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Showing posts from September 2, 2012

The Suicide Bomber

Jesus challenged the cherished idea that a person can demonstrate how much they love God by how much they hate sinners and enemies. But unfortunately, the corrupt idea that you can prove your love for God by hating the right people lives on. It's the demonic philosophy of the suicide bomber. Political convictions alone do not produce a suicide bomber. The kind of hate that can produce a suicide bomber – hate of enemy and outweighs love of life – requires a religious element. The suicide bomber is deeply religious. The suicide bomber goes to his violent and murderous death with a prayer on his lips. The suicide bomber loves God. The suicide bomber shows how much he loves God by how deeply he hates. The suicide bomber loves God so much that he is willing to kill sinners and infidels on behalf of God and take his own life in the process. The suicide bomber loves by hating. The suicide bomber worships by hating. The suicide bomber gains heaven by hatred. The suicide bomber does what …

The 96th Thesis

In the end, people will not be saved or lost based on their guilt or innocence – contrary to popular opinions about that matter. Never mind the traditions of centuries of theologians insisting that God is dealing out rewards and punishments based on performance criteria. Everyone is guilty and no, we are not made innocent or even pardoned because of what Jesus did, at least for God's sake. The reason is that our problem with God is not a legal one to start with but a problem of trust. That is why arguing about guilt or innocence is barking up the wrong tree. This legal mentality infiltrated Christian theology hundreds of years after Jesus left and has led millions into fear and confusion as a result. People have mistaken assumptions about their status with God rooted in the idea of 'deserving'. We think we deserve certain things as rewards for good behavior. And we are sure that certain others deserve severe punishment for their bad behaviors. But we can earn neither arbi…

Adversaries

For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27 NRSV)
I was reading recently about this text and learned that this word translated adversaries occurs only two times in the New Testament. This really got my attention and I began to research more into this, especially given the other verse where this word is used.
And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 NRSV)
What is starting to emerge in comparing these two verses is that the hostility, as some versions render it, is not because of anything in God's heart but rather is coming from the side of the one termed e…

Entering That Rest

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:18-19)
They could not enter into His rest because of disobedience and unbelief. But just what was it that they didn't believe? In what way did they disobey?
The answers to these questions are at the core of understanding the gospel, for since they did not believe the gospel preached to them (4:2), then likewise we are in the same danger of missing the essence of the gospel still today and living in similar unbelief and disobedience ourselves while all the while insisting that we are in fact very obedient.
What was the underlying truth that God sought to get the Israelites to believe that they resisted believing? That He loved them. That He was the God who saved them from slavery to be His special children for the purpose of displaying His love to the whole world. That He was a God totally different than every oth…