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Pastor Ken Fong on His Daughter's Evolving Relationship to Christianity
"Wife and I when we adopted our daughter even before we became parents. We had made it. I think mental decision to not be tiger parents and more specifically when it came to religion that although we have a preference Both of us were raised as Christians. Well my wife doesn't come rechristened family. But she was going to church ever since she was a young kid We definitely WANNA raise our children that way but with the understanding that they had to kind of come to make a decision themselves at some point In order for it to have any meaning. And when you you know understand things that way you understand that your children as they grow older aren't always going to make decisions like you hope they will so our daughter now is twenty one and she's home studying online because of this shelter in place order so we're having some unexpected family time like every day that normally having a junior in college you sitting out of state you wouldn't have so we actually were talking last night over dinner and we were sharing with her some updates about kind of what. I was talking about and last week introduction Waiting to Kinda here the decision from the board of my previous church where I retired Whether starting this coming July with a review okay for me to return to the church or nut and Our daughter just blurted something out and she said well. I think this is a good time to share with you. That this whole thing with the Church Has already kind of really messed with my understanding of what is what things should be like and I guess I grew up thinking that church was a place of no politics and quickly corrector wherever. They're people guys of what they claim to be. There's always politics but does not have to be nasty but you know she just said well you know it's it's really soured me so e even if they say he can go back I'm pretty sure I'm not going back and not sure on that interested in going to any church right now. In fact I'm I'm kind of thinking more like an atheist. Now What's interesting is that You know she chose to go to a Christian liberal arts school and it's not like Bob Jones University or Liberty University with Jerry Falwell JR senior. It's a it's a pretty. I think moderately progressive school and yet. She has so many friends who she's met there. Who are atheists agnostics? And you know I. That kind of really surprised me. Like why would atheist or agnostic. Choose to go to a Christian College in. She was explained to me that well. You know maybe the This particular school has a program and some majors that are highly regarded. And so you know you go and you just kind of turn off to out all the Christian stuff you don't go to chapel. What have you and Most of our daughters closest friends are in that camp. Our daughter did say that she She still has an affinity to some of the essentials of the Christian faith. But she's really trying to figure things out you know if this is really her faith talk about the chickens coming home to roost for years and years. I did workshops on the development of of people's faith and just like our physical buildings develop over time like if you threw a fastball at three year old and an expected here she'd have the physical coordination to catch it. That would be cruel and unusual. It'd be child abuse. If on the other hand you know the person is thirty. Years old and you throw a fastball. They should have some capacity to catch the ball. They have developed physically and the same kind of thing goes with like intellectual capacity unless some kid is a genius. You know you don't bother teaching them higher math or world geography. You know when their third graders but or even philosophy but you know when they get older that there's more of a not just a curiosity I think there's a there's a building of the brain to actually manage more complex thinking and I found over the years that the same is true for how spirituality and so Lattanzio taught you know there's four identifiable stages of our fake develops the first ages. Imitative so this is where you know. Let's say you're born into this family and it's a Christian family and you could be religion right Guy Christian family and so without knowing what it's all about without exploring it for yourself because you're little you just imitate but rebels is doing and especially when you're a baby. I mean they just put you in the armed put in the stroller and they take it to church or temple. Or what have you and you see? People Bother head so you buy your head. See PEOPLE CLASS THEIR HANDS? Either you see them do the incense. Whatever happens in that particular religion and that doesn't make it fake for that person. It makes age appropriate to be imitating you get to a stage Maybe in later. Elementary School no Middle School. Where it's adoptive and so now there's enough capacity to think to consider so you now can choose if you will to adopt the beliefs and practices that you were initially in imitating now a lot of people a lot of us if we go on these kind of spiritual journeys we kind of stalled out either. Stage one imitative or stage two adoptive and so some people. Just just keep going through the motions imitating everything. That's going around them imitating the beliefs. The stated positions. What have you without giving it much? Second thought or they just get stuck in adoptive and so they're choosing this but they've never kind of thought about what else they might choose and this leads to the third stage of spirit veldman which again paralyzed parallels Brain capacity because usually around young adult time is when the brain is most able to deal with deep Complex sort of issues and this is called Searching individual so this is when the I think you know perfectly describes were daughters at offset your questioning things that you dated without question and you adopted pretty readily but now you're saying well. That was my parents that came from my church that came from whatever my peer group but Now I'm really wondering like what do what do I believe and It's it can be very lonely time. I mean no one else can go on this journey of a real searching and I think it's scary enough that some people put their toe in that uncharted water and they run right back to adoptive. Or Imitative and this could even be pastors and priests right and and leaders And I think it really shows over time if someone who's even in a leadership position in a religious capacity has not gone on this journey because their beliefs are pretty shallow. They haven't really come to own it which then leads into the last fourth stage which is owned faith gay and It doesn't necessarily mean that when you if and when you get through the third phase of searching that you're going to land back into faith that you originally started with you did start with one you. May You may. But you may find that. You're much more enamored of. Let's Jesus then the church you see now the church will all of its Hypocrisies and and so. You're much more focused on the person in the teaching of Christ or the Buddha. You know if you will Or You come through on the other side and you're you're just a straight up atheist or agnostic or you're going to try something else altogether so what what so. I definitely commend our daughter for being so forthcoming with us. And you know a lot of ways This is how we raised our daughters so that she has this space and this personal capacity to ask the hard questions of us and her faith and everything else you know. It's too soon to predict where if anywhere she's GonNa land but I just have to say that on this Memorial Day in twenty twenty. It's just fascinating to me that something a theory of development that I've taught for years and years and years is now coming home to roost. It's it's we've got our own living breathing. Human young adult who is is wrestling with these. And I'll tell you it is. It is scary when as a parent you still. Even though I've gone through my journey and I've owned in think my wife has to you still realize that part of the authenticity in the validity of believing these stages especially the third stage is truly give this person in this case your our child the freedom and the affirmation that she needs in order to do this without thinking. She's disappointing us. You Know I. I can't imagine how that must feel for someone who's Pastor's kid to right. It's not just having Christian parents. But you know retired pastor so that's just interesting update on life. I think parents who don't understand and others imposters who don't understand kind of how this development works. They see the phase at our young adult daughters in as running away like as discarding disbanding. And I think that's a mistake and clearly what she share with us. She's really wrestling with with some of the things that are still holding onto her but she wants to make it hearse and you know as her dad and pressure. My wife would agree if that's her goal is to land somewhere or she's not just going through the motions where she's not just mouthing things that she's been raised hearing all the time that's worth that's worth the struggle and we're going to walk with their way with her.
Texas Mayor Believes Women Should Be Silent In Churches
"Down in Town called Wiley Texas. I'M GONNA say it's how you would say that. Why are you It's kind of in the dfw sort of metroplex whatever somewhere in that somewhere in that area. Somewhere I sense of it. I didn't really look closely tech. Most of Texas is in the The Dallas Fort Brawl. As far as you can get it is amazing like it is honestly truly amazing. Any who their mayor Who is described in this article that I found as a magician Minnesota wild this is a triple. He's got all of them. That's that's the dream you guys. I don't know what what you guys wanted to be as kids but I'm pretty sure we all wanted to be magician. Minister Mayor just seemed impossible and this man has done it so Kudos to him. Well they one of his city council members a man by the name of Jeff Forester And the mayor's name is Eric Hogue should he be wondering He he emails him and says mayor over the past five weeks members of youth with a mission have been walking through Wiley and praying over our city and citizens. I believe this is a great testament to the youth in our city and devotion to God with your permission. I would like to ask a couple of the young men to come to our next meeting and lead us in prayer before. Let me know your thoughts and I will arrange to have them come. Jeff Okay. Youth mission all right. Yeah walking around praying what what good. What a good thing for young people to be doing what what productive work? Yeah and so the mayor response he says. Hey Jeff sounds good. I would like that all I ask. Is Those leading the public prayer? Be Young men. Here's why I make that request as a preacher for the Cottonwood Church of Christ we take the the two versus below literally the puts them in here I Corinthians Fourteen thirty four to thirty five a let your women be silence. Silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak but they are commanded to be under obedience as also Sayeth the law. And if they will learn anything let them ask their husbands at home for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church. And then yeah. That's that's one of those ones. Where like when Christian started to like I I would like when I hear about a church that follows that even though I think it's a horrific stupid right because at least you know that's one more that they're not being hypocrites about right so so there you go mayor with me. Yeah then then I Timothy two eleven. Twelve let the women learn in silence with all sub subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man but to be in silence and so there says so. I have always requested that. A man lead the invocation. I understand. Not everyone may agree with me. But I can't go against my conscience but I would love to have the group count and visit with them and then let a couple of guys leader. They're just just. Don't let any of those lady you come in and pray ruin everybody's doing well first of all. Here's the deal. Does he understand the word? Literally we'd be starts off. He says that we take these two verses below literally and the nurses are talking about church. Yeah and well as teaching everything that's literal about. These says absolutely nothing about a prayer at a city council meeting he. I I think I think he's. He's also looking at the spirit of the law which just women shut up no matter what you know. There's the letter of the law. But if you're really GONNA hold to the word of God shut the hell up ladies than don't talk about liberalness right anyway. So this is all leaked out And I WANNA know who leaked it. Do Okay who leaked it? Oh No oh it's gotta be somebody's wife. Right I the other Jeff Forrester the city council member. I my is He. He thought that was kind of weird right and laughed and chuckled about it. And you're right but I mean this is like will here's the deal. Wiley Texas DOT GOV. It would have been easy this public record. They were using both of them. Were using their official government email and so I mean if somebody wanted to just request them get their hands on them that you're not doing if you've got a a pastor or priest or you know a minister of some sort in an in an official position in your local government. Somebody needs to be doing. You know FAFSA requests of their up all of their documents at all times for reasons. Because you're going to get you're GonNa Stumble on Shit like this all the damn time. Yeah again I don't know how it came out but it's really really remarkable. I mean first of all you know. We both clearly object to the idea of there being a prayer at the beginning of the meeting and all right. This absolute douchebag Maher who also I guess because of Cova There may there may election was postponed to November because the pandemic so the guys getting like some extra time in office. I think it's people who kind of pissed about that too so I love it here. Here's the other thing that I love. I love the idea that like 'cause we talk all the time about how in this country is unconstitutional. If you're at very least if you're going to allow anyone to give a prayer you kind of have to allow everyone to be able to give that prayer and that's the basis of many many for Lawsuits and whatever but does it say anything about the gender of the person. Because I don't know I think there may be something beautiful in will allow anyone to pray but you have to go by the letter of law you have to. If we can find something in your life we get to police your religion and it's An and you have to obey your religion. Exactly that'd be something great about
Arkansas coronavirus outbreak linked to church services
"Arkansas. Got a colonel virus outbreak. Going on right now because of a church Yup When you open up churches and expect them to do everything right. Some will some won't and the Evangelical 's in charismatics that are in the cult of trump are definitely probably most likely to be thinking. This is a real big issue because trump said it's not a big issue but it is a big issue but it's not a big issue but it is a big issue. Yeah so yeah. They had Arkansas Church in March six to eleven had thirty five out of the ninety. Two People. There come up. Positive is back in early March. It was still really starting slow. Spread outside of the the major coastal metropolitan areas but hit Arkansas. And Yeah just a couple church services infected thirty eight percent of the people that were there and then those thirty five people turned around and infected another twenty six people because of contract contact tracing that was done and it did actually kill three of those thirty five church members and one of the twenty six mostly family members of those church members that were infected and both the pastor and his wife got it as well which caused them to close down the church indefinitely on March
Suffering Is Part of the Journey
"I want the world to know that when I am in my own personal crisis or when I feel like I am questioning whatever is going on in my life. You are one of the first people I call and particularly now that my is gone. You've been such a solace in bomb for me in in difficult times and I'm wondering pastor Bishop Td. Jakes what's giving you strengthen? This moment you know I have of resilient faith in God and in humanity and that has kind of steered my compass through tough days and tough times and then I realized that everything comes as a schoolmaster teach a lesson and I wanted to believe to. Isn't all life experience here to show us who we are absolutely absolutely enter bring correction correction and redirection and I think this has been a co Viet. It should have been cooked correction team because it's a lot of correction to our values to our sociological understanding of ourselves. Collectively and individually. What do you mean by sociological understanding of ourselves so I think that we have become tribal We head divided into too many segments. Millennials boomers blacks whites Brown's Democrats Republicans us them globally not just nationally but globally. And and I think this Disease that attack without discrimination made us rethink? What is humanity I think that's part of it. I think that America needs to rethink. How much of our resources we have farmed out overseas that we found ourselves needing things that we couldn't manufactured but I've gotten away from manufacturer but I think that we also have to rethink how we value ordinary workers delivery keeper. That's that's by the sociological. Because I think for the first time people who were before invisible they were the invisible men and women to a lot of people in in in our country and other countries have now become have the title of essential this. Yes but here's my concern. I watched after nine eleven. We talked about the police officers and the firemen and they were Iro's erosion. We made a big fuss insane songs and cried and candles and all that but we didn't pay them anymore and they still couldn't afford to live in the cities they protect and so we get through by. I'm wondering what we're GONNA do about minimum wage of what we're GONNA do about their families and making it possible for the people who protect us in these big cities to be able to afford to live in the city they serve in. I mean all the people in conversations. I've had I tell you the one thing that people certainly do understand and have a great respect for teachers and think that they should be paid whatever they want their own kids lives have been permanently altered and that we will take that alteration and be more united as Tim Travers. Trying to do here today Do you think that that has occurred to enough people to have a shift in consciousness for awhile awhile? We get Amnesia quite quickly. And it's amazing when we're frightened how we come down to what matters most but how quickly we deviate from it once. We feel safe and secure geared and I know that sounds negative pessimistic. But but I think for sermons and seen too many funerals to do you much. Yeah I've seen it all before and But every now and then we get a booster shot. That kind of reminds us to humble yourself a little bit and not take so highly of yourself and not to always evaluate your worth by your net worth. There's there's so many lessons to be learned here. I know I mean if you just open our eyes we can see them as we endure this crisis. You wrote this on Instagram. Last week. Be sure to lead by faith and show people that it's possible you said to be joyful no matter the condition. Where are you finding joy right now? You know I have not spent this much time at home it years. Okay with just my wife and I in the house and nobody else and so that has given me an opportunity to appreciate simplicity Sometimes we're so driven by our responsibilities that we get away trump simplicity. That's one of the things I learned from you You know you walk into the Darnall your fruit and spelling your love a blade of grass. Now I can love a blade of grass. Yes Sir you've been so inspirational. You started out talking about me but you. You've also been very inspirational. 'cause I've got to see you behind the scenes at seed. What quality human being you are and I think that this creates an opportunity where we start to appreciate each other and say it to each other. The things that that gave us comfort during this time costs no money at all a kind word a quick. Tech's a you know a a moment. Facetime checking on elderly person left alone. checking on successful people. Because it didn't matter how successful you were. This was still devastating. And you still need a little love a little hershey kisses. You know you know you. Suspended those incredible in-person services at the Potter's House in Dallas. And you say this is a great time for us all to be able to re-instill our core values and for families to reconcile and also reconnect. I mean just like you and the first lady Sereda have been able to spend time together so many families haven't and for a lot of people that that ain't so sweet. Yeah Yeah Yeah. That's true that that is true. It will either work for you or against you one of the things that I thought about the church part of it. Was You know when the teacher talks all through the classes but when the test comes she's always quiet and this was a testing moment and there was a time that we weren't able to draw from our traditional types of worship services because the test was in session? How much have we really learned? How much have we really grown? And even to those families who are lucked alone and they are combative. They will either find a way to work. Their way toward wholeness or toward a decision. That says we're better part than we are together. Not every story has a happy.
"On this episode five minutes in Church history. Let's talk about a scientist Sir. Isaac Newton. He was born in sixteen forty three. He died in seventeen twenty seven he was actually born in the exact same year of the death of Galileo. He was born in originally humble circumstances. His father died three months before he was born in sixteen sixty one he went off to Cambridge. He had a grasp of Latin and a very curious mind. He would pass the time sketching clocks and windmills and other kinds of gadgets. Once he got to Cambridge he studied astronomy. This was the era of Copernicus and Kepler and of course he studied the classic Philosophers Aristotle and Plato. He kept his notebooks and in one of them. He wrote amicus Plato. Amicus Aristotle's Maga's Amici Veritas. Plato is my friend. Aristotle is my friend. Truth is my best friend. And he also let Cambridge embarked on studying mathematics. In fact he would come to the way in this field he is credited for inventing the study of Calculus as he called it the calculus of infant hassles and it was also while he was at Cambridge that he studied the motion of the moon and the planets and he recognized this force. That was acting on these planets orbit. He was discovering what would come to be called the law of gravity. He would go on to publish. His books is famous book in Seventeen. O four the book called optics and in There. He puts forth his theory of colors. A very interesting a young student in the colonies at the College of Connecticut. We know it as Yale. University would get a hold of Isaac Newton's book optics and he devoured it. This of course is Jonathan Edwards. And he wrote his own little scientific paper he called of light rays and this was all from. Reading Isaac Newton and Edwards draws this corollary from just being amazed at how the actual physical human eye processes light rays. This is what Edwards had to write hence the infinite art that was exercised in the formation of the eye that has given it such an exquisite sense that it should perceive the touch of those few rays of the least fixed stars which enter the eye which all put together won't amount to the million million million million million to part of the least moat of such an exquisite sense that it should distinctly perceive an image upon the retina that it is not above the eighty million millionth part of an inch wide. That has so nicely polished the retina that it should receive so small a picture upon it when the least pro Tuba Rinse or an evenness would utterly destroy and confound it here's Edwards amazed at the human eye but far more amazed at the God who created the human eye and the God who created the universe and it was Isaac Newton who unlocked this for Edwards and it was Isaac Newton who unlocked this for so many other people as Alexander Pope. The poet has it that nature and nature's laws lay hidden by night. God said let Newton be and then there was light Newton as the father of modern science. Believed that no way would science give us less room for God or somehow make less space for God and understanding of him? In fact it was the exact opposite for Isaac Newton. The more he studied God's universe the more he was led to acknowledge and worship God. Newton once said gravity may very well explained the motion of the planets for the can't explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and God knows all that is or all that can be known. That's the Great Isaac Newton
C.S. Lewis, Essayist
"Cs Lewis was born in Belfast Ireland. In eighteen ninety eight he would die in nineteen sixty three and what a life he lived. He was known as Jack and far as we can tell that was because of one of his dogs names from his early childhood who was Jiaxi and CS. Lewis accepted that name and adopted that name for himself. He was an oxbridge scholar. Which meant that? He how to position at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He's been hailed as a philosopher and apologist theologian of course he's probably best known for his NARNIA chronicles. His actual profession was as a professor a chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Well let's take a look at his life and let's bring one piece of that life to the surface and that is Lewis as essayist while he was baptized as a child into the Anglican Church as a teenager he drifted into agnostics Zim. And then at the Ripe Age fifteen. He declared himself to be an atheist as a teenager. He also served epic poetry. He was taken by norse mythology and all of the medieval literature. Cs Lewis goes off to France. He saw the horrors of World War. One being involved in trench warfare a shell exploded not too far from him taking the lives of two of his buddies and injuring him and then he was sent back to the UK to serve out the rest of the war on the home front went on to his life of scholarship and eventually he would be influenced by George MacDonald. Who would lead him from atheism to a generic theism in a belief in God in general and then through his friendship with Jr token and continued reading of McDonald and others. He was led from theism to Christianity. Tolkien would have much preferred that. Lewis had joined him in the Catholic Church but Louis went the way of anglicanism went back into his Anglican Church. Louis like to call this Christianity Mirror Christine Hannity and of course that's the title of one of his books. Well the thing I want to talk about Louis is his work as an essayist and one essay in particular comes up from time of nineteen forty one to nineteen forty-three once again. Europe is embroiled in a World War and World War Two and during this time. Cs Lewis is doing radio addresses during air raids over the BBC. So if you can put that setting in your mind these are some of the great essays that come from the pen of Louis in this context. Some of these. Sac PREACHED SERMONS IN CHURCHES. And some he prepared specifically for the radio in a number of them were published as books later the one in particular that I wanNA talk to you about is called the wait of glory. It's an essay and it's also a title of book of essays in it. Lewis says that almost all our modern philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this Earth at such a twentieth century things such a modern thing to neglect God and push him out of our lives to neglect the eternal and the transcendent to be fixated on the horizon of the material. Well Lewis says there is far more to ultimate reality than what we see and it is the weight of glory so he writes. It may be possible for each to think too much of his own personal glory hereafter. It is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load or wait or burden of my neighbors glory should be laid on my back a load so heavy that only humility can carry it in. The back of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and Goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to May one day be a creature. Which if you saw it now. You'd be strongly tempted to worship or else a whore corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare and he'll go on to say there are no ordinary people because we all have this weight of glory.
"This is a movement in theology that began in the eighteen hundreds and came on very strong and the nineteen hundreds. So let's take a look at it where it came from and what it's all about well. The story of dispensationalist begins with John Nelson. Darby he was born in eighteen hundred in Westminster London but his family roots were Irish and so when he came of age to go to college he was sent to Trinity College Dublin. He excelled as a student there and won the classics prize. That skill set would come in very handy for him later. He be involved in translating the Bible. It translate the Bible into German into Dutch and French and even the Complete Bible into English. He had his own translation. Darby would die in eighteen. Eighty two. He's known for two things being one of the early founders and what is called the Plymouth Brethren Church and also being the father or founder of dispensationalist him. This came about in the eighteen thirties. Eighteen forties there may be four significant features dispensationalist them that Darby began and then developed by others. The first is to see a distinction between Israel and the Church prior to dispensationalist them. You could say it was Covenant Theology and there was a connection between Israel and the Church. The understanding was there was one people of God but Darby began with a distinction between those two two peoples of God as it were and so God had a distinct and unique plan for Israel and a distinct and unique plan for the Church. This led to the second feature of dispensational and that is to see scripture as divided into dispensations. Now Darby had seven of them the Scofield Reference Bible. We'll talk about that in a minute. It had seven of them. Dispensationalist were not always agreed on the number of dispensations but they did agree on the concept. That was the idea that God dealt with humanity in different ways as he moved through the dispensations of scripture. So we have the distinction. Between Israel and the Church we have the dispensations the third feature is a literal hermitic that gets applied to prophecy and apocalyptic literature once that literal. Herman is applied. Well that leads us to the fourth feature and that is all of the end times events and charts and you've heard of these events of courses the rapture and that's followed by the seven year tribulation and that's followed by the second coming of Christ and the knots followed by the Millennium and then enter into the eternal state. This of course is using the book of Daniel and the book of revelation applying that little harmonic and seeing this as the literal timetable. For the EN times or for Eschaton Legiti. So those are some of the features that were given to dispensations by John Nelson Darby. Three things helped dispensational ISM get very popular in the twentieth century. The first was the beginning of the Bible Institute Movement Moody had one in Chicago. His was not the first. But it was certainly the flagship institution and these institutions sprung up. All over both the UK and the United States and they taught dispensational. The second thing was prophecy conferences. These were very popular in the early. Nineteen hundreds. They were known a Lake Philadelphia. They were in Dallas Texas. They were everywhere. And then the third thing that popularized dispensational was the scofield reference. Bible named for Cyrus Ingersoll. Scofield who was born in eighteen forty three and died in nineteen twenty one he used the dispensations as the framework to understand the Bible and its structure any applied that dispensational harmonic to texts and it also put forth that dispensational distinction of a separation between Israel and the church. So there you have it. Dispensational SOM started by John Nelson Darby and furthered along by the violence to movement. The prophecy conferences in the Scofield Reference Bible in the Early Twentieth Century.
Read Psalm 23
"Of all the passages of scripture in the Bible. There's one that has become to me. And maybe to you like an unfaltering beam of warm light guiding my way through the darkness like a mother's voice and middle of the night a father's steady arm wrapped around shaking shoulder the six verses in Psalm. Twenty three do more than comfort us in death. They guide us in life. And if we're paying attention these six lines can teach us how to walk into every room every day of our lives is because Psalm. Twenty three is a next right thing. Kind of Psalm and I will never get over. It many have memorized it and it's perhaps the most well known psalm in scripture but. I think it's safe to say while many people know it by memory they may not fully know it by heart. We've all seen these verses recited and accepted by people who don't claim to know. God don't seem to really like God and certainly aren't interested in what God has to say in other parts of scripture we've watched these lines quoted by politicians on both sides of the aisle on hit TV shows during the scenes of sadness and goodbye. We've heard references to these verses in Song Lyrics and movie scripts and in whispered graveside conversation. Among people from all walks of life the twenty third psalm is one passage of scripture. That seems to get a free pass. The traveler who breezes through security when others have to stand in line behind the rope. No-one hinders or stops her. No one detains her for questioning. We DON'T DEMAND. She makes sense or explain herself a thing. It's because the twenty third psalm is often associated with death and in death. Even the most cynical among us make exceptions for the grieving and while I think that's beautiful. It is a service understanding of the intent behind this song because while it has most certainly comforted us in times of Death. It has the potential to reveal to us a new kind of life. It's a liturgy. Apoel a lyric an invitation. It's a story if will listen and it's for you right now. If you'll let it be these lines have mother at me fathered me comforted and challenged me. I have discovered piece. Inhering them curiosity and studying them and freedom in believing them and somehow the more I read them the more questions I have and the more settled I become psalm. Twenty three is an invitation to trust. God for the life we want to live as Dallas. Willard puts it a life without lack it is possible to live as though the Lord really is our shepherd it is possible to live as though we already have what we need. It is possible to live without fear. That's the promise. And the mystery of the song today my intention is not to dissect this promise verse by verse or to give you an explanation of what the song means to me or what I think. Maybe it could mean to you. That's not my job today instead. In keeping with the intention of this podcast. That's about making decisions and making life. I want to invite you to bring Psalm. Twenty three into your day. How would the presence of the Lord through the words of David Inform Influence and impact? Your decisions today. What if the Lord really is Your Shepherd? What if he really does provide all that you need? What if you could walk without fear? What if he could restore your soul? What if Your Cup really does overflow? Maybe you're next. Right thing is to read this beautiful challenging Psalm for yourself.
Faith in Times of Plague - Grimk
"This time we're going not too far back just about one hundred years or so back to nine thousand nine hundred. Nineteen and the twentieth century to talk about Francis Grim key. We've talked about him before. On five minutes in Church history he was born in the American south in eighteen fifty as a slave. He was emancipated at the age of fifteen at the end of the civil war. He made his way north studied in Pennsylvania and then he went over to New Jersey and was a student at Princeton theological seminary from eighteen. Seventy five to eighteen seventy eight. The importance of those three years is that they were in fact the last three years that Charles Hodge taught at Princeton so that is to say that grim key was one of the last students of Princeton to have Charles Hodge for all three years of the theology curriculum. Grumpy spent most of his ministry as Pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington. Dc. He died in one thousand nine hundred thirty seven well. We've all heard by now of the Spanish. Flu Of Nineteen. Eighteen grim key lived through it and he preached and then published sermon entitled some reflections growing out of the recent epidemic of influenza that afflicted our city it was preached on November Third Nineteen Eighteen. It is full of all sorts of insight on how a Christian can respond to play. But let me just focus on two issues with you one and I'll just read what grinky has to say. Another thing has impressed me during the epidemic is brought out in a way that is very gratifying. The high estimation in which the Christian churches held in the community the large place which it really occupies in the thought of the people the fact that for several weeks we have been shut out from the privileges of the sanctuary has brought home to us as never before. What the Church has really meant to us? We hadn't thought perhaps very much of the privilege while it lasted but the moment it was taken away we saw at once. How much it meant to us. One of the gratifying things to me. During the scourge has been the sincere regrets that I have heard expressed all over the city by numbers of people at the closing of the churches. The theatergoers of course have regretted the closing of the theatres. I do not know whether the children or the teachers have regretted the closing of the schools or not now. I'll just interject here. They didn't have online classes to move towards school. Just simply shut down so my hunches. Students and teachers probably didn't mind much but then he goes on to say but I do know that. Large numbers of people have regretted the closing of the churches. I hope that now that they are opened again that we will all show our appreciation of their value by attending regularly upon their services. It would be a great calamity to any community to be without the public ministrations of the sanctuary. So there is saying one of the things he learned is the preciousness of us he goes on to say Sabbath keeping and joining together in fellowship together. With God's people in God's house during the Spanish flu the churches were shut down and they couldn't worship together and so we're experiencing that today well as grumpy makes his way through the end of the sermon. He talks about faith and this is what he has to say if faith is to help us if it is to put. It's great strong arms under us if we are to feel it sustaining power. Under such distressing circumstances. It must be a real living faith in God he goes on to say is a good time for those of us who are Christians to examine ourselves to see exactly how it is with us whether the foundation upon which we are building is a rock foundation whether our faith is really resting upon Christ the solid rock or not. Well there's Francis Kripke reminding congregation in one thousand nine hundred eighteen of faith in times of
Stacey Abrams: "The Greatest Amount of Good"
"Do you dig in? Leeann into your faith or. Do you go to church regularly. Are you in any kind of studies? Women's groups so I read on my own. I have a devotional that my mother gave me when I started my campaign for governor that I still look to. It's been harder in the last couple of years to be as regular in my attendance as I should be but I am a member of church and I go when I can. My schedule is a bit erratic so they can't count on me to be a member of a committee but but part of what my parents also taught me was that there's the practice and tradition of studying for your face but there's also the active obligation of living and that's not to excuse my you know poorer attendants but it is to me a recognition of the constancy of my faith that my responsibility is to renew it. Because I should not. Because I'm seeing doing so you've said that You consider yourself a progressive because Jesus a progressive. I want to read a quote. You said the reason I consider myself a progressive is that my reading of the Bible says that Jesus was a progressive. The faith I practice believes in active service and active engagement so I think we can all kind of believe what we want to about. Jesus we have our own personal interpretation whether or not we wanted the use of progressive or. He's a socialist or he's a Republican or Democrat or is a moderator is and independent from your perspective and your vantage point in your purview. What do you think his take would be on? Say Gun control. And maybe abortion rights. Sure I think of progressive as not a hard hearted ideological space but as a belief system that says that we are supposed to make opportunity and comfort available to all that our mission on this earth is to ease the suffering of others. And that's where I enter the space not necessarily to cast a certain ideological bent to Jesus Christ but to look at his actions in this behaviors and most of his presence in the New Testament. It's a conversation about how you create space for others to be holy who they are and to to relieve suffering to advance justice and to practice forgiveness. Those are the tenants that hold me the conversations about the poor and so if we were to extrapolate from that to modern day when I think of gun safety I I do not think of it as taking away. Someone's right I think about it as an responsibility that as someone who knows how to shoot a gun. When I was taught how to shoot I was taught first of all. You don't point it at anybody and it sounds like a basic lesson but the point is your obligation is to protect others to protect their safety to be responsible for your actions and so I do think that proliferation of any danger that doesn't have the guidance of ensuring that more people aren't harmed would be consistent with who he may be in. A modern context look wise with abortion. I believe that the obligation is to ensure that we each make our choices. So I I don't speak to the content of the decision. Speak to who gets to make the decision and reproductive choice reproductive health and abortion rights are wedded together in our society. Today I know women who've had abortions because they needed to do so in order to protect themselves and their families and it is a difficult complex conversation that should not be invaded by another person's lack of knowledge of WHO. And what is happening? Jesus also said blessed are the Peacemakers you spent From two thousand six to two thousand seventeen in the Georgia House of Representatives. You are the minority leader from two thousand eleven to two thousand seventeen. Tell me what will do in that. Context of blessed are the Peacemakers Stacey to create bridges? We don't need more division. I think we need unification. What will you do to reach across the aisle when I became Democratic leader at the end of twenty ten heading into the twenty eleven session party lost every statewide office re been decimated in the Senate and we were close to being outnumbered by two thirds in the house where I became leader and I sometimes caught flack from some of my members because what I would say is? My first job is to find ways for us to work together that my job was not to defeat the Republicans and policy. My job was to find ways to serve the people and that meant to find moments where we could work together to advance policy if that couldn't work by jobless to defeat policies. I thought we caused harm and to promote policies that I thought could create good even if they weren't going to pass and so I got in trouble both during my tenure and actually when I ran for governor in the primary because I did work very closely with the other side on issues that I thought were critical so whether it was education or transportation or criminal justice kinship care helping families taking care of their children who are not their own. My responsibility was to look for points of common ground. Because most people don't care about your partisanship. They care about their lives and the consequences of bad policy. The peacemaking is not simply not fighting. It is actually creating peace and prosperity within other people's homes in their lives. And when you're not battling to survive that is a blessed peace and so my responsibility is a legislator was to find this basis where we could work together but it was also my job to defeat legislation that I thought could cause harm Because having grown up poor I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the inattention or worse. The intention of that
Irene Kraegel :: The Mindful Christian
"Our guest today is Irene cradle Irene. Nice to meet you. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you for having me. So I've really been looking forward to this conversation since we connected on email and I'm I'm really looking forward to unpacking of this topic with you but let's start by just having you tell us about your background sure. My professional background is as a psychologist so I was trained at the Chicago. School of professional psychology and I work as a clinical psychologist Until about since about two thousand three and I've been in a few different kinds of clinical settings and Most recently have been Calvin University where I work at the Center for Counseling and wellness. Which is the Student Counseling Center There Kelvin. And that work has really been? What's brought me to mindfulness. Which is why I'm here today. but yeah professionally mostly the mental health field And I have also been in the world of Christian faith my whole life as well and again. That's been my more. Recent professional interest is now being a psychology and mindfulness in with Christian worldview. I'm so I'm sure I could say much more about myself by a leave it at that. It's conversation Anna. I want to go into a little bit of that and how you got interested in mind from us you mentioned that was a little bit Part of what? You've been doing the past several years one hundred that I come about of the show up if I came up because I was hearing about everywhere so in the field of mental health. It was a hot topic But it was the hot topic that didn't seem to be going away just kept popping up and As I heard about it it was starting to sound like an approach to mental wellbeing mental health. That had some depth to it and I liked that There's a lot of mental health. That's that's very effective but his focus. John Maybe efficiency and Tips about managing different different challenges. And things that can be very helpful but as I applied those in my own life. I didn't feel like they had the kind of lasting impact that I wanted to personally and I didn't always feel comfortable recommending those as the only thing for my clients as well so when I heard about mindfulness It sounded like something that could really have a lot to offer for my clients who are struggling with anxiety. Depression all kinds of emotional suffering and it was also a point in my own life where I was experiencing some emotional suffering myself Coming to grips with some depression. That had really been there. My whole life but That wasn't really Resolving her healing in the way I would like it to despite a lot of other very positive coping skills I was using an different approaches I had taken felt like I was really longing for something deeper. Soza professional interest. It was a personal interest And having gone to a few trainings that were really connected to the world of mental health. I decided I wanted to go through the mindfulness based stress reduction training not as a teacher as a student And the classroom. I WanNa be a teacher like Eddie. Taken the classic. No how do you know you wanNA teach so thank you for taking it you yes. It's phenomenal. It's such a great class And I've found that within really the first one to two sessions of 'em bs are I was personally experiencing some really deep transformation So I I you know people in the world of science talk about these brain shifts and physical changes. That happen when we experienced mindfulness meditation. I've felt that in my brain within the first couple of weeks that I was thinking differently I was feeling differently And it was giving me a whole new set of tools to manage emotional difficulty so I very quickly became a believer And from that point on I got pretty excited about bringing it to students. I was working with at Calvin University And in that context Making sure that I was blending had with The the Christian faith that's important to the university as well so that was kind of what initially drew me to it and that was about Seven years ago or so. It's interesting as you were mentioning having some hesitancy around some of the techniques and tips and tricks for patients who are suffering. The image came to mind of of bailing out a boat. And they're just constantly springing these leaks and wouldn't it be great if there is a way that you could maybe build a boat that wasn't gonNA spring leaks or maybe not quite as many and this to me is one of the values of practices like mindfulness. And not the only one you know there are others as well. The ways in which we can build up our resiliency our ability to work with challenging circumstances to really a soak in the positive times as well not just about The negative ones. And how do we deal with that also? Really be present for the joys of life as well so thinking and one of the phrases I find myself using is that mindfulness was a gift that helped me unlocked the other gifts so it wasn't that those other things weren't also useful. I find myself drawing heavily on cognitive behavioral therapy for example for myself and others Noticing how thought patterns can be distorted noticing alternative thoughts that I might engage with. There's a lot of really good concrete. Cpt out there and other similar approaches And we have things like exercise that we know are really good for a mental health and social connection. Good eating habits. I mean the list goes on and on the things that are good for us But somehow it was mindfulness. It allowed me to access the benefits of those so Sunday like cpt. In the past. I might have engaged with those exercises in some of that work can just found that he had locked into a power struggle in my head. So I might work at identifying a maladaptive thought pattern But before I knew it I was just in this argument with myself about whether that was really maladaptive or not. So mindfulness has has given me a new tool to step out of that power struggle at my head and receive all those other benefits as well now can notice those thoughts but without so much gripping onto mammoth struggling with them Same for exercise him for relationships. You know I can be. I can enjoy social interaction much more now that I have that tool of mindfulness That allows me to kind of watch. My thoughts watch my feelings. Go by So I continue to to practice and preach all of the mental health tools out there and I find for me. I needed mindfulness to really be able to benefit from them. You know it's fascinating that you bring up cvt and getting caught in one's own thoughts. We were just in our in person. Mindfulness Group on Monday nights going through the cognitive distortions and that this is a group in working for several years in twenty thirty some people and they're grounded mindfulness and how their their approach to this. Their observations of these distortions as they show up was really interesting and maybe a little bit different than others. Who might not have that That firm foundation of mindfulness tour on and some kind of curious in your own practice. If you've run into working with students patients or even others just in your daily life on things like cognitive distortions and just her ability to notice them of that's been supported by mindfulness absolutely it. It seems to me that you can't work on it or modify it. If you don't know it's fair I mean to state the obvious so I. I know for myself when I first started practicing. It was rather surprising and shocking to me. How many judgmental thoughts are streaming through my mind? At every moment. I had no idea that was going on I knew I was maybe a bit cynical negative but I didn't realize the extent to which there is kind of a constant barrage of negatively towards myself super helpful. They're not as good when I noticed that sort of this. Oh that's so interesting like maybe there's another way to relate to myself And that was like I said a really big turning point for transformational and that has to be foundation of good. Cpt or cognitive behavioral work. If we want to modify those patterns we have to know their their
Faith in Times of Plague - Luther
"This week we're going back to the year. Fifteen twenty seven and two Martin Luther. He of course is no stranger to us here on five minutes in Church history but he lived through a plague and even wrote about it. November fifteen twenty seven. Luther published a little pamphlet entitled whether one may flee from a deadly plague now. The plague he was talking about was the bhubaneshwar plague. This is the black deaf. I came to Europe in thirteen fifty and those few years right around thirteen fifty. It was so devastating to Europe and it took about a third of the population of Europe. The plague receipted but then it recurred really centuries later and one of those recurrences came to Pittsburgh in the summer of fifteen twenty seven by November. Luther decided to write this pamphlet whether one may flee from a deadly plague. It's full of all kinds of practical advice on how to respond. Luther even talks in here about the building of hospitals and how hospitals should be built in such a way as to protect the medical staff as they serve those who are suffering from plague the towards the end. He delivers a paragraph. I want to read that to you in full because I think there's a lot in there that we can learn from and we should be paying attention to as we learn from our good friend. Martin Luther he writes therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Well that's a great place to start. Let's Pray for God's Merciful Protection of us all then Luther says then I shall fumigate one point in this piece. He says I'll fumigate my house. Fumigate the yard fumigate the street now. I'm not sure what fumigating looked like in the sixteenth century but whatever it was luther was advocating for it. He goes on to say. I'll help purify the air. He says out administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus per chance in fact and pollute others and so caused their death as a result of my negligence. So there's luther offering very practical advice on how to respond to this taking medicine and so forth and being careful on fact we see Luther. They're practicing what we would call today social distancing right Luther goes on to say if God would wish to take me he will surely find me and I have done what he is expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others if my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but we'll go freely as stated above so there we see him again following the regulations but also recognizing that he needs to put love of neighbor first and then luther ends with this see this is such a God fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God. Luther is outlining for us. What faith in God looks like in time of plague? He says it's not brash. It's not foolhardy. You know we do look right before. We crossed the street in my neighborhood. Street doesn't get much traffic But I still look when I cross it but if I were to cross a four lane highway and probably look a little bit more carefully and so we have to be extra careful. Maybe in these times as we exercise our faith that we not do it brashly or foolhardy way but nevertheless we realize that in these times of plague as luther is advising his congregation and advising us this pamphlet that has survived through the centuries that we are to trust in. God so there is Martin. Luther reminding us that in times of plague we trust in God. We pray mercifully for his protection and his protection for us all.
Reducing Conflict in Your Marriage
"MR leader. It is great to have you back on focus on the family to be with you as you and I are speaking Jim at home. Well that's He's in the Washington Area. They have Ordered everybody to go home. I guess they're consumed with trying to stop Washington perfect coming hotspot as New Yorkers and so this is early. Been quite a quite a challenge. Well it's it's an amazing moment for leadership. And of course you carry the title Mr Leader. And congratulations on getting that stimulus package through and it was a unanimous vote. Correct single center a voted against it. There were a couple out Ironically and oscillation because the potential to come down with corona virus. But so it. Obviously you know hit the capital and at the Senate as well but we. We stayed the course Dinner Rapid Time This whole package together and under a week which is Warp speed for Congress. Oh without a doubt hoping the speaker and get it through the house Tomorrow when you look at the bill two trillion dollars It's a lot of money in many on the conservative side of the political spectrum. We're already antsy about the amount of debt that we have. But I mean there's really no way out. The government has got to step in correct. There was no alternative. I you know I've got some pretty conservative members. Everybody voted for it. There was no alternative because the government itself because of the public health pandemic shot the economy down. Nobody's fault. I mean nobody did anything wrong. This is not like a bank bailout. Nolan did anything wrong. We're trying to kind of bend. The car could get this public health crisis behind us and the best advice who were getting is that people have to separate and that leads to the situation. We found ourselves at now so the package has direct assistance for American families. It has a direct assistance or small businesses and for some of the larger businesses like airlines for example who don't have any any customers anymore Imagine people are reluctant to get planning applying anywhere I. They're being given medical not to do that so I didn't want to touch on something that you and I both care about. It was not in the bill and that was the Democrats not surprisingly wanted to try to make Planned parenthood eligible for funding. And we did that so not be using this margin. Rescue Package took fun planned parenthood. I so appreciate that and you know regardless of what side of the aisle you're on someone like Lipinski Who was a former prolife Democrat in the congress who has beaten his primary Those of us on the pro-life perspective. We can all applaud the fact that we're trying to save lives. I mean the thing is at least you're very consistent whether it's corona virus taking life or abortion taking your standing for life and we applaud you. Thank you for that leadership specifically let me if I can on the Stimulus package. I asked a couple of folks that I know. This is an interesting question. I had contemplated this but One of the commanders of the Colorado Springs Police Department is a friend of mine and he mentioned One of the concerns that he and as he called them. The badges are a little worried about is at the local level. Most first responders salaries come out of sales tax. That's how they are funded and he said there's a concern within the Colorado Springs Police Department amongst the officers. Whether they're going to have jobs. He said he had read the bill yet. Did we anticipate that? Or is anybody thinking about that aspect of first responders well over one hundred fifty billion dollars in the package for state and local governments for Corona virus related expenses? So anything that's directly related to. The virus is eligible and that's very significant amount of relief to and local governments. In addition out there was a massive package for hospitals. We know that they're under enormous stress. So we're trying to get this money out the door as rapidly as possible and The treasurer short-term MNUCHIN. Who was deeply involved in? This whole negotiation is also going to be on the point and executing they the funding getting it out as rapidly as possible. Everything we did in this bill had speed in mind in other words getting relief there quickly right. Well that's good and I know. Millions of Americans appreciate the help in this moment Let me also ask on behalf of a donor and supporter focus on the family. His name's Randy. He Does Manufacturing Labor placement and he works internationally. He raised an interesting question with me saying right now. Four of his global accounts have said to him if there was an economic incentive package to bring these manufacturing American manufacturing back to the United States. They'd be open to making that move right now. Has Anybody given any consideration to the long term impact that that could have to incentivize like cities? Do we have economic development groups like in here in Colorado Springs but to do that at a national level to try to get some of this especially essential manufacturing pharmaceuticals etc back to the United States. A lot of thought given to that because the distribution chain for medical devices some medicine from around the world certainly brought home. They concern a part of the distribution chain. Breaks Down Right so I think we'll be looking at that in a different way than we have in the past After after this pandemic the weaknesses created by certain things don mostly overseas. I think that's really good and I thought that was an insightful long-term perspective on what we might be able to do and You know as we wrap up our time and again. I'm grateful to you for the time you've given us From your perch as the Senate leader Speak to the American people generally about what you see in the short term and the long term for our nation. Well the short term. I want you to know all taking inspiration from the way the American public has reacted to this as strangers strangers people Looking for ways to be helpful particularly with for example volunteers delivering thanks to nursing homes and the elderly people who are stuck at home As a result of this we wanted To show the American people. We could come together guesses. They're coming together and do something rapidly for the country so I think the American public's reaction to this event inspiration. We've all noticed that and I think it helped us get this whole massive measured through just about one week which warp speed in Congress without a single dissenting vote. Now that's so appreciate it again and you know People faith you and your wife How do you translate the question? We're getting your focus on the family is where is God in all of this and I think now not as a politician leader of the but as a fellow believer How would you respond to that question? Where is God in all of this off his happens? That's an obvious question. I think God gives us guidance during a period like this you teaches us Inositol and perseverance and the optimism that when this is over This'll be still a great country. Under God as it always has been
5 Reformers on the Psalms
"This episode. Let's explore five reformers on the soames will start and end with very familiar reformers and in between who knows. Maybe we'll talk about someone you don't know I is. Martin Luther Luther like all of these reformers loved the psalms. Luther set up habit of reading the psalms through in about three weeks and that was a habit. He kept up all of his adult life early on in his career. As a reformer he published his work on the psalms in fifteen eighteen and again in fifteen nineteen and that set a trajectory for the reformers to publish commentaries on the Psalms. So first pride of place goes to Martin. Luther next up is Lutheran Pastor Yohannes Buchen Haagen in fifteen twenty four. He published a Latin commentary on the Psalms. This was a massive work and set the stage for many of the commentaries. That would follow in fact. It was so influential in its Latin texts. That a publisher convinced. Martin Boozer and now. Here's our third reformer on the psalms convinced Martin Bucer to translate this Latin commentary into the German and he did well before we leave. Bougie Haugen talk about boots. Or however let's hear what Bogin Haagen has to say about just psalm one he says therefore in this psalm you have all of the scope of all of holy scripture. He goes on to say every song is about Christ and ultimately every song has something to say directly to the church. Well that's Bougie Haagen as we already mentioned boots are translated. Buchen Huggins commentary into the German. Fifteen twenty five. There's an old Latin expression translator trader. And that's exactly what Buchen Huggins thought of Martin bucer translation. It was not just a translation he he took many liberties and an essence was publishing his own commentary. Well that led to boots or publishing was in fact his own original commentary in fifteen twenty nine and curiously. He published it in Latin. It was a huge volume but despite its heft it went through five editions in the Latin. It went through two editions in French and it even made it into the English. So influential was bouterse commentary on the Psalms that it actually impacted the French Salter and the English psalter which then went into the English Bible. Curiously enough boots are published it under a false name presenting himself as a French humanist scholar from Leon well harassment's great human scholar. Erasmus discovered. It was actually bucer and the JIG was up. Well that's three out of four next comes. A reformer you might not have heard before we'll famous Musculus. He was a reformer and scholastic tradition. He was a benedictine monk in fifteen eighteen reading luther. He was converted. He then went to Strasbourg. Studied under Martin boots or he was dispatched to Augsburg. He wrote many books. Among his books are eight commentaries on the Old Testament including his commentary on the Psalms Musculus. Well that leads us to our fifth and final reformer that is Calvin. He published his commentary on the Psalms in fifteen fifty seven and among other things. He says in his preface to the psalms. He extols the virtues of the psalms. Here's what Calvin has to say. There is no other book in which there is to be found more express and magnificent commendations both of the unparalleled liberality of God towards his church and of all of God's Works. There is no other book in which there is recorded so many deliverance -is nor one in which the evidences and experiences of the fatherly providence and solicitude which God exercises towards us are celebrated with such splendor of diction and yet with strict adherence to truth short. There is no other book in which we are more perfectly taught the right manner of praising God. Well that's Calvin one of five reformers on the
Dealing With Fear and Anxiety
"Anxiety the real issues and and the idea is especially if this is something that you know you you need prescribed medicine for. Don't minimize the fact that God has given people the ability to create medicine. That helps us deal and and help us with some of the problems that maybe there is a disconnect between our brain and this synopsis in dealing with certain situations in connecting the dots You know I wanNa tell you that if this is something that you struggle with you know not only. Are you an introvert personality. But you really have trouble with fear anxiety. I don't want you to minimize this and this is something that you know if you already have a phobia and it's something that can own your life. You know we want to encourage you as get help. Um Seek Professional Council. Talk to a doctor if it's extreme but we don't want to minimize that and for those of us that are over media over sensitized. Giving in to the world's worst case scenario and it is my neighbor next door to me. Totally infected with covert. Am I GONNA be next? These are the things that we have to come back to a rational mind. And so this podcast particularly not dismissing some of those ones. That are more extreme but to deal with like every day for every day things. -IETY and where do I fit in these things? And how do I cope with them and putting this in perspective of what is the Biblical Lens? What is a biblical approach? That I'm called to be as a man of God as if you're a woman or your wife or your somebody listening to this. What is my response in doing this? And how do I respond? And no matter what we say you know God creator of Heaven. Earth is about all of this. There's a reason there's there's an understanding and he's not mocked and so there's forces in this world that are working against him or biochemistry labs or accidents or spread of viruses or all of these things that we're doing in the end every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and so let's go back to the basics God is in control God is Creator got his omniscient omnipresent. Let's put things in perspective here. Yeah glad you brought that up and I I will tell you in full disclosure and transparency listeners. Out there I'm somebody that that Struggles with post traumatic stress? I've had issues with With all these things like fear and exiled hyper vigilance and things like that. So I will talk a little bit about to the cognitive behavioral therapy. I've gone through and really some of the things that I've used to get over it and I think you probably hit the nail on the head For for what something that really helped me and I'll quote you from scripture from Joshua one nine have not commanded you be strong and courageous do not be frightened and do not be dismayed for the Lord. Your God is with you wherever you go now. I say that and I live by that and I do I really do. I say if if God is with me and God will not abandon me. Then what do I really have to be afraid of And maybe I'm afraid of you know a virus. Maybe I'm afraid of infection. Maybe I'm afraid of death but if I know in my heart if I may If I am a a save Christian I've accepted. The Lord is my savior than I don't have to worry about those things. Now I say all that and then I know what it's like when we're in those moments of fear and worry and anxiety and I can tell you that verse and you can recite that versatile over and over again but I know there's that little voice in our head that says Ya. It's a great Bible verse but that's probably intended for people who've got it all together. People who are more balanced people have a similar live. People who don't have you know crazy. Kids run all over in quarantine right now and so. It's when you're in a I would say this way onto when you're in a rational mind it's easy to say. Oh Yeah I can remember. Joshua one nine and you know. Be Strong and courageous. Don't be for but but when you're in that emotional state or you're already that state of fear and worry anxiety it's hard to bring yourself down back to the rational state. Does that make sense? Yes I mean and the idea is how. How does the word of God that apply to my situation? And and we're we're do I go with Lance Brings Back Joshua Old Testament you know Jesus puts his. Even you know the same perspective the same light in Matthew six twenty five and I'll read through thirty four therefore I tell you do not be anxious about your life what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body. What you will put on is not life more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the air. They neither so nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more value than they and which of you be by being anxious can add a single or to his his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field. How they grow. They neither toil nor spin yet. I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these but of God so clothes the grass of the field which today is alive and to most thrown into the oven. Will he not much more clothes? You of little faith therefore not being ships saying what shall we eat or what choice drink or what shall we wear for the gentile sick. After these things in your heavenly father knows that you need them all but see I the Kingdom of God and his
Re-Thinking Church Missions
"All through the history of the Church of Christ. There has been a ceaseless struggle to maintain the truth that is a quote from Alan McRae Twentieth Century Presbyterian Churchmen and Biblical scholar. He learned that quote firsthand. He was with J Gresham Machen as a student at Princeton Seminary in the late nineteen twenty s and when Mason left Princeton in one across the Delaware River over to Philadelphia to found Westminster Theological Seminary. Mcrae went along with them and a few years later in one thousand nine thirty six when Mason. Who was ousted from the Presbyterian church U S and he formed a new church the Orthodox Presbyterian church well McRae went along with him again. So what was the issue in the Nineteen Thirties and specifically in nineteen thirty six mccray is about this ceaseless struggle to maintain the truth. Will broadly speaking. The issue was liberalism and cultural progressivism This had been at work in the Presbyterian Church USA and many other denominations as well at the time from the eighteen nineties on through the roaring twenties. Mason battled it at Princeton and he was battling it. Within the denomination narrowly. Speaking the issue was missions in nineteen thirty to the fall of nineteen thirty two. A report was issued entitled Rethinking Missions. This report was then published fully in nineteen thirty three no fewer than seven volumes published by Harper again under the title rethinking missions. This project was all funded by John. D Rockefeller it had representatives from seven key positions on mission boards. In seven denominations participated. This document had two major parts. One was based on a fact finding mission and just spoke of the state of missions and the conditions of places three places in particular China and India. Japan were studied the second part raised new ways. That mission should be done and challenge the old ways that missions was being done in a nutshell. What this document wanted to promote was to advance spiritual idealism social brotherhood Economic Welfare and Cultural Unity. The rethinking part means that to think of missions as simply the Great Commission the Proclamation of the Gospel to every tribe to every nation that is too narrow and in fact has been wrong headed we need a different mission. Different approach that represents the realities of the twentieth century so missions needs to be rethought well. This deeply troubled J. Gresham mation. He saw in this and denial of the Gospel and he couldn't believe that not only did his own mission board of the Presbyterian Church U s not only did it not refute this document but it had key representatives. Who are part of it and were promoting it. This was also the time of the missionary. Pearl Buck in nineteen thirty two. She had just won the Pulitzer Prize. She was a very significant figure in American culture and she was a Presbyterian missionary. Who denied the Atonement of Christ the Deity of Christ the authority of Scripture and all of this just perplexed Mason and so he challenged his denomination. He wrote a one hundred and ten page pamphlet to go along with an overture that he introduced in his presbytery and he wanted the Presbyterian Church to refute this document. They didn't and so. In one thousand nine hundred thirty three he formed the independent board of Presbyterian foreign missions that eventually led to his ouster from his denomination and so in Nineteen ninety-six once he was defrocked he just formed a new denomination the Orthodox Presbyterian church six months later January one nineteen thirty seven. Mason died but his commitment to the church and his commitment to the Gospel was evident there in that action of standing against the tide of his denomination and standing for the Gospel. He did not want to rethink missions but rather in the twentieth century he wanted to reaffirm the mission of the Church and the Great Commission. Well that was mentioned in one thousand nine hundred eighty three. And I'm Steve Nichols and thanks for joining us. For Five minutes purchased
How to Help Children Make Decisions
"I had a dream that I printed out a manuscript. I was working on and it fell from the printer like soup so I grabbed a little Japanese bold. Catch it with and it took a sip without thinking and then I worried because I wasn't sure which Chapter Eight. It was a dream of course but still woke up feeling like. I had done something wrong like I was missing something important but I didn't know where to go to find it. A mentor told me wants to pay attention to my dreams. It wasn't because every single element in my dreams had some kind of hidden meaning but the emotion that lingers when we wake up will that can be an important source of information. That's the power of our imagination. A thing may not have happened but that doesn't mean it wasn't real on a cross country flight a few weeks ago. I watched the movie version of a book that I read a few years back it was. Where'd you go? Bernadette if you must know but I enjoyed the movie which is saying something because typically when I watch a movie version of a Book I've read. I'm fairly disappointed this time though. I've found myself watching it and just enjoying it without much judgment now. Many factors were at play here in my experience. In general I like movies better on airplanes due to the watching a movie in the clouds factor. That's just cool and also it's been years since I read the book so the details had faded enough that I knew I liked it but I couldn't tell you exactly what they got wrong or left out in the movie typically with movies that started out his books. Well it's hard to please the readers. The filmmakers have so many limitations with time and money technology not to mention their own interpretation of the author's intent but when we read the book imagination as limitless if the author does it give details. We just fill them in ourselves. Our nation's powerful the only limit to my imagination is that I cannot put myself in your head. I'm stuck inside my own head. I don't know what you're thinking unless you tell me and even then I only hear it through the filter of my own experience. Well that's true between you and me and it's true between us and our children so when my daughter was an elementary school and she told me she was afraid of what her friends would think of her new haircut. I dismissed her imagination too soon. Oh my gosh. They're gonNA love it. I said they probably would. That's true but they may not love it so then. The picture that she was holding onto in her mind wasn't necessarily an unreasonable one. She was lost in her own imaginary world saying her friends laughing and pointing an offering only heavy rejection in her head. They'd hurt even though it hadn't happened yet even though it probably wouldn't happen at all but I'm no help to her when I say that won't happen. Don't worry about it. I'm learning to practice expanding my own imaginary world to include the imagination of my children. I started to learn this back when they were a little bit younger. But I'm finding it still applies. Even as they grow the goal is to enter into that painful place with her to walk alongside her into the dark alley of her mind to confront the fear lurking in pretend corners and not to tell her. There's nothing to fear but to give her the tools to handle what might come next. This is an important practice in all aspects of parenting but especially when it comes to helping our kids make decisions the next time your child comes to you with a particular fear or maybe a potential uncomfortable outcome or maybe needing help and making a decision rather than launching immediately into lecture. Fix or tell mode here are four things you can do instead to help. Your child begin to develop their own habit of soulful decision making number one. Ask At least two questions. I've come to believe more and more. That listening is the opposite of loneliness or at least being listened to imagine if someone was willing to listen to you in your lonely places and really hear you out. You may not feel so lonely anymore. Part of the fear of negative outcomes are kids half is they're afraid of the burden of being alone in their rejection alone in that new adventure or alone in their decision. Making if your child is stuck in fear or doesn't know what to do next pause and ask a question not a leading question or a statement disguised as a question. You don't. I'm talking about but a true curious question that seeks to know and understand episode ninety. Four of the next right thing is all about the importance of asking the second question and with children. It's equally important. I know where the parents and sometimes it seems like. We're supposed to have all the answers and so our first instinct is not to ask but to tell but instead if your child is struggling with fear frustration or a decision before you tell them anything. Try asking them a question and then challenge yourself to ask at least one. More Question. Look for clues to her hesitation. Find out the images. She's holding on to follow the trail to her heart number to kneel to understand their world before asking them to rise to understand yours years ago. I read a book by Wess Stafford. That forever changed how I see children. The book is called too small to ignore and in it. West says this. He writes so far as we see in reading the Gospels. Jesus never admonished children to become more grown up. He did however exhort grownups to become more like children. This begs the question. What does it mean to be like little children? The best way to know is to ask the children themselves. What imaginary outcomes might they be anticipating? What is he afraid will happen? What sounds fun. What sounds scary. What clues will she offer you about the shape of her soul number three offer next right thing solutions if your son needs to decide between taking an art class or taking a music class in third grade keep the third grade perspective what matters in third grade learning yes but also friends predictability safety curiosity fun resist? The urge to insist third grade decision have highschool consequences. Let it be a third grade decision but at the same time when offering an x ray thing solution keep in mind. That third grade is the oldest. Your child has ever been in fact no matter the age of your child the age he or she is now is their oldest one no matter if she's three or ten or sixteen that's why they always feel like they're so grown up is because they are in their own minds to her this is the biggest and potentially most consequential decision. She's yet had to make the resist the urge to downplay it. Just because it's only third grade. After all as the parents we get to share these moments for our kids we could to help shape them anyway both by respecting them for what they are and by not making them something. They're not and if a child has no idea what she wants to do. Maybe take what you've learned and ask her. What is just the next right thing she can do today? It might have nothing to do. With the decision it might go for a bike rider. Eat a snack do her homework or play in her room. Keep her in the moment as much as you can and do your best to stay there with. Her will finally number four. Remember your job. There's a difference between God's job our job in his book families were grace is in place. Jeff Van Vondran says quote. God's job is to fix and change. Our job is to depend serve and equip this is the work of grace and it is more restful than you can imagine speaking for. Myself Now. I wonder what would happen. If in our family we would dare apparent from a place of love rather than from a place of fear I do know a little bit about what it could look like. I want to know even more and so I need God and all of this not just to do the parts that I'm not good at not just a pick me up when I begin to feel weak but I need the kind of God who takes up residence inside me to parent with me in me as me as I trust him. Good thing. That's the kind of God. He is so that haircut conversation might sound to my grownup. Mind Small and unimportant but when you're in third grade that is your whole world and actually now that I think about it. I've had some pretty important haircut conversations in my adult world too. I WANNA be willing to walk into the imagination of my child and face her biggest fears with her and I know our friend. Jesus is willing to walk into my imagination with me in face my fears with me too. He doesn't dismiss me and say that's never going to happen. He says he will be with me even if it does happen.
When the Potter Is for Us
"When the Potter is fourth. Who Strives with him? Who formed him apart among earthen pots does the clay say to him who formed. What are you making or your work has no handles Isaiah. Forty five nine. The Majesty of God is magnified when we see him through the Lens of creation. Ex Niilo out of nothing he commands nothingness and it obeys and becomes something out of nothing. He makes the clay and out of the clay. He makes us the pottery of the Lord Isaiah Forty Five Nine. His possession destined for his glory in total dependence on him. Know that the Lord he is God it is he who made us. We are his. We are his people in the sheep of his pasture. So one hundred verse three. It is humbling thing to be a sheep and a part that belonged to somebody else. This morning I was reading in Isaiah and found another statement about God's Majesty when I put together with God's absolute power and rights as Creator. There was a combustion that went off in my heart. Boom Forty three twenty one says the Lord in Majesty would be for us for us for us. The Creator is four US and not against us with all the power and the universe and with absolute right to do as he pleases with what he made he is for us. No I have seen a god besides you. Who Acts Four those? Who Wait for him. Isaiah sixty four four. If God is for us who can be against us?
3 Types of Theology
"In church. History there are basically only three types of theology. Well that's what Dr Scroll said. And he went on to identify these three types of theology ass Augustinian Azeem Palladian ISM and semi plagiarism. So what are we talking about here? Well to understand what is at stake here. In this statement of identifying these only types of theology we have to go back to the fore tends and the issue is of course. Agustin's teaching of Adam and Adam's sin in its connection to us and the challenge of that teaching by a monk named Pelagia sees from the British isles but he was rather peripatetic. He made his way to Rome. And then as the visigoths were making their way to Rome he went to Africa and then from everyone even to the Middle East. But we're in the four tens and the issue is that palladium denied the transmission of Adam's sin. He believed that Adam wasn't example for us. But that was the extent of the connection. So we are not born centers in fact we are born with the ability to sin and we were born with the ability to choose God and to assert our will to do good and to be good of course the GUSTON ATTACK. This and he spent much energy in the four. Twenties refuting Jesus and some of his key disciples in four thirty one at the Council of Ephesus Pelagia. Sin His teaching and some of those prominent disciples were condemned. But that is not at all the end of the matter. So what happened next? Well the issue was the degree to which Agustin's refutations of pelagia accepted in other words. Here comes in that third type between a Guston and play. Jesus we have the semi Palladian view and this would go not only through the five hundred but would go right on down even to the present day the allergy. Well when we're talking about the semi Palladian view the issue is what is the full effect of Adamson on humanity. Does Adam leave us sinful but yet the will is still free to choose in the will can. In fact choose it can choose to send or not to sin and it can choose God not God that in a nutshell is semi plagiarism. Now some folks will say well. That's semi Augustinian. Ism Right so the question of is the glass half wars the glass half empty or you might say have. I lost a sock or have I gained despair. But it's that halfway house of not accepting what PELAGIA was up to but not wanting to go fully with what Augusta was saying so. We are right back. Aren't we to the issue of original sin? Well look at this issue. This doctrine of original sin. It has two dimensions. I it has the fall. That is Adam's fall in the garden that historical event or Adam violated God's command plunged himself and all of his posterity into sin and so rigid sin teaches that all of the sons and all of the daughters of Adam and eve that has all of humanity are born with an innate moral corrupt sin nature. They don't become centers when they said they are sinners and because they are centers they in because we are centers. We send an Augusta further concluded that we are dead in thin and so God must work in us. I in order to save us from our sin but again that strikes. Some in many actually as problematic as denying moral accountability is denying responsibility. And so the introduce this idea that the will is free and we have more liberty and we can choose to send or not to send and that is ricocheted through the centuries of the church came up again and the reformation and in the post reformation era so there you have it. The three types of Theology Augustinian ISM salvation is a work of God alone. Plagiarism Salvation is all about human effort. It's the assertion of the human. Will we have the wherewithal to be good and to do good? It SMACK DAB. In the middle is that semi plagiarism. Salvation is cooperative. Work God in Maine working together. Well those are the three types of theology.
Its Time to Get Off the Fence Part 5
"Heard my stories. I mean you've heard me preach how late in the floor one day in my office and hung onto the legs of my desk because God was telling me that I needed to submit today of about something and I was. Ooh Did this. I said God please help me to do. Your will not run away from you. Let me tell you something. You'd better get radical. I don't care if I crawl around the floor. If it'll get the point across and I can still get up. So that's good news. That's I worked so hard to try to stay strong for you guys. Wake up sleepy Christian you know what you will get so happy if you will get your mind off yourself and get totally focused on Jesus you will get so happy if you get your mind off yourself and spend your days thinking about what you can do to help somebody else. Get Out in the world and shine used to. I don't know what I'm called to do. Your call the shine even like what Craig was talking about this morning. Just make it your ministry to get out in the world and edifying encourage people every single day. Let's look at Mark Thirteen thirty one. We're making decisions see. I'm concerned that if we don't make a decision that things are going to slip up on US unawares. This is why Paul taught the people all the time. Be Watchful. Be On your guard. Don't be deceived. He's GonNa come back like a thief in the night at a time when people are comfortable and just going about their business. You know while you're on your social media and you're taking sell fees and your Hash tagging everything checking out pinterest and checking out. What I don't know I can't keep up with all of it. But you know people are so caught up in the and it's a great tool of communication but let's use it for what it is and don't let it control our lives and take us away from things that we should be doing. Mark Thirteen thirty one heaven and earth will perish pass away but my words will not perish are pass away. It's all going to be gone someday. But this and it won't come in the form of this book it's GonNa come back riding on a white horse with fire in his eyes and a robe dipped in blood with the name written across Tim. The word of God Amen Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away. I'll tell you another mission. I'm on and I don't intend to shut up about it. We are going to honor the word of God respect. The word of God studied the word of Gum. Believe a word of God stand strong for the word of God. Tell you what I've finished tonight in revelation where the Bible says who. What's going to happen to anybody who tries to add to the book or take away from it all man. We better be careful because we're living in days where that's about to happen and you can't start taking stuff out of the word or Adam stuff to the word that's important to God. Mark Thirteen thirty one bursts thirty two but that day an hour or not a single person knows not even the angels in heaven nor the Son but only the father so really. Don't waste your time reading stuff that tells you when the world's going in they don't know you know why God's GonNa tell us when because he wants us to live ready. He wants us to be ready all the time. We should be ready every day. Not Think Oh. I'm glad he's coming back on September thirtieth. Now I've got twelve more days to get ready. We're GONNA live writing live ready. Be On your guard and watch and pray for. You don't know when the time will come. It's like a man already going on a journey when he leaves home he puts his servants in charge. That's US h his particular task and he gives orders to the door keeper to be constantly alert and on the watch. Every single one of us have an assignment from God. Everyone of us has an assignment from God. Some are more focused assignments summer more like platform assignments but many many many assignments are little things that nobody. But you and God knows what you're doing but what you're doing just as important as what somebody else is doing and we all need to do it with joy. Be Cautious and alert for you. Don't know when the master of the House is coming back. You know the Bible says in First John Too that the world is passing away and with it all the Lust Thereof Second Peter. Three ten and eleven now. This is the kind of stuff that the apostles preached to the people. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief and then the heavens will vanish and pass away with a thunderous crash and the material elements of the universe will be dissolved with fire and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up since all these things are thus in the process of being dissolved. What kind of person on each of you to be in the meanwhile in consecrated in the holy behavior and devout and godly qualities. So He's saying look in light of the fact that Jesus is coming back at any moment he's coming back. I said Jesus is coming back. He's coming back. And every man will stand before God and give an account of his life. Not Concerning Salvation. But what do you do with your time? What do you do with your money? What do you do with your gifts? What are you doing your talent? What are you doing with your mouth cutting up another Christian? Now we're going to do that anymore. We we've been delivered from that tonight. We made up our mind. We're GONNA love each other. I don't care if I'm pentecostal. And you got a Baptist dog. That's fine with me. And if you think you got a baptist dog and hands on the sick then be happy for that to
A Seller of Purple Goods, a Jailer, and an Unknown God
"Listen we are. We're jumping back into ax today to continue our journey In Discussing Acts Sixteen. And today we're looking at a seller of purple goods a jailer and an unknown God. There's some incredible stories in these few chapters of the book of acts. And so we're going to dig in and so right off the Bat and act. Sixteen we encounter a friend and CO worker of Paul who is going to factor in heavily just future ministry from here on this Timothy in acts. Sixteen you hear Paul came also to Derby into lie. Stra and disciple. Was there named Timothy now on Timothy? That's like he's like he is probably outside of Barnabus right. He's going to be such a prominent figure for the rest of the New Testament right. He's pulse keynote. Address letters to Timothy and their ministry collaborates. Paul talks about missing Timothy wanting to send timothy when like these guys. Are Thickest thieves so what this Timothy Sharing Common with Paul that we find out real quickly here because he says disciple their name Timothy the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer but his father was a Greek. So what do we know kind of a is there a reason maybe that they hit it off so closely rank as Paul also has great gin Jr like this Ju- Greek connection right? I see what you're trying to get an I. Maybe this is just being like not seeing this before. Maybe other people have seen this in. It's really evident how ironic that chapter sixteen in terms of the contents is coming right after chapter. Fifteen right because what do we just talked about in chapter? Fifteen is this gentile inclusion in Jerusalem Council. Of what are we going to Ask Gentile converts to its fulfillment of the Jewish faith. Now what are we Gonna? Ask THEM TO DO. Or WE'RE NOT GONNA ask them to be circumcised. They just need to abstain from sexual immorality abstained from food sacrificed to idols food with blood in it. And then here you have. Timothy who is perfectly kind of representing both of these cultures of Christianity is going out into a Jewish culture because his mom is Jewish but then but then his father is. Greek is gentle. And so I certainly number one and God's providence that this is the kind of Co laborer that he would give Paul to help him Of course so Paul is is thoroughly Jewish right. She makes clear New Testament. Also somebody who understands in converted from also a Greek culture. But here's what's crazy about this Mason King and I in our colleague here at the Institute. We're talking about this yesterday. As he was preparing for a lecture. The training program is your little further so in chapter one dollars. Okay so this is Timothy. He's the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer but his father was Greek. He's spoken well of strap but then in verse three We. We learned that Paul Wants Timothy to accompany him. So come be my ministry partner. This is now the missionary journey that we're going out on any took him. And what does he do? Circumstances sizes them. Yeah right after we were just told. Hey you don't have to do that. Like some stage fright about becoming a Christian you. You're you're you don't need to do that. All you need to do as abstain from sexual immorality but here he gets a ministry partner. They're going to go on a Jewish gentlemen but primarily gentile mission. Yeah any circumstances them. Yeah why I think you know. It's funny because I was. I was hoping that we would talk about this I think that it is partly or I think it. Lines UP WITH PAUL's vision of laying down prerogatives and privileges. For the sake of ministry like pulsing. Listen you know like he talks about later on said I could I could earn incomes off my ministry but I'm choosing not to. I'm laying down right in order that you know I could be available to you that there are no road blocks in the going forth of the Gospel. I think this is a strong and weak thing. I think that Paul Sang Listen. Hey Timothy they're going to be people because right because his ministry you find out later we're gonNA talk about it. He goes in. He gets into a town where to go synagogue right right. He's he's going right there. So that's where even if the mission extends out to gentiles each newtown? He's coming into. He's he's jumping into the synagogue. I and I think that with Timothy. It says that hey. They knew that his father was Greek. Right all new all new that new the Jews father was Greek so I think Paul saying listen. You know obstacle. Let's just remove all of the things. Don't pause for awkward. Well it does seem like a like okay. Did they lift up? Everybody's rogue don't think honestly. I do have questions about that. I just I can't heads or tails of it. Everybody knew this guy was not a gentile. I mean do. Do you walk different. That'd be what is the deal. Evidently there was widespread information about this. That Paul was like listen. It's going to be a stumbling block. We have this. We're not gonNA having side conversations that distract us from Gospel conversations. Yes but it's really. I mean so basically you have. Hey you guys don't get circumcised. This guy get circumcised which I think is really informative for us in the modern church where anytime. There is a temptation to widely prescribed. Something that is Has already been noted. Hey this is not a test for Orthodoxy That we should we should question what. What's the cost benefit to whether someone here's your particular command or not? Yeah and and I think a coal here a picture to that part of the burden of spiritual leadership regardless of where it's at is the willingness. Yeah lay down. Because he's yes. He's a leader. That's important distinction. Here is is is that it's prescribed for him because he'll be a particular position of visibility exactly and so you can think of all kinds of correlations for for leaders in the Church today being above reproach being probably yeah number one of them And often we can talk about things like Christian Freedom That's like a theological category to say like wherever the Bible doesn't speak but your conscience doesn't allow you to do something. Don't prescribe that for me. We get to walk in freedom. And that's true and that's really important especially in some maybe kind of heavily. Legalistic circles fundamentalist circles. That would say we're going to go beyond scripture and demand that you also maintain these ethical boundary markers but the other side is also true. Is that that could lead to an anti communism where we basically don't WanNa follow any law at all. Yeah and Paul's really charting a middle course here and saying yes. We are free in Christ acts fifteen while at the same time. We're willing to lay down our rights for the sake of the rest of the Gospel Acts Sixteen. Yeah that's a really incredible tension. It really didn't find myself. You know go on my own personal life. Moving between both of them. I am free in Christ but I also I don't want to leave anything down. You know freedom all you have to do. Is these things. Then you realize you know what this could be a stumbling block or an officer for the Gospel. Lord help me lay this down. We'll and yes all yes to all of that. That's really important. I think it's also an indicator that we've mentioned multiple times in acts that that the Church's formation is emerging from from not just thoroughly but almost completely Jewish sensibilities and sources. So it's easy for US specifically for non Jewish people to really quickly rush past all of the The Jewish roots of this story and access. Full of these little glimmers where you start to see like their self understanding of this is as the full expression the proper expression of what all the. Old Testament was about three. It's still very much we rush. Pass it in almost Judaism as like this all together separate thing and we know that in light of the resurrection how the Christian community forged it has from the Resurrection Onward. It became increasingly more distinctive. The the difference but at this point they are still very close to that. Yeah for sure. Well and I think our unfamiliarity with the Old Testament means that as as as New Testament gentile believers were like circumcisions. Weird guys like. Why are we even talking about this like? Why is there a Jerusalem Council? You know you would think they'd want to dump that off as soon as possible front. But if you're familiar like with the story for example Moses where where God says. He's he's going to kill him if he doesn't circumcise his son because he hasn't been Abedian to to circumcise his son. And then Tzipora gets in there and fixes the problem in a rather dramatic fashion. Those are the stories that are are looming large in the consciousness of the Jewish mind. And so it's not it's not a small thing at all. I mean it is it is it was a it was such a strong dividing line in the Old Testament and Paul understands that in order to initiate a conversation about The shedding of blood for the renewing of life. Yeah he he needs to make accommodations
How Dare the Vice President Pray?
"Enunciates has a long history of its leaders asking for the help of divine. Providence shouldn't be controversial when they do for the call center. I'm John Stonestreet. This is break. One they argued yesterday on break point. Spread of the corona virus is a brutal reminder of just how fragile humans are a direct and uncomfortable challenge to our collective illusion of control as it spreads not only our individual lives threatened but also the intricate and fragile web of global connections that fuel national and international economies to ask help. And all of this shouldn't be controversial. So that's exactly what Vice President. Mike Pence decided to do an official White House photo from February the twenty six captured the vice president and the Corona virus taskforce opening their meeting with heads bowed in prayer. The photo as they say nowadays blew up the Internet unleashing a tidal wave of prayer shaming. Which is a term coined a couple years back to describe ridiculing people who dare offer thoughts and prayers for victims of tragedies like mass shootings one secular research website described the photo symbolic of the moral and intellectual decay at the White House. A photo shows Vice President Mike Pence and his team trying to pray away. The Corona Virus Pinson. His team were quote wallowing ignorance superstition and willful ignorance. The site continued suggesting that pence praise. Because he's a religious extremist another slant this one from an out and proud atheists is not a joke when people say those. Republicans are trying to stop a virus with prayer. What did anyone expect? Science reason something sensible and one of the most viral tweets of the photo had this caption. Mike Pence is corona virus. Emergency team praying for a solution. We are so blank. Never mind that. Every session of Congress begins with prayer as do thousands of public meetings across the country. Each day prayer is for many today. Politically unacceptable seen as an affront to science obstacle to govern it and worst of all a shameful admission that were not in control of our own destinies. Of course. That's precisely the point of prayer. We're not in control. We think we are. We've made remarkable medical scientific and technological breakthroughs that have allowed us to be less the victims of nature than societies past. But we don't control the world. The idea that we do. Ironically reveals a central belief of a technocratic worldview one every bit as much an article of faith any held by prayers this faith allies in something quite unprovable intentive namely that all human problems and challenges whether climate change or gun violence. The Corona virus are problems that can be solved. If only we apply the right techniques which these days are almost always political. You know passing the right laws or public. Policies are electing the right officials in this world view the world and all of its complexities are reduced a mathematical models and can thus be controlled by our best ideas and efforts oliver problems. The logic continues can be if not eliminated at least ameliorated in fact. This worldview central article of faith explains why those committed to it. Think of prayer in science as mutually exclusive options something that directly contradicts the history of both science. And many of history's most important. Scientists this secular faith along with the political illusion that it fosters is on full display right now by those claiming that this outbreak is something. President trump or some government entity should be able to save us from such an inflated idea of government not only reduces the room for God in our cultural imagination it dramatically expands the room for the state and our cultural imagination. And that's something. We'll surely regret in the end. Placing the world on our own shoulders in this way will not grant any more control instead will only find its way too heavy and then where will we turn as the PSALMIST said nations may rage? People may plot in vain but only the Lord makes us dwell in safety. Thank God when our leaders recognize this? May We all join them. And praying for the Corona virus taskforce and for those political leaders and health officials around the world for God ordained wisdom to fight this potential pandemic
The Purposes of Our Hearts Matter (1 Corinthians 4:5)
"First Corinthians chapter four verse five therefore do not pronounced judgement before the time before the Lord comes who will bring to light things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart then each one will receive commendation from God. There's so much in this verse as we continue thinking about judgment here. In the beginning of First Corinthians Chapter Four one when Paul writes differ do not pronounce judgment before the time before the Lord comes just a reminder to us that we see all throughout scripture that we never need to forget that justice is only rightly seen in the long term overtime not in the short term in a specific time. There are all kinds of examples where you might look at a situation and say where's the justice in or maybe even a think justice doesn't prevail but in the large arc of the universe i. Justice prevails. We know where the whole story is headed in the end. So we trust. God's timing as the just one but then there's another part of this I i WanNa Kinda hone in on when when Paul says before the Lord comes who will bring to light. The things now hidden in darkness and we'll disclose the purposes of the heart so judgment does not just involve actions things. We do but purposes ambitions. What's in the heart? Things we desire and that reality is convicting to core. Because I can think about all kinds of things I could do. That would be at least look on the outside look good and right and even God honoring but I can have sinful purposes in my heart amidst good actions and deeds. I just take a simple example. I could preach on a Sunday. God's word in a way that draws people to Christ her bills up people in their faith Glorifies God but in my heart. I can do that work or the desire for man's applause with a desire that people would think well about me with a concern for my reputation like all kinds of sinful desire sinful purposes. Selfish purposes can be my heart in the most holy of acts and that's just one example all across our lives like the purposes of our heart matter. I guess that's the point. I Corinthians chapter four verse five the purposes of our hearts matter and so. Let's ask God to purify the purposes of our hearts. God we we know the we will one day stand before you as judge. We know that we will give an account for our works. We praise you that in the Gospel in Christ through faith in Jesus. We have forgiveness of our sends. We have internal life with you. Thank you God. We don't have to totally be afraid of This Day of judgment coming. We praise you. There's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus at the same time. Oh God we want won't be found faith on that day. We want our works to stand the test of fire. And I Corinthians three kind of way and we want on the day when the purposes of our art are disclosed. God Re brave for purity and those purpose for humility for all the purposes of our heart. Not just what we say or do but why we say or do it. What's driving us? What's going on Internally Amidst these external actions? God please please please make us pure and only in our hearts in our purposes in our thoughts and our desires. You might be maximally
Its Time to Get Off the Fence
"Now here's Joyce with today. Series thinking transform. Somebody asked me a few years ago. So how do you feel about all the travel that you have to do and you know people think traveling is great? Unless you've done it for a year or two and then you change your mind. I mean I'm packing and unpacking. Something all the time I mean. They put color coded notes on my sinker. I get ready. And I'm here I'm not even unpacked from this and I have a note that says the luggage is due to go out for Portland on such and such date and before I get back from that the luggage will be due to go out to Houston on such and such day and I've been doing that for thirty years and so somebody said to me. Well how do you feel about all the travel and you know what I just thought you know what I haven't asked myself in years? Come on there's message there. I said I haven't asked myself in years. I'm not going around saying well. How do I feel about this? What do I think about this? Do I WANNA do this or don't I want to do this? I made my mind up years ago that I was going to finish what God called me to do. And I don't care if I'm seventy two or seventy five or eighty five as long as I can walk and breathe and open my mouth. I'll be right here doing what I'm doing now. I've got doesn't want me to do it then. I don't care how much I'll make my mind up. It won't be able to do it but I also know that no matter how now listen to me no matter how much God wants me to do it. If I don't make my mind up then I won't be able do it and there's something in particular that I want us to make our minds up about tonight and I've already made my mind up about this. I've had a few meetings with myself in the last year so I think we all need to do it. You know it takes some time to have a meeting with yourself set an appointment and say self com. Let's chat and I've thought about what's happening in the world and just a lot of things that are being kind of vaguely threatened. You know the time may come one now. Laws are going to be made about what we can and can't preach we don't know for sure what was GonNa Happen but I think we have to set our minds ahead of time that we're here to serve God. Not Man almost say a few things tonight that you're gonNA figure out real quick but I'm GonNa tell you what the government doesn't tell us what to believe and what not to believe God and every single one of us. Better make up our mind about that. The government is not God. God is God and I don't care if it's this nation or if it's Africa or India or Europe or where wherever it's at God is God. The governments of none of those nations are God and we cannot bow down to them and we cannot worship them and we cannot look to them to fix all of our problems. I cannot even imagine how wounds God who has given us everything when we look past him to some other institution to take care of us and solve our problems.
The Dangerous Science Behind Gender Transitioning
"The reason scientific studies touting the benefits of medical transitioning for those with gender dysphoric or joining the long history of so-called science from call center. I'm John Stonestreet. This is break point from the beginning. Proponents of the sexual revolution have wrapped themselves in the mantle of science especially social science for example in the nineteen fifties. The Kinsey reports helped normalize a whole range of sexual behaviors. They were the source of that still often quoted statistic that ten percent of people or same sex oriented both that figure and the methodology behind. Kinsey. So-called research has long ago been discredited. Still that ten percent number two sticks in some people's heads a new wave of studies in recent years paint a rosy picture about the benefits of medical transitions for people with gender dysphoric. You so much. So that is Paul. Dirks recently said public discourse lifelong experimental medicalisation sterilization and complete removal of healthy body parts. No longer a rarity. It's now the recommended treatment for gender is for you. But what if those studies are like the Kinsey reports? What if they reflect the bias and of the authors rather than reality will given? What's at stake? This is vitally important question. Especially since -ocial science itself is in the midst of what's called a replication crisis in other words when researchers tried to replicate the findings of studies in the Social Sciences. They often cannot this failure replication. Even includes studies regarded as canonical in some fields. So how can we distinguish between what solid research? And what won't withstand further scrutiny. When it comes the so called settled science of Gender Transitioning Paul Dirks public discourse article titled Transition As treatment. The best study showed the worst outcomes sums up. The results of his deep dive into this research dirks defines best studies as those that have followed people who underwent medical transition for the longest period of time. It's well recognized in the literature. Dirk states that the year after medical gender transition is a quote honeymoon period which does not represent a realistic picture of long-term sexual and psychological status yet most of the popular ginger transition studies are limited to just a few years following the transitioning other studies that support medical transition failed to follow up with as many as half the original participants. That's well beyond the threshold of reliability. Many of the studies dirk states are fraught with design problems like small sample sizes short study links enormously high dropout rates to name just three the problem so bad one systematic review of the literature rate and only two out of twenty nine studies as high quality and contrast the best designed and most rigorous studies. Whose results are most likely to stand up over. Time found. That medical transition was not the solution to the patient's problems especially in the case of male to female transitions. They reveal much higher. Mortality rates do increased rates of suicide AIDS. Drug abuse even cardiovascular disease another high quality study found a sevenfold increase in suicide attempts and a nineteen fold increase in completed suicides after transitions even when the findings are adjusted for pre existing psychiatric problems which are often treated as unrelated to the gender DIS Fauria. They're still a three fold. Increase in psychiatric hospital admissions in other words when it comes to medical gender transitioning the best studies show the worst outcomes and the current use of shoddy social science to support medical transitioning. That's not only misleading. It's dangerous in this case. As is common in the social sciences especially throughout the history of the sexual revolution ideology is overwhelming truth. Finding too many researchers think they know what the data should tell us and so they at times unconsciously and times consciously designed their studies to make sure that it does sadly the consequences of their failure is far worse than professional embarrassment or tarnished reputations this case the consequences could be permanent and