Category Archives: Applied Christianity

The Holy Bible sets the standard for successful living and the clear cut ways in which all the rules are violated and giving us daily lessons in what to do, and not to do.

Gay Marriage, Judeo-Christian Marriage and Contract vs. Covenant Marriage

There are two types of marriage from a legal standpoint, by covenant and by contract.

Human marriages are by contract

All marriages these days are by contract. You sign a legal license to marry and are formally married either by a preacher/rabbi, or in a civil ceremony by a “member of the court,” such as a justice of the peace or a ship captain. A license and a contract are required because the government wants to know who is responsible for any children and property belonging to this union. That is the extent of the contract in marriage.

Covenant marriage places the responsibility on God

But Judeo-Christian tradition sees marriage as a covenant and instead of there being 2 people in this marriage contract, there is a third, God Himself. The vows are taken before God and He assumes a special part in the union. A covenant to God goes way beyond a contract. In fact salvation as a promise from God is the most sacred of all the covenants he has made with the human race. From God’s standpoint we can break a covenant but He cannot.

You and your spouse might break that covenant, but God will not. The couple promise not only fidelity to each other but to God, and to His demands on their life and witness, and their raising children in the faith.

Ministers are wise to refuse to marry

Perhaps that helps explain why some ministers will not perform some marriages. A minister is within his rights not to marry any couple he does not think will fulfill the union properly or are not serious about the Godly connection each of them has. Since the marriage covenant under God also includes raising the children in a Godly home, you can easily see why same-sex marriages are not allowed in most denominations or by most ministers. Natural children are an impossibility.

Individuals who divorce can break their contract, as recognized by the state, but not the covenant. When it says “What God has joined together Let no man put asunder” (Matt 19:6) it means, under covenant law. Humans might separate what God joined, but God is not required recognize their having done sos. The Law of God is greater than any law from the State of Nebraska, or any other jurisdiction for that matter. This should help explain why so many of the rules regarding marriage in the New Testament seem to militate against divorce.

Legal human divorce does not break a covenant marriage

Women will occasionally say, “He may have divorced me but I still feel married to him” and be telling the truth. From God’s standpoint that union may well still stand. A man can divorce if his wife commits adultery but if she did not and he marries, he becomes an adulterer and God cannot bless sin, which may explain why so many 2nd marriages fail.

Statistically 2nd marriages fail at a far greater rate than 1st marriages, as a tacit confirmation of this spiritual fact. And same-sex unions have a far greater statistic of divorce than other unions. Lawyers frequently support same sex marriage because they know they want added legal business! (Some day I’ll write on Too Many Lawyers.)

In the case above, is the rejected woman expected to remarry her husband? Absolutely not. Many women are more than happy to be rid of a philanderer; let the new wife put up with him. God has not called us to bondage says the scripture. In all cases He wants to be the person involved in your life decisions.

Any kind of interference is called adultery

Because marriage is a covenant relationship of 3 (he, she and God) no other human should either get in the way, or ever take sides. You can always take God’s side, but you may not know what His Side is. Marriage is intensely personal and outsiders, no matter how close to the situation, esp. children, cannot know what is going on. And God does not want us to take sides either. Parents who try to break up a marriage will face God’s judgment if only on the other side of the grave.

In fact to take sides is to be involved where you don’t belong. This covenant of 3 does not include you and nosy interference can get you quickly on God’s naughty list, esp. close friends, mothers-in-law and The Other Woman. Minding one’s own business is always good counsel.

If you are facing or have faced divorce, you can learn the mind of Christ in the Bible. He has made it clear we are not to focus on the past, or be depressed in the present, but always to look forward, and not be in bondage to failures of the past.

What does it mean to repent?

The first leg on a journey back to God is forgiveness. Repentance is the second leg and best understood by what it is not.

What Repentance is not

It is not remorse, regret, lament, apology, feeling bad about, wishing it had never happened, depression, despair, sorrow, shame or guilt. Those are all valid emotions which ordinary people feel when they have done wrong, or at least when they think they have done wrong. But emotions are not actions.

Jesus never once asked anyone how they felt; but many times he asked them “What do you think?” Thinking governs actions. To repent is to act.

Jesus never asked how someone felt

Remorse is feeling so very bad about something that it destroys you. Judas betrayed Jesus and was engulfed by remorse so thoroughly he killed himself. That is not repentance.

Matthew 27:2-4 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.Could Judas have repented and been restored to Jesus? Yes, but he did not.

Shame and guilt can trigger repentance

Shame and guilt engulfed Peter after he had denied he knew Jesus. He didn’t kill himself or anyone else, but he skulked back into the shadows until Jesus openly and publicly asked Peter to undo in his heart what he had done previously in front of others. Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him since Peter had denied him three times. From The Message

15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (αγαπας) me more than these?” The word love here refers to the pure love of God.

“Yes, Master, you know I love (φιλω) you.” The word for love here refers to the love between persons, brothers, friends.

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (αγαπας) me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love (φιλω) you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love (φιλω) me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Peter knew what it meant to really repent. He believed he loved Jesus with God’s love, and could after the betrayal only confess to (φιλω) the love of mankind. But he did make as many confessions of love as he had of betrayal. In the Bible is pays to note patterns of behavior.

The English really cannot know these different words for love, essential to correct interpretation. Peter was required by the circumstances to agree and also recognize that his love was not as devoted and as unconditional as he had originally believed. Peter found out the truth about himself in this scenario. Peter was not only restored, he became one of the most aggressive of apostles.

Sorrow, lament, depression

Sorrow was what Mary felt when she saw her son die. Lament was what the women did at Golgotha. (Matt 27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. ) Depression is a long term response to anger turned inward. The cure for depression is not repentance but praise. Isaiah 61:3.

Repentance means change your mind

Enough of what it is not. Repentance defined is, using a translation of the Greek word metnoia, (meta=change, nous=mind), solely to change your mind. This takes an act of the will. It does not mean that you really need to know very much. The simplest person can change his/her mind.

I once worked for a gifted attorney; in fact she had never lost a case. Even though she attended church and Sunday school every week, (and her husband was a preacher’s kid), she told me that she hoped she would do enough good in her life to be accepted in heaven. Clearly she had not one clue what true salvation was all about. She needed a mental change. What will happen to bring her to this? I have no idea but clearly weekly preaching has not done it for her. Will she have a sudden realization of her lost-ness?

As one who worked with prisoners for years I saw people in jail who did not see their condition until they had a realization of the love of God. One murderer said he broke down in sobs when he realized that he had killed someone that God loved.

Bringing people to repentance

The Bible says there are two ways to get people saved: one is kind and gentle words of love, and the other is pure-T scaring them into the Kingdom.

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

God uses all methods to bring man to Himself.

Paul’s “thorn” – not our suffering for Christ

I used to hear this.

“I have this terrible problem but I know I am, like Saint Paul, to bear graciously as Paul did over his thorn in the flesh.”

There are several things wrong with this interpretation of the passage involving the thorn.

2 Corinthians 12:6-12 (NASB) 6 For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.
7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Can you lay claim to this passage

First, The persons who lay claim to this passage very often (1) do not know the Bible very well (2) have had no great special revelation (3) have not performed miracles, great or small (4) nor in danger of being exalted by their friends and contemporaries, rushing to them for healing and deliverance. Courts call this “standing at law” or justification for your position.

My suffering does not add to Jesus’ suffering

Second, Jesus paid it all. My suffering on my personal cross does not and cannot add to His work at Calvary. It does sound like I am saving myself by my works. There are some denominations which believe that you can pay for your sinful flesh by causing it pain. I think of the flagellants in the Philippines at Easter time marching through the streets at Easter, flogging themselves with whips. Nothing you can do to your physical body can substitute for the salvation of the body or the cleansing of the flesh. All false religion wants us to “do” something. We are called to believe and “be.” Much harder.

There are forms of bragging

Third, their claim not only does not make them humble, nor do they sound humble but it fact it sounds very much like bragging.

God has prlvided us with all we need

Fourth, Paul did not say he was stuck with this problem, whatever it was, until the bitter end. God told him that His Grace was available. Or, in other words, that He had provided for mankind everything they need as individuals and as groups to handle any problem.

God opened up the future

God was opening up to us, the future generations, the option of learning where all these solutions might be found. The 20th century became a major source of advancements in medicine, knowledge, language, culture and political understanding and freedom.  It also opened the options for vicious tyrants to take over nations. But the solution was always there whether it was Syria struggling against evil or Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine which change medicine across the globe. It was all the grace of God, but it was not for the 1st or 2nd centuries but for the heirs in future generations to come after Paul and his coworkers.

That is His message to us. No matter what problem you now have “in the flesh” – God has an answer somewhere. God gives revelation to those who seek Him with unmixed motives. That message goes way beyond any kind of thorn. You can look for yours!

It may well be at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Secular Humanism is Crippling the Church

If you have a chance, watch Secrets of the Vatican on PBS TV. It is worth all 90 minutes. Sixty years plus of corruption, pedophilia, homosexuality, intrigue, money laundering, drug trade and other evils have been uncovered with little contrition. The curia is the governing body of the Roman church. It comes from word roots meaning, ironically “care by” a “noble guardian.” There certainly has been not guarding going on and not noble but venal. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church is trying to do something about it, with mixed results, but it really can’t because so much of the foundation is flawed. The New Testament identifies a number of errors which demonstrate falling away from God.

When God changes his mind, so will I.

God has promised He will do His word. He has not promised He will honor the words of men. It is our duty to know the difference.

And Protestant churches have fallen into the humanism trap too. Secular Humanism is a real political group with a doctrine and devotees. That is not what I am referring to here. Secular humanism is the spirit of compromise that reduces both the Word of God and the effects of sin to a human perspective. In the case of the pedophiles, secular humanists (SH) say it results when priests cannot marry.

Secular humanism always identifies a problem as starting with Man and ending with Man’s doing something about it; so God is not a factor.

In no case is this correct.

God’s Truth & church doctrine often do not match

Truth is always based ultimately on the word of God, because it is the will of God, and evil results when God’s will does not prevail in a man, a society, a nation, and all the groups therein. Pedophilia is not caused by celibacy rules but a direct result of disobedience to God’s word/will. The Bible says clearly “Do not forbid to marry.”

1 Timothy 4:1-4 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

How plain can you get? Here are more examples of common practice in violation of the revealed will of God.

Truth is Biblical not denominational

SH #2. Correction to church practice and corruption would have begun earlier but the lowly participant in this denomination is discouraged from reading the Bible. The entire scriptures are there for all men to know, read, promote, and live every day. Church believers can be and should be the backbone of immediate correction. They should have the power to be rid of corrupt leaders at any level. John 17:17 – Your word is truth.

SH #3. There is no “special” priesthood in the New Testament. We are all called priests. Each person in the church of Jesus Christ has a function. There are no fancy robes, headdresses, pope-mobiles, red sashes, gold goblets and on and on. No, the first church met often in the back of a restaurant, or someone’s home, or when under persecution in the graveyards of Rome. There was NO MORTGAGE.

1 Peter 2:9 -you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Women had as much right in the New Testament church as males Any differentiation tells us that the group is not “in Christ.” In Christ is where the church is supposed to be; when it is not it is somewhere else – in the world, in the flesh, in the devil, or more likely in trouble. Man is not the measure of reality, unless you mean the Man Jesus.

Galatians 3:27-29 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

SH#4. Believers are not saved by being baptized. They are saved before they are baptized. It is not necessary to baptize babies. They do not need to be added to heaven; because they already are there! They do lose that standing when they mature however; then salvation and baptism are appropriate.

Mark 10:14 … Jesus [said] Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

The Kingdom is where children are right now.

SH#5. There is no purgatory, i.e. a place where people go after death to get their lives straight. Jesus said, “Today you’ll be with me” to the thief on the cross. That ought to be good enough for today as well.

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to [the thief] “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

SH# 6 Jesus died once. That’s all, never again. No crucifix should have on it a body of Jesus. He left the tomb.

Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

SH #7. Yes Virginia there is a devil. Some churches speak of the devil as though he either does not exist or is not a problem. This makes it easier for the demonic kingdom over which he presides to run a muck in our lives. And again, it does not match the written word of God. There are four wills in the world, the will of Man, the will of the world system, the will of the demonic kingdom, and finally the will of God. The first three will pass away.

Christians have a responsibility to know the Bible and what they believe. They should also know what the Bible does not say. God has had 4 thousand years to create His written word and now we have it. And there is a test!

My new hero is Franklin Graham who said simply (I paraphrase) “When God changes His mind, so will I.”

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/07/11/the-subtle-world-of-christian-legalism/

How to Make People Laugh without Cursing

Humor is Always true

The basic premise of humor is truth. No joke gets a laugh if people do not recognize it as real. For example, in many parts of the world the black market flourishes for sugar, tobacco, eggs, meat etc. In the USA no one tells jokes about the black market because we have no basic lack and therefore no under the counter sales.

We do have a big flesh trade of prostitution, women and children – but clearly that is not funny to anyone except smarmy sex perverts. We do have a lack of honest politicians but they are getting their licks now on stage and later at the ballot box.

Make Fun of Yourself

Rule 1: Make fun of yourself. This gets a laugh and no one is hurt. Humor that is directed to someone personally is usually not funny, although there are exceptions, like celebrities and politicians. A good example is President Abe Lincoln who was accused of being two-faced. He answered; If I were two-faced would I be wearing this one? 150 years have gone by and it’s still funny.

Do crazy stuff

Rule 2: Physical humor. Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Danny Kaye made a fortune falling down and getting laughs. Van Dyke tripped over the same ottoman every week. Unfortunately 3 of these comics paid a price in physical ailments later in life. But it is still funny and especially with children. The movie Beethoven continues to be a top seller, and I’ve shown it in China to roaring laughter with all ages. So physical humor can teach without language.

The Element of Surprise

Rule 3: Verbal jokes, puns, or a phrase turned on its head. The stage play staring Mrs. Malaprop is a good example. A phrase I like is “Time wounds all heels.” Of course you expect to hear time heals all wounds. However, that is actually not true. Time heals nothing, although it may cover it over with a thin layer. And remember, something must be true to be funny. But time wounds all heels is a statement many people need if they have been mistreated.

Exaggeration

Rule 4: Understatement/Overstatement. This is a subtle way to declaw a problem situation. When people are laughing or even smiling a touchy mess can be averted. But it takes some real thought. I started being funny when I was about 10, and seeing other people, even strangers, laughing at me was intoxicating. I had some failures of course but I learned. Here are 2 examples:

1. An angry customer comes into the shop with a damaged item purchased there. After a few minutes of what might turn out to be an hour of haranguing, what do you say?
“I am sorry Ma’m. Perhaps I should kill myself.”

Don’t say this with a question mark at the end, as you don’t really want an answer. I heard this exchange once and it had everyone at the complaint desk chuckling.

2. For understatement, word humor, surprise and ridiculousness this little poem by the late very funny Ogden Nash is an example:

I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist,
Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
“You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”

The Unexpected

Rule 4: Surprise. Maybe this should be at Number 1. All humor has within it an element of surprise. Your audience is expecting one thing and gets another. Most of the examples above have surprise endings. Stand up comics use cursing mostly because (a) they have thin material and (b) they know the shock value of swearing always gets a laugh because the audience is embarrassed. But the top notch comedians don’t have to go there. Jay Leno is funny every night; yes we know he has writers, but his timing is perfect too. (Fred Allen turned the pregnant pause into a standard laugh line in every show.) Leno edits what they write to fit his style. He really is never hateful to anyone. He shows real people acting incredibly stupid.

Create an animal or person character

Rule 6: You can create a character to do your humor for you. I don’t have this talent but ventriloquists use dummies to say true or even savage things. I especially like Jeff Dunham and the dummy who says he plans to kill everyone. Most dummies do not swear, but they use their caricature bodies to send a message too. And frequently they make fun of the voice-masters. Dummies, like Lamb Chop, can have nice and kind messages too. Humor works with children as well as adults, and kids are more likely to remember animals words than adults. The gospel can use humor. The new Superbook video series is all of the above.

There is humor in the Bible – often missed. I’ll do that some other time.

Spiritual Roots of Obesity

I’ve been asked to comment on obesity.

Obesity is a symptom not a cause.

The “flesh profits nothing” says God but women nevertheless get fat and rush to flesh answers – diets, exercise, mud baths and massages. We know about poor nutrition. Additives, steroids in food and pesticides can cause a host of problems such as allergies, water retention, weight gain etc.

High fructose corn syrup is an additive known to cause obesity. Check your labels and do not buy! Nutrition books can help on this point – what to eat and what to avoid. Here is an example. Avocados have a bad rap. Women say – no, no don’t eat them BUT an avocado has 45 calories and the best fat for digestion. A muffin has 125 calories and nothing much good at all except taste. Know your food facts.

Spiritual causes

Spiritual causes are infrequently discussed if at all. I was surprised to move to Texas and learn I had two major vitamin deficiencies. Years of living on pasta made a difference. I knew my diet was wrong but I was loaded with debt and I do think excessive debt can lead to overweight – because debt is, after all, added weight.

Fear of poverty This is complex. I have known people who actually were so poor as children that they overate to be sure they would not starve in the future; they store up calories for the day when they have nothing. This is hard to break. One must exercise faith that God will provide. A family does not actually have to be poor to have fear of poverty. My mother used to say if I was not good she would send me to the poor-babies home. So she generated a fear of poverty in me when we actually had enough to eat.

Depression; this is a scripture in Isaiah 61 – the spirit of heaviness or depression. Notice that praising God is an antidote. Perhaps if we spent 20 minutes in praise choruses and prayer instead of eating? I have not tried this. Depression is anger turned inwards. However, you can be skinny and still be depressed.

Self hate – Most hate is not weight-based except self hate manifests itself in a big butt. I learned this working with black women and my teenage daughter who is white.

Assumptions do not help

Gluttony – I notice it is common for overweight people to ask for prayer then someone mistakenly prays for gluttony for them. This is the natural man not the spiritual man talking and leads to additional problems for the individual. In your class someday tell your students that there is such a thing as skinny gluttons and notice the squirming! Yes, there are skinny gluttons. Some lucky people have metabolism that processes food quickly. We should never pray for someone without first consulting the Holy Spirit – many ministers do not.

Today we use the term obsessive-compulsive behavior for gluttony which includes every form of over indulgence including hoarding, alcohol, drugs, chocolate, food, spending money, gambling – many things come under the gluttony heading, all intended to make us feel better at some point. Comfort food is a good name, but why does someone need more comfort than his body can take? Why is comfort the goal?

Addictions can apply to anything.

Unfortunately food is cheaper than say gambling or pornography.  America seems to be particularly prone to addictions. But the wise counselor looks for reasons.

Search for reasons

Guilt is a heavy load and may manifest itself in overweight. It does not need to be real guilt. Many people do not accept or are unable to accept the forgiveness of God; perhaps other people keep reminding them of past sins. I was in prison work for nine years. So many inmates had family members who were unforgiving and then staff would continually remind prisoners – “you have a record,” piling guilt upon guilt.

Un-confessed sin – it can be real sin or the devil dragging sin out from under the blood. This can be the person or someone in the home. If the husband rags about weight you can be pretty sure the wife will GAIN. A husband who does this may be a control freak and the weight a side issue that keeps her under his thumb which means the fat is really not the issue at all, and never was.

Finally, the Bible says we are to pursue holiness in spirit, soul and body – in that order! (1 Thess 5:23) The spirit controls the soul, the soul controls the body. Diets start at the body which is why they so often fail. Failed diets make things worse. If you are fat, seek God’s word not man’s. You’ll get the truth that way.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais #Vietnamese #diet #weightgain #unconfessedsin #guilt #depression #fearofpoverty

Over the years this has been one of my most popular posts, which I recently edited.  If you have questions about what God says or means please contact us. Many of our posts handle readers’ needs.

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2016/02/27/the-spiritual-roots-of-islam/

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2015/07/10/the-spiritual-roots-of-perfectionism-control-freaks/

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2015/07/31/the-spiritual-roots-of-alcoholism/

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/10/17/spiritual-roots-of-sickness/

Spiritual Roots of Sickness

There is absolutely no reason for me to write a single word on this topic when you can get most of it elsewhere.

Please read Causes of Sickness

The author adds a new thought to me. He (she) said that in Holy Communion the bread signifies salvation of the soul from sin, and the wine was for the removing of sickness. Some denominations have no wine at their services. Those of you who have such limitations should examine whether this is one of the reasons you are suffering.

This book covers virtuyally every possible cause of illness. https://www.amazon.com/Christ-Healer-F-Bosworth/dp/0800794575/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=christ+the+healer&qid=1563115142&s=gateway&sr=8-1

In either case, God does nothing without the cooperation and agreement of the believer. Nothing is automatic in His world.

The Spiritual Roots of Perfectionism

We all want our brain surgeon (or car mechanic) to do a perfect job but when he (or she)  comes home to control, manipulate, dominate or hassle human beings, the trouble begins.

The Bible refers to this behavior as “witchcraft.”  It is the attempt to manage a situation by calling on someone other than God to be in charge.  The quotation is from I Samuel 15.

So Samuel said:

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

Stubbornness is as witchcraft.  The Old Testament is full of references to seeking other gods for guidance, to idols for spells and witches’ brews as one finds even today in modern societies. You may not get involved with potions and spells and simply become the witch yourself! Control freaks are usually unpopular.

Perfectionism is wrongly believed to be an action; in fact, it is a reaction to a situation when someone loses control.  No one begins life as a control freak but in the course of human life all men learn that they are not perfect and they can’t control many events and persons around them.

Lack of gratitude

It starts with dissatisfaction.  Romans 1 begins the descent into depravity as not being grateful followed by dissatisfaction and complaining. Adults were surprised when the international women’s soccer champions were expected to rejoice in their victory and instead complained about being victims. They wanted more money.  https://www.theepochtimes.com/c-sports They are not likely to get it. When you show disrespect for the fans who pay the bills you degrade yourself and your sport.  And victims they are not.

The snake proposed ingratitude and blame

In the garden the snake intimated that God was not being fair with the First Pair, that they needed to seek more information.  The snake said God was hiding the truth, and in fact God was, a truth about evil that He had hoped they could avoid.  And when the fruit was consumed, their reaction tells it all.  ONE denial, TWO blame.

Men’s reactions have not changed.  Here is the passage to refresh your mind.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”  (Make no mistake. God absolutely knows where everyone is.”)

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Eve blamed the devil and Adam blamed both God and the woman.  Yes, nothing has changed.

These days it may be dissatisfaction with relationships, with our own inability, or the constant harping of someone else.  There are “men pleasers” who seek acceptance from other people over everything else;  God is supposed to define who you are not other people.  One reason is that other people will often get it wrong!

Comparing yourself to others is foolish

If we allow other people to mold our personality we spend a lifetime looking for favor outside of ourselves,  but you’ll find these mentors are never satisfied either; they are insecure and your imperfections will only convince them more that you are wrong because you don’t make them feel right.   Multiple marriages can result.

At fault is our comparing ourselves to other people.  It happens anyway – “Why can’t you be a good student like your older sister?”  Many a poor teacher has said that to a child.   And children may believe they will be adopted out if they are not perfect.  Or sent away.  God is not in this, period!

God has a plan for your life

God has a plan for your life and he is not comparing you to anyone or anything beyond His very own plan.  Wise is he who finds it.

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

If God called you to be a singer why are you trying so hard to be a tennis champion? Finding your call is important and keeps you from futile actions. Some of the most interesting biographies are of people who had to leave home and never see their families again because their parents wanted them in a job where they were not called or unsuitable.  John Denver is just such as person. After he became famous he was able to rejoin his family that expected him to be a soldier.

Dissatisfaction with one’s life can lead to three actions:

1.  Permanent depression and focus on regrets and failures of the past

2.  Incremental changes in one’s own life rejecting the control of others and acceptance of ones self.

3.  Ever-increasing attempts to control one’s environment and the people, things and events in it.  These are the difficult people.

Symptoms:

1.  Every item in their possession or dwelling is in the exact same place and in perfect order Sleeping with the Enemy is a movie about a man gone berserk to the point of psychosis.

2.  Nothing that produces contradiction or disorder is permitted.  You’re free to leave if you don’t like it.

3.  God’s will and occasionally even simple truth is not allowed.

4.  Self-will is on the throne of that person’s life.

5. Everyone and everything else is to blame. We’re back to the Garden now.

So to review the spiritual issues here.  I BOLDED them all in the text above.

  • dissatisfaction
  • hiding from God, behind the church or deeds
  • fear
  • self-will
  • avoidance or refusal to hear truth
  • seek praise of others
  • stubbornness, refusal to change
  • blame
  • over emphasis on things
  • denial of a problem, of having sinned or disobeyed
  • substituting good deeds for obedience
  • occasionally obsession with cleanliness

Perfectionists are wonderful, competent people who do well and are valuable members of any community.  But we don’t save ourselves, and ultimately perfectionists are seeking for their outside to change first and then make perfect their inside.  When they burden others with their demands is when they become odious.

God has given us a savior,  Yeshua aka Jesus, and He alone can do the job.  It is a lesson for us all to learn.

The Spiritual Roots of Alcoholism

Isn’t it interesting to notice that when the human race gets into trouble it involves eating and drinking.  For Adam and Eve possibly an apple (many in the Middle East believe the fruit was an apricot) {Gen 3:6} and for Noah {Gen 9:20-21} it involved new wine.  So it should not surprise us that statisticians believe 95% of all families must face alcoholism at some point.  That seems dangerously close to the 3-5% plus or minus rule which means probably every single family faces this issue.

Every family faces alcohol abuse

However, even that is a false notion since the spiritual roots of alcoholism are evident even in the driest of families; abstinence has no appreciable effect on the spiritual problems that erupt into overindulgence or drowning one’s sorrows in booze.  Certainly food and drink are required for human life, always available, and generally cheap.  That is the perfect medium for temptation.  And as far as God’s law is concerned, there are no demands that people not drink wine.

Church rules to the contrary came out of political situations, primarily after the American Civil War which produced excess drinking in Southern survivors.  Our religious model, Jesus even produced huge vats of it for a local wedding party.

Temptation reveals what’s inside us Continue reading

Difference between a Cult and Occult

Let’s get occult out of the way first.  Occult is Greek for “hidden” which does not make it evil or suspect.  Doctors speak of “occult blood” meaning blood in such small amounts that one must locate it by microscope.  In religion it refers to hidden messages, systems, or procedures that may not be seen or known to the general public.  That does not necessarily make them evil.

What is hidden is not necessarily evil

But incantations and curses certainly can be called occult and evil.  When I taught at a woman’s prison the director found beside her office window a freshly dug hole containing a sack with a boiled silver quarter and some pieces of chicken.  I was told this was a curse of some sort known to island peoples.  Santeria is filled with stuff like this. That makes it a cult.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santer%C3%ADa

A Cult worships its own doctrine

A cult was defined recently as any religious group which worships its own doctrine.  By this definition we can find many examples.  For practicing homosexuals I notice that is their one issue and it impacts their whole lives.  The gays I have known literally talk of nothing else; all their decisions are based on this, political, social, financial, and of course personal.  One prominent gay has his library-study lined with pictures of well-known homosexuals, including Leonard Bernstein who was a close friend of this man’s partner. https://www.thedailybeast.com/felicias-letter-to-leonard-bernstein-you-are-a-homosexual-and-may-never-change?ref=scroll

The same patterns apply to a feminist who supports not only women’s rights but also in many cases their superiority, plus abortion.  These are often called one-issue voters. We are speaking here now of individuals not of PACS and organizations which lobby for specific legislative and judicial change.  They may have cult followers but essentially they are obeying the laws on activism which are legal.

Legalism cheapens the gospel

But now to religion.  Here is where that sharp two-edged sword of the spirit slices Christians as well as non-believers.  There are denominations that say you cannot belong to our church if: (1) You are divorced (2) Not baptized in water (3) Not a member of this church (4) Not taken special training or schooling (5) Not married.  This is cult behavior.  It limits Christ and cheapens the gospel because it puts the emphasis on the natural world not the spiritual world. We are saved by faith but not faith in food or faith in ideas or liturgies.

Jewish Food Laws

Some Messianic Jews I know teach that the food laws and other Old Testament rules must continue to be followed when they become Christians.  The term for this behavior is “Judaizers” and is forbidden in the New Testament for good reason.  It means that Christ’s death for sins for not sufficient.  These people don’t go to hell, but their share in the glory of salvation is reduced.  See Deut 4:2 and Rev 22:19. http://Deuteronomy 4:2 New King James Version (NKJV) 2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Every denomination has some false teachings

One Catholic woman refused to speak to me after I told her we distributed Bibles in Mainland China so people could be saved by reading them (which they often were.)  We would tell them that “even though we must return to America, you can get to know Jesus with this book.” But her church taught that only a person (a priest in her instance) could give the message of God.  That is false doctrine because it puts the burden for salvation on humans and not on the deity.  Anything that takes away from the person and the work of Christ is wrong.  God is not limited; we are the limited ones.

The true church is spiritual

Some churches refuse to allow woman ministers.  To do so ignores the scripture, “In Christ there is no male or female.”  That tells the world their church is not really “in Christ.”  Are they ready to accept that? Many very poor churches have female ministers, but when prosperity takes over, so do the men, which tells me that it is all about money.  God can hardly be amused. Galatians 3:28.

God holds ministers to a higher standard.  Many ministers think the opposite – that they can get away with stuff not allowed to them as private citizens.  One man I worked with thought he could lie and drink to a drunken state and it was OK because he had a thriving ministry.  But God is watching, and his ministry today is ashes.  We are all accountable to God, the more so for having been given a greater opportunity.

The Bible does not condemn drinking of alcohol

And while we are on alcohol.  The Bible says nothing about abstaining from beer and wine.  Strong drink is condemned, but the issue is not the drink, it’s the drinker.  Is it in excess?  All excess is called sin, which includes spending money, phone calls, text-ting, TV, music, sports, food and drink.  In this regard we all need correction.

To the contrary – wine makes glad the heart of man” so it’s OK. God never blames inanimate objects – like guns, food, drink, toys, or sex.  It is not the action or the item, but the person who makes his life sinful by excess or addiction.

Psalm 104:15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

At one time I worked for a denomination which outlawed alcohol. A friend asked me how I could agree to this and I replied, “It’s the cost of doing business.” When I left that group I left their rules behind. It is not sinful to agree to company rules, but we must not ever do anything in violation of God’s holiness.

Obeying rules is the cost of doing business

Years ago a friend left employment with a huge national company which sells lawnmowers because they made carousing with women and alcohol a company practice. He was right. I think many people would divest themselves of that stock if they knew the facts. God does not honor long-term that kind of company policy.

When you attend services is your choice

Seventh Day Adventists have made huge contributions to their fellow man especially in the medical field but I still find so many insist that you must go to church on Saturday to be right with God. There is a scripture that specifically says this is not so:

Colossians 2 (New King James Version)4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. and 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths

Ultimately our position with God is not about behavior but our attitude. As we get into the presence of God we learn that dependence on Him and his Word is what gives us life.  

Legalism is cult behavior

The rules will fall off like heavy winter clothes when spring comes. 

Unforgiveness and Sickness

Recently I read a tirade by a Christian minister against a group of prominent TV teachers and while I don’t watch them myself, I knew this screed would only bring judgment on the critic.

Years ago Bob Mumford warned us about criticizing a man’s wife. Even if the man is not especially happy with his wife, he won’t approve your lambasting her – after all, she was HIS choice. In the same way, it is not a good idea to criticize God’s choice in His people and his ministers. We are, eventually, the Bride of Christ and His Choice. We’d best not be giving God grief about his “wife.”

There is an obscure scripture about this issue which few preach on, but it is appropriate here.

1 Corinthians 11:29-32 (PHILLIPS) No, a man should thoroughly examine himself, and only then should he eat the bread or drink of the cup. He that eats and drinks carelessly is eating and drinking a judgment on himself, for he is blind to the presence of the Lord’s body.
30 It is this careless participation which is the reason for many feeble and sickly Christians in your church, and the explanation of the fact that many of you are spiritually asleep.
31-32 If we were closely to examine ourselves beforehand, we should avoid the judgment of God. But when God does judge us, he disciplines us as his own sons, that we may not be involved in the general condemnation of the world.

The message of this passage is, examine yourself, not others. One way you can be blind to the presence of the Lord’s Body is to deny certain people communion, either as a minister, or as a congregation, or yourself. It’s bad enough when the devil attacks the believers; we should not be joining in. Many Roman Catholics do this as a matter of practice but not all.

Congregations today are a mixture of true and false. But we are told that as the end draws near, the angels will separate false from true and when Jesus returns the false wheat burns up in fires while the true wheat is stored in its own barn, ready to feed a dying world.

God knows who are His

But you may not know this. Meanwhile we are told to keep quiet about our opinions. If there is a false teacher among us, we are told to preach the Word of God and let the flock make up its own mind. Trees are known by their fruits, not their toots.

In 1987 I attended a conference at a church in Indiana. The minister complained endlessly about the fellow ministers who called him a “false prophet” and many other not-so-nice names. I was struck by the bitter unforgiveness in his heart. When King David was cursed by Shimei he brushed it off, saying, perhaps the Lord has sent him. David went along his way as though nothing had happened. But this man was a verbal dump of invective.

Unforgiveness is a form of suicide

Three years later I met a man from Ohio who knew this minister personally; he had died abruptly. I can’t say it was any shock to me. Joyce Meyer defines unforgiveness this way – “taking poison to kill someone else, but it kills you.” People in the ministry know that forgiveness heals and unforgiveness kills. Unforgiveness is a form of suicide.

I have another friend who sees at least two doctors a week. She is in constant pain most of the time, BUT she never attends church. She has disobeyed the command to “not forsake coming together with believers.” Without a church, neither can she take communion; many people are healed in a communion service. She never fasts; fasting can bring about healing. She is not recognizing the Lord’s Body, esp. as it relates to the communion bread and wine.

We simply don’t know the whole story about other people

Another case of not recognizing the Lord’s Body occurred recently when a minister told some teenagers they could no longer work helping the AV ministry. NO explanation was given. These young men are (I know them) true believers and an asset to the congregation.

Shabby treatment by the senior pastor means he does not know who he is messing with. This man also has no group of four persons to whom he answers – he is the top dog and the only dog in his church. His behavior borders on a mental condition.

Nothing speaks of failure more than a “lone ranger” minister. There is a long line of ministerial failures; about every ten years a truly scandalous event comes along to expose a prominent minister who is siting alone on the top of a pile. It happened to King David!

Isolation from the Body of Christ can and does lead to misery, and sickness so  caution about your words is best lest in the end you must eat them.

https://www.4search.com/theepochtimes.com/what-young-kids-know-about-forgiveness/

Be sure your children know how important forgiveness is to their mental health.

Why the Organized Church is Shrinking

It appears not to be so . . . but the statistics are there. 30% of Bible believing Christians are not affiliated with an organized church according to both Barna and Pew studies, two groups which measure these things. [www.barna.org and www.pewforum.org] Why?

First, the church as presently organized is not based on the Biblical model. In several places the Bible says the church looks like a person, the neck bone is connected to the chin bone, connected to the jaw bone, connected to the head-bone, and so on.

Ezekiel 37:3-5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

You know the song.

Five causes of failure

Now look at the TV screen and you will see most churches are only a jaw bone, a single often very good and qualified person ministering, teaching, leading, traveling, raising money, doing good works and the like. This is not correct but it is still better than the 1600 year old Roman model, a group of gaily decorated men elected to a governing body which in turn elects a Pope which then not only decides what to believe but also determines who and when and where worship and other religious duties are performed. This is not Biblical either because it does not allow for new revelation and it takes the church out of the hands of the individual worshiper.

John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

The unteachable will be left behind.

We may see the end of the Catholic church in our generation. Secular commentators will probably decide it is because of scandal and child sexual abuse but more than likely it is God Himself calling an end to something that is not scriptural. Protestant denominations have also followed part of this model except they allow congregational input, which may or may not be Biblical. I think of some groups allowing homosexual priests which is not only wrong, it brings a curse on them.

People join churches for the wrong reason – for economic or social contacts, so their children will be raised in a Christian atmosphere, or where they feel safe. Those churches surely will flounder. Many join groups because they don’t want their sin touched by truth; all of those will collapse.

Reason 2 Leadership issues

Second, church is to be run by a 5-member group: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. The apostle, such as Paul, no matter how famous he is, no matter how powerful or popular or wise, must still return to the 5-member group (of which he is only 1 vote) and submit to those authorities. In addition the early church required a unanimous vote. Now that might be the hardest thing to copy in modern times!

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Reason 3 False authorities

The third reason for failure is false authorities. God does not give ministries to the disobedient or those in error, or those whose personal life is tainted. The congregation is right is asking for an explanation from a father whose son has rebelled and is in jail. The minister is not to leave the ministry totally but to submit to correction. This is a hard standard but it is Biblical.

The true church has no relationship with the secular government. I suspect we shall see an end to charitable deductions when the tax code is overhauled. And high time. As a result many churches with a tainted situation will go under. Here is an example of a church on the way out.

https://www.christianheadlines.com//contributors/michael-foust/christian-leaders-gather-to-bless-texas-abortion-clinic-god-is-already-present.

The scriptures point to this: the angels will take the tares (those who pretend to be believers) and separate them from the wheat (the true believers) and then the end will come.

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

We are seeing this separation

It is all too common for someone to say “God told me” when in fact they were talking to themselves. These ministries usually never get very far, and often do little harm but they are out there. God is not a tyrant; he will let you fumble along for years going nowhere until you start doing it His way, unless of course, you are completely in error, like teaching there is no hell! Then He will step in.

Reason 4 Denying God’s word, hence His will

A fourth cause of failure is denial of some part of the Bible. The most recent widespread denial came when the Baptism if the Holy Spirit was called false, or irrelevant. Most of those churches have gone by the wayside or are shrinking. Some groups give no authority to women or refuse to allow divorced members; they are weak and failing too. Churches like this may have huge memberships because there are people who need to feel superior because of their sex or race, or because they refuse to grow. God uses these people anyway but their ministry is confined to that one section of the Bible which they accept. Frequently however, their missionary efforts flounder. Anyone or group that denies any part of the Bible is actually under a curse, and that needs to be taken seriously.

Revelation 22:18-19 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

The true church of Jesus Christ will be “in Christ.” That means women and men, educated and uneducated, foreign and local will all be on an equal footing and eligible for leadership. Women who have been eager to serve God alongside men will rejoice, but the issue is being “in Christ.” Groups that will not accept everyone cannot be “in Christ” by definition.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

I look forward to seeing this day!

Reason 5 Silencing the voices from God

The last and most important reason is the presence of the Stronghold known as Jezebel. It is a spirit, and it is not to be confined to women. Jezebel silenced the prophets. A prophet is someone who speaks for God and teaches and promotes God’s words. Since this is the main mission of His church, it touches everyone who is doing God’s will. This demon power, a principality, is ruling over Washington, D.C. these days and in many, many churches. Jezebel is the main demon behind political correctness. It must be bound, gagged and its feet shackled. If churches will take this spirit seriously it will come down and bring many false ministries with it; it will also free up the true church.

https://lancewallnau.com/ For a valid prophet, check here.

So, you have your orders.

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/07/11/the-subtle-world-of-christian-legalism/

“Take No Sides in Issues involving Persons”

I was a Baby Christian when God spoke these words to me. Newly saved and looking for information and revelation on every side, these words surprised me. Now, 45 years later, I see I have both obeyed and not obeyed them many times.

In brief, here is what it means.

God is no respecter of person. Acts 10:34

But that needs explanation. “Persons” means that as far as God is concerned no level of authority, accomplishment, celebrity or talent is considered by God when He is assessing reality. Sonny and Cher have no more respect in God’s eyes than I or my grandchild. In God’s eyes we are all seen and known for what we really are.

If my Congressman tells me something is good, and the Word of God says it is evil, my Congressman’s words mean nothing to God, and consequently also to me. God’s word is above all people and opinions. If however my Congressman says something that agrees with God’s word then I can agree with him (or her.)

For the next 7 years I spent many hours Bible teaching and counseling so these words were put into practice many times over. People repeated their tale of woe, and I am not saying it was not true, but God reminded me of His advice.

This person’s situation was not to be defined by them, but by Him and His Word.

In other words, I was not to take sides with this person against God. And you’d be surprised at how often that appeared to be what they wanted – not ministry, but sympathy. The Bible never endorses sympathy which is taking sides, but it seeks compassion which is the application of the love of and word of God to any situation.

Frequently that means examining the problem as sin and lack rather than victimization. Yes, I am sorry your daughter died at 42, but blaming God is a dead end. Yes, I regret and weep with you that your husband is a drunk, but it is not God’s fault that he drinks, nor is it God’s fault that he does not stop drinking either. And all your prayers that God intervene in that specific way are for naught.

Prayers asking God to change people do not work.

If you live a while you learn this. I was beaten savagely by my mother for many years and rather than stop her drinking I was removed from the home by Divine intervention. In fact, she died drunk at 73 having been saved in the last month of her life. The moral of the story is that God’s chief end for man is his salvation, not his reformation. After that, reform of behavior and reform of your thinking is expected; provision for this comes through the church and its members. Then change becomes a reality. In the meantime, He got me away from that situation through many miraculous interventions. That is called the grace of God, a story for another day.

Too often our prayers deal with externals, things that will make life easier for us, but more often than not, extreme discomfort is what God wants – try praying that instead.

Derek Prince, a leading Bible teacher of the 20th century whose works are available on the internet, used to say that we should pray that so-and-so will become desperate.

Desperate people seek God

And desperate people will seek God after they have tried everything else, blame, guilt (on other people), AA, AlaNon, pills, travel, money, fame – you name it. All the avenues of false change are before us, tempting us to agree with the evil by applying the natural solutions of self-indulgent ones.

God does recognize authority however, which we will take up in another post.

Absolutes vs. Anarchy

The late Corrie Ten Boom writes of her watchmaker-father who traveled regularly to Amsterdam to record the official timepiece of Holland and then return home to reset, correctly, all the clocks in his shop. On one such trip he inquired of the clock managers in Amsterdam how they verified the time. They said they always set their clocks by checking a little known watchmaker named Ten Boom who lived in a little town in the south. Naturally Mr. Ten Boom discontinued his trips to Amsterdam since he was setting their clocks.

How do you establish what is true

But what should they do? They could contact the Greenwich, England office which sets a standard for time by reference to a number of atomic clock organizations. That should do it. But let us speculate that a sunspot caused that electronic clock to lose a quarter of a second; then all three clocks would be wrong. All the official clocks in the world would be wrong as well.

Circular reasoning

I am going somewhere with this so stick with me. This is called circular reasoning because each individual is using another to set the standard. If we want truth, we must go outside ourselves to find it – to an eternal reference point untainted by error. But where is that?

Truth is outside

I have a Buddhist-Thai friend who pays no attention to her religion. She has no interest in Christianity or any other religion, simply saying that she will be in heaven because she knows she will be in heaven. Her family is Thai and she is Thai and that’s all she needs to know. But her reasoning about life (and I might add death) is circular. She allows others who may or may not know anything outside of themselves set her beliefs. Because Thai people have told her she is going to heaven that seems to be all she knows or cares to know. But of what value is that?

Absolute truth exists

Like the circular verification of the watchmakers there is no absolute reference point outside themselves. Truth is just what someone thinks and that can easily be wrong. The Chinese believe that the sheer numbers of people who believe something makes it true. Now try that with a group of people.  Let’s say a small town of all black people believes, as a unit, that they are all female. How can we do that? It is anti-science.  Think of Galileo here.  Do we jail people for agreeing with science? How can anyone say they are a different gender when science, i.e. DNA, tells the story for all the billions of souls on the planet.

Transgender is antiscience

Enter God. He is outside of everything. He knows. He alone can tell you if the watch of your life is set wrong, who you are and where you are going. There is no one as miserable as a person who allows other people to dictate who they are. This is called determinism which never allows you to change or grow.

Secular theorists bristle over the Judeo-Christian absolutes of a God and His Word. After all if there are absolutes and a God who made them then Man might just face a day of accountability.

Personal anarchy

Without those absolutes, individuals have a free rein of personal anarchy. The opposite of absolutes is the folly of allowing human kind to determine truth while knowing intrinsically that humans are flawed. To say that reality is not reality is the true definition of neuroses.

I worked in a juvenile prison and the most common thing I heard was, “That kid has a record.” Of course he did. They all did.

So I told the students, I don’t care what your record is. I want you to learn what is true about the good and potential in you, and how your life can be ruled. If you don’t rule yourself, the State will do it for you and that is a life of misery. Believing that your opinion is reality makes as much sense as planning a dental appointment for the year 2013.  It won’t happen; it can’t happen. Some of them heard me.

There are young people today who have this notion that they are another gender. This is not necessary. God knows who and what you are, so consult Him.

This is true for everyone. God can and will tell you who you are, where you are going and what you can do with your life. You may find someone who can help you along this line, but if not you are allowing people who don’t know the truth set the time of your life. And it may be wrong.

My own standard is the Holy Bible. I include all secular information which verifies God’s. It is my rock of belief. I am never disappointed.

Christian Bullies

Attending a large church several years ago I witnessed a sad event involving a badly disabled young man and a group of young prayer people. I was sitting on the front row between two services as people filed in to hear a special speaker. Several young ministers or possibly friends were praying for this man’s healing. It did not appear that he had actually asked for prayer. Unfortunately they forced him to walk up to the altar and back over a period of about 10 minutes. He was exhausted and crying.

Bullies want their own way

They then showed him scriptures, and as he was crying I could see grief over his lack of faith, his frustration, his agonized desire to please his friends and to be healed, and disappointment in God. It was all over his face. But most worrisome is these young ministers apparently did not know the Biblical pattern of the healed man taking his own steps after the word of God has healed him.

Not for one moment do I think these young men meant anything malicious in their actions. We were all young once in the ways of God.

But I reacted and whispered, “Oh no he won’t be healed.” A young woman standing next to me was clearly horrified and started praying against my prayers as though it was my negative confession that prevented him from getting his healing.

Assumptions keep us from truth

This woman assumed my comment prevented the healing, not realizing that faith is the substance of what is hoped for, not my observation that this man was being bullied into being healed. That won’t happen. God does not honor that kind of behavior.

It;s “Christian bullying.” The more they pressured this fellow and the more they forced him to walk on bent stumps of legs the more agonized his face. Everyone here was well meaning – so what went wrong?

God has the way his Kingdom is to be run

God insists that His work be done His way. This is the main flaw in churchianity today. The person who is to be healed is the one whose faith must be activated; the young men probably felt their faith was up to the task of healing the cripple. But that is not faith – it is presumption.

Presumption is not pryer

When I pray for someone to be healed I am fully aware that I have not one medical skill to offer. The only person who does any healing is Jesus. The only person who can receive it is the one for whom you pray, and that person cannot be forced into it any more than Jesus can be forced to answer a prayer the way you want.

Faith gets things done – but it may not be your faith

People often refuse to pray for another person’s healing saying, “But I don’t have enough faith.” True, you don’t, and that is quite right. You don’t have the faith to heal; you can’t in yourself heal anyone. I cannot fail when I pray for you to be healed because I know only Jesus does it. It is not on my back. But neither does 15 minutes of loud scripture reading and vocal pressure do anything either.

We are to use wisdom in praying for all men. Whatever else, this was not the right time, and browbeating this fellow not only did not get him healed, it increased his desperation.

Wisdom, and caution, must precede ministry every time. Ministers need to teach this lesson to their lieutenants because when they wrongly minister they bring grief to the Holy Spirit.

What Happens when You Deny God?

When Jesus died in Jerusalem the event went almost unnoticed to the throngs of people there for Passover. This is often the case with momentous events. Their seriousness is realized years, maybe decades later.

A large group denied God

In the future you will note the astonishing events of September 6, 2012 when the Democratic Convention denied God – three times. The video is clear. By voice vote – an essential element in this tale – the word God which had been removed was to be voted back in. Three times the noisy crowd said no. But the obedient convention chairman, reading the tele-prompter said by 2/3rds vote the return of the word God was endorsed. A politically wise Obama had demanded an over-ride of the vote. The verbiage was innocuous at best – it simply cited “God-given” potential, a sentence seen in previous convention platforms.

But what the American people saw was that an entire political party had clearly said no to God. For this there are consequences.

Denying God is common

First – God counts what we say. He created the universe with words; we create our universe with words. We are saved by public confession of our submission to His Lordship.

Luke 6:45 Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts. Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.

Second, those who deny must make things right later on. Ask the disciple Peter. He denied Jesus three times and lost his discipleship in the process. The angel said in Mark 16:7 to notify the disciples and Peter. Peter is not considered one of the disciples in this sentence. But Peter will regain his post. Here is the scripture.

Matthew 26:75 Peter remembered Jesus’ words, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.” And Peter went out and cried uncontrollably.

The Process to Make Things right

It was necessary for Peter to affirm the Lordship of Jesus three times before he was reinstated.

John 21:16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

What, let us speculate, if Peter had died of a sudden aneurysm prior to reaffirming Jesus? Would he be in heaven or hell? I think Peter answers that question himself.

2 Peter 2:1 But among the people there were also false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you. Under false pretenses they will introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and thus bring on themselves swift destruction.

In Jewish law (not Biblical law) a man can divorce his wife by saying, aloud, “I divorce you.” And off she goes- no monthly stipend, no nothing. A child can be emancipated by the same process according to laws I read a few years back. If you deny parentage of that child and the court frees him from your rule in a twist of fate, you have to support him or her anyway. You don’t hear much about emancipation these days but the laws are there and social workers have studied them.

Judaism, Jerusalem and the Holocaust also denied

In addition the final platform removed reference to Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. There should be little quarrel with this. The Jews place Jerusalem as the capital and the choice goes all the way back to King David, thousands of years ago. https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Netanyahu-Archaeology-DNA-prove-Palestinians-not-native-to-Land-of-Israel-594872

Now we really have God’s attention. Genesis 12:3 says those who bless you (the Jews) I will bless and those who curse you I will curse. The Muslims have decided that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel and their plan is to take over all of Israel and make Jerusalem their own, and rename it Ishmael by the way! That is equivalent to cursing God’s people. Insulted twice.

Denying something has no power to make it go away

Registered Democrats even though they did not take part in this convention or support the convention’s removal of the name of God are still legally responsible for the actions of their party. They denied the Lord 3 times- verbally, openly, for the whole nation to see – and Israelis and our foreign enemies were watching too.

To reverse the curse, affirm God three times

We can start counting the three times the Democratic Party now must affirm God. The ugly truth is now out of the bag.

It may be decades before we see the full consequences, but from God’s standpoint, 9/6/12 was as important an assault as 9/11.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol  #francais

#emancipationofchildren #reversethecurse