"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Word of Caution from the Prince of Preachers

"Watch and pray, as a Christian church, each one of you as members of it, that we may not be allowed to flatter ourselves with a nominal increase, unless it be a real increase from God, for ‘what is the chaff to the wheat?’ Suppose the report should be that there are so many added to the church, but suppose that they are not added to the Lord now, nor found in Christ hereafter? We have done these people serious damage by, as it were, endorsing their pretensions to Christianity when they have no real claim to it. We may have helped their delusion, we may have rocked the cradle of delusive slumber into which they have fallen, and out of which they will never wake until they open their eyes in hell. ‘What is the chaff to the wheat?’ I wish that such a text as this would go whistling through some of the churches! I would like to hear of its being preached from every pulpit in London, and I would pray the Holy Spirit to apply it to the conscience of every hearer. Your admission into the church by infant sprinkling, or by confirmation, or by the right hand of fellowship, or by believers’ immersion, all go for nothing unless you have been admitted into union with Christ. Your sitting at the Lord’s table; coming often to holy communion; being found regularly occupying your place in public worship; joining in the solemn hymn; bending with others in earnest prayers—these things are all nothing, and less than nothing and mockery, unless your heart has been renewed. Unless you have the Spirit of Christ you are none of his. ‘Ye must be born again.’"

C.H. Spurgeon
January 17, 1867, Sermon No. 862

116 comments:

Steve said...

There is really no clearer way to say it, is there? From a man I hope to meet above.

Wade Burleson said...

The thing I love about Spurgeon is that he drew pictures with his words. To listen to (or read) his messages is like viewing pictoral slides.

One of my favorite messages is one he preached entitled "The City of Refuge" where he vividly portrayed the sinner running to the city for safety. It seemed, at least to me, like watching a verbal movie.

Wade

Christiane said...

Wade, thank you for this post.
It resonates with something I hold dear in my own beliefs:

LOOK UPON HIM WHOM OUR SINS HAVE PIERCED
Reflections on ‘renatus, rebirth’, a ‘change of heart’

The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:


Zechariah 12:10 "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him
like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

St. John 19:37
“And again another passage says: "They will look upon him whom they have pierced." ‘

“Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: "Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored.”

The early Church Fathers wrote that this conversion of the heart is accompanied by a healing pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).

I have heard my Protestant friends speak of this as ‘being under conviction’.
And, when the healing is complete, and one is ‘reborn’ by the grace of God, there comes peace...

Be peaceful,
L's

Bob Cleveland said...

Good post. And it seems to me that one of the surest evidences that this caution has not been heeded, is the staggering number of SBC churchmembers that have joined on our terms, been baptized our way, have faded away, and are no longer connected in any way. Save on some piece of our paper.

I have been working on a blog post about this for two weeks; it'll be up later today.

Gene S said...

Spurgeon is on dangerous ground when he reminds people, it's not right words, but right living which draws a smile from God!

My dad used to say, "It's not how high you jump, it's how straight you walk when you hit the ground!"

He got fired once for saying and living it. I got fired twice. We both moved to more significant places of service than the pulpit of a local church--if it requires telling people only what they want to hear. Too many do.

HOWEVER, there are preachers blessed with sincere believers who allow them to praise what is praisworthy--and challenge what is just a "glorified social club." I just wish I had met them.

Instead, God led us both to the tough ones needing straight talk irregardless of the consequences.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I am in favor of throwing out the so called "sinner's prayer."

Instead, ramping up our teachings on Forgiveness, Repentance, Confession, and nature of the Covenant Community. All of this being "in Christ."

Then when a disciple comes TO the church asking to receive baptism and communion, the evidence and fruit are like a spring that cannot be stopped from flowing.

K

Christiane said...

Kevin, wait !
What is this 'sinner's prayer' you speak of?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

L's,

It is a protestant invention whereby a certain, specific, albeit varied "First" prayer by the sinner excites God to regenerate the heart.

Though I DO think we need to actualize the effects of the Holy Spirit on our hearts through prayers of confession, seeking forgiveness and repentance. Such prayers can be prayers of committing one's life to Christ, or seeking a new holy devotion to the one and only God Jesus Christ who saves sinners.

Christiane said...

KEVIN,

is the sinner's prayer like this one:

“ Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, Υιέ του Θεού, ελέησόν με τον αμαρτωλόν. ”

“ Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. ”

If it is, this prayer, often called the 'Jesus Prayer' is an ancient prayer of the Church. It is prayed more by the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Rite Catholics than in the West, but it is a part of the Christian heritage of ancient times.

This prayer, prayed in silence and in stillness, is known to bring peace.

Kevin, you don't want to throw out what keeps some people close to the Lord and brings them peace.

Is your 'sinner's prayer' the same as the ancient 'Jesus Prayer' of the Church?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

no

Christiane said...

KEVIN, one last thought:

The 'sinner's prayer' has a short form: the acronym
"Iesous Christos Theou Uiou Soter – which translated means Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

You may know it as
the 'ichthus' symbol: the fish,
which was used by those who were taught directly by the Apostles of the Early Church. We don't want to abandon the Jesus Prayer, because it unites us together with those first Christians in the Body of Christ.
" "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
is as meaningful today as it was in the first century. And we need it just as much as they did, maybe more.
Love, L's

Christiane said...

So the sinner's prayer you speak of is not the same.
I was hoping that it was.
Love, L's

B Nettles said...

Gene said Spurgeon is on dangerous ground when he reminds people, it's not right words, but right living which draws a smile from God!

My dad used to say, "It's not how high you jump, it's how straight you walk when you hit the ground!"


I don't think this reflects Spurgeon's intent at all. What he's saying is that just because you behave a certain way doesn't make you a child of God. You must belong to Christ.

In other words, it's possible for a lost person to imitate the lifestyle of a believer. It is most unlikely (although God should be the judge of it) that a believer in Christ will consciously imitate the lifestyle of an unbeliever. Bottom line: right practice and right living does NOT make one a child of God through Christ.

RRR said...

Kevin is right on about the abuse of our using "the sinner's prayer" as the means for someone feeling they have done what is necessary to acquire eternal security.

A number of our SB witnessing programs used in evangelism training of church members use this approach which relies on the person praying this prayer in order to be saved. I hesitate to be critical of the training because it has benefited me in my personal witnessing, but the reliance upon the prayer to save a person is a bit over-stated.

What IS required for the person to be saved? I have struggled with how to explain this to a seeker and have concluded that to tell them that they simply need to pray this prayer does not adequately portray what God expects.

You will be stretched to find one situation in the New Testament where someone is told they have to pray a sinners-prayer in order to be saved.

I believe that even John 3:16 can easily be abused as a means of explaining what is required. I personally like Luke 9:23 better. At least it seems to clearly say that a person's life is expected to be laid on the altar as they submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

I wonder how many people are sitting in the pews, or at home, believing they have fulfilled God's requirement for salvation simply because they have mouthed this prayer as instructed by a well-meaning evangelist or witness.

Just about all Thai Baptist and other evangelical churches in Thailand require that a person who says they want to be saved and who even has prayed for salvation attend a series of sessions before being baptized. There the church leadership explains more in-depth who Jesus is and what being saved is all about before they are baptized.

Our Baptist churches in Zambia did the same thing. I guess it comes from the early missionaries being concerned that people coming from totally pagan environments not fall into the trap of syncretism.

I have some issues with having Bible study sessions as a requirement for baptism especially when it results in baptism being delayed for months following the person's making a decision to follow Christ.

But at the same time, when someone IS baptized in Thailand and Zambia you at least can feel that they understand more fully the decision that they are making.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I guess it comes from the early missionaries being concerned that people coming from totally pagan environments not fall into the trap of syncretism."


It is a good thing we do not have that problem in America. *rolls eyes*

Gene S said...

L's--

With usual simple clarity and smile you bring us to the point!

Why can't we just K.I.S.S.--Keep It Simple Stupid? The prayer you quote if that of the story Jesus told of the Publican and Sinner.

While the Publican was telling God how lucky He was to have him on his side, the Sinner was asking for mercy while kneeling and beating his chest in sorrow.

Our tendency in all the discussions is to wax theological and abstract when faith in Christ is quite simple and direct. What Jesus did always was to make complex things simple. Instead of discussing the Law and the Prophets as nauseum, he boiled it down to: "Love God and your neighbor as yourself."

Oh that, like Spurgeon, we could get people to live what they preach!

Happy New Year lovely L's!!!!!

Gene S said...

There is an important program this Sunday on ABC's Faith and Values series, but it is important about Baptist-Muslim relations.

Ethics Daily.com is the source.

Gene S said...

Romans 10:9 is the simple and perfect verse concerning finding salvation:

"Believe in your heart. . .confess with your mouth. . . you will be saved!"

It is simple and straight forward so that any child or adult can understand!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

Saddly it is verse 1-8 which really explains 9-10. For I read that verse (it its REAL context) that one can actually believe and confess, not having really known the righteousness of God. Believe in Him? Which Him? Jesus? Which Jesus? What about Jesus? What does it mean to confess? What if my mouth does not work?

All I am saying is it is not so easy. It is down right complex. You call it splitting hairs. I call it wanting to NOT be "ignorant of the rightousness of God."

We cannot teach the imparative without the indicative. Chapter 10 of Romans is such a great proof of that.

K

Bob Cleveland said...

There's a whole lot more to "confess with your mouth, Jesus as Lord.." than meets the eye.

Christiane said...

I think Bob is right.

In the first century, to confess Christ was to put oneself in great danger. There is even commentary in the Gospel of St. Matthew about this (Chapt. 10).

It tells this:
Do not be afraid, you will given the words to say at the time by the Holy Spirit.

"19
When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
20
For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

For a person just to be able to do this under threat of great torment and personal destruction meant that they were already 'in Christ' and that, at the time of their peril, they were already immersed in Christ the Lord.

Bob Cleveland said...

Christiane,

It's as strong in the modern context. According to my Strong's, "confess" means to "assent, covenant, acknowledge"; "Lord" means "supreme in authority".

If Jesus is not supreme in authority in one's life, then there's no covenant .. no agreement .. that He's Lord.

Christiane said...

Bob, I agree.
But I think it was also something more:
an understanding given to them by the Holy Spirit that they could be peaceful and at holy rest, with complete child-like trust, in the arms of their 'Abba', the Father who loved them.
It is said that the Name God loves to hear most is
'Abba', who is 'Our' Father'.
And this is the way Christ has taught us to pray, that we may join Him in saying 'Our Father'.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

What ever happened to the Antioch Network of Churches? Have you had a falling out with Dwight McKissic? I never hear him brought up on your blog anymore.

Just Curious. Thanks,

K

Gene S said...

Folks--

We are waxing more than a little Gnostic here!

I don't have software so I shall type Paul's words (TEV)vv.5-9:

5 Moses wrote this about being put right with God by obeying the Law: "Whoever obeys the commands of the Law will live." 6But what the scripture says about being put right with God through FAITH is this: "You are not to ask yourself, Who will go up into heaven?" (that is, to bring Christ down). 7"Nor are you to ask, Who will go down into the world below?" (that is, to bring Christ up from death). 8What it says is this: "God's message is near you, that is, the message of faith that we preach.

I fail to see in any of this a prerequisite theological affirmation beyond FAITH. For Paul, he knew all the stuff one could AND prided himself in his knowledge--he was a brainiac with a mean streak full of judgementalism against those who accepted Jesus as the Messiah / Christ.

When God struck him blind on the Damascas road, it was like a blow to his solar plexis going directly to his hard headed and arrogant brain. He went to his knees and had to deal with blindness for several days--there were no distractions for his smart brain during that time.

Let's admit we tend to braniaks on this blog and sometimes make simple things too complex. No matter how you parse Greek or Hebrew / no matter how many .25 theological words and notions you "know" / no matter how some might want to put me down to prove they are right-----

The core of Salvation is contained in Romans 10:9. For me, that is enough. God knows whether our faith in Christ is real or not--no other words needed when it is a matter of the heart. Whatever point Calvin you are means NOTHING!

God sees what we say and do afterward trusting in FAITH, and will judge us accordingly---with the Grace of Christ giving us humans a chance of Eternal Glory. None of us can earn it nor think it into existence!

You will please note all that preceeded 10:9 had to do with knowing the law, etc. Paul says that is pointless compared to believing!

True belief really has no words associated with it. It is a sense of trust and faith which gives us a "peace that passes understanding" and a "love and forgiveness of one another." These are the Fruits of the Spirit plus more.

Think of being a new believer as just like being born a baby: naked, squalling, ready to use your 2 excrement points outside of the womb. It is cold / bright with light / no heart and other sounds you are used to / you have been squeezed and sometimes aspxhiated getting out---it was not a pleasant experience!

Now, you are gently placed in a warm blanket on your mother's bosom where she sings / loves / strokes / nurses / warms you.

Now you are experiencing FAITH long before you have a clue what words to use! This is what I believe Paul is trying to say as simply as possible in Romans 10:9--until we want to add word clutter AND the debate goes on!

Faith is a VERB as well as a noun. Above I see you using it as a Noun. I use it most simply as a VERB with no need to theologize further.

The choice is yours and I will be OK wherever you land, just don't force me to go there!

Joe Blackmon said...
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Gene S said...

Joe--

In your usual nasty attitude, I see!

I'll not waste time or wrath on you right now. Perhaps you can have a cup of coffee--add a little booze to soften your outlook, if you are smart--then say something nice for a change.

IF THAT IS POSSIBLE!!!!

You remind me of an alligator with a tooth ache!

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene S said...

Nietche: "I will belive in your Redeemer--when I see that you are redeemed and act like it!"

Are ya listnin' Joe???

Gene S said...

Joe--

I thought you had the Lucy royalty checks. It was mean to keep pulling away the football everytime Charlie tried to trust her to be nice!!

What evil position did you play on the Seminary / School of religion intramural ball teams---and how many time did you clip or elbow you opponent?????

Christiane said...

Good Morning All,

You know, Charles Schultz, creator of 'Peanuts', was a Protestant minister. And yes, he shared about Christ through his characters. C.S. Lewis did the same in his writings, notably with the character of Aslan.
Sometimes, for the 'overly-intellectualized' and the 'overly-theologized', it is good to take a look at these writers who found a secret:
children can understand and respond to the story of God's love far more easily than we older folks. Don't discount 'Charlie Brown' and 'the gang'. The Gospel message comes through rather clearly from them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

Maybe that's why watching a play with little children as shepherds and angels at Christmas time is so moving and beautiful: the children really believe, they really understand, they really trust.

Charles Schulz was surely a great 'theologian' to have understood this.

Darby Livingston said...

Gene,

I mean this in the nicest way. It is truly refreshing to see you quoting Paul's letter to describe faith when you could have quoted Jesus in the gospels, "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me'" (Mark 8:34).

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Oops.
Correction. Robert Short was the Presbyterian minister who wrote about Charles Schultz's work.

Former FBC Insider said...

"The thing I love about Spurgeon is that he drew pictures with his words. To listen to (or read) his messages is like viewing pictoral slides."

Brother Wade, you do that for me.
I thank you for the many pictoral slides in the faith. Your heart is easy to see when hearing you speak or reading your words. Your messages are as clear as glass.

Gene S said...

Darby--

No fancy theology or discourse involved with Jesus either.

You remember the Bonhoeffer book, "The Cost of Discipleship." It says it all in clearcut terms, and one can't help but wonder how many in this day and age know anything about paying a price for integrity.

Cheap Grace was a term coined by Bonhoeffer to those like Joe who only want to beat and abuse rather than serve their fellow man.

I pray he will learn to be niecer in days ahead. If only all of us could be as gracious as L's. She is becoming my hero---after taking care of the moneychangers on the Temple steps!

They don't seem to understand the kindness of foot washing with the towel so the other side of Jesus must be employed---with regret.

Gene S said...

The creator of B.C. was another cartoonist who said more with the stroke of a pen and word baloon than many preachers say in a lifetime.

Thank God for people WITHOUT Theological degrees, much like the Disciples!

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin Crowder,

My esteem for Pastor Dwight McKissic is higher than it has ever been. He is a wonderful man of God and probably one of the finest orators I will ever hear in my life.

I'm not sure about the Antioch Network of churches, but I do know by the very definition "network" that if it happens, it happens--and if not, it's only a "network" not a convention, so there's nothing to "break up."

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

You wrote to Gene:

As I'd said before, the fact that you are permitted to draw your next breath absolutely astounds me.

I'm not sure what concerns me most, the fact that you said it, or the fact you've repeated it.

Wade Burleson said...

Former FBC Insider,

Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

Wade

Lydia said...

"Cheap Grace was a term coined by Bonhoeffer to those like Joe who only want to beat and abuse rather than serve their fellow man."


Gene, keep in mind that Bonoeffer did not need to suffer at all. He simply could have ignored truths around him and, like many today, say that all roads lead to Jesus..whether through National Socialism or Mormonisn or whatever, etc.

THAT is Cheap Grace.

After all, the Nazi's claimed to be Christians. And I thought we were supposed to believe anyone who claims they are Christians?

Darby Livingston said...

"After all, the Nazi's claimed to be Christians. And I thought we were supposed to believe anyone who claims they are Christians?"

A little off. You have to believe anyone who claims to be repentant Christians.

Lydia said...

"After all, the Nazi's claimed to be Christians. And I thought we were supposed to believe anyone who claims they are Christians?"

A little off. You have to believe anyone who claims to be repentant Christians.

Sat Jan 09, 06:49:00 PM 2010

Not really. We have many on this blog who think Mormons are Christians because they claim to be Christian. Some of us were seriously chastized for attempting to point out that based on what Mormons believe about Christ they cannot be Christians.

Gene S said...

I have always been amazed that a country which usually is 10 years ahead of American Theologians could suck up to the horrors of Nazi atrocities--and say virtually NOTHING.

The answer lies in how a Gnostic approach to the faith can totally delude people into serving Satan rather than God. The mind is a strange thing: given enough time and belly-button-gazing most of us can turn black into white and right into wrong!

Us Southern Baptists did it with race--and still do. How many "Christian Schools" do you know which are for "white Christians only?"

I chased Hurricane Katrina to Mobile, ALA. There, I witnessed with my own eyes, a society which is still 20 years behind the rest of the Southeast in race relations. They have so many churches from Catholic to Baptist and all in between--so greatly attended that traffic cops direct the busy intersections. Our 2 Mega churches, Cottage Hill and Dophin Way, reside there.

Beneath that lovely exterior of civility and churchianity resides a totally corrupt Law Enforcement and business dealings. I was told that most businessmen who have had any differences with another businessman end up in jail sooner or later.

I spent 10 days in their jailhouse because a customer owed me $2,000. They have a clearly written ordinance entitled, "Theft of Services," which makes such activities by a customer against a Contractor a Felony offence. I went to the authorities asking for enforcement. The next day I was arrested for "Trespass" on the customer's property although I was on a clearly flagged highway right of way.

It cost me 10 days in jail when I was grossing $2,000 per day with my big Bobcat getting debris to the street for FEMA to pick up. When I got out I had no motel room and they put me out at 8:00 at night with not one cent in my pocket because they had confiscated my cash, along with my cell phone and contract book with names and numbers of any customers I knew--as well as a few local friends.

I went to the newspaper and they could care less. I filed a formal complaint with the FBI for violation of my Civil Rights--they would do nothing!

You may think Nazi Germany is long ago and far away, but I have the jailhouse memories of being behind bars with better citizens than those enforcing the law in a town which looks good on the outside, but is grossly corrupt beneath the surface. They had a pretty Bowl game there last week.

I have told you more than you asked or commented, but it is the honest-to-God truth. It took them 2 years to refund the $100 owed me from my bail vs. what they charged me for fake trespassing--NO INTEREST!

Could this be a picture of what has happened in the last 3 years as bailouts went to corporate chiefs / financial industry tax money did not reduce interest rates we pay / houses are foreclosed every day / etc. / etc. / etc.???

Joe may love it I got arrested and say it proves how crooked I am. I just now know what the followers of Christ endured as they stood for truth and lived a good and caring life!

Sometimes the "Cost of Discipleship" is more real than you can imagine. It could be the only true test of authentic faith!

RRR said...
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Gene S said...

The situation in Nazi Germany was in 1930-1945.

The situation in Mobile, ALA, is now! In the super religious USA!

RRR said...

Thanks, Gene. I understood after I re-read your comment.

You mentioned that you couldn't understand how such a religious country as Germany "could suck up to the horrors of Nazi atrocities--and say virtually NOTHING." then facetiously made reference to our "super religious" USA.

I too think of the similarities when I consider the indifference our super-religious USA has toward abortions. That causes me to feel a bit self-righteous when judging citizens in Nazi Germany so harshly. There's too much silence in our pulpits concerning this travesty too.

Christiane said...
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Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene S said...

RRR--

Abortion is a totally different issue in a totally different way so as to have little relationship to what went on under Nazi Germany.

There, they were almost forcing women to bear children to increase the number of "untermenchen (super race)." The abortions were done against "inferior" women as medical experiments using humans.

You should read some of the literature regarding human experiment, genocide, atrocities done against children of Gypsy/Jewish descent. It boggles the mind that no one seemed to have a conscience in it all.

Corrie ten Boom is one who kept her faith as did Schindler (Schindler's List). Bonhoeffer confessed to not saying anything early on and when they came for him, there was no one left to say anything for him.

On the other hand, brave and quiet Christians everywhere hid Jews and used the underground system to spirit them out of Germany. They told their story in America and no one believed them--or chose to turn their head claiming it was none of our business.

It seems only when money and business are involved do we get a conscience. If we used our agricultural skills along with war money to address the health and food needs of the world, it could be a much better place.

Anyone wanting to find out what war money could do if humanitarian efforts were in the place of war expenditure should check out:

Costofwar.com

I will give the exact web site so you can ask the question: "Is our tax money being used to spread a caring approach to our religion or to destroy a Muslim culture?

Do we, in reality, have the Crusades going once again?

I have YET TO MEET a woman admitting to having an abortion who is not suffering terrible pangs of guilt over it.

Gene S said...

http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home

To date: $952.5 Billion spent on war since 1991!

And we have a Recession / Depression we can't seem to get out of for 3 years now!

Is there any Christian value here?

Would Spurgeon have anything to say about this?

It appears to be a disconnect between our profession of belief in the Prince of Peace vs. our God of War and Destruction.

Gene S said...

While we are on the spoken word, this might lighten our mood--by the way, while in England I discovered the origin of our good Southern accents: chewing tobacco!

Notice that a crisp British accent is tongue against front teeth. Southern is back of throat located. Now, imagine those early settlers from the mother country being introduced to good chewing tobacco in the new world. Yo caint talk and chaw in da same space!!!

Now our lesson in language:

Hickphonics

Southern slang, or "Hickphonics," as a language to be taught in all Southern schools.
Here are excerpts from the Hickphonics/English dictionary:

HEIDI - noun. Greeting.
HIRE YEW - Complete sentence. Remainder of greeting. Usage: "Heidi. Hire yew."
BARD - verb. Past tense of the infinitive "to borrow."
Usage: "My brother bard my pickup truck."
JAWJUH - noun. A state just north of Florida. Capital is Hot-lanta. Usage: "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck."
MUNTS - noun. A calendar division. Usage: "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I ain't herd from him in munts."
FAR - noun. A conflagration. Usage: "If my brother from Jawjuh don't change the all in my pickup truck, that things gonna catch far."
BAHS - noun. A supervisor. Usage: "If you don't stop reading these Southern words and git back to work, your bahs is gonna far you!"
TIRE - noun. A tall monument. Usage: "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I sure do hope to see that Eiffel Tire in Paris sometime."
RETARD - Verb. To stop working. Usage: "My grampaw retard at age 65."
TARRED - adverb. Exhausted. Usage: "I just flew in from Hot-lanta, and boy my arms are tarred."
ARE - pronoun. Possessive case of we used as a predicate adjective.
RATS - noun. Entitled power or privilege. Usage: "We Southerners are willin' to fat for are rats."
FARN - adjective. Not local. Usage: "I cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed ... must be from some farn country."
DID - adjective. Not alive. Usage: "He's did, Jim."
EAR - noun. A colorless, odorless gas (unless you are in LA). Usage: "He cain't breathe ... give 'im some ear!"
BOB WAR - noun. A sharp, twisted cable. Usage: "Boy, stay away from that bob war fence."
JEW HERE - Noun and verb contraction. Usage: "Jew here that my brother from Jawjuh got a job with that bob war fence cump'ny?"
HAZE - a contraction. Usage: "Is Bubba smart?" "Nah ... haze ignert."
SEED - verb, past tense.
GUMMIT - Noun. A bureaucratic institution. Usage: "Them gummit boys shore are ignert."

Gene S said...

Relevence????

Spurgeon spoke the King's English in London---we adapted it a little in the Colonies.

A little lesson in language change of the KJV "Inerrant" Bible!

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade:

I am downloading your sermons to listen on my ipod. Sorry for pointing out any errors.

In Sermon 18 of Love Never Fails, the MP3 appears to be of Sermon 17.

Thanks for your help in correcting the earlier missing MP3.

Wade Burleson said...

No apology needed!

We are changing things as you point them out!

Thanks a million!

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Why don't you thank me for pointing out your occasional error? :))

Christiane said...

Dear Wade,

Your sermon was a revelation. Thank God for Jeremiah and Sarah.
Their work bears the mark of Christ's love for 'those who have no one to watch over or assist them'.
That kind of mercy towards the poor is 'twice-blessed', blessing both the poor; and blessing those who care for them with humility and peace. Christ waits for us among the poor, and sits with those 'outside the gate'. If we want to know Him, we must know them also, and they, us. Like the poor knowing the names of Jeremiah and Sarah down at 'skid row'. What a testimony of the Gospel of the Lord.

As a leader of my Church once wrote:
"Rather than turning in on ourselves, we must continue to be beacons of hope, strength and support for others;
MOST ESPECIALLY those who have no one to watch over or assist them."

We were all once homeless, and Christ the Lord came to be 'the shelter of our souls'.
He asks us to love others as He has loved us. Sarah and Jeremiah have heard the cry of the poor.
Thanks be to God.

Caritas Christi

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Christiane,

I think the work of Jeremiah and Sarah will be phenominal in our community. Sarah is also quite the violinist! They both are a great addition to our church. Glad you enjoyed the service.

Wade

Debbie Kaufman said...

I disagree and in fact despise the term "cheap grace." There can be no such thing. If we love people, are kind in spite of what is done to us, even giving someone the benefit of the doubt on being a Christian, that is not cheap grace. That is Grace. I received it from God when I deserved it the least. I was unkind, judgmental, thinking right doctrine was more important than treating someone with dignity and kindness. Yet, God did those very same things for me. Cheap? Hardly. It cost a great price. God's only Son. But only temporarily. He lives today. He reigns. I would rather be accused of giving cheap grace than of being unkind, cursing someone even to death, or crushing someone in the name of God. That isn't even grace. It's wrong and it's just an excuse to be cruel.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."

~ Dietrich Bonheoffer


This has to be my favorite quote of all time. Gene, while I think your assessment might be right in part, I think DB had a wider view in mind here. I think he had in mind anyone, or any institution, or any teaching which did not fully and completely recognize the divine responsibility of the Body of Christ in the Salvation of Souls. Now that of course does not sound very Calvinistic of me, but then do not read past the word "divine." God uses the Body to bring grace to the Body. To build up the Body. Yet we fail at that sometimes. Cavalier Christians convey Cheap Grace.

I have been reading some about Calvary Baptist in Washington D.C. Interesting story about the history of this church and how a few years ago it nearly folded. But a new their new pastor (a lady) came in with a mission and is turning the church around. But she is using cheap grace. Her flock has turned to serving communion at the D.C. Gay Pride festival. Her flock did an 11 million dollar renovation on the historic building only to rent most of the space out to liberal D.C. non-profits whose missions are anything but Baptist. Much less even Christian.

Now I am all for forging relationships with the world in order to share with them the Gospel. But this takes the cake. To defile the place where the Spirit is called down in weekly worship. The good Rev. Dr. Amy needs to realize that she is indeed still shackled to the golden priestly chain...sadly for her, the Lord will at the consummation of the age, pull her out by that chain and judge her offering.

That church, though ABC-USA/CBF, is a testament to the purpose and need of the CR.

Btw, stories have it that she in fact used what some might call "CR Tactics" to get her way in this historic D.C. church. She fired anyone who got in her way.


K

Joe Blackmon said...
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Joe Blackmon said...
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Gene S said...

Joe--

I want to congratulate you on a more civil approach to the discussion---for the moment.

Just keep it up and I will like you better!


Kevin--

I take Bonhoeffer's Cheap Grace in the context of his time. I believe it refers mostly to those in Germany who went about their religious Christian activities without having the guts to stand up to the Nazi cruelty to Jews / Gypsies / mentally defectives / homosexuals.

It is one thing not to like people, but extermination and cuelty in concentration camps is hardly one of God's plans for mankind. It is, in many way, what we did to prisoners at Guantanamo with no respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention which we clearly signed.

Would "Cheap Grace" be something to be applied to the Religious Right and George Bush's Administration which touted its religiosity????

As to FBC, Washington, DC, I have a much kinder view of the lady pastor's activities and ability to motivate people to come once again. Women Pastors seem to have a more compassionate heart than us men along with an ability to show more caring than dictating.

CR might be doing better IF it had more consistency and an ability to utter the word, AUTONOMY.

Joe Blackmon said...
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Gene S said...

Joe--

You're getting angry agin---and that is when you make a fool of yourself with extreme positions which deny reality at Guantanamo.

"Club Gitmo" is still being investigated and there are lots of backlands around it where bodies could be buried. It isn't over yet and we may all be more ashamed, the more we know.

Club Gitmo--is that short for Club Hell?????

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

Certainly we want to take DB in the context of his time. But that quote and indeed the entire concept is not a political statement, it is an ecclesiastical statement.

Nor would I apply the term to President Bush for his purpose was not the salvation of souls. Is he a good Christian? I am not sure I am qualified to say. He is a Methodist right? The UMC is the exemplification of "Cheap Grace." (Though I have many Methodist friends, including two very conservative UMC ministers who would quite fall into this.)

Now, for the record, there are other forms of cheap grace.

1. Giving to LM w/o praying or going.
2. Pastors who preach a good sermon yet never share their faith.
3. SS teachers who do all their prep on Sat. night w/o prayer or pupil contact .


Finally Gene, I want to make clear that I was speaking of Calvary Baptist Church in D.C. I know nothing of FBC. Also, I am not taking any cheap shots at her pastoral, leadership, and preaching abilities. Except to say I think she is seriously off base in her theology and understanding of the purpose of the church. Looks good to liberals, she is growing her church, but with cheap grace.

K

Christiane said...
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Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

THE CHEAPEST 'GRACE' OF ALL:

The 'Family' or the 'Fellowship', that secretive organization has hid much from it's 'lesser' members:

1. If a member is one of 'the New Chosen', they are not accountable to God for their morality, like 'lesser men'.

2. This freedom from accountability for moral actions is because the 'New Chosen' consider themselves chosen by God and are not held accountable by ususal moral constraints of those who are not of their leadership.

3. They are not tied to one political party exclusively: they primarily preach that the Christian Gospel is not for doing what would remove injustices from 'the poor'; but quite the opposite: it is for the benefit of the 'up and uppers'.

4. The Family works on the principle that secrecy will strengthen their power.

"Some hypocrisy surfaces in the fact that the 'Family'-associated members of our Congress that had extra-marital affairs were zealous advocates of family values, integrity and fidelity.

The Family comes to bear on the issue in that they have been quoted as advocating that “Morality” does not apply to them, and is a fabrication for use in regard to we who are “less than” and not they who are chosen by God. I find it somewhat frightening that elected leaders are involved with something like this organization. There are even implications by the wife of one of the cheating Congressmen, in her divorce suit, that some of the infidelity actually took place at the C Street complex. This further implicates that the members of The Family really do not consider morality to be any kind of requirement in their daily lives or general philosophy. Sadly, if true, this is taking place in a building that has referenced itself as being a Church or Christian Fellowship!"

Have you been taught that Christ is the supreme advocate of totally unrestricted capitalism and free-market trade ?
Have you been taught that doing what is right in removing of the bonds of injustice from the oppressed is not at all the business of Christianity?
Then, your religious influences have perhaps been nourished at the stream flowing from 'the Fellowship', or as it is now known: 'The Family'.
That is their key teaching.

Gene S said...

Kevin--

Sorry for the mis-identification of the lady's church. I should have at least 2 cups of coffee before getting on the blog!

What a cheap grace means to me a la Bonhoeffer is anyone who accepts the total sacrifice of Christ and its grace without the willingness to live a life of integrity, love, and sacrifice themselves.

It is in the same category of the Rich Young Ruler who refused to lay aside what he prized most and follow Christ right now. Jesus spoke of the man who puts his hand to the plow and looks back or does not count the cost before committing to something, then turns back in fear.

In my opinion and analysis of the "W" administration, he was, first a total failure at any enterprise before winning the govenorship of Texas. He was a confirmed Alcoholic who supposedly had a spiritual experience.

I have 3 sources for my analysis:

"Worse Than Watergate" by John Dean
"W"--recent motion picture by Oliver Stone
My own looking at those 8 years

Both these sources show background material which is terribly flattering and indicated a "knee jerk reactionary" who was mostly "in it for himself" with everything. It clearly shows a propinsity for secrecy and delegation of authority mostly to his VP, Dick Cheney, who has distinguished himself as a throat-cutting winner-take-all Industrailist / Politician.

When a President authorized wiretaps / surveilence / torture in a free society using "Executive Privilege" to the max, we came as close to a dictatorship as we have in modern times. This is "cheap grace" in real life--ending meetings with a prayer which was only along the lines of "God Bless America," as if God were only on our side.

God and grace are not things at our disposal which approve everything we do. When asked, "Did you make any mistakes in your first term?" he answered with all cockyness--"NO!" Not a one of us is so perfect we make no mistakes--especially when making the calls a President makes and then watches them pan out for better or worse.

Gene S said...

(cont.)

I would call it "worse" when thousands of service people are maimed for the rest of their lives as our "hell-fire raining" modern tools of warfare send such a hail of mini-gun bullets that bodies are disintegrated--and peripheral damage destroys and maims innocent citizens creating more hatred for a "God-blessed America."

Have you seen the gun camera Apache footage as they scope out men and trucks on a bridge in Iraq? The night vision camera shows it clearly. What it also shows clearly is NOT THE FIRST WEAPON on any of those men who were blown into a pile of gooy flesh on that bridge.

I think Grace means to go slowly into any armed conflict when ben Laden was the instigator of 9/11, and not Sadam Hussain. He might have been an evil dictator, but it was Iraq's business and not ours to get rid of him.

We have played hard and fast for years since the 50's with other countries' politics. We have always had an eye to economic profit of our Capitalist society without respect to children working in factories of environmental damage when 3rd world counries clear-cut forests with no replanting. It polutes our atmosphere contributing to global warming and it comes back to haunt us as forming hurricanes go by a denuded South America and the heat from the land whips up a Katrina force hurricane. Lower Mississippi and Louisiana are now destroyed by the tidal wave Katrina swept in. I have been there and seen it with my own eyes.

Cheap Grace thinks more of self than others. It uses the name of God to bless our warmongering. It allows for total neglect to enforce Securities and Banking safeguards which led us to the current mess. It turns its head as over-paid executives who drove corporations and banks into the dirt get 4-figure bonuses again this year as we write.

Cheap Grace had as much to do with living in all the parts of life irregardless of the 25-cent theological words which some declare to be "right" and any others "wrong."

Since when have we become gods dispensing money / warfare / a welfare society into what used to be "the land of the free and home of the brave?"

Gene S said...

Joe--

There you go again--putting words into my post. I made no number estimate on bodies buried at Gitmo.

Our "magic vault" at Emory was being taught, not what to think, but how to think!

I wish you had gotten some of that wherever you went to school--if you did.

Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

JOE, with all due respect, I appreciate with all my heart that many Christian people finally align themselves against abortions as a 'solution' to an 'unwanted pregnancy'.

Problem is:
we are seeing this compassion for innocent life get chopped off cold, AFTER the infant is born, and for one primary reason:

'don't raise my taxes'

Somehow, some way, the disconnect has to be resolved, or all the compassion for the unborn by such people is questioned and is channeled into the folder of:
'anti-abortion is a good way for us politicians to get elected'.

I don't know if you get my drift here. But I'll put it out there for you to take apart.

In short: EASY to support something when it doesn't cost you anything, or when it asks for votes and promises results that never come and votes that do not ask us to make any personal sacrifices.

What is not so easy is to 'support the dignity of human life from conception until natural death', at all costs.

Think about it, Joe.
I've tried to explain this a little bit so you can at least see the thinking of many Christians you may not agree with.
Love, L's

P.S. Thank you for the e-mail address. That was very kind.
I don't do e-mailing, but I will let you know here when my dear Linds is deployed. I know you care about our deployed sons and daughters as much as I do.
Love, L's

Gene S said...

Joe--

The National Healthcare Legislation is not even through the Senate, and you are sure the abortionists have won everything??

Where's your brain, son????

Relieving the bonds of injustice is far better accomplished by Missionaries sharing the Gospel than by troopers belching fire and destruction to supposed enemies--many of whom are puppets of their dictator more than terrorists.

Many of the terrorists are simply angry people, like you, who see a distorted version of the Koran and promise of 40 Virgins in Paridise as preferable to their poverty.

Do ya think (if you can do such) part of that poverty might just be us American Corporate suppliers of Wal-Mart making sure they make no more than .25 an hour for their labor???? AND many children do such rather than get an education to keep their family from starving!

Can you conceive of Agricultural Missionaries helping them dig wells / have proper sanitation / and learn agriculture techinques so they don't continue to starve and enjoy killing to get ahead???

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Good post(s) Gene.


One thing we can all agree on is that there is a lot of cheap grace floating around out there masquerading as "in God we trust." I am certain I have or am guilty of that at times as well.

K



PS: I am reading a book called "Listening Prayer" by Dave and Linda Olson. While this book is certainly not on Monergism or Desiring God's list of recommended reading, and while your "25 cents" Gene may in fact buy you an entire chapter, this book is a remarkable account of a pastoral couple teaching their family and church flocks the power of listening to God and expecting near audible answers. I admit to a failure in listening when I pray. This book is a stretch for me, as will most of my reading be in 2010. My goal is to read books which do not fall under the classic reformed descriptions. But this book, while I may not agree completely, is stretching me in an area I think the Lord wants me to go. (Of course I did not hear Him say that literally).

:)

...but ya never know.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Can you conceive of Agricultural Missionaries helping them dig wells / have proper sanitation / and learn agriculture techinques so they don't continue to starve and enjoy killing to get ahead???"

I wish this could be a topic on Grace and Truth. Should the IMB return to piggybacking the Gospel on top of social aid like agricultural assistance?


I say this because I am in favor of it.

K

Joe Blackmon said...
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Gene S said...

Kevin--

As much as faith and the expansion of our concepts of ministry is important---right now I don't have .25 in my pocket!

Why?

Although I do supply and interim preaching, my main income is from a small business--Affordable / Professional Tree Surgeons. That business is located in Rocky Mount, NC, which got the distinction a few weeks ago of being 9 of 10 "most depressed towns in the USA" from Forbes Magazine!

I lost my house to this Recession (Depression?) a year ago in August. It was my retirement fund as well. I am making 30% of what I did 3 years ago. I have worked like a dog for 10 years to invest $250,000 in machines and equipment. Every small business suffers in the first 5 years and should finally become profitible in year 6-10. Lucky me, in year 7 here comes the crash!

I have not done a job since Thanksgiving and the one I was to do last week was postponed 2 weeks since their check did not come in. If I had a $10,000 job right now, half would be consumed with pay for workers and equipment. That $5,000 I might earn would pale to the $10-15,000 I owe right now to get tags / insurance / fees for liscensing / etc. caught up.

Those of you who earn your income from a church, have no clue as to what the typical small businessman is facing now and for the last 3 years. Every time I hear a Preacher crying to struggling church members with a 30-60% of income 3 years ago---it falls on deaf ears for me. My tithe of NOTHING is NOTHING.

I know, first hand, what Job experienced and it is not any fun for any of us living in the real world!

Gene S said...

Joe--

You are not only hard-headed, but hard-hearted as well.

How much of your Accountants income did you share with the really needy last year?

In accounting, you cannot deny the severe state of business depression is in effect right now.

All I hear in your comment is: "Go down the street to the appropriate agency for help!"

Have you helped anyone lately from your own pocket?????

This will be your measure of what Spurgeon was trying to say along with whether you practice "cheap grace."

Gene S said...

By the way, Joe, I totally agree with you assessment of public help to able bodied people who won't work or illegal aliens who probably don't pay taxes for the free services they get from the taxpayers of Nash County, NC.

Can you believe that!!!!!!

Former FBC Insider said...

Gene S,
You might find the comments on this blog on "Undesignated Tithing" pretty interesting:

http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2010/01/10undesignatedno-exceptions.html

Christiane said...

JOE,

Can it be that the degree of responsility in the parents of a child should be the criteria by which our country's children are nourished and sheltered ?

Must the sins of the irresponsible be then visited on their innocent children while we watch as a nation ?

Former FBC Insider said...

Thy Peace,
A little help with the link please?

Thanks!

Former FBC Insider said...
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Gene S said...

FBC Jacksonville blog said:

"10 percent to the budget of your church in an undesignated fashion, no exceptions."

That is Steve Gaines' definition of what it means to storehouse tithe. He speaks with authority, as one who knows the scripture, and is telling his people exactly what God expects. He clearly explains that all of your 10% must come to the church, not to any other Christian organizations or charities. ALL TO YOUR CHURCH. And you can't give to any other causes until you have first met the 10% tithe to the church.

God wants 10%. And God wants it now. And he wants it undesignated. And God allows no exceptions. None. So says Steve Gaines.


I am "impressed" by his fine silk tie and custom fitted suit. His smile seems genuine, but his eyes flutter just like Charles Stanley--detectives call this a "prevarication sign."

I am a trained counselor who learned early on to watch whether a client looks you straight in the eye. A wonderful black lady in Hartsville, SC, with no training or education cautioned, "Mr. Scarbur--you gotta watch for people with dancy eyes--they be crazy!"

How much has he personally given to the poor. Does he pay for the telecast? Does he pay for office supplies, staff, and equipment as do I? What does his office look like and what kind of car does he drive? Does he fly "first class" or "coach" when he goes to his far-flung revival and speaking opportunitite (I'm sure for no honorarium--not).

Somehow, I don't think I will give any to him. If he wants to help me in this real world of starvation, I will gladly provide my home address. My affluent church finally, after a year, sent $500, but I bet it was an individual giving through the church because my thank you note never got printed in the bulletin lest there be more requests or questions as to why they weren't helped in the 9th most depressed economic town in America!

Former FBC Insider said...

and AMEN.

Thy Peace said...

Link help for Former FBC Insider:

FBC Jax Watchdog > "10%....Undesignated...No Exceptions".

Lydia said...

Must the sins of the irresponsible be then visited on their innocent children while we watch as a nation ?

Mon Jan 11, 01:56:00 PM 2010

Does it make sense to keep giving the money to irresponsible parents? Doesn't that perpetuate the problem?

Don't the children deserve better?

Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

"Does it make sense to keep giving the money to irresponsible parents? Doesn't that perpetuate the problem?"

Right now, for many children, the source of two meals a day and the primary source of health care is:

their school cafeteria
and their school nurse

Many have never seen a dentist.

My team taught six graders who had to have specific immunization shot updates prior to entering sixth in September. Sometimes the parents delayed getting these 'free shots' given at a clinic for over a month.

Lydia, I know about irresponsible parents. You are preaching to the choir.

Love, L's

Lydia said...

Thanks for not answering my question. :o) I am used to it.

Lydia said...

BTW: I have worked on some special projects in many different public schools and I can tell you these same kids have cell phones, ipods, designer backpacks and expensive tennis shows. They all have tv's in their room (I ask because my big thing is getting kids off tv) and many have computers in their rooms! These are low income 4th-6th graders!

But they qualify for free breakfast and lunch.

Christiane said...

Who is advocating 'giving money to irresponsible parents'?

The comment I MADE was this:

"Must the sins of the irresponsible be then visited on their innocent children while we watch as a nation ?"

There is no implication at all in my statement that 'giving money to the irresponsible parents' will solve anything. May as well throw the money away.

We are seeing something really ugly take place in the lives of many children across the board. The 'support systems' are not there. No real parenting or security or safety.
The inner city schools are trashed and poorly staffed and very poorly maintained.
At one rural school near our city where a friend taught, she reported that the teachers were made to clean the toilets and maintain the cleanliness of their classrooms because the tax payers no longer wished to support house-keeping for the schools.

The stories are grim, no matter what side of the fence you are on, but the result is the same: kids are hurting in our 'society' and, yes, disproportionately so in those places where most people do not care to go.
If anything, the attacks on the public school system have impacted the most on these schools.

Time to dig out of the 'we should do nothing' trenches and figure out a productive solution. And money is not the only answer. Not even close.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

People better start putting out a garden. When I was young we put out a garden the size of a basketball court. Last spring I doubled the size of my retired parent's little 5x10 raised garden to 5x20. Plus my dad started growing tomatoes in hanging baskets. (Strange I know but it works). This past fall I helped my mother can, and freeze, and we are still eating jam from the grapes we purchased at a local vineyard. I have never been a hunter, but I am learning and getting prepared for next fall. I am gonna stuff a couple deer in my freezer. :)

If I could afford to buy a little I farm I would and am seeking the Lord's will in that for the future. He gave us the land to live off of. It is such a joy to eat a BLT with slices of fresh homegrown lettuce and tomato....with 12 baskets left over.

K

Christiane said...

THE NEW CHRISTIANITY ????

The Family, who sponsor the senators and politicians who lived at C Street, teach this philosophy, supposedly revealed to their founder by God in a vision:

"Christianity has got it all wrong.
The group began during the Great Depression because the founder thought that God came to him and revealed a vision that the New Deal was satanically inspired and that Christianity was getting it wrong for 2000 years by focusing on the poor, the weak, the suffering.
He said God came one night in April 1935 and said, “I want you to be a minister to not the down and out, but the up and out,” he called them, the powerful."

So now we have had this influence quietly eating away at the fabric of our morality as a nation.
Bibles are being 're-written', chapters, verses, and parables are being 're-taught' correctly to line up with the cult. Jesus really never meant those teachings the way He said them, they will tell you. You will be instructed in the true meanings by this group, also known as 'The Fellowship'.

Finally, their leadership feels that they are 'the New Chosen' and are not bound by the moral laws as are 'lesser men'.

These guys run the National Prayer Breakfast in Congress each year.
They don't like their secrets coming out, but 'C Street' is just too juicy for the news not to take notice. Oh dear.

Joe Blackmon said...
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Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

Hi JOE,

Quoting from Wade's blog entry on Dec. 4th, 2009,

Wade responds to the new Bible being prepared by Andy Schlafly:

"Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, Associate Professor of Leadership and Church Ministry and the Editor of The Journal of Family Ministry and Family Ministry Coordinator for Southern. Dr. Jones says of this new translation project ...


"It is not making scripture understandable to people today, it's reworking scripture to support a particular political or social agenda. Ironically, there's a long tradition of the liberal twisting of scripture. Scholars have rightly deemed those translations illegitimate, and this conservative Bible is every bit as illegitimate."
Kudos, Dr. Jones."

Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

JOE, who said it has to be 'the government' ?

Our SOCIETY needs to respond. If the government, as a part of that society can be productive, what's the problem ?

You know, narrowing responsibility to one or two entities is not the goal here. It's not how 'little' we can get away with doing, and still call ourselves human beings anymore, Joe.

As far as the 'rules' go, there is this to think about:

Can Christians in our society make a difference? There may be no laws on the books that say we must;
but if we know we can help, there is another Law that asks us to try.

Gene S said...

We are going a far distance from the original post in the last several comments, but they are significant social issues these days.

I sat on the first Title XX Funds in the early 70's which have now become generally called Welfare. It was the Johnson Administration War on Poverty program.

Our 5 country area in SC was designated Santee-Wateree and the hospital administrator and I (both white) went to represent Lee County. I asked the Government representative how much of a dollar collected in the district came back to us in Title XX funds. He had no answer, but I suspect, after beurocracy is paid, somewhere between 60-40% gets back.

I told them of our Christmas Offering where .5 on the dollar is spent. The rest goes directly to the cause for which it was collected. That is reasonable to no more than 10%.

The government man said we were going to put all the projects on the table, prioritize them by raise of hand, and they would be funded from top to bottom until the money allocated ran out.

Strangely, us 2 white guys had not been informed we needed to have projects to propose. The blacks in the room (about 80%) had plenty of them typed up already and ready to propose.

I then made 2 observations:

(1) We are a blessed country which should never be content when citizens are deprived of services which we can afford.

(2) For us to fund any project which would make people want to remain in poverty so as to receive help would be doing them a great disservice. Whatever we do should have the goal of helping people pick themselves us and find a place in the middle class of US citizens.

It has been 40 years since 1970 and our poverty / welfare system is dealing with the 4th generation of people not caring to rise above where they were 40 years ago. It angers me when I check out at the grocery store with hamburger, chicken, and pork while a 300-400 pound person behind me has 2 carts of the finest meats, etc. paying for them with a WIC card. Then they are at my wife's Physical Therapy Department wanting knee and joint replacements and therapy paid for by Medicaide. Something is badly wrong!

Our schools have been integrated since the 1960's. Is the level of education better or worse over these 40 years? Sadly, NO!

What is wrong?

I think it has to do with giving money rather than self.

What is wrong with a church-going middle class family joing up with an impoverished family across the tracks and mentoring them into wiser ways to spend money. People on Welfare should never be buying their children Air Jordan shoes and name brand fancy leather jackets along with gold chains and bracelets. It is a waste of limited resources.

Gene S said...

(cont.)

On grandaddy's farm were 2 tenant families living in shacks. Without their children for playmates, my mother would have had no friends. Yet, my Grandaddy helped them to learn wiser ways of spending their meager incomes. He loaned them money, knowing he would not get paid back, as long as it was spent for something other than booze.

My family of 4 children knew we had to buy Sears jeans and tennis shoes. We wanted the Wranglers and fancy shoes, but we were taught you got the same thing from the same factory, it just didn't have 20% added on for that name brand label.

Our solution to poverty and money management is not in WIC cards, but in people being willing to cross the tracks to help one another. How many churches are saying 1 thing about that today.

Instead, we are opening private schools for "white Christians only." We are content to drive our fancy autos to a fine eating establishment for the SS monthly fling with no consideration how that money could be used more like Christ to help the poor and needy.

Money will never buy you religion nor a better approach to living and health care. Indeed, the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil!

Lust, greed, and selfishness is the rule of too many churches--especially the mega churches. How much these days is entertainment rather than coming in to worship so we can go out to serve.

It is a guaranteed failure when we are so negligent in church good deeds that we push it off to a big government program which means well, but only promotes dependence.

It is 40 years and all we are doing is running up more debt and fewer people willing to work for a living alongside others--all having equal chances at success regardless of race, creed, sex, or color.

Do the work honorably and get paid honorably. Choose not to participate and see if an empty belly won't get you off the porch and into some kind of work which will buy food, clothes, and shelter. Even animals unwilling to hunt and dig a warm hole in winter will die from the elements.

BUT compassionate members of the pack won't eat them of desert them--they will help all they can so that they might be helped when they have a need.

Christiane said...

Yay Joe !!!!
Yes, Schlafly is a 'fruitcake'.

I AGREE :)

Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

Primary reason: no government involvement means the society must pick up the slack.

But it doesn't.

It doesn't even come close.

Are we back to 'doing nothing'?

Look, I know there are many many good people volunteering and trying to contribute but there just aren't enough to really get the job done.

Maybe the government could serve to ORGANIZE volunteers: like that idea of having high school grads do community work in exchange for college credits: everybody wind.
Would you approve of that?
Oh well.

The comment I made stresses this point: its okay for government to control only what some people want it to control, and then only if it doesn't raise taxes. Hmmmmmmm . .
Now, if banning abortions cost big money, would we see still so much support? That's the question a lot of people are asking.

Going to prepare dinner now, have enjoyed our debate. :) Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...
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Christiane said...

Joe, I do not advocate a free ride for anyone: not a corporate executive robbing from his employee's pension funds,
or a 'physician' hired by an insurance company who makes extra money from denying life-saving care for clients who have paid their policy fees;
and least of all, for anyone taking monies from a missionary fund in order to live the high life in a mansion and travel first-class to Europe.

No one wants to see immoral people abuse the trust of the public. So 'free rides' are not on my advocacy list. No way.

On the other hand, there are minimum three classes of individuals I want to see protected BY THE GOVERNMENT AND OUR WHOLE SOCIETY.
1. innocent children
2. mentally-challenged individuals
(including mentally and emotionally ill people who need supervised medical care)
3. elderly individuals who suffer
from illnesses that render
them mentally and/or physically
impaired and helpless

Somewhere, between the cracks in our society, are the people that have suffered from injustices and need for us to do what is right to end those injustices.

So there is much to concern ME and my people (what is it we are called? there are so many labels, you can choose from them).

I know about the 'Jesus was a capitalist' religion; and the 'New Chosen' not being morally accountable religion; and the religion that says 'we do not have any responsibilities towards the poor'. I sure do know about these.

But, in the end, a society and its religions are judged by the care that they gave, or did not give, to the helpless among them.

Far as I can see, you are either pro-life or not.
If you are pro-life, I have news: life does not stop when an infant is born. There is no such thing as being pro-unborn life and then 'we have no responsibilities fir the born'.

It comes off as major hypocrisy to those who value life from conception until natural death, with dignity rightfully accorded to every stage of life.

Is it 'simple'?
Sure. But only for those who aren't schooled to turn off the 'compassion tap' when an unbilical cord is cut and tied.
A solid moral ommitment to the life-long dignity of human beings makes much more sense, and certainly has more integrity, regardless of the chosen way that such a commitment is lived out.

Gene S said...

Wow, L's--that was a compassionately and intelligently said bunch of wisdom said in love.

Thanks so much!!!!

Christiane said...
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Joe Blackmon said...
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John Fariss said...

Joe,

Are you saying that there must be a positive Biblical mandate for everything that is done? For everything government does? That may not be your meaning, but it seems implicit in your comments to L's and Gene.

Would you be willing to do without police and fire departments? They are paid for with tax revenues, but there are no Bible verses I know of about them--especially since both are modern inventions, dating to the 19th century. How about garbage pick-up? And sewers (in ancient times, it was common to simply throw the contents of chamber pots out the closest window)? And while it does not touch on government or taxes, if everything has to have a Biblical basis, then how about electric lights and central heating? They certainly are not Biblical. When you start down that road, if you are thorough-going, you cannot wind up very far from where (and how) the Amish live.

The government of the United States, while it arose among a people who were in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, was established intentionally as a secular institution. Why? Because the colonies had seen the worst of the church identifying with the state, and they didn't like it, our Baptist ancestors didn't like it: tax money paid clergy salaries, church law was part of the legal system, and religious dissenters faced penalties from civil law--which included horsewhipping, the stocks, jail, and occasionally death. But the church did take care of the poor and indigent. Somewhere along the way though, the church quit; or perhaps, society outpaced church resources, and government picked up the slack because someone had to!

Would a more realistic outlook be that whatever the Bible prohibits, government should keep its hands off?

John

Joe Blackmon said...
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John Fariss said...

Joe,

Thanks for the reply. BTW, you said, "I repudiate the idea that my being against liberal social policies means that I am part of some cult that believes it is above moral law and that I am incosistant in my pro-live stance." I would never have suggested or thought you were part of any such cult.

And I too believe that abortion (as a form of retro-active birth control) is wrong . The entire "industry" of abortion parlors is an abomination before God, for which America will someday have to answer. But I am enough of a pragamist to also believe that just making abortion illegal would not turn back the hands of the clock to pre-Roe v. Wade. Rather, I fear it would create a new form of Prohibition, in which that which was illegal was also widely available, bringing along its own new forms of corruption as well as the involvement of organized crime. Thus the Church has to step in with alternative ministries to the situation.

And neither am I for "entitlement programs" except possibly in very limited ways to those who are victums and/or innocents (i.e., children, the mentally challenged, etc.). You are I are not generally on different sides of these issues; we just see different solutions as being more effective.

John

John Fariss said...

BTW: do you know why so few Christian doctors participated in our medical clinic? Because they saw it as a competitor to their medical practices. Something is wrong when anyone puts the almighty dollar before being Good Samaritans, no matter how much they give to their church, or how active they are in its programs and "spiritual agenda." And don't even get me started on how the local government tried to shut us down with requirements that local doctors' offices and clinics were not required to observe.

John

Joe Blackmon said...
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