Archive for August, 2006

h1

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED

August 29, 2006


GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED
I have no idea who wrote this or if it is a true story… but it really had me thinking. I know some may think that it is misrepresenting in some sort of way, yet I can not tell you how many parents and family members of children or sibling with mental disabilities express this sort of idea.

To me this is inspirational… as I look at my own monotonous day often with out joy, but with that feeling of missing “something” and that there has to be more to all of this.

Blessings,
iggy

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED
Don’t start reading this one until you’ve got more than 3 or 4 minutes to just “scan” over it.
It deserves a bit of time for some reflection.I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s what I heard him say one night.

He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, “Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed…”I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

Kevin was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he’s 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different.


Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?


Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.

The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.He does not seem dissatisfied.

He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores.

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s goin’ to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.


He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.

He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry.

He is always transparent, always sincere.

And he trusts God.

Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God – to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.

It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.

It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap . . I am.

My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God’s care.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won’t be surprised at all!

h1

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED

August 29, 2006


GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED
I have no idea who wrote this or if it is a true story… but it really had me thinking. I know some may think that it is misrepresenting in some sort of way, yet I can not tell you how many parents and family members of children or sibling with mental disabilities express this sort of idea.

To me this is inspirational… as I look at my own monotonous day often with out joy, but with that feeling of missing “something” and that there has to be more to all of this.

Blessings,
iggy

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED
Don’t start reading this one until you’ve got more than 3 or 4 minutes to just “scan” over it.
It deserves a bit of time for some reflection.I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s what I heard him say one night.

He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, “Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed…”I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

Kevin was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he’s 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different.


Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?


Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.

The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.He does not seem dissatisfied.

He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores.

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s goin’ to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.


He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.

He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry.

He is always transparent, always sincere.

And he trusts God.

Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God – to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.

It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.

It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap . . I am.

My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God’s care.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won’t be surprised at all!

h1

Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition" pt 3

August 27, 2006

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition” PT 3

Part 1
Part 2

Finally I am at part 3 in this series about obedience: point 3

3. Often people confuse where and how obedience works in the life of a believer.

Part 1 We have seen how obedience is tied tightly to “forgiveness”, yet now we do not have a “sin” issue with God, but a death issue. For, we already had a system in place that took care of “sin” with the animal sacrifice. Jesus then came and finalized this “system” with His own blood… He was and is the literal Perfect Lamb of God. Jesus is the reality of the shadow that was the “animal sacrificial system”. Again, the issue is that we are “dead in our sin”. So, even forgiven, we are in need of “Life”.

And that Life is from Christ, for all life came from and through Jesus when all things were created.

Part 2 covered that often Christian and people in general confuse obedience with following the Ten Commandments, or doctrines, or traditions. We learned the purpose of the Law was to point out our transgression… and to add transgression. The issues are that some teach a form of godliness that is based on our performance, and denies the works of Jesus or/and many teach false or unsound doctrine as they are passing down traditions and what someone else taught. This can be generational and denominational… in that many have no idea that their view may not be correct… and in all sincerity they attack out of their own ignorance as they have never tackled the teachings or issues themselves. That often this comes from knowing something, yet not understanding something.

This leads us basically to where we are now.


How does obedience work in a believer’s life?

If obedience is not about performance and trying to please God… as is true with religions outside of the teachings in Christianity, how does obedience work in the life of a believer if it does at all? So many are taught that obedience is how we “please God” yet, the teachings of Jesus are very plain that we are to “be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect”, which is THE STANDARD of perfection we must have to keep favor with God by our performance. So, we must look at what and where obedience is in scripture.

The first place I would start is that Jesus learned obedience… this is important. For if we are to be perfect and the only One Who ever met that standard of perfection was Jesus, then we need to see that even Jesus Who was God in the flesh, “learned obedience” and was “made perfect” by the Father. Hebrews 5:

  1. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9.  and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10.  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. NIV


Notice that we often speak of Jesus as perfect, yet here is says, “once made perfect”. Jesus was perfect, yet not “proven” or one could say, “worthy of being called perfect” until after He learned obedience from what He suffered.
Philippians 2: 6.  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7.  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature  of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

Jesus being God Himself in flesh made Himself nothing… and obeyed the Father… even to the point of placing Himself as a man, in obedience to death. Jesus was obedient.

Jesus lived his life in total dependency on the Father (John 5:19-21) … and that was his obedience. This obedience then opened the door to the Resurrected Life of God.

Rom 5: 16.  Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17.  For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18.  Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.19. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20.  The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21.  so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This passage is rich with the meaning of obedience and how it is to be practiced. To me it hinges all on the phrase in verse 19. “…through the obedience of the one man”. That man is Jesus of course. Notice that it is not our own obedience that makes us righteous, which I have heard taught so many times, but through the obedience of Christ… by Jesus’ obedience we are made right with God. To say our own obedience adds favor for us in Gods eyes, is a slap in the face of the obedience that Jesus “learned”. It is HIS OBEDIENCE that pleased God… to the point of Hebrews saying in chapter 2: 9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10.  In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Jesus is the author of our salvation… and the finisher.(Phil 1:4-6) He is the Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End.

We are to walk in the obedience of Christ. We are to walk in the commands of Christ… 2 John 1:6-7) John even is kind enough to tell us exactly what this command is…

1 John 3: 23.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24.  Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

This is the summation Jesus gave in keeping the Ten Commandments.  (Matt 22:35-40 Rom 13:9-10)

We are to depend on Jesus for everything, just as He did with the Father when Jesus was here on earth. We are to live in total dependency on Jesus for all things… in that we must also depend on Him for our obedience. This obedience is imputed to us by Grace… bought by the Blood of Jesus. To then not love God… or to not love you neighbor, or as 1 John 2 states: 9. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him  to make him stumble. 11.  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

As also later 1 John 3: 11.  This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

That is why when someone disagrees with me I have no problem, yet if one attacks me on a personal level I ask them to check their hearts. For, if they are coming after me in hate, they are breaking the command of Christ to love their brother.

1 John 4: 11.  This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

That is why we are not to judge, for it is not our own righteousness that is to judge, but Christ’s… in that He then is the judge and we only judge others by our lives.

“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?”(2 Cor 2: 15-16)




We are to live humbly not lifting ourselves up… not doing harm to others.  We also must be careful since we are to depend on Christ totally for all things, even His obedience, as we walk in the Spirit we do not place ourselves in opposition to the Law of Love. For if we are not careful we make ourselves the judge over it. In that we have made ourselves equal with God.


James 4: 10.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  
11.  Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.


In closing I want to add that one should not strive to be “obedient”, rather to strive to Love as Scripture teaches “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” Here is the whole context again.

1 John 4: 15.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19.  We love because he first loved us. 20.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21.  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Your walk is not about “you”, but “Christ in you” as He lives in and through you. As one does that God works out our salvation by His good and perfect will. (Phil 2:12)

Blessings,
iggy


1 Cor 4: 3 -5

h1

Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition" pt 3

August 27, 2006

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition” PT 3

Part 1
Part 2

Finally I am at part 3 in this series about obedience: point 3

3. Often people confuse where and how obedience works in the life of a believer.

Part 1 We have seen how obedience is tied tightly to “forgiveness”, yet now we do not have a “sin” issue with God, but a death issue. For, we already had a system in place that took care of “sin” with the animal sacrifice. Jesus then came and finalized this “system” with His own blood… He was and is the literal Perfect Lamb of God. Jesus is the reality of the shadow that was the “animal sacrificial system”. Again, the issue is that we are “dead in our sin”. So, even forgiven, we are in need of “Life”.

And that Life is from Christ, for all life came from and through Jesus when all things were created.

Part 2 covered that often Christian and people in general confuse obedience with following the Ten Commandments, or doctrines, or traditions. We learned the purpose of the Law was to point out our transgression… and to add transgression. The issues are that some teach a form of godliness that is based on our performance, and denies the works of Jesus or/and many teach false or unsound doctrine as they are passing down traditions and what someone else taught. This can be generational and denominational… in that many have no idea that their view may not be correct… and in all sincerity they attack out of their own ignorance as they have never tackled the teachings or issues themselves. That often this comes from knowing something, yet not understanding something.

This leads us basically to where we are now.


How does obedience work in a believer’s life?

If obedience is not about performance and trying to please God… as is true with religions outside of the teachings in Christianity, how does obedience work in the life of a believer if it does at all? So many are taught that obedience is how we “please God” yet, the teachings of Jesus are very plain that we are to “be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect”, which is THE STANDARD of perfection we must have to keep favor with God by our performance. So, we must look at what and where obedience is in scripture.

The first place I would start is that Jesus learned obedience… this is important. For if we are to be perfect and the only One Who ever met that standard of perfection was Jesus, then we need to see that even Jesus Who was God in the flesh, “learned obedience” and was “made perfect” by the Father. Hebrews 5:

  1. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9.  and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10.  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. NIV


Notice that we often speak of Jesus as perfect, yet here is says, “once made perfect”. Jesus was perfect, yet not “proven” or one could say, “worthy of being called perfect” until after He learned obedience from what He suffered.
Philippians 2: 6.  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7.  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature  of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

Jesus being God Himself in flesh made Himself nothing… and obeyed the Father… even to the point of placing Himself as a man, in obedience to death. Jesus was obedient.

Jesus lived his life in total dependency on the Father (John 5:19-21) … and that was his obedience. This obedience then opened the door to the Resurrected Life of God.

Rom 5: 16.  Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17.  For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18.  Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.19. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20.  The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21.  so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This passage is rich with the meaning of obedience and how it is to be practiced. To me it hinges all on the phrase in verse 19. “…through the obedience of the one man”. That man is Jesus of course. Notice that it is not our own obedience that makes us righteous, which I have heard taught so many times, but through the obedience of Christ… by Jesus’ obedience we are made right with God. To say our own obedience adds favor for us in Gods eyes, is a slap in the face of the obedience that Jesus “learned”. It is HIS OBEDIENCE that pleased God… to the point of Hebrews saying in chapter 2: 9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10.  In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Jesus is the author of our salvation… and the finisher.(Phil 1:4-6) He is the Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End.

We are to walk in the obedience of Christ. We are to walk in the commands of Christ… 2 John 1:6-7) John even is kind enough to tell us exactly what this command is…

1 John 3: 23.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24.  Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

This is the summation Jesus gave in keeping the Ten Commandments.  (Matt 22:35-40 Rom 13:9-10)

We are to depend on Jesus for everything, just as He did with the Father when Jesus was here on earth. We are to live in total dependency on Jesus for all things… in that we must also depend on Him for our obedience. This obedience is imputed to us by Grace… bought by the Blood of Jesus. To then not love God… or to not love you neighbor, or as 1 John 2 states: 9. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him  to make him stumble. 11.  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

As also later 1 John 3: 11.  This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

That is why when someone disagrees with me I have no problem, yet if one attacks me on a personal level I ask them to check their hearts. For, if they are coming after me in hate, they are breaking the command of Christ to love their brother.

1 John 4: 11.  This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

That is why we are not to judge, for it is not our own righteousness that is to judge, but Christ’s… in that He then is the judge and we only judge others by our lives.

“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?”(2 Cor 2: 15-16)




We are to live humbly not lifting ourselves up… not doing harm to others.  We also must be careful since we are to depend on Christ totally for all things, even His obedience, as we walk in the Spirit we do not place ourselves in opposition to the Law of Love. For if we are not careful we make ourselves the judge over it. In that we have made ourselves equal with God.


James 4: 10.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  
11.  Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.


In closing I want to add that one should not strive to be “obedient”, rather to strive to Love as Scripture teaches “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” Here is the whole context again.

1 John 4: 15.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19.  We love because he first loved us. 20.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21.  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Your walk is not about “you”, but “Christ in you” as He lives in and through you. As one does that God works out our salvation by His good and perfect will. (Phil 2:12)

Blessings,
iggy


1 Cor 4: 3 -5

h1

Hey Dan! Let me clear some points and loose ends

August 25, 2006

Hey Dan! Let me clear up some points and loose ends

Dan and I have been going at logger heads for some time… he is really a pest… LOL! Just joking!!!!

Actually, I really enjoy Dan’s input on my posts. I have even pulled the comments out to a new post as I think his comments of great value. I consider Dan a friend and though he needs to post more on his blog I think he has some interesting thought there.

Here is the comment on the last post that I was reviewing “A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity”. Though in a way I think the main point of the last post was that I agree with Spencer Burke on much of the topics of he book, I wanted to expound on some of the things Dan has brought up.

A couple counterpoints iggy,

First of all, looking at scripture collectively we see that baptism is a means of salvation (although not necessarily the only way). This is attested to by Christ when he says “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Some people get hung up on the ordering of believe and baptized, but my point is that in this verse and numerous others baptism and salvation are linked. The most specific verse attesting to the salvific nature of baptism would be 1Peter 3:20-21 which states:

“God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” That states it pretty clearly.

Throw into the mix that the vast majority of the early church leaders performed infant baptism and that the first case of a child being intentionally withheld from baptism doesn’t appear until the 4th century and i think you have a pretty good case for salvific infant baptism.

Secondly, it seems strange that you would throw out the idea of salvific baptism for lack of biblical evidence but then claim a sort of “age of accountability” based upon cognitive ability which has even less in the way of direct Biblical support. I also am a bit perplexed that someone who has spent so much time rallying against the dangers of propositional truth would then base so much of our salvation upon a narrow definition of reasoning (not to mention that asserting that the developmentally disabled are unable to be depraved is insulting and paints the disabled as the cherubim imbeciles, an image that disability rights groups have been trying to eliminate for years. Trust me, developmentally disabled people can be just as depraved as you or I). Let me put it this way. An infant does not cognitively understand love, but would you say that your child does not know that you love them? A gentleman by the name of Hoffman puts it this way, “The child is capable of a “primal trust,” and, where this is not developed but held back, it sustains severe personality damage. This “primal trust” is not first developed through heard or understood articulated words, but in a personal mode which is other than verbal and which can indeed dispense with the verbal dimension. A child “knows”

Anyways, that’s all for now.

Dan

P.S. I wrote an paper on infant baptism that lays out my beliefs pretty well and give a bunch more evidence for it. If you’d like I could send you a copy.

Hey Dan!

I want to clear up something about “propositional truth”. I aint against it… in fact I went back and put a disclaimer to that post as I think the title is misleading in regard to what I wrote. It set the wrong tone.

I do not think we are to base our understanding on “man’s reasoning” and I do not think man can reason his way to God at least without the “wooing” of the Holy Spirit.

I see that propositional truth must be in “right” relation to Jesus or it is really of no use.

  1. Jesus is THE TRUTH. (One can say He is TRUTH ABSOLUTE)
  2. Jesus is the source of All Truth. (One can say Jesus is the source of All Absolute Truth).
  3. All Truth comes from the source or it is not pure Truth.
  4. We receive this Truth from Jesus as revelation which is then confirmed by Jesus revealing Who He is in the Scripture.
  5. We understand scripture and its truths which are often “propositional” by our relationship with Jesus.
  6. We test this by our experience and by our fellowship with one another to test and prove these Truths with each other.
  7. We live our lives in and through these truths with each other.
  8. These Truths must be universally true or they are not true…

I admit whole hardily that this is not a formula, but rather what I have come to understand from scripture and my relationship with Jesus over the years.

Secondly, I am not perfect, so I may not be right on some things. Somewhere I realized in my walk that God is perfect and that is His job, not mine. Mine is to be the imperfect creation that is loved by Him.

In that I am always looking at my faith and beliefs to see if they square with what I hear God teaching me. Though you and I may not agree with some things, I truly respect your beliefs and know you have not just accepted things, but do challenge teachings. I do not take it personally when you do disagree as I know you realize we both are growing. (I must at least make you think cuz you keep coming back to read my silly posts LOL!).

The funny thing is as I was writing the paragraph on infant baptism, I thought about you for a moment as I know that the Lutherans are not too far off on the Catholic view of infant baptism.

I view the scripture as talking about two specific “baptisms”

  1. John’s Baptism (a precursor and one of remission of sins)
  2. Being immersed in the Blood of Jesus or being baptized into Christ.

#1 was not a permanent solution as it was temporary as the sacrificial system… John even said it was for the “remission of sins” as Jesus was the “Lamb Who would take away the sins of the world”. That was and is the permanent e solution.

I see that other than that, there is no “baptism” that is for salvation as even Paul said that if anyone preaches a Gospel different from himself, let him be accursed. (Gal 1) So, then if the “Gospel of your salvation” (Eph1:13) was preached by Paul… and anyone who preached contrary was to be eternally cursed, why does Paul sound so lackadaisical over baptism?

1 Cor 1: 11. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14. I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15. so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (NIV)

To me then if Paul who was so strong on defending the “Gospel” that saves us was not so strong on Baptism, I think that we then can see that baptism was not part of the “salvation equation”.

In fact I have for sometime noticed that as the Revelation of Jesus increased in scripture, the teaching of baptism progressively diminishes. There is either a contradiction or there is a progression as one scripture tell us we have only “One Baptism” (Ephesians 4:5) then in Hebrews we have the verse that says, “Hebrews 6:1. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2. instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

So we must conclude that there is One Baptism… and one is symbolic of THAT BAPTISM. (1 Peter 3:21) There is one baptism and that is in Christ… as we are baptized into His Life… His resurrected Life. 1 Peter 3: 18. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19. through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20. who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21. and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22. who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. (NIV with my emphasis). I see it as not the water, but the Resurrection of Jesus that saves us. And that we now are baptized in Christ… or placed into Jesus… 1 Cor 12: 13. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. (NIV) personally I remember pastor Farina doing the dunking… not the Holy Spirit… as far as “water”. But, I do know that the Holy Spirit has baptized me in Jesus. Ephesians 1 explains how we are immersed in Christ… “22. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23. which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (NIV)

Notice we are placed under Christ… just as one is placed under the water at baptism. We are baptized in Christ. This is backed up more if one does a study of being the body of Christ. I do not think Paul was talking of water baptism in Rom 6: 1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2. By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3. Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Rather I see he is saying that since we are now dead to sin, we are now being dead, have Jesus’ death in place of our own. With that as we are immersed in His death, we also will be raised from the dead, and will live a new life. Our sin was taken away, or put to death, so we too can partake in the resurrection of Christ.

Even through I do not see baptism as an essential, I do not see harm in child dedications, though I see this as more of a community of believer that are vowing together to help raise the child in a Godly way. Most the time it is a rather meaningless ritual.

I know the arguments of “the whole household was baptized”… and such, yet again, this is the “symbol” of what now saves us… the water does not do much but get us wet and shows what Christ has done on the inside of a believer.

My main point is that most reformed theologians and Calvinist do not believe child baptism, so deny Calvinism in its purity as Calvin would have taught it. Again, I thought of Luther, then you, and wondered how you would respond.

I am interested in your paper… I would really like to read what you have considered and discovered… I may be missing something.

The main point of the “developmentally disabled” is not that some can not grasp right and wrong, but many cannot understand even some basic teachings of the faith. In that if a child is mute and cannot “confess with their mouth”… or if one is deaf. How can they “hear the message”. I am thinking of my cousins which one is in her 40’s and is mentally still about 5 years old… another has down syndrome and just did a dance routine to “Little Willy, Willy” by Sweet in which she did a rather shocking hip swivel to the embarrassment of her family. I do not think she understood what she was doing… as I do not think she realized that the seductive hip swivel was not appropriate for the family reunion… though it was a bit fun to what my very religious cousins get shocked a bit by it. Both are more than capable of doing bad things, yet there is an innocence still there that is not present in adults. My main thought was not that these do not ever do anything that can be considered sinful, but that God’s grace covers them. In a sense it is like when Paul states, “And where there is no law there is no transgression.” (Rom 4:15) These who cannot understand transgressions, are not held to account of transgressions. They are innocent of transgressions, that is until they come to a point that they do realize they are transgressing against someone else, or God. After that if they continue, God turns them over to a depraved mind… but until then they do not have a depraved mind .

Blessings,
iggy

h1

Hey Dan! Let me clear some points and loose ends

August 25, 2006

Hey Dan! Let me clear up some points and loose ends

Dan and I have been going at logger heads for some time… he is really a pest… LOL! Just joking!!!!

Actually, I really enjoy Dan’s input on my posts. I have even pulled the comments out to a new post as I think his comments of great value. I consider Dan a friend and though he needs to post more on his blog I think he has some interesting thought there.

Here is the comment on the last post that I was reviewing “A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity”. Though in a way I think the main point of the last post was that I agree with Spencer Burke on much of the topics of he book, I wanted to expound on some of the things Dan has brought up.

A couple counterpoints iggy,

First of all, looking at scripture collectively we see that baptism is a means of salvation (although not necessarily the only way). This is attested to by Christ when he says “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Some people get hung up on the ordering of believe and baptized, but my point is that in this verse and numerous others baptism and salvation are linked. The most specific verse attesting to the salvific nature of baptism would be 1Peter 3:20-21 which states:

“God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” That states it pretty clearly.

Throw into the mix that the vast majority of the early church leaders performed infant baptism and that the first case of a child being intentionally withheld from baptism doesn’t appear until the 4th century and i think you have a pretty good case for salvific infant baptism.

Secondly, it seems strange that you would throw out the idea of salvific baptism for lack of biblical evidence but then claim a sort of “age of accountability” based upon cognitive ability which has even less in the way of direct Biblical support. I also am a bit perplexed that someone who has spent so much time rallying against the dangers of propositional truth would then base so much of our salvation upon a narrow definition of reasoning (not to mention that asserting that the developmentally disabled are unable to be depraved is insulting and paints the disabled as the cherubim imbeciles, an image that disability rights groups have been trying to eliminate for years. Trust me, developmentally disabled people can be just as depraved as you or I). Let me put it this way. An infant does not cognitively understand love, but would you say that your child does not know that you love them? A gentleman by the name of Hoffman puts it this way, “The child is capable of a “primal trust,” and, where this is not developed but held back, it sustains severe personality damage. This “primal trust” is not first developed through heard or understood articulated words, but in a personal mode which is other than verbal and which can indeed dispense with the verbal dimension. A child “knows”

Anyways, that’s all for now.

Dan

P.S. I wrote an paper on infant baptism that lays out my beliefs pretty well and give a bunch more evidence for it. If you’d like I could send you a copy.

Hey Dan!

I want to clear up something about “propositional truth”. I aint against it… in fact I went back and put a disclaimer to that post as I think the title is misleading in regard to what I wrote. It set the wrong tone.

I do not think we are to base our understanding on “man’s reasoning” and I do not think man can reason his way to God at least without the “wooing” of the Holy Spirit.

I see that propositional truth must be in “right” relation to Jesus or it is really of no use.

  1. Jesus is THE TRUTH. (One can say He is TRUTH ABSOLUTE)
  2. Jesus is the source of All Truth. (One can say Jesus is the source of All Absolute Truth).
  3. All Truth comes from the source or it is not pure Truth.
  4. We receive this Truth from Jesus as revelation which is then confirmed by Jesus revealing Who He is in the Scripture.
  5. We understand scripture and its truths which are often “propositional” by our relationship with Jesus.
  6. We test this by our experience and by our fellowship with one another to test and prove these Truths with each other.
  7. We live our lives in and through these truths with each other.
  8. These Truths must be universally true or they are not true…

I admit whole hardily that this is not a formula, but rather what I have come to understand from scripture and my relationship with Jesus over the years.

Secondly, I am not perfect, so I may not be right on some things. Somewhere I realized in my walk that God is perfect and that is His job, not mine. Mine is to be the imperfect creation that is loved by Him.

In that I am always looking at my faith and beliefs to see if they square with what I hear God teaching me. Though you and I may not agree with some things, I truly respect your beliefs and know you have not just accepted things, but do challenge teachings. I do not take it personally when you do disagree as I know you realize we both are growing. (I must at least make you think cuz you keep coming back to read my silly posts LOL!).

The funny thing is as I was writing the paragraph on infant baptism, I thought about you for a moment as I know that the Lutherans are not too far off on the Catholic view of infant baptism.

I view the scripture as talking about two specific “baptisms”

  1. John’s Baptism (a precursor and one of remission of sins)
  2. Being immersed in the Blood of Jesus or being baptized into Christ.

#1 was not a permanent solution as it was temporary as the sacrificial system… John even said it was for the “remission of sins” as Jesus was the “Lamb Who would take away the sins of the world”. That was and is the permanent e solution.

I see that other than that, there is no “baptism” that is for salvation as even Paul said that if anyone preaches a Gospel different from himself, let him be accursed. (Gal 1) So, then if the “Gospel of your salvation” (Eph1:13) was preached by Paul… and anyone who preached contrary was to be eternally cursed, why does Paul sound so lackadaisical over baptism?

1 Cor 1: 11. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14. I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15. so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (NIV)

To me then if Paul who was so strong on defending the “Gospel” that saves us was not so strong on Baptism, I think that we then can see that baptism was not part of the “salvation equation”.

In fact I have for sometime noticed that as the Revelation of Jesus increased in scripture, the teaching of baptism progressively diminishes. There is either a contradiction or there is a progression as one scripture tell us we have only “One Baptism” (Ephesians 4:5) then in Hebrews we have the verse that says, “Hebrews 6:1. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2. instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

So we must conclude that there is One Baptism… and one is symbolic of THAT BAPTISM. (1 Peter 3:21) There is one baptism and that is in Christ… as we are baptized into His Life… His resurrected Life. 1 Peter 3: 18. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19. through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20. who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21. and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22. who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. (NIV with my emphasis). I see it as not the water, but the Resurrection of Jesus that saves us. And that we now are baptized in Christ… or placed into Jesus… 1 Cor 12: 13. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. (NIV) personally I remember pastor Farina doing the dunking… not the Holy Spirit… as far as “water”. But, I do know that the Holy Spirit has baptized me in Jesus. Ephesians 1 explains how we are immersed in Christ… “22. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23. which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (NIV)

Notice we are placed under Christ… just as one is placed under the water at baptism. We are baptized in Christ. This is backed up more if one does a study of being the body of Christ. I do not think Paul was talking of water baptism in Rom 6: 1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2. By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3. Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Rather I see he is saying that since we are now dead to sin, we are now being dead, have Jesus’ death in place of our own. With that as we are immersed in His death, we also will be raised from the dead, and will live a new life. Our sin was taken away, or put to death, so we too can partake in the resurrection of Christ.

Even through I do not see baptism as an essential, I do not see harm in child dedications, though I see this as more of a community of believer that are vowing together to help raise the child in a Godly way. Most the time it is a rather meaningless ritual.

I know the arguments of “the whole household was baptized”… and such, yet again, this is the “symbol” of what now saves us… the water does not do much but get us wet and shows what Christ has done on the inside of a believer.

My main point is that most reformed theologians and Calvinist do not believe child baptism, so deny Calvinism in its purity as Calvin would have taught it. Again, I thought of Luther, then you, and wondered how you would respond.

I am interested in your paper… I would really like to read what you have considered and discovered… I may be missing something.

The main point of the “developmentally disabled” is not that some can not grasp right and wrong, but many cannot understand even some basic teachings of the faith. In that if a child is mute and cannot “confess with their mouth”… or if one is deaf. How can they “hear the message”. I am thinking of my cousins which one is in her 40’s and is mentally still about 5 years old… another has down syndrome and just did a dance routine to “Little Willy, Willy” by Sweet in which she did a rather shocking hip swivel to the embarrassment of her family. I do not think she understood what she was doing… as I do not think she realized that the seductive hip swivel was not appropriate for the family reunion… though it was a bit fun to what my very religious cousins get shocked a bit by it. Both are more than capable of doing bad things, yet there is an innocence still there that is not present in adults. My main thought was not that these do not ever do anything that can be considered sinful, but that God’s grace covers them. In a sense it is like when Paul states, “And where there is no law there is no transgression.” (Rom 4:15) These who cannot understand transgressions, are not held to account of transgressions. They are innocent of transgressions, that is until they come to a point that they do realize they are transgressing against someone else, or God. After that if they continue, God turns them over to a depraved mind… but until then they do not have a depraved mind .

Blessings,
iggy

h1

Review: Heretics Guide to Eternity (pt 2)

August 24, 2006

Heretics Guide to Eternity (pt 2)

Really I have not come across too much that is that controversial… though I had to put down the book as I read about Spencer’s daughter Grace. I had dealt with the loss of a child a few years back (We had a miscarrage then this year I was present when we found Kyler along with his father)… That is partly why I am not a Calvinist. As to me, in its purity, with Calvinism, one would not have any real comfort over a loss of a child unless one subscribes to infant baptism as part of the “formula” for salvation… which I see not one scripture that teaches that.

Really I subscribe to the “innocent until one sins” view. In that way one has to be conscience of the action… as opposed to an infant or developmentally disabled person. The scripture does not say man is “totally depraved” but it does say, “all have sinned” and that it is by “grace we are saved”. In fact I see that “total depravity” cuts across many doctrines… like the Incarnation… God became a man… from a woman… who if “totally depraved” from birth would have corrupted Jesus as a man… (1 Cor 15: 21) I also do nto see that the scripture teaches “total depravity”. On the contrary it teaches that God “turns them over to a depraved mind.” So a child would not have a depraved mind, nor hopefully some one who is developmentally disabled as they can not grasp the concept of even being depraved.
(I know the argument against this, but it still does not hold water as if Jesus was not, for the Bible speaks more times of Jesus being “a man”, then it does about Jesus being God… it never says Jesus was the “God-man” that so many teach.)

I think if one reads and carefully tries to grasp the different types of “heretics” one will find that not all are bad, in fact if some of the “heretics” of our history did not stand against what was taught, we would not have many of the Reformers of old, let alone, the theologies many hold to today.

Thinking of a Christianity beyond religion is not a new thing… in fact many have been saying for years, “it is not a religion, but a relationship”, which is true, yet still falls short of the “moving beyond”. I see it as the difference of clothing ourselves with our denomination, or institution, or as Spencer calls it, “consensual illusion”. This is where we delude ourselves with what we “think” our faith/religion/God/relationship… (Oh, you can add any number of things to this) is THE REALITY.

In the end it is still just that, an illusion. Not based on reality. Simply a lie.

I sometimes wonder if we have replaced Jesus with a pseudo-religion that claims Him as God, yet really has nothing to do with Him.

I like the example of Copernicus as he spoke against the church of that day teaching that the earth was static… I see a direct correlation with what is happening today. There is a great shift in thought, the paradigm many speak of. Many do not see it has already happened. I am one who does not see God as static… never changing. I see His character never changes and that God is not like men who say something then go back on their word… I do see that God in a sense changes… (Though, if even in our perspective, that in a way is God changing as we gain revelation as He reveals Who He is. I see that God in a sense is ever expanding… as the Kingdom He is spreading expands.) He changed as he created matter; He changed as He engaged man. He changed as he became a man and “learned obedience” (Jesus was God… in flesh… though self limited, Jesus still was God and “learned obedience” as Hebrews 5:8 tells us… that is God changing rather radically to me). So, if God is static, the Father would not have sent the Son, Who was God in flesh and would not have been able to “learn obedience”.

So, if God is not static His Kingdom is not static; then a static religion would not be able to keep this God under control. To me that is what religion is… and attempt to control and contain God in a way that allows man to be in control and then our man made institutions will be as Spencer stated, “the center of the Christian Universe”.

If man, and our religion is no longer the center of the Universe… be it our own illusion, or created reality… then it is imperative to move beyond this non reality into the TRUE REALITY…

So far I am enjoying the book. Again, some things I have already considered before, yet if one is looking for a good primer I would so far highly recommend this one.

Blessings,
iggy