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242 Responses

  1. Em says:

    weell
    i can’t see anything wrong with crying out to God “on behalf of our nation and our world…”
    i read that 80% of religious persecution in the world is directed at Christians today, so maybe it is time to ask for the Father to forgive those who are doing this? dunno, tho

  2. Papias says:

    I wonder… if the Rapture happens like she says…and there’s just not that many who get taken?

    What if the Rapture happened and no one noticed? Or are people gonna then “party like its the end of the world”?

    NarrowGatePapias

  3. Em says:

    Papias, there’ll be a big sigh of relief heard round the world when we go up… that’s my guess

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The lady sounds pretty stuck up (as we used to say in the Archie & Jughead days)

    This is what gets me about both evangelicals and rapture theology people – ” can you imagine the impact on our nation, let alone the world, when suddenly every single authentic Christian disappears? ”

    What is an authentic Christian? Someone please help me here. Is there such an entity as a non authentic Christian? What do you do to be authenticated? Is there a label in your underwear?

    Why can’t people just say “Christian”?

  5. Jerry says:

    Sounds just as rediculous as she does. Why not say, it’s plausible, just like my view is plausible.
    “For whoever is not against us is for us.” – Jesus

  6. Michael says:

    Jerry,

    I’m tired of the “Blessed Hope” being turned into “The Abject Terror”.

    i believe in the pre wrath rapture of the church…and I’m looking forward to it in joy, not visions of destruction.

  7. “Emmanuel” = God With Us

    not later
    not after the s*it hits the fan
    not after a mythological “rapture”

    “Emmanuel” = God With Us NOW

  8. Xenia says:

    I do not believe that the unbelieving people of the world will heave a great sigh of relief when we “go up” because they will be finding themselves numbered among the goats and trying to manage their new lives (or lack thereof) in outer darkness.

    However, lest I sound too smug (forgive me) in Ortholandia we do have a lot of people, mostly monastics and conservatives, who believe the world is coming to a calamitous end soon and very soon, and that we do need to make certain preparations which includes prayer and fasting and being mindful of our own deaths as well as the salvation of others. It does not involve sending money to anyone or propping up a celebrity ministry. We are to be alert because we don’t know when our Lord is coming.

    We eat a lot of nut butters at our house that are made by a company called MaraNatha. Whenever I reach for a jar I say, O Lord, come! That’s about it as far as my personal involvement with eschatology goes, apart from living the ordinary, pietistic to some, Christian life.

  9. JTK says:

    Has ANYONE who predicted stuff EVER “owned it” when they were wrong?

    Perhaps I missed a recantation….
    I’ve been turned off since at least y2k when I had some cash in anticipation of the world melting; NO ONE apologized or said they were wrong that i ever heard.

    -Harbinger Captain Kirk

  10. Xenia says:

    You know what we always say around here as the New Year and the next round of “prophecy updates” are scheduled. Just play the tape of last’s year’s update and see how much of it actually happened.

  11. Xenia says:

    I remember Pastor Chuck (memory eternal) used to give extremely detailed descriptions of what he thought was going to happen. Did any of those things happen in the time frame he predicted?

  12. JTK says:

    “Is there such an entity as a non authentic Christian? ”

    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any **so-called brother** if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-not even to eat with such a one.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭9-11‬ NASB)

  13. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I wish more people would reflect on a theme you’ve spoken here many times.
    Since my health issues started,I have a very real sense of my own personal Rapture.
    It’s far more effective in increasing my piety than anything else.

  14. JTK says:

    I predicted that America would NEVER elect a Mormo bug-bear worshipper, especially Mitt Romney. Nailed it!

    I predicted to Xenia and Sarah that Obama wouldn’t get elected the first time. I apologize, Xenia. And to Sarah, wherever she is today.

    So let me start the flurry of false predictions that are apologized for….

  15. Xenia says:

    JTK, educated guesses aren’t the same as prophecies!

  16. JTK says:

    Maybe it’s gracious people like you that keep the pundits from apologizing, Xenia!

    😉

  17. Papias says:

    My own rapture is on my mind as my age increases. When I do think about it, my ONLY concern is for my family – what will happen to them? Once I go through all the “what ifs” and “maybe we should do this to better prepare for the future”( not talking about life insurance, have had that covered for years), I eventually get to the place of saying – “God, you take of me and them NOW. Thank you. Please take care of them when I get into your presence.”

    if the Rapture happens now, then I am pretty sure the my family is all going at once – so I don’t have to worry about them.

    Sorry if this sounds selfish… 🙁

  18. Xenia says:

    Jerry, I would never say that people who believe in the Rapture theory are “against Christ.” Some of the most wonderful Christians I know believe in the pre-trib, pre-mil view. I believe they are in error, but like me, they are expecting the Lord to return and to that I can say Amen.

    What is problematic is the over-emphasis on this view. Too many sermons, novels, movies, organizations and money spent on this. And there’s a sort of hysterical excitement about it that I don’t find all that wholesome, especially when you take into account this theory involves the destruction of earth while the Raptured “genuine” Christians sit on clouds and gleefully watch the show. Yes, there is a definite element of glee involved in this view which I find distasteful.

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am watching a video of Mrs. Lotz. Here is what I have determined in the first 15 min. She is the best looking prophecy wonk I have ever watched. 😉

  20. Here’s the closest thing to an admission, from Mr. Camping…

    In March 2012, Camping admitted that his predictions were in error, stating: “We humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing.” He also announced the “End to Doomsday Predictions”. In May 2012, a year after the failure of Camping’s prophecy, Religion Dispatches published a report on Camping’s disillusioned former followers, some of whom had reportedly come to view him as a cult leader.

    In October 2012, the Christian Post reported that Family Radio was re-broadcasting recordings of Camping’s teachings. In March 2013, it was calculated that Family Stations Inc. spent more than $5 million on billboard advertising in 2011, the year the apocalypse was predicted to occur, and the network was reported to be suffering from a major loss of revenue, forcing it to sell its main radio stations and lay off staff. In January 2014, a month after Harold Camping’s death, Family Radio stated that it would maintain his mission and theology, including the belief that all established Christian churches are apostate.

  21. Xenia says:

    Here’s something I always found contradictory in the Rapture theory. Ann G. L. wrote:

    I believe it’s time to not just pray. It’s time to cry out to God on behalf of our nation and our world.”<<<

    (Overlooking the fact that "crying out to God" *is* prayer….)

    So it seems if we contribute money or time to causes like this, we can delay the Rapture? Is this what she is saying? If we clean up America's act, the Lord will tarry some more? Is there anything anyone can do to affect the 2nd Coming? (Or Rapture, if you believe in that.)

    Yet people long for the Lord to return, even in Rapturist churches. We used to sing "O Lord, come!" If something went wrong, the first thing people always said was "I hope the Lord comes back soon and fixes this."

    So which is it? Do we sent money to Anne G.L. in hopes that she can do something to hold the Rapture back? (Could anything be more ridiculous?) Or do we hope He comes soon? Which is it?

    I remember a man came up to me during my CC days, all upset about black helicopters and who knows what all. You know, the usual stuff. "We have to do something about this!" I said, "Aren't you hoping for the Rapture to occur soon?" "Oh yes!" "Then why are you trying to prevent it?" (As if he could.)

  22. What amazes me is that the failed Rapture crap keeps getting a hearing from the evangelical churches in America, especially Calvary Chapel

  23. Josh The Baptist says:

    Surely there is a way to disagree on secondary (or less) points of theology without mockery? Maybe not.

  24. Dan from Georgia says:

    I recall seeing the accompanying graphic attached to a bible tract when I was a young Christian. Of course no one in their lifetime could imagine a passenger jet liner crashing into a tall building outside of the rapture, right?

    You didn’t happen to see Mike Huck(ster)abee’s latest panic-inducing statement on the fakeChristianPost website, did any of you? Seem’s as though any so-called bible-believing Christian nowadays that has their name in the media’s spotlight or is running for president is running around trying to gather voters to their side with paranoid rantings.

  25. Xenia says:

    Josh, I apologize if I came across as mocking. The contradictions in the Rapture theory were evident to me even when I attended CC. Yet if I presented my concerns in a mocking tone, please forgive me. In fact, leave out the “if.” I am sorry for my tone.

  26. Michael says:

    Xenia…your #21 nails it.

  27. Josh The Baptist says:

    Xenia, I didn’t take your post as mocking. Those sounded like legitimate disagreements.

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    Xenia (21); did you happen to ask said black-helicopter person if they were taking their meds? You are right, some people just want it both ways.

    It’s time for Christians to STOP this nonsense that we somehow have to “take back ‘murica!” (i.e., vote Republican) so that God will bless our nation again and not bury us in fire and brimstone because a gay couple got married (funny, Canada still stands and has had gay marriage for quite some time now ((not promoting gay mirage here in any way, btw)).

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – is it a secondary issue? Make the proclamation in your church that you don’t believe there will be a rapture and see how secondary it is. 🙂

  30. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The church has used satire and mockery for hundreds of years.
    I’ve used it since I started, so there should be no shock here.
    Sometimes, it’s the most effective and interesting way to make a point.
    I’m sure if the barrels were turned on Todd Bentley or Benny Hinn, you’d say the amen…

  31. Josh The Baptist says:

    1. MLD – My church has had open discussions about different aspects of the end times, where I have questioned and disagreed about certain aspects of the rapture stuff. I’m still on the payroll.

    2. Mockery – I may just not be cut out for the blog world anymore. I like to see my brothers disagree or agree, but treat each other with some amount of respect. Sometimes it seems the message would get through better if the mockery was peeled back a bit. It would start a discussion instead of a fight. Maybe.

    3. Re : Bentley – Flame away, and yes, my hypocrisy will be very evident 🙂

  32. Em says:

    Xenia,”I do not believe that the unbelieving people of the world will heave a great sigh of relief when we “go up” because they will be finding themselves numbered among the goats and trying to manage their new lives (or lack thereof) in outer darkness.”

    perhaps i should have been more specific… the sigh of relief would be short-lived

    that said, even tho i interpret the “two witnesses” as identifiable beings, the word is that everyone celebrates when they’re taken out – depravity is delusional – so there is some reason to think that the world will be glad that we’re gone… for a short time that is…

    however, for those who don’t think we’ll ever be called off the surface of the earth, i’ve read that we are being killed at the rate of 100,000 a year right now, so in time we will be gone – maybe we’ll qualify for ‘endangered species’ … ? …

  33. Michael says:

    Josh,

    This was pretty mild…and there seems to be a good discussion happening.
    As I said, I believe there will be a Rapture and Second Coming…just disagree about the time.
    My biggest concerns are that we have turned the greatest event since the Cross into something to dread…

  34. Em says:

    FWIW – Y2K was not all ‘chicken little” stuff… the computer code being written in the last couple decades of the 20th century was very, very limited in memory allotment… the date fields, years were input as 2 digits and the effect on business calculations – interest accrual and bill paying – was going to be chaotic – a whole lot of feverish time was spent making changes to old code to prevent this… we did dodge a bullet
    and those black helicopters? they’re out there, i live in central Washington and i watched one come over the hill behind my house one day and fly overhead without making a sound… but now drones are available should we citizens need watching 😆

  35. Xenia says:

    Have these para-church “taking back America” organizations had any success at all? Since the days of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, things have continued to deteriorate, morality-wise. The methods they promote (mostly involving mass-mailing pleas for more money to keep them afloat) seem ineffective, unless their main goal *is* to keep their organizations afloat.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well let’s take a PP vote. I do not want America to be a Christian country.

    Who here wants America to be — well perhaps I need to qualify it as Mrs. Lotz states – who wants America to be an authentic Christian country?

  37. Josh The Baptist says:

    “This was pretty mild…”

    I agree, as was my rebuttal.

    ” I believe there will be a Rapture and Second Coming…just disagree about the time.”

    That’s why it seems like such a miniscule thing to mock. I mean how could anyone know the time, until the time has happened?

    “something to dread…”

    There are lots of passages in Revelation that speak of plagues, wars, and death. I look forward to Jesus’ return, but the events leading up to that do seem pretty bleak.

  38. Josh The Baptist says:

    I would love for every single person in America to be a Christian and to attempt to act like one.

  39. filbertz says:

    MLD–authentic Christians go commando.

    Mrs. Lotz attaches herself to her famous father or she’d be a no one.

    I’m still waiting for an answer on where to take America back. And for what reason–doesn’t fit? Broken or defective? Wrong color? Found a better price elsewhere?

    I’d like America to be more Christ-like, but I’m not holding my breath. In fact, I’d like myself to be more Christ-like, so I’d better start there.

  40. Papias says:

    MLD – Why wouldn’t you want every person in America to be a Christian?

  41. filbertz says:

    perhaps I should have said “Americans” rather than America.

    Josh, what about married Americans? 😉 sorry, couldn’t resist…it’s Friday.

  42. Em says:

    “earthquakes” and rumors in diverse places – another big one today in the South Pacific and just before the Nepal quake we had a cluster of three her in the PNW: bing, bang boom that had the U of W seismologists scratching their heads

    everything continues as it always has? yes, but it does seem to be intensifying or speeding up… maybe that’s because i’m old? i think we can best hasten the Lord’s return by praying “cry out to God” for souls to be saved

    MLD, what would an authentic Christian country look like? when in doubt, run and shout more Christians! we need more Christians! er something

  43. Josh The Baptist says:

    Married people have enough problems to deal with. Let the single people deal with it 🙂

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Paps,
    “MLD – Why wouldn’t you want every person in America to be a Christian?”

    Is that the same as America being a Christian nation? Is that how we “take” back America? Convert or leave!

    What does it mean to be a Christian nation – will we baptize our congress people. Would they need to show a baptismal certificate?

    I want America to be fully and authentically American – the fact that their are people here in great numbers who hate either God in general or Jesus Christ in particular does not bother me at all when it comes to thinking about America.

  45. Outside looking In says:

    LOL!!!
    Some of you guys have demonstrated you have no better reasoning skills than the prophecy wonks that you love to make fun of!!!!

  46. Josh The Baptist says:

    You don’t want God-haters to become Christians?

  47. Steve Wright says:

    This is mainly to Xenia, who I have no doubt is asking a sincere question @21. Xenia, how I read this and the urge for prayer is as a breath of fresh air.

    Too often, ESPECIALLY in Calvary Chapel, the rapture was explained as an escape. It plays well in America, but only in America (and maybe a couple other places, Australia for example, where Christians are not the minority and the nation is pretty free and prosperous).

    I appreciate a distinction she makes which is one I and a few likeminded Calvary brothers of mine seem to share when it comes to preaching. And that is that when the rapture happens, (and this is true for the prewrath crowd too) it will be hell on earth in many ways. However, that does NOT mean that there will not be hell on earth here in the USA before the rapture, and American Christians have plenty to pray about in seeking revival, and God’s grace and mercy given our many national sins.

    It has nothing to do with delaying the rapture, or for that matter, does anyone with sense think we can hasten the rapture. Isn’t it interesting that a guy like Hibbs (criticized earlier) is still very much pretrib and yet wants to be active today for the Lord and His kingdom. I am pretrib and we are in the process of thinking how we can expand our help and homeless ministry in the community. There is no contradiction.

    I seek a balance in trying to prepare those at CCLE that it is going to be harder and harder to live for Christ without compromise in our country, in ways we have not experienced…and on occasion I mention specifically that it is foolish to think the rapture guarantees us a free pass.

    On the other hand, I make clear that REAL persecution is what our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are facing, and to not have a false, martyr complex and overreact to things happening in America, but to thank God we still have the many freedoms we have and to use those freedoms for His glory to the fullest. (That’s about as political as I get. Be salt and light and use the freedoms you have to speak up for Jesus and righteousness)

    (As to mockery, I join Josh in recognizing a huge difference in using mockery, satire, and general snarkiness when talking about an adulterous pastor starting a new church versus assuming one can attach motives to a sister in the Lord which is the domain of God alone. I choose to believe she loves the country (like her dad) and is not worried too much about securing a personal following, all the more considering who she is. I also don’t understand the reasoning since the prewrath view separates the rapture from the 2nd Coming too, and involves the many things discussed that will befall the earth. Finally, I see her making no predictions here whatsoever – and that she is not even in the ballpark of those guys who have the New Years eve “update” messages)

  48. Michael says:

    Pre wrath does not separate the Rapture and Second Coming. Don’t let facts get in the way of another passive aggressive bite…

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh,
    “You don’t want God-haters to become Christians?” Sure – as a Christian I do … not as an American.Is that your motive – to convert people so you can live in a Christian nation?

    And here is another thing you probably don’t understand – being a God hater does not make that person any less of an American. And one other thing – to me if there are 1 billion people to be converted before the Lord returns, other than perhaps my family I don’t care if they are 1 billion Americans or 1 billion Peruvians – do you?

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “It has nothing to do with delaying the rapture, or for that matter, does anyone with sense think we can hasten the rapture.”

    There is no rapture to delay or hasten 😉

  51. Josh The Baptist says:

    I’m sure Peruvians need the Lord, though I haven’t ever knowingly supported Peruvian missions. I’d love for all of them to be saved.

    Are God haters American? You betcha. I see them all around.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So if we “took” America back to make it a Christian nation, wouldn’t that make the God hater feel “less” American?
    Christians do not do well in countries that were “taken” back for Islam.

  53. Papias says:

    I don’t know what the “take back America” means, but I do know that I would like to see everyone come to know the Lord.

    If every American became a Christian would that make America a Christian nation by definition.

    Or maybe just Christians in America – same difference.

    Its like when I hear a rock band say – ‘We’re not a Christian band. Everyone in the band is a Christian, but that doesn’t make us a Christian band.”

    They are Christians, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they play music that’s “Christian”.

  54. Em says:

    Outside looking in, “reasoning skills?” some here do have more reasoning skills than others of us – that doesn’t mean that we can’t throw stuff out there to see what sticks
    hmmm… is it possible to Christian brain storm? (wonder if someone will read my comment – wonder if they’ll think, ‘is there such a thing as a Christian brain?’) if so, it’s known as ‘the mind of Christ,’ IMHO

  55. Michael says:

    I’ve had my Christianity called into question so many times over political issues that my guess is if they take it back I’ll be left behind.

    That was kind of a pun…

  56. Em says:

    “Pre wrath does not separate the Rapture and Second Coming” … ? …

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Can a Christian be an organ donor?

    What happens if my liver goes to an unbeliever and at the rapture, my liver is ripped out of his body (to go with me) and he dies before he gets that extra chance during the tribulation to get saved.Will I be at fault at all?

  58. Michael says:

    Em,

    Contrary to what was posted, the pre wrath rapture position sees the Second Coming and the Rapture as being one event.

    We believe both happen after the sixth seal of Revelation is opened and the events that follow are all part of His return.

  59. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    I’ve always found an interesting correlation between the amount of dinero being raked in (because “freely you have received”) after scaring the you know what out of people and all the single parents and kids in their midst who could’ve really used some of it.

  60. Chris Long says:

    Michael,

    I don’t comment here much, but I do follow here and there, and I will say I join with Steve and Josh on this one. Your post all but says that Ms. Lotz says what she says just to get money and followers. That IMO is quite bold and somewhat slanderous. Do you know this for a fact? Could it be that what she is teaching regarding the rapture she really truly believes? It’s not like what she’s teaching differs much at all from a lot of other teaching on the subject that’s gone around in the last few decades. So could it be that’s how she learned it and believes it and is teaching the same? Shouldn’t we be giving the benefit of the doubt in her favor without assuming she must be saying what she says for wrong or sinful motives?

    I’ve got to say Michael, after seeing this and reading similar style regarding Hibbs the other day, it’s just coming across wrong to me. That doesn’t mean I fully agree with Hibbs or Lotz and the way either of them believes or does things, but it’s one thing to discuss a topic, it’s another to discuss a topic (and start the topic) by pointing fingers and impugning ill motives to fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus.

    If you want to talk about the rapture and the problems with the “doom and gloom” mentality, that could be a great discussion. You could post an article like Lotz’s and then just make comments about the merits of her position by stating things like:” “What Lotz writes about is a common view of many. Here’s why I think she’s wrong: …” I just think that is more conducive than assigning motives to people and going after people on a personal level. Just my opinion for what it’s worth, said in love to you! Blessings to you brother! 🙂

  61. Jerry says:

    Michael,

    I get it. I also highly respect you. What you do at PP is a great resource for the church. I just felt like the spirit of it was a bit arrogant. So many are refusing to attend “church” because of nonsense we tend to involve ourselves in. We do that well it seems. In any case, He is returning.. in the second coming!!!
    Press on bro

  62. Michael says:

    Chris,

    I have open comments on everything I write here.
    People are free to comment and voice their objections…and they do.

    In my opinion, this endgames horse has been beaten to death by her and her brother…who I trust as far as I can throw.

    You can make a call to prayer without asking for email addresses…

    I could be wrong…and that’s what comments are for.

  63. Xenia says:

    Why do you need to send money to Anne G.L. in order to pray for our country?

    Just pray.

    Maybe you have to be out of that culture for a decade or so to understand why her article seems so…. contrived, I guess it the word I’m looking for.

    I have known people (from CC) who:

    1. Doubted the salvation of anyone who did not believe in their view of the Rapture;
    2. Who were giddy at the thought of unbelievers being left behind;
    3. Who really did believe the Rapture could be speeded up or slowed down, depending on the actions of Christians.

    My own dear CC pastor got very excited about him riding back on a horse with the Lord to participate in the slaughter at Armageddon.

    Steve, you keep wanting to tell me, it seems to me, anyway, that I have misunderstood all the things I heard, read and saw during my many years as an evangelical. I will write something and you will write a response that basically says, No Xenia, that’s not what it was all about, you have misunderstood.

  64. ““earthquakes” and rumors in diverse places – another big one today in the South Pacific and just before the Nepal quake we had a cluster of three her in the PNW: bing, bang boom that had the U of W seismologists scratching their heads

    everything continues as it always has? yes, but it does seem to be intensifying or speeding up…”

    It’s human perception & awareness, like if you buy a Camero you suddenly notice all the Cameros on the road.

    We have the ability to perceive more than ever before, instant news, a digital video camera in everyone’s hand, Facebook, this blog. We text with pics & video, we tell stories quickly, have a wealth of information at our fingertips, all very cool, but it’s up to each of us to manage the content we allow into our consciousness, screen out the crap, determine to use what we encounter for good and demand justice when we encounter bad.

    Remove the “Rapture” and we have the beauty of the creative humans choosing to be better, more educated, change and evolve away from ignorance. It’s the Kingdom of God and we’re privileged to live it and create it in the presence of God as His representatives.

    Redemption.

  65. Xenia says:

    Chris,

    “What Lotz writes about is a common view of many. Here’s why I think she’s wrong: …” <<<

    We've had that very conversation here at the PhpP many times over the years.

    I know on some forums/ blogs the thing to do is to play dueling Bible verses (not saying that is what you want to see) but we've already done that here and we all know the positions pretty well.

  66. AA says:

    Steve W. are you teaching at LE this Sunday AM?

  67. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, you keep wanting to tell me, it seems to me, anyway, that I have misunderstood all the things I heard, read and saw during my many years as an evangelical. I will write something and you will write a response that basically says, No Xenia, that’s not what it was all about, you have misunderstood.
    ———————————————————
    I don’t deny what you wrote, Xenia. About pretribbers doubting salvation, getting giddy etc. I have never once doubted your experiences. What I have offered is an alternate view. And for the record, I have done my best not to share the horrible examples I know of in regards to people who profess eastern orthodoxy in Romania and here in the USA. I don’t think the doctrine equates to the person.

    It’s what led me to this place, at the risk of being called the CC apologist all these years. Instead to offer a (hopefully) positive alternative. What a lot of the guys from CC who used to comment on these pages also were doing. (I sure miss them all, how about you?)

    I thought you were asking a sincere question. So I sought to give a sincere answer. I also thought I gave an answer you could affirm as to how ministry might look from someone who still held the pretrib rapture view.

    How you saw me as saying (in this post) what you claim here is beyond me.

    Xenia, I have had someone come up to me after a service when I was speaking about persecution and how we, even in America, are not immune etc. And ask me “Don’t you believe in the rapture” – I almost never mention it, unless the text is eschatological in nature and would lend itself to it. I do speak of the 2nd Coming regularly, if not every week.

    And that is why a guy could ask me if I did believe in the rapture. Maybe he was someone from your old church who had been brainwashed to a level you cite. Who knows.

    I took the question as a badge of honor personally.

  68. Steve Wright says:

    Steve W. are you teaching at LE this Sunday AM?
    ———————————————————
    Yes. By God’s grace I have not missed a Sunday in the over 7 years I have been here due to sickness. So it is a pretty safe bet..but never hurts to ask (I am taking my first vacation this summer so will miss one week)

    As an aside,

    The only guest speakers we have ever had is our Romanian missionary (twice in that time), and our Mexico missionary (once). I missed a Sunday my 2nd year when I was in Romania to see the work (in almost 20 years no pastor from our church had gone).

    And I skipped one to attend my son’s graduation which they scheduled on a Sunday.

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    While working this afternoon I listened to 2 of Steve’s Sunday messages from 1 Jonh 5 – good stuff.

  70. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks MLD.

    To all – I hope the #70 did not read pompous…and that the “by God’s grace” is read as sincere.

    However, I did offer it to (once more) counter the notion that CC pastors are always having guest speakers, sometimes even guys who are generals from Israel or whatever….once more. Many (if not most) of us…do not. It takes a whole lot to keep us out of the pulpit on Sunday….

  71. Linda Pappas says:

    While contracted with the Department of Defense as a clinician, I undertook a task that required gaining permission from the top commanding officers. Part of my intentions was to bring together the clergy and command to work together in opening the doors for me to write, produce, and direct a play on suicide opened to the public and the post that we were all assigned.

    The Harold Camping discussion was being tossed back and forth among the men in uniform and of the clergy. Then I was introduced to this large gathering. Now personally, being a novice in standing before such dignitaries, having prayed up, I knew I had to find some common ground to get their attention and to keep it. I should also mentioned I was the only female in the room. So, took in a deep breath and opened with this statement: “I see that most of you are familiar with Harold Camping prophecy that the Lord would come on such and such date. We all know that this fell through. But what I am wondering and would ask you to ask of yourself this question. That is, how many here wished that it had been true and would you have been ready to meet your Maker, if He were to come?” A moment of silence, then surprisingly, an overwhelmingly nods of affirmation, along with sadden eyes, but not one appeared to want to lynch me or toss me out of this meeting. Perhaps, because soon afterwards, I worked this statement in with the topic of suicide among our military population, their families member, and those who work behind the scenes to keep their community going—that is, the Department of Defense. The outcome and support was very positive by the way.

    As for me, concerning the return of our Lord and those left for destruction, I believe in a rapture. I also believe that there will be a new heaven and earth and all that was will no longer be in terms of earth, governments, and religious systems, along with the myriad structures that falls under these entities.

    As for rejoicing —- you bet I will be dancing and falling to my knees at the same time, yet grieving in my heart, mostly for those who claim to be a Christian, but in their heart, they were filled with the devil, while grabbing ahold of some doctrine that told them they could as long as they just “believed.” Simply, because they would not give up that which was not theirs to have in the first place or that they would not come to grip with their own heart, but instead maintain the defense mechanism couched in those doctrines they grab onto to enabled them to continue in their way. Yes, rejoicing and looking for my own rapture, be it today or when He comes in the air to take the saints up. Yet, ever so mindful that many more will be left behind. Hoping that one more chance will be given to them—-those that seemed to be but were not and then those too, who may not be the first to go, but nevertheless, at the last moment, when the Lord closes the book, they too will know our Lord too. For those who are, it is the good news, for those who are not, the news is not so good. But for all, the truth is the truth, and none will escape it. It is a fearful thing to have to stand before Him, so work out your salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that the life of a Christian is a life of suffering and repentance, yet it is a joyful and fearful thing all along the way.

  72. Steve Wright says:

    Why do you need to send money to Anne G.L. in order to pray for our country?
    Just pray.
    ——————————————–
    I just got around to clicking the link. It is to her blog. Her BLOG has a donate button (along with a bunch of free resources, a store for materials to be purchased and so forth)

    I clicked from her blog to the page for the event – nowhere in the article or on the event page do I see a plea for money. I do see a request to sign up for emails specifically related to a shortterm prayer event.

    Much like I did for Saeed I might add….and I still get those email updates today.

    So maybe I missed the money pitch. Or maybe a sister in the Lord was slandered.

    Or maybe people with famous dads can’t have donate buttons on their blogs. I’m sure there is a verse somewhere about that….

  73. Steve Wright says:

    I found a FAQ in the fine print about the prayer event. It specifically states there is no financial charge associated with it at all.

    http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MAYDAY-FAQs.pdf

  74. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In my #19 I complimented Mrs. Lotz on her looks 🙂

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Linda – by the comments of your last paragraph, it sounds to me as if Jesus did not save you. It’s like he gave you the rule book for salvation and you went out and accomplished your salvation by following the rules.

    For those of us falling short of following the rules, there is no salvation at the end because there really is no savior — just a life referee.

    But perhaps you are the one who would be called the authentic Christian – the self made Christian. Enjoy your cartwheels.

  76. Em says:

    funny, i read Linda’s post and only saw sincerity – i guess we see things thru the glasses we’ve chosen to wear?

  77. Linda Pappas says:

    Thanks Em.

  78. Em says:

    “Remove the “Rapture” and we have the beauty of the creative humans choosing to be better, more educated, change and evolve away from ignorance.”

    those of us who expect a millennial reign of Jesus Christ would see G’s description playing out during that 1,000 years… those who don’t expect that to happen have either got to have the optimism for the human race that G does … or they must anticipate just one horrible kablamm ahead – after which God creates a new heaven and a new earth – i, obviously, look forward to Jesus’ return to reign over mankind for a duration; He will be demonstrating to the human race – the saved and the lost – what His Kingship is all about. What then? well Satan is released to make his case to the world’s rulers – they choose up sides and then bamm! After which there is a new heaven and a new earth… not sure what that will look like… new planets and moons? dunno

    actually, the concept, if you will, of the Rapture only involves the Church, it’s protection from the promised wrath of God… this expectation of a hiatus, of course, entails dependence on more than the 4 Gospels for building our case… IMHO

    so, if one is following Christ solely from the Gospels and ignoring the rest of the books, then there is no strong data to support the end times scenario that we evangelical fundies subscribe to, leaving one with an incredible case of Christian optimism – that or the ancient traditions unspoiled by our later interpretation/revelation… IMHO – again

    just taking advantage of Michael again here – i see my pre-wrath doesn’t line up with his pre-wrath, tho

  79. Michael says:

    In answer to Mr. Wright…

    I believe that articles like the one linked to here are sensationalist, alarmist, and meant to do little more than increase readers and thus, donations.
    How many thousand pieces just like it have we read over the last forty years?
    It’s always been an announcement that things are worse than they’ve ever been and boy, do we have to do something.
    We’ve all been in the business a long time now…and we know how very effective it is to ring the twin bells of patriotism and the rapture.

    If that’s slander, so be it.
    I think it’s simply the truth.

  80. Alex says:

    Michael, I like your vision of Jesus coming back a lot better than the End Times Fundamentalist Rapture folks.

    Sounds a lot more like the Jesus I know and believe in.

  81. Michael says:

    By the way…I much prefer the open hostility to faux friendliness…though it may disturb the fan base.

  82. Alex says:

    I agree with your assessment Michael…much of the fear-mongering is one part sincere, two parts pragmatic and meant to keep the faithful scared and motivated to read more, attend more, give more etc.

    Billy Graham isn’t worth a reported whopping $25 Million b/c he’s a “servant” and in it 100% for altruistic purposes.

    It’s a biz…and he and his family would not do what they do for nothing.

  83. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I separate Billy from the family…we all know what I think about Franklin…

  84. Alex says:

    Steve Wright, you are tone deaf as usual.

    You seem incapable of understanding self-promotion and Brand building that Gurus do…and that Gurus cultivate followings through those techniques…and they are techniques (you guys even do seminars on how to market yourselves and your brand better to get more followers).

    More followers, bigger Brand, more attention = Mo’ money.

    Franklin Graham is a millionaire. He used to make $1.2 Million per year “serving” Jesus….now he makes a paltry $500,000 per year plus other income.

    Billy Graham has a net worth of $25 Million according to news sources.

    I’m sure Anne G. Lotz is making bank off the Graham Brand as well.

    It’s not how Jesus did things…nor is it how God intended it (if there is any truth to the Jesus and Gospel narrative).

    But, apologize for it all you want…just an example of your true doctrine and true theology and true belief system. Thanks for the sermon…very telling.

  85. Alex says:

    The “Gospel” became a commodity in the Roman Catholic Church early on.

    The Gospel became a commodity in evangelicalism, in earnest, this past century.

    Shameful. But, apologize away Pastor Steve. You may not be getting rich from it, but many of those you support and apologize for, do…and it’s still wrong.

  86. Michael says:

    In other news…

    The Vikings are having a great draft.
    The great B.B. King is home on hospice…

  87. ? says:

    No one has addressed her nephews recent 3 month paid sabbatical with no explanation except that he just became a grandfather , but does he get 12 weeks maternity benefits?

  88. ? says:

    ….recent announcement that is… The sabbatical just started.

  89. Michael says:

    I don’t know…he may be on a book sabbatical.
    Not unusual in Presbyterian churches.

  90. ? says:

    And he keeps getting paid by the church ? Why not announce that?

  91. Michael says:

    He may or may not be.
    Those churches often give their pastors time for writing and continuing education.

    My guess is that his church knows why.

  92. ? says:

    Oh how I wish I can take three months off with full pay….ah the life of the priveleged.

  93. Michael says:

    ?

    We don’t know what the situation is there…so I’m not going to speculate.

    Reformed churches often consider education and scholarship to be important for the pastor to pursue…I think it’s a good thing.

  94. ? says:

    Ok….just knew him before he got all the tats. Seems something is strange, but thanks for the input.

  95. ? says:

    Oh btw, I do a lot of business through amazon. How do I order with you benefitting? I remember awhile back you mentioned how to place the orders.

  96. Steve Wright says:

    By the way…I much prefer the open hostility to faux friendliness…though it may disturb the fan base.
    ————————————————————
    I guess that is my final cue.

    Folks this “feud” some of you have asked me about (with others no doubt wondering) has nothing to do with Michael and I and politics. It has everything to do with me talking to Michael offblog as to his reporting on TWO different stories, and whether they were presented with full integrity. Of course that was almost two full months ago. But that is the very general issue – I will keep private what was private.

    However, since then I have contributed here (albeit at a lesser rate), in much the way I have done in the past. Or tried to at least.

    Like many others who have gone before me, this blog’s mission and purpose seems to have evolved again and any benefit I might offer is past. I don’t know how many times I can repeat my dislike to the way the pretrib positions is presented as newspaper prophecy.

    However, the prewrath view is not simply one event – unless you define an event in terms of a long period of time. Like calling not just the game but the two week lead-up to the Super Bowl “one event” From the link cited by our host

    This is where the Prewrath position adds the critical fourth leg to the chair. The Word of God teaches that Satan/Antichrist’s persecution will be cut short (13) in Matthew 24:22. (14) How? By removing the object of the evil one’s persecution–the Church–to heaven and putting the remnant of Israel in protective custody. (15) This one refinement makes several things possible: 1) it provides sufficient time for all of God’s wrath to occur without manufacturing a way for the Church to be present while that wrath rains down all around them; 2) it provides the necessary time needed for the salvation of Zechariah’s prophesied one-third remnant of Israel who will be the inhabitants of the millennial kingdom; 3) it provides the time necessary for the salvation of a remnant of Gentiles from the nations who refuse to take the mark of Antichrist.

    Provides the time necessary…sufficient time…necessary time. Jews getting saved. People refusing the mark of Antichrist. Sound familiar??

    Compared to the typical amill position, there is a whole lot in common between prewrath and pretrib as to what happens on earth, BEFORE Jesus shows up but AFTER the Church is gone..supernaturally removed. Raptured. Why I need to make such efforts to say so, only because the board is told I misrepresent…well…it’s tiring.

    But I sure don’t see the purpose of sticking around here while Michael lives vicariously (and not so vicariously) through Alex and his insults tossed at me.

    Not after all the years of being an ear to the ‘woe is me’ discussions the longtimers here remember all to well.

    I’ve never thought much of people on blogs getting their nose out of joint and shouting how they would never post here again. That is not the case however here

    For I also think that when there is a community…a family…it is poor form to disappear into the night and leave a lot of questions behind…not to mention false assumptions (i.e. this is about political differences). I know when a family leaves our church after almost 7 years (my time here), it is nice when they tell me good-bye.

    Michael, I appreciate the couple times you let me author an article here – and the years of commenting with the others. I will always appreciate your help when our church was under attack. And I will always wish you and this community the very best. As I have said to you before. I mean that. It is not faux friendliness.

    Best wishes to the entire PhxP family (past and present) for the future.

    Steve Wright
    CC Lake Elsinore
    pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org

  97. Michael says:

    I don’t live vicariously through anybody.
    Very clever to question my integrity…and then leave it there as a question.
    Typical.

    Alex and I had some serious issues.
    We resolved them honestly.

    He’s entitled to his opinions as much as anybody here.
    I believe he’s handled himself well since our resolution.

    You are welcome to stay here…but I’m not playing your passive aggressive games.
    You are making this choice.
    Just be sure that you have the “integrity” to back it up…because this was just one more shot at me.
    Your last one.

  98. Michael says:

    ?,

    Anytime you access Amazon through the links on the left it makes a few cents for me when you order.
    It’s much appreciated.

  99. em, if I were you I would go back and read Linda’s #73 – where she claims there are 2 types of professing Christians;
    1.) those who have followed all the rules and have so worked out her own salvation – again, by following the rules.
    2.) those who confess following Christ and have not worked out their own salvation – in fact have failed miserably and can only depend on Jesus – but by failure to follow the rules find themselves on the outside looking in.

    Remember from last week, Linda believes the devil is alive and well and wandering around not only wishing to devour others, but actually capable of snatching them away from Jesus – and all these people have to protect them is a set of rules and a Jesus, that instead of being their savior is just a life referee who will throw the yellow penalty flag on you.

    A sad message.

  100. Pre trib or pre wrath it’s still the same error – it’s just 2 different time tables to get to your Israeli centric theology – the error of what the Bible is about.

    Both positions main objective is not to get just the Church out of the way for the grand nation of Israel show – but to get Jesus Christ out of the way – to confine him to an earthly reign that he denied and despised..

  101. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “But I sure don’t see the purpose of sticking around here while Michael lives vicariously (and not so vicariously) through Alex and his insults tossed at me.”

    No, that isn’t true at all.

    I think you’re a passive aggressive a-hole sometimes, but Michael has always defended you to me off-blog. He has always spoken highly of you and defended the work you did at your CC franchise and has always pushed back when I’ve argued that you and other so-called “good guy” CC pastors should do more about your own Non-Denomination, especially in terms of speaking out against the abuses etc.

    Michael has always defended you Steve. I speak for myself, not for Michael. He disagrees with me many times, while we agree on some things. He’s earned by respect (which was a long process) and I am trying to show that respect more on here.

  102. Michael says:

    I certainly no nothing about the position I’ve held for 2 decades…and was one of the first trained instructors for.
    Nope, not me.

    If I did know anything about it I would maintain that the Rapture and Second Coming are the same event…and the Second Coming encompasses many events that follow His parousia.
    I would only say that if I had a clue what I was talking about.

  103. Alex says:

    Steve, I hope you’ll reconsider your words with regards to Michael. You know how I feel about you, but that’s not Michael.

  104. Michael says:

    Alex,

    It’s all good.
    Lesson learned.
    We move on.

  105. Alex says:

    MIchael, roger that. I’m good. I’ll leave it alone.

  106. Alex – talk about a passive aggressive BSer you take the cake. You talk of him being one of the good guys and out the other side of your mouth you state – “and defended the work you did at your CC franchise…” Why do you demean his church by calling it a franchise?

    Is it because you don’t know what a church is or you don’t know the legal definition of a franchise?

  107. Michael says:

    This discussion is over.
    Period.

  108. But I would like to see how Steve gets a rapture out of Matt 24. In Matt 25 Jesus tells us the exact sequence of events – he returns in judgment, separates the sheep and the goats and dispatches each to their eternal destination – done

    Matt 24 says the exact same thing – verse 14 = “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    Preaching of the gospel right up to the end – the church is the entity that preaches the gospel – so they must be here until the end.

  109. Michael says:

    Email him…or go have lunch.

  110. surfer51 says:

    What?

    God is incapable of landing jets and steering cars over to the shoulder?

    Everytime I hear someone painting the picture of the Rapture being chaos I cringe at the thought.

    How come they never allow for God to act sovereignly and land the jets as well as parking the cars etc?

    To much Hollywood I guess…

  111. Steve,

    Please read my book for an accurate and robust understanding of the prewrath position:

    Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord.

    http://www.alankurschner.com/antichrist-before-the-day-of-the-lord/

    Thanks,
    Alan

  112. surfer51 says:

    O come on Steve! Your a pastor! Don’t take the bait…Cowboy up dude.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/search?q=The+Bait+Of+Satan

  113. Em says:

    “the gospel of the kingdom preached to all the world and then the end will come…”. i always understood that to describe what we evangelical fundies refer to as the Church age – the time between Christ’s ascension back to the Father and the, ahem, removal of the Church for a time….

    the point is well taken IMV that reading in Matthew requires some attention to who our Lord is talking to and when…

    but, please God, let me just shut up and ponder now

  114. brian says:

    (“Blessed Hope” being turned into “The Abject Terror”.) There is a great deal of money in Abject Terror, which of course always justifies its use with no limitation at all. Abject Terror also has a few other benefits that should not be overlooked, it makes people more pliable and able to manipulate and it also makes it easier to totally destroy someone who may disagree with you. These to are holy and should be multiplied.

  115. Ixtlan says:

    Mr. Kurschner,
    I was looking at your book the other day, and will probably buy it in kindle. How would you compare your take on eschatology to Van Kampen’s views?

  116. Linda Pappas says:

    General Message

    MLD twists and distorts what I have shared, as much as he does so with Scripture. I have no desire to argue or to engage with him as, there is nothing that he has shared on this blog that would compel me to do so. Furthermore, the way that he speaks not just to me, but to others overall is beyond civility and godliness, and only seeks to feed his ego, pride, and to make those things that the Lord holds precious in His sight far less than what they ought to be. With all that is within me, I doubt seriously if MLD has the Holy Spirit which would cause him to be far less trolling towards with a constant need to stir the pot, while seeking the jugular of those who are sincerely seeking to communicate their concerns, thoughts, and opinions on issues that requires much patience, understanding, empathy, and self reflection.

    Steve, I am so sorry to hear of your decision to depart from this blog. I understand what you have shared. At the same time, although I don’t always agree with you, there is merit in what you share when you are being objective and not so defensive on those things that have to do with abuses within CC’s. Far more than you realize, I think at times, given what your responses and comments have been. Yet, I think that if you stay adamant in not participating in this blog, the blog will have lost someone very valuable in providing a much needed person in helping this community of bloggers and observers to think through their own walk with the Lord in truth, integrity, and a sincere heart.

    Just wanted you to know this, Steve.

  117. Michael,
    Did I read you correctly? “I certainly no nothing about the position I’ve held for 2 decades…and was one of the first trained instructors for.”

    Are you saying that you were one of the first adherents to this doctrine and one of the first people to train in the doctrine of Pre Wrath rapture? Talk about a new doctrine coming on the scene – one of the raps against the pre trib dispy stuff is that it didn’t come on the scene until 1850 – but you bought into one that came about in 1990 from Marvin Rosenthal – a modern day Darby?

    I don’t know if I can buy a new idea that came along when my kids were teenagers.

    But once again that’s just me and my opinion

  118. Michael says:

    Back in the day, I was fortunate to get involved with some in Van Kampens ministry.

    My test of any doctrine is if it’s biblical…and I’m convinced of the biblical worth of the position.

  119. ? says:

    I agree with Linda’s comments.

    And it is commendable that Steve has been in his church preaching without a vacation for over a year.
    That is unheard of in most of the celebrity driven churches.
    That speaks of his commitment to his flock.

    Ironically, some can share their position of Universalism here without rebuke.

  120. ? says:

    ((On the subject of Amazon,if I click the Amazon box it brings me to my account. I just order this way and you get some credit for the sale? Do you have a record of the sale I made? In other words do you know what I am ordering or who I am? I order about 300.00-400.00 a month there.))

  121. Nonnie says:

    I respect Steve W. greatly. He has put up with a lot here and he has been strong enough to hold his own. I would hate to see him go.

    I’m not much for arguments, so I bow out most of the time. There are far too many brilliant people here that I can just read and learn from. I truly appreciate the diversity we have here and, I hope, there is mutual respect within that diversity. In our diversity, we all (I hope) have trusted in the risen Lord Jesus for our salvation, for in Him, we live and move and have our being.

    In these “last days” (as they have been called since the church began) may we all love God, love our neighbour, and look for that blessed hope of His coming again….however HE chooses to play it out.

  122. Bob says:

    While all of you are beating each other to death over the eschatology I have noticed some things. The first one is this idea of God’s wrath coming to the eart.

    Here’s what I’ve found in all these teachings and discussions, no one can describe what God’s wrath is in contrast to the horrible tribulations His people have encountered over the millennium. It seems to me many use the rapture as an escape maneuver to avoid tribulation, also known as the “great tribulation,” and yet Christians, Jews and others have been literally torn to pieces by others. You name it and it has been done though out history (and if it hasn’t it’s beefing depicted today in the movies and computer games) and yet many hold, no cling, to a rapture to avoid such pain. And then there’s God’s wrath?

    Then as we examine the text a catching up is seen, why and when?

    The blessed hope is simply this, one day He will restore the world and all those who love Him to the Shalom it was meant to be from the beginning. If you don’t Love God, and all that simple statement entails, then you don’t want to be in His Kingdom and Shalom.

  123. Michael says:

    ?,

    On Amazon…all I see is one running list of everything that was purchased by everybody if I look it up.
    I have no names or personal information.

    As far as MLD goes, he’s a Lutheran.
    Lutherans and Reformed people have an entirely different soteriology than most evangelicals and a lot of what is taken here as offensive by him is simply pointing out the doctrines that shaped the Protestant Reformation.

    Sometimes…he’s just being contentious and I try to note that.
    I don’t spend all day here, however.

    In regard to Steve Wright, he’s done some commendable things.
    I have not banned him.
    On the other hand, I’m not taking potshots from him either.

    In regard to universalists, we have run articles on the subject and I’ve been clear about my position.
    On the other hand, I get along with them far better than than with some orthodox (“small o” people) and I’m willing to walk through their processes theologically without damning them.

    Their hearts tend to be in the right place…

  124. Michael,
    Thank you for bringing up the difference in soteriology that Lutherans hold. This is quite important in how I discuss things here.
    Yesterday is a good case – somethings I will just bat around and pick at people’s position, but they are usually the things you will find on any blog site. I stood up for both Mrs Lotz and Steve Wright yesterday even though I disagree with their position on the rapture etc. So, I can go toe to toe on the topic and still respect them and I made complimentary comments to both. Hey, as Chick used to say “No harm no foul.”

    But with Linda it is a different story. There at the root we have a foundational issue. I don’t mind saying that I think she is the pharisee of Luke 18 and the rich young ruler all rolled into one. A person proud of her salvation accomplishments and one not too proud to point out the shortcomings of others.

    I find the biggest offense that a christian can commit is to make another christian doubt their faith.

  125. surfer51 says:

    I want to free range my thoughts a bit if it is alright with you guys….

    Criticism and confrontation are all a part of any discussion when men get together and discuss matters of viewpoints.

    Add to that the thoughtfulness of the women who contribute with their gentleness here and insightful wisdom.

    One of the great things about being in here is that we are allowed to openly express our thoughts and opinions rather than hiding them out of compliance to the status quo.

    That is family.

    The texture of any conversations here is greatly enhanced by the differing viewpoints and opinions that we get to be exposed to.

    Thought provoking and educational while at the same time confrontational and offensive at some topics.

    That is the public square of this place.

    Add to that Michael doing a great job of not allowing the river of conversation to overflow the banks while letting the flow pass unrestricted for the most part.

    Steve is one of the commenters whom I always read. His contributions are well thought out in my opinion and have shown solid educational background.

    For him to be exasperated over being confronted and unfavorably treated is understandable.

    But on the other hand for him to slam the door shut to his contributions here doesn’t sit well with me.

    It is as if Stanford University shut their doors and said I am not allowed entrance to what they have to offer any longer.

    Steve don’t make me drive down there to Lake Elsinore to talk to you!

    I hate that winding drive down Ortega Highway but I will do it if I have to.

    And I just might pick up MLD along the way for some lively conversation.

    Oh and I may first stop by Anaheim to pick up Erunner for some leverage in getting you to to come to your senses.

    Come on Steve you are one of the pillars that holds the roof up here.

    I have always respected you for your independence of appearing in here inspite of the email blast to CC pastors forbidding them to do as such by Chuck Smith at one point.

    That fact alone told me that you were not a’company man’ so to speak but someone with integrity and not afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

    Let me tell you a true story.

    Way back when we were ready to start putting the roof on the completed buildings on the CCCM facilities back in 1993 I observed something.

    James Demier, the general contractor had rented a big rig to go out to Riverside and pick up some Spanish Mission style clay roof tiles from the manufacturer.

    I just happened to be standing near by, unseen, when one of the hired workers was ready to get in the truck to go pick up the tiles.

    Pastor Chuck Smith was standing there when the worker pointed at and shouted to another nearby worker.

    “Hey Rocky, I want you to come with me!”

    Chuck Smith said, “No Rocky you stay here.”

    The worker looked at Chuck and said, “GET IN THE TRUCK ROCKY!”

    I thought to myself, “O man this is not going to go well with Chuck.” For I knew Chuck had a temper when stuff like this happens.

    I watched as Rocky got in the truck and they drove off.

    To my utter suprise, Chuck broke out with a big grin from ear to ear while watching them drive off.

    Instantly I knew that Chuck respected the worker for ‘sticking to his guns and having sand as someone to ride the river with.’

    I believe that Chuck had the same smile for you for ‘sticking to your guns and having sand as someone to ride the river with.’

    You never gave in to the email blast from Chuck forbidding his underlings from appearing in here.

    You remained and continued to be your own man.

    I respected that about you!

    But now you seem to have caved in to criticism and confrontation.

    You can imagine my disappointment.

    There are currently some bus stop billboards in Long Beach CA, with John Wayne on them that expresses my feelings perfectly and perhaps those of Chuck Smith.

    http://www.values.com/inspirational-sayings-billboards/72-grit

  126. surfer51 says:

    Correction:
    Not 1993 but 1973

  127. Em says:

    surfer has given a pretty good summation of this blog site of Michael’s … pray for Pastor Steve – he just could be overworked – a little burned out coping with humans… i could have said ‘humanity,’ but that would have been pretentious
    fact is i thot folks everywhere seemed a little weary, maybe even discouraged, yesterday…

  128. Bob says:

    “But with MLD it is a different story. There at the root we have a foundational issue. I don’t mind saying that I think he is the pharisee of Luke 18 and the rich young ruler all rolled into one. A person proud of his salvation accomplishments and one not too proud to point out the shortcomings of others.”

    I think I quoted that correctly. ;(

  129. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You may do better by explaining those soteriological difference instead of just appearing to make insulting comments.

    I understand the differences and on this point you and I are in agreement…most of the soteriology here has much more in common with the works of Rome than the grace of Wittenberg and Geneva.

  130. ? says:

    I too would rather hand out with my non-judgemental, loving, works oriented, heathen friends, but that doesn’t mean their “love” doctrines that don’t include judgement, hell or wrath is right.

    But then again, they don’t call themselves Christians.

  131. ? says:

    hang not hand

  132. Michael says:

    ?,

    I don’t think universalism is a primary doctrine.
    I utterly disagree with it, but I don’t think it’s a damning error.

    Pastorally, I would rather keep people “in error” in relationship and communicating rather than casting them into the outer darkness of blogdom.

    We’re all works in progress…

  133. ? says:

    Universalism states that everyone makes it to heaven.
    Isn’t that a primary doctrinal error?

  134. Xenia says:

    I am one who does believe our works do affect our standing with God so I might be inclined to stick up for Linda except she seems to have her own list of what works “count.” For example, she never has anything good to say about the Liturgical (and by extension, sacramental) life, which I believe are saving works so I can’t quite give her a hearty Amen but I certainly do understand her POV and I appreciate it, as much as I can understand it.

    I agree with her on this more than I agree with most of you here.

  135. Michael says:

    ?,

    I don’t consider it so.
    I stay with the kerygma as primary.
    Birth,death,resurrection, ascension, return.

  136. Xenia says:

    Being more like Rome than like Geneva and Wittenberg is a positive thing, in my view.

  137. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You have an excellent understanding of your tradition and the theology behind it.
    I don’t believe that most works oriented evangelicals understand either the Reformed traditions or the Roman and Eastern.
    You don’t get insulted when called a synergist…

  138. Xenia says:

    Regarding yesterday’s discussion, the PhpP is a blog where most of the people, myself included, have rejected the culture and teachings of Calvary Chapel and their kindred assemblies. One should not be surprised that we discuss our old doctrines in a less than positive manner. It should be kept in mind that we have seen what we have seen and heard what we have heard and actually do know what we are talking about.

  139. Xenia says:

    We are happy to be called synergists!

  140. Xenia says:

    Here is a pretty good article that explains the difference between eastern and western synergism.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/synergism-an-eastern-church-and-western-church-comparison

  141. ? says:

    Michael

    So would you say Universalists believe in purgatory?
    If you don’t believe in God’s wrath, what would keep you from sinning?

  142. Xenia says:

    One of the main differences between the RC and the EO is their “treasury of merits” idea which permeates pretty much everything they do.

  143. ? says:

    Michael

    My challenge is this.
    I have plenty of RC family members who go to church Christmas and Easter who do believe in the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

    However, they live their lives in sin and deny being “born again” and needing salvation. (they actually dismiss this as evangelicalism)…so they get in?

  144. Michael says:

    ?,

    No, they don’t believe in purgatory as far as I know.

    Your second question is good.
    As I read the NT obedience is a response to the love of God, as much as fear of His wrath.
    Obedience from the heart is a response to love…

  145. Xenia says:

    from the article:

    “Almost all of the distinctively Roman Catholic doctrines and practices opposed by the reformers were opposed on the grounds that they attributed merit to humans or obscured the truth that we are saved by Christ’s merit alone. What one finds in the East are a number of practices that appear identical to those in Western Catholicism, but with the all-important distinction that the doctrine of human merit is absent, thereby giving the practices a radically different meaning.”

  146. Michael says:

    ?,

    I’m not the arbiter of eternity…and we all sin every day, all day long.
    If sin is the issue, we’re all doomed.
    If Jesus is the issue, we rest in His work.

  147. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    This is good stuff…

  148. ? says:

    OK I know we all sin..that isn’t the point.

    You had said that all they needed was the birth, death, resurrection and ascension.
    So they believe this as they have been brought up to celebrate Christmas and Easter.

    (In this belief they also pray to Mary to intercede because they believe they have to go to Mary to get to Jesus.)

    Is this enough to gain entrance to heaven?

    I have to leave for the day..

  149. savedbygrace says:

    No disrespect intended, but I see a lot of cynicism and bitterness and LITTLE IF ANY fruit of the Spirit, as a result of a lot of fleshly venting and grousing. If this blog ended today, would you all use the opportunity to practice what you believe needs to preached? Michael, would your health problems be significantly reduced by ending this agora of revisited and much too often self-justified villifying of pastors and teachers and their sons/daughters?

    I began visiting this blog in search of some perspective from other who, like me, have been hurt by other Christians. I’ve since discovered that “there is nothing new under the sun.” This blog doesn’t prevent nor do I believe, hea such hurts. However, many of you seem to glory in your past hurt by recounting what others have “done unto” you. Does not “love cover a multitude of sins”? (1Peter 4:8)

    This age will come to an end with judgment and an accounting for all. Most if not all of you believe that the time is short – whether personally or globally. So would you consider ending this pot-stirring blog and instead, use your otherwise wasted resources (prayer, time, money) to reach out to others with the gospel of Christ? This commiserating should end today.

    Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) You’ve all said it – there is no perfect church. Only the Head of the church is, and He hasn’t given up on her, why should you disparage the servant of another? Jesus was pretty clear in Matthew 7:1-5 regarding judging others. Reading this blog (which ends today, for me) has served that purpose – to remove the plank in my own eye so that I may see more clearly.

    Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

  150. ? says:

    I actually wrote…Ok we all sin cause I knew that was going to come back at me 😉

  151. Xenia says:

    However, they live their lives in sin and deny being “born again” and needing salvation. (they actually dismiss this as evangelicalism)…<<<

    I think this is more of a misunderstanding on the part of your RC relatives. To them (and to the EO) the phrase "born again" is definitely a phrase associated with evangelicals. For example, when someone asks me "Are you born again?" my thoughts go back to my baptism and chrismation, when I was reborn of water and spirit. But they won't accept that; no, they want an evangelical version of my redemption history. So this has caused RC and EO (and probably others) to be leery of the phrase "born again" because of the evangelical definition which permeates the American religious scene. Personally, I think us RC's and EO's should take the phrase back!

    Another oddity is the use of the word "Christian" among Roman Catholics. They will call their Protestant friends Christians while referring to themselves as Catholics. I say "Catholics are Christians, and they will agree of course, but for some reason they have chosen to accept evangelical definitions of “Christian.” I think this is really peculiar.

  152. Em says:

    savedbygrace, the ones that at times dominate are posted, really by only one individual who has a festering issue – everyone else here only occasionally brings up an example of the past…

    the dominate picture the world has of the Church today is one of celebrity and personal success – i hope this blog continues calling these examples out until Christ returns… we need more Jonahs

    for the record… Billy Graham’s early evangelism ministry was a move of God (yes, i know about Hearst’s part) to call us to account – the men that surrounded him were sincere… was Billy special? dunno, but he was used in the time and place he’s lived his life and i think his family is the recipient of an overflow of God’s grace as a result

  153. Linda Pappas says:

    In Michael’s comment:

    “As I read the NT obedience is a response to the love of God, as much as fear of His wrath. Obedience from the heart is a response to love…

    For me, I find myself being a born again Christian, thus also receiving the Holy Spirit who enables me to walk in obedience and forsaking that which is not of Him. I am not RCC, nor Orthodoxy. There is works of the flesh and works of the Holy Spirit, and those are manifested accordingly. I find that the closer that I walk in Him, the less I sin against Him and others. I do not hold to any denomination or to any particular theological position except to say that too much time is spent in arguing the various positions for reasons that could be better spent on addressing the corruptible and abusive practices within organized Christian churches. Although some do try to put me in a box, by heritage and by being born again, I call myself a Christian Jew. Now, I understand that there is tendency to ascribed to all types of descriptors concerning this, but please understand that these are terms that others have placed upon what I mean by being a “Christian Jew,” given their own theological position, but most likely is not what I mean at all.

    I love our Lord, Jesus with all my heart, mind, body, and soul, and as much as He (the Holy Spirit) enables me to do, not in my own strength, for I am ever so much less than I would be without Him, to walk according to what He has laid upon my heart and mind and soul to do while upon this earth in this vessel that is most fragile and becoming more so as each day passes. For me, God is everything to me, for without Him, I would have perished and given in and have become something or someone I care not to even imagine characterizing. My faith in Christ is not passive, nor is it an outward appearance of something that I conjured up all on my own. It is quite active and alive and is manifested in and through that which has occurred within my heart as a result of it being changed as a result of coming to terms with what God, our Father through His grace has provided through His Son, by way of the Cross through His Blood. My righteousness is not grounded in any works of the Spirit, that is accomplished through me, however, it is by my choice that I do agree with Him to go with Him as He leads me here or there, or just where I am to do that which He equips me to do, oftentimes, for reasons I cannot know until well after the fact. As for SIN, God hates sin and we are told to do likewise, so why would I excuse it or make allowance for it, if I love the Lord. No, He has called me out and in this I am most grateful, but it was my choice to listen and to heed His call.

    For if I truly believe, then why would I even on my worse day, permit myself to be compromised or to sell out the One person who loved me so much that He died for me, so that I might live eternally with Him. Particularly, when being forsaken by those who could care less if I live or die and by what or how or in what manner this is done or accomplished, as long as I follow some patriarchal system that fails to hold one another to an account, while “feeding” the flock, but does not tend to them, except to place themselves between me and my Lord, who alone is the Mediator between God, the Father and myself.

    More than sacrifice, more than praise—He told us to bring a willing heart ready to obey. And when we do, although initially it may seem to be unnatural to do so, as we do, more and more we find the world fading away while seeing the manifestation of being born again taking on a new person, one who loves like He loves and hates like He hates as well. Therefore, the works of the flesh is put to death, no longer a part of us and that which is now being wrought within us by the Holy Spirit rises up in victorious living, regardless on the circumstances and the gauntlet of misguided missiles fired off in our direction, for we know where they originate and thus, we can claim His Name while standing with boldness to call it out and to warn while also standing in the gap for those given to such tyranny and manipulation of the truth that hold them in bondage. At the same time, we can be more honest within ourselves and truly repent beyond just saying we are sinners, saved by grace. We can walk in obedience for this is what the Lord, God requires of us and enables us to do with gladness and a fullness of heart bearing witness to that which our hearts have now received.

    If there is anything to boast of, as Paul as also said, it is not I but He that lives within me. And in this, I press forward to run the race set before me, in obedience, with a repentant heart towards that which gives me the hope and the full blessings of all that He has ordained before the beginning of time throughout all eternity. It is not I that live any longer, but He that lives within me. For this, I will dance and bow my knee and take joy in my salvation and shout out that which I know to be true while warning others that just to believe is not a passive or ritualistic stance, but is active in how we choose to live unto Him and in Him. Shalom, in Jesus to all—even MLD.

  154. Xenia says:

    I am the opposite. The closer I walk with the Lord, the bigger sinner I discover myself to be.

  155. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That is the testimony of most of the saints in history…

  156. And that is my point.

    Some here may think that they have accomplished the will of God in their life and that I have not. All I can say is that you are 50% correct – I haven’t. Me personally, I cannot set the sin bar low enough for me to have success – I cannot set the good works bar low enough for me to say I have any good works on my own and finally, I cannot look at other believers (whether called “so called” believers or whatever other qualifiers someone else may want to put on them) set their sin bar so high and say “look to my behavior” or “how can you still be sinning” and by virtue of my judgment, cast them into hell.

    No,as Xenia points out – the closer I get to God, the more I keep my mouth about the behavior of others.

  157. Linda Pappas says:

    We are to lead holy lives and in this we do see that the bar we may have set for ourselves has been much lower than what He has set before us, yet enabled us to do through the Holy Spirit. In this, we realize what sinners we had become, yet set free to mortify these deeds of our thoughts and behaviors. Thus putting on the new man and forsaking that which we once knew, justified, and excused.

    Philippians Chapter 3

    12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    What more:

    Roman 6

    Therefore,

    Ephesians Chapter 4

    22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

    23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

    24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

  158. Linda Pappas says:

    Romans 6 (For easier referencing)

  159. Linda – you make my point.
    You use the passages above as your ‘salvation by behavior’ checklist and I am absolutely sure that you have placed a check mark next to each to signify that you have accomplished God’s commands. I am also sure that symbolically you walk around with that same list on a clipboard looking over my shoulder saying “tsk, tsk – no check mark for you.”

    Again, that’s OK – do as you feel led,

  160. ? says:

    Linda I snot making your point MLD.
    So you can look at p@rn on the net because you have not mastered your sin?
    (just an example)
    I am quite miserable about my sin-even more so than 19 years ago but that doesn’t mean that I don’t pray to stop sinning.

    Do you pray to stop sinning MLD?
    Do you cry out to God convicted of your sin or is it no big deal to you?
    I don’t think Linda is judging anyone but I think there is a call to holiness and not because of our effort but because of our conviction are we right with God (just like David)

  161. ? says:

    wow..Linda is not… not Linda I snot…

  162. Linda Pappas says:

    ?

    Yes ?, I too regret the choices I have made in the past. But knowing those things are in the past and that when coming to the Lord, my heart was changed and I am no longer that person—–therefore, will not be held in bondage to them by a sense of toxic guilt/shame.

    When I sin, I do cry out to the Lord to show me the core problem that led me into it. He is faithful to do so by means of His word, a situation, or even seeing my own sin in another, and so many other ways. God does have a sense of humor, I believe, and sometimes the obvious is not so obvious to me, when He brings along someone or someone to clarify things. Once this happens, it is much easier for me to pull out the stops to get back on track with Him and right with others, if this is the case, while modifying my thoughts and behavior so that I don’t return to that place that tripped me up before. The guilt and shame is gone and I push forward in Him.

    Talking about the obvious: In the last week, I found myself unable to open my vehicle door, as the battery went dead in my key lock device. What more, the battery to replace was in my purse, along with my AAA card and cellphone. An elderly couple was willing to take apart their key lock to see if we had the same battery, but did not. So, they then attempted to contact AAA for me, but their phone went dead. I began praying, asking Him to provide someone to come along to resolve the situation. Soon afterward, another car pulled up with a very tall and elderly gentleman in it. I walked up to his window, waved, then smiled to let him know I needed to speak to him. I asked if he had AAA and he said that he did not. I explained the situation to him and he then said, “Have you tried opening the door with the key?” He then asked me for the key that was also on the same key ring as the key lock. Voila’ the door open, but the alarm going off like forever until we could switch out the batteries.

    Life can be so simple, yet so complex at times. Thank you Lord for sending this Good Samaritan, driving down from Canada, to take heart in assisting me.

  163. Linda Pappas says:

    LOL ” the battery to replace was in my purse, along with my AAA card and cellphone.”

    They were also in my vehicle during this time.

  164. ? – If you have not stopped sinning, which of your sins have caused you to lose your salvation?

    I keep coming back to the point (and I know you will refuse to engage) – if we are to behave a certain way, if God has made it possible, if you have been made a new creation in Christ, why do YOU still sin? (if you do not still sin, just say so.)

    So, if you still sin and I still sin – why do you assume we are different? I am the one here who admits I sin – I break all of the 10 commandments everyday either in thought, word or deed – by my sins of overt commission and by my lack of deeds through omission. I stand before God as guilty even to this day – but saved by Jesus Christ.

    So ? – tell me how you have overcome sin in your life. Oh, by the way, if you have not then you are just like me.

    I look forward to your reply.

  165. Em says:

    one could (some do) go mad trying to be sinless, but it is our duty to keep a bit of a watch on our conduct (and thinking) with the goal of trying to sin less…

    grow in Christ, developing His mind, and the old man has less control over what one does, we are forgiven, not cured – there is something disingenuous in a Believer, who touts their sinful condition, tho – it sounds a little like those sick people who won’t take their medicine and are chronically excusing themselves because “they are sick”

  166. ? says:

    MLD

    The point is not whether we sin but whether we are convicted of our sin.

  167. ? says:

    …and why do you say “I know you will refuse to engage” as if you are the Almighty who knows everyone’s thoughts?

    You set up people to be on the defensive and you also set traps.
    I have been reading here on and off for almost 7 years so I know your MO.

  168. ? says:

    Em

    Your second paragraph…SPOT ON! BINGO..that’s it!

  169. ? says:

    MLD

    Engaging with you is a no-win situation.
    You are very clever and very good with words. And I know you are a successful businessman, so you have a gift with conversation, but I won’t be lured.
    I only know of Who Linda speaks of–the Holy Spirit that convicts the world of sin.
    Repentance ought to make ones life turn around and grieving the Lord ought to make us call on the Spirit to do what we cannot.

    I do believe the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and the person of the Holy Spirit is not preached enough. It is through the Spirit that we can have joy, peace and a changed life. It has taken me 19 years to “get it”.
    It is not easy to let the Lord crucify the flesh.

  170. Xenia says:

    This is a topic full of conundrums.

    It’s like trying to get my granddaughter to color within the lines. That’s the standard, without on molecule of Crayola wax falling outside the outline of the picture of the puppy. It is not possible for a little girl to accomplish this, but it’s the goal.

    The first step is for her to agree that coloring within the lines is a worthy goal, especially if she wants to be like her Grandma. If she wants to go her own way and scribble, she is not going to make any progress in Crayola holiness. But if she agrees with me that scribbling is counter productive, we have made a good start.

    So we color together. As long as she agrees with me that she should color within the lines and she makes an effort to do so, she is doing well. If she has some moments of rebellion where she wants to scribble, I will gently bring her back to the task at hand. If she throws the crayons and rips up the page, there will be consequences but she is always welcome back.

    So even though the Lord says “Be ye perfect,” He knows this is not possible but I believe he wants us to agree with him that perfection and holiness are a worthy goal and if we work together, we can make some progress. But as is the way with these things, the moment I think I have achieved anything, it’s back to Square One because by saying this I have proved that I haven’t really learned anything at all. The better I get to know the Lord, the worse I discover myself to be but I must not despair.

    If my granddaughter holds up a amateurishly colored puppy and says, “Grandma, I think I could have been more careful when I colored the ears, that’s something I could work on with your help,” she has made great progress. If she holds up a messy paper and says “Hey Grandma, look how good I did!” we will have remedial work ahead of us.

    I think this is how life with Christ works. He is always for us, never against us. Our perfection will never be accomplished til heaven but He enjoys working with us now, just as I enjoy coloring puppies with my granddaughter.

    Be ye perfect, as I am perfect.

    Color within the lines, as Grandma colors within the lines.

    It’s the journey that counts.

  171. Michael says:

    I don’t get this.
    MLD is simply stating the classic Protestant Reformation position on soteriology.
    That theology states that we look to Christ’s work, His active and passive obedience credited to us for our salvation, not our own obedience…which is partial at best.
    Why this is controversial among Protestants is beyond me.

  172. Xenia says:

    Why this is controversial among Protestants is beyond me.<<<

    Because I think deep down inside people find this doctrine to be unsatisfying.

    Now that I have over a decade of distance on my conversion to Orthodoxy, I believe this is the very doctrine that caused all the trouble.

  173. ? – my point is that when Linda speaks she goes right after Christians who still sin. She finds it difficult to believe that Christian people still sin and call themselves Christian

    How many times have I quoted the 1st of Luther’s 95 theses? I think you would agree with me that on any list #1 is usually quite important.
    #1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” ( Matthew 4:17 ), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. I agree with Luther that overcoming sin, although desirable is not the purpose of the Christian life, but to be under repentance.

    Now I would assume that those (and there are many) who think we get better and better would change that to “he willed that we make repentance a weekly of as needed event”.

    In good Lutheran fashion I can make the declaration that I am at the same time 100% saint / justified and 100% sinner

  174. “Because I think deep down inside people find this doctrine to be unsatisfying.”

    Because people don’t trust Jesus to do what he promised. The old Adam jumps in and says “I can do it better.” and people feel more comfortable with their own action that the completed from A-Z than to believe Jesus.

    It’s funny, I am not a ‘once saved always saved guy’ – but I do not believe one can sin their way out of the kingdom.

  175. Xenia says:

    Not better. No one thinks they can do anything better than Jesus. We would like to do some things with Jesus. We would prefer to believe that He is still working in our lives.

  176. Em says:

    “This is a topic full of conundrums.”

    maybe this is the reason that we are to ***work out*** our salvation?
    Philippians 2:12-16
    “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

    building spiritual muscle skills to color between the lines – i love it – especially as i still throw an occasional spiritual fit and scribble all over the place

  177. I do many things with Jesus – it’s called vocation. I do the things that need to be done to love and serve my neighbor … and at the same time, I sin and sometimes I sin greatly.

  178. Someone here, I need to stop addressing individuals, doesn’t care about the good works you do – everything is judged by your bad or nasty deeds.

  179. Em says:

    “I do not believe one can sin their way out of the kingdom.” the operative word is ‘sin.’ eh? how many times do we forgive? how many times are we forgiven?

  180. So me and the 5 grandkids are gathered around the TV watching the under cards for the big fight. I think it may be a religious affair. The guy from Puerto Rico and all of his corner men are wearing headbands that say Juan 3:16

    You gotta admit that even though I sin greatly this is a good work to teach the kids about boxing. 🙂

  181. Bob says:

    Ok

    Now that MLD is watching the one man try to beat the other into submission. Yeah, it’s a sport.

    Question After one realizes they are a sinner, not ever good enough to please or stand in the presence of God, receives mercy and grace in Jesus, then what?

    So now I am “saved from my sins and death has no hold on me.” That’s it????? Nope!

    Xenia’s tradition has a good handle on it, what we do does count. Being “good” to others and following His instructions do count and if a person denies that I would suggest he or she denies the very text they rely on to prove their salvation in Jesus. Of course then Alex would be right. 🙂

  182. ? says:

    I don’t rest in my salvation.
    I want to be changed.
    Should I remain as I am and continue to repeat the same sins and live in my flesh?
    Should I not want to let God have His way in me?

    Michael, that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.
    I don’t hear much on this blog about the work of the Holy Spirit (unless I missed it).
    I give my life over to the Holy Spirit, (which is not what I want to do, but what I HAVE to do), not because to change gains me any merit, but because that’s what God wants to do.
    At some point my sin is magnified as God shows me just what I am. No I am not happy with me, maybe others can rest in their sinful nature, but God won’t let me rest in continuing living my life with me as the captain of the ship.,…as Em says “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”
    Is there no fear at all?

  183. ?
    Why do you still sin? Don’t you love God? Just stop it!
    God has given you the commandments, and he has told you to follow them, and he has made you a new creation in Christ – so why do you still sin?

    I know why I sin … what is your reason?

  184. ? says:

    MLD You continue to try and trap people- I have seen you in action for years.
    I sin because I am a sinner.

    The difference between us is you love your sin and I don’t love mine.

  185. Em says:

    well, i think 🙄 that we do love our sin to some extent – the question is: do we repent, do we confess – and, if necessary, pick ourselves up and press on … toward the mark of the high calling? to paraphrase a bit

    there’s worse things than a granddad watching the prize fights with his grandkids… lots of good bonding time possible … ? … and it gives granma a reprieve – somehow i just can’t picture Mrs. MLD watching a boxing match 😆

  186. ? – I don’t try to trap anyone – I am not that bright. I just make people apply their own words to themselves.

  187. ? says:

    MLD

    You are implying that I am not applying my words to myself?
    Can you elaborate?

  188. Alex says:

    David said, “O come on Steve! Your a pastor! Don’t take the bait…Cowboy up dude.”

    He’s a Sooner, there ain’t no Cowboy in him LOL

  189. Bob says:

    ?

    MLD is an arguer, it’s that simple. He might agree with you the sky is blue, but he will twist the shade of the color unitl you might think you’re color blind.

    His goal are never to stimulate thought but to ridicule and intimidate. Never engage or offer any of your understanding of anything to him.

  190. ? says:

    Thanks Bob

    If you don’t answer him, it’s a victory since he has the last word.

    Also a trap.
    Thanks for the advice. Back to observing….

  191. Michael says:

    I don’t have time this morning to pursue this, but I think on this subject MLD is being treated poorly.

    The point he makes is simple.

    We all still sin by omission and commission and thus have no hope but the finished work of Christ.

    As Xenia so well said, the more we are sanctified, the more aware we become of how deep the sin nature in us is.

    Those of us from the Reformation traditions look to the Cross, not our own behavior for redemption.

    To say this means we “love our sin” is untrue and unfair.

  192. Let me see if I can clear this up using Xenia’s analogy of coloring within the lines (#173)

    The Law says “you must color within the lines.” very simple. Oh wait, I forgot a part – “or I will kill you.” So, some work very hard all their life working at coloring within the lines. They use Jesus as their life coach – if I have Jesus in my life I have a better chance of coloring in the lines – so once I color in the lines, I will not be killed. Some have even gone so far as to think that they have actually colored within the lines because as we know, close is good enough to satisfy the law – especially when the coloring judge sees who my life coach is.

    My view of the coloring book is that it is impossible to color within the lines – no coach can help me do this better. Every one of my pictures hanging on the refrigerator are scribbles compared to the ideal. These colorings are not hanging on my refrigerator as praise of how good I am doing or how close I am coming to “getting it right” but they are hanging there to my condemnation.

    Jesus comes along, NOT as my life coach but as my savior and has said, “dude, your coloring pictures are crap but because you are mine, because I have adopted you as my child I will protect you from condemnation for coloring outside the lines. I will go before the coloring judge, the one who has promised to kill you and stand in your place – not once, not twice but every time.”

    So daily I listen to the promise of Jesus, and every day I color as my vocation tells me to do, I scribble outside of the lines and instead of fearing condemnation and destruction – or even the worst of all, being called a “so called colorer” by those who think they are coloring in the lines (those who call themselves the authentic colorers) – I confess my sloppy work and receive his forgiveness and protection AND I have no fear that the life coach Jesus will tell me to go do 10 practice sessions (10 hail Mary’s to some).

  193. Jim says:

    Just a week or two ago I told Steve publicly that he needed to work out his issues with Michael, and offered to help, if necessary. I was told by Steve (publicly), that no help was needed, and that no problem existed.

    I didn’t buy it then, and now it couldn’t be more clear.

    We men tend to struggle in this area, and a smart guy will make this a primary accountability issue. We are a sinfully proud lot.

    I’m sad, I prayed, and I hope that my two friends will get together and sort this out.

  194. Em says:

    “coloring between the lines” takes concentration and effort … and focus – so, while i love the analogy it breaks down when at the end our works are tried by fire – we all will have wood, hay and stubble ashes – what is refined and remains will be the pure gold.
    The internalized Christ out of which some of our works sprang will remain … that is why i always say, “develop the mind of Christ.” learn – and internalize – all that you can of Him…We used to say, ‘get it down into the marrow of your bones’
    The “works” won’t then be calculated. Our focus won’t be to stay within the lines… i don’t think you can concentrate on the lines and Christ simultaneously.

  195. Xenia says:

    MLD, I can see how my coloring analogy doesn’t work within your Reformation framework. We have different presuppositions.

    A perfectly colored page is not the goal. A growing relationship with Christ is the goal.

    But most of what you wrote I also accounted for in my analogy.

  196. Xenia says:

    Also, the coloring book is not under the Law.

    My granddaughter is already a Child of Xenia. In the analogy, she is already a baptized Christian, in no danger of death or any godly wrath. I will in no ways cast her out. She might choose to run away but I will do all I can to prevent this. But she has free will.

    It’s all about her becoming closer to her grandma and becoming more like her grandma.

    The Christian life is all about growing closer to Christ and becoming more like Him.

  197. Xenia says:

    I could color all the pages for her and call it “the finished work of Grandma.” She wouldn’t learn much about coloring or about her grandma if I did it all for her.

    Remember, I am not talking about salvation issues, I am talking about our lives in Christ and how we live them.

  198. Xenia says:

    I believe that faith produces good works and good works (done in faith) produce a stronger faith, which produces more good works, which bolsters one’s faith, and so on and so on.

    I believe it is a mistake to make such a radical separation between faith and works. They are complementary.

  199. Bob says:

    Michael

    MLD is not being treated unfairly at all by anyone. He abuses almost all subjects and conversations on any topic, twisting them to his satisfaction. When the subject is works he always pulls, ridicules and mocks others to make it appear as if they rely on them for their salvation and he doesn’t.

    The guy is simply a bully and it doesn’t matter what the subject is. No kindness at all just a web personality and entertainer.

  200. Michael says:

    Bob,

    What I see is that MLD is extremely clear (and occasionally obnoxious) in his defense of a Reformation view of salvation by grace through faith.

    When he points out the contradictions of those who claim to believe in that doctrine, yet judge their salvation and the salvation of others by works, then people get offended.

    Xenia does not hold to the Reformation doctrine, yet I hold great respect for her grasp of what she believes and why.

    I will say it again…there is great confusion among alleged Protestants over the historical doctrines they claim to hold and most of what passes for Protestantism here is far closer to Rome.

  201. Xenia says:

    Michael, I think one of the problems is people trying to force a non-Reformation view of works and grace onto a Reformation framework, which clearly teaches that salvation is by grace/faith only. If you try to include some sort of view that works count, you are forcing it onto a system that doesn’t allow for it.

  202. Xenia says:

    ^^^ This is what you and MLD have been trying to get across, I think.

  203. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I agree wholeheartedly if we’re talking about works having any salvific efficasy.

    On the other hand, at least in Calvinistic circles, there is a very important place for works and a an emphasis on practical holiness.

    I think there are hybrids of various positions out there that people don’t realize are inherently contradictory.

  204. Em says:

    there isn’t a soul who comments (& rabbit trails) on Michael’s posts here that hasn’t enriched me … I’ve gained Christ from Xenia, MLD, Pastor Steve and on down the list – if i get annoyed with anyone’s train of thot or obsession, the first person i check is myself… personally, i don’t want anyone to contrive and connive, to mask themselves – i may think someone’s theological position is a crock of beans – i do on occasion 🙂 – but as you call each other out and elaborate there’s nuggets of God’s Truth in what each one says – 99.9% of the time – IMHO

    Pastor Michael’s blog is quite an anomaly … God is using his site and i’m still trying to figure out just what the formula is … kinda hope no one ever does because that’s when exploiters start copying for their own gain

  205. Em says:

    #183 – i’m wondering how MLD explained to his grandkids that the bad guy won

  206. Michael says:

    Em,

    Thanks for the kind words.
    I think the formula is that I’ve not had a formula for years…this thing is about as spontaneous as it can be.

  207. Linda Pappas says:

    “I believe that faith produces good works and good works (done in faith) produce a stronger faith, which produces more good works, which bolsters one’s faith, and so on and so on.

    I believe it is a mistake to make such a radical separation between faith and works. They are complementary.”

    MLD does twist and trolls at the same time, while making excuse to sin then pretend that he has repentance, when in fact he does boast and flaunts his sin, yet project them at the same time, expecting to balance it all out by his good works and that he believes is the actual blood and body of Christ. If that is not RCC, it sure isn’t far from it.

    I never stated one’s salvation is dependent upon the works that they do or don’t do. But one does bear evidence to the other. What more, it is by the Holy Spirit that a person’s heart is changed and enabled a person to live a Holy life as Paul has taught us to do–not Luther, as we mature in the faith and choose to walk in obedience.

    What more in her analogy of the child, grandmother, and coloring within the lines, we can see that as the child mature, she does like her grandmother learn to color within the lines. So too, does a person who matures in the Lord and in the Faith.

    Again, I would submit to all:

    We are to lead holy lives and in this we do see that the bar we may have set for ourselves has been much lower than what He has set before us, yet enabled us to do through the Holy Spirit. In this, we realize what sinners we had become, yet set free to mortify these deeds of our thoughts and behaviors. Thus putting on the new man and forsaking that which we once knew, justified, and excused.

    Romans 6

    Philippians Chapter 3

    12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    What more:

    Romans 6

    Therefore,

    Ephesians Chapter 4

    22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

    23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

    24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

    By the way, if I didn’t care I wouldn’t bother. It’s not about getting the last word in or having to call MLD out, or being contentious. It’s not even about being offended or picking up my skirt tail and walking away in a huff or any other type of demeaning descriptor one might conjure up when a blogger leaves to get some space. For me, at this moment and time, it has to do with simply knowing what I have shared is the truth and feeling grieved that anyone could think for a second that what MLD does not just to me, but to most on here is in any way, shape or form, healthy or even edifying to the body at large here. For now, mostly due to my own need to stay positive and walking in Him, it’s best for me to also get some space for a season.

    My continue support towards Michael and his endeavors, however.

  208. Michael says:

    I probably should rename this the “The Official I’m Leaving the Phoenix Preacher ” thread.

    I’m just going to go to church, though.

  209. Bob says:

    Michael

    Yes I get it MLD is defending his position, but I find few here, if any, who say salvation comes via works. I believe, or at least I read in the posts from Linda and others who point out the importance of obedience and works in the believers life and if I understand her position correctly, they are a part of the believers faith in the finished work of Jesus and their Love for God.

    I constantly read MLD twisting those explanations and defenses to say something the author, Linda and others, never meant for them to say. He puts words in the writings of these people to back them into a corner, not for the defense of his position but rather for the defeat of the writer. As I have simply put time after time, he bullies them.

    Another way to put it is this, he implies something they didn’t write in an attempt to force a defense of a non-subject to the author. Again it’s like the question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” The question implies a quilt if answered in any sort of way. The answer could simply be, “I never beat my wife, ever,” but yet he has made the impression of a guilt, which was never there, by simply answering the question.

    I believe the scriptures point out very clearly that all people, of faith and not, have works. Yet the works of those who believe correctly in Jesus, while not salvation, are a result of and markers of that correct belief.

    But the subject is MLD and how he bullies writers here. Of course he does draw attention to the topic and, as Alex pointed out a long time ago, that rings readers.

  210. Bob says:

    That brings readers.

  211. Michael says:

    Actually, on this blog…conflict is very detrimental to readership and has been for a number of years.
    I’m the first to jump MLD when I think he’s just being contentious…but in my opinion, the angst here is primarily an inability or choice to defend positions theologically with clarity.

    Posting an entire chapter of Scripure is not a coherant defense or exegesis of a doctrine.

  212. ? says:

    I’m convinced Michael is not even reading the comment I have made.

    His #203 makes assumptions that are entirely without merit and if it is speaking to me, it is insulting .

    The only conclusion I can make is that there is a bias on this subject and regardless of what anyone will write if they are not of the reformed camp they get bullied.

    It’s as if there is some stronghold…

    I can come on here and say I believe in love…Jesus loves everyone…everyone is going to heaven..
    Yet if I say I ask the Holy Spirit to help me with my sin because I grieve over it, I am accused of works based faith.
    Wow…just wow.

  213. ? says:

    …and Michael, the angst is your angst.
    Thanks for the welcome.
    That’s it for me.

  214. Em says:

    i’m not sure that i know the difference between doctrine and theology – i remember when my husband and i joined the SBC in the early 1960’s someone in the denomination warned us not to expect all of the fellowships to be welcoming as there were scattered among them churches who would not serve communion to us since we did not belong to that particular fellowship… was that doctrine or theology?

    even after all the discussion here, i still don’t know what a prophet is exactly…

    all that to say, that what i do know is that no one can declare for me infallibly what God ‘meant’ to say – so much of our understanding is colored by our own deceitful hearts. I think that our understanding has gone downhill ever since we left the Garden of Eden… God’s goodness and mercy has been on our trail ever since…

  215. Em says:

    awe, ? , hang in there – i do and no one here understands me… 🙂

    it can hurt to share your heartfelt understanding of the Faith and have it stepped on, but truthfully it is often because our chatter can keep us a bit scattered, so stay and persevere – let’s keep the search going – little, by little everyone’s Faith will grow – even if some toes get stepped on – i’ve even seen dear Xenia misunderstood and insulted, so you’re in good company

    just sayin – and thankful that i can

  216. I think everyone here is confusing good works produced by the spirit with bad acts caused by our flesh. I am all for good works but I define them a little more narrowly than most as I think good works are manifest when done in our vocation – where we are providing for our neighbor.

    Good works have nothing to do with salvation and all Christians produce good works even if they are not perceived by others.

    What gets missed here is my real claim, and that it is not good works or the lack of them that are being questioned here – but it is bad acts that everyone wants to look at – and usually just the nasty acts that we do when our clothes are off. This is where my exception is with Linda and ? (whose only question to me was “is it OK to watch porn if you are really a believer.

    Linda in many posts has taken issue not with “so called believers” saying that with their bad acts they cannot either claim to be saved or surely cannot continue to be saved. So Linda, you do put works at the helm of salvation.

    I will always stand firm that a person with a great ministry doing tremendous work for God, saving people, feed the hungry taking care of the homeless, the orphan and widows etc, could have a girl friend on the side and have it not take away from his good works, his salvation and whatever you can name. It may be cause for him to give up his ministry – but he is still a producer of good works and is still a Christian.

    Some here would say otherwise and, well we differ.

  217. Xenia,
    My jumping in on your analogy was not a salvation issue at all – it was to counteract those who think coloring outside the lines (bad acts) makes you unworthy to call yourself a colorer.

    You then become a “so called” colorer by those who address themselves as authentic colorers. – look at Mrs. Lotz comment;
    “can you imagine the impact on our nation, let alone the world, when suddenly every single AUTHENTIC Christian disappears?”

  218. Bob,
    You need to grow up. Running around telling everyone not to engage while you judge my motives is very childish. Just be glad that I am not one who would cast you into the “so called Christian” group.

    I don’t even address you or your comments but you get all offended about what I say to others. Look, I address Linda directly and she comes right back to me with chapter and verse – even tells me to my face (really my screen) that I do not have the Holy Spirit. That my friend is how polemics play out.

    I address Xenia – even jumping on her analogy and she comes right back in my face and fires off 4 straight post right back at me restating and standing for her position.

    You on the other hand wimper as you sit in the corner of the blog writing in your diary “MLD is a bully.”

  219. ?,
    “The only conclusion I can make is that there is a bias on this subject and regardless of what anyone will write if they are not of the reformed camp they get bullied.”

    I am not in the reformed camp – I disagree with most defined Calvinist teachings (not necessarily Calvin’s) – I know I disagree with 3 1/2 of the 5 points of Calvinism.

    So where is the bias?

  220. Em says:

    #219, FWIW (not much)
    i agree with just about every word… exceptions are L & ? whose comments i did not that closely digest…

    the guy with the girlfriend on the side, however, may get hit by lightening and go home prematurely – probably not

  221. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “You need to grow up. Running around telling everyone not to engage while you judge my motives is very childish.”

    This is the kind of stuff you constantly write about people. Thank yo for the great example!

    And then this:

    “Just be glad that I am not one who would cast you into the “so called Christian” group.”

    Well you have “cast me” in the past into “so called Christian groups”

    You really don’t get it at all, do you!

    It’s not about your beliefs, doctrines and theologies at all, and you don’t get it!!!!

  222. em,
    The guy with the girlfriend may be a dog, but he is a Christian dog – and a full Christian at that.

    To your comment above – “i’m wondering how MLD explained to his grandkids that the bad guy won.”

    There was no good guy / bad guy in the fight. You had 2 professionals putting on a show that they both had fully prepared for.

    The only difference between Pac Man and Mayweather is that Pac Man got saved by Jesus – but you listen to his story and he was Mayweather before Christ – he too was a hard drinking womanizer just 5 yrs ago. Christ has intervened with Pac Man and has not yet with Mayweather.

  223. Bob says:

    Michael:

    “Actually, on this blog…conflict is very detrimental to readership and has been for a number of years.”

    OK I can understand that. But you have to admit just posting teaching on plain vanilla doctrines, historic or not, rarely gathers many comments. It’s the fights which bring the post counts up.

  224. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Oh:

    “You on the other hand wimper as you sit in the corner of the blog”

    I hardly whimper at all, I confront the issue at hand that inspires me to write, your nasty comments and sophomoric analysis of what everyone else writes.

  225. Michael says:

    ?,

    You’re right, I hadn’t read your comment.
    On the weekends I skim the comments, if I’m here at all.
    If I am speaking to someone in particular I speak directly.
    Feel free to leave if it suits you, the people God wants to be here, will be.
    I don’t sweat it either way.
    Xenia and I are on opposite poles of the theological spectrum and I think I’ve been very clear about my respect and affection for her and the way she presents her tradition and beliefs.
    Therefore, the “you have to be reformed ” mantra is nonsense.
    By the way, Lutherans generally don’t like Calvinists much either.

    Bob,

    You make it seem as if there is some benefit to me to have high comment counts.
    Perhaps you can tell me after all these years what that benefit is.

  226. Bob says:

    Michael

    Now don’t go weird on us and forget how last year you had a thread about the hits and post count of PP. If I remember correctly you seemed to point out your web standings with some joy.

    Also I also remember MLD made some sort of top list of posters.

    But feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I will not be offended. Thanks.

  227. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I posted the year end wrap up from WordPress because I thought it would be of interest to the readers.

    This blog has done big numbers almost from Day 1 and it used to draw far bigger ones than it does now.

    I truly don’t care.

    The blog has never attracted advertisers because of the controversial subject matter, so monetizing it has been a complete failure.

    I write about what I care about and try to be a voice for those who don’t have one.

    One day a week I write a thread that intentionally sends people to myriad other websites.

    I’ve shut the thing down completely many times…when I come back there are people that want to read.

    This has been a great platform and I’m grateful for it…but numbers don’t compel me.

  228. Michael says:

    The readership for the blog turns over about every two years…we had prolific members of the community who have been here and just disappeared after a season.
    We only have a few hundred who have stayed for more than that.

  229. Xenia says:

    On the other hand, at least in Calvinistic circles, there is a very important place for works and a an emphasis on practical holiness.<<<

    Michael, that's true. The Puritans and Pilgrims were very concerned about these things.

    And I also had a fascinating year where I attended a weekly Bible study run by strict Calvinists and they were very interested in living holy lives.

  230. Xenia says:

    In fact, now that I think on it, the shining lights of the home school movement in California 20-30 years ago were Reformed people, some leaning towards reconstructionism. (Anyone remember Mary Pride?) They didn’t watch TV, women wore head coverings around the house, etc. etc. They were big on strong male leadership over the family. Kind of over the top for my tastes. Some of those leaders had calamitous falls.

  231. Xenia says:

    if they are not of the reformed camp they get bullied.”<<<

    The only person in this discussion who is in the Reformed camp is Michael.

    I never feel bullied, by the way, by anyone, and I am about as far out of the Reformed camp as you can get and still belong to the same religion.

  232. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Calvin himself wrote extensively on the topic and the Puritans majored in it.
    One only need try to read Owens “Mortification of Sin” to understand this.

  233. Xenia says:

    MLD wrote:

    My jumping in on your analogy was not a salvation issue at all – it was to counteract those who think coloring outside the lines (bad acts) makes you unworthy to call yourself a colorer.<<<

    Ok, I get that.

    Christians sin but they are still Christians. No argument there.

  234. Bob says:

    Michael

    I truly thank you for your blog. I came here to answer some questions I had about the enigma known as CC. I had more than one person I was close to devastated by CC pastors. Yes I said pastors and the subject was always the same and came down to that Moses model thing.

    Thank you for your work.

  235. Michael says:

    Thank you, Bob.

    I’m writing my magnum opus about all that and the process of going through those stories again is very difficult…

  236. Em says:

    “can you imagine the impact on our nation, let alone the world, when suddenly every single AUTHENTIC Christian disappears?”
    well since we know that there are wheat and tares in our fellowships, perhaps “authentic” wasn’t a good pronoun choice, but isn’t it interesting to see what it provoked on this comment thread…

    MLD, i get your point, i think, about the guy with the girlfriend on the side… but, since i do believe in Divine discipline, he is skating on thin ice… only God knows what’s coming his way… but the thought of a lightening strike appeals to my sense of justice… and my own old sin nature…

    i pray that this Monday morning brings good blessings to all the Phoenix peeps

  237. Em says:

    🙂 sorry about the misspell of lightning, my spelling at 239 has to do with childbirth

  238. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    Divine discipline would show that he is still a Christian

  239. Em says:

    @241 MLD – Exactly!!!

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