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rd25: So Jesus wasn't establishing a church, sending the apostles out to build it, and pronouncing the Trinity in Matthew 16:18 when he says, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And in Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”? (And note that the baptism was to be Trinitarian and never by the sword.) This isn't a theological thread so we're wandering way off topic, but please do some real study of the Bible, its overarching story, the type and shadow of the Old Testament, its prophecies and their fulfillment. And take a look at the centuries of the real scholarship that have been done including textual scholarship confirming the accuracy of today's scriptures with those of the original copies. It takes little to no work to be a skeptic whereas real scholarship takes a lot of hard, diligent work that must constantly stand up to peer review.
While the gates of hell cannot and will not prevail against God's church, in the meantime we continue to live on this side of Eden in our fallen state where Islamism and all of the other manifestations of our fall will continue to exist until our creator brings this period to a close. We live in both the now and the not yet and evil is a perpetual reality of our existence.
This is a never-ending war. Like the bad guy in the horror movies, Islamism will never die. Like other pestilence in this world, we can only hope to keep it from getting out of control. And until we and the rest of the world have the will to fight this war on that basis prepare to submit yourself to the evils of the insatiable appetite of Islamism because its love of death will trump western passivity at every turn.
In response to:

The Mockery of 'Black Jesus'

Shrug Wrote: Aug 09, 2014 2:00 PM
“”Organized religion" should organize to oppose this kind of blasphemy." Sorry Mr. Bozell, it's not the role of the church to organize to oppose this kind of thing. The church struggles mightily enough just to fulfill its primary role of feeding its community and congregants with Word and Sacrament and equipping their hearts, minds and souls so that they can be released into the world to share God’s love. If individual Christians wish to protest and organize opposition to “Black Jesus” that’s great, but it is a distraction from the church’s purpose and mission to take that role on itself.
Eula, I would answer your question re your self-crafted theology and peace in this way. We have been booted out of The Garden through our choice of self over God and we are now adrift. We have separated ourselves from God. The primary flaw in our fallen nature is our inward focus, our obsession with self which has messed with our vision and comprehension. It is the root of all of our sin. In this condition we are incapable of making things right with God or of rescuing ourselves. The more we try to save ourselves the farther adrift we cast ourselves and the greater distance we we put between ourselves and God. But God wants us back. Why, we don’t know, but thankfully for whatever reason only known to Him, He wants to be in fellowship with us and He wants us to be His ambassadors in fellowship with our neighbors. And that’s the beginning of the Good News. He sets about saving us, but in our fallen condition we need constant reminding of who our rescuer is and why we need to be rescued. That’s where the church comes in. It’s where we’re fed, nurtured and constantly reminded that we are His children. We desperately need His help keeping us connected to Him during our rescue - preventing us from falling out of the life raft so to speak or from letting the lifeline slip from our feeble grasp. Those whom God has been able to draw into the life raft, who have not refused the life line He has thrown to them, become the Body of Christ on this side of Eden helping each other stay in the life raft and maintain their grip on the life line. Of course in our fallen world, it’s critical to find the right life raft where Heavenly food is served and not more rotten apples from the serpent. But there are many viable and stable life rafts out there, and it is possible regardless of our poor vision and hearing to discern which ones they are. Just as Adam & Eve hid themselves from God once they sinned, God still sought them out and called for them. We merely need to surrender saying, “Here I am, Lord.” He will do the rest.
Eula, That's an important question which I'd like to attempt to answer, so please check back later for a response. I will get to it this evening after work.
You would not find me anywhere near a Fundamental Church of Christ. I have been a member of a Lutheran congregation for the last 20 years. While Lutheran doctrine is tremendously sound, as with any denomination there are many Lutheran churches that have lost their way. I was fortunate to have found a very well pastored, stable & growing, well managed, Christ centered church that ensures its congregants are fed a healthy meal of Word and Sacrament every Sunday and where education is a major priority. During that same 20 years I have also constantly sought theological and apologetical wisdom and knowledge from sources outside my Lutheran church. I used to dislike the idea of giving up my Sunday mornings to go to church. Now I look forward to attending and hate to miss a Sunday or a mid-week class.
In response to:

Lancet: a Home for Evil's Useful Idiots

Shrug Wrote: Aug 05, 2014 8:16 PM
The Palestinians in Gaza made and apparently continue to make their bed with Hamas and now they are reaping the consequences. It reminds me of something my father, a WWII combat veteran, wrote about Hitler and the German citizens in a letter home to his mother on April 26th, 1945. Here’s an excerpt (my clarifications in [ ] ): “They [the average German citizen] permitted it to happen so theirs is also the blame to bear [not just Hitler]. Every person in Germany must bear the guilt of the war, even the old ones who are too tired to think of political problems and the young ones who know not the meaning.” My father was a very kind, loving, gentle man who did not wish for or relish his combat duty one little bit. Such a sweeping indictment was out of character, but he had seen the horrors that the German people had unleashed on everyone and everything and by the end of the war he held them all corporately responsible. The same applies to the Palestinians. They should be grateful that Israel has and continues to show such grace in this conflict.
Yes, it has been an interesting exchange and I thank you for that. I certainly am in no higher ranking position than you or anyone else for that matter, so if that was one of your takeaways please understand that was not my intent. I accept scripture for what it reveals - that I am no less condemned and no more righteous than the next person. While your comments reveal you are a good, kind, thoughtful, caring neighbor, they also reveal a very strong underlying tone of dissatisfaction with the external answers you’ve been provided during your lifetime - an inescapably common flaw of the human-led church. As a result you have crafted and cocooned yourself in your own theology. I was responding to that. I am questioning the wisdom in your strategy (Proverbs 3:5), and I was suggesting helpful non-threatening and engaging sources of biblically Godly knowledge and wisdom for your consideration. Sorry if I did so clumsily. I certainly don’t wish to be one of those useless churchy people! :-) Thanks again for an interesting and open exchange. I’m signing off.
I'm not yet anywhere near reaching the pinnacle of my journey or knowledge and I have no expectations of reaching that pinnacle until I'm called home by our Creator. And an ever greater understanding of the redemptive history contained in our scriptures is not only obtainable but has the residual benefit of a growing peace that cannot be found anywhere else. I wish you that peace.
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