“Consider the first Pentecost. If the church in Jerusalem had “cast a vision” of doubling in size that year, they would have been short by almost eight thousand souls.
So what should we do? Trust in the Lord and serve him with gladness and singleness of heart. He’ll provide the growth when it’s time.”
The other night I watched a documentary, Kumare, with some folks from church about a guy who was raised Hindu. He had many questions about his faith, first and foremost being: isn’t religion a racket?
He decided to see if he could become a guru and invented his own form of Eastern religion and presented himself as a guru from India with the secrets to life. In reality he’s a guy from New Jersey seeing if he can fool people into following him.
Lo and behold, he finds it quite easy to get followers. The documentary is disturbingly fascinating, funny and well done. It is also frightening just how easy it is to find gullible people to believe anything.
You will be left wondering if he will reveal his secret and how his followers will take it until the very end, and I won’t spoil it for you.
All religion has the element of the ridiculous. Christians believe God became flesh and died and rose again and we now have Him living in us. This sounds ridiculous and isn’t far removed from much of the “god is in you” stuff of Eastern religion.
Now, Christians, since we’re right, think people of all other religions are stupid, but alas, much of what we believe is stupid as well (read 1 Corinthians 1-3–the wisdom of God is foolishness with man–Christianity has built into it the fact that people will think it’s stupid!).
People are wired to believe. We are wired for religion. We like ritual, secret power, lighting candles, singing together and jumping through religious hoops. It all makes us feel swell.
The fact that we are so gullible in this area (even atheist Richard Dawkins said it is possible aliens created our world), proves that there must be something here. The problem is to decipher through it all what religion is the true one.
For me, I go with Christianity and the Bible. I do so because the Bible is unique. When you read what is in it (not reading it once, but like 25 times), you see that no man would come up with this. At every popular human notion the Bible goes 180 degrees opposite.
I love that. The down side is most humans think I’m an idiot. I’m OK with this. Judgment Day will reveal the morons for what they are.
Everyone is a fool; might as well be a fool for Christ.
1) Homosexuality is a sin, the Bible is clear on that.
2) Homosexuality is not worse than any other sin.
Although most Christians understand point one (although the numbers are decreasing as more decide words don’t mean what they say), few seem to get point two.
The destruction of Sodom is pointed at to show just how bad homosexuality is. However, never once in the Bible will you find homosexuality listed as the reason God destroyed Sodom.
What you will note, is that the reasons given for the destruction of Sodom sound a lot like the sins of Christians! Allow me to illustrate with two verses.
“They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.”
A major point against Sodom is how public their sin was. Their nerve in demanding a guy hand over his guests to they can have their way with them, THAT is what got to God! The sheer lack of shame instead replaced with proud, maniacal, unbridled, put on display lust.
Here’s another verse that makes Sodom’s sin very clear.
“This was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”
I would like you to note that in this list of Sodom’s sins, homosexuality is not listed! Not even hinted at. Instead, what is listed is:
2) Fulness of bread
3) Abundance of idleness
4) Not helping the poor and needy
Those were the sins Sodom was punished for! They were proud, fat, lazy people who didn’t help the poor.
I’m just curious how the church has decided this wasn’t God’s point in judging Sodom when this is what God said His point was, and instead the church chose homosexuality.
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“And so the church has returned to the 14th century. Worshippers stand mute as professional-caliber musicians play complex instruments, and sing in an obscure language. Martin Luther is turning over in his grave.“
“For there is not a just man upon earth,
that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
I remember memorizing this verse in fourth grade. It’s a good verse to memorize, has a way of humbling a guy.
As much as I am for memorizing verses, one problem I see now in my “old age,” looking back at a youth spent being made to memorize verses, is that most of these verses are memorized completely out of context.
Now, just because I learned Romans 6:23 and Romans 3:23 out of context doesn’t mean the verses don’t mean what they say. They do, I just wish I had some context.
Perhaps a new term I will invent instead of memorizing verses is “memorizing context.” I will ban all learning of verses without context. If the context is a chapter long, well, memorize the chapter then!
Again, it’s not that a single verse can’t necessarily be understood by itself or used by itself, but we miss so much when we blow the context. Take the verse that began this post from Ecclesiastes.
OK, great, everyone sins. Now what? What was his point in bringing that up? The point I always heard is this proves how much people need the Gospel because everyone sins.
That point is valid, but it wasn’t the point in Ecclesiastes! Here is the context of the verse in Ecclesiastes. Allow the context to give you an application. Go ahead, click here and read it.
Seems to me the context is like this:
Everyone sins, so don’t get too high and mighty about how righteous you are.
Everyone sins, but don’t go crazy into ridiculous amounts of it.
Everyone sins, so don’t listen to everything people say about you.
I wonder how comes when I was in fourth grade memorizing “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” no one taught me the context?!
The Bible has a lot of editors; very few followers.