Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A B. S. Meter

In the past few weeks I have been approached by a few friends who were presented with something that seemed Biblical and scholarly but was complete B.S.  This is why we Christians need to use our B. S. meters.  Let me explain using an example.

A few weeks ago my friend was studying the book of Ruth and was told that in chapter 3 when Ruth uncovered Boaz's feet that she may actually have uncovered his penis.  Now she found this disturbing as did I. When we looked this interpretation up online the interpretation that Boaz's penis was being uncovered was popular.  However, those supporting it seemed to be amateurs except the professor that had prompted the question to begin with.

See in Hebrew "uncovering your feet" is used as a euphemism for peeing or exposing yourself.  But it goes against the very character of Ruth and Boaz for this to be true.  In fact, it ruins the whole story.  So we kept looking.

It turns out that when you look up the Hebrew word used in this passage the meaning is clear.  A different word for foot which actually means the whole leg is used.  It is not the same word that is used in the euphemism.  Ruth really just uncovered Boaz's feet and legs.

What's the point of the story?

My point is that we Christians need to use our B. S. meter.  My friend and I both had ours going off when B. S. was presented to us.

How do you get a B. S. meter?

First of all the B. S. meter is the Holy Spirit speaking to someone.  Secondly, the B. S. meter is simply someone recognizing that something doesn't sound like the shepherd's voice.  "My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me."  John 10:27.

Does this mean that a Christian can never be wrong theologically?  No.  What it does mean is that we have a helper, the Holy Spirit, and we have the Word of God.  Use the resources you've been given to distinguish between what is truth and what isn't.  Ask for help from a trusted mentor.  Use a Bible concordance.  But if something feels like it's B. S. test it.  

Use your B. S. meter.  Fine tune your ear to it's warning siren.  Learn to recognize the shepherd's voice today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Social Justice

I'm at a point right now where I haven't had much inspiration to write anything.  That being said I do not want to get out of the habit of writing and reading.  So, this will be a short post.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 30:8-9

"Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow."
Isaiah 1:17

"He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?'
declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:16

All I want to say is this, "How we doing on this?"  "Is that not what it means to know me?' declares the Lord."

Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy today.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Psalm 62- God is Both Loving and Strong

"My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down...
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge.

Lowborn men are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
if weighed on a balance, they ar nothing;
together they are only a breath.
Do not trust in extortion
or take pride is stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.

One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done."

There are so many good things in this psalm but a couple leaped of the page at me.  First, "if weighed on a balance, they are nothing."  This means that if we took the best of the best of the best human being and placed him on the teater-totter he wouldn't even come close to pushing his side to the ground.  Why? Because God is sitting on the other side.  Whenever we try to measure our goodness God has to be sitting on the other side of the balance because He is the standard of goodness.

Second thing that exploded off the page; "that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving."  God must be both or there is no reason to give our lives to Him.  If He is strong but not loving then He is a tyrant.  If He is loving but not strong then He is just a nice guy who can't save us.  But thank God He is 100% both!  He is almighty and is the definition of love!  That is the God we serve and why David can say, "My soul finds rest in God alone."

Serve our all powerful, loving God today.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Founding Father Worship

Let me preface this post by saying a couple of things.  1) I am a registered Republican (so you know my bias).  2) I'm a dedicated patriot like my father and grandfather.  3) I graduated with a degree in history.

I struggle with something and I need your help.  As this election heats up and as controversies like the Chick-Fil-A controversy emerge our nation's founding fathers get brought up a lot. People wonder what they might think.  People bring up the fact that they were Christian to the core; that they established our nation as a Christian nation.

There are a few problems that I have with this.  First, as someone with a degree in history (that does not make me a historian) I see that our founding fathers were far from perfect and several were far from Christian.  Benjamin Franklin is believed to have frequented orgies, refused to recognize the deity of Jesus and was agnostic at best.  Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible to take the miracles of Christ out because the miracles didn't fit with his religion of reason.  The list goes on.

I will say that our nation was established on Judeo-Christian values to be sure.  Values that were mixed with values of the Age of Reason.  Our founding fathers did recognize that Judeo-Christian values were a great bedrock for society and many of our founding fathers were great Christian men.

I have a second problem with the constant questioning of "what would the founding fathers want?" or "what would the founding fathers think?"  I have a hard time believing that Christ would want us looking to our founding fathers more than Him.  Often I see people turning our founding fathers from brave men with vision to demi-gods.

My question for you is this: how do we honor our founding fathers without turning them into idols?  How should Christians show historical patriotism without dishonoring God?

I know this isn't my typical post but I'd appreciate your input today.