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Twenty Observations and a Few Additional Thoughts….

The Weekend to Remember Conference gave me some needed rest and mental refueling. Crawford Loritts is really a GREAT example of a pastor and leader. I tell you the truth – this man made me want to dress up in armor and fight the invading hordes of whateverstan with nothing but a spear, sword and shield.

I got a quick chance to talk with him (originally confusing him for his son, Bryan Loritts, who made the Elephant Room comments that I disagreed heavily with) about said comments in parenthesis.  Dr. Loritts was very gracious and mentioned that the point his son was trying to make was that sometimes, when ‘our people’ (African-Americans) get introduced to new theology, there is a tendency toward ‘hero worship’ and attempting to parrot just to fit in (my words, not his).  I can agree with that to a point.  I do think that Bryan could have phrased his statements better…. but I see where he gets his ‘strong stances’ from.

Anyway, Dr. Loritts really REALLY did a spectacular job speaking at the Weekend to Remember Conference. I just wanted to push that point home.  I wish WTR would record and make his sessions available online. A lot of people could benefit from them, especially in African-American communities where the fatherlessness rate is almost double the country’s national average.

That moves me on to my FB page….and it generated a bit o’ good conversation. Here’s twenty observations I posted:

TWENTY observations:

1. If you claim to be a Christian, but don’t you’re not a member of a church family under the authority of a pastor, you ARE in disobedience to scripture and to the Lord who gave scripture, no matter how ‘good’ you think God is with your idea.

2. The number one cause of divorce is not finances. It’s selfishness. Husbands being too selfish and self-centered to communicate and wives being too selfish and self-centered to forgive…or encourage.

3. Ephesians 5:22-33 is not rocket science. Stop trying to explain it away, stop being disobedient and do it.

4. Saw this today: a wife at the WTR conference publicly apologized to her husband. He’s 6’2″. She’s 5’0″. She realized that her words cut him down way too much and too often.

5. Point #4 will go ignored by several women (single and some married) because feminism has poisoned their brains (they will call it liberation) so that they are only capable of supporting their husbands if they ‘do right’.

6. Related to point #5, 50%-50% in a marriage sounds good, but it’s a fallacy. It’s based on performance….and no one ever lives up to their own standards for ‘meet me halfway’. The Biblical model is 100% on both sides of the table.

7. Most men would love to step up and lead, but are (literally) frightened away by loud and obnoxious women who want to be their equal.

8. Most men would love to lead, but they haven’t had strong male role models to draw from….and the culture isn’t exactly man-friendly these days.

9. Speaking of the culture, there is a direct war on men and masculinity – entertainment industry only promotes hyper-male immature young boys (see most of current hip hop as an example) as role models, television has almost NO decent husbands who love their wives and raise their kids right (i.e. another Bill Cosby) and 7 of 10 commercials that have a man and woman in a humorous situation usually have the men as the butt of the joke.

10. There’s a war on women too – being LED by women. It’s more of a war on any type of woman that isn’t a career-focused, overassertive, male-with-ovaries. Hilary Rosen’s comments are only the only ones that got major press coverage. It’s not a coincidence that most ‘feminists’ (self-identified ones) seem hostile to women who are pro-life. It’s also not a coincidence that most of unborn being aborted are women.

11. Fatherlessness is THE major cause of most of the social ills in our country – from entitlement to poverty to crime. Notice – I didn’t say simply producing a child or putting in a child support payment on time. I said FATHERlessness.

12. Most of the women I mentioned in point #10 will disagree with point #11 and claim that they are the father AND mother to their kids. Sorry – you can’t teach a boy to be a man. Boys are wired differently and have different needs just like women and girls have different needs.

13. Most of the women in point #10 who are contemplating a mental response to #12 will realize their own hypocrisy at this point because they will find themselves agreeing with the statement that women have different needs (or certain needs), yet want to say they can be a ‘father’ to their kids. At this point, they’ll call me names in their heads (or in the comments below) instead of dealing with themselves.

14. Proverbs 26:4-5 dictates that sometimes true wisdom is found in walking away. Ten foolish and ignorant people patting each other on the back about how smart they are….are still foolish and ignorant. Better to nail a message to a brick wall than argue with one.

15. The longer you sit in the bathroom, the less likely you are to smell your own crap. Humility goes a long way.

16. Some people are searching for truth. Others are searching for an excuse to disbelieve (or justify what they already believe). Wisdom, time and patience shows which is which.

17. We’re all sinners. We all need a Savior. There’s only one. Unless you think you’re perfect and you are ‘good enough’ to merit salvation on your own strength and prowess. When you’re done being arrogant, the gospel will still be here.

18. I don’t have to be a woman to have a strong opinion against abortion anymore than I need to be a child to disagree with child molestation or have a vagina to disagree with rape.

19. Some people can and will find ‘racism’ in a snowstorm…simply because all the flakes are white. These same people will be hypocritical and say they agree with Dr. King’s dream (King’s dream was not to run around yelling racism constantly – but to work toward a post-racial society where people are people, regardless of skin color).

20. Some people will ignore racism unintentionally because they are genuinely trying to look objectively at a situation. They may also refuse to recognize that racism exists because they are under the illusion that just because there are no ‘white only’ signs up anymore (except that one swimming pool in Ohio), everything else is entitlement and oversensitivity.

BONUS:

1. Classism is the new racism. It’s almost identical to the old racism. White flight and black flight have produced de facto segregation in many public schools.

2. Black folk cared more about our communities, education and our image when we were ‘colored’ (when we were segregated by law).

3. The people ruining public education: non-parenting parents (only really 30% of the population of school parents) who raise and shelter their kids so they never face consequences (nothing like a 504 plan or a ‘diagnosis’ to shield a kid from reality), drive-by education specialists with doctorate degrees who haven’t spent time in the school system beyond 2-5 years, school board officials who’ve never been in the classroom as teachers, but think they know our jobs better than we do and idiotic politicians who make legislation that makes our jobs harder than they need to be….then complains when the situation THEY helped to create can’t be cleaned up.

4. Most black folk only voted for Obama because he’s black. A lot of them have since awakened to see that Bush 3.0 is just another politician that gives good speeches. At least Tom Joyner is honest enough to say that ‘we’ should vote for Barack out of loyalty to black people.

5. You may or may not agree with me on every point. That’s cool. You have a right to disagree with me. I can appreciate people with whom I have an honest disagreement with. For example, Peter Singer is an evolutionist, bioethicist, philosopher and ethicist. He’s pro-choice, pro-euthanasia and extremely utilitarian. He tells the truth when it comes to the issue – he believes that biologically, human life begins at conception and that the unborn is a separate biological entity from its’ mother. But he also believes that human beings (because he’s an evolutionist) have the right to terminate their unborn out of convenience (survival of the fittest/natural selection). I can at least have an honest disagreement with him.

I can have an honest disagreement with John Norman. He’s a synergist, panentheist and is Eastern Orthodox. But he won’t pretend that he and I (I’m a monergist, reformed presbyterian) agree and our disagreements are just semantics. I respect that. We can have REAL conversations, even when we walk away not agreeing.

Truthfulness in conversation is a lost art in post-post-modern conversation.

 

Comment below as you desire.

Tim Challies weighs in on Conferencegate 2010….

Tim Challies has always been a cool guy.  At T4G 08, he still gave me 2 minutes on camera, even though he normally doesn’t do video.

This is his take on the issue.  He doesn’t agree that Piper should’ve invited Warren, but he also sees a lot of the same things I do with regard to how people have been reacting to the issue…including stating that we shouldn’t ‘separate’ from Piper has some have already claimed they’d be doing.

http://www.challies.com/church/why-john-piper-should-not-have-invited-rick-warren

We also get a bit more info from Tim – he’s known about this since September 2009 (don’t you love being early in the news ?).

I’ll admit – since blogging earlier, I’ve become less enthused with the idea of Warren as speaker at the DG conference.  I still have a ‘wait and see’ attitude on the whole thing.  I think Piper has enough integrity (doctrinal) to do exactly what Tim thinks he’d do if Warren gets up there and fudges it.  Maybe I’m hoping for the best on it a bit too much and giving too much weight to what I think will happen with Warren.

On John Piper, Sabbaticals and Rick Warren

Okay, so reading the comments on John Piper’s video where he invites Rick Warren to speak at the 2010 DG National Conference, Piper already predicted a firestorm of controversy for his decision.

Boy was he right.

This happens to come right on the heels of him announcing a nine-month sabbatical to work on his marriage and devote more time to his family. So some people are suspecting it’s a combination of poor judgement in all areas of his life which are leading to the ‘step down’ (just read the comments onthe video above).

Some, like Lane Chaplin, have expressed no further desire to support JP.

Others are simply decrying the decision as poor judgement.

Some are ready to toss Piper to the wolves, as they’ve been calling Piper things such as a ‘Trojan Horse‘ for years now.

I find it a bit interesting that Piper’s topic at Together for the Gospel 2010 (which I won’t be attending) is “Did Jesus Preach the Gospel of Evangelicalism ?“, which, in light of the theme of The Unadjusted Gospel, seems rather contradictory.  Why invite a man to speak at your national conference who actually preaches the very thing that you’re going to be speaking against at T4G ?

Upon giving Piper a listen, I *think* I have a fair idea of what Piper is up to.  It’s real simple.

Listen carefully to what he says to Rick Warren and what he asks Rick Warren to preach on.

When I wrote him, here’s what I said. And he’ll probably watch this video too. I said, “The conference is called ‘THINK: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. I want you to come. You are the most well-known pragmatist pastor in the world. I don’t think you are a pragmatist at root. Come and tell us why thinking biblically matters to you in your amazingly pragmatic approach to ministry.” I want him to lay his cards on the table. I want him to tell us what makes him tick, because he does come across in much of what he says and does as very results oriented and pragmatic and not theologically driven. And yet, I met him for the first time last year at Ralph Winter’s funeral in Pasadena. And we sat beside each other on the platform for three hours. I like him because he sings. And he sings badly. And anybody who’s willing to sing and sings badly — I like him. And we were talkin’ beforehand and he said to me, “I’m reading all the works of Jonathan Edwards this year. I pick a great theologian every year and I read all of his collected works. I’m on volume 17 of the Yale series of Jonathan Edward’s works.” You’ve got to be kidding me. Nothin’ you have ever said would incline me to think . . . *CROWD LAUGHTER – TEE HEE!* So, these guys are gonna go interview him tomorrow, I think. So you can quote some of these things. I do think he is deeply theological. He is a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have the church he does or the PEACE plan or, uh, all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven Life is the first one, isn’t it? “It’s not about you; it’s about God.” The glory of God. So, I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I believe he is theological, and doctrinal, and sound. And, what makes him tick? Actively in doing church? Uh, I intend to find out. So, I like him. And I’m frustrated by some of his stuff.”

Folks like Michael Horton have interacted with Warren in the past and share the same theological concerns that Piper does in his last sentence here.

What was Piper thinking ?

I’m guessing the following:

1. For all the people who say Piper’s lost it, think for a moment.  The man has written the best present-day exegetical defense of Romans 9:1-23.  As a single author, he’s probably devoted more work toward answering the errors of N.T. Wright regarding the New Perspective.  He’s not stupid.   So when John Piper says “I think he’s sound”, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and not try to disown him as some have tried to do in their talks.  Piper wouldn’t invite, for example, Joel Osteen to speak at DG.  Why ? Simple – Osteen wouldn’t quote from the WCF.  Osteen also wouldn’t read Edwards (or any other theologian for that matter). Warren at least has degrees from Fuller (when it was still moderately biblical) and Southwestern.  So he has demonstrated the very thing Piper says he suspects of him.   Of course, he’s also contradicted the bulk of that in many of his talks, which brings me to point #2:

2. Piper’s question and speaking topic are HEAVILY loaded and quite blatant.  If Warren answers them honestly and from the suspected ‘theological’ basis sitting underneath of what he claims to privately believe, then he will end up refuting a good 99% of what he’s written in Purpose Driven Church and at least 80% of Purpose Driven Life.

3. Piper’s opening up larger dialogue with Warren and challenging him to grow here. He’s doing what some people say they would do if they had the chance.  He’s doing the opposite of simply spitting and cursing at the darkness – he’s lighting a candle here.

I think it’s a brilliant move and a brilliant gamble on Piper’s part.    Having 2-3 extra days to think on it, I’m not sure it will work, as Warren has proven himself to be a bit of a chameleon (and I’ve been around some of his disciples who do the same).  Part of the reason for that, of course, is that they never stop to think deeply about the implications of the doctrines of grace (or theology in general) and simply file away doctrinal truths as facts.

Piper’s invitation cuts to the heart of that sort of thinking.  I’m waiting to see what the outcome will be in Warren’s speech.

Meanwhile, instead of damning Pastor John as some have done, take the time and pray for him.  Ministry is a hard job and many armchair theologians are a bit too quick to hit the ‘submit’ button on their blogs, but not submit their thinking to a theology of grace regarding others.   At worst, treat him as a brother caught in sin and pray for his repentance.  At best, pray that his intentions for inviting Warren have the desired effect and help to bring Warren face to face with bankruptcy of his own pragmatism.

Found: Posting and Video of Books from T4G08

http://eveartist.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!C90C713B609FA45!662.entry
Don’t know whose blog this is, but I’m glad they included a link to the SGM video on the books AND a list of all the books we got (not including the ones I got at Band of Bloggers).

Announcing: Fourth Friday Fundamentals!

Blending Christ-centered lyrics and rhyme schemes, expositional preaching, sound Biblical doctrine and fellowship among the saints, a few dedicated brothers have banded together to bring Fourth Friday Fundamentals to the Baltimore area. The site is available at FourthFridayFundamentals.com.

Roughly patterned after First Friday Fundamentals (sponsored by Epiphany Fellowship in Philly), FFF stresses four things:

1. The Holiness of God

2. The Sinfulness of Man

3. The Problem of Man’s Sinfulness in Light of God’s Holiness

4. The Solution to the Problem: The Gospel

Hit the media page up, check the first two messages (which actually cover these first two topics!).

If you’re in the Baltimore area on this coming Friday ( 2/22/08), drop in. We’d LOVE to have you. Directions to the event (held at Believers’ Chapel in Baltimore, MD) are on the site.

Pass the word and tell some friends!

SuperMegaBlogUpdatePost.

Okay, it’s been beyond forever since I’ve taken the time to blog. Some of you have thought I’ve fallen off the planet.

I’ve been through a few changes over the past few months. I’ve learned that some message boards are not the best places to have conversations and exchanges. I’m supposed to actually step completely back from posting on HCR for a while. A little difficult to do as an admin, but not impossible. Just going to take some discipline. Thank God for good brothers in Christ who are willing to tell you the truth about how you’ve been acting.

HCR is just like any other situation in life….if you constantly keep interacting with people who seek to do nothing but argue with you and make you look bad….you end up looking bad. I understand Paul’s admonition to avoid divisive people after a second warning. The temptation is always to respond back in the same fashion as those who attack you and what you believe.

Case in point – someone posted once asking for Calvinistic resources. They were seeking to understand reformed theology from a reformed perspective. Some guy who is a non-Calvinist pops in the thread and posts a link to some mess by Dan Corner, Bryson or one of the myriad reformed-bashers out there.

Well, I laid into dude and told him he was only out to cause confusion and that his post was symptomatic of most Calvinist-Arminian discussions on HCR. Arrogant and full of himself and wanting to cause an argument. He posts a bit back on how I came at him wrong (yes, imagine that….LOL) and how he just posted the link because he found it helpful and wasn’t trying to start an argument.

Now anyone paying half a bit o’ attention will notice:

1. It’s a thread asking for Calvinists to post links to Calvinistic resources.

2. The resource and the poster were both non-Calvinistic. With a smiley doing the ‘eyebrows raised’ thing with a sneaky smile, I might add.

Now, under normal circumstances, this could’ve been handled a lot calmer. But experience this for weeks on end…indeed, MONTHS on end… and you wear thin. Over the past few months, I’ve had random heretic vs Kerry arguments with folks, people re-asking the same questions, people doing things to cause arguments, people posting things to misrepresent reformed theology (taking advantage of the fact that some people on HCR don’t like to read anything long….) and spent hours on end typing up responses in defense of reformed theology, the Sovereignty of God, the Trinity and host of other issues including the usual defense of myself (since virtually every single attacker usually resorts to attacking me personally instead of dealing with the issue of whether or not Calvinism is taught in scripture or not).

So bad temper and ‘meanness’ start to show a bit more…even when you seek to sound ‘nice’ in the process. There’s a whole ‘snowball’ effect, because one or two people treat you like dirt (yes, they don’t notice their own attitude, actions, motives and sin…only YOURS….) everyone else joins in. You then move to defending yourself and in the process of typing many words, you encounter a Proverbs 10:19. And even if you don’t directly become sarcastic back to some of these folks, your attitude becomes one of defense and attack instead brethren to brethren.

I’m not saying all of HCR is bad by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there are a lot of GOOD people there. But HCR is a snapshot of a lot of ‘the church’ today in America. But it’s always a few bad apples that spoil the bunch.

I ain’t leavin’ the place….but I just won’t be ‘there’ as much. I’ll be investing my time elsewhere…. or mostly elsewhere (also including here, but mainly on another project coming up).

Guess I’m just needin’ sometime to detoxify like I did back from November to March. All the daily arguments and back and forth wear you down.

In Better News…..

I flew to Sacramento for the Desiring God regional conference on the Pleasures of God. For those who haven’t read the book, Piper has chapters 1-3 up online. Good taking a new picture with him and seeing him again. I have the pics up in my photo album along with others.

Cali was good. It was a good feeling to kinda be away from home and visit somewhere new. I got to hang with Rachel, Olivia and Jessica for the conference and then later on Saturday in San Francisco, got to hang with Jeff and Claire too. Good peeps all the way around. Jeff caught this cool pic of me walking on the beach (Ocean Beach in San Francisco) right after sunset and his photography was beyond excellent. I need to e-mail him again and get all the pics.

There may be a few more things to write about one day.  I’ll let you know when the manifest themselves.

Work and grad school remain constant busy factors in my life.   Just waiting for a small break to happen soon, though I know that pretty much won’t come until Christmas break weekend.

Another ministry opportunity has arisen (the other reason I need to refrain from arguing needlessly on the internet with people who aren’t really interested in truth, but mainly just winning an argument….) and in the interest of keeping the reputation of my church clean, the reputation of myself clean and the reputation of the ministries I’m associated with clean,  I’ll be focusing my energies on blogging and articles.  I can get more done with a few good articles than with going back and forth with someone who really could or could not be legitimately asking a question.

On the Album Front….

In wisdom….BlackCalvinist is still BlackCalvinist in most of the blogsphere and on the internet.  But on the upcoming album, expect to see my new name: G.R.A.C.E. Preecha.  Those of you who’ve been reading this blog know that the only thing that’s changed is the ‘Black’ part of my old name. ;)   As soon as I get done re-vamping my music sites, I’ll be posting a release date for the album (which will now be January or something near to it….since the namechange requires re-recording 1-2 songs…..).   But the good news is that I’m done with every song for the album (as far as concepts go).  I have a little production to do for 1-2 songs, and a few 2nd and 3rd verses to write, along with finalizing my guest spots.   After that….. it’s academic.  I also figure it’ll give G.R.A.C.E. Preecha a bit of time to get things in order and people a bit of a chance to realize it’s me over the old name.

There are a few evangelistic things I plan on doing soon as well.

All things in due time.  Keep me, ministry, friends, school, work, ministry at church and my personal walk in prayer.  Colossians 3 is where I’m currently ‘stuck’.   There, 1 & 2  Timothy and Titus again.

Great time on Friday up in Philly

I absolutely *must* post pictures. A whole contingent of folks from the MD area drove up to Ephiphany Fellowship in Philly for First Friday Fundamentals.

Shai ministered for the night, with Mac the Doulos (of Everyday Process) bringing two rhymes to help with the theme of the night, which was moral relativism. Shai is a good teacher.

I got a chance to hook up with one of the pastors – Eric Mason – who I went to Bowie with years past. It was good seeing him. It was good being with ‘family’. Fellowship with the rest of the body – especially when the bulk of you believe the same things – is a sweet thing and a true gift from God.

I’ll do the picture thing in a day or two. Got some other things to catch up on first.