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.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cliches

People wonder how a Christian can believe in something that seems "too good to be true". After all - good wins in the end. Of course it does. It always does ... doesn't it?

We get to spend eternity with loved ones whose earthly lives ended before ours. We don't have to leave them again, nor do they have to leave us - eternity. It's a gimmick... isn't it?

I think part of the problem with some people's perception of Christianity at this point in society comes from the fact that many of its principles have become cliched. At best, some Christian principles have been adapted in various forms of media to the point that the morals or plot points become tired. At worst, they're parodied to the point that basic Biblical terminology becomes a punchline and its significance is lost.

Picture that you live in a world without movies or books, without any kind of historical records. All you are used to is babies being born, and people being killed or dying of old age. It doesn't even have to be a primitive society - it can be a modern, scientifically-oriented one. Somebody tells you that there is, to put it simply, an invisible part of that person that does not die, but is sent somewhere else, and that you too will go there and meet that person again when you die. Is the idea still ridiculous to you? Is it too good to be true? It'd be an unfamiliar idea to you and your theoretical society, so of course it'd be met with some skepticism, but on what grounds? The idea that you haven't thought about it. That you haven't had any time to think about it. Not the grounds that it's somehow intrinsically "too good to be true", because you have nothing like it to which you can compare it - remember that you have no fantasy novels or mythology. "Too good to be true" is a conclusion drawn from a situation where there are already a bunch of "good" (read: pleasant) ideas that end up being untrue, a situation where idealism becomes tired, and has eroded one's perception of what's possible. The fact that Christianity presents an idealistic view of life after death doesn't negate Christianity itself, and the fact that Heaven is idealistic doesn't negate the idea of Heaven. The only reason to doubt it on those grounds is a repeated pattern of hope/expectation and disappointment - but see, that's subjective. It's not even anecdotal - it's just subjective. Even though reality, as we all know, is generally worse than we would like it to be, reality itself doesn't function in a state of perpetual disappointment. People fail, but people succeed. People lose, but people win. People struggle, but people thrive. This happens in varying degrees of extremity - some minor, some monumental - thus, ultimately, there is no such thing as "too good to be true". Good wins in fantasy novels, but that doesn't mean good can't win in real life as well.

There's also the issue of Biblical concepts and terminology becoming cliches. What does that mean? We esteem anyone who is "nice", or "generous", or "gentle" in any regard, to be an "angel". We esteem anyone with whom we disagree, or who wrongs us, to be "the devil". The word "sin" is a joke. Does the average person in a first-world nation really think of the word "sin" in the same way that they think of genocide? That is, as a serious offense? Or do they think of "sin" as a silly metaphor for any kind of indulgence that would rile up people with values the see as "traditional"? The kind of indulgence that harms oneself, but not others, so it's deemed "okay"? Anybody who assists another person in some way is a "Savior". Anyone who is good at something is a "god". There are plenty of fictional characters who come back from the dead. Plenty of fictional characters who play a role in stories that's similar to the role God plays in the real world. After awhile, these words and basic ideas that are crucial to the gospel message begin to lose their significance, and the gospel is reduced to a bunch of cliched exaggerations of everyday phenomena and commonplace story elements. Of course I'm not saying that romantic hyperbole is destroying Christianity; we probably don't need to worry about being "sinful, hehe!!", there it is again, by referring to significant others as "angels". It's about the broader mistreatment of these ideas, linguistically and otherwise, by a society that largely doesn't understand them, which makes them subjectively lose meaning. And subjectivity vs objectivity doesn't mean a thing to most people: if it's cliched in our society, it's cliched in general.

There's also the less interesting, but equally relevant point that Christian principles are often thought of as synonymous with "conservative" or "traditional" values. The idea is basically that all the things one finds unpleasant about their conservative relatives, or about the society in which they live, etc can all be traced back to the role Christianity allegedly plays in it. This idea is a lot easier to refute: use the Bible as a litmus test, not people or cultures which claim to be Christian. View it objectively and with prayer - don't cherrypick a random verse where somebody is killed, and stretch its meaning until it lines up with whatever you're opposing. The ideas in God's teachings do not line up with what our world has become. People know less about the Bible than they think they do.

Take all these things into consideration. And as always, may God bless you all and guide you according to His perfect will! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Reverorum ib Malacht interview

Seeing that this link was removed from their "additional notes" on Metal Archives, I wanted to make sure this was still available somewhere.

Now, as I've said before on here, I don't agree with Catholicism. I think it's full of unbiblical principles (rosaries, purgatory, etc) and gives undeserved authority to human "popes". However I still think this interview contains a lot of intelligent and thought-provoking ideas and theology (even if I disagree with the Catholic influence on the details). Not to mention it contains a lot of information that fans of Reverorum ib Malacht would probably like to know.

That being said,
http://web.archive.org/web/20140414014831/hammemit.wordpress.com/malacht

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ezekiel 22:6-18, 20-29 with the word "Israel" replaced with "the United States"

The following passages from Ezekiel 22 are from the NASB translation, in their entirety.
All I did was change the word "Israel" to "the United States". Nothing else was changed.
Just something to think about.


“Behold, the rulers of the United States, each according to his power, have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood. They have treated father and mother lightly within you. The alien they have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you. You have despised My holy things and profaned My sabbaths. Slanderous men have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood, and in you they have eaten at the mountain shrines. In your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. 10 In you they have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you they have humbled her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. And another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you they have taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression, and you have forgotten Me,” declares the Lord God.
13 “Behold, then, I smite My hand at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken and will act. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and I will disperse you through the lands, and I will consume your uncleanness from you. 16 You will profane yourself in the sight of the nations, and you will know that I am the Lord.”
17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18“Son of man, the house of the United States has become dross to Me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver.

 20 As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My wrath and I will lay you there and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in the furnace, so you will be melted in the midst of it; and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out My wrath on you.’”
23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her, ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. 26 Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.

Monday, October 17, 2016

1/3 of the World

The statistic was brought to my attention again that "nearly 1/3" of the world is Christian. Some people, I fear, may be content with this number. But there are two problems with this.

The first problem is that, as far as I know, we don't know if this 1/3 is all Christians. Many, many people claim to be, but choose to believe in lies / heresies that go directly against God's word, or twist God's word to fit some personal agenda of theirs, or live carelessly / unrepentantly sin and make no attempt to grow or seek God.

The second problem is what that number implies: nearly 2/3 of the world is not Christian. And when I say "not Christian", don't be confused. I'm not saying that "nearly 2/3 of the world has a different opinion than me" - I don't care if people agree with my opinions, I've explained innumerable times on here, and elsewhere, how Christianity is factual - I'm saying that 2/3 of the world is not saved. 2/3 of the people on this planet right now will end up in Hell the way things are right now.

While it's certainly encouraging that 1/3 of the world is (presumably) saved, and that is a large number, twice that number is not saved. That's troubling. I'm not sure what exactly to do yet, but we have to do more. I'm aware that we won't be able to help everybody, but we have to do more. Definitely pray about this. Ask God what you can do. I definitely will. I know this blog doesn't bring in a lot of traffic, but for whoever reads this, I really wanted to bring these numbers to your attention.

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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fairness

But the house of Israel says, 'The Lord's way isn't fair.' Is it My ways that are unfair, house of Israel? Instead, isn't it your ways that are unfair?" - Ezekiel 18:29

People can't decide how God should judge.

Some people think that God just shouldn't judge at all - everybody should be allowed into Heaven no matter what they believe or do in their lives. Al-Qaeda? Heaven. ISIS? Heaven. Greedy corporate executives? Heaven. Corrupt politicians? Heaven. Serial rapists? Heaven. No forgiveness or repentance necessary; they think God should just ignore everything people do anyway.

Some people think that God should judge in a way that's similar to how the legal system judges - that God's judgment should depend on their actions. If people commit "small" sins like lying or something without turning away / repentance (things that generally aren't punishable by human law), they still shouldn't be punished at all for them. They're going against God's clearly-defined and clearly-explained rules, but if they're just "small" things, then God shouldn't judge them at all for it. If people "try", then they should go to Heaven, no matter what. That if they openly reject God, and continually sin, as long as they don't do anything that's really really bad (according to their local culture/values) and still give a few dollars to people outside of stores, etc, then God should still let them into Heaven. But if somebody commits a "really bad" sin like murdering an innocent person, etc (things that generally are punishable by human law), then God should send them to Hell by default. It doesn't matter if they genuinely repent, seek forgiveness, do good things later on in their lives ... They maintain that those people should still go to Hell forever.

There are other things as well, but it all boils down to the idea that the way God judges according to the Bible is unfair.

However, the way God judges us is fair. God explains to us what He wants of us in the Bible. Although our society is in a pretty rough spot right now and people disagree on a lot of things, the basic principles remain the same. We need to believe - in God, and in Jesus. We need to accept Jesus as the atoning sacrifice in our lives, our Lord and Savior. And it's not some impossible thing God wants of us here - God has written the law on our hearts, God has created a world that in itself, is evidence of Him, God regularly sends people out into the world to share His word with others. Look - you're reading this post right now. You somehow ended up on an entire blog about Christianity. An entire blog about theology, spirituality, apologetics ... inspired by God. There is tons of proof of His word that can be found with a simple Google search. People who refuse to listen after everything God does, have no excuse. God does punish sin, but in His fairness, understands when a wicked person truly repents, when they truly turn away from what they did. God looks at the situation objectively. God knows what's in their hearts; a human government, or a human legal system, can't look at things as clearly as God does, and so people are just coldly given a prison sentence they have to serve, whether they truly deserve it or not. With God, our sins are forgiven through Jesus. Thus, God does judge fairly. If God sends someone to Hell, He has a very good reason to do so; He doesn't want anybody to die. God is merciful. And on the other hand, God reproves/"punishes"/corrects those He loves - because that's how we, stubborn people that we are, learn. God reproves/corrects us so that we can become better people, learning the ways of righteousness and turning away from sin.

God is fair.

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

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Lyrics

Here are some more lyrics I wrote. Like the other ones, I hope to use them in songs someday, but if not, here they are:

Picture them standing a short distance away from you. 
Picture them coming closer. 
Picture them with weapons. 
Picture them with swords and clubs. 
Picture them baring their teeth at you. 
Picture them staring into your soul. 

Now picture God standing next to you. 
Now picture God putting His foot directly in front of you. 
Picture all of their weapons suddenly vanishing. 
Picture them backing up in fear. 
Picture them running away. 
Picture the safety you feel in that moment. 

Now picture this: God's not gonna walk away when they leave.
God's gonna stay with you.

I wrote this for those who get caught up in worldly stress - such as myself:

You cling so strongly
To the stress that keeps you alive
You're afraid to die
Arms clung to Earth, eyes look up high

Send a prayer, let go
Surrender to the grace of Christ
Earth's games seem so small
Given back the rest of your life 

I can't remember if I shared the rest of these here already or not.

1)
So many people will end up in Hell.
So many who would rather live wicked
Than even attempt to change, to improve.
And for what?
Hate than love
Murder than cure
Steal than give
Covet than rejoice
Die than live
So many people will end up in Hell. 


_______________________________

2)
The resurrection of Jesus
Was not borrowed from mythology
It is a historical fact
Known from the time it happened

The historicity of the resurrection
Shows its reliability
The Jews of the time are evidence
Of the truth it holds

There was no empty tomb
In the story of Osiris
Yet for the Jews there was one
That they could see themselves

The word was preached to all
Who saw it all firsthand
While others outside Israel
Mocked the resurrection!
[1]

A Pharisee converted
Though so much he learned
Would he not have known
If the parallels were so obvious?

A tomb the women saw
Martyrs dying for this truth
It makes no sense to suggest
This was based on mythology

If it were all false
The Israelites would have known
The Gospel would not have survived
In the city where it all took place

The resurrection is founded
Upon historical events and facts
Jesus Christ was resurrected
To pay for our sins!
[2]

Even the Jewish authorities
Who sought to bring Christ down
Passed it off as sorcery
But told of the truth of His miracles!
[3]

^ I have various notes sprinkled through these lyrics, here they are:
[1] " 'For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.' When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, 'We want to hear you again on this subject.' " - Acts 17:31-32

[2]
http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2006/09/external-evidence-ephraem-syrus.html
http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2004/11/external-evidence-irenaeus.html

[3] "On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu (of Nazareth) and the herald went before him for forty days saying (Yeshu of Nazareth) is going forth to be stoned in that he hath practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel. Let everyone knowing aught in his defense come and plead for him. But they found naught in his defense and hanged him on the eve of Passover" (Babylonia Sanhedrin 43a). - "Eve of Passover."

___________________________________

3)
Reject false doctrine
The Bible is the only source of spiritual wisdom
Build up your treasure in Heaven
And tear down all false teachings
They would mislead us
Through paths that would confuse with nonsense
Nonsense that is contrary to reality
Confusing the mind by distorting its inherent perception
The law is written on our hearts
The world itself is evidence of God's truth
The very fabric of the universe is written by God
Mankind has no excuse left
Measure your experiences by God's standards
And see the tricks demons plan

Where can you find the answers
For the questions they put in your head?
In Holy Scripture!
And it never seems obvious
When you ask for so long
And it never seems so correct
Until you take that first step

God's truth is a pathway
Stepping on it shows you what you had not previously seen
Following God's truth means ignoring the other path
Jesus Christ is God's truth
Thus Jesus Christ is the only way, truth, and life
Thus no one can go to the Father except through Jesus
Reject the lies all other forces will feed you
No being deserves your prayers but God
None of them are worthy but God
Tear down their lies
Let none of their sick mind games infect you

Reject false doctrine
The Bible is the only source of spiritual wisdom
And it never seems obvious
When you ask for so long
And it never seems so correct
Until you take that first step


4)

Where is my joy, my peace?
Why am I worrying so much?
And why do I still fear
Though I have God's holy touch?
I know who tries to take it
I know which wolf attacks
You can prowl for awhile
And your sins will be paid back

You tried to take my peace
You held it back
Now you're held back
You tried to take my peace
You held it back
Now you're held back

I tried to find a working cure
But falsities abound
How many more will suffer
With all the lies around?
Even if my choice was right
And with those two succeed
How many more will suffer
How many will you mislead?

You tried to hide the cure
You held it back
Now you're held back
You tried to hide the cure
You held it back
Now you're held back

You can try to mislead us
But Revelations shows
How with a few you may succeed
But will fail when you're thrown
Into the eternal fire
And no longer can attack
How many will look down on you
And nevermore look back?

You tried to take salvation
You held it back
Now you're held back
You tried to take salvation
You held it back
Now you're held back


5) I wrote this... September-October 2014. I used to be... just full of hatred, and my worldview was obviously very distorted by the things I used to believe and practice. I wrote this one day, some time after I left behind all the occult stuff, when I went for a walk and ... really saw the world clearly for the first time... in years, if not the first time ever. Very personal.

I still felt a bit choked up when I read this again. Two years later.

Today after so many years
I looked at the world, and I saw it clear...
Today, I looked at the woods
The darkness once felt may be gone for good...

Today, the veil over my eyes
Was lifted as I looked toward the skies...
Today, the darkness of shade
Isn't so dark anymore when God's presence pervades...

I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
Jesus is Lord and I saw it today...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
The darkness, the hidden, will all fall away...

Today people were walking again
All around me and I didn't hate them...
Today it didn't feel wrong
The hostility at the humans was gone...

Today the realms of the mind
Were finally something I could leave behind...
Today I felt what they described
I felt compassion for the people nearby...

I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
Jesus is Lord and I saw it today...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
The darkness, the hidden, will all fall away...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
God and the Holy Spirit lighting my way...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
Jesus is Lord and I saw it today...

Today I saw what I missed then
God's hand can make the evil break and bend...
Today it all fled behind...
The world is much clearer than what's in your mind...

If you believe, please spread the word
The blessings you've known and you've seen
If for no other reason than what you saw
Evangelize for those who were like me...