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 — 6,594 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?

  157. Ty NMgirl. Car is now legal but im in the hole and my hours have been cut to 20hrs a week trying to find more work to meet our needs

  158. Update: Billy received a letter nominating him to go to one of five of the top ten colleges in the country in Technology & Engineering for 7 days this summer. He has been taking Intro to Engineering at his school for an elective. If billy gets to go not only will it be an amazing experience (since he wants to study petroleum engineering at Texas A&M when he graduates) but it also will earn him college credit. Billy has overcome many obstacles. He has a learning disability, a developmental delay, he has been fighting PTSD from the rape, and recently billy tried calling his father after 13 years in which my wx husband asked who was calling and billy said ” Its Billy, your son”. His father said he had the wrong number and hung up on him. This was devastating for billy. Fortunately when he found his dads number he called him with his friends around him at school. They supported Billy.. Needless to say his father upset me greatly. With this said I share this only to let you all know that Billy has really handled things much better than most would or even better than me. He stays after school every day on his own to work with teachers who give him one on one help. He keeps up but he has to work three times as hard to do it. Billy has bad days especially when triggers occur and he loses sleep then it all can go diwn hill at school. In spite of his struggle billy is doing well and what an honor to be nominated for this opportunity. It comes at a cost for him to atten. Cal Berkeley we have to come up with $499.00 down to secure his spot. Then its 2500 to attend. Then we need additional for airfare, transportation, and his food. Please pray for this billy wants to go. He is doing amazing in his engineering, math, and science. Its reading and English he struggles with having dyslexia.

  159. @ okrapod:
    I will never be able to fully fathom the mindset of the white-liberal-latte-crowd-sitting-in-starbucks. They’ll bend over backwards to accommodate Muslim holy days in New York as you’ve pointed out, even to the point of closing school, which in effect is forced observance by proxy for non-Muslims. And yet they’ll pitch a hissy-fit when Christian kids hold a lunch time Bible study in an unused room on campus, citing an egregious breach of Jefferson’s impregnable wall of separation (between church and state).

  160. @ Muff Potter:
    So easter and christmas aren’t christian holidays that we close school for? And does the school close for all Jewish holidays as well? And we don’t mind what the kids do, its the fact that public school employees think they have to be involved. THAT is what against the law.

    And what is wrong with sipping a latte at Starbucks? Without us, where would the homeschooled scholars go to work? Walmart?

  161. Today’s update.
    I need to get food in the next couple of days.
    Rent will be coming due in a week, as well – $565.
    First of February’s bills start coming due in about 10 days – total $500.
    Still no car, but have gotten rides when I need them. It does get interesting being alone in the house for days at a time without the option to go get a coffee or something. But fortunately, I am an introvert and can handle it – mostly. 🙂
    I am working on writing some more. Hopeful that will help.
    Thank you for all help. It means a ton and you are all amazing.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  162. nmgirl wrote:

    So easter and christmas aren’t christian holidays that we close school for?

    Apparently “Easter” meant “Ishtar”and has been replaced with”resurrection Sunday” and Christmas was always pagan in some way or another. I just enjoy a reason to put up pretty lights, oh and peeps jousting (look it up on YouTube)

  163. @ nmgirl:
    Some Lions Clubs will provide assistance for exams and glasses, although I don’t know if that’s just for children or adults as well. And not all of them do it.

  164. dee wrote:

    Pete Wilson

    Hi Dee,

    A while back you wrote:

    “My guess is that TWW is going to be hearing from supporters of Pete Wilson. I have a warning for all of them. There are a few issues that I am privy to in regards to the A Group thanks to a well placed individual in the Nashville community who shared some legitimate concerns with me. These concerns were also conveyed by others to a few leaders in the broader Christian community.
    I have been holding my tongue since the divorce situation is tough enough. Certain individuals do not seem to realize how someone with some search skills can discover way too much on social media.
    If I keep getting hammered from friends, I may decide to show folks how I have discovered some things on social media and let them form their own conclusions.”

    Still waiting to hear what you have to say about the A Group as well as the conclusions we can form on our own with regards to social media.

    Thanks.

  165. Also Dee,

    As a follow up, I wondered if you came across this interesting tidbit on Mr. Amorim of the A Group (see the 4th testimonial from the top):

    http://www.nulifeinstitute.com/success-stories.php

    Maybe you could do an explanatory article on him and his company? It might be worth noting that Mr. Wilson started to get a much more muscular physical build over the last several years of his ministry. Maybe Mr. Amorim turned Mr. Wilson on to hormone replacement therapy?

    Thanks.

  166. Bertrand

    Now this is a find! I have a feeling you know what I am getting at. I just discovered that Maurillio has shut down public access to his Facebook page and you have to send him a request. He must have been reding our post. I need to lie low for a short time on Wilson but I would like to  write about A Group and Maurillio’s new hobby. Graet research. I am going to put it into a draft and wait for. the right timing.

  167. dee wrote:

    Bertrand
    Now this is a find! I have a feeling you know what I am getting at. I just discovered that Maurillio has shut down public access to his Facebook page and you have to send him a request. He must have been reding our post. I need to lie low for a short time on Wilson but I would like to  write about A Group and Maurillio’s new hobby. Graet research. I am going to put it into a draft and wait for. the right timing.

    Or maybe it was just Spanx for men (see Mr. Amorim’s testimonial about halfway down the page): http://www.itempusher.com/mens-shapewear-benefits/

    I’m really looking forward to your post on Mr. Amorim, the A Group, and the whole shebang.

    I guess it’s like they say. Behind every great (mega) church, there’s a great (HRT abusing, spanx wearing, huckster of a) man (or two or three).

    Thanks.

    Additional sources on Mr. Amorim:

    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2012/02/ed-young-jr-has-fashion-website-but.html

    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2008/07/week-2-lifestyles-of-rich-and-famous.html

    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2011/05/maurilio-makes-appearance-on-tbn-his.html

  168. Only 1 in 7 Senior Pastors Is Under 40
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/january/only-1-in-7-senior-pastors-is-under-40-barna.html

    by Kate Shellnutt
    January 2017

    As clergy live longer and stay in ministry longer, the average age of Protestant senior pastors has risen to 54—a decade older than 25 years before, when the average age was 44.

    Now, just 1 in 7 pastors leading congregations is under 40, according to Barna Group’s 2017 State of Pastors project.

  169. Daisy wrote:

    Now, just 1 in 7 pastors leading congregations is under 40, according to Barna Group’s 2017 State of Pastors project.

    Actually surprising but if I had my way they couldn’t start till they were 40 and had first worked in the real world.

  170. @ Bertrand:
    I would love to know what got you interested in this. I love the info that you are giving me and am trying to figure out how to use it. Can you send me an email so we can chat behind scenes. This blog is being watched by The A Group. dee@thewartburgwatchc.om

  171. In desperate need $500 rent, 156.00 utilities, 87.00 car insurance, phone will be shut off. My hours are not covering this months bills. Trying to get more hours more work still need food and gas to get to work. About 200.00 I don’t expect anything just putting the need out there. Pray that I can get full time. Im trying to do what I can for billy and support us…

    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Shauna and billys gofundme

  172. @ Shauna

    @ Jeannette Altes

    …and to all others who have posted needs:

    I am continuing to pray daily for everyone. To those who have more urgent needs, the Lord brings you to my mind often, and I say a prayer each time. May you be encouraged and may God quickly ease the hardship in your lives.

  173. My daughter and I have an aquaintance who lives in Kansas City with his wife and family. Jay is an orthopedic surgeon there. Last week while out walking his dog, he was hit by a car. He has a broken collar bone, 12 broken ribs, broken pelvis and damage to his spine in the T-4 to T-9 area. This means he is probably paralyzed from the waist down. Please keep Jay and his wife Ashley and 4 daughters in your prayers. Jay is really trying to stay upbeat. But I know he has to be in really bad pain.

  174. Thank you Talmidah. God is answering your prayers and mine. Two people put up to 45 dollars on the gofundme so far. What a blessing….. im praying for the need to be met but im not fretting im just trusting that what gos on the gofundme is exactly what the Lord wants us to have. Im certain He will provide work or other means if theres not enough. I just came off an 8 hr shift and I have a chance to earn 60.00 today detailing cars. Tonight I have to go back in at 1am for another 3rd shift, im tired so pray for me. My hours haven’t changed just the shifts have that shes giving me. Praying for endurance and needs to be met
    500 rent
    $156 utilities
    $87 car insurance
    About $200 for food/gas
    http://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  175. I’m not sure if I posted this or not, but about 3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my right shoulder. Right now I’m going to pt 2x a week. That is no fun at all. I may have to have the shoulder bone shaved down. On the positive side, I am able to walk around the house sans wheelchair about 85% of the time now. I can’t stand for any length of time, but that’s ok. I am just thankful that I am able to walk some now.

  176. @ Shauna

    @ Harley

    @ Jeannette Altes

    I’m still praying for you and the others here. Thank you Yeshua that people are giving, and may it increase. May everyone receive healing and blessings in great abundance!

    My daughter’s health is not good and she’s been sick on and off for some time now. I’ve been sick this week as well. I would appreciate your prayers for us. Thanks so much!

  177. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    @ Talmidah:
    Thank you so much. Saying prayers for you and your daughter. Health and peace to you.

    Thanks a bunch, Jeannette – health and peace to you as well.

  178. God is good so A quick update. So far we received
    100
    200
    25
    35
    How amazing is this? It shouldn’t suprise me the faithfulness of Gods people and His love in caring for me and billy. My manager gave me more hours this next week although I will be frying donuts throughout the night starting at midnight on Monday. Pray that I can stay awake as this shift is challenging. Im hoping to do so well and work fast so she can use me more. The hours change week to week so next schedule I could end up with 15-20 hours. Im working hard to be an asset to my manager I need fulltime in order to survive. So far im just so grateful for your prayers for my son and our situation. Im grateful beyond measure for your gifts of giving selflessly to help us meet needs. I still am working to reach my goal on the needs I posted earlier so just continue to pray about that if you can and im going to trust the Lord to do the rest.

    Please pray for billy recently he has had a flurry of night terrors again I don’t know what has trigfered them. Im scared for my son. He came to me last week and gave me his airsoft handgun and a hunting knife. He said I should take them. I asked if he wanted to hurt himself he said No mom im ok but I keep seeing my perpetrator in my room when I wake up and hes older. I don’t know what it means him giving md those things because im careful not to press him. I need to get him into seeing a doctor for ptsd its going to cost for the specialist that came highly recommended. I think billy needs to be seen because something is going on. I noticed dark circles under his eyes lately even though he seems ok he may not be coping well. Please keep him in your prayers. I love this boy and he has come so far. This journey has been a battle. Im also scared now to leave him at night but if I refuse these hours we can not survive financially. Money will become non existent. I have to find a way to support my son and manage trauma along with his sleep and school. We have no family here no church family and no friends here other than twi or three but they are going through their own stuff. I share these burdens so that you know just how much your support has meant to me as a mother trying to help a victim survive but also as a sister in the body who struggles greatly at times to cope as well and continue to try to provide for us. I just don’t have enough words to tell all of you whag you mean to us. Im praying for other Christian women friends I need the fellowship and the comfort of friendships with Gods people. Im praying to be able to go back into a church. I just well some of you may understand why that is so hard. Anyways I don’t mean to dump my frek her im unloading burdens I have had since we left lbc. Aside from this I have Christ and He knows my request and my heart.

    http://www.htpp://gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  179. Shauna wrote:

    God is good so A quick update. So far we received
    100
    200
    25
    35
    How amazing is this? It shouldn’t suprise me the faithfulness of Gods people and His love in caring for me and billy. My manager gave me more hours this next week although I will be frying donuts throughout the night starting at midnight on Monday. Pray that I can stay awake as this shift is challenging. Im hoping to do so well and work fast so she can use me more. The hours change week to week so next schedule I could end up with 15-20 hours. Im working hard to be an asset to my manager I need fulltime in order to survive. So far im just so grateful for your prayers for my son and our situation. Im grateful beyond measure for your gifts of giving selflessly to help us meet needs. I still am working to reach my goal on the needs I posted earlier so just continue to pray about that if you can and im going to trust the Lord to do the rest.

    Please pray for billy recently he has had a flurry of night terrors again I don’t know what has trigfered them. Im scared for my son. He came to me last week and gave me his airsoft handgun and a hunting knife. He said I should take them. I asked if he wanted to hurt himself he said No mom im ok but I keep seeing my perpetrator in my room when I wake up and hes older. I don’t know what it means him giving md those things because im careful not to press him. I need to get him into seeing a doctor for ptsd its going to cost for the specialist that came highly recommended. I think billy needs to be seen because something is going on. I noticed dark circles under his eyes lately even though he seems ok he may not be coping well. Please keep him in your prayers. I love this boy and he has come so far. This journey has been a battle. Im also scared now to leave him at night but if I refuse these hours we can not survive financially. Money will become non existent. I have to find a way to support my son and manage trauma along with his sleep and school. We have no family here no church family and no friends here other than twi or three but they are going through their own stuff. I share these burdens so that you know just how much your support has meant to me as a mother trying to help a victim survive but also as a sister in the body who struggles greatly at times to cope as well and continue to try to provide for us. I just don’t have enough words to tell all of you whag you mean to us. Im praying for other Christian women friends I need the fellowship and the comfort of friendships with Gods people. Im praying to be able to go back into a church. I just well some of you may understand why that is so hard. Anyways I don’t mean to dump my frek her im unloading burdens I have had since we left lbc. Aside from this I have Christ and He knows my request and my heart.

    http://www.htpp://gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Oops its
    http://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  180. Random aside, as one of my friends asked me how I always knew what was posted on here right away. I have two tools that help with that. Thought others might find them useful.

    One is Feedly, which is a RSS blog follower. You can make it look like a newsmagazine where new posts pop up as soon as they are posted. It’s all web-based, so nothing to download. I actually follow a bunch of blogs on it. If anyone follows any good garden blogs, please share!

    The second is Visualping. I have the Chrome extension, but they do have a web email service. Whenever there’s a change on TWW, it alerts me. It’s a little fussy, and if you don’t click on it right away when it pops up, it stops alerting until you X out the page on the update section. But it’s pretty handy if I’m just sitting here at the computer doing other things. It doesn’t always work well for other sites, especially those that have Twitter apps that change rapidly, but it works great for TWW. We’ll see if it still does with the site revision.

  181. Latest update – 2/8/17
    I will need food in a couple of days.
    February’s bills are coming due and I have had an unexpected expense – so the total I need is back to $500.
    Friends and my sister have been wonderful giving me rides to the store and to pay bills. Thank you all so much.
    I am working on two books and am hopeful..
    You all are amazing. Thank you tons.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  182. @ Jeannette Altes:

    Hello Jeanette,

    I have been praying for you with much fervency. How is the job search coming? Looking forward to your new books.

    Wishing you the best,

    Anne

  183. Latest update – 2/11/17
    I will need food in a day or so.
    February’s bills are coming due and I have part of them covered – still need $250.
    I am still looking for ways to get transportation and a couch.
    Healthwise, have been hurting the last couple days, but not too bad. This will pass.
    Thank you for your continued prayer and support. You guys overwhelm me (in a good way).

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  184. Ok im back on cakes tonight need prayer to stay up 8 1/2 hrs. Im getting some hours this week because of valentines but day hours would be better. Billy isn’t sleeping boy this is hard everytime i leave at night. I have one more night of working like this. We have financial needs but im going to just keep trusting they will be met. God is good still loving my job.

    I ran into a former member of LBC i wont go into detail but ken ramey told this woman to endure her abuse to bring her husband to the Lord. To pray for him and stay even though he beat her badly. He said even worse to this beautiful Christian sister but i will leave it at this. I am blessed to have met her and im looking forward to our fellowshipping. She is strong and lbc did not steal her joy in the Lord nor did her ex husband. This is one reason why billy and i went public because we have suffered abuse at the hands of the elders at lbc along with many other former members. We need to bring this out of the darkness through supporting each other and coming together. No longer fearing telling the deep dark secrets of LBC

  185. Shauna wrote:

    Ok im back on cakes tonight need prayer to stay up 8 1/2 hrs. Im getting some hours this week because of valentines but day hours would be better. Billy isn’t sleeping boy this is hard everytime i leave at night. I have one more night of working like this. We have financial needs but im going to just keep trusting they will be met. God is good still loving my job.
    I ran into a former member of LBC i wont go into detail but ken ramey told this woman to endure her abuse to bring her husband to the Lord. To pray for him and stay even though he beat her badly. He said even worse to this beautiful Christian sister but i will leave it at this. I am blessed to have met her and im looking forward to our fellowshipping. She is strong and lbc did not steal her joy in the Lord nor did her ex husband. This is one reason why billy and i went public because we have suffered abuse at the hands of the elders at lbc along with many other former members. We need to bring this out of the darkness through supporting each other and coming together. No longer fearing telling the deep dark secrets of LBC

    Hi Shauna,

    I will pray for you regarding the cake decorating and for Billy.

    I am sorry to hear about the lady at your former church. Please refer her to
    A Cry for Justice blog (Pastor Jeff Crippen in Oregon; Barbara Roberts in
    Australia) as well as their books.

    Natalie K has the Visionary Womanhood/Emotional Abuse Survivor blog. She’s also on
    Facebook. https://emotionalabusesurvivor.com/

    Natalie is being excommunicated from her church, Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper’s former church that he retired from) for leaving her abusive husband of many decades.

    Marie O’Toole’s story of being mistreated by her church leaders for leaving an abusive
    husband is also online. Here is one of Marie’s articles which I reblogged on my church abuse blog: https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/2017/02/11/the-hi-jacking-of-ephesians-522/

    There is also Christian therapist Leslie Vernick’s excellent blog and all of her resources. She “gets” it too about domestic violence.

    Hugs to your friend when you see her again,

    Velour in California

  186. @ Shauna:

    Praying for you, Billy, and the lady from your former church.

    I have a longer response waiting to ‘clear customs’.

    Hugs,

    Velour

  187. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    I am still looking for ways to get transportation and a couch.

    Have you been able to price couches?

    Do you leave in a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment? If you live in a 1-bedroom, perhaps you should price beds and sheets.

  188. @ Velour:

    I have priced couches. The cheapest one that looks like it would be sturdy enough runs just over $300 plus tax and delivery.
    I do live in a one bedroom, but I need a new couch regardless and because of a back injury, I have trouble with most beds. The couch gives my back better aupport. Plus at this time, bed or couch, like I said, I need the couch to ait on as well as sleep on.
    As to the couch I have tentatively priced, I would need to go look at it and sit/lie on it to make sure it was sturdy enough.

  189. Velour wrote:

    @ Shauna:

    Praying for you, Billy, and the lady from your former church.

    I have a longer response waiting to ‘clear customs’.

    Hugs,

    Velour

    Thank you velour. Your so sweet. I am on my lunch break and im afraid to take a nap lol. I love this blog and everyone here. Jeanette im looking for a couch, bed, and a used washer its tough trying to find a decent priced couch. I hope and pray you get what you need. We desperately need a washer but Gods timing is always good. I called around to churches to see if we can get a used one from any members who either upgraded or have an extra one. The rental place wants to charge three times the amount of a washer if we make payments and i said nooo way lol.

  190. Shauna wrote:
    <blockquoteim looking for a couch, bed, and a used washer its tough trying to find a decent priced couch. I hope and pray you get what you need. We desperately need a washer but Gods timing is always good. I called around to churches to see if we can get a used one from any members who either upgraded or have an extra on

    Shauna,

    Check the website Freecycle and also post your needs there.

  191. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I have priced couches. The cheapest one that looks like it would be sturdy enough runs just over $300 plus tax and delivery.
    I do live in a one bedroom, but I need a new couch regardless and because of a back injury, I have trouble with most beds. The couch gives my back better aupport. Plus at this time, bed or couch, like I said, I need the couch to ait on as well as sleep on.
    As to the couch I have tentatively priced, I would need to go look at it and sit/lie on it to make sure it was sturdy enough.

    Glad to know you’ve priced some. Sorry to hear about your back.

    Perhaps you could include that in your comments when you ask for various needs.

  192. Ty velour im on it. We have been without one for about 8 weeks now. An opportunity will arise i have no doubt. Im not sweating it because God has been taking care of our needs day by day. It will be nice when those needs are met but in His time. I work again tonight so pray for me that i can stay awake because this shift is kicking my butt lol. Not complaining so happy to get some hours because its better than no hours at all. Billy is struggling with some things please keep him in your prayers. He likes a girl he wants to take out to dinner she is a nice Christian girl who is very close to her parents( i love that) so glad he likes the nice girls. He said most of them at school are depressed i just had to laugh at his statement.

  193. @ Velour:

    Thank you. I will remember the advice. I fight feel I ng like I’m whining if I go into the health issues too much. The back issue has bee a long standing one. I fell and broke my back some yeas ago – crushed the T12 vertebrae. Comfortable sleep has been an issue snice then.
    Thank you for your continued concern. Like Shauna, I know God is taking care of me. But sometime the day to day is a challenge.

  194. Third night working this shift. Wheeeew this isnt easy. I hate it that i am getting short shifts in the middle of the night but im learning to get past it. Billy has to stay after school all week. His lack of sleep is impacting his ability to stay focused. I had 3 teachers contact me this weekend and i am leaning towards not doing these shifts which means less hours. This is a hard decision. When i had all my cleaning customers it freed me up to work day hours only. Anyway please pray as i make this decision. Other than that Billy is still making progress in spite of everything.

  195. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Thank you. I will remember the advice. I fight feel I ng like I’m whining if I go into the health issues too much. The back issue has bee a long standing one. I fell and broke my back some yeas ago – crushed the T12 vertebrae. Comfortable sleep has been an issue snice then.
    Thank you for your continued concern. Like Shauna, I know God is taking care of me. But sometime the day to day is a challenge.

    I am sorry to hear that, Jeannette.

    I will pray for you and ask others to do same.

  196. Thank you all for your prayers for my job, my son, and the gofundme. God is good and He is steadily providing our needs through that site. I am so grateful to Him and to all of you for your continuing to pray and encourage us. My landlord is allowing us to use one of her empty homes today to do our laundry. She is going to save us about fifty dollars trust me the laundromat is costly along with detergent, it adds up and I have several weeks of linens, towels, and clothes to wash for the two of us. My son go’s through clothes like crazy and we have washed here and there because it is so expensive. Please pray for the landlord this person is so good to me and billy and what a blessing to be able to do my laundry for free. I have had a washer steadily for the last 12 years and the one I had came used and was free. I think it finally wore out and it’s better to get another one it’s cheaper rather than fix the one that broke. Anyways in the mean time we are using every resource until another one pops up and I know it will at some point. The dryer I have came used and free because my old dryer gave out. So God knows our needs and He continually provides sometimes it takes sharing the need and asking Him for them to be met. I’m learning this but confident that it all works out for His glory and our good in the end. Believe me that is not always easy to say when your in the midst of struggle or suffering. I hope that my attitude and character reflects him through these struggles and when it doesn’t I change my attitude and heart. Billy will stay after school all week we went through a weekend of sleepless nights and i’m at a loss in what to do. Please continue to pray for him and me. It’s really hard to not get angry not at him but what is causing him to fear sleep. My blood boils because its a consistent reminder that doesn’t go away and I really need to pray that my heart stays soft and doesn’t give in to the anger I feel over that violation. It does get better but not without a lot of set backs. Sometimes I think billy handles it better but then when I see those dark circles and that he still cries some nights it really makes my heart ache. I didn’t mean to go dark here just sharing some updates. I say good for billy though he is committed to keeping up in school and not let his struggle keep him from not keeping those grades up. This kid has done summer school every year and takes advantage of the help from teachers. I never worked this hard in school and you couldn’t get me to volunteer to stay after school when I was his age unless I did detention. However here my son is in constant communication with teachers finding out which classes he needs help in and which ones will allow him to make up work and he says ” mom pick me up after school” I don’t even need to tell him to stay after. I know I have mentioned it before and i’m doing it again because it just go’s to show that although he is fighting his PTSD he is not allowing it to be a power in his life that takes over. He is standing in it’s face and doing all the right things. On top of these things Billy works weekends just two days a week and rather than watch t.v. or play his xbox he is committed to his job at a grocery store. This earns billy a little money each week to buy himself the things he likes and the things that I can’t afford right now. I provide his necessities but anything above and beyond that if billy wants something that costs more he gets it with his money. I feel that it’s important that a young man have the freedom of working and figuring out how to spend his own money. It’s not much but I am finding that billy is really frugal. He collects change like its nobody’s business. Anyways thank you for your prayers and support. We have many bills to meet and I am working really hard to get them taken care of. I would be lying if I said the gofundme doesn’t fill in those major gaps with the hours i’m working. I’m not crazy about these shifts but it is a means to an end. There were two recent gifts on the gofundme and whoever put that there thank you sooooo much I will be able to use that to buy food for the week and gas to get me to work. What a blessing and a relief to not have to try to find a house to do on my day off tomorrow. I have two night shifts again for wed and thurs and i’m telling you it is rough……. I was almost falling asleep standing up as I was dipping strawberries this morning for valentines day. I did 14 racks which accumulated to around 1500 dipped strawberries. The night before I did cakes and the night before that tortilla’s the night before that donuts. I am training all over the bakery and let me just say that job isn’t easy work it can take a lot out of you but I think the upside is i’m training in all areas in the bakery even if the hours are part time. I’m still praying for a fulltime position in this company.

    http://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  197. @ Velour:
    Thank you Velour. I couldn’t believe the information my freind gave me. Keep in mind I knew of her but didn’t know her. We never connected even though we both attended LBC. I didn’t even give you half of the story but thats because she wants to forget it and move on like she has. I don’t blame this woman. When I heard what happened I hugged her and my heart ached for what she went through. I thought billy and I went through great struggle with LBC. All I can say is OH MY WOOOORD this woman is strong and she is amazing. I grew up in a violent home where my dad was abusive towards my mother I mean to the point of almost killing her on a few occasions. My father made peace with my mother years ago and with his children. He no longer drinks and was always the kindest man when he wasn’t drinking. Anyways I watched the beatings and I instantly knew the suffering this woman endured and could empathize its a very humiliating and painful experience when the person who is supposed to be your protector demeans, humiliates , physically abuses you. On top of this she endured years of marriage counseling from Ken Ramey with him knowing every detail of their marriage her husbands perversions and ken minimizing and supporting that abuse. That is enough to break a human being and i’m so disgusted with him and those elders. These are men who are swift in my eyes to do evil. I’m sorry I find his behavior and lack of empathy to be evil. Until he changes his ways I don’t see him as a pastor much less a man who knows the Jesus I serve. If he does then my prayer is for justice, exposure, and repentance. This woman is a strong lady and is surprisingly joyful with her new church. I applaud her for coping a bit better than I would. That didn’t even happen to me and I want to stand in front of her and tell those men where to go. Anyways I will point her to those sites the next time I see her. Thank you velour for sharing those.

  198. I’m just going to drop this here because I thought it was interesting / perturbing.

    https://answersingenesis.org/outreach/event/answers-for-women/

    This is for an Answers in Genesis apologetics conference for women. However, I noticed that one of the speakers, Amy Spreeman, is best known for going after the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). I did a bit more digging and found that Dr. Georgia Purdom (also a speaker at this conference and apparently employed in various ways by Answers in Genesis) had written an article last month about the NAR called “NAR: The Fastest-Growing Counter-Christian Movement Most Haven’t Heard Of”.

    Let me be clear: I’m DEFINITELY not a fan of the NAR. I think they think too highly of themselves and have some weird ideas about how they’re going to take control of the world for Jesus. That said, I think calling the NAR “counter-Christian” is a bit precious, coming from an organization which pushes Young Earth Creationism.

    Thing is, I have to wonder if this is going to end up like the Strange Fire conference that Driscoll crashed back in 2013.

  199. Latest update – 2/15/17
    I have food for another couple of days.
    Most of February’s bills are paid, but the one I still need to pay is late and has had a late fee added, so to bring it current will cost $400 (this includes the fees taken).

    Due to a longstanding back issue, I am more comfortable sleeping on a couch and the one I have is srarting to become uncomfortable. I have a small down mattress that I have place on it and that is helping. The cheapest one I have found (still need to look in person to make sure it’s sturdy enough) runs $300 plus tax and delivery.
    As to transportation, fixing or getting a new one are both in the $2000+ range. Seems pretty impossible right now, but God….
    Healthwise, have still been hurting, but it still isn’t too bad. I know this is temporary.
    I am continuing to work on writing as it seems the thing before me to do. Wish it was easier and faster….
    Thank you for your continued prayer and support and anything and everything that you do. It means a lot.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  200. Update: Billy put together the sweetest valentines basket he bought and paid for which he gave to a girl he likes at school. It was filled with candy , a leather bound sketch book, and sketching pencils. I thought the gift was well thought out and billy got what interested her the most (drawing). He said it was worth the money because it put a smile on her face all day. All i can say to that is what a kind thoughtful kid that i am blessed with. Tonight they are at church for wed. Youth Group. Billy didn’t sleep last night so hoprfully he gets rest tonight.

    Please continue to pray for the gofundme God has been blessing us here and there financially but more so encouraging us. Im still paying on back rent utilities are due frida, phone, need personal items for both of us, im trying to get the other car going so billy can drive it just needs a new battery, need to register and get it to pass inspection then add it to insurance. This car is 17 yrs old but runs good and can allow billy to drive to work and school especially when i work odd hours now. Need a washer and i will settle for two accent chairs and a rug and a little luv seat from big lots since couches are expensive. He knows our needs im just sharing them so that prayers may be specific. Im confident that Christ knows the needs and already has it worked out. Thank you for your prayers and support

  201. Shauna wrote:

    Billy put together the sweetest valentines basket he bought and paid for which he gave to a girl he likes at school. It was filled with candy , a leather bound sketch book, and sketching pencils. I thought the gift was well thought out and billy got what interested her the most (drawing).

    Awesome!

  202. Hi Shauna,

    I am praying for you and Billy, and your needs. Your need for a washing machine was on my lips when I awoke this morning and prayed.

  203. Velour wrote:

    Hi Shauna,
    I am praying for you and Billy, and your needs. Your need for a washing machine was on my lips when I awoke this morning and prayed.

    Thank you thank you…. : ) i am finding used machines between 150 -185 now im praying to get the funds together to get that need met. No worries though God has been good. My landlord allowed me and billy to use one of her empty rentals to wash yesterday. Saved us some money that i didn’t have.

  204. Shauna wrote:

    Great news i got a used washer today!!!!!! Thank you for praying.

    Amen. I have been praying for a washer for you! Woo hoo.

  205. Ty velour… Billy and i have been washing like crazy. I know our water bill will be insane but i am trusting that the Lord will provide me extra work hours or funds on the gofundme to help cover expenses where i have gaps in income. So excited and blessed. I used funds i didnt really have but in the long run we save more time and money. We have gone without a washer for almost 3 months so im thrilled.

  206. I’m still here. Having a rough time with my shoulder and still in lots of pain. I see my shoulder surgeon again in 2 weeks or so. My dad is in the hospital again for the second time in 6 months with pneumonia. He gets to go home tomorrow. He needs to go to rehab, but is refusing. My parents need to be in assisted living but they are refusing to go. I’m sure some of you have dealt with the problems of aging parents. No fun.

  207. mot wrote:

    I am curious as to what media you are referencing in your statement?

    The quick answer would be the movers and shakers in the nationally broadcast entertainment and news but my concern goes beyond merely political gradiations. I would like to substitute the question “what it is” rather than “who it is” and to do so I’ll go back many decades to the 80’s. Here in Oregon, a sect started a facility called Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, not metropolitan in any sense. Almost immediately conflicts arose with the long-time local residents. At the time I do not recall any local TV stations, state wide or local news papers, or national news that tried to understood what was actually going on let alone offer a sympathetic portrayal of the residents. Instead existing residents were typically portrayed as xenophobic.

    The editor of our local paper went in person for a few days and came back with a full page article basically classifying the opposition to Rajneesh as a prudish small town distrusting of outsiders. Such coverage betrayed a prejuducial view towards the people direcly involved. It was only after uncovering criminal acts by Rajneesh followers, such as bio-warfare used against county residents, that the tide turned and coverage changed. I didn’t see the requisite followup “why we got the story wrong”.

    Since that time I’ve seen the prejudice played out on many fronts even when it is just the over-representation of businessman as the criminal on the average TV show. The petty slights and preconceptions remind me of the attitude of genteel British towards commoners. The condescension does not appear as hostility until their previleges are challenged. While the broadcast media is losing influence, unfortunately it is being replaced with the Balkinized environment such as facebook where both sides get their “two minutes of hate”.

  208. @ Bill M:
    Thank you so much for your comment. So many complicated issues in this world and this is definitely one of them. Blessings upon you!

  209. Harley wrote:

    I’m still here. Having a rough time with my shoulder and still in lots of pain. I see my shoulder surgeon again in 2 weeks or so. My dad is in the hospital again for the second time in 6 months with pneumonia. He gets to go home tomorrow. He needs to go to rehab, but is refusing. My parents need to be in assisted living but they are refusing to go. I’m sure some of you have dealt with the problems of aging parents. No fun.

    Hi Harley,

    Praying for you and your family.

  210. Velour wrote:

    Harley wrote:

    I’m still here. Having a rough time with my shoulder and still in lots of pain. I see my shoulder surgeon again in 2 weeks or so. My dad is in the hospital again for the second time in 6 months with pneumonia. He gets to go home tomorrow. He needs to go to rehab, but is refusing. My parents need to be in assisted living but they are refusing to go. I’m sure some of you have dealt with the problems of aging parents. No fun.

    Hi Harley,

    Praying for you and your family.

    It will be interesting to see if this is the start of a trend with the mega churches in the SBC.

  211. FW Rez wrote:

    “Prestonwood Baptist will withhold Southern Baptist funds as it mulls organization’s
    direction”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2017/02/18/prestonwood-baptist-says-will-withhold-southern-baptist-funds-mulls-organizations-direction

    I’m old enough to remember when Prestonwood was just another pretty big Baptist church and not a small city unto itself, but this is very, very interesting. Pretty much what David Platt did, so he can’t complain.

  212. @ Gram3:

    Yeah. The outrage is a bit amusing considering Platt of Brook Hills mega only saw “the beauty of the CP”, when he was appointed President of the IMB. Was his church “withholding CP” funds all those years he was speaking at SBC conferences and partnering with LifeWay while building his national brand?

  213. Bill M wrote:

    Since that time I’ve seen the prejudice played out on many fronts even when it is just the over-representation of businessman as the criminal on the average TV show. The petty slights and preconceptions remind me of the attitude of genteel British towards commoners. The condescension does not appear as hostility until their previleges are challenged.

    Probably the best description of the situation I have seen.

    While in college many moons ago, I had internships both in broadcast and with a large metro daily. My cloud was burst. They could have cared less about objectivity or even truth as one could see in something as seemingly benign as certain verb or adjective choices to lead the listener/reader to a certain conclusion.

  214. Update: Thank you so much for your prayers and support. My hours got dropped to 24 this week but I am working on asking other department managers for extra hours. So far I got nothing but I still got the rest of the week to try. I am loving the washer it is a great blessing, what a gift. Although we had a to sacrifice some funds it was sooooo worth it and God’s timing was perfect. I was so close to going to one of those rental places which I knew I could not afford but I couldn’t even afford the laundry matt as they are expensive and where we live it takes forever to drive anywhere the laundrymatt is fifteen miles from our home. This has been the first time I have been without a washer in twelve years for that long. I am thrilled and used stuff is just as good as the new.

    Billy is getting along ok but still struggling with his sleep. I’m afraid to give him any medicine because his body doesn’t react to well to them. He’s already a moody teenager and unfortunately the difficulty sleeping is becoming a big problem in school and just being able to focus. I need to do something soon. The specialist I want to take him to is a bit pricey but i’m going to see if I can pay a little each week until I have the full amount. Billy is also having problems with his wisdom teeth so his jaws have been hurting. These are things that can be remedied please pray that the Lord will provide the means and give billy rest and comfort until I can get them taken care of. I may have to sacrifice somewhere in bills for this but so far God has been steadily providing and even though we wait in the end it works out. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Thank you for the gofundme to those who faithfully think of me and billy. The funds there now I just can’t tell you what it means. The recent funds will make up for some of the hours my manager cut and I can’t even tell you that when I saw the notification in my email how it made me feel. The first thought that came to mind is God telling me ” I got this, don’t worry”. without sounding all mushy let me just tell you it brings a little bit of tears just thinking about it. I feel guilty sometimes when I start to worry a little and if He has the birds of the air and the lilies in the fields cared for how much more important are we? Thank you thank you to all of you who pray , support, and who truly care about what we are doing , how we are healing , and most important billy.

  215. The Milo controversy made me think of something. A few years ago, Phil Robertson made some very similar comments (about 14-year-olds being ready for adult relationships). The only difference is that he was talking about girls rather than boys. Conservative organizations weren’t bothered by that, and they still love the Duck guys.

    I think if Milo had been a straight guy talking about 14-year-old girls, he wouldn’t have lost his job.

  216. He said that? 14 year old girls? Thats ridiculous and absolutely appalling. I’m sure predators think the same thing to! I find it very disturbing that these men influence a lot of people just because they claim the name of Christ but statements like that I mean really? This is what we have come to sexualizing children into adulthood.

  217. Latest update – 2/22/17
    Hi, all.
    February’s bills are all current and I even remembered to renew my drivers license. Yay!
    I am going grocery shopping tomorrow and will stretch that as far as I can.
    Rent – $565 – is coming due next week.

    The couch I was looking at has proved to be not worth the money. Pretty light weight and I don’t think it would hold up long. So far, it looks like in order to get one that will be sturdy enough, it will be at least $500. So, I will keep my eyes open and trust it will come and continue to try and put what I can back for that.

    I was only able to get out of the house once over an eleven day period. Spending a lot of time alone with yourself can get interesting. 🙂 So I am keeping my eyes open for transportation, as well.
    I am still hurting some, but it still isn’t too bad.
    I am continuing to work on writing and have finished the first chapter of one book.
    Your continued support in prayer, thought, and gifts continues to amaze me. I am so grateful. Thank you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  218. IT TAKES A WOMAN TO CELEBRATE COURAGE THESE DAYS

    “Earlier today, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01) invoked the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Giffords at a constituent event as a reason not to hold a public town hall. In a statement, Rep. Gohmert said: “At this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety.”

    In the past year, Congresswoman Giffords has held over 50 public events in states across the country to champion commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.

    STATEMENT BY CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    “Town halls and countless constituent meetings were a hallmark of my tenure in Congress. It’s how I was able to serve the people of southern Arizona. I believed that listening to my constituents was the most basic and core tenet of the job I was hired to do.

    “I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber – at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead – held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.

    “In the past year, campaigning for gun safety, I have held over 50 public events.

    “Many of the members of Congress who are refusing to hold town halls and listen to their constituents concerns are the very same politicians that have opposed commonsense gun violence prevention policies and have allowed the Washington gun lobby to threaten the safety of law enforcement and everyday citizens in our schools, businesses, places of worship, airports, and movie theaters.

    “To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.””

    Women have been shot and told to sit down and shut up by men,
    but still they rise, they resist, they are not afraid.
    So, they have the right to speak and be heard in our land, in their homes, in their Churches, and in the halls of government.

    Yes

  219. Latest update – 2/25/17

    So here’s where I am today.
    I have food for a week or so.
    Rent is coming due next week – $565.

    Still keeping my eyes open for options regarding couch and car.

    I am still hurting some, but it still isn’t too bad. The tumor is still there, but not gaining any ground. Still seems to be at a bit of a stalemate, there. My back has eased up and isn’t hurting like it was last werk. 🙂

    I am continuing to work on writing and also studying and just keeping my ears and eyes open.

    I am so grateful to all of you. If you had told me 15 months ago what this would look like, I would not have believed it. Much love and appreciation to you all. Thank you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  220. Today billy finally gets to celebtlrate his birthday. He has waited 3 months as i have had to come up with what we needed. Its not a whole lot of $$$ but billy was able to paintball today with five friends. We got two large pizzas, gatorade, and cupcakes. We have not celebrated billys birthdays since his assault billy just wasn’t into birthdays anymore that made my heart sad as i have always gone all out for 12 years of his life. Anyways today is a great day billy and his friends are having a blast. Thank you for the consistent prayers, encouragement, and support.

  221. Update: please pray for rent 654.10 left , phone is shut. off need 142.68 so billy and i can communicate(he stays after school everyday to get help from teachers), utilities 176.96, food and gas are always up in the air i just manage day to day with that basically its whatever funds are left it always seems to work out. Prayer for these things and extra work my manager hired two people and now im back to 20 hours. Its very upsetting but what can i do? Im trying to stick it out and pick up extra hours so far no luck. All but three people have dropped me from cleaning. The other 3 just all of a sudden dropped me without saying anything. These were people who are former members of the church who contacted me when they read our story. I have my sense of the intrest in us and hiring me but i will let you all decide. All i can say is this isn’t coincidental. Im going to keep moving forward and although it stings God is always consistent in providing and sheilding us from harm. Please pray for my heart as it doesn’t feel to good to feel like you were used . i hope im wrong but my prior dealings with anyone connected there have revealed agendas. Kicking myself as i should have known better. Anyways lesson learned i just dropped billy off at work and i go into work soon. We have no way of communicating so please pray i can somehow get work without a phone talk about a challenge. Im using open wifi where my son works right now.
    http://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk
    Please pray as im sick with a very vicious cold. Im taking everything to fight it i just hope i haven’t taken to many didferent cold medicines.

  222. Shauna wrote:

    Today billy finally gets to celebtlrate his birthday. He has waited 3 months as i have had to come up with what we needed. Its not a whole lot of $$$ but billy was able to paintball today with five friends. We got two large pizzas, gatorade, and cupcakes. We have not celebrated billys birthdays since his assault billy just wasn’t into birthdays anymore that made my heart sad as i have always gone all out for 12 years of his life. Anyways today is a great day billy and his friends are having a blast. Thank you for the consistent prayers, encouragement, and support.

    I am glad that Billy and his friends were able to celebrate his birthday as a group, have some fun together, and some nice food.

  223. Shauna wrote:

    Today billy finally gets to celebtlrate his birthday. He has waited 3 months as i have had to come up with what we needed. Its not a whole lot of $$$ but billy was able to paintball today with five friends.

    So happy to hear this, Shauna. Billy needs to put a lot of good experience between the horror of what happened and the good way of his future. ‘Paintball’ seems a wonderful experience for his age group and will bring a sense of bonding with friends, social acceptance, and just plain ‘joy’. You have my prayers always. May God keep you close.

  224. Latest update – 2/27/17

    I have food through this week.
    Rent is coming due in two days – $565.

    Healthwise, not much change except I seem to have somehow twisted my knee. It is healing, but still a bit painful.

    I am continuing with writing and research. I am keeping my ears open. Even though the situation seems impossible, I know I will be okay.

    Even as a writer, words are inadequate to express my gratitude to you all. Thank you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  225. Christine, yes you are so right! Billy needs positive things in his life. I am so grateful to all of you for showing billy so much love and kindness. Hes a good kid a joy to have and he is worth every ounce of hard work i do to keep us going. There are times when he drives me crazy but its the sweet crazy funny caring smart teen boy i love so much. I cant imagine life without him and im glad that i dont have to. Pray for me i have a vicious strain of a virus and when i say vicious it is exactly that! I have never been sick like this and i cant afford a doctor visit so i am having to wait it out. Billy is now getting it. Pray for billy as well he wants to get back into krav maga. I put him in after his assault and it was amazing therapy. However its costly and before i lost all my business i was able to cover the expense. Billy needs an outlet for his ptsd and krav turned out to be a perfect fit. If you dont know what it is google it in spring texas. I was able to do it with him and it is incredible very intense. Billy has been asking about it lately so im going to go talk to the owners and see if theres any way to make it work for billy. Thank you all for what you do with the gofundme. I wasnt sure how we were going to get food for Thursday Friday Saturday and sunday but some funds were just put there, amazing. My hours this week i will earn 189.00 after taxes and every cent will go to landlord. She gave me the same hours for next week pffft stressing a little here but i know the Lord will provide or open a way for me to make it work. Good news though. I got my first review today and a .24 cent raise yaaaaaay now i just need hours. Pray for my student loan my wages are being garnished. Although it was upsetting at first the good news is i have a job and it will chip away what i owe. I have been trying for so long to start paying that back again so even though it takes out of my paycheck living costs and needs its ok i guess the Lord is opening a way for some type of repayment. This is another reason why fulltime and more hours are necessary and why the ofundme helps. Our bills are minimal praise God.
    http://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  226. LOL. Where did you find that Teen Challenge (David Wilkerson, Founder)started Gateway Christian Military Academy? Do you even know that there are other “Teen Challenge” out there? I work for Teen Challenge (the original one) and I can assure you that GCMA or its leader is not affiliated to us. You confuse our organization to this other group you are talking against. Do your homework accordingly and educationally.

  227. My abusive mother often threatened to send me to the Rebekah Home for Girls. I would lie down on the bed and take her whippings with the belt – even at age 18 because I was terrified of her but more so of Lester Roloff’s home. I just gut-level knew it was bad. That threat and fear scared me so much – at least I had some friends in my home town. It was a very scary time in my life knowing she would send me away and now that I know what was in store for me at that home is so awful how can someone say “I’m glad I took that abuse”? Because the abuse on the other side was so much worse.As much as my mother was an abuser, Lester Roloff was a much worse abuser. And I think he enjoyed it which just makes him a sick human being.

  228. Latest update – 3/3/17

    Rent is paid! Thank you.
    I have food for a few more days.
    March bills are coming due in a week. They will total $525.

    Healthwise, the week has had ups and downs,  but I’m doing good today. And am still keeping eyes open for couch and car.

    My writing is progressing. I am also continuing to keep my ears open.

    I am so grateful for all your support. It is a constant source of amazement and encouragement. Thank you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  229. @ Debbie Shifflett:

    Welcome, Debbie.

    I am so sorry to hear that you were abused by your mother and that you were threatened with a worse abuser.

    So many folks, myself included, have gone through really sad and bad stuff.

    There are some wicked, deranged people in this world — including parents.

    Hugs,

    Velour

  230. “He is the staff and sustenance of life
    He lives for all from one Sustaining Word

    His love still breaks and pierces like a knife
    The stony ground of hearts that never shared,

    God gives through Him what Satan never could;
    The broken bread that is our only food.”

    (from a Lenten reflection by Malcolm Guite)

  231. My first Catholic Church was St. Gregory the Great in Williamsville NY. As a young lad, I had no idea what was going on since it was all in Latin, and that language was not spoken in our household. At the age of 10 we moved to Kings Park on Long Island. I attended CCM training every week there until going to college. Two of the parish priests were later convicted of abusing children, but I was not involved.

    In college I attended church at the Newman Center at the University of Rochester. I really liked the priest, and attended mass consistently through college. Three years ago I discovered that the priest that was such a good friend had been convicted of sexually abusing a 17 year old. Very sad.

    After graduation and three years working in Rochester, I requested a job transfer and moved to Charlotte, NC. I attended St. Matthew Catholic Church, which was meeting in a movie theater. Because of the influx of Yankees, St. Matthew is now a huge Mega parish. At Christmas and Easter attendance is over 30,000. It was at th I should church that I stumbled upon a few Charismatic Catholics in 1990 who were teaching a Life in the Spirit Seminar, and God used this one- day seminar to lead me to the Savior. That was on 12/8/90.

    From studying the Book of Colossians, I was convinced that the Catholic Church was a very unhealthy place to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I officially left the Roman Catholic religion in January of 1992.

    I have an undying love for Catholics. My entire extended family is enmeshed in the false teachings of Catholicism. It has been very difficult to attend family functions because the life of my sister’s family revolves around their participation in St. Matthew.

    My sister passed away last July after a ten month battle with a brain tumor. She approached me years ago with a dilemma. She felt close to God the Father and thought she understood the Holy Spirit, but she didn’ the feel close to Jesus. I shared with my dear sister her problem. Her Church had hidden Him, replaced Him and diluted Him. I used a Russian nested doll as a visual example. The large doll represented the pope, the head of the church. He was a mediator that she needed to go through to get to Jesus. The next doll was the priest. He was the second mediator. The next doll was Mary. The next doll was the saints. The next doll was the Church. The next doll was the eucharist. By the time she got through these six mediators, she reached the smallest doll, Jesus.

    My mom died in 2012 at the age of 97. On the day she died, a priest came to visit her. She was could not swallow, so she could not receive the eucharist. She was unresponsive, so she could not confess to the priest. So the priest went down to the next mediator. He prayed to Mary for my mother. Finally, he pointed my mother to St. Januarius. The fifth century saint for September 19th, the day of her death.

    I fear for my family and friends who are Catholic. When I saw the explanation of the BITE model yesterday, it became even more clear to me that I have spent the last twenty-five years with Catholic family and friends who have experienced mind control or the undue influence of their powerful religion.

    My prayer for the Catholic posters at this blog is that they would take the advice of Mr. Hassan and step back and consider the impact of their religion on their relationship with the Savior.

  232. @ Dale:
    Dale, I am an advocate of the good in many faiths and of the good in many Christian faith communities.

    What I speak for often transcends theological boundaries…… as does what I speak against. Our shared humanity with the great breadth of its gifts and its problems is likely the reason for this, I know. We all have our own perspectives, Dale, and are defined and limited by them; but we all share in that common humanity and because of the Incarnation, we have become brothers and sisters of one another. It’s that relationship defined by the Incarnation that has the greatest meaning for me, I believe.

  233. Dale wrote:

    I get that this is a blog about abuse occurring in evangelical churches.

    No, DALE,
    I think all abuse is fair game to put out on the table for discussion ….. perhaps TWW focuses more on religious settings, but the ‘abuse’ theme itself goes way deeper into our poor human frailty and shows up many other places also. So, that movie ‘Spotlight’ was mentioned and rightly so. And mentioning any slow-down of Francis dealing with abuse in the Church deserves a good kick, sure.

    I don’t think there IS a human enterprise that is free from the stain of human failing ….. but abuse of the innocent is among the worst of those failings and if we are to be human at all, we have a duty to take a stand against it, and all the more if it occurs by those who say they are Christ-followers ….. there is no greater scandal than people who harm others while they are at the same time praising Our Lord ….. no faith community is off limits when it comes to addressing abuses against the innocent, no.

  234. Dale wrote:

    I fear for my family and friends who are Catholic.

    I don’t.

    I was brought to Christ by a 98 year old Catholic woman who lived and breathed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in everything she did. And I’m a Protestant.

    I get tired of Catholic bashing. That they don’t know God. That can’t practice the faith a certain way that’s important to them and has cultural roots. Baptists, for example, have their own practices and culture that is important to them.

  235. Christiane wrote:

    I don’t think there IS a human enterprise that is free from the stain of human failing ….. but abuse of the innocent is among the worst of those failings and if we are to be human at all, we have a duty to take a stand against it, and all the more if it occurs by those who say they are Christ-followers ….. there is no greater scandal than people who harm others while they are at the same time praising Our Lord ….. no faith community is off limits when it comes to addressing abuses against the innocent, no.

    Well said, Christiane.

  236. Debbie Shifflett wrote:

    My abusive mother often threatened to send me to the Rebekah Home for Girls. I would lie down on the bed and take her whippings with the belt – even at age 18 because I was terrified of her but more so of Lester Roloff’s home. I just gut-level knew it was bad. That threat and fear scared me so much – at least I had some friends in my home town. It was a very scary time in my life knowing she would send me away and now that I know what was in store for me at that home is so awful how can someone say “I’m glad I took that abuse”? Because the abuse on the other side was so much worse.As much as my mother was an abuser, Lester Roloff was a much worse abuser. And I think he enjoyed it which just makes him a sick human being.

    I knew someone who was sent to the Rebekah Home for Girls by her parents. She told me that she learned how to play the game there and was a goody, goody, holier-than-thou girl to try and get out of the situation. This was in 1978ish, and we knew then that the Rebekah Home was a horrible, horrible place.

  237. okrapod wrote:

    i want again to quote Marcus Grodi when he addressed the issue (rather frequently) of why some people go through what he called ‘the conveyor belt’ of catholic formation only to eventually be converted in a protestant setting, while for others it is exactly the opposite in that some go from protestant experience based approach to conversion but do not actually convert to Christ until they find catholicism. And at the same time some do not have to go to any other tradition from the one in which they were raised in order to become a follower of Christ. He did not know how to explain that, but he did not discount anybody’s story of their faith journey.

    That’s interesting, Okrapod, and something that I have noticed as well.

    Yes, Vatican II certainly did change many things about the Catholic Church. I am not of the age where I know anything about pre-Vatican II Catholic life.

  238. Christiane wrote:

    Whatever it is, I wish him peace.

    You are a good egg, Christiane. That’s what I love about you, friend. You, like my 98 year old Catholic friend Cath who led me (a Protestant) to Christ, show the love of Jesus to other people.

    Hugs to you. Kisses on your cheeks.

  239. @ Velour:
    My Russian godmother (may she rest in peace) was a good influence…… so was my Southern Baptist grandmother, of blessed memory, although I was only twelve when she passed. I owe them a debt forward.

  240. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    My Russian godmother (may she rest in peace) was a good influence…… so was my Southern Baptist grandmother, of blessed memory, although I was only twelve when she passed. I owe them a debt forward.

    Amen, sweetie.

  241. Dale wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Now you’re counting who posts how many comments, no matter how pithy, on various articles here? And that’s “a problem” for you?
    Velour. Imagine, if you will, if I and three of my evangelical friends went over to Catholic Answers comprised a quarter of all the comments.

    I’m not a Catholic, by the way. I’m a Protestant.

  242. okrapod wrote:

    “Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium [teaching] is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals.”

    I have no problem with this, OKRAPOD. What was handed down from the Apostles (the deposit of faith) predates the New Testament and has been protected and passed forward. I believe the Church, as Church, IS under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, yes, and is therefore a responsible guardian for the deposit of faith. No problem here whatsoever.

    An interesting choice you made because there is the story of Cardinal Newman who was an Anglican and converted to Catholicism. It was this point that did it for him: that the Church was authoritative.
    His work, ‘Apologia Pro Vita Sua’ is a Christian classic; and he is remembered for his statement, ““I shall drink to the Pope, if you please, still, to conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.””
    (John Henry Newman)

  243. @ Velour:
    I honestly don’t think he knew that. You do so much for people here at TWW with encouragement and in calling for prayers for those in need. In your kindness, you are more ‘catholic’ than you realize.

  244. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I honestly don’t think he knew that. You do so much for people here at TWW with encouragement and in calling for prayers for those in need. In your kindness, you are more ‘catholic’ than you realize.

    LOL.

    Oh, I see. I didn’t know that Christiane.

    I have straddled many lines. I grew up with Protestants on one side of my family and Russian Orthodox Christians on the other side of my family. I have had roommates and friends who were Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus.

    I respect many traditions. I always, like all decent people, draw the line at abuse.

  245. DALE, a story:

    my best friend’s eleven year old son died of lupus after a dreadful three years of suffering …. She was Quaker, born, raised and was educated at Earlham College ….. when the boy died, she grieved so hard for him, and left the faith and sought the support of her father’s friends in the Jewish community …. (I was then living in the North, not close, although we spoke on the phone frequently)

    after a while she wanted to convert and went to the rabbi

    unlike someone like MacArthur, the ethical rabbi understood the circumstances of her grief and refused to begin the process to instruct her in Judaism UNTIL he had taken her through all the major writings on Christianity and this went on for YEARS (he was a great scholar, this rabbi) …. his goal was to help her reconnect with her faith

    but she could not, and the rabbi finally realized this and the process for her conversion then began

    When I think about all the proselytization that poses as ministry among some in Christianity, I think about this good rabbi, and how he considered the plight of this grieving mother and how she came to walk away from her own faith community in her sorrow

    And I understand something:
    people that try to pressure others to change their faith are doing it wrong

    a person’s faith is to be respected, even if others disagree with it ….. and sometimes things happen that bring people to conversion, as in my friend’s case where she had been so traumatized by her son’s suffering and her loss …. the rabbi got it right, he knew not to take advantage of my friend

  246. @ Velour:
    most Christian people carry a lot more catholic DNA around than they realize ….. and it shows up in the strangest ways; but YOU dear Velour, also carry Russian Orthodox DNA …. not a bad thing at all 🙂

  247. @ Christiane:

    It seems to me, or I got the impression, that you perhaps were reluctant to address this issue, Like the issue of outside the church there is no salvation-which seems to be part of the current conversation within catholicism itself. If you consider it an issue of salvation, and if you consider infallibility as a means of converting people (you referenced Newman) why would you avoid the issue?

    And no, I have not kept notes as to exactly who said what and when. This is just the impression I have been getting.

    As I have said before, in my opinion the issue as to why some protestants do not convert, and as you bring up as to why some do, is authority. I would think that this is something that the catholic church, and its apologists, would emphasize.

    I understand that in conversations this does cross the line into ‘I am right and you are not’ but I do not understand how that conversation can be avoided.

  248. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    most Christian people carry a lot more catholic DNA around than they realize ….. and it shows up in the strangest ways; but YOU dear Velour, also carry Russian Orthodox DNA …. not a bad thing at all

    Ahhh, you are so sweet, Christiane! Thank you.

    My birthday (I’m an identical twin) is on March 8th. I just ordered an Eastern Orthodox Bible that Darlene here recommended as a birthday gift to myself. I ripped up and tossed in separate recycling containers all of the NeoCalvinist books and Bibles that I had.

    Someone here commented once before that it is like the witches in the Bible who destroyed their items once they came to Christ.

  249. okrapod wrote:

    I understand that in conversations this does cross the line into ‘I am right and you are not’ but I do not understand how that conversation can be avoided.

    There must be more to our faith than that, OKRAPOD. There must be.

    It is my hope that we Christians, collectively, will some day find it.

  250. Dale wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I’m not a Catholic, by the way. I’m a Protestant.
    What are you protesting?

    Nothing, dude.

  251. Dale, knock it off. Your response above “What are you protesting?” is rude and condescending. Velour wrote a response using an established term that denotes a general branch of Christianity and _everyone_ knows its general meaning. Engage or not, but don’t be a smartalec.

    Your work on 9Marks was good but you are undermining your credibility by the way you demean other posters.

  252. Under the ‘Interesting’ heading, under ‘Food’, I have posted a Lenten soup recipe …. it’s a little bit strange, but it’s good (if you like this sort of thing) and it’s healthy too ….. very, very cheap

  253. Christiane wrote:

    very, very cheap

    Dear Lenten folk: if you are not into fish, I will post another family recipe from the Depression Era, courtesy of my mother-in-law of blessed memory: Dolly’s Potato Soup

    see the ‘Interesting’ column at top of blog, and scroll down to ‘Food’ for recipes 🙂

  254. Christiane wrote:

    Under the ‘Interesting’ heading, under ‘Food’, I have posted a Lenten soup recipe …. it’s a little bit strange, but it’s good (if you like this sort of thing) and it’s healthy too ….. very, very cheap

    Fish head soup? LOL. Although it does show a deep appreciation for letting nothing go to waste. My hairdresser loves chicken feet at the Chinese restaurant. He says they’re so tender. No.Thank.You.

  255. Christiane wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    very, very cheap
    Dear Lenten folk: if you are not into fish, I will post another family recipe from the Depression Era, courtesy of my mother-in-law of blessed memory: Dolly’s Potato Soup
    see the ‘Interesting’ column at top of blog, and scroll down to ‘Food’ for recipes

    This looks yummy and I will try it.

    I have organic groceries delivered to my doorstep every couple of weeks from a farm at the coast. So, like my Russian Orthodox farming/ranching grandparents, I’m learning again to eat with the seasons. I have been making pumpkin soups and orange squash soups. Also tossing cooked chunks of it with pasta, Parmesan cheese, and some garlic. Good stuff.

  256. I don’t want to jump into this discussion, but considering how much the council of nicea/arius comes up, I thought I would mention a podcast called ‘the history of rome’. There are 5 or so episodes on Constantine, including one on the council itself and the politicking that I found interesting. It’s about episode 137/138, called The Christian Emperor, if you like that sort of thing.

  257. @ Velour:
    Velour, the fish heads are used to make a stock, then they are DISCARDED (thank God)

    as for using pumpkin in cooking, here is a recipe for ‘stuffed Pumpkin’:
    Take a medium sized pumpkin and remove the top and seeds …. wash pumpkin ….
    stuff it with hot Italian sausage and potatoes cut into cubes, and onions chunked

    bake with top replaced

    Enjoy! (this is NOT healthy, but it is fun to make and really good eating)

    recipe comes from my Aunt Lorraine who prepared it when we were visiting. She sent me down to her basement to bring up the frozen dessert she kept in the freezer …. as I descended into the basement, the family tells me that she counted ‘five, four, three, two, one’ and then they all heard a loud scream coming from me in the basement!

    I had opened the freezer door to find the largest, fiercest boar’s head (with tusks) staring back at me

    Aunt Lorraine had a sense of humor. She had fun with that boar’s head for years.

  258. Velour wrote:

    Also tossing cooked chunks of it with pasta, Parmesan cheese, and some garlic. Good stuff.

    I’m trying this! Love the ingredients!

  259. okrapod wrote:

    why would you avoid the issue?

    there’s an old game:
    ‘Let’s you and him go fight’

    sometimes it’s better not to be pulled into that game

  260. Ken G wrote:

    Entering the priesthood requires 32 credit hours (two full years) of philosophy.

    I was thinking how glad I am that the priesthood are an educated group ….. philosophy and theology are a part of that education, yes

    if nothing more, the lengthy education period and the deaconate time together allow for some serious time to think about taking holy orders before making that commitment

  261. @ Ken G:

    Well, christianity is highly syncretic with a mixture of Jewish thought, Greek philosophy (mostly Aristotle) and adaptation to and perhaps accommodation of various cultural issues of the day. I hear Paula Fredriksen go so far as to say that if Aristotle had not been made the tutor of Alexander the Great and if Alexander had not conquered all that he did, and if Rome had not eagerly taken up Greek thought then there would have been no empires as they were and no learning as there was and no Christianity as we know it. Meanwhile in my Latin class they are saying that Rome at one time envied the Greeks and even added to their grammar some from Greek grammar because the Greeks had a better system of grammar, not to mention Greek ideas. It seems that the Romans had a thing about grammar, or so they say. There is some interesting stuff on the Rome/Latin/history stuff on you tube from people selling Latin lessons. So, yes, the empires of the day and hence Christianity were highly influenced by Aristotle.

    I have not found anything yet on what Christianity might have been were it not for the early influence of Greek philosophy except for a little from Ehrman about some of the competing Christianities in the earliest years. It is all fascinating to say the least. And Wiki says there was a resurgence in theological circles of Aristotle when he became popular again in somewhere around the twelfth century or there abouts.

    Now I gather that Dale thinks that is a bad thing, and apparently Christiane thinks that philosophy in religious education is a good thing, but I am just beginning to explore the topic.

  262. @ okrapod:
    I love this encyclical

    ” “Almighty and eternal God, you created mankind so that all might long to find you and have peace when you are found”. There is therefore a path which the human being may choose to take, a path which begins with reason’s capacity to rise beyond what is contingent and set out towards the infinite.”
    (from the Good Friday liturgy-prayers for those seeking God)

  263. @ Christiane:

    I am not trying to be ugly here, but it was something from JPII that was the aha moment in my decision not to convert to catholicism. And what it was was that I saw or thought I saw him starting out with extremely little evidence and that even debatable and then building a whole theology one layer of thought after another. When he got to where he was going with that I thought that this is ridiculous because of the margin of error at each level of the pyramid which he was building. Where was the evidence he was using? Well, it was not much about evidence but only about how far can he go in some direction before the whole thing collapses. And once I saw that it was clear to me that this very thing is what I had been struggling with in other issues-how far can you go with theology after you go beyond evidence and swing way out on nothing but argumentation built on the presumption of the validity of prior argumentation.

    That idea seems to be what you have quoted from the liturgy in “There is therefore a path which the human being may choose to take, a path which begins with reason’s capacity to rise beyond what is contingent and set out towards the infinite.” So up front one has to ask whether that is legitimate and whether it leads to truth or whether it is what we used to call taking one’s brain out and playing with it.

    Anyhow I will read this document that you have referenced with as open a mind as possible. Where I am coming from is partly influenced by the fact that I took a few (just a few) philosophy courses in college to keep up my GPA after I found I could pull down the grade I needed in philosophy and I needed some liberal arts stuff for balance. The result for me was like a vaccination in that I never caught the disease after that. I know how that sounds, but there it is.

    But I will listen to JPII and see what he has to say.

  264. Lea wrote:

    I don’t want to jump into this discussion, but considering how much the council of nicea/arius comes up, I thought I would mention a podcast called ‘the history of rome’. There are 5 or so episodes on Constantine, including one on the council itself and the politicking that I found interesting. It’s about episode 137/138, called The Christian Emperor, if you like that sort of thing.

    Lea, that sounds interesting.

    Could you post a link to it.

    Thanks!

    P.S. We can copy and paste the link for future reference at the top of the page under the Interesting tab, Books/Movies/TV/ETC. tab.

  265. @ Darlene:

    Darlene,

    Thank you for the recommendation of the Eastern Orthodox Bible. I ordered it and it is arriving tomorrow. I look forward to it. My birthday is on Wednesday and its my gift to myself.

    Hugs.

  266. Velour wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    Darlene,
    Thank you for the recommendation of the Eastern Orthodox Bible. I ordered it and it is arriving tomorrow. I look forward to it. My birthday is on Wednesday and its my gift to myself.
    Hugs.

    I hope you will be blessed by it. And for the record, if you remain a Protestant I will not hold it against you. 😉 Just a little humor what with all the recent chatter lately. Many blessings to you.

  267. Darlene wrote:

    I hope you will be blessed by it. And for the record, if you remain a Protestant I will not hold it against you. Just a little humor what with all the recent chatter lately. Many blessings to you.

    Thank you sweetie!

  268. So now there’s a guy running for office in Virginia whose campaign website includes so-called “Biblical arguments” in favor of legalizing incest, pedophilia and child porn.

    http://larsonfordelegate.com/wiki/Main_Page

    Argh, they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. At least Vaughn Ohlman was subtle about it. This Larson character just goes right out and says what’s on his diseased mind. If he didn’t exist, Richard Dawkins would have to invent him.

  269. Latest update – 3/6/17

    I need to get food in the next couple of days.
    March bills start coming due the end of the week. They will total $525.

    I am maintaining healthwise – no change. Although my knee is getting better – hurts much less today. I’m still keeping my eyes open for a couch and a car.

    I am continuing to work on the two books (one fiction, one non). I am also continuing to keep my eyes open for what is next. Sometimes, it is a challenge, mentally, to stay at peace and focussed.

    Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and help. Much love back to you.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  270. L. Ron Hubbard saw clearly that the best way to get obscenely rich and powerful is to create your own religion. This got me to thinking of a great scheme. Like Scientology, I will buy some property in California. I am going to buy the Hearst Castle. Here is my plan:

    1) Buy the Hearst Castle.
    2) Rename it “Hearst Hill.”
    3) Create my own political system.
    4) Secede from the United States.
    5) Name my country “Holy View.”
    6) Declare myself “Head of the Worldwide Church of Jesus Christ.”
    7) Send out ambassadors to every nation in the world.
    8) Receive ambassadors from every nation.
    9) Set up treaties with some of these countries. Call them “Concords.”
    10) Announce weekly meetings. Demand that everyone attend them. If my disciples don’t come, tell them that they are going to go to the “bad place.”
    11) Set up rules about what my followers may eat and when they may eat it.
    12) If they disobey my food rules, tell them they risk going to the “bad place.”
    13) Set up accountability structures. When my disciples disobey, tell them that they can get back in my good graces by confessing their sin to me.
    14) Set up a chain of command so that they don’t keep bothering me with confessions.
    15) I will do this by hiring and training low paid teachers. I will bind them to my system by telling them I won’t let them get married. I will tell them this lets them be more devoted to God.
    16) To induce my workers to follow me, I will grant them the authority to bring God to the people.
    17) In exchange, I will tell them that they must totally submit to me.
    18) Then, I’ll tell them that they are to demand submission to those below them.
    19) I will strengthen this submission by convincing them that I teach infallibly.
    20) To demonstrate my power, I will kidnap a Jewish boy and raise him as my son at Hearst Hill.
    21) I will shout to the world, “Unless you join me, you will go to the bad place!”
    22) I will restrict access to contrary teaching.
    23) To fund more buildings, I will tell people that their dearly departed loved ones have gone to a “not so good” place. I will have them pay money to get them out of this place and into the “good place.”
    24) I will expand my land holdings by creating a fictional document signed by ex-Governor Ronald Reagan that grants me all of Southern California.
    24) When I get enough disciples, I will raise up an army.
    25) Once I have enough followers who are totally submitted to me, I’ll tell them to kill and slaughter those who disagree with me. Of course, I’ll need the help of my political allies. I’ll be judge and let my allies do the slaughtering.
    26) When that doesn’t work, I will convince the world that I have changed. I will graciously let everyone be a part of my religion. In fact, I’ll tell them that they already belong to my collective. They will love me for my generosity.
    27) To prevent dissension among my disciples, I will warn them that if they defect, they will go to the “bad place.”
    28) I will buy a ring and some really cool clothing. I will let my followers kiss my ring. People love bling.
    29) I will call myself “Dale Bridges.” I will declare myself the bridge to heaven.
    30) Or maybe I’ll have them call me “Holy Father.” That has a more god-like sound to it.

    Friends, if this sounds familiar maybe it is because this has already happened in history. And it is occurring today. What started as a small band of Romans developed into a billion strong religion. I urge you not to remain silent about this abusive system! Love those who are captive to this religion enough to shine a spotlight. Warn them to leave this organization. Avoid this organization. Warn those who are priests and leaders of this organization of their spiritual danger. S-L-A-W!

  271. okrapod wrote:

    you have quoted from the liturgy in “There is therefore a path which the human being may choose to take, a path which begins with reason’s capacity to rise beyond what is contingent and set out towards the infinite.” So up front one has to ask whether that is legitimate and whether it leads to truth or whether it is what we used to call taking one’s brain out and playing with it.

    Good Morning, OKRAPOD

    I may understand something of your concern tangentially. Aside from Aquinas’ proofs for the existence of God using reason, we are still faced with people looking at doctrine and scripture, and not being able to ‘sneak past those watchful dragons’ of ‘musts and shoulds’ to arrive in the deeper places within their humanness out of which myth and fantasy are born.

    JPII wrote
    “As I have noted, theirs was the task of showing how reason, freed from external constraints, could find its way out of the blind alley of myth and open itself to the transcendent in a more appropriate way.” (see number 41 in Chapter IV)

    and when I read that, I thought about C.S. Lewis’s observation concerning his work on the Narnia series:
    ““I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday School associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.”
    (C.S. Lewis)

    we, in the West struggle with the ‘leap’; the people of the Eastern Church have much less difficulty. We in West benefit from the likes of CS Lewis and Tolkien. We are able to see again with the wonder of children, more clearly and more directly into something that resonates within our own souls.

    Thanks for the dialogue. I’ve enjoyed it very much. You help me pull things together that I had not realized were connected and that’s a blessing. 🙂

  272. Dale wrote:

    23) To fund more buildings, I will tell people that their dearly departed loved ones have gone to a “not so good” place. I will have them pay money to get them out of this place and into the “good place.”

    It seems silly to me now, but several times I put stones in my shoes as a “sacrifice” to pay the penalty for the poor souls in purgatory. 🙁

  273. Christiane wrote:

    Under the ‘Interesting’ heading, under ‘Food’, I have posted a Lenten soup recipe …. it’s a little bit strange, but it’s good (if you like this sort of thing) and it’s healthy too ….. very, very cheap

    I look forward every year to the lenten fish frys on Fridays at St. Matthew’s. Fr. Salazar and I have great conversations. And yeah, I love fish based soups, especially Cioppino (Italian). Wisconsin has some great fish stew recipes too.

  274. Velour wrote:

    Using your logic we can go ahead and write off Protestants, including in America,

    That’s not entirely fair, Velour. Many believers have, based on their knowledge, research and experience, a ministry of exposing a particular denomination. Here’s one woman whose entire blog is devoted to exposing the errors of the NAR (New Apotolic Reformation). http://www.spiritoferror.org/2017/02/coming-soon-study-guide-for-gods-super-apostles/6678

    Dale’s expertise seems to me to be credible and fair with no vindictiveness or emotional hyperbole interjected…just factual information with links to his source.

  275. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    By the way, I am Church of Christ, which is generally very anti-catholic but I love and respect all of Church history.

    Thank you Preacher’s Wife for your thoughtful comment on this subject.

  276. Victorious wrote:

    Mass was said in Latin so we had no idea what was being said but were required in high school to take a year or two of Latin so we would know, and then the Mass changed to English….which was nice.

    Oh no! You learned latin for nothing lol.

  277. Jack wrote:

    Personally, I think our secular, pluralistic society is the best defense against the excesses of theocracy.

    Yes. Me too.

  278. @ Victorious:

    I agree that we should be able to discuss systems, positively and negatively, without assuming that that is a judgment on every individual within a system.

  279. okrapod wrote:

    Bless them. And what did Tiny Tim say, God bless us every one. But let us proceed with tolerance and compassion to one another.

    And to this I say a hearty “AMEN.”

  280. One other thing. I do not think that catholics and protestants can discuss differences of theology without either (a) disavowing some of their own traditions’ teachings or else (b) saying things that are deeply hurtful to other people. So if we were to take a vote I would vote for changing the subject.

  281. A Centurian went into a bar and ordered a martinus.
    The bartender said: “Don’t you mean a martini?”
    The Centurian replied: “If I had wanted a double I would have asked for it.”

    How did it ever happen that my life has sunk to the level of geeky Latin jokes?

  282. @ Darlene:

    But Darlene, this is a thing that happens to people other than Dale. That’s where it becomes, hey, maybe this isn’t just about Dale.

  283. If you want a depression proof job get yourself a boat and charge passage for ferrying people back and forth across the Tiber. Unlike swimming the English channel many people successfully navigate said Tiber River.

  284. okrapod wrote:

    How did it ever happen that my life has sunk to the level of geeky Latin jokes?

    Is that better or worse than the “Euripides Pants, Eumenides Pants” joke?

  285. Dale, I asked a question of you up thread and you haven’t responded yet. You made a statement with which I disagree. Here it is:

    “Repentance as it relates to the gospel is a change of mind. not behavior.”

    Are you willing to elaborate on what you meant by this statement? I find minimizing behavior in this way does not point to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Repentance has everything to do with a change of mind, heart & will. Our behavior and actions will necessarily be changed by the gospel. So, your statement by itself, I believe, does not support the true meaning of repentance.

  286. I tried to enter smiley faces after my last comment, but they didn’t show up. I suppose I will have to type out “smiley face” from now on.

  287. Darlene wrote:

    Well… I’m Orthodox, so I don’t have a dog in this fight, so to speak.

    You personally do not seem to, but the folks at the Greek Orthodox church two blocks from my house are quick to declare that they did not leave Rome but Rome left them and therefore they are the truest of the true church and they will sell you the literature in the book stall at their annual festival to prove it. Been there and listened to what they had to say. It did not sound like hatred of anybody, just a declaration of a superior claim to authenticity.

    There is enough contention to go around. But you do not sound like a part of it and I hope that I do not sound like a part of it. We and the nation will survive; that is my default position.

  288. Lea wrote:

    I severely dislike when people say ‘your motive is X’. I enjoy having peaceful arguments, I dislike little digs and controlling the conversation.

    Well, Christiane did not take offense when I said what it looked to me like where she was coming from regarding motives, and in fact she said something to the effect of well kinda in one aspect but not really, and then she clarified her position. That was an opportunity which I handed her and she followed through on it. How is that a bad thing?

    I have yet to hear from Dale, but this is his option one way or the other.

    My stance is that if people’s motives are part of understanding why they are saying what they are saying then it is far better to be forthright and clear up matters. I also think that one should attribute good motives until proved otherwise, and that one should accept the person’s statements about their own motives.

  289. Darlene wrote:

    As for “digs and controlling the conversation” – is this directed at me?

    No, not at all. Just frustration from recent conversations spilling over. Perhaps I should step out, because otherwise it gets into calling out specific people, which I try not to do.

  290. Lea wrote:

    I also think that one should attribute good motives until proved otherwise, and that one should accept the person’s statements about their own motives.

    This is what I was trying to say, really. If someone says ‘I believe this and here is the reason’, I am going to take them at their word and go from there. I would rather discuss a topic and a belief. Not a person.

  291. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Well… I’m Orthodox, so I don’t have a dog in this fight, so to speak.

    You personally do not seem to, but the folks at the Greek Orthodox church two blocks from my house are quick to declare that they did not leave Rome but Rome left them and therefore they are the truest of the true church and they will sell you the literature in the book stall at their annual festival to prove it. Been there and listened to what they had to say. It did not sound like hatred of anybody, just a declaration of a superior claim to authenticity.

    There is enough contention to go around. But you do not sound like a part of it and I hope that I do not sound like a part of it. We and the nation will survive; that is my default position.

    Oh yes, I understand. It can be an easy leap from a personal conviction to damning all those other Christians out there. Although I must say that the stated stance in the Orthodox Communions is generally one where the EO does not judge the salvation of those outside of the Church. It has to do with that verse where Paul the Apostle said, “What have I to do with judging outsiders”?

    But the fact remains that we are imperfect human beings with our biases and prejudices. And often we can be swayed into thinking we are more enlightened than all those other folks out there. I happen to think that any truth we discover comes from our Source. God Himself. And that truth is not a private possession that inherently belongs to us. Rather, it is revealed *to* us by a merciful, kind, compassionate, loving Creator. Love

  292. And I do not know how that last “Love” got in my last comment. Commenting with an iPhone is seriously challenging.

  293. okrapod wrote:

    If you want a depression proof job get yourself a boat and charge passage for ferrying people back and forth across the Tiber. Unlike swimming the English channel many people successfully navigate said Tiber River.

    You’d make way more on the River Styx.
    Beaucoup more.

  294. Velour wrote:

    You don’t speak for me, so stop doing so.

    In the future I will try to remember to always say ‘in my opinion’ so that no one thinks that I am speaking for or on behalf of another person. I actually thought that was clear enough, but I will certainly add ‘in my opinion’ more often in the future.

    But, of course, I do plan to continue to have my own opinions, just as you have yours.

  295. okrapod wrote:

    The only way I know how to get free of it is either to just ignore it or else if try to reply with something genuinely nice (return good for evil). I try to ignore it; I am not nice enough to do the other.

    Thanks Okrapod. You made me laugh. That’s nice.

  296. By the way, feel free to replace the areas where I referenced being damned to or going to hell in my most recent comment with not saved or unbelievers or reprobates or any other such synonym.

  297. Darlene wrote:

    The more Christians seek to unite in those things in which they have a common belief, the more such a bond will speak to the world of God’s love.

    Beautifully said, Darlene. My eyes teared up.

    Hugs,
    Velour

  298. From what I’ve seen, protestants in general are pretty hostile towards Catholics. Granted, where I grew up there may have been a little racism mixed in with any theological disagreements. I also knew some Baptist missionaries in the Ukraine who were trying to minister to Catholics (same for missionaries in Greece with Greek Orthodox folks). I understand targeting nominal Christians, but the belief that people belonging to other denominations are unsaved just rubs me the wrong way. We taught a church history class a few years ago and after a couple weeks one guy wanted us to affirm that the pope is the anti-christ. I don’t often meet protestants friendly towards Catholics, but maybe it’s a regional thing.

    @ Lea:
    I have also noticed that comments about Calvinists, neo-Calvinist, or anything about those leaders and their children can be rather vicious and no one seems to object. I had to stop reading this blog for a few months this past fall because we had some serious problems at church and I couldn’t bear to read articles and comments about how manipulative, abusive, and overpaid church leaders are. People of all sorts, including myself at times, have the bad habit of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Churches can do terrible things, but it doesn’t mean Christians are terrible. Tertullian said some awful things about women, Augustine had some odd views about sex, and Luther was anti-semitic, but we all value their theological contributions. I think the same is ultimately true for both the Pope and Piper. History (the Holy Spirit that is) will filter out what is worthy and what isn’t. In the meantime, we can all be discerning of our respective groups and the church culture at large. Just my two cents.

  299. A penguin walks into a pub and asks the the bartender.
    Penguin: Have you seen my brother?
    Bartender: What’s he look like?

    Why did the lobster blush?
    He saw the salad dressing.

    I ate really good Hawaiian pizzas after trying them in Hawaii and decided to make them at home but I kept burning them. So I called my friend in Hawaii to ask him what to do?
    He said I need to cook them at aloha temperature.

    Whew…

    What did one math book say to the other math book?
    I have a lot of problems.

  300. Velour wrote:

    I am not surprised since you came to the defense of Ed C. as well when he castigated a victim of clergy sexual abuse and anyone who defended her, including me.

    That is not what I did, Velour, as many people would attest to.

    Maybe you’ll get your apology . . .

  301. okrapod wrote:

    One other thing. I do not think that catholics and protestants can discuss differences of theology without either (a) disavowing some of their own traditions’ teachings or else (b) saying things that are deeply hurtful to other people. So if we were to take a vote I would vote for changing the subject.

    Although I’m not the first person here to address this general point, I must beg to differ; the problem isn’t catholics and protestants but the human tendency towards guilt by association. This can (and frequently does) quickly become entrenched in a discussion between or about any two people-groups who can be described as mutually opposed.

    It does also happen at TWW (I note @ Preacher’s Wife‘s comment about having to stop reading for a while last year): as a community, some of our discussions dig themselves into a very stable rut in which a single word (“calvinist”, “complementarian”, “catholic” and even, for that matter, “victim”) becomes laden with a vast range of meaning that is either entirely black or entirely white – and every contributor is either entirely for, or entirely against it.

    This is a widely-studied human trait. I’m not trying to be patronising to the community either, as though I were immune to this. Our brains are naturally adept at finding patterns and imposing them on the world. With good reason, too; but that doesn’t mean we can never rise above it or that there aren’t times when we really should. I think it is worth having these discussions, nonetheless, as every time we do it’s an opportunity to push ourselves collectively to better things.

  302. On the topic of doctrines, teachings, and doctrinal bases…

    There are many organisations that have some kind of doctrinal or ideological basis, collective mission-statement, or something similar. They will often stipulate that their members are obligated to share some or all of these beliefs. Actually, a good example is that of the state – I am not exempt from any part of Scottish law whether I agree with it or not. England’s fitba’, rugby and cricket teams represent my native country whether I agree with the teamsheet (or the team’s conduct) or not. The only real solution to this would be to emigrate to a small patch of Antarctica, or similar, and declare it my own sovereign territory. Then I could be “true to my beliefs”. Except that this is a stupid idea that fits very well in a Monty Python sketch but not in real life.

    So: like most Protestant denominations and private local churches, Rome requires, on paper, that its members adhere to certain teachings. But I don’t believe every member or adherent is actually obligated to accede to this! In Rome or anywhere else. It would be silly (or, depending on the circumstances, hypocritical) to belong to an organisation you fundamentally disagreed with. You don’t join a chess club to take up gymnastics. But the more detailed an organisation’s ideological basis, the less realistic it is to expect everyone (or anyone) to agree with all of it.

    Thus, I’m well aware of what Rome teaches about its teachings. But that doesn’t mean I hold every individual Roman Catholic personally responsible for every current Roman teaching. I don’t, with the greatest respect, hold them obligated either to support every line of Roman teaching, or else to repudiate Rome.

    By analogy, there are many people who currently represent the United States at one level or another on the global stage – sportsmen/women, journalists, politicians and many more. Many do so with honour. But if I’m honest, not all of them have distinguished themselves in the last few months, even among the country’s elected representatives. Despite this, and despite America’s being a democracy, I don’t hold any American voter obligated either to renounce his/her citizenship or to answer in full for every aspect of government policy. The world’s more complex than that.

  303. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I think it is worth having these discussions, nonetheless, as every time we do it’s an opportunity to push ourselves collectively to better things.

    Yes, agreed. And even as we express ourselves, thinking and feeling, ruminating, reacting, responding, we not only learn about each others’ point of view, we learn about ourselves. We can see ourselves in our own expression, make connections, see how our words and ideas impact others, and make changes. As you have cogently said, it is the opportunity to better ourselves. Thank God for TWW, Deb and Dee and the community, with the freedom/opportunity to grow in Christ. I have learned much from you folks.

  304. @ Velour:
    Velour, you are not a trouble-maker …. you aren’t a ‘mean girl’, you don’t engage in snark, and you are not a put-down artist. What you do is to try to speak for the underprivileged who are suffering and need support, and you frequently organize a prayer list for those who suffer and need prayer.

    Of all the people who come here, I don’t know why you would be a target;
    but it happens …. it will happen again likely

    I wouldn’t look for ‘apologies’, no. But instead imagine the situation of the person out of which the insults and anger come, and pray for them to be delivered of the bitterness and to return to peace within themselves.
    That seems to me the better way, yes.

  305. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The only real solution to this would be to emigrate to a small patch of Antarctica, or similar, and declare it my own sovereign territory. Then I could be “true to my beliefs”

    🙂
    we all seek that sanctuary, NICK

    in real life, it’s called ‘our conscience’

  306. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    some of our discussions dig themselves into a very stable rut in which a single word … becomes laden with a vast range of meaning that is either entirely black or entirely white – and every contributor is either entirely for, or entirely against it.

    I didn’t word this correctly; it’s not that every contributor actually is utterly for or against. I was exaggerating to make a point. What I meant was that, past a certain point, the discussion can become so polarised that even moderate opinions will be attacked as extreme. I recall one such discussion early in my interactions with TWW in which I used numerous moderating adjectives, which were dismissed by another regular Wartburger who declared that I had obviously made a contemptible sweeping attack whilst wording it so that I could pretend I hadn’t. Repeat: this person was a Wartburger, not a troll, a parodist or a chatbot.

    This doesn’t happen on every thread, and where it does, it doesn’t involve every contributor or every comment.

  307. JYJames wrote:

    even as we express ourselves, thinking and feeling, ruminating, reacting, responding, we not only learn about each others’ point of view, we learn about ourselves

    boy is that the truth

    sometimes we make mountains out of mole hills and fail to see the pain around us while we are playing word games and solving theological puzzles 🙂

    a little Jewish humor:

    “A young housewife living in the town of Chełm had a very strange occurrence. One morning, after buttering a piece of bread she accidentally dropped it on the floor. To her amazement, it fell buttered side up.

    As everyone knows, whenever a buttered piece of bread is dropped on the floor, it always falls buttered side down; this is like a law of physics. But on this occasion it had fallen buttered side up, and this was a great mystery which had to be solved. So all the Rabbis and elders and wise men of Chełm were summoned together and they spent three days in the synagogue fasting and praying and debating this marvelous event among themselves. After those three days they returned to the young housewife with this answer:
    “Madam, the problem is that you have buttered the wrong side of the bread.”

    🙂

  308. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Those are some good thoughts, and I hope you are right. But Evangelicals and Catholics Together did not address much in the way of issues. The latest attempt by the Vatican to line up some meeting with the Orthodox looked like it might at least make a stab at something but the last I read one or more Patriarchs refused to meet because the Vatican refused to do something or other-don’t know how that got resolved or even if it did. Periodically the Vatican makes overtures to the Anglicans and some well nuanced phrases pass between the leadership; that in itself is worthwhile but not extremely productive.

    In the current discussion between one catholic and one anti-catholic we see on the one hand somebody limiting themselves to mostly good-spin about their church and the other limiting what is said to mostly bad-spin about the same church, and yet both of these people seem willing to engage-but only on their terms and only if they control/limit the conversation. And each lapses into preacher-mode in the process. Why do I say that? Each makes his/her own statements but neither addresses the other person’s doctrinal issues specifically. IMO that is a wise and cautious approach, but it does not make progress toward any resolution of anything. So why would it be wise and cautious to do that? Well, in my opinion, some issues between catholics and protestants are direct opposites and there is no reasonable compromise position unless each side of the difference of opinion is willing to reject some of what they believe for the sake of compromise. However, people do need to cut it out with the said or implied derogatory statements about other people; that is no help at all.

    So, ideally I would think that you are correct, at least in theory, but I am not holding my breath until it happens.

    Statement: As always, I am totally open to statements of disagreement and I realize that what I have said is an opinion piece and is vulnerable to opposition.

  309. @ okrapod:

    Here is a different but related topic. If you (generic) can compromise on Belief X, then may that not be an indication that Belief X is not as ‘true’ or ‘important’ as you thought it was and perhaps Belief X should just be dumped in the garbage as of historic interest only. Why continue to burden yourself with something that is not all that important, or perhaps even not all that true, in the first place.

    I don’t know the thinking where you are, but here in fundamentalist and evangelical world ‘compromise’ is a dirty word, only for the weak and worthless to even consider, or something to that effect. It is up for grabs whether merely saying nothing is just another way to (oh, the horror) compromise.

    Getting personal here. Would you agree that YEC can be legitimately taught in public schools as the only reasonable understanding of creation? Would you compromise with the YEC/fundamentalist crowd on that political issue regarding public education? I would not. Not for peace, not for dialogue, not for solidarity, not. And I personally am one of the lesser contentious among us, at least openly.

  310. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    I don’t often meet protestants friendly towards Catholics, but maybe it’s a regional thing.

    I have not noticed this at all, in real life. Most of my life (in the south, I don’t know what region you are in) Catholics and Protestants have mixed pretty regularly without any issues.

    I can’t say if this is an age thing or the crowd I’ve run in, but aside from not believing in a pope most protestants I’ve known haven’t really cared if anyone is catholic or not. So all of this talk is somewhat baffling.

  311. I can’t speak for Dale, but I can understand some of the animosity that can arise as one transitions from one type of faith to another.

    I’ll try to articulate the best that I can. I’ve never really put these thoughts to pixels before or really discussed them with anyone.

    I was raised in the Anglican tradition and as a child and teenager, I was very much a believer. My parents baptized me in the Anglican baptism (infant) I read the bible, I prayed to God, I attended Sunday school, I attended church, went to youth group.

    When I got to my mid-teens, I started to drift away. My parents, particularly my Dad, had books on paleontology, history, philosophy and both my parents, while religious were not particularly strict about it. I know that my mom was not happy when I ceased attending church. To be frank, I found it dull.

    Yet I would still classify myself as a Christian, ie: though church didn’t fill the need, I still prayed, still read the bible (though less and less as time went on). I did try to attend church but it was difficult. I put myself through school and between studying and working there really wasn’t time for it. In addition to other pursuits like time with friends and well, uh, courting would probably be a good term for it.

    I tried a number of careers, I’ve been a football (soccer) referee, psychiatric nursing assistant, small boat safety instructor, swim instructor (children & adults), air force aircraft mechanic, pharmaceutical manufacturing technician, lab technologist (my trade), QC lab supervisor to my current job as auditor (not the scientology type!) – QA specialist. My twenties and thirties were busy times! (not that my current life isn’t any less busy). But I still considered myself Christian, still believed though church attendance was sporadic.

    My wife is a regular church attender. And once we married started attending church as well. It was a pentecostal church though not as charismatic as some. Which suited me just fine. They even had a brass band which I thought was all right!. So from about 2000 to 2004, Christianity and I got along just fine.

    However cracks started appearing. I started getting some static that I had not been baptized. I had as an infant in the Anglican tradition but not as an adult. I was told, what’s the big deal? Get dunked. Declare for Jesus. Yet I really couldn’t do that. It was then that I started to realize that the church did not consider me Christian. There were a host of other things, in the preaching (my favorite “Jesus wasn’t and Anglican!”) to being introduced to good friends of my wife where the first question is what faith are you.
    Anglican? They’re just as bad as Catholics!

    As read the bible through this church’s eyes, I started to see that I really didn’t have much in common with it at all! The “put to death” passages in Leviticus/Deuteronomy, the submission of women, the whole book of Revelation where God goes on an orgy of destruction, the Old Testament slaughter of the Canaanites. The intolerance toward Muslims, Buddhists, RCs, Baptists, (a few of the faiths denigrated in the preaching I heard), the rank intolerance behind a veneer of “love”. “Love the sinner, hate the sin! – It was only there that I heard the word “hate” in preaching.

    Then the church embarked on “purpose driven”. I won’t get into to details but it was nothing more than naked marketing guilting people in a covenant to keep them in church. Ugh!

    But what finally did it was when my newborn son went into NICU after his birth. It turned out that he was ok but everyone was “Oh thank, God”. And I guess I felt that but day after day of walking through that ward, I saw so many little ones hooked up, suffering, while their parents watched over them and I thought. Yes, I’m glad for my happy ending but I fail to see the “divine plan” in all of this. Many of those innocents didn’t go home. I had always felt something amiss with this aspect of faith – In the air force I had spoken with soldiers who had gone to peacekeeping missions in Croatia and Bosnia. What they witnessed, I read General Romeo Dallaire’s book “Shake Hands With the Devil” about the Rwandan genocide – Poverty and suffering in my own city. I failed to see the divine plan.

    So I became an “atheist” and the bible was replaced by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris. Anyways I have to get the kids out the door to school and get to work. My story doesn’t end with atheism. But I can see where when you leave a faith, you feel a certain betrayal, Like you were sold a dud set of goods. A “How could I be so stupid?” So you no longer “believe” in God and yet the same time you’re brassed with the supposedly non-existent deity. Kind of like being mad at a brick.

  312. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    some of our discussions dig themselves into a very stable rut in which a single word (“calvinist”, “complementarian”, “catholic” and even, for that matter, “victim”) becomes laden with a vast range of meaning that is either entirely black or entirely white – and every contributor is either entirely for, or entirely against it.

    True. And being a wee bit contrarian, I tend to detest it when someone attempts to force me to take a side.

    Opinions though, I have plenty of those!

  313. okrapod wrote:

    Well, in my opinion, some issues between catholics and protestants are direct opposites and there is no reasonable compromise position unless each side of the difference of opinion is willing to reject some of what they believe for the sake of compromise.

    Here is my thought. I do not see disagreement itself as a problem. It is the personalizing of it that leads to disaster.

    I find this in politics, there are some people you can argue all day long about points of policy and whether or not a thing is better or worse and still be happy happy friends at the end of it. Some people, however, can not do this as they take disagreement as a personal slight. Which it is not.

    This is why ‘don’t discuss religion or politics’ is the rule at dinner parties or use to be 🙂

  314. Jack wrote:

    What they witnessed, I read General Romeo Dallaire’s book “Shake Hands With the Devil” about the Rwandan genocide – Poverty and suffering in my own city. I failed to see the divine plan.

    So I became an “atheist” and the bible was replaced by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris. Anyways I have to get the kids out the door to school and get to work. My story doesn’t end with atheism.

    your comment reminded me of C.S. Lewis’s words:

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?

  315. Jack wrote:

    Like you were sold a dud set of goods. A “How could I be so stupid?”

    This reminded me of something. We are doing a series on evolution/science in church right now and the guy talking mentioned there are two different creation stories in genesis and they contradict each other. Shock! He mentioned the animals came two by two, but there were actually seven pairs of clean and one pair of unclear. Surprise! He mentioned how we get sold on this kid version of christianity, complete with ‘kid bibles’ that condense everything and then sometimes people have a very hard time dealing with the reality of the stories. Men don’t have fewer ribs than women. For some people, this is a faith crisis.

  316. Lea wrote:

    . Men don’t have fewer ribs than women. For some people, this is a faith crisis.

    still would love to hear YEC’s reason why men have nipples

  317. okrapod wrote:

    Here is a different but related topic. If you (generic) can compromise on Belief X, then may that not be an indication that Belief X is not as ‘true’ or ‘important’ as you thought it was and perhaps Belief X should just be dumped in the garbage as of historic interest only.

    It might be… it’s more likely that your (again, generic) belief that you can’t compromise per se should be jettisoned. To take an extreme example: there have been many people, famous and obscure, throughout history who have risked or even sacrificed their lives for a cause, or to save someone else. That doesn’t mean they didn’t value their own lives; indeed, in a survival situation they may have had a tremendous will to live, other things being equal. But when it came to it, they found (to borrow a phrase) a greater love. You might compromise on Belief X, in other words, not because you didn’t believe it after all but because Belief Y was even more important.

    Paul puts it thus, writing to Corinth: Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. This wasn’t to abandon his lifelong fight against legalism, including the fight against the idea that you could be holy by means of diet. If anything, he was showing he didn’t care about rules by being willing to keep one if it served a higher purpose. (I like the wikipedia rules – especially the rule that says “Break All Rules“, because sooner or later, adhering to the letter of a rule will contravene the spirit of that same rule.)

    I’ve always been fascinated by this statement of Paul’s:

    Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.

    What’s fascinating is which way around Paul puts it. It’s the person of weak faith whose dietary standards are stricter. This doesn’t imply that strong faith means you’ll live like a slob *, of course. It implies that strong faith means great freedom to make executive decisions in the confidence that your heavenly Father trusts you with the responsibility. Whereas weak faith does not have this confidence, but rather, needs rules to help maintain a sense of identity and security. Fundagelicals, ISTM, are generally groups with weak faith, because they need strong walls to protect them.

    I’ll come back to YEC once I’ve reassembled a desk (new carpets today, and with them, a lot of moving of furntiture!).

  318. @ Christiane:

    That is called the moral argument for the existence of God. There are a whole bunch of arguments, some better than others. Here is the list that Wiki has. I have no idea how many more arguments there are out there.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Arguments_for_the_existence_of_God

    If you listen carefully to some debates on youtube between theists and atheists, nobody has come along with an irrefutable argument for the *necessary* existence of a god. The closest they come is to establish an argument in which a person can conclude that the existence of a god cannot be disproved and that the idea of a god is the best (in their opinion) answer to the question of the existence of god based on the currently available evidence and arguments.

    At that point we see atheists say that the evidence/arguments do not compel a belief in a god and are not sufficient to convince them. The theists say that they are convinced by the evidence/arguments that the most reasonable explanation is a god. Some then launch into their personal testimony of how they themselves have experienced the reality of God in such a way that their lives were changed, which takes it rather out of the area of philosophical arguments and opens up the issue of the credibility or lack of it of personal experience.

    It has been said that religious experience carries with it it’s own verification for the person who experiences it. Yep. So it does.

    Train up a child …will not depart IMO goes to what is told to the brain during those stages of formation of thinking which educators call teachable (like learning to read has a window of best opportunity) and when a person has been taught during that time when the brain is something akin to malleable they then have it at some level for the rest of their lives.

    Belief, IMO, is a combination of early training, religious experience, and some inner drive for answers where philosophical arguments come into play. Is that election? Grace? Happenstance? Some not yet identified area on some chromosome that some people have and some do not? Does any of that mean that there really is a god-objectively whether people believe it or not?

    So what does that leave? We walk by faith and not by sight-yet.

  319. @ okrapod:

    I really identify with the idea that we are hard-wired to quest for answers to the great questions – who are we? why are we here? etc.

    and I really do think that the human capacity for myth and fantasy is a part of that hard-wiring

    One thing I am conscious of is that people travel the journey towards faith at their own pace and in their own way and no man-made intervention matter a
    dam …… but sometimes we get knocked off our horse, and our world is put upside down and we cannot see or comprehend …. and then there comes an intervention that calms the storm

    the cut and dried: say these words and get dunked and sign here our contract and your’re ‘in’ doesn’t make sense …. if it brings peace and comfort to some, I’m happy for them

    for others, atheism may be the most honest road forward for them …. but like someone in an above comment said … atheism may not be the end of the story 🙂

    ““To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” says Aquinas in ancient days

    but my favorite will always be the humble: ‘Help Thou my unbelief’ …. we are all there in that man’s shoes at times if we are honest

  320. Christiane wrote:

    the cut and dried: say these words and get dunked and sign here our contract and your’re ‘in’ doesn’t make sense …. if it brings peace and comfort to some, I’m happy for them

    Oops. Your sentence ‘the cut and dried: say these words and get dunked and sign here our contract and your’re ‘in’ doesn’t make sense” is straight out of reformed teaching including but not limited to MacArthur. In fact, MacArthur has used Paul Washer to preach this at one or more of his conferences. What they preach instead is repentance. I am not sure how repentance interacts with election, but I have indeed seen on youtube Washer preach it at a MacArthur conference.

    Your sentence ‘if it brings peace and comfort to some, I’m happy for them is where they disagree. They think it leads to false assurance of salvation and perhaps contributes to the general sorry condition of people on pews who have not been born of the Spirit / born again/ washed in the blood / however one chooses to say it.

  321. @ okrapod:
    my instinctive thought is in the soul of one who thinks ‘I am saved’ is at least hope and a trust in the One Who will save them …… even if their ‘assurance’ may not be the strongest marker of their salvation, surely they may be ‘saved by hope’ and come as a little child trusting in their Savior???

    could they still make shipwreck of their faith? I think it is possible, yes

  322. Christiane wrote:

    they may be ‘saved by hope’ and come as a little child trusting in their Savior

    That is tricky-the idea of saved by hope. Protestants emphasize ‘saved by grace through faith’ and if we listen to Paul (faith, hope and charity) then hope and faith are not the same thing. This plays into the argument against infant baptism in that in one protestant view it gives people false hope.

  323. okrapod wrote:

    false assurance of salvation and perhaps contributes to the general sorry condition of people on pews who have not been born of the Spirit / born again/ washed in the blood / however one chooses to say it.

    I had a friend who died of cancer. She was Jewish and was full of life and didn’t play by the rules, no. She was a mess, and yet all her friends loved her and she was one of the few people that would spend some time with my Down Syndrome son and enjoy his company (I can still picture them relating to one another in my mind, though he could not talk). My friend had lovers, and used marijuana, and I think ever sold it, and was an artist’s nude model (no stigma in that, except it took her closer to a world that was unstructured) ….. but she had a redeeming thing about her: she loved animals. She would rescue dogs and bring them home and care for them and try to find homes for them. She was a kind person.

    Salvation? I know. I’m not sure I belong in the heaven with the people who have got it all together with their way of becoming ‘saved’. I’d rather be with those people who were messes, but were genuinely kind people. Does being loving matter?
    How is it that I KNOW my friend is in heaven???? I don’t understand it but in her case, I have that ‘assurance’, yes.

  324. Christiane wrote:

    “Madam, the problem is that you have buttered the wrong side of the bread.”

    HA! Great illustration! Leave it to the Jews. Different starting points often lead to different end points.

  325. Christiane wrote:

    Does being loving matter?

    We are told to love God (first of all) and love mankind (secondly) but also told do not love the world or the things of the world. I think that loving can go both ways, and since we do not understand ourselves much less other people we have to be careful when it comes to variables like this. I think it is better to refrain from having an opinion about other people. I think it is perfectly fine to have opinions about ideas however.

  326. okrapod wrote:

    We are told to love God (first of all) and love mankind (secondly) but also told do not love the world or the things of the world.

    and yet the parable speaks of a religious man who walked past an injured man by the side of the road and went on to pray ….. I expect I find more meaning in that than in interpretations of Scripture that parcel out love in accordance with some ‘order’ of priority

    the ant on my counter …. a living creature of God?
    kill it? or bring out the box of Borax to discourage its presence in my kitchen ?

    most people would laugh at this, but some would say ‘let it live’ and the older I get and the more of death I see happening, the ‘let it live’ has its appeal to me

    ‘the things of this world’? ….. all life comes from God ……. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective but can we not honor God in the small and the humble also?

  327. Jack wrote:

    However cracks started appearing. I started getting some static that I had not been baptized. I had as an infant in the Anglican tradition but not as an adult. I was told, what’s the big deal? Get dunked. Declare for Jesus. Yet I really couldn’t do that. It was then that I started to realize that the church did not consider me Christian.

    I’m so sorry. There are some people in my church who would say the same thing. Church of Christ believes baptism (adult baptism for them) is essential for salvation – they use Acts 2:37-38 and a host of other texts. Funny thing is, Catholics believe the exact same thing. But when things were first being formalized over a thousand years ago, infants didn’t always live long enough to be baptized as adults, or even as teens. If you have a child you are naturally concerned about their salvation, so you baptize them because that is the seal of salvation. It’s the same theological argument, but different cultural contexts led to different practices. As for me and my house, it’s a matter of conscience and between the believer and God.

    okrapod wrote:

    Belief, IMO, is a combination of early training, religious experience, and some inner drive for answers where philosophical arguments come into play. Is that election? Grace? Happenstance? Some not yet identified area on some chromosome that some people have and some do not? Does any of that mean that there really is a god-objectively whether people believe it or not?

    I subscribe to the groundlessness of all belief. It is impossible to absolutely prove anything, not God, not any scientific fact, not even the existence of our world (Descartes never saw The Matrix). All we can do is look at all the evidence, admit our inability to be truly objective, and then form beliefs from there. I get an odd sense of peace being able to live in the mystery, it’s why I can never be a fundamentalist.

  328. Christiane wrote:

    but she had a redeeming thing about her: she loved animals. She would rescue dogs and bring them home and care for them and try to find homes for them. She was a kind person.

    I don’t know about other people’s salvation, but I trust that God is just and merciful and kind. He loves the least of the world, so I would think He would be glad when people do also. Although, He was rather irritated that Jonah cared more for the tree than people, so I suppose there needs to be some consistency.

  329. @ Christiane:

    Well, the idea of repentance as preached by some conservative protestants is extremely similar in idea and requirement and to some extent in procedure to the catholic sacrament of reconciliation, except there is no priest involved.

  330. @ okrapod:
    Is the repentence thought of in the way of the Hebrew ‘teshuva’: a return to God, a change of direction of one’s life towards God?

    Is the repentence born out of sorrowing compassion? of the ‘misericordia’ described in sacred Scripture: “”…. they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

    Is prayer to the Holy Spirit a part of that repentence? Is there an examination of conscience?
    And a resolution not to continue with the sin or to frequent any situations or persons that might tempt you into that sin again?

    We have a formal way of reconciliation, but there are elements in it that are universally seen when people are genuinely sorry and wish to make amends to those they have hurt, and want to ask God for forgiveness …. I believe you when you say that repentance for sin is seen in Christian people, and likely with the same degree of seriousness and intensity.

    OTOH, I have seen some evidence that there is a whole theology of sin retained, but ‘being covered by the blood’, and I don’t understand how someone can continue to sin and it’s ‘okay’ ….. I don’t get that at all. I think it’s related to ‘antinomianism’, but I could be wrong.

  331. Christiane wrote:

    I don’t understand how someone can continue to sin and it’s ‘okay’

    should be ” I don’t understand how someone can continue to commit the same sin and it’s ‘okay'”
    …. meaning they don’t make a commitment to change their behavior and abandon the sin behavior

    (oh will I never remember to proof-read before I publish – sigh)

  332. Update: Hello everyone I just wanted to thank those who have helped me and billy in the gofundme, what an incredible blessing. All those who have given have remained anonymous for the most part and I can’t begin to tell you how it has encouraged, uplifted, and helped me. My manager has me doing 18 to 24 hours which fluctuates from week to week. Please continue to pray if you can that I can get in full time. I’m told that she doesn’t give part time people full time because it takes away from her bonuses and she uses the heck out of part timers. I am praying this is not the case as it not only feels personal for me but it takes away the hope I have of supporting me and billy sufficiently. In the mean time I am working so hard to impress her despite being discouraged and this is where I really have to just trust that if the Lord wants me full time He will give me full time not her so please pray for my heart. I want to remain trusting in Him, in His will, and to just honor him in my attitude with this new information. I am struggling right now as bills come around again and i’m left with very little. Tomorrow my check is gone and I can’t make the utilities, the trash, and I can’t get food or gas for the week. I’m praying for extra side work (house cleanings) to make up for what we need. My phone bill is due again and this means my access to the internet. Sometimes I tend to post here at the last minute but that is only because I was hoping to have everything covered without having to post an update unless it was to say Hey, we got it covered. Unfortunately I don’t have it covered but look what God has done these past few weeks and I need to continue to remind myself when I start getting a little scared. Ok so in order to get everything covered including food and gas for us for the next few weeks i’m hoping to earn or get funds in the mount of $577.00 is what I have added up. It’s a lot I know and hopefully I can get some major side work or funds on the gofundme thank you for those who encourage, support, and pray for us. My heart truly loves all of you and thank you to Dee and Deb for being there for me and billy and for the gofundme. They are incredible ladies. I am encouraged by this blog and by my brothers and sisters here.

    Okay so tomorrow I am going to Houston (it’s only a thirty minute drive by the way) to take part in a SNAP meeting with Barbara. I am so excited to meet this wonderful lady and to be a part of this meeting. She has also sent me a link to SNAP facebook here it is in case any one here is interested and please comment, like, and post there they do great work in advocating for survivors of abuse https://www.facebook.com/snaphouston/

    Billy is doing good and i’m am so proud to say that he has yet to miss a week going to wed. night youth group and a wonderful church. Although we don’t attend services he has thoroughly enjoyed the youth group with his buddies. He has also found an amazing friend who I approve of and his friend has asked my son to go hunting at his parents deer lease over spring break. The boys have been hanging out pretty much every weekend they go to what a burger, the lake, they fish and so forth. I have prayed for so long that billy would find at least one friend who would be good for him and vise versa. This young mans parents are wonderful and they are completely involved in their sons life. They parent just like me and love their son immensely as I do billy. Thank you to all who have prayed with me in billy finding a good friend. Billy said having his friend has helped him not think of what happened to him whenever he begins to struggle with it. He said that hanging out with his friend has helped him not think about it and that he doesn’t feel alone like he did because I have to work. My heart is jumping with joy for billy and the young man stopped by last night and sat in our living room and talked with me for about thirty minutes. I spent two hours on the phone with his mother and I just love the way she parents her son. It has been so hard to find parents who are involved with their children like I am with billy. They are out there anyways I’m happy to report that billy is working hard in school and his nights of not sleeping are getting a little better lately.

    As therapy for me I have begun doing gardening and yard work. I have found some peace in being outside and focusing on growing things. This has helped my heart work out some issues of billy’s abuse along with the struggle of losing everything we use to have. I am truly glad to be out of our former church but I still struggle with the loss of what I thought was a church family. It does get better but at times I find myself missing some of them missing our fellowship. I guess this is where I have to focus on my relationship with Christ and the fact that he loves us enough to have gotten us out of there.

    Again please pray for our financial situation. I’m not asking anyone here to put anything on the gofundme just pray for it and pray I can get full time. This is a really good company to work for and I believe it’s a stepping stone for me. I think I can either use my time here in order to get to where God wants me or I can move up in this company if I stick to it and work hard. However sometimes because i’m a creature of habit I stick with things longer than I should. Anyways just pray for me pray for my heart and pray that the Lord moves this manager to put me full time if it’s His will regardless of what her motives are. Pray I can develop a good working relationship where I become a great asset to her and this company but that she see’s value in me and the work I do. I want to make her job easier by doing a good job and i’m hoping by keeping this work ethic and attitude it will reflect Christ and me as a person. Thank you all again for the gifts on the gofundme and to the gentleman who sent us this computer, what a blessing this is for us for billy. Thank you thank you thank you again. It has blessed our home and still is blessing it.

  333. Christiane wrote:

    OTOH, I have seen some evidence that there is a whole theology of sin retained, but ‘being covered by the blood’, and I don’t understand how someone can continue to sin and it’s ‘okay’ ….. I don’t get that at all. I think it’s related to ‘antinomianism’, but I could be wrong.

    I totally agree with you in what you have said here. In all my years as a protestant in SBC, FWB, UMC and not TEC I have never been in a church that taught that. Ever. Remotely. I don’t know how that got started but the terminology makes me think it might have come from pentecostalism. They have quite a few differences in theology.

  334. @ shauna:
    Hey Shauna,
    it sounds like Billy has found a great friend …. I continue to pray for your situation ….. your courage to continue trying in the face of all the difficulties is inspiring …. God Bless!

  335. Christiane wrote:

    Is the repentence thought of in the way of

    In the non-sacramental protestant churches that I have been involved in where conversion is emphasized (not all protestant churches do that) the person is expected to consider the claim of God to be God and the christian belief that it is through Jesus and the horrific price he paid for us that man and God can be reconciled (using the catholic term). The person is expected to take a good look at himself, see himself as objectively as possible, and realize that his separation from God is his own fault. The person is then expected to repent in his heart for his own rebellion against God including his prior unbelief and for trying to be his own God and for his sinful acts against God (which would also of necessity have been against man also.) The person is expected to confess this to God, to admit his own responsibility, to ask for forgiveness and then accept that forgiveness based on the authority of scripture and the inner witness of the Spirit.

    As a result of this the person is expected to make this public in one way or the other and the person is expected to be baptized using the trinitarian baptismal formula. The person is then expected to continue the rest of his life in a condition of following Christ, repenting when he sins, renewing and nourishing the relationship with God, and it is expected that his ‘new life in Christ’ will show the fruits of the Spirit and continuing changes in who that person is in his inner person due to the work of the Spirit in his life.

    There is no priest, no pronouncement of absolution by a priest, and as to any praying directly to the Holy Spirit I would imagine that would vary from church to church. In the Baptist tradition in which I grew up people did not pray directly to the Holy Spirit or invoke the Spirit at baptism because it is not a sacramental tradition as such. None the less, I see a lot of similarity of thinking.

    I am sure I must have left something out. Any more I rarely can remember where I parked the car. If I can think of something I will put out an addendum.

  336. @ okrapod:

    Sure enough I left something out. There is nothing analogous to penance as a requirement for repentance, but going out and reconciling with those you have injured and things like turning yourself in to the cops if they are looking for you, and lots of repair work which sometimes needs to be done is seen as a result of repentance, not as a requirement for forgiveness. And for those who do not do this it may be asked if what they did was true repentance or merely some religious self delusion.

  337. Christiane wrote:

    @ shauna:
    Hey Shauna,
    it sounds like Billy has found a great friend …. I continue to pray for your situation ….. your courage to continue trying in the face of all the difficulties is inspiring …. God Bless!

    Thank you Christine, billy just left with his friend and a few other boys. It is definitely still nerve racking letting him go with another teenager who has a big truck lol. Not sure if i’m being the best parent by letting him go but I guess I have to let him grow up and have friends. I’m just glad this boy likes billy for billy and seems to be a really good kid like my son.

  338. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I think it is worth having these discussions, nonetheless, as every time we do it’s an opportunity to push ourselves collectively to better things.

    I agree with you, Nick. I think such exchanges can inspire us to examine our beliefs and motivations. It was this kind of open and free dialogue on various internet sites that led me to examine my own beliefs, attitudes and motives. It has been an eye-opener for me.

  339. okrapod wrote:

    lots of repair work which sometimes needs to be done is seen as a result of repentance, not as a requirement for forgiveness

    I agree that if a person has truly returned to God, they will want to do everything possible to make right what they have done wrong.

    The ancient Scripture present us with a choice to say ‘YES’ to life;
    but in our own world, we can choose to say ‘Yes’ to Life Himself: the Risen Lord

  340. okrapod wrote:

    Statement: As always, I am totally open to statements of disagreement and I realize that what I have said is an opinion piece and is vulnerable to opposition.

    I get a kick out of you, Okrapod.

  341. Latest update – 3/8/17

    I need to get food.
    March bills start coming due in a couple of days.
    They will total $525.

    Healthwise, I’m still fighting the tumor, but it doesn’t hurt much and is not growing. My knee is better, though still sore.
    Its been a tough werk, mentally. Going for days with no outside contact can wear thin.
    I’m still trusting that car and couch will be resolved soon.

    I am continuing to work on the two books (one fiction, one non). Slow going, but still moving. And still watching for what is next.

    Again, thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and help. May it all come back to you muliplied.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  342. Christiane wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    my instinctive thought is in the soul of one who thinks ‘I am saved’ is at least hope and a trust in the One Who will save them …… even if their ‘assurance’ may not be the strongest marker of their salvation, surely they may be ‘saved by hope’ and come as a little child trusting in their Savior???

    You make it sound so simple. But the Fundamentalists I have heard make you feel as though you are caught in a twisted pretzel. Am I really saved??? Did I meet their criteria which can very well lead into belly button analysis.

    And what you said has made me think of the Protestant Reformation. It was supposed to be all about justification by faith. Nice and simple huh? But I reckon it ain’t so nice and simple. Just read what all of them there folks who broke away have had to say in the last 500 years and how many denominations have sprung out of that Movement. No it ain’t that simple in their world. No matter what they say. There’s always some little implicit belief or supposed essential that must be tacked on in order to be believed or else you are one of those Heretics. Mind you I am speaking of the fundamentalists with perfectly parsed theology in whatever form they come. I believe fundamentalism has created more atheists than just about anything else.

  343. Darlene wrote:

    I believe fundamentalism has created more atheists than just about anything else.

    Wow. Interesting thought or speculation.

  344. Darlene wrote:

    You make it sound so simple.

    I think it must be.

    What is so special in the faith of a little child? I think it is that complete and utterly vulnerable trust that is given without fear and with a sense of being protected from evil in coming to the Christ who loves all children.

    I think the reason Therese of Lisieux was made a Doctor of the Church was her own writings which offered the ancient teachings of the need for child-like trust and love as something that the Church had overlooked in its scramble for all the convoluted theologies of justification and sanctification.

    She had the faith of a little child and she trusted and she conveyed that simplicity in a way that stunned the Vatican when they realized what she had experienced and expressed.

    My own favorite prayer, which I believe will be the last one I speak conciously on this Earth:
    ‘Jesus Christ, I trust in You’

  345. JYJames wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    I believe fundamentalism has created more atheists than just about anything else.

    Wow. Interesting thought or speculation.

    Warren Throckmorton, a professor of psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, did a lengthy and extensive piece of research on Mars Hill a few years back. This was prompted initially by the suggestion that Driskle’s then-latest book contained plagiarised material, but the more he looked, the more he realised was wrong not only Driskle’s behaviour but with the whole culture and structure of Mars Hill.

    One of the things that former Mars Hill members told him was very similar to Darlene’s thought. To quote from an interview he did with Luke Norsworthy:

    Some of them [former members] say that Mars Hill created as many atheists as Christians, because of the disillusionment that the people who were hurt there felt; and as such, the legacy of Mars Hill is kind of mixed.

    Certainly there are people who don’t attend church, not because they love rubbing their sin in God’s face, but because they’ve been convinced that God is a monster. That, or church has otherwise lost – or failed to gain – the right to their respect.

    I think there are several deep-rooted weaknesses in fundamentalism. For one thing, it grew as a reaction against something rather than because it had a clear spark of life of its own. Specifically, it was a reaction to the growing influence of secular liberal academia and “higher criticism”. People who quite explicitly considered the bible to be just another historical source to be interpreted sceptically, and fitted into one’s existing world view, for whatever reason found life in church attractive. They sometimes became quite influential in mainstream denominations or seminaries – hence the widely-published (and not groundless) stories over here of Anglican bishops denying the resurrection of Jesus.

    Against a backdrop in which the bible was given literally no authority, fundamentalism fought back by pulling from the opposite extreme and giving it total authority; equating it, in practice, with God. Both “fundamentalists” and “liberals” share some characteristics; for one thing, they’re kind of fighting for the right to control God and in the process have created a dumb idol, or sock puppet, that is incapable of independent thought or action.

  346. shauna wrote:

    Update: Hello everyone I just wanted to thank those who have helped me and billy in the gofundme, what an incredible blessing. All those who have given have remained anonymous for the most part and I can’t begin to tell you how it has encouraged, uplifted, and helped me. My manager has me doing 18 to 24 hours which fluctuates from week to week. Please continue to pray if you can that I can get in full time. I’m told that she doesn’t give part time people full time because it takes away from her bonuses and she uses the heck out of part timers. I am praying this is not the case as it not only feels personal for me but it takes away the hope I have of supporting me and billy sufficiently. In the mean time I am working so hard to impress her despite being discouraged and this is where I really have to just trust that if the Lord wants me full time He will give me full time not her so please pray for my heart. I want to remain trusting in Him, in His will, and to just honor him in my attitude with this new information. I am struggling right now as bills come around again and i’m left with very little. Tomorrow my check is gone and I can’t make the utilities, the trash, and I can’t get food or gas for the week. I’m praying for extra side work (house cleanings) to make up for what we need. My phone bill is due again and this means my access to the internet. Sometimes I tend to post here at the last minute but that is only because I was hoping to have everything covered without having to post an update unless it was to say Hey, we got it covered. Unfortunately I don’t have it covered but look what God has done these past few weeks and I need to continue to remind myself when I start getting a little scared. Ok so in order to get everything covered including food and gas for us for the next few weeks i’m hoping to earn or get funds in the mount of $577.00 is what I have added up. It’s a lot I know and hopefully I can get some major side work or funds on the gofundme thank you for those who encourage, support, and pray for us. My heart truly loves all of you and thank you to Dee and Deb for being there for me and billy and for the gofundme. They are incredible ladies. I am encouraged by this blog and by my brothers and sisters here.
    Okay so tomorrow I am going to Houston (it’s only a thirty minute drive by the way) to take part in a SNAP meeting with Barbara. I am so excited to meet this wonderful lady and to be a part of this meeting. She has also sent me a link to SNAP facebook here it is in case any one here is interested and please comment, like, and post there they do great work in advocating for survivors of abuse https://www.facebook.com/snaphouston/
    Billy is doing good and i’m am so proud to say that he has yet to miss a week going to wed. night youth group and a wonderful church. Although we don’t attend services he has thoroughly enjoyed the youth group with his buddies. He has also found an amazing friend who I approve of and his friend has asked my son to go hunting at his parents deer lease over spring break. The boys have been hanging out pretty much every weekend they go to what a burger, the lake, they fish and so forth. I have prayed for so long that billy would find at least one friend who would be good for him and vise versa. This young mans parents are wonderful and they are completely involved in their sons life. They parent just like me and love their son immensely as I do billy. Thank you to all who have prayed with me in billy finding a good friend. Billy said having his friend has helped him not think of what happened to him whenever he begins to struggle with it. He said that hanging out with his friend has helped him not think about it and that he doesn’t feel alone like he did because I have to work. My heart is jumping with joy for billy and the young man stopped by last night and sat in our living room and talked with me for about thirty minutes. I spent two hours on the phone with his mother and I just love the way she parents her son. It has been so hard to find parents who are involved with their children like I am with billy. They are out there anyways I’m happy to report that billy is working hard in school and his nights of not sleeping are getting a little better lately.
    As therapy for me I have begun doing gardening and yard work. I have found some peace in being outside and focusing on growing things. This has helped my heart work out some issues of billy’s abuse along with the struggle of losing everything we use to have. I am truly glad to be out of our former church but I still struggle with the loss of what I thought was a church family. It does get better but at times I find myself missing some of them missing our fellowship. I guess this is where I have to focus on my relationship with Christ and the fact that he loves us enough to have gotten us out of there.
    Again please pray for our financial situation. I’m not asking anyone here to put anything on the gofundme just pray for it and pray I can get full time. This is a really good company to work for and I believe it’s a stepping stone for me. I think I can either use my time here in order to get to where God wants me or I can move up in this company if I stick to it and work hard. However sometimes because i’m a creature of habit I stick with things longer than I should. Anyways just pray for me pray for my heart and pray that the Lord moves this manager to put me full time if it’s His will regardless of what her motives are. Pray I can develop a good working relationship where I become a great asset to her and this company but that she see’s value in me and the work I do. I want to make her job easier by doing a good job and i’m hoping by keeping this work ethic and attitude it will reflect Christ and me as a person. Thank you all again for the gifts on the gofundme and to the gentleman who sent us this computer, what a blessing this is for us for billy. Thank you thank you thank you again. It has blessed our home and still is blessing it.

    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  347. Darlene wrote:

    There’s always some little implicit belief or supposed essential that must be tacked on in order to be believed or else you are one of those Heretics.

    Compare that statement with this from Christiane. “I think the reason Therese of Lisieux was made a Doctor of the Church was her own writings which offered the ancient teachings of the need for child-like trust and love as something that the Church had overlooked in its scramble for all the convoluted theologies of justification and sanctification.”

    Pots and kettles.

    The catholic church does not preach scrupulosity as a virtue, but some people are not well. The fundamentalists do teach assurance based on scripture, but some people aren’t assured. IMO there is no room for criticism at all in any way from either side of that argument. The early church had the same problem except the writer of the epistle noted it in ‘silly women’.

  348. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Against a backdrop in which the bible was given literally no authority, fundamentalism fought back by pulling from the opposite extreme and giving it total authority; equating it, in practice, with God. Both “fundamentalists” and “liberals” share some characteristics; for one thing, they’re kind of fighting for the right to control God and in the process have created a dumb idol, or sock puppet, that is incapable of independent thought or action.

    Yes, but and also. In the traditional SBC of my youth, as compared to the fundamentalist FWB with whom I worshipped for years, the traditional SBC also held to sola scriptura in theory, and did the FWB, but the fundamentalists saw some things in scripture which the SBC did not see and had not seen as far as I know during my then lifetime. And what they saw was the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Now, some of them got off track in specificities of thought and behavior which I think is unnecessary, but they also expected God to be present and active in their lives. They did not do any of the more radical things that have been attributed to the charismatics, but they believed that God did answer prayer (not just make people feel better) and they believed in the forgiveness of sins (not just re-defining something as non-sin) and they had, at least prior to when I got there, ordained women to ‘the gospel ministry’.

    So when you say fundamentalism it has to be understood that you may be thinking of it as cold and merciless legalism (there is that kind) or you may be thinking of it as Liberty U style, which has a different feel to it than, say, Bob Jones of yesteryear. Nobody has to like either style, but the two styles are greatly and obviously different to those who have been there and done that.

    When our episcopal parish made an abrupt and deliberate move from ‘a nice little liberal episcopal church’ as one of the old timers called it to an anglo-catholic parish with a priest who is ‘all about Jesus’ as he has described himself, the place came alive. Yet along with the anglo-catholic stuff is a bunch of stuff which in my opinion is not necessary and for an old heathen like me borders on superstition and in which the scrupulous-wanna-be can find enough to keep them busy. Just like the worst of the fundys have their rules in which which people can lose themselves even so we have our shrine to Saint T and hanging lanterns and a bank of candles with our lady of Walsingham right there and our little groups who meet for this or that prayers and now a group of women who pray the rosary along with the priest in their little group. Lots of room for the scrupulous to lose themselves in stuff-it just takes a different form from the stuff in which some fundys can lose themselves.

    IMO, the power of fundamentalism is whether or not ‘it is all about Jesus’ just as the power of our parish is when and how ‘it is all about Jesus’. Both ships collect barnacles.

  349. @ okrapod:
    thank you for your witness to the ‘good kind’ of fundamentalism …..

    the word ‘fundamentalism’ confuses people like me and I do think of the extremists, the ‘haters’, the Bob Jones folks…… I’m wondering, is there ANOTHER WAY OF WORDING the ‘good fundamentalism’ in order to distinguish it from the ‘not so good’?

    the label has been co-opted, I’m afraid, like the time wearing a flag pin meant you supported the war in Viet Nam and when the children saw this, they went out and burned flags as a counter protest

    labels obscure more than they reveal (sigh)

  350. @ Christiane:

    I try to not use the words fundamentalist or fundamentalism because I think that people who define themselves by that label tend to be hyper-legalists and separatists and judgmental and condemnatory of others and hypocritically self-righteous. So I let them have that label and I avoid them when I can.

    I think that the segment of conservative protestantism (note that I have omitted the word evangelical which has its own baggage) is adequately served by the label of simply conservative protestantism. However, when so many people want to sling the word fundamentalist at them also it may be a lost cause to know what to call them.

    And look at the word catholic. The traditionalist catholics to include conservatives who have not actually joined separatist traditionalists are not the same in thought as the liberal catholics. This issue is to some extent played out in the press when we reports of conservatives disagreeing with Francis. So if we say catholic, what do we mean exactly. Well, first we remove the idea of exactness and the we just kind of use the word and move one.

    So with protestant thinking. Everybody has rules and expectations for what people think and say, the liberals at the forefront of that stampede; think political correctness. Hah, that would be liberal fundamentalism. The biblical fundamentalists preach come one and come all Jesus’ blood is sufficient for the worst among us. That would be liberal fundamentalism.

    The labels don’t work.

  351. okrapod wrote:

    So with protestant thinking. Everybody has rules and expectations for what people think and say, the liberals at the forefront of that stampede; think political correctness. Hah, that would be liberal fundamentalism. The biblical fundamentalists preach come one and come all Jesus’ blood is sufficient for the worst among us. That would be liberal fundamentalism.

    Look how messed up this is. I meant say that political correctness is fundamentalist liberalism. Even I can’t keep it straight when it is my own theory.

  352. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    I’m so sorry. There are some people in my church who would say the same thing. Church of Christ believes baptism (adult baptism for them) is essential for salvation – they use Acts 2:37-38 and a host of other texts. Funny thing is, Catholics believe the exact same thing. But when things were first being formalized over a thousand years ago, infants didn’t always live long enough to be baptized as adults, or even as teens. If you have a child you are naturally concerned about their salvation, so you baptize them because that is the seal of salvation. It’s the same theological argument, but different cultural contexts led to different practices. As for me and my house, it’s a matter of conscience and between the believer and God.

    Thank you for that very interesting information regarding infant baptism as a practice. Makes sense.
    For a while, I was indignant that these folks would pass judgement on me but as I’ve worked things through I’m a lot less offended by the idea.
    It’s their club and I’m not part of it. The only dialog they want to hear is that of people converting to their belief. I prefer to analyze and talk and even be allowed to disagree. That’s one of the main reasons that I could not get baptized there.
    Dee said in one of her posts, why would you want to be in a place that you were not happy in? Normally I would walk out and not look back. Unfortunately my wife likes the church – though the dichotomy is that she does not judge others like they do. She knows my beliefs and the reasons I don’t like the church.
    My issue is that as my kids get older, I want them to be exposed to open, critical thinking. Growing up, the church I attended was not so restrictive. They didn’t teach that science was wrong, young earth creationism was the “Christian worldview”, they weren’t so smug that only they knew the answers.
    Since my kids also attend the church and as they get older, they’re going to have questions. I’m going to find myself with unpalatable task of telling them the church is wrong. I would prefer them to give Christianity a fair shake, accept or discard based on its merits, but I also won’t stand by while they’re mislead either.

  353. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Velour, you are not a trouble-maker …. you aren’t a ‘mean girl’, you don’t engage in snark, and you are not a put-down artist. What you do is to try to speak for the underprivileged who are suffering and need support, and you frequently organize a prayer list for those who suffer and need prayer.
    Of all the people who come here, I don’t know why you would be a target;
    but it happens …. it will happen again likely
    I wouldn’t look for ‘apologies’, no. But instead imagine the situation of the person out of which the insults and anger come, and pray for them to be delivered of the bitterness and to return to peace within themselves.
    That seems to me the better way, yes.

    Thanks Christiane.

    I had a nice day off for my birthday yesterday. I am a twin. So we celebrated our day. It was sunny weather here in Northern California.

    I also ordered an Orthodox Bible as a gift for myself that Darlene here recommended.

  354. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Certainly there are people who don’t attend church, not because they love rubbing their sin in God’s face, but because they’ve been convinced that God is a monster. That, or church has otherwise lost – or failed to gain – the right to their respect.

    This is where I was not so long ago. This past year, I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m not so sure that I believe Christianity is real or that there even is a God. And that’s ok. But I’ve also released a lot of my animosity towards religion in general and Christianity in particular. That’s why I like reading the comments here. Christianity encompasses a wider swath of belief than I was previously aware of.
    As I read a lot of the hard core atheist literature (Dawkins, Hitchens), they made some points but I was struck by the same arrogance and smugness that was endemic at my wife’s church. And it was equally unpalatable. They didn’t want dialog so much as to bash you into their equally strict “with us or against us” outlook.
    I now think that a vast majority of Christians are not the people as represented by their leaders. Most Christians go to churches, even authoritarian churches but would never trade in their liberal democracy for theocracy – however much their leadership rails against “the world”.

  355. @ Velour:
    I think he was looking for some kind of validation to shore up his point. I think he will continue to write posts for TWW in future, and perhaps in that way he can work off some of the anger. I think he needs to vent. He carries some heavy feelings.

    I still don’t know what he went through in detail. I do think he needs to arrive at a place of peace.
    Do I think the James White/John MacArthur types influenced him? Yes. It was those links on his website that convinced me of their influence on him.

  356. @ Jack:

    A synonym for zealotry is fanaticism. It can be found everywhere. Have you checked out the world political scene recently? If you don’t march in the streets and carry a sign (or do some worse things) then you must be a traitor to the cause, you worthless non-zealot you. That seems to be a prevalent way of thinking.

  357. Velour wrote:

    as he said, actual math

    He is an accountant. They do stuff like that. Just like I reference health care type thinking; it is what I know and what I am. Just like you reference laws and lawyers and say this is the field you work in.

    Surely we are not all in need of counseling to just get the heck away from doing what we know how to do. I am thinking goose and gander here.

  358. Christiane wrote:

    I’ve just learned he attends a messianic group.

    Really? I had read that some messianic groups accept non-Jews as welcome to worship with them much like the ancient synagogues accepted god-fearers apparently.

    A fellow that I used to work with was a conservative Jew (not messianic) and he invited me to a worship service at his temple, but I did not go. Now I wish I had. He thought I would be amazed at some similarities. I thought I would be embarrassed when I did not know what to do, so I missed the opportunity.

    Now and here our priest and a local rabbi hold those ‘a priest and a rabbi want into a bar’ public discussions literally at a local bar here. That is a step in the right direction.

  359. @ okrapod:
    from what I understand, the ‘messianic’ group is not considered Jewish by orthodox or conservative Jews

    what is your understanding of the ‘messianic’ people? I had heard several things about them, but my Jewish friends tell me ‘quite firm’ they are not considered Jews.

  360. Christiane wrote:

    what is your understanding of the ‘messianic’ people?

    What little I have read is that the people themselves are theoretically jews by birth but who may or may not have been religious and who have come to believe that Jesus is the messiah but in doing so are no longer considered jews by other jews.

    I also heard that some but not all congregations accept gentiles as fellow worshippers but not as members. And like all things there are the others who perhaps were raised in judaism or at least thought of themselves as jews because their father but not their mother was jewish, so are not really jews by some of their rules of what constitutes jewishness.

    And I read that there are various practices in various congregations, and the movement is not homogeneous.

  361. okrapod wrote:

    I had read that some messianic groups accept non-Jews as welcome to worship with them much like the ancient synagogues accepted god-fearers apparently.

    I attended one and was warmly welcomed and greatly blessed!

  362. I have noticed that there is more and more acceptance of some traditionally catholic things like lent, and more and more acceptance and practice of some traditionally jewish things like a passover meal in moderated mainline protestantism.

    I don't know is this represents any actual change in thinking or if it is a way to fill in the paucity of special days as a sort of rudimentary church calendar. I don't know what is going on, actually.

  363. I did an oops unwittingly. I have noticed some protestant churches observing lent when they did not do that before, and I have noticed the increasing popularity of passover meals in protestant churches. I don’t know what all that is about.

  364. okrapod wrote:

    I did an oops unwittingly. I have noticed some protestant churches observing lent when they did not do that before

    I have sort of semi embraced the lent. I think the practice itself of giving something up or adding something (as it was explained to the children last week!) is a useful one just in general and that is why it has become popular? Maybe we do not see it in the same way the catholics do, though. We haven’t emphasized fish on Fridays or anything.

    But my church now is liturgical and we do communion every week during the season so there is more emphasis on the church calendar in general than at previous Baptists/non-denom churches where I have attended.

  365. @ okrapod:

    This will be the third year we’ve had passover at church and while we don’t officially observe lent (too Catholic 🙂 ), we mention it and encourage our members to at least be reflective during the season. One of my criticisms of Christianity right now is that the Old Testament is largely ignored or misused. Paul says we have been grafted into the people of God. Peter refers back to Exodus 19 when he says we are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. The history of the Old Testament is our history. The Passover story is our story. Because we don’t follow the Levitical laws (although I argue we should follow the spirit of those laws), churches tend to reduce the Old Testament to a series of morality tales. So we organize a passover meal in order to reflect on what God has done in history and what Christ has done on the cross and the ultimate sacrifice. Also, if it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me…I think we’re going to try to organize a Feast of Booths this year too!

    Further, I think it is a good practice for us to organize our calendars around God, whether it is Old Testament festivals, or Christian feast days, or both. It is sort of a subtle protest against the busy calendars of the world. I mean, how many churches honor and celebrate veterans day or memorial day or sing patriotic songs on the fourth of July? I have nothing against the military, but they serve secular governments, not God. Why not celebrate what God has done?

  366. I wasn’t going to do this any more, but some things just need repeating.

    Headline link from the BBC news web-page this evening:

    Lawyer’s trousers on fire in arson trial

    Yer couldn’t make it up.

    NOTE: “Trousers” may be more familiarly known as “pants”

  367. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    NOTE: “Trousers” may be more familiarly known as “pants”

    The word “Trousers” was in common usage here in the states prior to the great cultural shift of the 60s.

  368. @ Muff Potter:

    A lot of evil was unleashed in the 60’s, but the loss of “trousers” is perhaps the most heinous example.

    It didn’t help that I mixed up </b> and </strong> tags.

  369. @ Muff Potter:

    Trousers is back in use. Of the multiple cuts of women’s pants one is the trousers cut. It is exactly what it sounds like; like old time trousers.

  370. about ‘Passover’ ….. the Orthodox Word for Easter is a take on Pesach, the Jewish word for ‘passover’ and is called ‘PASCHA’

    the connection in liturgical Churches is that Christ is the Paschal Lamb and in the week prior to the Resurrection, as the events commemorating that week unfold in the liturgy of the Church, there is much commemoration of Our Lord as ‘the Lamb of God’

    from the Christian liturgies of old, this:

    ‘behold Christ, Our Paschal Lamb. has been slain;
    Let us keep the feast’

  371. dear people, a phone call came:
    my nieces are weeping …. their mother, my dear sister-in-law Doris has passed from cancer at 84 …. she couldn’t handle the chemo

    we are so sad for the daughters and we are in prayer for them: they are Deborah and Lisa …. please if you have a moment, say a prayer to Our Lord to give them comforting, and I thank you all so much

  372. Did you know that TWW has its very own Messianic Jewish reader?

    Gentiles are welcome in any traditional (non-Messianic) Shabbat service. Please be respectful, as you would in any house of worship, to wear appropriate attire. You may want to cover your arms in an orthodox or conservative synagogue. Men may be handed a kipah upon entering the sanctuary to wear as a sign of respect, if that is the tradition of that particular congregation. You will stand and sit with the congregation. The Jews are intrested in dialoguing. I would aim to proselytize, if I were you, but if you go with open heart and mind, I think you will be surprised. Please let me know what you think. Thee is usually a time of fellowship afterwards, open to all, called the Oneg Shabbat.

    As to Messianic Congregations, I have never seen one to exclude a Gentile as an attendee or member. As with Jewish congregations, Messianic ones have their own degree of Jesus/Jewish Hebrew/English, dancing, etc. there is usually an Oneg after for fellowship. The biggest issue I have with Messianic Congregations is that some are downright weird, IMHO. Some feel one MUST keep the Mosaic commandments and sabbaths and feasts, others honor these things with a good understanding of how they fit into God’s Church age.

    The one near me is so odd that I cannot in good conscious attend any of their functions (they are teaching that Washington DC is the place of Daniel’/ chapter 7 or 8 prophesy based on the fact that DC has many buildings with Geco-Roman architecture). It makes me sad and crazy because I think I am the only other Messianic Jew in the whole entire area and this guy is well known and he is just nutty. I am labeled guilty by association. Sigh.

  373. BTW Hope of Israel and Sam Nader are good people. If you ar isn’t that area, I highly recommend that congregation.

  374. Wow, that didn’t make sense. iPad. Hope of Israel is good and if you are in that area, please visit them.

  375. Christiane, I am sorry for the loss of your sister-in-law. Praying for comfort for your family.

  376. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Both “fundamentalists” and “liberals” share some characteristics; for one thing, they’re kind of fighting for the right to control God and in the process have created a dumb idol, or sock puppet, that is incapable of independent thought or action.

    Very insightful.

  377. Christiane wrote:

    we are so sad for the daughters and we are in prayer for them: they are Deborah and Lisa …. please if you have a moment, say a prayer to Our Lord to give them comforting, and I thank you all so much

    Count me in (prayer) too.

  378. okrapod wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    I try to not use the words fundamentalist or fundamentalism because I think that people who define themselves by that label tend to be hyper-legalists and separatists and judgmental and condemnatory of others and hypocritically self-righteous.

    Well, when I used the term Fundamentalist/Fundamentalism up thread, this is precisely the definition of which I was thinking. The kind where proclaiming all those others who don’t believe our teachings exactly the way we do, and live and think and breathe exactly the way we do, are HERETICS of the First Order. And they’re ALL going to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.00.

  379. Christiane wrote:

    about ‘Passover’ ….. the Orthodox Word for Easter is a take on Pesach, the Jewish word for ‘passover’ and is called ‘PASCHA’
    the connection in liturgical Churches is that Christ is the Paschal Lamb and in the week prior to the Resurrection, as the events commemorating that week unfold in the liturgy of the Church, there is much commemoration of Our Lord as ‘the Lamb of God’
    from the Christian liturgies of old, this:
    ‘behold Christ, Our Paschal Lamb. has been slain;
    Let us keep the feast’

    In bold above, this is exactly what we Orthodox proclaim during Pascha. We don’t use the word Easter among ourselves, though we will use it with other Western Christians.

  380. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    Because we don’t follow the Levitical laws (although I argue we should follow the spirit of those laws), churches tend to reduce the Old Testament to a series of morality tales.

    I would appreciate if you would explain or elaborate what you mean by “follow the spirit” of those Levitical laws. Do you mean something in addition to how Jesus summarized the law as having two emphases: love for God and love for neighbors (Matthew 22:37–39)?

  381. @ Preacher’s Wife:

    I don’t know how I missed your comment but when I wondered what Ken G was talking about I checked it out. There is definitely a renewed interest in the Jewishness of Jesus. I have been reading/listening to two Jewish women academics, Any-Jill Levine and Paula Fredriksen, as they look at the historical Jesus and the cultures in which He lived including how it would have been seen by the Jews. The New Perspective on Paul is also bringing to light some very interesting observations.

    Personally, I think that Christianity got way too involved with some Greek philosophical thinking when they let it displace the fact that before Christianity was Christianity it was a new sect of Judaism. From what I have been able to glean so far, this shift was partly because of differences of opinion between the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers, but eventually and mostly it was because Jewish believers dwindled out and there were such large numbers of Gentiles. That makes sense; stuff does happen that way.

    We make a terrible mistake when we ignore the OT. At the same time we are not on solid ground, in my opinion, when and if we take things which were specifically only for the Jews as a tribe/nation and were not intended for the whole population of the earth. I think when Paul said that Gentile Christ-followers did not have to be circumcised and thus put themselves under the law we ought to stick to that advice.

    I hope that Christianity in the west continues to take another look at this whole issue. After anti-semitism turned out to be what we saw in the last century surely people will increasingly ask why and how that happened and retrace the Christian thinking on the whole issue of who are we and what does the reference to the root of Jesse actually mean?

    Disclaimer: I am biased, though I try to deal with it. My father was an attorney and worked for a Jewish law firm for decades. They did right by him all through the depression and he thought it was partly because of their ethical system, never mind Dad was a Gentile Christian.

  382. okrapod wrote:

    retrace the Christian thinking on the whole issue of who are we and what does the reference to the root of Jesse actually mean

    ah, ‘the root of Jesse’ recalls the old Anglican Sarum ‘O’ Antiphons used during Advent …. I wonder if we have missed something in Judaism that would put more light on your concerns

    ‘O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.’

  383. @ okrapod:
    I have read both Telushkin’s ‘Jewish Wisdom’ and ‘Jewish Literacy’ and I recommend both for Christian readers ….

    if you want to dig into Jewish ethics, I fell in love with Pirkei Avot and highly recommend it, although I came to see it as a source for reflection

    but I have to tell you, it is in the Jewish humor that I found more wisdom and insight than anywhere else …… maybe in light of the ‘diaspora’, the Jewish people came to rely on humor as a way of coping and, my goodness, is it rich in wisdom

  384. Latest update – 3/10/17

    I still need to get food. I have eaten today and have tomorrow covered.
    I will have the money in hand to cover March’s bills on Monday. THANK YOU!

    Otherwise, no change except that I am mentally doing better. God is patient. 🙂

    Work on both books is continuing. The fiction in the first in what I hope will be a mystery series. The second is about observations on God and religion. I know, yikes! Right? But I believe sharing what I have learned and see can help others. Prayers on these projects greatly appreciated.

    Again, thank you, thank you, all of you, for your prayers, your encouragement, your help. You really have no idea how much you are impacting me. Love to you all.

    http://www.gofundme.com/ljahelp

  385. Just so everyone know. The entire discussion about Catholics, pro and con is going to be removed. Plus those about Jews and the personal comments about people. This is being done as an amputation, not as brain surgery.

    Way too many people have crossed the lines in way too many ways.

    More details to follow. GBTC

  386. As Dee said:

    Please try to stick to the post for comments. We are not hard nosed about this but things have been getting off track. This post was about John and PJ Smyth and CLC. A major discussion on Catholicism is not warranted.

    Plus no personal attacks, demands for apologies, conflating everything with your personal issues, etc…

    This page is for other topics not directly related to the posts. But it is not for axe grinding or personal attacks.

    Plus

    I, for one, am sick and tired of the debate of who is a truly saved Christian-be it evangelicals, catholics or orthodox. I leave the salvation issue up to the One who is at an infinitely higher pay grade.

    Since there seems to be interest in going down this road. I suggest that those who wish to debate this set up a simple blog and continue the debate. I might even visit and throw in a comment or two. However, this is not going to be allowed here.

    If people want to do this I will provide pointers here on the open discussion page.

  387. went out today and bought some sunflowers and daisies, came home, made tea and lit some candles and spent a while remembering my sister-in-law Doris who passed away this week … she loved sunflowers

    I want to thank everyone who prayed for the family. I am in awe of the kindness people here have shown. God Bless!

  388. Christiane wrote:

    Salvation? I know. I’m not sure I belong in the heaven with the people who have got it all together with their way of becoming ‘saved’. I’d rather be with those people who were messes, but were genuinely kind people. Does being loving matter?
    How is it that I KNOW my friend is in heaven???? I don’t understand it but in her case, I have that ‘assurance’, yes.

    Thank you for sharing this, Christiane. I really appreciated it today!

  389. As Velour wrote, last week my family lost our beloved Uncle. He was my dad’s oldest brother. I just read his obituary. It brought tears to my eyes. I had no idea he did some of the things he did. He was a fine christian man, and that was stated all thru the obituary. My uncle was 96 and led an awesome life. I can imagine God saying to him – “well done my son”. He was such an example to all of us.

    My shoulder injury has gotten worse. I am scheduled to have it operated on March 21st. At this point we know I have osteoarthritis that is going to be cleaned out. My doctor also thinks I may have an upper bicep tear, as there are 2 sources of pain. I am lucky that I am ambidexterous. I use my left hand a lot. But hubby is going to have to help out to. I will have him put a pair of earrings in my ears after surgery, and just leave them there. Probably little studs of some sort. I will keep everyone posted. I get the pro-op stuff done this week.

  390. @ GuyBehindtheCurtain:

    Just so everyone knows. At least one person did go off and create their own blog.

    Do a search for wartburg whiners and see what you get. 🙂

    No more commentary on this.

  391. @ Ken G:

    Pretty much, yeah. God doesn’t change, so the God of the Old Testament is the same as the New. If Jesus was with God from the beginning, I could imagine him saying, “yep, they deffinietly shouldn’t wear cotton polyester blends.” Why? I think it’s helpful in understanding the character of God by trying to understand the reasoning behind the laws. Is it just cultural or are there bigger principles at work? For example, I don’t have a field so I can’t exactly leave the edges for the poor and the foreigner. But even if I did, I don’t think the poor of today wander around in farms. So what is the bigger purpose and how can I have that same sort of attitude in my suburban environment? Same thing with the festivals and sacrifice system. The more we try to understand the heart of God, the better off we are.

    I have suggested to my husband that during my time of the month I would be happy to “go outside the tent” and rent a hotel for a week and let him take care of the house and kids.

    @ okrapod:

    When the temple fell in AD 70 there was a definite split in Jewish-Christian relations. And the church became more and more anti-Semitic, in fact the date we celebrate Easter is largely due to anti-Semitism. And yeah, a lot of our pop-Christianity is based on Greek philosophy. Plato would have happily sung “I’ll Fly Away.” Sometimes we forget that Christianity started off as an Eastern Religion.

    Personal disclaimer, I sometimes struggle with Paul in Galatians. Circumcision was such a big deal in the Old Testament, I struggle to grasp why it doesn’t matter now. I don’t like inconsistency and every so often I have a day when I just have to wrestle with it again.

  392. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    At least one person did go off and create their own blog.

    I created my own blog, several years ago. But it was rubbish and nobody read it, so I deleted it.

    #DarwinAwards… 😉

  393. For Gram 3 re:
    Sunday worship of the early Christians on ‘The Day of the Risen Lord’:

    according to tradition, the early Christians in Jerusalem also had the custom of meeting for prayer at the ’empty tomb’ …. the most ancient of Christian hymns is the Phos Hilaron, ‘the Gentle Light of Christ’, that remains among Christians when night has fallen’ . . .
    This has has been sung to Christ through the millenia as an evening prayer.
    It may have meaning for someone of the Southern Baptist faith, and they would be able to share in something that was a part of their heritage from the oldest Christians, who were at that time in Jerusalem, where a lamp was kept perpetually burning in the empty tomb of Christ, its glow a symbol of the living light of Jesus. As Christians gathered to worship, the hymn was sung and, in a tradition known as the lighting of the lamps, a candle lit from the lamp was brought forth from the tomb, its bright, solitary flame calling the Church to celebrate the Risen Lord. It is said that these Christians, after praying, lit their own lamps from this light at the setting of the sun and carried their lamps home as a light against the darkness.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFU3LojPuM4

  394. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Hey Nick, we’ve been commenting here about a Scottish tragedy and I wondered if you had some input (the death of Iain Campbell in the Hebrides)

  395. @ okrapod:
    while on ‘Thomism’ be sure to also look up its counterpart ‘Molinism’ ….. these guys went at it for years until the Church told them to cool it