Things I Think…

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41 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    We could repent of our participation in the evils of Hollywood which affects almost every area of American life. (I’m including popular music and TV.) Almost every modern novel, every TV show, every movies ASSUMES people will lose their virginity as a teenager and that a successful first date includes a sleepover. How many books, TV shows, movies, etc include the mandatory lover fixing breakfast for a person they’ve only known 24 hours or less? Fornication and adultery, and now homosexuality, have been preached to the American population for decades. When people say “but it’s just entertainment” I want to ask them why they have this special little compartment in their lives labeled “entertainment” where God and His morality are not allowed.

    It was the invention of the birth control pill that made all this fornication consequence-free, although it’s certainly not without consequences in reality. Back when sex meant the possibility of a baby, fathers were more careful of their daughters. Now they send them out to school dressed like hookers and their sons have unlimited access to p0rn which the dad himself probably “enjoys.” If the teen aged daughter had her first “loving experience” without the Pill, there’s always abortion. Get to the ROOT of why there’s abortions. Defunding Planned Parenthood is a good thing but the evil root has not been addressed.

    Listen, if you regularly watch TV and movies, you are part of the problem and you already know what you need to repent of. You are complicit. (“you” doesn’t refer to anyone in particular, just a general “you.”) What does the music you listen to promote? If you know and you still listen, you are also a promoter.

    So that’s one thing we could repent of.

  2. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That won’t be a popular notion, but it is a solid one…

  3. Xenia says:

    It should be a popular notion among all Christians.

  4. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    It is one of many things that Christians should agree on…but refuse to do so because of personal or political comfort…

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Amen to all the above. In regards to #6, I tire quick when someone brings up “the media” trope, but that is just me. Regarding #7 and #8, for the idea that the pandemic is a conspiracy to bring down President Trump or the U.S., I think our regress as a nation began long ago before Trump got into office.

  6. Michael says:

    Dan from Georgia,

    The conspiracy nonsense really started in full throat during the Obama years…anyone remember “Jade Helm”?

  7. Michael says:

    I will get this off my chest…if you want to know one reason why God ain’t blessing America…look to the border…

  8. filbertz says:

    regarding #10, the more I think about it, it isn’t a deficient gospel that’s being hawked, or an anemic one, but another one…think “Galatians.”

    I wear a mask in public spaces. I’m weary and wary of those who consider themselves the mask police and are reporting perceived infractions to authorities. How quickly we opt to be the snitch.

  9. filbertz says:

    Since you are a former died in the wool Calvinist, could you dive a bit deeper into the #8 observation?

  10. Michael says:

    fil,

    I don’t mind snitches in this case.
    We’re not being asked to do something compromising…

  11. Michael says:

    fil,

    I probably need to write a series on this.
    Calvinism provided me a pretty airtight way to understand the world and particularly the difficult and painful parts of it.
    Like conspiracy theories do, it gave me someone to blame… though that person was God.
    The alternative (which I’m still processing) is to recognize the paradoxical nature of Scripture, the existence of mystery, and the reality that nothing really makes sense this side of glory.
    I’m very uncomfortable, but feel closer to truth…and God.

  12. Dave Rolph says:

    You’ll never become a celebrity by speaking such sense! Choose an extreme and beat it into the ground. People hate balance. (And I’m with you, buried in the obscurity of truth.)👍😎

  13. Michael says:

    Thank you, Dave…I prefer curmudgeon to celebrity at this age anyway… 🙂

  14. Em says:

    Xenia, can i still watch Dr. Pol? ? ?

  15. pstrmike says:

    Good list. Here is one of the nuggets.

    “This entire generation of pastors/priests who think that the height of their craft is “bringing a good message” will soon find that they are replaced by pastors/priests on social media who have professional writers…because they neglected the true height of our profession, which is the care of souls…”

    Its been about market share and ability to meet the needs of the market. People want good message—whatever that means today. I listened to a guy preach from his home recently. Its not something I do very often, but I was curious, so I turned the speed up to 2x and listened. It was a decent sermon, although most of what he did was simply give information, and it is was nothing that I didn’t already know. I wondered what would have been the point of leaving the house on a Sunday morning to go listen to him. There has to be more to church than information about the Bible, and that is where worship (not necessary the entertainment driven style of today) and the connection of our souls with each other is important. At least the sermon was short.

    I’m having a few conversations with other pastors of how on-line church is not only taking shape, but how it is both informing and forming the Body of Christ. And yes, it is all about media presentation and achieving the high bar that has been set by the entertainment industry. I wonder if it is possible that video presentations intended to create sensational worship experiences and transmission of biblical knowledge will encourage a greater sense of independence and foster a renewed modernist epistemology (think Enlightenment 2.0). How might a person whose primary church experience is on-line began to differ in thought and values from those who experience real-time, face to face interaction with of Christians who seek a transcendent encounter with God in a communal setting? The former can become isolated in their own echo chamber, the latter hopefully experience those unplanned, unscripted encounters that can only happen in community, and beckons beyond our own thoughts and ideas.

    I think this is one of several important conversations that we need to start having. How we experience, receive and process information about God will have some effect on how we engage our souls with Him. That is not to say that we cannot or should not have a media presence. As in all forms of how we experience communication, we have to emphasis the message so it rings clearly without being unduly tainted by the media we use.

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Both in your list and in Xenia’s comments I see a similar strand, which is that as the Church we have by and large been absorbed by society at large and have, for the most part, absorbed the values of that society. I always thought we were somehow supposed to be different…

    This morning I saw a newsletter from a pastor/priest discussing when his church would get together again. The decision was being based upon his vacation plans. It’s a small church of about 30-35 people. Half of them have lost their jobs. Some have tested positive. I can’t even begin to describe my feelings – they range between weeping and rage.

  17. Michael says:

    Thanks, pstrmike…there’s a lot of meat to chew on for us in your comment…

  18. Michael says:

    Duane,

    All the while addressing himself as “father” I’m sure…I’m staying in rage for a while longer…

  19. pstrmike says:

    Michael,
    Unfortunately, too many pastors will not give this much thought as they are too wrapped up in the idea that people either come in person or tune in on-line to hear them. And the truth is, that is exactly the case…….

  20. Xenia says:

    Em, I don’t know who Dr. Pol is.

    My best advice is to avoid TV altogether.

  21. Jim says:

    Can’t argue with X’s statement, other than “promoter” has a specific meaning. Turn it all off and read a book.

  22. CM says:

    Jim,

    Another thing is to go old-school TV. Antenna TV and other retro channels play the old TV shows and the like. When I lived in GA, I could watch Antenna TV over the rabbit ears on one of the sub-channels. One of my ways of unwinding was to watch the old Johnny Carson Tonight Show reruns on Antenna TV.

    I still remember Carson’s last show from May 1992 like it was yesterday. They don’t make late-night TV hosts like that anymore. Where do all the years go?

  23. Em says:

    FWIW….
    a heads up… the medics up here in my corner – PNW – are saying virus is hitting here harder than the first go round…
    Keep nose and mouth covered – but don’t walk into a bank and announce, ” this is a stick up! “. 🙉

  24. Em says:

    Xenia, Dr Pol is an old veterinarian (Dutch Reformed) based in Michigan who is the star of a reality based TV program … Lots of calves pulled, porcupine quills pulled, and interesting dairy farmers and pet owners – loves cats, but loves horses best 😁 I’ll probably keep the set on, though – sorry, takes my mind off of the temperature and the flourishing weeds.. Really bad year for weeds up here
    God keep

    Dr. Duane sounds almost exactly like my daughter telling me of the shooting of a local police officer – feelings going from weeping to rage…. But… .
    Pastors and priests who can’t do the job, but want the secure income? Twill be interesting when they come Face to face with The Boss

  25. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em,

    My wife doesn’t want to wear our black masks (we have both black and white ones) for that exact reason!

    I like wearing the black ones because I would like to believe that it makes me look more intimidating to those that might think they have the right to impose their anti-mask agenda on someone.

  26. DavidM says:

    #9 Regarding professional sports: Maybe the new National Anthem can be Helter Skelter!

  27. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em,

    Sorry to hear about the pandemic trends up there.

    Seems like a lot of places are seeing much higher rates of infection that back in April and May. I don’t know how it is in my county, but Georgia as a whole has seen a huge uptick in cases. Being close to Florida makes me nervous, especially since I-85 goes directly from Atlanta to the Florida Turnpike and then to Orlando.

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    D’oh,….I meant I-75. I should know my own state.

  29. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael,

    Your number 8, I never would have connected the two on my own, but it makes sense.

  30. Em says:

    David M, i think we should all get bullhorns, march in the streets singing, ” Oh beautiful for spacious skies… ” 😚

  31. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    This might be a rather Seattle reason to piggyback on X’s comments about Hollywood but in the last few years I’ve been wondering about the cumulative carbon footprint of the nexus of entertainment industries and it’s hard to shake a sense that Americans in entertainment probably have a bigger carbon footprint than most people in the world.
    I don’t even hate superhero movies (I’m planning on going to see WW 1984 when it comes along) but it does seem like Hollywood would rather make movies about the end of the world than sacrifice our entertainment cultures to better the world. The pandemic has been throwing the arts and entertainment industries into crisis for a lot of good reasons but I’m reaching a point where, reading about the predations and exploitations of the industries, it’s a little hard to feel bad for the industries as a whole.

    For 10, I don’t personally take it as a given that repenting of anything will change the course of the United States as a whole. Josiah could repent a ton and the exile still came.

  32. filbertz says:

    Michael,
    the snitch in this case saw a cook in the back take his mask off to catch his breath, (it’s hot in most kitchens) and complained to the state…not the manager, not the owner, not the cook. In Oregon, the OLCC is monitoring restaurants, not county health departments (which should be doing the checks) It’s heavy handed and invites abuse. All restaurants I’m aware of are doing their very best to comply with the state guidelines–not the same can be said of many customers…

  33. Michael says:

    fil,

    That would make me mad as well. Trey is cooking now and he and the other cooks take theirs off whenever they have a break to breathe.
    Days like today make it almost impossible for me to wear one from the heat…

  34. Michael says:

    Dan,

    It’s something I’ve been mulling for a while…we crave the ability to make sense of things with certainty…

  35. jtk says:

    Some solid and great stuff!

  36. I walked into 7-11 with my black mask and my “cop” Oakley shades and several people stared at me. I also have a shaved head. Related to that, I found out last week that a whole contingent of Filipinos on the test floor have thought for years that I was a skinhead, despite being tan. Thankfully, one of them with whom I’ve become friendly with over the past two years stuck up for me.

  37. Em says:

    Entertainers influence popular thinking? Are you kidding? They have been doing that since Gilbert and Sullivan, at least…
    As a child in my neighborhood we all wanted to be either Gene Autrey or Roy Rogers – didn’t know anyone who wanted to be Dale Evans, though – go skipping around saying, “oh, Roy” all the time

    Going in this afternoon to have a chunk of my nose removed and tomorrow afternoon reconstructed – good doctors, but any prayer cover greatly appreciated
    God keep

  38. Michael says:

    Praying, Em…get back quickly!

  39. Em says:

    Thank you, Michael
    Will miss reading here every day – Hope all here stay safe – God keep indeed. 🙏

    A new nose? At my age? Oh my, i liked my old nose. LOL

  40. Stay safe Em and hope you are as comfortable as circumstances allow.

  41. Owen says:

    #5 – my wife has chronic asthma, high skin sensitivity, and anxiety towards anything on her face. She wore a mask yesterday in Costco for almost the entire visit, until she began panicking. Is she quitting? No, she’s searching for a material she can wear for a longer stretch……

    #8 – Agreed, except there is one certainty – God will indeed have His way in the end.

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