Sunday, October 24, 2010

Outward Appearances

This past June, we winded our way through the Appalachians en route to Southern Pines, NC. While in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, we happened upon this little sight:

If we look at the exterior of this edifice, we see it is not elaborate, it is not histrionic, nor is it ornate in anyway. At first sight, it appears there is a fair amount of work that needs to be done. And yet, despite the weathered and worn look, it still looks like a place of solace and comfort to me.

If only those walls could talk. For I can see a setting so calm, so serene, and so full of history that I can imagine the Waltons attending, on a sunny Sunday morning. No doubt there were many stories behind the rough exterior that would cause a person to pause and be thankful for the many blessings we have received, in our lives.

The lesson we can learn from this scene is how rough and worn people might look at first glance. And yet, sometimes it is those people who are at the most peace with God and themselves--unlike many who may look sharp and fresh everyday.

We know from reading the Bible that God looks at the inside of a person. He seeks out the depths of a person's heart, soul, and spirit and He cares little for outward appearances.

So as we navigate this journey we call life, it is imperative that we learn not to go on first sight, when making an assessment of someone we do not know. For it may very well be those people could have closer relationship with God, and thus a far greater understanding of Him.

Peace be with all of you this Sunday, and through the coming week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Unjust Judgment

I have been working on a more in depth post on creation, but have been so busy that I haven't been able to finish it in time for posting this weekend. But not to be deterred from having a Sunday post, I thought I'd post something from one of my favorite books in the Bible:

Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Pride is not always a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with being proud of a job or accomplishment you did at work or at home, especially when you worked very hard and diligently to complete it properly. There is nothing wrong with being proud of a child or grandchild when they do a good job at school.... or for doing something right that you know they learned as a guiding principle.

The kind of pride this proverb mentions is the kind found in overly pious Christians, who think they are who they are because they have some special status with God--by way of their own works. They look down on people they consider heretics and unbelievers, because they think they have a lock on everything in God's Kingdom.

Many are taught this kind of attitude from the pulpits they sit in front of, others are just arrogant by nature and carry it over into their spiritual lives. But we can see that in this proverb this kind of behavior is not acceptable in any form, even to the degree of judging the wicked.

The wicked in this proverb means the unbeliever. The plowing means judging them them with pious unjust judgment.

In this case, this kind of judgment is counted as sin. They do not realize, nor do they understand, how God operates or they would not behave in such a way. God judges righteously, because He is inherently righteous. Humans are inherently unrighteous, therefore they cannot mete out righteous judgment as God does.

The writer of this proverb understood this. If only more Christians would understand this and follow God's path accordingly.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Look

I decided to make this blog a little more pleasing to the eyes. I hope it is easier to read than the last design.

I have been preoccupied with many things lately, so I haven't had time to get anything new together. But I do hope to get a new post up this weekend, as it is my goal to have one a weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Once again, this blog assumes a Christian perspective.

When a person makes a conscious decision to follow Christianity, he/she benefits from reading the Gospels first.
The first Gospel I read was John. To understand anything about God, we must begin with creation.

John 1:1-5 sums up the beginning of God's creation in very simple, succinct terms:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2The same was in the beginning with God.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Let's look at it this a little closer.

1In the beginning was the Word,

The beginning of what? The beginning of all creation. Before anything was ever made there was nothing but God, who we understand to be a living entity and can live unto himself with no other source of power. He is is life, He is energy. He is fair, He is just, He is sovereign.

He is God.

Humans best understand this period as a great void. It also sets the stage for Him to become the figure we worship most of all. For without a creation to owe it's existence to, there can be no God...only a lifeforce that is without meaning.

Because of this, He began His creation with a Word. He spoke to a word to create the Word, which we understand to mean Christ. This tells me that Christ was pre-existent to the rest of creation.
and the Word was with God,

How many years, centuries, or even millenniums did they exist together in fellowship, before anything else was created? We have no idea, but I would not be surprised to learn it was many. Laying out blueprints for such an elaborate plan as we believe existed in God's mind, was not a task that He would hurry. There would be no mistakes.

and the Word was God.

This is where I differ with most all of the Christian theologians. This is where many say this proves that Christ was really God.

Oneness Pentecostals use it, trinitarians use it too. But I see this as meaning that before anything else was ever made, Christ (the first and only direct creation ever made by God Himself) was at one time just a thought in His Father's Mind.

He was a thought, the word was spoken, and he became a being that got his energy source directly from the power of God, His Father.

2The same was in the beginning with God.

The Word, Christ, was in the beginning with God. Dwelt and inhabited the same space.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

This means, all things that came after the creation of Christ. The inhabitants in Heaven were made by Him, the inhabitants of the earth were made by Him. God was the lifeforce and the architect, Christ was the builder. The angels, the heavens, the earth, mankind, and the beasts were all made by Him under the authority of God and according to God's specifications.

4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Life flowed from God into Christ, and it shined. The light was created for the specific purpose of becoming a searcher of souls, and a leader to mankind. This life, this light that flowed so freely from God into Christ was the Holy Spirit.

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The absence of light is what causes darkness.

The absence of darkness does not cause light.

If you think about it, darkness owes it's very existence to a light being shut off. Light is removed to create it, darkness cannot be removed except that light chases it away. Light always wins over darkness.

Have you ever noticed that cockroaches do not like the light? If light is removed, they are free to move about and do it because they are most comfortable in a setting where they cannot be seen. The moment the light comes on, they scatter because they cannot stand the light.

When the forces of God shine brightly, those who are evil are not comfortable. They shun the life and light, which is the Holy Spirit that emanates from God and His Son.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


There have been some requests for the re-opening of this blog. Much of this is due to a lively discussion on another blog, where someone had made some harsh judgmental statements that were not well-received by virtually everyone that read them. In my view, those statements did not line up with the God I have come to know over the years.

After reading this person's erroneous doctrinal statements (on an array of theological issues) for months on end, I couldn't contain any longer. I had to respond and attempt to correct the errors in her prose. Naturally the person wasn't too receptive to having her views subject to debate and behaved in a negative way. So now I am an idiot, a false prophet, a loner, and am probably headed straight for hell.

In this process, I am afraid it set off a firestorm of debate that may have sullied the blog where this all took place a bit. For my part in that, I apologize.

The rules here are the same as before.

I will try to put up some thought provoking posts on a weekly basis, the purposes of which are not to alienate or judge anyone's personal beliefs. I am merely telling what I have come to believe about specific issues and how I arrived at them. The reader and/or discussion participant is then free to accept/reject my thoughts and opinions, but they are not allowed to become nasty and judgmental, like the person I had the recent discussion with at the other blog.

A similar nasty-spirited, haughty and narrow-minded person played a huge part in my allowing PPTOG to go dormant, earlier. Rest assured, I won't allow that to happen THIS time.

No one will be allowed to abuse anyone else. If the only reason you are responding is to condemn others to hell, just stay away and do not comment. I do not want you here. If you want to add your two-cents worth in a kind and gentle manner, then your comments are very welcome. I do not care if you agree with me or others or not, I will not have this turned into a nastyfest.

I know how utterly rigid some denominations are in their teachings. But it is not a sin to question age old tenets that may not line up with what scripture says on a given subject, or what we know the nature of God to be. These doctrines were debated long before our time and well after Christ died and ascended into Heaven. So why is it so bad to have these discussions today?.

I have read many books on theology, many of which have been a huge waste of my time.... in that they perpetuate more errors than they attempt to correct. Others are filled with the same old baby food that Christians have been dining on for centuries, they do not contain any strong meat for growth and development. Very few modern Christian writers understand God any more deeply, than a lot of the previous generations.

My purpose in PPTOG is to give readers that claim Christianity as their faith, a chance to read into something a bit deeper and maybe from a different perspective, a chance to add something more substantive to their thoughts and reflections.

We all know how God's love is eternal, no argument there. We know that God is a sovereign God, but what does that really mean for us in the earth today? Everyone talks about the end days, but what does that mean for us at this critical moment in time? Much of these things have already been discussed in the Bible and many may be surprised to learn what they mean, if given the opportunity to chew on these things for a little while.

As I have said earlier, it is not my desire to convert anyone to my way of thinking, but to give people another viewpoint to think about. That's all.

These are just a few of the topics I hope to cover as time goes on.

So, I hope you will check it out and participate if you feel the desire.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Answering The Huckabee Query

I am neither a Mormon, nor am I a Baptist. I have no denominational affiliation. When I look at a certain denomination's doctrine, I think they either get it wrong or they get it right. The problem with denominational Christianity is, it tends to divide Christians at certain levels by splitting hairs over semantics.

The political debate in the GOP right now seems to be settling in on whether or not a candidate is a true Christian or Christian enough, for some people's tastes. Early on, the Dobson group, known as Focus On The Family, sought to sit in judgment of Fred Thompson's church affiliation (The Church Of Christ). Now, they are the driving force in Mike Huckabee's candidacy, as well as being slightly responsible for Mitt Romney's dip in popularity.

I dare say that none of this means much to me in the political arena. So, that's as far I as I am willing to go with this portion of my essay. And since I do not intend to pit Mormonism against Calvinism, let's look at something that has fueled this present fire in both the political and theological realms. Let's look at a biblical answer to a common tenet of Mormonism and the responses and cries of heresy it generates with evangelicals, when this topic is discussed.

When asked about Mormonism, the former Arkansas governor replied with the now famous:

"Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

No doubt Huckabee, being a Baptist minister, has read the OT prophets. If he hasn't he might want to and if he has, he may want to read them again. If he reads Isaiah and Ezekial, which are often considered two of the major prophets, he can go a long way to solving this mystery in his mind. It's been settled in mine for years, and I have no Doctor Of Divinity title or any other theological degree. (Apparently, neither does Huckabee)

Let's first look at Ezekial 28: 13-15:

13) Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14) Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15) Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Here, we can safely surmise that someone was in God's favor at one point, and then wasn't. He walked in the garden of God and enjoyed all of the precious things God had to offer. Much of the specific descriptions of these things are metaphorical, but the point still remains the same.

The being that this passage pertains to was "the anointed cherub" and was perfect in all his ways from the day he was created, until something caused him to fall out of favor.

If we really want to know what that something was, we need to jump to Isaiah 14:

12) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

I think it's safe to say that Lucifer, Satan, the devil, or whatever you want to refer to him as, held a high position in Heaven, long before mankind was even created. If we look back to one of my earlier posts (describing the beginning of all creation), we have to understand that whatever that position was, it had to be just below that of Christ. Therefore, based on these principles I have attempted to establish, I think there's a good chance Lucifer sparked a rebellion in Heaven and attempted to overthrow it.

But to get back to the original premise before all of this took place, we have to believe there had to be a time when Christ and Lucifer were spiritual brothers, under one God. Lucifer enjoyed all of the things that Christ enjoyed in that period, before he set out to usurp the authority of both God and Christ. If this was true, then the answer to Rev. Huckabee's question has to be a resounding yes. They were at one time and are now separated from each other forever, from the poor choice made by one of them.

I am not sure the brother description is the best way to describe the dynamics of the relationship between the two, at this point in time. But, for lack of better terms by those that usually tell only part of the story, it'll do for now.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Metaphors And Symbolism: The Two Witnesses

Recently, my good friend Mustang from Social Sense opened one of his posts, with a short provocative commentary about John of Patmos, also known as John the Apostle. If I understand him correctly, I think I know what Mustang is trying to say. But to do that, I think you must read his entire essay.

But refuting or supporting his statement is not what I want to do with this post.

There two kinds of writings contained in the Bible, literal and metaphorical. John's writings in the Book of Revelations are the latter. If one reads the metaphorical biblical texts and attempts to make sense of them without some understanding of the literal texts (more specifically the historical accounts contained within), it's close to impossible to gain some level of understanding.

The Book of Daniel, which is said to be (by many biblical scholars) to a companion book to Revelations, was metaphorical. At the end of his writing, he records how he asked God, what was the meaning of the prophecy he had both received and written? Immediately afterward, he tells how God told him to close the book, because it was written for another time, not his. If we understand this simple premise and apply it to all of the prophetic writings, we know that a certain history has to exist before any real sense can be made of these deeply esoteric writings.

The Bible is full of parables. Christ used them, the OT prophets used them, and His apostles used them. Each parable has a meaning, but one must be acutely aware of events that manifest themselves in a concrete manner. Then, and only then, can some reasonable analysis of these deeply veiled words begin.

At the end of my last post, many moons ago, I asked those that cared, to read the entire 11th chapter of Revelations. I also asked that special attention be paid to the two witnesses, described within that passage. But for those that didn't and want a shortcut, here is the part I want to reference:

3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified

9And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

Most of the denominational world teaches that these will be two men that will perform these deeds and miracles. On the surface, we can see that this not a far fetched idea. Some even go as far as to say that Elijah and Elisha will be resurrected for this purpose in the end days. Knowing that Elijah prayed fire down from the sky, would tend to reinforce that this passage of scripture could be interpreted as literal.

But I assert that this is not a literal possibility.

Knowing some history that took place after John recorded his vision on the Isle of Patmos, I think I can offer a more reasonable explanation of what this passage means.

he Roman Catholic Church (RCC) had not existed in John's day. Their reign started, when Constantine converted to Christianity, probably around 325 AD. Secular history tells us that it grew big and powerful throughout the ensuing centuries. In the deepest and most powerful moments of its existence in Europe, the Bible was not used much. Catholic masses were not extracted from the scriptures, but written by priests using ancient Roman rites and ceremonial texts. They may have contained some scripture in the words used, but they were not the primary text used.

The Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments. Both were witnesses of Christ. The OT pointed to His future existence on the earth and the NT pointed back at his life, the people He taught and ministered to for 3 1/2 years, and those that accepted his message. The NT was written for people that had consciously chosen to follow Christ and contained historical accounts and lessons for living a Christian life.

Two witnesses that the RCC (in effect) killed, the OT and NT, their bodies lied dead on the street for all to see. The Bible was seen but not used, for centuries in the Roman Church. No one was able to use it for their own edification, because people were taught to trust the RCC clergy and only the clergy, for their salvation.

To understand why I believe this, let's read on:

11And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

Scriptures not being used, corruption running rampant through the RCC, and suddenly a man named Martin Luther reads one of the four passages which clearly states, "the just shall live by faith". It quickens his mind, it renews his zeal for searching for the truth, and it motivates him to get the message out. More people begin to rediscover the Bible/Two Witnesses. From that point on, the Christian world rediscovered the Bible. Its words came to life again.

None of this had occurred at the time John had recorded his vision. So it only stands to reason, he couldn't have known and understood what these words specifically meant, anymore than Daniel could have. To the reader that has no understanding of the big picture, they are mere poetic prose that have no meaning, And unless the history of the RCC is known, this version I am submitting for consideration will not make sense.

ottom line here:

The Revelation of Christ to John was not written for John's edification, but as in Daniel's case, it was written for people that live in another era. As Daniel did his, John too closed his book. It is my firm belief that Martin Luther reopened it. Could it be for our era this was written?

I'll take any questions.

I cannot offer communion. But I can pass the offering plate. ;)