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56 Responses

  1. Dallas says:

    Stealing back “evangelical”… if we are going to go through the trouble of stealing back a term that has lost its meaning, shouldn’t it perhaps be Christianity? Isn’t that the reason that the evangelical modifier was added in the first place?

  2. Erunner says:

    On the topic of pastors endorsing political candidates the author stated…

    “And I believe we have a responsibility to our congregants and followers to offer scriptural guidelines for choosing a candidate and even to say, “Because of these considerations, I will be voting for candidate X, but you need to give this prayerful consideration and then vote accordingly.”

    I think the author doesn’t realize that the above statement is all a person in the congregation needs to immediately follow suit and vote as the pastor will. He misses the fact that a pastor can hold a huge sway over his flock even by what he sees as stopping short of an endorsement.

    Finally. I really am not interested in how my pastor is going to vote. As long as he is fulfilling his role and equipping the flock I see no reason for him to discuss political issues outside of how they happen to fit into the message he is sharing.

    Don’t get me started on those who go on the internet, discuss political issues and then offer to sell you a book or tape set. At that time it’s time to skidaddle.

  3. Al says:

    The End Times folks may be right after all.

    Hillary Clinton is clearly laying the groundwork and rationale for War with Russia over Syria and the Mid-East.

    Hillary is getting elected….and we are likely going to War….World War III may beat the Economic System collapsing…and will actually cause the System and Bubbles to Pop quicker.

    Maybe this is the End LOL. Maybe the Left Behind loonies are right after all LOL.

    Reading the Tea Leaves….Hillary is laying down the political narrative to go to War again…just like she did leading up to the Iraq War….

    ….and through Syria? With Gog and Magog and all that stuff? LOL. If we go to War with Russia over Syria, China will have Russia’s back. It’s a US/NATO vs. Russia/China proxy War for sure.

    If we don’t go to War, the Economic System still collapses in 10 years….the IMF warns the World is now a mind-numbing $152 TRILLION in Debt…as I predicted back in 2008 that we had chosen the path to Debt our way out of Debt Crisis. US Debt has DOUBLED since that short time…and World Debt has nearly TRIPLED in that short time.

    Tick, tick, tick….BOOM!

  4. Al says:

    Here’s a link for you: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/06/global-debt-balloons-to-all-time-high-of-152-trillion-imf-warns.html

    …like I been sayin’…not a matter of “if” the Global Economic System collapses under the weight of its Moral Hazard and massive Debts…just “when”….

    10 more years and then Pop! Unless Hillary takes us into World War III sooner…that will also Pop the massive Bubbles and collapse the System.

  5. Al says:

    “Babylon has fallen!” and then “You cannot buy or sell” unless you participate in the Global Currency/Trade System….

    Russia, China could nuke a few of our Major Democrat-controlled City’s like New York and Washington DC and Los Angeles etc and that would likely break us….America is very weak and Divided, there is no National Unity.

    I could see that scenario as plausible. The US would likely split between Blue and Red States as the Current Economic System collapsed….and then a deal is cut among the G20 Nations to reboot the System with the US now broken and not a “the” Major Power any longer.

    Possible.

  6. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I don’t think it’s my place to tell my congregation how to vote…and I don’t believe that there is anything Christian about most elections.

    Llast Sunday I taught on Revelation 11 and Psalm 2…put the focus on the King and His kingdom before my folks went home and watched the debate.

  7. Al says:

    It’s interesting. The Globalists are fighting over Syria b/c they want US/European style Globalization and Control….and ironically, they may bring about a more Globalized System by starting World War III and provoking Russia and China to weaken the US through a direct military conflict….that would break the US and split it in two.

    Then the Economic System would Collapse, no doubt.

    Then we’d have a more Globalized System but not in the way the US/European Globalists had hoped for…the US and Europe would have to agree to a lesser role in World Affairs under a New Agreement with Russia, China and Asia having a more powerful role in a new Global Economic/Trade System and Peace Agreement after a time of War.

    I think Russia and China are more potent than the US now and could break us pretty quickly. We don’t have the will or stomach for War and we are so divided. The States would break away quickly and fend for themselves. The Liberal/Democrat heavily-government-dependent areas would absolutely implode with any little bit of disruption to Social Services etc. It would truly be Lord of the Flies in those areas.

    We are much more vulnerable that you realize. Things are much closer to major Collapse than you realize.

  8. Michael says:

    Dallas,

    I think the issue around the “evangelical” tag is one of self identification.

    We want to identify with groups of like minded believers and when those boundary markers are moved it creates real confusion with peoples identity.

    Christianity is simply too broad a term…

  9. Al says:

    I need to start my own End Times seminars and books and videos and work the Church Circuit.

    I hear it is quite lucrative.

    At least I’m right, often LOL.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al,
    Why is the US being number 2 or 3 a bad thing?
    France and Germany have always been down the pecking order and they seem to live a good life.

  11. Al says:

    Didn’t say it was a bad thing. The Current US/EU Globalists suck. Things might be better with a split US (into Red States and Blue States) and Russia and China playing a bigger role in World Affairs than our idiot Leaders and Billionaires.

  12. Al says:

    What are we fighting for anyway? So we can have Trannies get access to female bathrooms? So the Saudis, Muslim Brotherhood and others can infiltrate the US System? So women and gays can be in our military and so our tax dollars can pay for sex change operations? So millionaire NFL football players can “protest” how mistreated they are? So a politician like Hillary Clinton can literally do whatever she wants with no accountability? So Federal Laws can be openly obstructed in “Sanctuary Cities” yet the same Group appeals to “Rule of Law!” to shoot and kill a good man like Lavoy Finicum?

    F all that noise. I hope God brings Judgment. And it might be in the form I described above….

  13. Michael says:

    Can we stick to the links please?
    Alex, you have lots of places to put your geo-political theories other than here.

  14. Al says:

    “For in a single hour such fabulous wealth has been destroyed!” Every shipmaster, passenger, and sailor, and all who make their living from the sea, will stand at a distance 18and cry out at the sight of the smoke rising from the fire that consumes her, saying, ‘What city was ever like this great city?’ 19Then they will throw dust on their heads as they weep and mourn and cry out: “Woe, woe to the great city, where all who had ships on the sea were enriched by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been destroyed.”

    The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. And God remembered Babylon the great and gave her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.

    “They worshiped the dragon who had given authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can wage war against it?””

    Basically, Hillary and NATO starts World War III, Russia/China nuke New York City or Washington DC and the Global Economic System collapses. The World goes into chaos, Economies fail, major upheaval, China emerges (the Great Dragon) and asserts itself as the Global Power and partners with Russia.

    A New System is established with China and Russia taking the reigns of power from the US and EU. A New Peace and New Global Economic System is brokered and wa-la!

    “so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark”

    You have to participate in the New System and its new Currency Regime or you can’t buy or sell.

    A different New World Order than the Globalists envisioned, but a New Order none-the-less.

    How’s that for some End Times stuff!

  15. Dallas says:

    Michael, perhaps the final poisoning (as opposed to the slow one that was already happening) of the word evangelical is a reason to reanalyze the reasons that we need these little tags for ourselves in the first place (wishful thinking).

    The Christian is the one who has been saved by Christ… pick an angle, that’s either very broad or very narrow.

  16. Al says:

    Sorry our posts crossed LOL

    Who knows. I’m more poking fun than anything.

    The Economic System will collapse eventually, though 😉

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    In many of the links concerning politics, I was encouraged to see writers questioning the validity of Christians seeking to “cozy up” to what they perceive to be “power”. I could be wrong, but I had always thought that the Nietzschean idea of the “Will to Power” (which appears too be in vogue at present) was, in fact, an anti-Christian concept that laid much of the ground work for National Socialism in Germany in the 30s.

    Instead of “power”, perhaps our greater interest, at least in the civil realm, should be in “justice”… as in “What does God require…”

    Perhaps, on a practical level, we should be more interested in and concerned about failing church communities, mentoring of new believers, and the simple sharing of our faith, in word and deed, in our towns and cities…

  18. Michael says:

    Dallas,

    I agree…but I also know that even I have a longing to identify with a given sect…it is a way of saying who you are in the kingdom.

    Probably not completely healthy, but maybe necessary.

  19. Al says:

    “Instead of “power”, perhaps our greater interest, at least in the civil realm, should be in “justice”… as in “What does God require…””

    Good Ideal, but in real terms, all Groups are a mixed bag.

    Social Justice Liberals claim “Justice!” rightly with regards to some issues and some things, but demonstrate a lot of Injustice in others.

    Same goes for the Evangelicals.

    Every Group is flawed and hypocritical.

    Except me. I’m perfect. (sarcasm for those who are stupid).

  20. Al says:

    “What does God require”

    Depends on which Group, Guru, Sect, Leader etc. INTERPRETS the bible says “God requires”

    Everyone has their own view of “Justice”

  21. Michael says:

    Duane,

    “Perhaps, on a practical level, we should be more interested in and concerned about failing church communities, mentoring of new believers, and the simple sharing of our faith, in word and deed, in our towns and cities…”

    I think part of doing that effectively has to come with the cost of dropping things that impede our witness…such as the grasping for partisan political power.

    There is so much that can be done at the local level…

  22. Dallas says:

    So, if they succeed in taking back or redeeming the word evangelical, what do we call the people who poisoned the name in the first place… you know other than the names that I am already calling them. 😉

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Agreed… absolutely.

  24. Al says:

    “I think part of doing that effectively has to come with the cost of dropping things that impede our witness…such as the grasping for partisan political power.”

    Except that the Democrat Party continues to abuse its Power and sometimes the only way to fight back is to support the other Beast.

    I still blame Obama and Democrats for Donald Trump. Trump is what you get when you Abuse your Majority Power…you get an equal and opposite reaction.

  25. covered says:

    Michael, your #6 is spot on! Who the hell am I to tell others how to vote? It’s not that different than another Prophecy Conference. I don’t know why so many tomatoes are growing in the Middle East so why would I pretend like I understand these things?

    I hate that Pastor’s think that just like athletes and other celebrities, we have an idea what is going on and how to fix it.

    Shame on any pastor that uses his pulpit for this self serving purpose. I have enough trouble keeping my eyes on Jesus and trying to teach others to do the same. Not enough hours in the day to tell people how to vote.

  26. Michael says:

    Dallas,

    That’s a really good question…and I don’t have an answer to it.

  27. Michael says:

    covered,

    Telling people how to vote is not part of my calling…we may be able to address issues, but only in the context they are dealt with in Scripture.

    It’s a hard time to be a pastor though, when people are this riled up…

  28. EricL says:

    “Evangelical” was meant to be the group that wasn’t Fundamentalist but wasn’t Liberal Christian either. It has always been a messy term covering folks that often weren’t so comfortable with each other, from Pentecostal to cessationist, from Calvinist to Arminian, but as long as the focus remained on Christ and sharing the Good News, everyone could get along.

    The problems arise when someone inside this large tent starts pointing fingers at others and insisting those folks are undesirable and need to be thrown out. Removing someone because of their wrong view of Jesus and salvation (good bye Mormons, JWs, and so on) is one thing, but these folks aren’t happy unless you agree with them about the exact placement of every tent stake, tent pole, and door flap.

    It’s a big tent folks and some of those in it might look like they are part of a carnival act, but get used to it. Heaven will be even more diverse 🙂 Just keep away from the weird ones if you must and enjoy the community in Christ.

  29. Michael says:

    EricL,

    Well said.
    I think I’m going to change the Linkathon format and start having categories of links…because I always try to make life more difficult. 🙂

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    If we could manage to steal back “Evangelical”… perhaps we should also cast a covetous eye toward the designation “Catholic”… especially as it is in the Creed…

  31. EricL says:

    Categories of links? May I suggest, pork links, turkey links, and imitation links 🙂
    (just kidding)

  32. Dallas says:

    That would be a beautiful thing Duane.

  33. Michael says:

    EricL,

    Glad you threw in a vegan link for our meatless lurkers… 🙂

  34. Michael says:

    Duane,

    ‘Catholic” is the only word more abused than “evangelical”…

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Agreed… I have one friend who when asked about his church would respond “OK” – meaning of course OHCAA – One Holy Catholic And Apostolic…

  36. Em ... again says:

    there are a lot of questions that should be presented to the Church for consideration with regard to civic (as in voting) responsibility… one being that, since we can assume the rulers of nations are always according to God’s design for history, who/what are your expectations of the office, itself? … societal leadership that brings law and order? one that brings inspiration and morality? is the office a reward that we give to a nice person?
    does law and order equate with dictatorship? it will if we question the authority of the Constitution which combined with the character of the population has been the glue that has held these States united – IMHO

    there must be a hundred reality checks that Christianity needs to be confronted with now in this nation as we transition from an overriding national respect for the Biblical God to one of tolerance for all affections and affectations that man can claim…

    i’m not sure just where this fits in with the teaching responsibilities of the Church’s leaders…

    thinking… awash in thought … and questions 🙂

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Evangelical” was meant to be the group that wasn’t Fundamentalist but wasn’t Liberal Christian either.”

    I think it was shortly after this redefinition that the Lutherans ran away from the term that originally identified the Lutheran Church – today, Evangelical is synonymous with crazy religious folk.

    It’s been a dead toxic term – shoot it, bury it and move on.

  38. Michael says:

    Em,

    My personal view is that the church is to be concerned primarily with Christ and His kingdom and our place as ambassadors of Him.

    It’s my job to facilitate and equip the congregation to do so.

    My further opinion is that if we actually did our jobs (the works set before us) we would have little confusion about what the role of the church is.
    It’s our place to speak truth to power, not seek it for ourselves…

  39. EricL says:

    MLD @37, your brethren in the EKD (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland) might not appreciate your dumping their church name, or are you just trying to reclaim it for them. 🙂

  40. Em ... again says:

    Michael, your “personal view” makes sense to me 🙂

    MLD, do not declare “dead and buried” the term evangelical – no, no, no

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    EricL – actually the people who were originally called evangelical (or called themselves) were bound together by the Augsburg Confession – everyone ascribed to it (a few threw a fit over the real presence) – but it was the WHAT that made you evangelical, whether Lutheran or Reformed..

    Today I always have the feeling that those who call themselves evangelicals pride themselves that nothing binds them together – Evangelical = it is free fall Christianity.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em – can you explain what the term means?
    Even the definition above – today, what is the difference between a fundamentalist and an evangelical?

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    RC Sproul to Al Mohler to Benny Hinn to Joel Osteen all identify as evangelical — what is the common thread that binds them together?

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    Take those 4 and add MLD -all call themselves Christian. What’s the common bond?

    But I’m fine with not using evangelical.

  45. EricL says:

    MLD @43, Roger Olson offered the following example of what unites or flavors Evangelicalism: “That flavor, according to evangelical historian David Bebbington, has four distinct ingredients “on top” of orthodox Protestant Christianity: belief in the Bible as God’s inspired word (biblicism), belief in the experience of conversion, popularly known as being “born again,” belief in the cross of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation (crucicentrism), and belief in the importance of evangelism and social activism.”

    I would ask similarly what binds various Lutherans together? Why hasn’t your church stopped using the term, since they disagree with the ELCA, EKD, and many other more liberal Lutherans. Why don’t you guys just call yourselves the Missouri Synod Church? 🙂

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    EricL – do any evangelicals know that definition? so what is the issue with the terminology that ‘evangelicals’ object to? People, fully described above are big Trump supporters … and the problem is?

    Would the claim be that those ‘evangelicals’ who hijack the GOP are not real evangelicals?

  47. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As I said, what binds us Lutherans is the Augsburg Confession and the entire Book of Concord. Those more liberal groups have left the Book of Concord.

    In other words today nothing binds us together with those Lutheran groups – however, we are very specific with those we do share table and altar fellowship (and there are several non LCMS bodies that we do have perfect fellowship with) . Our distinction comes with the term Confessional – which is easy to identify

    But you don’t see articles about reclaiming the name and or trying to describe what is a Lutheran – like they do with evangelicals.

  48. Jean says:

    If I had to guess, and putting a positive construction on their self identification of the term, evangelical, I think a majority would include the following:

    Born again experience,
    Bible inerrancy,
    Sola Scriptura,
    Political activism.

    I think this majority would disavow Hinn, Osteen, etc.

  49. Em ... again says:

    we should all self identify as evangelical if the word means (and it does) promoting the Faith, salvation is necessary as every soul is a lost one without it… 🙂
    even though Christians dance (for joy) sometimes, we stand, steadfast in the Faith… we don’t dance around words that belong to us just because someone has tried to use them for their own interests … an orange is a fruit as is an apple… we ought to be able to discern wax imitations of same IMHO and FWIW

  50. Em ... again says:

    when it comes to political activism, many branches of the Faith have tried it and do try it… they participate for many reasons and i leave it up to God to judge their hearts… even if some of them try to judge mine… we do that here more than we’d like to own up to – IMV … again

  51. Jean says:

    # 49 reminded me that my list of “standard” evangelical self identifying characteristics needs a 5th point:

    Born again experience,
    Bible inerrancy,
    Sola Scriptura,
    Political activism
    Personal evangelism.

    Thanks Em.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean,
    “I think this majority would disavow Hinn, Osteen, etc.”

    This is my point – how can they disavow the Hinns & the Osteens if there is no covenant that bids any of them in the first place? To be evangelical is by self proclamation only. (don’t get me wrong – people can call themselves whatever they want.)

    The problem is when anyone says evangelicals do this, or teach this, the cry is ‘I am an evangelical and I don’t teach that.’ – after about 100 claims of I don’t believe that or teach that, I would think they would want to move on.

    I think Hinn and Osteen would both claim the 4 items on your list … as they understand them.

    This is one reason I have been trying to train myself away from the use of the term evangelical in my discussions and I have turned to Pop American Christianity. It is similar to my change from discussing dispensational theology and just going with rapture theology.

    On the other hand, I am willing to take the hit for calling myself confessional. 😉

  53. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    To add to Link a thon – for us older guys and Erunner who is our resident rock and roll guy – I watched this while I worked today – The Yardbirds Story. Probably the best R&B guys of their time.

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla&p=the+yardbirds#id=37&vid=94fd1761c11b65d66f20200b5f428337&action=view

  54. Em ... again says:

    “personal evangelism” … well, you’re looking for a list – put that one on it

    i don’t like labels, but i do like attributes… one of which is to be ready to give an answer for THE hope and, in my book, that is evangelical… if some folk who are in the Faith, but perhaps a little off on their emphasis, want a label or a group with which to identify and their group chooses “evangelical” that is no problem … nor is it a problem if they choose Lutheran… not until they chose to identify with a group who compromise the Faith are they a problem

    just sayin

  55. EricL says:

    Jean, activism has been a part of evangelicalism throughout its history, but not always of the political sort. That stereotype doesn’t apply to the vast majority of congregants or even to most pastors. More often, it has been more social activism or moral activism, from food banks to Habit for Humanity to sponsoring poor children to standing up against abortion. So I would change that to “social activism.”

    Beyond that, I think your list is a decent one.

  56. Eric says:

    I am one of those religious stats nerds 🙂

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