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39 Responses

  1. Scott says:

    I’ve been pondering what is going on in our society. The political & racial divide is so pronounced, it almost seems hopeless to attain (in a human way) any sort of common ground or mutual understanding that concludes in unity/reconciliation/justice.

    The killing of the policemen in Dallas is almost unbearable…

    The killing of any innocent human being is tragic.

    I keep hearing that what is required is justice. What does that mean? How does it look in a practical way in society?

    What if someone else’ interpretation of justice looks like tyranny and retribution to me?

    How do you reconcile that?

    When a white person tries to converse with a black person who believes they are being targeted in a discriminate way and that this is a widespread and systemic problem, how do I respond as a white man to that?

    I don’t live with a fear of being discriminated against or being harmed by the cops because of my color.

    I’m told, “you’re white and you will never be able to understand how I feel as a black person!”

    That’s sort of like someone who says, “God told me.” It ends the conversation right there.

    I don’t have a good feeling about where we are headed in this nation. It could be that some very dark and dangerous days lie ahead.

    My desire is to live in peace. A place where my children and grandchildren can live fruitful and content lives. However, I must admit, those aspirations are dissipating somewhat in light of what is happening in our nation.

    End of rant…

  2. EricL says:

    I fear the paranoia that breeds after these kinds of tragedies. I remember when the Rodney King riots hit LA. I was working at a small-town Kmart store about 80 miles east of there, but the store’s phones rang non-stop. The two big questions we got?

    1) Is it true that your store was burnt down? (Yeah, we’re standing in the ashes right now and answering the phone that miraculously survived)

    2) You got bullets? (We did, but we ended up pulling them off-sale because so many crazies were coming in and demanding that we sell them ammo, since it was their constitutional right to buy bullets from Kmart.)

    The non-stop coverage by the media doesn’t help, especially when it borders on hysteria or conspiracy theories. Praying for peace in our land.

  3. Dallas says:

    Probably the least specifically Christian thing I have posted, but it does remind me of the tone around here when things started breaking on GFA… among other things.

    https://dswoager.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/complicated-fanaticism/

  4. Michael says:

    I think part of the problem is shown in last weeks Weekend Word.
    We don’t place the value on reconciliation that God does.
    I’m as guilty as anyone…

  5. Em ... again says:

    i am tired today – like many folks

    when i was growing up any teenage boy driving a car could expect to be pulled over by the police (So. Calif. 1950s)… it didn’t help the reputation of the police with the teenagers very much, but what it did was make those kids very careful about how they drove…
    logic today would say, if you’re pulled over by the police, keep your hands on the steering wheel and be responsive and polite…

    should the police be scared? yes – many more officers are being shot making traffic stops than the news reports on today… should the black men be scared? yes… being pulled over by an officer who is thinking you may shoot him ought to scare one…
    there is more to the story than the videos show on the two latest police shootings that started this – but it ultimately boils down to nervous police and a hostile element in the civilian population… it can’t end well
    from the President on down, bureaucrats and politicians in positions of influence have not helped one bit – big useless mouths – pray for those in authority, indeed

  6. Michael – it is so true and we skip right over it.
    I just emailed you the studies in Matt 7 – and if I remember right I have in the Thou shall not judge part the reason we are not to judge is that God and the civil courts will do the judging – God wants us to be forgivers and reconcilers.

    good point.

  7. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I may just repost last weeks study…it’s too important to pass by.

  8. Lutheran says:

    Good article on “where are the theologians” in today’s discussions.

    Author is pres. of Princeton Theological Seminary and of course, Presbyterian.

    http://christiancentury.org/article/2016-06/missing-theologians

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    @ 1 Scott

    In 1972 I was in the habit of shooting pool in the inner city with the men I worked with. As one of the only whites on a crew of black men workers and as the youngest I got a taste of being a minority. I also got a taste of their world.

    They always welcomed me into their public places. At lunch we would go to Farris St (inner city Jackson) to eat and shoot pool. I was a bit scared at first but the men with me were my protectors. They allowed no mistreatment.

    After being converted I talked one of the younger men into going to my pool hall. So we went in and I set up the table and we began to shoot. I was oblivious to what was happening around me. At every adjacent table they quit shooing standing back in an increasing circle.

    After winning the table I called for the rack. The manager would come, rack the balls and collect the 2 bits for the next game. “That’ll be 6 bits,” he said. I then realized that he was raising the prices on the spot to intimidate us. By now my friend was terrified as everyone had stopped shooting but no one put down their cue. I defiantly shot my game while my friend trembled. “Rack!” I called. “That’ll be a dollar,” he answered holding his own cue.

    I began my angry protest but they leaned in and leered. By now I began to see that their threat was real. “Let’s go,” he pleaded. “Yes, Let’s go find an officer.” I answered. We went out and I began looking for a policeman to hail. My friend was now battling his tears and I realized that I had failed miserably.

    In hindsight, I know it was contextually a small thing compared the real stuff experienced in the wake of the 60s. For one day I knew what it felt like to be black in America.

    It did and does make a difference. Rant on but, listen while you rant. We have to get this better.

  10. Em ... again says:

    BD’s words are true…
    i have always thought that the focus on slavery as the big evil didn’t begin to compare to what happened after the Civil War…
    we’ve come a long way in the last 30+ years – and it really is time for white and black to stand together to hold onto what we’ve got – we all are being manipulated by the dark side of human nature now – time to tell everyone who is yelling to shut up, turn the TV cameras to the reasonable and righteous among us all… before it’s too late to save what we’ve got – how do we do that?

  11. Paul A. Lytton says:

    With this being “Open Blogging” I would like to make a statement which probably will not mean much to others here.

    My concern is my observance in the appearance of the growth of right becoming wrong and wrong becoming right.

    In the past, I looked at the movement as making a 180 degree turning point regarding morals, changing from one to the other – and that saddened me. I personally am not fond of change. In my 66 years of living on this Earth I have observed that most changes are typically for the worse rather than for the good. Don’t get me wrong here. There are many things that have changed for the better, it is just that in the overall picture it appears to be more of a negative than a positive. Either that or I am a pessimist, I don’t know.

    While wondering if I am just a pessimist I tried to look at things from a different angle. What if what I am seeing and understanding is not what is actually happening? Perhaps I am too focused on only my portion of things as a whole. Just like when it rains in my town I think it is a rainy day, but in the world as a whole it is not a rainy day. If I apply the thinking about how rainy it is in the universe, then this day is hardly a raining day at all.

    Getting back to the 180 degree change of what is right becoming what is wrong I must consider that my observance is isolated to my own perspective. Since I believe in God, I believe that all was good in its creation. Therefore the 180 change was made regarding mankind at the time of Adam and Eve.

    Obviously an earlier 180 change was made when Satan became opposed to God instead of what he was originally created to be, even before the creation of man.

    This made me consider that there has not been several 180 degree changes of right and wrong, but several different places it has developed in. Perhaps the change I am observing is my own change of seeing the mistaken mankind right and wrong being reversed through my own view of doubting mankind’s decision of what that is. Hopefully this is my 180 degree change, of viewing the deception mankind has made about what right and wrong is. Seeing clearly the change Jesus that made in me.

    Bottom line is that there has been a 180 degree change of what we view as what right and wrong is, but there will be one more 180 degree change turning back to God. The day of God’s Judgment will be a full 360 and there will not be any more right and wrong – only righteousness will exist.

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    Paul,

    That is true, we call evil, good and we call good, evil

  13. Michael says:

    I thought I grew up in an utterly idyllic small town. Then I grew up and realized that all the myriad evils of the world were happening on a small scale there as well. Then I became a history buff and learned how deep our depravity can be.
    There is nothing new under the sun…except our ability to hear more and speak to more.
    I’m bone tired of hearing how bad things are and how bad they shall be.
    I’m exceedingly glad to be alive…right here, right now.

  14. London says:

    We are the only ones that can make things better. We can’t give up.

  15. Michael says:

    London,
    Exactly .
    My personal misery index is at 10 right now…but I still believe it can get better .
    I would not want to be in this spot in any other time or place…we have so much to build with and on.
    We have problems and the world is full of sin…but such has always been.

  16. London says:

    I was talking with a friend yesterday who said she felt like she couldn’t breathe for all that’s going wrong in the world.
    I reminder her she could turn off the tv, stop reading every article on FB and just connect with “real” people.
    We have this odd belief that we have to stay “informed”. But in this digital age, it just gets overwhelming to do that. There’s too much info and our brains and souls shut down.
    We have to figure out what feeds our souls and then take action in it. One small thing. Anything to keep The Nothingness (see the never ending story if you don’t get the reference) from over taking us.
    We as Christians, in my opinion, have to shake off the morass and help those next to us shake off theirs. We are the ER staff. We have to kick it off into high gear. And no, I don’t know exactly what that looks like. I think it’s different for each of us. But I do know that allowing yourself to sink further into the muck by focusing on how big and scary the evil out there is, isn’t something we have the luxury of doing.
    Do something.

  17. Michael says:

    Well said, London!

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    London (16), I agree…well put. One (of many) reasons that I am not on Facebook or Twitter is all the “news” and “opinion” out there.

  19. Paul A. Lytton says:

    London and Michael,

    I respectfully disagree to an extent. Yes we can not give up, but we are not of the capability to “make things better”.

    Do not give up advising and guiding the lost, but we can not change them or what they do/build/construct. Christianity is becoming less and less powerful and becoming more and more of a minority. (Way to many opposing denominations and sections of religion for them all to be right). The majority of those claiming to be Christian today do not even follow Jesus Himself who also told the founding fathers of Christianity that they “will” be hated and persecuted. He never said that they will make the wrong become right, but to not be deceived themselves and hold tight to His righteousness for their own good. I personally believe that not being deceived includes not looking at things happening like being a frog in a pot of water boiling slowly.

  20. Em ... again says:

    London’s words are good ones, too
    one thing we can do is affirm each other… i have noticed that the ones who can’t do anything but holler slogans don’t much like reasonable people, no matter the skin color… perhaps, they fear that the cause will be lost …?… do they think they are the squeaky wheel of the proverb? … they are closer to broken axles IMHO … black or white or grey (that’s us near-death folk :smile) … it is embarrassing that we have so many churches that we can throw a rock and the odds are good that we’ll hit one; yet we cannot be the force that moves this problem to a good conclusion?
    occasionally someone here reminds us that all politics are local… i don’t much care about the politics – is that short for polite tics? …

  21. London says:

    Paul,
    I wasn’t suggesting we try to change anyone else. I’m suggesting we change ourselves.
    We have to do what it takes for ourselves to be non-violent, not full of rage or fear, at peace with others as much as possible etc.
    we ought to be the ones making things easier for others, not trying to change others.
    Of course we as the church have less influence right now. Because we are too busy trying to tell everyone what they are doing wrong (of course I include myself in this) instead of setting the example of what grace and hope looks like.
    You know who is doing it well though? The black Christians who are reaching out to police officers and praying for there safety. Reaching out and choosing peace.
    That’s the church.

  22. Paul A. Lytton says:

    London,

    I apologize. I misunderstood.

  23. London says:

    Also Paul, I’m in no way suggesting putting on rose colored glasses and pretending things are great. They are not.

    Things are bad. The world is bleeding both literally and figuratively. I can not sit in the background and whine about how much power and influence the church is loosing. We are losing it through our inaction and our self focus.

  24. Em ... again says:

    Paul reminds us that we, as Christians, will be hated and persecuted… but shouldn’t we do that on our feet? standing our ground? no excuses? just do it! Be, if not an obnoxious Christian, just be a Christian – no matter what… wisdom, we need more wisdom on how to be harmless and yet stand… like bowling pins? dunno – maybe – dunno

  25. London says:

    No worries Paul.

  26. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Em #24,

    Amen.

  27. Judy says:

    I was riding in my car yesterday with my husband, listening to a couple of my favorite songs, and I came to the realization that it is incredibly hard these days to leave this world behind and just relax and enjoy something. There were days when I could listen to music and just escape into the sounds and rhythms but lately it seems that there is always something pressing into my thoughts and emotions, making it harder to truly just let go and relax.

    For me, that’s not a good sign.

  28. Ruth says:

    I wish Bruce Ware would have the backbone to say, I was wrong, thank you for correcting me. But, I’ve lived a lot of decades and know this is really about power and money.

  29. Michael says:

    “Yes we can not give up, but we are not of the capability to “make things better”.”

    Nonsense.

    We are ambassadors of the kingdom of God…agents of reconciliation.

    There is no greater need today and no group as empowered to address it.

    Perhaps when we stop participating in the division, we will make a difference.

    “Christianity is becoming less and less powerful and becoming more and more of a minority”

    According to the Scriptures, God always works through a remnant.

    95% of the “persecution” I’ve faced in life was from the church and what I brought on myself by being an ass.

    The persecution meme is wearisome to me…nobody’s been fed to a lion in a long time.

    We can make a difference…one person at a time…

  30. Michael says:

    Ruth,

    I’m surprised and saddened that he hasn’t as well.
    Good man, great scholar…too much pride.

  31. Michael says:

    Judy,

    Do what I do.
    I drive up to the river where there is no cell phone and no internet…and I sit until I’m ok…

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    What was Bruce Ware wrong about?

  33. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Trinitarian error…I’ll get a link.

  34. Ruth says:

    MLD,
    In a nutshell, pride. Wanting so badly to be in authority over women, he is willing to change the Trinity to do it.

  35. Owen says:

    Michael, I’m with you – I do the same thing. Except mine is the ocean. I sit and watch the waves come in, watch the seagulls, until my mind and heart settle down again.

    And whenever my wife and I get to caught up in doing and surviving, we go sit by the ocean. There’s a playground nearby where our kids play, and we sit.

    I find a large body of water very restorative.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Ruth,
    As this is news to me, why no mention of Grudem who seemed to have the lead in the article Michael posted?
    Has his view of women, through this doctrine as presented (at least presented in the article) manifest itself in any form of abuse toward women?
    If he is married then he should know that there is no having authority over women 🙂

  37. Michael says:

    Owen,

    One of my greatest blessings is that I live in Oregon…and peace is just a few minutes that way…

  38. https://takingtheepistle.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/3629/

    just a smaple of the blogging I do over at TTE (shameless plug I know – sorry Michael)

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