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« "They Did Not Cast Them Out Completely" -- Judges 1:1-36 | Main | Joel Osteen Is a Spiritual "Midget" and other Interesting Stuff from Around the Web »

Obama's Impact Upon America's "Pro-Zionist" Foreign Policy and Other Interesting Stuff from Around the Web

Here's an interesting thought from Jesse Jackson, of all people.  If Obama wins the election (and that looks increasingly likely), then, says Jackson, America's "pro-Zionist" foreign policy will change.  Can you just imagine the impact any such change will have upon the prophecy pundits?  Van Impe, Lindsey, and Hagee will be beside themselves.  Who among them will be the first to identify Obama as the Antichrist?  Lindsey got close when Obama spoke to the masses in Europe, but then backed off.   Click here: REV. JESSE JACKSON PREDICTS CHANGE IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY WITH OBAMA - New York Post

Here's a very interesting article on the history and state of contemporary Pentecostalism.  Pentecostalism remains a force with which to be reckoned.  I would like to see a comprehensive Reformed response that is more up to date than Gaffin, and more accessible than Budgen.  Click here: FIRST THINGS: A Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life

Here's another take from a Southern Baptist on why so many young adults are leaving the church.  The number one reason?  "I simply wanted a break from church."  If we don't give these people a reason to attend church, why should they?  I can think of two things Christian children need to be taught from infancy.  The first is Christianity is true (not that it is merely a system of ethics, or a personal preference), and that God's word commands us to assemble together for worship.  I realize that affirming this is not the end of the discussion, but I'll bet very few of these young adults have ever heard the Christian faith taught as though it was true (i.e., an absolute truth claim), or that Scripture commands them to assemble for worship on the Lord's Day.   Click here: Survey: Reasons Why Young Adults Quit Church|

What happens when ministers commit hate-crimes against themselves?  It gets weird, just like this story.  But then that is what you'd expect from the Riddleblog!  Click here: Vicar accused of threatening herself -    

Reader Comments (18)

Where do you find this stuff? These are great articles. The Riddleblog is the best.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
>Where do you find this stuff?

His horde of sycophants passes stuff on to him.

Re leaving church, I just finished Julia Duin's <u>Quitting Church</u>. My reaction -- mixed. I was not real impressed with most of the reasons people were giving for leaving, nor with the proposed solutions. People seemed to be looking for the wrong things from church, and churches seemed to have no clue about what they should be about. And, contra Ms. Duin, I'd personally rather hear a sermon about Abraham, than about making my marriage better (an example in her book).
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
A big article in Sunday's Arizona Republic.

The Roman Catholic Latin Mass is becoming very popular with a lot of the young people in the Phoenix area.

Some of the reasons given are; the young folks are looking for tradition, liturgy, substance and reverence.

Certainly, Lutheran services can offer them these things, plus one huge added advantage -- an accurate interpretation of the Bible as well!!

If the young folks are really seeking this worship style, we may look for many of them to take a long look at both the Reformed and the Lutheran traditions.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
One last thing in adding to what Pastor Kim said in his reference above.

Many of the churches today over emphasize the individual Christian over and above the Christian as a part of a church, or in the body of Christ. Hence, the casual attitude towards church attendance.

You hear this error all over Christian radio, and in a majority of churches in America today.

One of the main reasons that we recite the Apostles' Creed every Sunday in church, is so that we may know that we have a common faith with the Christians that have gone before us.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
That pentecostal article was very interesting- especially coming out of Calvin Theological Seminary. I was in the Air Force from 1981 to 1984 and was into the discipleship movement of the Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, Ern Baxter, Charles Simpson and Don Basham variety. I voraciously read New Wine magazine on a regular basis. My wife and I and our young kids found a Church in Warner Robbins Georgia where I was stationed at that was very charismatic. The Pastor was a highly intelligent man with an anti-intellectual bent but with an extremely impressive family. He was a wierd mixture of a hillbilly type personality but a highly reflective and thoughtful mind. He was accepted into Brown University but didn't last very long there. Theologically he was into Norvel Hayes who was deeply into the gifts of the spirit and casting out demons. Needless to say, it was a weird experience but the families who attended the services on a regular basis were fascinating personalities. A couple of Air Force Officer families attended. I would listen in awe at the story of their lives. They were very good to me and my young family at the time and the Church was a very close knit group even though very confused theologically which I did not really understand at the time. All in all it was a positive experience even though we left the Church on not so good terms. Sometimes some weird and stange things occured which I finally got tired of.

Pentocostalism is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I have found that Lutheran and Reformed types are usually very uninformed about these types of Churches and tend to disregard them because of the belief of the cessation of the gifts of the Spirit after the last Apostle.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
Dr. Riddlebarger wrote:

Here's a very interesting article on the history and state of contemporary Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism remains a force with which to be reckoned. I would like to see a comprehensive Reformed response that is more up to date than Gaffin, and more accessible than Budgen.

My suggestion:
Why don't you and your fellow Westminster colleagues write a substantial edited book as a response to Pentecostalism. As an ex-'glossolaliac' myself, a solid, irenic Reformed response would be most welcome.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNeal P.
lee n. fields,

Okay, now I get it- perhaps I will join the ranks of the sycophants one day and send some stuff to Pator Kim.
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
You said, "I'll bet very few of these young adults have ever heard the Christian faith taught as though it was true." You are right. Having come out of a seeker sensitive model my experience is that the church was made out to be a place where people cam who had felt-needs. Why keep coming to church when those "needs" are no longer felt? Well, you take a break until your next felt-need or you just move on.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchris
Pentecostalism: Seeking to hear from God apart from the means of grace.

Dangerous, heretical and un-Biblical.

We speak to God in prayer. He speaks to us through His means of Grace. Any other attempted communication with God is false.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
Yes Lloyd I agree with you 100% now but back then I did not know any better. I now doctrinally adhere to the Lutheran confessions and would never separate the Spirit from the Word. I attend a confessional Lutheran Church and love it there. My point which I did not make clear was that perhaps there may be some true brothers and sisters in these Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches who are doctrinally confused and deceived like I was back then. These people loved Jesus and understood that he died for their sins substitutionally. They were not privy to the Lutheran and Reformed doctrinal standards and did not really get imputation and some of the other essentials of the Gospel. Nor did they know how to seperate the Law and the Gospel. They need to be rescued in a loving manner and be listened to like this article was describing.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
" I can think of two things Christian children need to be taught from infancy. The first is Christianity is true (not that it is merely a system of ethics, or a personal preference), and that God's word commands us to assemble together for worship."

You go, boy. Love and duty are not mutually exclusive.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
What's hilarious is that at least 85% of American Jews will still vote for Obama.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwalt
This guy's kind of out on the edge a bit ... and I'm not too sure that some of the historical (not to mention scriptural) links he puts together are valid:

And he's certainly eccentric. Nevertheless, he does draw some interesting conclusions about the origins of music used in worship down through the centuries, the loudest and most raucous of which was usually used by pagan cultures in an attempt to make sure their gods heard them. If we follow his thread up through current decades we see him conclude that much of what we have in the way of over-amplified, rock-and-roll based, so-called praise music is the result of the same philosophy applied to many Protestant denominations, beginning with the 2nd Great Awakening.

Lloyd, I would certainly agree that Lutheran and Reformed churches *should* have something much better to offer these poor folks who have been burned by modern worship trends. The only problem is that not *all* congregations (I can only speak for the Lutherans) have anything different.

WELS churches would certainly be appropriate; neo-Pentecostalism has been creeping into the LCMS for a long while now and one would have to be very careful to examine what one of their local churches is doing before joining; and forget about ELCA - those few congregations who remain more or less conservative in their theology still get reigned in on many fronts by the parent synod.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
I was raised in Pentecostalism, specifically whithin Hispanic churches, so I was eager to read the Pentecostal article.

One thing I do disagree with the article is the anti-intellectualism found in Pentecostalism. Perhaps I'm wrong but according to what I have experienced and read in my Pentecostal days, anti-intellectualism is a good adjective for Pentecostalism in general; those who were not were the exception. Even I was moved to become anti-intellectual; thank God for people like R.C. Sproul who awoke my mind and spoke with love. I remember how the word "theology" was used as an ungodly thing; theology was something for those who were not led or sensitive to the Spirit. Contemporary Pentecostal theologians or their sympathizers can try to argue to make Pentecostalism seem like something else, but I was there, and I know what I heard and saw.

One thing that I can appreciate about Pentecostalism as a Hispanic is that it helped convert many Latin American people from their idolatrous religion of Roman Catholicism. Many have truly come to know that Jesus is their only savior and mediator with God the Father. Entire families have been delivered from ridiculous devotions to saints and Mary(including their devotion to "the virgin Guadalupe"). But I should also add that this was a Pentecostalism not given to prosperity teaching, something which is still fought against by some Pentecostals.

There are a few other things that I currently worry about Pentecostalism. Besides the prosperity teaching, I am also noticing a trend towards a kind of pentecostal Liberalism. Perhaps it's not a surprising thing when many don't hold Scripture to be the supreme authority in the church, particulary when their "experiences with the Spirit" are considered as important or more important than Scripture.

I also worry about the young people who simply inherit what their parents belived. This comes to my mind having grown with many Hispanic Pentecostals who criticized Hispanic Roman Catholics for simply inheriting the beliefs of their parents and not thinking critically about they believe. Hispanic Pentecostals are now also simply believing the religion of their parents without thinking about it.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

As you probably know, I am a WELS Lutheran.

If someone did want to select an LCMS church, it would behoove them to seek the recommendation of someone from Issues, Inc.

They certainly wouldn't adhere to the doctrines of the "Ablaze movement".

It would be interesting to see the conservatives in the LCMS split off from the liberals.

One of the main problems in the LCMS bylaws, is that only the pastor is considered "church".

So, the synod (since it is not considered church) would appear to have a very difficult time kicking out the liberals.

In the LCMS, only the pastors are considered the "called workers." So, this is why there is so much infighting between the conservatives and the liberals.
October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
I've attended three Southern Baptist churches in my life. All three taught that the Bible and Christianity was the absolute truth and the Bible commanded we be in church (including Wednesdays). I expect there are plenty SBC churches that miss this mark but like other churches that missed the mark, I didn't visit them more than once.
October 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjaxdagger

That young fellow who attended the Reveal conference at Willow Creek (Chris Rosebrough - cf., Kim's last post from 10/15/08) has an extensive web site. I did some snooping around in it last night and found an article he wrote back in August about what is taking place in LCMS.

According to Chris's data gathering, their synod president Gerry Kieschnick is following a change management business model by John Kotter, almost to the letter, the end result of which (as Chris sees it) will be, "....the creation of a new bureaucracy that is directly accountable to the President and one that cannot be influenced by district presidents, a complete overhaul of the money distribution process, and a complete overhaul of how convention delegates are determined so that Kieschnick's political rivals have absolutely NO CHANCE of regaining power and undoing these changes...."

According to Chris the "... the goal of which is to insure that the LCMS becomes and will forever remain a purpose-driven / church-growth denomination...." If he is correct in his observations (and having been a member of some rather large LCMS congregations over the past decade or so, I believe that they are) you can expect to see LCMS as a synodical body gradually morph into what now exists in the ELCA.

I doubt that these changes would be viewed positively by many LCMS congregations, but most of the members do not get involved enough in what goes on at the synodical level to know the difference. Once changes are actually put into place (i.e., the impossibility for a local congregation to fire a pastor who is preaching unscriptural material) it will be too late for anyone to do anything about them short of abandoning the synod altogether and even *that* may become more difficult if they lose control of their local assets.

Nevertheless, individual members may leave and, if they are the kind who prefer adherence to confessional doctrine over and above growth, they may want to join neighboring WELS congregations. I don't know. It's all speculation at this point, of course, but something is definitely in the works over there and it isn't good.
October 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Believe me the LCMS Pastors are well aware of what is going on with the President. I have had discussions with my Pastor about this very thing. A lot of the Pastor's are not real happy about it and trouble is brewing at a lot of the Pastor's synod meetings. I hope this can be resolved with wisdom and the whole thing does not blow up and cause a lot of damage.

The WELS is much more protected from a wayward President and has a different organizational and governmental structure in their synods. The LCMS Pastors that I know are also well aware of this too.
October 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

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