Letting It All Hang Out

1 01 2015

I hate New Year’s resolutions and I never make any.  No, wait…I was wrong.  I made a resolution a few years ago that I won’t make anymore resolutions.  Well, I’m about to break that resolution.  Unless, I call it something else.  Hmmm.

My resolution plan for this blog in 2015 – to let it all hang out.

What does that mean?  I had some definition in mind, but wanted to confirm it before I made it the title of this blog in case it meant something, um, indecent.  But, this fits perfectly: “Be totally candid in expressing feelings and opinions; hold nothing back. To do something enthusiastically and without fear of the results.”

I realize I only wrote one blog post last year.  That’s pretty pathetic, I know.  There were several factors in that weak attempt at being a blogger.  I did work a lot this past year which limited my time tremendously.  I was also mainly limited to a desktop computer which also requires a substantial amount of time on my part because I’m, at least to me, a horribly slow thinker and need a bit of time to think about what I want to say.  I have recently acquired a decent tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard to hopefully make my blogging more portable and easier to type so that I can do it more efficiently, instead of try to set aside a big chunk of time to write a post.

What could’ve been the main reason, I’m afraid and hate to say it, is fear.  I’m not even sure if that is the right word or not.  It seems too strong of a word, but I can’t think of any others to use.

These past few years have really been life-changing for my faith.  You can read about it in some of my previous posts.  Between life events, church, the actions of fellow believers, other blogs I’ve read, culture, and, hopefully, a better understanding of the Bible, my faith has changed dramatically.  Thus, I started this blog a couple of years ago to write down my thoughts and understanding on certain subjects.  I was surprised to find that an ex-pastor, now atheist, had better biblical theology and understanding than many Christians.  I wrote a few times about the obsessions Christian have with singling out homosexuality.  I wrote about how, even though many Christians want to constantly rip on President Obama, if the Bible is true, God put him there.  There are many other things I posted about.  The point of the posts were to try and encourage others to live out the faith they claim to have.  But, when looking back, I only scratched the surface.  I was being too “safe”.

I found myself, especially this past year, thinking of things to write about.  I would think about what I wanted to write at times, but then thinking about who would read it, dealing with reactions to what I wrote, along with the lack of time because of working a lot, pushed those things out of my head.  But, even while I hardly wrote anything this past year, I still learned quite a bit.  That’s why, hopefully, I am coming back to blog this year with a new drive…a drive to challenge Christians to understand and live out their faith.

There was a phrase that I wrote down years ago that I still hold to – “Communication is key”  I thoroughly believe that with proper communication and understanding, the level of accomplishment can be tremendous.  Unfortunately, it seems that very few can do so without succumbing to insults, arrogance, or emotional distraught.  When talking to someone about views different that what the majority believe, there is hardly any room for any adult conversation and debate.  It is either they insult you, either openly or as side jokes, they say, “Well, I believe…” without giving any proper argument for why, except that their pastor said so or they give some verse out of context and won’t listen to any sort of rebuttal, or they just go into some kind of dramatic emotional psycho-state that makes it all about them.

I am hoping to blog more about the things I have learned in my journey of faith and communicate them to you.  I will get deep.  I will say things that are not widely embraced.  I will be going against the contemporary flow.  I am not concerned about what people think of me.  I am concerned about truth and I am concerned with what we do with that truth.  If you disagree, you can join me in an adult discussion and debate so that we may encourage each other.  I may be wrong in what I say here, or you may be wrong in refuting me, but if any of us has the attitude to prove that one of us is right, we are missing the point.  Neither of us is right, God is.  Until we humble ourselves and realize that “God is true and every man a liar”, we will not be one Body in Christ*.  Heb 3:13 – “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Remember, it’s not about us, it’s about Him.  It’s not about getting all the answers right, but seeking out the right answers so that we can live them out together to glorify God.

Jesus said to follow Him!

 

* Do not think I’m getting all ecumenical.  There are major differences in some Christian “faiths” that are false and heretical and cannot be reconciled with.  But, there are also many minor things that Christians divide over that should not divide us.





The Christian “Red Pill”

10 12 2012

Over the past year, I have grown to enjoy reading blogs.  It has shown me that I am not alone at where I am in life.  Reading some of them is encouraging, convicting, and edifying.  Some of them also help me to understand where other people are coming from in their views as well, whether it be about the Bible, Christianity, marriage, or some controversial topic.  They helps me to understand why people think the way they do, even if they are wrong.  One of the reasons why I think some people blog is because there may not be anyone around them that will respect them enough to listen to them.  Blogging gives them the opportunity to discuss their views without someone close to them condemning them for doing so.  Reading blogs gives us the opportunity to know why atheists have a problem with a deity, what is going on in the mind of someone with a different view of the Bible, or why people hate church.  We can then come and discuss it with them at their level instead of just making sure they know “their wrong and we’re right”.  How far will that attitude get you?

Around the blogging world (aka the blogosphere), there is a genre of what is considered “red pill”.  The “red pill” is a term derived from the movie “The Matrix” to refer to having one’s eyes opened to things that are not commonly seen.  In the movie, a character is offered a red pill that will change his life or a blue pill that will make him forget any changes and go with the flow of others.  (To those who are “red pill” or are familiar with the movie, forgive me if I am misrepresenting the movie.  I still haven’t watched it.  I have just seen clips and other blogs referring to it.)  I have dealt with swallowing the “red pill” myself in this post.

I hope I am not going out on a limb by posting this because many “red pill” blogs have to do with relating to women, marriage, and alpha and beta traits, both secular and Christian.  However, of the Christian ones, many of the topics discussed point out how the Bible is being either horribly distorted or totally neglected by many in Christianity.  I appreciate many of their posts.  It has helped me to see the questions that I have asked are ones that others ask too. I am not necessarily here to speak specifically about any “flavor” of the “red pill” such as feminism, marriage, PUA, Game, MRM, or the like.  In this post, I want to broaden the reach of the Christian “red pill”.  The Christian red pill is not anything special.  All it is about is taking the Bible for what it’s worth at face value.  It’s about taking all of what God says, not only the parts you like, and counting it as truth and seeking to please God by doing it, even if it goes against the “Christian” norm.

For me, I think I accidentally swallowed the “Red Pill”.  From what I’ve read, that seems like this happens to many people.  God has a way of getting our attention when we’re to dumb to realize things ourselves.  (Again, click the link above to read my “red pill” story.)

The “red pill” goes down hard, tastes horrible, and has serious side effects.  You are just living life and BOOM! …questions arise.  You get answers to those questions that don’t make sense and it makes you question things even more.  You wonder where in the Bible what is said came from.  But what is said is just the way it is.  Everyone seems to think it as well.  It’s just tradition.   Then you hear that Pastor so-and-so said “this” or a Christian book or radio program said “that”.  Where did they get THAT from?  Suddenly, you start fighting with yourself on what is true or not.  Who is right?  You realize God is.  His Word is truth whether other Christians want to follow it or not.

The “red pill” is really nothing new, either.  Many, many people through the ages have taken the pill.  Some of the more famous ones are ingrained into Christian history.  Martin Luther took the “red pill” and questioned the authority and some practices of the Roman Catholic Church with what the Scriptures taught, only to be condemned because of it.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not sway with the Church toward Hitler’s Nazi Regime and stood his ground at the cost of his life at the age of 39.  John Hus was burned at the stake for speaking against the Roman Catholic Church in his time.  William Tyndale was burned alive for translating the Bible into common English.  John Wycliffe was deemed a heretic for his Bible-based views prior to the reformation.  He died of natural causes, but his body was dug up a burned afterwards.  Charles Spurgeon, a London pastor in the 1800’s, stood strong in the midst of the “downgrade controversy” when, even among Christians, the Bible was being questioned if it was the sole authority.     Ultimately, Jesus, the Maker of the “red pill”, stood up against the religious authority of His day who made their own rules instead of following God’s Word.

You see, the Christian “red pill” is nothing new.  It is believing EVERYTHING God says in the His Word whether it sounds good or not, even if other “Christians” think otherwise.  It means not throwing in psychology or philosophy along with the Bible.  It means doing what God says even if it’s not the cultural norm.  It means dying to yourself and the world around you.  The Christian “red pill” simply means believing and doing what God says.  Hey, isn’t that what Jesus tells us to do anyway?

Yet, in the United States, our culture wants things our own way.  Don’t like what the preacher says?  Go to the church down the street.  You can watch preachers on TV that will tell you how to get what you want and get your best life.  They can tell you God thinks your awesome, wonderful, and that you’re the greatest thing ever.  Okay, before I go into a sarcastic seizure, I’ll move on.

You know those crazy medication commercials you see on TV or hear on the radio?  You know, the ones that say you can be free of some pain or other issue at the risk of side effects that includes dry mouth, constipation, internal bleeding, or infection that can lead to death.  If someone would make a video “commercial” about the Christian “red pill”, that would be an awesome thing to watch.  I would advertise the Christian “Red pill” something like this:  (Of course, I’d need to make it way more concise.)

Benefits for everyone include:

– You don’t care what other people think about you, but what God thinks.  You don’t worry if people hate you because your life doesn’t consist of pleasing others, but pleasing God.  The world will hate you because you are not of this world.  But if the world loves you, you need to check yourself.  (John 17:14, 7:7, 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13)
You seek to be humble.  You know you are not wonderful and never were.  You understand it is only by God’s grace that you are not drowning in the depths of sin.  You do not boast in anything but God because you offer nothing good and He gives everything good.  You do not boast in any of your own accomplishments, but in what God has accomplished. (2 Corinthians 10:17, Romans 12:3)
– You remember where you came from.  You know who you were before Christ and know you would still be there, or worse, without Him.  Therefore, you also treat other “sinners”, even homosexuals, like actual human beings.  If it weren’t for Christ, you’d be going to the same Hell for your own disobedience to God.
– You understand that political leaders are chosen by God.  Therefore, you can spend more time preaching the gospel that can change hearts and lives instead of preaching about political issues.  Changing people’s minds about abortion, civil rights, or homosexuality will not make them a follower of Christ, but God changing their hearts through the gospel will. (Daniel 4:35, Romans 13:1, Daniel 4:25)
– You take responsibility for your own sins.  It is not so-and-so’s fault that you did this or that.  If you did it, it’s your own fault and you will be held accountable for it.  Deal with it. (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)
– Yet, you also understand that your actions or words can have an effect of others.  They may be tempted to sin because of something you said or did.  You know you can put a stumbling block in front of another brother or sister. (1 Corinthians 8:9-11)
– You understand that everybody have different gifts and different issues they struggle with than you do.  You can encourage others that are going through things that you are strong in and get help for things you are weak in.  You also do not look down and judge those that are weaker than you in certain areas.  You understand that without God’s grace, you can be in that same position. (1 Corinthians 12:4-27)
– You understand there is a difference between “church” and the “Church”  If you are a true follower of Christ, you are part of the “Body of Christ” or community of Christians from around the world that spans throughout history that doesn’t involve denominations.  You seek to help, build up, challenge, encourage, strengthen, and be like-minded with those in the Body.  You understand that not everyone in the Body is just like you.  God has given to each one different talents and gifts.  Each one is either stronger or weaker in faith than you.  But the Body seeks to work together to glorify God, the one who bought it.  Lastly, your Christian walk does not consist of being in a building for a few hours a week and only becoming a clique with a few people and forsaking the rest of the Body.
– You understand that the Gospel is not about life-enhancement.  Jesus did not come and die just to make you live a happy life.  The Bible has much to say about you being a sinner and condemned already because of your sin.  It speaks plainly about what you deserve and what you will receive without the atonement that comes only from Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.  (If that doesn’t make sense, message or email me.)  The Gospel is about becoming righteous, or having being made right in the eyes of God, despite your rebellion against Him.  It’s about His glory, His salvation, and His righteousness.  The only thing you bring to the table is sin.  (Romans 3:9-28, Ephesians 2)
– You understand that no matter how much of the red pill you swallow, you are to be humble, contrite, and a servant to all.  You are not to be wise in your own opinion.  You are to bear with those who are weak.  You are to provide unity to the Body of Christ and not discord and division.  (Romans 12:9-21)

Benefits for men:
– You will man up.  You will not man up as it is commonly refered to by being nice and doing what everyone tells you to do.  Manning up does not mean being blamed for everyone else’s behavior, including your wife’s.  You will man up by doing the things God says without excuse.  God tells us we should imitate Him.  God is not always nice.  He is full of truth.  He answers to no one.  You only answer to Him.
– You will seek to be a man as Christ was.  You are called to follow, imitate, and be like Him.  ALL OF HIM!  This means not only being humble, serving, and gentle when need be, but also standing firm in God’s truth.  It also means calling people out in their sin.  We have seemed to forget that Jesus and Paul were sarcastic and said things that seemed cruel for the glory of God.  There is a big difference in being sarcastic to rip someone apart and doing it to uphold God’s truths. (Matt 15:22-26, Galatians 5:2-12)
– You will call out sin without worrying about anyone’s feelings or if they are offended.  Jesus was never apologetic for being offensive because of the truth and neither should you.
– You will learn to love your wife as Christ does the church.  He did so by laying His life down for it, not give it everything it ever wanted.  He served us by doing what was best for us.  He does not ask us what He should do even when we whine and complain. (Ephesians 5:25-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7)
– You understand that love is not a feeling, but is an action as listed in 1st Corinthians 13. No matter how you “feel”, you are to love your wife and love others.
– You also understand that God tells you to love your wife no matter what she is like or how she treats you.  This does not mean you ignore her sin.  It does not mean she is not responsible.  It means you are to do what you are supposed to do before God.
– You will learn to teach and lead your children in humility, not provoking them to be angry.
– You will not apologize for being a man.  God made you a man with certain talents, responsibilities, and desires.  It is not a sin to be the way you are unless God’s Word tells you it’s a sin.  Period.  You do not let this world, culture, or even modern Christianity tell you what a man is.  You learn from God’s Word.

Benefits for women:
– You will woman down.  You will not try to be like a man, because you are not a man.  You understand that God has given men and women certain responsibilities.
– You will submit to your husband as the Church does to Christ.  It does so by respecting and obeying Christ.  The Church does not tell Christ what He should do and then yell at Him when He doesn’t do it their way.  The Church does not tell Christ how to be a better Savior.  The Church does not whine and complain until it gets her way, but asks Christ for things knowing that Christ has its best interest in mind and will give it what it needs. (Ephesians 5:22-24,33, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1-6 – notice the “likewise” in verse 1? read the full context (1 Peter 2:13-3:6))
– You understand that God tells you to respect and submit to your husband no matter if you “feel” like he’s loving you or not.  God’s command for you to submit to your husband is not conditional to his performance.  This does not mean ignore His sin.  It doesn’t mean you follow him into sin against God.  It does not mean he is not responsible.  It means you are to do what you are supposed to do before God.
– You will not seek to have authority over men in the Church.  You understand that the head of every woman is man.  That is God’s design.  (1 Timothy 2:8-15)
– You understand you are responsible for your own behavior and sin.  You will not blame men for your own irresponsible sins. (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)

Side effects:
– Other people, even Christians, will not understand you and think you’re very strange.
– Christians might label you as legalistic.  They may say things like: “That’s not for today”, “You’re taking it out of context”, or “Why are you so judgmental?”  Yet, your motive for wanting to do what God says is not to be right before God, it is because you ARE right before God because of Christ and want to obey Him out of love.
– You may lose your possessions and your family and friends may leave you.
– People may get very angry with you.
– People may hate you.
– People may physically hurt you.
– You may even lose your life.

But aren’t most of the side effects are things that God tells us will happen, anyway?  Didn’t Jesus come with a sword to divide people?  Didn’t he say you’d better be willing to lose everything, including your spouse and children, even your own life, to be His disciple?  Didn’t He say that you’re blessed when persecuted and woe to you when people speak well of you?  Don’t we have numerous examples in the Bible and through history to confirm this?

Of course, benefits of the “Red Pill” take time.  Once you take the Bible more seriously than what others may tell you how to live your life, it is just a matter of time before the questions arise and the “red pill” starts its effectiveness.  It is at this time that you MUST decide whether you go along for the ride in Churchianity, leave it all together, or decide that God is right and man is wrong and follow hard after God.

If you decide to follow hard after God after tasting the “red pill”, you need to realize some things.  His Word, that you decide to cling to above what anyone else says, tells you to be humble and not to be wise in your own eyes.  (I know I mentioned this above, but I can’t say it enough.)  You are to use your gifts that God has given you to build the Body of Christ up, not to tear it apart.  Above all, Pray, pray, pray and understand that we are in a spiritual battle.  We do not war against each other, but against the powers of darkness.

As I said, the “red pill” is nothing more than taking Scripture for what it’s worth.  Satan has, unfortunately, duped many Christians and churches into what he did to Eve…to question many things that God has said.  We have divided ourselves by whether we believe the same things or not.  We try to control one another instead of encouraging one another and letting God work in each others hearts.  We have lost the ability to discern between truth and “kind-of” truth.  Satan has bound us with many lies.

It’s time we “Christian up” and take things seriously.  It’s time we stood on the Word of God alone and judge everything according to it, not trying to fit what other people say into it.  It’s time we get tired of just “playing church” and start taking the Kingdom by force.  It’s time we be on offense with the Word of God.  It’s time to stop being a “cookie-cutter” Christian and be real.

It time we follow Christ and not other people.

For further reading:
Red Pill Ministries
Red Pill Christians
I would also have a link to CMD-N’s blog on “manning up (for real)”, but it is no longer available.  (If someone can find it or let the author know it is missed, that would be great.)





Jesus said to Follow Him!

5 10 2012

At the bottom of every post I write I make it my aim to put some form of “Jesus said to follow Him”.  It seems so simple and obvious.  Yet, it seems not many understand it.

In the midst of Christianity there seems to be a sub-genre called Churchianity.  This is where people “play church”.  Church is their idea of being a Christian.  Whatever any speaker, preacher, or teacher says, that is what they do.  Whatever Focus on the Family agrees with, they agree with.  If a new movie or book comes out and it mentions a Bible verse or moral issue, whether it is out of context or not, they are all over it.  Fellowship is considered a Christian form of “hanging out”, even though conversation isn’t much different than talking with unbelievers.  “Worship” songs are often sung with passion without even understanding what messages are coming out of the songs.  (Some make Jesus into more of a boyfriend or lover instead of the God to be feared and the Lord (Master) who rules.)  Above all else, they cannot discern what is true from the Bible for themselves.  A pastor, bishop, shepherd, priest, etc. can say just about anything and the Churchians will listen, agree, and follow him (or, nowadays, maybe her) without truly digging in the Bible to make sure what the pastor says is right.

I have been in that place myself.  Then I came a point in time where I began questioning a lot of things that seem common among Christianity.  Many of those questions I have dealt with on this blog including the common Christian attitude toward gay marriage, making issues from the Bible that aren’t really there, making ourselves look better than we really are, and why there is not unity in the Church (the Body of Christ, not “church”).

We live in a culture (at least, in the United States) that is drowning in religious overtones.  In other words, there are plenty that are “Christians” or believe in a god or two, whoever they might be, but have no real understanding or way of life that backs up their profession.  While some Christians might freak out about someone being a Muslim, there are many who are Muslim in name only.  It can probably be said about any religion.  They go through the motions and “do their time” at church, synagogue, mosque, or other “place of worship”.  If I’m not mistaken, studies have shown that over half of the U.S. population say that they are “Christian”.  Yet, where are the fruits of that?  There is no fruit because, to most, it is just a name to call themselves.

Being a “Christian” is NOT a game, it is serious stuff.

That’s because God is serious.  He is not this fluffy grandfather deity that is just waiting for you to just “acknowledge” or “accept him into your heart” as is commonly portrayed.  He is a holy God.  He is your creator and has authority over you.  Yes, He is a just God as well, and as many as think it is not fair (which is oxymoronic because those that have that argument don’t understand fairness), He inflicts punishment for sin.  He has given rules to follow and everyone has broken them.  He makes it very clear what we deserve because of our rebellion and disobedience.  Yet, because of His love, compassion, mercy, grace, and kindness, He not only give us opportunity to live and enjoy life, but He also gives us what we need in life.  The very breath that we breathe we don’t deserve.   His ultimate gift was the gift of His Son Jesus, who opened up more of God’s ways to us.  He then walked innocently before God and gave His life for us.  When He went to the cross, it showed God was infinitely serious about sin and showed His infinite love for us.  At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself our sin and God punished Him in our place.  God CANNOT let sin go unpunished.  One cannot simply say “I’m sorry” or “forgive me” without a basis for that forgiveness.  Therefore, since God punished Christ on our behalf, there is a basis for that forgiveness.  That forgiveness is not automatic, though.  There are strings attached to that sin/forgiveness transaction.  It is not given to everybody who ever lived.  It is given to those that follow Jesus.  The Bible makes that very clear.

Being a Christian means you follow after Jesus, who is the promised Messiah to the Jews and the Savior to those who trust Him.  He is the one God promised in times past who would be innocent before God, take upon Himself our sins, and die in our place.  Being a Christian means you believe that and what the Bible says about Him.  You read or listen to what He says in the Bible and you strive to do it, asking for help knowing you can’t do it in your own power.  Being a Christian means you die to yourself, humble yourself, take up your cross, be willing to die for truth, live in a way that pleases and glorifies God, and follow after Christ.  Being a Cristian means that this world is not your home, you go against the natural flow of this world, you will be hated as they hated Christ, and that you keep going, not because people like you, but because of your trust in what God has said about it all.

Being a Christian also means that you are to love as God loves as described in the Bible.  That love isn’t necessarily an emotional feel-good love.  It is an action as described in 1 Corinthians 13.  You realize that you are a sinner just like everyone else.  Therefore, you love others, including homosexuals, abortionists, democrats, and everyone else, by treating them how you’d like to be treated if you were in their shoes without glossing over their sin.

Ultimately, being a Christian means you believe what the Bible says, old and new testaments.  If you don’t, then what is your basis of calling yourself a Christian?  The Bible is the foundation for which we believe who God is and what He says.  It is the ultimate source where we find truth because God IS truth.  All other sources of truth MUST have their basis on the correct understanding of God’s Word.  If it doesn’t, then the other sources are not truth.  If psychology or philosophy is mixed with God’s Word, they must agree with His Word.  They cannot change the meaning it.  God knows our psyche perfectly and tells us how we should live.  He did not forget to tell us anything.  We have His Word.  His Word is truth.

The Bible is where Jesus calls us to follow Him and be His disciples, that we may be forgiven of our offenses against God and be able to know Him, love Him, honor Him, and make Him known.  Yet, if we don’t know what He says, how can we ever know Him and know what pleases Him?  How can we know if what others say about Him is actually true?

Christian, if you have a Bible, the Word of God, it is essential that you get to know and understand it.  Do you want to please God?  God tells you how to in His Word.  Do you want to know how to act and react to others?  He tells you that too.  Do you not understand His Word?  He tells you what to do about it.

Before I get off into a million “rabbit trails”, let me make my point:  Do not take what your pastor, counselor, or any other Christian says for granted.  Their words are not truth.  God’s Word is truth and what they say MUST line up with it.  Their words do not become God’s truth, but must reflect His truth.  God is the one that established His Word and He is more than capable of giving you wisdom to understand it if you ask for it.  The Bible speak about God’s Word and His Spirit as being “spiritually understood”.  The natural man cannot understand it.  God is the One who gives wisdom and understanding.  Seek after it because then you will be able to discern between what is true and false.

May your heart be devoted to Christ and not to “church”.  Do not follow a pastor, bishop, etc., but follow Christ.  Do not take what others, including myself, say for granted as being true.  Judge them according to God’s Word.  His Word is truth!

Yes, I did just write a  long post about a few words I put at the end of my posts.  I feel I did a horrible job explaining what those few important words mean.  Sorry about that.  There probably will be a part two someday to give references to my claims.

Just remember, Jesus said to follow Him!!!





What Happened in the Garden of Eden?

2 09 2012

What happened in the Garden of Eden at the beginning of time impacted everything else after that.  God had pronounced curses for men, women, and even creation itself.  However, there seems to be some differences spoken as truth as to what happened during the fall of Adam and Eve.  I began to ponder this as I was “unknowingly swallowing the red pill”.  I mean, the creation and fall of mankind only covers three chapters of the book of Genesis.  Man and Woman are created – God tells them not to do this one little thing – they do it – sin enters the world – they get cursed…end of story, right?

It was a little over six years ago when I started premarital counseling with a pastor.  At this time, a little more depth of what had happened in the Garden of Eden was made known to me and applied to the marriage relationship.  It was an “Oh, I never thought of it that way” kind of moment.  It made a lot of sense and I have since heard it by other pastors and teachers.  They do not all give all of these conclusions.  I may be mingling teachings together from several teachers.

The scenario goes a little like this:

The one sin – After the creation, God tells them to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (2:!6-17)

The serpent comes to Eve – The reason for this is that Adam is the head of the relationship.  The serpent goes over the authority of Adam to tempt Eve. (3:1-5)

The temptation of Eve. – Eve was tempted just like Jesus and as all of us are in accordance with 1 John 2:16.  She was tempted and saw the tree was good for food (desire of the flesh), delight to the eyes (desire of the eyes), and could make one wise (pride of life) (3:6)

The fall – After hearing the serpent, the woman takes and eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  She then gives the fruit to Adam, who is right next to her while she is tempted and sins, and he eats it. (3:6)

The call – They both hide and God calls out to Adam.  This is, again, becasue he is the head of the relationship and brings him to account for what has happend. (3:8-9)

The curse – This seems self-explanatory.  The serpent is cursed by slithering on the ground and is given a Messianic promise.  The woman is cursed with painful childbirth, a “desire” for her husband, and the husband will “rule” over her.  The man and nature are cursed together.  The man will now work harder to get any food and return to the dust in which he was formed. (3:14-19)

…and they lived sinfully ever after with a promise of a Redeemer, right?

While most of what is commonly preached and portrayed from the first three chapters of Genesis is obviously correct, there are issues to be dealt with.  These issues are not minor ones either because they have to do with how we, as Christians, view each other, our marriages or relationships with the opposite sex, and everyday life itself.

We don’t know every little detail of what happened back then in the Garden of Eden.  However, what we do have at this time is what God has decided to reveal to us.  The problems come when we try to think too deep on what MIGHT have happened and try to make doctrines out of it and ignoring what we need to learn about what HAS been revealed.  Unfortunately, if we don’t understand what IS revealed and add or replace it with our own thoughts and ideas of what COULD have happened, it still affects the way we live and think about life.

Here are some things that seem to be an issue with the common thought of what happened in the Garden of Eden.  Study it for yourself and correct me if I am wrong.  I could wish that none of these things matter much.  Some may not seem like a big deal.  However, some of these points may just link into other points or even different areas in life that have a major affect on our thinking.

– God doesn’t command both Adam and Eve directly to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God tells ADAM not to eat of the tree.  He tells this to Adam before Eve was even formed (Gen 2:16-22)  So what, right?  Maybe it isn’t a big deal.  Yet, we cannot read into the Scriptures what is not there.  How did Eve come to know the command?  Did God tell her or did Adam?  No one really knows the answer except God and, for some reason, He did not decide to reveal that to us.  What we DO know is that Eve knew the command and she decided to disobey it.

– Do we really know when Adam was “with her” during the fall?  Many would like to give this verse (Gen. 3:6) for the justification that the sin of Eve was really the sin of Adam because he was there all along and didn’t do anything to protect Eve.  After all, it was “though one MAN sin entered the world” (Romans 5:12).  Indeed sin entered the world through one man.  The man was given the command directly from God and he disobeyed.  Not only that, but Eve was formed from the man.  Adam was “with her”, but it doesn’t say Adam was “with her” until AFTER she ate the fruit (Gen. 3:6).  Scripture does not tell us that Adam was there during the temptation nor while she was eating the fruit.  Again, this may not seem like a big deal, but what you think the Bible says will affect how you live.

– God is very specific to Adam as to his sin.  To those that would say that Adam’s sin was letting Eve be tempted and fall because he was not assuming his “headship” or “leadership” responsibilities by not “protecting” her, I can only clearly point them to Genesis 3:17 where God tells Adam,

Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you…”

Those are the two ways God says that Adam sinned.  Adam listened to the voice of his wife instead of what God had commanded.  We do not know what Eve may have said or done or nagged.  Whatever she did, Adam disobeyed the command to not eat of the tree that God directly gave to him.  If God made it a point to let Adam what his sin was, would it not have made sense for God to also tell him, “Because you have not protected Eve and have let her eat of the tree…”?  But this was not the case.  Eve sinned on her own accord as did Adam and they were both cursed individually.

To bring all of this to a summary:  In the days when I just took in what was preached and agreed with most of what those that I trusted taught, I came across what was being taught about the relationship between a man and a woman, especially in marriage and it seemed to make sense.   What happened in Genesis is sometimes brought up when fundamentals of marriage are taught since Adam and Eve are considered the first marriage.

There are some that want to teach that Eve’s sin was Adam’s fault because he didn’t do his job properly.  They want to take this along with other Scriptures to blame men for what women decide to do.  Eve decide for herself to eat the fruit and so did Adam and were both held accountable to God individually.

That is all I’ll say for now.  I will go more into this some other time.

I’ve heard this quite a few times and just went along with it until I got to the point where it was just not making sense.  The questions of “What are you doing to make her do that, or not do this, etc.” are just old now.  Men and women have their own roles and they will both be held accountable by God individually for them.  Nobody can make you sin and one is not required to keep the other person sinless.

With that said, someday I plan on tackling Ephesians 5 since this seems to be a tension point with people as well, and mingles with what I’ve brought up in this post.

Remember, Jesus said to follow Him.





Links – First Edition

9 08 2012

I started blogging about six months ago.  I’ve dabbled in reading blogs a little before that.  Since I took the Churchianity “Red Pill“, I must say that I have come across some real gems. It’s nice when you realize you are not alone.  Some blog posts have made things I was already pondering more concrete.  Here is a list of some of my favorites in the last several months.

(Note:  This is not an exhaustive list of all the blogs I read or all the posts I liked.  Some of these blogs I follow, while some posts I just happened to stumble upon.   These are some that stood out to me and wanted to share.  Enjoy!)

Christian Uprising – I have not been “following” this blog, but I should.  I’ve come across posts through keywords on my blog reader.  I have been enjoying the posts I have come across.  It kind of goes along the lines of my own blog.

Please do me a favor and stop calling it “church”  

Who needs honor, wisdom and experience when you have a seminary education?

The unwritten mission statement of most “churches”


Society of Phineas – Good Christian blog challenging common “Churchian” thinking.  Some very valuable posts.

Marriage 1.0 – Christ and the Church

Marriage 1.0 – The Submissive Wife

Marriage 1.0 – The Sacrificial Husband

Marriage 1.0 – In The Church

Misvalued Creation

Worldly Justice and Worldly Mercy

“God’s Just Not Fair!”


Dalrock

Firebombed  – A Must read if you’ve watched the movie “Fireproof”

Reframing Christian Marriage  

Reframing Christian marriage part 2: rebelling wives aren’t to blame for their own rebellion. 

Husbands, submit yourselves to your wives


Chrisitan Mens Defense Network

If I Wanted to Destroy Christian Marriage

Nice Evangelical Men Need to Man Up (For Real)

The EAP Guide to Becoming Marriageable, Part 1

The EAP Guide to Becoming Marriageable, Part 2


Complementarian Loners

Functionally Dysfunctional


re:INVENTING MEMORIES

I DON’T SPEAK AMERICAN CHRISTIANESE


David S. Jesse

Magic Michelle  – A fun post.   If  “Magic Mike” is okay for Christian women to see, then Christian men can go see this.

Feminism is Empathological

Mutual Submission and “Phobia”


The Woman and the Dragon

The Two Kinds of People You Will Apparently Meet in Church: Sinners and Women

Letting ourselves go

Single, Saved, and Having Sex


The Alabaster Jar

Just Because I Submit to My Husband that Does Not Make Me an Idiot

Are You a Courageous Woman?

When Your Husband is Attracted to Other Women

A Biblical Blueprint for Married Women

After 14 Years, I Still Can’t Fit into My Wedding Dress

Top 15 Things a Woman Can Do to Strengthen Her Marriage\


The Wau Forward
– This is an honorable mention.  This is the blog of Bruce Gerencser, an ex-pastor turned atheist.  I have mentioned him in a couple of my first posts on my blog.  Although an atheist, with his pastoral background, I actually find he has better theology, and can articulate it better, than many Christians.  Some of his posts may actually challenge you to live more for Christ.  Even though I share a link to his blog I think he is wrong in his denial of  God, but that is his choice.  I request that you do not slam him with insults or Bible verses (which he already knows) to try to “win him back”.  Just don’t do it!   Here are a few of my favorite posts:

Heaven Is For Real, A Book Review

Don’t Judge BUT You Better Keep All The Rules

Dear Christian, If the Gospel is True

You Can’t Judge Christianity By Product it Produces

One Last Thing…

Just one last thing to share before I end this post.  I want to give a free advertisement for a good blog reader for Android devices. GoodNews Reader (http://www.goodnews-mobile.com/)  links up with Google Reader to update blogs for you to read.  I use it all the time.  I am not on a data plan, but what’s nice about GoodNews is that I can download updates off of Wifi from the blogs I follow and read them later when I get time.  You can even keep up with podcasts too, but I haven’t used it for that.  I just wanted to throw that out.

Remember, Jesus said to follow HIM!





Remember Where You Came From

5 08 2012

There is always the temptation to “think of ourselves higher than we ought to think” (Romans 12:3), especially as Christians.  We understand sin a little better than those who do not know God.  God says He hates sin and so should we.  The problem comes when we lift ourselves up above others because we don’t do THAT particular sin.

There was a time in life when you did not know anything about God.  You followed after your own lusts and desires, doing whatever you wanted as long as other people or the law didn’t find out.  I was there too.  Actually, every Christian was there at some point.

“Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  –  1 Corinthians 6:9-11

You were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” Ephesians 2:5

I write this post because it’s easy to get caught up in looking down at people who do “that” sin, whatever that may be.  Have we forgotten where we were at one time?

If you have never smoked a cigarette in your life, can you still see yourself conversing with someone who hasn’t been able to give it up yet, even if it’s disgusting to you?

Can you understand that people sin by nature, even you?

The big “sin” today seems to be homosexuality.  Can you start and keep a conversation with a homosexual and treat them as a human being?  Or are you better than they because you would never do “that”?

Can you go beyond the “sin” of others and consider that they are a human being just like you?

Can you understand that all sin is against God, even the one that you still commit and hold on to?

Once again, when I post these things, it is not to push a certain agenda.  I write to challenge you to live for Christ.  Jesus had every right to point to others and say, “I’m better than you.  I know God.  You don’t.”  (Well, He did say that, but not in a derogatory way.)  He ate and hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners telling the them the truth about God and their sin.  He had compassion on them, yet resisted those that resisted Him.

My point in all this scattered thought is this:  There was a time you did not know God and was living is sin just like everyone else.  If a “Christian” had come up to you in those days and said some of the things you say today, would you have been drawn to Christ?  If a Christian would have just said, “God doesn’t like that.  That’s wrong!  Your going to hell because of that”, would you immediately be drawn to a Savior?  Probably not.

Homosexuals are real people that have real histories, emotion, cares, likes and dislikes, jobs, and whatever else that we have.  You know what?  So do atheists, agnostics, murderers, rapists, liars, thieves, gossipers,  those filled with hate, lust, anger, and the like.  Such were some of you, my friends!  Don’t forget that.

I wish I could put all this into better terms.  I guess this is where I need to just let the Holy Spirit work.  He doesn’t need me to be eloquent to convict.  I just get a little tired of Christians talking like other people’s sin is so beyond them.  Either they have forgotten where they came from or have never really understood their sin to begin with.

No matter where your at, never think that because you have never struggled with a certain sin that  1.) other people don’t,  2.) other people do but you can’t help them, or 3.) you are ever beyond struggling with it sometime in your life.

“Let anyone who thinks that he stands be careful lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12

So, remember where you came from.  You were, still are, and will always be a sinner…just like everyone else is.  If not, you no long need a Savior…just like everyone else needs a Savior.

Also, remember that Jesus said to follow Him!





The Dislocated Body of Christ

14 07 2012

What I want to post about is an issue of so much importance.  Yet, I don’t even know how to start it.

How is it, O Christian, that you look down at your brother that doesn’t believe just like you?

How is it that you judge your sister because she thinks speaking in tongues is for real and you do not?

Why do you seclude yourself from the Christian couple down the street just because they are “King James only”?

Can you have fellowship with an “Arminian”?  Or are you too good for that because you claim to believe in “Calvinism”?

If you are more prone to show mercy, do you think those that “tell it like it is” are too merciless and judgmental?

Of course, these are just a sampling of questions to prove a point.  I am not here right now to debate and argue about these matters.  The point in this post is to say that those that follow Christ are to be united as a “Body” and we are doing an absolute awful job at it.

While Christians smile, have happy faces, and raise their hands while singing in church, I must admit that they can be just as judgmental as the people outside the church.  (By judgmental, I don’t mean merely having an opinion as many think is judging, but looking down at others.  More on that in a later post.)  One person might think all “Baptists” aren’t really “in touch with God”.  One may think all “Pentecostals” are heretics because they speak in tongues.  Some “Pentecostals” may think everyone is wrong if they don’t speak in tongues.  One may believe that God alone brings a sinner to repentance and despises others who believe that people make that decision themselves.  I could go on and on.  I hope you get the idea.

Fellow followers of Jesus Christ, these thing must not be this way.  We are not only doing damage to ourselves as a “Body”, but also saying to the world, “Hey, we can’t agree and can’t stand each other.  But, come on in anyway!  We will try our best to like you.  You just need to believe everything just the way we do.”

Personal evaluation time:  Can you have fellowship with someone that doesn’t believe just like you?  I am not talking about the major doctrinal things that are in plain black-and-white in the Bible.  I am talking about the little things that you constantly hear come up and being debated.  If you’re a “Baptist”, can you have enjoyable fellowship with a “Pentecostal”, “Lutheran”, or “Non-Denominational” Christian and vise-versa?  Or does it bother you so much that “those people” are “wrong” that you shun them away?  What if another Christian is actually wrong about something?  Can you go to them gently and with sincerity let them know?

For example:  You meet a “Lutheran” or “Presbyterian” who may believe it’s okay to baptize babies.  Maybe you meet a Baptist that doesn’t baptize babies, but rather does a “baby dedication” and believe in 3 of the 5 points of Calvinism.  What is the first thing that comes to mind?  Do you automatically get a sour look on your face and think to yourself, “That’s just wrong!”?  Do you automatically start a debate about what you disagree with?  Are you sure you’re the right one?  Do you have to make sure you let the other know your right?

Don’t get me wrong.  There are surely things (and people) that we must stand our ground on, defend, and reject.  It has to, however, be perfectly in line with what God says in Scripture.  I am not talking about those things here.  I am talking about silly things we can easily get carried away with arguing and defending that we reject a brother or sister for whom Christ died.  We end up cutting part of the Body off and saying with our actions, “I have no use for you for you are not a (insert body part here) like me.”

But enough of my words.  What does God say to us through His Word?

First, are you separating yourself from a follower of Christ who may not understand as much as you?

    “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.”  Romans 14:1
“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”  Romans 15:1

Pretty much the whole 14th chapter and some of the 15th chapter of Romans deal with those whose faith and understanding are weaker than than others. Another good passage is 1st Corinthians 8 where Paul writes about eating meat offer to idols and making those weaker to stumble.   There are so many grey issues that people have different opinions about because God decided not to make plain for some reason.  One person believes such-and-such is sin while another does not.  Is it plain-as-day a sin in the Scriptures or just your conviction?  If God did not plainly say it, why do you judge another as if He did?  If someone worships God with rock music, then with rock music he worships while another thinks that you should only worship with hymns.  So what?  There are just some things that are not worth dividing the Body of Christ over.

Do you think yourself  “more spiritual” and know more about the Scriptures than others do?  Do not look down at them!

 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  … Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. – Roman 12:3-16

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? … If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” …Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” – 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27

I guess my challenge to you is this:  Do not make trivial matters that are not black-and-white in Scripture major dividing issues, even if YOU think they are.  Indeed, if people are preaching a different gospel, as Paul says, let them be cursed of God.  (Galatians 1:8)  But if you are making a big deal and dividing the Body about differences in understanding God and His Word, you need to check yourself.  You or I will NEVER understand God or His Word perfectly this side of eternity.  Therefore, do not act like you do and tear someone else down that doesn’t think just like you.

I wish I could think of the perfect words to bring the “Body of Christ” back together, but it will take peoples eyes being opened, repentance, and a move of God in our hearts.  Unfortunately, the world can see what we are doing with each other. We need to come together despite our some of our petty differences and honor God as the Body of Christ.  Can you do it?    How can the world truly know we are Christ’s disciples if all we do is argue with each other?

“By this all with know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

Jesus said to follow Him!