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.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

China earthquakes

There's been an earthquake with many casualties in Tibetan populated China. Several years ago when there was a massive earthquake in China, some people gloated (incredible!) that is was some sort of "karma" (which is phony) "for Tibet."

Who will gloat today about the poor in the Tibetan city who received the brunt of this earthquake?

God will not be mocked.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Glory to God, not pride, the path to safety

The world is an unsafe place, ever since Adam and Eve sinned their way out of God's perfect protection of Eden. It does not matter how "good" or "wicked" you are, nor what your intentions are behind your deeds, or your motivations behind your thoughts or actions, nor what religion or not that you are, and certainly not how "gifted" or "enlightened" you think you are. The world remains an unsafe place because mishaps and death are a fact of life.

Having said that, the one way to be the safest possible in a physically unsafe world is to use one yardstick, one measure, in all your thoughts and deeds, and even your day to day actions. Do not do anything unless you dedicate your action to the greater glory of God first and foremost. If you do something based on your own pride, you are more vulnerable to mishaps and death.

Pride causes people to take chances that they do not need to risk. Pride causes people to crave money, power and media attention with public adulation. Pride causes companies and governments to not have the correct attention to the correct risks, dangers and problems that they and other people face. Pride causes people to mistrust other people's good advice.

Proverbs 16:18

Proverbs 18:12

If you pause before anything that you do, and ask yourself just very quickly, "Is God glorified in what I am about to do, or am I about to do something based on pride?" I guarantee that while death and mishaps still will occur, one's priorities will be more correct and many mishaps will be avoided.

I hope that you have found this helpful.

Sirach 6:16-18
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds; for he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself. My son, from your youth embrace discipline; thus will you find wisdom with graying hair.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goeth before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 18:12
Before his downfall a man's heart is haughty, but humility goes before honors.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

understanding spiritual warfare

I understand that many passages in scriptures have the power of sounding like a succinct rallying call, one that "cuts to the chase" and inspires people. However, you have to be very cautious about any particular scripture passage being your "motto," your "vow" (remember, Jesus most strongly warned against making any vows before God, ANY, no matter how worthy appearing) or having a passage be like your Cliff Notes (study summary) that gives you a "bottom line" for your spiritual life. The reason I am writing this is that I know many are fascinated with much of what Paul wrote, particularly Ephesians 6:10-18. (I'm not going to type it out because if you look it up yourself you really should read the whole short chapter 6 to have it in context).

Here's the problem. Whenever someone extracts one saying from the Bible, one is in danger of doing a transplant from the common understanding of the Bible authors and participants to the people of the time (which is what God intended) to reworking those quotes into a modern context.

First, a silly example for a smile. Suppose the Bible wrote about whales traveling in pods and how important it is to be like whales and travel in pods. Some modern people might think, "Whoa! The Bible is saying to always carry your IPods!" Yeah, I'm being silly but I want you to right up front understand what I mean about transplanting a valid scripture, but said in a certain understanding (that all observant Jews who were the early Christians, especially Paul, well understood about God and human life) into a modern cultural set of blinders that has trimmed away much of the richness of understanding of what they wrote about and lived within.

OK, so here is the problem with passages like Ephesians 6:10-18 taken out of context. Paul is writing about the need to "arm" one's self in spiritual combat, against the dark forces that rule earth. He is of course entirely correct. However, people of his time (and your own Christian and Jewish ancestors, and the Muslims too) would have understood this the way it was intended, and not the way moderns would view it. You see, moderns want "bad guys," especially "bad guy aliens" or "good guy superheroes." So many moderns see Eph 6:10-18 as validation that evil spirits walk the earth and manipulate people. Often moderns then view this as permission to shun or harm those they think are "on the other side." I mean, war has two sides, right? Combat is "against" someone, right?

OK, now, slam on the brakes. Who wrote this scripture? Where was the war at? How did Paul "know" there's a battle with dark spirits on one side against the good guys?

Well, here's the bombshell of understanding you have all forgotten. Paul was on "both sides." Paul was a Jew, a highly observant Jew, but he was also a Roman citizen. Ta da! When you forget that you have total misunderstanding of what Paul means as combat. Romans had enslaved the Jews. Paul "belonged" to both sides, as he was both a highly religious Jew (the slave) and a highly placed and favored Roman citizen being prepared for high secular office (the slave owner).

Remember, Jesus was crucified because he would not lead an armed rebellion (using his miracles as firepower) on behalf of the Jews against the Romans. Jesus was not crucified because he did not "wrestle....against principalities,...rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places..." This is why Paul emphasizes WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD (Eph 6:12).


Notice too that when he writes about battling principalities, powers, rules of darkness and spiritual darkness and spiritual wickedness, he is speaking of battling SIN and FAITHLESSNESS. He is not speaking of battling either evil "spirits" in the way that people think of them today NOR is he speaking of declaring a group of people (like Romans, the hot enemy at the time) as being either demonic or flesh and blood enemies. No one is more qualified to role model and speak of that than PAUL, who was both well placed Roman citizen AND Jewish/now Christian oppressed.

Paul did not stop being Roman and renounce it for Christianity. Duh, read the scripture, as he invoked his Roman rights to trial throughout his ministry and died in Rome (via the means of death given to Romans, the sword, not crucifixion, like Peter suffered.) Paul did not say, "Hey, crucify me just like the Lord was." He took advantage of being Roman elite right to the end and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, because he stayed alive longer to get the Gospel spread through his Evangelizing without being hypocritical.

So people well understood Paul's words in Ephesians and elsewhere as the battle being against the dark forces of SINS and UNBELIEF, not against evil "spirits" the way moderns think of them, or one group of humans against the other. Paul was against the bad spirituality (to use the modern terms) that is festering and spread in high places and principalities (places of authority, both secular and religious) via sin, hypocrisy and disbelief. Paul did not go to Rome to fight "against" them in "combat" to "defeat them." Paul went, like Peter, to Rome to defeat spiritual darkness (paganism and corruption) and CONVERT THEM. Spiritual combat aims at conversion, NOT fighting imaginary sources of power. No imagination is needed about the source of darkness if you read the scriptures and I don't mean just Satan. So I now need to explain the second part of this confusion, and let's use another example.

Let's use HIV/Aids disease as an example. No, I'm not causing grief by using this example but rather it is a perfect example to study. Sometime in the past century, scientists have a good idea but of course will never know exactly, the virus jumped from simian species like chimps onto a single human being. It then modified and changed as it adjusted to being in a human body and became the disease we are all too familiar with today.

So my first point is that Adam and Eve were the origin of the first sin, which was disobedience to God per temptation by Satan. Adam and Eve were tempted to "know as much as God," so to speak, so they ate the apple so they could know what evil was like. (There was nothing in the apple by the way. It was the sheer act of disobedience to the all good and loving God that opened their eyes to evil. I mean, if they had kicked God in the shins they would have also gotten the same info, the same 411, about good and evil because just being mean and disobedient to God is the initiation into sin and evil).

Now, once HIV/Aids jumped the one time to a human, it does not need to rejump from ape to human with each person who is infected, I mean, duh, right? Same with the flu or common cold. It does not need to be reinvented each time someone gets sick with cold or flu, right? Likewise is spiritual darkness. Satan only had to tempt Eve and her take it to Adam, and Satan can sit back in his lawn chair and watch. So when Satan is "at work" or there is spiritual darkness, it is not Satan running around reinventing temptation with each generation of each human being. Like Aids, it is out there and people spread it through contact with each other.

To misunderstand Ephesians 6 is like what happened with demonizing specific groups who suffer from HIV/Aids. Every type of person gets HIV/Aids, yet certain groups (like gay men) became demonized as the "causes." When one views Ephesians 6 in the wrong way, one is tempted to do likewise, to nominate yourself as the "clean" and "clear" "spirit warrior," and to thus thrust on the "other side" the "dark principalities" role and that is totally false to what Paul said AND LIVED.

Paul, following in Jesus' path, was condemning the unseen darkness of sin, disbelief, hypocrisy, spiritual slavery and corruption, while at the same time dampening down the tendencies to want flesh and blood warfare which he (as a persecutor) had also succumbed to, which is to kill the "enemy" in bodily form.

So Paul's inspiring words must be correctly understood as being against the dark invisible powers of sin, hypocrisy, corruption and disbelief, and not against invisible cartoon absurd imaginary "spirits" like so many modern dopes believe.

How to understand spiritual combat? Read about sin in the Bible. Start with these passages BY PAUL in 2 Timothy.

2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil-doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. (Paul is saying he is treated like a bad guy, even put into prison, but despite what is done to him God's truth cannot be imprisoned).
2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.
2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

I put 2:26 in bold italics because that's the heart of it. Satan has set the original snare and that is the combat, to EVADE THAT SNARE. Satan has no need to run around inventing new snares and sending evil spirits to go after each person in each generation, duh. That is the combat, to recover themselves (pull themselves out of the snare that, like slavery, humans are born into through sin and continual temptation.)

3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(Notice that Paul is referring to scriptures still being needed, and that is OLD TESTAMENT scriptures, as New Testament didn't exist yet as Paul wrote this).
3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

What is the remedy, the "armor," the "combat" that Paul orders, to deal with the worsening evil of humans over time (3:13)? Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament for wisdom, and as the training path toward perfected humans into obedient goodness to God. PAUL ENDORSES NO OTHER APPROACH OR WAY.

4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

You have to read page after page after page of what Paul truly instructs before one can enjoy, be inspired by, understand, and "follow" the much loved punch lines of Eph 6:10-18.

Here is further reading to understand the dark power is sin and disobedience, not imaginary sci fi aliens or evil spirits etc.

Separates from God Isa 59:2
Its wages: death Rom 6:23
Begets moral cowardice Josh 7:11-13
Hardens the heart Heb 3:13
Is very destructive Ps 34:21
Caused Israel's downfall 2 Chr 28:22-23
Causes misery Job 15:20
Brings reproach Prov 14:34
Enslaves the will 2 Tim 3:13
Excludes from heaven 1 Cor 6:9, 10
The forgiven warned "not to continue in sin" John 5:14, John 8:11, Rom 6:12
All have sinned Rom 3:23
All have gone astray Isa 53:6
To claim sinlessness is to lie Prov 20:9, 1 John 1:8-10
Jesus alone without sin 1 Pet 2:21-22
Through Satan's deception and subtlety Gen 3:1-13, 2 Cor 11:3
In the heart Matt 15:18, 19
Through lust of flesh James 1:13-15
Against the Holy Ghost Matt 12:31-32
Is destructive Prov 11:3
Is inexcusable John 15:22
Man obdurate in sin Amos 4:6-11

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

charity example

Here is a follow up to the understanding faith, hope and charity and other concepts post, under label "saved by hope." I thought of this example of how to explain plainly through analogy the error in looking for copying human "role models" of the concepts of faith, hope and charity.

Suppose that you spot a person you think is really charitable and you decide to role model after him. He pays for the building of a hospital wing dedicated to some branch of medicine, such as child care, acute care, cancer, cardiology, etc. So you figure that if you raise money for a hospital wing that you are copying the "best in charity you could find." Logical but wrong. Here is why.

1) If everyone starts to copy the same concepts of charity, they are less likely to be listening to what one's own calling from God truly is.

2) You have no way of knowing what is really going on inside a person. Their outward charitable events are often the worst way to judge a person's innards. How do I know that? Heaven, according to Jesus, is packed with poor people, not those who do "good deeds" or human based charity.

How to apply this to scripture? Well, think about lepers, who are mentioned frequently in the Bible as being unclean (for a variety of reasons, including being contagious). But here's my point. Can you understand how people of the Bible, if they had misunderstood charity, might have poured all their money into charitable works aimed at lepers? There would be a leper hospital on every block. And yet medicine eventually overcame this disease. If people do the charitable copy cat thing they stop working on 1) the actual problem that requires charity and 2) their relationship with God, which all charity is actually directed on behalf of.

Suppose the Bible authors were busy building leper hospitals instead of writing the scripture? Maybe some Apostles would take a few hours a day away from Jesus while he was alive in order to "donate their charitable time at the local leper hospital?"

You see the point? I thought so.

understanding faith, hope, charity & other concepts

I love when I hear people discuss the scripture, especially when they have a restored joy in their actual understanding. However, I am dismayed when a fundamental error continues to take place. So here is the error and how to avoid it.

The error: You correctly understand from the scriptures that God instructs that one must have faith, hope and charity. You get that part just fine. However, you then try to understand "how" to apply faith, hope, charity and etc. by looking at fellow human "role models." That is so fundamentally wrong.

For example, you look around you for people that you think have a "lot" of "good" faith, and or a "lot" of "good" hope, and or a "lot" of "good" charity, and then you try to copy them. There is a breakdown of both faith and reasoning when you do that. The first is that God is speaking of divine faith, hope and charity, not human based faith, hope and charity. So you misunderstand what God speaks of if you think human faith fully explains what God means by faith, that human hope fully explains what God means by hope, and or that human charity fully explains what God means by charity.

Quickly I will give examples of how in scriptures you know that is an error. Jesus points out the loudly praying Pharisee as a hypocrite (comparing him to the quietly humble publican who is praying for forgiveness). Yet in those times many people would have used that arrogant Pharisee as the "biblically accurate role model for faith." The odds are that if you are looking at someone who is highly visible in their faith that you are open to being misled inadvertently because you short circuit developing your own faith based directly on what the Bible instructs and speaks to your own heart, because you truncate your understanding by studying only a human who may or may not be actually a "role model of faith."

Second, "hope" means hope of being saved, not hoping for the things that humans "hope for," whether those are good things or not. I will hone in on helping you to understand that by writing more about it below. But to make the general first point Paul states that hope is for eternal life, and you need to notice that no one describes hope as being directed toward any earthly event or object, regardless how worthy it might be to hope for, in a human context. Biblical "hope" is reserved for salvation alone.

Third, "charity" is a highly individual concept, and cannot be viewed as "works," "acts" or some sort of heavenly accounting. How do we know that? Because if you read the Beatitudes you understand that tons of really poor people are in heaven, and if you think about that, how many poor people can really do "works" of charity? Most are lucky to feed their own children. Obviously middle class and wealthy people are very tempted to fall over the stumbling block of thinking that the more you "have" the more you can "give away in charity" and thus the more "works of merit" and "good deeds" you earn. Wrong! Remember Luke 16 where that rich guy ends up in hell not because he was not a worthy Jew and probably did all the right things, including charity, but he didn't help the ONE man that God wanted to help.

I'm going to copy a list from the index of my Bible of hope related passages. Sometimes reading an index or a table of contents really conveys the point succinctly and holistically. So here it is and then I will discuss some of the specifics. But I can well imagine that you will get my point after simply reading this index!

A gift of God 2 Thess 2 16
Saved by Rom 8 25
Should abound in Rom 15 13
Called "blessed" Titus 2 13
Inspires holiness 1 John 3 3
Helmet of salvation 1 Thess 5 8
Given by Scriptures Rom 15 4
A heavenly treature Col 1 5
For eternal life Titus 1 2
An abiding principle 1 Cor 13 13
Leads to patience Rom 8 25
Is not seen Rom 8 24
Of Christians, in death Prov 14 32
Deferred, makes the heart sick Prov 13 12
Prisoners of Zech 9 12
"Hope against hope" Rom 4 18
Maketh not ashamed Rom 5 5
Anchor of the soul Heb 6 19
Assures immortality Acts 24 15
Of wicked, shall perish Prov 11 7
Christians rejoice in Rom 12 12
Give a reason for 1 Pet 3 15
A triumphant Rom 8 38,39
A living 1 Pet 1 3
Amid trials 2 Cor 4 8

Here is the list for "hopelessness":

State of unbelievers Eph 2 12
Caused by apostasy Jer 2 25
Caused by affliction Job 17 15
The cure for Isa 49 13-16

You see the problem? None of these scriptures refer to either earthly hope (such as "hoping" that something will happen) or to role modeling people who seem "hopeful" aka optimistic, perky, uplifting, etc. People who are hopeful in an earthly sense are optimists about earthly things, and that may or may not be wise or appropriate, but teaches you nothing about God's concept of hope, which is only directed toward salvation and being close to God.

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

You see, Paul is explaining one thing you might wonder in the list of scriptures of "hope" that I provided from my bible above. Why are so few Old Testament scriptures about "hope?" Because when the people of Israel lived within a theocracy (a king appointed and anointed by God and the Jews lived entirely within God's instructions and word) then they "have God," they are not "without God in the world." That's by the way why there is few references to hell or heaven for that matter in the Old Testament. The Israelites were a people of God, saved, or fallen away, as a whole. That does not mean that individual people are not judged by God on death, of course (Luke 16). But when one lives in a nation founded by God and compliant to God's will, then one does not need hope per se because one is living within the hope that God established for them. Christians, however, had to find their own hope individually as they went out into the world from the safety of the Old Covenant and into the assured, but invisible, New Covenant with God.

So Paul is explaining here that someone who is foreign to (not native of, and thus the word "alien" which does not mean imaginary space visitors) God's community, which was previously Israel and the Jews, is new to the concept of hope and, indeed, had been living in ignorance without hope.

In the Old Testament, therefore, you can now understand that hopelessness is not a state as moderns think of being pessimistic, being depressed, losing expectations of gaining some earthly object or event, but of being estranged from God and or thus risking loss of salvation.

Jeremiah 2:25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst, but thou saidst, There is no hope: no, for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.

When one abandons the true God for imaginary strange gods and concepts, then one loses hope through apostasy, whether one realizes it or not, or whether one goes through the motions of outward obedience or not.

Job 17:15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?

Job has lost everything he had. But he is not hoping for restoration of his goods. He realizes that he had been blessed by God and now for some reason unknown to him (Satan) is unjustly estranged from God. So Job wonders where God is because God is his hope.

Isaiah 50:13-16

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands thy walls are continually before me.

By the way, this passage about hope never mentions the word hope. This is one critical reason you must not rely on just looking up occurrences of certain words representing concepts you are researching in the Bible, because many times there is a wealth of information that is NOT actually mentioning the one word you are thinking about!!!!!!!!!! You learn about "hope" by reading the whole Bible (imagine that) rather than assuming hope is "discussed" or "explained" only where the translated word "hope" appears, like this is a legal text or a big old dictionary! The entire Bible is about "hope!"

God is saying that his people should rejoice in him, even in their misery of earth, because he has not forgotten them (unlike nursing mothers some of whom actually do neglect their children!) That is what is truly meant by God's hope.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Notice Paul does two things that are crucial. He explains that hope is found in the scriptures, reading, studying and following the scriptures using patience and for comfort. But he also continues to role model as hope being a work in progress, not a slam dunk assurance that someone has in their pocket! This is why he phrases it as "we...might have hope." None of the Apostles, including with them Paul, ever misleads people into thinking that "hope" means anything but forward looking hopefulness, not something that once gotten is never lost and never needs to be continually worked upon.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breast-plate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

OK, how many of you in sports who use a helmet take your helmet off after wearing it once and saying "Hey, I wore the helmet once, and I own one, so I don't need to wear it every time I race." Um, that would be dumb. A helmet needs to be worn all the time, not just "owned" but put in a closet. Likewise hope is an ongoing condition where one wears it as a helmet, just as one covers the chest with the breast plate of faith and love.

Why does Paul use this imagery? Faith and love (charity) are matters of the heart (the chest). Hope is a matter for the head (the brain, for thinking and remembering through logic).

I hope this has helped and do read the other scriptures I've listed. Understand that this is how to understand holistically a singular concept such as hope.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Reason you must NOT consider suicide

This is for all of you who have had those thoughts, or who may know someone who feels or has felt this way.... and it is also for those of you who have never considered suicide, but might one day out of the blue be thrust into such thoughts.

I'm not going to list the usual reasons NOT to do so, to take one's own life regardless of the reasons. I am, however, going to tell you one FACT that should deter you from doing so.

Regardless of how hopeless your situation may seem, when you meet God in judgment, you will see how you could have handled the situation with perfectly clear eyes through God himself. In other words, if while alive you felt desperate, like in a maze with no exit, God will show you exactly how the exit would have been shown to you out of your dilemma and despair.

I've blogged about this before, about how if only Judas Iscariot had held onto life for three more days, he would have seen the Resurrected Christ and have sought forgiveness.

When you are judged by God, whether you are taken to heaven or sent to hell, you realize not only that there was a way to cope with your situation, no matter how hopeless or painful and, further, that even if you felt the most worthless person who ever lived, how someone in the present or the future would have needed you very much. Each and every person can save their own physical life and thus, through God, be open to Him saving his or her eternal soul also.

DO NOT BAIL OUT. Trust God and genuinely open your heart to Him and Him alone.

I hope this helps.

Through His Holy Name.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday & Easter Thought

If you want to honestly proclaim yourself a God believing and honoring man or woman, boy or girl, and if in particular you wish to manifest your proclamation of Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior, consider the following, on this Good Friday and Easter celebration.

Just because someone declares you to be his or her enemy, you do not have to nor should you declare the other person your enemy in return. Jesus did not.

Plenty of people have declared me (behind my back) their "enemy" because they believe in a totally messed up world view of reincarnation, evil aliens sneaking around, and "payback" and vengeance for real or imagined wrongs. I've never considered even a single one of those people my enemy in turn.

Sin is the enemy, not the people themselves. No matter what a person does to you or if he or she goes so far as declaring you an "enemy," there is no reason for you to accept the invitation to mutual enmity.

The longer someone is your enemy in a one sided enemy relationship, the further he, she or they as a group walk further and further away from God and their own salvation. If you remain just and righteous, believing only in God and fore swearing enmity and malice, you will in turn move closer to closer to God.

Do not proclaim yourself a believer in God and a follower of Jesus Christ and then, in turn, accept invitations (or worse, be tempted to issue) declarations of enmity or even withholding of blessings and prayers for the other side's betterment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Opinion about Lebanese sorcery man

I see the news story about the Lebanese man condemned to death for sorcery in Saudi Arabia.
Here is my opinion.

1. Despite opinions of secularists the death penalty for sorcery-in and of itself-is not surprising or inappropriate in a theocracy. Republics and other forms of government must remember that theocracies are a reality and should be respected if one is truly "open minded" and "liberated." Thus a theocracy is entitled to put to death those convicted of sorcery.

2. However, I am troubled by the lack of evidence that this Lebanese man entered Saudi Arabia and conducted sorcery. If he did not commit sorcery in the boundaries of Saudi Arabia then he cannot be judged guilty under Saudi Arabian religious law.

3. Further, knowing his identity, when he entered SA to attend Muslim religious observance, SA authorities should have used the opportunity to cordially dialogue to determine if perhaps he was having second thoughts about his sorcerous activities in Lebanon. In other words, this was an evangelizing opportunity, perhaps, of someone seeking to return to mainstream Muslim belief.

4. If he seemed to attempt to enter to cause trouble, he should have been turned back. As the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques SA would have the right to turn away a Muslim who wants to spread heresy or other trouble under the guise of Hajj or religious pilgrimage.

5. Thus without evidence that he came to SA in order to conduct sorcery, and was, perhaps, there to examine his own conscience, I recommend commuting the sentence, deporting him, and forbidding him re-entry unless orthodox Muslim authority approves his future intentions.

Allah is both All Knowing and Merciful.