Things I Think…

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222 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Absolutely AMEN to every item here! I found it odd that John Piper spent YEARS preaching from Romans, but at least he is preaching the text (nevermind anyone’s personal opinion of Piper).

    Keep politics out of the pulpit indeed!

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, Dan!

  3. DavidH says:

    “Keep politics out of the pulpit”. Absolutely right. Hibbs has no idea what he’s talking about. I fail to understand how people believe he is an expert on global politics.

  4. Wendi says:

    When I first opened today’s blog on my phone, the video didn’t show, but from your thoughts, I KNEW it had to be Jack Hobbs. I have many in my family and friend circles who love him and think he’s the only one telling the”truth”. I’ve never been a fan.

  5. Wendi says:

    “Hibbs”

  6. Kevin H says:

    I posted about this video a little earlier today on Facebook.

    This is an absolute disgrace and a complete dereliction of pastoral duty. But it draws crowds and tickles the people’s ears. Just look at their applause as Hibbs reaches his crescendo.

    If God’s wrath really is on America as Hibbs proclaims, the irony is it probably has far more to do with what hucksters like Hibbs are doing in the pulpit than it does with any directions Joe Biden gave on evacuating Afghanistan.

  7. Kevin H says:

    The funniest (or saddest) irony is that Hibbs wasn’t even factually correct in what he was saying. The President of the United States by law can not be court martialed. So not only was Hibbs forsaking the responsibilities of his pastoral vocation, but he couldn’t even get his story right when doing so.

  8. Michael says:

    Wendi,

    He’s wildly popular now…he learned how to grow a cash crop…

  9. Dave Lindsay says:

    Michael:

    #6 says it all! – Amen!

  10. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I sat on this for a couple of days…because I knew what the responses would be and it didn’t seem worth the grief.
    You, on the other hand, are a glutton for punishment. 🙂
    Much respect to you for being so…

  11. Michael says:

    Dave,

    Amen , indeed…thank you.

  12. pstrmike says:

    The stupidity and associated spin doctoring astounds me……. one feeding the other.

    I doubt Hibbs ever served a day in uniform, but he does not understand the proper role and relationship that the president has as the commander-in-chief. Nor does he understand the purpose and use of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

    And the crowd applauds……………………….smh

  13. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    Worse yet, he doesn’t understand the his own job…

  14. Linn says:

    i lost a nephew in the Iraq war in 2007. My other nephew, who did three tours of duty in Afghanistan, lost several of his men and experienced his own injuries. which, although not totally debilitating, have resulted in several surgeries. Both of my nephews knew why they joined the army, but my second nephew realized it was a war we would never win. This “preacher” has no idea what war is, nor how dedicated our soldiers actually are, even when they question the outcomes. My surviving nephew often has said that we left some really good government patterns for Afghans to follow, but the problem was that they didn’t follow them, or couldn’t seem to.

    The speaker also doesn’t seem to remember other messy U.S. episodes of military involvement-Lebanon, Vietnam (I remember watching the Saigon evacuation on the news. That was also a mess)…stuff happens when you are fighting on someone else’s turf. I’m curious if Hibbs has ever done any military service. As for politics from the pulpit, this sermon would have made the Apostle Paul weep…

  15. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Well said…

  16. Alan says:

    Presumably being against a party such as National Socialism —would not break the partisan ban.

  17. Linn says:

    Michael,

    Years ago I had to tell the pastor of the church where I was assigned while I was home on missionary furlough that i would never be able to invite my family to a service because of his constant railings against evil politicians (all Democrats, of course). He actually cleaned up his sermons after that.

  18. Michael says:

    Alan,

    The last time I checked the Nazis weren’t on the ballot.
    So…let’s clarify some things.
    When we can speak to “political” issues from a biblical perspective with proper exegesis (as the Confessing Church in Germany did) that is prophetic preaching and the pulpit could use a few more prophets.
    When the pulpit is simply used as a means for temporal power and concedes place to partisan politics (as a lot of the German evangelical church did, necessitating the Confessing Church) that is an abuse of church and office.

  19. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Good on you for speaking up.
    Both political parties are godless…just in different areas.

  20. Linn says:

    Michael,

    I agree. I am lean more towards independent.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Good list…

    “The right way to requite evil, according to Jesus, is not to resist it. This saying of Christ removes the Church from the sphere of politics and law. The Church is not to be a national community like the old Israel, but a community of believers without political or national ties. The old Israel had been both — the chosen people of God and a national community, and it was therefore his will that they should meet force with force. But with the Church it is different: it has abandoned political and national status, and therefore it must patiently endure aggression. Otherwise evil will be heaped upon evil. Only thus can fellowship be established and maintained. ”

    Bonhoeffer

  22. Michael says:

    Thanks, Duane…and excellent quote to go with it…

  23. Em says:

    #s 6 & 9. 👍 👍 👍 👍

  24. bob1 says:

    I read this one a few years ago…well worth it. Very eye opening and inspiring…

    Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich

    https://www.amazon.com/Preaching-Hitlers-Shadow-Sermons-Resistance/dp/0802869025/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=preaching+in+hitler%27s+shadow&qid=1630529961&sr=8-1

  25. Jean says:

    I listened to the video and conclude:

    If Hibbs expresses the views of the right, then the right must be in favor of a perpetual war in Afghanistan.

    Had we spent another 20 years, trillions of dollars, and thousands of dead and wounded, we still wouldn’t have won, but would have diverted blood and treasure (borrowed from the Chinese) from other more urgent investments and national security challenges.

    Biden made the right decision (IMO) to fulfill the deal signed by the prior administration, the military performed superbly, and our withdrawal was neither a loss nor a surrender.

    There is no sane scenario under which the US could have exited Afghanistan as a victor.

  26. Xenia says:

    I didn’t watch the video because my ability to tolerate these things has reached zero.

    The ONLY thing a pastor should talk about on Sunday morning is the Way of Salvation and how we can live our Lives in Christ.

  27. Em says:

    Jean, i have a daughter that we were sure would be an attorney as it is impossible to sway her thinking….
    Do you really think that our withdrawal from Afghanistan was well executed ? ? ?

  28. Xenia says:

    Evangelical pastors are given too much time to talk. They should only be allowed to speak for 10-15 tops. Give them 45 minutes and they begin to babble foolishness.

  29. Xenia says:

    Here’s the thing about America and her wars: We never fight to win. I don’t think we’ve really given it our best effort since WW2. I suspect this lack of heart is because we know we have no business fighting these wars in the first place.

  30. Jean says:

    “Do you really think that our withdrawal from Afghanistan was well executed ? ? ?”

    Given the cards we were dealt, the urgency of the mission, and the alternatives, yes.

    I have still not heard anyone, even with hindsight, suggest a better plan.

  31. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    When Duane told me the standard Anglican homily is 15-20 minutes I gulped.
    Then I remembered that my favorite teacher of all time spoke less than 15 minutes a program…

  32. Em says:

    Jean, we have Taliban wearing US uniforms and we left an enormous supply of weaponry for them (1000s of pairs of night vision goggles, etc)…
    my suggestion would be to have evacuated our supporters and citizens and our weaponry BEFORE we withdrew…. does that count? ? ?

  33. Em says:

    platitudes = 15 minutes, BUT teaching? give me a solid hour of solid teaching

  34. Dan from Georgia says:

    Xenia (from 2:24pm). I tend to agree. Not sure where most Evangelical pastors got the idea that long 45min talks/sermons should be the rule. I know that some people have short attention spans and some have ADD/etc, and being made to sit for 45min, motionless and quiet, at 1015am Sunday morning, is asking for trouble, let alone pastor’s who think that their pulpit gives them authority to speak on things they have no idea about.

    It’s been said before here:

    Stay in your own lane.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    To be accurate, I think that I said at fifteen minutes we begin to prepare the hook to remove the homilist😁

  36. Michael says:

    Duane,
    I saw it coming toward me more than once… 🙂

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    Gettysburg Address… 3 minutes
    Finest Hour by Churchill… 4 minutes
    Challenger by Reagan… 4 minutes 30 seconds
    I have a Dream by MLK… 14 minutes

    I think it is thoughtfully prepared content that communicates, not length…

  38. bob1 says:

    Did US Leave More Than $80B Worth of Equipment to the Taliban?

    FALSE

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/us-taliban-arsenal-military-equipment/

  39. Jean says:

    “my suggestion would be to have evacuated our supporters and citizens and our weaponry BEFORE we withdrew…. does that count? ? ?”

    No, that doesn’t count as a plan.

    Let’s take the easy one first: our equipment. Actually, the useable equipment belonged to the Afghan military, to whom we gave it. How would we retrieve it?

    Regarding supporters and citizens: First, we are continuing to work for their withdrawal. I’m not aware of any US civilian citizen casualties in connection with the withdrawal. That right there is almost miraculous. We had a certain amount of helpful cooperation from the Taliban, because we shared a mutual interest.

    Had we started an armed operation into Kabul, a city of 4+ million, and suspended the withdrawal, what would have been the result? How many more troops would we have needed on the ground?

    Could the Taliban easily close the airport and halt the only route out?

    Could we find all the Americans? Why do you suppose we didn’t bring them out before the end of the month?

    What would the casualties, civilian and military, from a shooting war with the Taliban have been? We would be talking about urban close quarter combat.

    These are some of the calculations our best in class military and intelligence agencies had to make. Until the matter is investigated in detail, who in America is in a position to second guess them with any actual knowledge of all of the intelligence and facts on the ground?

  40. Em says:

    Jean! It doesn’t count as a plan? ? ? Oookaaay…..

  41. Em says:

    If the brass had asked the boots on the groud, ours, they never would have handed over the equipment in the first place
    Bagram is the last place we should have vacated….. if at all

  42. Em says:

    Enough talk on infidels! ! !
    Oh Lord! Thy Kingdom come – Thy will be done….
    Tomorrow would be a good day for that ….. IMHO. 🙏

  43. Alan says:

    Michael @12:51

    Many evangelicals have no notion of this distinction — they do know that the culture is disintegrating before their eyes and they not those disintegrating things are being demonized. Until we speak something that makes sense to them this merry go round continues.

  44. Jean says:

    What would Bagram have done for us in connection with the withdrawal?

  45. Michael says:

    Alan,

    What will make sense to people who listen to these preachers and untold conspiracy theories?
    I’m all ears if you have ideas…

  46. Alan says:

    Michael

    The left had the whole world in the spell of a conspiracy theory about Russia collusion that fell apart like child’s crash car. An actual conspiracy theory that possessed our national discourse. Conspiracy theories are the legacy of 9th century eschatology and the actual conspiracies that engulfed the 20th century. We’re stuck with them.

    What people don’t have is kingdom theology that works in civic affairs.

    The American experiment of liberal democracy with a free church remains the best option but we don’t even teach the beauty of it in our education system.

  47. Xenia says:

    I think one reason the Christian message is rejected, or even scoffed at, is that it is often presented like someone selling used cars. “You don’t want to go to hell? Have I got a deal for you!” And this sounds like foolishness, or a trap, to people who are already used to being the targets of marketers. It almost sounds like an Amway pitch. It doesn’t actually seem to include much Jesus, just human technique.

  48. Michael says:

    Alan,

    In the preceding administration the right yowled about the presidents birth certificate, his wifes gender, and the plans to house dissidents in vacant WalMarts.
    They are still talking about invasions and “open borders”…

    None of this tells me how to communicate better or more clearly.

    I actually am in the process of guiding my godson through the last of his hight school education…and any negative thoughts he may have about the U.S. will come from my footnotes, not his textbooks or lectures…

  49. Michael says:

    I’ll say this out loud…what Jack Hibbs is practicing is not orthodox Christianity, but a heresy with Christian language.

  50. Thatoneguy777 says:

    Some pastor’s congregants…

  51. josh hamrick says:

    Article XVI of the Baptist Faith and Message says:
    It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.

    The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

    If you can find me a Southern Baptist pastor that believes that, I’ll die of shock.

  52. Jean says:

    “The left had the whole world in the spell of a conspiracy theory about Russia collusion that fell apart like child’s crash car.”

    Only if you consider rules of evidence that barred witnesses, imposed by the GOP at the impeachment “fell apart.”

  53. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The question then becomes, “what do they believe?”

    If I were a bit more mystical I would think a great delusion has fallen on both sides…that being that one side is for God and can win the day…

  54. josh hamrick says:

    Apparently they believe that it is the Christian duty to violently take over other nations and occupy them for eternity.

  55. Duane Arnold says:

    “What people don’t have is kingdom theology that works in civic affairs.”

    That is because the City of God and the City of Man are differing entities…

  56. josh hamrick says:

    “the culture is disintegrating before their eyes ”

    What does that mean?

    Was our culture holy and some point, but is just now disintegrating?

    That kind of thought is just mind-boggling to me.

  57. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I almost asked the same question…the answer would be a good place to start.

  58. JB says:

    I spent more than 15 minutes reading this blog post and comments, and another 10 minutes thinking about how to respond. What does it say about me if I can’t handle 30-45 minutes of the gospel being preached Lord’s day? I don’t know about all of you but if my pastor couldn’t effectively preach the word of God for over a half hour I would have to find one who could. God uses means to bring grace to our lives and the primary means is his word rightly preached. What we need more of is men who can preach not hope generators.

    2 Timothy 4:3-4
    [3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, [4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    A very sobering question to ask ourselves is not how long should a preacher preach the gospel but have we accumulated teachers to suit our own passions?

  59. Everstudy says:

    Michael,

    To change the subject, I just listened to one of Phil’s podcasts… Colorado winning the SC? I don’t care what the odds are, I don’t see a Western Conference team beating any of the top 5 in the East.

    I’m a Ducks and Penguins fan, so that would be my dream SC final.

  60. EricL says:

    Not wanting to trust a mere snippet of his speech, I went to listen to the whole thing. Oh boy, I skipped through the music and most announcements. He brought up a Marine recruit in uniform to pray over. The Hibbs started a long list of grievances, starting with anti-vaccine propaganda (dangerous lies there), then telling his followers to vote to recall the governor and who to vote for in his place, then he started the above bit against Biden. He went on to insist no one should be a Democrat and that the last election was fixed. Its about an hour into their “church service” and this is the teaching so far, garnering lots of claps and cheers. So far, he’s mishandled science, history, civics, Constitutional law. 30 minute rant from the pulpit.

    Finally starts in Romans 2 now and doesn’t even flinch as he reads “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” Sigh… Sermon went on for another 30 minutes, but I couldn’t endure it all.

  61. Michael says:

    Everstudy,

    I’m glad you’re listening…as a Kings fan, I don’t relish my own predictions…we’ll get deeper in those weeds shortly.

  62. Muff Potter says:

    Hibbs is quite the rabble-rouser.
    Magnetic, angry, sure of his cause, and that God is on his side.
    It’s all been seen before, and it never ends well.

  63. Thatoneguy777 says:

    @JB The thing I find interesting is that churches who take the perspective that “Longer sermons are better,” tend to produce congregants who are legalistic and self-righteous. Worse I have asked one person in my family who attends this type of church a simple question – “How did Jesus restore Peter?” Despite 20 or so years under that type of teaching; my family member had no immediate answer to that question and lamely attempted to “look it up” and then gave up. Longer sermons don’t automatically make better or healthier followers of Jesus. Our walk with God isn’t input/output. It’s a relationship. Early Christians had no Bible. No Church building. They did have home fellowship groups where the leader likely didn’t know much scripture if any. Yet they had a more vibrant relationship with Christ than many who claim to follow him today.

  64. CM says:

    What Em fails to release is that the US forces were drastically drawn down even before Biden was inaugurated (Gee whose idea was that? The same one Em voted for in 2020, and the one who cut the deal with the Taliban WITHOUT including the Afghan government to begin with).

  65. Alan says:

    Duane

    So you’re suggesting that the kingdom is either not here or not applicable to the city of man — flesh that out — you make appeals about how to live constantly.

    Don’t just flush discussion by that Augustinian slogan

  66. Derek says:

    Biden voters on here trying to move the big L in Afghanistan onto Trump. Trump bears some responsibility, but at least he recognized the futility of that war. Trump wasn’t CiC when it went pear shaped though. Our mentally challenged present leader is.
    Court martial is ridiculous though. The 25th Amendment is around to take care of President’s that are incapacitated like Biden. Biden has some bad qualities that we all have seen the videos of, but who can blame him totally because everyone that voted for him knew he wasn’t all there before it the election.

  67. Alan says:

    Hamrick

    “That kind of thought is just mind-boggling to me.”

    Disintegrating marriage, gender, sexual mores, personal identities, common language, on and on is incoherent to you

    It is not incoherent to families, schools, government

    We have less and less in common

    I am not referencing utopia I am referencing western civilization

    You do know what I mean.

  68. Alan says:

    For crying out loud — public servants can’t even say “women exist” without risk

    In government institutions breast feeding has morphed into chest feeding

    These are real things

    The totalitarians are already here.

    The city of man is headed for one more actual apocalypse — doubtless not the last.

    God will continue to put us through the grinder of our own making — we shall not be raptured.

    The “mind boggling” is going to flow in rivers of blood

  69. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD. You are running off the rails. Agitated over chest feeding, public officials, Afghanistan.

    Western Civilization? Did God tell you to worry about the West? It’s not going anywhere. God made it, set it on tectonic plates, and established the boundaries of the nations.

    Worries about families? Why? God commanded thorns, sweaty brows, women bring forth children in sorrow, reaching out to husbands, but the husband’s rule over them instead and they all end up in the dust of the Earth. Worry not. Nothing has changed.

    Duane is correct. As it is written….
    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”..

    That’s two separate Worlds. One of those Worlds, Heaven, is plural.

  70. Michael says:

    Alan,

    I could embrace your angst more tightly if you were as concerned about the totalitarians on the right as much as the freaks on the left.
    As it stands right now, my impression is that you are unafraid of right wing totalitarianism as its alleged moral values line up with tradition…at least in speech.

    The standard cliche that I would offer is that the Gospel is our hope…except the church has already embraced the extremes on both sides and no sane person would go near such.

    I have no answers save a cleansing of the church…and that’s an act of God,evidently.

  71. Alan says:

    Actually Michael I resist that characterization as I freely rebuke the Trumpist narrative and the Christian nationalism narrative quite often.

    Admittedly I think the evidence is abundant of collectivist left wing totalitarianism….I will not refute it. But your opening assertion is simply not in evidence.

    Priddis

    I am not saying Duane is incorrect I am saying that my reading of how you guys apply Augustine is otherworldly and offers no here and nowness unless it is couched in a Jesus that simply did not exist IMO he was not a social worker.

    And Nathan if you are not worried about families then take up a pastoral charge and watch.

    We don’t neatly live in city of God ghettos … and the City of Man is discipling our children and winning.

  72. CM says:

    Michael (regarding your comment @ 9:11 AM)

    You are so correct.

    The problem is that Alan does not care about the totalitarians on the right, as he probably agrees with them in many ways, so it is OK. And if Alan was a punctual OCD person who insists on everything running to schedule, he would have been happy with Mussolini making the trains run on time.

  73. Michael says:

    Alan,

    I have no desire to mischaracterize you and accept your correction.

    In differing degree and language you and I would both affirm that the kingdom is both come and yet to come…why is the social and personal change that a present kingdom would have not in evidence?

    Why has the church become a breeding ground for idiots?

    What do we do?

  74. Alan says:

    Michael,

    My tribe is over the moon in spawning idiots and I am in agony over it. But we don’t spawn apocalyptic idiots… we spawn presence of the kingdom idiots and have become a petri dish for hucksters and liars.

    I watched the video of Hibbs, I know of nothing like him in my world… his ilk needs confronting… we should not sound like candidates on the stoop.

    It is indeed the presence of the kingdom reality that I am with you in beckoning forward. Don’t know if the American experiment can aid it.

    CM

    Thanks for not talking directly to me and your characterization is uncharitable and unworthy of comment.

  75. Michael says:

    “I watched the video of Hibbs, I know of nothing like him in my world… ”

    In my world it’s the norm…

  76. josh hamrick says:

    I can’t get a comment to post?

  77. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I don’t show anything on the back end…

  78. Em says:

    Very enlightening thread here…. No more wasted comments from Em, but gained a bit of enlightenment – thank you
    FWIW a couple of my kids tell me i am wasting my time here, but perspective is not a time waste….. IMHO

  79. Steve in Canada says:

    Hibbs says “trillions of dollars of treasure”… a Freudian slip about where his heart is?

    As Michael says, “make your own application”

  80. josh hamrick says:

    So wierd. I have tried a few time to post a semi-lengthy response to Alan. Sometimes it sits and does nothing, a couple of times I get a notice that the page is down.

  81. Alan says:

    Josh

    God is protecting me

  82. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Try clearing your cache…or you can send it to me to post for you.
    phoenixpreacher@gmail.com

  83. LInn says:

    I’m coming to this part of the thread a little late, but the way I see things:

    This present world is a mess, on both the left, right, and in the middle (if there is a middle). Christians are not of this world, so we need to learn how to navigate it as “other” while we share our strong hope and faith, while living differently because we love Jesus, in this world.

    The world has never been “right”, albeit that it appears much worse. The way i negotiate is based on the book of Daniel, probably my favorite OT book. Daniel and his friends succeed despite being uprooted from the homeland and culturally hijacked. But, there is a line they refuse to cross, which puts them in danger (lion dens, hot ovens, etc.). Daniel, in particular, always manages to maintain a positive testimony and love for God. So, I use Daniel as my model. There are some lines i refuse to cross; others I know exist, and I may not agree, but I don’t yet have a conviction from God that is the hill I should choose to die on. A few times, I’ve had to choose the hill, and it was difficult, but the right thing to do.

    So, how does that work out for me in real life? My atheist father (89) will ask me questions about the Bible because he has respect for the way I have lived my life. My unbelieving sister knows I’m a good listener and may have a good idea on the rearing of grandchildren because I was able to step in and when she was unable to raise her own and care for her children over a decade. A co-worker recently approached me about a “gender sensitive” training we had, and we had a good conversation. He’s unsure, about all of it, and I shared my Christian beliefs, while reassuring him that i would never reject a gender-questioning child in my classroom.

    Many unbelievers think that Christians just rant and rave about everything. I know that’s not true, but that is all they have seen. I can get upset about terminology, or I can continue to model and speak wisely about two genders. I can say it’s “your fault you died because you didn’t get vaccinated and believed a lie” or I can encourage people to be vaccinated while extending love to them in their time of need. Matthew 28:19-20 says we are called to make DISCIPLES, not restructure governments. Our godly influence may do that, but not always. However, we may be responsible for many faces when God’s heavenly kingdom comes, no matter where you fall on the Last Things Continuum. Daniel never totally changed the governments he served under-they always reverted back to idolatry. But, he affected a lot of individual lives.

    Finally, stuff comes and goes in society. Many of us who post here might have been part of the free love/all the drugs you take movement of the 60s. That isn’t here anymore; in fact, we have more drug laws and all kinds of programs to make people more responsible. If the new Texas abortion law is any indication, that situation may also be changing. There will always be one more social skirmish, but I think we do the right thing, and like Daniel, give a good testimony and save all that energy for the big battles where there is no other option.

    (Sorry for the long post. I’m hope sick for a couple days-doctor’s orders for vertigo-and spent the morning reading carefully through the comments).

  84. Xenia says:

    I think Alan is correct about most of what he is saying here. If I am afraid to say something in public today that I was not afraid to say even ten years ago, there is a totalitarianism at work, even if it’s just the totalitarianism of the populace and not of the government.

    We are not obsessed with homosexuals, transgenders, etc, we are just noting them as very visible markers of the moral decay of our society, and who blames the Taliban for not wanting any part of it. (Of course, I don’t want any part of what the Taliban offers, either.)

    Trump was crazy, Biden is feeble, and we have gotten exactly what we deserve. Yet how many of us will look into our own sinful lives to see how we may have contributed to this? We are not a nation of holy people because holiness is not preached as a worthy goal in most American churches.

  85. josh hamrick says:

    Oh well, wasn’t meant to be. Alan, It was really good 🙂

  86. Michael says:

    Josh’s comment to Alan…

    Alan, I sincerely had no clue what you were talking about. Now that you’ve defined it, I am still mind-boggled.

    All those things that you mentioned are products of Western Civilization. This IS who we are. Its not pretty and it never has been. It may have been more suitable to you at some point in the past, but millions found that culture unbearable. The hope for you is that more people will find this iteration of Western Culture as horrid as you do, and then it will change to something that you like better again.

    For most of the things you listed, I share in your distaste. I blame Western Civilization, whereas you seem to imply that Western Civ is the answer.

    My answer is to teach my kids the Way, and to love my neighbors sacrificially. Maybe they will be won through that love, and they will teach their kids and love their neighbors…etc. From the ground up. That’s how Christianity works.

    Yes, the future of our country will be bloody, but so was the past. We pledge allegiance to the land of a people we committed genocide against. That’s a bloody start, and it hasn’t let up. I think maybe you are afraid that this time the blood will drip from people that look like you rather than the “others”, and you are probably right. This civilization will reap the violence that it has sewn since the very start.

    But Jesus. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so for me an my house…

  87. josh hamrick says:

    I need to start sending my controversial statements through Michael more often. I like seeing his name attached more then mine 🙂

  88. Michael says:

    “My answer is to teach my kids the Way, and to love my neighbors sacrificially. Maybe they will be won through that love, and they will teach their kids and love their neighbors…etc. From the ground up. That’s how Christianity works.”

    Our solution is to clone Josh…

  89. alan says:

    Josh

    That is a fine response. I should replace Western Civilization with the Judeo-Christian worldview upon which that civilization was founded but from which it has departed. The adherents will not go silently into the night… the outcome of that might chill us.

    more later

  90. Michael says:

    “We are not a nation of holy people because holiness is not preached as a worthy goal in most American churches.’

    Yep…

  91. LInn says:

    Josh,

    I really like what you had to say about teaching your children the Way. I run into far more Christians who can tell me everything wrong with politics, but who are biblically illiterate. Having been a teacher for so many years, I find that people who truly know their Bibles and how to apply its principles are able to cope much better with the ills of our society, while maintaining a faithful testimony.

  92. Duane Arnold says:

    Alan

    I don’t use Augustine as a slogan… I use him as a guide.

  93. josh hamrick says:

    ” Judeo-Christian worldview upon which that civilization was founded but from which it has departed.”

    Come on man. Do I have to ask…was it Judeo-Christian to murder all the Native Americans, or did we only become Judeo Christian when we kidnapped and owned black people? Seriously! If that is the fruit of Judeo-Christian culture, I want nothing to do with it.

    “The adherents will not go silently into the night… the outcome of that might chill us.”

    Are you implying they are going to kill to protect their way of life? Is that the Judeo Christian worldview you speak of? How can a phrase have Christ in it, but not reflect Jesus at all? That kind of language control is much more offensive to me than chest-feeding. :Chest-feeding” is stupid. A “Christian” culture that kills its enemies is blasphemous.

  94. pstrmike says:

    Josh.
    Your September 1, 2021 at 6:02 pm on Article XVI of the Baptist Faith and Message: I believe that, be resurrected …….. 😉

    #stillwonderingifIshouldhaverejoinedthistribe

    Xenia said, “Trump was crazy, Biden is feeble, and we have gotten exactly what we deserve.”
    True. This whole season is feeling more like a divine shaking…….. It will produce either gospel opportunity or we will watch the collapse, or worse, fall into the abyss ourselves …

  95. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Well said…and praying for your vertigo.
    A family member suffers with that and it’s disabling…

  96. Michael says:

    Josh @ 10:38 …gold.

  97. josh hamrick says:

    I’m so glad to hear that pstrmike, and I forgot that we adopted a good one like you. In fairness, most the SBC boogeymen probably agree with that article – JD Greear, Russ Moore( no longer SBC), you know, the SJW, cultural Marxists of the SBC.

    But the rank and file, at least here in the south, have no clue that article exists, though they agreed to it if they went to a SBC seminary.

  98. Kevin H says:

    I would say that Western Civilization was founded upon many Judeo-Christian ideals, but that we have been very inconsistent in applying them.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – That was the ideal, yet the application of it has been very contradictory at times. If anything, on values like these our culture has actually increasingly gotten better for the most part over the past few hundred years.

    Then you have other traditional Judeo-Christian ideals, most especially sexual mores, that our culture has gotten much worse at, especially in recent times.

  99. Linn says:

    Michael,

    Thanks. I’ts been worse because of my walker. I haven’t been able to get to my classroom without an escort all week (God bless my friends at school), so it seemed like a longer weekend and reset were in order. I am working on some balancing exercises today, and a lot of rest.

  100. josh hamrick says:

    “Yet how many of us will look into our own sinful lives to see how we may have contributed to this? ”

    Xenia – that is the key. Great insight.

  101. Alan says:

    Hamrick

    Actually slaughtering the family is universally human and represented the fall from Ge 4 onward… it is as the Judeo-Christian worldview teaches us a departure from our vocation… that response was weak sauce and hardly represents anything other than recent critiques.d

    Worldview is foundation stones… human sin is that for which the Gospel came… Your response is from the corruptible things like silver and gold from which Christ redeems with his blood.

    Further … our children that you are teaching is the battleground. We have this odd mix in America that we get taxed by the beastly state to educate our children in antichrist ways….

    The public education beast deserves to crash and I will participate in its fall with glee.

    Never have you heard me promote violence… but often you have heard me predict it.

    Like you note in your first half… our foundational worldview has not stopped the bleeding.

    You and I have to do that

    How willingly you believe the worst about me

  102. Michael says:

    The patina of Christianity provided the outlines of a social contract…defining both virtue and shame.
    With that removed, we no longer have an agreed upon set of virtues and shame is a weapon only weirled against those who can actually feel the blow…

  103. josh hamrick says:

    Maybe its “Judeo-Christianity” that I have a problem with. I love Jesus, but all this stuff attached to Judeo-Christianity has been a nightmare.

  104. Michael says:

    Alan,

    When was the last time you had kids in public education?
    I have one in now…and his experience is not what I keep hearing about…

  105. pstrmike says:

    Western Civilization predates Christianity by at least four centuries. It has assimilated many other subcultures and ideas along the way and morphed into what we have today…..

  106. Kevin H says:

    Judeo-Christian was probably the academic term given to define those values/ideals/characteristics that were shared between Jewish and Christian cultures and had become prevalent in adoption by Western Civilization. Rhetorically, the term Judeo-Christian has likely been overused and abused.

  107. josh hamrick says:

    Alan, I honestly didn’t understand much of that last comment, except for the end. Why do you think I believe the worst about you? I don’t see any personal jabs in my posts, only interaction with your words.

  108. Xenia says:

    Hi Kevin,

    “the pursuit of Happiness” is part of the problem. What makes God-fearing people happy and what the godless perceive as happiness are very different. I find happiness in living an unremarkable church and family oriented life with simples pleasures (gardening, etc) that I hope God finds pleasing. Trying to follow the commandments of Christ, even when I fail, gives me happiness, or as I would prefer to say, joy.

    When the majority of the country finds their happiness in self-gratification, materialism and other sinful pursuits, and vote for the candidate (either party) that they believe will pass laws that will make it easier to practice their vices, we will the the government that we have gotten. And to a greater or lesser extent, we have all contributed to this morass.

    I don’t know what the founding fathers meant by “the pursuit of happiness” but I can’t imagine they ever expected it to turn out the way it did. But as we know, the founding fathers were the liberals of their day, not the conservatives we like to pretend they were. The conservatives were the monarchists. Of course, compared to the politicians we have now….

  109. josh hamrick says:

    I have one daughter who just started the second largest public University in North Carolina, and a son in 8th grade, public school. My mom retired as a public school teacher, my wife has taught for nearly 20 years in public school, and my younger sister teachers at a public school.

    Maybe its just NC, but overall the public education system is fantastic. It is a net GOOD. I would call it “left-leaning”, but the good far outweighs the bad.

  110. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Because of how we had to do things, Trey has 4 history classes to finish for his diploma.
    I’ve gone through the textbooks and curriculum…and if anything they lean a little right.
    I lean the other way, so a balance is made… 🙂

  111. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t want him to attend the nearest state university however.
    He’s liable to come home wearing a dress and demanding vegetarian meals for the holidays…

  112. Xenia says:

    At my granddaughter’s high school this week a boy was stabbed to death.

    So what does that have to do with anything we are talking about…

    It was a gang-related killing, I heard. Why do young men join gangs? Could it be related to the disintegration of the family? Did any of these three young men involved come from families where the mother and father were married to each other or is their home life the typical American mess of divorce, re-marrieages, or no marriage at all. Kids don’t have a home life so they join a gang and find a family there, a hellish family, but a family of sorts.

    Why does the church across the street have plenty of funerals but in the 45 years I have lived here I think I only saw evidence of one wedding, and that was decades ago?

  113. josh hamrick says:

    I think those are definitely some of the reasons that gangs flourish. Teenagers desperately want to belong.

  114. Michael says:

    The desire for identity and a tribe lasts a lifetime.
    It has not been easy to guide T through…and we’re not yet to the finish line.

  115. Kevin H says:

    Xenia,

    I would agree that the “pursuit of happiness” isn’t a Christian tenet. In the example I gave, it got lumped in with other ideals which would be considered Christian, such as being created equal and the importance of life. Unfortunately, it does get adopted by many Christians as “Christian” tenet.

    The purpose of my example wasn’t to proclaim that everything in it was explicitly Christian, but rather to point out that it did contain some significant Christian values that were influential in our founding culture, although they were very inconsistently applied.

  116. Michael says:

    This is frustrating as hell.
    This is a good discussion…with folks from different backgrounds and faith traditions.
    Put in a room together, we could settle most of theses issues for the common good.
    What prevents it from being replicated on a national scale?

  117. Xenia says:

    Kevin, I understand. It would have been weird to leave off part of the sentence. But I do think many Americans, including some Christians, have embraced “the pursuit of happiness” bit over everything else.

  118. josh hamrick says:

    I imagine the state schools around Oregon get pretty heavy leftward 🙂 I have been thrilled with UNC Charlotte so far. Of course, the culture of a large college campus is going to be overly “inclusive” so to speak, but there are a variety of groups, freely sharing their views. Now, Its only been two weeks…

  119. Xenia says:

    Josh, I think a lot depends on the student’s major. I also think a lot of the totalitarian bullying will come from dorm-mates rather than professors. But there are a lot of Christians in North Carolina, and your daughter will find her peeps and they will keep each other strong, by your prayers.

  120. Michael says:

    Josh,

    In my opinion, only one of the state schools even provides a real education.
    The one five miles south of me should just be honest and offer a Masters in “whining” to the students…

  121. Em says:

    Kevin H @ 10:49….
    “I would say that Western Civilization was founded upon many Judeo-Christian ideals, but that we have been very inconsistent in applying them.” yep and amen

  122. Em says:

    Xenia @ 11:15
    “Trying to follow the commandments of Christ, even when I fail, gives me happiness, or as I would prefer to say, joy.”
    The joy of the Lord is your strength – good call

  123. Duane Arnold says:

    It is interesting to me that so few modern theologians have addressed the issue of Christianity and Civilization. Francis Schaefer and Os Guiness did a bit early on, but most thought the analysis to be slightly superficial. I think the last major attempt would probably be Emil Brunner’s Gifford Lectures at St. Andrew’s University in the late 40s. He at least tried to answer some questions in light of the cataclysm of WWII…

  124. Jean says:

    Having had two children who both graduated from public Big 10 university, I think what some here probably see as leftist is plain and simply education and science. Professors and professional schools are engaged in scientific research, contributing greatly to technological advancements that humanity benefits from. But conservative Christians do not like where education and science leads. Whether it is research into systemic racism or climate change. Conservative Christians prefer to blame liberals and ignore the evidence. Then you believe crap like “clean coal.” That’s about as credible as the stolen election lie.

    However, if you think that technological advancements, such as vaccines, are designed to harm you, and you would rather listen to someone tell you to treat yourself with a livestock de-wormer, then a public university education is not something for you. Please stay away from a university. Rent an out of service silo somewhere and talk to your friends on you walkie.

    However, if your children want to contribute to the challenges of the 21st Century, including contributing to the sustainability of the Earth as a hospitable planet for human life and flourishing, if they want to help ensure there will be enough food to feed the Earth’s population, if they enjoy wildlife and a wholesome ocean ecosystem, if various regions are going to have enough clean water to drink, if various regions are going to be able to breath air free of human introduced toxins and carcinogens, if you children want to make a decent living lawfully (and not be cheating on their taxes), then by all means send them to a public university for an education. (By the way, if your children don’t want a seat, there are college age kids from all over the world who would give almost anything to come here to get the public university education you don’t want.)

    Some day the conservative Christens will wake up to discover that it was the pagans who God used to preserve and sustain the Christians and America, because the Christians were too ignorant to steward the Earth that God provides to humanity.

    All the technology and social media and medical services, etc. that conservative Christians love to use and exploit are invented and developed by the very people that conservative Christians loath. What a joke.

  125. Xenia says:

    Jean, good job of insulting those who find modern culture to be degenerate and godless.

  126. Jean says:

    I didn’t do that Xenia. Unless one lives a cloistered life (with its own godlessness), one lives in modern culture. One works, shops, plays sports and travels in modern culture. University is where a person goes to gain an employable skill set.

  127. Muff Potter says:

    Michael,
    What prevents it from being replicated on a national scale?
    One word.
    Pink Floyd even made up a song about it.
    Money.

  128. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    What kind of culture do you imagine one experiences at Mar-a-Lago! Who are shunning it, the conservatives or the liberals?

  129. Alan says:

    One part of Christian worldview is the subtlety of evil. We just keep eating that which looks like food.

  130. Alan says:

    Duane

    In other words there’s a rather large void for us to fill.

    Getting us to go for that in this space is a good goal and we’ve both hinted at it.

    Two cities … are they not both present? Are they not engaged in endless tension and interplay?

  131. Jean says:

    Alan,
    I wholly agree with your 1:59pm. However, the solution I suggest is Eph. 5:1-21.

    We are supposed to be in the world but not of the world.

    “but now you are light in the Lord.” Jesus says “You are the light of the world.” When did Christians become timid and afraid? If the world wasn’t darkness, Christ wouldn’t need His little flashlights.

    Do conservative Christians want to put their light under a basket? Have we done such a poor job of catechizing our children that we believe that he who is in the world is greater than He who is in our children?

  132. josh hamrick says:

    To be sure, modern culture is degenerate and Godless. That is clear to me.
    But I can’t hold these Godless people in contempt, the grace of God is all that separates us. In this war, the only weapon I have at my disposal is evangelism.

  133. Duane Arnold says:

    “Two cities … are they not both present? Are they not engaged in endless tension and interplay?”

    Indeed, but only one is eternal and our ultimate citizenship is there…

  134. Alan says:

    Jean and Josh

    Grace and peace to you

  135. filbertz says:

    This is a wildly wide-ranging free-for-all. Yee-haw.

    I have moved solidly away from a Judeo-Christian basis for western civilization, especially in this hemisphere. Certainly an influence, but one of several–not the basis. As I’ve dug into the history of our nation, it is barbaric, self-serving, greedy, violent, and self-righteous all the while giving a nod to the preacher/Bible/God. It is similar to the present. The need for the gospel to be clearly presented and shared is enormous, but Hibbs (the focus of this TIT) is a buffoonish moron who is playing his audience for fools (not a stretch for sure). May God bring his cleaning fire into the temple!

  136. Alan says:

    Duane

    Agreed and like Paul we must keep talking
    About the implications of heavenly city discipleship. Or as the writer of Hebrews who exhorted them 13:1-17 let brotherly love continue… for here we have no during city…

  137. Alan says:

    Fil

    Sounds like Plymouth vs Jamestown — both formed us — let’s not descend into full blown paganism

  138. Em says:

    So many questions and thoughts come to mind as i read the comments….
    When God created man, He knew full well the capacities and capabilities of the brain He gave us. Pretty sure He’s not surprised at what we’ve done with it – good and evil…
    Can’t figure out why some have concluded Donald Trump is crazy…. A smarter versiom of Ronnie Regean maybe? ? ?
    Or why those who voted for him might be crazy also….
    There is no more restrictive community than the academics. Don’t try to buck them with new propositions…
    AND the ivermevtin used to treat covid is NOT the animal dewormer, BTW – although i understand there’s been a run on the dewormer… Ugghh
    Had my first covid shot Sunday and it has made me very dizzy. Hope that’s the only side effect i experience. 😇

  139. Alan says:

    Every New Testament book — I think without exception but could be overstated — nevertheless the witness of scripture was that the body of Christ should avoid idolatry and sexual immorality. Wright urges us to reject Mammon, Mars and Aphrodite

  140. Alan says:

    Em

    Trump was many contradictory things — most conservatives who, like me favor the lab leak hypothesis (coverup) fail to understand that Trump was under the spell of Xi right up to Jan 12 because of a trade deal and he bought the propaganda of Covid being mild. It took him months to unwind and his response was horrid. Meanwhile Fauci….

    He was no Reagan —-

  141. filbertz says:

    Alan–I chafe at the notion of a Christian nation, or godly forefathers, or our righteous heritage as Americans. This BS is the product of good PR folk who invent history rather than present it. We have an abysmal record from shore to shore, past to present.

    Yet, the Church and the gospel are unchained and powerful.

  142. Em says:

    Alan, Trump under the spell of Xi? I thought that was Biden? ? ?
    No Reagen? Okay, i can accept that. 😏

  143. Xenia says:

    I don’t actually mind people enjoying their nation’s creation mythology, as long as they recognize it as mythology. I don’t see much joy in continually telling ourselves that our country was founded by terrible people and has been terrible up to this very day. For one thing, I don’t think that’s entirely true. I still think America’s a great country, with faults and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any country that has been virtuous from the get-go.

  144. Xenia says:

    Did you know that Thor is in Queen Elizabeth’s genealogy?

  145. Alan says:

    “An abysmal record from shore to shore”

    Sounds like white Christian guilt — if true then why are the multitudes clamoring to get in instead of out?

    We gotta get a better perspective

  146. Jean says:

    “Sounds like white Christian guilt — if true then why are the multitudes clamoring to get in instead of out?”

    Because we offer a better opportunity than the 3rd world. Ask other 1st world citizens, like those of Western Europe if they are clamoring to come here. LOL!

    You know how guilt is remedied? Not by denying it, but by confessing it.

  147. Linn says:

    Alan, Filbertz, Em, Xenia,
    I personally think our country is a jumble of both good and bad. We did allow for the growth of Christianity because of our constitutional freedoms. The U.S. has sent missionaries all over the world with the Gospel. I met very grateful Colombians who spoke fondly of the US, but also criticized our weaknesses. I think we need to both call out the bad and complement the good. Example: We have accepted thousands of refugees from Afghanistan during a time when our own nation is hurting. That is a thing to be complemented.

  148. Michael says:

    If we measure the country against Christian standards we indeed have an abysmal record.
    No nation can or will live up to that billing.
    Measured against other empires, we look a bit better…as long as you don’t look real hard.

    “Sounds like white Christian guilt — if true then why are the multitudes clamoring to get in instead of out?”

    Actually, it’s just an honest assessment of history…we do come out better than most empires, but still beastly, indeed.

    I always laugh at the “everyone wants to come here” line as it’s usually followed by the sound of a door slamming on those who do…

  149. Em says:

    Here’s a thought question
    IF the settlers who came here 400 or so years ago had adhered to “Christan standards,” would there have been a United States of America?
    Remember the ‘indigenous ” peoples weren’t ready – at least most – to accept these folk – were quite ready to plant their tomahawks in their skulls….. .. AND
    How would that have affected God’s plan? Slowed it or speeded it up? ? ?

  150. Jean says:

    “Remember the ‘indigenous ” peoples weren’t ready – at least most – to accept these folk – were quite ready to plant their tomahawks in their skulls.”

    Here me clearly, that’s complete BS and a product of our educational system being prevented from teaching American history (the true history).

    It is recorded history that the first Europeans who settled in here could not have survived through the first few winters without the assistance and knowledge of American Indians.

    And while I’m fact checking, it was not Biden who appeased Xi, Kim, Putin, and, yes, the Taliban. Your candidate did!

  151. Alan says:

    Jean

    Confess your guilt then and Biden’s and you will be saved.

    As for me … nope — the father’s have eaten sour grapes —- the soul that sins shall die

  152. josh hamrick says:

    Love you Babs.

  153. Em says:

    Jean, i am aware of the help the settlers got when they first arrived from the “American Indians.” That is why i said “at least most….” AND
    why is Trump “my candidate????”
    God keep

  154. CM says:

    Michael (in regards to your 4:36 PM),

    “Measured against other empires, we look a bit better…as long as you don’t look real hard.”

    Kind of like winning the award of “least worst”, or “not as sh*tty as the others”, isn’t it?

    Reminds of me of the bit saying, “How do you know he is the king?” from the clip below (the last 10 seconds):

  155. Derek says:

    Gotta keep bringing Trump up to distract from the failures of this administration and the increasingly more obvious mental incapacitation of the leader. Em, you are the target because you are his way of lashing out in pain because he can’t grow about how righteous and wonderful things are with Trump gone.
    Let’s face it, we all saw that Trump had no power without the backing of the bureaucracy but things still ran cramping along and Biden shows that things can runwithout a mentally functioning President. The real power no longer resides in elected officials. It lies elsewhere. We learned elections were useless long ago in Mississippi when we voted for marriage amendment and got reversed by judges. We should have realized then how useless this whole system is and how everything is slanted to the taste of the elites.
    I am done with voting, let them have their shows every four years where they give you a choice of bad or worse. I should have realized when they have us the Mormon to vote for that I was done, but I was glutton for punishment.

  156. Derek says:

    Grow = crow

  157. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    If it’s a contest for who was least-worst to Native Americans then the English win mostly by not being as bad as the French or the Spanish, who were the worst of the colonial/imperial powers to Native Americans in a lot of ways. A good chunk of Nez Perce are still Presbyterian, though, as distinct from the Hollywood New Age style spirituality often imputed to Native Americans–so myths surrounding Native Americans as a complete monolith in contrast to hundreds of different tribes may ultimately be the biggest problem. It’s easier to mythologize a gestalt American Indian with a monochromatic satanic or saintly history than to keep track of hundreds and hundreds of tribes who may or may not have recognition from the federal government.

    Someone recommended the following book a while back on Native Americans and the Great Awakening I look forward to reading that got reviewed at LARB.
    https://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/native-americans-colonists-great-awakening/

    I have the book but my reading list is sprawling and backlogged but I’m looking forward to it.

  158. CM says:

    WTH,

    Minor bit of trivia, the first Bible printed in North America, was not in English:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Indian_Bible

  159. bob1 says:

    Boy, we sure have a handful of Chicken Littles on here. They’ve swallowed the right-wing Kool Aid about Biden, as just one example.

    No, the sky isn’t falling — only mainly between these individuals’ ears. Better not to project your doom-and-gloom thinking so the rest of us have to read this drivel.

    I’m just so sad that Derek is huffing and puffing and holding his breath and refusing to vote. Apparently a defeat of a marriage amendment by the judiciary in Mississippi, the buckle of the Bible Belt, and which everyone knew was the Divine Will, went down in flames.

    Since he’s decided not to vote (not that it makes any difference, right?),and if our system is “useless” (his own words), maybe Derek would be happier relocating to an autocratic country run by a strongman, like Pakistan or Argentina or Russia, where one people=one vote really doesn’t exist, though these countries pretend they do.

  160. filbertz says:

    Alan–white Christian guilt tags won’t work with me. I’m lousy at guilt, even when I’m guilty. It’s like the old white guy racist card–I’m three out of four, but the first three don’t equate to the fourth except to those who label me from their own need to have an easy target. I’m reading and examining enough history to recognize the narrative we’ve always heard IS incomplete; heavily edited and sanitized. As for those scrambling to get in to our borders–they’ve heard the narrative too and it sounds a lot better than their reality. But they ain’t coming for Jesus and the American brand of religious capitalism.

  161. Derek says:

    Nope, just coming in to help Em as people tend to use her as a punching bag for the absent right on here who long ago fled. Y’all bully her.
    Russia has it’s points. They hate the LGBT agenda. They promote the Church. I am not Russian though. I am Southern. I would not mind less freedom and more order though. Duties over rights. I would never have imagined myself saying that 10 years ago, but here I am.
    Y’all take it easy.

  162. Dan from Georgia says:

    CM (725am),

    That’s a very interesting historical item. Thanks.

  163. Jean says:

    bob1,
    If someone were to opine about a President’s mental state and abilities, which can’t be diagnosed by a policy disagreement or one’s public speaking charisma, I ask you: What would you think if a President mused in a public press conference with his senior adviser on the potential efficacy of ingesting household disinfectant into the human body to treat Covid? Is that simple stupidity or a mental derangement of some sort? Note that he never apologized to the American people who followed his words and tried it and poisoned themselves.

    On the other hand, I still haven’t read a credible and evidenced based account of how the Afghan withdrawal could, with probable odds, have been handled better or, more importantly, where the President overruled the advice of his military leaders on the tactics of the withdrawal.

    People see what they want to see and draw conclusions without evidence, which is all based on partisanship.

  164. bob1 says:

    Russia has it’s points. (actually, it’s “its”).

    And there it is.

    Add to that the fact that some on the Right have actually (yes, believe it or not) praised the Taliban for its actions.

    Scratch the surface and what do you get?

  165. bob1 says:

    Jean,

    Good point.

    The righties seem to miss the delicious irony of all (I’m talking in the hundreds) of mental and just plain stupid mistakes the last commander in chief made.

  166. Michael says:

    Speak to each other with respect.
    This thread has been good…don’t ruin it.

  167. Derek says:

    Guess you get me.
    I don’t want the increasing LGBT agenda which is targeted at kids and the legalization of pedophilia in the end because that is where all the practitioners get their start.
    I would not mind a government that promotes the Church and says no to degeneracy.
    What does that make me a “Nazi” or a “facist”. Which preferred 1930’s ideology do you prefer to use? Since those are so relevant 80 to 90 years from the source and nations involved.
    Honestly, call me what you will. I am tired and apathetic about all this crap.

    Also, Nice spellcheck there bob1. I am duly impressed.

  168. Derek says:

    Gone now.
    Em, this place is no good for you. Focus on home and family. You are just the convenient target for many here.

  169. Em says:

    Derek, thank you. I realized some time ago that is my purpose for most posters here. However, my grandmother’s father was 1/4th Native American. My late husband’s maternal grandmother was Canadian Indian. I’m not ashamed of them nor of my white settler heritage. People of all skin colors are a mix – some value integrity and some trade in violence and evil.
    As it is said by some, “judge by the content of the character…”

  170. Michael says:

    Em,

    I don’t think you’re a target and I sure as hell wouldn’t let anyone bully you.
    You handle yourself well.
    We disagree about a lot, but you’re family.,
    My family has also thought I was wasting my time here…for twenty years…

  171. Jean says:

    “I would not mind a government that promotes the Church and says no to degeneracy.”

    I want to be with you here. I think we could agree on some definitions of degeneracy.

    As a Christian in a minute minority of American Christendom, I am concerned about a policy of promoting the Church. What expression? When if I believe that some churches promote degeneracy?

  172. Em says:

    Michael, you are NOT wasting your time here….. thank you for putting up with me. 😇
    I’m that net kids use to practice/improve their pitching skills

  173. Jean says:

    Em is a smart individual. She is no doubt aware of when she makes provocative questions or statements here. Hopefully, my reactions address the content of the questions and statements, rather than the character of the person making them.

  174. Em says:

    Promoting the Church? Beats promoting Sharia

  175. Jean says:

    I do want to affirm my agreement with Derek on the broad issue of degeneracy: whether sexual immortality or gender mutability or drug and alcohol abuse or respect for human life, degeneracy is a cancer on our society. It attacks the foundation of society, from which the other orders of society spring forth: the family.

    However, to address degeneracy requires a source of objective truth.

  176. Xenia says:

    I do not believe Em is a target. She gives as good as she gets and I think she is shown much respect. She is probably the strongest person on the blog because she is carrying a banner almost alone at times yet perseveres with kindness and good humor which is how we all claim we should conduct ourselves in controversial conversations. She’s not a hapless victim, she’s a GOOD EXAMPLE.

    Meanwhile, I have to agree with Derek that the best thing for me to do is to excuse myself from the whole political circus. I agree that things began to crumble – or at least I became aware of a crumbling of long standing- when the Repubs put up a Mormon as a candidate.

  177. Alan says:

    I’m with Jean about sexual immortality… but I’m hoping that issue won’t complicate the eternal state.

  178. Duane Arnold says:

    I’ve not read Schaeffer in years, so not being able to sleep last night…

    “There is no New Testament basis for a linking of church and state until Christ, the King returns. The whole “Constantine mentality” from the fourth century up to our day was a mistake. Constantine, as the Roman Emperor, in 313 ended the persecution of Christians. Unfortunately, the support he gave to the church led by 381 to the enforcing of Christianity, by Theodosius I, as the official state religion. Making Christianity the official state religion opened the way for confusion up till our own day. There have been times of very good government when this interrelationship of church and state has been present. But through the centuries it has caused great confusion between loyalty to the state and loyalty to Christ, between patriotism and being a Christian.
    We must not confuse the Kingdom of God with our country. To say it another way: “We should not wrap our Christianity in our national flag.”

    Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

  179. Xenia says:

    For Christians who are interested in diminishing the impact of homosexually, fornication, p0rnography, violence, gangsterism, violence in the life of their families they could do no better than to turn off the Hollywood* sewer pipe that is disgorging Satan’s agenda right into your living rooms on a daily basis.

    But this requires that we ourselves actually make a small sacrifice. It’s more fun- and requires no effort – to complain about politicians. We can complain about how Biden went to church recently and took communion while he vigorously supports abortion, instead of self-reflection on how every night we are filling our heads and corroding our souls with Hollywood sewage which is propaganda for a lifestyle that results in abortion. So we hate Biden for promoting abortion (etc) yet we enjoy abortion (etc) promoting “entertainment.” We love music that is all about fornication. Abortions are often the result of the fornication we love hearing songs about.

    Some may divest themselves from Washington, that’s a call each will make as common sense and one’s conscience guides them. I think divesting oneself of Hollywood would have an even greater impact, at the very least on our families and on our own souls. It would shut off one conduit of Satan’s delivery system of evil.

    * By “Hollywood” I don’t just mean movies, I mean TV, music, and modernist literature as well as a lot of social media.

  180. Alan says:

    Thanks Duane

    Americans don’t know enough European history to understand the beauty of a free church in a free state. But then we seem willing to abandon both in the name of what we variously call justice. No thanks.

  181. Duane Arnold says:

    Alan

    Yesterday Michael and I had our weekly talk. I told him that I have become convinced that before we “take on” many of the issues in society at large, as Christians we should first look to the health and well being of the Church. In my mind, that begins by becoming involved, in a faithful manner, with a local community of believers. I attend a church where I am not thrilled with all that is done. Given opportunity I would do things differently! I realize, however, that the very definition of being a Christian is to be a part of a Christian community…

  182. Xenia says:

    Duane, I completely agree.

  183. Alan says:

    Duane

    Having relinquished my role as lead pastor of the church I founded — I have no idea how to be part of a community of faith.

    But yes. That’s the beginning and I have much life ahead, if the Lord wills. So I must learn and take my place in his body.

  184. Xenia says:

    My advice is attend the church closest to your house that is of your theological bent, the smaller the better. If it’s an impossible church, pick the next closest church. Personally, I would chose small over large and I would not attend a mega-church unless it was the only show in town. I, of course, would always choose an Orthodox Church. 🙂

  185. Duane Arnold says:

    Alan

    I can’t give universal advice, but for myself, I sit in the back row and offer no opinions apart from a cheerful “Hello”. On Thursdays, I meet with the pastor (who is young) for a couple of hours and we talk theology, history, liturgy and he graciously listens to my advice on certain matters 😁… I do this on the phone with a few other pastors, scattered around the country. Sometimes, it is not all that I would “like” to do, but it is, I believe, helpful…

  186. josh hamrick says:

    Xenia, now you’ve gone to far 🙂

  187. Xenia says:

    There are some pretty irritating people at my parish but I figure God put me in their company for my own sanctification. And I myself am one of the irritating people.

    People have different personalities, so I am speaking only for myself, but I now avoid trying to get too involved in the inner workings of a church, based on the personally disastrous results in my own life of worming my way to the center of church leadership at my old CC. I like Duane’s idea of sitting in the back row. Getting involved doesn’t mean volunteering for everything, even if the pastor tries to exhort you to “get plugged in,” a phrase I purely loathe. After having a lot of “important” jobs at my old Calvary Chapel, and suffering the consequences thereof (my own fault, not the CC’s fault) I enjoy the simple pleasures of chasing toddlers and bringing casseroles at my local parish. I enjoy being the old lady with a prayer list who knits baby blankets and knows the recipe for poached salmon when the Bishop comes visiting.

  188. Linn says:

    Duane at 9:50,

    YES!!!! If God sees fit to bless us with a Christ-based government, that can be good-but it also makes Christians lazy. We believe we are protected and fail to see the failures of our own system. If we are under a non-Christian government, that should cause us to be more socially pro-active for the cause of the church and the oppressed.

  189. Linn says:

    Duane,

    I was very disappointed with my church at the beginning of the pandemic. We were “oppressed” by the denial of our constitutional right to meet and the were following the way of a very influential pastor in Southern California. I was one of the weaker brethren who live-streamed for six months, but I did pray much about my attitude and for the church. Somewhere in that time there was a significant shift in the church messaging. Although masks are now optional in churches for our county, they do not discourage it. Most of us still mask up. Vaccination is encouraged by the leadership and the verbal jibes at the “wussies” has stopped. I don’t know when or how the messaging change occurred, but I do think those of us who were faithful in our prayers for the leadership may have had some effect. There were also a few deaths due to COVID, which may have sobered them up. The news coming out regarding the pastor in SoCal has hopefully sobered them up more, too.

    I’ve always believed that a local church with a strong, redeeming presence does much more for the cause of Christ than any other platform.

  190. Dread says:

    I didn’t say you felt guilty Fil

    White guilt is taking a view that whiteness is abysmal.

    You bought it.

    We’re a mixed bag

    And I have no idea what your statement about busting into America for the Christianity meant.

    America is many things and frankly the good is being minimized errantly.

  191. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    “I’ve always believed that a local church with a strong, redeeming presence does much more for the cause of Christ than any other platform.”

    Agreed… and that is where we need to start rather than being instant immunologists, instant military tacticians, instant constitutional scholars, etc. Much to be said for staying in one’s lane…

  192. Jean says:

    Following up on Xenia’s comment about Hollywood, Amazon Prime Video has follow in the footsteps of something Disney did a few years ago with a remake of Beauty and the Beast. In Amazon’s Prime’s new remake of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, one of the characters is a flamboyant gay fairy.

    In these children’s movies, gay is portrayed as cute, harmless, creative and funny. In my opinion, this type of propaganda is (1) unnecessary to successfully the remake the stories, (2) inappropriate for young audiences, (3) not harmless to young impressionable minds, and (4) shouldn’t be supported by anyone who desires to raise their children Christian.

  193. BrideofChrist says:

    Regarding President Biden, who is Catholic, receiving communion even though he supports a woman’s right to choose an abortion …isn’t it true that the Catholic Church at one time refused communion to divorced Catholics who remarried? I am not Catholic, but it seems that Catholics are showing more grace to their adherents in recent years. I’m pretty sure that divorced and remarried Catholics are allowed to receive communion today in the Catholic Church. Perhaps the Catholics are also showing grace to others ( such as Biden) who fall short in some way.

  194. Xenia says:

    Bride of Christ, they are trying to be nicer than God.

    Catholic (and Orthodox) theology says that one must be “confessed” before one can receive Communion. The Catholics use the term “state of grace,” I think. A local priest can’t change one of the basic rules of Catholicism because he thinks he’s being extra gracious. The Scriptures say that people receiving Communion in an unworthy manner are in big trouble, maybe unto death. Catholic and Orthodox Eucharist is not “everybody come.” It’s connected to repentance, which is why we go to confession before we dare partake. Unrepentant people may not receive the Eucharist. Them’s the rules. I understand this sounds pretty undemocratic to Evangelicals.

    It would take a brave priest to refuse Communion the the President of the United States.

    Now most of you reading this think these rules surrounding Communion are ridiculous, but Catholics, Orthodox and Lutherans believe the bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ and this is serious business. If a person does not believe this, then they should find a different non-sacramental church which suits them. Both Biden and that priest knew they were flaunting Catholic tradition but went ahead with it anyway.

    BUT that was not the point of my post. My point was that we may fault Biden and his priest but we ourselves have much to repent of in contributing to a culture that promotes abortion and other abominations.

  195. Em says:

    Jean @ 1:53
    In light of Scripture i must say “amen.”
    Homosexuality, while not necessarily the cause of degeneracy, is a great barometer of a declining civilization – IMHO

  196. Em says:

    While not believing that the bread and wine do become the actual body and actual blood of Christ, there are very stern warnings regarding partaking unworthily…. unconfessed sin = unworthy, unredeemed soul = unworthy

  197. Jean says:

    I think Christians don’t do their witness any favors when they say clear Scripture means what it says in one chapter but the same clear Scripture does not mean what it says in a different chapter. If Christians are invited to choose which verses are to be taken literally and which verses of the exact same genre are to be taken as symbolic, why shouldn’t everyone be so invited?

  198. Em says:

    Jean, it is difficult for some of us to reconcile the corrupted body of flesh we now inhabit as receiving the precious body and blood of our Lord. Literal and figurative? perhaps or just maybe the phrase that our Lord used was intended to be figurative… the memorial observance( that is not accepted here)….

  199. filbertz says:

    Alan.
    I don’t buy into white guilt or all whites are racists etc.
    I don’t buy into the America sucks mindset either. There is much good about our country–enough to keep me here and understand why others wish to come as well.
    I don’t buy into the idea that our nation was founded on the bible and christianity–only that those are ONE of the influences that contributed to its growth & greatness.
    I don’t buy into the rosy, victorious, robust, chest-pounding view of American history either–I simply stated that what we’ve been taught is incomplete (sanitized & heavily edited) and I’m learning to what degree that is true. the true error is unwillingness to examine the evidence more closely.
    I don’t buy that our borders are being flooded by those seeking religious freedom & the american brand of christianity. They are seeking other aspects of the so-called american dream.
    I don’t buy into Biden & never bought into Trump.
    I don’t buy into ‘abysmal.’
    I do buy into ‘we can all do better, but it’s going to take a lot of work.’

    hope this clarifies a bit of your fog.

    notbuyingitfil

  200. Michael says:

    Well said, fil!

  201. Linn says:

    filbertz..

    You and I share the same opinions about America-not the best, not the worst, but certainly better than many places. if I learned anything when I was living overseas, the States is a much better, although not perfect, place than many.

  202. JD says:

    “I realize, however, that the very definition of being a Christian is to be a part of a Christian community…”
    Churchyanity at it’s finest. Christ’s Holy Spirit living in you is the definition of being a Christian or you are none of his.

  203. Michael says:

    JD,

    Neither the Scriptures, nor tradition show anything of unchurched Christians…it is not “churchianity” it’s the witness of the faithful for 2000 years…

  204. JD says:

    Fellowship is one thing common to all Christians, but it is not what makes one a Christian.

  205. JD says:

    Otherwise when I was in between churches did I somehow cease to be a believer?
    Probably according to some folks.

  206. Robert Gemignani says:

    I fly over Phoenix Preacher every once in a while to see what dirt has been dug up on Calvary Chapel — a never ending source of entertainment. Jack Hibbs however, is right on in his comments regarding Biden, Afghanistan, and the need to get rid of these Inglorious Basterds. Have you not heard of Jonas Clarke and the black regiment? Christianity isn’t about clutching your pearls, girls.

  207. Michael says:

    Robert Gemignani,

    Political screeds have no place in the pulpit.

  208. Alan says:

    Fil

    Abysmal was your word and you clarified —- somewhat.

  209. BrideofChrist says:

    Robert Geminani, Sadly, not much “digging” needs to be done. Calvary Chapel scandals reveal themselves on a regular basis. I started attending Calvary Chapel churches in 1975 and stayed on for 30 plus years. I witnessed small time scandals in my church with assistant pastors who were long-time close Christian friends of mine . The many incidents of abuse have led many people attending to doubt the entire Moses Model” that Calvary Chapel is built on. No accountability leads to corruption and abuse.

  210. JD says:

    Maybe if we all pitch in we can offer Mr. Hibbs enough money to stay the course and stick to the text of the book of Romans. LOL

  211. Alan says:

    It’s become very clear that Chuck’s eulogy of Lonnie Frisbee as a Samson should have a more liberal application.

    The legacy of the boomer generation is that the sexual revolution was a not only a transformation of the culture but a conquest of the church from clergy to laity.

    The weapons released on this generation have no equivalent and the kingdom suffered violence.

  212. Michael says:

    Perhaps the issue is that we tried to use the same weapons…

  213. Michael says:

    I confess that occasionally get lathered up over some of the depravity issues.
    It’s best not to be in my car when a man in a dress walks through the sidewalk…
    I get frustrated that the sentence I just wrote would set half the internet looking for my house to burn…
    There is a faux “holiness” that approves all things…because those folks won’t reap the harvest they’ve planted…

  214. Alan says:

    Nevertheless the apostles were unanimous and clear in their belief that we could and must conquer sexual immorality.

    Now we have a church that we cannot protect. The likelihood is that a young person will view hard core porn before their first kiss.

    Now to address such things is to be thought more evil than the sins themselves.

    I’ve lived long enough to see the fruit of this thing work out in church and culture.

    I think we have few ideas and fewer hopes of victory

    And I’ll say again the apostles made it essential that we address this and expect to win.

  215. Michael says:

    The question is how to address it…when the church is almost as compromised as the world…that’s why we have so many readers.

    This is meant to be an inside job…the church as a light to the world.

    I don’t see it and have no clue if I ever will.

  216. filbertz says:

    alan. you’re right. abysmal was my word. thanks for camping on that and ignoring everything else I said. I made several attempts to clarify in view of your reactions. apparently you just want to go sideways.

    abysmalfil

  217. Jean says:

    “Now we have a church that we cannot protect.”

    The impediments a pastor or elder may face include:

    If you enforce biblical doctrine, your members may easily go to another church which aligns more with their beliefs on a topic(s). Are you okay with that?

    Are you so numbers driven that you would rather compromise or attenuate your teaching than offend your members and possibly lose some?

    Do you have polices, supervision and enforcement mechanisms in place to (1) ensure that the church’s teachings don’t stray, (2) pastors are properly educated and trained and vow to uphold the church’s teaching, and (3) pastor malfeasance is always brought to light and dealt with according to the biblical standards?

    A church needs to understand what it has (and is not given) to protect. It is the steward of the mysteries of God, not the withdrawal from Afghanistan, maintenance of the southern border or adult entertainment. God has ordered creation in such a way that He has instituted other stewards for these other concerns.

  218. Alan says:

    Fil

    Go sideways? Actually I simply acknowledged that you clarified. In those clarifications you kept going at Christian nationalism as if I was espousing such. So I added — “somewhat”

    It’s the Lord’s Day and peace to you.

  219. Alan says:

    Jean

    Actually ‘protect’ referenced the destruction of their lives not anything to do with the church’s attendance.

    As for the nation — they come and go but the processes are terrifying.

  220. Jean says:

    Alan,
    Perhaps you missed my point. We should pray that it doesn’t, but if a church fails to proclaim the Word of God faithfully and without reservation as to whether or not hearers will be offended, then that church cannot deploy the only source of protection, which it is authorized to deploy for the protection of their lives.

  221. Alan says:

    Jean

    Yes

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