Sports Blog

One of my new ventures is doing a sports blog with my sister. It has nothing to do with theology, or at least very little. It’s a nice change for me! Arguing theology does get old, whereas arguing sports is just fun because it doesn’t matter.

My sister is a hilarious person who destroys teams by cheering for them. I’m just a loser who understands how to lose, why it happens, and how to enjoy it. Feel free to check it out.

And, no, I am not interested in any theological musings about how pastors shouldn’t participate in or enjoy sports. Romans 14. Peace.

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

Anti-Itch Meditation Final Exam

Thanks for the kind words guys. I appreciate it. Makes me feel gooey inside.

Frank asked for a final exam to test whether you’ve graduated from my school. It’s a one question final, answered with one word. Here it is:

When it comes to verifying what the Bible says, don’t forget the _________. (The answer is not the Holy Spirit, as I assume that answer)

Happy Birthday

Today is the “birthday” of the Anti-Itch Meditation blog, January 17, 2004. Eight years I’ve been doing this.

I am going to take a break.

It’s been eight years of think out loud theology, weighing peer review, and the daily discipline of writing, some writing more theological than others.

I’ve enjoyed the time, but I might be done with this venue. My viewership is higher now than ever, which means this is the stupidest time to do this. But being stupid has never prevented my actions in the past, why start now.

The blog format is enjoyable but also limited. I am considering other ventures and will keep you posted if any evolve. Don’t hold your breath.

Thank you.

Test the spirits. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Christ Coming in Clouds

Eschatology, like most -ologies in Christianity, is a debate filled subject. The Book of Revelation is key to the debate. Three main ways of reading it have taken over:

1) Interpret it as literally as possible
2) Spiritualize the text
3) Read it as fulfilled history, written by guys who feared the Roman government so cloak their meaning in allegory

I go with number one here. When we look through Bible prophecy concerning Christ’s first coming they are fulfilled literally. He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. He rode in on a donkey. He was wounded, hands and feet pierced, buried with transgressors, etc.

This is a sufficient enough key for me to read other prophecies as literally as possible as well.

Scholarly types like to bash this form of interpretation. It’s too simplistic, you have to be a dolt to believe that. Fine with me (see 1 Corinthians 1-3).

Recently I heard one of these scholarly types bashing the literal interpretation of Revelation 1:7, which says in part, “7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” The “scholar” proceeded to say something along these lines with the accompanying guffaws:

“Some morons actually think Jesus is going to drop out of the sky! He’s going to hover down on a cloud elevator.” Oh, hahahaha, that’s so funny! Stop it man, you’re killing me!

My words will not change his mind, nor your mind if you agree with his take, but allow me to quote some Scripture to aid the understanding. If you have a problem with Scripture, you can take that up with God. I didn’t write the Book, I just read it.

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Doubts and the Doubting Doubters who Doubt Them

“We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ,
the Son of the living God.”

My LORD and my God.”

These are two of the greatest declarations of who Jesus Christ is.  These declarations were given by Peter and Thomas.

What do Peter and Thomas have in common?

Both of them have tainted testimonies of doubt. Bashing on doubters is great fun for those who are secure in their security. Weakness loves it when strong people trip.

Their ability to state who Christ is so powerfully and succinctly may just be due to their doubts. People who doubt say some dumb things, ask some stupid questions, and struggle where most others push through without pause.

But doubters often get their questions answered and once the doubt is removed, a strong, enduring faith takes its place. Granted weakness may come back, as Peter demonstrates, but Peter learns through it all.

Doubt should not be something the Church is afraid of. Doubt should be taken as opportunity to point people to God’s Word, the strong bearing the infirmities of the weak. At some point you might be the weak or the strong.

Doubters often have different experiences in life than you do, so their doubt lies in different areas. Those who cast off doubt immediately often end up in lethargic, ignorance, too afraid to know where to go.

John the Baptist doubts in Luke 7, but he has the faith to go to Christ with his doubt and Christ graciously relieves the doubts. Let us be likeminded. Have the faith to doubt, but take care of the doubt, don’t wallow in it. Ask a question. Seek the Lord. Be gracious to others who have doubts, too.

Hating Sin = Loving Grace

Grace is favor from God. Some take this favor as license to sin. Since they think God’s grace has forgiven them, actions diminish in light of abounding grace. I appreciate the applause for grace, but cringe at the application.

Shall we sin that grace may abound? No. Turning grace into lasciviousness is equal with denying the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.

If you like sin, being taught to not sin doesn’t seem like much of a favor!

It is not until one grows in understanding of the offense of sin that one can truly see grace abounding.

Once grace is grasped, sin loses its lustre. Sin’s slow death in our actions creates rejoicing in God’s grace.

Those who speak of sin lightly because of grace merely show their ignorance, lack of faith, and trample under foot the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have no desire to stop sinning, then you have no desire for God’s grace.

“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The Lion of Judah is a Metaphor, He’s Not a Real Lion

Was reading a book written in 1692 talking about Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah. He was speaking primarily in regards to the intercession of Christ for believers and he says,

“They say, lions are insomnes, they have little or no sleep; it is true of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he never slumbers nor sleeps, but watches over his church to defend it.”

I certainly agree about the assertions of Christ, but lions never sleep? Pastors are notorious for using false sermon illustrations, even pastors from the 17th century.

I’m willing to give him a pass on this one, the information available about lions in the 17th century is not what we have available today. A quick internet search tells us lions sleep up to 20 hours a day, which is about as far from insomne as you can get.

I will also give him a pass because he begins his statement with “they say.” Passes the buck to “they,” which is also a good pastor move.

Anyway, be careful out there. I’ve also discovered this guy’s verse references don’t always say what he says they say. When in doubt: check!