Archive for the 'In Tone and Character' Category

* Sarah Palin has said nothing about the clubbing of innocent baby seals.

* Every year over 200,000 baby seals are clubbed to death for their fur.

* Headline reads “Sarah Palin joins the ranks with seal clubbers!”

I know, I know… that is absolutely asinine. Why would anyone ever make those jumps in logic? Well, apparently one writer over at CRN has decided to do so. Here’s the logic found in this article

* Rob Bell has made few definitive statements about homosexuality.

* The Gay Wisconsin City Cream Choir, an organization that doesn’t claim to follow Christ, is singing songs that are not theologically correct.

* Headline reads “Rob Bell Sing the siren song of the Self”

WHAT!?! How on earth do you make those conclusions and connections!?! It’s absolutely incredible that someone who calls themselves a researcher and a mouth piece for God himself would make such wild and strange statements. If you have some type of vendetta against Rob Bell, then I guess anything and everything pagan could and should be tied to him.

So much for solid research.

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Chris Rosebrough agrees that the best defense is a good offense.

Well, it does not get much more offensive than THIS.

HERE is the original.

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Having been tied up the past few weeks with lots of RL commitments, much of my meditation/thinking/introspection time has been grabbed in little bits and chunks here and there, rather than in the larger periods I favor.

In one of these few times, though, I ran across a particular quote that shows up multiple times within the Talmud (such as Ecclesiaticus Rabbah 7:36) which many Jewish and Christian scholars have tagged as one of the underpinned beliefs distilled in Jesus’ teaching about Justice and Mercy:

Kol hamerachem al haachzarim, besofo yachzer al harachamim

Those who are merciful to the cruel will be cruel to the merciful.

This sentiment is also echoed from Solmon’s observation that the “kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

And so it is that we can observe this in daily life – where the very same people who will hold candle-light vigils at the executions of confessed killers by night will be found vehemently supporting abortion by day. Where conservative and liberal Christians, alike, find their Peck-sniffian voices – showing benevolence to those who shouldn’t be coddled and exuding disdain for those who truly do show mercy to the lost.

This is why Justice and Mercy must live hand-in-hand – this is where true “discernment” is required. This is Exhibit A in demonstrating that there is obviously little discernment to be found in the Armchair “Discernment” “Ministry” blogosphere…

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This is a quote from a CRN article on submitting to authority

Our Christianity does not give us the right to rebel against our superiors in the social structure no matter how unfair or harsh the conditions are.

I wonder if this would mean that we should submit to the authority of pastors who used a more purpose driven model in their communities. Or does all this submission mumbo-jumbo take a backseat to blogs that go on and one about the incompetency and ignorance of those we were once submitted to. Funny how submission flies out the door when we find ourselves in harsh conditions (translation: submission only happens when I agree with the authority).

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When the church becomes a stench in the nostrils of the unsaved, not because of the gospel, but because of lousy manners and uncouth behavior, it’s time to pull the plug on these farcical churches and admit it’s a joke. When Christ is really at the forefront of our lives and ministries, the neighbors will be grateful to have our churches in their neighborhoods. [links added]

amen.

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It has frustrated many of the authors on this site for quite some time how some people can’t seem to grasp certain concepts including but not limited to the flow of logic, logical fallacies, and literary devices (i.e. simile, metaphor, irony, etc.).  Now, to be fair, most of us missunderstand, or completely miss, the use of some of these some of the time.  Also to be fair, not all of us are as good at utilizing some of the terms and/or actually using the techniques as others.

I have a college education.  I’m also in graduate school.  When I’ve had good sleep and healthy food, I’m a fair writer, but I often have to look up terms and think through many of the things listed above.  When classes start again this fall, I’m sure I’ll be on Wikepedia every other hour looking up something I learned years ago (or never caught onto when I should have).  There may be times when all of us feel superior to another because they don’t understand what to us seems so obvious.  We do need to watch out for such times.  But most of the time, the authors here do not talk about and use the terms of logic and literary devices to degrade others.

Let us look for the best in each other and seek to better understand what those who disagree with us are saying.

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As a former military man (Army, 11 Bravo, 25th Infantry Division) I am accustomed to and familiar with military operations and language. So when people start throwing out analogies to war with their Christian walk I’m left wondering if they really know what the “cost” is. Often I’m left wondering if I know what the real cost is. I’ve never been in an actually war, conflict, or skirmish. The closest that I could get was in simulations of war. Lots and lots of simulations.

My drill sergeants were seasoned, decorated, veterans. They had tasted the battle, they saw first hand what the front lines were like. One of my drill sergeants, a mountain of man, often said “Gentleman, I have seen war first hand, I’ve looked into the eyes of men dying in the field, nothing we do can prepare you for that. But you, if your time should come, remember your training and do what you know”

We did a lot of simulations. This tactic, that tactic, and yet some more tactics. Drill, Drill, Drill. It really became instinctive, like breathing. On our last week of basic training we do a little exercise called “Field Training Exercise” or FTX for short. It is a week of all out battle with other platoons. Each platoon is given an opportunity to defend and attack a perimeter. It is imperative that during this training each man does his specific task otherwise the whole platoon would be in jeopardy.

On our second night of FTX we were being attacked from our south perimeter, it was a heavy fire fight that lasted for about 2 hours. Being on the north perimeter my task, as was the task of everyone that was “dug” in, was to defend the north perimeter regardless of what was happening anywhere else on the perimeter. Otherwise we would become vulnerable from multiple positions.

Throughout our training there were several guys, who being former R.O.T.C., felt the need to always prove themselves worthy and share how much they knew and how valuable they were. Unfortunately they weren’t well received by the others in the platoon. In fact they were shunned. Not because they were “know it alls” but because they had a unique way of making the rest of us feel like crap and getting us “dropped” (dropped= a tool drill sergeants have to make you do push-ups, flutter kicks, paratroopers, down-ups, or front leaning position until your arms fall off. Usually used when some R.O.T.C. guy corrects the drill sergeant) all the time. As misfortune would have it, for FTX, my “hole buddy” and I were “dug” in with both of these guys at our 11.

About 30 minutes into the firefight my R.O.T.C. friends decide that they’re going to leave their position and make the 1/2 mile trek across the perimeter to assist on the south side fire fight. Which in turn leaves a gaping hole in our perimeter. Within a matter of an hour or so our whole platoon is over run because we had been flanked to the north and could not defend our position. Everyone in our simulation died. Except for the two R.O.T.C. guys who were found in the middle of the perimeter sitting back to back with their weapons at the ready.

On night four of our FTX the same scenario happened, attacked to the south but “dug” in on the north. Immediately one of our R.O.T.C. friends gets out of his hole and starts to head to the south. Almost simultaneously; me, my “hole” buddy, and the other R.O.T.C. guy take aim and shoot our wandering friend. Dismayed he asks “Why would you shoot someone from your own platoon” to which my “hole” buddy responds “Your better to us dead than alive. Your a liability and I would rather have you die and save the whole platoon than the other way around.” We won our “battle” that night. Maybe it was the experience from before that helped or maybe it was because we chose to do what was in the best interest of everybody in our platoon. Certainly the possibility exists that it was multiple reasons.

So what does this mean for us? Can I suggest that when it comes to the spiritual battle that we are all in; we as Christians need to stay in our “positions” and trust that those on the other side of the perimeter will put into action that which they were trained to do. Otherwise you may get shot at from people who are supposed to be on your side. All because you’ve become a liability and are more harmful than helpful to the cause.

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Ingrid wrote a very touching piece on adoption, sharing some of her own personal experience on the subject. It really had a beautiful message for her readers.

BUT THEN…

Pastor-Teacher Ken Silva decided to tack this headline onto it and use it for his own agenda. Talk about taking something meant for good and using it for selfish gain.

A side of the so-called “ODMs” that hunters of heresy hunters, say like a Richard Abanes, might wish you wouldn’t see.

That’s all I have to say. You be the judge on motives, intentions and whether or not this sounds like pastoral behavior to you.

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With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries. – Revelation 17:2

There you have it folks! Revelation 17:2 has called out Rick Warren’s political show down between Barak and McCain. The great prophesies of the end times are being fulfilled, and the final pages of history are finally being revealed! I am so glad I recently purchased my license plate frame letting everyone know that “in case of rapture, this car will be unmanned.” At least the guy behind me will have had fair warning.

Two serious thoughts…

First off, I find it extremely odd that CRN just bashed Bell for loose interpretation of the scriptures and suggesting that cultural context must be looked at before making conclusions on biblical interpretation. Here is a pastor that interprets revelation via sermon and video to show that Saddleback is apostate because of the political connection. If that isn’t loose handling of the Word of God, I don’t know what is. This is a perfect example of isegesis — inserting one’s agenda and preconceived notions into the text. Who’s the one that should be accused of bad exegesis?

Lastly, the ODMs are constantly harping on the fact that seeker sensitive churches never give real meat to their congregation. They just give good advise and stick some scripture in here and there. There is no meat and no spiritual substance to what is being given to the people. But now I am confused. Here Pastor Jamey Day preaches on how evil Saddleback is from the Sunday morning pulpit. I mean, this whole thing was a huge hit piece on a church and pastor that is 2,631 miles away from them, and the ODMs post it on their blog! Did the congregation walk out saying, “Man! That was some amazing meat from the Word today. I am so glad to know that Revelation 17 shows how apostate Saddleback is, and that I should never get involved with purpose driven. I would never have known how much the Lord detests Rick Warren.” Mr Kettle, Mr. Pot is on line two.

Now, I will say this for those who will try to make excuses for the whole thing… Yes, the pastor did not mention Rick Warren or Saddleback by name. However, the examples he used were overtly pointed to them. Also, it appears that the video was posted under the Watcher’s Lamp YouTube account. So, it seems that the video was not made by Grace Fellowship of Chester Virginia. However, the principles remain the same

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From the Fundamental Baptist Information Service

NEED SOME URGENT HELP FROM YOU PASTORS ABOUT GIRL AND PANTS

I have a problem that you can help me with. All I ask is that you write and let me know what you would say to the following situation. It might even sound humorous to you, but I can assure you that it is a serious matter.

There is a teenage girl in a church. The church teaches that pants are not the most appropriate and modest attire for women. The girl is from a very poor family (six people living in one room), but she was the first member of her family to come to Christ about three years ago.

She has been growing in the Lord and is faithful to church and prayer meetings. Recently she got a scholarship to a school that requires the female students to wear lose pants. Though someone from the church approached the school leaders and asked them to make an exception for her, they refused. Since the girl has decided to attend the school anyway, the church won’t allow her to teach Sunday School anymore because she will no longer meet the standards for workers.

But there is a prominent person in the church who is not content with this. He thinks she should be disciplined after the fashion of 1 Corinthians 5 and she should not be allowed to take the Lord’s Supper.

What do you think?

The more pastors I can hear from on this, the better.

Thank you!

In Christ,
Brother Cloud

This situation literally made me sick to my stomach and boiling angry. I commend Ingrid for her thoughts on this post. I find it so ironic that contemporary/post-modern churches are criticized for being focused on external and futile elements in church (lighting, projection systems, coffee bars, etc.). However, in my experience, it is the traditional churches that are obsessed with the externals in the congregation. I dare someone in a traditional church to take away the choir ropes — heck, change the choir robe colors — and see what happens. Have the pastor dress in his everyday clothes and see how many people leave. Change the color of the carpet and watch the people scatter like ants.

Last week Erwin MaManus was doing talk on diligence, and I knew that one of my non-believing neighbors would really connect with the subject. I went down and invited him to come, and he immediately said “I can’t afford it right now.” Puzzled at his response, I told him that it was free and that I didn’t want him to even think about giving money in the offering that day. He began to tell me how he had walked to a church when he was 16 the Sunday after his parents got a divorce. He was disparate for answers during that time. After a great service, he was walking out when the pastor stopped him at the door to greet him. The pastor said “We are so glad to have you as a guest, son.” He chuckled and then said, “How bout you dress up a bit next time for our Lord.” He came from a very poor family and all he had was jeans and t-shirts. He has been afraid to step into church since.

Now, everyone might not have that dramatic of an experience, but there is a disgusting religious spirit that is focused on the externals in many “traditional” churches.

P.S. I had a prayer session this morning, and the LORD convicted me about putting titles on my posts. I repent of my untitled ways and return to the straight and narrow. :P

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