Things I Think…

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36 Responses

  1. filbertz says:

    too many believers minimize the gospel and over-emphasize our belief(s). To do so is to castrate that which is, by nature, transcendent, transformative, and redemptive. Our lives, attitudes, and morals have not borne out the essence of the gospel, therefore, we are its worst salesmen. Your point about the beatitudes is well-taken–we work so hard to qualify them, soften them, or relegate their bluntness to another era.

  2. Babylon’s Dread says:

    I deactivated again

    Too many conflicts that will spill over into life. But this one is intentionally short.

    I’ll be back later in week or month.

    I think social media is the blackface moment in waiting. It’s a legal document for our prosecution.

  3. Michael says:

    Well said, fil.
    I confess to being obsessed with the Beatitudes…and I wish I could find a way to soften them…

  4. bob1 says:

    #3 — Great point. I think in the biblical tradition, idolatry and oppression ARE moral issues.

  5. Michael says:

    BD,

    If I had anything to lose I would be off it all…

  6. Michael says:

    bob1,

    You have spoken well…in my opinion…

  7. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Free speech is becoming irrelevant in a culture that has found so many ways to punish speech. I’m not sure that it exists anywhere except porn sites.

  8. pstrmike says:

    “Free speech is becoming irrelevant in a culture that has found so many ways to punish speech. I’m not sure that it exists anywhere except porn sites.”

    Perhaps. It depends on how broad your audience. Is there a common core of experience and desire?

    I was thinking about this earlier. We have what appears to be two predominate motives these days in the church. There are those who skillfully devise deceitful schemes that influence people into believing their narratives and there are those who, moved by their own greed, seek to exploit those who can bring them gain.

    I have to remind myself that God so loved the world, because right now, I hate what this country has become, but I also recognize it is from a wellspring of what it always has been. I question whether what we have become is fixable. Somewhere we took a bridge too far. The children can only pay for so long of the sins of their fathers.

    I think the church needs to find a new way, perhaps in the form of a mew monasticism.

  9. directambiguity says:

    What current idolatry and oppression are we talking about and who’s doing it?

  10. Michael says:

    Directambiguity,
    If you can’t see it, it will do no good to show you…

  11. Em says:

    What puzzles this old lady is why we think in terms of black and white – not racial reference, but guess it could be – everything from yesterday is bad, so throw everything out and start over?? ?
    Not until Christ returns

  12. directambiguity says:

    Michael,
    So just in general God is more concerned with idolatry and oppression (non-specific) than what we consider “moral” issues (also non-specific).

  13. Michael says:

    directambiguity,

    We have spoken at length here that the conflation of faith and state in this country has produced a prostituted gospel and is nothing less than idolatry.
    If you are unaware of any oppression, to point it out would only cause you anger…

  14. directambiguity says:

    Michael,

    The reason I ask is that we are being told that black people are being oppressed by western civilization by systemic racism and white people need to ask black people for forgiveness for benefiting from this oppression. It’s a pretty big topic in the news and church, and when you write in general terms I’m unclear what your point is.

  15. Without having read the decision yet, my initial take is the Evangelical establishment has just had their clocks cleaned today.

    The Supreme Court appears to be taking a very substantial stance against discrimination of the gay community.

    This has to be the number one argument of the lesser of two evils. Brand X will give us 2+ Supreme Court picks, with an especial focus on rolling back societies protection of sexual minorities.

    Today it looks like Evangelicals are holding a check that just bounced.

  16. Em says:

    The question, when they spit in our faces, can we like Christ stand or will we tuck tail and hide behind a pew… or something….. 🙆

  17. Jean says:

    Nathan,

    “my initial take is the Evangelical establishment has just had their clocks cleaned today.”

    Why would Evangelicals be disappointed or in opposition to the Supreme Court decision? Don’t Christians want people to be able to earn a living? Doesn’t the Bible endorse work?

    Should an American citizen be denied the right to work because of his or her sexual orientation? If so, then what other moral sins should be able to be used as a rationale for denying someone a job?

    I’m not saying you agree or disagree with the decision, but I wanted to raise the question of what a faithful Christian stance should be in this case.

  18. pstrmike says:

    ” my initial take is the Evangelical establishment has just had their clocks cleaned today. ”

    Only if you see your mission to legislate righteousness, and good luck with that. I surely don’t see it that way.

    City of Man and City of God, two different spheres. I could care less what the SCOTUS pronounces; they are not the final word.

  19. JoelG says:

    Question for the house…

    What is the difference between legislating righteousness and defending the weak and oppressed in a society through legislation?

  20. Evangelicalism is a pragmatic engagment of society. It is a more relativism, that sought to engage society with Protestant traditions.

    If it fails to do so, then it has to return to it’s Fundamentalist pre-1940’s past, or hybridize some new spiritualism.

  21. Typo. …moral relativism….

  22. Jim says:

    4. God did not end the exile of His people with the founding of the United States…

    Amen. (!)

    8. I wrestle with the fact that my age and experiences may make it difficult for me to judge current events righteously…

    Me too. A conversation with my wife tonight ended with me yet again admitting that i seem a slave to my biases.

  23. jtk says:

    Here’s one take:
    Can I find any “liberal” who isn’t a hypocrite?

    Can I find any “conservative” who isn’t a hypocrite?

    I’ve justified lots of things to myself and when Jesus gently (or in a stricter rebuke) puts His finger on some area of thought, heart or behavior, all of a sudden I ask myself, “What was I thinking? Why and how did I justify that?!”

    Now is a good time for us each to search our hearts and make no excuses.

    No matter what the political or other consequences may be.

  24. Eric Love says:

    Now might be a time to dig up what predictive prophecies were offered for 2020 to see how many of them had anything to say about the significant events of this year.

  25. Mike E. says:

    Speaking of legislation: The Supreme Court isn’t legislating, they are interpreting already existing laws and the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution. Very interesting to me that Justice Neil Gorsuch, very conservative and a Trump appointee, wrote the opinion for the court. Some conservatives I’ve read are saying that exact thing, that they’re actually legislating instead of interpreting. I honestly don’t see it that way, however, I can understand WHY some people might see it that way.
    I understand some Christians see this as a “Sodom and Gomorrah” issue, like God’s so angry because of homosexuality that He’s pouring out His wrath on us. I understand that viewpoint also. I just think 1) we’re under a new covenant, His relationship with man has irrevocably changed; doesn’t mean HE changed or that He’s ok with sin, but just saying the whole thing is different now, He changed NOT His holiness and righteousness, but His approach toward the way He deals with humankind. He isn’t willing that any should perish. Remember when Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy Sodom? God was like, “I don’t want to do it. If you can find just 10 righteous people I won’t do it.” I just think too many conservative evangelicals are stuck in the Old Covenant thought and maybe don’t quite understand things have changed with God. Again, NOT saying HE changed OR His attitude toward sin changed, but just perhaps the way He deals with the nations has changed under the New Covenant? Not sure. It’s just a thought.

  26. JoelG says:

    Sounds about right to me, Mike E. Sin brings its own judgement. Jesus had compassion for sinners.

    “For God so loved the world….”

    This “us vs. them” thing within Evangelicalism troubles me.

  27. Em says:

    We are ALL born sinners, thus we sin (somebody here made that observation) – true
    If you can do the job AND you can keep your sex “problems” to yourself, then you deserve to be gainfully employed…
    I suspect what angers God – dunno – is our rewriting of His 10 standards/commandments to suit our proclivities…

  28. Mike E. says:

    Joel-yes it troubles me also. Honestly, I get somewhat confused between having a “biblical worldview” and our current culture. That’s why I say, I can certainly understand conservative evangelicals desiring to have the culture have the same worldview as they do. But how that gets translated in policy initiatives gets pretty tricky. I mean, as someone else said, “are we really saying an entire people group should not have the same rights as other people groups who have our same worldview as we do?” That doesn’t really make any sense to me. But what do I know. I’m largely dazed and confused. Lol! 🤷‍♂️

  29. JoelG says:

    Em / Mike E.

    I’m struggling with these issues as well. My hope for myself is to listen to and know homosexuals. To treat them as human beings made in the image of God. To know homosexuals as they are, not as we think they should be. This is hard to do if we automatically adopt a position of “us vs. them”.

  30. Dave Fry says:

    Praying for you, Michael! Stay strong in the faith! I know it is excruciatingly hard right now. But, you are speaking with truth. You are a huge encouragement to me and so many others!

  31. Michael says:

    Dave Fry,

    Welcome…and thank you!

  32. brian says:

    Offered for what little it is worth, trust me its worth less. Do you want a challenge defend religious liberty from the bible. Wow not much there along with anything that even hints at religious liberty its not there. We want it to be there but its not. Being the degenerate hypocrite I am I dont expect that because I realize we live in the temporal realm, which leads to many of our disagreements. We are a broken race, I dont deny that, but we are not a totally degenerate race building up God’s wreath. Why would any parent divine or temporal want wrath on those they have given birth to? Why am I a universalist because it gives the best hope to those I have served this side of eternity with hope. I still dont get why that makes me your enemy. I wish I could have prayed and seen those healed. They were not, ever not one time with all my begging, which I understand God hates, usually with a great passion. But we are stuck with that you and I. Offered for what its worth

  33. Jerod says:

    #8 Don’t sell yourself short
    God let you get old for a reason

    #2 you forgot the police police, now

    Just for context, the rest of Amos is speaking of the prophetic Day of the Lord and the destruction of Judah.

    “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord: “In all the squares there shall be wailing, and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmers to mourning and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation, and in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through your midst,” says the Lord.

    Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!

    Why would you have the day of the Lord?

    It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
    ‭‭Amos‬ ‭5:14-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    https://www.bible.com/59/amo.5.14-24.esv

  34. Jerod says:

    Ahh… I meant destruction of Israel…

  35. bob1 says:

    #10 I agree wholeheartedly.

    Makes me think of Trump’s standing outside the Episcopal church in DC with a Bible. Apparently few were snookered by this act of gospel treachery. In Michigan, for example, Trump’s approval plunged sharply after this. Don’t know about the rest of the country, but probably similarly except maybe in the buckle of the Bible Belt…

    https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/06/michigan-pollster-trumps-bible-photo-op-caused-immediate-drop-in-support.html

  36. CM says:

    My 2 cents in this:

    1) I know that end-times hysteria and noise is directly related to the level of funk the country is in regards to geo-political, economic, social turmoi, and on what political party controls the levers of governmental power. The same old and discredited folks (Hal Lindsay and the like) recycle the same stuff with a new edition while conveniently dumping the other stuff down the memory hole. Therefore it is hard to take them seriously if not outright ignore their BS.

    2) The Constitution is an equal opportunity offender and Gorsuch is being consistent in his textualism (it is all the social conservatives who are wrong here). He even took a page from what Scalia had argued previously. Alito especially was wrong on this. Here is a link:

    https://reason.com/2020/06/15/how-gorsuch-took-a-page-from-scalia-in-an-lgbt-employment-discrimination-case/

    The bottom line is that 21 states already have laws on the books that you cannot fire people for being LGBT, and the fact is that any employer is resourceful enough to fire an employee for any performance or job-related reason, real or imagined.

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