And The Prayer of Freud Will Make You Sick

Our father who art in Vienna, Oedipal be thy name. . .

This is not only facetious, it’s at very least offensive. And yet, this prayer is the heart of faith and service in a vast majority of Christian and catholic churches if they were to be brutally honest. Psychologists and psychiatrists have intimidated and insinuated until most believers have come to the conclusion that churches save the soul and psychologists teach people to save their own minds. If that doesn’t work, then psychiatrists use drugs or various forms of coercion to retrain and thereby save your mind.

This has become such an accepted approach that ministers of the gospel quote from self help gurus and cite the textbooks of behavioral psychologists. And the church is convinced that some detant Continue reading “And The Prayer of Freud Will Make You Sick”

Unapologetic Argument

Recently a man I deeply respect and have come to love from afar off said the following:

Apologetics is the seasoning, the Gospel is the main course. You do not want too much of the seasoning or it will make the main course insipid.
Apologetics does not dominate our message; it under-girds our message. Argument doesn’t save people, but it certainly clears the obstacles so they can take a direct look at the Cross.
Support the argument justifiably, but recognize it is Jesus Christ who you need to lift up, and it is the Holy Spirit who brings about change within the human heart. An argument may remove doubt, but only the Holy Spirit can convict of truth.

I can certainly see his point but contrast this with the statements by a nationally syndicated television interviewer speaking to a popular professional basketball coach:

I grew up in a Pentecostal [experience] and . . . they can be rather dogmatic.

You started [there] but have found your own . . . path of faith.

Sunday last, in the throes of a digression on the false juxtaposition of love vs. punishment and wrath, a local minister wrestled with the nature of truth and justice. He seemed to view love as incapable Continue reading “Unapologetic Argument”

Pumps and Smiles

Recovered from backup
Original Post May 2019

Very recently I attended a Bible study at a very Middle American church. The subject was the Yehashua Apocalypse regarding false prophets, found in Matthew (7:15-23;24:11-14;24:23-28). Yeshua says that in the time following his ascension it would be inevitable that there would be false prophets. This teacher took a relatively unusual path through this material however. In the process he brought out a couple of points that are often overlooked. Continue reading “Pumps and Smiles”

Uncivil Obedience

There is a passage in the New Testament that says “obey the laws of the land.” Recently this has been pressed by a movement that advocates mindless obedience, at the cost of authenticity, from the pulpit and the bimah. This atavistic view is reminiscent of the Divine Right of Rule espoused by contemporaries of the Henry VIII of England. Such uncritical devotion to authority is contrary to sound faith and practice. Not only is the Judeo Christian tradition one of thought and study, the Laws of God must always be held as a higher authority than those of any earthly entity or regime. Authenticity is often the narrow, winding path that leads around loopholes in common law and executive order. At others it requires direct confrontation and disobedience of that which is unjust or evil, even when that evil is subtle or invisible to the democratic majority.

At one time the law of the land and public opinion held that everyone must bow Continue reading “Uncivil Obedience”

Oblivious to Pronouns

In the western world we talk a great deal of Rights. Individual Human Rights are foundational to the US Constitution which calls on God as underwriter for them. In all the talk of rights, liberty, license, and freedom the meaning gets lost and we start to lose the forest for the trees. Ironically, inherent in the the term liberty is the state of liberation and you can’t be liberated without having once been bound. In each of these terms there is a similar link to a binary state, a juxtaposition of polar opposites.

The state of holding or exercising a right is righteousness, and that is a term that many in the secular world shy away from. It’s natural they should given the alternate is unrighteousness and there is a specific moral, ethical, and religious component to these concepts. What is a right? Continue reading “Oblivious to Pronouns”

Cantonese Saturday Night? Just Stop!

כור את־יום השבת לקדשו׃ Or as it is said in the King James version, “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” This phrase has shaped and lead to many of the deepest divisions and conflicts within the umbrella of Judaeo-Christian or as the Muslims say Bookish people. Even the Muslims themselves, as well as the Druze and Samaritans are affected. Remember the Sabbath. Keep it holy. These simple words weigh on people more than the injunctions against blasphemy or murder. But have any of the parties to this debate actually parsed the words well enough to form such divisive and rigid doctrines?

This is a command in two parts. The first seems plain enough. Remember the Sabbath, Shabbat, Shabbas to the Ashkenazi (Kenites?) among us, seems to be a reminder to honor and practice the Sabbath. That’s Saturday on the English calendar, right? Simple enough. But how do we practice it?

But wait. Most Christians tell us that the Sabbath is Sunday. Sunday? Saturday? Which is it? Continue reading “Cantonese Saturday Night? Just Stop!”

Christians are Weirdos in Relationship to God

Christian living is a complicated subject largely because it is a matter of interpolation. Jesus and to a degree the apostle Paul–a.k.a. Saul l’Tarsi–are role models, mentors to be imitated. We have their sermons and narratives to draw on to see how they lived and what doctrines and principals are to be applied. However, we are forced to then interpolate those principals and doctrines to our present day circumstances and then using sound interpretation apply the commands and instructions of scripture to our lives. It’s pretty complicated if you break it down and focus on every little step. If you are trying to accomplish it on your own it just doesn’t work. Likewise if you are completely uninvolved, believing that Grace is a big magic wand that frees you from responsibility to exert any effort in achieving the goal of be shaped in the form of Christ, you’ve failed before you begin.

To complicate things further, there are several distinct heresies, Continue reading “Christians are Weirdos in Relationship to God”

Dead Camels Fill the Heavens with Midges

A young woman named V recently argued that old dead heresy of Calvin in the context of whether the Holy Spirit still baptised and conferred gifts. The greater questions have been dealt with previously, but she raised the following questions:

1) I suppose what i dont understand, then, is why does the bible say once we are saved, we are sealed? What can break the seal?
2) How do you believe one becomes saved?
3) Why do you believe that once salvation was offered to the gentiles, paul only preached salvation by grace through faith?

What follows was my response with expanded exposition on the scriptures:

First things first. Continue reading “Dead Camels Fill the Heavens with Midges”

Wickly Burning?

There is a traditional Jewish teaching involving a candle. If you take a candle from a cupboard and examine it, it gives no light, it has potential but no life. One could easily say that it is no more than a lump of wax with a string though it. But when you touch a flame to it light shines and the candle expresses it purpose for being. The question is when do wax and string become a candle? The answer: When fire is applied. When does a beast become a man? When the fire or light of Torah is applied.

In the first century, Jesus–Yehoshua HaNazari¹–taught Continue reading “Wickly Burning?”

DOA

Several years ago I witnessed the aftermath of a fatal car accident. A Friend picked me up from the airport and we were exiting the parking lot onto the multilane throughway that feeds the airfield. Traffic was stop and go along the the overpass and onto the onramp and we were both frustrated. Time was of the essence. Then we saw the cause.

A man in a minitruck, perhaps you remember the mid ’70’s Chevy Luv and the Datsun/Mitsubishi offerings, had taken a wrong turn and come up the onramp the wrong way and been run off the road. The truck had hit a piling and teetered precariously on the edge of the ramp. Our lane of traffic inched along the road, pressed as far to the right as possible as we passed the lifeless body of the man who hung halfway out the driver’s side window.

There is nothing quite like seeing a dead human body in the place where it died, only moments after the life has fled. There is something missing, and you can’t define it emotionally. A statue is expected to be lifeless as is a picture, but this lump of flesh that had life and motion, lying where it has fallen, still bearing all the form and potential that it once had, but robbed of the something that made it live– It’s an eerie experience.

Similarly, the Christian church, the body of Christ lies dead today. There is growth in numbers of members. There are even teachings that benefit some by encouraging  People praise God and perform, They use stage magic and lighting tricks, neurolinguistic programming in the form of mind-numbing repetition of verses. In some cases they are so bold as to use cold readings, shills who feed preachers info, etc. They create a warm fuzzy emotional feeling. But they fail utterly to invite and encourage the awesome presence of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit of the Living God.

God is not an emotion.

Let me repeat that. When you feel a warm emotion in your heart, that emotion is not the Ruach Elohim, the Spirit of the Sons of God that participated in the creation of the Universe. The Spirit of God is not an emotion.

When Abraham was in the Spirit his face had such a glowry, people were blinded by it. When Peter was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and Annanias and Sephira lied to get credit for their monetary sacrifice in the offering plate, they dropped dead. When the church worshiped (not praised, worshiped) the living God in concert and prayed for a solution, steel manacles spontaneously shattered, an earthquake opened the doors of a maximum security prison and hardened prison guards begged the inmate, Peter, to save them.

When the Holy Spirit is present, the false doctrine of Eternal Security is forgotten because people have the supernatural power to live in obedience, the fruit of the Spirit are evident in their lives. There aren’t any psychological profiles to assess your aptitude, because God tells you what you need to do, and the ability is not a natural, testable talent, but a supernatural gift.

The Gifts and Callings of the Lord are without repentance. This has many layers of meaning. One is that the church is still gifted, so long as the spirit of rebellion doesn’t talk them into keeping the Holy Spirit in check. Where are your tongues with interpretation, your prophecy, your healing, your miracles. Tongues have not ceased, knowledge is still required, that which is perfect is still bidding time awaiting the command of God to initiate the second coming.

Spiritual Life is living in God’s presence, allowing him to work the way He decided and with His paradigm, and living in obedience.