The Balance of the Bible

20130507-233352.jpgAlthough I’m not a bible scholar, seminary graduate or the product of a nice Christian up-bringing, I have been identified as a Christian for going on 13 years. Not that time spent has a great deal of weight on what someone can know or the quality of their life, but it could, and in my case it does.

There are a list of trials both self inflicted and experienced that have led me further down this road that the Bible would classify as “narrow”, for those that find it. And at each fork in the road I have had to dig in, hold on tight and continually admit that I don’t know a whole lot about God or how He works. A process I’m sure will continue for the remainder of my time here [on earth].

Amidst so many of these experiences I have drawn closer to the Gospel[s] of Jesus Christ, Psalms and Proverbs and loosened my grip on the Epistles, which honestly used to be my Gospel. The past few years specifically have made me cling to the voice of Holy Spirit and the reflection of who Jesus was/is, how he interacted with humanity, and what seemed to be most important to Him as He interacted with His craftsmanship. A majority of the verses that we use against other humans are A. removed from their contextual home in order to support someones opinion or B. not from the words of Jesus specifically.

When Jesus spares a woman caught in adultery, we would rather respond w/ words from Paul about sexual purity and its guilt stricken place in the Christian faith. What we have learned as Christians is that when someone else commits a wrong we are to “correct” them in “love” as Paul commands, but when it is us we shout from the rooftops for our accusers to take the plank of wood out of their eye. In other words, we want to feel holy by making sure that someone else knowns they screwed up and that they must seek repentance, but when we are the ones wearing those shoes we want everyone to take the time to examine their own hearts and lives before saying anything about ours.

This not only seems kinda dumb, but it is the reason that a lot of people get hurt in the world and business of church. There is no room for honesty, freedom, submission or obedience in the Church because we are all too busy bull-shittin about how someone else has decided to live their life. If, and only if we are able to talk about real things in the church and make it more about regeneration than outreach will we see a revival of hungry hearts not just fare-weather fans!

Here are some things that Jesus talked about that we don’t [especially to the youth] like to discuss because most of us probably don’t agree 100% on these topics.
Demons
Prayer as a continual conversation with God
Grace
Drinking
Spending time with people who do bad things
Endless forgiveness
Joy
and others

I am praying for a paradigm shift where honesty out weighs a congregations perception of a pastor; if I had to guess, Jesus wasn’t very concerned with how people perceived Him because He knew that His integrity was more dense than the flash of someone else’s word[s].

Remember that Jesus said, “… on earth as it is in heaven.” He said, “go out into all the world [the places that you are called or have great passion for] and baptize people in my name through Holy Spirit and water.”

Bring heaven here.
Get out of your church.
Love well.
Don’t be an asshole to people that you don’t understand.
Be honest with kids [10 and up]. If they don’t learn about it from you they will learn about it from someone.
Get pissed if the situation calls for a righteous display of justice

As a bible-believing man, I believe that there is balance in the scriptures, in our churches and our hearts, but it is up to you [me] to listen to Holy Spirit, weigh motives and truly act like Jesus did; because when we do that, people want what Jesus is offering.

Thanks for reading!
If you think I’m way off please feel free to let me know; I’m always up for the conversation.

DG

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Happy Holidays? Really?

Yo!

Happy Holidays?  Really?  What a stupid phrase!  Is that what we care about?  Are we really interested in every living person we come in contact with having a happy holiday?  God, I hope not.  I think this is a two point argument for me.

1.        This is the exact dilution of faith in this country that I can’t help but believe has led to some of this country’s greatest downfalls and tragedies.  Whatever you do, don’t pray in “public institutions”.  What another crap phrase but I digress.  Definitely don’t use the Bible as a moniker of honesty or truth.  Please, for the comfort of the minority do not mention God in a classroom, courtroom or war room.  If you graduated at the top of the class and want to credit you Father in your speech, well then we’ll just go ahead and hold on to your diploma.  What are we doing!  The unabashed dismantling of the ability to  show outwardly our faith or speak “freely” when it comes to only the Christian religion is horrific and all too easily swallowed by the Christian masses.  You know what kids, tell them to keep your diploma.  In fact tell them to go ahead and redistribute it among the kids who didn’t do what it took to graduate or have success.  Take a stand, go get your GED and move on.  If I ever go to court, which given my attitude is all too likely, I think I would have to wear a shirt with the 10 commandments on it.  Ridiculous.  Maybe this seems unrelated but I assure you it is not.  It boils down to “political correctness”, perhaps the most crap phrase in the modern world.  Our HR departments, diplomats and everybody else in our lives with a particular penchant to please have managed to take Christ out of Christmas.  Are we really afraid of offending somebody by wishing them a merry CHRISTmas?  If you are, put on your big boy/girl pants and say what you mean, what you believe.  Hopefully you WILL offend someone and earn the opportunity to share the gospel.  That would be wild wouldn’t it…

2.        The last thing I want is for everyone to have a happy holidays.  Sounds cruel I know.  Maybe it is but here’s my point.  What I actually want is for every Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s witness, Buddhist, Taoist, non-believer etc. to have a tumultuous Christmas.  I want them to grapple with truth, wrestle with God and spar with The Spirit (see what I did there ;)).  I don’t wish them unhappiness.  I don’t wish anyone unhappiness but I want the harsh reality that Christmas (and Easter) celebrate exactly what is different about Christianity to cause pause.  Our God became flesh on Christmas and died to rise again on Easter.  It is the great point of separation.  Jews choose not to deal with the reality of Jesus.  Muslims deified some other dude and most of the rest of the major world religions don’t even have a defined picture of a god nor a defined path to salvation.  For those that don’t know Jesus, I pray that you come to find Him.  For those that hear this as “hate speech” you’ve missed the point.  We should be doing everything we can to be true to our faith and to share it with those around us.  If you really want everyone to have a happy holiday, maybe try wishing them a Merry Christmas.