology.

    I was quickly taught that theologically I was poorly trained to the point of incompetence.
    I wasn’t informed of this in a gentle manner.

    Instead of simply chewing me up and spitting me out (though they did that, too) more learned men got together to help me grow beyond just having a tradition and zeal without knowledge.

    There was no online learning yet, so they sent me classes on tape and books to read and gave me access to other tools to educate myself.

    They invested a lot of effort and a lot of time to help me.

    It was a great gift…a priceless one.

    In the years that have passed, I’ve tried to give back that gift to others while I keep on learning myself.

    I hope some day you choose to take hold of the opportunities available to you.

  73. Em ... again says:

    come let us reason together… renew your mind and “Use your brains, for crying out loud!”
    renewing one’s mind, comparing scripture with scripture…
    toss labels in the trash bin and no one will lead you down a path to compromise of Truth…
    IMHO, labels, those knee jerk buzz words, cause us to comment right past each other defending a concept and missing what the other person has said … with the exception of a precious few here, most of us don’t say exactly what we think we’ve said when another person reads our words

    just sayin … again

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