Friday, July 27, 2012

Hope in The Word (While keeping a true respect for Holy Scripture)







Many who know me, know that I enjoy Social Networking quite a bit.
(I love it so much, I wrote a blog about it! Ha!!)
http://hopeanchorssoul.blogspot.com/2011/11/hope-in-social-network-world.html

I have so enjoyed meeting people whom I never would have had a chance to meet in real life!  I have a friend, Lisa, who goes by the handle, "Sisterlisa", on-line. She is one of my favorite people to check in on and I consider her a dear friend!  She is NOT afraid to tackle controversial issues and DISCUSS them. She focuses on Spiritual Abuse and came out of the IFB religion and faced MANY ramifications for speaking her mind on what she felt about her experiences there. Here is just a little bit about this denomination's "fruit"...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJTTqfnNDZk


She has MANY types of people weigh in on her facebook posts. This is her blog.
http://thehomespunlife.com/hope-for-the-journey/
 

Anyway, I was looking at her posts on facebook one night and saw that she shared about a well-known Pastor who basically stated that churches NEED to accept our gay brothers and sisters in Christ.  That instead of all this mess, we should all get together and try to do something about the truly big problems in our world.

To which, one of her FB friends responded:
"Oh my, where is the DISLIKE button?  Homosexuality is not a big problem in our world???"

I'm sure you have an idea of where the conversation went from there. She has over 1,300 friends on FB!  I DO have to say that Lisa does a VERY good job of keeping the conversation extremely civil and respectful. You learn a lot from the things people say and HOW they say them. 

What really got my wheels spinning though, wasn't the whole debate... I know I've brought up the "Gay" thing quite a few times on my blog lately, but it's only because it's what is being attacked so viciously by Christians in our culture today. You can substitute all sorts of things in place of this issue. How people dress, bi-racial marriage, what books people read, what their political beliefs are, what doctrines they hold...

No, what really got my wheels spinning is the way that this person and others, use the Bible as a weapon to defend their position. They seem to feel they corner the market on Jesus' Heart, because they feel they know how to use "The word of God". 

In the words of Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride...  "You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means!" 
From the book of John,  Chapter 1
"The Word became FLESH and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of GRACE and TRUTH."


Then this person on the FB post I described, shared a link to a website to back up all his statements.  This website claims that it has the "CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE".

What I wish it would have stated is that it has "A" Christian perspective. NOT "The".

 For I know many Christians who do not have this perspective at all.  I am one them. I'm sure there are many people who would want to kick ME out too just for saying that! Who would say I am NOT following "God's word" because I don't agree with them.

It has become so alarming to me how many in the Body of Christ feel the need to use the Bible as an excuse to kick people out and be able to condemn others. It's quite scary to me because it does not seem like Jesus at all to me and I wonder what is going on!??
  Good thing my bible tells me not to fear!  But to LOVE...
1 John 4:18
There is NO FEAR in Love. But perfect Love DRIVES OUT fear. Because fear has to do with PUNISHMENT. The one who fears, is NOT made perfect in LOVE.


I just want to pick out a few things from this article and show how, just because someone in "Power" seems to think they have the right to define the heart of God, does NOT mean they truly do.  They do not, any more than I do!

The Pharisees also felt that they had understood the heart of God and cornered the market on who was right or wrong and who was truly following God. Yet when God came to them in the Flesh... they nailed Him to a cross!

From the "Christian Perspective"        
**************************

Q. How does one possibly determine if the practice of homosexuality is right or wrong?

A. "That depends upon who is answering the question. The Christian point of view is based solely upon the Bible, the divinely inspired Word of God. A truly Christian standard of ethics is the conduct of divine revelation, not of statistical research nor of public opinion. For the Christian, the Bible is the final authority for both belief and behavior."
*************************

Really??  The Christian viewpoint is based SOLELY on the bible??? And... We don't listen to statistical research or public opinion??  Well... bring SLAVERY back then!  Make sure women are kept silent! No gold jewelry or fancy hair!!! How about the Old Testament do we follow ALL our Christian perspectives from there?

I'm only trying to use reasoning and logic. The things I believe Father gave to me...The bible does encourage this...

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us REASON together, saith the LORD."


 So, are they saying that there was no "Christian Perspective" before the printing press was made? No printing press = no bibles = no Christians. That's pretty silly!  Did JESUS, (who, I'm pretty sure CHRIST-ianity is SUPPOSED to be about) did He say...  "I will send a bible and I will send Apostles and everything THEY say is COMPLETELY from God."  Did Jesus say this???
Oh PLEASE show me where He said that!??
Also, please do not accuse me here of not believing that the Bible is inspired of God. Because I do believe that.  

HERE is what *I* see Jesus saying we will know about His heart and about using the scriptures as a means to manipulate people and create religion...

John 14:25-27
 “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


Do NOT be afraid. What COMFORTING words! Seems to me like many people want to take away that peace that Jesus promised and replace it with fear (what the world gives) by way of quoting bible verses at others.   


John 5:38-40

Nor does his Word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because YOU THINK that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about ME, yet you refuse to come to ME to have LIFE!


And THIS...
Luke 10:21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to LITTLE CHILDREN.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."


AND THIS....
John 15:26-27
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father —the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.


ADVOCATE!!!  What an INTERESTING word to use.  Hmmmmm   Makes you kind of think that Jesus might not be too happy about people condemning people, period! Jesus was OFTEN an "advocate" for the LEAST of these and told US to be as well!

Ok, I'll just take one more statement from "The Christian Perspective"....
**********************

Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God. He said to His people Israel, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18:22). "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:13). In these passages homosexuality is condemned as a prime example of sin, a sexual perversion. The Christian can neither alter God's viewpoint nor depart from it.
**********************
If you've ever heard the term, "clobber passage"  This, is what they're talking about.
Do the "Christian Perspective" people realize that they JUST totally condemned themselves?? See Romans 2 or how about in Mathew where Jesus said, "Do NOT judge, or you too will be judged. With the measure you use... it will be measured to YOU. They say;
"You can NEITHER alter nor depart from it."  Honestly.  Take a look through Leviticus and tell me how many of these "viewpoints of God" YOU choose to follow?? How many you have altered or departed from? 
They NEVER answer this question.  NEVER.  

All of the other things that they arrive at in this article come from a CERTAIN way of understanding scripture.  They are NOT up front about that. They make it seem as if it's the ONLY way to understand scripture. They get away with it because many people DON'T take the time to study scripture.  It's worth it.  Trust me.  Jesus' LOVE and MERCY is laden throughout it if you have eyes to see...

Mainstream Christianity often talks about people having a certain "Agenda".  I see agenda from MANY sides. We are SUPPOSED to only have an agenda of Love. THAT, is in the bible! I'm not saying it's easy.

  The agenda to be able to define God and shut people out when they don't measure up does NOT seem like Jesus' agenda to me. NO ONE on earth has that right!
Jesus Himself said,

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you yourself are!!  (Mathew 23)



People WANT power.  ESPECIALLY religions that have already gained momentum and financial security and are not too willing to give that up. We've seen this scenario replay throughout history.  But Father, in His wisdom seems to continue to spew that kind of religion out of His mouth. We no longer have the Crusades, we are ALLOWED to say the  world is ROUND, we do not have to "pay for our sins" to a church, slavery is not legal... etc   

I have Hope in the fact that the Lord of this chaotic universe is IN CONTROL. I have Hope that He whispers to the hearts of humans to choose Love and He uses the Bible, which He allowed to be preserved, as a way to do this.

But bible does NOT trump Holy Spirit and no religion corners the market on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus compared His Spirit with the wind.
"The wind blows WHEREVER it pleases. You hear it's sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8


I have Hope that the Word of God, is not trapped in pages... but in my heart! 

I hope He's in yours too.


 Luke 11:19
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For EVERY ONE who asks receives; the one who SEEKS FINDS; and to the one who knocks, the DOOR WILL BE OPENED."  ~Jesus


For someone MUCH wiser than I am, stating similar thoughts... please see:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/bart-breen/logou-theou-or-word-of-god-as-used-in-the-new-testament/10150997121123440
 











2 comments:

  1. Thank you for such sweet encouragement, Chris. I'm honored you mentioned me. My class at Next Dimension will be about inner healing from spiritual abuse and yes, I will cover different perspectives of Christianity within the class. I have studied traditional Protestant, Reformed, Pentecostal, and a host of other perspectives on various topics. I always rest in the love of God, because an assortment of theologies are just man's opinion on God which can create all sorts of chaos. Grace and love are the best foundation to settle on, these are who Christ is. Some may disagree and they have that freedom, but they don't get to choose who gets into heaven or even within the Kingdom which is already within us. That is between the person and Christ. I always hope for the best, because I believe Christ is all-inclusive.

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  2. Chris,
    This is a well-written piece. Thank-you for sharing what you believe. I do hope that my homosexual friends who have suffered at the hands and words of many well-meaning Christians (myself included) will be able to find hope and encouragement from people like you! Thank-you for standing up and loving everyone as Jesus does!

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We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19