Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Do We Need to Follow Mosaic Law to Obtain Salvation?

No, as the Bible clearly explains in Acts 15. Click [HERE] to read the full chapter.

Important excerpt:

. . . For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Was Paul a False Apostle?

No, the Bible clearly demonstrates that he wasn't.

Acts 16:16-18
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

Matthew 12:22-28
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to [Jesus], and He healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, [Jesus] said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fearfully and Wonderfully

Just remember this - you are not an object. You don't have to portray yourself as one, or allow other people to portray you as one. You're capable of so much more. God made you "fearfully and wonderfully". Your soul is unique to you. There are a lot of people in the world who only see you as something that can be used for their own benefit, but they're wrong. That's not what, or who, you are.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

(Untitled)

One of my biggest concerns when I talk about sin, is the idea that someone will get the wrong idea about me in the process. When I call out sin, I don't do it from a position of "judgment". I do it... from an educational standpoint?

Just because I denounce sinfulness doesn't mean that I'm perfect, or that I myself have fully and undoubtedly 100% repented from what I'm denouncing. On one hand, it feels hypocritical (Matthew 7:3-5) to call out behaviors for which I myself am responsible, but on the other hand, it feels even more wrong to keep silent about things that I know are wrong, when somebody could potentially benefit from my warning. For instance, a smoker could still warn a non-smoker about cigarettes, even if the smoker him/herself hasn't quit yet, because s/he still understands the dangers of cigarettes. And so it is with me. I'm in NO position to teach people "with authority", that is, the way Jesus taught, but I still understand that sin is wrong, and so I still try to warn people against it. I just never want to give off the impression that I'm perfect. I'm not. I'm not being "holier-than-thou". I'm still learning, just like everybody who has ever taken advice from me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Moral Relativism

Remember guys, the world is supposed to get better as time goes! :) Morality itself changes, too! Human sacrifice? Nah, that was totally cool for the Aztecs - I mean they were just ignorant, isolated jungle people, they didn't have access to... uh, whatever we have now? haha! SOMETHING must have eventually come along and made us realize that human sacrifice was wrong. What was it? What made us change our view on human sacrifice? I don't know lol! I'm really curious about that though, and I sure wish we could find an answer! It must have been something pretty significant, though! Boy, I guess we'll just never know! 
Also, the Aztecs were extremely ignorant, barbaric, backwards people, they even believed in like, religion and stuff - oh wait, they were like genius mathematicians and architects too lol woops

But anyway, that's all different now. NOW human sacrifice is wrong. Because humanity just PROGRESSES as time goes on! I can't wait until 2020, when we've become even MORE morally sound! I wonder what other things will arbitrarily become "right" because we're at a different point on the Gregorian calendar, and what other things will arbitrarily become "wrong" for the same reason! It sure gets confusing figuring out what happens to be "right" and "wrong" when I wake up each day, when humanity is just progressing and becoming better so often! Haha, boy, it's too bad there isn't some kind of "moral code" that's just encoded into the human heart, instituted by some kind of wise leader, that we could follow instead! Oh well. Until then, I guess we'll just have to keep taking our personal opinions or whatever our favorite celebrities / role models tell us, and just assuming that's right! 

By the way, you might be asking how we know we're getting better when "better" is defined by culture. Well, our culture reflects what our culture currently believes, lol, so obviously that means we're getting better! And when our culture decides something else is right, then our culture will be even BETTER because our culture will reflect what our culture currently believes at that point! Morality evolves with our opinions! How could a system like this possibly go wrong?!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Re: "White People Need a Non-White Jesus"

The American media keeps trying to pit races against each other under the guise of "equality" and "tolerance". In reality, their goal obviously isn't "equality" or "tolerance", it's division.

Now I'm fully aware that God's word will cause division - it's mentioned in God's word. But that division comes from discernment between righteousness and evil. It's division that's ultimately necessary. But division based on things like race, sex/gender, etc is NOT necessary, yet wedges keep being put between all of us based on these things. Case in point, this article I found last night, which I'll be quoting according to fair use: "White People Need a Non-White Jesus" (Source: sojo.net)

The article does this really passive-aggressive thing, where it acknowledges that racism is wrong, but then immediately afterward, makes some glaring generalization about people.

Merritt points to the universality of Jesus, focusing on Christ’s availability to all, to individuals from “every tribe, nation, people and language.”
Yet in pointing to the universality of Jesus, it is easy to pass over his particularity to a certain time and place.

You can already see where this is going. It's basically saying, "Yeah, Jesus died and rose to save all people regardless of color, buuuuuuuuuuuuut!" Look, the only way Jesus' "place" matters is in terms of Old Testament prophecy. Jesus had to be born to Israelites to fulfill what God said about a "righteous Branch of David". David was an Israelite, so Jesus was born an Israelite. That's the ONLY time Jesus' race matters. Because He had to be born to a certain race to fulfill prophecies. That's it. Jesus was born to Israelites, but Jesus is the only begotten son of God who died to pay for our sins and rose from the dead.

If Jesus were an American, he would more likely identify as an undocumented immigrant or other poor, oppressed class.

No He wouldn't. Jesus wouldn't identify as an undocumented immigrant. Jesus wouldn't identify as a poor, oppressed class. Jesus wouldn't identify as a middle-class factory worker. Jesus wouldn't identify as a white congressperson. That's not how this works. If Jesus were an American... First of all, that would contradict prophecy, but anyway, if we want to play pretend and say we needed an American Jesus instead of an Israeli one, then we don't know what "class" Jesus would belong to. Don't make assumptions like that. Jesus belongs to none and all of these classes simultaneously, because Jesus is the savior of people in every one of these classes who choose to seek and accept Him.

Although Christ may transcend race, he also descended into the racial context of the New Testament.

They're doing it again. "Y-Yeah guys, Jesus m-m-might have t-transcended race BUT LET'S JUST TALK FOR A MINUTE ABOUT THE RACIAL CONTEXT OF JESUS". Acknowledging flaws in your arguments doesn't make them go away. You're still bringing racial division in where it doesn't belong.

drawing a parallel between the black experience of lynching and Christ’s death on the Roman cross.

This article honestly seems more racist toward "blacks" and undocumented immigrants than anything else. Yes, of course "blacks" and undocumented immigrants face discrimination. Nobody's denying that. But by taking a certain race or demographic, and painting the ENTIRE GROUP as this poor, oppressed, needy, "least-of-these" pitiful little victimized minority, you're not helping anyone. In addition to spreading blatant propaganda and causing racial division, you're actually hurting the people you're claiming to help, by talking down to them. By demeaning them. By patronizing them. "OH, DON'T WORRY YOU POOR PATHETIC LITTLE BLACK PEOPLE! JESUS IS HERE TO SAVE YOU FROM THE BIG MEAN WHITE PEOPLE! ... OH YEAH AND PAY FOR YOUR SINS OR SOMETHING. WE'RE NOT RACIST, REMEMBER!" This isn't the kind of representation that's going to end discrimination. This is the kind of representation that's going to further propagate it. Not only because you're painting one race a certain way [the very definition of stereotyping], but you're painting obvious lies, which only serve to marginalize discrimination when it really pops up. Whenever a white reader sees a non-white individual after reading this article, they're not going to see an individual. They'll see skin color. They'll see a "poor me" mentality. They'll see a victim. They won't see a person. I genuinely don't understand how the people who wrote this article can't see it. But honestly? I wouldn't be surprised if they can see it, and just don't care. If they just want to further their own racist agenda. I know nothing about this "sojo.net" website, but if they had good intentions with this article, they need work. Definitely.

If Christ is indeed closest to the least of these, then it is not white people who should save people of color. It is Christ in people of color who will save white people.

"People of color" need to be saved by Jesus Christ, because "people of color" are sinners who are born with:
1) a sin nature that causes them to sin and will lead them to Hell
2) the ability to comprehend this, and the ability to choose to reject this sin nature and begin a journey with Christ

"White people" need to be saved by Jesus Christ, because "white people" are sinners who are born with:
1) a sin nature that causes them to sin and will lead them to Hell
2) the ability to comprehend this, and the ability to choose to reject this sin nature and begin a journey with Christ

The point is not that Christ is not a white man, for Christ is in every person. The problem is that the white Christ often strips God of God’s identification with underprivileged people, for the white Christ has been established hand-in-hand with empire and white supremacy.

Christ is in every person who has faith in Him and accepts Him as their lord and savior. Anyway, could you guys please stop doing this "we're not racist, but..." thing now? It's very annoying. "Yeah, Christ died to save all people BUT PAINTING JESUS AS WHITE PROPAGATES WHITE SUPREMACY YOU KKK LOVING WHITE SUPREMACIST BLACK-HATING EGOISTS!"

*breathes in*
*breathes out*

Look. There are paintings where Jesus is depicted as white. There are paintings where Jesus is depicted as black. Did you know there are paintings where Jesus is also depicted as being Asian? It's true. Google "Woonbo Kim Ki-chang". He made a bunch of paintings where Jesus (and the disciples, etc) are Asian, and are surrounded by traditional Asian architecture. The point of these paintings isn't to pit one race against another. The point of these paintings isn't to say that one race matters more than another. The point of these paintings is to show that Jesus can identify with us individually, and that Jesus didn't just die to save Israelites, but people from all cultures and races. However, the important thing to note is that Jesus can identify with us individually without knocking down other races or putting other races on a pedestal, something this article is completely unable (or unwilling) to do.

white churches need to learn from and seek after people of color who have experienced and know Christ’s suffering directly.

Bite your tongue. Literally and physically clench your teeth down on your tongue. Churches need to seek after and learn from, not people of certain races or groups, but JESUS CHRIST.

Spell it out with me, J E S U S  C H R I S T.

Yes, there's a lot to learn from other human beings as well. Of course. There's a reason Jesus sent the disciples, who were human beings. The "white people" can learn from "people of color", and "people of color" can learn from "white people". But the article needs to find a better way to say this... unless that's not what it was actually trying to say, as I still suspect?

By the way, if you're wondering, I've been using quotation marks when referring to different races in this post because I hate those terms. "White people". "People of color". It's just unnecessarily divisive, but I guess I need to use those terms to explain the article correctly. Know, however, that I personally do not make these distinctions because God does not call us to make these distinctions.

And yes, I know some people claim that "not making distinctions based on race is microaggressive" or whatever, but I really don't care. I know what the word "racism" means (making distinctions based on race), and I refuse to take part in it no matter what people try to call it.




So, in conclusion, this article is completely wrong and infuriating. I'm so sick of the media trying to pit people against each other under the guise of "equality". You've heard by now about Buzzfeed and MTV and whoever else, being racist/sexist toward white men. Some people say it's not racism/sexism because white men don't face as much discrimination as women or people of other races. To that, I would point to a white person I know (who hopefully doesn't read this blog), who is currently struggling a lot with depression and has been suicidal a few times in just the past month. They're on anti-depressants and will just start crying and get urges to kill themselves if they don't take those anti-depressants regularly. Are we really going to downplay this person's struggles just because they may not face the same types of problems that another person of another race may experience? Depression is depression. Being suicidal is being suicidal. This isn't how we achieve equality or tolerance. This is how we propagate racism and sexism, and further pit people against each other. It starts with subtle nudges like the one in this sojo.net article. Then it becomes people looking for little hints of "racism" or "sexism" where there actually aren't any. Then it becomes a battle of who's more oppressed and who's more "privileged". Before you know it, actual racism and sexism come back and divide us further. JESUS DOES NOT WANT THIS. This is not the mentality we are supposed to have. We're supposed to acknowledge each other's struggles. Of course we are, it's part of our calling. Just look at the parable of the good Samaritan. Jesus clearly wants us to care about each other and help each other. But we can't, WE CAN'T let our struggles become badges for us to wear. We can't keep looking at people of other races as "privileged" or "oppressed". If there is oppression taking place, we need to address the oppression in the system itself, not look at it the way this sojo.net article is painting it.

It's not about race.

Don't let it be about race.

If you see racism, stop it.

But don't make everything racist.

Don't let yourselves be divided based on race.

Don't paint people as victims or supremacists. Both are generalizations. Both are wrong. There are "black people" who are not victims. There are "white people" who are not supremacists. Both types of people are everywhere. DON'T LET RACE GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR VIEW OF OTHERS. THE MEDIA WANTS TO PIT YOU AGAINST OTHER RACES. DON'T LET THEM. VIEW OTHER PEOPLE AS JESUS DOES. THEY'RE NOT "BLACK" AND THEY'RE NOT "WHITE" AND THEY'RE NOT "UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS". THEY'RE NOT RACES OR CLASSES. THEY'RE PEOPLE. THEY'RE CREATIONS OF GOD WHO EITHER ARE GOD'S CHILDREN, OR WHO NEED TO HEAR THE GOSPEL.

Please take this into consideration. May God bless you all, according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.




PS. Note: I never gave out my own race anywhere in this post. By now, most of you know that I'm male. But I never gave out my race. I refuse. I'm not a "race". God doesn't want me to be a "race". God wants me to be His servant and follow His teachings, even if I'm not always very good at it. I'm a Christian, not a "race". My "race" died when I was born again.



















And finally,

it is people of color who know most experientially what it means to bear the cross of Christ.

WE'RE NOT RACIST, BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Complacency

Something I've noticed this recently is that I've found myself becoming "complacent" in my beliefs. I've thought a lot lately about late 2014, when I was ZEALOUS about God. Openly denouncing flaws in Catholicism, writing extremely bold lyrics, writing posts directed to the secular scene, etc.

At first, I reverted to a thought pattern I'm often guilty of - trying to capture the emotions / feelings / "essence" of that time period (the music I listened to, the things that I did, the places I went), instead of trying to understand the meaning behind them. It's a very misguided thought process that I used a lot back in the old days. But I finally caught myself, and thought about it again. I think the actual reason I was so zealous back then was because the contrast between good and evil was more obvious to me, since I was just leaving the occult stuff. I was even having nightmares about it: listening to evil music and finding a dead demon hanging in a doorway; the devil trying to break down my bedroom door in the middle of this rather terrifying storm; etc. Contrast those nightmares with all the research I was doing on [Christian] theology, along with my regular reading of the gospels and Revelation.

But over the past year or so, I feel like I've become too complacent in the comfort I feel now that I'm no longer being directly plagued by demonic forces. Nowadays, each day sort of just becomes another "day", where I'm not being directly threatened by anything. Also, I feel like I've forgotten just how bad the evil made me feel, and how great it was to be free of it. But I've become accustomed to this way of life now, and I feel like I've just lost a lot of understanding because of it. Back in 2014, even though I knew snippets of the gospels, sitting down and reading them for myself was new to me. It was so powerful and, ultimately, quite wonderful to read the words of Jesus (written in red!) and to not only learn things, but to be convicted by things He was saying that I disagreed with at the time, and had trouble accepting. It was great to ask God for understanding, and that God taught me how those teachings actually made sense and were correct. But nowadays? That sense of wonder is largely gone; I'm used to the Bible being in my life now. I'm used to reading it frequently. It doesn't mean as much to me as it once did.

So, what should we conclude here? That we need a "sense of wonder" to be good Christians? No, not at all. It's not the "sense of wonder" itself, it's the meaning behind it: that I had a fuller appreciation for God and for His word, and the complacency I've felt lately has hindered that. I don't feel as strong of a need to repent from anything; I don't have as much incentive to run to God, because there isn't as much that I need to run from. But that's not how our faith journey actually works. It's a constant battle. We may be safer in God's word, but by allowing ourselves to become complacent in it, we're still putting ourselves in danger. The devil and his demons may not be able to harm us directly after we accept Christ, but they can still tempt us and mislead us. We need to constantly be aware of this. We need to always acknowledge the significance of what God does for us - that He gave us His word in the Bible, that He sent Jesus to pay for our sins, that He will let us live in His kingdom for eternity where every tear will be wiped from our eyes... This is very powerful stuff!

The reason I'm bringing this up in a blog post is because I want this to reach other people who feel this way. I'm hoping that by posting this, I can bring their complacency to their attention as well, and hopefully/prayerfully give them some incentive to talk to God, and to get their lives back on track. I've hated this complacency, whether I was aware of it or not, and I look forward to leaving it behind and getting back to what God wants from me. Even though, just like my journey was in 2014, this will probably be a struggle.

But it'll totally be worth it.

And it'll be so much better than the alternative.

May God bless and guide you all, according to His perfect will! In Jesus' name. Amen.