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”
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”
I always find it ironic when one of the Ashkenazi repeat the mantra of doubt, “The Christian Bible isn’t my Bible.” There is a lot of of finagling on the part of Jewish teachers to arrive at that conclusion, which is then taken to heart by the uninformed congregant and repeated with the eye-watering fervor of a child wishing for a precious toy. I can certainly empathize with this position. Having argued with certain individuals who use fallacy and polemic to twist scripture so that it says whatever currently suits them, I know what it feels like to argue a known obvious truth with someone who simply changes the meaning to suit their conclusions. It’s like wrestling atop a pile of sand draining through a hopper. The domain of the topic can completely shift from one clause to the next, in a single statement by a deceitful polemicist. Continue reading “Blessed Bloody Barbecue”
A sermon today included the following points:
- Woe to him that is offended for God shall not heal his life nor grant him a miracle.
- If you are offended you must forgive. In fact, you cannot be blessed by God unless you forgive everyone everything.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, failing to hold a person accountable or free from punishment.
- [The pastor] believes in doing to them what they do to you. But that means forgive everyone cause Jesus forgives everyone.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean [the pastor and his church] won’t track you down and beat you if you are doing something violent, never-the-less you can’t hold grudges.
This lead me to revisit the passages cited which were MAT 18:7 (kjv) and COL 3:13-14 (kjv). Continue reading “Forget to Forgive”
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”
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?”