Filed under: Bible study, Christ, culture, faith | Tags: Alcoholics Anonymos, blessing, churches, congregants
There are all Kinds of people who come to Dayspring Bible Chapel where I preach and pastor. The guy above is quite typical. He might not be welcome at a lot of churches. It is true that I end up cleaning up a lot of butts, and I have been told that “good people’ will not stop at our church if they see this type out in the parking lot, I feel even apes with bad habits need to know the Word of the Lord. We are working on civilizing these guys, but smoking, as bad as it is, is better than what a lot of them have left behind. May God help us all to see our bad habits and leave them at the foot of the cross.
The above pictured type church attendee is my personal weak point. Dealing with bratty females has never been easy for me.
This type comes in all ages, and usually does not last in the Dayspring fellowship. The ones who say they are Christian are the hardest to deal with. Those are the ones who feel the Holy Spirit has done His Sanctifying work on their bodies and souls, and are eager to guide others in the process that will make the rest of the church h as perfect as they are themselves. Give me the apes, please, they know they are not much, and see the need for god in their lives. the Bratties always feel God’s work in their lives is complete, and love to praise Him for His wonderful creations, themselves.
We now have a couple of these guys, the Cool Bean Rockers! They are too young to have messed up too much, but old enough to mess up if they do not focus on God. They are talented , intelligent, and just the sort Satan would love to Enlist. Can’t have them ole Slew Foot, we got them first, and we are filling them with the Word so that they will never be of use to you. If we work with these guys now perhaps they will never devolve into Apes!
We have had a few of these pass through. I don’t get them. They seem to live in a different world, speak a different language and are genuinely alien to us. They like the music, or the sermons, or the fellowship, but usually only 1 or 2 out of 3. never the whole package. As they leave we hear.” Beam us up, no intelligent life here.” Whatever, as long as they leave. We think they are going to the mother-ship, but we know they don’t want fellowship with the Father and us.
While most people are accepted here, this is one group that is not. We have many races at Dayspring, and quite a few guys who are bald-headed, but what really counts is what is under the scalp. Our Jesus was a Mediterranean Jew, who would not be allowed in this group. You just can not worship God if you worship your race. Pick one.
This is just not allowed! The holy Spirit is to empower you to do Kingdom work, not to foam at the mouth, or roll around on the floor. I do not know what spirit makes men bark like dogs or laugh uncontrollably. What ever spirit it is that makes people act drunken is the spirit that most at Dayspring seek deliverance from. Sit up nice in church, or go lay on one of the couches, but we praise God that we no longer roll around on the floor, we sobered up.
These guys are rough to get in shape to join the flock. Quite often they have a sickness on Sunday morning that prevents church attendance. They call this sickness a “hang-over” but in reality it is residual poisoning. On Saturday night they have not a problem in the world, and are ready to plunder, fight, mate with women who look attractive through their beer goggles, and ‘ eat drink and be merry for tomorrow they might die’. We have found that alternative fellowship, true friendship, the type that continues when the wallet is empty, combined with the Wisdom of the Word, can affect even these denizens of the alcoholic depths. Real men stay sober in order to serve the Lord. “Take a seat, Think, and be Holy, for someday you shall surely die”.
A few of the guys at Dayspring have worn this fashionable attire. The matching bracelets have secured many of our writs. Quite a few of us have an allergy to alcohol, when we drink we break out…in handcuffs. I love working with people like this. They understand guilt. They know of a Judge. They can admit their sin. These are the people who worship a God who had new mercy every morning. Humility goes well with an orange jump suit.
Well it is time to prepare to meet the church on Sunday. Hopefully I will have smiling faces of repentant people before me, eager to hear the Word of the Lord, and eager to humbly serve the Kingdom. Or maybe this guy…
Whosoever will may come.
Filed under: Church wrongs | Tags: church, churches, Crazy Christians, factions, God
I have had a few conversations with Gnostics. In order to converse with them I have read some of the Gnostic “gospels”in the same way that I have read the Koran and the Book of Mormon and the L. Ron Hubbard books. It is an advantage to be able to relate to a differing belief system with some level of understanding, and having a common platform from which to begin communication. It would not be possible to communicate with people unless you have some common frame of reference.
It has been much more difficult to communicate with the Gnastic Christians. These are the people who just seem gnasty. They have gnasty comments, gnasty actions and while they claim to use the Bible as a study guide, I have long suspected that another volume of “wisdom” of some kind takes precedence over the Blessed Scripture.
Certain modern bible scholars have used an inductive method to come to a conclusion that there was a pre-gospel book called “Q”, the “source” for Matthew, Mark and Luke. The claim is that there is so much commonality that a written form MUST have been in existence that the writers used as a template for their letters. As an uneducated man, I always supposed the commonality to Christ.
Using this accepted scholarly technique, I propose that there is a source book for the Gnastics. It is obvious from their large number and homogenous nature, the uniformity and ubiquity of this branch of Christians , that there is some guiding text book on which their behavior is based. I will call it “The Gospel of Gnast, Guide book for the Gnasty Christian.”
I know this book is existent! It must be. There is such an amazing base of evidence . Based on quotes so often heard from people who follow this philosophy I believe it is possible to reconstruct segments of the Gnast, even to find verses, based upon the behavior and speech of the Gnastic Christians. While my scholarship is poor, my experience with the Gnastics predates my conversion to Christ my Lord, and in fact may have delayed it. Were it not for the supremacy of God and the relentless power of the Holy Spirit, I believe the doctrine of the Gnatics would have kept me from the Grace in which I live. Based on these years of [horrible] experience I will interpolate what their Gospel must contain.
Verily, The Lord seeith the heart through rose-colored glasses. The appearance of religion is what is desired of you by your God. Cruelty is to be honored if it is ye who are cruel, honesty directed at thee is cruel and mean Spirited. Your salvation is a badge of honor to you, and is to be used to make the unsaved feel like the miserable wretches they are. Those preachers whose message is an ointment to your ears are truly blessed, those with whom you do not agree are hell-bound sinners. The way you were when you first became a believer is the way thou shalt stay, and those doctrines you first embraced are never to be questioned. Suffer the little children to be scolded and criticized, whereby ye can feel good about thyself and thy mighty status as “true believer”. Those who would criticize thee by holding scripture to thy face as a mirror are of Satan. Blessed art the sour, for they shall ensure the pews have much open space. For God so loved some of the world, That He sent His only Son, that ye and thy little clique might feel superior to all. Thou shalt support the church and thy Pastor as long as ye are having thy needs met.
There is a great body of Gnastic teachings that I have yet to compile. These teachings run deep in the Body of Christ. Have you experienced them? Do you have some Gnastic Verse to share? How have Gnastics affected your life, your ministry?
Or is it just me.
Filed under: culture | Tags: ATHEISM, churches, Jesus, legalism, protest luzrne
There has been a battle of late for the display of the Nativity scene and the Menorah at our courthouse. A student at Kings College, the college with a big statue of Christ on the top, called the ACLU to report the display as a violation of the separation of church and state. The county decided that to avoid a lawsuit they would take the display down.
I can understand the county not wanting to be sued. So far 23 public officials in Luzerne county have been indicted by an FBI investigation. Just last week commissioner Skrep [ our version of Shrek in size ] resigned, after being caught taking a $5000 bribe. i do wonder where the ACLU was when the corrupt judges here in the county were denying the rights of children in court, to get money to buy yachts and condos in Florida.
The outcry was immense!
Here is the story , at the same source for the pictures, http://www.citizensvoice.com/news/courthouse-pulls-nativity-menorah-displays-to-avoid-lawsuit-1.495916
Well , the display is going up, a law firm will defend pro-bono, and secular seasonal stuff will be added. This seems odd to me, as there would be no snowmen, candycanes, Christmas tress, etc. without the birth of Christ to celebrate. Let us not even put into the mix that without the freedom that comes from living in a society based on Judeo- Christian values these people could not protest. You will not find the ACLU, the Arab Civil Liberties Union, dissenters are not allowed in non-Judeo Christian cultures.
The plot thickened when getting on the radio to defend the ACLU’s position was one of Dayspring’s own, the Hippie. Hippie has a problem with statues in general. As a veteran of the Arab -Israeli conflict, a born again Christian, and a member of the ACLU, he expressed his view clearly and articulately. he loves jesus, i know this is true, but feels separation of church and state is important not just to civil rights, but to the survival of Christianity. he spent time in Europe and in the Arab countries. He has seen that where Christianity was enforced by the state, it died.
Where did I go wrong! How can a conservative Baptist preacher have such a radical in the flock! I got emails and phone calls, some with suggestions that can not be repeated. Can someone like this worship with us? Has he not been affected by the Word? Did I fail him? Or is it actually possible for us to have opposing views on things that are not essential to the faith?
What say you?
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: churches, denominationalism, factions, God, gun control, Jesus, Nature
It is so easy for a group to get side tracked, to forget the reason it exists and drive the train of its time and energy down a good-looking dirt road. Trains belong on tracks, no matter what the power of opinion and well-meaning ulterior goals may be set up, a train on a dirt road is still a train wreck.
Keeping a group on mission the purpose of leadership. When a town council declares the President a war criminal, the real criminal act is that the town council is not taking care of the town. When the local PTA group getting involved in fundraising, they are not concentrating on v being a liaison between parent and teacher. Fire Companies that become purely a social hall lose their focus on fire fighting. Here is an example of this phenomena that I could never have thought up.
World Council of Churches to ring bells for global warming.
The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic “chain of chimes and prayers” stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific.
“On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change,” the council said in a statement.
“By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists,” it added.
The chimes are meant to start at 3.00 pm local time in each location.
The WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches representing about 560 million Christians in 110 countries.
The Council of European Bishops Conferences, which gathers Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops, is also supporting the campaign, according to a letter released by the WCC.
If this were a group united to fight global warming, I would have no problem with this decision. Personally I find it a waste of time and energy by deluded people who have been convinced of a falsehood by a global climate change industry, but if that was what they were formed to do, more power to them. However according to the WCC website these are the purposes of the organization:
- are called to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship;
- promote their common witness in work for mission and evangelism;
- engage in Christian service by serving human need, breaking down barriers between people, seeking justice and peace, and upholding the integrity of creation; and
- foster renewal in unity, worship, mission and service
Here is their self description.
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is a community of churches on the way to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ. It seeks to advance towards this unity, as Jesus prayed for his followers, “so that the world may believe.” (John 17:21)
These are commendable goals! It would appear to me to be about as possible as bailing out the Titanic with a tea-cup at around midnight April 14, 1912, but I can appreciate impossible missions, it is the effort that counts, but how does raising global awareness of a crisis that many do not buy into further the Cause of Christ? How did a group who has avowed a purpose of Christian unity become an environmental activist coalition? Do you see this in their mission statements? Here are some other issues the WCC addresses.
“A world without poverty is not only possible but is in keeping with the grace of God for the world” affirms a call that will play a central role at the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Porto Alegre, 14-23 February.
What did Jesus say? John 12:8
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Christians should aid the poor, but a global redistribution of wealth seems out of line with the teachings of The Master.
Here is another project the WCC is working on.
Resettlement of people displaced by the consequences of climate change was highlighted as a major concern for churches at a gathering of ecumenical representatives from Asia and the Pacific region.
Now i am sure that if global warming were a truth, many regions of the world, Siberia, the Step’s, would become hospitable for settlement and food production, but that really does not fit in the purpose of the WCC. Seriously these people honestly think that global sea levels will rise dozens of feet, submerging islands and leaving people in a “Water World” environment. I thought they might be followers of Kevin Kostner, until this picture surfaced.
This could explain a lot. Well meaning people get into a group and some sort of mob mentality takes place that drives them from the goals originally set up as their very purpose in life. Global warming and poverty are not the only issues derailing the WCC.
Peoples and the Earth? I thought they were out to unite Christians? Somehow the concerns of people and the earth have taken over. The stated agenda now is Alternative Globalization. I really don’t like the sounds of that, and I admit I do not know what it is. None of this makes me want to dive in and join the WCC in its campaign to unite churches, if they still try to do that.
Every group needs a purpose, and leaders exist to make sure that the group does not deviate from that purpose. If the WCC is now more interested in political, sociological, and environmental issues, that is fine, disband, or at least reorganize. To continue to take money from churches who want to see increased fellowship and a move toward uniting the fractured Bride while existing to make social change is at the least hypocritical, at the most robbery.
Here is another WCC project.
The terrible truth of this fallen world, is that guns often stop the killing. At Fort Hood it was an armed officer who ended the rampage. History has shown us that it is the unarmed population that is subject to slaughter. Opinions aside, do you think this fits into the WCC’s stated purpose?
I post these problems not to gloat, i have learned that that does not work out for me. I serve a God who humbles His servants! I post this because the Catholic church around my area has one problem after another.
My imagination is disturbed enough to think that I could have been sitting in a service watching a Power Point on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and have the Chippendales or worse put on the screen. It is almost humorous, except that my imagination is also fertile enough to imagine myself putting on the presentation. Ouch. It must make this guy feel a bit better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IymxMidkyI4
The one that really concerns me is Bob Timchak. I was a regular reader of his faith column. He wrote some great stuff on several congregations that I like. He seemed to me to be a really good guy. I am hoping that this is some sort of rig. Seriously, I am that jaded. The tip to the authorities came from the diocese. We have had all sorts of molestation cases, a case where a priest was charged with perjury to a grand jury looking into a mobster friend of his, stories of mis managed money and DUI payoffs by a bishop, but the diocese drops a dime on Timchak. If they are going to rat people out, they could start on some more pressing examples! Well, I will follow the trial with interest. I pray God will allow our legal system to bring justice. Here is an article on Bob, I found. I will keep you posted.
Timchak has served in the diocese since 1992, starting in Wilkes-Barre at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
After stints directing religious formation at Seton Catholic High School in Pittston and Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, Timchak was assigned to Hazleton, where he became a controversial figure in 2006.
As pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish, and Transfiguration Parish in West Hazleton, Timchak was outspoken about his disillusionment with the diocese’s closure of Transfiguration School.
“Jesus said you cannot serve both God and money, and when the church puts money before everything else, it really is going against the message of Jesus,” Timchak in 2006 told the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, for which he wrote a regular faith column.
“Father Bob,” as known in his newspaper column, subsequently took a yearlong leave of absence before being assigned to Pike County. During his leave, the diocese said, he worked for the Luzerne County Probation Office.
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: churches, denominationalism, pastor, Scranton
Some of you have seen this sign on a TV show called ‘The Office’. My daughter watches the show, I do not. I tried, but I just do not get the humor, if there is any. There is far more drama, and even comedy in the reality that is Scranton. The City broke away from Wilkes-Barre a century ago at the hight of industrial Pennsylvania, and is a fascinating place. It is the home of two really quality, really Catholic, Universities, Scranton U. a Jesuit institution, and Marywood, founded by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am no expert, but that sounds about as Catholic as it gets.
Scranton is amazingly culturally diverse. King coal brought in labor from Europe in stages. The dates on the many churches give a guide to the waves of immigration. First the Irish, then the Italians, and when the coal companies had enough of those, they went to Western Europe to recruit. If there were one group they might unite, and that just would not do. Fortunately for the mine bosses , all these ethnic groups pretty much hated each other. We have Slovak, Polish, Czech, Italian , Irish, Russian , Greek , Hungarian, and plain old Catholic churches in this area. These groups never worshiped together, often fought in gangs, avoided intermarriage like the plague, and had their own language, customs, foods holidays and Saints. These were people who took their Catholicism seriously. The church was a major part of their lives, providing all social contact, education in the English language and trades, and giving political direction. Even today in Jessup, right outside Scranton, St. Ubaldo races the other Saints for honor, it is close on occasion, but Ubaldo always wins! Even when he fell of his perch one year and had to be hastily reassembled, he won!
Times are changing. Now there is intermarriage, a more homogenous culture, and a lot of empty churches. Bishop Martino became very unpopular by closing Catholic schools and churches. The diocese was broke, he said, do to a lessening of contributions and the payouts made to all the child abuse victims. As bad as things are, they get worse. Like this.
Filed under: Bible study, Church wrongs, Uncategorized, What would you do? | Tags: bible, churches, Pastors, Sunday School
The stories of the Bible are a gift from God to mankind. The inspired prophets penned tales that illustrate the condition of man, his relationship to God, and God’s great Love for us all. It is annoying and horribly upsetting when well meaning people take these wonderful tales and present them in a way that renders belief in them almost impossible, and actually misrepresents what I would consider the main points and message. The story that most offends me today is the story of Will, pardon me, Jonah. I relate to this story as it seems to be the story of my life. To have it reduced to the story of Pinocchio is really upsetting.
The case in point that chafes my chaps today is the tale of Jonah. I love this story! I relate to this story! I think every word in this story is true. I do not believe that the picture above is indicative in any way of what occurred. The flannelgram pictures I was shown as a child that threw me into rebellion [ ok, I was already in rebellion, but this stuff helped], are still out there. The testimony of Christ himself should confirm my point.
I was in a study group one time and the leader told me, “It is OK if you do not have the faith to believe that Jonah lived in the whale three days.” I do not think it is ok to believe that Jonah lived in the whale, as I do not believe that to be an example of faith, I believe it to be an example of poor hermeneutics. Look at what happened in the tale as Jonah was pitched overboard.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights
Fish. Not whale. The Willohroots concordance defines the word used there, Keetos, as ‘giant swimming thing you would be scared of if it swam by you.
Here is a picture of Keetos from the willohroots concordance.
It looks very capable of swallowing Jonah, or anybody it wants to, or is ordered to by God.
So this is probably a better representation,
Than is this,
The verbiage involved in the story seems to agree with me. The King James’ says:
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
Now I am not really sure about what that means, but I doubt I will be doing very much blogging after my soul faints. The ESV makes it a bit clearer:
When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Seems like Jonah died. I am not making a point to be argumentative, I feel this is very important. When we teach the New Testament , the Old Testament stories are often critical to a complete understanding. When Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of God and Messiah said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one[i] greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”
So when we teach the sign of Jonah, does this make sense?
Or should we be teaching this?
How could the Savior have said to people,” I will live inside a fish, or more believable[ or no more believable than that] a giant whale, for three days, this is the sign I give to you.” Is that what He said? Or did He say, ” As Jonah was dead for three days in a fish, so I will be dead three days in the tomb. That is the sign. ” What do you think was the lesson our Lord brought there? Is there any way to use Jonah living in a whale to illustrate Jesus?
The bible , my Savior, my God, taught that,
was a foreshadowing of
So tell me, am I being one of those weird preachers that goes through the nursery and gets rid of the stuff that reminds me of Pinocchio and fails to teach a Gospel message? I fear that putting falsehoods into the minds of children, even small ones give the Devil a foothold. I am not saying i am right all the time, or smarter than the average bear, I am saying I care and will do all I can to rightly interpret the word from the nursery onward.
What say you?
The Sign of Jonah
29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
May God richly bless the reading of His Word, and may the Holy Spirit who inspired it lead us to a useful and correct understanding of it.
Did you hear the one about the guy who tried to start a church? Some times I feel like a punchline. I am setting up this blog to find kindred spirits or at least kind read spirits with whom to share the joys and woes of working for God. It would be nice to get advice and encouragement from afar. Or aclose. I’ll take it any way I can get it. Here’s the sit rep.
God called me into the ministry in 1977. Being the fool sinner I am, I told Him No way. This was not my brightest moment. The Creator of all communicated with me in a real way and I got in a fight with Him. I told Him I did not like churches, could not stand preachers, thought church members were hypocrites and lame brains. There I was at Wilkes College down by the river bank, watching the Susquehanna go by, yelling at God. I am not even Pentecostal. Yep I won that fight, Showed Him who the captain of this ship is. I’ll sing for you, I’ll preach here and there, but shepherd that flock of yours? No way. Did I say I am a pastor? I still find fault with churches, in fact they rally tick me off [mine included]. I get along with a couple of preachers, but the line up on TBN mostly bring out the worst of my thoughts. I still think churches are full of hypocrites and lame brains but now that they have made me head lame brain I feel better. We are working on the whole hypocrisy thing. We are full of them, but have room for a few more.
The bigest difference between then and now is that i love these people. So varied, so diverse in age, race, back ground, education, at various levels with their walk with God, I love these people.
So here I am. That’s me, next post is the church.