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If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
Published by Heartfelt-United Press (a Division of Heartfelt-United, LLC) This publication is designed to provide competent and reliable information regarding the subject matter covered. However, it is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering legal, financial, or other professional advice. Laws and practices often vary from state to state and if legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a professional should be sought. The author and publisher specifically disclaim any liability that is incurred from the use or application of the contents of this book.
Copyright © 2010 by Mark L. Kelsey All rights reserved. ISBN-10: 1-4505-9794-7 ISBN-13: 978-1-4505-9794-4 Heartfelt-United Press 6336 Wellington Walk Way Lithonia, GA 30058-5301
More than ever before, Christians are struggling in their relationship with God, especially in the area of faith. Many tend to view faith from the aspect of simply belief, but God views it as so much more. Faith to Him should be the substance of one's hope. It should be grasped upon as solid internal evidence and not just a gut feeling.
Here within "Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity…" Mark L. Kelsey helps awaken the soul, and challenges Christians to reevaluate what they‘ve believed faith to be for far too long. He opens up pertinent and candid revelation on what God sees faith as versus what many Christians have redefined it to be. Mark presents his findings through 3 encompassing observations that will compel you to deal with an invigorating reality of what faith in God is truly all about.
Through countless scripture passages, a direct approach, delightful humor, and warm heart Mark will suck you into every single page. You will laugh, cry, learn, feel some conviction, and be newly motivated into embarking onto life's future with reassured hope that your faithwalk will lose repetitive past struggles that you‘ve lacked so many answers to.
FAITH, FOOLISHNESS, & FAMILIARITY:
Cover Design: CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC Copyediting: Raymond S. Wiggins & ShavonSha Kendall Inside Cover Design and Overall Cover Conception: Max Eugene Interior Images: iStockphoto Lp
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kelsey, Mark L., 1976 – Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: Why so many Christians are struggling with their walk/ Mark L. Kelsey. 2010 p. cm. Includes Bibliographical References and Song Lyrics LCCN: 2010902756 (paperback: alk. paper) 1. Interpersonal relationships-Religious Aspects-Christianity. I. Title. II. Title: Why so many Christians are struggling with their walk. Printed in the United States of America
FAITH, FOOLISHNESS, & FAMILIARITY:
What other Authors are saying: “I can easily see this book being on a shelf in a church bookstore, if not a corner one. I would gladly keep a copy in my own nightstand.” Candace Bowen Early - Author of A Knight of Silence “Mark, you write very well and in an undogmatic way which will not annoy non-believers or those seeking to believe. But it's obvious you know what you're talking about. I don't know how many people buy books about belief but I suspect it's more than I think. They can't do better than read yours.” Lynn Clayton - Author of Deadly Nevergreen “A thought provoking piece of work that can challenge ideas and beliefs and makes interesting reading...a lot of hard work and thought invested in it.” Lisa W. B. - Author of A Fine Line “This is an enlightening read and written in a clear, engaging style.” J&M Jensen - Authors of GRAEMOR “Very brave topic, bravo! I have always liked this quote from Gandhi: "I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." It gives us a real outside perspective, and a good bit of advice for practicing more of what Christ actually taught.” Vonia Jackson - Author of The Bell Ridge Cave “It's refreshing to read a Christian book without the "vending machine" God in it. You know, insert prayer, and get result. My God rarely works like that. I am putting this on my self and look forward to finishing it. I find the style engaging.” Dr. B. Jana - Author of Pain Pill Addition: Old Problems, New Solutions “I found this really interesting, mainly because you take faith and apply it to a whole life, not just to a belief, if that makes sense? I forget this sometimes, faith is so much more than just belief. You have lovely snippets of humor in this which helps the prose along; I didn't find it preachy like so many other books on similar subject matter. You offer choices, you don't tell us what we should be thinking and believing - an alternative way of looking at our faith, I suppose. I think this should appeal to 'today's world' and I enjoyed the mix of modern and traditional.” Annabelle Page - Author of Matty McDuff series
“I am one of your 'men on the street' Mmm...To me faith is 'confidence in what you believe and the conviction to stand by that belief'...I believe there is someone greater than us all, because we're here...But, I'm not too sure what his name is...That said...I am enjoying this, I'm at the end of loaded chapter one...your writing is strong enough for the reader to know when you are 'raising your writing voice'...I am learning something here...” Lynnette Hopkins - Author of The Duchess of Tooting “If more people followed the advice in this chapter, then our Great Recession would not have occurred.” Robert Bresky - Author of Music is My Muse “I read 1-3...it reminded me of the Proverb ‘All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.’ I've also heard Faith defined as the opposite of Fate. (Faith = God is in control; Fate = No one is in control.) You write well and make your points clearly and succinctly. Well done.” Francis Albert McGrath - Author of Artistic License “I read some of your work. It is very intelligently written. Well edited, and reads well…But I rarely read non-fiction. Faith in God is much better for the soul than faith in the dollar, or the newest top celebrity or athlete...” Mick Ridgewell - Author of The Nightcrawler “This is a very interesting book. You construct your arguments logically and convincingly, regularly backing up your conclusions with verses from the Bible. You write well, in straightforward, uncluttered sentences. I agree with your thoughts, and consider this a useful handbook for new Christians on one of the most important aspects of the new life.” Gerry McCullough - Author of Belfast Girls “Many of the verses you have quoted from the Bible are underlined in my own…faith is something that is intrinsically important to us all as Christians, I know. I sincerely wish you well with your book. I am sure it will be a help to me. I am sure that your book will help me in my writing. Sometimes you just know when you are reading spiritual truth; I believe your book to be such a book.” Stuart Lawrence - Author of Searching for an Answer “Thoughtful and sincere, a work that is quite different...and for that reason alone it should be read, NOT just for Christians!” Francesco Scannella - Author of Sicilian Shadows “Your book is wonderful. Your book will be loved by Christians, or as you say in the title, those who need to rediscover their faith.” Kevin Wong - Author of Heroes of Destiny series
Prologue………………………………………………………………………………………….3 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………...13 Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………………...15
Observation One: The Issue of Faith
The Issue of Faith………………………………………………………………………………..19 Me Too!………………………………………………………………………………………….25 A Thin Line……………………………………………………………………………………...27 The Patriarchs and Those Other Folk……………………………………………………………33 Perfect People……………………………………………………………………………………43 The Last Jesus……………………………………………………………………………………49 Time for Show and Tell………………………………………………………………………….53 Actually, God‘s Take…………………………………………………………………………….57
Observation Two: The Issue of Foolishness
The Issue of Foolishness…………………………………………………………………………61 Pig-Headed Demands……………………………………………………………………………71 One Wish………………………………………………………………………………………...77 Truly, Just Like the Joneses……………………………………………………………………...79 Super Spiritual Pt. 1 – Mr. & Mrs. Spooky….…………………………………………………...85 Super Spiritual Pt. 2 – The Secret………………………………………………………………103 Macho Man & the Diva………………………………………………………………………...107 Oh Yes, The Backscratcher……………………………………………………………………..111 The Inconsiderate Christian (T.I.C.)……………………………………………………………113 Please, Don‘t Crack My Eggshells……………………………………………………………..117
The 3 Culprits…………………………………………………………………………………..121 Lust of the Flesh………………………………………………………………………………..125 Lust of the Eyes………………………………………………………………………………...131 Pride of Life…………………………………………………………………………………….135 The ‗N‘ Word…………………………………………………………………………………..139 Indeed, An Essential & Crucial Missing Element…………………………………………...…141
Observation Three: The Issue of Familiarity
The Issue of Familiarity……………………………………………………………...…………149 Passing the Buck…………………………………………………………………………….….153 Our Friend Apathy……………………………………………………………………………...155 The Passivity ―Choo Choo‖ Train...…………………………………………………………...159 BOO!..………………………………………………………………………………………….165 Faith of Our Fathers…………………………………………………………………………….169 Monkey See, Monkey Do………………………………………………………………………171 The Professional Pt. 1 – Simply Too Dignified…………………………………………………175 The Professional Pt. 2 – Business Suit Attire….………………………………………………..179 Basically, What the World Sees………………………………………………………………..185
Where Informative Data Came From: Index/References
Scripture Index Comparison……………………………………………………………………189 References………………………………………………………………………………………191
Speak No Evil
See No Evil
Hear No Evil
But, rather be filled with
“Books from the heart…”
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage/retrieval system, without permission or written consent from the publisher.
FAITH, FOOLISHNESS, & FAMILIARITY:
This book is dedicated to Jessie E. Kelsey, Gary O. Gordon, Philip Carroll, and Lori D. Francis you will always be remembered---Gone but Never Forgotten.
Also, I would like to dedicate this book to all who have lived life discouraged, baffled, and felt compulsively pushed to-and-fro into a corner in their faith-walk.
Finally, you can all rest assured that none of your agony was in vain. God heard your cry and compelled this book to be formed for your benefit and the support of many.
Mark L. Kelsey
Faith for many is a puzzling ordeal. But, when it comes to Christians it‘s their badge of
honor. Yeah, many of them stick their chest out, straighten their suit, and boldly proclaim their faith wherein others hide behind theirs. Faith comes in many forms and degrees with a varying array of attitudes attached to them. You can have the simple believer, faith healer, faith preacher, or the faithless. With every new wave (moved of God) faith seems to constantly position itself at the forefront. Faith also comes with many questions. How can I operate in faith? What must I do to gain more faith? Is it alright to use my faith to believe for a luxury car? How come my faith isn‘t working like I expect it to? Can I have faith like that individual over there or are they just special? Why don‘t I sometimes even feel like operating in my faith? Is this all the faith that I‘ll ever have? How can I get me some of that mountain moving faith because these mountains (massive problems) in my life aren‘t moving anywhere, soon? Faith can give assurance, motivate, inspire, and push you out of your comfort zone. Some people even see faith as a bad thing and regret ever operating in it. I can hear some of them now, ―I looked so stupid believing for ● ● ● that thing because after I‘d told everyone about it the thing I hate to bust your never came to pass the way I expected. I accept it…my life just sucks! Goodness, am I ever going to get married? I‘ve believed bubble but what you think will matter years for a spouse for a while, now. Am I ever going to get that promotion? How many more long hours at work do I still have from now may not to put in? Am I ever going to get healed? This pain in my body matter as much as you is nearly unbearable. Will I ever get accepted into medical think. school? I‘ve prayed, studied relentlessly, and took the entrance test four times, and still keep on falling short. Will I ever land ● ● ● that great job? I‘m on my 45th interview and still nothing. Will I ever get out of debt? I can‘t continue to keep up with this mortgage, these bills, school loans, and the rate of inflation. I have believed God to get out of debt for over 10 years and now I‘m in more debt than ever before. Well, I guess bankruptcy‘s my only option because God has no clue how to help me out financially. Will I ever get to that six figure salary income level? All my close friends are making good money, living well, and I‘m stuck in this dead-end job. Will my heart ever stop hurting like this? I‘ve been praying, going to church, and even fasting and my chances are looking slim to none. Actually, the heartache is increasing! This God stuff only works for certain people and I‘m not one those people.‖ Wow, those statements were brutal and pretty hard for one to hear, but they all presented a harsh reality that many Christians are facing in the area of faith. A reality that‘s at times tough to swallow. To make matters worse, many of the people who rarely acknowledge any type of faith are well off, at least more than you are. Or, your pastors are prospering on all accounts while you struggle significantly just to make ends meet. You catch the bus to church while your pastor
strolls through in a Bentley. Your coworkers are being shrewdly dishonest and receiving a bonus or promotion as a result and you‘re continually overlooked, concerned with possibly being laid off or let go. Some of your friends are on their 3rd relationship with a great catch and you‘re struggling to even get noticed by a qualified potential suitor. Like Marvin Gaye‘s ol‘ hit you ask, “What‟s going on?” God, somebody, anybody anywhere, please help! Excuse me, is everything alright, was someone calling for help? Just try to relax and stay put because help is on the way. Well, you‘re in the right place, at the right time, with the right tools! No, it‘s not necessarily this book that I‘m talking about but it is (in a small way) connected to this book. It‘s You, yeah You! God has placed everything You need inside and around You---Himself (for starters), family, friends, loved ones, drive, potential, determination, resources, endurance, hope, talents, resiliency, gifts, abilities, and (of course) faith. You‘re not a mistake or inadequate to accomplish anything. It‘s not that faith can‘t work for you and you‘re just inapt. It has nothing to do with your background of pain/suffering, youthfulness or maturity of age (elderly). It has nothing to do with your inexperience, or the fact that you were called to pastor a mega church who doesn‘t want you. None of these things are strong enough to detour you from fully allowing your faith to come alive. A part of the answer lies within you and the other part lies within God. He requires so much from you but you have to cooperate with freely giving it over to Him. No, it‘s not your money, your time, your struggles, etc. but it‘s you (period). God wants ALL of you---not just some or even most! More than your receiving of success, a wonderful spouse, or exceptional recognition He desires for you to be enamored with Him (period) and not so much with what He‘ll give you. Life has a funny way of redirecting our focus to what really matters. I hate to bust you bubble but what you think will matter years from now may not matter as much as you think. Would you care about the next promotion if the company went bankrupt? Would you be concerned with being married to the love of your life and having a beautiful family if you were told you only have 3 weeks to live? Would it matter how successful you‘ve become if you suddenly got into a car wreck and became paralyzed from the neck down unable to speak? I realize that these things seem so far from happening to you. That‘ll never happen because you‘re so far beyond that! You‘re invincible, right? Unfortunately, you‘re not and life can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. During times like those you‘ll need something dire to hold onto and your pursuits/accomplishments won‘t be that something. This is where faith comes into play. Real faith…True faith…Godly faith…No, I‘m not talking about religion but I‘m referring to faith. Surprisingly, there‘s quite a substantial difference. Right now, just stop everything you‘re doing and try to hone in on this book. Seek to grasp from it everything you possibly can---it just might save your life.
For starters, it would be outlandish for me to attempt to take any credit for the success
this book may bring. I thank God for everything! Without Him, where would I be? Mark who? I‘m absolutely nothing without Him! I can‘t even inhale and exhale continuously (breathe) apart from the grace and mercy of God. I direly need Him for my existence. I give Him all the glory, honor, adoration and praise for any good that would come from this manuscript. Believe me; it‘s not about me but it‘s all about God. I also would like to thank Max Eugene (Big Max) who has shown me a modern day example of what selfless Christian love-in-action truly looks like. Furthermore, I want to thank my mother, MaeBell M. Kelsey, for raising me in a way where refusing to live for God wasn‘t an option. Your caring heart, faithful boldness, and tenacity motivate me even till this day. To my family, relatives, loved ones, and friends your support system and acceptance of my talents has reinvigorated self-determination. Thanks for never giving up on me! To Ray and Sha (the newlyweds), who could have ever asked for better friends? To my Second Baptist of Richmond Heights (www.sbcmiami.org) church family in Miami thanks for helping raise a gregarious little boy into becoming a respectable God-fearing man. To Jimmy McGee, (the late) Dana Crenshaw, and the entire InterVarsity-AUCCF (Atlanta University Center Christian Fellowship) team (www.intervarsity.org), you kept me firmly grounded away from home when my feet were slipping. To the World Changers Church International (www.worldchangers.org) family in all my getting you taught me to truly get understanding. To Eric Wilson and the M.O.Gs (Men of God) of Clark Atlanta University let‘s keep on making God proud. To New Generation campus Ministries @ the AUC (N.G.M.) and Damian Boyd (www.damianlboyd.com) thanks for the opportunities to shine through midnight prayer and other leadership endeavors. To the East-West Connector small group remember your turn is next--God has so much in-store for each of you. The Canaan Land Church International-Snellville(www.canaanland.cc) family thanks for the joy and laughter you all allowed to blossom within my soul as well as the growing pains. Finally, to anyone that I may have overlooked please credit it to my head and not my heart. I‘m still a work in progress.
Mark L. Kelsey
The Issue of Faith
Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: The Issue of Faith
The Issue of Faith
Many people have a foggy idea of what faith is. They have heard about it during their
lifetime and (in fact) feel they‘ve operated in it fairly well, or to a certain extent. If I ask the so called ―typical individual‖ on the street, ―Do you have faith?‖ most of them would respond by saying ―faith in what?‖ Others might reply, ―Yeah, I have belief‖ and others might not even have a clue what I‘m talking about or referring to. See, for many people faith is a debatable issue and the idea of it seldom concerns them but this should not be the case for the born again Christian. If there‘s one thing they should know at least something about---that is the issue of faith! Now, if I came up to a few Christians in some churches and asked them a similar type of question, ―What is faith?‖ Surprisingly, many of them would be as baffled as the individuals on the street. Some of them would have little to no clue what I‘m talking about or referring to, as well. Some would immediately answer and try to indicate it as being something in relation to God, religious conviction, or belief. Those answers are sort of okay, but (according to God Himself) faith is so much more. Faith (in essence) shouldn‘t even be viewed as an issue or problem to be figured out. It is obvious to understand when one pays close attention to how God expressively clarifies it. It‘s clearly spelled out in His Word---The Bible, which explains a lot of why we experience what we experience in this world. So, we‘re getting somewhere in understanding that faith does have something to do with God. It‘s not something solely limited to the human intellect of mankind but it‘s beyond that. If you don‘t start and end with God then you‘re not talking about the type of faith that‘s at the forefront of this discussion. Yes, one can say that it‘s slightly possible to have faith totally apart from God. For instance, one can have faith and confidence to overcome an addiction, succeed in a sporting event, pass a test, win a case; and not attribute any of that to God. Don‘t get me wrong, I‘m not saying that these things have nothing to do with a faith one believes in with serene confidence. When an individual jumps from a burning building trusting that the firefighters will catch them…that takes faith! Or, when a soldier in battle relies on their fellow soldiers to cover them with gun fire, putting their own life on the line, that too takes faith. Furthermore, when a pregnant woman goes into the hospital fully believing that the doctors carefully know what they‘re doing and will carry out a proper pregnancy for her newly born
Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: The Issue of Faith
infant…that takes faith, as well. Note, this is not the kind of faith that I‘m necessarily talking about…it‘s more and far vastly beyond just human intellect in correlation to trust in one another‘s abilities. I‘m actually talking about ―having faith in God!‖ No, it‘s not having faith in a religion or a set of by-laws, but in knowing that you have something to grasp upon when all else fails. When the individuals that you‘ve placed your total trust and reliance in run out of answers…When the by-laws and rules work against you instead of in your favor…When the circumstances of life are too unbearable to face and you find yourself having no one else to turn to…When these things occur, it‘s about time to look for something more than just the typical faith you so trusted in with your mundane life.
(So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. Mark 11:22) NKJV
We have established somewhat of a premise here on what kind of faith we‘re talking about, but let‘s expound more on that premise. So, if one must place their faith in God…then ―who is God?‖ I realize that this sounds like a silly question, especially to Christians. But, this is a question that justifiably needs answering. To actually have bona fide faith in God one must TRULY get to know Him and not just know about Him. It‘s basically known as having a personal relationship with your Father. Now, when I say your Father I‘m not referring to your biological dad but your Father in heaven. God views Christians as his children if they accept the salvation gift of His only begotten Son---Jesus. Jesus sacrificed His life for us that we may have access to new life in God.
(For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His
only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16) AMP
(Let me show you the implications of this. As long as the heir is a minor, he has no
advantage over the slave. Though legally he owns the entire inheritance, he is subject to tutors and administrators until whatever date the father has set for emancipation. That is the way it is with us: When we were minors, we were just like slaves ordered around by simple instructions (the tutors and administrators of this world), with no say in the conduct of our own lives. But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our
Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: The Issue of Faith
rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, "Papa! Father!" Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Galatians 4:1-7) MES
When I say have a personal relationship with God---your Father---it encompasses so much. I‘m not talking about some unattainable ―man upstairs‖ non-relatable and strongly associated with a religious pious. Neither am I referring to some casual relationship with a strange deity who only gives you fleshly pleasures, material things, or just bails you out of trouble. No, the relationship that I‘m referring to is one of personal, authentic, and transparent openness grafted in obedience, love, faithfulness, honesty, and worship to God. Alongside this relationship, one has to become a good listener to what God‘s is saying. We all should know by now, any relationship without suitable communication is destined to not be long-lasting and optimistically effective. Or in simpler terms…it‘ll fail. One has to be inclined to hear what God has to say for them to heed. It‘s so ironic that people (Christians in particular) can actually hear God crystal-clearly when they‘ve sinned or done wrong. They feel guilt, shame, and embarrassment over their actions and regret the decisions made. But, if one was to go and ask the individual about the situation, more often than not, they would vividly admit that they knew better and ‗something‘ was telling them not to do it. The very fact that they immediately realized some form of conviction speaks volumes about their opportunities in avoiding the behavior. In most cases the Christian would admit that that ―something‖ was the very voice of God speaking to their heart---directing them away from sinning. On the contrary, when things are splendid and wonderful in a ―no worries‖ type of mindset…the voice of God is conveniently blocked out and ignored. It‘s almost as if one intentionally crowds Him out of those moments in their lives and forgets that He truly exists. Many times, God has to allow harsh difficulties in our lives, where we nearly hit rock bottom, just to grab our attention. Unfortunately, numerous Christians fail to become sensitive to God‘s voice. God has a lot to say about his voice and faith is strongly connected to this aspect.
(But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the
doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no
Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: The Issue of Faith
means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:2-5) NKJV
(My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27) NIV
Faith, that‘s beyond simple human intellect, has much to do with the Word of God, His voice, and involves us actually paying close attention to what‘s being said by Him.
(So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17) NKJV
As mentioned prior, a synonym for the Word of God is the Bible, but that is not the only way God speaks. He‘s been known to speak in a multiplicity of ways but they all indeed do correlate with the Bible. God is clear in refusing to speak in a way that is contradictory to the Bible--because His written words and audible words are one and the same, similar to ours. Most individuals who say the Bible is filled with contradictions haven‘t read it very well or have a dubious relationship with Him. They may have skimmed through parts that they disagree with or want to attack. God means what He says and says what He means pretty distinctly. Some of the ways He communicates besides the Bible is through preachers, Christian materials (books, compact discs, tapes, sermon notes, etc.), parents, mentors, friends, and so forth. Interesting enough, God usually communicates to us most often from our hearts. Many Christians associate it with being a ―still small voice‖ but an overlooked expression of God‘s voice is through painful circumstances and situations. The very dilemma that one is despising could have the voice of God written all over it. But, there‘s still more involved in understanding the foundation of faith in God besides His voice. Faith has substance---actual material intertwined within its make-up.
(Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1) KJV
We notice here that faith is the substance of hope but not just any type of hope. Hope assured with eagerly awaited evidence---unchanging expectation. You fully expect something to occur without even physically seeing anything supporting it. Faith is not filled with an ―I won‘t believe it until I see it‖ type of attitude. God said it, I believe it, and that settles it! I know people may have heard that before, but (my question is) ―do they really believe it.‖ Many people can talk a big game and know a lot of information but the proof is in the pudding. Better stated, people show that they truly believe something by convincingly living in a way that proves it. I can‘t say,
Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: The Issue of Faith
―I believe I can swim and never decide to jump into the water.‖ I can‘t say, ―I can cook any home-cooked meal and never step foot in a kitchen.‖ I can‘t even say, ―I can fix nearly any machine and never pick up a tool.‖ Nor can I say, ―I can paint a masterpiece and never decide to pickup a paintbrush.‖ Eventually, what‘s strongly inside someone will leak out into their actions. Their actions will reaffirm/reinforce their attitude, and their attitude will motivate added confidence into producing more courageous actions (be them good or bad). What about the pleasure of faith? See, faith is something that should be pleasurable, not so much for us but for God. It‘s something He desires for us to walk in, but for our own benefit. Even though He‘s pleased with it, it‘s for our own good. Using faith helps us much more than it helps God.
(But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For
whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and
● ● ●
diligently seek Him [out]. Hebrews 11:6) AMP
Goodness, faith is a bigger deal than maybe you first thought. Without it, God is unable to be pleased with you. He sees faith as essential to one‘s Christian walk (or lifestyle). To God, the ● ● ● issue with faith occurs when one fails to operate in it. It also speaks to the validity of God‘s existence in one‘s life. It would be remiss for one to go around saying ―I‘m a Christian‖ and not function within a way cognoscente to the existence of God. People should know that one is a Christian by their diligence towards seeking God faithfully (seeking His direction, purpose, and future for one‘s life). Therefore, if God is not pleased without faith in Him, then what is it called when I choose not to operate in faith at all---it‘s called sin.
For whatever is not of faith is sin.
(Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not
himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:22-23)
(You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it
between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you
Faith, Foolishness, & Familiarity: The Issue of Faith
are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning. Romans 14:22-23) NLT
So, in retrospect, faith shouldn‘t be an issue at all when one appropriates it properly. One‘s faith should be solely reliant on God. It should be centered on Him 100%. He should be that dot in your life that everything else revolves around---you know; the central focus. Even you should be revolving around Him and His full control of you! Your faith, trust, and assurance should be placed in His ability for totally impacting your life. What He wants out of you! What He‘s speaking to your heart! What He has for your future! It should ONLY revolve around His desires for your life and how far He wants to take you, etc. The essence of one‘s faith should rely entirely upon God and nothing else! Unfortunately, this was something I had to learn the hard way!
dedicated church attendance (focused and off of the back row to the front). Foolishness. Finally. selfish tendencies. nearing the winter of 1987. I was reluctant to follow after Christ Jesus in a way that was daring.Faith. passionate. on the verge of turning 12 and was still easily influenced by peer pressure.‖ When I initially became a born again Christian. God changed me! Ignited by this change I was ready to surrender completely to God‘s leading. not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4) NKJV God began to clearly open my eyes and heart to how I was truly letting Him down. devotion (quiet time Bible study). and reputation than I was with honoring my commitment made to God. and longsuffering. I wasn‘t involved in some type of trouble but actually things were going fairly well at the time. Hey. my first kiss. and my high school graduation. I changed my life or. No. I knew that I wanted to be fully committed to God but was somehow convinced in the lie ―I had so much more time to commit to that. was a 15! One would think that everything from here on out would be just a breeze---a walk in the park. forbearance.‖ Numerous events transpired throughout my teenage years. and a whole gambit of foolish choices. the lost of my father. I decided to get my act together. and heartfelt. there was so much I had to learn that I didn‘t know at the apparent time. status. better stated. As stated by many during that time who‘d encountered me. So. Regardless. tithing. That I was not living up to the potential that He placed with inside of me. I was only a kid. God was heavily convicting me with His goodness…I know that sounds strange but it happens to many people. I was more concerned with my image. On the verge of entering college out-of-state something changed. and eagerly witnessed to others (talked about Jesus‘ sacrificial love for all). on a scale from 1-10. (Or do you despise the riches of His goodness. at the age of 11. I needed real-talk mentorship and someone to instruct me on much of what I‘m relaying to 25 . I began to suddenly feel a conviction from God concerning my actions. & Familiarity: Me Too! 2 Me Too! I would like to first start off by saying. I shot off like a rocket-ship and blasted right into daily prayer. ―I was on FIRE for God‖. ―if there‘s anyone who needed to read this book from cover-to-cover years ago…it would be me. My commitment and zeal. I was still living in a way that put God on the back-burner and me in the forefront. Boy was I ever wrong.
there is a group of individuals even more damaging to God‘s purpose of faith than the foolish ones. I wasn‘t alone in my foolish actions and was even being led by respectable preachers. Foolishness. we decided to refuse to pay the remainder of the rent on the apartment we were residing in. (Brethren. At least. and marched (even running at times) around it shouting praises to God. we were homeless. we never got the house due to a lack of funds. tired. and loved ones. everything that we call faith isn‟t exactly faith. Before you crucify them for their conception. bounced check. We were naive and didn‘t know any better. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God. But. faith is a good thing and when you‘re reluctant to operate in it God is unpleased. Sadly. Christian leaders. foolishness. we‘ll observe how faith. By the next month. I never knew that Christians could be zealous for God in an unknowledgeable way. 26 . As I stated before. and we needed to believe it was so‘ (in agreement with them). the foolish Christians believe in God enough to try to function in His power that‘s beyond their human intellect. we were a couple of months behind on our rent at the apartment and on the brink of being evicted…to no surprise. we all have somewhat rebounded from that experience. let‘s not stop there. I have a few more examples like that from myself and some others. emotionally drained and extremely irritable---sleeping that night in our rented UHaul. I‘m not saying don‘t have any zeal---be on FIRE for God---but that part wherein it needs to be according to knowledge is awfully important. frustration begun to set in alongside distrust. my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them.‖ But. I made some horrible blunders in my life that was foolish and highly peculiar--many so called ―in the name of the Lord. ―Why did we do all of that?‖ The answer lies in the fact that one of us thought God had spoke to them saying ‗that this was their new house.Faith. and are more cognoscente of ever making another foolish decision like that again. In seeking to operate in faith one can easily venture over into operating in ―foolishness. etc. depression. I guess it was just godly growing pains that an array of Christians often experience---lessons learned. One may ask. Romans 10:1-2) ASV I can remember an occasion where I prayed with 2 distant cousins of mine in their believing for a new home. Furthermore. Well. I got caught up in most of these foolish acts by seeking to operate by faith in God. but I feel that you pretty much get the picture. We even rode out to the property. In preparation. realize that they received much of that information from a couple of well known Christian leaders who indicated that they‘d responded similarly and got exceptional results. & Familiarity: Me Too! you all in this book.‖ These individuals are so afraid not to look foolish that they go to the other extreme of faith and look to limit God back to only human intellect. and anger (in all three of us). friends. This is the group that I call---the Christians who operate in what is known as ―familiarity. prayed. that they may be saved. credit problems. but not according to knowledge.‖ Moreover. In the next chapter. Now. and familiarity are all closely related to one another. Needless to say. Thankfully.
These qualities. ―there‘s a thin line between love and hate. foolishness. our own ego trip! ● ● ● When answers are hard to come by it‘s actually reasonable to look to some type of faith. Their curiosity is not ordinary but beyond ordinary. In the evident believability of His promises they inquire to see if what God said will really work. be them good or appalling. but God desires for us to know who He has called us to be. We ● ● ● already have defined what faith is so let‘s continue from that We try to use God for premise. In most cases. We try to use God for our own ego trip! We venture out on our own cognoscente searching for validation. there‘s also a thin line between faith. Foolishness. as Christians. faith usually leads the way…individuals simply gravitate to their own curiosity in order to find solutions to problems outside of themselves. The problem with that is that God wants to be tested His own way and not ours. are so intertwined with one another that at any given moment you can slip into either. More importantly than God proving something to us…is us trying to prove something to ourselves. but they are interested enough to find out ―How will it work? When will it work? Whom will it work for? Why will it work? Can one continuously work it? What will stop it from working? If it worked for Sally then it should work for me! If Joe got results from it why shouldn‘t I?‖ They want to truly put God to the test…in order to brag on His power. and familiarity. the typical Christian ordinarily begins with faith---not just faith but faith in God. They know that God is well able to do anything and many times don‘t have to become overly convinced of that truth. Now.Faith. 27 . God already knows who He is. & Familiarity: A Thin Line 3 A Thin Line A vast group of people have heard the phrase.‖ Interesting enough. Not only will it really work.
Proverbs 4:23) NLT (Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. even your own thoughts are good in their intent. for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. decent effort. It looks as if we may have a big dilemma here when we get into dealing with numerous amounts of Christians who aren‘t dealing with their hearts correctly. critical. store. as well. we step out on faith in order to prove ourselves in something or another. relatives. I John 4:1)1AMP Now. one has to honestly address their ulterior motives and hidden agendas. DO not put faith in every spirit. motives begin to come into play here. Christian leaders and preachers. computer. your employer/business. His issue with us is based on our stepping out on faith in order to prove ourselves for the wrong reasons. ● ● ● (BELOVED. Of course. Presumption often has the sense of blind overconfidence. a little bit of work. See. But the LORD weighs the hearts. for it determines the course of your life. and some study. but everything that you hear (or everything that is said) is not necessarily valid. your appearance/daily beauty regimen and hopefully your family extensively more time than that. Foolishness. Not only motives. God desires so much more of your time from you. 28 . When it comes to God. friends. especially ulterior ones. one needs to be cautious in what they tend to listen to. but rather one should pay better attention to what they are saying and check the Word of God (not your friend or even yourself) in proper context to see how accurate what they‘ve said actually is. That‘s right…SOME STUDY! Too many Christians have become so sluggish wherein they only pickup their Bibles (maybe) on Sunday (primarily in the morning for about 1 hour) or one other time during the week for a 1-2 hour Bible Study session. cell phone. To only give Him a few hours within 2 days out of a 7 day week isn‘t indicating very much at all. Yes.Faith. this will take some time. but agendas come into play. Mainly. but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God. You give the television. (Guard your heart above all else. we‘re not becoming drastic here and calling the majority of individuals ministering to you false prophets. fearful and antagonistic towards Christian leaders and preachers. Nor is this an excuse for one to go around cynical. God doesn‘t really have too much of a problem with that. & Familiarity: A Thin Line So. especially hidden ones. skeptical. Proverbs 21:2) NKJV ● ● ● In addition.
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. faith is based upon the Word of God. subject to further proof. as presumed innocent. Sometimes it has the sense of behaving in a superior manner. 2 Timothy 2:15) AMP (Study to shew thyself approved unto God." or "foolhardy." "to pretend." "to suppose or take for granted. See. It means "to dare or venture without prior knowledge. Presume is related to and similar to assume. Presumption often has the sense of blind overconfidence. Presumptuous means "unusually confident or bold.Faith. As was stated earlier. a workman who has no cause to be ashamed. let‘s get back to the issue of a thin line. ● presumption."2 All of this was said to get you to understand that presumption tries to paint itself as almost being equivalent to having faith in God." "to take as a premise. Presumptive means "based on reasonable grounds of evidence" as in presumptive heir. ● ● ● What about the issue of presumption? Presumption is an ongoing issue involving several Christians‘ viewpoint of operating by faith." The noun form is Understand this. but a presumptuous individual seeks 29 ." or "to be taken up. or going beyond the limits of proper manners. when one presumes upon God‘s actions they often have this sense of blind overconfidence in literally trying to force God to move on their behalf based upon those same selected actions. Assume has a variety of meanings. 2 Timothy 2:15) KJV Okay. But. If your intentions are wrong and you just aimlessly believe anything you hear about God then the chances that you‘ll slip over into foolishness or familiarity from faith is considerably high. ● ● A presumption is often taken up or assumed to be true until proven otherwise. It basically means "to take up or on oneself. rightly dividing the word of truth." "to assume as believable without direct proof. but it has the sense of doing it beforehand." or "to behave arrogantly or overconfidently. & Familiarity: A Thin Line (Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial)." The noun form is assumption. it adds more to faith than should actually be added. often arrogant. Foolishness. as in to presume upon someone. God only speaks purely what God only speaks! There’s no need to have Him say something He necessarily hasn’t said. correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
The list can go on and on. the excitement and goose bumps but the greater question one must feel in making this decision. but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. in going to a place that he knew not of. they decide to quit their job. They may even see themselves as being like Abram (later ● ● ● called Abraham) who God spoke to in leaving his country and God is always speaking. & Familiarity: A Thin Line to make God operate based on their own presumptions of God‘s Word. Africa…! You even heard your local church leaders continually speaking messages on it. What‘s wrong with this picture? God never said to do any of that! Now. economically bankrupt. kin. and head off to an unknown locale in the Continent of Africa in order to do the work of the Lord. a typical presumptive Christian would run with it without garnering any more clarity. may be. Africa. God could have simply been leading the individual to pray specifically for Africa. nothing‘s wrong with following God‘s direction for one‘s life. Or. Foolishness. Nothing‘s even wrong with going to Africa or having a strong desire to do the work of the Lord. So. In and of themselves all of these things can be wonderful and eye-opening experiences for one‘s life. Understand this. to do these things (or something similar) out of presumption isn‘t good. and wishing that they had never made any of those prior decisions to put themselves in this predicament. “are we always listening?” ● ● ● But. Better yet. They may most likely end up destitute.Faith. In retrospect. Africa. Wow. what would you do? If you were hearing it over and over again even while you were seeking to sleep at night. in order to be blessed (Gen. They‘ll probably tell as many people as possible what God has spoken to them and that immediately they were to leave for Africa. God only speaks purely what God only speaks! There‘s no need to try to have Him say something He necessarily hasn‘t said. 12:1-4)1. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) He responded to one of the temptations by stating. He could have been dealing with them about giving a certain amount of money towards the needy in Africa.‖ 30 . If God spoke to your heart the words ―Africa‖ in a still small voice. But. pack up their bags. He could have been encouraging the individual to eventually go on a mission‘s trip to a remote part of Africa. usually the results could easily end up with the individual experiencing an entirely different scenario. Well. ―Man shall not live by bread alone. frustrated. Let me give you a couple of examples: I have heard this example used quite often by a few notable ministers.
but the greater question may be. You know. being tempted for forty days by the devil. economic status. ―are we always listening?‖ We become so busy with our mundane lives that we quickly crowd out His voice with our vast to-do-schedules. hair style. And the devil said to Him. He was hungry. and you disturbingly notice that you‘re not getting any younger. Regardless. “If You are the Son of God. in order to lure in your potential spouse. In addition.” But Jesus answered him. you clearly know that this is not the person that God was possibly speaking of but (at 31 It’s almost as if we don’t have enough time in the day any more---even for God! A second example of presumption can be in the form of desperation. saying. Moreover. you decide to date an individual not a Christian or yet the first person that comes along. on church grounds. So. and go to various church services looking for the ideal particular mate of your choosing. you prepare yourself with the proper fragrances. In desperation. So. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone. You even consider getting into a relationship with an already married individual. “It is written. To add fuel to the fire. you sort of give up on God and feel that marriage is just a fleeting concept for you (personally). And in those days He ate nothing. dressy attire.’” Luke 4:1-4) NKJV In order to grasp what God is fully saying one has to actually keep paying close attention to Him. God still speaks? God is always speaking. and afterward. returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. etc. & Familiarity: A Thin Line (Then Jesus.Faith. you join Christian singles groups that target getting eager Christian people married. you notice all of your friends around you getting married nearly every summer inviting you to their fairytale weddings. let‘s say God has laid it out plainly placing it on your heart that one day you‘ll be married to who He has ● ● ● prepared for you. you have a list of what you want already lined out and submit your information to dating services. the person has to be nearly perfect with this and that. . being filled with the Holy Spirit. You even decide to date for a while. command this stone to become bread. After a while of doing all of this and finding little to no results. when they had ended. Foolishness. You‘re thrilled and eagerly believe by faith that God‘s plan for life will surely be done. but by every word of God. It‘s almost as if we don‘t have enough time in the day any more--even for God! When was the last time you got quiet before ● ● ● God to find out His direction for your life---not on a Sunday. or in some other religious place? For example.
and possibly a divorce. fasten our seatbelts. Foolishness. What‘s wrong with this picture? The individual presumed out of desperation that God would move on their behalf---their way. What was it that they really knew? Well. Now. press on the gas slightly. You‘re in desperation mode and start to carry in your relationships the mantra ―anything is better than nothing. Why wasn‘t that enough? As faithful Christians we have to let God truly be God in our lives…and stop trying to run ahead of Him. and in their timing. that seems like a bit much…but (let me remind you) countless people do that every day--multiple times a day. Your life has become twice as miserable as it was when you were single and lonely. or even this year! The individual started desperately acting on an instinct that in actuality God never intended. God never told them to do any of that! He just simply assured them that one day they‘ll be married…not necessarily tomorrow. they knew that this individual wouldn‘t just be anyone. But.Faith. and then (finally) we can go. they knew that they would definitely be married. You‘re finally married! So. You enter into a deep post-wedding depression seeking intensive personal counseling. place the gear shift into the drive position. energy. & Familiarity: A Thin Line this point) you don‘t care. when it comes to God we want an instant one-step-do-it-all process that takes little to no time. turn the key in the right direction. They nearly placed their life on hold in order to seek after a potential mate…and so on and so forth. close the door. a devastating break-up. 32 . or effort. waiting. When we get into something as simple as our cars we don‘t automatically expect them to move.‖ The wedding bells chime and a mutual ―I do‖ is exchanged. This can help shed some more light on this whole issue of faith. wait for the car to fully crank up. based on their list. this week. you settle…eventually you begin to experience an array of problems with this individual that constantly surfaces. Let‘s switch gears. Also. We must first sit down. ● ● ● Again. and focus on Hebrews the 11th chapter which is also known as the ―faith chapter‖ in the Bible. but someone who God was preparing specifically for them. ● ● ● As faithful Christians we have to let God truly be God in our lives…and stop trying to run ahead of Him. They gave too much attention to being married. you‘re considering a separation. just like the car. Soon. They felt that God had to respond on their terms. put the correct key in the ignition.
so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. particles. let‘s progress onto the next verses and expound upon them each one by one from the New King James Version of the Bible. But. The trees. ―Well. Hebrews 11:2) Of course. the stars. where did all of those things come from?‖ Two of the most feasible answers would either be I don‘t know. etc. Foolishness. In earlier years (BC). Hebrews 11 gives us an overall viewpoint of what faith in God is all about. 4:3. Enoch. But. the it is faith in God.Faith. I know numerous scientists will say that atoms. (By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. We previously addressed (from verse 1) the truth of faith being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen…that‘s already been explained earlier. or it came from God. This was enough to give one a good report/testimony in the sight of God. The elders are older individuals such as Abel. a key way to be seen as righteous before God was simply to believe in Him like Abraham (Rom. So. even we were crafted by God‘s words. Hebrews 11:3) God‘s Word is so powerful that it is the foundation of everything we visibly see. cells. and molecules are at the central root of creation. 3:6). they all have to answer the question. (For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. the animals. 33 . In the next few verses we‘ll see how some of these elders did that very thing. & Familiarity: Patriarchs 4 The Patriarchs and Those Other Folk Now. and Noah. Now. as we‘ve already gleaned from verse 1. Gal. individuals didn‘t have Bibles and the 10 commandments didn‘t come into place until Moses‘ time. the waters.
and let dry ground appear. and every winged bird according 34 . to govern the day and the night." And there was evening. "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. Then God said." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems." and there was light. And God said. by God’s words. and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years. And God said. And there was evening. and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." And there was evening." and the gathered waters he called ● ● ● "seas. God called the light "day. and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said. And God said." and the darkness he called "night. And it was so. and there was morning—the third day. God called the expanse "sky. The trees. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed even we were crafted in it. and He separated the light from the darkness. the animals. the waters. Now the earth was formless and empty. "Let the water teem with living creatures. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. He also made the stars. darkness was over the surface of the deep." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with ● ● ● seed in it according to their kinds." And God saw that it was good." And it was so.Faith. according to their various kinds. God called the dry ground "land. "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing the stars. And there was evening. Foolishness. God saw that the light was good. And God saw that it was good. And God said. And God saw that it was good." So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. and to separate light from darkness. and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. & Familiarity: Patriarchs (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. "Let there be light. and there was morning—the second day. and there was morning—the fourth day. according to their kinds. "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place. and there was morning—the first day. "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.
God blessed them and said to them. "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock. creatures that move along the ground. (By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. "Let us make man in our image." And there was evening. and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds.Faith. They will be yours for food. each according to its kind. But without faith it is impossible to please Him. because God had taken him”. God made the wild animals according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. that he pleased God. And God said." And it was so. And God saw that it was good. and through it he being dead still speaks. and over all the creatures that move along the ground. in the image of God he created him. and wild animals." Then God said. and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death. and let the birds increase on the earth. over all the earth. in our likeness. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the round. God saw all that he had made. the livestock according to their kinds. through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. and that He is a rewarder of those who 35 . "Be fruitful and increase in number. "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas." So God created man in his own image. “and was not found. "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it." And it was so. Genesis 1:1-31) The intriguing thing about this power is that it was created from faith. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. Foolishness. God testifying of his gifts. & Familiarity: Patriarchs to its kind. male and female he created them. fill the earth and subdue it. Then God said. And there was evening. for before he was taken he had this testimony. This was the same type of faith that the elders used. and there was morning—the fifth day. for he who comes to God must believe that He is. and there was morning—the sixth day. God blessed them and said. over the livestock. and it was very good.
but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. that righteousness might be imputed to them also. so that the promise might be sure to all the seed. With these three gentlemen. Foolishness. but through the righteousness of faith. & Familiarity: Patriarchs diligently seek Him. but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised. For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law.‖ (How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised. By faith Noah. “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God. or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision. his testimony of righteous living by faith in God was able to speak for him even after his death. but while uncircumcised. Hebrews 11:4-7) We now can come back to referring to the good testimony that many of the elders had. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace. who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not 36 . Enoch actually topped that by having an overall testimony that he pleased God (with obedience) so much to the point that he never even saw death. who is the father of us all (as it is written. by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs. though they are uncircumcised. Somehow. and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision. one of the most well known elders of faith is Abraham who carried the title ―the father of faith. Also. His pleasing of God was simply done through him living a life of faith in God. Next. moved with godly fear. being divinely warned of things not yet seen. not only to those who are of the law. I hope you all are starting to see a common theme with having faith in God at this point. faith is made void and the promise made of no effect. and got ridiculed daily for earnestly building it) which saved his entire family from worldwide destruction. that he might be the father of all those who believe. we see faith in God connected to obedience and obedience connected to becoming righteous.Faith. because the law brings about wrath. But. for where there is no law there is no transgression. We see in these verses that some of the early elders were Abel who operated in faith by obeying God by having the right heart in giving Him a more excellent sacrifice (this was equivalent to him being righteous before God) than his brother. we notice Noah who obeyed God by operating in godly fear in preparing an ark (something he never built before. prepared an ark for the saving of his household.
not having received the promises. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country. so that he became the father of many nations. for he waited for the city which has foundations. when he finally got to the land that God promised to him. as well. So. they would have had opportunity to return. Not only that. Foolishness. embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob. and she bore a child when she was past the age.Faith. she became intimate with her husband (who was very old as well) and had a child which was thought to be actually impossible. But now 37 . But. according to what was spoken. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed. & Familiarity: Patriarchs exist as though they did. the heirs with him of the same promise. let‘s look deeper into Abraham and his family. (By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. But. in hope believed. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. not knowing where he was going. who. (These all died in faith. he decided to stay there for many years and not leave to some other place much more established---that took faith. And he went out. and him as good as dead. “So shall your descendants be.” Romans 4:10-18) It‘s truly amazing to know that the Word of God is so powerful that it created everything in existence through faith. Abraham obeyed God‘s direction in (leaving all and) going to an unknown place. his wife (Sarah) confidently decidedly to believe that she could have a baby even when her physical body was too old to have one. All of these events needed extensive faith in God or else they may never have happened. Hebrews 11:8-12) Here in these verses we notice exactly how Abraham operated by faith in God. this definitely took faith in God. because she judged Him faithful who had promised. contrary to hope. but having seen them afar off were assured of them. whose builder and maker is God. Therefore from one man.
It took faith in God for Jacob to bless Joseph‘s sons (while they were still young) while on his death bed. and they are called the patriarchs. even though he had no physical assurance what their futures would be. leaning God for the future. By God not only has much faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to do with the present to come. Foolishness. “In Isaac your seed shall be called. offered up Isaac. and worshiped. Abraham‘s heart was so committed to believing God that even when God stopped him internally he had already fully carried out the act to kill his son in his heart (in obedience to God).” concluding that God ● ● ● was able to raise him up. made mention of the departure of the children of Israel. from As one can see. even if it meant raising the promise child (Isaac) miraculously back from the dead. By faith Joseph. of whom it was said.Faith. Abraham developed so much faith in God‘s Word that he knew that somehow God would be true to the promise He had made. even from the dead. Hebrews 11:17-22) Furthermore. a heavenly country. when he was dying. when he was well. faith in God not only has much to do with the present but full assurance 38 . (By faith Abraham. for He has prepared a city for them. as on the top of his staff. They really saw the physical place of heaven as their home even though they had never seen it with their actual eyes (they were willing to die for it). It took faith in God for Joseph to fully believe that one day God would provide an exodus for the children of Israel from Egypt (even though they were comfortable and doing well while there). faith in which he also received him in a figurative sense. that is. This next group of individuals is some of the most well known for having faith in God. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God. As one can see. and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. It took faith in God for Isaac to bless his two sons concerning their future. and gave instructions concerning ● ● ● his bones. By faith Jacob. (Abraham) when God tested him to offer up back to Him the promise that He had just given him didn‘t hesitate to obey. so he told them to carry his bones (when he dies) with them during their exodus. & Familiarity: Patriarchs they desire a better. blessed but full assurance within each of the sons of Joseph. dying. they only experienced parts of it (so they were looking forward to life after death). Hebrews 11:13-16) Many of these individuals still confidently lived their entire lives believing in God even though they didn‘t fully experience what He had promised them. when he was tested.
Hebrews 11:23-29) Before Moses was born. out of weakness were made strong. Foolishness. (By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. the same sea that killed the Egyptians pursuing after them. worked righteousness. became valiant in battle. also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms. as well. for he looked to the reward. and followed His instructions in completely instituting the Passover. turned to flight the armies of the aliens. when she had received the spies with peace. Let‘s look into Moses‘ life concerning the utilization of faith in God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land. By faith Moses. and they were not afraid of the king’s command. stopped the mouths of lions. his parents operated in faith in God to preserve his life. quenched the violence of fire. but decided rather to suffer with his own people believing God had a greater reward (in store) for them. not fearing the wrath of the king. whereas the Egyptians.Faith. By faith he forsook Egypt. (By faith Moses. it took faith in God for the children of Israel to walk through the Red Sea once it parted. when he became of age. lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. when he was born. esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah. Also. were drowned. it took faith in God for Moses to reject a pleasurable lifestyle as a grandchild of Pharaoh. escaped the edge of the sword. choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. Many countless other things were done by faith in God for the children of Israel. He chose not to be afraid of Pharaoh‘s wrath but feared God instead. was hidden three months by his parents. refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. because they saw he was a beautiful child. obtained promises. & Familiarity: Patriarchs within God for the future. Women received their dead raised to life again. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood. Furthermore. attempting to do so. 39 . By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe. even against the Pharaoh‘s decree not to do so.
yes. were slain with the sword. They wandered in deserts and mountains.a holocaust is a burnt offering). This was all possible because he repented for his wrongful actions. and they went out with him. shall surely be God‘s. The victorious Jephthah is met on 40 . Jephthah. but is wonderfully favors. tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. ● ● ● (by faith in God) followed the prophetic words of the judge of the region (Deborah) in defeating Sisera and the Canaanite army (who had oppressed Israel for 20 years). Jephthah challenges the Ammonites. and the elders agree that provided Jephthah succeeds in defeating Ammon he will be their permanent chieftain. Hebrews 11:30-40) By faith in God. But. did not receive the promise. & Familiarity: Patriarchs Others were tortured."4 (Judges 11:31 .Faith. and had faith in God to honor his last request before death. that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Joshua simply ● ● ● led the children of Israel in marching around it 7 times each Faith in God is not only day (and following God‘s direction of shouting at the end of 7 days) in obedience unto God. afflicted. Faith in God is not only people who God limited to perfect people who God wonderfully favors. but he holds out for a more permanent and a broader position. tortured. Jephthah swears an oath: Whatever/whoever emerges and comes out of the doors of my house to meet me. and had his eyes plucked out. that they might obtain a better resurrection. they were sawn in two. And all these. and of chains and imprisonment. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings." (Judges 11:3) The elders of Gilead ask him to be their leader in the campaign against the Ammonites. were tempted. in dens and caves of the earth. The military general. God having provided something better for us. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins. he was captured. but available to anyone willing to operate in it. the strongly fortified walls of Jericho fell down without anyone physically touching them. not accepting deliverance. The prostitute Rahab used faith limited to perfect in God by receiving the spies from Israel with peace. After giving up the secret of his strength to the Philistines. in his death he was able to destroy more Philistines than he did while living. having obtained a good testimony through faith. and I shall sacrifice him/her/it as a holocaust. defeating multiple large armies warring against the children of Israel with only 300 fearless men. and in reliance on the might of God the Judge. operated by faith in God when "There gathered around him some worthless ["empty"] men. being destitute. Many people are familiar with Samson who God graced with uncanny strength. Rahab was a harlot is available to anyone and God still respected her use of faith in Him! Timid little Gideon operate by faith in God by obeying His instructions for willing to operate in it. They were stoned. assuredly knowing that God was with them. Foolishness. when I return in peace from the people of Ammon. On behalf of Israel as a whole. the judge. Barak.
8 David was so dedicated to openly following after God and operating by faith in Him…that God deemed him as a man after His own heart. The story ends by recounting how "the daughters of Israel went four days each year to celebrate about5 the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite" (Judges 11:40). But now your kingdom will not endure. worked righteousness (Samuel). 41 ." I Samuel 13:13-15) NIV (And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis. and this part of the Bible illustrates the terrible tragedy of human sacrifice.. his only child. stopped the mouths of lions (Daniel). numerous others through faith subdued kingdoms (some of the kings and judges of Israel). And so Jephthah "carried out his vow with her which he had vowed" (Judges 11:39). my daughter! You have brought me very low!" but is bound by his vow: "I have given my word to God. a man of the tribe of Benjamin. Jephthah tears his clothes and cries. ("You acted foolishly. "Alas. he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. nor acceptable to God. not weighing with himself what opinion the hearers would have of such a practice. he raised up unto them David to be their king. & Familiarity: Patriarchs his return by his daughter. ". that I may go down on the mountains . Flavius. The girl asks for two months' grace. Jesus: Acts 13:21-23) KJV Moreover."6 However some scholars believe the passage suggests the sacrifice was accepted by God. writes that "he sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering: offering such an oblation as was neither conformable to the law.7 Others point out the complete lack of censure by God of Jephthah and the sacrifice of his daughter in the biblical account. and said. I have found David the son of Jesse. Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour. because you have not kept the LORD's command. Foolishness. to whom also he gave their testimony.. and bewail my virginity" (Judges 11:37). "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you." Samuel said.. if you had. Samuel was known as the first prophet of the children of Israel chosen by God and numerous others eventually followed (by faith). by the space of forty years. and I cannot go back on it"(Judges 11:35). And when he had removed him.. which shall fulfill all my will. According to commentators of rabbinic Jewish tradition this was a gross violation of God's law. a man after mine own heart.Faith. the firstcentury Jewish historian. the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people. obtained promises.
39:20). afflicted. Still others had trial of mockings and scourging (Jeremiah---Jere. it even still lives well into today. Women received their dead raised to life again (the woman of Shunam who was hospitable to the prophet Elisha---2 Kings 4:18-37. 2:30. Others were tortured. became valiant in battle (Gideon and others). 42 . 8. Their faith outlasted even their own physical lives and lived out into future generations. and of chains and imprisonment (Joseph---Gen. and Azariah also known as Shadrach. not accepting deliverance. It also involved still believing God even in the midst of suffering and turmoil. ―Were these all perfect people that God just purposely chose for His use. tormented—of whom the world was not worthy (The most primitive dress of sheepskins and goatskins indicated an abject poverty so deplorable that such persons were regarded as barely more than animals themselves. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins.Faith. Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath---I Kings 17:8-24). Lam. They were so unshakable in their faith that the world was not even worthy of them. that they might obtain a better resurrection. Foolishness. we notice here that faith in God exemplified by the patriarchs and those other folk throughout the old covenant (testament) involved total obedience unto God. Mishael. 26:23). were slain with the sword (many of the prophets---I Kings 19:10. 20:7. These individuals became well known for their stance of continuing to have faith in God even when all else seemed to fail. being destitute. they were sawn in two (Isaiah). Elijah the Tishbite was one who wore such attire---II Kings 1:8. 3:14). 24:20-22). So. one may ask. escaped the edge of the sword (David). But. were tempted. yes. in dens and caves of the earth (David)9. They were stoned (Zechariah---II Chron. They wandered in deserts and mountains. In-spite of their faithfulness. and was so destitute that he was fed by the ravens---I Kings 17:1-7). Meshach and Abednego). turned to flight the armies of the aliens (army generals). 14. these individuals still did not fully obtain everything God had promised for them on the earth. & Familiarity: Patriarchs quenched the violence of fire (Hananiah. out of weakness were made strong (Samson & Elijah). Jere.
broken and scared Lift up your heart and be amazed And be changed by a perfect God Suddenly it's like a weight is lifted When you hear the words that you are loved He knows where you are and where you've been And you never have to go there again 43 . Foolishness. we saw that these individuals were tremendously committed to God. & Familiarity: Perfect People 5 Perfect People As we have just reviewed the details of Hebrews 11. these individuals seemed almost too good to be true. They distributed a faith in God that was special and so far beyond their simple human intellect. elite examples to follow. In other words. One could even notice them as being perfect people. But.Faith. Natalie Grant summed it up like this with her song entitled Perfect People on her Relentless album: Never let 'em see you when you're breaking Never let 'em see you when you fall That's how we live and that's how we try Tell the world you've got it all together Never let them see what's underneath Cover it up with a crooked smile But it only lasts for a little while [CHORUS:] There's no such thing as perfect people There's no such thing as a perfect life So come as you are. there‘s no such thing as perfect people…! Singer.
witness and others see flawless Christianity or perfect faith in God as something virtually unattainable." These expressions in turn come from "perficio" — "to finish". "to bring to an end. & Familiarity: Perfect People [CHORUS] Who lived and died to give new life To heal our imperfections So look up and see out let grace be enough [CHORUS] By a perfect God [5x] Be changed by a perfect God Be changed Many Christians think that they are perfect (or close to it) and try to exemplify a seemingly perfect life." To avoid the latter associations. and most part it actually is! Everyone has hang-ups." The latter Greek expression generally had concrete referents. and "perfect(us)" — "finished". to Greek. and idiosyncrasies. Jesus is! Before we launch into conversing more about perfect people. self-righteous. Hence the Greek "teleiotes" was not yet so fraught with abstract and superlative associations as would be the Latin "perfectio" or the modern "perfection. Unfortunately. The Greek equivalent of the Latin "perfectus" was "teleos. The form of the word long fluctuated in various languages. This shatters many Christians‘ Everyone has hang-ups. idiosyncrasies. The English language had the alternates. "perfection" and the Biblical "perfectness. It‘s not new news. much as in grammatical parlance ("perfect tense"). Foolishness. It comes off to nonbelievers as ● ● ● arrogant and pompous conceit. So. the Greek term has generally been translated as "completeness" rather than "perfection. for the issues. a perfect comedy or a perfect social system. many of them carry themselves with a judgmental." The word "perfection" derives from the Latin "perfectio‖ and "perfect" — from "perfectus. they‘re ● ● ● not…but. such as a perfect physician or flutist." "Perfectio(n)" thus literally means "a finishing". issues.Faith. but some Christians feel that they‘re the standard of righteousness. and condescending attitude. let‘s deal with the concept of perfection itself."11 44 .10 The genealogy of the concept of "perfection" reaches back beyond Latin. They‘re right.
for example.14 45 . Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. 3. That is perfect: 1. which has attained its purpose. without comparison to other things. however." perfection”. which is complete — which contains all the requisite parts.Faith. who thought much about perfection and held the world to be the best possible worlds. Medieval Christian philosophy held that the concept of perfection might describe creation. but in any case three different concepts. more perfect and less perfect. This duality was expressed by Thomas Aquinas. "excellentia" ("excellence"). 2. Foolishness. in the Summa Theologiae. The first of these concepts is fairly well subsumed within the second. Thomas Aquinas. had they not been confused with other. in its substance. fairly precise and distinguishing the shades of the concept. The chief of these was Christian perfection is the concept of that which is the best: in Latin. In the Book Delta of the Metaphysics. and when it perfectly serves its purpose. goes back to Aristotle. did not claim that it was perfect. But. God permitted imperfections in creation when they were necessary for the good of the whole. & Familiarity: Perfect People The oldest definition of "perfection". it is capable. indicating that he was following Aristotle. but was not appropriate to describe God.13 ● ● ● So. The concept of entire sanctification may initially come from the Catholic Church's doctrine of theosis. when he distinguished a twofold perfection: when a thing is perfect in itself — as he put it. which lacks nothing of the perfection proper to it. And for man it was natural to go by degrees from imperfection to perfection. there arises a duality in concept. as well. dignitaries were called as “going on to "perfectissime". he distinguishes three meanings of the term. and ● ● ● implies comparison. just as they are now called "excellency. by its nature. and if something is deemed perfect. in the world. these two expressions of high regard differ fundamentally: "excellentia" is a distinction among many. which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better. In antiquity. or rather three shades of one meaning." Also (Summa Theologiae): "That is perfect." Thus there were. thus. Between those two and the third. Nevertheless. then it is deemed so in itself. kindred concepts. things perfect and imperfect. The Scholastic. if we realize the fact that the world we live in may tend to have some flaws. defined a perfect thing as one that "possesses that of which. "excellentia" and "perfectio" made commonly referred to a pair. much of the concept of Christian perfection lays its roots within Catholicism. then we can adequately admit that we who live in this world are flawed.12 The variants on the concept of perfection would have been quite of a piece for two thousand years. while "perfectio" involves no comparison.
is ―purity of intention. and our neighbor as ourselves.321 to 4 of the bishops assembled at the Council. lest I should seem to contradict myself.16 El Camino de Perfeccion is a method for making progress in the contemplative life written by St. we utterly renounce the doctrine of sinless perfection. but He himself did not serve any purpose. To Wesley. A thing's perfection depended on what sort of perfection it was eligible for. that was perfect which had attained the fullness of the qualities possible for it. Teresa of Ávila for the sisters of her reformed convent of the Carmelite Order (Discalced). Famed Protestant leader John Wesley had an entirely different take on the matter in concerning the Christian church. the decree was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on October 28. St." Still.‖20 46 . dedicating all the life to God‖ and ―the mind which was in Christ. though John Wesley himself did not use this term and noted in his book A Plain Account of Christian Perfection that ". Hence "whole" and "perfect" meant more or less the same ("totum et perfectum sunt quasi idem"). of every being."17 However John William Fletcher.. Foolishness.. founder of Methodism. sanctification was a grace-led spiritual growth. the more it resembles God. Since God was not finite. for it implied an end (goal or purpose)." It was not an attribute of God but a property of creation: all things partook of it to a greater or lesser degree. He could not be called perfect: for the concept of perfection served to describe finite things. the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life. created even those purposes. in some degree. Christless law of innocence and paradisiacal perfection.Faith. In general. The 9th-century thinker Paschasius Radbertus wrote: "Everything is the more perfect. the title is taken from the first words of the decree: "Perfect Charity" in Latin. an interpreter of Wesleyan theology in the 18th century. this did not imply that God himself was perfect. enabling us to walk as Christ walked. The concept is also referred to as sinless perfection.‖ our ―being filled with the fullness of God. according to Wesley. but an ontological one. Perfectae Caritatis. but likewise to the image of God. used the term "evangelically sinless perfection" or "evangelically sinless" but notes in his book The Last Check to Antinomianism that "With respect to the FIRST. 1965. Teresa was a major figure of the Catholic Reformation in 16th Century Spain."19 It is ―a restoration not only to the favor. is one of the shorter documents issued by the Second Vatican Council. Perfection was not a theological concept. As is customary for Church documents.15 This was a teleological concept. the Adamic. Approved by vote of 2. Christian perfection. It may also be called entire sanctification. Christian perfection is also the title of a book written by theologian Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Perfection can either define the journey to perfection or the state of perfection. Christian perfection is commonly referred to as "going on to perfection". from Wesley's understanding of sanctifying grace.‖ It is "loving God with all our heart. that is."18 Perfection is the process of sanctification and is a work of grace.sinless perfection is a phrase I never use. God created things that served certain purposes. & Familiarity: Perfect People Duns Scotus understood perfection still more simply and mundanely: "Perfection is that which it is better to have than not to have. because it was a feature. The doctrine is chiefly associated with the followers of John Wesley. His teaching was rooted much more in the grace of God and not so much in philosophy.
Matthew 5:48) NIV (And so. and have continued need to pray for forgiveness and holiness. It is not an absolute perfection but a perfection in love. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me. Wesley also did not view perfection as permanent. & Familiarity: Perfect People Wesley was clear that Christian perfection did not imply perfection of bodily health or an infallibility of judgment. Similarly. but rather the state of choosing not to sin. (Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves. Wesley's perfection represents a change of life. which is good and pleasing and perfect. a freedom from willful rebellion against God. Perfected Christians remain subject to temptation. In the Seventh-day Adventist Church. therefore. measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. and pride. ―Even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ. perfection is not the state of being unable to sin. impure intentions. as your heavenly Father is perfect. and miss out on the bigger picture of having faith in God in obedience to Him. This is truly the way to worship him.Faith. as at this day. Foolishness. but rather says that. It also does not mean we no longer violate the will of God. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you. I Kings 8:61) KJV (Be perfect. I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.‖17 Wesley did not use perfection to describe sinlessness. there is much debate and even some confusion on this issue of perfection. Instead of debating over the issue of perfection and seeking to be perfect people. Wesley did not teach a salvation by perfection. As one can easily notice. it should be our sincere desire to simply follow God. We can get caught up and side-tracked over who‘s right and who‘s wrong in their philosophy. some conservative members hold to a Last Generation theology which teaches that there will be a final perfect generation of believers before Jesus returns. to walk in his statutes. I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world. but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Most if not all Adventist theologians reject this. and to keep his commandments. dear brothers and sisters. Romans 12:1-3) NLT 47 . Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. Furthermore. for involuntary transgressions remain.
apostles. I only thought that it would be fitting to begin the ensuing chapter with a song. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you. ● ● ● some. For the perfecting of the saints. for correction.Faith. & Familiarity: Perfect People (Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. as well. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it. and of the knowledge of the Son of God. for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith. for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect. but I press on. how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss. 2 Timothy 3:16-17) KJV Since we started this chapter off with a song. Foolishness. thoroughly furnished unto all good works. and some. evangelists. unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: Ephesians 4:11-13) KJV (Not that I have already attained. prophets. but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. or am already perfected. and is profitable for doctrine. which is good and pleasing and perfect. but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Galatians 3:2-4) MES (And he gave some. and some. pastors and teachers. unto a perfect man. for reproof. 48 . and ● ● ● Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world. Philippians 3:12) NKJV (All scripture is given by inspiration of God. for the work of the ministry.
Faith. one of his most penetrating songs is not one of his most popular. so easy. but that's all you get for today It's easy. haven't been through what you been through Instead I push you away Sunday everyone looks like you But if our lives are cold inside tell me what's the use If I say I love Jesus. but you can't see my Jesus My words are empty. I've got problems of my own (that’s sad ain’t it) It's easier to say your help is on the way But I was your help all along We're shouting. to tell you it's gon be okay When I don't walk through your shoes. & Familiarity: Last Jesus 6 The Last Jesus Kirk Franklin has inspired many with his musical renditions of faith in God. Furthermore. but can the world see a change Am I just too selfish to see. but they can't see our Jesus Tell me what's the use if they can't see Jesus in you and me 49 . if they can't see Jesus in me No more excuses. but I don't know your name I touch you. we're dancing. say I love you. But. it highlights another theme and that is ―faith without works is dead. forgive me. I need you. The song is called The Last Jesus from his album The Fight of My Life and reiterates the theme of heartfelt compassion for others. Foolishness. the love they need You put inside of me If we say we love Jesus. I give myself away Because I may be the only Jesus they see Too busy.‖ I see you.
we been here too long. make every effort to add to your faith goodness. (His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Foolishness.Faith. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises. and to knowledge. perseverance. This is why we should add to our faith everything necessary to fully honor God as well as be loving and kind to others around us. if they can't see You in me See I lied too long. the only Jesus they see. please forgive us Jesus I lost my purpose. knowledge. In addition. Because we may be the only Jesus they see If I am Your hands and Your feet. For this very reason. 2 Peter 1:3-7) NIV Faith in God requires compassion towards others along with obedience towards God. Also we learned one must not only know God but obey Him. the only Jesus they see Continuing with the aspect of faith without works is dead should bring about numerous amounts of questions and concerns. Why should we add works to our faith? Why can‘t we just believe? How can our faith. this is interesting because it opens up to us another viewpoint of faith in God. and to goodness. and to godliness. and agendas. if we‘re operating in it with confidence. so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. and if Your church is built inside of me Where did we go wrong. actually be dead? Now. we can't see Your face anymore It's not the same anymore Have mercy on us Jesus. as well. because I may be The only Jesus they see. we give it all away. & Familiarity: Last Jesus No more excuses. and to brotherly kindness. God‘s divine power has given us everything we need in order to firmly do this. and to self-control. brotherly kindness. We understand that Godly faith is the substance of secure hope in God‘s Word. godliness. we‘ve learned earlier that faith in God is also a matter of the heart. love. If we tap into these tools they can help free us from being corrupted by this world and its evil desires. and to perseverance. 50 . We have to have the right motivations. intentions. self-control. and I’ll change it all today Because I may be.
was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know. and I will show you my faith by my works. You do well. or loved one) and see them freezing outside while starving to death what would you do? If all you do is say. if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food. If you truly care for someone close to you (a friend. and be warmed and feed‖ and you don‘t physically help them there‘s a major issue with you. ―What is this all about…this has nothing to do with faith?‖ Well. You believe that there is one God. my brethren. (and you‟re able to help them) then go right on ahead and help them! That‟s a key way to show off your faith in God. selfish. Likewise. is dead. family member. Actually.” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body. You see then that a man is justified by works. Your attitude needs to be right. What does it profit. merciless. that‘s a faith issue you‘re dealing with. “Depart in peace. if it does not have works. Now. ―God bless you. If it‟s in your heart to help someone. many Christians (even some Christian leaders) are more concerned about how they can help themselves and less concerned about going out-of-their-way to help hurting 51 . and one of you says to them. and not by faith only. I know one may be saying. and not be filled with hints of selfishness. “You have faith.” And he was called the friend of God. “Abraham believed God.Faith. be warmed and filled.” Show me your faith without your works. But someone will say. O foolish man. faith in God has so much to do with one‘s attitude and actions. and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says. go in peace. what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself. Foolishness. they couldn‘t be any more wrong! This has everything to do with faith in God. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Unfortunately. But. & Familiarity: Last Jesus (For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Faith compels you to operate in a way that distinctly demonstrates you truly believe what you‘re saying. James 2:13-26) NKJV When you‘re cold. or rude to others God will allow you to reap what you‘ve sown. God takes it very serious how we treat one another. so faith without works is dead also. and I have works. It‘s not so impressive if you go around saying you have faith but lack the selfless compassion to carry it out in a way that God approves. and it was accounted to him for righteousness. harsh. Remember. when one is dotingly merciful God rewards that affection by not harshly judging them. that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works.
and I will show you my faith by what I do. God knows that. Its hope lies in pleasant verbiage and not physical assistance for the individual‘s needs. too.‖ Actually. Well. so faith needs works in order to come alive as well (based on James 2:21-26). The faith is not necessarily targeted into truly impacting a life but it‘s sort of just hanging out there scattered. In turn. where is that same zeal at when God desires for them to be a blessing towards others---not just one time. Just like the body needs the spirit in order to come alive. and ineffective. they muster up anticipated zeal in expectation for their lifelong turnaround. "You have faith. and they tremble with fear. the man in James 2:15-17 expressing his faith that way is seen as exemplifying faith that‘s dead. God also saw the act as righteous and justified Abraham because of it. You believe there is one God.. simply praying for them. So. if needed. giving them a tract or something like that. (Someone might say. and saved the Israelite spies. God desires for one to operate their faith in a way that‘s most resembling of Him. It‘s just faith for the sake of faith. I have that down packed!‖ Do you really? I‘m not talking about just hugging someone." Show me your faith without doing anything. Foolishness. They just simply believe as a general concept of truth. ―Oh. in order to prove her commitment in believing what God had spoken to her. but I have deeds. This has recently become an overall concept in Christianity. A determining factor in someone knowing that you believe something has a lot to do with the actions you carry out based on that belief. Rahab who lived in a manner that was ungodly…was even justified by God. She turned her back on her own city. Just because one has belief means really nothing…even demons have that! I guarantee you though…no demons are going around with heartfelt compassion in physically helping hurting people.Faith. I‘m not knocking that because many people have been struggling financially for years. encouraging somebody. empty. Good! But the demons believe that. But. She sent them out another way and allowed them to escape from the city. Moreover. but continuously. Hey. God justified her faith in Him when she believed Him enough to put her life on the line for it. a lot of Christians may say. and He doesn‘t mind giving them a break in life (fortunate situation to lift their spirits/a breakthrough). and not just what he believed. he was justified by what he did. 52 .. & Familiarity: Last Jesus people in need. He believed so strongly that he was willing to lose something precious. See. God saw that act as a true friendly gesture (that Abraham placed obedience in God even over his promised legacy). You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? James 2:18-20) NCV It‘s thought as foolish to just believe and not allow that belief to compel you into action. and they become frightened in the truth that God‘s existence involves help and support towards mankind against demonic activity. Abraham had his faith perfected by fully obeying God in earnestly seeking to offer up Isaac (his son of promise) as a sacrifice.many Christians have the attitude of ―God give me a blessing…rain down on me Lord with your showers of blessings.
Or. But. I‘ll spare you all on this chapter and won‘t start it off with a song. Secondly. We do not know. one can pray. me…sorry to disappoint. And he replied. What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. Jesus said to them. He came to the first and said.Faith. Come with me and let‘s see what works are not! For starters. the tax collectors and the harlots will get into the kingdom of heaven before you. sir. so they immediately go and play the lottery hoping for their numbers to come through. Like the previous chapter‘s scriptures indicated. This is not the works that God necessarily wants. if you fail to physically assist the individual(s) in their dilemma (when God is clearly directing you to do so by placing it upon your heart) then your faith is actually without works.‖ This point has to hit home or one can be thrown off in their understanding of faith in God. The first one. go and work today in the vineyard. That‘s not really works at all! All it tends to be is just a lot of lip-service to sound spiritually impressive. and even be encouraging in another‘s situation. I will [go]. Truly I tell you. Foolishness. but afterward he changed his mind and went. particularly in what to do with it. We eventually have to get to the point where people can rely on our godly actions much more than just our godly words. they could run off to Atlantic City or Las Vegas and start gambling away their life savings in beliefs of hitting it big. Then the man came to the second and said the same [thing]. but he did not go. & Familiarity: Show & Tell 7 Time for Show and Tell Well. Which of the two did the will of the father? They replied. works are not just doing something for the sake of doing something. Someone can believe God to help make them wealthy. And he answered. And He said to them. wish. hope. Neither will I tell you by what power of authority I do these things. me. But. we will still be building upon the concept of ―faith without works is dead. I will not. (So they answered Jesus. Son. works are not the overspiritualization of a particular situation. 53 . I know you were just clearing your throat to sing a tune…me.
for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:10-12) KJV 54 . This point goes to show that spirited motivation can be a along with what we do in a church building are good thing. for the work of the ministry. evangelists. and some. and the real work usually begins once we leave out of the building. For the perfecting of the saints. and rely on what he told you].” we do in a church building are just simply chores. and you did not believe him. that he might fill all things. Now. actually ending up doing it after regretting his initial response. and some. and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. which was the first one. I like how a former begins once we leave pastor of mine stated it. Matthew 21:27-32) AMP From this parable of Jesus. and administration. Interesting though. works are not limited to a perceived spiritual title. pastors and teachers. Foolishness. or carry one of the 5-fold ministry gifts doesn‘t mean that God is so contented with your work. or gifting. prophets. the real work usually minister. therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. even when you saw that. but the tax collectors and the harlots did believe him. and some. but his heart and actions said different. Thirdly. did not afterward change your minds and believe him [adhere to. the other son who was asked showed eager commitment and motivation in completing the same task. but the laborers are few.) And he gave some. and you. just simply chores. The father “Internal ministries honored the son who carried out his will. the first son. "The harvest is plentiful. & Familiarity: Show & Tell For John came to you walking in the way of an upright man in right standing with God. Luke 10:1-2) NASB (He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens. Just because you‘re a pastor.Faith. apostles.‖ ● ● ● (Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others. ―internal ministries along with what out of the building. The son who was asked first by his father said that he didn‘t want to complete the work asked. And He was saying to them. The other son failed to do any work at all even though he showed initial ● ● ● excitement and motivation for completing it. we notice something intriguing about the two sons selected here. trust in. but dedicated action will outweigh it any day. but his heart and actions said different. as well. who didn‘t initially want to do the work.
to godparent. Ephesians 6:5-8) NKJV They neglect all the other hats God has graced them with in order to gain favor with a man/woman. to neighbor. I was thirsty and you 55 . the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. He‘s an individual who will first be judged by God individually. knowing that whatever good anyone does. Now. not with eye-service. he has to represent himself well as John Doe period. God sees your workings to minister to Him more in the one(s) who‘s in the greatest need of those workings. No matter how you cut it. ("When the Son of Man comes in his glory. pastor. with fear and trembling. to sibling. so that they respect him as father and not just pastor. But. etc. As one can see. he will receive the same from the Lord. In addition. as to the Lord. to businessman. with goodwill doing service. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. and not to men. Finally. he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. his pastoral role is just one of his many hats. but not to the extent that He ignores everyone else. Foolishness. Yes. none of them may know John Doe as pastor. to friend. He will have to love and train up his child(ren) in a godly way. John may have to represent himself as father.Faith. All the nations will be gathered before him. but as bondservants of Christ. take your inheritance. Let us take for example pastor John Doe. he may have to represent himself as a husband. they‘re still accountable for their actions. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. you who are blessed by my Father. etc…that they get so caught up in people-pleasing. It is his duty to concentrate on the care of his wife loving her faithfully (very scriptural). Well. if they had no other responsibilities operating in this way may have been more understandable. and all the angels with him. this representation of John Doe can go on and on…from son. and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. One can be so enamored with devoting everything to their spiritual mentor. so they‘re looking at the character of John and not giving him a pass due to him being a pastor. in sincerity of heart. many individuals are doing this in order to gain praise from God. For the people at the supermarket or sporting arena. God cares about spiritual leaders. works are not the over-tasking of spiritual regimen. John cannot escape the responsibility for all of his actions within whatever hat he may have on at the present time. Next. & Familiarity: Show & Tell Regardless of a person‘s title. (Bondservants. be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh. 'Come. as to Christ. First off. doing the will of God from the heart. as men-pleasers. whether he is a slave or free. "Then the King will say to those on his right. leader.
‖ This shows off the works behind our faith in a clearer way. It‘s one of our greatest testimonies to a world of unbelievers and each other. you who are cursed. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in." Matthew 25:31-46) NIV All of this should have brought home the point that there‘s a lot more to be seen from your life. into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply. but the righteous to eternal life. 'I tell you the truth.' "Then the righteous will answer him. 'Lord. or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in. whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine. I needed clothes and you clothed me. 'I tell you the truth. whatever you did not do for one of the least of these. I was sick and you looked after me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. Foolishness. 56 . It‘s no longer okay just to simply tell it ―One must show and tell!‖ First show your faithful obedience to God. I needed clothes and you did not clothe me. In concluding this first observation we look to fittingly end with God‘s take on the matter. you did for me. show God‘s faithful workings that He‘s graced you with to others in (the most) need of it. & Familiarity: Show & Tell gave me something to drink. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. and did not help you?' "He will reply. when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison.' "Then he will say to those on his left. Like the soulful and famed singer Barry White.' "They also will answer. Secondly. you did not do for me. when did we see you hungry and feed you. 'Depart from me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. but its deeper concept is something that the church should never abandon. 'Lord. ―we should practice what we preach. as a Christian. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. The schools of today may have abandoned it.Faith.' "Then they will go away to eternal punishment. Just like the old elementary school theme in where a child would bring into the classroom something from their home and talk to their fellow classmates about it (as well as showing them how it works). I was a stranger and you invited me in.
Faith. He desires for us to not only tell others about our faith in God. He desires for one to One must always understand that there is a thin line between faith. He wants for us to follow His instructions for getting to that best because He knows better than we do. It‘s no surprise to know that. & Familiarity: God’s Take 8 Actually. as well. just like any good parent. One must always remember that God looks so much deeper than the surface level spotlighting our phony religious smiles and actions. Foolishness. He desires for the works to be compassionate and not done to ● ● ● just please certain people or look good. He‘s constantly evaluating our hearts! 57 . but also show it to others. constantly evaluating He desires for one to add works to their faith. in some of the upcoming chapters we‘ll learn more information about what it is not really all about. That‘s not the type of Christian He even wants representing Him. He desires for one to operate in faith in ● ● ● Him and not solely in themselves/others. ―God desires the best for us!‖ But. Also. God‘s take on the matter is pretty straightforward. He desires for our hearts! one to not see their works as being limited to only lip-service. See. He desires for one to not be so caught up in being perfect than the surface level that they fail to be faithful. and familiarity and one can venture off into the other whenever remember that God an individual lacks the proper understanding of true faith in looks so much deeper God. He desires religious smiles. He desires for one to look at the spotlighting our phony Biblical examples of others who have gone on before us and gained a good testimony through their faith in God. He’s for one to operate in faith with assurance and from the heart. foolishness. Throughout these previous chapters one has begun to grasp a better idea of what faith in God is really all about. When we have wrong motives coupled with selfishness and bad attitudes that‘s not the way He wants for us to follow Him. God‟s Take As we maneuvered through this first observation we saw a different take on operating by faith in God.
go on ahead and stretch. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. particular from the aspect of foolishness. take a breather. GOD looks into the heart. "Looks aren't everything. & Familiarity: God’s Take (But GOD told Samuel. 58 . Men and women look at the face.Faith. Foolishness. and get ready to journey on over to observation two as we continue to dive into the concept of faith in God. GOD judges persons differently than humans do. maybe even get yourself a snack." I Samuel 16:7) MES Right about now. I've already eliminated him.
Observation Two 59 .
The Issue of Foolishness 60 .
brilliant. smart. and whoever says. In Jesus‘ eyes. (even on our best day) we all still constantly make mistakes that we need to learn and grow from. bright. it‘s almost on the same level of (even on our best day) permanently and depravedly cursing someone‘s worth. Rarely do they ever want the ● ● ● intentions of foolishness even associated with them. no one on this planet is perfect. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness 9 The Issue of Foolishness The majority of people detest the thought of being called a fool…it‘s almost like fighting words! If you want to rile up or peeve someone just forcefully and audaciously consider them a fool. Literally. ―Wow. intelligent. one of the worse things a person can do is maliciously call Let’s get out of denial. and ● ● ● whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin. let me get it straight. Therefore. this issue of foolishness is something that one has been plagued with since birth. in and of themselves. angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court. but rather revealing how we all can avoid from making continual foolish decisions in reference to our faith in God. Unfortunately. (But I say to you that everyone who continues to be . and not the individuality of a person‘s worth. You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire. Let‘s get out of denial. most individuals want to be seen as beautiful. sophisticated. This is the reason why we can watch CNN and scratch our heads saying. Foolishness. See.Faith. etc. as we‘ve already covered. someone a fool. the issue that is being dealt with here is foolishness. Matthew 5:22) AMP So. the criminal or 61 we all still constantly make mistakes that we need to learn and grow from. debonair. Furthermore. I‘m by no means calling anyone a fool in their individuality in cursing their worth.
Proverbs 23:12-14) NLT . This behavior is simply known as being foolish. Many times this takes enforcing some discipline. Now. this issue of foolishness is something that one has been plagued with since birth. With proper guidance and direction. The term fools for 62 Unfortunately. For example. play games with people‘s hearts. I know numerous amounts of ● ● ● psychologists (as well as the Super Nanny) will forcefully disagree with spanking. we‘ll leave that for another book. Don’t fail to discipline your children. Proverbs 22:15) KJV ● ● ● Spanking is not a popular subject for parents.‖ This is a sad epidemic tainting our world. Also. It‘s innate and has to be dealt with appropriately. But. or the gang member the professional boxer. run wildly into danger. It‘s not always necessary for someone to teach one how to be foolish because unwillingly it‘s already in them. but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Commit yourself to instruction. (The rod of correction imparts wisdom. but there is hope. they can turn those foolish decisions into wise ones. ―I don‘t know. but God is literally a fan of correction (particularly towards children). we can see the connection between foolishness and a child. listen carefully to words of knowledge. What is foolishness? Maybe. or confuse faith in God with bizarre behavior. we‘re not going to dive any deeper into the issue of spanking. during a trial (after the fact) many individuals would apologetically plead guilty. but it‘s much to their chagrin. Once that button is pushed. This can explain why a good amount of adults have temper-tantrums. etc. See. It can also refer to deliberate flouting of society's conventions to serve a religious purpose — particularly of Christianity. and when asked. Proverbs 29:15) NIV (Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. ―What is foolishness for Christ or Christian foolishness? Foolishness for Christ refers to behavior such as giving up all one's worldly possessions upon joining a monastic order. but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. Physical discipline may well save them from death. a better question is. When people become adults many of those foolish tendencies still lay dormant. They won’t die if you spank them. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness individual really wasn‘t thinking…‖ Of course. ―Why did they commit the heinous act‖…usually their answer is. Foolishness. the wrong person gets on one‘s nerves.Faith. or something or another those tendencies become ignited. the drug dealer the business savvy pharmaceutical rep. an individual who is making a foolish act can change their actions. the prostitute can become the supermodel.
& Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness Christ is attributed to Saint Paul. and while first was instructed by God to eat bread baked on human waste. Fools for Christ often employ shocking. Foolishness. Thou shalt drink also water by measure. And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes. are considered to be predecessors of "Fools for Christ". and put off thy shoe from thy foot. the sixth part of a hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.1 Some prophets of the Old Testament. Saint Francis of Assisi and other saints acted the part of Holy Fools. and fitches. and make thee bread thereof. and beans. And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation. And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight. Isaiah 20:2-5) KJV The prophet Ezekiel lay before a stone. young and old. twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. ultimately used cow dung instead.2 Prophet Isaiah walked naked and barefooted about three years predicting a forthcoming captivity in Egypt. 63 .Faith. So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners. And the LORD said. and millet. (At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz. as have the yurodivy of Eastern Orthodox asceticism. saying. according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side. deliver prophecies or to mask their piety. Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia. unconventional behavior to challenge accepted norms. Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins. and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man. which symbolized beleaguered Jerusalem. and barley. to the shame of Egypt. naked and barefoot. who had signs of strange behavior. and lentiles. and put them in one vessel. three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof. in their sight. even with their buttocks uncovered. and the Ethiopians captives. walking naked and barefoot. And he did so. (Take thou also unto thee wheat. and of Egypt their glory.
according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness And the LORD said. Ah Lord GOD! behold. neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth. and David their king. whither I will drive them. and without a prince. Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles. and they shall drink water by measure. and without an image. and without an ephod. and consume away for their iniquity. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king. I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver. and love flagons of wine. and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. Lo. and be astonied one with another. and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return. love a woman beloved of her friend.Faith. and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith. and seek the LORD their God. my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself. Then said I. or is torn in pieces. and without a sacrifice. Go yet. directed by the Lord. behold. (Then said the LORD unto me. Then he said unto me. yet an adulteress. and for a homer of barley. Ezekiel 4:9-17) KJV Hosea married a harlot to symbolize the infidelity of Israel before God. thou shalt not play the harlot. Thou shalt abide for me many days. Moreover he said unto me. who look to other gods. Hosea 3:1-5) KJV 64 . and with care. Foolishness. I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung. and a half homer of barley: And I said unto her. and with astonishment: That they may want bread and water. Son of man. and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
According to Christian ideas. we are weak. when people will behave like madmen. "foolishness" included consistent rejection of worldly cares and imitating Christ. All the above actions were inspired by God and corresponded to His will on prophet services. brutality and thirst for power and gains. but ye are wise in Christ." (KJV) And also: "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. . spiritual meaning of "foolishness" from the early ages of Christianity was close to unacceptance of common social rules of hypocrisy." It has been especially connected to the Unification Church. That's why." (1 Corinthians 3:19) "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. but we are despised.3 By the words of Anthony the Great: "Here comes the time. Foolishness. which famously says: "We are fools for Christ's sake. and if they see anybody who does not behave like that. In The Way of God's Will."4 Part of the Biblical basis for it can be seen in the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:10. they will rebel against him and say:"You are mad"."5 In 1979 Unification Church critic Christopher Edwards used the expression "Crazy for God" as the title of a book he wrote about his experiences in the six months he spent as a church member.6 65 . but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. a collection of his sayings popular among church members. Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon is quoted as saying: "We leaders should leave the tradition that we have become crazy for God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him. who endured mockery and humiliation from the crowd. but ye are strong.Faith. as they just made separate actions to attract people's attention and to awake their repentance. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness The prophets were not counted as fools.because he is not like them. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness. ye are honourable." (1 Corinthians 1:21) "Crazy for God" is an expression sometimes used in the United States and other English speaking countries to convey a similar idea as "Foolishness for Christ. God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
when God‘s that. who leave wives and children to become forestdwelling monks in Thailand. God is still sovereign and can boggle the minds of mankind until they‘re simply scratching their heads and saying. faith."8 Oh boy. Helped Found the Religious Right. We‘re starting to see that. and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. It tells of his upbringing as the son of a well-known evangelical minister and his later conversion to the Greek Orthodox Church. this part of seemed foolishness is not quite the foolish (in relation to faith) that many Christians find themselves in. They can reveal a strong representation of our trust. But. author and chairman of Boston University's Department of Religion. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness In 2007 author Frank Schaeffer titled his autobiography Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect. everything foolish as it may look. in-the-day type of thing from each and every Christian person one may come across. or Hosea‘s predicaments? See. One of the main areas where this can be easily seen is in the area of testimonies. when God’s involved. who wander naked across the belly of India in search of selfrealization. Interesting enough. God not always as foolish as usually chooses to have individuals function that way rarely and on a seldom basis.Faith. They are overcoming powerful tools against the enemy (the devil) fashioned out in what we say and how we live. It‘s more of the prior information given earlier in this chapter about foolishness for Christ. here we go…I know that this information presented shed a lot of light on how foolish some Christians have seemed over the past years. Testimonies can be a wonderful thing for individuals in need of spiritual encouragement.7 In the same year Stephen Prothero. it looks as if we‘re stuck here with We’re starting to see another dilemma. Testimonies are just the telling to others of what God has done in one‘s life. Not only that. 66 . It‘s not necessarily an every-momentit may look. Foolishness. support. God is still God. everything that may look foolish is not always as involved. and motivation. wrote in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin: "I am crazy for people who are crazy for God: people nearly as inscrutable to me as divinity. Ezekiel. “God is truly able to do the impossible!” This is more associated with ―seemed‖ foolishness. Once again. How often do we see other Biblical ● ● ● situations similar to that of Isaiah. and can cause people that may look foolish is to function in miraculous ways. who speak in tongues and take up serpents in Appalachia because the Bible says they can. it also brought to our attention that in some cases (like with the prophets) God may be ● ● ● surprisingly and strongly backing a few of these intense actions. and walk in Christ Jesus.
I don‘t know about you. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness (And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. They picked out the color (royal blue).500 and go to a car auction within their city. Okay. they immediately go into action. they didn‘t live on the bus line. just here me out for a moment. and by the word of their testimony. testimonies can over-serve their intended purposes and instead of building faith they can eventually be used to build foolishness. Wait a minute. So. Let me give you a couple of examples: Someone can stand up testifying.Faith. that was a moving testimony for someone who‘s in need of reliable transportation! The testifying individual received a brand new luxury car for only $1.500 (paid in full) and repetitively thanked God for His goodness. Also. giving honor to God who is the head of my life…‖ and say that they believed God for a car. They‘re so excited by the testimony that they seek to operate in it themselves. On their way entering into the auction‘s parking lot. They are upset 67 . and coworkers lived over an hour distance away from them. They repeated this entire process 3 more times the next few months. but it‘s the correlation that a certain individual may place on the testimony in their perception of it. but to no avail. they met a new car dealer who (heard their story in the parking lot and) said that he would give them a brand new car on his lot for only $1. They take out of their checking account only $1. They also stood on the same scripture of Philippians 4:19. let‘s pull the foolishness aspect out of this scenario from an individual hearing this testimony. Over time. let‘s take an individual who has just heard this testimony and received it with thrilled delight. The friend even carried them. They even sought to wait in the parking lot 45 minutes or so for a new car dealer to meet them. It‘s not so much that the testimony is a bad thing (in and of itself). not fancy. they only had $1. but I would be ecstatic at that outcome if I were the individual. The individual fully agreed to the terms of the deal and that night drove off his car lot with a brand new Mercedes Benz with less than 50 miles on it (huge dent included). friends. He warned them that the car had a huge dent in both passenger side doors from a test-drive mishap and he was really not in the mode for repairing it. Now. due to their only mode of transportation for work suddenly breaking down. So.500 available to spend on a vehicle and decided to stand on the scripture Philippians 4:19. and all of their family. I must admit. They just needed something reliable. Foolishness. Revelation 12:11) KJV On the contrary. in a short period of time after that they spoke on the phone with a friend who suggested that they look for a deal at a local car auction this weekend downtown. The headache of repairing a dent on a luxury vehicle is totally worth it if one is receiving a brand new car with little to no miles on it (and in good working order). ―First.500. they could eventually save up some money in order to get the dent fixed. and they loved not their lives unto the death. They follow the exact steps of the previous individual to a tee. before you think I‘m losing it. Moreover. Wow.
and even the previously-rejecting prison wardens. they didn‘t actually need a new car. he aggressively seeks after the same results! He immediately pushes his church of just 30 members to sacrificially raise money in order to purchase 25 extremely large neon signs.500. he goes to the mayor and city council members demanding their assistance in helping him grow his church. he goes to every prison warden in his city in order to recruit more members. They place the signs all over the city. After exhausting all of the little church‘s finances.000 a month. Thirdly. he finally resigns from his 68 . Not only that. especially the dreams of a committed heart. let‘s take an aspiring pastor who has enthusiastically heard this testimony at the convention. nothing actually pans out for him or materializes.000 members (75% of them men). Secondly. but that was all the money the 1st individual had to spend on a car. Let‘s now take time to look at some interesting facets. After some wishful promises. the 2nd individual repeated this step 3 times wherein the 1st individual didn‘t (because they weren‘t even expecting these chain of events to happen like they did). So.500. he refuses to just quit and rents out a small building for $3. he tells this testimony with conviction and vigor in pointing out that God is faithful to fulfill dreams. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness (even at God) and discouraged that they didn‘t receive their new fully-loaded Mercedes Benz for only $1. What‘s wrong with this picture? For starters.‖ Lo and behold. the 1st individual was comfortable with taking any vehicle they could find at the auction that was somewhat reliable and met their price range.Faith. and overwhelmingly frustrating his own members with severe burnout. God wasn‘t necessarily directing the 2nd individual to operate like they did.‖ Secondly. Remember. his sign catches on and he becomes well known in the city (especially his little neon sign). Here‘s another example that may help shed some more light on you understanding in depth the testimony dilemma: A gentleman. They probably had more money than that to spend on a vehicle. he finds favor with the mayor. On the front of the building he places a bright neon sign reading ―Help for the Hurting Man. Now. His little building rapidly becomes known as the fastest growing church in the nation with over 20. Foolishness. Finally. believes for God to bless him with a prison ministry. the 2nd individual took out of their checking account $1.500 because that‘s what the 1st individual did. He is encouraged and impressed by the abundant number of individuals (especially men) who have quickly joined this church. Now. Compelled by his heartfelt desire. at a pastors and leaders convention. who has a heart to reach hurting men. So. No car dealer ever showed and the auction cars were priced no lower than $3. city council members. and he even copies the exact wording the previous gentleman had---―Help for the Hurting Man. continuously irritating the city officials. he goes to every male prison within his city and begins meeting with the wardens. Thirdly.
making clay. did he spend every bit of his money putting signs all over the city. He thought the direction for that was within male prisons.Faith. and resents anything pastors have to say on television. These examples are both fictitious. Finally. He just wanted to reach men with the gospel of Jesus Christ (particularly hurting men---like prisoners). When Joshua was in leadership. Many individuals can even probably totally relate to one of even both of these circumstances. they crossed the parting Jordan River by the priests actually stepping into the water first (no rod was even involved). If I could I would repeat that 50 million times within this chapter until people truly got the message. They‘re actually all different! Not one story is exactly the same. he didn‘t become pestering. Neither. Let‘s take the children of Israel. they all have their own special scenario. he had no church members to boss around and overwork for his own selffulfilling pursuits. Through Moses‘ leadership. and sending him to go wash them in a pool (John 9). rubbing it on his eyes. What‘s wrong with this picture? See. Even though they are not true stories. the 1st individual did the grunt of ● ● ● the work himself. the radio. If God is doing something in someone else‘s life then be thankful for that. but Joshua never communed with God in the crafting of the 10 commandments. Let‘s now take out a modest amount of time to observe some more interesting facets. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness position as pastor. and didn‘t resort to putting the bulk of the burden on others. He eagerly begins to turn his back on God. Let‘s look at Jesus: He never did a miracle the same…He may have healed one blind man by spitting on the ground. they crossed the parting Read Sea with Moses lifting up his rod. 69 If God is doing something in someone else’s life then be thankful for that. Be encouraged that He can do the same for you if you completely follow Him ● ● ● (and not necessarily just because you chose to follow after a recently blessed person). but they paint out a very real outcome based on the misperceptions of testimonies. they never won a battle by marching around a wall 7 times and shouting at the end. demanding. Testimonies should not be looked at as something to be duplicated. they still carry loads of truth within them. Foolishness. When the wardens initially rejected him. or in a local church (labeling their ministries as being jokes). Be encouraged that He can do the same for you if you completely follow Him … . If we read in detail throughout the Bible and look at story after intriguing story we basically find something amazingly distinct. Instead. and start trying to get his own way. God simply never directed the inspiring pastor to do what he did. The 1st gentleman never desired to have a fast growing church.
God can bless a problems…‖ God doesn‘t mind blessing us. but He wants us to not be so caught up with the fact that He‘s blessing us and gloat about it. Before one gets overexcited about a testimony they should stop and look at every aspect involved within it to see what does God want for them to do under His direction concerning the testimony. Testimonies are similar in that they usually vary. ―We shouldn‘t be focused on the gift. as well. It shouldn‘t be ―more money. Well. Yes. but are tools to assist in encouraging others in their faith in God. God can bless a passionate believing individual just like He has already blessed someone else. Foolishness. passionate believing individual just like He has already blessed someone else. but one has to be (at least) willing to allow God to do it in His own way and on His own terms. but one has to be (at least) willing to allow God to do it in His own way and on His own terms. Proverbs 10:22) NLT 70 . our selfishness along with other factors prompts us to demand. Basically. ―We shouldn‘t just be focused on the Giver simply because He‘s the giver!‖ God is so much more to us ● ● ● than just Someone who gives us what we want. The Lord desires to bless you. untouched with no pool (Mark 10:46-53). and he adds no sorrow with it. more Yes. & Familiarity: Issue of Foolishness Or. People (Christians in particular) have to stop being so enamored with powerfully spoken testimonies that they take them and run with them. as well as overcoming the power of the enemy. He. He could simply tell another blind man that his faith has healed him wherein the man immediately receives his sight. they are not necessarily meant to be duplicated. the point that I‘m getting at is that they all usually vary. from God. gives us what we stand in need of! But. (The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich. but His blessings are not given for sorrow to accompany them.Faith. more often. more of what we want. Again. He ● ● ● doesn‘t want one so eagerly chasing after blessings that they lose sight of God Himself. my take on it is this. I know many of us have heard the statement. but on the Giver (God Himself).
We can look at Americanized slavery or African-promoted starvation to see a more graphic picture of this issue. what in the world is that! No. Numerous people commit heinous crimes and rationalize them away ● ● ● because the crimes gave them something they keenly wanted. ―If you value your life.‖ This statement is pretty much self-explanatory and reveals how selfishly-cold the hearts of people tend to become. many people take on the role of gold-diggers taking “We ought to love advantage of particular individuals in relationships (simply people and use things. The second phrase is. it‘s not the recipe title of a scrumptious meal I‘m serving. if you grew up in the country. murder. because it was what they wanted to do in order to benefit instead of using people themselves financially). you might have a fairly good idea what I‘m talking about. we find any and every excuse to get what we want. 71 .” become unfaithful in marriage. and communities (just to get what they‘ve wanted). Also. Now. Pig-headed is willfully or perversely unyielding. cities. Furthermore. It‘s just so unfortunate that many of us rarely ever break out of the desire to go after whatever we want. instead of using people and loving things. attach themselves to a falsified image. The first phrase is. ―We ought to love people and use things. Foolishness. & Familiarity: Pig-Headed Demands 10 Pig-Headed Demands Pig-headed. Governmental lies and corruption have ruined graceful opportunities for numerous countries.Faith. break into homes. and loving things. I know many of you are wondering.9 In life. obstinate. We have treasured money in this world too immensely. cheat. I‘ve frequently heard two resonating phrases in my life when it comes to people---by any means necessary---getting what they want. never mess around with people when it comes to their food and their money‖…they take those two things extremely serious due to them revolving around giving them what they want. We‘ve given it too much power. scheme. regardless of who it hurts. ● ● ● etc…all in the pursuit of getting what they meticulously wanted. and a good amount of us even strongly worship it. Many of us have openly given it our hearts. others even lie. embezzle funds.
72 . When we choose to love money. who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not proved faithful in that which belongs to another [whether God or man]. or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. for either he will hate the one and love the other. an individual can only do those things when they‘re not so connected to the money. Money should be solely viewed as a tool one uses to glorify God. possessions). where moth and rust destroy. and was never meant to be loved and adored. With money one can feed the poor. there your heart will be also. Luke 16:10-13) AMP Before I‘m misunderstood. aid the sick. But. Moreover. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches. But. money. eager for money. the true riches]? No servant is able to serve two masters. Matthew 6:19-21) NIV (He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much. Our focus in this chapter isn‘t really centered on money but rather on demanding God. and where thieves break in and steal. it‘s one of the main things demanded from God. I demand you to give me my money!‖ But. It‘s only a tool. (For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. we open ourselves into doing anything for it.Faith. ―God. meet needs. have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. and where thieves do not break in and steal. clothe the needy. where moth and rust do not destroy. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches. etc. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. 1 Timothy 6:10) NIV It‘s unfortunate that this viewpoint over money has caused so many people to even turn away from faith in God. who will give you that which is your own [that is. & Familiarity: Pig-Headed Demands ("Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. Foolishness. It may not be stated as. or anything in which you trust and on which you rely). and support their family. and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much. house the homeless. For where your treasure is. I needed to bring this topic up because it‘s intertwined within the entire concept of foolishness in relation to faith in God. Some people. I would like to make it clear…MONEY ISN‘T A BAD THING! The problem lies in our relationship with the money.
he wasted everything he had. just break me off.etc. we still have to approach Him the right way in order to receive from Him. I've sinned before you. Jesus said that God is sometimes approached this kind of way. but no one would give him any. and I desire a 10. Father. The heart of the demands was centered on God giving to us what we forcefully wanted. These statements can become endless. and here I am starving to death. ft. employee. I‘m demanding by faith that You help me get my promotion…Jesus. Like. I'm going back to my father. there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. and another power. undisciplined and dissipated. and decided to approach him with demands what would happen? If we said. bellhop. Even though. Also. He said. a spouse. You said that You‘ll give me the desires of my heart. all these things are fairly insignificant to the point I‘m making. What I‘m trying to get you to see is that God is God. If we had a good father who didn‘t take any mess. God is our Father. and much more aggressive. ―Pops.Faith. 'All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day. Take me on as a hired hand. 73 . I'll say to him. right now!‖ Wow. mansion (because I‘m tired of this small house)….000 sq. (Then he said. status.' He got right up and went home to his father. or some other perceived subservient role…HE‟S THE AWESOME GOD. & Familiarity: Pig-Headed Demands it‘s more subtle in what may precede the money being received. There. One can demand from God healing. 'Father. if you look back to the demands implemented above you should notice that I highlighted and underlined the words ―I‖ or ―I‘m. "There was once a man who had two sons. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop. I‘m not harping on healing.‖ As one can see. He never signed up for the job of taking demands from mankind. I will never be happy until You send me my rich future mate…Lord. etc.' "So the father divided the property between them. I want my inheritance and give me all my stuff. we know God lovingly wants to bless us. Regardless of what one demands. He‘s not your slave. I want right now what's coming to me. I don't deserve to be called your son. The younger said to his father. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. another status. It wasn't long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. Foolishness. and a wonderful father at that. secretary. I've sinned against God. After he had gone through all his money. armor bearer. ―God. that‘s pretty rude isn‘t it! But. promotion. now…you could drop dead for all I care. "That brought him to his senses. these words took central focus within the statements.
the younger son wasted it and was left to fend for himself. The son said. his father saw him. remorseful. 'Quick. "All this time his older son was out in the field. God is just like the father in this example Jesus gave. I've sinned before you. he learned his lesson the hard way. He may not even give us a small fraction of what we‘re in pursuit of. apologetic. He wants the best for us.' Luke 15: 11-27) MES Even though the younger son was harshly demanding.Faith. As he approached the house. etc…You mean to say. He was calling to the servants. ("The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. 'Your brother came home. We must come to God humble. I've sinned against God. he wasn‘t demanding his way! Not at all! Unfortunately. it was something different about the son this time! He was humbled. and kissed him. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. Calling over one of the houseboys. Or worse. and when the son came to his senses he headed back to his father. was that the father‘s plan for his child? Of course not! He desired so much better for his son. Foolishness. respectful. he ran out. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? 74 .' "But the father wasn't listening. and with the right heart. respectful. he heard the music and dancing. His heart pounding. His father came out and tried to talk to him. But. there‘s another part of this example in relationship to demands if we just read in Luke 15. The son started his speech: 'Father. When the day's work was done he came in. he asked what was going on. He may give it to us only for it to immediately be taken away---a hard lesson learned. He told him. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound. Now. but he wouldn't listen. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. I don't deserve to be called your son ever again. & Familiarity: Pig-Headed Demands "When he was still a long way off. never giving you one moment of grief. We're going to feast! We're going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!' And they began to have a wonderful time. embraced him. Immediately. the father actually gave him what he wanted. If we come to Him demanding. but being demanding is not the best way for us to get it. But. 'Look how many years I've stayed here serving you. appreciative.
You're with me all the time. on their death bed. maybe that‘s not the greatest direction to be looking in. but they‘re just as demanding of God as others life He showers us with who take advantage of His goodness. ―I was upset that I had no shoes. All he was caring about was his own selfish demands. and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time. or watch the daily news and they‘ll understand better why they should be so grateful. as well.Faith.‖ All one has to do is walk by a cemetery. Their hearts are ungrateful in the fact that God is blessing them every day but ● ● ● they refuse to acknowledge it. he had a lot of resentment towards his father. Not only that. fall best the father had to offer. extremely cleaver job of concealing it. God has privileged us so abundantly. and assess the countless blessings in life He showers us with daily. but we don‘t have to demand His goodness…He freely gives it. into His Word. For starters. safe from harm. Past individuals in a comma. He could care less that his brother was changed for the better. into His Word. They carry around a jealous type of attitude in comparing prayer. They just do an daily. Let‘s step back and take time out to look up to God. you don't understand. and we had to celebrate. and he wants to continue blessing us. until I saw the man who had no feet. Foolishness. fall down on our knees in prayer. & Familiarity: Pig-Headed Demands Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!' "His father said. What He desires for us to do is ask and not demand Him. This brother of yours was dead. It‘s like the old aged saying. repented. They want to be perceived as countless blessings in undemanding. He despised seeing his younger brother being blessed by their father. or at the graveyard truly understand that privilege. He desires for us to live in a way that‘s honoring to Him. But. and he's found!'" Luke 15:28-32) MES Look at the older brother‘s reaction. visit an ICU within a hospital. He was being provided for each and every day the God. It‘s so easy to complain when you see others doing better than yourself. Jesus put it like this: 75 . The father was trying to reiterate to his eldest son that he was receiving from his father time out to look up to all along. 'Son. and he's alive! He was lost. you‘re able to inhale and exhale (apart from a breathing machine) this day. The only thing he could ● ● ● see was that the father was throwing a big party for the Let’s step back and take younger brother and not one for him. and assess the themselves to others. An interesting thing though is the down on our knees in fact that many Christians respond just like the older brother. Buried inside his heart. etc.
Be direct. you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege. & Familiarity: Pig-Headed Demands (Don't be flip with the sacred. hide-and-seek game we're in. Matthew 2:6-12) MES (And He said to them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get. You're at least decent to your own children. We need to be more persistent in asking God (with confidence) gracefully honoring Him to act on our behalf. the demanding Christian is not the only Christian who needs to change. Friend. Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you. let‘s become saturated with a heart of thanksgiving.Faith. which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and will say to him. Foolishness. do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish. Luke 11:5-10) AMP The thought here is persistence. yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. but utilizing it in a more respectful way. 76 . Furthermore. and my children are with me in bed. the door shall be opened. In trying to be relevant. and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking. not so much as a slave. then grab the initiative and do it for them. with an attitude of properly asking. do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are. the door is now closed. If your child asks for bread. This isn't a cat-and-mouse. in His own way. There‘s also the Christian who sees God. And he from within will answer. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. I cannot get up and supply you [with anything]? I tell you. seek and keep on seeking and you shall find. So I say to you. and not be so caught up with demanding our way---from God and even others. you wouldn't think of such a thing. Ask for what you need. knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. but more like a genie. although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend. For a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come. rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you. and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds. Do not disturb me. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? "Here is a simple. "Don't bargain with God. But. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. lend me three loaves [of bread]. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives. and I have nothing to put before him.
be unable to exercise its powers without an initiator. & Familiarity: One Wish 11 One Wish It shouldn‘t surprise many that numerous Christians have begun to view God from the context of being a genie. in which case it is often used as a plot device. usually by some simple action. a wish is often associated with fairytales and fantasies and involves granted demands. when one goes way out on a whelm wishing for some bizarre outcome that‘s another matter altogether. bound or constrained within a commonplace object (Aladdin's oil lamp for example) or a container closed with Solomon‘s seal. The entity may be grateful to be free of its constraint and the wish is a thank-you gift. Genie or similar entity. by its nature. A template for fictional wishes could be The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. But. specifically the tale of Aladdin. Also. it can also be a small part of a tale. the wish is usually a template for a morality tale. The entity may be bound to obedience by its prison or some other item that the wisher possesses. When one hopes by faith in God for something that is actually an understandable expression of the heart another individual can respect that. although in the tale of Aladdin the actual wishes were only part of the tale. 77 . The entity may. The letter ―I‖ is at the forefront of this chapter once again. Aladdin's demands. as well. "be careful what you wish for". this is a growing setback within the Body of Christ. The subservience of the extraordinarily powerful entity to the wisher can be explained in several ways. allows the object's possessor to make a wish. When it is the center of a tale. this time coupled with laziness.Faith. It‘s almost as if we‘re back in the days of Aladdin with flying carpets and magical lamps. Classically the wish provider is often a spirit. Releasing the entity from its constraint. were mainly variations on wealth (which is still often taken as the most common request). See. while outrageous. It highlights again the issue of selfishness. In fiction a wish is a supernatural demand placed on the recipient's unlimited request. Foolishness. Reluctantly.
This is common in a tale involving a person. apparently from the unaided efforts of the characters—but every wish made on the ring sooner or later comes true. backbitings. Unfaithful wishes revolve so much around what we want. Too many Christians are seeking to be just like the Joneses. Several authors have spun variations of the wish for more wishes theme. God‘s not like us He can fully be trusted and relied upon! In addition to that. though some disallow this as cheating. For I fear lest. selfish ambitions.W. or a sprig of myrtle. The number of wishes granted varies. Jacob's Monkey‘s Paw is an example of this. or no bigger than a hazel nut. we belittle His ability in growing us to believe in His faithfulness. As in the Charles Perrault tale The Ridiculous Wishes. 2 Corinthians 12:19-21) NKJV Many Christians struggle with some of these selfish behaviors because of popular culture. ● ● ● When we limit God to just granting us a wish. even one that is a hedgehog. lest there be contentions.Faith. and when we operate this way we lose ourselves in going after selfish ambitions and not godly pursuits. Aladdin had an unlimited number. do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. He desires for us to seek after His and relied upon! Will for our lives. God has a God’s not like us He track-record unparalleled by anything/anyone we could ever can fully be trusted imagine. God crafted faith in such a way that it‟s built upon secure hope and not doubtful wishes. whisperings. & Familiarity: One Wish Other wish providers are a wide variety of. when it comes to faith in God. wishing for a child.13 but others may be granted to fit the constraints of the tale. fornication. and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish. wishing shouldn‘t be the rule of thumb. male or female. when I come. (Again. Faith should be filled with confidence in God‘s Word. for your edification. power. tumults. beloved. and promise. jealousies. W. more or less. when I come again. Now. my God will humble me among you.11but the father's wish in The Seven Ravens transforms his sons into ravens. 78 . I shall not find you such as I wish.10 Some wishes appear to be granted by nothing in particular. Foolishness. wishing (in and of itself) is not so horrible. and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness. Piers Anthony puts a spin on this idea in Castle Roogna: a magic ring claims to grant wishes and then claims credit when a wish comes true. three is the most common. outbursts of wrath. lest. But we do all things. and lewdness which they have practiced. Snow White's mother's wish for a beautiful child might have been a coincidence.12 just as the mother's wish in The Raven transforms her daughter. It‘s just that. That Will m ay not involve us always getting what we want but instead getting more of what we ● ● ● need. conceits. inanimate objects.
nearly 15 years ago. U. and were spoken of but never actually seen in person. The strip ran in American original. The upward mobility over the past few decades in America is due in part to the large number of women joining the labor force. Foolishness. and many core families everyone is copying from. we got a world of that have copied copycats out there. people became more inclined to define themselves by what they possessed and the subtle quest for higher status accelerated. newspapers for 28 years. films. 1913. said a profound statement while teaching a midnight prayer Bible Study within our dormitory at Clark Atlanta University. has diverted many resources away from investment in the manufacture of more material goods and services in order to satisfy consumer preoccupations with their relative social standing and prestige. "the demand for status goods.17 The desire to increase one's position in the social hierarchy is responsible for much of the social mobility in America. He was emphasizing that many ● ● ● people struggle to fine their own identity. The phrases ―Just like the Joneses‖ or ―Keeping Up with the Joneses‖ was people have the nerve popularized when a comic strip of the same name was created to think what they’re by cartoonist Arthur R. fueled by conspicuous consumption. however. With the increasing availability of goods. and musical comedies. conspicuous consumption occurs when households care about their standard of living in relation to their societal peers."16 Social status once depended on one's family name. and was eventually adapted into books. The "Joneses" of the title ● ● ● were neighbors of the strip's main characters. and many people have the nerve to think what they‘re doing is actually original. and the Joneses are supposedly one of the generations.‖ Present generations are copying generations that have copied copying generations generations. Goodness. the rise of consumerism in the United States gave rise to social mobility. 79 .Faith. "Pop" Momand. & Familiarity: Joneses 12 Truly. Conspicuous consumption and materialism have been an insatiable juggernaut ever since.15 According to Roger Mason. Just Like the Joneses A college friend of mine. but strips appear in collections dated as early as April 1.14 The strip debuted in doing is actually 1916 in the New York World. The philosophy of "keeping up with the Joneses" has widespread effects on society. According to this philosophy.S. and ―they‘re fronting Present generations are for people that‘s fronting for people that‘s fronting for people.
The condition is considered particularly acute amongst those with inherited wealth. finding that they are unable to get pleasure from the things they buy and that increasingly material things may come to dominate their time and thoughts to the detriment of personal relationships and to feelings of happiness. enrollment is expected to increase by 14 percent. Foolishness. and that these symptoms may be usefully captured with the metaphor of a disease. consumer debt in America had risen to $2. anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. over 40% of households spend more than they earn. the number of full time college students increased by 33 percent. 2. socially transmitted condition of overload. contagious.22 affluenza. however. One area in which "living above one's means" has caused negative social effects is that of credit card usage.24 Proponents also note survey evidence that suggest that levels of happiness have not increased in the last 50 years of economic growth in the West British psychologist Oliver James asserts that there is a correlation between the increasing nature 80 . and more women entering the labor force.Faith. In the first quarter of 2002.18 In addition. n. By the end of 2007. The bloated. sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. By 2005.5 trillion. as well as obsession with holding on to the wealth (John Levy's Coping with Inherited Wealth). An unsustainable addition to economic growth. 1. College enrollment hit a projected record level of 18 million in 2007.20 Americas' average credit card debt in 2007 was $8400 per household. is a term used by critics of capitalism and consumerism.21 According to the Federal Reserve. the numbers of college graduates are at an all time high. An epidemic of stress. Affluenza is sort of a made up word describing the social greed of man to truly be just like the Joneses. Many individuals have coined it as the disease of affluenza. total credit debt was $660 billion. right alongside it has risen the degree to which these people want to consume things which will keep them at the same level in the social hierarchy as their peers. the upward mobility in America continues to climb. Sources define this term as follows: affluenza. overwork. They claim some or even many of those who become wealthy will find the economic success leaving them unfulfilled and hungry only for more wealth. n. Affluenza. Between 2007 and 2016. & Familiarity: Joneses women have slowly and steadily increased their participation in the labor force from 46 percent of all women (age 16+) in 1974 to almost 60 percent in 2004. a portmanteau of the words affluence and influenza. a painful.23 Proponents of the term consider that the prizing of endless increases in material wealth may lead to feelings of worthlessness and dissatisfaction rather than experiences of a 'better life'. debt. Between 1995 and 2005. the total credit card debt had increased to $735 billion. lack of purpose and dissolute behavior. waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the American Dream.19 With more people receiving higher levels of education. We live in a present day society that is “in love” with the idea of having more. who are often said to experience guilt. 3.
" But Jesus said to him. the greater the unhappiness of its citizens. James also believes that higher rates of mental disorders are the consequence of excessive wealth-seeking in consumerist nations. Then I can say to myself. He explains the greater incidence of affluenza as the result of 'Selfish Capitalism. James asserts that societies can remove the negative consumerist effects by ● ● ● pursuing real needs over perceived wants. Shanghai. Copenhagen and New York. tell my brother to divide with me the property our father left us. 11. "Who said I should judge or decide between you?" Then Jesus said to them. time to your life by worrying about it.' and this becomes the rationale behind the increasing mental illness in English-speaking societies.5% suffered in the twelve months ending. appearances (physical and social) and fame. James defines affluenza as 'placing a high value on money. Life is not measured by how much one owns. James interviewed people in several cities including Sydney. drink. then why worry about the big things? ● ● ● (Someone in the crowd said to Jesus. Foolishness. possessions. 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. To highlight the spread of affluenza in societies with varied levels of inequality. Auckland.' Then he said.' the Market Liberal political governance found in English-speaking nations as compared to the less selfish capitalism pursued in mainland Europe.Faith. which grew a good crop." Then Jesus told this story: "There was a rich man who had some land. "I have enough good things stored to last for many years.25 Referring to Vance Packard's thesis (The Hidden Persuaders) on the manipulative methods used by the advertising industry. 'Foolish man! Tonight your life will be taken from you. eat. and enjoy life!" ' "But God said to him. & Familiarity: Joneses of affluenza and the resulting increase in material inequality: the more unequal a society. Rest." 81 . Moscow. Singapore. and by defining themselves as having value independent of their material You cannot add any possessions. If you cannot do even the little things. James relates the stimulation of artificial needs to the rise in affluenza. "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. He thought to himself. "Teacher. and there I will store all my grain and other goods. 'What will I do? I have no place to keep all my crops. So who will get those things you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be for those who store up things for themselves and are not rich toward God.26 He cites World Health Organization data that English-speaking nations have twice as much mental illness as mainland Europe: 23% vs.
they don't have storerooms or barns. when several Christians (who ought to be godly examples) advocate this behavior as being okay and desirable we may even have a bigger problem on our hands. You know how they say it. but God feeds them. helping the poor. Foolishness. numerous individuals have been getting major help from 82 . this is not new news. If you cannot do even the little things. God clothes the grass in the field. you can‘t help people in need unless you‘re rich or well off? Where did that come from? Because. Look at the birds. and the body is more than clothes. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. and your Father knows you need them. All the people in the world are trying to get these things. A lot of Christians would say. Get for yourselves purses that will not wear out. You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. ―I‘m in line to get my blessing and get my stuff back!‖ Regrettably. But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. they don't work or make clothes for themselves. So how much more will God clothe you? Don't have so little faith! Don't always think about what you will eat or what you will drink. where thieves can't steal and moths can't destroy. don't worry about the food you need to live. and all your other needs will be met as well. Your heart will be where your treasure is. Many Christians see materialism as being godly. because your Father wants to give you the kingdom. and don't keep worrying. no…it must be in Revelation. Their primary concern usually revolves around them reaching or maintaining a high financial status. and genuinely being a blessing to others are all secondary. & Familiarity: Joneses Jesus said to his followers. They don't plant or harvest. doesn‘t the Bible say that God wants ALL Christians filthy rich? It‘s in Hebrews. Yes. then why worry about the big things? Consider how the lilies grow. or about the clothes you need for your body. And you are worth much more than birds. a large amount of Christians strive for that ―hitting the lottery‖ type of living! C‘mon. I‘ll help those in need when I become rich!‖ So. little flock. "So I tell you. we live in a culture ―where enough is never enough!‖ To a vast majority of people. and ignore the greed elements behind it. Luke 12:13-34) NCV Unfortunately. "Don't fear. ―Well. Exodus.Faith. But. which is alive today but tomorrow is thrown into the fire. the treasure in heaven that never runs out. aiding those in distress. But seek God's kingdom. Christians eagerly search out those scriptures! They‘ll even act humble about it and instead of asking for a billion they‘ll settle only for a cool million. let me get this straight. Life is more than food.
with much as with little. not only in our sight. Actually. I’m just as well as knows ALL. comfort to take a long vacation annually.3% of their income. But if we have food and clothing. and believes that you‘ll be just fine if as happy with little as you never receive any of those things. People who want to get 83 . as I have said once before. an d we can take nothing out of it. then that too is the wrong intention.388. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. Our intentions should be understandably pleasing. business jet.Faith. compared to $3. with much as with little. One study conducted in the United States found that as a percentage of income. one still has to examine their heartfelt intentions for having the money. elegant mansion. that ● ● ● designer handbag. I don't have a sense of needing anything personally.27 Now. gave away 4. for example. this was an average of $453 on an average income of $10.‖ In be quite content your own opinion.326 on an income of $158. is it‘s most charitable. huge flat screen I’ve learned by now to television. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. while the wealthiest fifth gave away 2. & Familiarity: Joneses those who aren‘t rich! West Virginia. There have been examinations of who gives more to charity. yacht. I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. But. You just had no chance to show it. with much. In absolute terms. If we‘re seeking to be like the Joneses then that‘s the wrong intention. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. then that is a wrong intention. Ask yourself. If we want to become rich just for the sake of becoming rich. there‘s nothing wrong with having money. ―Is it really going to kill me if I can‘t get those new shoes. you‘ll probably die if you can‘t get some of whatever my those things. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry. which is one of the poorest states in America. etc. wherever I am. ● ● ● (I'm glad in God. far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. new car. charitable giving increased as income decreased. we will be content with that. access to dine out every weekend. I'm just as happy with little as with much.531. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. but also in God‘s. Whatever I have. If we‘re so harped on gaining a recognizable status to validate ourselves. but not in God‘s opinion. Philippians 4:10-12) MES (For we brought nothing into the world. He created everything circumstances. The poorest fifth of Americans. hands full or hands empty.1%. Foolishness. as well.
Instead. He fervently wants us to cooperate with Him. particularly when it comes to being super spiritual. as well.Faith. then that‘s not on God that‘s actually on you. If God opens up an honest opportunity for you to become wealthy. 1 Timothy 6:7-9) NIV Listen. and the only thing they‘re concentrating on is being rich. faithfulness. then that‘s also on you. take that wealth and use ALL of it for His glory. If God is encouraging you to not upgrade yet. & Familiarity: Joneses rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. let‘s go on and inspect in stringent detail why so many Christians lack self-control in their faith-walk. Christmas. then enjoy it. God is not against someone becoming rich. goodness (benevolence). etc? I can give you a hint. ―How can I get that next dollar!‖ Truly. God has given all of us (that are truly saved) the ● ● ● Holy Spirit of God along with His fruit. I must admit though. Foolishness. Who says that you have to nearly go broke on yearly vacations. let me repeat this one last time. They‘re preoccupied with. joy (gladness). it‘s not God! But. As Christians. self-control (self-restraint. forbearance). we spend to maintain a certain image. parties. Don‘t be ashamed of how well He‘s allowed you to excel in life. needs---not our greed. continence). and we need to ask God to help us operate in more temperance (especially in the area of money). kindness. See. and you go on ahead and do it anyway. gentleness (meekness. this is not what God wants for us! God isn‘t broke…He has more than enough resources available to help us meet our needs---not our greed. patience (an even temper. If God is directing you (at a particular moment) to frugally save and you uncontrollably spend. One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is temperance (or self-control). and you decide to God isn’t broke…He aggressively invest then that‘s on you. birthdays. Galatians 5:22-23) AMP Speaking of temperance. and stop letting the world‘s resources available to trends influence our spending habits. help us meet our weddings. has more than enough we have to renew our minds. ● ● ● If God lays it on your heart to wisely invest. in our pursuit to be like the Joneses. Christians usually run into a problem when they eagerly chase after wealth. It becomes their main pursuit. (But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love. having us find our value in Him and not in the accumulation of more things. peace. 84 . humility).
It spoke on how certain people carried on throughout their lives as fools for Christ. Spirituality is relating to. here. there probably isn‘t any real couple on the planet by the name of the Spooky‘s. the supernatural.28 Traditionally. one of the previous chapters. let‘s take a step back and begin to look at the initial concept of spirituality. Spooky 13 Super Spiritual. including myself at times. prayer and contemplation. Foolishness. Secular spirituality carries connotations of an individual having a spiritual outlook which is more personalized. we‘re about to go there…if you‘re anything like me you would be dreading this chapter because it exposes too many Christians that have gave God a bad name. not tangible or material. or having the nature of spirit. this chapter will benefit many Christians who are still stuck in this ordeal. gave us a prelude to this chapter. incorporeality and eternity. in God‘s eyes. religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience and have long claimed that secular (non-religious) people cannot experience "true" spirituality. Part I – Mr. At one end of the spectrum. consisting of. It may include existentialism and introspection. & Familiarity: Mr. before we dive head-first into this chapter. Synonyms include immaterialism. even some atheists are 85 . Spirituality is traditionally associated with religion. It gave pertinent points on how everything that seemed foolish wasn‘t quite as foolish as it may have seemed. Spooky Yes. By the way. I‘m convinced. Many do still equate spirituality with religion. but they do give a broader depiction of numerous Christians who define their relationship of faith in God solely in terms of mystifying behavior. dualism. & Mrs. less structured. and more pluralistic than that of the doctrinal faiths of organized religions. Now. deities. But. more open to new ideas/influences. But.Faith. The Issue of Foolishness. and the development of an individual's inner life through practices such as meditation. but declining membership of organised religions and the growth of secularism in the western world has given rise to a broader view of spirituality. & Mrs. and an afterlife. and many other Christians who haven‘t clearly understood the overall aspect of Christian spirituality.
and coping. so much so that many followers of constituted religions consider spirituality to be an intrinsic and inseparable aspect of their religious experience. between form and substance. the human emotions of awe. some atheists define "spiritual" as nurturing thoughts. Spooky spiritual. while spirituality is defined as a search within oneself. The relationship between religion and spirituality can. 86 . in some way." where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration. and is based upon personal experience. connected. wonder and reverence. thus. religion and spirituality can be seen as merely two stages in the inner growth of the faithful aspirant. & Mrs. are also the province of the secular/scientific.31 With respect to religion. sometimes came to express their more emotional responses to the world under the rubric of ―the Sublime‖ rather than discussing "spirituality". words and actions that are in harmony with a belief that the entire universe is. or the universe.35 Eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinkers. be seen comparable to the relationship between container and content. more open to experimentation.29 Those who speak of spirituality outside of religion often define themselves as "spiritual but not religious" and generally believe in the existence of many different "spiritual paths" emphasizing the importance of finding one's own individual path to spirituality.32 Spirituality has been studied in positive psychology and defined as the search for "the sacred. In these circumstances. but also through movements such as the feminist theology and ecological spirituality. emotions. Spirituality can be sought not only through traditional organized religions. The experience of 'spirituality'. While atheism tends to lean towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims and the existence of an actual "spirit". in response to their highest values.30 One might say then. often opposed to clericalism and skeptical of religion. managing substance abuse. parenting. some 24±4% of the United States population identifies itself as spiritual but not religious. From this perspective. It has been suggested that spirituality also leads to finding purpose and meaning in life.34 Spiritual innovators who operated within the context of a religious tradition became marginalized or suppressed as heretics or separated out as schismatics. marital functioning. The spread of the ideas of modernity began to diminish the role of religion in society and in popular thought.33 Spirituality is associated with mental health. or when observing or studying nature. & Familiarity: Mr. or between theory and practice. anthropologists generally treat so-called "spiritual" practices such as shamanism in the sphere of the religious. Foolishness. this implies that spirituality takes on the following characteristics: faith becomes more personal. and class even non-traditional activities such as those of Robespierre's Cult of the Supreme Being in the province of religion.Faith. less dogmatic. even if only by the mysterious flow of cause and effect at every scale. that a key difference is that religion is a type of formal external search. According to one poll.
38 Building on both the Western esoteric tradition and theosophy. What does the Bible have to say about spirituality? For starters. Now. 87 . of which the best known form remains the Sufi tradition (famous through Rumi and Hafez) in which a spiritual master or pir transmits spiritual discipline to students. Important early 20th century writers who studied the phenomenon of spirituality include William James (The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902)) and Rudolph Otto (especially The Idea of the Holy (1917)).39 Rudolf Steiner and others in the anthroposophic tradition have attempted to apply systematic methodology to the study of spiritual phenomena. The scholarly field of spirituality remains ill-defined. Spooky Schmidt sees Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) as a pioneer of the idea of spirituality as a distinct field. Foolishness. parapsychology. but to explore inner experience — especially our thinking — with the same rigor that we apply to outer (sensory) experience. In the late 19th century a Pakistani scholar Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi wrote of and taught about the science of Islamic spirituality. there can easily be a lot of confusion on this topic. In the wake of the Nietzschean concept of the "death of God" in 1882. So. anthropology. what Christians should consider doing is consulting the manual. Numerous Christians are bewildered by this concept of spirituality. and He views us as spiritual beings as well. logic (if involving a spiritual Logos) and esotericism. & Mrs. psychology. The manual can be viewed as another term for the Bible.Faith. made in His own image and likeness.40 building upon ontological and epistemological questions that arose out of transcendental philosophy. Paul Heelas noted the development within New Age circles of what he called "seminar spirituality":37 structured offerings complementing consumer choice with spiritual options. It overlaps with disciplines such as theology.41 This enterprise does not attempt to redefine natural science. God is a spirit. people not persuaded by scientific rationalism turned increasingly to the idea of spirituality as an alternative both to materialism and to traditional religious dogma. monadology. Many of them have welcomed a variety of ideas on what it fundamentally means to be spiritual. The distinction between the spiritual and the religious became more common in the popular mind during the late 20th century with the rise of secularism and the advent of the New Age movement. I will admit. religious studies. pneumatology. sociology. Authors such as Chris Griscom and Shirley MacLaine explored it in numerous ways in their books.36 Phineas Quimby (1802-1866) and New Thought played a role in emphasizing the spiritual in new ways within Christian church traditions during the 19th century. & Familiarity: Mr.
whom the Father will send in my name. Spooky (Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. over all the earth. and lead us into all truth. [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. Foolishness. "Let us make man in our image. teach. whatsoever I have said unto you. for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." Genesis 1:26-28) NIV (Whoever sheds man's blood. know how to give good gifts unto your children. (But the Comforter. in our likeness. in the image of God he created him. how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13) ASV (Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world." John 4:23-24) NIV (Then God said. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. and over all the creatures that move along the ground. God blessed them and said to them. being evil. by man his blood shall be shed. which is the Holy Ghost. over the livestock. and bring all things to your remembrance. John 14:26) KJV (If ye then. God is spirit. & Mrs. fill the earth and subdue it.Faith. & Familiarity: Mr." So God created man in his own image. Genesis 9:6) NASB Secondly. but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God. male and female he created them. and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. he shall teach you all things. God sent the Holy Spirit (of God) to help comfort. 88 . "Be fruitful and increase in number. for in the image of God He made man.
we are to walk in the direction of being led by the Holy Spirit in bearing His fruit (which is pleasing unto God). combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]. gentleness. kindness. goodness. a pivotal question would be. Christians have been inundated with information about the Holy Spirit. and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. But the natural. because he will take what I have to say and tell it to you. patience. but he will speak only what he hears. but they are too much for you now. and he will tell you what is to come. But when the Spirit of truth comes. he will lead you into all truth. Foolishness.43 His sacredness is reflected in the 89 . & Familiarity: Mr. The Spirit of truth will bring glory to me. He will not speak his own words. joy.42 He is different from the Father and the Son in that he proceeds from the Father (or from the Father and the Son) as described in the Nicene Creed. and self-control. nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God. it is more connected to having too much wrongful knowledge concerning the Holy Spirit. John 16:12-14) NCV Thirdly. the Bible associates spirituality for Christians much with the Holy Spirit (of God). ―Who really is the Holy Spirit?‖ Within mainstream Christianity the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity. co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son. faithfulness. as Christians. Spooky And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:12-14) AMP ("I have many more things to say to you.Faith. understanding. So. peace. For some time now. for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him. (But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23) NLT So. But. and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing. The problem for many Christians operating by faith in God in a spooky way isn‘t necessarily the lack of knowledge of the Holy Spirit. & Mrs. As such he is personal and also fully God.
46 Enabling the Christian life.27. The coming of the Spirit is referred to as his "anointing".g. & Mrs.45 The new believer is "born again of the Spirit". Anointing Him at his baptism. 2 Corinthians 1:21) In some denominations 90 . The action of the Holy Spirit is seen as an essential part of the bringing of the person to the Christian faith. Inspiration and interpretation of scripture.Faith. and are not mere artistic representations. The Holy Spirit is frequently referred to by metaphor and symbol.The symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit.. which proclaim blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as unforgivable. Empowerment of His ministry. (1 Corinthians 12:13) Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified (John 19:34.44 Bringing to conversion. particularly in times of trial. or supports or acts as an advocate. was due to the Holy Spirit. so they are "made to drink of one Spirit". Particular actions of the Holy Spirit include: Cause of His birth. Foolishness. to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. and of their moral standing as sinners before God. These include: Conviction of sin.48 The Holy Spirit is also believed to be active especially in the life of Jesus Christ. the "beginning of His incarnate existence". Trinitarian and Non-Trinitarian Christians have different doctrinal views of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is believed to dwell in the individual believers and enable them to live a righteous and faithful life. According to the gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus.47 As a comforter or Paraclete. 1 John 2:20. & Familiarity: Mr.signifies the Holy Spirit's action in Baptism. Spooky New Testament gospels (e. 1 John 5:8) as its source and welling up in Christians to eternal life. Mark 3:28-30. Matthew 12:30-32. The Holy Spirit is believed to perform specific divine functions in the life of the Christian or the church. Theologically speaking these symbols are a key to understanding of the Holy Spirit and his actions. such that in the manner that "by one Spirit [believers] were all baptized".49 Water . The ministry of Jesus following his baptism (in which the Holy Spirit is described in the gospels as "descending on Him like a dove") is conducted in the power and at the direction of the Holy Spirit. (Cf. enabling him to fulfill his work on earth. both doctrinally and biblically. one who intercedes. The Holy Spirit both inspires the writing of the scriptures and interprets them to the Christian and/or church. and Luke 12:8-10).50 Anointing . The Holy Spirit acts to convince the unredeemed person both of the sinfulness of their actions.
52 During the late 19th century. Moses and Elijah. the Holy Spirit rested on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost.. Christadelphian. James and John. Unity Church. "[f]or better or worse. apparently the spiritual waves have begun to erode that rational rock. Spooky anointing is practiced in Confirmation. in the form of a dove.54 As one student of the movement puts it. Stone. those who champion the so-called word-only theory no longer have a hold on the minds of the constituency of Churches of Christ. and Oneness Pentecostalism beliefs fall within this category.The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her. 91 ." He believed that the Spirit draws people towards salvation. many among the Churches of Christ have moved away from this "word-only" theory of the operation of the Holy Spirit. Though relatively few have adopted outright charismatic and third wave views and remained in the body. ("chrismation" in the Eastern Churches). Foolishness. Christ (in Hebrew.Faith. Cloud and light . the prevailing view in the Restoration Movement was that the Holy Spirit currently acts only through the influence of inspired scripture. Jehovah‘s Witness." This view came to prevail over that of Barton W. & Familiarity: Mr.symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. but understood the Spirit to do this "in the same way any person moves another—by persuasion with words and ideas. and is 'one' with them in some other sense than of being one substance. and "a voice came out of the cloud. This rationalist view was associated with Alexander Campbell. Some groups believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate being from God the Father and God the Son. the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus. Peter. Others believe that the Holy Spirit refers to some aspect or action of God (i. On the mountain of transfiguration. and described as "a sound from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind" (Acts 2:2-4). Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit. saying. listen to him!'" (Luke 9:34-35) The dove. Latter Day Saint beliefs fall within this category. Modalism). 'This is my Son. comes down upon him and remains with him. In the form of tongues "as of fire". who believed the Spirit had a more direct role in the life of the Christian. who was "greatly affected by what he viewed as the excesses of the emotional camp meetings and revivals of his day. When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism. so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. the Holy Spirit.53 Since the early 20th century. (Matthew 3:16)51 Wind The Spirit is likened to the "wind that blows where it will" (John 3:8). that of Jesus. my Chosen. Fire . & Mrs." Non-trinitarian views about the Holy Spirit generally fall into one of two categories.e. messiah) means the one "anointed" by God's Spirit.
. As a result. Pentecostals are theologically diverse with some groups being Trinitarian and others Nontrinitarian.Faith. Most Pentecostals consider themselves to be part of broader Christian groups. For this reason.62 Oneness Pentecostalism.66 Within North American classical Pentecostalism there are three major orientations: Wesleyan holiness. some Pentecostals also use the term Apostolic or full gospel to describe their movement.61 The Unity Church interprets the religious terms Father. and with other modalist groups. Pentecostalism is theologically and historically close to the charismatic movement as it significantly influenced that movement and some Pentecostals use the two terms interchangeably. the Son and the Holy Spirit."60 Christadelphians believe that the phrase Holy Spirit refers to God's character or mind. as described in the Book of Acts. Son. The very reverse is the fact.67 Examples of Wesleyan holiness denominations include the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC). while others prefer restorationist. Foolishness. and expression. there is no single central organization or church that directs the movement. Son. Son and Holy Ghost)."58 Jehovah‘s Witnesses believe that the Holy Spirit is God's active force. Pentecostalism is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of different theological and organizational perspectives. They believe this is the process through which all manifestation takes place.63 Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit64 which is evidenced by speaking in tongues. and.. idea. and Holy Spirit metaphysically. rather than a distinct individual. and do not typically capitalize the term. & Familiarity: Mr. The Holy Ghost is considered to be a son of God the Father. not as Three in One. Holy Spirit [are] not as co-equal. not as one numerical essence. depending on the context. and Oneness.)55 is considered the third distinct member of the Godhead (Father. teach that the Holy Spirit is a mode of God. for example. Higher Life. Chapter 2. Many embrace the term evangelical. worship styles and teachings that were found in the early church. the Holy Ghost (usually synonymous with Holy Spirit. and that there is no distinction between God the Father.59 A Jehovah's Witness brochure quotes Alvan Lamson: ". most Pentecostals identify as Protestants. a Greek term describing the Jewish Feast of Weeks.65 and Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power..56 and to have a body of "spirit. as three aspects of mind action: mind. this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ. & Mrs. Spooky In the Latter-day Saint movement. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost. For Christians....the Father. 92 . Furthermore."57 which makes him unlike the Father and the Son who are said to have bodies "as tangible as man's.
faith. prophecy (the pronouncement of a message from God. miracle-working. words of knowledge (impartation of factual information from the Spirit). Simpson's hymns and books. Many Pentecostal groups are affiliated with the Pentecostal World Conference. not necessarily involving knowledge of the future).J. Most Pentecostals understand this infilling to be subsequent to salvation which allows those who have been filled to experience spiritual gifts which are described in the Bible. This influence included evangelistic emphasis. who would later lead the Church of God (Cleveland. which Simpson also founded. It was common for Pentecostal pastors and missionaries to receive their training at the Missionary Training Institute that Simpson founded.68 Some Oneness churches include the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). and Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC). Pentecostalism claims more than 250 million adherents worldwide. discerning of spirits (the ability to tell if evil spirits are at work). Foolishness. Traditionally. Pentecostal belief and practice center on their understanding of the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. and the use of the term "Gospel Tabernacle". had a great influence on Pentecostalism—in particular the Assemblies of God and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.71 One preacher from the Gift People influenced A. Pentecostals have taught that the "initial evidence" of Spirit baptism is speaking in tongues. Most Pentecostals believe that not all Christians necessarily receive all of these gifts. Some Christian leaders who were not a part of the early Pentecostal movement remained highly respected by Pentecostal leaders. which evolved into Pentecostal churches being known as "Full Gospel Tabernacles". Spooky The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel is an example of the Higher Life branch. the remoteness of the region very likely kept it as a localized event. who were known for spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues. Tennessee). & Familiarity: Mr. Albert Benjamin Simpson became closely involved with the growing Pentecostal revival. most also believe in the existence of other supernatural gifts that may be received from the Holy Spirit. Charles Price 93 .70 During the 1870s. C&MA doctrine.Faith. while the Assemblies of God (AG) was influenced by both groups. tongues. and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. & Mrs. Tomlinson. which is subsequent to salvation. there were Christians known as "gift people" or "gift Adventists" numbering in the thousands.69 When charismatics are included with Pentecostals the number increases to nearly a quarter of the world's two billion Christians. unlike charismatics who generally assign no special importance to tongues considering the receipt of any of the gifts as evidence of infilling. Simpson and the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). North Carolina as the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement. Because of this. Though some have considered the 1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival in Cherokee County. and interpretation of tongues. which happens when one is saved. Pentecostalism distinguishes between the Spirit's indwelling. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW). healing. While speaking in tongues frequently receives strong emphasis among Pentecostals. One frequently cited list is 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 which includes the following gifts: words of wisdom (the ability to provide supernatural guidance in decisions).
as the experience of speaking in tongues spread among the men and women of Azusa Street.73 Here. has given birth to a large number of organizations with political. Foolishness.74 ● ● ● Early Pentecostals were fueled by their understanding that all of God‘s people would prophesy in the last days before ● ● ● Christ‘s second coming. which helped fuel its growth. 1901. so that practically all classic Pentecostal denominations today trace their historical roots to the Azusa Street Revival. social and theological differences. a one-eyed African-American preacher. International visitors and Pentecostal missionaries would eventually bring these teachings to other nations. The majority of early Pentecostal denominations taught nonviolence and adopted military service articles that advocated conscientious objection. the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is generally considered to have begun with Seymour's Azusa Street Revival. dedicated solely to preparing the way for Christ‘s return. Early Pentecostals saw themselves as outsiders from mainstream society. Seymour traveled to Los Angeles. In spite of segregation in Houston. The Azusa revival was the first Pentecostal revival to receive significant attention. in which Peter cited the prophecy contained in Joel 2. Charles Parham. would later move to Houston. inspired by the events of this revival. where his preaching sparked the Azusa Street Revival in 1906. a sense of immediacy took hold. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. and helped spread the Pentecostal message far beyond Los Angeles. The early movement was countercultural regarding race. Kansas on January 1. we should not be so caught up with being overly mystical and spooky in order to prove a point or tap into some unknown Godly power. smaller. and many people from around the world became drawn to it. Despite the work of various Wesleyan groups such as Parham's and D.72 His hymns are widely sung at National Conventions of the Church of God in Christ and many other Pentecostal churches. & Mrs. an African-American Holiness leader and founder of the Church of Christ. your old men will dream dreams. however.76 Pentecostalism. the founder of this school. 94 As Christians. They looked to the biblical passages concerning Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. and war: African-Americans and women were important leaders in the Azusa Revival.75 A number of new. as they began to look toward the Second Coming of Christ. many came to the conclusion that speaking in tongues was the biblical sign of the Holy Spirit's baptism.Faith. "In the last days. The Los Angeles Press gave close attention to Seymour's revival. Today's Pentecostal movement traces its community's growth to a prayer meeting at Bethel Bible College in Topeka. . As the Azusa Revival began to wane. like any major movement. Spooky Jones. I will pour out my Spirit on all people. God says. L. groups started up. your young men will see visions." (Acts 2:17) Thus. is another example. Texas. Seymour. William J. Moody's revivals. gender. was allowed to attend Parham's Bible classes there. & Familiarity: Mr.
To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick or the power to work mighty miracles. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do. I‘ll come straight from scripture to eliminate bias: For starters. See. & Mrs. & Familiarity: Mr. But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us. no one can deny that tongues are extremely Biblical in their conception. not necessarily everyone speaks in tongues.77 Whoa. it seems like all of the confusion is not only with the understanding of the Holy Spirit. God will always stay as the central focus of whatever‘s going on in the Christian church. or worse off---impressing ourselves. Others can speak different kinds of languages (tongues). Some of us can speak with wisdom. and still others can tell what these languages (tongues) mean. they are given by the Holy Spirit of God. or interprets them. I do realize that this is almost an unending debate. nothing‘s wrong with being used by the Holy Spirit‘s power and gifting in a miraculous manner. Since we‘re already addressing this issue of tongues. Well. if you appropriate the aspect of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as being to your perception or someone else‘s shouldn‘t matter too much. and this concept has had an enlarged viewpoint. isolationism. major divisions. Yes. The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. As Christians. sectarianism and even the increase of extremism were apparent. the Holy Spirit should be influencing our 100% God-honoring actions. Some of us are prophets. As a result. while others can speak with knowledge. Regardless. Spooky doctrinal differences began to surface as pressure from social. They‘re just one gift of many gifts and should be understood as so! 95 . Not only that. Moreover. and not our mystical oversensitivity in the exaltation of ourselves. but more with the concept of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. cultural and political developments from the time began to affect the church.Faith. and some of us recognize when God's Spirit is present. (and we can each do different things. The thing that should matter is how effectively the aspect is/is not being used to honor God. When our focus veers off of God and onto impressing people. but these gifts come from the same Spirit. Nothing‘s even wrong with speaking in tongues. Foolishness. then we‘re missing out on the point of the Holy Spirit‘s gifting. 1 Corinthians 12:6-11) CEV But. we should not be so caught up with being overly mystical and spooky in order to prove a point or tap into some unknown Godly power. Also. or operating in some other God-given action. I thought that this would be an opportune time to converse more about this gifting.
and said to her. and said that something should be given her to eat. third teachers. “Your daughter is dead. and entered where the child was lying. “Talitha. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken. Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue. but sleeping. similar to the parts of a human body. But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it. and highlighted (before His leaving) that we will have accessibility to use them.” which is translated. (While He was still speaking. But when He had put them all outside. or Pope (which we glorify as supreme) aren’t necessarily a part of this list.” Immediately the girl arose and walked. “Little girl. for she was twelve years of age. & Mrs. He said to the ruler of the synagogue. and each one of you is a part of it.” And they ridiculed Him. those able to help others. as well (while we are going throughout the world and ministering the Gospel under His direction). and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Spooky (Now you are the body of Christ.” And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter.Faith. also those having gifts of healing. He said to them. And they were overcome with great amazement. & Familiarity: Mr. Moreover. and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. only believe. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:27-30) NIV God realizes that we are all different and can be used for Him effectively in various ways. “Do not be afraid. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles. Side note---it’s interesting to observe that the titles of Pastor. and those who were with Him. then workers of miracles. Mark 5:35-43) NKJV 96 . Then He took the child by the hand. I say to you. cumi. Foolishness. Reverend. He took the father and the mother of the child. those with gifts of administration. arise. some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said. “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead. tongues are something Jesus actually used Himself. James. and John the brother of James. second prophets. When He came in.
Foolishness. the King of Israel. it will not hurt them at all. and they will get well. tongues are used to express God‘s goodness. & Mrs. said. My God. descend now from the cross. they will place their hands on sick people. lama sabachthani?” which is translated. (And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves. but whoever does not believe will be condemned. as a ministering tool to unbelievers (who won‘t believe unless they see something deemed impossible/strange). there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Himself He cannot save. He said to them. "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Spooky (Likewise the chief priests also. the crowd came together. devout men from every nation under heaven. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons. they will speak in new tongues. “He saved others. Eloi. as the Spirit was giving them utterance. said.Faith. saying. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. “Look. and when they drink deadly poison. “My God. and they rested on each one of them. Let the Christ. they will pick up snakes with their hands. He is calling for Elijah!” Mark 15:31-35) NKJV (Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating. and as a way of tapping into Godly mysteries that we all need to understand (it‘s sometimes related to as Godly illumination/revelation for operation within this world or the unique understanding of scripture). why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood by. mocking among themselves with the scribes. & Familiarity: Mr. and were 97 . And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And when this sound occurred. “Eloi. that we may see and believe. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues. when they heard that." Mark 16:1418) NIV Also. Now when the sixth hour had come. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem.
saying. but in understanding be mature. And yet. are not all these who are speaking Galileans? "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? "Parthians and Medes and Elamites. and visitors from Rome. "What does this mean?" Acts 2:3-12) NASB (Brethren. for no one understands or catches his meaning. Foolishness. Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place. 98 . they will not hear Me. 1 Corinthians 14:20-25) NKJV (For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God. and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers. saying to one another. & Familiarity: Mr. and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in. because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].Faith. however. falling down on his face. They were amazed and astonished. and all speak with tongues. Cretans and Arabs---we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God. and residents of Mesopotamia. he is convinced by all. Pontus and Asia. but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. Spooky bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy. In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people. both Jews and proselytes." And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity.” says the Lord. do not be children in understanding. Therefore tongues are for a sign. Phrygia and Pamphylia. Judea and Cappadocia. & Mrs. not to those who believe but to unbelievers. "Why. and so. for all that. in malice be babes. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. he is convicted by all. Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene. he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
1 Corinthians 14:2-4) AMP Lastly. we have to operate in an appropriate way in utilizing it. 99 . earnestly desire and set your hearts on prophesying (on being inspired to preach and teach and to interpret God's will and purpose). the one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation. I Corinthians 14:5) NLT (So [to conclude]. But all things should be done with regard to decency and propriety and in an orderly fashion. God is a strong supporter of godly order and decency. (I wish you could all speak in tongues. piety. 1 Corinthians 14:39-40) AMP In the first letter to the Corinthian church the apostle Paul was not against people speaking in tongues. unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.Faith. tongues are highly encouraged to be operated in (only when needed or clearly directed by God) and shouldn‘t be despised. but even more I wish you could all ● ● ● Godly expressiveness can have some tact and decency! ● ● ● prophesy. but could struggle to minister to a group (unless interpretation was provided). Spooky But [on the other hand]. but understanding what‘s been said is better. holiness. But. like the Bible indicated. & Familiarity: Mr. he didn‘t end there. my brethren. & Mrs. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues.‖ But. Foolishness. He understood that tongues could do extreme good for the individual. it‘s understandable that one would desire to speak in tongues for added understanding on how to live a more powerful Christian life. and wanted to relay to the church that tongues are wonderful. and do not forbid or hinder speaking in [unknown] tongues. but was more concerned with the collective group of people all being edified. and happiness]. Even Paul stated in verse 18. ―I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all. but he who prophesies [interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom. He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself. See.
Spooky Now. Godly expressiveness can have some tact and decency! (Even though you are bad. some would even promote you pleading & begging for the gift. Look. As soon as they heard of it. For instance. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. But. If you've been baptized in John's baptism. Many people make it harder than it actually has to be. they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you ● ● ● take God into your mind only. "John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him. Paul made his way down through the mountains. but let‘s not get so overwhelmed with being over-expressive. or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?" "We've never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?" "How were you baptized. who turned out to be Jesus. unfortunately. Jesus simply said ―ask!‖ The laying on of hands is another way the Bible emphasized some receiving the gift.Faith. came to Ephesus." said Paul. they were praising God in (unknown) tongues and talking about God's actions." "That explains it. From that moment on. and happened on some disciples there. it happened that while Apollos was away in . ● ● ● How much more your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13) NCV Corinth. Acts 19:1-7) MES 100 Christianity is not some hit show where we take center stage for our theatrical performance… (Now. Christianity is not some hit show where we take center stage for our theatrical performance. or some other over-expressive thing. then?" asked Paul. some of the problem is not just in how we operate in tongues. falling out of the floor for it. So. but also how Christians sometimes seek after them. but this is basically God honoring His Word. & Familiarity: Mr. "In John's baptism." And they were. for Jesus. We have already learned that the Holy Spirit of God is the essential giver of tongues. I‘m not against being expressive. you're ready now for the real thing. you know how to give good things to your children. Foolishness. The first thing he said was. instead of going after the power of the tongues. & Mrs. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day. we should just simply receive His gifting (whichever one(s) it may be---just like Jesus‘ provision of salvation.
I know many people have seen individuals who stand out in public areas looping a sign around their neck with critical and harsh statements like. . Or. Wrong! Even though they‘re preaching. they go out (like the sons of Sceva – Acts 19:11-17) looking for demons to cast out. it seems like nothing‘s too wrong with that. If they have a family (especially one with young children). ―I‘m not against a Christian being expressive!‖ But. When 101 Award for your super spirituality. Just because you may have found part of a scripture within the Bible doesn‘t always mean that you should act on that part---out of context. they will isn’t impressed or going place their hands on sick people. Let me say it again. and they will get to give you an Academy well. they will Behaving spooky is pick up snakes with their hands. they respond in tongues. & Familiarity: Mr. "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. God isn‘t impressed or going to give you an Academy Award for your super spirituality. & Mrs. So. a Christian must have some type of certainty that God is directing their actions and nothing/no one else. ALL SINNERS ARE GOING TO HELL!‖ Thirdly. Spooky Behaving spooky is really unnecessary. they make speaking in tongues an overdramatic experience. Look. Secondly. a spouse (who is not in full agreement with the spontaneity of their decision). they will speak in new tongues. right. but lacking the direction and power of God. Let me give you an example: Someone could take this scripture which I listed earlier ALL OUT OF CONTEXT: He said to them." Mark 16:14-18) NIV Now. First. God never told them to sell all their possessions in this scripture in order to do it. they‘re actually preaching worldwide! God must definitely be in approval with that. they might seek to go around falsely judging and aggressively condemning people instead of reaching out to them. and speak in them nearly all day long. they might be eager to operate in all the listed signs. When they are asked a question from their spouse. Well. but whoever does not believe will be condemned. they might sell all of their possessions and go throughout the ● ● ● world preaching to everyone. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. or primary promised engagements with others that would make this decision a wrong one. if they take this scripture and seek to become very spooky with it there are a few things that they might do. Foolishness. ―REPENT OR GO TO HELL‖ or ―THE END IS NEAR. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out ● ● ● demons.Faith. God deadly poison. and is not impressed with over-spiritualized actions. it will not hurt them at all. and when they drink really unnecessary. We already established that God looks at one‘s heart.
Also. Finally. use crutches. this indeed is an area that Christians can gain some proper knowledge and help in. they answer it in tongues. When they‘re counseling someone or giving advice they do it in tongues…and so on. they might go out and about with the intentions to physically heal everyone that comes across their path. I know most of this sounds bizarre. by touching each person they encounter during the day strongly on the forehead (even individuals who aren‘t sick). they should also be joined by another group of Christians---the Secretive Group---who‘s in need of major help. just because the scripture says it. While getting that help. 102 . they might go around intentionally drinking sips of lethal poison that could eventually kill them.Foolishness. or get surgeries when seriously injured. they might advocate that people should never wear a cast. & Familiarity: Mr. aimlessly putting their lives in jeopardy. So. Some are even doing things worse off and much more outlandish. They tell the doctors and nurses to quit their jobs and using beneficial medicine is evil and ungodly. & Mrs. as well. Also. but (regrettably) many Christians are presently doing some of these very things. they might go deadly-snake-hunting and try grabbing the most poisonous snakes on the planet with their bare hands. Furthermore. Spooky they receive a phone call at work.
the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert. 103 . But. the bush burned with fire. Wow.‖ They have a hush-hush feel about themselves and carry themselves as if they were walking on clouds. or speak to them in radiant echoes with angelic music resounding in the background. This Group usually looks for God to physically appear to them in glowing-white apparel. and. & Familiarity: The Secret 14 Super Spiritual. Part 2 – The Secret Now. I‘m not indicating that God is immune from doing any of these things. and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. And Moses said. we saw earlier that there are particular Christians who blatantly present themselves as being Super Spiritual.Faith. This group concentrates on using spooky and mystical behavior in establishing their godly representation. and came to the mountain of God. behold. and revealed Himself dramatically to others. He physically met with Adam in the cool of the day. what an experience! Of course. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked. and the bush was not consumed. and see this great sight. even to Horeb. Foolishness. (And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. why the bush is not burnt. I mean. as well. they have a sister group of Christians who have their own version of spookiness. I refer to this group as the ―Secretive Group. I will now turn aside. Genesis 3:8) ESV (Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law. spoke to Moses from a burning bush (not consumed).
and is one of the reasons why self-sufficient spirituality has become so attractive to the typical Christian. The book achieved high sales after being featured in two episodes of Oprah. Moses. we have embarked onto a time where many Christians won‘t fully believe God. Exodus 3:1-5) NKJV But. health. One of the leading concepts of self-sufficient spirituality is the overrated idea of ―the Secret. even for Christians. The book has also reached a high level of notoriety and criticism from those who claim that the book misleads readers with its claims of positive thinking being able to influence a reader's life and real-world outcomes. Foolishness. The film is largely influenced by Wallace D. don‘t become overwhelmed with only knowing God based on those experiences.‖ The Secret is a best-selling 2006 self-help and spirituality book written by Rhonda Byrne. We‘ll see later on that Jesus actually gives a good bit of respect to those who confidently have faith in Him apart from a need for the theatrics. And he said. The tenet of the book is that an individual's focused positive thinking can result in life-changing results such as increased wealth. and said. and How to videos for nearly every life aspect.Faith. & Familiarity: The Secret And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see. Here am I. The Secret is a book78 that presents what is claimed to be a centuries-old idea. And he said. God is supreme (all by Himself) and is not limited to the emotions a person does or doesn‘t feel. A film based on the book was released before the book in DVD format. happiness and more. Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet. Wattles' 1910 book The Science of Getting Rich. I am aware. for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. in faith. This is the direction our world is going in. Many Christians have become caught up into the self-help craze. which in essence is the power of an individual's positive thinking to change and influence outcomes in their lives. the pseudoscientific Law of Attraction. Getting to know Him personally doesn‘t usually have to have all of the theatrics. where after the book reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list and the film based on the book reached #1 on the sales charts on Amazon. we have the Dummies series. Unfortunately. if that‘s the experience you‘ve been having with God presently. today‘s Christian is unique. and a bit more knowledgeable. It‘s almost like secondary belief. God called unto him out of the midst of the bush. Moses. this type of Godly occurrence isn‘t constantly the norm. The book claims that by using the "Laws of 104 . See. an array of financial-empowerment literature. ―Then that‘s great!‖ But. until they physically see something.com. Goodness.
and panentheism to polytheism combined with science and Gaia ● ● ● philosophy: particularly archaeoastronomy. esotericism.Faith.81 (The Secret) The claims made by both the book and film have been highly controversial. and have been criticized by reviewers and readers in both traditional and web-based media. music. New Age spirituality is sustainability.79 Additional terms for the movement include All is One80 and Mind-Body-Spirit. with the basis of the claims of the "Laws of Attraction" originate through understanding the cosmos and how an individual can influence it for their own personal gain and benefit. Islam. Theosophy. ecology. and nature. and the rejection of religious doctrine and spiritual practices and dogma. an individual can become wealthier. Judaism. healthier. astronomy. The Secret is described as a New Age spiritual self-help book. the Gaia hypothesis. Believing. Neopaganism. and happier. and Receiving are the three most important aspects of the law of attraction. Universalism. The New Age Movement includes elements of older spiritual and religious traditions ranging from atheism and monotheism through classical pantheism. and Western esotericism. The New Age (also referred to as the New Age Movement. The book claims that the secrets outlined in the book have been known by famous and influential people for centuries. New Age spirituality is characterized by an characterized by an individual approach to spiritual practices individual approach to and philosophies. naturalistic pantheism. Foolishness. metaphysics. environmentalism. psychology. The book has also been heavily criticized by former believers and practitioners. with some going as far as claiming that "the secret" was conceived by the author and that the only people generating wealth and happiness from it are the author and the publishers. Spiritualism. In 2007 Barbara Ehrenreich. Others assert "the secret" offers false hope to those in true need of more conventional assistance in their lives. and Cosmic Humanism) is a decentralized Western social and spiritual movement that seeks "Universal Truth" and the attainment of the highest individual human ● ● ● potential. Chinese folk religion. Gnosticism. collectivism. . ridiculed the book's weight control advice to "not 105 philosophies. alternative medicine. New Age practices and philosophies sometimes draw inspiration from major world religions: Buddhism. The "Laws of Attraction" are the "secret" that the title of the book suggests to the reader. Christianity. It includes aspects of astrology. & Familiarity: The Secret Attraction". and physics. but that they have conspired to keep these secrets hidden from the general public for their own benefit. and the rejection of religious doctrine and dogma. Asking. with particularly strong influences from East Asian religions. an author and social critic. Hinduism. New Age spirituality. New Thought.
and past thinking has gained a repetition as being outdated. that teach "if I just change my thoughts.‖ When we seek to control our own destinies apart from God we put ourselves in a strange predicament as Christians. Those who were "disappointed. 1 Corinthians 2:12) NIV Even now. devotion. The entire idea of Christianity revolves around one‘s acceptance. and need for God. Jesus put it candidly in John 17 on His thoughts concerning this issue. Christians have a higher standard that they are to uphold. some reacted to it as "a gimmick" and "disturbing" like "being indoctrinated into a cult". You know how they say it. many Christians have been more influenced by the world.82 According to the online magazine Religion Dispatches. Byrne argued that natural disasters strike those "on the same frequency as the event" and implied the 2006 tsunami victims could have spared themselves. instead of being the world‘s influencers. Foolishness. It‘s no surprise one may be eager to accept this revolutionary thinking within the world.85 This self-help generation has been dominated by a New Age philosophical way of thinking. & Familiarity: The Secret observe" overweight people. ―the Secret‖ continues to gain a significant number of followers who carry the title of Christian. like The Secret. ―God helps those who help themselves. resentful. or downcast" were 'victims' or 'whiners'. In 2009. that we may understand what God has freely given us. She worried this was delusional or even dangerous because it avoided dealing with the real sources behind problems. Furthermore.84 It encouraged "victim-blaming. who has little to no need for God. too many Christians have picked up this independence banner feeling a strong need for God is simply a crutch they would rather do without. but not necessarily in the church. and a culture-wide flight from realism" by suggesting failure is the result of not trying "hard enough" or believing "firmly enough in the inevitability of your success". checking out what‘s really there and figuring out how to change it". many of them even see God as being in agreement with the Secret‘s ―Laws of Attraction. Unfortunately. ―Why is a Christian. I could have it all". 106 . still a Christian? That makes absolutely no sense!‖ I agree! It seems they would retract that claim and refer to themselves as something else. (We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God.‖ It‘s funny because the Bible I read shows we‘re really helpless and God helps those who need His help.83 In businesses using the DVD for employee training or morale-building. Far too long.Faith. We are to live in such a way that the world desires our type of lifestyle (not so much materialistically but internally) and not the other way around. One would ask. Ehrenreich advocated "not negative thinking or despair" but "realism. political complacency. Ehrenreich published Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America as a response to "positive thinking" books.
86 the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo). God is 107 . God wants you to want Him. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of "prima donna". in Italian. They both imply selfsufficiency and personal independence. A diva is a celebrated female singer. even with Whitney‘s recent comeback. You can end up dating yourself ● ● ● God is not a fan of the Macho Man and Diva type of attitudes when it comes to having faith in Him. a male deity. It‘s not the terms themselves. Now. but rather promotes an environment of interdependence.87 The problem with the terms (Macho Man & Diva) is that they don‘t sit well with having faith in God. Regardless of the changes. or newly determined status. and by extension in theatre. sense of individual freedom. It is derived from the Italian noun diva. both of these concepts might work well when it comes to a hit song. The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. The term is used to describe a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera. but more of what the two terms imply. and even understand how much you stand in need of Him.Faith. Beyonce Knowles is today‘s top women on the music scene. ● ● ● if the words ―Macho Man‖ bring about the reminiscing of you dancing the two-step at your prom to the late 70‘s hit song by the Village People. the same memories could apply to Whitney Houston‘s early 90‘s hit ―I‘m every woman!‖ But. Foolishness. The plural of the word in English is "divas". The basic sense of the term is "goddess". & Familiarity: Macho Man & the Diva 15 Macho Man & the Diva Be careful how you approach this next chapter. but not with God. This term has been relabeled numerous times. cinema and popular music. Beyonce (aka Sasha Fierce) has brought back some current popularity to the coined term ―Diva‖ (the new every woman). dive. See. a female deity. In addition. there is a popular/consensus meaning for it today. He wants you to truly desire Him.
Foolishness. They see themselves almost as an elitist. It shouldn‘t matter which individuals God allows you come into contact with and racism. you‘re depending on Him. fat. God is referenced whenever they want Him to do something for them. It is essential in creating a worldwide Christian community that the world actually respects. 108 . getting back to the matter at hand… God is not a fan of the Macho Man and Diva type of attitudes when it comes to having faith in Him. but only a little need for Him. elitist. They acknowledge a need for God. One may even think that they just need God on Sunday morning. advice." Mark 12:28-31) MES When a man feels he doesn’t need any assistance.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these. Well. tall. let‘s not get this message mixed up with gravitating to a selective group or belonging to a favorite clique. etc. you‘re depending on one another. God is the one they call only if they‘re in some sort of a jam. "The first in importance is. Depending fully on God and working together with each other is essential in living for Him. uneducated. Hold up. It‘s not coincidental that Jesus refers to depending on God and loving interdependence with others as the greatest and most important commandment.' And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself. Or. It is essential in faithfully pleasing God. ● ● ● (One of the religion scholars came up. we‘ll cover this area in more detail. An attitude of interdependence should be distributed to all: rich. It‘s like they‘re addicted to their own ego. but rather promotes an environment of interdependence. But. poor. First. Hearing the lively exchanges of questions and answers and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers. Israel: The Lord your God is one. black. 'Listen. or bias thinking should not even be named amongst Christians. skinny. In the next chapter. and secondly. he put in his question: "Which is most important of all the commandments?" Jesus said. educated. or support it puts him in a position to struggle more than he has to. so love the Lord God with ● ● ● all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy. I mean the guy/girl that is nearly drunk with self-sufficiency. short.Faith. most Christians usually don‘t go quite that far. & Familiarity: Macho Man & the Diva not in grand favor of the individual who feels so independently free that they have little to no time or need for Him. white. For others.
advice. strong confidence can effortlessly crossover into becoming cockiness or smug conceit. for now. haughty. or support it puts him in a position to struggle more than he has to.‖ As we continue on. Foolishness. An even better word for this condition can be the word ―pride. But. & Familiarity: Macho Man & the Diva When a man feels he doesn‘t need any assistance. When he is so determined to walk with a Macho Man type of ego he usually tends to muffle often the words. ―I know I‘m all that and a bag of chips‖ even when she honestly knows she‘s not and struggles with major insecurities.Faith. There is a time and place for them both. we‘ll dive more into pride and how it relates to faith in God. at times. ● ● ● Again. Furthermore. when a woman is so bigheaded. I got it‖ even when help is beneficially needed. especially those who are extremely insecure. ● ● ● When a woman is so bigheaded. let‘s discuss the issue of the Backscratcher. arrogant. Strong confidence is a needed thing in the life of individuals. haughty. and has her proverbial nose stuck high up in the air she puts herself in a position to be easily rejected by others. But. full of herself. full of herself. 109 . When she is resolute in walking in a Diva type of attitude she will usually muffle the words. ―I don‘t need any help. timid. arrogant. and has her proverbial nose stuck high up in the air she puts herself in a position to be easily rejected by others. no one is knocking these titles. and shy. They may see her as thinking that she‘s better than everyone else.
111 . as well. More importantly. It is a tool used to literally scratch an itch on the backside of your upper extremity. it is usually a cunning form of appeal to consequences. Examples: "Surely a man as smart as you can see this is a brilliant proposal. See. One may see a backscratcher as a long stick with a small hand-shaped piece on the end of it (magonote). God never planned for you to go around manipulating others. our minds. Moreover. He never wanted for you to become so cunning that you seek to manipulate Him." (failing to accept the proposal is a tacit admission of stupidity) "I needed a beautiful woman to endorse my product.Faith. and that‘s dealing with the characteristics of an individual who is highly manipulative to others. & Familiarity: Backscratcher 16 Oh Yes! The Backscratcher Okay. Flattery is often used to hide the true intent of an idea or proposal. But. or "brown-noser". most people are familiar with another understanding for the word backscratcher. Foolishness. since the audience is subject to be flattered as long as they comply with the flatterer. when we hear the word backscratcher a varied of thoughts may enter into ● ● ● Appeal to flattery88 (also apple polishing) is a fallacy in which a person uses flattery. ● ● ● "butt-kisser". Appeals to flattery are sometimes described by pejorative phrases. Praise offers a momentary personal distraction that can often weaken judgment." (failing to endorse the product is a tacit rejection of being beautiful) See. so naturally I thought of you. in an attempt to win support for their side. such as "suck-up". excessive compliments. a backscratcher is more popularly known as an individual who appeals to flattery or superficial charm.
really right. 112 . as well. real compassionate givers. Foolishness. It is an important attribute of psychopathic personalities. we try to use God in seeking to follow after a few of His principles only for our selfish gain. etc.89 It is often used by abusers early on in an abusive relationship to attract and groom the abused person. and God especially can. or their own?‖ If you said their own. but more in how we live. real rolemodels. God wants us real: real honest with ourselves. hypocritical. as well. When we carry ourselves as backscratchers we operate in solidified selfishness. Fortunately. we can become more of a burden to fellow Christians instead of a blessing.‖ If your heart isn‘t right. someone may assist a pastor for about 2 weeks trying to get God to be overly impressed with them. they‘ll expectedly be looking for a promotion in ministry or financial blessing for their services. We become so overly concerned with tactics on how intricately we can take advantage of others for ● ● ● our own well being. ● ● ● For example. many pastors can see through that. Question… ―Were they helping out for God‘s sake. being fake. really in love with Him. then neither will your motives be.Faith. High pressure salesmen or conmen also maliciously use superficial charm. We solely become deceptive people-users. one may ask. if your motives are wrong. After those short 2 weeks. and phony. real role-models. We all have to learn how to be more truthful with ourselves and each other. also called glibness. God never planned for you to go around manipulating others. ―You scratch my back and I‘ll scratch yours!‖ Let‘s stop taking advantage of people for our own selfish ambitions. God wants us real: real Furthermore. We need to get away from living out the slogan. And. They may even get upset if they‘re not assisted in starting their own church or something else on a grand scale. is a common manipulative technique using positive reinforcement. I‘m glad you asked! These personality elements have so much to do with faith. He never wanted for you to become so cunning that you seek to manipulate Him. & Familiarity: Backscratcher Appeal to flattery is a specific kind of appeal to emotion. Not just in what we say.C. Superficial charm. He‘s not excited with us. Of course. then you‘re correct. really right. See.I. the pastor‘s. etc. More importantly. When we fail to do that. and let‘s be more willing to genuinely support them in their progression in life with no strings attached. ―What does all this have to do with faith in God?‖ Well. then it‘s a good chance your actions will be off. we can even be viewed as a T. Now. Like it was said earlier. It may manifest itself as flattery. The "charm" is entirely insincere. honest with ourselves. ―God looks at the heart. Sometimes. really in love with Him. real compassionate givers. as Christians.
Now. babesiosis. I know you‘re wondering what in the world am I getting you into. constitute the Acarina. Let‘s face it.I.) Oh my. ehrlichiosis and Tick-borne meningoencephalitis.90 Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that are often found in tall grass and shrubs where they will wait to attach to a passing host. Weak or elderly dogs.C. emerging from cracks or crevices located in the woods or even inside a home or kennel. A tick will attach itself to its host by inserting its chelicerae (cutting mandibles) and hypostome (feeding tube) into the skin. we‘re getting somewhere! When we hear the word ―tick‖ a specific thing comes to mind. & Familiarity: T. Obviously. heartless. Foolishness.Faith. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases. now! Basically. But. tularemia. If we look at the abbreviations T. along with other mites.C. tick-borne relapsing fever.I. If we add a ―k‖ on the end of it we get the word tick. Colorado tick. it‘s pretty straight forward. inconsideration goes so much deeper than simply rudeness. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites). a T. although they may drop from their perch and fall onto a host.I. Ticks do not jump or fly. puppies. it spells out the word tic. let‘s look at the T.91 Physical contact is the only method of transportation for ticks.I. Tick is the common name for the small arachnids in the super-family Ixodoidea that. similar to the ―tic tock‖ sound of a clock.000 at a time. So.C. and insensitive towards the desires or respectfulness of others. and occasionally reptiles and amphibians.I.C. See. 17 The Inconsiderate Christian (T. The hypostome is covered with recurved teeth and serves as an anchor. label one more time. as well as anaplasmosis in cattle and canine jaundice. living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals. birds. where infestations of "seed ticks" (the six-legged stage of newborn ticks) can attack in numbers up to 30.C. label is not just limited to a selective group of rude Christians. including Lyme disease. Seed ticks also attack 113 . some Christians are rude and have attitude problems. and cats are particularly endangered and can die from anemia from a sudden influx of seed ticks92. a clock‘s sound has little or nothing to do with being inconsiderate. Some species stalk the host from ground level. Q fever. It is known as being thoughtless.
suffering from headaches/massive migraines. cattle. but can attack a host at any time. struggling with family issues from stress. Unfortunately. drying them with the towel he had around him. lions and other mammals. various diseases. In other words. horses. Ticks can detect heat emitted or carbon dioxide respired from a nearby host. Once their goal is met. we notice that a tick is an unwelcomed parasitic creature. My. Moreover. wrapped a towel around his waist. When a Christian promotes a self-centered attitude of inconsideration. 114 . Too many godly leaders are like the CEO. they‘re content. In hindsight. It‘s almost like a CEO of a mayor corporation who seeks record sales for this quarter. they‘re realistic versions of tiny vampires. just as long as they get there. So they cost! overwork their employees tirelessly in order to gain their projected profit. Frequent grooming and chemicals for control may control the spread of seed ticks and adults. you may tend to take advantage of them for your own fancy solely because you have striving for perceived greatness almost at any the power to do so.93 Mature ticks are easier to see and can be removed with care. causing anemia. So he got up from the table. Such infestations can be difficult to detect until thousands have attached themselves to an animal and eradication can be difficult. and gives no regard to the harm it inflicts on an animal. my. paralysis and even death. Christian leadership sometimes evoke this type of operational behavior. and poured water into a basin. Ticks are more active outdoors in warm weather. They overuse people with little to no regard to the ● ● ● people they‘re using up. if the CEO could‘ve arrived to their desired goal without severely paining their employees that would indeed become the new ideal system for their company. in pain. It is selfish in behavior. greatness had nothing to do with success but more with effectively ―serving. took off his robe. moose. When Too many Christians are people are at your beck and call. and are now bitter towards their job and family.94 Changes in temperature and day length are some of the factors signaling a tick to seek a host. my. But. it feeds off of the blood of the animal. they correlate well with the tick.95 From the information provided. but this may take several days. In His perception.Faith.C. & Familiarity: T. Foolishness. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet. Jesus had an entirely different approach to greatness.‖ (Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. Too many Christians are striving for perceived greatness almost at any cost! They‘re not really concerned with who they have to walk on in order to get there. ● ● ● they fail to realize all the employees who are left ill. They will generally drop off the animal when full. highly aggravated.I. In some cases ticks will live for some time on the blood of an animal.
Wow. he put on his robe again and sat down and asked. didn‘t mind resulting to the status of the least.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. many people (in a leadership position) have read this scripture and never fully grasped the concept that was being implied. And since I. “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord. “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash. 115 . Moreover. but He literally served (not only in speech but also in action). When Jesus came to Simon Peter. I wonder if you would have served disciples who were like that. who was the greatest of all. crusty. Jesus. He didn‘t mind getting physically down and dirty in ministering a point. It was the key example that we were to follow towards one another. God will bless you for doing them. Lord. fail to protect Him properly.” After washing their feet. & Familiarity: T. I tell you the truth. who would shrink in fear. but also picking up the towel. Foolishness. but to eventually live in a way where they would become comfortable washing each others‘ feet. work with me here.’ and you are right. adamantly deny ever knowing Him.” Simon Peter exclaimed. John 13:3-17) NLT Look at that. except for the feet. you ought to wash each other’s feet. He served disciples that He knew would abandon Him in His greatest time of need. He didn‘t just talk about serving.Faith. are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied. “Lord. and even betray Him. and dusty feet. I‘m imagining! Not many leaders would line up for that job opening. Now that you know these things. Do as I have done to you.” Peter protested. and still struggle with fully believing in His divinity (before His resurrection). That is what he meant when he said. especially if the pay was for free. “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied. as well as picture Jesus giving an intricate pedicure while ministering. And you disciples are clean. “You don’t understand now what I am doing. Jesus was such a great example of not only talking about the towel. your Lord and Teacher. C‘mon.” “No. not just my feet!” Jesus replied. Disciples. Now. “Then wash my hands and head as well. Peter said to him. “Not all of you are clean. because that’s what I am. have washed your feet.I. I have given you an example to follow. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. “Unless I wash you. but not all of you. Goodness. Jesus saw serving as something so great. or rather allowed them to fend for themselves. slaves are not greater than their master. He wanted His disciples to not just recline while getting their feet washed. you won’t belong to me. but someday you will. to be entirely clean. I can imagine foul-smelling.C.
I also give you a kingdom so you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.' But you must not be like that. Who is more important: the one sitting at the table or the one serving? You think the one at the table is more important. serving the lowest of the low (while still in a leadership position) will render a much more desirable outcome. But. Committed individuals will be more eager to follow your servitude and not so much your impressive status. and those who truly stand in need of our assistance.C. "You have stayed with me through my struggles. "The kings of the non-Jewish people rule over them. we put ourselves in a position of callousness towards others. but I am like a servant among you. 116 . And you will sit on thrones. Luke 22:24-30) NCV I can guarantee that assertively leading in an inconsiderate way will eventually lead to less people following after you and more people complaining about you. But Jesus said to them. We have a wonderful opportunity to be God‘s hands and feet to this world---through a compassionate heart of servitude compassion. in turn. and the leader should be like the servant. I can guarantee that assertively leading in an inconsiderate way will eventually lead to less people following after you and more people complaining about you. the hurting. Now. Just as my Father has given me a kingdom. Foolishness.Faith. ● ● ● If a Christian leader wants their people to be saturated with a spirit of servitude. When we take on the demeanor of The Inconsiderate Christian. & Familiarity: T. the greatest among you should be like the youngest. there is another side to this coin---heads or tails? One could be so intent on not being inconsiderate that go to the opposite extreme and tirelessly start catering to the Christian who easily cracked. This is not the way Christians who are operating by faith in God should carry themselves. they should look at Jesus‘ example in depth and follow suit. and those who have authority over others like to be called 'friends of the people. judging the ● ● ● twelve tribes of Israel. Instead.I. But. we should genuinely have a heart for the poor. (The apostles also began to argue about which one of them was the most important.
―A Christian can be cracked and has eggs?‖ Absolutely! Believe it or not. Foolishness. I had to feed you with milk. who comprise about a fifth of the population. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 1 Corinthians 3:1-3) NLT Furthermore.96 This is a specific trait with key consequences that in the past has often been confused with innate shyness. may process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous system. or even social phobia 117 Christians should suppress their feelings. social anxiety problems. it‘s a very common theme within today‘s church. & Familiarity: Eggshells 18 Please. because ● ● ● you weren’t ready for anything stronger. highly sensitive people. I’m not saying that Christians prefer to crawl in life like little ―babes in Christ. when I was with you I . (Dear brothers and sisters. one may be wondering. It‘s as if many Now. sensitivity has become a cliché within the church. but instead they should refuse to be dictated to by them. inhibitedness. A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high sensitivity (or innate sensitiveness as Carl Jung originally coined it). Aron and colleagues as well as other researchers. According to Elaine N. not with solid food. Cracking can be referenced to breaking under pressure and eggs can be identified as delicate feelings. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. Numerous Christians lack the necessary backbone and fortitude to stand ● ● ● up to everyday problems on a consistent basis. Don‟t Crack My Eggshells Here.Faith.‖ couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. and so many Christians are being recognized as highly sensitive (and that not in a good way). for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. And you still aren’t ready.
Aron describes the opposite end of the spectrum. introversion. anything lied! Those present thoughts in your mind that suggest “Life is no longer worth living” are all lies! ● ● ● Dr. insecurities. that is. Polish and you wouldn’t amount to Danish. and fearfulness may or may not be acquired by highly sensitive people and animals. A number of books have been written on the topic. acts without reflecting very much. held. Okay. Dutch. & Familiarity: Eggshells and innate fearfulness. It posits that shyness. too many Christians have become overly sensitive to their personal feelings. inhibition.100 Let‘s face it. "the opposite of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is a person who takes many risks.97 The existence of the trait of innate sensitivity was demonstrated using a test that was shown to have both internal and external validity. and struggles. I‘m aware that we all fall daily as Christians but it‘s another thing when one doesn‘t want to immediately get back up. and so on. and given a pass (whenever they fall) way too often."99 She also cites studies involving other animals ranging from mammals to houseflies and goldfish. You can‘t even accidently pass by someone without saying hello. It‘s almost as if several Christians are fine with wallowing in their pain. PhD Whoever told you that which is in English. "hypervigilance". Japanese. They readily wear their feelings on their sleeves. The term "highly sensitive person" was coined by Dr. Coach Eva Gregory and "The Highly Sensitive ● ● ● Person's Survival Guide" with forward by Elaine Aron and "The Highly Sensitive Person's Companion" by Ted Zeff. Foolishness.‖ 118 . God wants us to eventually grow up…not become perfect…but grow up! Not only that. "chronic cortical/cortisol arousal". the trait is present in nearly all higher animals. Other names used to describe the trait in literature include "introverted emotional temperament".Faith. Suddenly. God would rather connect with that title words like ―more than conquerors. Aron in 1996. depending on environmental challenges. too many Christians want to be catered to too much. French. they become offended and feel brutally hurt---on the inside. Offense should be rarely connected with the title Christian (Psalm 119:165). and "innate shyness". Elaine N. They want to be caressed. for example "Help Is On Its Way" by Jenna Forrest. which is endorsed by Psychologist Elaine Aron and Author. and the name is gaining popularity because it presents the trait in a positive light.98 Although the term is primarily used to describe humans. An HSP who is an HSS (High Sensation Seeker) also will find ways to have lots of new experiences. but won't take a lot of unreflected-upon risks.
thus we walk] not by sight or appearance. your works are wonderful. See. with trust and holy fervor. We notice that most church services. Feelings come and go! Depending on the circumstance. to date. Ladies. Psalm 139:14) NIV Coincidentally. I realize that many of you have been through a lot. but simply based on the way we‘re both built inwardly. we shouldn‘t be so fragile towards dealing with issues in life. Romans 8:37) AMP As Christians. even if you don‘t feel beautiful. Commonly. God never spiritually crafted us to be so over-sensitive wherein we carry on in life as damaged goods. Besides. Therefore. when a church service is sentimental. when one highlights this area of over-sensitivity a gender disparity usually breaks forth. those buttons just become more exposed. I know that full well. If you are weak in your witness for God. but instead they should refuse to be dictated to by them. to divorce. to abuse. God wants us to be led by faith in Him and not merely by our feelings! (For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things. emotional. to rejection. this is the very reason why I chose to dedicate the rest of this chapter to all the beautiful Christian women in the world. the devil knows what buttons to push to help break you down. and hearing---our emotions. are filled with more women than men. he just taps into it not quite as often as a woman does hers. smell. See. I‘m not saying that Christians should suppress their feelings. but He grafted and created us in a manner that‘s wonderful.‖ We should walk by faith in God and not by our physical touch. and highly sensitive with slow music and a moving message it‘s no surprise that that service mostly caters more to a woman. or even neglect. But. We both use diverse parts of our brains differently. women usually tend to be a lot more sensitive than men. & Familiarity: Eggshells (Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him who loved us. Now. (I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 2 Corinthians 5:7) AMP Another way of defining sight in this scripture is ―our sensory makeup. seeing. God is more than able to heal you from every 119 . that is not the testimony of most Christians. A man has a sensitive side. taste. we should stand boldly against them and look to overcome them. Foolishness. It could range from molestation. This is not necessarily a bad thing. you can be happy one moment and sad the next.Faith. Unfortunately. Look.
Seek to find all your inner strength only in God and nothing else---not in validation. money.‖ So. If no ever says ―I love you‖…God truly does (He showed it with His arms outstretched on a cross long ago and is still showing it to you daily)! Always remember. Always remember. If no one ever says ―you‘re beautiful‖…God notices your beauty. Stop being so sensitive with anger and jealousy towards those who seem better than you. ―Hurting people usually hurt people. & Familiarity: Eggshells emotional scare. You‘re better and bigger than that green-eyed monster called jealousy. Whoever told you that you wouldn‘t make it lied! Whoever told you that you wouldn‘t amount to anything lied! Those present thoughts in your mind that suggest ―Life is no longer worth living‖ are all lies! The ones who rejected you in the past missed out on someone extremely significant! Seek to forgive those who painfully hurt you and remember that. sex. You will always be significant to God! You were so significant to Him that He was willing to die for you. Don‘t make His death seem in vain by holding onto dreadful insignificance. Know this. God still values you significantly regardless of who else doesn‘t! You no longer have to give your body away for cheap sex. or who are more accomplished. and hold none of it back. Look in the mirror everyday and know that if no one ever tells you ―you‘re ● ● ● special‖…God sees you as special to Him. God has NEVER forgotten you! ● ● ● Allow the world to see all the beauty that you possess inside.Faith. beauty. or show disgust to every man in the world in order to gain some sense of significance. as well. they need to be healed. God has NEVER forgotten you! You don‘t have to have everyone around you walking on eggshells. The skies are the limit. Foolishness. etc! 120 . assertively climb the corporate ladder.
culprit is more in the It is our responsibility. It has a clever way of trapping us in various forms of sin that we should obviously avoid. espising the shame.Faith. is one accused of a crime. On the prisoner at the bar pleading not sinful action that keeps guilty. but that doesn‘t mean they can‘t live imprisoned. We‘ve already addressed the ● ● ● correlation of feelings to faith. what about ungodly influence to faith. generally. showing that issue had been joined. the words of faithfulness towards were taken as forming one word addressed to the prisoner.101 God. The term is used. But. ―What in the world are those?‖ When we hear the word culprit we commonly think of a perpetrator or wrongdoer. and prit or prest: unnecessary weight and Old French: ready. looking unto Jesus. See. this opens up another can of worms. ungodly influence is something that can easily hinder one from successfully operating by faith in God. of one guilty intentionally put off of an offence. the clerk of the crown answered culpable. and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. & Familiarity: 3 Culprits 19 The 3 Culprits The 3 culprits. let us lay aside every weight. context of being problematic or the basic cause. and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. the author and finisher of our faith. Foolishness. A culprit. to under English law properly the prisoner at the bar. 121 . In origin the word is a combination of two every single Anglo-French legal words. The words "cul prist" us from running with strong stamina our lives were then entered on the roll. and states that he was ready (prest) to join issue. Some Christians may not feel like prisoners. culpable: guilty. as Christians. In this case. who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. and the sin which so easily ensnares us. since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. ● ● ● (Therefore we also. When French law terms were discontinued.
boldly and unashamed. Jesus is the greatest example of someone who fully lived out this feat. and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires. For all that is in the world---the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]-these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. & Familiarity: 3 Culprits For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself. 1 John 2:15-17) AMP No matter how much we may enjoy a worldly way of living. we should be more ashamed in casually committing the sin. we need to free ourselves from the culprits that would keep us from operating by faith in God. lust of the eyes. The ideology of these 3 is impetuous. but the influential evil desires that the people are prone to giving into. in other words. As mentioned earlier. astringent. lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. ● ● ● The 3 are the lust of the flesh. It‘s not necessarily the people. And the world passes away and disappears. We should always be aware of the enemy within…the enemy inside of me! ● ● ● (Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world.Faith. But. we tend to view sin as a bad word. Hebrews 12:1-3) NKJV It is our responsibility. the lust) of it. 122 . there are 3 central culprits that hinder our faith walk. and the devil persuades us to employ them often---they‘re all even inside us. Or. and the pride of life. love for the Father is not in him. but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever. and overwhelmingly egotistical. it‘s more than just a bad word---it‘s a bad action. Instead of being ashamed to converse about sin. to intentionally put off every single unnecessary weight and sinful action that keeps us from running with strong stamina our lives of faithfulness towards God. themselves. within the world. we need to be cognoscente of the realization that the world‘s impulses are full of corruption. These all give their allegiance to the world‘s system that rejects submission to God‘s authority. I realize that in this day and time. Foolishness. If anyone loves the world. as Christians.
godliness. 2 Peter 1:3-7) NIV We should always be aware of the enemy within…the enemy inside of me! Let‘s take a closer observation into these 3 internal culprits one by one. so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. perseverance. For this very reason. and to knowledge. knowledge.Faith. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises. and to godliness. brotherly kindness. and to perseverance. 123 . & Familiarity: 3 Culprits (His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Foolishness. and to self-control. and to brotherly kindness. love. make every effort to add to your faith goodness. self-control. and to goodness.
enmity... pulpy portion of a fruit. meat. sects with peculiar opinions. and the like. It is considered detrimental on so many fronts. the soft. this substance or tissue in animals. Foolishness. weight. etc. indecency. consisting of muscle and fat.)102 Each of these prior definitions are very accurate when giving some description of the flesh but these are not the only definitions. skin. sorcery. Now. anger (ill temper). living creatures generally. vegetable. as distinguished from the core. divisions (dissensions). strife. The flesh that is at the forefront of this matter is the part of an individual that is sinful in nature. But. Indeed. just as I did previously. envy. heresies). shell. skin. just like our other observations. you are not subject to the Law. etc. when you hear the word flesh your physical skin comes to mind. muscular and fatty tissue. I warn you beforehand. viewed as an article of food. drunkenness. we have to first lay a foundational understanding on exactly what the flesh is. selfishness. fatness. usually excluding fish and sometimes fowl. jealousy. impurity. carousing. the surface of the human body.Faith. Idolatry. a person's family or relatives. party spirit (factions. Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality. & Familiarity: Flesh 20 Lust of the Flesh The lust of the flesh is often viewed as a complex fixation. that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. if you‘re anything like me. Galatians 5:18-21) AMP 125 . (But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit. this is a popular definition of the word flesh – (the soft substance of a human or other animal body.
(Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it. and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. and we are all subject to its control if we fail to withstand against it. For all the law is fulfilled in one word. Galatians 5:13-18) NKJV The apostle Paul gave a more personal rendition of how detrimental the flesh can be to one‘s life. having died to what once restrained and held us captive. even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 26:4041) NKJV (For you.Faith. Here is his personal dialog: (When we were living in the flesh (mere physical lives). but through love serve one another. Everyday you wake up the flesh is fighting for your allegiance and even while you‘re asleep it‘s still trying to get its way. lest you enter into temptation. you are not under the law. He experienced overwhelming agony in seeking to live righteous in comparison to living unrighteous. So now we serve not under [obedience to] 126 . and the Spirit against the flesh. Foolishness. but the flesh is weak. brethren. the sinful passions that were awakened and aroused up by [what] the Law [makes sin] were constantly operating in our natural powers (in our bodily organs. so that you do not do the things that you wish. in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh). so that we bore fruit for death. have been called to liberty.” But if you bite and devour one another. and these are contrary to one another. only do not use liberty as an ● ● ● It doesn’t matter how saved you think you are the flesh can rise up in you at any given moment of weakness. The spirit indeed is willing. It doesn‘t matter how saved you think you are the flesh can rise up in you at any given moment of weakness. But if you are led by the Spirit. “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray. beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit. We have to be on guard against its power of influence. ―The flesh is a mess!‖ Indeed it is. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit. and said to Peter. ● ● ● opportunity for the flesh. & Familiarity: Flesh Many Christians have coined the slogan.
killed me. in order that through the commandment sin might be shown up clearly to be sin. having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin. covetousness). that the extreme malignity and immeasurable sinfulness of sin might plainly appear. [For instance] I would not have known about covetousness [would have had no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said. but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal. it is no longer I who do the deed. For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled. & Familiarity: Flesh the old code of written regulations. but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. For sin. We know that the Law is spiritual. beguiled and entrapped and cheated me. that is. seizing the opportunity and getting a hold on me [by taking its incentive] from the commandment. Foolishness. For I know that nothing good dwells within me. However. and [each] commandment is holy and just and good. unspiritual]. But when the commandment came. got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust. but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].Faith. [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. in my flesh. if it had not been for the Law. but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish. Did that which is good then prove fatal [bringing death] to me? Certainly not! It was sin. What then do we conclude? Is the Law identical with sin? Certainly not! Nevertheless. and using it [as a weapon]. but quite apart from and unconscious of the Law. I should not have recognized sin or have known its meaning. Once I was alive. finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself]. But sin. You shall not covet and have an evil desire [for one thing and another]. Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire. I can will what is 127 . working death in me by using this good thing [as a weapon]. For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing]. sin lived again and I died (was sentenced by the Law to death). bewildered]. The Law therefore is holy. And the very legal ordinance which was designed and intended to bring life actually proved [to mean to me] death.
] For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do. We have to put on the Lord Jesus (His attributes. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ. and attitude) and not cooperate with the flesh‘s desire for our lives. (Let us walk properly. Yes. we can realize that the only solution in freeing us from this sinful bondage within is the power of God implanted through Jesus. Romans 7: 5-25) AMP From this example. to fulfill its lusts. O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I. Romans 13:13-14) NKJV I know we have seen shows or cartoons where an individual would be faced with contemplating a rigorous decision. but no power to carry it out. But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. the flesh needs our cooperation and wants to convinces us that its point of view is always correct. but I cannot perform it. but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]. we can‘t overcome the flesh‘s power over us until we‘re completely surrendered to God‘s power within us. Should they do this or do that suddenly races through the recesses of the mind. So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good. not in strife and envy. serve the Law of God. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right. & Familiarity: Flesh right. Now if I do what I do not desire to do. Foolishness. it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts]. focus. not in lewdness and lust. evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. 128 . For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. as in the day. of myself with the mind and heart. In other words.Faith. but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. but with the flesh the law of sin. and make no provision for the flesh. not in revelry and drunkenness.
We already know what‘s coming next. Talking to yourself can. There‘s some real pertinent truth here. ● ● ● You shouldn’t just allow anything to flow through your mind but it should rather be filtered. People do this more often than they would care to admit. the individual is not crazy and this is not just an apparition from a cartoon or television show. to be locked-up in an insane asylum. No. at times. You shouldn‘t just allow anything to flow through your mind but it should rather be filtered. Nearly as hindering as the lust of the flesh is the lust of the eyes. be a good thing because you have to take control over your thoughts. or be viewed as peculiar just because you‘re dealing with the flesh. & Familiarity: Flesh The shows and cartoons actually paint the picture well. the angel figure will whisper thoughts relaying a positive point-of-view in handling the ordeal and the devil figure will also whisper thoughts but relaying a negative point-of-view. 129 . The latter of the two views is similar to the flesh‘s working within our lives. ―talking to yourself…only sane people do it!‖ There‘s actually a good time and place for it. ● ● ● This is the way I say it often.Faith. Foolishness. They will have an angel figure who looks similar to the individual pop up on one shoulder and a devil figure who also looks like the individual pop up on the other shoulder. You don‘t need a straightjacket. Believe me ladies and gentlemen it‘s perfectly normal.
molluscs. Foolishness. From more complex eyes. the mind will try to reach for something that it already recognizes. It is almost common for the eyes to reflect beauty and confidence but on other occasions reflect timidity. Many believe that you learn a lot about a person by piercing deeply into their eyes with one strapping glance. without the inherent bias of their previous knowledge. When people view something with a preconceived concept about it. The eyes show hurt. Image-resolving eyes are present in cnidaria. makes up what we see when we look at things that we don‘t comprehend. do nothing but detect whether the surroundings are light or dark. which is sufficient for the entertainment of circadian rhythms. Our eyes are fascinating creations commonly referred to as the most sensitive parts of the body. retinal photosensitive ganglion cells send signals along the retinohypothalamic tract to the suprachiasmatic nuclei to effect circadian adjustment. chordates. pain. and fear. dread. All of this is reflected around the eye‘s perception.Faith. A person‘s knowledge creates his or her reality as much as the truth. and 96% of animal species possess a complex optical system. This problem stems from the fact that humans are unable to understand new information. annelids and arthropods. and glee. The processes of perception routinely alter what humans see.104 Our eyes are known as the windows to our souls.103 The simplest "eyes". and send electrical impulses along the optic nerve to the visual and other areas of the brain. such as those in unicellular organisms. But. and disappointment as well as courage. That which most closely relates to the unfamiliar from our past experiences. in order to process what it is viewing.105 131 . amidst all this wonder one has to understand that the eyes can easily work against us. because the human mind can only contemplate that to which it has been exposed. When objects are viewed without understanding. they tend to take those concepts and see them whether or not they are there. determination. They can be used as diabolical tools for wicked activity. Complex optical systems with resolving power have come in ten fundamentally different forms. & Familiarity: Eyes 21 Lust of the Eyes Eyes are organs that detect light.
It‘s a visual desire and perceived gratification that‘s wrongly motivated. etc. & Familiarity: Eyes This confusing ambiguity of perception is exploited in human technologies such as camouflage.Faith. Some common forms of these are: Greed or Coveting (unquenchable desire to be satisfied or wanting someone‘s things) Pornography (hidden intent of a physical nature to momentarily apprehend someone sexually in an imaginary manner or to literally see someone else apprehend someone sexually for an erotic sensation) Hatred on Sight (malicious desire to issue harm to another based on visual contact) Dwelling on Negative Images (viewing of ungodly images through movies. for example by Peacock butterflies. perceptions lead to fantasies and imaginations of what could be or what later eventually will be. He‘s challenging us to be so serious against looking at wrongful things that we will hostilely cut them off from our hearts.106 Simply put. and every high thing 132 . recent touch perception research Robles-DeLa-Torre & Hayward 2001 found that kinesthesia based haptic perception strongly relies on the forces experienced during touch. Matthew 5:27-29) NIV Jesus gave us an aggressive tactic here but was not necessary wanting for us to literally gouge out our own eyes. Foolishness. Perceptual ambiguity is not restricted to vision. This becomes a problem when perceptions are negative or false. with the purpose of meditating on them for detrimental behavior) The Bible gives us specific tactics in overcoming the lust of the eyes: (You have heard that it was said.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Those type of perceptions lead to the lust of the eyes. television. and also in biological mimicry. but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. For example. 'Do not commit adultery. gouge it out and throw it away. Basically. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right eye causes you to sin. we immediately turn away from looking at things that cause us to employ an ungodly or lustful imagination (in this case sexual adultery). whose wings bear eye markings that birds respond to as though they were the eyes of a dangerous predator. ((For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.) Casting down imaginations.
The scissors is the alternative action. one has to pickup the scissors. aspect within the police. For the greed example. Let‘s go back to our examples above.W. stands for Special Weapons And Tactics and showcases paramilitary expertise from the elite of the elite. The sword is yet another word for the Bible. and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. God‘s Word should be hidden within one‘s heart in order to keep them from sinning. & Familiarity: Eyes that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. When greed is enticing you one should tactically cut it off. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6) KJV Our battlefield of spiritual warfare is centered in the mind. Psalm 119:11) NIV 2. imagination. What does all this mean? Exactly. when your obedience is fulfilled. Hebrews 4:12) NKJV (I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.A.T.W.A. Even. S.Faith. God‘s Word can refashion your mind in the redirecting of your eyes. When pornography is attacking you one should tactically cut it off. better. For the opposite sex alluring you example. Foolishness. For the pornography example. one could live in a semi-depraved area (filled with happy/contented people) for months at a time in order to see that real joy has little to do with the accumulation of more things. piercing even to the division of soul and spirit. Well. and of joints and marrow. First off. When I think of this concept in full validity I come up with the realization of the S. and high thing (hallucinating fantasy) that would seek to exalt itself above what we know God desires of us. and sharper than any two-edged sword.T. and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Our lives should eventually be filled with so much obedience to God that disobedience is rarely an afterthought and is put aside due to our adamant actions of obedience. when it comes to dealing with your eyes being connected to ungodly thoughts you have to utilize tactical expertise. We must imprison (forcefully capture) each and every thought. when the opposite sex comes alluring you one should still tactically cut them off. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience. how does one commence the cutting? That‘s a good question! 1. the scissors could be installing pornography-blocking software on your computer or rarely being apart from a strong accountability partner. Secondly. (For the word of God is living and powerful. the scissors could be giving away money in order to benefit people in need or. the scissors could be to spend many hours romancing your spouse or look at the opposite sex from a real 133 . one has to pickup the sword.
one has to do the alternative action---Walk away. this has to become a pattern. made in the image of God. give the money. Foolishness. Now.Faith. dreams. goals. let‘s go on ahead and deal with this colossal culprit called---PRIDE! 134 . But. one has to actually commence the cutting. etc. a habit. This way many of the healthy actions become second nature and are set on automatic like a reflex. we‘re not talking about just doing the action once or twice.).(the actual person on the inside with feelings. and install the software. In layman‘s terms. a heart. Thirdly. quote the scripture. 3. & Familiarity: Eyes internal viewpoint and not just as a sexual object --. a lifestyle. Eventually. etc.
receiving of gratitude. status. More important than any trophy/plaque. We all desire to feel special in some kind of way and want as many people as possible to notice that specialness. Jesus decided to look out for our interests as His priority and we should be willing to return the favor. Our lives shouldn‘t be so wrapped up in ourselves but should extend to reaching out to others. or medal is God‘s unfading love for us. Nothing‘s wrong with appreciation. sum of money. eat bugs. right! We‘re responsible for our own success. Foolishness. Christians are now becoming easily sucked into this fiasco. and future. Sadly. and be ridiculed just to show how serious they are in being willing to identify with your plight? How many people would have chose you first when you chose them last? Not many people would agree to those terms. Those 15 minutes of fame and its ideology is convincing people to sell themselves short just for a fleeting opportunity. ● ● ● Moreover. People will even make a fool of themselves on a television show in front of a national audience.Faith. They too want the same accolades and recognition the world so intently goes after. & Familiarity: Pride 22 Pride of Life Egotistical appreciation is a driving force for several people and a pat on the back usually tends to be a desired goal from a ―wanna be‖ bigwig. What many Christians fail to understand is the fact that God has already valued them so highly. we simply take that love for granted! How many people will choose to die a brutal death on your behalf? How many individuals will give up their riches. but would rather look out for their own interests. we live in a day and time where fame is the relentless pursuit of the masses. Most of us have a wrong perspective about our role on this planet. and accomplishment but we have to be cautious with caring too much about receiving those qualities ● ● ● disproportionately. We‘re that dot in the center and everything else should revolve around us because it‘s OUR LIVES. as well. right! Wrong! 135 . But. or create scandal all in hopes of becoming famous. For some apparent reason we feel that we should be at the center of attention. suffer. Most of us have a wrong perspective about our role on this planet.
who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself. Don't worry about tomorrow. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of them. 136 . Then the other things will be yours as well. When we exemplify this type of attitude we epitomize respectable humility. Your Father extend to reaching out in heaven knows that you need all of these. your life to Him is not yours but actually His. put God's work first and do ● ● ● what he wants. plan. and shoulders tilted back. God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields. or wear. for God bought you with a high price. Don't worry about having something to eat. Isn't life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't work hard to make their clothes. You‘re simply supposed to follow His lead. chests stuck out. It will take care of itself. This dog-eat-dog prideful/selfish ambition has become a ruin to many. (I tell you not to worry about your life. It‘s church against church and pastor against pastor. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. & Familiarity: Pride God has this bizarre idea that He‘s responsible for your life. drink. and direction. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) NLT „You get yours and I‟ll get mine‟ has been a condescending and worldly stance in the church for far too long. We need to stop commonly having our noses hoisted high up in the air. So you must honor God with your body. You have enough to worry about today. Better yet. Aren't you worth more than birds? Can worry make you live longer? Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. Foolishness. Matthew 6:25-34) CEV (Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.Faith. "Will we have anything to eat? Our lives shouldn’t be Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any so wrapped up in clothes to wear?" Only people who don't know God ourselves but should are always worrying about such things. more than anything else. even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. But to others. They don't even store grain in barns. we should have our heads bowed down and hearts submitted to God thanking Him for graciously choosing us. He will surely do even more for ● ● ● you! Why do you have such little faith? Don't worry and ask yourselves. Rather.
It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud. casting all your anxiety on Him. If all you want is your own way." James 4:4-6) MES (Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. that He may exalt you at the proper time. & Familiarity: Pride (You're cheating on God. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. Foolishness. 1 Peter 5:6-7) NASB Now. because He cares for you. God gives grace to the willing humble. you end up enemies of God and his way. flirting with the world every chance you get. let‘s check out the ‗N‘ word…! 137 .Faith.
within one‟s Christian life there should be no free options for sin. He has given you the ability to live out His requirements also with His strength! So. the ‗N‘ word is a resounding ―NO!‖ When the lust of the flesh. who‘s involved with us being tempted? Who ignites these wicked passions and evil desires within us to come alive? The answer is pretty obvious for the Christian. this is not an easy task but it‘s a required task. When I say. and he doesn't use evil to tempt others. It‘s the devil! 139 . and sinker. One shouldn‘t say. and when sin is finished with us. Not only that.‖ One should realize that God has required so much from you. ―the ‗N‘ word‖ I‘m not talking about a matter of race but a matter of requirement. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Foolishness. line. As Christians. I‘m not going to go off on some racial or civil rights tangent. Let‟s get real. it leaves us dead. ―What‘s the use. James 1:13-15) CEV We do realize that God is not the one tempting us and has nothing to do with the temptation. See. & Familiarity: The ‘N’ Word 23 The „N‟ Word Don‘t get alarmed. (Don't blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil. We have given into the bait---the bait of sin. He‘s not arousing our sinful desires. if God has given you His requirements along with His strength to carry out the requirements then why don‘t we carry them out? What‘s the problem here and what‘s causing us to give into sin so easily? The issue is ourselves and we have to own up to the fact of the matter. Our desires make us sin. lust of the eyes. Yes. or pride of life want their way with you one has to be firm in rejecting their impulses. It‘s become a self-deceiving habit that controls us hook. He‘s not luring us into sin. So. today I‘ll just give into sin and do at this moment whatever I feel like doing regardless of how wrongful it may be.Faith. He‘s not leading us do to wrong things. we have to deal with ourselves in a way that‘s much more exemplifying of Christ Jesus and not our own sinful inclinations. We just want to do what we just want to do! We‘ve become so comfortable with telling our sinful nature „yes‟ time after time again.
c‘mon. We should be alert and thinking soundly. c‘mon…Hang your friends out to dry and just cover yourself with some made-up story. Come near to God and he will come near to you. as Christians. that ye may be able to bear it. because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion. as well. seeking whom he may devour. but will with the temptation also make a way to escape. 140 . to God. He provides alternative solutions in helping you not sin. c‘mon…Smoke as many cigarettes as you wish. (There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful. God will give you a way of escape. The problem is that we have to be willing to heed His solutions and not ours or the devil‘s.. The scripture above never said anything about the devil only being God‘s enemy but he‘s your adversary. and he will flee from you. (Submit yourselves. 1 Corinthians 10:13) KJV Let‘s discover an essential and missing element to faith that so many Christians seem to lack. The scripture also said for us to be sober. c‘mon…Lie to your employers and over exaggerate your importance. Resist him. we need to draw close to God during those times of temptation and forcefully resist the devil (all of his whispering thoughts).‖ The devil rarely ever shuts up! He‘s like a talking parrot or broken record. steadfast in the faith. He puts anything and everything in our path hoping for us to yield to it. he doesn‘t want you saying ―No‖ but only your full cooperation. ―Look at that pornographic website. James 4:7-8) NIV Finally. & Familiarity: The ‘N’ Word (Be sober. In that case. who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. you double-minded. you shouldn‘t be cooperating with him but rather resisting him. But. Foolishness. how should we deal with the devil? For starters.Ignore the good advice of your parents. We‘re not invincible. then. you sinners. even with the temptation. be vigilant. knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. Resist the devil. We should be paying at least some attention to the fact that the devil is out to mess us up. The sole thing on his agendas is to get you to say ‗Yes‘ to sin. 1 Peter 5:8-9) NKJV Wait a minute…you mean to say the devil is real! Absolutely! Not only is he real but he really doesn‘t like you. c‘mon. you know! He wants our downfall and he wants it bad.. c‘mon…Drink a lot of that alcohol in order to forget about your problems. Wash your hands. and purify your hearts. c‘mon…Cuss that man out in traffic. c‘mon…Divorce your wife and leave her for your mistress. Believe me. He hardly has any other agenda at all---that‘s the primary one. c‘mon…Have a mistress or another lover.Faith.
our cells phones have the capabilities to connect you with anyone anywhere at anytime in a matter of seconds. we are in the 21st century where fast and even faster are the names of the game. I wonder where we‘re going next because I already feel that technology is already spinning out of control. I‘m introducing it to some and simply presenting it to many. we have dealt with the ‗N‘ word. We even now have instant food. we no longer even have to flush the toilet or turn on the faucet at a public restroom because (in the sense of saving time) it‘s done for us automatically. & Familiarity: Missing Element 24 Indeed. Not to mention. People are even impatient at the drive-thru window at a fast-food joint. Goodness. Indeed. Also. display a television show. With no further ado. It‘s there for the taking and can tremendously help carry us along in our faith in God. I realize that we‘re in a time and place where everything is instant. and text a friend all before I could write this page. we have finally exposed the 3 unique culprits silently hindering our faith-walk. This element is not necessarily an element of surprise but it‘s usually set right before us. You pop the package into the microwave and like magic it fully cooks in a couple of minutes. surf the net. Or. Our job is to be willing to operate in it. An Essential and Crucial Missing Element So. if the meal for 5 isn‘t hot and ready to go in 15 seconds once the car rolls around to the window the driver is raving mad. Let us rediscover a missing element that has been ignored for far too long. 141 .Faith. Foolishness. drum roll please…and the element is… -PATIENCE!I know many of you aren‘t very excited to hear about this element but it deserves your full and undivided attention. how about the upgraded television (along with its devices) that can show you what‘s happening on over 300 channels as well as allow you to record plus pause one thing in one room and instantaneously finish watching it in another.
Many factors can lead a person down the road to impatience. Foolishness. & Familiarity: Missing Element Needless to say. more intense therapy and retraining may be necessary. The more stress a person feels. and things to do. For people with chronic impatience. We have places to be. Impatience can lead the impatient person to snap at others in response to questions or requests. Our to-do plates are so full it‘s almost as if there‘s not enough time in the day. It is not wimpy but rather built on resolve and internal strength. quick judgments. Impatience can cause a person to cut others off mid-sentence and to make what appear to be uninformed. Recognize Your Impatience Triggers The first clue to unlocking your impatience lies in knowing what has caused it. Strategies and triggers for recognizing and dealing with patience/impatience: A tendency to be impatient is considered a major personality flaw.body language. which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset. facial expressions.Faith.107 What it is not? Patience is not hastiness. For these people. People who suffer from severe impatience are often considered to be arrogant. what are your impatience tells . impatience. especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. If it‘s all a matter of patience then what is true patience? Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances. or exhibiting forbearance when under strain. the more likely they will be to react impatiently to additional requests for time. we are not the most patient of people. One of the biggest causes is stress. controlling their impatience depends on learning what their impatience triggers are and learning to recognize the signals that patience is about to be lost. people to see. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. It is not dictated by immediate gratification but more a sense and capability of having delayed gratification. or impetuousness where you need to get your way immediately. or wording you use most when reacting impatiently? 142 . Some people are lucky enough to only suffer from impatience when their impatience triggers have been pulled. Impatient people generally know that they suffer from impatience. Ask people who know you. Impatient people are not considered to be good managers or leaders for a company. Impatience is considered to be a career stopper for many major corporations. Follow these simple steps: 1. and overbearing. insensitive.
A supervisor confronted with a subordinate who isn't "getting it". Slow down your responses. Parents counting to ten when confronted with a difficult parenting situation. you need to take action to compose yourself. even if you aren't feeling it. Keep a journal logging your reactions to certain situations. While knowing what pulls your trigger is a huge part of the battle in overcoming your impatience. 4. The idea is to get your point across without causing a loss of self esteem. This will give the appearance of patience. As a manager. you will learn factors that can lead to your reacting impatiently in situations. mentally count to ten. Become aware of your reactions to different situations. Overcoming Your Impatient Responses By following the steps above. then emotionally remove yourself. Once you start paying attention. By learning how to control your impatience. By not giving in to your urge to instantaneously react to a stressful situation. If possible. In these situations. you will enable others to approach you in situations where you would have been unapproachable in the past. controlling your impatience can 143 . As you start to recognize those situations that lead to you losing your patience. If you cannot physically remove yourself. remove yourself from the situation. Force yourself to speak more slowly and in a lower octave than you might otherwise speak in times of stress. prepare for what is a stressful situation for you. Reward yourself for a patient response to a situation where you might have reacted impatiently in the past. Is there hesitancy or fear in their approach to you? Do you make others feel uncomfortable. Give the person you are speaking to your attention. Do not be forming your response to the person before they have finished speaking. Practice active listening. and start over. 2. Which situations led to you feeling the most impatience or reacting most impatiently? 3. Steps that you can take when confronted with a patience-losing situation for you are: 1. & Familiarity: Missing Element 2. Gauge the reactions of others to your interaction with them. and how good it felt to not overreact to a situation. for anyone. it is by no means the end of the war.Faith. you will be amazed at how easily you recognize the signals of your build up toward impatience. Make eye contact and try to restate what you have been told. and keep yourself from visibly losing your patience. is communication between you twoway? 4. by not reacting rashly. you may find that the situation isn't as bad as you thought and did not necessitate such a reaction. Foolishness. may need to back-off. 3. Recognize the effort you have made. are attempting to distance themselves emotionally. more productive results may occur.
The Book of Proverbs note that "through patience a ruler can be persuaded. NAB). & Familiarity: Missing Element inspire others to react calmly during times of high pressure. NIV). NIV). but imitators. NIV).. In the Christian Bible. NAB). gentleness and self-control. temperance. diligence. kindness. rather. (But we do [strongly and earnestly] desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity [all the way through] in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development of [your] hope until the end. and patience is better than pride" (Ecclesiastes 7:7-9. the Bible states that "Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life". kindness. behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power. Hebrews 6:11-12) AMP Patience involves you not having a give-up-attitude knowing that no matter what comes your way you‘ll still get through it and on to your destination. faithfulness. charity. the Bible urges Christians to be patient. wisdom. and a gentle tongue can break a bone" (Proverbs 25:14-16.. always seek what is good for each other and for all" (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15. patience. In the Epistle of James." (James 5:7-11. it is one of the seven virtues. and "see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth.107 In addition. 144 . Ecclesiastes points out that the "end of a matter is better than its beginning. In Galatians. This form of patience is better known as perseverance.until it receives the early and the late rains. patience is listed as one of the "fruit of the Spirit": "love. joy. alongside chastity. See that no one returns evil for evil. and Thessalonians states that we should "be patient with all. patience is referred to in several sections. (Galatians 5:21-23. (1Timothy 1:15-17. goodness. and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises..108 What does the Bible have to say about patience? In the Christian religion. NIV). Against such things there is no law". Increasing patience is viewed as the work of the Holy Ghost in the Christian who has accepted the gift of salvation. patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life. and humility. In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards.Faith. While patience is not one of the traditional biblical three theological virtues nor one of the traditional four cardinal virtues. patience is so connected with faith that God rarely gives you what He‘s promised you apart from it. In Timothy. peace. It can also help to improve your managerial image. Foolishness.
He reiterated the woman‘s actions on continual prayer and determined consistency even in spite of obstacles. “who neither feared God nor cared about people. esp. he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns. steadfastness. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” Luke 18:1-8) NLT God is a strong supporter of an attitude of perseverance and giving up is not a part of His repertoire and shouldn‘t be a part of ours. or discouragement. ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy. will wear a hard rock hollow. “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. “There was a judge in a certain city. The Bible also highlights the work of perseverance as a needful thing. (One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. Here are some quotes on patience/perseverance to encourage and inspire: “Water. Jesus was pointing out how persistent we should be towards our faith in God---mainly with prayer. Even if He takes a long time to act on our behalf we should still come to Him with hopeful expectancy and faithful trust. Jesus let us know that God isn‘t unjust but desires for us to have a ‗never give up‘ attitude towards Him.’ The judge ignored her for a while. but finally he said to himself. in spite of difficulties. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly. tenacity. a purpose. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you. a state. obstacles. I’m going to see that she gets justice.” he said.109 It is the sister to patience and both work together hand-in-hand. pertinacity imply resolute and unyielding holding on in following a course of action. continually dripping.” Plutarch “It's not that I'm so smart.Faith. & Familiarity: Missing Element Perseverance is steady persistence in a course of action..” Albert Einstein “We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough. Foolishness.” Helen Keller 145 . but this woman is driving me crazy. ‘I don’t fear God or care about people. saying. etc. it's just that I stay with problems longer. because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Then the Lord said. doggedness.
Genius will not. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. Stand up eight. .” Michael Jordan “All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second. for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. the world is full of educated derelicts. Education will not. Talent will not. Foolishness.” Dag Hammarskjold “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.” Ted W. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first.Faith.”110 unknown 146 .” Harriet Beecher Stowe “The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground. I've failed over and over and over again in my life .” Ralph Waldo Emerson “Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else. a third.” Calvin Coolidge “I've missed more than 9. .000 shots in my career. unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. never give up then. Many a man had taken the first step.” Japanese proverb “Only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road. Engstrom “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you.” Brian Tracy “The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory. And that is why I succeed. & Familiarity: Missing Element “Fall seven times. till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer. I've lost more than 300 games. and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line.” Thomas Edison “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Observation Three 147 .
The Issue of Familiarity 148 .
The subjects who heard the list with famous female names said there were more female names than there were male names. Thus the familiarity heuristic shows how "bias of availability is related to the ease of recall."1 Recent studies have used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that people use different areas of the brain when reasoning about familiar and unfamiliar situations2 This holds true over different kinds of reasoning problems. and the other half had famous male names. here we go…holding nothing back…in exploring familiarity." Tversky and Kahneman created an experiment in order to test this heuristic. The first group was shown a list and asked to recall as many names as possible. Foolishness. Many mainstream Christians are not highly sure of this term familiarity. These two similar but dissociated processes provide a biological explanation for the differences between heuristic reasoning and formal logic. 149 . The Familiarity heuristic stems from the availability heuristics which was studied by Tversky and Kaheman. The availability heuristic suggests that the likelihood of events is estimated based on how many examples of such events come to mind. The second group was shown a list and asked to determine if there were more female or more male names. They devised four lists of 39 names. the subjects who heard the list with famous female names recalled more female names than male names. They showed the lists to two test groups. Half of the lists had famous female names. The opposite is true for lists that had the famous male names. Thus the familiarity heuristic is defined as "judging events as more frequent or important because they are more familiar in memory. So. What does it mean? How is it related to faith? Does it have anything to do with faith that is memorable? Is it something solely common to God‘s likes/dislikes? Who‘s acting familiar…us or God? Questions galore can resonate through a many of minds seeking to somehow figure out what exactly is implied by this term. Familiar situations are processed in a system involving the frontal and temporal lobes whereas unfamiliar situations are processed in the frontal and parietal lobes. & Familiarity: Issue of Familiarity 25 The Issue of Familiarity To the vast majority of people perusing through this book this very topic may be the reason why this book presented itself bewildering yet intriguing. Similarly. Each list contained 19 female names and 20 male names.Faith.
Faith. faith is based on an element of not completely knowing the full totality of exactly how things will transpire. only in Greece Scholarship on the familiars has changed and improved in depth and respectability since it was covered in the demonological contexts of early modern Europe. Familiars are most common in western European mythology. The visual cues were choosing a picture of a butterfly (attractive) when the subject thought the face was familiar.3 As one can see here. faith is the substance of things hoped for but the evidence of things that are not seen (or momentarily physically intangible). When an individual has failed to come into prior knowledge with something hoped for they can‘t become familiar with it. Familiarity makes a lot of sense but is lacks validity in the area of faith in God. history. See. throughout Western Europe divinatory animals. in his article on the witch‘s familiar in The Encyclopedia of 150 . When we get away from what‘s commonly the norm we start to lose harmony with individuals of familiarity. Foolishness. Familiarity limits one to simply human intellect and welcomes distrust towards any concept based on intangibles. & Familiarity: Issue of Familiarity Monin (2004) showed that familiarity of human faces is based on attractiveness. The subjects were asked to rate how familiar the face was or was not using visual cues. James Sharpe. Familiarity is preconceived and has difficulty accepting something that has more of a foundation in the heart/soul rather then in the mind. In this study Monin showed his subjects pictures of faces. and women‘s studies. Individuals perceive that circumstances can be predetermined with prior cognitive contact. with some scholars arguing that familiars are only present in the traditions of Great Britain and France. This has been referred to as the warm glow effect. familiarity revolves around a mental commonality from one previous situation to a new or next situation. and choosing a picture of a rat (unattractive) when the subject did not find the face familiar. The result of this study was that the subjects were more familiar when the face was attractive regardless of prior exposure to the picture (or person) itself. The study of the familiars has evolved from an obscure topic in folkloric journals to popular books and journals that incorporate a historical discipline with multi-disciplinary approaches like anthropology. To go towards a drastic viewpoint of familiarity we can denote the concept of familiar spirits (called familiars). Great Britain and France maleficent animals. The warm glow effect states that positive stimuli seem more familiar because of the positive emotions they evoke in us. In these areas three categories of familiars are believed to exist:4 human familiars. As we‘ve learned prior.
They rather possess the personality. which has consistently contributed articles on traditional beliefs in England and early modern Europe. the soul. Her information concerning the familiar comes from witchcraft trials in Essex in the 1500s and 1600s. which were "creepy-crawly things that witches kept all over them". Another characteristic described by Malachi is that the familiar spirit entices the human spirit by appearing friendly and comforting when things go wrong. but the familiar spirit maintains a differentiated personality with those who attack. the 1582 Trial of the Witches of St. integrating feminist-historical and world-historical approaches. familiars do not possess the body. Murray published The Witch Cult in Western Europe. The only difference between familiars and demons are the specific ways in which a familiar possesses an individual.10 What I‘m seeking to do here is focus more on the concept of familiarity and not so much on familiar spirits so a detailed study on these spirits won‘t be covered in this book. Foolishness. the familiar was only superficially mentioned as "niggets". Through his account one is left with the unmistakable impression that these spirits are considered real by the Church and that they are no different than demons. Osyth.Faith.7 In 1921. Many of the sources she employs are trial records and demonological texts from early to modern England.9 In his book Hostage to the Devil. These include the 1556 Essex Witchcraft Trials of the Witches of Hatfield Perevil. thus developing a progressive dependence on the spirit and the diminishing reliance of one's individuality. the human affective relations and the psychological processes of a victim.6 Scholar Margaret Murray's work in familiar scholarship delves into variations of the familiar found in witchcraft practices. folklorists fired the imagination of scholars who would. Deborah Willis' Malevolent Nurture: Witch-Hunting and Maternal Power in Early Modern England links the witch's relationship with the familiar to a bizarre and misplaced corruption of motherhood and maternal power. When one limits their recollection of what God has done. 151 . states: "Folklorists began their investigations in the 19th Century [and] found that familiars figured prominently in ideas about witchcraft. in decades to come. & Familiarity: Issue of Familiarity Witchcraft: the Western Tradition. and is yet to do to merely familiarity a vast amount of problems can transpire. is doing. write descriptive volumes on witches and familiars. Let‘s take out a little more time in these next chapters to discover as well as investigate those very problems.8 Recent scholarship has become more multi-disciplinary. One example of the growth and development of familiar scholarship can be found in the scholarly publication Folklore. Jesuit and exorcist Malachi Martin described a purportedly real possession case in which a familiar spirit was involved. and the 1645 Essex Trials with Matthew Hopkins acting as a Witch-finder."5 In the 1800s. In contrast to demons. In the first decades of the 1900s.
on the very opposite end of that spectrum is the other extreme which is the Christians who are comfortable with operating in familiarity. God has no problem with change. Just keep it the same way it‘s always been in years past. growth. Christians comfortable with familiarity are hesitant on doing anything spiritually new. somewhat justifiably. that the Western allies wanted the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to fight it out and thereby weaken each other. In this case faith would be the appropriate and balanced middle ground. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the "buck". He presents to us new mercies faithfully every morning. was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. Joseph Stalin believed. Foolishness. But. Well. as the counter came to be called. 153 . France. The most notable example of this was the refusal of Great Britain. Look. frequently in frontier days a knife with a buckhorn handle. The latter expression is said to have originated with the game of poker. Passing the buck in international relations theory involves the tendency of nation-states to refuse to confront a growing threat in the hopes that another state will.11 The ideology correlates well with the issue of familiarity and faith in God. in which a marker or counter. For years many people have identified themselves with the commonality of the term and sometimes refer to it as ―buck passing. and progress. when it comes to radical godly actions which require firm boldness many Christians who cater to familiarity will be reluctant to act on those actions. or the Soviet Union to effectively confront Nazi Germany during the 1930s. Stalin effectively passed the buck to the Western allies for two more years. providing an opportunity for war.Faith. to the next player. It is also used as a strategy in power politics when the actions of one country/nation are blamed on another. When we spoke earlier concerning the Christians operating in the extreme of foolishness we indicated how problematic that operation was in light of a proper faith spectrum. until Germany launched an invasion of the Soviet Union. Never change a thing. By signing the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939. & Familiarity: Passing the Buck 26 Passing the Buck Passing the buck may sound a tad confusing to those unfamiliar with the term but it is actually a well known concept.‖ Buck passing or passing the buck is the action of transferring responsibility or blame onto another person.
“The LORD is my portion. 154 . Foolishness. or a digital camera is compacted but that doesn‘t hinder us from operating in all of those things. This group of individuals also has a popular friend---their name is tends to be Apathy. personally. It‘s about you placing your faith in God. or your friend‘s. Let‘s get away from reducing what God has been calling us to do to others---merely passing the buck. & Familiarity: Passing the Buck (Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed. sovereign. Because His compassions fail not.” says my soul. it‘s so much we don‘t understand about God but that still doesn‘t give us a right to pick and choose what we‘ll operate in through faith in Him. but instead He‘s dealing with you on doing it. If God desired for someone else to do it He would have dealt with them about doing that particular thing. God is omnipotent. your neighbor‘s. a cell phone network signals. “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24) NKJV Christians comfortable with familiarity have to not be so quick to limit their responsibility of faith in God to only what they are most comfortable with. They have to go beyond mere convenience and allow themselves to learn new things in God. Great is Your faithfulness. We have little to no clue on how a television is built. Likewise. Whatever He‘s prompting in your heart is your responsibility and not your pastor‘s. We should all be open to taking on anything God challenges us to be responsible for and not limit His power within us. and massively infinite in His mighty operations and shouldn‘t be limited to our finite understanding. They are new every morning.Faith. Faith in God is simply that---faith in God---and not translated to mean one should look to have faith in someone else to do the work God has meant for you to accomplish. We should be open and available to do whatever He may ask regardless if we‘re familiar with it or not.
Despite the title of this chapter.. dementia. Bipolar. it is a psychological problem for some depressed people.. They may also exhibit an insensibility or sluggishness. Many of them even advocate for one to join in with their apathetic behavior and think of the individual as strange or supercilious if they reject the offer. Schizoid. Parkinson's. really ―What is apathy?‖ Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference. or the suppression of emotions such as concern. In positive psychology. The opposite of apathy is flow. apathy is described as a response to an easy challenge for which the subject has matched skills. or physical life. and who do not "feel any excitement about seeing loved ones". progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Asperger‘s Syndrome. the "lack of will to go on and the inability to care about the consequences". general fatigue. excitement. motivation and passion. He describes depressed people who ". such as the killing or maiming of people during a war. or Huntington‘s. schizophrenia. Korsakoff‘s syndrome. It is also known to be associated with many conditions. or else an event such as a stroke. Pick‘s disease. He acknowledges that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not discuss apathy. excessive vitamin D. Chagas‘ disease. social. and others. apathy is not at all a person but more of a demeanor. dementia. & Familiarity: Apathy 27 Our Friend Apathy Christians comfortable with familiarity tend to be apathetic and have no problem introducing someone to their apathy. who "can't complete anything". Foolishness.cannot seem to make [themselves] do anything". Hypothyroidism. Alzheimer‘s disease. some of which are: depression. in which they get a sense that "nothing matters". 155 . Often. In a Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences article from 1991. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest or concern to emotional. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.Faith. Some medications and the heavy use of drugs such as heroin may bring apathy as a side effect. Huntington‘s disease.12 John McManamy argues that although psychiatrists do not explicitly deal with the condition of apathy. apathy has been felt after witnessing horrific acts. Dr Robert Marin MD claimed that apathy occurs due to brain damage or neuropsychiatric illnesses such as Alzheimer‘s. So.
"Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is. In glorifying him. When a Christian is apathetic it‘s like a slap in the face of God. he himself is glorified—glory all around! "Children.Faith. Romans 12:9-13) NASB 156 . it is apathy. contributing to the needs of the saints. give preference to one another in honor." From this perspective we notice the dangers of having an apathetic attitude but when it comes to faith in God there are even more significant dangers. devoted to prayer. The moment God is seen in him. Jesus said. abhor what is evil. cling to what is good. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. An apathetic individual doesn‘t even bother too much to help themselves much less anyone else. serving the Lord. as some are in the habit of doing. you love one another. This attitude is so indifferent to having a caring heart and encourages a nonchalant stance in life.' "Let me give you a new command: Love one another." John 13:32-35) MES (Let love be without hypocrisy. (And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. & Familiarity: Apathy Marin argues that apathy should be regarded as a syndrome or illness. but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. God's glory will be on display. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. and God seen for who he is in him.13 A review article by Robert van Reekum MD et al. That‘s a problem to God because He‘s called us to deeply care for and about one another. Foolishness. rejoicing in hope. You are going to look high and low for me. you are not able to come. Let us not give up meeting together. I'm telling you: 'Where I go. But just as I told the Jews. practicing hospitality. not lagging behind in diligence. Hebrews 10:24-25) NIV (When he had left. In the same way I loved you. from the University of Toronto in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry (2005) claimed that "depression and apathy were a package deal" in some populations which may help illustrate what people mean when they say that "The opposite of love is not hate. persevering in tribulation. I am with you for only a short time longer. fervent in spirit.
faith. & Familiarity: Apathy Many Christians become apathetic in their faith-walk due to an array of issues. life. Now a somewhat differing attitude to apathy is passivity. Regardless of whatever has happened to them that should still not be a good enough reason to give up on people. or endured some other form of personal pain. pain. It‘s known as just as bad as apathy but with a bit more acceptance. or even God. Let‘s get onboard the passivity ―Choo Choo‖ train to discover where it takes us in correlation to our faith in God. hope. cares.Faith. and concerns. 157 . They could have had a bad experience with the church (hurtful religious experience committed by other Christians) early on in life. He still cares for us and wants the apathetic Christian to come to Him with all of their hurt. He‘s waiting to embrace them with open arms of compassion and forgiveness looking to heal every single internal pain that they may still be experiencing. been rejected/mistreated by individuals in spiritual authority. Foolishness.
& Familiarity: Passivity 28 The Passivity “Choo Choo” Train Get your ticket and get on board because the train is leaving soon. think about the first thought that comes to your mind. When we here the sound choo choo we understand. I know many of you are all grown up now and don‘t use words like that anymore. If there's something that stops you from performing that action.Faith. laziness. Understand why you tend to act passive. For passive individuals stagnancy is too often welcomed on a long and drawn out basis. ―I‘m not going anywhere. somewhere in the by-and-by. or you're always waiting for someone or something to give you a "push" or ―kick‖ in the behind before you act? Being too passive might be preventing you from taking life in the direction you'd like to see it go. lack of encouragement from other people. The passive person will eventually get around to completing a task some day. but never having the courage to get it done? Are you tired of feeling too weak to do even the most basic things? Does it seem like something always stops you from doing what you want. Choo Choo is a beckoning call for railroad productivity throughout our nation constituting ongoing business/passenger mobility. You may ask. negativity. a train is on the move and unlikely in stopping so it‘s best we quickly get out of its way simply allowing it to pass. Here are some ways to overcome passivity and make your own way in the world. lack of necessary means. Passivity has various causes: lack of willpower. but when it comes to passivity one‘s mobility has to be strongly encouraged into action. Let me begin by presenting some questions: Do you often find yourself wanting to do something. at sometime. what train are you talking about?‖ Well. One of the hardest things to do for someone passive is to first get them into motion. Foolishness. 1. Notice the subtle differences between these 159 . Think about the way you tend to act when you're about to do something. even from childhood. Yes. lack of hope. I‘m referring to the ―choo choo‖ train. They don‘t mind sitting on the seat of ―do-nothing‖ kicking back and relaxing for as long as it takes. Let‘s explore more what passivity is all about.
If you think "I can't do it because doing that thing requires having something that I don't have". You feel you're not able to do something without getting help from others.. like convincing yourself to do the laundry today and not waiting until tomorrow or studying for 15 minutes for an important 160 . It never does. Willpower is that ability to control your thoughts and actions in order to achieve what you want to do. then you don't receive enough encouragement from other people. o o o o o If you think "It doesn't work. the harder it is for you to do something. you lack hope. Gain willpower... you're the one that makes it happen. Foolishness. Convince yourself to do something right when it occurs to you. the consequences are always bad. the more you practice it. & Familiarity: Passivity causes. You always think that no matter how good an action is in itself. convincing yourself that if something bad can happen. You build up scenarios in your head. you lack the necessary means to do it. If you think "I can't do it by myself. You think that just because you couldn't do something in the past. Willpower is an ability you gain only by practicing. You can gain it by following your impulses and being spontaneous. and there's nobody there to support me". It can be an objective point of view... o o Choose "Now or Never" as your motto from now on. if something is meant to happen. If you think "I know I can't do it. or not. you are just too lazy to do it! You strongly believe in destiny and think that. and for what? It's not worth all the effort. I'd rather not change anything than risk an even worse result". then you are being negative. The more situations you find yourself in. regardless of what you do to achieve it. 2. it surely will. sometimes these causes are combined. it will. you can't do it in the present either. Beware. Some people truly lack the means to do something. the more you enjoy it and find reasons to practice it further. Things will turn out well anyway". but others just aren't willing to work to achieve it. And here we go to the next reason. it probably won't work now either". the ability to go for your dreams and do what you really want to.Faith. so there's no point in trying in the first place". Start by achieving short term goals. It's very effective in gaining more courage to do things. and imagine that otherwise something bad will happen. then you lack willpower. You just can't gather enough will to do it. even if you're actually able to do that thing. If you think "It requires too much effort.. If you think "It won't end up well. in other words. forgetting that you've gathered more experience by now and that you can't predict whether something works or doesn't work.
you reward yourself with a chocolate bar. 4. Get motivated. For example. and focus on achieving them. Think about your greatest wishes and picture having them fulfilled. no TV for you this evening. When it does happen. Try some little. you can move on to something bigger. like moving to a place you've always dreamed to live in. Set a time limit if you must. or o losing those 20 pounds that keep you from having the body you want. Foolishness. Even if the person can't do much to help you. Constantly aiming somewhere sustains your motivation. but very useful mental exercises: when you know there are high chances that something will happen. You have willpower. Practice this often. o Set some reasonable goals and some rewards and auto-punishments for them too. wish for it. you have hope. 161 . There must be someone that's close to you and you can trust. Tell them what kind of support you need. Sometimes it feels better just to have somebody who understands and supports you. and if you don't. This makes you feel more motivated to achieve your goal. and therefore improves your hope. Set some goals you want to achieve. it increases your expectations that something will happen. just knowing you're not alone makes you feel better. and "punish" yourself if you don't. Gain hope. Stop convincing yourself you can't do something before trying. After you'll be able to accomplish these little things. and you feel like you could do more. you can never know how things will turn out. 5. if you finish your homework before 18:00. but it's very useful in gaining more hope. or whatever big dreams you may have. not just moral support from them.Faith.now all you need is a reason to do something. & Familiarity: Passivity test. whether it's due to thinking about the delight of the reward or the fear of punishment. if you have to. It may sound stupid. Reward yourself if you eventually accomplish the goal. 3. some people won't understand that just because you talk to them about something you want actual. 6. you'll feel better just for knowing that you were right. speak to them about your wishes and expectations and tell them you want them there for you. Ask for help if you need to.
don't hesitate and start working to acquire them. don't dream about being the best basketball player ever if you're short or making more money than Bill Gates if you're dirt poor. The human mind wields extraordinary power. it's easier to accept everything right as it comes rather than make an effort to influence it. Whether we've resigned ourselves to a bleak future or nurtured a seminal. What IS important? Realizing that people who are better at organizing their lives are better at influencing their fate. they weren't born already elected. & Familiarity: Passivity Be more positive. and try to acquire it. Understand what you need in order to do something. Other than luck and haphazard circumstance. The saying 'be careful what you wish for' (or. but there are ways to improve your luck. you know. teamed with a willingness to 'pretend' we're committed to reaching useful goals. Foolishness.Faith. Don't shoot for the stars. for example. Luck is nothing to count on or factor into any mix. Unless the whole Universe is conspiring against you (and it isn't). You may not be the luckiest person around. But persisting in this mentality can lead your life in the wrong direction. buried in debts. even for walking you need to move your legsnothing can be done without effort. Get off your butt. we can control our futures. our ability to envision ourselves making good choices. being a couch potato won't get you anywhere. until the pretense becomes familiar enough to evolve into enthusiastic habit. Don't be surprised if after 10 years you'll end up broke.any brilliant politician. If you don't have the means to do something. and having to sell your precious TV to pay the bills. had to climb up to the top. too. That's pretty obvious. but they're still achievable.all this because you didn't move a finger to improve your life! Don't leave your whole life in fate's hands. Any action requires a minimum effort. is a pretty solid recipe for becoming that person we've spent such time and effort convincing ourselves was not a possibility. the odds are overwhelmingly in our favor--meaning we reap what we sow. Be realistic in your expectations. positive actions will more often than not have positive results. o Stop living your life according to Murphy's law. Of course. 9. 162 . Understand the power of the selffulfilling prophecy. single/divorced. 8. realize that all the people that are renowned for something they had done in their lives didn't have it all from the very beginning. The simple fact is that we become what we anticipate. for example. life-changing belief in our power to fashion a positive future. Stop worrying so much about everything and thinking that things won't end up well. be careful what you assume) comes in handy here. 7.
bold. they usually put them off. every human being is good at something. assertive and persistent in your tries. 12. it's understandable why you act passive. Ask a member of the household to constantly remind you to do some regular activities. you'll start doing those things just to avoid being pestered by that person. you will be tempted to make other changes. If you have no life. They don't have to be impressive CVs. If you can't convince yourself to do something.14 163 .Faith. Knowing that you just have to be somewhere at some hour forces you to become more disciplined in your schedule. Get to know the positive side of change. It's the most disciplinary thing anyone can do. even a small activity like washing the dishes counts. & Familiarity: Passivity Be confident. anyone who is so bored with their own life lacks enthusiasm and livelihood. go out more often. If you're disciplined. o o o Sign up for something. Change makes our life less boring. makes us understand different lifestyles and different points of view. Be strong. it's very annoying. Passive people often don't do things right at the time they should be doing them. 13. try a new hobby. But that's precisely the point. of course. allows us to experience new things. 11. making us lively and energetic. You need to believe in yourself in order to achieve what you want. Foolishness. Don't judge yourself too harshly. Never think you can't do something (unless. 10. Become more disciplined. Join the Army (or other armed force) if you think you can handle it. Anything. gets us out of trouble and refreshes us. Make a list of all your past achievements. You have to be warned by now. Try spicing up your life a little. Make your life less boring. it would be useful for you to be forced to do it by external circumstances. nobody has ever done it before you and there's no certainty you can do it). you have a lower chance of failing to do what you want/have to. Once you get to enjoy one major change in your life. get a new social life.
164 . because it has so much to do with faith in God! Faith is a word that ignites action. You can‘t passively go about your daily Christian life. and become highly pleasing to God. & Familiarity: Passivity So what. I‘m glad you‘ve asked. without being actively faithful in your commitments.Faith. When God directs you to do something like Nike‘s slogan ―just do it!‖ Don‘t procrastinate by beating around the bush but rather show some initiative and refuse to shrink back into operating in sluggishness coupled with a hint of fear. you‘re a little passive and maybe even a lot passive but someone would ask. ―What in the world does this have to do with faith in God?‖ Well. Foolishness.
When we hear the word ―boo‖ it immediately implies a sense of panic. But. A Christian operating in familiarity is extremely fearful and hesitates to launch out in faith in nearly any endeavor. 2 Timothy 1:7) AMP Even when we‘re facing daunting odds where our lives may be on the line in a death-related situation God still doesn‘t want us operating in this type of fear. Faith in God evokes confidence to rest in God‘s power in helping you breakthrough any barrier---and His power alone. In the Batman saga we meet the distraught Harvey Dent better known as ―twoface‖ who wears a split personality/appearance on his face where one side is the honorable Harvey Dent and the other side is mangled/evil Two-face. They almost see fear as paralyzing and too strong to overcome. & Familiarity: BOO! 29 BOO! Fear is one of the most crippling feelings known to mankind. Faith produces resilient boldness in an individual to see hurdles as jumpable and mountains as climbable. This is not what God desires for us as His children. A better way of putting it is that faith is fear‘s kryptonite (Superman correlation).Faith. Some people are afraid of even their own shadow and accept fear‘s power over them as convincingly unmanageable. See. Since we started a comic book theme here (with the Superman correlation) let‘s continue from that premise. (For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice. believe it or not. Well. but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. It‘s all about perspective and. fear is a choice. of craven and cringing and fawning fear). 165 . faith is a key tool used in conquering fear‘s stance in our lives. the face of fear that‘s evil is the one most familiar Christians overwhelmingly acknowledge---they reluctantly yield to flight. fear has many faces and familiar Christians tend to gravitate to the wrong face of it (unhealthy fear). He has nothing to do with this sort of fear and doesn‘t want us terrifyingly submitting to it. But. faith paralyzes fear so fear can‘t paralyze you. Many people think it is uncontrollable and inherent. Foolishness.
clinching your bag tightly.15 Worth noting is that fear almost always relates to future events. Father. and failing to sleep soundly at night due to fear is not the life God intended for people of faith. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed. Experiences of fear can remain long after exposure in the unconscious mind. Fear should be distinguished from the related emotional state of anxiety. but this is not the only type of fear. whereas anxiety is the result of threats which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. such as pain or the threat of danger. Matthew 10:26-28) NIV More relevant than any of these is the fact that this kind of fear carries bondage with it imprisoning those who desire to be free in God. to something presently happening. It varies from mild caution to extreme phobia and paranoia. what is whispered in your ear. proclaim from the roofs. Romans 8:14-16) NKJV Let‘s look at some other aspects of fear. fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance. such as worsening of a situation. refusing to leave the house. It could get so terrifying that it‘s beyond unhealthy or it could be a mild cautionary type of fear that‘s sort of okay. speak in the daylight. & Familiarity: BOO! (So do not be afraid of them. “Abba. Fear could also be an instant reaction.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. This set also includes such emotions as joy. and Paul Ekman have suggested that fear is one of a small set of basic or innate emotions. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Additionally. and dread. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus. Rather. these are sons of God. (For as many as are led by the Spirit of God. panic. earlier I reflected concerns of an unhealthy version of fear which familiar Christians usually operate in. Fear is related to a number of additional cognitive and emotional states including worry. Fear can be described with different terms in relation to the degree of fear that is experienced. anxiety. and anger. Robert Plutchik. The balance between these two types is not always the easiest to find. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear. What I tell you in the dark. or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable. be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Watson. where they 166 . horror. Always looking over your shoulder. Now. Some psychologists such as John B. terror. but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out.Faith. sadness. Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. which typically occurs without any external threat. Foolishness. or hidden that will not be made known.
The mild cautionary fear rarely surfaces but detrimental unhealthy fear is always seeking to raise its ugly head. night terrors. & Familiarity: BOO! may then manifest as nightmares. Terror may overwhelm a person to the point of making irrational choices and atypical behavior. Terror is an acute and pronounced form of fear.16 As Christians we need to be keenly aware of what we allow our minds to feed on in relation to fear. It can also be caused by perceiving the object of a phobia. Distrust may occur as a feeling of warning towards someone or something that is questionable or unknown. best strength (His strength). delusions that one is in danger. 167 . Likewise. we must understand who we truly are in God and that He‘s greater than any and everything that would cause us dreadful alarm.). Also. Paranoia is an extreme emotional state combined with cognitions or. and may be compounded by social and become mass hysteria. It is an overwhelming sense of immediate personal danger. more specifically. Foolishness. and he in God. Distrust may serve as an adaptive. Some pathologies related to fear (defined by persistent and irrational fears) can include different types of anxiety disorders which are very common. in an even stronger form. usually in response to an unfamiliar or potentially dangerous person.g. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. but perfect love casts out fear… ● ● ● It is experienced as long-standing feelings and perceptions of being persecuted. ● ● ● There’s no fear in love. one may distrust the safety of a rusty old bridge across a 100-foot drop. For example. repeatedly doing something to gain trust in it. we have to firmly work our faith in God mainly in the area of His love for us in constantly giving to us His best (best gift (His Son).Faith. The experience of distrust can be explained as a feeling of mild fear or caution. one may distrust a stranger who acts in a way that is perceived as odd or unusual. Reassurance can usually dissolve a fear like this e. early warning signal for situations that could lead to greater fear and danger. Lastly. and also other more severe illnesses like the extreme phase of bipolar disorder and some kinds of schizophrenia. Paranoia is a term used to describe a psychosis of fear. or. This degree of fear may indicate that a person has changed his or her normal behavior in extreme or maladaptive ways. best future (His perfect plan for our lives). (Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. Fear may also be experienced within a larger group or social network. God abides in him. etc.
and God in him. because fear involves torment. Foolishness. so are we in this world. and he who abides in love abides in God. We love Him because He first loved us. because as He is. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. There is no fear in love. 1 John 4:15-19) NKJV 168 . but perfect love casts out fear.Faith. & Familiarity: BOO! God is love.
causing him to "become a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). in order to understand this in more graphic detail we have to go back to the perceived beginning---there was a man named Adam. there was not found "a helper suitable for" Adam (Genesis 2:20). The account in Genesis 2 records that God first formed Adam out of "the dust of the ground" and then "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life". & Familiarity: Fathers 30 Faith of Our Fathers Unhealthy fear has devastating effects to everyone involved. "Male and female created he them. "Adam" is a general term. He then brought every "beast of the field and every fowl of the air" (Genesis 2:19) before Adam and had Adam name all the animals. and blessed them. God then placed Adam in the Garden of Eden. Well. We realize the root is sin and this ungodly generational continuance is propelled by those who initiated the sin. giving him the commandment that "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.. were ceremonially separated from God. God blessed them to be "fruitful and multiply" and ordained that they should have "dominion over the fish of the sea. among all the animals. Yes. 169 . However. from where it came from.Faith.." (Genesis 5:2). this world is becoming more selfdependent and less God-dependent and this attitude is aggressively taking hold on the Church. and over the fowl of the air. and called their name Adam. there has to be a root from where a mind-set of familiarity first seeped in. Foolishness. formed a woman (Genesis 2:21-22). there‘s a concern in to how it‘s still growing stronger and more operable in many people. and lost their immortality after they broke God's law about not eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. According to Genesis 1. especially the Christians who are limited by familiarity. like "Man" and could refer to the whole of humankind. and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26-27). God then noted that "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18). This occurred after the serpent (understood to be Satan in many Christian traditions) told Eve that eating of the tree would result not in death. Also. and from that rib. and over all the earth. and over the cattle. subsequently named Eve. God (Elohim) created human beings. thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam and Eve were subsequently expelled from the Garden of Eden. But. so God caused "a deep sleep to fall upon Adam" and took one of his ribs.
and I was afraid. Instead of blaming previous generations for the state of the world we should look to be the catalysts in helping change the state of the world.17 So this gives us a viewpoint on how sin entered into the world and whether one totally believes it or not is not the focal point here. Adam and Eve hide themselves from God's presence (Gen. Furthermore. 3. monkey do‖ demeanor. even familiar Christians. Convinced by the serpent's argument. and misery. 3. destruction. Not only do we sin but our fathers sinned before us and there fathers sinned before them and there fathers before them. Foolishness. KJV).8). Adam's curse is contained in Gen. We have to get away from being so quick to follow the crowd. 3. God calls to Adam "Where art thou?" (Gen. 3. or to radically change for the better. KJV) and Adam responds "I heard thy voice in the garden. and hast eaten of the tree. knowing good and evil" (Gen. It becomes an inner fight and struggle to unlearn the tumultuous decision-making that has not only dominated your life but many of the lives of those who raised you. As a result. Maybe a better way of saying it is the “sins of our fathers. the trends. saying. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee. Adam responds that his wife had told him to (Gen. The focal point lies in the evidential fact that we still all sin and commit wrongful acts repeatedly. We can‘t be afraid to lead. the world.4-5). till thou return unto the ground. we can‘t continual on with a ―monkey see.11-12). to be the first. of which I commanded thee. Herein is the second sin that Adam committed. This epidemic is generationally woven into our humanistic fabric dating years back to Adam. the couple is removed from the garden (Gen. You and I.” The faith of our fathers gives a new spin on the title wherein the present generation is the fathers.7). and unto dust shalt thou return" (KJV). I refer to this ailment as the ―faith of our fathers. because I was naked.‖ Not faith that is present but rather lacking. It develops into behaviors that are clingy and difficult to do away with.23) (the Fall of Man) and both receive a curse.10. and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. resulting in their being "as gods. for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art. can (like Mohandas Gandhi‘s statement) ―be the change you want to see in the world.17-19: "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife.‖ We can start anew and help lead generations away from a life of sin into a life of faith. Then. finding God walking in the Garden of Eden. sin brings harsh repercussions with it joined by pain. the first being that he ate from the forbidden tree. Basically. Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake. in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. both immediately become aware of the fact that they are naked.Faith. & Familiarity: Fathers but in Adam and Eve's eyes being opened. The familiar Christian may be desperately trying to overcome a mind-set that‘s been ingrained into them throughout countless generations. 170 . and I hid myself" (Gen. and thus cover themselves with garments made of fig leaves (Gen. 3. or the wrong examples. Eve eats of the tree and has Adam do likewise (Gen.9. This is not done haphazardly but very intentionally. 3. 3. 3.6). When God then asks Adam if he had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a result of their breaking God's law. 3.
Monkey Do In order to truly be the change we want to see in the world we have to first be changed ourselves.). (You must follow my example.e. fortune. an alternative lifestyle. Foolishness. Jesus is our ONLY primary example worth following. I‘m actually referring to followers of everything/anything besides Christ. Individuality seems to be a fleeting concept when it comes to taking a stand for what‘s right. Moreover. & Familiarity: Monkey 31 Monkey See. ―Never let anyone do your thinking for you. Sadly though. When we look at most of the characters in the Bible we come across the common theme of unique individuality. This world is full of too many followers and I‘m not talking about followers of Christ. a self-centered pursuit. as I follow the example of Christ. street gang leader. Peter. fads. 171 . sometimes. The ol‘ folk used to say. many Christians have grown so accustomed to following after man specifically that it‘s almost looked at as idolizing. and Paul all lead in a different manner. Also. The more mature generation. etc. was basically implying for one to simply have a mind of their own. God created us so uniquely special and wants for us to be more eager to follow His lead rather than anyone else‘s. 1 Corinthians 11:1) CEV Paul referred not so much to following him but rather Jesus. Joshua. Samson. Many individuals have no problem revealing their individuality for the promotion of something deemed negative (i.Faith. we must learn how to effectively lead and stop being afraid to take the lead. even in our individuality we can. etc. No one was robotic in form with a single studied-example of their life to follow. a suicide bomber.‖ For some apparent reason this current generation of Christians just doesn‘t seem to get that sentiment. from past times. come off as copycats. Whoever is on top at the moment is who we eagerly follow. Paul was Paul and Peter was Peter. fame. We are so quick to follow after celebrities. This is a typical perspective of a Christian struggling with familiarity. trends. Moses was simply Moses and Samson was Samson. Paul understood that no one‘s priority should be solely limited to admiring the example of another‘s unique person. Moses.
1 Corinthians 3:3-11) NLT Let‘s dissect these scriptures. What’s It’s not about one important is that God makes the seed grow. Unfortunately. For we are both God’s popular than another. But whoever is building on this appropriate than the foundation must be very careful. Moreover. who is actually being praised here.Faith. Now others are worshipping more building on it. And you are God’s field. They may be powerfully used by God to help change lives but it‘s only God who makes the lasting change within the individual. “I follow Apollos. Worst off. Paul. but it ● ● ● was God who made it grow. Paul and Apollos are just followers themselves and (like you) their leader is Jesus. “I am a follower of Paul. I‘m not saying don‘t respect your leader or 172 ● ● ● . it is sinful and no different than people who can care less about God---this is how they act. is trying to get across to his many followers that arguing over picking and choosing favorites is petty. You are God’s building. But. everything should always stay centered on Jesus and nothing else. I have laid the or one ethnicity foundation like an expert builder. Plus. And both will be rewarded being better/more for their own hard work. It’s not important who does the planting. & Familiarity: Monkey (For you are still controlled by your sinful nature. one minister with the same purpose. workers. Foolishness. also. who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? After all. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. (it‘s like) they‘re both working for the same company or operating on the same team and not in competition with one another. Now. Because of God’s grace to me. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. today‘s church hasn‘t quite got that message because many Christians are in sole allegiance to their local church leader.” and another says. I planted the seed in your hearts. one local church being greater than the other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says. The spiritual leaders are the foundation allowing others to step on their shoulders. For no one can lay other---it’s ALL about any foundation other than the one we already Jesus! have—Jesus Christ. or who does the watering. The one denomination over who plants and the one who waters work together another. and Apollos watered it.
or one ethnicity worshiping more appropriate than the other---it‘s ALL about Jesus! Thirdly. You don‘t see Peter trying to get God to rescue him out of a lion‘s den or Daniel attempting to walk on water. we‘re tools as well and together we can build great things for God. highly noticeable. Secondly. & Familiarity: Monkey mentor but please don‘t think they‘re the only leader in the world worth respecting. one local church being greater than the other. This is not about having outstanding individual stats or praiseworthy accolades. and spiritually earth-shaking. Regardless of which role one may play the goal is still the same---win together as a team. and the eternal opportunity of salvation for the lost---all on a massive scale. Lastly. It should be gigantic. It‘s not about one denomination over another. they‘re just a tool/vessel and a tool can be used to serve the purpose it was crafted for at anyplace/anytime. one minister being better/more popular than another. 173 . Foolishness. We shouldn‘t be so caught up with seeking to worship like this one or preach like that one but be content with doing what God has called us to do the way He called us to do it. First off. I understand that we want to follow the best. one might not even play offense at all and their role is needed more on the defensive side. since we‘re all tools and on the same team then we shouldn‘t be in competition against one another. we should have such an expansive support system that the world can‘t help but feel our impact. Better yet. We can build hope in people‘s lives. Peter didn‘t mind being used as Peter (with his flaws and all) and Daniel didn‘t mind being used as Daniel (even as a youth). extremely effective. It makes us feel more important than we really are. One might be the running back and another might be the receiver. brightest. It brings for us a sort of distinguishable worth. One might play the position of quarter back. Better yet. help for hurting men. and biggest leaders because it somehow makes us feel a part of their status. we should remain comfortable in our own skin and run in our own lane. Or. elite validation.Faith. and strong sense of professionalism. too many Christian leaders are forgetting they‘re on the same team.
autonomy. supermodel. top athlete. such as those arguing against genetic research and algeny. and scientific discussions. & Familiarity: Too Dignified 32 The Professional. We‘re longing to be called something: doctor. president. just as long as it carries a distinguished title along with it we‘re okay. and thus is closely related to concepts like virtue. inviolable rights. 18. I‘m not indicating dignity as an unethical thing because it is very ethical. and is used to critique the treatment of oppressed and vulnerable groups and peoples.‖ But. and enlightened reason. International proclamations have thus far left dignity undefined. and political discussions to signify that a being has an innate right to respect and ethical treatment. The name of the game here is ―dignity. or even that they are failing to treat themselves with proper self-respect. While dignity is a term with a long philosophical history.Faith. the big wigs at the top don‘t even want to give you a fighting chance without you portraying some sense of distinguishable dignity. religious beliefs and ideals. many know the concept of the game and that is to ―climb the corporate ladder. vice president. legal. chief executive. It is an extension of Enlightenment-era beliefs that individuals have inherent. it is rarely defined outright in political. lawyer. self-respect. supervisor. dignity is garnering too much attention nowadays and the key problem is that many individuals are presently masking their insecurities with dignity. Part 1 – Simply Too Dignified Professionalism. animals used for food or research. human rights. manager. head chef. Dignity is generally proscriptive and cautionary: in politics it is usually synonymous to 'human dignity'. But. cite dignity as a reason but are ambiguous about its application. They 175 . and more professionalism is the direction this human race is vividly going in. and even plants. though in some case has been extended to apply to cultures and sub-cultures. Many are clawing hard to get to the top and gain a sense of worth professionally. 19 and scientific commentators. etc. It‘s almost as if they start to see themselves as the only ones who can do anything right.20 While in the rat race. In more colloquial settings it is used to suggest that someone is not receiving a proper degree of respect. I‘m referring to the fact that many are becoming ―too dignified‖ and that in an unbalanced way. professionalism.‖ Dignity is a term used in moral. Foolishness. respect. ethical.
chew that way. Why it‘s silly and just too impossible? Why it doesn‘t really make logical sense? Why they wouldn‘t do it or ● ● ● think like that? Yes. or disapprove of over-zealous praise and worship that‘s filled with tears or passion. When a particular local church is filled with 176 start to see themselves as the only ones who can do anything right. struggling with familiarity are prone to being faithless. They keep up with the traditional norms but oppose anything pulling on them to surrender more. walk out on an invitational call for salvation to get out of the parking lot early. Christians that are too dignified. They rarely give-in to being stretched in believing God for the impossible. The trouble with that is that no faith in God is required therefore God isn‘t pleased. as well. to come up to their level. Their faith in God comes off as being weak or over restricted. present. their professionalism has actually got in the way of their openness to God and vulnerability as well as compassion towards others. For many. They‘re not used to seeing people ● ● ● believe God‘s way and it splendidly works out for the person on a consistent basis.Faith. they don‘t even realize that‘s the advice they‘re indicating or implying. Most times. walk like this. They‘ll fold their arms in disbelief at a miracle. and so on and so forth. & Familiarity: Too Dignified have their own set of rules that‘s applied to the masses. They‘re not even used to seeing themselves believe God‘s way and it work out for themselves. unlike themselves. . They can inform you on why what you‘re believing God for won‘t work. God and Christianity to them are simply religious gesture wherein not believing is much more acceptable than believing. they‘re searching for their own true identity and fleeting sense of self-worth. They see themselves as the standard for dignity. familiar Christians firmly carry this same demeanor and demand other Christians. talk like that. or future situation. But. Foolishness.‖ In-spite of this type of behavior. Their confidence is in playing it safe and relying upon one‘s own human efforts. they‘re good people and want the best for you but they feel that God‟s way isn‟t necessarily the best way. Besides. these individuals continually stifle God‘s workings when the workings don‘t seem to be overwhelmingly dignified. Disbelief is not immune from their psyche and one of their mantra‘s are ―it doesn‘t take all of that. He is treated as inadequate or secondary in impacting an individual‘s past. Furthermore. Truth be told. Dress this way. down deep within. Sadly. discouragement comes into play a lot It’s almost as if they when one is dealing with an unbelieving believer. they still will hold to the tradition of church attendance coming faithfully to services and religious events.
the traditional religious view of church takes over and controls the people‘s attitudes for countless generations. They worship me in vain. broken lives are not expected to be healed. whenever their offspring observe a church/individual‘s passion towards God they consider that behavior peculiar or idiotic---even as Christians themselves who should be devoted to honoring God and not being ashamed of Him.‖ Great workings of God are not anticipated on being performed. Foolishness. their teachings are but rules taught by men. as it is written: " 'These people honor me with their lips. So. & Familiarity: Too Dignified excessively dignified Christians the church is labeled as ―a dead church. (So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus.‖ 177 . but their hearts are far from me." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! Mark 7:5-9) NIV Another part of professionalism that‘s often operated by familiar Christians is the syndrome I refer to as the ―business suit attire. "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. Not only that.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men. "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?" He replied.Faith. and hearts are no longer fully-yielded to personal transformation.
with increases seen among African-Americans and Hispanic Americans as well as Caucasian Americans. with the five most common surgeries being breast augmentation. Personally. restoring it. I see it as a conformality of being sucked into the status quo. not pretty enough. too skinny. nearly 11 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States alone. the second largest market for cosmetic procedures. or enhancing it beyond the average level toward some aesthetic ideal. not tall enough. In Europe. people don‘t stop there and puts enormous emphasis on how well/tacky an individual dresses.2 billion dollar business. The number of cosmetic ● ● ● procedures performed in the United States has increased over 50 percent since the start of the century. Fit in or get laughed at. 179 .2 billion business. nasal surgery. right! Wrong! We so often judge one another by our appearance. Some individuals take it to the extreme so much that they advocate excessive plastic surgery. Part 2 – Business Suit Attire Image is everything.21 But. & Familiarity: Business Suit 33 The Professional. cosmetic surgery is a $2. Since one now looks supposedly appropriate it is only fitting for them to now dress as appropriate as their new look. Foolishness. You‘re too dark. ● ● ● In 2006. The increased use of cosmetic procedures crosses racial and ethnic lines in the U. eyelid surgery and abdominoplasty. too light.Faith.. Aesthetic plastic surgery involves techniques intended for the "enhancement" of appearance through surgical and medical techniques. Famed neo-soul singer India Arie penned it this way in reference to her hair: [Talking:] Is that India Arie? What happened to her hair? Ha ha ha ha ha Dat dad a dat da [4x] Dad a ooh Cosmetic surgery is a $2. This concept is so childish and so high school but many adults swear by it. Nearly 12 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2007. not thin enough. and is specifically concerned with maintaining normal appearance. liposuction.S. etc.
[Chorus] I am not my hair I am not this skin I am not your expectations no no I am not my hair I am not this skin I am a soul that lives within [Talking:] What'd she do to her hair? I don't know it look crazy I like it. ha ha ha ha [Verse 2] Good hair means curls and waves Bad hair means you look like a slave At the turn of the century It’s time for us to redefine who we be You can shave it off Like a South African beauty Or get in on lock Like Bob Marley You can rock it straight 180 .. Umm I wouldn't go that far. I might do that.. & Familiarity: Business Suit [Verse 1] Little girl with the press and curl Age eight I got a Jheri curl Thirteen I got a relaxer I was a source of so much laughter At fifteen when it all broke off Eighteen and went all natural February two thousand and two I went and did What I had to do Because it was time to change my life To become the women that I am inside Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone I looked in the mirror For the first time and saw that HEY..Faith. Foolishness.. I know ..
whoa. Foolishness. (Whoa. whoa.Faith.... whoa) Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity? (Whoa. whoa) Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? (Whoa. whoa) I am expressing my creativity. whoa) Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oooh (Whoa.. whoa) [Verse 3] Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy Took away her crown and glory She promised God if she was to survive She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh On national television Her diamond eyes are sparkling Bald headed like a full moon shining Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY. whoa. whoa. [Chorus 2x] [Ad lib] If I wanna shave it close Or if I wanna rock locks That don't take a bit away From the soul that I got Dat da da dat da [4x] If I wanna wear it braided 181 .. & Familiarity: Business Suit Like Oprah Winfrey f it’s not what's on your head It’s what's underneath and say HEY. whoa.. [Chorus] [Bridge] (Whoa..
This is perceived as definitive holiness. Many of these views on "standards" have roots in the larger Holiness movement.23 Generally. when the blood of Christ washes away all sin and a person stands before God truly holy for the first time in his or her life.24 Additionally. among other things. modest apparel and gender distinction. many Oneness organizations frown on their members watching television or secular movies. Oneness Pentecostals believe that a Christian's lifestyle should be characterized by holiness. Basically. Some Oneness organizations. its kinda PHAT I don't know if I could do it. men are enjoined to be clean-shaven and short-haired. Now. But it looks sharp. Christians promoting a mind-set of familiarity have yet to grasp this concept. The precise degree to which these standards are enforced varies. though. makeup. & Familiarity: Business Suit All down my back I don't see what’s wrong with that Dat da da dat da [4x] [Talking:] Is that India Arie? Ooh look she cut her hair! I like that. Subsequent to this act. Foolishness. but they still ignore the heart of the matter. Many believe how one dresses truly does define them and some take a traditional approach to the extreme. 182 . guided and powered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.Faith. jewelry (except for wedding bands) or cut their hair. have established "dress codes" for their members. India realized that your appearance shouldn‘t define your heart (the actual person on the inside) but rather just simply be a reflection of preferred tastes. The extreme is that men should always shave off their beard/mustache and women should never wear pants.22 Moral or inward holiness consists of righteous living. it looks nice on her She got a nice shaped head She got an apple head I know right? It's perfect. Oneness believers hold that separation from the world in both practical and moral areas is essential to spiritual life. considering current social trends in fashion and dress to be immoral. This holiness begins at baptism. from church to church and even from individual to individual within the movement. These guidelines are similar to those used by all Pentecostal denominations for much of the first half of the 20th century. Practical or outward holiness for Oneness believers involves certain "holiness standards" that dictate. women are expected not to wear pants.
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. and not one so tight that it‘s busting at the seams. ("Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. and with an inflated idea of selfimportance it hinders them from serving God faithfully in whatever manner He requires. Sadly. it won‘t kill women either to cover up just a bit more and ease up on some of the mascara. many of which were established by the Apostles themselves.27 The other extreme is that liberty is wide open and one can dress in any sort of way they desire regardless of how revealing it may be (going out in public wearing little to nothing---looking extremely provocative or going nearly shirtless showing off every muscle on your frame). If you don‘t want to be viewed as a one-night-stand then stop spending hours in front of the mirror in order to look like a one-night-stand---STOP: buying highly seductive attire and hanging out in questionable places. Foolishness. It won‘t kill men to put on a shirt that fits comfortably. We should be ever cognoscente of sending out the wrong messages for the wrong attention.Faith. We need to find a proper balance for our appearance and how we dress. While the Christian life is indeed one of liberty from rules and laws. 183 When Christians walk around pompous. proceeds from love rather than duty. Only do ● ● ● not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.‖ But one is saying. ―Have some tactfulness concerning your appearance and style of dress. Men whistling at you walking down the street or. ―dress like little orphan Annie or Mary Poppins. either. Oneness Pentecostals are oft times accused of "legalism" by other Christians. brothers. Also. use your fashion as a help in your representation of God and not merely a hindrance. & Familiarity: Business Suit Due to the comparative strictness of their "standards". that liberty does not negate one's responsibility to follow scriptural teachings on moral issues. looking to rape you are not the forms of attention you need to desire. rather than causes it. Don‘t get me wrong. Galatians 5:13) ESV Dressing provocatively can open up another can of worms and garner the wrong attention. for Oneness Pentecostals. and is motivated by the holy nature imparted by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.26 and that it follows salvation. a woman seeing you as nothing but a pretty boy or sexual object isn‘t exactly healthy attention. snobbish.‖ Let‘s not get too extreme! I don‘t want you all throwing the baby out with the bath water---Have good style. But. Likewise. no one is saying.25 Oneness believers respond by saying that holiness is commanded by God. (For you were called to freedom. many are looking to be validated with a compliment on their appearance too desperately. 1 Corinthians 10:23) NIV . "Holiness living". ● ● ● even worst. but through love serve one another.
● ● ● The latter portion of Matthew 25 explains this is full detail and gives a glimpse into what‘s foremost on Jesus‘ heart--that‘s loving. (These six things the Lord hates. start to smell. it is pride in its finest element. it has awfully little to do with the concept of business suit attire‘s form and style.Faith. a lying tongue. homeless ministry. background and dirty and basically setup/breakdown protocol. They‘re simply not willing to get down and They’re simply not dirty and basically see inconvenient Godly work (such as willing to get down missionary work. prison work…as being ministry. indeed. snobbish. Furthermore. addictions ministry. The interesting thing though is that God saw rejecting beneath them. seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others]. and reaching out to others. They don‘t want to break a nail. This form of conceit promotes an arrogant disposition that‘s abominable to God. Simply put. Better yet. and with an inflated idea of self-importance it hinders them from serving God faithfully in whatever manner ● ● ● He requires. The primary issue is that of inflated internal perception. the cleaning/sanitation ministry. and hands that shed innocent blood.) as being beneath them. there is a larger issue plaguing familiar Christians in reference to their dress. & Familiarity: Business Suit Despite all this. or work up a sweat. Foolishness. etc. ministry to the poor. serving. 184 . This perception is based on familiar Christians gravitating to untouchable and self-serving conceit. ministries like those as literally equivalent to rejecting Him. see inconvenient Godly convalescent/hospital ministry. Proverbs 6:16-17) AMP When Christians walk around pompous. God grotesquely hates it for its overriding of Him.
abortionists. Even those who reject the claim of Christ to be the only Saviour of the world accept as good the moral teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. Foolishness. They have made adequately clear the things they hate.Faith. & Familiarity: The World Sees 34 Basically. moral relativists. Fortunately those who do oppose Christianity in this manner have not kept the Christian community in suspense. pluralists. From these it is obvious that the opposition is not to Christianity as a whole. and even some Christians who hate the Christian faith. Solus Christus (Christ Alone). and the sick around the world prefer hospitals run by Christian missions. Sola Fide (Faith Alone). The first thing many of these people dislike are the ‘solas‘ of reformation. Even atheists are at times willing to join hands with Christians in many endeavours if the Christian community would abandon just a few things they consider improper. it does meet with a good amount of opposition. theological radicals. These are the Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone). gays. The twenty first century is full of reactions against the Christian faith. What the World Sees Cochin University professor Shastri JC Philips wrote an article titled ―Opposition to the Christian Faith: Why some people dislike the Christian faith?‖ Here is some of his work: Though the Christian faith has made many contributions to the society. but is only to some portions of it. the chief among which is the unwillingness to accept the concept of special revelation — that a particular book says exactly what God wants it to say. and they would respond that yes there are numerous religious books which are God‘s word. Non Christians vie with each other to get their children admitted in Christian schools. and even chased by people. People love to hear that the Bible is God‘s word. A number of reasons are there. But as soon as the sola is added and Bible is set forth as the ONLY book that is God‘s word people dislike the idea. In fact the bulk of what is seen today in the name of Christianity is liked. It should also be noted that the very same people love Christ as a teacher or as a revolutionary. endorse. Even people of religions that are hostile to the Christian faith love it when Christ is described as an enlightened incarnation (one among many). and Sola Gratia (Grace Alone). Christian social service is warmly welcomed even by those who are aggressively hostile to the preaching of the Christian faith. including the Bible. There are communists. 185 . universalists.
if Christ is the only Saviour. It should be pointed here in this connection that two cardinal doctrines that any Bible-believing Christian adheres to are hated even more by those who dislike the true Christian faith. even most non-conservative Christians hate them. In a lecherous society where serial marriage. the moral values are not flexible. then every person needs to make a profession of faith in Christ. then all those who are not believers in Christ are condemned. if the Bible makes a pronouncement on a subject. the present generation hates the way Bible-believing Christians respect and interpret the Bible.Faith. They are ready to give assent to the Bible as long as they do not have to accept the Bible as any kind of final authority. it is only the gospel-proclaiming Bible-based stream of the Christian faith which people hate. then all those who wish to present their works to God come back empty handed. and human fads. Finally. practical. Their human wisdom is the ultimate authority in 186 . that will always be right and it will never have any error whether the subject is doctrinal. If faith is the only way for justification. and nobody is authorized to question it. Infallible means that Bible is the sole and infallible guide to the Christian in every matter related to faith and practice. they can pick and choose what they wish to follow. and even financial corruption is not seen as bad. According to it. What is more. people would hate such an inflexible moral code. & Familiarity: The World Sees This places strict boundaries around a person who wishes to see all kinds of things prescribed in ‗the word of God‘ of which he can choose what he likes. They reckon that as long as a large number of books that contradict each others are accepted as God‘s word. Since these two doctrines define the boundaries clearly. Today the world wants an inclusive approach — where everyone irrespective of his beliefs. seasons. If it says something on a subject that is authoritative. In other words. Foolishness. if Christ alone is the Saviour. and that they do not change with times. creeds. sexual infidelity. What is more. Since the Bible-believing Christians proclaim this strict moral code. or scientific. and ‗living-together‘ is a way of life for many. A good number of people do not like to make such a profession because they clearly know the implications of doing so on their future life and human liberty — they will have to order these things according to the words of Christ. ethical code. Narrow it down to a single book. which is the Bible. all the religious holy places that mint money by the minute would lose this loot. These are the doctrines of infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible. historical. lust of the flesh. Excluding people even for the most serious reasons is seen as a crime. If grace is the only way of salvation then all the labors which people love to do for salvation are rendered futile. The same is the problem with the other solas also. this stream of Christianity maintains that morality and moral values are absolute. This closes all possibilities of stretching Bible to suite what one wishes to do. and other principles that decide what is right and what is wrong. non-existent) moral code ensures that divorce. pornography. and there goes the freedom. Consequently. What is more. Added to it the doctrine of the inerrancy of the Bible. But the Biblical moral code adhered to by the Bible-believing variety of Christians does not allow this. The flexible (read. and pride of life. That is because this stream restricts them from indulging in lust of the eyes. Thus the dislike. and activities is ‗included‘ in whatever group one thinks of. It also closes the door to the possibility of explaining away what the Bible says.
Yes. Likewise. He said to them. relatives. God called all of us to action and not just some of us. no one actually knew that all those things were wrong.‖ I indicated that. It‘s not the pastor‘s job to do all the work neither is it their job to sit idly by allowing their people to do all of the work. what?‖ ―Where do we go from here…What does all this truly mean?‖ The answers to each of these questions can vary depending who you‘re talking to but one thing is for sure something has to change (and that for the better). Foolishness. and familiarity we have to ask ourselves. So.Faith. you‘re not sick or anything. Thus the dislike for these doctrines (and those who propound these doctrines) even by many Christians. friends. we know and it‘s our responsibility to not only do better but inform others (who ask) why we‘re doing better. What‘s more. we have now learned some godly information that God Himself expects us to follow. the bad. ―We have the responsibility to change!‖ We‘re in this thing together and I‘m right there in the trenches with all of you. I want you all to notice that I didn‘t say. Gone are the days of bad excuses and saying ―Well. & Familiarity: The World Sees that kind of a system. ―You have the responsibility to change.28 Philip was giving an indication of basically what much of the world sees from Christians---the good. the Lord chose seventy-two others and sent them out in pairs ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go. after we‘ve learned many of the aspects of faith. "There 187 . etc. We can‘t just go on the same way we‘ve been going and expect God to just roll with it. They will come for employers. What‘s gotten into you? Are you alright.‖ Now. family. foolishness. the boundaries are drawn and the human wisdom no longer has a place. the questions will come and they will come often. However. when people notice the change in us they‘ll ask questions. co-workers. No. Also. once infallibility and inerrancy are accepted. We have to begin putting this into practice bit by productive bit. I‘m excited to be in the trenches and not delegating or coaching from the sideline. (After this. are you? What‘s brought on this sudden change? Believe me. and the ugly. it‘s not the missionaries or priest‘s job either but the work belongs to us all. ―Now.
and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Not individuals who are pious. how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. 188 . its quality). faith. just forgiven. but listen! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.Faith. phony. but there are only a few workers. we must understand that apart from the grace and mercy of God we‘re no different than anyone else. seek to wisely avoid foolishness. arrogant. As Christians. Matthew 5:13-16) AMP In conclusion. and hope. but if salt has lost its taste (its strength. we must live by faith in God with a disposition of humility and not portray ourselves as self-righteous or hypocritical. who owns the harvest. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy. condescending or judgmental. You are the light of the world.” ● ● ● Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure. They start to denote Christians as humble individuals spreading the love of Christ who are real. ● ● ● “Christians aren’t perfect. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (You are the salt of the earth. compassion. We are to be that flavorful salt and shining light illuminating people‘s hearts with love. and transparently overcome an outlook of familiarity. that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest. I know many have heard the statement. just forgiven. We are to be the change that the world longs for. Go now. loving.‖ There‘s a lot of truth to that statement… When we carry out this stance we help the world see Christians in an entirely different light. ―Christians aren‘t perfect. Foolishness. but on a lamp stand. encouragement. Luke 10:1-3) NCV Our ultimate goal should ALWAYS remain God‘s goal---to reach the world for Jesus. let‘s look to carry on in an appropriate attitude of faith. and exemplify obedience unto God---as best they know how. down to earth. So pray to God. and it gives light to all in the house. So. & Familiarity: The World Sees are a great many people to harvest. noble.
New Living Translation Copyright © 1996. of New York.. Used by permission. 1965. Inc. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. 1984 by International Bible Society by permission of Zondervan Publishing House King James Version Copyright © 1611. 1973. All rights reserved. NY Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991. Oxford University Press. 1971. 2002.Scripture Index Comparison NIV New International Version Copyright © 1973. 2000. 1958. 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Illinois 60189. 1978. Anglicization 1996 © British Foreign Bible Society 189 KJV NASB NKJV NLT ESV CEV . 1968. 1990 by Cambridge University Press. 1963. 1995. The Apocrypha © 2009 by Oxford University Press. Illinois. 2001. 1987. a ministry of the Good News Publishers of Wheaton. Wheaton. 1980. 1964. 1975. 1992. 1962. Collins New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group New King James Version Copyright © 1979. English Standard Version Copyright © 2001. 1977. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 1995 by The American Bible Society. AMP The Amplified Bible Copyright © 1954. 2007 by Crossway Bibles. MES The Message Version Copyright © 1993. 1962. 1994. Used by permission of The Zondervan Corporation & The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Inc. Inc. 1996.
Used by permission. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. 1901 by Thomas Nelson. 1988. Illinois 60189. ASV TLB 190 . Inc Wheaton. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. The Living Bible Copyright © 1971. Used by permission. All rights reserved.NCV New Century Version Copyright © 1987. American Standard Version Copyright © 1900. 1991 by Thomas Nelson.
5. ―The Antiquities of the Jews‖. Stationers' Court. Garden City: Doubleday & Company. Josephus. Seven Books of the Jewish War. M. pg. The translation is uncertain: it might mean "celebrate/recount/talk about". 1981. by the Rev. Biblical Archaeology Review. vol. chpt.A..html. or alternatively "lament". 184. The words translated here as "sacrifice" are capable of other readings. Tatarkiewicz. pp. The True Chronology of the Several Histories. 34. An Account of the Jewish Coins. Paternoster-Row. 36. and the Life of Josephus. The New Strong‘s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Parallel Texts of Scripture. line 99. &c. Albion Press Printed.D. 117-18 7. The Jewish Historian: Containing Twenty Books of the Jewish Antiquities. Weights and Measures. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. 4 (autumn 1979). Jurgen.biblegateway. FOOLISHNESS. George Wesley. p. 1975. for James Cundee. "Did Jephthah Kill his Daughter?". and a Complete Index. Thomas Smith. Flavius. LLD. & FAMILIARITY: References Observation One: The Issue of Faith 4. Together with Explanatory Notes and Observations. Jones.T. Translated from the Original Greek. "Perfection: the Term and the Concept. The Genuine Works of Flavius Josephus. 1996. para.net/pages/hebrews12. The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. http://www. Inc. and Williams and Smith. Series: The Anchor Bible. Written by Himself. 1. . Solomon Landers. no. p7 8.com/grammar/00000304. http://englishplus. M. Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge. (c. Bk.FAITH. 8. To the Hebrews. and the ambiguity has been the subject of much discussion 8." Dialectics and Humanism. pg.A New Edition. 1810). S. Moltmann. 3. New York: Harper & Row. 9. or even "to talk with". Now First Revised and Improved.christinyou.com 7. Hendrickson Publishers. http://www. "Why the Deuteronomist Told about the Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter".htm 6. By the Late William Whiston. August 1991 9. (1995. Ivy Lane. 10. Buchanan. 1996) 5. VI. Sage Publications.. Vol. According to Havercamp's Accurate Edition. Theology of Hope. &c. 191 . James Strong. Publishers.
" Dialectics and Humanism.C. no. Tatarkiewicz. About Avva Anthony. Fletcher. 1 (winter 1981). Tatarkiewicz. Tatarkiewicz. Prentice-Hall. 15. 4 (autumn 1979). Tatarkiewicz. 14. 12." Dialectics and Humanism. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (as believed and taught by the Reverend Mr. 9. 13. Schaeffer. 224 pages. no. VI. John. 15. Harvard Divinity Bulletin. 190. "Perfection: the Term and the Concept. 233 pp. MA: Blackwell Publishing.11. VI. Belief Unbracketed: A Case for the Religion Scholar to Reveal More of Where He or She Is Coming From. November 6." Dialetics and Humanism. p. 109 20. p. Prothero. "Ontological and Theological Perfection. Christopher Edwards. Parry. p. 17. 1 (winter 1981). 427. 5. pp. p. vol." Dialectics and Humanism. from the year 1725. Les Fols en Christ… Р. 189-90. 18. Gorainoff I. Publishing House of Sretensky Monestery. 366-446. VI. vol.merriam-webster. 4. Crazy for God 7. Geoffrey Hosking. "Ontological and Theological Perfection. 11. . Helped Found the Religious Right. 4 (autumn 1979). "Ontological and Theological Perfection. Sun Myung Moon. Saward J. p. 15–16. no. "Perfection: the Term and the Concept. Frank. Dieu a la folie. Parry (1999). 482 Observation Two: The Issue of Foolishness 1.com/dictionaryPigheaded 192 . p. Malden. P. 479-480. http://www. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. 16. 1979. pp. The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Englewood Cliffs. 2007 9." Dialetics and Humanism. Russia and the Russians. Tatarkiewicz. 8. 2007. no. 4 (autumn 1979). Translated from French into Russian. VIII. 7. to the year 1777. Tatarkiewicz. VIII. Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect. vol. The Works of John Wesley (1872 ed. Leaders 6." Dialetics and Humanism. 6. 3. no. Moscow. Apophtegmy (Alphavitnoye sobranie). vol. Ken. vol. "Perfection: the Term and the Concept. J. 25 (in Russian: Memorable stories. Rev. David Melling (editors) (1999). 189. Stephen. and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of it Back: Powell‘s Q&A. VIII. no. The Last Check to Antinomianism 19. Healing of Mental Illnesses: The experience of first centuries in the Christian East. 1 (winter 1981). Larchee. vol. vol. 233 2. The Way of God‘s Will Chapter 3. by Thomas Jackson). John Wesley. P. The End of Christ‘s Coming.
2004 12. p 136 W. pp. as well as communication with staff of the GED Testing Service. Possessions 2.-Jun. A Brief History of Spirituality. The Annotated Brothers Grimm. According to The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson 15.10. London. 1-8 16. 2004 14.. Wiley-Blackwell 2007 p.org/wiki/Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses 22.org/kcts/affluenza 24. Oliver (2008). Norton & company. Credit and Banking. James. Keeping up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities. W. Portfolio Choice. 2009 28. / Philip Sheldrake. OLMIS – Women in the Labor Force. Jordi. Managerial and Decision Economics. preface to Antoine Faivre and Jacob Needleman. Norton & company. 2004 13. Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) 21. by Frank Greve. 26. 2007 . Maria Tatar. 20.Introduction. The Annotated Brothers Grimm. Affluenza: How to Be Successful and Stay Sane. 27. Vol.aspx#spiritrel 193 . published May 23. Vermilion.beliefnet. No. The Selfish Capitalist. Vemilion. Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic.com/News/2005/08/Newsweekbeliefnet-PollResults. W. Brooke Jackson-Wingardner.1994). http://www. "Rings". No. US consumer debt reaches record levels. 3/4. Norton & company. Conspicuous Consumption and the Positional Economy: Policy and Prescription since 1970. David Wann & Thomas H. London.2000). Joanne Laurier. Published Oct-19-2009 19. Crossroad Publishing 1992. p 243 W. p 813 11. New York.htm 30. Digest of Education Statistics. Journal of Money. McClatchy Newspapers as appears in the Seattle Times. Modern Esoteric Spirituality.. pp. Notre Dame Magazine 18. John Grant and John Clute.com/SpiritualAtheism/f-about-spiritualatheism. 26.wikipedia. 15 January 2004. http://johnllevy.centerforabetterworld. The Behavioral Economics of Consumption (Apr. Ewert Cousins. The Annotated Brothers Grimm. John de Graaf. Naylor 23.123-132 17. New York. Vol. ―America‘s poor are its most generous donors‖. Mason.com/ 25. p 166 W. Roger. Information on changes in GED test series and reporting is based on the 2003 edition of Who Passed the GED Tests?. 1-2 29. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. by the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education. 1 (Feb. http://en. 21. Oliver (2007). New York. http://www. W.pbs. Maria Tatar. Gali. Maria Tatar. and Asset Prices. London. http://www. James.
265–270. Robert C.wikipedia. T C Hammond. 1996. 103. p. 2005. Snyder. http://en. p. 38. 2005. The New Age Movement: The Celebration of the Self and the Sacralization of Modernity. Schmidt. / Karl Barth (1949). Cambridge: Polity. T C Hammond. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Jonael Schickler. Positive Psychology. David. Metaphysics as Christology: An odyssey of the Self from Kant and Hegel to Steiner (Ashgate New Critical Thinking: 2005) pp. In Understanding be Men: A Handbook of Christian Doctrine. "Muraqaba: The Art and Science of Sufi Meditation". "11". Millard J. 1989.. Houston: Plato. 194 . Introducing Christian Doctrine. University of Chicago Press. Sage Publications. Introducing Christian Doctrine. 45. 49. Erickson (1992). pg. Baker Book House.wikipedia. 35. http://en. Keith Lockitch "Rescuing spirituality from religion. Inter-Varsity Press. Robert McDermott. Millard J.). Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality. (sixth ed. pp. 48.org/wiki/Spirituality 34.R. 32. "The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre". Inter-Varsity Press. 265–270. Erickson (1992). Oxford: Blackwell.S. 37. Introducing Christian Doctrine. most denominations do consider that the new Christian is a "new creation" and "born again". "Catholic Encyclopedia:Holy Spirit"/ Millard J. C. 46.. Olav Hammer. 265–270. The Essential Steiner. (Sixth Ed. Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age 40. Leigh Eric. Erickson (1992). 138ff 42. 201 36. Baker Book House. Cited in Anthony Giddens: Sociology. Introducing Christian Doctrine. In Understanding be Men: A Handbook of Christian Doctrine.. (2007). 2001.). Dogmatics in Outline. 44. Millard J." The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights Sept 17. Azeemi. Jordan. Erickson (1992). New York Philosophical Library. Revised and edited by David F Wright (1968). pp. 2009. pp. Fuller.org/wiki/Green_politics / http://en. J. San Francisco: Harper..wikipedia. page 60.K. pp. p. See for example the Catholic Encyclopedia 47. 54–56 and 128–131. 39. chapter 5. Oswald Sanders. Revised and edited by David F Wright (1968). Inter-Varsity Press. Lopez.org/wiki/Spirituality 33. pp. Baker Book House. 134.. 95. 43. Shane J.31. Baker Book House. Inc. page 554. Though the term ―born again‖ is most frequently used by evangelical Christians. Paul Heelas. 3-4 41.
and can only be discerned by purer eyes. a spirit son of God the Father. Instructions by Joseph Smith the Prophet.") 58. New York: Lexington Books.wikipedia. 53. an accurate translation of the Bible‘s Hebrew text refers to God‘s spirit as ―God‘s active force. "In the Bible. 39–64. Hence. 2003) 54. 7. David Watson (1973). Edmund (2007).. p. James H. 651. McConkie. 128 pages 55. "Pentecostalism". The Future of Pentecostalism in the United States. "Holy Spirit" in Ludlow. Charismatic and Third Wave Movements on American Churches of Christ. The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of America Pentecostalism Volume 1. The Trinity: True or False? UK: The Dawn Book Supply. New York Philosophical Library.org/trin/trinind.wikipedia. Hodder and Stoughton. 1843. Harvey Floyd. Broughton. but it is more fine or pure.org/wiki/Pentecostalism#cite_note-pewforum-0 67." 57. New York: McMillan. "Pentecostalism". All spirit is matter. Patterson. Foster "Waves of the Spirit Against a Rational Rock: The Impact of the Pentecosat.html 63. David Watson (1973).org/wiki/Holy_Spirit 64.-To 1941. Reproduced 61. Karl Barth (1949). Eric. (1992). Retrieved 2008-12-19. given at Ramus. Sixth Edition. Daniel H. Is the Holy Spirit for me?: A search for the meaning of the Spirit in today's church. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Rybarczyk. MO 65802-1894: Gospel Publishing House. "Is the Holy Spirit a Person?" Awake!: 14–15.htm. pp.encyclopedia." Restoration Quarterly. In such cases the Holy Spirit is a personage. "The Holy Spirit is a term often used to refer to the Holy Ghost. The Columbia Encyclopedia. 4. We cannot see it. http://en.. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 45:1. D&C 131:7-8 ("There is no such thing as immaterial matter. Joseph Fielding. Springfield. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Wilson. One in the Spirit. "Is It Clearly a Bible Teaching?". Douglas A. HC 5: 392–393 59. http://en. http://www. but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter. "[T]he Holy Ghost is a spirit man." 60. /Catechism of the Catholic Church. Illinois.html. 68. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. 2008. May 16 and 17. Should You Believe in the Trinity?. New York: Mcmillan.unitypaloalto. "Holy Ghost" in Ludlow. 65. God‘s Holy Spirit is identified as God‘s power in action. Hodder and Stoughton.199.biblelight." 56. 66. 62. 51. p. 198. p. http://www. Peter J Southgate.50. 52. Dogmatics in Outline. pp. See for example.com/doc/1E1-Pentcstl. One in the Spirit. 20th Century Christian. 20–25. http://www. 195 . Daniel H. p. Jerry A. pp. July 2006. Edith (1989). 1981.org/beliefs/twenty_questions. Blumhofer. p. 95. ©1989 Watch Tower. 649.
com/barbara-ehrenreich/the-secretof-mass-delusi_b_42212. Pentecostalism.D. (January 1997).html. 1993. http://thesecret.asp?title=3345. 3–5. Retrieved on 2006-07. 74.bbc. 2009). "Beniah at the Apostolic Crossroads: Little Noticed Crosscurrents of B. Edith L. http://ag.huffingtonpost. (1992). 81. 80. 77. 1906. and American culture. Retrieved 2009-11-12. What Is ―New Age? Michael D. 72. 2009). Hunter.sh tml. / Burgess. Retrieved on 2006-06. 2009) 78. http://www. US: State University of New York Press. Director Institute for the Study of American Religion. New York. The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of America Pentecostalism. Ag. Retrieved 2009-10-29. Perspectives on the New Age. Irwin. Albany.org/wiki/Pentecostalism 73. Ph. Encyclopedia of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. Blumhofer. Barbara (February 27. "Barbara Ehrenreich‘s Bright-Sided Explores the Dark Side of Positive Thinking". Ehrenreich. Blumhofer. http://en. OR: Wipf & Stock. Gordon Melton. 1993. Los Angeles Daily Times: April 18. Tomlinson".religiondispatches. http://www. 71. 82. Michelle (October 11. Harold D. Charles Fox Parham.org/archive/rdbook/1849/barbara_ehrenreich%E2 %80%99s_bright-sided_explores_the_dark_side_of_positive_thinking/. "Weird Babble of Tongues". The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Retrieved 2009-05-16. Retrieved 2009-06-11. "History of the Assemblies of God". 2007).org/cyberj/cyberj1/hunter. 76. http://www. http://www. Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God. pp. The Huffington Post. Paul Alexander.html. 83.Religion & Ethics (2007-06-20).pctii.J. "Discerning the Spirit".tv/ 79.org/showarticle. PA: Cascadia. Cyberjournal for Pentecostal-Charismatic Research. http://en.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/subdivisions/pentecostal_1. 1.wikipedia. Retrieved 2009-03-03.69. Goldberg.H. Volume 10. http://www.org/top/About/history.org. Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God (Telford. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 70. New Age Transformed J. No. Volume 1—To 1941. Lewis. "Pentecostalism". "The Secret of Mass Delusion". BBC . Cult Observer. Frank Sandford. 460. James R. Langone. Jay Beaman. 196 .religiononline. A. "Pentecostal Pacifism" (Eugene. Religion Dispatches.cfm. Amos Yong (March 7.org/wiki/Pentecostalism.97-112 75. 2006). Retrieved 2009-02-10.wikipedia. PentecostalCharismatic Theological Inquiry International.
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volume 16 issue 4 p.wikipedia. Milan Makale & Jordan Grafman. 2. Lewis & J. Christensen." Bartha Maria Knoppers.com/apathy. (pp. http://www. M.fas. M. http:www. Murray. Fear and anxiety: Evolutionary. http://en. New Jersey. Familiars in the Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: the Western Tradition.wikihow. Handbook of emotions. (2004).org/wiki/Fear 17. Man 18: 101. note. A. 41. A. Cornell University. "Witches' Familiars in England". Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. O. "Those provisions concerning human dignity have not been authoritatively interpreted or applied by any of the competent. Murray. The (1916). Clarendon Press. p. Retrieved June 2007. The Witch-Cult in Western Europe. Thomas. Jack Snyder (1990). Rickard M Golden (2006). Ashcraft.pdf. B. Goel. Murray.H.Apathy and Depression: Psychiatry may not care about apathy. Malevolent Nurture: Witch-Hunting and Maternal Power in Modern England. Human Dignity and Genetic Heritage: Study Paper (Law Reform Commission of Canada. 3. (1921). Pleyers. Deborah (1995). Folklore 27: 3.Observation Three: The Issue of Familiarity 1. independent. New York: The Guilford Press.. (2000). Is positivity a cue or a response option? Warm glow vs. New York 10. M. Margaret A. 8. Haviland-Jones (Eds. (2004).html Apathy Matters . 4. ―The Hippocampal System Mediates Logical Reasoning about Familiar Spatial Environments. international institutions. 9. "Cognition". In M. but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. 6. G. Upper Saddle River. 5. 654-664. Pearson Education Inc. James.). Times. Margaret (July 1918). Willis. Vinod. cognitive.people..harvard." Encyclopedia Britannica. Divination by Witches‘ Familiars. and clinical perspectives. by John McManamy 14. 1991).wikipedia. Csikszentmihalyi. 16.mcmanweb. at 23. M.573–593).edu/~olau/ir/archive/chr1. "Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks: Predicting Alliance Patterns in Multipolarity" (PDF).org/wiki/Familiar_spirit 11. (2006). http://www. "Superstition in Essex: A Witch and Her Niggets". 18. ABC-CLIO.com/Overcome-Passivity 15. http://en. Corneille. Monin. Sharpe. 12. Man. Öhman. 18 June 1918. evaluative matching in the familiarity for attractive and not-so-attractive faces. 7. 1997 13. 431– 437. Vol. "Adam and Eve. Finding Flow.‖ Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. None of the 199 . 1-3.. International Organization 44 (2): 137–168.
61-100. and Lung-chu Chen.google. as an example of a website in which Oneness Pentecostals are accused of this. independent. 1988. adult homo sapiens (the model adult) from someone else. Item 5. 23. Aldergrove says dignity means the set of attributes that distinguish an intelligent. healthy. A Handbook of Basic Doctrines. 26.international proclamations make dignity the rare quality that some commentators say it should be. sober. http:www. 24. Word Aflame Press. from Essential Doctrines of the Bible. Hebrews 12:14-17. R. Oneness Pentecostalism Exposed. note. Human Rights and World Public Order: The Basic Policies of an International Law of Human Dignity (New Haven: Yale UP. The Future of Pentecostalism in the United States.com/prod/servlet/market-insighttop. 28. J. pp. and the Future (Stentorian: Burnaby. 1999. 2000) at 71.frost. For a complete list of Oneness biblical references on this subject. Rybarczyk. ―Frost and Sullivan‖. 21. pp. especially a young child or a lunatic. Myres S. Harold D. See. 1980). Aldergrove. Word Aflame Press. 25. 124. Edmund (2007). consult Chapter 4. 27. Eric. Lasswell. Why We Are Not Obsolete Yet: Genetics. New York: Lexington Books. McDougal. See "Holiness and Christian Living". Word Aflame Press. "Appearance" in "Holiness and Christian Living"." in David Bernard. 19. solemn. in Essential Doctrines of the Bible. "Holiness and Christian Living. for instance. http://knol. 20. by Michael Powell. Algeny. 1999.com/k/opposition-to-the-christian-faith# 200 . at 376.pag?Src=RSS&docid=153913646 22. Patterson.
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