Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sunday Motivation

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, may I explain this image. This is typically a political type post but nowadays it's very accurate even among fundamental Christians. In the course of the past 10-15 years of observation, I've noticed one of two trends. 1) is a loosening up of standards and forgetting those long-held biblically proven standards. Considering them non-essential. I see ladies wandering around in clothing that would have gotten them reprimanded in church and even wearing things that flirt in the soft porn range and then ask 'what's wrong with this'? I've seen guys walking around in tight clothing, wearing things with worldly imagery and styles. 

I see a removal of gender boundaries and I touched on this in my last post. I've seen ladies who actually get offended at gentlemen acting their gender and showing honor and respect. At the same time complaining about the lack of decent relationships, having gone through half a dozen boyfriends by the age of 18. No ladies do not take disrespect, don't accept it. You have that right. Gentleman do not stop being polite and doing what is right just because you are mocked. 
  I see Christians who are silent in the face of the slaughter of thousands of babies a year, silent about false teaching and refusing to condemn as Paul did.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself - 1 Timothy 6:3-5

And again Jesus Himself said Come out from among them and be ye separate 2 Corinthians 6:17

Why are we crying about being convicted by the Holy Spirit when He uses a brother or sister to reach us? Why do we throw foolish accusations like 'judgemental' out at people. What part of show a person his fault is so hard to understand? Apart from the fact it's biblical and they don't want to accept it. We don't want to be made aware of our sin, We don't want to be Christ-like. We'd rather play games. We'd rather carry on with the same behavior that murdered Christ. God uses children to shame us and He did it again in a story that has been online for a few weeks. It would seem a Teacher in Texas tried to make a 12-year old girl deny God. She refused and then the backlash

“A few people have told me to kill myself, people have told me things I’m not allowed to say. I’ve lost a few of my close friends, but that’s what will happen.”

and then this child instead of crying and playing victim said

“I’m going to keep going until something gets done, and until something gets done, I’m not going to stop.”

Wow. a 12 year old girl has more courage than many Christians. Let me close with this question. How come Islam has such an impact in Europe and America despite being the minority? How come there were missionaries in China for 100 years before Communists came and had little impact? Because both parties were and are totally dedicated to their wicked causes and will not waver. Yet with God on our side we can't be bothered?  

Next time I will be dealing with the opposite problem. The Pharisee and hypocrite 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Biblical Relationships

Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,  the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Relationships. When we think of them, many thoughts may cross our mind. We see the breakdown of them, we see them done well, we see them in all kinds of shapes and sizes. To get a clear picture, we need to define what a relationship is. A relationship is not just a friendship or marriage. We have a relationship with everybody we interact with. We even have a relationship with people we've never heard of on social media who see our public posts and those who even just see us or hear on when we go about our business 

We need and require relationships

Take a look at the headline verse again. This is how we are supposed to treat certain people. So we see that first of all we are supposed to honor them, depending on age and gender and with all purity.  If we would not treat our parents or our siblings in a certain way, we should not treat others that way and The last phrase just emphasizes the preceding words even more. God commanded we behave in this manner because people are created for people and of course being God, He knew that. The mess of todays relationships are the result of not treating others the way God expects us to. 

Our relationships must be loving

All commands in Scripture are subservient to the Greatest Commandment.


But what is love in the first place? Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person with a continual view to seek the very best for that person. We cannot be loving if we do not interact with them in a pure and honorable way, or at Romans puts it in 'honor preferring one another' 

What should we honor?

This goes to the very basics of what we as human beings were meant to do. Our very purpose in life. Men were mandated to lead the home and the church, primarily by setting a good example to those God has entrusted them with. So we know from the youngest of years, a boy is in training for that purpose and should be learning how to lead biblically, honestly and caringly. He can learn by watching his father older men who must again set that example. The old saying like father, like son is very true. If the father is a failure in his role, chances are his sons will repeat the same mistakes.
Ladies are the keepers of the home so the training a girl is to receive should match that role. From the earliest of ages, she can be taught how to be a lady, how to cook, clean, and serve others with kindness and humility. And yet this station is incredibly important and every bit as essential as the mans role.
I've become incredibly old fashioned partly due to my own past failings and partly as an act of rebellion. Rebellion?? Yes, I did say that. I rebel against the modern day erosion of the biblically defined genders and I believe part of the problem is people have lost the ability to honor and love in the way that they used to and the language has become loose, informal, lax and people do not honor who the other person was created to be.
In years gone by it was considered quite a 'vulgarity' to address a lady without a title and likewise a man would not be addressed so. It's certainly in keeping with the idea of seeking the best for a person to bring those titles back and in some circles they are. Children always want to grow up and it would certainly be honoring to a girl, learning to be a lady, to address her as Miss and likewise she can address older ladies and gentlemen as the case may be. I'm not going to cover every single way of doing this as that would be rather insulting your intelligence but I would like to cover two of them. Firstly the idea that addressing a lady as ma'am is somehow insulting or trying to say something about said ladies age. Where did this idea come from? It has no basis in history. In fact I strongly suspect any lady would be quite offended and maybe scold the offender for not showing proper respect. I believe it's just a symptom of the bigger problem of relationships not being treated properly. Second, the idea that a newly married lady does not need to be addressed and Mrs. Quite untrue. She should expect to be addressed as her position demands her to be. Of course being addressed like that for the first few times with be highly awkward and embarrassing perhaps but it should also be seen as a sense of pride as to the fact this lady has embarked on a life-long journey with a gentleman whom God has provided.

Finally in whatever state our relationship is with people, remember the key verses

Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,  the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Should I add more to this? Would you like an expansion of other ways to build and keep relationship?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Is depression a sin?

We've all heard of it. Some of us have it. But the question here is whether depression is a sin that should be put from us. Let’s start with 1 Kings 19:4-8

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

We see a number of things here. 1) Elijah was depressed. 2) More than that, he was suicidally depressed. He asked God to take his life. 3) And this is important. He asked. He didn’t take matters into his own hands. 4) God sent an angel to him to help him. The angel did not come and punish him or scold him. Now if an angel, send from God himself made no effort to condemn a suicidally depressed man, then who are we, as mere mortals to? God also commands us to rejoice? How can a depressed person do that? My faith in God demands I must accept that it is possible, albeit much, much harder. However God gives grace to those that need it and He will provide as he promised.

But what then should our reaction be to a person who actually harms themselves? Jesus died for that sin. And yes I did call it a sin. But Jesus still died for that sin out of His love for that person. He being God, did not shun people for sinning. He spoke the truth in love.

Pain is not and cannot be a sin. It can at times be the result of sin and depression can be a consequence of sin but to claim a person must have sinned to be depressed and in pain is far more serious than we realize. First of all God would have had to have made a mistake in not telling the angel to punish Elijah and second, Jesus Himself would have been wrong to feel pain in the garden of Gethsemane. And we would all say 'Perish the thought' at such an idea.

And yet there is more judging and condemnation from Christians than the unsaved at a persons suffering. The result of condemnation for a sin that isn’t actually one is more pain. In fact I would argue it even causes sin. Many, many times people will lie that they are 'fine' when they are in agony. Why? Fear of rejection, condemnation. Why should any Christian feel they have to lie, simply to avoid more pain? I should note i'm not condoning the lie and that is a sin. But why should anyone contribute to a persons temptation? It's just not right. How is this love? Biblical love is always seeking the best for one another and verbally slapping a hurting person upside the head is about as far from love as you can get. Furthmore many depressed people resort to lying because they know they are very likely to be attacked for having a lack of faith or some other such judgement. We can rarely know that. We rarely have enough information to suggest anything about a depressed persons heart, likely because they are too afraid. Maybe we should seek to help sufferer. Thank them for their bravery in stepping out and admitting something there is such a stigma about and learn not to make the mistakes others do in trying to help sufferers, which actually don’t help at all.