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47 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.” (Lev. 19:11)

    Yes, it’s still in there.

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Enigmatic… Anyone in mind? 😊

  3. Jean says:

    “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8)

    As a Christian, you not only cannot support or condone lying, but if you find your your neighbor who professes to be a Christian engaging in stealing, dealing falsely or lying, whether in their personal life or while occupying a God ordained office, you are under the law of Christ to call your neighbor to repentance.

  4. Em says:

    A mite out of context Jean… This is a passage from the description of the new heaven and earth
    Today we are tasked with warning and converting, not reforming the planet
    Perhaps your extrapolation has merit, but….

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Still wondering who you might have in mind…😊 I’m racking my brain, but just can’t come up with a face…

  6. Jean says:

    Does the immutable God change his law or is He a postmodern God who goes with whatever feels right at the time?

  7. Jean says:

    Who said anything about reforming the planet? What Christians trust in is God’s to words of Law and Gospel, which do not pass away.

    Christians trust that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

    Christians trust that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

    Lying, stealing, dealing falsely, committing adultery, ignoring murder, covering up any of the forgoing, condoning any of the forgoing, ignoring any of the forgoing, is not God’s plan for your life.

  8. Michael says:

    The kidney stones must have passed to my brain because I have no idea what the hell is being said here…

  9. Jean says:

    Let’s have a debate. Christ suffered and was crucified for the sins of the world. Did Christ suffer for what people today call good or reasonable?

    There’s no doubt that sin is attractive, that it produces fruit which is appealing, and that in the short term it appears to prevail over justice. How short sighted have Christians become that they will settle for their rewards here?

  10. Michael says:

    Jean,

    i have no clue what you’re getting at…and it’s starting to annoy me really bad.
    State what you’re saying without all the cryptic hinting.

  11. Jean says:

    I’m sorry, Michael, I was venting over the national disgrace that we, as a Nation, and as a Church, are entangled in. I just wonder if Abraham, were he alive today, would he go to bat for America the way he did for Sodom.

  12. Michael says:

    “I just wonder if Abraham, were he alive today, would he go to bat for America the way he did for Sodom.”

    Of course he would.
    He wasn’t petitioning for Sodom,but for some of those in her.

  13. Em says:

    Yes, Jean, you do need to elaborate as your first declaration just hangs in the air, condemning every mortal – you need to note that the confessed, repentant liar, idolator, coward (for most of us this is situational), sexually immoral, murderer, sorcerer etc. will not be burdened with these downfalls eternally
    BTW, anybody know what “detestable” is describing here?

  14. Jean says:

    I agree, Em, but note you have added “confessed, repentant” to the list of evils. Is that what is happening in the church and political cultures in America today? Or is it cover ups, more lies, self-justification, sophistry, etc. by our church and political leaders and their supporters?

    Michael, if this is unwholesome, I will immediately desist. Just let me know.

  15. Michael says:

    Jean,
    I still don’t know what you are referring to.
    When I pointed out the heart of God concerning nations you told me I was in gross error.
    Not that I paid much attention to your dissent…

    The church and the country are divided on what is righteous and what is just.

    Christianity has been reduced to a fire insurance certificate that doesn’t necessarily change behaviors, attitudes, or life styles.
    We box things into separate kingdoms so we can do as we please in at least one of them
    I’ll be writing more about this next week.

    For today, I just changed my wall paper to a picture of a seven year old girl who died in Border Patrol custody…and hell sounds too good to me for those who created the circumstances of her demise.

  16. ( |o )====::: says:

    So, the meta-narrative I get from stories from The Torah and Jesus’ 4 Gospels is that there are ALWAYS good folk, and that they outnumber the evil folk, that the good folk are faithful to God and His vision for calling a people, and they practice mercy and kindness to “the other”, and by doing so they declare the character of God, as a loving Father.

    So, applied to “America today”, there are always going to be stories of “bad news” because those get “likes” in social media and viewers on political shows, but living in the non-device-real-world, given a mere few moments of neighborliness and kindness toward each in our path, we receive back hundredfold of smiles, laughter, compassion, appreciation of our of help.

    It is up to each of us, the “priests” of The Kingdom of Jesus to bear glad tidings to each in our path, to each in our view.

    Make eye contact.
    Thank and tip your barista.
    Tell the retail worker how much you appreciate their help.

    BE LOVE TO OTHERS.

  17. Michael says:

    Gman,

    Yesterday I took T through a coffee drive up…I wasn’t getting anything because paying that much for coffee is silly.
    T ordered and then he decided to get me something despite my grouchy self.
    We then found out that the people up ahead had already paid for it…and that simple act had a remarkable, positive, influence on the day.
    Little stuff matters…

  18. Jean says:

    Michael,

    “When I pointed out the heart of God concerning nations you told me I was in gross error.” No I didn’t, and never would.

    “Not that I paid much attention to your dissent…” You sound like my wife, and you are both missing out.

    It has been festering in me all week, but after reading from the sidelines a couple posts on FB by our own Kevin and Dread, it seems that many Christians cannot even bring themselves to the point of calling a lie sin.

    What has been festering in me all week, is that even though I was never a Trump supporter, I could never figure out why during the campaign and even afterwards, Trump was so deferential to Russia and Putin. Here in Iowa we’ve been brought up to see Russia and Putin as very bad actors and adversaries. They don’t abide by a rule of law, assassinate opponents, political or press, and invade other countries. So I was in a state of cognitive dissonance over Trump’s praise of Putin.

    Then this week we learned that during the campaign Trump was negotiating in Russia to build a hotel. Upon learning this, I felt for our country and even individually, as if my President has literally stabbed us and me in the back. It was the grossed treason (IMO) that I’ve ever heard of in the history of Western Civilization.

    With regard to his advisers, they are great and honest men one day, and then the next day they are weak and liars.

    So, I’m in a bad pace right now. I can’t even depend on the body of Christ, in the words of Luther when describing a theologian of the cross, to “call a thing what it is.”

  19. Michael says:

    “They don’t abide by a rule of law, assassinate opponents, political or press, and invade other countries. ”

    So have we…

    Having said that and knowing that you understand that I view Trump slightly less favorably than the stones that just ripped through me…you must know that historically the Body of Christ has been deeply divided on politics and social issues.

    Unfortunately, we must wait for history to judge us…and it will.
    All I can do is follow Christ without a flag and teach my own to do the same.

    I do believe that the backlash soon (a few years) will result in real persecution for the remnant…

  20. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael and Gman…that’s called the “Drive-Thru-Difference” here in the South (maybe elsewhere too). I always didn’t look kindly upon my pastors and Christian radio hosts who tried to boil down my faith-in-action to just “being nice”.

    Until someone recently paid for my McDonalds breakfast.

    I do believe that “faith in action” can indeed be as simple as smiling at a stranger or being courteous while waiting forever in traffic or in line at the grocery store.

  21. Jean says:

    “You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder”. – Jonathan Edwards

    Giving equivalency to his actions is the scissors that severes the thread holding me up. Woe is me!

  22. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I completely concur…it was down right weird how much that coffee lifted my spirit…

  23. Michael says:

    Jonathan Edwards…who owned other humans and defended the practice of doing so…

  24. JoelG says:

    Well said Dan. I’ve been in a bad mood for over a month now and it’s those little things in the everyday mundane slog that give hope.

  25. Em says:

    Couple or three items…
    Trump Tower Moscow negotiations ended January 2016 (lots of US hotel chains are in Moscow now i understand…
    That dear little girl became sick on the bus and medics were waiting when the bus arrived and immediately airlifted her to a major hospital where she died of brain swelling and liver failure… the question is, how long had she been ill? The trek is a life risk on both sides of the border
    And, as to Jean at 4:19 reading my post to say confession and repentance were added to the lust of evils? Well i do differentiate between sin and evil, so if one thinks a glib declaration to the effect that, yes, i sin i confess and i repent will give you a get out of hell free ticket, then, yes, that would be evil. However, the confession should impact one’s life from that point forward… Few of us can get thru a day without asking God for mercy and forgiveness… We should improve as our years pile on. AND we should care …

    God takes no pleasure in the death of a wicked, unrepentant
    soul… but we know that…. 😔

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Thank you for speaking a bit more plainly. The best response to this wickedness, in my opinion is to state our faith and to live out our faith, hour by hour and day be day. There are no “ultimate solutions” until our Lord returns…

  27. Jean says:

    Duane,

    I get what your saying, and that is what my first comment above was: God hates those who steal, deal falsely and lie to one another. There is an ultimate solution, however, and it is repentance with faith in Jesus. It is not:

    “But he’s my liar” or
    “But you lie too or worse” or
    “Everybody lies” or
    “But he gets a lot of good things done by lying” or
    “It takes a liar to run a country where you have to deal with a lot of other liars and bad guys.”

    If you think that Christianity is compatible with such ethics, then you divide the Godhead and make Jesus a liar.

    Those are not solutions at all. They condemn the person harboring such unrepentant sin, and they leave the thief, the false dealer, the liar in his own sin.

    So, we have a word from God on the Christian’s conduct of his and her various offices in life. Here I am speaking of conduct before men, not before God. Salt, light, good works, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us; but not stealing, not dealing falsely, not lying, and not bearing false witness.

    This isn’t that complicated. Parents used to teach this stuff in the home.

  28. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “I do believe that the backlash soon (a few years) will result in real persecution for the remnant…”

    I hesitate to disagree with you, but I think the backlash may result not in persecution, but in the Church (with special emphasis on evangelicals) being simply ignored. We may find ourselves in company with the Flat Earth Society, the National Enquirer (“I gave birth to an alien…”), climate change deniers and/or Druids who gather at Stonehenge for the summer solstice. Instead of “having a seat at the table” we will be pushed to the margins where we will complain about secular society… complaints that no one will take seriously, that is, if they hear the complaints at all.

  29. Em says:

    Every once in a while someone posts a reminder here that, like our Lord, we are to be concerned with the Father’s business and to do that requires the Holy Spirit, Himself… So?
    Jean is correct that we need to know those character traits that God hates, train our children and learn to stand.
    This is a good weekend ponder… right now i don’t recall that Jesus spent time preaching to the government…. ? ….

  30. Michael says:

    Em,

    The government crucified Him…because “Jesus is Lord” means the emperor isn’t…it’s a radically political statement.
    The Book of Revelation is as well…

  31. Em says:

    Yes, the government showed its true colors… can we conclude that human government is controlled by the evil one? To what extent?
    Those of us who find a thousand year kingship of Jesus yet ahead for this mortal earth read Revelation 20:7&8 to say that even the experience of a perfect King won’t reform the power lust of man… (Strange that man will swallow the antichrist’s lies more than once by this interpretation..) Former is just a comment on the millennial interpretation, not intended to start a rapture debate – yikes ! 🙅

  32. Em says:

    Change of subject (and how! ! ! )
    It seems a pastor John Grey of the Relentless church in Greenville S.C. bought his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini. 🙀
    I wanna be a pastor’s wife … well … not realky, but…

  33. Jean says:

    Em,

    “This is a good weekend ponder… right now i don’t recall that Jesus spent time preaching to the government…. ? ….”

    If you were reading any of my comments, the consistent gist of all of them has to do not with preaching to the government, but about what Christians value in themselves and in their leaders. To the extent I mention Trump, I ask his Christian supporters, do you condone, excuse, support, etc. stealing, dealing falsely and lying? Is that how you raise your children? If you are his pastor or “spiritual adviser,” do you warn him that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of heaven?

    Trump has now been in office long enough that he has given 2-4 conflicting answers on any number of ethical and/or legal issues, so that it’s no longer a question of whether or not he is a serial liar.

    Just, look, for example, at the hush money payments to his porn stars, and his involvement in Russia.

    Look at how people who unconditionally support him were smart, honest, and good, until they reached the limit of their lying and said, “enough,” and them suddenly those same people are idiots, weak, dishonest and bad. Who in their right mind would risk their good reputation by going to work for that man? What is he capable of asking someone to do or say? What is he capable of doing or saying if you refuse?

  34. Michael says:

    Christians are not of one mind on anything, including Christ.
    American folk religion has always valued pragmatism over virtue…and still does.

  35. Jean says:

    Something to ponder during Advent:

    “There are many of you in this congregation who think to yourselves: ‘If only I had been there! How quick I would have been to help the Baby! I would have washed his linen. How happy I would have been to go with the shepherds to see the Lord lying in the manger!’ Yes, you would! You say that because you know how great Christ is, but if you had been there at that time you would have done no better than the people of Bethlehem. Childish and silly thoughts are these! Why don’t you do it now? You have Christ in your neighbor. You ought to serve him, for what you do to your neighbor in need you do to the Lord Christ himself.” – Martin Luther, Sermon for the Nativity.

  36. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael,

    “American folk religion has always valued pragmatism over virtue…and still does.”

    Once we could look across the American religious landscape and identify “folk religion”. Now we are all in that category, whether we admit it or not. Most of the American public does not differentiate between fundamentalism, evangelicals like Franklin Graham, RC child abuse, mega-church malfeasance, Osteen excesses and all the rest… we are all put into the same category. It’s not just, but its the way that those who are on the outside view us. It may be because we all have bowed down to that same god of pragmatism to a lesser or greater degree…

  37. Em says:

    One thing we need to come to terms with, perhaps, is that navigating in this world even with the support of the Church isn’t easy… pragmatism = compromise and we are all vulnerable even if we don’t run off with church funds to vacation and gamble in Vegas as the two nuns recently in the news or justify a $200,000 car because it was money i earned as a Christian writer, not in my job as pastor
    Jean, as a Lutheran and an evangelical fundy we will misunderstand and talk past one another, thus i don’t take offense when you think i am responding and doing so with no understanding
    Sometimes it might be true …. sometimes …. 😏

  38. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    apropos the Roys article in WORLD this week, it seemed like there was an opportunity to do a lengthy overview of JM’s connection to MH governance …

    https://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2018/12/julie-roys-article-at-world-mentions.html

  39. Jim says:

    Jean,

    Why do you expect politicians to act in a moral manner, particularly at the highest level of govt? As a Christian, I don’t consider them my leaders in any way, nor do I expect anything from them other than sociopathy.

    As citizens of a nation, we are indeed ruled by them, but our yoke as US citizens is lighter than it could be. In fact, it’s always lighter than it will be, so enjoy the day.

  40. Em says:

    If i may presume
    The late Adrian Roger, in the sermon broadcast this morning asked a classic, old time, evangelical, fundy question, ” Does Jesus Christ have preeminence in your life? ”
    It occurred to me that i may have been so focused on cross dragging that the pure joy of knowing what we know of The Story of the universe, how it began – how it ends, has escaped my focus recently
    I was reminded of where my strength comes from – the joy of the Lord…. So maybe the question is, what is the joy of the Lord? Been there? Done that?

  41. Em says:

    Jim @ 9:12 mentioned sociopathy and reminded me that not too long ago someone was making the case – a good one – that modern social and business formats promote sociopaths or, maybe better stated, requires sociopaths in leadership…. dunno 🙆

  42. Jean says:

    Jim,

    “Why do you expect politicians to act in a moral manner, particularly at the highest level of govt?” My comments have not been directed at a politician, but at Christians, who have a moral blind spot when it comes to their politician of choice. On the other hand, (i) I would expect of anyone claiming the office of government, to serve in that office according to the oath he has taken, and (ii) I would expect of anyone claiming to be a Christian that they endeavor to govern honestly.

    “As a Christian, I don’t consider them my leaders in any way, nor do I expect anything from them other than sociopathy.” I don’t know how you can say “I don’t consider them my leaders” if you adhere to Romans Chapter Thirteen and First Peter Chapter Two. As far as I know, there is no orthodox interpretation of those two chapters which does not affirm the leadership of government rulers over Christians in secular matters within a country.

  43. Jim says:

    Jean, the point is that believers should have no politician of choice. Was Nero Paul’s politician of choice when he wrote the letter to the romans?

    I have no idea what to do with rms 13, as it makes no sense to me. I sincerely doubt it’s inspirational authority as written in modern translations.

  44. j2theperson says:

    Isn’t the prayer and praise thread usually posted on Saturdays? I’m not seeing anything posted 12/15. Is something up?

  45. Michael says:

    My mistake.
    I thought it had been published.

  46. Matt says:

    “You always said people don’t do what they believe in
    They just do what’s most convenient, then they repent”–Bob Dylan

  47. Anne says:

    Matt- Your post brought up an old memory. Once when a proposal was suggested that I was pretty sure the pastor wouldn’t agree to, I was advised by a co- worker at a parachurch ministry to get with the program and understand that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than get permission.

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