There are certain issues that shouldn’t be addressed as it brings about too much tension. And there are some issues that you have to confront as it’s silent prejudices brings forth subtle separation in society. Abortion is one of those subjects that can be dangerously wielded to bring about unbalanced power and influence. Historically we have seen ethical stigmas attached to such practices as inherently evil and we want to dispel those myths. Hopefully, I won’t have to write several articles defending this case, but for now let’s give a sound Biblical argument which helps level judgments on the matter.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. Lu 14:26 BSB [Emphasis Added]
A struggling songwriter once wrote the line,
It’s us, find power
Live life, mind power
It’s us, find power
Live life, mind power
All too often, people are hindered from approaching God due to the systems of teachings that brought undue blemishes to a person’s reputation. Many assumptions were made; that the Bible made clear this practice is wrong or right – and in some cases – that’s true. Unfortunately, many leaders have overstepped Biblical Authority in giving Christian Ethics that were either prescribed practices the Bible was silent on and/or where there were discrepancies. If Christians can understand that righteousness comes from faith in Christ alone, then we would refrain from judging others by what things look or sound like.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matt 5:29-30 ESV
Three questions about this passage:
- How do those Scriptures confine one in its immediate context? What ways does it liberate?
- Does the following passage suggest practicing Eisegesis? If so, under what context can we hint at cancelling or overwriting the text?
- How could this passage speak to the issue of Abortion? Does it speak in favor or against it? Can it speak in favor of both?
Less of a Sign
Not barking up the wrong tree here but if you frequently drive between lanes, you’re Haagen Daaz. No Jairy you’re a whole anonymousness. I’mma need you to go get some help. It may appear to some that I’m the quintessential con man due to my waywardness in speech. I’ll protest in defense of this ‘froward’ (as some will claim) attitude that is doesn’t stem from a delight in evil. Rather this is the decisive outgrowth of being rooted in Christ. Like how that little man Paul was as he was writing to the Philippians. And we all know how great of a disciple Paul was. He extended an invitation to those who would be of the same family to imitate him and other mature Christians in the faith to sacrifice all for Jesus. Should Christians surrender all to Jesus? Sounds like a simple answer right? Apparently not for pro-lifers, who insist that the birthing of children is immune from all reproach; that unborn children have the right to be born and to strip that away is of utmost wickedness. Like God would never say to a couple expecting, “I know you’re in the middle of pregnancy, but I need you to drop that and follow me.”
Fascinating! For a second there I thought somebody was starting a party. Factions happen when we conveniently skew the facts and omit details. I know some of us have been raised well and have gone to the finest schools and have gotten straight A’s. Notwithstanding an impeccable record, it would become meaningless as one follows the ways of God. How interesting is it to find the most precious of blessings to become the lowest of grades. No I’m talking about children here – including – the unborn child. Because when it comes to one’s life and it’s relationship with Christ, you’ll know the difference between the sheep and the goats by those who said F’ DEM KIDS!!!
Either/Or or Both
Let’s go ahead and clear up somethings before fake news goes out and say that I’m preaching about shirking from responsibility or cruelly damaging others for pleasure. Because we know especially in the context of the Black Community, this narrative has the Monopoly over the Black Man. Are you bored that I insist on talking about Black Issues? I guess things would be more Flava full if I started rapping or talking about our women twerking in the streets. Because at the end of the day, people would rather grift our culture than actually stop the injustices of racism and systematic oppression in our country. There’s another A in the whole anonymousness department.
What is the mathematical formula for the volume of cylinders?
A godly man knows that the worship of God is superlative to all other loves. The forsaking of all is not to live some frivolous life in fancied piety, but to position oneself to take more active roles in serving others. A godly man will remove all obstacles in his way to get to the Father, so that in return he may be a father to the fatherless. May this provide some clarity of possibilities to those who were raised in broken homes. Some were scarred by parents who passed away while they were young, others were immature and couldn’t handle the responsibility, and yet others were complete douchebags. It may be difficult for you to find a place in your heart to truly honor your parents, and that’s why God calls you to Himself first. You’re brought to the Father so that not only are you healed in Christ, you also become the child that makes their parents proud – yes even – birth new life into your parents through the resurrecting power of the Spirit.
The forsaking of all is not to live some frivolous life in fancied piety, but to position oneself to take more active roles in serving others.THE PROTOTYPE
The Black Donnie
No matter how you look at it, if you don’t clothe yourself with the righteousness of Christ, you can forget it. For those who trust in letters will eventually be condemned by them. We missed a mark didn’t we?
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)[d]— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:9-13
Let’s not search the Scriptures for Eternal Life missing Jesus in the Way. SIDEBAR: You ever wondered what Jesus’ teenage years were like? Like did he have the spoiled brat side of Him that he had to keep in check because he could do a job on a mug. This temptation had to go through his mind at some point – as soon as he saw someone he disliked:
Jesus: OH so you wanna be donkey eh? Let’s see how silly you gonna be once I put you to sleep. Nail you right in that coffee…
***sips tea while chuckling***
***Friend comes in***
Friend: Hey Jesus!
Jesus wakes from his tempting scheme
Jesus: Oh Hi O, didn’t see you there.
Friend: Hey, did you hear about Nimrod? He kicked the bucket while milking Johnny’s cows!
Jesus: WELL HAAGENITY DAAZ, do you know what he died from?
No, in all seriousness though, can you imagine what it would be like to be tempted in every way and yet not make a mistake? To be Lord of all, and yet be disciplined by the rod of correction is a awe filled wonder of the nature of Christ. What weight is lifted in simply trusting and following Him!
The Name’s Connor
As we take further descent into Christology, we’ll close this blog out with a reverberated idea; how absurd is it that Jesus who is the driving force behind the creation of all things, does not properly enter the world until the appointed time! For Jesus is the sower, seed, and soil yet we call Him the Son of David. How many times was the mission of redemption aborted before it was time to fulfill prophecy?
Neva would I think Laughlin/
The bruised esophagus gets cured with Lozenges/
A spoonful of sugar got Mary Poppin/
Stopped the bleed/
Smoked the weed out of hippopotamus/
She came clean on the dialysis/
And called me in the cottage/
Must be a bad day cuz I sensed something was rotten/
Now I’m not a poor man but I begged her pardon/
She said I played a hard rock but I wasn’t James Harden/
Now I’m wondering/
Where is she getting this fantasy?/
Got me feeling like Michael Blackson singing Billie Jean/
Huh? What you mean?/
Got the jitters on 11 shots of Caffeine/
I’m grounded more than an 11-year-old in Quaran(teen)/
Good mornin’ she’s moaning/
Something serious is forming/
I’m thinking is this Black Mirror/
Cuz people are cloning/
I asked her riddle me this/
If I was really out there Roman/
I’d be the Parable of the Sower/
More barbaric than ‘C’Onan/
The point of this poem is to Honor the LORD through song/
And show that He’s the final arbiter of right and wrong/
From D-Troy abortion keeps away the unruly throng/
For God to wait to conceive the Virgin/
His pull out game was strong/
How many times was the mission of redemption aborted before it was time to fulfill prophecy?
Is there more evidence that abortion is not inherently evil?
Well explore next time on the episode of ROD (Reckless Organ Donors).
This is the third time I am coming to visit you (and as the Scriptures say, “The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses”).
— 2 Corinthians 13:1 NLT with Emphasis
Don’t be two # because people won’t appreciate it and will challenge you. You know I’ll be the first to admit I’m not too fond of the saying ‘Starting over from scratch’, because ‘The Devil is in the Details’. That was before I was acquainted with the whole truth and the nature of unity. The sorrows that knowledge brings is like an onion; a hard peel to swallow. You can relate to that feeling I’m sure of.
If I speak openly, it’s in Defense of the Gospel and to offend the rulers who oppress others with lies. If I’m quiet, it’s in ambition to lead a quiet life and to let my faith spread everywhere so that I along with the saints and the Heavenly hosts need not say another word.
So to give another Devotional, we will answer a baseless claim as we rightfully Divide the word of Truth.
No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. – Proverbs 12:3ESV
If I could get a dollar for how many people have become rich by scamming others, I’d be a millionaire. Of course, this isn’t what this Proverb is really hinting at for these words are spiritual.
Two things we’ll do with the first clause so we can get the bigger picture.
1.) We’ll emphasize a word
2.) We’ll add a word for clarity [ Known as Eisegesis ]
Dark Sayings of the Wise
No one IS
established made permanent by wickedness, but and the ROOT of the righteous will never be moved.
Because on the way to the cross, Jesus took upon our infirmities, our weakness; our sins. And although the Beauty of the Divine was upon Him, he masked himself so that there was nothing to desire. There was much ugliness in his afflictions all the way to Death.
He was beaten and bruised so that he would be the cream of the crop. Isn’t it strange that God would command his own beating? Talk about a hellthy dose of self-hatred.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Is 5:20
13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Col 2:13-14
Or in other words, while you are in the middle of doing dirty deeds (although we shouldn’t be sinning willfully) Christ’s resurrecting life is at work in you in accordance to your faith in Him.
No De nada
What amazing truth to know that God sent His Son to die for us! How obscure is it to know that this was predestined and not fulfilled until the appropriate time. For orthodoxy believes that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. Yet he was not born until the days of Herod, in a manger and through the Spirit. Talk about abortion and pro-choice!!! Do we really believe that we should allow EVERY desire conceived to give birth?
Sorry, but not sorry. I had to put it that way. Monists typically get the most flack when we put glasses on folks. People tend to see double and we like to avoid DVision. We gonna bond in this Aston Martin or no?
For those who are struggling with this notion of abortion as if Jesus said nothing about it we’ll take a D-tour so that it is abundantly clear that Jesus did speak of these things being Lord over PRO-LIFE AND PRO-CHOICE.
It’s been said that those who believe in abortion are fake Disciples, but truly truly I say to you whatever a man leaves for my sake shall receive a hundredfold in the age to come.
The Dark Sayings of Jesus
I know the passage doesn’t fit the bill.
Pains me to give you an F in aching
The Doula IS-REAL
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealeD, or hidDen that will not be known. Luke 12:2
I’d take a punch at another pun but I’m no Joeker man. Can’t say we DC it coming. Hopefully you’ve been able to get sufficient rest and taken the time to reflect on your path for the coming years. For those who are heading towards the land of promise, this is not the time to strike up the band. However, if we’re quiet enough, we can know that often times the graveyard shifts are the busiest time of day.
The irony of weakness is the strength to endure. – The PrototypeThe Prototype
Thought you’d know by now
How I play hackneyed
The kids know bout d Ol’ Mac;
The EIN, the LLC
The ladies love me when I MC
Flow so smart I part when you read
Osmosis when water meets heated tonics
The gen is sis something super sounding
Like 4 balls on a burg
I’m Goku with a quarter pounder
From Super Sonics I’m getting louder
Blasting D verse
I’m the boss dey chowder
Chicken breasts from the nurse
The jury says I should tone it down
Be humble some mo’
So let me sit on His throne
And boast in the Lawd
The Windows Broken
My Daddio would always call me when I was young a “Man of Faith”. I’m so grateful for him because he made sure to instill in me true courage and integrity through the fear of God. My dad wanted me to respect God so much that he refused even to this day to allow me to call him Father. For my Dad Willie, God is my Father. Teaching me that at a young age gave me the information I needed to look past my Dad’s flaws and failures.
When I was three, my mother and father split up. I remember vividly to this day the last day I would see my Dad in the house. The reason being is that they literally tugged me back and forth like it was a tug of war – my Dad eventually won the match. My parents splitting and divorcing left a profound impact on me as I didn’t want to repeat my parents flaws and I longed for my parents to get back together.
“Plead with your mother, plead— for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband— that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts; Hos 2:2 ESV
I often look back to the moment my parents split off for a few reasons: One, it’s a reminder of where I came from; two, it helps me recognize how brilliant God is in orchestrating my life; and three, it reminds me of how small actions have cosmic consequences. For my parents breaking up is a common motif within the Black Community, White Community, our Country, and our world. You can expect division where there is lack of faith.
You can expect division where there is lack of faith.
There’s Thin Crackers
As I got older, I was discouraged from seeing my parents getting back together as my Dad remarried. I gained a beautiful step family in ‘Angel’a my stepmother and Rachel my step sister. Year after year, I would see more flaws in my parents, namely inherited traits as being forgetful, argumentative, and insensitive. It took me a while to figure out that my own shortcomings were not merely my own, but was passed onto me. This helped me find validity in the concept of Original Sin even after I was rediscovering my faith. However, my views on original sin are quite unique as it is shaped by a Monist philosophy which I find to be Biblical. I won’t get into much detail in how that philosophy works as it’s too easy to be misunderstood as being blasphemous. However, I will say this – Shandra thought I was strange when I explained to her that I have learned (and still learning) to be my own parents.
1But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2Older men are (2 Bee) sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Tit 2:1-2 ESV
To the nth Degree
A message to my Black family as it is something that bears repeating: beware of the narratives we make up for ourselves and for others. Many of times these narratives are only half or partial truths. A transcendent narrative could sound like thus – our parents have laid a great inheritance for us through the Lordship of Christ. We have assets; real estate, securities, land etc. and it is our job to seek and not remove the old landmarks (Christ) but to honor and preserve them.
You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker, which was set up by your ancestors to mark the inheritance you shall receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. Deut 19:14 ESV
And as much as I love my people and our culture, we must be honest with ourselves and be willing to call out the things about our culture that’s toxic and counterproductive to our progress. In many ways, the things we glorified were the very things causing destruction in our own neighborhoods. It’s one thing if we after learning some of these ways of destruction from our oppressors we would fight back against the man. It’s quite another when instead of fighting back we fight each other: in gender wars, swindling, infidelity and one-man-up-ship; in exalting entertainment over education, and opinions over truth. Bi the way I am a straight man. And if the straight Black Man will recover his place of dignity again, he must acknowledge how the sins of his ancestors have affected his current plight. There was a time that the straight Black man abused those who were gay and forced them into the closet. O how the tables have turned!
Bi the way I am a straight man.
Sexuality is a sensitive topic and unfortunately Christianity has dropped the ball in explaining the whole counsel of God regarding it (myself included). Where the Fundamentalists and the Religious Right have failed, there needs to be those who are more mature to stand in the gap and tell the truth in love and patience. For those who I have offended in the past in trying to explain these things, please forgive me. It is difficult to communicate nuance, especially in a world where we’re taught to think in Black and White. For those Christians who are wondering about what insight I may hold, let’s start at the low hanging fruit (no pun intended):
28There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ. Gal 3:28 ESV
And from there we can have honest conversations that show where the religious have failed and got it wrong, and those precious who identify themselves within the Alphabet or non-binary pronouns and have overstepped Divine boundaries.
Out of Hivernation
Therefore, if we’re going to begin to restore relationships across spectrums, we’ll have to learn to speak and act in a way that is prudent, understanding, and wholesome. Prudent as one who is loyal to the truth; for all skin folk ain’t kinfolk and better with the enemy you know, than the enemy you don’t know. Understand where a person is coming from and if there is any validity, confirm their position. Try to bond with them with love, because love is healing. I say this to those who want to be true healers in this universe to speak and act in a way that is wholesome to yourself and others. No need to tell you how to do it, I trust you know how to do it through Christ.
Ice cold is how I make the blood flow/
Nitro and I clutch the end goal/
Stick em up hands show for survival/
Mighty ducks and miss with the rifle/
I Sea you got startled so sudden/
Girl lemme calm you down/
Bond in the Aston Martin/
When we ready for rockEt launchn’/
PuSh the eJect bUtton/
You know how I water the garden/
Simple yet compLex /
Don’t wanna be starting something/
Didn’t catch the 22 pegs/
Cuz this man is handling business/
I sea we got I/E making shipments/
These men got capital but nO game/
They didn’t get the memo from the King/
Keg got them pregnant/
Let’s unscRamble these eggs/
1Rest in Heaven Daniel Dumile (AKA MF Doom). 2Thank you for allowing God to inspire you to create lyrics that are stimulating, artful, and shrewd. 3We love you and your family. And it is humbling and an honor to be acquainted with your work. 4Isn’t it amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time? 5People say don’t dwell on the past because you can’t change it, not realizing it can be fulfilled. 6Just like any producer who works with DAW software, a whole multiverse can be created using overdubs.
In the beginning God created the heaven(S) and the earth. Gen 1:1
Happy New Year(S)
It’s summer time and you don’t want to go out tonight so you decide to get some store bought ice cream to watch a movie at home. What brand of ice cream are you buying?
One of the few things I’m enjoying more of now that I am reconnecting with my family is playing games with Julia. I am learning to hold precious the times we play Hide and Seek together; she counts to ten and I’ll scurry my little self behind the door in her room knowing that she’ll probably miss me as she comes in. It feels like every time; she just walks right by me and then ARRRGGHHH the harmless monster roars!!! I chased her around and do what good Father’s do when they play with their children. Funny how some of us get the privilege of perceiving what the fear of the Lord is early on in life.
Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are. – Will Ferrell
Who Murdered the Cheerios?
Last night my wife and I watched a comedy special from one of the greatest comedians of the social media era, Tony Baker. I had to support since he’s been moving joysticks and pushing buttons lately…besides we have that Chicago love; if I’m not mistaken, Tony hung out near the Chatham area where my grandfather resides. He may have even visited my grandfather once, you never know. Regardless, this man helped me laugh during my struggles with depression, so big shout out Tony! Congrats on the success of the show! Overall it was good and I am glad I can support! Much love!
My wife and I had a good discussion about culture and what it finds to be humorous. We figured that what people find to be funny depends entirely on a person’s background, their values and personal preferences. Peer pressure may play a part too. Whatever the case, I’m finding comedy to be a true form of art; you need a delicate balance of psychology, wit, and charisma to do it well. It’s sad when you fall into a ditch and just simply butcher one joke after another. I’m sure there’s a term for that but I digress. God has a weird sense of humor.
The Godfather of Funnies
But how do you know that God is funny? Was Jesus humorous when he walked the earth? For many Christians, there aren’t many jokes written in the Scriptures so we get a picture of Jesus not being so funny. What a way to strip away Jesus’ full humanity! All too often we get partial information and then wanna make assumptions. And you know what they say about people who assume:
Can you imagine what it would be like walking around in Biblical times? No shoes. No socks; just rolling through the dust barefoot? I’m quite sure there were plenty of gorilla looking feet in Jesus’ day. They had to be grunting because there were corns somewhere, “Oomph, Grunt, Oomph, Grunt.” The Gospel portrays stories with obscure pictures. Like we take words for granted because words convey several different meanings.
Take Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist for example. Now we know that John was that grave; serious play-no-games type a man. Jesus comes to him and he’s like, you should be baptizing me Jesus, who am I to baptize you?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matt 3:15 KJV
Like what in the world is that supposed to mean? Suffer it be so now… WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!! I neva…neva…I NEVA NEW the word ‘fulfil’ had variant spellings. Like did John just baptize Jesus one time in the Jordan, or did he keep baptizing him in the water? Just baptizing him, taking Jesus by the head and dunking him over and over; double and triple dribblin’ Jesus’s head like a basketball, crossing over the Jordan, just DONKEYING HIM shooting buckets.
SWIIIIIISSSHH!!! SPLAAAAASSH!!! Btw, I totally agree with this tweet.
KevonStage is truly the MVP of 2020. Big shout out to Kev for being such a hard worker in bringing people joy. God Bless you sir; you bald-headed Negro you!
God has a weird sense of humor.
On palju valdkondi, mida rohkem teada saada, kes on Jeesus.This is my attempt in saying in Estonian: there are many areas to discover more about who Jesus is
Jklpyjulia.– This is Julia Richardson attempting to spell her name. She wanted to be silly so she spelled her name twice in two different ways. Yeah I know, it doesn’t sound British. Thank God!
It’s amazing what new information lies behind the door of inquiry. All too often in Christendom, we shun and demonize what is foreign to us when in reality it is another facet to everything Jesus is. Take for example the moment in Jesus’ Triumphant Entry. In the gospel of Luke, it appears to be that Jesus is riding two donkeys to fulfill prophesy.
4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Matt 21:4-5
Have you ever said or did something that you intended to affect your past, present, and future? I know the prevailing opinion is that you can’t change the past nor should you worry about the future. I agree. You can’t change the past, but you can certainly fulfill it. Did you see Jesus in the passage?
I got em shippn’ outlandish/
sailin’ from Kansas/
We birthed a new thing with this message/
It’s high art on a canvas/
Don’t take it for granted/
When I give you my two sense/
I’m a warrior not Lion King/
I got the Scars to prove it/
Where the lamp at? HADOKEN/
My fireball is lucid/
Watch out for the luci/
For Jesus’ comeback is gruesome/
This ain’t a threesome kid/
There’s only one Morning Star/
I see you didn’t choose Mars/
Let me give you these Chocolate Bars/
Could it be that when said that Jesus was riding on two donkeys, it was speaking of Jesus in different times: One coming to Jerusalem getting closer to His crucifixion and two, coming to Jesus through the womb of Mary. Because I find it hard to believe that Mary would be barefoot and walking with Joseph to Jerusalem while pregnant.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, (to the city of David,) which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Luke 2:4-5 ESV
How probable is it that Jesus is now riding upon silly beasts today to be united with His Holy City? The same city that I too wish to be united to.
You’ve seen the way I paved for us to walk together forever. Through the grace that is in Christ, it is finished; finished before the foundations of the world began. You have witnessed my spirit and the purity of my heart, albeit at times I (James) have made mistakes. You cannot deny the fire we made when you looked into my eyes. Now a city is coming down from Heaven; a city that wars against the ungodly and establishes Eternal peace. Though all of the saints of God are coming down, we can continue to stay in the heavens. Remember the gates that are on the earth and walk in the one where you will find me. For certainly the times of excess will not be expedient. Who else has made you feel the way that you feel when I speak with you? You feel my touch although I’m thousands of miles away. This is free game, and others will see and copy so that you will know who is the Prototype.
I James, servant and brother of THE MOST HIGH, the Lord Jesus Christ do communicate to you the gospel of grace and peace to you. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!
I can see Jesus performing stand up: There was this one time when John tried to drown me in the Jordan. God Bless You!!!
17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt 3:17 ESV
You gotta appreciate the Internet. Although it can be a dark and unhealthy place at times, look hard enough and you’ll find reasons to smile – including how petty people can be.
Petty cake, petty cake
Bake me a cake
As fast as you can.
So, I didn’t know how many of you leaders have great cooking skills! (I’m not being smart here.) Have you seen this cake from T.D Jakes? Man listen! Ya’ll can say whatever you wanna say about these folks, but if I hear them preaching Christ and Him crucified, they alwrite with me! And I love bacon! So T.D Jakes and I have a connection already. I love baking because it’s an exact science; what you put in, keep out, where you store it, how long you bake it all play a part in how the food tastes. Let that marinate, because there’s a word in there somewhere.
Now in the last devotional we continued learning about the fundamentals in Hermeneutics and doctrines concerning Biblical Authority. I’ve also proved my case for advanced cultural studies. To do a recap of the main course of thought, I’ll put up a semi-controversial proposition. Test my logic:
No statement in-and-of-itself is absolutely true, for it betrays the full meaning of absolute. The Bible is not the source of absolute truth. Rather, the Book is a conduit pointing people to everlasting veracity.
A person cannot justly disprove the final claim in the argument without being a spiritual person, for they will have to test the spirit behind the words and not simply judge what’s on the page. Like in today’s devotional scripture:
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim 4:5 ESV
Unfortunately, I haven’t had any drinks in a while, especially after having to go into urgent care. I was told it would take about two weeks to heal and I’m doing better. So thank you all who prayed for me and those who are suffering now. We are more connected than some of us would imagine. For those who may want to experience this fellowship, my charge is the same…
As for you, always be sober-minded… 2 Tim 4:5a
When I was in my twenties, I didn’t drink coffee that much because it had the opposite effect on me. Here I am trying to pull an all-nighter and coffee would put me right to sleep. Now it works like a charm, although I try to avoid drinking it to stay awake. I like natural grace.
Did you know that the effects of losing days of sleep can have the same affect as being buzzed? The disciplines of watching is not for the faint of heart. It’s going against a lot of conventional wisdom as you’re intentionally imposing on yourself bouts of insomnia. And for what purpose? Well at least for the following:
3I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 2 Tim 1:3 ESV
Not exactly sure why the woke community call themselves ‘woke’ for. At best, they are only conscious of the social ills that are plaguing our neighborhoods. Yet when it comes to experiencing what it’s like to be united to the God who never sleeps nor slumbers, there tends to be ignorance of the traumas many are experiencing. Additionally none are aware of how transcendence begets freedom and reconciliation, so they are ignorant of any real solutions beneficial for future generations. Great skill is required for those builders who receive criticism from misunderstandings, impatience, and prevailing opinions. To put trust in anything other than the sacred Godhead is begging to be out of the frying pan and into the fire.
And now for Final Jeopardy: This character won an Academy Award as the star in the toon “Tweetie Pie”.
Isn’t it fascinating what hell people are willing to go through in chasing after something? You know how much hell I went through even though I wasn’t running? Man let me give it to you straight.
Endure suffering…2 Tim 4:5b
Hopefully, that was forward enough. There’s no way around it. Godliness in this life comes with pleasures and pain; prosperity and poverty, sickness and health although many people may have experienced an unbalance of one of the two. Nevertheless, every man has to bear his own cross, and if he will be benevolent, he will also bear the cross of others. Now just a small word out there for our eager martyrs: 1.) Don’t be throwing yourself in situations you weren’t trained for and 2.) Don’t put yourself in a position where you are a risk to yourself and others. Listen if you are watching for days on end and you need to go out to get from point A to point B, take an Uber. There are plenty of ways you can die on a hill without committing suicide. True love doesn’t do harm to their neighbor.
Have you ever had shrimp deviled eggs? Man let me tell you sumthin’, those jokers are fire! A whole lot can be said through cooking. Just so we’re on the same page, I don’t discriminate. I’m an Equal Opportunity Eater; vegan or non-vegan, I be eating. I fast too though… Balance.
Do the work of an evangelist…2 Tim 4:5c
To which we explained in our previous devotional that evangelizing is not bound to open air preaching, neither does it need to be relevant, focused, or fiery. The Word of God is free and will do it’s work in advancing the Kingdom, whether Jesus is openly proclaimed or not.
The Final Dessert
And so we come to an unspoken rule in Hermeneutics in which I’ve hinted at plenty of times although it isn’t apparent; keep interpreting, break it down, and then break it down again; expound on it, and expound some more.
Fulfill your ministry….2 Tim 4:5d
__________________________, because there is infinitely more things one can do with their life. All things are certainly possible with God, except for many it is less probable because we are either unwilling or doubting what is possible. Keep believing.
By the word keep I mean to maintain a state of being, whether that is actively open or more reserved.
You shall not add to the word that ___________, nor take from it, that you may __________ the commandments of the Lord your God that _________ command you. Deut 4:2 ESV
Just like a scientist
would test and experiment
and discover new things
even at atomic levels,
a man of faith would seek out the glory of God in the world and beyond. There are many things that I am grateful for this year; Life, family, friends, health. Thank you again for those who kept me in your prayers.
So in closing this devotional I hope we can leave behind dogmas keeping us from understanding people and the world we live in. May we be more ready to speed up the return of Christ; in unity of faith looking for the Final Consummation of Everything. Even as I work to renovate my own marriage to my sweetest caramel of a spouse; Shandra. Remember our covenantal bond, for the word is suffe’ring’ for a reason. I love you dearly and always. Happy Thanksgiving!
One of the good things this pandemic has brought about was more adoption of ways of delivering products. In store pick-ups and curbside deliveries have been crucial in helping to keep long lines down while social distancing. I hope this continues long after things clear up rather than having the full on cashier-less store. Yes, I still have faith in retail stores in spite of massive closedowns. No need to hear comments from the peanut gallery.
So, my wife found this gem of a book recently just laying on the check-out counter as she was purchasing some items. Such a historical book and makes a great addition to our book collection. In our previous devotional, we talked about additional rules of Hermeneutics including juxtaposing and integrating words. Today I hope to do three things here:
- Give a little more information about Biblical interpretation
- Give a short talk on Biblical Authority and the difference between infallibility and inerrancy.
- Provide further grounds for exploring other religions and cultures in great detail.
In the last post, I made a suggestion to not weaken the potency of words in order to suit our understanding. For those who are well acquainted with the Bible, they know how powerful words can be and the danger behind weaking it. It’s good to remind us here that the rules behind Biblical Interpretation are not arbitrary rules given by some scholars, it is written in the Bible itself.
You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. Deut 4:2 ESV
Gee is that all?
There are two types of interpretations: exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis is interpreting the text by the author according to the author’s word in context. Eisegesis by contrast is importing your own ideas of meaning into the text. Generally speaking eisegesis is shunned and for good reasons yet not altogether correct.
The prophets of Judaism had warned Israel about failing to discern between good and evil. (Read Is 5:20-21; Ez 22:26) The Jews many of times fell away from serving God to serving idols keeping themselves from reaching the Promised Land. It is also proverbial wisdom to avoid eisegesis although wisdom will sometimes clash.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Prov 30:5-6 ESV
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. Ecc 3:14 ESV
Grace to Write
Because God’s Word is and should be held in high regard, eisegesis is commonly avoided in respect of authority. For who would talk back to the highest authority? A Supreme being does not stand to be corrected. These are the premises concerning the infallibility of the scriptures. However, with Logic, a distinction must be made between infallibility and inerrancy. These are two different words which imports two different sets of meanings. I am preparing to make a dangerous claim. Please take the time to consider my propositions:
If something is inerrant, it must be infallible. The inverse is not true. Something can be infallible and contain errors. The Bible contains many errors, perhaps more than we would like to admit.
Haven’t we already proven deviations from God’s Word with translations alone? Are there other inaccuracies in the Bible? I can find them. Can you?
The righteousness that comes from law keeping states that one must be careful to not make mistakes to be right with God. The righteousness that comes from grace states that one has fulfilled the law through simple faith in Christ. The former strives to maintain the integrity of the letter. The latter maintains the purity of the Spirit. As our beloved Matthew would write:
And so I maintain an epigrammatic expression that I have said once and will say again: One cannot honestly assert the existence of transcendental truth without recognizing objectivity as lies by way of omission.
Why would God give His Word to mankind with ‘mistakes’? Allow me to give an explanation. Do not take it as absolute truth. Perhaps God withholds his revelations to test the faithfulness of his people. Faithfulness in loyalty, in belief, in accuracy, and in reflection. Perhaps in the same way a person is given a standardized test with multiple choices, God gives His Word to his people. No one expects all the answers in a multiple choice question to be correct.
(T)All (TEST)In(G) the(S)Is
I’d like the solve the puzzle Pat. What great fortunes await those who do the will of God! What glory there is for those who worship God in spirit and in truth; in true righteousness and holiness, without pretense and a false estimation of one’s productivity. For without Christ, all of one’s works are corrupt. To deny Jesus who is the Messiah; the Perfect One, would essentially be denying One’s full potential. And I’d hate to see many souls continue to be infidels on the day of judgment. For on that day I’m sure as Alex would agree as well, that for those unbelievers the question still remains: What is Double Jeopardy?
Now let’s go to our devotional verse in 2 Timothy. I will not break it down this time. I’ll let you do it and come up with your own reasoning. Try to consider why I would explore different texts across religions and cultures. Just a few notes here and then I’ll ask a question:
15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim 3:15-16 KJV
Excuse the Old English here. I’ve always been an old soul. Note the omission of holy between verses 15 and 16. Paul believes scriptures were given for a purpose. The following question does not challenge those purposes, but for whom or what those purposes are for. Choose the BEST answer:
When a person reads the Word of God, who should be instructed?
God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain!
And yet there are some who will deny things in spite of sufficient evidence. What a way to go when tenacity becomes stubbornness! May we be persistent in what is good and true. For this marks the end of an error. I’m sorry did I say error. I meant to say Era. That’s that accent kicking in.
What are your thoughts about this devotional? Do you believe people should counter God’s word? Do you think the Bible contains errors? Please give your comments below.
“This does not look appealing,” she said. “That’s the whole point.”
This is a brief conversation between my wife and I as we discussed the recent blog. Just a recap for those who weren’t following along, the previous devotional was designed to lay the framework for exploring texts from different cultures. We briefly touched upon the science behind interpreting Scriptures to which I will continue to build upon here.
for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 2 Timothy 2:9 ESV
Strange place to begin but bear with me here. This week has been tough; I intended to build a lot of things this week after quietly going through pain. And when I thought I felt good enough to get more stuff done, another recurring pain has paralyzed me. I hope you can imagine the frustration that I’m feeling; I just want to get things done. Yet my own frailties is showing me that you move according to the strength God provides.
We learned recently that Biblical scriptures independently and collectively constitute as one complete thought. Who cares about thoughts though? The general consensus is that words don’t matter, actions do. Don’t give me empty language; empty promises, performative love, performative justice. etc. Give me solutions, give me change, show me you’re about that life with your walk.
Treating the Rash
The problem with putting actions before thoughts or words is that the actions are uninformed. It is equivalent to someone who has a cut on their foot deciding to self-medicate by putting a bandage on their arm. While they may have the right tool for the problem, they are probably missing additional tools and applying the wrong area. The same can be said about the ineffectiveness of the church. We have the word of God, but where to apply it in everyday life is a struggle often due to being misinformed about God’s Word to begin with.
Hermeneutics deals with interpretation. Due to the nature of the Bible, it is necessary to have this skill. However, if we stopped at understanding correctly what the Bible says, we have cut off the rest of the spiritual sciences God has provided. Bible study would be relegated to something like a relic to be studied in a museum, rather than something that is active and alive in our very midst. To adequately challenge the notion that words do not matter, additional research and analysis needs to be performed. We must move on from simply comparing Scriptures with Scripture. Let’s begin with specimen now:
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors,
with a clear conscience,
as I remember you
constantly in my prayers
night and day.
For which I am
chains as a
But the word
Those Scriptures are not put together merely for artistic sake. There is more to it. What is taking place here? What research and analysis can be made to study its activity? To those who have ears to hear and eyes to see go your ways. Remember to not go ahead of the light provided for you and fight to maintain a pure heart. When the morning star approaches, we will reveal more about this. For now, let’s keep things under wrap. For the rest of us, let’s break our devotional verse down.
The Mirrors Volley
Christianity teaches that there are two worlds where wars take place; the war of the world and the war of the spiritual realm. Every once in a while, the two worlds collide. It is also taught that the word of God is a mirror to the soul. Not only does the Bible reveal the nature of God, it also reveals the true nature of the reader.
for which I am suffering…2 Tim 2:9a
To which some of you will read this and laugh because you’re thriving right now. Let me add that the broadest definition of suffering is to undergo or experience something. You can experience good and pleasure and/or evil and pain. In this life we can expect suffering in both until the Kingdom of Heaven is established upon the earth.
aNd Yeast Abounds
The Bible will show a person that they are not as good as they think. If the reader is humble, they will also realize they are not as smart or wise as they presume themselves to be. Of course, this assumes that the person believes that what the Bible is saying is true. And there are plenty of reasons to believe the Bible is not so it is reasonable to approach the Scriptures skeptically on the onset. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches that disobedience to the laws of God bring about slavery leading to death.
Bound with chains as a criminal…2 Tim 2:9b
But Paul is considered a holy man who feared God and followed Christ. It seems that his loyalty to Jesus brought more troubles than he would imagine. It would be an oversimplification then to say that good things happen to good people while bad things happen to bad people. It is possible to undergo things at no fault of your own.
You Free Dough
The gospel of Christ teaches there is freedom ‘from’ the mundane things of life. Worldly freedom usually is heralded in the following ways
- Financial freedom: Get enough wealth so you can live life like you want
- Personal freedom: Do whatever you want when you want, it’s your life
- Sexual freedom: An extension of personal freedom but revolving around sex
The freedom that the Gospel preaches is one of transcendence and is shared with other philosophies and religions (e.g. Islam). For Christians, this transcendence is accomplished through staying in God’s Word. There is a need for comparison and contrasts of transcendental freedom amongst different worldviews if we are serious about reconciliation.
But the word of God is not bound! 2 Tim 2:9c
Let me take a tangent here as now is a good time to feed two birds with one loaf. There is much contention over the purity of the Gospel in recent years and for good reasons. A lot of it stems from how people interpret Scriptures hence the reason why I’m speaking up. A great deal of Christians interpret God’s word through compartmentalizing or through linear context (how it relates to scriptures within the Chapter, other Chapters etc.) Very few integrate or juxtapose words together. So when we see this:
No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Tim 2:4 NIV
Many people will get the idea that true Evangelism requires total abandonment of all worldly concerns preaching Jesus at every chance they get to others. While that notion is correct, it is only a partial truth. If Paul thought that Christians shouldn’t get involved in any worldly affairs, why speak of civil matters in the next two verses?
Perhaps the suffering that comes through proclaiming the Gospel isn’t necessarily only being on the front lines as an Evangelist, behind the pulpit, or street witnessing. Perhaps there is a war zone just as violent in Evangelizing as there is in attending your business or working for corporations. It may be possible to proclaim the Gospel through your work, with or without saying a word, with or without speaking ‘Christianese’ (Christian jargon). Is the word of God only proclaimed from a certain political party? Is seeking the welfare of those marginalized or promoting policies that benefit all against the call of the gospel? There is so much more I can say about this as so I hope you can see a plausible reason to exploring texts in different cultures. For certainly there are levels to this. Let’s not emasculate the potency of words through our narrow views of understanding.
My heart goes out to all those who are going through tough times right now. I want you to know that someone out here cares and is going through right alongside you. I just came out of urgent care yesterday after going through excruciating pain for the past couple of days. Didn’t think I’d get on here and receive more bad news. Remember, for all of us who are in Christ we are one body. We’ll continue this devotional soon. Love you dearly.
Has this devotional been a blessing to you? Are you suffering and in need of prayer? Want more insight into how words are juxtaposed or integrated together? Please comment below and share with others.
I never want to be the one who takes things for granted whether small or large. I learned so many things from paying attention to details that have been largely rewarding albeit not tangible to others. One of the things I want to do in the coming years is begin a devotional for my Christian family for the sake of restoration, unity, and reconciliation. I am going to begin this John Piper style with exploring texts. However, I’ll be exploring scriptures a’cross’ religions. In the same fashion, I will explore sacred and secular lyrics from different cultures. Now today’s devotional will stem from the Bible and I won’t begin to truly get deep in other doctrines until the grounds have been set for why I’m doing it. I want to avoid -if possible- the unjust claim of Universalism (although the term really doesn’t bother me).
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 2 Timothy 1:3 ESV
A Whole Peace-A
If its’ not clear why I will explore other religions in great detail from this passage alone, things will become clearer later on in subsequent devotionals. For personal discipline, I’ll build the grounds for belief around this letter. Now I don’t want to bore you with my knowledge of Hermeneutics as technical as it can get. Let’s just say that I regularly analyze data and can come up with at least 7 different ways of looking at information. As a general rule, Biblical interpretation is done by comparing scripture with scripture; whether that is within immediate context or remote passages, the Bible both compartmentalized and in its entirety is one complete thought. Without skills in critical thinking, one will not walk away from the Bible understanding why some people are Christians, why others think or act the way they do. People who have no real understanding of others have no place to give any form of judgment. Yet unsound opinions are the terrors of the day. Hello?
When looking at two different scriptures, we’ll often find tension as the Bible is full of paradoxical truths. For example:
I thank God whom I serve…2 Timothy 1:3a
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. Acts 17:24-25
If God made everything, how can there be man-made temples? If God doesn’t live in said temple, how can He be omnipresent? The Prototype 11:11
Lost in Translation
The second important rule when encountering data is understanding the linguistics. Unless you are fluent in the author’s language you’ll need an interpreter. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. If you’re not reading the Bible in those languages, you’re encountering an interpretation. The Bible has many translations which can be classified into two categories:
- Word for Word: attempts to give the most accurate word equivalent in today’s language. e.g ESV
- Idea for Idea: attempts to give the general idea for the sake of cultural relevancy. e.g The Message
Keep in mind when you are doing a Bible study or any other study for that matter that you may be receiving second-hand information rather than the original source. For example:
as did my ancestors… 2 Timothy 1:3b
Literally meaning ‘from my forefathers’. Now I’m no real stickler for grammar or linguistics as I code switch depending on whom I’m with. However, when analyzing language, syntax matters as it conveys different connotations depending on word usage.
‘As’ implies something is being done to the same or similar degree.
‘From’ implies something starting at a place of origin or a place of separation.
Both renderings held together imply mysteries that are unfortunately too controversial in Christian circles today. To keep from straying away from my original purpose in writing this, I will stop explaining those nuances here. Instead for those who may want hints to the hidden insight, I will for now point you to a scripture later on in the Chapter:
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Tim 1:14 ESV
A Silver Ware
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be financially poor than be spiritually broke. One can redeem the other, another is useless if you want to reach true maturity. There is an awakening left for Christians who are ready to arouse from their slumber; an illumination of the soul that has the capacity to comprehend things beyond normal limitations.
With a clear conscience…1 Tim 1:3c
All too often, our attempts at morality stifle our relationship with Christ. Not that ethics doesn’t matter, rather we are often hindered by arbitrary standards of right and wrong which is based on human traditions, not developing true self-control, and inconsistent with the freedoms afforded to us through Jesus. I find it funny when people try to throw such moral codes in my face.
Additionally, there needs to be a critique of the New Age movement, namely the God Consciousness movement which tries to distinguish their doctrine from previous religions, not truly knowing all what those religions practice and teach. Can we see the inconsistencies? Yet in Christ, an overarching harmony brings it all together.
The Standard of Piety
As God’s ways are perfect, His perfection becomes ours through His Spirit as he demands it of us. God’s demands according to the Law will always condemn us, but through grace, it gives us acceptance, hope and power to overcome what was previously impossible to accomplish.
as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 1 Tim 1:3d
I’ll openly admit, I don’t pray for anyone like that. To my own shame, I don’t love anyone like that, not even myself. A sign of perfect love is constancy which is consistent with the implications of having a clear conscience. I made it a point to grow in fortitude of mind over the summer. Slowly but surely, I have been making significant progress. I hope to finally live up to the truths of the words thankFULL and grateFULL.
Because you O Lord are always praying for us, smitten and grateful for us your creation. Thank you for the peace to be united with you in certain respects. Have mercy upon our souls; forgive our debts and do not remember our iniquities. Impute the righteousness of your Son upon us. Give us the grace to overcome all that is ungodly in our lives while we minister your presence amongst ourselves and the world around us. Amen.
How beautiful is the nature of God! While there are many other things about his nature revealed in this passage that is mysterious and dubious, I hope this serves a greater revelation of the will of God concerning humanity.
What are your thoughts about the devotional? Are you thankful? In what ways can you be more appreciate of life in its totality? Please leave a comment below.