Hi all — I’m phasing back in after moving houses then moving my oldest daughter to where she’ll be dancing with a professional company and going to college part-time.  Nothing like a 1,000 mile trip (each way) dragging a U-Haul 5 days after a house move!

I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, though.  Non-stop unpacking and house projects are almost through.  If a day goes by without a trip to Lowe’s I half expect them to call to see if I’m sick.   Update: I just saw that Lowe’s posted lower than expected earnings for the 2nd Quarter.  If they don’t improve in 3Q then don’t blame me! 

Things went very smoothly overall, and I thank God for that.  Looking forward to getting into regular routines (with a shorter commute!) and some ministry things (teaching a Fireproof / marriage class at church, a Kairos Prison Ministry weekend and a couple other projects). 

Guilty as charged: When you don’t feel forgiven 

Believing you’re forgiven is difficult. But faith is never easy. In fact, it’s impossible for us, and that’s why it’s a grace from God. Cry out to Him for it (Mark 9:24). Confess that you’re having a hard time believing that you’re forgiven, and ask Him to grant you the faith to believe it. Even if your feelings don’t change, your only hope is to take God at his word, and cast yourself on His Son. Believe that all the wrath is gone, and there’s no more condemnation (Romans 8:1). Your Father in heaven is waiting for you, not with an angry frown, but with open arms.  He’ll run to meet you, as sinful as you are. Believe it. Meditate on it. Let it sink in. The result will be unhindered fellowship with your Creator and life transforming gratitude.

The Prosperity Gospel is as nauseating as ever — I was hoping that one of the bright spots of the recession would be to make followers of these false teachers recognize the sham that these “ministries” really are. 

On the one hand, I feel sorry for those duped by these false teachers.  But I also think they get what they deserve.  They want to believe that just sending money to some phony will result in riches for them.  Does it ever occur to them that the “ministers” claiming that God made them rich are only wealthy because they are pulpit pimps who sell a give-to-get scheme?

Does the Left want Obama to be hated so they don’t have to defend his policies?  I still see a fair amount of “you don’t like him because he’s black” comments instead of real debate.  I’d just laugh them off except the topic is so serious.

A good summary of Classical Wesleyan Arminianism vs. Standard Calvinism (though I preferred to refer to it as Reformed Theology as that has less baggage).  There is more in common than you might think. 

This is one of those issues I’ve shifted on over the years, going from mostly Wesleyan to probably 60/40 Reformed.  I view this as a “debate, don’t divide” issue for Christians.  I like hearing well informed scholars on both sides debate this. 

I know this has been around but it is timeless and so telling.  It’s a great video (just a minute long) showing one of the “crazed extremist” health care town hall protesters and the loving, caring, selfless public servant paying close attention to one of her constituents:

Jackson-Lee is from the Houston area so we get to see her a lot.

0 thoughts on “Roundup”

  1. Neil, Mark Barclay visited a church that I visited. He was talking about how we are curse as a country because we don’t tithe. He brought up scriptures from Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Matthew. I asked my uncle about tithing and he mention the same list of scriptures that Barkley said. Now I know my uncle is no crook but I think truly not on that topic. Not that I am saying I know all because he is a licensed pastor. As I continue to study tithing I am realizing that it is one big scam. We don’t have to tithe under the New Covenant. My uncle is having financial hardship and truly believes that he is curse because he didn’t tithe sometimes.

    He said that he sees bad times when he don’t tithe. Now, I ain’t knocking him. But if one wants to continue tithing then he will be curse because it is under the Old Covenant. Paul said so him Gal 3:10:

    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

    And of course nobody can do all of those, that is why Jesus died, to become a better priest than Melchizedek ever could and to take our sins. Hebrews 7 and Matthew 23: 23 are deeply misused and Malachi is the most abused text on tithing. I refuse for anyone to call me cursed because I don’t “tithe”. I do give because God said that he loves a “cheerful giver” and we are in the age of grace. These preachers aren’t fooling me anymore. Man it is awesome to look up these for myself.


    1. How do you get that tithing was only under the Old Covenant Law? Abraham gave tithes, but if you remember he was not under the Law. The Law wasnt given to Abraham, it was given to Moses on Mount Sinai.


      1. Abraham didn’t give tithes. That is a misconception. What he did was give the tenth of SPOILS to Melchizedek, not out of his own property and he only did that once. Tithing was put in place for the Leviticus priesthood because their inheritance was to maintain the temple. And tithing, according to the dictionary is giving a tenth of agricultural produce. Throughout the bible the tithes were food products. Are you willing to give a tenth of your corn on the altar


    2. Check Crown financial ministries. Tithing is a good thing, but it needs to be used in conjunction with all the other Biblical advice about handling money.

      Just because tithing is abused by some con men, that does not invalidate its true scriptural value.


      1. Please show me the command in the NT that makes the tithe (or 10%) a requirement?

        Giving from the heart, as you have been prospered, etc is what the NT teaches. As Neil points out, those that feel that 10% is required, and just give that are no better than the Pharisees. Jesus pointed out multiple times that those that follow the letter of the law, with no basis in heart-felt desire, were not justified.

        Giving of our means requires us to examine our hearts, our situation, and the needs of our family in determining the proper amount.

        As far as the Abraham vs. Mosaic law argument, God during the patriarchal periods obviously instructed the forefathers of the Mosaic law in what he wanted, and much of that included statutes found in the Mosaic law. For instance, while circumcision was commanded in the law of Moses, God required that of his followers long before that law. However, just because circumcision predated the Mosaic law it doesn’t mean it is a requirement in the Christian dispensation.

        Abraham may have tithed, but that doesn’t meant it persists as a requirement today.


      2. Show me a pure Levite and I will pay my 10% is what I always say. “Pulpit pimps”??? Hysterical Neil ROTFL!!!

        That being said there is a church here I visit from time to time that has a similar prosperity sermon he gives at his church. He has the same flashy clothes and car, and he can clown like the rest of them. One BIG difference?

        You actually see the money being spent in the church. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, hire a sign language interpreter (one deaf person), state of the art sound and video system, bibles and study guides provided (free), and help members down on their luck. Sounds like a regular church right?

        I’ve seen this man put his own tithes in (you may have seen this before, but I NEVER have), give money to people who didn’t have it so (they could) and he doesn’t ‘babysit’ as it is being taken up. His time? Greeting people he doesn’t recognize instead of making them stand up in front of everyone.

        While he promises the power of God can bring you everything under the sun if you ask/give, he’s taking the entire church out into the neighborhood to pick up trash and ‘check on the infirm.’ When they take up an ‘extra offering’, it isn’t for a visiting pastor. Its for a member who is in trouble (he took money out of his pocket and made his wife go in her purse–LOL)

        It was and is the craziest thing I have ever seen in my entire life! It changed my whole perspective on the intended purpose of the ‘pulpit’ pimp. Love your brother as yourself–wow what a world this would be!


      3. I didn’t coin the “pulpit pimp” term, btw, so I can’t take credit for that.

        Sounds like you have an honest-to-goodness real pastor.


      4. Wish I could claim him. The church is almost 45 minutes away. I substitute interpreted for a friend once and fell in love. I guess you could say I found him by accident.

        Its great cause its SDA, and I can always catch a service somewhere else the next day 😉


  2. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

    Neil, I think Oprah is looking for guests for his “New Earth 2” special. You should give her a call and tell her all about that light ….


    glad to have you back…almost…


  3. If I recall correctly, Sheila Jackson-Lee is the one who complained the the US Weather Service is racist for not using “African-American” names for hurricanes.

    A true public servant if ever there was one.


    1. Yep, that’s her.

      During Hurrican Ike coverage she managed to get on stage with the mayor for the television coverage even though she had no reason to be there and had no speaking role. It was her usual shameless self-promotion and it was comical to see her strain to get in front of the camera once again.


      1. That WAS her…it was so embarrassing!!! I know black people named Ike—maybe she was aiming for a more positive african american name huh?


  4. Marshall – this is way to entertaining …

    If I recall correctly, Sheila Jackson-Lee is the one who complained that the US Weather Service is racist for not using “African-American” names for hurricanes.

    Is there a list of official African-American names?


  5. “Pulpit pimps!” Wow. Talk about ‘telling it like it is,’ and ‘calling em likeI see them!’ You sure don’t waste words! dk


  6. Hi Neil! Welcome back! We just finished putting an addition on the house and my husband is revamping the yard as well. I think he’s been to Lowe’s at least every day for about the same period of time, as well. I haven’t had time to blog much either.

    I was asked to critique a CT article attacking complementarianism for church and just posted my response. I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts, especially given that you’re teaching a small group on marriage. BTW, we are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary tomorrow!


    1. Hi Marie,

      Great to hear from you, and good luck with the home projects! Those can be exhausting.

      I saw your article earlier and “starred” it in my Google reader. I’m looking forward to reading it.

      Congratulations on your anniversary!


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