Observations

I would like to make two different observations in this blog that should make us relook at them, and hopefully dig deeper into our understanding of them.

My first one is the story of how and why we are where we are right now in our religion or christianity to be specific. My gut reaction to this statement is I know what the people’s answer will be. “It is not all about who or where we got our beliefs from”, “we received our understanding from the scriptures,the word of God”.  But alas, our belief’s have been handed down thru family tradition, thru society, thru ‘as a matter of fact’ or thru our pastor of 37 years or it is just the way things are. Let’s look at our circumstances that we have now in our world. We have over 130,000 denominations in our country that can be different because of one minor different belief than another one, but yet it has created another belief that has separated people and God.

This issue can be found in a major crescendo of time and events of the 16th Century of Martin Luther’s reformation from the Catholic Church. There were plenty of other minor blips on the screen from the first century to the 16th century but the Luther’s revolt of understanding of the scriptures was the opening of a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of religion.The age of Enlightenment also took part of this ‘box’. We are entrenched in our own understanding of the scriptures to the minor upon minor of things that can set us apart, set us apart like 130,000 denominations can.

But it is not about the 129,999 denominations that are wrong in their beliefs and the one that is right  but that the one thing that can bring all these people together in body,spirit and belief is totally different than any of them are proclaiming!

It is that their God, of which they are all talking about is “Now” the ‘God of this world and He is the King of All in All’. The Resurrection of Jesus the ‘Messiah’, is the ‘New Creation’ that is apart of this ‘New Kingdom'(this means all other kingdoms are now old and not in demand,people,organizations,governments, ideals, and denominations) This concept is apart of the phrase that is used in Heb 2.8 –YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.”
For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. 

This is a subtle but glaring reference to Israel’s commission of becoming a light upon a hill in the old testament which it was supposed to do, but will finally ‘see’ their vocation from God to be this light to all.

This is the installing  of the new King but ironically the original King and kingdom back into power, and that has forgiven the subjects of their mis step of going another route of a different leader.

Heb 2. 8 is as it seems, very plain and straight forward. This is always the case if we don’t really look closely of scripture and go deeper into it. It is deeper than we humans always give credit to it. God has given ‘all authority to Jesus’. Did he not already have it? Yes and No. He had authority, but it was in the ‘Heavenly Kingdom(government)’ it is God’s ‘way’ of doing things. Not of the earthly or human things is the norm of our ways, but of God’s. God is now the ‘New Sheriff in Town’,He is the King of all Kings, Lord of Lords of the Earth, as it is in Heaven.(Sound familiar -Matt 6.10) God’s reign is now on earth, sound familiar again? Sounds alot like the Garden of Eden!

The second point, is the definition of ‘church’/’Church’ and its reality. Let’s tackle the Large C first which should make the small c more clear when we get to it.

The Large C , the ‘Church’ has been used as the whole group of ‘believers’ of God,God’s people.  Although I think this is where maybe we have gotten confused in our practice of it. If we are the believers of God, this characteristic should stand alone as a fact. We are a believer in God as our God. Period. There are no qualifiers to this stance in belief. It would be as I would proclaim that I am a ‘McCall’, my name says that I am, It is that I become a McCall when I go to a family reunion of the ‘McCall’s’ that I could only be a McCall. It is the part of the identity of the whole that I can be identified in. This is Church/Body of Christ/God that we are identified in, and He in me/us. It is not a place. This was used only in the old testament, to show the Israelites that God was still around with His people, his ‘light’ on the hill. He was not giving up on his people, still hasn’t to this day.

Now with that said, let us talk about mini ‘c’. To be identified with Large ‘C’ we would have to have the same characteristics as it would. So the mini ‘c’ is just a smaller picture or we could say a ‘cropping of the larger picture(C)’ that could be used. But remember it is still apart of the larger ‘C’ picture, same characteristics,same identities,same qualities as Christ/God . His paradigm is for the Large ‘C’ of the whole world.

So where and how do we go wrong with this paradigm? It seems we allowed a sliver of information to be in our paradigm, that taints it, so that it becomes ineffective.  Now, don’t go crazy here on me, when I say this, but the scriptures bear me out on this in it’s design of God’s Kingdom.

If we are to be God’s people(believers) becoming his body, why then do we have non-believers with us?

This after all was the charge that God gave the Israelites, for God gave them ‘different rules’ to follow, fleshly,spiritual, and Godly rules. This set them up as being ‘different’ in the people and god ways.

I find it ironic that we fail to see this in just normal and everyday things in our lives but we don’t take it’s relevance to heart. And it is this, how many times do we as individuals point out to a friend or colleague that ‘joe’ is something else, he’s different, he goes to a beat of a different drummer. He stands out from all the others. You and your friend then say I wish I could be like him, in normal life or work life. What if you are apart of a team of sports of some kind and you just can’t seem to work well with each other that makes you good or successful (this is just for example purposes). We then go and be with that other team to see what they have that we don’t. It then becomes a ‘light’ on the mountain example that we were proclaimed to be our vocation to God.

With this said, now don’t you sorta find it weird,crazy, and funny that you have all this kinds of religions that have difficulty in keeping people in their fold? What is with this church hopping too! I thought God was in ‘all’ church’s. Did you not like that God in your previous church? Is there better God at the next church?

Now is the time for ‘Man’ to come to an ‘understanding’ that something is wrong in this paradigm. Not a program,person, facility(God’s house, how dare you say you don’t like it, or the parking lot!) or the people in the church(I thought they were also God’s people,if you both were then you would both love each other). These issues are not because of program or way of doing something, it is paradigm issue, it’s not the right one!

Where did it go wrong?

There is a theme in the whole entire bible, not just four books of the bible, we need to include all the bible(old testament continues into the new testament) in our understanding of God’s word.

Now we should search the scriptures, our hearts, our minds, and God, with prayers and direction in all the things we do and say to be apart of the Big ‘C’!

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Groundwork

I will be starting a new journey with all that care to follow with me in a new and exciting bible study. We will probably be going pretty slow to give ourselves time and pondering of the new way that we look at the scriptures. We will start with Genesis and be amazed at what we find in the ‘beginning’ of the story!  Stay tuned in the next few days that we will start this adventure!

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Looking at ‘ourselves’ from the outside

As I have said before to many people, I listen,watch alot of different things coming from different perspectives, to see it from all the angles of my studies of the bible and religion. It is the sociological aspect that I have come to realize that I like to do, especially when I am out in a crowd , I listen to people in their lives and stories that they tell to have an impulse on what the world is saying. (My wife doesn’t tho, says that I am not listening to her! lol. probably right tho. Sorry!)

But it is with this intriguing wanting, that I can, and do learn things. So it has happened again to me when I stumbled upon a youtube video of a debate between catholics and protestants over the topic of ‘Sola Scriptura”.Sola Scriptura is the understanding that it is the written word of God is the only determining factor of knowing God. Youtube.com by the way is incredibly one of the ways that we can learn and expand our knowledge of religion,bible,God, and all things scripturally.

I use Youtube to access thousands of video and audio of various authors,speakers, ministers, and resources that I would not be able to access otherwise.

It is this debate over the topic of ‘Sola Scriptura’, which can be seen here at this link https://youtu.be/mHM7xVRdh5U it would be wise for christians to listen(no video) to this debate not just for the topic of discussion, but also from the bigger problematic  picture of both sides.

My observation of the debate is eye opening to all who are represented in this discussion. It is the ‘what people see and hear’ of what they see and hear to the ‘outsiders’ or the ‘world’, that we need to see what is really going on in the world with religion. My sort of snide but tongue in cheek comment to myself was “What if, you both are wrong?” lol

The discussion was and is very deep in biblical back story and to the historical importance of the old and new testaments, which as we know can be seen different ways.

But maybe, just maybe they ‘are’ both wrong. What if ‘they’ are discussing things that are important but not that important to what the ‘message’ is, as opposed to the ‘text’. The ‘message’ being Genesis 1-2, Revelation 21-22. The ‘Holy four chapters of God’s words, where there is ‘no’ hiccup in God’s Eternal Purpose.

Genesis- The beginning of God’s creation of his people(all), his land(world), and his kingdom(His Rule).

Revelation- The actual fulfillment of God’s Creation of people,land,and Kingdom.

 

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Eschatology

What is it?

Eschatology is the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.

What is your understanding of it, why do you believe it, how did you come to this understanding, and do you live it as accordingly to your belief?

This is a for research that I am conducting for a blog to come. Please help me out with as many as people responding to this. Thanks,Doug

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Christ and Hell

‘Christ the conqueror of Hell’ the descent into Hades from an Orthodox perspective. Written by Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev.

My reading of this book was quite ironic in the timing of it, in that halfway thru it I had a conversation with a few people on the subject of Hell itself.  There was the usual banter back and forth  of just the concept of ‘hell’ and what it was in our understanding and the usage of words that are always associated with it. Hell, hades,underworld, Gehenna,Sheol, grave and many others are used. It was this that was apart of our discussion along with the Love of God and the lack of the love of God to be able to send people to ‘Hell”.

Discussions like this probably could go on for awhile with opinions and scripture usage all day, but it wasn’t until I read this book, that I had some more concrete evidence of what hell was ‘believed’ to be by the actual people of the times of history that God’s son ‘Jesus’ was sent into Hell to destroy,conquer and to put it to an end of ‘prison’ as they knew it. This is where we have to stay in context with scripture and of historical times of the old testament and the new testament to understand the meaning of God’s words and his intentions. Our using our ’21st Century’ thoughts and perceptions will just not do, nor will they matter in the deciphering the motive of God.

Christ the conqueror of Hell, uses all the people, texts, ‘fathers’,prayers, hymns, and poems of the time and even years after the actual event that quoted what their traditions of belief carried them thru their practices of life to actually know God and his son ‘Jesus’.

This use of these materials has shed a new and ironic twist on what ‘we’ now should ‘see’ in the relevance of God’s son going into ‘Hell’ to conquer it, to put the then ‘ruler’ of the day to rest, and to now God to be the ‘King’ of all for all.

I would have to put this book in my top 5 books that I have read in the last 10 years. Check out this book for more insight of what the people believed what hell was,what it meant for Christ to go down into hell,breaking the gates, freeing all, from its grip of darkness.

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and the Greatest of these is Love.

But now faith,hope,love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13.13.

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How do you,Read?

For those that take reading the bible seriously, I mean in a more serious bible study of your own, in what lens do you read from? ( You won’t see this at church)

For most people that are serious in real bible study will come from usually come from either from their upbringing traditions, which is reading the scriptures from an all ready theology mindset, and when the word is read it will ‘fit’ their story.

This mindset has been in effect for quite awhile in the christian main stream, which will give it its own direction and outcome. I would unpack this scenario now but this is not the road for today.

Where as the road today is pointing to the road less traveled is the one of the critical Historic method of which the storyline is kept in context of history, and using the social, personal, and historical truth describe the origins of ancient texts in order to understand  ‘the world behind the text’.

This method ‘critical historical method’ is one that is being used more aggressively it seems the last thirty to forty years in the educational realm, which has brought about some new and different light to the scriptures. In my opinion it is the more truest form of extracting the ‘message’ of the scriptures. In the way of ‘theological methodology’ the scriptures are skewed because you are being biased in your reading and mindset. It is only because you are set in your ways of ‘seeing’ the bible or that it is thought to be the only way to read it, or it was the way that your church sees it.

It is a safe way to start from scratch with out any preconceived notions on anything and just take the text for what meant to the person,persons or people on a social understanding to stay within the context of the story. Go deeper into God’s people, who they were,why they were chosen, what were they to do? This will get you on a good path of God’s storyline for ‘His Chosen People’!!

 

 

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church=little c -the building

what would we do if there was no building to go to? on sunday, or any day? How would we act? Would we be lost? would we just go to another building?

Think about it. What would you do? We do? Could you function without going somewhere on a particular day? See your friends? Sing a song or two? Listen to ‘one’ person talk?

Just wondering……………………………………………………. maybe you  should too!

 

 

*Capital C = ‘The Church’,Body, Believers

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You ‘see’ this?

Roman’s 6.23 For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. NASB

2 Timothy 1.10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,who abolished death & brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. NASB

If everyone has sinned………

What does this mean If Jesus abolished death, in the here after……

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