Things I Think

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128 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    Re # 10:

    Started teaching Acts yesterday. Read acts 1:6-10.
    So the Apostles ask in vs. 6 “Are you going to set up your earthly Kingdom now?”.

    Jesus answers, “The time is not for you to know.”

    In verse 11 the two heavenly messengers tell the Apostles that the same way Jesus just left he will also come back.

    I can’t imagine that a day went by that they didn’t wake up, look up at the clouds, and think, “Is this the day?”.

  2. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I think that is true.
    I don’t think they spent much time making an enemies list, hoarding food, or stocking up on swords.

  3. Josh the Baptist says:

    Probably not. Then eschatology itself doesn’t seem to be the problem. I think we can chalk this one up to good ole’ idiocy again!

  4. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Eschatology isn’t just the expectation of the Second Coming.
    It’s a whole system of associated beliefs that surround that event.

  5. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course, I’m just thinking the Apostles eschatology would look very unbalanced to us today. Like I said, I’m sure they expected each day on earth to be their last.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    Anyway, good thoughts. #10 just reminded me of that little tidbit from Acts yesterday.

  7. EricL says:

    With all the guns some folks stockpile for the End Times, you would think they were planning to shoot Jesus out of the sky like a Canadian Goose, but I know they are really saving their weapons to fight off the zombies that the anti-Christ will release. There will be zombies in the End Times, right???

  8. Michael says:

    EricL,

    I feel like one myself some days… 🙂

  9. Steve Wright says:

    Your candidate isn’t going to make much difference.
    ——————————————————
    I disagree with this HOWEVER, I most definitely agree with any sentiment that says the other guy’s candidate is not going to bring the end of the nation, end of the world, 2nd coming of Hitler etc.

    We have a Constitution. We have free elections every two years. We have a wonderful military that is not going to take up arms against American citizens en masse just because some crazy guy gets elected President. We have armed citizens as well, almost all of whom are great people who likewise are not just going to sit back and watch some new Adolph run amock.

    People who even remotely suggest otherwise, are as nutty as any end-times loon

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “8. We need a new category that describes and defines online relationships. It truly diminishes the concept of friendship when you can end one with a mouse click…”

    I don’t know about that. I have ended friendships with less effort than a mouse click. I just turn my mind to “ignore”.

  11. Steve Wright says:

    I remember when Christians were seriously suggesting Bill Clinton was not going to step down in 2000. Some say the same today about Obama. It is lunacy.

    Likewise, in case anyone thinks there is something new under the Trump sun, I remember in 2004 when liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias wrote from the GOP convention about how he feared for his physical safety as the room was swept up in a patriotic fervor (except I am pretty sure he substituted war-crazed nationalistic for patriotic fervor). I can’t tell you how many times Cheney was equated to Hitler in the Bush Administration.

    As far as the public discourse, best thing I read all week were two quotes from Jefferson and Adams describing their political opponents in words that would make modern pundits blush. Nothing new. The Republic of the United States of America rolls on. This too will pass. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

  12. Michael says:

    This too shall pass…but will it pass without serious or even violent social conflict?

    In 2004 we had nowhere near the social media that we have today that torments so much rage.

    I’m seeing intelligent, Christian, people caught up in a great deal of “lunacy”…and I think we are seriously underestimating the danger of it.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    I think we would have to have quite a show to even come close to the civil unrest of the 1960s – and there was zero social media (and very little alternative media at all) in those days.

  14. Cash says:

    I do agree with Steve the republic will survive, but in what form? Trump clearly leans toward the authoritarian. It has already erupted in violence at many of his meetings when protesters interrupt him, he encourages the audience to get violent. To me , I do see Trump as a picture of the antichrist. His ability to say whatever comes to his mind without incurring real consequences is chilling. Truth becomes a veritable blur of ideas that make facts obsolete. His pride and arrogance rivals any person we’ve seen in public life.

  15. Michael says:

    Cash,

    Trump is simply engaging what already exists in the populace.
    My concern (almost as much as if he is elected) is if he loses.
    That anger isn’t going away…

  16. Steve Wright says:

    Cash that is a false witness about violence at his meetings and encouraging the audience to get violent. It is a false witness that has been simply repeated by those seeking to make a point, truth be damned.

    The latest is Trump making people pledge allegiance to him at his rallies, when in fact I just happened to be watching the news when they cut to the rally and that happened and saw the whole things firsthand, live, for myself.

    I do not mind any Christian who might express their issues with Trump but if we follow Christ we must be better than just parroting the latest junk that we see online as if fact.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t see Trump as the anti Christ as the anti Christ will come out of the Church — not out of a casino.

  18. Michael says:

    Oregonians always believed he would come out of California… 🙂

    I think he is a type…

  19. Steve Wright says:

    There is something very small about any person who goes inside a campaign rally for any candidate and thinks that is the forum to interrupt, protest, get hauled away kicking, screaming, throwing punches. How often do you see anyone on the right doing that at a Hillary or Bernie meeting. Trump gets interrupted multiple times in one event.

    Imagine if atheists did that in your church service on Sunday. But the truth is that politics to some people is more important and powerful than religion ever will be.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Evangelicals go and disrupt Mormon meetings – it happens all over.

    Steve, ya shudda been around in the 60s – I went to college from ’67 – 71 —- everything was fair game for protest – interruption and even violence.

    I am saddened that we don’t see political protest on campus any longer. Today, the only campus protest you see is when anyone’s feelings get hurt.

    Think about the riots at the ’68 Chicago convention —- ahh, I missed those old days. Now I just protest “Keep your hands off my Social Security and Medicare!!!”

  21. Em says:

    Trump serves the political scene well as a lightening rod – the schemers are happy to have him out there… or were until things began to get out of hand – imagine how things could change in this nation, if our local politicians and Congress were the targets of this taxpayer anger – Michigan has some that deserve tar and feathers – IMO
    we seem to be focusing on the traffic light and not the car crash… or so it seems to me

  22. Cash says:

    Steve, you are falsely accusing me of false witness and I don’t appreciate it. Here’s your link and before you say it’s from a liberal website, the quote is from CBS:

    http://www.alan.com/2016/03/04/trump-encourages-violence-at-rally-ill-defend-you-in-court/#

    First he says, “don’t hurt him.” He then said if they hurt the protestor, he would defend them in court. That is encouraging violence. A perfect example of Trump’s doublespeak. And I also saw this happen. You aren’t the only one who pays close attention to these things.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    I am saddened that we don’t see political protest on campus any longer. Today, the only campus protest you see is when anyone’s feelings get hurt.
    —————————————–
    Yeah, the good old days of Kent State, huh?

    Maybe a couple political assasinations for good measure…get the fire hoses.

    Like I said, we have a long way to go to match the 60s and yet, even grumps like MLD survived and lived a life that is a very net positive for the nation and its future.

  24. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    As you probably already know from other contexts, Michael, I think that Jacques Ellul’s warnings from the mid-1960s about propaganda in democratic states leading to totalitarian hearts in the populace was disturbingly spot on. Just imagine what someone like Ellul could say about Facebook, possibly the most perfectly calibrated device for “horizontal propaganda” anyone could invent.

    I have enough friends and family on either side of the blue/red state divide that what impresses me (negatively) is that both sides presume that any slip toward totalitarianism has to come from the “other” team. I think it’s going to be a bipartisan effort and that anyone stumping for politics on the internet may already emotionally be there. People on the net and within the machinery of promotion for one team or another seem to easily recognize “their” stuff as propaganda but “our” stuff is just information. I’ll admit to a fatalistic and pessimistic checked-out mode because it seems that emotionally people on the left and right want a totalitarian regime just so long as it pays lip service to their pet values or programs.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “and yet, even grumps like MLD survived and lived a life that is a very net positive for the nation and its future” — Because of the protests.

    You have no idea how much good came out of Kent State. Withing 2 weeks of the shooting, most colleges and universities were shut down for the remainder of the term. Schools had to rethink their purpose and positions. Today, institutions are not challenged to think through anything. There is not political / philosophical struggle in our land – and that is what made us strong.

    Steve, today you struggle over which catoonish character to support. These are men with no chest (my apologies to Hillary).

  26. Michael says:

    WtH,

    I’ve had some great conversations with a friend who has studied much philosophy and history in regards to these matters and I think you’re both reaching similar conclusions.

    I only wish that we had the patience and curiosity to engage these issues at that level…

  27. Steve Wright says:

    Cash, actually that shows exactly my point. You mention something that focuses in Michigan but even your story mentions briefly New Hampshire which is the starting point and to which I very much heard the entire audio Did you? This goes back weeks.

    Who do you think is doing the security at these events? Who do you think hauls away these protesters? Do you imagine a Rolling Stones concert, like Altamont, where the Hell’s Angels serve as security in exchange for all the beer they can drink? That Trump has legions of minions doing security?

    Think what you want…..write what you want….every idle word, brother. Every idle word…

  28. Michael says:

    “Every idle word…”

    Give me a freaking break.
    I just lost it.
    If anyone should be concerned about idle words it should be candidate Trump who mocks Christianity by claiming it and says things that he knows are false to drum up the masses.

    How either side gets off lecturing the other on holy speech is beyond me.

  29. Cash says:

    Steve, if you want to be an apologist for that kind of garbage you go right ahead. And don’t worry about my idle words, you should get the log out of your own eye on that one. And that is all I have to say about the matter I will say no more about it.

  30. Mr Jesperson says:

    #1 I feel the same. #2, #3 I agree with those completely. Concerning #3, I have noticed I have noticed a great logical disconnect with Christians when it comes to the lust for power. Jesus was clear when he said that we should not lord our authority over others like the Gentiles do. And yet in politics that is the camel we swallow while straining out the gnats on the other side of the isle.
    Some hold up the constitution as a big idol like it was inspired scripture. The celebrity Christian leaders would never get together for a photo op in a brothel in Nevada, but they will line up with the Washington power brokers shamelessly. Sexual lust and the lust for power are both lusts warned about in scripture. Our conscience works well with the former and hardly at all with the latter. Our politicians in Washington belong to very select whore house, selling the lust for power like pornographers. We see little problem buying in with our votes for the one that promises us the best material goodies that we are lusting after. The presidential candidates are the most elite whore house in Washington. Most senators and congressmen never make it there.
    There is a reality to the lusts and temptations in that place that we ignore. The more I see it for what it is, the more I want to avoid it just as I would avoid the legal brothels of Nevada. To get a Christian in the White House is to subject a mere man to more temptation then anyone except for Jesus can handle. Politics is the Great American Idol. Do not believe me? The scriptures tell us to pray for our leaders. How much time have you devoted to that personally in comparison to the time you spent watching debates, reading articles and listening to cable news political commentary? None of those things are commanded in scripture, nor is voting. But prayer is. No wonder Washington is so messed up considering how little time and effort is given to doing what we are instructed to do. Instead, we get caught up in the political drama and outrage. We make idols out of men that are manipulating us for their own selfish ambitions.

  31. Steve Wright says:

    Trump should be ashamed for his words. He will give an account for his words.

    So does that mean the Christian thing to do is to lie about our enemies?

    Who is an apologist here? Not me. It is amazing how encouraging the truth over frenzied repetition of lies and distortion gets one labelled as an apologist.

    Look, if people were lying about Obama on this board I would call them out for that too…I can disagree for just about everything the person stands for without urging the repetition of false witness to the Body of Christ.

    But it is easier to be dismissed as an “apologist” than to take some responsibility for digging into the truth and the background of the words one parrots to the masses in anonymous online fashion,

  32. Steve Wright says:

    As an aside, I could quit my day job if I got paid for every private message I send someone telling them the facebook article they just passed on and shared was false – I do so in order to preserve their reputation because as Christians their reputation is likewise partly MY reputation to the unbelieving world. I do so privately out of love and to not embarrass.

    Cash, you think I am defending Trump. Wrong, I am trying to defend YOU – and if I knew who you were and could reach out privately I would have done so.

  33. Michael says:

    Here we are faced with another issue.

    What media outlets do you trust?

    Now, I’m mostly ignorant about much of the issues we’re dealing with these days, but I have spent years now studying migration and border issues.

    I will say that much of what is being said on the right is pure fantasy…but the left isn’t understanding the issue any better.

    I’ve read hundreds of books and white papers and keep up on what is going on…and I would be horribly misinformed without doing so.

    How do you decide who is telling the truth?

  34. Scott says:

    Michael, I thought you weren’t supposed to”lose it” these days? 😉

  35. Michael says:

    I’m trying.
    It’s like learning a new spiritual discipline.

    The doctor told me that being quiet and petting the cat is good for lowering my blood pressure…but Miss Kitty is now bald from my therapy and refuses to come back in the house. 🙂

  36. Scott says:

    LOL, that’s ba good one!

  37. Steve Wright says:

    @33 – An excellent question.

    In the context of my discussion, hearing the extended audio for several minutes of what happened at that first rally was helpful.

    The fact that the audio was heard on a sports talk radio station that was just trying to mock the whole thing, rather than a true news outlet dealing with the story is the real issue. I could follow this stuff even closer than I already do and would still not have heard the whole thing, if I had not stumbled upon it when actually seeking a break from the politics and turning to the sports station.

  38. filbertz says:

    “trust media” is an oxymoron. There are few opportunities to hear, see, or read anything that isn’t packaged as a sound byte. As a result, misjudgments abound and there is little light shed on anything. Given this cultural situation, prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit become much more essential for the believer to rely upon, as discernment is born out of them.

  39. Michael says:

    fil,

    I’m not sure prayer is as important as taking the time to read and study broadly.

    I would have preferred praying to reading all those books… 🙂

  40. Xenia says:

    Prayer is more important than studying.

    Prayer is given to those who pray.

    He who prays is the best theologian.

  41. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I’m speaking in regard to the acquisition of knowledge.

    I don’t think prayer can substitute for the work…though it can provide the wisdom to understand the work .

  42. Xenia says:

    Well, we have this saying in Ortholandia: The theologian is he who prays.

    Study is good, though. 🙂

  43. Em says:

    hmmm… thinking on this…
    i once had a pediatrician, a former Korean MASH doc, for my children… he was not a nice fella, but he was recommended by my Orthodox Jewish O.B. who took his sons to the man… he probably saved our little baby’s life – on the other hand, a good and dear friend who loved the Lord would not let him treat her children because he was so… unChristian… i had a Mormon plumber because he was the best one in town… hmmm

    at what point do we draw the line? i truly am perplexed… Trump’s M.O. is that of a gangster or a union boss … and i ask myself, does he speak the language of the power brokers he’d be dealing with as President? and, if so, will that be a good thing or a bad thing for the nation? is he unbalanced and therefore incompetent? to me he’s a male version of Hillary – she scares me, too… this will probably be the first Presidential election in my whole life that i won’t feel that i can vote for either party’s candidate…

  44. Em says:

    “I don’t think prayer can substitute for the work…though it can provide the wisdom to understand the work .” and vice-versa?

  45. Em says:

    #35- lol … maybe you need more cats?

  46. Michael says:

    I’ve never been concerned about the faith or lack of same of a candidate.
    However, many have been…and that is what I’m pointing out.

    I won’t vote for either.

  47. filbertz says:

    Michael, I was keying off the lack of reliable sources, so study would be a tough assignment–given that, prayer opens one up to resources super-natural.

  48. Michael says:

    fil,

    I’ve been on another research binge so you’ll have to forgive me. 🙂

  49. Dan from Georgia says:

    If you will forgive me while I cut in at post number 49 or so (usually at this point there is some debate going on marginally related to the post topic – sorry for my cynicism but this many posts in and that is usually what is going on). Anyways, here are a few thoughts on Michael’s thoughts…

    Amen to number 2…if we can get it into our heads and hearts that people may see Christ more through us than through our favorite candidate….

    Number 5: From where I came from (Minnesota), Spring was almost an insult..one or two nice days followed by 1-2 weeks of crud…repeat. This went on from March through Mid-May almost every year!

    Number 7.. wow. Gonna have to chew on that one.

    Number 10… PREACH! Tired of people stockpiling goods and guns thinking that they are gonna somehow have to become survivalists in the end times. Saw a hint of this around 1999/2000 when people thought that all the computers were going to go haywire, and their toasters would come alive and rail-road crossing guards would go up and down, and all kinds of mayhem were going to ensue at midnight on Dec 31.

    And what the h*** is people’s obsession with guns anyways here in the south? UGH.

  50. Steve Wright says:

    Political tip to any and all, from your buddy Steve….

    If you really, REALLY fear someone rising to power (Trump or some future guy) that you think a Hitler, authoritarian sort of comparison is even light years within the ballpark…..not just internet concern but REAL concern, like you spend time fearing for your children concern.

    Then never, ever give an inch on the 2nd Amendment.

    It is a complete political disconnect that the same people who want to reduce the ability for American citizens to LEGALLY (key word) own firearms are also the same people that fear Trump (or whoever else) will rise to power to take their other freedoms away from them.

    The founders were smart. They packaged Constitutional freedoms (rights) as a set.

    Thus ends the PSA…

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “If you really, REALLY fear someone rising to power (Trump or some future guy) that you think a Hitler, authoritarian sort of comparison is even light years within the ballpark….”

    I don’t fear anyone rising to power like that – we get through their 8 years and move on – however, your rhetoric is that of fear. Have you ever reread some of your fears if Hillary were to rise to the presidency? You hold more fear and angst about her than any here have voiced about Trump.

    Hillary gets elected, serves her 8 (or perhaps it is us serving our 8) and in the immortal words of Sonny & Cher – the beat goes on.

  52. Erunner says:

    #10…. Yesterday we began Matthew 24 and it was pretty much the same thing I’ve heard the last 40 years. The scenario was laid out for those who miss the rapture and we were told we need not fear as when these things took place we would be gone.

    My wife was sick yesterday and I shared this with her and she asked “do you want to stop going?” I said no.

    We are at a point where we need fellowship and we will stay. I’m not looking to do anything except seeking to learn more of God’s grace and to live my faith out.

  53. Steve Wright says:

    Have you ever reread some of your fears if Hillary were to rise to the presidency? You hold more fear and angst about her than any here have voiced about Trump.
    ————————————————————–
    You refer to exactly one, ONE, FB post where I connected Hillary’s immigration policy on Islamic migrants with that of Europe’s own Merkel of Germany, citing the problems (terrors) that Germany is now experiencing as a result of those policies and concern that…like just about everything else in Europe, we must guard about them coming here.

    Your timing was a little off, as Merkel over the weekend praised Hillary for her stance on Islamic migrants…which was my earlier point you took issue with and instead of dealing with what I wrote, tried to spin it as if I thought Hillary wanted to see Muslim gang rape across America (like Germany) and even when I refuted you (multiple times) you insisted and insisted.

    Now you bring it here to the blog as well….shame on you.

    Looking around the world and warning about the consequences of failed policy is not fear mongering…it is education. Do you think it is not wise to look at nations that have tried various experiments in their society and see how that worked out for them before we try them here?

  54. Steve Wright says:

    Erunner…But is Matthew 24 being taught as part of a total study of Matthew? Not as a theological hobby horse?

    I would not be depressed but rather chalk it up to coincidence of timing.

    (Now, I’m not saying whether the message was any good, or even faithful to the text 🙂 )

  55. Erunner – I have said it for years that there is no comfort in Jesus in the dispensational system. The Church’s removal (if you believe in a pre trib pre mil rapture) is a good thing but not comforting as you come to realize that it is just to get the church out of the way so God can get to his “real work” the real “chosen of God” the “real apple of his eye.”

    Rapture theology is hard word – to get right so that you don’t get left. It’s draining and leaves it’s followers confused.

    Hang in there buddy.

  56. Em says:

    i find the dispensational approach very comforting – very orderly – what isn’t comforting are all the folk on every side who are so focused on the subject, neglecting the work of the Kingdom – the Master’s house – as they try to position themselves advantageously 🙂

    looking unto Jesus, resurrected, ascended and returning King of kings – forever – how He does that may surprise all of us, but praise His Name, it’s going to happen

  57. Erunner says:

    Steve, it’s being taught as we go through the book so it wasn’t something out of the blue. I’m not depressed about it just a bit sad I heard the exact same things 35-40 years ago.

    MLD, I came to realize long ago that men and women I admired held to a post trib view. They were believers who studied just as much (and possibly much more) than the people that were speaking into my life.

    After arriving here I have read along as those of you much more qualified than myself dealt with these things.

    I’ve seen the industry end times is for some as new books, DVD sets, and conferences are so prevalent these days.

    It’s never been a end times thing that has hurt me. It’s been learning how to deal with the life I have and to incorporate God’s love for me as an individual that has been my error for so long. As God’s truths for me as an individual sink into my spirit then I believe nothing will totally unsettle me. Right now that’s a work in process.

    When I met with our pastor before we began attending I laid out in no uncertain terms how I felt about the abuse of end times things in the church and explained them in detail. So I’m sure he’ll be open to speak with me at any time.

    Em, your second paragraph is the man I am trying to be.

  58. “how He does that may surprise all of us,”

    Why would we be surprised – in his own words he tells us the how and the order … except for those who say “well, it couldn’t be that simple.” No, it is that simple (Matt 25:31-46)

    So there, comfort in simplicity. has anyone here ever looked at an tried to discipher a Tim LaHaye Last Days Chart? No comfort there.

  59. Xenia says:

    We can’t assume that the country and its constitution will remain unchanged. A lot can happen in eight years.

    England was Catholic until one day they woke up and found themselves Protestants with a new, strange order of service at church, the church walls were defaced and all the monasteries were closed. Ireland was happily Catholic until the sixteenth century when Protestantism was forced upon them. Russia was full of church -going Christians until 1917 when it became illegal to be a Christian. And since it’s considered bad taste to mention how quickly things changed in the Germany in the 30’s, I won’t bring that up.

    It’s a mistake to believe it doesn’t matter who is elected because nothing will change. Our Constitution is good but it is not infallible. I never thought I’d see what I am seeing this very day. For me the problem is that I don’t see what I can do about it. The waves of history are crashing over our heads.

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think it is important who is elected… at least on a more local level. I think what happens in state legislators is far more important to the point of what kind of country we are.
    Hillary or Donald have no say if we let perverts use the little girls restroom or many of the other crazy ideas that start in Sacramento and then move to other state capitals.

  61. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m ready for this thin veneer of cultural Christianity to be totally pushed aside in our country. I’m always surprised and disappointed by it come election time. Let’s just be done with it.

    Let the church work from the ground up, not from the top down. That’s the way it has always worked best.

  62. Steve Wright says:

    The only way the Constitution will be “changed” (effectively) apart from the true way it is written to be changed (involving a very detailed and supportive democratic process nationwide), is through the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS is the greater threat to America and its future and our freedoms than any one President.

    There is no doubt whatsoever the sort of justice Hillary will nominate and there is no doubt the Senate, even if controlled by Republicans, will vote him/her in.

    There is serious doubt as to what sort of justice a Republican might appoint, however, there is at least a sporting chance that for every Kennedy we might get a Scalia.

    And I agree with Josh @61

  63. That’s what I have been saying Steve about your fear and scare tactics (which you refuse to acknowledge). You have gone places where even James Carvell never went in describing GOP candidates.

    So now a vote for Hillary is a vote for the appointment of Supreme Court justices who have as their main goal to destroy America as we know it through the Constitution — because, as you say, “there is no doubt whatsoever the sort of justice Hillary will nominate.”

    I grew up here in SoCal during the days of the John Birch Society – your comments make theirs sound like liberals.

  64. Em says:

    “Why would we be surprised… ” oh, i think we’ll be surprised alright… he won’t slip in unannounced and just show up on the morning news… although, we do have reason to wonder, from the description of the tribulation period, if there’ll even be mass communication systems then… all these projections of what to expect are just idle talk to me… interesting, but not anything to hang my hat on
    i don’t have a problem with anyone turning a blind eye to dispensationalism, there’s more important things for the Church to do… but history past fits – i suspect therefore so will history future
    and i don’t think theologians make good maps – those charts with all the colors and arrows are not Divinely inspired 🙂

  65. Em says:

    among the many good quotes here on this thread – i think these two are worth repeating 🙂

    “The waves of history are crashing over our heads.” – as they always have, eh?

    “Let the church work from the ground up, not from the top down. That’s the way it has always worked best.” yes, God’s people ARE mostly down here on the ground

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em,
    Here is how Jesus says he will return – so this is my expectation and therefore it eliminates any surprise about what will be happening.

    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    The full and complete story Matt 31-46

  67. Em says:

    nope, MLD, it isn’t the “full and complete” story, but it is enough …
    i still say that should He come before you leave you will be surprised – perhaps a better description of your viewpoint would be that, should He return, you will not be “shocked?”

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, the church agreed with the Jesus version in the Apostles’ Creed many moons ago.

    But then if they had not jumped the gun and waited just another 1900 yrs, they would have seen the full dispensational / rapture theology truth as published by Hal Lindsey & Tim LaHaye and many others.

    The third day he rose again from the dead:
    He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
    From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
    (insert complicated end times chart here) 🙂

  69. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD, according to your framework, what does Acts 1:11 mean?

    “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

  70. ( |o )====::: says:

    If we’re busy being about the things that Jesus told us to do and cares about then His return is just another event of that day.

    http://40.media.tumblr.com/595e0308a2ad96b57f3957799bc24f68/tumblr_o3oshwAl2t1sh491mo1_1280.jpg

  71. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – did I say anything differently?
    I said he returns – Jesus gave the description of that return in Matt 25:31

    The point is that he comes, he judges, and he dispatches

    Those end days flow charts you guys use have many many more steps and happenings.

  72. Josh the Baptist says:

    A – I don’t use any charts.
    B – That’s not the only verse in the bible about the second coming.

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Acts 1:11 did not give a different scenario for the 2nd coming than Matt 25:31

    Somebody is buying those charts and they aren’t sold in my bookstore 😉

  74. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, Acts 1:11 isn’t the only verse either. But whatever, wasn’t looking for a fight, just curious how the amil crowd thinks on certain things.

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The whole amil thing is Jesus returns on the last day, judges the people, sends some to hell and others he dispatches to heaven – as stated ““Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    Then you have that new heaven and new earth stuff and that’s about it.

  76. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, that’s the premill view too. We just look for other details between now and then.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I know – you have all that rapture stuff, the reformation of Israel, the kingdom where the disembodied dead share a life with the fully human along with the mass killing of 100s of millions of Jews etc, etc

    or, in simpler terms you have

    http://clarencelarkincharts.com/charts/Clarence_Larkin_Charts_11.html

  78. Em says:

    #68- for the record, Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey have no standing with me as seers of end times – the whole, repeat the whole rapture frenzy passed me by… so …?… so maybe, i look at the big picture without the embarrassment of the sidetrack so many of us experienced back then… one should not lump all who see the reasonableness of dispensations as God’s design into the rapture frenzy crowd of a few decades ago
    for my part, if you don’t go there… well, then, don’t go there 🙂 no worries

  79. filbertz says:

    charts are getting a bum rap. I think Lutherans have chart envy.

  80. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oddly, MLD knew where to find a crazy looking chart. I would have had no clue.

    Hey – Here’s a chart for all of us.

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/views-of-end-times-poster.jpg

  81. filbertz says:

    MLD’s chart is $239.99 plus shipping and handling. I’d never buy a chart from a guy with S.T. D. behind his name…

  82. Josh the Baptist says:

    Woah! “C. C. Gosey Ph. D, Th. D, S.T.D., D.D”

    That guy bought a lot of degrees.

  83. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok, I actually looked at MLD’s chart…and it is just a graphic representation of the book of Revelation. It doesn’t even interpret the images. Just a drawing of everything in the book of Revelation.

    What do you disagree with on that chart, MLD? Or do charts in general just give you the heebies?

  84. Em says:

    i looked at a few of those charts and it’s easier to just read the Book … IMV
    years ago when i was writing some business application software i did apply a programmer’s flowchart to the book of Revelation and was amazed at how completely logical it is… IF we just don’t try to make dramatic (what else could they be?) graphics that illustrate events we’ll come to a clearer understanding… course that takes dry, dull concentration and a good teacher, too, perhaps…

    or just read MLD’s Matthew reference and wait – faith-rest it all

  85. Xenia says:

    Our Em is a software engineer!

  86. Josh the Baptist says:

    Easy solution, MLD. Don’t look at them. I never have.

  87. Pastor Al says:

    “A great deal of angst can be avoided with a robust doctrine of providence…”

    No 🙂

    As more of a Determinist (read hyper-calvinist who believes Providence/Intentionalism/Cause-Effect-Correlation/No-such-thing-as-truly-Free-Will I still have a ton of angst.

    Not “worry”…Angst. Angst is more being ticked off about stuff that isn’t right, being ticked off at injustices, etc.

    Angst is a byproduct of living in a massively imperfect unjust world surrounded by other sacks of meat with Consciousness all doing what humans are compelled to do.

  88. Pastor Al says:

    …and ironically…I believe some are predestined to be Angsty…it drives them to their Purpose in their brief Vapor on this Rock hurdling through space and spherical “time” in this particular Dimension, in this particular Universe

  89. Pastor Al says:

    We will all be physically dead very very soon. What really matters? Do you think about that? Is that at the forefront of your mind/Consciousness or do you just opiate away the days with trivial pursuits and feeding your fleshly lusts and trying to forget about the reality of your Certain Death?

  90. Pastor Al says:

    Do you really believe you can change the Outcome of the Reality of the Universe/Multiverse? Do you really believe you have the power to change whatever outcome may or may not be real at the other side of the human/death equation?

  91. Pastor Al says:

    What really motivates you as a human being?

    Fear and Greed are the two biggest in my observation….yet there is a yin and yang to humanity…there is also Love and Hope. Most are mix. Some more one set than the other.

    Rick Warren hit a home run b/c he observed and rightly discovered that a huge part of the human condition and human psychology is the need for “purpose’….certainly a biggie.

    What motivates most in human history and today, however, is Fear and Greed. Politicians, Business, Religion….they all leverage Fear and Greed to move the masses of people to achieve their particular goals (which those goals are largely Power, Influence and Money, with Money equalling Power and Influence).

  92. Pastor Al says:

    The Goal of every Pastor? To increase the size of his church/flock in general.

    Succes is measured in Numbers. Money given. Attendance. Size of following etc.

    The more “successful” you are, the more “God is blessing!”, the more “Anointed!” you are….all measured in Numbers.

    Quantity, not Quality.

    Very telling of the Religious Industrial Complex.

  93. Pastor Al says:

    When something “happens”….do you really believe that you had the power to change the outcome?

    How can you have that power when every single thing you do is necessarily and scientifically proven to be pre-empted by a set of Neurological Functions that you have no way of truly controlling?

    Every human expression, every human action, every thought, every expression….ALL preceded by a set of Neurological Functions that are involuntary and precede every single action, decision, expression you make…when something “happens”….

    What “Happens” is the end of a chain of Cause-Effect correlations and relationships that converge at that moment in this Universe/Dimension’s linear time. It cannot have been different, it “Is”….it is the result of non-random set of other correlated Cause-Effect events and relationships that are necessarily fenced-in in a very non-random controlled set of finite options….so-much-so that everything that “happens” was set to “happen” the moment the Mechanism was wound and then set in Motion.

  94. Pastor Al says:

    Your actions, expressions, interactions, etc are all predicated by the environmental Cause-Effect relationships and correlations around you….as well as the billions of other meat sacks experiencing the same Dynamic…within a finite set of Universal Rules/Principles/Laws that are finite and in “Motion” as well….ALL controlled by the Laws of Causation.

    You do not have “Free Will” like you believe you do. You are not the Free Agent you believe you are. You are biological/physiological computer program operating within a Macro-System set in Motion by a Creator/Designer. You have no Power. The Universe does not care about you.

    That’s the Truth. Kiss your kids. Enjoy the brief time you have left. Whatever will happen, will happen. Nothing you can do about it.

  95. Pastor Al says:

    Even “Chaos Theory” is not truly random.

    Fibonacci is completely predictable and precise. There is no such thing as true “Chaos”…no such thing as truly “random”.

    You live in a world of Illusion and Delusion. The greatest Mythology is that you really believe you are “like God” and that you are essentially “God”….Evangelicals among the most prideful “God-like” actors on this Rock.

    Your Leaders and Gurus are Idols who believe they are “like God”…and crave your Worship and your adoration and “need” followers and sheep to validate their existence and “ministry” and “God-likeness”

    Fools.

  96. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So Al – are you sitting out the election since it either doesn’t matter or it is all already determined?

  97. Pastor Al says:

    …yet even as Fools, you play your intended Role.

  98. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Are you done yet?

    This would all go great on your blog and I’ve already told you I’m done with your insults to my faith.
    You’re trying to start strife and I’m not going to allow it.

  99. Pastor Al says:

    MLD, I’m writing in Ron Paul. Again.

  100. Pastor Al says:

    I’m not trying to start strife, that is a false charge. I am expressing some thoughts that were prompted by reading your article today.

    How can I insult your Faith when you cannot define what that Faith even is and means?

    Does “your Faith” mean the many churches and big name gurus and leaders out there? Is that “your Faith”? Hmm, not good if that’s your “Faith”

  101. Pastor Al says:

    Yes, I’m done. I expressed what I was intended to express.

  102. Michael says:

    Alex,
    Go post your philosophy of life on your own blog.
    I’m not interested in arguing with you…at all.

  103. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Seriously – why?
    Why test fate and waste time to do something that has absolutely no meaning. Even as a protest you will not change a single mind as it is all pre programmed.

  104. Pastor Al says:

    They were expressions. I was not looking for an argument or any commentary.

  105. Pastor Al says:

    I’m not interested in arguing with you either. In fact I won’t.

  106. Michael says:

    The prospect of death is not hypothetical for me right now.
    My faith cannot be hypothetical either.

    There are days when I’m terrified.
    There are days when I’m hopeful.
    God has been present no matter my state

    In any case, I’m seeking to make the most of any time I have…and the best use of that time to me is passing on my faith and love of God to those who would desire it…while also standing against those who would abuse faith for their own gain.

    The rubber has hit the road for me…and I’m still on the same path.

    I will gladly be a fool and pass my foolishness on if indeed, this is foolishness.

  107. Pastor Al says:

    Not pre-programmed in the sense you express it. That is a misunderstanding of Determinism.

    The irony, is you will do what you are compelled to do and your actions, expressions, etc will be preceded by Neurological Process you cannot control….and the events leading up to your particular action/expression etc will happen in the Chain of Causation preceded by many many other events/actions etc and so on and so forth.

    You’ll cast your vote or you won’t, a particular winner will emerge and be crowned and those many many moments will happen the only way they could happen at that moment in this Universes’/Dimensions’ Process.

    Your Illusion of Free Will will remain b/c you will feel you could have done differently…when in fact every action and expression happened….and happens….and you cannot have done differently b/c a complex set of Neurological Processes preceded in an involuntary manner every single action and expression you made and make.

    Those involuntary processes occur as a result of your environment and genetics and where your particular Neurological Responses that pre-empt every action and expression you make falls in the particular Chain of Causation….but what is indisputable IS that every single action and expression you make IS necessarily preceded by a complex Neurological Process in your Brain/Physical Mind and Consciousness that you cannot control…it is Involuntary…and then the Physical Manifestation of that particular Neurological Process manifests itself…and your action and/or expression results.

    It “is” what it is.

  108. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, you’re going to die. Probably sooner than many of us.

    I’ll be dead soon as well.

    Choose to not be afraid. It’s a part of the process. It is inevitable. It will happen.

    What’s next? We really don’t know for sure. “Faith” is that it will be OK, Faith is not knowing for certain if every jot and tittle of your doctrine and theology and stories told by your particular Gurus is the Universal Truth.

  109. Pastor Al says:

    We aren’t God. We don’t know very much. We don’t control anything. We are truly powerless. Your Leaders? Powerless fools. Your Gurus? Powerless buffoons.

    Faith? Where is your Faith placed? In their stories? In their pontifications? In their theories?

    That’s where most “Faith” is….and it shouldn’t be.

  110. Michael says:

    That’s your faith, Alex, not mine.

    My fears aren’t for me, they are for those I love who I would leave behind.

    My faith says that God is not a cold determinist, but a loving Father who has numbered my days.
    My faith says that when I die I will be in the presence of my God…and that I will still still live.
    My faith says that death is not final, that there will be a resurrection…because Jesus rose I will as well.

    My faith isn’t interested in arguing but trust.
    My faith isn’t set in blind courage, but real hope.

    That’s the faith these pages will reflect…you may use your own pages for yours.

  111. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I find it fascinating, and I don’t think folks like Alex really believe what they say – otherwise you could not make demands on other people to do good or be gracious. If someone were to eat one of the kids, is that person at all liable.

    Sam Harris teaches the same thing that man has absolutely no free will that what we do is in reaction to how our neurons or whatever fire in our brains.

    But just think, he can’t even take credit for the book he wrote stating that – it was just all on auto pilot and there is nothing to say right or wrong — just is.

    But Al, you brought up Rick Warren and how he tied into purpose to solve man’s problem. From a man point of view yes — but man does not need man’s solution.

  112. Pastor Al says:

    Determinism isn’t “cold” it just “is”.

    Ironically you are doing and expressing exactly what you were intended to do and our Consciousness likely “lives” on in some form, but who knows for sure. And, “God” …likely a reality…we just really know and can’t really know what that even means. “Loving Father” is a nice picture and Anthropomorphism. I am not arguing. I am observing and expressing. I don’t want to talk you out of that picture of “God”….”Loving Father” is a great picture. I “hope” it is Universally True…as “all” are the “sons of God” in a sense.

  113. Pastor Al says:

    I’m actually quite curious and fascinated about physical death. I wonder what happens. We’ll all find out someday.

    I just hope I go out in a cool manner LOL. Like a gun battle fighting off assailants 🙂

  114. Pastor Al says:

    Dying slowly in a hospital bed riddle with cancer or something….tied up to tubes and machines. No thanks.

    Just push me out of an airplane and I won’t pull the rip-cord on the parachute LOL

  115. Pastor Al says:

    We humans are funny. We spend our youth (in general) living very unhealthy lives. Eating crap, drinking, some smoking etc filling our finite bodies with unhealthy things that are sure to kill us someday….then we get older and death becomes more a reality and certainty….then we spend our lives trying to prolong our unhealthy lives through meds and surgeries etc, trying to squeeze out some extra years to watch TV, over-eat and go to a church social club and complain about politics etc.

    We are sick petty pathetic puppies LOL

  116. Pastor Al says:

    I now understand why some dudes became Monks LOL

    If I wasn’t so libertine and didn’t enjoy part of the fleshly side of this existence, and if I didn’t love my kids so much, I might just go to a remote Monestary away from folks and just “be with God” and write my expressions to the Universe and then light them on fire so as not to start yet another Sect/Cult LOL

  117. Josh the Baptist says:

    But… we need you here to keep teaching us, Papa Al!

  118. Pastor Al says:

    I’m just expressing b/c I’m compelled to do so and for some reason….on here once in awhile.

    It’s likely nothing, just like everyone else’s expressions. Like I said, if I wrote it on paper, I’d burn it so others don’t turn it into another of the 30,000 different Sects or Cults b/c that’s how humans roll.

  119. Pastor Al says:

    My Angst is really truly between me and my Creator….not with any of you specifically.

  120. Josh the Baptist says:

    Come on Papa, you are anointed!

  121. once a cc guru says:

    Maybe pastor Al is the Antichrist 😉

  122. Em says:

    #86-Xenia, i did learn to design and write code in some lower level languages way back before you could get a degree in it… back when you had to be concerned with how much memory you were using up – i had some accounting background, so what i did was strictly business applications… even the Boy Scout geeks that used our hardware one night a week could write fancier stuff than i did…
    the hardest discipline is to not sit down and start putting code into a program before you have completely designed the system… writing code is the easy part – designing it is the hard part
    today? i couldn’t put together a decent payroll package… forgotten way too much

  123. Pastor Al says:

    “”We’re going to combine with that intelligence,” Kurzweil responded.
    How? Cell-sized nanobots in our brains will connect us to the global Internet and let us download skills, Matrix-style. We’ll also edit genes like computer code to cure diseases, Kurzweil predicts.”

    We are essentially biological coded information. Our genes, our DNA is Code.

  124. Em says:

    twisted minds can dance around the fact of it and settled, honest ones can admit that it is cold finality, BUT the truth is that even if you say death is cold and frightening as a Christian and then the next week find yourself on your way, you’ll be at complete peace, of a sound mind, anticipating the face of your Savior
    it is something that some label dying grace… grace ALL the way home

  125. Josh the Baptist says:

    You ever think that we might just be sub atomic particles attached to a Neutron we call earth which is rotating around a nucleus we call the sun? Our entire solar system is a single cell, just like every other solar system out there, and if you could get far enough away, you’d see that all these cells together join together to make one larger organism. Maybe a person, or something.

  126. Em says:

    Pastor Al, if you want something to use to strike fear into your fellow mortals look up magnetar stars

  127. Pastor Al says:

    “For the past ten years, scientists all over the world have been painstakingly trying to read the tiny instructions buried inside our DNA. And now, finally, the “Human Genome” has been decoded.”

    “But how do you read what’s inside a molecule? Well, if it’s DNA, if you turn it so you can look at it from just the right angle, you will see in the middle what look like steps in a ladder. Each step is made up of two chemicals, cytosine and guanine or thymine and adenine. They come always in pairs, called base pairs, either C and G, or T and A for short. This is, step by step, a code, three billion steps long—the formula for a human being.”

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