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: Crazed Thought, Reaction | Tags: church, culture war, God, Heroes, Jesus, Pastors, SBC
I have been told by preachers , politicians, and many Christian Bloggers, that the culture wars are over and WE LOST. In every war I have read about there are a few hold outs who refuse to drop their arms and submit. I join the ranks of those who become resistance fighters in hope, however slim of a turn around in fortune and an eventual victory. Even if victory is impossible I will still continue to fight until my commander and chief calls me home.
I think the reason so many feel the war is lost is that our leadership has been so horrible. We did not choose our battles well. Large formations of well meaning Christian soldiers fought in vain over issues that were a diversion from the real battle. The issue was never Democrat or Republican, it was family values versus blatant filth. Instead of marshalling the troops and training them to attack only the worse most obvious examples of darkness and sin, we boxed at shadows and made great mountains out of ant hills, while the problems of our culture worsened. Did we really think ‘ Harry Potter’ was the worst thing that could happen to our children? Western civilization has had witch stories since before The Brother’s Grimm collected them. We can show kids movies about a talking cucumber, but stay away from magic! Friends, talking cucumbers are not of God!
Why were we so upset that Disney had Gay Day? If we were not going to attend that day what do we care? And what is the difference between Disney movies and Harry Potter? Big Blue Genies may look cute, but the dijin are fallen angels. The movie ‘Pocohantas’ shows my ancestors digging for gold teaching children that the Pilgrim fathers came here to despoil the land, the truth is they wanted a Puritan State. Is that what we were going for in the culture war? If I boycotted everything that did not think and act in a way that met my approval I would be a Robinson Crusoe on an island of my own isolation. How does that move the war ahead?
Our generals missed the main camps of the enemy. Drugs have been and still are ripping our culture apart. How many can name the great Christian battle against them? Did we offer prevention programs in schools? Pizza parties for youth groups were designed more to boost our numbers, however well that worked, than to broadcast the dangers of drug use and provide coping behavior for an entire generation. Alcohol destroys families, kills youth and wastes life, yet few churches joined the battle even as far as hosting an AA group. Marriage success runs fifty- fifty even among the church, so while we have talked about the problem we do not seem to have had much impact, even in our own ranks. We seem to be better at uniting against an issue than forming a coalition for anything.
One great problem we have suffered in the war is fratricide. The other day I was on a site that just loves to pick on Mark Driscol. You may not like him or want him for your Pastor, that is your choice, but if your biggest enemy is Mark Driscol, you need to look around a bit more. People who love Jesus pick on Billy Graham, John MacArthur, the Internet Monk, and you and I when they get a chance. After the name of Jesus, all those mentioned are fallible. Are you surprised? only the Savior is without fault, and if we dig enough we will find something to complain about in all our brothers and sisters. Hold your fire! Our ranks are thin enough.
So as a surviving warrior I make my stand in the jungle of America. I love the values with which I was raised. My elementary school dismissed for Wednesday morning church school in good weather. We would go to the closest Protestant or Catholic Church for Bible study or CCD according to our denomination. Some students stayed behind and played ball, nobody judged. We began the day with The Pledge of Allegiance. Why not pledge allegiance to the Government in a government school? We had a moment of silent prayer. I have visited schools over the last thirty years. There is no silence, ever. I am not a barbarian for valuing this.
I still think taxes higher than a tithe are wrong, that abortion is awful and all too much turned to in our country. Using abortion as birth control is abhorrent to me, but signs in churches, “Unwed Pregnant Women Welcomed and Supported” are not to be found. Legislation is not an answer, propagation of a culture of life is. I find most songs on some radio channels offensive, and no Britney, I could care less where Amy is. I do not like Gay Pride Parades, but what adults do in private is of no concern or interest to me. Forbidding someones closest friend and partner full access in medical emergencies seems barbaric. Anyone who pays rent and maintains a property has a right to live in it. Christians do not need to accept sinners behavior, but we do need to be understanding, as we know we too have fallen short of the Glory of God .
I do not wish to turn the clock back to the fifties or the sixties, I seek only to have my point of view accepted, as I accept the point of view of others. So quit if you want but for me the struggle goes on. My role model will be Hiroo Onada. He was sent to war in 1944 and continued his struggle until 1974, until his commanding officer told him to stand down.
Can I do less? Do I have less faith and desire to obey my maker than this good soldier had to obey his superiors? I was told to ‘Fight the Good Fight’ and I will do so till ordered differently.
If Hiroo can hold out in the jungles of Guam for 30 years I can fight a bit longer here in Pennsylvania .
It would be easy to call Hiroo a fool, to ridicule him for being overly zealous, but he earned my respect, and although I think he was on the wrong side supporting a racist Imperialistic government that am thankful was defeated, he did his job, and then some.
Hiroo’s commanding officer assists his surrender after 30 years.
Will my commander be as proud of me? Put me down as an armed belligerent, a guerrilla fighter. I will use my voice and my vote to the best of my ability in the hopes of someday hearing” Well done, my good and Faithful servant.” I will continue to shine the Light of the Cross that I love on the Flag of the country that I love, and pray that the pendulum will swing back to a more moderate, less secular state of affairs in the United States. Call me an optimist or a fool, but surrender is not an option.
Filed under: Jesus, Uncategorized | Tags: addiction, Alcoholics Anonymos, church, Critical christians, love, pastor
There are times I would like to secede from the flock called Christian. Perhaps I could be known as a Jesusian, or a Yeshudist. It could be a genetic thing,
I do come from a long line of protestants, the people who have 1st Welsh Baptist, 2nd Welsh Baptist and Plain Old Baptist churches on corners of the same street, attended by relatives, some of whom still speak to each other. It could also be shame that motivates my desire for distance.
There is a segment of the church that shares all of my main theology. They and I could say the same creeds, read many of the same books, admire the same martyrs, sing the same hymns and serve the same Lord. You would think that these brothers and sisters and I would share the same ‘world view’ having very little variation in opinion or behavior. You would think. I do not mean the Phelps contingent, or snake dancers, or the Toronto blessing gang, they get written off as the crazy cousins with unfortunate tendencies that everybody hopes miss the reunion. I am talking about people who are just wrong, way wrong, and claim the rightness of God.
The spotlight falls today on that group of the righteous that hate Alcoholics Anonymous. They are not just critical, all groups and individuals could use some criticism, and AA is certainly not above criticism, these people are haters. I really never thought anyone could hate AA. Any group dedicated to getting people sober must have some redeeming qualities, but not to this group of Critictians, [my new word, they are a lot like Christians on the outside, but filled with a hollowness where the love is supposed to go] who go so far as to declare that a demon dictated the twelve steps.
There is a great way to reach out to a newly sober seeker! Tell her that the group that taught her a way to stay sober, and upon which she is leaning for support was started by the devil. I won’t put up a link to such nonsense, but a quick google will get you to all kind of sights like that. Do they have a picture, or a recording of said demon at work? No. They have inferred this because A A does not preach the Gospel in a way that they approve . It does not matter that A A does not preach the Gospel at all, the fact is that A A mentions God, and these people have the copy-write on all that is godly.
It would do my heart good to see these people apply the same standards in all of the different facets of their lives. If they were off the coast on a cruise in a storm, floundering, and the Coast Guard shows up to help they should say,”Away with you,you are not a Christian organization , God will save us!” It should not matter to them that the Coast Guard is not designed to preach the Gospel but to save lives, or even that some Coast Guard personnel are certainly good Christians, no, a blanket condemnation is in order.
If, God forbid, their home was to catch fire, do not send the fire department. Some of the firefighters are agnostic, [few], there may be an atheist with them, but almost certainly some will have a St. Florian medal, as they are good Catholics. “Away , go away let it burn, you pray to a saint, not to God through Jesus, leave you follower of the whore of Babylon!” It should not matter that the fire department exists to save lives and protect property, not spread the gospel, or that some of the members are fine Christians, they should be condemned!
Alcoholics Anonymous is not a Christian organization. It was not designed to spread the Gospel, it was designed to spread sobriety. It is in the same category as the Coast Guard or the Fire Department, a life saving service comprised of good, dedicated people of purpose. If I am in danger on the water or in a fire I will accept help from a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or Jane. I will them thank Jesus for their help and pray for their soul.
I wonder if the Critictians are willing to get up at 3 am. and go to a bar to get someone who has fallen, bring them home, watch them puke and love them the next day. It is easier to call the drunk a sinner and move away. It is no wonder why there are so few Baptists with overt drinking problems, we throw them out. A A provides a useful service, 24/7 world wide. Many in my church go to meetings. They know A A is not perfect, but then again neither is my church.
Thank God I am not an alcoholic! How horrible it must be to be compelled to drink, knowing full well the pain it will cause to self and loved ones! I am also not a T-totaler either, although I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a drink. I don’t drink because it just doesn’t fit into my life often, not because of moral conviction. I may have a beer this summer, but I thank God that many in my church will not, because one drink opens a floodgate for the alchoholic.
I am working on a guide to assist Pastors and Lay Leaders to work with people in recovery in AA. These people need a Savior! Telling them the life raft they cling to was made by Satan is not part of the program. Critictians make it impossible to bear witness to the Gospel of Christ by their very nature of condemnation. Please let me know your thoughts on AA, your concerns, your experiences.
John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Are we here to condemn? Or to spread the news of His Salvation!
Filed under: History, roots of Willohroots | Tags: church, dayspring, pastor, preacher, SBC
Dayspring Bible Chapel does not readily fit in to any of the accepted categories. By that I mean, we’re not really an existing work as we have all new people, new name, we’re creating our own new traditions, but then again, we’re not a new start either. The branch that is Dayspring grew from the stump of something called the Wyoming Valley Baptist Church. Let me give you a quick history. In the seventies the SBC looked at a map and decided that Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, really needed a southern baptist work. Now the area had quite a few American Baptist churches and Independent Baptist churches, but was predominantly Roman Catholic with Methodist and Presbyterian presence. What church a person attended was by and large based upon his or her ancestry. Later european immigrants were RC, earlier English and German immigrants were not.
A tent revival was held and I’m told two hundred people walked the aisle. A church was needed to house these people so Wyoming Valley Baptist Church was formed. When the church’s temporary headquarters was leveled to put in a bypass a new building was sought for a permanent home. A fellow named Pacey ran a bar/shoe store on River Road in Plains. I find that an odd combination. Pacey was being charged by the stool (barstool) for his sewer hookup. He told the town fathers that he didn’t like that and for spite would sell his building to a religious organization that would not have to pay taxes just to teach them a lesson. He actually threatened to sell to a black religious organization but there were none in the market for a bar/shoe store at the time. The building was purchased and the SBC went to work.
I love how SBC churches work together when they have a mission, and the mission of destroying a bar, it seems, brought them great glee. They built a really nice meeting hall for approximately 100 people. They gave some donated bibles and hymnals from a church in Flordia that had upgraded, helped them call a pastor, prayed for them with loving hearts and turned them loose. While this was all done with the best of intentions, it didn’t work out. I can safely say that it didn’t work out because they went through twenty two pastors in twenty five years. What really had been built was a meat grinder for pastors, their families, and the believers who loved them. Put the latter into the mix, wait a little while, and watch the bleeding mangled mess that comes out the other side.
Now as all good southern baptists know, right next to the soverignty of God is the autonomy of the local church, so that when some mess like this exists the cure can only come from within. I admire the courage of the men who accepted the call to this work. I am forced to admire their courage else I would have to doubt their sanity. Through all of this a core group of “deacons” and key leaders hung in there. They prayed fervently that God would finally have mercy on them and send them a decent pastor instead of all the fellows they had put up with to date. That’s the origin.