Monday, November 8, 2010

Levels of commitment, including to God

We could write a book on this topic. I'd rather discuss it in conversation and Q&A format, but since that is not possible at this time, I want to jot down some thoughts here that will help you to align your thoughts and philosophy about commitment. It will help you to understand faith-and God himself-more clearly, and your own perceptions and actions.

First, I want to give some secular examples about how it is difficult to truly understand someone else's commitment to "a cause" or a truth over time. Commitment is not an absolute that remains unchanged by time and circumstance. An easy example is two different soldiers in an army. One seems the more totally committed, being very patriotic and military based in his or her orientation. The other person is more casual about their commitment, being correct in their service but not outstanding. However, in a battle, the first performs correctly, doing his or her duty, while the second one, back pressed to the wall, performs an extraordinary act of courage and losses his life for the greater good, whether the course of the battle itself or to protect his or her buddies under fire. Who was, in the long run, the "most committed?" The "higher" on the "commitment 'scale?'" You can see that such a view that it can be measured or compared is entirely bogus. One goes on to a honorable life long service to country and military, while the other average Joe or Mary had average service, and then in a burst of heroic circumstance, gives his or her life. You can't really weigh between the two at all. Each walked their own path of service, honor and righteousness.

There is much argument about the value of an aging life, in a time of pressures to allocate medical costs and even have "death panels." Consider this, then. There is a temptation to look at someone's "contribution" to life. OK, let's look at that. One person is a "producer," who is still active in some highly value societal role. The other was a wallflower, kind of a person who blended into society at large, perhaps a housewife and mother, who is now an aged widow, and whose children are away. She is in a nursing home and increasingly "out of it," and thus not a "contributor." Who is more "worthy" of a fixed number of health care dollars? Well, let's look at what happens. The first person, yes of course, goes on to be "productive" until his or her death. People feel a righteous glow when they get all the medical expenses "care" that he or she needs throughout. Liberals especially feel awesome and "good" in making sure he or she can be "productive" and receive entitled medical care. Cool. The other person slowly fades away in the nursing home. She gets less awesome care because she's old, alone and "dying anyway." No one does anything bad to her, but the mindset, of course, is that it's a low payback investment to give her excellent care at the end of a fading life. Perhaps so. But have you considered all the payback, really?

One day a nurse aide at the nursing home is discouraged, she is young and just starting out, studies are hard, money is tight, hours are long. She is tending to that woman and while so, they talk. That old lady gives the nurse's aide a little encouragement, speaking from her own humble experience as a mom. Like a tiny mustard seed, her words actually matter to the discouraged aide, and over time, especially after that nursing home resident dies, the aide has a new lease on life, a new encouragement, just from that casual conversation near the end of the woman's life, but toward the beginning of the aide's. She goes on to be a great success (in whatever measure of success you have).

Which person was more "committed to productivity" and "worthy?" The first person does their job and leads their life like "normal," by "normal" current societal expectations. The second person was "just a mom" and an "old lady" yet without an agenda, gave advice, not some secret formula, but just good old mom type of belief to the nurse's aide who tended to her, when that aide needed it, and it ended up being a life changing conversation that only unfolded in its significance over time. Good thing that old lady wasn't euthanized, huh?

Suppose the old lady was in a coma and could not talk? They still have total worth as humans because HELPLESS HUMANS ARE LIKE CLAY IN YOUR HANDS. ABUSED OR NEGLECTED ALL YOU DO IS DEMONSTRATE HOW FAR YOU ARE FROM BEING GODLY. After all, the Bible and the Qur'an explain that God took inanimate dust, clay, and made human life. Even when a person is not "productive" or even conscious, they are still the clay by which YOU who ARE "in power" demonstrate if you are godly, and give them the most care that is possible with dignity and life GIVING orientation, not TAKING, or if you are publicly or in secret, against being godly, for you rob the person of their dignity and "manage" the "amount of care" that they receive. Trust me, the dust that God created man from wasn't worth too much either.

So which of the two people, the normal life as "productive" or the normal life as aged end of life "mom" was more committed, more worthy, and more "productive?" You cannot possibly compare: no human being is even 1 percent capable of such an evaluation.

Now, look at being committed to God. There is no point where you are "safe" and "committed enough." Each person throughout their life works on their commitment and even follows different forms of commitment (or even detachment, as ill advised as that may be.) Again, you cannot critique someone else's form of commitment to God: only God can do that, and He will. There is a difference between speaking to someone on a wrong path (such as idolatry), so I'm not saying "live and let live" there, because their eternal soul is worth at least one chastising conversation with them, face to face....or what I am speaking of, which is again, you cannot as a human evaluate someone else's commitment to God. That is the heart of the totally bogus argument about Catholic celibate male priests. People have no right to claim that they are "entitled" to a form of commitment that was in place even before Christ, which is the celibate religious male. John the Baptist was such. At the time just before Jesus, there were many men who were celibate, often living as ascetics in the desert. Men have a perfect right to continue to follow God in that form. Christian men chose to emulate CHRIST in that regard, not the apostles, so the argument that deacons were men, women, had families and sex lives is bogus, because it has nothing to do with the FACT that there is a group of people, celibate men, who select via their calling a form of commitment to God called the Catholic priesthood. It's not like a job title.

So what does a woman do who wants to preach? Well, duh, the first thing to do is to recognize that it is an EQUALLY VALID BUT DIFFERENT FORM OF COMMITMENT TO GOD. I mean, Einstein didn't even have to be channeled to explain that one. I enjoy certain women's preaching very much; those who are firmly rooted in service to God with a genuine heart, not as a power grab. Sometimes I like to listen to Joyce Meyer when I'm channel flipping. One reason is that she is proclaiming the Kingdom, not trying to chip away at someone else's form of commitment (like the priesthood) as a power grab.

I have never met a woman who truly "wants" to be a Catholic priest. They want that "job title," but they don't want what it really is, which is a MAN who decides to follow CHRIST by giving his all, including celibacy. It's like this: I never wanted to be a Boy Scout because, duh, I'm not a Boy. I was a Girl Scout for a year or so but was bored because it was too poorly led locally by women who didn't have their heart in it.

Think back to that example of the soldiers. If one really wants to commit to God, one simply has to commit to His Kingdom first, and then walk through YOUR OWN LIFE based on that commitment. It may just being a good and honorable guy or gal through your life, or it may be turning your entire life over to God. As we see by failed priests, it is not the title or the form of the commitment that is worthy, but the worthiness that the person brings to their choice.

A mediocre priest may, without his even knowing, led very important people to Christ (by important I mean those who might have been lost otherwise). Like the elderly mom, even an average priest saves souls. But someone who is on a total ego trip about their "calling" may turn away people from the Kingdom, as they bog people down in worldly power and attachment, politics, divisiveness and argument. So a "top bishop" may work against the Kingdom without even realizing it, because they make it "all about them and their calling."

I hope this is helpful. I understand this is just scratching the surface of the topic, but I have faith you all have brains, ha, and surely get what I am pointing you towards here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Answer to a "riddle" about God

I've seen this riddle or challenge to the reality of God's power a number of times over the years, including a mention somewhere today, so I figured I'd answer it since apparently a lot of people take it seriously. The riddle is "If God is all powerful, can he create something so heavy that he can't lift it up?"

The answer is "Yes he could, but it would not be real, it would be an illusion or lie. And since God is never untrue to his nature, he obviously would not do it as the creation would be bogus and not real, so it would be pointless and against his nature."

Let's break it down using logic. The question is bogus in the first place because it relies on a simple assumption that's just wrong. The question assumes, which most people don't realize, that God could ever be subject to the force of gravity. Um, duh. The reason something is heavy is that it has mass (it is an object made out of some material) and gravity is pulling on it. That's why something is heavy on earth (lots of gravity) yet on the International Space Station where there is very little gravity, astronauts can move huge "heavy" things with barely a finger tip.

So when you ask the question about God, it's a bogus set of assumptions since God is not comprised of any matter or energy, God does not reside in the 4 dimensional (3 dimensions plus time) world, and thus there is no part of God that is subject to gravity. God lives totally outside of the question.

So if he wanted to make you happy he'd have to create a robot or some other object made out of mass, put it in a gravity field, then give it something too heavy to lift AND, here's the problem, lie to you that this robot "is" Him. So obviously God can create any "test" scenario that a human comes up with, but he have to "humor you" to do so, and that means creating an illusion, to be polite, or lie to you. The Bible warns about testing God, that it's a really bad idea and not well received. But I know that many people ask this with genuine thoughtfulness, not realizing that the question itself is bogus.

It is human nature that humans always try to picture God as a living being that lives in a material/energy/time frame, and then can be "tested." Um, sorry, but God created the material universe by "standing" outside of it and obviously before the material world ever existed, since He created it! Any "ability" that people question about God is based on abilities that utilize matter, energy and time, all of which God created and exists totally outside of.

So it is not like God is "powerless" to create an illusion that you request, in other words, that a living body in the universe called "God" stands in a gravity field and can't lift something heavy. But obviously that is not really God because God lives outside of His creation and is pure spirit, no matter, no energy, no time sequence. With only a thought, a moment of His Will, God can do absolutely anything with his creation (the universe) or those he created in the pure spirit place of heaven (the angels) or outside of heaven (hell). He could make this universe disappear in a second, if he wanted to. He could make and label any human or animal "God" and then make it stand in gravity and be unable to lift something. But there IS no matter or energy, and thus no gravity or other forces, or ticking of a clock of sequence of actions, in heaven where God is God.

People who ask this question to erode faith and mock God demonstrate that they don't even have a sixth grade knowledge of either science or God. However, I understand that many folks, especially young people (Hi!) ask this riddle sincerely, because you've not received the how-to about using logic to answer questions and identify fallacious assumptions (bogus premises).

Hope this helps!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

About the universe

Just saw a question. The universe has a finite amount of mass and energy, but infinite, non-boundary of space. In other words, in theory you can travel straight line infinitely in any direction in space without reaching an end point or returning to where you left. The space of the universe is not enclosed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I don't love you anymore

There's something I have to get off my chest, and I'm sorry if this is a bit "too much information" for those of you in the general public who have followed my blog. But I keep getting "hints" from someone in my past, who thinks I am sitting here pining away for some tiny drop of his oh so precious love, to "let me down" that he "can't." Well, duh, I figured that out years ago and am not only over you, I hate and despise you.

Why? It's not so much the dreadful abuse you have showered on me for no reason (as if there ever is a "good" reason). It's that you have done so while hijacking the name of God, of saddening and hurting the Lord God above as you both deny him and try to replace him. Even when you seem to claim that God is there, you constantly know "better" than him, putting yourself on a pedestal that you are knowing "what has to be done" (an excuse for occult behavior). So trust me, I'm not sitting here aching for you to find in your cold meaningless heart some tiny amount of "wuv" for me; I truly hate you for how you have grieved the Lord, plus the few people like me who tried to help you.

So stop with the hints that you "can't fix things" today and do everyone a favor and just shut up or something. And my despising of you extends to your enabling family, friends, colleagues and tools.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Writing, imagination, creative arts exercise

And, really, a spirituality exercise too.

Imagine that God Himself (not Jesus Christ, think only of God for this exercise) decides to give you a present of one day of God giving you a tour of the entire world, touching on the places and people that He both most wishes to view, and for you to see. What would that tour be like? What do you think God would select that He most wants to visit (and thus share with you) AND what He selects thinking you most need to see?

Hi young people, it's been quite a long time and discouraging, but I still continue to hope and pray for you. This imagination exercise is particularly for you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Afghanistan TIME magazine cover

Very sad and shocking about the maimed woman on the cover and what happened to her, which is of course unjust.

However, before lying that the war in Afghanistan is about "saving" and "protecting" their women, consider this.

Perhaps TIME should put on the cover one of the DAILY morgue bodies of an American infant killed by the "baby mama's boyfriend" or even their own father or mother. We'd have many more examples to grace the cover each DAY than you have of honor killings and maiming in Afghanistan. Don't be total hypocrites, please. It brings you no closer to wisdom and justification.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Intrusive thoughts

Just watched a woman's description of shocking thoughts she had about her baby, such as smothering him, as a result of her post partum depression.

The proper term for this is "intrusive thoughts," which is well described in many Internet articles including in Wikipedia. It is a severe problem and is associated with many mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, PPD and bipolar.

The reason I am mentioning this today is that here is another example of where society as a whole has gone in a totally wrong direction, which harms rather than helps those with intrusive thoughts.

I agree that cognitive behavior therapy is a great help, but CBT is a matter of closing the barn door after the horse is gone. In other words CBT is used to wrestle with and hopefully subdue the intrusive thoughts, yet people remains saturated in intrusive thought stimulation without even realizing it. There are two main weaknesses in society that result in assailing people with intrusive thoughts:

1. Electronic media is a passive means of providing the viewer or listener with thoughts they would never otherwise have had. That's the whole idea of creativity and exposure to new and exciting stimuli, but the problem is that most people have not formed, particularly in childhood, the boundaries of thoughts that people used to have. In other words the past few generations are "thoughts wide open" due to their early addiction and exposure to electronic media. A huge part of normal human development is self awareness and self imposing of not only behavior but also thought boundaries, strong boundaries. The "let it all hang out" generations have damaged this necessary part of normal development. So people who grew up in electronic media times are programmed to have "all channels open to all thoughts, good or evil, wise or foolish, useful or bullshit" and thus are vulnerable to intrusive thoughts.

2. Excessive "spiritual" practices run the same risk, cultivating an undiscipled mind. In fact what passes for "spiritual discipline" in many cults and so forth (and even dabblers in mainstream religion) is actually not discipline in terms of discerning good thoughts and bad thoughts, but being, "open to the universe" and other such bullcrap. Listen, when normal people pray they know who they are and who they are praying to, that being the Almighty God. People who develop excess so called "spirituality" are like lint collectors, opening their minds to whatever crap is floating around out there. Mental crap that floats out there to be collected may be the undisciplined baloney of one's own unconscious mind, the crap thoughts of others via ESP, miasma from the gates of hell, and the urgings of one's own ego to be "special" and to "hear" things that "enlighten" you, but really don't exist. Folks, there is plenty of legit meditation and other spiritual practices, but beware, beware, beware because human ego like a magnet takes you places you should not go for your own good and for that of others.

When I was studying undercover people involved in so called "New Age" and other cult beliefs, I was in horror at the pride many of them had at working on broadcasting their sex thoughts via kundalini and other methods. And you wonder why so many children are beset by victimization. This is just one example of how you should not emit that kind of garbage (it hits more than you intended) plus it prevents you from having natural levees against intrusive thoughts later when YOU need protection.

I hope this helps. Too late, but what the hell.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An analogy you need to "hear"

If you destroy your sense of hearing, or that of someone else, that does not mean that the world stops making sounds. You, or that other person, simply have become deaf.

Likewise if you destroy your own or someone else's ability to hear God (as he actually speaks), that doesn't mean God has gone away. It simply means that you have committed spiritual suicide or murder. God is still there even if you destroy your own or someone else's organs of hearing.

This is why God insists that children be raised "in the faith." It is not an "adult option." Would you pour lye in your children's ears figuring they shouldn't hear anything until they are adults and can have "hearing aids of their own choosing" installed.

Wise up. Hell's packed already but has infinite capacity, expanding to need.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Will no longer be blogging

I will no longer be blogging. Indeed, I will actually no longer do any form of witnessing or Bible study. I simply cannot endure the decades of torment, really, dealing with people who hate me because I'm supposedly a "reincarnated promiscuous evil spirit." I'm just exhausted & have absolutely nothing left for any of you. That includes Twitter too, which I had recently started enjoying witnessing with. I wish it could have gone otherwise and I certainly waited long enough. Good bye and good luck, as you'll need it in this world as it has become. The world has been ruined and I've run out of things to suggest to remedy it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

why occult "works" then boomerangs

I know someone has a question regarding why occult work seems to work, and then suddenly and repeatedly falls apart along the exact same lines as the original formulation.

Not in a mood for heavy blogging, so here's the gist. When someone does occult activity they lay down tracks, and the more they use the tracks the heavier a path they leave. Suppose they think they fulfilled their original objective. It's not like they can "pick up the tracks" of the path they had laid. The path of their spelling, or other occult activities (astrology, anagrams, numbers, cards, etc) remains because they made it happen. It's not like they can undo history like it never happened, as they obviously did those occult things to achieve a presumed result. Once the result is obtained (or as more usual, is a total fail), the spiritual and activity path remains as they have left footprints.

At this point the "wages of sin is death" kicks in along the pathway that was laid down. Occult work is sinful and evil because it places a pathway in place and presumes someone's right to oppress another person (or "self bless") where that right belongs to God alone. So the footsteps remain of the original occult activity. Punishment, either deliberate delivered via God by his angels, or natural (consequences of very bad decision making) then follows the same footsteps that person had laid down.

Let me use an easy example. Let's say someone put a spell down, or did occult work, against someone using the number five. Let's say it was done through numerology (where they whammy some person using presumed "5" power) or it was done through anagram or other "word" power (using the letters F, I, V, E, as in "fie to V" or something like that to whammy someone with a V or whatever). Working or not, valid or bogus, the occult work drew a line that involves the number 5 or the letters F, I, V and E. God and his creation nature will respond and follow that path back to the person, their supporters, and/or even those who benefit from other parallel bad deeds (not necessarily part of the whammy 5 group).

A natural backlash example would be if the person uses 5 for magic/occult and then is blind to some real life danger that involves 5, since they are thinking only of magic and not real world. So they get run over by a truck on route 5 or something because they fall into an unconscious neglect of their normal real life caution since they think they "control 5." So without even realizing it they drive along route 5 and ignore normal safety protocol.

A God backlash example is he allows his angels to confound the occult maker by opposing them via the same pathways they had laid down. So angels will throw, with God's permission, a boomerang, so to speak, along the 5 or the F,I,V,E footsteps, and that boomerang will often hit something that at some point is in service to or allied with or a beneficiary of the person who had performed the occult in the first place.

So the bottom line answer is that when someone does an occult deed the footprints never disappear since the act, successful or bogus, was real and a part of actual history. It is thus opened not only the one way original sense of the whammy or whatever, but not only back along the path to the originator, but also creates tributaries (like a river) along similar streams. So a 5 whammy by person A against person B can well create 5 whammy paths to C, D, E and so forth because energy will settle into similar channels of connectivity. Duh.

That is why all occult activity is forbidden by God and never can be considered "good," ever.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

who is really in jail, on death row, enslaved?

Many people in this world who walk around thinking they are free, yes, even empowered, are actually the ones who are sitting in jail, the ones who are on death row, the ones who are enslaved. It is very easy to identify those who are really imprisoned from those who are not.

The more that one does not believe the truth, whether in religious or secular matters, the more one is actually in jail, on death row and enslaved.

There are those who tell lies and bear false witness, and those who believe and/or obey the lies and false witness. They are equally in jail, on death row and enslaved. Equally, there are those who don't lie but refuse to believe the truth. Unfortunately they too are equally in jail, on death row and enslaved. This applies to both God's truth and day to day worldly matters. I will give you simple examples so that you understand.

Suppose that there is a well known food toxin, something like salmonella, and there are three categories of people who react to that knowledge. Those who tell lies say it is not harmful, and thus no safe food handling measures must be taken. Those who believe and obey the lies therefore pass on the effect of that lie by not handling food safely and cleanly that others consume. Those who know salmonella is dangerous but refuse to think that it can happen to them allow this to continue and thus put themselves and others at risk.

All three of those types of people are in "jail" because they are imprisoned by erroneous actions (or refusals to do good) and thus limit their options for dealing with the situation. It is an apt criminal parallel because their refusals, whichever of the three types, endanger not only themselves but others, via their distortion of truth, denial of truth, or refusal to serve the truth! They are on "death row" because, just to stick with the example, there is a risk to life and health that they are refusing to deal with and thus it will eventually catch up with them, and in the case of a pandemic (just to use the example let's pretend a salmonella pandemic is possible), they and everyone else sit on death row, awaiting that pandemic. They are also enslaved because they are in service to the lie, rather than freed by the truth. The truth expands legitimate options and actions, while lies only cut one down to the chains of the lie's one option, which is inaction on behalf of one's self or others and, if one is part of the lying and enabling, "spreading the chains" for others to wear.

Here is the problem. I had given you just one example, an analogy, (since most do not actually dispute the problem of salmonella in theory, but MANY willfully do not follow hygiene and other protective practices on behalf of others). Put aside the analogy, now, and think of how MANY LIES every single person on earth is now subjected to collectively, in total, on a daily basis. One cannot even tell the originating liar from the enabling liar or the victim of lying because the entire fabric of truth in society and individual honor, morality and conduct has broken down and become in service to power, ego and money drivers. Children are on the third generation of being raised by more fiction than truth, in the home, in schools, on the street and via media "entertainment." Remember, it's not just an outright lie that is the problem, but withholding of actual quality education of truth and discernment that is the almost larger problem.

Back to the salmonella example. How can a child believe or not believe the risk and also the safety precautions if they have not the background education? Think of the list of things that a child must understand in order to do something like wash their hands and be careful not to eat tainted food. They have to understand what "dirt" (germs) is, they have to understand how dirt gets on or in them, they have to understand what being sick or well is, they have to understand that it is not something to immobilize them with fear about but that they can be safe, they have to understand how to clean with soap and water, and they have to understand timing (washing before one gets dirty is not helpful, for example).

So imagine a child that is told, and believes, that salmonella is dangerous and they need to avoid bad food plus wash their hands and for the sake of making a silly extreme point to illuminate what I mean, assume the child's been raised in isolation, not having any education nor have parents raised them with the list of necessary knowledge given above. What is a child to do with hearing "salmonella is dangerous?" Think someone named "Sally Nelly" is dangerous? Think that the salmon fish is dangerous? If the child does not understand you are speaking of dirt/germs, what they are, where it comes from, how it gets to them, how to solve the problem, and when/how to wash, they cannot do anything meaningful with a truth spoken to them at all!

That, friends, is the problem. We have a world that starts children out with cartoons and video games, and nothing about reality of life, and by reality I don't mean code words for the bad parts of life, but I mean all the goodness of how life actually exists. When you do not raise your children, and when you gain money or power through lack of service to truth, you not only enslave yourself and others, especially children, but you are all in jail and you are all on death row.

Even if you do not promote all that is so misleading in our culture, by taking up airspace with crap you are crowding out the opportunities and the motivation for people, especially young people, to learn what is really important and to be liberated by the genuine freedom of truth.

Here's another example. Suppose that a certain local political seat is always filled by people who meet in secret and decide who that candidate will be and fix the election so their person always win. Do those hypocrites go home and tell their children that they can "dream big" and maybe be President one day? They smirk as teachers, both enablers and well meaning ones, teach kids in school about the political process and try to "inspire" the kids, yet they know full well if one of those kids grows up and tries to run for office they are not on the preordained predetermined "win" list. The same with being famous, being made a "star," of "making a difference in the world." If young people don't even know the facts of the world, and how it operates, and how to choose from truthful options and choices in action, how can they "dream big" when they don't really understand the choices and the realities? Society pushes the predetermined winners, pretending it can happen to "anyone." Then for the one it happens to, fine, (except when they find out they now have obligations to the rainmakers), but what about the ninety-nine others out of a hundred who wasted their time, talents, their heart, and their love, to pursuing a dream that was never actually an option to them? If they knew the truth they could have actually done something else, far more satisfying.

Many people in society push "follow your dreams" and "give it your all," knowing that they will "award" that prize to one or two of their predetermined chosen, while letting those who believe this at large wither on the vine. Meanwhile people could have been doing what they have always done, which is to grow up in a truthful and well educated (though not of course pure or unblemished) society where they can always be aiming themselves at valid and authentic targets, instead of manipulated illusionary crap. Crap that enriches the bank accounts and egos of those who are on top of the total life lie pyramids.

Friends, and I call you that, even toward those who have persecuted me, stop thinking that I'm the one being controlled, limited, manipulated and in "jail." It is you all who are in that place, you all who are in jail, on death row, and enslaved. The more you believe the lying crap that is out there everywhere, the more you will lose your pursuit of genuine happiness in life, the more your life is likely to be foreshortened (and those you care about) and the more you have to consider that you may be on the path to eternal death, first as the living social slaves that you are, and after death, to the place where disbelievers and those who did not honestly serve God, in eternal exile from goodness and in torment. I really don't wish that on anyone, but I'm cheering both Darwin and God onward on this one, if you keep asking for it, that's what you are going to keep getting in life and in death.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

random but connected God thoughts

I know many people are works obsessed, even while proclaiming being saved by grace alone. Likewise non-believers (and those of hybrid beliefs, some God, some pagan, which is just as bad) have world views that include the delusion that one can assign to one's self and to others "grace" bestowing chores and "to do" "checklists." It was when thinking about that problem when I was on Twitter this morning that I started to collect in my mind a few random scriptural references and explanations about God that will help you to detox from that mindset, which is dangerous and cruel, to say the least.

1) Be sure to understand that love and fear of God, and one's relationship with him alone, comes before ANY works, whether those that are "recommended" in the Bible or not. To explain let's go to the heart of the instruction of Jesus, where he added the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself. He ADDED that commandment TO the others. In other words, you still have to obey the first ten commandments, most particularly 1-4 which proclaim and worship God alone.

Most Christians have understood that full well. It's only in modern times that people have a kind of Chinese menu attitude toward "achieving" salvation, where they think they can "specialize" and make "to do" lists that will get them saved. Thus they think that they can do a lot of "good deeds" related to the new Commandment, and that will earn them points. Wrong. When Jesus talked to his disciples or the crowds he knew he was speaking to God's Chosen People, people whose entire life and indeed their government was based on their faith and relationship to God! You, dear friends, are far from being in that boat. So let me digress a bit with some Old Testament perspective.

I've blogged before that no one knows God like the Jews do. It's a fact. The Jews "grew up" alongside of God's continual presence. They know in their soul, in their heart and in their guts the essence of God far more than any other person can ever do, no matter how pious. When Christians speak of a personal relationship with God, usually through Jesus Christ, that is still not the same as people who traveled side by side with God in a tent.

It is with that familiarity with the real presence of God that is the baseline situation, the baseline culture, the starting point for all the Law and the Commandments that follow. So each Commandment (and other Law or instruction in the scriptures) is built upon the reality of the pre-existing knowledge both personal and community wide of God being real, of being ever present, and his un-judgable via human means Truth.

Let's give an example, just for a mental air freshener exercise. Imagine an Israelite of the time of Moses who, just for the sake of argument, broke all Ten Commandments and never actually followed them at all. He is still, in one sense, better off than every modern Christian. Why? Because he knew for certain God is real, as he had to just glance over at the meeting tent and see Moses emerge from speaking with God! That guy might be an idiot for assuming the God he clearly could witness to every day is going to not punish him at some point for disobeying, but he never doubts the reality of God, because he can see him! I mean, duh, think about it. That guy is a gambler, assuming he can sneak worship of an idol in here and there, skip keeping the Sabbath holy, covets all day long, etc, even kills the occasional person, but he knows God is real because he can see him, and he travels with him.

All Jews carry inside them that *sigh* of reality, which is that God is real, and that their ancestors walked with him, and that sin will result in punishment and suffering sooner or later. But see, Christians, even the good ones, are constantly testing "if God is real" and "if he hears me." They don't have that core spiritual DNA, for lack of a better term, that the Jews have, which is a long history of direct interaction with God himself, here on earth. Believing Jews, even the most lukewarm, have like a unique understanding that you can espy sometimes, even when they are not aware of it. It's when they talk about God, or about a Jewish tragedy, or about the state of Israel (arguing usually) and someone gets philosophical. You can see the look in the eyes, fleeting as it may be, as they think back over the obey-disobey-obey-disobey relationship they've had with God, but all happening against the backdrop of God's actual existence and presence among them.

In the Bible you can read how the Israelites became anxious when several hundred years would go by and God would not bring them a prophet, a genuine prophet (prophet is someone who speaks God's words, not is foretelling futures and so forth like moderns think). Jews were anxious, angry and melancholy for exactly that reason during the time of John the Baptist and before... as they had been centuries without a prophet. But they didn't run around "testing" to see if God was "still there," as just about every Christian I know actually does (if you strapped a lie detector test to them). Oh boy, Jews know God is there, has been there, and will always be there, but they also know he often is silent to individuals and communities.

So back to Jesus adding the new Commandment. Jesus was telling those people who I described right above here that Commandment, adding that to their already framework of understanding the every minute reality of God.

Thus the new Commandment is not a checklist item for getting in good graces with God. Rather, you can think of it as the test, not of God by man, but of man by God, because if you have the first Ten Commandments right, the new Commandment will flow from you naturally.

This is why you have to run from people who imply they can give you a list of chores or any checklist based on the new Commandment and that this will in any way "earn" anything for you with God. Absence of being like the new Commandment is a problem yes sir, but you can't "earn" points by pressing the new Commandment good-deed charity button over and over because if you are doing that you are demonstrating you don't get at all Commandments One through Four.

How can I show you this another way in the scriptures? Easy, by looking at Jesus with Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, who were disciples and early followers and friends of his. Everyone loves the story where Martha is slaving in the kitchen serving Jesus and the others while lazy Mary is able to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. When Martha expects Mary to be rebuked by Jesus, Jesus kind of sighs and says basically, "Don't blame Mary for choosing the better part."

Now, here's where modern people miss the point that everyone else (pre labor saving devices and first world prosperity) knew to a T. That is that it's not like Mary sat around all the time! It was that one time that she sat and listened to the important teachings of Jesus. The rest of the time she was working at providing for the household, and probably in the fields too, just as hard as everyone else. See, moderns think that the "enlightened" people can sit around (Jesus "said so") while "other" people serve them, and that it's kind of their fault anyway for choosing that "life path." This scripture has gotten a gooey New Age taint. People forget, what I explained above, that all Israelites, including the Jews of Jesus' time, already GOT the reality of God. They didn't think in terms of works and brownie points, what to do and what not to do, to earn being on a better "life path." So with those soot colored glasses they read this scripture and totally miss the point. On this one occasion Mary was so moved by what Jesus was telling to those around him that she sat at this feet, rather than doing her USUAL WORK. That's why Martha complained, as she too wanted to listen, but felt she had to do the work.

But see, Jesus is telling her to just trust and learn from him, rather than fret the meals and the cleaning. Remember that Jesus twice led thousands into the desert with no food or water, and he provided for them. The people trusted him. How much more so could Martha have trusted him to let people go without food or water or a clean house for a few hours or a day while Jesus was teaching? That's why Jesus gently rebuked with a sigh.

But see, just like the new Commandment, the story of Martha and Mary is fodder for those who do not understand the reality of God, unlike the people who knew full well the reality of God right then and there, throughout the times of the Bible. So certain modern people glean the Bible for checklist, scorecard, chores and brownie earning point activities, thinking that "puts them and others on the right path." It does not because the right path is knowing one hundred percent God exists and is there all the time and that YOU need a relationship with him first. It does not matter a mouse behind or any other body part if you are making someone wash dishes, or not, read scripture, or not, throw dirt around for someone else to pick up, or not, and all, like an accountant, "applying" to one's "checklist" of "what the Bible says to do." You will DO the things that are right, in their season and time, IF you FIRST understand and obey God's reality.

2) I cannot possibly overstate that you must understand when Jesus tells the disciples about the rich man who went to hell, described in Luke 16. You need to understand that was a PIOUS BELIEVER who probably did all the right things in every other respect, but ended up in hell, to his total shock. (Believe you me, sinners know why they are in hell. Those who think they are square and OK with God and end up in hell are those who are shocked, as that guy was. That's why he wanted to warn his brothers, not because they were obvious sinners, duh, but because they probably thought they were wonderful, worthy, pious people too! Remember that during Jesus' time the Jews had degenerated so that they thought the healthy and rich were rewarded by God for being good, while the poor and the sick were punished for being "sinners.") Everyone who heard that story from Jesus totally understood that, unlike today. The rich man was punished in hell because he ignored the ONE person God expected him to save from illness and starvation. So believe you me, that guy in hell (he's still there) had a long "good deed" checklist, but oops, he left out the one person that he should have saved. James warns that to know to do good and not to do it is a sin.

3) Here's some blunt truth. You know how in the Apocalypse Jesus tells those who "did not know him" (because they did not feed, clothe, visit etc others in his name) to begone and not be saved? The only reason that Jesus is having that conversation at all with them is that those folks did believe in Jesus. Nonbelievers and those who deny God don't even get to that point of conversation, as they are rejected just as they rejected God. So again, the people who are rebuked by Jesus for lack of good deeds were ALREADY Jesus believers. You have to believe and obey God in the first place before you even get a shot at meriting through your natural sanctity appropriate good deed leadership. It's not like Jesus is saying that good deeds earned them the right to approach Jesus upon death. Belief in Jesus, in God, earned them the right to approach him, but what they did with that belief (or not, as is this case) is what gets them rejected. It's the fact that they did not follow through with their total and accurate belief in Jesus by now exuding that sanctity toward God into service toward others that got them in the hot place.

I hope these thoughts help.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jesus role models citing scripture or not

Friends, this will probably sound a little critical, but do not take it to heart, as I am not criticizing scripture citers, and in fact I enjoy very much even the free wheeling citing that takes place on Twitter. I am, however, going to finally address two errors that many make in citing scripture.

1. Many err by approaching friends (or foes) and cutting loose with their opening statements as scripture citations. Instead of being person-person and then citing scripture as the conversation develops IF NECESSARY, scripture is used as the "opening salvo" as if a war or prosecution weapon. That is Satan's role modeling, not Christ's (Matthew 4:1-10).

2. Many think that you cite scripture first, then "understanding" will follow. It is the other way around. You must understand God before you cite scripture, and that means the entire context. You do not fire, aim, ready with scripture, you ready (understand), aim (discern appropriateness) then fire (cite). Rev. Billy Graham in his daily question column is an excellent role model for the correct order, by the way.

But above all, look to Jesus and how he spoke so you can understand what I mean, and you can follow his scriptural direction with worthiness. Let's go to the positive example of his Sermon in Matthew 5, before analyzing the negative example by Satan as I pointed out to you in Matthew 4.

Matthew 5
1. And seeing the crowds, he went up the mountain. And when he was seated, his disciples came to him. 2. And opening his mouth he taught them, saying,

[Notice that Jesus is on the mountain, seated, and surrounded by disciples. These are three postures of authority, understanding and discernment. Previously in Jesus' life as documented in the Gospels, you realize that he has authority from God, is in communion with God and thus receiving direction and understanding, and he has assumed the teaching role, thus demonstrating discernment. You must likewise develop your own understanding and discernment before you put yourself on a mountain, be seated, surround yourself with disciples, and then even open your mouth!]

3. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

[Does Jesus "cite scripture here?" No.]

4. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth."

[Does Jesus wow them with citing scripture? No.]

5. "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

[Does Jesus finally whip out all that scripture to cite yet? No.]

6. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied."

[Still waiting for the scroll & verse?]

7. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

[Hey! I'm not gonna listen anymore cuz Jesus doesn't say where God says that in the Bible."]

8. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God."

["That Jesus sure gonna be in trouble if he doesn't provide us with where God defines in the scripture what "clean of heart" means, sheesh!"]

9. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

["I thought God didn't have children? Where's that in the scripture?]

10. "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

[Hey! "Where's that listed in the redeemable rewards index in the Bible???!!!?"]

11. "Blessed are you when men reproach you, and persecute you, and speaking falsely, say all manner of evil against you, for my sake. 12. Rejoice and exult, because your reward is great in heaven; for so did they persecute the prophets who were before you.

[Wow, Jesus will surely be in trouble now because he then goes on to teach that disciples are compared to salt and light in the world, without listing by citing in scripture exactly which prophets were persecuted!!!! Goodness, why isn't that Jesus Christ citing scripture!!!]

By the way, Jesus could have cited scripture from Psalms for Matthew:4, Isaiah for Matthew 5:5, and again Psalms for Matthew 5:8. Early Church scholars spent a lot of time analyzing Old Testament scripture to identify and footnote the New Testament to identify scripture that Jesus would have been well aware of.

Now, let's look at the negative example, of what I am teaching you about today, Matthew 4.

Matthew 4
1. Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit, to be tempted by the devil. 2. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

[Many people jump right to the dialogue between Satan and Jesus, and miss the huge point that Jesus was fasting, and thus in contemplative prayer, for forty days before they spoke! Again, you must understand that the point is not that "Jesus was sure real hungry" but that Jesus spent forty days of spiritual preparation before opening his mouth and citing scripture!]

3. And the tempter came and said to him, "If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread."

[Satan opens the conversation and you might say, "Hey, he's not starting with scripture." That is true but he is referring to Jesus being the Messiah, promised throughout the Old Testament! So Satan is starting the scripture based accusing first. This is the mistake that SO MANY supposedly pious Christians make today; they walk up to someone and immediately accuse or assume based on scripture, without even asking as much as "Could you explain to me what you are doing and why?"]

4. But he answered and said, "It is written, Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."

[Notice two things. Jesus, knowing that Satan is correctly accusing him of being the promised Messiah, does not even bother to confirm that via scripture. Jesus does not dignify the "IF" that Satan starts the accusation with, by confirming the truth of that accusation, that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus addresses the temptation with scripture, knowing full well the thoughts of Satan, who is going to engage in dueling scripture with him, and who started it by alluding to Jesus "if" being the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Secondly notice that Jesus paraphrases the scripture, not getting hung up in citing every single word in the 'original' order nor citing the book and verse.]


In Matthew 4:5-7 they again duel in scripture, with Satan citing first. In Matthew 4:8-10 Satan does not cite or allude to scripture at all (except to imply that he is the fallen prince who is able to supply all worldly things to Jesus) and instead, directly tempts, which Jesus replies to with scripture, and Satan departs.

Jesus' authority is once again confirmed as being from God the Most High and Holy in Matthew 4:11 where "behold, angels came and ministered to him." Angels did not have to "help Jesus out" by sending him "spiritual guide messages" to "tell him what to say to Satan." This is another delusion of modern people, even those who seem to be good Christians, that there is "coaching" going on from heaven. There is not and that is a total misunderstanding of being infused with the Holy Spirit.

To remain, however, with my main point. Study how many times Jesus could have cited scripture, and did not. Further, study how perfectly appropriate Jesus is when he does choose to cite scripture, and how he does it with patience and never as a rebuke with people.

With some people, many, actually, *sigh with sadness,* about all the scripture one hears from a human is when they are rebuking or trying to shame or embarrass another person. Where's that in the Gospel? Where does Jesus role model that?

When you go up to someone and immediately spout a Ten Commandment to someone, or some other scripture in order to discomfort them, all you do is copy the enemy, Satan, not Jesus. You further yourself, and probably the person you are speaking to, from the Kingdom of God, not drawing closer, through love and plain ordinary truthful every day speech, as you would use if you were really following Jesus. You rely on the scripture for your own understanding and discernment, you don't use it as your opening salvo, as the punches you exchange in the ring. You don't hope for that "killer scripture" that will "sucker punch" your "opponent." How much farther from Jesus could you be with that? Any farther would take you into the dangerous realm of not being a genuine believer, but an agenda driven utilizer of script.

Again, do not be alarmed about sharing favorite scripture, such as on Twitter, or in conversation. Be warned, though, that if you are using scripture to fire sniper bullets, you are going to hit yourself with them.

I hope that you have found this helpful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When Catholic Mass sermons go bad

I'm doing something I've never done before, which is start up the old computer while watching morning Mass on TV, so that I can criticize the sermon that I just heard.

For those not Catholic, here's the structure. There are usually two Bible readings during Mass, plus excerpts from one of the Psalms. The sermon (or homily) follows a reading from the Gospel. Those of you not Catholic can probably grasp quicker than it seems some priests do that the sermon follows the Gospel so that the priest can EXPLAIN THE GOSPEL.

I just listened to a sermon by a priest who I thought knows better, but obviously does not, that was one of the worst I have listened to. It referenced the Gospel not at ALL, except for a lame sentence added at the end. Instead, it sounded like a New Age sermon touting healing miracles.

How did this mistake happen? Here's the problem. Catholics correctly uplift and celebrate saints on their special days. It is correct because people need to hear practical real life inspiration by those who have been demonstrated to be in sanctified service to the Lord God. So I didn't mind mention of the virtues and life story of "today's saint." However, it went on too long, and then to my horror, as I expected the priest to FINALLY get around to um, you know, MENTION THE GOSPEL, he went into a detailed awe struck ridiculous detailing of the medical "miracle" of modern people who have been "cured" by their belief in the saint.

As a result we heard allllllllll about the doctors, the patient, the big old cancer boo-boo, about some nun who sucked on cigars to help a leper patient, blah, blah, blah. I'm glad I don't have breakfast before Mass because I'd have hurled.

I consider it a SIN to be a priest and to give a sermon that does not even mention, say nothing of actually explaining, the GOSPEL. The sermon in a Catholic Church is not a pep talk on whatever subject the priest thinks would be hip (or someone tells him to do, as I know happens). It is also, as the Gospel, a SACRED part of the Mass, as in the sermon the priest is actually imitating both Christ and his disciples, by EXPLAINING GOD.

Worse, if it can get any worse, the lack of connection between the Gospel reading and the blah blah blah about the people who have miraculous cures, help out the down and out, etc creates a false idea about the Gospel message in people's minds. They assume they are linked and they are not!

The Gospel today, about Lydia, who heard Paul, believed, was baptized and saved, was not about Lydia thinking "Hm, here are holy people. I better believe in them in case I need a miraculous cure someday." It is the OPPOSITE because many early believers had nothing but martyrdom for their faith to look forward to. Lydia believed because she knew the Truth, through the Holy Spirit, when she heard it. She didn't "invest" in "this God" in case Paul and the others would cough up a miracle, or "in case" she needed a miraculous cure. Yet, incredibly, this priest let that impression linger, and even basically said so at the end (the old saw that you never know who might come along with miraculous power, blah, blah, blah).

Look, you don't breathe air because you think someday a tank of oxygen might cure you in illness, do you? Each day you take a breath and think to yourself, "Well, I better keep breathing just in case one day I am sick and only a tank of oxygen falling out of the sky will save me." No, duh, you breathe each day because 1) you need to and 2) it is the correct thing to do all on its own (ie. the truth). Likewise you don't believe in God in case some miracle is needed someday, or because someone may OR MAY NOT have had a miraculous cure! You believe in God because like the air, God is the ever present reality.

Heaven help us. Do we not have enough problems?

Priests, you better make sure that your sermons address the Gospel. If not, why are you there?

Prayers for the priests who are somehow keeping their sanctified purpose in the midst of those who seem determined to lead them astray. Do not follow "self agenda" sermon giving priests as your example. You are there because of the Gospel and you are indeed even alive because of the Gospel. You better be helping the people understand THAT Gospel in each and every sermon that you give, period.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strip club boss killed, hypocrisy example

I mean, forget about the obvious hypocrisy that this guy "Lolly" Jackson (South Africa) was caught speeding in his car supposedly on the "way to church." That's not even the irony, the hypocrisy that I'm going to point out.

No, his strip empire manager has asked "for privacy" during their time of mourning.

Privacy for a STRIP empire manager? That's rich. Strip is the opposite of privacy, no? He had controversial billboards, no? His employees live off of girls' lack of privacy, no?

So I think they ought to publish photos of his bullet ridden body. He'd approve, no?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Money & power, crime and sin

This set of thoughts, which I hope everyone finds helpful, is more about human nature and God's relationship with humans, than a classic Bible study or commentary type of blogging.

Here's the problem. The Bible states that money is the root of all evil. First you need to understand there are two types of over fondness of money, and hence it's misuse. The first problem is to love money more than anything else, including believing in, fearing and obeying God. Thus many people love money for itself above all other relationships, both their human relationships and their relationship with God. The second problem is to love money for the power that it gives you over other people, or over elements of God's creation. For example, some people do not crave money and its luxuries, as do the first category of people, but they crave money because it buys power and control over others. So this is why St Paul and others trace just about every human evil back to its roots of money.

There is a third problem, whereby decent ordinary people do not love money, or crave its power, but will do evil things because they feel boxed into doing so in order to survive. This is a third category which is involuntary slavery to money or, rather, the people who control and dispense the money. People who dole out money to those who need it in return for making the people do unethical things are the second category of people (the money as power lovers) while those who accept the money out of either genuine or perceived need are this third category, those who are enslaved to money and its power.

Understanding that, you must recognize that there are three inevitabilities that each person with this unhealthy relationship (whether category 1, 2 or e) with money participate in. One is crime. Two is sin. Three is both crime and sin.

By the way, it is tempting to believe that all crime is also a sin. While that is usually true, I need to teach you all thoughtfulness, in order to see the shades of nuances correctly. It is not a sin, for example, to disobey a law or authority (and thus be branded a criminal) if that law or authority is not righteous toward God or fellow human beings. So one can be, like the early Christians, a "criminal" who breaks a "law" or "authority" when one refuses to worship idols. That, then, is a crime that is not a sin and, actually, in this example, a virtue.

The problem is that many people rationalize love of money as being kind of a "Robin Hood," and thus not criminal or sinful. They are wrong because the premise (love of money or its power) is not in service of God because one cannot use a human tool (money) to serve God, who is above and beyond all those things. God wants your attention and obedience; not your money, either to him or in his supposed "service." There is no way that a person can love money and then make rational decisions about "how God would 'want' the money spent." One has to be a good Christian, Jew or Muslim first, with a solid untarnished relationship with God, before one can even make baby steps in deciding "how Jesus" or "how God" would "want" money spent in his service. Remember, the Apostles observed first hand how Jesus taught them these things, yet one still fell, in part due to money, Judas Iscariot. If Judas Iscariot was troubled in deciding "how God would want the money spent," what makes any human alive think he or she is well equipped to know better? Especially a human who is far from being perfected in their relationship with God and God alone? Love of money and power (including the very seductive power to be a "do gooder") is by definition a BARRIER to understand God.

Now, here is something you need to understand about me personally. I have no interest in being a "crime buster," I never have and I never will. Part of my calling and my ministry is to tell everyone the same thing, which is the reality of God's word as it is in the Torah, in the Bible, and in the Qur'an. In other words, there is only one God, and His word is constant, the only truth, and irrefutable. So if I met the worst criminals in the world, I have no concern about their crimes or their sins. I have concern that they do not understand the consequences of those crimes and sins, the consequences that will be rendered by God, and not by human beings. I would sit down face to face with even the worst criminals and say, "Friend, you need more information before you continue, and that information is that God is real, judgment is real, and that hell is real and that, further, unlike jokes and cartoons, hell is un-endurable, and no one there is 'handling' it." I would not be interested in attempting to persuade them away from their crime or sin. I simply deliver God's truth and leave it up to them.

I hope that you have found this helpful.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Understanding salvation via Paul, Revelation

And, more to the point, understanding salvation through this sports analogy that I will explain here. The scriptural basis for the analogy are the writings of Paul, and the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse).

Entire churches of faithful, believing and presumably, but not assured, "saved," are chastised as a whole by Paul, with loving charity and concern, but very strong language. Likewise in the Apocalypse John hears the chastisement of entire faithful, believing and presumably, but not assured, churches, "saved bodies of the faithful," before the revelation of the final days commences.

Notice that in no place is a single Christian isolated for correction within an otherwise correct church. Paul criticizes the entire church when SOME of them receive the sacrament of the bread with unworthiness, or worthily but with lack of respect.

If people are "saved," as some Evangelical Protestants attest, while being surrounded by those who commit wrong (yet consider themselves saved too), then Paul, in the abundance of his guidance, would have included at least one example of chastising a hypocrite or one in error within an otherwise worthy church body.

The same is of course true when the Angel of God, through Christ, evaluates and chastises entire faithful churches, at the end.

This is why you must understand salvation as it actually is, as the Bible states in Truth, not in your "auditing," "good deed" and "fire insurance" mindset. The sports analogy will demonstrate this for you.

American baseball is characterized by a dual purpose. It is of course a team sport with the objective of winning. But it is also equally an individual sport where each player accrues statistics of his performance (each and every game) that are his lasting legacy and that travel with him from team to team.

Thus you can have a great player with a great heritage of statistics and honor, even if he never played on a winning team. You can also have winning teams without great individual players. Most avid baseball fans follow individuals and their statistics, often separate from a local team that they actually support.

Salvation is like that, but here we need to fulfill the analogy by describing the disastrous effect that use of steroid and other performance or other addictive drugs have had on the entire sport.

We can and do have an entire era of "high performing individuals" who received their statistics while using immoral and illegal drugs. We also have teams that have won games due to these unethically enhanced individual players.

Suppose you are a great player, but you are on a team that is winning (and thus adds to your statistics) because other people, your team mates, are using performance enhancing drugs. You accumulate valid statistics and play straight (since you do not "use") but you know your team mates "use" and in return your statistics are enhanced because the "users" pull in more win and run and other opportunities for you with their presumably enhanced performance aids.

Salvation, and the possibility of losing your salvation, is exactly like that. If you are a "saved" person among other "saved" persons, but you deviate in any way from the ethics of God, no matter what the reason, the entire body of the "saved," including your own "salvation," is in question.

Don't ask me: read the Bible.

The entire Old Testament demonstrates God addressing and rewarding/punishing the hoard of Israelites as a whole. Presumably not every single person, man woman and child, danced in front of the gold calf while Moses was with God. Yet all are chastised. God does not document in the Bible "except for Moishe, Sarah and Fred, who sat the profane dance out and just watched on the sidelines while silently disapproving." The entire Old Testament validates what I am explaining to you, which is that God does not single out people among the wicked, (or those who are "good" but in error) and give them a salvation "pass" card, even as they eat, live, love and worship with the body that is IN ERROR.

Likewise the Gospel and the other New Testament books demonstrate that even with loving concern, Jesus, Paul, and the other Apostles, chastise entire towns, entire church bodies, entire groups of the "faithful," without once singling out the "good guy" whose rear end is just warming the pews but "is not going along with the error of the rest."

The Bible demonstrates over and over that it is God's will that people are saved, or not, as a GROUP in addition to individually. You all have taken that truth and turned it into the error of competing denominations (destroying Jesus' instructions on unity) rather than understanding that the saved individual must not only strive for continual obedience and purity but also, like a plant, survive or fall with the purity of the presumably "saved" fellow members and community. You can deny it all you want but the Bible is the Bible and God's word is final. You cannot say that God's word is perfect, but then make up scenarios that God did not choose to endorse in the Bible, and instead, God condemns.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Some suggested reading material for all

Read the article in Wikipedia found under Dissolution of the Monasteries, England and Wales.

Good idea to read it before any admiration of the UK or snickering at the Catholic Church.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hygiene & chores update (4)

Trust me, I'm bored with it too, but "give the people what they want," eh?

Since you are all bored with it I'll give you the quick recap of the afternoon/evening.

Ironed B's shirt and pants.
Cloroxed toilet seat in one bathroom.
Prepared my own dinner (a small cold plate).
Cooked rice and added fresh avocado.
Cooked the one piece of chicken and carefully split it in 2 for the owner and tenant.
Discovered owner had no chicken or rice, found tenant with entire bowl, and suggested a wiser division.
Enjoyed a good whacking rain and thunder storm with window open in my room.
Worked on my religious cross stitching.
Had lots of little "pee"s, I think like 3 of them?
Just a tiny poo, sorry, nothing grand to report.
Did a little more neatening up of my room, mostly in an attempt for more elbow room.

Exciting huh? So much better than my borrrrrrrrrring Bible commentaries, no?

X-37B secret plane

I'll bet there were clam shells in it. Just a thought!!!!


Hygiene & chores update (3)

I don't have a cell phone or Blackberry etc (no money, bankruptcy, plus I don't use them all that much), so I waited till I returned to the boarding house for this update via my laptop computer!

Got in the car and after carefully waiting for traffic to clear, drove to the gas station.
Out of the $10 I have left I purchased $4.41 of petrol. Why 4.41? So glad you asked.

Cult people follow the "belief" based on "numerology" (all sinful occult activities) that the number 4 is "bad luck." So I wanted to hand them some nice bad luck (not the petrol station people but the freaks with the nosy eyes). In the USA 4/1 is "April Fools Day" so I gave them an "April fool" sign of bad luck sent from me (as I had to pay money and thus I am sending this number outward to them) of a LOT of FOUR to them as APRIL FOOL! God of course will decide how this all settles out.

I then drove to the mall. I had brought along in a plastic cup some Coca Cola from my home 32 oz bottle, to save money, and bought the cheapest slice of pizza (plain, only $2 including tax).

I sat for a while in the "courtyard" of the mall but because it looks like after the Apocalypse (many closed stores, few shoppers) I did not stay doing my cross stitch long.

I endured two "scenarios" where each time (once on the way and once back) a truck pulls to the side of the road before me, and then a car "accidentally" pulls out of the parking lot behind the truck into my path. Since I've gotten realllllllly good at expecting these things I saw in advance and avoided via anticipatory lane changes.

Also saw some obligatory license plates with (using cult number talk) the usual lovely references to poo, sex in that area, incest, abuse, etc. It's like those old "Burma Shave" signs, kind of rolling advertisements for tech despair of damnation.

So I returned around 1:11 and am here updating my list. Expect to pee at some point soon (sorry, no poo so far, but I'm OK with that). Also need to iron two items for B and also prepare some dinner out of the very few groceries around here, probably rice and some left over chicken.

Have a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat day, and I'll be sure to update if I get any pee or poo news!!!!

(Sorry, no Bible study. The people have "voted" and this is what they prefer.)

Hygiene & chores (part 2)

Updated chart on my door with the following activities:

Read news on Internet.
Sent a family email about concerns of drug abuser nearby.
Take clothes out of dryer, fold, and place near B's room (he locks door so I can't place them inside).
Washed my hair (simple cheap cleaner and conditioner). Letting it air dry.
Washed two drink mugs left in sink.
Drank a small glass of juice.
Read more on the Internet.

I'm going to sign off soon so let me give you the likely activities so you are totally in the mix.

I will probably shave my legs. I shave my legs mostly because I have a slight skin condition (keratosis pilaris) and I find that shaving helps prevent roughness of the skin surface.

Work on cross stitich while listening for post office delivery to arrive. Will then sort the mail.

If I decide I have enough money I will put a gallon or so of gas in the car and have a slice of pizza at the mall. Sometimes I then sit after the lunch in the mall and work on a religious cross stitich, as kind of a silent witness.

I will probably then return to this boarding house where I reside and do the usual afternoon activities, such as preparing dinner, working on my sewing, etc.

Oh, and I'll probably be ready to "pee" soon!!!!!!!!!!!

My hygiene & chores schedule

People near me continue to be more interested in how much I sleep, shower, do chores, etc and other stuff that there's no point in listing since I sure don't and won't be having any intimate "fun". So here's this morning so far. I've posted the active list on paper on my boarding house room door too, to answer any "in person" questions.

5:30 AM Wake when I hear one of the tenants start his motorcycle to go to work.
7:30 AM Wake up proper. Turn on radio to prepare for 8:00 talk show.
Take a shower and use the toilet (number one only).
Gather supplies to wash my hair later (I use the kitchen sink because I have long hair).
Spray cleanser in the shower.
Get dressed.
Wash a few kitchen dishes & water bamboo plant.
Put lining in trash can since previous user did not do so & put their trash in it.
Checked B's laundry status; it is still drying.
Phone rang but B is home so he has the handset & answered it.
Thinking about someone's desire to have book written & how to handle it, and also thinking about someone who has a severe prescription pill abuse problem (did some research about that last night on the Internet).
Opened curtains in my room so people can peer in on schedule. Actually, I always have them open as I really need a glimpse of the sky & outdoors, even if not so great a view.
8:54 Moved some craft supplies back into my room (I had moved them out when cleaning past two days).
9:00 AM Doing this blogging & ready to tweet some.

Hope you find this helpful! People have "voted" and prefer this info to my Bible teaching!!!


I could give my opinion on the Franklin Graham thing, but I know people are much more interested when I will next be IN THE BATHROOM!

Monday, April 19, 2010

understanding Jesus as way to salvation

Many people are both comforted by the declaration that Jesus Christ is the Way to salvation (Christians) and disconcerted, disheartened and even angry with that declaration (non Christians). I have this very quick analogy to explain, comfort and clarify.

A lot of Christians are not going to like what I'm going to say, but that is alright because Jesus Christ came to save the world, to be its true hero, and by that I mean the entire world. So yes, Jesus Christ is the one and only way to be saved. However, one must look at scripture to understand that Jesus, through God, is perfectly capable of saving people who do not know him.

In other words, a person must have a relationship with Jesus to be saved, but no where in the scripture does it say that Jesus is incapable of saving someone that Jesus is in a one way relationship with. What I am saying is that Jesus, having the full authority of God, is perfectly capable of opening the door for someone to God, if that person is righteous and just. So before I explain further, here is my analogy.

Imagine heaven as the home of God, where God resides inside (although of course he sees everything everywhere at all times). Imagine that heaven, the house of God, has only one door. Imagine that Jesus is the gate keeper to that door, and only Jesus, working with the full authority of God the Father, will allow someone into heaven.

Imagine a righteous and just man has died, one who is of the faith that worships God, but that man may or may not have heard about Jesus and the Good News. However, God, and Jesus, are fully aware that this is a just and righteous man who worships God alone. So let us assume that the man arrives at the door and does not recognize Jesus, but he asks to see God.

Jesus looks into the man's heart and soul (and of course, God and Jesus already know all that this man has lived, thought, felt and done) and sees his righteousness and genuine love for God, the Father. If you were a son at the door to your father's house, and a dear friend of your father asked to come in, would you say no?

Do not be jealous and selfish of Jesus being the way to God. As the gatekeeper and the way, Jesus has perfect knowledge, judgment and authority to admit, or turn away, from heaven anyone. As Jesus often stated, he and God the Father are as one in their purpose and their salvatory power.

And those of you who may be of the faith of the one true God, do not be afraid of Jesus Christ being the way. He knows who you are even if you do not fully know who he is. Jesus will not turn away righteous and just men and women, boys and girls, who fear God, who love God, and who worship God.

Luke 12:32, 34
Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom...For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Luke 18:26-27, 29
And they who heard it said, "Who then can be saved?" He said to them, "Things that are impossible with men are possible with God." ... And he said to them, "Amen I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive much more in the present time, and in the age to come life everlasting."

I used italics for Jesus' words "for the kingdom of God," for that is my point. Jesus is not saying that everyone must give up all they have in order to achieve heaven, for with this list he was referring to his direct followers. What Jesus is saying is that if one puts aside everything in life as secondary, no matter how dear, for the sake of the kingdom of God, he or she shall receive that and more.

Jesus constantly kept his words to be directed toward the kingdom of God, to worship of God, and to God as every man and woman's hope and faith. Notice that whenever Jesus performed a miraculous cure that the recipient praised God, from whom Jesus' power flowed, not Jesus himself and that was the acceptable response. In scripture Jesus orders the leper to the temple to perform the standard sacrifice to God after the leper's cure by Jesus. Jesus continually pointed his followers' attention to God and the goal of worshipping and serving God alone.

This is how you must understand that God and Jesus are perfectly capable, of course, of saving people who worship God and God alone, and who do not realize that they have a relationship with Jesus.

Jesus is like the foreman of God's construction yard, and he observes all the employees of God, even if that employee has never met Jesus nor received his instructions from Jesus directly. Jesus (and God) are perfectly capable of observing the diligent man or woman who serves God faithfully, without even knowing they are being observed by Jesus, nor have received training or instruction from Jesus directly.

Obviously, the more anyone of any faith truly understands and learns about Jesus directly, the more he is drawn to Jesus and thus to God. Jesus is God's ultimate gift to humankind, in order to most easily find their way to God. This is why Jesus is the way, for he illuminates God's truth. It is, however, an error to diminish God's All Knowing and Mercy in any way, however, to take Jesus' role and God's capabilities and limit them to some sort of "accept Jesus or else" litmus test. God is All Knowing and Merciful and he sees, knows, recognizes and rewards his faithful servants. If through circumstance a person does not realize that he has a relationship with and through Jesus Christ, this does not make God unable to see the righteousness, justice and sanctity in that person's heart, for God's seeing is not at all limited in any way.

"Things that are impossible with men are possible with God."

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides" (Matthew 6:33).

"Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:38).

Having said all of this, I must strongly caution you against disowning Jesus, against denying or defaming him. What I have written about above is about people who are obedient to God but through circumstances beyond their control do not have a relationship that they are aware of with Jesus. Many Christians do not understand that Muslims DO have a relationship with Jesus, for he is an esteemed Messiah of the Jewish people, born of the Virgin, given authority by God, and ascended into heaven, as documented in the Qur'an.

People who have to worry are those who do not serve God and who directly defame Jesus.

"Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I in turn will disown him before my Father in heaven," (Matthew 10:32-33).

However, the work of Jesus in promoting the kingdom of God reaches all:

"The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and buried in three measure of flour, until all of it was leavened" (Matthew 13:33).

Young people (hi!) and those who do not understand cooking and thus this parable. Yeast is added to flour in order to make it rise into what can be baked as a loaf of bread. Jesus is saying that the action of heaven (like yeast) reaches the entire amount of flour, even though there is more flour in quantity than yeast. The woman who buries the yeast (mixes it) spreads the active ingredient, the yeast, sufficiently so that it reacts with the entire flour. Likewise the kingdom of heaven reaches out to the entire world, through specific points, no matter how small, of active agency. The objective is to have rise the entire loaf of bread, hence, all peoples, accept the kingdom of heaven and be saved.

And they went and entered a Samaritan town to make ready for him, and they did not receive him... when his disciples.... saw this, they said, "Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them, saying, "You do not know of what manner of spirit you are; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And they went to another village (Luke 9:54-56).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cussing, cursing, oaths, etc sin or not?

I'm not really in a mood to be blogging today on Sunday, but this topic came up in Sunday school and once again I'm dismayed how little people understand both the Bible (the scriptures itself) and the human context/human history and actual usage that God is talking about (directly, through his prophets, or though Jesus Christ).

The discussion starts with the problem of taking the Lord's name in vain, and how that is prohibited. Yes, it is a sin to do so, and a breaking of one of the Commandments.

Here is the problem: thousands of years later, people have come to think that either cussing or potty mouth is what God meant. Now, this is a very recent misunderstanding because as recently as our great grandparents they certainly understood the original meaning of God's word on this matter.

When I was in school, and believe you me, I did not attend some fancy expensive highly accredited school system, they taught a great deal about what life was like through human history, including patterns of speech. Further, Christians used to understand quite a bit about Jewish thought and times (when the Bible took place, duh), but lately even the basics are lacking. So I'm going to share with you a high level gloss of the line of faith and reasoning that is missing today. It all hinges on trusting the Bible as it is and as it was intended by God, including understanding what people actually were doing "back then" when God was addressing them and admonishing them.

Let's start with what they did not do. Neither Jews nor most of the ancient world used "potty mouth." It would not even occur to them to do so. Thus God is not talking about things like scatological or sexual "cussing." (Let's use the word "cussing" to cover the whole gamut of coarse language, including both potty mouth and those that use God's name casually in exclamations). People did not "cuss" the way they do in the last century for a number of reasons, and they most certainly did not do so during the time of Moses (Commandments) up through the time of Jesus Christ, and also into medieval times. We know that because there is extensive documentation, both religious and secular to study.

The basic two reasons that people did not cuss is 1) it would not even occur to them, since poo, pee, and sex acts did not even have that taint by which someone would utter an exclamation and 2) people of all level of society were much less coarse in their speech than they have been in the past fifty years or so of human history. So God did not have to "worry about" telling people not to drop the "f-bomb" or to exclaim "sh**" since it would not even cross someone's mind to do so!
It's like today, would it occur to anyone to potty mouth someone by yelling "flour, flour, flour" at them? I mean, think about it. Back then people had no hang ups about either pooping or peeing and certainly not about sex. They wanted modesty, yes, but it never occurred to them that they could insult or vent by shouting potty mouth cuss words on that subject to each other.

So you cannot claim that scripture refers to either the "f-bomb" or sexual acts, or scatological acts, when the Lord's name being used in vain is prohibited.

OK, got that? Now, the second thing most people retreat to is then thinking, well, if it is not the f-bomb or poo/pee/sex cussing that God is referring to in his Law, well, then using his name in vain must mean any mention of God's name in a casual way, or exclamation, or in any way except to praise him or to discuss his teachings. You are getting closer, but that is still an error. How do we know that? Again, you must look at linguistics and what people were actually saying then. People did not do, for the same reasons I mentioned (both it would not occur to them plus societal decorum) to exclaim in surprise or anger using God's name. What people do today, such as exclaiming using the name of God or Jesus Christ, and which is such concern to many of the devout was simply not what folks were doing in Biblical times at all.

Thus, when someone dropped something, or balled out someone else, they neither shouted "sh**" nor did they exclaim "G-d, you are clumsy!" People's minds and speech simply did not work that way. So yes, while casual usage of God's name is in poor taste, it is also not the sin that God is referring to.

Doubters and haters, ha, I know you are out there so let me demonstrate what I mean so you understand I am not saying this, but simply helping you to recall what your ancestors knew.

Look at the case study of someone who shouts at a co-worker who drops something valuable on the floor, and it breaks, and yells, "God, you are clumsy!" The devout might think that is an example of taking the Lord's name in vain. It is not. Why? Because it is shorthand for what people used to say, which is "As God is my witness, you are clumsy!" Read any literature of previous devout times and you will understand that. When people exclaim using the name God, they are calling upon God as a witness. That is not using God's name in vain. What is it? A lack of charity, ha. The presumably clumsy co-worker does not need you implying that God is also noticing how clumsy he or she was in that instance! It is not "cussing," "cursing," or "using God's name in vain" to mention God, as people most commonly do, in such types of exclamations. It is a shorthand for thousands of years of speech where people frequently exclaimed "As God is my witness....[fill in the blank]...." and now they just yell (or sigh) "God.....[fill in the blank]." It may be tacky and it may be offensive and it may demonstrate a real lack in charity, but it is not using God's name in vain, as it is acknowledging, even casually, God's reality as being constantly in witness of all that is done and said, or thought in one's mind or one's heart.

So how do we know what God really meant by the prohibition of using his name in vain? Whenever one is in doubt, do two things. One is observe what people were actually saying and doing throughout history and then secondly, trust Jesus (the red letters in the Bible) to explain it to you.

What were people doing in the Biblical times when God spoke? How were they either doing so or tempted to take the Lord's name in vain?

1. They were tempted to be false prophets, claiming to speak the word of God when they were not his authorized agents, so to speak, to use a modern term. For thousands of years people who claimed that God spoke or managed actions and deeds through them, but were not genuine prophets or Holy Spirit "guided" were, indeed, "taking the name of the Lord in vain." They were claiming authority in his name that they did not have. This, by the way, is the using the name of the Lord in vain format that the disciples thought the man who was not "one of us" but who was casting out demons' in Jesus' name was guilty of. Jesus then told them that this person was not doing a wrong thing because all he is doing is bearing witness to the authority of the name of Jesus, and thus cannot be against him.

2. They were tempted to combine God's name with other pagan and occult beliefs. That was a tremendous problem then and now. That is taking God's name in vain. (Humorous but serious example for today's times so you understand: "God would not have invented astrology if it wasn't meant to be used.") That, my friends, which I have heard people say, is taking the name of the Lord in vain big time.

3. They were tempted to make solemn promises (also called oaths), for either "good" reasons or bad reasons, using God's name. This is the form of using God's name in vain that Jesus Christ put the serious smack down on, exhorting people to never make such oaths or promises, ever, ever, EVER.

OK, now that you understand the three forms of speech that one might query regarding if they are or are not what God meant by using the name of God in vain, let's look at an actual example of Christian use of God's name in vain through history and how they wiggled around it.

After the death of Jesus Christ there was no more solemn vow that a Christian could make than on the wounds of Jesus (the wounds he suffered in the Passion and Crucifixion). Very unwise to do so, but I am now just teaching history. Prior to Jesus the most solemn vow or oath a person could make was with the most Holy Name of God (exactly what God prohibits). After Jesus died and resurrected, Christians realized that the wounds of Jesus were the most visible manifestation of God's power on earth. Those who are tempted to either vow or "cuss" therefore transferred the object of their temptation from the Holy Name of God to the Wounds of Jesus.

Example (easily found in early English literature): "By the wounds of Jesus I will....[fill in the blank]" and/or "By God's wounds I will.... [fill in the blank]."

You see the difference? These are hair raisingly presumptuous and directly against what both God and Jesus said to do. "God, you are clumsy" is mild (God as witness) compared to "By God's wounds you are clumsy" or "By God's wounds I am going to slay you for being insolent to my sister."

So Christians are demonstrated in English literature and actual documentation as taking the name of God in vain by using reference to the wounds of Jesus Christ.

Realizing that, people started shortening the offensive and sinful reference to "God's wounds" to the expression "'swounds.'" They figured by not actually saying the name of God they are cool. They aren't, but that's what they figured. Again, if you look in someone's heart (which God most certainly can do), saying "God, you are clumsy" today is much less offensive and not a sin of using the name of the Lord in vain than someone in the medieval times saying "'swounds," even though God's name is not actually used in that version! This is because in one's heart and mind one is still profaning the sacred nature of the wounds of Jesus by linking them to one's everyday deeds or speech, even without saying either the words "Jesus" or "God."

Further trying to keep the right to use God's name in vain, but not actually use the word God, "'swounds" became "zounds." You see that a lot, too, in even recent English literature, up to modern times. Do a google search on 'swounds and zounds and you will observe these facts and can read more. You can also find similar origins in archaic expressions such as "egads."

Shakespeare, in Hamlet, I guess, uses the "'swounds" expression.

That, my friends, is taking the Lord's name in vain.

I hope that you have found this helpful.