Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Disarming a cult

Sorry everyone, I've been so busy packing and getting ready for our move tomorrow.  I really haven't had much time to study or much on my mind other than "lets get the frack out of here and get to Vancouver already why don't we?"

So it's been mad mad mad...  

  Anyways, here's something that I've been pondering.  When I was in the ICOC it was frequently impressed upon us that we could lose our salvation.  Like snake oil salesmen, cults typically create a need in order to sell a product.  That being the need for their brand of doctrine.

  This created a very real fear in me that allowed them to control me.  If I missed my quiet time, or disobeyed my authority or felt particularly sinful that day - I was likely going to hell.  However if I felt like I had a good quiet time, my authorities were happy with me, and I was firing on all 4 cylinders - I was making it to heaven.  This is complete and utter bullshit and NOT the life that God or his Son intended for us.

  Let's disarm the lies.

  First of all they love to base their entire "fall away" doctrine on Hebrews 6:4-6

"4 For it is impossible for those once enlightened, besides tasting the celestial gratuity and becoming partakers of holy spirit,
5 and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon,
6 and falling aside, to be renewing them again to repentance while crucifying for themselves the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy."

this letter that was not even written to the gentiles of the nations, which, unless you're a jew - does not apply to you.  This letter was written to the jewish nation of Paul's day.  In particular those who had been present at pentecost and given gifts when the Holy Spirit descended upon them.

   When the Kingdom failed to appear due to the lack of repentance on the part of Israel their powers and their repentance when with it.  After which, it was impossible to renew it as the means that which produced it were no longer available.

  Today we live in an age of grace, which Paul expressly taught.  In place of repentance and pardon, we have faith and justification.  For which there is no falling away, it's entirely of grace from first to last.

  In fact, ironically as the ICOC and COC attempt to justify their salvation by works (baptism, legalism etc. etc.) actually do the opposite. As written in Galatians 5, those who try to earn their salvation by the law actually FALL AWAY from Grace.  This does not remove their salvation from them, only the privileges given tot he Body of Christ.  For by attempting to earn salvation for one's own self - you in effect deny the work of Christ at Calvary.

  Further Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly states "For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present, not of works, lest anyone should be boasting." It was never out of us to begin with. We had NO involvement in this salvation at all.
  Again 2 Timothy 2:11-13 says "Faithful is the saying: "For if we died together, we shall be living together also; if we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also; if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us; if we are disbelieving, He is remaining faithful -- He cannot disown Himself."

  Please note - If we are DISBELIEVING he is remaining faithful. Faithful to what? Faithful to his plan to redeem the human race, for this is why he is called the Christ.
  If we disown him, we may not take part in the Body of Christ, but we will STILL be saved. That's what Jesus was tortured and died for after all!! 

  Please - if anyone dares challenge your salvation believe this; you were saved 2000 years ago because of what Christ did through his torture and death, burial and resurrection.  There is nothing YOU can do to challenge the work that GOD accomplished through his Son.

   Any belief that denies that is utter arrogance and self worship.  Who are you to say that your works, or lack thereof can deny the power of God?

Friday, September 13, 2013

One last Friday Quote

I'm really enjoying reading this book.  Anyways this here is one great quote that really thrust it's point home;

"The Mohammedan is sure that he has the true faith and all the rest are infidels.  He is shocked by the many gods of the Hindu and the three Gods of the Christian.  Just as men condemn themselves in accusing others, since they do the same, so the religionists of the earth mutually incriminate one another, though each holds fast to his own righteousness.  Christless Christianity, which believers must associate with His revelation in a special way, for it is supposed to be based on the Bible, is the most self-righteous of them all, as well as the most guilty, since it has the outward shell of the truth and a form of godliness based on God's Word, nevertheless lacks life and power, and is not only ungodly, but inhuman and sub-beastly, beyond the others."

- A.E. Knoch "Concordant Studies in the Book of Daniel

The Blindness of Christianity

I will write more later but I had to write down this quote that really took my breath away.  I'm reading A.E. Knoch's "Concordant Studies on the book of Daniel" and he said something truly chilling;

Christendom, however, is so deceived that it is blind to the powers that impel it.  Like Eve in the garden, they are pleased with the prospect of being as gods, and accept the leadership of the spirit which promises to make man divine.  It should make us dreadfully afraid to learn that the leading religions of the world are satanic in their origin and end.

  - A.E. Knoch in the chapter "Organizations of Mankind"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

His Achievement


Ephesians 2:8 For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present,
9 not of works, lest anyone should be boasting.
10 For His achievement are we, being created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God makes ready beforehand, that we should be walking in them.

  There is nothing so stunningly humbling than when someone gives you a gift that is so lavishly expensive that you could not afford it.

  I had a friend who gave me a tablet once.  It was brand new in fact, and my family and I were unable to buy much at all at the time.  My friend knew that for years I had wanted a tablet, but could not afford it.  A month or two before Christmas, he gave me a brand new Nexus 7.

   I could not believe it, I was humbled by his generosity.  I felt like I had to do something to earn it, program a program.  Fix a computer.  Write a symphony.  Construct a house.  I don't know what it was, but I felt compelled to do something to earn it.

   He expressly said it was a gift, and I didn't need to do anything for him.

   It was humbling.  All I could say was thank you.  Of course, if he needed anything, I would gladly do it for him, and he remains a good friend today.

   How much more so than this wonderful gift we have been given?  Not merely the salvation of our souls, but also the faith to believe it.  Those of us who are in the body of Christ must continually remind ourselves that nothing we do or will do will ever earn for ourselves this precious and lavish gift which has been given to us.  To be part of the celestial calling in Christ Jesus.

  Christianity teaches that our faith saves us.  Those that teach this do so in gross ignorance of Ephesians 2:8-9 .  Paul knew this doctrine was worming its way into the lives of believers.  Your faith is not your own.  The grace given to you is not your own.  Even the baptism that every believer experiences upon the "I GET IT" moment is nothing we can achieve ourselves.

Ephesians 1:4 says; according as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world, we to be holy and flawless in His sight,

  Christianity teaches that we choose him.  They've got it backwards.  Ephesians 1:4 says he chooses us.  Long before Adam was even created, he choose us.  That's huge.  We were planned.  There were no mistakes.

   His achievement are we.

  Embrace that.  Live it.  Be ever grateful that this eon and the ones to come have been granted to you beause of His gracious generosity.  If that doesn't put you in a fantastic mood; I don't know what else can.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Happy God

The Happy God

  There is a tragic view of God that most religions depict.  This is not exclusive to Christianity, Islam and many other religions throughout the world depict an angry, vengeful God who will quickly smite you if you do not obey even the smallest commandment.  Westboro Church is famous for peddling this kind of hatred.  Even Mark Driscoll depicts a God who has more in common with a wife beating husband than he does a God of grace.

   The very Bible they profess to believe in denies this attitude of God.

1 Timothy 1:11 in accord with the evangel of the glory of the happy God, with which I was entrusted.

  Paul who calls himself the worst of sinners 1 Timothy 1:13-16 also declares that he was overwhelmed by the grace of God.  This does not sound like an angry God.  When your wife overwhelms you with her love and grace what image do you have in mind?  Certainly it's not one like those fellows from Westboro holding up picket signs.

   Too much of religion teaches to be afraid of God and to fear his judgment.  To be sure Proverbs 9:10 tell us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; but that is not the end of it.

1 John 4:18 Fear is not in love, but perfect love is casting out fear, for fear has chastening. Now he who is fearing is not perfected in love.

   But what about sin?  Some people will say, doesn't God hate sin?  Yes, God does, that's why he sent his son to the cross.  Now is the era of grace, purchased by the blood of Christ in fact Paul writes;

Romans 5:20 20 Yet law came in by the way, that the offense should be increasing. Yet where sin increases, grace superexceeds,

  Where there is sin, grace is GREATER than the sin that was commited.  That is how large the grace of Christ is.  You can never outsin God's grace!!

   What about judgment?  Hell?  

  Well first off, Hell doesn't exist.  In fact, God's grace is so large that he is not even at odds with humanity anymore;

 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
18 Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation,
19 how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation.
20 For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching for Christ's sake, "Be conciliated to God!"
21 For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God's righteousness in Him.

  God is at peace towards you, in other words.  We now have the ministry asking of the world - be at peace with God!  To make it even clearer, the only person who's angry and at war is humanity.  God has made the peace offering through his son, and is not at odds with us.

  There will come a day of judgment where God will correct all men's hearts, but hell is not the destiny for anyone of mankind.

1 Cor 15:26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.

Death will end, and if death itself is done with.  What remains?  Life, which by implication means everyone will be alive.  To which the ultimate goal of all creation, the consumation that God will be All in All (1 Corinthians 15:27-28)

  There is no other faith that teaches this.  God is at peace with you.  God wants you to be who you are.   God loves you regardless of all that you have done or will do in this life.

  Don't listen to those who are professing a hateful angry God.  That is the lie.

2 Thess 2:11-12 And therefore God will be sending them an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood,
12 that all may be judged who do not believe the truth, but delight in injustice.

hmm... Sounds alot like some people holding signs declaring God's hatred.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Counting Down...

  Well this weekend has been productive.  We've sold couches, tables, bookshelves... There's not much left furniture wise in our house.  When we watch TV we're pretty much camping out on the floor.

  I spent most of the weekend pulling boxes out of storage and throwing things away.  I have so many papers to take to a shredding facility.  It's unbelievable the amount of crap I've got piled up.

  We're really looking forward to the move and the lifestyle change.  However there is an element of disbelief too in all this.  Cassidy, I'm sure, is completely confused as to what is going on.  In some ways she's reacting emotionally to it.  Fortunately, in 9 more days we'll be out there.

  I'm trying to see my friends and let them know I'll miss them and how much I care.  But with 9 days left, there's so much to do.

  Most of you know, I believe all things are of God.  And it's funny... I was talking to my family this weekend and we remarked how, if I hadn't had that 8 day migraine and gotten vertigo - none of this would've happened.

  It got me thinking...  Even the bad things in life, God intends for our benefit.  I was thinking earlier this morning, how that has been so true historically.  Noah, gets ridiculed and abused by society for building an ark, and it turns out, that was awesome.  He and his family are saved.

  Joseph, gets thrown in a well, and constantly abused until adulthood, becomes the bigwig of Egypt and saves everyone from famine.

  Job, gets caught in a verbal sparring match between God and Satan, a shitstorm of bad luck happens to him and in the end he turns out better than ever before.

  Jesus himself, is abused by those of high place in society, gets the shit beat out of him, nailed to a cross for what? 6 hours?  I can't remember, but it was hell... 

  Gets resurrected into an awesome kickass body, ascends to heaven and given Lordship over all creation.

  Sometimes... When our lives change, and things don't always work out to our "benefit" as we think they should, we think God is mad at us.  We've done something wrong.   Or worse, we get angry at God for leading us down this path of thorns and thistles.

  Job said;

Job 2 9Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" 10But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

  Joel Osteen is not the first to come up with this kind of theology.  It has been common even in Jesus' day 

John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

  Just because you are being blessed does not mean God is happy with you.  On the flip side, just because you are enduring hardship, does not mean God is angry with you.  And here's the catch all.  Just because you are being persecuted, does not mean you are being persecuted for Christ.

  There's another verse in the Bible, (go read the whole Bible, you'll find it, I can't remember where it is) that says that the sun falls on the wicked and the good alike.  Similarly so does the rain fall on both men as well.

  Yet; All is of God, and in every circumstance - we ought to give thanks to God for EVERYTHING whether good or evil, is all meant for our benefit.

  I'm saying this to point out that no matter what happens in the future when we move, however it slides... I'm going to remember - God lead us there, and there is ALWAYS a reason to benefit everyone.  Myself as well as those around me.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning to say Goodbye

Getting ready to say goodbye...

  I think it hit me sometime in the middle of the night.  I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and get some water and I looked at my home and realized...  This isn't my house anymore.

  Even this morning at Coffee break I realized, in 2 weeks I probably won't talk to many of these people ever again...

  I look outside the window and see the fall colors starting to change here in Calgary, and realize that this city has been very much home for me for most of my life.  Yes, we lived in Madden from 1990-1996, but all the same we were only 45 mins out of town.  Calgary has always been very much a part of my life.

  We were also extremely blessed to have a beautiful house when by all rights, every bank would have been justified in laughing us off.  And God has certainly watched over us as at times, we had made bad financial decisions.  There were times when we treaded water and I would go to bed stressed...

   So there are literally 12 days left until we move and I feel quite alot of thoughtful reflection filling my thoughts and my heart now.  Not too unlike the time when I turned 18 and I had to find my own job and everything in my life was getting turned upside down... no more school, no more dependency on my parents...

   I realize this is a new season in our family's life.  We're going to a new province.  For Jana it will be going home.  For Cassidy, well she probably won't know much of what's going on, but she's excited to be close to her grandparents.  She adores her grandfather and that is also a big factor in why we're moving.

  But still... it's a new season and so much change is coming.  New job, new culture, new lifestyle...  That scares me sometimes.  I wonder if I was crazy in making a decision to do this.

And then I remember... 

Ephesians 1:11... the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will..

Romans 8:28 Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose

2 Corinthians 5:18 Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation,

  And I can rest assured that even the very decisions we make are of Him and in His hands.

Psalms 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God...

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart, it devises his way, Yet Yahweh, He establishes his steps.

  This is meant to be, and for whatever purposes.  For good or evil, I can be certain it is always always for our benefit.

Praise God,


Thursday, September 5, 2013

What a day...

  It's been a bit of an exhausting day today.

  This morning my wife let me know the appraisal came in somewhat under our asking price.  Nearly so low that we would end up owing the bank if we sold at that price.  We obviously refused that offer.  Fortunately, the buyer himself was not at all happy with what his mortgage lender was doing to sabotage our deal.  The mortgage broker had indeed been quite difficult to deal with the entire time we've had with working out this sale.

  He ended up offering extra money on top of the mortgage to seal the deal.  It was at that point we realized, we either take this deal and move to Vancouver.  Or deal with the headache of going on the market again and possibly playing the same game with someone else.

  After getting advice from many different people, including professionals.  We concluded we should take the proffered deal.

  SO.  We ARE now moving on the 19th for sure.  As far as I can tell, it's done, closed, finis.  Time to move on.

  On the downside it might mean we will be living with the inlaws longer than we originally intended.  Perhaps, God has a good reason for this delay.  In this, I will trust him, as always.

  So, a bit down and disappointed about that, I had to pick up my spirits and attempt to sell myself on a phone interview in Vancouver for a job.  I did my best, but it was a little difficult as I am sure I was on speaker phone.  Their voice was muffled and it was extremely difficult to hear.  Fortunately it looks like I will get a second, in person, interview when I get out there.  Crossing fingers and hoping.

  I got home, and rather than take my normal time of rest.  I spent lunch with my wife and daughter which consisted of getting a few bites, scanning our 5th damn adendum for this house sale, get a few more bites, correct it, and scan it again and email.  And on top of this, as soon as I walked in the door I dared to look at a tax bill from the CRA.

  It was not a pretty tax bill.

  So both Jana and I are a bit emotional from being on tenterhooks for the last few days.  Poor Cassidy can sense the tension and got a little emotional, for which we finally put her down for a nap before I left and Jana and I agreed... we need to relax and chill.

   Fortunately after re-examining the assesment and my tax filing, it seems everything is ok.  It's not as dire as I first thought.

  Siiigh.  Well, I'm ready for Saturday, I want to go out with my friends for our farewell party.  I need a few beers and some fun.  How about you?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Religion and the Shame Game

  Well, it looks like the house deal is going to go through.  However they've asked to extend the closing date two more days to allow an appraisal to be done on our house.  Fun fun. :P

  In the meantime, we're proceeding as though the sale WILL go through and moving on the 19th.  This Saturday night we're getting together with friends in a farewell party.  If you're interested in coming, message me and I'll give you details.

  I've handed in my resignation today and... well.. It's in God's hands now.

Religion's Shame Game

  So, last night I was checking out this blog that someone had posted online and asked for an opinion on.  I read it, and in the beginning the tone sounded quite reasonable and I could find nothing wrong with it.

  At least not until she started shaming the girls and talking about purity.

  So - let's talk about purity.

  Typically most religious folks point to 1 Timothy 4:12 when they talk about purity so here it is;

12 Let no one be despising your youth, but become a model for the believers, in word, in behavior, in love, in faith, in purity.

Yet if you read in context the entire chapter, Paul isn't talking about "sexual purity" he's talking about doctrinal purity.  He even describes the impure in 1 Timothy 4:1-5

1 Now the spirit is saying explicitly, that in subsequent eras some will be withdrawing from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons,
2 in the hypocrisy of false expressions, their own conscience having been cauterized;
3 forbidding to marry, abstaining from foods, which God creates to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who believe and realize the truth,
4 seeing that every creature of God is ideal and nothing is to be cast away, being taken with thanksgiving,
5 for it is hallowed through the word of God and pleading.

  Look at that, all that and NOT one word of sex.  In fact, you would be surprised to read through all of Paul's epistles and you will discover he only touches on the topic of sexuality a few times in comparison to the topic of false teaching.  It's obvious which is of far more concern to Paul.

  So let's stop listening to the crap that mainstream religion is teaching us.  Arterburn's books, and all those "Men of God" movements.  They have lost touch with what really matters.  The truly sexually perverted are not those who admire the female body for what God has created it.  The truly perverted are those who deny what God has naturally instilled in them, and instead fall into all other kinds of perversion.

  Incorrect teaching begets incorrect desire.  You don't have to take my word for it; just look at the scandals in the catholic Church.  Abstinence, Celibacy, and "sexual purity" haven't done all too much for these guys.  Do you really think "bouncing your eyes" and condemning other women for their natural beauty is going to make you more righteous?  It's not like you've discovered something new.  Even the Taliban went to the extreme of covering their women head to toe in fabric.  Guess which nation in the world has the highest rate of rape and perversion?

  It's certainly not our "lustful" north American nation.

  So, BE pure.  

1 Timothy 4:16 16 Attend to yourself and to the teaching. Be persisting in them, for in doing this you will save yourself as well as those hearing you.


EDIT: I also commented on her post and this is what I said;

You began this article in such a great tone.  You came across as a reasoning individual and then quickly descended into a religious tone.

You are right, young boys are simply not mature enough to handle seeing the beauty of the feminine form.  These girls have done nothing wrong, except show poor discretion in who sees their pictures.  It is natural for them to explore their sexuality and discover who they are.

Yet it is you who have done that which is impure.  You have taken what God has called GOOD and what is natural to his creation and called it evil.  THAT has a far more damaging affect on your boys than seeing scantily clad girls in their bedrooms.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Down to the wire...

Well... Today is the day we find out if we're moving in 3 weeks or not.  The house sale conditions must be closed today or we go back on the market.  I have a strong feeling though, it will.

At the moment, I don't have anything poignant thoughts to share, as all our thoughts and actions are towards getting ready to move.  Giving my notice and all the things that must be done in as little as 15 days before the moving truck is out front.

Of course, lately on Facebook there has been tons of political flack that has been going around.  Syria, Harper, and etc. etc.

People are getting so worked up lately.  And yet.  I keep thinking about the composure of Jesus, as I have mentioned before.  Even the composure of Daniel, and his friends when they were all faced with political situations and men in power.

In every case, their attitude was this;

John 19:11..."No authority have you against Me in anything, except it were given to you from above..."

And that is the thrust of it.  There is nothing I can do against those in authority when God has given them the power to do so.  Only when they overstep their bounds and impose their will against God and my worship of Him can I stand in opposition.  Even THEN, I do it with all respect and humility.  As displayed countless times through history as recorded by the Bible.

It's not that I don't care about the wars, and all the evils that go on throughout the earth.  It's precisely because I DO care, I know that God ultimately is inflicting this evil on the world for the short term pains that will provide long term benefits for ALL of us.  And ALL creation.

Reminding ourselves that "ALL is of God" allows the spirit to be at peace; HE is in charge, and HE always does good work... Even if it means I don't get to move to Vancouver this month.

His will is always the better choice.