Monday, May 28, 2012

Be careful what you say.

I remember being told as a child to watch what I say. Watching my words imply that I know what I am saying. I understand the language I was speaking in. I was often warned not to make things up, as this could get me into serious trouble. This was good advice then, and it is still good now.

God calls men and women to his service all of the time. Some as pastors, some as secretaries, and some as Sunday school teachers. For those he calls, he also equips. He gives them the ability to understand his Word. He gives them knowledge, understanding, and the ability to preach his Word.

Sadly not everyone who preaches the Word of God was called to do so. Some crave power or position. Some are looking for a tax free way to make money. Some as simply wanting a platform to teach their own beliefs, that are not Biblical. The news is full of those who are great speakers, who's core message is more for self gain that Spiritual ones.

To preach the Word means we have to surrender our self to God. It's not easy. It shines a light not only on the world, but also self. I know that when I speak Gods Word, I find myself being convicted of the same things I am preaching. Some times it scares me to share with you things that God has laid upon my heart to share. I fear that I am not up to the task, but then  I remember that we are all subject to the teachings of God, and the joys of finding out just what it is that God has for us to know from his Holy Word.

That is why I do not jump into these writings without researching the subject first. I don't stand on religious principles and teachings. I rely upon an authority not found in man, but found only in God. His word is my only authority.

As I said in the very beginning, I do not want to share anything with you not from God. Some of the subjects I have written about are not easy to accept. They go against what we have been taught. They go against years of tradition and practice. It goes against established religion. It goes against God.

Jesus told us how we are to pray.

Matthew 6

American Standard Version (ASV)

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners  so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
“ Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘ Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘ Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
14  For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Fist of all, it appears that prayer is a privet thing. Of course I also believe that we are to lay hands on others and pray for them as well, and I will touch on that later. But for here, we need to know a few important things.  Prayer is not a public show. It is not to lift you up and show how spiritual you are. Prayer is a communication between you and God.

Verse 7 says not to use meaningless words. your words must have meaning. 

Matthew 7:8

New International Version (NIV)
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

If you don't know what you are asking for how can you expect to receive what you want? Our words therefore have power. Our speech is important. 

It is also important to note one of the most important things about this prayer pattern that our Lord gave us. He gave us human words to speak. Her did not give us a gobbled up group of sounds that no one could possibly understand. He did not instruct us to pray in a privet prayer language. 

Oh no, now I've gone and done it. I have told you something you probably don't want to hear. I have gone against the "church" belief , that there is in fact a secret prayer language. However, if this were true, why wouldn't our Lord and Savior have given us an example of such a language? 

My personal belief would be because there isn't one. But, this isn't about me, but rather, God. So we will defer to the expert, and see what He has to say to us instead. 

So, where is it that a secret prayer language is supposedly even mentioned in the Bible. 

Romans 8:26 

 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For j we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but k the Spirit Himself makes intercession 7 for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Some see the word groanings, and say "see, right there it says there is a privet prayer language. But, that's not what the verse says. It does not say that we are doing the groaning, but rather, the Holy Spirit does so on our behalf.  

I Corinthians 14:4-17 

4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; 1 for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by f revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? 7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? 9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without 2 significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a 3 foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12 Even so you, since you are 4 zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the 5 edification of the church that you seek to excel.
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may g interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. h I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing i with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say "Amen" j at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.

It is important to know that the writer is referring to a known human language. He is not talking about some kind of made up sounds. He is telling us the that what we say is important. it needs to be understood or, it has no value. 

It is also important to note that Paul says anything said in a tongue must be interpreted. If it must be interpreted, then it cannot be privet. therefor, there isn't a privet prayer language spoken of or implied in any of these verses.   

I referenced for this information. I think they did a great job of explaining things in an easy to understand way. But, I also looked at this site. It gave me a look at the other side of the coin so to speak, and helped me to gain some understanding of where this all started. It has not been an idea that has been long held.

One thing that bothers me about this praying in tongues thing is the instructions given by those seeking to get a person to use it. Sunday I watched as a young man gave his life to Christ and then was told to speak in tongues. He was told that it didn't matter what her said, just make any old sound. He was told not to think about it. Just to let it happen. 

It sounded to me like he was being instructed to abandon his mind, and to utter nonsense until it sounded like something otherworldly. Wow, that certainly does not sound scriptural. In fact, it is contrary to scripture. 

1 Peter 5:8

English Standard Version (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Notice sober-minded, and watchful, If you do not know what you are saying in this secret prayer language, then your mind is not sober, and you surly are not being watchful. The Devil will use these times when we are not in control of our mind, to influence our thoughts.

Galatians 5:23

English Standard Version (ESV)
23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Again self control is being mentioned. knowing what we are saying is control.

2 Timothy 1:7

English Standard Version (ESV)
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Our spirit is to be controlled as well. These same people say we are spirit beings, and our spirit knows so much more than we ourselves do, but this verse says God gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-control. If God gave us a spirit of self control, why ask someone to abandon it and start speaking nonsense.

James 1
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[d] 18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

 God did give us Spiritual gifts. They are good. and they are useful. God has told us about his gifts, and he has also told us that not all of us will have the same ones. Paul said that speaking in tongues was the least of the spiritual gifts, so why is it that some Christians make such a big deal about it, and even claim things about the gift that are not true. I can only say it is for self edification, and the fact that the truth has been misrepresented to them.

Philippians 4:4-9

English Standard Version (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

rea·son·a·ble  (rz-n-bl)
1. Capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person.
2. Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking: a reasonable solution to the problem.
3. Being within the bounds of common sense: arrive home at a reasonable hour.
4. Not excessive or extreme; fair: reasonable prices.
If your words make no sense to those around you, if you are not in control of your mind when you are speaking them, if you yourself have no idea what you are saying, you are not being reasonable.  

Remember that even on an off day, God has more power than the devil will ever have. But, when you twist Gods Word, and teach others to do the same, be careful. you are then giving the devil the power reserved for God. 

James 3:1-18

English Standard Version (ESV)

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Homosexuality and God

Why is it that when we discuss this subject, so many people start trying to alter or change the intent of the Bible to fit their agendas. Sadly More non-Christians do it that than Christians do. They cite that this word or that word was not found in the Greek or Hebrew so therefore they could not have possibly been talking about me.

My name is Raymond, but I never saw that in the Bible, so does that mean that the message contained in the Bible does not benefit me in any way? Certainly not. The Bible was written for all men and women everywhere.

The messages contained in the collection of books making up this great document where divinely inspired by our creator. they do not contradict themselves, nor are they subject to change as our current president so boldly claims.

God says he is the same today, yesterday, and forever. His word and the message contained in them is consistent from beginning to end. Those who claim otherwise are the ones who are subject to inconsistency. We want to justify our position on a subject and will often times bend the truth in order to make it conform to our point of view.

So does the Bible say marriage is between a man and a woman? Probably not, however our first example of a union was Adam and Eve. Some will say that since they did not exchange rings, it wasn't a marriage. The ring is a man made symbol and a man made part of the marriage ceremony. does that mean it has no value? No. we see it as a commitment, and a part of the contract of marriage. The ring is not essential to marriage. But, is Husband and wife essential to marriage? I believe so. Man and woman were created to populate the earth. we were made unique and different so that we could have babies and further the species. two women without science cannot do so, nor can two men.

There are those who claim that homosexuality is natural since it occurs in nature. So, if two male dogs have sex with each other, then you should also. If a dog eats it's young live, you should do so as well, since it happens in nature. or maybe we should go around cleaning each others butts with our tongues since animals do so. Dogs and cats, horses and fish, etc... do not posses the same status as mankind does. God did not create them with the same level of intelligence that he did man. He expects us to be brighter than that. he expects us to be able to understand the difference between the actions of a dog, and those of a man.

There are a number of men and women who are mentioned by name in the bible. There are not any male/male marriages, nor any female/female marriages mentioned. and contrary to what a number of you will say, there are numerous verses that say just how wrong it is for two men or two women to engage in sexual activities. of course it also addresses sex outside of marriage, sex with someone other than the person your married to, and immoral sexual acts.

For those who say that the bible does not define marriage well enough, why would sexual relations with someone other than your spouse be mentioned at all. I have read the Bible many times, and while I may not have PHD in the Bible, I do not see anything that defines marriage as being anything other than between a man and a woman. and, I do see that same sex relationships are wrong.

Sadly, the Bible does say that in the end times, mankind will say that evil is good, and good is evil, and that God will harden their hearts and give them over to their depraved minds. God knew this was going to happen long before you figured out your argument to try and say homosexuality was ok. He knew before he even created the world that you were going to desire to be with another man, or another woman, and yet he still created the world.

So, should Christians hate homosexuals? No. Our God is not a God of hate, but a God of love. We are not to hate the sinner, but instead, hate the sin. As much as we desire to make gay sex the primary focus, God does not. That's why it is not mentioned as often as people think it should be in his word. But just as any sin, it is wrong. It is also forgivable. All sin except one is forgivable. God does not make one sin more important that another, that's a man thing.

If we try as some have done to say that only things specifically mentioned in the bible as being wrong, are wrong, then we are in big trouble. During the time of the Bible, electronics were not even a thought by man, nor was the mass production of pornography. I don't even recall pedophiles being mentioned. yet, we know that cyber crimes are still wrong, sex with children is wrong, and pornography is also wrong. If we are intelligent enough to figure that out, we are smart enough to know that when God says sex between two men or two women is wrong, then no matter what word we currently use to describe it, it is the same thing that was written about thousands of years ago.

So, in today's climate, who are you willing to believe, A man like our president, who has lied constantly about everything, and who now tells you he has evolved in his thinking and position, or a God who is constant, and unchanging. a God who has given you a chance to live with him forever in heaven if only you will do what he has asked you to do.

Following the former, will not get you into heaven, but following God, and his laws will. I myself choose to follow God. He is not corruptible. He is not unstable. He is not week minded. He is everlasting and eternal, and he loves you no matter what sins you commit in life.

As a child of God, I love you as well, and if you do not know God, Jesus Christ, I would be happy to spend time with you one on one, helping you to understand who he is. A life without him is not a life. Living for the moment will not satisfy you in the long run. However, a life with Christ at it's center will last forever and ever.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today at Church

Today my wife and I decided to go to a church we have not before attended. The music was loud, but great. I enjoyed it a great deal. The preaching was also great. a bit hard to figure out how everything he was saying fit together at first, but then it all came together. I felt that it was very well grounded in the truth of Gods word. I did however have a problem with two items.
1. I do not believe that speaking in tongues, the way so many do, is Biblical. Now, I know that the Bible does talk about tongues, but I think and believe that the bible refers to different human languages, rather than nonsensical ones. How else could someone interpret a "tongue" unless it were one known to them. Too many people uttering non words, and all of them with a sound and flavor all their own, cannot be a known language. And if it is not a known language, and therefor un-interpretyable, then it is a sin to utter them in a public worship service.

2. So many people believe that to be a christian means that sickness and injury does not have to affect the human body. Yet the word is full of God fearing men and women whom God used to shape and change his people were in fact dealing with some form of infirmity. Our body's are not perfect. As such, they are subject to this world. My spirit, and my body are not the same. I am dealing with a 12 year long spinal cord injury. My lower back hurts most of the time, some days being worse than others. I thank God for it. Before I was injured, I did not take as much time out for God as I should. My life was too busy for church. my world too cluttered for the word of my Lord. But since the injury, since the daily pain, I have slowed down. my world has become less cluttered by the things not of God, and more filled with the word, and thoughts of my savior. I am not saying pain is a friend, but for me, it has turned my life around. Before being injured, I never really dreamed of being a preacher, but now I do. Before being injured I rarely read the Bible, but now I can say I have read it cover to cover many times over, and have dedicated a great deal of time to the study of Gods word. My physical does not hold sway over my spiritual.

I am not sure how to reconcile the two issues I have with today's service. While I enjoyed the service, I am not sure if I can call it my future church home.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

what do you think?

Recently I posted a statement on facebook, and it got a lot of comments from a few people. I made a declaration that basically said that I do not support the idea of gay/homosexual relationships. The response I got surprised me.

One was from a person claiming he was a Christian but that he was taking issue with my statements because Adam had a wife who rejected him, and that Eve was his second wife. That was a head scratcher for me. I had never heard this story before. it certainly is not in the Bible. So, I looked it up. I was surprised to see what he was talking about.

Supposedly according to mythology, there was a woman named Lilith. she was supposedly Adams first wife. There is nothing in the scriptures to suggest this. The idea came from basically old wives tales and has no basis in truth. The story was written about in or around 700 ad to 1000 ad by a so called Rabi who claimed that this woman was made from dust just as Adam was and that she left him over a difference in sexual practices.

Why do people hold non biblical writings to such a high degree of importance. They will gladly and willingly believe things that are not in the Bible long before they will believe what is. While it is true that some translations of the bible mention someone named Lilith, it is only found in one verse, and it refers to a night beast.

Isaiah 34:14 is the only verse to mention anyone named Lilith, or has been translated to mention anyone names Lilith.   And wild animals shall meet with hyenas; the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; indeed, there the night bird settles and finds for herself a resting place. 
I took this from the English standard version. I don't even see the word Lilith in it.

The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. jkv

Wildcats and hyenas will meet there;
and billy-goats call to each other;
Lilit [the night monster] will lurk there
and find herself a place to rest. cjb

And the wild beasts of the desert shall meet with the wolves, and the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; yea, the night-monster shall settle there, and shall find her a place of rest. asv

Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest. niv

The only translation to mention a name is the Jewish translation and it doesn't even spell Lilith as Lilith. So I would say that it is just another silly story meant to lead the elect astray. Why people desire to do that is beyond me. If God had created a woman named Lilith and she was indeed Adams first wife, then I believe that he would have made sure it was written in his word.

It is time for Christians to start standing up for the truth. It is time to stop letting the world tell us what is and is not in Gods word. It is time for us to take back the word of God and stand firm on his promises. Stop bending and swaying in the breeze of life and listening to the opinions of those who are there to deceive us from the truth.

Now, the second commenter, decided to jump off of a cliff and go the route of non believer and accuser. He told me that the Bible was written by drunkards, and was full of hate. He stated a number of Christian beliefs and principles, but then went on to miss represent the ideas surrounding them.

One was free will. He questioned free will by saying why does God give free will, and then send gays to hell for their sexual desires. He talked about me being a hypocrite who was going against Gods words by saying that there were no Gay people trying to force me to accept them as being gay, yet I was trying to force them to believe the Bible. Basically it was a shallow argument with no real meat to it. 

The Bible does in fact talk about the homosexual act and does condemn it. God does not sent people to hell, but by their own choices allows for that to happen. He has given us a clear path to Heaven, and has in many places throughout the word, given us a clear and easy understandable path to follow to avoid going to hell. The way is clear. It's not easy, and yes there are things we have to give up, but for everything worldly that we forsake in order to follow Christ, there are more things added. 

God does not desire that anyone should perish but that all should have everlasting and eternal life. It is also true that in the end times people will call evil good, and good evil. I am seeing more and more of this every day. It is very evident in politics which I will not go into here, and it is becoming more evident in our children.

Tv and movies portray Gay and homosexual relationships as the norm, and if you and I do not accept that, then we are haters. Normal views of family values, or I should say Biblical views of family is in danger of being thrown out the window. We need to stand firm on our foundation of right, and Godly truth and tell the world we will not take it anymore. Being Humble and meek are good Christian principles, but being a door mat it not what we should be right now. we are in the throws of a world devoted more and more to Satan, and God is being shuffled out the door, trampled under the feet of evolving views and ideas. 

Godly truth is not an evolutionary thing, it is a set standard. It doesn't change with the times, it is eternal. It is the one standard of truth that we can hold onto during times of crisis. And, in the later days of this world, it will be the only light in a dark and stormy world full of lies and deception.

If we accept that We were born ether Gay or not gay, then how much will it take  to convince people that it's ok to be a murderer or a rapist, because they were born that way. and that discriminating against someone who willing kills another is wrong, just as not supporting Gay and homosexual relationships is wrong. Why do Christians have to accept that they are right, when they insist that we are wrong.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It has been a while since I posted anything here. Part of it was due to illness. part of it was due to being in an auto accident. However, the biggest part is because of CPS.

My daughter gave birth on April 6th, following our auto accident. she was two weeks early. On Easter Sunday, cps claimed my daughter was doing illegal drugs when she delivered her baby. they quickly changed that, and said she was doing them in January.

The drug they claim she did in January did not show up in her lab work. further more, they claim she had a relationship with a 40 yr old man, which is not true. in fact they don't even know the truth of where the guy lived, nor do they seem to know he is dead. he was murdered in October of last year.

Cps claims to be working for the best interest of my children, but they have totally made up everything they claim to have on my child, and family.

This has been very stressful, and upsetting. we have no resources for a lawyer, no idea what to do, and feel as though our entire world is crashing down around our ears. I am lost and don't know where to turn.