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Culture and Religion

The Bible isn’t about you

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The Bible isnt about you

I often find inspiration for writing on Twitter. I came across this tweet by Allie Stuckey, and found that the truth of what she spoke needed greater expounding. There are many ways to read the Bible. Some people read it sarcastically. They seek to disprove or find fault. Some people read it for perspective. They just want to see what it says, for comparative reasons. It almost goes without saying, that people read God’s word in order to fit their own narrative. It’s most often for political or self promoting reasons. And then there are those who read the bible to seek truth and understanding. These people have the best of intentions. However Allie Stuckey correctly points out two schools of thought within this broad category.

Motivational Quotes

One can read the Bible for themselves. What exactly does that look like? Allow me to provide a stereotypical example:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NASB

This verse is taken out of context for self empowerment everywhere. But if asked to explain the context of this verse, how many could fully articulate the verse they flaunt on their Twitter and Instagram bios.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. in my affliction.

Philippians 4:10-14 NASB

This is a very empowering passage, but the hyper-focus on verse 13 takes away from the previous climax in verse 11. This passage is about being happy in times of suffering, living with joy in all circumstances because of the transforming power of Jesus. This isn’t about your workout grind.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

This is another verse often read with one thinking of themselves and not God. The context of this verse is almost sad. The only thing prevents this from being sad is the fact that the king and his people refused God. The Israelites had fallen and were about to enter into captivity. Yet Jeremiah prophesies a hope for the future which includes the destruction of Babylon. But the context of this verse is God’s wrath.

Taking verses out of context leads to a very superficial understanding of the bible. It is the direct result of reading the bible and misunderstanding its primary subject. The bible isn’t made to be picked apart for motivational quotes. Instead the bible is a much more powerful story about God’s search and rescue for man.

Every Page is About God

I like how a lot of churches are emphasizing the continuous and unified message of the bible. Indeed, the Gospel message is not limited to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus is the story all along the way. He is first prophesied in Eden, and He comes back in Revelation. The book of Ester is perhaps the least theological book of all the bible, yet the masterful plan can still be seen. When Ester learns of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews, out of faith in God’s plan Mordecai points out that God will not let His people be destroyed.

13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Ester 4:13-14 NASB

We should read the bible in order to find a deeper understanding of God. It is not a contradiction to turn to scripture in order to seek answers to prayers or receive strength in the face of temptation. For in these purposes, the focus is on God and not one’s self. Another word for this would be meditation.

Reactions and Discussion

Final Thoughts

The Bible is primarily about God. Many Christians often use the Bible to find motivation and encouragement. This isn’t inherently wrong, but only reading the Bible for these purposes is not a close supplement for meditation. Meditating on scripture is how one grows closer to God. In contrast, using the Bible to meditate on one’s self may start out as seeking encouragement but later lead to a mystical, or even gnostic, understanding of God. You may also be susceptible to the Prosperity Gospel which preaches daily about reading the Bible with a self-serving purpose. The Devil is well versed in scripture and without focusing on God in reading scripture, these concerns are real. With these concerns in mind, Allie Stuckey is right to call reading the Bible, thinking it is primarily about us, and not God, dangerous.


This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.

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Conspiracy Theory

The Liberty grabber Left has nuked its own argument over guns. Part I

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The Liberty grabber Left has nuked its own argument over guns Part I

The Left can’t argue that you don’t need a gun because the government won’t turn tyrannical while threatening that the government will turn tyrannical.

In what has to be the ultimate and game-changing tweet, Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) threatened nuclear annihilation to anyone who refuses to give up their right of self-defense. The ensuing ‘fallout’ seeing him resort to damage control tactic of saying that thermonuclear gun confiscation was just a ‘joke’. After all, Who hasn’t chuckled at the prospect of the government going tyrannical with an H-bomb? One can easily see the bumper stickers now: Vote Swalwell 2020- or I will nuke your…

One of the Left’s favorite little tactics is to accuse those of the Pro-Liberty right of being ‘terrorists’ as their usual method of demonizing their opponents. Take note of the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the word Terrorist:

Adjective [attributive] Unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

Origin
Late 18th century: from French terroriste, from Latin terror (see terror). The word was originally applied to supporters of the Jacobins in the French Revolution, who advocated repression and violence in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality.

The long train of demands for gun confiscation

Perhaps Eric ‘Nukem’ Swalwell doesn’t realize his tweet was the ultimate in the listing of demands for gun confiscation by the Liberty grabber Left. A long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, as Thomas Jefferson termed it in the Declaration of Independence. That his erstwhile ‘joke’ he, Piers Morgan and others have made is the nuclear straw that broke the camels back. They, along with all the other Leftists who have demanded gun confiscation have initiated a sea of change in the debate over the common sense human right of self-defense.

The old approach by the Left that denied that confiscation was their ultimate goal

It used to be that the Left would hide behind a mask of support of the 2nd amendment. Never mind that each move they made was towards their final solution to the gun problem. Their tired refrain to most arguments about guns was that ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’ or ‘No one is talking about repealing the 2nd amendment’ or some variation thereof. This was a way to short-circuit the debate to one of incremental or ‘progressive’ steps negating any of their ill effects.

Pointing out that some new law would punish 120 million gun owners for the deeds of a few criminals would see the abject denial of ‘no one is being punished’ or ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’.

Mention that a new restriction on freedom infringing on the 2nd amendment and those who pretend to be Liberal on the Left would answer back ‘No one is talking about repealing the 2nd amendment’.

Talk about Intergalactic Background Checks [or Universal, enhanced or ‘Common sense’] would place government control over your personal property while acting as a stepping stone to confiscation would be met with the assertion that you must believe in conspiracy theories and that ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’.

The disturbing trend in Leftists demands for gun confiscation.

We have previously established that the Left wants to ban and confiscate all guns with over 70 documented instances of those demands. Leaving out the multiplying effect of the excerpting and reprinting of those demands.

This arduous task was under taken to prove a point, that the Left has dropped the mask on this subject. But it has also revealed a disturbing trend over the years. What began a few years ago as few and far between calls for gun confiscation has morphed into far more strident and frequent demands. Demands that were only made in obscure far-Left online publications have found their way into the mainstream and supposedly Liberal media sources. The rate on the number of demands made per ‘serious crisis’ have accelerated to the ultimate demand made by Eric ‘Nukem’ Swalwell. This has manifestly changed the debate in favour of the Pro-Liberty Conservative side.

Consider a sampling of these demands:

What began as mere calls to amend the Constitution – removing a fundamental human right in the process – or banning certain ‘types’ of guns. Have become threats to turn over all of our guns or to ‘comprise’ and lose some of them with incremental steps.

Then the Left became impatient, unable to restrain it’s ‘collective’ hatred of Liberty.

For at least the past several years, to say that those two talking points [or a variation thereof] were a complete and total lie would be an understatement of epic proportions. But even now that hasn’t stopped Leftists from denying the obvious.

But now the Nuke comment has changed all of that, everyone is now seeing that the Left has been making their demands for gun confiscation in every corner of their echo chamber. This is part of the reason many have undertaken the task of documenting these demands such as Here, Here and of course here.

Their open demands for gun confiscation and for the suppression of other types of Liberty have changed the dynamic. It is now a question of Liberty versus tyranny – with the Left being on the side of governmental oppression to the tune of nuclear annihilation if one does not comply.

In part II we will examine the debate in terms of the new paradigm of Liberty versus Tyranny.

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Conspiracy Theory

Unicorns are everywhere

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Unicorns are everywhere

Have you noticed a sharp rise in the quantity and diversity of unicorn products? The mythical beasts seem to be popping up pretty much everywhere from cereal to bubble bath. There’s now unicorn “duck tape.”

It isn’t just products for kids. Many adult items like alcohol , adult costumes, and Starbucks flavors are popping up with unicorn symbolism. It’s even getting into the Christmas business with holiday decorations featuring unicorns. When did unicorns become a Christmas symbol to hang from the tree?

It’s freaky.

Next time you go out shopping at the mall, Walmart, or pretty much any department store, take a look and see if you notice unicorn symbolism.

According to Truthstream Media, the unicorn is a symbol used by the occult to represent transformation, fertility, sexuality, and androgyny. Much of the symbolism can be traced back to everyone’s favorite conspiracy theory targets, the Illuminati. Some believe the unicorn contains antichrist symbolism.

When a mythical creature is supposed to represent uniqueness and it seems to be present everywhere, doesn’t that run counter to its own message? As conspiracy theories go, this one is as magical as it gets. Much like unicorns themselves.

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Culture and Religion

The truth about Thanksgiving

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The truth about Thanksfiving

Thanksgiving for many of us has been presented as a time when diversity worked. When a group of people who came seeking refuge from religious persecution was saved by another group of people. A time when different cultures could come together and share what they had to offer one another, culminating in a feast consisting of corn and turkey that was made to honor that moment.

Sadly, the most recent depiction of this pivotal moment in our history has been turned into an American horror story. A story that depicts white Europeans who came to wipe out all the innocent natives by disease and war. The evil white man brought with them more evil white men who only wanted to destroy and kill, to take land that didn’t belong to them and annihilate anyone who wasn’t white. Because that’s all white people want.

Neither of these versions are remotely true.

The Pilgrims were not fleeing from persecution. Nor did they spread disease or kill an entire village of Native Americans. They simply came to a new world filled with the hope of freedom – freedom to live by the values and principles as defined by the word of God. They came to the new world to give their families that chance rather than being overtaken by a society they felt did not reflect those values. It was so important to them that they risked their lives and the lives of their children to make the voyage. A voyage that landed them far from where they were expecting.

After arriving to the new world it was clear that God had a plan. The circumstances which led up to the first thanksgiving – for both the Europeans and the Native American that helped them – could only be explained by divine providence.

Despite being told this is a time to apologize or to be shameful for our history as a nation, the truth is Thanksgiving should be the most important and revered time for all Americans. A time of remembrance of God’s grace and divine providence for a group of people that risked everything to honor Him, including a Native American by the name of Squanto.

The diversity of God’s grace is what we, Americans, should be celebrating. Not multiculturalism.

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