Friday, January 30, 2004

Busy today trying to configure some XP laptops as remote internet kiosks. The hardest part is getting them properly locked down. I know their is kiosk software out there but I really don't have the time to test it, learn it, and procure it. XP is doing alright, I just have to remember to enable the built-in firewall. The Group Policy snap-in is quite a tedious way to lock down the machine but it's free.
The cool thing about these laptops is the Aircard PC 3220 cards. Wireless net access anywhere on Verizon's data network. Nice.
I've got another email to write (you know who you are) but I don't know WHEN that'll happen since I have been busy with the laptops and I will be in FL from Sat to Wed. If I can hit a Kinko's down there this blog will get an update at least.
Going to recopy something I posted last night to the FFF concerning churches:
In another thread it was said that since the church is a called-out assembly if they all didn't meet together it wouldn't be a church. I am not only interested in looking at ekklesia in response to this but also as it concerns the ideas of the local and universal church.
1. Church and churches (except for two places), in the KJV are always translated from ekklesia. The two places don't really count here:
"Churches" in Acts 19:37 is a mistranslation of "hierosulos" which means temple robbers;
"Church" in I Pet 5:13 is an insertion of the KJV translators and does not appear in the Greek.
2. Ekklesia is translated assembly three times.
3. Ekklesia is not translated in the KJV as anything other than church, churches, or assembly.

Now with this background we need to look at some different ways the church is described, universal and local:
Mat 16:18 - Universal
Acts 9:21 - Local (Plural)
Acts 11:22 - Local
I Cor 15:9 - Universal
All of these passages reference the ekklesia. So both Mat 16:18 and I Cor 15:9 imply a universal called-out assembly, While passages like Acts 9:21 and Acts 11:22 imply a local called-out assembly. Is it a different called-out assembly? Is an ekklesia an ekklesia, or not? How about some other verses:
Rom 16:5 Likewise [greet] the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
1Cr 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise [you] not.
Hbr 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
In Rom 16:5 we have a church, obviously local, in a house. Obviously this doesn't refer to the entirety of the church in that area.
In I Cor 11:22 we have people congregating outside of their houses, evidently. Let's back up to v.20. The KJV has Paul giving them instructions for when they all "come together therefore in one place". "One place" is a translation from autos meaning "a person or group." Paul is not specifying a place. The church at Corinth may have well owned a building but it need not be so. In v.17 Paul simply says "ye come together," and in v.18 he says "when ye come together in the church" and then in v.20 Paul defines "church" by saying "autos", or group.
In both Rom 16:5 and I Cor 11:18 we get a glimpse of what Paul considered the ekklesia, in a very basic and general sense, to be. In Rom 16:5 he refers to a church which is in a house, referring obviously to part of a body (be it local or universal). In I Cor 11:18 Paul appears to draw the picture backwards by telling us that people in the church are coming together. The local assembling of believers both in the house of Priscilla and Aquila and also the local assembling of believers in a group or "autos" at Corinth obviously shows us that when Paul is referring to a physical assembly of believers it does not necessarily represent an entire ekklesia (be it local or universal) although the latter is addressed to the entire ekklesia at Corinth.
Before looking at the ramifications of this reality of church life it should be said that the "forsaking" of Heb 10:25 carries the meaning of abandonment and should not be interpreted as meaning that a believer cannot miss any meetings whatsoever and for whatever reason.
The idea that only part of an ekklesia met at any one time gives us a picture of early church life. It would not have been required for you to take off certain of the same times every week to be in attendance because the church met daily (Acts 2,6,16). Paul would have understood that the physical assembling would continue throughout the week so that various groupings could occur as people were able to attend, given their schedules.
The idea of called-out assembly then, pertains not to physical assembly, but pertains to the idea explained in I Pet 2:5:
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The spiritual house being the church:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Which is the church universal since the head of this "body" is Christ:
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
The "local ekklesia" is not the ekklesia. It is merely the "ekklesia in a locality" (Acts 8:41; Rom 16:1; Rev 2:8,12,18; Rev 3:7) and exists as a separate unit only in the sense in which its local elders are responsible for particular groups in the city they are in.
With this understanding we can look at several ideas:
Para-church(para-ekklesia) ministries: No such duckling, unless there is no spiritual oversight(elders) and the people themselves aren't saved. Most reputable ministries will have a spiritually-minded board of directors or some other directing group along with professing Christians serving in them.
Denominations: Do not represent different ekklesias or churches, but merely represent different groupings of ekklesia members.
Magisterium: Non-existant.

Also we must understand baptism not to refer to a "local church" initiation rite which is basically how many Baptist teachers see it, but an act pure obedience to Christ and an identification with the whole ekklesia which is under Christ.

One more very important thing to realize in this discussion is what Christ's relation to the bride is. The bride is not the "local church". It is the whole ekklesia. Christ, in His seven letters to the churches, has shown His willingness to relegate entire groups of believers to uselessness if they do not turn to Him.

(I deleted one last out-on-a-limb comment. You can get on the FFF if you want to see it.)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Why do good, Godly parents sometimes lose their kids? Whether it is David, Samuel, Solomon, or someone you know, it boggles the mind. Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that those we call "Godly" are in really no more than whited sepulchres, outwardly seeming OK but inwardly lacking any sort of Christian integrity. This would be as much a condemnation of us as of them. Perhaps we are looking for the wrong things because we don't what the right things are. If we don't know what the right things are we ourselves are shallow.
But certainly this couldn't be said of David, "a man after God's own heart". But if he was a man after God's own heart, he certainly wouldn't lose his sons? And it couldn't be said of Solomon, who gave the Proverbs, yet his two sons split the kingdom.
The answers can be found in two things: hypocrisy and inattention.
Hypocrisy is inconsistancy with pride. Good parents admit their inconsistancy. Bad parents don't, and use their authority to cover themselves. But the children know, and the teenagers even more so. The resulting lack of respect on the part of the child causes them to become unteachable and turn against what they have been taught.
Inattention has the same effect but indirectly. If the parents are too busy to have sufficient contact with the children then effective communication cannot take place. If effective communication doesn't take place then Satan will usually always step in and mislead both the child and parent on what is really going on, creating friction and resentment. At this point the parent is working from one set of facts and the child from another, nothing gets resolved, and the child turns away.
I suspect that David, Samuel, and Solomon were guilty of inattention. If men used greatly of God can fall into this trap how is it that the soft, struggling Christians of the 21st century think they can have a two-income household and raise their children right? How is it that dad thinks he can work 80 hrs and have a good relationship with his kids? Perhaps it is possible, but the risks are so great it is akin to gambling with your child's life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Textus Receptus (n): What they do in Texas to welcome newcomers.
To paraphrase a fellow FFF member: You can't make jokes about KJVO doctrine without sounding like the real thing.
Now that's scary.
This other quote off the FFF had me laughing inside:
"Don't miss the Calvinist Wars on Secret Radio, starting February 9 and running through February 13. Who will win the war? Or has it been predestined?"
Thought and emotion are two sides of a coin. Since a Christian is supposed to bring his thoughts into subjection before Christ, one wonders how to do the same with emotion and feeling. But the New Testament never appears to treat it conclusively as a separate matter.
That is not to say emotion doesn't matter. But certainly, we say, that a person "feels" a certain way about a topic, when we are trying to say he has a particular opinion, and this way of putting admits the affinity of thought and feeling. For example, I wouldn't feel happy about a certain presidential candidate winning if my opinion and thought were contrary to him in the first place. I wouldn't feel sad over the loss of family or friends unless I thought they were worthwhile people and brought something to life.
Thought and emotion are integrated in another way, too. Anxiety is, by definition, over-thought. It is thinking to much about something and consequently getting worried about it. We also know that anxiety leads to depression. Too much thought causes anxiety and anxiety causes too much thought. But anxiety always begins with a seed of worried thought.
In the case where too much thought is causing anxiety the answer is to busy oneself with useful or entertaining activities that are sufficiently challenging to divert the individual from their brooding; in the case where anxiety is causing too much thought one needs to call upon the Lord for peace. However, if a person has been dealing with anxiety for any length of time it is likely that a "vicious cycle" has already begun to occur in which case both treatments- that of occupation and that of praying for the peace of God- really need to be effected together.
In considering the impact of over-thought and anxiety upon the Christian life it must be admitted that for the person engaging in such mental activities there is a lack of faith, and a presence of self-will. It is for this reason that the anxious Christian, while praying for the peace of God, must also be willing to repent and to admit the soveriegnty and love of God.
Here are some admissions to God that need to be made on the part of the anxious/troubled Christian:
1. Lord, you are in control.
2. You know every detail of my situation.
3. You care about my situation very much.
4. You will, in Your providence, love, and wisdom, guide this situation to conform to your will.
5. Your will is best for me.
6. Forgive me for wanting my will, and for not trusting You.
7. I accept your will; increase my faith and give me Your comfort.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Wisdom from Bill Gates today:
"A high-volume system like (Windows) that has been thoroughly tested will be by far the most secure,"
"To say a system is secure because no one is attacking it is very dangerous,"
Take that, Linux/Mac fanatics.

I am all caught up on the Secret Radio blog. I have enjoyed it, and am becoming frustrated at having to wait 24 hrs for the next installment. :)
I am going to copy something I posted at the FFF:
The NIV forces one to think about the fact that translation is not an exact science, not because it is inherantly erroneous but because the pressing need for dynamic equivalency at certain passages of scripture opens a multitude of possible translations that may or may not fit the original language.
Even in more literal translations the fact that translators are by necessity faced with many decisions means that unless they be infallible, some of these decisions will be less than perfect.
Newspaper-style modern day English is extremely far removed from Greek/Aramaic/Hebrew. Any translation more literal than the NIV will result in a text that is by necessity somewhat more grammatically and metaphorically obtuse than what language is employed in day-to-day business among English speaking people in America. The NIV translators took a risk in allowing for enough dynamic equivalency to match the flow and structure of today's English usage.
The Holy Spirit is more than adequate to compensate for what errors exist.

Monday, January 26, 2004

My page-a-day calendar was still set to 1/22, last Thursday. I never forget to tear the old page off every day to get my new Get Fuzzy comic strip. Realizing my page-a-day calendar was so out of date made me stop and think of how distracted I have been.
I want to try to post weekdaily at a minimum, though. What good is something like this if you are not even posting?
On a side note, I took a "test" on another website that told me what Christian Theologian I was- John Wesley. Here's the address: http://steve.faithweb.com/Quiz/theologian.html
Monday morning. Snow and ice on the roads, all the school systems closed, the newspaper reporting a dnagerous mix of precipitation on the roads, thousands of traffic incidents last night, and guess what? My company's incliment weather hotline says "Come on in." GGRRRRRR.......
Apparently the storm has covered the US from Kansas to S. Carolina and up as far as the Great Lakes. It was my crazy fortune to be in New Bern, NC yesterday when the ice started coming down. The normal 2 1/2 hr drive back home took 8 whole hours because we had to crawl along at 20-30mph due to slippery/icy roads.
The AP story is at http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040126/D80A6G801.html more from my hometown paper at http://www.pilotonline.com
So I'll probably sit here reading more of the Secret Radio blog today because I doubt most of the people here are going to actually come in like I did. There will be no one to help today. Actually I have a laptop I can work on.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Well, telecom guy is back so I just got through moving his data and he should have it in another hour or so. Saw this in the break room and thought it was pretty good:
Technology for Country Folk
Log On: Makin' the stove hotter
Log Off: Coolin 'er down
Monitor: Keepin' an eye on 'er
Download: Gitten the farwood off'n the truck
Mega hurtz: When yer not keerfull gitten the farwood
Floppy Disk: Whutcha git from tryin ta tote too much farwood
RAM: That thar thing that splits farwood
Hard Drive: Gitten home in the winter time
Windows: Whut ta shut when its cold outside
Screen: Whut ta shut when its black fly season
Byte: Whut dem dang flys do
Chip: Munchies fer the TV
Micro-Chip: Whut's at the bottom of the munchie bag
Modem: Whutcha do ta the hay fields
Dot Matrix: Dot Coms after she got hitched to Dan Matrix
Laptop: Whar the kittie naps
Keyboard: Whar ya hang the dang truck keys
Software: Them thar plastic forks 'n knifes
Mouse: Whut eats the grain in the barn
Mouse Pad: Thats jes hippie talk fer whar the mouse lives
Mainframe: Holds up the barn roof
Port: Fancy schmancie flatlander wine
Enter: Duh! How ya git in the house
Click: Whut ya hear when ya cock yer gun
Double-Click: Whut ya hear when ya REALLY mean bizness
Reboot: Whut ya have ta do right before bedtime when ya have to go to the outhouse
I've been spending all my free time today at the Secret Radio Blog http://home.earthlink.net/~graceblog/
Some significant personal issues have come up, so between that and the Secret Radio Blog I am not sure how much posting will get done today. If I don't post again today I will be back on Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

This cracked me up, from friend via email talking about someone else...

"...he is still independent baptist, however no one is sure why."
On the Fundamentalist Forums (link to the right) in the TBC forum, "Coyote" spoke a little about God's will and it really was a blessing. I am going to quote him:

"2 Tim. 3:16-17 (KJV)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

1) All the Bible is God-breathed.
2) All the Bible is profitable.
3) The Bible is profitable for doctrine.
4) The Bible is profitable for reproof.
5) The Bible is profitable for correction.
6) The Bible is profitable for instruction in righteousness.

All that you already knew. But it was verse 17 that really set me free.

[17] THAT THE MAN OF GOD - read that 'person' of God. The Greek word is not referring to the male gender, nor to some prophet-like office in the church. 'Man' here is used as in 'human.'

MAY BE PERFECT - the Greek word 'artios' means perfect in a 'complete' sense. When an artist adds the last touch to his work he says, "Ahhh! It is now perfect," meaning he is finished. The work is complete.

God has given us something by which we will be made perfect, be made complete, in our Christian life - that is the God-breathed Scriptures.

THOROUGHLY FURNISHED - these two words are used to give the sense of one Greek word 'exartizo' which means 'thoroughly furnished' or 'completely equipped.'

UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS - We are fully equipped for what? ALL good works. Every good work which God has called us to do. By what are we complete and fully equipped to perform every good work which God has called us to do? By the word of God, the God-breathed Scripture.

THAT is the sufficiency of Scripture in my life. God's word completely furnishes me with all I need to know to do every good thing God intends for me to do in this life. Bottom line? I don't need a pastor to tell me God's will. I don't need a pastor to equip me to do what God has called me to do. The Scripture is sufficient.

Why was that revolutionary to me? Because I was told that I needed a certain pastor and without him I could not do nor know God's will for my life.

Hogwash."

That's not all he said that was a blessing:

"Want to know how to discern God's will concerning things that are not covered in Scripture? There you have it: Providence, Wisdom, and Liberty.

1st - The idea that there is a 'perfect' will for my life that I might somehow miss if I am not lead of the Spirit in all situations, in my opinion, is not found in Scripture.

2nd - If God wished for us to have someone else make all our decisions for us, then the book of Proverbs and the rest of biblical wisdom literature was a waste of time.

3rd - In all things not commanded in Scripture the Christian is to exercise wisdom, use his Christian liberty, and rest in the knowledge that God's providential hand is working in his life to rule and overule all his stupid mistakes."

Lastly:

"Romans 12:2 (KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


How many times have you been taught from this verse that there are three 'wills' of God - the good will, the acceptable will, and the perfect will of God?

Although that might APPEAR to be what Paul is saying here by the particular construction of the sentence as found in our beloved King James Version, a cursory look at the Greek behind it will dispel all such notions.

'Good, acceptable, and perfect' do not describe three different wills in God, but rather they all describe what God's will for us is. It is good. It is acceptable. It is perfect. It is all three of these things.

There is no such thing as leaving God's perfect will and settling for God's acceptable will or God's good will. That idea is a fiction made up by poor pastors and teachers who are too lazy to do proper study on the text. It is also a pretext used by [name of church] to ensnare people by telling them that if they leave [name of church] they will never know God's perfect will for their lives.

Want to know God's will for your life? Want to PROVE (discern) God's will for your life? Then submit to God's word and allow your mind, your thinking, to be renewed by the word of God. This will transform you and you will prove (discern) what God's will is in any given situation. "

That's not all. What about the Holy Spirit, someone asked?

"Can you help me out with some scripture which teaches us about this inner compulsion? I agree that the Holy Spirit informs our conscience. I agree that the Holy Spirit reminds us of biblical commands and biblical wisdom. But we are no told in the Bible to discern the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, so much as we are told to discern God's will through having our minds renewed by the word of God.

In all matters where the commands of God and the wisdom of God do not lead us to a clear choice we have liberty and trust to the Providence of God. It is through God's providence that He leads us. Those who are 'led of the Spirit' in Romans 8:14 are:
#1 - all Christians, by definition - and
#2 - led through the word."

Then he quotes Eph 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

So many Christians (INCLUDING MYSELF) get all tied up in knots about the will of God. We forget that God has His hand in EVERY area of our lives. He sets up and tears down and turns hearts so that we can walk into and in His will. He has given us unique personalities so that we can be ourselves and at the same time, do the works that God has ordained for us. How many times do we look at the road ahead in disbelief... we wait for a sign forgetting that it was God Himself who paved the road and set us before it!!
I am going to be busy today... the telecom guy will want his laptop, then I have another laptop to reload email on, then another laptop to "lockdown" and make a printer suggestion, as my company restricts user from installing stuff on their own, hence the "lockdown". Also I have to search and destroy a certain program on everyone's computers (I can do this over the network). Plus the little things that always come up.
We went to church last night but on a whim went to another church across town which, as it happened, was having a missions conference. The guest speaker spoke on the passage in which John gives his three-fold affirmation of his love for Christ (John 21). He spoke on the topic "More Than These". The scripture says, "Lovest thou me more than these?" and the point of his sermon was that we should identify anything that we hold more important than Christ and get it out of the way. This man was a missionary to Papua New Guinea and so he shared some great testimonies of God's working and explained that he would not have traded what God has done through him for anything.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Well, if there is one true litmus test for KJVOism, (the idea that the King James Version of the Bible is the only correct and accurate translation because it is founded on better texts) it is the NKJV. Despite what I consider deliberate misinformation on the part of Gail Riplinger, Peter Ruckman, and Jerry Carter, the NKJV is faithful to the Greek and Hebrew readings underlying the KJV. Yet many Baptists who will disassociate with Ruckman over his extreme stand (that the KJV is the only correct translation, period & end of discussion) will attempt to avoid openly accepting the NKJV by repeating the misinformation from the crowd I just mentioned. KJVOism used to be known as Ruckmanism, much like AIDS used to be known as GRIDS(Gay Related Immune Disorder Syndrome). Such people attempt to divorce the fruit from the tree that bore it.
Mr. Network Administrator had it hidden in his desk. I finished loading the software but the telecom tech isn't even here today so Mr. Network Administrator gets to have it all day. Lucky him.
Over on another forum I am newly reading there are some drawn out postings discussing reincarnation. I don't understand how people can approach Christianity and not give any attention to the Bible. Reading the book of Hebrews chapter 9 will inform you that re-incarnation, as taught by some Eastern religions, is not a reality for the Christian. Praise the Lord my hope is not re-incarnation but resurrection. Who wants a second go in this world where human beings are predisposed to failure, struggle, sin, and decay?
There is also no real impetus for change if you keep getting second chances. If I don't get it right in this life, maybe the next. Other practical problems make the re-incarnation scenario a nightmare. I have no way of knowing whether circumstances in my next life will facilitate any further growth. Also, how will what I learned in one life help me in the next if I presently can't even remember my past life?
I like to muse on religion but I will also include a few workplace antics (of my coworkers of course). I work as an IS Tech (Information Systems) so basically, it's my job to handle user complaints. This gives rise to interesting situations, inside and outside my department.
Well, we just recieved a new laptop yesterday for the telecom tech, a Latitude X300. DOA- dead out of the box. Reseat memory/modem-nic/wireless. It now comes up and I spend an hour or so loading it with all the standard stuff our company uses. Next thing I know the network admin has it at his desk testing out a wireless firewall. OK, I am a kind person, he can have it for a while. Well, I come in this morning and it is gone. Now this doesn't alarm me at first because standard practice is to lock up stray laptops in the network room at night to prevent them from walking off. But it isn't in the network room. Or in any of his drawers that are unlocked, or any of my drawers. That darn network administrator must have secreted it someplace! I'll have to talk to him when he gets in. The other possibility is that the telecom tech took it home half-loaded, but I doubt that.
In any case I just put up some links in the top right. The first link is the FFF, the "Fighting Fundamentalist Forums". Most times it is a matter of theological argument, sometimes it is a veritable frag-fest. Weak hearted brethren and sistren should probably restrict themselves to the fellowship forum. It is a fine place to discuss and gossip about the latest goings on in Independant Fundamental Baptist churches, and all the personalities and doctrines involved.
The second link is Antipas Ministries-End Times Network. Spend some time reading through the articles there. You will never see the US the same way again.
The third link is a commentary on the current bear market in the US. Bear? Yes. You will read ruminations from financial columnists on all things currently dangerous to the health and wealth of your investments.
Be back with more...
First blog post, first blog. I feel a bit like Captain Picard as he rattles off the stardate into the captain's log... I intend this blog to be about some of the things I learn and see from my unique perspective. (duh!) So then the name... Moonset. (Don't mean to be new age or anything.) When was the last time you saw, or for that matter, thought about, a moonset?

David T.