Things I Think

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55 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    Number 1 and 3 are very dear to my heart right now!
    Number 2…don’t care
    4,5,6 Amen! Although I do see a huge difference in the way Christians are treated in the media and by politicians compared to how Muslims are treated. Just sayin’
    7…. so very thankful I have never sat under a pastor who abused his flock.
    8 I believe my children have a much more difficult job than I had. I pray I will be of help to them and my life will be a godly influence on my grandchildren.
    9 Very, very thankful for the National Health system we have here in England. I have “travel insurance” that covers me when we visit the states, up to 3 months. I don’t know what we will do if we move back to the USA.
    10. Well, I for one, am blessed to call you my friend.

  2. Michael says:

    Nonnie, you are precious to me and this whole community.

    The remarks amuse me more than bother me these days… I don’t have the luxury of wasting emotions anymore.
    Tears and anger must be spent wisely as you well know, my friend.

  3. “how much are we being persecuted for righteousness and how much are we being persecuted for being clowns?”

    Many are simply being persecuted for being clowns, especially now that we have examples like Jesus Camp and those shenanigans documented on YouTube.

    Instead of learning and teaching a Gospel of love those who feel powerless swagger and use the language of militancy, then they wrap themselves in the flag when Jesus stressed that his kingdom wasn’t of Washington DC.

    Yep, clowns.
    Don’t be a clown.
    Get in trouble because you love.

  4. Michael says:

    “Get in trouble because you love.”
    That’s my thought for the day as I’m off to work.
    Thanks, Gman!

  5. covered says:

    G~ That is awesome! “Get in trouble because you love” good stuff.

  6. Jtk says:

    “Many are simply being persecuted for being clowns, especially now that we have examples like Jesus Camp and those shenanigans documented on YouTube.”

    How many here saw “Jesus Camp?”
    In all my thousands of conversations with the lost on campuses, only 1 ever mentioned it.

    And the haunting thought after I watched it was “What if Jesus answered these kids’ prayers?”

  7. Papias says:

    “8. Raising up a godly child in this culture is so difficult…our young people are assaulted daily through every medium with messages that are contrary to the faith. This is yet another reason why we desperately need strong faith communities.”

    This is near to my heart this morning, as I found out yesterday that my daughter asked Jesus into her heart.

    We are very happy, of course. And thankful for the likes and comments on FB.

    This didn’t come out of the blue for us, as we have made it a point to discuss things with her, without forcing the matter.

    I asked her yesterday about how it happended, and she shyly looked away. I told her that I wanted to talk about it sometime, and let it go at that.

    I don’t think she’s going to say it was because her parents are such shining examples…. 😉

  8. I liked Jesus Camp.

    But I’m weird.

  9. Another Voice says:

    Salt purity is defined as the percentage of sodium chloride in the final crystal; a higher number means fewer impurities. The impurities are other minerals, not necessarily detrimental to the salt’s intended use, but not contributing to the benefit of salt. Solar salt and rock salt both can attain 99% salt purity, but often have far less. Sometimes, far, far less.
    ————————————-

    The above is taken from the salt institute.org and is my contribution to point 5.

    God is not stuck with only using raw material. He is able to refine. On this earth salt can’t ever get to 100% purity, but it sure can get close.

    And as the above states, sometimes those impurities don’t affect the intended use.

    And sometimes, salt is still salt, even with tremendous impurity.

  10. Em says:

    Jesus Camp? hmmm … watched the trailer … looked like an attempt to answer the extremists of “other faiths” mode of indoctrination/brain washing of their young – it skates close to a Christian version of ‘Hitler-Jugend’ it seems to me …
    pragmatically speaking, those other movements are the design of powerful governments who stand ready to receive the product
    we’ve been better at producing safe, compliant patriotic drones – which our government does back whole-heartedly

  11. A Believer says:

    AV,

    Good words. Very gracious assessment of the Body. Perhaps not as salty as we could be, but salt nonetheless.

  12. Alright, my thoughts on your thoughts. Here we go:

    1. ) I disagree that Biblicism is the cause for lack of community. I’d lay more blame on the Church Growth emphasis.
    2.) That’s because it is all fake, and votes don’ really count. Just a placebo for the masses.
    3.) I don’t know. Worship would seem to be pretty vital.
    4.) Absolutely.
    5.) We received this treasure in earthen vessels.
    6.) 1 Peter 2:18 and on address this well. What glory is it if one sins and is punished for it? But, if one does good and suffers for he will gain God’s favor.
    In other words, we are being persecuted mostly because we are clowns, and that is no good.,
    7.) Yes.
    8.) Terribly difficult. Every TV show, movie, and video game is just horribly evil. We have to learn to sinless lives in a sinful system. And then w have have to figure out how to lovingly pass that to our children.
    9.) Yep. My aneurysm / brain surgeries from two years ago completely wiped us out financially. And I have great health insurance. If I didn’t have it…maybe I’d be homeless right now, maybe in jail. It costs way too much to get sick, and it is too hard for some to get insured.
    10.) The Local Southern Baptist association has a calvinism conference tonight. I’ll let you know if they slander you any 🙂

  13. Another Voice says:

    Question. Is anyone else seeing links to commercials within the Things I Think post. Earlier a link to ‘Christian Faith’ in point 1, and ‘health insurance’ in point 9.

    Now I see the Christian faith one is gone, but there is a link to the word ‘work’ in point 5.

    I only ask because my computer has been doing weird things lately with ads and don’t know if this is just my problem.

  14. Sounds like you have a little spyware infection AV.

  15. Another Voice says:

    My thoughts too, Josh. I have had pop-ups blocked (and gotten through) at some of my usual websites in the last week. Then this thing today at this site. I knew Michael allowed ads (and I have no problem with that of course), so just wanted to make sure this was not connected somehow to an advertising program. If nobody else is having this issue, then I will work to fix it.

  16. Ixtlan says:

    @10. They are not smart enough to just let a sleeping dog lie……. but what do you expect from someone who is young, dumb and full of……… himself….

    I too liked Jesus Camp…….

  17. I guess I will need to look at Jesus Camp later

  18. It was weird, but I didn’t find it to be unfair. I thought it was a fairly accurate look at those Pentecostal children’s camps. I don’t think those camps are dangerous, maybe a little unhealthy…and to the uninitiated, mostly just goofy. Ted Haggard’s pre-scandal appearance was creepy. All together, I thought it was an entertaining documentary.

  19. Em says:

    Josh the B, “1. ) I disagree that Biblicism is the cause for lack of community. I’d lay more blame on the Church Growth emphasis” … i don’t know much about what Michael calls “biblicism” and i’m not sure that i understand the label “Church Growth” (i think i do) … but, for the life of me, i do not see how an emphasis on teaching the Word could lead to anything, but stronger Believers … unless biblicism means “using” the Bible with an evil bias and intent – distorting it to fit one’s agenda?

  20. Em, I think Michael is using Biblicism in the since of turning the church into a purely academic pursuit. You come, learn about the book, and go home. I agree that would be bad, but think more like you, that if the word is studied, it will lead to community.

    The emphasis on church growth is the constant striving to get more people in the doors. Community is messy, not conducive to drawing large crowds.

  21. #6..I don’t equate losing religious liberties to persecution. I just look at it as laws being written without taking religion into consideration. In the past, people were more thoughtful of including a place for religion – but today not so much. I don’t think they are written with the intent of harm – secular people write with a secular mindset.

    Now, getting fed to lions, that’s persecution.

  22. Good point, MLD. A little perspective.

  23. Another Voice says:

    As most of you know, I am quite vocal as to religious freedom. I am aware of the particular study cited above, and don’t think too much of it as to America. Much of the examples as to America are actually not Christians but Muslims or others losing “freedoms” for example like having to get a haircut in a court of law.

    The Christian examples were mostly building permit issues. Personally, I think these can only be looked at case by case. Sometimes local city councils do discriminate unfairly against churches. Sometimes, the churches are in the wrong as well.

    I would much, MUCH rather see an intense focus on the truly persecuted Christians around the world, than bemoan America. We still have plenty of Christian freedom (speech, assembly, worship) and if others want to use their freedoms to mock us here, so be it. Christians in other countries truly are being imprisoned and killed for the faith. They should be our focus.

    IMO

  24. Another Voice says:

    I would like to see item 1 unpacked a little. Is the suggestion that the Sunday worship service itself should have more socialization?

    Seems like most churches have coffee and a time for chit-chat after service. Most have things going on during the week as well.

    In fact, one of the strongest criticisms has been the church being too much like a social country club with no concerns for those outside it’s gate.

    So rather than argue with Michael, I would ask what exactly he is thinking of there – when he has the time.

    My lament is knowing the importance of community and seeing some who just don’t have a desire to take advantage of opportunity. Sort of the old ‘you can lead a horse to water…’

  25. Xenia says:

    The degree of religious freedom such as we have here in America today is pretty unique in the history of the world. Remember, our country was founded by the Pilgrims and Puritans, folks who did not allow any religious freedom whatsoever when they first got here. I do foresee a day coming when preaching that homosexuality is sinful will be considered “hate speech.” I suspect, OLD AS I AM (ahem) that I will live to see that day. In anticipation of this, when our Bishop visited our parish this summer he went out of his way, apropos of nothing, to say twice that homosexuality is a sin, proving he is not concerned about being politically correct (even if he is from San Francisco) and endearing himself once again to his flock. Will he have the courage to say this in a few years, when I suspect to do so will be considered a crime? Yes, I think he will.

  26. I think that people do not understand “hate” speech in America. When you see these laws in countries like Canada, you need to understand that they do not have the same type of 1st amendment rights we do in the US.

    Speech itself has never been an issue (a crime) in a hate crime. Speech is only used as evidence that the crime itself was “hate” oriented.

    If someone is following a pastor’s words to commit crimes against others, perhaps he does need to spend time in the pokey.

  27. Another Voice says:

    Here is a good example. Dozens of Christians were arrested this past weekend for praying in front of the White House. The arrests were deliberate and desired, so as to get the publicity. That is there choice. I have no problem with someone who WANTS to get arrested for their cause (if they are peaceful in doing so – and these folks were).

    The laws allow for protest, as long as one keeps moving. The crime was NOT praying, but staying still – no different than if they had pretended to be dead soldiers in protest of a war. This is not a loss of religious freedom at all.

    And I appreciate the law because I don’t want a bunch of people free to disrupt the sidewalk when I am walking past. Doesn’t matter what or why they are doing it – the government certainly has a right to enforce that foot traffic keep moving on public sidewalks.

    Here’s a link. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/54-arrested-so-far-in-white-house-vigil-for-religious-liberty

  28. Another Voice says:

    The biggest threat to freedom is from the nanny-state of the likes of Bloomberg. He forbids the sale of a soda (even a diet soda) above a certain size. He is wanting to remove all chips and candy bars from vending machines at hospitals (even though such food is consumed by the family and friends, stressed over their sick loved ones, who might get the munchies at 2AM.) No salt. No smoking of course.

    A major negative of heavy government involvement in healthcare is that ‘lowering health costs’ can be used to justify just about anything that actually is the removal of choice and freedom by consenting adults.

  29. Xenia says:

    MLD, you are right, for now. But I think the day is coming.

  30. Xenia,
    The 1st amendment is pretty solid. Look, after all these years you can still call someone the “N” word and not go to jail… as long as you don’t start a riot.

  31. Mike Mercer says:

    #3. One of the best, truest sentences I’ve heard in a long time.

  32. Xenia says:

    I hope you are right!

  33. Xenia says:

    You know, MLD, I get so many wacky emails from cousins and what not that I sometimes fall prey to their paranoia. I have one relative who believes this upcoming election is the last one the US will ever have because Obama will institute martial law and then, according to another relative, he will begin a systematic poisoning of old people and opponents will either end up incarcerated in prison camps already being set up or buried in the thousands of coffins already purchased, after we’ve been shot with the millions of special bullets recent bought by either the Social Security Administration or the Department of Motor Vehicles, I forget which. Those of us who have survived poisoning by the chem trails, that is. Even though I try to laugh some of this stuff off I guess some of it sounds more plausible than the rest so I give it more credence than I should.

  34. Nonnie says:

    Xenia,
    You have some interesting relatives. 🙂

  35. Funny, all my relatives who are whacky liberals say the same thing. 😉

  36. Xenia says:

    Nonnie, yep. I can’t really talk with them until the election is over.

  37. 2. I just wish it was over. But luckily, my wife pointed out today that there is only a month of this junk left. 🙂
    4. Amen!
    5. Yep.
    6. I think that the majority of what christians perceive as persecution in this country is usually because of stupidity on christians parts. As my wife and I were coming back to town today I mentioned how I was seeing a ton of FB posts by christians for some type of IRS protest day where they would have a political sermon in defiance of the IRS. Now, I am not against those as long as there is a proper crossover of politics and religion and it is done in a balanced christian approach (for ex. abortion, homosexuality, or immigration), but I think most of it is done so they can raise a stink and then sue the federal government and claim persecution. I don’t see this as persecution. If the church did it because of deep concern for the issue and then was willing to forgo any lawsuit and just say that they will take a stand then this would be the better way to go about that. As it is, we just make it look like we are out for trouble.
    I do think though that real persecution is on the way. I think it is going to come about because of the homosexuality issue and like Carl Trueman says christians will be thought of like white supremacists.
    7. Like Nonnie, I am glad I have only had really great pastors.
    8. So true.
    9. I am lucky, my wife and I have never had any big health emergencies so far in our lives, but I have a relatives who do and are jobless and without health insurance. I just don’t think that the new health insurance law is the answer. I think it is going to lead to higher costs and they will again have to reform.

  38. Addendum
    2. Unfortunately, the talk of the next election always starts only months from the last one nowadays. 🙁

  39. A Believer says:

    MLD,
    I really appreciate the fact that I still have the right to use the “N” word.

    Nincompoop is such a great word. I would hate to see it’s use prohibited.

  40. AB,
    Not for long – I hear that there is a large Nincompoop lobby forming to protect their rights.

  41. A Believer says:

    lol. they’re smart enough to do that?

  42. Another Voice says:

    Because I know you were all on pins and needles…finally got the computer cleaned up. I scanned and removed a couple problems, but the REAL problem remained.

    Found out it was something called yontoo, got installed last week (not sure how – will blame my son’s teacher who made him load something. It came with another unneeded toolbar, and it looks like yontoo piggybacked on the toolbar)

    Looks like this yontoo thing arguably has a legitimate purpose in addition to a bunch of garbage. I see a lot of debate online about it.

    Anyway, there’s my PSA on the issue. The good news it was very simple to uninstall – no special software needed. Just delete it like any program.

  43. #10 – Seriously?! Some people have too much time on their hands.

  44. Reuben says:

    #10, all big names need a bad guy. It boosts their ego to have a nemesis. Someone they can point at and say neat things like, “The little dogs bark while the LION walks by…” Unfortunately, you were really the only publicized bad guy for quite some time.

  45. jlo says:

    AV, you gotta watch out for those sneaky add ons/tool bars. glad it’s all cleared up.

  46. filbertz says:

    Hi all. Looks like I need to read up a bit and learn some new faces and personalities. I have no time on my hands whatsoever, so this ought to take a while. I was unaware PP resumed on the .com side of things, so I’ve been checking the .net site regularly…obviously to no avail. Carry on…

  47. “all big names need a bad guy. It boosts their ego to have a nemesis”

    Dear Lord, please don’t ever let me have a big name!

  48. judy says:

    “Never in my lifetime have we needed the church to be a sanctuary of hope and holiness as we do today and those who make it otherwise will pay dearly on that Day.”

    Wow, great statement, Michael. I am hearing from many young (twenty-something) Christians that they are sick of the programs, sick of the hype and feeling that “something’s wrong” with church. They are searching to understand why church leaves them feeling “meh”, like “that was fun but did it really matter?”. And I think they are beginning to wake up to the corporate church where programs replace the holy spirit and being hip replaces being holy and hype replaces hope. They sense it and they don’t have enough experience to explain it, but they know it’s “off”.

    They are also waking up to God’s holiness and they are intrigued by this God who is often not faithfully represented in many churches and they are searching for Him because they need Him so desperately.

    We understand so little about holiness. We understand so little about discipleship. We’ve mixed the American dream with Christianity and created this Disneyland of spirituality. There are few who truly know the Lord, few who can pray like Elijah, but many who can argue over doctrine and every jot and tittle. Those who can argue are many. Those who can move mountains are few.

    Suffering does clear the eyes. I was chronically ill for ten years and nearly died. It’s in that darkness that I learned who God really is and a lot of what I learned isn’t taught in the Church. I learned about his compassion and his heart and how much He loves us. But I also learned to fear him, another thing I was never taught in church. I learned to choose life, not death, and I realized that really, He is all I have. There are times when there is no one in the world who can help you but God and I learned that if you call out, He will come.

    Don’t even get me started on how much I believe that the church has shut the world out by creating warm and fuzzy community that is “us” oriented rather than oriented toward saving sinners. Evangelism is often a joke. It’s more about us getting what we need, and “being fed” than it is about caring about a dying world. The church perpetuates that state of mind and it’s sickening.

  49. nomans says:

    Filbertz!

  50. j2theperson says:

    ***I do think though that real persecution is on the way. I think it is going to come about because of the homosexuality issue and like Carl Trueman says christians will be thought of like white supremacists***

    But even white supremacists–as abhorrent as most people find their beliefs–are not persecuted. I find it difficult to imagine that homosexuals will be given a respect and power that black people aren’t given–that is, to somehow persecute those who believe their homosexuality is wrong. You can say all sorts of horrible, racist things and you are still protected under the 1st Amendment. Several years ago I went and saw a neo-nazi rally in Madison. Not only were those people allowed to say what they wanted to say, they were given physical protection by the police as they were saying it.

    Even now, homosexuals are viewed either as jokes or novelties by the entertainment industry which is supposedly the most pro-homosexual place around. That does not bode well for homosexuals ever achieving the sort of parity with heterosexuals that they want to achieve.

  51. Em says:

    judy’s #48 has me praising all over the place and seeing the need for all of us to pray for the Church to not be deceived in their longing for substance to feed their faith in the Faith

    “We understand so little about holiness. We understand so little about discipleship. We’ve mixed the American dream with Christianity and created this Disneyland of spirituality.” this is a sad, sad truth … while i firmly believe in learning the Word – renewing our minds – i remember a grandfather steeped in holiness; the men some today call “lions” will wash his feet in Eternity … Reuben’s observation about the “little dogs and lions” made me think … little barking dogs think that *they* are lions – the Lion will roar, come soon Lord Jesus

    or so it seems to me this morning

  52. filbertz says:

    Nomanz!

  53. PP Vet says:

    “a sanctuary of hope and holiness”

    Wow, how eloquent.

    Reminds me of Quasimodo screaming, “Sanctuary!”

    Great stuff. Time to put that phrase on the church billboards and start trying to live up to it.

  54. This is how Lutherans roll. Note the clerical collar under the jersey.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PCOh-7_UnBo

    “Pastor Bender exchanged Josh Vitter’s first major league home run on August 20th 2012 in the Cubs game at Miller Park in exchange for a chance to fulfill his dream of opening a Cubs game by singing the National Anthem at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.”

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