Blog Archive

Thursday, January 29, 2015


S: Romans 2:24 "No wonder the Scriptures say, 'The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.'"

O: Hypocrisy, the plague of every Christian's life and the stumbling block that harden's hearts and turns people AWAY from God instead of brining them closer to Him.  This entire chapter Paul rants about the importance of obedience... Why?  His point is that once we claim the salvation of Christ and excitedly start spreading the news of what He did for us... whether we realize it or not we become ambassadors for God.  Those who don't know Him yet or haven't felt His tug on their heart... before they ever discover His word, they look to us and our example to help them understand and define God's nature.  The beautiful words that come from our lips describing the glory and majesty and love of Christ may seem powerful to people at first... but in the long run they mean nothing and look like downright lies if our actions and example are not in harmony with His will and Spirit within us.  What is the point of salvation if we don't allow the Spirit of Christ to truly transform us?

Psalm 50:16-17 
But God says to the wicked:
“Why bother reciting my decrees
and pretending to obey my covenant?
For you refuse my discipline
and treat my words like trash.

A: It is so easy for me to get prideful, self centered, and caught up and focused on the good news of my own salvation and forget that this free gift isn't just for me alone.  The gift Christ gave when he took my sin to the cross with Him is incredible and the joy and excitement it fills me with can be overwhelming at times.  I just want to shout it to everyone I meet...  But what do other's see when I tell them all about this?  Do they see a man after God's own heart living out his faith?  Or do they see some crazy fanatic whose words and actions are completely inconsistent; someone who wear's his faith as a facade to futilely hide the corruption within?  Are my actions consistent with the faith I share with others?  Or has the enemy taken the gift of my salvation and twisted it into something that has become a weapon used AGAINST God?  These are questions I should hold on to and remember in everything I do.  I must seek to allow God to transform my character from the inside out so that my words and actions are a reflection of His nature in me... not a mask used to hide the corruption of my own flesh.

P:  Father God, thank you for the gift of your own Son; your own flesh.  Cut from your own body and cast down to earth as a living sacrifice to pay the price of my failings.  Thank you for my salvation and the peace it brings me to know that my debt, past, present, and future has been paid in full.  I believe completely in the power of what Christ Jesus accomplished on the cross and I can not fathom how much it cost Him to do this for me... let alone the entire world.  I know that every time I ignore or disobey your will... It is like I am there hammering the nails into His hands and feet.  Please don't allow me to become stagnant and let my growth stop at salvation.  Help me to always remember and be aware that you have called me to be your Ambassador.  Please give me the strength and courage to fully commit and sanctify my life to you.  Keep my heart soft and broken for you Lord so that I never stop learning and growing closer to you.  Transform my character from the inside out and in Christ's name cast the enemy out of my life so that I do not become twisted into a weapon that is used against you.  Through the wisdom of your Spirit and my obedience to you... help me to be the best representative of you and your will that I could possibly be.  Help me to be consistent to it in both word and action.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


S: Romans 1:5 (NLT) "Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name."

O: Paul lays out the point and purpose of our faith very clearly.  Faith isn't just about belief.  Your faith and belief isn't true and complete if you do not seek to be obedient to the Spirit of God within you.  Through our love of God and our obedience to His will we are called to bring glory to His name in all we do.  Once we have discovered our salvation in Christ, He instills this core desire and motivation above all else... To bring Him glory and allow Him to share, spread, and increase His light in the world through us.  As He says in the beginning of the verse, the authority given by God that allows us to do this is a privilege.

A: Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do... that is what the Spirit gives us, but integrity is actually DOING it and that is always our choice.  I have always struggled agains my own flesh.  Time and time again I allow my own dreams and desires to compete with my obedience to God.  This breeds inconsistency in my actions and doesn't allow me to live up to my full God given potential.  I need to focus on constantly seeking out the Spirit of God within me, stilling myself and quieting my mind so I can hear Him, listening to the wisdom He has to give me, and following His lead with unquestioning faith regardless of how my flesh tries to rebel.  Because being called into obedience with God's will and accomplishing His work is a PRIVILEGE!

P: Father God, thank you for being you.  Thank you for being unchanging, consistent, dependable, faithful, and good... even when I am a disobedient child.  Thank you for never forsaking me and always following through on your promises.  Thank you for demonstrating to me what integrity really is.  Thank you for loving and caring for me so much that you would teach me and grow my faith in order to bring me ever closer to you.  Please Father, fill me with the love and desire to always seek you out above all else.  Please still my heart and mind so I can hear you clearly.  And please fill me with the strength and will to courageously obey regardless of what my flesh wants.  Being called into obedience to your will is a privilage.  Please help me to always remember that.  Give me better thoughts so my flesh has no power over my actions.  Plant others in my life to help hold me accountable to following the will you reveal to me. And help me transform and develop my own will and discipline to not only seek out your wisdom and guidance, but take action and apply it to my life.

Do you use SOAP?

     I have often said that reading the bible is a daily necessity... as essential as a shower.  In fact that is exactly what it is; a shower for your heart and mind.  I read the bible all the time.  I love to read it just as much as I love to just stand and soak under the soothing stream of hot steamy water in my shower.  Ah, I can just feel it now...

     But how effective at washing away all the dirt and grime of the day is just standing in the shower like that?  Unfortunately not very...  Because every good shower needs a very important ingredient.  Yep, you guessed it: SOAP!

     I would like to to take this time to thank an incredible woman and the love of my life for teaching me about the power of SOAP!  Sure, soaking in steamy hot water is great... and it feels soooo good!  But I never truly understood how powerful and refreshing being so squeaky clean afterwards could be until I discovered SOAP.  At this point you are probably wondering what kind of crazy person spends their entire life up to this point showering without soap.  Rediculous right?!  And you also may be trying to figure out what kind of relevance my showering habits have to do with reading the bible.  Bear with me here... I promise it will all make sense in the end.  

To understand the relevance of this analogy I need to describe what SOAP, as it applies to reading the bible, actually is.  SOAP is actually an acronym that stands for:


Sounds promising right, but how do we apply this acronym?  To do that you need only three things:

1- The Bible
2- A blank notebook
3- Something to write with

     The application of this concept is very very simple and can be done on an individual basis or in groups.  Pick a book in the bible, any book will do.  Read a chapter each day and while you read pick one verse that really stands out and speaks to you.  Highlight that verse and maybe even make a little date annotation off in the margin so you can reference your notebook in the future.  Now whip out your journal, flip to a blank page, write the date up at the top, and begin writing, starting with the first letter of the acronym:

S: Write out the scripture you highlighted word for word.  Don't forget to make note of the Book:Chapter Verse.

O: Now write out a few sentences on your observations about that verse.  What about it stuck out to you?  Within the context and relevance of that particular chapter, why did it capture your attention?

A:  Shift your focus now onto yourself, your life, your habits and behaviors.  Here are some questions to ask yourself as you write about the application of this verse.  How does the wisdom in this verse apply to you?  Does it challenge and/or convict you?  Does it encourage you in some way?  What is it about this verse that makes it powerful and relevant to you?  How would you apply this wisdom to your life?

P:    The final and most important step in this whole process is prayer.  Prayer is the first step towards taking the widom you discovered here and applying it to your life.  Now you have the bar of soap in your hand... time to do some scrubbing!  No short cuts here, think about and write out your prayer and when you are done re-read it and pray it out loud.

If you are doing this in a group bible study, you would take time to read through the chapter together first.  Then go off on your own and spend 10-15 minutes writing your journal entry.  When everyone is complete the group would reconvene and share their verses, observations, and applications of it to generate discussion.  At the very end would be a prayer where each individual would read their prayer aloud.  This way everyone will know how continue praying for each other.

    So what is the point and relevance to all this?  What does SOAP do for you?  Well first and foremost it maximizes the clensing effect of your shower as you read the Word of God.  It fosters the discipline to not just stand under the hot steamy stream of water and read words on a page, but to take some action and do some scrubbing.  It forces you to dig deeper, seek out those hidden difficult places water alone doesn't always reach... where dirt and grime like to collect and hide... like your belly button... or in between your toes.  And it leaves your heart and mind completely refreshed afterwards; dwelling on Spirit filled thoughts.  I guarantee, once you start using it... you'll wonder why you ever tried to shower without it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Power of ME!!!

I would like to start off with a few exerpts from one of Robert Greene's books, "The 48 Laws of Power"

Don't know who Robert Greene is?

He says:

When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,
Never to their Mercy or Gratitude

If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

Learn to Keep People Dependent on You

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

I must say this to begin...  Robert Greene is a genius.  From the perspective of his own atheistc worldview he is absolutely right.  He has looked to the end of his path and knows exactly what he needs to do to get there.  When you make the "no God" choice, in effect, you actually do choose a god, and that god is you.  You become a power unto yourself and that power is the only thing that you can rely on to protect you from all of the other "Yous" out there.  The more power you have, the more protection you have.  All you need to do is look to the powerful elite to realize the truth of this.  They live by this philosophy.  It is the fundamental perspective of the world.

This is also why the God described in the Bible is such a dangerous thing.  It offers a perspective that goes beyond this world and reaches into things eternal.  I would like to quote a poem that was posted the INFJ poetry thread on Personality Cafe.  It encapsulates this view so very well.

By: Bubbleboy

"The ego cannot be denied
It's in our nature to be self-interested
I love you and that brings ME joy
I think of empathy as seeing MYself in another
I help you because you are the child ME who needed help and didn't get it
Maybe I can redeem MY soul that way
I think of high empathy as a generalization of MYself
We are all the same, you're all the child ME
The world is ME
Love is ME
I am

When I read this I felt inspired... and this "in the moment" word vomit was my response:

Let Go of Me
Why do I always seem
To get in the way
Of myself?
Is there truly nothing more in me,
Than my own nature,
To be me?
To see me,
In you,
Through me?
To watch the earth and sun
And moon and stars
As I revolve,
Around myself?
My ego is me.
Do I know no bounds?
Do I take whatever I want?
Can I never deny myself?
Is indulgence in me...
My only choice?
Do I only take
What space
I give myself?
I see that we are all the same,
Because I see you
As me
But how can "we" even be...
If all I see
Is me?
Can I really love you,
If all I see is me,
In you,
Through me?
Who the hell is "you"?
Who the hell is "me"?
I think
I am
Is that all?
I wonder what I would see...
If I...
Let go of me?
God thought...
It was...
It is...
He is...
You are...
I am...
We live
We love
The Never End

Why do I believe?

After my last post I felt the need to elaborate on why I believe in God, and not just some vague agnostic view that "There is a mysterious god thing out there somewhere", but specifically the one true God of the Bible.
Einstein once said:
"The intutive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

My caveat to this:

Empirical rational thought is just a circle,
Always ending up right back where it began
Rejecting faith and feeling
Knowing truly nothing for certain
Because until we unlock all of infinity
There will always be gaps in knowledge

Subjective intuitive feeling is chaotic and formless,
Becoming lost in the infinite cosmic vortex of possibility
Putting faith in anything and everything
But never having a difinitive basis
For discerning what is right and true

In the end and apart, both look down at their hands and find they have nothing.

However, when you embrace both
Circle and chaos
Thought and feeling
Rationale and intuition
Be prepared for an endless spiraling journey into the depths of infinity
Now what about infinity?
Infinity can't be created
What could give birth to it?
More infinity?
Add to it or subtract from it and in the end
You still have infinity
Infinity just is
And it is the book that gives definition to the universe

Every book has an author
In fact, the two are one in the same
Before a book is ever written it exists within the author
And after, if you look hard and deep enough
And choose to see
You can always find the author in the book

You can deny the book if you want
Fear the book
Refuse to read it
Refuse to believe what you read
Only read part of it
Or twist what you read to make it what you want it to be
Instead of what it actually is

Or you can trust it, embrace it, and explore it's depths
Open your intuitive feelings to discovering it's mysteries and possiblilities
Use your rational thought to put the pieces together and discern it's truth
And through both, learn to give the Author the respect and acknowledgement it deserves

The Apostle John once said:
"In the beginning the Book already existed
The Book was with God
And the Book was God
It existed in the beginning with God
And God created everything through it
Nothing that was made
Was created, except through the Book
The Book brought life to everything that was created
And through the Book's life
He brought the light to everyone
The light forever shines in the darkness
And the darkness can never extinguish it"

All that said... I have a humble request

To the scientists, mathematicians, and students of the empirical universe
If you don't think Infinity exists
Please take it out of your equations

To the spiritualists, religious leaders, and practitioners of faith
Read the Book, the whole Book, and nothing but the Book
Please stop twisting its words, adding things that don't fit, or rejecting things that do

And to everyone
The Book is what allowed this universe to even be
You will know it when you read it because it stands on it's own
It connects and makes sense of all things and leads the way back to it's Author
It is infinite and gives birth to light
Which encompasses life, love, hope, faith, knowledge, and understanding

When you break everything down to it's core
I think there are only two paths to follow
And three choices to make
The first choice is to sit down in the middle of the path
And refuse to go either direction
At the end of all things
This person will discover that they have gone no where
And gained nothing
Or you can choose to get up and move
It then becomes a choice of which direction

One direction leads to infinite light
The other leads to the dark void of nothing
The void seeks death and an end to all things
In that sense it tries to overcome infinity
By draining it of it's infiniteness
Trying to convince life that infinity is less than it is
Infecting life with fear of the terrifying and overwhelming majesty of it
And attempting to divert life down a path
That leads to the devouring jaws of the void
But it can never overcome it
Infinity enters into the void
And casts it out
And all who seek and pursue it
Filling the void with itself
Because as I have already said
Subtract from infinity and at the end of all things
You still have infinity

So choose your path
Put your complete faith and trust in that choice
Serve your choice and live it
But every step of the way
Or every second you sit
Never stop asking
Am I going the right direction?
Have I made the right decision?
And look to the end of the path you have chosen for the answer.
So why do I believe what I do?
Because I know who I am
And what I am not
I can not look at this universe and deny
That Infinity exists
I also know that no matter how long I walk towards it
I will never ever reach it
On my own
My God calls Himself "I Am"
Because He is the all encompassing infinite God.
And He is the ONLY one
That reached out and stepped down from His infinite throne
Became me
Lived a human life of complete integrity to His own infinite will
Sacrificed Himself for me
Walked freely into the jaws of the void
And conquered it.
All because He wants me
The infinite God of the universe
Who has need of absolutely nothing
Puts such value on my own life
That He would give up His own
In order to bridge the gap
That I know I could never cross
And bring me the rest of the way home
Infinity has reached across the great void and taken hold of my heart.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The 3 Answers: Does God exist?

     This question has been the bane of philosophers, scientists, and theologians alike since the dawn of time.  Descartes tried to prove the existence of God by playing the absolute cynic in his proof:  "I think therefore I am".  Unfortunately when he tried to go much further beyond that he got caught in a line of circular reasoning which ended up proving nothing in the end but the certainty of his own existence.  In this post I will not attempt to undeniably prove the existence of God one way or another.  My only hope is to successfully break down, analyze, and present the logic behind the possible answers to this question... From the perspective of my own worldview of course.  In the end, the choice of what to believe is always yours.

     When faced with this question most people see it as two choices between yes or no.  There is however, a third response that is actually the default or null position which is: "I have no flipping clue".  So thus we have 3 potential responses to choose from:

Atheism: The "no" position originating from the Greek word "Aethos" which means "without god(s)".  I apologize if I offend anyone at "The Atheist Experience" by this statement, but logically Atheism isn't really the "null state" as some of you have claimed.  By the definition of the word alone, this "no god(s)" response implies the very same kind of conviction that any religious fundamentalist might claim when they say they "know without any doubt that their god(s) exist".  Both responses beg the question: "Oh yeah?  Well prove it!"

Agnosticism: The true logical null state that says "I just don't know".  This originates from the Greek word "Agnosis" which means "without knowledge".  This can range from "I believe that there is some sort of god but I just don't know what kind of god he/she/it is" to "I have no idea one way or the other whether a god or gods exist" or even "Ya know... I really don't care..."

Theism:  The "yes" position which opens up the door to so many more possibilities and "isms": Monotheism, polytheism, pantheism, deism...  The realm of possibility is only limited by human imagination and its perception of the unseen things that may exist beyond the physical world.  Once you say "yes" it becomes an incredibly convoluted and confusing mess of religions to sort through.  It is absolutely no surprise to me when apathy sets in for most people and they just flip back to the default "null" position.

    So how do we sort through this mess?  Lets assume for simplicity sake that one single god/creator of this universe does exist.  To give this universe the consistency it needs to function, wouldn't he/she/it need to be absolute, infinite, eternal, unchanging, and unwavering with respect to an evolving, and ever changing physical universe?  With a universe that is in a constant state of flux wouldn't there need to be a firm and resolute set of rules to lay the foundation for any amount of order to form out of that flux? If there wasn't one and this entity wasn't all of those things, what would that mean for the fundamental laws and structure on which such a universe would be built?  What if there were multiple entities vying for control?  Would consistency even be possible if there wasn't one infinite and absolute author of these laws?  Likewise, if an infinite and eternal entity did exist, would it even be possible for it exist or "fully" manifest itself to finite beings within the scope of a transient universe?  So many confusing questions!  My own personal opinion would point to a definite no on that last one.  Not to say it wouldn't be able manifest at all, it just wouldn't be able to "fully" manifest and demonstrate what infinity means to the satisfaction of our tiny little finite minds.  And without being able to observe infinity with our own eyes, any such partial manifestation would always beg the question: "How do I know that was really the infinte God of the universe?"  So I ask:  How can science (which aims at observing, understanding, and defining the nature of our physical universe) observe, understand, and define something that exists outside the context of this universe as well as outside the capacity of our finite minds?  I believe the truth of the matter is that, within the confines of science and the scientific method, you will never be able to definitively prove it.  Therefore to swallow this pill you need a little of something that science won't be able to give you, ie: faith; because in a universe where one infinite God does exist, science is a never-ending chase down the rabbit hole of infinity... which is why we get mad scientists... who conjur up crazy weird and fascinating theories... about things like strings... and then get mad when they try to empirically prove it.

    Now lets examine the alternate view and assume there is no creator god.  As science observes, interprets, and defines the nature of our universe we hypothesize, theorize, and continually revise as more and more is uncovered and discovered.  (Sorry, I wasn't trying to sound like Dr. Seuss there... it just sort of happened)  However, just because science discovers some new rule that governs the mechanics of our world, does that mean this specific mechanism only popped into existence once it was discovered?  I say no.  For example: the mechanics behind gravity functioned consistently before and after Issac Newton irregardless of humanity's ability to accurately define it.  Which we still haven't really done by the way because we really have no idea how it works...  But at least we recognized it and point to it and say, "Hey look!  Gravity exists!"  Humans observed the consistent results and effects of gravity long before the apple fell on Newton's head.  They just ignored it and didn't really understand the significance of what they were seeing or how it connected to the bigger picture. (sounds kind of familiar *frustrated*)

SO! Therefore, I put forth this statement:  Nothing can exist in the physical universe without some sort of consistent mechanism in place to bring forth its existence.  Accept, reject, or challenge that statement as you will.  Here is one simplistic example: A house does not build itself.  You need an architect, you need a blueprint, you need materials, you need construction workers to assemble it, and maybe a supervisor to interpret the design and bark orders.  I believe it is a fundamental constant of this universe that things DO NOT spontaneously generate without a cause; even when it seems they do because we as imperfect humans could not observe the mechanism that caused its generation.  When the apple fell on Newton's head he didn't think to himself, "That was completely random and spontaneous!"...  He thought, "I wonder why that happened?" and began searching for an answer.  I believe anything that we observe can be traced back to a definable mechanism that exists behind its generation.  I also believe it is this precept which allows for science to even exist in the first place.  Otherwise nothing would make any sense and we would just be standing around all the time scratching our heads wondering how the heck THAT just randomly happened. (Which typically happens anyway in science until some genius has an epiphany and makes a connection to the bigger picture)

     In a universe where even the slightest possibility of spontaneous generation is possible then anything is possible.  There are no rules or solid foundation, and nothing is truly constant or consistent because even the so called laws in such a universe would be subject to the possibility of being spontaneously rewritten.  It is the epitome of human ego and delusion to infer that just because no human has been able to discover or observe or pinpoint the exact mechanism behind something, then that must mean there is not any mechanism at all.  Call it "magic" or "illusory" or "spontaneous" if you will but that does not change the fact that there is most likely a cause that you are missing.  Until sufficient evidence is found to define that mechanism we are stuck in the null state of "Something caused that...I just haven't the slightest clue what".  It is the nature of cause and effect and you can not escape or deny it.

     But wait! ...some of you may say.  If you say nothing is spontaneous and everything has a cause, when you trace every cause back to one root cause and find an infinite god... well, what then caused god?  Was this god spontaneously created?  Wouldn't that make your whole house of cards tumble down?  My response to that is STOP TRYING TO MAKE INFINITY FINITE!  Seriously!  How do you cause or create infinity?  What can give birth to infinity?  More infinity?!  Add to infinity or subtract from it and when you are done... YOU STILL HAVE INFINITY!  Infinity just is. Try and wrap your finite mind around that one... every time I do I get a headache.  I also find it just a tad ironic that the concept of infinity exists everywhere in math and science but many refuse to make the connection between it and the infinite God in Bible who calls himself, "I Am".  If you think infinity doesn't exist then please take it out of your equations.

     The evidence that underlying mechanisms and constants such as gravity are observable, consistent, and definable gives sufficient proof (for me at least) that there is an underlying blueprint which defines all of the aspects within which this universe functions.  If there wasn't such a blueprint then I believe our universe would be inconsistent, incoherent, chaotic and virtually impossible for life to even exist in.  So the existence of an underlying blueprint begs the question: Where did this blueprint originate from?  Can you have a design without a designer?  Can you have a book without an author?  Can you have a law without a...well lets just forget about that example.  We really don't need to get into law or politics here yet.  Lets say for simplicity sake that there is an underlying blueprint that governs the dynamics of our universe but that it just spontaneously sprung into existence.  How could that blueprint have any consistency or constant form.  If it spontaneously popped into existence, couldn't it also spontaneously change and rewrite itself, thus changing the underlying foundation and fabric of our universe?  Introduce even the slightest possibility of causeless spontaneous generation into an ordered and structured universe and the entire foundation of it breaks down.  When an author writes a book... I think it is a fallacy to consider them as two seperate entities.  The author pours him or her self into the book.  The book is in the author and the author is in the book.  Another spot of irony here is that science seeks to read and interpret this book or blueprint but refuses to acknowledge the aspect of the infinite God in the Bible called Christ, who is the Word of God.  Seriously... it is the blueprint, the word, the law, whatever you want to call it which points us right too Him.  My buddy John lays it out there quite nicely.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  Pretty simple... makes a ton of logical sense to me... but I really can't empirically prove it.  Sorry.  The blueprint... the Creator... all the same thing can't have one without the other.  So how can we study this blueprint but deny one even exists?

      Unfortunately, like I said, none of those questions can be sufficiently and empirically proven beyond any shadow of a doubt one way or another when applying them to a possible infinite creator. One that cannot be defined within the context of our physical universe which we attempt to observe with our five senses.  Why?  Because physical sensing isn't the only means we have with which to interpret and observe the universe.  With something like a book we can point to the author and say "Look!  There she is!"...but wait... how do we know she wrote the book?  She could be lying.  Unless we were hovering over her shoulder and watching as she transcribed it how could we empirically prove she wrote it?  We may be able to find witnesses to testify to it but how do we know they aren't lying too?  In a universe where pure causeless spontaneousness is supposedly possible, how do we know the book didn't spontaneously write itself?  How can I even read the book without it spontaneously re-writing itself in my hands?  When does the burden of evidence become proof?  And therein lies the crux, because for ANY decision you make, you must to rely on some small amount of faith to prove what you believe.  You can present the best case possible for your belief whatever it may be, but in the end you can't force it on anyone because to get there yourself you had to take a little leap of faith.  And faith is a personal choice that no one else can make for you.

     Now the only question you need to ask in this case of "Athe" vs "The" is which is the easier pill to swallow?  Is it easier to have faith that consistency is an illusion, a grand design or blueprint doesn't exist, and therefore neither does the designer?  Or is it more logical to have faith that the observations of science can be consistent and are not illusory, that the very existence of science and its ability to do what it does points to a grand design, and that such a design would by nature require a designer?


*cricket cricket

What are you looking at me for?  I know what I believe.  That is a decision only you can make for yourself.

     But wait... we forgot about the third choice?  The null state!  In computer programing a null value is neither a 1 or a 0 it is simply a void of nothingness absent of any knowledge or information... Which, when I really contemplate the concept of nothingness, it seems just about as incomprehensible to my finite mind as the concept of infinity.  "Nothing" is a paradox because isn't nothing really something but if it's something how can it then be nothing... I really don't get the concept, just like I don't get how someone can be content to wallow in "I just don't know" when the answers are out there.  The decision not to make a decision is still a decision.  To me the null state is the lazy and/or fearful mind's scapegoat.

    So those are the three answers and the three choices broken down to their core... at least the core that my own imperfect and finite mind sees.  I think both sides of the argument will agree that when you travel down the path that leads to a Godless universe you will find absolutely Nothing exists at the end of it.  Meditate on the multiple meanings of that one for a while. *wink wink

To the Atheist I say:  Have fun frolicking in a universe of illusion defined by chaos, where nothing is constant, and where in any instant, anything could happen... or nothing.  Good luck trying to read the blueprint that doesn't exist or could re-write itself in any instant.  Let's all hope and pray to Nothing that the Earth doesn't spontaneously implode for no apparent reason tomorrow.  In all seriousness though, I salute you for your faith.  It is much greater than my own.  I just would not be able to stomach the pill you swallow.

To the Agnostic:  Get your mind up off the couch, read something, talk to someone, search for the answers that are out there, and make a decision already!  Are you a 1 or a 0?  Quit wallowing in indecisiveness and fear of faith.  Because nothing but Nothing exists for you in your current state!

To the Theist:  I ask this one question... Why do you believe what you do?  How do you know it is true?  It's a complicated question, I know... good luck figuring it out and PLEASE for the love of WHATEVER you believe in... STOP trying to kill each other over it!

Lastly, to answer my earlier question as to how we sort through the mess and undeniably determine the answer to this question one way or another.  I have already said it once or twice but I'll say it again just to be clear.  Regardless of the choice you make the "how we prove it" is the same in both instances...

Drum roll please!....

FAITH can only ever prove it to yourself.

A preview of my next post and few final thoughts to chew on...

Einstein once said:
"The intiuitve mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

I would like to expand upon that a bit...

Empirical rational thought alone is just a circle,
Always ending up right where it began
Because known or unknown, there are always flaws and gaps in knowledge.

Subjective intuitive feeling alone is chaotic and formless,
One becomes lost in the cosmic vortex of possibility
And has no definitive basis to use in order to discern what is true.

However, when you embrace both..
Be prepared for an endless spiraling journey into the depths of Infinity.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Twin Lies of The Serpent

      I would like to open this post by talking briefly about the "New Age" movement I'm sure many are familiar with.  The one thing to note about the "new age" movement is that there is absolutely nothing "new" about it.  Its ideology has been prevalent in many cultures throughout the ages but has gained much more visibility and popularity with the dawn of the information age...and of course the drug induced stuppor of the 60's and 70's (which has not gone away).  On the surface it doesn't "seem" to be one unified faith or belief system least not yet.  However its core elements and philosophies can be found across a wide array of religions, movements, ideologies, and political agendas.  At its heart however you will find a common interlocking theme that can be traced back to Luciferian Theosophy which pits itself in direct opposition to the one true God and Creator.  The origin of these ideas can be traced back to the story of Eden and the twin lies told by the serpent.

Gen 3:1-5
     The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

      Lets examine what the serpent is implying here:
1- You won't die
    God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the tree of knowledge they would die.  The serpent claimed the opposite.  Lo and behold when they ate the fruit they did not fall dead on the spot as they probably expected and just like the serpent said, their eyes were opened.  So it would seem at the time that the serpent was right and God was lying.  Unfortunately that was not the case.  Through eating the fruit, Adam and Eve's eyes were opened to the nature of good and evil, and therefore sin.  But why would such knowledge be such a bad thing and how could it cause them to die?  Well to understand this let us first examine and define sin and then look at the original state in which God created man and woman.

     What is sin?  Sin is defined as "An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law".  So who defines divine law?  Well the answer should be obvious; an all powerful, all perfect creator of course.  So sin in essence is any act that that goes against the will and perfect nature of God.  Just as there are fundamental constants like gravity in the physical universe so are there fundamental moral constants of right and wrong.  Gravity is not a subjective thing and has absolutely no care or concern for my own desire or intent.  No matter how much I want to fly... I know that every time I try to jump from a cliff or a building... the same thing happens.  Sure... I can do things to control the descent, but I always eventually hit the ground.  Both the physical laws and constants of this universe as well as the moral ones come from God alone and they are unwavering and unchanging.  In fact they must be for there to be any sort of consistency and stability for the formation of life.  For us the only difference between the physical laws of this world and the moral ones is the power of choice.  On the moral front, we can choose to disobey.  Just like the law governing gravity, we just have to be prepared to face the consequences when we do.  But oh how I wish I could disobey gravity HA!

    What about the original state of the first humans? Let's take a look at these two passages:

Just after God creates man and woman:
Gen 2:25
     25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

After they eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge:
Gen 3:8-10
     When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

   Adam and Eve's nakedness is used here to highlight their ignorance of right and wrong.  These passages imply that before the fall, man and woman were pure, innocent, and completely ignorant of the nature of good and evil.  They also walked regularly with God in His garden and knew only love and fellowship with Him.  For them life was very simple and easy.  God only had one commandment for them to follow and thus they only had one possible way for them to sin:

Gen 2:15-17
15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die"

     Eat what you will but DON'T TOUCH THIS ONE TREE!  Disobeying that command from God was the very first act that went against His will.  It was the very first sin and unfortunately it was also the catalyst that opened the eyes of humanity to a multitude of new possibilities and potential ways to go against God's will.  Unlike the physical laws of our universe which hold true whether we are ignorant of them or not; when you are truly ignorant of a moral law how can you be held accountable or be punished for it?  To be clear I'm not talking willful ignorance here, I'm talking about being completely oblivious and ignorant to the fact that a particular moral law exists.  Once your eyes are opened to it you then become bound by it and completely accountable for the choices you make within the framework of that knowledge.  This is exactly what happened to humanity once they ate of the fruit of knowledge.  Adam and Eve's lives became SO much more complicated in that instant.  Ignorance is no longer an excuse for anyone.

     In the previous passage where Adam and Eve hid from God, we also see the first sign of fear, and rightly so.  Where as before the had known and only experienced love with Him, they had now just betrayed and defied their all powerful Creator.  They also fundamentally understood just how far removed they were from their infinite and perfect Creator as well as how complicated and difficult their lives had just become with the revelation of this knowledge.  The entirety and infinite scope of God's will is an impossible thing for a finite being to fully comprehend.  And the potential of making a mistake and disappointing such an all powerful God is absolutely terrifying.  He could snuff them out with just a thought or a snap of His fingers and start over from scratch.  This introduction of fear and the battle that ensues in the hearts of humans between fear and love is a very complex thing though that I will possibly explore in future posts.

Now let's look at God's response to this act of defiance: qa

Gen 3:22-23
22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.

     No more fellowship with God in His garden and no more access to the tree of eternal life.  Hence humanity is now subject to death and eternal separation from God all thanks to the knowledge that the serpent enticed Eve with.  But why such a harsh punishment for such a seemingly small act of disobedience?
     Let's examine this by exploring the nature of God.  Could an all powerful and all perfect creator accept disobedience to His word and the law of His will?  Now remember the very nature, existence, and will of such a Creator would define the fabric of this universe as well as what is considered good and evil.

John 1:1-5 
In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

   What implications would it have if God went against his own word?  How can He go against His word without going against Himself?  As a result of His infinite and absolute nature, to accept and excuse any sin would be a contradiction and a denial of Himself.  It is an impossible paradox because how can God deny Himself?  Or is it... Consider Jesus Christ and his life, death, and ressurection.  But I am getting WAY ahead of myself here... back to Eden.  What we are talking about here is perfect and unwavering integrity of a God who's very nature defines what is good and evil.  I'm sorry but it is sad to say that almost good enough isn't good enough if you look at things through God's perspective.  God doesn't grade sin on a scale, we humans created that scale to make ourselves feel a better about the little slip ups.  We can always point to someone else and say, "Well at least I'm not THAT bad!"  But in God's eyes and through the lens of His perfect integrity, the person who tells a little white lie is no different than a serial killer.  There is no exception to an absolute moral law.

     A friend of mine once told me a very apt analogy:  Heaven and fellowship with God is like being in a clean room and sin is the virus.  Not even the slightest trace of the virus can be allowed in the clean room lest it infect and corrupt everyone in it.  Therefore to enter the clean room you must first be disinfected and cured completely of the virus.

Now in contrast, what is the Luciferian ideology that was born from the serpent's lies?  How does it all relate to the "new age agenda"?
1- You will not die.
     God says you will be eternally separated from me and by extension, eternal life, and therefore will be subject to death because of your sin.
     Lucifer says you won't die because there is no sin because God is not absolute or doesn't even exist in the first place.
2-  You will be like God.
     God says by his very name, Yahweh, that "I Am".  He is the beginning and the end of all things.  He is absolute and no one can be Him but Him.  Could you even imagine multiple all powerful gods or creators within one universe?  Could you imagine the chaos and confusion that would ensue from having just two gods with different wills and different ideas of right and wrong?  How could a universe like that even have any sort of consistency?  One day gravity would go up... the next sideways.  One day the sun would set in the west and the next it would rise in the north...  I don't think I would want to live in a universe like that.
     Lucifer on the other hand, by the very claim of being able to be "like God" contradicts his first statement which in essence is a denial of God and His absolute power.  Yet he boldly claims and implies in this statement that by eating from the tree of knowledge, humans can achieve godhood by their own power.  Now could you imagine a universe with 7 billion different gods?  

There is also a hidden and implied third lie here, that God was oppressing us and holding us back.  However, there will be more on this in just a minute.

    Lucifer is probably sitting back and laughing as he watches us take those words and run with them.  He's rolling on the floor clutching his stomach as he watches us scramble all over each other vying for more power and the hope of becoming "The One".  And herein lies the great deception.  He never said we could become God... he just said we would have knowledge of good and evil like God.  He never said anything about our limited and finite minds being able to handle that knowledge with the perfect integrity of an infinite God.  He knew we wouldn't drop dead instantly from eating the fruit of that knowledge but he also knew that our inability to handle that knowledge with perfect integrity would cause us to be eternally separated from the one true, absolute, infinite, and perfect God.  Lucifer was referring to physical death but when God said you would die, He was referring to eternal spiritual death that would result.

    This is the core of the Luciferian ideology.  To those who follow it, they believe Lucifer was an angel of light who freed humanity from an unjust and oppressive God who was holding us back from our true godlike potential.  They believe that God, His will, and His law is irrelevant and unnecessary.  They diminish the power and even the existence of God and instead lift up and glorify human power and achievement.  They seek to claim what they believe is humanity's destiny to become gods themselves.  The evidence for this can be found in the writings of Helena Blavatsky who was the founder of the Theosophical Society.  Helena writes:

"One of the most hidden secrets involves the so-called fall of Angels. Satan and his rebellious host will thus prove to have become the direct Saviors and Creators of divine man. Thus Satan, once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious spirit of the church, grows into the grandiose image. It is Satan who is the God of our planet and the only God. Satan (or Lucifer) represents the Centrifugal Energy of the Universe, this ever-living symbol of self-sacrifice for the intellectual independence of humanity. "---- H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine  Pages 215, 216, 220, 245, 255, 533

     Don't believe this luciferian philosophy actually exists?  Watch this video.

     So tell me, where else do you see these themes in our world?  Where can you find the denial of moral law and the excuse of sin?  Where can you find the glorification of human power and intellect?  Where can you find an ideology that centers around human ascension, godhood, or even sainthood?  How about human works?  Or the philosophy that God's only purpose is to give me anything and everything I ever wanted... and if He isn't... then I just don't have enough faith?  That last one is called prosperity Christianity my friends.  Whether you realize it or not, the lies of Luciferian Theosophy can be found EVERYWHERE.  These concepts live at the very heart and core of this world.  It is so ingrained the very substance of our being that it now feels completely natural.  The words and teachings of Jesus Christ seem so alien, unnatural, and sometimes downright crazy when viewed from the context of this world.  For example:

Luke 9:23-24
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

    So to be saved I must crucify myself?!?  Why?  Because the pursuit of "self" alone has but one goal and aim and one inevitable result; continuous conflict with all of the other "selves" out there vying for more power, more control, more <insert any worldly thing here>.  The famous quote:  In fact with the birth of the twin lies from the serpent and the revealing of all the knowledge of good and evil we also see the birth of what Darwin discovered with the mentality of "survival of the fittest".  Those lies and the corruption of sin changed the very natural order of this world.  When you pursue and glorify yourself above all else, that leaves no room for God to enter in and fill you with His Spirit, His will, and His intent.  This is the lie of the instinct of survival and the "one life to live" mentality that so many hold to: when you pursue this one physical life above all else you reject the hope and possibility of an eternal one.  That is why Jesus and His disciples always preached that we, as followers of His way, live in this world but are not "of" it:

John 15:19
19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

    For most, myself included, the concept of complete surrender of "self" and to let go of the instinct of survival is terrifying.  In fact the very core of my being screams against it, especially after reading something like that last verse.  We find it hard to trust such a great, powerful, terrifying, and mysterious God.  What reassurance do we have of God's intentions?  This is just one verse but there are many many more and as you go through the bible you will find that the entirety of it is a story about how God continually works for the greater good, through the lives of those who love Him.

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

    Under Luciferian Theosophy, they would have you believe that Lucifer opened the door for human achievement and growth.  But did he really?  And does that mean human achievement is bad?  The truth of the matter is really that human achievement is also a lie and fallacy.

Hebrews 11:3
"By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." 
John 1:1-3
"In the beginning there was the Word.  The word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

Ecclesiastes 1:9 
"History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new."

    God is the creator and origin of all things.  He is the source from which any sort of achievement is even possible in the first place.  So in essence when we glorify our self and our achievements we are forgetting who made it possible in the first place.  It also opens the door to pursue our own will and step outside God's will when we seeking to achieve something.  An example of this being the creation of powerful weapons of destruction like the atom bomb.  Every time we pursue achievement for the sake of ourselves and the sake of achievement it is kind of like disobeying Him and eating the fruit that He told us not to eat.  Why is it such a bad thing though?  Because God is God.  He is our Father and He said to trust Him...and also:

Ecclesiastes 3:1
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens"
     If only we would just have a little faith, trust, and patience to wait for God's purpose and plan to be slowly revealed.

Isaiah 40:31

31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

     So all of this begs the question was God truly holding us back from knowledge, power, and godhood?  Or was He acting as any good parent would, protecting us from knowing too much too soon?  Given the chance would He have nurtured and mentored us and slowly revealed His mysteries to us over time as we grew and matured as the children of His creation made in His image?  Was it really Lucifer who provided the potential for "enlightenment" in the first place?  He didn't plant the tree of knowledge or the tree of life in the garden, God did.  God withheld nothing from us.  He gave us complete access to it as well as the freedom to choose for ourselves.  He also gave us the truth and warning about what would happen if we went against His will and sought it out on our own.

     When viewed from this perspective, the Luciferian claims have absolutely NO validity and the lies of the serpent look to me like the most disgusting corruption imagninable; exposing us to things that we were not meant for yet.  Lucifer no longer becomes an angel of illumination and enlightenment, he becomes a destroyer and corrupter of all that was once good and pure.  After all, would you teach your 2 year old son or daughter all about sex, violence, guns, drugs or any other number of "adult" topics because it existed and you could and you didn't want to hold back his or her development?  How could a 2 year old mind even contemplate such things and handle them with any amount of responsibility or integrity?

      Lastly, lets examine God's original intent and purpose for us, which is revealed just after he creates man and woman:

Gen 1:28
28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

     What sort of thoughts come to mind when you think of the words "govern" and "reign"?  Does your mind flash to examples of corrupt dictators, oppressors, and authoritarian rulers from humanity's past?  Rulers who take from lesser people just to line their own pockets with gold.  Is this not the example governance we have set through out history?  What do you think an all perfect, all powerful, all loving God intends by those words?  I believe that to govern and reign over something means to serve and protect it.  How do you think we have lived up to that blessing and purpose given to us by God?  What have we done with the knowledge and power that was revealed to us through the serpent's tempting of Eve?  I think the wars and strife throughout human history as well as the decimation of ourselves and the planet on which we live are enough of a testament to answer that question.  But that is just my own personal opinion.  I leave you to make up you own mind.  The fact and the truth of the matter is that God never indended us to be subject and slaves to death and all of the trials, tribulations, and suffering that comes along with it.  He intended and still intends us to walk close with Him in love and fellowship for all of eternity.

     I encourage you to never take anything at face value with out your own in depth examination.  Ask the hard questions and search for the answers.  And as you search for the truth you will become more aware of the various agendas that pull and tug our lives in so many different directions.  Hopefully along the way you choose to explore God's word with an open mind and, as you do, I believe you will see an amazing story revealed to you.  It is a story of a Father's love for His children as well as the great and amazing lengths He goes through in order to pave and light the way through the dark of this world and back to our home with Him.

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