Things I Think…

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106 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    I agree the presidential race is hard to stomach.

    I think Hillary has the upper hand as Bernie lacks the charisma of Obama so he cannot overtaker 35-40% in the Republican primaries and his victory depends on the carnage beneath by the others.

    If Trump wins out I think he may well defeat Clinton if one of the others does I think Clinton will beat any of them simply because of the established Democrat majority

    In the end I think we get Hillary …
    I think Trump will see to it with a third party chase if he loses…

    I am intrigued by the voter revolt against the old guard. I think that revolt is more years and worse pain away.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m going to distance myself from the whole political mess.
    The “revolt’ is against the scapegoats that have been provided, not against the people and programs that actually effect things.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors to channel the rage that was created by these people in the first place.

  3. Praying for you for a speedy recovery. I spent 5 days in ICU last May. It certainly rearranges one’s priorities.

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, Jules…indeed it does.

    I’m hoping the new priorities stick when I’m well…

  5. Josh the Baptist says:

    Where did that picture come from? Hilarious.

  6. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I was going to do a whole article about that…and I still might.
    That piece of art was from Lucas Cranach, commissioned by Martin Luther.
    There are many, many, of them…and in my flesh, I find them hysterically funny.

  7. Randy D says:

    Hey wait a minute. I’m a hillbilly!

  8. Michael says:

    Randy,

    Yes, but you’re a hillbilly with a doctorate… 🙂

  9. Steve Wright says:

    I liked your use of “social media” to describe the woodcuts. Woodcuts were quite important in shaping in a quick snapshot the opinions of the (largely illiterate) masses in favor of Luther and the Reformation by villifying Rome.

  10. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’m going to write that up…just haven’t had the time.

    It was the “social media” of the time…and both the Reformers and Rome used it to the hilt.

    Luthers was more amusing, though… 🙂

  11. Tim - Doulos says:

    #2 & #7 Amen. I was thinking along the same lines, posted a thought on facebook, and then came & read your post. I couldn’t agree more.

    Sorry you’re ill…praying you recover soon!

  12. Paige says:

    Thank you Michael….. I don’t have time this morning to comment on each item, but I thank you for your thoughts and writings…. you weekly “sermon” on the ‘things at hand”….

    Very thankful for you…. and that you are getting legit medical help. You are in my thoughts and prayers….

  13. Michael says:

    Paige,

    Thank you…all will be well.
    Glad you’re here…

  14. Cookie says:

    Excellent “things I think” today.

    Regarding #3- this is one of the essentials of the Christian walk for me- as soon as I realize I’m trying to conrol things- I realize that I am forsaking fellowship with God and need to go back to His feet- on my knees.

    Re #9- I assume you are saying the Gospel writer didnt count the women and children- of course Jesus fed them. I never realized that angle before.

    Re #5- Our chruch outreach always leads with the material essentails and then offers Jesus- if the recipient is open. If not- we pray they might be open the next time.

    Regarding #7- I think we need to separate political leaders from religious leaders. Stop worrying about a politicians faith. I dont hire a plumber or an electrician based on his faith. I hire him (or her) based on ability to fix my problem. Why should politicians be any different?

  15. Miss ODM says:

    #5 — If you haven’t seen Deadmanwalking’s facebook page in the last couple of days – I suggest you look at it. He took a couple of homeless folks into his house to help them with all those needs you listed, and boy did he ever get the short end of the stick.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why is Christians divided over politics any different than Christians being divided over football teams.

    I have 3 or 4 couples in my class who think you are on the level of slime if you choose any other NFL team besides Green Bay – (lots of Wisconsin folks who emigrated to CA.)

    Arguing politics is just something to stimulate conversation and create activity. The day after the election, no one cares.

    I am more concerned with groups and orginazations do not disagree with each other. The teachers unions (all unions for that matter) walk lock step with the democrats – why don’t we ever see any splinter groups in those arenas.

    Perhaps Christians are the only ones with a healthy outlook in this area and can see reasons to dispute.

  17. Michael says:

    Cookie,

    Thanks.

    As to your comments on #7…I can accept that mode of thinking.
    However I still see many, many, Christians on social media trying to convince me to vote for their guy because of his “Christian” credentials.

  18. Michael says:

    Miss ODM,

    I’m banned from his Facebook page and wouldn’t believe him if he told me the sky is blue.

  19. Lutheran says:

    I’m concerned about our political leaders exhibiting traits common to all of us — honesty, chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility — the classic virtues. They’re timeless.

    It’s a really complex issue (church and state) in our country, because we’re a very religious country (at least numerically) — I could argue that when it comes to religious knowledge and understanding, many are in about a half inch of water — shallow. Plus, right now, we’re very divided politically.

    I’m not saying a president has to be or not be a Christian — but if they are a Christian, their faith should inform their values. Jimmy Carter is an individual I think of. As a statesman and a Christian, he’s a hero of mine.

    Your mileage may vary.

  20. Em says:

    #17- amen to MLD’s conclusion

  21. Jean says:

    “I’m concerned about our political leaders exhibiting traits common to all of us — honesty, chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility — the classic virtues. They’re timeless.”

    On a different thread in answer to someone’s question, I singled out Kasich as someone I could support, particularly because of what I perceive to be his character traits, as listed above. On top of that, he has been the executive of the State of Ohio with a proven record.

    But it seems, that on the GOP side, these are perceived not as virtues but as weaknesses.

  22. Papias says:

    Michael, I will be praying for you and your procedure.

    Also looking forward to hearing news on how Trey is doing.

    As far as politics are concerned, would this be a good year for this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/None_of_the_above

  23. filbertz says:

    doctrine is to be lived & moonshine drunk; to do otherwise is to miss the point. Both need to be done in order to develop a taste for what works…

    Martin Luther was so Junior High sometimes… 😉

  24. Michael says:

    fil,

    That was gold… 🙂

  25. Xenia says:

    I don’t want to elect a Pope (God forbid) or other religious leader but I would like our president to be a decent human being. Is that too much to ask?

  26. Michael says:

    Papias,

    Thanks for the prayers…March 1st for that one.

    Trey was pretty homesick when I talked to him this morning, but he’s progressing, as is big brother.

    I very much wish “none of the above” was on the ballot…

  27. Xenia says:

    You are in my prayers, Michael.

    (As always.)

  28. Erunner says:

    Have been praying for you Michael. It seems my prayer time is dominated with friends and family who are dealing with such difficult health challenges and for loved ones who don’t know Jesus. Your TGIF posts have been very helpful for me for keeping things in perspective. Praying all goes perfectly for you.

  29. Michael says:

    Xenia, Erunner…thanks to both my friends.

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m in on the prayers for you Michael. I hope you know you are appreciated.

  31. Michael says:

    Thanks, Josh…I wish everyone had the support I do in difficult times.
    Truly.

  32. filbertz says:

    When I was a teenager, I worked for a guy that cracked jokes all day and had a highly refined sense of humor. We busted up laughing all the time at that job & his wife would say something very similar to your #8 above. Forty years later, I’m convinced she was simply jealous…

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    I think I am going to register a pastoral observation. Until recently I felt I had finally broken free from this reality but it holds. Over the 40 years I have been in ministry the people for whom I have advocated the strongest and with whom I worked the hardest have done me the most personal harm.

    I am not making this observation from a plea for justice, vindication or even just to be heard. I make this observation here because this is a place where ministers are often called into account. I make this observation because conflict is not one-sided.

    This is not a critique of the work here of which I have been part. It is however a statement rooted in the fact that people who do professional ministry do not spend their waking hours discovering means to harm people. Conflict is inevitable. My conflicts have been worse with those I have given the most grace. Helping people turns very bad very quickly.

  34. Michael says:

    BD,

    I think that is an experience that most of us in ministry can amen.

    I’d love to see that fleshed out a bit more in an article…

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    Let me count the cost

  36. London says:

    I don’t think that’s just a ministry thing. I think it’s a human thing. Those we care the most about, who we are the most vulnerable with are the ones most in the position to harm us.
    Clients I’ve worked the hardest for sometimes are the ones that end up being the biggest jerks and complain the most.

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    London,

    I have no doubt you are right. My field of vision is, by definition, limited.

  38. Steve Wright says:

    Agreeing with BD, Michael and London. If you were to ask me to name the one person, other than my family, that I have given the most to, given up the most for, and invested the most time and effort towards – there is definitely one name and nobody else is even a close second.

    And that is the person I would also name when asked who has afflicted you more than anyone else in your life – again, thee is nobody even a close second.

    And sadly all of it is under the banner of “Jesus name”

  39. Reuben says:

    This is the best Things I think I have ever read of yours, and that comes from a dramatically changed perspective. You are still a man I would get drunk and cry with. I actually hope to do that some day.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I wonder how this works on the flip side. Are we someone else’s butthole?
    Are there people who have invested the most time in us, and we have turned on them and brought them great pain? I am sure I have.

    It’s funny how we always look out at “them”

  41. Steve Wright says:

    Are there people who have invested the most time in us, and we have turned on them and brought them great pain? I am sure I have.
    ——————————————————–
    Then you need to repent.

    I’m as serious as a heart attack. There is a reason that in the 12 Steps the addict is “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all ” and then “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others”

    Those principles come straight from Scripture.

    Sometimes reconciliation is impossible, but it is not good enough to randomly wonder about something that, with even a little effort before the Lord, you could certainly know and then do something about.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Then you need to repent.”

    Are you saying you never hurt anyone who has invested time in you?

    I know I have apologized to my parents about 20 yrs after the fact (which would be high school years). I have apologized to my wife for our early years as teenage mates.

    I think over time I have hurt most people because as a sinner I am selfish and turned in on myself. That’s why I still need Jesus in my day to day life — to keep me repenting.

  43. Babylon's Dread says:

    I chuckle at the irony of MLD being that guy that I wrote about.

    I also rue the thought.

    MLD look at it from London’s post and you will get it and I imagine affirm it.

    I also assure you that I or no other pastor thinks of things like this without deeply considering our own fault and culpability.

  44. Judy says:

    Michael: We’ll be praying for you and your kids. Also, I wanted to tell you about a guy I know who was homeless for a long time in downtown Seattle and he was unable to get off the streets, for whatever reason. He had issues, obviously. One day he met a Christian guy and asked him for money. The guy had no money. He looked at my friend and sized him up and then he told him that what he needed, more than money, was the help of God to get off the street, get a job, and stay off the street.
    So, right there on the street, he prayed that prayer for my friend with a great fervor because he really wanted God to help him. Long story short, a month later my friend was offered a job, got an apartment, got back to his career work, and has never been homeless again. He would tell you that it was Jesus who got him off the streets for good, but he never learned how to serve Him.

  45. Steve Wright says:

    Are you saying you never hurt anyone who has invested time in you?
    ———————————————————————-
    Did I even remotely say that MLD?

    You put up some vague ponder….golly gosh gee I wonder if I ever hurt someone…hmm….I bet I have…

    And I told you then you need to repent if you wish to obey your Lord. Get alone, ask Him, make a list, then get to work.

    You reply by telling me you have repented many times to many people and so NOW I say, well done.

  46. Steve,
    I think the reply I would have expected to the ponder would be closer to “you and me both buddy”

    NOT “Then you need to repent.”

    My comment to having apologized many times was to reflect that I have hurt others many times. Perhaps I am alone.

  47. Pastor Al says:

    Are you sure “God” appoints the president of the US?

    2 Cor. 4:4 4 Satan, who is the god of this world….

  48. Surfer51 says:

    Ruben for prez

  49. Nonnie says:

    Continuing to pray for you Michael, as well as the boys.
    God bless and keep you in His loving care.

  50. Dan from Georgia says:

    Vote for Pedro!

  51. Pastor Al says:

    I think I’ll write in “Ron Paul”….again.

  52. Pastor Al says:

    So, to you “the bible is INERRANT! PERFECT! WORD OF GOD!” etc.

    When the bible says that Satan is “Theos” or “God” is that correct or a mistake?

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    Correct. If you understand what you are reading and read it in context.

  54. Pastor Al says:

    “Correct. If you understand what you are reading and read it in context.”

    The Greek word is literally and specifically “Theos”, correct?

  55. Pastor Al says:

    Is Satan “Theos” of this world or not? If so, problem. He’s a deity. If not, problem, bible error.

  56. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yes, that is the word. No it is not a problem.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Satan is the god of this world for unbelievers. The text even says to those who are perishing. So Al, yes Satan may be picking your candidate for president.

  58. Pastor Al says:

    ” So Al, yes Satan may be picking your candidate for president.”

    You mean America’s candidate….which includes you.

  59. Pastor Al says:

    Unless you are asserting that “God” and Satan/God pick the same candidate.

  60. Michael says:

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
    (Romans 13:1 ESV)

    I believe God appoints all leaders for His own purposes.

    I rest in the sovereignty of God in all things.

  61. Jean says:

    Michael,
    Your #62. I don’t think that verse and the related ones are included in the New Evangelical Translation. 🙂

  62. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, do you really think evangelicals as a whole (not your random anecdotal pick to prove a point) do not believe God is in control?

    Likewise, do you think that Michael (or anyone else) is somehow making a point that God is in control so all of us down here just sit on our rears and do nothing but observe what He does? That God’s sovereignty and His purposes is not outworked through His people (and for that matter through the unbelievers as well)

    The partisan political view in and of your posts against evangelicals crosses a line when it enters into theological attacks on your brothers in Christ.

  63. Michael says:

    2 Cor 4:4

    “Paul classifies Satan as a “god” because he has a dominion, however limited by the one true God, and has subjects whom Paul labels “unbelievers.”

    Paul portrays the archenemy Satan as blinding unbelievers’ minds. This image derives from Jewish apocalypticism, which pictured the Prince of Light and the Angel of Darkness ruling different realms and engaged in a life-and-death struggle. It does not imply the inferiority or inherent evil of the created order.

    But it does affirm that Satan’s dominion, which consists of lawlessness, darkness, unbelief, the worship of idols, and moral defilement (6:14–7:1), is fundamentally incongruous with the kingdom of light ruled by God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13). It also reminds the readers that Satan rules only this age, which in any case is judged and fallen and coming to nothing (see Gal 1:4; 1 Cor 2:6). Prayer can check his schemes (Luke 22:32), and the Spirit can neutralize his power. Paul is fully confident that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom 16:20).

    Satan has been defeated by the cross of Christ (Col 2:15). In his death throes, however, Satan still has the strength to besiege human minds and to incite them to embrace and exalt evil rather than God. He continues to try to blind people to his defeat by leading them to disdain the scandal of the cross and to look for glory elsewhere (see 1 Cor 2:8). The “mind” (noēma) is the chief object of Satan’s ploys (2:11). This counterspirit does all in his power to prevent humans from becoming the enlightened subjects of the one true God whose image can be seen in Christ. Humans make themselves susceptible to his wiles with their preoccupation with the transient, unspiritual, earthly realm. The mind blinded by Satan cannot think straight, and it rebels against God’s truth (3:14).

    The word translated as “light” (phōtismos) occurs only here in the New Testament and may have a more active meaning, “an enlightenment that enlightens.” What the spiritually blinded are prevented from seeing is the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. In Paul’s world an image was not considered something distinct from the object it represented, as if it were only a facsimile or reproduction. As the image of God, Christ brings clarity to our hazy notions of the immortal, invisible God who lives in unapproachable light (1 Tim 1:17; 6:16).”

    Garland, D. E. (1999). 2 Corinthians (Vol. 29, pp. 211–212). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

  64. Jean says:

    Steve,
    My #63 was humor. And it wasn’t about God in control. It was about the honor and respect for our federal governing authorities that many (most?) evangelicals refuse to follow in Romans 13 and 1 Peter when they make and spread slander and lies against President Obama. Is Muslim; hates America; is illegitimate because he is Kenyan; is not a Christian; the list could go on. And don’t tell me this is stereotyping. It is vial, un-Christian bearing false witness.

  65. Michael says:

    Let’s just face up to facts here.
    Partisan politics on both sides have blown hell out of the last vestiges of anything resembling Christian unity.

    I have some pretty strong convictions about some things because I believe that those convictions are biblically born and informed.

    I’ve learned that discussing them here will lead to piles of email questioning my faith and my character.

    “Christian” media slants hard right and those who don’t dance to all those tunes are pariahs to those who do.

    I used to care…but I have resigned myself to the present reality.

  66. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I trust you will stay true and consistent if in fact we have President Donald Trump for four years if duly elected by the American people.

    Michael, I think the division is political and Christianity gets tossed into the mix (mostly)

    For example, right now a whole lot of people are shouting about Christians possibly supporting Trump, but when you dig into their arguments they really come down to issues over his conservatism bona fides or lack thereof…they just throw the 2 Corinthians and not asking for forgiveness stuff in there for cover. I think that is disingenuous from the right-leaning media.

    I can understand and respect Christians who say they won’t vote for Trump because they think he is a vile unbeliever. But I call out those who play the Christian guilt card on evangelicals but really their reasons are purely political in nature.

  67. Michael says:

    I might as well go all in, I already feel like crap.

    My “issue” is immigration reform as most here know.

    I did not come to my position because of political interest.

    I came to it because Jesus Christ ripped my heart out on the streets of Juarez.
    I’ve spent years researching the matter…but the ground has always been made of biblical conviction and faith.

    It’s been politicized beyond belief and politics will either help or hinder the cause…but my reasons are not political at all.

  68. Jean says:

    Steve,
    At the risk of poisoning readers (who are hard right wing) against Trump, let me confess that Trump would be good for Democrats. He wants to protect jobs in America. He appears committed to universal health care. He doesn’t appear to want to get into a lot of foreign wars and he is a deal maker (not ideologue), so he will comprise and not make perfect the enemy of the good.

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I understand but I did not mean our political views are not determined by our Christian faith.

    I am saying (to stay with Trump) that someone who is prolife for example because of their Christian convictions, sees in Trump a guy that has stated he is pro-choice and has not yet claimed some dramatic change since those views were stated. So THAT becomes an issue for being against him as a conservative but if so, then say THAT and the media should not say “look at the guy said 2 Corinthians”

  70. Steve Wright says:

    At the risk of poisoning readers (who are hard right wing) against Trump,
    ————————————————
    Jean I guarantee you that there would be far more non hard right wing readers opposed to Trump on this blog. I’ve already seen many of them say so.

    Me…if the choice is him or Hillary, I’ll crawl over broken glass to vote against Hillary and that is exactly what my vote would be – just like I did not vote “for the Mormon” in 2012. However, that also comes from a citizen point of view that believes in voting as a stewardship from God (thus a Christian point of view) and so one who has committed to always vote in every election, even if it is for the local dog catcher.

  71. Michael says:

    I can simplify this more.

    I believe it was Cookie who said that religious convictions do not matter to her in regard to a President.

    That is honest.

    I have a whole Facebook feed of people who are trying to baptize Trump…who says he has never asked God for forgiveness.

  72. Steve Wright says:

    If you asked a bunch of Christians who they would rather spend the day with.

    1) A guy who was constantly talking about God but you felt like was a lying, manipulative snake.

    2) A guy who was constantly talking about God but had no core doctrinal beliefs and had never actually done anything of substance.

    3) A guy who would probably not mention God all day, and would talk like an unbeliever throughout…

    Who wins that choice?

  73. Steve Wright says:

    just like I did not vote “for the Mormon” in 2012.
    ————————————
    I should probably add I most definitely did vote for Romney in 2012. For those not around…My reference was to those Christians who said “How can you vote FOR a Mormon”

  74. filbertz says:

    #3 hands down…it’d be like spending the day with myself. I have concluded convictions are best lived, faith, hope and love best demonstrated, and grace well-rehearsed.

    Michael’s go-to issue is immigration; mine are education and tax reform. Crickets.

  75. Michael says:

    I cannot begin to describe how dismal, depressing, and divisive, I find these political debates to be.

  76. Michael says:

    Fil,

    I’ll hang out with you then… 🙂

  77. filbertz says:

    I’ll bring the beverages. 😉

  78. Steve Wright says:

    Not a debate…just an explanation from someone who has followed the process for awhile (since 1994) in the tall weeds.

    I’m not going to quit my day job, but really, most of the political analysis in the news media at even the highest levels is quite clueless when they start talking about evangelicals and politics….especially this year.

  79. Michael says:

    Everybody has their own experts.
    Bowden predicted someone like Trump would arise years ago…he even listed all the Republican talking points for this year on immigration.

    He did that about 2010…

    He was balanced though…he always said that while the politicians did their thing the only people really making a difference for the poor and oppressed were Christians…

  80. Steve Wright says:

    Trump’s rise and continued success is far more a result of the Republican media than the Obama and Democrat policies….the more they talk the more he gains because more and more GOP primary voters are turning more and more against the media as seen on Fox, National Review, Red State, Hot Air and elsewhere.

    I won’t bore you here with details but for those of us who lived through the Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul cycle four years ago, the establishment hypocrisy and double standards as they shoved Romney down our throats can’t be stressed loudly enough….a comparison might be the Bob Coy marriage series messages…closest I can think of….

  81. Xenia says:

    When given the choice of two evils, I choose neither.

  82. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, your consistency in that position marks you quite distinctively from the sorts of folks I am describing – the ones who wave the Bible to defeat the guy they don’t like but then tell us we aren’t electing a pastor when they like a guy that is no different than the guy they don’t like the election before.

  83. Pastor Al says:

    Typical of the dualist and convoluted nature of the bible. Says one thing, then says the opposite and the Apologetic is about as logic and reasonable as a horoscope.

  84. Pastor Al says:

    It must be incredibly tiring to have to have everything figured out and all the dots connected….when they don’t nearly connect.

    It’s laughable. More and more are seeing it for what it is and the typical “churchy” explanation of irreconcilable issues will continue to lose more and more ground….except among the very illiterate and low-IQ populations.

  85. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nah, you just have to read more than one sentence to get it sometimes.

  86. Pastor Al says:

    “Satan is in charge of the World!”

    “God is in charge of the World!”

    Who choses the President of the US? God or Satan? Who’s in charge of the “World”? The “God” of the World, God or Satan?

  87. Michael says:

    Alex,

    We’re done now.
    “except among the very illiterate and low-IQ populations.”

    That’s simply trolling to cause strife and I’m not going to have it.
    Go insult Christians on your own site.

  88. Pastor Al says:

    If you’re saying that “God” God is really in charge and Satan/Theos is subservient to “God” God and must get permission to do anything, then isn’t “God” God then responsible for the evil for signing off on it?

  89. Pastor Al says:

    So, basically, your Apologetic says Satan/Theos is “in charge” of the World…”has dominion”….so what does he do? Present “God” God with his choice for President then “God” God has to sign off on it?

    What if they disagree?

    LOL, idiocy.

  90. Xenia says:

    except among the very illiterate and low-IQ populations.<<<<

    If these are the remnant, then I will gladly identify with them.

  91. Pastor Al says:

    It’s metaphor for a reality in the Universe/Multiverse that we cannot nearly understand or know with our puny human brains. The yin and yang of the human experience and good and evil.

    Our ancients put human skin on the stuff and their description is largely nonsense.

    It’s why the Enlightenment folks and theologically liberal continue to get less and less literal.

  92. Pastor Al says:

    “If these are the remnant, then I will gladly identify with them.”

    Statistically correlative that the conservative fundamentalist angle is much more accepted in low iq more primitive Cultures.

    The more a particular Culture/Society increases in IQ and quality of life, the less fundamentalist they are.

    You can set your watch to it. It’s as consistent as Gravity.

  93. Pastor Al says:

    Though as the Roman Catholic Church gets more and more Liberal….the low iq, poor and primitive populations they target eat up whatever they are told by them….so those populations are becoming more liberal theologically w/o really knowing the difference, ironically.

    The low iq, poor, primitive areas are very much fertile ground for the Charismatic Charlatans and their circuses.

  94. Pastor Al says:

    I know you’ll want to stone the messenger b/c the Truth hurts. Is what it is and I can back up every one of those claims above with many links to Facts, Data, articles that document it as the Truth.

  95. Em says:

    sometimes one thinks that they’re throwing rocks, but it’s all relative to the target

  96. Pastor Al says:

    Not at all.

    Just a continuing thirst for the Truth….and the more I learn, the less I know for certain.

    Human nature? That I know for certain. Your “faith” is largely in an Apologetic and you only feel secure thinking you have it all figured it….in having your particular Apologist connect the dots for you….which isn’t really “faith”…it’s certainty in some Sect or Guru’s Apologetic.

    None of the boxes pass the scrutiny of Critical Thinking, Reason and Logic. Doesn’t disprove “God”…just disproves the Idol you’ve constructed as “god”….which is your Apologetic.

  97. Pastor Al says:

    That fear and anger you feel when your Apologetic is challenged and shown to have major holes in it…is telling that your “faith” is really in an explanation of the unexplainable. When that explanation is shown to be incorrect in some regard, you get very defensive and that is telling of a lack of what a “faith” really is and means.

    Words have meaning…

  98. Pastor Al says:

    Most folks have “faith” in their particular Apologetic, Sect and Pastor/Guru.

    That’s not a “faith” in “God”.

  99. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have faith that if you read more deeply you’d be able to understand this very simple image, that you are making out to be very difficult.

    My 7 year old can grasp it with very little effort.

  100. Pastor Al says:

    Opposite Josh.

    I keep it very simple.

    The Typical Evangelical Apologetic makes it EXTREMELY complex and if you disagree with one of their gazillion little points of ‘essential’ you are cast into the fiery pits of hell forever.

    ^^ Troof

  101. Pastor Al says:

    At the end of the day, none of us know for sure. None of us know much at all.

    It is “Mystery” and our faith, necessarily, can only be extremely simple.

    The best and most honest answer to most questions is: “I don’t know for sure, but my HOPE is that God is good and that God is love”

  102. Pastor Al says:

    When folks fall too in love with their doctrine, theology, Apologetic, Sect and Guru….I poke holes in it b/c I think it is unhealthy and Idolatrous…and False.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority I’ve encountered are as I describe above.

    Then when one of their Gurus falls and is found to be a jerk like the rest of us it’s: “Well DON’T put them on pedestals! We’re all sinners!”

    Yes, start with that. Don’t put them on pedestals. Get them off your stages. Get rid of the pulpits. Stop glorifying these idiots. Stop giving them money. Stop telling them how wonderful they are. Stop worshipping them.

  103. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I poke holes in it ”

    In this case – “God of this world” – you have failed. No holes to be poked, only a lack of honest reading on your part.

    As far as the rest, – pedestals, mystery, uncertainty about alot of stuff – I think we all agree.

  104. “At the end of the day, none of us know for sure. None of us know much at all.”

    So since you, by your own admission don’t know much, then it is possible that we are right and you are wrong.

    “When folks fall too in love with their doctrine, theology, Apologetic, Sect and Guru…”

    This is what you have done, you have your own set of secular gurus that you have given your total loyalty to and now just repeat there stuff. Do you think this is the first time these objections have been put on the table? And believe me, those who proceeded you have done a much better job of raising the objections — with little to no success I may add.

    You are going to need a bigger hammer, because the anvil of Biblical truth has worn out 1,000s of objecting hammers before yours.

    At least be honest and reveal which guru you are copying – it’s even worse if you lead us to believe this crap comes out of your own head.

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