“…not to condemn the world…” (but to virtue signal?)

Saw this posted on the FB of a popular Christian band, whom I happen to like. Take a moment. Read it. Let it soak in.

j317

Now, let me ask a question of my fellow Christians out there: Do you honestly know of any other Christian that is actively working to ‘condemn the world’? Maybe its just me, but this note (I don’t know if it was made by a band member or someone else) seems to me like virtue signaling of the worst kind.

“Imagine if his followers were like that too…”

Imagine if his followers were not caving in to feminism, egalitarianism, mysticism and al the other -isms and -cisms out there, but instead were obedient to scripture and rid the church of such sins and sin-followers, rather than acquiescing to them and allowing them to dilute the church! Instead messages like this post make it seem like calling someone out on their sinful behavior is wrong for Christians.

Or maybe I’m just reading it wrong.

Week in Review (April 16-22)

A lot of travel last week for work, but it was all good as it gave me some extra hours on my time card! Got to listen to some Greg Laurie and Captain Capitalism during the hours on the road (talk about polar opposites, but both are good listening). Had some rain at one job site that left everything drenched and muddy. The dirt out on some of the job sites is super, super fine, almost like baby powder. When it gets wet it sticks to the bottom of your boots like dough, sometimes an inch thick! Since your out in the middle of nowhere there isn’t really a way to get it off, either.

Continue reading “Week in Review (April 16-22)”

Women and the bible (1.2)

I will be making some additional edits to this post, as I feel I strayed off and made the post more about wives than women, though they are one and the same. I need to gather some thoughts together, but I just wanted to make readers aware of this before too long. Check back later.

After a long hiatus and a hospital visit, I’m going to attempt to hop back on the rails and move forward with this series of posts.

In post 1.1 I started by reviewing a little bit of what women AREN’T in the bible.

Point 1: Women are not the epitome of God’s creation.

Allow me to now continue from where I left off.

Point 2: Women are not slaves to their husbands/fathers.

About wives:

Though the relationship between husbands and wives is likened to a “master/servant” relationship the bible does not give husbands the authority to abuse or mistreat their wives any more than it gives masters the authority to abuse or mistreat their servants (you can say ‘slaves’ if you want, the bible uses it to describe both those who were enslaved against their will and those who voluntarily indentured themselves and the word doesn’t have the same knee-jerk meaning it has today).

Continue reading “Women and the bible (1.2)”

Women and the bible (1.1)

Towards the end of last year I had alluded to some posts I would be making about what the bible says specifically about women being able to teach the bible at all, and whether or not it was supported or forbidden by scripture.

I still plan on doing this, but the whole thing has kind of morphed into something a bit more. What I plan on doing now is taking a look at women in the bible overall and through a variety of different subjects. Likely it will be an uncomfortable journey for all involved but, as always, I welcome honest and rational discussion on the subject.

I write this particular post today to start of with what woman IS NOT, in the bible. The motivation for this particular post is a twisted little post written by author Gary Thomas who writes, of all things, marriage books! In it he discusses the possibility of the church accepting divorce because he feels that God would accept divorce over making women feel bad.

]http://foreverymom.com/marriage/enough-enough-church-stop-enabling-abusive-men-gary-thomas/

(I don’t want to send any traffic that direction, so you will have to cut and paste the address yourself if you want to read the article).

To me, the so called “money shot” statement that stood out to me first was this one:

“If the cost of saving a marriage is destroying a woman, the cost is too high. God loves people more than he loves institutions.”

Continue reading “Women and the bible (1.1)”

Biblical understanding is not always mystical.

Often times I hear pastors tell the people of their congregation to “pray for understanding” while reading the bible. Indeed it seems to be an oft repeated suggestion, but one that, I feel, is slightly problematic in that it creates a desire for mystical interpretation where there is none to be found.

It is my belief that the bible is quite understandable if you just read it. I have said repeatedly that the bible is written with both literal and figurative, or poetic, language, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to decipher which is which. Literal language should be taken literally. Jesus is the son of God. Noah built an ark and loaded it with animals. Angels appeared to people on several occasions. Though some might say these are symbolic references, since, in their own minds, these could not possibly have REALLY taken place, they are not written as such.

Poetic language can be open to some interpretation. Again I recall the discussion a group of us men had over the parable of the mustard seed told by Jesus. There was some varying interpretation of the meaning of the tree and the birds between the lot of us, but what Jesus told was a story for the understanding of the people, and not an account of an actual event.

I don’t think it’s wrong for pastors to suggest praying for understanding, but what I think it does, sometimes, is prompt people to look past actually understanding a verse of scripture in hopes of finding some type of underlying, mystical understanding when there is none. Instead of reading and understanding Jesus wept, they will ponder and fret over the REAL meaning of the words, all while hoping the holy spirit reveals to them the underlying message. Jesus wept. Its not that hard to understand.

Where it really seems to be a problem is when the bible directs us in something specific. Women, be subject to your own husbands, Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church. Is there an underlying meaning there? Do you need to ask God for understanding on something so straight forward and clear? Whole books have been written about both of these commandments, and yet, just reading them should be all that is needed, shouldn’t it?

This post is not specifically in reference to those two commandments, but those are just the first ones that came to mind.

What kind of difference would we see in American Christianity if people just read the bible and understood the parts that are easy to understand?

This morning’s biblical ponderings have been brought to you by Rock Star energy drinks, the Society for the Listening of Final Fantasy 7 Soundtracks and the ‘Man I hate installing software’ foundation.

Belief vs. Scripture

A while back, when I was going through the issues with my pastor, I had a conversation with my daughter about her, my youngest son and myself doing an at home bible study, to which she informed me she didn’t want to take part in because she “didn’t believe what I believed about the bible”. Now, the more and more I think about this the more and more irritated I become. I think some Christians need to make a determination about what people “believe” and what the bible actually says.

Case in point: The bible says Jesus is the son of God. If you are a Christian there is no “what you believe” or “what I believe” about the statement. If you believe the bible, then you believe this to be true. You cannot say to another Christian, “Yeah, well, I don’t really believe that way”, unless by that statement you mean, “I am not a Christian and I don’t believe in the bible”.

Though the bible is open to some interpretation in areas where poetic language is used for the most part it is very straight forward and “interpreting” it simply opens up the door to be rebellious and disobedient. I could very easily say, and with 100% accuracy, that the bible says murder is a sin, yet there are those who would “interpret” the verses making it so as to mean something different than the actual meaning, which really doesn’t clarify the verses, like they may believe they are doing, but rather it pokes a hole in the verse where there is none, allowing them to ignore it while not giving the appearance of ignoring it.

I think this problem stems from Christians who don’t really know their bibles so they don’t believe it says what they are told.  I mean, I know there are few people who can remember EVERY verse of EVERY book of the bible, but when someone tells you “I believe this because this is what the bible says” perhaps it would be wiser to actually take a look at what it says before declaring your non-belief.

I mean, the only other explanation is that a person simply wants to have the appearance of being an obedient follower of Christ, but in reality has no interest in being obedient. By doing this they give themselves the appearance of being so, but also give themselves an escape route, just in case.

Don’t be that kind of Christian. Though it may fool those around you, your ruse is not very effective on the one who can see the heart, and knows your every thought. When a verse is clear, it would be wise to take its meaning as such.