Linkathon 1/9, part 1

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22 Responses

  1. Steve Wright says:

    Since both the pro and con articles above are garbage IMO (no offense intended BrianD) here is the Hobby Lobby CEO. In his own words. (Most relevant item to me is the note that many companies (cozy to the Administration) have been granted waivers. This is not “the same law for everybody”)

    As “J” wrote the other day, sounds like a great company to work for.
    ——————————

    When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God‘s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

    We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

    But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

    Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

    So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit

  2. Steve Wright says:

    Sorry. Last part cut off. Here it is.
    ——————————–

    My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American – and no American business – should have to make.

    Sincerely,
    David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

  3. brian says:

    Rebecca’s story is very common when one expresses concerned about church issues. I always figured if the members of a church I am attending are not praying earnestly that God in His Holy wrath to take me out I am doing good. Now the CT issue is strange it was always taught to us that we should serve the church, free of charge, for how ever long we were needed and be grateful. At the very same time we were taught that if you were not a paid employee then you lacked commitment and dont really support the ministry. It is the carrot and the stick, not stick two by four with nails in it.

    From what I glean from the faith community, first you should work, work until you drop dead and then continue to work, as well as spend time with your family, but still work. You should never expect to even be paid or any type of benefits that makes you an American hating God hating communist. Corporations cannot do wrong, they generate revenue which always means they are anointed by God. Corporations are people and they have souls, well actually only the profitable one do, the non profitable corporations are as soulless as most humans on this earth. Nope no Good News here, none what so ever.

    Thanks for the links Briand.

  4. brian says:

    One of the real issues in my early faith experience was conspiracy “theories”. there were the Jesuits, the trilateral commission, the bohemian grove, scull and bones, ufo / demon conspiracy, new world order, scientists denying God via Romans 1 (this included, biologists, geneticist, geologists, cosmology, etc. There was a demon in every head line, Christ was coming back any time now and you (me) most likely will be left behind. When Christ does return the new city of Jerusalem will hover above the earth for 1000 years sort of like a mother ship. Then there was the whole the Jewish people killed Jesus and they are blind because of God’s wrath, they were actually more blind then we were until that date when some completely arbitrary date passes. Then we are the blind and 144000 Jewish men would preach to the world during the tribulation. Then there was the truly “extreme”. Demons everywhere, satanic rituals on a massive scale of 100′ thousands of children per year and so on, and these are the extremely mild forms of “truth”.

    Then there is this guy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-cfSqPKpZQ4

    If its not prophecy “go Irish”.

    I will post a sin on my part, I was wrapped up in this because I really believed in the immediate return of Christ. Something I patently reject with a deep passion now. The planet we live on will far outlive us as a species by several billion years, of course much of that is an emotional response to the other extreme. If that makes any sense. I do not write as concise as many of you do. I will share that I always did not trust the extremists or the side show bob’s literal as in Rev lar$on or the figurative like the late great planet earth.

    Let me share with you online many moons ago I was on the BBS links before public access to the internet, on the volumes were a crazy “false christian scum” pastor I dont post the name so he does not blabber on here. He moved over to usenet at one time, then there were the people who lived on a farm with someone who thought he was Jesus, those living in this cult or another and my very very very limited interaction with the heavens gate group. Those folks were polite, very excited, really believed it. I wept when they were found. I mean there were heroes and prophets on firetalk, irc, paltalk, usenet and so on. The internet open the doors on the asylum.

    One night we were in our bunks at our retreat and we were talking about the 88 reasons the rapture would happen in 88. We talked bravely about how we could wait how our faith hope. Personally, I did not buy it, not for a second it was a lie and if it happened it was a manipulative action of some maniacal psycho deity. Well absolutely nothing happened which was par for the course, but I remembered many of us did not really believed it, we knew there was no literal rapture at that time. And we were afraid we would be left behind because we doubted.

    I cant tell you the pain these people felt, I felt it even though I never really believed it. Someone said maybe I should just believe in a God that I can follow. I am beginning to lean that way but the Real God wont let go of me, even someone like me. With all this, never have I doubted the Lord Jesus but I have doubted my or others understanding of Jesus. I am full of emotionalism and memories and I understand that, I am just a human. I am beginning to understand I should not loath myself for that. For those that know me, understand that is a forward motion.

    Above all my prayer is this, God have mercy on me a sinner, and God help my unbelief. The other one is God I am so totally sorry for hurting You and other human beings. Help me be more like your Son.

  5. brian says:

    my last comment is in moderation

  6. #3 -Rebecca’s story – my goodness, does everyone feel compelled to write their exit story??
    By her own voice she says that they left their previous church due to personal issues with other members and not liking to be told what to do.

    Do any of these people ever stop to consider that perhaps they are part of the problem?

    People like Rebecca think they are royalty and should be treated so. GROW UP!!

  7. brian says:

    On a personal note I never really felt the need to write my “exit” story. There was a time I hoped that “my story” would help people avoid my mistakes. When I came to understand that me story, my entire story literally worthless did I not expect that. I still hold every single experience I have ever had, any service, etc is completely worthless in the Faith because I made a mistake. I get that part. I never saw myself as royalty I often wondered why God would waist His time in saving a worthless piece of human flesh such as myself. I have avoided posting real world names and organizations as to my personal spiritual pain. For two reasons, even if the Lord Christ Himself had ordained a change it cant and I mean could not happen, and second I dont want to be retaliated against me. I consider that cowardly.

    To be honest my exit story happened before my great great great great great great great great great great great ^10000 ancestor happened. I am not, never have been and cannot ever be part of the redeemed. I get that part as well, I really do. But in all that I hope. MLD you and me are as far apart as two people can be, but from the cheap seats it is not good news it never has been. I struggle with the idea that I hated God even before I was born.

  8. Alex says:

    brian, currently, I am tending to see much more Truth in your words than 4 years of MLD.

    You make your point very well FWIW. I still cling to Fundamentalism, but I’m losing my grip…

  9. brian,
    You are like many that we read about on these “I used to be a Christian” blogs and FB pages. You wrongly thought that THE CHURCH is the good news.
    Those who have made that error seem to now be in distress.

    All I can say to folks like you is come to Jesus through the call of His gospel message.

  10. Em says:

    MLD, affirming your #9 – life comes at some of us harder than it does others, but our Faith is fed by a focus on our Lord (how people do it without the Word, i’ve never figured out)

    now i’ll go up the thread and read brian’s thoughts 🙂

  11. Em says:

    quick skim of #5 – while i don’t think that is the intention of the article, it seems to make the case for the employer NOT choosing the health insurance carrier for its workers, but rather giving health care $$s to the worker to chose his own insurance … it is a tangled web that our government is weaving

  12. Em says:

    the pronoun … i forgot the pronoun …. again … i wonder how my brain would function if i took control of it … 😆

  13. Em says:

    #2 … okay, here’s what i’m anticipating (if the Lord tarries 🙂 ) – i will not be in limbo or soul sleep, but i will be in a lovely holding area where all Believers gather waiting for that last trumpet to blow ala 1 Corinthians 15 (it’s in there somewhere) … is it heaven? is it where all those martyred for the Faith are crying for justice? is it a physical location as we define space? i don’t know what or where that Paradise is, but if it’s a moot point due to a time factor (the “blink of an eye” thing) that’s okay – joy, joy joy

  14. j2theperson says:

    Wow. Yeah. Both the pro and con Hobby Lobby stories are total garbage. There’s absolutely no way you could equate Hobby Lobby to a martyr. That’s ridiculous. It’s equally ridiculous to equate not wanting to have emergency contraceptives covered in the insurance package your company offers to being a “company town”. Insane.

  15. I agree on the Hobby Lobby articles, Steve and J2 are right. While I think Hobby Lobby is taking the right course and may suffer for their decision, in no way would I bring martyr into it. Too many real christians out there in the wide world right now, really being martyred.
    The “Becky” article is revealing.
    I agree with MLD on Rebecca’s story. You know, she already knew that people had issues with Driscoll but they went there anyways. I guess I have problems feeling sorry for someone that voluntarily goes to Mars Hill. There is just too much online information to make a better decision than that. Mars Hill sounds like a terrible place.

  16. brian says:

    MLD I respond to your post in this context, I have not a clue who you are outside of what I have seen here. You have a focus and opinions that you will defend with passion. I respect that as I often do not defend my “beliefs” with passion. At first I wanted to respond with I have asked, followed, leaned in, desired, went forward and so on to “Get Jesus”. I sort of get confused when I look at the other side, I wonder why I ever lost Jesus, did Jesus create me to be lost from Him, do I have the ability to “accept Jesus” or so on. The list does go on.

    1. First, I admit to a “fall” though I do not fully understand what that means. If the fall and its effects are explained in the sense that the “natural events” such as Earthquakes tornadoes and so on are not some specific “retributions” from God, if they are I would say He is a bad aim at best.
    2. People who do science come up with, well basically the entire infrastructural our society relies on, daily, from our computers to the medical intervention we take and so on. We use computers that keep precise time and almost all other devices but we cant trust our observations because they may have changed somewhere back in the day because we have to hold to a Young Earth view of reality. We dont live in that presuppositional world, we dont build bridges that way, cars, planes, power grids, vaccines, fill in the blank, we just dont build it that way. Of course there is an apologetic against this “world view” but reality cant bare it out. It just does not.

    3. I could be totally wrong, my world view could be off, I am emotional and want to protect my traditions, I could be wrong and often am, I want to be shown when I am wrong but want to be able to ask questions, If I am wrong I will repent, with joy. That is my world view, it is not the world view of the apologetic. Their entire “world view” is built on their apologetic and world view, they cant admit they might be wrong, their house of cards may fall apart. I admit my house of cards could fall apart, it so Praise God because I can build a better house of cards …. and so on until in my fallen (and I do admit I am fallen) world view builds a strong house of truth. Someone told me I dont know that much about biology and I should not post any longer on here concerning that. First that person said what they said because the cared about me (personally) and I believe that an honor that. So I went out and dredged through the library and then listened to many “Answers in Genesis” videos (an aside Kent Hovind should have never ever been given that kind of time in jail. I cant stand the guy but 10+ years. But that is another post. I also listened to Dr. Ross, who is much more realistic but still there is much I will only look at evidence that supports my view and deny evidence that does not. But to believe that Evolution is just some excuse we all come up with to continue to sin is just stupid. There are many evidence chains that totally support the ToE.

    4. I am not a Richard Dawkins apologist, I admit he is a good author and his biology is spot on, dont like that prove him wrong. His theology is rank and that is being nice and he has been put in his place. I have watched many of his “debates” and he was taken to the wood shed but not on his science.

    My point, MLD I long for that epiphany Martin Luther had, on wait other then some thunderstorm and some issues with his father he may not have had an epiphany. He slugged through the sludge of real life situation like we all do, half blind and grasping for hope. Is this not the gospel, we slug through it, like Job, Abraham, Joseph and so on. Even like Jesus if I might add that.

    I hope you get my point, trust me I am trying.

  17. brian says:

    Continued I relate to Alex even though we are opposites, I relate because he was hurt, and sought to find healing with in the confines of the ecclesiastical communities we all join. We seek healing, subjective and objective healing (try figuring out the difference). Let me express a point, many years ago I posted and some people were concerned for my well being, they took the effort to track down my IP, then my linkage to the domain I posted, then they contacted the police who came out to where I live. I was shocked, not because they misunderstood my post, upon reading it, I could understand, it was they took the time. That is the point, they took the time, the effort, the walking the extra mile. I was humbled. It was a defining moment, a group of people I have never met, I was just a text on their thread but they took the time to do such a thing. I remember it as if it was yesterday because this is good news. People took time, they wanted to help, the hoped.

    I cant speak for Alex but I will put on my prophetic hat, he wants hope, he was not just hurt, his soul as a child and young adult was nuked. It was nuked with passion and those that were in charge of his soul were those that pushed the button. Now I was smacked around as a kid, usually on a regular basis, but it was never done in the Name of God. It was usually because I was an annoying piece of Sh*t. I can live with that but to be abused for Jesus I would find that truly painful and soul ruining. But what does Alex do, he keeps believing, is that not holy? I made peace with my father, on his death bed, it was healing but my father did not have the apologetic baggage, my father was just some dad trying to apologize to his kids. I wept at my fathers grave because my dad, a heathen godless soul, gave all he had to forgive me and to offer forgiveness to me. He was a wreck, just like his son and he admitted it. Why does my father have much more good news in his doctrinal depravity, and Alex’s father sues his kid. My father would rather burn in hell the sue me no matter what I did. My father in his “godless state” understood the Gospel more. In my opinion.

  18. brian,
    You sure did write a lot to respond to my 3 line comment. 🙂 Your point always seems to be because you are disappointed by people and the church that you have a troubled relationship with God. You use the judgement of other people as if it were God’s judgement of you.

    No, the Church and people are not the gospel – or as you asked “Is this not the gospel, we slug through it, like Job, Abraham, Joseph and so on. Even like Jesus if I might add that.”:

    This is not the gospel. People who have been called through the gospel, know what the gospel is. Those who have not think it is a cruel hoax.

  19. Ixtlan says:

    Saw this link on the Marshill Refuge blog. Thought I’d share it here. And also a push back to a certain smart-mouthed young man from Montana who went off at a pastors conference and said; “those who can, do. those who can’t, blog”.

    http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2013/01/dear-pastor-mark-pontificate-this.html?m=1

  20. David sloane says:

    Thought provoking comments. Stopped by this morning and found myself drawn in as I slowly read each one. Kind of like getting a slight peek into each person. That is what I appreciate about this place. People have the freedom to share openly.

    Brian has endured. MLD stands. Steve and Ixtian are articulate. And so on…

    Much better reading here then my WSJ. Went through two cups of coffee and a bran muffin, spent some quality time here me thinks.

  21. Papias says:

    If I had two cups of coffee and a bran muffin, I know where I’d be spending some “qaullity time”. 😉

    Where’s TGIF? 🙂

  22. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    as tempting as it obviously can be to opine about the irony Mark Driscoll tweeting his spleen about bloggers … Driscoll will manage to set himself up as a punchline with his own punchlines for years to come.

    But Grace Driscoll’s father, Gib Martin, died this last week. Condolances to the Driscoll and Martin families for their loss.

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