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167 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    Wenatchee, as they day here in the UK, “Well done , you!”

  2. Nonnie says:

    “As they say …..not “day”. Ugh!

  3. Jim says:

    Good Brown and Stetzer articles.

  4. Steve Wright says:

    The advice to young pastors article left me greatly underwhelmed.

  5. Jean says:

    Thanks Michael. One of your finest line ups!

  6. Give it less than 5 years and Grace Chapel will be lobbying for homosexual pastors.

  7. Jean says:

    Michael,
    The Wesley article appears to require a paid subscription. Is that your understanding?

  8. Michael says:

    It wasn’t yesterday…but it looks like they moved it.

  9. Dude says:

    House churches-Mega churches,Small churches and House churches scare a lot of people because you can’t put on a mask and hide.They are not for consumer christians who enjoy come for the good worship music and other stuff.

  10. Dude says:

    Cancel out the word enjoy…..typo error.

  11. brian says:

    I really feel very badly for MD’s wife. She must really have some awful pressure on her. That WW2 should have been enough for someone to step down from a professional vocation.

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    The gotcha crowd are fussing over who got the scoop? Chill people

    14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
    ESV Ga 5:14–15.

  13. JoelG says:

    The ISIS story is heartbreaking and frustrating.

  14. papiaslogia says:

    The article on Christians putting down the sword….ugh. Only applies if you buy his opening statements.

    Then it doesn’t take into account the idea of warring states.

  15. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    BD, the blogger at the atheist channel of Patheos wouldn’t find the verse-quoting germane. It’s one thing if former members bring to light material months ago for public consideration and another thing for an atheist to recycle old talking points

  16. Although I would go as far as he does with some of his comments – i wish I still had some Ward Churchill in me from my anti war protesting days. I sold out.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/3774386709001/exclusive-ward-churchill-defends-911-remarks/#sp=show-clips

  17. Bob Sweat says:

    Steve @#4

    That’s because you’re old. 😉

  18. Steve Wright says:

    LOL Bob!!

  19. “Although I would go as far…” SHOULD READ “Although I wouldn’t go as far…”

    makes a little difference. 🙂

  20. Jesus instructed his disciples/apostles to “buy swords” according to the Gospels.

    He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”–Jesus Christ.

    The bible presents a dual narrative regarding Jesus and violence. You can make a case for either one…the truth is the bible portrays both a peaceful and a violent Jesus.

  21. The Old Testament consistently asserts that God/Jesus commanded his kids to slaughter the enemy, leaving no one alive, not sparing women, children, infants or animals (I can point you to a huge amount of bible verses that specifically state such).

    The New Testament affirms a Jesus who is violent as well. Jesus tells his disciples to buy swords. Jesus beats the money-changers with whips. Jesus comes back on white horse and slaughters the enemy with a sword, etc.

    The bible presents a violent Jesus and a peaceful Jesus. I don’t know why, but it is there and as explicit as anything else in the bible.

    “Why Christians should put down the sword” and articles like…profess a “bible is inerrant and infallible and to be taken literally and conservatively!” out of one mouth…and then present a half-truth out of the other side of their mouths regarding what the bible really teaches about Jesus.

  22. God and Jesus are the authors of the Old Testament and the author of the commands given to the Israelites according to conservative bible literalists who claim biblical inerrancy. I am very open to a conservative inerrancy position. If that position is true about God and Jesus, then God and Jesus are as violent as they are peaceful:

    1 Samuel 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'”

    1 Samuel 22:19
    He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.

    1 Samuel 27:9
    Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

    Deuteronomy 20:16
    However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.

    Numbers 21:2
    Then Israel made this vow to the LORD: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.”

    Numbers 21:3
    The LORD listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.

    Numbers 31:17
    Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,

    Deuteronomy 20:17
    Completely destroy them–the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites–as the LORD your God has commanded you.

    Joshua 6:21
    They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it–men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

    Joshua 8:8
    When you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do what the LORD has commanded. See to it; you have my orders.”

    Joshua 8:25
    Twelve thousand men and women fell that day–all the people of Ai.

    Joshua 10:28
    That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.

    Joshua 10:40
    So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.

    Joshua 11:11
    Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed, and he burned Hazor itself.

    Joshua 11:12
    Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings and put them to the sword. He totally destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded.

    Joshua 11:14
    The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed.

  23. Michael says:

    There is only a dual narrative if you make Jesus a one dimensional being.
    The NT commands us to live at peace with each other as much as it is up to us and to leave vengeance to God.
    He will honor this at the end of the age by bringing justice to all matters and judgement upon His enemies.

    Our mission isn’t to slay His enemies…it’s to tell His enemies that they can be reconciled to God.

    Those who refuse will receive His judgment and the justice do them.

  24. Michael says:

    We’ve gone over this material ad nauseum here…and we aren’t going over it again.

  25. What do you mean Michael? I am commenting on one of your links that stated that Christians aren’t to take up the sword and challenging that statement from the bible, which you say is the source for truth.

  26. We’ve discussed everything on your blog ad nauseum, you post the same issues over and over and over and everyone has the same comments over and over, why are you picking on me?

  27. Patrick Kyle says:

    On the “Putting away of swords” the article states in part: ” while contending that the sword of the government is in fact ordained outside of the perfection of Christ, meaning that though the government is ordained by God, it is not blessed of God.” False. Why would the NT command prayer for our rulers if there is no way they can be blessed by God? This kind of sloppy interpretation is rampant and causes no end of division in the Church.

  28. Michael says:

    Alex,

    The link is from one perspective that we discussed in out church history series recently.
    Though I don’t completely agree with the perspective I think they have a decent New Testament case for pacifism.
    That doesn’t mean that I want to open up the whole “bad God in the OT” discussion again.

  29. Why are you blocking bible verses and commentary specific to a link you posted on your blog?

    You must have a deeper issue than you are letting on with me privately and publicly. If you simply don’t want me on your blog, just say so. I am abiding by your rules just fine.

  30. Michael says:

    I’m not picking on you…I just will go to great lengths to avoid what has come before.
    I’m leaving soon to pick up the kid.

  31. Michael says:

    I’m not blocking anything…I’m just restarting my computer…if you have something stuck I’ll deal with it.

  32. You don’t want to open up a discussion that refutes a pacifist position?

    That seems counter to the purpose of posting issues on a blog. Why do you post a link and then bar discussion that challenges the premise of the link appealing to the very bible you promote and say is the source of truth?

  33. Michael says:

    What I don’t want is the same endless stuff that happened previously.
    It’s been a peaceful and manageable site and I want it to stay that way.
    OT references don’t refute a NT position of pacifism…different covenant, different instructions.

  34. You confuse the hell out of me sometimes Michael. You encourage discussion of issues, you clearly take a position that views the bible as the authority on issues, then you want to bar a refutation of Christian pacifism that refutes that position by appealing to the bible.

  35. Michael says:

    Patrick,

    They were radical…but they were also being slaughtered by the government.

  36. Michael says:

    Alex,

    If you want to refute pacifism biblically, then do so.
    Using OT references isn’t effective when you understand the cross and the covenants.
    I have to leave.

  37. Jesus affirmed the New Testament…and if Jesus is the author of the commands in the New Testament and if Jesus “never changes and is the same yesterday, today and forever”…then appealing to the OT is very germaine and very relevant in establishing a non-pacifist position.

    Also, as I noted above, there are many instances in the NT that show Jesus being violent, Jesus telling his disciples/apostles to buy swords and Jesus slaughtering the enemy with a sword in Revelation.

  38. Correction: Jesus affirmed the Old Testament.

  39. Jesus authored the Old Testament, correct? Jesus gave the commands in the OT, correct? The Theophanies were Jesus, at least that’s what you’ve stated in the past many times.

  40. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Jesus doesn’t change.
    His way of interacting with humans did.
    The New Covenant.
    I’m not an Anabaptist or a pacifist…but I do see their point.

  41. “and if Jesus “never changes and is the same yesterday, today and forever”…”

    I don’t think this means what you think it means.

  42. brian says:

    I would like to bring up a particular issue. In my neck of the woods some rents are going up basically 300$ per month, I was wondering could you economically deal with that? Some of the rents across the street run 10K per month and that does not include the community charge which is about 15K per year, could you afford that? They are chomping at the bit to get us out because we rent controlled, which is a sin, but what does one do. The general feeling among some in our area if you cant afford to live here leave. If some here who have lived here for a long time leave it will kill them, I have seen it before in my work with the elderly. From a pragmatic pov that solves the problem and it is quite efficient.

    The average home in this area is 1million + for say a three bedroom home. They are going to be building micro units which are approx 300 sq foot, they do those in SF now and some go for 5 K per month, could you afford that would you want to live in such a box? Is it immoral or even sinful to think we need to put the brakes on this to some degree via the government? I mean the Bible says absolutely nothing whatsoever about these issues in any real practical policy development type processes?

  43. brian – I just did a loan for a guy in your neck of the woods – San Jose. 650 sq feet; value came in at $720,000. Even I couldn’t believe it.

    You guys live on some expensive dirt.

  44. brian says:

    “They’ll probably never be hired again to work in academia, or at a government-sponsored lab.” (1)

    I think this is wrong, personally I do not “believe” in evolution, I think it is supported by a wide variety of evidence from several scientific disciplines. But if someone is teaching chemistry and is credentialed to teach the cirrocumuli of the institution what they do on their own time that is not illegal is none of the school’s business. But it goes both ways many have gotten the boot from Christian educational institutions when a prof / faculty change their position on many positions including ToE, age of the Earth etc.

    (1)Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/31/researchers-seek-to-prove-genesis/#ixzz3CrlU3Mdz
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  45. brian says:

    Yes we do and some of us have lived here for our entire lives, my family lost our house or sold it at a substantial loss because of Loma Prieta damage. We bought into the park over twenty years ago, I helped my mom pay for part of the house and over the years. When she and I were both having housing issues in the area I moved in, my sister got cancer I stayed to help, then my mom got cancer and I stayed. She left it to me and I put in all I had saved to pay off the second etc and make it clear. About a month later they started discussing selling the park. That is typical in my life. So now I am stuck. I cant sell it, cant afford to stay here and move somewhere else so now I just have to stay.

  46. Jean says:

    Alex,

    1) I don’t think you are interpreting Luke 22:36 correctly.

    “He said to them, ‘But now, the one who has a money bag must take it, and likewise a traveler’s bag too. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.'”

    You’re not alone. I don’t think Luke 22:36 can be interpreted correctly out of its context in the narrative. Look what follows verse 36:

    “”For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me is being fulfilled.’ So they said, ‘Look, Lord, here are two swords.’ Then he told them, ‘It is enough.’”

    In this narrative, the word “For” is used like the word “because”. Because what? Because the prophecy from Isaiah 53:12 had to be fulfilled in Jesus: “and he was counted with the transgressors.” In other words, the possession of the swords among Jesus disciples would have been illegal, fulfilling the prophecy. Obviously, Jesus didn’t plan to violently defend himself from arrest nor did he think 2 swords were “enough” to defend him. Therefore, I don’t think you can cite Luke 22:36 for the proposition that Jesus was either violent or that he expected his disciples to use violence. The first few generations of Christians were a non-violent martyr community.

    2) John 2:15 never says that Jesus struck anyone with a whip:

    “So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, with the sheep and the oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.”

    However, regardless of what Jesus did, Paul makes it very clear what Christians must do:

    “Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

    You may not agree with Michael or the article from the Anabaptist perspective, but there is solid exegetical support for Christian non-violence.

  47. brian says:

    I support SSM and do not consider homosexuality in monogamous life long union to not be a sin. Few here agree with me, but I wish my side would stop saying this is consistent with historic Christianity or of the Bible, the Bible is quite clear on the OT as well as the NT in the Gospels where Christ speaks of the created order. So my pov is not biblical.

  48. Jean says:

    Michael,

    My #47 is in moderation for some reason.

  49. Josh Hamrick says:

    Scripture references show up as links. If you give more than two, WordPress moderates it.

  50. Jean says:

    Interesting Josh. Thank you. Do you have any idea what the intent is of the moderation based on Scripture citations? Just curious.

  51. London says:

    It’s not based on scripture it’s any links

  52. brian says:

    It seems that 8 of the 9 elders that sent MD a letter of concern are no longer working for MH. Wow. Typical, but still WoW.

  53. brian says:

    “One source (a current elder) tells me that executive elders’ salaries are not on the table for discussion. However, the 30-40 (unconfirmed reports tell me the number was higher) people laid off may not get severance pay and don’t have unemployment. The lack of comment from the executive elders about how they personally are going to help is louder than any” (1)

    This is disgusting if true, especially the first part about exec elders’ salaries are not on the table while they hack all the middle management. This is utterly awful in my opinion.

    (1) http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/09/09/nine-former-mars-hill-church-elders-took-a-bold-stand-and-now-eight-are-gone/

  54. People have short memories when it comes to people coming against the leader and the leader failing to properly respond.

    Remember when Alexander the coppersmith came against Paul and his teaching? I think he wanted Paul to step down and put himself under an elder led restoration program.

    Paul was furious and refused, writing to Timothy he said;
    “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!

    It seems that like Driscoll, all of Paul’s elders deserted him and opposed his message – the next step was to be Nickel Sunday.

  55. Jean, I am not disputing the fact there is a case for non-violence, I clearly stated above in the thread that the bible presents a double or dual narrative…it teaches both violence and peace. It’s a both, according to the bible, not one or the other and I gave a ton of biblical support for a violence position demonstrated in the Old and New Testaments.

    The same Paul and same Jesus who said to render good for evil are the same guys who also nuked folks like Ananias and Saphira, the same Jesus (according to bible inerrantists/literalists) who commanded the slaughter of the enemies (men, women, children, infants and animals) in the OT and the same Jesus who comes back on a horse with all of the Christians to slaughter the enemy with swords in Revelation.

    The same Jesus also casts his enemies in hell to be tortured forever with no end…according to the bible conservatives…and he does not render good for evil.

  56. Jean, Paul the Apostle did not render good to Alexander the Coppersmith, he wanted him repaid with Divine Retribution:

    “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.”

    Paul called out the man, he memorialized him specifically in the bible and felt justified in wishing God’s wrath upon him for what he had done to Paul.

  57. Jean says:

    Alex,

    The bible does not present a double or dual narrative regarding the use of violence byr Christians. Let me respond to this:

    “The same Paul and same Jesus who said to render good for evil are the same guys who also nuked folks like Ananias and Saphira, the same Jesus (according to bible inerrantists/literalists) who commanded the slaughter of the enemies (men, women, children, infants and animals) in the OT and the same Jesus who comes back on a horse with all of the Christians to slaughter the enemy with swords in Revelation.”

    1) Paul did not nuke Ananias nor Saphira and Jesus was ascended to Heaven at that time. It was the Holy Spirit:

    “Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” (Acts 5:9)

    As I stated in my last comment to you, vengeance is God’s (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Please review Romans Chapter 12.

  58. Both of you are wrong anyway even bringing Paul into the Ananias and Saphira story – it was Peter 🙂

  59. King David, a “man after God’s own heart” prayed for the destruction of his “enemies” and often called on God to destroy them and often called for Divine Retribution:

    “Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.”–Psalms of David. (one of a zillion)

  60. Jean says:

    MLD,
    I didn’t bring Paul into the story. Did you read my post? And Peter didn’t kill anyone.

  61. from #58 – 1) Paul did not nuke Ananias nor Saphira…It was the Holy Spirit:

    It sounded like you were saying it wasn’t Paul who did it – it was the HS … instead of saying “it wasn’t Peter who did it – it was the HS.

  62. Jean said, “As I stated in my last comment to you, vengeance is God’s (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).”

    And, how does God, a God of Vengeance, exact that vengeance on people in the bible?

  63. MLD, you are correct, Jesus/God nuked them.

  64. Jean, you and MLD seem to both be in agreement that God nukes people…even in the New Covenant, New Testament during the “age of Grace”…correct?

  65. Jean says:

    Alex #60,

    If you want to be a Jew, please convert. But if you profess to be a Christian and want to share Christian doctrine, then don’t pull OT Scripture into the discussion, unless you’re willing to interpret it in light of the New Covenant.

    How many times did Jesus tell Peter he must forgive his brother who sins against him?

    Look, Christian love and forgiveness isn’t easy. It’s not easy for me. In fact it’s probably the most difficult command that Jesus gives his followers. However, paradoxically, it is the power of love and forgiveness that Jesus used to defeat his enemies, ransoming us from the power of sin and death. And, I know this is difficult (it’s difficult for me), however, it is Christian love and forgiveness which is hallmark of the kingdom, which provides light to the nations.

    Do I sometimes wish that Jesus had entered Jerusalem on a stallion instead of a donkey? Of course I do. But that’s not how God chose to redeem his Creation. We must trust in Him.

    I’m not angry at you and I hope your not bitter or angry at me or what I’m saying.

  66. Alex – why do you think being “nuked” is a bad thing? All that did was put them in the presence of the Lord sooner. It sounds like an act of love to me.

  67. Also, I am not a dispensationalist – so I don’t know what this ‘age of grace’ is. Can you explain it to me?

  68. Jean, what is “Christian love and forgiveness” if Jesus doesn’t love and forgive his enemies but rather tortures them in hell forever and comes back on the white horse and slaughters all of his enemies…in light of the same Jesus you say gave the command to slaughter all the men, women, children, infants and animals of all the enemies of Israel in the OT?

    If the bible is truth, then one cannot really ignore nor can they explain/context away those facts in the bible.

    I am not arguing against the bible, I am stating that if the bible is absolute truth, then it does present a rather violent truth along with a peaceful truth.

    Peace for those that are elect/chosen/believers, Violence for those who are enemies of God, disobey God, etc.

    Is this a correct articulation of what the bible states literally or not?

  69. Jean, is it unloving and unforgiving to, like David, like Paul, like even Jesus…to want God’s vengeance on enemies?

  70. “Is this a correct articulation of what the bible states literally or not?”

    Not!

  71. How so? Are you denying the bible verses that state God is a God of vengeance, that God repays evil with harsh judgment including death and eternal torture in hell?

    Are you denying that Paul the apostle wished God would repay Alexander the Coppersmith?

    That David wished and prayed that God would smite his enemies?

    That the whole of heaven in Revelation cries out for God’s vengeance upon those on earth who are their enemies?

    That God will crush the enemies of Jesus and make them his footstool?

    “”Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.”

    MLD, you are a student of the bible, the bible clearly presents all of these “vengeance” narratives.

  72. that God repays evil with harsh judgment including death and eternal torture in hell?

    he judges unbelief and hell is it’s natural consequence.

    As I said earlier, until you can distinguish when God is speaking in his law and when he is speaking in his gospel, you will continue to walk around like a blind man to figure any of this out.

    Good luck with that.Last time around it led you to apostasy and unbelief. I doubt this time round will be any different.

  73. “O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!”

  74. “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.”

  75. “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

    OK, God of Vengeance and God of Divine Retribution, if you are real…come forth and continue destroying my enemies.

  76. MLD, Jean, is it wrong to pray for God’s vengeance and to pray for God to avenge you?

  77. Jean says:

    Alex #69,

    This is the gospel in a nut shell:

    “Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Cor 15:1-4).

    So, salvation is for those who believe and hold firmly to that message. The alternative is no salvation. Bible believing Christians disagree regarding whether no salvation equals eternal conscious torment or final annihilation. I will leave that discussion for another day. But either one involves violence.

    Part of interpreting the Bible correctly is recognizing genre and interpreting Scripture literally in light of the genre and context of the author. I’m not an expert on Revelations (I’m not an expert on any part of the Bible). I understand that there will be a judgment. Christ will judge. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

    I believe that Christ wants to redeem every single person. Jesus asked the Father to forgive the very people who crucified him. I am not a Calvinist, so I don’t believe in limited atonement or predestination, however, I acknowledge that Bible believing Christians disagree on that topic. However, as Michael stated last Saturday, his Calvinist beliefs do not influence his views of evangelism or his duty as a Christian to pray that everyone would be converted.

    Did you learn somewhere along the way that God is an angry God, who has it in for some people? Or that Christians are supposed to defend God’s honor with violence, or something else? I’m only asking because your tone seems angry. If I’m misinterpreting you, I apologize.

    I’m Central Standard Time, so I can’t continue this discussion much longer, but one thing I learned regarding my personal relationship with God, is that my prayer life and anger, bitterness, and the like don’t really mix well together. Anger, bitterness, and the like really clog up my ability to communicate with God and hear him.

    Remember what Paul said quoted in Romans 3:10:

    “just as it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one,”

    So, from our perspective, we pray that our enemies would be converted by the same grace we received.

    “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God!'” (2 Cor 5:20)

    What God will do, God will do. He is sovereign. All we can do, is pray and enact in our own lives the sacrificial servant love that Jesus modeled in his earthly ministry.

    May God bless you.

  78. Bible clearly presents two different narratives.

    God of Vengeance and Divine Retribution, a God who smites thine enemy, a God who smites his enemies, a God of Wrath and a God who repays evil.

    The bible also presents a God of peace, love, mercy etc.

    To pick one or the other and then claim the bible is “perfect, inerrant, infallible, the absolute truth!” in the other…is intellectually dishonest.

  79. I think God is dealing with Driscoll, BG, Coy and I think he dealt with Chuck Smith. For some reason he relented with Skip.

    I don’t think it’s wrong for those who were hurt by those jerks to pray to God, as David did, and as the whole of heaven does…for God to exact his wrath, judgment and vengeance on those who have unjustly hurt others. These men are self-claiming emissaries of God himself. May they reap what they’ve sown and may God deal harshly with them in their unrepentant lying state.

    The bible clearly supports this in part of its narrative.

  80. Jean says:

    Alex,

    I have an earlier comment (#78), which is in moderation, that I hope you’ll review when it is released. In the mean time regarding your #79, you have basically 4 choices:

    1) Believe that the Bible is BS;
    2) Believe that God is not immutable;
    3) Believe that there are 2 Gods; or
    4) Your misinterpreting the Bible, in which case you need to keep on searching and studying.

    God bless you in your journey.

  81. Alex, let me just say this – you have been bred with Calvary Chapel literalism and you can’t get out.

    Literalism is quite different than interpreting things literally. Only CC and their kind see Jesus literally riding in on a horse to lop off heads. Your tradition, that you have now returned to comes to a different conclusion than mine and I am sure Jean’s..

    You are in turmoil over what should bring you peace.

  82. MLD, I am not in turmoil, I am becoming reacquainted with my religious roots…and looking at the situation through the lens that I first looked at it a decade ago when I first confronted the evil and unrighteousness.

    My faith is actually becoming renewed in seeing what I think is God actually doing some things. When Chuck Smith got aggressive cancer after calling down God’s judgment on me from his powerful pulpit, I thought, “If God is real, he just called down his own judgment”…and I stated so publicly, it’s on the record.

    Boom, Chuck was diagnosed with cancer shortly after that and died a year to the day later.

    That got my attention.

    The skeptical side of me soon took over, though, and I began to doubt.

    Then come to find out the lower court judge was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer very shortly after seeming to side with BG. I imagine the man went against his conscience in favor of local politics…and I think God dealt with him. The man died a year later after also being ravaged with cancer.

    God is a God of Vengeance and a God of Justice. He does sometimes get involved. It may not be normative, like with miracles today…but to deny that God’s Divine Retribution is to deny the bible and the supernatural.

  83. brian says:

    MLD “Alex – why do you think being “nuked” is a bad thing? All that did was put them in the presence of the Lord sooner. It sounds like an act of love to me.” The use of nuclear weapons is not some game, it is always a bad thing even if it had to happen to stop a protracted war which would have lead to more casualties on both sides. But the use of nuclear weapons is always bad, I dont care whose face it brings them into. By that logic I guess ebola or small pox are good things either. No glory in these diseases, “they” dont hold any moral agency they just kill our species. I never understood that part of the Christian religion.

  84. Jean says:

    Alex,
    Let me add one thing to MLD’s #82:

    When we forgive someone who hurts us, the primary benefit is to the victim, not the victimizer. If you don’t forgive your enemy, your enemy keeps on winning. You can’t find peace while your hoping for God to smite your enemy.

    I’m not suggesting that forgiveness means reentering a dysfunctional relationship, but I am talking about praying for that person who hurt you every day until forgiveness takes root in your heart. At that point, you can move on in peace.

  85. Jean, I disagree. The enemy loses when God exacts his vengeance on them. I pray, like David did, like heaven does, for God to avenge and for God to bring his holy wrath and justice on those who claim they speak on his behalf yet do so much evil.

  86. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”–New Testament

  87. If guys who claim they are God’s emissaries don’t repent, I pray that God strikes them down and all those who support them. May God’s vengeance be upon them.

  88. I am way far out from the league of you guys but there is one point that I have not heard mentioned in these words. Perhaps in reference to them, but not clearly stated.

    God’s “vengeance” is not against His enemies. God is “just” and the just “Law” (pure/righteousness) requires a final/complete destruction of sin/evil. The Jesus of the time He spent on Earth was a way for humans (sinners) to escape the righteous damnation. Jesus was 100% man and lived His entire physical life without one sin and became the second Adam for mankind should they choose. However, He was also 100% God having to explain His righteousness power to control ALL of His creation. I think it was MLD that said something like perhaps He was taking them to heaven. That is a good point. In the human aspect killing all men and women and children is a bad thing to do. That’s because we have no control of what happens when they die. God alone knows the wheat from the tare and we are all subject to when He will receive us or damn us. He has the perfect right to end our lives when it is time. He does not “kill” people. He determines when they die and move on to the hereafter from this cocoon stage of human life.

    I apologize for saying my two cents but it has meaning to me.

    God bless you all.

  89. brian – thank you for demonstrating how a literalist does his work.

  90. Alex,
    Every time you say ““If God is real,… ( he just called down his own judgment”) you are showing us all that you are an unbeliever…

    “I am becoming reacquainted with my religious roots” – I would say I was happy for you, but I would prefer you became a Christian.

  91. MLD said, ““I am becoming reacquainted with my religious roots” – I would say I was happy for you, but I would prefer you became a Christian.”

    I believe I am a Christian, and I would ask that Michael uphold his own rules and act justly on his blog and not allow you to behave in such a vicious and evil manner.

  92. If the standard on this blog is to allow trolls like MLD to call others “not Christian” which is intended as a deeply hurtful insult and evil, then this blog is not a safe place and should be marked as such.

  93. Michael says:

    I’ve already stated that I’m not here to moderate much, nor am I going to be.
    That hasn’t been an issue until after you decided to show up and start the same things again with the exact same result.
    It’s been safe as can be but you and MLD love this dance that the rest of us hate.
    It’s over.
    I can’t and won’t have this again.

  94. brian says:

    I always thought that the real “Enemy” loses when people are reconciled first to God then to others.

  95. I am following your rules and merely stating my opinions and appealing to the bible.

    MLD is calling others not Christian.

    That is wrong and you should know it.

  96. My comments and opinions are based on links in this thread. My opinions expressed on this thread about Christian Pacifism differs from yours as does my opinions on this thread regarding Divine Retribution and God being a God of Vengeance etc, but those are certainly positions held by others underneath the Christian umbrella and should be fair game to discuss on a blog dedicated to discussing those kinds of issues.

    The calling others “not Christian” is the only violation of your professed rules that I’ve seen on this thread.

  97. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I’m not going to engage this.
    Period.
    This is the same old story and it’s not going to be written again.
    If you find it unsafe, you have a blog where people miss you and your rowdy ways.
    I have to keep my stress level and time here to a minimum and I will do whatever I have to in order to maintain both.

  98. You’re wrong, but it’s your blog. God will deal with you.

  99. Alex, I am usually for you but in this particular case how many “Christians” would state “IF” God is real? I would assume that all Christians KNOW God is real.

  100. Paul, if God is real, he’ll act b/c he promises to. If he’s not real, he won’t. I believe he’s real and I believe he’ll continue to bring his hand against BG and those supporting him.

  101. Luke 12 8 9: And I assure
    you of this: I, the Messiah, will publicly honor you in
    the presence of God’s angels if you publicly
    acknowledge me here on
    earth as your friend. But I will deny before the angels
    those who deny me here
    among men.

  102. I think if those who have been harmed by Driscoll have enough faith, then God will continue to act on their behalf.

  103. Why would He “…bring His hand against BG according to your request of how and when while you address Him as IF REAL?

  104. How much “faith” does “if real” show?

  105. brian says:

    Honesty demands that I also state, usually not online but in my heart “If God were real” a few times. I have often struggled with it, I dont deny God exists, but emotionally / humanly I have said and thought that. Other times I am so sure God does.

  106. I love you bro. but you are human and sometimes wrong just like the rest of us.

  107. Paul, “If real” expresses an honest faith. God promises to avenge. If he’s real then he will.

  108. Paul, I admit, I could be wrong, God might not be real, but I hope he is and I believe he is. If he is real, then I’m not wrong, he will avenge if he is holy and just and the God who avenges if the bible is true.

    But, I could be wrong, the bible may not be true.

  109. Brian, when you say “if” God is real you in reality are dening that He does in fact/surely does exist.

  110. Michael says:

    “Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’””
    (Matthew 4:7 ESV)

    God’s people have doubted His goodness and care from the beginning in times of trial and oppression.
    He promises justice, but He doesn’t promise when.
    The cries continue into the heavenly courts;
    “They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?””
    (Revelation 6:10 ESV)
    A few have seen it in this life, but only a few.
    True faith endures to the end holding the hope of righteousness to come.

    It is not for me to judge what God is doing now, it’s to believe in what He will do then.

  111. Q says:

    Alex, does God promise justice in this life or eventually?

    If we always get justice now , in this life, would that be a real testing of faith, “more precious than gold”?

  112. Well, I believe God will avenge now and in the future…and that is an entirely biblical position and I don’t appreciate being scolded for expressing a position that is entirely supported by part of the bible narrative and then being called “not a Christian” for the same.

    God will deal with you and MLD and knows your heart.

  113. Alex, your # 110 is valid. Perhaps you need to be more assure of the creator and the righteous one that you know and not worry what other people call Him or what they think about Him? God the creator and holy righteous one is real. If you believe that stand firm for it and not whimp out from Him.

  114. Michael says:

    Yes, God will deal with me.
    He will extend His grace, love, and truth to me to the very end and He knows better than anyone why I need to keep this place from being a stressor right now.

  115. A Christian is a follower of Christ, Christ is God = Christians know Christ/God is real.

  116. Q, that comment was directed toward Michael and not to you.

    Q, I think that faith is an action and God says to test him and his promises.

    There are two kinds of testing God, one is bad…like Mark Driscoll, BG and other bad pastors do.

    There is another testing of God, testing his promises, which the bible says we are to do.

  117. Michael, I think God has dealt with you. Skip was restored and God relented, but God seems to have continued to bring hardship to you. I don’t know the whole story there, but I see the results.

  118. My guess is your heart wasn’t right.

  119. Michael says:

    Alex,

    So, you’re saying that I’m under the judgment of God?

  120. You must’ve been doing it for pride and personal attention instead of as a true agent of God’s hand working to bring about justice.

  121. Michael says:

    Suffering equals judgment?

  122. Michael, Skip prospered and you’ve had one hardship after another, after another.

    Only you and God know your true heart. I can only comment on what has happened to Skip and then to you over the years.

  123. Q says:

    Alex, I would like to believe you are using hyperbole, to get some kind of justice (which I wish you would get according to God’s will, you hard head), but you blaspheme the word of God.

    Where in the NT are we to test God’s promises?

  124. I know my heart is right. God continues to bless me much more than I deserve…and God continues to deal harshly with my unrepentant enemies.

  125. Michael says:

    Alex,

    You have now had your say and you’ve had all the say you’re going to have.
    Please return to your own site.

  126. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

  127. The only place I know of that the BiBle says God says to “test me” is in regards to tithing.

    Also, God gives us choices, He does not force us repent and His “avenge” will take place at the time of His Judgement Throne.

  128. Alex, Perhaps God is using Michael like He did David. David did a lot of work for God and it stressed Him out to.

  129. Michael says:

    You are mocking every saint of God who has suffered and even died without seeing the hand of God’s intervention.
    You are positing the cruelest of doctrines…that if God approved of you, then things would go well for you.
    The truth is that some of God’s best died in pain and suffering, but they also died in hope.
    That hope will be realized.
    God’s people have cried through the ages “why do the wicked prosper”
    The answer is that this life is a vapor and that our faith is proved through fire.
    My trials continue…but God also blesses in ways that speak of His presence.

  130. I guess Joel Osteen (or however you spell it) is much in Gods favor? He sure is prospering.

  131. Michael, you’re wrong and you’ll continue in hardship until you deal with your pride.

  132. Q says:

    Jesus told him because you have seen Me you believe, blessed is he who have not seen yet believed.

    Do you need to see Jesus and touch his wounds?

  133. Jesus overcame Thomas’s unbelief by telling him to poke the holes in his side, to test and see that Jesus is real…even though Thomas had seen so much. How much more you and me.

  134. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Please return to your own blog.
    I would not allow this to be told to any of my readers and I don’t have to take it either.

  135. The New Testament and Old Testament is full of narrative that instructs us to believe God’s promises and to hold fast to those promises…many of those promises are of justice, God’s vengeance, etc…many of those promises are that God will deal justly with those with sinful hearts.

    The bible demonstrates time and again God’s Divine Retribution, God’s active participation in dealing with those who say they are his emissaries who do wrong, those who are God’s enemies and those who are enemies of God’s chosen and anointed etc.

  136. Michael says:

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
    (1 Peter 1:3–9 ESV)

    “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
    (1 Peter 4:12–13 ESV)

  137. Michael, why do you persist in your pride? I have done nothing wrong.

    I will leave, but you are only bringing God’s judgment on yourself. Listen friend. Repent.

  138. Q says:

    Alex,

    I have not read the entire thread, you seems to have the understanding of a youngster, if you don’t understand that some righteous suffer and some prosper, some evil prosper and some suffer.

    God will make all things right.

    Is this hyperbole?

  139. Michael, you are not in a trial of many many years, like BG claims. At some point it’s not a trial, it’s something wrong that we can’t see. Reexamine your heart.

  140. Michael says:

    “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
    (Romans 8:31–37 ESV)

  141. 27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

  142. Q says:

    God does discipline those who he loves.

    Alex since you are doing so well can you share with me, I mean Michael?

  143. The bible in tons of verses promises that trials are temporary and that God will deliver you each time. God has delivered me many times, and prospered me.

    Some who claim to be in decade’s long trials are under judgment and punishment for holding onto sin as they don’t ever seem to be delivered from trials as God promises…but rather remain in constant crisis which is probably God’s punishment and non-repentance.

  144. Q says:

    I could use a M&P or a, I mean and a mini 14.

  145. Q says:

    Alex if trials were not decades, would they really be trials for the strong?

  146. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I’m done now.
    I take that table every week and every week I pray for the gift of repentance for anything that I am doing in word or deed that offends my Lord.
    He has miraculously sustained me and my loved ones through hell…and it is that loving kindness that I focus on instead of the trials that necessitate them.

  147. Proverbs 24:16
    for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

    The difference between a trial and judgment is a trial is temporary and God restores to more than before.

    Some claim “the devil is attacking me! It’s a trial b/c I’m so righteous!” when in fact they are hiding sin and lying and their trouble is God’s judgment promised in the Old and New Testament to those who claim him yet remain in sin…and it seems to be especially true with those who incur more judgment (as promised) who are pastors/elders/leaders.

  148. Michael, I told you what your problem is, pride. There is something wrong with your heart with the Skip stuff that you didn’t deal with. Deal with it.

  149. You can dismiss it, but that’s what God has put on my heart and compelled me to speak to you.

  150. Michael says:

    The apostles and prophets all suffered for most of their lives.
    I know many people who are saints of God that today are struggling with long term illnesses and unemployment, and a host of other things that seem to have no solution.
    Alex, you are not God and you do not know my heart.
    To tell a suffering person that they are in sin without any knowledge of it is purely abusive.
    You have said your piece, take your leave.

  151. No, I am not God, but I see the actions, I see the results and I read the bible that states that there is such a thing as God’s judgment on those who claim his name who harbor sin…and I read the verses that state that trials are temporary and God rescues folks from trials.

    I think some folks, as the bible establishes with Ananias and Saphira and in Corinthians with those who were sick, ill and even died from harboring sin while taking communion, etc. that there are certainly some, especially pastors, who fit that bill.

    Do you deny that is a truth in the bible?

  152. Michael, did you take on the Skip situation out of a pure heart? Do you do your blog for pure motives or is it a source of pride for you?

  153. London says:

    Michael you keep saying you’re done, but you keep responding.
    It’s ok to not have the last word

  154. Your response is to God, not to me, I’m not the one who metes out the judgment. You know what and why that word was spoken to you.

  155. Michael says:

    Alex,

    There are many truths in the Scripture.
    Sometimes, though rarely in history or experience, God intervenes in a disciplinary way that is evident to all.
    There is no substance to your assertion that the length of a trail or deliverance from a trial is an indicator of God’s favor or lack of it.
    I believe that God loves and welcomed every one of those Christian martyrs who we read were slaughtered by ISIS…all the while praying for deliverance.
    We live in a broken, fallen, world…and God sometimes delays His justice and righteousness to the end.
    This has been a very hard season for me.
    It got worse last week.
    The wondrous thing about it is that I’ve never known the closeness, grace, and love of God like I do tonight.
    The trials have proved my faith and more than that, the faithfulness of God.
    It’s been tough, but it’s been worth it.
    I am not answering you, but I’m answering for every suffering person who may read these pages and believe that God is angry with them when He’s not…who may be convinced that they are under judgment when they are not.

  156. brian says:

    Actually Paul me saying God exists or not and making it so is way above my pay grade. I am saying I doubt, God exists outside of my doubt. You give me far to much credit.

  157. Michael, that sounds much like what guys like BG, Driscoll, Heitzig and all the others claim when they have trouble.

  158. Everyone thinks their suffering is trials for being so righteous…and the suffering of their “enemy” is God’s righteous judgment.

  159. I’ve had trouble, and you know what, it was my fault as I was guilty of hiding sin. Guess what, when I confessed and repented, the trouble stopped and the blessing started.

    Make your own application.

  160. brian says:

    “Everyone thinks their suffering is trials for being so righteous” Nope actually I consider most everything I go through as God getting even with me for being human and sinning and being a vile creature. I have never thought God would even consider me as righteous, that would be far to obtuse

  161. Bob says:

    The complexities of suffering and why people suffer, or prosper for that matter, are beyond the simplistic views Alex is pushing. But I know this one thing; in it all those who rest in God are different in their issues of life. Whether suffering or prospering these people see, walk and hear something others don’t.

  162. Mark says:

    Michael- you should not have to endure this. No surprise that this is the longest thread in the last few weeks.

  163. Well, this is the difference between the theology of glory and the theology of the cross. The American evangelical church is fully encased in the theology of glory which properly defined is that you can tell how God feels about you by the conditions of your life. Summed up in the phrase “Because of our faithfulness, God has really blessed our church with tremendous growth.” or “Because we keep Christian values God has blessed my business or family etc.”

    The theology of the cross (totally ignored) sees God acting not in our life – but on the cross.

  164. Mark says:

    We are called to righteousness out of our desire to display our love to Christ. JN 14:15 Jesus said “If you love me obey my commands”. It has nothing whatsoever to do with blessings that follow or curses that wont follow. Our motivation for obedience is love, not reward. That is a major paradigm shift from the world or from other works based religious systems.

  165. Mark says:

    Also- God does not “get even” with anyone. God administers righteous judgement as the perfect and pure judge. God also administers pure mercy, as the perfect example of true love. We are unable to determine the logic of it- because we are not God. Anyone trying to decipher the Bible- or God- using the limited human brain will be perplexed. God lives outside time, outside dimension, outside logic, outside reason, outside space, outside matter, outside the frailties of our human condition. We see through rose colored glasses. in eternity- it will all make sense. now, not so much!