“When religion becomes nothing more than a bunch of rules it makes God want to puke.”~janitor

There seems to be a lot of confusion amongst the religions of the world.  As best I understand it, God is not a god of confusion.  There are other gods of confusion, but there is only one true God with a capital “G” and He is not confused nor does He create confusion.  These comments on confusion are not directed at a specific religion.  They are pointed at any religion you choose.  The confusion exists in all.

It seems to me the confusion starts in the heart of man and plays out amongst the heart of God’s people.  Within the heart of natural man is a built-in desire for self worth, power and influence.  It is difficult to naturally remove one’s focus on self and place the focus on Jesus.  The process requires direct intervention by Jesus and a willingness for man to submit to the authority of God. This process of submission is required of God regardless of the “position or rank” one holds in the local church. 

Considering submission is required of all, it would seem given that men of the cloth would naturally be submissive to the Father.  Sadly, it doesn’t happen like that.  Some do.  Some don’t.  Some have submitted at one time, only to allow pride and desire for power, prestige, self worth or whatever to begin controlling of their life once again.  The submission to Christ’s authority in one’s life is a daily task.

A sure sign of a submission problem amongst God’s people is when a person elevates themselves above another and speaks for God.  Some things said that might be a warning sign for you will go like this…. 

  • “I need you to do this for God.” 
  • “In Jesus name, I believe this is what you need to do.”
  • “God forgives you and so do I.”
  • “God will never do this or that.”
  • “God told me you should do this or that.”
  • “If you don’t do this you are being disobedient to God.”
  • “God says to care for the poor.  You need to go to Timbuktoo.”
  • “You need to grow in the spirit.  Let me show you how to perform miracles.”
  • “Here eat this bread and drink this cup.  It will wash away your sins.”
  • “You need to give at least 10% of your income to be a church member in good standing”
  • “If you give, you are guaranteed 100 times more in return.”

The list goes on.  When religion becomes nothing more than a bunch of rules it makes God want to puke.  The creation of rules is a natural process of man taking control from God in an attempt to gain power, money and control over God’s people.

Anytime, anyone tells you what God will or will not do or allow to happen, you should have warning bells go off in your head.  The person may be right, but the person is setting themselves up for failure when they attempt to speak for God.  I don’t think anyone has the ability to dictate the terms of God’s activity.  We are much too limited in wisdom, knowledge and understanding to be successful at predicting the actions of God.  There is but one truth.  It is the Word of God.  

If you find yourself in a religion with elevated people controlling your life, you need to run away from it and them as far as you can go.  Run straight to Jesus.  He has His arms open wide.  In Jesus, you will find a place of love and forgiveness.  You will enjoy the life God intended.<

Oh and did I mention, we are all Priests? It seems to me, a priest answers to Jesus….  When Jesus served the people he did not elevate himself.  He positioned Himself at the people's level.  The Word says it this way…

“It happened in these days, that he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. When it was day, he called his disciples, and from them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he also named Peter; Andrew, his brother; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor. 

He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; as well as those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and they were being healed. All the multitude sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.”~Dr. Luke

Even as the Son of God, Jesus did not elevate Himself over the people. He came down to a level place. 

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Life’s experience I recall…

excerpt from “Plain View” by Ichabod

‘Years ago when I was in my late teens, I had a vision or dream.

There was a glow beyond the crest of a mountain. Climbing toward the
summit, the light gained in intensity. It was not a normal light, as
compared to sunlight or a light bulb. This “light” was different.
As I approached the peak and about to view the source of light, I
realized I would see my Creator or in essence, God’s face.

The purity was intense.

I did not have the courage within me to look.

As I tumbled back down the mountain, running away from the light,
which was not threatening other than my awareness of what I knew it to
be, I realized I was not in the land of consciousness.

I tried to wake and could not.

I forced my eyelids open with my fingers to view the familiar and escape.

My chest was heaving like it never heaved before or since, my heart
pounding past the point of dangerous. I forced my mind to concentrate
on slowing my heart down. I felt terror and was soaked in a cold
sweat. This all happened in a matter of minutes.

I continued with life. I performed that which we consider good and
evil on this world, living as if there was no consequence.

The vision or dream may have been born from a physical cause, yet
there is something so real about it, not like any other dream or
nightmare I have had before or since.

I realized my true nature and it was wanting.

Not where it should be.

The realization and experience of true humility. I was not worthy in
my own eyes.

I think upon the dialog Pain and I are having regarding the Pastor
who committed suicide and the questions the Pastor’s suicide spawned.

It brought me back to that time so many years ago and I now wonder……”

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This may be the most important blog I have ever posted. What will you do with it?

How long does it take to write a blog post? After writing about a thousand. I don’t know. Sometimes the thoughts just kinda ripen with age. Other times they pop out of the microwave. This post is one that has been ripening with age. I’m not even sure what to write….

A few weeks back, a friend named Mike came in my tiny janitor’s office and began sharing about God’s love. It was one of several times our paths have intersected and we have talked about God’s love. I appreciate his passion. It’s not difficult for you that know Mike to figure out who I am talking about, when you put the word Mike and passion together. They fit.

Keep love in the forefront of your mind, but for a minute ask yourself the question: “Why love?” Consider from the beginning of time and before there was mankind. God was God and He likely did a pretty good job of being God. What was He thinking when he created you and me? For what purpose was the idea of mankind birthed?

The answer comes to me in a struggle. I have become aware that I do not know how to adequately express my appreciation for who and what God is. I believe my praise of God is inadequate. I want to tell God thank you for all His creations, but it doesn’t seem like that is enough. My inadequate expression of praise for the creator brought me back to my friends passion for God’s love.

I believe in a very limited way of understanding the makeup of God, that in the beginning of time and before mankind, God must have been bursting at the seams with love. He was like a balloon totally filled with love and stretched to the max. Love was the most important part of who He was. It was the essence of His being. He was bursting with Love and so passionately wanted to share in His experience. Even the rocks would cry out, but that wasn’t enough. It was time to give birth.

It was time for God to create mankind in His image. How else would His creation be able to experience the Love He so desperately wanted to share? Do you get it? God had this incredible thing called Love that He wants you to experience! It likely was the very reason you were created.

There is nothing more important in life than Love! Think on it. Dwell on it. Don’t just flippantly click to the next blog. You for a moment have been brought to a place at the feet of God and have been offered the opportunity to experience God’s greatest gift, Love. What will you do with it?

For me, Love answers a question. I now know the missing component to my praise of the Holy Father. Love.

surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…