Month: April 2011

Annual Stars and Stripes Stampede Auction

I attended this dinner last night at Calvary Chapel in Idaho Falls.  Every year the church hosts this fundraiser for the Calvary Chapel Christian School.

  • I saw team members of the Boise State Girls Basketball Team in the front entryway.  Almost all of them were as tall as me (or taller). 
  • Jennell Faulkner did a nice job leading the children’s singing.  I always love listening to my girl, Mariah, sing.  And my daughter had the basketball players autograph her costume bandana.
  • Sandy Bird did a nice job decorating.
  • Coach Scotty’s Christianity is contagious.
  • The food was good:  salad, chicken, baked potatoes, and dessert.  The students did a nice job serving.
  • I left after the meal.  So I missed the auction.  I heard that Jennell did a fine job tricking everybody in a game of “Simon says”.
  • My daughter shared with me that the autographed BSU football went for around $1000.
  • And I was told the Italian vacation went for approximately $6500.  Nice.
  • I hope it was all a big success for the school.

United Methodist Stance on Free Will in Idaho Falls

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church - their May 2011 newsletter teaches (p. 3):

We are continuing our series this month on “What do United Methodists believe?”  Sometimes it is easier to understand your beliefs when you contrast them with what other people believe.  One belief that separates Methodists from other denominations is the doctrine of free will.  There are churches that teach that an ‘elect’ group of people have been chosen by God to be ‘predestined’ to be saved.  This doctrine of ‘predestination’ is found in many Baptist, Presbyterian, Fundamentalist, and Evangelical churches.  One problem with this view is that if God elects some for salvation, God must elect others for damnation.  John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, strongly disagreed with this belief.  He argued that if God has predetermined who is saved, all preaching is vain.  Predestination does away with the need for Christian revelation and practice,  because nothing could change the eternal decree of God.  Predestination makes God into a false, unjust one who condemns many who earnestly desire salvation.

Wesley taught the following three key points fundamental to Methodism:

  1. Man is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it (free salvation) by an act of human will.
  2. All people who are obedient to the Gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will be saved (universal salvation).
  3. The Holy Spirit assures man of his salvation directly, through an inner ‘experience’ (sure salvation).

But let me ask this question:  Why should I let man’s logic require that I have to believe in a double predestination?  That God predestines people to be conformed into the image of His Son and live with joy in heaven forever and that likewise God predestines people to be conformed into the image of Satan and live with agony in hell forever?  Why?

This is a crucial question in the I-15 Corridor.

Kristin Glaser of Cornerstone Pentecostal

I liked what Kristin Glaser from Cornerstone Pentecostal in Idaho Falls wrote in the recent Cornerstone Pentecostal newsletter (2011):

We are well on our way into 2011 and I can’t help but rejoice in the things that I was able to leave behind. As I have thought of all I was able to let go of, I realize that there are some things we just can’t get rid of so easily. The one thing that comes to the forefront of my mind is the “refining” process that the Bible tells us so clearly that we will go through. First, we have the refining process of gold. Job 23:10 says “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” The process in which gold is refined is both complicated and expensive. Sounds like the trying of our faith doesn’t it? We question God at every turn to find out if this process is necessary. Does it have to be done this way? So uncomfortable? So hot? And the price of refining is expensive, it costs us our lives, dying to ourselves. When gold is refined, the furnace reaches 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot! That temperature is necessary to remove the impurities, the junk. The gold is heated evenly for 2 1/2 hours, and then some of the impurities are tested to see if any gold remains. If there is any trace of gold in the impurities, the whole thing is placed back into the furnace until the gold and impurities are separated completely. “When he has tested me” and the impurities are removed, then, and only then, can I “come forth as gold.” Malachi 3:3 says “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” To refine silver, the silversmith needs to hold the silver in the middle of the hottest flames to burn away the impurities, a process different from gold refining. A silversmith not only has to hold the silver in the flame the entire time, but he also has to keep a close eye on it because, if its left in the flames a moment too long, the silver will be destroyed. A women once asked a silversmith “How do you know when the silver has been refined?” “Oh that’s easy,” he replied, “When I see my image in the silver.” What a wonderful picture of what God is doing in us during the times we spend in the fire. He is making us a reflection of His image. I have been in many refining furnaces, and one thing I have learned is that they don’t last forever. God’s word tells us that He will never give us more than we can handle. The flames will never bring us to the point of destroying us, although sometimes it can feel that way. As He holds us in His hand, His eyes are never removed from us, and, at just the right moment, never too late, He brings us out and, as He looks at us, He can see His reflection. C.S. Lewis once said “Often the key to conquering suffering is the willingness to suffer.” So, give up! I’m not saying to jump out of the fire. Give up to God. When we cry out to God, “I can’t do this on my own, I need you, I’m giving you my hurt, my pain, my anger, my way of doing things!” That’s what He is waiting for. At that point, you can feel the Refiner’s grace wash over you. Sometime it’s immediately and sometimes it’s slowly, but we will be taken out of the fire and looking a little more like Jesus.

And by the way, young Michael Glaser looked good in the big pic on the front page of the sports section of our local paper, today.  Congratulations on his home run in Skylines’ 12-2 win over rival Idaho Falls.

Is Mormonism Protestant?

That is usually not a tough question to answer for those living in Southeastern Idaho.

Christopher asks the question over at The Juvenile InstructorProfessor Charles Cohen offers an answer.  Cohen suggests “cultural similarity is not theological, doctrinal, and liturgical similarity.”

That sentence is worthy of exploration by a book to be written by someone living within the I-15 Corridor.  Actually, books could be devoted on both the popular and scholarly level.  We need some clarity on the issue.