Wrestling w/ scripture

Earlier I posted on Tumblr that I was wrestling with some scripture today.  I was looking at 1 John 5, in particular, verses 13 and following. I was reading and it really raised some “red flags” for me when I read about “sins that lead to death” and “sins that do not lead to death.”  It is pretty upfront about the fact that there are sins that just do not lead to death.
Now I don’t know if it is because I grew up in a Pentacostal type church back ground or just bad teaching (even through a few years ago), but I was always told that sin is sin is sin.  EVERYTHING deserves death!!!!!!!!  If you stub your toe and you curse (not using God’s name in vain, just something like “Hell!”), if you died right then, you would burn in Hell.  Or, as I use so often, if you are a 3 year old and you pick up a MoonPie and walk out of the store (yes, you just stole a MoonPie) then you will rot in the flames of fire.  Of course these are lesser sins when compared to murder or rape or the like.  But the standard was set up in a sort of Hell, Fire & Brimstone kind of way.  It was more like I lived life to escape the sulfuric singe, the firey inferno of Hades.  I don’t think that is the kind of fear that Proverbs talks about…
Now, in no way does this go against Romans 6:23 that “the payment of sin is death.”  Even in the Old Testament, the sacrificial laws were in place and for each type of sin required something to die.  It may have been a couple of doves or something as big as a lamb or bigger, but payment was still required.  I guess the leadership that I sat under focused more on righteous living and then the sins that led to death. 
By no means am I saying that sin is okay.  Even the apostle John in 1 John writes in chapter 5 that “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”  We should live for God not out of obligation but out of the freedom from the bondage of sin..taking comfort that the work of Christ and the love of God has caused those who believe in Him to be set free from the chains of sin.  When I read that today, it really helped me see a little that it is SO important to seek the Truth of the bible for yourself.  So many passages in the Bible are misconstrude or overused to the point of “well, my bible just opened there by itself, almost like God wanted to tell me something from there.” 
So I wonder how many were taught something that now you find is not very biblical?

What are YOUR thoughts?


Choose Life or Riches

What keeps me going today: that there is more in store for me than what is happening right this minute
What moves my feet today: urgency
I could do without: anxiety and being exhausted

I just want to look in the mirror, ball up my fists, raise them to face level, and shake them in a threatening way. I want to lean into my own ear and scream at the top of my lungs. “What are you doing?!?!?” Why? Well, it is complicated as usual. Ya know what? No it isn’t.

Here I am, nearly 30 years old. I am working my tail off to just barely make it through ‘til the next week’s check. I know that I’m not alone. A close friend is in the same spot with 2 little’ens and one on the way. Most of the people I work with are actually in the same spot, of course, they are working for a second income, not a primary income. So I am taking on an astronomical amount of hours just to make ends meet while I am basically “whoring” myself out to whoever needs some poor sap to earn some bucks. Yup, all in the name of paying the car insurance or storage building rental or hell, even gas in the Gas Saver.

So what is the cause of all of this? Is it that I’m horrible with money? Nah. Is it that I am cursed and will have the same fortune as the one’s who have gone before me…working at a 21 year old man’s pace until I’m in my fifties and nothing to show for it except worry and anxiety and accounts in collections or a car repossesed? Nah. The answer? The only solution? How much time did I spend this week praying about direction for the future? Hmmm?!? How much time did I search the scriptures to find how God wants me to lead my family? Hmmm?!? Did I lay my selfish desires down as crap-filled stinky and bloody rags as they are and pick up the newness in Christ that is promised…the empowerment to do as your are called?

I read my brother’s and MB’s blogs yesterday morning. I already had this blog entry planned out in my head by the time I got to work yesterday, but I think that it’s unique how God will speak pretty much the same thing to several people. Here is the thing. God speaks to us whether we are listening or not. I don’t think He is screaming and yelling for us to hear. Instead, we have to get quiet…in our “closet.” We need to have that time designated for building the relationship with our Father. We have to purposefully let God speak to our hearts. I don’t think that is always through signs. That is how deception happens. How can you go wrong with the only true thing we seem to have…the Word of God. Pick it up, dust it off, and get to reading and applying it to your life. And read it in a contextual way. Don’t just read a passage like “I know the plans I have for you…plans of hope, future and prosperity.” Sure, God wants for us to be successful, but is that success in a worldly way when we aren’t supposed to be of the world…especially when the next verses say that we will find God when we seek him with all of our hearts? If He is what drives us, then our hearts’ desires change to what God knows is important. So, then, He will give us the desires of our hearts-His heart. Maybe a lifetime supply of cash-o-la is not God’s best.

God is a very jealous God. He doesn’t want much, just our everything. I think that the word is true when it speaks of the fact that you can’t worship two masters…God and mammon (money). You must…you will choose one or the other…

At the end of the day, if you have spent all of your energy trying to make ends meet and have neglected to spend time with our only Source…our Provider and Sustainer, then I think that we will struggle. And maybe our struggle won’t be over what is in or what isn’t in the bank account, but maybe it will rear it’s face in our marriage, our kid’s behavior, our interactions @ work, or overall emotional state… Oh, and you might as well expect distance from God…which by the way is sin.

Truth plain and simple…hard to swallow, but it just is what it is.

Message is not what it seems…

You have been used and exploited your whole life. You’ve been mistreated and bent out of shape from an early age. Spotlights and cameras. Millions and luxury. Pitfalls of your surrounded. Dispair and death was your soulmate until you made a decision to straighten everything out with what was going on with you. I commend you. Choosing a life not paralleled by the twisted surrounders of the past. In fact we seem to know the same basic truth in that we both call on God for our forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Niether of our lives have been the straightest of lives, but does that mean we have it all down pat now? No! We are all, or should be working toward Christlikeness. No one sin is greater than another, so it is said, but there are six things that God hates; seven are an abomination. Your words give a thumbs-up to several of these. I will pray for you to continue to let God change your heart, mindsets, and your life. Run from your bent views. Run from your twisted form. Let the scriptures change your mind. Let God speak to you again. Get out of your head and get away from what the world tells you is okay. Flee from sin, Mr. Thumbs-Up for Rainbow-colored paperclips. Your words are weighed heavily for you desire a higher calling. That higher calling requires more of you from God. Your words are held against you just as my words are held against me.