Saturday, March 17, 2007

Is Gandhi Burning in Hell Right Now?

A few days ago Bill Barnwell asked the question in part, Is Gandhi burning in hell?

His argument was that Gandhi had done so much good work that he MUST be in heaven.

Bill is a great Pastor and a good theologian. But, I differed with him. When you read his post you will see my comments as well. You are welcome to make your own.

Then I heard Fred Thompson of perhaps Presidential Candidate potential quote from a speech about Gandhi he made which is Quoted Here. You have to read this. It will change (for the worse) your view on Gandhi.

Gandhi is held up as a hero of the peace movement today. If Europeans, the British and Jews had listened to him people in United Federation of Deutschland (Europe) would all be speaking German today, and there would be no Israel because there would be no Jews.

Come to think of it that is the drumbeat of the PEACENIKS. Go Gandhi - destroy Israel.

So, as to the question, Is Gandhi burning in Hell?

My guess? Yep!

Logical Enemies of Quality Arguing

I love to argue the point when the point is not winning but being heard. That's true in all relationships and in particular in marriage. When I talk to couples about their marriage and we talk about how they argue I find that one of the problems is they aren't well instructed in where the boundaries are. There are boundaries. They are well publicized but not well heeded.

What follows is a copy of an article which exists in lots of places on the web including wikepeida. This list of do's and don'ts has already been well debated by the normal "yelling and screaming at each other" group I invade from time to time. Tip o the Blarneystone to Karma on this St Patty's day for sending it to us all.

I decided to publish this because a man of my Acquaintance some time back and I are engaged in a fun "Discussion" if you know what I mean. If you know me well you know that nothing is more fun than a knock down drag out verbal battle. I'm not the best at it but I do enjoy it.

Like in the boxing ring, in arguing, there must be referees and rules. Here are 20 rules of the road when quality arguing is the goal.

Earl, you went a little "Ad Hominem" on me. So, I thought some instruction might be in order.

If you watch the talking heads like McLaughlin Group and all the yelling that goes on there, they do follow the rules and it makes it enjoyable. If you don't hit below the belt we can have some real fun.

1. Ad hominem An ad hominem argument is any that attempts to counter anothers claims or conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itself. True believers will often commit this fallacy by countering the arguments of skeptics by stating that skeptics are closed minded. Skeptics, on the other hand, may fall into the trap of dismissing the claims of UFO believers, for example, by stating that people who believe in UFO's are crazy or stupid.

2. Ad ignorantum The argument from ignorance basically states that a specific belief is true because we don't know that it isn't true. Defenders of extrasensory perception, for example, will often overemphasize how much we do not know about the human brain. UFO proponents will often argue that an object sighted in the sky is unknown, and therefore it is an alien spacecraft.

3. Argument from authority Stating that a claim is true because a person or group of perceived authority says it is true. Often this argument is implied by emphasizing the many years of experience, or the formal degrees held by the individual making a specific claim. It is reasonable to give more credence to the claims of those with the proper background, education, and credentials, or to be suspicious of the claims of someone making authoritative statements in an area for which they cannot demonstrate expertise. But the truth of a claim should ultimately rest on logic and evidence, not the authority of the person promoting it.

4. Argument from final Consequences Such arguments (also called teleological) are based on a reversal of cause and effect, because they argue that something is caused by the ultimate effect that it has, or purpose that is serves.

5. Argument from Personal Incredulity A person says " I cannot explain or understand this, therefore it cannot be true."

6. Confusing association with causation This is similar to the post-hoc fallacy in that it assumes cause and effect for two variables simply because they are correlated, although the relationship here is not strictly that of one variable following the other in time. This fallacy is often used to give a statistical correlation a causal interpretation. For example, during the 1990’s both religious attendance and illegal drug use have been on the rise. It would be a fallacy to conclude that therefore, religious attendance causes illegal drug use. It is also possible that drug use leads to an increase in religious attendance, or that both drug use and religious attendance are increased by a third variable, such as an increase in societal unrest. It is also possible that both variables are independent of one another, and it is mere coincidence that they are both increasing at the same time. A corollary to this is the invocation of this logical fallacy to argue that an association does not represent causation, rather it is more accurate to say that correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but it can. Also, multiple independent correlations can point reliably to a causation, and is a reasonable line of argument.

7. Confusing currently unexplained with unexplainable Because we do not currently have an adequate explanation for a phenomenon does not mean that it is forever unexplainable, or that it therefore defies the laws of nature or requires a paranormal explanation.

8. False Continuum The idea that because there is no definitive demarcation line between two extremes, that the distinction between the extremes is not real or meaningful: There is a fuzzy line between cults and religion, therefore they are really the same thing.

9. False Dichotomy Arbitrarily reducing a set of many possibilities to only two. For example, evolution is not possible, therefore we must have been created (assumes these are the only two possibilities). This fallacy can also be used to oversimplify a continuum of variation to two black and white choices. For example, science and pseudoscience are not two discrete entities, but rather the methods and claims of all those who attempt to explain reality fall along a continuum from one extreme to the other.

10. Inconsistency Applying criteria or rules to one belief, claim, argument, or position but not to others. For example, some consumer advocates argue that we need stronger regulation of prescription drugs to ensure their safety and effectiveness, but at the same time argue that medicinal herbs should be sold with no regulation for either safety or effectiveness.

11. The Moving Goalpost A method of denial arbitrarily moving the criteria for "proof" or acceptance out of range of whatever evidence currently exists.

12. Non-Sequitur In Latin this term translates to "doesn't follow". This refers to an argument in which the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. In other words, a logical connection is implied where none exists.

13. Post-hoc ergo propter hoc This fallacy follows the basic format of: A preceded B, therefore A caused B, and therefore assumes cause and effect for two events just because they are temporally related (the latin translates to "after this, therefore because of this").

14. Reductio ad absurdum In formal logic, the reductio ad absurdum is a legitimate argument. It follows the form that if the premises are assumed to be true it necessarily leads to an absurd (false) conclusion and therefore one or more premises must be false. The term is now often used to refer to the abuse of this style of argument, by stretching the logic in order to force an absurd conclusion. For example a UFO enthusiast once argued that if I am skeptical about the existence of alien visitors, I must also be skeptical of the existence of the Great Wall of China, since I have not personally seen either. This is a false reductio ad absurdum because he is ignoring evidence other than personal eyewitness evidence, and also logical inference. In short, being skeptical of UFO's does not require rejecting the existence of the Great Wall.

15. Slippery Slope This logical fallacy is the argument that a position is not consistent or tenable because accepting the position means that the extreme of the position must also be accepted. But moderate positions do not necessarily lead down the slippery slope to the extreme.

16. Straw Man Arguing against a position which you create specifically to be easy to argue against, rather than the position actually held by those who oppose your point of view.

17. Special pleading, or ad-hoc reasoning This is a subtle fallacy which is often difficult to recognize. In essence, it is the arbitrary introduction of new elements into an argument in order to fix them so that they appear valid. A good example of this is the ad-hoc dismissal of negative test results. For example, one might point out that ESP has never been demonstrated under adequate test conditions, therefore ESP is not a genuine phenomenon. Defenders of ESP have attempted to counter this argument by introducing the arbitrary premise that ESP does not work in the presence of skeptics. This fallacy is often taken to ridiculous extremes, and more and more bizarre ad hoc elements are added to explain experimental failures or logical inconsistencies.

18. Tautology A tautology is an argument that utilizes circular reasoning, which means that the conclusion is also its own premise. The structure of such arguments is A=B therefore A=B, although the premise and conclusion might be formulated differently so it is not immediately apparent as such. For example, saying that therapeutic touch works because it manipulates the life force is a tautology because the definition of therapeutic touch is the alleged manipulation (without touching) of the life force.

19. Tu quoque Literally, you too. This is an attempt to justify wrong action because someone else also does it. "My evidence may be invalid, but so is yours."

20. Unstated Major Premise This fallacy occurs when one makes an argument which assumes a premise which is not explicitly stated. For example, arguing that we should label food products with their cholesterol content because Americans have high cholesterol assumes that: 1) cholesterol in food causes high serum cholesterol; 2) labeling will reduce consumption of cholesterol; and 3) that having a high serum cholesterol is unhealthy. This fallacy is also sometimes called begging the question.

Friday, March 16, 2007

'Jesus Camp' and the Politics of Children’s Ministry

Lee Grady is a man of my Acquaintance and an article he just wrote is exactly what I would say. So, read it in full. This is what real evangelism is all about. Then next generation.

Lee Writes:

Jesus Camp is the Oscar-nominated documentary—now on DVD—offers a candid but politically charged portrayal of a brave charismatic lady.

I didn’t have the stomach to see Jesus Camp when it arrived in theaters last year. The controversial documentary had already been labeled “scary” by political liberals and “slanted” by evangelical Christians. But as soon as it made it to DVD I decided to watch it, albeit cautiously, knowing that this is a film about a Christian children’s ministry produced by two women who do not claim to be Christians.

The “star” of this documentary is Becky Fischer, a vivacious charismatic preacher who has served as a children’s pastor since 1991. She allowed producers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (no relation to me!) to film her meetings for a year and to do extensive interviews with children who attended her Families on Fire summer camp in Devil’s Lake, N.D.

This is not the kind of stuff anyone would expect to see in a mainstream movie. The children in Fischer’s meetings speak in tongues, swoon under the power of the Holy Spirit and weep as they ask God to end legalized abortion. They also preach, dance to Christian rock music and witness to strangers in bowling alleys using gospel cartoon booklets.

Becky Fischer has reminded us all that if we are going to bring spiritual change to America we must focus on the next generation.

“Can boys and girls change the world? Absolutely!” Fischer shouts in front of a screaming crowd of elementary school-age kids wearing Christian T-shirts.

Jesus Camp is an uncanny introduction to life in the real world of charismatic faith, captured on film and introduced to an audience of mostly nonreligious Americans who had no idea until now that such people even existed.

Becky Fischer is their worst nightmare. She gives kids hour-long sermons (complete with lots of attention-getting props) about the evils of sin. She denounces Harry Potter by saying, “Warlocks are enemies of God!” And she encourages kids to gather around a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush so they can pray for him. (Some outraged viewers mistakenly thought the kids were worshipping the president.)

At the end of the film some of the children are shown protesting abortion in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington. Their mouths are taped shut to remind passersby that the most innocent victims of abortion can’t speak.

Although Ewing and Grady claim they had no political agenda in making Jesus Camp (they describe the film as “honest” and “impartial”), their overall message implies that evangelical Christians are indoctrinating children to be militant crusaders for the Religious Right. For example, there is footage of a home-schooling mom who tells her son that global warming is a myth. In another scene, charismatic preacher Lou Engle shows kids plastic models of developing fetuses and reminds them that one-third of all their potential friends have been aborted. Some unnecessarily eerie background music subliminally suggests that a conservative conspiracy lurks behind Fischer’s ministry.

Jesus Camp is both sensationalistic and polarizing. Some Christians will love it because it shows 10-year-olds having genuine experiences with God. Other Christians will hate it because they disagree with Fischer’s methods or because they think the children are being manipulated to blindly parrot their parents’ beliefs.

And many nonbelievers will react in outrage when they realize that Christian children are actually taught to oppose evolution and abortion. Yet Fischer reminds viewers that Islamic radicals train children as young as 5 years old to carry weapons. Why, she asks, should Christian children not be trained to spread the gospel?

Some people have criticized Fischer for allowing the filmmakers unlimited access to her ministry. Perhaps she was naïve to do that—but I can’t be the judge. She admits today that she was stunned when she saw the final cut of Jesus Camp and realized how politics had been injected into the script.

“I have never viewed myself as political in any way,” she explains in a statement on her Web site. As a result of negative publicity associated with the film, Fischer was forced to discontinue her summer camp and now stages her ministry events in other venues.

Yet Fischer has refused to denounce the movie and actually encourages people to see it. “For Christians who see the film,” she adds, “I hope they will come away with a new awareness of how dedicated and committed children can be for Jesus Christ when they are given the chance and are seriously discipled in the Christian faith.”

Regardless of what you think of Jesus Camp or of Becky Fischer’s views on speaking in tongues, evangelism or Harry Potter, I believe she deserves our respect and support. She has dedicated her life to training kids to love Christ, and she has reminded us all—with the help of an unusual secular documentary—that if we are going to bring spiritual change to America we must focus on the next generation.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma Magazine.

To learn more about Becky Fischer’s ministry, Kids in Ministry International, log on at

The IT Factor

I thought this was good so I reprinted it:

I think Humphrey Bogart had IT (he is my favorite movie star). I think John Wayne, Angela Lansbury, Audrey Hepburn, President Ronald Reagan, my third grade school teacher Ms. Orange and Tiger Woods have IT. I find it odd, however, that of all the teachers I had in school, college and the military; I can only remember one that had IT. I had a high school basketball coach that at one time had IT but he lost IT when he embezzled money from an inter-state toll booth much to my surprise.

Then, at a recent conference, the Dean of Keller Williams University talked about how someone qualifies to be a certified instructor and outlined all the various steps and qualifications and then said that after a person clears all the initial hurdles, the person has to have IT to be selected.

That is what got me thinking – what is IT? How does one get IT? Can IT be taken away, as was the case of my basketball coach? If someone does not have IT now, can he or she get IT in the future? Has anyone ever really defined IT? If I don’t have IT here, might I move to another area where people in that area would think I have IT where it was non-existent before? Can I fake having IT? You know, fake IT until you make IT.

What I am about to say is not based on any scientific study but rather one man’s opinion. I think I know what IT is.

First and foremost, IT is intangible and beyond description, but I am going to try anyway to define IT. IT is made up of many small elements that when viewed as a whole comprise a very vague description of a person that has IT.

People who have IT seem to be for real; no gimmicks, just down to earth real good people. People you want to go out to dinner with, play sports with, go to a movie with, work for or have work for you, etc.

  • They seem to enjoy the courage of their convictions.
  • They know what they want and they tend to persevere in order to attain it.
  • They go about their daily activities and life with enthusiasm and excitement.
  • They seem to be able to focus on what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
  • They are aware of their surroundings and the people therein.
  • They tend to be servant leaders by their very nature; what can I do for you?
  • They are honest and have integrity.
  • They tend to smile a lot.
  • They believe that there is a reason that things happen.

I also think they demonstrate a natural leadership that serves as a magnet for others who want to either follow them, be near them, be like them or just feel good when they see them, think about them or are near them. It has been said, by whom I have no idea, that some people brighten a room when they enter it (they have IT); while others brighten a room when they leave (they don’t have IT and that certainly would not be you). We all have known people with IT but not as many as we would like to know. I guess the real question that I would ask is do I brighten a room when I enter it or when I leave it; maybe I don’t want to know the answer to that on any given day.

Any one of these characteristics would be good but together they are magnificent. Together they form the IT that so many people refer to but cannot define. Benjamin Franklin had IT but he didn’t always have IT. In fact a lot of people despised him and did not want to be around him. We don’t hear much of that in the history books – they have been sanitized. Franklin had character flaws but he did something to correct them. He listed the 13 characteristics that he felt were the most important and he dedicated one week for each characteristic. He then focused like a laser on that characteristic, working to improve himself. Then each week he would work on the next and then the next until after the thirteenth week he covered them all. But he did not quit there. He repeated the process every 13 weeks which by the way made up an entire year. So every quarter, he traced his steps working on each characteristic until he improved upon them. Because he worked and studied, he became one of the most admired and respected people in our history. He got IT! One case however, does not prove a point, but in this case it certainly proved that at least one person who failed to have IT could with work acquire IT as Franklin did.

  • Authenticity
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Enthusiasm
  • Focus
  • Awareness
  • Service
  • Integrity
  • Faith
  • Leadership

The Person who has IT -
  • Have more friends
  • Make more sales
  • Are selected for higher positions
  • Are voted into office (and then something strange happens to them)
  • Achieve their goals
  • Have well-rounded families
  • Have great relationships
  • Are basically happy people
Reprinted Courtesy of
JP Horizons Inc.
Painesville, OH 44077

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Do YOU think you are a better CHRISTIAN than I am?? .............. 3 Levels of being a Christian.

Do you think you are a better Christian than I am? I have had that question asked of me. I guess because I'm out there about Jesus. Normally the person asking is somehow pressured or threatened by the passion I exhibit regarding Him.

So they ask the question. I used to say. NOOO. No, you are a good Christian, just different from me. I didn't believe it. But I didn't say anything because I didn't want to hurt their feelings. My nose grew like Pinocchio.

I have spent the last few years around highly diverse Christians. Some in a Men's group I meet with. Some in Church. Some on line. Some of those men are wonderful profound Christian people. Some are CHINO. Christian in name only. The reason I'm such an expert on being a CHINO is because I was one. Big Talk, little walk.

Are there people who are BETTER CHRISTIANS than I am? YES. Most decidedly yes. Some pastors I know, A leader of an association I'm part of, men I knew in Germany in the Church, Men who have sold out for the Cause of Christ. They are better than I am as Christians. They are better Christians than I am. I tip my spiritual hat to them.

Are there people than whom I am a better Christian?

Paul the Apostle speaking to the Corinthians said in 1 Cor 4: 14 I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

He was saying to them, Look at how I live my life, Imitate me as I imitate Christ. In essence he was saying to them, live your life better, I am a good example of how you can be a better Christian than you are living. So, do what I do.

This isn't about heaven and hell. He was talking to heaven bound people. This is about becoming the Christian we were destined to become. If you want to think of it like a divine video game think of it this way:

Every believer comes to a point of Conviction. I'm a sinner. I don't want to live like this. I need Jesus. I want to go to heaven. I trust you Jesus for my salvation.

We are convinced of our need for Him and convinced ultimately of our righteousness thru Him. This person is secure in their salvation. Heaven bound but living far below level two. They have a measure of the Holy Spirit.

This is the level of Revelation. Without reading a book, without study Jesus reveals himself to you constantly. Sometimes in the quiet time. Sometimes thru his word. Sometimes by a word spoken. You get Ahas again and again. When you do, you tell others about what you just discovered. It's exciting stuff. Every day you learn something new. You call your friends. Life is full of God moments where you are just knocked over by some fresh revelation of who he is. This is the download of God into you. It's like being in love. Very heady stuff.

This is when He comes alive in YOU. We hear a lot about people alive in Christ and positionally it's true. But few really get to the place where they have Him so big in them that He consumes their lives completely. He's all these people can think about. All they can talk about. Nothing else seems to matter to them, every conversation ends up about things of God. Sports, Golf, Hobbies, Nascar all take a far back seat to Jesus. Jesus is their life, their hobby. They put themselves in the place where He is present every chance there is. They are so passionate and committed that they can be a little frustrating to Level One and Two people. The world has faded away for them. The Level Three Christian begins to act like Jesus, walk in authority like Jesus, see the world like Jesus. They are possessed by him. HE IS ALIVE in them. I know a few men and women like this but only a few. I want to be like this. I hope I will become this kind of person. Sometimes I feel like I get close but then I fall short.

So, if you are solidly a Level Three Christian you ARE a better Christian than I am. I want to imitate you. I want to walk like you walk.

Unfortunately, most Christians in Churches today ever progress beyond level one. They are happy in the shallow water. Most Pastors get maybe to level one and a half maybe.

The main reason is if you want to get to level Two or Three you will need the fullness of the Holy Ghost to get there. I have known a FEW level two people who were not overtly Pentecostal yet I believe they were at Level Two. I know no one at Level Three who is not sold out, filled with the power of the Holy Ghost and speaks in other tongues with other signs following.

I am coming to the conclusion it may well NOT be possible to move up as a Christian without the power and infilling of the Holy Ghost. Oh, you can still go to heaven, you just will live far below your destiny here on earth. You will squander the Mina given to you. There will be an answer for what you did with it someday.

I know that's bad news to some, but I believe it now more than ever.

So to those of you at level ONE. Do I think I am a better Christian than you? Yes! If you were wise you would heed me as I say to you as Paul said to the Corinthians, imitate me as I imitate Christ. Jesus said in Revelation 11:12 COME UP HITHER. Ascend to the heavens. Come up another level.

God has so much more for you!

Unilateral Friendship

I have lots of acquaintances, many people I know pretty well, and a few friends. Friendship is a two way street. If you want to have friends you've got to be a friend. This isn't news to most of you but I have learned to tell the difference.

One friend catagorey I need less of is those who are my friend only when it is:
  • Convenient
  • Useful
  • Beneficial
I have lots of those kind of "would be" friends. I weed them out pretty quickly. Oh, I let them pretend we are close buddies. I let them think that we have something between us. But they couldn't care less about me and if I currently carry no direct benefit for them they avoid me or keep their distance. I'm not hurt, just wary.

These Faux Friends are absent -
UNTIL THEY NEED SOMETHING. Then it's Hey Gene ol Buddy ol Pal.

The best friends I have are those from whom I expect nothing and from me they expect less. Friendship like love is not a give and take 50-50 relationship.
It is a mutual exchange of life and loves. In a way I give without expecting anything in return and you do the same. We don't keep score.

I have one friend with whom I disagree on almost everything. Politically, Spiritually, and who knows what else. Yet, she is my friend and knows she could depend on me and vice versa. Our mutual opposing views on much of life are not a barrier.

I have other people with whom I am in complete harmony politically and spiritually and yet I could not depend on them to "Be There" for me if it got tough.

What's interesting is saying this is very safe. Only my friends for the most part read this blog. My "So Called" "I'll get hold of you when I need you" friends never darken the doorstep of this missive.

They are too self absorbed in the business of their own lives and too convinced that they are the center of the universe to give the posterior of a rat about me or mine.
That's OK. I have people who I care for and who I know care for me. That matters more than anything. True Loyal Friends.

Fair weathered friends are disposable.

I was going to say replaceable, but why would anyone want to replace that?

Let's Play BOOM goes Mommy

Call me old fashioned. Call me a traditionalist. I want suicide bombers to be male, radical and young. Seems like if you are going to strap on a ton of dynamite and turn yourself into mincemeat you should be carrying one each of Chromosomes X and Y. It's the manly thing to do.

If you are going to drive a car bomb to murder a group of little School Children in Iraq you should need a shave. Most do.

So, there is something just wrong with a TV interview that asks 4 motherless children to hold up 4 fingers to tell how many Jews Mommy killed.

Hatred only destroys the hater, and their family. Do little Palestinian boys play war toys and blow up their mother? Just asking.

Let's Play BOOM goes Mommy

Call me old fashioned. Call me a traditionalist. I want suicide bombers to be male, radical and young. Seems like if you are going to strap on a ton of dynamite and turn yourself into mincemeat you should be carrying one each of Chromosomes X and Y. It's the manly thing to do.

If you are going to drive a car bomb to murder a group of little School Children in Iraq you should need a shave. Most do.

So, there is something just wrong with a TV interview that asks 4 motherless children to hold up 4 fingers to tell how many Jews Mommy killed.

Hatred only destroys the hater, and their family. Do little Palestinian boys play war toys and blow up their mother? Just asking.

Pensioner in Qualification

Today is my 62nd Birthday. Today I get to officially get to become a cranky old man.

Wait, you say, you already are.

Oh, that's right. I took a run at it.

What bugs me most is I now would qualify for Social Security if I wanted to take it. I won't for now. I won't go quietly into that good night. I will rage until the dawn. Oh, I know I will step from time into eternity someday. I'm looking forward to it. But until then I plan to inflict the world and it's demonic prince with all I have.

Just be forewarned. I'm still on two legs and mean as ever. When I'm 80 like Ol Caleb I want demons to tremble at the sound of my name. I want devils to say, "Paul we know, Gene we know, Jesus we know, but who in Hell are YOU?"

That's a good question. Do demons know your name in Hell? They know mine.
I want them to regret the fact that I am celebrating another birthday. I hope to irritate the ones walking around with a demonic spirit in them so much that the spirit has to leave when I show up. That will be messy. I loved being hated by HELL.

Oh, and it's not me, It's who lives in me. But that's another post.

Sound the Retreat

Steve Scott has a great post today regarding good and bad conferences and retreats. I laughed out loud. Bad retreats give good retreats a bad name. Bad conferences give good conferences a bad name.

I also am a conference or retreat go-er.

I hate the bad ones. I love the good ones. Which do you think populate my life in greater number?

That's the problem. Lots of chaff, little wheat.

But despite the fact that in large part most retreats are lousy, they are worth enduring for the few good ones.

I have had 3 of 50. Good that is.

The 47 others ranged all the way from really stupid and boring to OK.

The 3 GOOD were:
One was a fasting retreat. Thursday night to Sat early afternoon. Fast From Wednesday until Friday Night and then a wrap-up session on Saturday morning after eating. "teaching was only a few hours during the time". The rest was spent in prayer. Mostly solitary. Very moving. Earthshaking stuff. I came away changed forever.

One was a retreat (not a fasting retreat) focused on release. This was held in Devils Lake ND. The same camp a recent movie “Jesus Camp” was filmed in. This changed my life. I became a "different man" like it says about Saul did when he was released in the Prophetic in 1 Samuel 10:9-7. Very little teaching, much ministry and manifestation of the gifts of God.

The Retreat that preceded all this was a Cursillo back in the late 70's. There are lots of iterations of Cursillo, but the pure form is the one that has the power. 12 talks, lots of ministry, lots of examination, confession and repentance. If you have heard about the Opus Dei "Sect" this is an offshoot of it. Yes, it was a Catholic church sponsored retreat. There are iterations of this in the protestant church. Via de Cristo, Emmaus Way, Kairos. But some to water it down some to make it more palatable. Then it's lukewarm without power. I’m not catholic, never wanted to be, but always appreciate the Catholic’s capacity for devotion. This was the retreat where for lack of a better word I got “Saved”. I was in church before, but I was never really sold out. I was a good Lutheran boy. This retreat pointed me to the cross of Jesus. I’ve never been the same since. Didn’t join Opus Dei. Didn’t become a Catholic. Became a genuine Christian and never looked back.

In reflecting on all 3 of these truly effective retreats they have one thing in common, all were time consuming; all took 3 or more days. All were more focused more on ministry than on teaching. All were directed toward breaking the participant out of the comfort zone they lived in.

I think that's what retreating has to be and do to be “Good”. A push out of the nest.
I love good teaching but I would rather be broken out of my shell. That can't happen in a 24 hour quick and dirty “listen to someone’s prepared sermon” meeting. I don’t think Jesus would approve of our ADHD Christianity focus on Theotainment.

In fact he didn’t. “Could you not watch with me One Hour?” They couldn't. We don't.

Our Post Christian culture IN THE CHURCH says to Jesus, “you have 24 Hours to change me and then I’m going home to watch ESPN.”

And Jesus said, “Depart from me, I never KNEW you.”

How can you KNOW someone from a one-hour lecture, a perfunctory prayer and a few songs on Sunday once a week? We need a getaway weekend with the lover of our souls. That’s what a retreat has to be to be called a retreat. Giving up, stepping back, hiding for a time, regrouping. Sound the Retreat.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I be concubining - Tip O the Hat to LaShawn

LaShawn Barber is a regular read of mine in Blogdom.

A primer. Who is LaShawn? She is Conservative, Christian, a Good Writer, Fairly Famous, from Tennesse and she is Black.

She is also the kind of Voice I love to hear that simply because of her skin color has the ability to speak truth to a culture that is not lost and drifting in America.

Her post today is what I wrote about regarding the need for Freisians to Speak UP.
She did.

Synopsis. This rap star wannabe bozo gets 6 (SIX) different women pregnant at one tme. They are all delivering this fall. When the Judge asks him is he going to marry any of these women he says in this Story:

“No, I be concubining,” he said. A concubine is a woman who cohabitates with a man to whom she is not married.

Prosecutors said Lackey is expectant father of six children with six different women. The women all are expected to deliver between August and October.

What makes this really really sick is:
As Lackey left the courtroom Friday, a group of teenage girls there for another case appeared to know Lackey. “Oh, there’s Ricky Lackey!” one swooned.

Lackey shrugged the attention off with one word and a wave of his hand. “Fans,” he said.

Thank You LaShawn for saying what I am not allowed to say. But, if it's ok, I'm gonna turn that volume knob up a tad for you. I hope others will too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Without Comment, Do these 3 newstories have any relationship to each other?

I'm just asking................


The comment below postulates that this is no different from heterosex.

I will now shock her. I agree. Women shouldn't be in combat with men either. Unwanted pregnancy, adultery, fornication, and sexual harassment is the result. Neither should homosexuals. Women and Homosexuals have no place on the field of battle. When I read the story that I considered so disgusting and then I transpose that to the battlefield, the barracks, or the tent I maintain that if it's demoralizing and disgusting for American Idol, it's devastating in warfare.

SO, you can disagree with me, but we have sown a terrible whirlwind. General Pace was right and the cacophony from the pagan left about this is just tinny. As if that was something new.

Let's get the queers** and women off the field of battle. War is for MEN!

I know that's not a popular view, but it's the truth and YOU KNOW IT!!!!

**I wrestled with the use of the word Queer to delineate homosexuals but upon examination it appears that Queer is the accepted nomenclature in the community:
Examples - Queer Eye for the Straight Guy tv Show, Or HBO's Queer as Folk, There are now Queer Studies at Universities, Queer Lounges are at Sundance Folk Festival as hospitality suites for, Well, Queers, and it turns out there is a genre of music called Queercore. So, Queer it is.

Particularly look at the Queercore link. Boy, makes you want to fight side by side as a band of brothers with a bunch like that doesn't it?

Get Real. I want women to be women and men to be men. I want Men to like women for women and vice versa. Others are aberrations. No one is a greater supporter of women than am I. No one loves women like I do. That's why I don't want mom or moms to be killing other people. Can they? Sure.

Isn't it going to be nice in 40 years when Bobby scampers up on Grandma's lap and asks, "Who did you kill in the war Grandma?"

The pagan left and their great social experiment is a failure in process. Let's hope sanity kicks in soon.

Make Fun of Any Religion you want, particularly Christianity, but don't you dare say anything bad about Scientology or Islam

Sometimes the level of hypocrisy in our PC world is beyond understanding.  That's why I stumbled across this article from a year ago and thought you would find it interesting.  What weenies.


'Chef' quits 'South Park' over Scientology

March 13, 2006: Outspoken Scientologist Isaac Hayes, an Oscar-winning singer heard by millions in recent years as the "Chef" character on "South Park," quit the cartoon four months after an episode spoofing Scientology

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer said. "Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored."

"South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology. ... He has no problem – and he's cashed plenty of checks – with our show making fun of Christians." 

He said he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin." 

Quit Pandering to the Permanent Weaker Brother

I want EVERY person who names the name of Jesus as Lord to grow and become strong in the faith. As long as a person is trying to grow and sometimes falling down I will help him or her back up, walk with and try to help them. It's the lack of trying that is trying for me.

Where I lose tolerance is the permanent weaker brother. The person who by choice has decided to be offended at everything. You have them in your church, I have them in mine. These spiritual dwarfs are Pharisees in sheep's clothing. They take offense at everything. "Don't do that in front of others, it might offend." Even GODLY things like ministering healing of the sick, ":do it in private, someone might be offended."

Bull puckey.

Steve Scott has a pretty sharp perspective on this. My irritation is not about alcohol. Mine is about religious people.

I will do all I can within my power to help and encourage and not cause a weaker brother to fall. On the other hand if a person insists on being spiritually thin skinned, sorry brother, weak or not, you are about to be pricked.

GROW UP. If you are offended (like the Pharisees were) at everything and everyone who isn't just like you or what your myopic view of what a Christian is, you are just a little kid playing dress up and pretending to be a grown up. You are an imposter.
I no longer will make any attempt to protect you. Time for you to get over yourself. You are not the weaker brother Paul talked about. You are a Pharisee. I will treat you exactly as Jesus did.

It won't be pretty.

Finished Fast

Peggy and I completed the Daniel Fast called by a Fellowship we are part of. It was not hard and yet harder than I thought it would be.

A Daniel fast is patterned after the diet Daniel and the 3 Hebrew "Children" asked the king of Persia to allow them to eat while the rest of the court ate high off the hog. They prospered on it. ME, not so much.

A Daniel fast mean no meat, no sweets and no alcohol. When we committed to it we thought this would be easy to do. It wasn't.

Now I know what you are thinking. But the reality of the situation is the no sweets and no alcohol parts were a layup. Giving those up was simple.

The HARD part was the meat. I didn't realize how universal beef, chicken, pork and fish are as part of our diet. You can hardly order ANYTHING in a restaurant without some meat in it. And I missed it.

I have a new found respect for vegetarians. I don't know exactly HOW they do what they do but they are to be admired for it. It's not easy to not eat any meat.

I got very sick of meatless meals.

Me carnivore.

Monday, March 12, 2007

God's IS Unreasonable

Tonight at the House of Prayer Todd Taught as he always does on Monday nights. It's always good. I don't always make it but we got brand new big comfy chairs for the House. 125. I hope they are filled every night. We need to get a much bigger building.

During the time Todd said something that made my head spin. God always calls the people he calls without reason.

  • He never calls people to reason (in a HUMAN sense)
  • What he asks is nearly all the time outside of reason
  • IF you seriously seek and follow him you will very quickly find yourself doing things beyond the realm of what reasonable people would do.
  • If you are truly stepping out, people will say, get reasonable, listen to reason. "Just get real." Getting real is unreasonable in God's eyes.
  • In order to really follow his lead you probably will have to make an irrational commitment to him (unreasonable)
  • If what you are doing in the Kingdom is reasonable it's probably NOT of God.
  • God always calls those who are the least, most unreasonable to call.
  • God will always put you in a place that to follow his call will cause you to be stretched in faith and trust to obey.
  • If you depend on others or depend on the faith of others you probably don't yet have the call.
Examine the call of God on your life. If it fits, is reasonable, well within your comfort zone and easy it's you and not God.

But that's OK. If you ask him it won't be long before you will be put in a place of trust and faith or your call will be removed.

As for me, I'm OK with an unreasonable God. He can ask whatever he does and I am ready to obey. YOU?