I have been called a heretic (by Catholics twice) with the implication that I have spoken in error. That is the generally accepted meaning of the term, but it is not the etymological meaning. Strong’s definition of the Greek word translated as heresy in the New Testament is, hairesis (G139), meaning “a choice” as in a group, thus implying “disunion”. It is derived from aihreomai (G138) which means to take for one’s self or prefer. It is also translated as “sect”. It does not mean error or being wrong. Thayer’s definition includes the idea of capturing or forcing others to a group. Biblical heresy means one thing: creating division in the body of Christ so that separate camps are set up and the unity of love towards all believers is undermined. Read the rest of this entry →
Archive for the ‘The Church’
I just finished reading and collating into a PDF book, Arthur Koestler’s 1976 manuscript entitled, “The Thirteenth Tribe.” There are many websites that speak of the Khazar Jews and their history, but this book best explains the story. Koestler is a Hungarian Jew, which makes him a Khazar Jew, as well. His work is not a condemnation but an honest look at world wide Jewry, which divides into 10% Sephardic (i.e., Spanish) and 90% Ashkenazi (i.e., Russian), of which those Ashkenazi Jews are Khazars from the gentile tribe descended from Japheth and not Shem. Koestler draws upon original and second hand manuscripts from Arabic, Jewish, Russian, Byzantium, Spanish and English documents. The Khazars come from the Russian steppes of Turkmenistan and settled between the Black and Caspian Seas, which today is Georgia and Ukraine.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1 & 2
We are all influenced by the world and the way of thinking of the world. For many Americans this is the result of government education, corporate advertising, media propaganda and the various disciplines of science that has established themselves as the gods of our age. Therefore our reading of the Bible tends to be influenced by these worldly influences and it takes deliberate effort to discern the truth of Scripture. Reading the Bible alone will not transform your mind. There are thousands of Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons who do not know Christ. Renewing our minds come from reading the Bible by spiritual discernment.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.(1Co 2:14 & 15)
Legalism is the heart of natural thinking. Legalism is the means of self-justification. James tells us that if we break one commandment we have broken them all (James 2:10). But legalism tells us that if we do one good thing, we are good in all things. Through our narrow definition of goodness, we judge others according to our own standard. If we see others fail in one thing, we condemn them as utterly worthless. How unlike our King who believes we are worth saving no matter what we have done. Legalism turns us into hypocrites.
Legalism makes right and wrong a game. Lawyers are a prime example of what I mean. They do not care about what is right or wrong, only what is legal. Natural thinking seeks only for the benefit of self. We are awash in our culture in this kind of thinking.
The influence of natural thinking distorts both our reading of Scriptures and affects the way godly men translate the Scriptures. We need to read the Bible through the eyes of Christ. Since He is the King, we assume he is like a worldly king, and he is not. Jesus does not “rule” by force. He rules by example and is the standard we are to compare ourselves by. Jesus changes us just as a good marriage changes both partners. We love one another in marriage, so defer to one another. We love Jesus and defer to his good example because we want to please him and to be like him. Read the rest of this entry →
Recently I have come to change my mind on the topic of the Rapture. Historically it has been referred to as the “blessed hope” so one does not have to die but be caught up in the air to meet Jesus. In the pre-tribulation time-line the Raptured go to Heaven for a 3 and a half year marriage supper of the Lamb celebration then return with Jesus to stop the Anti-Christ. In the post-tribulation time-line the Raptured meet Jesus in the air then immediately return to stop the Anti-Christ.
My change of mine is not on the time-line, I believe in Post-Tribulation Rapture. Instead, my thinking is on the idea of the “blessed hope”. The Church has put an emphasis on how good it will be to be in the generation that gets to be Raptured. My thinking now is that this is motivated from a fear of death. Read the rest of this entry →
It grieves me to see how the Church has hardened its heart to the root of our societies problems. They complain about the obligatory homosexuals in every show who are portrayed as the wise counsellors of the show. I understand their complaint, for this grieves me as well. But we have become so hardened to the equal perversions of fornicators outside of marriage and the many characters who profess multiple marriages in these same shows. We have forgotten that Jesus said that he who marries another, apart from fornication, commits adultery (Matt. 19:19). We accept without question the serial polygamy of multiple marriages and unwed cohabitation that produces scores of bastards into our society. No one considers that the proliferation of lesbians and homosexuals trying to raise children has its root in divorce. Read the rest of this entry →
When I was a youth the Vietnam War was winding down. When I was of draft age, Nixon had begun the lottery and my number was too high, so I never went. But I remember that many had either fled to Canada or had filed CO, Conscientious Objector. That was a strange concept to me since I did not come to Christ until I was an adult of 32. The C.O. is a basic right of American freedom that had been used by men of faith who refused to violate the teachings of Jesus Christ in harming others.
Since the Vietnam war we have had a multitude of military police actions and wars around the world: Grenada and Panama in 1989; Desert Shield in 1990 then Desert Storm in 1991; Somalia in 1993; Bosnia mid 1990’s; Afghanistan 2001 and on; and Iraq 2003 and on – all called police actions, not wars; World War II being the last war declared by congress.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and observed the Vietnam War protests and the emergence of alternative lifestyles of Berkeley, California. The influence of that era had a stronghold on me that I was unaware. As a new believer in 1985 a friend made it her mission to get me to vote and be patriotic. Her mission was supported by worship music and preaching in the pulpit, so as a new ignorant believer I assumed that she was acting on behalf of the Lord.
During that time I joined the ranks of Christians who believed that supporting the government was patriotic and what “good” Christians do. I discovered that many Christians were police officers who attended my various congregations, many were combat veterans, many were government officials. In short people of the church populate every aspect of the government and the military and are the biggest supporters of the military. Yet, it has not always been so. Many American Christians at one time refused military service. Read the rest of this entry →
(Mat 23:15) A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
A reader of an old article written by another author that I posted had been trying to get me to remove the article. He has a website of his own dedicated to discrediting the author of the article. My initial response pointed out that even if the messenger had faults, the message was still valid. You can read the comments posted back and forth there so I will not repeat them here. In my final comment to him I shared the verse where God hates those who sow discord amongst the brethren (Prov. 6:16) and as an American I found his attempt to censor free speech to be repugnant. His last comment which I did not post stated that the author had admitted to fraudulent credentials and that he found my refusal to remove the article to be repugnant.
This post is not intended as an attack on the reader. He has the right to his views, and I allowed him to share his views on my forum. I say my forum because I pay for this website and do not solicit any money from anyone. That gives me the right to choose who I allow to post comments. He has his own website on which he voices his opinions, so the free market of ideas flourishes. Instead I am using this as a launchpad to discuss how self righteousness is encouraged by organized religion. In reviewing past posts, I am see that this is an issue I have not addressed. Read the rest of this entry →
On this 4th of July we are all called to rally around the flag. I love the flag in that I believe that it is a beautiful banner, and I hang mine up outside my home. I also love the virtues of American past and present that is found in many of its people.
Before I experienced the new birth I had an upbringing disdaining authorities rooted in the 1960’s hippie movement. At the age of 32 Christ revealed Himself to me and began a process of reversing my thinking. I became a Republican and sought to influence the political process through my votes and activism. But after closely following the Clinton and Bush administrations I saw that there was no difference between the parties, and that voting was a sham. I questioned the church being such a big sponsor of the Republican party, and after 20 years of following the church party line, I realized that it is still the same world system. American Christians have lost sight of the gospel because of conservative talk radio. Read the rest of this entry →
Living according to the will of God in His Kingdom has never changed. It began with Adam and Eve, was lived by the patriarchs, exemplified in the book of Judges, was codified in the Mosaic Covenant, and revealed in the heart of God through the cross of Calvary. In short it is taking personal responsibility for our lives and others.
In the garden of Eden, instead of taking personal responsibility for their actions, our parents, Adam and Eve tried to pass the buck. I wonder what would have happened if they both admitted their error and accepted responsibility for their unbelief and disobedience? Knowing Jesus Christ I believe He would have forgiven them, even though they would still suffer the consequence of their actions. Is it possible that consequence would have stopped with them and the rest of the world been spared? Only God knows. Ezekiel declared that the sins of the fathers would not be passed onto the sons.
(Eze 18:20) The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
I knew a messianic Jew who once speculated that if Adam had not participated in eating the forbidden fruit, he would have remained sinless and could have laid his life down for Eve as Christ has done for the Church. Of course, if he had the sense not to eat the fruit, you would think he would have stopped Eve from eating the fruit in the first place. Regardless of the speculation, we know that they avoided their personal responsibility and played the blame game, passing the buck ultimately to God Himself since it was He who gave Adam the woman (Gen. 3:13). Read the rest of this entry →
I can not speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. I have been an angry Christian, and I have also walked in genuine peace and humility. The first thing that needs to be understood is the emotion of anger, which I believe is misunderstood by many people. Emotions are treated as some kind of independent part of our human nature as illustrated by the common definition of the soul – our mind, will and emotions. This definition does a disservice to understanding our human nature, and I think (but do not know) that secular psychology is the cause of this misunderstanding.
Emotions are the expressions of our thoughts, both in our mind and heart, or our conscience thoughts (mind) and sub-conscience thoughts (heart). In other words, our emotions are the result of what we think upon. Film-makers and advertisers understand this and know how to create emotional roller coaster rides through their stories. Emotions, therefore can be controlled by controlling our thoughts, which is the heart of true Christian discipleship. Consider these imperatives from Paul in 2 Corinthians.
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Cor. 10:4-6 KJV)
In other words we are to watch our thought life and think on those thoughts that agree with God and to stop thinking those thoughts that oppose the way of Christ. Paul gives us more specific instruction in Philippians.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Php 4:8 KJV)
If we keep our thoughts on positive things, our emotions will express this. Anger is not an expression of positive thoughts. This control of our thought life is the meaning of Romans 12:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2 KJV) Read the rest of this entry →