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159 Responses

  1. Em says:

    Never thought I’d say this, but…
    I HATE SNOW! ! !
    God, i apologize, but i must confess….
    God keep and, Father, son and Holy Spirit, keep us praying, praying for strength, for wisdom and discernment and for Your grace

  2. Em says:

    Oh dear, jjust stumbled across this poem:
    “Thank You, Creator God
    For the gift of winter, for cold frosty air,
    Shimmering icicles, frozen lakes and rivers,
    and most of all for snowflakes, ever so beautiful,
    so special, so one of a kind.
    Let them remind me that
    I. am like that in Your eyes
    ….. one of a kind….. ”
    (and so are we all, i think…. sigh)

  3. Michael says:

    I don’t like winter either…we haven’t had snow, but I hate the cold…

  4. Em says:

    Michael, the Entiat River is frozen on the surface! ! !
    That’s a river, not a stream
    Stay safe – God keep you and yours

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    -50F outside of Ely, MN this morning.

    You’re welcome.

  6. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    snow is no fun for me in places like the Willamette Valley but it stinks even more up here in the hills of Seattle. Gonna stay home and watch DVDs of the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series, which was helmed by Greg Weismann of Gargoyles fame (for animation fans, anyway). Series has the ONLY version of Venom I can even stand.

    Finally have some sprawling posts that quote extensively from Augustine’s De Musica, for anyone who wants to read about ancient treatises on music.

    As if 2021 didn’t start off badly in the realm of jazz with the death of Eugene Wright we lost Chick Corea this last week. I didn’t know Corea was a Scientologist but Ethan Iverson mentioned it recently.

    Main Currents of Marxism is a blast and often pretty funny. Finished Ellul’s Jesus & Marx recently and Mark Bubeck’s The Adversary … which was … kinda weird. A far better book overviewing spiritual warfare is Robert Ewusie Moses’ Practices of Power which revisits the idea of principalities and powers in Pauline literature. Positive spiritual disciplines cultivating life in Christ (Moses’ take) makes more sense of Pauline literature than the Mark Bubeck or other 1970s anti-occult tract writing of that era. The John Walton and co. book on demons and spirits in biblical demonology was, alas, a condescending tedious bad faith waste of time. Better to read Loren Stuckenbruck, Archie Wright, Graham Twelftree, Esther Acolatse, Robert Ewusie Moses and others. John Walton, as Jim West put it years ago, seems more desperate to rescue biblical texts from ideas he doesn’t like than to exegete the actual texts. 🙁

  7. bob1 says:

    Hatchet,

    Any tips on how to acquire books like you mentioned without spending a ton of money on each? Or maybe that’s just not possible.

    Thanks.

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Senate vote further weakens Free Speech in this country. Under no circumstances could Congress make a law forbidding that speech or forbidding the President to speak challenges to the vote. Brandenburg v Ohio 1969 is the silver bullet. Was it immoral? That’s another matter and debatable. I have joined the chorus of those saying yes. Consistency demanded it. Obama was as guilty at Ferguson and Baltimore as Trump was at DC. The object of the attack in DC naturally fomented the wrath. The hypocrisy of the Democrat party over left win violence is unassuaged by the moment. They absolutely gave it sanction and cover and still do. We are experiencing a left wing revolution.

    The only question is whether it will continue to progress with minimal resistance or foment to horrific things. We are unalterably headed toward diminishing the first amendment. We are going to choose equity over civil liberty. We are increasingly inclined to suppress conservative speech, press, religion and assembly. We are headed toward progressive thought hegemony and repression of all dissent.

    Trump cost the Senate to the Democrats and gave another impulse of freedom for the left to seize more power and control. He was a disaster to those who supported him the most. But being a bad politician is not the same as being a criminal. FREE SPEECH is not a pretty thing.

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    *left wing violence

  10. Em says:

    Hatchet, you reminded me of our first home Seattle…. My husband drove an IH Scout for commute. He stopped at the top of the hill, saw another car at the base and started down. He slid into the car at the base and while they talked another fellow, paused at the top of the hill, saw the two cars at the base, thinking it was safe, he proceeded to slide down the hill into the Scout. Fortunately back then, 1966, all 3 men were reasonable and insured.
    Wish we could turn back the clock….. sometimes

  11. Michael says:

    It is a pale revolution indeed that cannot even impeach a defeated President.

    The reality is that 3 broadcast news networks, most of “Christian media” and hundreds of radio stations broadcasting opinion are decidedly right wing.

    Most of the time they are lamenting the loss of free speech and claiming censorship without noting the irony that they do so without restriction 24/7.

    Studies ( and my own page) show Facebook decidedly to the right.

    The Supreme Court leans hard right now and I expect the mid term elections to bolster the Republicans that Trump anoints.

    What is the problem again?

  12. Em says:

    Pastor Dread @ 1:49
    AMEN! ! !
    hope my comment doesn’t jinx those cogent observations.. sigh…

  13. Michael says:

    The difference between the riots of the summer and the D.C. insurrection was that only one was an attempt at a coup.
    That should be what scares us.

    Are both parties basically lying swine with contempt for the governed?
    Absolutely.
    However, if you break some things they will stay broken…

  14. Michael says:

    The biggest problem we have right now is that both sides use the media to overstate harm and demonize the other.
    It’s a scorched earth policy fueled by lies and religion.
    Eventually both sides will get the war they want and we will all lose.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    The so-called “Left” couldn’t organize a drunken party in a brewery. The Right violated the Capitol with an armed mob. Just sayin’…

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    Additionally, as a believer in Christ, if morality is less important than political rights, I’ve somehow misread the Gospels.

  17. Michael says:

    There are issues that concern me.
    There will be a move toward more non traditional expressions of sexuality.
    I think that is culturally dangerous, but then I have to explain Ravi Zacharias and Bob Coy.

    People seem to think that being offended is now worthy of criminal stature and I think that’s the province of wimps.

    The single biggest issue is that of boutique media that caters to what someone wants to believe.

    Facts…are irrelevant.

  18. Michael says:

    Wenatchee’s book budget is substantially larger than mine…

  19. Duane Arnold says:

    Wenatchee the Hatchet

    A good book from an old friend and colleague, Carol Harrison (now Lady Margaret Prof. at Oxford) on de Musica…
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1501326260

  20. Nathan Priddis says:

    Dang! 60 bucks on Amazon for Robert Ewusie Moses.

  21. Michael says:

    I did some maintenance on the sites back end…should be quicker to respond now.
    Or, I broke it…

  22. Em says:

    I don’t see the attempt at a coup…
    What am i missing and who was behind it?
    I kind of like the reaction of the scared political exaggerators, though. 😏

  23. Michael says:

    Trump was behind it and hoped the mob took the Capitol for him.
    History will speak of him as badly as as any figure in American history.

  24. Nathan Priddis says:

    I got the Moderna vaccine about a week and a half ago. I planned on letting a few months, and a few millions go first, before submitting an appointment request. Maybe there was a cancelation or something, but I was told to get in the vaccination line, so that’s what happened. It was supposed to be a medical visit for an elderly relative.

    If you have an autoimmune, and it’s severe, I would check with your MD first. At least till more data emerges regarding vaccination with pre-existing conditions. My experience had been rough with no improvement, actually I’m sorta worsening.

  25. Pineapple Head says:

    For me, Trump’s refusal to clearly and boldly denounce the Capitol rioters and insist they stop was his most egregious action. A huge leadership fail. A leader never puts people in danger like that. Trump fiddled while the rioters went nuts.

  26. Jean says:

    “They absolutely gave it sanction and cover and still do. We are experiencing a left wing revolution.”

    Only the PP’s own esteemed warrior priest could crochet a rationale which blames the Democrats for Trump’s sedition, and actually describes the present as a left wing revolution.

    Rich indeed. That one ups the fools who attempted to identify the rioters as antifa.

    Many of us will still hope for a return of American conservatism to a commitment to the principles of objective truth, the rule of law, and traditional morality. We know that such a move will require the rejection of Trumpism and a serious reeducation of his followers.

  27. Bride of Christ says:

    Babylon’sDread 1:49 post has me scared. He said “Will the progress ( of the progressive left ) continue to advance with minimal resistance, or…” Yikes! Is the rioting,bloodshed and outright mayhem by Trump supporters his idea of ” minimal resistance”? If that was minimal resistance that I am going to start having real nightmares about what a full on, total resistance to our democracy by far right Republicans might look like.

  28. Jean says:

    McConnell voted to acquit Trump, not on the merits, but on the procedural point that in his opinion, the proceeding only properly applies to sitting presidents. He was clear that Trump was culpable and that he could be subject to criminal jeopardy.

    There is no precedent, left or right, for Trump’s violation of his oath of office. He invited the mob, he sent them to the capital, he condoned their break in, he did nothing for hours. Because of Trump, lives were lost, many will go to prison because of Trump, many lost their employment because of Trump, and millions live in delusion that the election was stolen from Trump, because he brainwashed them over a period of many months.

  29. Jean says:

    Apparently the GOP has no good policy positions to run on. They are afraid they can’t win fair elections. So now, apparently, State legislatures are advancing hundreds of bills throughout many States to make it more difficult for poor people and minorities to vote.

    That is the GOP’s undemocratic strategy. It’s a strategy of disorder and division. It’s destructive to the fabric of our nation.

  30. Michael says:

    Nathan,

    Praying you recover…I need the vaccine, but these reports are making me wary…

  31. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Coup? Michael that bunch couldn’t bring a coup to a to a soup kitchen. Nothing near a coup happened. That was a mob and mobs creat madness. No one thought a coup was going to result but AOC said it so that makes it true.

  32. Michael says:

    BD,

    I watched it unfold and I was very concerned.
    My point is that the biggest threat to all we hold dear was just acquitted.
    I don’t like the current occupants much better, but it can’t be worse.
    In the meantime, the kingdom and the king are what fascinate me…the rest of this is all noise.
    Maybe if we win some to the real kingdom, other tides will turn…

  33. Babylon’s Dread says:

    He was acquitted because the American Constitution made it harder for the body politic to be a mob than for a mob to form and foment. His conviction would have meant the Constitution could not hold off the Congressional mob. In America mobs are everywhere. But the Constitution held — I still assert again that there is no power for the Congress to make his words a crime either after the election or Jan 6. His speech however “deplorable” was legal and constitutionally protected. Someone please make a precedent based legal argument that Trump’s speech was criminal. Case law denies it. The 1st Amendment denies it.

    As for the king and his kingdom we agree in large measure.

    The mobs from the summer are an ongoing coup attempt FAR more dangerous than the clowns that climbed into the capital to harass the royal clowns.

    Jean

    Your argument is an opinion about morality not legality and by the same arguments a lot of democrats are guilty of crimes. Despicable YES —- Criminal — NO. The people who committed crimes are criminals. Trump is his own version of clown. He simply no longer leads the circus.

  34. Babylon’s Dread says:

    I will also assert again that a majority of the Senate undermined free speech and that alone is a BAD day for America. Nevertheless, the Constitution held. Look for the Democrats to try to find ways to get past it in the future.

    Equity is the bulldozer through our freedoms at present and if equity is achieved our freedom is doomed.

    Now here’s a debate — is a kingdom ethic on the side of equity or freedom or neither? Or is the kingdom of God a place where both flourish. There’s a worthwhile debate.

    We cannot shout kingdom to avoid political questions — the kingdom is presumably the realm of a true vision of empowered love

  35. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    The Moses book is definitely not cheap and if you aren’t comfortable reading a good chunk of Greek it might not be useful for most lay readers.

    I’ve had to do a very slow build up on books over twenty years. Only had more resources to spare for books in the last decade. It literally took me a decade to find an old used copy of De Musica. A number of the books I picked up cheap at church book sale desks (MHC had that for a while) or through family. One of the things about growing up Pentecostal is that manuals on spiritual warfare weren’t hard to find, even if I wouldn’t advise people necessarily use many of them. I was going to go into the field of diabology/spiritual warfare/Jesus as exorcist studies had I gone to seminary so a bunch of stuff I picked up I picked up over the last twenty-five years here and there.

    The snowfall is going to be rough for people in hospice care in the PNW. That’s not an abstraction for me as one of my longest-standing friends is in a care site right now and has reason to worry how well supplied facilities can stay in the weather. Praying lines of support are able to be sustained! Seasons like this are no fun for people with disabilities, something I know firsthand and secondhand.

    Main Currents of Marxism, or at least one of the three volumes, should be in any big city library.

  36. Michael says:

    BD,

    Good questions…but I must go to bed.
    I will say that my vision of the church is one of a separate nation within a nation…we have our own issues to solve before we address the secular state.
    In the kingdom we strive for what someday will be fully realized …and which neither party in this country is truly interested in.

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

  38. JimmieT says:

    BD, Thanks for bringing some “sense” to this blog!

  39. Jean says:

    “I will also assert again that a majority of the Senate undermined free speech and that alone is a BAD day for America. Nevertheless, the Constitution held.”

    For the record, BD did NOT bring any sense to this blog. He played the “I’m a constitutional lawyer” game, popular among many these days, including clerics.

    Every educated lawyer knows that the free speech the Constitution protects is not unlimited. Unprotected categories of speech include the following:

    Defamation is not protected.
    Perjury is not protected.
    Child pornography is not protected.
    Blackmail is not protected.
    Speech that violates intellectual property laws.
    Speech that uses fighting words likely to cause a person to whom they are direct to commit a violent act.
    Incitement to violence is not protected.
    Solicitation to commit a crime is not protected.

    The issue of 1st Amendment applicability to Trump’s post election speech is one of fact not of constitutional law.

  40. Jean says:

    Then too there is also the factual issue of whether Trump violated his oath of office? If yes, then that too could be an impeachable offence if it falls within the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.

  41. Em says:

    Sometimes i wish jean would say something i can amen….
    No matter
    Remember this Valentines Day that….
    GOD LOVED YOU ENOUGH TO DIE UNDER THE BURDEN OF OUR SIN’S CONDEMNATION…
    The big question is, “how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a redemption?”

  42. bob1 says:

    I think it’s great to have someone on here who’s actually trained in matters of the law.

    The rest of us are just spouting off. Or as my late dad used to say, “talking to hear your head roar.”

  43. bob1 says:

    I think it’s great to have someone on here who’s actually trained in matters of the law.

    The rest of us are just spouting off. As my late dad used to say, “talking to hear your head roar.”

    Opinions are not facts.

  44. Em says:

    Ahh, bob1, sometimes opinions are formed from observation and experience. 😇

    My late grandmother used to say, ” You’re just talking to hear your head rattle.. ”
    Old timers – gone now – had some very pithy turns of phrase

  45. bob1 says:

    I think a lot of times,we think that if we believe something really, really sincerely, that somehow makes it true.

    But what happens when you sincerely drink poison?

    RIP

  46. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Law is debatable obviously. But I did cite case law and it was not refuted.

    Bradbury vs Ohio is a fact not an opinion. It’s applicability would be a matter of jurisprudence. Courts aren’t God but they are the gods of this age.

    You don’t have to be an educated lawyer to know that freedom of speech has those boundaries cited by Jean. Though I think he may have stretched them to snare his quarry. He does after all have his own opinions not based on the law. My contention remains that Trump’s speech was protected speech and does not come under the purview of the exceptions named by Jean. I’d love to hear the supreme court on the matter even the previous supreme court.

    Essentially he was acquitted. The Senate is a kangaroo court but in capital murder cases you need a unanimous verdict. In the kangaroo court you only needed 2/3. So he’s acquitted and would be easily acquitted in a criminal case on this.

    I have repeatedly acknowledged that he’s an unsavory human. But the US Senate is filled with unsavory humans. So is this blog of whom I am foremost.

    I am still very interested in the idea of weather equity or freedom best reflect the kingdom. That is the high kinds of debates we might engage. These are the alternatives being placed before us.

    Since the kingdom is not OF this world we ought to debate its applicability IN this world. Remember if words fail humans will fight. Humans are very consistent on the matter. Protestants do abound here.

    AnaDread

  47. Em says:

    Sincerity… I knew a pastor once who said, “If you board a train headed for Chicago and you sincerely believe it’s headed for New York City, you’ll still end up in Chicago.”
    Faith and sincerity are not interchangeable terms…

    Yes, there are some things i sincerely believe, but they are determined by observation and statistics, not just sincerity

  48. Dread says:

    *whether —

    Spelling Bee Dread

  49. Duane Arnold says:

    “I am still very interested in the idea of whether equity or freedom best reflect the kingdom.”

    Neither… but serving God and others might have a fair claim.

  50. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    Is it your view that anything (including a value or concept) the usurps the creator’s will of serving Him and others is idolatrous?

    Just wondering…thanks.

  51. Michael says:

    My apologies for the down time.
    I was fixing the site and broke it.
    Mechanics is not my strong suit…

  52. Michael says:

    I would ask the Chinese Christians and the millions of believers who lived without either freedom or equity their opinions…

  53. Duane Arnold says:

    bob1

    Humanity has a remarkable talent for creating idols… of men, of concepts, of systems. The early Christians considered acknowledging the “genius of the emperor” to be idolatrous… and offered their lives instead.

  54. Nathan Priddis says:

    I raised the issue before, and not sure if many saw things my way. I am an outlier of sorts.

    Daniel painted a picture of the nation’s under control of spirits identified as princes, watchers and holy ones. When we get to Paul, he made a reference to the Pronce of the power of the air. Paul of course, is speaking after the death and resurrection of Christ.
    These descriptions seem completely compatible with Duane’s quote, my kingdom is not of this world.

    If it’s assumed that a spirit/s oversee the United States, that bodes I’ll for Christian Nationalism. I cant explain how a religious right, could not be engaging with enemies of the Kingdom.

  55. Nathan Priddis says:

    Meant “Prince”

  56. Dread says:

    Engagement seems to turn into dismissiveness… just say “get lost.”

  57. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD. How so? Are you saying I am dismissive of what we call Religious Right, and it’s long development up to present 2021?

  58. Duane Arnold says:

    Nathan

    It seems to me that we’ve somehow forgotten that we are to make our judgement on the basis of the fruits which are the results of men and movements. What have been the fruits of Christian nationalism? What were the fruits of the German Church (as opposed to the Confessing Church)? Does it involve other engagements? I hesitate to say, but hatred, enmity, etc., do not seem to me to be Christian values…

  59. Dread says:

    Nathan,

    No friend … it really is just how our corporate communication turns out. I am not an easy person to take and I don’t back down so easily but you are not dismissive. When I call people out it is just as often to address myself.

    Your comment was quite fascinating and along lines that I think are borne out in the talk of principalities and powers and the underlying realities that are alluded to so often in the text.

  60. Nathan Priddis says:

    Duane, and anyone else…. Here is a hypothetical question regarding German Christianity, pre-war.

    1. Bob is a devout German. He adopts Nationalism, and becomes and ardent supporter of the ideals set forward by the
    Nazi Party, specifically an orderly society, with a moral tradition.
    2. Alice is a devout German that rejects Nationalism.
    3.Due to the War, both die.

    At the Resurrection, what ramifications do their beliefs have in the afterlife?

    When I read…we know as we are known.. I interpret this as as the afterlife will be very different. But, for all that difference, we are still us. Bob and Alice are still Bob and Alice. Does this seem a reasonable assumption?

  61. Tired of it all! says:

    Nathan:

    “At the Resurrection, what ramifications do their beliefs have in the afterlife?”

    Your question kind of rings along the lines of when the Sadducees asked Jesus about whose wife the woman would be in the afterlife. Odd isn’t it, since they did not believe in an afterlife.

    Here’s what I do know, God has more mercy, grace and Justice than anyone posting here. God is apolitical (something to that can’t be said about this blog anymore), because these are institutions of men. Faith in God existed before one single government , institution, religion, or “good” idea was ever formed in the minds of men (and women to be fair).

    Have faith He will be able to figure it out. Our only concern is how we will live out today with Him.

  62. Duane Arnold says:

    Nathan

    Eternal judgements are way above my pay grade!

  63. Michael says:

    BD,

    I hope I don’t seem dismissive, I simply no longer understand the point.
    The kingdom is not represented by either political faction, it is opposed in some way by both.
    America has no special covenant with God, indeed, it is another in a long line of beasts.
    My repulsion is to the idea that one party has the imprimatur of Christ and the other is from the pit of hell.
    That rejection has cost me a church split and numerous readers.
    I couldn’t care less.
    The things that I care about can only be truly advanced through the expansion of the church and the kingdom
    While we argue about politics the church is defiled and shrinking like a pair of Wal Mart sweats.
    Few seem concerned about that…

  64. Em says:

    I had a dear friend (now deceased) who loved to say God turns and overturns…. sifting wheat and chaff as it were. ..
    So much we know and yet so much we don’t know and will have to wait till Eternity to understand, i suspect…
    Still it is probably good to memorize the fruits of the Spirit – a help, a big help
    Pray we all grow in sanctification, eh…..

  65. Jean says:

    Bradbury vs Ohio established the legal test regarding the limits of freedoms of speech in cases dealing with the advocacy of violence.

    The court established the following test:

    “Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

    In reviewing Trump’s statements preceding and on 1/6, a majority of the Senate, including 7 Republicans, were well within the bounds of reasonableness, as jurors, to have weighed the evidence presented and found as a matter of fact that Trump’s speech both was directed to incite imminent lawless action and such speech in fact was likely (and did) produce lawless action.

    However, I will reiterate that IMO even if Trump’s speech was protected by the 1st Amendment (which I don’t believe it was), he could and did violate his oath of office by not using his executive authority to call off his violent followers and to protect and defend the Capital, the Vice President and Congress, in the face of a violent attack for hours after he had knowledge of it happening.

    He also encouraged and incited his followers to intimidate and interrupt a lawful assembly of Congress who were there to carry out their constitutional duties.

    In addition, he abused his office by spreading lies and defaming, among others the Vice President, regarding both the facts of the election and the Vice President’s responsibility at the 1/6 proceeding.

    Remember, that Senator McConnell voted not to convict, not because he thought Trump’s speech was protected, but because he didn’t think impeachment was constitutional for a former President.

  66. Xenia says:

    I believe it was honorable to vote *against* the candidate who favors transgenderism, homosexuality and abortion. That meant, unfortunately, voting for Mr. Trump, who was and is an odious person and proved himself to be a worse person than I previously believed, and that’s saying something.

    So Mr. Trump lost, and he deserved to lose. I plan to completely forget about him. He’s old news. Let God deal with him. I’ve managed to preserve all my friendships and relatives, although I accomplished this by avoiding a few of them.

    All that’s left is to try to be the best Christians we can be in an increasingly degenerate country. And for that, I don’t need to look at the TV or computer screen, I need to look at a different glass surface: a mirror. I look around at the craziness and have to ask myself “how did I help contribute to this?” I think this is more meaningful than blaming some amorphous ambiguous “church.” Sentences here on the PhxP that begin here with “The church needs to blah blah blah…” are not very helpful, IMO.

  67. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ah

    The is the kind of discussion we can have and it IS fruitful. Thank you Jean for elaborating your position. It is coherent. I would love to see every bit of it adjudicated to the supreme court… As for Bradbury the Civil Liberties lawyer and retired Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz believes it protects Trump, Waters and Schumer for ALL of their despicable speech.

    And Michael,

    I have argued widely with you that America has no special covenant with God. I did so in consultation with my cohorts at seminary…

    It is important in that discussion to help laypeople understand the kinds of covenants that founded settlements like Plymouth and Jamestown from the Biblical narrative of our covenant of redemption and recreation in Jesus. They also conflate the national ‘covenant’ of our constitution. Covenants initiated by God in scripture are of course of a different nature than covenants intimated by man invoking the name of God as a witness.

    We also need to talk about compelling issues of our body politic in light of the covenant. We cannot leave these issue s to political pandering. But every time we talk about them here there is this high-mindedness that cuts it off.

    When I read what looks like dismissiveness it too often sounds as if we are agreeing with privatization of our faith. NO. We are public believers and we must learn to be compelling in the public square

    no time for editing Dread

    We can do better.

  68. Michael says:

    “Sentences here on the PhxP that begin here with “The church needs to blah blah blah…” are not very helpful, IMO.”

    I understand that sentiment and there is some wisdom in it.
    At the same time history teaches us that there are times when large sections of the visible church form alliances with political power…and the result is usually the weakening of the church.

    I have tried very hard to be irenic with those who supported Trump while also making clear that I find him both venal and dangerous.
    I have tried to maintain relationships that predated him by a decade or more…to no avail too many times.
    Our common faith was cast aside for him…I respect the choice, but fear what it means going forward.

  69. Michael says:

    BD,

    You have spoken publicly to this issue of covenant, while I applauded loudly from my chair many miles away.
    “We are public believers and we must learn to be compelling in the public square.”
    Historically, that public witness was grounded in observable acts of love and charity that attracted people to The Way…I would suggest that that is where our witness should return…

  70. Michael says:

    BD,

    I think what you describe as “privatization ” of faith, I’m looking at as a necessary separation from the culture at large…enough to be seen as a called out people…

  71. Pineapple Head says:

    The church gathers for worship, fellowship and equipping. The church scatters for service, compassion and evangelism. Yes, we sometimes work in concert with other believers, but the idea of becoming a monolithic political bloc? Shiver me timbers.

  72. Mike E. says:

    “I have argued widely with you that America has no special covenant with God.”

    So then, why this?

    “It is important in that discussion to help laypeople understand the kinds of covenants that founded settlements like Plymouth and Jamestown from the Biblical narrative of our covenant of redemption and recreation in Jesus.”

    Not understanding the covenant aspect.

  73. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Duane, thanks for the recommendation. That title looks interesting. 🙂

    Spectacular Spider-Man was a really fun animated series. Too bad it didn’t get renewed for a third season after the Disney/Marvel acquisition. Now I know that on top of being the best Lex Luthor (voice acting) Clancy Brown was reliably good as Captain George Stacy. Loved what the series team did with Doc Ock and Green Goblin. 🙂

    Star Blazers 2199 is worth re-watching, btw, Star Blazers 2202 not so much and the only episodes my brother and I revisited were pretty Desler-centric. Didn’t want to leave out anime altogether and for folks into Satoshi Kon Paranoia Agent is finally out on blu-ray

  74. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    having old college buddies willing to lend things their kids aren’t watching literally right now and access to SPL is handy in a big city

  75. Duane Arnold says:

    “We are public believers and we must learn to be compelling in the public square.”

    Really? I’d like evidence from the Gospels on such an assertion…

  76. B says:

    “Public believers trying to be compelling in the public square”? Does that look anything like Trump gassing legal, peaceful protesters so that he could walk across the public square to a Christian church he wasn’t invited to, nor a member of, and holding a Bible upside down? What you are advocating isn’t biblical and it will damage the cause of Christ. I second Duane’s question. What scripture do you have to back up your claim that this us what Jesus calls his followers to do in His name?

  77. Bride of Christ says:

    I am not meaning any disrespect to Babylon’s Dread. I just feel strongly that our Christian witness has been severely damaged by our over involvement in the “public square” of politics and worldly power.

  78. Bride of Christ says:

    We are getting close to Easter. Those who were early followers of Jesus turned on Him and wanted him crucified when Jesus failed to establish the political earthly powerful kingdom that they had expected and wanted Jesus to give them. Sound familiar? Please don’t claim that you are doing something for Jesus when actually you are trying to use Him for your own political worldly agendas.

  79. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD. I do believe there are Principalities. For example- Dan 8:21. If the horn is Alexander, then the goat is not Alexander and not human. Alexander is broken, but the goat is immortal. Verse 21 has two malek and one is alive today somewhere.
    If they exist, then any debate over political action can not leave them out.

    Verse 23 seems like a normal progression of this thought process….in the latter end of their kingdom. They never died, they can’t. The US would logically be another snapshot in time of their collective jurisdiction. But I don’t hear this being hashed out.

    Where I deviate from normal beliefs is how I read Daniel eight. I suspect the Principalities had some sort of war. I think a division was made with four ruah of Heaven.

  80. London says:

    “No one thought a coup was going to result but AOC said it so that makes it true.“

    Nonsense

  81. Babylon's Dread says:

    Mike E

    I did leave a lot out…here is something I wrote elsewhere;

    Early colonialists and settlers were a variety of ‘kinds.’ Some were traders and explorers, some were religious refugees, others were simply bringing their religious traditions as part of their journey. Often the founding of settlements would include some form of covenant making. Not all covenants are the same. A marriage covenant is not a treaty and a constitution is not necessarily a kingdom. Humans make various forms of covenant to assure order in their daily lives. The Mayflower Compact is a covenant made between religious separatists and the other immigrants seeking fortune and home. It bound them, not God.

    The American Constitution and Bill of Rights is a form of covenant making. Most covenants are between human partners. They are horizontal. When making covenants oath swearing is involved. So those who make covenants will call upon the name of their God as the witness and guarantor of the covenant. In these cases God is not the initiator or the covenant partner. Man cannot swear God into a covenant. We swear ourselves into covenant invoking the blessing, protection and care of the LORD. When we do that God is not bound to keep our covenants for us. God is rather called upon to require us to keep our covenant.

    In the Scriptures God intimates and becomes the one responsible for the covenant. When God made covenant with Abram he swore himself into that covenant. The whole matter of keeping the covenant was up to God. God fulfilled his obligations in the incarnation, atonement, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement. Thus covenant becomes kingdom.

    Americans are confused about our national covenant. Many Americans believe that their covenant intentions somehow bond God the same way that God bound himself to Abraham and fulfilled his covenant via Abraham’s offspring Jesus.

  82. Babylon's Dread says:

    London,

    It was nonsense… and no coup was ever possible by that mob. A coup in a country like ours would require the military not a bunch of bozos

  83. Babylon's Dread says:

    For Clarity…

    The Jan 6 riot was evil and unjustified and at no point have I advocated such a thing. We have to stop the nonsense of conflating people’s posts into either/or thinking.

    Is healthcare a political worldly agenda, is education, is marriage and family, is justice? Stop acting like Christianity has nothing to do with the public realm. Everywhere Christianity has EVER gone it brought those things and more. It still does. There is no clear separation of these things except in American jurisprudence.

  84. Babylon's Dread says:

    Duane

    The whole new testament teaches us how to live and we bring our influence to the public square. Again, healthcare, marriage and family, education, care of the poor, the orphans, and virtually every issue of life is practical, moral and Biblical.

    Try the Sermon on the Mount… I will agree that most of the Gospels was written to covenant Israel in their backsliden and rebellious state but suggesting that the morality of the Gospels has nothing to do with our influence in public life is separatist at a level not found in Catholicism or Protestantism.

    I will continue to insist that matters of freedom and matters of equity are of vital interest to Christian believers and we should and must participate in those concern.

    At no point have I argued otherwise.

    As per DT … my posts on his issue has indicated that I believe him to be both legally innocent and morally guilty.

    Don’t know why that is considered untenable. That’s why we debate.

    I don’t think you are suggesting that we vacate the pubic square are you?

  85. Em says:

    this thread has many thought provoking comments – thanks all

  86. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    The public square is by definition the City of Man. I will say again, the best we can hope for is the quality of character in our leaders and the exercise of justice. Our service is to God and our neighbor, not a partisan political agenda.

  87. Jean says:

    BD,

    Trump enlisted violent extremists to stop the lawful transfer of power, after attempting to persuade State officials to ignore or change the votes of their citizens. There is significant evidence in support of both actions. what would crowd have done had it apprehended Pence, Romney, Pelosi or others?

    The term attempted coup is fitting.

  88. Jean says:

    BD,

    If you’re concerned about the US Constitution, then you would never want a person in the likeness of Trump in office, and you would call for remedial education for a large segment of the GOP at the federal, state and local levels. Many of them find it easier to cancel Liz Cheney and Ben Sasse than Margorie Taylor Greene.

  89. Linnea says:

    Lately, I’ve been reading HA Baker, who was a missionary to China. His grandson, Rolland Baker, and Rolland’s wife Heidi run Iris Global. My husband and I enjoyed Visions Beyond the Veil, which tells the account of Chinese street children in a Christian home, and on whom God brought revival and visions of heaven. You can find his books, and others (with whom you may or may not agree with) free here: https://www.hopefaithprayer.com/online-books/

  90. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Linnea

    Rolland is a good friend. He’s a brilliant man. He’s a scholar and a revivalist. He’s too odd for this crowd. Thanks for bringing him up.

  91. Michael says:

    “He’s too odd for this crowd.”
    That’s an understatement.
    I’ve never watched him, but his wife scares the hell out of me.

  92. Michael says:

    “The whole new testament teaches us how to live and we bring our influence to the public square. Again, healthcare, marriage and family, education, care of the poor, the orphans, and virtually every issue of life is practical, moral and Biblical.”
    Interesting point.
    Allow me to load up here…
    The NT doesn’t speak to those issues nearly as clearly as do the OT prophets and the Bible speaks to the proper treatment of migrants more than almost any of the other topics listed.
    Tell me which American political entity I can embrace that represents the biblical teaching on these issues….because there isn’t one to my knowledge.
    Thus, the need for a separate group that does speak to them and lives them as they speak…

  93. Michael says:

    The notion has been that Christians are represented in the public square by embracing a political party…so we’ve spent four years proclaiming that Jesus chose a reprobate to demonstrate His will for a godly nation.

    My liver no longer allows me to drink enough to cover that one… or to convince me that the opposition was much better.

    Come out from among them…

  94. Duane Arnold says:

    We know the politics of first century Judea mainly from the writings of Josephus. They were considered of such little importance that they are barely mentioned in the Gospels and Epistles…

  95. Michael says:

    I don’t have this all figured out, but I have a clue.
    I look at how the early church dealt with infanticide.
    People would simply leave unwanted infants outside to die in the elements.
    The church would rescue those babies and raise them.
    That action had a louder voice in the public square than the political discourse they were excluded from would have.
    For many years Anglicans and Roman Catholics have lived in poverty with the poor on the border.
    They spend their days bandaging blistered feet and serving the least of these.
    They offer food , water, and the Eucharist.
    They will speak to the issues when they have an opportunity…but the issue is the care of people and souls.
    Some have been there for fifty years and will die there…I don’t know if they vote.

  96. Babylon’s Dread says:

    I have repeatedly and openly asserted that political parties are false salvation narratives.

  97. Em says:

    Pastor Dread, is it possible that they are too!s of Satan as he works his conniving hatred out?

  98. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Heidi scares everyone. Her work with the poor vindicates itself. She is also a Ph. D. in theology. I count her as a dear friend and have assisted her work many times over the years. Have been to Mozambique maybe 8 times. Saw many of the things people doubt with my own eyes.

    Rolland is actually a very Calvinistic Assembly of God thinker. He and I debate issues every time we meet. But he’s a great man. His depression has near killed him a few times but he overcomes.

  99. Dread says:

    Em,

    Lies have their genesis in a liar.

  100. Dread says:

    “…and you would call for remedial education for a large segment of the GOP at the federal, state and local levels.”

    There’s a kingdom theologian.

  101. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD.
    Who is Tom Horn? Older guy in I think MO. Into prophecy, spirit world, etc.

  102. Dread says:

    Nathan

    I don’t know Tom Horn

    I think if you want to look into your interest you might find a great deal of help via Michael Heiser.

  103. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    For those who have Kindles Heiser’s books are pretty affordable in Kindle editions. It’s cheaper to get his books than to get Stuckenbruck, Wright and the other specialists in Enochic literature I’ve referenced, that’s for certain!

  104. Jean says:

    Dread,

    I think the splinter and the plank aphorism is apropos. You continually over a period of months have been saying that the far left is going to change America for the worst. A few months ago you were harping about what you call critical theory. Then around the election you were harping about the left wanting to convert our system into a popular democracy. Now you are saying that the violent protests from last summer are more dangerous that “the clowns” (your words) who attacked the Capital.

    I know you do not covet credibility from me, but in terms of discussion, until you are willing to acknowledge the completely radical and unprecedented attack on our institutions of government, which occurred on 1/6, and the existential danger to our republic posed by right wing extremism, then I have a real dissonance trying to empathize with what you are warning against from the left.

    The left has never posed a violent threat to the seat of national government, the right has. The left has never occupied, via armed militia, a State capital, the right has. The left has never broken into and occupied the national capital, the right has. Last summer the FBI arrested right wing extremists planning to kidnap the sitting Governor of Michigan.

    Even before the election, although the Trump administration ignored the threat (gee I wonder why?), the FBI warned that domestic right wing extremism poses a serious (if not the most serious) thread to our national security.

    Right wing extremism does not threaten all Americans at the same time. You may think it isn’t your problem or doesn’t impact you, because you are a white conservative citizen. But it does threaten people of color, non-conservatives, law enforcement, our democratic institutions and, eventually, every one of us who wants to enjoy the benefits of living in a peaceful, free and secure America.

    So, I think every one of us should strenuously disavow and denounce right-wing extremism, neo-nazi and racist ideology, and the propagation of QAnon and other anti-semitic tropes and conspiracy theories. These groups, ideologies and propaganda have seeped into the previously mainstream conservatism and are now present in the GOP at the national, state and local levels.

    If we are each able to see, acknowledge and empathize with the legitimate concerns of the other, then I think bridges to mutual understanding can be built.

  105. Mike E. says:

    Sometimes, I wonder if we worry too much about the state of the church. I don’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned of her state at all. What I mean is, Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. He is winnowing and judging His church, in my opinion. He is exposing false prophets and raising up many young people who love Jesus but aren’t too keen on the evangelical church. All I’m saying is He is at work in and through His church and we shall prevail if we endure to the end.

  106. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I share your estimation of the insurrection.
    However, if we are going to communicate with our more right leaning brethren, we must also acknowledge that the burning and violence of the summer was also reprehensible.

  107. bob1 says:

    Timothy McVeigh, a right winger, killed 168 people and injured nearly 800 more.
    in Oklahoma City. Apparently their only crime was that they happened to be
    federal employees. How horrible!

    I don’t think there’s equivalence between what happened last summer and right-wing extremist. This is a pervasive and longer-term trend. And I find it, like Jean, to be very worrying.

  108. Jean says:

    Michael, I do. I think it should have been addressed more strongly than it was. I also think 1/6 should have been met with a much stronger response. The only thing worse than bad laws is IMO lawlessness.

  109. Em says:

    Federal employees ? ? ?
    Is that why our Congress went cuckoo when the mob stormed the Capitol. Do they think, really think, the right wants to kill them?
    For the record, i don’t think most of us have that aspiration.
    Now a slow boat to China – that might work. .😏

  110. Bride of Christ says:

    Em, The “Right” really did want to kill them. Haven’t you been paying attention to what’s been happening? They were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence” over and over. They killed police officers to get to Congress members. What is it that you think they would have done if they had found them?

  111. Dread says:

    1. Critical Theory is actually a thing… Critical Race Theory is it’s apotheosis
    2. The left was talking about such things as court-packing, senate-packing, and ending the electoral college… all moves designed to get us closer to a pure democracy. They haven’t veiled it much.
    3. By death tally, violence against people, violence against property and sheer mass the left wing riots have dwarfed the capital riot, which I have decried on this very thread, You win on symbolism. It was symbolically worse. But a coup attempt? No, just a mob. Mobs have neither reason for existence nor aims. When loosed they are without conscience or boundary.
    4. This is the second or third time you’ve insisted upon a purity test from me to engage me. Feel free to ignore me. I will count it a privilege. You can call it my old white male, cisgendered, able-bodied, heteronormative privilege if it floats your boat.
    5. If that is how you express empathy, keep your bridge.

    Strangely I am certain that if this were happening face to face we might enjoy respectful dialogue. It is another reason I keep reducing my outlets.

    Michael knows what I preach…when he is fed up with me I will go… no questions asked.

  112. Jean says:

    BD,

    I am going to take you on your offer to ignore you. You lost me with:

    “No, just a mob. Mobs have neither reason for existence nor aims.”

    That IMO on your part is wilful, and I suppose I couldn’t break through to you anyway.

    Finally,

    “The left was talking about such things as court-packing, senate-packing, and ending the electoral college… all moves designed to get us closer to a pure democracy. They haven’t veiled it much.”

    No, they haven’t veiled it. Unlike the far right, the far left doesn’t resort to coded symbols, alt-right social and news media, and conspiracies. If an idea became a proposal, it would be made through constitutional means, not lawless violence and coercive threats. There’s a big difference between the two.

    A lot of the street violence summer was criminals and right wing extremists who infiltrated the protests. Other violence was provoked by lawless or lawbreaking police who denied black citizens equal protection under the law and due process through the use of deadly force. (I will reiterate that I oppose all street violence to solve grievances.)

    The insurrectionists on 1/6 engaged in violence at the direction of the chief law enforcement officer of our country, not because their father or husband or child was killed by a lawless cop. Let that sink in.

  113. Duane Arnold says:

    Coup d’etat
    plural coups d’état or coups d’etat\ ˌkü-​(ˌ)dā-​ˈtä , ˈkü-​(ˌ)dā-​ˌtä , -​də-​ \ also coup d’états or coup d’etats
    Definition of coup d’état
    : a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics
    especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group

    If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck… it’s a duck (or at least an attempted one…)

  114. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD.
    I’m sure you’ve told other people, I’m usually the last to get the memo…

    What does Babylon’s Dread mean? If it’s an irritating question, just forget I asked.

  115. Babylon's Dread says:

    Nathan,

    “Babylon the Great has fallen!” is both lament and proclamation. The wife became a whore and was cast out. The “dread” of Babylon is that pronouncement. In our world we are like Abraham “looking for a city” because here “we have no enduring city.” If you want to discuss further babylonthegreatfallen@yahoo.com

    You see my kingdom theology is the real driver of life despite being a pain in the ass blogger. My congregation knows that.

    Right now my gratefulness to this blog is that arguing actually assuages my depression more than drinking or other base pursuits. Thanks for asking… that helps more than playing Duck Duck Goose with Duane and Jean.

  116. Michael says:

    As long as we keep defending one side or the other of this binary, we will continue chasing our tails and biting each others.
    The left promises me immigration reform and loathes Trump with me.
    It also wants me to deny the realities of basic anatomy and biology.
    The right seeks to preserve mythical traditional values and I find value in that mythology.
    Both sides lie and are spiritually twisted .
    Christians need to come out of both and speak to issues with prophetic passion and language…or become the biggest little whorehouse on earth.

  117. Dan from Georgia says:

    Well stated Michael. We are Christians/Believers first and WAY foremost, and a voting block, focus group, faction, sect, a LONG, DISTANT….not second..close to last.

  118. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I grow more and more convinced that few are interested in the common good or the kingdom of God…they just want to “win”.
    Kingdom people cannot choose party sides in my opinion…because in doing so they make half the brethren their enemy.
    I missed that idea in the Gospels somehow.
    We need intense discussions around both concepts and policies, unhindered by fealty to political constructs.
    Some would say that this is unrealistic and impractical…and I would argue that following Jesus is as well.

  119. Michael says:

    BD,

    I have heard you preach on this too many times…I will nail your feet to the floor before I ask you to leave…

  120. filbertz says:

    I’m troubled by the disintegration of the GOP–it is a crumbling of a party supposedly based on principles, not personality. The principles were and are repeatedly being violated and ignored by the recently past president and his minions. I see little hope of salvaging the party and will likely switch my affiliation to independent shortly. Further, the list of potential presidential candidates for ’24, in my opinion, are limited to the handful of Representatives and Senators who voted to impeach, but the hatred and vitriol toward them by the majority of GOP members & leadership bodes poorly for the future of the party & conservatively minded individuals.

    The principles of which I speak should guide conservatives not to uphold the status quo, but to frame their approach to constructive dialogue with others on how to address pressing matters of change. One basic principle conservatives have ignored is that change is inevitable. For example, immigration should be a priority–not as a means of garnering a host of future voters–but as a reasoned, measured, predictable, generous, and accessible process that will end the nonsense at the borders. I am exhausted by the lack of bipartisan cooperation on anything of import. It is a direct threat to the checks/balances system as the legislature is increasingly weak and ineffective & the power of the executive branch grows weekly.

    rant-o-matic-fil.

  121. Michael says:

    Well said, fil.
    Constructive dialog is now considered a weakness and is precluded by the lies and rhetoric both sides employ.

  122. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    Do it

  123. Michael says:

    There is a tragedy among us…we have allowed liars and thieves to convince us that half of us are despicable and wish evil on the other half.
    They invoke the power of Satan and claim he is behind those we differ with.
    Satan is indeed busy…he is the accuser of the brethren and we we are doing his work in Jesus name.
    I’m weary of it…but lack company.

  124. Everstudy says:

    Michael at 3:54: “if we are going to communicate with our more right leaning brethren, we must also acknowledge that the burning and violence of the summer was also reprehensible.”

    Jean at 6:08: “Michael, I do. I think it should have been addressed more strongly than it was.”

    Jean at 4:16: “A lot of the street violence summer was criminals and right wing extremists who infiltrated the protests.”

    One more reason dialogue doesn’t work here anymore.

    “Both sides are bad, we should recognize that.”
    “I do, but it wasn’t my side, it was the other side.”

    Next you’ll tell us that the CHAZ/CHOP was a right wing conspiracy.

    “Unlike the far right, the far left doesn’t resort to coded symbols, alt-right social and news media, and conspiracies.”

    The far left does this as well. I listen to enough far left radio to hear it everyday. The left has twitter, Facebook, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the local networks, and most newspapers. And conspiracies, I’m old to remember the 9/11 Truth conspiracy that was touted highly and often on far left radio networks like Pacifica, and filled auditoriums when speakers would try to blame Bush, et. al. for the attack.

    How about this, I say that the far right attack at the capital was evil and wrong, no qualifications, and you say that the far left riots over the summer, and those continuing in Portland and other places are evil and wrong, no qualifications.

    Maybe at that point we can agree on something.

  125. Xenia says:

    Let’s offer practical suggestions here, which is something I find helpful. Give me something to do, not something to talk about endlessly.

    Are you interested in improving race relations? Visit your neighborhood Black church now and then. I’d probably join the Black congregation across the street from our house if I were a Baptist. Try riding the bus now and then to see what your poorer neighbors are doing.

    Make/grow stuff and give it away. Do like one person on the PhxP does and sent out books. Not just to people who think like you, but to all kinds of people.

    Do not ever, EVER laugh at racist jokes. Call the joker out. Also, politely shut down any whackadoodle conspiracy talk (election hoax, virus hoax) no matter what side is offering it. Don’t participate. Just a polite “No thanks, I’m not interested” should suffice. If that angers them… well, get back to them later when things settle down. Don’t burn any bridges, though.

    Shop in the ethnic part of town now and then. Maybe participate in a community garden project. Volunteer at places where you normally wouldn’t (wholesome places, of course.) Mostly liberals volunteer, from what I’ve seen. Get to know some of them and find out what motivates them to think about some things the way they do. They might even listen to what motivates you!

    Do like Michael did when he was feeling better and give out water and band aides down at the skate part.

    If you are concerned about abortion, see what help you can offer at your local CPC.

    Show gratitude, loudly.

    Read some books that you normally would not read and that might make you a little uncomfortable. I just finished a book by a friend of a friend: The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby. It’s a history of racism in America’s churches and a real eye-opener for sure. He has a chapter at the end about things people can actually do.

    There are hundreds of things we can DO. Let’s have some more ideas! We know there’s a problem- lots of problems- but we have to do more than talk about them.

  126. Xenia says:

    I know you all do stuff to help with “The Problem.” I’d love to hear about it!

  127. Duane Arnold says:

    So, just back inside after four hours with a shovel and snow blower… we had 14 inches last night. It was 8 degrees when I went out and it warmed up to a balmy 13 degrees by the time I came in…

    I’m not sure of any real solution to the issue of Left/Right. By and large, they are both artificial constructs and most of us lean right on some issues and lean left on some issues. My question at present is why it should matter? Of course, there is an answer to that. Political identity is as important to some as a faith identity. I really do not understand it, but it seems to be the case. I might also say, at least in my experience, this is a relatively recent phenomena…

  128. Bride of Christ says:

    I like Xenia’s 10:21 and 10:31. Here are some other ideas. I donate money to my church, but I also donate to a community charity called Interfaith Services because they have an entire range of services for the underprivileged in our community, including job training, after school services for children, etc. They do more than my church does as far as addressing real, physical needs. I became an expert at Second Language Instruction and I still tutor children for free. I kept my children in public schools when most of my Christian friends put their kids in private Christian schools. We live in an area where our public schools are 50% minority students, mostly Latino. The private schools they chose had smaller class sizes and the students were all white. My children grew up with friends of all races. My youngest daughter graduated from UCLA which is the most integrated of the U.C schools. Her first student job there was working for the Black Studies Dept. at UCLA ( she’s blonde and of Swedish ancestry).She’s 32 now and two years ago she married a Harvard educated architect who is half African American and half Latino. How we raise our children makes a difference! My granddaughter goes to preschool in Hawaii and she has learned much Hawaiian and half of her classmates are non white and of Hawaiian descent. When I buy her dolls I always include some non white dolls. Those sound like little things, but this is how we teach our children to be color blind, by exposing them to other races and cultures, and not staying in our own little comfortable tribe.

  129. Jean says:

    Everstudy,

    You wrote:

    “Jean at 6:08: “Michael, I do. I think it should have been addressed more strongly than it was.”
    Jean at 4:16: “A lot of the street violence summer was criminals and right wing extremists who infiltrated the protests.”
    One more reason dialogue doesn’t work here anymore.”

    No, dialogue does work, but it requires someone to be able to read.

    I want any street violence, for whatever reason, dealt with under the law, and I want the law enforced, as I said more strongly than it was last summer.

    However, I can still acknowledge the sources and their causes. I can lament and empathize with the victims of police crimes without supporting a violent response.

    The problem in our country’s current politics is that many of us are incapable of finding common ground or acknowledging the legitimate grievances of the other side, because Trump (as the supreme teacher on the topic) has taught us, that you have to defend those who are on your side regardless of whatever wickedness they might be involved in.

    That is why, for example GOP Senators are being censored in their home states. That is why Lindsey Graham was all over last Sunday’s talk shows complaining about Senator McConnel’s blistering floor speech after the impeachment vote where he laid the blame for the 1/6 riot squarely at the feet of Trump. McConnel did nothing more than acknowledge the facts at an event he was a first hand witness of. Just because Trump calls himself a Republican or is popular, does not erase his responsibility for the insurrection.

    Being a Christian truth teller, IMO, means to provide a truthful account or analysis of events and issues, no matter who is doing what. Lady Justice is supposed to blind.

  130. Em says:

    Everstudy @ 10:18
    Well said! ! !

  131. Linnea says:

    I’m also reading Rolland Baker’s “Keeping the Fire”, which talks about sustaining revival corporately and in each heart. Rolland speaks briefly of sacrifice. Depression has afflicted many men and women of God. Our understanding of our desperate circumstances sometimes outruns our knowledge and experience of the King of Kings.

  132. Em says:

    What to do to help?
    How about just looking everyone in the eye, treat them as God’s creation and listen to what they have/want to say?
    Doesn’t take money…. IMV

  133. Xenia says:

    No, dialogue does work, but it requires someone to be able to read.<<<<

    This is the type of comment that does more harm than good.

  134. bob1 says:

    I appreciate the comments of Xenia and BOC, a lot.

    I think sometimes we put too much focus on national issues. Believe me, they’re important for all of us.

    But there are lots of things we can do in ourcommunities.

    Regarding the black church, Pew Research just released a study about the Black church. It said most church folks pray before making big decisions and they consider fighting racism to be very important.

    I think perhaps this shows what Duane said — most folks don’t vote all liberal or all conservative, despite what everyone’s trying to say.

  135. Jean says:

    Naming, then misrepresenting someone, also does more harm than good.

  136. Michael says:

    I can only speak to some basic things I am trying to do.
    It is my nature to scorn people who say things I find …foolish.
    I hate conspiracy theories and obviously false allegations.
    I want to mock such things.
    Now, I’m trying to understand why someone would believe such things…what are they trying to protect and why they feel threatened.
    I’m trying to ask more questions and make fewer statements.
    I understand that I’m an odd bird myself.
    I understand that I have blind spots…patriotism is not one of my motivators or guides and it is for many…I need to understand that.
    I’m prepared to give ground to gain consensus.
    I watch no televised “news”… I rely on old guard media like the AP or Reuters ,then seek out places where the news is being discussed with some balance.
    I cling to ancient liturgies to know what I really believe.

  137. Xenia says:

    Naming, then misrepresenting someone, also does more harm than good.<<<

    Try getting your point across minus the snark.

  138. Duane Arnold says:

    An old mentor of mine used to say, “For Christians, for whom the Word made flesh is central, words matter…” For myself, I try to use words judiciously. I think dialogue requires this. Arguing for the sake of arguing may be mildly entertaining, but it accomplishes little. Likewise, misrepresenting what is said or written not only causes dialogue to cease, it also deepens a sense of mistrust. (I think this is what Jean was trying to express.)

  139. Mike E. says:

    I appreciate Xenia’s exhortations to LOVE others. To reach out to those on the outside is our duty as Christians. What I don’t understand is why we are so hard on one another. I read Ephesians 4 and I’m like…where is this? I need this. I need to do this. I need to be this.

    It’s difficult to be a justice lover when there’s so much injustice everywhere. As Christians, we’re all concerned about injustice. Of course, we see terrible injustices on both left and right. Perhaps God makes certain injustices intolerable to certain members of the body, so we focus on them to the exclusion of others? Then we demonize others who don’t see how we see.

    We’ve all been given gifts to use for helping each other in Him. Can we just do Ephesians 4? Please?

  140. bob1 says:

    testing

  141. bob1 says:

    Thanks much, Michael!

  142. Nancy Holmes says:

    I’ve been reading the comments with great interest. My contribution is this link to an article about true civil disobedience which I think is worth adding to this simmering pot of discussion.

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/priestly-diary/what-happened-capitol-was-not-civil-disobedience

  143. bob1 says:

    Something Duane said about most of us not being exclusively on one side or the other made me think of a survey about the black church from Pew. It said most adults pray before they make major decisions. It also said a majority believe the church needs to address racism. This looks to me like the point Duane made.

    Also, PBS has a 2-hour special on the black church. Where I live it starts tonight and I think it runs 4 hours total.

    https://www.pewforum.org/2021/02/16/faith-among-black-americans/

  144. bob1 says:

    Nancy,

    That was a very good article. Someone who’s actually protested and knows what it’s like at ground level gets high marks.

  145. Bride of Christ says:

    Regarding Ems 12:45 ” What to do to help? It doesn’t take money, IMO”. I had students who were living out of cars, and students who had parents working such long hour and such long shifts that there was nobody at home to help them with their homework. This is why I like supporting Interfaith Alliance in my community – with money! Money buys food, pays for transportation, and helps with living arrangements. “What to do to help? Money isn’t needed.” Really? I wonder if that sentiment extends to tithing at our local churches as well. Churches have volunteers but the money we donate to our churches covers transportation fees, rent, heatiing bills, Sunday School teaching supplies etc. Why wouldn’t community charities gave these same urgent needs for money to help them in their missions?

  146. bob1 says:

    Wow.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a millionaire. Just like that.

    Well, not really just like that, but…

    More power to him.

    https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israel-gives-dr-fauci-dan-david-prize-1m-for-defending-science-659060

  147. Em says:

    Rush Limbaugh – is he with our Kord, i don’t know, but…
    Even though few here will agree with me , I do know that this nation has lost a brave, outspoken, honest man….

  148. Nathan Priddis says:

    Just looked at clock….day is yet young.

    Abandoned Trump Plaza…on the ground.
    Carmen dead.
    Limbaugh dead.
    Greater Bible belt freezing.
    Texas…dead in the water.
    RZIM….giving up on fundraising.
    Michael Brown says it’s time to turn our attention away from Trump.

    Crazy!

  149. Em says:

    Nathan, i think the direction of the world is shifting as we watch….
    God causes the ice to fall on the just AND the unjust. LOL
    just have to trust Him to decide who is who….

  150. bob1 says:

    RIP Rush.

    I did like listening to him early on. He was funny and had a lot of great one-liners. He was more like a stand-up. “Ruth Buzzy Ginzberg,” “Senator Daniel In-No-Way,” etc/

    I tried lstening later and found his show very distasteful and extremely biased, with a biting edge. No thanks — life is too short for that kind of sludge.

    He also had a quite messy life — 4 rocky marriages, opiod addiction, etc.

    I hope he’s find peace.

  151. Dan from Georgia says:

    Carmen and Rush passed away? Haven’t been watching the news today. Went to a Carmen show back in 88 or 89.

  152. Dan from Georgia says:

    In my 20+ years as a professional Meteorologist, I have NEVER seen the ENTIRE state of Texas under a any kind of winter advisory, let alone a Winter Storm Warning, as they were a few days ago. May be the worst winter weather for the state since, possibly 1889 or thereabouts.

  153. Dan from Georgia says:

    Never was a fan of Rush, but never hated him by any means. Was a distant fan of Carmen. Loved his song The Champion. Yes, campy and very over-the-top, but still was fun.

  154. Nathan Priddis says:

    Rush was a major factor in my outlook on life. I was already an arch conservative from early childhood, so Rush was an easy fit.
    Do to job related isolation, I flipped on talk radio as a form of human contact. A lot of things in my life where not fulfilling. An entertaining personality was sorta welcomed, and this went on for a number of years.

    I stopped listening due to another work change. When next heard him,l after a lengthy gap, I found the show repulsive. In total, I probably heard between 800-900 hrs per year. That’s a lot of influence.

  155. bob1 says:

    For the most part, AM radio is a haven for old white folks. Plenty of conspiracy theories and rampant speculation. My two kids in the early 30s have never listened, not once. Of course, FM has superior sound and much better music. Not to mention all the other options today!

  156. filbertz says:

    Rush, the Canadian band, far preferred over Rush, the radio “host.”
    Carmen, the opera, far preferred over Carmen, the one-hit-wonder.
    Trump, the demolished casino, far preferred over Trump, the GOP destroyer.

    meh-fil

  157. JimmieT says:

    Hopefully this story will bring encouragement to the readers who struggle with fear: When my wife and I first moved to Central America to fulfill our calling as missionaries, the Lord led us to live in a house surrounded by jungle away from the surrounding communities. We were cautioned to be on the alert from thieves and home invasions. Other neighbors in our area of the jungle had recently experienced being robbed, beaten, kidnapping, home invasion, etc. Prayerfully considering our need, the Lord put it on my heart to pray asking Him to put enough Angels with locked arms to surround our property of two acres. Knowing by faith that this request was not difficult for the Lord, we lived in constant peace and joy for our whole time there without any unfavorable incidents.

  158. Em says:

    JimmieT, i often (feeling a mite presumptuous) ask the Lord to dispatch angels.. glad to hear that report @ 3:28

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