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Every year around Christmas time, some Christians grapple with how or if to celebrate Christmas. Typically the initial argument against Christmas by Christians is that it is not a Christian holiday but rather is a pagan holiday. Further, Protestant Christians may oppose the Roman Catholic connection to "Mass" as in "Christ's mass".
However, whatever Christmas was originally, many people; including non-Christians see the holiday as a specifically Christian holiday. So much so, that there is often a hesitancy for public institutions to overtly connect to the holiday, often using the phrase "Happy Holiday" rather than "Merry Christmas". Interestingly enough, etymologically; these institutions don't really get away from the religious overtone by using the phrase Happy Holiday because the word "Holiday" comes from the phrase Holy Day (ref).
In the debate between Arminianistic (human free-will) and Calvinistic (God's control) theology, each has its proof-texts. Each claims to be using Scripture alone to prove its position. Perhaps one way to resolve the dispute, so you'd think would be to simply put all the proof-texts side by side. Yet, as often as this has been done, the dispute continues. It could be because the proof-texts are presented as negating factors in an attempt to negate or cancel out another proof-text.
The approach of proof-texting does more damage than good, since to the non or weak Christian observer, it may appear Scripture is highly contradictory.
After the Harold Camping debacle in 2011 where "pastor" Harold Camping predicted the end of the world -- which obviously failed to come true -- people should be asking what should they do when pastors go bad.
Or how about a local pastor who may have started out on the straight and narrow but at some point either embraces some radical individualistic view or begins supporting some blatant heresy.
Further, what if an entire ministry goes bad? What should the "lowly" Christian do? Often, we're told we just should move on. Vote with our feet per se.
In the Bible, there are very few examples of elders/pastors who go bad and eventually return to the Faith. Most examples are of elders/pastors going bad and never again returning to the Faith. The Bible has an of example of warnings of how to avoid installing a bad pastor. (1 Tim 3:1-7)
Christian Atomism is the underdeveloped notion that "everything is the same", that is, at base level, at the atomic or subatomic level everything is the same. While this may sound more like a philosophy or some sort of Gnosticism or Hellenistic/Neo-Platonic influence, there is strong biblical warrant for this notion.
First, the biblical Creation account has God creating the universe out of "firmament". (Gen 1:1-9) Eventually God creates humans from the humus or dirt of the reorganized firmament called planet earth. As we know, as any organic thing; be it humans, animals, or plants degrade - they return to "dirt". Or as the Bible puts it: "Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return." (Gen 3:19)
Some of my non-religious friends have asked why this site is called "The Kingdom Come". They understand it is a theological site but they want to know the meaning behind the name. Am I trying to state something specific with the name? I suspect if they weren't so kind, that they might come right out and ask; "Roderick are you some kind of right-wing religious nut that is trying to push the world coming to an end?"
THE KINGDOM COME
After all the last bites, those left in tupperware tombs and tinfoil firkins. Passes passed and touchdowns danced. Aunt Sandy sighs and waves and hugged. Rug rolled up, door last shut. Another years gathering gone.
The couch calls the listless lingerer. Final sip of watered-down tea. Eyes heavy shades falling fast.
Comfy corner pillows piled high. Palms wrap the waning light. Sleep quickly comes. Dreaming of teaming doors and well wax floors.
Waiting in another line as signs mural. Another register opens by the girl in white. I'm next! I'm next! Cutters creatures and all. Brown hats and baseball bats, all things new.
Forty-five percent off. Scarves and knives for haves and have-nots. Get a receipt for things bought to return on Monday. Black Friday! Black Friday!
Alarm goes off. Wives and kiddies jiggle. Wake up! Wake! it is 12AM. Time to go. This place and that. Baseball bats and brown hats. Fifty percent off shoes.
Tryptophanic Dream. Extra piece of pie, whip cream. Rub your eyes. Time to go. Stretch and yawn to the approaching dawn. Black Friday! Black Friday!
By the “Scripturalist Package” I mean the combination of the following theses about knowledge: Scripturalism, infallibilism, internalism, and occasionalism. These ideas will be defined below.
The following points are a simplification and a summary of many points made in my original Response. For further documentation and a more complete statement of the argument, please see that Response.
I'm always careful when I write articles about the condition of Christianity and the Church. I never want to come off as some wild-eyed Frank Viola radical, who appears to seek the overthrow of 2,000 years of historic Christianity. However, there are some issues with some presentations of Christianity For example, since the rise of Dispensationalism, many Christians at least in America have had a defeatist outlook rather than a more than conquerors, advancing the kingdom view. Further, when various heresies have appeared in the Church (think Arianismi), there have been otherwise solid Christians that seem too weak or confused to do the right thing.
Near the end of his life in the late 1800s, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, often called the "Prince of Preachers" was embroiled in a controversy that would cause him to lose many "friends" and allies.
In 1887, Spurgeon and and his friend and fellow pastor, Robert Shindler started a series in Spurgeon's monthly magazine, The Sword and the Trowel. The series was called The Down-Grade. It started as an observation that historically, after every revival within evangelical Christianity, it is typically followed by a "down-grade" or a drift away from sound doctrine.
During the days of American slavery, a tactic often used to keep the slaves from organizing was to keep them resentful of each other. To do this, the slave owners would often perpetuate a type of class warfare -- the so-called "house slave" versus the "field slave". The "house slave" was depicted as uppity as if they were better than the "field slave".
This tactic has not ended. It is demonstrated every day in the Liberal policies of the Democrat Party when it convinces most black Americans that it is uppity to be a conservative AND black. Somehow, the Democrats have convinced the majority of black Americans that black Republicans are merely "house slaves". The Democrats have been successful in getting a majority of black Americans to stay unorganized and oppressed. The Democrats have been successful in keeping a majority of black Americans on a new kind of plantation -- a plantation of the mind.
Unfortunately, some so-called "black leaders", like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have spent years helping the Democrat Party keep black Americans on the plantation of the mind.
Some site owners want to copy and paste content that is unique to this site on to their site in order to spark conversation. I have NO PROBLEM with it if you copy and paste ENTIRE articles, but please provide a link back to the site so others may copy and paste more articles.
There are many reasons why we ask this to be done. One obvious reason is that it helps disseminate the message of this website which is the whole point in having this site to begin with. If the site's content can be accessed elsewhere, that's great and represents the idea of free exchange of ideas which I whole-heartily endorse.
I used to think Liberals were just Socialists Lite, but after further consideration I have noticed an alarming pattern. We conservatives talk about the "rule of law" and how often Liberals seek to trash it but I think it goes deeper than that. America has as one of its core principles, the concept of personal contract. That is; when two or more parties make a deal, they do so by contract, be it written or verbal. We enter into contracts trusting the terms will be upheld. Liberals are doing all they can to undo the contractual core of America. They do this by telling at least one party of a contract that they no longer need to honor the contract. We see this in the "Bail Outs" in how the government shafted the Loan Institutions/Banks. We see this in how Obama is trying to tell people they won't have to pay back their college loans. We see this in how the government is telling banks they have to allow people to break their mortgage contracts. We see this in how unions always want to renegotiate their contracts. We see this even in sports where one side doesn't want to honor the contract. We see this in how Liberals want to renegotiate the terms of the primary contract -- THE CONSTITUTION.
What people don't often realize in our emasculated, politically correct world is that after America won World War 2, we temporarily outlawed Shintoism in Japan and permanently outlawed Nazism in Germany. Why didn't we at least make sure after winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that Islam was not part of the government system? Instead, we allowed the seeds of terrorism and Al Qaeda to embed in the very government and societal structure of those two countries.
Now, with the so-called "Arab Spring", which has been removing singular dictators but replacing them with radicalized Islamists, we are being told by our American leaders that this is a foreign policy win. Really?
Guts! Spine! Backbone! These are words our society uses to connote courage, bravery, and honor in the face of difficult circumstances. Christianity used to be a Faith that HAD TO demonstrate these attributes. I'm not so certain anymore. After years and years of watching people support a corrupt seminary president, and not just any seminary president but one that has influence with many of today's leading Christian writers and speakers, after this I'm pretty much disillusioned. It hasn't shaken my faith but has made me frightful. Frightful because in the past when such influential men within Christianity have had this sort of effect on his followers, something big happens.
Kenneth Talbot, president and founder of Whitefield Theological Seminary, and his star pupil Samuel Frost, unwittingly tell us why a person should NOT take courses from WTS. In a podcast Talbot did on October 9th 2011 with Frost the two men discuss how Frost was able to become a hyperpreteristi, even though for many years Frost was under the direct tutelage of Talbot (source).
After the listener gets through Frost and Talbot talking over each other, they will hear the blatant and hypocritical contradictions of these men as they try to dance around the FACT that Frost was a major leader in the heresy of hyperpreterism while not only attending WTS but while he was actually helping develop student materials for the supposed "Christian" seminary. All this with the full knowledge and support of Talbot.
During the course of the discussion Frost tells us he was "fresh out of college" when he was exposed to hyperpreterism, which echoes ANOTHER hyperpreterist leader, Don Preston (see here).
Don K. Preston, perhaps the last active "leader" within the hyperpreterist movement has begun a podcast series he is calling "Morning Musings". In this series, Preston recounts how and why he became a "full preteristi".
First, I always think it is amusing how Preston claims he is the "president" of "Preterist Research Institute" as if there is an entire staff of officers. It is basically just Preston. But anyhow, during the initial podcast Preston tells us he "doesn't worry about traditions" and "doesn't worry about the creeds" (minute 2:31-2:44). Really? So, Preston is admitting he is a lone-ranger who only "worries about" his own interpretations of the Bible. However, Jesus didn't come to found a disconnected faith of radical individualists. Jesus founded a community of believers with common held beliefs. (1 Corinthians 10:17, Philippians 1:27, Jude 1:3) This disconnecting from the historic Christian community is the first step to any heresy. Preston has in essence made himself his master and disciple, whereas the Bible says:
Preston tells us from the start that he "doesn't worry about" or rather doesn't CARE about these "traditions". Instead he wants to listen to his own voice alone.
Isn't it time to elect someone who see people as people first, then Americans then somewhere down the line, acknowledges their race? Obama and the Democrats have been using black Americans for years.
Did you know that the first black American politicians were mostly Republicans. See this list:
Since it seems there is a buzz in some circles about Frank Viola's book, Pagan Christianity I thought it fitting to dig up the review I did in November 2007. At the time, I was still part of the hyperpreteristi movement so I have stripped the review of all hyperpreterist content. I hope the reader finds this review more comprehensive than some of the latest offerings.
First, let me say a thank you to Kurt F. for sending me the book and for graciously desiring my thoughts on it. I appreciate it and am honored that he has sought my input.
I immediately had difficulties with the book because in the Introduction of the book, Viola presented a hypothetical family who he was clearly trying to depict as being stunted in Christian growth & merely going through the motions of “church” – and implying the fault for this lay at the feet of the “institutional church” & all of its trappings.
Since the 2011-2012 Republican presidential campaign is high-lighting America's Social Security system, I thought it fitting to address the issue from a Christian perspective. In the debate, Texas governor Rick Perry has called Social Security "a ponzi scheme".
Contender, Governor Mitt Romney and the other Republican candidates have taken Perry to task saying among other things; "Our nominee has to be someone who is not committed to abolishing Social Security but who is committed to saving Social Security".
Here's the problem before we get into the biblical issues; the candidates are telling us we need to stop "Obamacare" before it becomes a fixture and cannot be undone, yet at the same time, we're being told that we can't touch Social Security because it has been around for over 70 years. See the inconsistency with their arguments?
The debate between whether most Christians are YEC or OEC is clouded under poor data collection abilities, such as shown by this attempt. The key is to not merely look at the last 25-200 years or to focus on America vs everyone else; especially since Europe has become almost atheistic over the last 200 years. We have to dig much deeper than looking at denominational statements, which as we've seen with the issue of homosexuality is greatly influenced by socio-political drives.
First, let's exclude America altogether. Let's start in the 1400s and go backwards. This way we will not fall into the trap of "Western Christianity vs Eastern Christianity...". I want to know about historic Christianity before there was such a thing as "American Christianity".
You know, I was reading some of the comments by the various readers of TKC and I really appreciate them; even the ones with which I may disagree. I mean, the people who comment on this site aren't a bunch of tag-a-long cronies of mine -- nor would I want cronies. So many blog-type websites are full of these type of situations where the moderator/site owner is egotistical and blathers on and on while his or her supporters ooo and ahhh and pat them on the back no matter what they say.
But the readers of TKC are typically people I've never met or with which I've never had any previous interaction. They read an article or comments which cause them to break their passive reading and come forth with comments. The comments from TKC readers are not atta-boys to me but well thought-out, and sometimes passionate interactions.
Anyhow, I really appreciate the readers and commenters here, because they are here to contribute to the discussion rather than to my ego. Thanks
So, I was looking at an "About Us" page of a church where already the presiding pastor has a reputation as an authoritarian elitist. Typically on these "About Us" pages, you will find something about the people who attend the congregation, even if they keep it private enough to not reveal the identities of the people. I understand that. However, this church's "About Us" page only listed the leadership of the church. So, the church is only "about" the leadership?
Many of a full/hyperpreterist has launched into that "movement" first via the "partial-preterism" of men like Gary DeMar and even Kenneth Gentry; often citing their books. The difference between Gentry and DeMar is that Gentry has made it clear in print and audio that he believes full/hyper-preterism not to merely be a "dangerous error", but to be heresy on par with heresies like Arianismi or cults like Mormonism. DeMar, on the other hand has not only not called full/hyper-preterism a heresy, DeMar has actually spoken at full/hyper-preterist conferences without making any distinction. DeMar has joined numerous full/hyper-preterist message boards in support of it. DeMar allows his materials to be promoted and published on full/hyper-preterist websites. DeMar was once asked outright by now ex-full/hyper-preterist Sam Frost if DeMar thought it was heresy. DeMar answers that he doesn't think full preterismi is heretical (ref#1-mp3, ref#2, ref#3).
Mike Loomis, operator of the full/hyper-preterist podcast network, once said about DeMar:
Well, it's time for another installment of my random blogging. These are bits of stuff I've been thinking about or doing.
During the 2011 Indiana State Fair, a tragedy occurred where uncommon high winds collapsed a make-shift stage killing 5 persons and injuring many others (source). I express my heart-felt condolences for all the families affected by this tragic event.
In a ceremony to honor families, the first Lady of Indiana, Cheri Daniels gave a speech wherein she referred to the last line of Ecclesiastes 9:11. She said:
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