Things I Think…

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34 Responses

  1. Filistine says:

    My hunch is that the revived church will be largely undetected for it will operate outside the means and methods of the obsolete system it replaces. It will be street level, personal, sacrificial, and misunderstood.

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    Re: #1….Seems to me that instead of repentance, we have become walking and talking mouthpieces for the talking points from the “news” programs we watched the night before.

  3. Michael says:

    Fil,

    Thou mayest be a prophet…this is exactly what I believe will happen…

  4. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Exactly…

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Being a follower of Jesus (remember that guy?) involves being counter-cultural, for one. And in today climate/culture of anger and hate, we (the Church) have FAILED miserably to be counter-cultural. We (and this includes myself) pretty much mirror the culture when we despise those who see differently when it comes to _______________ (you know what goes here), and in some cases, come to blows with others.

  6. Dan from Georgia says:

    I think what I am trying to convey is that the tide of our culture is strong, and we get sucked into thinking ill of others because of their voting, their masks, their vaccination record, etc, when loving those we disagree with is totally against the flow. Seems to be getting harder and harder as the years roll on to go against the culture.

  7. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I agree…but what do we do now?
    How do we correct course?
    My hope…and it’s tiny…is that we can create a community here where such counter cultural Christianity is supported and proclaimed…

  8. Filistine says:

    Individual repentance instead of corporate accountability is a start. I am a mess. So what if Applegate continues to spiral? It means nothing if all I do is watch and don’t become the apt replacement.

  9. Michael says:

    Fil,

    It has to start with individual repentance…that grows into corporate repentance.
    As much as I loathe the doctrine at times…the corporate church is central to the faith.

  10. Jean says:

    #9! The bible illiteracy of the laity sets the stage for the false Bible teacher. Have we ever had a generation in America with a greater breadth of possible teachings on the doctrines of the Christian faith? The theological salad bar seems to have grown from the food court to take over the entire mall.

  11. Duane Arnold says:

    #9 We’ve allowed others to set the narrative and define the terms. We can only reshape what has taken place by our own authenticity and speaking the truth in love. Sometimes that truth will have to say that Christian nationalism is not Christian… in any manner whatsoever. They may be “good people” but they have placed themselves outside of the faith once delivered…

  12. Linn says:

    I’m in an online Bible study this year (in Spanish!) in the book of Matthew. We will be in the Beatitudes soon, and that is where I plan to spend a lot of time focusing on the behavior God desires from me, and how I am ‘measuring up.” I think as Christians it’s easy to think we are doing well, when God is actually using challenging times to mold us and grow us. I haven’t abandoned all hope of civilized engagement with those on the other side, but my part of the world is not that poisonous, for which I am thankful-but there are some, and I need to do better (instead of just trying to ignore them).

  13. Michael says:

    Linn,

    If the whole church undertook a serious study of the Sermon on the Mount our problems would be solved…

  14. Em says:

    Well… This morning as i was delaying getting out of a warm bed into a very chilly bedroom, a conspiracy theory formed – in my mind…. but i spare you. 😇
    What i like about Michael’s website here is that he gets the fact/truth of individual accountability….
    What troubles me greatly is that, while I’m convinced of the Rapturing out of the Church, i do believe that we partake of at least half of the “Tribulation.”
    God keep

  15. Jean says:

    “If the whole church undertook a serious study of the Sermon on the Mount our problems would be solved…”

    Could you (with input if you desire it): (1) post a bibliography of good, orthodox, commentaries on the Sermon on the Mount? and/or (2) publish a Weekend Word through the Sermon on the Mount?

    It seems to me that so as to not be grouped with the complainers, we should offer readers solutions.

  16. Linn says:

    Jean (3:53),

    I like your way of thinking! I’m doing a BSF study, and the section on the Beatitudes looks quite robust.

  17. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I have about 60 commentaries on the Sermon and a number of books. That would take some work…I’ll see if I can make some time…

  18. dusty says:

    Love this things I think….

    love your neighbor, love your enemy, pray for them, really pray for them….we are commanded to do so, not asked, not suggested, commanded.

    love and pray

  19. Steve says:

    Duane, I have a question about Christian nationalism. I understand they are not Christian and they are outside the faith, but I haven’t had the opportunity to actually talk to one who self professes to be a Christian nationalist. I don’t know any church that has it in their doctrinal statement but I’m sure there is some nut case churches out their that do, I do have some friends that seem to lean in this direction and it is concerning but if you were to ask them out right if they are a Christian nationalist they would deny it. To be charitable to them I don’t want to force this label on them. It seems like the term Christian Nationalist is a pejorative term but also probably a useful description. My question is, what is the definitive hallmark of Christian Nationalism that actually crosses the line from Christian to completely outside the faith? Is it so black and white or are their various degrees on a continuum that are still basically Christian? Where do you draw the line exactly?

  20. Michael says:

    Thank you, Dusty!

  21. brian says:

    When I was an evangelical the Beatitudes were seen as an apologetic and witnessing tool, not a prescription of life. Basically, in my personal experience, was that those “lazy people” would get a job there would be no “welfare” , then the rant towards people with disabilities was “those” people and a rather long which usually used the phrase “useless eaters” or some rendition of said belief. Yes that is a direct quote. Their concern, their tax dollars being used to help all those people faking it.

    I think on Gerhard Herbert Kretschmar(1) and how one precious life and horrid death could lead to such great grief and loss. Back to the Beatitudes, basically in the dispensational cult I was in the beatitudes were how God would judge people on how they treated the 144000 Jewish believers during the great tribulation. Eventually this type of “theology” lead me to look at other avenues, I eventually became an Open Theist and Universalist in application if not in theological academics. I can see no other way to “understand” God allowing the T4 program to start and continue apart from such theological understanding. (2) I went down this rabbit hole many decades ago and I almost lost my faith in God.

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Kretschmar
    2. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/euthanasia-program

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    This would be a good place to start… https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/february-web-only/what-is-christian-nationalism.html

    I think you are correct in saying that it is a continuum and it ranges from a relatively harmless patriotism on one end to full blown QAnon conspiracies and violence on the other end. It is frightening, however, how quickly people can move along that line. I think the definitive hallmark is hard to define in a black and white manner. This quote from the above article might help:

    “Christian nationalism takes the name of Christ for a worldly political agenda, proclaiming that its program is the political program for every true believer. That is wrong in principle, no matter what the agenda is, because only the church is authorized to proclaim the name of Jesus and carry his standard into the world. It is even worse with a political movement that champions some causes that are unjust, which is the case with Christian nationalism and its attendant illiberalism. In that case, Christian nationalism is calling evil good and good evil; it is taking the name of Christ as a fig leaf to cover its political program, treating the message of Jesus as a tool of political propaganda and the church as the handmaiden and cheerleader of the state.”

  23. Dan from Georgia says:

    Duane,

    I agree with your comment above. I know more than a few believers who are very pro-America, but I would not consider Christian Nationalists. Seeing this as a spectrum, as suggested by Steve and yourself, I think is appropriate.

  24. CM says:

    Dan, Duane, Michael, and others,

    Perhaps another article by David French may shed some light:

    https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/discerning-the-difference-between

  25. josh hamrick says:

    Didn’t David French invent a certain sort of kissing?

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    While I agree with much in the French article, in my opinion it does not address the substantial fringe element of Christian nationalists that continues to emerge. Many, if not most of these have little connection with any sort of Christian community, but they make use of the language and imagery for their own purposes. Think January 6…

  27. Kevin H says:

    Josh, I believe it was German kissing.

  28. josh hamrick says:

    Hmm…yeah, that sounds right.

  29. Xenia says:

    Duane, this is what I’ve noticed. Some people I know are so anti-authority that they will not be part of any formal institution, not even a church. They have become a law unto themselves and are proud of it.

  30. Em says:

    As a child i remember the church on the corner starting every service by standing and singing ” Onward Christian Soldiers . ” It was the. 1940s and this child thought we were Christian soldiers fighting that devil, Hitler.
    Perhaps? Then perhaps not. ….. Sigh

  31. Filbertz says:

    Onward Christian Soldiers was an antiCatholic anthem…according to my sources

  32. Em says:

    Think the church was a united brethren, Filb 😇

  33. bob1 says:

    Churchill cited the song and it was sung when he and FDR met in 1941 to hammer out the Atlantic Charter.

    It was also sung by leaders of the civil rights movement here in the US.

  34. Steve says:

    Duane an CM

    Thanks for the links to the CT and French articles. Worthwhile reads with some noticeable gaps. Both of the articals seem to acknowledge the difficulty in defining ” Christian Nationalism” . I now know I’m not alone.

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