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Okay, not really, but I have changed the name of my blog from “Roc”  to Ron In Exile. “Roc” has been sent into exile from the blogosphere due to the fact that  ROC also stands for the Republic of China. Apparently there are a number of websites that use some form of  “Roc in Exile” in the name of their website or organization. I suppose I could just learn how to spell “Rock” and leave it at that, but its probably better that people will now be able to associate my full  name with the blog. You can still find me at


Ron Mcclelland


Skye Jethani, at Out of Ur, has a new post exploring the exodus of those whom Matt Chandler calls the “de-churched”:

“Essentially, Chandler attributes the exodus of young people to the proclamation (explicitly or implicitly) of a false gospel of “moralistic deism.” This understanding of the Christian life says that if you obey God’s rules he will bless you with what you desire…. The problem arises when God’s blessing doesn’t come—or doesn’t come in the form we want. Divorce, illness, poor grades, failed relationship—virtually any hardship has the potential to destroy one’s faith in Christ and the church that represents him. So, according to Chandler, people walk away. They enter the ranks of the de-churched.”

Skye believes there are also other reasons for the departure of these young believers, and lists three categories of the de-churched:

  1. The Relationally De-Churched. 
  2.  The Missionally De-Churched
  3.  The Transformationally De-Churched

Though these sort of discussions have gone on for some time now, I still think  it’s important and relevent. Check out the post Who are the De-Churched (Part 1):



“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:

  ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn,
      for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek,
      for they will inherit the earth.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
      for they will be filled.
 Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the pure in heart,
      for they will see God.
 Blessed are the peacemakers,
      for they will be called sons of God.
 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’” – Matthew 5:1-12 

Woe to you “christians” in politics who are christian in name only! I am not a democrat. Nor am I a republican. I am not a libertarian, nor a constitutionalist. If I were thirsty, I would not attend your tea party. I’m not even an independent (lucky for you). I AM! Why do you continue to treat your own desires as if they were synonymous with mine (My Word), when I told you that my Kingdom was not of this world? Yet each of you tries to recreate me in your own image, which is idolatry. I Am. I do what I please. “I will show mercy on anyone I choose, and show compassion on anyone I choose (Romans 9:15)”, yet you will be judged by every idle word spoken, as well as deeds done and not done while on this earth. You also strengthen the hands of those who deny me, who persist in sinful lifestyles. They that are perishing are made to feel that there is no need to repent that they may be healed. You’ve forgotten that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34),” and that “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness….Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:18-32).”

You on my left, who use compassion as a bargaining chip that you may gain power for yourselves, you keep the poor and the needy in a place of dependency so that they no longer look to me as their provider and sustainer, and the people, they would have it so. They are like Israel of old, “For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink….Therefore I have taken back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season…when you went after your lovers and forgot me, declares the Lord (Hosea 2:5-13).’”

And you on my right, Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, ‘When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.’ The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds (Amos 8:4).” You defend such as these even though they make slaves of you, and you scapegoat those who also suffer at their hands, those who endure the same fate as you. I warned you in my word to not show partiality toward the rich. Remember this the next time the leaders you defend ship your jobs overseas to “buy the poor” for pennies on the dollar that they may grow rich at your expense.

Woe to you Pharisees and hypocrites! You moralists and Pharisees, who judge others as less enlightened than yourselves; you Pharisees and moralists, you “salt of the earth” who judge others as less pure hearted (pure motives or pure-blooded?) than yourselves; beware: does bitter water and salt water flow from the same stream? “And once salt loses its saltiness, can it be salted again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown out and trampled by men (Matthew 5:13).” Check yourself to make sure that you are in the Faith, because you who point the finger have no excuse:

Roman 2:17-24: “Now you, if you call yourself a Jew [or patriotic people of God]; if you rely on law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law [or your Constitution, or my word, or your philosophies; take your pick] the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law (morality), do you dishonor God by breaking the law (practicing immorality yourselves)? As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles [literally: ethnos, nations, or ethnic groups] because of you.’”

And yet, did I not command you to be kind to the alien and immigrant in your midst? Yet, you treat them with contempt. I called you to reach the nations with the love of Christ, but when I bring the immigrant to your door, to your neighborhood, and to your congregations, many of you keep them at a distance, while some treat them contemptuously, even defending and exalting leaders who incite my people to treat them thus. Should you follow your laws and hold the alien accountable? Certainly, but where is your heart for the lost? What happened to Pentecost; the fiery tongues of Pentecost, an expression of my love and purpose for the nations? Instead your tongues have become drawn daggers. I am not an American nativist (one who shows partiality toward their own people group and oppose immigrants). In my kingdom there is “No distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all (Colossians 3:11).” I love the alien in your midst and I have called you to love and respect them as well, that they may know me. Remember that in my Kingdom, you were once a wild olive branch grafted into the branch of Israel:

But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles (those “other” than Israel), who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.

“Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either. Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off (Romans 11:17-22).”

Woe to you Shepherds! You were to teach my people how to distinguish the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to discern between the unclean and clean (Ezekiel 44:23). Instead you have tickled their ears, never weaning them off milk that they may discern good from evil, and you’ve white-washed their condition. Bowing to the culture around you, you no longer know my word, nor are you sensitive to my voice or discern the movement of my Spirit upon your hearts, and so every man does what is right in his own eyes, rather than in obedience to my word. Woe to you! Soon I will replace many of you with shepherds after my own heart. Many are hidden under my shelter, being prepared to be shot forth as arrows from my quiver. They are faithful, and what they speak will not veer to the left or the right. They are true, and they will comfort and lead my sheep, and they will teach them to discern the holy from the common.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.” -Isa 42:3-4



* Though the above was prayerfully “crafted”, it does, however, reflect what I believe to be the heart of God as reflected in scripture. As to its prophetic merit, that’s up to others to judge.  

Earlier this week Fox News TV host Glenn Beck made some comments about social justice, where he told christians to “run as fast as you can” from their church if it promoted “social justice”. I know that for many, “social justice” is perceived as a code word for liberal theology, or socialist politics. But the Bible actually has much to say about both the Church’s and the government’s role and responsibility on justice in all its forms, including social and economic (I’d rather just call it justice and avoid the baggage we bring to the concept). Consider the old testament city of Sodom. Much is said about Sodom and her sexual sins, but here is what the prophet Ezekiel had to say:

 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49

Interesting. Not a word from this major prophet about her sexual sins, but instead he names the city’s pride, gluttony, indifference, and apathy and contempt toward the poor and needy as the “sin of Sodom”. And the prophet Daniel, speaking to the government leader of his day, had this to say:

“Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you:break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” Daniel 4:27

And Jesus:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35

The truth is, you can’t read the scriptures, First or Second Testaments, without confronting the government’s mandate to show (and execute) justice, and the Church’s call to show mercy and justice. But when we try to gauge the government’s role, how much and what degree of involvement in our lives, things get a little more complicated. Thus the need for theologically sound and biblical teaching from Christian leaders, and not opinions from television hosts and radio pundits. I understand what Beck is after, what he’s trying to do in shedding light on political agendas. We can’t correct injustices by unjustly stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, though I welcome the government’s role in ensuring that the rich do not become so by exploiting others: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people” (Isaiah 10:1, 2). Government has a role to play in regulating and preventing this.  And Jesus himself says that, “A laborer is worthy of his wages”, including the wealthy (and is there a discernible difference between a minimum wage, a just wage, and a living wage?). God is concerned about such things, and scripture attests to it. Nevertheless, more nuanced and biblically informed teaching on the subject of justice; social, economic, or otherwise, is needed if we christians are to think and act “Christ-like” and honor God’s call to “Do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8 

If you care to read more on the subject, check out the post at Out of Ur entitled: How Not to Talk about Justice:



Scot McKnight has begun a new series of posts on being liberated from legalism, a topic very dear to my heart. His broad definition of legalism:

“Legalism is any practice or belief that is added to the gospel that compromises the sufficiency of Christ as Savior and jeopardizes the adequacy of the Spirit in moral guidance.”
You can check out Liberated from Legalism 1 at Jesus Creed:

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