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”

It’s Only Money!

For anything of real value in this world there’s always a counterfeit. Something that has the appearance of the genuine article but is actually nothing but a cheap imitation. It may look, smell or even provide us with comparable performance in the short term but that’s usually where the similarities end.

Money is kind of like that, many people often mistake it for love or happiness…

Can you imagine anyone purposely choosing a fake Rolex watch over a real one or a Cubic Zirconia over a real diamond?  You might be unaware of it but most if not all of us do something very similar to that on a daily basis!  It’s evident in some very significant aspects of our lives, from the way we treat each other on a personal level to the corporate structures we patronize. When we purchase food’s that have been commercially processed by large corporations we become part of an industry that has little or no respect for life, certainly not for the lives of the animals they inhumanely raise and slaughter or for the lives of the workers they hire for sub-standard wages to work in dangerous pesticide saturated environments and who not surprisingly also have no respect for us either! Is life sacred to you? From my perspective that’s a simple yes or no question, and if the answer is yes then the truth of that belief should extend to all life regardless of whether it’s born or unborn or walks on two feet or twenty!

Instead of approaching peoples health from a holistic perspective that takes into account the root sources of our maladies which are physical, spiritual and nutritional, we’re a nation of people who’d rather choose a pill that only masks the problem by eliminating  symptoms to some degree. We’re willing participants in a system that disrespects us by seeing our health as a business with profit as the real objective. We’d rather pay the sometimes exorbitant monetary cost and expose ourselves to the possible side effects than do the real thing which no doubt would include us making some of the different food choices and lifestyle changes as well.

Nope, hunt-uh, no thanks!

As I thought about all of this I really struggled to understand why people,myself included, seem to be more comfortable with fake than they are with real…and this is what occurred to me. Maybe it’s because before we’d be comfortable with real,which is respectful, caring and is based in ethics we’d have to insist on those same qualities in ourselves…We’d need to have a healthy self respect that wouldn’t allow us to be a part of such a thing, or consider doing the unthinkable…caring about others more than ourselves! Give us just one reason to choose something less and we’ll swoop down on it like no tomorrow which is smack dab on the doorstep of where this sort of unsustainable thinking has landed us.

We’ve chosen what we think makes economic sense, and on both a corporate and personal level we’ve gone with what will make us the biggest profit or save us the most money with not much thought being given to the long term consequences.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I’m certainly not against people making a living and based on Paul’s writing in the above verse I don’t think he was either. It’s placing money or the power it conveys above people, to love it, which is merely a representation of value more than we do others is to sow seeds of sadness into our own lives. What we’ve failed to understand is that it is truly “Only Money” and that someday, maybe even today, we’ll live a life that reflects our accountability for the choices we’ve made.