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Archive for May, 2011

Wholly Trinity

May 27, 2011 8 comments

The trinity seems to be a bit more controversial topic that I have previously assumed. I have recently become close to believers who do not share the same ideas on the trinity, and have heard a few good questions and thoughts on the subject. Since the “doctrine of the trinity” is central to Christianity, as it defines who Christ is, I find it a pretty important topic for discussion, though I do not find it necessary to agree to get along, in any capacity.
Psalm 110:1 is quoted in all three synoptic gospels and in Acts during the pentecost sermon. “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'” What does this mean, “The Lord says to my Lord”?
There seem to be three clear options that arise. 1) The Messiah is divine worthy of Lordship and is a separate being from God in the facet that they can have a conversation and different ‘wills’. 2) The different words translated the same “Lord” do not both imply divinity (This comes with a great deal of implication) 3) The Messiah is divine worthy of Lordship but is not a separate being from what would be called “God the father”.
Let’s explore. I have to add a warning: I believe Jesus to the Messiah, and the son of God. If I use Jesus’ name assuming he is indeed the Messiah without prior evidences, I apologize, but it is necessary to make that assumption, at times when referring to his own specific merit. There is always the option that Jesus is not the Messiah in which case some of the afore mention options would have to be modified to fit the context. I did not do that already.
1) I favor this idea. Though it does pose many questions it also sufficiently answers them and just tends to make more sense. Obviously there is conversation involved. Many times throughout the gospel Jesus is reported praying, both alone and in company. This a characteristic of interpersonal relationship. People don’t do that with themselves the way it is described that Jesus did. Also, he submits to the father’s will many times. That has no meaning if he is the same being as God.
2)  I think that was addressed pretty well in 1. There are some more issues that arise as you look through the biblical text as well as some philosophical issues concerning the cognitive nature of God (though they are easily answered without a trinitarian view) that the trinitarian doctrine easily resolves. But, honestly, the gospels lose meaning if they’re the same. Communion loses significance on many levels. The entire event at the cross, and all of passion week really, are just kind of… eh’… I don’t want to bash anyone’s beliefs, but I really haven’t heard any substantial reason for doubting the trinity without doubting the authenticity and accuracy of the biblical text, which is an entirely different conversation.
3) This was brought up to me, and I was really interested. I used netbible.org to check up on the original hebrew. It turns out that the first Lord is Jehovah, the proper name for God. The second is an authoritative figure, a master of sorts. However, this second Lord is also used in reference to God. It seems this is a way of referring to God by a quality rather than a name. In poetry this makes sense to use a different word in reference to the same object. There is a time for repetition, and there is a time for fresh vocabulary. That is my theory on why it was a different word. I believe it to be referring to a divinity no less that God.
Let’s look at what this would mean if the second Lord did not refer to heredity, the implications are immense. From the quotes in the synoptic gospels it is clear that the jewish community believed this to be a prophesy about the messiah, who was also prophesied to be a descendant of David. When Jesus points out to the people that David called his descendent Lord, they shut up. Jesus questions his own heredity and leading theologians of the time are left speechless. Amazed. Peter quotes it in Acts to question Jesus’ heredity and affirm his Lordship as well. It was quite effective, if you remember the number of hearts won over on that day. So what does this imply? Well, it implies that the Jewish culture and the acclaimed Messiah completely misinterpreted their own cultural records and religious writings. Misinterpretation happened often, but not on such a gigantic scale. There’s no other way around it, they were just completely wrong, all of them.
Another implication is that there is another level of authority between humanity and the heavenly courts. It would mean that the Messiah has authority, even over his own predecessors, but is not quite deity. There is, to my knowledge, no other scripture to give this any real backing. It’s a stretch as it is, and since the word for ‘Lord’ used there is not specific, one could not tell for sure on this one scripture anyway.

There is a fatal flaw I have stumbled upon. I believe in the trinity. I need good apologetic responses to a unitarian view of God that does not illegitimately negate the value of scripture that point to a unitarian view. Until I have that I either have sound ideas, or severely flawed ideas, with no feedback to sift it out. Your thoughts positive or negative will help.

A Week of Prayer to Fight Human Trafficking

May 22, 2011 4 comments

I’ve been hanging out in good company lately working to fight against human trafficking. It’s been great so far, but we’re just getting started at Rehab’s Rope- Denton Chapter. To get focused we’re having a week of prayer. If you’re a praying person, I’d encourage you to join along. Pick a day or two that you’re interested in and give God and the oppressed your love. James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” I could go into the theology of how we are made righteous through Jesus’ blood if we accept it and are transformed by His grace, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. So let’s get praying! Pick a day or two and devote your time to pleading with God. It starts Monday, and goes through sunday. LET’S DO IT!

Mon 5/23- Pray for eyes to be opened to the relationships between sins. It’s all connected, though satan does a good job of hiding it form us. We need to see the reality of the ‘little’ sins.

Tues 5/24- Pray for Spiritual safety in the war against human trafficking. There is some serious spiritual warfare going on for the souls and bodies of both those being trafficked, those trafficking, and the bystanders, like me. Let’s keep safe while we run to the battlefield.

Wed 5/25- Pray for equipped hands ready to help the oppressed. Police officers, social workers, anyone who is involved with helping oppressed people need to be ready and willing to do so. Lift them up to God for strength and training to be effective. And hopefully we will be by their side.

Thurs 5/26- Pray to be led by the spirit. In the war against human trafficking we have to lean on the spirit, and follow Him where he leads. We have to consciously be seeking to follow, even in the most trying of times. Trust in God, and follow where he takes us, because our way will not get the job done, His will.

Fri 5/27- Pray for emotional healing of those led out of bondage. Breaking chains is a great start, but there’s so much work to do after that. It takes years to return to ‘normalcy’ and the scars are always there. God can heal what seems terminal.

Sat 5/28- Pray for police officers and lawmakers to love the oppressed. It’s a legal battle in a lot of ways. The system is better than no system at all, but it’s easy to be manipulated, and fall through the cracks, or punish someone for being oppressed. Pray to keep love and restoration on the hearts of the authorities.

Sun 5/29- Pray for hope, even in the most defeated of circumstances. I’ve felt hopeless many times. It’s amazing to know that God is always there in my circumstances working to find a way out, and be closer to Him. Let’s give the gift of hope to others as well.

Categories: Sexuality, Uncategorized

The Economy of People

May 18, 2011 1 comment

So, I’ve been working with some friends to fight human trafficking. I am completely new to the ministry they’ve got going, but I’m really excited to get deep into spiritual warfare for the oppressed, and brokenhearted. The sad thing is, it’s not just about loving the hurting people. There’s an economy, a huge financial system, built into the human trafficking network. The more I hear about it, the more connected each level of the pyramid becomes.
People are not products, but the have been abused and treated as such. Slavery is alive, and to our (that’s everyone’s) detriment it is thriving. People are being bought and sold, and stolen, and used until they break. There are few signs of slowing down. Outside of prayer and huge dreams I don’t see much hope. However, there is a way to defeat this. Cut out the demand. If no one will pay to spend the night with these oppressed people, then eventually the supply will dwindle. Why provide a service that everyone refuses? It’s a simple rule of economy, supply and demand.
I was asked a brilliant question when talking with a gentleman on the street about human trafficking. We had run out of flyers for our fund raiser, so we handed him a different flyer that had some religious stuff on it. He asked something along the lines of “What does God have to do with human trafficking? Shouldn’t atheists be just as much against it as everyone else?” I smiled warmly hearing some beautiful words from this man, and simply assured him agreed entirely.
I believe in God. In many ways I know God. We talk. And because of that, I will talk to him, and plead with him, for the oppressed. I will beg for salvation, and restored innocents. If you don’t share that same faith, then I beg of you that you turn your eyes and look full on to the hurting people in the world, and do not ignore them. Realize that you can help make a difference. And I honestly want some good feedback: how can we attack this demand and this economy of people? Rescuing one oppressed girl just to be replaced by another to meet demand is not good enough. We need to destroy this. Demolish it. And, it will take bonds across denominations, and ideologies. The Theist will have to join hands with the atheist, and the humans of this world will have to unite in common cause. I have hope that this can and will happen. Help me. Help humanity.

Jesus Loves Prostitutes

May 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Today I attended a meeting for Rehab’s Rope Denton Chapter. I knew it was some sort of group dedicated to ending human trafficking focused locally. I really didn’t know what I was going to. I had heard about prostitution based ministries and known some people who worked in them, but I was never really too close to the situation or the ministry at all.
So, I walked into the meeting as a guest, and decided to just see what it was all about and maybe get involved here and there, after all, it’s for a good cause. Before the meeting began we had a prayer (it’s jesus centered, but open to all, so come on Buddhist, atheist, whateverist). As the prayers got intense I started to feel the spirit tickling at my heart. The words that came from every mouth seemed to carry so much truth, so much righteousness, but not dumbfounded or dull, or wordy but empty, like I so often feel at church. It was real. The words stuck, and actually changed things, starting with me. I was no longer a visitor I was a part of the group, united by prayer. And my tongue was loosened as I found a prayer, among many, that I couldn’t keep from the group that I was now becoming a part of.
When the prayer ended it became clear that about half the group was visiting-members, like me. We talked about what was already happening, what the group was going to do, and what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go.
I’d love to go into detail about the ideas and ministry opportunities involved, but this not a recruiting idea, it’s a short story of my life, but I’ll leave some links at the bottom.
First timers were being volunteered to take on central tasks for the group, and ideas were thrown out and taken seriously. So many ideas. And by the end of it, I had friends. All of a sudden I was apart of a social group fighting for the physical needs of the people in the world, and ready to fight for the spiritual and emotional needs of those people as well. We laughed, we were serious, we were ready to take action. We are real. It’s so crazy saying ‘We’ after mere hours of being involved. In short, this was an answer to many prayers. Now, I hope that I will answer the silent prayers of the oppressed, and even possibly a hand of mercy to the oppressors.
It’s hard to see Jesus from the pew sometimes. In the gutter, with the prostitutes and sinners- the places where Jesus went- that’s where you see the savior. The great physician went to the sick, there I will go also.
If you haven’t seen or felt Jesus, and are skeptical of God’s existence… go to the front lines.

Rehab’s Rope Denton Chapter:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rahabs-Rope-Denton-Chapter/191377677545337

Fundraiser (If you’re in the area)
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=146889635379301

Parent Organization
http://www.rahabsrope.com/

SOAP
http://www.traffickfree.com/soap.html

Categories: Sexuality

Similarities of Young Earth Creationism & Evolution

May 7, 2011 5 comments

These seem contradictory, many times right? Well, actually Young Earth Creationists are ignoring the obvious, and I’m not going to get into a bashing of their ideas. I’m merely going to say that neither science, nor the bible advocate for YEC. So, why do they believe it?
Next, Evolution does not deal with creation. The science does not advocate for evolution the way it is popularized in media and culture. The main reason is because the theory of evolution, as far as the science suggests, does not account for creation, yet it is supposed to abolish religious thinking with an emphasis on Christianity. Well, Christianity says God created everything, not just life. Evolution says organisms change over time. There is no conflict. So, the similarities between YEC and evolution: They are both misused. For one, use at all is misuse, and the other, exclusive truth claims are misuse. Deal with it.

A Forum of Community

May 2, 2011 1 comment

I was just thinking about the friendships that I’ve made in online communities. Obviously there have been a few bloggers here that I did not know before, whom I have talked at length with, and would call them friends because of it. Two most notably are Tildeb and Society, who are very active in this blog and many others. Some other people have come and gone. There was a facebook group I was involved in, that was also apologetic (mostly atheist driven) in nature as well. I felt like I grew into friendships with a few people on there too. I am glad to have had the opportunity to become friends with these people, even through adversity.
But, then I think of other people I’ve shared friendship with in online communities. Just strangers, or friends of friends, or even old acquaintances I didn’t talk to in Highschool that I have now had good conversations with online. Those friendships were more personal. Questions about our personal lives were asked and answered. Age, schooling, siblings, favorite things to do in whatever situation, “would you rather?”. Those were friendships with people because they were people. I was wondering, if in this online community that is thriving here on the blogosphere, if we could be brought together by our various interests in religious ‘whatevers’ but care about each other for the sake of caring about people. People need to be loved, in their own right, because they’re people. I have lost sight of that many times here for the sake of objective truth seeking, or biased preaching. I am sorry for those times I was arguing ideas without a person behind them. Is it possible, through this blogosphere searching community we could be intimate friends. The kind of people we will turn to when something bad happens. The kind of people we will be excited to tell about our good news, or hopes or whatever. That would be nice. And…. YOU ROCK!

Categories: Uncategorized

What is a Christian?

May 1, 2011 13 comments

A friend of mine recently told me he wasn’t a Christian. He said it wasn’t like he didn’t believe in God, or anything like that, he just wasn’t feeling it, I guess. As some of my favorite people seem to be doing this lately I have to go back to a good little question: what is a Christian? We know a Christian is another name for a disciple, a follower. In this case, a follower of Christ. Someone who does what Christ does. In 2011 in the United States of America, how can a 19 year old possibly do what Christ did? Thoughts? Anything that can help me understand what a Christian actually is?

Categories: Uncategorized