Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Redeeming Hosea's Wife's #Bastards with Help from @JaclynGlenn

Looking at the description, I see an answer to atheists' common arguments, "If God's 'all-powerful,' why doesn't he just 'save' everybody?" 

Because 'the prostitute' (גֹּ֖מֶר ... translated "Gomer") is said to symbolize 'the nation of Israel,' whom God will not 'redeem' (will not 'rescue from utter destruction')—making their only pathway-to-salvation "complete rebirth" (not just 'cleaning away their sins,' but also 'erasing any part of themselves that sin affected ... eliminating it from ever having existed').

God is saving everyone ... everyone who directs their paths to salvation! If they don't choose 'the safe path,' there are plenty of on-ramps & intersections ... probably (don't get me wrong; Jesus Christ is the only entryway, but there's a whole network of highways & by-ways & city-streets & sidewalks & back-roads & dirt-roads with several complicated ways to plot a course to reach the main-street!)

Anyway, the Bastards—whom I'm not seeing in Jesus' direct ancestry. He had 'two sons & a daughter' (or 'one son & one daughter who had one son'): son יִזְרְעֶ֑אל ("Jezreel," though the anglicized Hebrew looks a lot like 'Israel'), daughter רֻחָ֑מָה (Lo-ruhamah) and (¿grand?) son עַמִּ֑י (Lo-ammi)—names that mean "God sows," "not pitied," and "not my people."

It may be some time before his family-tree shows any connection to Jesus' family-tree (and my own, your own, etc.) Until then (even though 'whatever connection there actually is' will have been 'in existence' forever ... timey-wimey wibbley-wobbley ...) Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah & Lo-ammi will remain ...

"Bastards"—the true sense of-which being "Less than Noble (Ignoble—Humble)" (Conceived on a Packsaddle, Illegitimate—Child of a nobleman-or-noblewoman with someone Other-than his/her spouse).

Monday, October 30, 2017

#ContradictoryTruths: If God Is 'One Eternal #Unity,' Why the #Trinity (#ThreeAges etc.)? @ShepherdsChapel

Short Answer: Because humans' brains can't digest 'the entire complexity' in one bite.

Maybe that explains why atheists can't believe in "God"—we Christians feel we can contain 'the entire divine complexity' in that one syllable,' but–the truth is—that word is only 'our handle on the Tongs that hold the Coal on the Eternal Flame' (sometimes referring to 'those parts' as "God").

(So our saying 'God does everything' sounds like we're saying "the handle of the hammer slams-in the nail"—unbelievers don't understand 'the head of the hammer' ✝)

That is–even though 'we' (yes, even myself ... even directly below this) use the word 'God' as if it refers to 'the whole divine complexity'–'God' is only "the little bit we can understand" (the way we call 'those little lights in the sky' "stars," and think that's all we need to know about them; although they're more-complex than we'll ever understand—some may be good, some may be evil ... or not ...)

But yes, even though 'God' (the whole complexity, not just the daddy-figure we humans imagine) is One Eternal–something like Yyodhavavhva (יהוה)–but we humans have to understand eternity 'in sections' (the same way you go to pre-school without even thinking about 'writing your doctoral thesis').

The way I understand it (before I go through- & meditate on-Revelation Seven Seals' dissertation on it) we're currently in 'The Second Age,' and so 'that age' is "where The Bible begins & ends." But The Bible–important, because Shepherd's Chapel's teachers often refer us to the other Ages–gives us clues about 'the age before humanity' & 'the age after humanity'—hints about 'God dealing with our souls before "The Beginning"' and 'our eternal destiny forever-&-ever after.'

I had been 'fixin` to' do a post about the Three Earth Ages for a while now, but finally decided to 'get `round to it' when Pastor–answering questions after the lecture of a Bible-study session–explained that all three Earth-ages (and the three parallel Heaven-ages) were outlined in 2 Peter 3—where Peter describes that the Heavens & Earth were created out of water, destroyed by water, exist now being preserved for a moment, and will soon be destroyed again by holy fire.

That (particularly 'the age before The Flood') shows me that the Creation-story and other stories from 'before The Flood' are more "symbolic" ... 'all you need to know,' kinda like when your parents tell you that you were born 'when mommy and daddy loved each other and prayed for God to send The Stork who delivered you to them' (yes, 'the mommy & daddy' really did get together; tho it was "literally" more like 'ovum & spermatozoa'; and it is a miracle from God, just like the fact that your hair is growing ...)

Believers hold onto- and repeat the pre-Flood stories as if "that's the way it actually happened," and atheists–rather than take 'the mature road' and let "the children" believe things happened that way (like we let children believe in Santa Claus & the Tooth Fairy & the Easter Bunny)–prefer the thrill of Bringing Light to the facts that the children can't handle yet.

That thrill was probably the same thing that convinced Lucifer that he was more-worthy than God—he (possibly after God had condemned him to Hell & renamed him "Satan") revealed that humans were only less-than-gods because we hadn't yet sought power over all creation. Satan revealed that we-ourselves should be the ones who decide when we're ready to inherit "all power in Heaven & Earth" from Our Father.

This is why atheists are sometimes accused of "serving Satan" (even though they believe in Satan only as much as they believe in God)—because "Satan's strategy" involves revealing 'God's protected knowledge' as "the truth that is hidden by those who desire power-over-us"—turning us against the leaders (who only hide the truth because we can't yet handle it!), making both us and our leaders weaker and -swooping in to conquer the world (if we don't trust our leaders and unite against Satan).

The true sense of the word "Unite" (Unity) is "One; Sameness, Agreement" (Unique).

'One' ... God (this time 'the whole divine complexity') is often described as "Three-in-One—The Trinity (and not the character played by Carrie Anne Moss ... although ... )

The true sense of the word "Trinity" (Tri-nite?) is "Threefold" (the Holy trinity—God the Father, the Son & the holy Spirit).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#Debate: More- or Less-#Ignorant? @ShepherdsChapel @CopelandNetwork @BibleGateway @BibleHub @GotQuestions

Along with their church-broadcast Bible-studies, I also get Shepherd's Chapel's newsletter—to which I subscribed by requesting the CD offered below.

I'm glad to continue studying with Shepherd's Chapel, but the latest newsletter goes against some deep beliefs I have (not 'goes against' like "good vs. evil," but rather is 'a different understanding' ...). 

The subject was "Ignorance." It was my understanding (and maybe still is) that God knows everything, and that–if you need to "know" anything other than that–God will personally 'let you know' (or–as 'the world' understands it–will let you 'find the facts you need').

But the Pastor describes 'the knowledge' as "awareness of God's overall plan and His will," and claims that–if you have this knowledge and yet are not ready to "settle the account"–will be punished far more than those who don't have 'the knowledge.'

The linked parable says nothing about 'settling an account,' but more about "opening the door for the House-Master and not -for the Thief." (Maybe Pastor gets his "settling accounts"-meaning from the ancient Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic.)

... hmm ... I'm not seeing anything about 'settling accounts' (other than maybe "the servants informing the master that the head-servant gave them their food") in that parable, but I'm reminded of another parable (possibly given just-before or just-afterward) that ends with a very similar 'teaching' (he who Has will be given more, but he who Has Not will lose even that which he had before ... similar to 'much will be required from him to whom much was given').

There we see the fate of 'one who is given little' (he returns the little bit, but is thrown into "the Void where there's weeping & wailing & gnashing of teeth" because he didn't invest it & return it with profits-in-interest like the two servants who were given much!)

But–going back to the 'waiting for master to get home'-parable (where the servant who thinks his master "delayeth" 'has a good ol`time' and gets punished hard when the master catches him carousing)–that servant gets punished less if he's "ignorant" of his master's will.

I might start my debate there...

The true sense of the word "Debate" is "Down, Completely (De-) + to Beat (Batter)" (no-wonder people believe the best 'debates' always have 'a winner and a loser,' rather than ending in 'agreement'!)

... but the parable explains what happens 'if the servant follows the master's will';
"Blessed is the servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find 'so doing' (feeding the servants in due season) ... he (the master) will make him (the servant) ruler over all that he (the master) hath."
Reminds me of Jesus' instructions to Simon Peter personally:

"Feed my sheep.... Feed my lambs.... Feed my sheep."
... which Peter naturally coupled with The Great Commission—explaining why people think The Great Commission only applies to 'religion'-discipleship & are ignorant of the way it applies to all forms of discipleship.

The true sense of the word "Ignorant" is "Not, Opposite of (In-) + Aware, Acquainted with (to Know)" (Uncouth, Strange).

But that 'fear of being caught doing "something against Our Father's will"' tells me why my Christian friends are afraid to 'study the gongyo' (memorizing a set of words they don't understand)—the fear that those words might mean something that 'distracts the children-of-God ... turning them away from the destiny God wants for them.'

Also tells me why some people worry about 'UPC codes being "The Mark of the Beast"'

It seems people can't find "peace-of-mind" unless 'everything they see fits snugly into the pattern-of-logic (being brought by a cause, and being destroyed if it has no reason to remain)'—a lack-of-peace that causes some people to become atheists.

This is why I often claim 'agnosticism' (although I am Christian & believe–in Jesus' name–all the beliefs that Christians share ...) and why I think all Christians should also 'hold to that agnosticism'—starting with 'what Jesus told the disciples when they woke Him up when their boat was floating through a dangerous storm' and explaining His command a little further, "Have Faith that God Knows What You're Going-through and -that God Sends You All the Help You Need!"

... That's where it seems like I'm "locking atheists out" ("they don't believe in God, therefore they don't get the stuff God gives us; right?"), which is why I define God differently than most people. 'The image most people (myself included) think of when they hear "God"' is 'the white-bearded overseer in a toga, sending work-orders to the workers on the ground.'

The true God (whether or not the 'overseer' exists) is more like 'the nature within each-and-every object to follow the life-sustaining laws of the universe.'

Saturday, October 21, 2017

#NewRevelation (not "End-Times," but Current- & Eternal-): #Girt in Preparation at Passover @ShepherdsChapel #Gird

I was watching a Shepherd's Chapel lesson from a couple years ago, on the meanings of Passover. Brother Dennis explained that–since the enslaved Hebrews had to be ready to go at a moment's notice–they were instructed to eat that day's meal with unleavened bread (i.e. no waiting for the dough to rise), and were to eat standing up wearing their clothes girt tight as if they were about to go out.

And (partly because Brother Dennis had been 'reminding us of the Old-Testament-to-New-Testament simile'—"Jesus Christ is the lamb whose blood we spread on our houses' front-doorposts to remind the Angel of Death to 'pass over' our house on his way to kill the firstborn of the unprotected houses," etc.) I remembered the Scripture about 'the armor of God's Word.'

... and not "which armor-item symbolizes which tool of the Holy Bible,' but more 'the fact that you need to have it all "on & fastened" so you don't even have to think about it when it's time to go!' ... like when you tie your shoes (though it's been a little while since I last had to tie my shoes)—you tighten them, finish the knot, and they're Girt!

The true sense of the word "Girt" (alternate spelling- or past tense-of Gird) is "to Grasp, Enclose" (to Tighten the Belt & Tuck-in Loose Garments to Free the Body in Preparation for a Task or Journey).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The #Bible: Disciples' Toolbox (an #Instruction #Manual, a Bag of #Seed, #Pruning #Shears, #Source #Directory ...)

My friend tells me that The Holy Bible is 'a manual she has to consult to make sure she's living her life right.' (Well, she might not have mentioned "The Holy Bible" at the time; but we were talking about Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that He's the Son of God who sacrificed Himself for the life of Humanity—something that many learn from The Holy Bible.)

That makes me think of a few things: First (mostly because 'the dissenting voice' in the back of your mind is already making this noise), there's the idea that many 'dissenters' (atheists, believers from 'churches with conflicting views) have: that 'The Bible is a Disciple's Toolbox' full of "tricks to dupe the congregation out of their worldly wealth"; and it might even look that way sometimes ... with the most-popular church-leaders living in the biggest mansions at the highest brackets of their economies*.

(Most church-leaders' excuse there? Jesus Christ Himself said "No loving father would give a stone or a snake to his hungry son if he asked for a piece of bread or a fish." And one of Christianity's 'central tent-pole's is that Our Father is 'the king of the universe'—it's almost impossible to believe that if We His Children aren't living 'posh lifestyles on the dole,' no?

(But then Lord Jesus Christ Himself also said to expect a lot of pain-&-suffering.... either way, 'the size of this side-track' shows you one reason 'dissenters' aren't welcome in the church—the reason-why there's a church (sorta like the reason why I started this blog-post) isn't "to make sure everybody's got their theology right," as much as it is 'to bring the whole congregation together and -one step into the future!')

That brings me to 'the reason-why I started this post'—it's a little-bit 'to make sure everybody's got their theology right,' but more 'to remind you that everybody's theology is right (for that individual person at that minuscule moment).'

'Everybody's theology is right' because The Holy Bible's only rule is very basic—so basic that I can't even accurately describe it ... it would be like telling you 'what a fingerprint is' by describing 'my fingerprint' (it would give you an idea of 'what your own fingerprint is like,' but my fingerprints may have some characteristics that would make you think I'm describing 'something that's not a fingerprint at all!).

The way Lord Jesus Christ put it, the only rule is Love. 'All the other rules' were more like "applications of that rule to all the other interactions in life."

The true sense of the word "Bible" is "Paper, Scroll" (Biblio-).

So The Holy Bible is a manual for life in about the same way 'an algebra-textbook is a manual for unicycle-ing on a tightrope'—the textbook is going to tell you some crucial things about it, but it'll miss a lot of the secrets you'll need to learn!

Still, 'anything Jesus Christ tells His whole church' should be found in The Holy Bible. And one of the most-important things He tells us is 'that the Kingdom of God is a garden—the quality of one's life being a mark of the quality of the Seed planted, our obedience in heeding Instruction, our ability to draw nutrients from many Source (to be used as the Directory indicates), and to know that Father God's Shears cut us up only to Prune us (that our yield of fruits will increase).

The true sense of the word "Manual" is "Hand" (shows you where the true 'hand of God' is, and also explains why a manual is also known as a "handbook).
The true sense of the word "Instruction" is "On + to Pile, Build" (to Spread).
The true sense of the word "Seed" is "to Sow."
The true sense of the word "Directory" (Direct) is "Guide, Book of Rules; Apart + to Move in a Straight Line" (I thought it meant more 'a list of contact-information' than a "how-to reference" ... then again, maybe 'how-to contact the right sources' is all you need to know!)
The true sense of the word "Source" is "Up from Below (Sub-) + to Keep in a straight line" (Rule, Reign).
The true sense of the word "Prune" is uncertain beyond "Cut Back"—maybe "to Round Off," maybe "Layer of a Vine" (Prop).
The true sense of the word "Shears" is "to cut" (also the name of "a Device for Raising the Masts of a Ship").

I want to repeat that we are not "given" the pruning shears, but rather we are told what they do to two kinds of 'branches.' (That passage reminds us that Our Father is the one who uses the pruning shears; and we know  what happens to people who try to do jobs other than the ones assigned!

*Though these leaders & ministers seem to be living posh lifestyles of the rich and famous, 'the lives that most of us see them living' are more like "prison-sentences"—their activities have to be planned far-far-far in advance, and they then (usually) lack the freedom to 'pull out of a scheduled appearance to make another one elsewhere!'

That's why U.S. Presidents don't think anything of it when they 'sit & read a storybook to children' or 'hold a golf-tournament' at the same time as they ought to be 'helping serve hurricane-aid' or 'leading troops on the battlefield.'

Hopeful Faith? Wrong! HopeLESS Faith? Wrong! Right Faith? #Regardless! @CopelandNetwork #Hope #Regard

I prayed that I would get married. Maybe I will one day; but I'm currently 36 years old*, so it most-likely won't be 'the typical courtship-&-wooing marriage.'

Anyway, that fact (that I prayed I'd be married, and that my prayer-request hasn't been "fulfilled" yet) is kind of another form of "sacred cow"-Scripture (misinterpreted Bible-verses that lead to misinterpreted situations & not -to fruitful, abundant "life")

That's another reason I feel encouraged to correct my friends whenever they ask that 'we pray that their wishes are fulfilled or -that sufferers find comfort or -that diseases are cured or -that money is provided or -etc.' ... I'm tempted to flat-out respond, "No! God doesn't 'answer your prayers'; 'your prayers' chime in with his voice (that's been singing since the beginning)!" (i.e. You know "God's will is/was/will-be done," and so you pray to help move yourself to 'the sweet spot'—where you can best serve it & -be served by it.)

... Reminds me that most Christians' 'prayers' ought to be more "meditations" (lament, maybe; praise, definitely) than "requests." That's the way I read "Our Father" (The Lord's Prayer)—as if it's saying "yes, these are the things Our Father is and -does" rather than 'oh gorsh! I sure hope you are- & do these things for us pretty-pretty-pleeeeeeeeeeeeeez!'

My 'prayers' are answered–whether or not I ever pray them, whether or not I ever 'avail myself of their fulfillment'–whether 'the way I want them' or 'a better way' ... ... Regardless!

The true sense of the word "Regard" is "(intensely) Look, Heed" (Guard).
The true sense of the word "Hope" is uncertain beyond "to Trust, Confide, Assume" (maybe connected to "Hop" in terms of "Leaping in Expectation.") 

My faith in 'God' is so strong, I don't even have to watch 'God' to know "the will of 'God'" is done!**

*Interesting Fact: The younger a person marries, the more likely it is that they will get divorced. Of course that's only 'according to statistics,' and statistics are only right 100% of the time (with a 100% margin-of-error); but you can see 'how that's so'—younger people expect more out of marriage-partnership, and elders are more-likely to accept the fact that 'marriage is just getting/being a witness to make sure you/they are as good as you/they say you/they are' (or whatever other reason they call marriage "settling down.")

** At least in that last line (maybe everywhere else too, but the popular meaning needs to be changed); The being I'm talking about when I say 'God' is not "our daddy who sends us gifts from his castle in the clouds" so much as it is 'the "Amen to Life" part-&-parcel with every living being in the Universe.'

Monday, October 16, 2017

Problems with #Faith - The Truth Doesn't Need a #Word of to Give It #Power @CopelandNetwork @POTUS @VP

In a sermon linked from KCM's article about faith-filled words' domination over the world, Brother Kenneth Copeland reminds us how to gain mastery over the forces of reality. But (as the sermon & its attached notes might explain) faith-without-action is dead.

I know you know that, and everybody else does too. Brother Copeland even makes that clear in his 'Six "I"s of Prayer' (six statements every prayer has to at-least imply): I believe. I will. I take it. I have it. I thank you for it. I forgive if I have aught against any.

(That's right; you don't just 'ask for it In Jesus' Name Amen' and wait for a special-delivery, but you go out & do as God commanded with faith that 'the prayed-for thing' will be available when you have the need to go and get it!)

Case in point: The 'moron-in-chief' (a title I still haven't heard the White House staff deny). According to the video below, America has 'lost faith in him' (I hear he never had 'a majority' of our faith, but the video seems to say there's even less now), but we all "have faith" that he is going to continue to do 'the job'—not very well, but sufficiently until Pence & Trump's Cabinet declare him unfit for the office ...

That's the kind of faith I have in God—not 'faith that God's gonna make everything just-the-way-everybody-likes-it,' but 'faith that everything will be the way God wills it to be (whether I- or anybody else-likes it or not).

The true sense of the word "Power" is "to Be Able" (Potent).
The true sense of the word "Word" is "to Speak, Say" (Verb).
The true sense of the word "Faith" is "to Trust, Persuade, Confide" ("Faith is: the being able to cleave to a power of goodness appealing to our higher and real self, not to our lower and apparent self. [Matthew Arnold, "Literature & Dogma," 1873]).

Then today I watched an episode of Concepts of Faith, where Charles Capps' daughter & his wife were talking about 'how words of faith affect your health.' And 'the daughter' (I don't remember if it was Annette or Beverly) remembered how a teacher one day told her that people shouldn't say they "have" a sickness or an injury (e.g. I have had a sprained ankle, I have had a brain-injury, etc.), but rather should say something more like 'this-or-that part of my body is doing something strange.'

And then her mother interjected, "What about those mornings where you wake up & you're not feeling wonderful—with a headache or a stomach-ache?" And the daughter replied with one of those 'I just live by faith & not by sight (or sound or feeling)'-responses.

(Of course you know what she probably actually does—calls-in-sick and rests while thinks shift back into balance ... maybe taking some properly-prescribed drugs and/or drinking more- or less-water to help it.)

But the answer reminds me of an episode of StarTalk, where astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told us that the Earth & Moon are bombarded with 'bajillions' of asteroids/meteors/meteorites every year. Makes me wonder why neither the Earth nor the Moon are shifted out of orbit yet ...

The Capps-daughter also mentioned the Bible's reminder that huge ships are steered by little rudders. I think, "Yeah; but if a huge wave shoves your ship sideways, what're you gonna do?"