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57 Responses

  1. Gabby says:

    To that article on Sean Feucht, I can say that I had multiple friends from my church (which is close to Nashville) posting videos of the live footage or their own videos from the event… Even those who did not attend commented about how excited they were that this was happening. It was really hard for me to see people I respect and know to show little to no concern about people’s health or well-being. I ended up posting this on facebook as a (not so direct) response to it:

    The Greatest Commandment, according to Jesus, is to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. The second, then, is like it: to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Worship, as defined by Wayne Berry, is “obedience service through self-sacrifice.” Any act of worship, then, must be in obedience to the commandments of Jesus, in alignment with the ways of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5-7). If our actions in the name of Jesus cause harm to our neighbor, those actions are not worship (no matter how often we put God’s name on it). As seen throughout the Old Testament prophets, God is much more concerned about obedience and how we treat our neighbor than He is about sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22, Amos 5:21-24). Just singing songs together about Jesus isn’t automatically worship. Living out a life of obedience to Jesus by loving Him and loving those around us, that’s worship.

  2. Michael says:

    Gabby,

    I’ll say the amen…

  3. Gabby says:

    Michael,

    There is a part of me that wants to have conversations with my friends directly about this, but from what I’ve seen when others try to do so, those dialogues don’t go so well. Any recommendations on how to address this in a Christ-like way?

    Also, I’ve been seeing your posts about the trauma you’ve experienced from the wildfires, and I’m so sorry. Praying for you and your community, that you will have the space to grieve, lament, and feel the Lord’s nearness in that.

  4. Michael says:

    Gabby,

    We are not in a time when people want dialog…they want affirmation of what they choose to believe.
    For me, the godliest thing I can do is to choose to let them think what they will, in hopes that they will have some revelation later.
    Opinions have become more valuable than relationships…
    Thank you for your prayers…they matter.

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Thanks for passing on the article on theological education. I thought it was well worth sharing.

  6. bob1 says:

    I also enjoyed the interview with Rowan Williams.

    I’ve got a couple of his short books, and they’re a challenge! It’s not him, it’s me! Strikes me as an extremely wise and smart guy.

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    bob1

    +Rowan first was a colleague at conferences, then one of the examiners of my PhD, and ultimately a friend. He is extremely able! Wicked sense of humor as well…

  8. bob1 says:

    Cool.

    “Erudite” is another word that would seem accurate to describe him.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    His book on Teresa of Avila is remarkable and highly recommended!

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael Bird is too careful as a theologian to be careless with his words. It is certainly possible to over react to wokeness as the quote Bird employs demonstrates. It is also very easy to be co-opted by critical theorists into approving an agenda that will result in an equal and opposite oppression.

    Doing the battle for justice with critical theory principles will inevitably lead to a quagmire of confusion. We must continue to fight the battle for linguistic clarity to deal with injustice.

    Let me illustrate; ” it applies just as easily to churches who have tethered themselves to white supremacy…” Define “white supremacy.” The critical race theory definition would include virtually all things American that predate today. A white supremacist is someone who benefits from American constitutionalism, capitalism, culture, law, etc, etc. All western things in America are white supremacist.

    Bird is too astute to be so reactive. I don’t care for the quote that riled him and motivated his column. It is coarse and overly reactionary, Michael Bird will get applause but he does not un-muddle the mess.

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    Was I reading an interview with Rob Bell or Oprah?

  12. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    I appreciate the book recommendation!

  13. Jim says:

    My paths to peace leading up to the election are:

    Shutting down in person conversations with, “Sorry, I don’t believe in rulers.”. People cock their heads and stop talking.
    Blocking people on FB.
    Not watching “the news”.
    Avoiding most PP threads.

    Wake me up when it’s over…

  14. Speaking of woakness, our company (something like Intel) sent out a directive to no longer use the terms “whitelist” and “blacklist” adding that this was a necessary and long overdue step, but so much more work needs to be done. Slow. Clap. Next up: eliminate black markers.

  15. filbertz says:

    BD@4:47pm.
    Yes.

  16. Babylon’s Dread says:

    8 police injured, 76 arrests, over 30 buildings damaged in LA after the NBA finals — which only 5 million bothered watching.

    Meanwhile the dangerous Sean Feucht leads a multitude in public worship. Rolling Stone was there to chronicle the evil event. Has anyone here really heard about the horrific spectacle in LA?

    My wife will go to DC in two weeks to join Sean and my daughters in public worship.

    Grown adults in America get to be free. I have already made it plain that I will NOT shut down again. I will invoke safe practices and treat people like they are responsible.

    Yes people may get sick. Some may die… FREE

    Love is not always complicit with the beast.

  17. Michael says:

    Rioting after a city wins a sports championship is not exactly news…it’s been happening for at least 25 years with disturbing regularity.
    What happened in L.A. is not much different compared to what happened in other places in previous years.
    NBA ratings being in the dumpster is interesting…only because on examination the only programming holding its own of any sort are right wing cable news and the NFL.
    The wokeness overdose of the NBA affected the ratings a little…but there are bigger issues as well.
    Sean Feucht is another Bethel opportunist who I would gladly punch in the mouth for sport.
    Freedom only survives when we know when and how to moderate our “rights” for the benefit of all.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs,
    Like I said on the other thread about not understanding why Christians give to ministries that are not their own church – what is up with the “traveling worshipers” like this guy Sean and your wife and daughter.
    Aren’t they called to their home church? Does not DC have their own ministers?

  19. Michael says:

    Feucht has political aspirations so he’s capitalizing on the pandemic to build his brand.
    It’s safer for him to be on the road as his home church is now the epicenter of a large Covid outbreak in Shasta County.

  20. josh hamrick says:

    “A white supremacist is someone who benefits from American constitutionalism, capitalism, culture, law, etc, etc. All western things in America are white supremacist.”

    Pretty much. We don’t mourn the genocide that started our country…because they weren’t white. We’re tired of hearing about slavery…from those non-whites. How can we possibly say that our culture is not white supremacist? It clearly is, and we have all benefited from it. But we’re worried about CRT?

  21. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It seems to me that what many are worried about is the countries image on social media…irregardless of what truths may be in play…

  22. josh hamrick says:

    In fairness then, those people should vote for a new president.

  23. Michael says:

    I don’t think that any of American institutions have to be inherently racist all the time. Some of them have been used that way…and that’s what we have to address.

  24. josh hamrick says:

    This country was born under white supremacy, built with white supremacy. White supremacy is the normal state. It is assumed. For anything in this country to act in a non-racist manner, it has to go completely against its nature. Thankfully, sometimes it has. Unfortunately, violence was usually involved.

  25. josh hamrick says:

    I didn’t find the finals match up very intriguing. The upfront political posturing is off-putting even if one agrees with the politics. The games felt weird in the crowdless environment. The finals were at a strnge time of the year for the NBA.

    Shouldn’t be at all surprising that the ratings were down.

  26. Michael says:

    I’m a sports fanatic…it keeps me as sane as I can be.
    The whole Covid19 interruption that led to everyone playing at once totally threw me.
    The basketball situation was pathetic…it’s one thing to inform people, it’s another to rub it in my face like I didn’t get it the first time.
    No fans in the stands is a huge issue for some reason…it doesn’t feel right, but nothing does these days.

  27. Em says:

    Well….
    White supremacy IS an offensive term, but it is true that Europeans and British built the U.S. Was labor exploited? Probably. That was the original reason for labor unions, was it not?
    Intelligence and integrity have little to do with skin color, however. Nor does skull. dugery and victimhood. AND slavery was a custom that flourished in the southeast. … The Civil War and State’s rights did happen because the Southern powerful cherished their way of life AND it was dependent on their slaves . ..
    It is – IMHO – difficult to paint our nation’s history in, ahem, black and white… .🙆

  28. Xenia says:

    Was labor exploited? Probably<<<

    Labor was exploited DEFINITELY.

  29. josh hamrick says:

    Yeah, that was quite the understatement.

  30. Xenia says:

    I mean, having your village raided, then you’re stowed in the bottom of a crowded, stinking ship with less care than cattle would receive, then you’re auctioned off like a prize sow, then you’re sent to live in a primitive cabin and worked in the hot (the south is hot) field all day, then you’re fed sub-par food, then, if you have a child it will be sent away (no chance to live as a proper family) and you are beaten and raped and….. No, not “probably.” This American chattel slavery is quite different from the kind of servitude my own ancestors endured in England after the Norman invasion. They were subservient to the French but still kept their villages and their families. Same with Russia: There were peasants, but they had their families, their villages, even their own village church. They spoke Russian and knew who they were and where they came from. This was all denied the blacks who were kidnapped and enslaved. i know people who want to say slavery is condoned in the Bible and all the world has had slavery at one time or another, but the type of slavery practiced in the American south was especially heinous. (My family lived in North Carolina since the 1700’s so I am talking about more of my ancestors.)

  31. Xenia says:

    I have a European friend who thinks we over-react about the reality of American slavery. She says her ancestors were peasants and they owed a % of their crops to the lord of the manor, and they weren’t free to go off to a different village, etc. She compares this to southern slavery and deludes herself into believing it’s the same. It is not. She always spoke her own language and her family lived in that same village for centuries, probably. They had a hard life but they had a life that at least made sense to them.

  32. josh hamrick says:

    Xenia is 100% correct. Now imagine the effects that would have on a culture and how long (if ever) it would take to be truly healed of that.

    That’s basically CRT.

  33. bob1 says:

    Is this surprising at all?

    ‘I’m leaving, and I’m just not coming back’: Fed up with racism, Black Americans head overseas

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/06/26/blaxit-black-americans-leave-us-escape-racism-build-lives-abroad/3234129001/

  34. Em says:

    Point taken, although i WAS referring to the white laborers, not the slaves of, mostly, the south….
    A case can be made that it isn’t the practice of slavery that is evil, i.e. Roman times,, so much as it is the evil slave owners ….

  35. josh hamrick says:

    Em, I think that is a kind of sophistry you don’t want to dig into. Slavery is evil.

  36. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD

    Freedom is a wonderful thing and free people do things others deem irrational like gathering to worship Jesus. I’d say my wife and daughters are fairly tethered to the church.

    And Michael, “The wokeness overdose of the NBA affected the ratings a little” down from 18.2 million to what something under 6? An LA series in the year of Kobe?

    Soon they will be calling racism on folk who tuned them out.

    And “Sean Feucht is another Bethel opportunist who I would gladly punch in the mouth for sport.” I know you can be given to hyperbole so I will just SMH.

    The more this blog hates evangelicalism the more evangelical I become. I may go back to the SBC. Ok hyperbole is everywhere.

    AND JOSH @ 10:01am

    Lay out your cure… trillions in reparations, white silence, equity as a replacement for equality, what else.
    Lay out your cure because CRT wants what I cited.

    Then we probably need to give the nation back to the indigenous people. Shall we all go back into our mother’s womb and be unborn?

  37. Em says:

    You may have a point, Josh…. Nope, not intending to be deceptive or misleading
    I prefer to live in a nation where it isn’t allowed, but when someone says that our Bible doesn’t call it an evil in and of itself…. ?
    no need, fortunately, to dig into it any further, however.

  38. Em says:

    BD, we overlook the fact that the indigenous folk were killing each other to claim turf…
    Maybe the continent we now call home would eventually have belonged to the buffalo and wolves and grizzies and…… ?

  39. Michael says:

    BD,

    I was careful to include an explanation of ratings…prime time TV and streaming is in the same boat.
    I don’t consider Feucht an evangelical…he’s an opportunist playing to the political inclinations of people under the guise of praising Jesus.
    He can go straight to hell.
    I don’t hate evangelicalism…I do dislike Christian nationalism and religious opportunists.

    I don’t give a hoot in hell what CRT wants and neither does the vast majority of people in this country.
    The cure is to listen and acknowledge and work to find ways to do better.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs, I think my question was a bit deeper. Obviously folks are free to worship Jesus when they want, where they want and with whom (or is it who?) they want.
    But the traveling ministry bothers me. If some big time minister came through my town, I would question why he thinks our own local churches are serving Jesus and the community properly?

    And who is minding his house?

  41. josh hamrick says:

    Even to say “Crt wants” is misleading. Some proponents of CRT want…but not all. Listen, CRT carried to the extreme is lunacy, but who cares?

    You think I have the cure? Really? Jesus is the cure, but I don’t see us sharing Jesus so much with those we openly despise. Listening, actually listening, is the best start that I can see.

  42. bob1 says:

    “I believe the center is there. It is a very large center, incorporating both Left and Right. It is a center where we have real debates informed by reason, facts, science, and truth. It is a center that celebrates nuance and complexity. It is a center that rejects the kind of cross-canceling we see from the fringes of the political spectrum–the Trump right and the academic left are the primary guilty parties here.”

    John Fea

  43. Michael says:

    bob1,

    Good stuff…

  44. Jean says:

    According to this article, Feucht is a “pastor” associated with Bethel Church.

    https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-media-redding-social-media-california-aa1baeb95d05b3dac057384e62f8047d

    Here is a quote from one of Bethel’s leaders, a Beni Johnson:

    “ ‘If you’ll do scientific research these masks are worthless,’ she said, adding that she had planned to shop in the town. ‘But now we won’t be shopping and giving them any money because you have to wear a stupid freaking mask that doesn’t work.’ ”

    According to the article, “Shasta County officials say 274 recent cases in the county were tied to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.

    Paul teaches: “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

    I see little honor in the conduct of Bethel, their leaders and this Feucht.

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If Bethel were a Christian organization that knew and worshiped Jesus Christ, I would be concerned. For at least the past 10 years we have known that they are not – so I am not concerned with what Paul would say to them.

    Damn grave suckers is the best I can say about them.

  46. Muff Potter says:

    Michael, It’s distressing to watch people become hypnotized by guys like Feucht.
    How does this happen to otherwise intelligent and rational adults?
    Is it religion? One that’s fear based and despotic?

  47. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Jean
    I would love to hear the set of policies that you feel qualify as conservative.

    Some meat on that bone please.

    Not a gotcha just a serious interest in what constitutes conservative.

    My guess it’s personal more than political.

  48. I would never accept a position on staff at a church named Bethel. If only from the sense that the name to me is an omen. Something about have a Man of God say..”O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; ..”.. would just not put me at ease.

    As far as Bethel Redding goes, I see that as nothing more then a haunt of unclean spirits and evil angels.

  49. bob1 says:

    I’m starting to wonder if MLD is right about organizations that aren’t a church who experience spiritual abuse, bizarro doctrines, etc. Just read a piece on Internet Monk about Ken Ham’s toxic culture at the Creation Museum.

    Though I think the most important thing is accountability. Most (not all) churches and denoms. have safeguards, etc. But there’ve been transgressors there, too. I do recall reading a piece a few years ago that said independent churches have a higher rate of spiritual abuse and control issues. A lot of the parachurch groups are pretty entreprenurial, which, IMHO, can be a blessing and a curse.

  50. I read that piece, bob1. Disappointing though little surprises me these days. I did receive an A+ in a hostile audience speech I gave in 10th grade Scholarship English defending creationism based upon Hamm’s book. Juxtaposed, one of my classmates defended prostitution because it enabled the handicapped and the ugly to get sex. Ah, high school….

  51. TNV. Thanks. I needed that tonight. Just cleansing me of my Bill Gothard years.

    (braking and rolling down window)….ma’am..ma’am…do you offer the ugly/handicap rate here…what?..yes the discount..no I left my membership card at home…well?..just look at my prosthetic leg..look..Im legit its made outa wood…yes handicapped.

  52. Mike E. says:

    …”the Trump right and the academic left are the primary guilty parties here.” I’ve always believed the problem is extremism. Of course there’s extremism on both sides. As far as these “ministries” go…most are personality cults. I find studying cult behavior and psychology instructive in explaining much of this nonsense. Cult psychological techniques are alarmingly effective. Just ask Jim Jones. Also..most ministries have so bought in to the media/money generating business model…many are businesses, not ministries. To be clear, a ministry might not meet the accepted criteria of a cult. But many use the same techniques as cults. Of course they do. They’re extremely effective and generate huge amounts of revenue.

  53. Em says:

    Why do people want to follow blindly? Why is discernment in the category of emotion rather than thinking? Good words to ponder, Mike E, thank you

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