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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For January 7, 2015

Please note that there will be more writing errors in these comments that what would normally occur in this blog because less time is spent on editing the comments than on editing the blogposts.

Dec 31

To R. Scott Clark and his short blogpost describing how a famous theologian was not nice. This appeared in Heidelblog.

If nice = 'to make someone comfortable,' then we must realize that there is a time to be nice and a time not to be nice. Turn, turn, turn.

But even when it is time not to be nice, we are always called to love, care about, and have compassion for all others. And these traits leave no room for pride, arrogance, a holier-than-thou attitude, and callousness.


Jan 2

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on Putin and whether he is a Orthodox Church Jihadist. This appeared in the Acton blog

I think other interpretations of the ties between Putin and the Orthodox Church should also be aired in order to facilitate a comparison and perhaps a better understanding of the situation.  One such interpretation, which can be applied here to a different degree, is that the Church serves as just another institution of indoctrination to maintain the status quo for the benefit of those with wealth and power. And if that is true, then Putin's verbal or governmental support for what the Orthodox Church wants to either hear or promote is, in actuality, nothing more than throwing a dog a bone. 

In any case, it would be instructive in understanding our own situation here if we note the effects of Russia's close tying of religion with nationalism. Religion will add certain self-righteous indignation at dissent while nationalism will forever be working to transform monotheistic religions into polytheistic ones where selected elites become the defacto Cardinals and Pope within the Church and self, both individual and collective, will be exalted as much as God is. Our nation's reverence for its founding fathers along with the relationship between Putin's government and the Orthodox Church has shown that this can take place in multiple countries and in ways. 


To Joe Carter and his blogpost on how absolute comfort can corrupt us. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Just based on the second paragraph quoted above, distractions can be used not just by those who faced war, such as Odysseus' men, but on the general public as well. So the benefits enjoyed by residents of the empire, for an example, can lead them astray from paying attention to who has really had to pay for the costs of their amenities. Thus, not only soldiers, who were mentioned above, can be distracted and then corrupted by comfort.


Jan 3

To R. Scott Clark and his quoting Carl Trueman on the problems of calling celibate Christian homosexuals heroes. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

Trueman definitely has a point when he talks about Christians imitating the hero worship of the world. But at the same time, it is quite difficult, if not impossible, for us heterosexuals, celibate or not, to understand the trials of Christian homosexuals simply because we are not homosexual and thus not enough of our experiences are shared. We don't belong to a group that is coming out of societal marginalization and celibate heterosexuals can actually have hope that they can be Biblically married. Christian homosexuals do not have that hope within their own orientation.

To understand what another person goes through, one must have enough similar or same experiences as that person. This is why us Christian heterosexuals cannot possibly understand  what celibate Christian homosexuals must endure. And we can admit that inability to understand without putting celibate Christian homosexuals on a pedestal. 


Jan 5

To Trip Lee and his blogpost on whether the Regulative Principle mandates conformity in how we worship. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

I think we should question the regulative principle because we see it applied outside of worship to all of life. This is what Biblical literalists do. But there is another besides the overextension of the principle. That issue is flexibility. Does the regulative principle allow for time and cultural contextual differences between Biblical times and now? In fact, we might even want to examine if NT worship outside of the Temple subscribed to the Regulative Principle.

In the end, we are faced with a one-and-many problem with regard to worship. In trying to react appropriately to the times and circumstances, do our different ways of worship contain the essential elements of the Christian faith and worship? And must one subscribe to the Regulative Principle to maintain the essential elements?


Jan 6

To Elise Hilton and her blogpost on the significance of ownership. This appeared in the Acton blog.

So solidarity with and the love of others pales in comparison to having things? Did you read what Martin Luther King said about a thing-oriented society in his speech against the Vietnam War? He said:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. 

It isn't that being able to own things cannot be important. The issue is whether the is something better than being an owner of things.

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