Political Theology

In cultures where religion plays a primary role, the institutions of that society reflect the religion.  Even civilizations wherein religion plays only a secondary role, political concepts are merely secularized theological concepts. While a persuasive argument on the role of religion in political thought is often inferred as an exclusive product of the overtly religious, this article, shall show that political concepts since medieval times have ALL been built upon theological ideas. Also, the significant difference between ‘political theology’ and a ‘theology of politics’ shall be elucidated.

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God  the things that are God’s.”Mt.22:21.

The first term, ‘political theology’, may seem limitless in its application. Simply put, the term involves the structure of political concepts as related to their origin in theological concepts. Admittedly, from a postmodern perspective all theology may be considered ‘political’. Certain modern ideologies may even be termed ‘political religions’. When a theological notion of God transfers to the physical political sovereign a final and total authority in the person of a main decision-maker with whom the power of the state ultimately lies, a ‘political theology’ exists. The notion of the Absolute in religion transformed by conceptualizing the Absolute in the state, starting with the ‘divine right of kings’ and extending to the crisis of our own time has become the ‘norm’ in Western civilizations. A severe problem arises only when the reader understands theology through politics rather than politics through theology.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” – Mt.6:24.

In 21st Century American politics a move from center to both extremes has become increasingly apparent to most religious communities. The popular notion of ‘separation of church and state’ is fast giving way to which ‘church’ (or religion) the state endorses. Conceivably, which ever it may be, adherents to opposing faiths cry foul. Complete secularization cleverly incorporates the ideological use of theology to mask political motivations.

“The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” – 2Tim. 4:3,4.

Alternatively, the ‘theology of politics’ comes from an explicitly theological framework. This theological foundation can be either natural or revelatory theology, and in the medieval world, it was both. Politics was seen in the context of the powers of humanity and within a larger realm encompassing objective rights, natural order, and divine obligations. Moreover, revelatory theology came to contextualize politics even more than natural theology, as Christian notions of being, existence, and charity had political ramifications never anticipated by pre-Christian thinkers. Revelatory theology from Roman Catholicism added another element as well: the institutional. Frankly, without an insightful consideration of the Roman Catholic Church, which is dependent on an explicitly revelatory theology, the relation between politics and theology in Western history is grossly misunderstood.

Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses at Wittenberg in 1517 was the start of the Protestant Reformation. Luther, a Catholic priest, ‘protested’ several theological positions deemed official dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. His main contention was that Scripture did not support, nor teach those practices. Prior to the time of Luther, the Bible was not available to the masses. The first published version was released in 1454, a mere 63 years before Luther’s exposition.

Henry VIII started the process of creating the Church of England after his split with the Pope in the 1530s. He was the first monarch to introduce a new state religion to the English. When he wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, Pope Clement VII refused to consent to the divorce. Henry then decided to separate from the Roman Catholic Church.

England’s King James I in 1604 commissioned the KJV, produced so individuals could have their own personal copy of the Bible. Theology would become a personal pursuit, Scriptures no longer confined to the scrutiny of the clergy. Individual study could then be skillfully sustained. Finally armed with the written Word of God, Christ’s promise was fulfilled in a much greater, more personal way.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” – Jn. 16:13.

Interestingly, valid research into the historical origins of America, reveal a continued disdain for the Roman Church by the early Protestant settlers. So distinct were their differences, that the original Jamestown Charter of 1606, also known as the First Charter of Virginia, is a document from King James I assigning land rights to colonists for the stated purpose of propagating the Christian religion – ‘The Anglican Church of England’ – to the express exclusion of the ‘Roman Catholic Church’. The charter contains only one statement of purpose, its religious mission: “propagating of Christian religion”.

King James intended to spread Christianity to those already living in what was to become the English colonies. “in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government”.

Right or wrong, intentionally biased and prejudiced, like it or not, such is the accurate beginnings of the American colonies under original charter. Regardless of the many objections and eventual necessary adjustments to the charter, the premise of an Absolute authority was never questioned. Unlike today, where the mere mention of God, or godly values, is often scorned,  American government was framed on the very principles of Protestant Theology.

Those who study theology, religious dogma, or attend regular Christian fellowship rarely dispute these facts. Even the majority of believers in non-Christian religions submit graciously to the moral principles injected into American law from Protestant Theology. While it may not be ‘politically correct’ today to refer to America as a ‘Christian Nation’, its founding was firmly based upon Christian principles.

A two-party system (as well as other ‘independent’ parties) is the preferred ‘checks and balances’ approach to maintaining a healthy democracy. But today, the matter of right and wrong has ominously transformed into factions of the right or left. What once may have been largely indistinguishable between political parties is now unmistakably a profound divide.

Both major parties (Democrat / Republican) once had conservative, moderate, and liberal members. While this may still be true in part, the major party platforms are overwhelmingly split between liberals and conservatives. Democrats have embraced an extreme liberal ideology, insisting that all Republicans are far right obstructionists. Republicans view the Democrats as the obstructionists and becoming increasingly more socialist, even advocating some forms of anarchy.

Democrats have recently declared as policy a dedication to preserve abortion rights, advocacy of open immigration, elimination of the 2nd Amendment, and even the dissolution of ICE. One hope they entertain in regards to open immigration is to perpetuate an ever increasing number of under educated, unskilled, ill informed prospective voters to exploit.

Conversely, Republicans advocate closed boarders and an end to unrestricted illegal immigration. As Dems attempt to malign their efforts by false reports of cruel separation of families. factual evidence reveals that the same policy was in force under former administrations. Pictures broadcast to show proof of inhumanity were actually taken in 2014. Republicans also have deregulated many obstacles to free enterprise, passed stimulus tax cuts, and returned to the successful foreign policy of the Reagan era.

Ironically, the record of accomplishment for the US congress in the past two years proves that Democrats are the obvious obstructionists. Nearly 400 House bills are presently stuck in Senate limbo. Dems now vow to block any Supreme Court appointment, fearing a conservative nomination.

If the right is right (not wrong), and being a Conservative is really about preserving the original intent of the Constitution, why would any American side with a liberal ideology? Similar to our approach to a righteous interpretation of Scripture, the original intent of the authors of the Constitution remains imperative.

Of course, the Republican Party isn’t perfect. Zealots within are often referred to as the ‘Alt-Right’, a vague term actually encompassing a group of people on the extreme right. They reject mainstream conservatism in favor of ultra-conservatism while embracing implicit or explicit racism or white supremacy. Most Democrats perceive that the majority of Republicans espouse this radicalism.

“…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope within you with meekness & fear, having a good conscience; so, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse you…” – 1Pt. 3:15,16.

‘Fake News’ has become common place as many American journalists shrink from their investigative duties. Proper vetting of sources is no longer the norm, as more and more headlines come from “anonymous sources”. Frequent retractions are necessary as initial reports are debunked, but a paragraph of abrogation is rarely noticed, and false narratives shared among liberal media pundits perpetuate the harm. Just as false doctrine victimizes the Scripturally naïve, political propaganda preys on uneducated, narrow-minded citizens.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over the gullible , who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,  always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. – 2Tim. 3:2-5.

Consider intently how the liberal persuasion has ALWAYS attempted to thwart conservative values. By very definition the two are opposites. ‘Love’ is a term liberals like to use to incite division and doubt regarding conservative motivations. But their definition of ‘Love’ is rarely Scriptural. They interpret a Christian’s love of God over everything else as a lack of love for neighbors of other religions, life-styles, and opinions. Now, more than ever before, the two major political parties have become diametrically opposite in terms of liberal ideology vs. conservative values.

As President Trump is nominating a new Supreme Court justice, Democrats are scrambling for a strategy to stop any nominee that would tilt the court in a more conservative direction and reverse liberal gains. ‘Court packing’ has been suggested. Liberals warn that they shouldn’t let a handful of ‘reactionary judges’ get in the way of progressive change – it’s time to pack the Supreme Court.

In other words, liberals (who now prefer to be called ‘progressives‘) believe that conservative values prevent progress. Norms established decades or centuries before must be abandoned and forever changed to allow for more modern freedoms. Of course, they also infer that Scriptural forms of godliness are taboo. Consider what the influence of liberal theology has had on Christianity. Historical evidence indicates that any so-called ‘progress’ it introduced has been eclipsed by its debauchery.

Ironically, both sides accuse the other of subjective myopia. This is why it is imperative to carefully gather the data, research the history of each movement, and draw your own conclusions based on the factual evidence, NOT the mere popular rhetoric. Eternal destiny hangs on a choice – the right choice. The destiny of America hangs on voter choice. Be sure to become well informed, rather than merely partisan indoctrinated. Become fully equipped to make the right choice.

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…” – Duet. 30:19.


Passover Plot

In 1965 a book – The Passover Plot by author Hugh J. Schonfield was published and became an international multimillion-copy bestseller.  Intended to rock the establishment view on the life of Jesus Christ, it attempted to present historical evidence suggesting that Jesus was merely a mortal man. A young genius, he believed himself to be the Messiah and deliberately and brilliantly planned his entire ministry according to Old Testament prophecies—even to the extent of plotting his own arrest, crucifixion and resurrection.

The focus of this Article is not to denounce the book, although the ‘evidence’ it presents has been thoroughly debunked by many credible scholars. Neither is this to serve as an endorsement. A recent post to a blog questioning the source of numerous unsubstantiated news reports is the stimulus. It, like the Schonfield book, proposes an alternative view of certain facts, not recognizing the lack of objective support for the mere subjective points.

Accurate historical texts align well with narratives presented in Scripture. Critics of this fact usually attempt to disprove such reality by attacking merely interpretations of Scripture. Rather than researching the actual original texts to establish the genuine message, they too often simply reiterate what they have been told. Sadly, such carelessness is increasingly common and adds daily to the numbers who embrace what is recognized in today’s politics as leftist ideology.

William James, the father of modern Psychology is credited with the origin of this quote: “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” Radical progressive propaganda embraces a similar idea – any lie told often enough becomes the truth. Upon such a premise, mere subjective ideas are equated with FACTS. Currently, there is much evidence that the ‘liberal media’ endorses this philosophy and can be quite hostile to those who oppose it. Ironically, this idea of promoting a lie consistently until it is accepted as fact was a prominent strategy against Christianity from the beginning. Also paradoxical is the fear that the truth must be kept secret.

Although the Schonfield book is a product of this past century, the ideas contained within it were first proposed within days of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem in 33AD, memorialized by Christendom as Palm Sunday. Scripture records the events that led to the original Passover plot in John Chapter 12. A complete prayerful reading of the whole narrative is advised. These excerpts pose a good summary:

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead … Mary took very costly oil and anointed the feet of Jesus … Judas Iscariot protested, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold … and given to the poor?” … not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box… the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him … His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him … that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled … when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.”

Of the four Gospel writers, Matthew provides particular insight into the perceived plot. A contemplative reading of the 27th chapter of his book describes how the enemies of Christ were afraid that the disciples would scheme to present false reports. Not fearing the reality of a resurrected Christ, because they would not believe it. They feared instead, the spreading of ‘lies’ that HE was indeed raised.

“… and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed … the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’  Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” …  Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”

The misrepresentation of facts surrounding an event is a recurring problem. Sometimes it is merely a matter of physical perspective. Two witnesses observing the same thing may give conflicting reports due to their individual vantage points. One from an unobstructed place a few inches away, the other from several feet behind an obstacle, tell dissimilar versions. Even two seated side-by-side can give slightly different accounts. Depending on the more believable the story and popular acceptance of it, false reports too often are passed on as factual. When the actual truth is hostile to, or disproves one’s personal belief system, fierce resistance to it erupts into all kinds of dissent.

Following the recent (2016) presidential election, Americans were able to witness this kind of resistance on the nightly news. The results established FACTS that have been disputed by opponents of the elected. Some infer that fraudulent tactics were employed to win. Many contend that illegal collusion with non-Americans aided and abetted the results. A special council has been investigating ever since, now half-way through its second year. Quite like the original Passover Plot, conspiracy theories abound, while the truth remains largely unaccepted or appreciated.

Those with the most to lose instigate an illegitimate distortion of the factual record. In attempting to revise the past, illegitimate historical revisionism uses techniques inadmissible in a proper historical discourse. Now, as then, similar tactics are employed by those who insist on opposing views of current events. They present known forged documents as genuine, invent ingenious but implausible reasons for distrusting genuine documents, and attribute conclusions to sources that report the opposite. They manipulate statistical series to support their given point of view.

Did this impede the progress of the Gospel’s spread? It has been preached in all the world, just as Christ commissioned. Has the newly elected president’s agenda been impeded? Some would think so, and defiantly continue to purposely block any progress. Indeed, delay tactics are slowing down the process of appointments and legislation, but many historic gains have never the less been achieved. As with religious beliefs, politics now mirrors the motivation behind dogma.

Those who sincerely seek the truth accept the FACTS and are stigmatized by those who will not. Those who dispute the facts, who hold fast to their personal views and ideologies, and advance their desires above the truth, continue to doubt the facts and resist any propagation related to them. As this ensues an interesting phenomenon is occurring. The very things that those rejecting the facts accuse their opponents of, they themselves are being found guilty.

“Professing to be wise, they became fools” – Ro. 1:22.

Of course, there is a great difference between religion and politics. When people treat political ideologies like religious convictions the variance is slight. Where political ideologies replace religious beliefs, those principles become ingrained as an acceptable new world order. In the name of unity and tolerance, dissension and intolerance becomes the model. While they look for ‘Christ-like’ behavior, and criticizing the lack of it, they deny its very Architect.

Another obstacle to overcome is the established historic record. There have always been mere stories that have no foundation in reality. Myths are NOT fact. They may contain some facts to promote good ethics, but most of the characters and places mentioned are purely fictional. Distinction between fact and fiction has always been based on credible evidence. Many select or interpret events from the past in a way that suits one’s own particular purposes in an attempt to rewrite History. The removal of memorials and slogans from public places is a contemporary tactic.

“Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie” – Ro.1:25.

In closing, please notice: no specific political parties were mentioned; neither were any religious denominations. While it may be obvious regarding election results who the dissenting faction is, there is no indictment against specific parties in general. Not every member of a group is as devoted to, or convinced by the claims of the group. This applies equally to ALL groups – political or religious. If however, you identify with a particular persuasion that you feel is unfairly represented in this Article, please leave a reply in the Comments Form below.

Who Do YOU Say That I Am?

Inspiration for the writing of this Article comes from a recent secular television broadcast. I viewed only highlights specific to this topic. As to any former or later discussion I am ignorant. Observations of certain political figures led to accusations of hypocrisy centered on a person’s personal belief in Jesus Christ. Several testimonies of various religious dogmas revealed a distinct variance in actual spiritual knowledge and personal experiences.

The majority’s idea surrounding communication with God was that it is merely one-sided – we to God, but never God to us. Additionally, it was concluded that to believe that God actually speaks to any human beings today is a sure sign of lunacy.  Hearing an audible voice from God was quickly rejected from the conversation as absurdly psychotic. Sadly, all but one on the panel of commentators agreed that any such beliefs are insane.

In summation, the moderator offered this. “To pray to Jesus is sweet. But to believe He answers you is naive”.

There are probably as many ideas and assumptions about Jesus Christ as there are persons expressing those views. While it is ABSOLUTELY necessary that ANY common belief in ‘One God’ agrees upon WHO THAT GOD actually is, even as every human being expresses themselves with multiple personalities (not necessarily bi-polar), there are indeed MANY manifestations of True God.

In human form, He has revealed Himself in Christ.  Just as Christ is the Word Incarnate – the Divinely Inspired Scriptures are the SAME Word in written form. I do NOT mean to deify the Bible; ONLY to validate the right interpretation of it – which ONLY occurs through personal revelation by the Holy Spirit (another manifestation of God).

“We have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2Pt. 1:19-21.

“the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” – Jn. 14:26.

There are two primary Greek terms that describe Scripture which are translated “word” in the New Testament. The first, ‘logos’, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God including Jesus, who is the Living Word. Examples of ‘logos’ are found in the following Scripture verses.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” – Jn. 1:1.

“The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12.

The second Greek term translated “word” is’ rhema’, which refers to the spoken word. Rhema literally means an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically). The emphasis is not so much on the initiation of a communication, but on the reception of it; In other words, when the communication becomes a personal revelation.

“Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”  – Ac. 11:16.

There are different views among Christian Denominations regarding rhema and how it should be understood. Most ‘charismatics’ view rhema as the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to them at the present moment. They believe they should be guided by the Holy Spirit through inner feelings, impressions and experiences.

Some believe that the direct words of God to an individual can also be imparted through the words of others, such as a preacher in a worship service or an anointed friend who counsels them. Through these avenues, a Christian experiences God’s direct leading. There is also the belief that the spoken word has more power than the written word, but there is no specific biblical basis for such a belief, and ANY word that contradicts a former established Word of God, is suspect.

Papal infallibility is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church claiming that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error “when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church”. But even here, the infallible teachings of the Pope must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture.

In contrast, most Evangelical Christians have a much different understanding of rhema, believing that it is essentially synonymous with logos. In other words, the specific guidance we receive from the Holy Spirit at any given time can only be discerned by the general principles laid down in the Bible. Where the Bible is silent on specifics—such as where a young person should go to college—then the Christian applies biblical principles (such as good stewardship of God-given resources, protecting one’s heart and mind from godless influences, etc.) to the situation and thereby arrives at a decision.

The test of the authenticity of a rhema from God is how it compares to the whole of Scripture. Orthodoxy says that God will not speak a word that contradicts the Scriptures, so there is a built-in safeguard to prevent misinterpretation. The obvious danger is that one who is not familiar with the logos can misinterpret or misunderstand what he or she perceives to be a rhema.

Depending on the extent of one’s knowledge of God through personal relationship with the many manifestations of HIM, one’s understanding and expressions of Jesus differs. The more one believes they have sincerely surrendered their will to God, the more likely they believe that their recognition of Christ is accurate.

The old adage “don’t put the cart in front of the horse” belays a mistaken approach to God too many have unfortunately taken. They have been introduced to stories about, and the teachings of, Christ through various interpretations of the Bible, but NEVER actually encountered the Living Christ in a personal experience.

Attempting to know God without actually meeting Him is sadly unfeasible. One cannot comprehend spiritual truth without the guidance of the Spirit of God.

“The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. – 1Cor. 2:14.

There are numerous Scriptures that allude to th need for such personal encounters. Proper understanding of and personal experience in becoming ‘Born Again”, “Spirit Filled”, “a New Creation”, must be necessary ‘components’ of a proper realization of “accepting Christ”. Those who really have experienced the spiritual reality of the new birth ALL share the SAME recognition of WHO Jesus Christ actually is.

Characteristics & behavior by these individuals are mostly consistent with those of Christ as portrayed in the Bible. Of course, it must be understood that the ‘new birth’ creates a ‘dual nature’ in a believer. The pre-existing ‘natural man’ is still very active (although only temporarily) along side the new, ‘spiritual nature’.

“For in my inner being [spiritual nature] I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me [natural man]” – Ro. 7:22,23.

Without a vital personal encounter with Christ, it is impossible to know for sure that a belief in Him is sufficient unto salvation. Many denominations do NOT even believe it possible to know whether or not a person is saved prior to physical death. they teach that all assurances of eternal life are, at best, hopes to be merely entertained – opposed to confirmed – on THIS side of eternity. Where there is NO rhema, there resides NO personal assurance. Prayerfully consider the following Scriptures.

“Behold,I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in …” – Rev. 3:20.

“You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” – Jer. 29:13.

“Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? And he said, Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting’.” – Ac. 9:4,5.

Spiritual reality begins with similar personal spiritual awakenings. A literal hearing a voice or being knocked to the ground need not happen. But a spiritual equivalent – a personal, actual encounter with God does occur in a legitimate spiritual birth. Instantly, the TRUTH is revealed, assured forevermore.

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – Jn. 8:32.

The genuine Jesus will not be revealed unless, and until, a person places themselves within the context of the following scenario …

 “Jesus asked them. ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Peter answered and said unto Him, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. Mark 8:29

Of course, ONLY the right identification results in a righteous spiritual enlightenment & assurance.

Floating — See, there’s this thing called biology…

The Way has a sweet post called Learning to Float that I really appreciate. That’s been my struggle too, learning how to stop struggling, learning how to rest in His peace, learning how to let go of the things that are God’s to handle and take care of. And then to trust that He will […]

via Floating — See, there’s this thing called biology…


Perhaps the greatest written statement regarding prayer is found in the Epistle of James:

 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops”.James 5:14-16.

Of course, there is an unspoken assumption by James that his instruction is addressed solely to true believers – those who are already saved and Spirit-filed  (Born Again). It is an essential reality that unless a person is truly Born Again (Spirit-filled), they are NOT in right relationship with God.

“You are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” – Romans 8:9.10.

The infilling of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God, The Spirit of Christ) is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise.

“I’ll ask the Father to give you another Advocate to help you & be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world can’t accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives WITH you & will be IN you”. Jn. 12:16,17.

One of the great “Mysteries of the Faith” is that the ‘natural man’ cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. They are merely foolishness to him. Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Cor.2:14). The ONLY solution to this is receiving the Holy Spirit through thenew-birth (becoming Born Again) as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in the Gospel of John, chapter 5.

Naturally, communication is vital in any relationship. In Man’s relationship with God (Who is Spirit) we must be enabled to effectively utilize the ONLY means of correspondence in the spiritual realm. Many who are NOT truly Spirit-filled, Born Again believers often wrongly imagine that they are in right relationship (and therefore can communicate) with God. They perceive Christianity as a mere religion that rewards adherence to Christ’s teachings with right status with God. They ‘work out’ their faith in the flesh (not having the Spirit), wrongly  thinking  that such good works please God.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied , and have cast out devils, and done many wonderful works in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  – Mt. 7:22,23.

A lack of clear understanding about the spiritual realm causes much confusion and frustration regarding the proper reason for and use of prayer. Too few people realize that there is a distinct difference between the natural and spiritual realms. Some do not even acknowledge the existence of a spiritual realm. Many wrongly attribute supernatural phenomenon to mere fictional writings.

However, Scripture is clear that both realms exist, and that there is a constant struggle between them. Not everything natural is evil and things spiritual, good. Good and evil exists in both. But there is absolute right and wrong, According to Scripture, the spiritual realm controls the natural. Spiritual warfare is a constant, regardless of an individual’s discernment. Ignoring this reality doesn’t negate it.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Eph.6:12

Because of this truth, true believers must learn through constant exercise and increasing knowledge of spiritual realities. Without Christ we can do nothing, but IN Christ we can do all things (Jn. 15:5, Phil. 4:13).

Hopefully these truths are well established in the heart and spirit of every reader. Of course, the universal term for communication with God is ‘prayer’. Several intriguing questions about prayer were recently posted to a forum  which actually inspired this article.  Although a much more in-depth answer requires further personal research, a direct Scriptural quote has been provided HERE to respond to that query.

These five questions were asked:

  1. Why should Christians pray? – Because we are commanded to pray: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mt. 26:41. “So that our partnership in the faith may be effective in deepening our understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ”. Philemon 1:6.
  2. What should Christians pray for? How do Christians know if something is the will of God (to be prayed for or not)? –  “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us …” Ro. 8:26.                               The Spirit helps us in our weakness. “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.” – 1 Cor. 14:14.155.
    “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers & requests. With this in mind, be alert & always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”  Eph. 6:18.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” –  Phil. 4:6.
    “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” –   Col. 4:2.
    “… pray continually,” – 1 Thes. 5:17
  3. Why did Jesus pray? – The actual prayer of Christ in the Garden is recorded in full in the Gospel of John, Chapter 17. It is the best insight into WHY Jesus prayed. Also consistent with the reasons Jesus prayed, the Apostles encourage us to pray likewise.
    “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” –  1 Tim.  2:8.
    “We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, & you in him, according to the grace of our God & Lord, Jesus Christ.”
    2 Thes. 1:12.  “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1Pt.3:12.
    “There are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.”
    – Jude 19,20.
  4. Why is prayer not answered? – Prayer is ALWAYS answered! Often it seems like it is not due to the unanticipated ANSWER. When we ask for patience for example, God allows us to experience seeming intolerable circumstances to develop patience in us. Such ‘testing’ is for our edification. “If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?” – Heb.12:7. Mostly, we ask wrongly, and expect a different answer, not realizing that sometimes the answer is “No”.
    “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.“ – James 4:3.
  5. How should we pray?-  Believe God not only hears, but will answer. In sincere humility, secrecy, and originality. In other words, NOT for show or meaningless repetition. Remember, God knows what you want long before you attempt to petition for it.
    “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” –  Mt. 6:6,7.
    “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, BELIEVE that you have received it, and it will be yours.” –  MT.11:24.

As has been stated above, this is NOT intended to be a concise and complete teaching on prayer. Hopefully though, it has competently addressed the questions posted to the forum. Since prayer is essentially communication with God, perhaps further reading and research will broaden awareness and facilitate a deeper and more meaningful prayer experience.

A final note: as in every correspondence, prayer should be perceived as a two-way communication. Allow time for God to respond, ‘listen’ intently withspiritual ears‘. His is a ‘still, small voice’ (1Kings 19:12).

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Heb. 11:6.

The Good Samaritan

The following re-blog is an insightful commentary on Christ’s Parable,  The Good Samaritan. I especially like the challenge by the author to discern which of the characters each of us might be. Prayerful contemplation should enrich your spiritual walk and improve your serve.


‘And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed…

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Who is Job?

Job is one of the poetic portions of the Old Testament of which very little is confirmed. Ancient Jewish scholars cite Moses as the author, but that Job himself is the true author is a more widely agreed speculation. Some scholars even propose two different unknown authors.

As for the actual dating of Job’s life, most believe it predates everyone after Adam and Eve, supposing Job to be among the people of the land of Nod (Gen. 4:16). But the first two places Job’s name is found (aside from the book of Job) is in Ezekiel There the prophet stated:

“Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness, says the Lord God” – Ezek. 14:14, 20.

Ezekiel’s point in both verses was that the ungodly conditions in the land were such that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job lived in that city, no one else would be saved. Ezekiel spoke of all three of these men as being real, historical people, not legendary characters.

As to his genealogy, neither Job nor his ancestors are ever mentioned in any of the original Hebrew biblical genealogies. However, as time progressed and newer translations became available new information appeared.

Some Greek and mostly Latin versions of the Book of Job state that Job dwelt in Ausitis on the confines of Idumea and Arabia. Further, his original name was Johab. He married an Arabian woman and fathered Ennon. Job’s father was Zerah who was from the lineage of Esau – five generations from Abraham. They were natives of Bozrah. The Latin text continues that Job reigned in Edom succeeding Balak, the son of Beor.  But in the Hebrew Bible, Balaam is the son of Beor.

The Latin continues to report that after Job were Husham and then Hadad, who was the son of Bedad and who defeated the Midianites in the fields of Moab. His city was named Arith. His three friends were Eliaphaz, a descendant of Esau and king of Teman, Bildad, king of the Shuhites, and Zophar, king of the Naamathites. Those that attest to the reliability of this are exclusively catholic scholars.

Other theological scholars suggest that Job was contemporaneous with Moses (1300 BC). In the Pseudepigrapha, one finds The Testament of Job. It claims Job was a king in Egypt. It also tells us the name of his wife, Sitidos. One Talmudic Tractate claims the Book of Job was written by Moses. Another claims it dates back to the time of Jacob,  and that Job is the son of Uz who was the son of Nahor, who was the brother of Abraham.

Still others claim that Job was one of the advisors to Pharaoh during the time of Moses; indeed, he was present when Pharaoh decreed that all the male Hebrew infants should be drowned. Even though he did not agree with the decree, he said nothing to dissuade Pharaoh from implementing it. This was, presumably, the sin for which he would be punished – the sin of silence.

According to the book that bears his name, Job was a uniquely righteous man, yet he was subject to all forms of distress. Because of this many have thought that Job was introduced as an Old Testament ‘parable’ similar to the New Testament parables of Christ, where the characters (the Good Samaritan, the Rich Young Ruler, etc.) were fictitious., rather than actual persons. As a work of fiction, like Christ’s parables, the story promotes the moral of faithfulness in spite of all opposition.

It should be obvious that scholars are not in agreement on any of these possible records.

Warning should also be heeded wherever characters mentioned with Scripture are further referred to in extra-biblical texts or nefarious newer translations. Perhaps it is best to accept the deliberate anonymity presented by the author of Job and to acknowledge that certain things cannot be known. Certainly, to postulate that any story is sufficient for sound doctrine is naïve at best.


According to a universal definition, ‘sin’ can be a noun or a verb: an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law; or, the commission of an offense. Synonyms are many, including: an immoral act, wrong, wrongdoing, act of evil/wickedness, transgression, crime, offense, misdeed, misdemeanor, scandal, disgrace, outrage. These are, of course, secular conceptions of a matter much more fully examined in the pages of Holy Scripture.

While many of the same ideas about sin are indeed expressed, the main point Scripture declares about sin is that it is essentially what separates us from God. The Book of Genesis introduces the concept of sin in relating the story of Eden, the subsequent fall of mankind, and God’s promised remedy.

Curiously, while Eden is where the Biblical narrative provides the origin of sin, the actual word ‘sin’ is not mentioned until AFTER Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the garden. The first passage that employs the term is in God’s discussion with Cain about his anger towards his brother, Abel.

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” – Gen. 4:7.

Obviously, the issue of sin is designated there as a consequence of choice. That Cain should rule over it, indicates that it was a matter of his free will whether to sin or not. Therefore. any idea that this was because of the curse of ‘Original Sin’ must be prayerfully scrutinized more carefully.

There are many similar assumptions  that few people adequately research before accepting as truth. As with most things, one’s perspective greatly influences their ultimate appreciation of fact.

The purpose of this Article is to distinguish between two primary perspectives related to sin. This is NOT to infer that merely two perspectives exist, only that at least these two should be considered. One view is mankind’s involvement in, responsibility for, and possible rehabilitation from, sin. The other is God’s revelation and purpose of, and antidote for, sin.

Two other distinctions must also be simultaneously considered. Scripture regards sin in an all-inclusive, universal application and additionally, as an individual, personal liability. The ubiquitous sense relates to the ‘Original Sin’ imposed upon mankind in Eden and in which ALL humanity is born. I label this as SIN. This is THE NOUN by which everything that opposes God is called. The other designated in lower-case font, ‘sin’ or ‘sins’.

Equally offensive to God, yet NOT the same perpetual curse imposed pre-birth, are the many wrong actions performed by mankind – intentionally or ignorantly. These are commonly referred to as being either ‘sins of commission’ or ‘sins of omission’. More than merely wrongdoing, failing to do rightly is just as evil.

The existence of the universal application of sin is clearly proclaimed in Scripture.

““There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” – Ro.3:11,12.

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Ro. 3:23.

Interestingly, there is little doubt or debate among believers about the universal curse of sin. Excluding atheists, the majority of people attribute the existence of evil to sin. The godly remedy for sin is where they disagree. The entire purpose of God becoming man and offering Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice is revealed in Scripture as THE solution to this pervasive blight.

Confusion and speculation also abounds regarding the PRESENT sin that continues to plague believers. The remainder of this Article shall focus on that matter.

“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” – 1Jn. 1:7-10.

Sadly, many false doctrines exist that portray the preceding scripture passage as a seeming contradiction. Of course, the spiritually mature know that scripture NEVER contradicts itself. Where ever it appears so, a deeper research and fuller understanding is imperative.

Still, the question is continually debated, “How do believers explain the sin that continues to oppress them, after being forgiven and saved”? Again, spiritual maturity provides the necessary enlightenment, possible ONLY through the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

“Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him” 1Jn. 3:6.

A crucial discernment is required here. Who to believe – Scripture, or some private interpretation of it? How can we know the difference? What is it to ‘abide’ in HIM? The WORD of God definitely says, “Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him”.

So, those who have ‘seen’ Him (in Christ) and have come to ‘know’ Him (as revealed in Christ) do NOT sin. Except, many have ‘seen’ Him and ‘know’ Him, by virtue of a personal encounter that has been confirmed by the perpetual residency of the Holy Spirit, yet they continue to sin. How do we reconcile this personal experience with Scripture?

Paul explained a similar enigma in his personal experience. He admonished believers to understand the relentless battle that our flesh wages against our spirit – the ‘inner man’.

“We know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Ro. 7: 14-25.

Remember, this was Paul’s expressed empathy for born again Christians, as a born again Christian, to other born again Christians. His conclusion? “Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He understood that a newness of life had set up permanent residency in him which led him to the conviction – “Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me”.

Just as SIN separates us from God, becoming truly born again (born of the Spirit) separates us from sin. The term ‘separates’ is better realized as a ‘division’ or ‘partition’; ‘detached’, ‘disjoined’. The ‘new creation’ that the infilling Spirit of God produces involves an addition to the natural man. Formerly mere physical beings with no spiritual life now become ‘alive’ unto God and ‘dead’ unto sin by being born again.

“The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” – 1 Cor. 2:14.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” – 2Cor. 5:17.

“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” – 1Pt. 1:23.

“Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord” – Ro. 6:11.

Without such a personal experience, sin forever rules the heart. But a new desire to please God, to worship Him, and to express an eternal gratitude for His grace (unmerited favor) now reigns in sin’s place for those truly born again. Of course, this is a simplistic reasoning for a supernatural miracle of redemption and transformation from death to life. It cannot be rightly comprehended by merely the rational mind.

But such newness of life does NOT immediately end the former way of life. In most, this is a life-long process, learning more about the things of God and how to surrender to His Spirit rather than the old sin-nature our selfish flesh continues to insist upon. Some, very few, do experience an instant change that solidifies the born again experience as an immediate eternal assurance.  Most however, receive such confirmation over time, as their personal education in Scripture and subsequent edification in the Spirit is experienced. Further hindering such spiritual growth, temptation comes with every thought. But a way of overcoming every temptation also accompanies those thoughts.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond  your ability, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” – 1Cor. 10:13.

Here again, Paul is ministering as a born again believer to other born again believers. Clearly temptation to sin remains an ever present danger to believers, but by the same grace by which we’ve been saved, a ‘way of escape’ allows us to endure.

Many have confused the ‘incorruptible seed’ by which spiritual birth is conceived to mean that born again believers are beyond corruption. This is a false assumption. It is the Spirit of God that is the incorruptible seed. He ALONE is righteous. Although He appropriates His righteousness to born again believers, it remains HIS righteousness.

Self-righteousness is one of the hypocrisies of sin. Those who attempt to achieve righteousness through their own efforts, regardless of motivation or resulting good, have circumvented Christ’s whole redemptive purpose. While they may claim naivety, Jesus has warned that is no excuse. He explained that the ‘doing’ of good works in hopes of attaining righteousness was NOT the way to come to know Him. Conversely, knowing Him would produce His covering of righteousness and good works would be manifest in and through such believers.

 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  – Mt. 7:16-23.

In conclusion, this was not intended to present an exhaustive study on the topic of sin. It has been presented as a concise ‘over-view’ of the multitude of passages within Scripture pertaining to the matter as it relates to the true believer. An applied systematic theological research into ‘Soteriology’ (doctrine of salvation) is strongly recommended for further consideration. Those still doubtful should perhaps consider that as an indication that sin has not yet been remedied in their life, and pray to God for deliverance.

What Religion is God?

A recent post on another blog posed some interesting questions  which I was compelled to address. A copy of the original post is pasted below, along with an attempt at providing a suitable answer.

[What Religion is God?]

  • We all know that Jesus taught in the Jewish temple but what exactly is His religion?
  • We also know from scripture that He is “not” Catholic.
  • Is He… Baptist? Mormon? Jehovah Witness? Seventh-Day Adventist? Methodist? Anglican? Buddhist?
  • Are there any Scriptures that define what religion God is?
  • Is Religion man-made or God made?
  • Why does mankind need religion anyway?

In the strictest of definitions equally understood and agreed to by a universal non-sectarian application of the English language, “RELIGION’ = “the belief in, and/or worship of a supernatural controlling being or power – especially an intimate God or lesser gods”.

‘Mono-theists’ believe in ONLY ONE ALMIGHTY CREATOR TRUE GOD. ‘Poly-theists’ believe in many lesser gods, assigning distinct, but limited powers, to several unequal deities – thereby forming the primary basis upon which ‘religions’ disagree.

When such applications become PERSONAL, they may adhere more strongly to the general convictions of a particular organized system of such worship & beliefs – or NOT. Many personal relationships with God are based upon an individual’s firsthand experiential encounter with God. Where again, such may or may not conform to any or some pre-existing dogma.

To address the more specific questions about the religion of Jesus, a distinction between Christ’s Deity and humanity must be properly discerned (which immediately creates ‘religious’ differences). Depending upon one’s personal convictions relative to their accepted doctrine, the truth may remain evasive.

However, the Historical figure of Christ – the actual individual who lived, ministered, and was crucified in Jerusalem 2000+ years ago – was a Jew and lived according to the Jewish religion of that time. Judaism has changed substantially since then, debate over the proper identity of Christ and the validity of His Resurrection being chiefly responsible. Even within the ranks of many subsequent forms of religion that claim affiliation with Christ, His proper identity and actual ramifications of the resurrection continue to cause conflict.

Stating that Jesus is not Catholic is true only in the sense that neither is He exclusively any of the other religions/denominations/sects cited above. Some of all those particular doctrines agree (in part) with Scripture’s teachings and Christ’s own declarations. But NONE of them solely form, nor are independently the epitome of ‘stand-alone’ sound doctrine. Each individual must take responsibility to apply due diligence to researching doctrines, comparing them to valid copies of Scripture, under an anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit to rightly comprehend any so-called ‘true religion’.

But even such an extensive exercise may produce merely clarity about WHAT to believe; the ultimate goal is to KNOW WHO to believe. TRUTH is much more than a philosophy – Scripture reveals that TRUTH is a PERSON, Jesus Christ

“Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” Jn. 14:6.

 As to the question –Are there any Scriptures that define what religion God is? Jesus Christ answered,

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” – Jn. 5:59.

Accordingly, scholars of theology have long determined that the total sum of ALL Scripture reveals the ultimate & cumulative manifestation and purpose of true God is Jesus Christ. Consideration of all the facts regarding ‘religion’ is that it is ‘man-made’ but likely inspired by God to bring man to a discovery of truth by empirical evaluation of the various contradictions within all religions. But this does NOT mean that ALL religions are inspired by God – some are indeed called ‘doctrines of demons’ by Scripture.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a proper comprehension of priorities regarding spiritual realities.  It must be acknowledged that many wrongly approach matters pertaining to God by placing the proverbial ‘cart before the horse’. Thinking religion leads to God is backwards.   Conversely, a personal encounter with God enlightens one to the true tenets of religion. Apart from a vital personal relationship with God, religion is pointless.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” Jn. 15:5.

Scripture declares that the things pertaining to God are ‘spiritual’ and as such require true ‘spiritual discernment’ to rightly understand. This discernment comes ONLY through the Holy Spirit, to whom ONLY those who receive Him are enabled.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” – 1Cor. 2:14.

“The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” – Jn. 14:17.

“By this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” – 1Jn. 3:24.

“You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is NOT His” – Ro. 8:9.

By such enabling of the Spirit of God each man is individually responsible to determine for himself that which is true, opposed to that which is false. God’s challenge to all men regarding religion is recorded in Scripture thusly:

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” – Duet. 30:19.

So, in conclusion, the important question should not really be “What religion is God?” (for God is NOT a religion), but instead – “What religion fully agrees with God’s revelation to mankind?” The choice remains yours.

WHAT to Believe or WHO to Believe?

Originally posted in reply to an Article entitled “Child Abuse and Atheism” at , I included it here for reasons that are hopefully apparent.

Whenever ANY person looks on another in judgment (whether a so-called ‘Christian’ or perceived member of ‘other’ religions) rather than seeking the GOD such persons proclaim loyalty to, ‘true religion’ rather than ‘right relationship’ immediately becomes the topic. As IB rightly stated in her Article – TRUTH is a PERSON. Alternatively, religions are mere ideologies formed by individual interpretations of the teachings of whatever particular assumptions are believed about ‘my’ GOD.

What is tragically too often overlooked in sharing one’s faith, is that God has NOT created a world inhabited by faulty robots, programed to conform to certain standards and regulations, but prone to failure. His presenting the Law through Moses was to reveal the Righteousness of God, NOT to set a standard of acceptable behavior, but – to show mankind how far superior and beyond a man’s BEST efforts, GOD actually is. Basically to proclaim, “I AM” – you’re NOT.

The plan of God is to establish the Righteousness of God that ONLY God Himself can achieve and maintain – to prove that He is the ONLY true God. In accomplishing THAT, He revealed Himself through Christ and initiated an eternal right-relationship in His believers by His Spirit living perpetually within them, enabling them to perform the good will of God according to HIS purpose.

Atheists claim no belief in God, but false belief in God can be even more dangerous. Many have moved from NO belief to encountering God, while fewer have escaped false religions imposed upon them by family heritage. The notion of conformity to a particular standard of religious convictions (especially when promoted from early childhood to the exception of other more valid teachings) without a proper introduction to the PERSON of Christ the Living God, negates the intentions of God’s plan of salvation. Apart from experiencing a personal encounter with Christ, man is powerless to achieve real righteousness, regardless of the most sincere commitment to religious beliefs.

I find it tragically amusing that the world consensus agrees on the ‘goal’ of any religion is attaining right relationship with God in hopes of some form of comfortable after-life, yet they imagine all methods and paths towards that ‘goal’ as equal. If there are MANY Gods, then such logic is sustainable, but if there is only ONE GOD, by the same logic – there is only ONE WAY to Him.

ONLY Jesus Christ declared regarding Himself to be THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE. THAT statement is either true or not, making everything else regarding God, religion, and life thereby accountable relative to the right conclusion.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – Jn. 14:6.

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” – Jn. 5: 39

One comment from IB‘s blog stated: “I know the Truth, the Truth is a person, and He can set you free.”

When rightly acknowledged as a living being, TRUTH has the capability of salvaging captives. Conversely, when TRUTH is perceived as merely a philosophy or ideology, not only is it open to debate,it is powerless to save. anyone. Without the reality of a right relationship with the Living Christ, life is destined to be perceived merely as equally confusing and void of absolutes to everyone – abstract at best.

Unless a vital personal relationship with the Author of Life is literally a constant state of consciousness, the ‘goal’ of one’s most altruistic endeavors remains insurmountable.

No God, No Peace. Know God, Know Peace.