Friday, August 30, 2013

Outdated lingo... "original sin"

“By defying God and eating the fruit, they doubted his goodness—God must be keeping something from us—and challenged his authority—we know what’s best for us better than God does.” 
                              -Explore God blogger

     The trickery is not in the enticement, but the lie “you will not die." The tree gave knowledge of good and evil, thus being like God in this knowledge. This is one of the defining differences between us and The Creator. We were created with limited knowledge, only knowing that which is good. The Creator being the Origin of what is good, knows what is not of him, that which is outside good; evil. However this knowledge does not affect who The Creator is, like it does us, for it is we only who were created. The problem with humanity is that we cannot handle this knowledge. God notified them that eating this tree would bring death. It is an interpretation upon the reader that this is a command because of the “you shall not,” but to view this as a command is to misunderstand the purposes of commands. Paul says that the law was to point out our sin, yet no sin existed when the “you shall not” was spoken. Is telling a child they are free to play in the front yard, side yard, backyard, and even in the drive way, but they cannot play in the street because they could be hit by a car a command of authority? Is the “you shall not” a dictation of power and law or a statement of protection and love?
     Authority is exerted because of a desire to rebel. Humanity at this point had no such desire. Humanities focus was on accomplishing the purpose of the Creator (to be an ever expanding carbon based presence of God on Earth). The “shall not” statement was a warning concerning the destruction of humanities purpose. Since there is not really any “authority” to be exerted, they could not have been challenging God’s authority.

     Now, they did believe the lie; that what God said is not reflective of reality. And why did they believe the lie; because there was a compelling argument against the Creator? Or was it because of their past experiences of being let down by God? Since neither of these is described in the story we can safely assume those were not the cause. The only thing we have to go on is the enticement, “You will be like God.” Man and Woman would no longer be the arbiters, but the standard bearers of all that is. The I AM would be replaced by the WE ARE. The enticement was of self-focused delusions. The interest in self was the “original sin”, and the same sin we still commit today.
     So how is our selfishness abolished? By clinging onto the selfless act of a loving God taking our curse of death that was not his punishment and offering our lives to be lived through, thus fulfilling our original created purpose.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sin = Disobedience???

Our problem might not be disobedience.

Many say that the “original sin” was Adam and Eve’s disobedience, yet Paul taught that

sin existed before the Law. The Creator did give an oral command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.  The oral command was disobeyed, but is that all there is to sin? In the book of Romans, it was stated that death came through sin. Consider that when reading the words “Do not eat for you will die,” and there seems to be something a bit more complex to this sin idea than just disobedience.
Our God is one of logic and sense, for our universe is reflective of that and if he were not logical then we could by no means say that “God is good” for it is only logic that can differentiate between good and bad. Much of the writings in the bible relate God’s will or desire, his purposes. God is one of purpose and not of purposelessness (logical deduction). Therefore there is purpose to why eating of the tree would
bring death and purpose as to why the tree was called Knowledge of Good and Evil. These two purposes are directly tied to each other.
The Creator declared everything good, and humanity was created in the likeness of the one who created it. Thus, humanity was originally good and had knowledge of what was good, for it was natural. This tree was of knowledge of good AND evil. By eating of this tree humanity became dual natured. Humanity carries the intrinsic value of the created good, but also operates in the futility of self-based enthusiasm. It is from this dual natured existence that death is now our curse and the perpetuator of our ongoing sin (self-based enthusiasm).

The curse of death is not a punishment for disobedience but a consequence to the choice of eating the fruit. This was clear from the start. For if you eat, you will die. Humanity chose self, over The Creator’s purpose, thus bringing the curse of death upon humanity. The other curses the Creator placed on man, woman, and the serpent fell on them like a domino effect. Humanity was made from the dust of the earth and in death humanity returns to the dust of the earth. The spoiling of our Earth is in the curse of death, for it is in toil that humanity labors to survive, and it is in pain and suffering that we continue to survive as a species. The serpent (representing all of the animals on earth) was changed bound the ground to eat the cursed earth, no longer in peace, but death and enmity. All of this not because of disobedience, but because of what they ate, and how it changed them. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Age to Come

There is only one one left, when this one is said and done.

Heaven, a place of tranquility and peace, where all is perfect and love is in the air, sound nice? Is that really what heaven is going to be like? Many think so, the lion lying with the lamb and all that. Why go through creating the world, watching it fall apart then do everything in your power to restore it to something you never created it to be in the first place? In the creation, humans were given a purpose, to be the emissaries of God on earth, and this purpose was in The Creator’s words “good.” You cannot get a better grade, score, or recommendation when the author of the test is judging with his own standard and declares A, 100%. God is good, and is the standard of what is good, to label his own creation as good, means it is exactly how it is to be. But...then it goes to crap.
The Kingdom of heaven is at hand, but there is an “age to come.” Eternal life was
taken from human kind after we messed it all up; it is given back through Jesus. Our understanding of good is now only in comparison with evil. This too is being corrected for the age to come. Our purpose as God’s emissaries to God’s “creation” was declared good and was a pre-blunder condition. The question stands, why would The Creator change his purpose for his creation when he already said it is exactly what I want it to be? Not sure he would.
Many people dream about aliens and extra-terrestrial life on other planets. Not going to go as far to say that we will meet ET in
heaven, but exploring the “heavens” might be a very real possibility. For the old earth and heaven will pass away, and there will be a new earth and a new heaven.  A new star (or stars) to call the sunlight, a new land with water and trees, animals, fish and birds, a new solar system to call home. And how will we get there? The dead in Christ shall rise first and we will meet them in the air. Fly! Our bodies will be transformed to be like the glorious body of Jesus Christ, who flew into the clouds at the ascension. Is heaven going to be perfect, and peaceful, and full of love? You bet, and it is going to be fun and exciting, and adventurous, as we eternally live out God’s purpose for our existence in the infinite expanse of space-the age to come.
What do you have for your calendar for then?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bad Grammar for Jesus

It is not only possible to believe in Jesus with bad grammar, but possibly preferred.

                In conversation, it is fairly difficult to not talk about “I.” “I think your right.” “After you get home, I’m going to the store.” “I don’t know if you heard this but…” Could it be that “I” consumes way too much of my…ahh I mean…ehh…um…our focus? To leave out the I’s and me’s in grammatically incorrect, but in doing so a better alternative than good grammar can be achieved. Have a mirror that has Jesus on the cross etched into it. Two things come to mind when thinking about that mirror. 1. Who do you see in it, Jesus or yourself? 2. A reminder that it is my fault, guilt, mistakes, and self-absorbency that is the reason for the crucifixion. Yes, “my” was used in that last sentence because it is the I that Christ died for so that the I would give up and let the You take over. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” People seek to find “God’s will for my life,” and have difficulty figuring it out. The problem is the little two letter word at the end of that statement; “my.” It changes the focus from God’s will to “me.”
                Personally, been making an effort to remove the personal pronouns from vocabulary. Makes for bad grammar, but good Christology. Take for example the song “I Give You My Heart.”

This is my desire
To honour You
Lord, with all my heart
I worship You
All I have within me 
I give You praise
All that I adore 
Is in You

Lord, I give You my heart 
I give You my song 
I live for you alone
Every breath that I take 
Every moment I'm awake
Lord, have Your ways in me

The personal pronouns are used 15 times; Lord or You 11 times. A difference of four is not that big, but if taken into account, I, me, and my is mentioned 15 times in these two short stanzas, and that that the Lord is mentioned even less the resulting conclusion is disheartening. The use of the personal pronouns is the direct noun (the one doing the action) and the Lord is the indirect noun (the one receiving the action). So who is the subject of this song? One would have to say that the focus is on the one singing, despite the lofty concepts being espoused. To sing to God about what “I” am doing does not seem to be worship of God, rather worship of self doesn’t it? There seems to be too much “I” in today’s christIanity. “I” has been crucified with Christ. If “I” is never crucified, grammar could cost you everything.

                Not been using the personal pronouns, especially when typing and writing (easier to control). Have noticed an increase in the awareness of how many times they are used. Also, have noticed a genuine change of focus towards others. When talking less about self, it makes room to talk to other people about other people. To look in the mirror and see less of me and more of You. You loving people, You helping people, You living out your purpose, and your desire, for Paul said it is You that works in us to will and to act according to your purposes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Upper Room

How can something small be famous?

There is something to be said of the use of multimedia and a sound system that fills a room with music capturing the attention of a crowd; the gathering of thousands of believers as they worship the God they feel great affection for; a towering monolith of architectural beauty proclaiming to all who stand in its shadow the purpose of worship. And yet, there is Jesus in an upper room washing the feet of his disciples.
During a shared meal celebrating and worshiping the Creator’s providential salvation of his people, Jesus took the time to show humility in washing his student’s feet. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, his students were again in an upper room and Christ came to them at that place. The early church was marked by people gathering in homes to lift high the 
name of Jesus as the One God. The fame of Christ was spread far by those devoted to his cause. Household after household was converted from a home to a church. Then something changed. People started to think that glory had something to do with “big.” Now in today’s time there is more attention given to how church looks than to who the church is.
A friend posed this question recently, “Is there a better way to spend a Sunday morning then in a hallway?” A hallway converting into a church, where the Creator of the universe meets with his people by the intimate connection
of His Spirit with ours made possible by the birth, death and resurrection of Christ? No. The people willing to meet in an upper room, or a house, or a hallway do so for no other reason than the purpose of their gathering.  The beauty of the raw dedication, unwavering faith, and absolute dependence of Jesus in the small things far out-shines any production or display.
Jesus once told an individual, “There will be a day when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” Jesus was telling this person that people argue about relics like a mountain, created by God, or the relic of the Temple, built by the devout, are the place of true worship; but that neither was what the Creator desires. The Creator desires the people, not the place.
No matter where we are or what style of location we have big or small, fancy or shabby, we are the church. We are the indwelling of the Almighty. We are his image, through Christ, we are his presence.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Darkness that shines within.

Matthew once wrote, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

                At one point, the words “I don’t see any color in life anymore” were uttered to my mother. Life seemed grey and dull. Boring is not an adequate description of the viewpoint. It lacks the depth of hopelessness. Life had no color, because life had no promise; no purpose; no living. There was only
darkness that shined within, driving out all things that held light. This dark nothing soon made all things as its own; keeping me a prisoner of nowhere, and in the company of no one. To be lost and alone would be one thing, for there would be hope in being found. This darkness stripped away even the purpose in searching for rescue and help. The darkness claimed me and became me. There was only one thing to do. Die.
                The god of purpose and love had been preached to me. And preach to me they did, telling me I could find hope in him because of a prayer made by my mouth. As before, when needed, I went to this god and asked for the end, for this was the only hope I could see: to
die before him and all others so that the lifeless existence would finally cease. I prayed and planned for death as if it was mid-day meal. How is death best served on a Tuesday in late Spring? Standing outside a church building starring into the sky wondering why this god won’t answer this one little prayer. Now I lay me down to sleep, in hopes to die before I wake.
                Death was the only answer, and I am glad it came to me. Though the way it came was not what I was expecting. The strong suspicion that I could not hear god was made denser by the darkness. But, what the darkness did not understand was that true light was about to show up. While musical notes filled the air and stage lights flooded the scene, with my eyes closed I heard a voice and saw green. Three words to change life forever, spoken from my savior; “I love you.” My Lord and my God, I give you my life! My will died that day. The promise and hope of a life worth living was given to me, because a long time ago Jesus died the death that I asked for and is now longer required of me.

Jesus is my God.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

We are a GMO.

Eating a fruit not made for us changed our biochemistry.

       I am not going to claim to know much at all concerning the GMO debate, but I am fairly certain that the concern is that the genetically modified organism is effecting humans when they eat it. Despite the fact that all of nature is genetically different than it was 5,000 or so years ago; this could be a valid concern. I would venture to say that our current state of our world is because of a GMO.
       The tree of knowledge of good and evil brought death, not just because the creator said we would die (so we do as punishment for disobedience), but because that is what would happen if the fruit was
eaten. The fruit genetically modified us and not in a good way. Humans gained an understanding that we were not designed to have. A friend explained his view of evil to me as the absence of God. When considering the Creator’s goodness (the standard of all things good), it is logical to assume that what is not of God is evil. This view can lead to a dualism in nature of prime reality. However, the Creator, describes himself not as the Good God, but as the I AM. God is, and the absence of “is” is nothing. God is existence and life, in which the opposite is death.
       The tree of knowledge of good and evil, made in us the existence of life and death's dualism. We fight to stay alive, but eventually death claims us all. Our survivalist instincts (to cheat death), bring about a self-focused reality and distorts our view of what the Creator declared as good. Our bio-electric and biochemical response to stimuli has been negatively modified. Public nudity…good or bad?
I know some will disagree but it is typically viewed as bad, hence the reason we have worn some type of clothing for the past 6,000 years. Adam and Eve felt shame for how they were, even though the epitome of goodness said it was good. They had an improper bio-electric and biochemical response to the stimulant of seeing each other and themselves naked.

Humans are now Genetically Modified Organisms.