Saturday, September 24, 2011

God, Sin and children: what's the truth?

I'm incredibly saddened by much abuse going on towards children. 2 subjects in particular, one the tragic suicide of Jamie Rodemeyer, and the abuse of children at Hephzibah house in Indiana.

Jamie Rodemyer took his own life because he felt tortured over bullying. He was an adorable kid who did not get to know God's love for him, regardless of his sexuality. I experienced misguided fundamentalist hatred as a lesbian. I went to the million march on Washington for LGBT rights in 2000 and was met with signs that said "God hates fags" and "AIDS cures fags." it was astonishing. I've never heard that God hates homosexuals, but it reinforced my aversion to Christianity. How could God hate me for being me? If he hates homosexuals then why do gays exist? From a previous post, I explained that since the fall of humanity, we've had a propensity for all types of ills, and sexual immorality in all it's forms tops the list.

How do we know if something is wrong?
We know something is wrong because God is the moral giver who has written morality on our hearts. How do we know that murder for no reason is wrong? I have thought about killing people who, to me, deserve to die. Does that mean I should do it? No. Why not? Because we understand the inherent value of individual life. It is a God given law that is recognized in every nation and peoples.

God's Law Vs. God's Grace
God sets the standard for what is right and just. He gave us his Law to show us his standard. However, God also knows we can't flawlessly keep his law anymore than we can stay within speed limits. We are fallen. fallible. Imperfect. Within his law, he shows us that it is his power, that saves us. We have a choice to trust and follow him or disobey him and face destruction. Three events highlight this truth: God's deliverance of Noah from the flood, God's deliverance of Lot and his family from Sodom, and God's deliverance of male firstborns out of Egypt. In all these instances, Deliverance came from a) God's gift of salvation and b) a measure of active faith. God told Noah that if he built an ark, him and his family would be saved from a flood. Noah had to believe God despite the absurd notion of a flood, and actually build an ark. Angels came to save Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom. They were told to flee and don't turn back. God told Moses that he would save the firstborn males of those who put the blood of an unblemished male lamb on their door posts. They had to believe God and actively carry it out. God deemed sleeping with certain relatives, animals and same sex as an abomination (leviticus 18:22-23).

what does Jesus say about sexual immorality?
Jesus did not speak of homosexuality specifically, but he did speak on adultery which is equally abominable. In John Chapter 8, the religious Jews present Jesus with an adulteress to try and entrap him with the law of Moses. They say, "Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?" Jesus answered "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." When all her accusers left out of guilt from their own sin, Jesus turned to the woman to ask who was there to condemn her. "No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, "neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." John 8:5-11. He doesn't condone her actions, but he didn't damn her to hell. I don't think he would do that with someone gay either.

Jesus ministered to those that were considered the worst of people: lepers, lunatics, tax collectors, women and Gentiles. The first person he revealed himself to besides his disciples was a Gentile woman (John 4). He walked about 25 miles to meet her at a well and offer her the never ending supply of living water that is eternal life. She's there now, singing his praises.

I don't know where Jamey is now. God knows every one's heart and whether they are aware enough to be spiritually accountable. But he is living in eternity where he cannot decide to turn to God.

The controversy of Hephzibah house is especially disturbing because they taint the word of God. They twist the Bible to justify their abusive behavior.

Spare the rod, spoil the child
This phrase is not in the Bible, nor is it biblical teaching on how to discipline children. Here's a great article explaining where the phrase comes from. I am angry that people have used this as justification and in the name of "Godly discipline." It is plain wrong and I hope these people are punished to the fullest extent of the law. If they do not repent, they will also face God and endure eternal damnation. Jesus said whoever hurts a child for coming to him should drown in the sea! (Matthew 18:6. Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2)

What does God say about disciplining children?
God explains that it is good to discipline children to correct them, but not to beat them. "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4. And "Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged." (Collosians 3:21). See the above link to look at allegorical verses.

bullying, harrassing, beating, or torturing children is a blatant sign of immorality and spiritual wickedness. No one is immune from these ills as we are all fallen people. I pray more people come to the saving faith of Jesus Christ who makes us a new creation (Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 4:21-25).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodness like a fetter

It's beem a while since I've written, just me and my thoughts. I've been bored, antsy, amped. The Lord knows all my ways, my thoughts and needs. He and the Spirit (The living word of God and His Spirit that dwells in me) has been speaking loudly and yet I still struggle. For one thing, I've become less critical in my thoughts towards others because of my own conviction! Regardless of my feelings, there is no one that can love me better than Jesus, that can make my heart swell with utter gratitude. I know that in essence, nothing matters but the word of the Lord and that now, just as in my most painful days, I must stay fettered to it. I am so thankful that the saving power of Jesus has no expiration, knows no bounds. Jesus and the power of his resurrection remains my central hope. I see how his word has been fulfilled in real time, and that the wisdom of this world is pure foolishness. From the decree to rebuild Jerusalm on the first of Nisan in 445 BC, it has taken exactly 173,880 days of the Hebrew calendar for Jesus the Messiah to enter Jerusalem as King on the 10th of Nisan 32 AD. For a more detailed explanation of that calculation, this is a great article. Daniel's prophecy is precise and again, speaks of the divine inspiration of the scriptures. Knowing this, I await my Messiah's return before the last 70th week or 7 years. Israel is centered in the news again, a burdensome stone for all nations. It's even marking American politics as the president and 2012 candidates are fighting to secure the "Jewish vote." Whatever plays out among men, the Lord's word will be accomplished at an appointed time.

Speaking of appointed times, I am celebrating my first Rosh hashanah or feast of trumpets next week. I've realized that these feasts or appointed times are also prophetic and speak of God's kingdom on the horizon. I'm excited to celebrate with Jewish believers and look toward the "trump" of God.

I'm also excited to travel more now that I'm stronger. I'm starting to feel incredibly limited in terms of where and when I can travel on accessaride. If the Lord tarries, I plan on driving again. I have no idea what lies ahead, but I'm grateful my health has stabilized enough that I can actually look forward to life again. Just how long can I go without an ailment from my condition??

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Transhumanist culture and what it means for us

What is transhumanism and why should people be aware of it? Transhumanism is the idea that humans can transcend their limitations such as mortality, perception, or identity. This idea has already proliferated our culture via movies like the Matrix, the Borne identity, 2001: Space odyssey, Bladerunner and Bicentennial man, just to name a few. Most notable TV shows are star trek and the bionic woman. The music industry is the latest to push these concepts through videos and lyrics. The Internet has effected the nature of our relationships and how we identify ourselves. Information has become accessible at a staggering rate. Organizations are centered on transhumanism and support the development of technologies that push human capacities. The World Transhumanist Association or H+, states in it's constitution:

"The goal of the World Transhumanist Association is to support discussion and public awareness of emerging technologies, to defend the right of individuals in free and democratic societies to adopt technologies that expand human capacities..."

From their philosophy page, Max More describes Transhumanism as..." a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values.”

H+ publishes a magazine teeming with biotech companies that are ushering in the age of "post-humanism" where one can be forever youthful, vigorous, and have an unlimited ability for information and mind controlled programs. In essence, H+ promotes the merging of humans and machines. In the video game trailer for Deux Ex: the human revolution, the "H+" logo appears at the end, signifying it's endorsement although it's not necessary. The game is set in 2027, where city riots abound and transhumanism is the norm. The player is "uploaded" to a post-human cyborg and fights against a government gone martial.

Why is this especially important to Christians and how does this fit into biblical eschatology? Transhumanism attempts to push God out of the picture, as creator and as moral law giver. It is another way for Satan to taint the human race and lure us into spiritual darkness. A new twist on his first lie: "Did God say that?...For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5). It was this ambition that caused Satan to fall when he aspired to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-15).

The idea of mingling humans with other beings is not new. Satan and his fallen angels have been trying to further corrupt God's creation and draw people away from the salvation of God. In Genesis 6, fallen angels have mixed with human females to create hybrids called "Nephillim" or in the Hebrew, "fallen Ones." They populated into groups like the amalekites, repharim, groups that were known for being large and powerful in stature. The Israelites came up against these hybrid Giants while obtaining the land of Caanan:

"And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13:32)

Israel began to grumble against Moses and the Lord replied: "How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?" (Numbers 14:11)

The Lord told Saul, Israel's first king, to slay the Amalekites, a giant population: "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." Why would the Lord order the genocide of the Amalekites including livestock? Is it because they were a hybrid human? Saul did not obey the Lord, saving their livestock to sacrifice and the King of the Amalekites. (1 Samuel 15) Because of Saul's disobedience, he lost his kingship.

One of the most famous giants in the Bible by far is the Philistine, Goliath (1 Samuel 17). David defeated him with a small stone. It wasn't David's strength that slew him, but the power of the Lord.

Another one of these men was the famous Nimrod, who began building the tower of Babel. Why was he building that tower? To reach the heavens!This did not catch God off guard. He's presented us with his word, so we know what happened then and we know what's happening now. God said: "Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." This sounds like today! What we continuously fail to understand is that God is still in control and he has made a way out. The Bible is not a book of fairy tales. It speaks of the frailties and faults of humans, against a Holy, all powerful, sovereign God. Being love and light, God wants us to choose him. But like in the time of Noah, he will judge the Earth. His final judgement will usher an eternal kingdom where believers will have resurrected bodies in heaven and those who have rejected God, will spend eternity in torment. God wants to set apart his people from the corruption of this world (Psalm 4:3). Does this mean very tall people are Nephillim that need to be destroyed? No. We are called into a new covenant in which Jesus has judged the prince of this world (the devil) and made a way for people to be reconciled with God (John 12:31).

In the days of Noah

God judged humanity by a massive flood, saving Noah, his family and two of every animal (click here to see geologic evidences for the flood). It was during this time that fallen angels mixed with humans and "the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually." Genesis 6:5 Noah, however, found grace in the sight of the Lord (verse 7). Jesus said it would be the same in his final judgement when he said, "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." Luke 17:26-27 Grace is unmerited favor, getting something one does not earn. It is this same grace that can save us from the wrath to come. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

Daniel the prophet spoke regarding the mixing humans and non-humans as well. Nebuchadnezzar, one of the kings of Babylon had a vision which Daniel interpreted. In his vision, he saw multiple kingdoms or empires represented by gold, silver, brass and iron on a large statue. The toes of this statue was partly iron, partly clay: "And [as] the toes of the feet [were] part of iron, and part of clay, [so] the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Daniel 2:3-5 This is a heavy prophecy! Daniel is shown the end times and the nature of future kingdoms. The last kingdom before God establishes his eternal kingdom will be a mixing of humans which will not mix well. We are spiritual beings created in God's likeness. To tamper with our nature as such is playing God and we will not win. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom because God knows best. Seeking the Lord in spirit and in truth leads to sanctification of the Holy Spirit. If we seek after other mediums for sensual spiritualism, we make them idols. Another one of Satan's lies is that there are aliens from other planets abducting people. Meanwhile, elite powers have been abducting people for years for mind-control/programming.

In the letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul underscores this sanctification:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:1-3

God has blessed us with individual personalities and talents. Paul exhorts the believers in Rome to keep their minds from being tampered with and serve the Lord with what they've been given. Throughout the New Testament, the apostles make a distinction between "the world" and "the brethren." What is this difference?

God and Mammon

Jesus tells a parable of the Rich man and the unjust steward. The steward is being fired for his poor money managing or usury and falsely lowers the debt of the rich man's debtors to gain favor from them. The Rich man tells of the steward's demise: ""Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 16:10-14. Mammon was a term used in the Bible to describe greed or excessive materialism.

The World

In Matthew 13:22, Jesus gives a parable in which he described the "cares of this world" choking the growing plant, representing a person growing in faith.

This world Vs. The next world

Jesus speaks of "this world" as the physical realm in which humans now reside. The "next world" is an eternal world where those welcomed into the kingdom of God have resurrected bodies: "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." John 12:25

"And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Luke 20:34-36

"And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world." John 8:23

"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." John 12:31

Who is the Prince of this world?

Paul describes this "prince" in his letter to the Ephesians:

"And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Ephesians 2:2-3

Drugs as a conduit to other realms

The use of psychotropic drugs to tap into different perceptions or states of conscienceness is nothing new either. Ancient peoples have used plants, mushrooms, and even poisons from animals to have "spiritual" experiences. Other drugs allow the user to become astutely focused and responsive to stimuli. In the movie "Limitless," An unproductive writer gets offered a new drug that taps into unused portion of the brain. He finishes a book in four days and draws up random information to solve complex problems. Some drugs have been used in psychiatric settings to unearth past experiences or erase old habits. The latest of these is the drug DMT or dimethyltryptamine. Used in South America, DMT is naturally found in many plants, coupled with a MAOI (Monoamine Oxidases) to become orally active. It is found naturally in the pineal gland in the brain. Like many other psychedelic drugs, DMT produces intense visual and sensory over stimulation. People experience "shifts in perception" whether it be time, emotion, or world view.

Dr. David E. Nichols, who serves on the Neuropharmacology and Neurochemistry study section says the only thing slowing the research of how psychedelic drugs produce different emotions is "social perception" of tampering with people's natural state of mind. As I have shown previously, that is changing with the rapid saturation of transhumanist ideals in our culture. Psychiatrist, Rick Strassman, associate professor of psychiatry in University of New Mexico has done extensive research on the drug and has administered it. In his book, "The spirit molecule," Strassman writes about his findings about the drug, how it is produced and interviews of volunteer guinea pigs.

Drugs that are meant to produce certain emotions or invoke experiences are dangerous especially when coupled with the culture of transhumanism. We are already being indoctrinated to accept these technologies that will alter human nature. I'm just scratching the surface of what's already here and on the horizon. Symbols and catch phrases invoke ideas through movies and music and carry with them, a spiritual significance.

"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision." Psalm 2:1-4

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." 1 Corinthians 3:18-19

"But (we) have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:2-4 (parentheses mine).

Important questions to ask yourself: which camp do I belong to? Am I of the world or do I belong to God who has reserved eternal glory for me? Is it coincidence that most mediums are displaying the same symbolism and themes? How am I buying into these ideals in my own life? If you do not know Jesus as your Messiah and savior, pray and ask him to forgive you. Salvation is a free gift! Get a bible and read about the nature of God. Go to a bible teaching church. God will begin to open doors in your life!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

what is so hard?

...that Beth Abraham social workers can't make simple phone call? Research avenues to increase the quality of resident's lives? There are many young people here besides myself and our lives are not over. Besides occasional trips and movies shown, there's not much to stimulate us. Thankfully, I have a computer to communicate, create and interact with the world. I can listen to whatever music I want and read ebooks. Beth Abraham houses a renowned music therapy department, with the latest mac computers and tons of instruments. However, they have not utilized these tools to make music and audiobooks accessible to the youth population here. I've been working with a blind resident who is seeking more services for the blind. Services like braille training and assistive technology. Unfortunately, because he's in this wonderful institution, he cannot benefit from extensive services like braille training and vocational training. I sat with him and his social worker, and gave him another agency to possibly work with, and brainstorm ways to improve his life while he's here. The social worker said everything to discourage any pursuit of this! He said unfortunately there was nothing he could do as he is here and services would be limited. I suggested that he request a speech to text program from IT so the resident could communicate and express himself. Why hasn't audiobooks been made accessible to him? If he made some goals, would the SW be willing to try other avenues to achieve them? SW was very evasive. Here was the icing on the cake: I asked since he needs to be in the community to receive full services from a blindness program, has he begun the process of looking for an apartment? SW answered that he did not want to give the resident "false hope" and that he had to respect his family's wishes as to where the resident should live. The resident is a grown man and able to make his own decisions. It angered me that as usual, residents here are not encouraged to broaden their horizons but just languish here for the rest of their lives. I will continue to advocate and seek out ways to help others here as long as God gives me strength and wisdom.