Prison meal a day: $.81 A prisoner’s value: Priceless

Today I was just humming along to the radio as I started a very busy day.  The days events ran thru my brain like a loco-motive (emphasis on loco).  Yet like a scratch on a chalk board my attention was drawn by two DJ’s having a conversation about a guy on death row suing the State of Idaho Corrections Department.  The jest of the suit is that recently the Department of Corrections has stopped serving 3 meals on weekends.  The incarcerated get 2.  The complainant has raised concerns over health and how he is losing weight.  But that was not my concern, nor do I have an opinion one way or another over 2 meals or 3 meals.  I know families that would love to enjoy the security of knowing they have a single balanced meal a day.  What got my goat was how they referred to this man on death row.  They had such contempt for him.  In their discussion they devalued him in such a way that they were actually proud of his dismay.

I have been deeply involved in prison/jail ministry so maybe that is why I see this as a non-issue.  But when should a persons value EVER be an issue?  Whether it be the prisoner that committed the most heinous crimes, or its the homeless man who fights daily with his demons of addiction, or even more close to home, the neighbor who neglects her kids.  We ought to see others with the vision that the Lord has for them, with the same heart.  I am NOT saying that there should not be consequences for crimes committed.  I am not saying that we need to be ignorant as to the character and the inability for these people to be contributing citizens to any community outside the confines of prison.  What I am saying is that we must still value them…we must still value their place here on earth, we must value the fact that they were created.  Most of all we must value that Christ died for them the same as He died for us.  Above that we must recognize that he would still die for them despite their crimes, no matter how horrific.

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:8-10 HCSB)

“FOR WE ARE HIS CREATION…”  Straight up, you insult anyone’s value, you insult the creator, God Himself.

16 From now on, then, we do not knowanyone in a purely human way.  Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (2Cor 5:17-18 HCSB)

WE TRULY KNOW NOTHING.  Only God is the judge, because only He knows a man’s heart.  We must acknowledge and value ANYONE’S coming to Christ — Irregardless of their past.

Ultimately, we must NEVER question a person’s value to God.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer knowHim in this way.(2 Cor 5:14-16 HCSB)

No one is a throw away.  No one ought be considered as disposable.  We must never take joy in ANYONE’S suffering or ultimately their death.

PrisonAnswer

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Probable Vs. Godable

It has been little over a month since I have written.  I have some how been misled with the assumption that I what I write needs to be at a certain standard of “worthiness” to share.  That standard was my own and once again my own standard have been proven to be less then acceptable.

I have been captivated by a very familiar piece of scripture.  One that is so familiar that it is practically memorized.  We hear this very familiar passage read almost every Easter, from the Book of John:

20 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”

At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. Then, following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. The wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed. For they still did not understand the Scripture that He must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went home again.

11 But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where Jesus’ body had been lying. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“Because they’ve taken away my Lord,” she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus.

15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve removed Him, tell me where you’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.”

16 Jesus said, “Mary.”

Turning around, she said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!”—which means “Teacher.”

17 “Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God.”

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them whatHe had said to her.

Upon Mary’s approach her immediate response was “They have taken the Lord…” (V2).  This was then most logical and most probable assumption she could make, especially given the climactic atmosphere created by His death.  Two of the  disciples upon hearing Mary raced but upon reaching the empty tomb, but the unnamed disciple (Most believe that it was John) that entered the tomb “believed” (V8).  Then those two went home.  Why would they just leave?  Because there was no Jesus to look for!  THEY BELIEVED.

Mary stayed.  She was convinced that she must find his body and she was very distraught.   She was so distraught she was completely unaware as to what was at work around her.  She saw angels (who were probably perplexed at her dismay) and they just HAD to ask, “Why are you crying?” (V13).  Still unaware she goes on about the missing body and having to find it.  So much so that she was unable to recognize Jesus HIMSELF (V15) when he asked just who it was that she was looking for.  I believe that Jesus was indistinguishable from the ordinary person at this point of His resurrection.  After all wouldn’t Mary expect a battered, broken, bloody body?  But this is NOT WHAT SHE WAS EXPECTING.  It was not until he said her name (I suspect He shouted it to snap her into attention) that it struck her that this was Jesus.  But even after that she still “clung” to Him as if He was still the human Jesus.  She need to let go.  She need to move from the most probable to the God-able.  Her being unable to move from what was most probable and logical to what was in reality God-able revealed that she had not relied upon what He had taught her before His death.  He then explained that later He was to ascend to My God, your God.

You see Mary immediately jumped into the most probable explanation and expectation to explain the empty tomb.  I honestly can not blame her.  I do this every day.  I logically assess a situation, figure the most likely outcome and respond accordingly.  If you are going to be a disciple this is all backwards.  We are so inadequate to assess anything let alone have the knowledge to know what to expect.  We must be blind to the world in order to see not the most probable but the God-able.  It’s not about living with your head in the clouds.  It’s not about rejecting reality.  It’s about being SECURE and WALKING in the spirit…moving forward for the glory of God, for the work of His Kingdom DESPITE the odds.  This my friend is a topsy turvy truth of the Kingdom of God.

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Are You Awake?

snooze

Are you awake or just hitting the snooze button???

If there is one thing on my heart tonight it is this — URGENCY!  We must have a purpose filled urgency to be aware of what is going on in our country.

Some will say that there is nothing we can do, that it is a waste of time to “fret”.  Some will even preach that we are being fearful and therefore not standing on the Lords promises or blessings.

I will not, I can not keep quite.  My love ones must know that time is short.  My children must be equipped to stand strong for the faith they have.  For it is going to be our children and grandchildren that are going to have to see the very worst.

Scripture speaks for itself:

  • Be awake!
  • Suit up in the armor!
  • Encourage each other!  ~~ This does not mean tell people that “it’s not that bad”.
  • Those that are working so hard to further the Word of God, to advance the Gospel and the news of His return we must support.
  • Warn, warn, warn…to warn is to love.  Do so patiently.
  • Understand prophecy, respect it.  God will not take lightly the mocking of his prophets.
  • Justice belongs to the Lord, not us.  We only do good.  The rest is up to Him.
  • Rejoice! Pray, pray, and pray more in ALL things.
  • Be blameless and ready for His return — How can we do that if we are not watchful?
  • ALL believers need to find unification…there is no time or need for petty differences.

The last statement to have this letter read to ALL brothers and sisters…Pretty sure that makes this passage of the utmost urgency.  Do not take the return of our Lord lightly.

1 Thessalonians 5

 

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

 

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

 

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

 

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

 

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The Ties That Bind

thebodyofChristIt is a real unfortunate fact that “church” has hurt the very people it is supposed to reach.  The girl that gave in and feels so less then, comes to a church to be isolated because of her choices.  The single mom with the autistic son that just can’t bring herself to subject her child to dirty looks because he is “inappropriate” chooses to stay home.   The wife that could not be faithful receives pity while the husband is judged as not “being there”.  The fact is that Jesus see’s NONE OF THIS.  We are to have not only the heart of the Lord, but to see with His eyes.

Now if you thought I was talking about the ones that inflicted this judgement, here is a surprise for you.  I am speaking to the hurt, the betrayed, the ones that have had their faith smashed by cruel judgements, forced to withstand looks of disdain from the “self righteous”.  So you’ve been hurt.  Don’t you think Jesus knows?  He was betrayed, abandoned, and ultimately crucified.  I think He knows a thing or two about pain.  I get it.  Been there.  BUT are you not just as guilty for returning the hurt with your unforgiveness, even bitterness.  In fact you hurt yourself more by running from the Body of Christ.  You take your hurt and dig deeper into that wound by never healing.  You can not and will not heal by running.

Fact: God wants His people to love one another. So they hurt you.  But have you ever thought that maybe its NOT ABOUT YOU?  You are there for a purpose and it’s not for YOU.

Nobody should seek his own good, but for the good of others… 1 Cor 10:24

Fact:  No one individual has the total vision for God’s will for His body.  There are NO LONE RANGERS that are fulfilling God’s Will or in His Will.  Your “opinion” is irrelevant.  Your “feelings” are irrelevant.

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, that ALL of you agree with one another so that there be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.  1 Cor 1:10

Fact:  God adds members to the body as it pleases Him for the common good of the whole body.  So who are you to judge a persons’ value to the body?  I’ll be frank, how dare you.  Do you not see how you insult God when you insult one of His children, one that he brought to you for the good of His will?  Do not run someone off simply because you do not understand.

…God has put the body together… 1 Cor 12:24

Fact:  In order for the “Body” to be healthy the members must be healthy.  If there is an issue it must be addressed, or like a disease, it can spread, crippling the body. All members are interdependent and need one another.

So if one member suffers, all the members will suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  1 Cor 12:26

Becoming part of the body of Christ is a covenant relationship.  This is the tie that binds.  We must acknowledge and seek the role each member is to take part in as the Lord see’s fit.  It’s not just as simple as having your name included in the church directory.  Likewise it is not just as simple to remove your name either by simply deleting the entry.

Whole body life begins when each person is in a right relationship with God, in an intimate love relationship.  It continues as all members become rightly related to Jesus as head of the church.  Right relationships with God are far more important then the petty things we let get in the way.

To be rightly related to one another is not so difficult.   Simple daily reading of the Scriptures will reveal in a very clear manner just what we need to BE.  (Being is so much more important then simply doing…acting)

  • Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but do not argue about doubtful issues. Romans 14:1
  • Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another.  Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.  Romans 14: 13
  • No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.  1 Cor 10:24
  • Since you put away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.  Eph 4:25
  • NO foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need.  Eph 4:29
  • All bitterness, anger, and wrath,shouting, and slander must be removed from you, along with malice.  And be compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. Eph 4:31-32
  • Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of Jesus… Eph 5:19-20
  • Submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.  Eph 5:21
  • Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Col 3:13-14

These are the ties that bind.

 

 

Are You Stuck In A Bunker?

Having lunch not too long ago with a dear friend we exchanged the latest and greatest happenings with each other.  She began to share how she was not so happy at her new job.  In fact another mutual friend who was also hired on at the same location had already made the decision to quit.  She felt completely out of place, but beyond feeling like a misfit, she struggled with the environment itself.  You see she found herself leaving the quiet of the small country town, where the talk of the week is the bake sale for the kindergarten class or the chili cook off, a place where ol’ time hymns are still sung with spirit on Sunday.  However on Monday she would find herself walking in to an office where she is the oldest one there….a place were tattoos and piercings are the norm and the language is acceptably colorful. nose peircing I understood her awkwardness and identified with it.  However 20 years ago it was I that was reprimanded for coming to the office with a new nose piercing by a manger that could easily pass for my father.   It was I that had to listen to the oldies and cringe as I worked….or better yet get a giggle at the double take I would get each time I added a new streak of color to my hair.  Now I know my attitude was not the best.  I made a point of ruffling feathers of those I had no idea how to identify with.  This lead me to ask myself could we be doing the very same thing to our teen and young adults?  Do we purposely turn down their music?  Are we unnecessarily shooting dirty looks for every four letter word that comes out of their mouth, despite the fact they are not even speaking to us at the time?  Are we unnecessarily trying to “rub” them away because that way we do not have to change?the young

Now I am in no way stating that we should condone bad or mean behavior.  That is not my point.  My point is what are we doing to bring the Lord to the as they are?  In order to do that we must meet them where they are!  You can not drag them out of their world and expect them to be happy in your own little bunker where it is safe.  They will not come.  They will run.  I would run!  So you may not like their language.  That is your problem, not theirs.  They will change their language only when it becomes their own problem.  The only way that will happen is thru the growth of their relationship with Christ.  Christ will work within them…they will need time to grow.   Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.

When you head out to work, to school; do you try to take your bunker with you?  I have seen it!  Of course I am not talking about some kind of huge box on wheels…but I might as well be.  This is an invisible bunker.  The bunker is a place of uniformity and safety.  It is comfortable; it feels like home.  In this bunker, we can be ourselves, accepted for who we are, because we are a lot like everyone around us.  Do you refuse to go where you can not take your bunker?

…One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgement.  Proverbs 18:1

If you choose the way of the bunker you are feeding a very selfish motive, because it’s easy and comfortable.  You will not be put out.  You will not have to “put up” with any annoyances like loud music.  The sound judgement you are ignoring is the Holy Spirit asking you to move…to speak….and most of all to love…Love the unloved….to love the love-less…

One who loves to offend loves strife; one who builds a high threshold invites injury.  Proverbs 17:19

It’s not the young that is causing strife, it’s the ridged held up in their bunkers.  They grumble….”Did you see that kid, they cleaned out the candy bowl”….”we can’t play THAT song (even once a month) it gives us a headache”….”They need to sit still”…..”They are smoking in the parking lot!”  The static can get so loud the message gets lost.  We are the offensive with our conditions and rigidity.  The ridged create a threshold that this generation can not meet.  It’s no longer about meeting Christ, it’s about being “acceptable” to the elite core of the congregation.  The injury could have an impact of eternal consequences.

The bunkers need to be dismantled, the thresholds torn down.  We need to get out in order to get them in.  lost-children1

 

Short video of interest:  http://vimeo.com/226079

Hope is Everything

For a believer in Christ, a loss of hope is a very deep devastatingly painful place to be.  I experienced this pain I believe in May of 2011.  Honestly, it scared me.  Once I realized the source of this darkness, the loss of hope, I was able work thru it.  I was open about this painful experience here on my blog entry titled:  How I almost allowed my hope to be murdered.

Thing is I KNEW what I had in jeopardy, therefore my heart ached.  But how do you give hope to someone who has never known hope?  Real hope.   I am not talking about a positive attitude.  I am not talking about acting happy so that eventually you will believe you are.  I am not talking about “expecting blessings”.  I am not talking about “just having faith.”  Having an active faith does NOT give you hope.  Hope is not faith and faith is not hope.  Oh so often they are interchanged flippantly.  Real faith legitimizes our hope.  So I am left asking then, can one that does not have faith experience hope as a believer knows it?  What kind of hope then can we give the unbelieving sick, the unbelieving dying, the unbelieving hopeless?

So lets get to the root of the definition issue, then we can move further.  Pistis is the Greek word used for faith in the New Testament.  Acts 17:31 it is used as trustworthy evidence.  It is also used like a solemn promise, 1Tim 5:12.  In some passages it is used to refer to the doctrine one believes, “to contend for the faith” (Jd 3, 20) .  Another worth mentioning is pistis is used to express trust in God (Rm 4:9,11-13, 16; Heb 11:4-33,39).  This is where I believe hope and faith get muddled together.  Lastly pistis is used in context of having reliance on the Lord’s power over nature, Illness, and spiritual powers (Mt 8:10, Mk 2:5, & Lk 8:25).

But I would like to also mention Faith as the spiritual gift.  It is the 3rd gift mentioned by Paul in the book of 1st Corinthians (v12:9).  Hope is never mentioned as a spiritual gift.  Any believer exercised faith when we accepted Jesus as our personal savior.  We recognized that we are saved by grace through faith, and we used that faith by entrusting our lives to Jesus Christ.  As Christians, we all share a common faith in our Savior, and in His promises to deliver us from eternal punishment.  However I believe that the gift of faith is something quite uncommon.  Therefore does not apply in this discussion.

Hope is in it’s rawest form, trust.  If you hope the surgery goes well; you are putting trust in the surgeon, that persons ability to heal.  If you are in a desperate financial situation you may put all your hope in getting your home refinanced so you will have funds until you can find proper employment.  You are putting your trust in that financial institution.

Hope in it’s purest form is a hope that is found to be so much more deep.  It is unfailing.  Placing your trust in people will surly disappoint you.  People are fail-able.  People will fail you.  You already have and will fail someone.    We can only PraiseGodhave an unfailing hope as long as we have faith.  Faith in our Lord, of our Lord, legitimizes our hope in Him.  If we have hope in Him we will never have a hope that fails.

OUR FAITH IN JESUS LEGITIMIZES OUR HOPE

Hope is faith directed towards the future.It is a total assurance regarding the fulfillment of God’s promises.  These promises could be the promises of taking care of the everyday issues, to the reassurement of Jesus’ grand and triumphant return.  We are reminded that until the kingdom comes in its fullness, we can only have an assured hop; we must “walk by faith, not by sight” (2nd Cor 5:7)  This is a hope that is NOT unfounded nor groundless.  The FOUNDATION for hope is in the Godhead.

For the grace of God has appeared with salvation.  For all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous,  and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior,  Jesus Christ.  He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession,  eager to do good works.   Titus 2:11-14 HCSB

Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.               1John 3:1-3 HCSB

Therefore, in order for a person to come to a point where they have a real hope, an unfailable hope….They MUST have faith in Christ.  Otherwise, your illegitimate hope WILL fail you.

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Why I Do What I Do….

…and what it is that I do is insaciously study God’s Word, and those who proclaim it.  Many times I am asked, “why?”  “But you have been a christian for many years, you have read the Bible forwards and backwards, what does it matter?”  What does it matter?!  To ask me that very question is like running sharp finger nails across a chalkboard.  If you are too young to know that sound, well lets say you are very very lucky.  To me is is a matter of everything.  It’s my breathe, to be able to study.  Now, while this degree of study may not be for every Christian, it is for me.

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2Tim 2:15 KJV

To be a Christian in the Biblical sense is to be a disciple of Christ.  A disciple is a “learner”.  The disciple, as the name suggests, is to be a disciplined studier of the things of God.  It is of great concern that I have for many of today’s believer that have bought into an easy road of what I call “believism”.  “Just believe, and you will be blessed….Just believe and you will know the things of God…..Just believe…..”  Another easy out is isolation and misapplication of a single verse (Isn’t this the root of  most errors in theology begin?)  They justify having “Childlike” faith, to keep it simple.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  Mark 10:15 KJV .  If one would continue to read on in the chapter they would grasp that there is much more to it.  There is a monumental 5592881485_8a8b8980ff_zdifference between having “childlike” faith and “childish” faith.  Having faith LIKE a child is that of absolute trust.  It is not about voiding out your responsibility to grow your knowledge of God and His ways.  God deserves to be implicitly trusted.  No question about it.  It would be outright foolish not to.  He is all together trustworthy.  The mature Christian never outgrows this childLIKE faith.

Another point that leaves me with a “what were they thinking” look on my face, is when I hear the excuse that further study would only lead to skepticism, there fore they are protecting their faith by avoiding it.  But to that I say this, to reject all theology and theological education in order to avoid bad theology is to commit seeker suicide.  To reject all study of theology is to reject the knowledge of God.  This is NOT an option.

Want to see my pants get in a bunch, then tell me that Christians argue too much and I do not want to be a part of that or that it just causes controversy.  Study no undoubtedly will lead to controversies-No question about it.  The Bible also forbids us from heated …. divisive, argumentative, and judgmental controversies.  Sure we have all heard that in order to keep peace “Never discuss religion or politics…”  Discussions about religion or politics generate more heat then any other topic.  But Christians are to avoid controversy is to avoid Christ.  No that was not a typo.  If you are for Christ you will be controversial.  It’s not theology….it’s who you proclaim as Lord of your life that is controversial to the world.  However, very important we are called to avoid “Godless” controversies like they are the plague.  One positive aspect of Christians debates is that they understand that truth, truth that is of eternal consequences.  Passions will rise because the stakes are high.  You can not put God’s truth in a bottle and set it upon your mantle.  To do so would be outright denying His Lordship.

The very source of these Godless-divisive arguments is not because of an overzealous amount of study, but from the contrary.  It’s their lack of knowledge that begins the divisive tone to their point.  It’s the failure to discern the difference between worthy matters of debate and minor points that were never meant to divide.  The more on becomes competent in the Word of God the more one can discern what issues are negotiable and to what ends to make a point.

But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach,[Or everyone, skillful in teaching] and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.  2Tim 2:23-25 HCSB

Lastly, but most importantly….and this is truly the heart of why I do what I do….We can not feed our hearts if we are not feeding our minds.  The absolute purpose of God’s revelation attainable thru study is that we understand it with our minds so that it may penetrate our hearts.  There can not be anything in our hearts without first filtering thru our minds.  bible-heartWhile it is all together possible to have proper knowledge in our head without is ever penetrating our soul.  It is impossible to pierce the soul without first being grasped in our minds.

A person can have a very sound theology and yet not live a sound life.  But how could one have a sound life without ever having a correct theology?

Our knowledge of God,as disciples of Christ, is our foundation.  His Word.  Stop seeking Him…and we commit suicide to our faith and eventually our hope becomes poisoned.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Ro 15:13 HCSB