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53 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I found this interesting as I was thumbing through CFW Walther’s The Proper Distinction Between Law & Gospel – his 2nd lecture.
    “What is the effect of the preaching of the Law? It is threefold. In the first place, the Law tells us what to do, but does not enable us to comply with its commands; it rather causes us to become more unwilling to keep the Law. True, some treat the Law as if it were a rule in arithmetic. However, let the Law once force its way into a person’s heart, and that heart will strain with all its force against God. The person will become furious at God for asking such impossible things of him. Yea, he will curse God in his heart. He would slay God if he could. He would thrust God from His throne if that were possible. The effect of preaching the Law, then, is to increase the lust for sinning. In the second place, the Law uncovers to man his sins, but offers him no help to get out of them and thus hurls man into despair. In the third place, the Law does indeed produce contrition. It conjures up the terrors of hell, of death, of the wrath of God. But it has not a drop of comfort to offer the sinner. If no additional teaching, besides the Law, is applied to man, he must despair, die, and perish in his sins. Ever since the Fall the Law can produce no other effects in man. Let us ponder this well.”

  2. JimmieT says:

    How absolutely true- thanks for the reminder!

  3. Jean says:

    Mother: Hello son, I just got home with the milk you need. I wanted to bring you whole milk, but the only milk a available was 2%.

    Thirsty child: Thank you Mother, I am famished and any milk will keep me going at this point!

    Father: Take the milk back my wife. My son deserves better than 2%. It is better for him to starve than sufffer the indignity of having to drink 2% milk. It’s not his fault he’s thirsty. He can hold out for whole milk or die waiting.

    What should the child’s mother do?

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The child’s mother should get the milk that the kid wants and needs. Let the Pakastani kids drink the 2% milk.

  5. Em says:

    The child’s mother should tell the father, “In a pigs eye, I’ll take it back! I’m not starving my son to death! ! !”
    We start on milk 2%? Okay, then we grow to someday handling “strong meat”
    Otherwise? ? ?

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, Jean was making a political statement about the Covid relief bill and Trump – not a biblical statement.
    I on the other hand do not think that the American people should be satisfied with the crumbs be offered.

  7. Em says:

    Same difference, MLD. 🙏
    But point taken as our generosity overseas IS at the expense of us… on that i agree.. However 2% milk is just fine… IMO

  8. Mike E. says:

    I thought I’d come see if I’ve been missing anything over here. The usual suspects I see. MLD with a treatise about the sin stimulating power of the law; Jean with a parable about milk and starving babies; and Em with her homespun wisdom and displaying the motherly instinct. Not bad peeps 😎👍🤣

  9. Em says:

    AND. Mike E. with the insight of practical experiences… 😇

  10. Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:18

  11. The New Victor says:

    I don’t need it, but $600 is an insult of a crumb. The fallout from this may be worse than 2008, as commercial evictions of small businesses are starting… there seems to be no will or plan to fix anything, from anybody.

  12. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Mike, the parable about milk lost me because in my family we have never drunk milk as a beverage and I have no idea why anyone would buy milk to drink as a beverage rather than use in some cooking project. Also have long-time friends who are lactose intolerant so thanks for pointing out that parable intent of the dialogue because the premise of the dialogue baffled me. I kept thinking “Who really drinks milk as a beverage?”

    in geopolitical terms there probably “is” an explanation for why the proposed plan is to send a bunch of aid and aid-that’s-really-leverage so much abroad to make sure our access points within a globalist market are sustained. I try to resist thinking in terms of the latest iteration of Babylon the Great acting like the New Jerusalem.

    Had the best Christmas I have had in years, despite 2020 seeming like it was scripted by Dario Argento and directed by Takashi Miike. 🙂 This has felt like a year to re-read Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed.

  13. Jean says:

    Mother: My husband, would you consider the following alternatives:

    1) Let our child drink the 2% milk and prevent his misery. Then send me back to the store in search of whole milk; I will gladly go and do my best to find it;

    2) Divorce me, so that I, taking custody of our child, might give him the 2% milk on my own to save his life; or

    3) Remain silent and let our child perish.

    What should the child’s father do?

  14. Em says:

    Not should but would and that depends on the father…..
    God the father? Or……….?

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Since the mother in this story is Nancy “Jezebel” Pelosi, the father should divorce her, and go out and get the proper provisions for the child (who is representing the battered American people – battered by the mother and her social club.)
    The father, who is Trump in this story is fully capable of finding whole milk which is in plentiful supply but on the shipping docks to foreign lands.by stopping it’s export.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Now back to reality, anyone who has read my Facebook page the past year or two know that I am for bringing all of our troops home from foreign lands, cutting our defense budget by 1/3rd and telling the rest of the world to put on their big boy / girl pants on and defend themselves.
    The $250 million annual savings would go a long way to provide for our nation.

  17. Michael says:

    He just signed the bill.
    Guess he wasn’t that interested in fixing anything…

  18. Jean says:

    A cliffhanger made for television.

    Do we have a preview of the next episode?

  19. Mike E. says:

    Jean, as a matter of fact, I’m very concerned about a preview of the next episode we saw in an Oval Office meeting between Mike Flynn and the president. Flynn calling on Trump to institute martial law in battleground states and re-run the election in those states. Nothing he does would surprise me.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It sounds like he signed it with line item veto and Congress will vote on the whole milk portion tomorrow.
    But it doesn’t matter, just like the one earlier in the year, big Pharma and the evangelical mega churches will steal it all.

  21. Jean says:

    Mike,
    I understand. Trump has put the durability of our Constitution through a stress test, and so far it is holding. The founders were wiser than I think most give them credit for.

    The ironic thing is that Americans have been brought up to fear the left, whereas the greatest attack on our Constitution and democratic republic in the history of America is being perpetrated by the right. I do believe we’ll get through this. Hang in there brother!

  22. Pondering says:

    I have long been a lurker on this site but have never commented. However, I must say that I find it very sad that this site has become so polarizing and political. I used to read such spiritual wisdom here that almost always lifted me up and always made me think. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Why do our political leanings matter on a site that is supposed to be “a community of faith”?

  23. Michael says:

    Pondering,

    The reality is that for the predominant tradition represented here, there is no separation between faith and politics.
    I believe this is heretical, but there is little I can do to stop it.

  24. As to politics and polemics, I find it often boils down to personality types. When it comes to online interaction, some people are just more wired toward challenging the perspectives of others while defending their own positions. When they go online they feel the need to fix people who are “wrong.” Many years ago there was a meme going around that had a wife calling out to her husband to shut down the computer and come to bed. His reply, “Not now Dear, someone is wrong on the internet!” I got caught up in the around 2005, but quickly decided such interactions weren’t that helpful or edifying. I wanna know what unifies us, and rally around those things.

  25. Dan from Georgia says:

    Pondering, Michael, and Pineapple Head…

    I understand and agree. Unfortunately for me I find it incredibly hard to bring up anything, and I mean ANYTHING, here because I know someone is going to argue or shoot me down. Sickening.

    And for those who engage in this, you know who you are. I hope you are happy in being the smartest cooking in the jar, as well all just look meekly on in awe of your arrogance.

    Thanks a lot.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Pondering – as you can see there is no longer any room on this blog for theological discussion.
    I purposely started Open Blogging with what I thought was a profound theological comment.

    As usual here in 2020 it goes nowhere – reverts right back to politics. But this is where we are.

  27. Jean says:

    When people, persuaded by faith leaders, make their political beliefs a matter of religious faith, then those beliefs become a legitimate topic for critique by a community of faith (IMO). This is because the political beliefs have become an article of religion for its adherents.

    In 2020, what has come out is that many Christians appended to their faith either their own visions or the visions of others that the election was stolen. People are claiming direct revelations from God regarding the election. When definitive claims are made that the election was stolen, but without credible evidence (except personal revelation), then adherents to those claims are holding that position as a matter of faith. God told them; or He told someone else whom they trust. This trust is stronger than the judiciary, governors, election officials, recounts and audits, in several swing states. That is religion folks!

    Christian leaders have cast the election controversy as spiritual warfare. They are praying to God to overturn the election, to stop the steal, etc. This is faith-related controversy. The American citizens on the other side of the election, whether Christian or not, are either on the side of Satan or are under his spell. True believers must pray against their fellow citizens, who are deluded or in league with the devil.

    IMO, the heart and soul of Christianity is at stake for Christianity in America. This controversy is almost on par with the controversies that led to the ecumenical councils of early Christendom. If you’ve ever read The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, you could see the plot of the election controversy like something straight out of that book.

    I don’t think one can overstate the damage to Christianity in America that the conspiracy theories about the election, perpetrated or spread in religious overtones, has had.

    I think Christians should know what they believe, who is the authority for their beliefs, who are they listening to and fellowshipping with, and what will they say if asked by someone whether the election controversy has anything at all to do with Christianity.

    One would think that Jesus is so weak that He will fall from His throne at the right hand of the Father, if the election is stolen from the current president. Faith in the Lord of Hosts has gone down as faith in temporal lords has increased. Who ultimately benefits?

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, the only one on this blog, the only one, talking continually about conspiracy theories is you. You continually make accusations about things not a single sole here supports or makes claims to hold.
    You are in serious sin – you need to grab your mask, sanitize your hands and go to confession.

  29. CM says:

    Trump doing his line item notes in the margin of the pages means jack. There is no line item veto. Now that he signed the bill, it is law. Period. But it is more rat for his brain damaged followers and another opportunity to grift. Maybe Trump thinks he is 2nd president of the Confederacy given his zeal in defending the names of those military bases. The CSA president did have a line item veto.

  30. CM says:

    Rat = red meat

  31. Hi Pondering.
    Don’t be discouraged at the back and forth of the threads. It’s reflecting what is going on around us. I think it really is the new spirit of the age.

    But despite that, I think the commenters have far move in common then differences. We are members of the Body, a stronger bond, then repelling forces we have aquired from this world.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Today the Church commemorates the Feast of the Innocents.
    A pretty big event.
    I don’t remember the count but at one time in the past I did a study for a class on all the biblical accounts of Satan trying to destroy the messianic line. This was one of them.

  33. Em says:

    The one political hook that Believers must always keep in mind is that most governing of nations is done by power hungry, lost souls serving the gods of THIS world.
    IMV 😁 Trump shows an understanding of the value of real, practicing Christians to this nation. . . What i do not understand is why so many skew that respect around to the state of the man’s soul… Pray for him, if that is your concern

  34. JimmieT says:

    Thanks Em

  35. Michael says:

    We have different perceptions.
    I believe the only thing Trump likes about Christians is that they support him.

  36. josh hamrick says:

    “Trump shows an understanding of the value of real, practicing Christians to this nation. . .”

    uhhh….

    What?!?

  37. Jean says:

    Josh,

    Aren’t you one of the real, practicing ones? 🙂

    What would that look like?

  38. I must be strange. I totally agree with Michael’s 11:26, and I also understand how Em holds such a perspective.

  39. Jean says:

    I would like to make a comment on the direct payment checks, which are in the relief package. That was $600.00. Today the House passed an increase to $2,000.00, as requested by the President. It is uncertain whether the Senate will allow a vote on the $2,000.00. It would certainly pass the Senate by a majority vote, because it is heavily favored by the Democrats.

    The optics of direct payments are bad to many, because it is not something we are used to seeing and may come across at first blush as a disincentive to work.

    I, however, would urge people to see those payments differently.

    Our economy lacks certain safety net features found in other Western nations, which are essential to humanely get through a pandemic. We don’t have universal paid sick leave, We don’t have unemployment insurance at a humane level. We don’t have universal health insurance. We don’t have humane renter protections.

    Under our system, millions of people are on the brink of complete ruin because of the pandemic, and our institutions and normal laws are not set up to protect them. Thus, these direct payments are an attempt to put a band aid on a looming catastrophe for millions of Americans, who are victims of the pandemic and of the leadership who ignored it. Hopefully these payments can be a bridge to a return to work, but that will require a post pandemic environment in which jobs in hospitality, travel, retail, entertainment, etc., can come back.

    I don’t think direct payments are an ideal remedy, because you can’t sort out the people in need from those who are not in need. Ideally, people not in need who get the money would immediately give it to charity. But, many people are greedy. So, I would prefer a modern set of laws which would protect people who are in need in the event of a pandemic. But, I would rather see one person who doesn’t need the money get it, if it means that 4 people who actually need it get it.

  40. JimmieT says:

    Michael/Em/Pineapple Head
    YES-YES-YES As God’s children we are apt to have/hold different perspectives/perceptions yet having been given the responsibility to be good Bereans .

  41. JimmieT says:

    I acknowledge that I don’t agree with about 80% of what is contributed on this blog but that doesn’t keep me from having a heart of love and respect towards each one.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The funny thing is that the USA funds the things that allow the Western World to have more lavish safety nets.
    As I suggest, we need to bring our troops home and cut our defense budget by 1/3rd (annual savings of $250 billion. We should probably cut our foreign aid by a similar portion.
    Once those countries start paying their own freight they will see what it’s like.
    Germany loves having our troops there – it fuels their economy as our soldiers spend their paycheck on German goods, pay sales tax and fees to German localities.
    Spend the savings building the American safety net.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I love it when people feign issues in giving marginal people back their own money.
    This kind of talk only comes from people who have not had their jobs, paychecks and lives turned upside down.
    My wife and I have a combined family income south of $50k – I don’t need the money and last time gave 25% to charity – but I am taking it – it’s the tax cuts I fought for over the years and lost.

  44. Em says:

    MLD, don’t know if it’s God’s provision or not, but i am amazed at how little it takes to live a good life in retirement, IF you’ve lived prudently through your working years….
    So tired of the racial victimhood mantra today… I know many responsible, successful “people of color.” People, who since Dr. King’s wakeup call have taken advantage of their advantages…
    Responsible and otherwise folk come all colors.
    The tenets of our Christian faith and an unbiased education works wonders…. IMHO .😇

  45. josh hamrick says:

    “So tired of the racial victimhood mantra today… ”

    Yeah, we’ve unfortunately seen that in your political opinions for the past couple of years. This isn’t the kind of thing you want to run around shouting at the internet.

  46. Em says:

    Well, Josh, i see what i see. 🙆. …. But thanks for the warning… However, i do know i’m singing a minority song today

  47. josh hamrick says:

    Just consider others.

  48. Em says:

    Josh, i recall a time in our neighborhood when my oldest daughter’s friend’s dad couldn’t get waited on at the local gas station because they were a black family….
    Consideration cannot overlook opportunists today….
    IMO, of course.. . It’s the “content of our character” thing
    AND i repeat character is not color dependent

  49. josh hamrick says:

    It is your opinion, and it’s a bad one.

  50. Em says:

    Well, Josh, looks like we both may think a bit too highly of our conclusions then
    Time will tell. Sadly, time WILL tell
    God keep

  51. Jean says:

    I wonder what the content of the character of Andre Hill counted for.

  52. Xenia says:

    Here’s something:

    My daughter is a lawyer in LA who works for a firm that defends parents in families that are involved with Child Protection Services. She is an advocate for parents who want to do whatever it takes to get their children back, or not taken away in the first place. There is one giant courthouse that handles this type of case for all of LA County, and back when my daughter went to court there everyday (she now works from home due to COVID) she couldn’t help but notice that almost all the people sitting in the vast waiting room were people of color. Some might say that it’s because people of color are more likely to be involved with drugs or domestic abuse but this court serves all of LA County, including the Hollywood Hills, Belair, Beverly Hills, etc. You can’t tell me that these rich white people don’t abuse drugs and each other. Yet they never end up at this courthouse and they don’t have their newborn babies taken away from them.

    Doesn’t seem right.

  53. JimmieT says:

    It’s not!!

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