Saturday, February 7, 2015

Random Thoughts - February 7, 2015

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It's been quite awhile since we've done a Random Thoughts post.  There have been a few things, recently, that got me thinking and that I wanted to share, but they just haven't led me to do a full post on any of them.  But they're worth considering.  So, here we are, doing a Random Thoughts post, again.



Not Gonna Do It

Just recently, someone posted a link to another article about "the fine folks at Westboro Baptist". And I wanted to regurgitate.  They give Christianity a bad name.  And most news stories and blog posts recognize that fact.  They're a weird, oddball, negative group claiming to be Christian.  Which makes them perfect for reporters to decry and bloggers to rail against.  Except there's another aspect to this whole thing.  

Have you ever noticed that they pre-announce where they intend to disrupt lives?  They thrive on the publicity.  Their "causes", way of doing things (including signage), what they choose to picket all aim at self promotion.  They use supposed real issues to promote their false image of holiness.  If we stopped giving them the attention they so obviously desire, even when it's negative, I believe they'd just go back in their hole and hide.  So, I'm going to make a promise.  Unless I see some very good reason to say something about "those people", I'm done talking about them.  Not gonna do it.

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Would I...?

Recently, an online friend shared some things publicly about past behavior.  These were things that happened when they weren't walking with God.  It got me thinking about my own "without God" disasters.  I've had periods and behaviors I'm not proud of.  Would I be willing to be open about it?

Add to the discussion Lance Armstrong's admission that he would do doping again, if he were back in the days when he did it, but not now.  He used the old "everyone was doing it" rationale for doing it then, but not now.  That was followed by he and his wife being involved in a traffic stop where his wife said she was driving. That story changed by the time it was too late to check his blood alcohol level.

Going on the "last shall be first" routine, let's start with Lance.  There's an awful lot indicating he's not saved.  Or at least untaught.  So, his attitudes and behavior shouldn't be a surprise.  He has expended a great deal of thought and effort, over a long period of time, covering his backside.  Very much an attitude of the world.

Then there's my online friend, with the admissions.  It was really a testimony of what God has done to change them.  I always admire those who are willing to share their testimony for the benefit of others, no concern about maintaining reputation.  In the end, that usually enhances reputation, anyway.  Honesty wins.

From the time I was a baby Christian, I've been tossing this one around in my mind.  There was a season where I didn't want to lose my reputation, not recognizing that Christianity isn't about who I am, but who I am in Christ.  Later, as I learned and grew, I hesitantly was more open about my past.

Today, I don't care.  But my study and experience with counseling has shown me something.  My past is unimportant except in what I can learn from it and in how it may effect others around me. At the same time, it often can create a negative influence.  If people think you're too prone to talk about things, they'll wonder about your ability to maintain their privacy.  And, if you talk about your past a lot, some will wonder if you're not still too attached to those things.  Because of that, I've come up with what I believe to be a balanced approach.  People get to see me as who I am in Christ.  If my past can help someone else, I'll make quick reference to it so they know what I say is from experience, as well as textbook and Bible.  Then, if I believe more detail will help, I'll go into it in private conversation.

For me, I believe that's the best approach.  But there are still times when I wonder if I'm sharing too much or too little.  Perhaps, that's something we can discuss in the comments?

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Immortality - Yea or Nay?

10. You are given the option for immortality.  Do you take it or do you decline?

That's another of the 1,000 writing prompts from the book I mentioned awhile back.  This one caught my eye because it highlights the contrast between the world's view of immortality and how we as Christians see that same subject.

It's interesting that the world considers the positive virtue of immortality is in living forever on this earth.  And there's an expectation that society will improve to some ideal level.  I say it's interesting because that's in contrast to that same society stating that both society and the planet are rapidly deteriorating.

Compare that to the Biblical view of immortality:
  1. Though there's disagreement on how or when, Christians agree that the world will end. (2Peter 3:10)  That's quite a contrast to the world's view that "here" will always be.  But, if we believe that there's a perfect God who we perfected believers will reside with, then an imperfect environment isn't going to cut it.  As I've said, society admits that the environment and society are "going to hell in a handbasket".
  2. The Christian belief is that there are two choices -- being in unity with God or being against Him.  There are, in our eyes, degrees of each.  But, as we've discussed before, God sees no such gradations of goodness or sin.  In fact, Jesus says in Matthew 5:37, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.".
  3. When we die, whichever camp we've decided upon will determine how we spend eternity.  We can be with God (heaven) or separated from Him (hell).  It's our choices that determine the result.
  4. There's 2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." or John 3:36a "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:", pointing to heaven being eternal.  Then we see  Matthew 18:8 "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." and Matthew 25:46 "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." both saying that hell is also eternal.
  5. Being eternal means being endless in time -- immortal.  The only two differences are the results and the choices that lead to those results.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 


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Well, there are some definitely random thoughts.  What do you think about those?

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for your random thoughts that get us pondering Bill

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    1. Glad it got you thinking, Dana. Those shorter ones get me going in all kinds of interesting directions, too. God has a way of getting me to the trhings I'd otherwise miss.

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  3. I know this earth will eventually be destroyed, however, I am also persuaded that we will live for a thousand years upon the earth, and then satan will be released again to tempt the nations, after this follows residency in heaven.. Maybe I am wrong??

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