Things I Think…

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50 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    I have numerous friends who are believers and also voted for and support Trump. I too hold them in no bad regard. And I too hate the Christian websites that foster the “them vs. us” atmosphere, and demonize those who think differently from me.

    I type this not to brown-nose or toot my own horn. This is just where I am at.

  2. Jon Bartlett says:

    Michael and Dan – all so very true, and I’m very much where you are. We have the same polarisation here in the UK with Brexit.

  3. Michael says:

    This year will be challenging to all of us and we’re going to blow it occasionally.
    We just have to decide that those failures aren’t going to be our standard…

  4. MM says:

    Why do we need to pick a side?

    For those of us who are citizens of the USA our “side,” good, bad, beautiful or ugly, is the USA. We have an obligation to support the process, vote our conscience and live with the results.

    The debate should be something other than making up enemies from within. This is what I object to most in the whole impeachment drama.

    You all have a blessed day!

  5. Jtk says:

    “My primary calling is as a pastor and teacher, an ambassador of reconciliation, and a herald of the Gospel despite any political differences“

    AMEN!

    Here’s one thought I had on how to do it:
    I am going to be a post-American Christian.

    Hear me out: I don’t know if America will fail or not, and I love this country…
    But if it does, we need to pick up the pieces.
    If it doesn’t, maybe this perspective will help me not worry about the political winds that shift in 2020 and beyond.

    People like Voice of the Martyrs, their books and podcasts, help give me a bigger perspective.

    Their recent podcasts in Iran broke my heart for the people of that country. One fact: a bag of apples went from $5 to $250 as of December. BEFORE the assassination or whatever you call it of the monstrous man killed.

    Another analogy: I care VERY LITTLE about NFL, NBA, MLB or other sports. Some people cause strife over these things ALL DAY LONG.

    What if we take a step back in our hearts and don’t care as much about US politics and focused on the lost and our own local church and Jesus? Not necessarily in the order of course.

  6. Em says:

    Evil people look for opportunities to exploit for their own benefit. Wolves in sheep’s clothing? Yes, sometimes. Sometimes they turn up on “our” side and sometimes on the other side.
    IF Believers can focus on Christ, we’ll all be just fine. I pray we all hear what Michael is thinking today. 🙏

  7. Michael says:

    MM,

    The media picks sides because that’s where the money is.
    Trust me on this…if you want to go broke, be a centrist… 🙂

  8. Jtk says:

    MM,

    I care greatly about our nation, but can we be involved and NOT let whatever happens poison our attitude to ALL of life?

    It seems few can.

    Maybe it’s just social media manipulating us all…

  9. Michael says:

    Jtk,

    I need to focus on my own spiritual formation and calling…so I can assist others to do the same.
    I do love sports though…

  10. Michael says:

    Social media only greases the skids in the direction we want to go…

  11. Dan from Georgia says:

    I do feel trepidation with the above things mentioned, including the possibility of another war, and how that will work out for President Trump. I do also like some sports as well. Got to meet Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan today. Not a Falcons fan, but I always have appreciated talent packaged in a decent human shell, no matter the team.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “We are all more than our temporal political leanings…”

    The real danger is that we “baptize” our political leanings and make them articles of faith. Once we do that, it becomes “believers” (no matter on which side of the divide) against “infidels” (no matter on which side of the divide). Wars of religion seldom work out to benefit either side…

  13. Steve says:

    Michael,. I agree this is going to be a difficult year. Have you considered making all national politics off limits in discussion? There has been a lot of talk about Trump in this site and being a pro Trump supporter myself I have at times felt marginalized. For instance occasionally a counter narrative might be presented but only to be ridiculed and shut down as conspiracy theory. For me personally I’m having trouble ascertaining facts vs. Fake news vs. conspiracy. How do we know what is true anymore? In the age of deep fakes, AI, ect..this is becoming harder and harder. I feel no matter what side we are in, we are being brainwashed. I’m not sure completely shutting out politics is the way to go but you might consider just making Trump talk completely off limits. No exceptions. If you don’t like Trump anyhow, why give him more of a platform albiet negative? Just a suggestion.

  14. Bride of Christ says:

    My son-in-law is in the army and stationed in Honolulu. Last night their second child was born – a son. He is a member of the First Calvary Division of Fort Hood, Texas. Most of his division had been sent to Europe, and they have now been suddenly sent to the Middle East. My son-in-law has not heard of any changes for him personally, but we are very , very concerned. I am very upset that the president has stirred up this Whitney’s nest. I believe he did it to distract from the impeachment hearings. Every Christian needs to be praying for our brave young men and women serving in our military, and pray that our president will consider them and their families and that he involve other leaders in our government when making profound decisions. God bless us all and protect us all.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    As long as faith is politicized, Trump is an almost unavoidable topic…

  16. Michael says:

    Well said, Duane.
    “Wars of religion seldom work out to benefit either side…”
    But they do benefit those who encourage them…and we don’t want to be one of those…

  17. Michael says:

    BoC,

    We do indeed need to be praying for those who may find themselves in peril because of all this…

  18. Xenia says:

    Completely off the topic, but there are hints and rumblings that Francis Chan might be fixing to convert to Roman Catholicism. He now believes in the Real Presence.

    May God bless him.

    Oh… Merry Christmas, everyone! I am all churched and cookie’d out and heading to the pastor’s house where I plan to eat BACON.

  19. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I understand that you might feel marginalized as most who write here are not pro-Trump and I have a high standard for what information I will let pass unchallenged.
    None of that is going to change.
    Dealing with this situation should make us all uncomfortable and make us question a lot of the ways we express ourselves socially.
    I have little taste for censorship, but I do see this as an opportunity for spiritual formation.

  20. Xenia says:

    Since our embassy was under attack, I believe the President felt he had better take action, considering how critical he was of Hillary’s apparent failure to take action over Ben Gazi. Whether it was the right thing to do or not, time will tell. My opinion is that we have absolutely no reason at all to be involved militarily in the Middle East and if Iraq says it’s time for the US to leave, let us leave Iraq and Afghanistan and any other place where we are squandering humans and materiel resources. As MLD said recently, we could use all that money to provide our citizens with some really good health care and probably fix the homeless problem, too.

  21. Steve says:

    “As long as faith is politicized, Trump is an almost unavoidable topic…”

    Duane,. And if we are not careful we could be the ones politicizing it regardless of our best intentions.

  22. Em says:

    I have nothing edifying to add, except that i am reasonably sure that all here pray for our leaders and that is exactly the best thing we can do…
    God, forgive me, but praying for Pelosi or Schiff don’t come easy…. 🙆

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    I just read what’s in the news…

  24. Steve says:

    Duane, most news is propaganda on both sides. It’s basically opinion now days masquerading as journalism. There is nothing I really trust anymore for just news.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    That is an opinion, nothing more…

  26. Steve says:

    Duane,. You are right. I’m not a journalist. Im not pretending to report news. If you can point me to a trustworthy news source, let me know otherwise we all need to be careful in being part of a propaganda machine.

  27. Jean says:

    Steve,

    There are a variety of sources, which depending on what information you are looking for, are valuable. For example, if you want to know the character of our President, then as Xenia recently suggested, follow him on Twitter. That way to get him uninterpreted and by following him, you can read his thoughts often before they are later deleted.

  28. Steve says:

    Jean,. I haven’t seen tweets from the president where I can know his character. There is a myth the president is a racist and a white supremacist. It’s just not true. People say he is and say they can prove it by reading by his tweets. Yeah, his tweets are annoying to me but all I can say about Trump’s character is that he is annoying at times.

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    If you have not seen or heard Trump’s comments on race – from “Birtherism” to the Central Park Five to his opening announcement of his candidacy… the list is almost endless – then you simply have not been paying attention to the documented sources that are in plain sight. This is not even to speak of Charlottesville. David Duke, etc.

    That, however, is beside the point. Try starting by reading the US Constitution and The Federalist Papers. I’ve found that just as in the faith, knowing the source documents, helps to cut through the noise of our current media…

  30. Steve says:

    Duane,. If I am reading you right you have determined by factual evidence that you have just cited that Trump is a racist and a white supremacist which is basically the same old Hillary Clinton, the Hollywood elites and the drive-by media analysis talking points. Basically brainwashing day in and day out non stop. A careful review doesn’t support that conclusion. You sound like Colin Kaepernick who came to a similar conclusion that the reason Trump took out Soleinami was because he was brown skinned and wanted to spread his white imperialism throughout the world. A complete asinine conclusion and a complete disregard for the hundreds if not thousands of American lives both black and white that Soleinami ended in acts of terror around the word. But you can choose to believe what you want. My only point was we are all being brainwashed. If you think somehow you are immune, you are being niave.

  31. Michael says:

    Steve,

    This is the basis of distrusting Trump on racial matters and it has nothing to do with Hillary or Hollywood…

    “Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has a history of speech and actions that have widely been viewed as racist or racially charged. Journalists, friends, and former employees have accused him of fueling racism in the United States. Trump, however, has repeatedly denied accusations of racism and stated to reporters in July 2019 that he was “the least racist person anywhere in the world.” In 1973, Trump and his company Trump Management were sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for housing discrimination against African-American renters: he settled the suit without any admission of wrongdoing. The Justice Department sued again in 1978, claiming continued racial discrimination and a breach of the original agreement, but that case expired in 1982 without resolution. In 2011, Trump became the leading proponent of the already discredited “Birtherism” conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the US, repeating the claim for the following five years.” Wikipedia for convenience sake…

    We could add to that his tweets and other actions, especially the Central Park Five…

    Now, you are free to reject what has been documented or the interpretation thereof…but bringing in other people that you despise is irrational and doesn’t lend itself to understanding.
    A “careful review” may look different to different people…but there are some facts here that should trouble us.

    I respect a friend of mine who bluntly told me he didn’t care about Trump’s character…he believed he was good for the country…

  32. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve,

    Hillary, Hollywood elites, Colin Kaepernick, Soleinami??? Slightly off the rails, I think…

  33. bob1 says:

    Here are a couple of good and reliable news sources and a site that also debunks fake conspiracy
    theories, etc.

    http://www.apnews.com

    http://www.snopes.com

  34. Jean says:

    Duane,

    What Steve was doing is along the lines of one of your previous articles about delegitimzing the message by attacking the messenger. It is one of the most dishonest, slanderous methods of argumentation, which unfortunately many Christians have picked up from the world.

    Basically what Steve is saying is that if Hillary Clinton, for example, said something, really anything, then it’s per se a lie. So, in the process Steve slander’s Hillary, while trying to distract from what Trump says and does. Unless, of course, Steve’s position is that Hillary has never told a single truth.

    But you and Michael are absolutely correct that bringing up these other people and entities, as some sort of bogey men is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

  35. Steve says:

    Duane and Michael,. I’m not here to defend Trump but only point out is that you are only adding to the negative chorus that is being sung over and over and over again non stop by half our country. It never ends. Impeach Trump, get rid of Trump, investigate Trump, prosecute Trump. Trump is the incarnate of evil equivalent or worse than Hitler. Feel free to believe the worst of the worst of our president. It’s a free country at least for now. For me I am thankful for Trump.

  36. Steve says:

    Jean,. I like you and I’m not being slanderous to anyone on this site. I even like Kaepernick but his conclusions don’t have muster. However if talking about how others in the “news” view Trump is off limits than I’m not sure why the news is really relevant at all.

  37. Steve says:

    Regarding the Obama birtherism argument attributed to Trump, I never understood why that was a racial thing. I guess I am clueless. To me it’s a leap to equate birtherism to racism unless someone can connect a few dots for me. Was it about Obama possibly being born in another country or was it about Obama being black? Why is this a racial thing? Seriously I don’t get it.

  38. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Yes, that is the methodology. Some people think it convincing… I simply find it tiresome.

  39. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I understand that you are a Trump supporter.
    I am not.
    That’s not the issue.
    The issue is how we formulate our opinions and how we relate to each other as divided Christians.
    I can loathe Trump with the power of a thousand suns and still love my brethren who support him.
    My biggest hope is that we limit ourselves to agreed upon facts and move forward with a heart for what we are agreed upon.
    It may not be possible.

  40. Steve says:

    Michael,. I completely agree with you. This is a very good approach to bring understanding.

  41. Em says:

    One cannot use the 19970s to prove much of anything – it was a time of upheaval … among other problems, affirmative action caused a great many unintended problems – forcing qualified people to step aside as quotas were the dictated hiring standard … it has taken some time to fairly level the playing field

  42. Jim says:

    I’ve baptized my distain for and disinterest in the ruling class. Pretending that they don’t exist (as much as that is possible) has been a very healthy choice for me.

  43. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob1

    Yes, Associated Press is a “gold standard” – usually multi-sourced with every high editorial standards…

  44. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    Is this along the lines of what you’re hearing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP9roQQwzsA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2sKSpQU_isFh89RhMZPRZz5-7FpFJ9mRJk7M3cm4rzzhncJi7_qNgXd64

    It is a striking change of heart. It gives me faith that miracles still happen.

    Good for Mr. Chan.

  45. Steve says:

    France Chan is quite an enigma. I’m wondering how he is going to next confess that YouTube has taken the place of the pulpit.

  46. Em says:

    There has always been a ruling class – the question is how to keep tem in check…
    Wasn’t our Constitution and Bill of Rights intended to do that?
    Trouble is it cannot be done without a judicial system that operates honestly – with neutral integrity…

  47. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    Yes. A lot of great journalists and writers cut their teeth with AP. They
    know how to get right to the point!

  48. Heard CBS news military analyst on the radio this morning talking about how the cable news journalists yesterday were disappointed that he wasn’t going to talk about how we were on the verge of WW3 due to the strike. He called it correctly how it was going to turn out.

  49. MM says:

    Steve wrote:
    “Francis Chan is quite an enigma.”

    This is the most true statement I believe one can make about this man. If spend anytime listening to his sermons and talks I believe we would all come to the same conclusion, Frances Chan is a brilliant orator and has enough charisma to draw people from all sides.

    I would not get excited and assume he is supporting any personal/denominational doctrines or dogmas in the Christian faith(s). He has the ability to both support, question and make all sides feel good in the same short segment.

    For an example, listen to his talk about speaking in front of John MacArthur. In it he does a very good job of bringing up John’s ability to critique, his follower’s almost cult like response to being in John’s presence and finally the need to remember whom people should be in awe. It’s pure brilliance in the way he orates the subject and demonstrates why he is able to sit with so many in the faith.

    So is he becoming a believer in the “body and blood?” I doubt it. But, he is pointing out the importance of remembering and honoring the presence and fellowship with our Creator and Lord. That is historic and I’m sure he didn’t just discover that fact.

    Yes Francis Chan is an enigma.

  50. MM says:

    BTW I would also like to point out in the clip Jean posted, Francis Chan is not openly agreeing to the idea of “body and blood” literal in the elements. Listen closely and we all should hear his main point is not about that.

    What does he point out, contrast, compare and critique about church today? It isn’t the elements.

    BTW in all his charisma and brilliance there are several generalizations in his history of the church. The most glaring is the statement that for one thousand years there was just one church. That just isn’t true and neither is the statement about men didn’t spent hours in a back room studying to present their talk.

    In all his brilliance and charisma it seems Chan has resisted the desire to draw people into another schism. I admire that trait.

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