Things I Think…

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150 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Franklin Graham learned evangelical politics from his rabid antisemitic, politically connected father.
    As my dear old mother would say, “the apple does not fall far from the tree.”

  2. bob sweat says:

    Spot on to #’s 1-7

    #8 The lesser of two evils is still evil.

    #10 🙂

  3. bob sweat says:

    Second

  4. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I thought he repented of his remarks before he died…he finished well…

  5. Michael says:

    Thanks, Bob…good to see you!

  6. victorious says:

    I almost “skipped” over number three.
    🙂

    I have to believe that just like the word spoken gently and firmly to Elijah in the cave, God has his faithful deployed in an age of apostasy.

    I also believe that according to the prophetic word in Ezekiel, there are shepherds after His heart serving and being equipped both in character and skill for the next generation In an age where pastoral narcissism is being branded.

    The judgment seat of Christ will reveal all.

    Thanks for continuing to pursue his heart in your life and those you touch.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, for the record he denied the statements for 20 yrs until the recordings came out.

    Perhaps his repentance was a ‘political’ move to save his reputation – but I don’t know. However, at the same age, he was Franklin.

  8. Michael says:

    Thanks, vic…I agree that some are now just doing the work they were called to…

  9. #7 Yes.
    My point yesterday. Theology was so pre2015. That was then, this is now.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    According to The Times of Israel, at Billy Graham’s death:

    “Rabbi A. James Rudin, the AJC’s senior interreligious adviser, wrote in a statement Wednesday that Graham regretted his remarks about Jews and Judaism.

    ‘He publicly apologized for them and asked for forgiveness during his 2002 ‘Crusade’ in New York City,” Rudin wrote. “I had a private conversation with him at that time, where he expressed deep personal remorse and asked me to convey his sincere apologies to the entire Jewish community.’

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I just wonder how quickly folks would receive claims of repentance from Franklin without questioning motive.
    BG’s remarks to Nixon were in the early 70s and were revealed in 1994 by HR Alderman and denied by BG, until the tapes came out in 2002.

    Perhaps his ‘repentance’ was to protect’ his evangelical empire – probably the same motive Franklin would be accused of.

    The sad part is that American Evangelicals are mindless sheep.

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Should re HR Halderman

  13. Gabby says:

    This weekend’s many “prayer events” just grieved me, honestly. I watched a few clips from the “Return” event and the prayer march, and I could only get through a few minutes before I gave up. The deep intertwining of “faith” with nationalism and partisan ideology made me want to scream into a pillow quite a few times. Is there any hope of disentangling the Church from empire? To see so many people I love and who have been integral in my spiritual development celebrate these events without any concerns (both about lack of masks/social distancing and about Christian nationalism) made me sad. All I can do is lament, repent, and pray. And read the OT prophets and the Sermon on the Mount.

  14. Michael says:

    Gabby,
    You are wise beyond your years…
    “Is there any hope of disentangling the Church from empire? ”
    The backlash to all of this will shake it all to the foundations…

  15. Gabby says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for your encouraging words… most of the time I just feel like I’m losing my mind.

    When you said “shake it all to the foundations,” I thought of my professor in my OT prophets class talking about Isaiah 6 – how the glory of God filled the temple and shook its very foundations. This definitely seems like a season of shaking, of revealing the junk that has been here for quite some time. Maybe, just maybe, that backlash will lead to repentance and transformation…?

  16. Dan from Georgia says:

    I’m beginning to hate these “NATIONAL prayer gatherings”…why always Washington D.C. – *kind of a rhetorical question* BTW. It smells more political than actually caring about the things of the Lord.

    Seems like many believers have been given over to Dominion Theology/Christian Nationalism. I am just beginning to tire of meeting strangers and finding out they are believers, and they immediately start to talk politics – *and yes this has happened to me*.

  17. Michael says:

    Gabby,

    “Maybe, just maybe, that backlash will lead to repentance and transformation…?”
    Maybe…but it will be a fearsome time when and if it happens…

  18. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I ignore it most of the time…and when I meet people who do that I either change the subject or flee…

  19. Babylon's Dread says:

    Why is there not all this handwringing when the left church ties itself to all things democrat? How is this different? Admittedly I would not choose this particular prayer gathering but i would choose one that would likely have very conservative impulses.

    It seems that only evangelicals get excoriated if they have a political bias.

    I have tried for years to maintain that neither political party has a kingdom salvation narrative. To that value I continue to hold. Nevertheless, I have a party affiliation and in the coming years I see myself more not less active in these issues.

    As per the latest “BOMBSHELL” what was revealed that anyone was surprised about? Or evil or wicked?

    Lots of wrath here … some of it is very personal.

  20. Michael says:

    BD,

    To my knowledge there are no large gatherings of Democrat believers…I’m sure that will evoke rude explanations from some.

    If they equated party politics with Christ I would bazooka them quickly as well.

    The only thing personal is my personal disgust that this is happening. I believe the church should be a separated people who by their lives and doctrine advise and rebuke all temporal power…not seek it for themselves.

    We lose kingdom power and moral authority when we whore ourselves out to a side.

    We should be clear about specific issues…I cannot throw my approval either to the party of abortion or the one of forced sterilization…my place is to call both to Christ.

  21. Michael says:

    “Lots of wrath here … some of it is very personal.”

    My wrath against religious imposters is and will remain real.
    The rest of what you mistake for wrath is a very broken heart over the divisions and delusions plaguing my mother, the church…

  22. MLD.
    As Duane said, he expressed remorse apologized. As an individual that believes he will make statements to the Court, I would not want to be seen lingering over BG’s appearance in the White House tapes. Duane’s and Michael’s comments seem to be a wise and nuanced position to take. There is safety there.

    As to the actions he wanted President Nixon to take, I think the takeaway is this: They did not come to pass.

    -The NV levy bombing was I believed discussed seperately the the Jewish remarks. Never came to pass.
    – The President did seem open to doing something about the Jews. He was told they where a synagogue of Satan. ( huge paraphrase on this) Never came to pass.

    A simple explanation is God directs his Children, and intercedes for their protection. The Rev. Graham is accepted in the beloved, as far as I know. The President? Maybe not. But, God did meet his rather extensive plumbing needs.

  23. Michael says:

    Nathan,

    I think he repented of his remarks and his partisan activities.
    It is easier to believe the best about Billy…I know too much about Franklin…

  24. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    Simple answer… there aren’t the numbers. Jon Meacham was the Senior Warden of a church where I was on staff. He’s a faithful Episcopalian. On his morning show Joe Scarborough was complaining about church matters when Meacham said, “You could join us Episcopalians, there are at least six or seven of us left…” 😁

  25. bob1 says:

    To my knowledge there are no large gatherings of Democrat believers…I’m sure that will evoke rude explanations from some.

    Yes. There’s no such thing as “left church.”

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob 1

    “To my knowledge there are no large gatherings of Democrat believers…”

    If there were, we’d spend the first half hour arguing about what wine we pair with “outrage”… Call me a bit cynical.

  27. Babylon's Dread says:

    Denial is one wide and long river.

  28. Michael says:

    BD,

    I understand your emotional investment on these matters, but your skill at bringing clarity is not being well served.
    What is being denied or misrepresented here?

  29. Xenia says:

    Many African American churches are extremely political and left-leaning.

    Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco is an example.

  30. Xenia says:

    Every UU “church” is all about left-leaning politics.

  31. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    No doubt.
    Can you point me to any African American church that is featured daily on major media platforms and represents a a sizable percentage of America?

  32. Xenia says:

    Black churches used to be in the news all the time but their search for racial justice has been overshadowed by the godless BLM.

  33. bob1 says:

    Sure, there are liberal and left-leaning churches and church members. But my hunch is that most believers are either somewhere in the middle.
    or are eclectic, “pick and choose” folks.

    What I object to is the idea that there’s some type of conspiracy out there. Thus I objected to the term “left church.” It makes it sound like there’s some type of global conspiracy at work.

    The truth is, many people including churchgoers are what they are politically because they believe it best fits the facts of their existence.

  34. Michael says:

    The annoying thing about these conversations is that we’re so divided that any criticism of the right means that I am for the left and in opposition to conservative principles.

    This is not true…but we can’t seem to get beyond the barriers of media mega narratives.

  35. Michael says:

    “The truth is, many people including churchgoers are what they are politically because they believe it best fits the facts of their existence.”

    Yep…

  36. Xenia says:

    I do believe there is a conspiracy* by the main stream media to present only the news stories they want to present based on their ideology. I believe there is a conspiracy to withhold certain stories.

    *It only takes 2 people to make a conspiracy.

  37. bob1 says:

    Where is the evidence?

  38. Michael says:

    “I do believe there is a conspiracy* by the main stream media to present only the news stories they want to present based on their ideology.”

    The highest rated network news and commentary is conservative Fox by miles.

    The most visited news websites are conservative as well.

    Are they part of the conspiracy?

  39. Xenia says:

    I also believe there is a casual conspiracy in higher education to hire/promote staff with a liberal ideology and to not hire/squelch/fire staff with more conservative (normal) ideology.

    I am not talking about Illuminati stuff, but I do smell sulfur.

  40. Michael says:

    I do believe that media outlets on both sides promote false narratives to fit what they have found profitable to air.

    The problem is that we keep buying in…

  41. Xenia says:

    Yes, Fox is working our their own conspiracy.

  42. Xenia says:

    All you have to do is watch five minutes of Don Lemon or Hannity to realize you are not getting anything fair and balanced.

  43. Linn says:

    Thank you for summarizing all the things I have been thinking for the past few years. My current church, where I have been for 20 years and have never been told how to vote (I have voted my conscience for 40 years back and forth across both parties), has recently declared that the Republican party is God’s party and that Trump is God’s choice for president. I am going to wait until after the election to see if I need to change churches (my other issue is that they have opened for indoor services although state law and local ordinances prohibit it). Even thought the elders are 100% in agreement because they prayed, what do you do when your conscience says they are 100% wrong?

  44. Xenia says:

    I don’t know a good source for accurate news. I myself don’t have a TV so I don’t know what CNN, Fox, and the rest of them are choosing to tell people these days although I remember how they were back when I did watch. NPR is hopeless, and so is Rush Limbaugh. I just want a Huntley-Brinkley type newscast where 2 decent men read the news in a sober, non-hysterical fashion. Maybe they were compromised too, who knows.

  45. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Thank you for commenting.
    The elders are in a 100% agreement about who they want elected, not necessarily the will of God.
    While I would consider leaving (especially about ignoring Covid19 mitigations) you may be valuable there as a prophetic voice in your faith community.
    Neither will be easy…

  46. Em says:

    You might be surprised at how many business people take advantage of wrote-offs and pay little or no inc. tax…. avoidance is legal….

    I would too, if i could…

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    I’m getting genuinely panicked as I envision militant Episcopalians and Unitarians taking to the streets wielding their NPR tote bags as weapons… 😂

  48. Michael says:

    Duane,

    How did you get a tote bag? 🙂

  49. MM says:

    God and faith have with stood through out human history the test of all politics, religions, denominations, schisms, sects, rules and rah rah people do together. I believe the same will continue well into history as it unfolds.

    Since this really is a political, or anti-political thread the only comment I have is please choose wisely when voting this November.

    Somehow there has to be a filter of the parties, policies, and positions which go beyond personal vitriol hatred for Trump or Biden/Harris (and yes Pelosi). I believe if our church and religious institutions have taught their listeners well, in-spite of the media madness, choices can be made which honor their faith well.

    I for one, while not Roman Catholic nor a supporter, am elated when I read about Judge Amy C. Barrett and her life.

    However, after reading the hateful and disgusting comments from Prof. Ibram X. Kendi tears came o my eyes. All I could think of was this, “If this is what many believe in the USA, then we truly deserve God’s wrath as a Nation.” And I often hear similar echoes from many who claim to call “Jesus Lord,” and that makes my eyes tear even more.

    Vote and live what He taught you. Yes it’s really that simple.

  50. MM says:

    BTW

    Last night a Hindu business (owns a chain of restaurants) man my wife and I are casual friends with, brought up the Trump tax subject in a conversation over dinner. He said at first he was outraged at the President when he read the article and then did some personal research.

    As a business man who immigrated from Nepal, about 15 years ago, he got it and said Trump was only following the tax laws as a business man. He also added check out Amazon, Apple, Google and the many other “billionaires,” many who are adamant Democrats, they all do the same thing.

    Vote.

  51. bob1 says:

    Xenia,

    Associated Press has a great site. They’re pretty objective and to the point — like Huntley-Brinkley. 🙂 They’re also a nonprofit cooperative, which I really like.

    CBS News is, I think, the most objective and balanced. of the networks. They have one hell of a venerable history, too! Besides their website, I think they have an online news streaming service.

    http://www.apnews.com

    http://www.cbsnews.com

  52. Dan from Georgia says:

    I am angry.

    When we as the church, claiming the moral high ground (right Jerry Falwell Jr?), and act all high and mighty, and then trash our moral authority to get 1-2 judges on the Supreme Court…

    When I have to shut down a friend TWICE who tried to drag me into a political rant…

    When a long-time friend and fellow believer almost demanded that my wife vote for Trump in 2016…

    Damn right I am angry.

    I am aware of the Christian Left and their gatherings (through several Christian media outlets). Their meetings are smaller and garner less attention.

    I was a fan of the late Rachel Held Evans right up to her passing. But as time passed I increasingly became irritated by left-leaning Christians’ fundamentalism. I considered her a sister in the Lord and still do, despite disagreements with some of her views.

    I have many Christian friends who voted for Trump in 2016 and I don’t question their salvation/faith. I believe said long-term friend mentioned above questioned my faith.

    For the record, I don’t for a second believe that Trump, or Biden/Harris, or BLM, or Antifa or whomever is to blame.

    I was afraid to post this, but as time passes and I grow older, I am tired of people intimidating me.

  53. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Well said.
    You are also correct that the leftist fundamentalists are as big a pain in the ass as the right…
    I was afraid to write this whole piece, but I’m done being afraid when I think something with the Gospel is at stake.

  54. Dan from Georgia says:

    …is to blame for the ugly events in our society these days (2nd to last paragraph).

  55. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Michael…seems we both had something to say today!

  56. bob1 says:

    Vote.

    In total agreement. I hope everyone on here who wants to vote, will do so.

  57. Xenia says:

    Thank you Bob1, I’ll take a look.

  58. bob1 says:

    This shouldn’t really be news to anyone…Fox uses the word hate five times more than CNN or MSNBC according to a new study. This kind of invective just makes the polarization worse. In other words, stay away from the extremes!

    https://theconversation.com/fox-news-uses-the-word-hate-much-more-than-msnbc-or-cnn-145983

  59. Em says:

    FWIW,
    “hate” is not a bad word….. However, what you hate might be…
    Just for curiosity’s sake, do a word search and see how often the word turns up in Scripture

  60. bob1 says:

    It all depends on the context.

    It’s a really stupid word to utilize like Fox News does, if you’re going to have a straight face and declare you’re a “news’ organization. To say the least.

  61. Jean says:

    “8. Just to be clear, I am not supporting either party, nor do I believe that either side is more moral than the other.”

    We are not electing a party. We are electing a President. There is NO comparison on the issues of character, truth telling, commitment to serve the American people, etc.

    The following issues are of great importance to Americans across this country:

    Are you 60 and under and are expect (are relying on or need) social security and medicare when you retire?

    Are you working class or unemployed and need affordable healthcare for yourself or dependents, irregardless of income or pre-existing conditions?

    Do you want national leadership in the midst of a pandemic?

    Do you want to be told the truth by your President?

    Do you want your President listening to quack advisors while ignoring experts in the field?

    Do you condemn the office of President being used to spread scurrilous lies and conspiracy theories about others?

    Do you think that a white collar criminal should face justice?

    Do you think a President cares about you who invites you to pack yourself in to a campaign rally in the middle of a pandemic?

    Do you think a President cares about you who denigrates mail in voting and would prefer you go to polls and risk your life to vote, when mail in voting has been in use for years in various states?

    Do you think our country can incur trillion dollar deficits indefinitely to create artificial job growth, to make you think your President is managing the economy well?

    Do you think America can be kept safe by burning our alliances around the world?

    Do you think abandoning restrictions and limits on poison being injected into our air and water will make Americans healthier?

    President Trump doesn’t care on bit about anyone but himself, and especially not you. Anyone who thinks he does is deluded. And, yes, I believe Joe Biden does. And on every point above, his policies will serve you better.

  62. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Under Trump I was able to retire, which under Obama / BIDEN even though of age I couldn’t – and under Trump’s tax reform I pay zero $0 in state or federal taxes.
    I think he cares.

  63. Dave says:

    #6 is GREAT
    #10 – i’ll Bet they make more visits to the bank than they do to any hospital!

  64. Em says:

    Agreeing with MLD’s. 5:14 pm yesterday
    Joe B is the consummate grinning con man…. strange, though, people seem to love being conned

  65. Jean says:

    Maybe, Em, some of us do not want our country turned in to a haven for white supremacy that not even the President is willing to condemn. No con there, Trump was truly transparent last night.

  66. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    I believe that it was Maya Angelou who said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

  67. Jean says:

    Duane,

    Did you ever imagine that within your own lifetime you would witness in this country a President who cultivates his own Brown Shirts to promote himself and intimidate his enemies? It like the worst dystopian novel you can think of actually coming true.

  68. I watched 3-4 minutes of Debate video. Saw some analysis/headlines.

    Im curious what thoughts people have. Are there any specifically related to Scripture, the Faith or some such spiritual area?

  69. Em says:

    Jean, God give you wisdom… Platitudinous words belong to those who do not fear God… I realize we all are susceptible. So….
    God help us all with wisdom…
    White supremacy? I believe in a God fearing supremacy. Not an attribute of skin shades… So? …..

    The Body of Christ knows that the best is yet to come, eh? And it won’t wear a baseball cap with a motto on it… 😇

  70. Xenia says:

    1. I don’t have TV so I missed the debate. I know I could have streamed it but I chose not to watch two senile old men screaming at each other. I knew it would be too cringe-worthy and I guess it was worse than I imagined.

    2. I do not believe Trump actually condoned white supremacy. I read the transcript and it seemed that he was trying to get Wallace to name a group so he could denounce it but then his words got confused. Instead of saying “stand down” he said “stand by.” If you are so inclined, you could see this as Trump giving orders to the Proud Boys or you could instead believe he fumbled his words, which we have been accusing him of doing for the past 3 years.

    3. Biden did say that Antifa was an idea.

    4. But, no applause for either. They both were so intent on beating each other up they fumbled their words, on both sides.

    5. I got all this 2nd hand, by the way, from reading parts of the transcript and following some trusted people’s commentary on Twitter.

    6. Trump is a jerk, no doubt about it. May he win in a landslide.

    7. The longest we will have to endure Trump is 4 more years, tops. The wicked laws the Dems will put in place will be with us for a very long time. The incremental drip drip drip of Wokism will never be satisfied until all is conquered.

    8. The most upsetting thing applies to both parties: Seriously, are these the best men you can cough up?

    9. Pray up, stock up on supplies, get to church if you can, and strengthen your relationships.

    10. Recommended reading: Live Not by Lies, Rod Dreyer.

  71. bob sweat says:

    As a former school principal, the debate was 2 elementary boys fighting on the playground. Having said that, the bottom line for me was Trump’s refusal to condemn “white supremacy.”
    The line, “Stand down, be ready” was atrocious! I have 3 black grandchildren and a black son-in-law. How do you think that makes them, or any black person, feel! The “Proud Boys” are celebrating while the Franklin Grahams and other evangelical leaders place Trump on a pedestal! Disgusting!

  72. Xenia says:

    This is what he actually said:

    TRUMP: You want to call them? What do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name, go ahead — who would you like me to condemn?

    WALLACE: White supremacists, white supremacists and right-wing militia.

    TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what: Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left. Because this is not a right-wing problem — this is a left-wing problem.

    —–

    Two ways to interpret this. Pick the one you like best.

  73. bob1 says:

    Trump went full Captain Queeg. Stick a fork in him. He’s done.

  74. bob sweat says:

    Trump has avoided the white supremacy issue on other occasions as well. One of his supporters, former Senator Rick Santorum, blamed Wallace for Trump’s statement about the Proud Boys. Santorum said the question should not have been asked because Trump will not say anything bad about those who support him. Can you believe it!!!!

    I am 75 years old, a life long Republican, who has been voting in presidential elections since 1968. While I am not a fan of Biden, I will not support the most narcissistic, opportunistic president in my lifetime.

    I’m finished!

  75. bob sweat says:

    TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what: Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left. Because this is not a right-wing problem — this is a left-wing problem.

    Well, my take on that quote is he is telling the “Proud Boys” to stand by to fight.

  76. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    A denouncement of white supremacy or a condemnation of white supremacy, would have been to say to the Proud Boys, clearly, that Trump denounces or condemns their racist ideology and does not want their support, that what they stand for are not the values of our nation.

    “Stand back” and “Stand by” are not in any sense words of condemnation. Not even close. In fact the plain meaning of the words in the context he used them are that he wishes to influence them and keep them on stand by, should he want to call on them for some type of activity at a later date. I understand that you are against the Democrats, but at least be honest when it comes to what Trump said in front of an international audience when invited to plainly and clearly condemn white supremacy.

  77. Xenia says:

    I will not support the most narcissistic, opportunistic president in my lifetime.<<<

    I completely understand and appreciate your position. There's been some things that have happened in my life that have forced me to do whatever I can to squelch the Woke Left. I got a glimpse, in real life, into the abyss. However, I completely understand people who won't support Trump because that was my own POV not very long ago.

    Anyway, may God have mercy on our country no matter who He allows to be prez.

  78. Duane Arnold says:

    ‘Live Not by Lies’ by Rod Dreher is less than convincing as his critique of totalitarianism is selective in the extreme. Any serious historian or social commentator looking at the US today could not classify our situation as that immediately preceding the Russian Revolution. While he makes some good points concerning the current state of the church, his reading of history and his remedies (as in ‘The Benedict Option’) are deeply flawed…

  79. Xenia says:

    Duane, have you read the book?

  80. bob1 says:

    I read an excerpt and had a similar opinion to Duane’s. I just think he’s jumping to conclusions about our country’s situation that aren’t warranted. I’ve read several books by individuals who’ve survived totalitarianism (including Solzhenitsyn) and I appreciate Dreher’s concerns. about that issue.

  81. bob1 says:

    I also wonder if Dreher at all mentions Trump and all his lies?

    If he doesn’t, I question if he isn’t majorly cherry picking to prove an already arrived-at conclusion.

  82. Xenia says:

    Since I have read most of the book, he is quite critical of Trump and considers him to be part of the problem. If you follow him on Twitter you’ll see he’s no fan of Trump’s.

  83. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Yes, and as I said, I was less than impressed by the historiography, which caused the remainder to be suspect. Dreher is a conservative, fine and good. Shaping history, or the understanding of history, to fit one’s argument, however, is a different matter. Orlando Figes on the Russian Revolution (‘A People’s Tragedy’) is history without trying to prove a point.

  84. Xenia says:

    I am a member of a church full of the children and grandchildren of Soviet totalitarianism (Russia, Belarus, the old Yugoslavia, Romania, etc.) as well as people who lived in the USSR during its last gasp, and they do see certain similarities. Rod writes about “soft” totalitarianism, which he explains is not not exactly the same as Soviet-style totalitarianism.

    Despite Duane’s opinions, I still recommend the book. I admire Rod Dreyer, who is a friend of a friend.

  85. Xenia says:

    Duane, I have read Orlando Figes. a great book.

    I think, with that background, and with the testimony of my church friends, I will stick with Rod.

  86. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Glad you read Figes. Sorry I can’t agree on Dreher…

  87. Xenia says:

    Duane, I have several shelves of books I’ve read on Russian history, esp. the Revolution. I am not unread on this topic.

  88. bob1 says:

    I might pick up this book. I read “Crunchy Cons” a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

  89. Xenia says:

    bob1, you know the routine: eat the meat and spit out the bones. 🙂

    It’s not a book to add the New Testament, but I found that it helped me sort through some things I’ve been seeing and experiencing lately.

    Maybe some of you who don’t live in California are not seeing the things in real life here (not talking about internet reports) that we are seeing here.

  90. bob1 says:

    Xenia,

    🙂

  91. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia
    “I am not unread on this topic.” I’ve read a few books on the subject myself over the last four decades and numerous trips to the USSR/Russia…

  92. Duane Arnold says:

    And, speaking of how one might interpret Trump’s remarks concerning the Proud Boys, this is from the Anti-Defamation League… https://www.adl.org/blog/asked-to-denounce-white-supremacists-president-trump-tells-far-right-extremist-group-to-stand

  93. Babylon's Dread says:

    Xenia 10:16 — applause applause, standing.

    #6 Especially.

  94. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Dread, That means a lot to me.

  95. Just another anon says:

    Biden brought up the Proud Boys. Are the Proud Boys “white supremacists”? Can someone give some evidence for this? Seems if they aren’t then it changes the whole thing. Should Trump denounce organizations that aren’t “white supremacist” just because some in the media tell you they are? There are articles calling dog ownership and taking care of your yard “white supremacy”. Does this mean the new definition of “white supremacy” is just being white?

  96. Robert says:

    Are you suggesting that Trump did something illegal? Or did he just do what I do, minimize my taxes (he just has better accountants). Trump reminds me of Daniel 4:17 This is the decree by the sentence of the watchers, and the word And demand of the holy ones; till the living know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men; and he will give it to whomsoever it shall please him, and he will appoint the basest man over it. Too bad this verse loses something in modern translations.

  97. Michael says:

    Nothing in the debate changes anything…it simply shows what dire straits the country is in.
    Minds are made up

  98. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The country is not in dire straits and nothing will change regardless of the election results.
    This same stuff keeps going on.
    I was watching a CNN clip – Wolf Blitzer interviewing Bob Woodward, wringing his hands about a current constitutional crisis. Well 50 years ago Woodward was wringing his hands over a constitutional crisis.
    In the meantime, us everyday people just keep trucking along managing our lives.

  99. Xenia says:

    The country is not in dire straits and nothing will change regardless of the election results.<<<

    I think the election results can (not saying "will") either accelerate or decelerate the rot but unless something BIG happens (violent revolution or grace-filled Christian revival) things will continue on a downward spiral. And I do see a downward spiral but I agree that we should go about our business living our lives in Christ.

  100. Michael says:

    Rot is in the eye of the beholder.
    As long as we think the rot on our side is less than the rot on the other, we’re all riding a bobsled to hell.
    The election will only accelerate one set of rot…while the other side waits it’s turn.

    Yes, we are in dire straits…my God, we are in dire straits.

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia,
    I just went on a 1,500 mile 4 day road trip to visit family and friends in Northern CA (Sacramento, Davis and Napa). You don’t get much different culturally and politically than my home in NW Arizona and NorCal – and my family are lifelong Jewish liberals.

    Now, we don’t jump across the Thanksgiving table at each other like we used to, but we do get some conversation going. just like in the 70s, 80s etc, the conversation still ends up in the same place “the country is going to hell in a handbasket” – we just differ which political party is at fault. 😉

    In the end it was a pleasant trip – the hotel people were nice, the gas station people were glad I was buying their stuff – didn’t run in to anyone in person with a scowl on their face or a chip on their shoulder — I think you only see that with politicians and TV news people.

  102. Em says:

    For the record
    The Proud Boys are patriotic Latinos – or so I’ve been told
    Pretty much agreeing with Xenia’s 9:49.

  103. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Now Covid has people down but it will go away. Visiting my mom who lives alone at 93, she gets down because not many will come visit her. But she asked me while I was up there “do you think we will ever get back to normal?”
    I assured her we would – the Spanish flu killed 500,000 and our population at the time was 1/4th what it is today – we were just coming out of WWI and what followed? – the roaring 20s. I told her we by the grace of God will do the same.

    We are having tough times – we are not in dire straits (although they had the best music of the day) 😉

  104. Michael says:

    We survived the flu and the great wars because the institutions that held us together remained intact and trusted.
    That…is no longer the case.
    I am now convinced that all historical comparisons to the present time are irrelevant because of the internet and social media…

  105. Xenia says:

    Hi MLD,

    Actually, I find everyone I come across to be very nice as well.

    My husband and I are involved with universities and let me tell you, if you don’t buy the Wokester line of BS, they are most certainly NOT nice. I think the same is true for those who work for many companies.

    I don’t believe in spreading hysteria but I do believe in being prepared, both spiritually (church, prayers, etc) and physically (stock up on supplies and get in the best physical shape you can). This is good advice no matter what you believe about politics.

  106. Xenia says:

    I have never been one to buy into conspiracy theories. For example, I thought the Y2K hysteria was silly. Same for a lot of things that have come and gone over the years, largely because I never saw any evidence of them in my own life. But I do see evidence of what I will call Malignant Wokesterism every day here in California.

  107. Michael says:

    I find much of what amounts to being “woke” as inaccurate, annoying, and occasionally idiotic.
    Much of it flies in the face of biblical standards and ethics.
    It won’t be overcome by another system that also flies in the face of biblical ethics.
    In fact, much of it is a result of the failure of the sane to address real problems and issues with the care they deserved.
    Woeness is unsustainable because it is based on too many falsehoods and the ways we were created.
    The only thing that can sustain it is the reactions it’s getting without viable solutions.

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wholeness can only last for a period – then it becomes the establishment and will be rendered ineffective by the next new thought. I am sure in my time of social alertnest, the 60s to the present, we have gone through a half dozen ‘establishment’ changes.

  109. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wholesomeness should read wokeness

  110. Xenia says:

    If you find yourself in a situation, such as job, school or church, where something that is false is being promoted as if it were true and you are afraid to speak the truth for fear of losing your job or position at church or whatever, you are the victim of Malignant Wokesterism and I do not believe this is a trivial problem.

    The solution is for Christians to live out their lives in Christ as genuine Christians.

  111. Michael says:

    In 2002 I landed a plum job with Wells Fargo.
    My first official orientation began with a video featuring a gay couple who were Wells Fargo employees lecturing us on diversity before we even signed our W2’s.
    2002
    This wasn’t the work of academic radicals, but one of the largest. most conservative banks in the country.
    Anyone who thinks any current political figure is going to change the direction of this has been taken in by a false narrative.
    This is all about money…

  112. bob sweat says:

    MLD

    You were in Sacramento and didn’t let me know? I would have bought you lunch.

  113. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob, I thought you left Auburn and went back to Oregon. Next time.

  114. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, but WF wasn’t telling you to be gay or enter a gay marriage – it was just telling you how to act at work – just as if they were dictating the dress code and told you to wear shoes.

  115. Michael says:

    MLD,

    They were telling me how to think about such matters…and rewarded those who complied.

  116. Xenia says:

    What Michael is describing is a perfect example of Malignant Wokesterism.

    He had to agree to accept the homosexual agenda lie if he wanted to have the job.

    Michael, even though he is a good Christian, watched without objection because he had a family that needed someone with an income. I don’t blame him. I would have done the same. Who among us has the luxury to turn down a job for the sake of a stupid video? You have to choose your battles carefully.

    That was 2002. The problem has grown immeasurably since then. The day is coming when it will invade every aspect of our lives with few exceptions. Do I think electing Trump will stop this? No, but it might slow it down a little. A few more people might be able to get a job without accepting the lie. Trump, of course, comes with his own version of the lie but one that will end in four years or less.

    Anyway, I’ve probably said all I need to say on this subject. Over here we have made our plans, which I have listed here several times. These plans of ours are beneficial even if I’m wrong about things.

    Again, I want to emphasize that I don’t think Christians who are voting for the Dems are bad Christians. Their consciences have caused them choose the good things the Dems offer and to overlook the bad; my conscience has done likewise with the Repubs . Love one another and think the best of the other Christian’s position as long as possible. It may not always be possible but do the best you can.

  117. Duane Arnold says:

    “Wokeness” It’s not always bad. The admission of women into various professions on an equal basis was once considered radical (RBG was one of nine women in a class of 500) now women are the majority in law schools nationwide. Equal pay for equal work was another “radical” idea. Then there’s the “radical” idea of racial equality in employment, voting rights, housing, etc. Sometimes we need issues put before us. Just to say, change in our attitudes and actions is not always an enemy.

  118. Xenia says:

    Duane, that is why I add the “malignant” qualifier. Some attitudes should be challenged as long changes comport well with Christianity and doesn’t require doublethink, no problemo.

  119. Xenia says:

    *as long as the changes.

    Sorry for the word salad.

  120. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    As you know, for the southern states, the civil rights movement was considered “malignant” even in many of the churches…

  121. Xenia says:

    Well Duane, it appears that you are in a frame of mind to bicker with everything I say these days so I will go do something else for a while.

    God bless,
    Xenia

  122. bob1 says:

    “as long as changes comport well with Christianity and doesn’t require doublethink, no problemo.

    IMHO, I think this is rather naive. For one thing, we’re not a Christian country — never have been, never will be. Living in a situation where Xnity is a minority — well, what else is new? Have you read about the situation in the early church? As Tom Wright has said, everybody then
    (except Xns) was having sex with everyone else. It was probably more pagan than we are.

    The only other option, at least as I see it, is to become neo-Amish. I believe there are better ways. Like, as some have said on here, being an extension of the Incarnation and make a difference. I get really tired of people on the hard right (and left) acting like they’re helpless. Maybe that works for you. It doesn’t for me.

  123. Xenia says:

    bob1, I don’t believe I have come across as helpless. I believe there’s a problem that impacts the Christian minority in this country (didn’t say persecution) and I’ve offered some ideas to help us get through this with our Christian morality/heart/brain/conscience intact.

    I don’t know about you but having a plan makes me feel invigorated! Grrrrrr!!!!

  124. Jean says:

    I can assure everyone that gayness is not communicable and working alongside, for or over one, or selling to or buying from one, will not compromise your Christian confession.

  125. bob1 says:

    Well, I understand what you mean about having a plan — sort of — I’m the least organized person around.

    I guess we just have different plans.

  126. Xenia says:

    Also, I have known over the years plenty of families, mostly home school families, that aren’t neo-Amish but live wholesome, God-centered lives. They have said “no” to the parts of the culture that conflict with Christianity, as far as possible living in, as bob1 says, a non-Christian, or rather, post-Christian, culture. It can be done without wearing a bonnet and driving a buggy. 🙂

  127. Xenia says:

    Jean, being polite, cordial, amiable, etc. to co-workers is what we are supposed to do as Christians. That is not what I am talking about.

  128. bob1 says:

    We homeschooled our kids. The homeschooling community is far from uniform — in fact, kinda like herding cats. 🙂

    We knew Xn homeschoolers who fit your description, for sure. But we steered our kids away from that.. They were basically living in a homeschooling/Xn ghetto. Never wanted that for our kids. Not good for ’em in the long run, And they’ve turned out just fine. Some of ’em, also, were kinda weird.

    I think sometimes we get hung up on externals. What matters more is what’s going on inside.
    You can live in a Xn ghetto in the middle of San Fran if you’re so disposed.

  129. Em says:

    Jean does have a point as we do commerce with unbelievers everyday. That said, IF we have acceptance anf affirmation forced down our throat, then as has been noted, it is time to STAND for the faith, no matter the cost. In some parts of the world, you will die today, IF you stand…..
    BTW
    Am i the only one wondering if the drought, wind, fires and earthquakes hitting CA. are more than coincidence….?

  130. Xenia says:

    bob1, I used to be the director of a large homeschool support group and I have seen some bad stuff, believe me.

  131. Xenia says:

    Rather than call a tightly knit group of Christians a ghetto, I would rather call it a community of like-minded believers.

  132. Jean says:

    I’m not against home schooling at all, but what bob1 may have been referring to is the lack of socialization seen in some home schooled kids, which then holds them back later in life.

  133. bob1 says:

    Yeah.

    But I’ve seen way too many of these types of Xns deliberately wall themselves off from any “secular” ideas or influences. I believe we’re call to exercise our Xn worldview in such situations. How can we be salt and light, then?

    They also forget, IMHO, that God has made us social creatures.

  134. Em says:

    One of my daughters homeschooled. They overcame the lack of socialization by attending a rather large multiracial church….
    All 5 seem to have turned out fine – daughter headed for med school, one son a corporate player, another works with his hands as an installer of heating and cooling systems, another is an aircraft assembler (prayer appreciated as Boeing moves his job to Carolina) and one son, the smart one, seems to follow his own drum beat. Takes after his fathers side of the family – the Lutherans LOL
    God keeo

  135. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Not bickering… just pointing out the obvious.

  136. Muff Potter says:

    Michael, for the life of me I cannot understand, nor do I get why fundagelicals adamantly support Donald Trump.
    I’ve never seen such devotion to a president, not even during the Reagan years.

  137. Michael says:

    Muff,

    I don’t try to figure it out anymore beyond what I already wrote.
    It’s not going to end well…

  138. I was in a typical small group late 2015. A standard Republican Conservative conversation was in the background.
    Meanwhile..Elswhere…..The Syrian War was still ongoing and Rebel groups had yet to collapse.
    Back in the small group, there was the usual statements.
    ..I like what…has to say about..
    ..I’m sorta leaning towards…not sure about Cruz..
    The host turned to me and asked me my preferred candidate and for my input.

    I said Trump is a truck bomb. I doubted the host grasped the concept of attacking a heavily fortified defense works. 10k-15k lbs of explosive is likely to clear an entry path, and the overpressure will leave the defenders struggling to respond. It’s really a matter of minimum blast radius when destination occurs.

    Christian don’t see things the way I do.

  139. Em says:

    Thank you, Michael for the Wikimedia link… Seems to be some conflicting info out there… Not sure about the white supremacist claim, but all extreme organizations (the Church excepted) are not good for an orderly societal structure

  140. Em says:

    Nathan, Christians do not all see things alike by any means…🙆
    God keep

  141. We definitely do not Em.
    I left the Reservation a bit.

  142. Em says:

    trump is a truck bomb…? is that good or bad, Nathan…

  143. That is an incredibly difficult question to answer. It’s entirely relative.

  144. Jean says:

    If in fact the President has contracted Covid-19, I hope and pray for his speedy recovery and for mild symptoms, if any.

    For those of us who listen to our national health care professionals, we are not surprised by this diagnosis, as the transmissibility of the disease is well known, as are the prevention steps.

    If anything good could come out of this diagnosis, my hope is that the President will develop some empathy for the nation and focus his remaining presidency serving all Americans, protecting the American people, both bodily and economically, listening to the dedicated men and women who are experts in dealing with epidemics and pandemics.

  145. Dan from Georgia says:

    Very appropriate response Jean.

  1. September 29, 2020

    […] ignore that behavior. This blog would encourage you to read Michael Newham’s post in, “Things I Think…” And if you don’t read Phoenix Preacher make sure you add that to your reading […]

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