Religious or Christian?

I’ll be honest. I have not looked up the definitions to these terms. These are my opinions. I hope they will bring clarification to those who think everyone who goes to church is religious.

Religious: Someone who has a belief in God, may or may not go to church, and who claims affiliation with one denomination/belief system, or another. This group would include those who asked Jesus to save them, read their Bible sometimes (or not), and ignore God most of the time. They have their “fire insurance” giving them a free ticket out of hell, but they don’t take God very seriously. These are people who would rather go to a football game, stay home and watch their favorite TV show, go fishing, etc., than go to church and worship the God who saved them. Some religious people go to church on Sunday morning (only), put on their spiritual faces and lift their hands in praise. then they go home and cuss out their kids or neighbors, watch the garbage our society calls enterntainment on TV, and live the same as always. Sorry if I sound critical. I’m not trying to be. I’m just clarifying the differences here.

Christian: someone who tries to follow Christ. Christ is the first part of the world. The word Christian was first used in Antioch after Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, and was used to describe the twelve apostles. If you read the scriptures and study the life of the apostles, you will find that they were dedicated to the purpose of evangelization, the spreading of the gospel. But they didn’t just talk about Jesus and the price He paid to deliver us from hell; they helped and encouraged others; they reached out to the poor and needy. They lived what they believed. A Christian is someone who gives God/Jesus first place in his/her life. We still make mistakes and mess up, but we try to live what we believe.

I once heard a preacher ask this question: “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

No one is perfect. We will never be perfect in this life. But just as we should do our best on the job, at home with our families, as parents, we should also give our best to Jesus. He deserves it more than anyone.

So if you are a religious person, I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to ask Jesus to save you from your sin (nature) and then get an Authorized (AV) King James Bible, get involved with a church who uses and believes that Bible, (they are getting hard to find, but ask God and He will direct your path), and study that Bible. There are many good study Bibles out there. I like the Open Bible, but Dakes, Henry Morris, Schofield, are a few of the good study Bibles. Another is Thompson Chain Reference. Take your time to look at each one, see what features might best help you and appeal to you. Read it every day, looking up the cross references and reading the commentary notes. As you grow in the knowledge of the Lord you will be able to discern opinion in the commentary from truth.

Don’t expect to agree with everything a pastor/preacher says. They are human too and can be just as wrong as we are, but they have studied more than we, are (hopefully) called of God to the pulpit (which eliminates female pastors: see I Tim. 2:11-14). Just be willing to listen, take notes, and ponder what he says when you get home. If you have questions, ask the pastor or Sunday School teacher. (Yes, adults needs Sunday School too.) Many churches have a new converts class. If the church you choose does, that would be a good place to start.

Some words in the Bible are words we don’t use today: throughly (not the same as thoroughly), ensample (not the same as example), and a few others. As you become familiar with your Bible you will soon be able to understand the thees, thous, thine, and so forth.

I recommend starting your study with the gospel of John, then go back to Matthew and read the rest of the gospels. Many people believe that there are mistakes in the Bible because some of the accounts of events in the gospels differ from one another. Each gospel writer is showing us a different aspect of Jesus and His ministry and so focus on different details. It’s like what details you include when viewing an accident. You may only cite those details that you think matter. In the case of the Bible, God inspired every word, based on what He wanted told by that writer.

Proverbs is the book of wisdom in the Bible.

Movie Review: War Room

I have seen this movie twice. When it is available on DVD I will purchase a copy. It is the best movie on the power of prayer I have ever seen.

The movie brings out several points:

1) You can go to church and still not really know how to do battle in prayer.

2) A lukewarm Christian has NO access to God’s blessings. Rev. 3:16 says, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” This is Jesus the Christ speaking.

3) When we battle with our family members we are leaving God out of the situation and trying to handle it ourselves. No one wins in these situations, and families implode.

4) God has given us weapons in His word to use in prayer to fight the real enemy: Satan.

5) Mercy and grace are freely available in Christ. It is our job to share them. It is not our job to try to change someone else, or to judge and criticize.

6) When you have a burden you really want God to handle, that you really want to change, you need to get out of God’s way and let Him handle it.

This is a call to arms for Christians. We fight the world system with prayer, compassion, mercy, and grace. We show the love of Christ instead of condemnation and criticism.

Everything Wrong in Life is Not God’s Fault

In the beginning. . . God created a garden that had every fruit tree, every berry bush, every food-producing plant. He decorated the garden with flowers. He was preparing a wonderland for the crown of His creation: man. He provided a mist from the ground to water everything. There were streams of fresh water for refreshment. There were rivers teeming with all kinds of fish. There were woodland animals and fowls in the air, a cocophany of sound to delight the ears. And when God had finished His earthly paradise, He pronounced it good and created two people to populate it and care for it. Everything was blissful and filled with wonder and joy–until. . .

One day a serpent arrived, cunning and crafty, a sly, cunning conman. His specialty was creating doubt about God and His word. When God left Adam and Eve in the garden there was only one rule they had to follow: just one: “Thou mayest eat of every tree in the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which is planted in the middle of the garden, ye shall not eat. For in the day that ye eat thereof ye shall surely die.”

Adam and Eve had intended to obey. They loved God and He loved them. They had everything they could possibly want, including a close relationship with their Creator, who came to the garden every day and talked with them. But when the serpent arrived, he approached Eve first. He started the conversation. He looked her in the eye and said, “Did God tell you that you could eat of any tree in the garden?” He already knew the answer but he wanted to see what Eve would say. Eve replied, “We may eat of every tree in the garden, except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God said if we could neither eat of that tree, nor touch it, lest we die.”

I can almost hear that serpent’s laugh. “You shall not surely die. God knows that when you eat of that fruit, you will then know everything He knows. You will know good from evil. You will be like God.” Then he slithered away to watch the outcome of the little drama he started.

Adam believed God when He said they would die if they ate of that tree. Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam and they both ate. Adam (I believe) knew his wife was going to die and he didn’t want to be left alone. He loved her. So he ate the fruit with her. Once they ate the fruit they became aware of their nakedness and they sewed fig leaves to cover themselves. This was before they began having children. They were ashamed of their nakedness, even though there was no one else to see except themselves.

God came in the cool of the evening and cried out for them. Finally Adam answered, and said they were hiding. “Why are you hiding?” God asked. God knew, but it is important for us to confess our sins before we can receive forgiveness. “Because we were naked we hid ourselves,” Adam said.

God killed an animal, the first death in God’s creation, in order to make clothing of skins for Adam and Eve. Maybe He had to kill two animals; we don’t know. God first turned to the serpent and said, “Because you have done this (caused Eve to doubt God’s word, thus creating eternal havoc on earth), you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life, and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between her seed and thy seed,it shall bruise they head and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Then He looked at Eve and said, “And I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” This was the penalty for allowing herself to be deceived. It was not just for Eve, but for all women thereafter, because, regardless of intelligence and rationale, women are more easily influenced by their emotions than men.

Then God turned to Adam and said, “Because thou hast hearkened (listened) to your wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it ring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground;for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Every illness, every trial, every problem we have in this life, is a result of our sin nature, which we are all born with, because of the first man and woman. God didn’t cause it; man did. But God has the antidote, the solution, the love, care, compassion, grace, and mercy to take care of all of it. He first provided it in the garden when He made the clothing of animal skins for Adam and Eve. He continuallly showed his grace and mercy throughout the Old Testament to the people who chose to love, worship and obey Him. As Creator, does He not have the right to bless those who love Him? How many of us show the same love and compassion to children outside our family as we do to our own children?

God sent His only BEGOTTEN son to take our punishment, and die on a cruel cross so that we could have access to God once more, and have fellowship with our Creator. God made a way. What we do with it is our decision. If everything was perfect we would all be so puffed up with ourselves we would see no need of a Savior and we would not acknowledge God. He allows us to have trouble so we will turn to Him for help. He is the one who has the all the answers, and He is the one most able to comfort us and strengthen us in times of trouble.

I’m Thankful For–Post 6

I’m thankful for my kids: my son and my daughter (and my six grandkids, birthed by my daughter).

They were so cute and precocious when they were little. When our son was a toddler we lived in a mobile home in Chincoteague, Virginia. The mobile home was carpeted except for the kitchen. It was linoleum. One day when Sherman had just realized he could run, he went to the doorway of the back bedroom and ran as fast as his little legs would go, all the way to the kitchen. But when he got to the linoleum floor his feet slid out from under him. Wham! He hit the cabinets and fell on his bottom. He looked around to gauge my reaction. I laughed and he did too.

Our daughter was born in Germany. I loved our apartment on the base. It was huge (kitchen was tiny): spacious living room with dining room off to the side between the kitchen and master bedroom, a maid’s closet which we used for our little girl’s bedroom, nice bathroom and smaller bedroom. We were on the second floor of a three-story building in Katterbach.

When Tammy started crawling I had to put her in the playpen when I cleaned so she wouldn’t mess up what I had just done. But, oh, how she hated for me to leave the room she was in to clean another. No matter how many toys I gave her to play with, or what music I would play, she would cry and carry on as if a dear pet had died.

Now they are both grown and living about ten hours away (by car). But they call us frequently and on birthdays and Mother’s and Father’s Day we get special recognition from them. They often tell us how glad they are to have us as parents. That’s what parenting is all about: raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord so they will grow up to appreciate their God, their parents, and recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from God.

By the way, God never promised that every day would be filled with sunshine and warmth. He never promised that every day would be a good day. What He did promise was that He would never leave us, or forsake us, that He would see us through every trial, laugh with us, cry with us, and surround us with His grace, comfort and mercy, if we would but trust in Him with all of our heart, and lean not on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:1-6.

God Doesn’t Hate Women

I have heard so many women say that God hates women, and that’s why women need to take leadership roles in churches, in their communities, government, etc. These women feel downtrodden, inferior, undervalued, and degraded.

I don’t know what Bible they are reading, but my KJV Bible shows God’s love of women. It tells men to love their husbands the same way Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. It says men are to be gentle to their wives and protect them from harm. It says a man is to cherish his wife.

It does say that women are to be silent in church. This is because, as stated in Scripture, that in the days of Christ and before, women and men were not allowed to sit together in church (or temple, or tabernacle), and they would holler out questions to their husbands to get an expanation of the passage being read. Today, we sit together. It is still better for everyone around us if we wait until after church to ask questions. It’s rude to disturb others. Write the question down and ask about it later.

Scripture does emphatically state that a woman is not to teach, nor to usurp authority, over a man. It also gives the reason: because Eve was deceived–she listened to the serpent. She thought she was being logical and wise but she got herself and her husband kicked out of the garden. Adam sinned on purpose. Eve was duped. Because women, in general, are inclined to listen to everything that sounds like reason, but led by our emotions, we are to follow our husband’s lead. How we treat each other in our marriages is a picture of our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture teaches that God will hold the man, as head of the household, accountable for the actions, attitudes, and welfare of his family. That’s God’s protection.

When we, as women, follow God’s rules and guidelines, it frees us from the responsibility, causes our husbands to value us more (see Proverbs 31), creates more peace and harmony in our homes, and teaches our children by example, how to have a happy marriage when they grow up. It keeps us in a right relationship with God, knowing that His guidelines and principles are there for our best and His glory. I feel so free, so loved, so valued, and so cherished, not just by my husband, but by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I don’t have to push myself forward. I don’t have to elevate myself. When I stopped trying to be the one in charge and have everything my way; when I finally decided to do things God’s way, the chains that had me bound to strife and trying to be the feminist the world says I should be, I discovered true freedom, peace, happiness, joy, love. What else could I possibly want?

P.S. I’m not a doormat. I still get to voice my opinion, thoughts, feelings, etc. My husband and I are a partnership. We cooperate with each other and with God (or we try to). In the end I let him make the final decisions because he’s the one who has to answer to God in the end for our family. I trust him completely. Most of the time he’s right. Also, most of the time we agree.