Truth Incorporated

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATruth is kind of a big deal to me. Maybe because knowing the truth has always been the best way for me to have peace of mind! It can be considered knowledge,and of course knowledge is power! Power needed to overcome the fear and anxieties which accompany it’s antithesis of lies and confusion. Over the year’s I’ve become frustrated with how unnecessary and manufactured that confusion often seems to be. Businesses use deceptively simple premises that sound good on the surface to entice people into becoming customers. Then when they’ve got you in the door they employ some form of a “bait and switch”. To my way of thinking, this sort of marketing strategy is little more than legalized falsehood…It seems as though you can lie in the large print if you tell the truth in the small!

That’s Corporate truth!

Over my lifetime I’ve been taken in many times by such tactics, which are, like any successful scam based on the greed of it’s intended victims. You have to present a “something for nothing” scenario in order to peak the selfishness of the intended “mark”. Because I’ve been burnt before, I’ve become quite sensitive and even resentful towards any institution or corporation that attempts to use this method to engage me. I’m leery of any offer which seems overly generous or “too good to be true” and rightly so I’d say!

Christianity can also be misrepresented to people. They’re told that after trusting in Jesus Christ as their Saviour they’re born again and that their burdens in life can be laid down there at the foot of the cross. Most people understand that to mean that life as they know it is going to get easier but if you’ve been “around” at all you know that’s not really true. I’m not saying that it never happens or even that it can’t happen, what I am saying is that it’s a process. One that requires a lot of hard work over time. One that you’ll need lots of help with! People who are mature in their faith know this is true. If you think that Satan is just going to stand by and watch while someone grows in Christ you’re dead wrong! Nope, he’ll attack anyone who’s moving in the opposite direction that he is! Truth is, if you’re not encountering his handiwork maybe you should consider which way you’re headed!

According to data I’ve looked at, Christianity is in decline in the United States. Why? I think it’s because we’ve totally underestimated our enemy! We don’t believe we’re in a spiritual battle and that lives are at stake. No, either we’ve somehow been convinced that half measures and playing Church is God’s purpose for us as His ambassadors or perhaps we just don’t care.

There’s a lot more to being a Christian then just walking down an aisle and saying a prayer! That’s just the start! But if you want to live a victorious Christian life there’s a lot more to it. I’m talking about discipleship,which can’t sail without relationship! Relationships that run much deeper than shaking someones hand on Sunday morning and that aren’t put off by the walls that people have built around their hearts.

2888670193_949c834e3aThis symbol appears through the Ancient Ephesus. This symbol, a code unknown to the Romans was used by the Christians to indicate they were followers of Christ

Somewhere along the way the church’s priorities have changed from operating in the five fold ministries they’ve been called to in Ephesians four to instead function more like a business whose goal is warm bodies in pews paying tithes. God’s Spirit won’t occupy and empower that…but without His Holy Spirit they’re selling a product that doesn’t really work! Maybe that explains the large number of dissatisfied Christian consumers who’ve left the church seeking something they perceive as being based more on integrity.

These types of marketing strategies don’t work on people who,because of their sense of integrity,see them for what they are. Who aren’t only interested in their personal gain or benefit but also in that of the other parties involved. They seek true value, to pay a fair price for any goods or services because they understand the interconnection that exists between all members of an economy and have an uncommon respect for what’s known as “parity”.

The last time I was in church the pastor made fun of people like me who write blogs critical of the church. He said it was like saying “Lord I love you, but Your bride? Not so much” I understood his point but maybe not all church’s deserve that title…

Gandhi didn’t think so!

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I’m not just here trying to be critical or condemning, I freely admit that I’m struggling just as much as anyone to try and understand what we as the church should be doing.

When I ask myself that question it seems to become less about “what” and more a matter of how can we do it?

By what power?

Again, we know the answer…by the Holy Spirit!

Okay,how do we “get that”?

What does the Bible say?

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

I read this quote the other day and it stopped me in my tracks…

 “I am Pentecostal by necessity, not by choice.” Dick Brougdan

I do know this much…LOVE is the answer!

The answer to any problem as I see it is to simply figure out a way to get closer to God, Who is love!

And then we won’t be able to not love others in a genuine way just as He loves us!

Now that sounds like the truth to me…

Not “Truth Incorporated”

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I Think You Know

I’ve always thought that one of the things I do best is to understand (and sometimes explain) abstract concepts. I’m certainly not a concrete linear thinker so that’s all that’s “left” right?

Today,as I reclined in my chair, lost in the serenity of the view outside my window I had one of those disoriented moments…It happened as I was making the transition. It was a moment in which the perceived insanity of this world seemed so clearly juxtaposed against the peace and tranquility of the world I had drifted off into,and like going from hot to cold the effects were magnified.

My next thoughts were analytical and seemed to question the authenticity of what I was experiencing and it’s relevance to anyone besides myself but the case was quickly lost. I knew it was more than just my own egocentric flattery… No,the observance of this familiar topography was a product of months,perhaps even years, of subversive confoundment at the perfect storm of circumstances that seemed to not only be following me but hanging over the whole world as well!

One very dark cloud that’s predominant characteristic or quality lies in the inability of anyone to put their finger directly upon it

I’ve noticed that everyday the water seems to get muddier. That with each new shocking headline or catastrophe I become a little more jaded. With the advent of each new previously unthinkable event we’re forced to redefine what is reality.Have you ever wondered “What next?” And then,wanting to turn directly towards that roaring sound you hear creeping up on you, you begin to move only to be halted by your sternest inner parental tone barking out for you to do an about face back towards “reality”? Often it’s accompanied or supported by another inner voice espousing the convincing logic of continuity, the notion that what has happened will always continue on and on,and to think otherwise is well…foolish

2 Peter 3:3-4

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

To me it’s no mere coincidence that this is also the concept science bases much of what it espouses to be true upon. That this is the threshold of truth used as a platform for hypothesis and theory to explain practically everything. Be it carbon dating or that most sacred of scientific cow’s “the speed of light” both of which have faced a re-examination in recent years. The crisis then becomes a cliche, it’s almost like saying,

“What if everything you know is wrong?”

Am I being overly abstract even for me, painfully esoteric and annoyingly cryptic?

All apologies…

I’ve chosen to write this primarily for myself, if someone else gets it then great. It’s simply a situation that’s increasingly difficult for me to abide with and so my hope is that by exploring it here I can perhaps put a finger on it or give it a name. In the past I’ve railed against what I perceive as the hypocrisy of institutionalized religion that’s become an “I’ve got mine” Christian social club or the pridefully motivated law keeping that would do the Pharisee’s proud! But that’s not really it. It’s so much broader, and yet it can take the form of small annoying things that seem out of balance or somehow just wrong in your life…like living someplace where flies seem to outnumber humans by 10,000 to 1 or too much month left at the end of the money…

My annoyances and inconveniences seem petty when I look around and see the interminable struggle just to live that’s faced by so many here on this blue and green spinning ball. Reconciling those realities is like trying to ignore some 800lb existential gorilla in the room or not be shocked at an emperor without any clothes. It’s an out of whack reality that can unexpectedly slap you in the face even in your favorite chair or anywhere that the illusion is strong enough, accepted as the norm or thought of as just the way it is

I’m simply trying to relate how in one moment

I was startled to see through the illusion.

James 3:15-17

 15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

To some who read this what I’m saying will make little sense. Others may relate,acknowledging the new status quo of confusion and deception. It’s probably not any revelation to many that this world is going to pot,

but what I’m pointing at is how, on a very personal level,

I feel the effects of what’s happening!

How sometimes it still takes me by surprise.

 like the frog in a pot eventually looking around as if to say,

 “Isn’t it getting hot in here?”

What in the world am I talking about?

It’s really no great matter unless it leaves you different than you were before

Different in what way?

I think you know…