Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#245-"If we save just One soul, this will all be worth it."



I am averaging  0.333333333 ( Repeating, of course) posts per month over the last three months and yet the little stat thermometer says I am getting 150  visits still a day (save Thanksgiving)? Perhaps they are all just computers visiting my site a random and reading about these strange people called "Apostolic," in hopes that if one day they can speak in tongues, they too will also became humans....


Second confession: I am starting a multi-person blog.... This is challenging. I am having to do things. I don't like this. If you or anyone  you know who knows anything about writing code in Wordpress, and is okay with getting absolute zero monies for their work, then please contact me.  I will pay you via means of a personal handwritten letter and/or a collage. Because I am making collages lately man.


Post?


Post:

When I was a kid and not long ago, there were/are many whispers around the church about revival. The revival was coming. We knew this. You still know this. The revival still has not come.  The revival is coming man.

But revival could not be created by human hands. This is the problem. If you try causing revival, the revival will not come. Because you can't trick God about revival. You can't go and make a flashy church service to get kids to come and think they feel God when all they were really feeling was a pretty soloist on the stage singing softly in a darkened room about how much God loves us. Because That's just not cool. And God won't dig it. So even if you get people to come to the church, it may not be revival. Because what the increase in numbers really means is just how eager you are to get people in their seats to convince yourself that the revival is here.

So if the revival was coming, God would have to do it out of his free power, you just had to sit and wait....

(and I'm all like, "Yo neo-calvinists, isn't it pointless to pray and fast for revival if God is sovereign?" Someone explain this to me)...

Except we couldn't wait, because if the revival is decided by God, church would be so boring....

We had to do something!

So we would talk and scream and sing....

The Revival was near. Get excited. Give high 5's. Dream of the pulpit. Rescue little puppies. The revival is coming. Even if it wasn't really coming. Even if the revival still hasn't come. The revival was coming. The Revival is fast approaching.

And if the revival still hasn't come, blame it on the spiritual demons oppressing our regions (But I thought we just said God is the one who dictates the revival and not demonic spirits)...

And after a year, we have a whole new string of prophets coming to our church telling us that the revival is coming. And we're like yes. And the prophets are like, yes! And we're like Truth! And they're like, "yeah, we know." And then in one accord, we shout "REVIVAL!"

And the revival, must have gone to the wrong address. Because we are still here. And the revival is not here. But it's coming. It's on it's way. The revival must be sidetracked with visiting an old aunt or something.

And eventually, we start hearing the same sermons twice from two different prophets five years apart. And their both about revival. And one person says, this is confirmation from the Lord that the revival is still on it's way. We just need to wait. But something is getting suspicious to you.

People are leaving.

Friends are leaving.

They are going to the church elsewhere.

Their departure is that neighboring churches revival. At least one half of the Apostolic churches in the area are having a revival. Sure your church is shrinking, but the revival is somewhere close!

And the pastor is saying things. Encouraging things. About those who stay will be apart of the revival. Something about remnant. We are waiting. Anticipating.

Except if people left. And some arrive. That doesn't equate to revival. The summation of this process is a little less than zero.

And yet if a new family comes from a different church because they didn't like the stance on movie theaters in their old church, we conclude, "THIS IS PROOF THAT THE REVIVAL IS HERE!"

Two months later they are telling us "It's coming!"

After awhile we are strangling each other. Biting hands. Saying swear words when we stub our toe.

The Revival is coming...

And eventually, we get tired...


And someone gets sick of not doing anything...

So someone suggests we pray and fast...

And someone is like "I thought God decides the revival."

And the other person is like, "Yeah, but if God wants to do something and our flesh is in the way, he can't do something."

And I'm confused.

And we pray. And fast. A lot. Twice a year. For long ranges of time. Prayer is awesome. Things happen. We are praying for the revival. No one is coming.....

Months of fasting. Months of prayer meeting. Months of prayer lists. We are working so hard....

We are getting red faced about it. Trying to convince ourselves that somehow we can spin the absence of the revival as a good thing. We just need more Faith! More Prayer! More Holy Ghost Power!

And i'm sure God's chuckling. And if he's not chuckling, I am chuckling...

Because there's the book of Acts.

The Book of Acts is our favorite book...

And this kind of rhetoric about the "Soon coming revival" isn't there. Because the revival is here. it's never left. It's not an event at all. Jesus died. He rose. Acts 2 happened.  That's it.

To silly ourselves about some kind of mystical revival to confirm how awesome we are is absurd.

And here's the swan song of it all:

There will be that day when a lot of people will be investing their time and effort into a special church project. Perhaps a play. Perhaps a children't service. Perhaps a series of "revival" services.

And the saints will be working hard. And sweats will be broken....

And just before this special event takes place. In this case a Youth Rally. There will be a prayer meeting. And the leader of this event has told us all along, that God had confirmed that this special service and the scheduled bowling function afterwards was the Will of the Lord and as being under God's authority, this event was sure to head us on the correct path to saving souls....

And we nod our head, kind of like YEAH! (And a voice in the back of our head says, "haven't we heard this before."

And as everyone is secretly questioning the actual confirmation of the Lord in their head, the main leader of the event hears this whispers within everyone's head. Well he doesn't actually hear them. But he knows that everyone is thinking this because he just gave the same speech in this prayer meeting that we had all heard 50 times before from different ministers about this Revival character.

And I'll say here and now, that if this Revival character is always running late for our expectations and seems to have a 1,001 and excuses of why he hasn't come yet, then maybe I don't want to be this Revival character's friend at all...

And that's when we hear the Event leader say with a choked up throat, "Listen to me kids... If we save just One soul.... This willl all be worth it. Just one! One soul. I don't need a revival . I just want to be in God's will. And God's will may be to have us all hear just to save that one soul."

And I'm laughing by now.

Except the saints are nodding their head...

One?

One Soul?

I don't have a problem with one soul being saved.

But come on. You know you have lost when you are alluding to this imaginary "one" in your mind.

Which allows enormous amount of energy to be spent working and driving to get these events going. All for the "One" soul who may not even exist....

And during the service...

That One soul never came....

And perhaps that One soul would have came if we tried not being so headstrong about "how church was to be done" but whatever.

I'm leaving church now. Revival was a terrible virtual friend.

And as much energy we spend trying to "wait for the revival" and trying to reach that "One" we could have stumbled on something that actually worked. And it would have made us uncomfortable. But we wouldn't have to wonder how to spin the story in the mean time.

Peace out, I'm going to the movie theater.




Monday, September 12, 2011

#244- I Corinthians 11:15

Yeah that one verse about that one issue regarding functionality, adaptability, proportionality, actuality, and sometimes magic.


Monday, August 29, 2011

#243-Soul Winner Guilt and Glory

The Guilt
You can already hear it. That altar-call plea for you to go out and bring in the sheaves. Because if you don't, on Judgment Day, your co-workers and your neighbors are going to look at you with wide-pleading eyes, demanding of you, "Why didn't you tell me I needed to speak in tongues to get here?!" Then you'll be left, shrugging your guilt-laden shoulders, hanging your head in shame because apparently, you were too ashamed of Jesus to recount Peter's Pentecost sermon to people. Think you're gonna hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant?" Guess again, playa. The best thing for you to do is start inviting people to church left and right to avoid gettin that spiritual blood on your hands. After all, the Bible says inviting people to church is the first step to saving their souls . . . oh, wait.

The Glory
High-five, dude! Bob from accounting finally gave in and got a taste of that Holy Ghost FI-ya! All those "If you don't pass this message on, you're ashamed of God" chain emails you forwarded to him worked. YOU were the one who invited him to church. YOU were the one who shared Acts 2:38 with him. YOU were the one behind him rubbing his back, whispering holy sweet nothings into his ear as he prayed for the Holy Ghost. It was because of YOU, dawg. YOU should get the credit for this baby. Go ahead and etch another notch in your soul-belt. Pastor's gonna make you saint of the month!

The Real Deal
If one of your neighbors doesn't hear the Word from you, that doesn't mean that your neighbor is going to be lost for all time and it's going to be your fault. God isn't willing that ANY should perish, and if someone hungers and thirsts after righteousness, God will make it His business that they be filled. He doesn't need you to do it. If you fail to fulfill the imperative to share the gospel, He can and will find somebody else. Your apathy is not going prevent the will of God from being done. And if you do share the gospel with your neighbor and he becomes born again, it's not to your credit. God definitely used you, but remember, He's the only one who saves.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

#242 - Calling Contemporary Worship Music "Jesus Is My Boyfriend Music."

Wow. It's been a minute since I've lifted my fingers to post here, but, in an attempt to go back to that old landmark, and since we're talking about praise & worship, I figured I'd throw in my $0.02 (which actually costs more to produce than it's worth but . . . ah, well. Take it up with the US Mint.)

In this conundrum we Aps have found ourselves in, this bitter divide between old-school and progressive (or shall I say "stick-in-the mud, divisive, legalistic curmudgeons" and "bitter, emergent, liberal compromisers"?) one of the many scads of issues up for grabs in an attempt to define who the Real Apostolics are is music.

The more the music reminds you of them old time days, them days when C.R. Dinkleton (because all Real Apostolics have two initials before their last names) would preach up a dusty storm in the buggy heat and tarry in the brush arbor, the more likely you are to be ready when that trumpet sounds.

The more the music relies on acoustic guitar and the lyrics include silly references to Jesus as a lover and wonderful savior who kisses the earth and rains down His warm and fuzzy mercy and mushy grace and blessings, the more likely you're on your way to you-know-where in a you-know-what. Or at least on the road to compromising. And ooh, Lordy. If you're a Real Apostolic, you wouldn't want that. No siree.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#241- The Imperial Praise Team

There are situations and then there are Situations. I think we are dealing with the former here, but I could be wrong.

Once upon a time, the Platform served as the facilitator of the distribution of Prestige within the Church. There was the Pastor. And then the elders. And then the Platform Musicians. While the spiritual demand was not nearly as high for the platform musicians, their place on the platform was a testament to the relentless Ego of men and women to claw their way to fame. If you don't know how to preach in the UPC, dont fear, because you can always  try and become a musician.

There the stakes are much more glorious and far more violent than the tyranny to be a speaker. TO be a UPC musician does not mean you have to be called to it. All that's requested is that you have a drive to be a musical force....

I'm wandering. I will go back. I apologize.

Okay, the point is the Praise Team Man.....

At the likes of Bible Colleges and big churches, there is a healthy bit of competition to look good and sing good so people will notice you. Of course to get noticed you need to be on the platform, singing.....

A hierarchical ladder is thus created within our ranks where the best looking and/or the best singers can sing.

And the Ego's, my goodness.... The Egos of the Platform. You should know about them..... But that's a different post which I will probably always be too lazy to write about....

But there are also people who love worshipping the Lord. I don't want us to forget about them. They exist.

But the real controversy, to me at least, is the decay of the Praise Team as we know it. Traditionally, the Praise Team consisted of 3-4 singers on the platform leading the church in wonderful chorus.

But, alas, we live in a day of tolerance... Where kids are forced to enjoy bike rides with helmets on their head and one can no longer say the word "handicap."  And likewise, within tolerance, there are no winners and losers.... There are just people who really believe in themselves and others who have less faith in themselves..... It is not a coincidence that those who "believe in themselves and chase after their dream" are also ridiculously good looking or gifted with an amazing amount of physical talent.  

The point is, with the rise of a society of tolerance, we have lost the platform to tell people they are bad.

And thus Praise Singers keep singing. Bad Praise Singers. And no one has the guts to tell them to their face, "hey kid, you don't have what it takes." Now I am all for Bad Praise Singers. Give me a team of mutant singers still worshiping God in spite of themselves, and I guarantee you the Holy Spirit will be there because they won't be able to fake God being there. It's a platform of the Talented musicians who try to perfect their craft that I am deeply suspicious of.....

Anyways, in this age where one can't say "Bad is bad" but rather "Bad just means Try harder" the one symptom that goes unchecked is the Ego. Now we have a day where Bad singers think they are just as good as good singers, and good singers just talk behind the back of the Bad Singers smirking at how stuck up the Bad Singer is.

What's the point? Well the analysis above is my one theory for what I observed in a video of youth Congress....

Evidence Here:

 In the above image, there are 10 "Xs." Each X designates a Praise Singer. Now if each X is a Praise Singer, and there are Ten 10 Xs, then if my math is right, there are 10 Praise Singers for the worship service at Youth Congress. That's right, 10 praise singers....

Now, perhaps the need for ten was simple: There were bad praise singers originally, and the only hope of drowning their voices out was MORE PRAISE SINGERS. Perhaps Phil Specter had it right when he invented the "Wall of Sound." The more praise singers, the more that bad disappears.

I highly doubt this theory...... Because I know most of those singers on the platform (if not all) are indeed good singers....

So perhaps what we see, in this age of tolerance,  is the inability for someone to pick the best singers over the really Good singers....

Maybe, but i'm not even convinced of that....

I don't know what's going on, but ten praise singers is definitely not necessary. I can't hear the difference between two voices, let alone ten voices.

Keep in mind that Youth Congress is just an example (which has always had a cluster of singers way beyond the designated four), and that I have observed the trend of the Imperial Praise Team who is always growing in numbers at many churches and youth rallys.

So this problem only results in more questions: At what one point does a Praise Team stop being considered a Praise Team and start being considered a "Praise Choir?" If we have passed that point, then the only reason we still call the Praise Team a "team" is because it still implies a distinguishing of personalities and faces on the platform. Once a choir is formed, the individual identity is crushed to a mass of formless faces. Egos couldn't stand that.

Is anyone else noticing this problem or is this in my head? And if your church needs someone to come in and tell a few girls "hey, I know you mean well, but your voice doesn't mean well to our ears," I am your guy. I will do the job for fifteen dollars flat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#240- Finding Boyfriends at Big Church Events

Alternative Title: Kind Suggestions for the female gender on securing that future husband at the ballroom melodramas of our organization (from the perspective of a male).

#1-  No Circus Hats


In spite of precedent this year, and by precedent I mean, Royal Weddings, there are no circumstances in here or in heaven that large and absurd hats would be permissible to wear. Especially when one is trying to keep a boyfriend or look for a boyfriend. Wearing absurd hats, much like absurd head pieces is a simple sign for us men that says "Future Cat Lady." There is a reason the USA revolted against the British almost 250 years ago. And I suspect funny hats are one of those reasons. Don't nullify our revolution ladies. Trust me, you will get our attention  if you wear weird hats to church, but the strare you will receive from us will have nothing to do with a desire to talk to you. Rather we stare at you to burn you at the sake.

#2- Don't obsess over what you wear. We won't notice your clothes.

 So ladies don't obsess over it, if a guy compliments your attire. If this man does compliment your clothes, he is not someone you want to date. Trust me. He is probably gay. Or at least slightly gay. He would make a great friend to have though.

#3-Pray. Just don't do so too loudly.

#4- Be Victorian.
While us Apostolic men aren't romantic knights ready to sweep you off your feet, we still will appreciate you living as if you were from a a period where being reserved and "ladylike" is culturally acceptable. Of course we won't reciprocate the gesture and thus won't end up like the heroes of the Jane Austin novels, nonetheless, we want you to stay back in that past. We highly encourage you to read Little Women. We highly encourage you to watch the Anne of Green Gables series. Transform your lifestyle as outlined in said book aka: Stay quiet and only speak when spoken too (certainly don't talk politics). Just keep your expectations low for the rest of us. Laugh at our jokes. Blush when we make eye contact. Show no ambition.  This is what it is to be a preacher's wife:

"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."  - I Timothy 2:9-15



#5- Wear Make-up. Just don't call it Make up.

Don't make the devil's paint noticeable. Just put enough make-up on so that we won't notice that you are a walking contradiction. If we have to notice your make up, you are an embarrassment. If you don't put on make up, we may get put off by the zits. This is a very thin tight rope to cross, and we appreciate the balancing act.

#6-Be Holy

If you catch us checking out girls in tight clothes  or short skirts, don't be offended. We are only judging those Jezebels. It's nothing against you. Holiness is more beautiful no matter if our eyes tell you otherwise.

#7- Be in Attack Mode


It's the 21st century. Us men hate making the move. Save us the perspiration and ask for our number. Some men probably will get put off by this, but this just proves that said man is sexist.

#8-Ruin the Competition


"Accidentally" pour water on the head of a competing female a little higher in the hierarchy or stick a live blow drier against the hairdo of any girl who may get more attention than you. While said girl may still end up getting more attention than you, their own insecurity will hinder their desire to be in the spotlight or be "available" for pursuit. Remember, "survival of the fittest."

#9- Do Wikipedia research on Books of the Bible
Of course you don't have to read the Bible outside of the simplicity of Psalms or Proverbs, but acting like you read the bible is worth mega-points.

#10-Don't confess your a Bible College Student.
IF you do, we will assume the worst. And if you go to secular college, make fun of Bible College students.

Bonus: Ladies, if you are not part of the Apostolic Ruling class, and thus not "elite" do not be deterred by your lack of fame. The pastor's daughters, the IBC Praise Girls, and the rest of the "in" crowd are plastic. Ruminate this truth. Take aim on them. Steal their men with ruthless cruelty. Break hearts. You are the daughters of God.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

#239- Youth Congress (Again)

Video to prepare for Youth Congress, on the Eve of Youth Congress....

(more posts coming in coming days about youth congress)...

Monday, July 11, 2011

#238-Describing Backsliding as "Taking the Easy Way Out"



Editor's Note: 
Also the picture above arrived in my inbox last night with the caption: "For those apostolic hipster men that want to stay modest." 


Which entirely deserves a good old Al Pacino "Whooo-Ah!"





Also Another blog from another anonymous blogger... I like it:  


Last night I indulged in some late night revelry with a friend of mutual appreciation for one another’s life paths. After a short while our conversation segued to the topic of how we are treated at church and major church functions. For the most part we’re kindly greeted, given a passive aggressive invitation to church “anytime” and casually dismissed.

What is most interesting, though, is when the preacher has direct knowledge or relationship to us. Often a message is given in which we are described (indirectly and/or ambiguously, so as not to directly call us out) as “knowing better”, “having been raised right”, and “just wanting to take the easy road.”

Now, all of these statements are insulting, and we’ll get to the first two statements, but the last is the most problematic. Growing up in Pentecost is easy. Sure, someone occasionally doesn’t understand why you look slightly different, but if you have a good personality and a sense of humor you can quickly circumvent the social ramifications of not conforming. Even recently, non-conformity, aka “hipster style”, has taken off, so there can even sometimes be a level of respect for your willingness to stand out. Over all, it really isn’t that bad. Oh I know, there’s exceptions to every rule, and I’m sure you all have stories you heard about someone getting gum in their hair or their skirt pulled up, but in reality those stories are by no means common, or the norm. In reality, if you’re like most of us, you went to school, kept to yourself, didn’t participate in extracurriculars because your youth pastor demanded you at church all the time, finished school, and that was that. Past high school there really is hardly no examples of why being Apo is hard. (Except being a guy in the summer when you’re sweating through your jeans and looking for a walk in freezer to stand in for about an hour)

But that’s why they think we walked away. Because it’s “easier”.

Yeah that’s it.

As if it's so difficult to have your religion laid out for you neat and tidy, never having to read, showing up three times a week, doing what you’re told, abiding by a dress code, never asking questions, and being told everything is black and white, cut and dry, finite and inarguable. That’s so hard.

As if it's so easy to study for yourself, admit everything isn’t black and white, have questions you don’t know the answer to, come to grips with the fact that you were (or may have been) spiritually and emotionally abused, not know what you believe about God, not know what to think about religion, and just not know and be able to admit “I don’t know.” Yeah that’s easy.

Wait. No it isn’t. As a matter of fact, those two should be reversed.

Pastors, please stop doing this. It’s insulting for you to make these claims, and this is why we don’t want to come to your church. When we do, you make your ENTIRE CONGREGATION sit through your brow beating session about us. There are broken people there who really need a word, and you spend the whole sermon condescending us.

And aside from that, it isn’t that simple. When you tell us “we know better” and “we were raised right”, all you’re doing is damaging your own credibility, and making us not want to come back. Editor's addition: Can we not say that if we were raised in your church and we backslide, that our "rebellion" is a symptom of your leadership?

You look at us and say “they were raised right.”

While we’re sitting there thinking “we weren’t raised right, we were instructed by people who don’t study to learn, but simply to back up their own existing points.” Some of us (albeit not all) resent the way we were raised, and the churches we were raised in. We feel robbed of our childhoods and teenage years. We feel cheated. 


So when you say “we were raised right” what you're really saying is “we know your questions and choose to ignore them.”

And “they know better.”

Better than what? We know better than to wear pants and cut our hair because you’ve taken some obscure passages, tweaked them, given them your ‘best guess’, passed it off as black and white biblical law? We ‘know better’ than to do our own reading and studying because everything that wasn’t written by a oneness Pentecostal author is heresy? 


No.

I could go on but there’s one more subject I’d like to address on the issue of ‘backsliders’ (or refugees, depending how you look at it).

Those of us who grew up in church played the same games you all play now. When someone leaves we were encouraged to say, “I miss you” and invite them to church.

So when WE leave, and you start doing that to us, we see right through it, and it, again, insults us. We don’t need an invitation to church. We can go whenever we want. The passive aggressive, thinly veiled disappointment behind “We miss you, you should really come to church and see us” condescends us and makes us not want to come that much more.

Lastly, I have a friend who stopped going to church. He is gay. Frequently church people will see him in public or post on his facebook wall and give the “We miss you, come to church” rhetoric, and he has come up with the best response, which usually knocks the people for a loop. He says “I probably won’t come to church, but we can get coffee or dinner whenever you want.” There have been a few people (wonderful wonderful, good hearted, gracious people) who have taken him up on this, and they are really just being a friend, not trying to ‘win’ him back, and have dinner with him frequently. But there have been many more who dismiss the invitation. Because they don’t care. They aren’t interested in being his friend. They just want to be the one who gets the five bonus points with Jesus for converting him back.

If you REALLY want to prove your worth, and be an exemplary Christian to people who stop going to church, stop inviting them to church, talking to them about church, cramming church down their throat and just have a casual coffee or dinner. They might take you up on it, but they’ll probably dismiss your church invitation, because they can see right through it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#237-Charting Apostolic Fashion


Editor's Note: A friend asked me if he could post on youth congress' predictions. I said yes. He asked to be anonymous. I consented.


The above is a picture of Columbus and crew doing what the White man does best.... Command and Conquer. Imperialism. Etc...


Except now we do it through material elitism and an Apostolic Identity that seeks to obfuscate any identity that does not find one going to church in a suit and a tie, with a clean shaven face.


And you think it's a coincidence that Congress will be happening at COLUMBUS, OHIO this year? Pssssst.


The Fashion Predictions of North American Youth Congress.


With North American Youth Congress just a hop, skip and a jump away I thought I’d take it upon myself to do something a little different this year. In years past I’ve waited until after Congress to write about and discuss the years fashion choices. But this year I thought I’d try to make a few predictions, and we’ll see which ones pan out. (Please excuse that these predictions apply only to the men. I know nothing of women’s fashion, and the ladies always look the same to me. Crazy, but the same none the less)

It seems that among certain sects of the fabulous UPCI that there is a constant struggle to distance ones self from looking too bougie. This often means adopting extremely campy articles and accessories to set ones self apart from the majority. In years past this has been lapel flowers, flooded pants, vintage waistcoats, combat boots and the male equivalent of jeggings. This year promises to be no different. A quick look at the J&HP Lookbook can provide some insight as to what we might see.

First prediction: The Ascot.


Ah yes, the ascot. The rich mans popped collar. Because nothing quite says “I think very highly of myself” like 1920s fashion, that no one else, including the fashion savvy of New York, London, Milan and Madrid, is wearing. Be forewarned at youth congress this year; you didn’t accidentally get transported back in time by a magic blow dryer. That guy really is wearing something that people haven’t worn since the collapse of The Ottoman Empire.

Second prediction: An Assortment of Silly Hats

Expect to see not only the newsboy caps, but fedora’s


Trilby’s,


Pork Pie Hats,


and bowlers.



I won’t even be surprised if one or two gentlemen rocking a top hat. (That’s not a joke, we’ll see it eventually) I expect the super secret, invite only VIP room to resemble the first class lounge of the Titanic, including a string quartet and an old guy with a monocle.

Third prediction: Men’s Spats


Since most people have no clue what that is I’ve included a picture. Spats are the white things covering this gentleman’s shoes. (This picture was taken in the VIP room of 2009 youth congress) Now I know what some of you are thinking. That’s a stretch. No one would really wear those. I thought the same thing the first time I saw a daisy on a lapel, but I was unfortunately mistaken. Spat’s and top hats – mark my words – they’re on their way.

Fourth prediction: Knickerbockers / Plus-Fours / Parachute Pants



If you were like me, you watched the halftime show of the Superbowl this year and thought “What is Usher wearing? He looks like he just escaped that hospital from It’s Kind Of A Funny Story.” But if you were really saved, you thought “Youth Congress outfit idea!!” I don’t really know what to say about this one other than to encourage anyone who sees it to point and laugh.

Now, there will probably be much more outlandish fashions than I could ever predict, but the general theme is still there. A small, very small, percentage of young men at Youth Congress this year will be dressed like they just played 9 holes with William Howard Taft.

I often enjoy it when I spot one of our prized young men and their ridiculous attire. Part of me laughs, part of me throws up in my mouth, but part of me just wants to know why? Are they trying to get attention? Reactions? Do they really think they look good? Low self-esteem? Too high of self-esteem? That’s what I can’t figure out. Any normal, sane, logical person with even a sub par knowledge of current fashion looks at the predictions I made and thinks “Yeah right, no one would wear that”, but there are a few people in our movement who see those things and think “My swag would be at five million! You’re not ready for the swaggy swag I’m about to bring in my spats and pork pie hat!”

I just don’t get it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

#236-Repetition



A Pastor's welcoming message to the guests first service.
Hello, welcome to the Apostolic church service. God will be here. It's good that you are here. Join us, as we worship God.

This first visit will be nothing like you have seen before. It will be awesome.

Why? Because we are Apostolic, that's why.

Don't know what Apostolic means?

Just read Acts 2 and you'll know where we come from.

Sure the sun won't be darkened, nor will the moon be drowned in blood like Peter describes in the Last Days.

Heck, we don't even have the tongues of fire that's described.

But we do have the Truth. and God. And our Apostolic Identity. This is important.

Also don't include the last few verses of Acts 2 that describe the Apostolic experience as having Communion daily or having all possessions in common. That's just not realistic to our capitalistic society.

But trust us, we're as Apostolic as you can get without being a communist.

Also read Acts 2:38... it's kind of a big deal.

Also, let me reiterate.... it's about to get CRAAAAAAZY UP IN HERE. This is part of being Apostolic.

The same pastor's message to the same guest's fifth church service.


Welcome Back again!

It's great having you.

I noticed you are still dressed like Jezebel?

Don't worry about it. If you still aren't trying to dress like us in six months then we'll talk. Because the Holy Ghost and Brother Steve will provide you with the necessary information to tell you how to dress, which will end up being dressing like us. Because we are Apostolic and we have the truth.

If you don't listen to the verses Brother Steve shows you then it means you don't have the Holy Ghost.

You have a question?

(Pause to hear question)

Ah yes... today's service....Our CRAAZZYY Apostolic services...

Funny you should mention it.

Yes, I know what you mean... About how the craziness seems as repetitious here as going to the bathroom on a daily basis for everyone else...

But I guess..... (scratches head)..... Well, geeze...

I guess that's how God chooses to work!

Yes! God happens to work the same two ways in each and every service... Either you will feel sad and cry because you did something naughty or you LOVE GOD JUST THAT MUCH (at which point the music will correspond perfectly with this remorse)

Or God happens to make you dance yourself Clean (at which point the music will once again seem to match PERFECTLY with what God is doing)....

I assure you this is how God wants it....

The program of craziness is the way God wants it, and the normalization of the craziness you speak of is just a secondary, unintended consequence of God's Pentecostal SPONTANITY!

We have SUITS Too!

And the Truth....

And if you don't like the way our CRAAAAAZY service is, then i'm afraid you don't have the truth....

So come and get crazy, and if you happen to get bored, consider that boredom as part of the Cross you have to bear in order to sacrifice yourself to God's Truth.... Where is a better place to learn sacrifice than at God's house?

(pause for another question)

No! You are not the Temple of God. This building is.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

#235- Being Balanced: The Unbearable Lie of "the Middle Ground"

Maybe, I have wrote about this topic before. I have no clue. I don't remember yesterday. Thus it's impossible for me to remember the content of this blog.

The point is, I realized on the day before yesterday that one of the worst kind of horrorshows for our movement is when someone confesses that filthy illusion that they consider themselves "in the middle" of the Left or Right "spectrum" within our movement, or more specifically.... When someone claims a point or a stance that actually means something, a Man in the Middle chimes in that "We  Must maintain a balance and keep the other "end" of the argument in mind."  And then that convictionless person rambles on about not straying to far to the left, or too far to the right, but Keeping our eyes towards heaven....

And God's will, happens to be the middle?

Did I miss something?

No I didn't.

So before I continue, this kid below is reminding you and me, that if there is anyone we should be pointing the finger at within our movement, it is the "man in the middle who authorizes balance" above all...




Because the Man of the Middle is a Very very Bad Man.


Why? Not because the man in the middle is insensible, because in all respects, The man in the Middle is the most sensible.

But rather, this sensibility and "balance" and argument from being "practical" and making sure we are not being too extreme, too radical, too liberal, or too conservative is too sensible...

So sensible, that the Man in the Middle struggles from actually believing anything other than they want things to stay the same so they can keep their job, or line themselves in such a way to be next in line for a job from a predecessor who, also happens to be in the "Middle."

Except this middle doesn't exist.

because I think i am in the middle.

and you probably think you are in the middle.

And I think i am balanced.

You do too...

No one wants to be an extremist..

Except the most extreme person that exists today, is the person who claims to be balanced and in the middle in their beliefs, but in reality, this means, "I am lazy."

Because, as neutral, and balanced as the Man in the Middle claims to be, he does have a very Strong Position that bases itself in one doctrinal point: Any action one way will cause a negligence of the other side (one Extreme is "Legalism" and the other extreme is "The social Gospel/Emergent" movement).

Therefore, while the Man in the Middle claims to be balanced and without bias, his bias is more than anyone else's bias towards the Left or Right....

The Man in the Middle believes above all else in the Powers that Rule the Air in the Here and Now. The Man in the Balance worships the gods of capitalism, hierarchy, and not caring enough for anyone who doesn't step into their church walls. Because action means change, and when you want change, you cannot do so by maintaining a Middle ground...

Because the Middle Ground really means "I am allowing the hypothetical sins of the Legalists or the Emergents support my laziness to believe in nothing..."

But laziness, and inaction really mean that you fully support the way things are now...

Except God hasn't come back....

And our witness is dwindling...

We will rot as a movement if we listen to the voice of complacency spoken by the Man in the Middle.

But most horribly....

The Bible will have none of this nonsense...

Jesus doesn't talk about balance, maintaining the Middle, or any such nonsense....

Find me the scripture that supports "the middle ground" in the Bible.

You probably wont.

Why? Because this parasite of "balance" that is so common amongst ourselves today isn't biblical...It's a business-fiction to justify the lack of care for things outside our immediate comfort.

As for the practicability of the middle? Where is the middle ground for Hitler's Nazi germany on one end and Churchill's England on the other end?

Let me see.... if The Brits killed 0 Jews. And the Nazi's killed 6 million Jews. THen the Middle Ground would be 3 million Jews....

And you may say that my example is extreme, but that point is very clear.....

In regards to some or many evils, a Middle Ground is very much a sinful position. Finding the middle in the present age, says nothing about How God will judge us, because the sins on one end may be so bad hypothetically, that any kind of compromise with this radical evil end will result in the damnation of those who proclaimed it's middle.

Ramble about balance a lot Middle Man, so you can sleep easy tonight....

The sins of the world are waiting to fall on your shoulders.



Monday, June 13, 2011

#234-Domesticating God so that we can be sure we have God.

First first: If we want God to live with us, we must teach him to abide by our routine of life:


Maybe it was a month ago. Maybe more. I don't really remember to remember time or dates these days. The point is, I was on the phone with a friend who requested his name remain anonymous for this post. Beneath the surface.

This mysterious friend, made an observation amongst many others he has made to me over the years, that within Apostolic Pentecostal churches, "the point of worship service is no longer to make you feel the Holy Ghost." But rather, the proper goal for most worship services these days is "to make you feel like you feel the Holy Ghost."

The quote may seem like simple words games, but I would argue the extra "like you feel" is a very important distinction. The point would be that within worship services, pursuit of God and encountering God are no longer the thing pursued. Of course, everyone would say that encountering God is the whole purpose of the worship service (or perhaps it is the more absurd belief that worship service is done to "Lift Him Up!"), but if we take a step back and reflect....we may realize that within some worship services, the pursuit of God has become secondary within the worship service, and replacing the pursuit of God and the drudgery such a pursuit would demand is a new found monster in our ranks: replacing the THING ITSELF (God) with the APPEARANCE of God, and after the fact, we hope that after we have experienced the surface appearance of God in our hearts or with our eyes, we may actually convince ourselves that we encounter God Himself.

In the old days, we assumed that if we were happy, God must be making Himself right at home and thus Himself was happy....



In other words, in the old days, we could speak of old Pentecostal worship services as such: "It looked like an old fashioned Pentecostal outpouring, it felt like a Pentecostal outpouring, and therefore it really was a Pentecostal outpouring."

But these days, we should be saying "It looked like a Pentecostal outpouring, it felt like a Pentecostal outpouring, and therefore we know the worship leaders were really good and the song selection even better."

And thus what we must acknowledge, though we are not ready to most of the time, is that just because we are happy....it does not mean God is happy...

And if you question my claim, you are free to rebuttal anonymously below, .... but before you do answer, these questions.... Answer it with thought: Why do we need music in worship service? Why can't we have a worship service in silence? Why is silence so awkward in church? How come we can only take silence when either it is announced by the Pastor that we are about to meditate on the Lord silently, or we have worshiped our hearts out long enough as a church, that just when we get physically exhausted, God has a worshipful rest of silence waiting for us and the exhausted musicians?

Why is God's encounter with us dependent on the songs we play? Why do we have to have music to worship as a church? What if God is talking and we were so busy producing his appearance with our worship music that we miss his still small voice?

The point is we are making a habit of our worship. Or we have been making God a habit for some time. So much so, that without thinking we go through the movements of worship service, thinking that if God is meant to be encountered it must be through our own stage, through our human constructed habits involving music and loud noises, that coincidentally enough, pleases our Westernized, middle class- ears all the more...

Bible Portion for the day:

I Kings 18:26b-29:  Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
 27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

And if our God is the God of Truth as we say. And if we possess the FULL Truth in knowledge and revelation....Then couldn't we say, God's appearances are in a way dependent on how we allow him to appear in our worship services? That is to say, is God, who we know in full truth, limited in some way to present himself in the world by the manor we set forth for God  to appear within our worship services? 


If God wanted to appear in a different form or in a new revelation, He couldn't do it because he is dedicated to us in our revelation of Him. And thus even if He did appear in a new way, we wouldn't listen, because we HAVE GOD in Spirit and in Truth. Thus if there was something new, it would mean that the Truth we possess now isn't the Full Truth. 


But we have the Full Truth! And thus God wouldn't appear in any other way than in the manor He has already shown us....


And therefore, in our worship services, God is restricted to appearing in the manner we set forth. 


God is God. But we are His People. And we have Confiscated His Sovereignty. Unless what we mean by sovereignty is rather that God is free to do all things, and those things he happens to be free to do, coincide with what He has already revealed to us He Will do....


We of course know this is nonsense... we know that we don't have the Full grasp of God even if we tell ourselves we do. Similar the way we don't really dictate God's appearances to us as a Body of Believers, but yet we act out a formula for a worship services that gives the appearance that we are encountering God.


It's not that God is never encountered in our worship services, but rather in the consistency of how our worship services go (slow songs create one kind of atmosphere, whereas fast songs do something else within us), we are pretending like our favorite style of music and worship happens to be God's favorite style of music and kind of worship. Yet we know God is not bound by our ways, and thus He will manifest Himself in ways that make us uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean He's not there.....


If we know all this, the question is, why aren't we experimenting more? Why aren't we trying to realize different forms of worship within our church walls themselves that other people may say works for them? Thus we have unity in our diversity that doesn't pretend that God only appears in our comfortable perimeters to worship...


And if we aren't for this.....then isn't it safe to say we are domesticating God? making him out of our own image? Making God out to be something palatable that is convenient with our own tastes and habits? As much as God doesn't like being made out into an image of human hands, I think it would be all the worse to make God out to be an image in the likeness of our very own image....

If we are to really let God be God, and not just be the God we dictate him to be, this means something quite uncomfortable....

But maybe we do need to release God back out into the wild....or else not only will we die in the process, as the Catholics, and the Jews, and anyone else who closed off God, but perhaps in some way, God dies too..



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#233-The Fashionable, yet Sensible Youth Pastor...


Dear Saints and Sinners,

My silence has no cause. 

You are still near to my heart....

And today, I offer you a project that was constructed in the name of SAL. It's SAL's first original movie (which is not original one bit).

Fondly,

JR

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#232-The People who noticed there was something "different" about you...

This post will be brief...And no it is not the post I promised in my previous post about "the Fortunate Son," but that's because I know some of my limits, and one of those is not to write about your target when you are angry....

One of the staples about an Apostolic defense of Holiness is the classic line about how a certain Apostolic woman was out and about, and some random stranger walked up to them and asked either A) if the woman was Apostolic or B) Pointing out that there was something different to said Apostolic Woman....

Now, the first previous response on my part is that what really stinks about such a testimony is that I, as a male, am excluded from such a delightful experience....Nor have I ever met an Apostolic Man who has testified of some onlooker noticing the "holiness" within the male...

Apparently God is a feminist who only lets woman enjoy the fruits of holiness and separation....

But there is something that isn't talked about amongst the people who testify about the random stranger at the store who noticed the "difference" of the Apostolic Female...

Does that observant stranger ever "get saved?"

Of course, I am sure there have been such instances of "Salvation" by clothing, but I would argue most of the instances I have heard of, wherein an Apostolic is noticed for their holiness...there is no "follow-up" testimony of the observant stranger going to church...

So what the Apostolic separation "difference" tends to result in is the observant stranger politely saying, "I see what you're doing, and I want you to know that I know that you are oddly dressed."

Don't believe me?

My sister, who has never cut her hair and always wears skirts to her public school has been the source of this revelation....

She has gone over countless instances with me through the years of how people have certainly noticed the Apostolic Difference, and then after finding out that aforementioned differences are a result of her dedication to God and her beliefs, the person gives a polite grin and not-so-slyly remarks about how that's either "really cool" (which really means "I will tolerate you") or more aptly says something to the effect of "oh, I would hate to be apart of your religion." (mind you these are high-schoolers, so such offensive remarks are the norm)

So these separation that is supposedly intended to "draw" people to God offends my sister of having any witness whatsoever....

This is quite similar (but on a wider scale) of my experience in high school wherein I would wear gym pants to gym class, and get called "pants" throughout the class and laughed at for my strange beliefs. It would be beneficial to note that while everyone wore shorts in my gym class, I was the one who was frequently "pansed" in class which basically means someone would come up from behind me and proceed to pull my pants down in front of the whole gym class to get a laugh out of my "holiness."

Now people normally would say that what me and my sister experience was the burden of holiness, and the cost of being different. I understand this. But for the life of me, I cannot recall one person being lauded to offend people out of wanting to come to church because of their holiness standards in the Bible....

To clarify, my dilemma is not against Holiness standards. It's simply a rant against the testimony that some Apostolics get noticed in public because of their holiness standards.....while it can be a good thing, it seems to be publicly received in my experience as a deterrent towards my witness...

And my last question is, are standards the excuse for some of us not to witness...since our witness is in our clothing?

Monday, April 11, 2011

#231-Liberal Youth Pastors (A Lament to why the liberal position within the UPC is simply a codeword for: "Apostolics who say much, believe in little, and spend their lives designing sermon artwork on a computer")


It's the Creedence Clearwater Revival week here on Sal which means music from one of my favorite 60's bands...


Something at the turn of the millenium went terribly wrong. I'm not precisely sure what it is, but I can guess:
Liberals Apostolic preachers started reading books.

And while we were taught all our lives about the immense reward for reading, I want to go back ten years or so ago and tell those liberal preachers "whatever you do, don't read a book."
And I mean it.

Because, it's not that reading is in itself bad...

But rather, Apostolics have an amazing ability to walk into any bookstore and somehow bypass all literature that could indeed change themselves or change the world, they manage to come out with the weirdest, overpriced Christian inspirational book there is because the author was the pastor of a megachurch, and the design of the book is eye-catching and the title of the book is offensive. Shocking. Disturbing. And almost always, the book promises to change your life or cause Holy Ghost fireworks, or make you see Christianity in a whole different light. All of this translates to in actuality is that the book offers just another spin on a certain Biblical verse, a life-altering habit that will enrich your walk, and a jaw dropping story to two.

In other words: The book will be the next young minister's sermon for a youth service or youth rally (if the book is long enough, it can be a preaching series making being a minister that much easier!)

Seriously, I have higher hope for a 4 year old to be a fan of the films of Bergman or Hitchcock before a Liberal Apostolic Youth Pastor is caught reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ayn rand, or Melville....

......

And just because I lost my train of thought watching the Tigers play baseball, I have decided to make a flow chart instead to calculate what exactly you should read if you are an Apostolic...


Basically the idea of being a liberal youth pastor involves whether or not you have the attention span to read.

If you don't have a good attention span, listen to a podcast of your favorite non-Apostolic preacher.

If you have a short attention span, and hate woman, you should listen to Mark Driscoll and also believe in predestination.

If you like woman, you should listen to a large number of other preachers depending if you want to be more theological oriented (e.g. John Piper) or want to be talk about helping poor people but doing nothing about actually helping (e.g. Rob Bell). ..

But if you want to think yourself of the educated type of youth pastor, read books with disturbingly large font that are under 200 pages that talk about how a certain, hip pastor was able to help the poor and watch his church grow three fold in church growth.

And then the actual books.... what do they end up actually doing? You know, those "fluff" books that I have been talking about? Well, all they do is make one feel guilty and cry about how little they are doing and condemn other preachers and peers for not reading those same books and therefore not feeling equally as guilty as the liberal youth pastor for being lazy and doing nothing. The best case in point: Francis Chan books. The dude is pretty cool, i suppose....

But what he does well is talk about how much of a burden he has for the lost and poor, etc....and how he actually did something about it. And then we as Hip, Apostolics read the book and see that we don't have the same burden as him which makes us cry and feel guilty so we can say we "finally" have a burden and now we can recommend Francis Chan to everyone, but after a month of reading the book and recommending it to all our friends, we have done nothing but whipped ourselves on the back for our lack of care...*I owe this point to fellow SAL writer Chady Hosin*

So essentially, all being a liberal UPC youth pastor tends to amount to is condemning conservatives for not caring about the poor (True) and reading books that make you feel insufficient, but in the end, doing nothing about it....

There is one more think that is frustrating about the Liberal UPC youth pastor, but that will come later on in the week...and here's the hint

Arise ye young generation....the Revival is at hand

Fin.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

#230-Grace? (And this is what we can do when we are in love with ourselves aka as if we keep on doing this, I would rather join the Black Panthers).

Appealing to grace when all you do is pray and go to church is almost as bad as a Nazi defending the Holocaust by pointing out how much the German economy had blossomed in the first decade of it's reign of power, and how low the unemployment rates were during that same period.

Okay, I jumped ahead of myself.

The thing I LOL at more than gnostic Pentecostals these days is when people rail on Acts 2:38 plan of salvation as works-based and thus heretical .

(cue awkward music):


These people who argue that being Apostolic Pentecostal is the same as not understanding the love of God (because, they say God's love isn't earned)....

These people who argue that salvation is found in faith and faith alone.

These people who have hijacked the very definition of love and manipulated it to simply meaning tolerance of others who we were told to not like by our parents in the past.

These people who happily point you to Romans 3-4 and Paul's exposition of faith via Abraham and the book of Galatians...

These people who end up talking about grace and love, fluffy clouds and Care Bears when they talk about their Christianity...

These people....

Psst...

Such corruption of grace and love is one of the most reviling theologies this side of the Enlightenment.

This very "grace" is talked about as "freeing" and tolerant is no grace at all.

Rather such grace treats the cross as an absolute debacle in which the message of Christianity is manipulated into a doctrine of "You may, but you don't have to because your saved because you once upon a time closed your eyes and apologized for what you did."

Now before I rant on, let me be clear...

Talking of God's grace as a thing to be sought is just as pathetic as someone seeking tongues to be saved. Grace, like tongues is not to be sought. It is to be received.

The point for the grace-monger who flaunts grace as the trump card to why a non-Apostolic Pentecostal Christianity is better than an Apostolic Pentecostal Christianity is inevitably a wicked system that allows for indifference and apathy in the name of Christ.

One who flaunts grace surely does not know grace.

The ones who know grace are the ones who are militantly acting in response to the Grace and love received at the cross.

This is why there are two kinds of liberal, ex-Apostolic Christianity...the ones whose sole selling point is the one that is purely reactionary who sell a Christianity based entirely in preaching that Christianity "is not that hard" and do so under the banner of grace in which the results is a pahetic indifference to the cross since it's all based on "belief."

And then there are the liberal ex-Apostolics who actually believe in grace and love and thus works faithfully to such an Event as God dying on the cross....these people know at their core that Christianity is no "selling point." They just work without disdain towards their past.

On Paul...

Paul's anger at circumcision is because it was authorizing a religion that based salvation in something other than that offered through death and resurrection of Christ. The thesis of Romans is not about how salvation is faith-based. No. He was simply saying initial salvation is not based on merit, but subsequently it's not based on a simple mental consent that at one point in time Jesus died and was raised again. (Note: I went off into a page and a half rant here in my notes about Paul and faith, with positive praise here for Paul Tillich, David K. Bernard and Pauline Pneumatology...except this has nothing to do about grace...but if you want to know what I was referencing, please find a copy of Bernard's paper on soteriology or read Paul Tillich's History of Christian Thought and it's discussion of reformation and Lutheran theology. Both say about the same thing, and both annihilate the deadlock of the faith/works debate with logical dedication to the work of the Spirit in the matter (without finding themselves in a Calvinist "predestination" argument))...


But my rant amounts to this: The entire thesis of Romans then leads us to Romans 8 where we are LED by the Spirit in Romans 8. Being "Led" means we are in the process of being saved and through the cross, the GAP is opened up in each one of us to FOLLOW what the Spirit wants us to do in each one of us.

This means, that as outlined in Acts 2:38, to come upon Salvation, there must be Action in response to the Event of the Crucifixion. The Situation is Urgent and we indeed are to Work in Response to His Love. Our salvation is dependent on our Action (poo-poo this point all you want, but I have never known a love that doesn't search endlessly to demonstrate a loving response to the One whom they Love from the One who loves them). We as christians are not the Kings of the World, but rather the Servants to the World, ministering to the poor and those who are alienated and lonely from the same world which they were birthed from.

Rant

Christianity demands action. Grace is not at the heart of Christianity. Grace is subsequent to the Cross.

For Grace-Mongers, conservatives are the excuse to do nothing since taking action outside of displaying the fruit of the Spirit is a "work." (This is similar to the fact that for some monstrous Apostolics, the existence of backsliders and liberals is an excuse to do nothing except "be holy.")

The difference between the grace-monger and the Gnostic Pentecostal I spoke of last week is that the gnostics think they are doing something in their prayer but excuse themselves from actually doing anything within our material world. The grace-mongers just simply admit they are doing nothing and say "yeah we should do more, but Love Wins and thus we don't have to do anything."

Grace-mongers aren't actually speaking of Christ's love when they flaunt grace and love. They are talking about tolerance. That's the dirty secret us liberals don't want to tell the conservatives. Love for us (or them) is too hard a concept, especially when it says we have to LOSE OUR LIFE AND CARRY OUR CROSS. Love then for them is just an excuse to escape it's absolute dedication past going to church. This "grace" love just tries making Christianity palatable and mushy. That is, "grace" love is is weightless. And thus, this "grace" love ceases to be Christianity at all. Rather Grace-mongers heist the divine command for faithfulness to the cross in revolutionary upheaval of the powers of the world and replace it with an easy, moralistic positive humanism to which "loss," "death," and "obedience" to fidelity to the cross is cast to the seas.

I'm not saying Apostolics are any better off, but at least they still revere Christian Love enough to admit they aren't doing a good enough job with it.

Give me the Apostolic who sees the Love for your neighbor as yourself as a nearly impossible command to be pursued and thus tries it anyways over the liberal who thinks love means "politeness" and tolerance of the person as they stand in their nature.

For the Grace-monger, Christianity simply means having faith that Christ died and resurrected and in response we "love" our neighbors by asking them how their day went and giving five dollars to a homeless man here and there and saying "Grace wins."


The grace-monger will freely quote the phrase "work out your own salvation" conveniently forgetting the words at the end of the verse "with fear and trembling."

Now the accusation is that i am now a legalist or something to the effect...very well....my entire point of this post is that Grace should be the cause of our Action which is a response to that loving grace. To point to grace as an excuse to do nothing entirely obliterates what God's grace was intended for: To be reconciled so we can reconcile others.

Just as if proclaiming the Truth or Christ means nothing unless such declarations are actively lived out through dedication to redeeming and emancipating our Neighbor from the chains of bondage, death, and sin, so too, is proclaiming the grace of God useless unless it is lived out in a vigilant, never ceasing love in action.

Anything less than love accompanying our Truth, Grace, and our relationship with Jesus is pure delusion and self-flattery.