Tag Archive: critical thought


Are there things in the Bible that are hard to understand?  How about things that I wish, at least on a certain level were not true?  Yes without a doubt.  Just a couple of examples.

I have both a cousin and a couple of friends from high school all of whom are involved in same-sex relationships.  Yet Romans 1:27  “And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one towards another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet”. Wow do I wish that wasn’t there.
Now that’s tough, but for me it gets worse.  Jesus said “I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery”. Being a single red-blooded male I fail at this pretty much on a weekly basis.  I could go on and on.  But I think you get the point.

Does what I think matter?

R.C. Sproul talks about a revelation he had while at graduate school, “You are required to believe and to preach, and to teach what the Bible says is the truth, not what you think it ought to be.”  Maybe the examples above don’t bother you, but I’m sure if you haven’t found something you wish wasn’t there you will.  What ever it is really doesn’t matter.
I may not like what the Bible says, but if God is real and who he claims to be, which is what I believe to be true based upon what I can know.  Then I have to accept what He says to be true even if I don’t always understand why.  Otherwise I am assuming the role of God, and I have elevated myself to god hood.
Perhaps I should embrace something Jim Rohn used to say, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”  Taking it a step further.  Don’t wish God was different, don’t just wish I was better, but work strive study to be better.  Work on disciplining my thoughts and emotions in order to be who God created me to be rather than wishing I did not have to be that person.

 

Are you willing to work to become the man God made you to be, or are you just going to wish God was different?

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Assumptions

I was just reading the story of Jesus and the woman at the well and had a new thought.  This woman had been married 5 times, was living with a man she was not married to, but she was not an outcast.  When she went into the town and told people what was going on, they did not mock her or tell her to go away.

Was this woman exceptionally beautiful?  Powerful, rich beyond words?  There seems to be more here.  She is drawing her own water, and yet people will listen to her.  She has been married five times and still has men risking shame and being ostracized to be with her.

I wonder what the whole story is?

I wonder what else do I see, but not see?  Where else in my life am I making all kinds of false, or at least uninformed assumptions?  Often not knowing or even considering the whole picture.  Maybe I should be a little bit slower to react, ok JUMP to conclusions.  Perhaps using a bit more of the Christian ethic, you know that whole judge not thing, would be in order.  And maybe a little more curious about asking questions and willing to learn more.

What about you, are there areas where you have assumptions that might not be true?

“The real problem for empirical scientists & rational skepticism is we care more about truth than the religious do.”  Aron Ra, “Faith is not a Virtue”

Interesting thought.  Especially since Mr. Ra also believes that those who believe in God have no interest in the truth.  But is the truth rational skeptics, as Mr. Ra identifies himself as, care about the whole and complete truth, or is any partial truth ok?  Or is it that since, in Mr. Ra’s estimation, Christians have no real care for the truth that any care for the truth no matter how small or partial , would be more?  Somehow I get the impression that neither of these is what he meant.

Or, perhaps truth isn’t really all that important to some rational skeptics after all.

So if Mr. Ra is so committed to truth why does he have such an aversion to it?  While busily stating over & over , I suppose in the hope that repetition will make something true, that evolution has been proven, he steadfastly avoids calling evolution a law, the scientific proclamation of true, provable, and reproducible fact.  Fair enough, part of scientific law requires a theory to be reproducible, ie: standing on Earth, let go of an object and it will fall to the ground.
But here is where Mr. Ra’s statements start to break down.  At 10:01 of his recorded lecture at Eastern Illinois University “Because it’s called the theory of gravity”.   Yes that’s right the theory of gravity.  Do you find it interesting that it is now the theory of gravity.  Has gravity been “Plutocized” from a law to a theory?  My guess is that the hope is by reducing certain laws of science to theories it will help elevate the theory of evolution in the public eye.

Change what words mean and change the past.

Once again trying to change the meaning of words to alter the discussion, like an illusionist tying to draw your attention to one thing, while distracting you from noticing the elephant walking off stage.  The desire to alter what words means is a dishonest attempt to win the game by changing the rules.  Hopefully Mr. Ra will move to his stated desire, to be more concerned with the truth.

Although I doubt it
Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Working thru some things at the weekly men’s breakfast, the idea of God’s wrath came up.  We were looking at the fact that God is unchanging, and a couple of the guys who are newer to being disciples of Christ were asking about the God of the Old Testament vs. the God of the New Testament.  They had been given the idea that God pre the incarnation of Christ was mean, and punished and was full of wrath.  But now, since the life of Jesus, God is love.  Kind, loving, gentle, God is now different.

How can God be Loving and Wrathful?

So is God different?  Has he changed?  My Bible says he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  So why the disconnect between the perception of what God was like in the Old Testament, vs God who is in the New Testament.  The one that created the biggest discussion is the wrath of God.
So did God stop being wrathfull after the crucifixion of Jesus?  First God released his wrath on Jesus when he was put on the cross.  When Jesus took my sin on himself, taking my place, he not only took my sin, my failure, but he also endured God the Father’s wrath.

Doesn’t seem to me God’s Wrath is gone

Secondly look at Revelation 6:16 which says “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:”
That’s not the wrath of the Father, the Lamb is Jesus and His wrath is coming.
Now that’s not about trying to scare you.  Hopefully you are a disciple of Christ, a Christian, and the wrath mentioned above is not directed at you.  But it does go to show that God’s wrath did not go away, or stop.  He may withhold his wrath for a season, for a time, but patience isn’t the same as forgetfulness.
On the other hand if you have not made Jesus Lord, my question is what are you waiting for?  God may be long suffering, that doesn’t mean He is asleep.
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Would it be enough?

I see and read the story of Moses and see him being propelled forward because of glimpsing the tiniest sliver of God’s glory.  After losing his place of prominence in the court of Egypt Moses sees the burning bush.  He watches as plague ravages the land.  A walking stick becomes a serpent.  The Red Sea parts, and water flows from a rock.  All this and more happens in Moses life.  And yet Moses says ” And he said unto him, If thy presence go not [with me], carry us not up hence.” Exodus 33:15.

How easy to say “What a loser, how weak in faith”.  And yet am I any different?  I’ve seen miracles, heck I am a miracle.  Still I dare to pray to God for a glimpse of his glory.  A sign to confirm what I should do.  I have the audacity to cry out, “God just show me you, not just what you can do, not your miracles, your favors, but You.”
If what God has done is not enough, what would be?  Walking on water?  That wasn’t enough to stop Peter from denying Jesus a short time later.  How about talking to God face to face?  Didn’t stop Adam did it?
So what would be enough?  At last I must say that the problem isn’t with God the problem is with me.  I must get up,everyday and seek God. Persue him relentlessly.  Make the decision that

Moses before the Burning Bush

Moses before the Burning Bush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

whether or not I see Him today I know He is there and because of that I will do what I can to live a life that pleases Him.

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To be a Christian is to be a follower, a disciple of Christ.  

 

But let’s be blunt and completely honest.  To live a perfect life for me is impossible. Why?  Because God isn’t able to make me perfect?  Of course not, but because I am not able to let him.

Know perhaps you’re saying “What kind of faith is that?  You say you’re a follower of Christ and yet you don’t do what he says.”  True I don’t I fail to live up to the Christian Ethic.  With no excuse for my own short-comings let me give you a for instance.

Unintentional failure is still failure

A man joins the Air Force.  He’s patriotic, loves his country and wants to serve. One day while walking across the base or standing around talking with some of his buddies a superior officer walks by, but our airman doesn’t notice and doesn’t salute. Is he no longer a patriot?  Of course not, but I fail to salute my king, my commanding officer a lot more than on one occasion.

 

Now our Airman is given a set of guidelines to live by just as you or I am.  The difference being that the closer I get to God the more aware I become of how far from perfect I really am.  Don’t mis-understand,  I am someone who loves God, and is loved by God. But I find being a Christian an ever-evolving process.  The closer I move to God the more aware of my short comings I become.

 

What was obvious to me as sin in my life when I first swore allegiance to Jesus is now easy to avoid.  Now as those things have become non-issues, other deeper things have become noticeable to me as a problem, as a sin that blocks or at least hinders God’s impact and presence in my life.  And if the time comes where, with God’s help, I conquer these things my guess is God will say to me, “That’s great but what about X”

 

Now before you get all “aren’t you trusting in works, or Christ made us free from the law” on  me let me be clear.  Doing anything on my own will never save me or earn God’s mercy, otherwise it would not be mercy.  Likewise I don’t strive to live up to God’s standards as expressed in the Law, because I have to.  Rather I want to because this is what God says is the standard.  His standard is perfect because God is perfect.  I know I will fail, but that does not mean I shouldn’t try.

 

So if you define being a Christian as being Christ-like, then I am destined to fail.  But I am going to fail greatly.

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What have I been accepting without really looking at the truth behind it all?

Bored and also to avoid doing some writing I decided to to put on a movie.  So as I am watching this movie, which by the way I liked enough to purchase on DVD several years ago. While I was watching I became aware of several flaws in the philosophy of the story.  I won’t go into allow it here, otherwise this would turn into a 10,000 word post.  But here is the thing, just like blind faith,unexamined acceptance is not what we as Christians are instructed to do.
Before accepting a philosophy of life I should be looking deeper at what it really means, how does it line up with Christian ethics.  For example the idea of caring for the poor is a great, but it is not meant to be a blanket statement.  Now there are those that thru birth, disability, both mental and physical, can not and may never be able to care for themselves, but as to those who through bad choices are poor Leviticus speaks clearly on how to care for these, and Paul says “He who will not work, shall not eat”, and Jesus says “you will always have the poor”. Yet I have more than once bought into ideas that run counter to this.
That is just one and a very simple example of it.  I am becoming more and more sensitive to this.  I need to slow down and take the time to examine what I have bought into  and what it is  I am really accepting when I accept these philosophy.  After all Colossians 2:8 makes it pretty clear: “Beware lest any man spoil you thru philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
This is just one example, what other areas have you found a flaw in your thought?