World Vision: After the dust has settled

14 04 2014

A few weeks ago, the Christian community was rocked by the news that World Vision, an organization that helps third-world children and adults with basic needs and Christian teaching, changed their policy to allow the hiring of homosexuals, along with married homosexuals, into their organization.  This instantly caused many to withdraw their financial support until two days later, when World Vision reversed their decision due to the backlash from supporters.

While this may be old news to many, the arguments for and against that I’ve seen and heard have been basically the same.  One the one side, there are many Christians that just can’t believe World VIsion would do such a thing as to hire those that are in open sin into their organization and can’t see themselves supporting such a “ministry”.  On the other side, there are those that think this is a good way to show people that Christians can love everyboby, even homosexuals, and, besides, how can someone just take away their support and leave these children without basic needs?

After the dust has settled and the arguments are basically over, I guess my question is:  Is that really what this is about?  Let consider something a little more deeper.

If you’ve read my past post about gay marriage, you know that I cannot deny that homosexuality is a sin.  There is no doubt about it.  The Bible says it.  However, there are so many Christians that want to single that out as a sin that seems worse than any plague this world has ever known.  It’s as if it is one of the top five most horrible sins ever in the history of mankind, right up there with trying to take “God” out of the pledge of allegience, as if making sure these things don’t happen will win everybody over to Christ.  On the contrary, all it seems some Christian are trying to do is to keep their life from getting a little uncomfortable.

So why all the reaction against homosexuality?  Is it just a traditional reaction?  Are some just trying not to be uncomfortable?  Is it because we’ve never had to deal with it and don’t want to?

I read an interesting blog post earlier this month where the author spoke about how so many were withdrawing their support from World Vision because they felt that homosexuals shouldn’t be involved in a ministry like that. Yet. the author also pointed out that there are many in churches today that are unbiblically divorced, and some remarried, and, therefore, by Jesus’ words are adulterers, that are in ministries, even marriage ministries, but Christians hardly consider it an issue, even within the author’s own church. This is only one of many  examples, however, of how some blatant sins are winked at, that are “covered with grace”, but for some there seems to hardly be a shred of grace for.

Why are we letting some sins go and some we are so adamitly against.  Where is the balance?  Where is truth?

So why shouldn’t homosexuals be able to get married?  Why is it such a big issue?  All homosexuals see is that Christians think they shouldn’t be able to do what you can do because they are not you.  As you preach love, you come across to them as selfish and unloving.  And for what?

When I read the Bible, I see Jesus eat with and talking to sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans…you know, the scum of the earth in those days.  He was speaking truth to them about God, life, their own sin, and who He was.  He was not condoning their sin, but He was not keeping them from doing it either.  He told them the truth and let them decide if they wanted to follow Him or go their own way.  The ones that I see Jesus condemning are the Pharisees, the ones that twisted God’s commands to suit themselves, laid heavy burdens on people that they couldn’t carry, and wondered how anyone like Jesus could eat with tax collectors and sinners.

So why make a big deal about homosexuality and gay marriage?  Why try to make sinners not sin?  Why not make a big deal about dealing with the ridiculous divorce rate in churches, the false teachers that influence Christian culture, encouraging one another to live holy, blameless lives, and being a part of the worldwide Body of Christ by reflecting Him in this lost world?

As far as World Vision, there seems to be an issue not being discussed about it. World Vision is considered a Christian organization and is considered to be teaching Christian values to these children. It is supposed to be more that just sponsoring a child to keep them fed and clothed. If that is all it is, there are plenty of secular and even “religious” organizations that will feed and clothes men, women, and children all the way up until they die and go to hell because they do not teach Christ. Yet, World Vision says that they not only feed and clothe them, but also teach the children about Christ. Now, if you have a Christian organization that is teaching children about Christ and His teaching and practically endorsing open sin by having not only homosexuals, but also married homosexuals, they are distorting Christ and his teaching. While it sounds great that the children would learn how loving Christians can be toward everybody, no matter what the sin, they would also learn that homosexuals can be Christians and Christians think being homosexual is fine, when in actuality, it’s not. It’s sin that Jesus does not endorse.

I do not say this just because it’s homosexuality. No, I think the Christian culture is a bit hyper-political about it. However, if World Vision were to announce that they changed their policy to hire  people in other relationships while still married (adulterers), people who happily engage in premarital sex, Muslims (remember it’s a Christian org teaching Christ), people who openly use God’s name as a curse word (blaspheme), or people who frequently get drunk, I would not hesitate to revoke all sponsorship that I may have with them and encourage others to do the same. It’s not the issue of is it okay to hire homosexuals, it’s the issue of how are the people being helped going to take it when they realize that the Jesus World Vision represents is not the total Jesus of the Bible.

There has to be a balance.  I can see where people are at that want to emiphasis the truth of homosexuality being a sin.  I can see where people are at that want to show the love of Christ.  But, those are one and the same in Christ.  He is full of truth AND grace and we are his representatives.

If the point is to just feed and clothe children, there are plenty organizations out there that will do it without putting Jesus’ name behind it.  That way, the children won’t realize that Christians are liars just so they’d get people in their club.

Jesus said to follow HIM!

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Mothers are awesome, Fathers can do better

11 05 2013

No, I am not dead.  I am still blogging.  I’ve just been, well…quiet.

With Mother’s Day here and Father’s Day coming up soon, I just wanted to share and question some observations that that seem quite common in churches in this day and age.

I would not have believed it if not for hearing other people mention it in the blogosphere and then hearing it with my own ears last year.

Mothers Day in the U.S. (for those from someplace else) is a special day in May set aside to honor all mothers.  It is a Sunday that you can have on the calendar to intentionally plan to maybe visit her, spend time with her, talk to her on the phone, take her out to dinner, buy her a gift, tell her “I love you”, or whatever you would like to do to honor her.  To those that have been blessed with a “normal” mom, she raised you, changed your diapers, wiped your butt, kissed your boo-boos, put up with your crying and whining, among other things.  Mother’s Day is the day to give some appreciation for all she is doing or has done for you.

So it is in many churches today that we show appreciation to all mothers.  What is done to honor them depends on the church.  Some may give them flowers as they come in to the church.  Some may have all mothers stand and a little speech is given to thank them for all the wonderful things they do.  Some even spend that Sunday preaching a whole sermon about mothers.  Rightly so, for they deserve appreciation for what they do as mothers.  I feel sorry for those who did not grow up with a loving mother or father in their lives.

Fathers Day is a special day set aside in June to do the same thing for our fathers.  However, most really don’t care for flowers, so a day out fishing, a sporting event, dinner, a gift card to the home improvement store might fit them a little better.  After all, he may have had to do some of the things I mentioned above about mothers, like wipe your butt and put up with your crying and whining.  Whatever you do, take time to honor him and return a little of the love that he has given to you if you’ve been privileged with a loving father in your life.

The problem I see, however, is that Fathers Day is much different in church than it is on Mothers Day.  While mothers get showered with love, thanks, and appreciation, as they should, Fathers Day gets a mention of that and then goes into how fathers can do better.  It doesn’t seem that bad on the surface because, frankly, mothers deserve appreciation and fathers can always do better.  However, the opposite, that fathers deserve appreciation and mothers can always do better, never seems to be said and when that becomes normal, as it has, fathers are seen as the only one with problems that need to be fixed.

While you may not see it, this is a major issue.  It is bad enough that the “battle of the sexes”, feminism, and gender “equality” rages on in our country (and probably in many countries).  I can deal with that…it’s the world.  I expect blatant disobedience to God in the world.  However, it is very disheartening to see it in the churches where the leadership of men is preached to the point of exhaustion, whether it be in sermons, books, or movies (think Fireproof and Courageous), but the submission of women is barely touched upon or mishmashed into “mutual” submission.  I am not here to get into this subject too deep in this post, but just wanted to touch on it since, to me and to others I have read, it seems that this happens on Mothers and Fathers Day as well.

So why do we do this?  Why does it seem perfectly fine to give so much praise for mothers on their day and not tell them to be better?  Why do we use Fathers Day to challenge fathers to be better?  Why do we tell mothers they are wonderful, but not tell them that they need to be better mothers and wives?  Why can’t we do the same for both on the respected days, either appreciate them and/or challenge them both?

Some of you will answer, “It is because men are called to be the leaders.”  Yes, and men can always be better leaders. They are not perfect and never will be.  Their wives are also called to submit to their husbands in everything (Eph 5:24).  Yet, we do not hear challenges on Mother’s Day for them on such things, even in parenting their children.

Some of you will say, “You are against women.  You are a legalist.  You don’t know the Bible.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  That is why you are writing these things.”  Nonsense!  I write this, and my whole blog, to challenge those stuck in Churchianity, those just going through the motions of church instead of what the bible says.  There are some things and traditions done in churches today that do more harm than good and we don’t even realize it.  We are to follow Jesus Christ.  He is the head of the Church and everything must be subject to what the Bible says.

So, I challenge you to pay attention to what is said in your church on these days.  If you are in a different country and have days like this, listen and see if it is the same as it is here in the U.S.  If your church doesn’t do the above things, good for you.  You are one the lucky ones, I guess.  Anyone else notice this before?  Comment about it.

No matter what is said in church, just make sure you appreciate your mother and father if you have one.  Don’t go to them and say, “Thanks for being my parents, but you could be better.”

Now, for all you mothers and fathers out there:  Thank you!  Thanks for being there for us and for all you have done for us.  Thank you for the sacrifices you had to endure for us.  Thank you for helping us with our homework, teaching us life skills, loving us, and laughing with us at our silliness.  You are not perfect and neither are we or will we be.  Let us forgive the faults and sins toward each other as Christ has also forgiven us.  If you are Christians, thank you for leading us in truth the best you could.  None of us are wonderful or awesome and we are called to be humble because He is the one that is wonderful, great, and awesome.  Thanks again.  We love you!

Jesus said to follow Him!





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.)





Obama’s America…by God’s Design

15 11 2012

With the elections done over a week ago, we can now enjoy (or fear) the next four years.  Whoever you voted for and the reasons why I will leave between you and God.  I am not here to debate politics, but to just share some of the things that I was thinking before and during the elections.

(Disclaimer: If any comment is about arguing politics, it will be deleted.  This post is to build up the Body of Christ with God’s truth, not the political opinions of you or me, no matter who is right.)

I voted for Romney for President.  It was not because I am white, Republican, conservative, or any other name you can give me, it was because I am not happy with what Obama is doing to our country.  Of course, my guy lost but hope is not lost.  My hope is not in who our leaders are and neither should yours.

After watching “2016: Obama’s America” earlier in the summer, I was not surprised to see Obama win the election .  The movie was pretty much about the history of President Obama and how his history drives him to do what he’s doing now.  It is an anti-Obama movie and is very fascinating learning about his past (or at least one man’s thoughts about his past.)  The most fascinating point to me was not his history though, but some of the things that has happened the last four years under his presidency.  Near the end of the movie, it spoke about:

– Our failing economy
– Our reduction of defense
– The increase of strength in existing Islamic nations
– The increase of new Islamic nations thanks to our help toppling the Libian and Egyptian governments.
– Our decrease of support of Israel
– among other things I can’t recall

This movie didn’t change my mind about President Obama.  I already knew I didn’t want to vote for him.  But, it was at this point at the end of the movie that I just would not be surprised if he did get reelected.  All I could think of is that God was just setting His stage and if He wanted to continue setting it using Obama, then God will have him in office.  So the fact that he is still in office for another four years didn’t scare me, I was kind of expecting it.

So with this in mind, I want to share some things in light of all of this.  I have no idea your political preferences and that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that God is sovereign and in control of all of this whether you believe it or not.

Daniel 4:35

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

Romans 13:1

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Daniel 4:25

…know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

Proverbs 21:1

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord and He turns it wherever He will.

There are other examples of God raising up leaders for the judgment of a nation.  The Bible tells about God raising up Pharaoh during Moses’ time for displaying His glory.  Isaiah prophecies about God raising up a Babylonian king to execute His judgment on Israel and then He will judge Babylon for doing it.  He is in charge and He does what He pleases.

Whether President Obama raises up or destroys this country, it is mainly because it is the Lord’s doing.  Who you wanted in office (and in other offices) may not have won, but rest assured, it is who God wants there and He WILL fulfill His purpose.

So if you voted for Obama, do not gloat about it.  And if your brothers in Christ did not, do not destroy the unity of the Spirit or the Body of Christ on account of your petty disagreement or, even worse, on account of race.  Salvation is of the Lord, not by who someone voted for.

If you voted for Romney and think the country is doomed, it will only be if God wills it, not just because Obama won.  I will say to you also, if any of those in Christ did not vote for Romney, what is it to you?  Do not destroy the work God has done in them for the sake of not having YOUR candidate in office.

If God is indeed at work in those that are in Christ, He is more than capable of conforming people hearts to what issues are important.  I am not saying that you cannot voice your opinion and concerns, but don’t argue constantly and/or make your brothers and sisters in Christ resent you.  It is not worth dividing the Body over such issues.  Say what you may and let God work.

Just remember, you might not like who the President is, but it’s not about you.  God has placed Obama in there for His purposes and you are called to honor God and those He puts in authority over you.

Yet, the call to follow Christ trumps everything else.  Do not follow those in authority into sin.  Stand against sin and follow Christ!





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!