Be careful about Credit card information online too.
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I used a credit card at Target on nearly the last day of their security breach. Within a month, without a request from me, the bank from which the card was issued had sent me a card with a new number. Target had a poster in their store offering free credit monitoring for anyone who used their cards during the breach, but it was a moot point for me with my new number. I am going to guess that Michaels will offer the same monitoring, and banks will replace cards without being asked.
"It turns out that credit card monitoring services are mostly worthless."
An illustration: if you work in a large company, you likely have security process to follow, e.g. having "3 points for verification", better if each point is a different KIND of information from the others, and even better if they are not, in fact, all contained on the bills put into your mailbox: they usually are such that security is, really, a joke.
My point here is: companies live or die by meeting demand, "consumers" (I hate that term) can't demand what they don't even understand and, more importantly, "value": security, like helping poor people, is an after-thought that occurs when something dire happens. Before that, they angrily rage at you for requiring that information before you offer your labors to who could otherwise be a complete stranger and no customer at all, or who could be attempting to access your customers' accounts and information.
For credit cards to be secure, there must be some technical understanding, and Americans are not only woefully technically incompetent, they've surrendered technology to the very liberal, who are often those disaffected by their conservative parents heartlessness and in turn become a sort of twisted breed of heartlessnes, zealotry for faux care in reaction to the faux concerns of their parents, and contemptuous of ordinary people--or at least dismissive when anyone cries at pain when their bank accounts get dumped.
All day long, we take calls from people who suffere problem after problem because they cannot be bothered to learn anything about the machines they use every day to live by, and they also refuse to learn basic security and to stop browsing...*risky*...sites. But the most common problem is simply impatience to read: you DON'T click "just to make these dang windows go away!!!!" You respond to them intelligently--and if you can't, call someone who can or do some research: most end-up installing tons of garbage, toolbars, and simply letting mob-sponsored attacks right on to their computers.
And then they call raging at you, an agent for an ISP, for their carelessness and something that's not even your liability: their computer. Try explaining the difference and they get angry, using the addition of "...with a computer" or simply the inclusion of "computer" somewhere as a automatic termination of thought. Get them to accept it, e.g. "your computer is like your faucet, the internet is like the water sent to your house by the utility; we aren't liable for your faucet", and they simply start threatening to cancel.
I gave-up caring (or pleasing my QAs) about such stupid threats and childishness and my productivity has ballooned: don't know if/when I'll be fired but servicing the typical American demands just isn't worthwhile. There is a significance to all this though:
Credit cards, like our entire banking cartel, are built on very old technologies: known quantities that are hard to be rid of not only because legislators, like businesses, only do what their constituents make a deal out of--or what they can twist to be meeting such demands--and they have put in place the financial system and control it like they do the lives of homeless (they're illegal). They are tied into that system, and they are fundamentally insecure. Quite a lot could be done to make fraud, etc., impossible: nothing is. They're probably worried about customers inundating them with calls to retrieved passwords that are long enough to be secure, or requiring passwords every swipe, no excuses.
And like the "just make it work" pathetic beings who call every day, their customers value convenience and ease and immediate gratification over anything substantial, designed well, secure, conscientious: so they get what they deserve--and in the process harm the innocent--because giving them more would likely be the difference between being competitive and inviable. Put another way, they whine about corporations being careless and psychopathic, but really if they're not run sociopathically they lose rather than make money, and nobody there wants to be on the streets in today's America: they know how Americans actually are to those who are unsightly and without representation, and who can't be made a big cause to feel good about and therefore be worth helping so people can feel good about themselves.
And I wish this was cynicism, but as someone long in such a position of neediness/exposure, I know better than to think otherwise. The up-side is if I ever get out, I know now what it means to be helpless, and the importance of being their advocate and aid. I think this sums pretty well the truth of Western Society in regards the true poor,
Please note the text of this post is Pastor Andrew Dionne's—not mine. But of course, I agree with him, and thank him for his watchcare.
>>in the Greek version of this passage is there any verbiage which can be considered equivocal?
Sure, rebels always find ways to justify their rebellion, and simpletons always get sucked in by these justifications. This is the reason the Apostle Paul warns Timothy against wasting his time in arguments about words (1Timothy 6:3,4; 2Timothy 1:13; 2:14; see also 2Peter 2:3).
Those women and men who wrangle over words, seeking to mislead and destroy the faithful, must be silenced—not coddled by sophisticated discussions of the meaning of this and that word, nor granted study committees, nor engaged in floor debate. They are just run-of-the-mill rebels and should simply be disciplined for attacking God's Creation Order revealed in His Word.
But they never are—disciplined, that is—and thus their rebellion spreads. The Biblical command is to silence such men, but effeminate pastors and elders today, both conservative (antiquarian) and liberal (hip), care more about their reputation than the protection of their flock, so they make themselves nice and try to craft a place where false shepherds can stand within the PCA without giving up their false doctrine. You know, "believe but not teach or practice." Or "believe and teach, but not practice." Or, Tim Keller's own ploy concerning woman officers, "believe and teach and practice, but stop just shy of ordination."
The men who refuse to discipline these rebels are more culpable than the rebels themselves:
He also who is slack in his work Is brother to him who destroys. (Proverbs 18:9)
>>What do you call a woman priest?
A pseudo-pastor. They can't actually be pastors so they are pretending to be pastors.
Amen to the last line in your post. The theology basis Paul say in his command is deep as well as being edifying by its bringing a new treasure out of the acts of God in Genesis. The upshot of the command only requires obedience.
What do you call a woman priest? A priestess? A priest? A Teaching Elder? How about hypocrite?
To follow up on Tim's concise cite of the below passage, since I'm kind of a dumb redneck, in the Greek version of this passage is there any verbiage which can be considered equivocal? I'm not seeing any in the English translation. Let's face it though (I've seen this first hand when I was regularly attending a Methodist church.), today's churches strive for political correctness and inclusion because more congregants equals more money in the back pocket of church leadership. True bible believing churches that teach the actual Bible as opposed to the weak as water PC/inclusive version will tend to have limited long term attendance and the church leadership won't be driving Rolls Royce's. (And no, just getting the base model Rolls ain't gonna fly either.)
12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.
Does the PCA have no guts to just kick them out? Lock the doors of their pretty buildings till they go away, and maybe convert them into some outposts for the homeless. They might be better used and there might be actual sheep to be found and fed, literally and figuratively.
As for Mark Robinson's comments, I am reminded of Revelation 7:9 and Revelation 5:9.
Speaking as an outsider, admittedly, but dealing with diversity can be hard work. In our city, the leading Baptist church was wanting to reach out into a very poor 'sink estate' (housing project) and realised that getting the people along to their own city church was going to be a struggle in every way imaginable. So they chose instead to support a church in the area itself, realising that things would need to be done differently, and got as its pastor someone who in a previous life had done time for burglary and violence!
I wonder if Mark Robinson would be on stronger ground if he were challenging the PCA to church-plant in specifically African-American areas, and in ways that acknowledged the (significant) cultural differences which would be involved. From what I can tell the SBC has made a specific effort to work in this way. Disagreements with this POV welcome.
I hope we get some time to talk as well. We will be attending at clearnote in a short while. And like my last transition it will be a rather krass difference to what I am used to. This might be more appropriate to mention in private, but due to the nature of the beast I would like to share in public: I am currently attending at Emmanual RPC, my first extended exposure to "hard line" reformed culture/mindset/lingo. I don't care much for large institutions and strong ties to a denomination - but I really, really love this church family and faithful elders who took me under their wings. There is a spirit of love and truth and genuine friendship here. Most of the time we care much to see each other walk obediently and joyfully with the Lord. It would be hurtful if the church I attend is at odds with another church family I care for deeply. Know what I mean? That's my reason for asking questions. Thank you for your kind responses to my questions and the helpful clarification. I appreciate it
I'm smiling. Horses are great so I'm not offended in the least. And if someone was offended at my words in the original post, thanks for giving me an opportunity to explain myself.
You wrote: "you are not criticizing the other denominations but denominationalism."
Sure, if "denominationalism" is how you'd sum up what I wrote. What I'm really opposing is Christians—particularly Reformed Christians—promoting a party spirit and schism by resenting and opposing souls developing the gift of discernment in their choice of a church home. But you know, when the "split peas" (what my Presbyterian Dad always called tiny Presbyterian groups like the PCA and OPC) get done splitting, some people think the only way to survive is by promoting a party (what I refer to as a religious non-profit institutional) spirit.
Our Lord, on the other hand, commanded us to love and serve one another.
So again, my gratitude to you for providing the opportunity for this exchange, dear brother. Here's hoping I get to talk to you for two minutes sometime.
I am not implying that you are a horse, by the way.
That was a bit more than I expected. To summarize - you are not criticizing the other denominations but denominationalism and you are challenging church seekers on Indy to not limit themselves to their "preferred" denomination dor the denominations sake, if I understand you rightly. I had some friends who misunderstood your post, I believe. Just wanted to hear it from the horses mouth.
Although I was speaking above about people in the process of choosing a new church home, there are souls who are in a church they should not remain within. The above principles apply to them as well.
Because we came to faith in Jesus Christ in Campus Crusade (now styling itself "Cru") does not mean we should remain within Campus Crusade. In the Christian life as in the human body, we are what we eat, and the diet of someone who stays in Campus Crusade is likely going to be like the little boy who won't eat anything but milk and Twinkies. Not good.
Fathers and mothers should be as careful about the preaching and pastoral care their children grow up under as they are careful about the liquids their children drink and the food they eat. Just as brand names like Post and Kellogg don't cut it in the supermarket—you need food groups including vegetables and fruit and meat—so brand names like OPC, RP, CREC, SBC, URC, and PCA don't cut it in the choosing of a church mother—you need preaching reliant upon the power of the Holy Spirit that speaks Scripture to the conscience; you need pastoral care that never stops warning, day and night, from house to house with tears (see Acts 20).
The church is the mother of us all, the court of original jurisdiction over the soul. The church is not some non-profit religious institution local congregations share a trademark through. The local church must be chosen based upon its faithfulness in care for souls—not how friendly the pastor is or how much we like the church's music or whether the church has enough people present to allow us to hide or few enough people to allow us to be noticed or a cheerful and clean nursery or Scotsmen or Dutchmen or the only proper and true and godly and right hymnal or the only right and proper and true and godly and right translation of Scripture or...
Of course, such exhortations toward discernment in the choice of a church aren't met with equanimity by company men—the sort of men whose priority is the preservation of the institutional network they've sworn fealty to. This was my regular observation on the floor of PCA general assemblies and presbyteries the two decades I was in the PCA. Institutional self-preservation and advancement trumped doctrine and souls.
If we care about our souls and the souls of our chidlren, we will keep our eye on the ball. And that ball is not trademarks and brand names, but the marks of the Church. This is what true Presbyterians have always said. This is what the 1560 Scots Confession confessed:
As we believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, so we firmly believe that from the beginning there has been, now is, and to the end of the world shall be, one Kirk, that is to say, one company and multitude of men chosen by God, who rightly worship and embrace him by true faith in Jesus Christ, who is the only Head of the Kirk, even as it is the body and spouse of Christ Jesus. This Kirk is catholic, that is, universal, because it contains the chosen of all ages, of all realms, nations, and tongues, be they of the Jews or be they of the Gentiles, who have communion and society with God the Father, and with his Son, Christ Jesus, through the sanctification of his Holy Spirit. It is therefore called the communion, not of profane persons, but of saints, who, as citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, have the fruit of inestimable benefits, one God, one Lord Jesus, one faith, and one baptism. Out of this Kirk there is neither life nor eternal felicity. Therefore we utterly abhor the blasphemy of those who hold that men who live according to equity and justice shall be saved, no matter what religion they profess. For since there is neither life nor salvation without Christ Jesus; so shall none have part therein but those whom the Father has given unto his Son Christ Jesus, and those who in time come to him, avow his doctrine, and believe in him. (We include the children with the believing parents.) This Kirk is invisible, known only to God, who alone knows whom he has chosen, and includes both the chosen who are departed, the Kirk triumphant, those who yet live and fight against sin and Satan, and those who shall live hereafter.
Note that the Scots confessed the true church is "universal." It's not contained within any one ethnic group. It's not contained within those who use one hymnal or one Bible translation. It's not contained within one non-profit religious institution whose boundaries correspond to the boundaries of one nation. It is "universal." And in keeping with this, the Scots also confessed this universal church is invisible, by which they meant visible only to God.
Then the Scots also confessed:
Since Satan has labored from the beginning to adorn his pestilent synagogue with the title of the Kirk of God, and has incited cruel murderers to persecute, trouble, and molest the true Kirk and its members, as Cain did to Abel, Ishmael to Isaac, Esau to Jacob, and the whole priesthood of the Jews to Christ Jesus himself and his apostles after him. So it is essential that the true Kirk be distinguished from the filthy synagogues by clear and perfect notes lest we, being deceived, receive and embrace, to our own condemnation, the one for the other. The notes, signs, and assured tokens whereby the spotless bride of Christ is known from the horrible harlot, the false Kirk, we state, are neither antiquity, usurped title, lineal succession, appointed place, nor the numbers of men approving an error. For Cain was before Abel and Seth in age and title; Jerusalem had precedence above all other parts of the earth, for in it were priests lineally descended from Aaron, and greater numbers followed the scribes, Pharisees, and priests, than unfeignedly believed and followed Christ Jesus and his doctrine . . . and yet no man of judgment, we suppose, will hold that any of the forenamed were the Kirk of God. The notes of the true Kirk, therefore, we believe, confess, and avow to be: first, the true preaching of the Word of God, in which God has revealed himself to us, as the writings of the prophets and apostles declare; secondly, the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus, with which must be associated the Word and promise of God to seal and confirm them in our hearts; and lastly, ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered, as God's Word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed and virtue nourished. Then wherever these notes are seen and continue for any time, be the number complete or not, there, beyond any doubt, is the true Kirk of Christ, who, according to his promise, is in its midst. This is not that universal Kirk of which we have spoken before, but particular Kirks, such as were in Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, and other places where the ministry was planted by Paul and which he himself called Kirks of God. Such Kirks, we the inhabitants of the realm of Scotland confessing Christ Jesus, do claim to have in our cities, towns, and reformed districts because of the doctrine taught in our Kirks, contained in the written Word of God, that is, the Old and New Testaments, in those books which were originally reckoned as canonical. We affirm that in these all things necessary to be believed for the salvation of man are sufficiently expressed. The interpretation of Scripture, we confess, does not belong to any private or public person, nor yet to any Kirk for pre-eminence or precedence, personal or local, which it has above others, but pertains to the Spirit of God by whom the Scriptures were written. When controversy arises about the right understanding of any passage or sentence of Scripture, or for the reformation of any abuse within the Kirk of God, we ought not so much to ask what men have said or done before us, as what the Holy Ghost uniformly speaks within the body of the Scriptures and what Christ Jesus himself did and commanded. For it is agreed by all that the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of unity, cannot contradict himself. So if the interpretation or opinion of any theologian, Kirk, or council, is contrary to the plain Word of God written in any other passage of the Scripture, it is most certain that this is not the true understanding and meaning of the Holy Ghost, although councils, realms, and nations have approved and received it. We dare not receive or admit any interpretation which is contrary to any principal point of our faith, or to any other plain text of Scripture, or to the rule of love.
Amen and amen. Every denominationalist should be encouraged to memorize this.
So yes, choosing a church is hard work, but it's absolutely critical for your own and your family's eternal wellbeing. Do the work, dear brothers and sisters; and do it well!
>>are you saying that people who are considering going to an OPC or RP should instead come to clearnote?
People who are looking for a church home may or may not know Scripture's teaching on what we in the Reformed church refer to as "Reformed theology" or "the doctrines of grace." But if they do know the doctrines of grace, it's likely they learned them in a church affiliated with a non-profit religious association like the PCA, RPCNA, RP, ARP, OPC, etc. Thus they might get lazy and choose their church in their new city by simply settling for a new church that's a part of the same non-profit religious association as their previous church.
But what if, moving from Bloomington to Indianapolis, a man and his wife who had been a part of Clearnote Bloomington found that Clearnote Indy has sermons that are lectures rather than preaching; or that Christ the King refuses to warn the irreligious or impenitent not to partake at the Lord's Table? What if it was clear Indy's Clearnote churches were cold and sterile in both their music and fellowship?
Further, what if this man and his wife visited other Reformed churches in Indy associated with other non-profit religious organizations such as the PCA, RPCNA, RP, ARP, OPC, etc. and found sermons preached to the conscience, the Lord's Table guarded from the irreligious or impenitent, and music and fellowship alive and warmhearted?
The point I was trying to make above is that the choice of a new church home is very important. And specifically, this couple should choose against Indy's Clearnote churches even though formerly they were a part of a Clearnote church.
Am I making myself clear, dear brother?
I often lay here at night wondering where are all the pastors who should be in the pulpit telling their people to take a stand and to be prepared for the spiritual battle ahead. There's to much "go along to get along" and too much watering down the gospel. It's good to hear some straight talk, thanks Tim!
Could you give more details on what we should do to prepare ourselves and our families for persecution? Are there things we should be doing besides preparing spiritually?
On that last point -- we've always had separate e-mail addresses, but back before the days of separate windows logins when we were using an e-mail client (Outlook Express) it was still possible that we might sign on and see an e-mail intended for the other person before switching accounts. So when my husband was on session at our church during that time, we just asked the session to always put "Session:" at the front of the subject line for any e-mails concerning session business, so that it could be filtered straight from the inbox into a separate folder that didn't automatically open.
That seems to me an example of something a subject line IS meant for.
Thanks for your comment. I don't know James Jordan. I understand there are men who know him through some blogging/commenting/forum thingy they keep private. Like Bill Gothard's requirement that his disciples not show their red book to anyone who had not been to his Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.
Better names to mention in connection with the promotion of Lutheranism today would be Jeff Myers and Peter Leithart and the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
Hope that clarifies things, dear brother.
As someone who knows a bit about what you're talking about here, I can agree with much of what is said here. These articles that ask "Why are evangelicals more attracted to Calvinism?" are too cute. We've had 450 years to test these things out. Calvinism is a comprehensive world and life view that attempts to integrate the whole Bible for all of life. Lutheranism truncates the Bible by insisting on a manufactured Law/Gospel paradigm. Much of the purpose of the church and Christian life are rendered useless because any preaching of transformation, giving people things to do, is condemned. No wonder young pastorally inclined men tend to run to Calvinism instead.
Calvinists change societies. Protestant work ethic, federal governance, free markets, human rights. Lutherans tend to go along to get along. Cheap grace yields a cheap worldview that puts up with Hitler while Bonhoeffer rails against cheap grace and tries to kill Hitler.
The men who have been the most consistent in opposing the Law/Gospel paradigm have been...wait for it...Federal Vision men. Read the Joint FV statement. On the other hand, those pushing the Law/Gospel paradigm in the Reformed world have tended to be the FV's fiercest critics.
Read Jim Jordan's essays on worship. You will quickly come to a few conclusions. One of them is that what he is trying to do is not sacramentalism nor is it Lutheranism.
V. Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.
VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.
I'm reminded of what one reformed pastor said about 10 years ago:
"If baptism really unites us to Christ, then let's just swim the Tiber and kiss the ring already."
Calvin on his understanding of the Lord's Supper and Melanchthon: "If he declares that I deviate in the smallest from his idea, I will immediately submit."
from "Ecclesia Reformata: Studies on the Reformation" by W. Nuenhuis