71 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-10-20

  1. And I’m praying for Mr. P.

    I know this belongs on R&R but I will forget it:

    I don’t know if this happens to anyone else. I have never heard it discussed.’
    But I wake up each morning with a song in my head. There is nothing that causes it. And I can’t relate it to anything.
    It isn’t disturbing. It has been going on all my life.

    This morning, I have “Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed” in my head. Strange song. I have never heard it sung by anyone else but Little Jimmy Dickens. I doubt that anyone else could sing it.

    No. I don’t know why.

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  2. Nice shot, AJ. Did you ID it? 🙂 You got one of those birds where ID is nearly impossible (greater or lesser yellowlegs or any of several sandpipers).

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  3. Chas waking up with a song in my head is oh so common for me. Sometimes it makes no sense. Then there are those times when I am being ministered to oh so sweetly by that song stuck in my head. 😊 Thirty years ago when our first foster baby went back to his reluctant birthmom I was devastated. Every morning I awakened to the song “He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it”….what a comfort to my soul. A dear friend painted that scripture on a little stool for me…I still have it…and it still brings comfort knowing the Lord is indeed faithful to His Word and Promises….

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  4. I know who Little Jimmy Dickens is and, no doubt, Kim does and can find the song. I have never heard of the song, however. I was late to the party on knowing who he is.

    I often wake to songs in my head. Some I have to deliberately remove to make way for better.

    Praying this surgery helps, Mr. P.

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  5. Don’t know Jimmy Dickens.

    But my dad liked Tex Ritter, he had an album of his he bought in the late 1960s. But the only “record player” we had was in my bedroom by then, taken up with Beatles and Beach Boy records most of the time. Maybe he played it when I wasn’t home. 🙂 I remember it sat behind the sofa against the wall for a few years following his death in 1970 along with a book my mom was secretly reading before he died on advice on handling mortuary decisions. Sad times, really. 😦

    And I guess I woke up feeling sad today, just in general. But today’s Scripture & the passage in “New Morning Mercies” have helped immensely, as they always do.

    Prayers for Mr. P.

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  6. Michelle, the entire concept of “identifying” is silly.
    Nothing identifies itself. Identification is always made by someone else. That is the purpose of it.
    I tried identifying myself as a good looking guy in his mid twenties.
    But it never did any good.

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  7. Michelle, I get the point that the writer of the article is making, but I winced a little when he made what seemed obvious point that a woman has a uterus. Hysterectomies are very common among women for a wide variety of health reasons, from fibroid tumours to postpartum hemorrhage to uterine cancer. Sometimes what seems and obvious and facile point is not and can end up causing pain. Women often struggle emotionally with a hysterectomy, feeling a loss of womanhood or femininity. Christians need to become more thoughtful in their interactions with the world, carefully considering all things. No, we have no need to waver from the truth that God created humans male and female, but even our Lord acknowledged the reality of how sin had affected that perfect creation:
    “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 9:12)

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  8. Cheryl,

    Near as I can tell, it’s a sandpiper. 🙂

    I see what you mean too, In the photos I took their were about 20 birds, but at least 3 different variations of feather patterns and coloring.

    So sandpipers it is. 🙂

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  9. #Enduring Word fan shout out continues. I have never seen this before:

    From Hebrews 11:

    1. (8) Abraham’s obedience by faith.
    By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

    a. By faith, Abraham obeyed: Abraham did step out in faith, going to the place God promised him; but his faith was less than perfect. This is seen by comparing Genesis 12:1-5 with Acts 7:2-4, where it is evident that Abraham first went half way to where God called him, and only eventually obeyed completely. Yet thousands of years later, God did not “remember” the delayed obedience, only the faith.

    I looked up the passages and saw that Abram only went to Harlan until his father died (?) and then continued on to “success.”

    Chas, did I read that right?

    He acted in faith, faltered for a time (or two, see Ishmael), but eventually did what God asked and then God blessed.

    Interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Commentators on Scripture need to be careful not to read into the Scripture more than is stated. Hebrews 11 is praising Abraham’s faith, not critiquing its quality. In the words of Christ, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”

    The commentator falls into the trap of prosperity gospel thinking, that it was Abraham’s fault that it took so long for Isaac to be born, that he would have recieved the promise sooner if he had more perfect faith. Yet, we know from the rest of Biblical account that God takes his own time. Isaac was meant to be born when both Abraham and Sarah could no longer conceive naturally.

    As for Ishmael, the American dispensationalism narrative seems to have permeated American Christian culture in general. Ishmael was blessed by God. No, he was not the child of promise, but he still recieved a blessing. The modern American Christian narrative that the Jews and Arabs are permanent enemies because of Ishmael and Isaac is a complete confusion of the predicted conflict of the descendants of Esau and Jacob with Isaac and Ishmael. The recent conflicts between Arab and Jew are of very recent origin and their roots lie in broken promises of the West to the Arabs from a hundred years ago, not in the birth of Abraham’s first two sons 6000 years ago. The means of Ishmael’s conception was wrong, as Abraham was not married to Hagar, but God could have closed Hagar’s womb. That he did not is a sign that he wanted Ishmael to be born, and wanted Ishmael’s descendants to be present in the history of the world.

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  11. Catching up.

    Re- sermon length: We attended a church which made it seem anything less than 45 mins-1 hour was unspriritual. A guest speaker came and his sermon would have been much better kept at 30 minutes max. There was a lot of unnecessary fluff that made it tedious.

    On the other hand, we went to a church where the pastor could say more in 15 minutes than most preachers could do in an hour. He was concise with his words and wasted none of them on fluff. Since it was an “open meeting concept” (no set number of hymns or order of what happened, yet orderly), there were times he would preach, then have the singing. Once, we sang a few songs, he preached for 10 minutes, prayed, preached some more, we sang a song or two, then he finished the sermon.

    Then there’s Paul Washer- I was in a meeting where he went on for 2 hours, yet it was so full of meat that it seemed like less than an hour. That’s good preaching! He kept us awake and alert the whole time.

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  12. A church (a few churches ago) went to 15-minute sermons (this was in the 1990s and the push was to make our church more “seeker sensitive”). But by then I was reading the likes of RC Sproul and attending talks sponsored by a local group of Reformed Christians. The light 15-minute sermons (and I do think the short time-frame added to the superficiality of it all) weren’t nearly enough.

    There’s no fluff in our 40-45 minute sermons, and they have a depth to them that always teaches and exhorts. I’d never want to go back.

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  13. It’s typical for me to both laugh and shed a few tears every Sunday. Is that unusual? It all — the sermons, the Lord’s Supper, the hymns — just moves me anew, week after week.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. DJ, that is as it should be. We have very good sermons most of the time at my church, laden with bread of the Word, and much to ponder. We do not have communion every Sunday. The first service I attend has to be limited to one hour but the second service has a bit more flexibility.

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  15. Pastor A used to preach two sermons every week that were each 45 minutes in length, one for Sunday School, and one for service. He shortened the service sermon to half an hour on communion Sunday (first Sunday of every month), as he gave a 20 minute long communion message. The city church generally had a half hour sermon, with it not infrequently running to three quarters of a hour.

    The church I attend now has about 40 minute sermons. At this season, I am grateful for a church so close as my energy levels would not stand a half day of church as it used to be with Pastor A. Yesterday, I felt so tired that I had to sit down while waiting for the crowd to disperse a little after church (the pastor and his wife talk to everyone as they leave the building, so it can take some time to get out the door).

    I used to get emotional sometimes at the city church, as there was a definite feeling of fellowship of the believers. I still feel a bit lost and disconnected with my church right now, which is not helped by that fact that between work, sickness, and family ties, I am not able to attend as regularly as I did anywhere else.

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  16. Michelle, thank you for posting the link on Hebrews 11. It helped me with better understanding on the offerings made to God by Cain and Abel. I had always thought the difference was in ‘first fruits’ but the ‘by faith’ makes for clearer understanding.

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  17. Those who find fault with American reading and understanding of scripture can just move to Canada, lol, where they have their own unique set of misunderstandings. Good thing to know God gives grace in equal portions (as needed) all over the globe. Only God has perfect knowledge. Count me as offended yet able to get past it because of an understanding of the grace of God given to me freely. His example prompts me to do the same.

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  18. We are home. They “mapped” where he is receiving electrical pulses. They turned it up to painful then backed it down. He is currently set at 3 and they will have a phone consultation for the next 3 days. He will go back on Friday and they will take these leads out and decide what the next step is. Mr. P took some pain medicine this morning but hasn’t had any for the rest of the day. He says he is comfortable. He isn’t supposed to bend over, reach high, or lift anything. Luckily I will be able to rearrange some things and stay home Wednesday and Thursday. I don’t know what he thought he would do with Little Miss

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  19. My former (Presbyterian) church had Sunday evening services and I used to attend at least semi-regularly. But the church was a 20-minute drive from my house and, no, sometimes Sundays didn’t feel all that restful 🙂 I loved the services (the evening service was short and informal, it was a small church anyway), but with the to-and-fro driving (and sometimes with a congregational lunch in between), it made for a very, very full day. Then back to work on Monday, of course.

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  20. Our current church only has the regular Sunday morning service but with many other activities throughout the week — we had a hymn sing this Sunday night which I missed.

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  21. Roscuro, 11:22, I would feel quite awkward having a man put a microphone in my face and ask me to define what it means to be a woman. At the same time, having a uterus is part of what is naturally included in being a woman–and I say that as a woman who no longer has one. If we’re describing human facial features, most likely we will say that people have two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth. That isn’t to slight anyone who only has one eye; it’s just to note the norms. We don’t change definitions based on bodily malformations or surgeries. One of my brothers only has one leg, but he wouldn’t think twice about referring to people as having two arms and two legs, nor would I think twice about doing so in his presence.

    If someone wants to insist “every woman has a uterus, and a person who doesn’t have a uterus is not a woman,” that’s a different matter. But explaining it as “part” of what makes a woman is biologically accurate.

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  22. Janice, your 2:03: I missed where someone from Canada said anything even remotely offensive. But publicly announcing you have been offended and are now willing to get over it (because of your grace) is less gracious a statement than it might look like, while making it. If you disagree with someone’s interpretation, it’s probably better to say what you disagree with, and explain why, than to assume the interpretation was meant to “offend.” We are not going to agree with everyone’s interpretation of things all the time, and that’s OK.

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  23. Thank you, Cheryl. I am glad you did not take the previous comment the way I did. It is easy to understand that one may feel slighted and another may not by a comment made. I mostly wanted to glorify God by saying that He covers all such misunderstandings by His grace and He alone sees the whole picture and what leads up to such misunderstandings. I wanted to make the point that no matter how much we feel blessed to know the truth of God that none, no not one, can know as much as God and we are all in the same floating boat under His grace. No matter what our nationality or other point of division, we are all sinners and fortunate to be in receipt of His grace.

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  24. Most of the time. But not all the time by any means, a long sermon results from a pastor not knowing the best way to say what he wants to say.
    OTOH, Paul preached all night once because he had lots to say and a short time to say it.

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  25. Thanx for the update, Kim.
    Sometimes people ask you to pray about something. Then you don’t hear from them again.
    Every prayer request should have a response, if possible.

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  26. Our pastor works throughout the week on his sermons which also are provided in printed form, so they’re very well thought-out, to say the least. He spends much of his week in his study. He used to “shoot from the hip” from the pulpit as he calls it now. But he said he learned the folly of that early on when he had to stop preaching, mid-sermon, on a passage in Revelation because he found he didn’t really ‘see’ what a commentator he was quoting had concluded about the verses.

    Humility and seasoning are good attributes for ministers (and all the rest of us, of course)

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  27. Janice, it is a misinterpretation that has been widely exported – a large number of pastors in other countries have been educated in America or by Americans – and therefore hard to avoid by being in another country. One missionary overseas, when asking if I agreed with the eschatological interpretation of the agency we were with, chuckled when I replied I was there on probation because my church did not hold to the same dispensationalism interpretation of the end times as the agency. The missionary observed drily that the mostly American agency did not seem to realize their interpretation was not widely shared outside the U.S. Because I was only short term, the agency allowed me to work with them, but long term, it would have been a problem. Paul had no problem warning about national tendencies that could lead the church into error (see Titus 1:10-14), and the misunderstanding of Ishmael and Isaac is having real world consequences right now.

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  28. Many American Christians, it would seem, knew of no other eschatological frameworks than dispensationalism which took over so much of the “popular” evangelical culture in the 1900s (eclipsing older, much more biblically-grounded – in my view – end times views).

    We’re finally beginning to see some balance return to that subject, I believe.

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  29. I am asking God to more perfectly remove the logs in my eyes. Maybe that is why I have all the vision problems? But sometimes He gives afflictions as a way to bring glory to Himself. One can only hope!

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  30. NancyJill – Last night you wrote that the music in church was so loud it hurt your ears, even without your hearing aids in. Have you mentioned that to someone in charge? If it is bothering you, it is probably bothering others, and many people hesitate to speak up.

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  31. Our music was louder than usual yesterday. Hmmm. But they didn’t play on every piece, a couple times it was piano only.

    We do have “seasons” when we have regular Sunday evening gatherings, but they’re more for an ongoing topical class of some kind held a few times during the course of a calendar year, so not really a Sunday evening worship service. Many of us commute to church at least from some distance (it’s about a 20-minute drive for me but others spend 40+ minutes to get there and back home; those with families and young children likely find it difficult to make more than one trip in the course of a Sunday). Because we’re a specifically reformed church, it’s not the same as a neighborhood church (without such a specific theological identity or niche). We also don’t have a church “building” that’s identifiable — we lease space in a business park so we’re not that visible as a church for folks who might just drive by if they live close by.

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  32. Wondering what is going on with Nightingale. She has not been in a very good mood lately. She took off Monday and Wednesday of this week (Tuesday is her usual day off) in order to get some things done while Boy is in school.) I hesitantly asked if we could take care of a matter here downstairs that I would like to have out of the way soon (and is overdue), but in a way that was like, “If you have time, can we . . .” Even with me asking that way, and leaving it open to a reply of “no”, she still seemed annoyed at my asking.

    I have been walking on eggshells with her for the past several days, and backing off from my usual chatting with her, leaving her alone unless she approaches me. (Not that I would normally be bothering her with a lot of chatter, just the usual kind that goes on between people who live together.)

    *******
    And before I could post this comment, she comes in and starts chatting about something. 🙂

    Even so, please say a prayer for her. I think she is overwhelmed by so much going on in her life, and on her shoulders.

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  33. Kizzie, I have not heard much from my friend, Karen, just lately and have wondered if her lack of contact is due to restraint because of the way the impeachment turned out. Do politics ever strain your relationship with family members?

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  34. Politics strain relationships? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband despises Trump. I don’t like the man and never have but not to the degree that some of those around me do.

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  35. I heard from Wesley who is training for a half marathon. He said he had “accidentally” run the whole half marathon because he had miscalculated the trail route distance. He could have used Chas to help him in his mapping! Also I thought that is probably a typical happening for English majors. He once had great math skills, but use it or lose it. At least he knows he can do it♡ I told him he’s setting new records for our family.

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  36. “That fella’s been the raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth just long enough.”

    From The Music Man, according to our former copy editor chief who posted this on FB

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  37. Like that, DJ, for the amusement in it! And raspberry seeds are red so how appropriate ♡ Not meaning that I could use it, only that it is better than what we might typically hear

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  38. Dj I looked at the link wondering if I would recognize your resident actor. My Mother always watched “her story” and that was one of them. I didn’t recognize that actor…he must have made an appearance after I left home. Mom always had her “stories” on while she ironed!
    Kizzie it all depends who is manning the sound system. When this one young fella and another are working the sound it seems the sound settings are loud. Husband was setting up the chairs for church and noticed how some of the musicians kept asking for “more volume” on their mic while they were practicing. If I have a chance in conversation to mention it I will but I am convinced some of these musicians have lost all sense of loud sounds! Husband has a decibel measuring app on his phone and he is going to run it next week 😊 🎶

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  39. Nancy jill, I am reminded of hearing a young musician in our church say they wanted the passersby on the street to hear our music to attract them to come listen inside. Could that “play” into their attitude?

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  40. Nancyjill, yeah, I wasn’t familiar with him either (other than at church!) but I do remember “Young and the Restless” was popular — I think he was on another one, too, maybe Days of Our Lives, but this was in the 1980s. I was busy-busy working long hours as a (still) young reporter back then 🙂

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  41. Good thing I looked at my sample ballot. We no longer have our neighborhood polling places, but now have to go to “polling centers” (for me that’s the local LA community college). So I applied to vote by mail for the first time.

    I’ve been meaning to do that, but it was also easy to slip over to the Presbyterian Church around the corner to vote on election day. Going to the community college? Nah, that’s a little more of a drive + parking issues with all the regular semester classes going on.

    At any rate, this is whole new statewide system for California, rolling it out for the first time in this primary — so they’re hoping it’s not going to turn into Iowa redux.

    I’m nonpartisan and Republican party doesn’t allow non-party members to request party ballot listings (Democrats, on the other hand, do). So I’ll just pass on that. Doesn’t make any difference this year, really, no Republican can win in our area currently.

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  42. Liturgical churches are not dispensationalists, or at least none of the ones I’ve attended are. I’d never heard of it until the age of Left Behind and attendance at a Bible Church (whose pastor was trained by John MacArthur). The teaching doesn’t make sense to us so we wouldn’t attend one again.

    However, we always end up where God wants to use us and he did there, and for us as well. 🙂

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  43. I just know God has got the end times covered for all believers and however He wants to handle it, I need to live the same now trying to follow the lead of Jesus no matter God’s choice of ways and His will to accomplish His purposes at the end.

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  44. I was raised dispensational but never really taught it, other than occasionally having a guest pastor present a series on the end times–because everyday pastors don’t understand it enough to teach it themselves (which should say enough about the system right there). In Bible college I was taught some of it, but not enough to understand the system itself, and so I decided to study it for myself. And right away I recognized that what the dispensational book was saying about “the other side” wasn’t true, and I also came across some very troubling theological points, such as (1) that Jesus died to “make people savable”–um, so what actually saves us?; (2) that they expect an end-times temple with “memorial” sacrifices to be made on the temple’s altar, with God approving of this–just read the book of Hebrews; and (3) that Jesus offered the Kingdom to the Jews, and they refused it and crucified Him–not only is this quite contrary to the Gospels, but it leaves open the question of whether such teachers think we could have been saved without the Cross had they “accepted” the Kingdom. On multiple other points, it simply didn’t align with Scripture.

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  45. I believe it also was “The Late, Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey (1970) that gave dispensationalism a major cultural boost. His church was in our area and I’ve known a few people, now in Reformed churches, who attended there as new Christians. Telestar?

    But it really goes back to Scofield, of course, and even before that? But since the mid-1900s (until now, I’d say, and never before — it was essentially a new theory) it’s been the dominant view among many evangelicals and has been taught in seminaries as such. J Vernon McGee was another proponent on the radio, the end times was something of his hobby horse topic. And with the various wars in the Middle East, it just gained all kinds of popular traction, for a while anyway. Interesting how much of an influence these ideas can be on the church in a particular time and place.

    McArthur is not dispensationalist, but leans more Reformed, at least in more recent years (though he is still premil but of the historic, not dispensationalist, variety).

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  46. Janice – Nightingale and I are both moderates in many ways, but she leans more leftward and I lean more rightward. 🙂 Although we don’t agree on everything, we have civil discussions. We don’t get into arguments over politics.

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  47. I notice even World Magazine, although I believe its main editors are of more of a Reformed persuasion, tends to promote a dispensationalism view of modern Israel, and Republican foreign policy toward Israel is certainly influenced by dispensationalism. My mother’s side of the family tends to lean in that direction, chiefly I think due to pride in having links to the founding of Israel, as my late uncle by marriage who fled Nazi Germany as a young boy by the Kindeertransport eventually joined his elder brother in the British Protectorate of Palestine and was there in 1948. My uncle was actually more moderate in his views on modern Israel (probably because he had seen extremism from both sides in the conflict) than some of my family members have become since his death. One cousin, not a son of my uncle, has taken to only using the Hebrew names for God and Jesus and has posted some troubling interpretations of Scripture that claims the church is a subset of Israel (a classic dispensationalism view) rather than the ultimate end of God. Such views are definitely veering into heresy – he once linked to a post by a self-proclaimed Messianic Jew who specifically denied the deity of Christ while claiming to believe that Jesus was the son of God (a view that I have encountered among Muslims as well – agreeing Jesus was God’s Son, but not that he was God). It is always dangerous when any interpretation of Scripture makes anything other than Jesus Christ the centre of Scripture and history.

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  48. Musee, Paul’s words in Galatians make it clear that the he Jerusalem which is below is no longer of primary importance in the building of Christ’s Kingdom: “Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” Certainly, we can and should pray for peace for both Palestinians and Israelis, but the Psalmist’s words are the n no way a command to place Jerusalem at the centre of world history.

    In Middle Eastern history, the church’s idolization of Jerusalem below has led to a great deal of conflict and bloodshed, from the Crusades, in which Europeans decided to save the holy places for idolatrous and superstitious pilgrimage and which only served to weaken the Byzantine Empire further and caused the death of most of Jerusalem’s inhabitants including Jews, who were burned alive in their synagogue, by wholesale massacre by the Crusaders; to the Crimean War, one of the most useless conflicts in history, which was triggered by a dispute over the control of the Church of the Nativity, with the French supporting the Roman Catholics and the Russians supporting the Eastern Orthodox. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is still partitioned between six denominations in an arrangement that has meant nobody has been able to take a ladder leaning against the wall down because they disagreed about whose jurisdiction it was in. The insertion of dispensationalism into modern foreign policy since the First World War has been similarly disastrous.

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  49. I think as a nation we do have a stake in (and warm political feelings toward) the nation of Israel (which is not the same as a religious connection, though there is some of that among Christians in general in terms of sharing a significant spiritual history with the Jews).

    Politically speaking, because of the history of WWII and America’s role in that epic struggle, the U.S. has generally leaned toward support for (and protection of) Israel’s existence.

    I’m not convinced there’s a “dispensationalist” element to U.S. national policy (though there is that motivation among some individuals).

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  50. And that brings up the other foundational issue of whether modern-day Israel as a political state is the same as the nation of Israel of the Bible. We in our church and like-minded churches believe the two are not synonymous, but other churches argue otherwise.

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  51. DJ, I actually agree with Roscuro that there is a strong dispensational element in American foreign policy . . . because much of the American church believes that modern-day Israel has importance theologically and eschatologically, and they’re willing to let “how this man deals with Israel” affect their vote. There is a lot of dispensationally driven pressure in politics. Most of my family still is dispensational (to a greater or lesser degree . . . I have a hunch I know more about the belief system than even my pastor brother does, but they hold to it, and my sister-in-law’s death was even written up in Sword of the Lord, if that means anything to you), and I get bits and pieces of what they believe in regards to Israel. And pro-Israel (a specific meaning of that) is every bit as important as pro-life to a lot of voters.

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  52. I would still say that when it comes to the U.S. foreign policy, a stronger influence in our friendship with Israel comes down to its presence as a democracy in the Middle East and our humanitarian interest in the establishment (and continuation) of the state as a refuge following WWII.

    Individual support for Israel in some Christian circles, which tends to (mistakenly, in my view) see the modern political state as the same as or a continuation of the Israel in the OT, is most definitely motivated by the dispensational movement and variations of it.

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