Boring Christianity? – Wordless Wednesday

2021-09-15 WW - Is It Boring Being a Christian

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Guest Blog – Alabastersky and Shades of Grey

A blogger presented this on July 15, 2021, and wrote in much clearer fashion than I probably write.  I have not been down all the rabbit-holes she went into, but investigated many of them including extensive reading of Vedic Literature, the Book of Mormon, prophecies of Zoroaster, the Quran, writings of Mary Baker Eddy, and others.

Altogether, the Bible is the only book (or library of books) that really tells the Truth about The God Who Is, how He has revealed Himself throughout history, and finally in Jesus, called The Christ.  Read on for valuable insights.
Thanx, Alabastersky.
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In the 1990’s, in spite of the good little church goer that I was, there was about a 4 or 5 year period where I used to be attracted to anything new-age, from music to books and everything in between. Back then, to me, everything was a shade of grey. There was no black and white, and although you would hear me say that God and scripture were true and that I believed in absolutes, I had no clear understanding of what that really meant.

I was fascinated by Nostradamus and end-of-the-world prophecies, but if you told me I should study the book of Revelation, I likely would have rolled my eyes in the belief that (at least at that time) I was not a theologian nor even a book worm, so none of that would likely make sense to me anyway. The sad truth was that angels clothed in light, things written through trans-channeling (or auto-writing), and anything that focused on a better me and learning to love myself through my own independence and “woman had more of an attraction to me than anything “holy”.

One of the books I actually do remember reading at the time was titled Conversations with God. I found it interesting that the author claimed there was no right or wrong, there was only functional and dysfunctional. Sounds somewhat logical, right? Especially when wrong and right appear so black and white, so unloving and hateful! But let me tell you why all of that is deception dressed in light – taking what is truth, twisting it, and then repackaged it in a way that is always palatable and yet never powerful.

First of all I want to say that God is so much more than just sentience (or feeling) as new-age spiritualism would have us believe. That He is “more of a feeling” and is “everywhere and in everyone and everything” is a twist on the truth that He is omniscient and omnipresent. He is, in fact, an actual living, breathing, person, and His Word is not only truth but really IS ABSOLUTE truth, and very powerful!

Featured Image -- 20182After both of my parents passed away, I learned that grief is love that has no where to go, and because love never dies, grief may subside but it always remains under the surface. So imagine when it dawned on me that I had been grieving the Holy Spirit, because at that time I was so absorbed into all of this, His love for me also had no place to go. I didn’t realize I was actively resisting Him. If you were to ask me back then, I was in such a confused state that I would have even debated that God approved of that form of spiritualism, because I didn’t understand the difference between an “angel clothed in light” and an “angel of the Light“.

Only in Jesus Christ can I find freedom to live the life I was created to live – my purpose in this life. That was a game changer for me, because all of the sudden I saw sin (which is ANYTHING that separates me from Him) as slavery (black), and righteousness in Him as freedom (white).

“Oh but Lisa”, you might say, “there IS grey! Take for example the grey lines between male and female”! Yes, the male/female thing can be a big debate and a lot to unpack for some, but I have to tell you that the black and white in me no longer sees it as a debate. Once I aligned myself with scripture, passages like Psalms 139 (He formed me in my mother’s womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, all the days ordained for me were written in His book…) and Jeremiah 1 (before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…) came alive with meaning! I began to realize that if I choose to become anything outside of what He has created me to be (and this goes beyond just LBGTQ, it applies to anything and everyone) – if WE, any of us, choose any other path outside of the one He has created and ordained for us, then we set ourselves up for a life focused on temporary pleasures, and in the end are left not only unsatisfied and unfulfilled, but also in a deadly deception.

True science, in the end, always aligns with scripture (whether intended or not). Why? Because Jesus Christ, God Almighty, the Creator of this universe and everything in it, is immutable. We align with Him, He doesn’t align with us. He doesn’t sanction the sin, He sanctions the sinner. Once I recognize His authority in my life, I am the one who changes as I come under it. Anything less is expecting Him to change and bend to my will instead of me bending to His – and that in itself is saying that I do not believe He is God, because I do not value Him enough to bend my will to His. Truth: the fact that He sanctions the sinner and not the sin has nothing to do with Him not loving me, quite the opposite. It has everything to do with Him loving me so much that He takes delight in me as I discover what I was created for.

I’m just glad He caught my attention enough at the time for me to allow Him to stop the soul-sucking practices, habits, and bad theology I was mixed up in and allow Him to begin healing me instead. His Spirit was continuously wooing me back to Him. As I began to respond and desire conversations with the Living God Himself rather than with just His creation, I knew more and more that He really is immutable (the same yesterday, today, forever), and that scripture really is His holy word.

So that’s where I am with holiness on my end.  It is what I call the journey of shades of grey into a solid state of black and white, because that’s what holiness does. Only those who allow His holiness to be imparted to them realize what a beautiful thing it really is to be set apart in this way. It is incredibly comforting in the chaos of this world, and touches the human spirit in a way that is far more than anything sensual this world has to offer!

Link to original blog: https://alabastersky.wordpress.com/2021/07/15/shades-of-grey/

What in the World is God? Part 4 – Omnipresence and Omniscience

“Humans explaining the nature of God is like an ant trying to explain who dropped the sugar.” Trish O’Connor

WDoodle Godhat in the world is God?  He is a Spirit, not just spirit with a small “s,” but a Personality who exists in spiritual form, that is to say no “form” at all.  Jesus announced this to the woman at the well in John 4: God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).” (4:24 Amplified Bible)   Some have argued from the Greek, “pnuema o theos” that “spirit is god,” or rather spirituality is all that is required.  There is no “Him” in this spirituality but only a vague sense of “something bigger than me,” some type of Buddhism or Star Wars theology that says we are all part of the “spirit of god.”

If this text were the only one about God’s spiritual nature, this would be open to debate.  However, Jesus was dealing with a woman who was using her version of “new age theology” to argue about details of what church to attend.  He drew her instead to the truth that God is not dependent on locations and buildings.  He is not a statue or artifact or relic.  He is One looking for hearts devoted to Him and willing to be His friends.  (As an aside, this is one of those times that Jesus gives grief to those who claim He was a nice guy; here he lays claims to the title Messiah in plain Aramaic, the common language they would have been using; and when the townspeople describe him as “the Savior of the world,” He gives them no rebuttal.)

It was this same Spirit who was on Elijah when Elisha asked for the heir’s privilege (2 Kings 2:9) and on Isaiah when he foretold of Jesus suffering (Isaiah 61-63); it was this Spirit who told Ezekiel that He would act to vindicate His holy name (Ezekiel 36:22-23) and who was in Daniel to give him understanding the magicians of Babylon lacked and caused Nebuchadnezzar to praise (Daniel 2:20-23; 4:9, 34-35); it was this Spirit who stirred men’s hearts to obey Him in Ezra’s day (Ezra 1:5); this was the Spirit that was in the apostles, unschooled men, when they argued effectively against the greatest minds of their day (Acts 5:29-32); it is this Spirit promised to us to help us in weakness, reveal the mind of God, intercede on our behalf, and work everything out for our good (Romans 8:26-28); and it is that same Spirit who speaks to the churches until the end of our time (Revelation 2:8-3:22).  He does not hide in metaphysical jargon, but is a Personality who wants us to be friends with Him.

That He is a formless Spirit allows Him to be everywhere at one time, omnipresent.   David understood this when he penned the beautiful worship poem:
“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to Heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.”  (Psalm 139:7-12)

Corrie ten Boom recognized this as well when she said, “There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.”  What a wonderful God we serve that He is always with us no matter where we are, no matter what the outward circumstances are.  (See August 20, 2016 and August 27, 2017.)

Add to His Presence everywhere that He knows everything about His creation, omniscience.  The whole of creation is His idea and He is actively involved inhabiting the scientists’ Colossian Space (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).  DNA and quarks are not confusing to Him, and He understands the stuff of the universe of which we have not yet dreamed!

Beyond this, His mind is so vast and comprehensive of all that exists that He even knows the end from the beginning (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 46:9-10; Revelation 21:6).  Now I differ from what some take this to mean.  Many, if not most, think of God as existing somehow beyond or outside of time, as though time would be a constraint on Him.  It is my view that time is to God as love or holiness is to Him.  He is not constrained by time any more than He is “constrained” by love or holiness.  Time is simply what it is, the passing of one age to another.

Before He created any other creatures, time had no meaning, as He always existed forever past.  In the same way, before He created light, dark had no meaning.  But even then, that does not mean He was somehow “outside of time” just as it does not mean He was sitting around in the dark! 😉  At the time He began creative activity (as far as we know), creating the angels, time became measurable.  (We do not know if He created other beings or worlds or “stuff” before creating this universe; maybe Hawking was onto something about God’s creative streak with parallel universes, but this theory is immaterial to living here in this universe.)

His perception of knowing the end from the beginning does not mean He has been there in the future.  It just means His mind comprehends all that exists so thoroughly that nothing in the created universe can surprise Him.  Not war in Heaven (Revelation 12:7), not Adam and Eve’s fall (Genesis 3:15), not yours or my sin or submission to Him (Psalm 139:1-4).  His omnipresence provides Him with more information than any creature (including the devil) and He “[knows] the end from the beginning.” (Isaiah 46:10)

So what does His omnipresence and omniscience mean to us here and now?  Read David’s Psalm again.  In fact, this is one of those to memorize.  The entire Psalm 139 is only 24 verses.  Or if that seems a bit much for you, try verses 7-12.  Then if you ever find yourself doubting that He is God, go back and rehearse these lines.  He is here and He is not silent. (See October 2, 2016 , February 12, 2017 and April 23, 2017.)

Next week, , we will look at His holiness and love and how they interact.