Friday, October 31, 2014

Reciprocal Love

Reciprocity is a principle of mechanics. The internal combustion engine is based on reciprocity. The crank rotates in it's bearings to move the piston up and down. Energy is generated on the upstroke and power is delivered on the downstroke. There is energy and power involved in reciprocity. It's a cause and effect relationship.

Reciprocity in a relationship means that each person complements the other, or more like, one partner does for another because the other partner has done things for the first partner. It's sort of mutual, but is not exactly that.

We all know that "love" has one English word, but three in the Greek:

agape - love of God
philio - brotherly love
eros - sexual love

However, there are many adjectives to our lone English word "love". I just mentioned three: Godly, brotherly, and sexual. We've all heard of "mutual love". That's another one. Let me focus on "reciprocal love". A corollary is "parental love".

Babies show parents affection because the parent nurtures and shows love first. It's a mutual love, but that's an outcome of "reciprocal love". If people reciprocate often enough they become acclimated to loving the other. Babies respond to the affection of their parents and become alienated when that love is not there. Babies "get" as parents "give".

This is much like the reciprocal engine example. The parents provide the "fuel" (love and ameliorating actions) and the babies the "power" (cuddling and admiration). Over time this action-reaction pair becomes "mutual love". Babies love good parents because good parents are loving. That's one "stroke" of reciprocity. The next stroke is when the thankful and happy baby initiates the love and the parent responds. The two strokes together completes the cycle, just as in a four-cycle engine. That is "reciprocal love".

Couples don't have "parental love". That's a special relationship reserved for parent-child. That type of relationship is not romantic and should never be so! Neither person in a marriage should ever take on a parent identity. That means there must exist a romantic kind of love which too is reciprocal.

There is nothing more titillating in a romance as when loving eyes look upon each other. That "look" is a "spark". Nothing needs to be said or done. It's simply that look of enthrallment. Most romances start that way, then real life sets in! Fascination is replaced by reality. The mate has faults!  Shallow people dwell on the faults and neglect the attributes. Normal relationships are compared to movie versions and relationships sour. Satan uses "comparison" to destroy!

Husbands and wives change. They move from the "impress the other" state of mind to "provide a living" state. The former is the romantic state and the latter reality. The task at hand is to endeavor to emotionally remain in a state 1 while physically being in state 2. It's a tough balance, and that's where God comes in!

Reciprocal love helps one of state 2 complement state 1. The husband who works hard to provide for the wife does so out of love. If they don't put a work ethic into a marriage the priority isn't on "keeping the garden" as Adam was charged to do. A mate who works hard so the other can have comfort is the upstroke. That person has provided "fuel" to the marriage unit (the marriage engine). At the top of the stroke there must be a "spark". The spark provides the "heat" part for combustion to happen. Recognition that what the husband pumps into the engine (his own energy) deserves recognition as a loving action. That's the little spark that starts the downstroke. On the downstroke the wive becomes the focus. She admires her husband for his efforts, although hard work is certainly not romantic!

Because on the downstroke, the woman appreciates and admires, the husband reciprocates! That downward power generates an impetus for the husband to add fuel, if you will. His next action is that look of admiration and maybe an embrace. The energy returned to the system causes the piston to move up again and the engine causes the relationship to move forward. At the second upstroke, as the engine warms, even a greater spark happens and more energy is generated. Cycle after cycle of reciprocation provides a forward movement and that moving forward becomes "mutual love". However, it takes the reciprocal love to result in mutual love.

Only some of mutual love is romantic. Much of it is like parental love. That's the akin to the reciprocal love that marriage partners have for each other, but has a different ingredient. It's more than depending on each other, but adding a supercharger to the carburetor! Demonstrations of that affection is the supercharger. Those, in addition to mutual admiration, are teasing, attention, embraces, kisses and other shows of affection. The gifts of love are oneself!

Reciprocal love has the same ingredients as philio love and eros love, but it's more than that! Since the pair have become one (the marriage engine), it's treating the other as you want to be treated. When you're loved, you love back of course, but in addition each mate provides energy in the relationship. Each person in a marriage is obligated to initiate the love. When a couple pledges for life "to love, honor and cherish", those become the fuel that fires the marriage engine as well as the power of the marriage engine!

Satan wants to mix impurities with the fuel! While you are unawares, Satan sneaks over and puts a little "sugar" in that fuel. He knows that a well-tuned engine must have "good gasolene" so he adds a little of his own evil sweetener. It may be any type of comparison or temptation. The "sugar" added to the marriage fuel may be "greener grass". It may be the comparison of each other to society's priorities, such as, a mature wife must compete with a runway model in the vision of the husband. Of course it works the other way around too!

Or, Satan may let a little "rust" get into the marriage fuel tank. Lack of use allows metal to corrode and rust gets into the fuel system. The same goes into the marriage engine. Taking each other for granted or not being romantic allows "rust" to form and the fuel can't get to the love machine because the rust has clogged the lines and "good" fuel never gets to the combustion chamber.

Satan may deceive a little bit and tell you that if you drive your car hard or even let in stay parked for a long time, it will do just as well. He tells you that you don't have to maintain your vehicle and all will be well. That's not true and the good owner knows that an OBLIGATION for good performance is to drive the car as it was intended and to take care of it. A good owner adores his car as if it is new and a well maintained car will last for a long time! Some cars outlive the owners because they care for it!

The same goes for the marriage engine. It propels the marriage unit and both "drivers" have an obligation, to maintain the warranty, to "love, honor and cherish" that engine and the warranty will never expire! God is the chief mechanic and if the engine he made is taken care of he will make it last until "death does it part"!

Satan also provides outside influences. Satan uses others to destroy what he has created. Sometimes he uses other people do do his dirty deeds. Satan uses others to put sugar in your marriage tank and some of those same people will tell you that you need a little "additive" in the marriage fuel tank. They tempt you because they want your engine to fail as has theirs! Those with sluggish engines are jealous and want your engine to be just as sluggish. Beware of those who promise better performance with their "additive" when what's in that bottle is dirt!

As an engine requires energy, so does a romance. To keep the fire sparking and love reciprocating, it requires work to get smooth performance. Fuel isn't free. When the owner stops at the pump the fuel must be paid for. The money for that fuel is obtained by work!  I takes work to get power out of the engine. Due to entropy there is no perfect engine. All engines run inefficiently! The purer the fuel, the richer the air and the more intense the spark; the engine's performance is increased. Our "work" in reciprocal love is doing our part in providing the needed spark (admiration), rich air (love) and the proper fuel (effort) in making the marriage engine perform as it can.

If you want to be loved, love first!

That, readers, is reciprocal love and that's what really "makes the world go 'round"!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Politics: Dr. Tim Hulsey Contrasts Obama to Netanyahu

After WWII, Stalin felt that the Soviet Union would be able to take advantage of what Lenin predicted would occur between capitalistic democracies. He thought that infighting would lead to recurring wars between them. Thus distracted, Stalin and Communism would have the advantage on the world stage.

This was a time when, in some European countries, war was not unusual, unexpected, or necessarily undesirable. Communists thought the relatively fledgling US would follow suit.

Unexpectedly, from Stalin’s standpoint, such conflicts did not occur, even between WWII’s opponents. Diplomacy and financial aid created an atmosphere of cooperation. The Communists did not gain that advantage.

As all socialist governments are destined to do, the Soviet Union decayed and fell apart.

Currently, we find the Obama administration trying its best to create the conflict with our allies for which Stalin had hoped.

Obama has been openly disrespectful to the UK, our best ally for over a hundred years. Much of this is in a passive-aggressive style since he hasn’t got the fortitude for a real fight. His strongest tool is a rapacious arrogant disdain.

Recently, a “high ranking official in the White House” called the Prime Minister of Israel (our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East) a profane name suggesting that Netanyahu was less than courageous.

Oddly, such ridiculous statements only bring to mind comparisons of national leaders. When Benjamin Netanyahu draws red lines, he usually enforces them. Obama, not so much.

While Obama was smoking marijuana, BiBi was smoking Israel’s enemies as a soldier!

Obama has a well-known socialist background pursuit of which has caused an about face in US foreign policy. He has sought to create what Lenin and Stalin predicted, and what normal international relations could not.

Socialism is anathema to our Constitutional Republic, Obama’s or otherwise!

When and What is Death?

Death is the absence of life! It's when the body ceases to function. However, there are three aspects of life: body, mind and soul. We know that the body is the container for our being. Likewise, the soul is the container for the spirit, according to some.

Many Christians view humans as body, soul and spirit; but others view it as body and that the spirit and soul are interchangeable. Descartes as well as modern neurologists paint a picture of dualism: mind and body. However, my own view is that man consists of body, mind and soul. I contend (and I have a right) that the body is the "material" which has mass and includes the brain. The brain is the "hardware" and is the mechanism which processes all functions of our existence. It's the mind or the "information processor"! It thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers. Thinking is collecting information. Reason is processing that information. Feeling is the an affect of the processed information. Remembering is the storing and recall of thinking, reasoning and feeling.

It would appear that man is not alone as far as the mind is concerned. However, we have one faculty other animals do not have! We have a sixth sense which psychologists call "intuition" and Christians know it as the "voice of God". It's God's Holy Spirit drawing, guiding and reproving us! That "voice" communicates love and understanding to our minds. We discern!
Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
This verse is just full of references to "breath"! Not only is "breathed" and "breath" specified, but in the definition of "soul", the Bible defines that as "breath". If there is any dualism in the Bible it would be body/soul and mind! However, it appears that the "soul" is what brings life to the body defined as "the dust of the ground". Any novice knows that anything physical is made from the elements (the dust of the ground)!

 "Soul" (Hebrew nephash) is literally  "to breath".
"Living" (Hebrew chayah) means "to revive or make alive".
Hence "living soul" means "to make alive by giving breath"!

Until the body gets it's spirit it's no more than "the dust of the ground":
Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
The body is what was here at the creation and what will be until the resurrection. The body follows the law of  "Conservation of Energy". Mass and energy are interchangeable. It can be neither created nor destroyed (according to that law), but we know that in the beginning it all was created and science is just now catching up!  (The ironic part is that the resurrection validates "the destroyed" part of this law!).

The brain is part of "the dust". God made a computer from raw material more powerful than all the supercomputers anywhere! The electrical flow, impulse and gates in the brain are the "mind". Without electrical energy in the brain, the mind is considered dead! However, there seems to be a problem with the mind being more than a process! After physical death, people still have thoughts. This leads to a second type of dualism: body and mind/soul. It's obvious from The Epistle of Luke that Lazarus, Abraham and the rich man were able to think after they died! (I've already discussed temporary bodies, but this seems to be real minds: Apparent Bodies, Oct 28, 2014).

However, I still firmly stand on to body, mind and soul as the three aspects of humans.

"Spirit" is what is breathed into the dust to make it alive! It's breathed into the soul. In animals air was breathed! In humans not only was air breathed into us, but also the spirit.
Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
First off, the "Spirit" is God! That's his way of comforting man. It's God's method of "touching" his creation. Our microprocessor (the mind) has a main-frame. That's a metaphor for the Holy Spirit and isn't meant to trivialize God at all; and is only done for understanding. "Spirit" ( Hebrew ruwach) means "to blow". God blows his "mind" toward man and we breath it in!

Man was made alive by the air God blew and man breathed. The blood is our internal medium for moving that air to the material aspects of our body. Without the flow of blood man dies! Blood is what keeps us alive and the blood of Christ is what saves. The blood of Jesus is the medium flowing the the soul to keep us alive eternally!  Jesus blood carries the breath of the Spirit flowing.

When Adam was created, God breathed life into that soul. It was filled with God's Spirit. Man became distinctly different from the other animals. We communed with God! With original sin, the Spirit removed itself from it's cup; the soul. Therefore, the soul is only synonymous with the spirit when the soul is in fact filled with the Spirit!
Exodus 35:30a " 31 And he (God) hath filled him (Moses) with the spirit of God..."
Moses had a soul. At this instant God filled it with his Spirit! Moses didn't earn that filling. On the contrary, he was a murderer! The filling of the Spirit of God is a gift and is called grace!

 I think I have made the case that man is made up of mind, body and soul!  That's what God called man; a living soul, meaning he breathed air and had the capacity to have God breath his Spirit into him. That's living! That's life in a human being!

Since death is the absence of life, we know that man truly never dies because a remnant of us lives after death. In order for the damned to live after death in order that they be punished, then their soul must also be filled.
Ephesians 2:2 "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:"
I've never heard it taught before, but when Adam died spiritually, it was not only the emptying of the soul, but the Serpent was right there to fill that empty container with the spirit of evil. (That's one reason we're not to transcendental meditate!). Likewise, before we're born-again, our soul too is filled with the spirit of Satan. When we die that spirit goes with us. That's the one which will be punished forever!

Physical death then is not when mind, body and soul dies; it's when the body dies! The flow of blood carries  air which is breathed in and distributed to keep us alive. We BEGIN to die when we quit breathing or the pump stops beating. However, with electrocardiograms we know that for a period after the lifeblood ceases to flow, the brain lives on. Once the heart stops the dying person realizes that death is eminent and has high anxiety! (Doctors even prescribe a sub-lingual medication for that!).

It would appear that death occurs when all functions cease. People are kept alive by breathing machines and artificial  pumps, but after the brain dies physically, the mind must find a new home!  It would appear that the soul, not being physical remains the container for the Spirit and goes to a temporary "cup" at the time of death. Then, only the body remains (in the grave) for a short time. The mind and soul moves on to either the kingdom of God or to Hades. Both live. The difference is in the living conditions!

The "life blood" that keeps the dead living has one of two sources. For unsaved sinners it's the air of this world. It's an evil spirit. For those living in paradise, it's the blood of Jesus which gives those born-again with new life. God breathes on those at the new birth. It's the breath of his Spirit and the medium is the blood of Jesus! (At our first birth only air was breathed into us. At the new birth God breathes the Spirit into our souls!)
Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of (Jesus') blood is no remission (of sins)."
When do we die? We never do! Our soul will always live. However, there are two living conditions:  eternal death (the spirit of Satan) or eternal life (the Spirit of God).  For those with dead spirits they will relive every wrong choice. Their mind will "remember" and process all those events, thoughts and feelings. They will be terrible memories accompanied by isolation from anything "good" and with great physical pain!

Those who are born-again will have any and all bad events, thoughts and feelings erased from memory! Only what's "good" will be remembered! As for our climate, it will be perfect!

Throughout "life" we all endeavor to escape death! We all will "die", but too, we all shall live for eternity. Your goal (sic) will be met. You will never die! However, the Bible calls hell "death". True "death" is living forever in damnation, or on the other hand, it may be those who have not been born-again who are now "the walking dead" because the Spirit of life is not within them.

Politics: Dr. Tim Hulsey on Voter ID Fraud

You have to have an identification card with your photo to get in to an event
involving Michelle Obama, Eric Holder, Barack Obama as well as to the Democratic
National Convention. You have to have a photo ID to fly or to rent a car. You
are frequently asked for a photo ID to make major credit card purchases.

In many countries, citizens are issued identification documents that they have
to produce on demand or be in violation of law.

In most first world countries, a voter has to produce a photo ID to match their
voter registration before they are allowed to vote.

Foreign observers of election in this country have been amazed that no
identification is required of voters in most states.

We don't allow a member of any age group or economic class to drive without a
state-issued drivers license- a photo ID!

Yet for the most important right and privilege we are given as US citizens, the
right to vote, most of us don't have to prove that we are the holder of that

AG Eric Holder says that there is no voter fraud in this country. That is not
true historically or currently. Convictions for voter fraud are common in the
news from single pole workers who vote multiple times to political operatives
caught with hundreds of absentee ballots.

Evidence is also abundant that illegal aliens are voting in US election. La
Raza, the immigrant advocacy organization has even circulated information among
illegal aliens about where voting can be done without a photo ID.

Not only are immigration laws being broken, more importantly, the US electoral
system is being defrauded and US citizens are being cheated!

The only reason to opposed voter ID laws is to allow illegal Democrat votes!
Prove me wrong!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Comes

From George Orwell's book 1984, look at the following definitions and quotations:

Newspeak: a controlled language created by totalitarian states.
Doublethink: ordinary people having opposing thoughts on social issues.
Doublespeak: Intentionally disguising or distorting the true meaning of words.

Quotes from 1984:
“Big Brother is Watching You.” 
 “It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” 
“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
 “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” 
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” 
 “Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power."
 “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
"Ignorance is strength!" 
 “You are a slow learner, Winston (Your name here).""How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four." "Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.” 

 Does Orwell's world appear to be the world to we're approaching with Mach speed? We are nearly there if not already at our destination! These "thoughts" of the socialist George Orwell have been adapted to the Democrat Party and are bleeding over into all society as "truths"! Politicians of every stripe fall for these logica. Sometimes the doublethink and doublespeak of liberal Newspeak tears my mind apart! How can the sane accept insanity as the norm? I don't know how, but they do!

Words mean things! Using the excuse "It depends on what the definition of 'IS" is..." is an example of word confusion and fits right into Orwellian socialism. It all makes me wonder, "How Come"?

How come:

  • feminists are the least feminine?
  • Democrats are far from democratic?
  • "The Affordable Care Act" is far from affordable?
  • that "political correctness" is correct gone bad?
  • the "war on women" is waged by women?
  • that "income equality" means taking from people unequally?
  • that "social justice"  are those having good intentions creating injustice?
  • people like compromise although it's two groups agreeing to be wrong?
  • bipartisanship means doing it the way of the majority?
  • those who call them "the party of hate" are the most hateful?
  • that "inclusive" means those who liberals selectively choose?
  • that homosexuals are not called homophobiaphobics?
  • that people are "spiritual" without any religion?
  • that "wall separation of church and state" means putting a wall around religion?
  • that a "right to choose" eliminates the baby and father's choices?
  • that "fetal tissue" has a beating heart?
  • capitalism is evil, but socialism needs it to even exist?
  • "income redistribution" means giving to those without an  income?
  • drugs are illegal, but the government gives users needles to ingest them?
  • society hates cigarette smoke, but embraces marijuana smoke?
  • people despise guns which can kill, but glorify alcohol, the weapon used by many who die in car wrecks?
  • Nixon was forced out for power-grabbing, but Obama is an idol for doing the same?
  • politicians who claim to "serve the people" are each foremost among the people they serve?
  • government can't seem to govern and stumble around instead?
  • why do we need a president "in charge of vice"? Bill Clinton gave us reason I guess!
  • the man from Hope, Arkansas stole our hope?
  • as claimed by Hillary Clinton, she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, but she was born before Sir Edmund became famous?
  • Any more "how comes"? Add them under comments.

Believing the Lie

People have fallaciously been told "Keep religion and politics separate!" Those antipathetic to Christianity and those of Islam, unfortunately, makes that impossible. They as well as, humanists, atheists and agnostics seek to make "Reason" the official religion. That's happened before, most notably by the vicious killers establishing a French Republic! From scripture, we know that what appears to be a socialist/communist government of the apocalypse will worship that same god with the government leader as "The God of Reason"!

During the Third Reich Christians stayed, for the most part, out of politics, likely not because they were unprincipled, but out of fear. No one was courageous as was their forebear, Martin Luther, in standing up for righteousness. As a result of Christian fear and apathy, millions were killed and everybody's freedom was stolen! Not only that, but 93% of the German people voted for Hitler in the last election. It's clear that Christians voted for "hope" and "change". For awhile Hitler's promise of prosperity was true, but eventually the economy was utterly destroyed! Christians voted for a party which damned them. Why do Christians still vote for evil? They have little faith in the promises of the Lord:
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Indeed, rather than relying on the government to supply our needs, it's God who provides. Whereas, government offers false hope, God is who "gives you a future and a hope"! However, God does use government for his plan. It's not a government that denies him, but a government which depends on him:
 Deuteronomy 4:6 "Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?"
Not only are Christians to bring religion into politics, but governments are great whose statutes and laws are based on The Law of God.  Christians are called to profoundly understand that "God is in all things that we call upon him for." God is involved in politics! Of course he's not a Democrat nor a Republican because he's perfect, but there are many politicians who accurately desire to DO his will. I presented, a few days ago, a dissertation on the party platforms in Politics and Religion: Disturbing Trend for Christians to Straddle in this blog. It's clear that Republicans have Godly principles in their party platform and Democrats do not! Why then do Christians vote for a party at odds with their own beliefs? Perhaps lack of discernment and maybe some rebellion in their hearts?

Christians have fallen for the lie about "separation of church and state", but one cannot be righteous in one aspect and evil in another. A man who votes his Christian conscience votes righteously, albeit imperfectly! That's because we can't come close to doing what God's will, but must endeavor to do so anyway!

Christians: this is for you to consider when you vote. Does God want more of these policies? Are they Godly? Or are they desires of the world?

Hope and Change:

  • Race baiting which incites hatred.
  • Creating a "war on women" inciting mistrust between the sexes.
  • Advocating abortion which is murder whether you face that fact or not!
  • Advocating same-sex marriage which is an affront to God's plan for man and woman.
  • Income redistribution. Stealing from the industrious to support those without initiative.
  • Support entitlement programs which use money intended for the truly poor, for those abusing the system.
  • Vote buying by give-away initiatives.
  • Encouraging immigration for those who will vote Democrat.
  • Ignoring the Constitution which was founded upon God's Natural Law (re-read Deuteronomy above)
  • Creating a wall between government and the people.
  • Abridging religious freedom and the freedom to speak that belief in public.
  • Careless use of the nation's income. Poor stewardship of what God provides.
  • A constant barrage of lies and spin to deceive the people!

Is this what you voted for? Christians, if you voted for this type of government you deserve what you get! If you have now reflected on your error and wish to make restitution to God, pray for forgiveness. You believed a lie! Now you are without excuse! Are you going to vote for evil again?

Reminder from Deuteronomy "the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?" Call on him before you vote... then, and only then, vote your conscience! If you just hate the word "Republican" because you've been deceived by your antecedents, then vote by NOT voting for Democrats. It's only one letter shy of the truth of what their leaders are: DemoN-rats

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Have It Your Way!

In 1974 Burger King came up with the jingle "Have it your way!"
Hold the pickles
Hold the lettuce
Special orders don't upset us
All we ask is that you let us
Serve you your way
Your way
Have it your way
Have your way at Burger King.
Nowadays that jingle applies to everything!
Hold the logic.
Hold the knowledge.
Special orders always upset me.
All I ask is that you let me
Be served my way
My way
Have it my way
Have it my way always!
God said this about that:
Mark 12:31b "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
The teaching here is that since we love ourselves, then we're to love others that much. People, rather than focusing on the others, dwell on loving themselves. They took the part about loving themselves seriously in contrast to neglecting the thoughts, actions and feelings of others!
Ephesians 5:29a "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it..."
 Loving ourselves is a given; a God given attribute which all men have. We are called to love others with that same passion, but "lovers of self" love the self so much that their is little love left for others! Some take a great gift of God and change it into a curse. For those multitudes of people "It's all about me!" Look at the jingle (the second one); many people behave that way!

They not only nourish and cherish themselves, but they adore themselves also!  People care little about imposing on others just so they can have it their way!

Who do many think of when they think on this? Others! That's a characteristic of people who must "have it my way"! It's never "me" who's at fault. This type of person enjoys a world where lions purr and bears cuddle. They blame everything on the predator bunny-rabbit who looks at them the wrong way.

We all know self-centered people. We try to avoid them because giving it to them "their way" interferes with "the right way". People choose to be around fair-minded, charitable, thoughtful and loving people. People who must have it their way hardly fits those positive attributes. On the contrary they are demanding, inconsiderate, boasters, prideful and unloving (except for themselves).

I had a boss who was that way. The world centered on him! We all had to stoop to his "master of all" self-image and patronize him, but in our hearts we despised his inconsiderate and demanding  behavior! When he failed to get his way he threw a tantrum. Most of the time people bent to his wishes, but if one failed to serve him, hell was the reward.

Rather than living with a devil of a boss I took a promotion to the hell city of Detroit. He was that bad! One year later he pushed too hard. His estranged wife, claiming that she thought it was a burglar, shot him dead! That's how much people loathe people whose focus is on the self and "having it my way"! .

Apparent Bodies

In his lecture on heaven Dr. David Jeremiah got me to thinking! Here are my thoughts:

"The Angel of the Lord" APPEARED on many different occasions before Jesus was ever born.

As written in The New Testament Joseph had a dream where he saw "the angel of the Lord". The other instance was after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus:
Matthew 28:2 "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it."
It's my contention that Jesus, or The Word, is "The Angel of the Lord". This agrees with many of our church father's, but modern commentary fails to see this! In Matthew it's clear to me that a transfigured Jesus merely stepped through the stone walls of the sepulchre, ascended to heaven then came down and rolled back his own gravestone, not so he could get out, but that others could see in! Later on Jesus just appeared in a locked room with the eleven disciples. The Resurrected Jesus was supernatural in that walls could not contain him, but natural in that he was real!
John 20:25 "The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he (Thomas) said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Thomas doubted, but eight days later, the doubt ceased:
 John 20:27 "Then saith he (Jesus) to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."
Jesus, after the Resurrection, could come and go as he pleased, not constrained by time nor walls. Although he traveled in the supernatural, his wounds showed him to be a natural man. We can expect, when we die, that we may be like Jesus. Perhaps not only will we have a real body, but that body will truly be free! However, we have to wait a time before we are rewarded. At The General Resurrection in God's time we will have incorruptible bodies  and be like Jesus, but what will we have in the interim?

I recently wrote of the true story of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man in hell saw Lazarus by Abraham's side in heaven! Abraham spoke to the rich man in hell although there was a chasm between the two. This shows that in both heaven and hell exist real people. Lazarus and Abraham were recognized in heaven and the rich man truly existed in hell. It would appear that things happen to everyone upon death! Nobody is exempt because there is life after death and death after death.

There are various thoughts on what hell is like. The rich man was there! (Some say he was only in Hades, but that's another issue). However, Abraham was in heaven (aka paradise) and Lazarus was with him. The rich man SAW both of them. It would appear that they both had a "cup" if you will. Something recognizable which contained their mind and soul. We know that it's not possible for man to be resurrected before Jesus died so that we might be. What, then, was the rich man seeing? An apparent body. A temporary container until the body is restored to it's place.

The first thought is "That cannot be!" Scripture never speaks of a temporary body or an apparent body. However, we know that The Word became flesh, but like Abraham and Lazarus, he was "seen" and touched before he was ever born. We know it was Jesus because he was not created, but was here from the beginning. He was transformed from "something" to a man who is God with flesh just like us! Let's go back to the best example from The Old Testament when Jesus was referred to as "the angel of God":
Genesis 32:24 "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

"Penial" means "face of God". It's defined right here as it's used! Jacob saw God face to face! However, no one has seen God!
John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son (Jesus), which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
Jesus who is by the side of God has declared God. His "declaration" is appearing to mankind! It's obvious from the time when Jacob saw God face to face, it was the pre-incarnate Jesus he was seeing. In fact "Jesus" or at least "God With us" (Emmanuel) was seen and spoke many times in The Old Testament before Jesus was ever born!  Being "The Word" whenever God spoke, it was the voice of Emmanuel who spoke!

Jacob not only saw Emmanuel "face to face". Emmanuel had a face just like ours because Jacob wrestled with "a man". Not only was he seen and appeared to be like a man, but he was really there. He wasn't just a spirit nor a vision. Jacob wrestled with him. Emmanuel was a real man! This man was Emmanuel just as Jesus was Emmanuel, but it wasn't the same body which Jesus had. Jesus' incarnate body is what made him God and man. He only became Jesus when he was born, but yet he physically existed before he was ever born!

Emmanuel appeared to Jacob as a man. Likewise, he did when he appeared in the fiery furnace with Shadrach and his brothers. However, to the Hebrews he appeared also as a burning bush, a cloud and as light. Emmanuel was able to have "apparent bodies". They were different "cups" he took on for different uses. I hesitate to call them bodies because they weren't of the flesh as we know flesh to be! Whatever they were, Jesus had temporary recognizable forms before he put on the flesh of mankind!

As Jesus was had temporary forms at different times for different reason, Lazarus and Abraham did too! Before Jesus was Resurrected Abraham and Lazarus, both of who were dead, were alive and could be seen and heard. God gave them an "apparent form" and it was one with hearing, speech and memory. Although their flesh was in the grave, they still existed in a temporary form, both of them were already in heaven.

My guess is that that "apparent body" is angelic in nature. They are creatures different from us, but they are able to take on different forms for God's use. Perhaps before our bodies are resurrected, we become angelic! Angels too could be seen, heard and spoken to.  That's the same form that Abraham and Lazarus had! We don't become angels, but before we become like Christ, perhaps for a spell we become like the angels.

After that temporary state, our bodies will be called up from the sea and from their graves and will rejoin our souls in the sky! What a glorious time that will be! We will become like Jesus. After leaving our temporary "apparent" bodies, our real flesh will be resurrected and made whole again with our unseen attributes. As Jesus was Resurrected, we too will be resurrected!

Free Stuff and Ignorance

I just read an essay by a fine Jewish man about why people vote the way they do. It's because of the "free stuff" that they get because they vote for a certain party and candidates. It's hard to beat "free stuff" and people like stuff they get fro "free". However, that's an outcome due to the ignorance of the people who vote for free stuff, and even more of a problem, people who vote for a party who know that free stuff sways the populace. Those in power are smart! They give away free stuff to keep themselves in  power.

One group of people, "the elite" use the ignorance of the masses to control. It's much as the giant corporation who gives out $500 at Christmas time, out of the goodness of their corporate hearts, and then take away $1000 a little at a time the rest of the year by higher health care sharing and the like. People are so ignorant that they are happy losing $500 for the year because they got the free stuff at Christmastime.

Another example are people who gamble. Some people have he money togamble and gambling is for entertainment. They don't need the money, but because they have the money, they have power. When the stakes get high, they stay in the game. On the other hand the desperate gambler stays in hoping to win until the stakes get high, and then must fold. Rather than understanding that he is a pawn in the hands of the powerful, the gambler looking for "free stuff", a large winnings, shoots himself in his own foot for little more than the opportunity to pay a "stupid tax".

The desperate gambler does win occasionally. He gets a thrill because he won! However, that thrill is short-lived because the winnings are immediately lost. On some occasions the gambler does go home with the winnings, but the next trip out loses it all! In the interim, the gambler brags of the large pot he won, neglecting the truth; that he is a loser! The winnings pale in comparison to all the losses to win one, then the winnings are lost again! The desperate gambler can hardly wait to pawn his car to give the powerful rich man more of his money! In effect, the desperate gambler is controlled by the powerful gambler, but is too ignorant to see that! He looks forward to someday winning big enough to quit, but that day never comes, because if he does get "free stuff: he wants even more!

Furthermore gambling is legally rigged! Those in power who recognize the stupidity of the ignorant, get to rig the outcome. The odds are set toward "the house". It has to be for them to remain profitable! You seldom see casinos close or the owners go home broke! Those exotic buildings are luxurious because the losers pay for them! They pay their "stupid tax" to make others rich and to build big buildings for others to enjoy!  I want to thank people for their ignorance. I've been to Las Vegas. I saw the beauty there without gambling. I got to enjoy truly free what others paid dearly for thinking that they would win "free stuff"!

The Democrat Party's appeal has always been, until the 1960s" to the "working man" and they still spew that malarkey. First off, they favor the "union man" and call other working men scabs! In fact anyone knows that the non-union person does work harder than the union because unions were formed for three reasons: better pay, better health-care and less work. By definition, the goal of unions is to get the union man "free stuff" at the expense of those other workers and businesses. However, since nothing is "free" all the "free stuff" is paid for by the consumer. My health care benefits, because I worked for a union company, came out of the pockets of poor people who bought cars that were overpriced because of "free stuff" given to the union.

One of my good friends who was a strong union man and also a union political appointee to a plush "management-type" position told me the truth. He said "I believe exactly as you do on everything, but vote Democrat because they support unions and I have to protect my high wage!" This is an ignorant statement and I told him so! I remarked to him that his high pay is on the backs of his children and grandchildren and that the corporate pie will be eaten because of him and people who think as he does. The pie was eaten and GMC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. GMC no longer exists and the corporate pie pays the new worker much much less now! He shot himself in the foot out of ignorance!

47% of the people now get free stuff. As a result of government regulation and unions (people looking for free stuff), manufacturing has fled to shores abroad, even to Canada and Mexico. The pie is much smaller now, but the number of people who want a piece of that pie has grown exponentially! That pie will someday implode on itself as GMC did! In fact it has already done so and the ignorant fail to realize that what we now enjoy is a gift of China. We live on borrowed money and it's from China. They are a patient enemy. They see no need to overwhelm us with their vast armies when they can do it without drawing blood in the global financial market. The free stuff these ignorant voters get is free stuff from China, but at great expense. People don't give out free stuff out of the goodness of their cunning hearts. It's for control. That "free stuff" people get costs trillions of dollars.

Our financiers ultimate goal is to control us and control our people, and rather than using bullets, fake dollars will do the trick. The real problem becomes those of America who are in power. They know, because they are brilliant (and you're ignorant) that they are part of that movement to control. As you lose power they gain! Obama is well aware that his policies undermine America because this fine nation has been used for international "free stuff". We are always there, and still are, to give to those nations wanting free stuff, although we pay for their free stuff with borrowed money. :Free stuff is really expensive especially when it's the government spending the money!

There's got to be a solution to the problem. Unfortunately, I already know the outcome: Greece fell, Egypt fell, Rome failed. All preceding civilizations failed because people were hedonistic. Their life became easy because they prospered, but after they prospered, things got bad. Some nations prospered because of God. When they abandoned God, God let them wallow in their own inequities. Israel and Judah went down the tubes! They continued to live as if they were rich when in fact they were living on borrowed time. That will happen to us as well! Unless...
Genesis 28:13-15 (ESV) "And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
That was the promise! God never breaks a covenant, but covenants are always of two parties. God's part was "I will not leave you until I have done what I've promised you." God promised that the seed of Abraham would spread across the world. He has fulfilled his promise. However, look at exhibit 2 of the evidence:
 Isaiah 26:21 (ESV) "For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain."
We are being punished. America is very much as were Sodom and Gomorrah before they were totally obliterated.  That can be us! One nuclear weapon can do that. There's got to be a remedy! Oh, what may it be?
2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
There is a solution, but we are heading the other way. We have yet to fall far enough yet. Maybe we never will turn. The solution is easy and fourfold: 1) humble ourselves, 2) pray, 3) seek God and 4) turn form our wickedness. Living for "free stuff" is wicked. It's actually stealing since nothing is free! "Free stuff" is just like Robin Hood: stealing from the rich to give to the poor, but it's not really that simple: It's stealing from the motivated to give to the complacent! It's not the Democrat lie of "the rich vs. the poor", but power grabbing on the backs of the gullible. Socialism uses the vulnerability of the ignorant to control. They give a piece of bread to keep the stomach form growling rather than providing ingredients to make the bread to stave off hunger. People go for the "free stuff", but their hunger is still there.

Those who depend on free stuff are just like the loser who gambles. They have a hope for better, but better is always "way over there". It's out of reach as long as the focus is on getting, not having. God can change that if people will turn to him rather than the Democrats and the government!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Time Not Finite for God

There is analytical evidence that time is relative. It's called Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. What Einstein discovered God made! There are four aspects of General Relativity, but for this discussion the last conclusion is the most pertinent: the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light, which complements the first aspect: clocks run slower in gravitational wells. In short, time is not finite; meaning it's not definite, but relative, hence the name of the theory.

What Einstein discovered is that time is "relative". Have we heard this before?
2 Peter 3:8 (ESV)  "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
God does not reinforce science, Einstein reinforced God! That's significant. It puts the power on the Creator, not on the creation.

When reading the above verse, this does not mean one day equals one-thousand years. It's an example presented for understanding that time is indeed relative.

Scientists have measured the movement of  cosmic bodies. Space debris (mass) is sucked into black holes. Those unseen massive bodies in space are so dense that light cannot escape because of the gravitational forces (another aspect of Relativity). The mass in space, if caught in the periphery of the black hole, are slung out into space faster than the speed of light. The movement of the mass from point A to point B, since the motion is faster than light, confounds time. Rather than billions of years to get from point A to Point B, it's instantaneous. The path traveled is called a "worm hole". The compression of time confirms "a thousand years is as one day"! the statement made in the Second Epistle of Peter and attributed to God.

We know that Jesus "just appeared" in different places in scripture. The most astounding is this magnificent entry:
John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Jesus defied empirical laws! He moved through mass as if it wasn't there and he didn't walk through the door. He appeared from nowhere and stood among the eleven! As he defied physical laws (Newton's First Law) he also defied time, traveling from Point A to Point B, instantaneously and apparently invisibly! Jesus (God Incarnate) turned minutes into instants of time. Peter said that God's time was not finite and Jesus proved it by his entry!

Scientists speak of billions of years for random chance to evolve into higher-level existence. My contention, based on God being infinite, is that it didn't take God billions of years to create, but with relativity, it took six days to create what seems like billions of years! Note that I said "seems". Billions of years of "work" were done in six days of God's time. It was still six days as measured by us, not billions of years, but God's work was super-efficient, defying time! As the mass example moves through the wormhole billions of miles in an instant , the universe moved through that same billions of years in an instant (six days to be precise!)

God made mature things. In our time frame, since time was compressed, it appeared to the"observer" that all things were created mature. For instance, Adam was not created an embryo and grew. He was created a mature man:
Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."
As Adam was created dust came from the ground and took form. All the processes of formation were done in an instant so slight that time was insignificant. As God made man a mature being, he also made a mature world and a mature cosmos. It was if it all happened in an instant (six) days, and it did!  It didn't take billions of years to create, but a billion years of creative work was done in six days. Please don't confuse this with evolution which proposes that from nothing to now took billions of years and "growth" toward maturity.

God may have initiated his six day creation with a "Big Bang", but the gestation period of his creation was six days, not billions of years! In fact the vast explosion of something from nothing, called "The God Particle"  actually supports God!  What we know exists now supports God. There are two areas of disagreement with science: 1) God compressed time and 2) He created mature attributes. Never has there ever been found a "missing link" because God created all as is! God never had the need to create a primate then turn him into man. An omnipotent God just created man and he even had a model!
Genesis 2:27a "So God created man in his own image..."
Do we look like God? Yes we do! We were created with a spirit which filled the soul "man became a living soul:" (Genesis 20:19). However, a soul is only part of the image of man. We have a mind and a body as well. Who did God pattern those after? Himself! He created "man in his own image"! What aspect of God has physical attributes? Our bodies and it's processor. It was Emmanuel (God With Us). God knew what Jesus would be and made Adam in the image of Jesus! That's the only way it could be.

My proposition is that science supports God's account of the creation, but scientists have misunderstood the findings because they fail to understand God! While they profess General Relativity and it's implication for time compression, they fail to see that God's creation was compressed in time. Mankind in 1964 discovered what God knew in the beginning. That's six-thousand years of ignorance which, if scientists had believed God's word, would have discovered long ago.

This lagging of science to scripture is not the first time! Columbus in 1492 A.D. discovered the Americas because he was convinced the earth is round in spite of all the scientists of his time. What did Columbus discover before he discovered America?
Isaiah 40:22a "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth..."
What is the earth? It is a solid projection of a fan of circles. Whichever way one goes the travel is a circle. God told Isaiah that around 740 B.C. Subtract that ((1402 (-)-740)) and we get 2142. Isaiah was told by God 2142 years before Columbus knew, that the earth is a sphere! There's quite a lag in time between truth and finding it! In scientists' time-frames they are trillions of years lagging (LOL)!

Remember three things: 1) God is all knowing, 2) God is all powerful and 3) science must take a backseat to God, not the other way around.
Isaiah 66:1a "Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool..."
Isaiah also knew the power of God. Scientists have yet to figure that one out. Maybe "The God Particle" will be one small step for mankind!

Confused Doctrine

Some "denominations" deny being denominations. They fool only themselves!  Juliet said in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet..." In reference to these churches in could be said "What's in a name? That which we call a denomination, by any other name is still a denomination!"

A"denomination" is a mere religious group! It's not cancer or an heresy! The "Church at Ephesus" was a denomination as were the other early churches. Each of them did the best they could to teach the doctrine of Christ!   People group together according to their own interpretation of scripture. That grouping is because of doctrine. Neither is "doctrine" a contagion. It's merely "a belief system" and believing isn't sinful. It's a requirement for salvation! Those who have a strong belief in what scripture means are highly denominational, or "dogmatic". Of all the churches the most dogmatic are those which claim to be the "only church"! Their doctrine damns all those who don't follow their doctrine and go to their church. Whereas, Jesus taught grace and provided grace, dogmatic churches have little. In their eyes only they are right and all others are wrong! They are proud churches and the most prideful attend those.

Why do people separate in groups to worship? It's because they have the same understanding of God's word!  That's not evil.  Churches which lie to themselves that they are without doctrine and are not denominations,are the most doctrinal and denominational of them all! They refuse to worship with other Christians because they don't see eye to eye on the meaning of scripture! Whereas, Paul teaches unity, it is unity in Christ, not man.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV) "I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment."
So called non-denominational denominations are totally divided from the universal church! Whereas, most church people seem to think heaven will be cellular with each denomination clustered in their own enclave, and that's wrong too, dogmatic churches believe that heaven will be without those others who humbly follow the teachings of Christ. Paul asked that we Christians all follow Christ here on earth. After all,  we will be worshiping together in heaven! We don't want to be out of our comfort zone do we?

Early church father's came together and developed "creeds".  Creeds are the statement of beliefs which Christians agree upon and is their understanding of scripture. Creeds are an attempt to understand what Christ taught and write down those understandings. Because a church hasn't formalized their creed, doesn't mean they don't have creeds! Such "creeds" are as follows:

  • Worship can only be as it was in New Testament times.
  • Instruments don't belong in worship.
  • Salvation is a process finalized by baptism .
  • Baptism is a requirement for salvation (sacrament).
  • Baptism must be by immersion.
  • Churches can't be a denomination.
  • Only members of their church are truly saved.
  • Others outside this church shall be shunned.
  • Denominations are judged as sinful heretical acts.
  • and so forth!

These "beliefs" believed by these groups (denominations) are "creeds" and are part of their own "doctrine". They are in denial! This is heretical on their part because scripture says:
Acts 2:21 "And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
It doesn't say that worship must be copied off those groups of times of old, worship which even differed from city to city. It says nothing about being baptized a certain way or even to be baptized for that matter! It says nothing about shunning other believers, singing without instruments, belonging or not belonging to an organized group or any of those things. These "dogmas" are much like the Pharisees. This DENOMINATION has taken "Laws" and made them requirements for salvation.

These groups believe that their understanding is the only valid understanding. By this the implication is that they are the only group (denomination) of people to whom God speaks. That's pride!  The "creed" of those groups is "It's our way or the hell way!" Therein lies no grace. Their hearts are deceived.

Creeds are important! Denominations are the outcome of creeds. As I grew up I had no idea what a General Baptist Church was. I'd never even heard of them!  As I studied scripture I discerned. I believed that God led me to believe the truths of scripture. Being only human, I know that I do have errors in my belief because only God is perfect. Therefore, out of humility I allow that others may be correct in some areas and me wrong, although I cling to my beliefs, unless proven wrong. My beliefs are The Doctrine of Larry Herrin. When I write down what I believe (as I'm doing here), that is The Creed of Larry Herrin.

To be in unity (what Paul says to do) I want to worship with those who understand truth. I believe my understanding is truth or I wouldn't believe it!  There is no group (denomination) called "The Church of the Larry Herrins"; aka Herrinites) so I select a church whose doctrines (written down as creeds) harmonize with The Creed of Larry Herrin". I've attended several groups (denominations) which come close and they are truly Christian, but the General Baptist Church and I are in 95% harmony with our doctrine and creeds. With the other 5% I can be in error or they can be! However, it's likely that both the General Baptist Church and I have greater degrees of misunderstanding than that, but on "crucial points" I believe we are in agreement with scripture!

"Crucial points" are those doctrines regarding the concepts of heaven and hell, good and evil, the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, sorrow, repentance, acceptance, grace and the resurrection. As a group we differ with groups who call themselves "non-denominational" because we do not accept baptism as a sacrament (saving) because scripture tells us that faith is a gift and salvation is not of our own works.

To remain doctrinaire (true to scripture) most churches don't accept the idea that only immersion can save! That's outside scripture and falls into "salvation by works" for which Jesus chastised the Pharisees. This is an important distinction between "them" and "us". That's our understanding of scripture and they have theirs. However, we are humble enough that we say "So they believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. That doesn't diminish those who're truly saved. It just adds a burden to their salvation. We can agree to disagree!"  However, they aren't nearly that merciful because many of those damn us because we go to a church with a "name" they don't understand!

As a group (denomination) we do baptize by immersion. It's not a sacrament, but an ordinance; a direction toward a proper testimony. Hence, baptism isn't a requirement for salvation, but a testimony that we are saved! Either way, by both groups, the final result is salvation, so what's to argue about? That's where Paul's teaching on unity is important!

Sometimes we have groups who don't believe the "crucial points" of scripture as enumerated before. If a denomination believes that salvation is by any other way than by Jesus, we are not to commune with them. If churches don't accept scripture as divinely inspired, they are not part of the universal church. If groups don't believe in the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, they are heretical. If groups don't believe in the Resurrection, they too are heretical. All these beliefs are "Christian Doctrine" and it's important! To neglect the importance of having written creeds endangers true Christianity and leads to heresy. That's why creeds were written by the apostles and the early church; because heresy had already begin to slip in to the different churches! Whereas some churches believe that creeds lead to heresy, heresy was indeed prevented by creeds!

Those churches without what they consider "denominational identifications" say that Methodists follow John Wesley, or that Presbyterians follow John Calvin, or that Baptist follow John the Baptist! We are no more followers of our group leaders than are "non-denominational" groups are of their leaders: Alexander Campbell or Barton Stone! Indeed they are more followers of those men than we are of ours, and their denomination is historically and rightfully called Campbellites.

I truly admire those churches of the restoration (Campbellites) desiring to worship as they did in New Testament times. That's a noble gesture, but doesn't fit into the concept of "salvation by grace". They destroyed other churches with their dogmatism. It's not HOW one does things, but did one ACCEPT God's grace! They are condemned by the confines of ritual and miss the freedom which love provides! My point is that it's entirely okay to have proper ritual, but proper ritual doesn't make a group more holy than another. If so, the Catholic Church would dwarf us all in holiness!

In spite of my argument, we must take precautions to stay beyond the communion of those groups who are heretical. If a denomination practices heresy (whether part of their creed or not), then we are to remain out of fellowship with them for by doing so, we validate their heresy. Heresies are beliefs not accepted by the early Pauline church as truth. The "Apostles' Creed" is the statement of doctrine from those closest to Jesus Christ:

Here the Apostle's Creed in Latin:
"Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad ínferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen."
Admittedly, most of us don't understand Latin, so we have to use one of the several translations.  I'll suggest one by the Church of England from which most evangelical "denominations" descend:

I believe in God the Father Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried,
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead,
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy Catholick Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting.
With the exception of "He descended into hell" this creed is agreed upon by the majority of Christians since the time of the Apostles. This creed was written to ward off an early heresy called gnosticism. Without this creed unifying the universal church of Christ, we would be non-existent today. This creed kept Christianity from being destroyed by false teachers and prophets! As Philip explained to the eunuch what scripture meant, creeds do the same to the church.

There is one warning: Don't be frightened by "The Holy Catholick Church"! That is merely a translation for "universal church" to which all Christians belong. It is NOT the Roman Catholic Denomination!

By the way we don't in our church really need this creed because that's what we understand from scripture anyhow, but without this creed, we would never have had the liberty of believing what we believe!

If I offended any Christians of other persuasions, that's not my intent. I am merely clarifying "doctrine" of which there are many. Please allow that just maybe we are Christians too and I will do the same! Furthermore, there are many independent churches who are less dogmatic than the extreme. Out of love we also need to allow others to interpret scripture without being so judgmental of their discernment! After all, some won't agree, but if anyone accepts that Jesus shed his blood in place of ours, hello fellow-Christian!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Loss-Your Gain

Matthew 17:24 (ESV) "When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
Jesus paid his temple tax and the tax of others! That shekel had great value. He didn't have to, but he chose to. This tax was for the temple. Jesus and the disciples were sons of that king. Peter rightfully said that kings don't tax their own, but others!  However, Jesus said "let's pay anyhow" and he did! A man without money to be taxed paid the tax anyway! How? God provided it. The coin for the tax was found in the mouth of a fish! Jesus showed faith in God to provide and provide God did! People learned from that and still do.

Was it coincidence that the "first fish that comes up" just happened to have a coin in it? Not so! God had a plan. He knew the hearts of the people and the scenario before it ever happened! That coin was placed there by God so that Jesus could make a point. Did God create that coin right there out of thin air or did someone conveniently lose the coin so that Jesus could use it as an example?

First off, God is the Creator. He could have created a coin right there on the spot. He could have created a worn corn with a date on it and with corrosion. However, we know from scripture many places that God didn't use magic to do his bidding, but his own creation. He allowed someone to lose that coin at sometime before. That coin may have been lost a hundred years before because God wanted to use that man's money for a purpose!

The temple treasury gained because someone lost a coin. What's more, even,  today people use this example to see the divinity of Jesus! Souls are saved in this 21st century because someone before the time of Christ lost a coin. That coin may have been the person's last money. Added to the chance that a person conveniently lost a coin, a fish conveniently gobbled it up! God plans well ahead!

Imagine how a poor man who lost that coin may have felt. If it was his last, he may have not eaten that day or week. I've lost money before. I relived the loss for quite some time. My Mom relived the loss of one-hundred dollars for years because when she lost it, it was really needed. It's likely that someone found mom's one-hundred dollars and it was used for a purpose; maybe a good cause and hopefully not a bad cause!

Losses are not always monetary. Sometimes we lose "things". I'm good at losing stuff. I left behind $20,000 worth of fountain pens and somebody in fact did find them. It was a sad loss for me. To this day I recall "only if I had done things differently!". I have the loss and I can't do it over. It hurt!

Loss of relationships hurt worse than the pecuniary!  Most of us have lost friends; people who no longer are in our realm of friendship. Sometimes we lose family members to outside influences. My loss (and yours) may be for gain. I don't know how, but God allows things to happen for divine good!

On the other hand, Satan slips in too! In the case of my loss of pens, someone else gained. It was illicit gain and will be enjoyed for a short time. My hope is that the thief who failed to return my pens will sometimes feel guilty and call on the Lord for forgiveness. My loss will be his gain!  However, if the man feels no remorse my loss will be his loss for Satan usurped and opportunity and used it for his own wiles.

I like to think that divine good came from my loss. My prayer right now is that the man with my pens feels guilty and seeks relief from God! That may be God's plan! With that in mind my loss isn't quite so bad because good may become of it, just as the lost coin centuries ago changed things which effect us today!

I lost a phone yesterday. It can be replaced. I learned a lesson. I will be more aware and cautious in the future, not only with my phone, but with other things. When I say things to those I love I will be more cautious.. When I do things I will be more aware of consequences. My own loss may be my own gain! If someone finds that phone I will probably never know (just like the man who lost that old coin). However, maybe it will come to good use. Perhaps it's lost to the ages! If so, I needed the loss for a reason and my loss is my gain.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Where Does Your Hope Lie? On Psychology?

I was at the end of my rope!  I was a young parent faced with a problem which I believed that I was unable to handle. That is part of child rearing, and unfortunately, with the first child it's a practice session. I turned the health of my son over to psychologists. It seemed to help and for a time I was elated! I became an enthused proponent of what I later found out was "Family Systems Therapy". This one was based on Ten of the Twelve Steps to Sobriety developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. At my young age the depth of my theology was "If it used God's name, it's Christian!" These steps were called "spiritual principles" by their proponents.

"Spiritual principles" can mean anything! They are of the same vein as the person who says "I'm spiritual, but not religious!" What in the world is that supposed to mean? Is the person possessed?

We are to be very careful what "isms' we, as Christians, accept because most of them run counter to scripture. I might add that many "isms' are "ism-less". They are called so without calling themselves that! "Ism" refers to an ideology, which in turn are belief systems. Those most familiar are communism, socialism and fascism. Psychology has no "ism" assigned to it of which I'm aware, but most branches of psychology do: humanism, behaviorism, Jungianism, etc.

After my son changed his behavior, I was sold!  Although I has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree, I enrolled as a graduate student majoring in psychology. After a few semesters, because of the practicality of it, I changed my major to "Family Counseling". This coincided with the therapy my son had. It really seemed to coincide with my interests and that was my major until all the course requirements were met.

There was one "problem" with my education. God led me to read my Bible cover to cover for the first time. His timing was perfect. My Bible study was in synchroneity with the psychology curriculum, but certainly was not harmonious. Each psychology "ism" was at odds with scripture. (Detail at a later time). My reading scripture at that time was no accident. It was me being reproved by God!

Miriam-Webster calls psychology "the science of mind and behavior". This is an erroneous. The Latin definition is the combination of two words: "the study (ology) of the soul (psyche). This is the definition which I was taught in my course material! Since the soul is the person's "spiritual" aspect, it should be obvious that psychology is "religion", not a "science", but is an attempt to apply science to a religion to legitimatize the non-religiosity its adherents claim for it. What is religion, then? It's belief(s) in god(s), who is/are a spiritual being(s).  Christianity is the belief in God, but other religions have beliefs in gods.

Psychology was institutionalized by legitimizing it's precepts. Much of psychology is founded on several of the eastern religions which are offshoots of  Vaishnavism. There's that "ism" popping up again! In this case the worship of Vishna, the Supreme God of Hinduism. Yes, what I'm saying is that Hinduism has severely impacted psychology. If one studies Jungian (or Analytical)  Psycholgy, for instance, they will find it steeped in several of these eastern religions. Other branches have less influence, but they are full of non-Christian religious ideas!

Miriam-Webster's definition of psychology calls it a "science", that being "a study of the natural world based on facts"! Psychological experiment is always based on a hypotheses. It is never proven. It just fails to be disproven. That's a precept upon which the hypothesis is investigated. Since the hypothesis is never proven, it's not factual. Hence, psychology is not a "science"!

In an attempt to make the hypothesis "sound" scientific, it is made testable. The standard method is to operationalize the test. A test of "anger" for instance would require that "degrees of anger" be assigned. Let's say no anger=0 and crazy anger=10. That's how it's done, but the subjective part of that is how the "anger degree" is assigned. The onlooker can be misled and self-reports are unreliable. Hence, the methodology skews the results because of bias.The "scientist" who runs the experiment may also have "desired outcomes". The research is skewed to obtain wanted results. For instance the issue of "inborn homosexuality" is skewed by the researchers who are either themselves homosexual or are predisposed toward exonerating that deviation.

Furthermore, psychologists have said that it has never been proven that any person improved with counseling any more than without it! That's a profound admission which is totally ignored by everyone. It is a fair assessment, but surely moves the patient away from "science" into the realm of religion; "faith". People have faith that psychology works and sometimes it does because faith does provide comfort. However, faith is of the spirit, thus re-enforcing my contention that psychology is another religion!

When this idea first struck me, I said to Dr. Fong at Western Kentucky University, "I believe that psychology is a religion!" She responded "Are you just now finding that out?" It seems as if those "scientists" know that, but the patients don't! A "science" which claims honesty and transparency does a poor job of being honest and transparent!

By the time I finished the curriculum, discernment actually made me feel foolish that I had accepted a "false religion" for awhile; until God set me straight! However, even the most convinced Christian will look at me as if I'm a fool if I even mention that! All anyone has to do is read the original publications of all the various theorists and it's all there! God always moves me into doing things and being places to reprove me. God encouraged me to major in psychology so that I would teach the truth about it!

At the end of my classroom work, I switched my major and graduated with a Master of Arts in Education, a rather benign profession other than it's saturated with psychological requirements. What this means is that modern teachers who're required to be trained in psychology use a new religion on your children. The results of that religion are plain to see with a generation of messed up children.

If I had read one verse and took it to heart I could have saved much time!
1 Timothy 6:20 (ESV) "O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith."
I swerved and I swerved big time! There is no hope in what's false and here I was in the midst of dishonesty and opaqueness, since some truth was often merely skewed. People who teach "false knowledge" are "false teachers and apostles":
2 Peter 2:1 "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction."
The "Master" is denied in psychology. They worship an unnamed God, but that God is any god, but Jesus! Most of psychology is anti-Christian! Their gods are "Reason", "Self", "Lust", "Gratification", "Lies", and "Deception". Of all their gods Deception is the worst. People believe that they are getting better, but there is one thing the religion of psychology does not have: that's eternal hope and those who think that temporal hope will satisfy are being "Deceived". Deception is of whom?
John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Satan uses deception. Many good people are psychologists. However, they unwittingly teach, if they ascribe to what they've been taught, a lie of Satan. God brought me to the knowledge of that! I shall stilll counsel, but it is biblical counseling. It's "nouthetic counseling". In other words I counsel using the word of God (scripture).
Galatians 6 :1 (ESV) Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted."
That, in a nutshell, is the principle of "Nouethetic Counseling".

A sinless creature is a happy creature! A person without a reason for guilt isn't guilty! A person forgiven has a reason to be joyful!  Lack of hope is the ultimate reason for depression, but there is hope in Jesus for he offers an eternal joyful life!

I'm freed from my false religion, but I never gave up Christianity. I merely placed another god "before" God (in addition to). That's mankind's sin and that's what I did. I sought forgiveness, got it and now teach against "hope in psychology".

Dr. Fong also said "Our job isn't to teach, but to remold!" The "remolding" is taking a New Person in Christ and changing that person back to the Old Person who was before! I commented to Dr. Fong "You mean you're all trying to brainwash us?' She just smiled.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Losers Made Into Winners

Movies with the most intrigue often have a some type of loser who makes it good! We all like success stories!

With music, the same applies. I remember when a nondescript woman appeared on the television show in 2009 called Britain's Got Talent. People looked at her in awe. She was the epitome of a "loser" because her appearance presented a picture of what losers often look like! However, when Susan belted out her song I Dreamed a Dream she received a standing ovation! Tears came to my eyes because I judged her by appearance. She looked like a loser, but now she's a huge success! That makes a good story and it's true. It's a "feel good" ending!

"Losers" are people who don't fit the mold. I'm not speaking of those in poverty or alone, but people who just don't fit in. Oftentimes, although they try hard, they fail. Others may be prestigious and/or wealthy, but do things which are awful. It appears that when no one else can use "losers", God takes them and makes them "winners"!

Before we move onto my biblical point, I'll speak of myself. I believe that I have been a success. I have bachelor and graduate degrees, was a mid-level manager and engineer in General Motors and could have advanced higher. I turned down eleven promotions. I never had to "have" the prestige of superintendent because I turned those positions down! I refused to relocate my family again  just for promotional opportunities.

I wasn't always a success. My family on both sides came from generations of poverty as far back as the 1700s and before. There were no Herrins nor van Hook's of note in my direct line. Because we lived in little backward Shopville, Kentucky where my dad worked for $1 a day at times, my destiny was to be a sharecropper. Dad received a job at General Motors and we moved to Indiana. I have dated our furniture, appliances, etc. which we had when we moved to little Hazelwood, Indiana; barely on the map! We were living for many purposes in the 1865-1890 time period... and we weren't antique collectors. We were poor and that was how we lived!

In much of my career at different GMC plants and Headquarters I spoke often at meetings. Many of the times I had vice-presidents in attendance during my presentations. Little did they know that they were listening to a Kentucky hillbilly who was presenting processing and design methods for Corvettes! If they knew from whence I came my credibility would have been ridiculed!

I recently met Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell's successful wife. She came to America from South Korea several years ago in the hold of a cargo ship. She couldn't even speak English! Now she has a doctorate, has been Secretary of Labor and on many prestigious boards and committees. Ms. Chao is a success, but at one time society pegged her a "loser". I really admire her!

Let's take a  look at one of many instances where God picked "losers" as "willing workers". Those losers are remembered and famous even now after two-thousand years!
Luke 5:4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! ... when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him."
Jesus approached poor fisherman. He didn't look for fisherman whose keels were filled with fish. He looked for "losers'; those who came back from a day of toil empty handed. Imagine, if you will, how discouraged Peter, James and John were when Jesus walked up!  They were failures and knew that they had failed. How were they to provide for their themselves or their families? They worked hard, but had nothing to show for it! They were stereotypical "losers" and were likely teased by those who had a good catch  that day!

Have you thought of something? It was God's will that they work hard and come back empty handed. They were ready to listen, learn and succeed!

If Jesus had been out that day looking for "winners" he would have chosen men whose nets were full. Surely "good" fishermen would make good apostles! That's why Peter, James and John left everything! Jesus chose them, not to fish for fish, but to be fishers of men! It's these three along with nine others who forsook all because Jesus "sold them"!  Jesus was such a tremendous figure that for these three, there was no doubt that Jesus was their hope and strength! Jesus chose men who were "losers" at fishing to be "winners" at fishing for men!

It was because of their despair that they were ready to follow! A rich fisherman would not have left everything to follow a "poor carpenter" who the prideful ridiculed as Joseph's son. Yes, the world considered Jesus a "loser", chiding him as "King of the Jews" in ridicule as he died on the cross. However, little did they know that they just killed divine royalty although this King lived as a servant!

Christianity came about because of a "loser" who was God and "losers" who were desperate enough to look to a carpenter for their hope!  I'm a "loser" too! I was born that way. My family had been losers for generations, but one thing I've found: all my known Herrin and van Hook ancestors were strong Christians. Wherever they migrated one only had to check the church rolls to find the records of their existence! They were faithful Christians and on a spiritual scale, my ancestors were royalty. They were of the "Royal Priesthood" to which all believers belong!

I'm a success even if I had failed! Thanks to my dad and mom God picked me, the "loser" to be part of this "Royal Priesthood" just as he did the "losers" Peter, James and John!  I will never be remembered as they are, but thanks to God, billions of people have followed that "loser" carpenter, who served mankind, due to a large part to three men who were failed fisherman!

Jesus could have come as a king riding a white stallion. He could have ran the Romans back to Rome and ruled the country. Satan even said that he could make that happen; even rule the world. Little did Satan understand that Jesus was already King and the earth is his mere footstool!

God's plan was for Jesus to serve man so that our desire would be to serve him! Serving is loving. That's how Jesus loved. He served mere bread and common bitter wine, not the fattest calf and the finest wine! That bread and wine he served was himself! It was his body and blood which he served to God because what we served wasn't good enough. Jesus served himself to God. He "lost" himself that we may be found! Yes, King Jesus was what the world considered a "loser" as were the apostles. Today they are all kings where they are! Such a positive success story with hope. They ought to write a book about it! Perhaps some would read it.

Oh, for any success that I've had in life; any was given to me by God because on my own I would have been a loser. But the best success that I've had in life is planning for my death. It only required a pragmatic decision: to believe that without God, my eternal destiny is "loser" because losers choose eternal damnation.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Divorce Can Cause Heads to Roll

There are no loopholes! They're just not there! Yes, people can divorce for adultery, but even at that, if they remarry, they not only sin, but cause the new spouse to sin also. However, there is grace on God's part. With repentance God "forgets" all our sins of which we sincerely repented.

People need to be really careful! It's not sincere repentance when people say "Lord, forgive me for what I'm about to do!" Planning to engage in sin with the thought "I'll repent of it later!" is hardly a candidate for forgiveness.

I've written before about the sanctity of marriage. It's ordained by God, and incidentally people, same-sex marriage is not! Jesus likened his own relationship to the church as reminiscent of a holy marriage. However, there is more to divorce than breaking a vowel. I always say "When people get married world's collide!" Even worse is "When people divorce consequences are forever!" Marriage is serious business and divorce is the catastrophic business.
Mark 6:17 (ESV) "For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias's daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison 28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb."

This dancer is Salome. Imagine if you will the sexiest of the "Dancing with the Stars" and think of her. However, I don't believe any of those dancers are as treacherous as Salome, but the biblical Jezebel was just like Salome. No, Salome isn't mentioned in these passages, but she was the step-daughter of Herod, called Herod Antipas (King Herod) whose brother was Philip the Tetrarch . Philip and Herodias were the parents of Salome.

As you can see, the Hebrew law would not allow divorce. Herod stole Philip's wife and even adopted his brother's daughter. John the Baptist chastised King Herod for breaking the law because (Herod) committed adultery. Not only was it "his brother's wife", but it was "his biological brother's wife", a more extreme violation of the law.

In biblical law, a husband has the right to divorce his wife but a wife cannot initiate a divorce. Herodias did just that, apparently at Herod's request. The Sanhedrin was the Jewish Law at the time of Jesus.
 Jewish Oral Law added in Sanhedrin (22a), “Even [G-d] shares tears when anyone divorces his wife.” (Issues in Jewish Ethics: Divorce)
Thus the wrong of divorce was compounded in this situation. (As a side note, Jewish Law did allow divorce, but as a last resort). Hence, Herod and Herodias were living in sin and John the Baptist judged them correctly. (Please think forward to the modern Herodias's who say "don't judge me" as a paraphrase for "judge not lest ye be judged").  Herod took umbrage at the callousness of John rebuking the king, no less! Herod took the blame from John, but the independent minded Herodias, a typical feminist of her day, just could not handle criticism.

Herod enjoyed the heat of the dance performed by his own step-daughter. He was so enthralled with the sexuality of the dance (we learn for other sources) that he promised her whatever she asked, even half his kingdom! Salome,at the advice of her mother, elected revenge over riches. It was John's head on a platter that she wanted because that is what pleased her mother! It would appear that Herod had a problem with incestuous lust and Herodias had a problem with anger, hate and revenge.

Because of Herod's sin and Herodias's divorce, John the Baptist was beheaded. Yes, there are consequences to divorce. A righteous man died that others could have immediate gratification! Is it no wonder that Jesus closed all loop holes on divorce except for infidelity? His cousin and disciple was martyred because of a divorce and a sensual performance.

Let's look at further consequences of divorce:
  • Salome died when falling in an ice filled pool or river in route to exile in Spain. The crust of ice decapitated her just as John was beheaded!
  • Emperor Caligula had King Herod killed in exile because of political intrigue. (Historian  Cassius Dio)
  • Herodias was exiled with Herod and Salome and died likely in Spain.
There are consequences to divorce. Herod, Herodias and Salome faced total isolation from what they had been accustomed. Herod and Salome died awful deaths, and according to Josephus, Salome died the same way that John did. We are revisited by our sins:
Galatians 6:7 (ESV) "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap."
Who would have ever thought that the most powerful man in all Judea would be cast aside and killed? Who would have thought a beautiful lascivious dancer would suffer an icy bloody death? Who would have thought that a conniving queen would pay dearly with an austere life thereafter? Surely none of them!

Likewise, who would think that divorce can lead  to dysfunctional children, bankruptcy, depression, broken families, a lifetime of resentment, a division in the grandchildren, spiritual guilt, and if not repented; isolation from God and for those who are not forgiven, eternal death? Herod never looked at the consequences. Maybe he should have! Let's not make the same mistakes.