Saturday, January 22, 2011
I just watched the TLC special on Ted Haggard and his founding of St. James Church in Colorado Springs. From my view it was a really warm redemption story that was quite well done and I wish all the best to the Haggards and their new congregation. Anyone who has read this blog realizes that I advocate a solely redemptive purpose for the scripture; that I believe church doctrine and dogma is off base and, that I see loving transformation as the goal of redemption.
Ted and the St James Church appear to be striving to prove the love of God with their ministry and I am all for that. In watching this special I was freshly reminded of one of the major problems that Christianity faces today. There was a segment that showed Ted and Gayle going to Denver… I believe to be on the Joy Behar show by satellite. Joy ask Ted the following question; “where do you get the moral authority to preach?” This single question shows the glaring problem with Christianity as a whole. No one…. Let me repeat NO ONE except Jesus, has the moral authority to preach. Interestingly, he chose to love unconditionally and only preached at the self-righteous religious leaders.
I want to emphasize here that preach has a connotation today that was not included in the original mandate to proclaim/preach the gospel. Today the word preach evokes a thought of confronting and berating. The idea is that how can someone preach, encourage personal moral reformation when they exhibit that they lack it themselves?
In reality, those who would proclaim/preach the gospel should really be telling people that God is not angry. They should emphasize that He chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4-6. This was God’s sole purpose in creation. He created humanity knowing that he would redeem them in Christ. This speaks of the great love that God has for people. This is where the emphasis should be placed.
We have shown over and over again with the posts of this blog that current Christian doctrine and dogma is way off the mark. It is really the leaven of the Pharisees; it is the strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians 2. This is precisely the reason that those outside of the church are as loving or more loving and tolerant than church members. I would argue that one of the reasons that so many from outside the church have been critical of Ted is based upon their erroneous view that was articulated by Joy Behar. They have bought into the idea that one who is to proclaim the gospel of Christ must have moral authority. I say that this flies in the face of the gospel message.
The one thing that I am pretty sure of is that Ted and Gayle will remember the judgmental hatred that they experienced by the church and will think good and long before acting in the same way. They will truly be able to treat others as they wished that they would have been treated.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
This blog project began in December of 2009 so a year has passed and the New Year is a blank page to be written on and, a blank canvas awaiting paint. The blog began as a result of a trip back to a Bible-Belt funeral. I was saddened by what I found to be the position of many of the attendees and speakers. I will write a blog post explaining exactly what saddens me later on this year. For the time however, I will simply recall that over the year I wrote many posts that fit into several different categories. The categories provided an alternate way; and equally valid way to look at the biblical narrative. In fact, I presented strong evidence that this was in fact the way that Jesus looked at the biblical narrative and likewise, the way that he taught his followers to look at it.
The categories are as follows:
- The scripture has a solely redemptive purpose
- The word of God was redefined to mean Jesus or the gospel
- The little apocalypses (Matt 24, Luke 21 and, Mark 13) were fulfilled in the first century
- The period between the cross and the destruction of the temple was the total transition from old covenant to new covenant
- The New Heaven and Earth are completely available now by faith
- Current church doctrine is the strong delusion of 2Thess 2
The beginning of this year will open the door for looking at how the knowledge of good and evil and, what Paul called the “wisdom of the world” are synonymous. One of the major problems that humanity faces is grounded in the knowledge of good and evil… the ability to judge. The problem resides in the fact that humans do not really know good from evil only God does.
Along the way last year, I stumbled on to a book called Discovering the God Imagination by Jonathan Brink which, provided an alternate atonement theory. This atonement theory fit very nicely with my paradigm shift. His premise is that at the time of creation God declared that humanity was good… in fact… very good (Gen 1:31.) When Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil they judged themselves evil and reasoned that God did not think they were good; in other words, they did not believe God’s original decree. Brink reasoned and, quite rightly, that with the knowledge of good and evil humanity chose to reason that it was evil. Use of the knowledge of good and evil drove a wedge between Adam and Eve and God. They could not be sure that God thought that they were good and therefore they reasoned that they were evil. This is the exact cause of the chasm between God and humanity and is thereby the root problem.
When speaking of humanities downward spiral, the Apostle Paul said that humanity, claiming to be wise became fools (Romans 1:22.) Original sin was in fact the act of not believing God in his proclamation that humanity was good. This is why sin is not acts per se but rather, unbelief and, likewise why faith is obedience. The obedience of faith is found throughout the entire biblical narrative.
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