The Warfare of Marriage (and Relationships)-A Spiritual Editorial

I’m going to try to make this one brief.  Given the topic I may very well fail.  We’ll see though.   Let’s make this a series, no? Let me first say that no I'm not married and I give commentary based on the Standard that comes from on High.  Don't believe me? Reference it. I encourage you to actually (see last week).  Now, let's get going'

The idea of a healthy marriage is for two folks on the same page to get together and spend the rest of their lives together.  Throwing in the God context, it’s designed to be the prelude to a family, in which the two folks pass on their “on the same page” Godly Values to the next generation so that their legacy can be propitiated and they can genuinely multiply (Genesis 1:28). 

Well, this is awesome because two (or three) folks coming together in Christ’s name means Jesus is in the midst of that (Matthew 18:20).  And Jesus can pass his Values onto the man, the man to the woman, and the parents to the kids (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 6:1-10).  If every family acted like this, we’d be awesome right? Right. 

The problem with this is that this is the ideal, God’s default Model for how a family should be...and like with a lot of things God wants by default, we fall short of it (Romans 3:23).  Our heritage, experiences, and stereotypes pollute the marriage.  How you figure?  Outside influence.  Primarily by Satan’s schemes.  The last thing that Satan wants to see is two folks who come together (in the context of marital best friendship) to advance God’s Kingdom and Glorify Him not only through what they do, but what they are.  Next to relationship with God, the relationship with a spouse is the most important and most intimate relationship out there.  Hence outside influence being a bad thing.

Now everybody need somebody right?  I mean God gets all His stuff done in the context of relationships (i.e., Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. etc. etc.).  However, marriage is the kind of relationship where ideally the only person that should be allowed in that “joint closet” is Jesus.  Often in our iniquity and pain, we let everyone but Jesus in that closet, forgetting we share that closet with someone and it should be sacred.  I like to call this “Haywire Matrimony”.    It comes in two tiers:

Tier I: Someone who knows God AND is competent to help who we can trust.   Non-ideal but not all that bad.  So long as the person who seeks the outside help has enough discernment to understand what it means to give Godly counsel and tear down principalities, this one isn’t so bad.  Problem with this one is pretty much that whomever is seeking the help doesn’t have enough power directly from on High to hash it out without the help.  This is a process; many people go through this.  This one isn’t necessarily all that negative.

Tier 2: Gossip.  Gossip bad.  Very bad.  This is where the person seeking the outside help just wants to vent and someone to listen.  This is where they find that route to attack their spouse because they don’t feel like they can engage their spouse directly.  Sometimes they’re right.  A lot of people who land here have bypassed the advice from on High and that from folks in Tier 1.  Furthermore, a lot of people doing this wind up cheating.  Others overcome this (because Jesus IS a redeemer after all) and reconcile their marriage. 

The point is that marriage is war.  We have to fight.  Satan wants that marriage to go into the toilet...and we have to pray, forgive, and engage effectively to keep it afloat.  It is a labor of love, but it is labor.

Let me address the men.  If you can read this and you want to get marriage, keep this in mind.  All of it.  And that you’re supposed to lead.  If you can’t meet this challenge, go into the duck off with the Lord as opposed to wasting your time, and the time of any ladies you come across because without understanding these things you will fall on your face.  And hard.  Now, if you don’t see it here, stay tuned because I’m going to address the men over the next several weeks.   Have a good weekend, folks!


Errors? Where?!: A Multi-Pronged Commentary Toward the Inerrancy of Scripture (or Sola Scriptura)

*digs up the old blog*

Man it has been a while.  I normally blog over on Facebook now (http://www.facebook.com/360Encouragement)

However, I found it advantageous to upload my document here.  I hope you like it.


What I wanted to do with this particular snippet is discuss the inerrancy of Scripture.  I have a previous commentary on the matter over in main blog, Weekend Encouragement, Unit 11 (Because Accursedness is No Fun) conclusion.  However, I wanted to take that commentary a little bit deeper.  First, let’s begin with the fact that the Bible if God’s Word without error and just analyze this right here for a moment. 


Remember that the Bible is a book about morality, and a book about history, heritage, and identity.  It is, first and foremost, a game-planning book for God’s Comprehensive Will from the beginning to the end of time.  Analyzing it from this perspective, it can be better seen why certain things were necessary so that God the Father can be all in all.  Next, let’s discuss how God operates.  God swore upon Himself to the people because there is nothing greater than Him in the universe.  So His Standard is the greatest Standard.  And thus, God only honors what He does (what is in line with His Moral [the Standard He set in Scripture] and Comprehensive Will).  The key to this point is that there are no other authorities that demonstrate or describe how God operates other than the Bible.   Therefore, first off, the remaining essential doctrines of the Christian faith all come from Scripture (which came from God Himself). And furthermore, if we want to know the gold standard, we must read and understand Scripture.  To this end, we should check our “self-help” books.  If it’s not in a Biblical context, it’s not helping us all that much.  As far as reflecting that Standard, well I’ll get into that later. 

Attacks on Scripture

As with the remaining doctrines of the Christian faith, Scripture comes under attack.  I would argue that the primary reason that Scripture is attacked is because there was never a historical report of a book falling from the sky or something to that effect.  Well, I consider that silly for the reason I mentioned earlier: The Bible is a book about history, so let’s kill that argument (not shared by too many), and go to the others.  Let’s break what I feel are the top three arguments down.

Argument 1: The Bible Isn’t Relevant Today

The Bible was physically written by around A.D. 400, 500 or so.  So I guess at first glance you could say the Bible is dated.  But let me break down and break apart this argument.  First, from a practical perspective.  Let’s look at some of the concepts of the Bible.  First off, Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, having been told they would surely die.  They committed the first sin, and they and everyone since them has died.  Lazarus was raised (but died again) and Jesus was raised (because He’s the Messiah).  Everyone who can read this is going to die someday.  Of course, this is unless, Jesus comes back beforehand.  But otherwise, everyone else is dying.  Second, the Sodom and Gomorrah argument.  Those towns were so egregiously immoral God used a divine move to wipe them out.  Roman Empire?  Well, they were so mired in sexual immorality it was ridiculous.  There were places the affluent in Rome could just roll up in somewhere and just have sex with some folks.  And there’d be no problems with it.  And the slaves?  Marched for hundreds of miles from their native lands to Rome butt naked.  Come on man, really?  And their leader considered himself divinity.  Their own sin (lust/pride/envy....yep, those) caused their downfall.  And today....people’s lusts, pride, and envy are causing them to go down left and right.  Are some people “getting away with it”?  Well sure.  But that human power is bound to fail them. 

What’s my point?

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecc 1:9)

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  While this pertains to spiritual death of separation from God, 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 puts more of a duality on it, in that watching ourselves we avoid spiritual and physical death. 

Conclusion: It happened then, it’s happening now, and it’ll keep happening until Jesus comes back.

Argument 2: The Bible is chauvinist and women had no rights

If you take a look at the old testament, a few things stand out.  One person brought up to me that female slaves were held in a lower context than male slaves.  Slavery was to pay off debts in the Old Testament.  And today?  Well, they can put you in jail over not having paid your bills so what has changed? And once those debts were paid, folks had the choice of sticking around or moving on.  And another brought up to me that if a woman was raped she had to marry her assailant-the Deuteronomy passage.  Time to debunk this myth.  First off, the law never binds a woman to marry her rapist.  In these times, a woman was under the authority of her father or patriarchal familial figure until that person turns over authority to the husband (even now men traditionally ask for the dad’s blessing before marriage), and what loving dad is going to turn his girl (because women married younger during this time) to some raper man?  Exactly.  He paid a fine.  (Ref: Deut 22:28-29, Exodus 22:17).  And if they married, the man had to take care of his wife and was disallowed to divorce her for any reason (Deut 24:1-4, Matt 5:32, 19:9).  And if a man raped a woman promised to another man, well...off with his head (Deut 22:22-27).  Even today, laws are incredibly biased toward women.  And they should be to an extent.  A rapist need to be prosecuted, fined, everything really.  But I mean women who falsely yell “Rape!” are often just let go to roll on down the lane.  Again, what else is new? 

Let’s go to the other side of this argument and the other elephant in the room.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22). 

I bold the last part because men often abuse this verse, and women often shut down when they hear it and want to choke us out.  But is because of generational sin and a general deviance from God’s Model for life that men demand by-default submission and women resist this to their last breath.  But a lot of folks don’t even understand that first off, the woman only submit to a man in the way she submits to God.  If the man isn’t godly, the woman should not submit to the ungodly principles that man may be displaying (each responsible for their own salvation, Philippians 2:12).   She should encourage and enlighten him in her nurturing nature, but nobody is allowed to follow something that isn’t of God (Matthew 6:24).   We also forget these verses like it.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:21)-God wants peace in every relationship.  Should you be “right”, or should you be moving toward harmony?  Trust me, the harmony takes care of the “right”-ness.  Which is why God put it here like this.  Because God wants to be our gold standard, we do the submission for Him, and then He sends the Power to deliver that person over to us.  It’s the Biblical context of  “attracting more bees with honey than vinegar”.

 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  (Ephesians 5:25-29)

First off, I want you to notice that God gave way more instruction to the man here than he did the woman.  That’s a tall task; for a man to have to be like Christ in this specific way to be a functional husband.  But thus, that is the submission standard.  And while this is instruction to a man, it’s also like a cheat sheet to a woman.  If your man does this, it’s alright to submit to him, in order to gain greater harmony with God as two becoming one flesh. 

A lot of people would try to discredit Paul as in his epistles he often writes about the man being the head of the woman, and that women should not have authority over a man.  Well, it’s not like Paul came up with that idea from thin air.  In the church of Corinth the gender roles had become distorted.  The women were dominating the men and the men were acting sheepish.  Those passages were not to demean women, but rather to invigorate the men, to get back to their “as Christ loved the church” roles as spiritual leaders.  Not to mention that is says no authority, not no teaching (although a man should be going to a man who has been where he currently is on how to be a man, but I digress).  I could go into a whole commentary on Biblical gender definitions, but I’ll save that for another time.  And I will just say these two points.

Women were made to help men do what God gave them (Genesis 2).  For a woman to even know what this is, she has to have her own separate purpose independent of the man, so that the two come together in one hybrid purpose within God’s Order (1 Corinthians 11:3). This is why God gave both the man and the woman dominion (Genesis 1:28).  Women were also created to uplift other women, and be powerful and productive in their own right.  Ragab was a prostitute but still understood who God was and why those scouts were there.  She stood up for God’s Standard and her people were protected.  Mary is probably the most important woman of all time.  Jesus was born through her starting with the Immaculate Conception.  And last but not least, when Jesus had risen and the men had scattered, Jesus used the women to go tighten the men up.

Conclusion: The Bible protects women.   It protects everyone, as God doesn’t play favorites.  The Word is designed to produce powerful and productive people, male and female, playing their role.   And there’s nothing like a godly woman to get and KEEP a man on his toes.

P.S. For those of you who only see women being powerful in the context of helping men, you tell me when God ever did something without someone first submitting to Him and what He was doing, male OR female?  Everything gets done in the context of relationships, so get relationships fortified and glorifying God.

Argument 3: Men wrote the Bible

In a sense, this argument is right.   Men took to the papyrus or what have you and wrote the words.  However, they got the instructions from on High.  Also, for one say that a man could distort the words of the Supreme Being of the universe, multiverse (basically if it exists, God has authority over it), gives man far too much credit. 

We all know the 2 Timothy 3:16-17 argument about Scripture being sacred for teaching, reproof, and etc. right?  Well, there’s another verse like it that more directly touches on my point.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21)

That is the divine inspiration argument.  But it could be (and has been) argued that this was indeed cleverly devised and placed in Scripture.  But let’s put this in perspective.  To say that these things are not true give one of 3 arguments, all of which I will debunk or prove asinine to even bring up.  That (1) God does not have the authority He speaks of, (2) God is not real at all, or (3) God cannot be defined because a book didn’t fall from the sky..

Let’s tackle (1).  I'd like to think I already have.  Everything written in Scripture, the types of phenomena that occur, both positive and sinful, have happened, keep happening and will happen.  Something has to be causing all of that right?  Well, it’s someone.  The Father in Heaven in His Comprehensive Will is sending this world to a place of destruction, but has provided a way out through His Son Jesus Christ.  If you don’t know about Him, you should go see Him.  Soon.

And (2).  God isn’t real.   I don’t think anyone in this camp should be reading this.  But in case you are, why must a being that in your mind and according to your worldview does not exist to you be discredited and debunked?  Simple.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Yep.  Calling you out.  Why else would you want to disprove a being who embodies Orderly Love?  A being who seeks to protect and empower against things that hurt us?  One with every bit of knowledge there is to know.  And every bit of power and authority there is to have.  One that if you have Him, you can’t lose? Because your standard of love, prosperity, and victory are different from His most likely.  Open your mind, and come see about His Son.

With the way the world is, if God’s not real...grab an M-80 and start the revolution.  Because humanity surely isn’t going to fix the crap in this world.  Open your mind.

And before you call me a Bible thumper, everybody has sin (Romans 3:23).   The difference between those in the world and those in Christ is that we have a gold standard by which we can recognize and overcome our iniquity. And we desire it through motive, word, and deed.

And (3) God cannot be defined.  Well, the Bible defines Him.  How can you have a God at all who is not defined?  One who is dynamic and can change (looking at some of those other faiths).  Who would want a supreme being who had opinions and not facts?  That’s just no good.  But how can you have boundaries without a definition?  How can you have order without boundaries?  Must we all just fly by the seat of our pants and just do whatever’s clever?  Yeah, that’s worked so well for humanity leading up to now. I personally would prefer not to have a God-free world inundated with chaos.

Conclusion:  God is God, and has dominion over all.  Your argument is invalid.

I just want to wrap this up by saying this.  Knowing the Bible never got anyone into Heaven by itself.  There is no substitution for the saving grace of Jesus Christ (John 3:16), and the sealing of His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).  And once you get the “Yay I’m not going to Hell!” part out of the way, then you can move on to gaining a deeper knowledge of God through both the reading of Scripture and direct contact with him through prayer and supplication (Philippians 4:6-7).  And pray in the context of the Lord’s Prayer, in that we submit to what God wants for our world as opposed to a whole bunch of things we want.  Remember, God only honors what He does, but His comprehensive Honor upon our lives will make you wonder why you wanted ANYthing else. 

That’s my spin in on it.  Thanks for reading!


Jesus is Alpha and Omega Ministries Presents the Healthy Family Walk!!!

What is a Healthy Family Walk?

The Healthy Family Walk is the walk that allows families to walk as a united front to dispel the attacks of the immoral society that seek to invade their homes. It is about spiritual leaders passing on godly values to the next generation. The Healthy Family Walk is a walkathon in support of a larger initiative to fortify families and bring them together so that they are powerful and productive. Proceeds from the Healthy Family Walk will be used to help support Jesus is Alpha and Omega Ministries’ (JAOM) Healthy Family Initiative, which seeks to pass on the values necessary to build powerful families that build strong communities.

Who Participates?

Men, women, and children are encouraged to participate as family teams, sponsors, volunteers, and walkers. Whether they walk as individuals or as part of a team, walkers are encouraged to ask friends, family, business associates, and others to sponsor them by making a donation to Jesus is Alpha and Omega Ministries. Others are encouraged to volunteer their time to register walkers, staff checkpoints, and offer refreshments.

Teams represent families, churches, companies, unions, schools, associations, clubs, and can range from five members or more.

Why Join the Healthy Family Walk?

The year 2012 will mark the inaugural year that Christians from all walks of life will come together in a spirit of unity to fortify families through JAOM’s Healthy Family Walk. We believe that more than a hundred families will participate in this “first of its kind” family walkathon.

When you and your team participate in the Healthy Family Walk, you will not only be contributing to history, but you will also become a co-laborer in Christ. The Healthy Family Initiative of JAOM needs your team’s assistance to help fortify families that have been fractured and divided by opposing worldviews, depression, and lack of godly empowerment. Participating means that you are aware of the spiritual decay that is devastating our families and seek to join a united front to defeat it.

How do I give?
If you choose to walk as an individual, the registration fee is $100, attainable through as many pledges as necessary. Teams, whether they be families, co-workers, friends, or colleagues, are in groups of a minimum of 5, and may register at $500. Individuals raising over $200 will qualify for a free t-shirt, where teams of 10, 15, or 20 that raise $2,000, $3,000, or $4,000 respectively as collectives will qualify for special prizes. To qualify for these prizes, your pledges must be received no later than, Sunday, May 13, 2012. Alternatively, you may simply donate toward the cost of the Healthy Family Walk or our Healthy Family Initiative. All monies toward the Healthy Family Walk itself are due by Friday, May 25, 2012

In America, there is a highly advanced attack on the family. Divorce rates are at an all-time high and many children are growing up in single-parent households where the dysfunction is so profound that many alternative family models are being sought. Other attacks, such as violence in schools, drug abuse, sexual immorality, homosexuality, and economic hardship only make the problem more profound. While there are many questions and problems, the solution appears to be much more difficult to comprehend. Only the knowledge of and connection to Jesus Christ can provide all the appropriate answers to these questions which cause emotional anguish to so many people. Therefore, it is imperative that we convey this message to a dying world.

There are many noble causes that raise thousands or millions of dollars that never tackle the root of an issue. Please prayerfully consider teaming up with JAOM’s Healthy Family Walk to make an impact in the lives of family members both in time and for eternity.

Teaming up with JAOM’s Healthy Family Walk is an excellent way to help reverse the attack on American families! Please make the prayerful consideration to walk to unify families against these immoral times for the Kingdom of God!

For more information, click here:



Walking With God Chapter I, Part VIII (Finale)

Greetings folks:

This week we will wrap up our current unit with the reconciliation of the Galatians 6:1 principle with the Matthew 28:17 principle. We understand that God wants His Image and Likeness propagated. And that He passes down this Power for us to this in the context of friendship and love. This produces the need to love God with all of our hearts and very being…and in-turn love our neighbors. In other words, we cannot propagate God’s Image and Likeness (Genesis 1:26, 28), if we ourselves aren’t giving the selfless love first to Him and to those around us. To do this appropriately, we must also give reproof, as the Word of God is designed to both uplift and convict. So we must do so in a spirit of gentleness (also part of the Fruit of the Spirit we use to love one another, Galatians 5:22-23). We get unmet expectation levels, and “surprise circumstances” (they at least surprise us when our connection with God isn’t as tight as needs to be), and this can kill our desire to fellowship with God and give Him the time and love with Him He desires out of us. And when this becomes part of the behavior pattern we fall into humanism…either secular or religious. Now understand this…humanism, especially religious humanism, is not reflective (in of itself) of whether or not someone is saved, but rather, how empowered they are (see the next unit). Humanism essentially is, “Because of ‘xyz’ that happened or didn’t happened to me, I’m going to trust in ‘abc’ over God.” Can humanists be unsaved? Yes. But it is also reflective of a the power source the person is operating out of. The fundamental issue of these alternative power sources is that when the appropriate God of the Bible is removed from the picture, and is substituted out as the fellowship and power source, it is impossible to give appropriate reproof in love, or give love to others. And laying one’s life down for their friends (John 15:13) is also out of the window. Keep this and the other teachings in mind, and when you find yourself in an alternate power source, confess, get forgiveness, repent, and get BACK IN THE SPIRIT. Next week we’ll start a new unit on the nature of Salvation. Have a good week folks!


Walking With God Chapter I, Part VII

Greetings folks:

Last week we went over a set of case studies for different power sources. The last case study involved a recurring character and his young mentee. We had five answers and we wanted to discuss which one was correct. In case you do not remember:

“So you had that great marketing idea that you could launch man…weren’t you like a mathematician? You could use that stuff and get at these youth…get into these schools. What do you think?” The younger guy sighs and says, “Man I just have so much to do here…sometimes it feels like if I don’t know it, it won’t get done.” Our friend is kind of stunned. He’s never heard his young friend talk like that before. He knows he needs to connect to the Spirit for the next thing he says and do it just right for our friend. <> What do you think our friend should say?

A. “Well do what you have to do that is that hard? You don’t do anything here!”
B. “I think you’re just afraid to move on out on your faith.”
C. “It won’t get done? How little faith do you have? You need to tighten up on that! You’ll never grow with that attitude”
D. “Alright man, let’s sit down and lay out what you got over here and make sure we can make sure you get your stuff established. I’ll call in the rest of the team and spread this weight around if you like.
E. None of the above.

So let’s look at how effective all the answers are:

A. A religious humanistic response. 1 Corinthians 12 says that everyone has a role in the Body of Christ and none of those roles are inconsequential.

B. Also pretty religiously humanistic. Who’s to say that the young man is afraid to move out on his faith. And even if that’s true, language like this isn’t going to help. Also, the Word of God is designed to uplift and convict, and if our words are to reflect the Word of God, they must do the same.

C. Is even worse. Perhaps the young man should have more trust in God. But remember he’s early in his spiritual walk. And as a wise man once told me, “You don’t get on a person for not bringing home a paycheck when they are in diapers”.

D. This seems like the Kingdom right? Actually, it’s not. Think about this. Our friend didn’t even take the time to figure out what all he was doing before taking the work off of him. We in the Kingdom are supposed to always be on offense, but we are also always supposed to have our prep work done (through genuine prayer for those in our lives and subsequent insight given by the Holy Spirit). By pre-emptively taking work away from his mentee, which may actually go against God’s Will. We who are spiritual must lift up a brother in a fault in gentleness (Galatians 6:1), but must also carry our own load (Galatians 6:4).

E. So none of the above? Well I’m sure you’ve figured that out. Here is a response from my friend Brenda….

“I don't think any of the answers suffice, especially if he is a mentor. He should lift up his pupil, and offer his assistance in helping his young friend carve out a ministry to reach young folk."

Good work Brenda. If he’s that concerned about it, then he must make genuine provision to help him perform his tasks. Because he has his role in God’s vision for his mentee. Remember that there is an overall vision for God’s Kingdom, and each ministry seeking to advance it has an individual vision. And furthermore, we also have our own visions and our roles in our own visions. We must give our all for our brothers and sisters in Christ (as fitting to the Lord), for “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, ESV).

I hope you enjoyed these case studies. Next week we will go into the reconciliation of the Galatians 6:1 principle and the Matthew 28:17 principle.


Walking With God Chapter I, Part VI


Greetings folks:

Last week we talked about three fundamentals that distinguished the Kingdom from other power sources. This week I want to talk about a fundamental of all power sources, and that’s the transfer of power. If everyone is on the same page, something will transfer, good or bad. Jesus’ Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6, is Jesus’ primary desire, “Thy Kingdom Come, on Earth, as it is in Heaven”. Both Christ and the Father wish to see image and likeness passed on. Well, image and likeness get passed on to the next generation whether it’s the Kingdom or not (unless SOMEone plugs into Christ and breaks this cycle). Kingdom-driven empowerment, however, is always love-mediated. If there’s no love, there’s no empowerment. Let’s look at some case studies.

Example 1: Let’s say there’s this guy who claims Christ. And he goes to a church and he’s getting the Word every Sunday and participates in a men’s group one a month. He comes across a friend of his, who has been saved for 10 years already. The friend asks him, “Hey man, how’s it going? It’s been a while I missed ya! I’ve been busy man, going over and taking care of my mother; you know she hasn’t been feeling well. You know my daughter has been kind of sad since that guy dumped her. You remember the one I was telling you about. So I’ve been comforting her. In my Word deep too; I’m so glad I have God in my business. What’s new with you?” The first guy tells him, “Well you missed a good Word man; you should really come to church more often. There’s no excuse man; we have to connect to God daily.”

So, who’s in the Kingdom, and who is the religious humanist? Easy one, right? God is omnipresent. Abram didn’t set up contact points with God within a church. He did it as he moved so he could stay connected to God. The connection was more important…and it eventually paid off with the Abrahamic covenant. While church is nice, and the babe probably needs to be there, God will judge us contingent on how genuine our connection is with Him (so that we can go do His Work), NOT how often we are in church.

Example 2: Let’s use the second guy from Example 1 again. On top of being saved, he’s married as well (only relevant for this example). He has a buddy at work who wants to go out with him. They go out to a pool hall and shoot some pool. The work buddy notices that a woman is checking out his boy. “Say man, that chick is fine! You should holla at her!” Our friend kind of shrugs him off, saying, “Nah man you need to focus on this here game ‘cuz I’m pickin’ you apart!” The work buddy comes around and whispers, “Man I know you and your wife been kind of fussing lately; she don’t look at you right. Ol gurl is lookin’ at you the right way. Look man; you bailed me out at work a few times. Let me bail you out. I’ll pay for you to use the Super 8 ‘cross the street if you can get at her, and I’ll cover for you.” Our friend puts down his pool cue and looks at his work buddy. “Come on man; this got to be the most disrespect thing you’ve ever told me. Look man; my marriage ain’t perfect but it’s doing what God wants it to do. It also got a purpose. I’m gonna say this once; don’t ever come at me like that again.” The work buddy, taken aback, asks, “Why you had to pull God into this?” Our friend says, “Because I was on my way to hell but God had other plans. Maybe God can have some for you if you turn away from this foolishness.”

Kind of obvious again, right? Our friend has a secularized work buddy…don’t wanna hear about God. But while our friend was upset, he didn’t attack the guy moreover as he attacked the mindset/worldview he had. He may not get any immediate fruit from it, but that may very well be in work buddy’s head 2 and 3 days later.

Last example:

Our friend is involved in his church. He does some of the finance budget balancing and they recently let on a new staff member. Younger guy who is single with no kids. Enthused about the Lord but not a lot of his own stuff established so that he could have his own ministry to edify the Body. Our friend has established a solid friendship with the younger man, and the younger man looks up to our friend as a big brother figure. Our friend goes to the younger guy and asks him, “So you had that great marketing idea that you could launch man…weren’t you like a mathematician? You could use that stuff and get at these youth…get into these schools. What do you think?” The younger guy sighs and says, “Man I just have so much to do here…sometimes it feels like if I don’t know it, it won’t get done.” Our friend is kind of stunned. He’s never heard his young friend talk like that before. He knows he needs to connect to the Spirit for the next thing he says and do it just right for our friend. <> What do you think our friend should say?

A. “Well do what you have to do that is that hard? You don’t do anything here!”
B. “I think you’re just afraid to move on out on your faith.”
C. “It won’t get done? How little faith do you have? You need to tighten up on that! You’ll never grow with that attitude”
D. “Alright man, let’s sit down and lay out what you got over here and make sure we can make sure you get your stuff established. I’ll call in the rest of the team and spread this weight around if you like.
E. None of the above.

Answer away in the comments. We’ll go over all FIVE answers next week. Have a good week folks!


Walking With God Chapter I, Part V

Greetings folks:

Last week I discussed the different types of power sources and how they contrast from one another. So we all understand that God wants uninterrupted fellowship with us. This is so that the power (His Power) may flow freely through us and do His intended Work for us. I’ve also discussed how all have sinned and thus fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and how we can confess our sins and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9) in order to get back tight with Him (reconciliation and restoration). I’ve even taken some time in discussing the practicality of recognizing when we are faded away from God and confessing and repenting in an expeditious manner.

Well today, I wanted to take a look at the danger of religious humanism, at least from the perspective of those who are presenting another “gospel” other than the one as laid out in the Word. God is a God of Standards, Order, and Boundaries (Exodus 20:4-18, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Galatians 5:19-23; Ephesians 5:18-6:10), and He wants our lights to so shine that God is Glorfied…in other words, He (1) wants us to spread His Image and Likeness (Genesis 1, particularly 1:29), and He wants people to see His Son (Image, Hebrews 1:3) when they bump into us.

But what happens when those in religious humanism are not doing these but are still perceived as “representing God”? Remember that the Word is designed for teaching and reproof (2 Timothy 3:16-17). But there are three fundamental things that must be genuine to make God “practical” and emotionally desirable.

(1) The “First and Greatest Commandment” (Matthew 22:35-39): Jesus tells us that loving God with everything that we have is the first and greatest commandment. While this Commandment not necessarily designed to replace the Law of Moses, it is designed to supersede it. When we do this, we get Grace as opposed to bumping into the Law. The other Commandment that is like it, loving thy neighbor as thy own flesh is also very important. They are alike because it starts with loving God which will capacitate us to love our neighbor unconditionally as well. It’s when we fall out of this that we get grumpy with folks and disenfranchise them from the things of God (if they are not already well-rooted). We only FALL out of love when we are too wounded to have the courage to love, whether that be love for God or love from others. If we act like this, visibly in humanism because we want to justify behavior patterns, towards someone with question marks about God, we don’t give that person the right answers and God is not Glorified through us.

(2) “Only useful for building up” (Ephesians 4:29): The entire passage is Ephesians 4:25-32 and it is also very important as well. We must watch what we say because (1) from the outflow of the heart so the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34) and (2) we will have to give account for our careless words at judgment time (Matthew 12:36). But even more practically, the passage of Ephesians 4:25-32 tells us to also “not grieve the Holy Spirit” and “not let the sun go down on our anger, giving Satan a foothold”. Give Satan a foothold? How? Well if we are giving things that aren’t useful for building up, then we aren’t in Kingdom power system. After all, when have we ever seen God use fluff, let alone something that deliberately bashed someone for the sake of bashing them? So if God doesn’t do that, and we do, we misrepresent Him, hurt others, and again, do not Glorify Him.

(3) “Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay his life down for his friends (John 15:13): A wise man once told me, “Me and God are best friends.” Some of you have either met or heard of this man, but that’s not my point. My point is that Jesus said that we may put ourselves to the side for the sake of our fellow man. Coupled to Matthew 22:35-39 and Galatians 6:4, we fulfilled the Law of Christ. And as Christ is God, then loving like Him allows us to represent God. Should you go get nailed to a cross and die? Well no; John 3:16-18 isn’t talking about you, now is it? LOL But that being said, selflessness is next to Godliness. And if we can’t do this, then we aren’t being Godly.

But hey, can’t I just do these things through my deeds and be alright? Well, other than God not being mocked (Galatians 6:7), we also will have to give an account for our motives as well as our deeds at judgment time (1 Corinthians 4:5 for motives, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 for deeds). So we have to be genuine in this. God is a Holy God through and through, and there’s no holiness without genuineness. Next week I’ll give some (purely hypothetical) case studies on how this operates, perhaps a little interactiveness too. Have a good week, folks!