prisonchaplain

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Everything posted by prisonchaplain

  1. Probably not. We're too busy being infuriated at how quickly the Democrats re-discovered the 1st Amendment, after telling us we were killing the world by demanding to go to church--by-drive-through, without being ticketed $500 by the state patrol. Now these same folks are calling anyone who mentions COVID-19 'tone deaf.' It's just that when Bush conservatives get mad, instead of throwing petrol bombs we cast ballots.
  2. I suppose Candace Owens (Farmer) is a bit too young . . .
  3. prisonchaplain

    Carb's Take on Racism

    Amen, @anatess2. Amen!
  4. prisonchaplain

    LDS vs. non-LDS Christian views of the Bible

    I respect science and mathematics, in part, because I was mediocre at it. Detail people impress me greatly, again, because I'm not one. Sometimes the reverse can happen. Detail people recognize that big-picture people, or Humanities folks, think differently. Sometimes the quest for data makes seeing 'larger' a struggle. So...when I encounter someone gifted in arenas I am not, I may try to study up a bit, just to gain a common vocabulary. However, I find the best approach--one that is biblical--is to mostly listen, and only speak when I truly believe I have something that is both insightful and anointed to offer.
  5. prisonchaplain

    Carb's Take on Racism

    I humbly disagree. My seven years in Korea do not make me much of an expert. However, my sense is that the Koreans I encountered (circa 1987-93) thought racially mostly because they did not encounter other races much. At the time the country was 99.6% Korean. White Americans found it much easier to get teaching jobs than Americans of other races because we "looked American." That's racial ignorance, not hatred. Koreans of that era loved and hated America. They loved our manufactured stuff, and the older generation remained thankful for our part in the Korean War. However, yes, there was some nationalism. Having foreign soldiers based on their soil was humiliating. It would be for any country. So, while we helped them we also reminded them of their weakness (at the time). Further, most Koreans do have an internal pride in how hard they work, how much they are able to endure, how much they value education, etc. One can look at this as well-earned pride in culture and people or as racist superiority. I see more of the former.
  6. prisonchaplain

    LDS vs. non-LDS Christian views of the Bible

    Andy Stanley is well aware that many are critical of his approaches and statements--especially those of us who teach scripture. My concern is that too much human-conjured empathy for sin and disbelief damages our own faith far more than it impresses the target of our efforts.
  7. Yesterday was the Day of Pentecost, and I was invited as the virtual preacher. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTM2X-JJO6o
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW33xaMWWfY&t=1s
  9. prisonchaplain

    LDS vs. non-LDS Christian views of the Bible

    I was joking. Andy Stanley is a mega-church pastor who works really hard at trying to convert educated agnostics/atheists--especially those who have walked away from faith. Within the last couple of years or so he went so far as to say he was done defending the Old Testament. It was not necessary for Christians to do so, nor, by implication, to rely on it. The "tell" in the joke is that I, a prison chaplain in Seattle, could convince this rather famous preacher to have a Zoom session with @Vort at 4:00 a.m. BTW...I have no idea as to whether Andy Stanley has said anything about LDS one way or the other. @Vort was playing along with my joke, which either speaks well or poorly for both of us.
  10. prisonchaplain

    LDS vs. non-LDS Christian views of the Bible

    I thought I could answer that @Carborendum but neither @Vort nor Andy Stanley invited me to the session.
  11. BTW, the rise in prominence of worship teams and of corporate worship itself is likely more positive than negative. We preachers were never supposed to be that important. After all, to minister is to serve. Similarly, if the worship team is doing right they lead us into the presence of God. We worship, often with joy, sometimes with awe. In a sense we may be rediscovering the type of worship done in the Old Testament. Micah wasn't too impressed, but Heavenly Father seemed good with it.
  12. I suppose it depends on the denomination or branch. For example, for the large, non-denominational churches, the worship team has become almost as important as the minister. Many worship leaders give mini-devotions during their services--especially if they have concerts. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the main person to be an ordained minister. My own church is an outlier. We are socially and theologically very conservative (with both Evangelical and Fundamentalist impulses), yet we have always ordained women as ministers, believing such to be a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy about the end times (your manservants and maidservants shall prophesy [sometimes understood to mean preach]). Still, I'm not sure what the long-term effect will be. Certainly, we'll have well-educated female leadership. Still, I would guess that the schools of theology would be lopsided in the other direction--mostly male.
  13. This might be the deciding factor. I just checked Arizona State University, and the ratio is 52:48 (f/m). So, Grand Canyon University, which is Evangelical Christian, and located in Phoenix, is about 60:40. I always warn my freshman daughter, who attends there, to be careful, that the ASU boys will be swooping down to GCU, looking for some good Christian girls . . .
  14. The short answer is that I do not know. My guess is that the culture has discouraged manhood while celebrating the rise and empowerment of females. Perhaps some of that has seeped into the church. Promise Keepers seemed so necessary, but was virulently attacked by feminists. Churches gradually stopped encouraging men to go. There were a few 'biblical manhood' type books in the 1990s and 2000s. You don't seem them anymore. Rev. Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill Churches, eventually resigned, because of accusations he was too, well... masculine (very strong leadership that some considered disrespectful and even bullying). I really do not know, but I suspect that this is not the most promising time to be growing up as a young Christian man. The secular schools are probably similar in demographics.
  15. I kinda figured. Now BYU is an outlier, in that the makeup is almost 50/50 m/f. Most Evangelical Christian schools--especially the honors colleges/programs--are 60%+ female. None of this really matters though. It only takes the right one--that one Heavenly Father smiles and winks at you about--to make the right match.
  16. I'm going to ask an ignorant question, since my church has the opposite problem. We sometimes joke about being the Assemblies of Girls, 'cause so many non-married adults are female, within the church. So, while I understand that many in the 18-22 year range might hold out for the ideal partner, post-college I suspect that most singles are just looking for someone that can share love with them and uphold the same religious values. So, if OP is post-22, does it really matter so much that the convert with some medical issues was not properly situated to serve a mission?
  17. The only summary I have for this one is: WE CAN RECOVER FROM OUR SINS. https://www.facebook.com/anglelakechurch/videos/244912360067433
  18. To summarize the story: A judge ruled that the governor's (Oregon) extension of a 28-day executive order by 60-days was null and void since she did not get consent from the state legislature. Further, the judge seemed to agree with many of the plaintiff's contentions--mostly from churches. I first read this in the Epoch Times, a conservative publication. So, I checked to see if the mainstream media had suppressed the story or not. To my positive amazement, both Time and ABC News reported on it. Here's the ABC version: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-tosses-coronavirus-restrictions-oregon-governor-70751385 So...were the churches bad actors, protecting their church budgets by threatening members and the community at large with rampant spreading of COVID-19, or were they religious liberty guardians, assuring that the balance between free exercise of religion and state emergency powers be maintained with great care?
  19. prisonchaplain

    Bad Citizens or Religious Liberty Guardians

    Okay...I get that there are narrow definitions by which the Epoch Times might not be considered conservative. However, an anti-Communist, pro-Traditional Values, pro-Trump, Anti-China paper qualifies as conservative (or Right) on my book. Apparently, I am not such an outlier: https://www.allsides.com/news-source/epoch-times-media-bias says they initially labeled Epoch Times as "leans right," and now label it as full-on Right.
  20. prisonchaplain

    Politicians Religion and Media Bias

    I was going to take your post and start a new topic...but I think the original has run its course. So... in the Assemblies of God our congregations are mostly independent, financially. Each church supports missionaries, domestic drug rehabilitation (Teen Challenge), emergency response efforts (Convoy of Hope), etc. In fact, every year my church cooperates with Samaritan's Purse Shoebox program, and Samaritan's Purse is not an Assemblies of God program. That said, my congregation went virtual and has been following the governor's guidance. We expect to return to in-person services mid-July, since drive-in doesn't make sense for us. Some of our members are struggling financially. Fortunately, Union Gospel Mission (again, not Assemblies of God) has been working with local churches to distribute food items. We maintain a small food/clothing bank, as well. I've not heard than any churches are closing. However, our smaller churches are often led by pastors who also work outside jobs. So, depending on the type of job, I imagine some of them were stretched quite thin. Those of us in chaplaincy are mostly working essential jobs, and many have the opposite problem--12-hour shifts, plus working in places in which the stress level is sky high.
  21. Sometimes current events collides with gospel discussion. I've noticed headlines from more liberal and Democratic sources that seem openly biased--mainly in which stories are chosen. Any church, clergyperson, or religiously-oriented COVID cases get billed as foolish Christians opposing health and science, putting community at risk, and dying from COVID-19. No discussion of circumstances, rates of infection/death, etc. Sometimes just individual cases that build the anecdotal evidence that the closers are right and the openers are dangerous. In contrast, more conservative and Republican sources portray governors who are irreligious targeting religions, and most especially, they are pitting LGBT advocates against Christians (they're using the virus to get revenge). I just read an article from heterodox academy that suggests people's perspectives on the virus are much more predicted by political ideology than by experience. It marveled that conservatives are usually the more cautious, but in this case the script is very much flipped. I shake my head at the political divide of this health crisis, yet see that I too feel the more conservative way. Our leaders are doing well to keep our congregations in compliance with state guidelines, but I really wonder if we will take the time, when this is over, to figure out what really happened, where lines should be drawn, and perhaps most important, how we can heal the broken lines of trust that used to be America. It was not so long ago that our politicians fought like cats and dogs during lawmaking debates, but treated each other like loyal Americans otherwise.
  22. prisonchaplain

    Politicians Religion and Media Bias

    @Traveler I actually considered LDS history--especially the MO Gov's extermination order--as I wrote my words. It's true that your ancestors were treated badly. Mine were too--though much less so. Our preachers were tarred and feathered, and occasionally an evangelist would be jailed for practicing medicine without a license (faith healing). I don't pretend to know or feel the animosity your people have felt from fellow Americans, and I certainly don't want to disrespect that difficult history. What we do share is that there was a lengthy period of time in U.S. History during which the culture embraced our mores. Sex before marriage was sin, gambling was considered a weakness by many, drunkenness the same. Cussing was crass. And, of course, Christmas and Easter included civic observances in public parks, often with politicians nodding and smiling. The culture's affection was never deep, and the politicos were seldom sincere, but it was still kinda nice. :::sigh:::
  23. prisonchaplain

    Politicians Religion and Media Bias

    We've all heard about how the Romans used to feed Christians to the lions. There is actually an interesting historic document--a letter written by an early Christian leader to a Roman Caesar. In it he asks the Caesar to please tell citizens to stop saying "Christians to the lions" every time there is a natural disaster (the people believed that the Christians could stop the disasters by praying to their God, but chose not to). I doubt that this leader expected praises and adulations from the Caesar. However, he seemed to have hope that his appeal my carry some traction. The United States, for most of its history, had a very broad and shallow deference to Judeo-Christian morality. It's only in the last 40 years or so that this has declined. So, praise? No. Traction? Perhaps a little.
  24. prisonchaplain

    Bad Citizens or Religious Liberty Guardians

    I am amazed at how quickly the left abandoned the "You can't legislate morality" mantra that was so prevalent not so long ago. Today they oppose free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly/association--well, just freedom in general. Why? They wish to impose anti-racism, anti-genderism, anti-capitalism, anti-classism, etc. They are more than happy to also impose racial/gender/orientation preferences. We on the right might be guilty of wanting to use government to protect unborn lives, etc., but our inclination towards liberty restrains our totalitarian impulses (power does corrupt). Liberalism offers no such qualms or hesitations.
  25. prisonchaplain

    Bad Citizens or Religious Liberty Guardians

    small-c conservative. :-)