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Monday, February 27, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Monday

ClintonI don't usually do this, but it seems that I have a lot of random thoughts going through my head this morning... here's a few things that are rattling around my head this morning...

1.  Bill Clinton is looking to hire 25 new interns.  Why is this unsettling to me?

2.  How gross would this be?  Man dates woman on internet for six months -- and it turns out it's his mother.

3.  There's a new website that helps women screen men before they date them.  At DontDateHimGirl.com you can browse their search engine of cheating men right now!  This got me to thinking... what if we put together a website of abusive churches and posted it on the internet?  How would your church fare?

4.  This weekend was Granger's first week of their PureSex series.  According to Tony Morgan; Granger hit 6,000 in non-holiday attendance for the first time.  Actually, they hit 7,000 in non-holiday attendance for the first time!  Sounds like they really hit a need on this one!

5.  Having no voice is the pits.  I had absolutely 100% larygitis for 7 full days last week... my voice started coming back on Saturday... I'm probably at around 30% right now.  (You don't know how hard it is not to yell at your kids for a week!)  Thanks for all your prayers!

6.  There's a lot going on at a church in Albuquerque.  I hope to be able to blog about it later today.  It looks like another story of leadership not working correctly at the highest (and most well-known names) level.  I'll give you my take later.

7.  In January, an Anglican church vicar in Cambridge, England, commenced twice-monthly services for goths (with black garments and rock music) at his St. Edward King and Martyr church. Vicar Martin Ramshaw, 34, said he is a goth himself and reports that his dozen or so worshippers go straight from services to a goth nightclub. (He will soon issue goth T-shirts with Jesus speaking, "If the world hates you, remember, it hated me first.")

OK... I told you what's on my mind... what's on yours this morning!?

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February 27, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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#1 - It is unsettling - but then the interns going in surely know...

#2 - Yucko, wow...

#3 - I don't think a website would be able to handle the bandwidth required to list all of the complainers along side the justified abusive cases. Then the lawsuits, it would be nasty.

#5 - You're in my prayers, losing one's voice really is annoying.

#7 - cool. (not that I'm goth or anything)

My thoughts:

1. Gematria is a curious study, but widely abused to seek gnostic mystery from biblical scripture. In John 21:11, I really think they wrote 153 fish because it was 153 fish and not because the Jewish Gematria value of 153 means "ANI ELOHIM" which translated correctly, means "I AM GOD."

2. The foster care system is messed up in the USA. Children are taken from their birth parent when a step-parent does something illegal. It takes the children 6 to 18 months to get back home while the criminal (step-parent/sig. other usually) is out of jail or trouble in as little as 1 week. If the birth parent is vocally upset when the judge rules that their children will be taken from them and screams out a few choice words of defiance, they make them go through anger management. To me the opposite makes sense, an parent unmoved by their children being taken from them by the government needs counciling.

3. If we had real seperation of church and state we could do these things:
a. Marriage through the church could only be divorced through the church.
b. People could claim asylum in church.
c. The government should not have any say over what is spoken from the pulpit - even if it is politics.
(amoung other things, these are the short ones)

4. Why is it that I'm spiritually starving in my church and have been for months and no one knows? I get spiritual 'snack food' during my morning prayers and bible reading plus interacting and reading here - the only meal I get is on Thursday mornings. No one from a church has ever asked me how I'm doing spiritually.
(I can't wait until 3/12 when I switch to a new church, Calvary Chapel KC, with all of about 50 people, down from a church with a claimed 5000 people a weekend)

5. Why did God bless me with a women worth more then all of the treasure in the world, who deeply and passionately loves me with all of her heart, who's smile can melt away any of my problems, who's eyes can speak to me without saying a word, who trusts, encourages, supports and prays for me? I so married WAY up.

Posted by: Paul Davis | Feb 27, 2006 10:41:24 AM

Todd, let me tell you what's on my mind this morning:

1) I LOVED "Dancing with the Stars..." Watched every episode except for one....
Wish they would do a "Dancing with Average People" series...I would certainly apply.

2) My friend delivered my five boxes of Girl Scout Cookies this morning...HALLELUJAH!

3) I'm alive and well..Jesus loves me, my mortgage company loves me...and God is good!

Posted by: Phil Hoover | Feb 27, 2006 10:44:12 AM

I was asked over the weekend what would happen if a church did the following one Sunday:

1) Had no music.. none.. nada... zip
2) No Sunday School classes, Bible study, or small groups for any ages
3) No preaching
4) No pews or chairs in the sanctuary
5) Called it a time for prayer and worship

Must admit - it still has me thinking.

Posted by: camey | Feb 27, 2006 3:06:24 PM

A comment on Paul Davis's 3c - "If we had real seperation of church and state ... c. The government should not have any say over what is spoken from the pulpit - even if it is politics."

Speaking out about political issues (specifically, speaking for or against political candidates) CAN be done from the pulpit...just not in a church that has received a government tax exemption (i.e., 501(c)3 recognition). If you're not concerned about the tax exemption, then it's perfectly okay to advocate a candidate. Granted, that also means the church is going to pay taxes...which means that there isn't separation of church and state. But if the church didn't have to pay taxes, then what would stop anyone from declaring themselves a church?

I suppose, in the long run, this separation of church and state is a pipe dream, it does not and cannot exist in anything but an anarchy. So, what is "reasonable separation" - that tenuous balancing point between the church exerting undue influence on government and the government placing undue restrictions on the church? I think we in the US are in a generally good balance.

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Feb 27, 2006 3:45:47 PM

Okay, I've got this old thought running through my head.

Can God make a rock so big that even He can't lift it?

Don't answer right away... think about it first...

;-)

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Feb 27, 2006 4:05:01 PM

Peter

Yes. and He already did.

Posted by: Paul Davis | Feb 27, 2006 4:25:41 PM

Peter,

I have a question for you as well...

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

:)

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Feb 27, 2006 4:41:18 PM

Hey...

Who told you that__DOH... I mean, what do you mean, beat my wife?

Here's one

Peter peter pumpkin-eater
Had a wife and couldn't keep her,
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And she said, "That is ENOUGH, you louse, I'm calling the best lawyer in town. I'm getting the house, the car... EVERYTHING..."

Okay, it doesn't rhyme, but it's what happened...

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Feb 27, 2006 5:14:21 PM

...uh

hey peter and todd....care to clarify?

Posted by: Matt | Feb 27, 2006 9:06:16 PM

Todd, are you familiar with CRI? It's Christian Research Institute, formerly of somewhere in CA, recently moved to Charlotte. The head dude, Hank Hanagraaf has a radio show called "The Bible Answer Man." Anyway, their scholarly bi-mo publication called The Christian Research Journal has a great article about goths this past issue.

Don't let Marilyn Manson fool you into thinking that's what (all) goths are, but this article offers some food for thought. I'd have to go re-read it to really give you a synopsis, but the main point I remember is that goths are sensitive, introverted, and prone toward the depressive side (like Byron the poet) and there are lots of different tactics to getting to know them in order to tell them about the hope we have in Jesus. Maybe the Anglican priest has a good thing going. The T-shirt he mentions sums up their mental state pretty well, and isn't that kind of sad.

Posted by: Abbey | Feb 27, 2006 9:32:07 PM

Matt,

No, I can't clarify... I think randomness was the point... Okay, maybe siliness wasn't, but we don't let our silly side out to play often enough on these forums, do we...

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Feb 28, 2006 7:38:02 AM

Todd, this is your blog brother, but there was absolutely nothing in my last post that violated blog rules and justified censorship.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 1, 2006 2:38:58 PM

Note: I deleted a post by Kent that was critical of Granger's current PureSex series. Kent said that if people like the leadership at Granger are regularly watching things like "Friends" and "Desparate Housewives" that they are violating scripture; and that the influence of shows like that eventually shows up in Granger's teaching. (Correct me, Kent, if I'm wrong).

Kent,

Thanks... I just decided that I've given enough space on this subject to those who disagree and/or want to trash Granger on this one. (Not necessarily on this individual posting, but overall if you'll check the archives)

I realize from your other posts how you feel on the subject. I understand your viewpoint; and respectfully disagree. By 'not going there', I have put out a fire that I really don't want to fuel anymore on this topic.

Thanks for understanding.

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 1, 2006 2:51:36 PM

Matt. 5:6,10-12: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled...Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

I wonder what Jesus meant by these words?

In Christ,
Bill in KC

Posted by: Bill | Mar 1, 2006 3:11:24 PM

Thanks Todd,

What I basically said was that Scripture is very clear on the thngs that we ought, and ought not to focus our thoughts on, (Phil 4:8) and I hoped we could all agree that the things that we put into our hearts and minds are extremely important. The things that we feed our hearts and minds will manifest themselves in the way we live our lives and the influence and example we have on others, expecially the younger.

And that by the leadership filling their hearts and minds with such shows that openly promote lewdness, adultry and fornication will affect the most important areas of our lives, even what and how we teach, i.e. sex series.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 1, 2006 3:23:11 PM

Fair enough.

You have the last word.

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 1, 2006 4:33:31 PM

Bill,

If I were from Granger (since we know that's what you're talking about here) and read the passage in Matthew as you suggest, I would feel like I'm on the right track. They've absorbed alot of criticism and ridicule from others because of their pursuing truth in this sex series. Great is their reward, I guess.

I take it that's not what you think.

That's fine. It just goes to show you how one scripture can mean two very different things to two different people.

Now I've had the last word. :)

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Mar 1, 2006 4:39:28 PM

Randy,

This is not to argue but rather to let you know that you, like the vast majority of us in America's Church, have been misinformed concerning the Church and Tax Exempt status.

The 501c3 actually does not give the Church anything it did not already have without it. In fact, the 501c3 incorporation actually takes rights away from the Church as opposed to giving it anything.

The two biggest myths about the 501c3 are:

1. A church or church ministry must be 501c3 in order to avoid paying taxes.

2. A church or church ministry must be 501c3 in order to be tax deductible.

Myth #1. Tax Exempt:
The IRS has acknowledged for decades that it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for a tax-exempt status. According to IRS Publication 557, as well as IRS Code § 508, churches and church ministries are “exempt automatically.” Application for an exempt status is not only superfluous, but to do so subordinates that church to the IRS. Churches in America have always been nontaxable anyway. It simply makes no sense for a church to go to the IRS and seek permission to be exempted from a tax the government can’t impose in the first place.

The church in America is protected from the government by the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
It would be absurd to suppose that you could have free exercise of religion if you had to pay for it (taxes). If Congress can make NO law respecting the church, it can make NO law to tax the church.

The IRS lacks the jurisdiction necessary to tax the churches in America. The IRS has no more jurisdiction over the churches in America than it does over the churches in Canada. It would be as absurd (and tyrannical) for the IRS to tax the churches in America, as it would be for the IRS to tax churches in Canada. They don't have jurisdiction.

Myth #2. Tax Deductible:
Whether or not a church or church ministry applies for and receives a “501c3 tax-exempt recognition letter” from the IRS, any contributions made to a church are “automatically qualified” as a tax write-off to the contributor, pursuant to IRS Publication 526, and IRS Code § 170(c)(2)(B). A church does not have to be a "nonprofit charitable organization" to be tax deductible, nor does it need IRS authorization to be tax deductible. According to the IRS, churches have that status “automatically.”

When a church accepts the 501c3 status, that church:

Waives its freedom of speech.
Waives its freedom of religion.
Waives its right to influence legislators and the legislation they craft.
Waives its constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Is no longer free to speak to the vital issues of the day.
Becomes controlled by a spirit of fear that if it doesn’t toe the line with the IRS it will lose its tax-exempt status.
Becomes a State-Church.
The church in America today is, by and large, not speaking to the vital issues of the day. The church has been effectively silenced. There has been a chilling effect upon the church’s freedom of speech for fear of IRS retribution should the church get out of line. The inevitable result is a moral downward spiral in the culture as the church stands mute.

This did not happen by accident, but by design, and it is something of relatively recent design. Churches were added to IRS Code § 501c3 in 1954. All one need do is analyze the congressional bill included churches in 501c3 and it should become apparent that the agenda was not to empower the church, but to silence the church.

Posted by: Jim Eaton | Mar 1, 2006 6:02:17 PM

Jim, I stand corrected. You're right about the tax exempt status of churches and the effect of 501(c)3 recognition on them. (I should have known all of that - I guess I actually did - having just gone through the application process for a non-profit.)

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Mar 1, 2006 6:22:49 PM

It's Wednesday but here is my thought.

There was a cat named Bill,
who lived in a house on the hill,
but a person he never did kill,
because killing was against his will,

So he dodged the draft so not to fight,
He dreamed of a future happy and bright,
So he aimed at women through his sight,
Which was the beginning of his plight,

One day while playing the saxsphone,
Monica called him on the White House phone,
Now,Bill was in his jazz zone,
Then Hillary Whacked him over his crome dome

Hillary what's the meaning of hitting me,
I was in the jazz zone can't you see,
I'm the President not a golf ball on a tee,
Now run along now and let me be,

That was Monica on the red phone line,
I picked it up cause I thought it was mine,
She called you Wild Billy Bob Fine,
And ended the call with cigar's and wine,

Oh that is nothing of a concern,
That's morse code for let her burn,
A little joke of something I learned,
Over a little question the media has churned

Which question is that she asked,
Oh you know the one where I wear a mask,
My brain is smoking because of my past,
So you see, you kept the country on task,

Bill you are not making any sense,
Although you always where a little dense,
And you have always been awfully tense,
Lay off the weed honey get back on the fence

Now see your like them too,
You think I'm a monkey in a zoo,
Tell me, what am I to do,
I did not inhale like you,


Posted by: Clairvoyent 1 | Mar 2, 2006 12:19:34 AM

re: the link to Don't Date Him Girl...one more example of why the bible has the best format for life ever....IF a woman chose not to have sex with someone until they were married, and she chose to make God the center of her life and insist that her husband did too, it would be much more likely she could weed out the losers instead of dating them. I used to live a lot differently before I began following Jesus...amazing how solid the words in that old book are when you apply them and seek their author with your whole heart! I posted my thoughts on their blog....wonder if they will give 'em a second thought. Here is a question any pastor could ask any couple who chose to be sexually active out of wedlock....in particular the woman: "What do you think would happen within your relationship if you asked your sweetie to abstain from sexual activity with you for three months?" Even if she huffed and puffed you would plant the seed. I attend GCC and have been delighted with the content of the Pure Sex series. I began attending almost three years ago as a non believer and now I am fairly active....they definitely hit their target market...and win them to Jesus big time!

Posted by: Heather | Mar 6, 2006 6:35:18 PM

After reading those blogs, I must realy be out of the loop. Dressing in black (of course one group of christian leadership already dress in black do and go to nite-clubs too [see little difference there]) but the music and all the 'stuff' to get the unsaved into church! What did our fore-father's and fore-mother's do when there was only candle light and voice with maybe a fiddle and a jaw-harp?? I just don't know - personaly I am gald that The Lord is the one to make the final decision for Heaven or the Lake of Fire........

Posted by: bill | Mar 6, 2006 8:01:55 PM

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