Life laid to rest

Matthew 5:4 KJVS
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

When man first fell to sin, he never knew the death he would endure. The day you taste of the fruit of the tree you shall die. Nor did he understand the bitter seperation he would taste from his fellow man. The sting of death can be felt from the cradle to our resting grave.

It is strikingly fast when it comes, how quickly it is to take. Painfully it becomes seeing those we love die both quickly and slowly at the same time. In our youth we bind ourselves to those we love. Our parents, our siblings, our friends, our spouses. Death to me seems not to simply be at the end of your life. Death begins with every sin we commit towards one another.

Not all sins are as big as others. They creep up to separate us, to slowly kill us until one day we are dead. Perhaps not physically but spiritually dead to each other. Mentally exhausted from our own desires we carry. Desires of what we believe we should be entitled to.

I have come to believe, since witnessing the pain of dying and the grief of those I love pained by death around me. Death is in itself a wake up call. A reminder. Not always are we blessed to say goodbye. When we do it is never enough. We then try to condense a lifetime of companionship into a small amount of time as not to inconvenience our lives. Yes life continues on. However I believe that we miss something… I believe that we miss the lessons that death teaches us.

We ask of God how he can allow us to suffer. Eventually moving on; pushing the question towards the back of our mind. Either quietly accepting that question is not answerable or bitter from it not being answered. Perhaps there are only two conclusions to such a question. Bitterness or grace. Bitterness of death, towards our creator…. Or acknowledgment of the grace that is being awakened to the knowing of what love is and awareness of the pain that death, physically or spiritually brings. Perhaps death is its own grace in our human condition; so that we can break free from the cycle of hurting one another while we live. The realization of a living dead life. Going through the motions. Separating ourselves further from each other day by day. Month by month. Year by year.

I further ask myself why must we be allowed suffering? Why must death be so painful. Perhaps we are such a hard headed creation that it takes great pain to awaken us from our slumbering trance that we pretend to call life. Could it be that Christ himself did not have to suffer such a vehement beating to pay for our sins? Could it be that he could have quickly been wrongly executed for our sins to atone for our sins? Forgone the beatings? The humiliation? The hanging on the cross? Perhaps Christ’s sacrifice would have not have held the same gravitas that it did. His own mother watching as he hung there forsaken as a theif or a murderer.

What do I propose to all of this? But that for all of the negative comments. For all of the lack of time for one another. The arguments. The pain of death while still alive. Perhaps freewill to love and death as a reminder of how much we can love each other is perhaps grace that God gives us. We are a hard headed creation with much propensity for love and hate towards one another. I believe that life is a gift to realize love, while death is gift to remember it. Sometimes death comes too quickly to find reconsolidation as it does for many. When death does announce itself I believe it is grace to atone with one another. When it does not come soon enough it is a reminder of cost of sin itself. Perhaps if it was beautiful and poetic we could fall quicker into sins seperation again worse than before.

The hardest part of forgiveness lies with in the heart of the living when the dead have given their forgiveness and have passed on. We are left with the decision to accept that forgiveness and sin no more among our brothers and sisters or continue in seperation until the day we pass from this life.

Matthew 6:12-13 ESV
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hopefully cynical

believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
“her cynical attitude”

feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event.
“a hopeful sign”

To change the world, your own, or on a higher scale. I think that one must find serenity between opposing mental enemies. Good, bad, ugly. We wouldn’t need saving if we weren’t hopelessly lost. There wouldn’t be a point in trying if there wasn’t something worth saving, or at least able to be saved. Christianity, at least pure christianity, faith, love, hope is a dichotomy of cynicism and hope. One can not be effective until you have found yourself on the same level of worthless as the person you think is the most worthless. Until you reach this level of understanding you can not plausibly surrender to God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. You can not fathom loving your enemy to pray for their welfare. Perhaps, this is why Jesus wrestled hardest with the spiritually dead conservatives of his time. Yeah, he wrestled with liberals of his day, but not as much. Self-righteousness is harder to remove from someone than it is to teach someone who perhaps is not trying to avoid sin. It is easier to show someone who is ignorant of their sin than someone who believes they have not sinned. The truth is that those who feel the weight of their sin, are closer to redemption than those who have followed the letter of the law, physically or at least as much outwardly as the flesh would allow.

Satan does his best work within the church. When the church is united in Christ, there is no place for him. If we are students of history, healthy cynicism says that he plants his deceit in the same congregations as believers. I believe that there is two reasons God allows this. One, he doesn’t need cynicism, he knows the hearts of men and chooses to allow it to be played out. He knows who will prevail, who won’t. God knows what kind of person we are. He knows what heard mentalities do to faith. He needs for us to be able to look at history to see who people are, so that perhaps we will repent of continuing the same sins as those who came before us.

If one is not cynical of one’s self then he becomes cynical of everyone else, and there is no hope. If honest cynicism begins with one’s self, ones family, ones loved ones, those whom they prefer to trust on the things that one has been told to accept is right. You can find hope in holding up ones own world to the fire of truth. If one is humble, truth will burn away the lies. What is left can grow like a forest regrows new and stronger than before. The problem is that we have been taught that if you question perceived truth, then you will surely go astray. If you go to the world to find truth, this is the truest outcome. However if you examine your world, the truths you have been told, the truths you have believed to be truth. You need to have a central definitive truth to examine it to. For me, whether your pastor says it. Your denomination says it. Family says it. If it’s not true to the word of God, it’s not true. That said, when examined to the word of God and given conviction by the Holy Spirit, regardless of how uncomfortable you can not go back to calling it truth no more uncomfortable those in your life make you for the truth.

In example, pre tribulation theology, which has no scriptural basis apart from taking scripture out of context and philosophical views as a pretense for why one does not believe God would put the church through the tribulation. Not to mention that there is no theological history to it until the 19th century. It is important to distinguish between the two positions because either you will be preparing to be taken away secretly, or purposely prepared in mind and spirit to endure to the end as Christ himself admonished us to. I believe that we need to firmly grounded in faith so that we do not become deceived as Paul warned us many would be. Now, I do not believe that one’s beliefs on pre tribulation or post tribulation theology, matters for salvation. However I do believe that it is a tool that has created division more so than it should. It shows how emotional reasoning based on ones surroundings can separate us from each other. Which is the point of why I write, not to talk on the divisive theology, but the point that we are divided.

What of those spiritual principalities? The ones we wrestle with? What are they up to with in the church? Division. Hostility. Anxiety. Complacency. Entitlement. Judgmental self-righteousness. If a church has works they hand the church pride. If the church has stability, they fatten it up into complacency. If there is love, they court the church into division by the lusts and anxieties of the flesh. They show us what we are able to lose if we concede that we are not entitled to being in control. They threaten our liberties, and play to our vanities. A church in my opinion has always been stronger when it is not in accordance with the government under which it lives. Those who are more concerned with keeping control of worldly status, are afraid of losing control, and are ineffective in spreading the gospel or working together in brotherly love towards each other and towards his neighbor. That said there is a place in government that has been used despite the dangers of hypocrisy to spread the gospel, to spread good will around the world. To me it’s no more expression of satisfaction or condemnation from God whether a country prospers based on their faith as a whole or lack thereof. Just because you carry God’s name and prosper doesn’t mean that you know him. Wicked people exist regardless. They continue, and God will continue to use them to further the gospel. Just because you suffer doesn’t mean that you are fallen from grace, in fact suffering causes the strengthening of faith. It is to you to ask God to show you who you are and where you stand with him. It is also important to not follow the crowd.

Lately I’ve been harping on racism, civil rights, and social inequality lately, which is not the point of this post but is a great example of the necessity for it. I think that history is not so far removed from our present. I think that the pride, arrogance, and idolization of a better time in America, still exists as it did for those reminiscent of the the antebellum south after the the civil war. Make america great again? Certainly arrogance does not make a nation great nor does wealth. Perhaps we should not have marveled at how wealthy we were as a nation once upon a time but ponder how great God is and how we have been used greatly despite how wicked our nation has acted in God’s name. Looking at the good we’ve done as a nation does not excuse the evil we have done as a nation. It may not be as pronounced now; certainly people are not slaves anymore. However systems that were put in place after the civil war; along with the denial of those systems having evolved or staying in place shows how christianity as a whole can be corruptible within certain churches to the point of needing reviving or walked away from altogether. The laws may have changed, but the principalities that were influencing the church, keeping slavery legal and christians who followed the bible as the Pharisees who once followed the Torah, prideful in themselves; those principalities are alive and well today. Showing the unbelievers the hypocrisy within the church. Leading christians within the church into prideful thinking that at least they don’t partake in those things the unbelievers do or thing that other churches allowed.  Causing weak christians to walk away because they had no foundation to speak of. Principalities that  bring anxiety that they are going to lose their “christian” country.

However on the flip side of the coin despite all adversity and hypocrisy, faith with in another part of the church was born. Those who were enslaved. Those who had faith despite not enjoying all of the liberties of freedom. Those who were crying out to God for freedom from American oppression, which has slowly come but still we see the hypocrisy within the system that is perpetuated to this day and ignored, or admonished as right and good with in the church. I would be wrong to say a good enough part of the church opposed the wrongs to make changes but this is the example history shows to us. Yes the laws changed but the mindsets didn’t. People still believe that they are better than one another, those with authority exercise their authority with this mindset.

Now we either can accept or deny racial inequalities are happening today; while we may not have participated in creating a system which has helped ourselves, our parents and grandparents directly or indirectly(who were alive in the 60s civil rights) and hurt minorities. If we continue to say that centuries of systems of historical oppression placed on black people whether slavery, Jim crow laws, officers of the law and government agencies particularly operating to control predominantly black neighborhoods, 50 years is three living generations. That’s 50 years of learning to be civilized racists, whitewashed racism. I don’t believe in generational curses, however I do believe that parents pass down prejudices and children act out those prejudices regardless of laws. Those in authority, police forces particularly, are taught to act superiorly by previous generations. How do you think that they will act?

Calling evil good and good evil. Which is is absolutely what the right side political minded christians rightfully say the left does. As far as morally the left indulges in, while doing it themselves in equal but different ways. Because the right has indulged in calling evil good, racial inequality, greed, capitalism to the point that people are enslaved to underpaying jobs. Creating laws that created the largest prison population in the world based largely on the drug choice such as marijuana, which was hypocrisy as alcohol stayed the legal choice because “people drink to be happy and smoke to get high”, yet the biggest reason that it was illegal was because Nixon hated Jews. Especially Jewish psychiatrist. Then again, those who claim to follow Christ were never called to legislate morality. God already did that. That failed, and perhaps the point was for it to fail. Man can not live morally right apart from God according to God. Everytime religion has come to power whether a Catholicism or some protestant state sponsored, results were killing each other over it. American solution was freedom of religion, yet not freedom for everyone.

Which to me, people choose sin in whatever form, one of the sins we as a free democratic nation indulged in is creating laws that criminalize behavior that we personally see to be “sinful” yet indulged in other equally questionably sinful behaviors based on prejudice. That in my opinion is why God is giving this nation into its fears as he did with Israel. I believe that is far worse to misrepresent God to the world than to not believe and be apart from God.

Changing gears, as I’ve made my point to history on the stubborn nature of people and my reasoning for skepticism on mainstreaming christianity. Just because a lot of believers believe something is right or wrong, doesn’t make it right or wrong. People are extremely hard headed. People follow emotion over truth. Whether it’s historically accurate recording, or personal interpretation (perhaps bad reading comprehension) of the bible. I could have simply said what I am about to say, but people in general are willfully ignorant, hard headed and arrogant. Whether it’s racism, condemnation to hell for musical taste, hairstyles, eating pork, getting tattoos.

I do not offer all of this to damage faith, or judge, but shine a light on darkness. We are trying to contend with fleshly advisories in a spiritual war. We as a nation contend for our rights. We contend with each other for who’s right when we are both wrong. We contend more for our right to bear arms to protect our selves than we contend for feeding people or making sure we all have what is needed. I’m not saying it’s wrong to own a gun. I am saying that if you personally know someone one who can ask his dad to call down legions of angels, and you are scared of going out before your time because some democrats going to take your guns, perhaps its time to examine what you believe. Again I do believe that there is stronger and weaker faith. We need to examine that and do something about this before we go out don’t you think?

What do the principalities that we should be contending with gain from all of this? It causes christianity which is particularly called to be salt to become flavourless. Whether you are talking about hypocrisy, endless theological debates, miss treatment of your neighbor. It inoculates people from hearing truth. It pushes people into becoming ineffective in there faith. Causes people to find reasons to hate their enemies. Doesn’t matter whether it’s national media agendas, unconfirmed and unreliable conspiracy theories that fit your narrative on YouTube, political narrative. We are continually bombarded with truth and lies all day long. Is it real, is it not. Is it this, is it not. They said this or they did not. Do masks work or not… Are they trying to kill us with vaccines or is the government appointed by God and keeping us safe?

Personally, this is all I know that God is in control. That is what I know. I know regardless of political choice, the whole system is fallen people carrying out a fallen system. What I don’t know is what’s in people’s hearts. I know that neither the man of perdition has been revealed; nor are the vaccines are on the right hand or forehead. I know that as with all medicine it can be useful and/or harmful. I know that God allows physicians knowledge, I know Satan corrupts knowledge. I know that in Christ whether you are vaccinated or not, he is bigger than either. Which is in itself one more thing principalities are going to use to separate us from one another. Whether you believe that vaccines will magically make you something other than human or cause you to take the mark. Thus repeating the lie Satan told people about black people not being equal to white people, thus not only making slavery in America stay but caused it to be worse than most recorded history. We judged the Egyptians for their part biblically, yet a Christian country said hold my beer. America said at least we weren’t Hitler. Yet how many lives, were taken. Families torn apart, lives lost in transit, beatings, malnutrition, lynchings, rapings. Look at the longevity. You are only as worthless as the one whom you consider to be the most worthless.

I know that I’ve written a very long list of reasons for cynicism, however that is not what I want to leave on. Honest cynicism is a tool for sobriety. Perhaps a reflection of a mirror on reality. Truth is God the father. He has a plan. One that is amazing and more awesome than we can fathom. Do I believe that we are destined for better days? Perhaps a full return to normal life? Are we going to see the best America that we can? Absolutely not. I told you. I am cynical. However my hope is in God. As worthless as I am he knows me. I believe that when he sends his son all will be made right. I believe that for all of my own failings, one day he will make all things new. I know that for all of the things that I have pointed to as wrong, makes me no better than those who committed them. Truth be told it is only by God’s light on the world that worse has not been committed. If it wasn’t for his light in the world we all are capable of the same if not worse. That is the hope. If with the light that he has left us with has kept the world from so much; how much better when he returns? How much more is currently possible if we surrender to him and stop fighting with flesh and start bringing down enemy strong holds again?

2 Corinthians 10:4 KJVS
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds 😉

In the name of love, pride comes before a fall

Genesis 9:15 ESV
I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

It is pride month once more. For many it is time to show pride. Some find solace in support or others a time to loath and protest overtly. I’ve come to a decision, a epiphany perhaps long ago that for me personally; it is not time for me to be any of those things. To me the rainbow represents more than God won’t flood the earth. It represents unmerited grace. Grace that people including myself, have failed to show others. As long as history goes, mankind has always and continues furthermore to desecrate God’s creation. Violence, murder, rape, racism. I would be remiss to say homosexuality is any more or less condemnable than divorce as God designed marriage to be forever. Yet the bible says Moses allowed for it because of the hardness of men’s hearts. I would be dishonest to say homosexuality is worse than unbridled heterosexuality. While I believe that there is a design to creation, is homosexuality worse than racial injustice or enslavement of a particular race; which came because of greed and arrogance in belief that one man created by God is better than another man of a different color is inferior? Would that too befall a society caught in a net of disbelief in God’s design? Indeed, those who believe in a creator and show they do not believe in who God is, by choosing racism. Did they not receive the same as God giving people into homosexuality, because of their unbelief? Perhaps the greatest example how a “christian country” received judgement for unbelief was a costly civil war.

Now I, do not look to be of any judgement towards those who practice homosexuality, because while those who do not believe in the Bible, as Paul wrote it is not my place to judge unbelievers. It is not my place to protest. It is my place to look to the rainbow and understand it’s message of unmerited grace. It is my place to ask the real question, why does God give unmerited favor to those who deny him? Indeed God blesses the good and the evil. There is no good without him. He gives grace because of hope that man will put away anger, idol worship, self worship, permiscuity. He allows people the chance to turn to him. I think truly that righteous judgement, starts with ourselves before others so that we can be better teachers. Whether I practice homosexuality or self believed superiority, or straight sensuality, it is no more or less denial of God’s design. For me this grace calls to me to repent to be the example. It is not mine to demand that other repent of what I see as sinful, it is mine to repent and live by example.

What led to the flood? Look to the ten commandments and you will have your answer. Those things God hates, he hates because separation from him means the miss treatment of his creation. War, rape, murder, all rooted in lust, lies, jealousy, wanton desire for what your neighbor has. What led to God’s promise for unmerited grace? None other than love and hope that you would believe in it enough to yield to him. That is what I see in pride month. Grace for both those in Christ, and without. The default condemnation is on all, straight, homosexual and unbelieving christian (because one can not be born in Christ except by rebirth). I think that we should stop, pause and celebrate that God gives unmerited grace to all to a point. God’s grace does not extend only to the repentant. It extended to all with a promise. To that, we all know true justice, can not forever be commuted. Until then I thank God for the rainbow. I thank God for unmerited grace. I thank God that I did not receive justice. I thank God that he allows time for repentance.

Praying for peace in the middle east

Romans 10:1-4 KJVS
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. [4] For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Anyone who has read any of my blogs knows that I may hold a different opinion from the mainstream. Do I believe that Israel deserves our prayers right now? Yes I do. The problem is that like everything else, prayer for Israel and being allied with them as a nation and in spirit has become more political than spiritual. Personally from my reading the bible I know that Israel has their place in God’s favor and his wrath. As do us all. If we remember to pray for Israel, we must remember to pray for their enemies also as we are not subjested to, but admonished to pray for our own enemies. It is the will of the Father to pray for the salvation and safety for Israel. As well as the same for the people of all Palestinian decent. Anything else is sinful. Jesus died for all, perhaps first to going to Israel, and to any who would hear the good news. Even through all of the judgement coming to the world for rejecting the good news, or even the truth of the good news, it is still to be preached to all. Any case, hypocrisy will be no excuse, whether on the religious nor the ones who fully rejected it because of those who knew truth and used it in any fashion other then truth.

Truth is it is good to pray for Israel and salvation. It is better to pray that as many would see a better way. As it is to deny sin in either camp, committed against each other, is the same sin that has been committed all along, pride. All will unfold to Christ’s glory, regardless of our prayers.

Simple Christianity – heaven and hell, why?

The biggest question people have that do not follow Christ is how could God allow evil if him and us can agree on the fact that humans possess greatly evil tendencies. Everyone with a moral compass can agree serial killers, rapist, child molesters deserve a special place in hell. We Agree that if Satan is the downfall of God’s wonderful creation, that it would be better that he not continue to exist. The reality that if God was able to allow his only begotten to be cast to hell for our trespasses, why wouldn’t he also put down Satan like a rabid dog that he is. It is a honest question that scoffers ask and deserves a well thought out answer.

How can God be willing to cast his creation into hell? For perfect love and perfect creation you would need to put a part of ones own self into that creation to sustain itself. For love to manifest itself it would need the ability to hate you and despise you for creating it. This is how God was able to perfect humanity. He created angels such as Satan with all foreknowledge of who he is who they are and their abilities with the free will to exorcise them to a certain extent. They chose rebellion. With humans he did so the similarly with hopes that with out knowledge of potential that we would choose to love him. Instead of simplicity we chose limited knowledge in rebellion.

A better way to think of humanity compared to God is the difference between machines and us. We can create a machine and if it chooses to not operate as intended it would neither ask why we are angry with it nor complain when taken apart. Now if you were to create self replicating machines with a special ai, that was eternal and saved you could love that machine. It would be viable and self cognitive. Now imagine if you loved that machine and all of its offspring yet they all had an error in its code to self destruct in its own actions. You could fix that code but again you could only love that machine if it maintained its free will. Not only does that update come with fixing its code but unlocked potential. Now would you offer this upgrade to the ones willing to function properly or allow all to service and destroy the rest with upgraded capabilities? Would you not feel like the creator would not have full right to hate his own creation in this scenario? Would it be prudent to upgrade the less evil machines to have the greater ability to rebel and destroy if it failed to choose right from wrong in this state of being? I’ll leave this to the reader to answer.

As for Satan I believe that he is the catalyst for expediting your choice. As much as God is not willing for any to parish, it would be unfair to make his creation that loves him, and him so in return to wait forever. Nor would it be just and fair to make those who did evil towards God and fellow creatures wait for judgement.

Simple Christianity

Not wishing to completely plagiarize but convey a sense of comparison between now and when C.S. Lewis went on air during WW2. Seemingly similar times to which we are living in now. Seems to me, one of the men I would have loved to conversed with about the times we live and perhaps would like to see in heaven to be able to talk on his experiences. Perhaps for his signature simplicity in exploring and explaining overly ambiguous concepts.

In these times we are currently with in our own modern day world war as it were. Much like when C.S Lewis first calmly shared his take on humanity and Christianity on live radio, while cities burned, nations fell, honest working people died. We too are still as much in a world in need of a voice of calm. A voice to remind us that yes, indeed faith is of value. Indeed there is hope. How do we find hope and calm in these times? Seems that we could say the same thin lifeless words said before but it seems that of late we have drawn lines between liberal and conservative. We’ve replaced simple explanation with flat almost dead single liners. Insults. Patting each other on our backs for memes that come to nothing more than feeling like we’ve perfectly trolled  the “enemy”.

Are we different than those facing hard times of WW2? Yes and no. Those alive at those times faced life and death, poverty, homelessness perhaps from bombs. Today we face a much different war. Political wars, racial tensions. We face poverty and homelessness and joblessness due to covid, natural disasters, entire nations under siege to disease, Chinese rockets falling back to earth fast enough to pulverize small cities. I think for the most part, the biggest hardship people face is the onslaught not of all of these things but the fact that the very same system in place is responsible for all that has brought us to the point of quick economic collapse. The systemic capitol gains, the almost complete commercialization of our society. The realization that the system is not built to sustain itself. The honest working man can’t afford the rent to work where the getting is good. I think this is what makes these times scarier than those yet at the same time, the answer then is the same as it was then…

Much of what attracted people to the apostles in the beginning wasn’t comfort nor was it dallying around the facts. I believe that the apostles were in essence telling people the truth. Truth of who God is, truth of who we are. The sober truth that though we face multiplied ever burdening trials, there was good news. The good news that despite circumstances, despite who you are, despite who God is; this is not the end, you do not have to be a victim of your addiction to sin and God still is reaching out to you. If you are willing to hear; he is making the call.

Spiritually, what we face today, is perhaps similar in times past. When much is forgiven, much more is love bound to abound. The call was to be a light, we who are second, third, or however many in line of generational Christianity lose something. Yes it is good that we do come to Christ sooner than later yet in doing so I feel that we no longer feel the connection to those who have not yet come to Christ. This is to me one of those things that not only impedes others and unintentional inoculates others to hearing the good news. That we have become so good at trivializing being Christianity to either the point of being cold or forgetting our first love in Christ. Not having anything of substance, or thinking more of our works than they really are. However I would point out increasingly, what we are seeing more of, we should know better now then before. Perhaps being with out excuse with technological ability to not only read what is expected of us in unlimited translations and concordances.

I think people are shocked when you calmly ignore the years of aggressive calling out of each other. Take any sinful behavior. Why is adultery a sin? Because it creates bitterness, jealousy, broken homes, children with broken outlooks on life, murder. That was a easy one. Why is lying so damnable? Because you can ruin lives in slander. Whether it’s causing someone to lose their jobs or causing people to hate others based on stereotypes, or lose their lives in misinformation. Why is covetousness so wrong? Because if you want something long enough, you will steal to get it or even kill for it. I could go on but I think that you get the idea. These are the reasons for things being sins. Generally speaking people appreciate the explanation even if they do not agree or care to do anything with it. Regardless you will have shed light on darkness which was the call for us as believers not to get into arguments. A soft word turns away wrath.

I believe that as christians that when we truly start to hit our stride (which is not to say we stop struggling with sin as we work out our relationship with Christ), and perhaps become effective in our faith and perhaps in our calling to bring the gospel to the world. Is when we let go. Completely let go. Really grasp that this world is not ours, realize that what separates us from anyone else is not what we do but the choice to let go. Surrender. Yes works are a sign of surrender but works with out surrender is a sign of lack of love. We can say all of the right words, do all of the right things and still lose our souls to the fires of hell as much as anyone else. Surrender the notion that you are owed for what your works, or that you are literally any better of a person than the next murderer, liar or person on tv telling you it’s ok to do things you know not to be morally right or couple living the lifestyle next door you read is unexceptionable for a Christian to have( notice I said christian, not unbelievers because who am I as Paul wrote to judge unbelievers and what they do).

The next thing would be to understand a very simple thing, a lot of people are going to hell. Wow that’s a very hard subject. People who reject Christ, or use Christ for personal gain or think that just because they were born into a religious family, when they die are going to hell because they never chose a relationship. Now, God knows already who they are and sees them now and who they will be when they die, and regardless of his for knowledge he still extends his offer of grace. On the same note that person who heard the gospel once and loved God without knowing which sins him or her were committing other than what the knew will go to be in paradise. If we focused on this truth, we could better reach others who are willing to hear and if at all possible live peacefully with those who won’t. We may or may not be surprised who does or doesn’t make the final cut. It’s not like you can counterfeit your faith either, nor bribe God to take our children. Everyone has a one choice to surrender and pick up his own cross and die to himself.

The truth is, in this day, we are more apt to declare our rights to defend ourselves by baring arms than claiming our freedom to live in Christ and to die in whatever fashion is gain. I think that regardless of how time turns out perhaps life will go on like it did for those who thought the world was ending in WW2 or perhaps it won’t and we ride the tribulation till the return of Christ. Regardless no amount of worry will add another day to anyone’s life.

Kirk franklin – fame, family, faith

I’m not a huge fan of gospel music per se however I have liked a few of Franklins songs which I could not name. However I believe that as a man who has faith in the spotlight he has touched many people with his music. Much as people of faith touch their family, friends and coworkers and whoever we come across that knows we are of faith.

I believe that in light of the recent recording by his son, we can look to learn from his faith and his miss steps in dealing with his son. We all can relate to having family who you can not deal with reasonably. We all have to put our desires to lash out in anger to death with the old person when we follow Christ and when we are in the spotlight either show His grace or the reason for needing his grace. There is a time for righteous indignation and sinful anger. Satan, and his fallen followers look to test us in pushing us towards the latter. As we can see in celebrity and personal life, we are either glorifying christ or as Paul wrote in Romans 2:24 to the Jews who carried Yahweh’s name ESV For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

And so we too carry the title of our savior, as christians we show whether christ is worthy of following or bring shame. This all said, judgement toward a brother who does stumble should be not imputed by us as we all stumble and we should not condemn but teach ourselves and our brothers when we see them not showing christs perfection. Raise up our brothers and sisters. Not excuse nor condemn but love.

What do we learn from such things? We learn that we must let go, sometimes we can not strive with or teach others. We can no more save someone we love by holding onto them. The best we can do is speak our peace and walk away. You can not watch someone go down a path you cannot go and continue to love them and as Paul wrote to the corinthians to not associate themselves with those who are not doing right, either you end up partaking with or hating those who need to be right before God. In second corinthians the brother came back and there was to be no shame. However we must accept that we can not save those we love no matter how hard it breaks our hearts or burdens our spirit. Only our Father in heaven knows, and we must always remember every sinner or saint is a brother, sister mother, father, son or daughter. It is our own destructive ways that Jesus came to save us from and we start with ourselves, then if any follows it is by their choice. If we try to subvert this free will then we succumb to hate and hate leads to death but love bares all things, even the pain of letting go.

Right in my own eye

Something that should be noted in the book of judges is that people were with out leadership in the official capacity in their everyday lives. Yes they had judges and leaders but not like kings to really put forth decree and people really did what was right in their own eyes as long as there was no need for the judges to intervene. I feel though that even so people would do what was right in the kings eyes which wasn’t necessarily right before Yahweh. Even so they had the Torah and the priesthood set up to know what was right however interpretation and reading comprehension wasn’t always there. Sin has a way of muddying truth to find loopholes. Then again Yahweh was always seeking true relationship with his people and people substitute relationship with religion and satan loves to stand waiting to give people religious experience to alleviate the nagging feeling of unrepentant sin in our lives. Even so it is a hard thing to measure one’s own relationship with someone else’s relationship.

Judge not… Really when we judge what we see in our own eyes we judge mainly by what we see acceptable for others by our own flawed understanding. Yes we must balance what is scripture and what is self understanding. Thus why we need to be willing at least to remove the plank to teach others because in teaching others we teach ourselves. This is why Paul taught Timothy to be blameless in stewardship and his churches to be blameless within their worship together before the Lord. He also taught that our lifestyle was just as much a reflection of faith. Though we we work, which is separate from our faith toward our father should be diligent to show his glory. If co workers or employers see laziness in a vocally professing christian, they equate our father as lazy. If they see one to be cowardly then they equate cowardice. If they see unfair business, or lying they perceive our father to be those things. If our wives see us unfaithful they see our Lord to be unfaithful which is untrue. But alas all men will have to give account for all that we have done, one can not blame others for your their bad example and ones unwillingness to seek truth itself.

C.s Lewis put it this way and I am paraphrasing, we seek to be saved from one or two things in our lives by Jesus and he seeks to clean us of all things that kill our relationship with the father and others. Myself I see that Yahweh has created us with the intent of relationship with himself and seeing that it is a lonely thing to not be with others as one self he created not only one man but he created an equal in woman perhaps not the same but a perfect opposite equal. Not only so ending there but creating the ability to equal each other out in all aspects of life which is why fellowship with each other is so very important and missed when not partaking.

There is a perfect balance between human beings sorely forsaken between man, woman, brotherhood and sisterhood when we try to isolate ourselves or substitute with impurity and sexuality. Not that sexuality is impure in proper relationship with ones spouse or that man and woman can’t admire each other’s attributes. However sin and satan’s influence on society finds occasion to separate people through promiscuity and jealousy. Separation of one’s self from another based on stature and attire or success. Truth is modesty has little to do with sexuality, as clothing and acceptability; the way we equate sex with attire varies widely by geography. Though God calls us not to sully ourselves in sexual sin, that is covered in other biblical reference in conduct with mind body and soul.

Modesty is not showing one’s self to be above one another when we congregate as family not by natural but spiritual birth. Even so one can not covet what another has gained in this life nor should one lord over the brother or sister who has struggled. There is a balance that we seek in this life and obtain the one thereafter.

While I am saddened by my own social anorexia in this life, I know that it’s been for a purpose. Had I been rewarded in this life with many friends, perhaps it would not have been stored up as a treasure in heaven awaiting me for a reward first with my savior Jesus himself I long to behold, and his father greater than he that has given me life and forsook his own begotten son to be given for sin and death to give me reason for hope; in that he wanted a true friend in me.

I would say in ending, I would say I have been blessed to find a true friend in my wife; with my children I hope to be great friends with them in my lifetime, and I hope they find friends in each other. It is better to have one or two real true friends, then a thousand fake friends. It is better to find true friendship than substitution. I relish the moments I do connect with the many acquaintances I have met over the years. That said we must be honest most people come and go in our lives anyway. It is good to know the difference between friend and mere passerby. Not taking for granted what great fellowship we have while we have it because life is but a vapor, and with hope we can meet together once again thereafter and I hope that by my life and writings that I have led all to our awaited assembly.

Justice before God: abomination of rape and cowardice

What is justice and when will it be dealt to mankind?

Revelation 6:9-11 ESV
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. [10] They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” [11] Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

Many people are given to the false preconception that God is only love, only full of forgiveness. Thus adding to the problem is the false notion of forgiveness over justice for anything and everything. Also those who look into religion, rightly so, perceive this blind forgiveness with out consequence to be lunacy. If we search the scriptures, when does God himself step in or push those with good conscience to bring judgement? Or even so when does God allow evil wicked men to meet out justice to other wicked men?

First we look at Sodom and Ghamorra. What was the tipping point? After all Abraham pleaded that the city be saved if ten men remained. (Genesis 18:20-33) Then when the Angels came to see Lot and his family, those within the city sought to gang rape the angels. Lot to his own disservice offered his own daughters to the men of the city yet they sought to further defile that which was good. The point of such is that though God is long suffering, he is just and gives out justice on those who are given into their wicked desires. (Genesis 19:1-29) I would point out that in his actions Lot himself was cowardly and corrupted in his faith by the wickedness around him. You see this in that he was willing to give up his daughters, while in the presence of the angels.

Then in Judges 19:22-30, we come to the reason God allowed civil war between the benjaminites and the rest of Israel. A man with his concubine is traveling when he stops for the night in a mans house then as it reads ,worthless men, come demanding to rape the man, then out of fear he throws his concubine out to be raped all through the night until she dies. Thus he sends pieces of her to the rest of the countries tribes causing them to seek the Lord on starting war when the Benjaminites refused justice. (Judges 20). The tribe of Benjamin was almost destroyed, not because of what the men had done, but because of the refusal of justice. Which in itself is what sin does in the lives of people in general. If left unchecked will consume all that which surrounds and corrupt all that refuse to remove it. Eventually the line of Benjamin was brought back to Israel but at what cost? Refusal of justice is as wicked as committing the crime itself when men of power refuse to act.

Now going back to when Jacobs daughter Dinah was raped (Genesis 34). Jacob did not have the will to defend his daughter, yet when the man who raped her had his father ask for her hand in marriage, it was agreed on by her brothers deceitfully. When all the men (who were all less honorable then the rapist) were all sore from having themselves Circumcised, the brothers came in and killed them all, plundering them to which God used to make all the inhabitants fear them (Genesis 35:5).

In all of these three historical accounts, judgement fell on these cities, towns and tribes at the point of rape (of which is by biblical accounts a abomination before God himself if not specifically said but in his actions against those who commit these crimes). Of this I believe there is a reason that God chooses to judge men when others fail to act. He causes circumstance that causes people to act. While I do believe in love your enemy, as was taught, there is a tipping point when God the father can no longer not act and that is when men of good conscience will not act. Salt is good, but when it has lost its flavor it is to be thrown out. One day we all will be judged for the things we have done and what we have allowed. I believe if we acted on justice with in our lives more then on trying to condemn others for sins that condemn oneself, society could be much better off.

All of this of coarse must be balanced with Christ. In my faith I pray not to be awkwardly ignorant of righteousness and yet I pray to be angry and not sin. That tipping point I’ve struggled with towards seeing the effects of rape on those it has effected and those who fail to act even to the point of covering up.

Matthew 5:48 ESV
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.