When the World is Breaking Bad

Mrs. Hart and I finally had the chance to watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and generally enjoyed it, though as is the case with most spy flicks, you don’t pay enough attention the first time through to figure out the villain (and once you know the villain in a second viewing the mystery that energizes a spy flick is gone). What continues to intrigue (all about) me about the genre of espionage movies is how indifferent Americans (and Europeans?) appear are to be to the morality of spying.

Most spy flicks take place in the context of the Cold War and presume that the United States (or the UK) is in a moral and political contest with the Soviets and the evils of Communism. Even if agents lie, kidnap, kill, and steal, agents of the CIA and MI6 are on the side of good, and the preservation of liberty and the American way requires intentionally breaking eggs. Broken shells and wasted yokes are the price of doing business.

Parenthetically, one of the curious features of debates over the Obama Administration’s handling of incident at the embassy in Libya is to see folks who grew up distrusting the CIA and calling cops “pigs” now having to rely on those very same intelligence agents to justify their decisions, actions, and authority. Boomers once envisioned a world where intelligence would be unnecessary and its immoral associations eliminated. A funny thing happened on the way to running a superpower — the realization that espionage and intelligence gathering are par for the superpower course. In which case, when it comes to international affairs, Obama depends upon secretive and duplicitous spies as much as tricky Richard Nixon and Slick Bill Clinton.

As I say, most Americans (aside from the pacifists) are immune to the moral compromises involved in living in a superpower. Our global hegemony depends in some way on a lot of craftiness and worse. Whether our security requires it is another matter. (Do we need to fear Mexico or Canada?) No politicized preacher of the Religious Right or neo-Calvinist persuasion I know has taken on the military-industrial complex or the ethics of agencies like the CIA. And yet, w-w advocates would have us think that the great instances of defective thinking and spiritual decline in the United States are policies and laws regulating human sexual desires. In point of fact, the United States likely lost her innocence well before the sexual revolution, that is, she lost it at least when she decided to wage an international war against the spread of Communism. Europeans like the Brits have never seemed to be as troubled by the ethical compromises involved in ruling and protecting a nation’s global footprint. Americans, by contrast, prefer thinking of their nation as one innocent of European decadence and intrigue. That preference may be a condition for demonizing those who break some of the Ten Commandments and not other parts of God’s law.

But on the upside, the new character in Breaking Bad (formerly Larry Sanders’s agent) is welcome a welcome development even if the series continues to depend on Dooms Day scenarios like divorce, girlfriends’ deaths, RV battery failures in the desert, suicide turtles, and airline crashes. Those extraordinary moments of Walt’s and Hank’s life make me think experimental Calvinists would prefer Breaking Bad more than confessional Protestants since the latter know the value of the ordinary and routine over excitement and glitz.

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183 Comments

  1. Richard Smith
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Erik Charter: Rich, A few things seem irrational to me about your system if you are indeed a Calvinist:

    (1) The focus on “God in His People” over and above the objective work of Christ and the benefits of that work imputed to believers through faith. I agree that God is working in His people, but who are his people?

    RS: Those whom He has justified and now dwells in.

    Erik: Those who have true faith.

    RS: Indeed, and what is faith and how is faith known?

    Erik: It seems that you maintain your focus on the effect rather than the cause. If the effect isn’t there it ain’t going to be there no matter how much you poke, prod, cajole, or whatever. Preach the Word and those who are predestined to respond in faith will, those who aren’t, won’t.

    RS: No, faith is never in self and in my faith. Faith is always in Christ and a true faith is in being united to Christ. If one has faith, then one has Christ working in and through him. Remember, it was Paul who commanded people to examine themselves to see if Christ was in them.

    Erik C: (2) Your belief that so few churches have the gospel right these days. It seems that since the church is central to the Calvinist system that God would not leave his people without faithful churches in this age (unless he is not saving people today). There have been times when the visible church has been small on the earth, but I see many churches with the marks of the true church. You do not.

    RS: Indeed, I don’t. Remember that God may leave a remnant, but the remnant is usually not a lot of people.

    Erik: This is why I think you’re an outlier who has some good ideas, but whose overall system is off base and potentially dangerous to those with weak consciences. I have pretty much seen it all in 30 years in the church now so you don’t phase me too much.

    RS: Perhaps you have not seen all you think you have seen.

    Isa 63:17 Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways And harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. 18 Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, Our adversaries have trodden it down. 19 We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name.

    Isa 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
    7 There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.

    RS: Why are people in our day not taking hold of God? Because He has hidden His face from us AND has delivered us into the power of our iniquties. That shows a couple of reasons why a pursuit of holiness is absolutely necessary.

  2. Richard Smith
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Erik Charter: Richard, If you think working from Justification to Sanctification is “backwards” and working from Sanctification to Justification is “forwards” then I guess I’m backwards.

    RS: Well, you are backwards. One only knows about his or her justification IF s/he is progressing in sanctification. Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son

  3. Richard Smith
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Erik Charter: And then you go and even screw up what the effects are — things like not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much. It’s as if you decided to mix The Westminster with Gilbert Tennent in his over-the-top phase and then throw in Jerry Falwell for good measure. You are a strange bird indeed.

    RS: I Cor 6: 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
    10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

    Ephesians 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

    Luke 6:25 “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

    Ephesians 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

    James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom.

  4. todd
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    “Just to let you know, the PC crowd (who loves the term homophobia) thinks the Bible is homophobic! The term “homophobia” is an unbiblical concept devised by enemies of Christ’s church. If I were you, I’d never use the term again.”

    The same PC crowd thinks the Bible is racist, sexist and elitist. Does that mean Christians cannot be guilty of racism, sexism or elitism? How about James 2:1-4 or Acts 10:28?

    “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore (Todd and Sean) whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

    James describes worldliness as inward motivations, such as quarreling and coveting, not having non-Christian friends.

    “Todd, I don’t consider myself a fundamentalist,”

    By “fundamentalist” I do not mean someone who believes in the fundamentals of the faith. A fundamentalist, as one of my professors once said, is a person unwilling to look at any Scripture twice. A fundamentalist is someone, when he is shown that he has misinterpreted Scriptures such as I Cor 15:33 and I Cor 5, does not admit that he misunderstood the text, but simply finds other verses to support his previously made-up mind what he believes the Scriptures should say.

    As for homophobia, it is rampant in the conservative evangelical and reformed church. In the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy, you know you are Christian homophobe…

    When you think becoming good friends with homosexuals will contaminate your Christianity

    When you suspect anyone who does not want the government to put homosexuals to death of not being a committed Christian

    When you think you deserve less of God’s judgment than they do

    When you are more concerned with homosexuals getting married than homosexuals needing the gospel

    When unbelieving homosexuals cannot visit your church without being snubbed, made fun of, kept at arm’s length from, or basically ignored, unless you are able to tell him to repent.

    When a Christian struggling with homosexual temptation and lusts is told he wouldn’t have these temptations and lusts if he was a true or committed believer.

  5. sean
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    “versus the human being believing things on the basis of whether he wants to believe them or not.”

    Me: You theoretically can have a dead orthodoxy, though it’s not much of an issue in American evangelicalism (in fact if you think overemphasis on doctrine and not anti-intellectualism and puerile sentimentalism isn’t what plagues our christianity, you aren’t paying attention), but you can’t have a sincere christian faith apart from orthodoxy. 1 Tim 1:5

  6. Posted December 24, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Todd – “I have lost track of what Erik and Richard are debating”

    Erik – It’s a moving target, but it’s pretty much the Old School/New School debate that went on within Presbyterianism in the 1700’s.

  7. Posted December 24, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Richard,

    Lest you be accused of being a church of one, can you name five true churches (or denominations/federations) or pastors in the world today? And no going Fred Phelps on me and naming five people with the last name of “Smith”.

    You started out really good here in my first encounters with you debating Catholics, but you are becoming more marginalized by the week now.

  8. Posted December 24, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Richard,

    You cited five verses out of context that really say nothing about “not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much.” False teachers love to quote Scripture out of context. If the Mormons or the JW’s come to your door they will quote all kinds of Scripture.

    Here’s a verse for you and your self-imposed asceticism from Colossians 2:

    Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

    If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

    (Colossians 2:16-23 ESV)

  9. Posted December 24, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    And unlike the New School Presbyterians whose churches were spreading and growing, Richard’s church seems to be either extinct or non-existent. He is a lone prophet, crying out in the wilderness.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWHAUFQps0I

  10. Richard Smith
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Erik Charter: Richard, Lest you be accused of being a church of one, can you name five true churches (or denominations/federations) or pastors in the world today? And no going Fred Phelps on me and naming five people with the last name of “Smith”.

    RS: Erik, your point here is rather pointless as far as I can tell. I am not sure that naming denominations has any real point to it, but I am sure that there are solid churches in the OPC, the RPCNA, and perhaps the PCA. There are also solid churches in the Reformed Baptist circles. There are not a lot of solid men out there who are popular (names known) and also solid. There is, however, a remnant of solid ministers in our nation and are the true salt and light.

    Erik C: You started out really good here in my first encounters with you debating Catholics, but you are becoming more marginalized by the week now.

    RS: Fine, you think I am marginalized. I think you need to learn to read carefully and be even more careful with the deductions you draw. Then you could start studying theology. It might help you see that I am not marginalized from Christians in history.

  11. Richard Smith
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    sean quoting Richard: “versus the human being believing things on the basis of whether he wants to believe them or not.”

    Sean: You theoretically can have a dead orthodoxy, though it’s not much of an issue in American evangelicalism (in fact if you think overemphasis on doctrine and not anti-intellectualism and puerile sentimentalism isn’t what plagues our christianity, you aren’t paying attention), but you can’t have a sincere christian faith apart from orthodoxy. 1 Tim 1:5

    RS: It is true that one cannot have a sincere Christian faith apart from orthodox doctrine. But I would argue that it is also possible to have an intellectual belief in orthodox doctrine for the wrong reasons. For example, some just want to be part of an orthodox crowd. Many believed in Jesus when they saw Him doing miracles, but they fell away when the demands were too great.

  12. Richard Smith
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Erik Charter: Richard, You cited five verses out of context that really say nothing about “not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much.” False teachers love to quote Scripture out of context. If the Mormons or the JW’s come to your door they will quote all kinds of Scripture.

    RS: Erik, I simply quoted to the text and in order to save space I did not give the context. That is far different than quoting them out of context. But follow your deductions that you have made concerning what you think I believe and note that you have taken them out of context as well. For example, I do not argue that all people must not drink wine. My argument has to do with what is drunkenness, pursuing holiness rather than drinking for pleasure, and for talking about it all the time as if it is a mark of liberty. Two, I do not argue that people should never watch movies. However, it seems as if some think there is no harm in spending hours and hours a week in doing so and they know more about the movies than they do of Christ. They also speak with more delight of the movies than they do of Christ. Three, I don’t argue that all reading of all fiction is bad. But again, I will argue that one should read a limited amount of fiction and read what is good for the mind and soul. After all, we are to love God with all of our being and all of our time. Four, you told me to lighten up and laugh more. You don’t know me and you don’t know how much I laugh. Some people think I am very funny in my use of puns and so on. I would argue, however, that there is no need to strive to laugh more. We are commanded to weep and mourn as well.

    Erik Charter: Here’s a verse for you and your self-imposed asceticism from Colossians 2:

    RS: So you have drawn a false deduction (actually, many) and think of me as having a self-imposed asceticism. Like I have said to you a few times, you are making false deductions.

    Erik Charter finally quoting Scripture rather than a movie or UTube: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

    RS: Now if Erik would read that closely, he would also know that he should not be passing judgment on me in these things. If Erik would read the Scriptures closely, he would know that the context of this passage is about the ceromonial things of the Old Testament.

    Erik Charter, shockingly enough, quoting more Scripture rather than a UTube address: If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:16-23 ESV)

    RS: Where have I said in reality, other than deductions made, that one should not handle, taste, or touch? Where have I actually set out regulations in these things? Again, a person only has so much time in the week. Their time and their life should be spent with some degree of wisdom rather than given over to the pursuit of other things. For example, instead of being devoted to fiction one should read Truth. Does that mean that all fiction is bad? No it does not. One should have their senses devoted to Christ and shoul flee from what causes others to stumble and of any sign of drunkenness. Does that mean it is a sin for all to drink wine? No it does not. Like I have written several times, Erik, read carefully and watch the deductions you are making. You have taken the Scriptures which are speaking to ceremonial things primarily and applied them to things which you think that I hold and do not.

  13. Richard Smith
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Erik Charter: And unlike the New School Presbyterians whose churches were spreading and growing, Richard’s church seems to be either extinct or non-existent. He is a lone prophet, crying out in the wilderness.

    RS: Successful ministry is not defined by numerical growth in all cases, as you cans see from the verses below in Isaiah. However, I am not a prophet and am not a lone prophet. The command is to preach the truth and seek the living God. The results are in the hands of God. In the preaching and teaching of Jesus, how many people were hardened and how many were converted? It would appear that during His time on earth far more were hardened than converted. Did He have a successful ministry? The Word did exactly what it was ordained to do.

    Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered, “Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people And the land is utterly desolate, 12 “The LORD has removed men far away, And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, And it will again be subject to burning, Like a terebinth or an oak Whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump.”

  14. Posted December 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Todd claims: A fundamentalist is someone, when he is shown that he has misinterpreted Scriptures such as I Cor 15:33 and I Cor 5, does not admit that he misunderstood the text, but simply finds other verses to support his previously made-up mind what he believes the Scriptures should say.

    Really? So if I don’t agree with you, I’m a fundamentalist? Really?! Why can’t I turn it on you and say if you don’t agree with me, then you’re a fundamentalist? Sorry Todd, but I wouldn’t stoop that low.

    First off your interpretation of Cor 5 was so convoluted and weak I didn’t really feel the need to respond. I don’t believe Erik, or the majority of Old Lifers would concur that Paul was teaching its fine to party with the world, because the text doesn’t say that! You are reading an unholy message in that verse. How dare you?!

    To make matters worse, I’ve got a zillion examples *in Scripture* where God *clearly* warns his people to stay separate from unbelievers in both the old and new testaments. God solemnly warns his people that if they mix with the world, they will do things that God hates. This has happened to God’s people for thousands of years, so you’re not just a little wrong; you’re flagrantly wrong!

    You’re interpretation of Cor 15:33 is almost laughable, are you saying that bad company *doesn’t* ruin good morals? Just on the face of it, you’re attempting to make this verse contradictory, ouch!

    “Be not deceived, bad company (will not) ruin good morals.”

    Is that the new Todd version of the book of James?

  15. Posted December 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Erik, more cat videos!

  16. Posted December 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Love the psycho clip Eric. For anyone who has been in the military that little get to know each other time with the drill Seargent actually does take place. And the remarks by everybody are just as funny as in the movie. Psycho is classic though. The video’s are more entertaining than the continuing and annoying arguments by Richard and Doug.

  17. Posted December 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Todd asks: the same PC crowd thinks the Bible is racist, sexist and elitist. Does that mean Christians cannot be guilty of racism, sexism or elitism?

    Bingo! Now you’re catching on! The way the world defines racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia is a lie! The concept of homophobia contradicts how God feels about that sin. Society should look at sodomy as a detestable act, because God says it’s a detestable act! Yet according to the PC crowd God was homophobic! Nuff said!!!

  18. Posted December 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Todd says: As for homophobia, it is rampant in the conservative evangelical and reformed church.

    Huh?! I’m shaking my head in disbelief. Todd, you need to lay off unclean food!

  19. Zrim
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Doug, how about another definition: one who so toggles between black and white he can’t conceive what it means to be in the world but not of it. But I’ve got Fred Phelps on line two. He says, “You go, boy,” and something about updating the web site on how Sandy Hook went.

  20. todd
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    “First off your interpretation of Cor 5 was so convoluted and weak I didn’t really feel the need to respond. I don’t believe Erik, or the majority of Old Lifers would concur that Paul was teaching its fine to party with the world, because the text doesn’t say that! You are reading an unholy message in that verse. How dare you?!”

    Actually, it was Calvin’s interpretation of I Cor 15 that you are calling convoluted. I was demonstrating how you are taking 15:33 out of context, which has to do with denying the resurrection. Context, context, context

    “To make matters worse, I’ve got a zillion examples *in Scripture* where God *clearly* warns his people to stay separate from unbelievers in both the old and new testaments.”

    As a theonomist, you do not understand how the new covenant fulfills the old covenant. The Gentiles, as were certain foods, were considered unholy, which pictured the unclean heart of every person. It’s fulfilled. We are not in the old covenant anymore. Time to move forward.

    “God solemnly warns his people that if they mix with the world, they will do things that God hates.”

    I am aware of being told if we follow the word’s example we will fall into sin, but where does it say if we are friends with the immoral of this world we will do things God hates?

    “You’re interpretation of Cor 15:33 is almost laughable, are you saying that bad company *doesn’t* ruin good morals? Just on the face of it, you’re attempting to make this verse contradictory, ouch!”

    You are wrenching a verse out of context to support your fundamentalism. Do some study on the passage before commenting.

    “The way the world defines racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia is a lie!”

    So what if it is? You still did not answer if God’s people can be guilty of true racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia? God’s people are reproved for elitism in James 2:1-4.

    As for homophobia, dare ask anyone growing up in a conservative church struggling with homosexual temptations if he could admit this weakness to others in the church, compared to those struggling with pride, heterosexual lust, or bitterness. The fact that you would likely befriend and go out for a drink with a conservative, upstanding unbeliever, but not a homosexual, demonstrates your own homophobia. Jesus had more negative things to say about the self-righteous in the gospels than he did homosexuals.

  21. Posted December 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Sean, I don’t feel I can neatly say going out to a bar is sin. I do believe in wisdom! I believe its a heart issue, so I don’t think having a few drinks is a sin per se. But I do think we need to walk circumspectly like Paul instructs us in Ephesians

    5:3 “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

    And here we have Sean who willingly wants to party on with sodomites at the local Pub in the name of liberty, ouch! Sean, do they consider you one of the gang? Do they ever say crude things which are out of place for a man of God? Do you put ear plugs in your ears?

    Remember one thing! God’s word calls us sheep. It’s not a complement; sheep are stupid and easily led astray. That’s all of us in a nutshell! For that reason, we need to be careful about our associations ESPECIALLY OUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. Have you ever heard, “birds of a feather, flock together”?

    Scripture is replete with warnings from cover to cover about the company we keep, and yet you call me a fundie for pointing out the obvious?

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

  22. Posted December 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Todd, whatever Calvin or Paul was talking about prior to this axiom is irrelevant!

    Bad company *still* ruins good morals! Its an axiom! It’s true in every circumstance! Unless you’re inferring that only in the case of talking about the resurrection of the dead can bad company ruin good morals, I hope not, because that would make you look absurd.

    So who’s just trying to win the argument Todd? Here you will go to extreme lengths to evade the clear warning found in Scripture.

    “Be not deceived, bad company ruins good morals”.

    It’s always true Todd! Just as it was with Israel, just like it was when Paul wrote this letter, and it’s true now!

    Think about sheep. Maybe a light will blink on in your bean.

  23. todd
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Okay Doug,

    Merry Christmas

  24. Posted December 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Todd exclaims: As a theonomist, you do not understand how the new covenant fulfills the old covenant.

    Oh please! The Mosaic covenant with its shadows and types were fulfilled in Christ Jesus alone! All of the post fall covenants are essenscially one covenant of grace in that all the promises were founded on the promise that Christ would be our God and Savior and we would be his people. Moses was saved just like you were, by grace through faith, period!

    While the shadows have given way to reality, (and amen!!), we are still called to be a separate people, who need to be wary of bad company! That has not changed! Wake up out of your slumber bro! We no longer look at Jew and Gentile separation, (true enough) but we are still called to be a separate people holy to God!

    “Be not deceived, bad company ruins good morals.”

    That is just as true today as it was when Paul instructed the Corinthians 50AD.

  25. Posted December 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Merry Christmas to you Todd :-)

  26. Posted December 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Merry Christmas to Erik (one of myfavorites), John Yeazel, Richard, Todd, Don, Luther, Sean, McMark, M&M, and good old Bob!

    God bless you all!

    Oh, sorry DGH, how could I forget you? Shy grin. Merry Christmas to you too! :-)

  27. Posted December 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    You too, Doug. Thanks for the debate and for being a good sport!

    Erik

  28. Posted December 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how could I forget Zrim? This is going to be tough, BUT Merry Christmas to you Zrim. Argh! I did it! Yea! Just kidding Steve, God bless you!

  29. Posted December 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Todd asks: I am aware of being told if we follow the word’s example we will fall into sin, but where does it say if we are friends with the immoral of this world we will do things God hates?

    Exodus 34:12

    Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)

    Pay close attention to this next passage!

    Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.

    Now Todd, I realize that we no longer live in Israel BUT can’t you see some parallels with us today? Sure we arent too literally tear our worldly friends idols down today, (maybe there not physical) but we should not get to cozy with them, lest we fall into a snare. What if their idol is playing a mean bass and they’re really gifted? Next thing you know, were worshiping the creatures (talent), rather than our creator. We’re the ones who wind up compromising!

    Think Sheep! Baaaaaa baaaaaa!

  30. Zrim
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Doug, careful, the company you’re keeping here may corrupt you.

  31. Posted December 25, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Merry Christmas Todd, I have some powerful compelling New Testament instruction from the Apostle Paul that I would like you to consider.

    2nd 6:14

    “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

    “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

    Paul is quoting the Law to be separate from the Gentile world, and applying it to the new covenant church. Now the divide is no longer Jew and Gentile, its believer and unbeliever. Church and the world. But the same principle of separation applies, why?

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

  32. Posted January 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    MM asked about good movies available to stream on Netflix. I found this list online:

    http://www.100thingsilearned.com/netflix.php

    The ones in bold are available as of the date of the post. This is dismal and is why I do the DVD’s but not the streaming.

  33. Posted January 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Erik,
    thanks for the list.

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