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Archive for the ‘Religion and Philosophy’ Category

Jesus came from the Father; that is true in an Eternal sense, but not in the same way that my phsyical children here on earth came from me.  Anyone who acknowledges that God is infinite must also acknowledge that there are some aspects of God which are unknown and beyond full explanation (unless they also claim to have infinite knowledge).  But there is an outline – a light seen as through a veil – of who He is revealed to us by Scripture.

Consider what John says about Jesus:

John 1:1-3 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Notice that “All things were made by him”.  Compare that to Genesis.

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

John says Jesus – the Word of God – made everything.  Moses says God made everything.  Are they in disagreement?

When God appeared to Abraham to tell him of the child Sara would bear, how many men appeared to Abraham?  There were three.  I offer this point not as a proof, but as an aside, something to consider.

Another similar event is Christ’s baptism.

Matthew 3:16-17 – And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

For the sake of this discussion, consider the Spirit of God descending on Christ.  If the Holy Spirit is in fact merely a different “mode” or “manifestation” of Christ, was Christ truly the Son before the baptism?  Or was he just another man that became “possessed” (please forgive the connotation of the term) by the Spirit of God?

We all know, “the LORD is One”.  The word “One” in the Hebrew signifies a “composite” one; for example “one people”.

Consider:

Genesis 1:26 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Then balance that with:

Colossians 2:9 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

So, what do we have?  We know that all things that were made were made by the Word of God.  We know that God made all things.  We know that God has at several times revealed Himself and spoken of Himself in the plural.  Yet we also know that, according to Colossians, Christ is the physical manifestation of the Godhead.

Also consider this concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit:

John 6:46 – Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?

John 14:16 – And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14:26 – But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:7 – Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 16:13-16 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.  A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

So…

* God made all things.
* Christ made all things.
* The Father is God.
* No one has seen the Father except Christ.
* If we have seen Christ we have seen the Father.
* Christ goes to the Father.
* Christ sends the Spirit from the Father.
* The Father sends the Spirit.
* The Spirit “shall hear” and “he shall not speak of himself”.
* When the Spirit comes, we will see Christ.
* Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father.
* The Holy Spirit is with us now.
* Christ is with us until the end of the age.

These are seeming paradoxes when you line them up like this but a paradox to our finite minds does not mean that it is not true.  As a slight digression, allow an example.  If you are familiar with physics, you are familiar with the concept of photons.  Scientists attempted over a century ago to determine whether the photon was a particle or a wave.  The answer, after many experiments, was determined to be “yes”; a photon is definitively both a particle and a wave, even capable of interacting with itself.  Intuitively it makes no sense.  But it is still true.

Jesus IS God.  The Spirit IS God.  The Father IS God.  They are distinct, but they are not separate.  “They” are One Being: Almighty God.

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I have tons (well, 65.8 hours) of worship music on my computer, about 90% of which is pirated.  Seriously, I have maybe seven or eight CD’s that are legitimately purchased copied down, and the rest is pirated, either from CD’s that other people let me copy, or from Limewire.

Does this make me a bad person?  For those that are truly creating music for the Glory of God, wouldn’t they want that to reach as many people as possible?  Didn’t Jesus turn over the money changers table for basically the same thing?  Would the true worship leaders really mind my having their music for no monetary cost?  Or is this a case of muzzling the ox while he’s treading the corn?  A lot of the stuff I like isn’t carried at the music stores around here (but I suppose you can buy just about anything from Amazon).

That is my current dilemma.  Thoughts anyone?

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I am currently going through a bit of a personal renaissance. Well, to be fair, it’s not exactly a recent phenomenon for me. It first started several years ago prior during a brief stint of unemployment, but then a new job and a bitter divorce pushed that aside for a while. As anyone who has gone through a less-than-friendly separation, especially when kids are involved, can tell you, it can take some time for the waves from the storm to die down and for you to get your head screwed back on straight. But I’m back…

In any case, aside from my online gaming addiction (no, not gambling), I have this intense hunger to learn and read and do more now. And, as life permits, I am doing just that. Of course the Word and God’s Spirit quickening me is how I define myself and that directs my focus. But at the same time, my intellectual curiosities lead me to explore a million different paths, a million different ideas, a million different worlds.

That is definitely not to say that I am in the least bit swayed in my faith because of it. Just because I read the Enuma Elish does not mean that I am going to suddenly begin worshipping Ea. Furthermore, I am not afraid of or discouraged by the fact that some scholars find parallels between the Babylonian creation story and the Creation story found in Genesis. Is it possible that both accounts share a common root? Does that suggestion, as some fellow fundamentalists fret over, cast a shadow of doubt over the Inspired nature of the Genesis Creation account? What if (and I know that this is a crazy thought) the Genesis account is true? (I’m not getting into the whole literal six days versus day-age; that’s for another day.) Is it possible that tales of God’s Creation of man had indeed been passed down verbally throughout the generations, and that Mount Sinai was the start of God setting the record straight? Yeah, I could go on for a while on that thought…

So why is it that people are so afraid to expand their minds? I recently purchased an English translation of the Bhagavad Gita. So someone might not have a problem with my reading the Enuma Elish, because everyone knows now that Ea and Tiamat and Apsu are not real. But there are plenty who believe that Brahma and Vishnu and Shiva are real, so by reading that I might be deceived, or so the reasoning goes, and so I’ve been cautioned.

What’s more – and forgive me for it, friends – I also enjoy reading fiction, including science fiction and ::gasp:: fantasy. After my current batch of contraband, I intend on reading some of the classic fictional works (Christian and secular) and philosophy. I’ve also got some modern historical works on the early church in the bullpen. Can someone please tell me where indulging in things that expand our understanding, our ability to reason, and fire our God given imagination are forbidden in Scripture?

As followers and disciples of Christ, we have His Spirit that bears witness that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As believers, we believe that He is the Word made flesh, the absolute Truth, the Beginning and the End. Likewise, we are called to be in the world, but not of it. We are called to study to show ourselves approved. We are called to be all things to all men so that by all means we might save some. Can we really accomplish that if we stick our heads in the sand and censor everything that does not align itself with our dogma? Do we really believe in Christ and His Scriptures, or do we only believe because it’s all we’ve been taught, or even because we refuse to consider the world around us? Have we caught only the slightest glimpse of His Glory, and then said “it is enough” and blinded ourselves from that point forward? If someone would come up to your average church-going Southern Baptist and challenge them about Babylonian and Egyptian influences in Judaism, or about supposed pagan origins for the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, Resurrection, and Trinity, how would they answer?

The Truth has nothing to hide.

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I’ve  been thinking a lot about my “purpose” in life lately.  One thing being single has taught me is how to live with myself.  With that, I’ve been turning over in my head what it is to be a follower of Christ.  I’m not exactly middle-aged, but I have less than a year now before 30, so I suppose I’m no longer a kid.  There are so many things that God has placed in my heart as desires in serving Him, and I’m beginning to see a few of those things sprout (but they’re still tiny, but growing).  I guess the temptation is to think that those things, many of which I won’t post here on a public blog, are truly what God wants from me.  In a way, yes, but not like I’m tempted to think…

      Micah 6:8 – He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

All He wants is me.  The same way that a husband longs for his wife, He wants me.  Why is that so hard to accept?  So now I’m learning to be still, and just walk the path that’s in front of me, that He has placed at my feet.  He will guide me, not my own drive.

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        One of the distinguishing characteristics of life, in all its various forms, is the fact that it always seeks to replicate itself.  Man, the most complex of all created beings, can be said to exist as two creatures: a physical one, and an intelligent one – that is, a living soul.  Since all life duplicates itself, and intelligence is actually a form of life itself, intelligence drives man to create in an effort to reproduce his soul.  Creativity, then, is the manifestation of one of man’s most basic needs: the need to reproduce.

        Something is not thought of as being alive unless it has the ability to reproduce itself.  From bacteria to trees to animals to man, all life has been given both the ability and the need to struggle against its own mortality by bearing offspring that will live beyond its own lifetime.  It reproduces itself by organizing matter and space in a way that mimics itself.  For example, a seed from an apple tree will, when buried, gather substance from the ground and synthesize the nutrients in a way that causes another apple tree to grow.  All life follows this same pattern in reproduction: matter is collected and organized in a way that imitates its organizer.

        Not all life is simply organic in its existence.  While man is indeed a physical creature, he also exhibits a much more complex aspect of his being which must be reproduced.  This aspect is known as intelligence, or, as many have defined it, his soul.  This soul is a life in and of itself, and this duality of existence in man – the base, instinctive nature and the nature of higher intelligence – is what sets man apart from other living things.  Not only is man driven to recreate himself physically, but also intelligence causes him to seek out ways to recreate his inward life: that is, his soul.

        Since man’s soul possesses the need to reproduce itself, man is driven to create outwardly the things that he already sees inwardly, thereby expressing his ideas in a manner understood by others.  When his ideas are transferred to others, he is actually reproducing a part of himself in the minds of those other individuals.  He can transfer these ideas by many different methods.  Whether he is giving a speech, writing a novel, singing a song, or composing an essay, man is always attempting to express the ideas trapped inside his head in a manner that will help (or possibly harm) another individual, and in so doing is able to reproduce himself ideologically.

        Life, by its very definition, brings order out of chaos by organizing matter and space in a manner that is inconsistent with the otherwise pervasive law of entropy.  Man, existing as both a physical creature and a living soul, is driven not only to simply have children, but also to “leave his mark on the world” in an effort to obtain significance and extend his influence beyond his natural years.  His soul yearns to reproduce itself just as all other forms of life seek to reproduce.  Indeed, creativity is perhaps the greatest gift God has granted man; it is the one aspect of man that definitively sets him apart from the rest of created beings.

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The Law of Balance (as I call it) is not something we achieve.  It is a fact.  Is simply is.  It is how we apply that Law which produces organization.  Oragnaization is life.  Ultimate organization is ultimate life (we’re not talking steryl, rigid, lifeless organization), and ultimate life is utopia.  Utopia is possible – it is the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

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