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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God

The scriptures are ‘God’s story’ of himself,his people and his world/kingdom. All things mentioned in the scriptures are from God’s desires and creation of his kingdom. God’s perspective of his people being of his creation are of his plan to be in and of  His creation.

This is very important to remember in our reading and understanding the theme of the bible, the whole bible, not books,not verses, not testament’s but the ‘whole storyline’. To many times we use a phrase, a verse, a story to dictate the whole bible’s meaning. This is a very bad mistake that people make, it let’s them to fill in everything around this verse or story to make their whole storyline of the bible. Wrong!

The ‘Storyline’, or ‘Theme’ or ‘Paradigm’ of the Bible is only ‘seen’ if we take into account the whole bible and it’s flow of God’s direction of message to his people.  There are multiple stories, passages and topics that have made the ‘whole’ bible’s intent, when we use it as a subplot, or at the most an incident!  It will be a “OMG” moment when you take inconsideration the whole message of the bible and it’s connection of all the things that God has placed in the scriptures together that have made up the script of God and his people and his circumstances that has given us the real ‘true’ storyline.

Read larger chunk’s of the bible at a time starting with ‘the beginning’ of the story so your understanding will not be subverted on something small, that you make big. Reading 1 or 2 chapters at a time will allow you to see a bigger picture, then piecing the next 1 or 2 chapters to continuing this plan.

Go now and ‘SEE’ the big picture of God!

 

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Kingdom Theology

Is this what has been missing in the theme(paradigm) of understanding the scriptures of Christianity?

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Worship

What is it? How is it carried out? Why? When? Where? and for Who?

Alot of questions for such a simple word! But we will tackle such a conundrum in the next few blogs. Where should we start, why we should start at the beginning, I say!! LOL.

What is it? This could be the trickiest and the most broadest definition that we have given it by the christian community to date. Is this a good thing or a bad thing. We shall see in our studies. Let’s get going then.

We will start with the first verse in the bible that mentions the term ‘worship’, and go from there. Genesis 22.5 is the first mention of it, and it says ‘Then Abraham said to his young men, ” Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”  Now, this might seem a straight forward explanation of where it is, there is more to it than you think. First, and foremost when studying scripture we must always stay in ‘context’ with the scripture.

This is the first true example of God’s purpose for us to see in his simple but raw sorta way for us to see it. Abraham was God’s ‘chosen’ one to bring out the ‘chosen’ children  of the miry clay of  the futility that it was in.  We might need to mention here that we could use just Abraham as the perfect example of the ‘worshiper’, we will touch on him even more later. But we will use him now to see what the  ‘chosen’ and also the first worshiper was without realizing it.

God’s using Abraham as his instrument in bringing back his people to him, started with this incident with Abraham and his son,Isaac.  It established the bond, or covenant that God still had with ‘his people’, he never forgot his side of the covenant’s responsibility. Jeremiah 7.23 and Ezekiel 36.28 both reiterate God’s covenant with his people. By using these verses as well as others we can see that first it is all about ‘who’ or what we will ‘worship’. The what(man making their own gods) and temples to put them in, was the issue; this was a result of mankind choosing not God but themselves as their god.

Let’s go back even further than this story and use the first mention of man by God and see what his intention for him to do or be. It is found in Genesis 1. 27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28) And God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the earth.  So Man was an image of God in God’s realm, World or Kingdom. Let this sink in for a minute with the last statement……… Let’s look  at this in two ways, one is This is what God was intending what His creation be all about! His Creation being an example in the Whole Creation(Universe,stars,galaxies,animals,plants,insects,the whole earth). Man was to be the centerpiece of all of it!  Secondly, the last statement should be a clue to the next storyline of the scriptures. The whole bible is filled with the picture of God’s people using this miniature example of the big picture of what God had previously designed for them. It is the temple model of  God being in the center of his creation and mingling with His creation. The temple was the miniature example of this creation story that He had showed them in the beginning.

Worship or acknowledging who the ‘Creator’ of the universe is, and being a part of it is the essence of Worship. It is being what we were designed to be, the ‘image of God’.

 

 

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Theology

Can you see ‘Kingdom theology’ in the bible? Do you know what it is, how it is used in the scriptures? Do you know the  words or phrases in the terminology of the kingdom? Should it make a difference? Does it to you? How does one hear about the Kingdom?

Questions to ask, to yourself and to others to really understand the scriptures. Believe me when I say, “It makes a difference”!!

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Is there a Kingdom in our future?

There are some things that christianity does not ‘see’ in their quest to  understand the scriptures.

Let me briefly just state two of those things. One is that, we with our human wisdom have created our own reality,paradigm, or kingdom in which we have established rules, laws, treaties, things that have made our living with each other ‘sort of’ in a reasonable way. But if we look back at some of past history we will see that we really haven’t done a very good job of it. Our indignation of our mankind thinking that we are full of answers to all the problems(which at first glance we thought we would just be invincible and have no problems) and we would be our own leaders and neighbors to live in harmony.

This kingdom as ‘our’ world, in the past and even to this day is a disaster in the daily kind. It is this that needs the fixing.

The second thing is the reality of our God and what he is doing to this day in our world. It again goes back to the early days of christianity when God sends his son to earth as ‘example’ of the sin that mankind had created in trying to become something that God had not intended them to be. Man was to be the Image in ‘God’s Temple’ and to be the caretaker of the Kingdom that He had built and designed.

This ‘New Kingdom’ will still be that of what   was first designed in the garden of eden, The Kingdom, The King, and his Image- Mankind.

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Context

I can’t emphasize this enough in reading anything. But especially the bible. It’s all about the context.

There are two points that I would like make that will illustrate this issue. The first one is that to many times we in our unknowing ways seem to default to our ‘today’s’ thoughts and ways of the context of a biblical story or thought. We seem to use our ‘ways’ or processing of our insight to the scriptures, it is this that has distorted the real understanding of the scriptures.

It is when we use the context of the ‘age’,’social’,’language’,’life’, or the ‘God language’ to interpret the message of the text to come to a different conclusion. The most intrinsic detail that has made a difference will lead to a total different conclusion to a passage. It must be used in this way to fully understand what the ‘whole’ story of God and his eternal purpose.

Secondly, something that it is not even brought up in our shaded glasses to interpret the scriptures is  ‘Enlightenment’ age that has distorted our glasses to see the real message, it is to long to get into now but it would be wise to at least know what it is and how it changed the perception of life and of how we perceived society,people and even ourselves.

It still is making a negative impression upon us to this day, which is also touching us in christianity’s understanding of the scriptures.

Understand what ‘Context’ is and why it is important!

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What is God’s

There is always a discussion of some kind pertaining to who God is, what is his relationship to us, and what part does He partake in. This discussion is an old one, not just in recent years as we might think. Let’s go back to the New Covenant and see what they thought and what God thought.

In Mark 12.13-17,Luke 20.19-26 we have the telling of the same story and same outcome. Jesus was being tested by his very own followers and of his enemy’s to tell them how he stood on this world. It back fired on the ones asking the question to Jesus.

In Luke 20 we see that Jesus is aware of the question and what it meant, this was God being God being God of all in all his glory.

Luke 20 enables us to acknowledge again of who we really are, and what we are to do. Jesus’s answer should be looked at in a ‘daily ritual’ of knowledge and identity  to know and realize of what we are as ‘an image of God’!

Verse 24-25 reiterates Jesus answer to this question of “What is God’s”.  24. “Show me a coin. Whose likeness and inscription has it?” They said, “Caesar’s”. 25  He said to them, ” Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

It’s ironic that we seem only to focus on just the first part of what Jesus says and not the last part. Maybe that is what the Jewish people thought too? But it is the last part that overrides the first to make it the most important. God is the creator, designer of all things and is the King of all and Lord of all. Until we understand this we will not be the kingdom of God.

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