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In response to:

Obama's Unprecedented Impeachment Dare

Shrug Wrote: Aug 05, 2014 2:46 PM
Once the truth became known about Nixon's participation in the coverup if not the actual decision to commit the break-ins, the Republicans dropped their defense of Nixon and supported impeachment. No Democrat will ever support impeachment of Obama. Their apostasy would result in their public crucifixion. And there are also far too many Republicans who are justifiably afraid of the same fate even if the 2014 midterms were to give Republicans majorities in both the House & Senate. Just another example of how the Community Organizer in Chief and his storm troopers have silenced their critics through fear and intimidation.
You have been on quite a journey and you are right to be very guarded. So much of Christianity has become inwardly focused (our fallen default setting) rather than outwardly focused on who God is, who we are in his creation, and what he has done for us. Our faith becomes mistakenly scored on some intangible subjective feeling in our bosoms or in our hearts rather than an objective faith that comes from the tangible objective work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. An extremely helpful and thoughtful resource in sorting through all of the theological and doctrinal confusion that we humans manage to create is the White Horse Inn http://www.whitehorseinn.org You can listen for free through their website or subscribe for free through iTunes. Modern Reformation http://www.modernreformation.org is their sister publication where you can find excellent written commentary. Best wishes on your journey in grace and faith.
In response to:

Obama's Unprecedented Impeachment Dare

Shrug Wrote: Aug 05, 2014 11:22 AM
"If this were the case, the Constitution and its entire system of separation of powers would be meaningless." That is Obama's objective - to render the Constitution meaningless and to put overarching power in the office of the President which, by 2016, they, the left, hope to hold in perpetuity, thanks to their campaigns of dependency, victimhood, and demonization of all opposition. Obama and his minions will use the Constitution when it's useful and convenient and ignore it when it's not. He has silenced and made much of his opposition impotent through his demonization and through the co-opting of gov't agencies, assisted by the willing and complicit MSM. It's George Orwell's Animal Farm brought to life.
There is always doubt. I would be suspicious of any Christian who claimed they have no doubt, so I don't disagree with you on that point. Even the Apostle Paul who claimed the faith more boldly than anyone nonetheless states in 1 Corinthians 15:19, "If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." But the tomb was empty. Those who had the means, motive, and opportunity to find Jesus’s body were never able to produce it. Paul reports a little later in 1 Corinthians 15:6 about Christ’s resurrection, “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” I have no idea if I would have become a Christian had I been born in another culture that was hostile to Christianity. But it is interesting to note that Christianity thrives today in the most hostile conditions just as it did in its first 100 years. I was raised by parents who attended church regularly but by the time I graduated from high school I was firmly agnostic in part because this culture is hostile to Christianity, just not in the same life-threatening way as is the case in some other cultures. It was not until some 25 years later that I was drawn back to the Church and it took a few more years of Word and Sacrament and study before I would say that I surrendered. Thankfully God has been quite patient with me. I will not deny that I am blessed, and that I am grateful that I am no longer a non-believer. But I reiterate that my blessing is not of my own doing and I fully acknowledge that it was my own doing the led me away from Christ. My being drawn to Christ is clearly the Holy Spirit’s work, not mine. As Jesus states in John 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.” We are essentially to share the good news in love and kindness and then get out of the way. As for your own growth in Christ, be sure that you are getting good healthy meals of Word & Sacrament every week, and continue to study and pray. The humility that you have expressed will help you on your journey and your self-professed mustard seed of faith will grow.
To Eula, Christianity doesn’t rationalize judging others - Matthew 7:1-6 “Do not judge lest you be judged.” - although we often are hypocrites condemning others in God’s name while being equally if not more guilty than those we’ve self-righteously condemned. On the contrary, we Christians are called to love our neighbors as God loves us, although here agin we fail repeatedly. When we gain an understanding of the Bible - who God is, who we are in His creation, and what He’s done for us - we see that none of us is capable of earning God’s grace. But we do have Christ as our mediator and as a result we are justified through grace by faith because of Christ. Yes, that is a uniquely exclusive truth claim but available to everyone regardless of who we are or what we’ve done in this world. Just as sin and death infects us all, so is God’s grace available to all. And our failures as Christians to be worthy reflections of God do not not diminish that truth. At its foundation Christianity is based on God’s objective entrance into history through the person and work of Jesus Christ who lived and died and rose again on the 3rd day as witnessed and recorded in scripture and supported historically in other documents including some from unfriendly witnesses. So as a believing Christian I do not know of any other credible paths to God, even though as a fallen human I often wish there were. And this exclusive Christian truth claim is certainly not my ego talking. If my fallen human ego were talking - the one that listens to the serpent in the garden - it would emphatically state that there are any number of paths to God and that I can get to Him completely on my own. But thankfully I have been saved from myself - not by any of my own doing, but purely by God’s doing.
There has always been a clash between “culture” and Christianity. And here in the USA, "the most religious nation in the western world", where we enjoy amazing wealth and comfort in large part because of the sanctity in which we hold the individual, the march of secularization is coming not just those easy targets whom Michael Youssef identifies but from every quarter including within our churches. Jesus’s statement in Matthew 19:24, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” certainly holds up when looking at secularized Europe and an ever-secularizing USA. Here is an excellent article titled “The Secularization Thesis” by Michael Horton that gives light to our the forces at play: http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1471&var3=main One trap we Christians must be careful to avoid is allowing Christendom to rear its ugly head again. It’s the natural human knee-jerk reaction that springs from the fear of a changing world that seems to be beyond our control. We must recognize that we cannot "retake" our nation by forcing moral conformity. Let the church pronounce the Gospel and serve its congregants with Word and Sacrament as Christ instructed, and let us have faith that our Creator will sort out everything else as he promised. When our churches try to do more than this is when they will always find themselves in trouble.
In response to:

Jesus, Today's Church, and "Inequality"

Shrug Wrote: Jul 30, 2014 6:31 PM
A recent example is the doctrine of Limbo pronounced by St. Thomas Acquinas and given papal authority by Pope Pius X and overturned by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. While Luther was, like all humans, far from perfect, I think you might want to check your facts regarding you charges of womanizing, death by syphilis, etc.
In response to:

Jesus, Today's Church, and "Inequality"

Shrug Wrote: Jul 30, 2014 5:52 PM
Popes have historically proven that even when speaking ex cathedra they are no less fallible than you or I. Popes have defined doctrines ex cathedra only to have those doctrines stricken or redefined by a later Pope. I don't state that disparagingly. Christ needs and calls people into the vocation of ministry. But we must all recognize our innate human fallibility. God-fearing people recognize they need an intermediary. Our flawed human instinct is always to elevate a human to that position which has never been and never will be successful. Christ is our one and only intermediary. It was Papal fallibility that led to the Reformation. Luther, a quite fallible person himself, recognized our need to rely upon God's salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, with the knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness coming from scripture alone. And that our works are good only when they are performed not for our own glory but solely for the Glory of God. (Luther's five "solas").
In response to:

Jesus, Today's Church, and "Inequality"

Shrug Wrote: Jul 30, 2014 5:18 PM
Reginald, even if the Rich Man rejects Christ he still showers others with common grace, either directly or indirectly, especially in a free society where capital is constantly exchanging hands and moving toward where it will get its greatest return. Common grace abounds in a free society as our nation's history has proven. Anyone the Rich Man fairly employs is a recipient of common grace. Even if the Rich Man is living off a trust fund, never lifts a finger to help anyone, and never donates a dime directly to any church or charity, his invested money is hard at work starting and funding businesses that can only survive if they effectively serve the needs of their communities. And those businesses employ people who in turn will use the fruits of their labor in part to serve their neighbors.
In response to:

Jesus, Today's Church, and "Inequality"

Shrug Wrote: Jul 30, 2014 4:45 PM
The Pope is not unlike many church leaders who have forgotten what Jesus called them to do in their priestly vocation - reach and serve their local communities with Word & Sacrament, thus equipping their congregants hearts, minds and souls, so that, having been freed by God's grace, they can be released into the world to joyfully serve their neighbors.
Well then. Having listened to Hillary explain everything it's all become perfectly clear. We've turned our nation over to dangerous fools.
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