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?
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. So we have read it, so we have sung it, so it must be, right? Then how do we explain to those not of the family of Christ, and they always want and need explained to, why there are wars, and why so few truly have peace with God? You can not be at peace with an unknown entity, not be at true peace with One you feel hostility toward. Since the Word is true, why did the Advent of the Christ not bring a new era of peace to the earth, and make the last two thousand years a paradise? Where is this peace of which the angels sang? Something is wrong here.
My journey through faith and reading of the Word has taught me that if there is a fault with the Word, it is on man’s side not God’s. Let us take a look at other translations.
New King James “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
* NU-Text reads toward men of goodwill.
NLT “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.*”
- Or and peace on earth for all those pleasing God. Some manuscripts read and peace on earth, goodwill among people.
NIV “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
NASB and RSV “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”*
ESV “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”*
* Some manuscripts peace, good will among men
I see here a huge difference. God did not come at Advent to make nice with the world. God came to give an avenue by which we may please Him, the avenue of Faith in the Messiah. How did the King James translators deal with this verse later in the same book?
Luk 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
Does that not propose a conflict? The fault is never God’s, it is ours. Would Christmas attitudes be different if the carols sung said, “Peace on earth to all who please Him by Faith?” The unbelievers might feel a bit more left out, and seek to get on board.
Do you have the peace He brought? Are you pleasing to the Lord, not by your inherent goodness or your works, but by your faith that brings the inevitability of good works? May we all praise God for the Gift this season!
There is so much to be thankful for, health, wealth, freedom,friendship. One thing that outshines them all is that Jesus has risen.
|Luk 24:34||Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon|
This is the foundation of the Christian faith, That Christ was born, lead a sin free life, and has, indeed, risen, to eternal life, and not just He, but we too shall rise!
|1Cr 15:20||But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.|
The first fruits of a harvest called to fruition by God himself!
How do I know that He is risen? The bible tells me so, firstly.
|Act 10:40||Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;|
It was no secret!
|Mat 28:16||Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.|
|1Cr 15:6||After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.|
These words were written when living witnesses could collaborate the story!
Secondly I know He as risen for His promise to me has been fulfilled!
|Jhn 14:18||“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.|
|Jhn 14:26||“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.|
Lastly, I know He is risen because I see Him at work! The lives that change in ways only He can accomplish , cleansed from filth and sin. This is His labor still in the world, and to be a servant to Him is great!
|Phl 1:6||Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun agood work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:|
I have several times heard a story of a soviet party speaker on Easter. He called together a crowd in the town t lecture them on the folly of religion, how superstitious it was compared to the truth of the State. He spoke for two hours. when he had finished the Orthodox Priest stood amongst the crowd and said, “He is risen!” The crowd replied, “He is risen indeed!”
The truth can not be suppressed. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Give thanks.
Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving has a great theme, wonderful history, and none of the stress and less of the emotional baggage that Christmas brings for me. No. 1 daughter will make a great meal, [I can put up with fruit in the stuffing, I guess], we will have guests, all will be well. All except me. I am dealing with a wave of depression. The best way to describe it is having the feeling of Satan standing on my chest. Seriously, if you have been blessed to avoid depression , I will share, it feels like waves, literal waves, and affects even the breathing. To me it is the virus of the spirit, a head cold of the heart.
So I turn where I have learned to turn for solace and strength, not my wonderful wife, I learned that is really not her job, although she helps, but to my God through His Word. I seek His joy.
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.
I do not want to be the wet rag thrown on the party tomorrow. My fake smile is horrible. I would starve as an actor, or a poker player. You can read me like a billboard. The spirit that I need to have to serve the Lord and my family is wounded if sadness reigns. I am broken, and need mending.
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
So what is wrong with me? Am I not a disciple? I am sorely lacking in the continually part. There are times I am joyful, and I praise God for the times the Holy Spirit fills me to the brim, but it is not continual. I wonder just how long those early followers were continually filled. Didn’t they have a bad day? A bad week? I admit, I have a weak week once in a while. So I turn to the Psalms.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Make me hear it! My flesh does not want to be filled with joy, it seems to like this cozy cave of gloom and self pity, so God, please, make me hear Joy and gladness!
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
How can i not be joyous? My children are not perfect but they are a blessing. My #1 daughter is an RN, and a great one! I have been told she lights up a floor with her presence! She is good hearted, though rough talking, lives with us, she and her husband paying utility bills i could not afford since my lay off. And her husband is a good hearted man, who plays too much playstation, but has been as a son to me. #2 daughter last night was sharing about the Lord with a recovering addict who is living with us. She is a musician, whose songs have moved many people, She dropped out of colege to pursue her dream of writting and performing music. She leads our praise band and loves God. Children like this and I am depressed? Forgive me lord.
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The thanksgiving meal is not to bring joy, but to celebrate it!
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
I forget that I, little old me, gets to serve Yahweh God!!!
Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,”All my springs of joy are in you.”
While I can not toot a flute, i strum a guitar. I look forward to an eternity of singing praises to God! I like life, but death offers so much to me, a promise that I look forward to with joy.
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
I take refuge in my God, it is more an act of His strength than of my weakness, for His strength far surpasses my weakness.
For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for a lifetime;Weeping may last for the night,But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
I know the morning is coming. The night may be long and dark, but the morning always comes.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
That is how I want to spend Thanksgiving, giving to those who have not, having a holy day unto Him. I should not be grieved for the strength of the Lord does bring me joy.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvationAnd sustain me with a willing spirit
The joy when He first touched me! When i first realized, by the Holy Spirit, that He was my Father, I was a sinner, and that He forgave me through the blood of Jesus! Indescribable joy! Yes restore that joy to me Lord! Sustain me.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
That’s what I live for, to hear those words from the mouth of God. If I can be faithful with His strength, not fail on my own, what a joyous reward awaits!
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
So for now a trial, a dark moment. morning will come showing me molded more in the image of my Savior, brought a tad closer to His perfection, yet still miles away from it.
” Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
So now I pray, Lord God, in the name of Jesus I ask you to lift my heart from the pool of darkness. Restore to me the joy of my salvation, let me sing Your praise, serve You, share You, and be faithful to you. Lift the foot of my enemy from my chest and let me embrace my trials, as if i am in Your will, that is joy enough. Let me be joyously thankful in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Whew! That is definitely better. Thank you God. I hope this helps some of you too.
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?
Filed under: blessings, Christ | Tags: bible, denominationalism, Evangelism, factions, God, Jesus, legalism, SBC
Thomas Grunfeld is my favorite taxidermist. He has taken the Jackalope to new heights. I really relate to these images. Quite often I have felt that I too am an assemblage of cast off parts.
In my search for a new career, OK, job, I get the weirdest comments about my resume from interviewers. ” So you were an Electrician for over twenty years, went from being Pa.’s youngest licensed Journeyman electrician, to an Electrical Inspector, then a teacher of robotics at a junior college , yet you have a Psychology degree , spent more time as a volunteer Fire Chief than in any kind of job, worked as a banker for 12 years managing branches, and you say you have been a Pastor since 2004, and now you want a career in with us?” I can’t imagine why they are confused. From this side of the desk it all seems so logical.
At least there is this degree of consistency, my ministry resume is just as odd. For years I did not go to any church planting meetings, as I did not think I was a church planter, as I was in a pulpit of a church that was built 25 years ago. Now I am in a church that is a new plant that started four years ago. It is the same Church building, but a new church was born there. I was just along for the ride. There were no meetings or trainings offered for people serving in a church that was being reinvented. Church Strengthening, yes, church Planting, yes, Church Reinventing or Church Rebirth, not so much.
I have been preaching the Gospel as pulpit supply on and off for 32 years. I never went to seminary, and that was by choice. There is a conservative Baptist dispensational seminary almost in my back yard, and even though we preach from the same book and share so many values, I find an attitude there that repulses me. I have looked back in the history of a few local churches and found that they were doing great, until a preacher from that Seminary was called to serve there. After that church growth would cease and families would be torn apart, all in the name of Jesus. As I looked into other sources of education I found two schools. One so loosey goosey that scripture was a suggestion, the other so sure of their doctrine that they would choose it over Jesus, and in fact I think some of them did. I then judged all seminaries by this one. I am also nonjudgmental.
In most areas of doctrine people say I am quite conservative, but I am comfortable with gays and addicts and criminals, and atheists, many of whom really are nicer than I by any standard. I do not like liberal theology, nor do I like the cocky conservative who is so sure of himself that he would advise the Apostles. I am comfortable with reading conservatives, but would rather associate with liberals. The conservatives think I am aberrant, the liberals think I am conservative.Neither side will buy me lunch.
I have never been ordained, as the only groups whose ordination I would accept would reject me for some of my beliefs. My head does not fit in the jar. I have sat on ordination councils, but it is not likely I will ever be ordained. There does not seem to be too much of a problem with this in practice, no one really seems to care. When I was an Atheist I was ordained in the Universal Church Of Life, as a professor of mine thought that if a bunch of ministers of this group met at his home , it would be tax exempt. Ordained as an atheist, but not as a believer.
What a misfit!
The people I baptize become Baptists, yet I was baptized Church of Christ. I was dedicated as a Methodist, but was never a dedicated Methodist. I play guitar in a praise band with drums and all, but I personally prefer the old hymns of the faith. I serve communion with Matzo and Welches, and yet think that if there is no Real Presence, something is awfully wrong. I do not believe in divorce, but the best elders I have worked with were divorced men. Divorce ends a marriage, not necessarily a ministry.
I preach out of the Holman, but only because I bought them for $3.00 a piece. I love the King James, but lean on the NASB, study out of the ESV and put up with the NIV. In the 70’s, after King James study and them discovering the NASB I really enjoyed the Good News bible. I taught with a guy who claimed he was saved with the Good News, and soon after his conversion the Holy Ghost told him the only translation was KJV. Go figure .
To me the Catholic church has let down thousands of people, so poorly taught them that the vast majority know very little of the Gospel, and fall into unbelief. A couple weeks ago I sat in Mass at a funeral and had a wonderful time of prayer and worship. I disagreed with a couple points of the homily, but the priest has such a loving attitude it did not bother me. It was all about Jesus and that suits me fine. I’m not turning, but I’m not all that turned off either.
I tell my wife who is of Italian heritage that my Welsh heritage of song is superior to all, yet I listen to this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2SZ-nCBmsU Nice as it is, it can’t compare to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_XJFp5JXpk
So none of the pieces fit together. Well I have been given a great gift of faith, I know that my loving, Father will not allow a sparrow to fall, but that He knows. Even if it is a funny looking sparrow.
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.