TGIF

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39 Responses

  1. Dallas says:

    Can’t make this stuff up…

    Have been trying to get my daughter to take a nap for the past half hour. With the sound of her protest in the background, I came across this post.

    A good reminder to enter into prayer.

    I prayed and… silence.

    Sometimes silence is golden. 🙂

  2. Owen says:

    Dallas, that’s awesome…. and I remember those days.

    This post is a hard one to read, there are many answers I’m still waiting for. Hard to use faith as my “read receipt”…..

    Sometimes this song helps, though…

  3. Em ... again says:

    amen – sometimes we hurt and we know that God knows that we hurt (in so many and varied ways) and He doesn’t come fix it and that tests our Faith, hurts our pride (imagined insult to injury)… is He mocking us? … testing us? … are we even in His plan? … is He in ours?
    how do we get out from under the circumstances? … that other guy is thriving and here i sit – paralyzed and flummoxed in the Faith …. it really does help to read the end of the Book … IMHO

    there are so many variables in a world that is in a constant state of flux… we know in our minds that God is love immutable and He’s demonstrated that love by dying for us (all)… that is what moved our hearts to declare for Him…

    but oh Lord, life can be tedjous…

  4. Em ... again says:

    someone tried to make me look at some video (or whatever it’s called today) that is circulating of the torture of living cats and dogs – among other animals – as they are prepared to be served up as food in order to “improve” the flavor of the meat… set on fire, boiled alive, limbs sawed, slowly off… a film being shown to some committee in Congress of what is taking place today in some oriental countries… i just couldn’t look, not only because it was hideous, but because it makes me want to kill these people… i was asked how i could believe in a god that allows this… God’s time schedule seems slow, but we might not like it speeded up, even though this depraved torture of living beings (including the middle-east’s horrors) make us impatient – at the very least
    i believe in the devil, in evil as a reality and these things justify hell IMV… perhaps, this is why God is slow… hell is very permanent

  5. Owen says:

    Em,

    If it’s facebook where you’re seeing these things, I can suggest a really good filter. Look into Facebook Purity.

  6. filbertz says:

    I’ve tried to reckon with this by putting the ‘wait’ on the other foot…how long has God been waiting for me to walk in obedience to something he has clearly expressed? It helps me be more patient and aware of the flip side of the ‘relationship.’

    thanks for the thought-provoking post.

  7. Owen says:

    Filbertz…..

    oooohhh…….ouch. Thanks for that….

  8. Linnea says:

    Oh, Michael, what wonderful encouragement. Thank you 🙂

  9. Michael says:

    Thanks, Linnea…I wrote this one for me…and those waiting with me.

  10. Em ... again says:

    thank you, Owen… no, it was someone with their laptop in hand … i don’t visit facebook at all which peeves my family as i’m always trying to get them to email me their updates

    filbertz did, i fear, hit the nail on the head… ouch indeed

    but all in all, i agree with Linnea this post does carry encouragement… now, Lord, you’ve promised to renew our strength…

    (Psalm 25 … the Psalms are full of “waiting” BTW)

  11. Al says:

    “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

    He only hears us if it is “according to his will”

    Partly why I’m a Determinist/Hyper-Calvinist.

    We don’t know God’s will.

    What is is, is it what it is.

    Whatever is supposed to happen will happen. You pray a zillion times, the stuff that is supposed to happen will happen and your prayers will be heard and answered if they are supposed to happen….’according to his will”

    Sucks in a sense, but is what it is.

    Most aren’t healed, vast majority in fact. We all die eventually of something. We get that job or we don’t. The jerks keep being jerks and get away with it most times.

    Is what it is.

    Doesn’t stop us from being human and hoping, and praying…which is part of the mystery.

    At the end of the day though….even the verses you cite properly describe the real situation….you’re only heard and it is only answered if it is “according to his will”…meaning if it is part of the plan…if it is a necessary result of the design playing out in all its seemingly imperfect glory.

  12. Al says:

    Whenever you see God “answer prayer!” in the bible…think about all the millions prayers that were not answered in the way people prayed back in that age.

    You only see a very very very select few prayers answered in a manner folks prayed for or in some variation of that prayer.

    The reality is the vast majority of prayers are not answered or not answered in the manner you and your will wants.

    The Plan will unfold (actually it’s already happened in a sense, in another realm not bound by our dimensions laws of physics and our perception of time etc)

    Pray all you want. We all do. We’re instructed to. It makes us feel better and it has some sort of connection to the Plan and even your prayer was intended whether answered or not.

    …he says hyper-calvinistically and deterministically. If the bible is logical and reasonable, that’s what it says….”according to his will”

  13. prodinov says:

    Michael, first time commenting. I have been reading your comments/blog for the last month. I find your content uplifting, of value to my thought process, and well worth the time to give inner thoughts to your commentaries. Heartful. Passionate. Thought provoking at times. And all pointed in the direction that matters, upwards, heavenly, Godly. Thx for your time devoted to such. I am unaware of your medical issues or to whom you are in life day to day, but having the opportunity to hear your voice daily, is a joy. Take comfort in your walk and the many trials and tribulations that you face in your walk.

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al,
    So now your own words should put to rest you Chuck Smith / Calvary Chapel Bellyaching.

    As you state – we cannot know God’s will and all is predetermined – for all you know, what you call faults in Chuck Smith / Calvary Chapel are actually God’s will AND that God programed all of it to be.

    So, after your own words, it is now time to put this to rest.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al’s religion is weird, but common. He says you cannot know god – cannot know god’s will or what god wants and that we have no control over what we do in this area – and based on that he still recommends following this god.

    If this is the case, I think I will choose Santeria where at least I can sacrifice chickens to my unknowable god.

  16. Michael says:

    prodinov,

    Welcome and thank you.
    That was worth more than you know today…

  17. Muff Potter says:

    If this is the case, I think I will choose Santeria where at least I can sacrifice chickens to my unknowable god.

    Lemme have the chickens when your done MLD. They’ll go on a charcoal grill (no gas grill for me) after sitting in a fantastic marinade I learned to make from a Mexican friend.

  18. Al says:

    MLD, not at all. Is what it is and you are “bellyaching”

    We all do what we are compelled to do. We all play our part.

  19. Al says:

    MLD you do accurately, by accident, ascribe a “religion” which “all” have in some form….even the atheist and agnostic.

    What is the “motivation” of your comments? Are they to engender discussion or to troll me and egg me on? If the latter, then I think this blog has well established that as against its rules so please stop doing that for Michael’s sake, not mine, I can troll you back 365/24/7 if I decided to.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al,
    “We all do what we are compelled to do. We all play our part.”

    That was my question – why do you hold Chuck Smith / Calvary Chapel accountable for doing only what they were compelled to do.

    Sam Harris got his tit caught in the wringer over this one as he made the case for no God but strict determinism – ‘whatever our molecules are compelling us to do’. The question that he stumbled over was”so you had no control over what you just said and you have no way to evaluate if it is true – just that it is?”

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am having a conversation with you – you laid out you case for a god of determinism, I am showing you the holes inyour statement. Why would that be trolling – and what is egging you on mean? Does that mean you have no self control in a conversation?

    Look, I already had a bid on my Santeria chickens – 😉

  22. Al says:

    OK, happy to engage you if the purpose is discussion and understanding.

    Now if the good people at the blog will chillax and not ascribe false motives to me, I will respond as non-polemically as I can.

  23. Owen says:

    LOL! So long as Muff doesn’t mind eating food sacrificed to gods… maybe the marinade makes up for it? 😉

  24. Al says:

    MLD said, “That was my question – why do you hold Chuck Smith / Calvary Chapel accountable for doing only what they were compelled to do.

    Sam Harris got his tit caught in the wringer over this one as he made the case for no God but strict determinism – ‘whatever our molecules are compelling us to do’. The question that he stumbled over was”so you had no control over what you just said and you have no way to evaluate if it is true – just that it is?”

    1. I hold Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel accountable for the same reasons “God” does. We are compelled yet the rule book says we’re still responsible.

    God created the devil, the devil still got held accountable. God created Judas Iscariot and your Rule Book says that Judas was “created for damnation” and yet Judas is still held responsible.

    Your Rule Book says that no one can be saved apart from the Gospel of Jesus…and Reality confirms the vast majority of humans throughout history live and die w/o ever hearing a Gospel message and you say the go to hell b/c they certainly didn’t “choose” Jesus, they never heard.

    That’s what the bible, your Rule Book, says. It is what it is.

    We are compelled, we play our part in the Grand Design…and we are held accountable for our actions etc despite being compelled. Same as Judas, same as the devil (a created being) same as those who never heard the Gospel yet go to hell.

  25. Al says:

    2. Sam Harris does a great job at being a Scientist and Neuroscientists and establishing the truths and realities of how our minds and bodies work. That doesn’t mean Harris is correct when he draws philosophical conclusions from those observations.

    The truth, from a logical perspective…if you accept the bible as true and scientific reality as true….is as I described in the previous post.

    You are Compelled. You are still Responsible.

    God’s Design plays out as it was intended….you are still held responsible for your illusion of free will and “choices”.

    Both are true if the bible is true and if scientific reality is true.

  26. Al says:

    What I describe is actually a bit of new ground. It accurately marries the two Worlds: Determinism based on the reality observed by Scientists/Neuroscientists and the bible as true and logical and reasonable.

    Now you can certainly dismiss the bible as true and logical and reasonable and disprove my assertion or you can dismiss the observations made by neuroscience as true and that would disprove my assertion as well.

    If both are true, then there ya go. See up yonder.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al, but your position isn’t my rule book – your position is that we cannot know god and we cannot know his will.

    I am asking the question about Chuck / CC based on your view of not knowing and complete determinism — NOT ‘my rule book’. See, If I thought it my place to hold them accountable then yes I would use ‘my’ rule book. But you, for your part, cannot make any claim that ‘my rule book’ has any standing. So you must leave my rule book out of this and defend your claim based on your view.

    If you insist on using ‘my rule book’ then you must drop your claim that we cannot know god or his will.

  28. Al says:

    I won’t belabor the point. I cannot force understanding onto you. You are limited by your own mind and ability to comprehend.

    What I laid out is sound from a logical perspective….but as I’ve wrestled with in a very vigorous manner over the years….as observed on this blog….is the bible may in fact be illogical and unreasonable.

    If it is logical and reasonable and the narrative is based in sound logic and reason despite the magic and miracle and supernatural elements….then hyper-calvinism is likely the correct philosophical conclusion and is being proven such by Neuroscience and Determinism.

  29. Al says:

    MLD said, “your position is that we cannot know god and we cannot know his will.”

    “then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.” –Your Rule Book.

    “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.” –Your Rule Book

    “How great is God–beyond our understanding!” –Your Rule Book

    “Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” –Your Rule Book

    “”Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?” –Your Rule Book

    “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” –Your Rule Book

    “Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And limit wisdom to yourself? –Your Rule Book

    “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” –Your Rule Book

    Pretty consistent theme throughout the Rule Book: No human can know the mind of God or understand the things of God. It’s a mystery.

    Yet, we can make some observations and draw some opinions based on Logic and Reason….or based on feelings and what your particular Gurus and Religious Leaders tell you.

  30. Al says:

    MLD, I ask you this: Do you assert to know the mind of God with certainty?

    Please tell me as you seem to assert for certain that you know the mind of God and have clear understanding of the mysteries of God….

    I’m all ears. Let’s test your certain conclusions. Go.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, I guess I cannot have unlimited, unrestricted understanding as you do – (which actually discredits your position) but I will allow you to hold such.

    “What I laid out is sound from a logical perspective…” – but not a Biblical position. If you did actually hold to a logical, scientific position, then you would obviously deny the virgin birth, the baptism of Jesus as stated and the resurrection of Jesus — all not logical nor scientific. What you are left with is this swell guy who walked around saying great little fortune cookie like sayings and then a bunch of people blowing smoke up our skits with miracle stories. If you believe anything about the Bible, then this is what you have bought into — which again destroys your logical approach.

    So, since we have destroyed your view “If it is logical and reasonable and the narrative is based in sound logic and reason…” then your hyper-calvinism is false.

    Being on the fence has made your argument indefensible.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Deuteronomy 29:29 = ““The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

    This tells me that I know all that God wants me to know. You on the other hand have denied even this. You say you cannot know…. but then you were predetermined to say that.

  33. Al says:

    Determinism is a conclusion based on observing the realities of our Universe, how it works…and observing Neuroscience and how it works.

    Determinism is usually separate from religion and the two are generally thought to be incompatible…..UNTIL you overlay Determinism with Hyper-Calvinism….then the two, quite remarkably…line up quite handily.

    Determinism is much more solidly based in Universal Reality than any other Philosophical opinion in the sea of Philosophical opinions. Much more so than your Lutheran opinions, for instance. Your “prosthetic arms” analogies and the juice and cracker turning into actual blood and flesh, when that is proven each sunday to be metaphor and not a literal transformation here in this existence, but rather a fairy tale you propagate.

    Hyper-Calvinism is a Philosophical opinion based in approaching the bible from a Logic/Reason perspective and apply Logic and Reason to the macro-narrative of the Rule Book. Now, the Rule Book gives us a very small part of the story…and God could do whatever he wants….and redeem everyone when it’s all said and done (thought the Rule Book doesn’t explicitly state such) but as far as the Rule Book states….if God is truly the God of the bible you profess….if he is truly the “Creator” of “all” and “author” of all….and if God is pre-eminent to his creation and if his Will trumps the will of the created etc….aka if God is really “God” and not something other….then the reality is a bit off-putting and sobering….yet “is” and there’s nothing you as an impotent human speck in a Universe among vastly more Universes and Dimensions and other Universes and realities can do about it.

    It will happen, has happened, is happening. Your time is so insignificant and brief in what you perceive as this present reality. You’ll be gone in a moment. A few will remember you for a time and then even your memory will vanish and whatever is “next” will happen, has happened, is happening.

  34. Al says:

    That’s why I don’t really fear anything anymore or care about results.

    I do what I’m compelled to do and I understand my very minute place in the Universe. I understand my time is brief and insignificant and I am powerless to change the Plan, I just play my role and I trust that “God” and his Plan are ultimately “Good”.

    Now, ironically, that makes me quite a powerful adversary and gives me a lot of power when faced off with someone who thinks they are important, b/c I deeply understand that they are not important and they have no real power and they are vapor and whatever circumstance I face is necessary and brief as well….and it has happened, will happen, is happening.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I do what I’m compelled to do and I understand my very minute place in the Universe.”

    I do not think you believe this for one minute (the first part of your statement) and you would not accept this answer from anyone else.

    Again, the weight of your argument oddly falls to reason and logic.

  36. Al says:

    We will never “fix” humanity. It is broken by Design.

    No Church or Sect or Guru or Cause will ever win…not truly.

    Humanity will be as it is Designed. The Universe will go on as it is intended.

    Now that doesn’t mean Humanity doesn’t constantly wrestle and strive and fight and contend…it necessarily will b/c that is how we are Designed.

    The Paradox of the Human Spirit. It is actually quite beautiful….quite ugly…and yet quite beautiful again.

    I don’t know about you, but it is quite fascinating to me and I try to enjoy the brief time I have in between the opiate of daily grind and distraction…still knowing daily that the time is brief, that Existence is perceived…and that what we perceive is a very very small glimpse of the full story. And, yet, we daily do what we are compelled to do…and you didn’t really have a “choice”…not as you perceive.

  37. Al says:

    Ironically, I am not compelled to even read anymore of your responses and haven’t read any recent ones. I expressed what I was to express and have a sense of relief. Good day.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “yet, we daily do what we are compelled to do…and you didn’t really have a “choice”

    This is not to Alex, but a general statement to anyone who believes in determinism and what Sam Harris has said – that we do what we are compelled to do and we do not have a choice … well this is the creed of every sociopath who has ever walked the earth – I do only what I am compelled to do and I do not have a choice.

    I am sorry, but as broken as we may be, we do not have to follow what compels us and we do have a choice … and beyond that because we willing give into wha compels us and do not exercise our choice – we have a savior who defies all logic and reason – not just defies it but rises above it – and saves us.

    Watch out if you ever run into Sam Harris or his followers – they are dangerous and you may be in danger.

  39. Em ... again says:

    Al says: “We don’t know God’s will.

    What is is, is it what it is.

    Whatever is supposed to happen will happen. You pray a zillion times, the stuff that is supposed to happen will happen and your prayers will be heard and answered if they are supposed to happen….’according to his will””

    not entirely accurate according to 2 Peter 3 (especially verse 9) we are in a time when the will of God is being questioned and bucked … yes, everything in time will all resolve according to God’s will, but much that happens in the here and now is most definitely contrary to His will

    just sayin – cuz i can… so far 🙂

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