Things I Think

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144 Responses

  1. Bob Sweat says:

    Well said Michael. While I have no doubts regarding the salvation of Dave Hunt, he spent years questioning the salvation of friends of mine.

  2. Nonnie says:

    “You move from despair to hope when your internal talk track changes from “what am I going to do now?” to “what is God going to do now?”

    Yes!! God help us to remember this.

  3. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I concur…

  4. Julie Anne says:

    This is an excellent and much needed article. Thank you, Michael.

  5. Bob Sweat says:

    Yes read that the Westboro Baptist Church will be protesting at Roger Ebert’s funeral.

  6. Bob Sweat says:

    Two thumbs down!

  7. Michael says:

    Thank you, Julie Anne.

  8. Dave Hunt untrained and uneducated.. give me a break.. He was the first to have the stones to name names.. Paul didn’t have that problem.

    #$ easier done than said I will be praying hard for you as I have had my own financial burned of “whats gonna happen now” going on for 3 plus yrs.. Yes I know God,but I’m still a man of weakness after 36 yrs.

    #5 As long as your a Giants fan you ok… if not I will keep you in earnest prayer and question your salvation

    #8 Whaaat we agree after 36 yrs this aug I need more than ever…

    I for one thought on sadness for Ebert and Warrens son. both in a different direction

  9. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I would consider it a badge of honor if they protested at mine…

  10. Michael says:

    steve,

    It doesn’t take any “stones” to hate.
    He was well educated…in mathematics.
    He was a terrible researcher and theologically inept outside of the box he thought in.
    His followers are clones of the master.

  11. DavidM says:

    ” He was the first to have the stones to name names.”
    No, Hunt didn’t HAVE “stones”, he threw stones, indiscriminately and often cruelly.
    Michael, you said it perfectly: That’s the public legacy of Dave Hunt.

  12. Michael says:

    Well said, David.

  13. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Many of the disciples were not educated, so what is your fascination with it? So you can feel higher than others? so you can feel superior theologically? I know many who went to seminary and come out over analyzing everything to the point where the simple message of the bible is convoluted. The Laypeople that you downgrade have as much right to preach the gospel and any seminary educated so called Pastor. That was the issue with the Catholics was their separtation of clergy/laity. Todays evangelical Church tries to do the same. Why? Because they are scared that once the Laypeople start reading for themselves they will see than many in today’s evangelical World are full of Crap!

  14. Bob Sweat says:

    Thank you DavidM!

  15. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    And lumping in the Idolatrous Catholic Religion with Christianity is laughable at best, April fools is over man, no need to carry on the jokes.

  16. Michael says:

    Solomon,

    I don’t write about law…or economics…or a host of other things because my ignorance would be evident quickly.

    When different theological traditions are attacked without understanding, division and slander are not far behind.

    The study of theology is not a simple pursuit, though the Gospel can be understood by any the Spirit wills.

  17. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    If it was up to you, no one would expose the works of darkness Epeshians 5:11 or warn the saints night and day with tears. I am so Glad that there are those who listen to the Bibolle instead of your sarcastic tirades against those you disagree with. Take the plank out of your own eye before you start whining about others.

  18. Bob Sweat says:

    Annette Funicello died. I wonder if Westboro will protest her funeral. She was my favorite mousekateer.

  19. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Bottom line is two people died, compassion should be given to the families of both. As a father of three kids I would not want any parent to go thru the loss of the their child. I don’t see Rick as a Valid Bibile teacher but I feel for him in this time.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    I once heard an old Walter Martin tape where he was explaining the start of his ministry and what he would need. There were three things I believe he mentioned, and I don’t remember the other two but I do remember the one which was a certain, rather large, financial investment in order to buy a library on the cults and their writings.

  21. Bob Sweat says:

    Soloman,

    What is the Bibolle?

  22. covered says:

    Solomon, it seems like once every month or so you open your mouth and speak of things that you are totally ignorant about. You don’t seem to think before you speak but you are consistent.

    Pay attention! Michael says it like it is and whether you agree or disagree, his motives are not hurtful they are truthful.

  23. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Solomon, it seems like once every month or so you open your mouth and speak of things that you are totally ignorant about. You don’t seem to think before you speak but you are consistent.

    Pay attention! Michael says it like it is and whether you agree or disagree, his motives are not hurtful they are truthful.”

    Oh so let me see, Michael gets to say it how it is and he’s applauded but others have to keep their trap shut or they are labeled as divisive. Hmm, i guess I’m not one of Michael’s kool aid drinkers, I actually think for myself.

  24. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Soloman,

    What is the Bibolle?”

    Meant to say “Bible” I won’t nit pick that you spelled my name wrong though 🙂

  25. Michael says:

    Solomon,

    Feel free to speak…because you reveal exactly what I am speaking about.

  26. Michael says:

    Steve,

    We’ve lost the ability to speak to the cults because we’ve chosen to spend our time tearing the hide off of each other…

  27. Steve Wright says:

    I think it is laughable to say ‘many of the disciples were not educated’ – Paul, Apollos, Luke were all brilliant men we are specifically told, and of course if one is speaking of the original 12 apostles – well, they spent over 3 years in in depth personal study with the Lord Himself.

    And no that is NOT the same as someone spending three years reading the Bible and praying over its contents a couple hours a day. They not only witnessed the ministry of Jesus, but they had their own practicum under His supervision and equipping. Plus who knows how many countless conversations (John said the world couldn’t hold the books that would need to be written). They lived with Him personally 24/7.

    No greater seminary has ever or could ever exist.

    Uneducated men? Nonsense.

  28. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    That’s the problem with the evangelical Church these days, too much whining and crying when people actually do their research about certain teachers/pastors and point out falsehoods or inconsistencies in regards to the Word. It’s the same thing I tell my employees, take the emotion out of it and see if what people are telling you have merit.

  29. Frosted Flake says:

    Sol,
    “Bibolle” Really, and you put down education. The Disciples had three grueling years with Jesus hands on and 40 days in acts 1 learning about the kingdom of God with Jesus in His resurrected body. If that isn’t education it will do till education comes along.

  30. Bob Sweat says:

    Sorry Solamon.

  31. Tony the Tiger says:

    Frosty

    Thanks for stopping by!

  32. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Oh I apologize that I tried to remove one of your heores off of his pedastol. I forgot how you guys are into your Heroes on this site.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    take the emotion out of it and see if what people are telling you have merit.
    —————————————————-
    I did that yesterday with someone who very much is sympathetic to your point of view, Solomon. Even used the speck/plank comparison you chose above. I was civil and accurate in every detail.

    This person deleted my two comments in reply. Would not let the fan club see the point of view but of course would also not change the attitude and behavior.

    Before you toss around the kool-aid accusations about PP you might

    A) consider Michael is letting you present your view, uncensored and

    B) consider many of us, especially me, have had very loud disagreements with our host (here and off-blog) and have managed to remain brothers

  34. Frosted Flake says:

    Steve,
    It takes a certain amount of intellectual integrity to dialogue at a collegiate level. That’s why they call it college. The amount of black and white thinking that exists in Christiandom, especially among the “Jesus Movement” parents and offspring, is more than daunting.
    That is why I have appreciated this blog over the year. Freedom of thought and an honest conversation does the heart good.

  35. Scott Barber says:

    In the patristic and medieval Church discernment meant prayer, fasting and seeking the council of wise spiritual direction; the Catholic and Orthodox still have this one in their back pocket.

  36. Michael says:

    Scott,

    That is an excellent point…

  37. Kevin H says:

    I had mentioned on the other thread the other day that I didn’t know much about Hunt, but the only time I had heard him speak was via a recording from a prophecy conference at my church. His session was titled “Apostasy” and he spent essentially the entire time criticizing and warning about a bunch of other Christians and Christian things, many of them prominent. While Hunt did not directly charge that all of these people and things were apostasy, the connection he was making was obvious. Red flags immediately popped up everywhere for me. Many of the people/things he criticized I could also find some disagreements with. It’s not like these people/things were untouchable in my mind. But to equate them to apostasy was many steps way too far.

    I was glad to hear the testimony of some on the other thread about ways that Dave Hunt had helped them. I am sure the man must have had good about him. Unfortunately for me, I was exposed only to the bad side. A side that only leads to unhealthy division within the body of Christ (and that’s stating it mildly).

    There are healthy ways to go about stating disagreement with others in the body of Christ. What I saw modeled by Hunt in that small exposure was certainly not the way to do it.

    Speaking of which, I also have to be creful of Michael’s #2 on his list.

  38. Kevin H says:

    I should also be careful how I spell careful. 😳

  39. Kevin H says:

    And amen to #5. As an uneducated layperson, I can affirm that your #5 is in fact, theologically correct. 🙂

  40. Bob Sweat says:

    Kevin H

    No problem, there is a lot of incorrect spelling taking place today. Ask Solomond.

  41. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one on #5

  42. Hey Michael,
    Have you considered working for a non-profit?

    Values are generally long term, at least not so quarterly driven, and the goals are generally about the values of the org, not so much about the money.

    Generally folks have longer chapters in their careers in this facet of the world.

    My happiest day was when I got the offer to join the org I’m at, doing graphic design nd production art.

    Just thinking of ya.

    Best to you as you shamefully sow love and accord among those who name their God and Savior as “Jesus”, regardless of their tradition or denomination, ODMs and their supporters not withstanding. 😉

  43. PP Vet says:

    People who consider themselves smart or educated tend to overvalue the eternal significance of being smart or educated. That is very human.

    They eat at the Tree of Knowledge, and are puffed up.

    Similarly, military people confuse a military bearing with Christlikeness. Etc.

    Does one’s spiritual health disappear when dementia or Alzheimer’s takes away one’s mind? Of course not. The health was never in the mind to begin with. It is in the spirit.

    Growing up I heard the taunt: If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?

    So it could similarly be said to some who consider themselves smart or educated: If you are so smart, why are you so dead?

  44. I’m gonna find some way of reprogramming my spell checker so it flips scrambles words and phrases so I end up using my chell specker to be sure my kosts are posher…

    oh wait, this comes naturally, never mind

  45. Nonnie says:

    G-man, I have always thought of you as quite posh. 😉

  46. Last night I got the treat of seeing Phil Keaggy in concert at a smaller local venue.
    He is self deprecating, amusing, accessible, highly skilled, all action and very little talk, my favorite kind of artist, performer, & spiritual person.

    One man, one guitar, a simple array of pedals to modify tones, all occasionally played into live loops which he creates, then a coupe hours later you realize how amazing it is to be in the presence of humility.

  47. Paigemom says:

    Indeed. “Weep with those who weep.” That is the instruction for us as disciples….not to critique, pontificate & dissect.

  48. Frosted Flake says:

    G,
    Phil is certainly a quiet giant in his craft. I am so glad that he ate at guitar “tree of knowledge” in order to bring us all such blessing.

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

    Actually “knowledge” is only a small part, but :: practice :: is everything 😉

    Nonnie, too funny

  50. Reuben says:

    @5

    And oh how the Colorado Rockies have resurrected!

  51. Steve Wright says:

    PP Vet – I would add that the people who tend to be more educated are the first to realize and profess just how little they know.

    Seems like the folks who bash further, formal, education are also the ones who have ‘all the answers’

  52. Bob says:

    “So it could similarly be said to some who consider themselves smart or educated: If you are so smart, why are you so dead?”

    Why do I find this so offensive?

    Maybe it’s because it seems to me PP Vet is very guilty of judging people by this statement?

    IDK, not smart enough to understand where PPV is going with it.

  53. Frosted Flake says:

    G,
    I am also a musician and ain’t that the truth. I always admire those guys who would practice 4 or 5 hours a day. It’s grueling but I think that is what brings the humility in guys like Phil K.

  54. Frosted Flake says:

    Reuben,
    It’s April. The Rockies always rock in the spring. It’s the rest of the summer that they sucketh yay verily.

  55. Bob says:

    OK, a couple (really three, which means a few) of questions:

    1. Since this thread seems to point out that there are “uneducated laypeople,” what is the difference between them and an “educated layperson?”

    2. If there are “educated laypeople,” what makes them different or less authoritative than those “in the ministry,” and how does one determine who is “in the ministry?”

    3. Finally are there “uneducated people in the ministry?”

    Wow you guys confuse me a lot with all this stuff.

  56. Steve Wright says:

    As a businessman in a field for only state licensed professionals, I have had many opportunities to turn down potential sales because I told the prospective client that I did not know enough about his business or the product that would best fit his needs.

    Of course, I knew a lot about both…and maybe knew more than the guy he eventually might have purchased from.

    But I knew how much I did not know, and did not want to harm him (or myself in some sort of professional lawsuit) by proceeding just so I could make a buck.

    There is plenty of theological malpractice taking place out there….but the sellers and buyers don’t typically care.

  57. Michael says:

    “1. Since this thread seems to point out that there are “uneducated laypeople,” what is the difference between them and an “educated layperson?”

    A desire to learn and the willingness to admit to ignorance.
    Let me give you an example.
    If I were going to write a critique of Eastern Orthodoxy the first thing I would do is find the works of the best EO apologists and read them.
    Then I would interact with and interview those who are actually practicing that tradition in order to test my understanding.

    I would have to do this…because I have a rudimentary understanding of that tradition at best.

    What I wouldn’t do is parrot critiques I read somewhere from people I already agree with.

    Apologetics takes a lot of time and a lot of work…not just an opinion.

  58. Michael says:

    “2. If there are “educated laypeople,” what makes them different or less authoritative than those “in the ministry,” and how does one determine who is “in the ministry?”

    They are not necessarily less authoritative…if they’ve put in the work.

  59. Michael says:

    “3. Finally are there “uneducated people in the ministry?”

    Lots.

  60. Michael says:

    Finally…education is a lifelong process.
    As Steve noted the more you learn, the more you know that you don’t know as you would like to.

  61. Frosted Flake says:

    Bob,
    God uses anybody He wants to including donkeys and the under educated. I think the issue is more about those who assert themselves into a conversation or bring a judgement upon a person while being obviously ignorant about the subject matter or the people involved. It is especially egregious when John has so much to say about those who “hate” their brother. The stuff being thrown around today on the internet about the Warren family makes me question if the authors even know the God of mercy and compassion.

  62. Michael says:

    FF,

    You spoke better than I did…

  63. Frosted Flake says:

    Michael,
    #57 through #60……………in the wheel house.

  64. Andy says:

    If Dave Hunt’s life stunk this bad, then why care what he thought? If someone is so wrong, then why care about anything they say at all?

    It sounds a lot like the homosexual getting bullied on the playground. The bully is being childish and silly, but the homosexual kills themselves, instead of just not caring what the bully says (not inferring that the suicide had anything to do with Hunt, obviously).

    In other words, if someone says something I find distasteful, I ignore it. Why can’t everyone do the same, instead of sullying the deaths of both men with this non-point? At least in my useless opinion, it’s a non-point.

    And I’ve only heard Hunt speak once and it sounded a bit angry to me, and I find Rick Warren boring, so I have no dog in this fight.

  65. Frosted Flake says:

    Andy,
    Dave Hunt chose to be a public communicator. As a result of that activity he generated public response. Hence book sales. Some heralded his work, others not so much. This forum is about communication and having an opinion. Yours is welcome as far as I am concerned. And BTW, how does a guy who sells 30 million books rank as “boring?” Somebody must like him.

  66. Steve Wright says:

    My professor for a Biblical counseling class in seminary was a fulltime Christian counselor (the teaching was on the side). He shared with us about a call from a pastor asking him to help somebody that was bound in some sort of sexual sin. The pastor said he had tried but had given up.

    My prof asked the pastor ‘How long have you worked with him?’… “Oh, weekly for about two years, and there just has been no changes”

    The prof asked ‘Do you have any experience or training in counseling someone with sexual addictions?”…. “Uh,,No”

    Now there are plenty of folks who may not believe in counseling or whatever, which of course misses the point here. The point being is that this pastor imagined himself a counselor, believed in regular, personal counseling and that it was worthy to pursue…

    But did not know what he was doing. And for two years at best wasted lots of time or at worst may have done even further harm and setback.

    Like I said…malpractice.

  67. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “And BTW, how does a guy who sells 30 million books rank as “boring?” Somebody must like him.”

    I do find Rick a boring speaker and his book was not very interesting either. It doesn’t take much to entertain the masses.

  68. Andy says:

    FF, a guy that sells 30 million books must be liked by everyone? So far as I have been led to the conclusion by God, the only Book that should be universally heralded, is the Bible.

    I must be careful. Lest I be grouped in with the “haters”. 😉

  69. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Kevin H

    No problem, there is a lot of incorrect spelling taking place today. Ask Solomond.”

    You’re getting a lot of mileage out of this misspelling thing. I wonder what the next variation of my name will be

  70. Frosted Flake says:

    Well gents I am glad that “For God so loved the world……..” includes the masses and that some of us are called to reach them. It’s hard work but somebody has got to do it, including Rick.

  71. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Well gents I am glad that “For God so loved the world……..” includes the masses and that some of us are called to reach them. It’s hard work but somebody has got to do it, including Rick.”

    It’s called itching ears, everyone loves that

  72. Scott Barber says:

    This whole educated/non-educated discussion seems to be aimed more at the pride/humility issue than at education per se. We evangelicals have a tendency to place faith as the highest virtue and doubt as the most damnable sin (forgive my generalities here…I’m doing it to make a general point). Preaching Christian doctrine in pride is like acting out the passion narrative in pornography. We forget that a distinctly Christian ethic has always been one of humility. How will they know us? By our mega-phone powered faith? By our confessional hammers? Rather it is by our works of love: by our humility. This was codified during the medieval period in the Benedictine Ladder and preached so beautifully by St. Bernard. Let our faith be implicit in how we act. I see Christianity best in the old woman kneeling in tears after receiving the Eucharist. She doesn’t have to tell me she believes in Jesus.

  73. Steve Wright says:

    This whole educated/non-educated discussion seems to be aimed more at the pride/humility issue than at education per se
    —————————————————
    Yes and no, Scott.

    Often people take great pride in their lack of education. They boast in it.

    And two of the most humble, loving men I have ever met were the leaders of my seminary who hold multiple doctorates.

  74. Scott Barber says:

    Steve

    Agreed! I might have been unclear…I meant to say that the education/non-education issue seems a bit irrelevant to the whole Hunt/ODM thing, that the real problem is an ethic based around faith/doubt.

  75. Frosted Flake says:

    I find it unusual that there is little tolerance and understanding of mental illness in evangelical circles. It may be perhaps that the high value for external appearances makes us uncomfortable. From the Charismatic “health and wealth” movement of the past to the ever smiling Baptist, we have to look happy, happy, joy, joy in the public eye. Waves of despair are common in people with depression and the church should be the first place that accepts those in such pain. In some circles it is so important to “act” christian that the costume is as important as church attendance and “How Are You?” is reduced to a greeting instead of an inquiry.

  76. Interesting, my wife sent an email to Rick Warren epressing our deep regret at his loss. She got a response. I was pretty impressed. I have difficulty getting a response from local pastors with distinctfully smaller churches

  77. Tom says:

    This is one of the nastiest things I have seen written in a while on a “Christian” blog about someone’s death. I have no idea who Michael Newnham is, as I stumbled on this through a search, but you are one ugly individual, Mr. Newnham. Grieve for Rick Warren and family, don’t grieve for Dave Hunt’s family. You are disgusting. The discernment blogs you are reviling have been posting condolences everywhere while you spew bile. Heal thyself.

  78. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “This is one of the nastiest things I have seen written in a while on a “Christian” blog about someone’s death. I have no idea who Michael Newnham is, as I stumbled on this through a search, but you are one ugly individual, Mr. Newnham. Grieve for Rick Warren and family, don’t grieve for Dave Hunt’s family. You are disgusting. The discernment blogs you are reviling have been posting condolences everywhere while you spew bile. Heal thyself.”

    Yup, you come here enough you’ll see that Mr. Newnham is full of contradictions. He has grace for those who agree with him and reviles those who dare use their discernment. He is doing with Mr. Hunt the very thing that he blasts others for doing. I smell hypocrite

  79. erunner says:

    Frosted Flake, The ignorance regarding mental illness is found throughout the church, not just evangelical circles. I have found there is much understanding in many churches including Calvary Chapels who even reach out to the mentally ill.

    Stigma is the operative word here and it permeates every area of society across the nation and across the globe and as a result people who need help desperately end up in the prison system where they rotate in and out and it would save money to get them the help they need.

    Many people refuse to believe our brains can become sick and so they classify mental illness as a spiritual problem in many parts of the church. Nobody would dare tell a cancer patient to have more faith or to confess the sin in their life so they can get better. Yet these believers have no problem saying these things and more to the person suffering emotionally. I have experienced this first hand.

    Imagine a person who is in deep depression who is too afraid to go to the church (which should be the safest place for them) because they fear their walk with God will be questioned or maybe their devotional life, volunteering to help the less fortunate or having more faith will cure their ills.

    So what do many of these people do? They stay in the shadows and suffer enormously. Some self medicate while others stop attending church. We would all be surprised by the number of church leaders and spouses who are a part of this unfortunate group.

    These people need to be loved and encouraged. The help they receive will vary from case to case and people will argue about that. Quickly take Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as an example. We have scores of veterans coming home with this illness and end up taking their lives. The armed services are ill equipped to treat these heroes who have served so bravely and have seen and done things nobody should ever have to be a part of. PTSD also impacts disaster survivors, victims of sexual abuse, etc. These are real people with real illnesses and the body of Christ needs to step up the best we can to help real victims in a Christ like manner.

  80. PP Vet says:

    Nobody loves taking shots at MN more than I do, but there is hardly anything inappropriate in his handling of the Dave Hunt thing.

    He noted that Dave was a good man with no hint of scandal. I think that is dealing with his passing with grace. He is generally mourned here as a decent Christian man.

    It is not unreasonable to now move on to take a look at the nature of the man’s ministry. The fact is he could be harsh. Whether or not that harshness was appropriate, we can disagree on. Jesus was harsh sometimes.

    There is a time be harsh, and a time to be gentle.

  81. Reuben says:

    Hey there Tom,

    Having known Michael for a minute or two, and having read this blog beyond the daily headline, I would say your assessment is ill-informed. Nothing makes me angrier than hit and run trolls with 45 seconds of experience with this community, and this moderator will not stand for it.

    Stick with your discernment blogs, and have a nice day.

  82. PP Vet says:

    On the mental health issue – we are supposed to be full of joy and peace. The reality is, very few of us are.

    Pretending to be doing better on the inside than we really are is common. Most of us are a jumble of thoughts. With the occasional buzz of what could be called bliss or joy or something. Moments of worship.

    I honestly believe that there is a pathway of personal transformation that can make us mentally healthier.

    Oddly enough this ties into the discussion on education.

    When we are taught that Christianity is a matter or reinforcing our fleshly mind and filling it with knowledge, that is death to a mentally ill person.

    When I got saved, I was being prayed over for healing of my mind. Someone prophesied: I have given you a new mind.

    I know it seems abstract, but we need profound personal transformation, deep change in the core of our beings. That is the “renewing of our mind”.

    Trying to heal and build up the old mind can be self-defeating.

  83. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    Its all good.
    He may feel a relationship I don’t have with Hunt.
    We allow people to disagree…unlike some. 🙂

  84. Alex says:

    Michael, I don’t think Tom will be sending you a Christmas card.

    Tom said, “but you are one ugly individual, Mr. Newnham”

    Michael might be short, down a lung, but he’s a good lookin’ dude (not that I’m into that sort of thing).

  85. Alex says:

    Well, we took quite a beating today in the judge’s ruling. Looks like BG can sue the pants off of us, woohoo! Praise Jesus!

    Hopefully our attorneys will appeal, we’ll see what happens.

    I’m guessing BG won’t “forgive”, “leave it to the Lord!”, “get over it!”, “love!” etc…nah, that’s for sucka’s…he’ll try to get blood, even though he’s in the wrong. Oh well, good luck. There’s always plan B, C, D, E, F and so on. He’ll never win, and if the bible is actually real, he’ll face God’s judgment someday…but it’s increasingly unlikely the bible is real if this is what passes as “Christianity”.

  86. Alex says:

    The injustice is so faith-shattering. I don’t know if I will be able to keep the faith if BG gets away with all he’s done. I guess then, if the stuff is actually real, he’ll get a millstone or something, but that seems to be myth as that threat means nothing to the guys who cause the pain and perpetrate the injustice.

  87. Alex says:

    God, if you’re real, you’ll do something. If not, no biggie, I’ll have my answer.

  88. Reuben says:

    Alex,

    God’s justice system is God’s justice system. The world’s is the world’s. If the world’s justice system was God’s, 55 million children would not be dead since Roe v. Wade.

  89. Frosted Flake says:

    What is a “christian” blog? “Believer” is an activity not a category.

  90. Reuben says:

    I am changing my name to Charlie The Tuna

  91. As for the education thing, I am glad that the Apostle Paul didn’t take the”I have better things to do than read books” attitude.

    I am getting ready to teach through Hebrews beginning next week – I am glad that the author was a smart guy who probably read the Jewish scholars before him.

    I find the dumb and dumber crowd to be offensive to our Lord.

  92. Reuben says:

    Did it work?

  93. PP Vet,
    ” Most of us are a jumble of thoughts. With the occasional buzz of what could be called bliss or joy or something. Moments of worship.”

    Have you spoken with and interviewed “most people” to know this as a fact. Perhaps it’s just you and your family that’s all screwed up and you project on the rest of mankind.

  94. Alex says:

    Well, another blow to the US Dollar’s World Reserve Currency status. This is big news, but the MSM hasn’t touched it, wonder why? Ignorance or fear?

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/04/02/Australia-To-Bypass-U-S-Dollar-And-Convert-Directly-Into-Chinese-Yuan

  95. Alex says:

    Reuben, my comment was towards the Church’s justice system. God’s supposed justice is supposed to reign in the church, but it doesn’t. It speaks loudly to the possibility that it’s all a myth.

  96. Reuben says:

    Alex, you know the church does not give a damn about God’s justice system, nor does the world. Modern Evangelical Churchianity is a fraud, having nothing to do with the intended purpose of the Body of Christ. If you make the mistake of labeling God’s justice system a myth, that is on your head. You become as guilty as those in Evangelical Culture who tossed it aside long ago.

  97. Alex says:

    Ya, that’s the point of the commentary. I think God is about as far removed from what passes for “the church” as east is from west.

  98. brian says:

    To be honest the only person I have ever prayed for God’s justice, wrath and eternal vengeance to fall on is me. But I am still here, I cant even get that right. What a strange religion it really is.

    No I am not going to hurt myself I was just trying to get God’s attention.

  99. Alex says:

    ,,,if God is reality that is, but who knows for sure. My doubt in God is approaching equilibrium in my doubt in “no God” these days.

    The bible and “proper hermenuetic” and “proper interpretation etc…much akin to having something like the US Constitution, a written document that we can verify as original…yet the broad disagreement on what the actual words on the pages “intended” to mean.

    Truth is so illusory. One thing that no one will ever convince me otherwise, that which I experienced empirically and witnessed with my own eyes. No Jesus Juke will ever change the facts.

  100. erunner says:

    Alex, Your friend won her case with very similar circumstances. Just maybe the full story has yet to unfold.

  101. Reuben says:

    And the fact is that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, God judges the heart.

  102. Alex says:

    Dunno E, I am more concerned about the meaning of existence and whether God is real or not at this point. The other stuff is just noise. I’d like to know for sure one way or the other than be on this constant treadmill of trying to know the truth.

  103. Pilgrim says:

    Friends from Harvest Bible Chapel were reeling from Easter’s sermon. What do you talk about on Easter morning? Resurrection, salvation, life? No, looks like it was money and tithing: https://paulwilkinson.wordpress.com/tag/weird-easter-sermons/

  104. Frosted Flake says:

    I am new here but it seems that Alex should have his own blog!

  105. Frosted Flake says:

    And stay there.

  106. Alex says:

    If the bible is real, I envy doubting Thomas who got to put his fingers through the holes on Jesus’s hands and the other disciples etc who Jesus appeared to. What a great way to know for sure. I don’t understand why God, if real, would torment the rest of us without giving us that opportunity. Somehow seeking validation of the realness or truth of God and the bible is considered “evil”…yet doubting Thomas got what he needed to believe, the Apostles the same, the prophets supposedly had their prayers answered etc, yet that represents such a minute speck of humanity.

  107. Alex says:

    I smell a Jim/Who covered in frost, LOL.

  108. Alex says:

    I’m sure the so-called “Christians” and especially the pastors would love nothing more than to toss another heathen on the fire and give an “I told you so!”…such is the myth of faith.

  109. Reuben says:

    Frosted Flake, wrong direction in 15 or so posts. If you have a vested interest in Alex, he has a blog, and you can feel free to take it up with him there.

  110. Alex, so if the judged ruled your way, then God would be on his throne? A judge determines if God is real in your mind?

    Try being a Jew in a death camp and see if you have more reason to doubt.

  111. Reuben says:

    Agreeing with MLD… again…

  112. Alex says:

    MLD, it’s much more nuanced than that and the lower court judge probably won’t have the final say, I’m more concerned with what I’m learning from the church, from those who profess and represent God/Christianity and my own attempts at belief and faith. I figure that if it was real, there would be something to appealing to God as a “Christian” for justice inside of the “Christian” church and appealing to God for some sort of miracle of repentance and some sort of truth from the church and those representing the church as God’s anointed…your Jewish Holocaust example seems to be in contradiction to what Martin Luther taught and exampled as he considered the Jews to be “not” God’s chosen, no? At least his “On Jews and their Lies” seems to say that Jews were not God’s chosen folks, no?

  113. Alex says:

    …in fact, ironically, Hitler pointed to Martin Luther’s work as justification for the Holocaust. Sad and wrong, but true…and another example of rather faith-shattering evidence against your position.

  114. Alex says:

    Well, goodnight. I don’t think I’ll hang out here anymore even though I like some of you a lot. Others want blood and will exploit my honest hashings-out for their own personal agendas. Frankly, I don’t care any longer what individuals think or say, but I don’t want it to affect Michael and Reuben and some others who like it here.

    I find much of the “argument” for biblical inerrancy and for “correct interpretation” and “correct hermenuetic” to be empty when held to a rigid philosophically logical standard. I find everyone on here to be human and sinful and no one nearly “like Jesus” and without sin and have crossed the “transformation gospel” off the list.

    I find little truth in word and deed in the “church”.

    I think that if the faith is true, ironically it’s one of the two extremes that are probably true: Hyper-Calvinism/Fatalism or Universalism (a la G’s position where God decides to have mercy on everyone and Jesus really did die for the salvation of “all”).

    But, gotta say, my Agnostic friends are proving wiser by the day. Dunno and probably won’t know until the end of whatever this existence is…then, supposedly, it’s too late…and if you have some “incorrect” understanding or if you didn’t “do” enough stuff or say the right words etc, you get to burn in hell for eternity, all designed and put into existence and pre-known by a “loving” omnipotent God who is all-powerful etc, but can’t seem to be powerful enough to change His mind and have mercy on all of His creation.

    Quite a cruel paradox.

  115. Kathy says:

    Alex: so sorry for your lawsuit. My prayers are with you. I’ll comment more once I read the whole story.

  116. Alex,
    ” I figure that if it was real, there would be something to appealing to God as a “Christian” for justice inside of the “Christian” church and appealing to God for some sort of miracle of repentance and some sort of truth from the church and those representing the church as God’s anointed…”

    That would be Jeremiah while he was in the pit. God has explained it all..

    But your main issue is that somehow you have made these perhaps 2 dozen guys represent the “church” to you. They may be hucksters, but they are not THE Church. The church is much larger than Visalia and Costa Mesa.

  117. And if the judge has ruled in your favor, that still is not the church.

  118. brian says:

    http://youtu.be/mEOqxibhCxU

    I dont get it. I have actually known people with the intellectual capacity of a 18 month old child and the strength of several 18 year olds. Not one of them was violent what so ever. Oh and the thought police I honestly dont get it I really dont. What about when we dream or have a head injury and “thoughts” go through our mind.

  119. Alex,

    Don’t know if you are still on this thread, but want to be counted among those who support you in your endeavors to reason things out in your mind. Thank you for sharing your heart in posing the questions that you have, as well as challenging the idea that there just may not be a God who is in charge of everything.

    I don’t want to come across like one of Job’s friends so I am going to just say this. I would encourage you to continue question and to ask God to become more personal to you while at the same time be cautious of those whom the enemy would use to keep you from realizing just who God is and who He is not. I think God can handle this, Alex, because His shoulders are much broader than ours when being challenged. So go for it, Alex. I think that when you find out what I did in the midst of my darkest hour that it was never about the church or its leaders or the everyday theological arguments or the holocaust or the wonderful things that have taken place in your life that determines who God is or is not. Just know this, my prayers are with you and so is my support to you and your family.

    Rest well, my friend and little brother in the Lord.

  120. rick says:

    I used to think that fulfilling my Purpose was something I had to
    achieve.

    Then I realized that Purpose isn’t tied to accomplishment or
    success.

    Let me explain.

    A young person will train many years to reach the Olympics.

    If you ask them their Purpose, they’ll say, “To win a gold
    medal.”

    Let’s suppose they train hard, compete in the Olympics, and win
    that coveted gold medal.

    With the achievement of their Purpose complete, you would think
    they would be the happiest people in the world.

    In fact, just the opposite happens.

    They tied their purpose to achieving a goal, and they worked hard
    every day to achieve that goal.

    But now that they accomplished the goal, they no longer have a
    Purpose.

    And that leaves them asking, “Is this all there is?”

    Goals are great, but Goals are not the same thing as Purpose.

    Goals are about “what I want to do, and how.”

    Purpose is about “who I want to be, and why.”

    You and I can fall into a trap of False Purpose – thinking of our
    Purpose in terms of what we can do, accomplish, achieve, or build.

    So when we can’t “do” what we think we’re
    supposed to “do” then we think missed our Purpose.

    Sound familiar?

    But what if your Purpose has nothing to do with accomplishment or
    achievement?

    What if your Purpose isn’t reaching some Big Goal, but is
    simply a state of mind and heart?

    What if your Purpose is to “be”?

    To be a lover and worshipper of God.

    To be a lover of mankind.

    To be a helper to others.

    To be a voice of encouragement.

    To be a disciple and student of Jesus.

    What we are called to DO may change, but what we are called to BE
    is pretty consistent.

    At different times in its life, a tree may grow quickly, or slowly;
    it will stand still, or bend with the wind; it will clothe itself
    with leaves, or shed its leaves; it will change the color of its
    leaves, or produce fruit.

    But no matter what the tree DOES, its Purpose is “to be a
    tree.”

    Be like the tree.

    Different seasons require different actions.

    So be flexible in your doing, but persistent in your being.

    Don’t tie your Purpose (and fulfillment) down to winning your
    version of the “Gold Medal.”

    Have a “Heart of Gold” instead.

    Instead of achieving to be happy, learn to happily achieve.

    Because even when you have done all you can do, you will still be
    who you are.

  121. PP Vet says:

    Actually Phil K told me he practiced six hours a day. But that was 30 years ago.

  122. PP Vet says:

    Almost nobody that has a real education comments on sites like this. Self-taught pseudo-intellectuals come here to practice.

    Do you really think MLD would waste his time showing off here if he really knew anything?

    Nothing wrong with what we do here. As long as we do not start to pretend it is something it is not.

  123. brian says:

    I have a real education I have studied the issues and I dispassionately dispense my wisdom to all of you so that you can gain from my wisd um ug cough hack gag. Never mind 🙂

  124. brian says:

    Speaking of fine cinematography I wanted to watch a fine movie with a deeply passionate and moving theme. It truly moved me, deep characters, plot etc. I highly recommend it, it will move you and touch your soul. Its called “Escape from New York.” ug I lasted five minutes.

  125. Chile says:

    Alex, I’m so sorry.

    I can’t imagine the disappointment and pain.

    In our household we are grieved for you.

  126. brian says:

    An aside. Of the many things that I have found make folks in the church circles I ran in really angry it was emotion, grief being at the top of the list. Now there is this student I have known for years, she is a wonder. She will say hello “brian” how are you Jesus loves you and so on. There is no guile in her words. I am really uncomfortable with such wishes, I will listen intently to hours of people telling me what a piece of vile human trash I am and how I hate God and blaspheme His holy Word and so on. I often find it hard even painful to listen to words of encouragement and kindness. Even thank you and please directed towards me bother me. When I first became a Christian it was made very clear how vile I was, personally how I killed Jesus myself, I pounded the nails in His hands and also abandoned Him in the garden, I failed, I am evil, I am a God hater and so on. I get what they were trying to do, to help me see my total utter depravity. Truly I did get that part of the “Good News”. The other part was a bit different.

    So I took up the cause because I actually believed God forgave me and there was this wonderful hope and so on. Bad mistake on my part. It continued, from doctrine to doctrine idea to idea I had to “bow the knee” to the teaching. Even if the teaching was bat blank crazy, and much of it was. This Jesus I wanted to love got lost in the fog of what I call, the “apologetic”. Lutherans were damned, Catholics, AofG, Post Tribs, Calvinist, Presbyterians and so on. Even people in our own camp were agents of Satan everyone was always afraid all the time. Now most of these folks grew up, the 80’s and 90’s came and went and no return, no anti Christ, no nothing. Many of these folks started migrating to a more generational view of the scriptures and just maybe these are not the last days. That change came when they started getting Married, having kids, etc, not necessarily in that order but that is another post. Now there is a much more ecumenical view and far less crazy, though there is still that knee jerk reaction to world events. There is that underlying fear that its all going to come to and end and we will be deceived and lost.

    I find the idea of an uncaring, dispassionate universe that does not care about me, if I poof out of existence nothing will really change and the main meaning I can find is in the good I do comforting. But then there is that voice, “brian” Jesus loves you, we need to pray, trust God and other such echoes that keep me up late at night. They hold me to the Christian religion but because they are emotional, lack rational apologetical content they are at best tripe at worse the deceptive workings of Satan looking to entrap my soul and drag it screaming into hell to the Glory of God. I find that rather strange, maybe its just me.

  127. Anonymous, This Time says:

    I was privately tested on three occasions by trained psychologists paid for by schools to determine my IQ. My parents were told it was 172. I graduated from high school- actually a world-class prep school – where I went on full scholarship. I withdrew my application to Harvard because I was accepted early decision with a full scholarship to my first choice, Wesleyan University. I have a Master’s degree from Hopkins.

    Four of my children have graduated from college summa cum laude, four are or were Presidential Scholars, one was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, two are in med school, another just got a second law degree, from Georgetown.

    All that is to say this: I have learned more about Christ from those who never attended college than from those who did.

    I learn about Christ from Michael Newnham, not because he is smart or educated since he is neither, but because he is a real person dealing with real life issues with the help of a real God, and is gifted to express his struggles effectively.

    I get a lot out of this site, not from the pseudo-intellectual pontifications of the cerebrally deprived, but from the real agonies and ecstasies of people who are tired of what is unsatisfying and are hungering for more of the genuineness of a proven faith. That, I respect.

    So call me anti-intellectual and you will be right, in a way.

  128. brian says:

    Speaking of our humanity

    Just watch this song

    http://youtu.be/etundhQa724

    and see the tribute at the end. I dont know do you not see the Gospel in this music, in this hope? I sure do.

  129. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Michael,

    I really appreciated the comments that you made regarding the two deaths that took place this week. I too, thought of this, but not in the way that you did. It hurts me to hear people take issue with not falling in line with all the people who have commented on a multitude of sites to express their condolences. I think they missed the entire point you were attempting to make. That is, that the church can be terribly remised in not understanding how far short the church can be, individually and corporately when it comes to the reality of mental illnesses.

    I knew Dave Hunt and there were many things that I disagreed with him on. This doesn’t take away from me loving him as a brother in the Lord, nor having thoughts of sadness, yet joy regarding the life that he had with us on this earth. But that doesn’t mean that I also cannot express my concern towards how his teachings against psychology has had a huge impact upon those who do suffered in such a way that does require the skilled intervention from trained clinicians.

    Likewise, I have issues with Rick Warren and my own thoughts regarding the death of Matthew. Will I ever express those things? Not among the church, but within my own circle of clinical colleagues I would. That’s only because the church are so far less educated on these matters and if they are not ready to handle domestic violence, adultery, and child molestation, I hardly think they are ready to hear or to grasp hearing anything beyond the spiritual explanations they have been given or have settled their hearts and minds upon.

    At the same time, my heart does go out to those who are grieving the lost of each person and it is among the living that mourned and will long for the presence of what they once came to know and to have fellowshipped with. My prayers are with these as well.

  130. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    I am sorry you had to file unemployment again. I am sorry you so willingly give your back to the smiters at such a time, I am sorry that I was felt to be one of those smiters, I am sorry if I was.

    Not hating the haters has become a big effort. As a mental health sufferer at times, too many to count, I am glad I did not fall prey to the Hunts and the heresy hunters they simply got to me too late. I was already helped and being helped before their ‘gospel’ reached me.

    We spent the last week deciding what to do with a trusted friend who betrayed us. The injury was deep, potentially fatal. The matter was discovered in the last 10 day of my Lenten fast. Then injury laid me on a sickbed and I could not join my family of faith for the Resurrection weekend. Laying on my bed in drugs and pain I had to contemplate the unmuted (is that a word) by drugs sufferings of Jesus and our response to the betrayal that fell upon us.

    We decided that the betrayer among us was Peter and not Judas, we decided that we could not bear a Judas outcome but wanted a Peter outcome.

    So Sunday we cooked our fish with Jesus and called to Peter to come eat with us. She came, our gash is healing.

    Pentecost is next.

  131. Nonnie says:

    Babs, I have no idea of the details of the betrayal you are referring to (and certainly don’t need to) but what you have written here, has me in tears.

  132. Tina Jenkins says:

    Alex, God is real. He is and don’ t let this circumstance take your faith in Him. God is at work in this situation. You have not be adandoned by God. BE STILL

  133. erunner says:

    uriahisaliveandwell said..

    “Likewise, I have issues with Rick Warren and my own thoughts regarding the death of Matthew. Will I ever express those things? Not among the church, but within my own circle of clinical colleagues I would. That’s only because the church are so far less educated on these matters and if they are not ready to handle domestic violence, adultery, and child molestation, I hardly think they are ready to hear or to grasp hearing anything beyond the spiritual explanations they have been given or have settled their hearts and minds upon.”

    I’m not tracking with you here. A young man took his life which is a tragedy for everyone concerned. From all we are hearing he struggled with depression his entire life as well as thoughts of suicide.

    What are you getting at? That you have insider information beyond what the Warren family is sharing with the public. You don’t seem to think the church, whoever that might be, has much in the way of intelligence or discernment. You might have done better by saying nothing at all as opposed to what I’m seeing here.

  134. Xenia says:

    We decided that the betrayer among us was Peter and not Judas, we decided that we could not bear a Judas outcome but wanted a Peter outcome.<<<

    That is one of the best things I have ever read. Thank you!

  135. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Almost nobody that has a real education comments on sites like this. Self-taught pseudo-intellectuals come here to practice.

    Do you really think MLD would waste his time showing off here if he really knew anything?

    Nothing wrong with what we do here. As long as we do not start to pretend it is something it is not.”

    This^^^^^^^^^^^^

  136. Bob Sweat says:

    Solomon

    As Michael said yesterday, you are a good example of what this thread is all about.

  137. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Bobbi,

    You don’t know even know me

  138. Erunner @ 133

    “You don’t seem to think the church, whoever that might be, has much in the way of intelligence or discernment.”

    No, that is not what I said. So please do not interpret what I did say in this manner. I am simply saying in light of what Michael wrote, that if the “church” is not able to confront and handle domestic violence and child molestation, and hold those to an account who commit these things, including adultery and bring in leaven in the church, the pulpit and among its congregants, but rather keep things safe by spiritualizing things and letting God handle these things instead. Then it’s difficult for me to believe, or rather, I am not surprise to see that the church is not ready to also accept the reality of mental illness and what or how it originated in terms of depression and other type of mood disorders and personality disordered (for those who are abusive towards others in a particular way) that is. If you have people like Dave Hunt who discounts the merits of psychology altogether, it makes it all the more difficult for Christians to accept having these types of issues, much less, in their ability to support those that do.

    Then I stated that I have my own thoughts about it that unless you are clinically trained it would be difficult to have a reasonable conversation, without people becoming defensive. So I would not share my thoughts except with my colleagues.

  139. “They questioned the young mans salvation and hinted that it might have been divine disapproval of his father that led directly to his death.”

    This makes me want to throw up! 🙁

  140. #3 What others have blown out of their hind ends isn’t worth losing sleep over. Do what you gotta do, Michael!

  141. Michael: You move from despair to hope when your internal talk track changes from “what am I going to do now?” to “what is God going to do now?”

    This is precisely what I’ve been learning by studying the book of Habakkuk.

  142. Uriah,
    “…that if the “church” is not able to confront and handle domestic violence and child molestation, and hold those to an account who commit these things,…”

    Well you need to stop going to those churches, because probably 99% of THE CHURCH does handle those problems – perhaps not perfectly, but does enough to look after the souls who make up the churches.

    I would say that only evangelical churches don’t know how to handle mental illness etc – most churches do just fine – if for no other reason than they don’t counsel for mental illness and send people to the professionals.

  143. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    MLD,

    Unfortunately, I wish this was true, however, the data and reports suggests that these things, particularly domestic violence and child abuse are not being adequately addressed within the church and that the dvorce rate is higher than in the world. This appears to be across the board by the way. So it’s my thought that either the church is sticking their head in the sand while the abused and those who suffer from varying mental health issues are fending on their own or too afraid that they will lose what little they do have so remain in the shadows. As you may know there is a growing number of reports coming out in the media that would indicate that those in the church either do not want to hear about it or they do not want to apply church discipline to address it in order to bring about repentence, restitution, and reconciliation (abuse and corruption issues, that is). For those mental illnesses that are a result of victimization within the church, few understand that of psychopathy, therefore, what appears to be that you can trust is actually sheep in wolves clothings, so to speak. Evangelicals are not the only stream of Christianity this occurw within. Trust be psychopathy is not discriminating in that way. All they need to know is that there are sheep willing to trust, follow, and blindly idololize. For other types of mental illnesses that are caused by other environmental or genetic factors, there is still a need to for that person to be able to congregate within the church. Counseling and meds are well and fine, but when you are exhibiting those symptoms and you are not able do things in the same way or at the same pace as others, there is a huge stigma attached and within families, whether they are in a church group or in the family, they can inadvertently be singled out as what is called the, “identified patient” or “sick” one. Just some thoughts to consider. Not intended to be argumentative or to debate or to offend.

  144. erunner says:

    Uriah @ 138

    This is what you said that I commented on. “Likewise, I have issues with Rick Warren and my own thoughts regarding the death of Matthew. Will I ever express those things? Not among the church, but within my own circle of clinical colleagues I would. That’s only because the church are so far less educated on these matters and if they are not ready to handle domestic violence, adultery, and child molestation, I hardly think they are ready to hear or to grasp hearing anything beyond the spiritual explanations they have been given or have settled their hearts and minds upon.”

    You did not say anything about what you meant when you used the term”the church” so I had no idea who you were talking about. As it was worded it came across to me as all churches throughout the nation.

    You also stated the church is far less educated in handling domestic violence, etc. I would have to read into your statement here to come to your explanation in 138 as it never crossed my mind.

    As far as mental illness I agree there is a lot of ignorance and stigma that exists but I’m encouraged from what I have seen as there are many within and outside of CC who are doing all they can to reach out to the afflicted. So I am encouraged.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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