Einstein, String Theory, Quantum Physics and God

In the past 100 years because of questions asked and answered by physicists, the nature of reality has changed both in theory and in practice. The simple notions we have of life on earth do not work well in the outer reaches of space.

The universe is really quite small

It is almost impossible to think of this enormous universe as being confined in a small space, but it is. Where there is time there is also an end of time, hence an end of space as well. In fact, to God the entire universe may appear no larger than a steamer trunk.

The deceptive nature of space allows us to think we are isolated from God and He is disconnected or unconcerned.  And yet, He said to seven plus billion people on our planet, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That is an intimate statement. If you throw in our guardian angels, we don’t have a minute alone on this planet.

Science needs to catch up to the Bible

In Brian Greene’s book, The Fabric of the Cosmos intended for non-scientific readers, his first chapter is a clear outline of the issues facing science today as the result of these investigations. (1) common reality and the new reality do not match. (2) string theory outlines a number, as many as 17 dimensions as yet unidentified. (3) space and time should be interchangeable but are not. (4) why does time always point forward, never backward, (5) why can’t we find a “unified theory” and (6) how can we explain all the different dimensions, referred to as string theory.

The Bible – imagine that – explains all of this. Virtually everything scientists have asked is answered by the Word of God. What scientists perceive but miss is the spiritual dimensions everywhere in space-time.

There are two types of time

There are two beginnings in time.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The beginning is the big bang and God predates that so God is the Big Banger. The cosmos because it has a beginning, middle and an end will eventually be done away with. That describes the temporal beginning of the created universe.

The 2nd description of a beginning

In John 1:1 John says, “Before the beginning began, the Word was.”  John is referring to eternity which is outside of time.  He begins his gospel with the time prior to Genesis 1:1. God was then in eternity as he also is now. God inhabits both time and eternity.  Time will eventually be done away with; eternity is just that. John 1;1 places Jesus originally in eternity to emphasize why he is God in the flesh, and not just a man born into time.

 Time and space will eventually end

God will, He said, roll earth up as a used garment and pitch it out.

Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Space and time are part of a unified whole BUT are also part of a “cosmic evolving.” They are relative to each other. The natural world works at one level and the cosmic at another. Scientists want to unify this but they can’t because they have not factored in eternity.

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/11/15/gods-view-of-time-kairos-and-chronos/

God is not “in” the universe

Scripture describes the unification in Colossians which says “God is all in all” and He is the “glue that holds the universe together.” This is not pantheism. God is no more in His creation than a woman is in a pie she bakes. He has contact with all parts of the universe because He chooses to do so.  Deism says God is not involved with his universe; poppycock!

God is in charge of more than we imagine

God has His hand in many things we ignore.  The weather for one. All the flap about Climate Change. God said the world would burn up, and he would do it.  Not man.  In the book of Amos He says he governs the weather, tornadoes, mildew, famine, hurricanes, floods, you name it.  All to prove a point.

As an example, think of the massive hurricane which wiped out most of New Orleans in 2005.  The hurricane was named Katrina which comes from a Greek word to”to cleanse.”  And New Orleans was a city of great pride in their moral depravity; Sodom and Gomorrah would be embarrassed to be so corrupt, and now it must start over.

He has a purpose for the universe. It is the training ground for human kind, their correction and eventual eternal life someplace else. The cosmos is not an end in itself; it is just a tool. The unification is the purpose for which the universe exists.

Colossians 1:16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Many religions are cyclical

Animism, for example, and Buddhism and the many religions of India are based on the cycle of the seasons so their religions are time bound and include reincarnation which is cyclical in nature. That is to be expected from a cyclical religion.

Three religions are based on linear time – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  They are all goal oriented and monotheistic so they recognize an end to time. They also do not recognize the end to human personality, all believing that we all live forever in an eternal state for good or ill.

Cyclical religion has no such future, even though eternity is built into human nature. I found that Chinese people may accept atheism as a political issue but they all seemed to believe in a Chinese heaven. I asked a small child what was God’s name and she quickly said, Shang Di, which describes a Creator god.

People do not lose their innate sense of God simply because a politician says so.  This is one of the main reasons Falun Gong has become so proactive in China and so dangerous, because it added the spiritual dimension to a secular world.

Physicists grapple with the invisible world

These goals God has for man also explain the ”arrow of time.” Greene wonders, if time and space go both ways, why you cannot unbreak eggs; once they are broken, no amount of action or prayer can turn them back to eggs inside shells. This truth about the universe flies in the face of the other physical evidence. But it makes sense according to the Bible. God has a plan and He put it into motion at the beginning.

Time only moves forward

We don’t turn back because there is no reason to do so. Moses was able to look at God’s back, not the front, because he (Moses) is supposed to be facing the future. If he looks at God’s front his view is of the past. This is the arrow of time. You will recall your personal dreams are of the present and future; dreams can explain the past but never change it. You and the cosmos are not going backward. “Back to the Future” is a movie drama, and nothing more.

If and when you get to heaven you will be able to see the past because everything in time is recorded. But returning to that point and changing it will be impossible.

Quantum physics does not recognize a spiritual dimension

The 3rd reason quantum physics is confused is because it puts the cart, the natural, before the horse, the spiritual. If you want to understand what is really happening look to the spiritual reality behind it. If you want to know why a dictator is killing his citizens, find out what wild mental problem he has, narcissism, ego mania, even insanity. Far too much time is spent looking at symptoms and causes are ignored. Quantum Physics wants to explain the reality before it explains the spiritual.

Time has value and is not static

The 4th problem is the flexible nature of time. Here is where the most casual of scientists can figure things out. Time appears to be uniform but it is not. Time not only goes only forward, it also has different values depending on the living.

When you are young time goes very slowly. What do all children say in the car. “Are we there yet?” every five miles. Children also have a misapprehension of space. Talk of the Gulf War frightened some children until their dad asked them to remember how long it took to drive to grandma’s house, only one day, and that this war was over 15 days car travel away. The children breathed a sigh of relief. They were learning relativity at an early age. In practice, learning the truth about Santa Claus teaches us relativity.

Then at old age days fly by. Where did time go? If this can happen in the life of every person, why can’t we apply this to the life of the universe? It started fast and is slowing down, but as it is slowly down it is also slowly down faster.

2nd Law of Thermodynamics – time is changing

In fact isn’t that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? That the world is slowing down and wearing out, just as we do. This law also states that there is no going backwards. God has made it clear that we are all goal oriented.

The Law of Entropy

But this leads to another question scientists need to re-examine – the law of entropy. Carbon dating standards appear set in some kind of inexplicable bronze. Current values are a product of Newtonian physics, not Einsteinium. But the world itself shows the effect of mistaken time.

Carbon dating ignores the effect of the invisible world on time. I hope before I die I see the entire science of carbon dating revised to show how time has altered events of the past.

Originally lifetimes were hundreds of years; Adam lived 900 years. lifetimes were drastically reduced after the flood and have increased especially in the past two centuries. Age 100 is not common now but the Bible predicts that will be the age of a child in the future.

A the world physically deteriorates, human beings are improving, living longer, working smarter and happier, except where politicians see to it that no one is happy. Man’s sweep of influence increases with his knowledge and power, but environmentally there is increasing decay.

The invisible world can be multi-dimensional

The final issue in modern physics is string-theory which they call dimensions. A dimension is where someone or something can exist, and into which we might want to travel. Any real dimension has, in fact, dimensions, i.e. length, breath, width.

People who have seen angels say they have gender, color, and bulk, hardly a string. But to the physicist, it may look like a string since they see the shadow, not the reality. All humans have personality which also is invisible. That too could be a string in which case there are seven billion strings on the planet today. My personality will live forever after I die so who is to say it is not a string, as yet an unidentified or unrecognized.

One dimension may be human personality

There is no reason to assume these dimensions are inanimate objects or places. They are more likely to be personalities, what the Bible calls souls, or psyche, meaning will, intellect and emotion.

The first being to show up in the cosmos was a personality – God. Other persons soon followed. Angels have personalities, which surely is one dimension; animals have Will, Intellect and Emotion too – they clearly are in another dimension. Other places where Will, Intellect and Emotion exist is in our dreams, our drug-induced visions, demonic spirits and demons, and possibly other beings identified as having personality. I think of the stars which sing.

Music as a dimension

You can say this is literary license, but the Bible says, “Thy word is truth.” So let us not be so cavalier in our interpretation. The stars sing. It does not say the star has a song; player pianos have songs. Singing is done by beings.

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Isaiah said mountains sing. In fact we can count sound as a dimension too. “No sound is without signification” which means a door slam, a dog bark or a brisk breeze means something. It may not have eternal meaning or  value but it does mean something.

1 Corinthians 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

David said he would prophesy, that is bring a message from God, on his harp (probably a guitar.) July 17, 2012, a guitarist on Kim Clement TV was “prophesying.” No interpretation was given and I did not get one, but the people there seemed to understand. Clearly this is a dimension we must not ignore.

Did God use music to create the universe

Some theologians believe that the language God used to create the universe was music. Spoken and written language is very limited but music, based on mathematics, has no limits.  So that theory makes sense. I have a book coming in 2020 which goes into more detail on this.

String theory says there is no empty space in space, -that something is there but what? The ancient Hebrews were not given to speculation but we modern Christians are. What if string theory is the mesh like reality of personalities in concert. Stay tuned. We have more research to do.

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

Let’s Start Rethinking about Political Campaigns

Years ago God gave me a task – show people how to rethink, in my case, about the Bible, its contents and especially the nature and goals of God himself. I’ve done that now ten years. Today, 9/2019, I am reaching over 30,000 people a month, always rethinking in every question especially in secular ones where there is just as much confusion as in theological.

People do not know how to think

Here is an example. Recently we voted in a nationally recognized, wildly expensive campaign for Congress, the 9th Congressional District of North Carolina. The campaign was carried out in public, on television, mostly ads and news stories that were often very biased, no matter who was speaking. Social media was awash with it as well since it was a special election and few others running at least locally.

Bad law comes out of emotion

The campaign was designed to prevent the voter from thinking, or to replace his thoughts with emotions upon which no decisions are usually very good – and certainly not in politics. There are already too many laws based on temporary emotions which can change over night.

The Democrat was a typical Republican candidate – a successful entrepreneur, a business owner/employer, clean cut family man with a pretty blonde wife and two kids, a military veteran who supports lower taxes, and who managed never to call his opponent names which is sign of a honorable politician. But he lost.

Why? Here is the problem to rethink. While he was the better candidate which his campaign demonstrated, he was not running for the office of campaigner; he was running for a seat in Congress. The voters did not want a Democrat representing them, no matter how clean cut or conservative in nature. The national party at the present time does not reflect the mind of the voters in this jurisdiction. Sometime in the future, that may change. But just not today.

The voters got it right

The voters knew this and acted accordingly. But the campaign process ignores this need. The voters got it right in spite of the advertising and blather all around the campaign, not to mention the multi-millions in funds which came from across the land, all intent on electing a Campaigner not a Congressman.

We choose representatives not candidates

There is something very wrong with a political system that presents candidates when what we want is representatives. The man who won will reflect the mind of the voter when he goes to Washington DC, no matter how flawed he might be personally. He was not young and vigorous; he did have a pretty wife but who cares about the wife anyway. We are not voting for her. And she is not representing us. This man’s policies, and that of the people he will join with in Washington, not his personality or all the beautiful color photographs mean anything as he assumes his post.

What we vote for must be based on reality

What the voter needs is the assurance that the person holding the office will be able to reflect the will of the people, not the platform of a party or a group of lobbyists somewhere, in this case, 500 miles away. How can we change the campaign process to make it radically less expensive and more in tune with what voters needs to know? Will this man or woman do in the office they hold what I expect of them and what they have promised? This is going to be a hard issue to solve.

Church campaigns have the same flaws

And as a theologian I can also say that church membership presentations are also often off point. Who God is and what he does as Jesus Christ in the world today is the core of Christianity but you would not necessarily know this from church services or their advertisements or television programs. Thankfully there are many varieties of them reaching diverse people. This is healthy.

We choose our religion based on personal needs

Individuals attach themselves to religious systems based on private needs. Some want family, friends and social acceptance; others seek inner peace and assurance. Others are concerned with the world and its dysfunctions and they view the church in its mission. My daughter-in-law wants a choir, with robes. I agree with her but so many of the modern churches do not have this anymore. Singles need church dinners and fellowship events. People in wheel chairs need to see no curbs or stairs; parents want good child care with honest teaching about the gospel and no Easter Rabbit theology where God is missing altogether.

The truth is offensive

Churches may meet all of these needs but still have no honest gospel to present, filled with compromise in order “not to offend anyone.” The gospel is offensive. Jesus said, Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Is Jesus picking a fight? Sounds like it.

But no, He is saying that we are happy when we are with people where we feel comfortable but the truth of God is ultimately in what God said in His word about our condition and his solutions. Confusing Church with Faith can lead us into a position of comfort that is not realistic. Real faith will cause us to be separated from some people, systems and places.

God is pro-active about us. We need to be proactive about Him. We need to be as careful about our vote for religion as we are for our representatives.

Daily Life in Heaven

Heaven is not sitting on clouds playing the harp – bor-ing. No, heaven has been misrepresented by foes of God especially regarding His blessings for you. Some of the hidden blessings are learning things that straighten out key questions you have had all your life.

Heaven makes temporary loss into permanent gain

Johnny Cash’s brother died of a tragic accident and the memory of that, and the loss made an important difference in Cash’s life and the way he presented his music. In heaven he is reunited with his brother. God changes temporary loss into permanent gain.

Heaven explains the past

My father-in-law was murdered – or did he commit suicide? We have our suspicions about who did it and why. We never learned the truth. But now my husband has been united with the whole story. He will also know that what kind of punishment is in process for the man who we think shot him.

We do not believe the Bible supports the idea that suicide leads automatically to hell. My father-in-law was a believer but he made some mistakes. Like who doesn’t?

Surprises at every turn

That person who was imprisoned for being an ax murderer? There he is in heaven. That President you voted for twice? You haven’t seen a hair of the man yet. Even then, because there are so many new things in heaven, you will hardly notice they are missing.

God will fill in the blanks

And there are thousands of other pieces of information that make one’s life understandable. You’ll learn why someone had five miscarriages or what happened to mysteries unsolved on earth. You’ll get a chance to review the original history of the planet, who were the first families living on earth and where, what events like the flood, or even the final fiery end of time are going to be like.

And of course famous people. You may have access to them, their writings, their lives. I have always thought that Martin Luther was wrongly blamed for Antisemitism. There were no rules governing copyrights or intercultural property then. His enemies could have easily used his name on a publication and no one would know.

God wants you to look forward to heaven

If you go to heaven you get the answers you need and want. Hell has no blessings, no friends, no information, and more importantly, no relief. Worse yet, it is an important decision which many people take very casually.

#heavenisnotboring #God #Jesus #hell

Media Censorship is Narcissism

The Censors seem to think hate speech which they so rigorously cull has some legal validity. It does not.

Much of social media, Facebook, Quora, the news media, Big City newspapers, Google, Amazon, TV giants etc. censor what God has said and what religious people repeat in public calling it “hate speech.” China has gone after its own thinking dissidents- the Falun Gong and the Muslims in the far west areas – with so-far largely unreported torture, death and extensive imprisonment. https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-putting-minority-muslims-in-concentration-camps-us-says_2908698.html

Hate speech is not a legal concept

What they call hateful content is simply what someone does not like or agree with it; this reduces public discourse to emotion rather than thought. Laws in every country are based on actions not words, nor that most annoying of words, “feelings.” If someone does not like the idea that homosexuality is a personal choice, so be it. It is not an action and it should be placed in the category of an emotional response. Emotions are personal.

There is no such thing as a hate crime

Emotions have no force if they stand alone. But when jealousy, greed, anger, hate, or revenge take a virulent form and become an action, then it has the force of law, but the law is what is punished, not the emotion. It is quite possible to spend an entire life time being envious and not steal a thing!

Emotions not acted upon are simply that. And for social media to treat them as actions is a sign of their inability to think something through, or they’re living in their own, private opinions. Censorship is proof that someone is allowing his emotions to rule him. By extension media/corporate censorship and public disapproval is an extension of juvenile thinking patterns into the adult world. This explains why many adults are returning to childlike joys. https://www.theepochtimes.com/why-adult-recess-is-becoming-a-trend_3054765.html

On a grand scale, China is a nation of 1.3 billion censored people where the national police use face recognition software to identify Christians who attend church or anti-communist protests. From that information they can jail them or perhaps get them fired from their jobs.

Law is not the issue; their censorship is based in an emotion – in this case they fear that the public will rise up against the Communist system and select a better government. Communists have every good reason to believe this. Communists are not popular, they make five times as much money as non-communist workers and they answer to no one, or fancy as such.

The Falun Gong can completely change China

A major force for change is the spiritual group the Falun Gong which is challenging the mind control of the Communist system. It is a method of living spiritually based on Buddhist principles. The reason the Communist bosses fear it so much is that it has its origin in the Han People.

Communism as political narcissism

Christianity has always been called a white man’s religion so it was easy to be rejected by the entire community. But not so Falun Gong, which is native born. This religious group and the Hong Kong Protesters are the best omen that we will see the Communist system crack. The rest of the world will reap great benefits if China is freed to become one of the good nations.

Narcissism places the emotional self in charge

Rule by fear is at the core of dictatorship and an emotion that becomes legal in the hands of those with illegitimate power; no one is happy over that. Likewise, social media has placed their fear of being wrong over as well as their overwhelming notion that they are right over against the public’s opinion and commitments to something other than their own self-absorbed philosophy.

It’s juvenile; that’s what children do – they place their own welfare over everyone else. And of course it angers them so they lash out; consider the words incensed and censor and censorious in the same breath!

The moral law is not based on “feelings”

Narcissism applies to pedophiles, drunks, prostitutes and others who violate moral laws, since laws are based in actions not emotions. In the same vein there is no such thing as a hate crime because hate is an emotion not an action. To say that someone is guilty of a hate crime is an oxymoron.

Laws are about actions

Murder is an action; attempted murder and assault are actions; jealousy is an emotion but killing your rival is called murder. You do not even need to hate him or her. The criminal may hate something as well, but it cannot be measured. Greed, avarice, lust, anger, malice, evil, gossip and other sins of the personality cannot be measured so neither can they be quantified into law. Actions can be measured and the law recognizes these differences. The judge who is pronouncing sentence calls these extenuating circumstances. The judge doesn’t care.

Children live in an emotional world

And that is why we do not give children the keys to the car or the right to vote. Laws, not emotions, rule nations and determine how society is structured and managed. And touchy, personal responses are just that. Social media by censoring opinion demeans itself, and reduces itself to the level of children who live in an emotion-dominated world. It takes an adult to see the world in the impersonal terms of law, the place where problems are solved.

Emotion-driven children who live at the level of personal opinion cannot solve problems. And eventually the issue of so much media/corporate censorship will need the attention of the Supreme Court.

#China #emotions #fearofbeingwrong #controlfreaks #FalunGong

Daily Life in Hell

You’ve heard all about the lake of fire, noise, smells, pain and the intolerable heat but truth be told God makes hell specific to the sinner. God knows our heart and He knows what we have done in this life, so the punishment fits the crime.

God makes hell specific to the sinner

I think of a small farmer in the mountains of North Carolina who starves one of his horses. The others seem to do all right. He also has a grudge against a mule. The laws of the nation and state are inadequate here and even though the local Pound Manager knows and wants to charge this man, he has no legal opportunity.

We have no knowledge of his motives but God knows how to reward this man for his evil heart.

A personally designed hell

Here is what he can look forward to in hell. First there will be no nice grassy farmland, or cool mountain breezes; picture a noisy, feces encrusted city street, barking wolves and trash everywhere. But most of all God will see to it that this man is hungry, not just for a day or two, or even as long as this poor horse must suffer but for eternity. Hunger also requires water, but there is no water in hell.

There is no water in heaven

I know this because water is a symbol of Jesus Christ and the word of God. Jesus is the King of Hell so He may show up on occasion but He is not there to dip his finger in a dish of water for this farmer. And if this fellow perchance, also has a smoking and drinking habit he will be forever wanting a bottle of liquor and some cigarettes while he is there again for a time so long you and I cannot imagine it.

The cutesy notion that we get to party with our buddies, dance to country tunes with our favorite fallen fiddlers is a prettied up picture the devil tells his students. You might think the devil is in charge of hell; not so. God is in charge of everything, always has been.

After we die our choices are over

The bald fact is that after we die we lose all choice. The choice we make is here, on earth. Heaven is not a static place. The Bible says there are goings on there we cannot even imagine, although I try. I’d like to walk on the bottom of the sea for example, and maybe take a spin on the rings of Saturn. I want to talk to some Biblical scholars and ask questions about things I have not yet understood. I may or may not get any of those options.

God is under no obligation to allow me access to those things if my obedience to Him in this life has been less than He knew I was capable of. After all God has a plan for every life; your job is to find out what it is. And abusing animals or people, or money, or power, or addictions is not on the agenda.

Make your choices now

Oh yes, heaven will be heaven of course, so much better than we can imagine, but our freedom and our rewards will be limited by our obedience in this life. Just as the animal abusing farmer has no choice about his punishment, neither do we choose our rewards,

The best advice any preacher ever gave is this – Trust and obey for there’s no other way.

Guest Teaching – the Death of Judas

MAY 17, 2019 BY CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST

Did Judas Hang Himself or Did He Fall?

The Bible is a textbook so its information is not either/or but both/and. Everything fits together though scattered about.

According to the New Testament, after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, he felt remorse so he killed himself. We have two accounts of this action, which were written by (or attributed to) Matthew and Luke. Skeptics often point to the two accounts of Judas’ death to claim the New Testament contains conflicting information, yet instead the two accounts are easily reconcilable and provide us with an undesigned coincidence. Accordingly, this article reconciles the passages and offers responses to skeptics’ likely opposition.

Matthew 27:3-8

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”

Acts 1:16-19

“Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

(With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)”

Reconciliation

Akeldama is a hilly area with rough terrain, as can be observed in the following modern photo:

Akeldama

Notice that the account by Matthew says he hung himself, while the account by Luke says he fell to the ground. The reconciliation is that he hung himself before falling to the ground. It is likely that Judas hung himself from a tree and after his body began to decompose, either the tree limb broke or someone cut the branch from which he was hanging down to remove his body, causing Judas to fall to the ground. Since his body had likely decomposed, his body would have burst open as described by Luke.

Opposition 1: He fell headlong

Skeptics will note that Judas fell “headlong,” which is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as either (1) falling with “great speed or without thinking;” (2) head-first or (3) very quick or quickly without considering what you are doing. Given Judas’ condition at the time of the fall, the options are reduced to either or both a quick fall or one which was head-first.

Judas could have hung himself in several ways. He could have: (1) drop hanged himself, which he could have done by securing a rope to his neck from a branch and dropping from (or jumping off) for a quicker and less painful and death; (2) suspended himself from a branch, which he could have done by hanging the noose from the tree, wrapping it around his neck, and kicking away whatever he used to elevate himself; or (3) hung upside down, which is known as inverted hanging. Inverted hanging may be the most painful because the death would be prolonged. Judas could have fastened the rope to his feet and suspended himself from a branch. The weight of his lower body organs would eventually crush his heart and collapse his lungs, leading to death.

Given the hilly terrain of Akeldama, Judas may have fallen or landed headlong using any of the three options. Strong’s Greek translation of the verse that says “fell headlong” in the NIV comes is “prenes [headlong] genomenos [having fallen],” which suggests he either fell headlong, landed headlong, or fell and landed headlong. The Greek translation could be interpreted several ways. In other words, this so-called contradiction can easily be reconciled in multiple ways.

In fact, the two passages give us a much more vivid picture of Judas’ suicide. Only taken together do we come to understand that Judas hung himself and eventually fell, with his body bursting open, likely due to its decomposition. Without Matthew, we would not have learned of the fate of the 30 pieces of silver and what it meant when Luke indicated in Acts that Judas “bought the field.” Without Acts, we would not have learned of Judas’ final moments following his death. This is an example of an undesigned coincidence.

Opposition 2: Matthew says the Pharisees bought the field, while Luke says Judas bought the field.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Zechariah (11:12-13) prophesied as follows:

“I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.”

This account parallels the accounts from Matthew, where the Pharisees used the 30 pieces of silver to purchase a potter’s field, and Acts, where Judas symbolically “bought” the field. In both cases, the money Judas had “earned” by betraying Jesus funded the Field of Blood where he committed suicide. In other words, we again have reconciled the passages, resulting in no provable contradictions.

Thank you for your time.

Why has Evangelism in the Pacific been so Slow?

It started in the Philippines

American Christians got lucky in the Philippines. After the USA took over the Philippines as a result of the Spanish-American war, the Filipinos hated the American managers. Most Americans do not like being imperialists; they’d rather be at home on their ranches or reveling in big cities lights and drama than off in some backwater, no matter how fresh the bananas and coconuts or cheap the labor.

But World War 2 changed that entirely. The Japanese were vicious tyrants so when the Americans drove them out of the islands, the Filipinos rejoiced and became pro-America. In fact many families were allowed to emigrate to the USA based on their service to the war effort. All this made the evangelization of the islands easier. The Roman Catholics were the original western European religious workers but they were so woven into state politics, the common man was not happy with Catholicism.

It continued in South Korea

Again, as a result of the Korean War, Christianity became entrenched in that nation and now the Koreans are the strongest Christian group in the Pacific Rim. But they are not friends with China and most of the other nations, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam areas despite strong trading partnerships.

Why Christianity faces its main foe

So for the rest of the Pacific Rim there is a problem. The Christian faith requires repentance. Repentance is not merely regret, remorse, or even feeling sorry about what you did. We all have regrets but in most cases we want the regrets to go away, and keep the lifestyle that imprinted them on our personalities. Full repentance means never committing those sins again not just confessing them as past events.

True repentance acknowledges God as creator of the universe and that you, the human being, need to recognize that you are separated from God because of your attitude and behavior. That kind of attitude does not mean you must expose a life of depravity and sin, only that you see yourself in relationship to the divine as needing a change of personhood. Some evangelists call this The Exchanged Life. Jesus died that you might life and become more like him.

Losing face

In stark contrast is the mind of the oriental who believes the greatest shame and personal angst is to “lose face.” Those of us in Western nations do not have a sense of what this entails.

As an example of losing face, there was the 2008 report of a Muslim taxi driver in Texas murdering his two teenagers because, apparently, they dated some American boys. https://jonathanturley.org/2008/01/05/texas-officials-investigate-whether-fathers-shooting-of-two-daughters-was-a-muslim-honor-killing/

It appears that the Islamic community protected this man and he has never been brought to justice. To American ears the idea that anyone would think he had the right to kill anyone, much less his own children because they brought shame on his name is unthinkable, even insane.

The male public image

But to Oriental minds, especially males, anything that makes them look bad in front of their peers is called losing face, no matter how true the accusation may be, no matter how minor the accusation or irrelevant.

Christianity, as well as the American Declaration of Independence, says we believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. First in the series is life. No one had the right to take another’s life; it’s a longstanding tenet of Western common law.

So now translate this to China or Japan. The very idea that someone would confess their inadequacies, much less real violations of the civil or moral law, is madness.

Here is what is required

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

A list of possible sins

Galatians 5:19-24 The Message (MSG)

19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community.

Looking at this list you’d suppose it can’t happen in China and yet today there are 100,000,000 dedicated Chinese who have done this. They are separate, silent, and hidden, but they have taken this chance with God.

And God can use them. He managed to turn the world around with only 11 disciples and one savior. He can do it again.

#China #evangelism #honorkilling #Islam

Eternal Security vs. Eternal Insecurity

Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you or forsake you.

Jesus said this. We can be sure He meant it, but that does not mean we may not end up in hell. In fact some individuals who have been to hell and back (it doesn’t happen often) tell us Jesus is there and people do indeed talk to Him. They are angry and rebellious, as you might suspect, but Jesus has not forsaken them – they have of Him.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Another promise. There are thousands of promises in the Bible and this is just as solid as any other, but there are people who jump OUT of his hand. The promise of salvation is not what God does, but depends on what you do. Your salvation depends on the unqualified acceptance of your sin and His redemption.

By the way, this is a lifetime experience. I was saved 50+ years ago and my level of understanding, experience, and dedication bears little resemblance to what it was so long ago. I have grown. God does not judge us on our level of sophistication in spiritual things. But only our attitude.

1 Samuel 16:7 – God looks on the heart.

We are saved by faith; but we are not necessarily damned by faithlessness.  One of Jesus’ contemporary’s asked him to “increase my faith.” That would be a good prayer for us all.

Churches (denominations and pastors) don’t decide who is in hell and who is not

The third point is this: NO church or denomination can tell you unqualifiedly that you are either going to hell or heaven. In order to do this they would need to travel to the afterlife and take a census, then return with their findings. There are some pretty scruffy characters who made it to heaven and some clean and washed up-standing citizens who are no where near heaven. These things, that is our destiny, are not decided by men.

No one should be insecure either

While a denomination cannot guarantee you “eternal security” neither should anyone fret and worry about “eternal insecurity.” God’s intention of the Bible is to set us free, not to keep us in bondage to an unknown future.

A woman named Kat Kerr has books and tapes about her frequent visits to heaven. She has pictures and tales about a happy and strange land of options, fun, travel, and excitement. On one of her tapes she records that a 18th century pirate repented and is now conducting pirate ship treasure hunts for our departed relatives if that is their pleasure.

Heaven gets a bad rap

This points out that what we are good at in life is what we can have in heaven. It also means that if you live like the devil, don’t be shocked if you end up dying like and with him too. Life is a preparation time for an eternity – the choice is yours. There is no dead-dull harp-playing on clouds and other nonsense. Heaven has goals and opportunities just as  life does; simply put, the distractions of sin are removed. That is why it is called heaven.

Don’t ask anyone to guarantee that you are heaven bound

One of my students told me recently – your students want you to guarantee them that they will go to heaven. I said, “Sadly I can’t do that.” The promise and assurance of salvation cannot and will not come through men or their doctrines. It is the warm assurance of our heavenly father who, through Bible study and prayer, gives us that. And it is a totally individual and personal experience.

If you are looking for eternal security, try reading John 10. I can do no better than the Lord in this matter. May you find His peace.

#heaven #hell #oncesavedalwayssaved

How we Know Jesus was Cremated

Recall that Jesus left not a hair or a bone fragment in that cave. The religious leaders would have used that as proof he was not risen. Even today the religious leaders of Israel cannot adequately answer the question of habeas corpus – “you may have the body.”

Habeas Corpus – Jesus’ body never found

Don’t you just love the way God takes care of the details?

There are two passages from the Bible that explain the total absence of Jesus’ body as a fulfillment of the law as well as a deterrent to critics.

First, the sacrifice of the Passover was to be totally consumed.

Leviticus 7:17 But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire.

And Jesus was resurrected on the third day. In most cases the priest saw to it that the blood sacrifice was totally consumed, but when Jesus was in the tomb there was no priest present. God, however, still had that chance to show Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted by the father so God did it Himself, as in this passage:

God consumes the sacrifice Himself

2 Chronicles 7:1 King James Version (KJV) Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.

Jesus as a single once-for-all sacrifice

The book of Hebrews reminds us that there is no additional sacrifice for sins. Jesus literally paid it all, that one time, never-to-be-repeated complete sacrifice for every sin of history now, in the past and in the future, if we as individuals will accept it. Ah, but that is the question.

So when the disciples, and the women looked into the tomb, they found the grave clothes and no Jesus, no corpse, no nothing, not a hair. God accepted the sacrifice.

Blood Sacrifice and the Symbolism of the Death of Seal Team 6 (revised)

With Joe Biden running fir President it’s time to review some sorry information from the past, his revealing the names of Seal Team 6 which led to their murder. This allowed the men to be sacrificed.

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/the-betrayal-of-the-navys-seal-team-6/?fbclid=IwAR2fOJjpDskECHE8shGF1WoXw4qo_XCeW-2cqgZa7jjnv18jEOq4RJRug-Q

Dream interpretation, symbolism and visions are all forms of non-verbal communication (as are music and movies) but they contain messages none-the-less. Frequently we ignore them or spend a few minutes being puzzled and then give up. They need to be analyzed, identified and understood.

Certain basic rules apply. You don’t match apples with oranges; for example, a dream about an animal will not refer to a building unless that building’s logo is an animal. (Geico as an example.)

Biblical Symbolism goes back thousands of years

The Judeo-Christian Bible is a good start because it is the oldest book on this topic and because the symbolism has been well tested over the years. A notable example which has modern application is the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham 3,500 years ago. (Genesis 22) It is the portrait of the later sacrifice of Jesus and a warning and example of why we are not to sacrifice our children.

Blood Sacrifice for appeasing an angry God

Blood sacrifice is a long-standing principle in all societies. Let us apply this to a modern situation. Soon after Barak Obama ordered the death of Osama Bin Laden a group of terrorists “sacrificed” members of the Seal Team 6 – the group which carried out the assassination. See Deaths of Seal Team 6 Exposed

This was not merely revenge but that they provided Allah, their god, with a blood sacrifice. But who noticed? As far as I can tell, practically no one. But that is the core of any interpretation – the meaning of events. Islamic fundamentalists see this as a sacrifice to Allah since he is the source and destiny of their political religion. It also occurred on August 6, 2011, a Saturday, the high holy day for the Jews. Even though Seal Team members were probably mostly Christian, Muslims still think of their main enemy as Jews. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/9/kuhner-who-betrayed-navy-seal-team-6/ The Taliban took the credit for the hit.

Abortion also is a blood sacrifice

Blood sacrifice, e.g. abortion, is a continuing factor in modern societies from the 13 million per year in modern China to the 4 million a year in the USA, and is a legal or illegal factor in most other nations. It is a practice going all the way back to the Moabites of the Bible who sacrificed to Moloch, the god of child sacrifice. God’s warning to them was that Israel was to wipe them off the face of the earth. Judging by the statistics above that hasn’t happened yet.

Since the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not accept child sacrifice, someone else does – Satan. The practice obligates us to him. By-the-by, he feels no such obligation to reward us. Our ignorance of these matters is of no concern. Like a small child who accidentally eats a chili pepper, the innocent act in no way affects the painful outcome – a burned mouth.

5 Principles of Islam

Obama’s flag (see Symbolism – What does Obama’s new flag mean?? http://wp.me/p1otAF-8M) contains a reference to the blood sacrifice which is a core belief in Islamic fundamentalism. – the voluntary death of the believer to please Allah and reach heaven with its carnal rewards. The horizontal stripes on his flag represent the 5 principles of Islam all won with the blood of martyrs, or of infidels. Islam believes and practices the theology which requires either the conversion or death of the infidels – that is, anyone who disagrees with them. Their martyrs’ deaths are proof of their sincerity.

The Sacrifice for Sins already paid

Judaism and Christianity unqualifiedly reject this theology believing the blood sacrifice has already been made – for the Jews at their High Holy Days, and the Christians in the sacrifice of Jesus. That puts these two groups at the top of the Islamic hit list. Jesus warns (Luke 21:20) But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near” so keep your eyes on Israel.

If all this seems arcane to you it is not to the middle eastern mind which has dominated this generation. For Muslims the year they were thrown out of Spain (1492) is just as real as yesterday. That was the same time that Christopher Columbus headed to the new World as a Christian missionary, a fact not often recognized. https://www.amazon.com/Light-Glory-1492-1793-Gods-America/dp/0800732715/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+light+and+the+glory+peter+marshall&qid=1561718841&s=books&sr=1-1 

Christopher Columbus was a Christian evangelist

Columbus’ first name means in Greek “Christ bearing” and the explorer received permission to take his crew to the “Indies” for the express purpose of evangelism. The fact that he was replaced by Spanish soldiers who brought with them venereal and European diseases does not negate his own better motives.

Islamists believe that they will rule the whole world so of course they want back into Spain. Their theology trumps every other concern. . The fervor of the military mission is enhanced by their 500 year failure to make any appreciable progress. Other than infiltrating many societies they have not managed to establish Sharia Law in any but those nations already committed to Sharia.

A culture that embraces death cannot breathe life into society.

Germany, England, and France originally welcomed Muslims but have changed their minds, seeing the obdurate refusal to accept any of the principles by which these European societies live. That Muslim nose in the tent was a mistake. And where Muslims have infiltrated they have not improved the society. They remain an isolated group, unwilling to change.

Victor David Hanson of the Hoover Institution (http://victorhanson.com/) has good comments on why this failure has motivated them to fight harder.

President Obama set the tone for a Muslim leader

Back to Mr. Obama. Media people were puzzled that his reaction to the death of the ambassador in Libya was so indifferent. He reacted as though it was none of his concern. And truly it is not if he considers himself “resident” of a state, America, which will be subsumed into the Islamic takeover. He flies another flag. The following picture shows a non-verbal verification of this.

But he does pledge the Russian flag. He and his wife do not put their hands over their heart when watching others say the pledge – they do not pledge. Their hands go over their right lung. They are citizens of another country. This is all non-verbal information, hence symbolism.

The America flag does not appear when Obama is speaking from the Oval Office.

With that in mind the “terrorists” who took down the twin towers on 9/11 are actually just helping to bring about the world government of Islam. The terrorists, who attacked the embassy and burned the flag, were not burning Obama’s flag, so why would he stand by America and its employees? If the Terrorists are bringing in the new world government why would Obama, their new leader, condemn them? They are doing Allah’s will.

Candidate Obama told the Media before he was elected that he wanted a society of government control, redistribution of assets, which means rich people will leave and the remaining citizens left will be poor- equally poor. https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-My-Father-Story-Inheritance/

All of his plans are in his autobiography.  Mr. Obama placed environment above the interests of people, poverty has increased, joblessness has increased, all part of the leveling process integral to Islamic fundamentalism. Like Marxist China, none are rich (except the rulers) and all others are poor – that is the meaning of equality: Equally in want. I worked and lived in China and that is what they have – and they don’t like it.

Click here for commentary regarding President Trump moving the US  Embassy controversy.

Click here for information linking Fascism, Islamism and Anti-semitism.

Link between Democratic Socialism and Antisemitism.

Why Americans Must Support Israel

Boycotting Israel – the Ultimate in Antisemitism

#Islam #ShariaLaw #ChristopherColumbus

Why Pres. Trump is called “Cyrus”

A welk known Texas minister said last year, “What the public wants now is prophecy.” Well there is plenty of it.

The public wants prophecy

It started in the USA but the idea that God has appointed Donald Trump as a modern day political figure like Cyrus of the Old Testament was picked up also by Israel. Applauded by Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli leasers, they renamed a section in honor of President Trump even calling him a modern Cyrus. Trump is hailed as a prophet and blessing to the nation. https://www.theepochtimes.com/israel-unveils-new-settlement-named-trump-heights-on-golan_2965819.html

Trump as warrior for Israel

In the USA a book was published prior to the 2016 election predicting Donald Trump’s surprising win. https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Chaos-Candidate-American-Unraveling/dp/0998216402/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=god%27s+chaos+candidate&qid=1567425961&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Trump’s win had also been predicted by well known Christian evangelist/musician and South African prophet Kim Clement in 2007; Clement died 15 days after that election.

https://godinanutshell.com/2017/01/26/kim-clement-the-last-prophecy-of-kim-clement/

I supported Clement financially early in 2002 and remember hearing this prophecy in 2007. So, it is well documented. Most people can find it on line at the House of Destiny.com. The usual atheists don’t buy this but that is not new and should surprise no one.

What the Bible says about Trump/Cyrus?

Isaiah 45 Common English Bible (CEB)
Cyrus as God’s anointed
45 The Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whom I have grasped by the strong hand,
    to conquer nations before him,
    disarming kings,
    and opening doors before him,
    so no gates will be shut:
I myself will go before you,
    and I will level mountains.
I will shatter bronze doors;
    I will cut through iron
 bars.
I will give you hidden treasures of secret riches,
    so you will know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who calls you by name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob and Israel my chosen,
    I called you by name.
I gave you an honored title,
    though you didn’t know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    besides me there is no God.
I strengthen you—
    though you don’t know me—
so all will know, from the rising of the sun to its setting,
    that there is nothing apart from me.
I am the Lord; there’s no other.
    I form light and create darkness,
    make prosperity and create doom;
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.
Pour down, you heavens above,
    and let the clouds flow with righteousness.
Let the earth open for salvation to bear fruit;
    let righteousness sprout as well.
    I, the Lord, have created these things.

Notice: The point of this passage is that God takes responsibility for putting Donald Trump (Cyrus) in office. Is this a reincarnation of the Biblical Cyrus? Absolutely not. The Bible says that these men come in the “spirit of” a forerunner, as it does of Elijah and John the Baptist.

http://Luke 1:17 He will go forth before the Lord, equipped with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and he will turn the disobedient to righteous patterns of thinking. He will make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Other writers have jumped on the topic as well.

https://www.amazon.com/Trump-King-Cyrus-American-Prayer/dp/1981549730/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=god%27s+chaos+candidate&qid=1567425961&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Why does Trump appear invincible

All attempts to discredit and remove Trump from office have failed. But no matter, his foes continue without a let-up. And his foes have faced embarrassment and shame in many cases. https://wouldyouconsider.net/2019/07/01/what-energizes-the-media-hate-machine/

Don’t expect it to stop. There is a lot of profit in sex trafficking, higher taxes, and the abortion industry and the promotion of illegals’ entry into the USA which keeps many agencies and NGOs afloat financially.

God is protecting his appointee

One of the major blessings of being a Christian is knowing that when you are in the center of God’s will, his appointed or anointed one, no matter whether for a great task or a small, you have his complete attention and protection. The various cadre of atheists and self-appointed experts in things-political can’t picture this because God and His will aren’t involved in their own daily decision making.

But the bottom line here is that in the end they will all be spinning their wheels if they continue on this negative course. Christians prayed that someone would turn America around and it is happening.

The voters prove it.

Van Gogh’s Painting of the By-Passed Church

We have evangelists 6′ deep on TV getting people saved and revved up. We have music ministries, vangoghschurchchoirs, and concerts coast to coast. We have pastors working with wounded people and guiding the flock. We have teachers at every level. So how come the church is standing still – noisy, active but not moving forward? I see people focused on the 2nd Coming of Christ which could be 50 years in the future.  Today is the day of the Lord.

On these posts I often speak of what is wrong with the church. So far I don’t think I am in the least bit wrong. There is too much attention to the anti-Christ, the rapture, the foibles and flaws of the ministers, complaints about how much money men make (but if nothing is coming in you’ll notice the church folds); there is competition for office, power, place, position and ministry, none of that being appropriate or Biblical I might add.  20 years ago a church in England each week was sold for an Islamic Mosque!

The painting could be today

Vincent Van Gogh, a very serious Christian, painted this picture of a rather unappealing church, dark and obscure.  Two paths walk around the church; the paths are clear and well worn.  But there is no entry way into the church!  That was the 18th century.

Today it is exactly the opposite.  The church doors are wide open, people enter in great numbers and often have no idea why they are there.  Doctrine is not taught, or if taught, not followed.  Consequently the internet can tell many thousands of lies about God, faith, life and death and hardly a murmur is heard because no one is following up on the “converts.”  Churches are social places and ministers have secure pensions.  This means half of the gospel is missing.

A perishing church

I see  the church is perishing despite all this busyness. The scriptures say flatly, we perish for two reasons (1) lack of knowledge and (2) No Vision.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people perish:

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:

Continue reading

Why Denying the Faith is Not a Problem

This has been in the news recently and it is a healthy sign. https://www.charismanews.com/culture/54193-christian-rapper-renounces-his-faith-in-jesus-as-great-falling-away-continues

God did warn us about this. The Bible says the time will come when people will be divided into believers and unbelievers.

And not just individuals

The Democratic Party in America to widespread astonishment decided to separate itself from God. https://stream.org/democratic-party-resolution-against-christianity/?fbclid=IwAR3Co7nemJAqCPUB2br4XEX_pDM5X8wx8TrVF_8G7qDUfWg19oaYgE5gmoA

The fact that people are openly denying the faith is a sign that we are in the End Times when God will harvest the crop of his believers and separate them from the unbelievers. This is the relevant passage from Matthew 13 (Phillips translation, because he is so clear.)

Jesus again explains a parable to his disciples

36 Later, he left the crowds and went indoors, where his disciples came and said, “Please explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37-39 “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,” replied Jesus. “The field is the whole world. The good seed? That is the sons of the kingdom, while the weeds are the sons of the evil one. The blackguard who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of this world. The reapers are angels.

40-43 “Just as weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire so will it happen at the end of this world. The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will uproot from the kingdom everything that is spoiling it, and all those who live in defiance of its laws, and will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be tears and bitter regret. Then the good will shine out like the sun in their Father’s kingdom.

Public Separation is the sign that we are nearing the end

Too many hangers-on in religion and politics have compromised the faith and sowed division in the churches with unbelievers and suspicious doctrines. It is possible to find any church anywhere espousing stuff the Bible either calls flawed or outright condemns. The sexual revolution is just one of these creeping lies about which believers seem blissfully ignorant.

The Bible warns many, many times about the dangers if marrying “foreign wives.” This is not about human marriage but a symbol of syncretism, http://syn·cre·tism /ˈsiNGkrəˌtizəm/ noun 1. the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought: bastardization of the faith. This is not about doctrine. There is a wide gap between doctrine and faith and they should not be confused.

Defining Faith

On the positive side, faith is the whole of one’s personality resting on someone or something. It is the core of belief. People enter a church building with all kind of faith systems operating in their personalities. Faith in the government, or their parents, a school teacher or the policemen, or faith in a single doctrine, such as ‘communism is the best form of government.’ The doctrine does not need to be true to have many faithful followers.

What happens to individuals as they mature is they slough off faith that is thin or finds itself betrayed, and new forms of faith develop.

Faith in error

That can lead to all kinds of error. Street gangs find faith in each other, in their guns, their wars, and their territories. People can develop overwhelming faith in their mate or their job, until one of them fails or falls through entirely. That is why people who lose a job, or have a death in the family, or divorce, or the public exposure of a trusted public leader can bring people to despair. Faith challenged can be a personal crisis.

Faith is no flash in the pan

True faith is not in externals but in the work and person of Jesus Christ, as both God in the flesh and as our individual link to heaven and the afterlife as well as the promise of a life of joy and peace on earth. That is our goal as believers, faith as a process in our lives over the course of a lifetime.

Stumbling on Doctrine

Paul said I preach Christ and Him crucified.

I am always wary when people focus on doctrine rather than the person and work of Christ. Doctrines are supposed to clarify what we teach and believe not obfuscate it. If you look up Christianity on the Internet you are soon ankle deep in a miasma of doctrinal positions – amillennialism, pre-post-mid tribulation, etc. When I saw this chart on the internet I was relieved that I had already been through seminary and did not need to repeat it.

This is not readable which is fine with me

Leave this for the scholars because the meat and potatoes of Christian life is in applying what we know about God to daily life and continuing in our study of His Word, not necessarily man’s word. Each of us has a Call and a life Plan, written out in heaven and waiting for our application and focus. Thankfully, more and more pastors are preaching this.

Ministry has moved into the wider world

Gone are the days – one could hope – when the spiritually minded young man was told by well meaning church members, you should be a minister. The ministry is now out in the world – the entire world – in offices, banks, insurance agencies, manufacturing warehouses, construction sites, beauty parlors, shoe stores and IT centers. God got tired of being confined to buildings which were inhabited once or twice a week.

We walk by faith not justification of our faith.

We do not need to have all the answers to various questions and doctrines which the unbeliever throws at us, although it would be nice if we knew them. And some do. When the scripture says you should be able to give an answer for your faith, you can simply point to an incident in your life when God broke through the natural world and made His presence real to you.

Your testimony is your power point

For me it was the divine healing of my feet. All four arches were flat as a pancake and painful. I wore leather arches in all my shoes. At a Christian retreat I asked God to fix my feet. But I did make one condition for myself;

I promised not to question or examine the issue again.

If I was to have real faith I needed not to obsess over the answer but just wait and then one day find that my feet no longer demanded inserts. I did this because I had seen so many people disappointed about their healing.

“Well God didn’t heal me. I guess He never does.”

The Bible says that someone who thinks this way never gets anything from God; they’ve slammed that door shut with their un-faith. That sort of thing. That washes away every scrap of faith you have as a new believer which makes no sense. If you are going to have faith in God you need to allow Him to do things on His schedule.

Don’t give God deadlines

About six months later I noticed that the leather inserts were not comfortable. My feet were totally healed. Many decades have gone by and I have had many things go wrong in my body but I can honestly say my feet have never given me another bad day. Once God does something He does not un-do it.

No one is saved by doctrine

But we were talking about doctrine. For some reason males especially think they must have a doctrine to back up their beliefs. That sounds sexist but not so. People approach the issues of life and death differently. I wonder if the male mind is not overly concerned with making stuff logical. But that isn’t our goal anyway. Women are more likely to accept what God has done and be thankful and not overthink things. if people question you about your faith – and poopoo it, you have your testimony to fall back on.

Remember this. No one with an experience is at the mercy of a someone with theory.

The purpose of doctrine is to explain what has happened to you in the context of the rest of the believers and reflect what is taught in the Bible.

And conversely false doctrines are there to cheat you out of a full Christian life experience. You will not pray for God to do something if you’ve been told He won’t do it. I prefer to think God listens to everything I say and that frees me to ask whatever I will. That does not mean He always answers, and certainly not right away. But the option is there.

Use the autumn season to make a new mission statement for your life

This is Labor Day weekend. it is a good time to take stock of your life and make a plan for this coming year. Change is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Get yourself back into reading the bible, not just the parts you like, such as the Psalms or the Gospels. It is the whole Bible that belongs to us.

There’s an old gospel song – Every Promise in the Book Is Mine. But only if you know the promise is there.

Don’t say ISIL, say ISIS

President Obama insisted on calling the terrorists ISIL instead of ISIS because of his contempt for Israel, our treaty partner.

Why? We are at war with ISIS and other Islamic States. ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

ISIL includes Israel

But, ISIL means the ISIS area as well as the Levant region which includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey.

We are not at war with Israel – ever. It is the fatherland of the Christian faith and the only democracy in the Middle East. And we should be cautious about Turkey which is our sometime-friend.

Wikipedia has more on this subject.

ISIS is an Egyptian goddess

Lastly, ISIS is an Egyptian goddess, and we certainly don’t have any love of false religion, even the kind that doesn’t kill off its enemies.

What They Don’t Tell You about Christian Persecution

Worldwide 10,000 Believers every year are tortured and die at the hands of Christian-haters so even if it is not an issue where you live now, it may well be in the future. Persecution comes in many forms, loss of jobs or status within a company, loss of friends, marriage breakups, attacks against children or relatives, dirty tricks, and the obvious, physical torture and death.

What they don’t tell you is that do not even need to be a very good Christian to be on the devil’s hit list. Here is the scripture hiding in plain sight.

Deciding on a Holy Life

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

You will notice on careful examination you do not necessarily need to be Godly, only to, by an act of your will, seek that kind if life. Your first scuffle with the flesh around you will be the sinners in your group of friends and relatives who think you are going too far. The first level of holiness is sexual purity and sure to raise the ire of those who want to ignore the basics.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

Sex is the first test

Fornication means any kind of sexual behavior outside of a legal marriage, one man , one woman. You can see how millions are not going to buy this. Sexual deviance is the quickest and surest way to live outside of the Kingdom of God, which means away from his blessings. Too many people will beg God for revelation, help, healing and influence while all the time carrying on something with someone they know is wrong.

Teaching a short Bible study a few years back to some middle aged women, they were literally shocked when I said that the first step in salvation is not having sex with anyone with whom you are not legally married. The teachings in many Protestant churches now is so slack that they were ignorant of this basic rule.

Prayers that go nowhere

God has said clearly, Proverbs 28:9 God doesn’t listen to the prayers of those who flout the law.

Examine Yourself

How often have you heard that scripture? That is one reason the Bible tells us to examine ourselves before we start praying. How often has God not listened to your prayers and then you realized you had disobeyed something He told you and you had forgotten about it. People who tell me, “God didn’t answer my prayer” is frequent, but blaming God is not the answer. Rejecting some known sin in your life is the quickest path to answered prayers.