Re-reformed theology (i.e., choose your own crayon….)

From my brother’s email box.  Draw your own analogies…but smile, ‘cuz life’s too short not to!  -dawnlizjones
The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrels. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.
At the Baptist church the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a water slide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.
 
The Methodist church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist Church. Two weeks later the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water slide.
 
But the Catholic Church came up with a very creative strategy. They baptized all the squirrels and consecrated them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.
 
Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue; they took the first squirrel and circumcised him. They haven’t seen a squirrel since.
squirrel
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A, B, C, or all of the above.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’ve had a history of being a black/white, good/bad, either/or kind of person.  Give me a true/false or multiple choice test, and I’m okay.  But asking me to pull an answer out of my gray matter without any prompts is a bit more of a challenge. 

Life, however, tends not to extend itself to us in either/or definitions.  And humans, being the limited thinkers we are, tend not to appreciate that.  Dare that we would think there may be options of which we are unaware!!

Here’s just one example: either (A) God is not all-powerful to end the world’s suffering, or (B) He is not all-loving as He says He is.

Joshua, of Jericho fame, ran into that intellectual wall (pardon the pun).

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”

“ Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.”

Now, here was something Joshua hadn’t even considered, and I can only imagine it gave him pause (if not a heart attack, as I hear angels can be pretty scary…)

The point is not to try answering all the questions, because when one is attended to, invariably another will surface.  Satan has many of them; he’s been at this for years.  Not that God doesn’t invite our questions and concerns, but there comes a point in every disciple’s life when the unanswered questions must give way to a trusting relationship with the God whom we can “know sufficiently but not exhaustively.” 

In other words, God is not defined by our multiple choice answers.  He defines Himself to us.

Joshua 5:1, 14  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

I got another question #2

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 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.”

Right, so I realize that the church was being newly formed and was still pretty well steeped in Jewish thinking at the time this was written. Paul, himself, argued against the “food offered to idols” thing.  It seems the only one that we need to continue to follow is “to abstain from …sexual immorality.”  Despite what may seem obvious, how can we discount the first three and hold to the last one?   Or to put it another way, how would you give an answer to one who would use this passage to say that “since the first three are no longer valid, why should the fourth one still be followed?”

Thoughts from anyone, and specific invites to:

I Love the Psalms

Truth in Palmyra

The Recovering Legalist

Virtual Vitamins

The True Light

Pneumythology

Mustard Seed Budget

Kdmanestreet

Elihu’s Corner

Patrick Hawthorne

And thanks to all who can weigh in.  Appreciate your comments!  (If you haven’t checked out these sites, I recommend you do!)

Acts 15:28,29  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Out of the mouths of babes…

why-meditating-on-christ-helps-us-fight-sinOne of my bloggin’ buddies, Slim Jim, has started a new series which I call “Post-It Note Theology”, based on the above picture which I have also stolen from his most worthy and informative site.   He certainly has longer, more in-depth treatments of Christian apologetics and other scholarly things, but I likewise appreciate these spiritual sound bytes for my brain!  To my exceptionally non-techno mind, a sound byte is like a food bite. It’s not enough to fill me up and sustain me indefinitely, but it gives me something to chew on and draw me back for more.
Here’s his most recent tidbit:

As we adore Him, we abhor sin.

As several of us were sitting around his blogging meal and began sampling this morsel, the digital table conversation began.  Here is a part, (and their websites are pretty cool also):

Nice. Fill our minds with the things of God, and no room left for the things of Satan. This is a time when limited brain power is quite useful. Space is limited, so no room for the garbage if I put the right stuff in. Good reminder, Brother Jim, thanks.

Good point Wally…I for one have so much useless garbage stored in my brain that I must delete something in order to make room for more…Should I tell another joke before hitting the delete button? :)

LOL, Patrick, what you said makes perfect sense to me. My storage is limited, so if I use it for God, not as much is left over for the devil. And yes, keep on with the jokes. Your cheesy jokes are a high point of my day usually.

I am reminded of Romans 2:4. It was the quality of God’s character that made me want to give up certain thoughts and actions. They simply didn’t compare well, and they got in the way of what I really wanted. Thank you for the memory prompt.

Interestingly, I was just considering myself how we tend to “fill up on junk food” that may taste good at first (and who doesn’t like a double-scoop cone this time of the summer??) but which is actually pretty bad for you, especially compared to real food.

Real food.  Sustaining.  Which is what adoration is, actually.  A disciplined steady diet of thinking about the love of my life, (well, yes, Bob, that’s you, but I mean….), the One Who gave His life to give me mine back.

And like the future food critic says in this vid, “Umm, ummm! Delicious!”

 

I gotta question…

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What’s up with Psalm 109?  Here is this guy who is obviously being treated unfairly (welcome to life) and he’s asking God to not merely rescue him, but to lay it on thick to his enemy and their families. Seems a bit harsh. I’m addressing this specifically to some folks whose opins I respect, but welcome any other comments.  (Be nice.) If you feel your comment is too lengthy for this platform, please feel free to leave a link if you already have thoughts on this somewhere in your blog.  No obligation and not offended if you don’t have time.

Much obliged.

(PS, if you haven’t checked out these blog sites, please do.  Good stuff.)

To:

From the Inside Out

Truth in Palmyra

Learning to be Full of Grace and Truth

The Recovering Legalist

Mustard Seed Budget

Sweet Aroma

Domain for Truth

The True Light

Wholly Holy

wood 2

Unlike my sister-in-law, Terri, I’m not a jigsaw puzzle person.  Every vacation or holiday, you can just about bank on it—out comes some beautifully photographed but deviously detailed puzzle with three million pieces, and somehow that’s supposed to be stress-reducing? 

To each his own.

If I were a puzzle-fan, however, I definitely wouldn’t buy them secondhand, like I do most everything else.  There’s just this nagging thought that after all that work the last piece (or five) would not be in the box.  That could mean, for instance, that Washington’s nose might be missing as he’s crossing the Delaware, or the chalice might be missing from the Last Supper, or Picasso’s Guernica….

….well, okay, on that one I might not notice.

Point made, if I want to make sure I have a whole puzzle, it needs to be a NEW puzzle.

I’m also thinking this is what God had in mind when Continue reading “Wholly Holy”