Sunday, November 27, 2011

because it means you're too independent?

Sojo seems to have it in for Black Friday this year.

Politics BlogBlack Friday: The Anti-Thanksgiving

Yet, even if Black Friday were not so terrible for working families, and even if it did not threaten to steamroll Thanksgiving under the weight of Christmas-season merchandising, I would still be opposed to it. Black Friday is the Anti-Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally a time to gather with family and friends and practice gratitude for our blessings. It is a time to cultivate awareness of all the ways in which God provides for us, and to pay special attention to providing hospitality to others who are hurting. Black Friday, on the other hand, is a celebration of greed, unbridled consumerism and disregard for others.

Now, I have to admit, I haven't been one of those who gets up early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving to be among the first in any store's doors. Just not a great interest of mine. On the other hand, I have done some similar types of things, like stay in line all day to get into the first practice for the nearby college basketball team.

So, I'm don't have anything against people who do the early-morning Black Friday thing. I think of it as being kind of like those who, for example, insist on camping out in order to get in early when the Star Wars movies were released--it's rather silly, it's not necessary, but, hey, there is a certain amount of camaraderie and fun to it, and so long as they behave themselves, then no big deal.

Thanksgiving is, at its best, a fleeting incarnation of the peaceable kingdom, where we can all come together in peace and mutual respect. Black Friday, on the other hand, is an intensification of the hyper-capitalist, corporate order that already dominates most of our lives. Rather than gratitude, it promotes greed; instead of cooperation, competition. While Thanksgiving fosters brotherhood and peace, Black Friday is a celebration of self-centeredness and bickering.

Wow, one would think that the people at Black Friday were as bad as those of Generation Brats who make up OWS.

If you need evidence of this, examine the fruits of the Black Friday rush for the latest consumer items. There was gunfire in a shopping mall. And at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart, the "competitive shopping strategy" of one woman involved the pepper-spraying fellow customers. Amazingly - though perhaps not surprising - the Wal-Mart remained open through the entire incident, and the woman was allowed to buy her merchandise and leave the store. Nothing, not even outright violence, was allowed to stop the flow of consumption.

Considering how many millions of people were out and about that time all over the country, I have to admit if there were only these few incidents, people were rather well-behaved. At the least, compared to those of Occupy Wherever, they were rather civilized.

To begin with - and, I confess, it is a modest beginning - I commit myself to resisting Black Friday. I will not participate in this anti-holiday.

And when the businesses you don't support go out of business, they should send you a thank-you card. But...wait on it...

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Yes, that's right, Sojo has a donate button. So, while you're evil for shopping on Black Friday, just make sure you give (that's right, give) money to Sojo, so they can continue to cause your businesses to fail.

not-so-great expectations

When my friend Floyd finished preaching and called for repentance, I was the first to my feet. During the message I had seen myself clearly, and I was ashamed. I publicly confessed my sin that day and asked the others at the conference for prayer.

What was my sin? Embezzlement? Adultery? No, the Holy Spirit was convicting me of the sin of unbelief. In that stark moment of honesty I realized that I really had low expectations of what God would do in my city.
John Dawson. Taking Our Cities For God - Rev (Kindle Locations 367-369). Kindle Edition.

Well, glad he had his moment. I suppose we could be glad as well that it wasn't anything, you know, really big, like the things he first mentioned. How very spiritual of him.

So, I'm trying to think--what exactly would " low expectations of what God would do in my city" mean? For example, when Jesus prophecied that Jerusalem would be left desolate, was He guilty of having such low expectation? What about the OT prophets, to whom God often gave words of judgment for them to speak?

What do you expect God to do in your city? Or to put it another way, who is your God? Is He the God of the Bible? Your God is only as big as what you expect of Him in space and time. What do you expect Him to do here on earth in this generation? Don't tell me about the God of your theology. It's easy to say that He's all-powerful, but do you expect Him to do powerful things here and now?
John Dawson. Taking Our Cities For God - Rev (Kindle Locations 369-371)

"Your God is only as big as what you expect of Him in space and time"? Really? God is limited by how I think? What a weak and pathetic God He would be, almost as bad as the gods of Emergents like Rollins and McLaren.

What do I expect Him to do here on earth in this generation? What does the Bible say He will do? What prophecies in the Bible specifically address this generation? Perhaps God has given rather negative prophecies concerning this generation. Would I be suffering from this sin of low expectations by believing God's prophecies of sin and judgment?

Now, I'm trying to think where in the Bible, particularly in the New Testament, anything is given to us concerning what we should expect God to do in any particular generation. Where does Jesus tell the disciples that if they don't have such great expectations, then they were guilty of unbelief? I can't think of anywhere. Where does Paul or any other epistle writer tell the churches to have great expectations of what God can do in their city or their generation? If anything, they were told rather the opposite. They were told to expect hard times, suffering and persecution and rejection. Concerning future generations, they were told such things as that in the last days there would be dangerous times, people would fall away from the faith, lawlessness would abound. On top of that, there is Revelation, which speaks of people suffering great judgments from God, but not repenting.

In other words, it is only when Christ Himself returns that things will be set right.

So, no, Mr. Dawson, I do not have such great expectations of what's going to happen in the cities of the world and the people of this generation. I expect people to continue to largely reject the Gospel, embrace their favorite fakes that will make them feel good, try to water down the real Gospel to mean a feel-good self-help type of fluff you'd see and hear on an afternoon TV talk show. I believe a sinful and rebellious mankind will continue to be sinful and rebellious, yet in His grace God will save some, some will be brought to repentence. Evil people will grow worse and worse, but those who endure to the end will be saved.

Friday, November 25, 2011

it's been a while

Probably 'cause hanging around Sojo much makes me itch. But here is another case of "dippy Sojo comment", this time from the one about Thanksgiving and Target. In fact, it's a twofer.

In the book of Exodus, which character told the the people to "get your lazy butt to work and stop your crazy" and which character established the Sabbath?

Well, that's interesting. Seems to me, when God established the Sabbath, He gave the people a day of rest. Now, since the Target workers had Thanksgiving off, how does having them come in to open at midnight mean any kind of sabbath-breaking?

Plus, the Sabbath was on what we call Saturday, not Friday, so this argument is basically empty.

I think the whole notion of Black Friday is sacreligious, and applaud all who avoid it. I would much prefer to give to some charitable organization such as Heifer or Dr.s w/o borders in lieu of gifts of junk. In one of his lines T. S. Eliot said the heritage of our civilization would be asphalt roads and a thousand lost golf balls. Not much of a heritage.

Well, let's see...

Asphalt roads. That would be a heritage to be proud of. Certainly a step up from rutted dirt roads, and much better for traveling than cobblestone or rock.

And a thousand lost golf balls. I suppose this comment could be considered anti-Scotch, but enough about alcohol or tape. The only thing wrong with a thousand lost golf balls is that most of them were mine. And, anyway, you can get those same golf balls in stores now, and should Sojo be celebrating the spirit of recycling that this shows?

don't let inconsistency stop a bad argument

Remember a few days ago when I linked to an article at Sojo about how evil Thanksgiving is, and how we shouldn't celebrate it?

But, apparently, that doesn't mean people Thanksgiving can't be used to stop people from doing productive things, like, you know, working.

In Solidarity with Target Workers on Thanksgiving

Some people who work for Target, a major national retailer that plans to open its doors for Black Friday starting at midnight following Thanksgiving, have circulated a petition in protest. They are right to say enough. I stand in solidarity with them.

However, the idea that this society is willing to allow our materialism to go unchecked to the point that we want to force people to lose a significant portion of a day dedicated to giving thanks because some business does not want to lose a “competitive edge,” is shameful. It is a sad commentary on our values. People have been trampled to death in a rush to get into this or that store for the sake of the bargains. This is tragic. It is time to say enough. Let Thanksgiving Day remain sacred, set apart. We can stop the madness if we do not shop before sunrise on Friday morning. Stand in solidarity with the Target workers.

I remember a time I had to be at work at 12:00 AM the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, I had to be there a bit before midnight, in order to actually start on time. How evil of the I worked for. In fact, this year, I was actually at work for a few minutes Thanksgiving morning. What wickedness on the part of the people who pay me to work for them!!! I should return the money I earned from them!!, I won't. Because as bothersome as it was, there is nothing morally wrong with it.

I'm not the biggest fan of Target, but if the people who are so honked off about this don't want to start work at midnight, well, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would be quite happy to take their places.

misadventure in badly missing the point

Various systems or worldviews fight for power and authority. Yet Christianity, as a religion without religion, offers a radically different approach. Christ opens up the idea of a system that seeks always to find those who are excluded from the system that is in power. The Christian “worldview” is thus manifested as always seeking out those who have been rejected from the worldviews that have authority. The way this works itself out in practice is that whatever political or religious idea is dominating the society at any given time, Christianity seeks out those who are excluded by it, the one sheep who is not in the pen, the one coin not in the purse, those who have not been invited to the party, the nobodies, the nothings. The Christian “system” can thus never take power for, by definition, it is always that which stands against power, seeking to identify with the powerless and the voiceless. It is a system in the sense that it systematically seeks out those who do not fit into the system offered up by the currently prevailing political and religious authorities.
Rollins, Peter, Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1934-1941)

If one were to actually read the Gospels, how would one find any of that?

It could be pointed out that those who would likely have been considered on the outside, sick people and lepers and blind and Romans and Gentiles, did find Jesus usually welcoming. But then, it wasn't an exclusive thing. Jesus was welcoming to an 'insider' in the person of the Pharisee Nicodemus. He cared deeply for the young man who was rich and a ruler. He was very complimentary of the faith of the Roman centurion who wanted Him to heal his servant. Some of his closest friends seem to have been Lazarus and his sisters, people who had their own home and likely had some means and influence.

As well, we do not find any hint that Jesus was some kind of rebel. Jesus did not try to overthrow the Pharisees or other religious leaders, He did not try to overthrow the Romans. In fact, He tells the people to respect those in the seat of Moses, to do what they said, but to not live as they lived, for they were hypocrites. Jesus' problem, we can see, is not with religious authorities, but rather with those who have such authority and do not use it wisely and justly.

In the epistles, this respect for human authority continues. Peter tells us to obey the rulers. Another epistle explains that the rulers are ministers of God. The only time that the Apostles stood against the rulers was when they were told to not preach and teach in the name of Jesus, that in such a case they had the explicit command to Christ to take the Gospel to everyone, so they obeyed God rather than men.

Does Christianity stand against power? Where is that in the Bible?

Behind the convoluted nature of Rollins' words, his thinking is far too simplistic. Christianity is not an eternal game of being against whomever is in power, like some kind of perpetural counter-culture no matter what the culture is; rather, it's about right and wrong, righteousness and sin.

Rollins points to certain parables of Jesus', ones that are about someone seeking something of value. He wants to make this about outsiders, as if it's only about being counter-cultural or whatever. But what did Jesus Himself say? "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save those that are lost".

Because here is the truth--when it comes to God, we are all outsiders, we are all poor and miserable, we are all sinners. We can preach the Gospel in the poorest ghetto and the richest mansion, because the most abject addict and most successful billionaire are alike in their poverty before God. Peter can heal a lame beggar at the Temple one day, then later preach in the house of a Roman Centurion, because the Gospel he preached both times was applicable to the people present on both occasions.

Rollins wants to make this about human politics, which is asinine. It's not about such shallow and worldly things, but rather about Christ having been born of the virgin Mary, living a sinless perfect life, laying down His own life as a sacrifice for our sins and to appease the wrath of the Father, rising from the dead and ascending to Glory. It's about us through repentence of our sins and belief in Christ being made right with God.

It's not about works at all. We can do no work that will make we who are sinners in any way right with God; rather, God says that all of our works of righteousness are as putrid rags. He is not impressed with our works at all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

never have a sojrone over for the holiday

Unless it may be something like the day the Bolshies took over Russia, or Castro's conquest of Cuba, or some such leftist day of celebration. May want to pass on the day the Berlin Wall fell, though.

Rewriting History: Thanksgiving or Genocide?

Well, we have the word 'genocide'. Guess we know where this is going.

Thanksgiving — in its original intent — was to mark a good harvest in the plight of the early Pilgrims. While there are disputes about specific dates, most point to the first gathering to the Fall of 1621 where the Pilgrims and [some] local Indians gathered (fewer than 100) to celebrate a feast. Most are in agreement that the Indians were invited simply because the Pilgrims knew that they would have died had it not been for the help of the local Indians.

While it is true that we’re not entirely sure all the specific details, those that we would now categorize as “illegal aliens” not only came without invitation but they came to take over. In fact, beyond the first joint “Thanksgiving,” there were no further meals of mutual peace, dependence, and friendship.

Wow. So, the Pilgrims were "illegal aliens". Should that mean the Sojrones should condone anything they do? But they were white illegal aliens, so they should have stayed in Europe, one may suppose.

But I'm thinking that, really, this Sojrone is afraid of the real story of Thanksgiving, one that puts paid to the things Sojo holds dear.

The True Story of Thanksgiving

The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.

'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense,'" without being paid for it, "'that was thought injustice.' Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself?" That's what he was saying. " The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.

"Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you're laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.' But this story stops when the Indians taught the newly arrived suffering-in-socialism Pilgrims how to plant corn and fish for cod. That's where the original Thanksgiving story stops, and the story basically doesn't even begin there. The real story of Thanksgiving is William Bradford giving thanks to God for the guidance and the inspiration to set up a thriving colony. The bounty was shared with the Indians." They did sit down" and they did have free-range turkey and organic vegetables, "but it was not the Indians who saved the day. It was capitalism and Scripture which saved the day," as acknowledged by George Washington in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.

So, the story of Thanksgiving is a cautionary tale of the failure of Socialism, which is what Sojo thinks is what is so good and great. No, that story of Thanksgiving must be silenced and not celebrated.

The Sojo article is aptly titled, if one keeps in mind that it is the Sojrone himself who is rewriting history.

Monday, November 14, 2011

peter rollins the postmodern pharisee

In short, such an approach reveals that Christianity exhibits the structure of a religion without religion. Belief thus has an important place; however, it is ultimately subordinate to the event that it points toward. The result is the idea that living within the event that is testified to in Christianity is more important than the affirmation that one is a Christian, or in other words, the event contained in the affirmation of God is more important than the belief in God.
Rollins, Peter (2009-01-29). Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1555-1558)

Look at what he's saying here--"living within the event that is testified to in Christianity is more important than the affirmation that one is a Christian...the event contained in the affirmation is more important than the belief in God". What is he saying?

Unlike the former reading, which sees Christianity as a worldview that can somehow be compared and contrasted with other worldviews, this latter approach questions the idea that Christianity can be approached as a religious worldview at all; rather, in this approach Christianity operates within all worldviews, at least in those places where people’s lives reflect love, hope, and passionate commitment to one’s neighbor. While the first interpretation sees Jesus as the founder of the one true religion, the latter interpretation sees in Jesus one who would set an axe to all religion.
Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1487-1491).

Because a miracle takes place at a radically subjective level that cannot be objectified or analyzed, it is not, strictly speaking, something that is believed in. Rather it is lived. Indeed it can easily be lived and not believed in.
Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1746-1748).

Instead of rendering God present to the understanding, this way of reading the text interprets the phrase ’ehyeh ’asher ’ehyeh as a means of describing the nature of God’s presence among us. Here God is presented neither as reducible to the status of other objects, nor as outside the world and eternally distant from it, but rather as one who is received by us without ever being directly conceived by us. Here the mystery of God is revealed as an incarnated mystery, that is, the mystery of God is revealed in the midst of God’s presence. God is here being presented as saying something akin to, “Do not try to name me. my name is above all names; I am present to you beyond all names.” Here we find a different way of approaching God: here we come across the idea that God is made manifest as a happening, an event, a blessing. God is here revealed as one who is made present through the acts of love and liberation rather than through the categories of human understanding. This does not mean that we will come to an understanding of God through closely observing the actions of God. Here the text goes further: God is made known only in action, only as blessing.
Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1276-1275).

When Jesus spoke of being “born again” he was not referring to some proposition that could be considered through logic, religious sermons, Bible reading, or through some kind reflection on religious experience; rather he was speaking of an event that opens up a whole new world of experience. Religious experience, in its fundamental form, is not then an experience at all but rather a counter-experience, one that transforms our mode of being in the world rather than being reduced to some strange feeling. With the incoming of this truth nothing necessarily changes in the physical world, no new object enters our horizon. But in its aftermath the person is never the same again, for everything has changed. This luminous life can never be captured, contained, or pulled apart; it is lived. This event in which nothing changes is an event so radical that nothing remains the same.
Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1346-1352).

Look at how he denigrates belief. This is a common theme throughout the book. He is constantly playing games with belief, claiming that belief in the truth claims of the Bible or even in God are not important, and even the questions of whether or not the Bible is true or if there is a God are not important. Something else is, something he calls the "miracle", and is something that, as he says in one of the quotes above, can "easily be lived and not believed in".

Looking at Rollins' words about this "miracle" and conversion, one is struck by a complete lack of the things the Bible places as central to this conversion--repentence from sins, belief and faith in Christ who was crucified as a sacrifice for our sins. Instead, he goes on about change and experience, using nonsense phrases about nothing being changed but everything being changed.

In his own convoluted way, he's simply repeating what the Pharisees in Jesus' day believed. His definition of righteousness is some combination of works and experience, that for example in regards to worldviews those worldviews are acceptable "...where people’s lives reflect love, hope, and passionate commitment to one’s neighbor".

But what does that mean? God cannot be understood, so he says. Thus, beliefs are essentially meaningless. What the Bible says about God is essentially meaningless; indeed, God cannot even interpret His own Word, because that would somehow be an untrue interpretation. There are no answer, only questions. Believe in Christ, or not; believe in God, or not; put your faith in the gods of Greek mythology, for all that it matters.

All we have are works that somehow God is pleased in, though we don't know how we know that or why. Why, after all, should a god about whom we cannot know anything by reason or logic be a god who wants us to be kind to people. Mankind has had many gods who wanted their priests to take other people and sacrifice them in bloody rituals. Why should not that be how this unknowable god is? Or why should people not worship this god in that way, as other do so through kindness? How can we know that this god prefers one or the other, because if the priest who sacrifices captives from another tribe thinks he being kind to his neighbor in doing so, then what argument can be made against it?

As soon as we start looking at Rollins' claims, that we can learn little or nothing about God through His Word, that God did not really speak to the prophets, that it's really not important whether or not Christ really died and rose again, then we are simply brought up against Rollins' own opinions and beliefs about what this god approves of. And let us be clear, they are simply the biases and presuppositions of Rollins and those like him. Why the bloody Aztec gods should be shunted aside is simply a matter of preference, not of any standard that says human sacrifices are wrong.

Rollins is playing as a Pharisee, but at least the Pharisees had the Law of Moses, even if they abused it and misused it. At least they would have claimed that belief in Jehovah was important, even if it was more a belief in their own supposed righteousness. All Rollins has is his own law, his own beliefs that no beliefs are important, yet somehow love and hope and caring for others is important, simply because the Christ he doesn't believe in said so, even if He may not really have said those words at all. And why this god spoke through Christ more than through the bloody Aztec prophets is not a question that can be answered.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

peter rollins ridiculous

In this parable we are reminded that a religious approach to the text is not one in which we attempt to find out its definitive meaning, but rather where we wrestle with it and are transformed by it. The parable tells us not that a God’s eye view is impossible, but rather that even if it were possible it would not be wanted. Why? Because a God’s-eye view of the truth would not be the truth. We can thus say that any interpretation of a verse that is given to us by God is not a true interpretation of the verse and must be rejected as such. For the problem resides not in having an interpretation but rather in the place that we give to our interpretation. No matter how wonderful our interpretation is, if it occupies an authoritative place then it undermines its own status.
Rollins, Peter (2009-01-29). Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1778-1784). Paraclete Press. Kindle Edition.

Really? A parable? Maybe one Jesus told? Well, let's see...

Is this not the wisdom that is contained in the Jewish parable that speaks of a heated debate taking place in a park between two old and learned rabbis? The conversation in question revolves around a particularly complex and obscure verse in the Torah. It is not the first time that these two intellectual giants have crossed swords over this verse; in fact they have debated it for years, sometimes changing their opinions but never finding a consensus. God is, of course, known to have the patience of a saint, but even God begins to tire of the endless discussion. So finally God decides to visit the two men and tell them once and for all what the parable means. God reaches down, pulls the clouds apart, and begins to speak: “You have been debating this verse endlessly for years; I will now tell you what it means. . . . ” But before God can continue, the two rabbis look up and say, in a rare moment of unity, “Who are you to tell us what the verse means? You have given us the words, now leave us in peace to wrestle with it.”
Fidelity of Betrayal (Kindle Locations 1771-1778). Nope, not one of Jesus'. In fact, we aren't told where it comes from, just that he calls it a "Jewish parable", which raises the eyebrows, as by and large the ancient Hebrews were noted for their great respect for the Scriptures, except when they were following all the rest of humanity in worshiping idols. One could well imagine that, for example, some ancient false prophet getting honked off at Jeremiah, and making some kind of argument like that.

But, well, moving on...

In my lack of researches, because only modernists care for verifying whether a historical statement is true or not, I've discovered in my imaginative reinterpretation of a biblical account of a time Jesus told a parable and then interpreted it for his disciples the nuclear shadow of an event (or is that an Event) that happened but for whatever reason (probably the fault of those nasty Nicenes) it didn't make into the Bible. But, thanks to me and my ability to deconstruct and find messages hiding in the gaps in the wounds of the text, here is a summary of it.

In Matthew 13, we have the account of Jesus telling several different parables. Verse 36 says that he left the multitude, and went into the house, and his disciples came unto him, say, "Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field"

Jesus is just getting ready to explain it when there was a sudden commotion, a strange throbbing noise and weird lights, and suddenly a strange, pale man appeared in their midst, wearing strange clothes, and he was speaking very loudly.

"Stop!!" The man said, and yes did so with two exclamation marks. "You can't do that!" This caused some consternation among the disciples, as he was speaking in the English language, which had not yet made it's way into the world. Jesus appeared unfazed.

"My name is Peter Rollins." Said the strange man. "And I've come from the future, because you cannot explain that parable, Jesus.

"No, you can't explain it to them, because if you do, your disciples and all the rest of us will not wrestle with it and be transformed by it. Don't you know that a God's eye view of your parable is impossible, even though you as God told the parable to the people. Even though they have asked you to explain it to them, they don't really want that, because even if it were possible, it is not really wanted. Because any explanation or interpretation you can give would not be the truth, even if you as God give them the God's eye view of the truth. Any interpretaion you as God give to your disciples is not the true interpretation, and so they would have to reject it. Because any interpretation you as God would give would be authoritative, and thus because it is authoritative it would undermine its own status as an authoritative interpretation.

"So, no, Jesus, you cannot explain your parable to them. I command you to be quiet, you traitor! Why, I know about your conspiracy, I know who the really hero of Bible is! It's Judas, I tell you, not you! Oh, no, I know about your conspiracy! You and Lilith and Pee Wee Herman and her little dog, too, and..."

Suddenly, something went "boink" in the time machine this strange man who called himself Peter Rollins was using, and he was shot back to the future very suddenly and more-or-less intact, though there are rumors that parts of his mind have been found floating around in the Mariachi Trench.

So, after a rather startled moment, the disciples looked among themselves and then finally turned to Jesus. Jesus began to speak, answering their original question, and said, "He that sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world. The good seed are the sons of the kingdom, the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the world. The reapers are the angels. As the tares are gathered and thrown into the fire, so will it be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send forth his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all thing that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, and cast them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And the righteous will shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."

So, yes, I did detect the nuclear shadow of a time-traveling Peter Rollins in that account. Hey, it's just as likely as the myths of Lilith and his conspiracy theory about Judas.

To be plain (I was serious, even in mocking), can one imagine the hubris and arrogance of Rollins' statements? Can you imagine him saying such a thing about any other person? If, let's say, he were a lawyer arguing a case in a courtroom, and he were to claim that the testimony of an expert witness should be ignored and discarded because it is the testimony of an expert? That a professor should be ignored for the simple reason that he's educated and experienced in his field? That, let's say, Gary Kasparov's analysis of a chess game should be discarded because it is given by a former world chess champion and one of the greatest players of all time?

To say that an interpretation that God would give would not be the truth is absolute nonsense, and let's be honest, it's blasphemy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

generation brats gets special treatment

Occupier Outrages Omitted

MRC analysts reviewed the Big Three network evening (ABC’s World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News) and morning shows (Good Morning America, The Early Show, Today) for the month of October and found accounts of anti-Semitism and sexual assault arrests have been completely omitted from the Big Three broadcasts. And when confrontations erupted between the police and the protestors, the networks were much more likely to pin the blame on police for instigating the violence.

In fact, in the few stories of violence at the protests, like the one in Oakland, the Big Three networks took the side of the protestors against the police more often than not with 15 stories (54%) putting more blame on law enforcement officers. Only seven stories (25%) mostly faulted the protestors for acts of aggression. Six stories (6%) didn’t blame any particular side for the violence. Viewers of these stories were also far more likely to hear statements made by reporters or talking heads blaming law enforcement officials for the violence with 36 (71%) blaming officers to just 15 (29%) blaming the protestors.

Despite several charges of sexual assault and rape and instances of anti-Semitism the Big Three reporters have completely ignored these incidents. Not only did NBC’s Today show omit the ugly instances, but on their October 21 show, they actually preached that parents should use the OWS protest as a teachable moment for kids.

Not a single anchor or reporter brought up the anti-Semitic rants found at some of the rallies, like this one caught by MRC-TV cameras on October 21: “The Jews commit more white collar crime than any other ethnic group on the earth, and they go unprosecuted because they can buy their way out of it.... Whenever there’s a billion dollar fraud, there’s a Jew involved.”

So, while the Tea Party is given all kinds of bad labels without any evidential support, Generation Brats of Occupy (whatever) get their racism and violence covered over.

And who says the media isn't biased?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

not in the Bible

The prayer of a human being can alter history by releasing legions of angels into the earth. If we really grasped this truth, we would pray with intensity, and we would pray constantly.
John Dawson. Taking Our Cities For God - Rev (Kindle Locations 1022-1023). Kindle Edition.

As someone who used to be in YWAM, reading this book, or maybe re-reading it after several years, was rather eye-opening, and not in a way that I fear YWAM would consider good.

For example, take that statement. Keep in mind, Dawson is one of the biggest of YWAM's bigwigs, a wig with big hair, if you would. He is a former president of the entire organization.

But this book of his, Taking Our Cities For God, is chock-full of statements that are, simply, bad. Like the one quoted here.

I simply can't think of any place in the Bible where we are taught that when we pray we are "releasing legions of angels into the earth". If I were to play word games, I would find his use of the word "legion" here more than a little suspect, because of it having been the name the spirit in the demoniac gave to Jesus right before he cast them into the herd of swine.

And Dawson gives no scriptural support for his assertions here.

In the years since leaving YWAM, there have been times I've wondered if I were right to have left. Most of those times of doubts had to do with difficult times I've had since then, when things haven't worked as I would have liked. But there are things I've heard or read concerning the organization that help to convince me that I should have left. Things like reading Dawson's book are among those things. There is no truth in his statement that we should grasp. To pray for the reason of supposedly releasing angels into the earth is not something Scripture tells us to do.

In what we call the Lord's Prayer, for example, there is a distinct lack of mention of angels being released. When Jesus was praying for his disciples just before He was crucified, He makes no mention of wanting angels to be released. The closest He comes to such an idea is when He on trial, and tells them that He could command thousands of angels to come and free Him. And the epistles are silent concerning this supposed reason to pray, too.

Again, there is no truth in Dawson's statement that we must "really grasp"; rather, it is at best a made-up idea that we must cast aside and reject.

Friday, November 4, 2011

generation brats plays dirty

And I'm not referring to them not wanting their places of (often illegal) occupation cleaned.

Occupiers Attack Police with High-Tech Intimidation

Meanwhile, in Occupying events around the United States, police are mocked, screamed at, spat upon, confronted, pushed, knocked off motorcycles and loads more. New York confrontations resulted in hundreds of protesters arrested. While Occupiers attacked Oakland police with everything from “eggs” and “paint” to “feces” and “M-80” firecrackers, the bigger threat is a new tactic called “doxing.” It’s part of the culture that comes from hacker group Anonymous, which is one of the major organizers of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Doxing is a hacker tactic designed to dig up the public, and often not-so-public, information on an individual. “The time has come to retaliate against Oakland police via all non-violent means, beginning with doxing (releasing of documents and data) of individual officers and particularly higher-ups involved in the department's conduct of late,” reported CNET on an Occupy Wall Street statement.

So, attacking police officers by releasing information about officers and their families is "non-violent"? Putting their private information out there, I would guess things like credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, their home address and phone numbers, is a "non-violent means"?

Apparently, women are entitled to the kind of privacy rights the allows them to kill their unborn children, but police officers who dare to keep the public peace against the obvious shenanigans of Generation Brats don't have any such rights.


But, wait, it's not just the Occupiers who are getting into this act.

Larry O'Donnell Calls for Occupy D.C. to Bring 'Firestorm' to Nat'l Restaurant Association's HQ

Did MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ignore President Obama's previous calls for civility? The late-night host, in a five-minute Thursday night tirade, called for violence by specifically telling Occupy D.C. protesters to bring a "firestorm" to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) headquarters nearby, as well as to the NRA's corporate sponsors which include Starbucks and 7-11.

O'Donnell insisted that the organization release presidential candidate Herman Cain's accuser from her confidentiality agreement and let her bring the allegations against Cain to the public. If by Friday they still refused to do so, "then a firestorm should be visited upon the 1200 17th Street Northwest and the members of the National Restaurant Association," ranted O'Donnell.

This is fear and intimidation, the use of threats, and it is violence. Every day brings more and more to light the lies these "non-violent" types hide behind.

sojo does not approve!

Which is another good reason to support Samaritan's Purse.

Operation Christmas Child: Doing Good Isn’t Always Doing Best

Oh, why is giving a child a Christmas toy so horrible???

Exporting cheap consumerism, for instance. One of the reasons that Operation Christmas Child is so popular surely must be that we Americans (and Westerners, in general) love to shop. We associate Christmas with giving presents — lots of presents — to our children, so we fill those shoe boxes with lots of stuff, most of it purchased at big box, discount stores. That means it’s cheap stuff — cheaply made, but costly in countless hidden ways. Plastics won’t disintegrate for millenia; trinkets and kitch we wouldn’t give our own children that are, perhaps, even made by children working in unsafe conditions in the developing world.

Oh, dear, you mean we actually buy things that people have already made? Horrors!!! How dare you buy toys at "big box, discount stores"? Don't you know Satan shops at Wal-Mart?

Samaritan’s Purse CEO Franklin Graham draws a full-time salary from the organization while also receiving a full-time salary from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Two full-time jobs? Leading two organizations with hundreds of employees and multi-million dollar budgets? (Graham’s reported SP salary in 2010 was upwards of $530,000 — a handsome “purse” indeed — and the organization has more than 1,700 paid employees.

Yes, but did his organizations receive support for those evil Koch brothers? If Soros had supported him, would Sojo be so up-in-arms?

Or, is this just convienent class-warfare rhetoric?

Questions also have been raised about the proselytizing impulse of Samaritan’s Purse. It is an “evangelism organization,” after all, but it’s also a tax-exempt non-profit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

But here’s the theological question: Should the shoe boxes be a means for making Christian converts (as Graham pretty much says they are) or ought they be gifts-in-themselves, unattached to any other agenda?

Ahhh...I'm betting we're getting to one of the things that really offends the Sojrones (though not to deny the offense caused by economy-assisting buying)--Samaritan's Purse and OCC are about actually helping kids and families experience Christian charity in the hope that they will be open to learning about Christ and come to repentence and faith in Him.

How awful!!! How not-PC!!! How not-extreme-ecumenical!!! How dare you Christians try to tell a Muslim child that Islam is evil, that salvation is found only through Jesus Christ!!! How dare you care about the eternal soul of that little child while also giving him or her a toy that they can play with in the here and now, too, or clothes he or she needs, !!!

Makes me want to go out to Wal-Mart, buy some things kids would like or need, and pack them in a shoebox for them. Sounds a lot more charitable than engaging the Occupy Wherever shenanigans.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

there's a road rage devil?

One brother told the story of his recent confrontation with a motorist. He had almost come to blows with the other driver when he remembered who he was-a pastor representing Christ. "I almost allowed myself to be overcome by the spirit of violence and lawlessness," he said during his prayer of repentance. Many present identified with his confession. As other pastors led the way to the throne of grace, a great cleansing took place that day in the life of the church. Then the pastors abandoned themselves to praise and intercession, which climaxed in a declaration of God's authority over Reno.
John Dawson. Taking Our Cities For God - Rev (Kindle Locations 563-567). Kindle Edition.

In context, this comes from some kind of get-together Dawson had with some pastors of churches in Reno, Nevada, in 1988, so this was a while ago.

Now, this "brother", I assume a pastor, seemed to have had a case of road rage, though I don't know if it was called that back then.

I'm going to assume something, maybe not the wisest of things to do, but in this case I think fairly safe. I'm going to assume that, on the same day that this pastor had his bout with road rage, in all the cities in all the world millions of other people had cases of road rage, too, to greater or lesser degrees, expressed in ways from honking and gestures up to actually physical blows or even worse.

Next, I'm going to go a bit out on a limb, though I think a fairly safe one. I don't think this brother, this pastor, was almost "overcome by the spirit of violence and lawlessness". I think he may have been almost overcome by his own temper, maybe in combination with other frustrations and bad things happening to him or others he knew, and if one wants to posit that he was being tempted by an evil spirit, ok, fine.

As well, I don't think the fact that he was in Reno had much of anything to do with it. If he had been in, say, Helena, or Bangkok, and had suffered a similar situation, likely he would have had to fight his temper then, too. Being frustrated with other drivers is a pretty universal experience among drivers in cities all over the world.

I simply can't buy that this man's temper was the fault of anyone other than himself, let alone supposed evil spirits that somehow have some kind of special control of Reno.