Monday, August 31, 2009

Facebooking with Malcolm Smith

It was so cool to see him reply to a message I sent him! I was very excited and encouraged when I received it.

I had messaged him privately, asking a question that sometimes still nags at me. I asked him for advice in dealing with fear of what I might do if I was tortured, persecuted or threatened for my faith in Christ. Would I renounce the faith and deny Him?

I just wanted to share his response with you all in hopes that it may encourage someone else who may be dealing with the same doubts and fears:

"Yes I have faced those same thoughts and travelling in Moslem and Communist countries it was heightened. The fact is that when we are faced with any challenge there is the grace and strength to meet the challenge and preeminently so when it comes to dying for Christ. Speaking to those who have come close to it and others who have spent years in prison for His sake they all report the same that they had grace that included supernatural joy to face the moment and all it held. Facing communist guards in my meetings in the Philippines the Spirit spoke strongly to me that I had been given grace to live and teach and when it would come to death I would have the grace for that but now to boldly live and teach with the unique grace He was now giving me. This gave me immediate and great peace and I believe that it is truth for all that you can receive as His word to you."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Making a Whip of Cords

Watching Gordon Ramsay, the hot-headed chef on BBC has caused me to think about some things.

Living under fear of going to hell because I might not be sincere enough, I was afraid to be forward with people. I thought that if they got mad at me, then that meant that I had sinned. It was easy for me to feel guilty having the mindset I had.

But now I am admiring the forward, take charge personalities that are honest with people. I guess it's the honesty that I am impressed with.

Some people would criticize Gordon for his excessive use of the F word and his hot-headedness, but honestly, I admire it. After being stuffed up inside my head of Galatianism, Gordon is a breath of fresh air with his honesty. I always thought it was wrong to be...intense. Then I look at Jesus and He flipped over people's tables, poured out their money and hit animals with whips. Jesus was intense. He is the perfect man, not using power and authority to lord over people, but to lovingly point out wrong and to correct it. He lived perfectly in the Spirit of power, love and of a sound mind.

I'm not saying Gordon is a perfect expression of this, I'm simply saying I admire his intensity and bluntness. I've seen him tear people down and then build them up. It's impressive.

Make of it what you will. This is just what has been on my mind lately.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rammstein - Sonne

Trying to Feel God

I have mentioned this before but it's on my heart yet again.

Today, after I came back from my Grandma's house, I began to feel distant from God. I realized that when I was outside, I no longer have the rush of excitement when I see creation and I felt no holy desires for heaven. To be honest, England has been much more on my mind than heaven. That may sound funny to you, but it's true.

Then I started to wonder again if I am drifting away from my first love because I don't try to force up emotions of love for God or people anymore. I've completely stopped analyzing my feelings and moods, and so I wonder if that has made me passive and indifferent.

I felt a flush of anger earlier today as I was praying because the thought of mustering up emotion and feelings of love came to mind. I told God I was tired of it; wore out. I couldn't go back to that. I won't go back to that. It's a roller coaster ride of inconsistency.

But I also feel the desire to go back to that lifestyle: To feel something so that I know God is still here even when I don't force him to be here by my feelings love and closeness to him.

Is this really the life of faith or have I just become lazy? Sometimes I feel outright selfish and I don't feel like trying to muster up feelings of unselfishness, ya know? I'm tired of playing that game.


I'm tired.

Just let Jesus live in me regardless of how I feel.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reactions to the Gospel

I have been thinking about the reactions I have received from people after explaining grace to them, and came to the conclusion that I would be more satisfied with someone who got angry at the message rather than someone who just sits there, giving polite nods and smiling at me, all the while disagreeing with me.

At the very least let me know you understood what I have spoken to you. Please, show some sign of comprehension! I could say I somewhat understand what the Lord felt when he pleaded with a Church, "Would I that you were hot or cold! But you are lukewarm!"

If you reject the message, then reject it with passion! Perhaps then you would be zealous enough to read the Scriptures and find out if these things are indeed so. But if you sit there, passive and indifferent, then what hope is there of you ever even caring to understand?

The Gospel is not something to be indifferent about. You are either for it or against it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Setting Aside God's Grace

Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?" (John 3:10)

As I was saying in the comments of an earlier post, 'A Change of Wills', grace is not the first part of the Christian life, and after that we move on into works. Those who would consider that 'maturity' are in reality backslidden.

You who would say, "Yes, its grace, BUT there are commandments we need to follow"... how well do you need to follow them in order to maintain this salvation that you falsely claim is by grace? This is no gospel at all. You are inviting me to a 'free' banquet, then after I have eaten my fill, you hand me my check and ask for a tip. In that case, you and I differ somewhat in our opinion of the meaning of the word 'free'.

Does not anyone read Galatians or any of the Bible these days with understanding? Do you not know it is heresy to preach grace only to turn around and preach works from the same mouth? "There are some who would distort the Gospel of Christ."

I would ask the obvious question to those who believe such a 'gospel' that is at first by grace and then ends in works: "Are you so idiotic? Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?"

"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if justification were through the law then Christ died for no purpose."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lion of the Tribe of Levi?

I don't think Christians realize what they are doing when they insist on clinging to some portion of the law, attempting to mix it with grace. As far as that goes, not even the power of God can help you. The Holy Spirit will not help you attain righteousness under the law. God will not be unfaithful to the Covenant he made by and through his Son, Jesus.

By clinging to tithing or any bit of the law, you are disqualifying your High Priest, Jesus. Tithing and the whole of the law is under the Levitical Priesthood. Now, what is the requirement of being in the Levitical Priesthood? Is it not to be from the line of the patriarch Levi? Yet we see Jesus is not from the tribe of Levi, but of Judah! The law would disqualify Jesus as your High Priest! You don't know what you're saying when you insist on Galatian theology that says "Yes, its grace, but you need to do your part." You're talking out of your rear.

You're saying "Yes, Jesus saved me, but I can save myself too." You're doing exactly what Paul warned against doing in his letter to the Church in Galatia. You are cut off from Christ and found to be under a curse! You idiot! "Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" In Americanese, "Having been saved by grace, are you now trying to finish the job by works?" This is a salvation that is, "by faith from first to last."

You readily accept grace for initial salvation and then you play the whore by deserting him and turning to yourself.

You say one thing and then contradict it! You say we're saved by grace, but if we sin, we lose it. You say God makes me righteous apart from the law, but if I disobey the law, I become unrighteous.

Am I encouraging sin? Don't be stupid. But if I go to hell clinging to this promise of grace, then so be it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Change of Wills

I again felt it necessary to change the look of my blog. I oft get bored of the templates offered on blogger.

Nothing much to report: I've been watching BBC heavily the past week or so, drinking substantial amounts of coffee. Mom made homemade whip cream to go on the coffee which tasted so good it must have been...unprofitable.

I am still looking for a job. I thought I had found one at a Food Lion (supermarket) but the lady who interviewed me said she was full of cashiers and needed a bagger/cart runner. I didn't want to risk taking the job and end up quitting because of excessive walking. I told her I wanted to be sure I could do the job before I took it. I don't like starting something and not being able to finish. It makes me feel lazy, inadequate and unreliable. I'd rather not feel like that.

But there is something that I've been weighing on my mind lately about this grace stuff. I know its true, but there are some things I want to find out for myself and work out for myself. I want to get it from my head to my heart.

Some things I've heard taught from grace people doesn't sit right with me. It could be that I misunderstood them, but whether it was I or they, I have come to a different conclusion than before. I'm not looking to debate, but if you so desire, you may comment and express your opinion on the matter.

I think it is easy to wrongly think that living in the grace of God will take away our temptations and sinful desires. It doesn't. I don't think it is 'let go and let God', but I think we exercise our wills as well. I don't think anyone reading this (whom I know) will disagree with this. But I was under the impression that some mentalities I had as a legalist were wrong when they were actually right. Its the motivation that was wrong.

As far as my understanding goes now, I think the Gospel and God's grace is primarily a change of motivation. Under law, I resist and flee from temptation because of my fear; under grace I resist sin and flee from temptation because of my love.

My will is still very much involved, but my motivation has totally changed. I'm not passive towards temptation, believing God will overcome it while I rest. No! I run from temptation and I put away anger. I do rest, but my rest is in the sense that I have stopped trying to justify myself before God by my adherence to the law. But that does not at all mean that I literally rest during temptation, expecting God to somehow take over my will.

Grace doesn't make decisions for you. It enables you to make a decision.

Paul said he struggled. He said he disciplined his body and brought it under control. BUT, it was on a foundation of grace and not fear.

Jesus will not override your will. He enables you to use your will for the will of God.

Friday, August 14, 2009

In Extremo - Vollmond

I wouldn't look up the English lyrics as I have no idea whether they're...profitable or not. But I do love the music. I listened to this a lot when I first came to Christ because I loved metal, but could no longer relate to wanting to kill myself. So I turned to German metal. Bless 'em! I can't understand a thing!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Whoever Seeks, Finds

"A devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.

About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, "Cornelius!"

And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God." (Acts 10:2-4)

I had one of those "duh" moments thinking about this the other day. I was wondering why this guy seemed to get on God's good side by his good works. I knew the Scriptures said all our good works are as filthy rags, but it seemed like God made an exception for this guy.

Then Jesus' words rang clearly in my head: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

It was not because God was impressed with his good works that he sent an angel to Cornelius. "No one does good; not even one." Rather, it was because of Cornelius' great desire to be made righteous in the sight of God. And so we see that God sent an angel to Cornelius and told him to find Peter who would tell him how to get that righteousness he so longed for.
I wanted to mention the parable of the talents how I used to view this parable. I won't post it, because I trust you already know it, and if you don't, I ask you to go and read it with this in mind.

I think its interesting that if your life about making enough talents to please God, you end up seeing your master the way the wicked servant perceived his master to be: A hard man.

If you see God as a hard man, then you will get a hard man on the day of judgment. If you insist on putting your hope in the law, you will reap consequences of breaking it.

So it won't be a question of "What did you do for Jesus?" on judgment day, but rather, "What did you believe jesus did for you?"

Many will boast of what they did for Jesus on that Day (Matthew 7:21-23). But only those who know him will enter the kingdom.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hunk'a Junk!

I'm trying to sell a car and I'm no good at it.

I don't know what an alternator is and I don't care to know. If you put gas in it and it doesn't go, I have no clue whats wrong with it.

And whats worse is when people think a man ought to know these things. And why ought he to know them? I don't need to know how to fix a car to be a man. Sure, knowing how to fix it might be good if I broke down on the side of the road, but in that case, it would also be good for a woman to know as well.

I just hate people looking at me as if I am not a male because I could give a flip less about a car's innards. Working on a man-made hunk of metal on a hot day doesn't mean all that much to me.