Things I Think

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106 Responses

  1. Cash says:

    Thumbs up on the comments about Pokemon Go. It’s just a game, people. My grown sons and their fiances love it as does my wife and they go out Pokemon hunting together. Anything that gets them outside the house is good, IMO.

  2. Michael says:

    Cash,

    It’s an excuse to do something together as a family…those are called “blessings”.

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    Good comments on Pokemon Go!

    By the way, for those involved in the culture war, it’s “‘Murica”

    Good thoughts as always Michael!

  4. Papias says:

    #10. Likely not the fault of the theology as much as its overemphasis on “getting it right”.

    I have been going to our Mens group as we have studied “Four views of the end times” by Timothy Paul Jones. Its really an overview of the big 4(Post, Amil, Dispie, and Historical Premil), but he’s been pretty balanced. He places the focus on the Return of Jesus and what each of the views positively brings to the table.

    The biggest surprise for me has been how much love and grace has been shown by others with a different viewpoint on eschatology.

    Focus on Jesus as the goal of God’s plan when studying eschatology.

  5. Jean says:

    This is not a religious argument, but I heard on the radio and attach this representative article about the potential neurological concerns with playing a lot of Pokémon Go, and perhaps other similar games. I think its an emerging potentially serious issue, so I would advise parents (and adults) to look into these concerns before becoming sanguine about this game.

    http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/pokemon-go/

  6. Rob Murphy says:

    When your church is somehow declared to be a Pokemon Gym and folks almost get runneded over in the parking lot, it does lose some of its shine.
    My guys play it, but it has presented logistical problems in our area.
    The low quality driver does not need additional obstacles to the already difficult “between the lines” task.
    Having to carry additional insurance in case of skateboarders, scooters, bikes and now… Pokemon Go accidents. Funny culture.

  7. Michael says:

    There are neurological concerns with all technological input going back to television.
    Maybe even radio…

    All things in moderation…

  8. Jean says:

    “There are neurological concerns with all technological input going back to television.
    Maybe even radio…”

    Are you saying we’re all nuts? 🙂

  9. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Perhaps… 🙂

    I do know that the internet has drastically reduced attention spans.
    I do know that the reason I have to set word limits on blog posts is that people simply won’t read much past 500 words.
    I do know that it has been a huge problem as a parent helping Trey discern between what he sees and hears through media and “real life”.
    I believe that television as a primary means of education and entertainment has taken the collective IQ down about twenty points.

    I haven’t thought this through…but there is a radical qualitative difference between searching for information and having it delivered directly to you…

  10. My church helped the neighbors PokemonGo on Sat night. We have a huge apartment complex behind the church and for the past week our parking lots have been full of Pokemon players. Apparently we are rich in Pokemon whatever they hunt. So Saturday night we (well I was on vacation so it wasn’t me) Bar BQ’d hot dogs and hamburgers (we were having the church picnic the next day so we had plenty of food) and had 20 phone charging stations (you can’t catch those boogers if your phone dies.

    So everyone had fun. It makes outreach easier when they are already on your property.

  11. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I have no doubt that there are issues and abuses that have happened with the game.

    I look at it differently.

    My kid is a skateboarder.
    it’s his joy, it’s his passion, and a huge part of his personal identity.
    People hate skateboarders.
    If a lot of people had their way they would shut down every skatepark in the valley as well as keeping them off any public property including the road.

    Personally, I spend a lot of time transporting him to parks and sitting for ages in whatever weather is occurring that day.
    It was 105 a couple of days ago.
    I’ve been in the same spot when it was 10 degrees.
    Lord knows, I would rather be elsewhere.

    It is a risky sport…I think we’re at three broken bones and two possible concussions.

    There are some skaters that do bad things.
    Trey isn’t one of them.

    It’s something that has profited him greatly and we’ve spent more time together because of it than we would have otherwise.

    There is always a negative that accompanies positive…but we choose what we focus on.

  12. Michael says:

    MLD,

    That is awesome…send a few of those Lutherans up here to help me at the skatepark… 🙂

  13. Jess says:

    My son hates pokemon. He’s more of a dragonball z kid. Anyway to each his own. I think they’re all stupid cartoons/games, but I have that right, just as they have the right to enjoy it to the max. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth

  14. Xenia says:

    My daughter and her husband (a professional hacker…er, security expert) are at DefCon in Las Vegas this week. She told me most of the attendees are anxious to drink and gamble while she is wandering around air-conditioned casinos playing PokemanGo. She has chosen well. 🙂

  15. Michael says:

    I have church people visit the skatepark now and then…to tell me what a bunch of wretched little bastards the kids are.

    In 8 years that has been the only “outreach” we’ve had…

  16. Owen says:

    Michael…

    I really have to applaud you for hanging out at the skatepark with your son, I believe we need more parents willing to step into their kids’ world .

    As for your #10, well said. The “dangers” are nothing new. Probably another reason to teach common sense to the kids. Reminds me of things like trampolines and lawn darts – both became “dangerous” (at least up here) because kids were injured due to lack of basic supervision and instruction.

    I’ve been playing the PokemonGo game with my teenager – I’m very happy to find a way to relate with her. Yes, there are a lot of stupid things kids do with it. But kids have been doing stupid things forever, regardless of what they do it with. Doesn’t make the game itself dangerous. The game itself gives warnings every time it boots up, things like “Stay alert at all times! Do not trespass! Do not drive!” and the like.

  17. Michael says:

    Owen,

    As he progresses more into being a teenager there are going to be fewer and fewer times when he wants me to accompany him in his activities at all.
    I want to be available to share as much time with him as I can,while I can.

    Good point about the trampolines and lawn darts…

  18. Well they are “a bunch of wretched little bastards”, but they are God’s “wretched little bastards.” as we all are. 🙂

  19. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Amen and amen…

  20. Em ... again says:

    item 3 – seems like an obvious conclusion that Facebook is leading to the New World Order which is leading to the End Times (whatever your eschatological choice might be) … can’t we assume that all things are and will work in that direction? No matter how long it may take? i suspect that the radio and the telephone are/were signs that the end IS coming 🙂

    item 4 – i think, myself, that the pace and the relentless pressures on folk are the reason for all the annoyance with our fellow man… i remember something we called the crazy hour ( you have to have been a housewife and mom of a bygone era to know what i’m talking about – not stepford, BTW) around 5 p.m. just as you headed in to fix a meal, your children went bizerk, you really didn’t want to cook, but you loved these people and didn’t intend to put cold cereal and milk in front of them (tempting), you probably stepped on the cat’s tail, if you had one and it had one, the phone rang because those solicitors knew they’d catch you home – you might just have yelled at the kids, the cat and the solicitor … today, it seems like the crazy hour goes mostly 24/7 – it’s no wonder everyone is getting on everyone’s last nerve – IMHO

    item 7 – item four got me going down memory lane remembering a neighbor, a doctor’s wife and a school teacher, who after my 4th child was born, came over every evening (without even a hint from me) about 4:30 in the afternoon and took my older 3 to her house and brought them back an hour later – for a month! another neighbor who, knew that the property line between us was about 6″ from her house and told us so, expressed her gratitude that we did not have a problem putting up our fence 3 feet inside the boundary, giving her “our” land… neither of these women were Christians
    on the other hand, on two other occasions, all ‘H’ broke loose over boundary lines that had been misrepresented by sellers to new neighbors (one family tore out all the azaleas and the other tore out the fence and both got the panties in a wad over a matter of inches -the survey stakes were long gone, but my husband said, just let it be)… both of those families WERE good church-going Christians of denominations that will remain anonymous – we didn’t mind losing the plants or the ground, but to look a fellow Believer in the face and say, “you’re a liar” with nothing but your realtor to back you up? that was offensive, i must confess…
    1 Cor 13 is a chapter we don’t take very seriously, especially when it comes to our fellow Believers… sigh…

    i ramble… don’t get old people started down memory lane… sorry

  21. Em ... again says:

    agreeing with #17 Michael has blessed his boy’s life – and wouldn’t it be nice if church folk could be there for the wretches who haven’t a clue (except the ones at Trey’s park) as to what a strong, kind adult looks like – or acts like?

  22. Michael says:

    Em,

    One could assume that every technological innovation since Gutenberg was the laying the ground for some NWO.

    That doesn’t mean that books are evil.

    If prophecy states we are headed that direction, then prophecy will be fulfilled.

    In the meantime, we’re supposed to be ambassadors for Christ bringing grace and truth to a dying world, not all sorts of speculation about how He’s going to get here.

    I hope He comes back tomorrow…but today I’m going to “tend the garden” God gave me.

  23. Michael says:

    “today, it seems like the crazy hour goes mostly 24/7 – it’s no wonder everyone is getting on everyone’s last nerve – IMHO”

    Huge truth to that…

  24. I thought Jesus brought in the new world order 2,000 yrs ago.
    Rapture people need to look back to what Jesus has done (once and for all I might add) and stop looking ahead to what some Romaian dictator might doing?

  25. Dan from Georgia says:

    MLD-25….couldn’t agree more. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am “Pan-Trib”…whatever pans out. Looking forward to Christ’s return is a joyous occasion, not some fear-inducing hunt for the Anti-Christ, which some, not all, but some, seem to spend more time doing.

    On Petra’s old album “More Power To Ya”, there is a song that has a backwards message on it, and when played backwards it says “What are you looking for the devil for, when you should be looking for the Lord?”

  26. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael – 23: You mean you won’t be spending time stockpiling weapons and canned goods and water if you hope he returns tomorrow?…

    /sarcasm

  27. Owen says:

    Em….

    As usual, completely enjoyed your ramblings….(you should write a book! 😉 )

    I think you’re right – crazy hour does seem to be 24/7 these days. Partly why I enjoy sitting by my ocean (oh, and Michael enjoys his river.)

  28. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I am still laughing at what one of my ODM friends posted the other day…only those who are “watching” for Him are the Bride.

    If He comes during a Vikings game, I may be here a while…

  29. Owen says:

    MLD @25…

    Great point, love it. The new world order is here, but many don’t believe it. Any new order that may come about on earth will be shorter-lived than expected….

  30. Perhaps those who stockpile food and guns for the last days do not understand who God is. Why stockpile food for you and yours and then refuse to give it to the poor and hungry at the point of a gun?

  31. Babylon's Dread says:

    It must be untold misery to live in a world where ODMs have a voice.

    They are road noise in my world.

    Road Kill Dread

  32. Ms, ODM says:

    Even without Bible prophecy, the days are evil. As a Christian, watching the moral breakdown of society, my soul is vexed daily. It’s a time for weeping, not for laughing. Sorry if I don’t come across to you Michael as a Pollyanna.

  33. Dan from Georgia says:

    Here we go…

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

    If we are busy seeing Jesus in each person in creation, loving each other, feeding the poor, visiting the imprisoned, caring for the widows and less fortunate and living His Kingdom in the here and now, our lamps will always be full and we cannot be easily distracted by the stuff “of the world”.

  35. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    My soul is not vexed.
    I’m sure as hell not a Pollyanna.
    Some days I weep, some days I laugh, some days I do both.

    I have some big problems in life right now and our culture has some too.
    However, I choose to take both on in faith, hope, and joy.

    As a Christian, I know that there has always been moral failure in a fallen world.

    We keep moving forward to home knowing that He is Lord and He hasn’t changed, not lost control.

    You choose what you want to live as…I choose to live as a believer in these evil days and be ever so grateful that evil has already been defeated.

  36. Michael says:

    Gman…I’ll say the ‘amen”. 🙂

  37. Ms, ODM says:

    Gman doesn’t realize the joy I bring to the women at the local state prison every week – although the local Mormons running the state are closing those doors on me. But none of you would know what lives I touch as I’m not going around bragging about it. Lot’s soul was vexed at the life in Sodom because his conscience was sensitive. Today many people’s consciences are seared – and they would have to be if they could just see evil displayed and it not affect them — I don’t need to spell it out. Today good is called evil, and evil good.

    But through it all, those who know me like being around me cause I make them laugh and do keep a sense of humor — but again, I do not like to boast.

    Michael, I’m sorry for your health problems. None of us today do not have a friend or family member not suffering from issues like cancer and other life-threatening ailments. I also know how God sustains His children through such things. I’ve been given over for dead twice in my life and miraculously brought back from the brink.

    So yeah – there’s a lot to the walk with Christ than merely lovingly watching for the Bridegroom. But only those filled with His Spirit would know — He is NOT in every creature – without His Spirit, you are NONE of His.

  38. Jean says:

    “Even without Bible prophecy, the days are evil. As a Christian, watching the moral breakdown of society, my soul is vexed daily. It’s a time for weeping, not for laughing.”

    And here I thought Christ has risen. But, like brother Steve likes to say: then there’s the Bible:

    “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

  39. Ms, ODM says:

    I follow the news closely – cases like this are becoming more and more frequent as the love of many waxes cold. No head-in-the-sand attitude will change reality. And what it comes down to is God’s judgment on a God-rejecting world is near as the Cup of Iniquity fills up — and Nero fiddled.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/mother-denied-parole-broiling-her-155223936.html

  40. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    Is not man made in the image of God?
    Can we not see that image, though badly marred?

    The problem with your tribe is this…there is nothing but speculation, suspicion, and negativity.
    You’re always on the lookout for something else that wrong with somebody.

    It would be like getting a bad diagnosis from the doctor and having him say “you’re as good as dead”.

    My doctors could have said that…but she chose to say that “we have some serious issues and we’re going to do this, this, and this, and believe for a positive outcome.”

    It doesn’t solve the problem,but it creates a path for healing and hope for today.

    I believe that is the job of the Christian, done through whatever vocation they hold.

  41. Ms, ODM says:

    2 Thes 1:8 – “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

    Yes Jean – I too love the WHOLE counsel of God

  42. Ms, ODM says:

    Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller are dead!!!!

  43. Michael says:

    I saw a bunch of numbers the other day…crime is lower than it has been in years.

    As a matter of fact, this is the least violent time in human history.

    This is the best time in human history to be alive…but that doesn’t ring the funeral chimes of the sky is falling crowd…

  44. Ms, ODM says:

    Michael – That image has fallen — only new creatures in Christ Jesus carry it. Look into Charlie Manson’s eyes and say that.

    Nobody gets refreshed from the Word of God like those who love the Author of it and anticipate His Word – every jot and tittle — coming to its ultimate goal.

  45. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    I do not follow either…but how do you respond to the Scripture that Jean posted?
    That is a command to believers.

    We know the end of those who die without Christ…but we plead with them to be reconciled to Christ before he comes…

  46. Ms, ODM says:

    Michael – Those number are invented – they are a political ploy. And what I say IS documented if you care to look at the evidence.

  47. Ms, ODM says:

    I say a hearty Amen to the verse she quoted – and live it by the minute

  48. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    It’s always politics if it doesn’t fit your own political and biblical narrative.

    Things have been far worse…and we sin with impunity when we are without gratitude for the day we have been given.

  49. Jean says:

    “Michael – That image has fallen — only new creatures in Christ Jesus carry it. Look into Charlie Manson’s eyes and say that.”

    Wrong, see Genesis 9:6. It is tarnished however.

  50. Michael says:

    I have to pick up Trey and go water some little heathens.

    It’s a great day to be alive.

  51. Ms ODM,
    “cases like this are becoming more and more frequent as the love of many waxes cold.”

    OK, what the heck – I’;ll bite. So how many of these cases are happening now than say in the 15th century where parents killed their kids? Are you sure this isn’t like the earthquakes and wars and rumors of wars that we have no good historical records so you rapture folks can just make this stuff up?

    Now look, you made the assertion – I challenge you to back up your claim that this is happening more often and that you can now label these times as a time of hearts growing cold etc.

    I will bet you cannot and that like many things you spout – you made up out of whole cloth (whatever that means)

  52. Ms, ODM says:

    “We know the end of those who die without Christ…but we plead with them to be reconciled to Christ before he comes…”

    Which is why I do not leave home without Gospel tracts in my purse.

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

    “Gman doesn’t realize…”

    Mrs. ODM doesn’t realize that I no longer care about anything she does in the name of her “ministry.”

    My post was coincidentally timed, meant to be an encouragement to any who take Jesus at His word about how to occupy until He returns. It’s found in those 4Gospels.

    Peace, out.

  54. Ms, ODM says:

    When in all of history has it been legal in society to kill unborn children — remember what Jesus told the women on the road to Calvary – “Weep not for me, weep for yourself and for your children. For the day is coming when they will say, ‘blessed are the wombs that bear no children.'”

    When in history was perversion of sodomy legalized and recognized as consummating marriage?

    Worse yet – who would ever have thunk that professing Christians would endorse the above?

    You can all stay in denial – my eyes are open; to those who fear not God, it will come upon them suddenly and without warning. Without warning because they would not receive warning and repent of their wicked deeds.

  55. Ms, ODM says:

    MLD – Why don’t you pick on your fellow Lutherans — Here’s one that on the top of things exposing false teachers – I guess he gets a pass since he’s not associated with Calvary Chapel in any way

    http://www.piratechristian.com/

  56. I think in world history it has always been “legal: to have abortions – kill babies in the womb. Even in our country, abortion was ‘legal’ – it was something that did not make the law books to be legalized – it just was … until it was legislated illegal.

    My grandmother in Russia had 2 abortions before coming to America – before my dad was born. To the world it was a non issue. So there may have been more abortions in history past.

  57. I just did some research – it looks like some forms of abortion were made illegal in England in 1803. Abortion was widely used in the US until around 1880 and I think in 1821 Conneticut was the first state to restrict abortion.

    So it looks like through out world history up until the last 200 – 300 years abortion was fully accepted in all countries. So since abortion is evil, it looks like at best we have not become more evil over this issue.

  58. Michael says:

    Those who think this is the worst of times forget that slavery was once legal in this country…

  59. Ms ODM,
    I have never claimed anything against you because you are of the ODM class – I think I can say never.

    Chris Rosebrough is nothing like you – he speaks to false teachings directly, showing where it differs from scripture and does not use that for either a sounding board for his opinions or to point false teachings to some end times event (as I have heard you do many times – in fact I will wager that you have never identified a false teacher / teachings without attaching them somehow to the end times.) I would challenge anyone to click on the link and listen to Chris identify false teachings / teachers with nothing else than the teaching is wrong. An then google Jackie and listen to her podcast – put some cotton in your ears.

    Chris like myself is amil which forbids the nonsense you spout. Chris would never attach an article to a discussion and say this shows we are in the end times – as you did today.

    Just so you know and a disclaimer to all, both Chris and I taught at Ocean Hills Community Church before we became Lutherans – independently of each other but ended up in Lutheran pews almost at identical times.

  60. Xenia says:

    In Rome it was acceptable to put unwanted babies outside to die. Christians famously rescued these babies.

  61. Ms, ODM says:

    MLD – Your fiendship with Chris has blinded you. He is much more aggressive against false teachers than I have ever been. He’s makes a show out of them, calling them names and ridiculing them. But I still appreciate his efforts – though he still insists on baptizing babies and wearing vestments.

  62. brian says:

    1. I think its a fine game but people need to be careful, I hate to hear stories of people getting hurt even if it is for doing something silly, a bit degenerate of me but I dont like to see people get hurt.

    2. In my early Christian experience, it became rather clear that almost everything was demonic and Satan was in control of pretty much everything and everyone including Christians. I never could see the world or people that way, most likely I am possessed.

    3.( Roger Oakland has “discerned”) You owe me an irony meter. 🙂

    5. You know when I started with being a Christian I was always grateful and even happy, always saying thank God Praise the Lord and really did mean it. I am no longer like that I am cynical and caustic at times I have become a more mature evangelical.

    7. We are should not be into all that hippy stuff. 🙂

    10. I never quite got there but it was always driven home to me just how utterly totally and constantly we are evil vile filthy disgusting God hating sinners and it was only because of the grace of God we were not all slaughtering each other. That is the toned down version about how we are all Hitler wannabes from birth and it was only the common grace of God that kept us from being purveyors of worldwide genocide. I dont get that, never have.

  63. Em ... again says:

    i agree with the observation that THE new world order began about 2,000 years ago – the real one
    i don’t have too much of a problem with folk who see signs in the times in which we live because all of history IS moving in the direction of the end of the old world order, the one that our politicians and their backers are trying so hard now to gain control of… and the end of the game is gaining momentum IMHO… there are signs, how could there not be?

    however, if one can’t weep like Jeremiah, i’m not sure that one should be shouting that the end is near…

    Owen, thank you… Michael is very patient with the one senior citizen who presumes to pontificate here… you’re probably right that i should turn to writing another book and give it a rest here (i’ve written 4 – just a good way to fill my time as i don’t knit very well and who wants 10,000 pillowcases with birds and flowers embroidered on them?)

  64. Jtk says:

    Has anyone here used a mediator, such as the Peacemakers Ministry out of Colorado Springs, in a dispute with another believer? A former member of your church?

    I’m considering such a thing.

    I’m getting desperate…

  65. Em ... again says:

    #61- as was done in China, also …

    for the record, i don’t believe that abortion on demand was legal throughout the whole U.S. – but it was quietly decided between a patient and doctor – many things that we now trying to legislate just are not the government’s business – who is the government? the majority vote? we kid ourselves… or so it seems to me

  66. Michael says:

    I’m not blind to anything.
    I’m well aware that there are sinners out there sinning.
    I’m pretty good at it myself.

    What I do not believe is that sin has increased…especially in this country in comparison to other eras.

    We have forsaken the horrible evils of slavery and segregation.
    We no longer turn a blind eye to child abuse, sexual abuse, or rape.
    We have social programs to try to care for the poor and the elderly.

    What you prophecy folks seem to be blind to are the blessings that God has given this generation.

    The incredible strides in medicine, in communication, in transportation, in comfort and peace.

    You stare into the darkness that has been since the beginning…and do not give thanks for all we have.

    Thankfully, we have two eyes…

  67. Michael says:

    JTK,

    I have not…nor have I heard particularly good things from those who have…

  68. David H says:

    Gloom, and doom all day long. I don’t know how certain people can live with themselves.

    I chose today, to greet all with a smile, and a hello. I feel very good today.

  69. JTK, my church is big on Peacemakers (me not so much) – we have had them out twice and we have a full time church liaison position / person at board level.

  70. Michael says:

    David H,

    Amen, my friend.

  71. Michael says:

    I will say for the record that Ms. ODM is actually very nice and even winsome when not in her role as an ODM.

    You would like her.

  72. Ms ODM,
    Chris handles this properly – he mocks and shames them and their false teaching.

    Unlike you who take the false teachings of others and turn them into last days scare tactics.

    Chris wears vestments because he can’t fit into the skinny jeans of the guys you idolize 🙂

    You still have not bellied up to the bar and presented any evidence that what goes on today is any worse than 500 years ago.

  73. Steve Wright says:

    #5 The sin of ingratitude is worse than moral failure…
    —————————————————————-
    The one point that the comments have ignored so far is your home run.

    I like to imagine the Lord sees it as you do. Especially since ingratitude as a heart issue can continue for years, can lead others to false conclusions and sinful judgements, and can hurt the blameless.

    I take great comfort in the many, MANY verses that speak to how one day God will bring every secret thing into the light. Every idle word…

    gold, silver, precious stones….wood, hay, stubble

    That reality should put the fear of the Lord into a man, before it is too late….

  74. Michael says:

    Steve,

    We tend to ignore the one we’re all guilty of…

    It’s something I’ve been deeply convicted about and I had to write it so I’ll stop hammering my church about it… 🙂

  75. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael, waaaay back to your comment #29…me too…I will be caught watching the Vikes instead of worried each year in September around the Feast of the Trumpets that Jesus will return.

    One of the worst times in my life was when I wasn’t able to enjoy the life God has given me. I am over that phase now. A phase which was partly fueled by toxic Christianity. God has also enabled me to share life and grace with other people He has placed in my realm. I refuse to spread toxic Christianity.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    In Rome it was acceptable to put unwanted babies outside to die. Christians famously rescued these babies.
    ————————————————————–
    To Xenia’s point…they were being rescued well before Christ walked the earth and the gospel went forth to change the Roman Empire.

    In point of fact, this was so common that it became the chief source of slave labor – for the law of the land was that if you did rescue such a baby, and were willing to invest the time and expense, that baby would legally be your slave.

    However, I am curious if any of you historical scholars know if the Christian community in Rome kept this same legal right (that the child would be a slave), or if there is evidence that Christian families rescued, raised, and then set free such children once raised. To that point I have not read any studies….

  77. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I’m still trying to detox…
    God sometimes has to forcefully change my perspective to do so…

  78. Steve Wright says:

    We tend to ignore the one we’re all guilty of…
    ————————————————–
    The more I both read Scripture, and the more just life experience walking with Jesus, the more I see how seriously the Lord takes sin when it causes others to stumble. God help us all.

    Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light. 1 Tim 5:24,25

    There is a lot of comfort in those two verses…and a lot of terror if one is not living right.

  79. Michael says:

    to answer the question about the Roman babies would require some research…I did see this pretty quickly.
    Not definitive, but helpful.

    http://nagasawafamily.org/article-slavery-and-christianity-1st-to-15th-centuries.pdf

  80. Owen says:

    Well, darn…

    Thanks (I suppose 😉 ) for pointing out the ingratitude. Just this morning, something went wrong that spoiled some lovely, fantastic plan I had laid out for the day. And I have to confess I did a little fist-shaking at God for it.

    Then I read this thread, and I find myself suddenly reminded of all I have to be so incredibly grateful for.

    Jean – thanks for throwing Philippians 4:4 out there.

  81. JoelG says:

    Thanks for the chuckle Kevin at #4. It was fun walking around downtown Portland Saturday noticing folks playing the Pokemon game.

    Agree with Steve that #5 us profound. I think we all have stuff to gripe about. But we all have stuff to be thankful for. I’m a “glass half empty” person. It’s something I need to work on…. to be more like Chester. 🙂

  82. Jean says:

    Here is some credible information I have researched:

    In the period of Christianity, Pagan Rome had a population problem: They were not replacing their population. A contributing factor was abortion and infanticide, predominately of girls. Thus, Rome had a disproportionate amount of males.

    Christianity, by contrast, was against abortion and infanticide. The Didache (late 1st century): “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born.”

    Christians tended to treat females better than the pagans, so Christianity attracted lots of women converts. This made early Christianity disproportionately female.

    As a result, a lot of pagan males found Christian spouses, leading to further conversions. All these influences helped with the dramatic rise of Christianity in pre-Constantine.

    I found no evidence that “exposed” babies were made slaves by Christians. The early Christian Church conformed to the wider culture on the laws regarding slavery, except that Christians were instructed, per Paul, to treat slaves with respect….

  83. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I’m glad Chester tweaks other peoples consciences too… 🙂

  84. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks Jean. That is some interesting population information. I assume the Pax Romana was a contributing factor as well, with less males being killed in war at this time.

    Abandoned babies, if rescued, were slaves by legal definition. Of course the rescuing family could adopt them, or in lieu of adoption, just manumit them. I would love to see some sort of statistics as to the rate of manumission for Christians who rescued these babies, and the general pagan population.

    In fact, slavery in Rome was based on this “freed from death” principle. So prisoners of war as well, since they “should” be dead (like the abandoned babies) were a chief source of slave labor.

    I wrote some research papers on the topic back in seminary….need to dig those out.

  85. the point is that abortions have always been around and pretty free flowing. Any restrictions were not for “moral” reasons that made a society standout – but was done for some social benefit of a ruling class.

    Again, this disputes the word of Ms ODM who made the assertion that there are more today and that no society has ever openly allowed for abortions and infanticide.

  86. JoelG, I am going to help you with your life so you do not fret over the glass half empty or full.
    All glasses are completely full. They are;
    All full of water
    Half full of water hand half full of air
    All full of air.

    Now you can move on to the more important issues of life – like if you could choose, would you rather have wings or a tail?

  87. Jean says:

    Steve,

    I don’t have any additional info on the fate of rescued babies. However, if, as some historians claim, early Christianity was predominately made up of the lower social classes, and if the majority of exposed babies were female, then the rescue of these mostly female babies may very well have been a major act of sacrifice and charity on the part of the rescuers. This is because they would not have had a lot of surplus financial means to support the extra mouths and babies can’t pay their way. I have a certain amount of skepticism that Christians would have rescued babies as a source of property wealth, but I don’t have any data on that one way or the other.

  88. Jean says:

    “JoelG, I am going to help you with your life so you do not fret over the glass half empty or full.
    All glasses are completely full. They are;
    All full of water
    Half full of water hand half full of air
    All full of air.”

    See, Owen, MLD gets away with more snark than you or I could ever conjure up. 🙂

  89. Owen says:

    Jean,

    I have always been impressed by his level of snark, and would have to do some considerable work on my own snark if I am ever to rise (sink?) to his level…. 😉

  90. Steve Wright says:

    I agree, Jean. In fact, I doubt most pagans rescued babies thinking they found a lottery ticket. I am sure the love and compassion God placed in human hearts towards innocent babies left to die in a field was motivation enough for most pagans interested and with the means to rescue them.

    What prompted me in this is that we know there were Christian slave owners – Paul addressed them. The common assumption seems to come across in most teachings that these were all people that owned the slaves before they became Christians. I wonder when it comes to the saving of babies if that is true.

    Adopting a child was a HUGE deal in Rome – as an adopted child actually had more rights of inheritance than a blood child. Legally, the argument was you can’t control what sort of person your blood child turned out to be and you ought to be able to protect yourself if he was a scoundrel but you CHOSE to adopt a child and it was a choice not to be entered into lightly, and a choice that had consequences once entered.

    (This makes the passages on us being adopted children of God very powerful in my opinion. Especially on the issue of the security we have as adopted children.)

    Therefore, if the rescued baby was not adopted, it would be quite a sacrifice to provide years of provision and not ask for at least a few years of labor in return. However, Christians are sacrificial people, so who is to say that is not exactly what motivated them.

    (Sounds like a good dissertation topic. 🙂 )

  91. Snark??? I consider that grand philosophical advice. imagine now living in a world where the cup is always full..

    So, wing or a tail?

  92. Jean says:

    Steve,

    It’s too late here for me to look it up right now, but if you’re interested, I do have information on what the fate was of babies born to slaves owned by the early Church. I think they were also Church property, but I would want to verify my memory and source before passing that on as credible historical evidence.

  93. Jean says:

    Okay MLD, let me run a quick personality test. One question: If you had to choose one character to play in the Broadway show, Les Miserables, who would you most like to be?

  94. surfer51 says:

    Thumbs up on #76

    MLD, snarky?

    No way.

    He is “discerning.”

    And he is one of the “tent post” that hold this place up…well sort of.

    Em, your a pleasure.

    Glad I don’t watch much TV and don’t do Facebook or twitter.

    I don’t get to see all that Michael has seen.

    I am cynical enough as it is.

  95. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks Jean.

    Now that you mention it, that was the 3rd primary source of slaves. Babies born from slaves (and prisoners of war, and abandoned babies rescued). Even with the babies born from slaves, the legal mindset was constant – namely, that baby would not be alive if its parent was not rescued and saved alive etc.

  96. Owen says:

    MLD – easy decision. Wings. (I am fascinated with flight.)

    I’m also fascinated to hear your response to Jean’s personality test.

    (…also hoping Michael doesn’t mind the direction we have taken this thread…. 😉 )

  97. I can’t answer the personality test, or perhaps my non answer is the personality test. I know nothing about the play other than Victor Hugo – because I went to school in France.

    I did see my fair lady in London with Julie Andrews in 1961.

  98. filbertz says:

    Michael, thanks for the list. Some chow to chew on. Loss can be a good counter to ingratitude…we tend to appreciate things/people more when they are gone. Love and the Fruit of the Spirit–the core of Christianity (though too many of us remain unaware). I, too, spent lots of time at the skate park, BMX park, soccer fields, volleyball courts, hoops court, etc. Some of the biggest boobs were the parents (myself included at times) so if the kids were acting out, it is often a reflection of the adult examples they behold. Kids deserve a lot of grace–they have a lot to figure out.

  99. JoelG says:

    MLD, a tail. Sleeping, eating and pooping are what I do best.

  100. Em ... again says:

    #92 – that’s easy introverts want wings and extroverts want tails 🙂

  101. JoelG says:

    “Kids deserve a lot of grace–they have a lot to figure out.”

    Amen.

  102. Nonnie says:

    To Jean’s 94. I would love to have a chance to play MadameThenadier! What a great character part!

  103. Nonnie says:

    Praying for you, Filbert.

  104. London says:

    #1 – my 25 year old nephew and his buddy are visiting this week on their vacation. They, and my nephew’s lifelong buddy from here, all play Pokemon Go. None of them are particularly outgoing, but this game has gotten them up and out of the house to visit parts of town they normally wouldn’t. They are having a blast.

  105. Muff Potter says:

    Ms,ODM @ # 55:

    “Worse yet – who would ever have thunk that professing Christians would endorse the above?”

    Toleration is not the same thing as endorsement. To conflate the two is to buy into something known as false equivalence.

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