Shrinking Easter

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85 Responses

  1. dswoager says:

    ““And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.””

    – When we grab for political control over this kingdom, it might be a good idea to take a long hard look at who is offering it to us.

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Until and unless we learn to incorporate a message of redemption and sacrificial love into our political discourse Easter will be a celebration preached to an increasingly shrinking choir.”

    Since Jesus is the sole actor in redemption and sacrificial love – are you suggesting we preach more Jesus in our political speech?

    I think that the left side of the church is equally damaging. I think we need to leave Jesus out of out politics and do what is best for America. In church… well that’s a completely different story.

  3. Xenia says:

    I don’t understand, coming from your position as a Calvinist, how anything a church does or does not do can prevent one of the Elect from coming to salvation.

    Seriously, I am not trying to be snarky or hostile. I understand your position is that God uses means (preaching, etc) to bring the Elect to salvation. Yet if “I” (Irresistible Grace) is true then even the worst of the worst, such as the Westoboro people, could not prevent one of God’s Elect from turning to God.

  4. Jim says:

    The latest issue of a LGBT magazine I publish for iOS has eight display ads and eleven classified ads for churches’ Easter services.

  5. papiaslogia says:

    Yes, the left side is overlooked for the part its played in co-opting the gospel for its purposes.

    If you find the gospel on the left side, that is. Can there be any gospel in the side that denies Jesus and the Bible as the Word of God, and affirms gay marriage and ordination of the same?

    Sure, lets talk about Easter.

    Christos voskres!

  6. Xenia says:

    Jim, correct. If homosexuals want to find an Easter service where they will not only be welcomed but lionized, they won’t have far to look.

  7. Xenia says:

    Христос воскрес! Воистину воскрес!

    (Pascha (Easter) is not this Sunday for the Orthodox, it’s the Sunday after.)

  8. Xenia says:

    We may uphold the law of God and simultaneously strip the Gospel of it’s power to save sinners and change lives.<<<

    I would say it is impossible to strip the Gospel of its power to save sinners and change lives.

  9. Xenia says:

    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

    This is why they don’t come to church.

    I understand that some churches are deemed “awful” by the PhxP crowd. But they are not all awful and it doesn’t take much effort to find an acceptable church/ parish where the truth is spoken in love.

  10. Michael says:

    I only have a moment.
    Classic Calvinism always holds a holy tension between the sovereignty of God and the responsibilities of men.
    God’s sovereignty in no way absolves me of responsibility.

    The churches that would advertise in an LGBT magazine would probably not be churches that would both affirm a person while still calling sin what it is.

    Do we really want political views to be a stumbling block to people hearing the Gospel?

    I’m surprised to find that because I hold some left or centrist political views that the Gospel probably cannot be found in my church.

    I’m more surprised to read that I deny Jesus and the Word of God and I neither affirm gay marriage or ordination.

    I wrote this being careful to critique both sides…because I believe in the church there should only be one side, that of Christ.

    I will be out most of the day caring for my mother, so it can be open season on me for the most part.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A funny thing about Easter & Christmas.

    Those who do not observe the traditional calendars, and tell folks who do that they are man made traditions, for some reason observe this 2 days on the calendar. What makes these 2 days more “calendar worthy”?

    The other day when I brought up that it was the day the church has observed for the annunciation to Mary or the conception of Jesus,there was some blowback about traditions, we don’t know the date, were you there etc.

    So what makes these 2 “traditional dates – man made traditions” now worthy?

    I could make a case that you could do a better evangelistic job telling people the power and love of God as he placed himself as an embryo inside the body of a woman for 9 months. Just wondering.

  12. Xenia says:

    I hold some left or centrist political views that the Gospel probably cannot be found in my church.<<<

    I’m more surprised to read that I deny Jesus and the Word of God<<<

    No one said this about you.

  13. Michael says:

    “No one said this about you.”

    papiaslogia @5

  14. dswoager says:

    Perhaps I read it wrong, but I thought that #5 was piggy backing off of #2.

  15. Jim says:

    I took #5 that way as well. Theo, not political.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    To Xenia’s point
    “This is why they don’t come to church.”
    I will raise it one and say that this is the reason they hate the church – because they hate Jesus. No one hates the church because of me – no one knows me that well, but they hate Jesus.

    Those folks who wrote all those books 10 yrs about how people love Jesus but hate the church or hate the church people, is nothing but nonsense. Those people are in love with a non existent Jesus.

    I am prepping to teach Matt 8 & 9 in a couple of weeks and I notice that the followers of Jesus were great folks, Jesus performed 10 miracles / healings in those 2 chapters and the people still strung him up.

  17. Xenia says:

    I don’t know why you would take Papiaslogia’s post personally.

  18. papiaslogia says:

    Michael, To quote Rick Warren, “Its not all about you”. I didn’t say you denied Christ and so forth – you read into that.

    Left liberal churches left the gospel long ago, but they don’t get your criticisms – only right wing churches do.

    Which I also assume you mean when you say “right wing” – you mean churches – correct? Or are you co-mingling?

    But if you mean on the political spectrum, we can go there too…..

  19. London says:

    Can someone list out what makes the “left side” of the church vs “the right” side so ill know which side to sit on if and when I ever attend your services???

    Is the imaginary line you guys are creating determined by thoughts on gay rights, feminism, social justice, political affiliation or age???

    You make up labels and then complain about people you decide are wearing them, even if they never agreed to it.

  20. Xenia says:

    Easy peasy, London.

    If you attend my parish, the women all stand on the left hand side of the nave and the men all stand on the right hand side.

  21. Charles says:

    I am starting to see that like it or not, we as a people who live in a democracy have to face the fact that the lgbt is here to stay like it or not.

    We had better get used to seeing them in churches, schools, pta meetings etc.

    They lived under our noses in secrecy for decades and now that they have heavy lobbying to make them a part of society we better get used to it.

    I don’t agree with it, I don’t approve of it, but what I do is hope for them, and pray for them and love them, just as Christ would do for them.

    They may be our stumbling blocks, on our way to glory.

    It could be that God had made them come to our attention so we can take a look at ourselves on the inside.

  22. Em says:

    dswoager @ #1 got me thinking…

    i grew up in a time of censorship and, what we now, perhaps, like to label as legalism: Sunday Blue Laws, you have no idea how pleasant that day of the week was… was that Scriptural? keeping the Sabbath? probably not, but it set a tone for the nation… a sense of the sacred… by the 1980s, the noon-time organ concert that had rung quietly out from the Presbyterian bell tower was prohibited as offensive and upsetting to the population as a whole… the Catholic hospital that piped throughout its rooms a comforting, quiet Scripture reading by the local priest disappeared
    i believe, whether they know or not, what the right wingers are trying to regain isn’t Church control of the nation, but rather an atmosphere – a sense of the Eternal – that, simply cannot be recovered…

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    London, I can tell you from my situation that the ELCA is the left side of the church and the LCMS is the right side of the church. It has nothing to do with the areas you mentioned. It has to do with what you think of Christ and what you think of. the Bible.

    Now THAT division itself may manifest itself in those areas, but those areas are not the cause.

    I would recommend Harold Lindsell’s book The Battle for the Bible (late 70s) – the SBC was going through the same thing at the same time.

    Or google around for Seminex or the exile from Concordia St. Louis in the mid 70s..

  24. Em says:

    “Easter is the day on the church calendar, the day churches plan way in advance for.

    This is because it’s become not only a day for the already faithful, but an evangelistic service as well.”

    perhaps, our evangelistic day should be the observation of the crucifixion? … no, let’s skip that and go on to victory … skip the price, skip the condemnation, we used to be sinners, but Jesus fixed that…

    just thinking… thinking… thinking… dunno

  25. dswoager says:

    Em, this may not mean much considering that I think that many churches already focus too much on evangelism on a typlical Sunday, but I’m not sure that Easter is really meant to be an evangelistic outreach event. Seems to be more about those who are already in the family gathering together to celebrate the resurrection of the one that has made them family in the first place.

    Easter Sunday is a victory lap. If you decide on that day that you want to join in that victory lap, cool, but of all days during the year Easter Sunday seems like the least appropriate to cater to the lost among us…. I dunno, thinking as well….

  26. Michael says:

    I had a friend come to Christ after 8 years recently.
    He didn’t hate Jesus, he hated the way that some of Jesus people spoke and acted.
    He didn’t, couldn’t, hear the Gospel over all the politics.
    He will not go to any evangelical church because of this…he may remain unchurched or go to one of the “liberal” churches because he doesn’t want to have any political baggage involved.

    My whole plea hear is to put the Gospel front and center and keep our politics way behind it.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Charles said “We had better get used to seeing them in churches, schools, pta meetings etc.”

    I want them in church – I want them in a Bible believing church so they can hear the law and then the gospel. I want the adulterer there also. I may draw the line at the child molester but I want everyone in church … to have their lives rocked by the word of God and the Holy Spirit.

  28. Em says:

    before i came face to face with the fact of God’s love – the cross – i didn’t like church people either… someone here has pointed out, rightly so, that we have a wheat and tares mix of folk in the pews… trouble is the tares seem to be the ones who are the gatekeepers… i think maybe – dunnno – that that is the result of pastors (just evangelicals?) who are/have been too passive or misunderstanding of their role … ? …

  29. Charles says:

    But to get “them” in a bible believing church they would also reap the same benefits as traditional families would,

    Would you be okay with performing a marriage between two men or two women?

    Would two men kissing each other after one come forward at an altar call be broadcast on Harvest Crusade’s big screen?

    What about enrolling their child in a Christian school and having them sue the school for discrimination?

    See the mind is poisoned to believe that this lifestyle is okay, normal, they way they were born.

    I want to see how this subject is going to hold up in 2016.

    Do churches even open the doors to gay couples? I have yet to see any invitations to them. Easter would of been a good time to invite our gay neighbors to service.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Charles – nope – most of the above would require membership. Membership is a 2 way street. The church promises certain things to the member and the member promises certain things back to the church.

    We don’t do altar calls so no one is going to be kissing.

    No same sex marriages – but we also frown (not forbid) 2nd marriages.

    Our church door is open to all. When they walk in, we don’t know who they are. When a hetero couple walk in, we don’t know if they are married, single, cheating on their spouse. When do not interrogate at that point.

    Children in our school is no problem – they need to hear the truth.

  31. papiaslogia says:

    Micheal – good news about your friend, first and foremost.

    I sympathize, I too hate the way the Gospel gets all meshed with politics. But it goes for both sides of the aisle.

    If your friend decides to go to a liberal church he’s gonna get their baggage.

    Is their any church that doesn’t have an axe to grind when it comes to the Gospel and politics?

  32. Michael says:

    papiaslogia,

    The people in my church are politically just to the right of Reagan…about as far right as you can get without a Tea Party.
    I tend toward center/left.
    We just leave those differences at the church door and we fellowship around the Word and sacraments.

    My thought for my friend is that if he goes to a liturgical Anglican or Reformed church he will avoid all the politics…they tend to stick to the liturgy and the text.

    You have to understand that where I live the Christian media is all owned by a high ranking, very conservative Republican and there is huge pressure on the churches daily to conform.

    He is actually a prince of a fellow and one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard…but he keeps the heat on for political engagement.

    High heat.

  33. Xenia says:

    Well, one of the last times I attended an Anglican church the children of the parish marched into the nave with banners and upon these banners were affixed tin cans, plastic bottles and other bits and pieces of trash. This was done in support of environmentalism, a political statement if there ever was one.

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In my 34 yrs as a Christian, the most political thing I ever heard from the pulpit was Israel / Middle East stuff. I never heard anyone politicking for candidates.( thats CC, SBC and LCMS) – and that also included the entire wild 80s.

    Outside they may have had voter advisory booklets but that’s it.
    In my almost 10 yrs as a Lutheran, I have not heard anything that even edged up to being political – not even an abortion message let alone one about gaydom … and the Lutheran church has some pretty staunch views on these topics, but you must go into the other kingdom to find and discuss them.

  35. Xenia says:

    In my 13 years as an Orthodox Christian I have only heard 3 things said which could remotely be considered political.

    1. We have both Russians and Ukrainians in our parish. We pray for the peace of Ukraine, without taking sides. (And it seems by tacit agreement, the topic is not discussed at the pot luck afterwards.)

    2. When one of our parish churches was being picketed by homosexuals in San Francisco a few years back, our bishop came and affirmed the traditionalal Christian view on marriage in just a few sentences. He was being a good bishop.

    3. In the announcements, it was mentioned that the local Compassion Pregnancy Center could use a few volunteers.

  36. Xenia says:

    In fact, in my entire 63 years of church attendance I have observed politicking among the liberal churches far more than I have observed it among the conservative churches.

  37. Jim says:

    I’ll be happy when Christians realize that libertarianism is the only political philosophy consistent with a Biblical worldview. 🙂

  38. Xenia says:

    Unless you want to call preaching biblical morality “politicking.”

  39. Steve Wright says:

    Obama has referenced and quoted Jesus, by name, as President, from the bully pulpit more than Bush ever did.

    Does he get blame for keeping out of church this Easter all those agnostic/atheist Republican voters who could care less about gays but want to cut unemployment, minimum wage laws, taxes and send all the illegals back over the border. And thus hate Obama’s economic politics to the core?

    Our concern is for ALL the lost, right? And the damage that mixing politics and religions does to keep them away….All these guys know about Jesus is when Obama quotes Him for some political purpose.

    In a two-party nation with millions of voters, people with any political interest will gravitate one way or the other. As exit polls show year after year the objective fact is that people who never go to church at all, or say they go once or twice a year, vote Democrat much higher than the national average, and people who go to church weekly or more than weekly vote Republican higher than the national average. McCain was no friend of evangelicals but he swamped Obama in that metric even as he lost by 7 points in the election. Meanwhile, Obama won the no church no religion vote 2-1.

    Had nothing to do with gays in 2008. Obama ran against gay marriage and did probably better than McCain in the Rick Warren debate/interview they both had

    Now, the thesis advanced is that many of those Democrats who don’t go to church, don’t go because of Republican politics. If someone looked at the same data and argued that people who really care about church and God are going to vote Republican, they would be booed off the stage…rightly. Both arguments are ludicrous, though only one is advanced on this blog. In a nation of millions of people and a two-party system, there will be plenty of anecdotal evidence like the one cited above that can be used to make any claim one wants. But the big picture facts remain. Just check out CNN over the years for their election breakdowns.

    Hey, my first vote as a lost sinner was for Bush Sr in 1988. I too would never darken the doors of a church on Easter or any other day, and did not feel the slightest guilt about it. LOST people do not want to come to the light – as Jesus said (and quoted above).

    Sure hard to make a case that conservative politics is what kept me away from church though. As I said, anecdotal

    Like Em said…this shift has taken lots of time, and still is mostly a national level issue as most Republicans are far more liberal in New York or Rhode Island than conservative Democrats in Oklahoma or Tennessee. The place on the map tells more a lot of the time than the voting registration. Oregon I am sure, (which has not voted for a Republican President since the ’84 Reagan landslide) is no exception

    Way before stuff like gay marriage became a partisan issue, we had years and years of random atheists, judges, politicians, school teachers and principals, p*rn peddlers like Larry Flynt, the Hollywood establishment in movies and television, all doing their best to go after all things Christian. Remove a 150 year-old cross, forbid a kid to read a Bible at lunch hour, on and on and on….and whenever the politics were known in such cases, there was that common denominator.

    I had some family that hated Republicans who also were strong Christians. They got to the point where their disgust for the Democrat changes over the years pushed them away from voting. The same is happening in the Republican party today. People aren’t going to go over to the other side…they just stop or vote 3rd party

    Maybe one day we will have ten small parties that require a coalition government. A 2nd Amendment party, Big labor Democrat party, prolife-traditional marriage party, economic focused, military focused, green party, libertarian drug party etc.

    Until then, as papiaslogia has stated well more than once, to refuse to see things from BOTH sides is as partisan as anything being complained about.

    Gays have plenty of churches to welcome them this Easter. I get materials that go out of their way to tell prospective visitors how they are wanted and accepted no matter their orientation, gender and so forth.

    Sometimes…people don’t want to stop their sin and seek God. At least if Jesus is to be believed.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve is right. Just as I said in my #16, ALL unbelievers hate Jesus. Some buy the excuse “I love Jesus but hate his church / followers. They are just trying to put a good spin on their hate by blaming politics etc.

    This is no different than the guy who hated Jesus but to cover it up said he had to go bury his father, or the guy who said I bought a field, I married a wife, I bought some oxen,

    All politically correct nonsense to try and blame someone else or divert their own hate for Jesus.

  41. Michael says:

    I might have known that politics would bring Steve back to blast me.

    I will refrain from blasting back…but don’t think for a minute I don’t want to respond in kind.

  42. London says:

    I think he’s blasting Obama, not you Michael 🙂

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think he is blasting people who use politics as an excuse to not believe the promises of Jesus Christ.

  44. Jim says:

    I’m glad to see Steve, even if he said “libertarian drug party”.

    How about, the “mind your own business, don’t hurt people, and don’t steal their stuff” party.

  45. Em says:

    i confess that i had a little trouble following Steve’s comment tonight, but i think London and MLD got it

  46. Michael says:

    “Both arguments are ludicrous, though only one is advanced on this blog.”

    Trust me on this…it was me and it’s personal.

    It just got a lot more personal.

  47. Q says:

    “That would be a far greater loss than losing the culture war”

    Seems the only ones in a culture war are the neo reformed, the post millennial, and the biblical liberal, after all none of these believe in a soon return of Christ, so…continue on in your world dominion through your redeeming the cosmos with your missiology (fake love) dominionism, or redefining the bible.

    I thought the church was the pillar of truth so those who wanted out of the culture and find truth could.

  48. Q says:

    Michael, Politics and religion are the same to you, It’s the bird with two heads, one head represents religion the other politics, it’s on lots of flags etc., google it.

  49. Q says:

    Why block me, is it because you have an agenda or because I want part of the proceeds from your next book (not really, just was making a point).

  50. Michael says:

    Q,

    You’re blocked because you are nothing but contentious.
    Your posts in moderation are both contentious and false.
    I have neither the time or desire to waste on you.
    You will stay moderated.
    As I said to someone else yesterday, there is something wrong with someone who craves being on a website where they find the owner and the content odious.
    Life is way too short for that kind of stuff.

  51. Randall Slack says:

    The religious organization that calls itself “the church” is a social club that appeals only to those who share its views. It has made church “friendly” and “sensitive” and as a result, has no power to change lives. The emphasis is on raising money and filling the pews. The “pastors” so-called, enrich themselves all while pressing others to “sacrifice.” And, whenever there is any accusations against any of their own, they circle the wagons and come to the defense no matter what the offense. And if any ask questions or disagree with their methods, they are labeled as “divisive” or refusing to submit to God given “authority.”

    Ask those who disagree with this religious organization, they suddenly are no longer so “friendly and sensitive.” It is only then that their true nature comes out, which is often cruel and heartless. I know this truth first hand.

    Years ago, when I first pastored in a town of 500, I invited the lady who ran the only bar in town to church. Almost everyone was cold and distant to her. And when they found out that the pastor (myself) had invited her, they were extremely upset. I didn’t last long, less than two years.

    And those who profess to embrace and teach the bible are the worst. They speak of grace, but practice legalism. They expect you to conform, to fit in. Fail to do so, and you are treated as a leper. I have witnessed this behavior over the years and have chosen not to be a part of it any longer.

    It would be easy for those in the religious organization to call me angry or bitter. That’s the easy way out. It’s easier for them that way.

  52. Michael, the next time you run into one of these”I can’t be a Christian because the church people do X” – ask this question “If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian?”

    If he says no, he is not on an honest quest – true or false he is not budging.

    If he answers yes, ask him “what do the actions of other Christians have to dowith whether or not the claims of Jesus are true?” Remember, we are only asking “IF”.

    I think you will find all of the “other people are keeping me away from Jesus” to be fakers.

  53. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You can believe what you choose.
    I know too many Christians who will now have nothing to do with the church and I’m engaged with a number of “seekers” for lack of a better word who see a massive disconnect between what Christianity professes to be and how it’s worked out in culture.

  54. Michael says:

    Randall…thank you.

  55. Randall – stop going to those type churches and go find a regular one.

  56. Michael – Christians are another story and were not a part of the original comment.

    But how does seeing a disconnect in the church stop the Holy Spirit from delivering Jesus to people? You are enabling these folks to point at others instead of realizing who they are outside of Christ. And you seem to be agreeing with them.

    I don’t remember Paul with all the troubles in all the churches agreeing with people to stay away. Just does not happen.

  57. “who see a massive disconnect between what Christianity professes”

    It seems that you, or whoever they are talking to are directing them to look to the church and not to Jesus.

  58. Michael says:

    “It seems that you, or whoever they are talking to are directing them to look to the church and not to Jesus.”

    I already said I don’t have time to argue with you.

    Unfortunately, the church and Jesus are rather intimately connected…I would assume you know that.

    The one thing I do is continue to point them to Jesus… unfortunately, as I said, His church has a lot of baggage a lot of people don’t want to deal with.

  59. Q says:

    “Q,

    You’re blocked because you are nothing but contentious.
    Your posts in moderation are both contentious and false.
    I have neither the time or desire to waste on you.
    You will stay moderated.
    As I said to someone else yesterday, there is something wrong with someone who craves being on a website where they find the owner and the content odious.
    Life is way too short for that kind of stuff.”

    Michael,
    I am not always contentious, Steve and I have agreed at times and so have I and Xenia (she is probably the nicest person on here, even though she has imo a works gospel, maybe that is why, never the less she is a voice of reason) and others.

    Why can’t there be open opinions?

    And I just made a comment about a comment Nonnnie made on another thread as brilliant.

    Seems most of the reformed do not like an open discussion???

    I once told you how dangerous skate parks can be and you got angry at me, I just didn’t want you unaware, there was nothing in it for me but for you.

    Are you the only one allowed to be right?

  60. Q says:

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend; But the kisses of an enemy are profuse.

  61. We must live in different worlds of evangelism. I have never initiated a conversation with someone about Jesus and have them tell me they would be a Christian but they don’t like Christians.

    Every person I ever speak with tell me quite directly why they don’t believe, or that they used to believe and now don’t – and it’s always just that – because they don’t believe and then they throw in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  62. Michael says:

    Q,

    There is diversity of opinion here.
    Almost everyone has disagreed with me today.
    I simply am not going to deal with contentious people.
    Period.

  63. Q says:

    Hey Michael,

    You said spending time on me is a waste of time, does Jesus think time on me is a waste?

    You shouldn’t say that, that is from the business world.

    And I do not find the content odious, just wrong at times and you doublespeak a lot!

    Maybe I crave??? being on this blog because I have learned from the people on here, but I can not agree to what I am not convinced of or capitulate to what I know is not true.

    Is that what Reformed theology demands?

  64. Q says:

    Is it fair to show only one side of the conversation?

    Is Reformed theology fair?

    Will not the God of all the universe do what is fair?

    Shouldn’t we try?

  65. Michael says:

    Q,

    I could care less if you embrace Reformed theology or not.
    Most people here are not Reformed.
    Please find something to do other than bother me.

  66. Q says:

    And what is wrong with contentious? I do not care about being right, only what is right.

    Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

  67. Q says:

    “Please find something to do other than bother me.”

    Why, you matter to me.

    Besides unless you have an agenda what is the bother, if I am wrong on anything I am wrong, I do not care, let what is right be right.

  68. Em says:

    MLD -“It seems that you, or whoever they are talking to are directing them to look to the church and not to Jesus.”
    point well taken… but
    Pastor Randall -“They speak of grace, but practice legalism. They expect you to conform, to fit in. Fail to do so, and you are treated as a leper. I have witnessed this behavior over the years and have chosen not to be a part of it any longer.”

    so, perhaps God, Himself, invented the internet 🙂

    for those of us who have been asked, in one way or another, to leave a church, i pray for more gatherings with pastors such as Michael and Randall … gatherings where Jesus is Lord and the focus of our commonality … and i pray for the settled and comfortable pew sitters to exhibit less smug denominationalism and more joy in what their heritage brings them of their savior – Jesus the Christ

    God keep

  69. Q says:

    Michael, I know you do not care if embrace reformed theology, I never implied that. it’s not the issue, only what is right and just and true…to me.

    This is a good example of you missing the point.

  70. mike says:

    You might appreciate this michael. From my neck of Phoenix Arizona to your Phoenix Preacher for National Poetry month.

    Across the ‘Rio Grande’Jesus was an immigrant to this world was heaven sent for our sin, the vail was rent between man and God. with sheep and goats,endless blood with little hope repeated failure only stoked the waiting Fires below. Jesus was an immigrant to this world was heaven sent for MY sin, the vail was rent between my God and me.-mike t.

    Jesus Broke the ‘Rules’ to Set Us Free. Have a good night
    -mike

  71. Jtk says:

    Please join me in reaching out to the gay people among us. The gay lifestyle is so incredibly destructive (suicide rates, drug and alcohol addiction and domestic violence rates are through the roof), we have such an opportunity.

    As a communist whose life was falling apart, the Gospel still drew me, IN SPITE of the Rush Limbaigh fan who taught me the Bible….

    The rest is history.

    And our fellowship has quite a few converts from the rainbow flag community.

  72. Michael says:

    JTK,

    You should write an article for us about the converts and what you encounter in your ministry…that would be very good of you to do.

  73. Michael says:

    Mike,

    That…I like a lot.

  74. Q says:

    Things not addressed – Why?

    “Michael,
    I am not always contentious, Steve and I have agreed at times and so have I and Xenia (she is probably the nicest person on here, even though she has imo a works gospel, maybe that is why, never the less she is a voice of reason) and others.”

    “Why can’t there be open opinions?”

    “You said spending time on me is a waste of time, does Jesus think time on me is a waste?

    “And I just made a comment about a comment Nonnie made on another thread as brilliant.”

    “Why, you matter to me.”

    “Is it fair to show only one side of the conversation?”

    etc………

  75. Michael says:

    Q,

    There will be no more discussion with you.
    If you want to email me about something, feel free.
    I’m done now.

  76. Q says:

    I emailed you before and you made weird accusations that were not true, never the less I will try again.

  77. Q says:

    Hey you’ve got email.
    You’re a busy guy, so…

  78. Steve Wright says:

    I do believe Michael misinterpreted me as badly as he misinterpreted others in his reply @10 (before I showed up). Understandable given what he shared with us about his mother.

    I too wrote to be critical of both sides, (to repeat) that anyone who claims real Christians have to vote Republican is just as badly off as I believe Michael is. Ludicrous is my opinion – the thesis, not the people.

    I included objective, poly-sci data (in the spirit of ‘educate thyself’ this week) A quote from Jesus, a reminder that there are plenty of lost Republicans, and my own personal testimony as a lost sinner. I also agreed with the prior posters, several of them, who likewise shared their concerns over the religious left in churches today (again before I showed up to comment)

    In a very lengthy post of mine, one half of one point is singled out as the big personal blast against our host and apparently also some shot of escalation of hostilities are suggested to all the blog readers (a few of whom had noticed my recent absence and privately asked if I was well…which I appreciate all who did).

    Blog family, while Michael and I did have a strong, email disagreement, offblog, (which I will not share publicly) and while it did lead me to step back for a couple weeks for the good of myself and the blog….my last words written to Michael were “love you and the blog and its community. I wish all the best”

    I meant it then. I mean it now. I disagreed with his political post today. His reply to all of you reading “Trust me on this…it was me and it’s personal.”…is simply not true.

    Peace.

  79. Q says:

    Steve, I have to disagree with you again, I’m sorry.

    It probably was not personal with you, but with Michael, everything seems personal, It’s called the flesh.

    You both can now attack me, oh wait this will never be seen.

  80. Jim says:

    So, Steve and Michael…

    Make things right. I’d be happy to mediate on a conference call, or I’ll butt out, but you guys need to get on the phone and fix this.

    Today would be good…. 🙂

  81. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, my last response was specifically to alleviate any idea that there was some feud – certainly not from where I sit.

    As I have done many times in the last 6-7 years, I wrote Michael privately about something he blogged to which I disagreed. I do so, privately, because of our friendship.

    I made my points and he made his and at the end of the day, this is his blog, not mine – a point I have always acknowledged and accepted.

    There is nothing to mediate. I truly have no ill will in this. I really can’t say it more clearly. So I’ll stop now.

  82. Jim says:

    Steve,

    No need for reconciliation because things are fine from where you sit? They don’t appear fine from where Michael sits.

  83. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is a must watch 3:30 min
    Tammy Bruce who 20 years ago was the first lesbian big radio personality here in SoCal speaking against the LGBT tactics in the Indiana deal.She is a liberal … although not as liberal as 20 yrs ago.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4149090757001/mainstream-media-attack-indiana-pizza-shop/?#sp=show-clips

  84. Nonnie says:

    MLD, that Tammy Bruce interview was excellent!

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