August 29, 2007

It's My Path

When we first come to understand God's love, and the salvation contained in it, we are like babies in the knowledge that we have. So with a burning desire, we jump in with both feet and try to learn what we can by reading the bible and going to church. Why do we go to church? Because that is what is expected of us christians right? We go to church and start learning what they teach us. But we find that what we read in the bible, and what we are taught, are often two different things. Being human, we want nice, straight, easy definable answers, bullet pointed in chronological order. When we don't find that, we begin to despair, "What is wrong with me, I don't get it." So we try harder, find more inconsistencies, really feel as if we will never understand. The other people in my church are into what the pastor is saying, they get it, maybe I should be more like them. So we jump into teaching Sunday school, go along with the outreach program, sing in the choir, attend Wednesday night gatherings, and sometimes home bible studies. On the outside, we are seen as a rising young christian star, someone who has come in and jumped right into the ministry, pushing God's message to the world. On the inside, we are still going, "Why don't I feel right about this?"

That was me, almost 25 years ago. Oh man, am I really that old. Anyway, I ended up walking away from church, not from God, but church, for 12 years. I went sporadically until 2002. Then I started going regularly. I am not a very good church member. My wife wanted to join the church. I said, this is a direct quote, "Why? What are the benefits, do we get a secret decoder ring or something?" Always the cynic. Then after going for 2 years, I was just done. There was nothing there for me anymore. I had learned all that I could from them, and still wanted, no, NEEDED more, SOMETHING ELSE. When I left, I knew that I had to continue my education. I had read the bible a couple of times, and did not feel lead to go that way again. So I dipped into my birthright, or inheritance from my Grandfather, Fred Kenison. God had lead him to study the bible for 50+ years now, and to write a number of those studies up. They are slowly being turned into books, as the editor has time to edit them. these studies are unique, why? Because they do not prove anything. They do not come to a doctrinal conclusion. They do not prove the rightness of chatholicism, calvinism, lutheranism, etc... etc... They just translate the bible, back into it's essence, and tells what it says. It more disproves things than proves them. This is where I started my REAL biblical education.

Do I agree with everything my grandfather says, no. Will you, you should not. With all of the learning I have done, and during all of that learning, I have come to discover something, that at the time was perplexing, but now, is truly amazing in it's scope and breadth. This is what I have found. That each of us goes through our journey on the path with God, in God's own time. We do not control it. How did I find this out? By seeing people with troubles, knowing the answer that they needed. Shared the answer with them, and they refused it. They were good people, really trying their best to follow God, had the answer right there laid bare in front of them, and they COULD NOT see it. It reminds me of the disciples that saw many works and wonders at Jesus feet, and yet their hearts were hardened so that they would not accept it. (Mark somewhere) How could they not? They themselves cast out demons. They themselves healed the sick, and yet they did not believe. Not truly. How can that be? God made it so. God knew that the timing of the revelation, was as important as the revelation itself. The disciples were to have their revelation on the day of Pentecost, and not before. This is my theory. But to have the revelation before, and have thirteen people preaching the word of God, would have taken away from Jesus and his work. He would no longer have been the only focal point of the revolution taking place. He might not have been killed in the way he was. It would have screwed everything up. So, he had the disciples store up all of the wonders and things they had seen, to be used at the right time to make God' Kingdom grow to the fullest extent. God's plan worked. The movement started that day, has survived 2,000 years, and is growing. What has this to do with us today?

Simple. It means that we cannot judge another by what they do and do not see within the bible. We are each in our separate place along the straight and narrow path. God knows where we are, and will not allow us to take the next step until it is time. Often times, we sit at crossroads, looking at the other possibilities of life. When we have gone through what we need to go through, God allows the revelation to come, along with his blessings. This is repeated again and again. Trials and tribulations, blessings and understanding. It also means that no one doctrine, or set of beliefs is right, ever. Because God will not allow it. No one will reach the enlightenment of the next level without proper preparation. So which religion is right, none of them. Not even mine. Because their is so much more to learn, and I will not be allowed to learn it, until God deems, the time is right.

August 13, 2007

Don't have to be perfect

My grandfather has been studying the bible for forty plus years. It is his passion. I do not agree with him on everything, but he is the one that has 5, 6, I don't know how many books out. But one hit paydirt with someone.

His name was not revealed to me, but he got in contact with my Gdad cause he wanted to thank him for his book "The Truth Revealed In Romans." It saved his life, not spiritually, but literally. He had decided to commit suicide, but for some reason, this book caught his eye on Amazon. He bought it, read it, and realized, "Hey, God loves me just the way I am." And God does. (No he did not commit suicide, otherwise he could never have called my Gdad.)

The reason I know this, is God sees us in our most embarrassing situations. My favorite is thinking of him watching when I run out of toilet paper in the kids bathroom. No one home to help, and me walking half naked, through the house, with a poopy butt, in search of paper. I have to look like a real genius about that time. But he loves me in spite of all of the dumb things I do.

Also, he likes people that don't lie to him. Like the liars that think God only watches them when they go to church. That all of the less attractive things they do, don't get noticed by God because it wasn't Sunday, or they weren't in church. My favorite saying from them is, "God deserves your best." Referring to the way they dress and act at church. My response is, "But doesn't he deserve your best always, just not on Sunday?" Then I get that queer look, and they conveniently find someone else to talk to. So be yourself, be honest with God and yourself. Do not worry at what others think. They are not the Judge, Jesus is.

The biggest thing to understand is. God does not only love you, but he likes you. As you are. Don't try to be anything that you don't want to be. Don't be ashamed of the things you like. Have a couple of drinks now and then, I do. Go and see a concert of head banging metal guys, I do. One ticket, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, and Metalicca. Great show. Don't worry, I did no fornication, did not become possessed by demons, and my head never spun around once. And God still blessed me afterword. Just be who you are and have fun with it. My brother likes to think that the Kingdom of God will be one big party. Well then, bring yourself, and God will let you in.

August 9, 2007

The Greatest Love Of All

"So here's the thing I can't get past...Jesus gave his life for us. I mean, if we accept that reconciliation with God is impossible without the work of Jesus - doesn't that give us more than enough reason to worship Him?" This quote came from a friend of mine in another discussion, and I am so glad it did. Because it is pervasive of the thinking out there about how Jesus love was so great, and huge and wonderful. I believe fully in that love, and am not diminishing that love one bit. But, I think there is am even greater love than Jesus love. (This is where the trinity thing really comes into play with me.)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoeverbelieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. Oh how we know this verse. How many times have you read it, or said it, or heard it. But I got a perspective on it that I could not have gotten, until I became a parent.

If God came to me, and ask me to do what Jesus did, in the same way, with the same results, I could without a doubt. That is not blowing my own horn. I just know myself, and if that situation arose, no problem. I saw Passion of the Christ, I saw what he went through, I know the pain that would be suffered. Not just here on earth, but in the hands of the devil as well. I would do it.

But, if God came to me, and told me to give up my son for that. I really do not know that I could.

He is a wonder of my life. He came to us from a mother who smoked crack on the way to the hospital to ease the pain of labor. Who already had one crack baby at home. I praise God everyday that we could take him in our home, and give him a place where he is told at least twice a day that he is loved. He is such a happy kid, smiling, laughing, playing, and just all arond fun. Loving, tender, and kind. Picking flowers out of the neighbor's flower bed, to give to his mother, to show how much he loves her. I couldn't be the cause of that much pain for him, I just couldn't do it.

But another father did. Another father sent his son through that. Not so that we would be saved. But so that we could be saved. He did it, knowing we had free will, and it all could be for nothing. No one may have chosen the way of salvation. He would have done that to his son for nothing. He loved us so much, that he did that to his SON, so we would just have a chance, just a chance, at salvation. I sit here crying, trying to imagine God's pain, as he watched his son become so repugnent with the world's sin, that even with his love, he couldn't look at him anymore, and left his son to die on the cross alone.

I could not do that to my son. Yet, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."

August 4, 2007

No Trinity Either?

My goodness, what is wrong with me. I don't believe in the trinity either. Now I truly am a heretic.

Recently we have been talking about labels that we could use to describe ourselves. I am the only person that I am aware of that says I follow God. All others are Christ followers. (Though what they will do when the Christ is gone after the thousand year reign I don't know) Ooops, there it goes again. I will explain later. Some say they are Jesus followers. Why would they follow the son of God, who on his own has absolutely no power at all. OOOPS, there I go again.

Then it hit me. Not believing in the trinity, makes me think absolutely differently from a large group of believers. Fundamentally think different. My perception and paradigms are completely different. This comes across in the words we choose to use. Such as, I call him Christ Jesus, or Jesus the Christ. Because Christ is an office, not his last name. That is why when I call myself a servant of God, no one wants to follow me in that because they think that following Jesus is following God. So in essence, the part that is important to God, we are both following the same thing. But refuse, because of our passion for this, to be called the other.

Did you know, that the trinity was never mentioned in the bible? I don't know anywhere that the bible equates the Holy Spirit as being the same as God. I know that the number of times that the bible clearly states Jesus and God as two separate entities way out numbers the times that they mention them being in common. Were you aware that someone in the catholic church in 360 AD came up with the idea? "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." John 1.1 is the verse thrown out the most to show that this is true. But if correctly translated to be understood by modern english from the greek manuscripts, it would read, "In the beginning was the word, and the Word was facing God, and the Word was Godlike." In the Greek, and specifier is placed in front of the proper person to signify it is THAT person. So for Jesus in that verse to actually be God, the phrase would have to be "and the Word was THE God." The specifier is not there. So it is just a descriptor, not a noun. (anyone that would like to argue with my grandpas 45+ years of greek, let me know. He would love to debate it with you.)

But this also just makes me realize that "no human can know God." He is incomprehensible to us. So trying to define him is useless. So I gave up on it. I will just love God no matter what he is. Even accept those who do try to define him. It will not let it separate myself from others.

August 2, 2007

Can't Be Christian

I was thinking of some posts on being a "Christian" and not liking the name because of the preconceived notions that people have of that. Then I started to think about the name itself, and it's origins. "Little Christ" is what it means, and it started not long after Jesus death and ressurection. But I do not think it was a term of endearment. Christ is the name of an office. Just like king, amir, czar, or emporer. So being a little christ, is like being a little king. I am no king or person of authority, and I do not want to be. So I can't be a christian.

This make me happy. I felt a sort of betrayal by refusing to be called a christian. But when I look at it in this light. It makes complete sense to me.

Jesus the Christ, or Christ Jesus. Just like Queen Elizabeth, or Elizabeth the Queen.