Thursday, January 28, 2010


Due to personal issues, Hillbilly Musings will be closing for a few months. Keep me in your prayers.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I've been reading a lot in recent months about who is to blame for our economic woes. Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame Democrats, but no one wants to blame the real source of the problem... us. That's right, you and me. We have been encouraged as a nation to spend beyond our means to the point that spending beyond what we make is the basis of our economy. The real fix, as painful as it will be for everyone, is to stop spending more than you make.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Update on Mrs. H

Thanks to everyone that put Mrs. H in their prayers. Just wanted to let you know she is doing much better. It was a combination of post partem depression, lack of sleep and cabin fever from the nasty bit of weather.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still Don't Think Religion is a Smokescreen?

In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court struck down laws that limit corporate support of political candidates. This, in effect gives corporations the same rights as individual citizens. While we were all busy arguing about who gets to marry, where you can display the 10 commandments, George and Dick set the wheels in motion to silence the voice of the individual voter. This is why he appointed Scalia and company. It wasn't so that America could move more toward Conservative Christian values. It was so corporations could once again rule as they did before FDR. Congratulations Christian Right, you have been had.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Response from CBN

I am ashamed to admit it, but I sent a nastygram to CBN. Nothing too evil... well, here's what I said:

"The 700 Club - Bring It On: Moral, Social, and Ethical Issues ------------------------------------------------------------ Subject: Forgiveness I am asking God to help me to forgive you for your complete lack of compassion in the wake of the disaster in Haiti. How dare you use this in order to grab press time by spouting garbage that only benefits your noteriety. I am offended in the worst way. It was ministers like you who drove me away from the love of Christ for so long. I pray that I am able to someday offer you the same forgiveness that Jesus has. May God have mercy on you."

Short, bitter and to the point I thought. I got a response today from Elane at CBN:

"Thank you for contacting CBN. We appreciate this opportunity to serve you.

On the January 13, 2009, edition of The 700 Club, our CBN News department showed a feature news story about the devastation and suffering resulting from the earthquake in Haiti. After the news story, Dr. Pat Robertson interviewed Bill Horan, President of Operation Blessing International (an affiliate organization of CBN) about its efforts to bring aid and relief to the people of Haiti. Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti's history (see an actual transcript below). His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.

Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God's wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson's compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for the people there. Operation Blessing has been working to help thousands of people in Haiti over the last year, and has launched a major relief and recovery effort to help the victims of this disaster. They have sent a shipment of millions of dollars worth of medications that is now in Haiti, and their disaster team leaders are working to relieve the suffering."

She goes on to add a complete transcript of the now infamous video clip, which I will not burden you with here. And, knowing me, I couldn't just let this go unanswered:


I usually would let the matter rest after venting my frustration, but I fear your response has lead me to do otherwise. I realize that Mr. Robertson did not say that the earthquake in Haiti was God's wrath. However, was there a reason that this alleged pact with the Devil needed to be mentioned at all? It can not be proven that this event actually happened and mentioning it does not help in the relief efforts of a nation that has already suffered greatly and now suffers even more. So why say it? These words do not build up the people of Haiti or preach the Gospel. They only portray Haitians as "devil worshipers" and primitives, which does nothing to further relief efforts, promote healing or solace the wounded and grieving.

No amount of aid work can heal what damage harmful words coming from a man of influence bring about. Yes, we need to pray for the people of Haiti. Yes we need to help them in any way we can. But we do not need to look down on them, or cause others to do the same. We should pray for them as fellow human beings and inheriters of the same Kingdom of God that we claim membership to.

I still believe that this was an ill thought out attempt by Dr. Robertson to grab headlines in the press. There is no other reason I can see why this needed to be mentioned at all, except to get attention. I would like to hear Mr. Robertson officially appologise to the people of Haiti for what he said, and I continue to pray that compassion will win the day in this.

Dave Adkins

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Has it been 3 years?

Wow. About 3 years ago, Fr. Roger first asked me to be on the "unofficial" Vestry for All Saints. Since we were a mission station at the time and just barely out of meeting at Washington Jr High Auditorium, we couldn't have a "real" vestry. A few months later, we were voted on as official vestry, once our mission status was approved by convention. Now, three years later, we have purchased land to build a new church building, and All Saints has become a thriving community and a beacon of light to all disenfranchised. Man, woman, black, white, brown, gay, straight, all have been welcomed into our midst, and all are welcome to full community.

It's been a great three years. Today is our annual church meeting, and my term on the original vestry is coming to an end. It's sort of bitter sweet. It will be nice to get some time back in my busy schedule, but at the same time I'll definitely miss it. Jeanne, Debbie, Chris, James, Joe, Brenda, Jolene, and Cindy have all been great, and it's been an honor serving All Saints in its beginnings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pat Robertson Stoops to a New Low...

Mr. Robinson wins today's Asshat Award for being an uncaring prick. Here is a direct quote courtesy CBS News from this Pseudo-Christian:
"They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'Ok it’s a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another," Robertson said.
Who in the heck does this guy think he is?! Hello, Jerkwad, people are dead and dying here and you have the GALL to say this crap?! And my dad was mad when Spong called this guy what he is, a money grubbing, publicity craving, self serving jackass.

So Mr. Pat Robertson, you win the prize for the day... may God help me forgive you for being a jerk.

Pray for Haiti

Please pray for those in Port-au-Prince and beyond. Red Cross estimates put the death toll in the hundreds of thousands.

You can use the Charity Navigator to find a charity you wish to use to donate money or simply follow this link to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund where you will be able to ear mark the donation specifically to the Hatian relief effort.

Gracious God: We lift up the people of Haiti to you. Send them aid and comfort in their time of need. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Prayer request...

Mrs. H. is having a rough time right now. If you all could please pray for her I would appreciate it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Slant on the Faith vs Works Debate

I just finished reading an interesting lecture by James D. G. Dunn called "The New Perspective on Paul". It lays out some interesting ideas that further a line of thought I have been following for some time. Mr. Dunn's theory is that because we have been reading Paul's letters (Romans in particular) through the lens of the Protestant Reformation we may have been reading him wrong. I know, the idea sounds crazy, but once the idea is laid out in full, it does make a lot of sense. Let me explain.

Since Luther's interpretation of "justification by faith", we have looked at our salvation and justification to be enough; that it was all we needed for God's grace to be extended to us. Where we start to go askew, according to Dunn, is when we talk to Jewish scholars and modern historians we find that the view of Judaism that Paul seems to be talking about doesn't match the Judaism that seems to have actually existed at the time. So where does that leave us, especially knowing that Paul was a member of the Pharisees before his conversion, and should know what his own people believe.

What if Paul is not talking about works in general, but about specific works related to the Jewish faith and nationality: circumcision, observing the Sabbath, and the purity codes? What if the argument isn't so much about belief in Jesus vs doing what is right but rather about who Grace is extended to? Let's dig a little deeper.

Even today, in order for a man to be Jewish there are certain rituals that he must go through. If we look at Paul's argument through this lens, something different emerges. Paul isn't so much arguing against works, as expanding the idea of God's Grace beyond the Jewish nationality. Circumcision, following the purity codes and observing the Sabbath were physical parts of being in the covenant with God. It was a matter not just of religious identity, but of national identity as well. If we apply the faith/works argument with this in mind, it isn't that Paul is touting faith over good works, but rather placing faith in Christ as the Messiah as the new Jewish litmus test. This would expand Grace beyond the Jewish nation and into the world of the Gentiles.

It also explains the tone within the letter of James. James, rather than trying to refute Paul completely, is trying to explain that doing good works are still necessary. For me it helps to reconcile James 2 with Galatians 5 and Romans 10.

I encourage you to read the lecture that sparked this posting. It definitely gives some food for thought.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's Resolutions...

1. Post more often when possible.
2. Lose at least 2 inches off the waistline.
3. Stay off Facebook so much...

So far I've failed #3.