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63 Responses

  1. erunner says:

    Since the end is near what better way to go out than listening to some beautiful praise and worship! 🙂

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/praise-worship-january-5th-2013/

  2. Em says:

    erunner, amen and thank you

  3. Scott says:

    “my apologies for the lack of fresh content and the presence of the same stale disputes.”

    You can say that again 😉

    A person has to have an awfully thick skull to just keep banging their heads over and over again on the same concrete floor.

    I mean even Gus Frerotte had enough sense to know you only do this once! LOL

  4. random thinking this a.m.
    1 Thessalonians 4 was my scheduled reading this morning and i need to ponder on it some more in light of yesterday’s dialogs on The End is Near … Again

    i think i’ve concluded a couple things …
    * Paul at least, doesn’t want the Church conducting itself like brawling, undisciplined “Gentiles” 🙂
    * we who know the Truth are to “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your [our] own affairs”
    * does that leave any room for argument? the old phrase “disagree without being disagreeable?” dunno … One might ask if the “American way” of respect for all opinions is useful? Someone mentioned the European way of aggressively hashing ideas was a good thing – more honest, perhaps. But that observation overlooks one ingredient, i think and that is respect for authority. When someone comes on the scene that knows what he is talking about (has paid his dues and gained wisdom), everyone shuts up and listens. Americans, myself included, aren’t very good at that – especially, not good at recognizing who is worth shutting up and listening to. 🙂

    is it a national flaw or a sign of the times? 😎

  5. “my apologies for the lack of fresh content and the presence of the same stale disputes.”

    I agree, let’s have a fresh start and discuss issues that have not be hashed over by the Church in previous times.

    I can’t think of any – but I am open 🙂

  6. Em says:

    found on Wikepedia: “Emergence of Protestantism (1518-1550)
    Main article: Protestant Reformation
    Martin Luther opened the Protestant Reformation by demanding a disputation upon his 95 theses, 31 October 1517. Although presented as a call to an ordinary scholastic dispute, the oral debate never occurred.” until the PhxP 😆

    actually the Wikepedia entry for disputation is rather interesting … there were rules 😎

  7. Here is something new we can discuss – Hobby Lobby

    Is there such a thing as a “Christian” company that can opt out of government mandates that they think are morally against their faith? Can they opt out of the mandate to provide birth control to their employees through their insurance plans?

    Or, are the just Christians who run a business and the just need to suck it up? (my position)

  8. Em says:

    MLD, off the top of my head and FWIW – i’m pretty sure that what our Lord directed us to render to Caesar was what belonged to Caesar … so, on that basis, the hard answer would be … hey, wait … there’s a precedent here … the principle of conscientious objection? … i won’t serve the military as my faith says i can’t kill another human (not agreeing with that) – and who is it that won’t accept blood transfusions? J’Wit.s? can’t one then say that they can’t comply with a government law that contradicts their faith’s stand on abortions and birth control? hmmm … hope this doesn’t kill the dialoging on this … if i was really young, i’d be gung ho on this, but now i’m glad i’m getting out of the insanity

  9. Em says:

    another topic perhaps … anyone read this CNN item today? where is all this increase of blood lust coming from?

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/05/my-take-new-years-resolution-dont-get-murdered/?hpt=hp_c3

  10. Em, that is the individual Christian, who won’t go in the military or take a blood transfusion.

    But we are talking about a company, a business. Your point about the JWs brings up a good point. Could a JW owned company refuse to have blood transfusions not covered by their corporate health insurance program for their employees?

  11. hmmm, if the corporation cannot take a stand of faith, then … the individual employee in that corporation? must he get with the program or get out? go hungry? hmmm …but enough of my elderly comments … what do those in the trenches dealing with this have to say? …

  12. Do companies give up rights by being companies? There is a t-shirt company in Lexington, KY that would not print messages on shirts for the city Gay pride parade. Nothing like the Hobby Lobby thing right now, with the government forcing them to print t-shirts, but with the arc the LGBT issues are going right now, I can see where the government may intervene in the future. Would that change your mind on this issue?
    I lean towards less law naturally. I think the government sticks its nose into far to much of life both personal and business. I would have to say they need to resist it as far as they possibly can. But, I could possibly have my mind changed if I heard the right arguments.

  13. Sorry, looks like government is sticking it’s nose in to far on that KY thing.
    http://www.kentucky.com/2012/11/26/2421990/city-rules-hands-on-originals.html

  14. Lutheran says:

    Well…businesses exist in specific locales. Even cyberspace businesses. They are subject to the regulations of the municipality, county and state in which they reside.

    If this business doesn’t like the rules that apply from their municipality, as citizens they are free to try and change them, through their alderpersons or whoever represents them.

    No, a business doesn’t get a free pass just because they’re a business.

  15. j2theperson says:

    ***Is there such a thing as a “Christian” company that can opt out of government mandates that they think are morally against their faith? Can they opt out of the mandate to provide birth control to their employees through their insurance plans?***

    I think they do provide birth control coverage in the insurance plans they offer. What they’re objecting to is providing coverage for emergency contraceptives–i.e. the morning after pill and the week after pill.

    ***Or, are the just Christians who run a business and the just need to suck it up? (my position)***

    If the government told companies that they needed to finance euthanasia would you think they should just suck it up and do that too?

  16. What if they were forced to print t-shirts promoting the local strip joint and the local government said they must not discriminate? It isn’t at what level the government decides to do something. It is about does the constitution apply to a people, but not businesses. The constitution cannot be used to force an individual to violate his conscience, but can it be used to force a business owner to violate his? The 1st amendment can in no way be construed to be trumped by any local ordinance. All amendments except the 10th address individual rights that are “universally” recognized. The Tenth delegates the rest to the states and people.
    So the argument is, does the 1st Amendment cover people only or businesses? IMHO, it covers both and the founding fathers would have believed so also. The problem comes in the public perception of businesses being “public” like they are part of the government and must follow the same rules as a government entity. But I would say, a business is not a public entity, people are free to use a business or not use a business and the business is free to take business or not take business. Now as for what is wise for a business to do that makes business sense, that is entirely to them.

  17. Lutheran says:

    Well, the Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations are people. That means they have the same rights AND responsibilities as individuals. You can’t have one without the other.

    No, a business is not a public entity. But it exists in a specific ‘public’ location (there’s really no such thing as a 100% ‘private’ business), so it is subject to their rules. No different from an individual.

    If the business doesn’t like the local rules and regulations, he or she free to relocate elsewhere.

    I really don’t see what the First Amendment has to do with a local ruling like this. Seems to me pretty impractical every time a local business doesn’t like the local rules, to appeal to the Constitution. Otherwise, why have local ordinances and regulations?

  18. J2,
    The question isn’t about what individual Christians can stand for – the question is, is there such an entity, a a company that is Christian and pre empted? Does a company have religious beliefs?

    Again I will bring up the JW and blood transfusions. Can a company be JW and exclude blood transfusions from coverage? I can see where the individual JW can refuse the blood transfusion.

    Let’s try this – how about the Amish who are pacifists – company their company exclude paying corporate taxes for the percentage that goes to the defense department?

    Now in Hobby Lobby’s defense, for right now they seem to be willing to pay the penalty payment – perhaps that is the cost of business.

  19. PP Vet says:

    When and how to fight the advancing front of government imposition is a judgement call. I would probably not do what Hobby Lobby is doing if it were up to me, but at the same time they certainly have my support.

    When the social worker showed up at our home school in response to a complaint from a bitter ex-church member, I allowed my children to be interviewed privately. I took some heat for that from those that said I should not have rolled over on that point. Maybe they were right. But we got through it with a minimum of hassle and got on with our lives.

  20. Hmmm…the euthanasia is a good point. All this can do is escalate. So, Lutheran if a local ordinance says that you must go out and support the local gay pride parade then, regardless of the 1st Amendment (freedom of religion) you must go out and support it? Do you see what I am saying, rules and ordinances are fine, but if they violate your rights then they should be challenged. Thanks for the SCOTUS reference, I had forgotten about it. That completely decides it for me. Hobby Lobby should challenge it and shouldn’t feel in the least bit bad about doing so. If SCOTUS has decided that a corporation is treated with the same rights as a person, then letting this stand could lead to them deciding that individuals don’t have a say so on issues like this.

  21. I think there is a difference between what Derek is talking about and the Hobby Lobby. The T Shirt people should not be told what products they can and cannot produce. Discrimination laws would dictate more that they have to serve all people, but never that they must produce products for all people. That would be like me going to Boeing and telling them they need to make me a one seater jet plane to my design.

    What the government says is that they cannot discriminate against me from buying a product they offer to sell.

    The T Shirt company is probably getting caught in that they offer customized printing – which then opens the door, on what grounds will you not customize for these people. I am sure a wording change would solve that issue.

    Hobby Lobby is in the realm of labor laws

  22. Scott says:

    Ah yes, the slow boiling frog in the water analysis is coming into full fruition now in our society.

    Roll over Red Rovers and submit.

  23. True point there MLD. But, I think Hobby Lobby may be a slippery slope we don’t want to start down. If SCOTUS has ruled a corporation as a person under the law, and then somehow courts find that they have to do this. What does that portend for real people in the future?
    Also, on a personal note. People don’t need all this free stuff the government says they are entitled to. I mean please, all manner of birth control and abortifacients. In most places they can go to their local health department or Planned Parenthood if that is what they want. This is really all about making people think abortion is a right, brainwashing is what it used to be called or propaganda.

  24. Lutheran says:

    ‘rules and ordinances are fine, but if they violate your rights then they should be challenged.’

    That’s exactly what I said in my #14. I don’t see anyone saying you can’t, do you?

    And I agree that this Kentucky business shouldn’t be forced to print these shirts. They should work to change the local laws and/or move. These things can be and are resolved every day as long as people will talk to each other.

    BTW, all laws restrict our freedoms. I see most of these as in the realm of neighbor love. I obey the seat belt laws (even though at times I don’t feel like doing so) so that if I crash, my family isn’t deprived of a father. I obey the local no smoking ordinances in restaurants so others can enjoy their food without being bothered by cigarette smoke, and so others won’t develop lung cancer and the other crap that can come from breathing secondhand smoke (I speak from personal experience here).

  25. Derek, I am for limited government, but my question remains can a company be Christian – or instead do Christian people, with all of their individual rights protected enter a different realm and must play by certain rules?

  26. j2theperson says:

    ***Let’s try this – how about the Amish who are pacifists – company their company exclude paying corporate taxes for the percentage that goes to the defense department?***

    I suppose each individual Amish company owner would have to look at that situation and decide for themselves whether paying money to the defense department so conflicted with their religious beliefs that they were unwilling to do so. Then they would have to decide if the consequences of not paying their taxes outweighed not adhering to their religious convictions. They could look for various ways to continue to own a business and not contribute to the defense department and if they couldn’t find a way to do that then they would have to decide if they wanted to continue running a business and paying the defense department in spite of their moral problems, or if they wanted to shut their business down, or if they wanted to just not pay their taxes and hope they don’t get caught, or whatever. Basically, they’d have to decide for themselves how to respond to that sort of moral conundrum.

    ***The question isn’t about what individual Christians can stand for – the question is, is there such an entity, a a company that is Christian and pre empted? Does a company have religious beliefs?***

    The people who started and own and manage the company have religious beliefs, and in the case of the people who run Hobby Lobby those religious beliefs have played a huge role in how they choose to run their company. I worked there for a year, and it was a great place to work. The bosses were kind and polite and professional, my coworkers were fun to be around, the environment was positive. The pay was good for an entry-level retail job. We employees were not forced to work long and endless hours. Even at the height of the holiday season the hours the store was open were never extended. We had a big sale one day and we didn’t make as much money that year as the year before. The boss wasn’t angry, nobody was blamed. It wasn’t a big deal. Our manager just said that we’d try some different things the next year. Contrast that with how things are at Michael’s store. We always got Sunday off because they were closed that day–and, again, even at the height of the holiday season they didn’t open on Sundays. They did these things because of their religious beliefs–that people should be treated with dignity, that they should have time to spend with their family, and that work should not hinder them from being able to go to church. That sort of care and respect for their employees is very rare in the world of big box stores.

    The very morals that spur them on to run their stores in that manner and treat their employees so well is also what makes them unwilling to pay for the morning after pill. Frankly, that seems like a totally reasonable trade off to me. Work at Hobby Lobby and get paid decently, be treated well, and have benefits that lack coverage for emergency contraceptives but are otherwise pretty decent. Or, work at Walmart or Best Buy, be treated crappily, be paid badly, and get your hours cut so you they don’t have to pay you benefits, but if you are lucky enough to get benefits well, yippee, the morning after pill will be covered.

    Society expects companies to make moral decisions all the time. Large swaths of society are shocked that Google and Amazon and who knows how many other companies engage in legal ways to avoid paying taxes. Everyone is horrified that Apple products are produced with Chinese slave labor. Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch offer sell their products with soft core pornography and everyone is shocked.

    But now, there’s a company that actually makes moral decisions, treats their employees well, and acts pretty darn ethically, and they’re supposed to suck it up and not do the moral thing? Not make the moral decision? Just go along and finance what they view as murder?

    Plus, Hobby Lobby’s owners are simply exercising their rights under the law. They view what the government is asking them to do as unjust. So they are appealing that decision as far up as they need to go to get a final decision. The Apostle Paul had no problem doing that either.

    We’ll see what they do when they get that final decision. If it goes against them, I could totally see them simply closing their businesses down.

  27. This is my one and only comment on this open blog

    My name is Paul A. Lytton and my personal email address is paullytton@att.net If you are a teacher at the second grade level, or if you know of one that would be interested in a children’s book for group discussion in the classroom; or if you would like to share a moral based children’s book with your own child at the second grade level (to encourage them to develop a desire to learn) I am offering a children’s book for free.

    This book is a 140 page 8.5×11 paperback book with 67 of the pages being full page illustration (no text). I have self written and self illustrated these books and I had them professionally printed through Jostens Yearbook Company. I do not sell these books; it is a personal ministry (if I can call it that). If the book reaches only one child anywhere and can give them the confidence to do “good” regardless of how un-popular it is among their peers to do so, my mission will be accomplished. Or even if one child is encouraged to want to learn more after being guided by an adult reading this book to them, my mission will be accomplished. I will never know if or when this happens, or to whom but I have been convicted by a personal feeling that God wants me to do this for a reason. I know it may not seem possible but it has taken me a full decade (10 years) to get to this point.

    If you are interested, email me. I will send you back more information to know a little more about the book. If you are still interested after that, email me again and let me know you would like it. I will send it to you free of charge for the book; however I will probably send the book C.O.D. for the cost of shipping. I would also pay for the shipping, except that I have already spent several thousands of dollars for developing a manuscript, and the printing of the book itself. At this point my contributable funds for the cause are now diminished.

    Thank you in advance for helping an unknown Author reach and unknown child for the purpose of promoting positive moral character. All a child needs is to have one simple situation in their early stage of life to have enough meaning to them that shapes the direction of the person they will become. I know because I was that child at one time.

    Again, this is my one and only comment here. If you have anything to say to me, email me at paullytton@att.net

    God bless you,
    Paul

  28. We always like to give the break to the christian (although unbaptized) company. Let’s try this. Could a Muslim Company refuse to hire women, or if they did hire women, require them wear a berka -on religious grounds?

  29. I believe that the business itself has to follow certain rules, as most people would agree. The realm is dictated though by what the government, at that point in time says it is and can be modified by Congress or SCOTUS.
    A company can feel compelled to follow certain standards according to the owners intents. So, if the organization is owned by a Christian, then he can run that business as his conscience dictates.This would in my opinion make the organization distinctly Christian, just like was manifestly the case with Chick-Fil-A. Are you saying that a business must operate against the owner’s conscience if the law at the time says it must? Law is not always right, hence slavery.
    If his conscience says that providing his employees with abortifacients is wrong and he would, in his mind, be supporting the death of a child then I say in this instance he is justified in his seeking to follow all means to ensure that he does not violate his conscience. Hobby Lobby has done this by seeking court rulings on the validity of the law and, as you say, paying fines at the same time. Why must the business be put in this situation though? I am sure most of the things objected to by Hobby Lobby can be acquired at little or no cost in the world. To me the whole argument actually comes down to is the government willing to force a business to provide these things when the government could since it seems to find it to be okay and reaches into rich peoples pockets for everything else.

  30. I have a comment in moderation, is there a problem with me adding my email address?

  31. But, Hobby Lobby is not saying that it will refuse to hire LGBT or make women cover their heads while prophesying. Instead of saying what it will make employees “do”; it is saying they will not provide them with drugs to kill babies.
    If Hobby Lobby were to refuse to hire people on the basis of some race, gender or sexual orientation, then I would say Hobby Lobby was in the wrong like everyone else would. But this is a much more serious thing, abortion.

  32. Paul,
    Did you have links to scriptures? It goes into moderation if you have more than 2 links.

  33. ” then I would say Hobby Lobby was in the wrong like everyone else would.”

    But what if they objected on religious grounds and said the gov violated the 1 Amendment?

  34. There is a similarity in employers forcing employees to do something explicitly religious and the government forcing employers to do something against their conscience. That similarity is that both are wrong.

  35. MLD,

    No scripture links but I did include my email address twice. Is that not allowed or will it just take some time to clear? Thank you for your response.

  36. See, but the thing is that Christian businesses don’t do that though. they are far more reasonable in real life and not in “what if” situations. In the recent Chick-Fil-A kerfluffle, the owners went out of their way to show that they don’t discriminate based on things like sexual orientation in hiring practices. Christians bend over backwards to comply with the government, because we are told to. There comes a point though, when “We must obey God, rather than man” That may end up with Hobby Lobby out of business, because I am talking about the way I think things ought to be based on my understanding of the Constitution and law in general. Itseems that theory and reality don’t always look the same though.

  37. Well I don’t want to be looked at on the side of the government intervention, because I am not.

    30 years ago I opposed my company’s participation in United Way because of the abortion issue. I was the operations manage for 2 counties for a large regional restaurant chain. The Chairman and the President were the Co Chairs for United Way in Orange county.

    Each year UW has big drives to get everyone to sign up for payroll contributions – I went around and convince all of my management people to decline and cancel – at least 70 people. I was called into the President’s office and was ready to be fired… but he was gracious and asked me what was going on – so I told him that UW gives money to Planned Parenthood and other abortion venues.

    Oh I forgot to say, the Chairman and President were big Catholics and were literally the voices for anti abortion in the OC in the 70s and 80s (that may give it away to some local oldtimers here).

    They assured me that not a dime of OC United Way money goes to abortions, but I told them it didn’t matter because the money just goes into a pot and shifts around. I told them I wouldn’t back down.

    So, I guess Hobby Lobby can do what they want and face the consequences – I did and was ready to be fired with 3 kids under 10. (I don’t have that kid of fire today. 😉

  38. When Michael or another moderator see it, they will release it – or you can just go back and copy and paste and change the email to Paul at yahoo dot com

  39. This is my one and only comment on this open blog

    My name is Paul A. Lytton and my personal email address is paullytton at att dot net. If you are a teacher at the second grade level, or if you know of one that would be interested in a children’s book for group discussion in the classroom; or if you would like to share a moral based children’s book with your own child at the second grade level (to encourage them to develop a desire to learn) I am offering a children’s book for free.

    This book is a 140 page 8.5×11 paperback book with 67 of the pages being full page illustration (no text). I have self written and self illustrated these books and I had them professionally printed through Jostens Yearbook Company. I do not sell these books; it is a personal ministry (if I can call it that). If the book reaches only one child anywhere and can give them the confidence to do “good” regardless of how un-popular it is among their peers to do so, my mission will be accomplished. Or even if one child is encouraged to want to learn more after being guided by an adult reading this book to them, my mission will be accomplished. I will never know if or when this happens, or to whom but I have been convicted by a personal feeling that God wants me to do this for a reason. I know it may not seem possible but it has taken me a full decade (10 years) to get to this point.

    If you are interested, email me. I will send you back more information to know a little more about the book. If you are still interested after that, email me again and let me know you would like it. I will send it to you free of charge for the book; however I will probably send the book C.O.D. for the cost of shipping. I would also pay for the shipping, except that I have already spent several thousands of dollars for developing a manuscript, and the printing of the book itself. At this point my contributable funds for the cause are now diminished.

    Thank you in advance for helping an unknown Author reach and unknown child for the purpose of promoting positive moral character. All a child needs is to have one simple situation in their early stage of life to have enough meaning to them that shapes the direction of the person they will become. I know because I was that child at one time.

    Again, this is my one and only comment here. If you have anything to say to me, email me at paullytton at att dot net

    God bless you,
    Paul

  40. I feel for Hobby Lobby. I may be wrong, but I think they will lose this, go out of business and then what will happen to all those employees? I get all my art supplies from Hobby Lobby, besides Michael’s it is the only place in Rapid City to get art supplies and the prices are higher at Michael’s with less selection. As you can see my government inspires little confidence in me anymore.

  41. Sorry, Paul. I seem to be at a point in life where I don’t interact with children right now and no grandkids yet either. You ought to look into self publishing on Amazon to increase the amount you can distribute though.

  42. Lutheran says:

    ‘As you can see my government inspires little confidence in me anymore.’

    When did it?

  43. brian says:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-summary-page.html?topic=200260520

    There are a bunch of links if you google self publish childrens book or self publish homeschooling or various combinations I did not post all the links so it would not get moderated.

  44. Not for a while and never fully, but it is at a low point right now.

  45. Lutheran says:

    Derek,

    Because…

  46. Just because…I don’t care to elaborate further right now, because politics makes me depressed and I have had my fill of talking it for the evening. Have a good night.

  47. Derek and Brian,

    I apologize if I was not clear. The books are already self-published and printed out. I have them in my possession but do not intend to place them on a shelf to sell them such as through Amazon or anywhere else. It is not imperative for me to get rid of them; I just offer them where I feel God leads me to offer them. Of course I have no direct contact with God and I am sometimes wrong where I think He is sending me to offer them. Alex, you have seen an early manuscript before I printed through Jostens. If you would like a printed book for your children or know of anyone that would, just email me personally. That goes to MLD or anyone else.

    God bless you all.
    Paul

  48. brian says:

    Well Paul you are a class act but actually you can search online and then pray where God will lead you. I know a few teachers, one place I could think of is Bethel church I am not a member but have attended, hid in the back and served when I could. They have a local k-9 grade school and they are really a wonderful group of people. They may be interested.

  49. brian says:

    “Of course I have no direct contact with God” Actually Paul from my watching you here online yes you do, you may not hear Him directly, but you reflect Him, offered for what it is worth.

  50. Brian,

    Give the people at the Bethel Church my email address and have them contact me to get more information about the book.

  51. brian says:

    ok I will email it to them. Hope it helps

  52. brian says:

    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/5-arrested-in-abuse-of-disabled-adults-in-San-Jose-3686656.php

    an aside in my experience this was, no offense small potatoes in the extreme at least the kid did not get beaten into having a developmental disability. When I got past my first rape/ abuse case it never became easier, a personal, spiritual, and moral failing on my part. Trust me it is, so we move on. The abuse stories were horrid but because they reminded me / us of just wretched pieces of human filth we all are they had a value. Granted I count that complete lunacy but that is another post. Trust me people think like this, they look for stories of our depravity and if it guts a few dozen lives small price to pay, a very very small price. From the cheap seats, any Deity that cannot keep His own is not worthy of worship, and if these people are not His own, then He should even be more rejected. It really is quite simple, the least of these are His, and if He cant keep them, the what good is He. None from my prospective. Granted I could be wrong, I hope I am. Offered for what little it is worth.

  53. Alex says:

    brian, I don’t know why God allows all this evil and evil men to do the things they do. Even “Pastors” in good standing are given so much license and protection by the Church who is supposed to be God’s representative to us, no? I don’t see God in any of this. I see the devil, if that is in fact Truth. Here’s something I posted recently on FB after spending a lot of time with my own Son who I love so much:

    “I simply don’t understand how an adult parent can “love” yet abuse. It’s so unnatural and evil. I just don’t get it. I don’t know how Bob Grenier stands at the [Calvary Chapel] pulpit every Sunday….saying he is God’s emissary…and pulls that off while lying and having hurt us so much. It begs a seared conscience and/or serious underlying psychological issue.

    I’d rather be tortured and killed than hurt my kids or see them hurt. The Cycle of Abuse hit a brick wall in my home.”

  54. brian, ” if He cant keep them, the what good is He” from your perspective, you are correct – from my perspective (view, not fact), we sell our importance and our accountability short AND we’re losing track of the other player in this scenario … i don’t know *why* God created the human race with the capability to ignore His instructions in favor of those from a snake nor do i have enough blind faith in science to agree that we’re just a miracle of a serendipitous soup that may not end well … but i do believe that what we’re going through, for however many thousands of years now makes us very important players (not victims) in the grand scheme of things and justifies the promise that evil will have a terrible end, corralled in something called “hell” … but as to the why of it all? i can only guess – i think, in attempt to be humble, we underestimate how important we are …
    are you wrong to hate evil and hurt for the defenseless? of course not – those feelings and conclusions are pleasing to God … IMO … i pray that through those tears, you come to see Him as the refiner and as a just God, who is storing up His wrath until grace has fully done its redemptive work – this i believe

    just sayin – cuz i can 🙂

  55. J.U. says:

    I haven’t posted on PhxP for a long time. I’ve been pretty busy with work, school, and life. I do follow along when I have some free time. I read the recent debate between MLD and Alex, two men I sincerely love. They both have been kind to me when I posted, along with others.

    The discussion of whether their “debate” was appropriate or not led me to think about what is appropriate behavior of a Christian. Much of that answer must come from an individual’s understanding of God’s word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know many on this blog speak negatively about evangelicals. I understand many of the reasons. Much of the behavior reported here has not been my experience, but I may have been very lucky regarding the churches I’ve attended including the current, Evangelical church. Evangelism is the great commission and the Lord’s work, but evangelism is an external perspective. I believe the internal perspective is compassion.

    I was won to Christ by the compassion of a dear lady who demonstrated the Love of Christ in her daily life. I saw that and wanted some for myself. I asked her to explain Christ’s love to me, not the other way around. Now “that’s the ticket.”

    I’m not big on the “dots and tildes,” if that is the correct term. I understand the concept, just not sure about the name of it. Anyway, I’m not worried about all the subtleties that get discussed here. I come more for the community than the commentary.

    When Christ was asked which commandment was the greatest, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39.

    Based on Jesus’ words, as Christians, our number one commandment is to LOVE. Love our Lord and love one another. When Jesus was asked “And who is my neighbor?” – Luke 10:29 , He gave an answer that is sometimes lost in our modern culture. Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan as an explanation.

    We often use the term “Good Samaritan” in modern speech and there is even a club called the “Good Sam” club that provides roadside assistance and discounts on RV camping. But to the Hebrews of Jesus’ time, the Samaritans were the worst persons imaginable. They were the bad neighbors. The neighbor with loud music and motorcycle gangs out front and people who never mow their lawn and dump their trash over the fence into your back yard.

    With the parable, Jesus really was saying to not just love your neighbors, but love your enemies; love the least among us; love the despicable and outcast.

    That is the Love Jesus spoke of. Those that chose to walk in his footsteps need to keep this in mind. So, what instruction did Jesus give for walking in His footsteps. The Apostle John, in his description of Jesus said he was God and Man and that He was full of Grace and Truth – John 1:14. That is our model from Christ. Grace and Truth.

    Many modern churches have leaned too far to the side of Grace. In trying to fit in with a modern society that has rejected the Lord, these churches lean toward Grace. There may be more than one way to the Lord. Jesus may not be the only path. Maybe there is no hell, and all will be saved by the Lord’s words. We’ve got to get along with modern society if we want to save these people.

    Other modern churches go the other direction. They are so full of “Truth” that it is their way or the highway. They become very judgmental and self righteous, won’t associate at all with the world.

    Jesus didn’t model either behavior. In my bible study I’ve always noted Jesus did not mince words. He didn’t tell people what they wanted to hear. He told the truth. On the other hand, he was not aloof. He ministered to those that needed ministering: tax collectors, prostitutes, he showed grace to all.

    This can be boiled down into a “distinctive.” Grace is a community of conviction and compassion. We Christians are brothers and sisters. We need to lift each other up and sharpen our faith like iron sharpens iron. We need to be convinced of the truth and not just wave in the wind of the most recent fads. But that conviction must be tempered by compassion. How would you address a child of your own that had strayed. Would it be a gentle, loving correction or would you wallop the tar out of the unbeliever.

    Just some random thoughts on a day that I actually have time to think randomly. Sorry for it being so long. I haven’t written in a while, and I had a lot saved up. ☺

  56. J.U.,

    Thank you for sharing. I particularly appreciate, and like, your manner of expressing a deep feeling that can be perfectly understood by both the educationally intelligent and the common sense intelligent. You seem to rest on the absolute truth to not need to be proven to the doubters because it is what it is regardless of how it is interpreted.

    This is the first time I have read one of your writings and look forward to reading more.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  57. J.U. says:

    Thank you Paul.

  58. Steve Wright says:

    Hi Em – Not sure if you saw the news at our old school today.

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=8945019

  59. Em says:

    Steve, thanks – it was kind of fun to see the arial shot – it looks exactly the same, except for the portables in back and the row of eucalyptus trees that ran along Geneva are gone – i”m guessing that the reporter was at the east side entrance? glad it was a hoax

  60. Scott says:

    Hmmmm….Bill Clinton named “Father of the Year”(?)

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/2013/01/bill-clinton-named-father-of-the-year-153760.html

    What’s next? Husband of the Year?

  61. Alex says:

    I thought he’d get the Nobel Peace Prize, like 0bama. Seems you don’t have to do anything for that one, other than be a popular democrat.

  62. Em says:

    maybe the question is, just who is driving?

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