Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some Technicalities

i want to address some theological issues, if i can.

there is always going to be faulty doctrine, this day or the next, but there are some arguments that i have run into lately, for which the following statements are true:

God is not Omni-Benevolent 
i'm trying to be careful with this, because it is a blanket statement. God hates sin. God hates the unrepentant sinner. Matthew 10:20-24 has Jesus denouncing whole cities for not repenting and following Him. therefore, consider it an act of love that you are alive today.

We are not all God's Children 
Jesus said that everyone is born into sin, and that unless we have experienced a rebirth, we are called Sons of Hell (Rebirth explained in John 3:1-21). therefore, any verse regarding God's beloved, the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Good Shephard, etc. must be understood with this in mind.

God Doesn't Send Anyone to Hell 
with the previous point in mind, this should be easy to explain; God's children spend eternity in Heaven, and Sons of Satan spend eternity in Hell. God is only the Judge. your sins are what determine your fate.

i have been analysing the story of The Rich Young Man (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-30; Luke 18:18-30). it is the age-old, straightforward question of "How do I enter Heaven?" posed to Jesus. these verses are addressed to a rich man, and then to the closest followers of Jesus. i guess i keep wondering if this passage is directed to me as well... if i need to sell "all of my possessions" in order to follow Him. in any case, i think the common denominator is following Jesus.

P.S. if you are simply having trouble understanding the Bible, try praying for understanding.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How to Live

suddenly i have rekindled a passion for the weary and heavy laden christian. i am reminded that when i displease God, i should encourage my brothers and sisters. i want to start here, where you are. where you're discouraged. where you've failed.

may you find God's overwhelming love and acceptance, again and again. may you reignite passion. may you rekindle hope. may you rediscover truth. may your path be made straight. may your words fall on deaf ears. may you endure hardships. may you bask in the infinite peace of God. may you store treasures in Heaven. may you become weak. may your prayers be heard.

perhaps it is true that God does not count how many times you fall, but how many times you get up. perhaps God understands your self-hatred and disgust with your sin. perhaps God loves you regardless of how many times you turn your back on Him. perhaps God wants you to come only broken.

sometimes i am afraid that my sin will indefinitely separate me from God. i lose hope. i forget God's promise. He will never leave me nor forsake me. i feel spoiled. like God's injustice is in my favor. is God content if i quit the big sins and don't worry about the little sins? if all sin is the same, then i'm screwed. there's no way i can become righteous. how is God pleased with a saint/sinner? can i trust Him to provide? how do i show my commitment to God if i will inevitably go on sinning?

there's no other way it could work. i must come back to Him.

i think there is something heavily spiritual about the inability to break through to the inner court, to the throne of God. the veil was torn, but we've put it back up. there is denial there. there is fear there.

i love football movies. but i've seen some cheesy pep-talks for a worn out climax that could only work on a big screen. this reminds me of christians. we're the worst for encouragement. but i think it's deeper than our reputation. i think it's ultimately a lack of faith. it's a spiritual battle.

the idea of true encouragement is a very lost one. the lifting of spirits... encouragement means to give courage. true courage, in the life of a christian, is not an emotion. it is not an attitude. it is the unleashing of intrinsic boldness.

i want to encourage you, not inspire you.

Father in Heaven, send your Spirit to guide us, to rest on our shoulders, to make our paths straight. let us tear down the veil to your secrets once again. let us worship You until our breath runs dry. let us pray until the rocks cry out. let Your truth burn on our tongues. let us storm through the valleys and shout from the mountain tops. let your Kingdom come down. let us have faith once again. give us the Holy Boldness, sharpen our tongues, teach us to pray. let us hear your voice, o God of Elijah. let us see your face, o God of Moses. let us sing Your name, o God of David. let us be with You, o God of Israel. in Jesus' name, Amen.

may you never believe prayer to merely be a thoughtful gesture.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


if you could love me as a wife
and for my wedding gift, your life
should that be all i’ll ever need
or is there more i’m looking for
and should i read between the lines
and look for blessings in disguise
to make me handsome, rich, and wise
is that really what you want 
i am a whore i do confess
but i put you on just like a wedding dress
and i run down the aisle
i’m a prodigal with no way home
but i put you on just like a ring of gold
and i run down the aisle to you 
so could you love this bastard child
though i don’t trust you to provide
with one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side
i am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
that i would take a little cash over your very flesh and blood 
because money cannot buy
a husband’s jealous eye
when you have knowingly deceived his wife
i don't normally post song lyrics on here, i never read them on anyone else's blog, because i figure there's nothing i've never heard before (laugh). but i was recently introduced to Derek Webb and this song. it hit me so hard because it has such deep, forgotten meaning. it is written from the perspective of a shameful bride. at second glance, it bears the awful truth of an unfaithful church. watching her as she repeatedly breaks every vow. Derek calls any follower of Christ to love the church. Jesus himself said "If you love me, you will tend my flock."

it's incredibly easy to point fingers at the church, to say what it should be like, what it needs to do, and to hilight the flaws. when i condemn the church, i condemn Jesus also. God loves the church. i want to love what He loves. i want to see the bride of Christ as He sees her.