Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Read the Bible


To get on spiritually you need to know God better and to know God better you must spend time hearing what he has to say which means you need to read the Bible.  Although God can also speak directly to your heart, you need to know His written Word so you can judge whether God is speaking to you, or the enemy is trying to deceive you.  God will not love you more because you read the Bible. It's for your benefit, not required to make God love you. However, without reading the Bible, you will not grow spiritually, and you will be more easily deceived.


There are many very good reasons for reading the Bible, as I discuss in an episode of my radio show (The Good News Show) but often people come up with excuses: here are two common reasons why people give up reading the Bible.  One reason is that they tried to read the Bible but it didn’t make any sense, the words were difficult for them to understand. One solution is to read a modern English translation of the Bible that uses words that are more familiar to you such as the Contemporary English Version.  Another reason that people give up reading the Bible is that they get to a part of the Bible that talks about somebody who was the father of someone who was the father of someone else and it all seems about as exciting as reading the computer error messages. However, it can be fun and enlightening to spot the names you know in such lists and see if where there are in the list is significant.  And if all else fails you can simply skip the list and get on with the story.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oh Mother

How is it that "mother" became an insult, as in "a real mother of..." or "you're a real bunch of mothers"? I know what word mother is short for here and I have no intention of rehearsing how it came to be shortened in common parlance.  But, once the word had been shortened do those uttering it as an insult not notice a strong similarity of the word "mother" to the word "mother"?
Recently I was stunned to realise that the phrase "your mom..." or "yo' momma..." if said with a certain inflection is also an insult.  Apart from anything else, it's only a phrase, not even a complete sentence.  Apparently it calls to mind such gems, and I mean "gems" in the sarcastic sense, as "your mum is so ugly, when she was born the doctor slapped her mother."  But the sentence is unfinished often, how then is it an insult?  It is an insult because it is understood by both parties to be an implication of a perjorative and defamatory statement about said mother.  How have we come to this?  Can't we just love our mothers and have respect for each others'?  Please.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Justice

Even an implication that God is a judge and has superiority over people is problematic for many. In polytheistic societies Gods may be assumed to have limited powers and wisdom, and as such may be judged by alternative standards. Under the assumption of an all-wise and powerful God, the perspective of the observer is important.

One of the early examples of justice through punishment in the Bible is the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18. According to the Bible, this event occurred at about 2000BC, during the life of the man Abraham. Abraham's nephew, Lot, chose to live near the city of Sodom, and at that time, the men of Sodom were described as being wicked. In Genesis 18, God started taking action against the people of Sodom. Given the statement in Genesis 13, it appears that the wickedness of Sodom had been a long-running state. In chapter 18, some angels came to Abraham, and God gave a message to him. He chose to reveal to Abraham His plans to enact justice on the cities.

When I look at this passage I notice that the people of Sodom have already seen God at work. For instance they have been delivered miraculously back in Genesis 14. The king of Sodom is there when "Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High ... blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.'" He hears about who God is, even if he didn't know before. But that's not enough.

Romans 1:18-20 says "God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature. So they have NO EXCUSE FOR NOT KNOWING GOD."

In Genesis 18:23 Abraham says to God, "Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked?" He presumes that God will sweep away the wicked, but will He also sweep away those who believe? Abraham recognises that God is just. WHEN YOU KNOW GOD, YOU KNOW HIS WAYS.





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