< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 184 OF 238 ·
|Aug-02-12|| ||MORPHYEUS: <PGP>, it's actually very good (for your soul) that you feel dismayed and frustrated. That's what good people feel about the evil around them.|
Yes, maybe i'm misinterpreting <YR>, but it's not a major difference of beliefs. Maybe we only differ on what approach to take.
So, i think at this point we'll just agree to disagree. :)
|Aug-03-12|| ||MORPHYEUS: Is Chick-A-Fil Appreciation Day political activism? |
You should have gone <PGP>, it feels good just reading it at the news.
|Aug-03-12|| ||cormier: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings...|
|Aug-03-12|| ||cormier: <<<Israeli and U.S. politicians lately have been bandying about the prospect of an airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities, stirring fear that another destabilizing clash could be provoked in a region already rife with civil war in Syria and other religious and political tensions.>
But nonproliferation experts and Middle East analysts are skeptical of Israeli claims that the Tehran regime is so close to building a nuclear weapon that time is running out for a peaceful resolution of the decades-long standoff.>|
"This is a window that has been closing for 15 years now, and it's always imminently about to close," said Jamal Abdi, policy director for the National Iranian American Council. He sees the sudden flurry of diplomacy between Jerusalem and Washington as an outgrowth of the U.S. presidential campaign and Israeli interest in ensuring that the United States continues to hold a hard line against Iran.>
|Aug-03-12|| ||playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> After all that passion, I need to chill out. Maybe try some of that matted elk <hms123> serves at his place. How much worse can it be than the sardines in maple syrup (not kidding!) which <Mrs. PGP> has for supper?|
Speaking of <Mrs. PGP>, next week is our 36th wedding anniversary. Another one of those homophobic man-woman marriages that won't be allowed much longer...
|Aug-03-12|| ||YouRang: <playground player><<YouRang> I think you need to explain what you would have Christians do. ... You don't like "Christian politics." Fine. What else would you have us do?>|
Boy, now you asked for it! ;-)
I'm not that interested in having political power, but if I could convince Christians of some things, I'd start with these:
- First, know what scripture teaches (2 Tim 3:14-16). It wouldn't hurt to learn the basics of sound hermeneutics, although most are common sense. Don't be dependent on others to tell you what the Bible says. Get the truth straight from scripture and think for yourself about what it says.
- Learn to think in terms of hope and faith, not "control". We have to accept the fact that we are not in control here on earth. God directs all things for his purposes, and ultimately for the good of his followers. The Bible tells us to expect that sin will increase before the end comes (2 Tim 3:1-9). Christians who think in terms of "control" will feel frustrated and defeated, while Christians with faith, hope, and understanding will sense the nearness of victory (1 Pet 4:12-14).
- Never neglect love. Love for God and for people are the greatest commandments (Mt 22:36-40). It's what gives value, purpose and success to everything else (1 Cor 13) and it even covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8). And yet, IMO, it's also the most neglected quality today. When do you ever see political Christians (i.e. "the religious right") speak about love -- or express love and kindness to their poltical enemies?
- Understand non-Christians and how we should treat them (a major failing of churches today, IMO). Unbelievers are not to be treated with hostility or condescension. They are not worse people than we are. We are not Christians because we are smarter, wiser or more moral than unbelievers (1 Cor 1:26-25). We should treat unbelievers with respect, kindness, patience -- and even endure hostility from them -- in hopes that they might find redemtion (2 Tim 2:24-26, 1 Pet 3:13-15, Mt 5:43-45, Rom 12:14-20, Col 3:12-17, etc.). We are not instructed to accuse unbelievers regarding their sin -- our job is to give them the gospel of redemption from sin. Some of them will one day become our fellow redeemed brothers and sisters.
- Keep the church pure. Those who behave immorally or speak falsehood *within the church*, and do not repent, must be expelled. IMO, Christians neglect this and instead spend way too much time pointing out immoral behavior among *unbelievers*. This is backwards (1 Cor 5:9-13). I believe the commands to keep the church pure applies to local churches, and also to the churches at large (i.e. those professing to be Christians). <playground player>, you are quite right to be harshly critical of the "flatliner" churches -- Jesus and Paul would have done likewise.
- Live expectantly regarding Christ's return. Know what to expect, and be watchful and be alert. Christ was clearly adamant about this in the Olivet discourse (Matt 24-25).
|Aug-03-12|| ||YouRang: <pgp: By the way, if you think "conservative Christian politics" is bad, you ain't seen nothin'. Compared to what the PCUSA flatliners get up to at their General Assembly, "conservative Christian politics" is nothing.>|
I'm not so sure that PCUSA is the more serious threat. All Bible-respecting Christians should quickly recognize that these groups are dead and worldly churches.
More dangerous IMO are the groups that look closely like true Christianity (i.e. have the "form of godliness"), and yet corrupt its real purpose and objectives ("but deny its power"). Generally, subtle corruption typically comes in when eternal matters are mixed with temporal matters, as if they go hand in hand.
<pgp: what is your advice for Christians who are dismayed by what is happening to their country?>
See above. Stop being dismayed, have faith, and realize that from an eternal perspective, what happens in our country is only temporary. What matters more is that *we* are blameless and obedient. That is the only thing we really have control over.
1 Pet 2: <13 Submit yourselves for the Lordís sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is Godís will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as Godís slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.>
So fine, get involved in politcal activism and do your best. It's your right as a U.S. citizen. Just don't let good or bad political issues cause you to neglect the more weighty matters of love and obedience.
<pgp: "Setting a good example" sounds nice, but if nobody follows the example, what good is it?>
On the other hand, if the Bible instructs us to set a good example, is it our place to decide if it's worthwhile?
1 Pet 2: <12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.> and 1 Cor 15: <58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.>
Accept that many unbelievers will never repent, and that Christians will face persecution (2 Tim 3:12-13), and if we do so in Christ's service, such endurance is commendable before God (1 Pet 2:19-21).
|Aug-03-12|| ||YouRang: Back to eschatology:
<PGP: Yes, <YouRang>, Christ did go to a far country--God's country in Heaven--to receive His kingdom. And as I see it, He became our king the moment God the Father set the crown upon His head.
If I fight my King's battles until He returns, and wind up under the altar stone for my pains, so be it--I'll be in good company.>
Okay, but that's not the point on which we seem to disagree.
My point is that Christ, although king, doesn't fully assert his reign as king *on earth* until he *returns* -- just as in that parable you mentioned.
When he reigns on earth, every knee shall bow. Do you think that has happened? Do you think this earth in it's present state is what it looks like when Christ reigns here as king?
|Aug-03-12|| ||YouRang: Congratulations on your upcoming 36th anniversary!
I do hope <Mrs. PGP> recovers from the sardines and maple syrup disorder. ;-)
Is she Norwegian by any chance?
|Aug-03-12|| ||hms123: <pgp> Congratulations on 36 years from one who has been married over 43 years at this point. So far, so good. The <Czech Vineyards, Matted Elk, April> is in the mail.|
|Aug-04-12|| ||cormier: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings...|
|Aug-04-12|| ||playground player: <hms123> Gee, I hope the matted elk gets here in time for our anniversary.|
43 for you, eh? Way to go!
<YouRang> No, <Mrs. PGP> is not Norwegian. She swears sardines in maple syrup are delicious, and that you can't taste the maple syrup. I'll take her word for it. These are produced by the Bar Harbor Co., in case you're interested.
Your reliance on Scripture does you great credit. But how would you advise the faithful inside the PCUSA, for instance, to put the goddess-worshipers et al out of the church? These are the leaders of the church! I would advice the rest to get out of that church--which they are doing in droves--but for some reason, they stay. Go figure.
I think you have to admit that what you recommend does *look* like sitting around singing hymns while Rome burns. While the churches have been preoccupied with funny stories from the pulpit, rock bands, nice noshes after the service, and individual salvation (the legacy of Dispensationalism), busy minorities have been reconstructing the Western world according to what I would call an anti-righteousness:
Whose pillars are Big Government, envy, sloth, sexual libertinism, unbelief on one hand and superstition on the other--all of them presented as viable and superior alternatives to personal and economic liberty, personal responsibility, hard work, marital fidelity and solid families, and Christian faith. The fact that this anti-morality is being energetically pushed by the Democrat Party and some Country Club Republicans forces it into a political dimension.
Well, Jesus never said it would be easy to be a Christian, did He?
<Morphyeus> I think we have to concede the point that the United States is not <special> in the same way ancient Israel was <special>. Christendom was in business for a long time before the US came along. The fact that Christendom seems to be going out of business is a strong indication that its various nations did something wrong.
On the other hand, the US is unique in that it was founded by Christians and established with a written Constitution based on Christian principles and English common law. The countries that comprised Old Christendom "just grew" in a process that took several centuries.
Following the line of thought set down by St. Paul in Romans Ch. 11, the Christian nations were "grafted" by God into the tree of His people, while Israel was temporarily "broken off" the tree (v.17). Paul warns us not to be proud:
<Boast not against the branches [Israel]. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root (beareth) thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.> (verses 18-21) As for Israel, <God is able to graft them in again> (v.23).
I must agree with <YouRang> that we are not the chosen people, above other peoples: therefore we ought to take particular care to preserve our Christian heritage... lest we be broken off the tree. We need God; God does not need us.
And I think we must all agree, and take comfort from this truth, that God bears sovereign rule over all of human history and that He is fully able to do what He has promised to do.
In the meantime, though, I still say it's a pretty rough ride and apt to get rougher.
|Aug-04-12|| ||YouRang: <playground player><No, <Mrs. PGP> is not Norwegian. She swears sardines in maple syrup are delicious, and that you can't taste the maple syrup. I'll take her word for it. These are produced by the Bar Harbor Co., in case you're interested.>|
I'll pass, and I would have preferred that the maple syrup would have masked the taste of the sardines. To each his or her own... ;-)
<pgp: But how would you advise the faithful inside the PCUSA, for instance, to put the goddess-worshipers et al out of the church? These are the leaders of the church! I would advice the rest to get out of that church--which they are doing in droves--but for some reason, they stay. Go figure.>
Yes, as a member of a wrongheaded church, you voice your objections using scripture, and if no change, get out. (BTW, by the exact same reasoning, I would advise Christians to get out of the RCC.)
<I think you have to admit that what you recommend does *look* like sitting around singing hymns while Rome burns.>
Really? Spreading the gospel in love even in the face of persecution while also expelling ungodly behavior from within the church -- all while have the correct attitudes and eternal perspective -- this looks to you like "sitting around"? :-\
Have I recommended anything that is not Biblical? Is there a Biblical imperative that I missed? (If so, please provide scriptural support.)
You often speak of the anti-righteousness of the government (especially democrats and some republicans) and unbelievers in general. My feeling is that this is only what the Bible tells us to expect. You seem to think that the Christian has a duty to fight this in the political realm (although IMO without providing any specific Biblical teaching to support that view).
But I'll ask: Suppose that you were to implement all the changes in government that you proposed earlier. Do you think that this would somehow make the United States a righteous country in God's eyes?
BTW, I'm curious about your comment: <...individual salvation (the legacy of Dispensationalism)>. Would you mind elaborating on what you mean?
|Aug-04-12|| ||Deus Ex Alekhina: Sardines & maple syrup? Sounds like someone is pregnant.|
|Aug-04-12|| ||YouRang: <DEA: Sounds like someone is pregnant.>|
Yes! Congrats again <playground player>! :-)
|Aug-04-12|| ||playground player: If she's in the club, then I think we can be pretty sure the End Times have actually started.|
|Aug-05-12|| ||playground player: <YouRang> Dispensational teaching, as propounded by Cyrus Scofield in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, building on the foundation laid by the Plymouth Brethren in England during the 19th century, stresses that history is divided into distinct "dispensations" or "ages." As one dispensation gives way to the next, God's rules change, and so does His relationship with His people.|
Scofield was extremely influential, through his <Scofield Reference Bible> which is still in use today in many churches. He taught that we are now living in the last Dispensation, the Church Age (violating the unity of Scripture and the continuity of history: but he didn't care about such things)--an age, according to Scofield, in which the Church is rendered futile, the ungodly dominate the earth, and Christ's Second Coming will be any day now. Therefore, he said, it is futile for Christians to do anything--and especially futile for them to try to influence the world around them in any way--except to concern themselves with their own personal salvation.
This pietistic attitude remains with many of us to this day: Christians "dropping out" and surrendering to the ungodly such institutions as education, politics, the popular culture, etc.
You ask whether the governmental changes I propose, if implemented, would make our country more righteous in God's eyes.
I think they would certainly make us less unrighteous. Because Big Government, through taxation and overspending, has access to virtually unlimited funds (until the crash comes!), it can get into no end of mischief. Sinners with lots of money and lots of power can do much more harm than sinners with limited funds and limited power.
The whole purpose of our Constitution's system of divided government and checks and balances is to limit the amount of harm the government can do. Government being a necessary evil, our founders thought it best to trammel the central government in many different ways.
|Aug-05-12|| ||cormier: <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Gospel Jn 6:24-35> When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.>
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
"Rabbi, when did you get here?">
Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.>
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.>
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.">
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?">
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.">
So they said to him,
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?>
What can you do?>
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.?>
So Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.>
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.">
So they said to him,
"Sir, give us this bread always.">
Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.">
|Aug-05-12|| ||YouRang: <playground player><Dispensational teaching.... He taught that we are now living in the last Dispensation, the Church Age (violating the unity of Scripture and the continuity of history: but he didn't care about such things)>|
Well, I don't have a problem with the notion of the "church age". Certainly the advent of Christ and His Apostles represented start of a new period in which the Church was born, revelation was completed, and the gospel spread to the gentile nations. I think Paul describes this age in Romans 11.
I don't see how this constitutes a "violation of the unity of scripture" -- it represents the *completion* of scripture.
<...an age, according to Scofield, in which the Church is rendered futile, the ungodly dominate the earth, and Christ's Second Coming will be any day now. Therefore, he said, it is futile for Christians to do anything--and especially futile for them to try to influence the world around them in any way--except to concern themselves with their own personal salvation.>
The idea that the church is futile is certainly nonsense. So this is what you meant by "individual salvation"?
<This pietistic attitude remains with many of us to this day: Christians "dropping out" and surrendering to the ungodly such institutions as education, politics, the popular culture, etc.>
I'm not sure that those things were ever "ours" to surrender in the first place. But if the ungodly are gaining influence and we are losing it, why is that? Is it because Christians failed to fight hard enough for these things against the ungodly, or because they failed to be true representatives of Christ to the ungodly? I'd say that latter.
<You ask whether the governmental changes I propose, if implemented, would make our country more righteous in God's eyes.
I think they would certainly make us less unrighteous.>
So basically, you're saying "yes".
<Because Big Government, through taxation and overspending, has access to virtually unlimited funds (until the crash comes!), it can get into no end of mischief. Sinners with lots of money and lots of power can do much more harm than sinners with limited funds and limited power.
The whole purpose of our Constitution's system of divided government and checks and balances is to limit the amount of harm the government can do. Government being a necessary evil, our founders thought it best to trammel the central government in many different ways.>
And yet, none of this has anything to do with 'righteousness in God's eyes' by any Biblical definition. God looks at the heart. Changing the laws of the land -- even implementing good moral laws -- does nothing to improve the heart of man.
|Aug-06-12|| ||cormier: <<<<<<<Reading 2> 2 Pt 1:16-19> Beloved:
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.>
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
"This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.">
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.>
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.>
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.>
|Aug-06-12|| ||MORPHYEUS: <Changing the laws of the land -- even implementing good moral laws -- does nothing to improve the heart of man.>|
I am sorry. I think this is a dangerous thought. Again, this is like saying that Man is immune to his environment. Immoral environment produces immoral men. Immoral laws produce immoral men.
And this is also cause and effect. Immoral men produces immoral laws.
And it's not just an issue of changing the law. It's also the issue of maintaining the good laws and "correct" interpretation.
Christians have to fight proactively for the law legally.
|Aug-06-12|| ||MORPHYEUS: <- Learn to think in terms of hope and faith, not "control". We have to accept the fact that we are not in control here on earth. God directs all things for his purposes, and ultimately for the good of his followers. The Bible tells us to expect that sin will increase before the end comes (2 Tim 3:1-9). Christians who think in terms of "control" will feel frustrated and defeated, while Christians with faith, hope, and understanding will sense the nearness of victory (1 Pet 4:12-14).>|
"Control" is not the issue, Righteousness is.
<The Bible tells us to expect that sin will increase before the end comes (2 Tim 3:1-9).>
Just because it was prophesied above and somewhere else, there's no command from God to give up efforts and resistance. There's no command in the scriptures for a Christian to be silent. As a matter of fact, Paul and Barnabas were beaten because of speaking out against idolatry.
In fact Jesus said the gates of hell will not overrun the Church.
<We have to accept the fact that we are not in control here on earth.>
"Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
|Aug-06-12|| ||MORPHYEUS: You also propose concentrating on evangelizing and spreading God's love instead of secular or political efforts. Fine. |
Except that a future law may prevent or severely curtail the very thing you propose.
And in fact, it already happened with prayer in schools.
And why are we having homosexuality even in the churches now? because of one sided preaching that preaches about love but not sin. The sin of omission is just as bad as the sin of comission.
A future law may just forbid you from speaking against it even inside a church.
And it's not just about "changing" laws. It's also about saving the unborn from murder.
|Aug-06-12|| ||MORPHYEUS: I also resent it when you said we are trying "changing" the law.
<By 1965, all fifty states banned abortion, with some exceptions which varied by state: to save the life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest, or if the fetus was deformed. Groups like the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion worked to liberalize anti-abortion laws.
The Supreme Court in 1973, in the case of Roe v. Wade, declared most existing state abortion laws unconstitutional. This decision ruled out any legislative interference in the first trimester of pregnancy and put limits on what restrictions could be passed on abortions in later stages of pregnancy. >
Marriage has always between opposite sex. Now who's trying to change the law or interpret it their way?
|Aug-06-12|| ||OhioChessFan: <Changing the laws of the land -- even implementing good moral laws -- does nothing to improve the heart of man.>|
I had typed out a response to this earlier today and deleted it. I figured I'd have a second look and perhaps have a more modulated response. It looks just as bad now as it did then. <Morph> clearly has some similar thoughts on the matter. I'll still hold off on my response.
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 184 OF 238 ·
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