Monday, December 29, 2008

Music Maunday

In an effort to continue to be hep-cat-yo-dog-g*money relevant like the Emerging/Emergents say I should be, I think it's time that I roll out my very first über-pretentious "look at me, I'm cultural" Music Monday.

This band combines subtle undertones which weave a delightful genash of plethoboronic supertensions inundated with just a hint of thyme and blah blah blah blah insert pointless relevant cultural commentary on the music here yadda yadda yadda -

- er, ah...sorry.

Ahem.

I saw this over on Dr. James White's Pros Apologian blog, and thought it was rip-roariously hilarious.

Enjoy...

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Majority Church

I ran across this blogpost early this morning, and totally had to share it.

We (small churches) are the majority.  Why not call our churches “majority churches?” 

Hi, my name is Chuck and I pastor a majority church.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  All of a sudden we’re not ecclesiastical outcasts anymore.  No more ducking at the pastors’ conference when you see Reverend I. M. Abigdeal coming.  Nope, you hold your head up, stick  out your hand, and say, “Rev, sorry you megachurch guys are in the minority.  What’s the matter, why aren’t you serving a majority church, like I am?”

I love it.

Signed: Mike Macon, majority church pastor.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chris Elrod Signs Off

Chris Elrod signs off in his latest/last blogpost.

We can only pray that he eventually returns to the blogosphere.  His insights and posts were some of the most refreshing, real, unpretentious, and downright visceral I've ever read.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Text

I am an unrepentant, unapologetic Fundamentalist.

Now, when I say that, I realize that we have to clarify terms; the word "fundamentalist" has become a pejorative in modern usage, somewhat due to the bellicose demeanor of those who self-identify with fundamentalism today, but more largely I believe due to the overall hostility of the world (and those within the church who are more world-friendly than is undoubtedly healthy) towards the very idea of Biblical fidelity.

I don't mean I that I am a fundamentalist in either of those two caricatured ways.

What I do mean is that I am a fundamentalist according to the original denotation of the word.

At the turn of the previous century, in response to the rising tide of Modernism in the church (Modernism is the father of Postmodernism, which in turn is really just Modernism with a new hairdo, spiffy spectacles, and a hep-cat-yo-dog-g-money way of presenting itself; see 1, 2, 3), a group of Biblically conservative scholars from a wide cross-section of current Christendom pooled their impressive intellectual prowess and issued a series of articles dealing with the fundamentals of the Christian faith once for all delivered to the saints, which in 1909 were printed in a daunting twelve volume set of books, and then re-issued in 1917 into a more concise four volume set, finally being re-edited and re-issued in 1958 in a one-volume book (this is the one that Warren Wiersbe was involved in).  That series of articles, when published in their respective editions, were collectively titled The Fundamentals, and it is from this seminal work that the conservatives who opposed the creeping unbelief of the Modernist movement took their name - Fundamentalists.

It is perhaps a very odd irony that those who tend to loudly self-identify with fundamentalism today would not much appreciate either the articles or (and perhaps more especially) the authors themselves; modern "fundamentalists" are almost universally KJV-Only cessationist Arminian Baptists, and though most of those are gracious and honestly convinced, some very prominent voices in modern "fundamentalism" are quite...belligerent.  And are not only very leery of anybody who's not a KJV-Only cessationist Arminian Baptist, but aren't too sure even of others who share the same cognomen.  It turns out that not only were a significant portion of the contributors not Baptists, but several were "baby-sprinkling" Presbyterians and Methodists, and even Anglicans!!!  (Note this article's defense of KJV-Onlyism includes the "baby sprinkling" canard as an argument against modern translations...and conveniently ignores the fact that the KJV translators were Anglicans themselves.  Turns out KJV-Onlyists are as impervious to contravening facts as are most Emergents that I've read...).

But it is in the very context of those original articles and the incipient Fundamentalist movement that these articles energized that I lay claim to the title.

I am a Fundamentalist.

I believe that the sixty-six Books of the Bible are the perspicacious, confluent, plenary, verbal, inspired Word of the Living God.  I believe it is, with the indwelling and illuminating of the Holy Spirit, self-interpreting and self-revealing. I believe that it is not to be reconstructed, deconstructed, or redacted in any fashion - only to be read, meditated upon, and obeyed.  It judges us - we do not judge it.  All things, all things entirely, are to be viewed, understood, and interpreted through it's infallible lens, not the converse.  We may not (indeed; we do not) fully understand it - unsurprising, considering its nature and origin.  But we do not come to it in a heart of doubt and unbelief; we come to it with a heart of humble submission, understanding that it is the infallible voice of the Shepherd.

Because of this, I believe in the Trinitarian nature of the Godhead, in the fallenness of man, in the creation of the universe by God ex nihilo, in the Virgin Birth, in Jesus' sinless life, in His death in my stead as an innocent, vicarious, propitiatory sacrifice, in His physical resurrection from the grave, in His bodily ascent to the right hand of the Father, in His eventual (and, secondarily, I believe soon) return to judge the living and the dead, in my own eventual bodily resurrection, in a conscious intermediate state between physical death and eventual resurrection, and in the eternal state.

I believe that the best possible hermeneutic (method for interpreting the Text) is through the grammatico-historical exegesis of that Text.

Given all that, the question of what is the Text in the first place becomes somewhat important.

You cannot be a reader of the Bible for long before you encounter the initially unsettling reality that what comprises the Biblical Text is a subject of some debate.  There are thousands of extant manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts of the New Testament Text from ancient times...but no two agree 100% in every particular.

There are many ways that this is understood, explained, and dealt with.  But one consequence of this is the rise of what has been called Textual Criticism.  That's not saying that dudes sit around and criticize the Bible (though doubtlessly some do); instead, TC is the science of taking the vast corpus of extant New Testament manuscripts, exhaustively studying them, and collating from the available evidence the original readings of the autographs.  This has become an entire science in itself, and like any field of research, there are many competing views and factions.

All methods of Textual Criticism use all available extant manucript evidence, but handle the corpus differently.

The ascendant TC position today is eclecticism.  In eclecticism, certain manuscrips are deemed "better" and "more pure," and are thus "weighted" differently than others.  It is from the eclectic text that most modern translations of the Bible derive, like the NASB, NIV, HCSB, ESV, and NLT.

Another position, by no means as prominent, is known as the Majority Text position.  This is the collational theory that I personally subscribe to; a brief explanation of the MT position can be found here.

Like any of the other Textual Criticism position, however, the MT has...issues.  It happens to have less than the others and has more explanatory power, in my opinion, but it's not without its soft underbelly.  So when I read this article by Dr. James White explaining the Byzantine-Priority position, I was fascinated.  After I dig into this further, I may need to adjust my views...

I love learning.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Quick Clarification

I don't much care for the good senator Barack Hussein "Kill 'Em All!" Obama.  I don't know if I've made that clear enough...

But I want to be clear: I don't for a second believe that those who support BHKEAO are apostate infidels who will serve the eternal purpose of stoking the fires of hell.

I think they're wrong - very wrong...but that's not the same thing as saying they're unsaved - or even unfaithful to the Lord.  No man can make that assessment about another with conviction - so the whole "you can't be a Christian and vote Obama" line needs to be smacked down.  God rides neither an elephant nor a donkey.

That being said, I again strongly assert - the reasoning of my coreligionists who support BHKEAO is grossly faulty.  I strongly assert that their position is grossly untenable, and I reject in the strongest possible terms and with extreme prejudice the idea that the most liberal senator in Congress, who has the most spectacularly pro-death record of any senator, is really the Pro-Life choice, and that the good senator's positions are the more Biblically faithful.

That I reject in toto.

And I will continue to vigorously contend on this vitally important issue, and continue to point out the gross illogic and inconsistency of my brothers who are wrong on this issue.

So...only a few days left until the election. Pray, study the issues, and vote.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sobering Words

Sobering words attributed to the oft-maligned Thomas Jefferson - for those of you living in either Miami-Dade County or Rio Linda, that's the old dead dude who helped found our nation and actually penned the Constitution, way back before the interweb or MTV chose our presidential candidates for us based on celebrity status - for those who want to elect politicians who will right all wrongs by bringing the imposing, majestic power of the state to bear on all and over all...

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.

He could not have been more prescient.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proletariat Unite!

Certain individuals argue that they are supporting the good senator Barack Hussein "Kill 'Em All!" Obama because his is really the Pro-Life position {{insert blank stare here}} arguing that Marxist-Leninist redistribution of captial from the bourgeois to the downtrodden and exploited proletariat will actually reduce the number of infanticides, while seeking to protect the lives of children is in actual fact detrimental to those children.

Again: {{insert blank stare here}}

Ahem.

As something of a reality check (something neither political nor theological liberals much like to admit exists, even less interact with - reality, that is), this blogpost from Stand To Reason lends the lie to such Bolshevist fancies.

Darn those conservatives, confusing the issue with facts again...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two Videos

...from the 2008 Midwest Conference:

 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This is what you are asking for

For those who support the good senator Barack Hussein "Kill 'Em All!" Obama, and still maintain a Pro-Life veneer, the Stand To Reason blog has just put up two superb blogposts which should give some pause - food for thought, regardless:

If the polls are to be believed (and I'm not convinced that they are - sorry, there, Dr. Larry Taylor; the facts are again not very much in your favor here), Obama will ascend to the throne come January next...and should that be the case, a vastly increased accessibility to infanticide, forced on the public and funded by my {insert Mark Driscoll colorful language here} tax dollars will be the rule of the day.

The STR folks put it best:

Senator Obama just said in the presidential debate that he wants to unite around common ground in preventing unwanted pregnancies.  Frankly, I can never take that apparent olive branch seriously as long as the person offering it wants to expand federal funding of abortion, eliminate any existing restriction on abortion, and actually manufacture more nascent human beings only to be destroyed for their parts.

I just can't take seriously any social justice platform that doesn't include protecting the lives and rights of the tiniest, weakest, most innocent and vulnerable humans.  I'm willing to talk about a broader social justice platform if the 1.2 million unborn children slaughtered every year are included.  Surely, that is fundamental to social justice.

Not to these newbreed evangelicals, apparently.

"Social justice," for these guys, includes the death sentence for babies, to pay for the sins or socio-economic statuses of their parents.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors’ Conference: The Pretty Much Final Word

I love going to the "big" conference in California each year.  Love it, love it, love it.

But I love going to the Midwest Conference even more.

Two big reasons: First, though it's a pastors' conference, there are more than just pastors there.  The regional Calvaries use it as a yearly family reuinion - and it has that very feel and flavor to it.  There are whole families - including very young children - all sitting at the feet of Jesus, enjoying His Word and each other, for three glorious days.  Even more so than the Murrieta Conference, the Midwest Conference is a true retreat.

I love seeing so many old friends that I haven't seen since the previous year (or at least since Murrieta), who are ministering in my same neck of the woods; and I love seeing all the new faces, all the young people (as I begin the inevitable transition from not being quite as young as I was before to becoming one of the middle-aged).  I love the way the youngin's essentially take over the cabins and dorm foyers and worship together into the wee hours of the morning.  I love walking around (or, let's be a bit more realistic: sitting on the shore of) the lake, reading the Word, and watching hundreds of my brothers-in-arms doing the same as the sun breaks over the heavily forested horizon.  I love the discussions around breakfast, lunch, and dinner - from the deeply theological to the deeply practical.  I love sitting around the bonfire at night, eating fresh popcorn, homemade cookies, drinking hot spiced apple cider, and worshipping into the night to the sound of guitars and djembes and fiddles and such played more often than not by the children of my brothers-in-arms (this year a precious family who have several young daughters helped lead the bonfire worship - it was indescribably awesome). I love seeing and holding the new babies born to families young and not-so-young over the previous year, and meeting up with missionaries to the far corners of the earth who are based in the Midwest region and who come home on furlough for the conference.

Which leads into the second biggest reason I love the Midwest Conference - the emphasis on fellowship.

Even moreso than Murrieta, the focus of the MidCon is on enjoying each other & the Lord.

I cannot describe how very much I look forward to this conference each year, and how much of a charge it gives me to carry on for the remainder until we get to meet again, the second full week in October.

 

...and of course, what would a conference be without catching Chik Chikeles sleeping...?

The family from Carroll County...the Vassar group...the insane - and I mean insane posse from Iron River up in the UP...

Can't wait until next year, when we get to hook up again.

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors’ Conference: Session 9 - Gayle Erwin

John 17

  • "What is your ambition?" 'I just want to do God's will."
  • God doesn't see us the way we see us.
    • God would say, "Yeah, but think of how bad you would be if it weren't for Me and what I did and do for you...!"
  • "Is there any hope for me?" Yes, but not in myself.
  • "The only real difference between the big-time TV jerks and me...is publicity."
  • "His failure turned him into a gentle man."
  • We can't manage perfection in our lives, that's given to us. We manage now confession.
    • I cannot boast in anything.
    • Except that I know Him.
  • Whenever you talk about Jesus, He wins.
  • True unity is around Jesus.

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors' Conference: Session 8 - Jack Abeelen

Nehemiah 2

  • Most of the work is already done before you get there.
  • People are following you as you follow the Lord.
  • If I'm not going to lead by example, why should anybody follow me?
  • Rewards are not a good motivator to serve the Lord - love is.
  • My job as a pastor is to remind the people of what God has done.
  • Knowledge is half the battle; obedience is the other half.

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors’ Conference: Session 7 - Gayle Erwin

  • The nature of Jesus - Others-centered.
    • You cannot find one place where Jesus was self-centered.
  • "Church was not something to which we went; it was a lifestyle."
  • The nature of Jesus is giving.
  • "Keep me in Your nature, that I can glorify You."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors’ Conference: Session 2 - Joe Bruch

Acts 20

  • Ephesus started out as a great church - with love for the Lord
    • But it somehow, subtly shifted to a love for ministry.
  • Just preach Jesus - not so much temporary issues.
    • It is the Gospel of Jesus which changes lives.
  • ''None of these things move me."
  • There is a lot in Acts 20 for church leaders.
    • First of all, note that Paul took for granted that his life would serve as an example - a good example.
    • It wasn't just the power of his message, but the consistency & power of his life.
    • As pastors,our manner of living will either amplify or negate what we're teaching.
    • The people need an example. Not just a talking head.
    • A pastor who does not live his message is doing a grave disservice for his people.
      • Consistent living.
  • {example of George Markey.}
  • What the people need is an example of a man who loves Jesus and the sheep and live out the Word.
  • Don't just preach the Word; live it.
  • ''It is not so much great talents that God blesses as He does the image of Jesus in a man's life."
  • What a privilege to serve the lord by serving His people.
  • ''What are you doing? Who are you doing it for?"
  • "God cannot find many men who can handle great blessing."
  • Jesus always served the ''one."
    • No ministry was too small, no person too far away.
    • {the two- page letter}
  • Sometimes, I must realize that I cannot be someone's pastor.
    • Just pastor,love, serve those God has given me.
  • Perseverance in the ministry, is a very necessary thing.
  • Trials come from within as well as without.
  • No one having put his hand to the plow and looking back is worthy of the Kingdom.
  • Paul didn't just crowd, but also to the people - individually.
  • Don't put things off - deal with it earlier than later.
    • The wall gets built higher and higher.
    • Address things early.
    • Nip things in the bud.
  • Again: "none of these things move me."
    • Why? ''I don't count my life dear to me." It wasn't about Paul at all.
    • The Lord has given some to be captains over thousands, some over hundreds, some over tens.
  • I have a long way to go - but I'm only going to get there as I Keep my eyes on & rest in Him.
    • What an honor it is. That he would entrust me with a flock.
    • Never belittle what the Lord is doing.
  • What ismy relationship with Jesus?
    • If I'm not careful, I can neglect my relationship with my Lord?
    • With my wife?
    • In my private life?
  • Watch over ALL the flock of God.
    • No favorites.
    • No cliques.
    • The unlovely as well as the lovely.
    • This is not a flippant, light thing; it is the call of God.
  • ''I commend you to God, and the Word of His grace."

Semi-Live Blogging the Midwest Pastors' Conference: Session 1 - Jerry McAnulty

Luke 9

  • Most of Luke's Gospel is about Jesus training His disciples
  • Most of Jesus' training was simple - we try to complicate it
  • Ministry is only effective when it is others-centered, not self-centered.
  • "Who do you really work for - Calvary Chapel, or Jesus?"
  • Our job description: (1) preach the Kingdom, and (2) heal the broken-hearted.
  • Real ministry is not a title or a position - it is doing what Jesus did & for His sake.
  • Real ministry is to heal the hurting.
  • Minister to the broker, & you will never run out of opportunities.
  • "Where God guides, God provides.
    • That's more important now, with a failing economy!
  • God's provision for ministry is directly connected to our ministering to others - God provides for us as we provide for others.
  • Jesus taught His disciples to have radical trust in Him
    • The fish & loaves
    • The stormy sea
  • To see people through the eyes of Jesus is to see people with eyes of compassion.
  • When we feed the sheep, He will multiply the provision (He will not do the latter if we are not doing the former, but only wanting it for ourselves or other reasons)
  • A great ministry-killer: a spirit of condemnation.
    • Nothing will negate ministry quicker than a critical spirit towards other brothers & sisters
  • Another wet blanket for ministry: sectarian exclusivity.
    • We can become entrapped in our local fellowship or group and miss what God's doing in the broader Body.
  • Anger does not play well in ministry - especially when it's homicidal. ;)
    • Sometimes anger is justified
    • Staying angry is destructive & sin.
  • Be open - wide open - to correction.
  • Ministry is most fruitful when it begins with a position of resting in the Lord
    • Ministry done for us & in our effort is a life-killer.
  • "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its problems - it robs today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom
  • We don't start by resting - we start by serving.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Alpha...Omega...

You know...if this was a group of kids in paramilitary gear marching in chanting "Alpha! Omega!" about Sarah Palin, the über-liberal mainstream media would have a heyday that would make Jesus Camp look like nothing in comparison.

But since it is in the behalf of the Great and Holy Messiah Barack Hussein "Kill 'Em All!" Obama, weeeeeell...

 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Interesting...

scrnshot

My comment was, "My comments have the most peculiar habit of disappearing." And it was held in the spam queue - which leads me to believe that I've been placed in Dr. Taylor's killfile.

To date, three comments (including this one) have gone MIA from Dr. Taylor's blog.

...doesn't seem to want to dialog much about the untenableness of supporting Barack Hussein "Kill 'Em All!" Obama while attempting to maintain a Pro-Life veneer, there, eh?

Some reasons why I am NOT voting for Obama

I don't check MySpace that much anymore; it's died the death of a thousand sillinesses.

I mean, come on; after you get to be about twelve, doesn't it sort of lose its appeal and you gravitate more toward Facebook, anyway - or even better, "social networking" the old-fashioned way (by actually going out and talking to people...)?

Anyway...

I jumped up and caught a bulletin written by my lovely and gracious wife's best friend titled, Some Reasons Why I Am NOT Voting For Obama, which is so salient to the current discussion and serves as a near-perfect riposte to Brian "Orthodoxy Schmorthodoxy!" MacLaren's - and Dr. Taylor's - endorsement of the good Senator Barack Hussen "Kill 'Em All!" Obama that I reproduce it here wholesale.

I wanted to send this article from Huntley Brown - he is a fabulous concert pianist, man of God and is a black man. We met him years ago when we were doing a T.V. program in Chicago and we have stayed connected through the years. I appreciate so much his reasoning for not voting for Obama. I would like to see this article published or spread out via Email to as many as possible.

It's good stuff!

Why I Can't Vote For Obama

By Huntley Brown

Dear Friends,

A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating..

First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.

Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness.

I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.

I can't vote black because I am black, I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.

We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record.

His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)

To beat Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing.

Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason planned parenthood gives him a 100 % rating.

There is a reason the homosexual community supports him.

There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him.

There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court.

There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill.

There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion.

There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Lets take a look at the practice he wanted to continue.

The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedure

A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps.

(Remember this is a live baby)

B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.

C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.

D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.

E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

God help him.

There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.

Think about this: you can't give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.

There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years.

Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons.

I wonder why now?

Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you, talk like you believe what you believe etc.

The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?

Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a

1. Commitment to the White Community

2. Commitment to the White Family

3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic

4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community .

5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions

6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System

7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.

Would you support a President who went to a church like that?

Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton woul d have been marching outside.

This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.

A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if its a white church or a black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.

Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: 'Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.

Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to.

Does Obama believe this?

So what does all this mean for the nation?

In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment.

Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king.

First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.'

Then God says

1 Samuel 1:18 ' When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.' 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go o ut before us and fight our battles.' 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.'

Here is what we know for sure.

God is not schizophrenic

He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God.

Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.

For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four supreme court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.

I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.

Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,

1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation.

2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?

Blessings,

Huntley Brown

What more could I add? Brown nails it.

And, on behalf of the millions of butchered children who were punished with death for the sins of their parents, I thank God Brown is a one-issue voter when it comes to this subject.

I must see this movie...

I must see this movie.

All the more so because the dude who plays Michael {insert Mark Driscoll colorful language here} Moore gets slapped around - a lot.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I have no words to express...

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
[Isaiah 5:20]

I have no words to express my deep sadness in watching the ongoing moral and theological collapse of a man I had once just about worshipped from afar.

We live in an absolutely insane world.

Absolutely.

Insane.

One of the indicators of the madness of it all is the leftward slide into complete cognitive dissonance on spiritual matters in our country.

I'd expect politicians to get spiritual things wrong.

I'd expect theological liberals and "moderates" to get things (very) wrong.

But when formerly staunch theological conservatives give in to the siren song...

Just a few days ago, after our midweek study, I opened up my Bloglines reader and read Dr. Larry Taylor's latest post.

Now, in the past, I have deeply respected Dr. Taylor.  In what now seems like a woefully far-distant bygone era, he was a staunch theological conservative.

Long ago, I remember reading his pamphlets like Things I Learned From My Pastor, Calvinism vs. Arminainism,  and What Calvary Chapel Teaches, and being very blessed by them.

Yes, I know.

It's now considered uncool to like those books.

Whatebah.

At that time, back when the world was young and right was still right and wrong still wrong, Dr. Larry Taylor was a bulwark of faith and Biblical wisdom.  Though I never went to CC Bible College or the School of Ministry, many of my brothers-in-arms had and really loved Dr. Taylor's classes.

I personally, from a very great distance, of course, really looked up to him. In many ways, I wanted to be Larry Taylor when I grew up.

...but then, something happened.

I don't know what, and I suspect it was a creeping thing that took years to take hold, but...something happened - something terrible.

About two years ago, another pastor friend clued me in that Dr. Taylor had put up his own blog - The Word In Focus.  I was ecstatic! After so many years of not hearing him, I could at least read his incredible Biblical insights!

...what I got was a shock, and a slowly rising, dark bubble of dread.

Dr. Taylor - bulwark of Biblical soundness - had begun a tragic leftward slide.

I don't know if it's because he was badly burned by his last church (which I know nothing about; I only glean that he was hurt by comments in his blogposts) or through some other insidious poison, but...something was out-of-kilter, and it only got worse with time, not better.

Today, the leftward slide is complete.

And I mourn.

Look - whoever you vote for is between you and your God.  I am one that points out consistently that God rides on neither a donkey or an elephant.  Our salvation comes from the Lord of Hosts, not Washington.  Vote your conscience - but vote.

But - be honest about why you're voting for who your voting for.

I have said before: the DNC's current platform is the single most pro-death political platform in American history.  And as usual, the DNC's economic plan is little more than gussied-up, good old-fashioned socialism.  Their foreign policy involves sticking our collective head in the sand and pretending the world's a dandy place and everybody's singing songs while holding hands and tossing about dandelions and lollipops.

Those who I know personally who are voting for Obama are doing so purely because they think, ultimately, he'll solve all their problems.

Yep; and I have some lovely beachfront property to sell you in Antarctica.

Whatever.

But recently, more and more of our leftward-leaning Christian brethren have been "re-imagining" not just their faith, but also their political stances, and have come up with very clever ways to spin the Bible to support the DNC (incidentally, other than the RNC's rabidly pro-life stance, I don't believe it's any more "biblical" than the DNC's, either).

Precisely nobody's surprised to discover that Brian "Orthodoxy Schmorthodoxy!" MacLaren is part of the Obamanation.  I think I would have an immediate coronary if I found out otherwise.

But others have drunk the Kool-Aid, too.

I like(ED) Donald Miller of Blue Like Jazz fame. I had thought he had a better head on his shoulder.

Yikes.

Part of the spiritual spin that the new Religious Far Far FAR Left puts on things is that the Gospel is REALLY about feeding the homeless, saving the spotted owl, and going green. Jesus stood against the bourgeois capitalists in favor of the downtrodden proletariat, and in Him the Hegelian Dialectic as modified by Marx reaches its fulfillment and a revolution of social justice commences, da, komrade. Enter the Emergents, stage WAY left.

Under this new Weltanschauung, morality is redefined to encompass what in a bygone era was known as the social gospel:

...a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The movement applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially poverty, inequality, liquor, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, poor schools, and the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospel leaders were overwhelmingly post-millennialist. That is because they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. Social Gospel leaders were predominantly liberal politically and theologically. In the 21st century Social Gospel principles continue to inspire newer movements such as Christians Against Poverty.

The social gospel was an unqualified disaster - and it's today rearing its foetid head once again.

In the social gospel, THE Gospel (God redeeming man from sin and eternal separation from Him through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus) becomes co-opted and ultimately subsumed by a new socio-politico-economic gospel (God redeeming culture & creation through the political and social activism of the church).  Social gospellers, ultimately by virtue of having abandoned the primacy of what they would consider the too-pietistic Gospel and losing confidence in the Blessed Hope, seek ultimate relief and support for their transmogrified and truncated gospel in the State.

Think of them as spiritual fascists.

Now, if you think that's a bit harsh, consider what socio-political fascism is:

Fascism is a totalitarian nationalistic socialist ideology that is concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence, and which seeks to achieve a millenarian national rebirth...

...Fascist governments nationalized key industries and made massive state investments. They thought private property was to be regulated to ensure that "benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual." They also introduced price controls and other types of economic planning measures. Fascists promoted their ideology as a "third way" between capitalism and Marxian socialism.

The place of fascism in the political spectrum remains highly debated. In practice, fascism opposed communism, conservatism and classic liberalism but also laissez faire capitalism and forms of socialism. Many scholars accept fascism as a search for a Third Way among these fields. Sir Oswald Mosley, for example, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, chose to describe his position as "hard centre" on the political spectrum. Scholar A. James Gregor asserts that the most "uninspired effort to understand fascism" is to simply place it on the right-wing, or the radical right as the common tendency was in the Anglosphere during the post-war period. While Walter Laqueur asserts that historical fascism "did not belong to the extreme Left, yet defining it as part of the extreme Right is not very illuminating either", but that it "was always a coalition between radical, populist ('fascist') elements and others gravitating toward the extreme Right".

Fascists opposed what they believed to be laissez-faire or quasi-laissez-faire economic policies dominant in the era prior to the Great Depression. People of many different political stripes blamed laissez-faire capitalism for the Great Depression, and fascists promoted their ideology as a "third way" between capitalism and Marxian socialism. Their policies manifested as a radical extension of government control over the economy without wholesale expropriation of the means of production. Fascist governments nationalized some key industries {{think: Nationalized healthcare, which is what a lot of modern Emergents - including, tragically, Dr. Taylor - advocate for}}, managed their currencies and made some massive state investments. They also introduced price controls, wage controls and other types of economic planning measures. Fascist governments instituted state-regulated allocation of resources, especially in the financial and raw materials sectors. {{in other words, wealth redistribution; addressing "economic inequality" using governmental force}}

The primary identifier of fascism is the idea of the state as the center of society and societal change; Social Gospellers of earlier times and Emergents of today can properly be understood as being fascist in the non-pejorative original sense of the term in that for them change must be imposed, and opposition to change must be neutralized.

Thus, it is the state's job to eradicate economic inequality. It is the state's job to provide universal cradle-to-grave care of its citizens, including universal healthcare. In fact, the state is to arrogate to itself as much responsibility as possible, for the good of all.

That, simply put, is fascism.  Again; I'm not meaning it in its pejorative and inappropriately-applied sense, but in its actual sense.

The Social Gospel and its modern son, the Emergent Church (I BTW am distinguishing between the EmergENT Church, which is gleefully socially and theologically liberal, and the EmergING Church, which is ambivalent, but has some good people in it as well as outright wack-jobs) are looking to the state as the primary agent of social change - thus the candidate who promises to address the non-gospel "gospel" issues that are currently in vogue get the endorsements and votes.

Dr. Taylor has come out and endorsed Barack Hussein Obama for the presidency, citing his social (fascist, in the non-pejorative original sense of the term of ever-increasing state control) agenda as being more faithful to the "gospel" than McCain (incidentally, I personally find neither contender for the throne to be anything but unsavory, and was all set to vote for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party on November 4th, since the CP most closely matches my own personal political views - until Sarah Palin became McCain's veep pick; that changed everything...) going so far as to say:

Senator Obama describes his journey to faith in depth in his books and other writings, and has spoken on the issue many times. He is a devout, thoughtful, Christian by any reasonable definition.

Senator Barack Hussein Obama, who has consistently voted against protecting children from the unequivocally barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion, is a "devout, thoughtful Christian."

Well...we can't say one way or another.  But if one cheerfully continues to condemn hundreds of thousands of innocent children to death before they've even had the chance to be born, and still calmly pray to the God who said "let the little children come unto Me" with their blood effectively on his hands...I'm sorry, but something just does not compute.

It's like if a man rapes women one day, then the next day calmly sits in church and sings the songs and prays and says all the "hallelujahs" and "amens" and smiles and whatnot, playing the part of the Christian.

Works don't save us; Paul's clear on that.

But what fruit - what works - come from my life certainly show whether or not I have been saved by grace through faith.

I'm just sayin' is all...

Now, whereas our Founders (for instance, Chief Justice John Jay) advised:

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers...

...I don't currently expect to be able to choose a good, Biblically-faithful Christian to high office.

Sad, but true.

However, given that, I probably shouldn't choose a man for office who epitomizes the extreme opposite of Christian character and/or positions.

Now, in trying to explain his endorsement of Obama in spite of the fact that he's one of the most stunningly pro-death candidates the presidential scene has ever seen, Dr. Taylor asserts:

ABORTION. It may seem strange for a person who is pro-life to side with Obama who is seen as the pro-choice candidate, but, although I disagree with him on the issue of abortion, his plan to reduce the number of abortions through a multifaceted attack that includes education, economic relief for the poor, and universal health care is, it seems to me, more likely to actually help ease the rate of abortion in the U.S. Abortion rates have not dropped under 20 years of staunch pro-life presidents.

First off: his premise is wrong.

The data show that the abortion rate has been falling overall the last 20 years - darn those wascawy, annoying facts.

Second off: if abortion is murder - if it is the execution of a de facto death sentence on an innocent child (which it is) - then it is quite simply inexcusable no matter what extenuating circumstances may be conjured up to explain or justify it.

As I'd said in my comments to Dr. Taylor's post:

Who's crying for those children who Hussein Barack Obama voted to not protect from the unqualifiedly horrific practice of partial-birth abortion?

Why punish these children by the most barbaric forms of execution invented for the sins or economic positions of their parents?

Even if we assume that poverty causes abortion (which is exactly analogous to saying poverty causes theft, or pornography causes rape, or reading Blue Like Jazz causes Emergentism), that still fails to make it any less horrifically wrong.

Again: Why punish the innocent child for the economic condition of her mother? Why execute the child because the mother is poor?

The bare fact that the mother will still commit abortion anyway is utterly tangential to the issue.

That's true also in the case of rape or incest.  Many liberals scream bloody murder (ironically) that über-conservatives (like me) don't even countenance "exceptions" in the case of rape or incest.

"How could you torment the poor girl by forcing her to have that child?"

My response: Why are you so terribly insistent on punishing the innocent child? What did that baby ever do? Will killing the baby un-rape or un-incest the mother? Why brutally murder the child for the gross sins of her father...?

Here's a thought: when a man is convicted of incest or rape - execute him.

Then help the mother bring her child to term, and give her the option of adopting out the baby.

My lovely and gracious wife have struggled with infertility for all of our marriage; we and hundreds of thousands of others would love to adopt these children, but can't because everybody and their mammas in government have their pork-barrel enslimed hands out for their piece of the pie and thus make the prospect too expensive for most families in (for instance) our tax bracket. It's a bald-faced lie that there aren't enough prospective adoptive parents to take in the blessed children who would go up for adoption - we're here, but the same {insert Mark Driscoll colorful language here} liberal Democrat government that spouts the rhretoric of "abortion should be safe, legal, and rare" forces me as a taxpayer to pay for the wholesale butchery of these children while erecting massively onerus financial bulwarks against us adopting them...all the while claiming "hypocrisy" on the part of Pro-Lifers because we're against abortion but won't adopt.

Give. Me. A. Break.

Dr. Taylor's newest blogpost continues to try to craft an apologetic for supporting extreme liberal Pro-Death ideologues (like Barack Hussein Obama) while maintaining a Pro-Life patina.

70% of all abortions are directly related to poverty. The typical woman seeking an abortion is not evil, she is a young single woman working at a dead-end minimum wage job without health care insurance. She cannot take off time from work to have and care for a baby; childcare is not affordable for her; she has no health insurance or savings; she will lose her job if she takes off to have her baby and give it up for adoption.

Granting for the moment the premise (that 70% of abortions are directly related to poverty - I reject that premise outright, but that'll have to be dealt with later), this argument still sidesteps the most fundamental issue: abortion kills an innocent child.

Again: are we saying that the answer is to make it "safe, legal, and rare" (and by "rare" the liberal means "very, very common and by the way taxpayer-funded") to punish the child - to condemn her to inhumane death because of the economic condition of her mother? Is that really what we're saying here?

Are we saying that because, even in this intentionally heart-string-pulling parable that Said Woman Aforementioned Hitherto would lose her job if she had the baby - that therefore the murder of that baby is morally justifiable...?

Have we truly slid so far?

Have we gone insane?

I really need to stop here. It's 2300 (that's "eleven pee-emm" for you civilians) here on the Glorious West Coast of Michigan; the one-on-one discipleship thingy that I came into the church office for was over two hours ago, and I need to get home to my lovely and gracious wife and our beautiful baby boy, who we adopted almost fourteen months ago, saving him from being butchered en utero the way the likes of Barack Hussein Obama would seemingly have preferred.  His birth-mother was a 13 year-old girl who wanted to terminate his life. It was through the grace of God and the intervention of faithful Christians who still took the Bible seriously and - thankfully - were one-issue types on the subject of abortion that that tragedy was gloriously averted.  Via private adoption (which side-steps much, but not all of the financial barrier the government places around adoption - thanks to the liberals), we were able to save him from being executed for the sins of his birth parents and give him a loving home.

So you will excuse me, I'm sure, if I sound a bit vehement about this issue, and fail utterly to comprehend how anybody who arrogates to themselves the name "Christian" can countenance supporting infanticide - for whatever imagined justification.

Dr. Taylor closes his blogpost:

If we really want to end abortion, let’s work to win the hearts and minds of others in a spirit of love.

Yes.

While also working to save the lives of those very children by not giving aid and comfort to the enemy concept that slaughtering them is in any way, shape, or form justifiable and therefore protected (and in fact supported via my tax dollars - thank you, Democratic Party) - by not punishing the child for the sins of or economic condition of (or any other imagined justification) of her parents.

God save us.

 

On the Sand of Politics

...and then, almost immediately after I published the previous post, I got this:

Sung to "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand"

My hope is built on nothing less,
Than the U.S. Congress' current mess,
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But look to politics, the game.

On the sand of politics I stand,
Such silly games I find so grand,
Such silly games I find so grand.

When darkness veils the Wall Street crowd, I hear their cries for help aloud; For Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, I worry night and noon and day.

On the sand of politics I stand,
Such silly games I find so grand,
Such silly games I find so grand.

Their oaths, their plans, and all their talk, We all should know is just a crock; When all around our dough gives way, They point and blame throughout the fray.

On the sand of politics I stand,
Such silly games I find so grand,
Such silly games I find so grand.

When markets crash with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Not looking to their bail-out plan,
Just to Jesus cause He is the Man!

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
Cause politics is sinking sand,
Cause politics is sinking sand!

I simply cannot agree more.  Even so, Lord, come quickly.

Das Bailöut

I am a card-carrying member of the Cult of Dave Ramsey (financial peace be upon him). I first drank the fiscally responsible kool-aid back before I was married to my lovely and gracious wife - though it sadly didn't "take" until just recently.

Sigh.

Nevertheless, I find his principles to be reasonably Biblical (though I confess to a greater love for Crown Financial) and eminently practical - plus, he's stinkin' funny.

I was very interested to read what he has to say about the current economic crisis, and what he thought of the bailout; having just read his Common Sense Fix, I have to say - Dave Ramsey for President!

...actually, I'd like to start campaigning now for Palin/Ramsey 2012. Any takers?

Anyway, his Common Sense Fix is probably the best that I've read, the more so in that it is eminently simple (in the true spirit of KISS - the principle, not the über-lame '70's has-been bubble-gum kiddie glam rock band that could barely string together four coherent chords to save their heavily cosmetically-enhanced hides and haven't yet figured out that puberty was a very geologically long time ago for them - long live Iron Maiden) and actually fiscally responsible. The text of the Fix is as follows:

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three steps:



Common Sense Plan.



I. INSURANCE

A. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.



B. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:



1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.

a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.

b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.

2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.



C. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.



II. MARK TO MARKET

A. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.



B. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.



III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX

A. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.



B. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down. This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

Ramsey's urging people to contact their Representatives and Senators and copy-and-paste this Common Sense Fix in messages to them. I have just done so, and urge both of my readers to do the same.

I am Mike Macon, and I approve this message.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Analogia Entis

If you don't already subscribe to the RSS feed for the Theological Word Of The Day, correct that oversight immediately.  TWOTD is a stupendous resource, giving very helpful summaries of important theological words and terms.  It's one of the blog feeds I read on a very regular basis, operating as I do under the twin assumptions that (1) you can't know too much about God, and (2) theology, being the study of God, is an indispensable resource for it.

September 26th's word was analogia entis - the "analogy of being," a very, very important concept, especially in light of so much of the ECM's love-affair with "chastised epistemology" which in essence states that we can't really know anything for certain about God except that we can't really know anything for certain.

Tony Jones summarized this sort of thinking well in his published dialog with Collin Hansen over the differences between the newbreed "Young Calvinists" and the Emergents:

Where we probably differ is not so much on theology, but on epistemology. That is, it seems the difference between the people you profile in Young, Restless, Reformed seem pretty darn sure that they've got the gospel right, whereas the Emergents that I hang out with are less sure of their right-ness. In fact, they're less sure that we, as finite human beings, can get anything all that right.

The Emergent party line is that, as result of the noetic effects of sin (that is, that among other things the Fall corrupted the mental faculties of man - which I agree with, BTW, and why I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the Presuppositional Apologetic) we as humans ultimately can't know anything with an absolute degree of certainty save that we can't know anything else than that with an absolute degree of certainty.

In other words, since we are finite, fallen beings, it is impossible to fully know an infinite, holy God; and by extension (they say), we cannot know Him directly at all, but only obliquely, and imperfectly at that.

The argument, however, presupposes what it tries to prove - it begs the question, in other words.  It presumes that an incapacity for absolute knowledge precludes a capacity for moral certitude.

In other words, though I as a finite, fallen human cannot know God with absolute clarity, I can know what I know of God and what He has revealed of Himself with absolute certainty.

I can know, for instance, that God is good, holy, loving, and just, and that He took upon Himself human flesh, suffered and died, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I can know that His Word is true, and that any problems I have with that Word derive from myself and not the Word itself.

Anyway.

Back to the point of this blogpost...TWOTD posted a brief article on analogia entis which answers the ECM's "chastised epistemology" party line very well; turns out this isn't a new idea at all, and that the faithful in the church have dealt with this already in ages past and come up with a very sound position:

The belief that there exists an analogy or correspondence between the creation and God that makes theological conversation about God possible. While many would say that finite beings with finite language cannot describe an infinite God, theologians of the medieval era discussed this problem, seeking to resolve it by developing a theory which alloted the communication of words into three separate categories. Some words are univocal (always used with the same sense), some were equivocal (used with very different senses), and some were analogical (used with related senses). It is this third sense that the analogia entis finds meaning. While finite man cannot describe and infinite God perfectly (univocally), he can do so truly being that God has created man in his image and, through this, has provided and analogical way of communicating himself. To deny the analogia entis is thought, by some, to be a self defeating proposition since it would present the situation where an all-powerful God is not powerful enough to communicate himself to his creation.

Amen.

So - if you haven't already subscribed to TWOTD's feed - do it, now. Tons of good, solid stuff.

You'll thank me later.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leadership is for Sissies

Okay; I just grabbed a second to catch up on my blog reading - it's been a wild whirlwind of a month, trying to juggle the church and my day-job-to-support-my-habit so that I can keep diapers on my boy, so I haven't had much time to do much of anything else.

Oh, except for reading a lot; you get to do that on planes & in hotel rooms & stuff.  While I don't mind TV (after all; hockey season's coming up), I vastly prefer to read. So my "extra-cirricular" entertainment reading has been stuff by Jack McDevitt (sci-fi writer; I just finished Eternity Road and Infinity Beach, both of which were just flat-out awesome), Robert Charles Wilson (his book Spin - oh...my...goodness was it good... Probably the best speculative sci-fi I've read in a very, very long time; I can't wait until the sequel is released in e-book format), Peter Hamiltion (The Dreaming Void - sequel series to the Commonwealth Saga and set 1500 years after the events in Judas Unchained - Pete's perhaps my favorite modern author, with McDevitt a very close second), Stephen Baxter (light on character development, but loooooooooooong on plausibility and taking our current cosmological and physics understanding to the limit - great speculative fic, Vacuum Diagrams was a great summary of the truly epic sweep of his Xeelee Sequence) and others.

But other than that, I haven't had time for much of anything else.

So after a discipleship meeting this morning with a great brother, I fired up my blog reader, and found this absolutely awesome pearl over on The Blog Of Which We Do Not Speak which I think succinctly describes the critical key differences between "leadership" (which so very many in the Growthinista camp are all a-goo-goo over) and servant leadership - which is a very exceedingly different sort of thing altogether.

LeaderMan: Wants a platform on which to say something

Servant Leader: Has something to say

———–

LeaderMan: You almost feel you know his family, because he’s your Leader

Servant Leader: You allow him to influence you, because you know his family

———–

LeaderMan: Wants you to know he’s a Leader

Servant Leader: You’re not sure he knows he’s a leader

———–

LeaderMan: Loves the idea of the Gospel, and the idea of The Church

Servant Leader: Loves God and the actual individual people God brings across his path

———–

LeaderMan: A great speaker, but self-described as, “Not really a people person.”

Servant Leader: Makes himself a people person

———–

LeaderMan: Helps you find where God is leading you in his organization

Servant Leader: Helps you find where God is leading you

———–

LeaderMan: Gets together with you to talk about his vision

Servant Leader: Just gets together with you

———–

LeaderMan: Resents “sheep stealing”

Servant Leader: Doesn’t get the “stealing” part, since he doesn’t own anyone to begin with

———–

LeaderMan: Wants the right people on the bus

Servant Leader: Wants to find the right bus for you, and sit next to you on it

———–

LeaderMan: Shows you a flow chart

Servant Leader: Shows you his whole heart

———–

LeaderMan: A visionary who knows what the future looks like

Servant Leader: Knows what your kitchen looks like

———–

LeaderMan: If it’s worth doing, it worth doing with excellence

Servant Leader: Not exactly sure how to even calculate “worth doing”

———–

LeaderMan: Talks about confronting one another in love

Servant Leader: Actually confronts you in love

———–

LeaderMan: Impressed by success and successful people

Servant Leader: Impressed by faithfulness

———–

LeaderMan: Invests time in you, if you are “key people”

Servant Leader: Wastes time with you

———–

LeaderMan: Reveals sins of his past

Servant Leader: Reveals sins of his present

———-

LeaderMan: Gives you things to do

Servant Leader: Gives you freedom

———–

LeaderMan: Leads because of official position

Servant Leader: Leads in spite of position

———–

LeaderMan: Deep down, threatened by other Leaders

Servant Leader: Has nothing to lose

I absolutely love this list, and I'm printing it out and framing it in what passes as my office to be a continual reminder.

I have no time - or patience - for "leadership."

So go to all the seminars and coaching networks and hoedowns and interpretive finger painting classes as you'd like.

But in my opinion: "Leadership" (as it is currently defined and as is currently all the rage) is for sissies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chalcedon on Palin

Chris Ortiz of the Chalcedon Foundation weighs in on the controversy of the fact that Palin is a girl.

Chalcedon is unapologetically complementarian - as am I.  So his take is very interesting - and largely correct:

If at this point you're asking yourself, "So, Chris, do you think a woman can be a civil magistrate?," you have missed my point. The important issues regarding saving the American system have little do with the gender of a vice-presidential candidate. We have much bigger fish to fry, and if spend too much time harping on what the Bible says women can do, the less our constituencies will hear and understand about the threat of statism.

For the record: I am exceedingly excited about the Palin vice presidency and ultimate presidency.  Prior to her being named McCain's running mate, I was voting third party (Constitution Party). Now that Palin's "the man," the entire equation, for me, has dramatically changed.  With her on the ticket, the difference between the two dueling dynamic duos could not be more stark - to the point where when relatively prominent Christian leaders feign neutrality and claim to be "undecided" makes me wonder if their thinkboxes are fully engaged.

Either vote for Candidate A because you believe he'll solve all your problems and make all your pain go away (and be unequivocally the single most gleefully bloodthirsty pro-death candidate in the history of the republic), or vote for Candidate B because a reasonable resolution to the Iraq sitch is better than wholesale capitulation, a reduction in government is a good thing, and - oh, by the way - he's rabidly pro-life and ultimately the lives of millions of innocent children trumps all other considerations.

Yes, I'm a one-issue voter, when the issue is so inexpressibly momentous as the pro-life/pro-death contention.

Anyway, read Ortiz's blogpost.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tony Soprano/Admiral Adama Celebrity Deathmatch

I've read a few reviews of this blogpost before, but finally, after it was linked over on the Blog Of Which We Do Not Speak, I went and took a gander myself...

...and I must say, very well done. Good - no, great analysis of the moral underpinning of both the Sopranos and Battlestar Galactica.

And a discussion of positive vs. privative evil.

Good stuff...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I must get this chair...

Read 'bout it here. Then sit back and murmur sounds of amazement and awe.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A must-read

In this blogpost, a church planting pastor bares his heart, and in the process offers a resounding critique of modern American Christianity® Inc.

HT: Vee

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday is for Yadnom

Yes, yadnom.

I figure that makes about as much sense as the über-hep-cat-yo-dog-g-money ECMmer "Manic Music Monday" type of spiffy-artsy, My incredible cultural relevance can beat up your honor student blogpost.

So...let's get our yadnom on.

Yo.

Some of the things round 'bout the 'net that have piqued my interest, and should pique yours...

And there you have it.  To both of my readers: enjoy.

Don't try this at home

Tee hee hee.

I'm a major Linux geek - love it, use it, glory in all its innate power and really, insanely odd idiosyncrasies. The church computers here at Calvary Chapel on the Lakeshore run on the latest distro of Mandriva Linux and run either the KDE (Media Workstation) or GNOME (Children's Ministry Workstation) desktops.

I love Linux.

However, Linux by its very nature as an open-source, community-developed platform, even with the new push towards making self-contained, easy-to-implement distros, isn't really for the faint-of-heart.

So I really appreciated this 'toon:

Chaddick/Heidkamp Celebrity Death Match

...not really.

But I was browsing the Vineyard's website the other day, and ran across their audios for their recent national pastors' conference, and found the session that Jeff Heidkamp gave on the Emerging Church.  It's an interesting counterpoint to Tim Chaddick's workshop on the ECM at the recent Calvary Chapel senior pastors' conference.

I still think Tim's session was better (vastly better), but Heidkamp's session was still quite balanced - a bit more on the "pro" side than Chaddicks, but that surprises precisely no-one - and an interesting perspective, nonetheless.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Let 'em "marry"

Many of my evangelical brethren become understandably twitchy about the subject of "gay" "marriage."

Yes, both "gay" and "marriage" are in quotes, on purpose.

  1. The lifestyle is anything but gay
  2. Two dudes or two gals playing house a marriage does not make, spiffy piece of paper to the contrary notwithstanding

...then again, a dude and a gal playing otherwise heterosexual house a marriage does not make, spiffy piece of paper to the contrary notwithstanding, either...turns out it takes a bit more than that - but I digress...

Laying aside for the moment the absolutely unambiguous declaration of Scripture that "gay" activity is a major no-no, news like this tempts one to sit back in his chair, cross his arms and grin, and say, "let 'em 'marry.'"

Because with "gay" "marriage" you also get the inevitable "gay" divorce.

That'll show 'em...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Democratic Party Platform

First off, for the record: I am not a Republican. I have not been a Republican for many years. The GOP has become, for all intents and purposes, The Party of Big Government, Part II, right behind the Democratic Party.

That being said, I have had some guys that I respect say that it's not inconsistent to be a "Pro-life Democrat."

...ummm...yes it is.

The party platform contains very strong language supporting a person's "right" to execute their children in utero.

Democrats typically have a strong plank in favor of abortion rights; this year's version is stronger than usual. "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right," it says.

By simple virtue of the fact of self-identifying with a party, you axiomatically support that party's platform.

And the Democrats' platform specifically includes a provision that forces all Americans, regardless of their opposition to the practice of infanticide, to support it with our tax dollars.

A "Pro-life Democrat" is as much of an oxymoron as is "dehydrated water."