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Jesus is not God. I’ve said this before but I think of necessity it needs to be said again (and again and again, as the need arises).
The term “Emmanuel” means “God with us”, not “This is God” or “I am God”. Jesus is called Emmanuel not because Jesus is God but because God was with Jesus and, in being with Jesus, was also with the people on Earth (as prophesied in the Old Testament). In other words, God was with the people through Jesus – not AS Jesus, but THROUGH Jesus. (more…)
I don’t follow celebrity news, but sometimes celebrity news follows me when I log onto my various email accounts. Because of my Internet searches for “abornagainbeliever” (my website with WordPress), I am bombarded with “recommended for you” suggestions that include “born again”. Recently, as some of you might know, some high-profile celebrities have claimed to have become born-again Christians or to have had a “spiritual experience” that they attribute to God. Whether or not these experiences are genuine spiritual rebirths is for God to know. However, for your edification, and with a nod to celebrity cultural norms, I’ve compiled a “Top 10″ (plus 1) list of the main characteristics of a newly born-again follower of Jesus. You can compare these characteristics against the celebrity reports and draw your own conclusions. (more…)
Full-time positions available for people to work in the Kingdom of God 24/7 until they drop dead. Ideally, applicants should be: (more…)
If you’ve been a born-again believer for any length of time, you’ll have personally experienced what I call the “split personality” or “tale of two churches” characteristic of Christianity. I’m not talking about the Catholic/Protestant divide or the countless denominations that have since arisen because of that divide; I’m talking about God’s Church and the worldly church.
These are the two Christian churches co-existing today. I could call them the “real” church and the “fake” church, but that would be a misrepresentation, as both churches are real. I know, because, even as a born-again believer and card-carrying member of God’s Church, I actively participated in worldly churches.
I don’t anymore.
Here’s why. (more…)
This is going to be a relatively short one because Jesus has said everything that needs to be said about divorce and living single, and what he says is very clear. It just bears repeating, as some Christians appear to have forgotten or ignored it. (more…)
There’s an ongoing joke in academic circles that you only have to be one lesson ahead of your students to be a successful teacher. Many “teachers” live this joke as their reality, to the detriment of their students.
In Christianity, preachers are the teachers, and most of them are not even one lesson ahead. In fact, they’re so far behind many of their “students”, they should be fired.
This is the sad reality that Christianity finds itself in today and one of the main reasons why so many people who are not actually Christians call themselves Christians: The teachers have no idea what they’re talking about and are leading people astray.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to learn from him, Jesus called him out for not knowing his stuff and yet still professing to be a teacher of Israel. Church pulpits are full of Nicodemuses who need to be called out for their ignorance and either shamed into learning sound doctrine or driven from the temple (with whips, if necessary).
I mention this today because there is a growing belief within Christianity that Christians can have a demon – ranging from some form of oppression all the way up to full possession. This is so much nonsense that I wouldn’t waste two seconds on it if it weren’t for the fact that people are being taught this lie as if it were God’s truth and encouraged to consider demonic manifestations in their own lives as being of no greater consequence than fruit flies in the kitchen, and just as unavoidable. (more…)
I’ve spent a lot of time around Christians over the past 20 years since my rebirth from atheism, and the one common feature I’ve noticed is how messed up most of them are. They are burdened by any number of problems, whether health problems, relationship problems, or financial problems. If they have children, their kids are (as my grandmother used to say) “holy terrors”; if they’re married, the marriage is on the rocks; if they have a house or car, they’re money pits always in need of repairs; and if they’re working, they hate their boss, their job, or both.
On the surface, though, everything is wine and roses. It’s as if Christians feel the need to project a sense that that they have it all together, even if behind the scenes they’re falling apart.
This is not the way to live your life on Earth or the way to get home to Heaven. Having no joy and no peace and stumbling from one crisis to another will lead you the opposite way of Heaven and make you very miserable along the way. I lived that kind of life as an atheist, and I see the same heaviness, joylessness, anxiety, confusion and PAIN that I felt as an unbeliever reflected in believers.
How can that be? How can people who claim to have faith in God and be followers of Jesus have lives that are so messed up and so full of pain? (more…)
If spiritual rebirth is the most important AND NECESSARY change that humans can undergo while on Earth, why do we rarely – if ever – hear anything about it in the churches?
Why are people excited about births and sad about deaths and giddy about marriages and depressed about break-ups and divorces, while spiritual rebirth – conversion – is absent from their emotional radar?
Why do so few people who identify as Christian (including pastors) even know what spiritual rebirth means?
The answer is: the earthly church. The earthly church is to blame for misinterpreting spiritual rebirth and for downplaying the importance of conversion as a necessary step to becoming a Christian. The earthly church has become the blind leading the blind, just like the synagogues in Jesus’ day. How can the earthly church teach about spiritual rebirth if it has no idea what it means? (more…)
In the instant before I was born again, during what I now call “the moment outside of time”, God imprinted on my soul this one simple truth: The pain you feel is the pain you’ve earned. It was reminder of the “cause and effect” principle that I’d ignored or pretended didn’t exist up to that point in my earthly life, but its impression on me was indelible from then onward. Now, whenever things go a bit south in my life, I immediately remind myself: “The pain you feel is the pain you’ve earned”, and I do whatever is necessary to bring my thinking and doing back in line with God’s will.
Most Christian pastors side-step the principle of cause and effect when teaching their flock, instead referring to God as “a Great Mystery” who works in ways that we cannot possibly fathom. Granted, we can’t know God’s mind perfectly (we just don’t have that capability in our current form), but we can very definitely know the principles he has established for us to live by (more…)
For Jesus, very few things – if any – are worse than being a hypocrite. Making a public show of being holy while in private being anything but is just about as low as anyone can go, even lower than consciously choosing to be a sinner. Jesus accused nearly all of the religious leadership of being hypocrites, a charge which they not only resented but became the basis for their hatred of Jesus. People hate hearing the truth about themselves if that truth is unflattering (yes, those pants do make you look fat because you ARE fat). But rather than consider whether what Jesus said about them had any validity, the hypocrites outright rejected being called hypocrites and then outright rejected Jesus and his salvation.
Christians are called not to be hypocrites. We are also called not to be offended by what is done or said to us. Certainly, lies shouldn’t offend us, but neither should truths. We should be beyond bristling at hearing unflattering truths because those truths, however uncomfortable and no matter the source, are what we need to hear: they are a form of lesson. (more…)