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28 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    “A hardline conservative power broker and three area pastors filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court Monday arguing that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s stay-at-home order violates the Constitution by ordering the closure of churches and failing to define gun shops as “essential” businesses.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/hotze-pastors-ask-texas-supreme-court-to-rule-harris-county-stay-at-home-order-unconstitutional/ar-BB11Vwv4

  2. Em says:

    Plagues, judgement and Revelation… The 5th chapter of Romans sums it all up for me…. Sin and death are our inheritance (lions feasting on men is one result UNLESS God shuts their mouths), but still the article – a long one – does make one think…

  3. Paige says:

    Thank you. Many thought provoking articles.

    The superficial nature of many church practices is surfacing during this peculiar time in history. Perhaps some will be “skimmed off”.
    Jeremiah 15:19. “retain that which is precious, discard that which is useless” (edited, from NASB)

    The Lord is good, a stronghold in times of trouble. He knows those who put their trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 My favorite verse for a very long time.

    Needless to say, the two links to Dawn Weaver’s writings (Only a hand, and when shepherds become wolves) spoke to my deepest soul.

    Over many years, I have heard similar stories regarding my ex and other former staff and “worship team” members of my long ago church.
    This woman’s writings are incredibly accurate. Literally nauseating to me, yet affirming. God knows, sees.

  4. pstrmike says:

    “The superficial nature of many church practices is surfacing during this peculiar time in history. Perhaps some will be ‘skimmed off.’”

    Perhaps. Two Sundays ago, I watched a friend’s son lead worship on a video that was live streamed early that day. I like this guy, good musician and worship leader. But I thought it was interesting how animated he was in singing to a room that was for the most part, empty. Particularly when he would say “come on!” during a few short pauses between verses or even phrases within the verse. I thought “come ?” Really, where we going?

    I wouldn’t appreciate or even need the “admonition” or “encouragement” if it was live, and to listen to it via a video felt really out place to me. I then watched another friend’s recording of their worship service that was streamed the day before and their worship leader essentially did the same thing. He told the camera to “stand, close your eyes, and raise your hands.” I though seriously?

    Now I understand that they may have been in the moment and had “entered in” in their worship, but most often that space does not transcend a video stream. I wondered, do you even get how out of place that probably feels to most people as they are sitting in front of their computer?

    I’ve wondered for years if such “cheerleading” and attempting to lead a congregation toward some semi-ecstatic or emotional experience is really a healthy thing for churches to be encouraging. I get it that there are exceptions, one being Bethel (which I have visited). But much today feels contrived rather than availing ourselves to the Spirit. Have we lost our understanding of what worship is, and do we really need some type of experience beyond our normal senses for it to qualify as “worship?” Perhaps, or perhaps we have given ourselves to a lesser god.

  5. Erunner says:

    For myself worship songs create a sense of calm in my spirit.

    There are even secular songs that take me back to my youth that also create a sense of calm in my spirit.

    Music has always been a huge part of my life. Saying this I know we all have different tastes and responses to the music we do listen to.

  6. bob1 says:

    A scathing takedown of the “leadership” exhibited by Falwell, Jr. The author
    is a conservative Republican, BTW. Follow religious leaders, especially those on the
    “Christian” right at your own peril. IMHO. The article wouldn’t be complete without
    Falwell’s snowflake assertion that he’s under “persecution.” Give me a major break.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jerry-falwell-jrs-coronavirus-response-shows-his-staggering-level-of-ignorance/2020/03/30/9138ae4c-72af-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

  7. Em says:

    Pstrmike @2:33 – good observations…. IMO…🙆

    I do not denigrate those like Erunner for whom the music is healing, however… We just may not all come out of the same mold… The Apostles Jesus chose didn’t… Is there a lesson there?

  8. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    On God’s wrath and judgment and COVID-19. I don’t believe science and God are mutually exclusive. Indeed, science is simply the study of God’s creation, the natural world we live in. Interesting that the chart of plagues in the first article all happened in the Old Testament. We are under a new covenant. Not just Christians but the entire world. THIS was God’s will..to deliver us from His righteous justice through the work of Christ on the cross. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Given this fact, I don’t believe God is visiting this pestilence on us to punish us for sin. He already punished Jesus for our sins. For the whole world’s sins. God chose to satisfy His righteous anger toward sin by taking it upon Himself. He did this because He loved the world. To me, Romans 1-2 is not saying God is actively revealing His wrath upon sin continuously. Rather, God is saving that wrath for the Day of Judgment, when all evil will be vanquished, and all evildoers judged (those who are not in Christ.) I mean, those chapters are simply stating the fact that human beings all sin and therefore deserve punishment..then he presents the glorious gospel of Christ. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Yet, we know Christians die. Physically. We are all subject to the natural progression of creation. Many believers in Christ will perish from this plague. Are we to believe that God includes the justified in His judgement against evil? Perish the thought! That would not be righteous for Him to do, because of the promise of salvation through Christ’s redemptive work. It’s simply the way of the natural world. Science explains it all. It’s a bug. It arose from the natural world. It’s happened many times before and will happen again. Just some thoughts.

  9. Jtk says:

    I don’t know Mark Dever. But I’m interested in his convictions.

    Can a church ONLY exist online?

    I can’t see “yes” as a biblically valid answer.

    Of course, most of us are considering just a few weeks to months..

  10. Jtk says:

    I’m really fascinated by the constitutional issues surrounding Howard-Browne. There’s no way his arrest can stand.

    People who test constitutional issues are usually at least “off beat” nonconformists, if not odder than that, so his past isn’t as much of an issue for me in this regard.

    The First Amendment is pretty clear. Not that I’d go on Sunday. But this could have HUGE impact for American churches long term.

  11. MM says:

    There is a real life and undeniable spiritual connection which happened when people gather physically together, it’s the way God designed us from the beginning. It is also why our huge gatherings of “worship” move so many people. Whether it be music, arts, movies, or even war being physically with people is absolutely the way we were designed to be.

    Sadly I am now hearing story after story because of this virus where access to those dying has been cut off. The pain in this, both for the living and the dying is immense and very real.

    “Online“ connections just don’t fill the bill, and these measures for saving lives will end. Some say the world will change and distancing will become the norm, I don’t think so.

    While some will always desire physical isolation from the cacophony of the world around them and or choose electronic means to avoid personal contact, the truth we all know is we need to be near other. Touching the skin, feelOmg the warmth, looking into living eyes and hearing word from those around us is the blessing and curse of out creation.

    It’s what we need and are designed for.

    Could it be our fear of death isn’t so much heaven, hell or oblivion, but rather knowing loneliness throughout eternity?

  12. MM says:

    Touching the skin, feelIng the warmth, looking into living eyes and hearing words from those around us is the blessing and curse of our creation.

  13. bob1 says:

    Now, here’s a special kind of REAL stupid. Gone with the Mind.

    “Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth — a close friend of Rodney Howard-Browne, the Florida megachurch pastor who was arrested after violating coronavirus lockdown orders — told his followers that he intends to hold a large Woodstock-like Christian gathering in defiance of stay-at-home orders.”

  14. Em says:

    bob1 @ 10:09… “Stupid is as stupid does?”. . think i heard a groan coming from Eternity. …

  15. bob1 says:

    Em,

    Yes. LOL.

  16. Babylon's Dread says:

    Dawn Renee is my new friend and I am giving her my support publicly and privately to confront sexual exploitation in the charismatic circles. Jonathan Welton is now a repeat offender. He does not fall into temptation he grooms and stalks his prey with precision and determination. He has been temporarily stopped from public ministry but he is biding his time to his restoration.

    I am a radical proponent of restoration for those who fall into the snare of the enemy and sin. I am not a proponent of restoration for those who lay traps for others to fall into. This is especially true for those who have authority over others and use their authority as a veil for their deceit.

    For the record I am publicly opposing him elsewhere. Please share those links. Public exposure is the only means of protecting others.

  17. Em says:

    Wise words, Pastor Dread

  18. Do you have any links that support this BD? I’m not disbelieving you, but he seems to be popular, and a prolific author though I’d never heard of him before you posted.

  19. Babylon's Dread says:

    New Victor

    He is popular he is prolific and he is predatory. In Christian restoration what happens is a leader steps in and takes over the flow of information. The confidentiality of the process is part of the code of honor. So a long process of discovery ensues. The initial public statements are sent out to a relevant group but no press is involved unless the person is big name enough that it cannot be helped.

    In this case 18 months have transpired. The ‘recommendations’ initially made were not followed because the perpetrator had functional complete control of the finances. That story needs telling.

    When a perpetrator has long silence and hiddenness time weakens the resolve of victims and makes the story seem like old news. These kind of predators are systematic, stealth and do their deeds with no witnesses. They then work ‘humbly’ with overseers and gain confidence. The restoring council gets distanced from the victims and intimate with the perpetrator. Usually that means the perpetrator draws close to the most powerful voice in the process. He slowly gains ground and is seen as ‘repentant’ the voices of the victims are silenced. They go away not wanting to relive their pain.

    In this case a couple of them decided to get their voice http://www.knowthesound.com
    I will simply say that I know the perpetrator. I know the process. I know the leaders and I know he has done this before and thrived expanding his ministry after the first offense.

    I decided to join them. I remain pseudonymed here but am open elsewhere. I will give them open support within my circle. It is known here that I am an advocate of restoration but not for predatory behavior where ‘apostles’ get restored and victims ignored (overstated but ultimately true).

  20. Em says:

    I wonder if these predatory manipulators fit the description of sociopath? We had one in our family, so i got to observe the behaviour up close over a period of years… It was amazing how many people were totally taken in and loyal to this destructive person.. . I wonder if the sociopath even realizes how twisted they are, how self justifying, delusional?

  21. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em,

    First, I think the answer is yes and I have serious reasons for saying that. I am not a clinical diagnostician so. His ‘covert narcissistic tendencies’ have been published in a book wherein he is called ‘repentant.’ The latter however is not substantiated by his victims. As for sociopaths not realizing how twisted they are, they tend to use memory lapse as an escape hatch for full acceptance of responsibility.

    Mental health categories are useful to understand how to treat or manage persons but they are not release from personal responsibility. Though doubtless the legal system will find a way to shadow them eventually.

    I tend to tell people to avoid saying what someone IS in favor of holding them accountable for what they have done. Accusations provide a hiding place. Demanding accountability for behavior does not.

  22. Em says:

    Thank you, Pastor Dread…. makes sense to me…. accountable? Yes… Reasons are not excuses

  23. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    Dread, I read Dawn’s entire piece. It was both sickening and horrifying. A sexual abuse survivor myself (not by clergy) I could so feel her explanation of the head trip that happens to a victim. It’s unbelievably evil and damaging. That psychological damage is bad enough, but to couple it with a person’s walk with God is so foul and revolting. I honestly had never heard of this man before now. Thank you brother, for advocating for victims of this dark activity. They need validation. I pray that you will be given wisdom and courage as you confront this situation.

  24. Jtk says:

    “Accusations provide a hiding place. Demanding accountability for behavior does not.“
    Dreadly

    Those are some deep words, can you expound upon them?

  25. ““The solution to sexual violence in America is not more laws, more guns, more police or more prisons. The solution to sexual violence is acceptance of reality.” — Gavin de Becker, author, and security specialist.(2)”

    I read 3 of his books. I pre ordered the book that quotation is an intro to, a book by another author. I’m curious about The solution. Dawn obviously has an advanced copy.

  26. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jtk
    If I accuse a man of being something he becomes the victim. The conversation shifts to whether or not he’s being mischaracterized. If I keep the conversation on what the man has done when there are multiple witnesses and he himself has already submitted to discipline then he is out in the open.

    Now it is also important to name the offense. It cannot be moral failure or inappropriate behavior. Call it sexual harassment, abuse of power, spiritual abuse, manipulation and control for sexual favors or the like. Ten years from now it cannot be that he did something somewhere to someone. Name the sin. Call it what it is on its ugly face. That’s accountability.

  27. Jtk says:

    Thanks.

    That makes a lot of sense.

  28. Linnea says:

    Sobering links and enlightening conversation on this thread. Thank you for both. Also, a big thanks for the church livestream blooper article…laughing is good medicine!

    Also loved the piece about revival during this time of trial. I believe with all my heart that God is doing a great work right now and that we will see revival.

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