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Robin’s Ramblings

June 25, 2017
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Just some random ramblings today. On church, on work, on social media, on

I was always taught that on Sunday when you go to church, you leave all the stuff that’s bothering you or weighing on you at the door, and enter just to worship God and at least for awhile, forget about everything else. Oh, and for goodnessakes, wear a tie! This is, after all, God’s house.

Well, I have changed my mind about that. If I can’t bring all that stuff with me into God’s house and lay it at His feet – just as I am, suit and tie or shorts and flip-flops – then church is missing the point, not me.

My worship to God is seven days a week, not one. My worship occupies me all day long, even at work, at school, doing laundry, mowing the lawn. The “worldly” stuff that weighs on me during the week belongs to God anyway, and my so-called “secular life” is not a separate thing, apart from my “church life.” I’m not at God’s house to put my best foot forward and protect the other churchgoers by hiding all the stuff in my life that isn’t “spiritual.”

It is God who qualifies us to stand in His presence and make our offerings of worship in singing, in giving, in communing with His other children, and in listening to His word. Wearing a suit sort of suggests the other thing, the old way. The popular song that goes, “So forget about yourself, concentrate on Him and worrrrrship Himmmmm…” is just bogus. Sorry. Church is not an escape from worldly concerns, but a way of equipping ourselves and each other to deal with all that “secular” stuff that occupies most of our time the other 6 days of the week! So leave the suit and tie at home and bring the whole messy ball of stuff to God’s house. TV sermons are no substitute for meeting with real people, forming real relationships, and discipling one another to Christ.

We want to transform the people and culture of our city through the power of the gospel. The culture has been racing in the opposite direction, far from God’s design and far from His purpose. In just the last few years, right before our eyes, stuff is just being turned upside down, opposite, inside-out, and backwards. The media push these changes as though doing so is a matter of great urgency, as though traditional are brutal and responsible for all the hatred and violence in the world. The “new normal” should be anti-male, anti-God, and politically correct.

I suspect most people don’t agree, but don’t wish to risk being labelled “hater,” “bigot,” “homophobe,” “holier-than-thou,” etc. So they don’t speak up for sanity, but just either go with the flow or isolate themselves from all the turmoil – or worse, use our churches as “safe spaces” where they can retreat and sing hymns and use church busy work the same way that snowflakes use crayons and Play Dough in their “safe spaces.”

This is closest I have seen to any kind of backlash against the Left-driven cultural madness. Except of course, among little sheltered communities of fundamentalists, evangelicals, and “church people” who want to turn their churches into safe spaces for Christians instead of lighthouses for those facing shipwreck.

Pft. I wore shorts to church today. For the first time ever. It won’t be the last time.

On to completely different stuff now:

While this isn’t my “tech blog” (that’s here if you’re interested), my philosophy about technology has also been changing quite a bit. I dumped Facebook and Google because of privacy issues and the simple fact that I’m not a commodity to be mined and processed, and all my likes, photos, comments, and opinions sold to advertisers. And don’t gimme that “If you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t be concerned about privacy” crap. It has nothing to do with having anything to hide! Lemme ask you this: Why do they have doors on bathroom stalls? It’s not as if everyone doesn’t know what you’re doing in there, so why hide it behind a door? Because DIGNITY, dude. Simple human dignity. That’s what I mean by privacy on line. Hopefully that is sufficient explanation.

Anyway, even the most popular Linux distros are becoming less and less respectful of their users’ privacy. A many-tentacled monster called “systemd” has been adapted by all the most popular Linux distros, and one very popular desktop environment (called Gnome) has become dependent upon it. It “supervises” and keeps a record of every process on the computer! Convenience is supposed to be the reason, but I don’t see any improvement in convenience for the Linux desktop user. But again, in the interest of privacy, I ran like a scalded dog from systemd to a new Linux distro that has been around for years and remains unencumbered by the many-tentacled monster.

More on the tech blog of course. But I guess I’m just not one to easily surrender my rights, my privacy, or my dignity. And not one to retreat to a “safe space,” whether in college or at church, or online.

Keep that computer
running perfectly with

Confessions of a


Theology Thursday: Five Myths about the Ancient Heresy of Gnosticism

June 23, 2017
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Gnosticism was kinda like the mysticism of the modern-day Charismatic movement, always seeking greater and “deeper” experiences “in the Spirit.” Surely a doctrine of demons!


Written by Michael J. Kruger on December 20, 2016

In the world of biblical studies, at least among some critical scholars, Gnosticism has been the darling for sometime now. Especially since the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi in 1945, scholars have sung the praises of this alternative version of Christianity.

Gnosticism was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money. And it seems that some scholars look back and wish that the Gnostics had prevailed.

After all, it is argued, traditional Christianity was narrow, dogmatic, intolerant, elitist, and mean-spirited, whereas Gnosticism was open-minded, all-welcoming, tolerant and loving. Given this choice, which would you choose?

While this narrative about free-spirited Gnosticism being sorely oppressed by those mean and uptight orthodox Christians might sound rhetorically compelling, it simply isn’t borne out…

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June 5, 2017
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Last night my lovely bride and I finally joined a church we can both agree on, and the adventure begins anew towards mutual growth on common ground.

DNC Affiliates Increase Involvement In Seth Rich Case After Wheeler Claims 

May 27, 2017
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Source: DNC Affiliates Increase Involvement In Seth Rich Case After Wheeler Claims 

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Presbyterian Again

May 24, 2017
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I guess it was about 2 years ago that I left a Presbyterian Church in America – henceforth PCA church for a Reformed Baptist church that was truly Reformed, not a mixture of Eastern Orthodox liturgy with popular evangelicalism and secret flirtations among the staff with the writings of N.T. Wright. I explained in a blog post why I became a Baptist. Now, I find myself back in a PCA church – and with the blessing of the Elders at my former Baptist church! Not due to doctrinal differences (which do still matter), but because my bride and I need to be of the same mind and under the same spiritual headship. We had been getting some marriage counseling. Everyone should! It’s very helpful to avoid self-deception and making me aware of way I was hurting my family without even knowing it. At a certain point, because church is central and vital to making the best of a Christian marriage, and because my wife wouldn’t join my church (why is not relevant to this post), I asked the Elders about looking elsewhere, even though I had a vital role in worship there. It is with their blessing that my wife and I – together – are joining with a PCA church here in town. None of the fancy Orthodox-inspired liturgy, no flirtations with damnable heresies, and the Lord’s Supper every week (I have always wished for that)! A chance at real friendships is part of the reason God is moving us there too, I think. It just wasn’t possible without both of us being committed to the same church.

In the post linked above, I cited three differences between Reformed Baptists and their Presbyterian brethren. In my situation now I’m having to give them a second look, especially since we’re joining this new church and expect to be more than just “regular attenders.”


“Baptists don’t deuce,” my former pastor told me in explaining the difference. But to reach some of the conclusions they have reached, they had to have deduced them “by necessary consequence” even though not contained, per se, in the Scriptures. Baptism, for example, which they define as immersion only, forbidding any other mode. In Scripture there are multiple baptisms, and not all of them by immersion. “The Greek word baptizo means ‘to immerse,'” they say, yet I can’t find independent proof of that claim from anyone but Baptist scholars who simply assert it as fact. Applying the sacrament only to believers is also deduced, since creating a type-and-shadow relationship between physical birth and spiritual birth (regeneration) also requires deduction beyond what is strictly contained in the Scriptures. The Scriptures themselves draw a parallel between Old Testament circumcision and New Testament covenant baptism. One of my favorite little Baptist deductions is drawn from 1 Peter 3:18-21, in which Baptists must deduce that “baptism now saves you” means “only believers should be baptized.” Two Old Testament events are compared to baptism (besides covenant baptism): Noah’s flood (in the 1 Peter 3 passage), and the flight from Egypt (1st Corinthians 10:1-4). In both of those events, I say with a wry but sincerely friendly smile, the people of God were sprinkled, and it was the enemies of God who were immersed! Oops…


The covenants of God with Adam, with Moses, with David – are eternal, even though ancient Israel as it was in Moses’ time and David’s time is long gone. Baptists separate them, reasonably so, into Old (type and shadow) and New (reality prefigured by type and shadow). But Christ fulfilled the Covenants rather than doing away with them. There remains one everlasting Covenant of Grace, which existed even before Creation itself, as the Three Persons of the Godhead covenanted together to redeem a people for God from the fallen race of Adam. Type and shadow are certainly demonstrable from the Scriptures, but they do not represent separate covenants, nor separate people.

The Regulative Principle of Worship

Since the baptism of the children of believers is not expressly and explicitly commanded in the New Testament, Baptists are wise to refer to the Regulative Principle as their main argument for not practicing covenant (“infant”) baptism. We are, however, expressly and explicitly commanded not to neglect the traditions of the Apostles (2 Thes 3:6, 25). The validity of custom is asserted “for those who wish to be contentious,” in 1st Cor. 11:16. So I’m not sure the RP truly applies when it comes to baptism.

A lot of Baptist ways of thinking and applying the Word will remain with me as long as I live, and I’m grateful for it!

But – omygosh, my friends – I’m a Presbyterian. Again.

Christianity Ill-Defined by a Cult Member

May 1, 2017
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“If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything designates nothing.” B.B. Warfield His wife called with a report that set him off, enough for him to postpone his back-stage, dressing-room lunch in order to record a nearly…

via Glenn Beck’s Mormonized Rant Against Christianity — Pulpit & Pen

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An Apology to the Eastern Orthodox

April 23, 2017
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As the owner and president of Pulpit & Pen, I feel that I need to issue a public apology to the Eastern Orthodox community in regards to my managing editor’s recent words. In a series of posts, Pulpit & Pen editor, Jeff Maples, took it upon himself to essentially anathematize the Bible Answer Man, Hank…

via An Apology to the Eastern Orthodox Community — Pulpit & Pen

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One Speed: Deliberate.

March 2, 2017
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For most of the last couple of years I have worked as a delivery driver for FedEx Ground/Home Delivery. Unlike the FedEx Express drivers who work directly for FedEx, we Ground/Home Delivery guys are contracted to FedEx. Drivers work for a contractor who buys the right to service certain territories and routes. I wear a FedEx uniform but I work for the Contractor. I actually have worked for two Contractors.

The first hired me for a very busy city route and eventually replaced me because I am “too slow.” Even after months on that route, which I came to know very well, I couldn’t get up to 100+ stops a day, because I’m “too slow.”

The second contractor I worked for, over 8 months, couldn’t find a place for me after having trained me on a half-dozen routes but never leaving me on a route long enough to really become familiar with it. Then complained that I’m “too slow.” They waited, of course, until after peak season to let me go.

Too slow.

Yes, I’m slow. I have only one speed: DELIBERATE. I am concerned first and foremost with accuracy and customer service. If that takes a little longer, fine with me. Speed comes later, with familiarity of the route and finding the most efficient way to run it. But mis-delivered packages and disputed deliveries take more time to correct than just being careful to be accurate and deliver good service. Train me for a route and leave me there long enough to become familiar with it, and my speed will naturally get faster.

Now starting with a third Contractor, who supposedly understands my “weakness” and who supposedly agrees that it’s actually a good thing to deliver good customer service, accurately and carefully, even if it takes more time for the first 3 or four months while I learn the route.

God, I hope so.

The Apostasy Continues

February 19, 2017
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Where do you draw the charismatic line? 30 years ago nobody would’ve given this question much thought because it was easy to answer. People either liked Benny Hinn or thought he was crazy. People thought Kathryn Kuhlman was a great woman of God or a dramatic fraud. People were largely conservative, or charismatic. They either…

via Stop Calling Error “Anointed” — Pulpit & Pen

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No More Mozilla

February 15, 2017
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I have enjoyed a three-year love affair with Seamonkey and it was awesome. Mozilla took the old and wonderful Netscape Internet Suite (browser, email client, etc all in one) and resurrected it as Seamonkey. It seemed a low-priority project compared to Firefox and Thunderbird, but it was much lighter and faster for the first two of the three years I enjoyed it. Having far fewer lines of code than it’s siblings, it was small, sleek, and powerful.

Then one day someone at Mozilla dared to express a politically-incorrect personal opinion and Mozilla responded by firing him.

I’ve been loooking for a good FOSS alternative to Seamonkey ever since. Even if I disagreed with the opinion expressed, I would do no less than this, to protest in my little quiet way, the censorship Mozilla imposed on a good man, and the fear they’ve inflicted on others who work there, which stifles their freedom of expression as well.

It took some time to find anything as close to awesome as Seamonkey that wasn’t either buggy or patent-encumbered. The Xfce projects wonderful little Midori browser finally quit crashing on me at random, and the latest version of Geary seems to finally be behaving itself now. It too crashed at random, especially while composing e-mail. K-Mail is far more limited, and Claws Mail needs an external editor to send anything but plain text.

But it looks like the very latest versions of Geary (rumors of it’s demise are false by the way) and Midori have rid themselves of those annoying crashes.

At last I have my replacement for Mozilla’s Seamonkey. It’s sad to even have to look elsewhere, but just on principle, for whatever it’s worth, my little protest.

Goodbye, Mozilla.

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