Category Archives: Pastor

COST OF LIVING A STANDARD

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Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One book that is really worth reading is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s the Cost of Discipleship if nothing it will convict you of where your standing with God is.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor whose goal was to change Christian theology and make his view the standard. Bonhoeffer was considered by some as a liberal Christian or at least he started out that way.

Hitler and Germany coming into power changed everything for Bonhoeffer, he saw how the church was not united to stop Hitler and the 3rd Reich, his book the Cost of Discipleship gives us a good look into where ones stands and views their ideas of God compared to where God sees your view of following Jesus.

What I really get out of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the fact he throws this brick at you and myself included that you really are not doing anyone a favor by living a life that is not in step with what God deems to be righteous or the way we follow Jesus.

The idea of unjustly judging a person based on what they do or not do in sin can slow us down Bonhoeffer states it binds us in our own evils or sins so it then justifies others to do the same.

Turning a blind eye to sin and wrong doing  because it is convenient  for our lives is Cheap Grace

Costly Grace is ourselves dropping everything to follow Jesus, it will cost our lives but the price of admission is our everlasting souls with God.

Costly Grace means giving up our wants and desires because our desire is to follow Jesus.

It cost so much because people will look at us in a odd way, as out of touch with today’s reality  as hypocrites, judgy, intolerant and hate filed because societies view of life is nonjudgemental, tolerance, and love that mirrors lust more so than life.

It will cost some more than others, our jobs and what we can do and not do in our little corner of our lives.

Costly Grace means we live by God’s standard not societies standard, we don’t lie because it is God’s standard not to lie. We don’t live our daily life like everyone else because it is not God’s standard to live through the world.

Costly Grace is choosing to obey God and forgetting what everyone else thinks or does because that is God’s standard.

1 Corinthians 11:1

If I don’t exemplify Gods conviction in myself then what good am I and who am I to God

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Yes we are flawed, we are complete sinners, we do bad things but we hold to the standard of Jesus because he gave us real grace.

The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe.– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

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THE MEGAPIXEL GOD

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I very much enjoy Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this quote is one reason why. It is overwhelming the truth in any society here there or in any century.

A few months ago I was trolled on social media into a conversation with a devout atheist/agnostic I only add the agnostic because he would kind of admit that he didn’t know for sure if there was or not intelligent design but he was bent on doing his best to rebel by denying there was no God.

What sparked the conversation was a FB friend had posted a meme that featured a smashed watch that no longer worked that basically said let us see if is broken watch will evolve itself into a working watch. I added a reply and so did our atheist by saying let’s drop some sand on the floor and see if God will create a human, you know how God took Adam from the earth and breathed life into him.

My first thought was “well God has been there and done that, besides he used a bone from Adam to create the second human Eve so why use dirt again”.

The conversation went on and on but believe it or not I finally got our atheist to civilly admit unless he saw proof there was no way he could believe in a God, at least he was honest I can respect that much.

My next thought was even if you saw God, you would not believe. Jesus said in Luke 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Those words still ring true today as God has written on our hearts yet some still rebel and deny. Romans 2:13-15

This takes me to when I was listening to Ravi Zacharias one day and he had made a statement that I believe is very true, Ravi was convinced that Jesus came during the time period he did for good reason.

If God had came in a more modern time where we humans could record Jesus by photograph we would turn that image into an idol, I would add to that if we had visual proof of God most would make that proof into an visual or physical idols and then worship those images instead of worshiping God himself “why” you ask, because that is the way we humans are.

If God came down and visited us nothing new now would happen as it did then when he sent his son Jesus two thousand years ago.

The proof of God would be there as a digital image but still groups would be formed called the atheist magicians and they would try and explain how Jesus fed thousands with a few pita breads and a can of sardines and turned water into White Zinfandel using smoke and mirrors or used the power of suggestion.

Medical experts would try and explain away the physical and mental healing’s and first hand site miracles like the calming of the sea and the mount of transfiguration would be chalked up to cult like followers that would say or do anything to make Jesus or God appear supernatural.

God’s image would be liked and shared otherwise you won’t receive a blessing, pin it on your board and look my image I tweeted is trending well.

People first would give God’s image way freely but eventually the paparazzi would sell behind the scenes images of God doing miracles and the next thing you know we would be worshiping those photos.

You no longer need to have faith that the actual God of the Bible existed just stare at your photo or have a digitally enhanced stone cutter carve out a life size likeness of God.

There would be no mystery in who God was for some because you have his photo on your phone. Just pray to your phone and believe.

New mega churches would pop up everywhere in all denominations with God’s image front in centered, mood lighting, little plastic necklaces to wear and rub in your hands when your not sure or scared.

Why God sent his son Jesus to die and returned to heaven would no longer have meaning because I have his actual photo on my electronic photo frame who needs to study the Bible, Jesus is not in heaven he’s on my tablet my sins are forgiven just looking at my image the resolution is remarkable

My atheist troll would still not believe even if he said he saw some proof because like all people of his mentality there is never enough proof.

On the same notion a new breed of non believers would pop up, oh sure they saw Jesus, they have his image but that is all they want or think they need. No need to follow Jesus I saw God he’s on my computer I’m good to go.

No reason to crack open my Bible and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to me God is on your front porch or on the fireplace mantel and I say a prayer to that image every night before I go to bed so I now have faith.

Bonhoeffer was absolutely right a God that would let us see and examine every megapixels of his existence without first believing in him and acknowledging his existence would just become an idol.

Some people would eventually throw their image into the trash because its everywhere why hold on to it, some would hoard even more images obsessing over them without truly understanding why he made them and what their existence is for.

Finely others will call him great but deny he was God because look I can see him, a true God that can do all things is beyond any humans approach.

 

VIEWS MATTER

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The news of the day in the conservative Christian world easily has to be the open letter from John Piper to Jerry Falwell Jr. about Falwells comments on Christians and guns and the letter back from American Vision’s Dr. Joel McDurmon and a letter written in 2008 by Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries to John Piper explaining to Piper the Biblical response to responsible self defense of the Christian and how maybe some of Pipers letter may have gotten scripture wrong.

First of all let us set our players so everyone knows what the heck is going on here. John Piper is educated in seminary and is the founder of desiringgod.org. He is a prominent speaker and is held widely as having quite the knowledge of Biblical theology an authority worth listening to in short when it comes to many things in Christianity Piper is the one to listen to.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is the son of Jerry Falwell Sr. the founder of the moral majority that was so instrumental in the 80’s and 90’s with guiding the political moral fiber of this country, it seems Jr. has not fallen far from the tree. Falwell is now president of Liberty University the college Sr. founded.

Falwell spoke out on how Christians need to learn how, know and use guns for the coming future. This of course set out a barrage of negative discourse among liberals and liberal Christians a few weeks ago and Piper has weighed in on the Falwells speech as well.

What makes this a big deal is why Piper would bother to get into this kind of conversation. A conversation that one would surly loose if you understand the Biblical construct of self defense and the knowledge of why conservative Christianity backs these kind of ideas. It tells a lot about Piper, it tells us either Piper has completely misunderstood Falwell (which is the belief I hold) or the liberal cracks are beginning to show in Pipers theology (which is the belief I hold as well).

I will confess I don’t know Piper and Falwell extremely well. What exposure I have had with Piper is negative at best. Watching him on a round table Q&A show hosted by Ligoneir ministries it was very front and center that Piper was acting liberal as he tried to defend a subject on social liberalism opposing the conservative view, a viewpoint that would only be rational in a perfect world and we don’t live in a perfect world.

Now don’t get this wrong this is not a scathing attack on John Piper for talking bad about guns. Much like Glenn Beck Piper has entered an arena he ought not to tread.

Glenn Beck is probably in the top three most brilliant persons in the conservative political movement. His understanding of politics is beyond most and mainly because he has values. But when Beck steps into the arena of religion and theology he immediately becomes a 4 year old and understands nothing of the God of the Bible, religion in general even his own and nothing of theology.

Piper is the same, in theology and understanding the Bible and God he is a giant and deserves nothing but respect. As soon as Piper enters that field of politics and social understanding of the secular man his wisdom drops to that of an 8 year old. Yes he can take and quote scripture to try and defend his case but his liberalistic ideas hold him back. He does not understand the conservative idea of social issues and thus I think Piper misunderstands those points of scripture, note this is nothing that anyone has not done no one is immune to this.

Why is this important why do we care and should we care? Well yes we need to care when a giant in theology attacks Christian conservatism because our theology partly rest on these ideas.

I suspect Piper does understand what he is doing he is a brilliant man but my question is does Piper really misunderstand this issue or does he want to believe this way. Better defined does Piper want the scripture to say something it might not be saying because this is what he believes in his social political beliefs.

Theology aside politics matters, I have said this before politics is woven in the fabric of the country and our lives because we are given the freedom to be a part of the freedom.

I have said before liberal Christians will often leave their politics for their liberal religion while conservative Christians will not, they hold to both the theology and the politics that allows the freedom of ideas. This is why conservative Christians have spoke out against Pipers letter to Falwell. It is not because they want to take down a theology giant but because it matters and we care what Piper says and believes. Conservatives don’t hate Piper they are concerned for Piper and how his words affect society.

John Pipers view is nothing new, I have read many blogs and articles from liberal Christians as to why we should not own guns, most of these bloggers will give away to self defense but some still hold that we must lay our weapons down for Gods trust it is not us that exacts the punishment.

I urge you to read both Dr. Whites and Dr. McDurmon’s response letters to Piper to fully understand the conservative Christian’s view. Again I am not deterring anything from John Pipers Biblical theology and understanding; I personally am a 2 year old when it comes to theology compared to Piper. What I am pointing out is when Christians like Piper take scripture out of context  or misunderstand scripture it feeds their ideology and that is not good. Whether it was done on purpose or the fact Piper wants to believe this it still is not good.

We all have misunderstood or taken scripture out of context, it is easy to do but we have to remember as Christians we are in this together and being divided serves no one.

With that said this just shows there is a battle of conservative and liberal ideas in the Christians community and there will be casualties for things said.

Piper brings so much to the table of Christian theology, evangelism and teaching just as Glenn Beck brings so much to the political table but people have to understand their strengths that God has blessed them with and try not to stretch those muscles beyond their capability. Most of all truth must reign first and only first both in Christianity, theology and the social arena.

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE HAS LITTLE ROOM FOR ATHEIST

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We might think atheism and secularism as a minor force with strong arms today trying to end Christianity as we know it.

Atheist claim they don’t believe in any religion but for reasons that can be debated they seem to pay particular attention to Christianity trying to discredit it, they’re more anti theist than just people that claim not to believe in a God or the supernatural and leave it at that.

It is my thoughts that liberalism cannot at this point in time allow atheism to totally destroy the idea of God from our heart, our minds yes but the idea of a God must be allowed to live in the heart of man. Romans 12:2

The reason being is atheism for the most part is a leftist point of view. Yes there maybe some conservative atheist out there but they would be more economically conservative rather than socially conservative and those people that identify themselves as atheist rarely identify with the same moral ideology as people that do believe in God or Christianity. Note both can but most of the time there is normally a difference of opinion on a moral law code.

Conservatives and Christian conservatives in general think similar and believe similar. They tend to share values much the same and the embrace moral and ethical values much the same.

The leftist agenda is contrary to the conservative agenda particularly in climate change and global warming. This idea is not universally anti Christian as we see a few Christians take up the leftist cause of radical environmentalism.

Most Christians that subscribe to radical environmentalism can be defined as liberal leaning and therefore are sometimes dismissed as legitimate  believers in true Christianity but make no mistake those Christians that do endorse radical environmentalism such as Pope Francis have a wide following in the leftist community.

This is where I have wrote before it’s a fine line for leaders like Sir Francis to court radical environmentalism but being that said it is also a fine line for leftist to court Christians that embrace this idea as well. 1 John 2:15

By no means is Pope Francis an advocate of abortion something leftist embrace with open arms as a rite of passage. For leftist  hope to convince as many people as possible to believe in radical man made climate change they need all the help they can. If they cannot legislate it down our throats then having the aid of top Christians leaders to preach radical climate change in the pulpit is a plus which is why they cannot fully condone the actions of radical atheism that is anti theist.

To the atheist that believe in no God, believes in random chance, believes in subjective morality they in principle should not care one way or another if man made climate change is real or just junk science..

In the words of Jeff Durbin pastor of Apologia church in Tempe Arizona “So what”, so what if it’s man made or not it does not stop the random chance of happening.

So what if the polar bears run out of ice, survival of the fittest regardless if man made carbon from cars that melt ice or if three super volcanos erupt and ash covers the earth and kills one quarter of the earth species, it happens. In reality what happens is so what; if naturalism is real then life will go on, government regulations won’t change that.

Leftist who rely on radical environmentalism for power cannot have this, they need people to be behind them and to believe in the cause and while many atheist won’t buy this idea of a “so what” reality they should in order to be true to their beliefs.

Liberal leftist may just need the belief in God to continue and having the aid of Christians that believe God puts man in total control of his creation is a win. They need leaders like Rev Mitchell C Hescox that have doubt in what God can do to infiltrate the minds and emotions of their followers and a total disbelief in God cannot be on the agenda at this time.

While both atheist and like minded liberals would love to see the end of a Biblical moral law the goal might be to rid God from people’s minds but keep the notion of a God that is good, environmentally gentle and emotionally illogical in our hearts.

CAUTION BAD PEOPLE IN HELL

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It’s interesting to me how now doctrines and theology constantly debate on how bad or not so bad hell will be.
We have doctrine that uses a annihilation that those going to hell will just stop being, Satan will bear the sins and those who do believe in Christ; where that is scripture I have no clue.

I get it Hell is scary, I saw a blog from a fellow Christian blogger that wanted Christians to stop scaring the hell out of people, is that opposite of let us put hell in people nicely?

The meme that goes if you need the threat of eternal torture to be a good person you are not a good person has validity to it and I would agree humans are not good, it takes God to be good.

Realistically when was the last time you heard your pastor preach on hell, when was the last time you heard a megachurch pastor preach on hell. When was the last time you attended a Biblestudy that studied hell. I have rarely heard any pastor or church leader spend much time on the subject of hell but every liberal Christian seems to think it happens way too much and is afraid it will scare the unbeliever away.

Openbible.info counts about 100 references on hell in the ESV translation of the Holy Bible. So hell is in the scriptures it does exsist and it is a part of our lives whether we want it or not.

In Matthew Jesus talks or uses hell 17 times, and describes it 8 times as being a furnace of fire and weeping and gnashing of teeth, eternal torture.

So why are some churches and Christians afraid to talk about hell maybe the same reason they want people to stop judging and have some tolerance for sin.

Not sure about you but you but hell scares me strait, yes I sin daily but daily I repent. 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.”

Now I’m not saying that the message of hell should be the focal point of the Gospel. Salvation and Gods free gift of grace that he gives us is always the front and center subject to new believers but we ought not to leave hell out of the full message.

Understanding why God created hell and why he sent his son Jesus is important to know and understand. As a believer hell never inters my mind, getting closer to Jesus and trying to share that faith with others is always my intentions.

The unbeliever on the other hand knows there is a God, they might try and convince themselves there is no God but it is written on their hearts there is a God but even with that the heart can deny the mind. One wonders why Jesus talked about hell if it was not an important part of knowing God personally.

We can only conjecture why God created a hell but scriptures states it is real, Jesus talks about the realness of hell and the Holy Spirit continues to talk about it in the New Testament. Hell is real and I believe we are doing a disservice to our fellow man by just pushing it under the carpet like it was a bad dream.

MONDAY THOUGHTS 1

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Greetings this Monday; some of us decompressing over the weekend depending on what we did. I guess the big news of the week going through the weekend has been the visit of Pope Francis. He has gone home now but as Monday arises I can see a division of both Catholics and Protestants, liberals and conservatives over Sir Francis’s visit to my country.

I can only offer my opinion as to why this is, why one man can divide when such a visit should be unity. First to my Catholic friends there is no disrespect to the Catholic doctrine on my part I’m only giving my assessment of Francis’s visit. I know Catholics will say they are not the cause of such division and I also know Pope Francis has an agenda and I’m sure has no plans to change that agenda.

The reason why there is and maybe continue to be a division is simply Pope Francis is a socialist and he brought his Marxist ideas with him. If you don’t think Sir Francis is a socialist you need to lift your head out of the sand.

I personally felt if you get a chance to speak in front of Congressmen and Senators and you are a professed man of God you need to preach the Gospel not preach your political agenda. Open the speech up with prayer for one; condemn abortion and the funding of groups that would sell murdered body parts it’s not enough to just say all life is precious when Planned Parenthood is buying  Lamborghini’s off the organs of our unborn children.

A statement was made that Pope Francis’s visit to America was a slap in conservative’s faces and I have to agree with that, it’s also a big letdown of one person not preaching the Gospel.

I know Catholics by in large love this man so do liberals and that alone sets off red flags in my direction. What is most disheartening to me was a few comments I made on twitter this week and the comments it received by what I considered as good conservative men of God that happened to be Catholic. It broke my heart to hear such comments I will not go into details and who left the comments but if you know what the word idolatry means there is a big concern here for me and for Christians that praise one man might need to do a personal heart to God’s heart check on themselves.

The other big news item of course is Donald Trump, a few of my aunts and uncles have been out my way for a visit this week asked me what I thought of Mr. Trump and my statement was “I wish he would leave and let people like Cruz and Jindal takeover”

If you think Trump is the GOP saving grace you could be right but I don’t think he is. Like Jeb Bush said on Fox News (no I’m not a Bush fan) check back with me in two months and see where we are, Responding to Trumps popularity.

I agree with Jeb I really don’t think Trump can debate well. I mean watch him in a debate, he calls people names, says I can do better than you, almost childlike responses.

Is Trump better than any democrat well yeah that’s a no brainer. It’s also a testament to a candidate that gets into it with Trump like what Rubio has been doing, shows me Rubio needs to drop out he is way too inexperienced to be running a campaign as is Trump. As a Christian Trump is all over the place, I like how he has pandered to the Christian GOP group but I’m not sold on if he really knows who Jesus is.

Boehner resigns yippy it about time don’t let actually let the door hit you as you leave you have been an embarrassment to the GOP and have done nothing to further the advancement of America. When fools like Harry Reid say it’s a loss for Boehner to leave that is when you know it’s time for fools like Boehner to leave, McConnell needs to follow right behind him.

These are my thoughts this Monday feel free to add your own and enjoy the week.

 

A CHRISTIAN CIVIL WAR?

A CHRISTIAN CIVIL WAR

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Few days ago I read a blog about how James Dobson of focus on the family warned of a civil war that could happen if the Church and Christians kept compromising on Biblical morality and worldly relativism he was a bit more precise in words but this is the gist of it.

The writer of the blog cited this from a leftist emag rightwingwatch.org and generally believed Dobson really meant a war with guns and bombs maybe like the war Ireland had.

After reading both articles I felt that Dobson may have been talking about a real civil war but I think Dobson was talking about a civil war within the church that if happens could it destroy the church as we know it. He may have meant both, if our leaders will not stand up for the rights of the church and Christians we could see dark days ahead.

My reply to the blogger was this “I’m not sure Mr. Dobson’s civil war means actual killing of people but the killing and injuring of souls. I believe what he maybe referring to is a war that will break the church, pitting two sides against each other.

The Conservative Christian who feels Christians need to follow Gods Natural and Moral law, their intent is not to judge people into submission but to point out what happens to a society that refuses to follow these laws most of what can be found Biblically.

The Liberal Christian that accepts the person for who they are regardless of the sin. They never try to judge behavior that is based in sin feeling that loving the person and showing the example of love will be enough and let God be the Judge of that heart.

The problem arises when Christians and churches attached themselves to sinful behavior that God has condemned and or asks us not to condone or be a part of. No one is saying don’t let the sinner in the sinner is already in but the sinner must repent and do the best to sin no more.

This is where the civil war can begin and it will be started by outside forces mainly political and media driven forces that want to see the church die and Christians be thrown in utter chaos”. The blogger didn’t even acknowledge anything I said but stated Dobson’s remarks sounded like a war to her.

At this time I see Christians already engaging in a civil war, churches are still on the sidelines but soon I suspect this will change with court rulings and new laws past. Again if our political and judicial leaders do not protect the Church and Christian rights dark days are ahead.

There already is a division between active Christians that feel Gods natural and moral law is being challenged and Christians that feel those types of Christians are too judgmental and need to allow God to be the judge and Christians need to love. The problem with the latter Christian is they give no boundaries to how far Biblical immorality can be taken before one takes a stand and many excuses will you give to laws that condone Biblical immorality.

There are three types of Christians to this civil war that I believe is in its infancy. 1st type are Christians that defend Gods natural and moral law, his commandments and they refuse to compromise on these issues.

They take these very seriously and feel without these laws and commandments Christianity will get watered down and loose its flavor or light for we are the salt and light of this world.

2nd type are Christians of the liberal nature that feel love is first and foremost and we should not judge if we are to lead people to Christ.

These Christians are willing to bend the rules or reinterpret them to make everyone feel comfortable.

Like the conservative Christian they condemn the other for the way they go about their business. They do not take Gods natural law and moral as serious because those can be always changing much like relativism there is not always a right and wrong way, some even believe all gods lead to heaven.

Mind you not all believe this some just see others as judgmental and thus take the opposite side.

3rd type are Christians are the ones sitting on the sidelines not wanting to be labeled either. They go to church or not, donate to charities or a church but do not get evolved with politics or social issues they have a family to raise mind you they don’t have time for this.

In some ways they are correct, they don’t have time due to everyday issues, issues due to some part politics and some parts social that can be very powerful and labeling

Money, time and family weigh down on them and those come first, they will sometimes support issues with money but will don’t take a stand the question is are you this Christian because this is the biggest type of Christian.

There might be a time when everyone will have to take that stand, I believe the civil war has begun and Christians are starting to take sides. Its sad this has to happen but I believe God demands us to follow him and to obey his commandments and uphold his moral law while others feel this is too strong and it needs to be crushed.

This division might destroy the church I believe or it will certainly divide the church and it is already starting to happen.

We know of several church denominations that have compromised on Biblical moral issues while others have stayed true to traditional Biblical moral issues. I suspect this civil war will slowly get bigger and eventually it will demand all church denominations to take a stand and when that happens division will start and in some cases it already has.

What are the stands that will fuel this civil war? 1: Compromising on atheism and natural science the intermingling of the two to make everyone happy or at least some happy.

2: Compromising on sex and how the church views moral and immoral activity (this is one issue that will bring the church into a civil war it spits churches all the time).

3: Allow relativism to be apart church doctrine, no right and wrong just whatever fits your way of life.

4: Allowing or changing the act of homosexuality to be a non sin issue, this I believe will be the catalyst of allowing all sexual behaviors a right to exist in our society you may laugh but it all starts somewhere.

5: Condoning abortion to the point we no longer speak out against this atrocity.

6: Reinterpret the scriptures of the Bible or saying the writers of the New Testament are no longer relevant in today’s world thus saying the Holy Spirit is irrelevant.

So what will you do, what side will you take or have you taken. Typing this up its obvious I lean a certain way and I believe this way to be true.

I believe God spoke and continues to speak and to not listen and try and reinterpret what God has said in order to water down our faith is dangerous for us and  our society.

All six fuels I listed are dividing Christians now except for the ones sitting on the fence who have no time to know what is going on.

Prayer is good it is always good but I believe we will need to take this further and prayer with action will be needed.

Understand what God says (read your Bible and ask questions), know him and pray to him (church and Bible studies). Repent from our sins and ask for forgiveness and do our best not to sin again. Uphold Gods natural and moral law but also forgive and love your neighbor.

 

WHO IS SAINT PATRICK?

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Do you know why you are celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day March 17th and do you know who St. Patrick is or is this just a day to dress green and party. I for one knew of the man St. Patrick but had no clue about who he was and what he stood for. I never celebrated the day unless I was forced to in school other than that March 17th was just another day hoping nobody would notice I had no green on.

When I got married my wife had an ambition to visit Ireland and in 2014 we were able to make that goal happen and we took a tour on the Emerald Island. The traveler that I am had me investigate were we would be touring and since we would be spending three days in Dublin it was a must to visit St. Patrick’s cathedral. We were able to visit the church that was built around 1191, very a inspiring to say the least but I still did not understand who St. Patrick was.

Inside Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin
Inside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin

It was not until our Irish tour started that our tour guide started telling the story and then I understood why this man was elevated to Sainthood. Later I started to think and I understood why I would celebrate this man but do people in general really understand why they are celebrating him.

Some history of St. Patrick: Born in 378 AD Maewyn Succat from Roman parents in Roman occupied Brittan. Born of nobility Maewyn changed his name to Patrick after becoming a priest.

At age 15 Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Patrick was enslaved as a Sheppard for 6 years. Although Patrick was raised in a Christian home his grandfather being a Catholic priest Patrick later said he was not a believer. Prior to being kidnapped he said he was selfish and wanted nothing to do with worshiping God.

During his 6 years of slavery Patrick started to find God, he often practiced fasting to get closer to God. Then Patrick started having dreams of God talking to him. In his 6th year of slavery Patrick said God told him in a dream to escape, at first he thought it was nothing more than a dream but the next night God told him again to escape.

Patrick states he escaped and walked 180 miles to the Irish east coast to find a ship that could take him back home. He states God not only found him a boat but the ship’s captain who for sure had to suspect Patrick was fugitive did not turn him in even though the captain had much to gain to do so.

Even when Patrick’s ship landed in Britain they had to take the cargo in to town by foot. After two days of walking they began to get hungry and scoffed at Patrick saying will not your God find us food. The next day Patrick and the crew ran into wild pigs and food was now available so much so by the time they ran out again they had reach the town.

Patrick was now 21 years of age and instead of staying home where he would have certainly been able to take over the family farm and business decided to go to seminary school to become a pastor.

After becoming a priest Patrick went back to Ireland and started to missionary the same people that bought him into slavery. He converted the pagan druids and Christianized Ireland as we know it.

Now most of us know that St. Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland and folklore has him driving out all the snakes of Ireland but that is no folklore Patrick did drive out the snakes of Ireland.

 In Ireland besides birds of prey there are no predators, no wolfs, bears, cats or snakes so what do I mean by Patrick driving out the snakes of Ireland. The pagan druids worshiped many gods and their symbol of their worshiping was of snakes. When Patrick converted the pagans to Christianity he drove out the snakes.

So why do we celebrate and how do we celebrate St. Patrick, understanding what Patrick did its easy for me an American to see why Ireland, Britain and the Catholic church to want and celebrate the achievements of such a great man but if you are not Catholic, Irish, or of the UK why do you celebrate. Is it out of respect for what Patrick did, he forgave the people of Ireland, the pirates that sold him and offered them a chance through God’s grace to receive salvation.

Do you celebrate St. Patrick because it’s a day to drink green beer maybe get drunk and loaded because a lot of other people are doing it.

First understand what St. Patrick was up against when he returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel. Druids were into slavery, human sacrifice, witchcraft, sexuality deviated from the normal and worshipped more than one God pretty much opposite of what St. Patrick and the Gospel stood for. God gave Patrick the ability to learn the language, and then teach and convert the pagans with simple things like teaching the trinity of God by using the three leaf clover.

What I’m getting at is to celebrate a day that remembers a man like Patrick and to celebrate it by doing the opposite of what Saint Patrick stood for is disrespectful.

Today’s St. Patrick day parades are nothing what Patrick could envisioned I suspect. I wonder what Patrick would think of today if he saw some of the parades that are supposed to be honoring his achievements.

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I’m not saying one should not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day March 17th  if you are not a believer but maybe one might really take the time to know the man and what he stood for to heart.

Maybe have some respect for a man that forgave his captors and gave them a chance to know who the God of the Bible was and the grace that God gives no matter who and what they did.

If you are going to celebrate a man then know who that man is and what he has done. Please do not disrespect St. Patrick by careless disregard of what he stood for. Take the day to remember the man and what God did through him.

ROB BELL HAS JUMPED THE SHARK

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Seems like once a year I have to give out this award to somebody or something so considering the apostasy that has been committed Rob Bell is the winner.

Rob Bell has jumped the shark in biblical fashion, who is Rob Bell you may ask or if you watch the OWN channel then maybe you know but if not he’s former Mega Church pastor of Mars Hill in Grand Rapids. Rob bell is now the man at the Oprah Winfrey Network OWN.

Once known as an evangelical in main stream media but let’s face the fact that the main stream media really does not know what true evangelical Christianity is.

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The latest has Bell becoming an apostasy, he has turned away from the Bible and has shrugged off the word of God, the Holy Spirit and the Saints who helped write and define Christianity as we know it.

Bells latest quote on OWN in response to Oprah’s question did he think Christians are close to accepting homosexuality. Bell “we’re moments away from the church accepting it,” and that Christians needed to stop relying on its holy text as a basis for opposing homosexuality: 

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This above quote has Bell asking you and I to stop relying on Biblical text in opposing what are in Gods words is a sin and confirmed by the Holy Spirit a sin. (Honestly I get what Bell is saying here but this is exactly what I mean when I wrote in the beginning of this blog, Christians cannot stop relying on God’s word when it comes to morality, Bell has truly lost it)

If you don’t understand what just took place with this quote and feel the Bible really only has one passage that is against homosexuality and it’s Old Testament then I might ask you to stop right here and get your Bible out and read. Leviticus 18 all of it, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, Romans 1: 26-28, 1 Timothy 1: 10, and finally Romans 1:32 to set the tone of why people who practice and condone deviancy will rarely stop.

Bell goes on “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.” Interesting but invalid quote but typical OWN and Oprah rhetoric, do what makes you happy no matter what the consequences to you or anyone else.

Bell’s two quotes are enough to understand who Bell is not what he has become but I say who he is. Bell has sold out to the Oprah doctrine, be true to yourself not to God, do what makes you happy, not honor God, seek happiness wherever you can find it instead of seeking God for happiness. He has forsaken an intellectual philosophy of Gods natural law and therefore cannot understand why Bible believing Christians oppose non traditional love and deviant sexual concepts.

There is more at stake here than personal happiness. God condones behavior that is not only beneficial to one’s self but to God himself and to others those are in and around you that will be impacted by your behavior the opposite of this is plain selfishness.

Did Bell really know God, I don’t believe Bell truly knew who God and Jesus was and to this day still does not know. Since Bell has made these quotes several articles have been written on Bell and his Wife wondering how and why Bell could lose his understanding of God’s word and belief in God’s natural and moral law and can or will Bell and his wife return to Christianity reality.

Yes Bell can but how will we know, Bell has gone from one doctrine to another one ideology to another. Bell has professed to be a man of God and to teach God’s word to people but now he’s Oprah’s spiritual guide, not her guide to The God of the Bible but her no judgy, no hell, no moral limits guide to a life of meaningless nonsense, some what cult like.

In order for Bell to return to Christianity of the Bible Bell needs to do this, ask God for forgiveness for being an apostasy and leading people away from The God of the Bible. Bell needs to cut all ties with OWN and renounce any relevance to Oprah and her philosophy. He needs to never again be in a leadership position but be a humble servant to God and the church he chooses to serve. Bell might even think about giving away much of his earnings from the OWN and any earnings that dealt with leading people away from The God of the Bible. This may seem extreme but Bell needs to prove to not only true Christians that he has repented but to God as well he owes God that much.

OUR LEADERSHIP CANNOT CONDONE SIN

OUR LEADERSHIP CANNOT CONDONE SIN

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Last week Pope Francis invited gay Catholics to the Vatican giving them the VIP treatment, the concept that many Catholic and Protestant hierarchy has been homosexuality is not a sin only the acts of homosexuality is. Basically calling yourself gay is not a sin much like saying your a alcoholic, drug addict or a swinger the name is not the sin but the acts are the sin in motion.

I get the idea of what Francis is doing, bringing the outcast front and center and showing them love instead of condemnation and judgment I believe it’s what Jesus would have done if homosexuals were a big part in his time.

You might say “ well homosexuality was in Jesus’ time” and yes it was even before his time but homosexuality was considered a fringe deviance in most eyes of the Jews. It was condemned by God and in Old Testament law. I believe Jesus was sent here to save us, sin would always be in and around us but God needed to send us a way out give us through his grace salvation.

At first my question was is Pope Francis and other pastors condoning homosexuality by putting groups like New Ways Ministries front and center giving them the VIP treatment or a pass, promoting the gay movement? Then I thought what would Jesus do?

Remember Zacchaeus he was a tax collector a very hated group of people. Tax collectors were disliked by everyone since they not only collected from the poor but the rich as well and were well known for skimming off the top and pocketing a little for themselves everyone disliked the tax collectors they sinned with no remorse.

I believe this is why Jesus put much compassion with Zacchaeus, he saw a man who was looking for Jesus and did anything it took to hear him speak, even climbed a sycamore tree. Jesus went as far as inviting himself to Zacchaeus house for dinner out in the open a known sinner. This act by Jesus cause Zacchaeus to repent and change his ways and become saved Luke 19 verses 1-10

Now the contrast to what not only Pope Francis is doing here but other pastors that fall into the same idea of accepting and bringing in the homosexual movement into the church is that Jesus always accepted people for who they were but never accepted or condoned their sin.

Jesus walked and talked to sinners but he never asked them to continue to sin and always told them there was a better way to follow him which basically meant repent and follow God remember the Samaritan woman at the well John 4: 1-26

There is nothing wrong with Pope Francis inviting New Ways Ministries to the Vatican, I would expect any pastor to invite anyone whether they be gay, strait, drug addicted or you name it to church but I would not expect a pastor or church leadership to condone and accept the lifestyle but to counter the sin with God’s love and the chance to repent and live the life Jesus would want us to live.

We have to understand that yes Christianity has different doctrines but all healthy doctrines holds true to one way and point to the same direction. Sin is in all of us but God expects us to strive for a sinless life, and with the death and resurrection of Jesus forgiveness is now obtainable John 3:16

What Christianity cannot have or ever condone is the watering down of God’s word, the altering of his natural law and the callus acceptance of sin as not a sin. Jesus said in Matthew 7: 15-20 to basically watch out for people that give the wrong Gospel and the Holy Spirit confirms this another way in Revelations 3: 15-22.

What am I getting at is basically we can’t change or water down Gods word and many groups like New Way Ministries are doing this. When God commands something in law and the Holy Spirit continues to reiterates and confirms the same concept we cannot we dare not change or tinker with God’s word.

I get what is going on here but men of God in leadership positions have to understand what I’m trying to spelling out. These groups are seeking to change God’s word, they want the sin part to be gone or have us look the other way but we can’t.

We can have compassion, we should and need to but people that struggle with these issues have to know what they are doing is sin and the Gospel cannot be changed to justify sin.