No One Saw It Coming

I recently saw this headline in connection with Karl Rove’s mom committing suicide. I see these headlines or something like them all the time concerning all sorts of different crimes or sudden events like a suicide or a school shooting.

On the one hand it is true. No one probably saw whatever it was coming.

On the other hand, it’s not because it couldn’t have been seen.

People were just not paying attention.

In most cases if someone is suicidal (or thinking about killing others) it is very easy to tell. But you (and I mean the personal you) have to be aware of what is going on. If it is a friend or family member, there are all sorts of warning signs. Perhaps they are involved in harmful behavior or “lifestyle choices” such as drug usage (and not just illegal ones either), homosexuality or other sexual immorality like jumping in the sack before marriage. Homosexuals have about a nine times greater chance of suicide among other bad effects. There could be a sudden loss in a person’s life such as death of a spouse or child. The key is you have to spend time with them, listen, attempt to understand, and just be there. We have to try and dissuade them from bad choices, rather than “affirm” their lifestyle idiocy.

But see, that takes too much time. And we are too damn busy to slow down, take time, and be around. If we spend time and listen, we will hear the cries for help.

Karl Rove’s mom was in a failing third marriage. Third marriage? Failing? And “no one saw the suicide coming?” Give me a break. Mr. Rove didn’t see the election of Trump coming either, but it’s because he wasn’t paying attention, not because “no one could see it coming.” Blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other as my dad used to say. Or as Jesus said, having eyes they do not see and having ears they refuse to hear.

As tragic and sad as a suicide is, trying to say “no one saw it coming” is just an excuse to take ourselves off the hook for choosing our own, frequently meaningless (in the long run) activities over taking time for someone. We feel the guilt, and mostly rightly so, but we try to dodge it. So we never fix the problem which is in the heart that generally rejects God or much of what God tells us to do.

A school shooting occurs and the parents are mystified about their child killer? Give me a break. We kill babies in the womb and then act surprised when a child performs a “post natal abortion?” There’s no way that even a half-way loving parent spending time with their child wouldn’t be able to see that something was wrong and find out what it was. Were the parents following God? I mean really following, not just going to church or being a decent person. Was home schooling an option, or were they too busy pursuing money and career satisfaction? Were they feeding their own egos, or looking to feed their child on the Word?

We choose our own way in this world, and then we are surprised when tragic things blow up in our faces. Come on, it’s not that hard to figure out. Selfishness inevitably leads to bad results. God’s been telling us this for centuries and centuries. No God means no life.

At a time when people all around are talking about love in many different ways (“all you need is love” as John Lennon sang) love is actually waxing cold. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”

Lawlessness is increasing because people are ignoring more and more the Law of God. God’s Law is intimately connected with love, and to move away from the Law of Christ is to move away from love. Talk about it all you want, continue to be surprised by tragic events, but until we repent and return to all of His Living Oracles it’s just so much empty rhetoric. Trying to absolve yourself of guilt or blame won’t make a difference either. We have to be in the Word daily, walking with God and working at putting more of it into our own lives. Then we can “see” to help others.

Admit it. If “no one saw it coming” then we have to do something about our vision. The healing comes when we turn to His Word.

Shalom

Bruce

An Aide to Spiritual Growth

Some people have told me that they experienced a big improvement in their walk with God when they had a vision of the resurrected Christ.

I wanted to do better in my walk, but how does one go about getting such a vision? Details were light or non-existent. I remember one Calvary Chapel pastor encouraging the congregation to “visualize the throne room and Jesus sitting there.” Well, I could do some imagining, I guess, but that didn’t help. I was aware I was just making it up.

Since I found that Torah is for all believers, I have actually seen the Father and the Son as I read His Word and do what He says. I’m making a lot of changes for the better in my growth and walk with God, but some of the changes I need to make are coming slow. Do I need a vision of the resurrected Christ to become a different, more righteous person?

As I was pondering this a few days ago, I had what I think was in fact a vision. But it wasn’t of the resurrected Christ. I think God gave me a better vision, one which is going to help much better.

He gave me a vision of myself.

I don’t mean the same type of vision that some believers claim to see of Jesus. I mean God gave me a view of myself as He sees me, with emphasis on my character development (or lack of it). I got a glimpse of myself as I really am, which cut through the image I have of myself normally. We want to think the best of ourselves, and we craft an image that we hope is true. But most of the time it isn’t true. It’s just wishful thinking.

The downside to seeing yourself as you really are is it’s very discouraging. The upside is, when you accept the truth about yourself and take responsibility for your actions and for changing your actions, then you can make progress in moving closer to God. The reason is that as you draw closer to the light of the Father you become more aware of what you lack in perfection or holiness. You can either patch over your flaws with fig leaves as did Adam and Havah, or with improved vision you can accept and change.

It was painful looking at my history and seeing the bad decisions, the unwillingness to do what God said I should do, the times of stunted growth; simply because I didn’t want to give up my comfort.

So in a sense I did get a vision of the resurrected Christ through eating and drinking His body and blood (hearing and doing His word). But what really got me was the vision of myself as I really am.

I still need a lot of work, but the job is actually easier with an honest, albeit painful, self-evaluation.

Shalom

Bruce

The Cloud

Today we had a haze all over in an otherwise clear blue sky. It was smoke from several summer fires, not really close to us.

What was odd is that while you could see through the haze, it was still shielding us from the sun somewhat. It was about 10 degrees or so cooler (about 86) than we expected (about 96). So cool it was noticeable.

Made me think of the pillar of cloud over Israel while they wandered in the desert. It might have be a regular cloud, mostly opaque, but it could have been something like the haze we experienced today. You might have been able to see through it, but it would still be much cooler than normal.

We needed a little relief from the sooner-than-expected 90-degree weather. I needed relief because my greenhouse was getting too hot. I doubt if God made the fires, and if people were suffering then I wouldn’t wish fire on anyone. But a nice side-effect, if I can say it that way, was to cool off most of our state and perhaps others too. Which also would reduce the risk of fire danger for others.

Shalom

Bruce

Liar

Hillsong has a recent song out called New Wine. There’s a line in there that made me think, “Liar.”

What do you think would make me react that way? They sing:

“So I yield to You and to Your careful hand

When I trust You I don’t need to understand”

Sounds perfectly fine, doesn’t it? So why the negative reaction? you ask.

The part that made me think of liars was “I yield to You.”

No, they don’t yield.

How could I possibly know?

Because they are standard, modern church. There are a lot of songs like this in the church, and Hillsong is a big creator of them. They (and their fans and so-called “worship teams” that copy the music) love to close their eyes and sway back and forth and raise their hands. Standard, modern church places a huge premium on looking holy and “feeling the Spirit.” Except when you get right down to it, there is no yielding.

Oh, there’s lots of sentiment. Tons of feelings.

I’m a musician, and I love to play and sing. I really like many different songs, and enjoy group music. But a lot of what passes for “worship” in the churches is not much more than ego feeding and vanity. If there was really a yielding, which would show up all week long in many actions, then it might be more genuine.

How do I know there’s no yielding? Simply put, they don’t follow God’s living oracles.

Try this experiment sometime. In your Sunday school or weekly Bible study, make a suggestion that all of God’s Law is relevant and a valid lifestyle and discipleship method for every believer.

See what happens.

I guarantee that almost universally, especially among the young adults, there will be instant and ferocious denial. You will be hit with all sorts of counter-arguments, from the nice to the not-so-nice.

Because we don’t like to yield. We don’t want to do what God says. Rather than holy behavior, we’d rather sway and cry and raise hands when a really good band plays appealing songs. Then go home and “feel led” to ignore much of what He has laid down for us in the Word.

Like I said. Liar.

And don’t get me started on the “When I trust you I don’t need to understand” stupidity.

Shalom

Bruce

Audiobook for Whole Bible Christianity Available

It took a while, but an Audiobook version of our book Whole Bible Christianity is now available. It’s about 15 and a half hours, narrated by Bruce. You can get it free if you sign up for a trial membership at Audible.com. You get a free audiobook when you first sign up for the service. After the first month it costs $15.00 per month but you get one free book per month too.

If you click this link to view the print version, then click on the Free with your Audible Trial button and stay with Audible for two months, not only do you get two free audiobooks (for $15.00 the second month) but we get a $50.00 bonus! You can exchange any audiobook you decide is not for you, and your credit for one free book rolls over to the next month if you don’t use it. Even if you cancel membership after a while you can keep all your audiobooks.

What a great deal! Whole Bible Christianity, Blessings Pressed Down and Overflowing audiobook for free, a bonus to us, and you get more free audiobooks.

There’s also the print version of the book, and Kindle version for a pretty low cost. The Kindle and audiobook versions do not have the Scripture Index with almost 1,500 entries from every book in the Bible, and the audiobook doesn’t have the footnotes, but still you can listen on the way to work and back or read on a Kindle at your leisure. Get all three and get it all.

Shalom

Bruce

Proving the Stupid Point

“With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. (2 Samuel 22:26–28, ESV)

I love verses likes these. God doesn’t even have to really do anything to make people look stupid. They do it all by themselves. We have many idiots writing books and posting online about “bizarre stuff in the Bible” or “Ten Things That Turned Me Off About the Bible” or “Confusing Facts About The Bible” and other similar subjects. They might as well be putting up neon signs that say “I’m Crooked.” They are not straight, so God appears not straight.

Lots of people look at God through their experience or the Bible and can’t figure Him out. But it’s not Him that is the problem. If your brain is screwy, if it is darkened by hate and bitterness or if your top desire is to call the shots yourself without interference from some God who is going to tell you when you’re wrong, then you will naturally suspect others of the same twisted motives.

God is not twisted or dark. He is not wrong in any sense, nor does He have trouble informing creation of His purposes or intent. We just want to ignore Him, so many of us come up with excuses to make it seem like we don’t understand. Then we can do what we want.

If we make the switch to humility, however, then the picture starts to clear up right away. Knowing that God is always right and true and holy is a guiding light for understanding. People can be screwed up; never God. You might not like what He does, or doesn’t do, but that doesn’t mean He’s wrong.

Shalom

Bruce

Stephen Hawking is Dead. Big Deal.

So Stephen Hawking, that icon of atheism and evolution, has finally stopped working. He explained once that death just means that the brain failed like a broken down computer. There is no afterlife, according to him, and no heaven.

Well, he’s right. For him there is no heaven or afterlife. More like after-the-computer-stops-working he’ll be deposited in the permanent recycling facility in the lake of fire.

Lots of public figures are expressing their condolences. Why? The guy’s computer just stopped working. I have a business fixing computers, and when one stops working permanently I don’t write articles. I don’t go around in sackcloth and ashes. I don’t mourn. I just build a new one for my client and they move on. No big deal.

Jesse Carey of the (supposedly Christian) Relevant Magazine thinks that making comments like this is “unhelpful” and “disparaging.” He cites Ray Comfort, who posted links on his Facebook page to a secular announcement of the death and to Ray’s movie Evolution vs God, as “mean spirited.” Really? It is mean spirited to comment on an atheist whose whole life was a disparaging comment on my God and my belief system? Stephen was a walking, I’m sorry, rolling, destructive testimony to bigoted and ignorant anti-God teachings. No telling how many people’s faiths he damaged or destroyed in his life by acting like a mean-spirited expert on a God he never knew.

Ray Comfort has a vibrant ministry bringing God’s Word to as many as will listen. Stephen Hawking was nothing but unhelpful in guiding people to life. Relevant Magazine is a wishy-washy self-serving rag floating with the winds of popular culture, rarely taking a stand on the Word of God. Of the three, I think I prefer the guy who is trying to deliver the Word as best he knows how. The others are just so much wind.

Bye bye Mr. Hawking. You were useless in life but now you can at least be useful as worm food.

Shalom

Bruce

Oral Sex Causing Cancer Epidemic in Men

…says the headline on Drudge (March 8th 2018), which sounds alarming, until you realize that the science in the title is all wrong.

As most high-school biology students can tell you, a sneeze does not cause a cold. It is merely the delivery method for the germs that cause the cold.

Oral sex does not cause cancer. If you read the article referred to by the headline you will find the cause is the HPV virus. Human papilloma virus causes infections which can lead to cancer. Also, if you read the article, you and most high-school biology students can see that another major factor is a compromised immune system. If the immune system is down, then almost anything is going to make you sick.

I’m going to get a little graphic here but the subject demands it. If you are not able to handle frank talk, you might want to skip a couple paragraphs. A few minutes reflection should also tell the mature, thinking person that an unmentioned factor is that it depends on what you are licking and how. If your tongue strays into areas it shouldn’t, that were not made for licking, then you will increase your chances of infection exponentially. The anus is not meant for sex, nor is it made for penetration. So if you are licking excrement, you can pretty much bet the filth is going to have an adverse affect.

This brings us to the unmentioned and largest factor in men contracting cancer from HPV. Homosexual men routinely put things in places that are filthy and disgusting, and then stick them in their mouths. Homosexuals also by and large have compromised immunes systems due to their lifestyle choices which expose them to other sicknesses. But homosexuals are not mentioned in the article, though they are the biggest group in the epidemic. We wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect now, would we?

A little bit of study and thought will help you navigate past the scary headlines. Realize the ongoing agendas of much of modern culture to normalize perverse, unhealthy, dangerous and deadly lifestyle choices. There is a plan by the ungodly to tear down all vestiges of God’s instructions for healthy living, and to try to destroy His kingdom. The homosexuals are filled with hate for one another and for God, and along with other unbelievers are not only destroying themselves but trying to bring others down with them.

Don’t fall for the hyped headlines. Godly behavior produces life and love. Ungodly behavior causes cancer.

Shalom

Bruce

Question

“Why do we never get an answer, when we’re knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions, about hate and death and war?”

The Moody Blues rock band. I like a lot of their music because it is not superficial like the stupid music mostly puked out today. The lyrics above are from a song titled Question from about 1970. Most of the band’s music is thoughtful and sincere. In this case though, I laugh every time I hear the words. Not the rolling on the floor kind of laughing, but more of a sad laughter.

You don’t get answers to your questions because the answer is already there, you are arrogantly demanding answers, and you aren’t connected with God in the first place. The answer is screaming at you in the face, and you just skip over it and keep looking for something more along the lines of self-seeking. You arrogantly demand something from God, and He doesn’t have to give you anything. He doesn’t answer because you are not connected with Him in any sort of righteous relationship. You are a wicked, unrighteous person, and God doesn’t answer the prayers of unbelievers unless He sees fit.

The songwriter Justin Hayward was upset about the Vietnam war. He combined two half-done songs to get this whole one. The result is a nifty tune, but at the same time rather stupid. It’s usually frustrating to me to listen to stuff like this because the answer is so obvious. In a God-rejecting world hate and death and war are as inevitable as the sunrise. Separate yourself from the Source of Life and all you get is death. Duh.

Justin gets close to answering his own question in the chorus and final lines.

“Why do we never get an answer, when we’re knocking at the door? Because the truth is hard to swallow, that’s what the war of love is for.”

“The truth is hard to swallow.” Oh yeah. The truth is God’s Word, and He tells us that we are lost without Him, wandering in a desert of hate and death and war. We have to turn to Him and follow all of His Words, including the Word of life, Jesus the Christ. We cannot return to Him on our own, but many want to trade what flimsy righteousness they have for eternal life. But it’s just not enough. A sufficient sacrifice must be made, blood must be spilled, which was done when we executed Jesus on a board. Then we must live all of His Words with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Yeah, that’s pretty hard to swallow for most.

“When we stop and look around us, there is nothing that we need.
In a world of persecution that is burning in its greed.”

“There is nothing that we need.” That’s what most people think. They are self-satisfied being their own gods, and don’t want the bother of turning to the God of love. They don’t want to accept the blood of the only begotten Son that God offers as the only ticket out of war and death and hate.

So keep asking questions, worldly musical idiots.

Shalom

Bruce

Literally Wood

Tired old argument #24: The Bible is not to be taken literally.

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say that the Bible is not literal or not to be taken literally. If you disagree, as I do, that the Bible should indeed be taken or interpreted literally, this person will then drag out a few verses to prove his point. Usually the verses have something to do with what they think is a ridiculous comparison such as God as a rock or Jesus as a lamb. Obviously, they intone, God is not basaltic, sedimentary or igneous. Jesus is not actually a small fuzzy critter either. And so they dismiss the literal interpretation.

But did they ever look up the term literal in the dictionary? If they had, they might not be so dismissive. The online Merriam-Webster defines literal thusly:

1 a : according with the letter of the scriptures

  • adheres to a literal reading of the passage
b : adhering to fact or to the ordinary construction or primary meaning of a term or expression : actual

  • liberty in the literal sense is impossible
  • —B. N. Cardozo
c : free from exaggeration or embellishment

  • the literal truth
d : characterized by a concern mainly with facts

  • a very literal man

Literal is “concerned mainly with facts” or is “free from exaggeration or embellishment.” So dismissing a literal interpretation of the Bible is dismissing facts.

Dr. Walter C. Kaiser Jr. and others define literal as “the author’s intent.” God literally means what He says and says what He means.

God deals in facts. He communicates the fact that humans are lost in sin and must have a payment for sin. The fact is, He provided payment Himself in the form of the death of His only begotten Son on a chunk of wood. It is a fact that if we do not repent and accept this payment, we will not have enough to pay for sin ourselves and so will end up in a literal lake of fire. Does it matter if it’s a real lake or not? Either way it will be immersion in something painful and agonizing for a long, long time.

The Scriptures are literally God’s Word, as testimony if not His actual speech. Literally, God is a rock because He doesn’t change. Basaltic or igneous, it doesn’t matter. Did the rock come first, or did God make rocks so we would have a picture of His unchangeable nature?

What some people mean by literal is “wooden,” which is a literal term meaning they are inflexible when it comes to interpreting God’s Word. People are wooden when they attack the Word of God which allows them to relegate the parts they don’t like to the outer darkness. They start with a wooden interpretation of God as a rock or Jesus as a lamb so they can move on to getting rid of what to them are all the distasteful parts of God’s Word such as obedience, faith, Law, and salvation. It’s a slippery slope using faulty logic and ignoring facts that require a response.

Literal doesn’t mean wooden. It means that the ordinary construction or primary meaning of a term or expression from God is the truth and demands we adhere to that truth. God literally means we have to conform to His Word, all of it, in every respect. If we don’t, we will literally end up separated from Him forever.

Shalom

Bruce