theolog shmeolog

Belonging to God’s Household, Christ’s Body, the Church, etc.

Posted in Communion w/ God, Postmodern, run on sentences by Sam Hendrickson on 19 January , 2014

In order for a person to be a member of the body of Christ through the New Covenant, (i.e. to be a Christian) there must bbody-of-christe a Divine, miraculous change in the heart of such a person. That change culminates in faith and repentance; faith in the finished work of Christ while turning from sin–calling on God to bring salvation.

That is a heart-work no human being can do, but only the Spirit of God. In reading John 9 and 10 (Jesus healing the blind man and Jesus’ subsequent discussion of the “sheep fold,” the “flock” and “other sheep” outside “the fold”), we see how sheep from Israel (“fold”) and “other sheep” (outside of Israel, i.e. Gentiles) are combined together into a “flock” who have one true Shepherd. BTW, this will not be obvious in the KJV (there is a mistranslation of some of the original language).

What is the fellowship or commonality these in the “flock” hold? Is it their outward appearance, genetic background, or anything visible? No, it is a spiritual, Divine fellowship–“my sheep hear my voice and follow Me” and “I know My sheep and they know Me.” This is the essence of belonging to the New Covenant people (to bearing the name “Christian”)–an invisible, Divine spiritual work through which His people follow and know to follow their Shepherd. They trust in Him for forgiveness, salvation and life, and through the Spirit’s power and Christian graces, they keep following until He returns.

Any togetherness beyond this divinely-produced, invisible unity, or any claimed connection to the regenerate (born-again) Body of Christ through heritage, genetics, familial ties, etc. is something other than Christian unity, however pleasant, sentimentally-comforting, etc. that “unity” may be.

Defense of Marriage Act

So, DOMA is struck down. This decision makes clear that for those who oppose same-gender marriage and related matters there is tough sledding ahead.doma

Our ultimate hope is not in governmental or societal change, it is in Christ. Any effort we might make (more…)

Nice…Heaven is for Unbelievers…Ummm. Good Luck With That.

Posted in discernment, Fighting fundamentalist foolishness, Postmodern by Sam Hendrickson on 23 April , 2012

A frightening and heterodox conclusion in the name of one “defending the gospel”…BTW  their words and sentiments NOT mine! [This link has been removed–the seedlings of an explanation are available here.) The original conclusion to the article appear below. The original author posted here with the entire article.

As Christians we can depart from the faith, deny the faith, or stop believing in Christ as our Savior. But since the security of our salvation depends on God’s faithfulness, not our own, we can never lose eternal life. A Christian may leave the faith, but God never leaves the Christian. Apostasy from the faith does not forfeit salvation, though it will forfeit future rewards.”

God Hates Purposefully Mixed Worship & Sacrifice-Exodus 32

Some more thoughts on modern Christianity’s tendency to intermix worldliness in with the things of Christ.

It’s not some new phenomenon as we will see below.

When this artist to the right is “excited” that his album was used for a World Wide Wrestling Federation (now WWE) 25 year Anniversary service (and no, it was not chosen because it spoke a contrary message of God to those present, but because the music fit right in), you have to wonder if you want the people you love to be warned about the messages of such people. Maybe some will think you out of step “with the current Christian times”, or just a nosy, cranky curmudgeon. (Who among us would deny such are true of me? Heh heh.)

But as I preached last week, if you are doing Good News living and others have a problem with that, their beef is not with you, but they’ve just found their complaint escalated to the highest levels–Christ and the Father. So, I won’t be hurt if you disagree, but, at that point my feelings and my opinion means nada, nil, nuthin’–zilch. Someone else’s opinion does.

This kind of thinking comes from (John 15:19 – 16:3)


God’s rightful glory is given to someone else when we intentionally mingle godly things in with pagan things. And God does not stand for having His glory diverted, stolen or reduced.

I contend that “Christian” bands like these and others, often show their desires to find ways to have and hold “the world” while trying to have and hold Christ.

That’s God-glory-robbing kind of stuff–and that is a dangerous place to be, and these can be spiritually dangerous people from which to get your teachings about God.

Consider how things went in the 15th Century BC:

Exodus 32

  • People often lose confidence in the people God has ordained as their spiritual leader (Verse 1)Exodus 32:1  Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.
  • In doing so, they then reveal what their real desires are–what they truly want to worship (instead of the One True God)(Verse 1)“come make us a god”
  • Other spiritual leaders may well be as spiritually weak as those they lead and cave into their sinful desires (Verse 2) Aaron said to them, “Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”
  • Such leaders can end up mixing in “God-talk” and “idol-talk” as a way of gaining the approval of the sinful people, and as a way of making themselves feel better for introducing sin into the things of God–“this is your god” and “tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” (Verse 4) He [Aaron] took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
  • When such leaders intermingle pagan, sinful things in with the holy things of God, the people (whose hearts desire sin, self and their own lusts) will go along with it and even do “the godly stuff.”–they “offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings” (Verse 5)Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.”
  • And when the “God” stuff is over, the sinful idolatry and self-centered fulfillment merely continues (Verse 6)So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play
  • God’s holy righteous anger burns against this kind of spiritual God-talk and idol-worship (Verses 7 – 35)–Go ahead go to the passage and take a look–God’s punishment on Israel was ugly, brutal and indicative of His love for His own glory.

Seriously, ask yourself:

  • Do I want to be listening to people who are willing to look at God this way?
  • Should I be learning my information about God from people who look at God this way?
  • Should I be using the messages of such people to help me individually worship God?

It ought to sober us to think of what God did in the Golden Calf Worship-of-Jehovah-Disaster.

Who is really your God/god?

Thinking on Christian bands…


Clearly, I’m coming at this all wrong…eyeliner, $30 a pop fanclub (“Oh, I know, I know…Sam’s Club–[oh, what? that’s taken already? oh”), and helping the WWE bring their family-friendly, God-glorifying message to the yoot of America…


“and then the WWE wanted to use “Monster” for their 25 year celebration. I was really, really excited”


“The rock star thing vs. the Christian thing used to be harder than it is. It’s not quite as hard now because I am so committed to my faith in God and who I know I need to be because I have to live with myself. In some ways it is still difficult because, I would say, being a Christian and being a rock star are the absolute opposites of each other. Being a rock star is all about you, all about being cool or at least trying to be cool. Putting up this front that you really don’t care about anybody or anything. Being a Christian is the opposite. It’s not all about me, it’s about God. It’s about helping people, loving God, and loving others, serving others. As a rock star you are used to getting served.

Primpin’ and pimpin’

Read more: 20 questions with Christian rock band Skillet’s John Cooper – Medfield, MA – Medfield Press

By Gary Darling

September 18. 2009 12:01AM

20 questions with Christian rock band Skillet’s John Cooper



With the release of their newest record, “Awake,” Christian rock band Skillet is about to embark on a fall tour in support of the album.

Maryville Daily Forum writer Gary Darling spoke to lead singer John Cooper about faith, the band and the new album.

1. How is the tour rehearsal coming together?

Tour rehearsal is going great, and I am excited because we get to play new songs.

2. What can fans expect from the “Awake and Alive” tour?

New fans, that have never seen us play, can expect a lot of energy. Everyone always tells us that we are the most energetic band they have ever seen. I didn’t know that was the case. I did know that I sweated a lot. We get pretty crazy. I think the intensity of the live show goes with the music that we are singing that we are very passionate about. There are a few production surprises but all in all it is just going to be a lot of fun with great bands on the tour. It’s a pretty dynamic show, lots of ups and downs and becomes an emotional rock show, if there is such a thing. For returning fans, well there is a new record so there will be new songs and they get to experience those songs. Also, we got a great tour package. Hawk Nelson, whom we have never been on tour with before, adds a different flavor and broadens the spectrum of a hard rock tour.

3. How do you juggle being a musician, a father, a husband and a Christian while on tour?

Ahhh, you know that’s pretty difficult actually. That is the hardest thing about my job actually, doing the family thing and the business thing. The business part is just so busy, you know. I am always busy, constantly. Having to have a relationship on the road, we are a bus with 15 people on it, you just don’t get any alone time and time to work stuff out and time to talk. So I am constantly having to rework that.

The rock star thing vs. the Christian thing used to be harder than it is. It’s not quite as hard now because I am so committed to my faith in God and who I know I need to be because I have to live with myself. In some ways it is still difficult because, I would say, being a Christian and being a rock star are the absolute opposites of each other. Being a rock star is all about you, all about being cool or at least trying to be cool. Putting up this front that you really don’t care about anybody or anything. Being a Christian is the opposite. It’s not all about me, it’s about God. It’s about helping people, loving God, and loving others, serving others. As a rock star you are used to getting served. So I just try to weigh those things and do a good job performing, while keeping what’s important in life in the forefront of my mind.

4. What excites you most about the new album?

I would say I like the lyrics the most about the new album. I like that the songs have good points but also that the album isn’t a preachy record. I think that lots of different kinds of people can hear the record and be impacted by and relate to it. That’s what is most important to me. I didn’t want this record to be that only Christian people liked. That is why we sing about issues that we going through, life struggles, and hopefully world struggles.

5. Jen Ledger has taken over for your wife Korey Cooper on backing vocals, how smooth of a transition was that?

It went really great actually. I didn’t know that Jen could sing so well when she joined the band. That was not the intention of her joining. I liked her playing, she’s a great drummer with good skills and that was all great. Then, you know, I don’t really know how it happened. My wife was ready to step out from doing some of the singing. Jen was kind of nervous but comfortable giving it a shot. I just think it work better than any of us really expected. Certainly better than I expected. I do have hopes that my wife will start singing again. We’ll just kind of see how that goes.

6. Any chance of seeing a combination of Korey and Jen on backing vocals in the future?

I hope so. I’m not really sure. We do a little bit of that live but in terms of songs like that, I am not really sure.

7. How well do you think that the new album has been received?

Well, it certainly has been received a lot better that I could have hoped. I thought it would be received good but it has been an incredible couple of weeks. I would have never dreamed it would come out doing so well. The excitement that people had about the record and the tour, people coming to the show singing the new songs already. People were singing the new songs months before the album came out. People were hearing stuff on Youtube.

8. What would you like your fans to take away from this album?

In general, the thing that we sing about and talk about a lot is hope and having hope in a world that is dark and hopeless most of the time. it’s getting a little worse and worse all the time. It’s scarier and more violent. I would like people to listen to the record and become more hopeful. That they would feel there is a chance that not only could their life could get better but there is a chance for you to help make things better for someone else and for the world at large even.

Other things that I am passionate about being that I have been involved with Christian music since I was a kid. I actually started listening to Christian music when I was in fifth grade and it impacted my life is such a big way that I am a believer in it and I hope Christian people that listen to us feel good about playing it for their buddies. Not feeling like that they don’t get to listen to real music. So they have to settle for the Diet Coke of Coke. I don’t want to be the Diet Coke.

9. This album has been charting better than your other albums in the past, what do you feel is the reason for this?

In the first week when it came out, my manager calls me and says that we have the No. 2 selling record in the entire world this week, I was just like there must be some kind of mistake. I needed to see it in writing. I needed to see an actual forecast, that can’t be right. It has just been pretty nuts. I knew that there was a buzz happening and we were pretty excited about that but I had no idea that it was going to explode the way it did.

10. Any chance of just letting Ben rip a long extended solo on an album in the future?

I don’t know, I kind of have to make Ben do the solos that he does. He’s not necessarily from the same era that I did. I grew up in the ’80s were every song had an extended solo or an intro and a bridge and an outro. I feel the more the better. We’re going to have to keep training him up. He’s young and he’s not as wise as me. (Laughs) I’m working on it.

11. Considering the reaction of fans that I have talked to, is there a chance that we will see Jen take over as lead singer on a song in the future?

Ahhhh, I don’t know actually. I’ve not thought a lot about that. Anything could happen, absolutely. I don’t know if she would take over completely, I think it would still be more of a duet than it would be her taking over for the song.

12. Who is Lucy?

Oh, that’s a secret, man. I’ve been telling people out the seven records we done, and the 90 recorded songs I think we have now, Lucy is the only song that I am keeping a little under wraps for the moment. Not necessarily because it’s the hugest secret. I think I just want to let that song mean something different for people. I don’t want to poison what it may mean to someone. I’m going to, kind of, let it do it’s thing and I might talk about it later. This song is about regret, it is about losing someone and wishing you could do things differently and wanting a second chance.

13. How many songs do you generally write before putting together an album?

I would say, for this record, I wrote 42 songs. The last record I wrote about 28. So it’s increasing. So the more successful you get, the more songs you write because you are nervous you won’t have any good ones.

14. Was there much pressure to achieve the success you did with “Comatose”

Oh man, YES. It was absolutely bonkers. I was so stressed out for a year and a half about writing this record. I drove my wife absolutely a little batty. I drove my manager batty. I drove my record producer batty. Everybody was just sick of me. The pressure was from myself mainly. It’s just because you work and work and work and you think you are putting out good records. Then it doesn’t go the way you want it to but it’s okay. Then the next record you work and you’re convinced that it’s a better record than last one and then it still doesn’t go the way you want.

All of a sudden on your sixth record you release, you know “Comatose” was our sixth album, all of a sudden people are going Skillet crazy. You are like what’s going on? How did this happen? We had no earthly idea that record was going to be so big. At that point you don’t want to lose it. You or I could list off 30 bands that released an absolutely amazing record and then could never do it again. Then it’s just release bad album after really bad album. Who knows why they couldn’t get that magic back.

So I’m always scared that is going to happen to me. I’m like after “Comatose” we are going to be that band that can’t write any more good songs. So there is a lot of pressure to do it. It’s what we’ve been working for for 12 years and it’s here and I don’t want to lose it. That’s why I wrote so many songs.

15. How did it make you feel to have NBC use the song “Hero” to promote the NFL Kickoff Football game between the Titans and Steelers?

Ahhh, sweet. I couldn’t believe it when I got that call because we’ve been waiting on opportunities like that and we know a lot of bands have and I don’t know why we haven’t. It just never came together. Then we got a call from that and then the WWE wanted to use “Monster” for their 25 year celebration. I was really, really excited because I think the album’s music goes very well with sporting events and what I would call “dude” stuff. Car races, weight lifting, or football. Our music is very epic sounding, it has a real larger than life feel to it. Kind of like Linkin Park. I saw the commercial and I thought that if I would do anything I could do to watch that game because I was really excited and it was exciting commercial.

16. Have you been approached about using your music for any feature films in the future?

No but I would kill to have a song in “Iron Man 2” or a Spider-Man movie. I am a giant comic book fan. In my house I have a life-size Batman and Spider-Man. I’m just nuts about that stuff. When the song “Rebirthing” came out, they were just running the trailers for “Spider-Man 3” which is the one with Venom. I thought that “Rebirthing” has got to be on this movie. It’s the perfect song for this. I was like, I don’t want to be too much of a geek because it was kind of like the “rebirthing” of Spider-man with the black suit. I fought and fought and fought but nothing ever came of it.

17. If you weren’t doing this, what would you see yourself doing?

Golly, I have no idea. I love working with young people. I imagine I would be doing some sort of social work, youth ministry in a church, or something like that. I just love working with teenagers. Artistically, I would be doing a lot of things. I like just about anything artistic. I started a clothing company years ago and I really enjoyed doing that but never had time to do it, so I quit. I would love to design clothes and for houses, that sort of thing. I would love that. I have been infatuated with biology since I was a kid. I am not smart and I would probably not be able to make it through college but I always wanted to be a surgeon. I was just obsessed with that as a kid. I don’t think anybody would want me working on them.

18. What is a normal day in the life of the Cooper’s?

Right now, My wife and I spent a lot of time talking about, “OK, what do we need to do different to make this work?” Where her and I can spend more time together, which is difficult on the road.

19. Do you wish people would just accept the band name Skillet already or do you continue to have fun with it at concerts?

Yea, you know I think the people accepted it better than I do. I don’t really like it but it kind of — sometimes a band name, when you hear it enough times you begin to relate it to that band instead of what it might mean. For example, Korn is like that. First time I heard a band named Korn for the first year I thought that’s going to be the ultimate worst thing I have ever heard. Now if I ever hear the word “corn” I think of the band I don’t think of the vegetable. Korn kind of fits now. It’s okay with the “K” and it’s kind of cool. Skillet has become that way with our fans. You see it written down and it kind of looks like a rock band. Luckily we have been around long enough to make that transition.

20. Is that really your face in the bandages on the “Awake” cover?

That is my face but that is not my eye color. We had to manipulate the color. It is my eye shape.

Maryville Daily Forum


Christians and Gambling–First Initial Post–First Sin

Posted in "foolish" Christian thinking, challenging human thinking, discernment, Lordship, Postmodern, Worship by Sam Hendrickson on 15 February , 2011

(This is a work in progress–unmarked changes will occur as the document matures). Rev A is in place (11:30am 15Feb2011)

Mankind’s plunge into sin began when we[1] entertained the Opponent’s[2] sly question: “Indeed, has God said…?” (Gen 3:1) He then told Eve a bald lie: “You surely will not die.” He first questioned her—casting doubt on whether God’s command should really be understood as God’s command. Second, he told her a bold lie—contradicting God’s authority, and setting Eve up to make herself the authority. Then, he dangled a temptation designed to stir up disquiet in her—thoughts that God was withholding something valuable from her. That God was preventing her from attaining self-fulfillment, and even proper self-actualization. In other words, Satan wanted Eve to believe that God did not want the both of them (“you” etc. is plural) to become all they could truly become—Godlike, having full knowledge and wisdom.

And although up to that point, God was everything to them and they had fully relied upon Him for truth (as they were designed to do)—although their lives were essentially limitless and boundless—they chose to cross His one limit, His only boundary. Think of it! Before them lay a planet (a planet!) of great beauty, discovery, adventure and blessing.[3] Planet-wide there were likely trillions of trees, trillions of bushes, quadrillions of different fruits to eat—essentially innumerable alternatives to sin![4] And, what if He had “limited” them to the Garden only for the time being? Does that leave them wandering around constantly staring at the Tree?

If we understand some of the biblical boundaries for the Garden of Eden, it was possibly as big as the states of California and Nevada combined. It is impossible to be too specific about the size, but its topography is described usingfour rivers—with the idea that the Garden could be described as “vast.”[5] By stating “of all the trees of the Garden you may eat, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat” (Gen 2:16 – 17) God pointed out that they had plenty to choose from, and more than enough places to explore and live.

And yet, because Eve judged the tree to be good for food (in complete rebellion against God) she ate. Even though God had given her all that she desired, because she felt a great desire for the fruit (the word “delight” is the same word used to describe sinful lust elsewhere in the OT) she took the fruit and ate. Even though God was supposed to be her Source of wisdom and truth, she looked at eating the fruit as being “desirable” to give her wisdom (apparently supposing God was somehow depriving her of this wisdom—in light of Satan’s tempting words). Again the word for “desirable” can have meanings which point to satisfying selfish desires—like sexual lusts, etc.

So, even though at one time, she had put up a personal rule of holiness for herself (“do not touch the tree”—God had never said “do not touch it”, only do not eat it), she trusted a talking serpent and gave herself over to her sinful, self-centered desires. And Adam ate it with her—possibly (likely?) witnessing the whole conversation (“she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate” Gen 3:6). There is no further record of her (or Adam) arguing with Satan. Instead, in an eerie foreshadowing of our inborn sinfulness in Romans 1:32, she sinned, and dragged someone else into the sin with her.

The Bible’s description of the first sin hearkens with me when I look at gambling. The strong desires attached to it, the response of professing Christians when someone confronts them on the issue–these both seem present at the tree.

These are my initial thoughts–more to come.



[1] We bear the guilt and propensity to commit Adam’s sin (Romans 5)

[2] “Satan” means “adversary” or “opponent”

[3] The current area of land on the globe is approximately 57.5 million square miles. It is possible, given the description of the Flood waters, (bursting from the depths of the earth, and falling from the sky) that there was even more connected land in the pre-Flood world.

[4] By the way, lest we think otherwise, as Christians, we are in a similar situation.

[5] Doing some research to see if when Moses recorded such statements as in Genesis 2:8 – 14 if the geographic markers are meant to record the geography and topography of the Garden before the Flood, or is Moses saying the Garden was located in the areas where the four rivers mentioned currently flowed (at the time when Moses recorded Genesis)?


Overcoming Sorrow, Bitterness and Resentment…

Posted in America's spiritual crisis, challenging human thinking, Postmodern, Worship by Sam Hendrickson on 19 November , 2010

Genesis 4:3-7  3

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.  4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.

The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,  5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.

So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?

7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?

But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;

it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Thoughts on Marketing the Church

“When the consumer is allowed to be sovereign in Church, the Church is abdicating from its responsibility because it is allowing truth to become displaced by spiritual and psychological desire. However, once the concession has been made, we then discover that satisfying needs becomes a frustrating undertaking. Needs, in a therapeutic society, multiply faster than fruit flies. No sooner is one need met than (more…)

David Wells Helps us Understand our Flawed, Selfish Worship

Posted in challenging human thinking, discernment, Postmodern, Worship by Sam Hendrickson on 28 March , 2009

“…The thought of loving God, and occasionally of being in love with God, that characterizes postmodern hymnody has replaced the emphasis on consecration and committment that was so characteristic of classic hymnody.

At this point, the essentially mystical nature of postmodern piety becomes obvious, even though it is a mysticism that is filtered through modern, psychological assumptions. This is evident, first, in the way this kind of spirituality believes in direct access to reality. The experiencing self is admitted, as it were, into the innermost places of God directly, without any wait. The result of this assumption is that personal intuition about the purposes of God, how His will is being realized in one’s personal life, tends to blur with divine revelation and become indistinguishable from it.

Second, the God so approached is often beyond rational categories. Third, grace, in this form of Christian life, is often understood as a power that brings psychological wholeness rather than as God’s favor by which we are constituted as His in Christ. And worship is less about ascribing praise to God for who He is, than it is celebrating what we know of Him from within our own experience.” From Losing our Virtue–Why the Church Must Recover its Moral Vision, by David F. Wells.

More Profundity and Phun from Phil…

Posted in challenging human thinking, Emerging thingie, Phil Phun, Postmodern, Uncategorized by Sam Hendrickson on 25 August , 2008

Nothing much from me, but check out these posts from Phil Johnson–[if you didn’t ‘get’ the posters, email me, I’ll try to explain.]

Why Error is Thriving in the Church [Spurgeon]

Postmodern-Relativism-and-the-Church Posters

Think and enjoy…

Pas. Sam