THE LONGEST LONG TERM
I used to help people write applications for academic positions. One of the requirements was for the applicants to explain their future research and career plans. The request was usually broken down into 5- and 10-year plans, with 10 years being considered “long term”.
As born-agains, our long term is forever, and the position we’re applying for is to be “like angels”, as Jesus described.
When you make plans and decisions based on a term that lasts forever, those plans and decisions are completely different than when you make them based on 5 or 10 years, or even a lifetime.
Let’s have an example. You’ve had some business and personal dealings with someone who is less than honest and who has maligned you to others to cover the dishonesty. You’ve considered outing this person as a warning to others, but you know that Jesus’ directive is to love your enemies and to pray for those who treat you badly. Giving bad press to someone isn’t loving them or praying for them.
From a short-term perspective, you might consider confronting this person about what he’s done and try to extract an apology or some kind of promise that it won’t be done again.
From a longer-term perspective, you might consider warning your colleagues about this person so that they don’t end up with the same issues as you.
But from an infinite perspective (that is, from God’s perspective), your job isn’t to correct this person or to warn others about him; Jesus said that you’re simply to love him, bless him, and pray for him.
I can tell you from personal experience that it takes some habit-building to get to the point where you no longer try to correct, extract an apology from, or trash-talk someone who’s done you wrong. But as you’re forming the habit, you can see and feel the difference it makes in your life. When you choose confrontation, there is no peace or rest. There is just an unease that doesn’t go away. When you choose to trash-talk, there is an even greater sense of unease that also doesn’t go away. There is no resolution to conflict by trying to correct or malign someone. You have to love that person through prayer and blessings and let God take it from there.
I just went through a scenario where I had solid grounds (in the eyes of the world) for complaining and demanding restitution. But after I’d cooled my heels a bit, I decided instead to go with Jesus’ way, and I bought a gift for the person and gave him good reviews for his business. The unease that had plagued me for a few days when I was contemplating how I should deal with the problem immediately fell away, and I also stopped thinking about him. What he did was done and could not be undone, but it could be forgotten and no longer spoken of. He certainly knew what he had done to me, so my gift and praises must have been a head-scratcher for him, to say the least.
I am not his judge. Those who do wrong purposely do it because they’re in some kind of emotional pain and are lashing out. Christians are typical targets. My gift and gesture of good will was either a balm to his soul or was heaping coals on him, but either outcome is no concern to me. He’s in God’s hands. When I think of him now, I wish him well in my heart. There is no longer a sense of unease or outrage.
When you love and bless rather than curse and avenge, you are making decisions and plans based on the longest of long terms, which is forever. You can live your life thinking short term, long term, or lifetime, but the decisions you’ll make based on those relatively short perspectives might not be the same as those you’ll make when you’re thinking in terms of forever.
I don’t want anything to get in my way of making it to Heaven. I don’t want to appear before God and Jesus on Judgement Day with them pointing out to me that I should have forgiven when I had the chance. I don’t want them to shake their heads at me sadly and tell me I knew better, but it’s too late now.
So I put my pride aside and I bless.
I put my pride aside and I pray.
I put my pride aside, even as people are calling me a sucker – I put my pride aside and buy a gift and give a good review. I can feel God’s Spirit working through me powerfully when I do that, and for me, that is a far greater rush and reward than “getting even” could ever be.
I’m not making decisions based on short term or long term. I’m not even making them based on a lifetime. I’m making them based on what’s right for all eternity, rather than what’s expedient or what appears to benefit me right now.
I hope that you’ll also make decisions and plans based on forever.
TAKING SPIRITUAL STOCK
Most companies that deal in material goods take stock once or twice year. Taking stock just means finding out what you have, what you’ve sold, what you need, and what you’ve lost through shrinkage (which is a polite word for theft or damage).
Spiritually, we should also be taking stock as born-again believers, only we should be doing it a lot more than once or twice a year. We should actually be doing it at least once a week. Sabbaths are a perfect day for taking spiritual stock.
But how can you take stock of something that is by nature spiritual?
By asking questions of yourself and of God.
Here are some sample questions:
- How is my relationship with God?
- How is my relationship with Jesus?
- How is my relationship with my neighbours (that is, everyone else)? (Be honest, now!)
- Am I holding any unforgiveness in my heart? (Definitely be honest here.)
- Am I blaming someone for something that’s gone wrong in my life? (Ditto above.)
- If someone did something to me that I don’t like, am I cursing them or blessing them?
- Am I reading the Bible every day?
- Am I applying what I read to my life?
- Am I putting God first in everything, and loving him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength?
- Am I teaching the Gospel, either by example or through actual lessons?
There are many other questions you can ask yourself when you’re taking stock. That’s just a selection of some of the ones that I find helpful and at times quite sobering. They can be like a shepherd’s staff that taps at you sharply to keep you from wandering farther off the path. We all need that. It’s good for us and keeps us honest with ourselves and with God. A sharp little tap at the right place at the right time is a whole lot better than getting run over by a spiritual Mac truck when you least expect it and least need it.
I took stock today using questions 1 to 10 above, and in case you’re interested, here are my answers:
- Not bad, but could be better. As my Grade 2 teacher once wrote on my report card under the category Plays well with others. – “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.” (lol)
- I was, but I’m not now.
- I was, but I’m not now.
- I was cursing them, now I’m blessing and thanking them from the bottom of my heart.
- Yes, with bells on! I LOVE MY DAD!
- Yes, but I could always do more.
How did you do with your spiritual stock-taking?
One of the hardest lessons (and one that can make even saints squirm) is accepting that God allows people to come into our lives who do nasty things, either to us or to others. He allows them to come into our lives so that we can learn to love even the unlovable, and to pray for them and bless them. Jesus talks about how easy it is to love those who love us and that even hypocrites can do that. We’re called to love those who hate us, who are mean-spirited to us, or who are blissfully unaware that something they’re doing is driving us crazy.
Loving those who despise us or who simply get on our nerves can’t be done without a conscious effort on our part. It also and more importantly requires God’s help, and we need purposely to ask him for that. Taking spiritual stock once a week is a good reminder not only of who we need to forgive and bless, but that we need to forgive and bless: “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
REJOICE! A TIME OF GREAT BLESSING IS UPON US!
We are immensely blessed to be living in this age, with our backs forced against the wall and people showing us their true colors.
This is a blessing, not a curse.
Knowing precisely where you and those around you stand is a blessing.
Seeing clearly is always a blessing.
God is removing from our lives obstacles that have gotten in the way of us doing his holy will. Where jobs were getting in the way, the jobs are being removed. Where people were getting in the way, the people are being removed. Where possessions were getting in the way, the possessions are being removed.
The whole world is shifting, and what a glorious time it is to be a Witness to God’s Word!
The more “privileges” that are taken away from me, the more time I have to devote to the Kingdom. I thought earlier that these were blessings in disguise, but now I see them as outright blessings.
It is a wonderful thing to be banned from all the distractions of the world, whether that be shops or cinemas or night clubs or cultural events. The best thing that can happen to Christians (besides coming to God, following Jesus, and going to Heaven) is to be fired from their jobs and banned from society. It’s a true blessing, as it forces us to refocus our lives on those things that matter most.
Thank God I can no longer go shopping!
Thank God I can no longer go to restaurants!
Thank God I can no longer travel or use public transportation!
Thank God that all the time and effort I used to waste on worldly diversions I can now spend on God and his Kingdom!
God is unleashing his people by removing distractions and obligations from their lives.
This is a time for rejoicing, not for protesting.
This is a time for thanking God, not for cursing politicians.
This is a time more than ever for preaching and teaching God’s Word as if our lives depended on it, because they do.
These are the times of global testing. As with all other tests, we need to face them cheerfully and in full submission to God.
THANK YOU, GOD, FOR TAKING OUT OF MY LIFE EVERYTHING THAT WAS KEEPING ME FROM DOING YOUR HOLY WILL.
Being banned from society is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and I thank all who made it possible.
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!
PRAISE GOD, AND PRAISE JESUS!
THE ALARM IS RINGING
You have one year left to live – what would you do with it?
Would you continue your life as it is, or would you make radical changes? Would you continue working at your job, or would you find some other way to get money? Would you contact people you haven’t spoken to for a while to clear the air with them or maybe thank them for something they did long ago? Would you read the Bible more? Would you throw yourself at God’s mercy and beg him for forgiveness? Would you forgive?
You have one month left to live – what would you do with it?
Would you continue working, or would you walk away from the daily grind? Would you stay where you are or go to your favourite place with your favorite people? Would you be honest with friends and family about the one month you have left to live, or would you hide it from them? Would you grow closer to God and Jesus or push them away in anger?
You have one day left to live – what would you do with it?
Watch a movie? Read a blog?
Unless we take matters into our own hands (which I do not recommend), we don’t know how much time we have left on Earth. Even Jesus didn’t know until his time drew near. God keeps this information from us so that will make choices of our own free will. We are judged on those choices. Jesus says that our every idle thought and word will be judged.
The choices we make when we think we have many years left to live are quite different from those we make when we know we have only a few months or days or hours. It’s like the difference between moving house, when you can take all of your belongings – furniture, clothing, food and knick-knacks – and bugging out, when you can take only the bare essentials in one bag.
During his ministry years, Jesus lived in bug-out mode. He was constantly on the move and only took with him those things that he needed for the short-term. This is what he modeled for his followers, who likewise were constantly on the move and only took with them those things they needed for the short-term.
We have no guaranteed time on Earth. We get what God gives us, so we need to do our best every day, not just sometimes when we feel like it. Scripture tells us about the person who thought he had a long time yet to live and so backslid into a depraved life, only to be caught unawares and to end up dying in his sins. This is a frightening cautionary tale. If it’s not frightening to you, you need to read it and reread it until it is.
Jesus tells us to live with our loins girded and oil in our lamps, ever-ready to leave at a moment’s notice. This state of readiness should be our permanent state of being on Earth. Think of firemen at a fire station in between calls. They clean and maintain their truck so that it’s optimally functional; they work out to build their physical strength; they rest and eat nutritious meals to maintain their health… so when the alarm goes off without notice, they’re 100% prepared to leave the station within seconds.
How many Christians live up to this ideal? How many live their day-to-day lives with loins girded and oil in their lamps, ready and willing to leave at a moment’s notice and with no regrets? I think very few do. I think most Christians put the thought of death far from them and never think about what they would do if they had only one year or one month or one day.
Or one hour.
Or a minute.
We need to think about our physical death even more than we need to think about our physical life; we need to prepare for death even more than we prepare for daily life. Death can come to us at any moment and in any number of ways. This thought shouldn’t frighten us but instead inspire us to look closer at how Jesus lived and taught us to live.
It’s a cliché to say that life on Earth is a journey, but it is a journey, and the destination is death. It can’t be any other way. You can’t avoid dying. Even Jesus died for a short time. But what you can do is prepare for death and what comes after death, and do so to the best of your ability. This should be your obsession. It was Jesus’ obsession.
Everything he did was with an eye to his final moments on Earth and the glory that would come afterwards. Every step he took he did so knowing his steps were numbered. This gave him the drive to work ceaselessly for the Kingdom with full understanding that only work for the Kingdom had any lasting value.
Before he launched his ministry, Jesus reviewed every aspect of his life and removed from it anything that did not in some way contribute to his work in the Kingdom or that outright interfered with it. He did this without a second thought and without looking back. To him, there was no other way forward to his destination than to clear the path of obstacles. Sometimes people are the main obstacles in the way; sometimes we’re our own worst obstacle.
So I ask you once again – if you had only one year, one month, or one day left to live, would your life change radically from what it is, or would you continue as you are? This is not something that you need to tell me, but something that you need to discuss with God. And you need to do so with the same urgency as a fireman springing to life when the alarm rings.
LET THERE BE WARMTH
The first lines of John are a reworking of the first lines of Genesis, about God creating Light and seeing that it was good. Throughout the ages, until very recently, light was synonymous with warmth. The sun is bright and warm, fire is bright and warm – all natural and derived sources of light up to and including the incandescent light bulb were both bright and warm. The two qualities of brightness and warmth were universally considered part and parcel of light.
God, for all his perfection, is not known for his personal warmth. I laugh to myself as I write this, because I know God to be very warm. He’s as perfect at being warm as he is at everything else. But “warm” is not one of the character traits that immediately spring to mind when people are asked to describe God. “Almighty”, “all-powerful”, “omniscient”, “perfect”, “eternal”, yes, but “warm” rarely makes the list. We should remedy that.
Jesus, on the other hand, personifies warmth. Even when he’s yelling at his disciples, you know he’s not doing it because he despises them, but because he cares for them so much he doesn’t want them to fail and go astray. Jesus’ interactions with the sick and grieving, and especially with the very young, reveal a classic warm personality. John, in his reworking of the opening lines of Genesis, frames Jesus as the Light – a light that not only has the eternal brightness of his Father, but also his Father’s eternal warmth. Both the brightness and the warmth that characterize Jesus come from God as inherited traits.
Just as Light comes from and originates in God, so does the quality of warmth come from God.
Light that is bright without the underlying quality of warmth is an abomination. It’s fake light. Not surprisingly, the Satan-inspired powers-that-be who have eliminated God and Jesus from public spaces have also done away with the warmth in light – even going so far as to make it illegal to buy certain lightbulbs that radiate warmth. Light, in post-modern, post-national, post-Christian globalism, has to be coldly bright rather than warmly bright.
The ptb’s henchmen – the environmental brown shirts – have labeled any heat-generating devices not specified for use as heat-generating devices as verboten and “bad”. They’re removing the offending devices from the market or are shaming those who use them into giving them up. Only artificial light that is cold is considered acceptable and “good”. With these changes, we are being reprogrammed to view cold light as good and warm light as bad. There’s always a reason for programming that defies the natural, God-given order, and the reason is never good.
The sun’s warmth is likewise being demonized, with “solar dimming” aerosolized spraying projects up and running as we speak.
I imagine that Satan, when he appears as an angel of light, will shine coldly. There will be no warmth in him, or maybe just a cloying feigned warmth, like the fake flames in the fake logs in electric fireplaces that blow hot air, or the computer-generated “fireplace” on TV that has sadly replaced real fireplaces in most homes.
I move around a lot, and everywhere I go, I replace the cold light bulbs in the rental units with warm ones. This is my silent protest against cold light.
Satan may yet win this battle, but we win the war.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON YOUR DAY OFF?
I’ve written before about how Jesus would go up a mountain alone to pray when he needed time off from his ministry work. He didn’t fly to Vegas or visit his family in Nazareth or go on a pub crawl with the boys – he went away by himself to spend time with God.
What people do on their time off is a fairly good indicator of where their heart is.
We all need to work, and we all need to take time off to rest. God made taking a rest one of his Commandments, it’s that important. But he also hallowed the official day of rest, meaning that he made it a holy day. He made it so that we can spend time with him without worrying about being interrupted by work or other obligations.
The day of rest isn’t meant to be a day off from God or from being a Christian. On the contrary, the day of rest is a day when we can draw even closer to God, like Jesus did on the mountain, or like Mary did sitting at the feet of Jesus while Martha ran around frazzled from housework. The day of rest is meant for us to recharge spiritually so that we’ll have the spiritual strength we need to get through the coming week.
What people do on their time off, particularly on their day of rest, is very telling. God made the day of rest not for us to spend in worldly pursuits but to spend with him. It’s a holy day, not a holiday.
I lived without God for the first 36 years of my life, and the last thing – THE ABSOLUTE LAST THING – I would ever want to do is to live without God again, even for a day. Anyone who is genuinely reborn feels the same. I never need a holiday from God; it would be like taking a holiday from breathing or from my heart beating: I would die if I were even one minute away from God.
I thank God that he’s made me to need him that way. He’s made me to love him with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and there’s nothing in that first and greatest Commandment about taking time off from loving God. I don’t see in the Gospels any evidence that Jesus took time off from loving God. How can you take time off from loving the one who gives you everything you need and asks for nothing in return but that you treat others as you would want to be treated? How can you want to take time off from someone like that?
When Jesus said “I and the Father are one”, he didn’t mean that he was God; he meant that he was so deeply intertwined with God that there was no separation between them: What God wanted, Jesus wanted; and what Jesus wanted, God wanted. It’s like a marriage, where two people eventually become one. Those who are genuinely reborn start the process of becoming one with God, like Jesus was one with him.
You can’t take time off from that. You can only take time off from God if you’re not really a believer. If you’re genuinely born-again, being with God and Jesus is all you want to do. But God wants us to work in his Kingdom, too, so he made it that we can pray to him wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. In that way, we can always be with him and Jesus, just as they’re always with us, through God’s Spirit.
What people do on their day of rest and on their holidays is very telling.
THE REALM OF LIES
I’ve written here before about professional liars, meaning politicians and mainstream media, and the feigned nemesis of mainstream media known as alternative media (most of which is controlled opposition). But last night when I was watching a movie, I had an epiphany of sorts about another field of professional liars – actors. Unlike politicians and the media, actors don’t hide the fact that they’re lying. They openly pretend to be someone they’re not, to be doing things they’re not actually doing, and to be living lives that don’t exist. And here’s the kicker – the better they are at pretending to be someone they’re not (that is, the better they are at lying), the more accolades they receive.
The more “believable” their lies, the better actors they allegedly are.
Which still doesn’t hide the fact that they’re professional liars, that is, people who lie for a living.
Like politicians, nearly all actors lie for money. If they weren’t getting paid to lie, very few would do it. So when you see actors on stage or on a set speaking lies, they’re at work. They’re doing their job. Their job description is to lie.
Some actors have a “natural talent” for lying, while others have to take lessons to learn how to lie better. I know something about this, because I took lying lessons when I was a teen-ager. And then I would go on stage pretending to be someone I wasn’t and to be living a life that didn’t exist, but I foolishly did it for attention and applause rather than money. All that work for only a few seconds of adulation. I was an amateur liar.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that people choose to lie for a living. The world is, after all, the realm of the Father of Lies. It’s only fitting that those who live in the realm of lies and are under the authority of the Chief Liar should themselves choose to lie for a living. I guess it’s those who choose not to lie who are the oddballs here.
Oddball signing in. The instant I was born-again, I was spiritually shifted out of the realm of lies and into the realm of Truth, and I’ve been here ever since. The thing about living in the realm of Truth is that you have a God-given sixth sense about lies. You can sniff them out much better than those who are still under the thumb of Satan. When Paul says to test the spirits, he’s telling us to apply the spiritual sniff test to see whether someone or something is of the realm of Truth or of the realm of lies.
Sadly, there are those who pretend to be in the realm of Truth when in fact they are still in the realm of lies. They’re false prophets, and most of them, like politicians and actors, do it for money. If they weren’t being paid to pretend to speak God’s Word, they wouldn’t do it. That doesn’t absolve them from lying, it just offers an explanation of sorts (the lust for money being the root of all evil). Others pretend to be in the realm of Truth because they’ve been lied to about what the realm of Truth is. They believe the lies, and so believe themselves to be in the realm of Truth, when in fact they’re still very much in the realm of lies. They’re being deceived.
Amidst those who purposely lie for a living and those who are deceived, there are also those who lie not as stagecraft or as a political tool, but to manipulate for their own devices. These are psychopaths and sociopaths, and we’ve all likely had personal dealings with them. Most professional liars are borderline psychopaths; you’d have to be, to spend so many hours of your waking day lying. The main difference between professional liars and full-on psychopaths is that professional liars know they’re lying (that is, they can set a difference between when they’re lying and when they’re not lying), whereas psychopaths set no difference between lies and non-lies. They are so deeply embedded in the realm of lies that, like Jesus says of Satan, when they speak a lie, they’re speaking their own.
It is a sorry thing that people choose to lie for a living or to lie for perceived gain. Our time here on Earth is so short, that to waste it either knowingly or unknowingly lying is a great tragedy. You are not on the narrow path if you lie for a living or live a life based on lies, and if you’re not on the narrow path, you’re not on the way Home. If you’re not on the way Home, there is only one other destination, and that is not a good one. There is no applause waiting for you there, no pleasurable rewards, no accolades of any sort, only pain for all eternity. Because, ultimately, pain is the true reward of lies, whether the lying is done for money, or for adulation, or for personal gain.
As for me, I don’t think I’ll be spending any more time watching professional liars ply their trade, no matter how good they are at it. If it’s a waste of a life to lie for a living, it’s a waste of time to watch those who do it. And time is something we should never waste.
THE LADY ON THE BUS
A few years ago, when I was still permitted to ride on public transit, I took a bus one afternoon to the grocery store. I’d gotten on at the beginning of the route, so I was able to nab a comfy seat near the front of the bus; the rest of the seats quickly filled up at each passing stop until it was standing room only.
Around half-way through my journey, an older lady got on. I was in a two-seater and my seatmate had just gotten off, so the lady sat down next to me. It was the only available place for her to sit.
We smiled and nodded at each other the way strangers do when they’re forced into publicly-sanctioned physical intimacy. I could feel her body’s warmth through our winter coats. We then chit-chatted a bit about the weather, and I looked at her and she looked at me. I could tell she wondered if she knew me from somewhere, just as I was wondering the same about her. She said she was on her way to pick up her grand-daughter from school, and did I know which stop was closest to the school’s front door. I gave her instructions to the best of my knowledge, and she thanked me. Again, we looked at each other quizzically, both clearly thinking the same thing (that we knew each other somehow), but neither of us said anything about it. I was enjoying her company, even though all we were sharing were mundane pleasantries. I felt as comfortable sitting next to her as if she were someone I’d known and loved all my life.
When it came time for her to get off, we said our good-byes like the dearest of old friends, waving to each other as the bus pulled away.
I thought about that lady again today, and about what made me feel so joyful and comfortable in her presence, even though she was a stranger. She’s born-again. She’s a believer. I know this because I know it. We didn’t say a word to each other about God or Jesus, but I know she’s a believer. I could tell by how the Spirit in me was responding to the Spirit in her. That’s what made us feel like we knew each other, like we were lifelong best friends.
Over the years when I was still allowed on public transit, I must have stood or sat next to thousands of people since I was born-again. We would chat about the weather or transit delays or the crowded bus or subway or train, but our interchange was only polite and friendly. There was nothing remarkable about it. Sitting next to the older lady on the bus was the only time that I’d felt such joy in a stranger’s presence.
Unlike mainstream Christians, I do not believe that spiritual rebirth is wide-spread and that everyone who identifies as Christian is born-again. I don’t even believe that everyone who identifies as born-again is actually born-again. What I do believe is that spiritual rebirth is incredibly rare, and that those who are reborn recognize each other the same way as John the Baptist recognized Jesus when they were both still in their mothers’ wombs – through a sudden surge in God’s Spirit. The Spirit in John the Baptist rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in Jesus, just as the Spirit in Jesus rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in John the Baptist. In the same way, the Spirit in me rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in the older lady, just as the Spirit in the older lady rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in me.
Even thinking about it two years later, I’m still smiling about the time I spent sitting next to her. I likely won’t be running into any born-agains on public transit any time soon (or ever again), seeing that I’m banned from it, but God will bring us into each other’s presence when there’s a need or when the time is right. I have no doubt about that.
As for the bus lady, I have a feeling I’ll be meeting up with her one day in Heaven, if and when we make it there. Maybe we’ll be seated next to each other at the wedding feast. I hope so. In the meantime, I’m praying for her as I know she’s praying for me as I know we’re all praying for each other in our cloud of born-again witnesses that is God’s Kingdom on Earth.
God save us from theologians and from all those who bend and twist God’s Word for money and prestige!
Theologians are the false prophets of academe. They are also the chosen cornerstone of false prophet Christianity and the sand on which Bible colleges and seminaries are built. In Jesus’ day, they were the Pharisees and Sadducees and lawyers and scribes. They were the ones who said they knew, but had learned nothing of real value. They were the ones who were so blind, they even tried to stop Jesus from healing because it was the Sabbath.
Theologians today, and their adherents and cheerleaders, are no better. What I can’t understand is why someone would put so much effort into knowing about God and yet never take the time to get to know him. Theologians know some vague general characteristics about God, but they don’t know him. This is a great mystery to me, why they would stop short of wanting to know him.
They approach knowledge of God like a detective staking out a murder scene. Belief, for them, is the crime, and God the mystery they’re tasked to solve. They use forensic tools and deductive reasoning, but God cannot be found in those things and ways. God purposely made it so that he can’t be found in those things and ways, and yet theologians still try. If they truly knew God, they would know they’re wasting their time.
Faith in God, Paul says, is evidence of God. But theologians are not fans of faith in God. Such faith doesn’t pay their bills or get them tenure. Such faith doesn’t invite them to conferences or publish their books. The world does all that. And so, theologians put their faith in the world without realizing how hypocritical that is.
I don’t curse theologians; I wonder at their blindness, but I don’t curse them. They remind me of people who say they love horses and yet who have never ridden a horse and have no intention of riding a horse or even spending time with one. Their “love” is an ideation, an abstraction based on an idea of a horse, not on a real horse.
The idea of God to me was anathema when I was an unbeliever. I had an image of God like a child would draw a stick figure. I looked at the stick figure and said “that’s God”, and rejected it. All atheism is based on rejection of a stick figure that is not God.
Theologians draw a fancier stick figure of God. They put clothes on it and place it in a scene with birds and clouds and flowers and trees, but it’s still a stick figure and not God. Theologians can’t get past their representation of God as a fancy clothed stick figure, and for some reason they don’t want to.
Scripture says that we need to know Jesus one-on-one, and by knowing Jesus can then know God. How sad for theologians, that they don’t take the advice of the same scripture they scour day in and day out for mere money.
WE FOLLOW JESUS
From the very start of this blog, I have made no secret that it is written for born-again believers. It is not meant for casual Christians or Christians-of-convenience, or for those who support and defend mainstream Christianity. It is not an evangelical outreach. It is meant for hardcore believers. It is meant for genuine followers of Jesus.
If Jesus was a fanatic, then so are we fanatics. If Jesus was a blasphemer, then so are we blasphemers. If Jesus stood alone in Spirit and in Truth, then so do we stand alone in Spirit and in Truth. Following Jesus means you walk God’s path alone with only God and Jesus for companions. That’s why it’s narrow; there’s room for only one body.
This is not a blog for those who believe in or follow false prophets. Mainstream Christianity is a false prophet in precisely the same way as mainstream Judaism was a false prophet in Jesus’ day. Nothing has changed. We fight the same enemies and we do so in the same way that Jesus fought – by refusing to compromise what we know is Truth, and by living and dying for that Truth.
Jesus was a healer. That means he healed sickness. He gave his followers the same ability to heal through God’s Spirit. Jesus healed through God’s Spirit, and his followers heal through God’s Spirit. No drugs required.
Jesus was a healer from his head to his toes. Even his spittle healed. We know that, because he once made a paste of dirt and his spittle and rubbed it on the eyes of someone who believed he could heal him, and that person was healed. Jesus didn’t prevent his spittle from being sprayed by covering his mouth with a cloth. He was a healer from his head to his toes, including his spittle.
Jesus also healed by physical touch. He touched others and others touched him, and they were healed. He gave the same abilities to his followers. Jesus didn’t designate a broad space around him that was not to be breached; he permitted people to press on him, and they permitted him to touch them. He permitted this because he knew they believed he was a healer, and they permitted it because they believed he could heal. Those who did not believe were not allowed to touch him until it was his time.
I mention all this because the false prophets of mainstream Christianity appear to have forgotten that Jesus was a healer and that his followers are also healers. Perhaps it’s not so much that they forgot; perhaps it’s more they never knew, because they don’t know Jesus. If they knew Jesus, they would have left the “den of thieves” long ago, like many priests left it in Jesus’ day. If they are still in that den now, defending it and going along with its decrees, they have aligned themselves with the world and will earn a fitting reward for their allegiance.
This blog is written for born-again believers. I know that others read it, some with good intentions and others with no so good intentions, but it is not meant for them. It is meant for you, if you’re a genuine born-again believer.
Jesus was a healer. We, if we’re genuinely born-again, are also healers. We heal by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, in the same way that Jesus healed and in the same way as his genuine followers in the early church healed, and in the same way as all of Jesus’ genuine followers throughout the ages have healed.
No drugs required. No mouth-cloths required. No broad-spacing required. All that’s required is belief. If you’re a genuine follower of Jesus, you know this and follow this. It is self-evident to you. If you are a follower of false prophet Christianity and of the world, you do as the false prophet church does and as the world does, and you have no place here. This blog is not meant for you.
Genuine followers don’t ask: “What would Jesus do?”, they ask: “What did Jesus do?”, because everything we need to know to live our lives on Earth, Jesus did already and showed us in the Gospels.
We do not follow the decrees of false prophet Christianity, which are the decrees of the world.
We follow Jesus.