Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pushing the Envelope

I've been hesitant to tell this story, as I don't know how it will be received.

I'll tell you that I think it's a funny story, in a sense, although I think some will find I've finally lost it, (or have lost it further).

We have a rotating monthly fellowship in a church member's house on a Sunday night.
We reflect on a Bible theme, share concerns, pray, and like all good evangelicals we eat.

A couple Sundays ago we met at Holly's house.
As I arrived, I saw a couple young men talking to the neighbor.
They were dressed in black slacks, white shirts. I didn't notice bicycles.
I knew we were next.
I couldn't wait.

They came to the door and I explained to them what was going on and invited them to join us. They did.
It sure seemed awkward at first as nobody knew how it was going to go.
I actually felt like the Holy Spirit was leading me in this and had the confidence of that.

There were questions back and forth.
At first they said something that indicated that they were assured of their salvation because of Jesus' sacrifice and their following His commandments. That sounded like a combination of grace and works to me and we pressed them on that.
It turned out that they really put their hope only in Jesus sacrifice on the cross and that he was the Son of God.
To us, that's all it takes to be "born again".
Now remember, although they were missionaries and "elders" in the Mormon faith (and both were from out of town on mission work) this was a profession of faith on their part to us.
If it differs from Mormon theology, it was still their confession of faith to us.
There was some discussion of the Word of God and they told us that the New Testament was misinterpreted by churches and thus the Book of Mormon was needed to clarify.
When pressed, though, they admitted that there was nothing wrong with the New Testament as it stood and that it could be relied on.

So here's the summary.
They told us that they were saved by grace alone and faith in Jesus' sacrifice and nothing more.

We then announced that we were going to take prayer requests and asked if they wanted to join us.
They agreed and even asked for prayer for one of their members who was facing cancer.
We went around the room with each person taking up a request, even our guests.

We later retreated to the kitchen and dining table where the array of snacks, vegetables and desserts were arrayed,

After a bit they excused themselves and left.
Then we talked about them,

I'm sure my pastor wondered what I had been up to, but he was 100% on board.
It was different from anything we had done before and yet we all agreed that they had met the bare minimum for fellowship.

Like I told my pastor, we may disagree with their theology, we had done nothing wrong and if nothing else, we had kept them off the streets for a while :)

It reminded me of a George Barna survey I had read years ago.

In that report, it was stated:
"The study also showed that during the last five years there has been substantial growth in the percentage of born again adults in four of the twelve groups examined: Mormons (a 26% increase), Presbyterians (+26%), Protestant non-denominationals (+12%) and Methodists (+11%). The percentage of born again adults remained relatively unchanged in the other eight denominations.


This was an eye opener:

Born Again and Evangelical Christians, by Denomination

born again
evangelical
% of U.S. population
sample size
all adults
41%
8%
NA
6038
Adventist
37%
5%
1%
89
Assembly of God
81%
33%
2%
94
Baptist (any type)
67%
14%
17%
1035
Catholic
25%
1%
22%
1358
Church of Christ
56%
12%
2%
118
Episcopal
30%
1%
2%
112
Lutheran (any type)
48%
6%
5%
287
Methodist (any type)
49%
4%
6%
392
Mormon/Latter Day Saints
34%
1%
1%
86
Christian non-denominational
76%
29%
5%
321
Pentecostal/Foursquare
80%
27%
2%
124
Presbyterian (any type)
54%
8%
3%
192
So. 
Did I do good?
Or was I wrong?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hate Crimes, Black Lives Matter, Reverse Racism

So this woman, an Ebony editor says:
"Hate Crimes Can’t Be Committed Against White People, Cops".

There's video at that link of her saying it.

From the linked article:

On Wednesday, Ebony Magazine’s Jamilah Lemieux criticized the use of the phrase “hate crime” in association with the five white Dallas police officers who were killed claiming that using the phrase with a “majority group… gets into very tricky territory.”

There's also this from Canada:


So where did the notion of hate crimes come from?

From Wikipedia:
On October 28, 2009 President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, attached to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to apply to crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender,

Of course the Matthew Shepard story (the gay guy who was not killed for being gay, it turns out) was debunked.
So the basis of hate crime legislation is based on a lie.


So, if blacks being killed is a hate crime, but white officers being killed for being white is not a hate crime, or a woman yelling I hate white people while striking a white woman is not a hate crime, what is?

What does it matter?
When president Obama said about Dallas “I think it’s very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter. As we’ve seen in a whole range of incidents with mass shooters, they are by definition troubled.”, he acts like the motive is important.

The only time motive is important is when it demonstrates intent in order to convict.
Convict for the actual crime, not the perceived crime (hate).

I was on the radio Saturday about this. 

If you shoot a cop, your intent is to shoot a cop.
Of course, if you are Hillary Clinton, intent doesn't matter, but for the rest of us it shouldn't matter if your intent was to hate and then shoot, or just shoot.

Your sentence should be predicated on your action, not your motive.

Monday, July 11, 2016

More Important than Anything in the News

Our pastor had spoken about Jesus thinking it not robbery to be equal with (or) God, but became one of us.
Ph 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus didn't say "Mine, mine, mine..." when it came to the glory He left behind.
How wonderful that Jesus looked at us and said "Mine, mine, mine..."
"who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God...." Hebrews 12:2

His Church, His Bride is the joy that was set before Him.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Sermonette.

Salvation is free, but it ain't easy and it ain't cheap.
God puts you in the lifeboat.
Break out the navigation chart.
Row.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence

On this, our Independence Day, let us remember that the Liberty that inspired our forefathers was the Liberty that they found in their faith in God.

The liberty that inspired the French Revolution was not, and we see how unhappily that worked.

Political Liberty is fine and good, and the Unalienable Rights granted by God (and not the government) are the basis of our Constitutional Liberty.

Personal Liberty, being free of sin (and it's tyranny of addictions, personal behavior we know we should not engage in, alienation from God),  and death, has far more benefit to us as it is everlasting, independent of external circumstances.

Political Liberty was purchased by the blood of patriots.

Personal Liberty was purchased by the Blood of Jesus on the cross.

Be free!

John 8:36 KJV -
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Lynch Effectively Recuses Herself

"Lynch to Accept F.B.I. Recommendations in Clinton Email Inquiry, Official Says"

Bill Clinton, in meeting secretly with the Attorney General of the United States, the woman who was his firewall against prosecution of his wife Hillary for exposing all of our national security to foreign intelligence officers, has had the exact opposite effect he presumably hoped for!

She put herself (and he put her there) in the position of being compromised.

Bill has a history of compromising women.


This changes everything!

We hope.