Wednesday, January 28, 2004

 

NEXT QUESTION:

Is it possible to be Christian agnostic?

Theognome

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

 

IT'S QUESTIONAIRE TIME!

Okay, here's the question:

Is it possible to be a Reformed Christian and a Democrat at the same time?

Theognome

Monday, January 26, 2004

 

CONCERNING MARRIAGE AND HOMOSEXUALITY

Jeremy Pierce has been doing quite a bit of writing on the subject of homosexuality, marriage, adoption and the relationships therein.

In the OPC, this kind of teaching came to a thunderhead during the 70th General Assembly of June 2003. Pastor Lee Irons was appealing a decision by the local presbytery to suspend him for his teaching, which after lengthy debate the GA upheld the lower court decision. Being part of that presbytery, I was rather close to the situation; in fact the prosecuting speaker is a man that I know and respect personally.

Basically, it began with an article written by his wife, which gave arguments as to why Christians should not attempt to stand in the way of gay marriage. Pastor Irons defended her position, which eventually caused his expulsion from the ministry. It is no coincidence that the theological wranglings written by Misty Irons follow almost the exact reasoning that are found in Mr. Pierce’s articles on the subject, for in both the Irons and the Pierce position there seems to be a common hermeneutical thread.

That thread would be Meredith Kline. Just as the arguments of Pastor Irons and the article written by his wife were the result of taking Kline’s teaching to its logical conclusions, so Mr. Pierce’s writings also carry a common Klinian argumentation. Dr. Kline’s work, in and of itself, has its merit, but when applied exclusively to the whole council of God results in a type of higher criticism that drives reformed folks away from biblical orthodoxy.

This thunderhead is not yet gone, for Kline’s teaching is spreading throughout the OPC as young Westminster graduates fill that denomination’s many empty pews. If this teaching were balanced with additions of classical covenantal theology, for example the work of Dr. Bahnsen, there would not be a problem. The two perspectives are not enemies; but as Van Til so aptly put it, exclusivity is the mother of heresy. So, as more and more OP Churches are pastored by men who have been taught that Kline is right and has indeed given the only right way to interpret scripture, the more the OPC will tear itself apart.

Mr. Pierce’s work is a classic example of Kline’s work carried further down the theological path than Kline himself carried it. James Jordan, in his article “Meredith G. Kline and the myth of the Old Testament” (Biblical Chronology, Sept. 1992) puts the error in a good thumbnail sketch: “… Kline asserts strongly that the ‘Old Testament’ and the ‘New Testament’… are in fact two different covenant documents and form two different canons, or rules of faith and life… In Kline’s view, the OT differs from the NT in that the OT ministers judgment, while the NT ministers life.”

What we have is an almost Marcion view of scripture- the classic ‘bad God/good God’ tension, to which Kline places Christ as the OT synthesis. The effect of this is a hermeneutic where the OT teachings as consisting of only types and shadows of Christ: A Genesis to Malachi that is profitable for faith in Christ, but of little merit for instruction in righteousness. With this as a basis, the moral teachings of the OT become an intellectual exercise, having little importance in the world and the practice of the faithful.

Another problem is the role of the civil magistrate within this type of theology. Nations become God-neutral in this model, being able to act above the Word and Law of God. This is an impossibility- neutrality does not exist. Man is a worshipper, both individually and collectively. No government will worship nothing, and thus no government will be neutral; a government will either seek God or defy him. Within the OT, it is the responsibility of the Church, through the priest and the prophets, to teach, rebuke and even restrain the civil government. In the NT, we are, as Christians called to submit to earthly civil governments (Romans 13:1-7), but not to the extent that they would require us to be disobedient to the Lord (Acts 4:18-31, 5:17-19). We must pray for our civil leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4) and yet we must not use our submission as an excuse for sin (1Peter 2:13-17).

This would not be a problem if Christians accepted the OT as being authoritative towards daily living, especially where life within the community is concerned. But the influence of Kline in the reformed community has resulted in a turning away from the Church’s mandate to be the light of the world. We tend to see this only as a personal issue and not one of the whole body of Christ. Consider Matthew 28:16-20. There are two valid perspectives there. As individual Christians, we are called to make disciples of all the nations i.e. we all must show the love of Christ wherever we go and spread the good news of His gospel. Also, we have the collective Body discipling all nations, for the apostles present represented at that time the Church. In other words, we should be discipling our very nations towards godly rule. To fail in this is to declare Christ’s victory meaningless beyond the confines of the Church, which is selfish indeed.

Chapter 23 of the Westminster Confession of Faith gives an excellent position on the responsibilities of civil government, as well as the Church’s responsibility to civil government. Marriage, however, is of the Church, and not the state. We’ve grown accustomed to the civil order presiding over marriage in America, but the biblical model places Marriage as an ecclesiastical joining, and thus under the authority of the Church. The civil government has no business defining what is or is not marriage. Chapter 24 of the same confession, specifically article 3, speaks to this.

The problem with Klinian theology is that the scripture speaks of marriage in terms of law, which becomes merely a type or a shadow in his model. Thus, the Church, being of grace and not law, has no jurisdiction over marriage, and abdicates this to the civil magistrate. Further, since law has no place within Christ’s love outside of understanding what He saved us from, Christians should not be involved in earthly laws and civil issues, for we should be above such things for Christ’s sake.

But this is not the example that Christ lived in His gospels, nor the example lived by the apostles in Acts. Although it would have been less confrontational to simply ‘go with the flow’, teaching righteousness to all people and to the magistrates was part of their ministry. Note that the Pharisees and Saducees were local civil leaders, endowed by the Roman officials to govern on the community level. Was this a demonstration of love? If we consider love on a man-centered plane, no. But God is a judge through His love, not in spite of it. If we step away from His moral teaching and from moral judgments based upon it, we cannot truly demonstrate Christ-centered love. Rather, we become flavorless salt. We have the Word, we have Jesus; we have the truth and the life, but no will to subdue and occupy the earth that the Lord died to secure.

To conclude, I must state that Kline wrote much that is with great merit. The OT is filled with pictures of Christ and His glory; of the salvation that He bleed from His brow to secure. But it is also part of our Christian heritage, the Book upon which the NT was written. We cannot afford to ignore the strength of God’s Law and our mandate to strive for godliness. Admittedly, many Christians will act with selfish arrogance when placed before error, but this is no excuse for the Church to run away from error under the guise of love. Love is kind, blind and long-suffering, but love is not a fool. Let us not be fools for love’s sake.

Theognome



Saturday, January 24, 2004

 

REMAKING THE LORD OF THE RINGS

The new LOTR movies were quite good, but I think that the casting could have been a bit different. If I had the opportunity to make the movies myself, I’d cast fellow bloggers as the characters. So, here’s how I would do the Lord of the Rings:

Frodo- John Bush
Sam- Jon Luker
Merry- John Rabe
Pippin- Aakash
Aragorn- Nolan Habegger
Gimli- Arimus
Legolas- Pieter friedrich
Gandalf- Tim Bergland
Arwen- Kelly
Galadriel- Carmon
Saruman- the Knave
Gollum- N. Z. Bear
Boromir- Harry Seabrook
Elrond- Gideon Strauss
Faramir- Curt
Wormtongue- Badonicus

Any more casting suggestions would be appreciated.

Theognome

 

AND NOW, BY POPULAR DEMAND:

Theognome's Recipes is now linked in the articles section. Enjoy!

Theognome

Friday, January 23, 2004

 

BLOGGING TEMPTATIONS

There are few things in cyberspace that can peel away a Christian's quest for humility more than anonymity. Anonymous blogs, nameless comments and unidentified persons in chatrooms can often fire away with careless abandon for brotherly love.

Why izzit that so many times we see comments and posts that are filled with anger, loathsome pride and sometimes downright filth on what are supposed to be Christian sites? What izzit about the internet that makes us assume that real persons are not involved, or that Christ's Lordship should be absent?

Oh, I'm guilty of this myself. I've been known to presume that if someone does not agree with my arguments it must mean that the person is either sub-intelligent or utterly heathen. And, with this in mind (and heart), proceed to treat them with whips of scorpions.

"There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health." Proverbs 12:18

Here's something that I've noticed; the angrier a post or comment, the less likely that it will be taken seriously. Also, whatever the actual content of the statement is, only the flaming will cause reaction. To put it simply, the message is lost in the invective.

I know that for myself at least, I need to remember Who it is that I am serving when I post or comment. Also, if I am writing on a Christian blog, I need to conduct myself like a Christian. And if I'm writing on a non-Christian blog, I need to conduct myself like a Christian. I can't run away from the eyes of God.

Theognome

Thursday, January 22, 2004

 

GOOD FORTUNE?

Once in a while we all want a break from the kitchen, so tonight Toni asked if we could get some take-out Chinese food. So, Toni and mama went to the local take-out and returned with various grub. She brewed up some tea (which we drank from coffee mugs), broke out the chopsticks, and we went to town.

The meal came complete with fortune cookies. After we ate, we disbursed them amongst us, and began to open them. They were each wrapped in individual plastic bubbles, which had to be opened first. Now, yesterday I sliced up my index finger pretty bad, so my grip on the plastic wrap was not so firm. I pulled, and with a burst of energy, the cookie flew from the wrapper, over my plate, and landed squarely into my cup of still full tea. It sank almost immediately.

After I rescued it from it's watery grave, I dried off the paper within in and read it. It stated:

"IMPORTANT EVENTS ARE IN YOUR FUTURE"

I chortled. No, the event just happened.

Theongome

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

 

PAEDO PROBLEMS

Around my house, the discussions and debates are frequent and lively. Usually, Toni and I are in agreement, and we’ll spend hours going over issues from our own unique perspectives. However, there are those times when we don’t agree, and those are the days that the debates get quite fun.

Toni is no theological slouch. She is extremely knowledgeable of church doctrine, theologians and theological positions. I, on the other hand, am the historian. Church history and knowledge of scripture are my household strengths. So when we get into it, the arguments fly with vigor.

As Carmon so aptly put it, Toni is fiercely submissive. These discussions and debates are to edify one another, and regardless of the outcome, the Purdiest of the girls insists that she will comply with my wishes for our household. God, I love that woman!

So Paedobaptism and Paedocommunion came up in conversation last Sunday, and boy, did the feathers fly! Now on the subject of Paedobaptism, we are both in agreement- do it. We both see baptism as a sign of the covenant, and an important part of raising our children within said covenant. Now if either one of us believed that the act of baptizing had to occur before someone could be saved (baptismal regeneration) we would likely not agree on this point, but no problems there. It’s Paedocommunion that we debated for several hours.

Oh, I’m not going to fling hours worth of Bible verses, theological quotes and historical diatribes at you, but here’s the basis of our disagreement:

Pro-Paedo (Toni)
1. Paedocommunion demonstrates continuity between the Passover and the Lords Supper. The Passover was a whole family event, and the Lords Supper should be as well.
2. Faith was not the issue for the circumcision of Isaac. The faith of the father covered the children.
3. The Lord’s Supper is for the household of believers. To deny the children is to deny their belief in God.

That’s a small nutshell of her arguments for it, and it’s not exhaustive. Here’s the other side of the debate:

Anti-Paedo (Bill)
1. In the days of Christ, the heads of households traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover, not the whole family. Only the disciples themselves, and not their whole families, were present in the upper room.
2. The Church, not the family, performed Sacraments in the OT (once the law was codified). The Church worked through the household head, not around him.
3. The Lord’s Supper demands discernment and self-discipline. While a child is under the parent’s house, the father is responsible for the child’s discipline, not the child.

That’s a small nutshell of my arguments against it, and it’s not exhaustive.

So, the debate goes on. It’s one of those things that make being married to the Purdiest of all of the girls in the whole universe so exiting and fun!

Theognome

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

 

THE LONG AWAITED FINALE

Okay, the final installment is now posted. If you need to refresh your memory, the other three parts are in the archives. The first spheres post was September 29th, Part II was October 7th and Part III was October 25th. Enjoy!

Theognome
 

BIBLICAL SPHERES OF LAW: OF GOD AND GOVERNMENT - PART IV

In the first three installments of this series, we have considered the principles and concepts of government, and then we looked at two of the principle governmental forms that exist on the earth: Civil and ecclesiastical. So, we’re now ready to observe the third form of government, that being familial. This is one of the most misunderstood of the three forms, and it is one that is under the greatest attack in modern America.

The family is the first of the governmental forms established on the earth by God (Gen 2:21-24). Although it is true that the Church began with Adam, the church as a true governmental form came much later, during the Mosaic period. Familial government is unique in its scope in that both reconciliatory and punitive authority exist within the form. However, the family is accountable to both the civil and Church governments. It could be said that in America, although Church and state are separate from each other, it is through the family that the two are united. The family controls the ebb and flow of governmental responsibility, as it is the first and ultimately the least common denominator of earthly governing power. This places great responsibility upon the heads of households, for when families strive to govern in accordance with Christ’s example, the family, Church and nation will prosper. Fail in this, and all three will suffer wrath.

The examples found in scripture that show the relationship between familial governments and Church and Civil governments are extremely numerous. One example of the familial/ecclesiastical relationship is found in Leviticus 1:1-7:38. Although households give the offerings at the temple of the Lord, it is the Priests who ministered the offerings. They (the priesthood) had the authority and responsibility to give the sacrifices in the manner that the Lord prescribed, and not the Family head. However, the Family was still responsible to present the sacrifice, and also to teach and edify the members of the family as to the purpose and reason for the gifts (Exodus 13:11-16). Also, the punitive authority of the family is limited by and through the civil magistrate. Proverbs 13:24 show the need for punitive discipline within a family, however the civil government over said family has the authority (and responsibility) to provide punitive consequences when the familial punitive measures fail (Deut. 21:18-21).

One of the difficulties in studying familial government as it is described in the OT is the juxtaposition of the governmental form called Theocracy. Theocracy is, at its root, a familial governmental form as it is described in Scripture. Essentially, Israel was, (and the Church is now), a family; bound together through the blood and faith of Abraham. Thus, national government was simply familial government on a larger scale, with the Church and the State residing in a single apparatus. This government did not persist, and was brought to a final end through the reign of King Saul and the establishment of the Monarchy.

Theocracy, as it is shown in Scripture, demands an earthly familial unification to function. Since the Pentateuch primarily describes extra-familial government in theocratic terms, it is necessary to separate them into their individual civil/ecclesiastic authority components to apply the teaching to the later governments of scripture and beyond. Later writings, such as Proverbs and the NT do show the distinctions in governments as we see and live them today. Biblical Theocracy as a modern governmental form is difficult to conceive at best. Although there may be a point when a true, biblical theocratic government is upon the earth, the establishment of such government would likely be an eschatological event.

Familial governments hold dominion over their individual households, to the extent that the associated civil and ecclesiastical governments over them extend accountability in punitive and reconciliatory authority, respectively. It is through this dominion that the civil and ecclesiastical spheres are united. Both superior governments do hold authority over the family. This authority is not, however, absolute in either case. The greater influence either government assumes within a family, the more said government is weakened. Remember: the family is the most basic of governments. Erode the base, and the whole building falls.

The authority of a family to govern itself is directly proportional to the justice of the governments over it. To interfere with familial government beyond propriety is called oppression (Is. 5:7, Lev. 25:13-17). True freedom begins with the family. If a household does not have the ability to discipline its members or exhort its subjects in the Lord, then the family ceases to function. When this occurs, tyranny will always result, and on a national or even international scale. The concept of ‘it takes a village’ is the doom of a people. The family is the key that holds governments together. Without the family to allow the flow of ecclesiastic and punitive authority between Church and civil governments, the people will be oppressed, and either a wicked state or a wicked Church will oppress them.

The Family is simple, basic and utterly necessary for life on this planet. It is also absolutely essential that the heads of families strive to lead and live with godly rule. No government can endure without God, no matter what type of government it is. Let us pray that the Church, the state and the households of the one, true, triune living God strive to uphold the love, leadership and example that has been given to us through His living word and through our righteous King and Savior who is Christ Jesus. Amen.

Theognome

Monday, January 19, 2004

 

HERE'S SOMETHING FISHY

The events of the last couple of days have caused me to consider adding a new section to this blog, that being Theognome’s Recipes. I’ve posted a few of my culinary efforts so far, and I suppose I could add to the list. For example…

I often will cook dinner on Sundays, thus granting the Purdiest of the Girls a break from such duties. Well, as I looked around the larder for something to make, I didn’t find the usual stuff that we keep on hand. So, I began to produce one of the most unusual dinners I’ve ever made to date. Here’s what I did:

1. Cook up a cup of wild rice.
2. Slice three or so carrots, and put them to boil.
3. Grab a few small sweet potatoes, and boil them with the carrots until tender.
4. Chop fine one onion and half of a green pepper.
5. Mince a whole bunch of garlic.
6. Put all of this stuff into a really big bowl. Next, add ½ cup of corn.
7. Okay, now throw in two 14oz cans of salmon (drained).
8. Slice up some mushrooms, maybe 18 or so, and add those as well.
9. For spices, add ginger, savory, black pepper, rubber sage and turmeric.
10. Mix all of this stuff into one big mass, kinda like a salmon loaf.
11. Make four or so sheets of moist fila dough, 12X18”. (Fila dough is very easy to make. Don’t fear this.)
12. Place the salmon stuff loaf-style into a sheet of dough and wrap it up.
13. Put it on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes at 425 degrees.
14. Meanwhile, put a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup into a medium saucepan.
15. Add about ¼ cup of water.
16. Also, add ¼ cup of white cooking wine and the juice from ½ of a small lemon.
17. A dash of salt and a good-sized glop of honey will do nicely.
18. Bring it to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Once it's warm and blended, add some flour to thicken to taste.

Okay. Once you’ve done all of that, you will have a strange and yet very tasty salmon loaf. Slice the loaf into 8 or so servings, pouring the mushroom sauce over it. It’s quite yummy.

So, whaddya think? Should I add a recipe section to this blog, or just post them when of the main board when I feel so inclined?

Theognome


 

REMEMBERING A GREAT MAN

On this, the anniversary of his birth, let's take a moment to reflect on the pristine character and Christian commitment of one of America's greatest men. He was born to lead and yet born to compassion. A man of great vision, he resisted the pressures and tremendous influences of his day and commited himself to fighting the fight against federal oppression. He was a lover of his people, brilliant in speech, sterling in integrity, fidelity and honesty; a seeker of justice and righteousness for all men.

Let us all pause and consider him now, on his birthday. For the Lord has consented only a few times in history to give to the world a man of such humble magnitude as that which is found in Robert E. Lee.

Theognome

Saturday, January 17, 2004

 

VICTORY IN JESUS?

In the course of a typical day, I put about 150 miles on the road. That's a lot of asphalt, most of it freeway driving. be aware that in Southron California, the freeways are usually great places to park rather than drive. So, I do get to observe my surroundings, read billboards and bumper stickers, read a book, take a nap, and so forth.

But I've noticed something that I find a bit disturbing. Some of the readables that one encounters on the road are Christian in nature. This is a good thing. A small number of such billboards and bumper stickers simply give a scripture, such as John 3:16. No arguments from me there. You can't go wrong by simply quoting the Word of God.

Sadly, though, such highway exhortations are rare. most of them that are Christian oriented are advertisements for a local church, or some relativistic psychobabble with the name Jesus thrown in. Now I've written about this before, so I won't get into the details about the faithfullness of such drivel. Rather, I'd like to address another theme that does disturb me.

It's about dominion, and about victory. Why do we sing 'Victory in Jesus' and then display to the world that we consider ourselves defeated? Or, to put it another way, does it make sense to claim that we are 'Not of this World' in such a manner as to be as worldly as possible?

I saw a flier recently from a local church. Some bimbo model was depicted sensually drooling on it, accompanied with all kinds of slogans and garbage that only pagans would respect. Is that church reaching out to the world, or giving in? I know of a fellow who attended one of their 'services' recently, and he contends that there was loud music, good food and entertainment, but aside from someone occasionally screaming 'Jesus", he didn't hear or see anything that resembled the Gospel.

This is a church that has lost; a group of Christians (?) that has turned away from the victory that has been secured upon the cross. Oh, I know that there are differences of opinion on music in a church, or the color of the carpet or some other regulative issue, but that is not what I'm talking about. I'm referring to a 'if you can't beat them, join them' mentality that makes Christians look and act like pagans instead of being a light set apart. Don't forget that the very word for the Church in the NT, Ekklesia, means 'set apart'. Jumping into the world head first and then putting 'NOTW' on an SUV is about as hypocritical as it gets.

Individual Christians do this, and so do Christians as a church. Look at the billboards. Are they worldly or godly? Some of them do appear godly, but as I mentioned, they are rare. Most of them don't look much different from the Budweiser ad you drove by two miles ago. And the bumper stickers? I saw one car that had 'NOTW' on it, and also another sticker that read, "Horn broken. Watch for finger". Such things are sadly, common.

I suppose that what I'm saying is simple. If we strive to get the world into the church by using the world's methods, we're not salt or light. We're defeated in Jesus.

Theognome
 

A NEW BLOGLIST FORMAT

Okay. Toni (the Purdiest Girl in the World) has mentioned to me more than a few times that my blogroll is utterly unorganized. Well, that only makes it much like other things in my life such as my desk, car and similar ilk. However, I've finally changed the list. On my browser, it is to the right of the top post, although I understand that some folks wind up seeing my links on the very bottom of the page. Sorry, I'm presently too ignorant to know how to fix that. Perhaps when I have XP like the rest of the world instead of ME I'll take the time to learn such things.

Anyway, here's what the four new categories mean:

Soulmates are blogs that I wish I could have written myself. They are blogs filled with the kind of material that makes me just grunt with approval. When I get online, they are the first places I go to.

Good Reads have great articles and intelligent insight. These blogs I frequent quite often, and many of them write about subjects that I'm woefully unqualified to scribble about.

Occasional Visits Are good blogs, but either have a perspective that I am at odds with some of the time or they post so infrequently that there's no need to check them often. In spite of such things, they are well presented and worthy of a perusal.

Caveat Emptor Means just that. These blogs are well written, but controversial. I may not agree with much of the content, but they may be worth checking out when time permits. I can assure you that they will present a unique perspective.


...And so, that's the new format. If you have any comments, suggestions, or wish to chastise me for placing your blog where you think it should not be, lemme know.

Theongnome

Thursday, January 15, 2004

 

BUTTER DOES NOT SHARPEN IRON

Well, gee. After a good Sunday sermon, I'm generally feeling like the Lord will slay any demon in my way. Family devotions likewise get my head and heart all God-focused. Morning prayer and a good sermon tape while driving also get me fired up for a good bout of witnessing.

So why do I get so stupid all of the rest of the time?

Have you ever been walking away from an encounter when you realize what you should have been thinking and/or saying during it was Christ? I think that there is an indentation in my butt from where I've kicked myself for not being the witness I should be. Oh, I'll write, teach and preach some fiery stuff, but where's the beef? Why do I still not share the good news where ever I am?

Oh, I've given myself plenty of excuses- 'I'm at work; I can't do that right now'. uh, isn't the workplace the marketplace? Why do I limit my witness while I'm doing my job? Oh, I understand that acting with integrity and Christian love is a type of witness, but I'm talking about basic gospel shouting here. How many of my prospects, clients and workmates are hearing John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10 or Ephesians 2:8-9 from me? Where's Peter sayng repent and be baptized?

I deserved the rear end abuse. After all, if I'm 'not allowed' to witness at work, I have to ask myself, "Just whom do I really fear here?"

Theognome

Monday, January 12, 2004

 

WE'RE IN FOR A GOOD ONE

Phdslave's recent two posts, one about ethics and the other concerning simple Christian living and trust are must reads! What are you waiting for? Get over there and check them out!

Theognome

Sunday, January 11, 2004

 

HERE'S ANOTHER GOOD ONE

It's the happy husband. He seems to be the kind of guy who would disagree with me that Toni is the purdiest girl in the world. Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I prefer that, actually. I despise men (well, at least they're male. probably not men in reality) who don't lift up their wives and honor them, or who, when I say that about Toni just go, "yeah, I wish my wife was". GET A CLUE! If a man's wife is not purdy, it's his fault, not hers!

Theognome
 

WELCOME A NEW BLOGGER

I'm a bad influence on people. My neighbor James (mentioned in the 'New Years Revelation' post) has decided to enter the blogosphere! Let's give Phdslave a big welcome!

Theognome
 

MARKETING FOR CHRIST?

I ran across a prospective client a while ago who has a problem. You see, they are a marketing/promotion firm, where they devise and implement the strategy to sell a product or service to a company's desired market. Their problem is this- a church has refused to pay their bill, claiming that the marketing company's promotion methods did not produce the turn out on Sunday that they were expecting.

How could this be so? There were free giveaways at the altar for anyone who was saved that service (free CD's of their praise band, complete with 1000 free hours of AOL included), and, all new attendees were entered into a raffle for free admission for four to Disneyland (lodging not included). Also, the remodeled the place just like the consultants suggested. The kitchen became a coffee house/breakfast bar, serving some ecclesiastically wonderful beverages. I personally wonder just what 'Jesus juice' has in it. The pulpit was too formal, and so it was replaced with a stage: complete with colored spotlights and glass ball overhangings. Church is supposed to be entertaining, not dour and boring. Folks should come in like droves to a place like that. And yes, attendance increased, but not enough to recover the costs of all of the changes.

This just didn't make sense. They did everything right. They changed their motto to 'fellowship of excitement!', and added special parking stalls for the 'saints of the month'. I mean, if Barnum and Bailey could fill a tent on a Sunday and make big bucks, why was this church having such a problem? Maybe they needed to pass out homemade preserves instead of CD's (that must be evan-jelly 'cause evan-jam don't shake like that) or play disco music instead of praise music to match the stage. This church is quite angry at my prospect.

Likewise, my prospect is not happy, either. They did what the church asked them too, and since the church does not like the results, they assume that they don't have to pay. Hmm... Just what was this church expecting?

When Peter rebuked Simon the Sorcerer, it would seem that Peter thought selling the gospel was just as bad as trying to buy it. The gospel doesn't sell well, anyway. People just don't get all emotional about 'repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ' anymore. With such an old and outdated product (this is the marketing company's perspective in their own words) drastic measures must be taken to ensure that it is accepted and embraced by the public at large. New media and presentation techniques are demanded. Also, new products must be offered to the consumer to pull at their dollar. The new gift shop has tons of trinkets and bobbles to fit any religious or quasi-religious occasion. Why are the people not buying?

The Marketing company claims that the Church is the reason why the plans failed- they still insisted on having a preacher officiate the Sunday proceedings. Obviously, this is way too old fashioned. The modern viewer needs to be entertained constantly, so any message they try to give must be presented either by video or stage performance. But the Church wouldn't budge. They insisted on having some preacher person (I don't know her name at this church) stand up for a few minutes and say something that's supposed to be spiritual. This just doesn't work in the modern economy, according to them. People will snore in their lounge chairs, and leave their wallets closed. It detracts from the whole purpose of the church, which is to generate capitol for products and services.

Either way, this church has not only abandoned the gospel, but has become a thief as well. Wow! What an example for the brethren; what a light of the world!

It makes me wonder though. If this church would invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting, remodeling and other such ilk in the hope of growing their church, I wonder what would happen if they turned to the truth of God's word with the same zeal?


Theognome

Saturday, January 10, 2004

 

SOME NEW BLOGS FOR THE ROLL

Parablemania and Uncle Sam's Cabin have been added. Good blogs.

Theognome

Friday, January 09, 2004

 

IF IT AIN'T BROKE, FIX IT UNTIL IT IS

The Purdiest Girl in the World, also known as my wife Toni, told me about a gentleman that she dated back before the days of Theognome. He was a college professor whom I believe taught Spanish. One of the things that she mentioned about him was this- he could not fix anything. In fact, he felt that to ‘get his hands dirty’ was beneath him. After all, he was a specially trained expert. Repairing things was someone else’s job.

I’ll admit that when it comes to fixing things, there’s not much that breaks around my house that I won’t attempt to repair. Most of the time I can get it going again, and sometimes the decrepit appliance goes to the scrap heap. I wasn’t always that way, though. In my youth, I tore apart lots of things to ‘see how they work’, only to never be able to put them back together again. But I learned a lot in those days, and eventually got good enough at fixing things that I supported myself repairing VCR’s, TV’s and camcorders in the mid 90’s.

Fixing things is an extension of a man taking dominion over his realm. It may not seem like a big thing, but rare is the woman that cannot respect a man who when, faced with a leaky faucet or squeaky car brake, breaks out his tools and get the problem fixed. And, unfortunately, this is a lost art amongst modern males.

Oh, there is probably the guy out there who is so utterly inept that he can’t figure out which part of a screwdriver is the business end, but I think that such persons are extraordinarily rare. Rather, I think that the non-fixit fellows mostly fit into the category of ‘never took the time to learn’. Such dudes are to busy (spelled L A Z Y) to take the time to study basic plumbing or electricity or auto repair.

Let’s face it, men. When we fix something that is broken, it erupts within us a deep satisfaction within us. We were made to fix things. Think about it… When the wife says, “Honey, the garbage disposal is broken”, It’s not just the money that makes calling the plumber a terrible thing. It’s the fact that the plumber will get the satisfaction and not you. Also, Mr. Plumber is the hero, and not Mr. Husband.

If you’re a guy who has not traditionally fixed things, I challenge you to try. Your wife will respect you all the more and, after a while, you’ll get good at it. There’s nothing like a dirty pair of hands to show your woman how much you care.

Theongome

 

OUT OF THE WOODWORK

Well, the 'I, RACIALIST' post now takes the lead as the most commented post on this blog. Several comments were quite noteworthy. Harry Brought up a 'confession of Kinsmanship' that really hit the mark. Also the comments by ESS and Jeremy were edifying. This is not an easy topic to discuss, and it is good to see folks from all sides of the table talk about it with openness and candor. Kudo's to all!

Theognome

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

 

THEY STILL TASTE LIKE CHICKEN

Now here's a site for you. These folks are budgie researchers. It would seem that they have taught some birds to converse, and are claiming that they have indeed unlocked the mind of a parrot so that they can talk on a human level. Yeah, whatever.

Theognome
 

WHAT AM I GOING TO SELL NOW?

One of the things that makes these free blogger blogs so fun is trying to predict what the advertisement on my blog is going to be. Sometimes the ads can be quite humorous. I realize that whatever ad goes up there is based on which keywords blogger finds in the post text, but since they don't recognize content, they can be laughable. For example, John Rabe did a post which slammed Howard Dean (who'da guessed he's do that?). His advertisement has been links to the Howard Dean for president official site, and an ad for Howard Dean products.

I've been selling the left behind series (*GAG*), really bad Bible translations and other such things that are commonly found for a donation of $39.95 plus $3.00 shipping and handling on TBN. Go ahead, browse the various blogs out there. It's kinda like playing 'ad roulette'.

Theognome

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

 

I, RACIALIST

Back in September, I wrote a post about how the Bible addresses and defines race. Not an easy task, for the Scripture does not make any single, clear-cut definition of the term. But this much is absolutely certain; how the Word of God treats the subject and how modern America treats it are two very different things indeed.

If you wish to read that first, it’s in the September archives, dated Sep. 6th. If you’re already familiar with my position and definition, then this post should make some sense.

Racism and racialism are very recent additions to our language. Webster’s 1828 dictionary does not list them. Therefore, since these terms are still very fresh in our vocabulary, I think it’s time that we start putting some real meaning and differentiation between them.

Racism, and it’s cohort racist, are universally understood to be bad words. Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior to other races. A racist is one who discriminates or prejudices against a race based on this supposition. Both of these terms are generally used to imply a hatred of races that are not the preferred race. This stigma is due to the prejudice that accompanies these terms, and is for the most part well deserved. Prejudice defies fair and honest judgment, and seeks to impugn, injure or harm.

Now Racialism, and it’s counterpart racialist, are defined in modern dictionaries as being pretty much identical to Racism and racist. But, since we’ve already got those two terms handled, I think it’s time that we re-define the terms Racialism and racialist; because frankly, ALL Christians should be racialists, for the Bible teaches Racialism, at least in the manner that I will be defining the terms. So, here it goes…

I propose that we define racialism as the belief that a particular race should seek to be unified. Racialism seeks fellowship with its like race members. A racialist is one who prefers or seeks fellowship with a particular race. Neither of these terms imply or endorse hatred or prejudice. For example, I like white chocolate and dark chocolate, but I prefer white chocolate when offered my choice. There is no prejudice or hatred involved.

Now if we accept the definitions that I have just presented, then Christendom is most definitely racialist. This, of course, has been the case since the OT nation of Israel. Israel, as a nation, was founded upon the faith of Abraham, and the Hebrews based their ethnicity upon their ties to his fatherhood. However, even those not born into the biology of Abraham could still enter into the fellowship, nation and eventually race of Israel. Deuteronomy 23:7 and 8 gives instructions on who could and how they would enter into the congregation, and of course we have the example of Ruth of Moab. By identifying with the faith of Abraham, said persons could enter into the nation and thus the blessing upon the race of the Hebrews as a member. However, the Hebrews were taught not to be like the other nations and not to follow in their ways (which they failed to uphold). They were not taught to hate them, but rather not to be like them.

The NT Church is no different in this regard. We come from many different ethnic backgrounds, but we are the people of God, bought by the blood of our precious Savior and grafted into the vine that is the faith of Abraham. This makes Christianity a race unto itself. To be a Christian is to be of the Christian faith, and since it is the faith of the fathers that the scripture uses to define nations, cultures and races, this does make us the race of the faithful. Our ethnicity has not changed, but our heritage has- and it is by our inheritance that we are made one; the inheritance of the land in Christ.

Like the OT Israel, there is great diversity in the modern Christian race. Each of the twelve tribes had it’s own sub-cultural nuances, and there were even differences in dialect. They feuded with one another, allied with others and generally didn’t get along very well. However, when push came to shove, they still identified themselves through that single father, Abraham.

The modern Church is no different. We’ve got many different denominations and peoples of all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, and generally we don’t always get along. However, when push comes to shove, we still identify ourselves through that single King and Savior, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we also identify with the earthly father of the faith, Abraham: for as gentiles, we are the stones that the Lord has raised up for him.

Now the modern Church is also not to be like the world. We are to separate ourselves to a great extent. No, we are not to be recluses, for we are to be witnesses to the world just as OT Israel was supposed to be. But were not to be like the world, for we are Christians. I don’t fellowship with unbelievers. I fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. This is biblical racial language. If the Church were not a race, we would be fellow citizens rather than kindred. But King Jesus is our Elder Brother, which in classic biblical language links us spiritually and thus racially.

This kind of thinking is alien to most Americans, for we tend to be unable to get past mere skin color. The Bible doesn’t use foolish things like skin color to define races. It doesn’t deny them, but it is simply not the most important factor. If mere biology determined race, then how and why would there even be such scriptures as Deut. 23:7, showing how other races could join Israel? Biology makes us distinctive, and is part of the diversity of man that the Lord saw fit to create. It is a good thing, not a bag thing. But it is our faith that defines us, and as Christians, we should seek unity among the brethren, and we should fellowship one to another in brotherly love. This is racialism, and I am blessed to be a racialist for Christ.

Theognome

Monday, January 05, 2004

 

AN ANSWER FOR THE BADGERMUM

Okay Kelly, You asked about what a Historical Postmillenial is. Well, here ya go.

First, let's separate the terms. I'm very certain that you know what a Postmillenial eschatology is, so there's realy no need to explain it. It's the Historical part that I'll flesh out. If you need more info, just lemme know.

Amil, Postmil and Premil are conclusions, but how do we get there? There are four different perspectives on eschatological hermenutics out there. These four perspectives are, in a way, the rules by which we interpret end-times prophecy. Typically, they are exclusive of one another. They are:

1. Preterism: Preterism interprets revelation (And the Olivet Discourse as well) as having been completely fulfilled when the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. Now this view is divided, for there is a subgroup called Partial Preterism that claims most of these things were fulfilled at A.D. 70, but not all. There still remains the second coming of Christ. (Rob commented that this description may not be a good reflection of the position. He is correct that the Partial-Preterism represents the majority of reformed folks who ascribe to this view. Full Preterism is heretical.)

2. Futurism: These folks believe that everything that speaks of end times will happen moments before Christ comes again, and therefore none of the things in revelation, Matthew or elsewhere have happened yet.

3. Idealism: The Idealist interprets end times prophecy as being a purely spiritual event- none of these things will actually happen in earthly history. They are pictures of spiritual warfare only.

4. Historical: Historicists believe that the end times prophecies include events spanning the history of the N.T. church, and that they give an overview of church history from the first century to His coming.

So, I follow the Historical understanding. John Calvin is another prominent Historical theologian. Toni is Partial-Preterist. I do agree that, especially where matthew 24 is concerned, much of that occured in A.D. 70, I don't buy the classic P.P. view about Nero being the anti-christ; the '666' of Revelation. Idealism? Yes, there is spiritual warfare involved. I won't argue that. But the Idealist claims that that is all that there is. Wrong. Christ's Kingdom is here, right now, on this earth. And We're fighting the good fight here with our own flesh and blood. Futurist? Go read the Olivet and revelation. That position doesn't make any sense when compared to living history- 'some of you standing here', and such. But I can see how certain images within Revelation have been fulfilled through the passing of history. Perhaps at some point I'll write a study of revelation, and share my opinions on that topic. But my plate's a bit full at the moment, so it will have to wait.

I hope that that answers your question, my dear Badgermum.

Theognome
 

A PROPER BURIAL

My Hp printer died yesterday at a ripe old age of 8 or 9. It was (God rest it's cyber-soul) a 600C model. Although I know almost nothing about programming, I was a repairman of printers, monitors, VCR's, Camcorders, TV's and other such for many years, and I did more than a few 'bubble gum and bailing wire' repairs on the poor critter over the years. Finally, the old, worn out gears just stripped and broke into peices. Alas...

Not wanting to spend any money replacing it, I did a bit of shopping. I calculated that if I bought a printer for the same amount of money that it's own ink cartridges cost, I'd be a few bucks ahead if the thing came with the cartridges. Note how concerned I was with the quality of the machine and it's performance. Well, I found this Epson C64 on sale for about $50.00, and since the ink actually cost more than that (it takes 4 cartridges of various colors) I went for it. Furthermore, the cartridges cost about the same as my old HP ones did, all things equal.

Well gee, even this bottom of the line cheap little chuck of wanna-be printer way out-performs my venerable HP. Of course, I had to get a different cord for it, as my old printer cable was 10 times the size of the hole that this new machine needed; some kind of USB thing or some other new-fangled techie method. I dunno.

This thing claims that it uses 'DuraBrite' ink. So what? It looks just like any old ink. Resists water? Well, anyone silly enough to leave their docs in the rain deserves to have them trashed. Brighter? Well, it will be printing a lot of the things that I write, and many folks agree that such stuff isn't very bright to begin with, so the ink won't make it any better.

None the less, the fool thing works, and it does print with far greater clarity and detail than my Cro-Magnon machine ever dreamed of. So, Kudo's to Epson for making a cheap peice of junk that actually performs reasonably decently. I hope that it lasts at least two months past the warranty. Now then it would be a miracle worker.

Theognome
 

RACIST... BY WHAMMO (ages 4 and up)

Well, gee. Just when you thought folks were almost being civil, there goes that racist word, being tossed about like a frisbee. I often wonder if the folks who are either using it or defending themselves from it even know what it is that they are dealing with?

But, since no one has called me a racist lately, I figured I must be doing something wrong. So, here's a statement that I absolutely adhere to as being true that will definately make many folks scream from the rooftops, "THEOGNOME IS A RACIST!!!" Here it is:

There are many different races and cultures in the world, and they are not all the same.

There. I said it. I am worthy to be condemned.

As I mentioned in my Babel article, denying racial distinctives is ludicrous. It's something like denying gravity. Also, declaring all races and cultures as equal in all aspects is just as ludicrous. However, most people assume that the term 'not equal' means something other that it does. It simply means, 'not the same'. Nothing in the term implies superiority or inferiority.

But it would seem that the mere mention of race differences is reason for condemnation in most circles. It would seem that to acknolwedge races is wrong, and to ignore them is right. Uhh, isn't that racism?

Exaultation of unity without the distinctives that make nations unique (such as the faith of our fathers) is racism, folks. Did you not realize that denominations are a type of race, in as much as Biblically race is referred to in terms of faith, nation and culture? To deny those differences is to condemn ALL of God's diversity among men, and makes one a racist of the most insipid nature. They are without distinction; lacking history and dominion, with no flavor to their salt. They declare others racist with pointed fingers, never looking at their own fists- for when they point that finger, three more fingers are pointing right back at themselves.

Hating a group of persons based on race is not good, I'll agree. Preferring one race over another is not hate, nor is it racism. Ignoring the races, that is double-tongued idiocy.

Theognome

Saturday, January 03, 2004

 

THE WATERS OF MERIBAH

I went shopping this afternoon, and I found a couple of small filets at Albertson's supermarket real cheap; so I bought them. I picked up some veggies as well, and figured I'd cook up some Chinese food tonight. So, I brought the mess home, broke out the family wok, and cooked away.

While I was cooking, I looked into the sky out the window. There was the moon, waxing its' way to full, hanging well above the horizon in the Southron sky. Americans and Europeans alike look to the full moon and see the 'man on the moon': a face looking back upon us with a half smiling/half disinterested grin. But in the orient, and especially Japan, this is not the case. When they look at the same moon, they see a rabbit. This rabbit is working, for he is pounding rice in a large bowl, so as to make rice cakes for a midnight party. I'm game with the Asians. I'd rather have a party rabbit than an indifferent dude in the night sky.

But I am not of the Asian race, or culture for that matter (could be synonymous there). However, I can appreciate their culture and their race in as much as what they have contributed to my own thinking. They are not my enemy in a collective sense, for I have many brothers and sisters of that race; which is what finally brings me to the subject of this otherwise fairly pointless post.

Over at Badlands Badonicus wrote a post concerning the 'relevance' of Mr. Jamey Bennett. This post was not particularly important in and of itself. Indeed, it is fairly typical of Badonicus's writing. But the fact that it is typical once again disturbed me.

(Note- I did make a comment [and only one] concerning this on his blog, but I wanted to flesh out the argument, and I felt that the comment system was just not adequate for that. Besides, if there is anyone who can handle a discussion blog to blog, it's Badonicus)

Badonicus has been the brunt of not a few attacks concerning race bias. The terms, "Nazi", "Bigot", "Racist" and even "Skinhead" have been used (although I don't believe I've ever used any of those terms to describe him) by folks who have entered into race discussions with him. Why? Why would he be accused of such things? IS he really all of those things and more, or is his message put forth in such a manner that promotes that kind of reaction regardless of his actual position?

JUST THE FACTS

One of the tenants that Badonicus adheres to is that White european civilization is responsible for building Christian culture. He states this not only in the post that I responded to, but all over the place. Indeed, he makes this a point in dozens upon dozens of posts and comments, and at the same time speaks of how other races have failed to make significant Christian contributions. The question is, is Badonicus correct in this?

Before I directly answer this, I'd like to make a parallel from scripture. It is most relevant and is in fact directly related to the subject. Allow me a bit of lattitude, if you will...

...Moses. Now THERE was a powerful dude. He brought upon the Egyptians ten plagues, and forced Pharoah; a man who was worshipped as a god on earth, to let the Israelites leave his land. He parted the Red Sea to allow his people to cross, and then filled the gap when Egypt's army was within it; destroying the army of Pharoah. He fed the Israelites in the wilderness, and even brought forth water from bare rocks for them to drink. Yes, Moses was a man that you wouldn't want to mess with; a man of incredible power.

Don't argue with what I just wrote. They are the facts. If you believe that what the Bible says is true, then you cannot refute what I have said. It's just simply what happened. Moses did all of those things.

What I failed to mention is how Moses treated all of these occurances. In all but one instance, Moses himself stated, and quite emphatically, I might add; that it was the Lord, and not himself who did all of these things. Yes, Moses was powerful. Yes, Moses did technically do all of those things, but it was by the direct will and power of God that he accomplished these miracles. Moses was the instrument, nothing more.

But, Moses failed to give glory to God. It was at Meribah. Moses said, "Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?", and since Moses did not declare who it was truly that brought the water forth, he was denied the privledge of leading the people into the promised land (Numbers 20:12-13).

So, what has this got to do with Badonicus? Simple. Badonicus has in the past, and continues to state, simple facts. However, you will not find in his writings how the Lord has done the mighty works accomplished through White European civilization, only how the men themselves have done it. Just the facts? Well, if Moses had spoken just the facts, then the Lord would not have had to rebuke him. Anyone who would state that the white man is responsible for creating Christian civilization is stating something that is pure, weapons-grade baloneyum. Meribah aside, Moses was wise to give the glory where it was due, and that is to the Lord. Thus, he was called the most humble man on earth. To give man the glory is to be damned. It is the kind of arrogance that made Nebuchadnezzar like an animal, it is the kind of arrogance that made the king of Tyre low, and it is the kind of arrogance that make people refer to someone as a bigot, nazi and a racist.

To conclude, Let me say this; yes, my freind, you are denying the facts. Oh, you may, in your own mind give glory to God for the White man's ascendency, but it doesn't show up on your blog or any where else. With man being glorified in your posts, what's a Christian supposed to think? The answer: The writer is Godless and a bigot. These things may not be true, but with the Lord not a part of the facts you present, they are reasonable conclusions.

Theognome
 

YET ANOTHER FELLOW TO ADD TO THE BLOG LIST

Now here's an interesting blog. Check out The Knave. He's a Southron Reconstructionist, Post-Mil Theonomic sort, which is allways a good thing in my book. He is a Partial Preterist, but I'll forgive him... for now. Toni is P.P. also, so I'm used to forgiving that.

Theognome


Friday, January 02, 2004

 

A NEW YEARS REVELATION

Ahh... A nice, relaxing New Years day. It was rather chilly today, which for us Southron California types means it got under 60 degrees. Overcast, damp and breezy, it was a good day to bundle up with a nice cozy blankie and read, blog or do some other sedentary activity.

And so, I was gathering firewood when I noticed my neighbor across the street pulling out his power tools, and so I jumped in. We designed and built a wall-hanging corner shelf module for his computer room. Yes, I do love woodworking. As many of you folks know, I made most of the furniture in my house, and I'm a fairly decent carpenter. The shelves came out nicely, and afterward James (my neighbor) had dinner with us. A most enjoyable New years day.

As I reflect upon the day's work and play, I paused to consider Psalm 37:27-29:

"Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever."

Of course, the whole of Psalm 37 is a great read, and this little snippet is but a snapshot of the greater context. None the less, I was drawn to this by the activities and situations of the day. You see, James and his family are beloved of Christ; they are my brothers and sisters. No, we don't attend the same church or even the same denomination. We don't agree on eschatology, regulative principle or Calvinism. But we do agree that Christ is Lord, and I tell you, James is a model to me when it comes to living a life of humility and prayer. Next door to him lives another Christian couple, and quite frankly my whole street is filled with the people of God.

Now I live in a somewhat rural area. Well, as rural as you can get in Southron California, which means that most folks would consider it suburbia. We have occasional chickens and pigs getting loose and running down the street. My home is on a third acre, which is big by S.C. standards. All of the homes on my street are 30 years old or older, and none of them look alike; a very rare thing indeed in the land of fruits, flakes and nuts.

But it is land. A land filled with the people of God. I know my neighbors, and they know me. If I need a drill bit or extra power tool, I just go over to James's house and get it. The door is never locked, anyway. And even if it is, I know the combo. Likewise, he gets what he needs from my shed whenever he needs to. The other neighbors do likewise. When a project is going on, we all gather and pitch in. While we work, we discuss the things of God; what He is doing in our lives, our prayer needs, and our praises. We are all of us homeowners and landowners, and we share our treasures, persons and faith. I feel very blessed by God in this, and to me, it is something akin to Acts 2:44, in as much as we all share our households one to another.

This is the land of our inheritance. Here, on this small street in a tiny town (les than 3,000 persons) of Southron California, the Lord calls us to depart from evil, and He has established us in the land- His land. Back when I lived in an apartment, this kind of fellowship did not exist. There were no projects to build, no earth to til or houses to repair. Anything that needed done was handled by the landlord, and fellowship did not have the dimension of home working.

Don't get the wrong idea here. I'm not suggesting that you can't have good Christian fellowship living in an apartment, nor am I saying that owning a home guarantees Christ-like utopia. But when we look at the scripture, we see this common thread, Old Terstament or New, of inheriting the land. Being tied to the land as individuals and as a body is a blessing from the Lord. Renting is nowhere described as such in scripture. We are, as Christians, called to take dominion on this earth. I propose that we can start that with our homes. Own them, build them and share them. Build a Christian street, a christian neighborhood... town... state... nation... take possession of the land and inhabit it! The Lord has given it to us to use for good. Let us do so, and dwell in it forever.

Theognome

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