Saturday, September 19, 2015

Love and Doctrine

   I have had some feedback regarding my post yesterday.  I want to be clear, and it is difficult to do so with such an inelegant means of communication as words and letters.  I guess, in some ways it's like The Matrix;

Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.


Oracle: You know what that means? It's Latin. Means `Know thyself'. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Being the one is just like being in love. No one can tell you your in love, you just know it. Through and through. Balls to bones

So while I can't completely encompass everything I'm thinking, as I write, I will do my best.

   Regarding doctrine; I want to be perfectly clear, doctrine is and remains incredibly important.  Doctrine is another word for "teaching".  If I based the doctrine of salvation on this passage;

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.

I would lead many into error and doubtless - fear of their salvation.  However, this passage

A) has nothing to do with the nations, it is exclusively part of Israelite doctrine and history and without clearly understanding that you will quickly come to wrong conclusions, and error filled teachings.

B) Has nothing to do with salvation yet is often taken out of context by fear based churches to intimidate and coerce their people into getting in line with their program.

1 Tim 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.

Obviously Paul thought it was important to be clear in doctrine.  And let me add when Paul speaks of "saving" he is always talking of Eonian salvation.  We are all saved from death, yet we will not all experience the same salvation.  That's a topic for another time, however.

The point I have been trying to make these past few days is simply this;

1 Corinthians 13:1-2
1 If I should be speaking in the languages of men and of the messengers, yet should have no love, I have become resounding copper or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I should have prophecy and should be perceiving all secrets and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so as to transport mountains, yet have no love, I am nothing.

Without love, this is all for naught.  You can teach the most amazing things that have never been expounded on in the Bible.  Yet if you fail to teach with love... well it's all just noise.  You can know the most amazing things, but no one will want to listen to you if you are an insufferable blow hard who mocks everyone else's doctrine.  You may be ABSOLUTELY RIGHT but you will be ABSOLUTELY USELESS if you fail in the area of love.

And finally - my last point I was trying to make...

1 John 4:8
8 He who is not loving knew not God, for God is love.

   God is love.... Every other facet of his being is just an exercise of that very love.  Whether you listen to anything I say.  Whether you believe or not.  God IS love.  All his judgments are out of love.  All He ever does and ever will do IS because He IS love.  He sent his Son to die on a cross because His love is so fervent and unassailable that it will not be dissuaded from expression.  All He sets out to do, He WILL do.  We can all have complete rest and confidence in this because His very being is love and  every action the proceeds from Him is an expression of that selfsame love.

    In Summary - doctrine is incredibly important because it is through correct teaching that we learn the evangel.  It is through correct teaching we discover more and more about God, but that teaching must never ever override the most essential gift of all - God's love.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Only Thing That Matters

1 Cor 13
4 Love is patient, is kind. Love is not jealous. Love is not bragging, is not puffed up,
5 is not indecent, is not self-seeking, is not incensed, is not taking account of evil,
6 is not rejoicing in injustice, yet is rejoicing together with the truth,
7 is forgoing all, is believing all, is expecting all, is enduring all.

I have a confession to make.  I think about God all the time.  When I wake up, He is the One I ponder.  When I drive to work, He is the One I look for in the skies.  When I move throughout my day He is never far from me.  Even when I lay my head down at night, He is the one I long for.  In fact, it's fair to say He is my dearest one and I look forward to fully knowing Him and He has planned.

Why would any sane person feel this way?  I know some will see it strange, but let me tell you a little bit about Him.

You see the passage I just quoted?  It describes Him to a tee.  Anything that contradicts those verses?  You can be sure are lies.  Father is deeply, passionately in love with us.  Every single one of us.  Whether you believe in the Body of Christ, or are a part of the inheritance of Israel.  Whether you are an unbeliever of any other kind of faith - he is deeply involved in every part of your life.  You may not know this, you may be a complete stranger to Him, but believe me - He is no stranger to you.

See, whether you believe Him or not, whether you have all the right doctrine or not, we will all ultimately end up in the same place together.

1 Cor 15
28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.

Father will ultimately be ALL in ALL.  Not just ALL in some, but ALL in ALL.  This is where the grand drama of the ages is leading.  Whatever you know, or think you know matters little.  Eventually the only thing that matters is His love and that He will become your All.

Not that truth doesn't matter.  It matters a great deal.  Truth brings freedom, lies bring bondage.  Truth guides us to Father, Lies will pull us away.

The glorious fact of the matter is - no matter what path you're on - we will finally, ultimately, be reunited in HIM.


In case I'm not clear on this.  I did write it later in the evening.  My point in a nutshell is this; regardless of whether you are called or not, where ever you end up in the eonian times; God loves each and everyone of us and will eventually become your ALL.

When I wrote this I was thinking of how unbelievers view the GWT with such terror and apprehension.   All they know of God is judgment because that is what the world tells then.   They have absolutely no understanding that He is LOVE entire.  All his purposes and plans for each one of us is deeply rooted in that love. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Problem with Doctrinal Division in the Body

If Paul were here today I think he would be increasingly concerned about some of the dogmatism that is going on among believers.  As some of you may have noticed and commented, there are shots coming from all sides.  Not just from the "Big Three" (Clyde, Martin and Dan) but I see small skirmishes among other believers as well.  I've been thinking about this and I want to write this to remind all of us of the things Paul instructed us in these matters;

How we ought to conduct ourselves among each other;

Ephesians 4:3
1 I am entreating you, then, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,
2 with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit with the tie of peace:
4 one body and one spirit, according as you were called also with one expectation of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.

What our attitude should be regarding one another;

Phillipians 2
1 If, then, there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any communion of spirit, if any compassion and pity,
2 fill my joy full, that you may be mutually disposed, having mutual love, joined in soul, being disposed to one thing --
3 nothing according with faction, nor yet according with vainglory -- but with humility, 
deeming one another superior to one's self,
4 not each noting that which is his own, but each that of others also.
5 For let this disposition be in you, which is in Christ Jesus also,
6 Who, being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God,
7 nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity,
8 and, being found in fashion as a human, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

How we are to treat each other when we disagree on doctrines that do NOT have any relation to the Evangel of the Salvation of All;

Phillipians 3
15 Whoever, then, are mature, may be disposed to this, and if in anything you are differently disposed, this also shall God reveal to you.

And finally the very same spirit of Paul should be the attitude of each one of us;

1 Cor 4
3 Now to me it is the least trifle that I may be being examined by you or by man's day. But neither am I examining myself.
4 For of nothing am I conscious as to myself, but not by this am I justified. Now He Who is examining me is the Lord.
5 So that, be not judging anything before the season, till the Lord should be coming, Who will also illuminate the hidden things of darkness and manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then applause will be coming to each one from God.

Let's put down our bibles and pens and learn to love one another FIRST rather than seek to prove each other wrong.  As Paul said;

1 Cor 13
2 And if I should have prophecy and should be perceiving all secrets and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so as to transport mountains, yet have no love, I am nothing.

Without love, brethren, we are NOTHING.  Don't forget - we will be spending the eons with one another as the Body of Christ.  Let love be the overarching concern of us all rather than doctrinal correctness.  If we lose love - we lose it all.

With all love and concern,

Travis Penner