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125 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I saw the Steven Furtick video over the weekend. Someone needs to tell him to repent of his continual non Christian sermons.
    This is a prime example of what I continually fight when people say “you can’t put God in a box.”
    God has placed himself in a box and he cannot let himself out of that box for any reason.

    REPENT Steven Furtick!!!

  2. London says:

    Excellent article about teaching girls to preach.

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I miss Michael Spencer – the original Internet Monk. He understood the difference between the theology of glory and the theology of the cross. This except is so true.

    “It’s remarkable, considering the tone of so many Christian sermons and messages, that any church has honest people show up at all. I can’t imagine that any religion in the history of humanity has made as many clearly false claims and promises as evangelical Christians in their quest to say that Jesus makes us better people right now. With their constant promises of joy, power, contentment, healing, prosperity, purpose, better relationships, successful parenting and freedom from every kind of oppression and affliction, I wonder why more Christians aren’t either being sued by the rest of humanity for lying or hauled off to a psych ward to be examined for serious delusions.”

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Followed by — “Evangelicals love a testimony of how screwed up I USED to be. They aren’t interested in how screwed up I am NOW. But the fact is, that we are screwed up. Then. Now. All the time in between and, it’s a safe bet to assume, the rest of the time we’re alive. But we will pay $400 to go hear a “Bible teacher” tell us how we are only a few verses, prayers and cds away from being a lot better. And we will set quietly, or applaud loudly, when the story is retold. I’m really better now. I’m a good Christian. I’m not a mess anymore. I’m different from other people.”

  5. Chris Long says:

    Don’t know much about Steven Furtick so don’t feel comfortable defending him per se, but I did watch his sermon that that article was written based on. Based on the article I was pre-disposed to believing I was going to be hearing all this heresy. Based on that article, I was expecting to hear Furtick’s sermon being all about how God was a law breaker. And that’s not what I heard. I heard a really good message on love. It is a shame that in the middle there is a 20 second window where he uses the phrase “God broke the law for love” which he was making analogous to if you as a parent got word that your child was in a serious wreck and in the hospital, you would break a law (speeding) to get there. He was trying to say that love was more powerful than the law and he specifically goes on to say exactly what he means. But his choice of words in that phrase was definitely wrong since Jesus certainly didn’t break the law, but fulfill it. But much of the rest of what he preached in that message, I think much of the rest of the church would do well to consider and preach on themselves…Not that he didn’t say anything wrong (I believe he did), but I find it saddening that an article like that could spend so much time “defending God” and making all these theological points and yet miss the actual heart of the message that Furtick was sharing. They focused on a tree and missed the forest.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Chris Long – if I peed a little (very little) in your glass of drinking water – is the rest of that glass of water OK?

    The JWs change John 1:1 from ‘God’ to ‘a God’. Minor statement is the Gospel of John that makes the whole book in their translation now false.

    Steven Furtick peed in his sermon — I’m not drinking it. 🙂

  7. Chris Long says:

    With all due respect to Michael Spencer, who I’ll be honest in saying I really don’t know much about – I’ve never really read him, but I have a hard time reconciling those quotes MLD quoted with what I see in the NT. Yes, there’s still brokenness even for followers of Jesus – sanctification is ongoing in us. But to say that Jesus doesn’t make us better now (as opposed to only in Heaven) doesn’t square with the Bible. The bar is set quite high for us – there’s loads of exhortations given to us about we are supposed to live NOW as followers of Jesus that have been changed by Him. The fact that we don’t all do it or do it perfectly, doesn’t mean it’s not available to us through Jesus. To quote Michael Spencer, I believe that “joy, power, contentment, healing, prosperity, purpose, better relationships, successful parenting and freedom from every kind of oppression and affliction” are INDEED found in Jesus and it is NOT wrong of the church to say that (as he apparently suggests it is based on the quote). Joy IS found in Jesus. Contentment IS found in Jesus. Freedom IS found in Jesus. Just because we’re not all perfectly walking in joy or contentment or freedom, doesn’t mean it’s not available for us NOW. I am growing weary of seeing people tell me (or imply) that God just wants me to be miserable here until I go to Heaven.

  8. Chris Long says:

    MLD @ 6: I get your point, but I have found that most every message I have ever heard has had SOME “pee” in it (to use your metaphor). Very few times have I ever heard a message and thought it was 100% completely perfectly on the mark. We are all human beings that are flawed and make mistakes and God still works through us. I have learned to take the good and discard the bad, otherwise I wouldn’t ever be able to listen to much of anybody… Personally, again while I’m not specifically defending Furtick since I don’t know much about him, I think there is much good to be gleaned from that message.

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think he shouted the phrase “God broke the law for love” several times to make the point that God broke the law.

    But hey, his crowd liked it as evidenced by their hoots and applause of approval – and that is how you keep those seats filled – give ’em what they want … a law breaking god they can identify with. 😉

  10. Chris Long says:

    While again, he was wrong to use that phrase (he said it twice) his point in that instance was not so much that God broke the law but that He loved us so much that He sent us Jesus to do what the law COULD NOT do (he specifically says this is what he means in the following few sentences). I still think he was wrong to say it the way he did and represents a misunderstanding on his part that he needs to think through (perhaps he should read that article written about him). But the centrality of his message I found to be very good and worthwhile and I’d love to hear that message he preached, minus that part and maybe a few other more minor quibbles, preached in every church in America.

  11. Em - again says:

    interesting thoughts on lawbreaking… perhaps, it would work to say that God broke through the law?
    and as to God boxing Himself in? i think that is every bit as misleading as saying He broke the law… one thing that I am absolutely certain of is, IF God is in a box, it is far too vast for a man – a speck on a dot in the Universe – to define… We have our list of attributes that we’ve found in scripture and try to fit them in a box perhaps – but that is a gift box given to us … IMHO

  12. Mr Jesperson says:

    I really like the article by Wenatchee about politics and the populist agitator: “Ellul foresaw a substantial risk to the church if it aligned itself with propaganda as a political weapon; and looked back on eras of the church in which its pragmatic alliance with establishment power drained it of vitality and truth. If the Religious Right has been discovering it has lost its vitality and influence this may be because by aligning itself to establishment interests in the way the mainline Protestant churches did a century earlier, it’s coming to a comparably pathetic fate. Those whose definition of the Christian faith are defined first and foremost through the partisanship of left and right have sold out Christianity to the power-mongering of American politics.”

  13. Jean says:

    “God has placed himself in a box and he cannot let himself out of that box for any reason.”

    The statement isn’t pithy, but if you study the OT, the principle is evident. God told the people where to worship him and excluded the other places (e.g., the high places). The “how” and “when” were also prescribed.

    In the NT, these principles remain, although the specifics have changed.

    While these principles appear negative to our sinful nature, they are given for our consolation.

  14. Jess says:

    Steven Furtick is a “give ’em what they want” kind of guy. Which is of course the opposite of what God wants.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My point and we discussed it a couple of weeks ago is this – under what circumstances today can God destroy the world again with a flood? For those folks who don’t think that God has put himself in a box, bound by his promises had better sweat each time it rains. 🙂

  16. Steve in Canada says:

    I have an extremely low opinion of Steven Furtick, from his enriching himself through the gospel to his non-stop narcissistic reading of the Bible to his Sunday School vision-casting fuhrer colouring book to his swearing (OMG) in sermons, etc.

    But I have to say that he didn’t really seem to mean what his words said – he was basically TRYING to say that by sending Christ God did things in a different way than he had in the OT – he wrongly used “broke the law” as his way of trying to describe it, and he SHOULD apologize and explain himself much more accurately.

    But yeah, what I was EXPECTING to hear based on the title of the article, as well as how Chis Roseborough set it up on Fighting for the Faith, was actually a lot different than what he actually did say…

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s good to see The White Horse Inn recommended here. I see it is recording #1,304.

    I have about 200 recordings I made when they first came on the air in 1992 – back in the day when you had to stay up from 9-10 pm Sundays to record the show on the radio. I am in the process of transferring the audio cassettes to MP3s – but it needs to be done in real time. I am up to #93

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    MLD comment number 4: So agree with you. The selling point when I first came to Christ many moons ago was “accept Christ and your life will become a bed of roses. Everything in your life will get better!”

  19. Em - again says:

    #15-that was an unconditional promise wasn’t it? is that the same thing as “boxed in?”
    maybe it is just definitions plaguing us again 🙂

    i don’t think that flood was solely precipitated ( 🙂 ) by rain from the sky, BTW… doesn’t it say that the fountains of deep broke up also… come to think of it, i guess that i don’t know the Biblical definition of ‘deep’… kind like hades, which may be the anteroom to both heaven and hell… dunno

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, the idea is that God has placed himself in a box by his own nature and promises. He says he will not cross that line.

    This is what I count on, that God will not come out of the box and come up with a different plan of salvation.

    But, if you want to think that God is still free to do whatever he wants on any whim – fine.

    And if your feet get wet from a leak in your flooring, then you had better sweat it that God is ready to destroy by the fountains of the deep. 🙂

    I will continue to stand on the fact that God cannot break his laws.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    No one ever witnesses and says – if you become a Christian, look for the world to fall in on your hear as Satan and his demons will now make you a target for destruction – count the costs

  22. Em - again says:

    London drew my attention to the lady preacher link… all i ask of my preacher is that they know what they’re talking about and fear God… and have a not too shrill voice
    i tended to preach a lot back in the day when i was raising my children – not a good way to do that…

    my grandparents were joined in holy wedlock by one Madeline Southard back in 1908… i guess she was a force to be reckoned with and very academic, like our Xenia, maybe

    but the little girl in the illustration on the link could be headed for Fox News 🙂

  23. Em - again says:

    “But, if you want to think that God is still free to do whatever he wants on any whim – fine.” now you know that’s not what i said… sometimes, i swear you think like a girl, MLD

    God IS free to do whatever He wants… but thankfully, “whims” have no place in His character that i know of

  24. Em - again says:

    God cannot break His laws? i think i agree with that …
    but i think i like better the observation that He will do nothing that is antithetical to His character – everything that i have learned of Him so far causes me to take great comfort in that – even though, if one thinks on it for a while, that fact ought to give one pause… but fear is not always a negative, is it?

  25. Chris Long says:

    The box thing is just semantics IMO. Something about the phrase “God being in a box” just bothers me, but I agree with MLD that God has Himself put limits – He has bound Himself by His Word. And I agree with MLD that the fact that we can count on this is key. The real issue is peoples’ definition of what’s inside and outside of that “box.” That’s where the rub is. A charismatic’s definition is going to be different from a stalwart LCMS Lutheran…

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The discussion begins when someone says yuou cannot pout God in a box. My reply is no you cannot because he is already in his self made box.

  27. Chris Long says:

    Also, I think when most people are using the phrase “God isn’t in a box” they aren’t saying what MLD interprets it as. I think most Christians would recognize that God cannot lie, that God has bound Himself to His Word / promises, etc. Most people when they use that phrase are merely meaning that God is ABLE to do all sorts of things because He is God. No, He won’t contradict His Word, but us silly human beings do IMHO have a tendency to really take a very small and limiting view of God. IMHO, we tend to put God in a much smaller “box” than I believe is actually valid – in other words, WE impose our OWN box on God. So when I hear someone say not to put God in a box, I interpret that as meaning to elevate my view of God and make sure I’m myself not limiting God in my life, NOT to say that God doesn’t Himself put certain limitations on Himself. Again, somewhat semantics.

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I teach that God is self limiting, and that speaks to his power. I do not need concern myself that he may be like Zeus and throw down a lightning bolt at me.

  29. Chris Long says:

    Praise God for no lightning bolts!! 🙂 Agreed MLD!

  30. Not getting struck by a lightening bolt is good news in itself 🙂

  31. Em - again says:

    #30- it could happen, God forbid

    MLD is doing God’s work here, no matter how much his Lutheran slant bothers me

    God keep

  32. What have I said here today that is “Lutheran”?

  33. Em - again says:

    i thot the ‘e’ word link was for “Evangelical” – it wasn’t

    “April spends the remainder of her time addressing three misunderstandings Christians often have about evolution:
    1 All Christians think the same way about evolution as I do (6:32-9:00). Actually, Christians, including pastors, have a lot of different views,…..
    2 Evolution means “without a creator” (9:00-13:35). Most people assume evolution is tantamount to atheism, but “accepting biological evolution to explain the incredible diversity of life on earth does not require you to adopt a particular worldview……
    3 If humans evolved from a common ancestor with other organisms, this makes us less special (13:35-16:00). … We’re not special because of how God made us, but because we’re loved by God; because we have the capacity to know God; and because Jesus died for us.”
    okay, i guess … hold onto that last thought, at any rate

  34. Em - again says:

    well, MLD, wouldn’t your assertion be that all truth is Lutheran? 🙂

    i hope you will forgive me, i’m prejudiced, i admit

  35. Michael Spencer the writer of the article that I took the passages from was not Lutheran – in fact he was a Baptist…..but he would have made a fine Lutheran. 🙂

    But I love this from his obituary — “His dream was to move to a little church near a pub with a minor league ballpark nearby, work with university students and cook Italian food for the mob.”

    That my friends was some kind of guy.(and he knew how to take on American made evangelicals.)

  36. Jean says:

    The “box” metaphor is Gospel, not Law:

    “For it is certain that a human being cannot find God through his own wisdom…we shall be safe from these dangers if we follow that visible form or those signs which God Himself has set before us. In the New Testament we have as a visible form the Son of God on the lap of His mother Mary. He suffered and died for us, as the Creed teaches. Besides, we have other visible forms: Baptism, the Eucharist, and the spoken Word
    itself. Therefore we cannot complain of having been forsaken…Satan strives hard to lead us away from the forms prescribed by God. But you must adhere to and follow this sure and infallible rule: God in His divine wisdom arranges to manifest Himself to human beings by some definite and visible form which can be seen with the eyes and touched with the hands, in short, is within the scope of the five senses. So near to us does the Divine Majesty place Itself.” – Martin Luther

    An interesting quiz for the next time you go to church would be to write down each time you see or hear forms not prescribed by God. He’s not in those false forms, so mark and avoid.

  37. Em - again says:

    “forms not prescribed by God.” what is a form not prescribed by God? i might think that the evolution models were forms of creation that we have no supporting evidence from God, Himself… but in church? manifestations of the Spirit? certain musical performances declared as worship? what are these “forms” not prescribed by God? the collection plate?

  38. Em - again says:

    relatives took my daughter to see the Dodgers play in L.A. and she didn’t know where to put her peanut shells – she came home telling with some astonishment, “your cousin told me to just drop them.”
    i think our Lord would have gone to the ballpark… such an opportunity to sit and just talk… the horse races, too… dunno, tho… maybe not… never was clear on how He feels about betting on the horses

  39. Jean says:

    “what is a form not prescribed by God? ”

    Just a couple off the top: Do you recall a crackers and juice meal in the NT church? Female priests or pastors anywhere in the Bible?

  40. Jean says:

    “what is a form not prescribed by God? ”

    Praying to deceased saints for intercession?
    Prescribing Christian worship on Jewish Sabbath?
    Re-baptizing backsliders?

    What are some others?

  41. Someone should check with Pastor Nadab and Pastor Abihu about prescribed ways to worship God. They may have something to offer on this topic.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Pastor Nadab ”

    You mean Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber?

  43. Jean says:

    “Pastor Nadab ”
    “You mean … Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber?”

    Good example 🙂

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    Why’d you omit the Lutheran? 😉

  45. Em - again says:

    forms of worship
    the juice v fermentation doesn’t bother me, but using bread with leaven does – i won’t partake – since Paul was the apostle to us gentiles, i guess i’ll have to study his letters a bit as, to tell the truth, i’ve always been concerned with the heart of the worshiper far more than the form of the worship… is it contrived or is it honest?

    thank you for this day’s ponder

  46. Jean says:

    Hey, I quoted 6 of 7 words. That’s significant agreement.

  47. Jean says:

    “what is a form not prescribed by God? ”

    I would add Holy Yoga to the list. Have any of you seen Holy Yoga pop up in your community?

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    “i’ve always been concerned with the heart of the worshiper”

    The Lord has always agreed with that.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, I mentioned Nadab & Abihu as biblical characters who also thought there were no regulated forms of worship. God put them in a box.

    As to Nadia, she is not a real pastor and as such does not have a real church. I expect her not to follow any biblical regulations.

    Her very presence in the pulpit makes Iran’s case.

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    She’s ordained and presides over a congregation each week. What do you mean by real pastor and real church? Again, honest question.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – there are marks of a true church – I don’t think female pastors is one of them.

    Make this simple – if you can think of anyone who is not allowed to be a pastor and a church is calling that person, are they a true church? Take the Metropolitan Church – they are a homosexual denomination which claims to be Christian. I say their pastors are not “real” pastors ordained or not and I think the church is not only in sin, but have forfeited any right to be a church.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Her very presence in the pulpit makes Iran’s case.
    Should have read;
    Her very presence in the pulpit makes Jean’s case.

    LOL – how is that for an auto correct?

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    I didn’t know what you meant by “Iran’s case”, and I didn’t want to got there.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – so what did you think of Jean’s question about “forms not prescribed by God”? and do you agree with his examples?

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    There is scant NT proof for forms of worship prescribed by God.

  56. Michael says:

    This is an odd conversation.
    Lutherans have often harped on the Reformed because of the doctrine they hold called the regulative principle.
    That doctrine states that any form of worship not explicitly described in Scripture is invalid.

    The Lutherans have always argued that anything not forbidden in Scripture is fine.
    See the doctrine of “adiaphora’ for further study.

    I’ve always sided with the Lutherans on this one…

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “The Lutherans have always argued that anything not forbidden in Scripture is fine.”

    Well the doctrine of “adiaphora’ does not make “Anything” fine

    And I don’t think that was Jean’s point – I think everything Jean listed above is valid and outside of the doctrine of adiaphora. Example, Re-baptizing backsliders as we are told who baptism is for and for what purpose.

  58. Babylon's Dread says:

    The issue of gender identity is the steamroller that hid behind the bulldozer called gay marriage.

    What harm does a person’s private sexuality do to you they asked us.

    Then they got the legal precedents set by the supremes.

    Now they do not give a d@mn that public policy infringes upon every other person’s choices and personal lives.

    If this is liberty give me death.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think these folks are nuts, have no real pastor and are not a real church

    http://herchurch.org/

    Now I know that there is nothing mentioned in scripture for the liturgy of the Divine Feminine or for buying the Goddess rosary beads and perhaps not even for all the other foolishness they do – but ghey, this is a no brainer.

    And the fact that the ELCA lets this stuff go on brings their authority into question.

  60. Josh the Baptist says:

    My state join the party or be stoned into the dark ages because we passed a law that said men can’t go into public restrooms meant for women and little girls.

    Read that a few times if you need to.

    Honestly though, I can work around all of it. The New Testament has a lot to say about living a Holy Life in an unholy culture.

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I wonder if the men who want to use the ladies room, will still use the men’s room at a sporting event since you can get in and out in about 20% of the time than waiting in the ladies line for a stall instead of peeing in a trough. 🙂

  62. Jean says:

    I would like to ask anyone here who is older than 40 years, if growing up you ever heard of transgender or had one in school? Am I wrong, or did someone concoct this identity?

  63. JoelG says:

    Jean the term “transgender” is relatively new to me. I’m 42.

    My kids go to school in the Portland area. I’m surprised how many of their friends have switched gender identities. It’s mostly girls “becoming” boys here.

  64. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    When we are young we don’t know. I was always told that the 2 guys that lived in the other duplex unit next to my grandparents in the 50s were bachelors – who knows for sure.

  65. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, I don’t remember the term. We did have a couple of boys thought they were girls. Poor guys. We tortured them.

  66. Babylon's Dread says:

    I never heard of anyone who was transgender in growing up Mississippi. We grew up and learned that people were sometimes insecure in their identity but we never even dreamed that reassignment was the means to identity. But when I was a kid kicking your ass to sort you out was still a viable option. Worked on me.

    Separatism is going to revive …

    Secessionism is going to revive …

    If I were younger I would be much more extreme than I am …

  67. Em - again says:

    attitudes towards gender has changed… i knew of a piano teacher (male) who had a problem… he still made his living by being a gentleman
    i went to a rather large high school with a big cavernous (or so it seemed then) girls’ locker room … my very first time to go in there to change i was startled by a very male voice bellowing from somewhere in the room … there was a senior girl who somewhat resembled Edward G Robinson (an actor out of another era). i assume that she was a true transgender of some sort and everyone treated her with kindness, she had a date for the senior prom and conducted herself like a lady … that was in the 1950s, back then we had compassion, but no one celebrated such a mix-up… mental or physical…

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Edward G Robinson was my grandmother’s cousin.

  69. Josh the Baptist says:

    I was just reading an interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber – she said this:

    “My job is to point to Christ and to preach the Gospel and to remind people that they’re absolutely loved … and all of their mess-ups are not more powerful than God’s mercy.”

    I like that quote.

  70. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – we spoke of her a month or so ago. I think she says some great stuff and she has helped a lot of people. However, she is a woman and cannot be a pastor. (I know, in today’s world that makes me so narrow minded that some would say that I could look through a keyhole with both eyes.)

    She can and does have a great ministry to what she has been called to – however, that call does not include being called pastor. Also, I think her ink is hot 😉

  71. Josh the Baptist says:

    I find her fascinating, (but not hot). She’s everything I disagree with, but she actually gets the ONE point. At times. Some times she sounds completely looney to me.

  72. Josh the Baptist says:

    She can’t be a pastor in the LCMS, but she is in the ECLA. That is kinda my thing to people who want to push LCMS or SBC into changing those policies. Christianity is a big tent. There is something for everyone.

  73. London says:

    :eyeroll:

  74. London says:

    God gives the assignments, not MLD.

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “There is something for everyone”. – I disagree and I am sure deep down that there is someplace that you would draw a line.

    And this is the very reason that we are particular who we commune with.

  76. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course, I believe that the SBC is the closest thing to being right, and believe the Bible draws many lines…BUT, if you feel left out of LCMS, you are free to go to ECLA. That’s my point.

    And that doesn’t necessarily mean the person will go to Hell. Perhaps they are right about a lot, and I am wrong. My convictions won’t allow me to have Christian fellowship with them, but I am thankful that some of them may be finding fellowship with Christ outside of my little fence.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    London – “God gives the assignments, not MLD.”
    And your point is what – that God has not set man up to evaluate these things?

    When the Skip thing was hot, how was anyone to question that he was not God’s man doing God’s assignment?

    This is silly. So, don’t pull the God card – just call me narrow minded

  78. Jean says:

    “This is silly. So, don’t pull the God card – just call me narrow minded”

    This brings us full circle back to the “box” metaphor. Maybe it isn’t a metaphor because God placed himself in a feed box in Bethlehem.

    But, this isn’t about whether MLD is or is not narrow minded. The question is: Is God’s Word narrow minded?

    Denominations, such as he ELCA, have ordained a word that sits above God’s Word. This word is sometimes set forth as the law of “love”, and other times its set forth as the **new word that the Holy Spirit has given them. Whether a law of “love” or a word from the Holy Spirit, in either case, the ELCA says these trump God’s Word.

    So if you’re a poor Bible believing Christian in the ELCA and you point to the Bible and say, “you can’t do that”, you’re told you’re not loving or haven’t heard how God is **moving today. Then you’re called intolerant and told to shut up or leave.

  79. Josh the Baptist says:

    The the question (again a serious one) is, is God moving anywhere outside of LCMS?
    I know that God is moving in SBC churches, but I also know that He is moving elsewhere. While He might have made His own box, it is bigger than anything I can fathom.

  80. Jean says:

    “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
    so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

    Josh,
    Where the Word is planted and watered, God will give the growth.

  81. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – it doesn’t need to be divided by denomination – but what are the marks of a genuine Christian church.

    SBA can be a real church … just not as right as the LCMS 😉

    The point is, and I think Jean asked this way up – can we call wrong worship wrong worship or do we just play nice and say … heck I don’t even know what we can say.

    Is the KKK’s form of worship acceptable? Can the grand wizard be a legitimate KKK Christian pastor?

  82. Josh the Baptist says:

    “can we call wrong worship wrong worship”

    Sure we can, but what does it really matter? Think about how silly that is. “I have to worship the right way, and then I have to run around correcting those that are wrong.”

    Surely, God has a hand in all of this.

  83. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Again I bring up Nadab and Abihu – from the grave they may differ.
    God’s hand was not in their worship – but in their destruction.

    So if your pastor brought in what I think Jean called Yoga worship – you would not go to your pastor and call him out?

    I am sure that I am missing something here in this discussion – perhaps I am not only narrow minded, but perhaps I have lost my marbles.

  84. London says:

    MLD, you’re so controlling you even tell people what names to call you. believe me, we can think of them on our own.

  85. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How do you spell passive aggressive?

  86. Em - again says:

    MLD asks, “Is the KKK’s form of worship acceptable? ” well, the form may be fine, but their worship, i’d venture to say would still be unacceptable… kind of like the rest of us… our form may be fine, we may honor God with our lips, but our hearts can still be far from Him… think i read that somewhere – dunno

  87. Em - again says:

    how do you spell insightful? as opposed to incite(ful)? 🙂

    God keep all close this eve

  88. Jean says:

    Let’s develop the “box”:

    The OUTER box: Who? CHRIST ALONE. Proof: John or Jesus: “whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” The blessed virgin: “Do whatever he tells you.” The Father: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

    The MIDDLE box: Where? The WORD OF GOD. Proof: Jesus: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Paul: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” Hebrews: “in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son”

    The INNER box: When?

    (1) PREACHING of the pure Gospel: Proof: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

    (2) BAPTISM: Proof: Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Peter: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” Paul: “for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”

    (3) THE LORD’S SUPPER: Jesus: “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Luke: “Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Paul: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

    There you have the three-fold boxes of presents that our gracious Lord has prepared for you. He invites you to open them. 🙂

  89. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD @ 83 – I’m SBC. We don’t have Yoga worship. I found a box called SBC and was delighted to find Gad there. I will stick with that box for the rest of my life, because God is there.

    I’m not foolish enough, though, to believe that I somehow have God trapped in my box. He’s moving and working, inside and outside of other boxes all over the world at all times.

  90. Josh – “I’m not foolish enough, though, to believe that I somehow have God trapped in my box”

    I have not once spoke about “my box” – and I have never referred to the LCMS as a box that contains God. I have only made comments that God is restricted to the box that HE has placed himself in and the only comment that I have tried to elicit from people is that God has restricted himself and us in the forms of worship. But in this post modern age no one, not even Christians want to say the other guy is wrong or is doing it wrong.

    It is a constant “how do we know what is right or wrong?” It must be generational.

  91. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, you’ve talked about “God’s box” as if we could somehow be big enough to know all that encompasses. Conveniently for you, God’s box looks EXACTLY like the LCMS. But guess what, I think (biblically speaking) you guys are getting a lot of thing wrong.

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    Can churches have the gay conversation?

    Honestly, will we ever be allowed again to have any other conversation? It seems to be all we’ve talked about for about 10 years.

  93. Jean says:

    #92,
    Are you asking to have it, or to be done with it? I don’t understand the question.

  94. Josh the Baptist says:

    That is the question of one of the links.
    “Are churches willing to have the gay conversation?”

    My answer is – It’s all we’ve been allowed to talk about for years now.

  95. Jean says:

    Gotcha! I see the article now. I’ll give it a looksee, but I’m with you.

  96. Josh the Baptist says:

    The article is pretty slim – Pretty much just “We NEED to have this conversation”, and then a podcast I’m not listening to.

  97. We spoke one time on the gay issue in our board meeting to determine if we needed to put new policies in place to protect ourselves.
    We determined that the SCOTUS decision did not impact us as a church.

  98. Jean says:

    When I hear “we need to have a conversation” I hear the gay movement asking Christians to bless their lifestyle, so they can consider their lifestyle no sin. Any conversation short of that is not, what I believe, they are interested in.

    There is another conversation, which is internal to the church, about how we communicate and offer hope to sinners through God’s Word of Law and Gospel.

  99. Josh the Baptist says:

    5 ways to wound an immature believer:

    #1 – Call him an immature believer.

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    The Bible and America article is quite interesting. Looks like a good book.

  101. Em - again says:

    i know it’s a popular visualization these days, but God in a box of any way, shape or form just doesn’t work for me… can you put light in a box?

    does He have boundaries? you know i’m not sure that He does… perhaps, the boxes enclose the places where God isn’t…

  102. Josh the Baptist says:

    We make the boxes. God can visit them if He wants to.

  103. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, remember this whole conversation began with a sermon saying that God broke his law.
    Can God break his law?
    Forget the “box” for a moment and ask – is God bound by his law and his promises? I say yes and I equate that with God limiting himself – therefore the vivual of the box.

    God cannot destroy mankind again by flood. No matter how much he may want to he absolutely cannot. Fire maybe, but not a flood.

    Can God break a promise? The work of Jesus no longer valid for sinners? If not then God has limited himself. Not his presence – but his activities.

    But we have gone too long on this.

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    Why would God promise something that HE doesn’t want to uphold?

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I do think God will do all that he has promised. However, I hear many times (not necessarily here but in the greater Christian community) “God can do anything he wants.”

    Now, God has done exactly what he wants – but the context of that statement is, he may want to do something different – such as one day God may want to break his own law. I think I said in my first post on that sermon it was silly.

  106. Em - again says:

    “is God bound by his law and his promises? I say yes and I equate that with God limiting himself – therefore the vivual of the box.”

    well, too long on the God in a box visual, perhaps…

    does God “limit” Himself? seems antithetical somehow – God will not compromise himself

    i MUCH prefer integrity to box – God will not compromise His character under any circumstances… and maybe that’s His box – His integrity, His complete holy character

  107. Josh the Baptist says:

    Your assumption is that God would want to do something that He has promised He wouldn’t. It’s a weird stance to take.

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – you have it absolutely backwards – that is the position I am arguing against. Your buddy Steven Furtick is the one who thinks that – and I offered opposition.

    If God breaks his law, even out of love, he has changed his mind and direction – and that is a more dangerous God than he already is.

  109. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em – “God will not compromise His character under any circumstances… ”

    Will not or cannot?

  110. Em - again says:

    109-that’s a question that i’m not qualified to answer… He would cease to be God if He did so, would He not? that is a terrifying ponder…

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Josh – you have it absolutely backwards – that is the position I am arguing against. Your buddy Steven Furtick is the one who thinks that – and I offered opposition.”

    But the opposition is almost as ludicrous as the original statement. I didn’t watch the whole sermon, but the clip I saw, I don’t think Steven was talking about “God’s Law” when he said “law”. I think he was talking more about stuff like speed limits. Haven’t talked to him in a long time but he didn’t use to speak in those terms, though he may now. Either way, I disagree with him. But I also disagree that there is some box God has placed himself in. Some limits he has set upon himself. He just happens to be all good, all the the time. There is no need for limits! He is of one singular, holy nature. That is why you (and I) can’t understand Him.

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    @ 109 – That is literally the same as about the rock God cannot lift.

  113. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “That is why you (and I) can’t understand Him.”

    I can understand everything that God has revealed to us – see Deut 29:29

    There is too large of a theological divide between us – so, I am moving to the Naaman thread

  114. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I can understand everything that God has revealed to us”

    Well, in that case. Hats off to you. God has revealed tons of stuff that I cannot understand.

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

  116. Josh the Baptist says:

    So you understand everything that God has revealed to us in His word?

    That was your claim. The verse says the things revealed belong to us, but it doesn’t say we understand every bit of it.

  117. Em - again says:

    this is really a great conversation going on between MLD and Josh the B … IMHO … reading them gives much to ponder, learn and grow
    thank you to both of you

    the rock thing? the answer is, God is too smart to do that 🙂

  118. Josh the Baptist says:

    Thank you em. It’s always fun exercising the noodle a little bit 🙂

  119. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh,
    “So you understand everything that God has revealed to us in His word?”
    You always choose the most complicated route. Yes, I understand all of the “whats” that God has revealed – such as he created the everything in 6 days, he has chosen a people, he has laid out laws and promises. I understand all that.

    I do not understand the “whys” – but he never revealed the “whys”

  120. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok. I can’t wait for your teachings on Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Solomon. I don’t understand them.

  121. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Job is teaching that the redeemer lives
    The Byrds summed up Ecclesiastes

  122. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I know that God made a day longer in Joshua – you can read the account and even in that you see a glimpse at “why” (so Joshua could win the battle) but God has not revealed the how.

  123. Josh the Baptist says:

    I understand Joshua and Genesis. Those are easy. Like I said, I look forward to the teaching of one with full understanding of Ecclesiastes ans Job and Song of Solomon.

  124. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tell me something from Ecclesiastes that you do not understand the words God is using.
    I just clicked into Ecclesiastes 3 while I am working. Tell me what you don’t understand.

    Even in v.11 ” He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” It is made clear that not everything is understandable – do you get it? The message is clear and understandable, that we cannot fathom what God has done.

  125. Josh the Baptist says:

    Read it from start to finish. I understand the fortune cookies, just not the whole package.

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