What one observes on the internet . . .

1.  Fellow Southern Idaho Baptist pastor runs a marathon.  Good job, Paul.  And for a good cause!

2.  John MacArthur predicts reversal of reformed revival

3.  I don’t understand Cal’s ecumenism at all.

4.  And I don’t quite understand Lou Martuneac’s interjection on Roger Olson’s blog.  HT: Dave Doran

5.  Over in Jackson Hole, from the LDS perspective, Dave gets into Bible & Authority.  But notice the S.E. Idaho nuance from Jettboy on the same topic.

But let me counter with an illustration.  My little boy, Micaiah, is enrolled in Calvary Chapel Christian School in Idaho Falls.  His Day 1, Bible Lesson 1, homework paper includes the following:

The Bible is the greatest book that has ever been written.  In it God Himself speaks to mankind.  It is a book of divine instruction.  The Bible is not simply one book.  It is an entire library of books that contain a wide variety of information, but it is tied together by one central purpose.  The Bible was written by dozens of authors over a period of 1,600 years.  It was written in three languages on three continents.  The authors were poets, educators, singers, princes, kings, fishermen, and statesmen.  Some of these authors were great scholars, while others were unlearned and ignorant.

It would seem that with this many authors and it being written over 1,600 years, the individual pieces of the Bible would not fit together well.  Yet there is great unity throughout the book because really there was only one Author.  To understand how so many authors could be unified in their writing of one book, we need to understand that there really was only one main Author.

Can we hear a shout of amen?  The Bob Jones University and Pensacola curriculum do a fine job.

Some of the worksheet questions:

  1. What is the central message of the Bible (v. 12)?  Micaiah wrote, “Get Jesus and be saved.”
  2. How then can we “see” God?  Micaiah penciled, “We can pray and read the Bible.”

Day 3 worksheet records

2 Timothy 3:16 gives four reasons for us to study God’s Word.  List the four reasons below as given in the verse.  Beside each reason, look up the word in the dictionary and write the definition.  We need to make sure we understand the purposes for studying God’s Word.

Micaiah wrote,

  1. teaching – it can teach you patshens
  2. rebuking – to corect
  3. correcting – to chang ha we were acting
  4. traning in rigesness – showing me how to live

I think that is pretty good Bibliology for a little Webelo in S.E. Idaho.

36 Comments ↓

36 Comments on “What one observes on the internet . . .”

  1. FrGregACCA September 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    But here’s the deal: the Bible (and the rest of the Tradition) is the road map. Knowing this material, as important as that is, is not itself the experience of God to which it bears witness in lives of the Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, etc.

    I can sit here online all day and figure out the best route to take and the methods of transportation to employ, to go from here in East Tennessee to Idaho Falls because, Todd, I want to meet you face-to-face, but unless I get up and get in the car and drive to Idaho Falls, or fly, or take the bus, or some combination, of whatever, all the reading and the planning is just that, reading and planning. That by itself is necessary, but it is not sufficient to actually get me to Idaho Falls.

  2. Dave September 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Thanks for the link, Todd. And I just picked up another N. T. Wright book, What Saint Paul Really Said. He seems like the kind of conservative scholar that says many things that both mainstream Latter-day Saints and conservative Christians can agree on.

  3. Todd Wood September 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    With the Bible in my hand and the mighty Wind filling me, I would be that prophetic, apostolic martyr (lowercase p, lowercase a, lowercase m) for the Lamb, who is worthy. Let me be doer and not just a hearer in this land.

    But the Bible has got to be in my hand. And let it be the road map, the lamp, the hammer, the fire – not the internet blogs, nor the commentaries of our traditions, nor the polls, nor the religious hierarchy.

  4. Todd Wood September 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Greetings Dave. With Greg’s talk of driving to Idaho Falls, when are you going to make a trip over the Teton pass and visit Berean Baptist Church on a Sunday morning?

  5. FrGregACCA September 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Well, Todd: it is interesting. It seems that the folks who are most concerned about the authority of Scripture, usually in the context of “sola Scriptura” (a doctrine not only not found in Scripture, but one that goes against what Scripture actually teaches), are also the ones who are the most likely to ignore or to try to explain away those things in Scripture which go against their preconceived notions, notions that are usually grounded in an early modern, nominalist philosophical framework.

    For whatever reason, it seems to require the Apostolic hierarchy, the authority of which Scripture itself proclaims, within the context of the authority of the Church which that hierarchy leads, as well as the fullness of the Apostolic Tradition, in order to embrace all that Scripture itself teaches, merely on its face.

    “All of Orthodoxy is found in the Bible, but much of it in passages that we did not underline when we were Evangelicals.” – Fr. Peter Gillquist

  6. Todd Wood September 9, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Well if the Orthodox and Evangelicals got more into their Bibles, it would be good.

  7. gundek September 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    3. I don’t understand Cal’s ecumenism at all.

    Because Cal’s ecumenism is not based on an honest understanding. It is a white wash of theology and a gross fundamentalism rejecting any truth or doctrine of the Bible not found in single verse. It is a enlightening demonstration of what 1 man left alone with his Bible and the internet can do.

    I feel closer in doctrine to Fr Greg than Cal despite the many differences we have, because both of us believe those doctrinal issues matter and if given another 2,000 years we may find true agreement built on a mutual understanding and a catholicity of Christ’s Church.

    Cal on the other hand has turned ecclesiology into a spelling test. As long as you spell God “Jesus” your in.

  8. FrGregACCA September 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Hopefully, gundek, it won’t take 2,000 years to get you chrismated…

    You either, Todd!

    ;-)

  9. Cal September 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    I’m puzzled. A link at GraceforGrace.com landed me here. Did someone want me to engage in the discussion here?

  10. Todd Wood September 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Cal, from time to time, I read Grace for Grace. And it is just that I get dumbfounded periodically by your attempts at ecumenism with LDS friends.

  11. Cal September 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I perfectly understand that. As Doug says, I’m “out of the box.”

    It wasn’t easy for God to open my eyes. It’s a long story that began about 25 years ago.
    At some point I realized I couldn’t trust evangelicals to tell me the whole truth about LDS doctrine. Then the Holy Spirit made me into a fruit inspector as Jesus said I should be.
    Then I found out that the LDS DOES believe Jesus is the divine Son of God who died on the cross for our sins, and that he sits at the right hand of God for our forgiveness, etc.
    Then the Spirit of God enabled me to see that all their false doctrine—and there is lots of it—has to do with nonessential issues.
    As a result of my contact with Mormons I also began to see that Mormons truly are deceived, that is, they don’t preach error knowing that it’s error. And the blood of Christ covers our unintentional sin as far as our justification is concerned. The Old Testament sacrifices did (Lev. 4), so certainly Christ’s atonement can.

    Do you like Grace for Grace? The mood at Grace for Grace is so much more peaceful and godly than it is on Tim Dando’s blog, don’t you think? I’ve come to respect the manager of Grace for Grace. (I respect you as well. :-))

    God’s blessings to you. . . . I’m going to go watch the Federer-Jocavich (bad spelling) match that I taped earlier today!

    Thanks for listening. Pray about it!

  12. FrGregACCA September 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by, Cal. You write:

    “As a result of my contact with Mormons I also began to see that Mormons truly are deceived, that is, they don’t preach error knowing that it’s error. And the blood of Christ covers our unintentional sin as far as our justification is concerned.”

    Well, Todd, do you see where “imputed righteousness” and “forensic justification” can take you?

  13. Todd Wood September 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Is that a fair question? So what if this was the premise of the modern Day LDS Prophet, Priest, and Seer: “And the blood of Christ does not cover our unintentional sin as far as our justification is concerned.”

    And then I said, “Well, Greg, do you see where your rejection of “imputed righteousness” and “forensic justification” can take you?

  14. Todd Wood September 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Cal, let me get back with you later.

  15. FrGregACCA September 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Uh, Todd? Cal is INVOKING “imputed righteousness” and “forensic justification” here to give Mormonism a pass.

  16. Cal September 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi, Father Greg.

    I just want to make sure you’re understanding me correctly. You probably are but I want to make sure.
    I believe that all the false teachings of Mormonism have a negative effect on their behavior and that Jesus would correct them just as he did the churches of Revelation 2 & 3 if they would listen to his voice.

    God accepts us as we are when we turn to him in faith, then he begins the clean-up operation! Do you believe that?

  17. FrGregACCA September 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    “God accepts us as we are when we turn to him in faith, then he begins the clean-up operation! Do you believe that?”

    That would be my opinion also, Cal. However, one can say that of anyone, regardless if they identify in any way as “Christian” or not. This in no way can be used to determine if someone has become a “new creation” in Christ.

  18. Cal September 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    I’m glad you agree with my statement, Father Greg. I’ll assume, then, that you are a Christian and not just a minister!

    What do you believe is the minimum that the LDS would have to change in order to become a Christian organization?

  19. FrGregACCA September 13, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Cal, a “Christian organization” or a “Church” in the full and proper sense of the word?

    I would consider the Community of Christ, formerly the RLDS, a “Christian organization” (if rather on the liberal side theologically).

    “No salvation outside the Church.”

  20. Cal September 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I’m encouraged by your categorization of the Community of Christ, Father. They still have a lot of Mormon flavor and many still think they’re a cult.

    You don’t appear to be a sectarian Christian!

  21. FrGregACCA September 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Sectarian, Cal? I hope not.

    The Community of Christ has basically rejected those things which make the Utah LDS problemmatic: things like the idea that “spirit is matter”, that God the Father is an exalted man who exists only within the cosmos, creation is organizing the unvierse from eternal pre-existent matter, and the rest of it.

    The Community of Christ embraces traditional Christian Trinitarian theism.

    But rather than minimalism, I would rather discuss maximalism. What does it mean to embrace the FULNESS of the Apostolic Orthodox Christian faith?

    As I have stated elsewhere, I think that the reason the Brighhamite LDS movement was able to take off was that it was never engaged by that fulness during the years of its formation. The B-LDS doctrine addresses questions ignored by confessional low church Protestantism, but does so in ways that radically diverge from the ways in which Orthodox Christianity deals with these questions. I wrote the following several years ago:

    http://vagantepriest.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-hath-rome-to-do-with-salt-lake.html

  22. Cal September 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Father Greg,

    Does the Community of Christ use the Book of Mormon as scripture? (You know a lot more about them than I do.) And what’s your opinion of the B of M?

    I found the CC’s evaluation of Joseph Smith’s life refreshing, balanced, & pretty accurate, if I remember correctly—it’s been a while since I researched their beliefs. I think they recognize that God used him in some extraordinary ways, but they have the discernment not to accept his many strays from the truth. Is that right?

    One more comment: The idea that God the Father is an exalted man surely sounds or is blasphemous, and is a shock to the orthodox ear.
    But I think God has trained me consider such doctrines on a practical level.
    If you consider Mormonism as a whole, you find it gives its adherents lots of reasons to entrust their lives to God through our Savior.
    I think that’s what matters in the end. Does the LDS give their members reasons to trust in God, and even more importantly, do they actually encourage their members to trust in Him through Christ?

    Do you live in the so-called Mormon Corridor, or near Pastor Todd?

    Have a great evening. I appreciate your spirit.

  23. FrGregACCA September 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Cal:

    I grew up in NE Montana, but have been in the SE U.S. for virtually all of the past 30 years, thanks to a trip, back in the day, paid for by the U.S. Navy and by the fact that I met my wife while stationed in Charleston. We have recently moved from South Carolina to East Tennessee, which is where our Church is primarily centered. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Todd, but somehow discovered his blog online. I am a former Evangelical who grew up in a broadly eclectic Wesleyan/Holiness/Pentecostal environment and who then traveled through both Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism before discovering that Orthodoxy is, indeed, the truth and that the Orthodox Churches are, indeed, THE Church. I have been a priest since 1995.

    I think your assessment of the C of C is fairly accurate.

    I do not reject the Brighamite doctrine of God and the rest of it, including the “ecclesiology of the Utah Mormon organization, merely in the abstract. Aside from the question of truth, ideas have consequences, and inevitably, one’s understanding of God will be reflected in one’s life and in the community life of one’s religious organization.

    Therefore, I have to ask: is the Christ of Temple Square in fact Jesus of Nazareth? That, to my mind, is questionable at best. Related to this, seemingly without knowing what he was doing, Philip Pullman thoroughly trashed the Mormon concept of God in “His Dark Materials”. A god who, as such, is merely an exalted man, is no god at all and, if he insists on claiming that title, is in fact lying and in so doing, is actually oppressing the human race, and, by his presumption, is further demonstrating that he can have no claim on anyone’s loyalty. He is an imposter.

    And, since the doctrine of God is wrong, the “ecclesiology” is also wrong. BTW, Mormonism is not alone in this. We see it in Judaism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism.

    God the Most Blessed Trinity is the Eternal, Archetypal Community in whose image and likeness humanity is created, both as a species and as distinct persons. Further, as part of the process of redemption, humanity is being recreated as such in the Church, the Body of Christ.

    The unity of the Trinity is grounded in the Father, who eternally generates the Son/Word and “breathes forth” the Holy Spirit which, in turn, eternally “rests upon” the Son. At the same time, each Divine Person mutually indwells the other two, a process usually called “perichoresis”. Thus, when St. Paul writes concerning Christians (and prior to that, all humans) that “we are members one of another” he does so because humanity, first, and then, more specifically, the Church as the Body of Christ, is an ikon, or image, of the Trinity.

    Thus, the organization of the Church, as founded by Christ and preserved by the Orthodox Churches, is both hierarchical/vertical and networked/horizontal. However, because of either rejecting the Trinity or having distorted the genuine Orthodox understanding of the Trinity, the groups mentioned above also distort their organizational structures, either in terms of being pretty much completely centralized and top-down (Mormonism and Roman Catholicism for example) or having gone off in the opposite direction and having become overly “democratic” (most Protestant organizations, for example). The balance between Person and Community, found in God the Trinity and reflected in the structures of the Orthodox Churches, is lost.

    Now regarding the “great apostasy”: the Christ of the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth, by his life, teachings, death, resurrection, ascension, and the giving of the Holy Spirit, founded a Church, a Christian Community, a visible, social organization, continuous in time and space. He promised to be with said Church “until the end of the age” and endowed its leadership, the Apostles, with a mandate to run things as they saw fit under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with the consent of the Church as a whole and said to them, “He who hears you, hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me.” They, in turn, perpetuated that leadership in the offices of bishop and presbyter, assisted by the diaconate. Jesus, and St. Paul, identify this Church with “the Body of Christ,” “the fullness of [Christ] who fills all in all”, etc.

    Thus, there is simply no place, no possibility, of a great apostasy.

    Now the Utah LDS organization claims to be the “restoration” of said Church, a restoration made necessary by said “great apostasy”. Thus, the LDS organization is founded upon a fundamental falsehood.

    Therefore, if certain of its members are indeed “members of Christ” by way of genuine faith, it is in spite of, not because of, the fact that they are also members of the LDS organization and are not only depriving themselves of the communion with God that is present in the Orthodox Church, but are, in fact, participating in the things designed to take the place of those things, those mysteries, which facilitate such communion. Thus, they go at least one step beyond Protestants in this regard, away from the truth and life of the fullness of the Boyd of Christ.

  24. Cal September 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    Hello again, Father,

    I found your history interesting.
    As far as I can ascertain, my concept of the Trinity is the same as yours.
    You apparently recognize that someone can become a “member of Christ by way of genuine faith” without attending an Orthodox church. That is reassuring.

    My wife & I visited an Orthodox church here in Claremont, New Hampshire, one day. It struck me as similar to an Anglican or Catholic church in comparison to the more lively charismatic services that I like.

    I love reading the Bible and other anointed Christian books, praying (including tongues), and listening to praise songs—generally getting into His wonderful presence, tasting heaven ahead of time. God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) are so incredibly patient and loving.

    Apparently, priests in the Orthodox church can marry?

    I lived in Kingsport, Tenn., in 1982. That’s where I became a Christian! I kept running into Christians wherever I turned.
    I liked the easy-to-get-to-know, laid back southern folks.

  25. Cal September 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    If you feel like answering another question:
    What is a typical day like in the life of a priest?

  26. FrGregACCA September 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Cal:

    Married men can be ordained Orthodox priests in the mainstream jurisdictions. In my neck of the woods, that of “vagante” Independent Orthodoxy, priests can indeed often marry.

    I am glad that your concept of the Trinity is the same as that of Orthodoxy. That is reassuring! ;-)

    I consider myself “post-charismatic”. Supernatural gifts have never left the Apostolic Churches, but OTOH, they do not show up willy-nilly (except perhaps in RC charismatic renewal circles). Significantly, charismatic renewal has never taken root within Orthodoxy. (For wonder-working, see, for example, “St. John Maximovich” and “St. Seraphim of Sarnov”. Today, many non-Orthodox charismatics consider St. Symeon the New Theologian to be proto-charismatic. Whatever the case, he certainly experienced the work of the Holy Spirit most powerfully.)

    If you have never attended the Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday morning Paschal Service of the Byzantine Rite, please do so. Every Christian should experience it at least once.

    To answer your question about a typical day: Well, that assumes that there is a typical priest. ;-) There may be, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not one, and that I don’t know any others who are, even among mainstream clergy, Orthodox or Roman Catholic.

    My colleagues and I are all tent-makers, for starters. Second, vagantes (a word often used disparagingly; it means “wandering”. It originally applied to bishops who, having been removed from their sees by persecution, barbarian invasion, or what-have-you, “wandered” from place to place, often causing trouble – of course, “trouble” is not always a bad thing. Today, it refers to independent bishops, their clergy, and their churches, the criteria for which, besides a claim to valid Holy Orders/Apostolic Succession, is, I think, pretty much a lack of size and political clout, despite all protestations to the contrary. Anyway, since we as Christians are all pilgrims and therefore, wanderers, having no permanent city here, but seeking the city which is to come, I embrace the term. Besides, “all who wander are not lost”.)

    That does not mean that there are no crazies among the vagantes: “buyer beware”.

    Anyway, as I was saying, vagantes, at their best, are chaplains to the “used, abused, and utterly screwed up” (see a novel called “The Last Western” by one Thomas Klise). That means a fair amount of crisis intervention and prayer for people in the ups-and-downs of difficult lives.

    As I said, I am a tent-maker. I am currently working third shift as a night auditor at a hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My wife and I have recently relocated here to assist a colleague couple (THIS vagante Orthodox Church ordains women) in rebuilding a parish that was once rather thriving.

    Right now, that means celebrating the Liturgy on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. That also means, at the moment, preparing a young couple who are being reintroduced to Christianity and introduced to Orthodoxy for the first time, for chrismation (confirmation) as well as their marriage and the baptism, chrismation, and First Communion of their two young sons.

    Yesterday afternoon, the four of us, me, my wife, and my two colleagues (who are married to each other) spent several hours with our bishop, in preparation for our annual clergy convocation, coming up October 1.

    Besides that, and certainly not as an afterthought, there is the question of prayer and study. There must always be time for both (prayer, of course, can and should be done “without ceasing”, which means that it should continue while others are being done). I am currently reading a book called “The Art of the Icon: a Theology of Beauty” by the late Orthodox theologian Paul Endokimov. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in theology.

    The bottom line is this: regardless of where I am, what I am doing, with whom I am speaking, I am always a priest, and I am pretty acutely aware of that about 95% of the time.

  27. Cal September 20, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    I’m curious why you stepped away from the charismatic scene. That seems like a step backwards from my viewpoint but I’m always open to learn. Did you ever speak in tongues when you were charismatic?

    Why is the Easter Paschal service of the Byzantine Rite so special?

    That’s good about you always being a priest. Do you believe all Christians are priests in a sense? As you know, in Peter it says we are a holy priesthood.

    On a personal note, my wife is grieving now—and of course I feel a lot of what she feels—because one of her daughters is not on speaking terms with one of her other daughters (they’re in their 40s). This has gone on for two weeks now. I’ve suggested to one of the daughters that she call and apologize. (I find apologizing works like magic—godly magic—in my marriage.) But the daughter doesn’t like me to suggest she has done anything wrong.

    I’m finding it best for me to say very little! Hard to keep mouth shut!
    Any helpful thoughts?

  28. FrGregACCA September 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Cal:

    Regarding charismatic renewal: God has certainly not abandoned His people, and that means that signs and wonders continue, and will continue. However, they are not the be-all and end-all, and often, it seems they are simpy the result of human suggestibility. Historically, they are connected with a very high level of asceticism and holiness that is obviously manifest apart from them. Jesus himself issues a cautionary note about them in Matthew 7:21-23. Plus, I have come to experience God in a much more profound way in other ways, ways that have withstood the test of time and are unequivocably endorsed by the Church and verified by the experience of her Saints.

    You ask about what makes Paschal Service so special. I guess I would say a unique conjunction of truth and beauty that opens the door to profound goodness! While the musical settings are at least half of it, an example of the text is the Paschal troparian, which is sung again and again in utter triumph: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”

    The Church as a whole is indeed a royal priesthood, as St. Peter writes. The Orthodox Church sees chrismation/confirmation (usually adminstered immediately after baptism, regardless of age, and before First Communion), as an ordination of sorts, admitting one to this royal priesthood. While indeed recognizing a distinction between the sacerdotal priesthood of deacon, presbyter, and bishop, on the one side, and the royal priesthood on the other, Orthodoxy has never experienced the kind of clericalism that became rampant in the Roman Catholic West.

    I am so sorry about what is happening in your family. Without knowing more, I can only suggest that you lift everyone involved up to God, interceding on their behalf in, with, and through our Lord Jesus Christ and, if you are comfortable doing so, together with his Mother and all the Saints, asking only that God’s will be done. I will join you in this. If you wish to contact me privately, my E-mail is FrGregACCA[at]yahoo[dot]com

  29. FrGregACCA September 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Also, Cal, you asked if I had spoken in tongues. Yes, I did, and I still do occasionally in private prayer.

  30. Todd Wood September 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    How do you test that?

  31. FrGregACCA September 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    “By their fruits you shall know them.”

    As I have moved more and more into Orthodox Christianity, such things have become less and less important. If it is not actually inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is my own subconscious acting and as such, it is harmless.

    The harm comes, as I see it, when prophecies are given that lead people into things like virtual New Age territory and/or “the Prosperity Gospel” (these are often very close and even intertwined).

  32. Cal September 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Todd has reappeared! :-)

    Is it true that Todd doesn’t mind if we stray off topic? If so, I appreciate it; if not, I can handle that, too. I’m thankful for this forum.

    Thanks, Father, for your prayers and personal email address. Now I have the privilege having my own internet pastor, or free counselor— however I want to look at it. The two-week long feud is the worst I’ve seen in my wife’s family since I married her almost 18 years ago. I’m praying it will lead to spiritual growth in the end.
    My pastor’s lesson last Sunday could not have been more timely. He spoke of trials being God’s pruning (John 15).

    That’s neat that you still pray in tongues. And your answer to Todd was perfect. When I pray in tongues (supernatural language[s]) for about 30 to 45 minutes, I always begin to feel His presence growing closer/stronger—peace, understanding of truth, love, strength to overcome temptation, etc., all increase! And I can easily do it while working, since my mind is not involved.

    You said, “Signs and wonders continue, and will continue. However, they are not the be-all and end-all. . . .”

    True. If you have faith to command a mountain to fall into the sea, but have not love . . .”—you know the rest! :-)

  33. FrGregACCA September 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Cal, Todd has been very tolerant of thread drift, and I too appreciate that. ;-)

    Feel free to E-mail me any time.

    In some ways, the Jesus prayer serves a purpose very similar to how you describe using prayer in tongues:

    “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner.”

  34. Cal September 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Yes, the Jesus prayer is good.

    If I think of it later, I’ll give you my take on the “prosperity gospel.”

    We had a breakthrough in the family crisis today! I had a feeling things were going to break when you started to pray. We’re not totally out of the woods yet, but our nine-year-old grandson, who is the son of the daughter who has been at the center of the problems, invited my wife over to his house tomorrow!

    We can pray that my wife will know what to say and what not to say to her daughter, that she’ll be able to discipline her mouth, and that tomorrow will be a healing time.

    Then we’ll need a breakthrough in the relationship between daughter #1 and daughter #2.

  35. FrGregACCA September 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    The prayers continue…

  36. Cal September 23, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    Thanks, Father. The meeting of my wife with her daughter went well.

    ——-
    Concerning prosperity, I don’t think the prosperity teachers are so much wrong as they are teaching only one side of the topic. (I’m thinking of Mike Murdock & those like him.)

    I agree that some falsehoods have been taught, such as the idea that your money comes back 100-fold when you give. Kenneth Hagin, one of my favorite teachers, pointed out that if your $ came back 100 times what you gave there would be a lot more millionaire & billionaire Christians walking around.

    However, I understand 1 Cor. 9:6-11 to say the $ does come back. How do you see those vv.? And expecting it to come back is simply faith in God’s Word. Faith pleases God.
    I hasten to add that vv. 12-14 go on to say that your giving has the benefit of meeting the needs of other Christians and will cause others to give thanks to God. These benefits of giving are, in my mind, just as important or more so.

    Kenneth Hagin also says that the reason we want to succeed financially, and the reason God wants us to succeed financially, is so we can give to the Lord’s work around the world. This takes $. And how can we give if we haven’t got any $?
    If it’s wrong want more $, then people should turn down the next raise they get at work!

    Oral Roberts defined financial prosperity as having your needs met and some left over to give. If that’s the definition, I believe God does want us to prosper financially. Put the kingdom of God first, and all these things will be added unto you (paraphrase of Jesus).

    One problem I see is that the prosperity teachers such as Oral Roberts, if you’ll allow me to abuse him for moment, don’t make plain what their definition is. This is evidenced by the fact that I was surprised when Oral gave his definition. I imagined that Oral Roberts and others were encouraging us to think luxurious cars, ownership of multiple houses that are unoccupied except when we visit them, yots (bad spelling), etc.

    And an accumulation of material goods do not bring lasting happiness. Jesus called the man who built bigger barns so he could lay back and take it easy a fool.

    What’s your take, Father?

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