Things I Think

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34 Responses

  1. JTK says:

    #9
    We are in sweet spot right now.

    Regardless of what side of the aisle you are in, we should consider we have it pretty good with President Obama relative to the other 2 likely possibilities.

    —–
    In other news, a pastor and his employee was not even willing to consider that lies made up about me MIGHT not be true, nor were they willing to get into the details which would confirm or deny the nature of the accusations.

    Smh

  2. Michael says:

    JTK,

    Your first statement could get you stoned in some places. 🙂

    Very sad about the pastor rejecting your side…unrighteous as well.

  3. Xenia says:

    My experience at my old CC is that the laity had zero power. Only one person had any power at all and the only power an attendee had was the power to leave.

  4. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think you hit the wrong thread…want me to move this?

  5. Xenia says:

    Whoops, wrong thread. 🙁

  6. Xenia says:

    Please, thank you!

  7. Dan from Georgia says:

    Good material to work with and ponder on Michael. My rage du jour lately has been how every time I turn around some well-known christian is telling me how to vote in November and how a Christian can’t vote for the other guy/gal.

  8. Michael says:

    Dan,

    My place of upset is that in the midst of all of that instruction, there is very little policy discussion and a great deal of personal enmity…

  9. Paige says:

    #10 Amen. Hallelujah….

    Enjoy your life, your family, your cats, God’s Creation.
    He’s done a good job handling things so far….. including the politics of America.

    I can remember my parents discussing elections way back in the late 50s, and mid 60s and their misgivings about voting ‘for the lesser of two evils”.
    It’s always been an ugly game.

  10. DavidM says:

    #10 Sadly, the art of the debate, and I mean an intelligent debate where ideas are exchanged, has largely been usurped by rants, name-calling, and drive-by cheap shots, often behind the protection of pseudonyms that absolve us of individual accountability. But I still love an extended conversation with someone who believes much differently than I, where we respect each other’s thoughts and perspectives.

  11. Cash says:

    As far as Facebook goes, I found a nifty little feature that allows you to unfollow a person without unfriending them. That way I don’t have to deal with the incessant political posts. I am so weary of this garbage, I wish the election were tomorrow.

  12. Cash says:

    I should say I spread my political drivel on Twitter instead. Lol! 🙂

  13. Dallas says:

    9. I think you’re being optimistic with your numbers.

  14. Owen says:

    Michael,

    Two things…..
    I have yet to experience a Pastor mentioning anything to do with politics in church. I count myself lucky for it, and I am grateful. (And that is the only mention of politics I will make here.)

    Next – based on your post, I am assuming things are not going much better (yet) with Chester?

  15. Rob says:

    Having studied church history, and seeing how so many people fought for the freedom to believe and practice their faith according to their conscience, it’s always jarring to hear preachers/politicians telling us that we have to believe, live, or vote a certain way, or it’s not Christian. It shows how little perspective they have.

  16. Michael says:

    Owen,

    Chester is quite happy…Miss Kitty is not.
    He has to learn not to bump her out of her own food dish…

  17. Michael says:

    Cash,

    I’m trying not to get involved in it at all online…even a thoughtful piece causes too much strife.

    It’s hard though…and sometimes I’ll repost something anyway and immediately regret it.

  18. Owen says:

    Ah, yes, the food dish battle…he’d best figure that one out quickly, methinks. Do NOT mess with the Queen’s food….

    And I’ll add another Amen! Hallelujah! to your #10. The “need” to be right gets in the way of a whole host of good things…..I have seen several friendships (and a couple marriages) damaged that way.

  19. Jean says:

    #5 is one reason I oppose the death penalty.

    #6 is hilarious.

  20. Papias says:

    You forgot to mention that its August and only 1 month until Football starts! Pre Season should have started last night with the HOF game, but the field was bad… THE.FIELD!

    If it wasn’t for the Olympics, we would be in Baseball purgatory for the next month, and ARods retirement party would be the only thing on.

  21. Steve Wright says:

    On the potentially cutting the congregation by 50%….

    It’s called niche marketing. Huffington Post or National Review does not think about their partisanship costing them readers…they are aiming for a niche.

    Whereas McDonalds, or Coke see everyone as a potential customer in a very competitive field with plenty of alternatives. So they tend to stay away from controversy.

    Michael Jordan was once criticized for not being more vocal in political issues within the black community and he famously answered “Republicans buy shoes too” (He could have added Cokes and Big Macs too since he represented those companies as well)

    When it comes to doctrine, churches have their convictions and they know those convictions will cost them potential new members. However, they also know those convictions will attract members too of a like mind. Of course, those doctrinal beliefs SHOULD be based on a conviction before God as to what is true.

    And some churches have social convictions, and they no doubt attract as many like minded as they might lose….if not more.

    Then you have the Joel Osteen churches that are like McDonalds and are hoping anyone and everyone will come inside, and so don’t take a side on anything…

  22. Steve Wright says:

    I guess I should clarify that my post #21 is not an advocacy nor is it the mindset I have as a pastor.

    It is an observation…nothing more.

  23. David H says:

    Want to mess with certain Christian’s heads, suggest that the 1st Amendment should apply to everyone (withstanding what happens when judges, politicians, and lawyers get ahold of it).

    Rob said, “it’s always jarring to hear preachers/politicians telling us that we have to believe, live, or vote a certain way, or it’s not Christian. It shows how little perspective they have.”

    I agree, Rob.

    Besides, I’m too old now to let someone I don’t even know tell me what I should do. I’m not a kid, and I’m not going to cow tow to some guy who has only the so-called “anointing” telling me how to live. Too many frauds and charlatans out there misleading people into “Stupidville.”

    I’ve been around here for a long time. I mostly lurk these days. Michael and the contributors have been a wealth of wisdom, and knowledge.

    I was a Calvaryite for nearly 20 years, and realized somethings did not smell right, so I began to move away slowly. It was a tough, and painful journey. One of the things that hurt the most was when my family, and I finally left for good, we were essentially cut off from folks who we thought were our friends. It was almost cultish in nature.

    One of the difficulties of this journey is that my wife is still a “fan” of Greg Laurie. Over the past several years I have come to disagree with much of Laurie’s approach, which is just a matter of educated opinion. So, there’s that.

    We have found a church where we are part of the community. My son, who is 17 years old, has really grown through his connection with the youth group at church. I didn’t see it, but he had become bitter over being part of the youth group at the old church. They didn’t listen, they just admonished.

    We are in a much better place.

  24. Cash says:

    Cash,

    I’m trying not to get involved in it at all online…even a thoughtful piece causes too much strife.

    It’s hard though…and sometimes I’ll repost something anyway and immediately regret it.

    Michael,
    I’ve done that very thing so many times.

  25. gomergirl says:

    No politics? fine! Lets have a football debate then… LOL! I hate football season, because all the good sports are on break and there is nothing to watch once Racing and Soccer are over….. 😉 Although I am trying to learn hockey to pass the winter months.

  26. bob1 says:

    “Every time a pastor uses social media to go on a political rant, he cuts his potential congregation by 50%.”

    From what I read, it’s gonna be even higher if it’s a congregation of millennials and the pastor is a conservative, “God and country” Christian.

  27. surfer51 says:

    I can recall the folding tables out front of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa with the “voting guides” on them around elections.

    And you know which way they leaned…

    I always thought churches had to be apolitical by the requirements of their tax exemption status and was amazed we were being “guided” on how to vote.

    There was a lot of political stuff that flowed from the pulpit in very skillful linguistic context so as to get across the politics favored without tipping ones hat in blatant identifiable violations of the tax exemption rules.

    I used to marvel at the incredible ability to address the window while really talking to the door.

    Out here in Pasadena we have an All Saints church that went viral for a time because the IRS was after them for their open democratic stance from the pulpit.

    Some how they squeezed through and remain tax exempt to this day.

    On the Sunday before the 2004 Presidential election, Rector emeritus George Regas preached a sermon opposing the Iraq War.

    The premise of the sermon was a debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry moderated by Jesus Christ.

    In the sermon Regas supposed that, “Jesus would say, ‘Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine.

    Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.'”

    Complaints about the sermon led to an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into whether the sermon voided the church’s tax-exempt status as a prohibited political endorsement.

    The church responded by claiming that the IRS is selectively enforcing the rule by not pursuing actions against conservative churches.

    In response to the investigation, Rector Ed Bacon gave a sermon called, “Neighbor Love is Never Neutral.”

    In September 2006, the IRS issued a summons against All Saints demanding that the church turn over documents related to the controversial sermon.

    All Saints Church’s response was that the IRS was violating the church’s First Amendment rights and that the Church would challenge the IRS’s actions in a summons enforcement proceeding in the United States Federal District Court.

    The church then established a charitable fund to raise money for its legal defense.

    The Pasadena Star News reported that All Saints would remain defiant against the IRS.

    Rector Ed Bacon asserted that political activism was “in the DNA” of the church.

    On September 10, 2007, the IRS notified the congregation that it was closing its investigation.

    The IRS determined that the sermon was political campaign intervention.

    It offered no explanation as to why the sermon violated the ban on political intervention.

    The IRS also did not indicate if it intended to impose excise taxes under Code Sec. 4955 [see 26 U.S.C. § 4955] on the church or its officers.

    However, it did not revoke the church’s exempt status.

    According to the Pasadena Star News, the IRS told church officials that the sermon constituted an endorsement of a candidate.

    Rector Ed Bacon demanded that the IRS apologize and that the IRS be investigated.

    The Church’s legal counsel has asked the IRS for a clarification of the decision, and for assurance that the IRS did not act under pressure from the White House.

    The Church has also requested that the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) examine the IRS’s investigation.

    Don’t kick that dog, he bites…

  28. CostcoCal says:

    “I debate to learn, not to conquer.”

    I once thought it was my calling to conquer.

    I was young, then.

    And it was good.

    But it’s so much more fulfilling to be older. And not have to always be right.

  29. surfer51 says:

    I hear ya CostcoCal (was there on Sunday 🙂 )

    When you think that you are right, you could be wrong…

    When you think that you are wrong, you could be right…

    Things are never what they at first appear to be.

    Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

  30. surfer51 says:

    Whoa! Doubles.

  31. Dave says:

    #8 – the joys of aging

    Time is going faster – but I’m not,
    My hair is getting thinner – but I’m not,
    Now my knees buckle easier than my belt !

  32. Papias says:

    #9. I will be happy when the election is over so the election ads will be over!

    But yes, people will still be unhappy, even if “their candidate” wins the election.

    God is on the throne. God Rules!

  33. Nonnie says:

    Michael, Costco Cal, and Surfer Dave, you made me think of this song….

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