Archive for March, 2007

Church Redone is looking for a new congregation to worship in.  He’s learning all of the wrong things to do so no one can find you.  It is pretty insightful, particularly in the fact that churches actually do these things.  They actually take courses of action that inhibit healthy growth, keeping people from knowning they exist or how to find them.


He forgot one particularly good way not to be seen.  Put your congregation in a building that sits on a lake surrounded by orange groves that is accessible only by a 1 1/2 lane dirt road hidden between the boundaries of 2 sub-divisions which you will probably not notice even if you are looking for it.

This was where we were worshipping when I started my ministry here.  It truly was a miracle that anyone found us because you really couldn’t explain how to get there.  Life-long residents wouldn’t know.

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I really couldn’t decide what I wanted.  Such a picture of our divided hearts.  Paul drew that picture for us in Galatians 5- the flesh and Spirit at odds with one another.

My anguish was not over a great big sin.  I couldn’t decide if the Celtics should win or lose.  I have only been able to watch a few games this season (they not being on national TV at all, for good reason), and last night’s Magic-Celtics game was about it since I’ve had commitments most other times they played a Florida team.

I wanted to see a victory.  I want to  get Greg Oden in the draft.  Can you see my struggle?  I didn’t want to tank.  BTW: any discussion of the Celtics tanking seems quite absurd to me at this point.  “We’re tanking, but we decided to beat Dallas & the Spurs on the road.  We’re tanking but decided to beat the Raptors and play 2 overtimes to beat Orlando.”  I don’t want to hear about the Charlotte game… I think this is a great time to see what our young guys can and cannot do.  We now know what Big Al can do, and it is what we hoped for.  He’s turning into a double-double machine.

So, I got the thrill of victory, but did I lose the hope of Oden?  Only time will tell.

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Dislike of dogma (doctrine) “is an epidemic which is just now doing great harm, and specificially among young people… .  It produces what I must venture to call … a ‘jelly-fish’ Christianity in the land: that is, a Christianity without boned, or muscle, or power.  A jelly-fish … is a pretty and graceful object when it floats in the sea, contracting and expanding like a little, delicate, transparent umbrella.  Yet the same jelly-fish, when cast on the shore, is a mere helpless lump, without capacity for movement, self-defense, or self-preservation.  Alas!  It is a vivid type of much of the religion of this day, of which the leading principle is, ‘No dogma, no distinct tenets, no positive doctrine.’  We have hundreds of ‘jelly-fish’ clergymen, who seem not to have a single bone in their body of divinity.  They have no definite opinions; they belong to no school or party; they are so afraid of ‘extreme views’ that they have no views at all.  We have thousands of ‘jelly-fish’ sermons preached every year, sermons without an edge or a point, or a corner, smooth as billiard balls, awakening no sinner, and edifying no saint.  We have Legions of ‘jelly-fish’ young men annually turned out from our Universities, armed with a few scraps of second-hand philosophy, who think it a mark of cleverness and intellect to have no decided opinions about anything in religion, and to be utterly unable to make up their minds as to what is Christian truth.  …. And last, and worst of all, we have myriads of ‘jelly-fish’ worshipers- respectable Church-going people, who have no distinct and definite views about any point in theology.  They cannot discern things that differ, any more than color-blind people can distinguish colors.  They think everybody is right and nobody is wrong, everything is true and nothing is false, ….  . They are ‘tossed to and fro, like children, by every wind of doctrine’; often carried away by any new excitement and sensational movement;….”  J.C. Ryle quoted by J.I. Packer in Faithfulness and Holiness.  I can think of some people this would apply to today.

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Apparently Obama’s pastor is upset with the New York Times.  He’s not the only one, to be sure.

I guess I find it odd that he thinks the Times is the Bush administration’s blog.  Every conservative I know thinks it is a bastion of liberal thought.  I think I can spot ‘middle of the road’, and the NY Times is not that.

I thought it sad that this man arrogantly thinks Obama is the only one who would understand the differences between various types of Islam, Jews and Christians. 

“I told you how important it would be to have a man who not only knew the difference between Shiites and Sunnis prior to 9/11/01 in the Oval Office, but also how important it would be to have a man who knew what Sufism was; a man who understood that there were different branches of Judaism; a man who knew the difference between Hasidic Jews, Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews and Reformed Jews; and a man who was a devout Christian, but who did not prejudge others because they believed something other than what he believed.”

Bush does some things I scratch my head at, and some things that make me want to scream into a pillow.  But… he’s not an idiot, nor is he surrounded by idiots.  Both men are foolish if they think being President is easy.  It is one thing to know these differences, and another to work with them and their differences.  This is what concerns me about Obama.  In his political life he has only been a legislator.  The executive branch is fundamentally different, and it would be great to see someone with experience in the executive branch of a government running for President.  Call me crazy, but the best Presidents tend to be former governors (Jimmy Carter, HUGE exception).

But Rev. Wright and I can agree that the NYT seems a bit thin on the truth.

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Here is a lengthy documentary exposing the great global warming swindle.  The various parts of it are also found on YouTube.  Sadly, you found this in our public schools- just Al Gore’s manipulations of data and alarmist hyperbole.

Update: Apparently an improved DVD version will be released, we think.  The producers are being opposed, and persecuted, for not towing the environmentalist line.  So much for freedom of thought.  I thought it was the conservatives that didn’t like free speech?  Oh, well.  The director was on the Glenn Beck show (CNN Headline News).  He had no agenda, but was asked to do the documentary for BBC.  They are trying to discredit him by calling him a Nazi.  He has met many scientists who have received death threats.

I think it may have been removed from You Tube.

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Cannibis.  Mary Jane.  That kind of pot.  Los Angeles pastor, Rev. Craig X. Ruben, was recently arrested for possessing marijuana.  That alone would be an interesting story.  But to make it better, the Temple 420 pastor filed a lawsuit for $30 million.

“Our congregation mandates members study the Bible, have faith in God and regularly burn the herb cannabis (The Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible) as sacrament,” says the lawsuit filed Wednesday in state court.” (from the AP story)

He was ordained by the Universal Life Church in 1990.  I’ve heard of receiving pew rents (the original compensation for Spurgeon), but the article continues:

“The temple has an estimated 400 members who pay a $100 initiation fee and $100 annual dues, enabling them to purchase marijuana for requested donations. Marijuana also is burned during some services. In drug culture, “420” is slang for marijuana.”

I’m thinking the free exercise of religion doesn’t cover this weirdness.

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“Prayer is designed by God to display his fullness and our need.  Prayer glorified God because it puts us in the position of the thirsty and God in the position of the all-supplying fountain.”

“The point (in persistance) is not to finally break God’s resistance but to discover, by patient prayer, God’s wisdom as to the way and time the prayer should be answered.”

“Ending our prayers ‘in Jesus name, Amen’ is not a mere tradition; it is an affirmation of faith in Jesus as the only hope of access to God.”

“Praying in faith does not always mean being sure that the very thing we ask will happen.  But it does always mean that because of Jesus we trust God to hear us and help us in the way that seems best to him.”

“This implies that prayer is not only a duty of man but a gift of God.  Jesus will awaken in his people the spirit of prayer that asks for everything it will take to accomplish God’s purposes in the world.”  John Piper in What Jesus Demands from the World.

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