Sunday, September 18, 2016

Various Church Thoughts

"So it seems we all have different skills - 
 *stands up*
 Did you see how quickly I got up there?! Pretty good!"
  - guest reverend, 18 September, 2016

Hey guys, so today in church, we read even more verses that aren't necessarily "pleasant". Come to think of it, I'm not sure how many people actually make the claim that churches "avoid the less pleasant verses in the Bible", but I've seen the claim a few times and it continues to bother me. So since we read some this week, I wanted to share them. From Psalm 79:

O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; they have defiled Your temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. They have given the bodies of Your servants - the flesh of Your faithful - to the wild animals. They have poured out their blood like water, and there was no one to bury them. How long, O Lord! Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealous wrath burn like fire? Pour out Your anger on the nations that do not know You or call on Your name. For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation. Do not remember against us the sins of our ancestors; let Your compassion come speedily to us. Help us, O God of our salvation; deliver us and forgive our sins.

Also in church today, I saw an elderly woman I kind of know. She's getting older and a bit forgetful, but when she was younger, she apparently knew most of, if not the entire Bible. I've heard the claim several times that "reading the Bible will make you an atheist", so I find it interesting that this woman is still a Christian, and still attends church after reading the Bible and knowing it well enough to surprise our pastor. Come to think of it, what exactly do the "reading the Bible will make you an atheist" people think pastors/reverends do, anyway? What do they think any theologian does in a given day? ... They tend to read the Bible! What gives? The answer is simple, reading it doesn't diminish one's faith, it teaches and instructs. My faith is deeper as a result of reading the Bible. What diminishes one's faith is oneself - refusing to listen to those teachings, and specifically looking for reasons not to follow them. It's why people claim, for instance, that God "hates" homosexuals, despite the multitude of verses stating that God does not want anyone (ANYONE) to perish. This actually leads nicely into the last thing I wanted to mention in this post. Usually when I mention "the multitude of verses stating that God does not want anyone (ANYONE) to perish", I mention Ezekiel 18, either verse 23 or 32. There's also 2 Peter 3:9, I'm sure there are others that I can't think of off the top of my head. But today in church, I learned another one! Technically it's two; it's a single sentence that, for some reason, is split into two verses.

1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

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

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