Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Bar Scene

Earth is a night club called purgatory. We're born in line waiting to get in and when we do, we see our cover charge was the choices we made to get here. Me, I've made my way to the bar and I'm trying to drown out the hedonistic trance music that is playing over head. 

I order a glass of wine and it comes in a grail from an Israeli bartender, and he warns me that sipping of this cup will cost me my life.  A casual glance around the room and I am aware of the lack of light in the place. At one end of the bar I see what looks like a neatly groomed man with his hair parted to the side and a genuine smile on his face. His suit is black and his hair is blonde and he moves with a rigid composure in my direction. I can tell this man has the appearance of light as it shimmers so dimly off the gold cufflinks. I remark to myself on how clean his appearance is as I look him in the eyes and see a quiet darkness. He introduces him self as The Latter Day saint and offers his card while grabbing me a coaster. "Sign here on this line and we'll give you stock options, and direct deposit of spiritual blessings with 10% annual growth" His voice is smooth, convincing and for a moment I think about joining until he hands me his solid gold pen.  I thank him for his kindness and his service as I turn back to the cup of wine sitting before me.

 The music in this place is so awful, but the beat, it can be enticing, the longer I sit here.  At the other end of the bar there is a woman in a deep blue dress standing on one foot on the bar stool. I find her beauty alluring, as she seems to be perfectly at peace with the fact that she is doing something so absurd. Her hair is long and dark, pulled back into a pony tail the way that I find so attractive. She seems so unphased by the crowded room and all the people fighting on the dance floor. Now that I think of it, I see most of the people are driven mad on the dance floor for they want so desperately to stop dancing, but they can't, because they equate the moment with feeling alive, and the high they get from the fun is their god. To stop is to die, and they aren't ready to admit that they are already dead. I turn back to the woman in the dress and her eyes are shut. She is aware of everything that is going on, but you couldn't tell from her face. The eastern slant in her eyes and her composure tells me that she isn't American to say the least. I think about asking her to dance, but there are a group of people with their fingers in their ears with wide eyes screaming that none of this is real, and that when you stop dancing that is all.

The bouncer at the door is holding a staff with a cross as he is patting people down and pointing people to where they can score some blow. I sigh a heavy sigh and say aloud that "I see too much" as I stare down into this grail of wine.  I turn and look at the mirror across the bar, glaring deep into my eyes, into my soul and I beg to know who I really am. My thoughts are interrupted by the Jewish bartender with the white rag wiping the insides of some beer mugs. "you're dead" he says.

I take a sip of the wine, which is strange because I have never really cared for it before, and I ask"how'd you know?"  "Everyone is from the second they're born, and the irony is they spend their time looking for the meaning of life." I ask him what her story is as I point to the woman at the end of the bar. "she thinks we're all just energy, and she has part of it right about balance and things. Your friend over there who passed you his card, has the essence of what it means to be a servant, but, some of the finer details of who and why are off. Let me ask you, why not dance?" HE asked as he set his glass down and peered over the bar. The tone in his voice resonated with me, like  he had some authority, and I knew better than to lie to him.  " Because I think that that life is a wasted life. That is a real death. If I am a dead man already, I don't dance. I just move when moved." I answered.  He smiled through his thick beard and he took my glass in his hand. " This is the wine of the covenant, my blood, poured out. Keep drinking dead man, and I will show you what real life is."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

War.

War is a hell of a thing.

I believe that we each have our battles, and struggles. We all have our fights and the wars we wage. Many of us think that admitting that we don't have it all together is a flaw, others believe admitting adversity itself is weakness.

From the day we are born we are at war. We are either at war with God, or at war with ourselves.


I think about that some times.

Is war the opposite of peace?
Is peace only obtainable through war?
What properties mirror each other, I often wonder.

I picked up a copy of the Screwtape letters by C.s. Lewis a while back, with every intention of reading it. However I think it was right before a move and my interests waned.

The premise is of a demon writing his nephew advice on how to disrupt the walk of a follower of the Christ.
I've wondered from time to time in the back of my mind about the question of a plan.
How would the enemy take me out?


It isn't something that I would say that I dwell on, as some might say that the question is irrelevant if you're focused and pursuant of God...  But then again...  Ephesians 6 makes the point that  our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So in transparency, and awareness I can tell you what has worked on me, and on many occasions still does, as a point of caution, transparency and honest vulnerable accountability i suppose.

The Moment that I met God I was cautioned and aware of the enemy that sought to separate me from the one that I believe imparts life and light. 


First off, I believe the goal of the enemy is to isolate and destroy the believer. This is done by undermining  the value of both, Christ sacrifice, and also the soul that accepts it as such. 
The enemy would tell you that you are part of some sort of package deal, like your soul came with the redemption of everyone thus minimizing the fact that Christ sacrificed his life for yours. Instead of being that person that he shed his blood for, you're now the coconut air freshener that they kinda just threw in with the free car wash. This is a clever tactic of the enemy, because you are in fact unworthy of such a gift. The irony is that , you were unworthy before you received it, and you are not any less unworthy of it having obtained salvation as such.

Upon the realization of that, and the monumental epiphany that Christ would have still gone to the cross for just me, because I matter to God, as I am made in his image... the enemy cleverly works in extremes and will push a strong sense of superiority, self righteousness, pride and hyper-spirituallity. Its times like this that the word of God becomes a pill that is forced on people, instead of life saving wisdom for those who really would like to live.  This fosters the "Us" vs" them" mentality.  Instead of seeing myself as a sinner who was redeemed and strives and fails daily, we start to draw lines of those in the church and those outside of the church. Those who are saved as being superior to those who are not. This is asinine when you pull from the entirety of scripture and see how many times God got pissed off at those who thought they were better than everyone else. 

So, there is this delicate balance that we struggle to maintain between a sniveling nothing, and a condescending jerk.  An awareness of this doesn't help maintain the complex balancing act that one has to do.  Some times this is frustrating. When you fail, the enemy says that you're always going to fail, so why try. When you think you're doing alright, then you may be blind to the occasional helpful bit of criticism that might help you grow.   It's interesting that a little advice is great wisdom, and too much a detriment. 


When you get a pretty good balance of this after years of failure and refusing to just give up because things are hard... Then the enemy will say that you're spending too much time focusing on yourself. They'll start throwing up sins of the past, and ways that you have hurt others... and how you need to change all of these things about yourself.... 
which is a truthful lie.   While we do have to surrender the things that aren't godly and die each day to self, the enemy pushes a vast emergency on that order, mandating that one must change everything that they were at once. The task of changing everything that you are, all your habits, thoughts, ticks, memories, quirks, dreams, mannerisms... in the blink of an eye, is more than a person could bear. The word says that God is patient. 

That is when the enemy will try to push patience to a distorted extreme. They'll keep a person distracted from working on any one specific thing, all the while citing the patience of God as a justification for an obscure sense of apathy.  

The adversary will try and get things pushed really far one way, or another. All head and no heart is out of balance. All heart and no head is equally out of balance.  The head can be ignorant, and lack wisdom as the scripture comments on. The heart also can be deceitfully wicked, but is the place where God writes His Commandments for any whom are part of the Covenant. 

Sometimes, God will show you something and because others do not see it, the enemy will do what it can to make you seem crazy. The oldest and only sin really is "did God really say" 

Doubt, when honestly explored isn't the enemy of faith... but often establishes it. Yet, the enemy will often try to instill a fear of the unfamiliar in regards to biblical text. Asking questions may prove a doctrine to be false when rendered to scripture. The fact that there are many false doctrines out there, as stated in the Word, will make a person amazingly unpopular when you reconcile them to scripture. The enemy will show this to you, and you will have to make a choice between standing firm in your convictions, or compromising for comfort. There is solace in the fact that Israel killed all their prophets. There is warning that Christ says that if you seek to save your life, you'll lose it. 

The enemy will tell you that the only thing that matters is love. What they will fail to emphasize is that love encompasses discipline, consequences, justice, sacrifice and serving others.  IF they don't shy away from the point of serving others, they will try and twist it to the point where serving comes to the point of being treaded on.... then they will morph that perception into the greater body of the church, that all serving is the abuse experienced. 

The enemy will either try to get you ridiculously dependent on God, so that you are to the point where you are starving to death, while praying that God put your shoe on your foot, and then when he doesn't then there must be something wrong with your faith... or they will try to get you so completely self reliant  that you try to take everything that you have handed over to God that you couldn't fix, and then you try and fix it.  Both of these are wrong. Remember that God brought them out into the wilderness and fed them Mana, but they still had to gather it. Depend on God, but also be obedient to what he has called you to do, things you should know as you mature as a believer. 

The enemy will try and make you think that all of this is some burden. That God is nothing but work. That God is busy and wouldn't have time for you, and you must keep following a set of rules for the sake of being "spiritual" or "holy". If you are following rules to avoid hell, the point of the work of salvation has been missed. If you are following the commands of God for any reason other than your heart is compelled to out of the love that you have for him, then something is off.  The enemy exploits that.

The enemy will exploit sicknesses and illnesses. they will say that you are sick because you lack faith or because your sin has caused God to remove his hand of protection over you. This is possible, but it isn't the standard I don't think. Sometimes you're broken because God made you broken... and if you were made broken with a purpose, then you aren't really broken at all. I fight bi-polar disorder. I have all my life. Though this has been something that has been really really tough for me, as some people yell at me for being sad or hurt from time to time, it does not denote a lack of faith in God. The disorder has enabled me to see patterns and draw deep connections that not everyone sees. However, I feel emotional pains and highs deeper than most people. This goes back to the head vs heart thing. My mind keeps the feelings in check most of the time. The enemy would often say that an acknowledgement of this disorder is to speak a curse, and that God could deliver me from it if I just had more faith. I am reminded of the fact that it was the faith in God that resulted in the physical breaking of Jacob. Sometimes God does things contrary to human thinking because he is a masterful artist with a pallet of wonder no man could match. That doesn't mean God couldn't heal me if he wanted to.... because he has the authority and the power... but he also has the sovereignty. I've always struggled with that idea of speaking curses over my life by admitting  I have a sore throat or something. I mean, I don't think that I am some kind of mythical wizard that with the power of the word can just say something and have it be. If that were the case, I'd have blessed myself with riches that would have cursed me a dozen ways. On the other hand I know that the word does say that there is an element of authority that we are given in God. Authority to cast out sickness.  I've seen this first hand when praying for my nephew or other family members. 


God says blessed are the peacemakers, and he also states that he has come not to bring peace but a sword.  The enemy will try and get the simple sinful mind to take this as an excuse to toss out all of faith at a surface glance. Pretend that this is a contradiction and go out living lustful  worldly desire feeding every whim and fancy.  There is an explanation, and a rather simple one.Look for it. Ask questions, seek the truth. yearn for understanding, and help those who fall around you.

So yeah, I hope that helps. In this perceived dichotomy of guidelines and advice in which the enemy has tried to bring my mind down from within, know that there are answers, and that that it is called the straight and narrow for a reason. 



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Reasonable Post on Faith

It seems that when discussing issues of Biblical faith with those of the scientific doctrine, I have experienced what I perceive to be a superiority complex from those of the scientific persuasion.
It would appear that many who follow (some blindly) the faith of scientific interpretation think that the Bible and science are opposing forces. As if to say that science is based on nothing but facts, and The Bible is only about dead myths from primitive people

Some have said that if anything in the Bible contradicts, then the entire thing is to be thrown out and discredited. This is an interesting sentiment as many people who assert this claim have never actually looked into the Bible's validity at all.  To say that something doesn't make sense because you do not understand it or have never really looked for an answer seems lazy.

Some cite trivial things to attempt to disqualify the text. Others have a slightly more merit to their claims for example, in the books of Matthew and the book of Luke, the genealogy of the Messiah differs.  A little resaerch shows that one is through the mother, the other through the father, neither contradict, and the emphasis on Hebraic thinking and understanding explains it nicely.

To say that the Bible contradicts without ever studying it is equal to saying that  A + B cannot = C because AB and C are letters and not numbers therefore algebra is a lie.

Did you know that the reason that we even have some discoveries is because the Bible says so?
For example,  Matthew Maury, the father of oceanography, was an avid believer in the Bible. After study of Psalms 8 he sought to study these "paths of the sea" and is credited to have helped reduce sea travel.

This kind of example of partnering faith and a bit of reason should be encouraged.

Before Sir Isaac Newton discover that light can be divided into prisms, God mentioned that light can be divided when he was yelling at Job . ( Job 38:24)

Scientist have tried for a long time to state that the universe is eternal . Well, the Bible states that  it had a beginning in Genesis 1:1 and Hebrews 1:10-12. Many Scientist refer to the discovery that the universe has a beginning as "The Genesis problem" in which it admits that there is no explanation for the origin of the universe outside the hand of a creator.
In light of this discovery, it in fact takes more faith and belief to hold to the doctrine that there is no "god" or "creator" It is interesting that many in critique of Biblical understanding, accuse others of finding things that fit and explain supposed conflicts in the text... but easily dismiss the fact that science does this in their own research and on occasion... has no answer at all.

The second Law of thermodynamics states that the universe is running down and becoming more disorderly, as cited with the article above we can see that this is more proof against the idea of an infinite universe. Also this was cited in Psalm 102:25-26.

Where Scientific study has been revised, reworked and edited... the Bible had pretty consistently been the Bible.

Consider this, The bible states that the earth is round long before it was "discovered" as being so (Isaiah 40:22)

Pangaea and continental drift are inferred in the Biblical text  in  Gen 1:9-10 and  7:11

The Law of Bio-genesis is outlined in Genesis 1. all life comes from existing life.

Scientist have laughed at the verse in Psalms 19 , which in speaking of the sun states
"Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat."

They laughed thinking in their understanding that it taught geocentricity, that the sun revolved around the earth. They laughed saying that the sun is stationary. Science has recently discovered the fact that the sun moves.... fast... on a circuit, thus giving even more credibility to the Bible.

It is even more interesting that this is something known without a ancient Hebrew version of NASA.  How did they know that the earth hung independently in space, as Job 26:7
"He stretches out the north over empty space, And hangs the earth on nothing"
This is thousands of years before Armstrong or Russian Cosmonauts. Yet there in the text it states matters of scientifically proven fact.

The text states that there is weight to the wind in Job 28:25, something that meteorologists have come to discover as storms carry thousands of pounds of rain. To carry this load, air must have mass.

At a time when the wind was thought to just blow strait, The Bible mentioned Jet streams.
Ecc. 1:6 
Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.

It wasn't until WWII that airmen discovered the Jet streams.


The Bible describes dinosaurs in Job 40:15-24, this is the description of Sauropods

The Bible states that there were cave men. Job 30:1-8

Pleiades and Orion star clusters were mentioned.  Pleiades is gravitationally bound while Orion is loose and disintegrating because the gravity of the cluster is not enough to bind it together. 
This is a recent discovery, yet God asked Job 4,000 years ago
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion? Job 38:31


There is no mention of primitive ancient aquanauts, But Jonah is about as close as we get... and He mentioned underwater mountains. Jonah 2.

Here is another thing. The chicken or the Egg... Which came first? The Bible says it was the chicken in Gen. 1: 20- 22.

Which came first, DNA or Proteins? The code for each protein is in the DNA/RNA system, however proteins are required in order to manufacture DNA. The explanation is that they were created together.


Based on statistical probabilities, Either God created us, we are part of some intelligent design, or we are by and far the luckiest most random result of a meaningless purpose.  For example, we wouldn't exist without water, and if the earth were closer to the sun it would boil and evaporate or something, of if we were farther we would freeze.( see Isaiah 40:12) Upon that, the amount of radiation solar radiation should kill us... except for the "magic" barrier that is keeping it off of us. ( see Isaiah 45:18) Further more, the "random mutations that occurred"  to enable such things as the eye. Further more, the probability of cells being able to exist, because the probabilities of the right random gasses swirling in the just right way, to randomly have the right combustive properties, To randomly combust. There are many things which have such a narrow chance of happening, let alone all happening together, That make the mathmatic probability of all these probabilities coming together to form life...  all those narrow possibilities, stacked upon each other... according to Occam razor,  God is the scientifically more likely cause of the universe that we live.

Hebrews states that the world was created from things not seen. Later we discovered atoms and subatomic particles, things not observable to the naked eye.

We have learned that Stars emit radio waves.  Stated in Job 38:7.

Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1,2 revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 B.C.: "In the beginning [time] God created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter] . . . And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters." The first thing God tells man is that He controls of all aspects of the universe.


The Bible talks about not eating swine or shellfish, which scientific studies have found links to all kinds of health risks.



So, to draw to a close... Believing in the validity of the Bible isn't just a blind endeavor. The people following the Bible like sheep are no better or worse than those who lean on the religious  elements of scientific faith. Both sides of the isle can be ignorant or arrogant.

The Bible is far more than dead myths.  Perhaps there are elements of life and death that we have yet to discover.




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In putting this together I pulled from various sources... and it frustrates me a little bit to see that now at the end, I find this site that did it all better and cited more things than I did