Church life

CHRISTIAN=HOMOPHOBE? II

homo 2

Sometimes, when I discuss with some people who advocate [using the bible] that LGBTQQs are sub-human and a threat to civilization, family life and all deserving to be exterminated, I smile.

I wonder at how cleverly many of us rationalise or are silent on “heterosexual” immorality, because God understands. We turn around to crucify people in homosexual relationships.

When we focus a lot of our energies preaching on a “particular very deadly sin”, without meaning to, we:

  1. look like people with “great confidence in our own righteousness”. We become so “righteous” that we scorn everyone else, and treat “sinners” with contempt.
  2. allow our “righteous anger” turn into rabid hate for people who don’t measure up to our standard of holiness.
  3. begin to excuse our failings, by thinking we are better than those we consider abominable. Remember the “Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers.” 

Understand me, I’m not trying to justify any form of sinful behaviour, I’m only urging us to preach Christ crucified. We as believers draw our identity from Christ not our sexuality.

Why should I shout from the rooftops and say I’m gay, accept me the way I am, I don’t want to change, I’m LGBT first, Christian second?

The truth is that every one of us has impulses. Some people are inclined to having multiple sex partners. Others want to overindulge in food. For some we are envious, full of hate, sexually attracted to kids; and feel nudges to kill those we have grudges with.

You see these impulses are what make fallen humans. And before you go blaming “God” and “Christianity” for filling the world with guilt and shame, understand that if everyone acts on their impulses and desires, there’ll be utter chaos.

In fact, in many cases to be true to myself, is mostly conflicting to be crucified with, and becoming like Christ. When I’m hurt, naturally I want to be unforgiving and exact revenge. This is my true self, but as Jesus’ disciple I want to be like Him—I forgive.

Simple! I’m not going into any debate as the “godliness” of LGBT and all that. Rather I seek to maintain, not that humans are not free to live in ways that suits us, for we are blood bought, and called to be like Christ.

We are to conform to His image, and not the other way around.

It is when Christ is not lord in our lives that we can do what is right in our eyes. As we read in Judges 17:6 AMP, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

My concern is, since, we know [ as Christians] what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade [not judge or dehumanise] others to repent and believe the gospel.

True Disciples of Christ are homophobes*—not.

*persons who hates or fears homosexual people.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Our Understanding of God Should Always Be Evolving — Samaritan’s Song

If God looks precisely the same to you as He did the moment you became saved, it might be worthwhile to examine the depth of your relationship with Him. [Click title to read more.]

via Our Understanding of God Should Always Be Evolving — Samaritan’s Song

Christian feminism

MARRY A FEMINIST? NO WAY

“God will never allow me to marry a feminist”

 

This was a prayer echoed by some Christian brothers recently in a Christian forum.

I forgave their ignorance.

Why?

A lot of people’s knowledge about feminism, equality, egalitarianism, and many issues are gotten second-hand.

Rarely do people take time to study what certain ideologies mean.

Enough of the rant already.

On second thought, I’ll continue.

Many times I’ve heard preachers and pastors call feminism a tool from hell.

I see them dismiss or patronize women who speak up against injustice in the church.

Women who feel called to teach, lead are often silenced and accused of having a “Jezebel demon”, trying to rub shoulders with the men and not having a quiet and submissive spirit.

Two or three verses of scriptures are used as proof text to “keep women in their place”.

silent woman

After all, everyone knows a man’s role is “positional” and a woman’s role is “influential”.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in being gentle and meek.

Every believer is expected to be meek and gentle.

But I strongly feel there are times women need to speak up.

Take for example, God instructed Moses to share lands to all the males of the tribes of Israel.

Moses Obeyed.

However, we read in Numbers 27:1-6

 Then the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came near; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah. They stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons.

“Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.”

So Moses brought their case before the LORD.

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements.

 

These ladies purported to appeal against what God had said and petitioned their leaders.

Modern day church leaders will do well to have the meekness of Moses. What was Moses’s response?

He brought their case before God.

God sided with the young women.

If it were today, Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah, the daughters of Zelophehad would be branded feminists who are disobeying the clear commands of God.

A lot of times, we “diligently search the Scriptures because we think to have eternal life in them, but are unwilling to come to Jesus to have life”

The life in the new covenant where there is neither male nor female.

If under the old covenant God approved of women who “rebelled” against the status quo, led, taught, prophesied, rode into battle and prophesied; How much more, NOW that Christ has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit.

 

 

Uncategorized

Are We Running Our Christianity like a Business? — GODINTEREST – Christian blog covering faith, culture and life

Because I was born and raised in the USA, my soul is steeped in attributes promoted by the business culture: efficiency, cleverness, and the ability to get what I want by pushing my way through. After all, from kindergarten I’ve been taught that You can do anything, if you only want it enough! When you…

via Are We Running Our Christianity like a Business? — GODINTEREST – Christian blog covering faith, culture and life

Christian life

BOLD, BUT INACCURATE: Why we need to humbly study.

studyACTS 18:25-26

“He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and was fervent in spirit. He spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
The “He” in this text was Apollos.

Notice the bible records that Apollos was “instructed in the way of the Lord” and was “fervent in spirit”  “taught accurately about Jesus”

Why then did Aquila and Priscilla need to “thoroughly show him the way of THE LORD JEHOVAH?”

Apollos was humble enough to receive their instruction and this made him “greatly aid those who by grace had believed”.

Boldly teaching in the church is not a criteria that your knowledge of God’s word is accurate in all areas.

This is the error many of us fall into, because we feel we teach accurately about Jesus, we assume that we thoroughly know all that there is to know about everything.

WRONG.

How do we react when we teach on a subject and someone says no, this is not scriptural in light of the whole counsel of scripture?

Most times, we become defensive. We refuse to imagine that somehow in a way we don’t have the accurate knowledge of what we even talk about.

We hold one a fallacy of it is in the bible, so it is scriptural.

How many doctrines of the word of God do you have one or two verses as your proof text of?

Have you become a verse-of-the-day-Christian with a cherry-picked bible?

“Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth.”

Accuracy in “rightly dividing” or handling God’s word comes from studying.

Not everything is about revelation, personal belief or denominational doctrines.

Study.

Not only your pastor’s books.

Study.

One good way is to take a subject like love, do a search in your digital bible for all biblical verses on love, study them.

You may use the SOAP/SOAR method.
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.

How does it work?
It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of verses.

Scripture

what does the bible say literally on the subject that you are reading
 Observation

What did you observe about the context of the scripture that struck you?

What was going on? Context!  This can be one sentence or a whole book.

Application

How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today.

 Prayer/Reflect

Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life. Reflect on what you have studied.

Don’t take my word for it be a noble-MINDED believer.

Search, to know if what you are being taught is accurate.

“And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”

Acts 17:11 NLT

spirituality

WHO EXEGESIS EPP?

right-brain-left-brain-fnl-598x441
exegesis
ˌɛksɪˈdʒiːsɪs/
noun
  1. critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture.
    “the task of biblical exegesis”
    synonyms: interpretationexplanationexpositionexplicationelucidationclarification

During public worship, I am usually contemplative. Deep silence. I often want to write in the middle of “praise” and “worship”.

For me, reflective songs, sermons free from “emotional outbursts are often my preference.

This makes me feel a little like an oddball.

Mainly, owing to the fact that I’m drawn to the intellectual side of Christianity.

Pentecostalism thrives in my home country. I was exposed early to the culture of being slain in the Spirit (what we call falling under anointing) and doing “gra gra” (another way of saying: boisterous) in God’s presence?

For the life of me, I don’t really understand why I’m often sceptical of “manifestations”. I’ve been accused of being too intellectual about the things of God.

Derogatory statements like: “who exegesis epp?” that is, in plain English, “what is the benefit of exegesis?”  are thrown in my face occasionally.

Whether it’s as a result of my “introvertedness”, or it stems from my left-brainess logical nature, all I know I love learning and studying about God.

Relying on revelations, without proper handling of biblical truths can promote false belief/doctrines that may harm/derail a believer’s walk.

Also, critically examining the word, divorced from acknowledging  the Spirit’s help can reduce christianity to a mere academic subject devoid of transformative power.

At times it feels like there is a division between left-brain Christians, who are thorough with the word, reason from scriptures and critically examine biblical texts to provide a cohesive message; and right-brain christians, who bask in revelations, and “Holy Ghost induced” experiences.

Like Apostle Paul, who was accused that too much learning had made him mad, and Peter who spoke in tongues and accused of being drunk, many of us largely fall into these two categories: too much learning v. drunk in the Spirit.

Since we know, that the left-brain/right brain division has been proven to be a myth, neuroscientists have that the two sides of the brain collaborate to perform a variety of tasks.

It follows that there is more harmonious to blend the positions to form a spiritual mix. Grounded knowledge of God’s word infused with the power of the Holy Spirit is a more potent mix.

We work better together.

Next time, I get asked who exegesis epp?

I’ll respond: it epp me.

 

 

 

Deep

Uncategorized

Without faith??

Enough Light

[From the archives, originally posted in 2013.]

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how many things in life are uncertain, and there can be solid arguments on both sides of an issue. Experts that seem equally competent can have different opinions or conclusions. What treatment should you receive for a serious disease or illness? Should you pay off your mortgage early or instead invest the money in another way? How should you discipline your children? Whatever the issue, you may find two competent experts giving you different advice.

Because of this, do we then just jettison everything? Because two medical doctors are suggesting different treatment options, do we abandon any treatment altogether? Because two parenting experts are offering conflicting discipline advice, do we abandon discipline altogether and let the kids run wild? No, not likely!

Rather, we carefully weigh the arguments, and make a decision. A degree of “faith”…

View original post 433 more words

Christian life

ROBBING GOD

Robbing-God

 

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed”. Proverbs 19:17

“Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses”.

I believe that these verses above underlie the reason God commanded the Israelites to bring their annual tithes before his presence and eat with others.

God also instructed that every third year, all one-tenths of everything owned was to be shared to the widows, orphans, foreigners and Levites(who were not allowed to work or allotted lands to cultivate).
This was inclusive of the “gleaning rights” God provided for the indigent in the community.
Mosaic Law prohibited one from harvesting all planted, or going back a second time to collect every harvest.

Why?

So those who had nothing could come and “glean” whatever was left.

It is easy to see a God that killed Egyptians in the Red Sea, and not appreciate a God who cares for everyone.

The truth is this: we serve a departed God
He came, died, ascended and is coming back again.

Most times the “absence” makes us forget what we ought to do, and who we ought to be.
With time, many Israelites began to resent why they had to set apart one-tenth of what they had to eat before the presence of God.

They refused to pay their tithes as God commanded.

They didn’t want to help the needy.

After all, the poor had hands and legs, why can’t they fend for themselves
We failed to understand that “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” Psalm 68:5

Again, the Levites had compromised God’s statutes, they were supposed to bring a tithe of all tithes they received from the people, as an offering into the storehouse.

“Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive–a tithe of the tithe–to the LORD as a sacred offering. Numbers 18:26

Chapters and verses are for convenience, the original manuscripts the bible was translated from had no chapters. That is why many times we read the bible and it looks like the points are not sequential.

When you read Malachi as a whole book without breaks, you’ll see where after the end of chapter 1, Chapter 2 begins with:

“AND NOW YOU PRIESTS, THIS COMMANDMENT IS FOR YOU:”

This is the why “storehouse” is mentioned in verse 10 of Malachi 3.

The Israelites had no business with the storehouse.

After restoration of tithes in Nehemiah 13, you’ll observe the storehouse was for the allotments of the Levites.

 

Malachi 3 was directed to a bunch of naughty priests who were consuming what needed to be remitted to the store. To people who “oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear God”

It is naturally difficult to give those who can’t return the favour.

All these aside, I have realised the curse of non-tithing is closing your eyes to the poor.
The blessing tied to it is lending to God, FULFILLING  God’s role as a father to the orphans, husband to the widow, friend to the stranger.

We live by faith under grace, not under the law.

We give cheerfully and abundantly out of our treasures.

We are God’s epistles.

We give because we love.

Brighten the corner where you are.