Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jack Hyles and the KJV

Jack Hyles did not always believe the KJV was perfect, and his book "Let's Study the Revelation" proves it.
Jack Hyles began on study on the Revelation in 1953, 20 years before the NIV was first copyrighted. He was ahead of his time!
I know Hyles is dead now. But those who run with that same Hammond/FBCH crowd today still hold his legacy high, and ignore history to their own detriment.
I will give the reference, a quote, and a comparison.

Let's Study The Revelation
by Dr. Jack Hyles

Rev 1:6

" AND HATH MADE US KINGS" is better translated, " And hath made us a kingdom of priests." We are to be a kingdom when Jesus comes. John here is looking forward to the one thousand years of peace that Christ will bring with Him when He comes.

Hyles would prefer the NIV: "has made us to be a kingdom and priests"

Rev 2:13

"I KNOW...WHERE THOU DWELLEST, EVEN WHERE SATAN'S SEAT IS. " The word "seat "should be translated "throne. " This church was living where Satan's throne was. Where is Satan's throne? Read II Corinthians 4:4 and John 12:31. Satan's throne is in the world. Occasionally someone says, "God is on the throne of this world. " THAT IS NOT SO. The god of this world is Satan himself.

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "I know where you live—where Satan has his throne."

Rev 4:4

"AND ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE WERE FOUR AND TWENTY SEATS. " The word "seats " is better translated "throne. "

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones"

Rev 4:6

Four new creatures are introduced in this verse. They are called "beasts, " but the best translators call them "living creatures. "

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "In the centre, around the throne, were four living creatures"

Rev 9:1

The fifth trumpet is sounded. Immediately John saw a star. "FALLING " is better translated "fallen. " So this star was fallen from Heaven. Notice that the star is called him, so it must be a personality. Angelic being are often called stars. Adding all of this together, we find that this star is an angelic being, fallen from Heaven.

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth."

Rev 10:6

The angels declares that time (better translated "delay ") should be no longer. God gives plenty of time, but sooner or later, He cannot delay any more and time runs out.

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "There will be no more delay!"

Rev 13:15

"AND HE HAD POWER " is better translated, "And to him was given power. " Satan has no power but that which is given to him by God. God has a governor on him.

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "He was given power"

Rev 14:1

Notice that they wear the name of God on their heads. The translation should be, "HIS NAME AND HIS FATHER'S. " In other words, they will wear Jesus' name and the Father's name on their foreheads. They are not ashamed. God help us to wear His name so men might know that we are His.

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads."

Rev 22:14

"DO HIS COMMANDMENTS" should be translated, "wash their robes." The only way that you may have a right to the tree of life is to wash you robes. The only way to have your robes washed is to be born of the Spirit by faith in Jesus.

Hyles agrees with the NIV: "Blessed are those who wash their robes"

Auld Lang Syne?

This song always depresses me. So I decided I would figure out what this song is really saying and found a reasonable translation of it in modern day English.

"Should old friends be forgotten
and never remembered
Should old friends be forgotten
and the days they shared together

Chorus
"For days now in the past, my dear
For days now in the past
We'll drink a toast of kind remembrance
For days now in the past

"You can pay for your pint tankard
and I will pay for mine
We'll drink a toast of kind remembrance
For days now in the past

"We two have run about the hillsides
and pulled wild daisies
but now we are far apart in distance
From those days now in the past

"We two have paddled in the stream
from morning until noon
but oceans now lie between us
since those days now in the past

"So take my hand, my trusty friend
and give me your hand
and we will take a hearty drink together
In memory of those days now in the past"

The song begins with the rhetorical question, "should old friends and the time spent with them be forgotten?" The answer is obviously "no."
From here, the song talks about a friendship between a woman and a man, evidently two lovers, now separated. Since "oceans now lie" between them, the friend in the last verse is someone else or him imagining his lost love is beside him, in the pub, sharing tankards of ale. I am inclined to believe the latter since the wording of the whole sing appears as if addressed to the same person.
So "Auld Lang Syne" is really the song of a lonely man trying to drown his nostalgic depression with alcohol. What a horrible way to start the new year! You are walking into the new year tipsy and looking backwards!
Remembering the good times in the past is important but what will most effect your life is what you do today and tomorrow.
Instead of making resolutions that bind you, set goals that you would like to achieve. Write them down and reflect on them throughout the year. Don't stress over them, but take whatever reasonable opportunity presents itself to bring you closer to them, and leave it all in God's hands. Step forward and trust Him with the results.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Address Box, NOT SEARCH BOX!!!!

You wouldn't BELIEVE the number of people who call me and don't know where their address bar is. It is one of the scourges I face on at least a weekly basis. I give them a web address like www.joingotomeeting.com and tell them to put it in the address bar? Well, they go and stick it in the search box. I only know this because as they read to me the resultant page it's full of various websites and advertisements.
So for those of you challenged in this area, here are some screenshots of exactly where the address bar is:

First, in Firefox:
Now, in Internet Explorer:

And to think someone over at PC World is predicting the end of tech support. ROFLOL. Not as long as the Baby Boomer crowd is still around.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Kindly Tech Support Tip

All you people out there thinking of calling technical support...
If we say the software is not compatible with certain other software and/or hardware, we mean it.
If by some means you are able to get it working on an unsupported configuration, congratulations, but that doesn't mean we guarantee or support its operation.
So don't call us and put the screw to us because it stopped working on your unsupported configuration and you think we should get it working again because somehow it worked for you before.
Thank you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Customer from Last Christmas Eve

So I am fuming about a customer from a year ago, today.

This customer took a job at a flight school as a Certified Flight Instrument Instructor to begin Jan 1, 2008. As a prerequisite, the flight school required him to complete the Garmin G1000 course by that time.
He had the software since at least before November, when he called to ask if he could install it on another computer. Come the last two weeks of the year and this guy realizes he can't access the last half of the course. The flight school gave him a kit with a code that only unlocks the first half of the course, but did not inform him of it, possibly because they were ignorant of that fact.
The customer emails customer service three days before Christmas. This was the correct action to take, because only customer service can dispense new codes.
Fast forward to the 24th. Our closing time in tech support was 6PM at that time. We were let go early at 2:30P or so because it was Christmas Eve.
This guy calls tech support at a little after 3PM on Christmas Eve and while on hold sends tech support an email saying he is on hold and that customer service "couldn't resolve it" for him. More than likely, the customer didn't like the solution customer service offered, which involved a $100 upgrade to unlock the last half of the course. Because when we called him back after Christmas, he didn't need our help any longer, obviously either biting the bullet and paying the $$ or convincing customer service to give him a free upgrade.
In the meantime he makes several bitter complaints, including one about us not picking up the phone and being on hold on Christmas Eve.
So guess what? This Christmas Eve (2008) the entire rest of the IT department heads out early but we stay here.
All because of a guy who waited until the last minute to complete his course, refused the solution from customer service, and then had the grinchiness to complain when we left early on Christmas Eve even though we couldn't have helped him even if we were there.
If, by some insane stroke of chance, you are that customer and you found my blog, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On Bible Reading

So my Christmas present to myself this year was a hardback Harper Collins NRSV Study Bible.

The Bible is great for reading:
-I really like the paragraph format with the verse numbers in superscript. Bibles that divide the text verse-by-verse are a tremendous distraction to me. Of course, you can find paragraph formatted Bibles in any version, but some versions it is harder to find this. Here is an example of the book of Ecclesiastes from the KJV in paragraph form.
-The language communicates to me without constantly reminding me it's old, different, and peculiar- which is another distraction in casual reading.
-The study notes are right at hand if a verse puzzles me or raises questions.

I think that's what really always got me in reading my Bible... the Book itself (language, formatting, archaisms) was too much of a distraction to work for daily reading.

When it comes to study, I could study out of a Tyndale NT if I had to. In study, you are prepared to dissect the verses and words and contexts. As a matter of fact, an older, more complex version could actually be better for study, if you think about it. I have had a Nelson KJV Study Bible since 2003 and it is excellent. The notes are conservative and the center references are some of the best I've seen. The binding is broken from when I drove off once with it on top of the car... oops!... so I am planning to get another copy sometime.

Another thing I am looking forward to is the "battle of the notes"... the Harper Collins notes, as I am given to understand, are not really conservative at all, while my Nelson notes are very conservative in their interpretation. I am looking forward to some good Bible study in the future with these two!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Assembly

You are the church, and so am I. People are the church, not the organization. "First Baptist Church" or "First Bible Church" as organizations merely designate an assembly of part of the church.
When you view the organizational assembly as the church (which is what I was brought up with) you view ministry as organized and collective. If the ministry isn't linked in and administered by the organization it is considered an invalid "para-church" ministry.
This in turn centralizes the decisions on ministry directions in the hierarchy of the organization, and your paths of ministry are in effect pre-determined by these same men, as long as you choose to stay an serve in that organization.
You can choose to do your own thing but when your complaint revolves around the ministry structure of the church you have to look at it in this light.
I am tired of people pointing fingers at churches without a lot of programs of collective organized outreach and saying they are dead. The rivers of life spring out of the Christian, not the organization. The assembly exists for the edification of each Christian, who in turn do the outreach.
...and each Christian has their own inreach ministry through the local assembly. Christian inreach is by definition collective, as it occurs as the church assembles for various purposes.
This is why when an organizational assembly becomes, for the most part, a giant mechanism for outreach, that inreach dies, and the church hollows out.
Consider I Cor 14:26:
"How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."

The assembly is for edification, not evangelism. As individual Christians evangelize, new Christians are brought into the assembly. This is how it is supposed to work. As the teachers equip with the word of God, the Holy Spirit moves upon the rest to greater holiness and outreach. The early leaders gave themselves to prayer and the word, knowing that an equipped Christian is a going and thriving Christian. The sure foundation of Christ in I Cor 3 in all of us is built upon by the teachers of the assembly- hopefully the gold and precious materials of solid Biblical teaching, not the chaff of opinions and musings and motivational talks.
They did not need collective outreach then, and we do not need it now. That is not to say that there is no value in Christians coming together to reach out to the world- that is indeed a function of the church, but not of the assembly. The distinction is incredibly important. If it were not for door-to-door canvassing (a tactic only made possible by modern urban-/suburbanism) or street preaching (little used among Baptists outside of Ruckman circles) there would be no point in assemblies gathering for the sole purpose of outreach. Furthermore, both of these methods are showing diminishing returns as our selfish, paranoid society becomes ever more disconnected from and distrustful of neighbors that are strangers.
You can continue to insist on outreach-oriented, program-laden organizations that consider themselves self-contained churches if you like. But I have left that for good. It is a system that cannot be held accountable and is ripe for shallowness, doctrinal drift, and authoritarian tyranny.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Ten Commandments of Calling Tech Support

1. Avoid calling on Monday.
2. Try to call in the morning.
3. If you call on a Monday or any evening (after 4PM pacific), be prepared to wait on hold a while.
4. Do not call if it's 30 mins or less before they close.
5. If you are emailing tech support and they ask you to call, then call.
6. Be prepared that you MAY have to spend an hour or more on the phone working with the technician.
7. Be in front of your computer, have it turned on, and be connected to the internet if at all possible.
8. We are going to ask for your name. And your phone number, maybe two. And your email, and probably your address. And maybe the serial number off your product. Even if you have given us the info before, it may be in a different system, or the previous guy didn't input it, or we are required to ask for it or confirm it regardless of the circumstances.
9. Don't call if you are upset, angry, frustrated, impatient, irritated, etc. whether it's about the product even just life in general. Go cool down and relax then pick up the phone and dial.
10. We have no idea on the status of your rebates, or how to get them. We don't know where your free gift is, or what that extra charge is for, or why you didn't get 10% off. We are not the ones to talk to about how you have suffered and want compensation or reimbursement for loss of use, loss of time, lemon laws, shipping charges, or incidental damages to your property or business. We also can't authorize refunds or outright replacements. That is the job of our customer service group. Call them and PLEASE leave these topics out of the discussion with us in tech support.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fix Your Product!!!

As you may know, I work in technical support.

The uninformed generally expect their computer to work like a toaster. Turn it on, press the right button for a given functionality. Or, install new functionality from a disc.
Thus, the conclusion that when new functionality doesn't work right, it is the fault of the new program they installed.
Or, if the new functionality doesn't work, it is the fault of the computer and not the software.
Put simply, the uninformed computer user thinks in terms of distinct, separate modules that either work or don't work.
Rather, different pieces of software have interactions with each other and the operating system. There may be nothing wrong with the software, and the operating system may seem to be functioning normally. But at the level at which the software is trying to interact with the operating system, the operating system is not responding properly, and this results in the program not working.
The concepts of incompatibility and operating system corruption represent a total challenge to the idea of "computer as toaster" and that makes these people upset. Reloading the operating system or removing one program to get another to work is too much trouble for them- they want it all and they want it now.
Your computer is not a toaster. Your computer is a bowl of cake batter. It tastes good up until the point you put in the wrong thing or one of the ingredients goes bad. If you are lucky, the offending part will be modular (think chocolate chips) and you can pick it out and try again. Otherwise, you will have to throw it out and start from scratch. Backup your local data and make use of internet-based apps so you have less data locally. Always be prepared for the possibility of complete loss.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Celebrity editions of Game Shows, etc.

"Celebrity" Family Feud-
"Celebrity" Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader-
"Celebrity" Don't Forget the Lyrics-

If you watch any game shows you know that "celebrity" game shows have been the trend lately. I wondered why, and now I think I know- the economy.

Think about it for a minute- the celebrity lends their appearance on the show to promote the charity, and the winnings that are dispersed to the various charities are completely tax-deductible to the network- as opposed to winnings paid to your average Joe. It saves them money.

In other economic news...

Fast food chains used to take multiple coupons as long as you weren't mixing the discounts. Recently, both Carl's Jr. and McDonalds have put new wording on their coupons that you can only use one per visit.

My wife and I splurged and went to Olive Garden. Prices on entrees have gone up $1.50-2.00. We were shocked to find that adding broccoli to our fettuccine alfredo with chicken would cost us $3.95! Broccoli!
A tip- if you go to Olive Garden and split an entree with someone, they will charge you a fee for an additional salad. This allows them to keep refilling your salad bowl. One bowl of salad is totally enough for two, so make sure to let them know you only want one bowl of salad.

Verizon Wireless used to have a lot of great online discounts. Now, except for a few phones, these discounts have turned into mail-in rebates. I don't do mail-in rebates for four reasons. 1) You have to wait up to 2 months or more for your money, 2) Your name will end up on a marketing list, 3) Rebate processors are widely known for nitpicking your rebate submission to find a reason to reject it and then not tell you, and 4) mail-in rebates are just plain gimmicky.
And with these Verizon Wireless rebates, you don't get a check. You get a pre-paid debit card. Which, in the fine print, may even result in your purchases with said card being tracked- I don't know.

Oh do I have a lot to complain about with Verizon Wireless. I am on my New every Two upgrade time. I don't know if I want to even bother upgrading my phone... every new "feature" on the phones I am looking at would require additional monthly service charges:
Visual Voicemail? $2.99/mo
Browsing the web? $20/mo unless you want to pay outrageous MB charges
Rhapsody Music? $19.99/mo
VCAST TV? $19.99/mo
Verizon Navigator? $10/mo

I could up my "select" family plan to the "premium" plan, but that's $40/mo, and I am the only one using the premium services. I can't justify it.

Verizon locks down their phones so you can only use apps you purchase from them, and even on the expensive smart phones with GPS were you can load your own apps, they lock down the GPS module so it only works with their own Verizon Navigator service.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Vacation Compound

So what is a "Vacation Compound?" I found myself asking that when I read the news that McCain, after losing the election, was going to his vacation compound to relax with his family after losing the election.
"Vacation" sounds good. "Compound" sounds like Waco or a prison camp. It all seemed "oxymoronic" to me until I googled it.
"Vacation Compound" is another term for a small resort.
I wish I had my own little resort to go to when times get tough!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Time to Shock You

...at least my religious friends out there.

I don't want my church to be a ministry, I want it to be a fellowship of believers engaged in helping one another.

I don't believe in invitations.

I don't believe in mandatory tithing.

I believe in equal-elder rule.

I believe in formal church discipline.

I read material from John MacArthur, James White, and Tony Campolo.

...but I am not a Calvinist.

I don't want to identify with any denomination.

I believe in the priesthood of every believer.

I am not KJV Only.

I like the NRSV.

I insist on expository preaching instead of topical preaching.

Women in the pulpit are not a problem, women elders/pastors are.

I think God is OK with rock music.

My favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I think God is OK with women wearing pants.

I think it's OK to skip church for a special event or family time once in a while.

I like to go to church with no tie, my shirt hanging out, and casual shoes.

To me, prayer is a continual conversation rather than a daily appointment.

I think there's room for Christians to disagree on abortion, even though I am against it.

I plan to vote for Obama.

I like to go to the movies (although I haven't been able to afford it).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Churches and Homosexuality

Just a thought....

With so many churches up in arms about "gay rights" it's important to put a little blame where it's due.

Oftentimes supporters of gay marriage will point to the "serial monogamy" of Christian conservatives who have divorced and remarried, or outright cheated and left their spouse.

It's a valid point. Churches are willing to bring out the guns on homosexuals when they have looked the other way on heterosexual divorce and adultery for decades. Where is the vaunted "respect for marriage?"

Only once have I seen a church member formally disciplined for adultery. Why?

Most pastors these days eschew full, Biblical church discipline for pragmatic reasons, and they have their excuses. Ministries must be allowed to grow without dragging out people's dirt and risking a church split. Many of these are the same pastors who hypocritically stand against the church growth movement and CCM on the grounds of faithfulness and holiness and separation.

However it is seen there truly is no separation. Most churches are found to have little to no standing when it comes to speaking out against homosexuality and gay marriage.

Yes, when I say church discipline, I talking about being willing to bring it to the church. I am talking about bringing it to the congregation. If God's Word is being clearly violated, who are you worried about offending? And if they be offended, they are like those who did not understand what it meant when Christ said to "eat my flesh" and "drink my blood."

Some pastors won't do full church discipline because their case against a church member would not stand scrutiny, but they want to run them off anyway.

Why should I should I allow my holiness to be judged of those men who won't judge the unholiness in their own congregations? And I am justified in counting their convictions as worthless since convenience obviously ends up winning the day for them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Still Searching for That Job

OK, I have a computer tech career related rant.

What's more difficult?
1) Fixing someone's computer yourself.
2) Talking an average Joe through fixing the computer over the phone.

Obviously, the answer is number 2.

So why can't I find a desktop support job? I have been searching for a desktop support job for FIVE YEARS. I have done mostly help desk and tech support, but I have done field work professionally and a lot of field work outside the job.

I have walked people through reinstalling Windows, replacing motherboards, reconfiguring Outlook, installing new hardware, updating drivers, flashing the BIOS, you name it.

I am evidently not qualified for desktop support though. There, evidently, is always some hotshot who looks better on paper. I don't know. I decided to forgo the $40K student loan so I don't have a 4-year degree. Maybe THAT'S the problem. Get an associate's degree you say? I am currently sitting across the isle from a technical college grad with a 2-year degree who is making $4/hr less than me and can't find anything else either.

So I guess I am waiting for a company that will judge me by my skills and personality and overall experience more than paper credentials.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

YouTube Uploading and Flash 10

Currently, uploading videos to YouTube on Windows does not work properly with the new Flash v.10. The specific issue is that the Browse button doesn't work. I haven't seen any confirmation from YouTube but downgrading to Flash v.9 does the trick. Here's how:
1. Go into the Control Panel
2. Go into Add/Remove Programs (XP) or Programs & Features OR Uninstall a program (Vista).
3. Uninstall the Adobe Flash Plugin if you want to downgrade Flash on Firefox or uninstall the Adobe Flash ActiveX if you want to downgrade on IE.
4. Install Flash v.9r124 ActiveX for IE or Plugin for Firefox.

You can test your flash plugin and see what version is loaded here.

PS: You can also, instead of downgrading to Flash 9, try using the beta uploader:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sage Advice from CNN

Living paycheck to paycheck like me and need help?
CNN says, those two fast food meals a week ($10) have to go and you should telecommute. If that doesn't work, make more money.
Really. That is the whole of their solution.

Evidently someone had to dash out something by a deadline.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Long Way to Go

Have you ever heard of the Dow/Gold Ratio? You should definitely get acquainted with it. Visit this site and look at the long term chart, and let it sink in.

You will notice that economic downturns never reverse until the Dow/Gold ratio is around 2 or less.

Right now, this second, the DGR stands at 9.4. (DJIA from CNNMoney and Gold Price from goldprice.com)

We have a long way to go people. A DGR around 2 or less indicates a market that has cleaned out excesses. It is very possible the bottom will look like either Gold-2.5k/Dow-5k or Gold-1.5k/Dow-3k before this is over. Enough government intervention and we could see Gold-3k/Dow-3k, perhaps.

Hold on tight and pray!

Living on Less

During some downtime today I came across a CNN iReport about people living on less these days due to the economy.
I can certainly relate to these stories. Although my only debt is a car payment, I still have to cut a lot of things to survive.

We haven't been to a movie in 3 months.
We don't eat out, except for maybe a fast food meal each payday.
The only places I drive are work, church, the grocery store, and one trip each payday to a friend's soccer game.
I have had to ask a family member to split the monthly cell phone bill with me. (I have no landline.)
Our TV is whatever we can pick up with the rabbit ears.
I have downgraded my cable internet service to 1.5Mbps.
My car needs new shocks, new tires, and the AC needs to be repaired, but I absolutely can't afford to do any of it.
My wife wouldn't have the maternity clothes she needs were it not for friends at church. I am very thankful for their support.

It is times like these that you just simply have to trust in God. At least I have a job, we can make the bills, and we have decent health insurance! Although the health insurance is expensive at the small company I work for- my premium pretty much eats $2/hr of my wages.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Six Signs that Your Company is Going Under

(With thanks to this Cracked article)

1. Sudden, company-wide, "all hands" meetings
2. Exodus of executives
3. Positions changed to include extra responsibility, especially to cover people who left
4. Getting a "raise" in the form of stock options instead of money
5. Visits from off-site lawyers, accounts, auditors
6. New rules clamping down hard on use of routine company resources such as office supplies and color printouts

All so true.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Most Dangerous Thing a Christian can Do

From Quadrivium:

"I have discovered the single most dangerous thing a Christian can do. It is absolutely devastating to one’s religion. This single act has the ability to completely demolish one’s view of religion and change how you approach religion for the rest of your life.

Think about it for a moment. Ask yourself the following questions.



1) a. What is salvation?

b. How is one saved?

c. What does it mean to be saved?

d. What is my role in my own salvation?

2) a. What version of the Bible do I hold to?

b. Why?

3) a. When I go to church does everyone look like me?

b. Are there any from the outside?

c. Would we tolerate someone with tattoos? Long hair? Dirty clothes? Where would/do we draw the line when it comes to who we will let in?

i. If we claim we would allow everyone then where are they? “Oh, they just don’t want to come here.” Why not?

ii. “They can’t handle the truth. It is obvious they are sinners and don’t want to hear the truth.” What truth is that? Your doctrine or Biblical doctrine?



There you have it. You have just engaged in the single most dangerous thing a Christian can do… and that is to “Think.” Think about what you believe and why you believe it. "

The Debate and Legitimizing Evil Leaders

I watched the debate and wondered as McCain, over and over again, claimed that talking to Iran or N. Korea meant legitimizing those leaders.
He obviously doesn't respect national sovereignty. He keeps saying "no timetable" when the prime minister of Iraq said they wanted a timetable. Let Iraq be in control of Iraq.
The same with Iran and N. Korea. The leaders of these countries are legitimate in their own right. They were brought to power by the internal sovereign processes of their independent sovereign countries. They are legitimate leaders on the world stage because of this fact. We have no right to question whether they should be leaders unless we are a part the country they are in. Or perhaps in the case of genocide.
Unfortunately, boneheaded Republicans and other red-state types "can't understand" (to borrow one of McCain's refrains) anything outside of their own personal absolutes. Such things as "context," "relative," and even "unity in diversity" are rank heresy-isms. This insistence on judging everything by a personal absolute standard without regard to relative context is arrogance and a tendency I have also dealt with among hard-right Christian fundamentalists. It's an attitude I want nothing to do with.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

YouTube Video Problem under Firefox

My wife was watching a rather disgusting YouTube video about Neti Pots. She was using Firefox and the video would stop constantly, apparently to rebuffer. The kicker is that under Internet Explorer the video ran without a hitch!
After cleaning out cache and cookies and reinstalling Flash, I found out that the Java XPI plugin for Firefox needs to be updated. What this would have to do with Flash videos on YouTube I don't know. It isn't just Java that has to be updated, you have to use the Java XPI plugin installer here.
Alternatively, you could disable Java, but that is an unacceptable solution to me.
Evidently the Flash player uses some Java functionality that isn't properly handled by the default Java plugin included with Firefox.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Country

This country must be run for the benefit of someone else.
I stood there in my kitchen looking at the bottle of salad dressing I purchased from the "99 Cent Only Store". I had left it out overnight and now had to throw it away. I took a mental note to buy more as I reflected on the news that this chain of 99 cent stores was going to be changing their "pricing structure." The dollar stores are now going the way of the dime stores of yesteryear. Perhaps tomorrow's bargain shops will be titled as 5 Dollar Only stores!
It also occurred to me that the child my wife is now carrying will, when it grows up, value the dollar in much the same way we value quarters. He or she may think nothing of putting two or three dollars into the coke machine for a canned soft drink.
Our government uses our tax dollars to bail out corporations that weren't properly regulated to begin with, while the CEO rides off into the sunset with his fat severance package and all the wealth accumulated over the years he led that company down the path to ruin. When our government can't spend our money, it prints more of its own, again at taxpayer cost in terms of inflation, and floods the economy with it in an attempt to correct for the consequences of these fat-cats' mismanagement.
On the other hand, I, the average Joe, am consistently viewed as an expensive burden to corporations I work for, a favorite target of cost-cutting in terms of reduced hours, outright termination, outsourcing, in sourcing, and off shoring. And once I reach the point of needing a bail-out, I have to file bankruptcy, give up my assets and live with the stigma for 7 years. This country is not run for the benefit of the average citizen.
There was a saying in the 1930s, that if capitalism is left to itself it will cut its own throat. Here today in our country and world we are witnessing this. The government is paid off by corporate lobbyists to go light on the regulation but heavy on the rescue. Enough is enough!

Our presidential race pretends to offer hope. On the one hand we have Obama, who picks a VP candidate that compliments him. On the other hand, we have McCain, who picks a VP candidate that does nothing to compliment him but is merely a vote-getter, someone to shore up support from the abortion-obsessed evangelical right and tease over disgruntled Hillary supporters. We have McCain, who since the Republican convention has unleashed a stream of bold-faced smears and lies against Obama. And yet, this man is ahead in the polls? Oh I forgot, the only thing that matters is that whoever you vote for is against abortion. Wake up America!

The unbridled reign of corporations. The simple-minded, red-state, obstinate, decisiveness-over-thoughtfulness, resentful, grudge-holding, single-issue tendency of our much of America. These are the things that keep me up at night and tempt me to despair.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Verses on Forgiveness

Matthew 18:23-35
For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

Ephesians 4:31-32
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

I John 4:20
Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Computer Vocabulary Rant

I work in tech support. A pet peeve of mine is when people get "downloading" and "installing" mixed up. For example, they say they have "downloaded" the program to their computer when really the have "installed" the program from the CD.
To "download" means to transfer a file to your computer over the network.
To "install" means to setup a program on your computer.
Installing a program from CD involves no downloading.
Now you can download a program and install it- you can install a program you downloaded. These are separate things, however.
In case you are wondering, "upload" means to transfer a file FROM your computer to someplace else on the network.

Another big one is "memory" and "hard disk space." "Memory" should not be used when referring to the amount of space on your hard drive. "Memory" refers to the amount of RAM installed on your computer, the space that is used to hold running programs. "Hard Disk space" is space on your hard drive that holds program files and other files whether or not they are being used.

The "computer" is not the screen you look at. The "computer" is the part that you put CDs in.

There- now I feel better!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Schiesty Tricks in Today's Economy

It seems like prices are rising, fees are increasing, new fees are being added. Penalty fees, convenience fees, late fees, unexplained "taxes" you name it.
In this economy where everyone is squeezed, the nickel-and-dime game is on! ...and banks lead the pack. Let me point out a few I have run into:
1. The check you wrote does not show up in your account until after paycheck comes in, but overdraft fee assessed anyway because the bank claimed they received the check the day before. (California Coast Credit Union- my mom)
2. You use your ATM card to withdraw cash and it goes through. You find your account overdrawn and charges assessed because the bank has automatically enrolled everyone in an "overdraft privilege" program. (Bayport Credit Union)
3. You try to use your check card as a debit card most places so you don't have to worry about charges coming in later, only to find out that your bank is delaying the posting of your debit transactions. You haven't kept the receipt so you now have to guess when balancing your account. (Bayport Credit Union)
4. You go to the zoo and notice the parking lot is crawling with meter maids- even though the parking is free. Upon closer inspection you find they are writing tickets for expired registrations, broken lights, missing front license plates, etc. (San Diego Zoo/San Diego Police Parking Enforcement)
5. You have a cell phone plan that includes unlimited text messaging, titled the "Select" plan. You upgrade your "Select" plan to the one with more minutes and being seeing charges for megabytes downloaded. Turns out, they changed the fine print of the plan to count data usage separately, rather then using your minutes as it had before. (Verizon)
6. You take your wife to the doctor at the hospital complex. You park in the garage and get your ticket, but your doctor doesn't validate tickets even though they lease an office in one of the buildings the parking garage serves. The gift shop downstairs won't validate it because you didn't buy anything from them. So you buy something and it get validated, and find out at the attendant booth that it is only good for 30 minutes free. (Sharp Grossmont Hospital)
7. You go to a fast food place for a hamburger combo, which is $5.99. You ask for cheese, and the price of your combo ends up at $6.69. You ask why cheese is 70 cents and are told they put two slices on your burger. You ask for one slice only but they don't seem to listen or revise your total. You pay the $6.69+tax and pull off, and find that your burger only has one slice of cheese. (Burger King)

It doesn't help when your boss says you can't do half-lunches anymore because the payroll needs to look good, or when the place that was going to give you $50 for a blood draw calls and cancels because they have decided they have too many people (Covance).

Thank goodness I am not doing business with an airline right now... unfortunately it will only get nastier out there, I fear. One must have the precision of a lawyer to avoid getting gipped these days... it means reading the fine print and asking the unlikely questions BEFORE doing business.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Bible Laugh

In my Bible reading today, I couldn't help but laugh at the following passage:

II Kings 5:5b-7 (NRSV):
"He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy." When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.""

Friday, August 08, 2008

Fry's and Air Conditioners

If you live in a major California city, you know about Fry's Electronics. Recently I was shopping for a casement window A/C and happened to notice an 8000 BTU unit for $299. This is actually a good deal for a casement window unit. Next to it was a 10000 BTU unit for $399. Now, I had just been all over the internet trying to figure out air conditioners and what was on the market and recommended, but I couldn't remember if 8000 BTUs was enough. I thought to myself, surely they have a BTU/square foot chart to jog my memory.
Well, they did. However, the numbers didn't look right. The BTU ratings seemed high for the square footage. Immediately skeptical, I walked out of the store, planning to get online again and check the numbers.
When I checked, my suspicions were confirmed. The Fry's chart underrates by about 100 sq ft- just enough to make you buy a level higher than you really need. Slick!
I went back to Fry's for the $299 8000 BTU unit, and am sitting in comfort as I type!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Accessing the Hidden Service Menus on your Cell Phone

Your cell phone has a hidden service menu that will allow you to perform tests, modify what types of networks to connect to, setup the GPS, and other advanced functions your cell phone company doesn't want you to see! For many LG phones, the code is ##programXXXX where XXXX is the model number- so for my LG VX5300 it is ##77647265300 then SEND then the passcode which is 00000 for Verizon.
What about your phone? A handy pdf provided by the Digital Antenna company covers them all from the iPhone to the Moto KRZR. This document is designed to help you find out your signal strength and in doing so gives you the codes to the advanced menus.
This info may also help you get out of your cell phone contract- by forcing your phone to always roam. Few cell phone plans charge roaming anymore but the cell phone company still incurs charges. By setting your phone to always roam and use networks other than your home network, you quickly rack up costs for your cell phone company, which after a while will terminate your contract because of it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Impossible to Live without Credit?

Our economy is rigged so that is it almost impossible to live without credit, unless you are starting life with a big pile of $$$ (read "wealthy family").
I am 30 and have no debt except for a car payment. I am the sole breadwinner for my wife and I. After bills and food and gas is there enough to save? Maybe $40 a payday, but that goes to incidentals.
Now I suppose I could make a lot more money if I had a degree. Guess what that would do to me? Put me in debt! 20-30 years of payments. I more than likely would be as tight as I am now.
It makes sense to me why people take on student loans and get deep in credit card debt. It is the easy way to comfortable living. But it is a juggling act of minimum payments with no end in sight.
To balance all this out, I have a God who provides for me. While it is wise to save, He understands our situation and will provide as necessary. I just hate the fact that debt seems so completely necessary in our society.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Hide the Outlook XP / 2002 Address Bar

1. Close Outlook
2. Open regedit
3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Options
4. Set the AddressBarWidth value to 1

Even the Aliens Aren't Safe

This was caught by my spam filter at work today:


Along the same lines, "FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bible Version ROFLOL!

"The drink offering is to be a quart a with each lamb. Pour out the offering of beer to the LORD in the sanctuary area." - Num 28:7 (HCSB)

An offering of beer to the Lord. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The HCSB has officially earned the nickname of "Redneck Version."

Today's Piece of Stupidity


You can't see my mouse pointer in the screen shot, but it is over "Products," which when you mouse over, bring up the sub-choices right underneath it. So why cover it up with a Tooltip?? The same behavior was noted in IE7 and FF3.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cleaning up NET Framework v2 in Vista

Since NET v2 is preinstalled in Vista you can't remove and reinstall. Here is how to repair it, courtesy of http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/02/01/how-to-repair-the-net-framework-2-0-and-3-0-on-windows-vista.aspx :

1. Run the command "sfc /scannow" from an elevated command prompt
2. Repair the (V2) framework with the command "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe update" again from an elevated command prompt

The World From Our Window: Children's ESV Study Bible

The World From Our Window: Children's ESV Study Bible

I thought running across this post was rather incidental given what I wrote in my last post. Personal Bible reading is only a small part of an elementary child's Christian growth, in my opinion, but it is important enough to insist on an accurate translation, be that ESV, KJV, NKJV, or another like it.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bible Translations- Readability

I remember back in the time I was documenting why I was leaving King James Onlyism I ran across the readability scores issue. Readability tests attempt to calculate from the syllables and words and sentences exactly what grade level is necessary to comprehend the test.
One KJVO advocate made the point, using the Flesch-Kincaid method, that many KJVO passages are ranked as easy to read or easier than modern versions. Of course, this depends on which passages you choose; also, you can have one and two syllable words that are difficult to understand, but will cause the test to rank the writing at a lower grade.
I did my own tests, using an online readability analysis site, and used the SMOG score. SMOG is reported to be 98.5% accurate when the results are compared with students from the actual grades in question.
My first passage was Galatians 3:6-29. Here is a sample (vv.15-18) in the KJV:

"Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

The SMOG grade level for the KJV on vv.6-29 is 10.44, or 10th grade. Consider the same sample in the NKJV:

"Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

That is much more readable, and the SMOG score is 9.99- lower than the KJV, which is lower than the NRSV(10.94), or NIV(11.37). Still, it's pretty much 10th grade.

Everyone knows Psalm 23- "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." On this iconic passage the NRSV is the easiest to read scoring 8.48, or 8th grade. The rest in order are NIV (8.86), NKJV (8.92), and the most difficult of four, the KJV at 9.32, or 9th grade.

Lastly, I chose Hosea chapter 2. When I read through the Bible, Hosea was an extremely difficult book to get through- although I could understand the words, for some reason it felt like I was really bogging down. I bought a New Century Version to help me through that book. So what are our results here?
Well, nothing earth shattering. With the exception of the NKJV at 8.86, or upper 8th grade, they all hit ninth grade reading levels: NIV- 9.35, NRSV-9.48, KJV-9.87.

The final averages:
NKJV: 9.26
NRSV: 9.63
NIV: 9.86
KJV: 9.88

All of these versions are hovering around 9th grade, which sounds right. The NKJV seemed to have a penchant for staying down in 8th grade, though. What about the high scores in the first passage? If you read that passage, the content and logical argument preclude easy comprehension. I even tested the kid-friendly NIrV on this passage, which scored 7.49- almost 8th grade! All of the versions bumped up a few grades on this difficult section- so the Hosea and Psalm passages to me are more representative of the versions in general. You only simplify the wording so much before you start saying something different altogether. Galatians 3 is an example of intrinsic difficulty.

You may wonder why I chose the versions I did. I chose them because they are mainstream versions that are designed to be literal, more or less. I did test the NIrV, the CEV, and the NLT on all these passages in the search for a Bible that might be more suited to children. Only the NIrV averaged out to an elementary grade level- 6.53.

The question is, with serious Bible translations that emphasize accuracy coming in at 9th grade, do you really want to hand your child an NIrV and tell them it's the Bible? What are you going to do when they get to 5th or 6th grade- try and replace their NIrV with a NKJV? Maybe let them believe their NIrV is just as accurate as an NASB or KJV? Neither option is ideal.

If you knock a few grades off for good education and assume that your child will more or less comprehend a serious translation by 6th or 7th grade, what do you do before then? (Remember, I am not discussing reading, but COMPREHENSION.)

My solution: put a serious translation in their hand from the time they can read well but realize that they are going to be getting most of their spiritual instruction from you and their other teachers, both in word and example. This is the point that is missed in kid-friendly versions. Really now, is your 4th grader going to crack open his or her Bible everyday unless they are made to? If they did, would they comprehend it? Is your 4th grader even conscious of his eternal standing before Christ? I think until junior high or so a child's spiritual instruction/Christian walk is melded with that of his parents out of immaturity and necessesity. This is where the "train up your child in the way he should go" comes in. Not in the implementation of rules and expectations but in the walking together with your child with the Lord until they can sustain a walk of their own.

By the time they have a serious walk of their own they will be in a position to comprehend a serious translation for themselves. If you can't comprehend Scripture you can't walk on your own.

As an adult I can study from the KJV and get a lot of it. Mostly, it is because the KJV is the version I was brought up on and most familiar with- by changing my study version I put myself at a disadvantage. However, the KJV is not quite as readable, not only in ways detected by SMOG or Flesch Kincaid grade scales, but also in matters of English style and usage. While I may prefer to do serious study out of a KJV, I do much of my casual reading online with the NRSV. My casual reading Bible used to be the ESV. I am considering doing more casual reading from the NKJV -and the benefit is that the new wording often opens up Scriptures in a way I never noticed before. Then I'll head back to my KJV and see it was there all along, and study it further.

Monday, June 30, 2008

As Liberal as they Come? pt 1

The essence of classic Christian liberalism is this- the willingness to allow material observation to judge the Scriptural record as flawed or incorrect.

Evangelicals and fundamentalists for the most part start from Scripture and validate their observations by it. This is a principle enshrined in their theology of Scripture- that Scripture is the inerrant, inspired Word of God. The inerrancy of Scripture then, is their foundational battleground. I dare say that if the first few chapters of Genesis did not exist, most evangelicals would have little problem accepting the day-age theory or even theistic evolution. That final, absolute, Truth is judged by them to be able to be known "a priori" from Scripture is their most enduring characteristic.

While most evangelicals would not hesitate to say Christianity would be true even if the Bible did not exist, that is different than saying there is a reason it must be so. The point I am getting to is this- if you remove the support of Scripture do the truths expressed in Scripture follow from what remains? If all you have is the Holy Spirit and creation around you, and the traditions of the churches, does the evangelical or fundamentalist understanding retain any relevancy? Would it follow?

There is the danger that we appeal to human sensibility which may or may not be inclined toward Spiritual things. It is because of this that one very good reason for an inerrant, inspired Scripture presents itself- a check upon our own sin nature and human errancy.

I think we should admit into our thinking at least one bit of Scripture, if for no other reason than it was spoken by Christ. He told us that He would send a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, would be a Teacher, and lead us into all truth. Well there you have it. If Scripture is authored by God, it should be interpreted by and attested to by His Holy Spirit. To broaden that statement, if it is God's truth, the Holy Spirit should attest to it.

Now this is a difficult thing, because many people have many different ideas of what the Spirit is saying to them. Well, then we should look at the traditional teachings of Christianity through the ages, as a testimony to the Spirit's working through ALL people and times. This method would agree with Scripture were it says that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

What you find when you take this tack... when you admit that God has chosen to teach truth to man and that He does so through His Holy Spirit as expressed through the churches through the ages... you find that the upper hand does not rest with the liberal, but rests with the evangelical.

Furthermore, traditional church teaching has upheld the authority of Scripture and has constantly been engaged in vindication of it. The writings of B.B. Warfield are very instructive in this matter.

"The Fundamentals," written during the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy, were little more than a restatement of traditional Christian belief.

So this is my thinking. You not only have traditional church teaching, you also have the authority of Scripture to deal with, and traditional church teaching that upholds that authority. That testimony is difficult to go against.

Next post: my tension.

Why I Still Buy CDs

In the era of iTunes you may wonder what good are CDs? There are many reasons:

1. No DRM- you can put your music on any number of devices
2. No losing your music because your computer crashed and you didn't backup
3. Solid proof you own the music
4. You can listen to your music in situations where you don't have a music player or computer
5. You can show off your collection without having to turn on your computer
6. CD quality- no compression loss
7. You can sell your CDs when you don't want the music anymore
8. You get the album art and inserts

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Solutions for SQL Server 2005 Install Errors

Error 29521:
1. Make sure the date and time are accurate.

Error 29503:

1. Ensure your system meets the requirements
2. Remove all SQL components from Add/Remove Programs
3. Download the Windows Installer Cleanup and remove any SQL entries
4. Remove the following folders:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server
XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data
Vista: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data

5. Open regedit and go to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services and delete any "MSSQL..." and "SQL..." keys. Also delete:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Native Client
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Redist
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MSSQLServer

6. Restart and disable your firewall
7. Reinstall

Error 29515:
1. Import this registry file and reinstall

WMI check failed:
1. Copy the following lines into a "fixwmi.cmd" file and run it (As Administrator in Vista)

@echo on
cd /d c:\temp
if not exist %windir%\system32\wbem goto TryInstall
cd /d %windir%\system32\wbem
net stop winmgmt
winmgmt /kill
if exist Rep_bak rd Rep_bak /s /q
rename Repository Rep_bak
for %%i in (*.dll) do RegSvr32 -s %%i
for %%i in (*.exe) do call :FixSrv %%i
for %%i in (*.mof,*.mfl) do Mofcomp %%i
net start winmgmt
goto End

:FixSrv
if /I (%1) == (wbemcntl.exe) goto SkipSrv
if /I (%1) == (wbemtest.exe) goto SkipSrv
if /I (%1) == (mofcomp.exe) goto SkipSrv
%1 /RegServer

:SkipSrv
goto End

:TryInstall
if not exist wmicore.exe goto End
wmicore /s
net start winmgmt
:End

COM+ Catalog Check Failed:
1. Open a command prompt (right-click and run as admin under Vista)
2. Run the command msdtc -uninstall
3. Run the command msdtc -install

"Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server due to a failure in starting the process for the user instance"
1. Restart
2. Delete the appropriate folder from within:
XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data
Vista: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data

If that doesn't work, repeat the above and then:
3. Go the SQL Server Configuration Manager and stop the service for your database.
4. Change the login to "Local System" and start the service.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Of those called Independent Fundamental Baptists

From The Trail Home blog:

"Fundamentalists love the designation 'independent, fundamental Baptist'. The problem, first, is this:

"They are not 'independent (which to them means non-denominational)'.
The term 'denomination' generally referred to Protestant churches for the sake of 'denominating' themselves from other Protestant churches. 'Independent, fundamental, Baptist' churches are a denomination because it is a name applied ('denominated') to these churches. It has nothing to do with the form of church government. Each church is connected by a 'Bible college' or a 'camp'.

"'Fundamental' refers to the 'fundamentals' of the Christian faith. The problem is that they are rather choosy about what those 'fundamentals' are, taking away fundamentals they disagree with (Sacraments, Eucharist), and adding (Rapture, Premillenialism), 'fundamentals' that have never been a part of the Historic Christian faith.
Fundamentalists are 'anti-creedal', they will not acknowledge the historic creeds of the Church claiming: 'The Bible is our creed', which becomes very subjective. To claim 'sola scriptura' presents problems because each person interprets that phrase, and the Bible, differently. There simply is no authority. Without any authority, many fundamentalists fall into the heresies of the past. For example, many fundamentalists have begun to deny the doctrine of original sin, a heresy the Church dealt with centuries ago. Once you deny the doctrine of original sin, other doctrines follow like dominoes, the Virgin birth, the impeccability and (eventually) the Deity of Christ. Many take a modalistic view of the Trinity, another ancient heresy. Some deny the need for repentance in regard to salvation. Without any doctrinal authority, 'fundamentalism' become very 'non-fundamentalist'. Many fundamentalist churches have a 'doctrinal statement'. The problem comes from the 'doctrines' within it that were never part of Historic Christianity.

"Baptist? Their claim to be Baptist is a problem as well. Baptists originated out of the Reformation. Fundamentalist claim never to have been part of the Reformation and state Baptists predate the Reformation, and in fact, finds its roots in the Early Church. This is accomplished through revisionist history with absolutely no historical foundation. The beginnings of this can be traced back to a 19th century in a book entitled: 'A Concise History of Baptists' by G.H. Orchard.' In the 20th century, this was shortened in a booklet called ''The Trail of Blood' by J M Carroll.
Many Baptists to this day believe this is a historically accurate portrayal of history. Though rejected by historians, many Baptists understand this largely fabricated historical account to be the story of how Christ established the Baptist church (beginning with John the Baptist) and how it remained the one true church loyal to Christ for the past 2000 years. Dr. Carroll seeks to identify the Baptist church of today with nearly every medieval and early heretical group. Some of the ones he cites most often are the Donatists, Montanists, Paulicians, Albegensians, Waldenses, and Anabaptists. His claim is best refuted by simply examining who these heretics were and what they taught. In all cases it is a far cry from what modern Baptists believe.
If the 'true Church' was an 'underground' Church until the Reformation (which they claim not be a part of anyway), there is a problem with the very words of Christ. He said 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against' the Church. Trail of Blood history turns Jesus into a liar.

"In this, only one conclusion can be reached.
'Independent Fundamental Baptists' are neither independent, fundamental, nor Baptist."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Expository Preaching

"What is the evidence of a disconnect between Scripture and theology? First, in many circles of Fundamentalism, the lack of clear expository preaching has left the person in the pew unable to critically examine whether what is stated in the pulpit (or on the website) is biblical. Expository preaching, by its very nature, helps listeners move from the text to theology. A good expositor demonstrates a clear connection between the text and his interpretations and applications. The listener learns to judge every statement by the text in front of him. When expository preaching is absent or weak, the listener cannot see how the sermon comes from the text and is forced to “just trust” that the preacher is right. Rather than being noble Bereans, who have the ability to search the Scriptures and to confirm the “biblicity” of the sermon or lesson, believers must suspend their obedience to “prove all things” and blindly accept the word of the preacher. There have been far too many breaches of trust by now for thinking people (especially those in the younger generation) to continue to offer slavish devotion to those who purport to be speaking for God but cannot or will not provide biblical proof. Many today (rightly) demand to see the connection between the sermon and the text. Sadly, there is more commitment to this principle among many conservative evangelicals today than among fundamentalists who claim to be more biblical."

- Mark Farnham

Friday, April 18, 2008

What I learned from Universal Healthcare

I ran across this article which gave a good close look at how five other countries provide universal healthcare.

Three things stood out:

1. Solidarity

Over and over in the interviews, representatives from each of the countries talked about solidarity. It occurred to me that such a concept is lacking in America. Face it, our country is very much divided. Universal healthcare doesn't mean national healthcare, so to frame the issue as a personal responsibility/Republican vs. government entitlement/Democrat debate is to completely miss the point. Americans don't believe all Americans should be taken care of, as Americans, because of our social division. As long as this social division persists we may get nowhere on healthcare. Our social division stems from a history of racism and extreme individualism. Our division probably also stems from the number of ways "American" is defined. The inability of individual American citizens to stand up for their neighbors in this and many other areas, just based on the fact that they are Americans also, is troubling.

2. Non-profit Healthcare

Most people don't understand what non-profit is. They somehow think that a non-profit organization is all-volunteer and funded by contributions. Of course this isn't the case. The people who run a non-profit may charge for cost of material used and services. What they can't do is pay investors or offer stock. For a long time I have wondered why our government allows the profit motive to exist in the healthcare industry. Money and compassion are like oil and water.

3. Facilitating, not Funding, Coverage

Of the five countries mentioned in the article, only one, the UK, fully funds health coverage from taxes. The other governments facilitate coverage primarily through regulation. This regulation includes:
1. Making it illegal to turn people down or refuse to cover pre-existing conditions
2. Offering premium assistance to low-income families and/or pegging premiums to income

A Word on Jeremiah Wright

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wierdness for Today

Burger King Eat Like Snake Triple Whopper Commercial

Windows ISN'T Collapsing

So the big news is that some over-paid analysts are telling us that Windows is collapsing.

Not so. The answer is pretty simple; if Windows' was THAT much of a disaster, people would be buying A LOT more Macs then they are. They are not, and it proves that the value of an OS, for most, is determined by what it can do, not so much in terms of OS features but in what software is available for it. It's why OS/2 Warp and Geoworks Ensemble went the way of the Dodo bird.
A poster on the Ars Technica forum put it well:
"There's no real alternative for a PC based OS, so it is not collapsing. Every time someone tries to come up with an alternative, they just end up making another version of crappy linux. Not everyone is going to run to Apple."

Backwards-compatibility is the selling point that trumps new features. I find it interesting that these analysts never tell us WHAT Vista should have been, only that it was lacking.

While Microsoft did have to reset the code base during the development of Vista, they actually took a risk and DID IN FACT impinge upon the all-sacred backwards-compatibility somewhat by introducing UAC and Virtualization. Even at that, Microsoft wrote hundreds of "shims" to ensure maximum compatibility even in this scenario. And look where it got them... the uninformed among us are calling Windows a disaster for the simple reason that it chokes on the software and printer drivers they have had laying around for two years. So real glitches with Vista don't get the spotlight they need, such as WEP adapter/router issues, file copy speeds, and ZIP extraction speeds.

The ultimate villain is.... the consumer. The level of vitriol you get from people when they are told the new OS won't support there old software and drivers and they are going to have to spend $$$ to get things working right is ridiculous. They try to blame Microsoft when Microsoft was simply trying to make a substantial improvement re: security. And, after all, is that what the customer paid for? A new OS with substantial improvement?

The consumer is the ultimate villain in a another way, too. For the entire reign of XP, consumers have griped and moaned about Windows lack of security. It has been the single biggest tarnish on Windows' reputation. Microsoft actually DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT in Vista and consumers whine and cry about the side effects.

People complained the first few years of XP, too, but that is all but forgotten in the now-is-too-late world of personal computing. So yet we see a THIRD WAY in which the consumer is the ultimate villain. Microsoft releases XP SP2 to more-or-less critical acclaim and gives us all time to breathe and spend the next THREE YEARS running one of the best versions of Windows to ever exist. The consumer gets spoiled and as a result, no new version of Windows would have made them happy. But if Microsoft had released Vista in 2005, they would have still taken flak. Darned if they do, darned if they don't.

A new OS isn't a glorious occasion, no matter how much the marketing people say otherwise. It is a changing of the guard and a new way of thinking.

What really leaves me dumbfounded is the number of people who claim to be "technically savvy" putting down Vista and assuring us they are going to keep XP for a few more years. Anyone who made the transition from Win9x to WinXP should know and understand the stakes moving from XP to Vista, and be able to vet the software/driver config on their system. While it may not make sense for Granny to upgrade, if you are a technical person running Windows- I am going to go ahead and say it- you are a wimp if you are not at least WILLING to go to Vista. Now.

At the core of the issue is the fact that a desktop OS has to be jack-of-all-trades. It has to fit in a corporate environment, and it has to play games and manage photos at home. It has to expose enough functionality to satisfy the tweakers and techies, while being intuitive enough to be used by Joe Six-pack. It has to run on budget boxes, and high end gaming rigs. Windows does pretty well, all things considered.

Part of the problem are the programmers themselves. Unfortunately, programmers write for operating systems, not platforms. They have been writing for Windows XP, not the Windows platform. They take their shortcuts to get it to work on the target OS and think Vista is stupid for breaking their code, when Microsoft has been basically telling them how to write Vista compatible apps for YEARS- if they would only follow Microsoft's guidelines.

For this reason, if you are running Vista, ONLY install software and hardware that specifically says it is Vista compatible. Oh, and if the instruction booklet says you have to turn off UAC for the program to work, IT ISN'T VISTA COMPATIBLE, no matter how much that company says it is. Run, don't walk, from that company's products, because their programming team is criminally ignorant.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Geekiness

If you are a true computer geek, you will appreciate this screen shot!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Uncomfortable in Church this Morning

So I was uncomfortable in church this morning concerning the preaching.
Depending on your background, this will provoke one of many responses:
1) Wow, the preacher must have been hot and screaming and stomping on toes!
2) The preacher must be teaching some weird doctrine.
3) You must have been convicted.

I have to say it was #3. Now, I post this because I want to focus on what it was not- #1. The preacher is not a toe-stomping, barn-raising, pulpit-kicking kind of guy. He doesn't have to be, though. Had he been, I could have walked out of church and blown it off because I figured he just pressured me. Or, I could have gotten scared and decided I had better do what he said!
Neither response is edifying for the Christian. Had I blown it off, I would have missed an opportunity for real growth, and that would have been the preacher's fault. Had I knuckled under to the force of his pulpit presence, I would be doing it out of the fear of man- something the Bible warns us against.
Instead, it is clear to me that the Spirit inside is trying to speak. It is clear to me that by taking this step, I am following the Spirit. It is clear to me that this guidance comes from God, not man.
Toe-stomping preaching causes Christians to "grow" based on fear, guilt, and manipulation. It is a false growth that further separates the Christian from the Holy Spirit at every step since the Christian is responding more to the preacher's "power" then to the power of the Spirit.
This is why I have a red cross-out over a picture of Billy Sunday on the right side of my blog, with the reference to II Tim 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

If toe-stomping preaching is what you are getting then find a church that doesn't have it. Ignore the blowhards that call you liberal, lily-livered, panty-waisted, and any number of other adjectives that prove the point.

Its not about finding a church that makes you comfortable; its about finding a church that lets the Holy Spirit do its job of making you uncomfortable.

Good Churches

You may read my blog and wonder, "he seems really down on churches, especially independent Baptist churches." Well, now is the time to discredit that notion. While I struggle with what church is supposed to mean to me as regards my relationship with God, I want to list three churches I have been to that I am impressed with. All have solid expositional teaching, and incidentally, none are connected with First Baptist of Hammond. Just thought I would throw that in there. Oh, and this is a shocker, all of them use the KJV and TWO of them are KJVO & IFB! Yeah I know, that's trippin', right?! They all have websites. They all are very conservative smaller churches. If I were near any of these churches I would go to them in a heartbeat.
I have been to many other churches, some good, some important to me personally, some bad, some REALLY bad, but these stand out for me in general.

Church #1, my present church,

Faith Community Bible Church

A conservative baptistic church that has early services and uses the KJV as the main translation- that is a tall order in San Diego, CA. FCBC fits the bill, however. Like all the churches on this list, solid expositional preaching is what you'll get. Sunday morning is preaching service only, Sunday night is more of a teaching time, and Wed night is devotion and prayer. The people here seem to manifest the fruits the Spirit, and they seem to exhibit an attentiveness to doctrine, not just in creed but also in understanding from the Scriptures themselves.

Church #2, my previous church,

Cornerstone Baptist Church
Finding conservative, expositional preaching the St. Louis area is nearly impossible, but the pastor here does a great job of it- his commitment to the Scriptures and his education make for some really edifying teaching. The music is excellent, and the people have a Christian spirit.

Church #3

Peoples Baptist Church
Pastor Wetherington has a passion for solid Bible teaching and it really shows. Not only does he bring forth the Word but he does so with passion- not a Billy Sunday theatrics passion, but a heartfelt passion that challenges you personally. In addition, the schedule of church functions made it really easy to fellowship with everyone there. I'm still kicking myself for leaving. :)

So there you have it. Three churches I am actually fond of. You see, KJVO and dress and music really isn't the issue for me, although I could be considered "liberal" by some on those matters. When the Word is preached thoroughly and accurately, and when the people manifest the fruit of the Spirit, and when evangelism is truly balanced with discipleship, that's priceless. Hell, I'll read along in the Greek if that's what such a church is using.

:)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Of Villains

"We all want to hand that world off to our children in slightly better shape than we received it. No one...has any reason to want anything different. But, for some reason, we find ourselves searching for villains. Surely they exist, but the endless quest to create them sometimes overwhelms our better judgment, whether intentional or not."

-Glenn Beck

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

There Should Be a Bumper Sticker...

Dogma: Anything you are not allowed to be skeptical about

CAPS LOCK IS A STATE OF MIND

Its Not Wrong to be Right

I saw what you did & I know who you are!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Answer to Developing Artifical Intelligence

As you may know, many websites now require you to look at an image of a distorted word, or CAPTCHA, and enter what the word is, to verify you aren't a machine. The point is to create a challenge that a human can solve, but not a computer.
However, the spammers and scammers of the Net appear to be cracking even this! See this article for an example, and this page.
One of the solutions mentioned in the Escape from CAPTCHA presentation is the use of logic tests. Such as, here are three animals, and you have to pick the one that is a fish.
However, greed knows no boundaries. Spammers and slimy marketers are cracking CAPTCHA. If the Net moves from CAPTCHA to logic tests, it will be no more than a decade or two before these slimebags develop full-fledged human-level AI in the pursuit of riches. I really believe that.
The only question is when sites will move from CAPTCHA to logic tests- or even if. CAPTCHA will be fully broken in another 5 years at most. Three years later, sites will have moved to something different. If it is logic tests, and we give the spammers 20 years to overcome the increasingly difficult logic tests that will be put out to combat their advances, we are looking at the development of human-level AI by 2036.
I can't wait!

The Right and Wrong of Right and Wrong

This is hilarious, and yet thought provoking.

Just a sample:

"Being right isn't always right if all you want is to always be right.
Being wrong can be right if you learn from being wrong.
So I would say being right can be wrong and being wrong can be right.
But it can be right to be right, and being wrong can be wrong.

At least thats what I think.
Am I right?"

And that's just scratching the surface.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Remote Desktop on Premium, Vista Network Tuning, and Firefox tabs

Remote Desktop:

Install Remote Desktop capability on Vista Home Premium (RTM or SP1)


Vista Network Tuning:

Vista includes a new feature called autotuning, where the operating system self-tweaks your internet connection (TCP/IP) settings on the fly to get maximum speed. Unfortunately, this prevents YOU from tweaking yourself. Vista's autotuning can be disabled though. Start by going to Start>All Programs>Accessories and right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator, then enter the following command:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

To turn back on, use:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal

However, Vista's autotuning is a great option. The problem is, some routers and servers don't work well with it, dropping packets or even connections, slowing your apparent internet speed. The best option is simply to have Windows Vista stay conservative about its tweaking by using this command:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=restricted

This way you can get some of the benefits of autotuning but at the same time avoid a lot of problems and slow-downs that arise with the default setting.

This next tip will definately benefit people with high-latency broadband connections such as cellular or satellite.
Windows has a special TCP congestion provider to better handle traffic on such networks, CTCP. To enable it, go to the command prompt like before and enter:

netsh interface tcp set global congestionprovider=ctcp

While you are at it, enable TCP timestamps which are especially helpful in such cases:

netsh interface tcp set global timestamps=enabled

Enabling CTCP and timestamps don't have much effect if you are connecting to a modem at home or a company network.

Firefox Tabs:

If you run Firefox and open many tabs, you often have to click to scroll left and right through tabs. If you have a wheel mouse, you can just position your pointer over the tabs area and use your wheel to scroll through the tabs. It is not perfect, sometimes it won't go all the way over (at least as of FF 2.0.0.12 with my Microsoft Intellimouse) but it is pretty neat.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What I am Looking at Today 3/22/08

The Most Poisonous Animals

Most poisonous snake:
Inland Taipan
From Wikipedia:
"A single bite from the Inland Taipan contains enough venom to kill as many as 100 human adults, or 250,000 mice. The average venom yield of this snake is 44 mg, with a 110-mg being the largest recorded yield. Its venom is 50 times more toxic than that of the Indian Cobra and 650 - 850 times more toxic than that of a Western- or Eastern Diamondback. The Inland Taipan has an extremely neurotoxic venom which can cause death to an adult human in as little as 45 minutes."

Most poisonous spider:
Brazilian Wandering Spider
From Wikipedia:
"These spiders are notorious both due to their toxic venom, and because they are not reluctant to attack people who appear threatening. ... Bites from these spiders may result in only a couple of painful pinpricks to full-blown envenomation. In either case, people bitten by a Phoneutria or any Ctenid should seek immediate emergency treatment as the venom is possibly life threatening."

Most poisonous sea creature:
Box Jellyfish
From Wikipedia:
"Box Jellyfish are best known for the extremely powerful venom possessed by some of their species. The Chironex fleckeri and the Carukia barnesi (Irukandji) species are amongst the most venomous creatures in the world. Stings from such species are excrutiatingly painful, either initially or as an after-effect, and are often fatal."

Most poisonous vertebrate animal:
Golden Poison Frog
From Wikipedia:
"This amphibian of the dendrobatidae family is currently considered the most poisonous vertebrate worldwide."

Monday, March 17, 2008

What if it was us? Chilling.

From a column by Tom Engelhardt:

"Imagine, for a moment, that you live in a small town somewhere near the Southern California coast. You're going about your daily life, trying to scrape by in hard times, when the missile hits. It might have come from the Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – its pilot at a base on the outskirts of Tehran – that has had the village in its sights for the last six hours or from the Russian sub stationed just off the coast. In either case, it's devastating.

"In Moscow and Tehran, officials announce that, in a joint action, they have launched the missile as part of a carefully coordinated "surgical" operation to take out a "known terrorist," a long-term danger to their national security. A Kremlin spokesman offers the following statement:

"'As we have repeatedly said, we will continue to pursue terrorist activities and their operations wherever we may find them. We share common goals with respect to fighting terrorism. We will continue to seek out, identify, capture, and, if necessary, kill terrorists where they plan their activities, carry out their operations, or seek safe harbor.'

"A couple in a ramshackle house just down the street from you – he's a carpenter; she works at the local Dairy Queen – are killed along with their pets. Their son is seriously wounded, their home blown to smithereens. Neighbors passing by as the missile hits are also wounded.

"As it happens, there are no terrorists in the vicinity. Outraged, you organize your neighbors and march angrily in protest through the town, shouting anti-Russian, anti-Iranian slogans. But, of course, there is nothing you can really do. Iran and Russia are far away, their weaponry powerful, your arms nonexistent. The state of California is incapable of protecting you. This is, in fact, at least the fourth time in recent months that a "terrorist" has been declared "taken out" from the air or by a ship-based cruise missile, when only innocent Californians have died.

"As news of the "collateral damage" from the botched operation dribbles out, the Russian and Iranian media pay next to no attention. There are no outraged editorials. Official spokesmen see no need to comment further. No one is held responsible and no promises are made in either Tehran or Moscow that similar assassination strikes won't be launched in the near future, based on "actionable intelligence," possibly even on the same town. In fact, the next day, seeing UAVs once again soaring overhead, you load your pickup and prepare to flee. "

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Word on Words

Eph 5:4
Neither FILTHINESS, nor FOOLISH TALKING, nor JESTING, which are NOT CONVENIENT: but rather
giving of thanks.

aischrotes:
filthiness - KJV
obscene (talk) - NRSV
* obscenities- impolite, rude, or offensive words- e.g. cussing
* also referring to behavior- aischrotes is not specific to words only except possibly
within the context of this verse

morologia:
foolish talking - KJV
* foolish words - subject matter that is untrue or unrighteous

eutrapelia:
jesting - KJV
vulgar (talk) - NRSV
coarse joking - NIV
* coarse joking- obscene humor

anakou:
not convenient - KJV
not fitting - NKJV
out of place - NIV


Obscenity is pretty clear. In today's society, one example would be cussing. Of course, as with dress and music, language norms are defined by society and change going forward. Perhaps 50 years from now f--- will be polite language, although I doubt it. It is only within the last century that pants have come to be considered acceptable for women.
How does the church respond in this environment? I don't believe it is the churches' job to be the progressives. The church should take a conservative position within society and instead of a knee-jerk reaction against societal shift should be open yet careful. In 20 years the progressives of today will be the conservatives, and the church will move with that to the extent Scripture is not explicit against it. This is not a bad thing. Just because something shocked our grandparents doesn't mean it is wrong. Shock is just as psychological as it is moral.

Discussion that is unrighteous is "foolish talk." As we remember from Pro 24:9, "the thought of foolishness is sin," and how much more sinful is the discussion of it? The difference between "sin" and "foolishness," Biblically, is very slight. If we rephrase that verse to say that the thought of sin is sin, most would be quick to reply that we are often tempted, and temptation is the thought of the possibility of sinning, but it is not sin to be tempted. So then foolishness is the carrying out of sin, which begins when we devise to sin and continues when we discuss how to sin and culminates when we commit the act.

Foolish talk then is that talk which commits itself to the idea of sinning. Foolish talk is not merely discussing sin but putting forth sinful words or plans to commit sins. Sin, of course, is anything contrary to God's law. Foolish talk would include high school guys discussing how to get a girl in bed. It would include tearing someone down. It would include spreading gossip. It would include discussing plans to shoplift.

Eutrapelia really refers to humor that would fall under the first two categories. So what is being said is, obscenities, foolish talk, and humor which is obscene or foolish is out of place for you (as Christians). The best translation is "coarse joking." You may remember Pro 14:9, "fools make a mock at sin."

Paul tells us that these kinds of words are not proper for us. The are out of character for the Christian and represent the opposite of what a Christian should be.


Mat 12:36
But I say unto you, That every IDLE WORD that men shall SPEAK, they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment.

argos:
idle - KJV
careless - NASB/NIV
* not pertaining to serious matters

rhema:
word - KJV/All versions
* content or subject matter of what is being communicated

laleo:
speak - KJV
utter - NRSV

The interesting thing about this verse is that, contrary to popular perception, Jesus isn't saying "idle words" are wrong. This verse is similar to Mat 5:18 ("jot or tittle") and Mat 10:29 ("sparrows...shall not fall") in that Christ is placing attention on a small part of something to show us that He takes the whole very seriously.
In this case, even talk which is not taken seriously will be judged. No words we speak are insignificant enough to escape specific judgement when we stand before God.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

To Fundamentalist Parents Everywhere

This can't be true Christianity. It can't be.
They try to change the heart through law. They turn the screws, and keep turning. They pressure and push. They use force. They draw a line in the sand and ask everyone to choose sides. They scout around for anyone who might be willing to join them in putting on additional pressure. They go to the point of destruction in order to impose what they think is right.
They want to change the outward by conforming the outward. Their "principles" do not allow them to let go of the outward situation long enough to cultivate a heart connection that would get them what they want.
Outward change comes from inward growth, and inward growth comes from a maturing soul and spirit. Don't complain about a lack of maturity when you have sought outward change by means of force. Shepherding is the spiritual activity whereby a more mature believer befriends and guides other believers to seek the Lord. This you should have done.
Our knowledge will not be perfect until "that perfect is come." Your convictions in this situation should be under the rule of Christ. As such, you missed an opportunity for your own growth when you passed on the opportunity to shepherd us.
Prayer is the first resort no matter how obvious the situation. Not only did we need your shepherding instead of your force, we needed your prayer instead of your force. You apparently only dared to shake the gates of heaven when the situation got completely out of your hands.
Weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that rejoice. If one member suffer, all suffer with it. We are members of one body. Can the hand say to the foot, I have no need of you? But those members which we consider to be less, we dress them with greater adornment. We should have the same care one for another. If you have something against your brother, lay down your gift and be reconciled. We are part of the church too.
You might have gotten what you wanted now had you not used force all along. Your comprehensive, unrelenting, unmerciful, and aggressive opposition gave us something to protect and fight for.
I wish to God I had arrived at this point in my life by means of your shepherding, rather than your opposition.