121 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-24-18

  1. Excuse me, but if it is only 3:25pm here, I can’t imagine that it is already morning there???
    Sister finally came to get the cake. Now I can begin my day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good morning to Chas and all. May Jo enjoy a peaceful evening of sound sleep that leads to a good morning for her, too.

    Art went in really early, maybe around 4:30, to make up for time lost yesterday from the power outage. I am getting ready to go in now. The weather will warm up to the seventies today. I hope to get outside for a few moments to encounter all the beautiful blooming landscapes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning! I woke up and thought the time was 6….went to the coffee maker and that clock said 5…I was already up so I made my coffee ☕️
    Having coffee in town later with my oldest girl…she will turn 40 in just a month…where did the time go?! My oldest will be 42 just 2 weeks later…how can he be 42?!! 🙃

    Liked by 5 people

  4. The bird in flight yesterday was a sandhill crane. I got it while I was watching the red-headed woodpecker. Sandhills are quite noisy birds, and it warned me it was coming. The trick at close range was to press the shutter while it was still in the lens and then to move the camera fast enough to keep up with the bird. But I got several fairly decent shots. as it came in from above the trees to approach a place to land (out of sight from me).

    Like

  5. Jo, did you need to use your earthquake bag this time? I hope you had your keys, if the earthquake even woke you up.

    Like

  6. Not sure how Ricky does this, but if you’re on Twitter, go take a look at what Beth Moore has said today– follow the thread, about 5 Tweets. It starts with this:

    If it does not make us tremble that Jesus is clearly cleaning house in His church, turning over tables & chairs, exposing what’s underneath & calling us back to purity & prayer, if all it does is make us pump our fists over the exposed or give us fodder for gossip, we are fools.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Next:

    This house cleaning is no joke. And it’s about to get real. I want to say a few things to anyone listening & want you to know they come from tremendous love and hope and from a former pit-dweller who is well acquainted with God’s seriousness about sin, chastisement & forgiveness.

    Like

  8. 1) Most have no idea the warfare & seduction Satan wages against leaders & potential leaders. He’s relentless, HE IS PATIENT. Studies our weaknesses & vulnerabilities. Stalks our families. He’s methodical. Masterful at timing. And if you’re laughing at this, he’s laughing at you.

    Like

  9. Leaders too sophisticated to reckon with the biblical realities of spiritual warfare will be eaten alive. 2) No leader gets away with secret sin & duplicity. It’s always a matter of time. God doesn’t play favorites. Christ is serious about His church. Repent/seek help/be restored

    Like

  10. Catch yourself saying to yourself if it seems you keep getting away with something the Bible comes down hard on,”I guess this is OK with God.”Yep, some of us thought the same thing. It’s a lie. Ask David. Clock’s ticking.Get your fear of the Lord back.Stop rationalizing & repent.

    Like

  11. 3. Christ offers complete forgiveness. Nothing is beyond the reach of His cross. There is no person on earth He cannot restore. I’m not talking about positions being restored. I’m talking about something far more vital: PERSONS being restored. But here’s the thing & I’ll shut up:

    Like

  12. There is fruit of repentance. (Mt.3:8) We wonder how we’ll know if someone has genuinely repented. REPENTANCE SHOWS. Bears fruit. You won’t have to wonder. The fruits of repentance are humility and teachability and marked change. EVERY TIME. All 3. You can take that to the bank.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Was she tweeting about a situation in particular?

    I wound up reading a long article last night about Bill Hybels of Willow Creek fame (how odd to see photos of him now with gray hair, I hadn’t seen or thought of him in years). I remember how big that movement was, the seeker-friendly ‘new way to do’ church, it even made the cover of Time magazine in the early 1990s as I recall. That was back in the days when evangelicalism was riding the crest of a wave of popularity and power of sorts, when it became rather full of itself. The ‘new’ church was hip, it was fun, it was popular and trendy. Funny what a little long-range perspective, mixed in with a heavy dose of humility, can do to clear our vision.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Michelle – Click on a tweet, copy the URL, then paste it here like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah, it’s the URL, thanks Peter.

    Janet–She’s been watching the #churchtoo movement and Andy Savage finally relinquished his position and acknowledged his behavior 20 years ago was sin. He got the Godly counsel he should have received at the time and while he repented then and was open with those in authority over him and his spouse, Savage did not apply the true meaning of recompense.

    Which is–as much as possible, make it as if it had never happened. He thought a hasty “I’m sorry” to the sexual immorality he forced a girl in his youth group long ago, was sufficient. The church did not handle the situation well–he confessed to the church authorities (Savage was the youth pastor), but never really followed an honoring way of helping the girl toward healing.

    It roiled through the social medial world a few months ago and stirred up the #churchtoo movement, as a response to the #metoo movement–when the victim wrote him a letter asking him to resolve what had happened between them 20 years ago.

    When Savage did not respond, she went public and things have been turbulent every since.

    The end result was Savage and his co-pastor at a TN church they founded both stepped out of their ministries and both had their books cancelled by Baker Books (within a few months of publication). The church leaders who incompletely counseled Savage and did not treat the victim as she should have been treated, took leaves of absence from the church where they have been ever since. They’ve now resigned.

    Has justice been served? If the woman has now found peace in her heart, perhaps. It’s always better, however, if some tie the millstone around their necks and jump into the sea rather than hurt one of God’s little ones.

    That, I believe, is part of what Beth Moore is tweeting about, combined with Hybels and all the others.

    Perhaps it is worth noting that MLKing Jr. would also fit within the culprits in the #Metoo movement. Satan crouches at the door to trip all of us into sin. Billy Graham and Mike Pence in following his example, should be men in ministry (women, too), that we look up to and emulate in our dealings with all.

    The Imago Dei demands it.

    Or, at least I think it does.

    Off to church for me, singing, serving and grieving today.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Oh, and one more from me and then I’m gone.

    Today’s My Utmost for His Highest is one of the significant ones for me. Here’s my Utmost Response which includes the link to the reading.

    Utmost Response March 24

    The March 24 reading altered the way I pray for people and changed how I view crises.

    It’s all about NOT being an “amateur providence” for someone else.

    Or, playing God with someone else’s life and trying to shield them from the consequences of their circumstances.

    A sort of tough love.

    Let’s start with the final line:

    “You may often have to watch Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it (see Matthew 10:34).”

    Yikes! What does that mean?

    The hardest prayer for my prayer partner and I to pray is that God will allow our loved ones to hit the bottom sooner rather than later. Because when they reach the end of their rope, as Corrie ten Boom liked to say, that’s where they’ll find Jesus.

    Until we understand the depths of our sin, we can’t recognize our need for a Savior. If out of misguided mercy we get in the way of our loved ones reaching the breaking point, we can very well thwart their ever recognizing Jesus.

    That’s a strong statement, but is often the result of well-meaning amateur providences trying to help. 😦

    This is our aim:

    “When you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger, until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ.”

    How hard is it? Excruciatingly difficult.

    And yet, isn’t our end goal to see our loved ones in heaven with Jesus, come what may here on earth?

    Watch out for this reaction or attitude: “This person should not have to experience this difficulty.” Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, our sympathy gets in the way.”

    It’s hard, but it’s also true love.

    Have you seen this in action? When is it difficult NOT to be an amateur providence in a loved one’s life?

    https://utmost.org/decreasing-for-his-purpose/

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I have ridden alone in the car with a Christian man who was not related to me before, out of necessity. They never went off course, found a lonely place, and made inappropriate advances to me. Once, I attended band practice in the evening at the church, and I was the only woman in the building. All the rest of the members were men. I received nothing but civil and humane treatment from them. I was just a colleague. I think we need to stop pretending that men are so easily tempted, and realize that a man such as Savage did what he did knowingly and deliberately.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
    A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:44-45)

    But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
    For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.(Matthew 15:18-19)

    Like

  19. As a teacher, I have to be careful around the girls because of the current climate. I trust most of my students, but I never know with a few of them what could happen if they were in the room without another present. I try to avoid that as much as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. From the CT article (Note: Hybels denies the charges against him):

    ___________________________

    … The church, founded in the Willow Creek Theater in Barrington, Illinois, also remains an evangelical powerhouse—and a model for churches around the country. It boasts a worship attendance of more than 25,000, making it the sixth-largest church in Outreach Magazine’s list of America’s 100 largest churches.

    The allegations will have ripples far beyond the church.

    For decades, Willow Creek has been touted as a model organization by pastors and business leaders alike, says Scott Thumma, a sociologist of religion and a megachurch researcher at Hartford Seminary.

    Willow Creek been studied by researchers from Harvard Business School; Jim Mellado even cowrote a famed case story while at Harvard in the 1990s. And its leadership summit gives the church a worldwide reach.

    “Whether it was their approach to the unchurched, to church leadership education, or to member spiritual development, Willow and Hybels were the model to imitate,” Thumma told CT.

    Which makes the allegations against Bill Hybels all the more concerning. The fallout from them could be significant, Thumma said.

    “This situation certainly spells another serious blow to the image of Christianity in American culture, especially to younger generations who already perceive religious leaders as suspect,” said Thumma. “Hybels has, in many writings and speeches, made clear what the standard for clergy conduct should be. If these allegations are true, he would be guilty of not just betraying his family and congregation, but the larger Christian world to whom he preached these standards.”

    Megachurch pastors are no more flawed that pastors of small churches, said Thumma. But they fall harder, and with more consequences, because of their outsized influence both in the church and the broader culture.

    Yet they are often seen as untouchable.

    “The mega platform of these churches, with their thousands of followers, millions of dollars, and outsized social influence demand structures of accountability beyond the individual clergy’s conscience and godly morality,” said Thumma. “Yet even the sincerest board or well-meaning council of elders find it difficult to stand up to the founder of such a seemingly ‘mighty work of God.’”

    … After the Tribune story broke, Willow Creek issued a statement in support of Hybels and explained how it had already investigated the allegations both internally and externally. …
    _______________________________

    Like

  21. Should they be able to call it a “winter storm warning” when it’s three days into spring? But I guess “spring storm warning” doesn’t give the right impression. Still not sure we’ll get the 7 inches predicted, but the sleet is making it messy out there.

    This evening’s Swing Dance at the high school was cancelled due to weather. Now I have to decide if I want to do my usual Saturday trip to the supermarket. I’m sure my husband can live without pop for a day (though he’d find it a hardship), and there’s certainly plenty to eat in the house. And I can afford to pay the 10-cent fine at the library for not returning the books that are due today. Definitely would mean some changes in the schedule for a couple of days, though.

    Like

  22. Husband is out by Council Bluffs, headed to Nebraska and then back up, directly into the storm path. He hopes it dissipates before he gets there. Lots of wind and rain last night for him.

    Like

  23. Pastor A would not be surprised at the reports about Willow Creek and Bill Hybels. From the little I heard him say on the topic, I know he thought they were theologically very unsound. I say this not because I know very much about Willow Creek, but because I think that is sometimes an aspect which gets left out of such discussions. Do men, or women, who call themselves Christians sin because they are tempted beyond their ability, or do they fall into sin because they are not walking in the Spirit? The Bible would say it is the latter, because God does not allow us to be tempted above what we are able (I Corinthians 10:13), but it is only by walking in the Spirit that we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:16). So, one’s theology can reflect one’s morality or vice versa – although theology does not dictate morality, since a unbeliever may be a moral person – because it is the Spirit who both teaches us about God and who enables us walk in faithfulness to God. Quenching the Spirit will lead to both misunderstandings about God and to walking in the lusts of the flesh.

    Like

  24. The discussion on other/previous threads regarding makeup and the attractiveness of the people on a given TV news network reminded me of an experience I had this week. I had been shopping for groceries and was ready to checkout. As I glanced along the open cashier lines, I noticed that there was one line open that was much shorter than the others. I momentarily wondered why, since I have observed the average shopper is like water, choosing the path of least resistance. I decided to take the line. As I wheeled my cart into position to unload the groceries onto the belt, I glanced casually and carelessly toward where the cashier was. The sensation of shock was so great at what I saw that I nearly turned my cart around – the impulse was instantaneous and I did not act on it. The face I saw was so terribly deformed that my only frame of reference for it was pictures of the Elephant Man – I think what made the sight so overwhelming was that I could not think what would cause such deformity, as it was not due to burn or other trauma scars – the only thing I could think that it might be was a connective tissue disease, since the folds of skin hung so loosely. I treated the cashier the same as I would any other, and I was pleased to observe that the people in front and behind me did the same. But I was impressed with the store – most commercial enterprises are more concerned that the face of their business be attractive to the customers or clients or viewers.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Pauline – The winter storm means the calendar only says it’s Spring. But remember, the groundhog saw his shadow. And you live in the Midwest where winter weather lasts until mid April or later.

    Like

  26. Re the Savage story (briefly, going from memory of what I read a few weeks ago: when he was a young college student, 22 I think, he was a part-time youth pastor, and when he and a 17-year-old girl were alone on the church bus, he asked her to perform oral sex on him; she figured that must mean he liked her, and she did it; immediately afterward, he ran from the bus crying and begging her to forgive him, and then later both of them were told not to talk to each other, as though they were equally at fault): my main impression when I read it was not a pastor taking advantage of a parishioner, but a young, untested person who should not have been in a position of pastor/elder, but should rather have been young and single, and under authority rather than in authority. He should have been dating the young girl (if he chose to) and with the integrity not to push her into sexual activity, but also without the “youth pastor” position when he was a young college kid and not elder material. (I also think that we should be teaching our girls to say “no” when presented with a situation like that. I am not saying she was “at fault,” but that girls–and boys too–need to be prepared to handle such a situation.)

    In other words, yes, the church failed in how they handled it: but they failed in a deeper way earlier, by calling someone a “pastor” who was not a qualified elder and who was not able to handle the position he had been given. A person who is not biblically qualified to be an elder should not be given the title “pastor” (or “minister,” in most cases), and the church was irresponsible in that.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Cleaned out the buffet cabinet today, another bag for Salvation Army (unused dishes, etc.). Lots of room in there now for what’s left to keep. I feel like I’m moving. But since I haven’t moved in 20 years, this really is a good time to pretend like I am moving and get rid of stuff. I’m with you in spirit, Cheryl. And in the back aches and sweat.

    I also organized a previously cleaned out bookcase with the books that were left to keep. Looks very nice with still one shelf empty.

    Dog park worker is busy outside, finishing up a little spot in the driveway near the house & finishing the new garage window frame (window isn’t new, but old frame had disintegrated in place, so now we have a freshly-primed wood frame there — he’s also going to prep the wood windows on the driveway side of the house, and that gets us another step closer to being ready to paint.

    Carol wanted me to come visit her in the hospital today but it just didn’t work out with all I have to do here (and I still have a couple errands to take care of). But we talked on the phone for 20 minutes or so. She was tearful, hospitals can get that way after the first couple days I suspect. Hoping the let her out sometime this weekend, but they still have her on antibiotic IVs. I told her I’d see come her next weekend (Easter weekend and I’m off on Good Friday) when she’s back home.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Kitties!

    Made the appt for Salvation Army to come Monday. I keep wondering if they’ll cut me off for pickup calls 🙂

    Like

  29. Argh! I got old and can’t pound a fence post. Well one but it looks like I will have to give it some time to get them all. And eleven year old is not big enough yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Roads weren’t bad. Parking lots very slushy. Driveway a lot of work to shovel, at least a solid inch of slush underneath a few inches of snow. But now I don’t have to go out again until tomorrow morning.
    When we lived in Michigan, one year the Easter cantata concert had to be cancelled due to snow. But the last several winters here have been mild, with events cancelled sometimes in December and January, not the end of March.
    I imagine with the warmer temperatures this week, it will all melt and people will be able to have their outdoor Easter egg hunts. Though I do see there’s a slight chance of snow on Easter morning…

    Like

  31. Hmm. Hole in ground between driveway and house is bottomless, worker was trying to see how deep it was and dropped a rebar post in which vanished. Yikes. Probably some ancient civilization, burial ground or ancient whale habitat under my house.

    Oh well. Can’t worry about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Your house will need to be torn down and you fined for messing with a historic site or whale habitat. I know this. Remember the Giant Palouse Worm.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I found my niche market and got a listing today. (He will sign tomorrow).
    He was showing me around the house and I noticed and asked about his reloading equipment. Betcha don’t know what I was talking about. He did and I think it got me the listing. Well at least his wife said I had it the minute I asked that question.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I knew Mumsee would know Gun enthusiasts and target shooters reload or load their own shells. It takes time,patience and a boatload of equipment. They even make special tables for it. My dad was a target shooter and had the special table. It is supposed to be less expensive than buying ammo but you can’t peove it by me.
    I recognized what it was and led the conversation their.
    Being ofsound mind my dad spent most of his money before he died. He was one on the last with a reLly good pension plan. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Nightingale and I finally got around to talking about a budget today. We had each made our own lists, so we consolidated them, and then we divided up who will pay what bill so that they are pretty evenly split between us. I will even have a little money to put into savings.

    I also finally finished the paperwork the VA sent me regarding their review of my pension. They say that they do not count a lump sum life insurance payment as income, but they do take it into consideration in looking at my net worth. So now we wait and see what their decision is.

    As I have said before, I am so grateful that Nightingale and I are in agreement on financial matters, as well as a lot of other matters.

    There is still a matter in which we don’t know what step to take or not take, so please say a prayer for wisdom for us. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Of course, we included in our budget the various bills that come up quarterly or semi-annually, and figured them into the monthly budget, along with various other expenditures, such as pet supplies.

    Like

  37. YF was at one of those rallies that were held today, in favor of stricter gun control laws. She posted a photo on Facebook holding her sign which said, “Thoughts and prayers don’t stop bullets.” I understand the frustration behind that, but it is sad that people expressing their intention to pray are now being ridiculed.

    If I were feistier, and didn’t care about offending people needlessly, I might reply, “Attending rallies doesn’t stop bullets, either.” 😉

    I’m not going to go into detail, but I strongly feel that YF was helping Chickadee compose her email to me. There was something in the wording that pointed to her being involved.

    Like

  38. ‘Thoughts and prayers’ — a response of empathy and mercy. It is not meant to suggest a specific legislative answer which, indeed, is a legitimate pursuit as well.

    From Albert Mohler:

    _______________________________

    … To millions of Christians in the nation, saying that our “thoughts and prayers” are with the needy, the hurting and the sorrowful comes as naturally as our own requests for prayer. Praying is not a way of avoiding responsibility, but of affirming it. Prayer is not escapism. It is obedience to Christ and following the example of the apostles.

    Understandably, this is perplexing to non-Christians and perhaps even infuriating to the secular-minded. But to Christians who pray in light of God’s love, power and mercy, prayer comes as naturally as a child with a need goes to a loving parent.

    Christians are taught to pray for our own needs, and for the needs of others. Prayer reminds us of our fundamental lack of self-sufficiency, even as it reminds us of our responsibility to others. We pray for those we know, but we also pray, quite naturally and eagerly, for those we may never know — such as the people of Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas or Orlando. We pray in the face of moral evil such as mass murder, and we pray in the face of natural evil like a devastating tsunami.

    When we say our “thoughts and prayers” are with them, we are not washing our hands of duty; we are expressing our heartfelt urgency to pray. We are affirming the power of God to save, to heal and to comfort. We are praying for human agents, doctors and first responders, friends and neighbors, to do what we cannot, prompted by the leading of God.

    Dismissing the language of “thoughts and prayers” may serve political expediency or offer a bit of moral catharsis (or even virtue signaling), but it does not help us move toward healing and unity. We desperately need a common moral vocabulary, and “thoughts and prayers” rightly reminds us of the common moral vocabulary that was once quite uncontroversial in America. Just look at the language of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama. Do we not want our leaders to call us to thoughts and prayers for those in grief? …

    __________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  39. A few heirlooms now are in the buffet — including the “heirloom of heirlooms,” the Thanksgiving turkey platter from “home” (my mom’s Iowa childhood home). She felt awful when she cracked it when I was a teenager, but it was repaired and is still good. It’s all white with corn stalks along the rim.

    Also a couple “poppy trail” pieces of Metlox (Made in California) pottery serving dishes and my mom’s McCoy’s bean pot, a favorite of hers. Lots of other “stuff” = bubble-wrapped and in bags, ready for the Salvation Army pickup on Monday.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. “Wind River” (?) a Netflix movie — set in Wyoming, a crime mystery. I watched it tonight & thought of Mumsee as it takes place on an Indian reservation. Amazing scenery. Looked colder than the dog park even.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I replaced the paint chips today that were whisked away to Alabama. Also purchased the small “sample” cans of each of the 3 colors and picked up some chips of blue samples for possible door color?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. The world not understanding that prayer is effective does not bother me in the slightest. Lately, a thought recurs to me every time I hear the “thoughts and prayers” response and the reaction to that response. It is based on what Christ said:

    “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your closet and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

    In this day, Christians are often encouraged to make the fact that they pray public, for all the world to see, as a kind of testimony to the world. But, in the above passage, Christ makes it clear that praying in secret is honouring to God. We should perhaps not be surprised when a private Christian discipline being publicized is met with hostility. Christ warned us about casting pearls before swine, pointing out that those who did not understand or value the treasures of the Christian life would trample those treasures and attack Christians. Perhaps witnessing through prayers is not the wisest approach.
    Furthermore, on the topic of using prayer as a type of witness, I realize that Christians often have the idea that prayers for the sick or sorrowing or those in need is a uniquely Christian thing, but it is not. Muslims and Jews pray for the same things Christians pray for, as do Hindus, and animists, and those who pray to their ancestors. The difference between Christians and worldly religions does not lie in the prayer requests but in the direction of those prayers. Using the word ‘prayers’ is really not as clear a witness as we might think it is, for that word does not identify to whom the prayer is directed.

    Like

  43. Pretty sure I will not be watching that movie. Partly because I rarely watch a movie other than Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings almost annually. Partly because R is too much for me.

    As for the “call for back up”, that is quite common in a lot of areas. Here for example, the officers will tell my children not to mess up especially on Sunday as they are the only officer on duty covering five hundred miles of road. It can take forty five minutes or several hours for an officer to arrive, unless they are called in on their day off in which case it still takes a while. I suspect most of the US and Canada is that way. Think Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Nevada. New Mexico, Arizona, etc.

    Like

  44. I was surprised by the ‘R’ rating, due to some violence but it wasn’t excessive/gratuitous considering that this was a crime drama based on actual events, of course.

    The FBI agent in the film was from Florida & stationed currently in Las Vegas, she was the closest agent they had to send and entered the scene a bit naively (and unprepared clothes-wise considering the temperatures).

    Like

  45. There is too much of that kind of crime on the reservations. But people are people and drugs and alcohol are everywhere.

    Like

  46. Though, in the past, I have enjoyed movies about the wide open spaces. Still haven’t watched Man from Snowy River or Dancing with Wolves or a few others. Okay, a lot of others.

    Like

  47. Peter, I understand your point about “thoughts.” But from a broader standpoint, the expression (if sincere) is simply one of empathy — the anger directed toward ‘thoughts and prayers’ pits that against working on a legislative solution (which, as we know, may or — more likely — may not be the panacea everyone thinks it is) and so I think it’s just a false equation. The idea is both responses are appropriate in the face of such tragic circumstances.

    But of course, ‘thoughts and prayers’ has become the focal point of the anger some have who believe removing guns from society would solve the problem. Our pastor recently compared it to prohibition — it’s the “thing” that’s seen as evil, not the human abuse of it.

    I favor reasonable gun laws and am not opposed to seeing whether some of those categories can be tightened up. But I’m under no illusion that it will end mass shootings. That goes much deeper.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I’ve seen parts of Dancing with Wolves, but think I’ve always missed the beginning so haven’t stuck with watching it all the way through. “Man from Snowy River” may be one I also haven’t seen.

    Like

  49. How about Into the Wild, another true story? It is one of Nightingale’s favorite movies. It, too, is rated R, maybe for a very long shot of him swimming naked. But there is no sex or violence in it.

    Like

  50. Roscuro – This hasn’t been the first time that YF has used that slogan (against thoughts and prayers). It is the fact that she claims to be a devout believer that has me wondering why she has hopped onto that bandwagon.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Just read the synopsis of Into the Wild which I’d not seen (nor could I remember even hearing about). It sounds pretty grim.

    Like

  52. I don’t think ‘thoughts and prayers’ (though I wish people wouldn’t get caught in using these standard phrases, it does begin to come off as sounding shallow) has the purpose of “witnessing” or is used as such by anyone I know (although maybe it is by politicians, they’re not above something like that, right?). I see it as a genuine attempt at a personal response to awful circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. I agree with Peter at 12:15. “Thoughts” is not relative to anything. I think it’s a harmless word of kindness by people who don’t understand.
    I don’t quarrel with it, but I never say “thoughts”.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. The SS lesson this morning was from I Corinthians 9:19f. About influencing others I pointed out that the key verse in the lesson.
    It is I Cor. 8::9 taken with 9:22.
    A man once said, “A Christian must live the way the world expects him to live.” Partly true, but, as I pointed out. The world doesn’t expect much from the church anymore. We have become a culture without a dominant religion.
    Where does that leave us?
    Every culture is driven by it’s dominant religion. Roman Catholicism in Italy and other countries for centuries. protestant (mainly, with help form Catholics) in the US. Islam in Arabia and the Middle East. Shinto in Japan (culture of shame). etc. The prominent religion usually sets the mores and laws of a nation, whether strongly obeyed or not.
    We, in the US have very little of that today.
    We cruising along at 90 mph without a steering wheel
    Hank Snow has a song called “Ninety miles and hour down a dead end street”.
    I fear for our children.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. DJ, pull your Thanksgiving platter out of the cabinet, buy a plate hanger that will fit it and hang it on the wall—think of my oyster plates. You are the last of a line unless you have cousins who will appreciate it. As a single, I don’t see you hosting Thanksgiving, so pull it out, slap it on a wall, and smile every time you see it. THIS is what I mean about keeping only what you love. Enjoy what you love as well.
    I just pulle up Poppy Trail at Replacements. Very pretty. What pieces do you have, because I think the plates could be a nice backdrop when you put dishes in the bookcase you are going to be using in the “dining room”. A 5 piece place setting is selling for $139.95

    Liked by 1 person

  56. DJ, nearly every politician uses the phrase. It is one of their public relations catchphrases, and it has become an empty and vain repetition. The better response would be to “weep with those who weep”, and if we cannot weep, we can at least be silent and support those who sorrow as they express their sorrow. Sometimes, they may rage in that sorrow, and it would be far better to let them vent than try to shut them down. It does not seem to occur to the critics of the vocal survivors of the latest mass shooting that those survivors have been severely traumatized by their experience and that anger is a perfectly reasonable response to their trauma. A little patience and grace with them would not be amiss.

    Kizzie, YF is seeking to make a place in the sun for herself by taking up popular causes. But, as I have been saying, the phrase is really without any overt Christian meaning. A Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Sikh could say the same phrase – in fact, I have heard/seen politicians and public figures of other religions use it.

    Like

  57. Roscuro – I agree about not dismissing or putting down the young people, especially the survivors, who are protesting. I may not agree with their ideas for “solving” the problem, but they have the right to express their outrage and fears. (Of course, I also know that their outrage and fears are based on a false narrative – gun deaths, including those in school shootings, have been decreasing since the 90s.)

    Like

  58. Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure that many of the conservatives who are putting down these kids as young and ignorant, making references to them eating Tide Pods, would be giving kudos to a group of teens marching for the pro-life cause.

    Like

  59. Kizzie, it is not a false narrative that 17 were slaughtered in the hallways of the school that they attend, while they wondered if they would be the next hit. If anyone else had been in that position, they too would be seeking some kind of assurance that they would be safe the next time they entered that school. We do not tell the mother who weeps over her miscarried child that statistically, most women experience at least one miscarriage in their lives, because we know that in her grief that would be cruel. To tell those young people that statistically, the rate of school shootings is decreased since the 90s would be rubbing salt in their wounds, and if they lash out at those who try to tell them such things, their response is completely understandable.

    Besides, I saw what you shared on FB on those statistics, and I remember reading that while the number of shootings were reduced, the rate of fatalities from the shootings that occurred had increased, which would suggest that the kinds of weapons used in the shootings are more efficiently deadly. In the words of a former President of the U.S.A., “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” It all depends on the statistic one chooses to emphasize. According to this World article, the protestors are not calling for a ban on guns, rather they are seeking, “reforms that include tighter background checks and school security, raising the age to buy guns, and bans on high-capacity ammunition magazines and rifles like the AR-15” (https://world.wng.org/content/protesters_across_the_country_call_for_more_gun_control). Seems like perfectly reasonable measures to me. Until recently, my youngest sibling owned a gun (she had no use for it, so passed it on legally to someone who could use it), so I know how the gun licensing process works here; and those are pretty much the limitations that we have on guns, yet many of the people I know in the county (few people in the city see the need for a gun) own at least one. When it comes to gun control laws, the words of Paul seem appropriate, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil… do that which is good and you shall have praise from them… but if you do ill, then be afraid.” (Romans 13:3-4). If you want to keep your guns here, you obey the law and keep your license current, and nobody bothers you (fearmongering by the Canadian anti-control activists notwithstanding).

    Like

  60. The poppy trail pattern for the 2 serving dishes I have are all white — antique white, with raised pattern around the edges. But my mom also had the rooster plates, I remember those from my childhood & they’re packed away in the garage; just 4 or so of the dinner plates, though, from what I recall.

    The platter isn’t huge and may be able to be displayed in the cabinet against the back. Good idea, though, to keep it out — I’m just not a dishes-on-the-wall kind of person (grew up with that look though).

    Our sermon was the first of two on keeping the Sabbath.

    And an interesting note in the bulletin (I believe it went out as an email as well, I remember seeing it somewhere during the past week):

    “Song Removed from Repertoire: The session wishes to inform the congregation that the song ‘The Lord is My Shepherd (Ps. 23)’ by Stephen Pearson has been removed from our song repertoire. We evaluated the lyrics and found that the extra-biblical reference to ‘death’ as a ‘passage of new birth’ is not a biblical concept. We regret any confusion these words may have caused and remind the saints that our Christian hope and expectation is the ‘resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.'”

    Liked by 1 person

  61. When I was growing up, in the early 90s, we walked to the nearest village for piano lessons from the local music teacher. Her husband was a hunter, and he had two rifles on a rack over the living room door, while another six or so were in a locked rack that stood in the hallway, with his ammunition belt hung on the wall overhead. The laws about storage were changed when I was an adolescent, so all his guns were locked away and we didn’t see them again, but he still could hunt with them. We did not fear his guns.

    The drug dealers next door were completely irresponsible with their guns, firing them off their back deck during wild parties in which they go rip roaring drunk – more than once in the short years they lived next to us, my father had to tell us to stay inside because there were bullets pinging off our barn roof again. We feared their guns, but only while they were drunk (we played with their children and they never threatened us otherwise).

    A SWAT team with guns once surrounded the drug dealers’ house, to arrest a man who was wanted across Canada – incidentally, he had made repeated visits to our home, asking to borrow tools, and just that morning, to borrow money (which my mother had none to give since we lived from hand to mouth). My mother made us seek refuge in the basement, just in case there was gunfire, but it resolved peacefully, with the man being arrested.

    Since those days, gun laws have become stricter, and while drug dealers no longer live next to my parents – although some are suspected to be not far away, as that area has been called the drug capital of Canada – we are still cautious of stray bullets and do not venture into the woods when hunting season is on (many gun fatalities around there are due to hunting accidents), or when the local farmers practice skeet shooting. Guns were a regular, everyday part of my life growing up, yet I have never handled or fired one myself. I now live in a city which has a one of the highest violent crime rates in Canada (it is still lower than most American cities), and I move around in the city alone, even after dark, and have never wished I had a gun to protect myself. I know that the film image of the handgun pulled out of a pocket or purse and fired with one hand is merely an illusion. The recoil would make the gun fly out of most people’s hand. Handguns have to be fired using both hands, and they are also very hard to aim accurately – there is a reason snipers use rifles. ‘Packing heat’ is not a very efficient method of self defense.

    Like

  62. From Veith quoting from a 2015 article in CT by Andy Crouch

    Thoughts and Prayers
    OCTOBER 5, 2017 BY GENE VEITH

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2017/10/thoughts-and-prayers/

    ____________________________

    … Crouch says that when we hear of something terrible that has happened, we naturally respond in two ways:

    (1) Though overwhelmed, we think about the tragedy, imagining what it would be like to experience something like that. That it to say, we feel empathy. These are our “thoughts.”

    (2) Horrible events create even in non-religious people feel an impulse to pray. Crouch comments,

    ~ This is, in a way, another and perhaps higher form of empathy. It reflects our instinct that our own experience of personhood, identification, and love must ultimately reflect something—or Someone—fundamental to the cosmos who is personal, who has identified with us, and who responds to us and all the world with love. ~

    He further observes that the purpose of these kinds of prayers is not “to fix things” but to hold everyone involved in the tragedy before the mercy of God. Another appropriate kind of prayer, well-attested in the Psalms, is lament, simply pouring out our grief and frustrations to God.

    But shouldn’t we come up with something original to say in order to express our concern in an authentic way and comfort the grieving? No, says Crouch. “Inarticulacy is the proper, empathic immediate response to tragedy.” This is why we quite appropriately fall back on conventional words and phrases. These constitute a sort of liturgy.

    ~ It is unrealistic, and arguably cruel, to ask for fresh words in the moment that we are confronted with suffering and loss, let alone horror and evil. Every human being, in these moments, falls back on liturgies—patterns of language and behavior learned long before that get us through the worst moments in our lives. There is no need to come up with a new thought or new words when you stand in the receiving line at a funeral home; it is entirely fine to say, “I am so sorry for your loss,” even though the family will have heard those words a hundred times before. What matters is not your words, which cannot possibly rise to the demands of the occasion, but your presence and your empathy.~

    Crouch points out that there is not much we can actually do to help others in times of tragedy. Yes, give to disaster relief and reach out to sufferers whom we know as we are able. But we can think about them. And pray for them.

    These “thoughts and prayers” are not insignificant And, if we can tell the mourners that we are thinking about them and praying for them, that actually is a comfort. …

    __________________________

    Like

  63. My mom had a lot of plates on display in our tiny house, including the turkey platter way up high on top of the picture window valance I think. I’ve not developed a passion for plates, particularly, and it’s just not my style to have them displayed, per se. By the same token I’d never want a “china cabinet.”

    But I can see that antique bookcase moved into the dining are and holding some antique & serving pieces quite nicely — it would be useful storage for those things along with having them visible, so that would work for me.

    I need to reconnect with the old house blog guy who provided my suggested paint colors — I’m wondering if the dark accent color would be used in any way on the side windows which are the double-hung and hopper windows. We only were working with the front of the house in which the accent color would go on the “grids” in the big casement windows.

    He’s going to love hearing from me, his not-favorite client. 🙂

    Like

  64. Roscuro – The false narrative is not that young people have died. I would not say what I posted to a survivor of one of those shootings. There are a lot of truths (about abortion, homosexuality, etc.) that we may believe and discuss but that we would be a lot more careful about in the presence of one who was involved in any of those things in some way. As I said earlier, I agree with you about not dismissing or putting down those who are protesting.

    Another friend, an expert in statistics and interpreting them, pointed out that kids are actually still safer in school than out in the world or often even in their own homes. For every young person killed in a school shooting, 14 other teens take their own lives. Saying this does not mean that we take the school shooting deaths lightly.

    The problem with much of what is proposed for gun control legislation is that it would not stop someone (excuse the term) hell-bent on causing mass death and carnage. These guys usually have planned out their attacks over a period of time. Getting the right kind of weapon even illegally would maybe slow them down, but not stop them. And if they couldn’t manage to get their hands on a gun, they could always go on the internet and learn how to make a bomb. (The worst school massacre was accomplished with a bomb (or bombs, I forget how many) back in the 20s.

    Every time there is a mass shooting, people agitate for stricter gun laws. And every time, or at least almost every time, I will come across an article that shows why the latest proposed law would not have stopped that shooting.

    Btw, I am not a gun-lover or gun-nut, as people who point these things out are usually called. I don’t even like guns! But the mass shooting problem is not going to be solved by simply trying to make it harder to buy a gun. (Connecticut has the strictest gun control regulations, and we still had the Sandy Hook tragedy.)

    Like

  65. Kizzie while I understand the kiddos have fears and passion about fixing the problem, I’m sorry but many are coming across as disrespectful, entitled,spoilt children. They are spewing at their elders, chastising them as though they know better than anyone. Many are being used by adults with an agenda….those adults knowing the young can be very easily used and manipulated.
    I read an article of a young lady who refused to wear a dress as part of the team tradition the day before a game of some sort. Her attitude was that no one was going to tell her what to do. It was part of being on the team…she didn’t like it therefore she decided she didn’t have to follow the rule….in my view we are in a world of hurt when we pander to the wants and demands of these children…they are children for crying out loud! (The football and basketball players at my high school always wore dress shirts and ties the day before a game…it was done with respect and team spirit….and they respected their coach who asked them to do so).
    I hesitate to compare those who are pro life to those who are screaming about taking away second amendment rights…they scream about guns yet fail to see the duplicity of crying out for those killed with guns only to dismiss the fact that our unborn (or even newly born) are murdered every single day. Just my two cents anyway….

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Another matter that has been misunderstood is about the dreaded AR-15.

    “Never mind that rifles of any kind account for only a fraction of gun deaths every year, or that some of the worst public mass shootings in American history have taken place with nothing more than handguns.

    Never mind that the gun has been readily available to civilians since 1963, and yet has only recently been considered a serious public safety threat worthy of a complete ban.

    Never mind that the AR-15 is not an automatic rifle, that it is not particularly powerful compared to other “less scary looking” rifles, or that prohibitions on it have shown no correlation to a drop in gun violence.

    The reality is that law-abiding citizens purchase millions of AR-15s (and similar rifles) for one very important overriding reason—the same reason, in fact, that law enforcement officers often use them: They are great for self-defense. . .

    Unlike handguns, the AR-15 is braced against the shoulder and has two separate points of contact for the shooter’s hands. This means the firearm is much more stable, making it easier to handle and fire accurately for smaller or less-experienced gun owners—or for any gun owner facing a life-or-death situation. They are easy to use, easy to maintain, and reliable.”

    This was shared by former WMB regular Cameron. She further commented, “The standard ammunition for it is less powerful than the “deer rifle” they keep telling me I should use.”

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/03/14/8-times-law-abiding-citizens-saved-lives-ar-15/

    Like

  67. I don’t think Kizzie was suggesting “telling the students” that school shootings are down, she was simply pointing to some factual analyses of shootings and their frequency.

    The marches are fine, our generation pretty much invented that model of activism. While I don’t dismiss the messages at all, neither do I place more importance on them because they’re “young people.” Issues are typically black and white among the young, I was no exception. But there’s room for all of it within the broader discussion. I just think some of the suggestions are overly simplistic.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. I liked how one of the students leading the rally (maybe in Washington, D.C.?) railed against “old people.” Just in general I guess, as a matter of principle. With a lot of profanity mixed in. So there.

    Nothing new under the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. It gets very complicated I am sure. Like the American Revolution. But, as I understand it, the right to bear arms was put in place for the common citizen to be able to help defend the people from government run amok. That is not shooting a deer or even a burglar. It is shooting your fellow citizens who are armed with all the military can provide, fighting against the citizenry.

    How does that go with the Scripture on not opposing the government? It is the government that allows for this militia idea after lessons learned of governments going out of control. If the government says you have the right to protect yourself from it in the event it gets too controlling, does that mean you don’t have the right to stop it once it does and changes its mind? And if I have the right to defend myself against the over reaching government, am I supposed to pit my pistol to its big guns?

    I am all for obeying those in authority, but it gets confusing when the authority says to arm myself in case it allows power to corrupt and absolute power to corrupt absolutely.

    What would I do as a Christian? I hope I would be listening to God. Were the folks in the Revolution listening to God or were they caught up in mob mentality? I hope I never find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Kizzie, such articles are not very convincing. Take the AR 15 article just linked – it does not address what the radiologist writing in the Atlantic observed about the AR 15, which is that the velocity of the bullets causes greater internal damage and exit wounds (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/what-i-saw-treating-the-victims-from-parkland-should-change-the-debate-on-guns/553937/). The above link does not even mention that aspect of the AR 15 ballistics, not even to deny that the gun’s ballistics are more dangerous (after all, it is entirely possible that the radiologist may have been mistaken about the ballistics) – which raises the suspicion that the article defending AR 15s avoided discussing the ballistics because they knew including that aspect would weaken their argument. As I said, one can use statistics, and other facts, to prove almost anything, provided you know which statistics, or facts, to include and which to exclude to make your point. An article which omits facts which one knows to exist elsewhere is a doubtful article.

    What the U.S. decides to do about gun control is none of my concern. But the ire I see in Christians over the idea of gun control is perplexing. I remember reading a comment by a former Whirled Views member during a previous discussion about gun control, “If they [the government] come for my guns, I’ll be waiting for them.” That was not the last time I saw such a statement from a professing Christian – I saw it again in this recent debate. That guns should be so important to one that one would overlook even the commands of Scripture against killing and against rebellion to the authorities, is disturbing and the word idolatry comes to mind.

    Like

  71. Mumsee, interesting that you should ask that. A recent book I read (novel) mentioned an aspect of the Boston Massacre that I had not heard before, so I looked up historical information about the Boston Massacre. Recall that I had practically an American history education, since most of our homeschooling resources were published in the U.S., so I know the lore around the Boston Massacre. According to some first hand accounts that I found of the incident, the soldiers were deliberately provoked by a mob, and even then, the British army did punish those who fired upon the mob:

    In the mean time the mob
    surrounded the centry, and began to attack him
    by striking at him with clubs, swearing they
    would be revenged on the soldiers. The centry
    defended himself, as well as he could, with his
    bayonet, and desired them to keep off, saying,
    “He durst not quit his post; and that, if they did
    “not desist, he must call the guard.” They did
    not however desist, but pelted him with sticks
    and large pieces of ice picked up from the streets.
    This obliged him to retreat to the door of the
    custom-house, where, getting upon the steps of
    it, he loaded his musket in the fight of the peo-
    ple, and, after he had loaded it, he struck the
    butt-end of it against the steps three or four
    times, hoping, as it should seem, that the sight
    of the danger they were running, if they pressed
    upon him any further, would induce the people
    to keep off, (See Thomas Cain’s deposition, No.
    46.) But it had not this effect; for the people
    assembled in greater numbers, and set him at de-
    fiance, crying, “Fire, fire, and be damned.”
    (From: A Fair Account of the Late Unhappy Disturbance at Boston New England, Link: http://www.masshist.org/database/viewer.php?item_id=386&mode=transcript&img_step=16&pid=34#page16)

    Like

  72. Continued a little later from the same account:

    But the people continued to insult and defy this
    party of soldiers in the same manner as they had
    done the single centinel, pelting them with sticks
    and balls of ice, and calling out to them,
    “Damn you, you rascals; fire. You dare not
    “fire. Fire, and be damned.” These expres-
    sions were frequently repeated; during which
    time Captain Preston spoke often to the mob,
    desiring them to be quiet and disperse; for that,
    if they continued their attack upon him and his
    party, he should be obliged to fire upon them.
    But his humane endeavours were to no purpose.
    The people continued their attack upon the sol-
    diers, till they were provoked beyond all pa-
    tience. A large stick, or, as Mr. Palmes says, a
    piece of ice, that was thrown at the grenadier on
    the right of the party, struck him with violence
    and made him stagger, upon which both he and
    the soldier next him fired their pieces without
    any order from Captain Preston for that purpose,
    (See John Hickling’s deposition, No.73, and
    Thomas Greenwood’s depositions, Nos. 96 and
    111, and Richard Palmes’s depositions, Nos. 53
    and 112.) and soon after the rest of the party did
    the same; by which three men were killed on
    the spot, and eight wounded, of whom two
    have since died of their wounds. Presently after
    the last gun was fired off, Captain Preston sprung
    before the soldiers, and waving his sword or
    stick, said, “Damn ye, rascals, what did ye fire
    for?” and struck up the gun of one of the
    soldiers who was loading again; whereupon they
    seemed confounded, and fired no more. (See Wil-
    liam Wyat’s deposition, No.54.)

    This is the whole of what the Boston Narra-
    tive calls the horrid Massacre. How far it de-
    serves that appellation, let the unprejudiced reader
    judge. For my part, I cannot but think it a
    very gross abuse of language, and highly inju-
    rious to the unhappy officer and soldiers who were
    concerned in this affair, to call it by the same
    name that has heretofore been used to describe
    such wanton, unnecessary, and premeditated acts
    of general destruction as the slaughter of the
    Protestants of France in the year 1572, and of
    the Protestants of Ireland in 1641; to which a
    resistance made by twelve soldiers against more
    than an hundred people armed with sticks and
    bludgeons, in defence of a post which it was their
    duty to defend, seems to me to bear no resem-
    blance.

    Like

  73. Roscuro – I, too, am uncomfortable with seeing fellow believers who seem to hang onto their gun rights, and the Constitution as a whole, as well as American patriotism, as if they are all part of the Bible. I understand the importance of holding our leaders accountable to follow the Constitution, and that in defending various rights, we are also defending our fellow citizens (which to me, is part of loving our neighbors). But it seems that some do conflate their patriotism with their faith.

    My own posts about guns do not come from a love for guns, as I previously said, but that I have read several articles over the past several years that show that the rate of gun violence in an area is not necessarily related to the laws in that area. Some areas that have very strict gun control laws also have high rates of gun violence, and some areas that have lax laws have low rates of gun violence. It goes against what seems would be true.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Kizzie, if you are talking about regions within the U.S., that would make sense. One does not, after all, go through border crossings to go from state to state, so gun control differences between states would not necessarily prevent people from obtaining guns in one jurisdiction and transporting them to another. But there is a difference between countries that are otherwise comparable to the U.S. in terms of stable government and effective law enforcement, i.e. Europe, the U.K., Canada, and Australia, which all have stricter controls and much lower rates of gun violence. Of the countries which have higher gun violence rates than the U.S., they are all countries with weaker governments and more corrupt law enforcement (https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/12/15/the-countries-where-guns-account-for-the-highest-share-of-violent-death-infographic/#34301f246c2c) – in other words, even if there are stricter laws on gun control in those countries, the laws are unlikely to be properly enforced due to the ability of criminals to bribe the government to turn a blind eye. Only looking at gun violence rates and gun control laws presents an incomplete picture – one also has to determine if the laws are actually being enforced.

    Like

  75. I look at it as this country has a constitution that says we are supposed to hold the government accountable for not going beyond its scope. We are to do that through elections and the maintaining of a militia. We don’t do either. But, then we are disobeying our government by not maintaining one and being prepared to rein in the government. That is not against the admonition that government is in place by God for our good. We are supposed to be participating in it. I am not advocating insurrection, simply pointing out that we hear a lot about our rights to hunt but that is not what the right is. It is the right to protect ourselves and each other from a government gone awry. And it is written into our Bill of Rights as such.

    Liked by 3 people

  76. Mumsee, I cannot properly address the specificities around the Second Amendment, but in reading your points about the right of defense against the government being given to you by the government, it occurs to me that the rights conferred by a secular government do not supersede the commands of Scripture. After all, there are other rights conferred by the government which Christians would say they could not take advantage of because the activities involved in exercising those rights are contrary to Scripture, for example, the right to abort one’s unborn child.

    Like

  77. Scripture does clearly give the right to self-defense, and the responsibility to defend one’s own family, so I don’t think government has any authority to say “You may not defend your own household.” Government can say that we can’t shoot someone on the street (outside our house) or that we can’t booby trap our property in such a way that a trespasser would blow himself up, and so forth.

    I think that is different from saying we have a right to defend ourselves against government, even illegitimate government. Let’s say, for instance, that the government declares Christianity illegal. We can hide or move, but we cannot kill the person who comes to arrest us. But the person who would break into our house to steal, rape, or murder, we have the right to use any force necessary, even deadly force, against him.

    Liked by 2 people

  78. But that is the question: if the government grants the right to the people to form a militia to keep the government where it is supposed to be, isn’t it obeying the government to do so?
    Our government does not grant the right to kill one’s child, it does make it legal while in the womb but a legality is not equal to a right. Small but big difference, I think.

    Liked by 2 people

  79. Mumsee – I have read that the Second Amendment is actually made up of two clauses (I think that’s what we’d call them).

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    According to the two clauses theory, the amendment is protecting “a well regulated militia” AND “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. It has been pointed out that whenever “the people” is used, it refers to all citizens.

    As for what you said about suicide, sadly, a very large (close to half maybe?) percentage of gun deaths are due to suicide. The question that is asked is if some suicides would be prevented if they didn’t have a gun available, or would they merely find another way. My guess is a little of both, depending on the person.

    Like

  80. In writing the comments I made earlier about the marchers/protesters, I really was not looking to get into the gun control debate. But on both here and my post on Facebook, it was that throwaway line about the false narrative that folks have focused on.

    I really am tired of the whole gun thing. I have read so much on both sides of the issue, and seen statistics that contradict each other. But my friend, the statistics expert, has also posted articles, along with his own analysis, that seem to show that gun control is not what it is cracked up to be, even in other countries. I have found those articles convincing.

    Like

  81. Background checks and all are fine, but when a criminal wants a gun, he will get one.

    Most of these shooters were students in their schools. Perhaps the students need to take a look at those around them, find the ones sitting by themselves and make an effort to get them involved. How about they stop bullying each other? Of course, I am not blaming the students, I am saying that it appears the students who do this are disconnected in some way and the only way I can think of to fix that is to reach out.

    Kind of what the girl at school is doing for my daughter. She says she is learning a lot about others through working with daughter. Maybe we need more of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  82. Mumsee. the ruling on Roe vs. Wade declared abortion to be a right based on the Constitution, specifically the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment.

    Kizzie, I did not intend to get drawn into the gun control debate, either. I am more interested in how Christians are to respond to these events, which is what I have been attempting to discuss. Where I have addressed arguments against gun control, it is because I can see the flaws in the arguments, not because I am interested in changing gun control laws.

    Like

  83. Where does Scripture give us the right to self defense? It is a genuine question, because I do not see that in Scripture. I would say the New Testament teaching on Christianity places significantly limits self defense, “You have heard it said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you that you resist not evil. If any man smite you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (The Sermon on the Mount). I do not say Christianity forbids self defense, but it does not treat it as a right. In fact, I do not think the idea of rights exists in Scripture. Responsibilities, not rights, are what humans are given in Scripture, for example, the Bible does not speak of a right to a fair trial, but of the responsibility to judge justly.

    Like

  84. Roscuro, exactly. The government run amok. Perhaps the infringement of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, denied to millions of our citizens, should be enough to bring on the militia. We all know they are not little trees or platypuses. They are people, American citizens.

    Like

  85. I am not so much in the self defense camp as the preserving the country according to the Constitution, which allows for the protection of our fellow citizens. Does God? I don’t know. Should the Germans have resisted the Nazis? Should the N Koreans resist their ruler? Should Americans resist the slaughter of the children?

    I don’t see America in Scripture and I am fine with us self destructing if that is what God has planned. But, if we are told by our government to resist, when do we? Or do we just say the government writers were wrong to write that in and we should just let it devolve like all the others?

    It kind of goes back to that we the people part you aren’t so fond of.

    Like

  86. There is also a real life example in the Bible: the command by Pharaoh to Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives, to kill the male children. When they refused, he gave the command to his soldiers. It was government sponsored infanticide. Did God command his people to raise a militia? No, he said he would take care of the injustice, and he did. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” If militias were raised for the defense of the unborn, such militias might have honourable intentions, but they too would end up shedding innocent blood. One only has to look at history. Take the American Revolution – those who could not find it in their consciences to join the rebellion against Britain were cruelly treated, being tarred and feathered, imprisoned, even killed, and eventually had to flee their homes, although the Declaration of Independence said that every man had a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Jesus, in his warning about those who lived by the sword dying by the sword, was warning that using violence to gain an end, however just that end may appear, only produces an endless cycle of violence. Peter, in cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant, was unjust. The man was a servant, obeying the commands of his master; yet Peter tried to maim him for the injustice done to Jesus. In healing the servant’s ear, and then going and willingly suffering the injustice, Jesus redeemed not only Peter, but also all others who trusted in his sacrifice. Self sacrifice, not self defence, is the way of Christianity, for we too are to lay down our lives in the service of Christ. And it is not a self sacrifice of those who fly planes into ships or blow themselves up at checkpoints, for that kind of sacrifice only kills and causes more suffering, but a self sacrifice that takes on the burden of the suffering of others and restores them.

    Like

  87. I Mumsee, that what you are doing, laying down the latter part of your lives to care for children most have given up on, is a far more powerful affirmation of the worth of the ‘least of these’, far more powerful than any militia would be. The children in your care, both those who are there now and those who have left are living affirmations of worth; a militia with guns would only take more life. The only person who would rejoice at the sight of more bloodied human corpses in a fight against abortion would be the evil spirit who hates humans, for humans are, however great sinners they have been, constant reminders of the image of God. Devils do not care what age the humans are or how they die, so long as they are dead; and it is those wicked spirits that Christians fight against. Christians do not fight against their fellow humans, who like the high priest’s servant, are slaves merely following their master. The human who only gives a cup of cold water to the thirsty in the name of a follower of Christ, the human who takes in one such child in the name of Christ, is the human who is truly fighting for life.

    Like

  88. I agree that violence leads to violence. He that lives by the sword, dies by the sword. But the government is not just some distant entity. It is made up of human beings. Some are there for life, others for a short period of time. It is made up of rules made by human beings. God puts the government in place that He wants. He warned the Israelites of what would happen if He gave them a king and that is pretty much what happens every time.

    Which is why the folk put that clause in. Of course, they were human beings too and had just dealt with the Revolution so their eyes were clouded. But it is there and it is part of the government. Should Christians participate in that? Should Christians run for election? Should Christians be part of the judge branch? Or should Christians just be doing the work? From what I have seen in Scripture, most should just be doing the work. God has used His people in different positions to help the people, but it is God doing the positioning, not the people. Joseph did not ask to be thrown down the well.

    Do we have a responsibility to participate at all?

    You could be right, Phos.

    I have often wondered it the Ten Booms were right to lie. I am glad they did, but were they right? They were not killing anybody but it was not set in their constitution that they should lie or not lie to save their fellows. God tells us not to lie.

    Many people have gone before their governments without lying, and died for it. But they have kept their mouths shut concerning fellow believers. We teach that that is lying by omission rather than commission. I just want to be left alone on my little farm to bring up young adults. But that is not what God says either, is it? Oh, there is work quietly in your own home….

    Difficult questions or maybe not so difficult.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s