topics of interest

Not Enough Vision

When we read the scriptures it is apparent that the goal of righteousness is not just a destiny of either heaven or hell.  We read in the admonition to the seven churches in the book of Revelation that they do not all receive the same reward.  The reward or recompense for the believer in these seven churches is based on their particular situation and their response to this situation.  If the believers remain faithful they have a reward.

The vision provided by churches today in the preaching of the gospel is so thin and weak that it is largely impotent in motivating the believer to sacrifice all for the kingdom of God.  In scripture the things of God are likened to a great and valuable pearl of great worth.  The preaching of the current gospel by many church leaders presents a ‘come se come sa, if you do or if you don’t is not really important…God is a loving God, you will be OK’.  The vision of what God has for those who follow after him is almost eliminated by these preachers.

I recently read about a 16 year old girl who was kidnapped by Boko Haram in Africa.  This young girl was executed because she would not deny Christ and claim Islam as her religion.  The rest of the 300 or so school girls kidnapped along with her did apparently renounce their faith, as they were released from captivity several months ago.  These school girls had been in captivity for some time.  I would imagine they endured horrendous conditions.

I trust that Christ has a special place prepared for this 16 year old girl.  The Bible says that she overcame and was faithful unto death, and that she will sit with Christ on his throne.  What about the other girls? Christ says if you deny me, I will also deny you before my Father in heaven.

There is a palpable rotten doctrine being preached today from the mouths of our church leaders in the West that is not scriptural, but rather the doctrines of men who have been overcome or have been deceived by their lust for fame, power, and money.







We Cannot Live as the World Does

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21—NIV)

In these verses Paul warns the believer that if they live as the world does they will not inherit the kingdom of God.  This is a sober warning.  The new covenant provides for the change needed within the believer to reject the above list given in Galatians 5 and to choose goodness and righteousness.  The problem with the old covenant was that it could not change the sinful nature of the believer as the new covenant now provides. The old covenant was based on a set of rules, but the new covenant changes the desires and the nature of the believer, so that they keep the commandments of God naturally.

It is clear in the Bible that God judges sin.  The world of Noah was destroyed because of sin.  ‘They think evil in their hearts continually’, God says.  In the new testament Annanias and Saphira were judged by Peter because they lied to the Holy Spirit.  God hates sin the Bible says. Our sin separates us from God.

We understand that God is gracious and merciful, and he provides for our errors as we walk with him.  However, he does not do this unless we are working hard to defeat the sin in our lives.  He will give us the victory if we look to him and use the tools he has provided to help us.   Sin is never OK with God.  We see this over and over in the Bible.  With Saul trying to kill David, with the Pharisees trying to kill Jesus, with the man who sinned in the church of Corinth.

The church teaching today apparently says that sin is OK because it is covered and forgiven by God. When we read the Bible we can see that this teaching is not scriptural.  This  teaching takes a part of the truth of the Word and tries to make it the whole Truth for reasons of patronizing the believers who are failing and to gain followers in their churches.


How We Can Know

How can we know how bad or corrupt things are getting in the hearts and minds of our world leaders,  influential people, and the average person in the population?  We can know by looking around us.  Jesus said ‘you can discern the sky and know that it is about to rain…’.

An article that I read today in the news helps give some indication.  The article was about pedophilia stating that the sexual assault on minor children is much deeper and encompasses a higher percentage of the population than previously thought.  This has come about because of a new on-line software program that analyses billions of pictures posted to the web to ferret out child pornography.   The shocker to these agencies who specialize in fighting child pornography…?  The level and scope of debauchery is far darker than previously thought, and surprise of the unwillingness of tech companies to take down and remove pictures that have been located and identified by them as child pornography.

Something else that is readily noticeable in our culture is the language being used by officials and government representatives.  Quotes from them printed in the news that contain cursing and vulgar swearing.  This is particularly noticeable in news coming from the USA.  We know that we are living in perilous times when the quality of people is deteriorating rapidly.  How low can people go?  Right into the eternal abyss.

Here are some statistics out of China recently.  “Shang Xiaoyuan, the director of the family and child research center of Beijing Normal University and a director of the Child Welfare Protection Council of China, said studies had estimated that 1 percent of all Chinese children were raped and that many times more were put in sexual contact with adults. Girls’ Protection, a Chinese public welfare group, said in its most recent report that the cases made public were “only the tip of the iceberg.”

Churches need to be addressing the issues they see within their own congregations that are affecting the quality of people instead of trying to help people feel better about themselves.  I listened to an online posting of a session in a church leadership conference where church leaders were told by the speaker, “if you continue to encourage covetousness in your people you will get more money from them in the offering plate, but they will stay like babes, they won’t mature.”

We need to mature as Christians.  We don’t need someone patronizing us and telling us fables and lies.  We need to face the reality that we are a lost and undone people without discipline and sacrifice in our lives.  We need the cross to develop into worthy people for the kingdom of God.   This is what church leaders do not want to teach. It’s not popular, it’s not all inclusive, and it’s not always seeker friendly.





Continued Corruption or the Gospel of Newness of Life

Continued corruption or newness of life.  I think that this is the decision that we need to make today for our lives.  We hear so much about corruption and wickedness in people’s lives on the news.  People are being corrupted on a large scale in our day and time.  We read in the Bible about Noah’s day and time.  How there was only Noah and his family who entered into the ark.  This is a small remnant indeed.  Eight people who made a decision for righteousness out of perhaps thousands upon thousands of people who lived at that time.  This is very scary.  It will be like the days of Noah, the Bible says, at the end. The Bible says that people without God ‘walk around in darkness stumbling on what they do not know’.  This is an apt description of our times.

We cannot do this life faithfully and competently without God.  We cannot do this life without being born again into a kingdom of Righteousness.  The  gospel is about God changing a person within their heart and mind to enable them to follow after righteousness and truth.  We are born again of the Spirit of God.  This is similar the Bible says to our being born into the world as a baby.  A new life begins. We are born into the family of God. Our fate otherwise is a continuum of corruption and the eventual death of our souls.

Many people it seems are experiencing a hunger for peace, for happiness, for joy in their heart and lives.  We hear about this from Hollywood stars.   Some have all the money and influence in the world and are miserable and undone.  Many have tortured lives. We need to recognize what we need as people, humble ourselves, and receive the gift of God thankfully with a grateful heart. The Bible declares to us that this wonderful gift is Jesus, the Savior of the world.

We are being taught today in the Church that we don’t have to change our wicked ways.  If we try to, we are being legalistic.   That we can continue sinning and God looks upon us as righteous.   The gospel being preached today changes little if anything in the believer’s heart and mind.  This is a different gospel than the one the Bible presents.

Doing God’s Will by Nature

“As we pray, read the Word, obey God, keep ourselves unspotted from the world, serve, give of our means, Christ will be formed in us. As Christ is formed in us we begin to do God’s will by nature. This is what is meant by “I will put My law in their minds and hearts.” Now we are in the rest of God and delighting to do His will. We now are totally lawful and therefore totally righteous in God’s sight.”

I saw this quote in a daily devotion today. I believe that this writer is presenting a true concept.  When Christ is being formed in us, we begin to find ourselves obeying and walking with Christ ‘by nature’.  We have been changed in our minds and in our hearts.  Doing Christianity by nature eliminates the hardness of keeping Biblical standards that many believers find difficult.  Being obedient to the word begins to be natural in our lives.  This is a process that requires the above outlined disciplines of reading the Bible,  praying, keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, serving and giving, etc.

There are struggles along the way to finding the  rest of God.  You will be tested.  Temptations will come and you will need to do the right thing in these situations.  There will be a denying of your flesh process that you will need to work through.  Regular days of fasting can help you in this process. You will have to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow after Jesus.  What will this look like?  It may be different for you than for someone else.  Some will find they have to reject worldly friends or family to protect themselves from compromising what the Bible teaches about how Christians should live and work.

What prevented the Israelites from entering the promised land?  “Their hearts do always err” says God.  “therefore, they shall not enter my rest”, says God.  God will give us a right heart the Bible says, but if we reject the work of God , then there is only a fearful looking toward a day of judgement.







Loved by God

…“You are free and healed to the degree you know you are loved by God.”

This was posted on a church website that I visited recently.   Does knowing how much God loves us free us and provide healing for us?  According to what I remember reading in scripture freedom comes from knowing the truth.   The Truth will set you free scripture says.  Jesus says that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  This indicates that it is how much we know Jesus not how much we know that God loves us that sets us free and brings healing.  Jesus says ‘if you know me you know the Father’.

The statement above about knowing how much God loves us places the person at the center of things.  If we change this perspective to how much we love God we will be in better alignment with the teaching of scripture.  We will be in better alignment with the will of God. This above statement is a form of godliness but denies the power because it is altering the truth in a sense. Biblically we know that God loves us but this is not the main teaching principle regarding freedom and healing taught in the scripture.  This is a man made up ideology placing accountability and responsibility for relationship and covenant onto God only.

Faith and Positive Thinking in our day

Positive thinking and positive confession is equated with being the same as having faith in Christ by some church teachings in our day.  Positive thinking has its roots in the new age movement and philosophies.  Positive thinking means that if you persist in thinking and proclaiming something as true, that it will manifest itself and be a reality in your daily life. This philosophy and thinking says ‘if you want healing and health proclaim these faithfully to yourself and others, even if you are sick, and you will be well’.  Do this for whatever you need or desire.

Faith in Christ is something different.  Godly faith is trust in a person, trust in God’s Word. There is some aspects of faith in Christ that are similar in stance to positive confession, but it is not the same thing .  The Bible says that all men have a measure of faith with which to begin their journey with God.  This faith is then strengthened through trust that God’s Word is true as the believer reads the Bible and through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The believer puts what he understands in the Bible into daily practice in his or her life.  The Holy Spirit works with the believer to strengthen his or her faith.  The believer’s faith is tested to see what is lacking and work is begun by God to strengthen his or her faith as long as the believer is willing to be corrected.

So we see that positive confession is the work of men,  the works of the flesh, and faith is the work of God through his Holy Spirit and his Word in the heart and mind of the believer. Where confusion comes in is when men, meaning church leaders,  try to mix positive confession teachings with Bible scripture.   Using God’s word in positive confession is not faith in Christ unless the believer knows that what he is doing is looking to the mercy and compassion of a person.  He or she is not calling something into existence.






The Narcissist, the World, and the Church

The people who have destructive narcissism personality disorders are a danger to those around them.  This includes their personal relationships and their working relationships with other people.  From what I have seen online there are now some concerns about the narcissist being in high positions within a company or corporation.  Apparently,  there is a way to screen some aspects of this disorder before hiring someone, however,  corporations are often looking for the kind of person needed to axe large numbers of jobs, and perform other deeds that are disturbing and possibly unconscionable for non-narcissists to do within a job description position.  The corporation has become ruthless and unkind over the years.  Examples of this are the Enron type scandals, and the Wall Street scandals, which brought down a world economy in 2007/2008 through unethical, greedy, and immoral practices.

The church needs to pay attention to what is going on in the world.  First the natural the Bible says, and then the spiritual.   What we have seen in the past is the joining of corporate conglomerates to increase their power and influence in the world. Now  we are seeing this being done by the church.  The Catholic church is moving openly in this direction.  We see the Pope making statements of inclusion for all religions.  We see him in the news making reconciliation movements towards other world religions and their leaders, stating that we all serve the same God, and have the same goals of brotherly love and world peace.  That we need to reconcile and overlook our doctrinal differences.  What book or authority would we be using?  The Koran, the Bible, or another religious writing?  Or would we make up a new religious document so we could all get along?  What happens to the Truth?

We are not just seeing this from the Catholic Church.  We are seeing this in the mainline Protestant, Pentecostal, and Charismatic Churches also.  Getting along with each other and the world is superseding everything else.

We do not see this in examples found within the Bible.   Paul fought daily with those who were not tolerant of his teachings about Christ.   Jesus dealt with ferocious opposition from religious leaders of the Jews.  There was no compromising.  Truth was fought for and maintained by the Apostles and the believers.  This is the danger today.  The losing of Truth, and this matters tremendously.  The Bible says that ‘the Truth will set you free’.







Narcissist personality patterns…cont’d

Play dirty and underhanded tricks  The narcissist finds it humorous to see the trouble and distress of others, especially if the narcissist is the one who creates the trouble.  An incident that I experienced with a young narcissist was the flattening of one of my car back tires before we left on a trip.  Lucky for me a motorist on the highway honked just as we got onto the highway and we were able to turn around and go back.  The garage who fixed my tire said that there was no puncture wound, the tire’s air had been let out somehow.  Later on I remembered that the narcissist had been squatted down by my back tire before we left.  This same narcissist once offered to give me something that I needed for my garage door.  He had to cut it to fit.  He intentionally cut the door threshold a 1/2 inch too big hoping to cause me distress.  Lucky for me it fit perfectly.  Later when I thanked him for it he looked at it and accidentally said to me, “that was supposed to be a 1/2 inch too big”. When I repeated what he said in a questioning way he said, “Did I say that out loud?” “Holy crap!”, then he added,  “I don’t know why I said that”.

Shaming   It is very difficult to deal with problems with the narcissist because they will not admit to anything.  They will say, “I don’t remember that”, or try to convince you that you are mistaken or misguided in your thinking somehow.  The narcissist will say, “you’re accusing me of something I didn’t do”.  This denial effectively shuts down any avenue to resolve issues with them.   A favorite tactic of the narcissist is shaming the victim.  The victim is denied validation and truth.  During the relationship the narcissist gathers information about the weaknesses of the victim or other types of vulnerable information  and will make a plan to attack these weaknesses if the victim gets out of hand.  One that a narcissist spouse used against me toward the end of our marriage was “you’re crazy just like your dad”.

What I am noticing as I work with children in my workplace is the very young narcissist child.  Some narcissist patterns that I am seeing is dominant attention getting behavior, the repeated testing of individuals,  the pushing of boundaries, and the request for feedback.  One example is the young narcissist repeatedly asking another child “do you like me?”.  If the other child finally says ‘no’ the young narcissist will change their behavior a little and ask again “do you like me now?”.  In this way the narcissist child is learning about what it takes to manipulate the thinking of others.  The narcissist child will dominate interactions with adults to the exclusion of other children.  They will talk constantly, repeatedly ask questions of the adult, or do something that the narcissist child has learned will force the adult to turn their attention onto them.  I am noticing that this child is very capable and has a high intelligence for their age.  When I initially began to identify this child as a narcissist personality  I was surprised to find the disorder in someone so young.  My thinking now is that some people are born with this personality disorder.

The information that  I am reading online states that the narcissist personality disordered individual does not have guilt, conscience, or normal emotional feelings.  Often times they deal with internal anger over some perceived offense.  The narcissist can interact and show little emotion.  They can be seething inside and display little or no telltale signs.  Our current culture in the West admires this trait and likes to label it ’emotional intelligence’.  This allows the narcissist to climb the ladder to positions of authority and power in society.  We admire people who can handle themselves ‘properly’.

Looking at the church I don’t think that the proportion of narcissism disordered individuals in the congregation is much different than in secular society.  These individuals will likely gravitate to positions of power or influence in the church.  They are not easily spotted or identified by someone who has not had their eyes opened to this disorder.  Churches need to be aware that this personality disorder exists especially if they engage in the counseling of individuals, families, and marriages.





Narcissism Personality Patterns cont’d

Sabotage  The narcissist has an innate desire to do harm, especially harm to those who love them.  Sabotage is one way they do this.  They will make comments to other people and family members to try and destroy their victims’ relationships.  They will play the victim giving out false and untrue information about their spouse or target, etc.  The narcissist will attempt to undermine the victim’s credibility and the victim’s mental sanity in the eyes of others.  They will make subtle comments to others such as, “she thinks there are people in cars who park on our road for long periods of time during the day”.  This was a comment by a severe narcissist about his wife made at my workplace.  It turns out she was right… but the husband did not correct his statement or validate her in any way.  He kept silent, until I pointed out to him and some others in the staff room that the police had shot a man on his road that had parked there for hours after stealing vehicles in the surrounding rural neighborhoods.  Even after I said this he did not defend her.  His aim was to hopefully make her appear mentally unstable to his workplace peers.

Isolation  One reason that the narcissist undermines their victim in the minds of others is to isolate them from family or friend support. By working to destroy interpersonal relationships the narcissist effectively isolates the victim.  It is much easier to alter someone’s reality when the victim has no one to talk to, confide in, or lean on for support.  The victim ends up having to look to the very narcissist (who is the perpetrator) for support or help.   This sets the stage for the narcissist to create crazy-making scenarios to drive the victim emotionally, intellectually, and sometimes physically into a chaotic, stressed, anxious, troubled, confused, and debilitating condition.   The victim often has no idea what is going on.  They just know that they are losing ground in their ability to function.   Some victims can barely get out of bed in the morning.

Deprivation  The narcissist intentionally deprives the victim of what they need to be healthy and functional.  They will remove emotional support from their victim and their children.  This creates a feeling of being very much alone in the situation for the victim.  The narcissist will do things to try and increase the stress level of the victim.  They will disrupt the victim’s sleep at night.  They will go to work and leave the victim sick and throwing up with two very young children to care for over the day.  They will ‘forget’ to do things that are very important to the victim.  They will refuse to do other things they are asked to do by the victim because they know that it will provide some emotional support.  The narcissist will claim that they have worked all day and that they are very tired.  The narcissist will say, “I just need to have some time to myself.  I don’t want to be looking after the kids, that’s your job. You’re the one who’s home all day, your lucky, you don’t have to work “.  The narcissist will reduce finances available in the bank and place the victim on a tight household budget.  They will complain when the victim buys some new shoes, or clothes, even though the victim rarely buys these.  The narcissist will say, “I’m out working all day to provide for our family and you’re out spending it”.

Poisoning and physical abuse  This may happen after the victim begins to see that something is amiss with the narcissist.  The victim may accidentally stumble on something that opens their eyes as to what might be happening to them. The narcissist will then increase their abuse toward the victim.  The narcissist will do this hoping to get the victim back under their control.  Sometimes the narcissist will increase their abuse in order to punish the victim for finding out something about them, or to punish the victim for confronting them about an incident that happened with the narcissist, etc.   This can include the hurting of family pets in order to hurt the victim.  Something the narcissist might do is feed their victim small amounts of a drug or poison in order to compromise the victim’s physical ability to function.  The narcissist will say, “I brought you a cup of coffee, aren’t you going to drink it?”.  When the victim drinks most of the coffee, the narcissist says, “you don’t have to drink all of it, that should be enough”.

Some other kinds of physical abuse might include ‘accidentally’ hitting the victim in the face with an object, spraying water into the face of the victim with the garden hose, and placing the victim in risky physical situations.  One incident that come to my mind is the narcissist asking me to sleep alone in a tent with a dog up on the mountainside while he slept in another tent with his Uncle.   During the night a bear came sniffing right up to the side of my tent and it was very lucky for me that the dog didn’t wake up and start to bark.  Another incident that comes to my mind is the narcissist trying to bounce me off the back of his motorcycle when we were out riding one day.  He knew about the big bump after the railroad tracks because he had told me about it earlier.  The narcissist’s response after the incident?  “I didn’t know that bump was there or I would have slowed down”.

There is more…. to be continued in another post.