Open Discussion Page

Most comment policies for the blog are in effect on this page as well. However, we will not monitor the length of comments (unless some wise guy plays a game), the direction of the discussions or the relevance of the discussions. The Deebs may or may not participate in the discussion, depending on busyness of the current posts. In other words, go for it. This page is subject to change as we work out the inevitable issues.

Please note that the usual restrictions on personal attacks and other rude behavior still apply here.

Update: 660 comments in 3 weeks. Not bad. Since infinite is a bad idea in how big a page can be on a web site I'm changing things so comments are split into pages of 500 per page. Nothing is gone. Just click on the link for older comments. (GBTC)


Comments

Open Discussion Page — 6,207 Comments

  1. Status today
    My car is still down – trying to navigate life without teansportation.
    Friends have provided a couple of job leads that I’m am looking at.
    I will need food tomorrow.
    December’s bills are coming due tomorrow. I have part of them covered, but still need $300 (plus transaction fees of about $40).
    Thank you all again for your prayers and support. I am truly grateful. You guys have been truly amazing.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  2. Nancy2’s prayer request:

    Nancy2 UNITED STATES on Mon Dec 12, 2016 at 02:31 PM said:
    Prayer request:
    My brother-in-law was injured in a head-on collision. He is in Maine, we are in Kentucky, so I only have sketchy info. He has head and neck/back injuries …… do not know how severs, but as of this morning, he was still in a medically induced coma.

  3. Please pray. The innocent families of Aleppo are being systematically slaughtered as Syrian troops knock on doors and execute them. Please pray for the innocents among them who are being shown no mercy.

  4. Christiane wrote:

    Please pray. The innocent families of Aleppo are being systematically slaughtered as Syrian troops knock on doors and execute them. Please pray for the innocents among them who are being shown no mercy.

    Praying.

  5. My desktop is on its last leg. 🙁

    I want a gaming computer, both to play games, but also just because I think it might keep up a bit longer. But they are so expensive. Shopping around, but if anyone sees any good deals, let me know.

  6. @ Harley:
    I will pray for Christy now. May she be helped to a more welcoming work place.

    There is too much stress in our country now. It’s all around us. Prayer helps. We need peace in our lives. No one needs a toxic job environment, whatever the salary and ‘benefits’ ….. I know someone who stayed in one for a long time, retired, and in the first seven years after retired had five surgeries, of which some were from conditions that were stress-related.

  7. So when do we find out how Holly Brown fits into the Pete Wilson scandal? You’re not helping the church with it’s openness by withholding all of the details needed for fact checking. You’re only perpetuating the deceit and fomenting the gossip. Please don’t be complicit in the sins that are tearing the church world apart.

  8. Bertrand
    We can only post what we know from trusted sources. If you have some information to add, please let us know.

  9. Still looking for a job. In all of my adult life I’ve never had trouble finding a job…but now I am! I suspect it may be due to my age…quickly approaching 59! I’m also concerned about health insurance coverage. My former employer is providing it through the end of the year. I have diabetes along with other issues and take 11 medications daily.
    e
    I’m still looking into reading English online but I will need some peripheral laptop equipment in order to do so (which is not all that expensive, but I get two more paychecks from former employer so I may pick up the essentials at the lowest $$ possible). I’m even thinking about “donating” plasma. I’ve made an appointment with a job placement agency which is also something I’ve never done before so I’m a little nervous about that…afraid of getting ripped off somehow.

    Please consider continuing to pray for me…I have faith that your prayers (and mine) are heard.

  10. Update: im at work now and am on my break! So yaaay that im able to work and have a job. My hours will be at around 20 Hours a week im going to stick with it and continue to try to get more hours in other departments. As it stands today it doesn’t look like I will make anything in time for Billys Christmas this year. I tried to earn enough but unfortunately this paycheck isn’t even enough to cover my utilities, phone, and car insurance this weekend that is due. Im 300 short and this doesn’t include my landlady , food and gas. Im praying that I can do something so please continue to pray for my son. I don’t have the heart to tell him no Christmas this year. My next step is to go sell my plasma which is my last resort. I hate needles and my veins don’t hold up well when they draw blood. Anyways the good news is im working I just have to work from the bottom up. If you think about it pray for Shauna and Billys gofundme. Thank you all so much.

  11. I just wanted to say to you all: Thank You! You are all amazing. I am so grateful for you and ask that it all come back with compounded interest. I feel so blessed – so loved. I really don’t know how to put in words how grateful and even astonished I am. Thank you and Merry Christmas. May we all have a better year with increased peace and understanding. Love and peace to you all. 🙂

  12. Shauna wrote:

    Update: im at work now and am on my break! So yaaay that im able to work and have a job. My hours will be at around 20 Hours a week im going to stick with it and continue to try to get more hours in other departments. As it stands today it doesn’t look like I will make anything in time for Billys Christmas this year. I tried to earn enough but unfortunately this paycheck isn’t even enough to cover my utilities, phone, and car insurance this weekend that is due. Im 300 short and this doesn’t include my landlady , food and gas. Im praying that I can do something so please continue to pray for my son. I don’t have the heart to tell him no Christmas this year. My next step is to go sell my plasma which is my last resort. I hate needles and my veins don’t hold up well when they draw blood. Anyways the good news is im working I just have to work from the bottom up. If you think about it pray for Shauna and Billys gofundme. Thank you all so much.

    This is Shauna and Billy’s GoFundMe account. https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  13. May I take this time to wish everyone a very blessed Christmas and a great New Year. I haven’t been writing a lot, because of my shoulder injury. Saw my orthopedic doctor this week. He thinks there may be a tear in the muscle or other damage. He is sending me to get an MRI (hopefully this coming week) and then to a shoulder surgeon. I’m in tremendous pain, but I am getting by. Hubby is great. Son is coming in next Friday evening. I don’t want to focus on my pain, but rather on how great a God we serve. So many of my family and friends have been affected by the bad weather this week. God has protected them all. God be with each and every one of you.

  14. Harley wrote:

    May I take this time to wish everyone a very blessed Christmas and a great New Year. I haven’t been writing a lot, because of my shoulder injury. Saw my orthopedic doctor this week. He thinks there may be a tear in the muscle or other damage. He is sending me to get an MRI (hopefully this coming week) and then to a shoulder surgeon. I’m in tremendous pain, but I am getting by. Hubby is great. Son is coming in next Friday evening. I don’t want to focus on my pain, but rather on how great a God we serve. So many of my family and friends have been affected by the bad weather this week. God has protected them all. God be with each and every one of you.

    Thanks for the Christmas card Harley. It was at my neighbor’s and I just got it today.

  15. Harley wrote:

    So many of my family and friends have been affected by the bad weather this week. God has protected them all. God be with each and every one of you.

    God be with you also, Harley. I hope they can help your shoulder pain. It sounds like they have a plan. I’ll keep you in prayer. Stay warm and safe this holiday. I’m glad your family will be with you. That is a blessing.

  16. Hi velour thank you so much for reposting the gofundme and thank you to those helping and praying. The amount there is getting close to meeting our needs as far as the bills. I was able to pay the electric today We are hitting below freezing and I live in an old house so the utilities are always pretty high. I have an extra cleaning job this week and as for tonight im on my break giving you all an update. So thankful for this job. Please pray I can get more than 20hrs a week. So far im decorating cakes and im hoping this will move me into fulltime soon. I will update again this week.

  17. Shauna wrote:

    Hi velour thank you so much for reposting the gofundme and thank you to those helping and praying. The amount there is getting close to meeting our needs as far as the bills. I was able to pay the electric today We are hitting below freezing and I live in an old house so the utilities are always pretty high. I have an extra cleaning job this week and as for tonight im on my break giving you all an update. So thankful for this job. Please pray I can get more than 20hrs a week. So far im decorating cakes and im hoping this will move me into fulltime soon. I will update again this week.

    Yeah, Shauna.

  18. Part the first. Introduction and background.

    I will keep this short. It is about Christmas and Hope. I use the excuse of the season to say this. May it help whomever it needs to help. Some people are running short on hope; hope for this or that. This is about hope. It is a true story of a tiny Christmas miracle which happened yesterday in my town. And do not forget that a tiny Christmas miracle may be no less real simply because it may be a miracle only in the eye of the beholder, nor forget that if the only miracles we believe in are the big and dramatic ones then we will most likely never believe in miracles.

    One local sandwich shop has been operated, and perhaps owned, for the last year or so by a Muslim couple. They speak English but look like middle easterners or such. They are polite and professional and make good sandwiches. She wears a hijab. He lets her wait on the female customers when she is there, but he will do it if he is alone in the shop. I have worked with one Muslim male who was more strict than this, so I am thinking that these people are both religious and pragmatic.

  19. Part the second. The event

    Late yesterday afternoon, just before the supper hour and after a day at work a customer walked into the shop to buy sandwiches for supper. The Muslim Lady (ML) and the Customer Lady (CL) were both tired but still had a way to go before quitting time. The sandwich shop was playing Christmas Carols on their music system. Like I said, pragmatic I think. The CL was wearing a small but obvious cross around her neck, in this case the symbol of an Episcopal lay order of women, also religious but pragmatic. One could not help but notice both the hijab and the cross, and therein lies the tale.

    CL gave ML her sandwich order, and while the sandwiches were being made CL began humming to herself along with the Christmas carol music that the store was playing, mostly because CL is an incurable extrovert with the basic personality usually encountered in a three month old puppy dog and she does not even realize when she does stuff like that. For the first time ever ML spoke to CL, a repeat customer which she probably remembered.

    ML: ‘You like Christmas carols?’
    CL: “I do.’
    ML: ‘Why?’

    And for a spit of a split second that thing that humans call time froze in place. Hope, who was sitting over at a corner table noticed it but no one else did. For at that precise fraction of a second the words of the carol on the store music said exactly what the CL said, and it was all in precise unison, Cl and the music:

    ‘Peace on earth, goodwill to men.’

    ML said nothing, nodded, finished the sandwiches, wrapped them in paper, put them in the little plastic bag, took the money, gave back the change, pushed the sandwiches across the counter to Cl, looked up and said very softly ‘Merry Christmas’. Cl said ‘thank you’, and another customer walked in just then.

    Hope was happy. This was just the sort of thing he loved. But then Hope, being how he was and knowing what he knew was not surprised. Because Hope understood the reasons behind the reasons and Hope knew:

    God is not dead nor doth He sleep.
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
    With peach on earth goodwill toward men.

    From me to you, Merry Christmas Wartburgers. God bless us every one.

  20. https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Good morning everyone, update!!! I managed to pay bills with the recent gofundme funds. Thank you thank you!!!! I still have a bit more to go including my car getting the check engine and brake lights turned off this cost a bit since I need sensors. I have until the 31st after that I can’t drive because they will not pass my inspection foR my car and I need it to pass in order to register it. I have between now and Sunday to try to do some side jobs to give billy Christmas im on it though. today im on cupcake duty and then onto holiday cakes. Please continue to pray for us. Thank you alk of you for blessing our home and continuing to pray for billy. https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dkoray

  21. Who here lives in Texas? I can’t remember if its you velour or the other poster I communicated with

  22. Shauna wrote:

    Who here lives in Texas? I can’t remember if its you velour or the other poster I communicated with

    I’m in California.

  23. Status today
    First, thank you all so much for your help. I hope you have a very wonderful Christmas.
    So, my car is still down. I think it is the fuel injection system and will cost more to fix than it’s worth. So probably need a new car.
    I am good on food through next week.
    Rent will be due next weekend – $565 + $50 fees = $615.
    Love to you all.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  24. Shauna wrote:

    Who here lives in Texas? I can’t remember if its you velour or the other poster I communicated with

    Harley lives in Texas.

  25. Shalom and hey y’all –

    I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Chanuka – or, Chag Sameach! Please know that I pray for you daily, and ask the Lord to meet every need of every person. Some are in very serious situations, and I’d like you to know that you’re remembered and not alone. God is able to do above and beyond, so be encouraged.

    May we all gain more wisdom, more love and see great blessing in this coming New Year. May we always be grateful to our wonderful God.

    Much love from your sister in Yeshua,

    Talmidah

  26. Talmidah wrote:

    Shalom and hey y’all –
    I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Chanuka – or, Chag Sameach! Please know that I pray for you daily, and ask the Lord to meet every need of every person. Some are in very serious situations, and I’d like you to know that you’re remembered and not alone. God is able to do above and beyond, so be encouraged.
    May we all gain more wisdom, more love and see great blessing in this coming New Year. May we always be grateful to our wonderful God.
    Much love from your sister in Yeshua,
    Talmidah

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful wishes. Merry Christma and Happy Chanuka to you too!

    Thank you for your prayers for all of us.

    Regards,

    Velour in California

  27. Talmidah wrote:

    @ Velour
    Bless you, Velour – and thanks for all you do here – I appreciate it!

    Bless you, back.

    I don’t think I do much here. I just use the gifts God gave me.

  28. Velour wrote:

    Talmidah wrote:

    @ Velour
    Bless you, Velour – and thanks for all you do here – I appreciate it!

    Bless you, back.

    I don’t think I do much here. I just use the gifts God gave me.

    You do a lot, and I for one am grateful. Keeping us posted on needs and digging up good info take time and effort. I’m glad you’re here. 🙂

  29. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele

    A contractor friend of ours was working on a Scientology church/building (whatever they are called). He was surprised at what they were putting into the building; saunas, hot tubs, no alter, etc. But what really creeped him out was going to the church “office” at another location to pick up supplies that were delivered to the wrong address. The “office” was a 25,000SF warehouse that was filled top to bottom with files . . . storage files for paperwork. He would defer what it the world they would need that much storage files for/what information was in those files??!!

    This facility is in a large SoCal city.

  30. Bridget wrote:

    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele

    A contractor friend of ours was working on a Scientology church/building (whatever they are called). He was surprised at what they were putting into the building; saunas, hot tubs, no alter, etc. But what really creeped him out was going to the church “office” at another location to pick up supplies that were delivered to the wrong address. The “office” was a 25,000SF warehouse that was filled top to bottom with files . . . storage files for paperwork. He would defer what it the world they would need that much storage files for/what information was in those files??!!

    This facility is in a large SoCal city.

    OK, I can explain this! The saunas and the hot tub are for what’s called the “Purification Rundown.” Basically, Hubbard taught that drug residues stayed in your fat cells and you had to do these Scientology things to get them to “run out.” This includes sitting in a sauna for hours a day, taking lots of niacin (makes you red and flushing) and drinking a lot of vegetable oil (like more than a teaspoon). The thing is, this is completely unnecessary, as the body does a perfectly fine job excreting the residues from drugs and the high doses of niacin could cause liver problems.

    As for the storage files for paperwork: those are called pre-clear (PC) folders and they hold the notes from auditing sessions. And you can have a lot of PC folders. Laura DeCrescenzo has been pursuing a lawsuit against Scientology for years and years now. In 2013, Scientology was ordered to turn over 18,000+ pages from her PC folders. (She claims, among other things, to have been convinced to undergo an abortion when she was a minor, and when it was *policy* to tell female Sea Org members to have abortions or leave the Sea Org if they intended to keep the baby. Yeah, that’s Scientology.)

    As for what’s in those PC folders, that would be the kind of stuff you’d tell to a therapist, all your personal down and dirty secrets. Except in Scientology, it’s an untrained, unlicensed person asking you these questions while you’re holding on to the “cans” from an e-meter, and the “auditor” is watching the needle move back and forth as you talk and taking notes. Supposedly, these writings are gone through if you’re having trouble with your “case” to see if there was bad auditing done. However, if you “blow” Scientology (that is, leave) and you become a threat, people are assigned to go through your PC folders and pull all the juicy, embarrassing stuff. Interestingly, while I’m sure Leah Remini’s PC folders have been “culled” (yeah, that’s what they call it), none of the information in them has surfaced. I’m thinking Scientology doesn’t want to buy a lawsuit that might leave them having to prove that “yes, PC folders are kept confidential” but “we do have dozens of people going through them.”

    For the record, I’ve never been in a Church of Scientology (but walked past one in Austin, Texas probably hundreds of times when I was an undergrad). I could have gone my entire life knowing all this information, but that didn’t happen.

  31. okrapod wrote:

    From me to you, Merry Christmas Wartburgers. God bless us every one.

    And to you too okrapod. Loved the sandwich shop tale and the miracle of human to human goodness sans all the stuff that divides us. The Peacemakers really are the children of God.
    Here’s a short you tube vid that also helps to dismantle the hatred.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouu6LGGIWsc

  32. I found out a few minutes ago that my husband’s sister was taken to the hospital and is now on a ventilator. She’s had health problems for years and her doctors say she probably will not recover from this episode. Please pray that her family is comforted. Thanks everyone.

  33. @ Talmidah:
    Just did pray for her. By the way, thanks so much for sharing about the ’72 Marjoe documentary. I forwarded the link to my pastor who is head of the local ministerial association. He was so impacted by it that he went on and on for a good 10 minutes at the last lunch we had together. He forwarded the link to many others on his email list to watch. Just goes to show the power of a single comment. I hope it encourages you on Christmas eve.

  34. @ Mr. Jesperson

    @ Mr. Jesperson

    Thanks so much for the prayers, Mr. J. God has blessed my sister-in-law’s health situation in the past and I sure hope He continues.

    That’s awesome about the Marjoe documentary. I’m glad it made an impact and I sure am encouraged. It’s funny – I refused to watch that film for decades. Some of the folks I went to church with discouraged *everything* that didn’t portray Christianity in a perfect white light. Baruch haShem, I know better now. I should’ve watched it when I was much younger as it might’ve saved some heartache.

    Your music is wonderful – what great work! I’m listening to it now. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours – God bless!

  35. Talmidah wrote:

    I found out a few minutes ago that my husband’s sister was taken to the hospital and is now on a ventilator. She’s had health problems for years and her doctors say she probably will not recover from this episode. Please pray that her family is comforted. Thanks everyone.

    Praying.

  36. Is anyone following the story of Thomas the excommunicated member from Watermark?
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/when-church-discipline-goes-really-public

    I know that the focus is usually on women, but it’s yet another example of heavy-handed elders and membership contracts going awry. I ended up at Watermark’s church site and found a sermon on the virtues of women being created for specific roles. Is it me, or are these churches really obfuscating who/what they are? Now it’s not so much looking for an obvious denominational affiliation, but looking for code-words and theological markers that indicate roughly what they believe. You already need to have an inside knowledge to know what you’re in for.

  37. Jamie Carter wrote:

    Is anyone following the story of Thomas the excommunicated member from Watermark?

    I saw that article a few days ago. I normally take a quick look every day at TGC, 9Marks, Desing God, GTY, and Founders to see what they are posting. Here is what I see in general:
    1) A huge emphasis on various types of distinctives. It’s like they worship doctrine. Everything is about a doctrine: doctrines of grace, doctrine of the Holy Spirit, doctrine of sin, etc.
    2) Verbal diarrhea. The volume of material they pump out daily is mind-numbing.
    3) Staying within their bubble. They very rarely have articles from non-Calvinists. Everything they might believe about the “Gospel” is framed in Calvinistic terms by people from their own Calvinistic tribe.
    4) Guidance on what to think. It’s all about telling us peons how to think about this, that, and the other thing.

    That particular article is any example of the tragedy of New-Calvinism. May our Lord deliver us from this curse.

  38. from a sonnet by the Anglican poet/priest Malcolm Guite:

    ” ….Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken Name
    Come Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,
    O quickened little wick so tightly curled,
    Be folded with us into time and place,
    Unfold for us the mystery of grace
    And make a womb of all this wounded world.
    O heart of heaven beating in the earth,
    O tiny hope within our hopelessness
    Come to be born, to bear us to our birth,
    To touch a dying world with new-made hands
    And make these rags of time our swaddling bands”

  39. Jamie Carter wrote:

    I know that the focus is usually on women, but it’s yet another example of heavy-handed elders and membership contracts going awry.

    A godly doctor in his 70’s, a personal friend of pastor John MacArthur’s, was excommunicated at my ex-church, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley. I wish I had walked out the door then! And then they came after me and did same. Liars one and all those pastors/elders. Not a shred of ethics or morality.

  40. I do not know who you are (this group) but I happened upon you today (Christmas eve) while looking up a pastor who was part of the shepherding movement (sort of a surfing thing, looked at one article but something seemed off, so looked it up and saw how off it was) In the proceess, one of your posts was in the search and I happened upon your group.

    You are at this time strangers (but not) to me, but I see a common and wonderful spirit and wanted to just wish you all a wonderful celebration of Christ.

    Thanks for the pleasant reading.

    I’m not currently in a church. Might never be in a physical one again. But I do have regular fellowship with a friend and just with the bible and the Father. It is enough. If you are interested, I’ll put my email address as requested here and you can email me or whatever and I’ll properly introduce myself. Meanwhile, keep up the good work and have a wonderful Christmas (and Hannukah) sp?

    Patty

  41. Pat Schaniel wrote:

    If you are interested, I’ll put my email address as requested here and you can email me or whatever and I’ll properly introduce myself. Meanwhile, keep up the good work and have a wonderful Christmas (and Hannukah) sp?

    Hi Patty, it’s probably not safe to put your email address on a public site like this, unless it’s a throwaway address at which you are prepared to receive a lot of junk. Bots will find it and add it to all sorts of lists, and we do get a fair number of trolls looking for a fight here. You are quite welcome to come chat with us here or on Twitter, though.

    I’m interested in hearing about the pastor you looked up, if you have the time to do so one day.

  42. @ ishy:
    As with all “surfing” I read something about Generational curses which sounded wrong, so I googled it, which I found Inplainsight and found out about Deliverance ministries which still sounded wrong so I looked further and found out Derek Prince founded it. Googled that and found a comment that led me here. What a morass.

  43. Patricia Schaniel wrote:

    As with all “surfing” I read something about Generational curses which sounded wrong, so I googled it, which I found Inplainsight and found out about Deliverance ministries which still sounded wrong so I looked further and found out Derek Prince founded it. Googled that and found a comment that led me here. What a morass.

    Rabbit trails are often like that. But we’re glad you found us!

  44. Pat Schaniel wrote:

    You are at this time strangers (but not) to me, but I see a common and wonderful spirit and wanted to just wish you all a wonderful celebration of Christ.

    I’m pleased to meet you, Patty. Welcome!

  45. Pat Schaniel wrote:

    You are at this time strangers (but not) to me, but I see a common and wonderful spirit and wanted to just wish you all a wonderful celebration of Christ.

    Welcome, Pat!

    Thank you for your good wishes. Merry Christmas to you too!

  46. Pat Schaniel wrote:

    I’m not currently in a church. Might never be in a physical one again.

    Merry Christmas Pat. I found a number of people here that resemble your description, I’m borderline on the institutional church. Two years ago I was following a thread on the Petry’s story and ended up here, an interesting story all by itself. Welcome, it will be great to hear your insights.

  47. Patricia Schaniel wrote:

    @ ishy:
    As with all “surfing” I read something about Generational curses which sounded wrong, so I googled it, which I found Inplainsight and found out about Deliverance ministries which still sounded wrong so I looked further and found out Derek Prince founded it. Googled that and found a comment that led me here. What a morass.

    Thanks for sharing what you found. I’m not surprised that these nutty beliefs were tied to the Shepherding Movement.

    I found myself in a similar morass when I researched the Inerrancy of Scripture/Chicago Statement signed in the 1970’s at a hotel. The men behind it believe in the overthrow of the U.S. government, that 10 local Christian men should take over their areas, that their group should take over the states and U.S. from their. They believe in slavery for “non-Christians”, which I take to mean anyone not in lock-step with their crazy beliefs. They belive in a Biblical Patriarchy (side note: I guess they’ve never heard of The Gospel). They deny the Holocaust took place and they hate the Jewish people.

    No, just no. I knew that there was something wrong with the Inerrancy camp. My research proved my hunch to be correct.

  48. Hope everyone’s having a good holiday, and thanks again for the prayers for my sister-in-law. She’s still on a ventilator and not doing well at all but we’re still asking God for healing. I continue to pray for everyone here as well – may the New Year be a great one and Lord bless you.

  49. I just found your website and wish you all warm greetings. I would like to share this link to you all about a damaging book and cult called Raising Godly Tomatoes. There are many of us moms who used to follow this method and were connected on the raising godly tomatoes chat board, and have since seen the awful damage it has wrecked on our children and ourselves. I wosld love it if the Wartburg Watch would speak about this issue publicly.

    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2014/09/09/review-of-infant-spankingchild-abuse-manual-raising-godly-tomatoes-by-l-elizabeth-krueger/

  50. Jennifer wrote:

    I just found your website and wish you all warm greetings. I would like to share this link to you all about a damaging book and cult called Raising Godly Tomatoes. There are many of us moms who used to follow this method and were connected on the raising godly tomatoes chat board, and have since seen the awful damage it has wrecked on our children and ourselves. I wosld love it if the Wartburg Watch would speak about this issue publicly.
    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2014/09/09/review-of-infant-spankingchild-abuse-manual-raising-godly-tomatoes-by-l-elizabeth-krueger/

    Welcome, Jennifer.

    Thank you for warning us. I will copy your comment and put it at the top of the page under the Interesting tab, Books/TV/Movies, etc. tab.

    Please write Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board blog. She’s a friend of this blog and she (and her friend Kathi who writes some articles for Julie Anne’s blog) write about abusive books.

    Also there is Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts’ website, A Cry for Justice, dealing with domestic violence in Christian churches.

  51. Thank you all for a warm welcome 🙂 Hope everyone is having enough. If I had resources to share, I surely would, but my best friend actually helps me with unexpected expenses. She’s also a believer who was… well, you know. But we get out the bible and fellowship. she’s a blessing to me and to those around her. Blessings to you all.

  52. Patricia Schaniel wrote:

    Thank you all for a warm welcome Hope everyone is having enough. If I had resources to share, I surely would, but my best friend actually helps me with unexpected expenses. She’s also a believer who was… well, you know. But we get out the bible and fellowship. she’s a blessing to me and to those around her. Blessings to you all.

    So glad to have you here and another form of fellowship.

  53. Thank you soooo much to everyone who made Billys Christmas amazing. He got clothes, and a few things he had asked for such as two xbox games and a. Small stereo for his room. I bought him Jason Aldene CD , a jar that counts change, and a light up sign in the shape of an xbox controller. Today is Billy s birthday.

  54. Christiane wrote:

    @ Shauna:
    Happy Birthday to Billy!
    Prayers for you, Shauna, you have been through much. God Bless

    Happy Birthday Billy.

    We’re so glad that you two had a nice Christmas!

  55. Today’s status update.
    Doing well mentally. Physically the same. Thank you all for your prayers and love. They help and mean a ton.
    I have food for 5 or 6 days.
    Rent is due Sunday and will need to get it in a couple days – $565. I have part of it but still need $350.
    Thank you all so much.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  56. Thank you Christine. I got him a small cake and took him to dinner. In the past three years since his assault we have not celebrated his birthday. He had a hard time leaving the house and being around other boys for a time. The money also stopped being there once the pastor removed my customers in retaliation. Ever since it has been hand to mouth literally. With that said im looking for extra work to be able to do a party for billy with 10 of his friends. He wants to go to skyzone in Houston ( indoor trampolines) I told him we can pray about it and see what work God brings my way on top of my day job. He asked for an IPHONE he said thats all he wants. Well I think billy needs to work for it and I can put my free upgrade towards it which is about $300. In the meantime billy knows he needs to make due with what he has. He was very understanding. I need to get my car registered, pay inspection , and get the check engine light censors which is $380 by monday. I got the hrake light fixed. My temporary registration runs out Sunday. My insurance is also due $87.43 can’t register car or drive without it. Please pray that I can do something no registration means I can’t get to my new job. Other than that my job is going great just need the hours. Thank you all for praying thank you for billys birthday well wishes. God is good and thanks to you you made billys Christmas wonderful.

  57. Just want to say Happy new year. This blog has been eye opener not just in what’s reported but in showcasing the better side of Christianity.

    The commentary both in the blog & comments section is a refreshing change from the negative stereotypes of “true believers”. Or the trumpeting of those who claim to espouse the only truth.

    I hope that this blog will continue to prove that tolerance, rationality, compassion are not mutually exclusive with faith & Christian beliefs.

    All the best for 2017

  58. My husband’s older sister passed away a few hours ago. I wrote about her just before Christmas. I’d be so grateful if you’d keep her family in prayer.

    I’d also like to wish Billy a belated Happy Birthday – hope it was a good one. May your future look brighter and brighter each day (and hope you get your iPhone soon!).

    Happy New Year to all, and I’m keeping *everyone* in my thoughts and prayers. Those who have really urgent needs – please know that you’re never alone. I’ve been praying for you each day and will continue as long as I have breath. I pray that every need will be met and every heart encouraged as your faith grows stronger.

    Thank you so much, and may you all have blessed shalom in Yeshua.

  59. Talmidah wrote:

    My husband’s older sister passed away a few hours ago. I wrote about her just before Christmas. I’d be so grateful if you’d keep her family in prayer.

    I am sorry to hear of your sister-in-law’s death. I will be praying for your family.

  60. Velour wrote:

    Talmidah wrote:

    My husband’s older sister passed away a few hours ago. I wrote about her just before Christmas. I’d be so grateful if you’d keep her family in prayer.

    I am sorry to hear of your sister-in-law’s death. I will be praying for your family.

    Thanks, Velour. Hope you had a good Christmas.

  61. Thank you Talmadiah. Need prayer my cars expiration of registration ended today. I need to get the check engine light repared before I can register it. In the mean time I cant drive it because a no smog no registration ticket will run around 400.00 I have to find a way to worK. The gofundme would help tremendously but I will trust that the Lord will provide the funds there or elsewhere. Thank you all for thinking of us.

  62. @ Shauna

    You’re welcome, my friend – I’m always happy to pray. I know what it’s like to struggle and pinch the life out of every penny, month after month, year after year. It wears a person out. May the Lord strengthen you and give you wisdom, and may you and Billy see prosperity very soon.

  63. OldJohnJ,
    Couple of questions: You say God is outside of science, but he can intervene if He wants to. In light of that: where in your view did the fundamental laws of science come from?
    You seem to suggest the “science” is a belief system, with certain essentials that must be accepted in order to accept “science.” Am I wrong to think of science as a process to be worked at rather than a belief system that I must adhere to? While there are many fundamental laws of science that everyone agrees to, there is also much that is not universally agreed to. Is there room in “science” to seek answers or question what is not universally agreed to?

  64. dlc wrote:

    Couple of questions:

    These are profound questions and what I am writing are my beliefs and are barely the beginning of answers.

    The laws that characterize the physical part of our universe are an inseparable part of the creation act from the material part.

    The core belief of science is that we can study and understand the universe we live in. The laws we ascribe to the universe are not arbitrary and are assumed to apply to all parts of it. The process of science is to look for a set of laws that accurately represent the universe with minimal or no exceptional cases. Accurate in this context means predictions of the laws are confirmed by measurement and observations made of the universe and its components of all sizes.

    It is unlikely that this process will ever be finished thus questioning the status quo is part of science. To be considered an advancement of science a proposed modification must explain some discrepancy while continuing to describe existing observations as well the unmodified explanation.

  65. Update: catalytic converter needs to be replaced in order for my car to pass smog inspection ( $450.00) is what is needed. the car drives just fine however the state will not pass my inspection without that being repaired. If I drive with expired registration it will cost over 200 for getting ticketed. So in the mean time my car has been parked as of today. I was able to get a ride to work today which is about 13 miles away and no city transportation is available. my paycheck this week is already spent on rent and water bill. So even if I get the funds on Shauna and billys gofundme I still need to find rides to work until the repair is complete and then I need an additional 75 for registration and another 25 for inspection. Please pray I can get this taken care of quickly and continue to get billy to counseling. This gets tricky with work, rides, picking him up at school going to counseling and then getting him back to school and me back to work. His school is 12 miles the opposite direction of my work. A car is absolutely necessary where we live. There is one hwy which is right outside our subdivision and everything isn’t in walking distance. Just to get out of the neighborhood is about 2 miles. We are very blessed to live here but ttransportion is a huge issu with no vehicle. Thank you for your prayers

  66. OldJohnJ wrote:

    The laws that characterize the physical part of our universe are an inseparable part of the creation act from the material part.

    Can you be more specific about this paragraph? What is this cause? Naturalistic or an almighty intelligence?
    Looks like you and I agree about what science is. In light of your definition of science, I question your comment on rejecting the science that technology is based on. Are we not free to question and think freely? If we are not, that is a direct contradiction to our agreed upon definition of science.

  67. dlc wrote:

    OldJohnJ wrote:

    The laws that characterize the physical part of our universe are an inseparable part of the creation act from the material part.

    Can you be more specific about this paragraph? What is this cause? Naturalistic or an almighty intelligence?
    Looks like you and I agree about what science is. In light of your definition of science, I question your comment on rejecting the science that technology is based on. Are we not free to question and think freely? If we are not, that is a direct contradiction to our agreed upon definition of science.

    I wonder if you both could share your understandings of the Natural Law, or if it is a part of your lexicon concerning the ‘all that is seen and unseen’ of Creation? And thank you both for your dialogue with each other.

  68. OldJohnJ wrote:

    It is unlikely that this process will ever be finished thus questioning the status quo is part of science.

    This is why it is very unscientific to say “the science is settled” on any particular matter, especially if unknowns remain.

  69. Christiane wrote:

    the Natural Law

    If I can weigh in, “Natural Law” is a deistic concept that attempts to equate moral laws with physical laws (such as the “law” of gravity). The idea is that if we do certain moral things we will get predictable moral outcomes. I don’t think this is part of what OJJ and dic were discussing.

  70. dlc wrote:

    Can you be more specific about this paragraph? What is this cause? Naturalistic or an almighty intelligence?

    Our current understanding of the laws of physics is that we cannot use science to find the cause of universe because the laws of physics completely break down near the creation singularity. Science can only be used to study the actual universe, which means it is limited to events occurring within the actual universe. Whether the universe was created by God, by some quantum fluctuation, of by some kind of multiverse structure, we have no way of using science to figure it out. We can make some guesses and we can try to find evidence that will support those guesses, but it is very unlikely that we will be able to figure it out with science. We would need something outside of science to prove that. In the long run we probably will have to admit, “I don’t know.” Some people like to appeal to a “God of the gaps” argument. Others like to appeal to a “Science of the gaps” argument. Either argument is a statement of faith.

  71. dlc wrote:

    Can you be more specific about this paragraph? What is this cause? Naturalistic or an almighty intelligence?

    The first cause of our universe is a creative act by God. My intent of the quoted sentence is to say I can’t separate the created material from the laws we have discovered about the universe works. For Christine: I am strictly discussing only the physical world, not any moral law.

  72. Ken F wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    the Natural Law

    If I can weigh in, “Natural Law” is a deistic concept that attempts to equate moral laws with physical laws (such as the “law” of gravity). The idea is that if we do certain moral things we will get predictable moral outcomes. I don’t think this is part of what OJJ and dic were discussing.

    you may be right in that it does involve the moral code and also philosophy;
    but in a sense, I wondered if they had comments on God writing His Law on the hearts of mankind as a part of the unfolding of His Creation. I say that because the impulse to do good and avoid evil seems to exist universally among our kind.

    True, they may be referring only to that where God and His Creation are related, connect, and don’t connect. Surely they must have some idea of the Created Order in the natural world, or they may not, and I cannot know that unless I ask. Thanks for joining in, Ken. Yes, you are ‘the right Ken’ and I appreciate your work here.

  73. OldJohnJ wrote:

    For Christine: I am strictly discussing only the physical world, not any moral law.

    Thank you for responding. 🙂

  74. Ken F wrote:

    This is why it is very unscientific to say “the science is settled” on any particular matter, especially if unknowns remain.

    Well, some science is far better settled than others. I would not invest much effort in trying understand someone claiming the existence of a perpetual motion machine. The conservation of mass/energy is very well settled. On the other hand claims about genomics come and go on a daily basis since this is a very rapidly developing field.

  75. @ Ken F:
    another thought:
    do any of you gentlemen have a comment as to which makes more sense to you:
    God as Being itself?
    OR
    God as a Being, alone and apart?

  76. OldJohnJ wrote:

    Well, some science is far better settled than others.

    Good correction. I was too general when I wrote “any” particular matter. I was thinking of current debates such as global warming. Whichever side of that debate one is on, the science of global warming is anything but settled. By contrast, the theory of relativity is one of the most scientifically validated theories of all times in terms of predictions and measurements. But we still call it a theory and scientists still looks for ways to question it. When I hear people make claims that the science is settled for issues that are still very much open to investigatin, I tend to dismiss pretty much anything they have to say on that particular issue.

  77. Christiane wrote:

    another thought:
    do any of you gentlemen have a comment as to which makes more sense to you:
    God as Being itself?
    OR
    God as a Being, alone and apart?

    The name he gives for himself is “I am.” That seems to speak to him being something more than an isolated being.

  78. Christiane wrote:

    I wondered if they had comments on God writing His Law on the hearts of mankind as a part of the unfolding of His Creation.

    Science cannot speak to that because it is something outside of the realm of science. Similarly, science cannot prove or disprove the scientific method because the method itself is outside of the realm of science. It would be like trying to use a hammer to slice a tomato – wrong tool for the job.

  79. I’m going to need to find a job soon. Not quite making ends meet. I’ve had a couple offers from companies that are frankly a bit scary, so would be happy with a nice quiet desk job.

  80. OldJohnJ wrote:

    Well, some science is far better settled than others.

    I tried to reply but my answer had something in it that put it in time-out. I think I know what it was, so here is a slightly edited response:

    Good correction. I was too general when I wrote “any” particular matter. I was thinking of current debates such as [X]. Whichever side of that debate one is on, the science of [X] is anything but settled. By contrast, the theory of relativity is one of the most scientifically validated theories of all times in terms of predictions and measurements. But we still call it a theory and scientists still looks for ways to question it. When I hear people make claims that the science is settled for issues that are still very much open to investigation, I tend to dismiss pretty much anything they have to say on that particular issue.

  81. @ Ken F:
    Your first comment about unsettled GW has been presented. FWIW I think GW is occurring but the scientific case is not settled.

    More to the point of this blog is YEC. The current Big Bang cosmology states there was a beginning to the universe. More recent experimental results that the universe’s rate of expansion is increasing thus we won’t experience a Big Crunch. This very strongly suggests that our present universe is a unique one-time event not part of an infinite cycle of universes. A Godly creation is a very good explanation for this. Why does the YEC crowd persist with claiming, contrary to all scientific evidence, a 6000 year old universe by reading an allegorical account in early Genesis literally when there is such a strong present scientific evidence for a creation event?

  82. OldJohnJ wrote:

    Why does the YEC crowd persist with claiming, contrary to all scientific evidence, a 6000 year old universe by reading an allegorical account in early Genesis literally when there is such a strong present scientific evidence for a creation event?

    I suspect it started with fear. Then they painted themselves into a corner. They did not leave themselves a graceful exit. By contrast, the OEC crowd is generally more open minded about where the science leads.

  83. OldJohnJ and Ken F,
    Thanks for your thoughts and clarifying your beliefs of the cause of the universe.
    As far as old vs. young earth I think for many it is a literal view of Genesis. I think when a person digs deeper you will find evidence or interpretations of evidence that lean either way. For me, I want to know why the earth looks and behaves the way it does. I want to know how and why it has changed in the past. There is a laundry list of facts that must be explained. If you want me to believe one way or the other a simple, thorough, logical, and physically possible theory must be presented. At another time I might share my list of things that need to be explained.
    Thanks for the civility, it also helps to have a better idea of where you are coming from.

  84. dlc wrote:

    For me, I want to know why the earth looks and behaves the way it does. I want to know how and why it has changed in the past. There is a laundry list of facts that must be explained.

    I very much like Hugh Ross’ approach, but his website is not very user friendly. The link is on the TWW home page. Here is a site that is very easy to navigate: http://godandscience.org. It has references to Reasons to Believe.

  85. Update: Catalytic Converter needs to be replaced in order to drive my vehicle which costs $450 for parts and labor. So far I have no ride to my new job tomorrow and may have to risk driving my vehicle. A ticket will cost over 200 for expired registration at this point I can’t afford to lose work much less my job. I need to get billy to counseling this week and have not secured a ride. We live in an area where there is no transportation such as city bus and I cant afford a cab. Im just now getting bsck on my feet and this weeks paycheck is going to landlord and water bill. Its already spent. Please pray for shauna and billys gofundme plus a way to get to work and billys counseling. This is a challenge and im doing everything I can to provide for me and billy. I finally got a job outside of housecleaning now its dire for me to keep it and continue to work. Thank you all so much for your prayers

  86. @ Ken F:
    Looks like much interesting reading at the Hugh Ross site. Their approach seems to be the same as young earth sites, mix the Bible and science. While I believe that the Bible and science agree with each other, I would much rather deal with one at a time, though both are extremely interesting
    They don’t seem to provide the information that I am looking for: an explanation of the mechanisms of why the earth looks the way it does.

  87. OldJohnJ wrote:

    Why does the YEC crowd persist with claiming, contrary to all scientific evidence, a 6000 year old universe by reading an allegorical account in early Genesis literally when there is such a strong present scientific evidence for a creation event?

    They do that not because they care how old the earth is for it’s own sake, and not because they invalidate the scientific method for its own sake, and not because they do not have the capacity to understand the issues involved. They do that because, in the words of Al Mohler, YEC is essential to their ‘christian world view’. That is to say that they cannot maintain certain aspects of their world view that they have derived from a literal interpretation of multiple scriptures (not just YEC) and if a literal understanding of creation crumbles then lots of their derivative conclusions also crumble. Mohler has been very upfront about this. Their concern is about their understanding of what the so called christian world view must be, and biblical literalism is necessary for that. I continue to be amazed that they will be so open about this, because it looks embarrassing to me that people would abuse scripture like that.

    Actually, selective biblical literalism is essential for it, since they hold to this unless, of course, biblical literalism leads them where they do not want to go, and suddenly the have forty seven ways from Sunday as to why scripture is literal where they want it to be (like YEC) and not literal where they do not want it to be (like this is my body/blood). As far as I can tell they have no consistent objective criteria for determining when to be literal and when not. Thus, the subjugation of women and male supremacy can be maintained only if the genesis story is literal (who cares how old the earth is-that is not the ‘real’ issue) while the biblical/NT idea of if anyone is sick let him call for the elders of the church who will anoint him with oil and if he has sinned he will be forgiven and he will be healed is not literal-because.

    And in fact they are correct that they cannot maintain some of the issues in their world view unless they practice selective literalism, and unless the genesis creation story is understood literally.

  88. @ okrapod:
    so they fear not being in control of ‘the narrative’ …. their ‘wordview’ is labeled ‘Christian’. And anyone else’s interpretation is ‘a false gospel’???
    Fundamentalism takes a toll on the integrity of men’s souls, I think, when they fail to honor their God-given reason or, knowing something to be true, deny it for their agenda’s sake.

  89. Christiane wrote:

    Fundamentalism takes a toll on the integrity of men’s souls, I think, when they fail to honor their God-given reason or, knowing something to be true, deny it for their agenda’s sake.

    That depends on what is meant by knowing something to be true. It is overwhelmingly easy for someone who has no background for understanding something to easily think that the fact that they do not understand it is evidence that it is not true, particularly if they have a lot to lose if it turns out to be true. How many spouses for example have more than ample evidence that their spouse is out tom catting and they look right at it and do no ‘see’ it. I speak from personal experience, sad to say.

    I think they intensely believe that their agenda is true, right, worthy and biblical and that therefore these other things must certainly and of necessity comply with the agenda. Any other understanding of something must be rejected as untrue because ‘the bible says, and that means’ and it cannot mean otherwise.

    I admire the LCMS school where some of our kids go. They teach YEC as a religious belief in religion class and they teach old earth in science class. And in fact, the one is a religious belief and the other is a science based belief.

  90. okrapod wrote:

    I think they intensely believe that their agenda is true, right, worthy and biblical and that therefore these other things must certainly and of necessity comply with the agenda. Any other understanding of something must be rejected as untrue because ‘the bible says, and that means’ and it cannot mean otherwise.

    sounds like a circular logic at work in that kind of thinking …… as for people ‘believing’ something is true while evidence to the contrary is staring them in the face, I think we all do this from time to time, and yes, the result can be heart-breakingly sad.

  91. @ okrapod:
    Thanks for a nice summary and critique of: http://www.icr.org/article/5669/ by Al Mohler. If you can swallow his arguments about the importance of YEC (literal interpretation of Gen 1-11) then the rest of the YRR agenda is a lot easier to accept. His concluding paragraph sums up the entire YEC story.

  92. @ Christiane:

    Complete tangent here, but: how do you pronounce “Christiane”? Does the last “e” have its own syllable?

    I ask because I discuss favourite Wartburgers with Lesley. And I can confidently pronounce everyone else!

  93. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I know, obviously, but since (as My word says) it is the glory of kings to search a matter out, it’s not My will to reveal this directly.

    Best regards,
    God

  94. dlc wrote:

    Their approach seems to be the same as young earth sites, mix the Bible and science.

    I’ll reply in parts to keep the comments reasonably short.
    Part one
    Are you looking for an unbiased source of info about this topic? You won’t find one – everyone is biased. And the people who feel strongly enough to write about it tend to feel very strongly about the topic. But even so, I think it’s possible to find good information among the mass of biased information sources. One advantage with both Hugh Ross and Ken Ham is they are upfront about their intent to defend the Christian faith.

    Although they both sound like they have the same goal, I strongly disagree with your assessment that their approach is the same. And I believe both of their ministries would strongly disagree you as well (you could contact each one to find out). I’ve read just about every popular book that Hugh Ross has written. I’ve not read all of Ken Ham’s, but enough to get the flavor of his approach. Ken Ham comes at it with an inconsistent anti-science view. He expresses extreme distrust of non-YEC scientists (which is the vast majority of scientists). He very often dismisses most of the findings of science as a conspiracy to discredit the Bible. But then he turns around and cherry picks scientific findings which give the appearance of supporting YEC. By contrast, Hugh Ross believes that science and that Bible will not contradict each other when interpreted correctly, and he does a reasonable job of modifying his views over time based on new information, new findings, and criticism he gets from various sources (including peer review). The key issue is the interpretation. Hugh Ross’ interpretations of both science and the Bible have evolved over time, which I see as a testament to his scientific way of thinking. Ken Ham becomes more and more polarized against modern science as time goes on, which is a testament to his anti-scientific way of thinking. Perhaps this reflects the academic credentials of each of them.

    If you have just scanned a few of the articles on Reasons to Believe then you won’t be able to form a good opinion about RTB. The books are much better than any of the short articles I’ve read. I very much enjoy the books that come out of that ministry, but not so much the articles. I hope this helps.

  95. dlc wrote:

    While I believe that the Bible and science agree with each other, I would much rather deal with one at a time, though both are extremely interesting

    Part two
    I don’t know if it is truly possible to deal with them one at a time since our underlying beliefs will always shade how we interpret what we read or hear. One of the big problems is theologians are often not trained in science, and scientists are often not trained in theology. So they tend to have vastly different ways of interpreting things. There are some who have a reasonable understanding of both, but this is more rare than it should be. As a consequence, if one wants to investigate strictly from a scientific viewpoint, one is likely to find material with an anti-supernatural bent. Similarly, if one wants to investigate from a strictly theological viewpoint, one will likely find a bias against or a mistrust of science. This can give the impression of less overlap between science and theology than in fact exists.

    If in fact there is God of some kind who created everything, there is nothing inherently unscientific in trying to understand how it was all created. It would be no more unscientific than investigating the source of something like the carved figures on Easter Island. We assume they were not made by the wind because they have the marks of design. Many in the scientific world are seeing the marks of design in nature – the more we learn the more complex we find the design. In fact, if the universe was created, it would be unscientific to rule out the possibility of a creator a priori. Similarly, if it was not created, it would be unscientific to assume that it was. I think the best approach is to go where the evidence leads. This involves understanding what kind of evidence is reasonable to be found. For example, we should not expect scientific evidence for things that science cannot investigate, such as information from other universes.

  96. dlc wrote:

    They don’t seem to provide the information that I am looking for: an explanation of the mechanisms of why the earth looks the way it does.

    Part three
    There are two questions here. One question is, given the laws of physics, how did the earth come to have its characteristics such as mass, rotation rate, composition, orbital stability, etc. I don’t think you are asking that question because answers to that one are readily available. Rather, I think you are asking why we have the physical laws and universal constants that got the whole thing going.

    Are you familiar with the Anthropic Principle? There are various definitions, but it basically boils down to the universe appears to be designed for humanity. It turns out that the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned to support not just life, but advanced life. There are numerous physical constants of the universe (such as the speed of light, relative strengths of the fundamental forces) and physical characteristics (mass, relative abundance of various particles such as the ratio of protons to neutrons) that must be very finely tuned for there to be stars and planets. On top of that, there are hundreds of characteristics of a planet that much be just right in order for there to be any kind of like, such as type of galaxy, age of the star, location in the galaxy, type and location of planets in the solar system, temperature, stable water cycle, abundance of minerals, etc. Advanced life requires even more fine tuning so that things like seasons and weather are not too extreme. When all of the various factors are taken into account (and scientists learn of more each year), the probability of advanced life anywhere in the universe is extremely low. I recommend Hugh Ross’ recent book “Improbably Planet.” A secular book on this topic is also very good, but it’s a bit older: “Rare Earth” by Peter Ward.

    The anthropic principle leads anti-supernatural scientists to some interesting theories, such as the possibility of an infinite number of universes, or a vast amount of universes where we just happen to live in the one that is just right. Stephen Hawking even proposed imaginary time as a way to explain the creation singularity. The problem with such theories is they appear to be untestable. This makes them nothing more than religious statements. It’s scientifically dishonest to reject a supernatural belief in a creator while at the same time believing in a theory that one cannot propose a way to prove. Both have to be taken by faith. One could claim that the untestable theories could be tested in the future when we have better tools, but the same could be said about testing for a creator.

    I personally believe that we will never be able to prove or disprove God, because he designed a universe that requires faith. Too much evidence would negate faith and would negate human choice.

  97. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I like Ken F.s three part post..

    I do too. Especially his concluding paragraph in part three. I also find it odd that two of the intellectual Titans of the Enlightenment (Kepler and Newton) had no problem in pointing to Almighty God as the first mover of all things, and yet at present day, the glitterati of the science world will just blow it off as un-testable at best and quaint superstition at worst.

  98. Latest status update.
    Thank you all for you continued support.
    It means a ton to me.
    I have food for a week or so.
    January rent is paid and almost all January bills are paid.
    Thank you all so much.
    My health seems to still be static.
    The car situation is still the same. I also need a new couch. Mine doubles as my bed. It has served me well – purchased used 8 1/2 years ago, but it is just wearing out.
    Again, thank you all so much for your help. Love to you all.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  99. Ken F wrote:

    It’s scientifically dishonest to reject a supernatural belief in a creator while at the same time believing in a theory that one cannot propose a way to prove. Both have to be taken by faith. One could claim that the untestable theories could be tested in the future when we have better tools, but the same could be said about testing for a creator.

    If I might so observe, Ken, these were outstanding comments even by your standards.

    By way of a shallow attempt at basking in reflected glory, therefore, I’ll add a bit to the snippet above. Namely, that for the scientific mind, one way of describing the Christian life is that it’s a continual testing of and refining our understanding and experience of the Creator.

    If there’s a God, and that God became human, and suffered with us, and was moved to compassion by the experience (e.g.: Father, forgive them: they do not know what they’re doing) – then not only does that change everything, but it has testable consequences.

    If the hope of glory is Christ in us, and his Spirit lives in us, then that has testable consequences. If God’s called me to work with and on behalf of the poor and the downtrodden, that has testable consequences. Etc, etc.

  100. Ken F wrote:

    Are you looking for an unbiased source of info about this topic? You won’t find one – everyone is biased.

    Agreed, so that leaves one choice for anyone interested enough to dig into the subject. Know the physical evidence, the undesputable facts, then see which theory fits the evidence best.
    So the earth and solar system are here for us to observe. What theory best fits and explains what we see.

  101. Ken F wrote:

    I think the best approach is to go where the evidence leads.

    Agreed. Again bias comes into play here. Is there freedom to follow the evidence wherever it leads, even if it goes against scientific “consensus?” How do we get anywhere if we stay only in the current scientific paradigm. Change in thinking is slow, but as you mentioned design in nature is becoming more apparent to more people.

  102. Ken F wrote:

    dlc wrote:
    They don’t seem to provide the information that I am looking for: an explanation of the mechanisms of why the earth looks the way it does.
    Part three
    There are two questions here. One question is, given the laws of physics, how did the earth come to have its characteristics such as mass, rotation rate, composition, orbital stability, etc. I don’t think you are asking that question because answers to that one are readily available. Rather, I think you are asking why we have the physical laws and universal constants that got the whole thing going.

    I am very simply looking for the scientific reasons the earth looks and acts the way it does.

    Why are there sedimentary layers a mile deep on every continent?
    Where did the sediments come from?
    What is the mid oceanic ridge? What caused it?
    What caused ocean trenches?
    How was the Grand Canyon formed?
    How was granite formed?
    How is earth’s magnetic field generated?

    Those questions, plus many others need to be answered logically and in a physically possible manner. The current paradigm of plate tectonics (uniformitarian or catastrophic) does not answer those questions with physically possible mechanisms.
    I would encourage you to set time and age aside and read the online book detailing the Hydroplate theory. The theory is addressed in Part II. Dr. Brown has many plausable ideas, not to mention confirmed predictions.
    Thanks for your responses.

  103. Update car is repaired thanking the Lord for this job!!!!! Now I need to pay for the car inspection registration and figure out food/gas until next Thursday. My amazing landlord told me to fix my car first rather than give rent. Shes an amazing Christian lady. Please pray for her real estate business that she sells homes and makes her living.

  104. Shauna wrote:

    Update car is repaired thanking the Lord for this job!!!!! Now I need to pay for the car inspection registration and figure out food/gas until next Thursday. My amazing landlord told me to fix my car first rather than give rent. Shes an amazing Christian lady. Please pray for her real estate business that she sells homes and makes her living.

    That’s wonderful news, Shauna!

  105. dlc wrote:

    I would encourage you to set time and age aside and read the online book detailing the Hydroplate theory. The theory is addressed in Part II. Dr. Brown has many plausable ideas, not to mention confirmed predictions.

    Are you serious?!? Hydroplate theory has been completely discredited, even by some YECs. And it creates more problems than it solves. Dr Brown is a theological quack. The only apologetic value his works have is in showing what is wrong with YEC. I cannot imagine how a thinking person could give him and his theories any scientific credibility. Do you really believe this stuff? If so, why?

  106. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Thank you for your kind words. I was a YEC until the early 1990s. Not long after my “conversion” I excitedly talked about OEC with one of my old college friends. He became genuinely concerned for my salvation. He sternly warned me against the poison of YEC, and pleaded with me to read the writings of Ken Ham. Reading Ken Ham confirmed my decision to abandon YEC. How do they make this stuff up? It would be funny if it was not used to spiritually abuse so many people. I’ve read quite a bit on both sides since then because it so often comes up in church settings.

  107. Muff Potter wrote:

    I also find it odd that two of the intellectual Titans of the Enlightenment (Kepler and Newton) had no problem in pointing to Almighty God as the first mover of all things, and yet at present day, the glitterati of the science world will just blow it off as un-testable at best and quaint superstition at worst.

    They give people plausible reasons to reject Christianity.

  108. @ Muff Potter:
    Ken F wrote:

    They give people plausible reasons to reject Christianity.

    I just now realized that I misunderstood your comment. I saw the word glitterati and thought YRRs. The YECs give plausible reasons for atheists to reject Christianity. I feel pity for such scientists because so many of them have never been exposed to good theological discussions. If all they know about the Christian perspective on science is the loud minority of YECs, of course they would reject Christianity.

    I don’t have contempt for people who believe in a young earth because it is a possible interpretation of Genesis 1 (but I think a weak one). But I have contempt for theories that make a mockery of evidence and logic as a means to push one very narrow interpretation.

  109. Ken F wrote:

    I don’t have contempt for people who believe in a young earth because it is a possible interpretation of Genesis 1 (but I think a weak one).

    I have contempt for them because Young Earthers are rude, arrogant, and have shown a shocking contempt for others. If you don’t fall lockstep into their beliefs, you can’t be a real Christian (TM) and know the true Gospel (TM).

    The word “Yom” in the Hebrew creation story has 58 different meanings, not one meaning as Young Earthers like to proclaim.

    Young Earthers have made secondary issues, primary issues.

  110. Velour wrote:

    I have contempt for them because Young Earthers are rude, arrogant, and have shown a shocking contempt for others.

    Not all of them are like this. The simple believers in a young earth tend to be gracious. But it seems that the more they follow sites like Answers in Genesis the more likely they are as you describe. That teaching is dangerous. The list of prominent YECs has some big names, including John MacArthur.

  111. there is an ‘edge’ to some YEC and ‘inerrantist’ attitudes that goes far into telling people that they have to believe a certain way in order to ‘be saved’;

    but in that way, I think these fundamentalists are holding the Word of God hostage to their agendas, and that may be the greatest contempt of all

    Ken Ham is for Ken Ham and the money he can make from his enterprises ….. the fundamentalists who follow Ham are deeply involved in politics as well, and refuse to recognize basic scientific evidence of global warming so as to pander to the fossil fuel companies

    It’s about $, the $alvation of the bottom line on some CEO’s retirement contract

    I wouldn’t trust fundamentalists who manipulate Scripture to make $ for a minute. Whatever salvation they are offering in exchange for honoring our God-given reasoning …. I don’t want it. Not wholesome at all.

  112. Ken F wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I have contempt for them because Young Earthers are rude, arrogant, and have shown a shocking contempt for others.
    Not all of them are like this. The simple believers in a young earth tend to be gracious. But it seems that the more they follow sites like Answers in Genesis the more likely they are as you describe. That teaching is dangerous. The list of prominent YECs has some big names, including John MacArthur.

    Yes, at my ex-church they were John MacArthur-ites and graduates of The Masters Seminary.
    They are small-minded people and frankly mean-spirited. They have sub-par educations.
    They major in minors.

  113. Ken F wrote:

    Are you serious?!? Hydroplate theory has been completely discredited, even by some YECs. And it creates more problems than it solves. Dr Brown is a theological quack. The only apologetic value his works have is in showing what is wrong with YEC. I cannot imagine how a thinking person could give him and his theories any scientific credibility. Do you really believe this stuff? If so, why?

    You bring up the challenge of sorting through criticism and bias. Who does a person trust on subjects that you don’t know much about? Every theory has criticism and has bias against it. Who do you believe? Therefore one has to gather information, then think for oneself. Have you read Dr. Brown’s work yourself? If you haven’t I encourage you to do so if you are interested in earth history. On controversial issues such as this, one must do their own thinking.
    To be blunt, the alternative theories don’t pass my logic test. I don’t see how they can answer all the questions I mentioned above. Clearly all the theories in this area are works in progress, and I am sure that none of them are completely correct.

  114. dlc wrote:

    To be blunt, the alternative theories don’t pass my logic test.

    Why does Dr Brown’s theory pass your logic test and the others don’t? What makes you believe it while at the same time not believing the more widely accepted theories? What is it in that theory do you find convincing in a way that the others are not?

  115. H A P P Y 2 0 1 7 to all TWW’ers.

    Great to hear the good news in people’s lives so far.

    And great to get to keep praying . . .

    I consider all TWW’ers a rich gift in my life.

  116. Ken F wrote:

    I don’t have contempt for people who believe in a young earth because it is a possible interpretation of Genesis 1 (but I think a weak one). But I have contempt for theories that make a mockery of evidence and logic as a means to push one very narrow interpretation.

    Nor do I have contempt for young Earthers or any others who want to buck prevailing theory. Anybody can do so by speculation and postulation, but don’t try and claim it’s true by empirical science. From what can actually be measured by experiment, and repeated by others, the Cosmos walks and quacks like a duck, a very old duck.
    That doesn’t mean that math and measureable science have no more tricks up their sleeves, it just means that they don’t have any right now.

  117. Muff Potter wrote:

    Anybody can do so by speculation and postulation, but don’t try and claim it’s true by empirical science.

    Yes. I would be more sympathetic to the YEC view if they simply said, “We don’t know.” But trying to appeal to science in an anti-scientific way is dishonest.

  118. The other day I ran across a blog talking about sermons referencing episodes of animal cruelty such as this one: https://vimeo.com/175239708
    It got me thinking and I realized that not once had I heard any sermons speaking against acts of animal cruelty and that I had also heard at least one act of animal cruelty referred to in a Sunday sermon.
    So I put the internet to work for me and found a message by John MacArthur that also used animal cruelty to make a point about overcoming temptation.

    I wanted to ask all of you though, as you represent a lot of people from a lot of different regions who have heard far more sermons than me:
    1.) Have you heard pastors use acts of animal cruelty to make a point in their sermons about something else?
    2.) Have you heard pastors dedicate an entire sermon against acts of animal cruelty?

    I noticed that to some extent, complementarian thought can be pointed to as part (though not fully explaining) the problem in so far as boys are not always taught to be kind or gentle; but there’s also creationist arguments that allow for humans to do as they please in the name of dominion, and also teachings about animals not having souls and therefore being less important than humans are. It makes for some good bloging material, but it would be better with lots more input.

  119. A childhood friend of mine that was a pastor just died this morning from a long fight with cancer. Please pray for his wife, kids, and grandkids for peace and comfort. Thank you.

  120. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    A childhood friend of mine that was a pastor just died this morning from a long fight with cancer. Please pray for his wife, kids, and grandkids for peace and comfort. Thank you.

    Praying

  121. Jamie Carter wrote:

    I wanted to ask all of you though, as you represent a lot of people from a lot of different regions who have heard far more sermons than me:
    1.) Have you heard pastors use acts of animal cruelty to make a point in their sermons about something else?
    2.) Have you heard pastors dedicate an entire sermon against acts of animal cruelty?

    I went to a franchise of John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church called Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley run by the authoritarian Master’s Seminary graduate Cliff McManis.

    1) Yes, I did hear Cliff McManis devote sermons and Sunday School sermons to animals, such as dumb sheep and demonic goats to compare people in the pew to same, including for the need for them to be controlled by pastors/elders.

    2) I never heard Cliff McManis speak against animal cruelty.

  122. Jamie Carter wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Thanks for answering. I found a message on John MacArthur’s website about overcoming temptation and it begins with a story about a man who would hit his dog every time he ate some meat that he left out before him: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1205/how-to-overcome-temptation
    I’m wondering if such anecdotes are so common that we don’t even question them.

    I began to question everything at my ex-church. It all built up inside of me until I just screamed internally, “No. No more.” And I was done with them and told them the same when they wanted to control another aspect of my life.

  123. @ Velour:
    I think that’s why I’m finding it so difficult to go back to church, any church at all. I don’t think that churches here are different from the ones I’ve left and I don’t want to put through any more of their teachings for now.

  124. Jamie Carter wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I think that’s why I’m finding it so difficult to go back to church, any church at all. I don’t think that churches here are different from the ones I’ve left and I don’t want to put through any more of their teachings for now.

    I am in the same boat.

    I figure that work can be hard enough. I don’t need “church” to add to my woes.

  125. Velour wrote:

    Jamie Carter wrote:

    I wanted to ask all of you though, as you represent a lot of people from a lot of different regions who have heard far more sermons than me:
    1.) Have you heard pastors use acts of animal cruelty to make a point in their sermons about something else?
    2.) Have you heard pastors dedicate an entire sermon against acts of animal cruelty?

    I went to a franchise of John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church called Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley run by the authoritarian Master’s Seminary graduate Cliff McManis.

    1) Yes, I did hear Cliff McManis devote sermons and Sunday School sermons to animals, such as dumb sheep and demonic goats to compare people in the pew to same, including for the need for them to be controlled by pastors/elders.

    2) I never heard Cliff McManis speak against animal cruelty.

    Ken Ramey uses the term Dumb Sheep and even preaches a sermon on animal cruelty. Meaning pastor ken Ramey talks about how in biblical times when a sheep strayed the shepherds would break its leg and then carry them around his neck and shoulders until it healed. He said this is what God does when Jesus sheep stray he go’s to find them and will use pain to draw a Christian close kibd of like breaking the sheeps leg!

  126. Shauna wrote:

    Ken Ramey uses the term Dumb Sheep and even preaches a sermon on animal cruelty. Meaning pastor ken Ramey talks about how in biblical times when a sheep strayed the shepherds would break its leg and then carry them around his neck and shoulders until it healed. He said this is what God does when Jesus sheep stray he go’s to find them and will use pain to draw a Christian close kibd of like breaking the sheeps leg!

    Dear God!
    These people are truly horrific.

    from early Christianity comes THIS description of a shepherd:

    ““For he who endeavours to amend the faults of human weakness ought to bear this very weakness on his own shoulders, let it weigh upon himself, not cast it off.
    For we read that the Shepherd in the Gospel (Luke 15:5) carried the weary sheep, and did not cast it off.

    And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17) for restraint should temper righteousness.

    For how shall he offer himself to you for healing whom you despise, who thinks that he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician?

    Therefore had the Lord Jesus compassion upon us in order to call us to Himself, not frighten us away. He came in meekness, He came in humility, and so He said:
    “Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28)
    So, then, the Lord Jesus refreshes, and does not shut out nor cast off, and fitly chose such disciples as should be interpreters of the Lord’s will, as should gather together and not drive away the people of God.

    Whence it is clear that they are not to be counted among the disciples of Christ, who think that harsh and proud opinions should be followed rather than such as are gentle and meek;
    persons who, while they themselves seek God’s mercy, deny it to others . . .”

    St. Ambrose (340-379 A.D.),
    a Father and Doctor of the Church

  127. A Prayer for Animals by Dr. Albert Schweitzer

    “Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals,
    especially for animals who are suffering;
    for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated;
    for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars;
    for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry;
    for all that must be put death.
    We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
    and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion
    and gentle hands and kindly words.
    Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals,
    and so to share the blessings of the merciful.”

  128. Christiane wrote:

    Dear God!
    These people are truly horrific.

    I concur – it’s slow going finding material, but the three part series: “Creatures are born to be killed” is a goldmine of horrible theology: “If all you are is an animal, you’re born to be captured and killed.” He also speaks of false teachers the same way – as animals who are better off dead than alive.

  129. @ Jamie Carter:
    The Book of Job tells us that in God’s Hands is the life of every living creature.

    I believe that those who are cruel to innocent animals are very, very sick beings themselves. We find that many bullies got their start tormenting innocent animals as well as helpless younger children.

    We had a neighbor with by her own description ‘two perfect children’. Her boy was the neighborhood bully, but she saw nothing wrong with him fighting with much younger children. One day, while his mother sat with her friends at the lake beach, her son picked up a piece of concrete and threw it at a small child.

    She had no place to hide. The injuries were severe, but the little one lived.

    We don’t need people in ‘christian’ churches teaching that any form of cruelty is ‘okay’.

  130. Christiane wrote:

    We don’t need people in ‘christian’ churches teaching that any form of cruelty is ‘okay’.

    “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s”
    — Mark Twain —

  131. Ken F wrote:

    Shauna wrote:

    when a sheep strayed the shepherds would break its leg

    It’s crazy what can be passed as fact. It looks like this guy did some research and found no basis for the myth: http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/06/27/the-shepherd-breaking-his-sheeps-legs-myths-thatll-preach/.

    Yes your right but pastor ken ramey knew exactly what he was doing when he made those statements. He preached it as fact and refers to Christians in the flick as stinky smelly dumb sheep! I looked it up immediately and saw that what ken Ramey said about shepherds breaking the legs of strayed sheep was a flat out lie and very deceptive. He mixed in truth with that lie and to unsuspecting Christians who believe what he says because they know him, he has a masters degree, he went to John MacArthur s seminary so how could he be wrong? So they believe him and don’t check to see if all of what he says lines up. He used this to say that God brings pain to the believer purposefully in order to keep that Christian close to Him. In fact sheep are not as dumb as one would be led to believe. Naive maybe but not all together stupid. They are gentle animals who also bond with their shepherds. They can remember up to 200 faces I believe for up to two years. Maybe wrong about the exact number but they have an incredible memory and abused animals who can remember like that will be in fear of an abusive shepherd not drawn closer to him. So you see the subtle deception of Ken Rameys statements? I sure do and he is deceptive like this in many of his sermons. If hes doing it so are a lot of others who are controlling pastors.

  132. Latest status update.
    I need to pay one January bill by Sunday. All the rest are covered.
    Thank you.
    I will need more food in a couple of days.
    Have been in a little pain this week, but it is subsiding.
    The car situation has not changed. I also still need a new couch.
    Thanks and love to you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  133. Ken F wrote (to commenter drc):

    Why does Dr Brown’s theory pass your logic test and the others don’t? What makes you believe it while at the same time not believing the more widely accepted theories? What is it in that theory do you find convincing in a way that the others are not?

    I think the basic problem is that YECists such as drc think science is like theology.

    IOW, with theology, you (the generic “you”, not “you, Ken F”, obviously) pick your favourite fragments of scribsher, pick a suitable interpretation of each that passes your personal “logic test”, and out pops your opinion to which you are as entitled as anybody else. You might bolster it by aligning yourself with some denomination or other school of thought and claiming a label. You can then treat this as correct because it exists purely inside the bubble of your private “logic”. It cannot be challenged other than trivially by someone else’s opinion which is nothing than that: their opinion.

    Similarly, it seems from drc’s comments that (s)he believes science happens in the same way. You pick a few facts, choose an interpretation of them that gratifies you, and that becomes “your truth”. Everything is a “theory” in the sense that it’s an idly speculative opinion that can only be judged subjectively.

    What drc et al are fundamentally ignorant of is that every accepted scientific theory is constantly forced to put its money where its mouth is and make testable, concrete predictions that, if untrue, will inescapably be proven untrue. Furthermore, the current body of scientific/engineering knowledge wasn’t dreamed up by someone over coffee one morning, but has grown over literally millions of person-hours of tedious learning, experimentation, data-gathering, data-processing and other research. Many of the things we know scientifically were stumbled across by accident in the process of doing this. And, as OldJohnJ has often pointed out, the result has been working technology (both good and bad).

    To provide drc with a full explanation of why the earth is round etc would take a great deal of time and (s)he would have to amass a great deal of background information, the result of the aforesaid millions of hours-worth of research and study. Much easier just to make something up and pretend it’s as good a “theory” as anybody else’s.

  134. Janet Mefferd has written a quite lengthy piece on the problems between Russell Moore and the conservatives. It can be found on barbwire (dot) com which is a pretty conservative web site from Matt Barber et al. I found it interesting.

  135. I just got laid off. I had a hunch it was coming, so I was looking for another job, but hadn’t found one yet. Guess I need to now.

  136. ishy wrote:

    I just got laid off. I had a hunch it was coming, so I was looking for another job, but hadn’t found one yet. Guess I need to now.

    I’m so sorry to hear that. Good luck finding something soon 🙁

  137. ishy wrote:

    I just got laid off. I had a hunch it was coming, so I was looking for another job, but hadn’t found one yet. Guess I need to now.

    I am sorry to hear that Ishy. I will be praying for you. You are a person of enormous talent and intelligence.

  138. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Are you eligible for unemployment while you job hunt?

    I don’t know. That’s a good question. I was not full-time, so might not be, but I’ll look into it.

  139. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    You can then treat this as correct because it exists purely inside the bubble of your private “logic”.

    I like your thinking on this. I’ve found that YECs believe it because of ideology, not because of where the evidence leads. I have never found a YEC believer who did not come to that belief because of scientific evidence on its own merits. To be fair, there are atheists who do the same.

  140. Billy was invited to church on Wednesday nights with his friends. This church puts a lot of focus on the youth and activities which I love. I grew up close to the kids in my youth group and the youth pastor and his wife. I had the same youth pastor beginning from Jr. High through college. My hope is for billy to have that to. This time in a place which embraces freedom in how they worship where Christ is present. I still find it difficult to go back but I want Billy to be with his friends and hear more about the Love of Christ.
    Anyways so Billy comes in this past week holding his new bible I got him for Christmas (King James) and said I had the best night and I love my new bible”. He was beaming. One of his friends has a nice truck and he picked billy up from school to go to church. Afterwards the guys all went to whataburger to hang out with other youth who gather there every Wednesday after church. My son laughed and beamed as he told me alk the funny stuff the guys were doinG like donuts with their cars small ones lol and little pranks on each other. Billy felt included and just was one of the guys.
    Then Billy ran into a group of guys whose parents attended lakeside bible church. These guys are in college now but they remembered billy. Keep in mind billy and I had been attending LBC since he was 7-8 years old. Billy is only a couple years younger than these guys. So they asked Billy what happened to you? Why did you leave LBC? They said that they just stopped seeing him. Billy said he thought about it for a second and was a little scared to say why he left. Then he said he decided to just tell them the truth and that he would rather they hear it from him and not the church. Billy told them everything including how we were shunned , my work and ministry taken, how billy was put under church discipline and who his perpetrator was.

    Please let me say that these boys exerted more maturity in the Lord in their response than Pastor Ramey, the elders and deacons at LBC. First they each showed him empathy and expressed how terrible and scary it must have been for him to be raped. Then they said Pastor Ramey was an asshole to treat billy and me the way he did. They said they left LBC because they were to controlling. Each of these mature guys affirmed billy put their arm around him and then said “if you ever need anything heres our numbers”. They also said they know Greg billys perpetrator and said he was a crerpy character to begin with. Anyways aside from that im so proud of Billy because that took guts to share that he had been raped and billy didn’t mince words. He called it what it was! Im proud of those college guys who in my eyes are becoming good men and men who know the love of Christ and how to show it. Maybe it guys like thes who should be teaching men like. Ken Ramey and the elders. Their response shamed that church because it is how the men at LBC should have responded.
    I also need to note that these guys made an interesting statement to Billy. They said “now we know who pastor ken was talking about when he preached a sermon” they were referring to the on. Ken didn’t stream online and if anyone wants to hear it they have to go into the church and listen to it there only. Keep in mind every other sermon can be bought for 3.00 a cd or listened to online free. it became clear ken had a lot of negative things to say about us to the church.

  141. These guys also told billy they were sorry that he went through that whole experience their parents do attend the church and they drop in from time to time but they said after what billy told them that they will not be going back. I wish I could hug these boys and tell them how much they ministered to my heart in how they just loved my son the other night. This is attributed to their parents and the love of Christ that lives in them. I think parents despite any faults somehow we manage to do some things right.

  142. Shauna, so great to hear the good news about Billy. There are good young men out there, we just have to find them. God Bless these older college boys who now support Billy. What an answer to prayer this is for you. Little by little word is getting out about the truth of LBC.

  143. Yes Harley so glad for them. Wordis getting out. One of the current LBC members who we thought were supportive went out of his way Friday to insult billy by insulting his dog. He insulted my son by implying he is a lazy teenager saying he probably lays around everyday and does nothing. He then knowing billys age asked him how old he was by saying oh I thought you were 13. Keep in mindthis appeared to be intentional in order to remind billy of his assault. That is how my son perceived it. He kept cutting billy off when he asked my son questions and then proceeded to brag about how rich he was at billys age My Son said he had to go after he had enough and this man attempted to get him to stay. Billy remained respectful even though he wanted to tell him off!!! When billy came in while I was finishing cleaning a house for my customer I was fuming when he told me this. Billy was upset. Keep inmind this man has known billy for five years always nice hes best friendswith all tge elders. So whatever got up his rear he intentionally went after billy because I wasn’t there and he was a bully to my son. I have to get back to work there is moreto this

  144. Shauna wrote:

    Please let me say that these boys exerted more maturity in the Lord in their response than Pastor Ramey, the elders and deacons at LBC. First they each showed him empathy and expressed how terrible and scary it must have been for him to be raped.

    These young fellows are a breath of fresh air and an answer to prayer. I can only hope that their interaction went a long way toward giving Billy much needed validation.

  145. Ken F wrote:

    I like your thinking on this. I’ve found that YECs believe it because of ideology, not because of where the evidence leads.

    Indeed. I’m sure you’re aware of the broader history of scientific thought (it makes a very interesting study), and that the earliest western scientists – folk like Newton and his contemporaries – believed in a Young Earth, because it was the prevailing idea and they had no particular reason to question it.

    The institute named for the odd concept of “creation research” doesn’t actually do scientific (small s) research. If it did, they’d be looking for other consequences of a “literal bible”, and they’d be focusing on things like healing the sick and raising the dead. I mention these activities because they are very clearly seen as a major part of Jesus’ earthly ministry and a plain reading of scribsher incontrovertibly states that his followers will also do these things. Instead, it looks for ways of cherry-picking data for loopholes which, taken out of context, can be presented to the public as evidence for a 6000-year-old earth.

  146. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    … the earliest western scientists – folk like Newton and his contemporaries – believed in a Young Earth…

    P.S. I forgot to finish that paragraph! The point is that “science” is not, and has never been, an organisation or “conspiracy”, and did not set out to remove God from the picture. Actually, Newton and others conducted public experiments with the then-new phenomenon of electricity, precisely in order to prove the existence of God and his ongoing influence over creation! For Mr Ham and his associates to do likewise, again, they’d have to be healing the sick and raising the dead according to a Plain Reading Of God’s Word.

    It was only later, as scientists began to study the physical earth itself in more and more detail, and more and more knowledge about it began to accumulate, that questions began to be asked that could not be answered by a Young Earth. The Young Earth Hypothesis was sustainable as long as nobody actually looked, in other words. Eventually, it collapsed under the weight of evidence against it.

  147. Hi Bill yes im sure it went a long way with Billy. He is doing far better than I had imagined. I update everyone here because you have been on this journey with Billy. I also believe strongly that continuing to expose each and everyone who abuses billy verbally and mistreats him regarding his rape and those in this church doing it need to be taken to task and called out for it. Im sorry the word of God is being used to do evil when it also says to bring darkness into the light! These members hate being exposed but you know what? Im thinking about the next Billy or the next Shauna. There are and will be more as there have been before us at LBC. I just wished people had said something. I have come to a place where im at peace with my decision to expose. This man Ralph Smith sought to hurt my son. Hes best friends with the church elders. There was no reason for him to be ugly to my kid.

  148. My daughter and son-in-law had a good friend go to be with the Lord this past weekend, unexpectedly. From what I have been told about him, he was an outstanding man. His mission in life was that if you were sick and dying in the hospital, he was there with you. If you didn’t know Christ, he witnessed to you. He wanted to hold their hand when they met Jesus. What a ministry!!. He did this for over a hundred people over his life span. Christy said this man could have taught many a minister or pastor a lesson. He lived the life many so called “Men of Gawd”say they do, but in reality don’t. The Bible says that Precious in his sight is the death of a Saint. This man was precious beyond words. He was a true friend of God. My kids will be traveling to Las Vegas this coming Saturday to attend the funeral. He had helped my son-in-law out so many times by praying with him. I know it will be hard on him. But my kids are rejoicing in knowing their friend is no longer in the severe pain he was suffering from.

  149. Latest update.
    January’s last bill is paid. It was higher than usual but talked to them and made some adjustments so it will go down going forward.
    I will  be able to get food for the next week or so as soon as I get a ride. 🙂
    Haven’t been able to get the supplements to aid in my health for a while.
    Still fighting with the pain some. Discouraged some, but getting on top of it, mentally.
    The situation with my car and couch has not changed.
    Thanks for all your help and much love to you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  150. Thank you former CLcer. Billys courage never ceases to amaze me. He wanted to say some things to Mr Smith that would have been disrespectful but he remained polite and excused himself from their conversation. Billy had every right to tell him off but rose above it even though it hurt him. Well Ralph Smith has skeletons in his closet he needs to leave my son alone as he is on a registry for putting his hands on a 7 yr old girl. I doubt most lbc members are aware especially newcomers. I sure didn’t know until shortly before they severed my cleaning for them and I had been given a different story which he was 18 and the girl was 16. This was obviously a lie and couldn’t believe it when I saw that he was registered in texas

  151. Please pray for me. Update on work. Im going into my 8th week of work at my new job and the hours have not been great but im just grateful to have a job. My manager dropped me back down to 20 hours this week and im a bit scared. The most basic bills are piling up and im doing what I can to try to pick up extra hours in other departments. So far nothing yet. I did sign up for cake decorating school that was recently posted. If I get approved from my manager I will be most likely get full time with benefits. Please pray my manager will sign off on it shes pretty quirky and doesn’t seem to want anyone going to this school yet she doesn’t want to give hours either. Im doing the best I can to get work. One of my cleaning customers just cancelled due to a mother in law moving in. It seems like people always cancel last minute which affects me greatly financially as I live dependant upon those jobs. Anyway billy had a good night at church im so happy. Please pray for shana and billys gofundme I am almost there in being able to pay the bills just not quite yet please know im trying hard and im so grateful for your prayers and for thinking of us.

    Shauna and billy gofundme…..

  152. Latest update.
    I will need to get food again in a couple of days.
    Rent will be coming due next week, as well – $565 + fee = $615.
    I still need to get the supplements to aid in my health.
    I am still fighting with the pain some.
    But memtally, I am doing better – more optimistic than I have been for a while.
    I’m still looking for ways to either fix my car or get a new one. I may have a couch – will see if it works.
    Thanks again so much for all your help and prayers. Love to you all.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  153. I need some advice: I have got 2 major expenses coming up. The first is I have got to have new glasses. Trying to find addresses on buildings while Ubering is leading to major headaches. Exam is $100, glasses run $500. I am thinking of opening a go fund me account. Any ideas?

    Another go fund me account is needed for dog training. I’ve mentioned several times over the last 2 years that my dog has kept me going through the bad times. He needs to be more obedient if we are going to be able to move into an apartment complex. The trainer I want to use charges $1000 for unlimited 6 months training. I can put it on paypal but I am so scared of getting into anymore debt while I still owe medical bills.

    Thoughts, opinions, comments etc?

  154. @ Shauna:
    Shauna, I don’t know if you have reliable transportation, but I am driving for Uber. Earnings aren’t great but it is just the first two weeks. but you know, $100 is real money and I can drive around my part time shifts.

  155. @ dlc:
    New to this discussion but: here in central new mexico the rio grande rift below my feet are about 20,000 feet deep. Actually measured in a few wells. In southwest Oklahoma, the Anadarko Basin in more than 25,000 feet deep as measured in actually bore holes.

  156. nmgirl wrote:

    @ Shauna:
    Shauna, I don’t know if you have reliable transportation, but I am driving for Uber. Earnings aren’t great but it is just the first two weeks. but you know, $100 is real money and I can drive around my part time shifts.

    Sorry, I just now saw that you are still trying to get the car legal and everything. It’s just one thing after another isn’t it?

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