Saturday, November 30, 2013

Positive Thinking; What were your thinking?

The Colonel and his wife were the epitome of happiness! We called them Mr. and Mrs. Terrific. "How are you both?" In unison they would say "We're terrific!" Ask Jack and he would bellow "I'm terrific!" Unknown to the casual acquaintance the Colonel and his wife were undergoing marital therapy. By "being positive" Positive Humanistic Psychologists believe that people can overcome roadblocks to happiness. They are able to flourish. Obviously, the Colonel and his wife were in therapy because their marriage was not so "terrific".

Although Positive Psychology is relatively new, it's been around for years in the writings of humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow.  Even religeo-psychologist Norman Vincent Peale in his book The Power of Positive Thinking encouraged readers to change things with positive thoughts. The Pacific Institute Seminar on New Age Thinking used the concept of "positive affirmations" to change negative thinking which, they all believed, lead to failure and dysfunction.

We've been taught for years that optimism is a key to success, and that pessimism leads to losing. A positive thinker is an optimist and a negative thinker is a pessimist.  People are supposedly able to change outcomes by what they think! Perhaps believing "I will succeed!" is a confidence-builder, but there are too many people who place too much importance on thought processes.

If one examines "positive thinking" from a scriptural standpoint a different model emerges. By faith we can accomplish anything and be joyful. However, we need to look to the Lord's Prayer for further guidance:

Matthew 6:9 " In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be doneOn earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
Everything must be in God's will. Some say that you're not trusting God when you pray "if it's your will, Lord". That's "negative thinking", according to them. You fear that God won't answer your prayer so you give him "a way out" if he fails to deliver! Those who don't pray for God's will are those in the "positive thought" school.
A typical verse from the Bible which is positive is:
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthymeditate on these things."
Truth, noble, just, pure, lovely and good are all positive aspects. I would be stupid to say that you should not think on those things! In fact Paul defines them as "virtuous" and "praiseworthy". You certainly wouldn't want to think on lies, poor character, impurity, ugliness and evil talk; all negative thinking!
We are to meditate (think) on these attributes which are all righteous in the sight of God. We're not to think on what's unrighteous. Meditation, too, is more than "thinking".  Christian meditation is a devotional exercise where one praises God, thinks about the things of God and seeks God's will. It is different than Buddhist meditation in that eastern philosophy proposes that the person who's meditating block-out thoughts and for the person to allow the flow of energy to enter the mind. They are entirely different. Do not be deceived!
Yes, it's okay to think positive thoughts. It's God's will that you accept the positive things that he has provided! However, there is no "power" in positive thinking as Peale's book suggests. The power lies entirely within God. People thinking positive thoughts fool themselves by thinking thoughts which are out of God's will.
For instance. I "want" a new hot sports car! Is that God's will. Likely not. If you "need" reliable transportation and instead of "hot sports" your thoughts are "inexpensive dependable" you may be in God's will. Of course, he may have other plans for you so don't put that in concrete! The key phrase goes back to the Lord's prayer. "Lord, your will be done." If a person's heart is on God then it's doing "right thinking"! If God's merely a genie to whom a person turns to to get things, then that's not the God of the Bible.
Peale's book The Power of Positive Thinking focuses more on "power" or "God as a genie" aspect than it does on God's will for Christians.
2 Samuel 22:33 )NKJV) "God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect."
By faith in God we too have power, but the source of our power is God! We can move mountains if we have enough faith, but is moving mountains in God's will. Let a positive-thinking civil engineer try building a new highway by moving mountains. It won't happen unless it's in God's will, and normally, it probably won't be!
Positive thinking places the emphasis on the person and the person's thinking. While it never hurts to think righteous thoughts, some of God's word isn't positive. It's impossible to keep a reprobate person out of hell by thinking good things about that person. However, if you tell the person that he or she is a sinner, that's negative talk, but that's what we're to do. We're to rebuke unrighteousness using the word! (For you optimists out there, I'm sorry I had to talk negative talk!)
Here's some more negative talk from Proverbs. They're called cardinal sins:

  • A proud look.
  • A lying tongue.
  • Hands that shed innocent blood.
  • A heart that devises wicked plots.
  • Feet that are swift to run into mischief.
  • A deceitful witness that uttereth lies.
  • Him that soweth discord among brethren.

  • Solomon, the author of the Seven Cardinal Sins,  was a negative talker. He spoke truth!  Even the Ten Commandments are all written in a negative context! Paul added a few more sins to the list:

    Galatians 5:19 (NKJV) 19  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
    If one obeys the "positive commandment", The Greatest Commandment," loving God and your neighbor", that's positive talk. It will empower you, but not for you to have power. It will provide power to get others saved. Now, that's God's will.  The great things you can do is not for self, but for God.
    "Positive Affirmations" read something like this: "Today I will meet my quota in sales". While it's self-defeating to think "I won't meet my sales goal today.",  just be realistic. Do the best that you can. Writing and repeating a mantra won't change the course of events, but praying to God to "provide my needs" will be honored. In other words, it's not the mantra, but the heart that matters.
    Many will say that "being realistic" is not depending on God because God is irrational. That's the person talking who has no hope! Having faith is being realistic because it's in any person's best interest!
    Mark 11:22 "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God."
    Having faith in God is the pre-eminent positive thought. It's the only positive thought that will get any person anywhere with God! Quit trying to manipulate a "genie God". He abhors that! It's been tried before any it just doesn't work. Belief in, acceptance of and obedience to God is positive thought. Try that. It will work!
    Back to the Colonel and his wife. I saw the Colonel some time later. I said, "Where's your wife?" He replied "We're divorced." Not only did the Colonel not say that "We're terrific!", but his demeanor reflected his melancholy.
    About a year later I ran into the Colonel's now ex-wife. I asked "How's the Colonel doing?" She replied "He committed suicide." To shorten the story, Mr. and Mrs. Terrific weren't really so terrific, and by trying to change things with inaccurate thinking is dooming oneself to destruction. We need to be realistic and deal with our problems. The Colonel and is wife failed to flourish.
     "Positive Psychology" just won't work, but faith in God will  work for those truly faithful. We're called to be meek, not empowered by our own thoughts and actions. God help us in our lack of faith and our wrong approach! By being God centered, then we can flourish, but that doesn't mean the things of this world will go our way. Just look at Paul from his own writings. This most faithful man was persecuted. All the positive thought in the world would not change God's will for him!

    Friday, November 29, 2013

    Secret Societies: Lack of transparency

    Transparency! That is the word for the times. Why? Because previous politicians have hidden what was damaging and propagated what would illumine themselves. Obama, when campaigning, continued to pound on Bush for "lack of transparency", but as for himself, has been the least transparent president ever.
    Water is transparent. So is most glass. Once an obstacle is placed between the viewer and the object, transparency is gone. Americans are so used to being in the dark that they actually choose darkness over enlightenment. Knowing Obama had a hidden agenda most people still went to the polls and reelected him! People actually fear truth and truth is revealed by transparency! Transparency is "to show through". Lies are concealed in opaqueness. Then why do people continue to accept a lack of transparency? They are deceived!
    Jesus himself spoke of transparency! Take a look at what he said about his own ministry, or agenda, if you prefer:
    John 18:20 "Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
    We are to emulate Jesus. We are to act and behave as Jesus does. Why then, do Christians belong to secret societies? They are deceived! Many members will tell you that their organization worships God. Why then do they do it in secret? Jesus didn't minister in the dark, but in the light.
    Here's Jesus himself speaking at another time:
    John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
    Christianity is all about "light". Transparency allows the light to shine through. Secrecy hides darkness. What is done in secret is not of God!
    Mark 4:22 "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad."
    Secret societies shall be revealed. What they hold in darkness from the world, will be yelled from the mountaintops. Secrecy is not the way of God!
    Secret societies require an oath to get in. Many have you swear that you'll uphold other members and even kill to protect the secrets of the organization. Taking an oath for membership is ungodly:
    Matthew 5:34 "But I say unto you, Swear not at all;" 37 "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."
    If a Christian takes an oath that person is in disobedience to God!
    How can people pledge themselves to an organization without knowing the organizations goals and tactics? "Stupidity" is walking in the dark without a light. If danger lies ahead, how would you know? We are to "test" all things. Paul tells us that: 
    1 Thessalonians 5:21 " Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
    How do you "prove" anything hidden in secrecy? You can't! If you follow darkness that's not only stupidity, but disobedience as well.
    Gnosticsim is the fake Christianity of "secrecy". They believe in the saving grace of hidden knowledge. Only the enlightened will go to heaven. It's an oxymoron that to be "enlightened" one must walk in "darkness"!  Secret societies are no more than the gnosticism of which Paul spoke often. Gnosticsim is anti-Christianity. Secret societies are un-Christian!
    Should Christian brothers fraternalize with those who belong to secret societies?
    2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
    It's clear that Christians are not to be "yoked"  with those in darkness" "what communion hath light with darkness?" We are not, as Christians, to fellowship with those who are unrighteous, members of darkness, members of secret societies. If one belongs to a secret organization they should dismiss themselves in further fellowship with those who are in secrecy and darkness.
    Personally, I believe that scripture is so clear that church members should exclude themselves from secret societies. That's what I believe from scripture and those who disagree can do so. They don't have to answer to me, but someday we'll have to account for all our actions. This is just one more activity that a Christian exclude themselves from so that they'll never have to give an account.  Why do Christians need secret organizations when we have one based on love, truth and light? It's called the church! That's where Christians belong!

    Thursday, November 28, 2013

    Thanksgiving in the day of Ruth

    Ruth was a widow and a foreigner in the land. She was a Moabite, traditionally the enemy of the Hebrew people. The Jews in Canaanland were to the Moabites as Englishmen were to the American Indian in the days of white settlement in this New World. They lived together in relative peace, but territory was in jeopardy in both instances. Ruth was the Pocahontas of Canaan!

    There were two big differences: 1) Pocahantas was a teenager and Indian princess. Ruth was a young widow traveling with her her mother-in-law, Naomi, another widow. 2) Indians sold grain to the white settlers, whereas the Hebrews gave the Moabites (Ruth and family) grain. Here's a portion of the story:

    Ruth 2:12" "The Lord recompense thy (Boaz's) work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. 13 Then she (Ruth) said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens. 14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. 15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: 16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. 17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed. 19  And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. 20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD..."

    This is the story of Thanksgiving! It was a day when enemies set aside their differences and loved each other. Boaz opened his heart and gave of his profit. Ruth and family were blessed by the generosity of Boaz. Friends were made for life. It was surely a time for Thanksgiving. Not only were enemies new friends, the hungry were fed and all were blessed.

    Also Ruth was blessed at this time, and as Ruth is still blessed to this day. She was the great-grandmother of David by her marriage to Boaz! What a day of thanks when Boaz shared with this Moabite family! It was a day of thanksgiving for her, but for us as well. It's the greatest Thanksgiving ever! Thanks to the generous heart of Boaz we have Jesus!

    Matthew 1:4 "And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6And Jesse begat David the king;"
    Matthew 1:1 "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David (line of), the son of Abraham."
    Matthew 9:27 "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us."
    I'm Thankful for Ruth this day. I'm thankful for Boaz. On this early day of Thanksgiving there was a plan at work. The generosity of Boaz to this poor widow woman changed the world forever! They were antecedents of Jesus. Thanks to Boaz's generosity, I'm now saved! Without Boaz, Jesus would not be.
    Boaz's New World counterpart was Capt. John Smith. Although Smith never married the Indian Princess (John Rolfe did)!  The heirs of Pocahantas are millions. America was founded on her line and the marriages into her line.  Likewise, if you're a Christian today. you're an heir of Jesus. You're an heir of Ruth!  What does the Book of Ruth have to do with Jesus? Everything! We are to love our enemies. We're to provide for the widows and orphans, and most of all, the common lady Ruth was the "mother" of Jesus who saves us still!
    Now, that's Thanksgiving! Truly "Blessed be he (Boaz) of the LORD!" as Naomi said to Ruth!

    Sunday, November 24, 2013

    Forgiveness & Reconciliation

    "Forgive" is from the Old English "forgiefan" which comes from "for" (completely) "giefan" (give) and means "to completely give over to the confidence of another".  (Entymology Dictionary).

    We normally expect forgiveness and are happy that another person overlooks our flaws. However, "forgiving" is much more. It's having complete confidence in another! "Complete" would infer that there are no reservations about it and the confidence in the other is in perpetuity. "Confidence" is trust. By forgiving we are making a commitment that we have confidence that we can trust another. It's a pledge to no longer hold the grudge... ever! As one who seeks forgiveness it's just as it never happened. The slate is wiped clean and the memory erased. That's what God does for us!

    Isaiah 44:22 "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."

    We're not God. He has the capacity to totally clean his memory of all the bad that we've done against him. That's because he's God. He chooses to do that because he loves us and he has the power to do so!  God's forgiveness is "complete" and he "trusts" that we won't rebel against him, although he knows that we probably will because of our sinful nature. Since we're not God we can't "completely" clean the slate as God can, so he's there to help us!

    Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

    The Holy Spirit reminds us that "God hath forgiven you", but not just to help you out, but because of what Christ did for you "for Christ's sake"!  By being aware of Christ's forgiveness for our own disobedience we can more easily forgive another. That's empathy. That's mercy which God has laid on the hearts of his children. By forgiving, that kindness!

    If one doesn't forgive, they blame and condemn. That's evil. That's unkind and unloving. How many times should we forgive? One time? Twice? Thrice? It's hard for a person to even forgive one time!

    Matthew 18:21 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
    Jesus was not limiting how many times that you should forgive, but a person is to forgive enumerable times. He set the example! How many times has Jesus forgiven you? Enumerable... and he keeps on forgiving!
    We all have had our ego trampled and our feelings hurt. It's human nature to bear a grudge. However, if we do we cut off communication with God and damn ourselves for our unloving heart.
    Matthew 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:15 but if ye forgive not men their trespasses (sins) , neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (sins)."
    We pray in vain if we pray with an unkind non-forgiving nature:
    Matthew 5:22 " But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment... 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
    This passage starts out with your own anger. You  have a sinful heart because someone else holds a grudge against you. Because someone hasn't forgiven you, has made you angry in response! You see, you're not only responsible for your own unforgiving heart, but also you're responsible for those who fail to forgive you! Without regard to fault, a Christian makes it right. A Christian gets forgiveness by forgiving others!
    We are to be "reconciled" to our brother (friend, neigbor, relative, etc.).  We're to resolve the issue between us. Reconciliation is when without regard to fault, and without blame, we go to another and put our differences aside. That's what God wants! No, that's what God commands.
    On a personal level, I had two people at work who made it known to me that I was a despise person. It was probably my personality, but it could have been anything. I went to the one first with whom my relationship was the worst and without discussing any issue, I made amends. I let that person know that I have no animosity and was seeking only friendship. She accepted my concealed apology and we became close friends.
    I felt so good with her response that on the same day I approached the second person and used the same sincere approach. He shook hands and we became friends! I sure felt good! Maybe it's because I was rewarded for what God told me to do!
    "Try it! You'll like it!" We all are human and we all have the same faults. Take a sincere approach to reconcile and God can heal!  There may be some who're reading this who may dislike me or things I've done. I may be unaware of my offenses and sometimes I may have forgotten my offense. Understand that I start each day anew and once I have a friend, they are always a friend! My desire is to love and be loved and time is too short to live without reconciling.
    Pray for reconciliation for me. I have a close relative with whom I just can't get across my love and concern. I'm burdened daily with that! I'm sure others need the same prayer as I do.

    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    The Bible and Capitalism opposes Socialism

    I've published this before, but it's worth repeating with Obama's socialism now being exposed by covert revolution by deception:

    Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
    12 Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
    14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
    15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

    These verses aptly shows the difference between socialism and capitalism. “Capitalists” were”heads” of estates with “chattel” (cattle) as defined in the original Latin. Agrarian capitalism is when men owned their own house and property and received this property by industry (hard work) free of government intervention (excessive regulation). A man's home and property were sacred and were protected from aggression.

    Socialism is best defined by “redistribution of the wealth” without regard to the labor it took in bringing the opportunity into fruition.

    Whoever works (the capitalist) will prosper. Whoever pursues the wealth of the others is ignorant (verse 11). Theft of what belongs to others is a sin “Thou shall not steal”. He is unmotivated and a sluggard!

    If a person (a socialist) covets even the wealth of an evil rich man, that person himself is wicked! If that person is righteous (loves the will of God) he himself will prosper (verse 12). Covetous is a violation of God's commandment (sin is against God).

    A wise man will be satisfied with good. His own hard work will make him prosperous (verse 14).

    Those who want to live off the work of others (socialists) justify that sin (foolishness): “I deserve what others work for. That's only fair”. It's the government's responsibility to insure equal outcomes without regard to effort. However, a wise man depends only on God and himself realizing that the “god” of government is a false provider. The government can only take away, it cannot create wealth. God and hard work creates prosperity.

    Making your own mistakes! Is that wise?

    You often hear "I have to make my own mistakes." or nearly as bad "A person learns by his mistakes." Most of us have made many mistakes, but most mistakes are avoidable. If only we had listened! For example, there are many ways to learn that cocaine is dangerous without using cocaine. Most people not only accept medical knowledge from professionals, but it's easy to see the dangers through ruined lives and dead heroes!

    The latter, learning from others, is called "anecdotal" information.  It's said to be based on casual observation, whereas scientific analysis is based on the collection and study of pertinent data. Most people fail to accept what we see. Paraphrasing W. C. Fields "Are you going to believe the data or your own lying eyes?" A lifetime of watching people and behaviors is much more than "casual observation"! It's wisdom.

    Deuteronomy 4:9  (NIV) "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."

    Scientific studies are full of bias and confounds. I actually had one researcher tell me "It's wrong to question the research of others!" That's crazy talk. We are to question and make discerning judgments.

    1 Kings 3:11 (NIV) " So God said to him (Solomon), “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
    Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. There has to be some degree of intelligence for wisdom, but wisdom is more than intelligence. "Wisdom" is intelligence and learning coupled with insight and application. Wisdom is tempered by discernment; keen insight and judgment!
    All scientific research is not biased and neither is the data always misapplied.  Much of it is an honest attempt at being objective. We must, however, closely examine research which is at odds with what we've seen, learned and tested ourselves or by those we trust. It's easy to make the data say what the researcher believes!  A great example is research which says "Homosexuals are born that way." 
    First off,  when hypothesis are tested by definition they are not "proved".  Testing hypothesis only "fail to disprove".  "Anecdotal" information is historical. We have learned from the past and from contemporary observation that the homosexual community consists of many who were at one time normal in their sexual desires.  Who would seriously believe that all those lesbian Girls Gone Wild were actually born that way? Only a fool!  The best explanation is that those wild girls do exactly that... get wild! When away form the restrictions of accepted behavior and put in an environment where anything is accepted, they do things which they know are wrong and to which they normally are not attracted. A better explanation is that all people are born into sin and given the opportunity will sin in various ways.
    Some will steal, some will lie, some will murder and others will perform deviant sex.  The homosexual, as we all are, is born to sin. Homosexuality is that person's sin of choice, as we all elect to do what we find most pleasurable. In many cases it would appear that homosexuality activity occurs when there is an exponential desire to obtain more thrill (pleasure).
    Research into homosexual behavior is biased by definition. Many "studies" were done by homosexuals. Their results showed what they wanted to show. Other research was done by those who seek to remove societal restrictions. Since, those condoning homosexuality have an "anything goes" mentality, it's obvious that they would find that "they're born that way".  For those of us who fail to accept research with bad methodology, we have the all-knowing genius Lady Gaga telling us in song that they're all Born that Way. Try to find that needle in a haystack! Is there an evangelical Christian scientist who has found that homosexuality is more than a behavior of choice driven by the pleasure principle?
    Genes fail to explain why people "turn" in the elder years after having large families. Genes fail to explain why there is a propensity for homosexuals to be from families with broken homes, without a father or mother figure. (See the pschoanalytic model for another view in how homosexual behavior is formulated in infancy).
    In short, be discerning! Never accept what they world says. God is omniscient. Job 36:4

    says "Be assured that my words are not false; one who has perfect knowledge is with you." If God says homosexuality is "disgusting" that's what it is! Any research which contradicts the divinely inspired word of God is what's falsely called knowledge!

     1 Timothy 6:20  (NIV) "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,"

    "God loves everyone!" and "We are all God's children!" are two arguments without merit. God loves the murderer, but murder isn't right. Thieves are God's children too, but they are rebellious children. It's not the person God hates, but the sin! Those who love the sinner are those who rebuke sinful behavior. By failing to admonish the homosexual you love using God's word, the loving person is damning the very one they love!



    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Open Communication: Does it happen?

    A man was having marital problems one time in particular. The psychologist told him that he should have "open communication" with his spouse. The man said "Here's what I'd say to her!" and then proceeded to elaborate on what the conversation would be. The psychologist promptly replied "Maybe you should just keep all that to yourself!" It was obvious that "open communication" is the answer when the conversation is constructive. Commitment is necessary for constructive conversations.

    Commitment is a self-imposed obligation to making an action happen. For a marriage to work commitment is necessary. Commitment means that the activity is not to be taken lightly. Marriage is a picture of our relationship to God.

    Isaiah 62:5 "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee."

    In this passage the faithful are likened to the bride and God the bridegroom. That's a special relationship between mankind and God. Marriage is a metaphor for our relationship to God and our marriage is a holy union just as our marriage to God is holy communion!

    Jesus likened himself to the bridegroom:

    Matthew 9:15 "And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber (referring to himself)mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast."

    Marriage is ordained by God. It takes commitment for a marriage to work. Likewise, it takes commitment for our marriage to Christ to work. It's an action of faith not to be taken frivolously! That commitment is called a "work of faith".

    1 Thessalonians 1:3 "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;"

    Faith is something more than what you "have". It's also something you "do"!  Faith is operationalized in "works". If you are a Christian you need to act like a Christian. "Acting" is not to be role-playing, but an action of sincerity. "Acting" in this context are "Christlike Actions", obeying his commandments; loving God and loving others!

    The reason divorce is such a serious sin is because divorce is a rejection of commitment. Divorce in marriage, if easy, may make divorce from the Bridegroom just as casual. Infidelity in marriage is equivalent to apostasy within the Christian bond.  Those with little commitment in marriage may have an equal non-commitment to God.

    Now that it's obvious that "commitment" is necessary for "constructive communication", what is constructive? Criticism and negativity are not constructive. Let's look at marriage itself. If a woman tells a man that he's getting fat, that's criticism. Is it constructive? Likely not!  A better method would be to say "Honey, I want to be with you for a long time and by not taking care of yourself, it makes me anxious for you." The latter statement expresses concern and love; the former merely saying "You no longer look as good to me."

    In our relationship with the Bridegroom, the same applies. Rather than criticizing God for our problems, perhaps we should rejoice in our blessings!

    Psalm 9:2 "I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High."

    Matthew 5:12 "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven..."

    The things of this world are temporary and in God's scheme of things, all are merely obstacles. Rather than complain about our sadness, sickness and feelings of loneliness, perhaps we should be happy that we're alive, clothed, well-fed and sheltered. Thank you God for providing for your bride in this heavenly marriage! Sick today? Be happy that you'll be well tomorrow or next week. Thank him for your health yesterday! Lonely? Be happy that you have even one friend. You do have a friend in Jesus. The fact that he's not in sight doesn't mean that you can't love the Bridegroom just as you love your own spouse when he or she is away.

    Rejoice! That's "constructive communication". "Open communication" is the topic in a good marriage. With our spouse, it's necessary to talk about what's wrong, but most excellent to talk about what's right! Your spouse has positive aspects just as you do. Don't denigrate the spouse by complaining. Build-up, not tear down.  Likewise, we should magnify the Bridegroom! We should spend time with open communication"! "Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy  name..." is where the bride openly communicates reverence for the Bridegroom!

    If we don't openly communicate with God, is commitment lacking? Only you know the answer to that? Do you have fidelity with the Bridegroom or are you flirting with his adversary? Are you pleasuring in the gifts of the the love triangle or are you having mutual exclusive love of the Bridegroom?

    If you're a Christian are there splinters in you "hiney" from sitting on the fence or do you have your feet on solid "committed" ground? The Bridegroom is jealous! (Exodus 20:5) "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God...". Who is God jealous of? "Other Gods". Christian, you are married to God! He expects fidelity. Never pleasure yourself with the charms of another. The bride that does that is an infidel.

    In marriage triangulation is called "infidelity". In Marriage to Christ, triangulation is called syncretism. Here's what the Bridegroom says about that:

    Deuteronomy 6:15 "(For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth."

    Infidelity in your Marriage to Christ is destructive! There are consequences. God will feel hurt. You will be destroyed. That's the covenant. That's God's commitment to you and he expects commitment from you! Just like a marriage! Openly communicate to Him that your desire is a loving marriage and one committed to last! God's plan  for marriage is enduring. God's plan for Marriage to Christ is eternal!

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Cain's offering: What went wrong?

    Early in life when I read Genesis Chapter 4, in all honesty, my thought was "That seems unfair. Cain gave an offering too!" Although my intent was not to judge God, I just failed to understand. Therefore I studied the lesson to be learned from this because it is more than a mere bible story. When a person seeks truth from the Bible it should always start with "What's this got to do with Jesus?" because the Old Testament is indeed writings which point toward Jesus!

    From the Book of John Chapter one. we know that Jesus was right there with Cain and Abel. That's why it's so important to understand the role of Jesus in the lives of Cain and Abel!

    Genesis 4:3 "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.  4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."

    Cain was the oldest son and rightful heir to Adam. Hence, Cain had the "birthright", called progeniture in ancient law. The eldest child was to inherit the entire estate of both parents. Upon the demise of the parents by progeniture, the eldest son became head of the estate and basically a surrogate parent to the younger children. Cain was by birthright to be esteemed over Abel.

    God, we find from the New Testament is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Although "birthright" is important to the eldest, it has little prestige in the eyes of God. It is to be remembered that the birthright carries with it three characteristics: 1) Pride in the position and 2) Wealth in having that position, and 3) the parent's blessing favoring the eldest.

    If we zoom forward a millenneum we find that Esaw gave up his birthright:

    Genesis 27:36a "And he (Esaw) said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.

    Isaac blessed Jacob, just as God blessed Abel. What's more as we can see from Hebrews, Cain,s heart was wrong just as was Esaw's:

    Hebrews 12:16 "Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright."

    Cain had a "pride" problem, just like Esaw! God honored Abel's offering, but not Cain's! Cain was humiliated because in his position as eldest, he "should have been" more respected, but he wasn't! He was prideful just as were his parents back in the Garden of Eden. Just as Adam and Eve were punished by God, so was Cain. Pride always separates man from God.

    Now let's look at the offerings.  Abel offered "the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof" and God respected that. Zoom ahead again.

    "Offerings" mean "bring forth or bring near" and in early Hebrew meant "sacrifices". Hence, Cain and Abel were making a sacrifice to God. Sacrifices were of three main types: 1) blood offering, 2) grain offering and 3) drink offering.  Hebrews tells us also about Abel's offering (sacrifice):

    Hebrews 11:4 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." (Yes, Abel's spirit spoke from the grave!)
    Abel's sacrifice was offered "by faith" implying that Cain's sacrifice was not accompanied by faith, but was ritualistic in nature. He did it because that was "the law"; it was God's expectation.
    One thing to be understood about faith is that it points toward Jesus! A demonstration is "the faith of Abraham".
    Faith is what's right! It is credited to the faithful as righteousness.
    Romans 4:13 "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."
    Therefore Abel's offering was more excellent because it was a righteous offering given in faith.
    Romans 4:16 "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all..."
    We can see from Romans 4 preceding that "faith" is accepting God's "grace". Forgiveness is God's free gift. It wasn't the sacrifice that made the difference, but the condition of the heart.  Abel's sacrifice was by faith and Cain's was that "which is of the law". Faith and grace always point toward Jesus. Somehow, someway God let our antecedents know that there's more to come than "this"! It is apparent that since Jesus walked in the garden in the cool of the evening with Adam and Eve, that Cain and Abel knew of Jesus!
    The sacrifice itself was important, but not because of its material, but by the understanding of the one making the sacrifice. First off, neither offering was perfect. Levitical law, to come later, required a meat offering accompanied by a grain offering (except on special occasions). The meat offering was a sacrifice in atonement for sin and the grain offering was a showing of love.
    Leviticus 14:19 "And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering."
    Leviticus 1:1-17 tells of a proper burnt offering. It's the dressed meats containing the fats burnt on an altar by the priest for atonement from sin while the blood of the animal is sprinkled around  the altar.
    What cleanses man from sin?
    Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
    We are told several places in the New Testament that Abel was righteous. His faith was in the blood and the blood pointing toward Jesus. It took the "blood" sacrifice of the firstfruits of the flock as a remission for Abel's sins. Cain offered no blood! He was a tiller of the ground you say! Bartering grain for an animal addresses that issue! It takes "blood" to be an acceptable sacrifice. Abraham had a problem too. He had no animal sacrifice, but said "God will provide!" Abraham had faith and God did provide the kid for the sacrifice. Cain hadn't the faith of Abraham!
    The flesh and blood is a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. The animal sacrifice was a picture of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. Just as our antecedents sprinkled blood around the altar, Jesus's blood sprinkled around the cross. He was the royal priest who sacrificed himself for our sins. That's grace! Faith is having confidence in the shedding of blood, innocent blood. Jesus's blood. That's God's grace and that was the faith of Abel!
    Cain suffered the consequences of his lack of faith:
    Genesis 4:10b says "the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground". Cain's guilt was announced from the grave. God knew what Cain did and the condition of his heart! The ground cried out for justice! We see from Luke that "the very stones would cry out" for justice. The very ground would cry out for Jesus. Luke 19:39 "And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Perhaps Jesus paraphrased what he had said to Cain back in the beginning. Cain was a type of Pharisee and Jesus said nearly the same thing to the Pharisees!
    Abel was a "type of Christ". Abel was a righteous man innocent of a crime who died unjustly. His blood was shed for righteousness sake just as was the blood of Jesus. While Abel wasn't perfect as Jesus was, his sacrifice was by faith in the blood. Not his own, but the firstflock. Jesus was the perfect and only son of God, the first fruit:
    1 Corinthians 15:20 "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. "
    Yes, the firstlings of the flock points toward the resurrection of Jesus! Paul taught that faith in Jesus included faith that he yet lives! Faith in the resurrected Jesus, the firstfruit of the dead.
    How did Cain sin? There was yet no written law, but Cain knew! His father talked with Jesus. Jesus gave the "Greatest Commandment": love god and love others!  Cain broke both of those! He failed to love God by making a prideful sacrifice and he failed to love Abel because he was envious and out of pride, committed murder. Cain knew God's heart, but he failed miserably! He broke the commandment not to be written until 3000 years or so later! Who says Jesus wasn't there?
    It astounds me when I read about mankind's start in this world. God knew we would fail and need Jesus. He knew that all along and planned for it! Cain and Abel knew God's expectations. Abel obeyed. Cain rebelled. We all know God's expectations. Some have faith; others don't! Abel took the narrow path while Cain took the wide. Abel took the path less taken. Cain took the selfish route, the one most traveled. He was just as the rich man in the New Testament who just couldn't follow Jesus because of his wealth. Cain just couldn't do that either. He gave scraps because his firstfruits just meant to much to him. What about you? Are other things more important than God?



    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    False doctrine by early Protestants

    In the time of Christ Holy Scripture was what we now call The Old Testament. In the Christian era those born again were saved because they were convinced using The Old Testament. What was sufficient then has been cast aside by many today. Some churches never use that same scripture at all, let alone as a basis for saving souls!

    Important to the modern world is "Biblical Canon" it being the accepted standard for Christians and a measuring stick for God inspired truth revealed to his people.

    2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
    "Scripture" extant in this passage is Masoretic Text which is the authoritative Hebrew text in the Jewish Bible. Codex are manuscripts of Masoretic Text. The Old Testament used by Protestants are translations of Masoretic Texts. These texts were translated between the seventh and tenth centuries A.D. Masoretic Text was the accepted verified and accurate codexes of the Hebrew Bible handed down over the years. The original Hebrew Bible is mentioned in the Hebrew book of written and oral law, the Talmud. The King James Version of the Holy Bible was taken from the Bishop's Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Septuagint, the Textus Receptus and Erasmus's Latin translation known as the Vulgate. The King James Version was written in 1611 and has undergone many changes since, clarifying words and correcting printing errors.
    Only the gospels of Mark and Luke were written before 2 Timothy, so it could be that when Paul wrote this letter he was including contemporary scripture as well, but the authority of those scriptures were probably not widely accepted at that time.  Likewise, twelve of Paul's own letters were already in existence. Paul considered himself inspired of God, so he may have included his own writings as "scripture".  The books of Acts and James were also in existence and it's hard to believe that a book describing the formation of the Christian Church would have been ignored by Paul as scripture. However, it is best to recognize that it's likely that only Hebrew Canon was scripture.
    Various religious groups have "closed" canon. Scripture can no longer be added to, deleted nor altered. Biblical Canon are based on whether the writings are of the original apostles, whether they are accepted by Christians universally, whether they have been read historically in religious services and whether the messages are internally consistent and the teachings of Christ. (The last three prevent newly discovered gnostic texts from being accepted as canon as well as that many were written years after the alleged authors were dead). The church has had closed canon since between 1546-1647 for the various Christian movements. There are 66 canonical books including 27 which are New Testament.
    Martin  Luther did not include Esther, Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation as canon.  Esther is historical and doesn't mention God.  Revelation was "unintelligible".  Strangely it is Revelation which has these words:
    Revelation 22:19 "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
    Luther went even further in an attempt to reject deuterocanonical (secondary canonicals), II Peter, II and III John. That effort failed as did his attempt at canonical books after about one-hundred years.
    Luther had an agenda. It was sola gratia , by grace alone, and any scripture which even hinted at the dignity of "works" playing any part in a Christian's salvation was anathema to him. Although historically John Calvin has been credited for the "reformed" movement in protestantism, his writings are mostly a reflection of the writings of St. Augustine and Martin Luther. Hence, Calvinism is the doctrine of the reformation.
    Those opposing Catholicism are "Protestants". These are the "Reformed Churches" and include the Presbyterians. Baptists are technically not "protestants" although the description is in vogue for simplicity's sake. Baptists are schismatics of the Church of England who left the Catholic Church for political reasons (the Pope wouldn't allow Henry VIII to divorce).  General Baptists separated from the Anglicans (mid-1600s) first, followed shortly thereafter by the Particular Baptists. General Baptists believed in the "general atonement" whereas the Particular Baptists believed in predestination for the elect only, hence "particular".
    Most modern churches are a blend of Armineanism (those at odds with Calvinism) and Calvinism itself. Five point Calvinists have adhered to all the points of John Calvin: 1) Total depravity, 2) unconditional election, 3) limited atonement, 4) irresistible grace and 5) preservation of the saints. Most baptists today are either one or two point Calvinists, being either proponents of total depravity or preservation of the saints or both. Each point can stand on the previous points only. They can't stand alone. They're as stairsteps. One point leads to the next and the previous point is the basis for the subsequent point.
    "Preservation of the Saints" is called "eternal security" and "once saved, always saved". Those in opposition believe in "conditional security" and most often believe in apostasy, but not multiple instances of "salvation" as accused by the opposition.
    Hebrews 6:5 "And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
    In modern English this means that if you're a Christian and apostatize (fall away) and if you were able to be saved again, you would be crucifying Jesus again and shame Jesus. The truth is that a Christian can "fall away" and give up their salvation, but they are reprobate, not being able to be saved again.
    Those who profess a belief in eternal security disavow this scripture by saying "This was written for the Jews (Hebrews) only and doesn't pertain to others." That is a concoction to make scripture agree with flawed doctrine and is a strategy first tried by John Calvin to remove the Book of Hebrews from canon. However, even if it did pertain to Hebrews only, it would establish a different doctrine for Jews and Gentiles. God is no respecter of persons in this regard!

    Romans 2:10 "But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God."
    No, God did not offer a different scripture for Jew and Gentile. There is one salvation.
    Galatians 3:28 ( ESV) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
    Hence, eternal security is a false gospel propagated by Martin Luther and John Calvin. That doctrine has caused more sin than any other false doctrine. Salvation becomes "fire insurance" in that it allows the sinner to escape hell, but it is at odds with living a sanctified holy life which is considered merely "works".
    John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."
    Keeping commandments is "works". It's what those who truly love Christ do! This is reinforced many places including the Book of James, which Luther also loathed!
    James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
    Martin Luther didn't believe these truths. He sought to distort truth to suit his own doctrine. Likewise, John Calvin did the same. Today eternal security is a false doctrine damning many to hell!
    Galatians 1:6 "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."
    I would suppose that Paul was referring to gnosticism to be honest since it was prevelent in that time and that place. However, he made a general statement about "another gospel". That means any message about Christ which is not truth!  "Eternal Security" is not scriptural truth. Those teaching that doctrine are not ant-Christian, but merely deceived by the deceiver. They are earnest Christians many of who do live a holy life, confused because of their upbringing and the doctrines of those who mentored them. Although Billy Graham, one of the most spiritual men I've listened to, teaches that doctrine, he's not Christ! He still errs and this is a great error!
    If there is one place in scripture which is at odds with eternal security, it means the doctrine is wrong!
    Acts 8:13 "Then Simon (the Sorcerer) himself believed also: and when he was baptized..."
    The wicked magician, Simon, got saved! However, we learn later that he was beguiled by power and apostatized. In fact literature by our early church fathers report that Simon Magus roamed all Asia ridiculing the gospel. The Christian Simon abandoned Jesus!
    Many in the eternal security movement say that "They believe you can lose your salvation!"  No true proponent of "conditional security" preaches that. It's a misrepresentation! We all believe what scripture says:
    Hebrews 13:5b "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

    Although God will never leave you, but as free moral agents, we can all leave him, and many do! We're not automatrons. We're human and our free will is God's gift to mankind!
    Although those who believe in eternal security use this verse for refutation of conditional security, it is to be noted that by using their own argument "This only applies to the Jews since it was written to the Hebrews!" they are inconsistent.  If a theologian rejects a book of scripture in one case, the same person cannot use it as a defense in another case! That is arguably intentional deceit!
    If the "to the Hebrews only" argument holds for the Book of Hebrews, by the same logic Romans is just for Romans; Corinthians applies only to those in Corinth; and etc. All canon is for all people of all ages since there is one gospel! Any who attempt to rationalize false doctrine often use general text selectively!
    My intent is not to ostracize those who believe in eternal security. It is am attempt to get those to examine their doctrine. Do they believe the way they do because of their parents, their early church, their denomination, or their mentors; or do they believe what they believe because it's scriptural.
    Like everybody else, I humbly admit that I can be wrong! That's a first step in finding truth. Get rid of pride. Pride blinds the revelation of truth. However, based on scripture, I believe in conditional security. I would like to believe in eternal security because then I could do anything I want, even murder, and still make it to heaven. That's not God's plan! His plan is the gift of grace, but grace tempered by being righteous! Yes, it's hard to be righteous and we never will be, but trying to be so is evidence of our love. If we love him we are to follow his commandments. That's Jesus speaking, not the Pharisees!


    Tuesday, November 19, 2013


    1 Peter 4:15 "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."

    We all know what a murderer, a thief and an evil-doer are, but what's a busybody? The NIV uses the term "meddler". Well, there's a reason! A "busybody" is someone who meddles in the private affairs of another. Some people are more worried about the life of others more than they are their own!

    It's useful to think in terms of systems. That's the way external forces are identified. You and your surroundings are a "system". That system would include your family, your home, who you choose as friends, your job, your education, your beliefs etc. Some external "forces" are, of course, the devil, your enemies, acquaintances, superficial friends, the government, dangerous entities and evil-doers in general, to include murderers and thieves.

    As a person lives day to day in a system, the person can loathe that life, be content but troubled or be joyous. Most people are content, but troubled, but most of us should be joyous based on our blessings! What makes people loathe their life, be contented or be joyous? The obvious answer is whether people have the promise of eternal life or not!  "Other outside forces" are other people or other things.

    A supervisor loved his job, but hated going to work. While most people were in harmony,  others reacted adversely to his system. There was always at least one person who made the day bad. The outside force (one meddling employee) made the work experience a drag from day-to-day. The supervisor's contentment was disrupted by anxiety supplied by the external force; the actions of one trouble-making employee.

    Let's examine how imbalance is introduced into a balanced system. The supervisor functioning with normal efficiency with hard-working employees using proper methods and machinery makes life copacetic. This is a balanced system. Then one employee becomes disgruntled for some reason. That disgruntled employee works outside the balanced system to make things fail. The employee is still part of the system, but whatever made him disgruntled initiated the imbalance. To bring the system back into balance the cause for the effect of "disgruntlement" must be discovered and dealt with!

    In life the imbalance effecting (and affecting) a person's happiness is due to one being disgruntled. They are unhappy with themselves or their life so they seek to destroy the lives of others. That person begins to meddle. They busy themselves with the business of others. The meddlers are busybodies and meddling is the tool for making the other persons life out of balance.

    Busybodies, by definition, disrupt the systems of others. They meddle into things that should not pertain to them, let alone be any of their business!  Let's say that a Christian is doing his (or her) best to live a righteous life. The Christian tries, but at times fails. God forgives if there is contrition! The Fifty-first Psalm is all about contrition and forgiveness even for the worst offense! Here is a portion of it for quick review:

    From Psalm 51:

    1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

    2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

    3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

    4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

    9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

    10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

    11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

    12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

    14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

    17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

    In personal spiritual lives it's between the individual and the Lord only, as a person deals with the sins of life. It's hard enough being sorry for what is known that's been done wrong without others adding to it!  A meddler (busybody) steps in and makes communion with God even more difficult! Satan puts a busybody on our doorstep for one reason; to make it harder than necessary to live a righteous life. That makes Satan happy. People not only must come to terms for their actual sins, but also the perceived sins, allegations and accusations made by the busybody.

    Busybodies rob the person who sins from a clean heart and right spirit. They see to it that joy is not restored, and in fact that joy is robbed from a person's salvation. Although God forgives and casts not away, busybodies make sure a Christian's broken spirit remains broken. Busybodies are confounds to a Christian's life. They are placed there by Satan to confuse the system. By doing so their motivation is to damn.

    Busybodies don't recognize themselves! They believe they are there to check the system; to oil the cogs to make the system's gears turn smoothly. They are the lubricant without dirt nor grime which they add as they see fit, to make sure the others motions move along to their own standards.  Busybodies are mentioned right there along with thieves, evil-doers and murderers! They steal joy from the soul of others. They do that by doing evil and by doing evil the Christian's spirit is murdered. They condemn by judging harshly!

    Busybodies are self-righteous and Pharisaical in their methods. Whereas, the commandments are  still in effect, busybodies add "works" to make obedience to the commandments impossible. A Christian living righteously is told he's a hypocrite because he can't keep the entire law. That's meddling! Who needs a busybody to add guilt to the guilt a Christian who already feels conviction when not measuring up to God's standards?  Busybodies are non-valued added. They are expendable and sinful!

    Are busybodies always with us? Most assuredly! They will be with us always. Steer clear of those who make your pilgrim pathway full of roadblocks. Although they're the enemy, pray for them! Prayer does change things!  Here would be my psalm:

    Lord, I desire strength, but I am weak.
    I fail, but my cup is full of sorrow.
    Your spirit chastises me. I have contrition.
    I endeavor to do your will, but fail still.
    My enemies make my spirit their business.
    Meddlers relish in my despair. My joy is gone.
    Heap ashes on the heads of evil-doers.
    Rebuke those who murder my spirit.
    Turn their accusations into righteous love.
    Dilute their poison with living waters.
    Allow me solace and return my joy.
    Accept my works as evidence of love.
    Allow me to finish the race. Knock down the hurdles.
    Walk with me in my faith and let me endure.
    Let me see the promised land. Let my enemies be there.