Category Archives: Bible Study

Posts dealing with Biblical studies.

What’s your ideal church service?

(I started this blog entry months ago and am just now finishing it, so if the first part sounds odd to those who know what I’ve been up to lately, that’s why…)

I had to drive back home from my parents house tonight, not really a long drive, but an hour and a half allows for a decent amount of reflection.  I spent most of the time musing about the differences between various church services, and what some people consider “proper”.  I grew up in church and gave my life to Christ when I was 8 — over the years I’ve attended services at more churches than I could even think to count, in a wide variety of denominations.

The past few years I’ve been gravitating more towards pentecostal churches (while searching for a new home church) and the overlaps between what people consider “pentecostal”, “holiness”, “full gospel”, and “charismatic” can sometimes make for some very unexpected experiences when one goes to check out a new church.  Many of the people from the churches I grew up in hear the word “pentecostal” and immediately freak out, recalling stories of poisonous snakes being passed around during services, people barking like dogs, or just mass chaos.

I recently went to visit a church with a good friend of mine, they considered themselves old-fashioned holiness pentecostal, and they’d just come out of a 2 month revival.  At one point during the worship service, amidst other things like crashing symbols, head-banging, isle-running, people dancing jigs, etc, I looked up to find the little 70-something year old pastor jumping 6 feet or more, from the very top of his lecturn down to the floor below the stage.  I found this quite astonishing, given his age, and felt the need to tell Mom & Dad about it.

Services are markedly different at their church, and I’m sure they would be completely uncomfortable witnessing one like that.  In any case, on the way home I was thinking about the differences and which of the various types of services makes the most sense to me, and why.

My thinking went like this…  Church services can be about a number of things, depending on the congregation and why they’re coming to church.

Some people see church as a social club, or a weekly obligation.  Services, then, are all about social gathering, ritual, visiting your fellow congregants, and putting in your obligatory time in prayer, communion, or whatever activities are seen as part of what you call “church”.  Much like a board meeting, there’s an expected set of activities and an order to follow.  The service goes best when everyone is calm, collected, and in their place, so that the event can run smoothly and people can get on with their lives.

Some people see church as a place to recharge after a long week.  They come wanting to be entertained, get their fill of fellowship, have their emotions revved up and their heart refreshed.  Services then should often get the kids out of the way (so that they get a break from parenting), and should knock their socks off.  The music has to be positive, upbeat, and energetic.  They want to get wound up, pumped up, and filled up so they have the energy to take on the coming week.  The worship leader has to know how to stoke a fire, and pastor’s job is that of a motivational speaker.  If people with this attitude are pentecostal or charismatic, they also want the Spirit to entertain them, so they want to hear tongues and see people dancing and running and get so worked up that they’re disheveled from the excitement by the time the service ends.

But are either of those things what church is supposed to be about? Is going to church supposed to be filling a social obligation?  Should it be all about you and your needs?  Or is it supposed to be about filling your obligation to God?

Yes, we often need recharged after a long week, church is a great place to meet people with similar interests, encouraging messages are great, and getting all worked up while singing can be a really great experience, but you can get all of that at a concert of your favorite band, or maybe at your local senior center, depending on your tastes.

God’s saving grace wasn’t offered as a club membership card. Christ’s radical sacrifice pulled us out of certain doom, and we should be excited about that.  We should want to shout it from the rooftops  (or twitter, perhaps, these days).  We should be excited for every chance to draw closer to him.  And yes, we can do it from home, it’s not necessary to wait til church time (and we shouldn’t wait) but we humans are so easily distracted by the everyday mundane and the slings and arrows of life, and sometimes that weekly meeting is necessary to refocus ourselves on what is important.

Part of a healthy church service then, I think, requires time to reflect on what He did for us, time to refocus and regain that gratitude that we had when we were first saved.  Some of that comes in worship.  Not just singing praise songs, but true worship — true focus on giving God the praise he deserves for his love and sacrifice — sometimes with song, sometimes with prayer, sometimes with testimonies and praise reports.  And when we’re in the worst places in life, sometimes hearing others give those testimonies or praise reports, hearing others truly praising God, is enough to help us find our own way back.

When you go to a concert you may scream praise for the musicians, clap, yell and sing along at the top of your lungs.  Why?  Because you love their talent?  Because the words they wrote mean so much to you?  Because they’ve provided you with entertainment for a fee?  When you go to church, do you sit on your hands and try not to fall asleep?  Is God’s sacrifice such a small thing that you can’t even give him a shout or clap your hands?  If you do shout and clap, is it to praise the worship leaders, instead?  As if they’re really there to entertain you, to get you worked up, instead of trying to lead you to a closer walk with God?  Is there something wrong with this picture?

Our commission wasn’t to come be entertained once a week for the rest of our lives, it was to go and make disciples. Just as we can’t train people to follow Christ if we’re not following Him ourselves; we can’t teach people about Him if we don’t know about Him, so part of our job as Christians is to be good students.  And if we’re going to be getting together once a week to refocus on praising Him, perhaps we should learn more about Him while we’re there.  That’s the whole point of having teachers and preachers, I think.  Not to tickle your ears, tell you how great you are, inspire you, send you home with warm fuzzies; but to teach you, to correct you, to help you grow in your walk with God so that you can do a better job of going out into the world and spreading the good news.

“But what about the Spirit!?” you say. And to that I say: the Spirit doesn’t come to entertain us, either.  The Spirit doesn’t show up just to give you a warm fuzzy, or a message in tongues, or knock you on the floor, or make you run around screaming.  He’s not there just to serve you.  If He shows up, and if you don’t drive Him away, He’s there about the Father’s business.  Sure, depending on your personality type and how you react to Him sometimes that means you’ll get that warm fuzzy, or a message in tongues, or you’ll be knocked to the floor from the intensity, or perhaps you’ll get so emotional about it that you’ll run around screaming.  But that is not the point of His visit, and if you focus on that — if you focus on your own emotional response — you’re missing a lot.  Now, yes, the Spirit is a comforter, and part of His job is to comfort God’s people, but He is also meant as a helper, not for each individual but for the kingdom of God as a whole.  (1 Corinthians 14 has a good discussion of all of this).

Sometimes it serves God’s purpose to comfort a person in their time of sorrow, sometimes the Spirit’s job is to chastise, sometimes to edify, sometimes to teach, and sometimes to fill a person with power and give them the right words to speak.  What the spirit does with you in one service is not what the Spirit will do in every service.  God’s voice may be in the fire one day and in the still small voice the next.  If you come wanting to get riled up and excited with every service, God will not be able to have His way when He needs you quiet and reflective.  If you come wanting to sit on your hands and have a nice relaxing time, God will not be able to have His way if He needs you to shout a message of encouragement.

God knows what He’s doing, and we need to let Him have His way in ‘our’ services.


Filed under Bible Study, Tips & Advice

How to lead the best church ever!

This list is intended as a funny way to call attention to some of the major problems in churches today.  In case it’s not painfully obvious, nearly everything that follows contains pure, dripping sarcasm.  Unfortunately, I have encountered some or all of these issues/attitudes in most of the churches I’ve visited over the past decade or so.

  • Your church does not need to be accessible.    After all, you don’t want any disabled, injured or old people in your congregation anyway, right?  They’ll just get in the way.
  • Those posted hours?  Not important.  There’s no reason to show up for services, no one’s coming anyway.  And don’t ever leave a note on the door if you happen to go elsewhere or cancel service, no one’s gonna come by to check out your church on the one night you’re gone, especially if you have a big blinky welcome sign out front.  Whatever you do, do not call your regular members and let them know what’s going on if you have to cancel a service, they won’t care if they show up and the doors are locked.
  • If you’re a pastor, be sure to complain about former members that have wronged you, or the church, from the pulpit.  Your congregation needs to know you’ll snipe at them behind their backs if they ever do you wrong.  It won’t look bad on you personally, and it’s not gossip or anything.
  • Stay far far away from the internet.  No one who just moved to your area will ever think of looking for a church online, and no one wants to keep up to date with church activities on sites like twitter or Facebook, the whole of the internet is a silly, evil fad, and it’ll eventually go away if you ignore it.  Never return emails or phone calls either, if it’s important they can ask you face to face.
  • If someone misses a week or two, just forget about them.  If they really care about God they’ll come back eventually, and if they don’t you were better off without them anyway.  No one wants their church family calling to check on them when they’re sick or unable to get to church.  And they certainly won’t want to hear a friendly voice if they’re depressed or oppressed.
  • Any visitor that comes through your doors and doesn’t meet your personal standards for dress, hygiene, adornments, skin color, class, or anything else should be immediately ostracized so that they know they’re in the wrong place, preferably before they even get a chance to sit down.  This can be accomplished with dirty looks, scowls, whispers, and random gasps from a trained congregation, assuming you don’t wish to take a more direct approach.  It’s only fair that they know from the get-go that they aren’t welcome, it’ll save awkwardness later.
  • Be sure to complain regularly and loudly from the pulpit about the horrible people that keep calling the church asking for help and handouts.  And whatever you do, never ever let the song leader sing songs with lyrics like “God loves a cheerful giver”, “give me Your love for humanity” or “they will know we are Christians by our love”.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, find something for a church member to do if they come to you asking how they can help.  No one really wants to feel like they’re doing something constructive for God or the congregation, so they must have an ulterior motive.  If you deflect or ignore them enough they’ll give up and leave you alone, a sure sign that you were right and they really didn’t want to help in the first place.
  • If someone is too loud, sings off key, gets too excited during worship and actually shows emotion, yells “amen”, or has the audacity to bring their child into the sanctuary with them, you should make sure they’re immediately pulled aside and schooled on proper church etiquette.  Patriarchs like David never danced, or sang, or acted ‘crazy’ when they got excited about God, and Jesus never would have let kids get close when he was preaching!
  • The pulpit is the best place to call out the sinners in your congregation.  If you find out someone’s fallen into a specific sin you should preach a sermon against it as soon as possible; be sure to stare at them the whole time so they get the message, and so that everyone else knows who you’re talking to.  If that doesn’t work, you might consider going to them in private later.
  • Outreach is overrated.  You’ll reach far more people if you refrain from doing any activities where you interact with the community at large. Stay away from any charity or missions programs, never interact with other churches, and make sure that no one in your congregation has any idea how to witness.
  • If your church has to relocate, for whatever reason, you should not even think about calling your members, recent visitors and attendees.  Anyone who really belongs to the church will have heard about the move already or can ask a member that already knows.
  • If a member brings a visitor to your church, and that person is obviously not saved, you should make sure to take the first opportunity to scold the church member for being “yolked with unbelievers”.  They should know better than to bring unsaved people into the church!
  • Things like taking prayer requests or setting up prayer lists and prayer chains are unnecessary.  No one should ever think that the church cares about major problems or illnesses they are dealing with, and they should never get the idea that they have an adopted family backing them up when they’re going through a hard time.
  • Every single sermon should be positive, affirming, comfortable, saccharine, and uplifting.  Never preach against sin; never preach about accountability, leading a holy life, or working for the Lord; never teach your congregation how to flee from temptation, grow their relationship with Christ, deal with adversity or persecution, or get through tough times.  As long as you pretend the Christian life is all smiles and roses their lives will be perfect, and so will yours.  It’s fine to just ignore or rephrase any Bible verse that seems ugly or difficult.  As long as you keep tickling everyone’s ears their money will keep hitting your coffers… and that’s the real measure of success, right?
  • Hypocrisy is very attractive, you should show it whenever given the least opportunity.  “Do as I say, not as I do” is a great philosophy for any Christian to live by, especially a pastor.
  • The music service should be all about entertaining your congregation.  It’s really just a feel-good concert and should be approached as such, after all, they’re paying for it right!?  If people happen to worship God some while they’re at it that’s okay, I guess, but your top priority should be making sure everyone’s happy and entertained.


I’m sure I could add a lot to this list, but I’m getting tired so I’m gonna call it.  Do you have any to add?



Filed under Bible Study, Rants, Tips & Advice

I am not a sinner saved by grace

I am not a sinner saved by grace.

And neither are you.

Or rather, you shouldn’t be.

Either you’re a sinner, or your a new creature in Christ, you don’t get to be both.

Christ did not save me so that I could go back and wallow in a pit of despair, saying "woe is me" while I continue to live in the shackles of sin that He died to break me out of!  

A few posts ago I wrote about "denying the power", about how 2 Timothy 3:1-5 was speaking specifically about this issue.  (You might want to go back and read it if you get a chance.)

I’m not sure why I’m posting again on this same subject, except hat it’s been bugging me more and more lately, as I’m hearing person after person spout the "I’m just a sinner like everyone else, I’m just a sinner saved by grace" nonsense.  If you are just a sinner, and nothing else, then you are denying Christ!  Christ is not some lame duck God that has no power to help you keep from falling into the sins that he died to bring you out of.  He is real, living, powerful, capable, and absolutely able to cleanse and sanctify.  And if you don’t believe that, then you might as well throw away your Bible and live up to that "sinner" label you’re so fond of.

He did not save you so that you could go wallow in the mud of your familiar sins!  

Christians love to quote 1 Corinthians 10:13 — Or, I should say, they love to misquote it.   They love to say that "God won’t give you more than you can handle" — ignoring the obvious context of the verse, and the actual text of the verse, they take something said about temptation, and make it about life’s burdens.  It’s great to think that God won’t let life throw us more burdens than we can bear.  It’s not so great to think that we have no excuse  for our sins.  But that’s exactly what this verse says:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

That’s right.  God won’t allow you to be tempted beyond what you can, but will provide a way of escape.  That means for every temptation to sin, there is a way for you to check yourself, and not sin.  Every time you’re tempted, you have a choice.  

As Christians, we are to learn to look for those choices, look for those ways of escape, and get better and better at not sinning when faced with temptation.  

Does this mean that every Christian is going to be perfect?  Of course not.  We’re still human, and we still have to wrestle with these choices, and we’re still going to screw up from time to time.  But as Christians we have a responsibility to lay aside our old, sinful nature, and live as a new creature.  A creature with the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit behind us.  

Insisting on claiming the label of "sinner", even in the context of a "sinner saved by grace", is essentially denying what was given to you when you accepted Christ as Lord.  You might as well be throwing down that spotless garment and picking up the old one again.  "I don’t want to seem like I’m better than anyone else, I’ll just wear this dirty rag, okay, Lord?".  How insulting can you get?   
Furthermore, the more often you say you’re just a sinner (yeah, yeah, saved by grace), the less likely you’ll be to look for that way out.  After all, you’re just a sinner, and God’s grace is sufficient, right?  Why not just give in to the temptation?  I’m not any different from anyone else, after all, right?  

And we wonder why so many Christian leaders fall?  We need to purge this ridiculous notion from the body of Christ.  We are not just sinners saved by grace.  We were sinners.  We were saved, by grace.  And now we’re new creatures, and we need to stop denying the power that was given to us and learn to live that way.


Filed under Bible Study

Denying the power?

So I was looking up this verse, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" because I wanted to make a post about it.  I was surprised to find (though I’ve read the New Testament I don’t know how many times) that the context was not what I remembered it to be.  

If you’re like me, you’ve probably  heard people preach on this passage.  But if you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard it preached in context.  It turns out that part that’s quoted is not the full thought (or even the full sentence).

Here’s the full quote:

2 Timothy 3:1-5

  •  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Now, I’m sure you’ve seen this list before, too, usually divorced from the part I mentioned above.  We like to look at this list and point out the type of people we don’t like.  Self-indulgent, greedy, envious, liars, traitors, etc.  

Some pastors take this verse and run with it, they preach week after week about how their parishioners need to make sure they keep themselves holy and away from sinners like this verse is talking about.  They take it so far that they scare people into avoiding the unsaved altogether… so much for the great commission!

Except the passage, even the sentence, doesn’t end with that list.  Before he says to turn away, the author points out exactly who he’s talking about, by describing them as "Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof".  Now, the  list that proceeds this phrase sounds nothing like a person that has a form of godliness to me.  It sounds like a list of grave sinners.  

But taken in context it seems clear to me that the author is NOT talking about non-Christians here.  He’s talking about people who have "a form of godliness"… yet still fit into that list.  Wolves in sheep’s clothing.  People showing one image in public and secretly living as something else.  People who sin all week and then repent on Sunday.  Or worse, people who sin all week, preach about not sinning, and then just hide their sins from the people in the church.  The "do as I say, not as I do" type.

Before looking at this scripture yesterday I always assumed "denying the power thereof" was talking about the power of the gifts of the Holy Spirit — the kind of power that spurs healings and prophecies and the like — but after looking at the context more closely I don’t think that’s what he means here.  What power is someone denying when they preach the Word while continuing to sin?  Is it not the power of God that effects sanctification in the life of the Christian?  The power to change one’s life so completely as to turn them around and make a new man out of them?

Having a form of Godliness does a person no good if they deny God the power to change their lives.  I think the author is warning us to stay away from people who want to label themselves Godly, while continuing to sin.  While it’s possible he’s talking about ‘religious folk’ of any type, and not just Christians, I rather think he’s speaking directly about people who claim Christ.  

I also think he’s talking about the "sinner saved by grace" mentality… this idea that once you get saved, you can’t help but to go on sinning, so don’t try, just make sure you repent every Sunday and God won’t care.  This idea, in my opinion, is toxic and disgusting.  Sure, we’re all human, and as humans we’re going to screw up from time to time, but God is not impotent.  If you believe and ask Him to take charge of your life He will come in and clean house.  He will impart to you the POWER, through his Spirit, to overcome your sinful nature.  He will  make you into something new, not just a sinner who’s saved, but an overcomer, a person who used to be a sinner, who was saved, and is now a new creature.  Christians do not have to be, and should not be slaves to sin.  

Here are some other scriptures that speak to this same issue…

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7

  • For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.  For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

  • I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons – not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world.  
  • But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber.  Do not even eat with such a one.  
  • For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge?  
  • God will judge those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

Hebrews 10:26-31

  • For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
  • Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy "on the testimony of two or three witnesses."  
  • How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?  
  • For we know the one who said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."  
  • It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Romans 6:16-23

  • Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
  • But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
  • I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations.  For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.  
  • When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed?  The end of those things is death.
  • But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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There CAN Be a More Beautiful You

There’s a new song that’s been played on Christian radio quite a lot lately called “A More Beautiful You” by Jonny Diaz. It’s a very catchy song, and I loved it the first time I heard it. The more I hear it though, the more it bothers me.  Unfortunately, I keep singing along, despite myself, and I have a feeling a lot of people absolutely love the song.

You can listen to the song here:
Or find the full lyrics here:

The first verse is great. It looks at a 14 yo girl who’s looking at a magazine and feeling bad because she’s not perfect like the model she’s looking at. I can’t really identify with that, I’ve never really been concerned with that kind of thing myself, but I know a lot of girls are, and I’m sure Mr Diaz had great intentions with the song. Who doesn’t want to help people realize their inner beauty?

The problems I have start with the chorus, and the overall message of the song.

There could never be a more beautiful you

The fact is, there CAN be a more beautiful you. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are not perfect. That’s the entire point of the Christian message. If we were perfect the way we were Christ never would have had to die for us. Non-Christians are not perfect the way they are, they need a savior to cover their sins with His blood. Christians are not perfect the way we are, we should constantly be striving to put off the old self and conform to Christ. Without a constant struggle to improve ourselves, we cannot be right with God.

There can be a more beautiful you, and he or she looks an awful lot more like Christ than you do now.

Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

This part bugs me on another level. Were we made to fill a purpose that only we can do? I can’t think of a scripture that supports this idea. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s not there. It’s a popular idea…. We’re all unique and great and God made each of us for a specific reason and purpose and task. There’s a perfect mate for us out there and God made him/her as a perfect match and together we’ll make the perfect family yadda yadda yadda. Yeah, it’s a great thought. But I don’t think it’s Biblical.

God does not need you. Yes, God wants you to come to Him. He cares for you so deeply that even if you were the only one left on this earth worth saving He would have made a way to bring you home. He came and died for you. He wants you to return that love and to work in His kingdom, helping to save others and bring them home. But he doesn’t need you. He is all powerful, almighty, and all knowing. If you’re a Christian, you chose to accept Him as Lord, and He’s made a place for you in His body. Sure, there is work for you to do, but if you turn away from Him tomorrow and go your own way… if you lay down your cross and stop doing the work He’s apportioned to you, He will find another worker to fill the position. You are not so unique that God can’t live without you. God does not depend on you. If you believe you are indispensable to God you are believing a lie. 

We should be secure in our faith, and we should be more concerned about our hearts than our bodies. There’s no reason to turn anorexic or get surgery because you want to look like the model in a magazine. In that I applaud Mr Diaz. But the chorus teaches something that is antithetical to true Christianity. There CAN be a more beautiful you, and you should always be striving to become that person.

The second verse is much like the first, but lays out a now-21-year-old who has made compromises in her life. Setting up a picture of someone who has done wrong and now needs to repent, but still has a bad self-image. The bridge confuses me a bit.

So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl

“You’re not too far to back away and be who you are” – So she’s really not this person who has made mistakes in her life and needs to fix them? She’s really this innocent little girl who she used to be? What kind of nonsense is that? The second two lines are right on. It’s never too late, and you can be saved. In fact, it’s right on up to the last 3 lines, then it loses me again. “He’ll take your dark distorted view and show you truth and you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl” what does that mean? It probably wouldn’t sound odd except for the context of first few lines here, when you combine them it sounds like she’s just been looking at her life wrong and really she’s not bad at all, she hasn’t made compromises and done anything wrong, she’s just looking at everything the wrong way.

This song is confusing at best, and I’m sure Mr Diaz didn’t have bad intentions, but it reeks of psycho-babble that has nothing to do with Christianity. Since the chorus, that’s repeated over and over, is so misguided I just can’t help but be offended by it when I hear it now. It’s too bad, because it really is a great song, musically.


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Filed under Bible Study, Music & Songs

Done wif/da old

I haven’t been posting much lately, because I’ve been too busy and tired.  Now that the huge show is over hopefully I’ll be able to get back to some sort of normalcy.

In any case, I did keep reading, and I finally finished my read-through of the JPS  version of the old testament the other night.  I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to continue another read-through of the new testament, or switch to topical studies, and since I haven’t made up my mind yet, I’ve decided to do neither for a little bit. 

I’ve been collecting old (70’s and earlier) biblical studies books and such off of PoshPoints lately, and I decided to take the opportunity to read through them before I move on to other study.  I don’t know how many of them will be any good, but since some of them are prophecy books, from the 70’s, it should be interesting at least lol

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Derr… Where did Dan go?

We were going over Revelation 7 in a Bible study Friday, and one of the ladies noticed something was off in the listing of the 12 tribes. Dan isn’t mentioned in Revelation, but both Joshua and Joshua’s son Manesseh are mentioned. This is bizarre, since every account of the 12 tribes mentions Dan, even the one in the end-times prophecy in Ezekiel.

So, what happened to Dan?

Scripture References

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His Right Hand

I’ve been neglecting scriptural blog posts for a while, but I needed to note this one for my own reference.

Hebrews 1:3 (NRSV)

He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Isaiah 59:14-16 (Linking to KJV – text below is JPS)

14And so redress is turned back
And vindication stays afar,
Because honesty stumbles in the public square
And uprightness cannot enter.
15Honesty has been lacking,
He who turns away from evil is despoiled.”
The Lord saw and was displeased
That there was no redress.
16He saw that there was no man,
He gazed long, but no one intervened.
Then His own arm won him triumph,
His victorious right hand
supported Him.

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Naked and Barefoot

So I was reading Isaiah last night and had to do a doubletake after reading chapter 20.

Isaiah 20:3-6 (NRSV)

3. Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia, 4. so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.  5.So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.  6.And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

So I read it a few more times, in a few different translations, but there’s just no mistaking the fact that Isaiah ran around naked and barefoot for 3 YEARS!

further pontification

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Yay!  I’m finally out of the Psalms.  I usually enjoy reading them but this time through I just wasn’t feeling it.  Reading the Psalms when I’m depressed just ends up annoying me.

Proverbs on the other hand, is always a good read.  It’s also amusing me that the JPS version uses the word “dullard” where the King James uses “fool”.  For example, Proverbs 13:20, “He who keeps company with the wise becomes wise, but he who consorts with dullards comes to grief”        .

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