Expression and Creativity is an essential Human Element and rite. Language is as old as humanity itself; moreover, all of Creation was established by language. The Written Word is our most sophisticated means of recording our own history, culture, and validation of our own ability to express and create. Moreover, the written word in some parts of humanity is also ART. Not only Cuneiform or Latin or Greek, but Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Mayan, Hebrew, and Asian Character writing is even more visually appealing. But even the most ancient of writing is a visual medium. Within that thought, we must also embrace art and expression through art. We must be wary of creating images of our Creator or images in which we worship. But expression is our right and responsibility. As a writer, artist, and mostly a poet, I embrace that right and privilege.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Critical Tangents and Complete Convesions

Critical Tangents

Many of my “this region” contemporary friends are off school and face that same question that I do. Q: What do I do with my time? For one thing: Make, create, and rest! That is my answer. On FB I have been expressing that I have been contemplating the Inordinate Obscurities of the Universe. I had ordered a movie called “God of Wonders”. I have seen this movie during a meeting of the OUS Followers of Christ club. I have fond memories of that club. We had a core group that showed up every time, and a lingering few who popped in and out now and then. But I digress…God of Wonders is a fantastic movie that explores the universe and how it itself is undeniable evidence that God is who He claims to be in the scripture. One thing in that movie that made an impact to me is how big the largest star could possibly be. It’s like 700,000 times the size of our own star, the Sun (Sol). It is so overwhelmingly larger than our star, that the star itself is like as big as the earth’s orbit around Sol. That is so incredibly enormous that it is hard to fathom. NOW, that being said, I don’t remember those numbers exactly, so when the movie comes in, I’ll come back and republish those actual facts. I highly, highly recommend watching this movie. It is only $15 on . That is also a great place to buy pretty much anything Christian lit. Ask them to send you their frequently published catalogs and their email that comes several times a week; always on sale and a great place to buy. I get almost all of my reference material there. I have gotten some great deals of some Pre-Nicene Council writing. Early Christian writing is a great way to see how the early church practiced and what they believed. But one must also be very careful to continue to read the scripture in your daily private time with the Father because our minds are used to turning writings like that into an authority, when it is NOT an authority. Some of these early Christians were so influenced either by the Greek theology/Platonism, or the Alexandria school way of thinking. Either way they could occasionally get some far out thoughts on what the bible meant. However, it is encouraging to see the bible quoted so often and see for sure that these early Christians were very much influenced by the same scripture that we are. It is also further evidence that it wasn’t until 300AD (I hate the new way of saying After Death [of Christ] and saying Common Era-CE) that the New Testament was written and being used by the early Millennial Christians.
Reading early Christian writings can be a bizarre journey. Some of them were so incredibly legalistic that it is ridiculous and were very, very, very works oriented. I too am works orientated, because I believe what the bible says in that obedience is a show of love to the Father, and because of Jesus we know what it is to be performance oriented. But some of them would find great self condemning thoughts and confessions because they weren’t perfect. It is kind of like a hyper reaction to the Gospel. I know that much of the Reformers misconstrued Grace to be an all powerful …???...Force that exists for the sole reason of pre-chosen people to live past this life to be with God forever. The Reformers brought the thinking that Hell is a place for the common person and that God wants people to go to hell. This thinking is so far from biblical teaching that it is ridiculous. These Reformers would confess that they would intentionally leave out whole books of the bible and just stick to selected passages, and not digging deeper into finding the balance between Paul’s Saved by Grace/Faith and James saved by Faith/Action. There is a perfect blend between the two if you have a larger sense of what message the bible is teaching. One must consider the whole of the bible, and not just the sum of parts. We can proof text the NT until we are blue in the face, and we can pluck out patterns that we think prove our point for sure. I could use scripture to prove that you must be married in order to be a faithful Christian, and yet, I could proof text that in order to be faithful, one must remain single. In the same way, I could pull out scripture that shows that God offers Grace only to those that He has preselected to go to heaven, and then again, I could proof text into a teaching that proves that the choice of being a Christian is entirely our choosing and the Father has no action in that decision making. Then again, I could proof text the entire teaching that the Father, through Christ, made all that has, does, and will continue to exist and His Glorified Self can see the day you were born at the same time that he saw the day his son was born, knowing full well the outcome of both lives. He has foreknowledge of who will love Him, but he also knows that the chance to be saved was completely the choice of those the love Him, and so he opened up windows to give that opportunity to those who he know would love Him forever. He allowed us to know Him, but didn’t make that choice for us. If you knew the day that your child will be born and die, do you not have that child even though you know when he will die. You know in advance that as a teen he/she will make bad choices, but as an adult, they will give their hearts to God…or even that they will die from drunk driving, does that mean you don’t want to have that child and get those wonderful years of life together. Even if you knew that you would offer rehab to your child and they choose not to go, but you had years together...with awesome childhood memories and the blessing of grandchildren…but still, drunk driving, “No, I will not have that child to spare them drunk driving.” It is ridiculous. God doesn’t make decisions for us, no, He in his wondrous ways allows us to choose, and know who will, he opens up His heart to them and predestines their salvation knowing in advance that they would choose Him.
I am doing a lousy job explaining the whole of the Will of Christ, but that leads me to my next point. Science and faith are almost synonymous in construction. At the time that we call “now”, we think that we are at the pinnacle of what we know and believe. Modern science IS religion, and there can be no doubt about that. It requires faith, facts, and fantastical imagination. But my point is that we seem to always be thinking that nobody knows more that we do, and we pat ourselves on the back for being so intelligent and being so fantastic in the way that we express ourselves. There couldn’t possibly be other knowledge that pertains to our belief that could counter what we know!! No way!! What we know IS reality in itself and we can only make assumptions (that word is science in a nut shell) that if we don’t know it, it isn’t true. It is way too early in the history of mankind to assume that we understand how the earth was made and how the universe came to be and why DNA doesn’t prove God’s existence, and the stars are as far away as we think they are and the universe is as big as we think it is and that we are the most intelligent species on the planet or that we are alone in the Cosmos sitting on our small little planet, which gets smaller every day, and no one else is out their capable of being as human as we are (actually, that may be true). Of course I am talking in complete sarcasm. It is ridiculous to think that we know everything enough to know what doesn’t ring true. Please…Darwinism is so ridiculous that it is hardly worth mentioning. Catholicism is so ridiculously un-Christ-like I feel embarrassed for self aggrandizing people who think that they have the true “key” to the Kingdom of God, and that they should be revered. Becoming a pastor, priest, minister, bishop, pope or lead evangelist is to put yourself above others in proclaiming that you were meant for a special position in life or a certain calling. PLEASE!! We were ALL called to serve God, some of us are just more in touch with it than others. We were all called to be messengers of the word and to spread the truth to each other. What the Catholic Church is all about, and what the Benny Hinn/Billy Graham people are all about is wanting to be in a position of being admired and worshipped. To serve in the fashion that many of these Rick Warren/Joyce Meyers people serve in is a driven passion, almost to an obsession to be elevated in the eyes of others, seeking that approval that God wants to give us, and if we can’t find it in the Word, then we fight to find it in other people. So much do we want to be respected and revered. So much we want that validation that we are awesome. Well, that is the sin that Eve was tempted with, and that Adam fell in line with, with ZERO protest. What did she say to him? “Now the serpent was craftier than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” Well, it doesn’t say what she said to him, but it does say what she said to herself in essence. It looked tasty and seemingly fulfilling, and moreover, it would make her smart. NOW, as an intellect myself, I too am enamored with knowledge; I am especially enamored with Knowledge as it were. Even though there is a huge amount of warnings in the scripture, Eve only had the commands of God to protect her. She didn’t trust that God knew better. She wanted to be wise and equal to God. Think how much we delight in knowing things. Mankind’s pursuit of education and furthering knowledge is relentless. All some of us want is to know more. We want to know all and understand all! We want to know WHY we should obey this command or that command. If it doesn’t make sense to us, we ignore it or devalue it. We make up reasons why it doesn’t apply to us and create a faction or divisive devise of some sort and make it all look like rationality, just like the snake did in the garden. We serve the devils of this world without even being aware of how much. I have a friend who just recently came to the conclusion that the entire world is run by evil and that the only good there is comes from the rare and few between holy person. This is made clear to the person who reads the gospel, and is not anything new. Anyway, he is overwhelmed with this fact and is having a hard time being spiritual and grasping at worldliness and humanistic understandings instead of reading his bible to better understand. This has led him on a course of accusing multiple people of being demon possessed and indulging in deceit and even hallucinations. He has just come off a life of substance abuse, and still dips some, which is keeping one y foot in the water while trying to dry off. HE tried to tell what the bible message was and that there is something in the gospel that he obviously either deluded or deceivingly tried to convey to me. His deceit is rampant and his misplaced loyalties to God are completely worldly. But this really comes on strong every time I challenge him to deal with his heart and his marriage and parenting skills. Of course he has completely destroyed his marriage with unfaithfulness and drunken physical abuse (seeing her not leave him is heart breaking) and he is supposed to be “repenting” from his iniquities. This is an excellent example of how the evil forces of this world can string you along. I too have fallen for these type of worldly temptations, thus they are easy for me to spot. As I have overcome them, I have a passion to see this other person to also do thus. There is no hope for his marriage. Now that he has quit his job, there is no longer a reason for his wife to stay with him. Personally, I think that this “brother” (everybody is a brother to me in my heart because of how much I love them, and I do love this bother) struggles with his mental health, but that too can be demonic influence. Too often people dismiss devil influences but the Gospel attributes demon possession to many sicknesses; the early Christian writings reveal that they too believed that health was due to demons. They would successfully cast out these demons, and that person’s health would return.
Baptism was taught by Peter in conjunction to the forgiveness of sins and the entrance into the Kingdom Of God (KOG), I decided to make a little booklet about Christianity and the significance of God the Creator become part of his own Creation. Why He had to do this and how it proves beyond any doubt that God is a keeper of his word and that His integrity is beyond our own capabilities. It also proves that God never lies, and always keeps his promises. It also shows the legitimacy of the Book of Genesis. Wither you look at the first few chapters of Genesis as fable, metaphor, or literal events, it proves that God prophesied the coming of Jesus in the Garden of Eden. He knew from day one that we would fail Him, but many people believe that in order for us to have a relationship with our creator, we must mature ourselves and learn from our mistakes. This is difficult as war looms all over the world; starvation is happening to one out of two people in this world, and sickening dictatorships and imperialism rule the people of this planet. We are supposed to rise above, and that is why Jesus teaches that the road to the KOG is a narrow one. Wide is the path to destruction!!!! Narrow is the path that leads to salvation! Let’s read it: “"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” The concept is that it is a hard life that will lead us to life. BUT, let’s look at the few words right before this teaching: “"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”” Whoa-lah!! The Golden Rule!!! The Golden Rule IS the narrow path. It is simple “spiritual mechanics” Jesus style. SO we are back to works and faith James style, but yet, we couldn’t do works without faith, for according to Romans, anything done without faith is sin. We must believe that there is an element in “pleasing” the Father. “Oh, I’m saved by grace alone! Works are dead and lead to worldliness. Works lead to legalism and spiritual retardation!”
“Please!” Yes we are saved by grace and not works, but works are an expression of faith. SO it is mutual in its design. That is the reconciliation between Paul and James. The problem, is that the man who invented the works verses grace argument was talking about all the rules made by a church, not the obedience found in scriptural salvation. He had his own copy of the bible, and he had to rationalize the seeming dichotomy between Ephesians and James. So, he created a bible without the book of James. Romans should be bringing you to figure out that there is no dichotomy between Grace/Faith/Works. Also, 1 John should be bringing light to the subject, as does Hebrews…really, one must take the whole of the scripture in mind to figure out that Grace leads to Faith, and Faith and Obedience are bologna and cheese on bread. Faith and Works are peanut butter and Jelly. They only work together. In one way, we could say that Faith and Works are the same thing. Abraham believed God before he expressed his belief. This means that Faith and Works are not the same thing, but they are sandwiched together. How did we know that Abraham believed God, because he did exactly what he was told to do, up to murdering his own child? In a sense, Abraham believed in the Resurrection of HIS son, as much as God believed in the Resurrection of His Son. Because of this, Abraham saved all of mankind, up until Christ. But to further this argument, all of the people that had iron clad, rock hard faith always showed it by obedience. IF you say you have faith, then you WILL love your neighbor as yourself. If you have faith, you would have confessed Jesus as Lord, and Jesus as the Christ and literal begotten Son of God, then confessed your sin, then got ten baptized, then remained faithful through the taking of the Lords Supper and actions of LOVE Jesus style in order to convert. It must be complete. The sinner’s prayer is a new concept that stems from spiritually immature thinking. It was a easy solution to converting native Americans and unschooled uneducated masses of white Americans who had frontiered eastern and mid-west America. As missionaries headed into the Western American Frontier, they needed to be able to convert people without going through “ritual”. They held highly entertaining tent revivals. When they held their alter calls, they needed a solution for hundreds of people converting at a time, including all walks of life; from American Indians, African emigrants (slaves), and rich and poor white people all had desire to respond to these Charismatic shows. So they also had fund raising to do, and what better to increase your fundraising than converting dozens up to hundreds of new members at a time. There was little room for accountability to change one’s life and become a completely new creature. When we convert, we are supposed to start fitting into our potential of being unified with Creation. The quick fix conversion of the Sinner’s Prayer is a false or incomplete conversion. You are only one third of the way there.
“Well, Peter was talking about being baptized in the Spirit like they just were!” I have several things to say about that. 1.) The only accounts of baptism of the Holy Spirit without water immersion had Peter in attendance and delivering the message. In Matthew 16 Peter was plainly given the authority to establish the Church on earth, and KOG on Earth as it is in Heaven. Peter, after the baptism of the Holy Spirit also made them all become water baptized in order to complete all righteousness. There is an argument that the Gifts of the Spirit (Miracles) and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are two different things. The giving of the Miraculous Gifts (Speaking in Tongues, Healing, prophesying, etc.) only happens when a APOSTLE lays hands on that person. The biblical evidence backs this up. Moreover, the only way to be a true Apostle is to witness the Resurrection in person. You would have had to have seen Jesus in Person during his life, and then seen him resurrected after his death and burial. If you read The Book of Acts chapter one and two, this becomes evidentiary. Read further through Acts and you can see that converts throughout all of Acts show different parts of conversion. But the nail that seals the coffin is Paul’s conversion. He tells his conversion twice, but the Book tells his conversion three times. In the last telling of his conversions it makes it clear that he didn’t have his sins forgiven, even though he came to faith, until he was water baptized. Paul received his revelation of Christ which was God offering Grace, but Paul still had to be baptized in order to have his sins forgiven. This is very telling. When you start reading the NT in whole, even the whole bible, with Noah’s flood, Moses’ crossing of the Red Sea, Joshua crossing the Jordon…every time there is a new covenant with God, it includes a water purge. The Hebrews were purged of the Egyptians through the Red Sea. He then received the Law as to how to achieve salvation. Then, in order to enter the Promised Land, the Hebrews again crossed the Jordan, and then had to physically take hold of the Promised Land. Noah, had to build the Ark, but didn’t receive salvation until it actually rained and the fulfillment of that covenant came through coming into contact with the earth and the curse of the earth was broken, and God THEN came up with the new covenant with Creation, including mankind. Mankind was baptized, the Hebrews were baptized, Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. What’s that about? Jesus made it clear that we are to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness!!!! John the Baptists preached a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins!! Baptism only makes sense. In Romans 3 and 6, Ephesians 4:4, Galatians 3:26, 1 Corinthians 1, and many more, there is so much biblical unity with baptism for conversion. NO, it is not the do all say all….it is not baptism alone, which is what faith alone people think. They think since they are faith alone, that we are baptism alone (see, already there is a division among God’s people). That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The need for faith is overwhelming, but the need for a renewed life is also abundant. We are not saved because or works, we do works because we are saved. You must ask yourself, “Self, how is Grace expressed?” Is it some magical force that just lands of people who agree that Jesus is Lord? Congratulations, even devils and demons believe that, that proves nothing!!! So by accepting Jesus for who he is you have this mysterious force that forces you into having your sins forgiven, regardless of the fact that there is NO biblical evidence to that teaching.
“But read Romans 10:9 says that if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that we will be saved!” DON’T PROOF TEXT!!! Especially in Romans!!! Romans is a letter to a church or converted people who would have been through the conversion process. They would have had to have heard the Gospel preached to them, then they come to faith, repented of their sins, made their confessions before God’s people then been baptized. Since then, however, these Jew converts were relying on their obeying of the Ten Commandments for their salvation. They were proud of it and boasting before the gentile converts. Paul, pointing all of this out had to tell those Jewish brothers to not rely on their following the Ten Commandments and instead, just confess and believe to be saved, not rely on the Ten Commandments, but rely on Christ himself…Which leads me to my last point. We must rely on Christ and just TRUST the will of God. I find in our lives that God hasn’t blessed us with much more than little prosperity. By most Americans, we live in a poor state of life. Our annual is even low for this part of the country. Well, I want this to change, but the doors haven’t been opened yet, and when they do, I’ll grab them and go for it. The doors to open spiritual growth and fruit haven’t been opened yet either. Our blessings in life as far as people in our lives, we are filthy stinking rich. We have so many great friends that we can depend on and who love us and have been extremely loyal to us through all of my sickness time in the past ten years. But now it is time to deal with our hearts. I sold some stock in my McGraw-Hill stock, and receive a partial payment of this. It was nice, and had accorded for all of this to go out to certain parts. Well, otherwise to my plans, I up front wanted to Give God my first fruits with this money; two hundred off the top, the first fruits. I had worldliness in my heart, but also had a thrill in my heart to be giving to needy people at this time of the year. Well, when my wife, who has issues in giving cash as a priority to the purpose of God, decided to do this giving, God gave back to her the next day by sending her a check in the mail for $300. Not just a payback for the two hundred we were giving, but an extra hundred too. How generous God is to us? Extremely. However, we didn’t rush that money…we weren’t making sure that we gave our first fruits. There was hesitation and not zeal, and then next thing we know, my wife gets in an accident that I can only call divine intervention. I believe the bible when it says that we should consider hardships as discipline. I think I was too attached to that money, and my wife too attached to her car. We should have proved zeal to the Father. I had said that I was going to do it. I pledged to the Father that if he gave us the money, I’d give 10% back…and we still haven’t done it. Things went horribly wrong with this money and this was my big chance to prove my worth and heart. At first, I wanted to blame my wife, but now I look at my own attachment to stuff and money and hold my head low. I am a sinner. I’m not singing about how “this world is not my home and I’m just passing through!” No, I have slowly been falling in love with my stuff. My knife collection, my reference library, my mystery novel collection, not to mention my own creations of art, poetry, and writing, I treasure all of it. I haven’t been watching my back as I have been moving forward. Worldliness has crept in and been slowly taking over. It wasn’t a lot of money to most people, and it is gone now and we are almost worse off because we need our co-pay for the accident. So, I’m saying, that my attachment to the world has stripped me of my dignity and reliability; not to mention my integrity. There is so much scripture about loving the world and hating God, or hating the world and loving God. There must be a clear choice. As a tangent, Satan will bless your life for turning your back on the Father/Son/Spirit-God. He will make it look like your religion is bringing you prosperity. He will make it look like what you are doing in your church and giving will bring a blessing from God in this life and this world. The truth is, we don’t give to get, although that is promised….we give because God wants us to do it. It is our tribute to the greatest thing in our lives, GOD!!! We do it because our Father’s slightest whim is our greatest desire. We do it because Christ is AWESOME and amazing and perfect and beautiful and merciful and gracious and king and gentle and strong and righteous and holy, and he wants to pull us into all that and make us the same. So we give because, as Christ has given the golden rule, if we were in the other persons shoes, we’d want to be given to.
BUT, one of the false gospels that is being preached, of which Paul didn’t (Galatians 1), is the Prosperity Gospel that says that financial success is a sign from God that he approves our lives and that we are living righteously. Of course that is malapropos. It is biblical inaccurate and unspiritual to the core. No truly spiritual person will seek God for prosperity. No seriously Spirit filled disciple of Jesus will ever hope for a humanistic worldly payoff for their serving. In truth, they will not let anybody know they are even serving at all if it can be helped. We don’t all have the gift of giving, but I sure wish I did. I want to give, but I always think too big. I think that If I want to give, then it must be a huge gift from huge money, not little gifts from little money often. I am working on that and it is the starting topic of December’s Blog. A few days late, but this is Nov.’s blog and I hope I didn’t prattle on too much.
So in summation, double check your conversion. If you haven’t been fully water immersed baptized, but have received Jesus as Savior, Lord, and Teacher, then you need to finish your conversion and get baptized in the name of the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost of God. If you need somebody to do this for you, you must first find a Christian to do this. Any Christian has the authority to baptize, so just find one who will agree to this complete conversion. Find a First Christian Church, a Mainline Church of Christ, an International Church of Christ, or most Mennonite and Amish churches. There are others, but those are just off the top of my head. You of course can Google anything. God bless you and I pray you have a fantastic holiday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Early Morning Overflow!

There was some editing afterwords to make it more coherent, but this note was taken at 3AM during a time of sleeplessness.  Sometimes I wake in the night with an overflow of what is on my mind.
The profound impact that Constantinopolitan Creeds, Nicene Creeds, and Augustinian "Christology" had on western faith was beyond tragic.  Others too had huge impact on our totally ruined faith: Justin Martyr, & other converted philosophers of the Socrates school twisted and added to the scriptures almost as much as the Judaizers following Paul and his merry band of men and women workers, all of whom were carrying the entire world on their shoulders.  Also Origen and the Alexandrian impact twisted some of the Greek NT’s and set precedence.  God says that true religion is to meet the needs of widows and orphans in their distress and to not allow the world to influence you!  There are a slew of early Christian fathers who were so incredibly tainted by this world that it is ridiculous!!!  Many of them--whose views we keep today considered Socrates a Man-of-God...a saint even.  These men developed the confusion between the paradisiacal Hades and eternal life with God the Father and the lake of fire in Hades and eternal destruction/the second death after judgment.  Also...some of our greatest reformers of whom had pulled us out of the dark ages and whom also brought us the bible, also brought some of the most fictitious and fantastic ideas of Christianity that we still have to date. At this time in my life-20years ago-I was going to start a Christian’s movement that was going to bring God the world.  The wisest of the wise started training me for that wish ever since!  What my training has taught me is that the world doesn't need another reformer or just needs to start reading the bible again.

In the past century we have had men like Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, and Billy Graham to lead us and millions of people, with all their love and sweat, into countless false conversions!  They have done more harm to the souls of millions than any mid millennial reformer did!  They have lead astray many very high profile TV evangelists astray all because of a hope of the spiritual quick fix.  The quick need to not be tortured forever and the fear of a wrathful OT God preached for and about by slippery spiritual snake-oil salesmen offering up the devils greatest gift to his self—the sinners prayer.  There are those that shake their heads at that kind of talk and don't want me to write about it because according to them it is destroying people’s faith and casting aspersions by reinforcing works oriented preaching.  I hope in Christ's name that I am! I hope that many high potential people out there can open their eyes to their entire false long term relationship with God, the same way Apollos did...with an open heart.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Westboro Baptist Church Report

The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka KS is, in my opinion as a twenty year old Christian who has studied and lived the bible that whole time; partaken in several different churches; studied dogmatics and theology and church history as well as the writings of the early Christians; who has studied the bible for conversion with hundreds of people, in my opinion is a full on satanic cult.  I don’t say this lightly.  I have spent hours reading their position, watching their videos, and studying their doctrine.  I approached with the attitude, which I usually do, is that I may well be wrong in my understanding, and perhaps they have the right approach.  I have always been attracted to churches that live out their convictions and have a strong doctrine.  I have learned long ago not to trust the common consensus in Christian doctrine, simply because of the teachings of Jesus and the warnings he gives concerning the “few” that will make it, and the “narrow” path.  In that, I feel that I gave an absolute chance for this church to win me over. 
            Now, I will confess, if you spend hours burying yourself in the videos and documentation they offer, you really start to think that God is a god of Hate.  I mean, it starts to make sense if you just ingratiate yourself.  But, then when I started to really think about it, I realized that this church, whose website is combative and spiteful, whose website is all what I call, “Piss and Vinegar”—it is bitter religious demagoguery that has possessed a large group of young people.  The leader of this group is “Pastor” Fred Phelps.  A website for them is of which you can read, or listen to, or watch their hate speech.  It is hate speech, and they are the first to admit it.  They teach that God hates everybody and they revel in it.  They are happy that God hates people.  Anyone who goes to their website is considered a God hated abomination.  They automatically assume that you are a sinner and that God hates you.  According to them, God hates period.  They assume that God is filled with hate.  They are grateful that people go to hell.  It brings them joy to know that the God of the Universe is filled with hate and pleasures in condemning people. 
            On the surface, it seems as though that they are just flat out wrong.  We look at phrases like “Fags Doom Nations”, “God hates America”, and “Your Pastor is a whore”, and think that these people are not only out of their mind, they are lost and doomed themselves.  We assume that God isn’t hateful—we assume that God is all loving and there is not an ounce of hate in Him.  Well, they do find tons of scripture to defend their POV, but mostly, they rely on the teachings of the man John Calvin and his understanding of scripture (even though they do a great job of perverting his teachings).  They believe in predestination doctrine which according to them, if you are alive, and not a Christian, then you were made to be destroyed.  Your life is forfeit for God’s sake and he hates you and wants you dead.  Predestination is a flawed concept that is well thought out, but not a concept or doctrine lead by the Holy Spirit, neither is a hateful God.  If you base your whole concept on a Calvinistic doctrine, that people are predestined to be destroyed and hated by God, then your doctrine is not led by the Spirit.  In the same way, any doctrine that is incomplete, like the Hate Doctrine, or the Predestination Doctrine doesn’t take the whole bible into consideration.  In John 8 it states that the only way to know the truth is obedience (John 8:31-32).  Simple belief isn’t enough.  Having the Holy Spirit in you wakens your understanding of what it is saying through scripture.  Too often scripture is taken out of context.  The entire “Billy Graham” mindset is not lead by the spirit.  In fact, the Hate Doctrine and modern “sinner’s prayer” doctrine come from the same place=Calvinism.  We start to believe, and it’s ingrained in the modern churches pardigm, that someone is or is not meant to be a Christian.  There is no doubt that God knew beforehand who would and who would not become a Christian, and in that, he sent Jesus to die for those people who chose to Love God.  Because He knew who would love Him and choose Him, he called them to Him.  He chooses who does and who does not become a Christian, and as the Creator, He has the full right to say who does and who doesn’t become “saved”.  So yes, in that, it is God who chooses who becomes a Christian.  However, that view is incomplete.  God opens up the hearts of those who chose to love Him.  God loves those who love Him.  He is also a God of love and Justice.  It would be unjust to create people in order t condemn them.  God will use somebody who hates Him to glorify Himself…but we can’t be humanistic and dictate to God what will happen to whom.   We can’t assume that we will outsmart God and know better than Him.  We think that if it doesn’t make sense to us, then obviously God is in error.  No!  That is not the case at all.  Here is the deal—God, who made mankind, can see the whole of existence as one entirety.  He is beyond space and time.  He can see time progress, and he can see reverse time progress simultaneously.  In any point in history, God can see all the way to the end of existence, and the very beginning of existence.  And, as it happens, Jesus IS.  Period.  Jesus IS the beginning and he IS the end.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the A and Z.  All things were made for him, in him, and because of him.  He is the ALL in ALL. When Moses asked God what name he should use to explain to the Egyptians, God simply answered, “I AM”.  That is God, he simply IS.  AND, he made, makes, and will continue to make everything that exists.  What I mean by that is that God, in Creation, happens at the same time that His rest happens (and according to scripture, we are still in that resting period…technically we are still in the seventh day of creation), and the same time that the Battle of Megiddo happens (Armageddon!)  which brings about the destruction of the Earth as we know it, and bringing on the New Age of Incorruptible Man in perfect union with God through Christ.  Creation as we know it is in birthing pains and awaits the full maturity of the Bride, the Church, the People of God to unite with the Christ, the Husband, the Head of the Church.  Okay, that being said, we obviously have a weak understanding of the cosmic consequences that are pending in our ability to convert, and lead others into conversion.  Well, since God sees the beginning, and the whole caboodle, then he knows that when he creates the Church to marry Him, he knows that in order for that relationship to be pure, it has to be a relationship of Choice (as in any marriage).  We know this because he has given us the ability to understand it through scripture and in our basic construct socially and our own inner desires to marry and commit to someone.  So, He does know that there will be people who love Him.  He knows that there will be people who will choose to love Him and want to be with Him and glorify Him and desire Him and yearn to be with Him always and forever (Thank you Christ my beloved).  He doesn’t make that decision for them…no, no, no!  He doesn’t strip our will from us.  He can see ahead of time that there will be people who want Him, no doubt, but He doesn’t/didn’t/won’t make that decision for us.  We make that decision.  Well, just because he has foreknowledge, doesn’t mean He is going to force us to do it.  That is simply not in scripture.  He organizes all things to His good.  He DOES set our paths in our decision to love Him.  He has foreknowledge of our love for him, and he knows that because we have the right to choose, he would have to send Jesus for us to accommodate that choice.
            You see, God is restricted by His own promises and statements.  Jesus himself treated the OT like the very words of God himself.  Jesus believed in Jonah and the whale, he believed in Moses, Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses, the Psalms/Proverbs/Songs/Job/Ecclesiatics, the major and minor prophets, and so forth.  He quotes the OT constantly and so do the Apostles.  God doesn’t break his promises, so when he cursed Adam, then he had to stick to that curse, so that is why He has to come in the flesh, live a perfect life, and then die under punishment…it broke that curse.  Well, as Christians, we know this, but there are many other promises and prophecies.  Also, it is good to read the scripture without the chapter/verse system, which usually opens up the scriptures like an open book.  As long we have been given the choice, then we can and will be held accountable for our transgressions.  With out free will, condemnation makes no sense.  The ONLY way it would make sense…the only way to accommodate predestination…is to come to the conclusion that God is filled with Hatred for Mankind.  He must hate us in order to create people just to send them to an everlasting punishment.  Surely He takes great joy in torture and pain.  He must surely be passionate to kill and passionate to hurt people and make them suffer…right?  This is complete nonsense!!!  IF that is the case, the Jesus and his death on the cross makes absolutely no sense.  What is he dying for?  What happened on the cross?  If people are predestined to be saved and not of their own will, then why would God punish himself for his own people?  Why would God cause Himself pain, just to have a relationship with no more than maybe a half a billion people?  Why not just make everybody perfect and pure from the get go, and not give them a choice to choose—oh wait, according to Calvin, we don’t have a choice, but if we don’t have a choice, why were we given one?  Is God the Father so sadistic that He would be a cutter? (Psychologically speaking, a cutter is someone who will cut themselves in order to bring a feeling of control in their lives, usually on their arms…a definite sickness)  Is God mentally Ill that He would be sadistic and so hateful?  Do we have moral superiority over God?  Surely that can’t be the case!
            Well, the good news and the only conclusion that is Biblically sound is that God is not a God of Hate.  Before I go any further, I would like to say that at this time, I am not going to site verse by verse, chapter-book-verse quoting.  It would take a great deal of time and work which I just don’t have right now.  If I started in June, I probably could do it next summer.  Perhaps I will.  However, I will go over some scripture and generalize.  I would like to write a full essay on this subject, but I just recently have been given another piece to work on which must take priority.  Let’s start:
Jesus didn’t teach a hate doctrine, at all.  There is no place in the gospel where this hate teaching exists.
In the OT, there are scriptures that use the word hate, and it portrays the hatred that God has for sin and the sinful acts of people.  However, He doesn’t deviate the “Love your Neighbor” doctrine at all.  IF there is something that says the opposite, then it must be taken into complete context.
The scriptures being used by the Westboro Baptist Church is completely out of context multiple times—here is an example = On their website, they talk about their picketing and here is how they justify their hateful picketing, “Religious opinion and Bible commentary on current events. WBC puts out hundreds of these per year, almost on a daily basis. Read about where and why we are planning to picket, plus more "rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15.””  So, typically with all exclusionary churches and other denominations they pluck out scriptures to “Proof text” their agendas.  This little wording is in their press release.  They believe the condemning combative rhetoric they spew is handling the word of God righteously.  Well let’s look at 2 Timothy 2:14→end:  14Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth(Emphasis is mine…this is the scripture they are quoting but notice this next verse). 16But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. …. 19But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." 20Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 22So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (again the emphasis is mine, but notice what is being said here, words like love and peace and pure heart—then look at these next verses). 23Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”     SO, make no mistake, all the bold and italicizing is mine.  But this scripture completely debunks the way they act.  They deliberately seek hostility.  They have no gentleness.  They are completely unloving and filled with hatred and slander.  In fact, we are commanded in the next chapter to NOT be slanderous.  In all of the bible, that alone should be enough to show them their false doctrines.  However, one thing we need to look for is consistency.
The NT just doesn’t justify those signs and rallies they are having…at all.  It is such an outward sign of an inward sin.  Ones heart must be far from God, of whom it says in 1 John is love.  God is Love.  Period.  Hatred for our brother is murder.  The parable of the Good Samaritan defines the intent of all scripture.
Slandering other people is a huge sin, as much as murder and sodomy.  Sin is sin, and slandering people, telling widows that you are happy their husbands are dead is a denial of a direct order from Christ and a denial of true Christian religion.  It shows that that person has Zero understanding of who Christ is. 
Romans talks about the fact that we are judged by the same amount of Judgment we use against others, and since we are all sinners equally, we shouldn’t judge anybody.  Jesus taught from the Sermon on the Mount that those who show mercy will receive mercy, and those who don’t show mercy, will not receive any mercy.  This is a basic long forgotten Christian concept.  People ask me, “Are you saved?”  That is up to God first of all, and secondly, it takes way more than a simple prayer to be saved.  For example, there are a half a dozen things listed in the NT to be saved, not just one.  Making the decision if somebody is going to heaven is to decide your own fate.  Since we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, then we are all equally guilty of rebelling against God, worthy of punishment.  And truthfully, transgression against God usually equals transgression against each other.  Jesus says that “He who has not sinned should cast the first stone.”  Meaning, we have all done wrong, so don’t dish it out unless you want to get it back. 
Now, that being said, the scriptures they use about Homosexuals are accurate.  In fact, in order for a person to be sodomizing people on a regular basis, is when ones soul has been handed over to their own devices, and becoming a Christian at that point is near impossible.  God does hand people over to being Gay once they decide to become and practice homosexuality.  There is no doubt, and of course if you want those scriptures, let me know in the comments and I’d be glad to provide them.  However, just because someone is gay, doesn’t mean, that as God’s people, we should hate them.  Not at all.  In fact, Homosexuals are usually resentful of true Christians for sticking to the bible, and usually fall in the category of persecutors, of whom we are supposed to love.  We are supposed to love those who hate us and say all kinds of bad things about us.  It should be a TRUE Christian’s second nature and first response.  IF you are lead by the Holy Spirit, then these things are clear.  IF you have God’s Spirit in you, hating anybody should just not feel right. 
In all, I think that I could write a one hundred page book on why the Westboro Baptist Church, as presented itself doctrinally, the misuse of scripture, and its practice of hate speech, is not a church from God or of biblical standard.  Most of the church is Phelps family.  He has a huge family and they are all part of that church.  Phelps has raised them to believe this heresy practice of rallying at soldiers funerals.  Calling sodomites “Faggots” is hate speech.  The term, “Fag”, “Faggot(s)”, and other slanderous name calling is out of Jesus’ character.  The measuring rod is this, “Did Jesus call sodomites names like that?”  Answer is N-O no!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My New Bio

I am going to write several Bio's while writing my essay about both, the Westboro Baptist church and the essay for another project that as of write now (get it, "Write" now?)...I say again, as of right now, I have an assignment I am completely excited about. However, to reveal it at this point would perhaps damage some of my relationships with people of whom I care greatly. Nuff said! Here is Bio A:

Paul Allan Frederick
At this time in his life, Paul Allan is living a quiet life in a small country town in the eastern part of Kentucky (Appalachia) with his wife of soon to be 15 years and his 13 year old daughter, and 9 year old dog. They live a comfortable meager life, with his wife working as a bookkeeper, his daughter going into the 7th grade, his dog just getting a nicer yard to run in, and he is medically retired and going to school as often as possible. It's a good life. They are a family of strong faith in Christ, but not a strong faith in the American Churches. They live close to his in-laws who are good to his daughter, and his extended family remains in Arizona in various cities throughout the state. Paul Allan is a published poet, and is seeking to finally get a college degree (something he never would have dreamed of previously). Paul Allan writes and defends Christian Apologetics at times, and holds a writing office in Ashland, KY. His education has been holding most of his attention over the past four years and he is split between Art and English. His goal is to get an MFA in Poetry and write and draw graphic novels, poetry books, Christian Fiction and Non-fiction, and Christian Tracts focused on the American Churches debunking Christian Myth like the "Sinner's Prayer" concept and the damage Billy Graham has done to the moral fabric in this country.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thinking Through the Bible

I think it is important to understand exactly what the scripture is saying, because, it reveals the will of God. And that must be the consideration. What does God want; not what makes the most sense (according to what we have always been taught from tradition). It is true that a CoC’er, or an ICOC’er (the Church of Christ is my back ground among others) will rely heavily on what I call “The Baptism Doctrine” which is basically as long as we get them in the water they’ll be okay. This couldn’t be farther from the truth (of course there is greater intense depth to both of these denominations). There can be little doubt that one must convert in order to be righteous. We can’t be righteous without converting, because if we could, why would we need to convert. So the question might be whether or not baptism is a work, a command, a response, or simply one of many requirements of joining God’s plan for us to be united with Him. There can be no doubt that we must be united with God in order to be “saved”. That can’t be argued with. To argue with that would be to say that we can be righteous outside of God…when God Himself IS righteousness. It is only through Christ God that we can even acknowledge what righteousness is or means. So if we must unite with God in order to be “saved”, then we must look at the complete story of Christ, and look at scripture in its intent and its entirety.

We can accomplish this by looking at Paul’s conversion. There are three telling’s of Paul’s conversion in Acts. And to really get a complete picture, we need to look at all three of them. For sure there is no simple solution to the need of righteousness. But the only conversion of Paul’s I want to look at for time’s sake is the second account in Acts 22. Paul is confronted by Yeshua in the desert and blinded, and given a command, which was fulfilled. He went and found Ananias. Ananias, being led by God (as seen in other accounts) shares with Paul that God wants to reveal His will to Paul, and that Paul is going to be used by Christ to evangelize the Gentiles. At this point, although Paul believes that Jesus is the Christ (and Lord), and has come to faith, he still hasn’t had his sins taken away. Now surely we must agree that in order to be righteous, we must have the wall of sin taken away between us and the Father, which was done in Christ Crucified and Resurrected. So, Paul, who believes, needs to have his sins forgiven…as so does Ananias command him to do, “And now, why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.” Paul, who believed, was told to finish his conversion by being baptized and calling on Christ’s Name.

Now let’s look at Romans. In Romans 4, Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, declares that Abraham was declared righteous before circumcision. This is true. But Paul is also equating the Mosaic Law with circumcision. In order to come to the conclusion that baptism equals circumcision, we must equate baptism with the “new” law of Christ, or perhaps the Mosaic law of the Ten Commandments. I’m not quite sure about that one. Later in Romans Paul also writes that the byproduct of Abe’s faith is the promise that the Christ will be one of his descendents, and therefore we all are a byproduct of Abe’s faith. But more so, later in 4 it says, “For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through faith…For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham” The faith of Abraham was expressed in that Abraham believed. Paul believed also, but needed baptism to complete his conversion. We share the same righteousness from faith through grace, as stated in Ephesians. However, think about this, there is still a responsibility on the sinner’s part to obtain righteousness. A person can’t just say we are saved by Christ so we have no responsibility among ourselves in order to get saved. We, on our part, must have faith; so there IS something required of us to get right with God. If a loved one gives you a present, you still have to unwrap it.

Now, yes it is Jesus that saves, through his Death, Burial, and Resurrection (which also consist of the blood and everything that it entails). No doubt we have done nothing to deserve the right to claim an association to that event. When we ask Christ to “enter” our lives, it is we who perceives a deserving attribute. We say an incantation and He magically comes into our lives. So many of us believe that IF we say certain words in a certain order, we deserve sanctification. In fact, He is always in our lives…so are we to repeat a certain phrase and He will suddenly just forgive our transgressions? We assume that by repeating a preordained, non-biblical prayer that Jesus will just suddenly be allowed to “come into” our lives. He never left…it is you who had left. It is you who have betrayed His grace. You turned your back on him, and sinned. We are all guilty of sin (Romans 3). However, Ephesians also says that we are saved by grace. BUT, how is grace expressed? Is grace expressed through our willing it through an incantation like the sinner’s prayer? Or, is grace expressed some other way. I am convinced through the whole NT that God’s expression of Grace is Christ Jesus Himself. How does God express His love? According to 1 John, it is Christ who is the expression of God’s love. So, if God’s grace is expressed through Christ, then how do we come into contact with that grace? How does it all work? In order to have a complete faith, although not required for conversion (meaning a full understanding of the impact that Christ has on our souls and spirits), we must understand God’s expression of His Will for us. This is all revealed through the scripture, to that none of us doubt. So we must rely on the bare scripture, and not scripture manipulated by Christendom and Christian Sub-Cultures that have developed over the centuries.

Paul talks, in Ephesians, that—Grace expressed in his life—was the revelation of Jesus Christ. Let’s explore that. That must mean that grace is expressed by the Gospel revealed to us. It also says in Ephesians that our faith is also a byproduct of Grace. So, by Grace we hear the Gospel, and by Grace we believe the Gospel. So we are saved by Grace. Hearing, believing, these are all because God allows it. But, we can’t just say anything we want to hear when it comes to Grace. Grace isn’t free! It cost Christ his life! (At this point you might point out Romans 5 where Paul writes that the free gift of God is Grace. No, you must read it again. What it says is that the free gift we get in Grace is Jesus Christ. Again, the free gift is Jesus Christ in Grace. The free gift remains in the content of Grace, but Grace isn’t free, unarguably I say that Grace cost heavily, it is the price of the suffering of Christ. It is not merely semantics, it is important.) We aren’t just walking along and then hear that Jesus died, was buried, and then resurrected for the reconciliation of mankind, and then BAM, BOOM, we are saved. That is fantasy Christendom, not reality. WE MUST BELIEVE FIRST before we are reconciled. We do have an obligation to have faith. We are saved by grace through faith. It is through faith in Christ that we are saved by grace. SO if grace is Christ revealed, and reconciliation is through faith, then we have an act of will on our part. We must also keep in mind that nobody was baptized in the Spirit by asking for it…in scripture that is. Nobody asked for the Spirit to come upon them. The Eunuch saw water and asked to be baptized, but there was water. The brothers, the jailer, and others asked what to do, and the common response was (at which point they have already heard the gospel and come into a contrition bringing a Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7) which only brings one response…repent and be baptized. Don’t be stubborn and hard hearted. Repent! Don’t defend a conversion of the masses that isn’t the will of God. Yes, that’s right, if God doesn’t will it, then it’s not legit, and that does mean unrighteousness and all that it implies. By grace we are allowed to choose to love God back. This is amazing. BUT how do we love God back? Later, in Ephesians, Paul writes that we were all called to one Spirit, faith, and baptism. Why is baptism included in that same scripture talking about our calling? Because it is as essential as faith, Spirit, hope, Lord, and God the Father. Paul makes it clear. In Galatians, it also says that through faith we are all children of God, and that baptism into Christ is clothing ourselves with Christ. How can we be clothed in Christ and first not being baptized? It says that before faith there was law, then faith, then, being clothed in Christ at baptism.

Of course baptism isn’t the say all do all. It just so happens to be the topic of discussion. One must have certain contrition. One must also confess Christ as Lord, the Son of God, and the Messiah.

I digress. There is a scripture that reveals the spirit technology of how baptism works. It reveals exactly how baptism works in our lives, and how it allows us to break that wall of sin. Romans 6:1-11 says: “ 1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (NLT) This is an awesome scripture, and provides the evidence needed in scripture to define a definite condition of baptism.

There can be an argument to baptism being a work. Let’s look at why this is an issue. According to, there is not a need to be baptized. According to whomever wrote that website, Baptism is a work, and it requires only trust to meet up with the blood of Christ. They say that some people who believe that baptism is needed for salvation, believe that Jesus’ blood is only half of the equation to getting saved. I have believed in baptism my whole journey with Christ, and have been among the Church of Christ people, and have never heard anyone say that. However, that doesn’t matter, because that too would be a false mind set…well, let’s say unbiblical. Trusting in Jesus to be saved and trust alone to be saved is an incomplete thinking as far as conversion is concerned. In truth, it is immature thinking. That trust that this person is talking about is not based on truth, but on ignorance of the whole biblical view. To get to know God, and to read the bible with the mindset that the whole bible is the expressed will of God, one will overwhelmingly become convinced that, not only is trust essential, but that trust is proved through action—action is the only way to please God, and action is our communication in our relationship with the Father through Christ.

My eyes weren’t really opened until I read the whole NT through in a two week process. I mean this, even though I was a person with a CoC background, I still didn’t really understand Jesus correctly until I read the NT straight through. Keep in mind also that I was going to school full time at Ohio University, and am also a father, Husband, and pet owner. I do have a record of doing a great deal of evangelizing in my background. I have brought dozens of people to the Lord, and led a gloriously celibate life of six years before marrying my wife at twenty six (that was 14 years ago). I state these things because I understand what self denial is. I understand what it is to have been fasting for forty hours and studying the bible at 3am with a person who is stubborn in their heart, praying and pleading and studying the bible, and still have to work that morning for a ten hour shift. I understand what life in the Lord is and how we as Christians should conduct our lives. Through these sacrifices, we get to know and understand Christ very well. But we can also be doing all those things I mentioned for the wrong reasons. Or, just because we have limited knowledge and we were committed to doing things the way we understood them. That being said, when I underwent an intense reading of the NT in a short time, things came together like crazy. The big picture happened.

One thing I know is that most people who belong to your average fundamental, evangelical church is way under read in scripture. I have studied the bible with over two hundred people, and I know full well what is out there. Even now, living in this higher end of the bible belt, I still know that the very religious, and often the extremely committed and passionate Christian, is still under read.

When my friends who think that trust alone is enough for us to meet with the blood of Christ, are in truth making a confession of reasonable ignorance of scripture. When you read the book of Acts, followed directly within hours reading Romans, then through the Corinthians into Galatians and Ephesians? Wow, I mean , yes, plainly baptism is necessary to come to the all saving blood of Christ, but there is so much more to it than that. It is not about trust; and personally, how can you come to trust the Lord without getting to know Him? You can’t get to know Him unless you were properly studied with by another Christian.

You also come to the conclusion that Christianity is never an “I” or “me” situation. It is a corporate environment, and you cannot become a Christian alone. Nowhere is somebody baptized into the Holy Spirit just because they make a decision to “trust” Jesus. It just isn’t in there. The bible cannot truly be understood with just a light reading! Repent! Turn that mindset out to the world where it belongs. If I saw you save somebody from being run over in traffic, would you then run up to them and say, “I accept you as my best friend, please always protect me from traffic.”…would I then expect them to always be there to protect me from traffic. No way! Maybe if you got to know that person, and you spent a great deal of personal time together, then yes, but just from an awkward invitation to have them be your best friend is not enough.

Let’s think this through…without using beaten to death scriptures. Let’s think it through on a humanistic level, and then we’ll look at it with God’s thinking. You say that we meet the blood of Christ simply by trusting Jesus and His will to bring you along with Him to Heaven. Well, this is so very complicated. I have many questions that only the bible can answer regarding the statement. Let’s go through them. One, how is that trust manifested? I mean, at what point does that trust meet the blood of Christ? And, what do you mean by trust? What statement from Christ, or the bible, do you trust that you will be “saved” once you trust? The scriptures that are usually stated—John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20, John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5—are pretty commonly used in bible tracts and Christian literature guiding people on how to convert. Sadly, not one of these scriptures states that we must trust in the Lord to convert. Well, commonly, this trust is often said to be manifested though the “sinner’s prayer”. This prayer usually says something along the lines of, “Lord Jesus, I believe that you died on the cross for me, I repent of my sin’s, I trust Jesus as my personal Savior, and…whatever. I went to and saw everything that is wrong with modern evangelical Christianity. That whole concept that is portrayed on this website is a horrid misrepresentation of Jesus Christ. There is a grave misunderstanding of who God is when we have a quick to serve conversion. Jesus makes it plain that religion is NOT, absolutely NOT what He wants. He says that true religion is meeting the needs of widows and orphans in distress. Although He acknowledged that there will always be poor people, we are to never forget them. Giving to the poor is huge with Jesus and the early believers. In fact, there wasn’t a post gospel focus on world evangelism as much as there is today. World evangelism was considered to be the Apostles life, and that was ultimately expressed through the four gospels. Yes we rely on the death and blood, the burial, and the resurrection in order to convert; but, there is so much more to the gospels than that. Nowhere in scripture is there a quick conversion. It just doesn’t exist. IF you are trusting Christ, then you should trust that he is helping you right now in bringing about your full conversion. Trust that he has had to work in your life up to this point in order to prepare you to accept this teaching as truth. There are so many functions of trust. Accommodating fear and desperateness is not conversion. We do see people in the Book of Acts having fear, but not most of them.

Our expression of love towards an ultimately loving God is to convert and be faithful. When we pray Jesus into our hearts, the mentality is simply self preservation. That is the problem with the “Saved” Christendom paradigm. We ask ourselves if we are saved in order to identify each other. That is not the will of Christ. There are so many problems with that. In 1 John, it says that we love God because He loved us through Christ…first. We become converts because we are responding to God’s intense and perfect expression of His love. We should not convert under the blanket of fear for a false teaching of what Hell is…no, we should convert because He sent his Son to take our punishment that we know we deserve. We know in our hearts that we are guilty of transgressions against Him and others. We know because of our conscience and because according to the Ecclesiastical teacher, God placed eternity on our hearts. We have a sense that God exists. We know it and that is why all humans in one form or another seek God.

So, in good graces, we know that God loves us, and we are to respond to His love, not His willingness to not send you to hell. But we get to know God in His personality because of the Gospel. When we hear the parables of Christ, and the miracles, and the compassion, and the preaching and rebuking of the religious, we are blown away. Jesus is Awesome. He is simply the most perfect person to have ever existed. He is beyond amazing. To read or hear the Gospel is to get to know Jesus of Nazareth. To know Jesus (Yeshua/Joshua) is to know God. The concept is told to the people over and over again…in the Gospel.

As we respond to the Gospel, we decide to convert. We love God because He is God. We love God because of who His is. We love God because of His person revealed through the Gospel. We convert for His sake, not ours. Our hearts must be, “God is so amazing and perfect that I will do whatever He wants!” The Father (which is what we are supposed to call Him Matthew 6:9) is beyond description in incredibleness. His passion for mankind is past monumental. What He did for mankind changed creation and all of mankind themselves. Not even Moses, David, or Isaiah changed history like Christ did. Our bond to our Creator is the life that Christ lived. We learn of this, and we obey Him, which is our expression of our love. Love = obedience. The Father knows this. He even set it up that He will do as you ask as long as it is according to His will. It is an exchange of love.

So, when we look at the biblical conversions, when we look at the complete bible in its wholesome intent, then we know that baptism is beyond recognizable for conversion. I have heard the argument that the Jews wouldn’t have known what water baptism would have meant, particularly in John 3:1-7 when Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again, or the water and of the spirit. When Jesus says be born of the water, he is talking about birth water, and not the water of baptism. That is a false teaching and I am sad in my broken heartedness with a preacher at Cavalry Chapel in Albuquerque who does a podcast. He is a brilliant teacher, and knows many of the ins and outs of what such and such means in the OT related to the such and such in the NT and things like that. He really is brilliant. What’s sad, is that after hearing him defend the birth water defense, my eyes were opened to how much he may have some knowledge, but not wisdom. The Proverbs has things to say about knowledge without wisdom. A person may be bible smart, but foolish in the things of God. I had hoped that God was going to open up an avenue for me to meet him, but at least at this point, it seems not…I hope I am wrong. I really love this brother…let me look for his name…Skip Heitzig is his name. He is brilliant, insightful, thoughtful, and really—really—smart. He has a certain charisma in his voice that makes you want to listen to him. He has a great podcast. However, one time he ended his podcast defending the birth water stance and it saddened me greatly. I don’t think that makes him Satan’s tool. No, Jesus knew there were others preaching about Him who weren’t a part of that group of the brothers, but He said that they should be let alone (Mark 9:38-40). Paul knew that there were those who preached Jesus for the wrong reasons, but said to let them be, because no matter what, Jesus was being preached about. In lieu of this, I don’t recommend stopping somebody from teaching about the wonders of Christ and the bible. It is just that when knowledgeable men are using foolishness to relay conversions that don’t exist in the scripture, then there is an issue that simply must be corrected.