What Does God Have To Do With The Violence In the World Today?

Years ago, ok, maybe months ago things like the Vegas shootings wouldn’t bother me so much. Why? Because maybe, it wasn’t anybody I knew or it didn’t affect me. I am not saying it didn’t affect me at all. Just right now it is affecting me quite a bit. Matter of fact I am sadden and upset more than I thought I could ever be. The reason why it is affecting me now more than before is because my view of God and His Son has matured more than I could imagine. The God I know now is not the same God I was taught and grew up with. My understanding of the cross now does not match the understanding of the cross growing up. I can truly understand why people become atheist. I can understand why there is an exodus of the church at large. I can understand why unbelief and doubt is running rampant in society that prides itself on the American dream. And I understand why intimacy with God is a myth at best and hard to achieve at its worse.

Isaiah 29:13 says it best: Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the percept of men:  There are some hard questions we need to ask. Some questions we may not be ready for, but need to at least ask. Maybe we need to face some hard truths about what we really believe and what we believe is really true? I won’t get into all I want to discuss and put before you. Just want to give you something to ponder. To get the conversation started at least. I have questions and I know you do too.

Here are a few questions: Is our view of God right? Is our view of the meaning of the cross God’s meaning or man’s understanding? Is the worlds view at large the reason for the violence in the world. Is God violent and angry?   Is our image of a parent the same image that we see God operating? And if so, are we saying our parent would kill us to satisfy a debt of someone else? How can Christ be the hero and God the bad guy if they’re one? Are you believing God out of fear of the consequences of not believing in Him, or you just believe because He love you unconditionally?  Just to name a few! I have more!

I am a grace preacher and pastor and my revelation of  His grace is amazing to me. I am all in with the grace message in spite of what others my feel or think. I have respect for all views, because at the end of the day, God has the final say! I believe one of the reasons for all of this violence is because we as a people have the wrong perception and view of GOD! This angry, retributive, punishing, violent, repulsed by sin, blood thirsty, self seeking praise hungry God, does not match what Jesus portrayed of God. Hebrews 1:3a says: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…  So who is telling the truth? My bible shows Jesus being loving, kind, forgiving, long suffering, compassionate and other-centered. There are so many examples of Jesus loving and forgiving ways, that He is the model of 1 Corinthians 13. So which one is the truth?  One more thing. Is sin something that God punishes man for or is sin something God seen as an enemy of man and want to destroy its influence once and for all?  This is just the start to discovering true Christianity in the body of Christ. Grace and peace upon all!

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Lessons From a Broken Fridge. 

I ask the Lord to fill my fridge with food and my freezer with meats. Well He didn’t do it yet. Now my fridge is acting up. I’m waiting on the man to come and fix it. We have been missing each other because of my schedule. So you really can’t keep nothing in there for long. So I’m wondering why the Lord is not honoring my request. Then after a while I clearly hear Him say I can’t honor your request until the fridge gets fix. If I give you want you wanted them the food would go bad and you would lose what I have given you. Makes sense right?  Then this dawned on me. Maybe this is the reason why God can’t give us some of the things we ask for. Because number one, we are not ready for them. Two, there are some things wrong with us that need fixing before we can receive what God has in store for us. And third if He would give it to us now before the repair man (Holy Ghost)  fixes the issue, then we would lose and waste what was given to us. He that has begun a good work in you shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. So wait on the Lord and then receive all that He has promised you. You will be able to keep it and it will bless all those who enter into your space. Grace and peace upon you 

Kim Burrell, Right or Wrong?

I haven’t read a lot on this firestorm concerning the statements Kim Burrell made about homosexuality. Everybody is losing their collective minds. Was she right? Was she wrong? Who determines right or wrong? You? Me? The LGBT community, celebrities, preachers and everybody who has an opinion have weighted in on this subject. It has caused so much divisiveness. It’s a mess. People quoting Scriptures and spouting all kinds of things. Kim Burrell’s statement has caused her much pain and her career is being affected by this. Have we become judge and jury? Have we convicted each other based on our position one way or another? Do we even have that right? I know I am putting myself in the line of fire too. However I just want to maybe just maybe give another perspective of this subject.

Do we have the “holy ” piece right? (Be ye Holy, for I am Holy). Do we think be holy is about behavior?  Well, maybe its about belonging and not behavior. Isaiah 6 gives us a beautiful picture and description of holiness. Isaiah 6:3 says “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” What did the angels see? (this is the short version).  They did not see God as one, (there are scriptures that support they saw more than one) they saw God as a three person family (Holy, holy, holy). They saw a family of belonging to each other. Let me give you an example of belonging and not behavior. The Sabbath day was considered holy. It is not a person but a day. It has no behavior attached to it. Then why was it called holy. Because it belonged to God.

God is love! Do you think He started loving when we came on the scene? No! Then who was He loving then? The Son and the Holy Spirit. So let say I am right and Holy and holiness is about belonging and not behavior. Because to tell you the truth, we all have issues and stuff that everybody can point a finger on that we consider unholy. So then what are you trying to say, someone might ask. Here is my point! It is found in the last portion of the scripture. “The whole earth is full of his glory.” So what is the whole earth full of?  What is this scripture trying to tell us.

This is what Jeff Turner said concerning this scripture. “My ideas on where God hung out, and of whom He was willing to hang out with, were very limited, as my God was only allowed to operate within the strict confines of my religious worldview. Certain places and people were untouchable, while others were prime candidates for His presence. Once I ceased viewing the world through the lenses of my own perceived brokenness, and instead began seeing it through the work of Christ, I began to see and experience God in places and in people that I would have formerly thought were off limits to Him.”

So If holiness is about belonging  and not about behavior. And the whole world is filled with this glory. Then EVERYBODY belongs to God! WOW! I just said that. So maybe our job is to LOVE and leave the rest to the Holy, holy, holy, since its belongs to Him anyway.

 

 

Knowledge of Good and Evil?

“In this state of possessing a pure knowledge of God humanity was lacking in any concept of good or evil, for this “knowledge” had not yet become a part of the human experience. It had yet to enter into our lives which would seem to suggest that originally, man was not made to behold God as “holy” in a moral or behavioral sense, as God discouraged man from eating the fruit that would grant him this ability. In man’s original mind there were no lines of distinction between good and bad, or sacred and secular. God was all in all, and Adam and Eve enjoyed life in the context of His presence, without a consciousness or understanding of sin. God was not the judge, the rule master or the dispenser of fines and penalties for moral infractions. he was simply Father, and above all he was Love. (Jeff Turner)

So my question is simply this, do we have the right perception of God? Come on, how do you look at God? What does your religion or experience tell you about God. From what I am understanding is that God was only suppose to be projected as our Father who loves us. That’s it. Nothing more or less. When did God become all that we say He is? Why do we think He is so distant from us? Why are we afraid of Him? Adam probably is still trying to figure out why? Why is our relationship with God so up and down and that concept tends to bleed into all other relationships.

I know I have a lot of questions. Matter of fact, so should you! Is our traditions reflect our perception of God? Does our praise and worship reflect our perception of God? Do we have the Garden experience wrong? Do we have the sacrifice piece wrong too. What about the cross? Did God really punish Jesus who was innocent just so the guilty can be ok in His sight. I don’t know if I like that kind of God. We were never to have a dual image of God like we do now. We never were suppose to look at God as holy or judge or Master, only FATHER.

The greatest sin or problem facing christianity is not homosexuality, murder, adultery, lying, stealing, cheating, greed, false witness, fornication and all the other stuff that people lose their minds over and treat people with distain and throw relationships away like a piece of paper. No, the problem is like it has always been, the knowledge of good and evil that changed our perception of God. That is the biggest threat to the church today!

I CHALLENGE YOU TO ASK YOUR OWN QUESTIONS. Don’t be afraid of the answers you get. They just might free you to see God as it was intended to be, YOUR FATHER!