Things I Think

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48 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    Whenever you happen to see this, it appears that thought #8 wasn’t written out fully or correctly.

    Other than that, it’s a good and needed list of thoughts.

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks Kevin…writing in a hurry…

  3. Kevin H says:

    Also, I repent of my comment last week where I said the combined powers of Captain America, Jerry Lee Lewis, J.I. Packer, and Miss Kitty would be of no match to Thanos. I am sorry to incite strife upon you. 🙂

  4. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I have it from sources that the Avengers and Miss Kitty are going to “stop the steal”…

  5. Kevin H says:

    Well, they better hurry up. Time is running out. Unless of course they employ a time heist and go back and defeat all those evil officials and poll workers before they can commit the steal.

  6. DavidM says:

    Michael, thank you for continuing to be a voice of clarity and reason in the midst of this ugly, convoluted disgrace. Your call to Christians is needed. Those Christians caught up in it all will someday, I hope, look back with shame and regret, and I hope repentance, for dishonoring Jesus with their actions and words.

  7. Michael says:

    DavidM,

    Thank you.
    To be honest, I’m really struggling with how to respond to so much of this.
    Our hearts have to be for reconciliation…but I’m not sure how to facilitate that.
    More than anything, I’m just really tired.
    You’re much appreciated, my friend.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “When Peter spoke of living as exiles, I didn’t understand that it might mean being outside both church and country…”

    Yes, and the exile might be longer than any of us might imagine…

  9. Linn says:

    10! All I could think of reading through the comments yesterday was that, we need to be civically minded and participate, but not replace Jesus with our party or candidate of choice. That’s idolatry.

  10. Nathan Priddis says:

    The Capital assault failed for lack of a good soundtrack. Just recall what Redbone did for Guardians of the Galaxy. That beat made the difference of whether the Universe was saved or not.

    And Dudes! Who was supposed to grab the Ballots?
    Montey Python…The Grail.
    Guardians…The Orb.
    But who forgot to grab the Ballots?

  11. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    It is hard to know how to try to bring about reconciliation in our current environment. We must continue speaking truth, but for reconciliation to take place, there must be some admittance of wrongdoing or at least being complicit to the wrongdoing. When people, no matter what side of the political aisle, decide to instead double down in their insistence that wrongdoing is not actually wrongdoing despite the plethora of evidence that says that it is, and they continue to focus only on what they perceive to be the wrongdoing of those they have branded as enemies, it makes it pretty much impossible for reconciliation to occur.

  12. Em says:

    Michael, i apologize for any angst i have caused here and will not post any more Trumpist opines…
    God keep

  13. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I get that.
    It just really bothers me that people I’ve known for years will read this piece and they may never speak to me again.
    By the same token, I get furious when people I care about are terrified by propaganda and lies.
    I just keep reminding myself that with Jesus all things are possible…

  14. Michael says:

    Em,

    You weren’t on my radar…and you’re free to speak what you believe.

  15. Michael says:

    I’m running way behind…back later.

  16. prodinov says:

    You will always have a living legacy surrounding “The Gospel According to Cats” . Profound. With the pandemic, my 2 children have begged for a cat. We got one this week at the shelter. The “Gospel” in 2 days has already spoken to my children. Cat-2 years old. Abused. Fearful. Speaking softly, my girl spent hours whispering love languages to the cat. While my girl invited the cat to reach out, it did purring. Meanwhile, the claw grabbed her and swiped it claws to hold on to her. Hurting…she remembered your wonderful story of the little boy and how he expressed the cat was only trying to hold hands using only what it knew. I could spend decades trying to teach my children scripture, but it is these moments as you have expressed that teach “the good news”. Thx Michael.

  17. josh hamrick says:

    I’m furious about everything and at everyone. That can’t be good.

  18. Jean says:

    Josh,

    It’s very frustrating when someone you’re talking to claims to have facts based on secret knowledge.

    I’ve noticed on social media in my tribe that some theologians have all of a sudden become experts in constitutional law and anti-trust law. It seems that the breadth of a seminary education is getting broader all the time.

  19. filbertz says:

    I don’t think I’ve had ten coherent thoughts in a week. Thanks for thinking.

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    I missed those courses at CTS. 😂

  21. Em says:

    Prodinov, this Believer thinks God created the animals to teach us…. both good and bad
    My favorite vet, Dr. Jan Pol (TV), says repeatedly that children should have the responsibility of animal care as youngsters….
    Raising mine, dogs, German Shepherds, were the critter of choice… never faced a dog aggression problem and our vet at the time opinionated that the owners are responsible for most problem dogs… horses and cats, too i think… Parakeets and canaries? Dunno

  22. josh hamrick says:

    Correct Jean. My little church is being swallowed by the great conspiracy theory. Just read this, flipped to fb and saw one of my members claim Pelosi is now in Gitmo.

    He’s one of the more reasonable ones.

  23. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em, wife and I have two dogs, and 4 ‘keets!

  24. DH says:

    I like to get my facts from unnamed sources or even better from an unnamed source of an unnamed source.

  25. Em says:

    Dan, my grandmother had a parakeet – it loved her, but tried to sink its little beak into the rest of us…. mean keet? LOL

    I am another of the fans here of Michael’s lessons from his cats… I don’t enjoy cats in the house, but outdoors in garages and barns they are cute little cuddlers… love the Smokie stories
    If i ever had another dog (i won’t), i think it would be a Yorkie

  26. Dan from Georgia says:

    We also had canaries and other assorted birds before. My wife is the bird fan. One of our birds tried to kill another one that it shared a cage with.

    I’m allergic to cats, but not cat stories. Keep ’em coming Michael!

  27. bob1 says:

    Peter Manseau, the Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is collecting tweets documenting the use of religious rhetoric at the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Read them or share your own at #capitolsiegereligion.

    https://thewayofimprovement.com/

  28. Mike E. says:

    Michael, I am praying for your health issues. I understand because I have health issues of my own that have been greatly exacerbated by the events of last week. I already had a lot of stress because my daughter and her whole family had Covid. Thank God they seem to be on the other side of it now. I’ve thought about it and I have determined that serving in my community will be the best way for me to deal with my own struggle. I think it will be much better than trying to convince “friends” of political points on social media. Probably won’t stop doing that LOL. But I will be serving at our local VA medical center. It occurs to me that many of the veterans I will be serving will be hardcore rightists. And I think that Jesus would have it no other way. Blessings to all my phoenix preacher brothers and sisters. Those I agree with and those I disagree with.

  29. pstrmike says:

    “’When Peter spoke of living as exiles, I didn’t understand that it might mean being outside both church and country…’
    Yes, and the exile might be longer than any of us might imagine…”

    Possibly exceeding our lifetime. A lot happens in 70 years. . .

  30. Dan from Georgia says:

    Blessings Mike E! I think you have the right idea…serving…not only to be Jesus, but also to occupy our minds and hearts with something more eternal.

  31. parker says:

    Michael,
    ALL of what you said needed to be said. Thanks for your voice. I’m sure you are appreciated by many (others, maybe not so much). Please keep on keepin’ on. It may someday get through to one or two people (That’s right, I don’t have much hope for my fellow Americans). Trump may have only built 30 miles of new border wall (reality), but one of his great successes is that he has built a great wall between us Americans.

  32. JimmieT says:

    Michael- Thanks for your points! However with point # 3 there is no human way to know if the rapture is imminent or not. Personal note: Get some much deserved rest!

  33. JimmieT says:

    Michael- I would like to give a softer and more respectful response regarding point #3: I personally don’t believe there is any human way to know if the Rapture is imminent or not.

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    pstrmike

    God said he would bring back his people out of exile in Babylon… he never said when. 70 years must have seemed long…

  35. Jean says:

    Thought #1:

    When if Christians would insist on publicly available evidence before spreading any theory or “news” whatsoever?

    This help a lot and would be a bar so low that no one could Limbo beneath it.

  36. Eric says:

    People in my church have been sharing a flood of lies in recent months, which has caused me to reflect on the problem at length.

    I think of James 3:10-11. Out of the same mouth come priase and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

    Obviously they do not believe them to be lies. They think they are always sharing truth, whether they are posting bible verses or another piece of evidence that vaccines are deadly. (Some things shared are not only false, which they don’t know, but mocking of people, so they should know better)

    We talk about money laundering – actions to hide illegal activity that gained money. This morning I thought of the idea of info laundering. I’m not the first to think of it. There are people out there originating the lies and starting their spread, while honest people like my friends continue to spread them.

    I haven’t argued at length with my friends, but I have wondered how to. Sometimes I have given a short reply. Regarding the election, they have shared lots of different suggestions of impropriety in the election process: voter eligibility, counting machines, changes in cumulative totals, alleged mathematical indications of cheating. But never a coherent complete summary of what happened in what state, ready to receive rebuttals – just a series of drive-bys. Of course the one place where allegations needed to be properly stated and defended was in court – and we know about the results there.

    Similarly, my friends have shared items to the effect that: Covid is a hoax, it was concocted by the Chinese, it isn’t that bad, only 0.1% of people die of it, masks don’t work, those wearing masks are fearful or sheep, those getting tested likewise, Democrats just want to shut down the economy, vaccines don’t work, vaccines are dangerous, WHO aren’t to be trusted, vaccines are part of a plot to bring in NWO. No coherent narrative except the mega-conspiracy.

    It is hard enough to organise a surprise party, let alone a conspiracy involving multiple governments, parties that fight tooth & nail to gain power, multiple research institutions & vaccine manufacturers, multiple media outlets. I will readily admit a leftward bias in much of the media. I will readily admit suspicion of anything from the Chinese govt and I assumed that Russia had cut corners with their vaccine. I cannot assume that large numbers of reporters, scientists and doctors will act dishonestly without one of them blowing the whistle.

    But I guess I’m still a conspiracy theorist – I believe there are plenty of bad guys out there spreading lies that get spread all over the world. I don’t even know what their motivation is. I grew up with the notion that the establishment was often evil, but now I’ll trust material with names & orgs listed over something from some guy in the shadows.

  37. Eric says:

    Further thoughts:

    I’m not even in the US so it seems stupid that my friends are sharing so much US-specific stuff – and that I am getting riled by it.

    I agree with much of the censorship on YT, Fb, Twitter but I think the battle against Parler has gone too far and encourages a feeling that the establishment is just like Big Brother of 1984.

  38. Jean says:

    Eric,

    It’s amazing that when it comes to biblical laws on sexual immorality, the church is all over it. But, when it comes to the laws against bearing false witness and gossip, many churches are not only silent but part of the problem.

    In my profession, one thing that has disciplined me over the years is the fear of self-impeaching my credibility. I don’t know today if most people even care about the long term impact of the things they say on their credibility in the eyes of others.

  39. Dan from Georgia says:

    I am a natural-born, lifelong skeptic. When I was in grade school, a catalog was passed around and we could order a book from it. I wanted to order a book, forgive me since this was over 40 years ago, on fallacies and skepticism. Seriously. My mom changed my order to a Charlie Brown book. Maybe for my age that was best.

    Anyways. The Bereans. Scripture-searchers they were. We should aspire to look for what’s true. And to echo Jean and other’s here, our credibility is at stake. My wife has a friend that thinks bigfoot is real (among other false beliefs). I can almost guarantee Youtube and lack of critical thinking has something to do with her belief.

  40. Dan from Georgia says:

    And just so there is no misunderstanding here, I was one of those who propagated the myth of Madeline Murray O’Hare trying to get Christian broadcasting off TV. We all have to learn sooner or later.

  41. Linn says:

    Churches will pronounce as “gossip” anything they feel throws the leadership in a negative light, even if it is true and confirmed by many witnesses. So was my experience with a serial adulterer pastor in a church years ago. I asked a couple of pastors in our denomination about the situation (the church totally fell apart), and I was told to stop gossiping. I was heartbroken over what had happened to my church, by the way. They seem to prefer to believe lies about political leaders.

  42. Jean says:

    Dan,

    Not to brag or anything, but my skepticism is what brought me to Lutheranism. I flirted with evangelicalism, but noticed that what many of them simply took for granted, I couldn’t find anywhere in the Bible. Ultimately, I had to find a place where the Bible is not a puzzle or a metaphor.

    It’s actually a scary thing for me to realize that I may believe things to be real or in a text, but they are not really there. So, I have become the biggest skeptic of myself. I refuse to teach or pass on a Biblical truth, unless I can find it explicitly in the text. Further, I need to read broadly, typically ancient interpreters, for possible interpretations that may escape my modern eyes.

    I also have a much lower view of human anthropology and the quest for sanctification as a moral endeavor. I think we sin because we like to. How does God rid us of the desires?

  43. Dan from Georgia says:

    Jean,

    The body of Christ needs more people like you. As an (possibly close to being an ex-) evangelical, I have noticed this also…this grabbing onto the latest spiritual fad or “thing”…anywhere from “doing life together” to “the Prayer of Jabez”.

  44. Jean says:

    Dan,

    I’ve read through the Bible many times and I confess I had to Google “the prayer of Jabez.” Where have I been?

    I imagine that the same churches that teach that prayer likely ignore the Lord’s Prayer?

  45. Dan from Georgia says:

    Lol! You weren’t missing a lot. Basically the book was how we could get things and expand our territory, so to speak…very self-focused. Hank Hannegraff wrote a book in response called “The Prayer of Jesus”.

  46. The New Victor says:

    The Prayer of Jabez seemed like the Christian version of The Secret.

    Let’s hope we all get through Jan 20th…

    I’m still seeing the emotional contagion of “save our kids” on social media trending again, tying it to politicians and perceived elites. *sigh* Bohemian Grove is so 80s…

  47. Nathan Priddis says:

    Sorta makes you long for the good old days. Back when the latest doctrinal fad was harmless pulp, like prayer of Jabez. Or, the Left Behind series.

    The Anti-Christ was some character in a taylored European suit. You did actualy have the urge to stock up on ammo.

  48. ruben ilagan says:

    As Christians politics should never have been our domain, we are citizens of a different country. The church has forgotten this..I keep thinking of the warnings to the churches at the beginning of Revelations..

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