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Stop Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist
« Reply #112 on: April 12, 2016, 07:05:15 AM »

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Stop Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist

Senator Ted Cruz has often stated that Jesus Christ is central to his life. He talks about how his father had left his family but returned after receiving the gospel, how his mother turned to Christ, and how this changed his life:



I was raised in the church.… When I was eight years old… [I] gave [my life] to Jesus. … [To] know that… I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, nothing is more important to me. I am a new creature in Christ, and it [is] central to who I am today.


I couldn’t run for president without relying heavily on my faith…. From the day we launched the campaign, Heidi and I have prayed simply that his will would be done. Each day, we try not to seek his hand (asking for help winning the race), but rather to seek his face (praying that his love and glory would be seen every day in the campaign).



Cruz’s unashamed affirmation of Christ resonates deeply with many Christians. But it has also created concern among many Christians and non-Christians alike. In this article, we’d like to clarify what we believe are misrepresentations of Cruz’s faith and its relationship to his politics.


Some have charged Cruz with being a “dominionist.” John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah College, raised this issue in an article in Religion News Service(picked up by the Washington Post). Another version of his views was recently published in Christianity Today. Fea is echoed by Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology at Grove City College, and by Frederick Clarkson, author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy (1997). Then there is the provocative article by Jay Michaelson, an LGBT activist and religion columnist at The Daily Beast, “Does Ted Cruz Think He’s the Messiah?


Dominion theology and dominionism were terms coined in 1989 by sociologist Sara Diamond (Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right), referring to Christians who want to take over the government and six other facets of society (the media, business, arts and entertainment, education, family, and religion), together known as the “Seven Mountains.” Diamond views this as “the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.”


The term has become elastic, encompassing Christians who believe the United States was once a predominantly Christian nation as well as those who hold “right-wing” views. But as many writers have noted, this elastic sense has become a bogeyman. Jewish journalist Stanley Kurtz called it “conspiratorial nonsense,” while Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson declared: “Thin charges of dominionism are just another attempt to discredit opponents rather than answer them.” Even the liberal journalist Lisa Miller called the loose accusation of dominionism “the paranoid mot du jour” (On the dubious ways that this term is used, see also Joe Carter.)


Cruz, however, is not a dominionist. As a teenager he joined the Constitutional Corroborators, travelling throughout Texas reciting from memory the text of the Constitution up through the Bill of Rights. He was taught law at Princeton by Robert George, and at Harvard Law School by Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz, who is Jewish, observed that he was “one of the brightest students we ever had.” Cruz, with his formidable knowledge of the Constitution, is a passionate proponent for a republican form of government with checks and balances, accessible to all.



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http://www.faithwall.co.uk/index.php/15-christian-family/10692-stop-calling-ted-cruz-a-dominionist
http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/54768-ted-cruz-shares-intimate-details-of-his-faith-journey
http://www.religionnews.com/2016/02/04/ted-cruzs-campaign-fueled-dominionist-vision-america-commentary/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/ted-cruzs-campaign-is-fueled-by-a-dominionist-vision-for-america-commentary/2016/02/04/86373158-cb6a-11e5-b9ab-26591104bb19_story.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/april-web-only/religion-of-ted-cruz.html?start=2
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/
http://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/02/14/dominionism-is-the-new-religious-freedom/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/14/does-ted-cruz-think-he-s-the-messiah.html
http://www.publiceye.org/diamond/sd_domin.html
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1395309/posts
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-holy-war-on-the-tea-party/2011/08/22/gIQAYRcOXJ_story.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/dominionism-beliefs-among-conservative-christians-overblown/2011/08/17/gIQAb5eaNJ_story.html
http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2011/08/a-journalism-lesson-for-the-new-yorker
http://www.princeton.edu/politics/people/display_person.xml?netid=rgeorge
http://woai.iheart.com/articles/local-news-119078/sen-cruz-described-as-smartest-man-11743470/
http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

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CFamily

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The Church’s Law-Grace Throwdown: 300 Years and Going Strong
« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2016, 07:08:52 AM »
The Church’s Law-Grace Throwdown: 300 Years and Going Strong

This is an article about a book about a controversy about a book. Worse: it is an article about a new book about an old (and largely forgotten) controversy about an even older (and largely forgotten) book. Yet both of the books, and the controversy, are highly relevant to the contemporary evangelical world, because they reflect exactly the same questions that come up in ordinary life today.


Edward Fisher’s book, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, was published in London in the 1640s. It contained a series of dialogues about the law and the gospel, with four suitably named characters: Neophytus, a young Christian; Evangelista, a gospel-preaching pastor; Nomista, a legalist; and Antinomista, an antinomian. The goal of the text was to navigate the line between legalism and antinomianism (or lawlessness), and in the eyes of many influential interpreters, it did an admirable job. Virtually nobody today would accuse it of being too licentious and fluffy; if anything, most of us would find it somewhat strict.


Seventy years later, however, The Marrow became enormously controversial in the Church of Scotland. Republished in 1718, thanks to the influence of a 41-year-old pastor named Thomas Boston, the book was seen as promoting antinomian theology, and in 1720 it was banned by the church’s General Assembly. Pastors were ordered not to recommend it, and were told to warn anyone found reading it how dangerous it was. (Amusingly, there is no record of this act ever having been rescinded, even though the book has now been in circulation for 300 years.) Boston’s friends, usually known today as the “Marrow Men,” refused to accept the decision, seeing it as evidence that the General Assembly was unduly legalistic. They insisted that Boston republish the book with his own notes. In 1726, he did.


What, then, did the Marrow Men and the General Assembly disagree about? After all, virtually everyone involved in the controversy subscribed to the same definition of the relationship between faith and works (namely, the Westminster Confession of Faith). Nobody in the discussion was saying, “A person is justified by works of the law.” Nor was anyone saying, “Christians have no moral obligations.” So what was the disagreement really about? And how should we think about it today?


Grasping the Whole Christ


Answering those two questions is the focus of Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson’s new book, The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters. After sketching the historical context (chapter 1), Ferguson identifies four key issues at stake in the debate, and tackles them each in turn. There was, first, the question of whether the gospel can be offered to all people, and whether repentance precedes faith in Christ or the other way around (chapters 2 and 3). Second, there was the Marrow Men’s concern that their opponents were legalistic—not in a formal sense, but in the tenor, spirit, and emphasis of their approach (chapters 4, 5, and 6). Then there was the opposite concern, on the part of the Assembly, that The Marrow was promoting antinomianism (chapters 7 and 8). Lastly, there was the question of whether (and how) assurance of salvation was possible (chapters 9, 10 and 11).



Source: The Church’s Law-Grace Throwdown: 300 Years and Going Strong

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http://www.faithwall.co.uk/index.php/15-christian-family/10706-the-church-s-law-grace-throwdown-300-years-and-going-strong
http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

Offline Seeker

Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #114 on: April 13, 2016, 09:04:28 AM »
Interesting article. It also raises the question - is it wrong to read some books? I am curious.

I like books, I like reading. When I was younger I was rather indiscriminate with my reading - as in I'd read almost anything. I do find myself questioning some of my previous reading material and wondering if it was not perhaps very good. However I can't change the fact I read such. Some reading material causes me to question, but then is questioning always bad.

Okay, to put bluntly - if some reading material were to cause one to question one's faith - would that be considered bad? Should we question our faith? I am aware as I type this the scripture that says all things are permissible, but not all are beneficial, or summat like that. Although then what is the point of faith if it is not tested? How do we know how strong our faith is, if it is not shaken?

However, in the above article I think there was mention of banning the book - should we ever seek to take away the free will of another? I know in some circumstances where they are harming others perhaps - but stopping people reading what they choose to? hmmmmm.

TJ

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #115 on: April 13, 2016, 01:29:36 PM »

Quote
Quote
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Okay, to put bluntly - if some reading material were to cause one to question one's faith - would that be considered bad? Should we question our faith?


Well yes - it makes you stronger and not so naive, when it comes to the crunch.

Then you can say "ahh I recognise that mistake and that voice" [get behind me satan]


Offline homebird159

Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #116 on: April 13, 2016, 06:57:43 PM »
After being brought up from birth as a Jehovah's Witness, at 17, I began to notice other teachings, along with errors and flip-flops in our own teaching.  It was then that I thoroughly started to "examine my religion".  The fact is, truth bears up to scrutiny and though we do have to be careful about what we put into our heads via books and the Internet, personally speaking, I am so glad I questioned my faith at that time.  If I had not, I would still be a JW and would not be writing here!  Neither would I have come to know the true and living God. 

Even at that, there have been times when I have entered churches/fellowships where the "Pastor" is tremendously authoritarian and demands you listen to him, no matter if you think he is wrong or not.  I have also been in churches where the teaching is blatantly against Scripture. 

Believe me, after my history with religion, I question *everything*. 

God says, "Come, let us reason together".  I don't think He minds genuine questions.  Better that than living a lifetime following a lile.


CFamily

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Sleepless, Stressed, and Over-Scheduled?
« Reply #117 on: April 14, 2016, 07:03:55 AM »
Sleepless, Stressed, and Over-Scheduled?

Sleepless, Stressed, and Over-Scheduled?

PRIXEL CREATIVE / LIGHTSTOCK




After nearly four straight years of too much stress, too little sleep, practically zero exercise, and way too much travel, my body had finally had enough. Over the course of one painfully long year, I battled the flu, two rounds of strep throat, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, an ear infection, and multiple urinary tract infections.


My body was telling me, in no uncertain terms, that it was all too much for me, and I was mentally and spiritually exhausted as well. My relationships with everyone, including God, were suffering. And yet, I couldn’t stop. I wanted to be everything to everyone—Super Mom, Super Wife, Super Blogger, Super Friend, Super Christian—despite the signs that were obvious to everyone but me.


Something had to give.


I wish I could point to a dramatic turning point that changed everything overnight, but balance and wellness don’t really work that way. I finally just got sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time. And while it took me a really long time to even acknowledge the problem at all, it has also taken a very long time to begin to correct it, to cut out the unhealthy habits in my life in favor of incorporating healthy ones. It’s a process I am still figuring out, and one I will probably have to work at for the rest of my life.


Before I continue, let me just state for the record that I am by no means an expert on health and wellness or stress management. I have no background in nutrition. I am not a sleep expert. I am not a doctor. Nor have I mastered the art of balance.


I am a blogger, wife, mom, and author. I struggle with working too much, sleeping too little, not taking time off, and trying to keep my own stress level under control. I don’t eat as healthily as I could or as I know I should. All I can share is what I’ve learned along the way, as well as a little of what has worked for me.


Addressing Stress Triggers


To begin the journey of finding balance and wellness, we must first identify what’s triggering our stress. Balance in our day-to-day lives is passive, only happening once we are willing to stop doing and start resting, but the act of eliminating the obvious stressors in our life must be active. Reducing our exposure to the things that cause stress is something that each of us can and should work on. Our health depends on it.


Of course, that’s easier said than done. The things that cause the greatest degree of stress will vary greatly from person to person and from season to season. However, as a Christian woman, I can generally count on the following three forms of stress:





Source: Sleepless, Stressed, and Over-Scheduled?

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http://www.faithwall.co.uk/index.php/15-christian-family/10755-sleepless-stressed-and-over-scheduled
http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/images/68618.jpg?w=620
http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

Offline homebird159

Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #118 on: April 14, 2016, 03:27:19 PM »
One of her solutions that I have had to learn the hard way is "downtime".

I was always, and I mean always, running around after my loved ones, running around after friends and relatives and people who demanded that I be there for them.  Then, after a couple of almost total breakdowns, I heard God say, "Be still...". 

It took me a long time, but I finally learned that to be still meant totally withdrawing myself from each situation that was causing me stress - taking myself out of the picture regularly until I could deal with that situation and prioritise which "situations" I really could cope with on a daily basis.

At the end of the day, I am just one human being, and while God has called me to love and be there for people, He has not called me to love and be there, continually, for *everyone*.

Even Jesus took time out to meet with His Father, and to rest.  So I learned the lesson.  I began to take time out, for me.  To recharge.  To think, to cry, to sleep, to eat, whatever was needed, and mostly to talk to my Father, knowing that if I let go, He would still be in control of the situation, and I didn't have to be, at least for a while.

Being chronically ill is a mixed blessing.  I hate, hate, hate it.  I feel frustrated a lot of the time because my body won't let me do the things my mind and spirit wish to do.  But still I hear God saying, "Be still.. and know.. that I am God."  He knows.  He is in control.  I leave it to Him now.  I open my hands when I am frustrated, and give up all that is frustrating me, I take time out, and I say, "OK, God, you deal with it and me for a while."  And He does.

Stress and trying to meet the needs of everyone around us eventually burns us out, sometimes in physical ways that we never recover from in this life.  Bottom line is, if we are going to be there for people, we also need to be there for ourselves now and then, regularly, daily, and look after our needs also.  The rest of the time, trust.  He is still God. He is still in control.



CFamily

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BLESS Missional Practices as a Sideways Step into Evangelism
« Reply #119 on: April 15, 2016, 07:05:52 AM »
BLESS Missional Practices as a Sideways Step into Evangelism

At the Amplify Conference this June, our focus is on rethinking evangelism for the local church. My own church, Community Christian Church, is working on amping up and amplifying our outreach temperature, and we are learning as we move along.


One thing we are learning is that it is possible to have a mission as a church that is not necessarily reflected in the personal lives of our ministry leaders.


Our mission is helping people find their way back to God. But sometimes for us who are leaders at the church, it is easy to lead our ministries in ways that help people find their way back to God, but not have our personal lives aligned.


Many of us are not reaching the friends and neighbors and people in our neighborhoods and networks and Starbucks. We are not having regular spiritual conversations with them. We are not helping them find their way back to God. We just don’t have the time!


So we have had to begin to face that fact that we can’t lead what we aren’t living! If we are not helping people find their way back to God in our personal lives, than we will not sustain contagious, winsome, and effective leadership toward doing that in our ministries.


So we have begun a journey with each other to learn how to align our personal lives with our mission. We have committed to go beyond being primarily an attractional church that does well when people show up. We have committed to living missional lifestyle as leaders.


How are we doing that? We are pursuing five missional practices. We call them BLESS.


  • Begin with prayer.

  • Listen.

  • Eat.

  • Serve.

  • Story.

We want every person to imagine evangelism as “blessing” others. So many people think of evangelism as pressuring people. So we don’t even use the word. We ask them to “bless” others in order to help them find their way back to God.


Let me share a compelling story that Dave and Jon Ferguson included in their book Finding Your Way Back to God. It concerns a study done in Thailand on organizations that were pursuing business as mission. Researcher Mark Russell studied 12 “business as mission” organizations. Six of those groups were founded with a primary focus on the missionary goal of converting people. He called those groups the “converters.”


The other six groups were primarily focused on making a contribution to the Thai economy, providing jobs, and developing successful businesses. Russell called these organizations the “blessers.” Not surprisingly, the “blessers” did a much better job of blessing the Thai economy and the Thai people. They made more money and hired more Thais and developed more successful businesses.


But here is the surprise. The “blessers” also saw more people converted…by a ratio of 48 to 1!


Our goal is to see these BLESS missional practices become part of the DNA of the church and of all of our members. We can’t wait to see all the ways that BLESS attitudes and practices will change the lives of the people around us, will change our own lives, and will ultimately lead to many more people finding their way back to God.


Come join us at Amplify to hear what we are doing, how it is going, how you could pursue that vision, and to find new resources to bless others too!



Source: BLESS Missional Practices as a Sideways Step into Evangelism

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http://www.faithwall.co.uk/index.php/15-christian-family/10763-bless-missional-practices-as-a-sideways-step-into-evangelism
http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

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