Sunday, 15 February 2009

Four Things

We watched this video (well, DVD) when our group went out this morning. Apparently Dianne's recorder just randomly recorded a chunk of the God channel and in the middle was this hour long bit by J. John (think that was his name...). Anyway, the gist of it was that there're four things with being a Christian.

1. Admit. When he said it, I thought 'oh no, here we go, sin and how terrible we all are'. Now, don't get me wrong, that is true. Until you become a Christian, at which point all of your sin--past, present and future--is wiped out and nullified in the eyes of God, cos when he looks at you you see Jesus. But he started out by saying one of the things you gotta admit is that God is God and that he's in control. Then he moved on to saying how we'd sinned and stuff and that had to be admitted to, but the first thing he came with was how it's so hard to admit that God is in control, that there is a God, and that it's his job, not ours, to control the world an all of that.

2. Commit. Now, it's all well and good to admit there's a god and to admit that Jesus is his son, but you have to commit. You have to do something with that knowledge. You have to make a decision to commit your life to Jesus, to following him. That's what committing is all about. It's about saying 'yes, this is what I want to do, this is what I want for my life'. It's about making a decision based on your admission that God exists and that you can't do without him.

3. Submit. The speaker used this to illustrate. If you ever go into a throne room, there's only one throne, not a bench for a couple of kings to sit on, one throne. You bow down to that one throne. Basically, it's like Jesus says. You can't serve two masters. You serve the world or you serve God. You have to choose to follow God, you have to choose which way you want to go, what you want to follow, where you're going to put your time, effort and money.

4. Transmit. This is about telling other people, about making it clear to the world that you've done the other three, about spreading the good news. This is about not keeping your faith inside, about not being afraid to stand up and share about what you believe.

Everyone's at a different point in this walk with God. We were talking about it at the end, how you can be transmitting but not doing any of the others, about how some people pretend to be Christians. Now, to be quite frank, I don't see the point of pretending. Why pretend when you can be? And if you don't want to be, then why pretend that's what you are? Anyway, that's what we were talking about this morning.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wednesday Night

Ok, so Buster told me to write this down, so here it is. Basically, we were talking and Clem said he could see me teaching the Bible one day. Buster said don't dismiss it, write it down and then leave it, see what happens, see if it happens. So that's what I've done now. :D

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Devil

I meant to write about this a while ago, but kind of didn't. Sorry. Anyway, we were having a discussion about whether the Devil was an actual entity or just an idea in the Conversation, and I've kind of resolved to write up my thoughts on all of the topics on here. I just haven't yet. As you've maybe noticed...

Anyway. At least I'm doing it before the next one.

My thoughts on whether the Devil is real. Well, it's kind of influenced by the non-theological aspect that I write stories with angels and demons as main characters, and the Devil is in there as a character, so that puts a bit of a spin on all my opinions. But disregarding that, yes, I do think he is a genuine entity. The reasons for that, I'm not one hundred per cent confident in giving. Hey, I'm developing and learning myself, don't expect me to have every single answer. I'm just collecting lots and lots of questions at the moment, and doing my best with them (my own questions as well as those of others). Part of the reason is in Genesis, when the Devil is clearly shown as an actual creature. Same in Job, where the Devil is portrayed as going up to God. And when Jesus was tempted, you get the impression that he's really there as an actual identity, rather than an idea. Same with Revelation (think it's there). I think the best way to understand him is as a tempter, not as the source of all evil in the world. You have to blame free choice for a lot of that (although it's quite possible that the Devil tempted someone/encouraged someone to make the wrong decision that resulted in the evil and suffering). I also don't blame him for natural disasters. That's just a reaction (in my opinion) of the world to the evil that came into it and corrupted nature.

We then got onto a discussion about demons. Again, I think they're real. Probably influenced by the fact that I write about them. However, looking beyond that, yes, I think they exist. It follows naturally on from saying that the Devil exists to say that demons also exist. This was the bit I got kind of stuck explaining at the Conversation. I've thought about it and talked about it a little bit with other people, and I think I have a better explanation now. A lot of people have said that when Jesus helped demon possessed people he was actually curing them of epilepsy. I'm not convinced that was always the case. I'm gonna lump evil spirits in with demons here, just for convinience/my sanity. Don't really see that there's a whole lot of difference (there is a difference in my stories, but that's irrelevant just now). Anyway, if there are no evil spirits, what makes a ouiji board work? It isn't God. And if what I've heard is true, it isn't people either. So yes, there are spirits. And if you put yourself into a receptive position, open yourself up to it, for example by using things like ouiji boards (and if that's not spelt right, sorry, but it's not a word I usually have cause to use) then it's quite possible they'll possess you. Then it gets onto the whole free choice issue. Which I'll go into in another post. Because that's even more complicated. But I heard a pretty good explanation of it the other day which I'll throw into the mix along with my thoughts (which are a little confused it has to be said).

To reiterate, I don't have all the answers. I'm just trying to open up the questions and explore them a bit myself.

God's crackers about you. No matter what the answer to whether the Devil is real or an explanation is.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


I'm doing a distance learning theology course (I'm not a swot, honest, I just have an interest in it and decided to follow up) and the section I'm doing at the moment is all about worship and the Holy Spirit. To point out, this has very little relevance to what I'm about to say, I'm just putting in the framework for what I'm saying. Plus it lets me establish my credentials or whatever. They're pretty much non-existant. I have one and a half GCSEs in RE, and that's it. There you go. Problem of authorship solved. :D (I'm doing history, we're always looking at sources and stuff and the author is one of the first things you look at, but I ramble). Um... What was I going to say? Oh, confession. Right.

I suppose you think it means confessing all your sins, admitting you're an evil person, all that rot. So did I. But apparently the real meaning goes much deeper. It basically means telling the truth about yourself.

Now, I got a little worked up the other day when I read in one of the textbooks I'm using that a problem with the evangelical movement and the whole renewal thing is that there's a complete lack of emphasis on confession. The author seemed to have a bit of a thing about them not acknowledging the fact that they're sinners. Which is bogus. I am not a sinner. Nor is anyone else who has put their trust in Jesus for salvation. I'm not a sinner saved by grace, I'm not at all a sinner. Therefore, I get a bit annoyed when text books that should know better start trying to tell me that I am. So the whole not acknowledging sins thing is unnecessary. This is rather a complex issue, and not really what I was intending to talk about. So I think I'll leave that little bit there and post on it later when I'm not supposed to be playing my clarinet etc.

So anyway, confession is not just admitting your sins, its telling the truth about yourself. Though the focus usually seems to be on the negative, what about the positive? Here's just a few things I jotted down while I was working on it:
* (I don't know how to do bullet points, put up with the stars :D )
* I am a son of God (yes, I'm female, but in the world at the time this was written, the sons got the inheritance, so I'm a son in legal terms according to what the world was like)
* I am not a slave to fear.
* I am a heir of God and a coheir with Christ.
* I will share in Christ's suffering and also his glory.
* I have the Spirit in my heart.
* I have access to the Father.
* I am free of sin.
* I am holy and accepted.
* I am perfect in God's eyes.
* I am dead to sin.
* I belong to Christ.
* I am not condemned.
Now, I do have all the verses I've got that from around somewhere (they're in my Bible if nowhere else), but just right now I don't really have time to go hunting about for them. I think most of that can be got from Romans. Wouldn't surprise me. I've paraphrased it, and I'm going off memory for some of it, but given how recent the teaching we've had on the latter ones (the top couple I got out of the Bible as I was doing it, the latter I decided to add because it's the truth and that's what the thing was asking for and there was still room in the little box), I think you can trust my memory. In fact, I'm certain of it. It's pretty good for most things. I can still recite, for example, the first scene of MacBeth from memory, from when I did it four years or so ago. Those statements not just true for me of course, it's true for everyone who has accepted Jesus as saviour.

I really have to go play my clarinet and whatever, but I'll leave you with a little reminder from VeggieTales.

Remember, God made you special and he loves you very much. Byebye!