Why I’m moving more and more everyday toward pacifism.

In the entire history of Jesus we never have stories of Jesus using or promoting violence. The only time someone could even argue that perhaps Jesus used violence was when He told the disciples to get a sword and at the cleansing of the temple… however in each of those stories context quickly corrects any wrong thinking. In context Jesus tells Peter that the sword wasn’t meant for violence, and following the cleansing of the temple the children are all playing with Jesus. Clearly Jesus wasn’t a crazy scary mad man, but rather a controlled firm voice against the injustice of the day.

Just thinking…

Seems like this theology or whatever it is… teaches a person how to deal with suffering but not really how to end suffering….. What are your thoughts?

Excited about the NBA.. and tonight 4 Tar Heels play in one game

Four TAR HEELS…. one game! Go North Carolina Tar Heels

The Kingdom of God is within you…

I’ve thought on this for a while… Not sure where to go with this or how to apply it. But it is interesting.

Jesus came to reveal God as the Prince of Peace…. if you are waiting for a time for God to come again and kill your enemies you are still misunderstanding the heart of God.

Really thinking about man…. is he good, bad, or bad with a covering of goodness from God?

This turned out to be be a more difficult conversation than I envisioned… Peter Bradford Martin’s article titled Why Christians Find it so easy to become Judgmental – Judgmentalism and Self Love.

This is a real struggle for me to sort out…. As a child and young adult I heard over and over that all men are sinners, totally wicked, selfish, evil and without any hope. In Peter’s article mentioned above he argues that believing about ourselves that we are totally dung… totally wicked makes us unable to show love to others. When we believe we are garbage we project that on others and in turn we’re incapable of showing true love to those who we believe are wicked. So PBM’s thought is that we need to have more self love in order to properly love others.

I think he’s right.

Then we discussed Jesus’ words to the Pharisees… they (the Pharisees) seemed to have too much self love and they were dead because of it. Some in our chat including Jeff Stewart at aplacetotalk pointed out the concern of self love being a problem… a pharisaical problem.

I think he’s right.

Greg pointed out that we aren’t what we should be without Christ, but once we know Christ we are all that He makes us.

I think he’s right.

These are three somewhat opposing views… can they fit together without compromising either? I don’t know.

Then there’s the view that we’re wicked, horrible, every thought is continually evil… this is a view that I passionately think is wrong, dangerous, and damning. By damning I don’t mean that I think this will send you to hell rather I believe that this theology will send you to a hellish place on earth – now – today.

I received three books in the mail today from an angry person who wanted me to read David Platt’s books before I discredit them all…. I’m thankful for the gift – whoever you are despite the fact that I’m not bothered by the books.. as I’ve not read them, rather I’m bothered by the theology that the author has been hurt and damaged by.

Here’s a sermon clip where mankind is called evil… it’s pretty dramatic and I don’t approve calling Paul Washer a Jack A– but this clip really stats my point….

I also find it quite ironic that in this sermon Paul Washer talks about how his message of God’s hate will get him dis-invited to places… how he’s message of hate will cost him relationships but his message is also called the most downloaded sermon ever…?

I’m sure some are downloading his sermon for reasons similar to mine, but for the most part the message that God hates many and loves a few is a very popular altar filling message.

I’m reading the books (Platt’s books) by the way… and I’ll say more about them as I read on but for now just know this…. the message that hell’s hot, most are going, and God hates some and loves the elect isn’t an unpopular message instead it is a very popular message that feeds the flesh. Our flesh has a desire to want to be chosen at the expense of others… Our Spirit pushes us toward seeing everyone as a beautiful creation of God.

Again, if you sent them (the Platt books) my way… thank you.

Especially if you view the bible in a “Triple i”… but everyone has to deal with 1 Samuel 8:8

1 Samuel 8:8 isn’t in the scripture by accident… especially if you are a “Triple i” inspired, inerrant, infallible person…. then you have to deal with 1 Sam 8:8. This passage clearly tells us that God was telling Samuel that sometimes the Children of Israel were following false gods…. I believe they were following false ideas ie. gods every time the chose to kill or use violence of any kind to accomplish their personal will.

Perfect Love Casts out all Fear

Sometimes we read a text and believe the exact opposite of what it says… I think many of us have done that with Matthew 24.

The Gift of Going Second

Let’s stop ignoring the Spirit of God

A friend asked me this question last night after I was asleep… “Joshua Michael McDowell do you think Jesus has a problem with people for believing that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?” This morning I attempted to answer, “I think Jesus probably wishes that people knew Him better than to think that He sanctioned the Canaanite genocides or manifest destiny…. our early American settlers killing native Americans etc…. I think His heart breaks as Israel kills Palestinians today and I could go on and on…”

But after answering that question… I’d like to add that I think the biggest problem with the “triple i” view of the bible… (inspired, inerrant, and infallible) is that it (the book collection we call a bible) becomes a substitute for the Comforter, the Spirit of God that Jesus clearly told that He would be sending to lead, guide, and direct us as followers of Jesus Christ.

Here’s one example…. I think had followers of Christ been following the Spirit of God as opposed to a book we (Christians) would have been the first people to take a stand against slavery instead of the slowest (church’s are still pretty segregated) to accepts equality among the races.

Let’s stop ignoring the Spirit of God but rather listening to His voice and asking Him to speak to us daily, even minute by minute….. He is speaking all the time…. you and I just have to start listening more closely.