Friday, February 23, 2018
I had to listen to the Lion before receiving/writing this.
While I am just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus by the book as guided by the Holy Spirit, this series has reached its sealing.
As you read, you will discover disciples are only concerned about one relationship in the end.
While this will come as a shock to ideological idolaters of all shades and shadows, discipleship has nothing to do with being a liberal or conservative or their bastard children called progressives and traditionalists.
Discipleship is not political, religious, or socioeconomic.
Discipleship is not about pleasing the Democrats, Republicans, mainliners, sideliners, navel-gazing, and other mindless drones in your countries, cities, and churches.
Discipleship is about trusting and obeying Jesus by the book as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Discipleship is speaking truth to people who do not want to hear it but need to digest it into their heads, hearts, and guts for untapped love expressed through grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Discipleship, as Bonhoeffer echoed the warning of Jesus, is costly.
Discipleship defines family by trust and obedience to Jesus alone.
Discipleship means death to any relationship not of/in/through/for Jesus.
Existentially, it means confronting the beast.
The beast bites back.
Eternally, it means paradise.
Yet, the existential precedes the eternal.
The existential is the meantime.
The eternal is forever.
I had to listen to the Lion before receiving/writing this.
The roar and reign of the Lion will be heard and heeded in these days.
He is coming back.
Caught with Pants Down
“Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught
in adultery, making her stand in the center.”
Sitting with my first pastor CBS group (i.e., caring, bearing, sharing) about 40 years ago, the hot topic was the inevitable ordination of avowed, self-affirming, and unrepentant gays and what it would mean for the future of mainline denominations like ours.
The verdict was the denomination would begin to unravel and become increasingly irrelevant in American religious culture; and unless you’ve got two feet planted firmly in the air or overdosed on St. John’s Wort or think elephants are mice with glandular problems, the prediction was spot on.
Mainline denominations are going down the toilet quicker than poop through a goose.
Anyway, my CBS group was pretty conservative; and, back in those days, so was the denomination as in esteeming over 2K years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, traditional, historical, and common sense Christianity.
The etiology of decline continues to spark frustrating debate; and while I’m not about to pretend to know why, I look to those seven letters in Revelation as compelling clues.
Getting back to CBS, I was, to twist a lyric from Bob Seger, a lot younger and much bolder than I am today.
However, having piled up lots of pension credits has enabled a tad more freedom to be…honest…to God as accountable to Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense.
Well, I said something that rocked the boats of my buddies to get the debate going: “If we’re going to kick out the gays from the churches because they’re sinners, we may as well keep going and kick out the gossipers; but if we do that, no one will be left in our churches.”
Talk about peeing on a parade.
The oldest guy – not many female clergy back then – lit into me: “Don’t you think God is terribly grieved by homosexual behavior and can’t stop crying over the perversion of His gift of human sexuality.”
“Nah,” I replied, “I don’t think God loses sleep over two gals or guys making out as much as he does over people who make a bigger deal about sexual sins than the rest of the big ten. Beggars can’t be choosers; and the way I see it, I’m not as concerned about gays as I am about people who beat, batter, bruise, and butcher. Sorry, while I’m not into it and while I believe it’s sin because it’s listed as sin in the Bible, I don’t lose sleep over it and I’d rather spend my time introducing people to Jesus as Lord and Savior than being OCD about gays. I mean, come to think of it, if I can get them into a relationship with Jesus, they can work it out with Him now and, uh, then.”
I got a call later that day from the old pastor who was my age now: “You know, Bob, we’re a little concerned about you. We thought you’re one of us; but you sounded pretty liberal this morning.”
“Geez,” I answered, “I never really think about being liberal or conservative. I just read what Jesus said and try to repeat it within the context of everything that He said within the context of the entire book; and from what I’ve been reading, being a Christian sounds liberal sometimes and sounds conservative other times which is why I prefer to think of myself as a Christian rather than a liberal or conservative.”
He asked if I still felt comfortable with them after what he said.
I asked if he felt comfortable with me.
It was my first litmus test; recognizing that believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior by the book just ain’t enough for some folks…even in churches.
Christians quarrel and break fellowship and destroy families over…lots of things that, in my estimation and I may be wrong if proven wrong by Jesus by the book along with common sense, don’t seem consequential in the end.
I felt like the son whose mom kept calling him a SOB and didn’t catch the irony.
Because some people are really dense, let me spell a few things out before continuing.
Would I preside at a same-sex nuptial?
I don’t see any justification for that rite in over 2K years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, traditional, historical, and common sense Christianity.
Would I pray with same-sex couples for God to bless them?
I don’t see any justification for not praying God’s best for everyone even when we disagree or even with enemies in over 2K years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, traditional, historical, and common sense Christianity.
Would I ordain gays to ministry?
Well, I’ve ordained gossipers, liars, thieves, same-sex adulterers, idolaters, cranks, creeps, and…over the years as long as they weren’t, you know, obnoxious and irascible and irregular and irreconcilable and acknowledge room for improvement in their lives through confession and repentance juxtaposed to Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense.
Heaven, I’ve been ordained over four decades.
If I got in, there’s room for more sinners; recalling how one of our saints on the corner of Lincoln and Main likes to say, “Christians aren’t sinless. They just pray and work to sin less.”
I think of John 8 and the woman caught with her pants down.
You know the story.
A woman gets caught, uh, with her pants down.
Back in those days and still pretty common in Islamofascistnutball savage countries, women caught with their pants down were stoned to death.
Can you imagine what that would do to the female census in today’s America?
Jesus, of course, doesn’t like self-righteous or Sister-Bertha-better-than-you prigs; and if you read the Bible, you’ll find that God likes humble people eternally more than the arrogant and pride-filled.
God can work with people who know they’re not pure and perfect in every way and need a Savior.
That’s His business.
So back to the story, Jesus says to the pewsitters following the lead of the pulpiteers about to hurl on her, “Anyone without sin should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again, talk about peeing on a parade.
Sparing her of being executed for breaking a sexual rule, Jesus says two things that every saved sinner like you and me and everyone else saved by grace through faith in Jesus must remember about Him and how we relate to His very, very, very inviting, welcoming, including, and loving family.
First, he says, “I don’t condemn you.”
Remember what he said to Nicodemus?
He didn’t stop with John 3:16 that everybody’s memorized.
He continued with John 3:17 that everybody would be wise to memorize because it’s His and our raison d’etre.
Because too many ecclesiastical prigs haven’t memorized it and don’t want to look it up because it will mean expanding the wineskin to include people that we assumed will be left out when the roll is called up yonder, here goes: “God came into the world to save not condemn it.”
That’s spelled w-o-r-l-d.
That’s everyone…even you…even me…even them.
Second, he says, “Now stop it! Stop your sexual sinning!”
Jesus is saying to her and says to us and everyone else, in effect, “If you’re grateful for being saved even though you don’t deserve it, I would appreciate you trying a lot harder to show your gratitude by living by my rules instead of the ones that you keep making up for yourselves.”
When we look at everything that Jesus said and did as recorded in Holy Scripture, we know He knew she’d still not be pure and perfect in every way and would never become so good that she still wouldn’t need Him as Lord and Savior.
Always remember God would not have gone to His extreme expressions of love in Jesus to save us if we could ever do it for ourselves.
So, contextually, Jesus is telling her to try a lot harder and be confessional and repentant about how she’s not and never will be pure and perfect in every way.
I remember hearing someone say, “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
Simply, as Paul wrote, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
No one is pure and perfect in every way; and those who think they are have, maybe, blasphemed against the Holy Spirit’s witness to everyone needing Jesus as Lord and Savior.
By grace through faith in Jesus, everyone can be better than before and know they’re going to heaven in the end.
Fidelity is living lives of gratitude – doing our best to trust and obey – for what He has done for us forever.
Putting it all together, C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity (sexual sin) as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong.”
Lewis explained, “The pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and backbiting…the pleasures of power…of hatred…They are the animal self and the diabolical self…That is why a cold self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute.”
He concluded, “But, of course, it is better to be neither!”
Amen for the ideal!
It would be awesome to be pure and perfect in every way.
We’re too human for that.
Amen for Jesus overcoming the real!
He knows we need saving.
He knows we need Someone divine in our lives because we’re too real to be ideal.
And if you haven’t figured it out by now, that’s why the Christian message is called gospel.
Good news…for the undeserving…by grace through faith in Jesus.
Everyone is invited to experience that good news…by grace through faith in Jesus.
Everyone is welcomed to experience that good news…by grace through faith in Jesus.
Everyone is included to experience that good news…by grace through faith in Jesus.
It has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative.
It has everything to do with being Christian.
That’s good to remember when we catch somebody with her/his pants down.
That’s good to remember when we get caught with our pants down.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Every Saturday after dropping off Billy for Special Olympics, I hit the McDs on Mulford in Rockford, Illinois to meet with a young woman who is among the few millenials that I know who really wants to honor Jesus by the book.
In other words, she worships weekly, manages who she is and what she has through a Christocentrically Biblical filter, and approaches every opportunity and temptation in a WWJD kinda way.
So, yeah, she is rare among millenials.
Come to think of it, she's rare!
Anyway, as I was walking into McDs last Saturday, people were streaming out and one pret' near hysterical woman warned, "Don't go in there! Something bad is happening! A big ___ man is yelling and screaming and I think there's going to be a fight or worse!"
Buuuuuuut since reading Matthew 10:16 juxtaposed to Psalm 23, I've run into fires rather than away from them.
I don't identify with sheep.
I'm an undershepherd to the Good Shepherd who lives to guide, provide, and protect sheep from wolves.
I live to confront wolves.
Buuuuuuuut he was biiiiiiiggggggg!
Immediately, I could see he was towering over the manager and yelling and screaming and waving his arms and going way over the edge about his purchase not being as ordered in a menacing wolfish kinda way.
What was worse for me, remembering I had just dropped off Billy, he was intimidating and bullying and seemed ready to pounce on two young female "challenged" employees.
Because I've been around a while and continue to "Be Prepared" from my old BSA days before the BSA were castrated and femininized, I went right up to him and said, "Is there a problem here? I'm with the Boone County Sheriff's Department."
He backed off immediately.
Wolves only prey on the unprotected.
When sheepdogs are around, wolves cower, cave, put tails between their legs, and scatter.
Buuuuuuut wolves always ravage and ruin when sheepdogs aren't around to protect the sheep!!!!!!!
Parenthetically, I am with the Boone County Sheriff's Department and Belvidere Police Department.
I'm one of their three manly-ain't-no-such-thing-as-an-innocent-bystander-undershepherd chaplains; annnnnnnd I'm trained, credentialed, and registered in 2nding Matthew 10:16.
Escorting the demonically oppressed-at-minimum man to the exit, I opened the door for him and he snorted, "Doan needs yoah help, dog!"
I said, "You do not want to mess with me, friend."
People have been asking what's happening to America.
So much hating, meanness, madness, miscreance, and murder
While I don't pretend to have all of the answers, I have an observation and suggestion.
Sheep are stupid enough to think there's not thaaaaaaat much evil in the world despite the evidence.
They missed the course on original sin.
More sheepdogs or undershepherds need to hang around soft targets while 2nding Matthew 10:16.
Blessings and Love!
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
I've stopped sending VD cards to anyone but my wife.
If I have to explain that to you, you're spending too much time watching the Weather Channel.
I'm a hugger; but I'm getting really, really, really careful about that.
Because I understand what the apostle means by a holy kiss - Do some exegesis for yourself! - I used to kiss women on the cheek.
I'm transitioning to a kiss on the hand; though I'm starting to rethink that.
A few months ago, our youth had a lock-in that ran into Sunday morning.
Previously, I'd do a security check that included the restrooms for women around 5:30 a.m.
No more if there are women in the building!
I skipped the women's restrooms that Sunday and hoped for the best.
Think about it.
I could see it on Facebook and Twitter and snap chat and email and texts and smoke signals: "Guess what, mom? Pastor Bob just came into the restroom while I was...and he said he was checking it out and..."
I'm not smart enough to sort out all of the neo-Puritan-prudishness that's accelerating since Harvey, Woody, Bill, Hillary, Kevin, Donald, and...but not Whoppi, Joy, Anderson, Chris, Rachel, and...but I am concerned enough to think separating fact from fiction and harassment from auto-suggestion will have to be adjudicated at the highest levels sooner than later before men - especially men because they are reported as the most dominant harassers - start distancing themselves from women in work, play, religion, and anywhere anyone at any time can accuse 'em of harassment.
Due process seems to be over in America.
Anyone remember jury trials and being innocent until proven guilty?
When it comes to our PC sex police, all it takes is an accusation and you're toast.
Guilty without an opportunity or possibility or prayer to prove innocence!
Again, if you don't know what I mean by that, you're not paying attention or drinking too much Irish cream.
While some of you won't believe this, which is good, I've been sexually harassed and propositioned...whoa, uh, oops, sigh...a lot.
It never really bothers me which, I guess, is a gender distinctive.
Kinda flattering for an old bald guy.
Most men, actually, don't mind women who proposition them or come on strong or...
I know lots of men who wish they'd be...
Not just single ones.
Yeah, I know the work place thing when a woman is boss....but, again, if I have to explain this to you, what planet have you been on?
Really, stop watching The View for your moral equivalent to Holy Scripture.
Confessionally, while it's crossed my mind, I've never propositioned a woman though, today, a hug or holy kiss can be misinterpreted and, now, if I were suddenly single which I hope never to be because my wife takes care of me and she's much better for me than I am for her and I don't think any other woman would be able to handle my Lynryd Skynrd Freebird DNA which is why I want to die before her so she can be free to be whomever and because I love her more than she will entertain because of my many faults that are catalogued so meticulously, I would never, never, never, you know, uh, geez, uh,...invite/ask/suggest/hint/flirt/whatever...because, uh, well, geez, sigh, if I have to explain that to you in today's cultural climate where all WASPs are considered predators by...
On the other hand, I sat between two very strong female clergy at a meeting on Tuesday.
One was to the left and one was to the right if you know what I mean.
Because I've been getting closer to Jesus these days, especially since October 2011 that you can read about by googling KDs on Eugene, I found myself enjoying them, liking them, loving them, and wanting to hug them before I exited.
Blessings and Love!
Monday, February 12, 2018
Did you know Joseph Smith and David Koresh often preached from the Book of Februare?
Apparently, Augustine or somebody didn't include it in their canon because they lost it while carrying parchments from the monastery to some scribes at the precursor to Zondervan.
It was, ironically, autographed between Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs that provokes the mind to wander.
Anyway, JS and DK found it.
It's all about God punishing people for having the wrong kinds of inverted sexual pleasures that Freud would later codify with a month that would be declared the scourge of history and, penultimately, the trigger to the greatest tribulation.
That's as, uh, real as Democrats, Republicans, and their idolaters in media being models of truth, justice, and the American way.
Anyway, don't check it out.
Now to the point.
Surprisingly, considering my book sales, I've been getting more than expected inquiries about why I haven't written any KDs lately.
No, unfortunately to those prone to wishful thinking, I have not been assassinated by an Islamofascistnutball savage, diagnosed with Grandpa Jacob's cancer genes, or flayed by the conspiratorial cast of folks who are still mad at me for taking their churches away from them and giving them back to Jesus.
It's just Februare; yet, uh, this is the most high maintenance and babysitting along with ministerial opportunity Februare that I can ever recall familially, locally, parochially, ecumenically, and, uh, whatever else ain't coming to mind right now.
Soooooooo, depending upon your perspective, be worried or not worried because there's lots more in the tank.
Just gotta get the car washed.
Bought a lottery ticket for the truck.
Seeeeeeee, I can be just as...
BTW, maybe it's because you should go to www.koppdisclosure.com and check out the last one and go to www.bnnsradio.com and listen to yesterday's self-incriminating-I'm-just-like-you-maybe-worse message.
P.S. Pastor Bill has joined our church staff.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
Friday, February 2, 2018
Healing Democrats and Republicans…and Maybe Even…
Just before a community Thanksgiving service almost 20 years ago,
I asked the editor of the local newspaper why she hadn’t included
any stories about the Confessing Church Movement in “her”
paper that wasn’t nearly as influential as she thought.
Parenthetically, the Confessing Church Movement was the
last serious attempt to return the PCUSA to Christianity
as patterned by Jesus, prescribed by Holy Scripture,
and upheld by over 2K years of confessional,
constitutional, traditional, historical, and
common sense Christianity.
Similar movements in other mainline denominations,
colleges, seminaries, NCC, and WCC
Aside from my assumption that it was a major news
story and warranted a few paragraphs because lots
of folks in “her” reading purview seemed interested
by unscientific random sampling, she was an elder
in a local church in that particular denomination.
She said, “I’m against it!”
I said, “I thought newspapers were supposed to report
not manage the news and let readers decide gravitas.”
We never talked again.
It confirmed my suspicion that today’s journalists
may “report” news juxtaposed to personal bias.
I sat with three of the “founding fathers” of
the Confessing Church Movement at a
swanky restaurant in Florida hosted
by a gentleman who really wanted to
bridge the expanding rift in the PCUSA.
A loyalist to the denomination regardless
of confession, conduct, or countenance
was also invited and began, “At least
we can agree that we have a lot
in common as Presbyterians.”
The proverbial founder of the movement
retorted, “Because we don’t agree on
Jesus, Holy Scripture, and the call
to holy living, we have
nothing in common!”
Not even halfway through my shrimp
cocktail, I thought with the tailor
in Fiddler on the Roof, “Rabbi,
wouldn’t this be a good time
for the Messiah to come?”
“If Christians can’t work out their problems with each other,
how in the anything but heaven are they ever going to
convince anyone that they can help put the world,
country and anyone else back together?”
Common Sense Commentary
“Beware of purists. To get anything done in this messy, contentious
world, you have to accept that other people have different values
and objectives than you do. The trick is to find some overlapping
middle ground where you get part of what you want…there
is a reasonable middle ground – if the purists
will let us get there.”
William Falk, The Week, February 2, 2018
If you’re like me, you’re beginning to wonder if today’s Democrats and Republicans are as mindless as they appear to be.
While their increasingly inflating egos are fed by America-wedging media outlets like CNN and Fox who need them to fill time slots, couches, cameos, and panels to pump up/down ratings with their flitting, flirting, and mugging like celebrities rather than stateswomen/men with values higher than perks, pensions, pockets, popularity, and polls, something seems wrong with their noodles or spines as they wait for party bosses to tell ‘em how to vote all together all the time no matter who, what, where, when, or why.
Common sense suggests some Democrats and some Republicans are thoughtful enough to vote conscience every now and then instead of party; or, maybe, just maybe, sadly, there’s a neo-goose-stepping reminiscent of another horrific chapter in human history when Deutschland’s brains and souls were mesmerized, anesthetized, and herded without murmurs of dissent or protest by party line.
Simply, if all Democrats vote as dictated by Nancy and Charles and all Republicans vote as dictated by Paul and Mitch, something must be rotten in the state of…
Really, there’s an old saying that goes, “Opinions are like, uh, whatever; and everybody’s got one!”
Are our elected government officials – which, by the way, may say more about us than them because we continue to vote for them – that mindless or unethical or co-conspiratorial with someone or something that conscience to dissent and protest from party lines have become as rare as
passion for preserving life from womb to tomb in Planned Parenthood, most mainline denominations, DC and Springfield?
How can Democrats and Republicans see things so differently from each other on just about everyone and everything all the time?
I’m reminded of a story told to me many years ago by Dr. James I. McCord who, in my estimation, was the last Biblically Christocentric braveheart to head some of our country and world’s most important former lampstands.
While about two mainline clergy, I see a parallel with the dolts in Springfield, DC, and so on.
A pastor confesses to a friend who is also a pastor, “I don’t know who I am or what I believe or what I should do or where I am going.”
His friend and peer consoles him, “Don’t worry about it! Most clergy and churches are going through the same thing.”
If you’re like me, you’re beginning to wonder how clergy and other politicians can be so divided about everyone and everything when God has been sooooooo clear about most things in Jesus by the book as confirmed by the historical confession of Christendom.
I am not suggesting Christians cannot disagree; but I am saying disagreement doesn’t mean God as revealed in Jesus and confirmed by over 2K years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, and common sense Christianity is double-minded.
Just like today’s American government, America’s churches are double-minded about almost everything; but that does not mean God is double-minded. It means we are double-minded.
God has a will for everyone and everything.
God is not double-minded about what is best for us and what honors Him most.
We are double-minded about what is best for us and what honors Him most.
The only way to know God’s will is to take the time to become increasingly intimate with Him in worship, sacrament, Bible reading, prayer, fasting, and all of the other spiritual disciplines that tap into His will for our lives.
Always allowing for disagreement, there would be much less of it if we came to everyone and everything in/through/for Him.
Of course, that’s not happening.
There doesn’t seem to be any civil or ecclesiastical movement of any majority sentiment to approach everyone and everything in/through/for God as revealed in Jesus by the book.
So, in the meantime, everyone and everything seems to be going to…
Knowing we are not going to agree on everyone and everything, God has provided a pattern to get something done in the meantime.
God has provided a pattern for disagreeing agreeably and working together for the most part if not every part.
Read Matthew 18:15-17.
Here’s my understanding of God’s strategy in those verses for working together for betterment within a fallen world in which unanimity remains elusive because of our disinclination to take the time to align totally with Him as available in Jesus by the book as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who, as one with Father and Son, never contradicts Jesus by the book.
God’s strategy for getting along better:
Try to work it out face to face.
If that doesn’t work, bring along a few fair and objective folks who will tell the truth to both of you while insuring neither of you is tempted to lie about the conversation to others at a later date.
If that doesn’t work, try a committee, board, or bunch of good folks to sort it all out.
If that doesn’t work, better stock up on ammo, water, and food because you won’t be able to avoid ‘em.
Yes, I have taken some hermeneutical liberties; but as Moody said to some folks who objected to the way that he did evangelism, “I prefer how I do it to how you don’t do it.”
Admittedly, if history is any indication concomitant to eschatological hints in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and John’s Apocalypse, you can stick a fork in hope.
Yet, if we still believe in mustard seeds and Genesis 18 remnantal recipes, maybe…
I go back to America’s founding mothers and fathers.
They were as boorish, irascible, irregular, and irreconcilable as today’s cast in government with one really, really, really big exception.
They cared more about the welfare of the country than lining their pockets and were willing to give up everything, even their lives, for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Alexander Hamilton disagreed with Thomas Jefferson on almost everything but threw his support to Jefferson for President over Burr because Jefferson had principles worth his life while Burr had none.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were bitter political enemies with the former being like today’s Democrats who want a strong central government and Jefferson like Libertarian-leaning Republicans who advocate personal liberty and states rights; yet they compromised for the sake of the country and ended their lives as friends because they had vision larger than their navels.
“You and I,” Adams entreated Jefferson, “ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.”
“Come, let us reason together,” the Lord urges.
Pray about it!
Talk about it!
Spice it with grace, mercy, forgiveness, and a hunger and thirst for reconciliation and righteousness.
While history isn’t very encouraging and churches lead the losers in polemics over peace fueled by personal prejudices over the pattern of Jesus, prescriptions of Holy Scripture, and common sense, it’s worth a shot.
I mean, really, God will smile on the effort; and maybe, just maybe…
Blessings and Love!