i have been to India, a place with a billion people, and almost that many idols (gods).  Their gods say you are reincarnated so whats the big deal.  Do good you move up the chain, do bad you move down.  It’s like fate, so who am I to interfere?  I’ve been to Russia where the state is their idol (god).  The government knows what is best and who am I to interfere.  In Europe  it’s the same only the state does a better job till they run out of OPM.  In Islam, god is impersonal and just demands obedience. Toe the line or else (think ISIS, Al Quid a, Taliban).

 America is a lot that way, with fewer people.  Most of us just call our idol Jesus.  They worship trees, and rocks, and statues and the government and Allah.  We worship prosperity, or the environment, or social justice, or free love, our families, or our work, and our Jesus tells us that He will bless us if we follow the plan that we proof text out of scripture.  And we also become like what we worship.  Others are not blessed because they don’t worship Our god.  Or our god will punish them in the end for not toeing the line, Just like Vishnu, and Allah, and the Government.

Jesus said love God, love your neighbor, trust in Me.  Do that and you may be like what you worship.

Just the basics

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

God is real

 Jesus rose from the dead

 If it not by “grace alone” we are SOL

Shame

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Shelby said that in Africa they don’t focus on guilt and grace but on shame and honor. Shame is a much better word for what we feel than guilt. There are a lot of things we do that we feel guilty about, but if others could read our mind oh the shame. Makes me tremble to think about it.

God can read our minds and there is no honor in that. Thank God for grace, so they got it half right, it’s shame and grace. The only honor is imputed.

Can the church serve

Posted: September 25, 2013 in religion

Is it possible for the church (little c, you know, the one you go to with a pastor, choir director, youth pastor, secretaries, etc) to minister to the hurting? The church is an institution, and as an institution can do a lot of good for groups of people. But the church (little c) does not have a soul. It is a group of people who have come together for a common purpose. Hurting people don’t have a common problem, they have a very real and personal problem that may be common to a lot of other hurting people, but that does not make it any less personal. Only individuals can serve individuals in a meaningful way (with true brotherly love and compassion).

What the church can do is foster a culture of loving individuals loving on other people who are hurting. That is the real Church, the bride of Christ.

Prayer

Posted: September 22, 2013 in religion
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How does prayer work (if it works at all)?
When we pray does the HG say to JC “this is a good idea, WAY better than ours,take it to Big G and see if He likes it Better than what He was going to do anyway”.

Or does God thru His foreknowledge and omniscience already know our prayers and has already answered them thru His providential plan, using them to strengthen and affirm our faith.

Hell

Posted: September 14, 2013 in religion
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What if?
What if hell is where god extends His mercy based on performance not grace. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. What we consider common grace extended according to our deeds. you get what you deserve. You really can work yourself into heaven, you just haven’t tried hard enough. How long would that take?

Powers and authorities

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Colossians 2:15
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

We normally see powers and authorities as institutions. These can be the “Government”, agencies like the IRS or police, the press, or the “Church”, etc. what distinguishes them is that they classify people into groups rather than individuals, and then exercise authority over them as individuals.

“Powers and authorities” is not only them, it is us. We identify with a group, be it our friends, our church, our fellow workers, or ourselves as authoritarian superiors. And as a group we exert authority and power over others. It doesn’t matter wether the “other” recognizes our power, we see it and experience it, and there is the sin. Lets say a group of hourly employees sit around and gripe about management, this is exercising there power over others if only as character assassination. If we stereotype someone we are placing ourselves in a privileged group at the expense of others outside the group. (i.e. skinny people look down on fat people,everyone looks down on homeless people, etc).

Mark 10:42
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Mark 10:43
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

We need to first see everyone as an individual created in the image of God with dignity by virtue of their being human. We should try to empathize with them (singular) in their circumstances. We should acknowledge our own fallen state and the multitude of sin in our lives. Only then are we able to help with the speck in their (our brother/neighbors) eye. We cannot do this as a part of the institution, only as an individual.