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The Evangelical Vow

by Ben Huot

December 28, 2020

in more formats

First Things
And the Laughter Continues
The Greatest Sorrow / The Greatest Joy
What is True and What is Real?
What is Wrong with Other Religions?
The Evangelical Vow
What Does Obedience Mean?
Wars and Fighting
James 4
Time of Job, the Patriarch
What I Believe

 

 

First Things

 

 

For more books and information, visit me on the web at

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And the Laughter Continues

The soldier arrives home

And is greeted with laughter

The minister speaks

And the church merely laughs

We are no longer preaching to the choir

 

The world is a bully

And we preach a religion

A path of non-violence

And acceptance of everyone

But the world likes

Its hierarchies and self importance

 

Most people don't mature

Or get past high school

One person's pain

Is another person's joy

The depravity of those

Who would mock the Lord Himself

To His face

 

Many people don't care

When weak people suffer

The same people

Who commit mass murder

Who become serial killers

What motivates this attitude

It is based on a view of the world

Where your self worth

Comes only from others losing

 

This describes a person

Who enjoys power

At any cost

The kind of person

With a cross on the back

Of their run down car

But the cross is upside down

 

The kind of person

Who likes to spy on others

Who sees only the videos

Rejected by even Youtube

 

The kind of person

Who doesn't take life seriously

Whose only fear is the possibility

Of their Internet connection being lost

 

Someone who has no shame

This is the kind of person

You hire to solve problems

And then find yourself

The victim of their help

It is a criminal mentality

It is the way prison works

 

The only thing valued is strength

And any show of emotions

Or any act of compassion

Or any expression of faith

Is not only rejected

But becomes fuel for greater cruelty

We say but they are just kids

Later we talk about

What they did in a criminal court

 

As the sun sets on our morality

America will become as mean

As what happens in the third world

But yet these same people

We are sworn to save

Or at least attempt to

This is what they truly

Cannot accept is why we

Keep on caring and fighting for them

And so they think we are crazy and weak

 

Because we are fixated

On nothing but helping

Those who are bent

On taking advantage

Of what we give freely

 

To truly live in the example of Christ

We must accept being weak

And to accept at the very least

Others mocking us

We cannot reject everything

Our society has come to

Love and respect

And at the same time

Be accepted and treated as equals

 

There are going to be deeper divisions

Than we can yet possibly imagine

There will be more cruelty

But also more compassion

 

And the world will continue to laugh

Because they do not understand

Because they do not care about any of this

Because they are being mean

 

And yet we are not responding in kind

When we do not act violently

In response to others

Trying to pick a fight

They just think we are weak

And then these lose all respect for us

 

As our society continues to encourage

This type of behavior

Glamorizing it in games, music, and movies

This kind of attitude

Will only accelerate

 

Some people just cannot accept

That sinning is fundamentally painful

They see the initial bit of pleasure

And then they think of nothing else

Maybe they are addicts

 

There is a part of this

In every one of us

Even the kindest among us

Has a cruel side as well

So some have hardened themselves

And refuse these people

 

Because they see themselves

As nice people and these as mean people

Then they just ignore these people

Or locate themselves

Behind fence and guards

They then adopt surveillance

An barricade themselves indoors

 

Even in times of crisis

It is critical to work with others

We all will eventually have to

Trust someone

I would much rather trust God

Than any other person

Including myself

 

We have to starve the wolf

Calling from within us

To save ourselves

From becoming either of these kinds of people

 

Many educated people believe

These kind of people are not reformable

That may well be true for some

But fundamentally we are all in the same boat

 

We are both these kind of people

We are so focused now on how other people think

And how we will deal with our adversaries

That we cannot see the bigger picture

 

There may be many obstacles before us

But there is a bigger world

We cannot see that effects this one

This is where both our threats

And salvation come from

 

But One Greater than all this

Has given us victory over all else

In this world there will be suffering

But God has already destroyed evil

The ultimate battle has been won

We just need to fight some minor skirmishes

 

We are fundamentally peons and unimportant

In and of ourselves

But God does not look at us this way

He values us for some unknown reason

 

Our problem is that we think

That we are at the center of our world

We think we are the ones running the show

And we think we have earned that right

 

But ultimately some will laugh

All the way to hell

We will continue to reach out to help

As God has never given up on us

 

But eventually it will be too late

And their minds will be fully resolved

So that they will not want

To come to the other side

 

It is sad to be a victim

But it is much more depressing

To reject God's offering of forgiveness

God is reaching out

But some will not even shake His hand

There are a million reasons why

Some make more sense than others

 

But God believes in

Radical equality and radical freedom

Unlike what most Americans claim

He loves us all the same no matter what

But He has also given us freedom

To reject even His offer of paradise

The Greatest Sorrow / The Greatest Joy

 

Many are afraid

They will never create again

Many are afraid they will never live again

We see the time we have now

As the end of everything

A sort of accumulation of history and knowledge

That we are basically good people

 

But the condition of the earth

And suffering we cause for our lifestyle

These show a lack of wisdom

And a lack of maturity

 

We think as we get older

We will learn and grow to be happy

But if we are not happy now

Nothing will make us happy

 

I now realize that the joy of the Lord is my strength

In many ways I am weak

I have a weak mind

I am physically slow in movement

I lack discipline in many areas of my life

 

Many with my mental illness

Have given up on

Being able to contribute to society

But sometimes surviving

Is the only thing you can achieve

 

But there is good news

And it is this

This is only a small part of life

We worry we will not leave a legacy

Or that no one will remember us

Who told you death was the end

Death is where life starts

 

And if you do not die

To the values of the world

And become otherworldly in their eyes

You will never experience life

 

The world is negative and depressing

Because it has no hope after death

But we will be brought back to God

If not willingly then kicking and screaming

Like when we are pulled from the womb

 

Being born again can be achieved

In a single moment of prayer

But this is only the start

Some say you can find Heaven on earth

That is what walking in faith is like

But the critical parts of faith

Are obedience to God and acting on limited information

 

God will do nothing more

To prove who He is to us

We already have enough information

To fully make up our minds

Even the devil believes the Christian God is real

And he is bent on destroying God's plan

 

So if we are to really enjoy life

The way isn't to get smarter or more disciplined

By strength of will alone

But be allowing the Holy Spirit

To quicken us by His grace

 

We constantly judge and second guess God

But God is always faithful

He also never lies or breaks promises

When we say we are good people

Do you think we are fooling anyone

 

People say God is now irrelevant

We think we have risen to the level of God

But we still cannot predict the weather

And we are drowning in our own filth

Even little animals have better sense

 

We have not improved upon anything God created

Not even considering the fact

That He has created all of us

Our best creations are but poor imitations

Of what God has already created

 

So what if we learn to travel in space and time

So what if we get nearly unlimited energy

Imagine how all these worlds will look like

After we are finished using everything up on them

Will we then be happy

 

If we are not happy now

With what we have as Americans

Nothing will make us happy

 

If we lived a hundred years ago

Most of us would be farming small blocks of land

As many wise people are learning how today

But even when people worked in factories

Or did other repetitive and hard physical labor

They were no less happy than us

 

We have tried every solution under the sun

Except praying to God

And choosing to follow Him unconditionally

Does it make the pain hurt less

To be mad at God

 

It is now obvious that our arrogance

To think we could be like God

Is what has brought evil into this world

Yes we created something - evil and suffering

To say we came out of nothing

Is as crazy as saying we created ourselves

 

So many Christians are not happy or even nice people

Maybe they have no real faith

Maybe they are not cooperating with the Holy Spirit

Maybe the person is better than they were before

 

It is not like we fire a doctor

Because someone dies of heart disease

Even after being warned

To change their lifestyle

 

Who are we to judge

If you think you are a good person

Read about the Apostle Paul

Who followed all ethical rules

And yet declared himself not good enough

 

Imagine if you were God

Would you be impressed

With our weapons or our toys

Or modern civilization in general

 

We make machines and vehicles

We have huge amounts of energy

God made life and spirit

God created the physical and spiritual laws and realities

God also created the human personalities we try to emulate

 

With our most advanced artificial intelligence

Anything we can dream up

God has both surpassed us

And gave us the dream in the first place

And the mind to dream with

Why do we try to compete

With our creator

 

He still loves us

And will take us as we are now

If you want to impress God

Do so with your humility and faithfulness

Be committed to truth

And really take morality seriously

Do not live your life to gain money, power, or love

 

You can only be happy

Once you have the peace of mind

To see things in perspective

We are so focused on getting the next job

That we do not address the most pressing issue

What will I do after I die

This is the one and only question

You need to answer in your life

 

If you had to choose between being homeless

And then living forever in paradise

Or being rich and famous for 70 years

Which would you choose

And many people think Christians are foolish

 

Can you not count

Can you not see God in the natural world

Can you not see Him knocking on your heart

Open your eyes and listen with your ears

God will make Himself real to you

If you would only seek Him out

 

Everyone will find God in this life

The question is really how will you respond

Many people think that God

Forgiving evil people is crazy

But most of the world's problems

Could be resolved if we would forgive each other

 

But why is it you that gets to decide

What is right and wrong and how God decides

Who gets into His Heaven

What gives you the authority or the wisdom

To know what is best for all humanity

 

If God wants to forgive someone He can

I do not sell what I create

Is that not my right

So it is with God

His creation is governed by His rules

 

So we are as Christians

Less and less surprised

You think we are crazy

Our entire belief system

Is an affront to your modern world

 

Christ speaks against

The great thinkers

And great inventors

We challenge everything you value

Everything you fought hard for

 

But doesn't the possibility that God

Wants you just as you are

Just make you a little curious

We all know the world is going into

A scary time and a very dark age

Is unfolding before our eyes

 

Is it not worth your time

To seek this God out

Surely you respect Him for His creation

Or for merely creating you

Even if you do not respect

Christ's life and death on the cross

Surely you desire to live forever in paradise

Do you really despise humility and compassion

 

Is Christianity not worth further investigation

It is not like this is a religion we invented

It is also very common to believe in God

Internationally and historically

White people sure didn't invent Christianity

And most white people in the world

Will not be Christian in 20 years

 

Sure modern society is hostile to God

But it is surely crumbling while I write this

So do you want to be at peace

With yourself and for eternity with God

 

Many say they do not have faith

But faith is a choice

And God gives people faith who pray for it

Many of the greatest Christians

Wavered in faith even when it really mattered

 

Like the Apostle Peter

The very foundation of the Church

If you have never doubted

Than you can never really believe

What is True and What is Real?

 

Many people have studied philosophy

Without being aware of it

Most people have strong views on ethics

Most people also have beliefs in theology

Or in a similar category called metaphysics

For those who don't believe in God

 

The real issue underlying our beliefs

Is a conflict between epistemological views

Epistemology is how we know something to be true

Many Christians would say the Bible

Most people across the board would say science

 

A change in this aspect of thought

Could be a real turning point

In our understanding of the world

And our conflicts of the future

 

The modern world is based on science

And the lack of interest in studying theology

Comes from a disinterest in the study

Of the humanities in general

 

Even many Christians have largely bought into

The idea that the modern world is good

And that science and technology are the way forward

 

I propose an entirely different view

Many people think we disagree

Primarily over ethics

And this is driven by our beliefs

In the areas of theology and metaphysics

 

An even greater discussion comes

If we shift our view to incorporate

The idea of what we think of reality

The difference between liberal and conservative

Is base on many things

It is much about the peoples views of religion and science

 

But the bigger real difference

The modern world has had on theology

Is the introduction of science

And social science in the discussion of religion

 

I propose that even Christians

For the most part believe too much in science

The reality of the spiritual world

And what happens supernaturally

Is treated at best with suspicion

 

In modern psychology religion is

Not even considered relevant at best

And at worst the source of the problem

This great hostility to religion

I think comes from feminism

 

 

Feminists have a wide spectrum of beliefs

At one extreme they believe that men are equal to women

And at the other extreme they believe men

Should be locked in cages and only used for procreation

 

Many today see men as irrelevant at best

And a source of violence at worst

Part of this is how our society sees morality

But the deeper issue is how people see reality

 

Our society is fixated on sexual themes currently

And so this obsession has pushed

A huge amount of sexual deviance

And lowered our expectations of sexual morality

 

Today many people think humans cannot be monogamous

Many Christians today see homosexuality as a sin

But regardless the issue is much more broad

Society no longer cares about what God says

 

The real gripe that cannot be resolved for most feminists

With regard to the Christian God

Even in many Churches today

Is that God is masculine

 

Just as some people cannot except

That men and women are different

Sure there is huge spectrum and even overlap

But fundamentally most men

Share things in common

That most women do not

And the opposite is also true

 

So these modern ideas of feminism, science, and psychology

Are all hostile to traditional world religions

Why is this

It comes down to seeing the person

As a machine we can manipulate

Instead of a mystery God created

 

There is so little mystery to common life

In the way we relate with each other

People overshare and over analyze

They contribute way too much writing

And way too many pictures

While thinking much too little about any of it

 

More people now write books than ever before

Even as fewer people read books than ever before

We are not only becoming a post literate society

But a post information driven society

We want to play games non stop

 

We want to be at the center

We want to be "in the know" about everything

And we want to have control over everything

This current virus shows us how vulnerable we are

To even the slightest disruption of our lives

 

We makes far too many compromises as Christians

We need to live as Christians and the entire world did

Back before the evolution of the modern world

We need to shift to a society

Based off farming and have a subsistence economy

 

Greed and selfishness really do run the modern world

But it does not have to be that way

Sure people will still be selfish

But we don't need a society

That is so loud about

Things that should be done in private

 

Society now has no shame

We don't need all the technology we currently have

We are a society of addictions

And our entire world view encourages this

There are more temptations and ways to do evil

Than ever before

 

We are running through everything too fast

Young people go through the stages of life too fast

We need to slow everything down

And take time to think

We need a new frontier

Not a technology or land based one

But one based on emotional and spiritual dimensions

 

One of the biggest changes

Many have overlooked

Is that science fiction has become mainstream

This is critical as contemporary science fiction

Means supernatural in religious terms

 

It makes people think philosophically

It is ironic that we consider science fiction

To be an entirely different genre than regular fiction

As if the things that happen in these stories

Are somehow less real or less likely to happen

 

One person's technology is another person's magic

While our society is very loud in many regards

What powers it we treat like magic

Because it is so complex

Many people who help build websites today

Cannot build even a small one all by themselves

 

The complexity has gone up exponentially

Even in the last decade

The whole design of computers

Allows you to ignore the parts

Underpinning the level you work at

Much as going to the bathroom

Does not require you understand plumbing well

Unless of course it stops working

 

Technology will undo itself

In a number of different ways

A big part of this is the inability

To effectively control access

To only parts of a system

And the ability of hackers

To quickly break down even the best of barriers

And the inability to verify the validity of anything

 

Hacking is now actually encouraged by both popular culture

As well as major branches of most major

Local, regional, and national governments

With the US and Israel leading the pack

 

They are the sources of the most dangerous hacks today

Which are made much worse

By sloppiness and poor defensive security

These leading countries encourage more countries

To join in this type of warfare

Because we are doing the same to the same countries

The real victims of this particular US foreign policy are your local

School districts, hospitals, and city governments

In rural and low income areas of the country

 

Our whole morality in society has crumbled

Because we no longer question reality

We just accept what we are told in school

As it were Gospel truth

 

We need to listen to God and our parents

But we also need to think critically

And wake up and make some connections

As to what is happening

And read some history of another culture

At another time period of history

 

Our world culture lead by our country

Is doing radically different things

Than long-lasting empires of the past did

Many governments are run by fools

But when the dominant world empire does so

It hurts everyone

What is Wrong with Other Religions?

 

What is wrong with other religions

Nothing is morally wrong

But none of them promise you

Forever in paradise

After a simple prayer

And a change of attitude

 

Christianity is free for us

But it will also cost us everything

You hear until you are blue in the face

That salvation is the result of a single prayer

 

This true technically

But there is no evidence of it

To prove to others or God

Or even yourself

That your faith is real

 

Faith follows into action

Much as effect follows cause

Changing what you believe

Is not just an academic decision

And is not just a one time thing

 

Sure if you are on your death bed

You can go to Heaven with just a prayer

And a real heart change

But you will miss out on a more peaceful life

And none of us know when or how we will die

 

Also following God is never forced on you

Even for those filled with the Holy Spirit

God will not force you to do anything

Because that is not how He created us

Nor is it in His nature or plan for us

 

Having God in your life

Does not mean you will always have fun

You will have peace

But these qualities are meant as spiritual ones

Not physical or emotional

 

We live in different spheres simultaneously

Something can be true spiritually but not emotionally

Or emotionally true but not physically true

The most important factor in any spiritual act

Is the intent of the action

 

Unlike the physical aspect

On the emotional side

Your response to some action

Depends upon various factors

Including experiences, personality, and belief system

 

The mind is where the physical

And spiritual worlds cross over

You can simultaneously feel one thing

Think another and believe something else

 

The mind is difficult to master

Because it is stressed out

Fighting between our conflicted selves

For those who can unite

Their feelings, thinking, and choices

Those people will have a still mind

 

Much of the internal conflicts

People have are over morally significant choices

Where you want to do something

Or do not want to do something

But instead do the opposite

Emotions are tricky

And change as the wind's direction does

 

The start of this process

Is to have complete control over your will

You can try to do all this on your own

But I for one am not strong enough

 

In Christianity the Holy Spirit lives within you

And gives you the ability to follow

What you believe in over time

And to the extent that you let Him

 

In Buddhism you believe that

Evil and suffering come from desire or lust

And so seek to overcome what most call immorality

But instead of Christ doing most of the work for you

In Buddhism the load is totally on you

Because in Buddhism God is irrelevant

 

I have great respect for Buddhism

And have tried to learn

As much as possible from it

But I do not have it in me

To do all this on my own

These are the major concepts that distinguish

Christianity from Buddhism

 

Enlightenment is a matter of debate within Buddhism

All it definitely means is the extinction of desire

And it is only supposed to happen after you die

There are literally hundreds of rules to follow

 

There is also as much division and violence

That is fair to contribute to Buddhism as there is to Christianity

Which is to say neither are responsible

Because fighting goes against both belief systems

 

So while I think it is worth my time

To study various major world belief systems

And there is much wisdom in there

Great beauty and imagination

Great morals and role models

 

The Bible is written on an entirely different level

The Bible is both easier to understand

And also much deeper in thinking

While also covering more topics

With much more brevity

 

I could read through the Pali Canon

Maybe three times in my lifetime

And learn new things each time

Whereas I could read the Bible

Every year of my life

And learn new things after each verse

 

Some Christians may think

Other religions were designed by the devil

Merely to misdirect and deceive people

I do not believe so

 

I believe these people pursued

And persevered greatly

To try to find solution

To very difficult problems

 

I think Buddhism in particular

Is the best thought out

Agnostic leaning belief system

Especially in their view of creation or origin

 

There are of course many crossovers

In terms of morality

And many ideas are similar

Like advice for wise living

They both encourage discipline

And force people to really think

 

There are no easy decisions in life

Even the obvious ones that are morally significant

Are hard because they require action

 

Christianity is not hard to understand

To merely practice the religion

And God has done most of the work

Being Christian is hard

Because you cannot take credit

For those good things you do

But being Christian makes you

Desire to do what is good

And it becomes more natural over time

 

Christians spend so much time and effort

To spread God's message

Because if you believe what we do

You would have to be mean person

To not want to help bring others to God

 

As God never gives up on us

We will never give up on you

Surely God brings people to Himself

And again God does most of the work

And Christians certainly shouldn't claim credit for it

 

There are many non-Christians

Who make up their own religion

This has some serious issues on several levels

If you want any philosophy

Or religion to be effective

It has to be consistent

Within its own framework

It has to be true and reflect

And deal with reality as it is

 

To mix major belief systems

Or only focus on those things

They have in common

Is definitely easier

But if you don't want to really try and be serious

There is no point in claiming to be religious

People will easily see through it

But not before they have enough time invested

That it will really irritate them

 

So few religious people will want to embrace you

Even Christians who accept everyone

Will never allow you in a position

Of leadership or teaching

Until they feel you are

On the same page as them

 

Ultimately choosing various parts of religions to assemble

Means you are taking on the role of God

Who are you to decide

What others do

Or what is right and wrong

 

Christians did not create Christianity

And it comes from the Jewish people of ancient Israel

There are no more connections to Europe or America

Than there are with Buddhism, Islam, or modern Atheism

 

All the major world religions

Come from Asia and maybe Africa

And predate all but the oldest civilizations

We have records of

 

They formed before any of these nations

We associate with these various religions

Had the current cultures

We know them now for

In any recognizable form

 

It is true that it is acceptable traditionally

To mix Chinese and Indian philosophies and religions

Of course the Chinese traditionally treated Buddhism similar to Christianity

And Hinduism is considered part if the same system

As Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism

This does not require you to accept all the ideas of these religions

To legitimately practice some parts

 

There are actually entire religions that have formed

By taking parts of other religions

Although usually much more of one than another

Like Sikhism, Zen Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, Manicheanism, and I think Zoroastrianism

 

Christianity on the other hand

Does not accept the idea

That you can add or take away

From what the entire Bible says

Neither does Islam allow you

To take away or add

To the Quran or Sunna

 

Practicing parts of Christianity would be like

Practicing science without logic or

Algebra without addition or multiplication

Buddhism stands on its own and makes sense

Regardless of whether or not their was actual man

Who became enlightened in ancient India

 

Christianity only makes sense

Within the Old Testament law and prophets

If the Old Testament was unreliable factually or historically

Christianity would make little sense either

Finally, if you do not believe

In the possibility of the supernatural

The Bible will make no sense to you

 

Buddhism does depend upon the concept of karma

Which is similar but not the same as sin in the Bible

The proof for Buddhism in this life is that

We can see karma happening before our eyes

 

But the Christian concept of sin

Makes much more sense

Because good things happen to bad people

And bad thing happen to good people

Furthermore good people do bad things

And bad people do good things

 

Innocent people suffer

Because of the actions of others

There are many nice poor people

And many nasty rich people

 

There is also the idea of hell

Shared between Buddhism and Christianity

But there is no savior

Or promise of Heaven in Buddhism

 

Oddly during your final lifetime

Before ascending you need

To accumulate no karma

Either good or bad

Because karma drives

The reincarnation cycle

 

Buddhism is so difficult to follow

That most Buddhists actually

Pray to Buddha

(actually another Buddha)

Although this makes no sense

Within the conceptual framework

Of Buddhist philosophy

The Evangelical Vow

 

In Mahayana / Chinese Buddhism

Monks take a vow

Called the Bodhisattva Vow

This vow is not to ascend fully

Until every sentient being

Reaches the same point

 

This is called the Greater Vehicle

For this reason

This is opposed to Hinayana / Indian Buddhism

Where the focus is on individual enlightenment

 

Buddhism is less specific in doctrines

And there are less practical divisions

Within major branches of Buddhism

Than their are between some churches

 

Traditionally Mahayana and Hinayana students

Both studied together and lived in the same dorms

Tibetan Buddhism actually builds

On both the Chinese and Indian schools

And adds its own method of enlightenment

Taken from a Tibetan version of animism

 

I believe the all Evangelical Christians

When they ask for forgiveness of sins

And believe in the fundamentals of salvation

Like the literal Biblical account of Christ's

Birth, life, death, teachings, and resurrection

 

They are also taking an implicit or indirect vow

To not give up on evangelizing

Until every person is converted

Or they physically die and go to heaven

This is because God has never given up on us

 

We as Christians now are feeling a culmination

Of many changes in culture over my lifetime

That America as whole has become so hostile to God

That evangelicals could make the argument

That they presented the Gospel as best they can

And the country totally rejected it

And there is no more that they can do

 

They could now be morally ok with

Just keeping their faith to themselves

And practice in private

And completely withdraw from the world

 

Many non-believers would rejoice

But we can never give up on non-believers

Because God didn't and doesn't

Feel that unbelievers are permanently lost

Until the very moment we die

The offer of salvation is open still

To all human beings and possibly other life forms

 

Animals have a different covenant with God

They have actually not ever sinned like us

You can read hints of this in Genesis 9

 

We are all forgiven unconditionally

So we must see others as the same as us

Just like before we were saved

We cannot expect God to forgive us

If we are not actively seeking out new converts

 

The way this is done is largely

Up to individual Christians

We must try to follow the law wherever possible

And not be obnoxious or aggressive about it

 

We should follow God's direction

And the Bible's example

Christ did not pick fights

With people unnecessarily

 

But when something was true

And central to His ministry

He did not back down

Or water down His message

 

This idea is timely because

We have just this year

Been legally required

To keep from meeting in public

Even though this violates

What our country stands for

 

While pot stores remained open

And are not used primarily for medicine

Which is only supposed to be legal

So we don't fill prisons with non-violent offenders

 

The reasoning for this change in the law

Was not to promote it

There is no mention in the Bill of Rights

About alcohol or other drugs

 

This happened because so few people cared in many states

 

We are all the prodigal son as Christians

We are to welcome in any

Who truly repent of their sins

There is more partying in heaven over one new convert

Than a sea of people who have been

Serving God faithfully all their lives

 

We are to make no distinction between

These two categories of believers

This is because we do not practice Christianity

For status with God

God cares about who you are now

Not how you were in the past

Provided you completely turn from your sins

 

The Apostle Paul was the leader

Of those persecuting the Church

And he was made the missionary leader

For spreading the Gospel

Through most of their known world

 

He was also given the honor

Of penning scripture in his own words

From the exact thoughts

Given to Him directly from God

 

Paul's letters were never disputed

As legitimate by early Christians

Even before the New Testament

Was finished and agreed upon

 

The basis for the church in its human form is the Apostle Peter

Peter ditched God and the early followers

At the most critical time

 

There is no reason to take a formal vow

For this implicit promise

As the important point is the idea behind it

Also Protestants have been using rituals

Less and less over time

What we need is hope for the future

 

If nothing else is obvious in prophecy

It is that God controls history directly

 

Christ Himself was quite a surprise

To even His closest followers

Even to those who studied prophecy and knew it best

Expect similar levels of surprises in the future

And for Christ's second coming and the apocalypse

 

Even a hundred years ago

No one would have predicted

That the political leaders of Israel would be Jews

 

A couple hundred years go

No one would believe

That a former colony

On an entirely different continent

Would win independence from the

Best army and navy on the planet

 

And then by itself

Become the biggest world power

Even when it for a long time had little interest

In world politics

And believed little in foreign intervention

 

Within the last hundred years

The church cultural center has shifted again

From America to Africa

We think belief in God is dying

Because so many people in America

Are negative about God

 

But America is only 5% of the world's population

Most of the world has become

More religious not less

Especially over the last couple hundred years

And it is continuing to accelerate

 

The majority the church is now very poor

And has very little power

We feel sorry for the poverty and violence in Africa

But many Africans feel sorry for the

Lack of spiritual knowledge in America

There are actually now African missionaries

Bringing the Gospel back to Europe

 

Recently one of the most atheist countries in the world

Has had a great revival in the Church

Albania has been the place of

Some of the greatest Christians heroes

Who fought radical Islam in the form of the Turks

Who for centuries attempted

And almost did overtake all of Europe

 

At the same time that the church

Was literally fighting itself

During the Protestant Reformation

France even made an alliance with the Turks

To further their nation

At the expense of Christianity

 

Eastern Europe came together and fought off the Turks

For Western Europe without their help

Otherwise Christianity would only be

Practiced today in Northern Ethiopia

 

The battle is spiritual

The key battlegrounds are the mind, the church, and heavenly places

If we focus on what happens in our own minds

And in our own churches

Which we have control over

The rest of society will come back to God

 

We should be engaged in the world more not less

Like on the Internet, media, and gaming

But we should avoid political connections

With religion and business

Because of several reasons

 

This has back fired many times throughout history

It is the source of both the wars of the Reformation

The fuel behind the cold war on the part of the Soviets

It is also a big reason why so many Muslims

Currently hate both America and Christianity

 

Christians and unbelievers

Do not all share the same views

And this adds on another burden

And obstacle to faith

That God has not placed on us

 

People do not need to think

The greatest threat is still communism

For them to believe in God

But it may appear so to unbelievers

It is like when the pharisees

Added things to God's law

 

Also to be effective in politics

You have to compromise morally

So much that you cannot effectively

Bring Christian morality into government

 

Neither Christ nor the apostles tried

To get involved in wars or politics

The pharisees represented the closest thing

To a connection between politics and business and religion

And they then became corrupt

 

God first wanted to govern Israel

Directly through prophets

And the Israelites were warned

When they asked for a king

They would become slaves

 

And that is what happened

The prophets constantly spoke out against

Those in power and who had authority

Who thought they were God's followers

 

God continues to pick people

Totally unfit for leadership

To implement His policies

Because it gives God credit

When you do things

By money and powerful people

It gives people credit

 

We need to refocus on spreading the Gospel

And spend less time fighting

Over the interpretation of Scripture

We need to just read the Bible directly

 

And God will make sure people

Understand His word

Who are willing

To take the time and effort

To pray and listen to God

 

We are very fortunate as English speakers

We have many very good translations

For over 40 years

There are many easy to understand versions

That are also very accurate

So much so that many may not now need

Additional Bible references to get the main points

 

Lets get back to just reading Scripture

And let the Bible speak for itself

We don't need to win theological debates

Or win public offices

Or raise lots of money

Or travel anywhere

 

We need to change others hearts

By first changing our own

We need to humble the Church before God

And He will lift it up

 

Lets wait on God before

We start our next major project

Lets spend part of our prayer time

Listening for God's response

 

Lets keep from sins as we know

Everyone is watching closely

Show unbelievers that being Christian

Brings joy and peace to our lives

 

Everyone wants to be happy and content

First the church must be content

With where it is now

It is great to not be satisfied

But let us focus this impulse to drive us to

Continue to not just reform the church

But reform our own lives

 

Let us do the best with what God has given us

And where God has placed us

And get His direction before we move

Christianity is simple to understand

But it is amazingly hard to do right

 

If God hasn't given up on me

I can never give up on unbelievers

Even now even through all of this

I am no better or more important than anyone else

Christianity forces radical equality

God loves us all the same

As we are all His children

 

Some may come only come back

Kicking and screaming

But so it is with many births

The way forward is to look to the past

To look to both scripture

And the traditions and history of the church

 

Put God first and the people will follow

The Church is a reflection

And a representative of humanity

Let us reflect Christ

 

So we may be ready for anything

Because we haven't seen anything

Like the changes will be

Over the next 50 years

What Does Obedience Mean?

 

What does obedience mean

In the context of the Bible

Christ wants us to obey Him

But many people have had

Bad experiences with authority figures

 

Many became one because

They wanted power over others

They have become addicted to power

And have sometimes even been abusive

 

But just because you had a bad experience

With you parent or boss

The law or the military

This is not the kind of leader Christ is

Thinking this way is stereotyping others

And this is a big component of

What are called racism and sexism

 

It is not in God's nature

To abuse His power

He will never force us

To do things we are unwilling to do

 

Furthermore He commands us

To do things that are best for us

Chosen by the very One

Who created us

 

God is always just

Plus He is merciful

He is slow to anger and quick to forgive

To do so He took all evil upon Himself

To reconcile both justice and mercy

Within who He is and His character

 

God is consistent and always faithful

This is why we should return

This gift with a commitment

To be faithful to God

 

I personally had a bad experience

With authority in the military

And bureaucracy in general

I respected almost all my leaders

As I believed they would do

Anything they asked me to do

And they would risk their lives for me

Who they did not know at all

 

But I quickly realized

The very nature of modern war

Required them to ask things of us

Unreasonable to ask of anyone

Our military has gone to

Great lengths to be as kind as possible

With both our people and our enemies

 

The problem though is you have to be cruel

In order to wage modern war

You can be less cruel than the others

But our soldiers have to fight

Cultures that do not value kindness

Or even the dignity of individual people

 

They do not even believe in the morality

Of what we all would say are basic human rights

That often treat women worse than this

And foreigners can be treated even worse than that

 

Many nations have a long memory

Of a history of cruelty done on them

From others who share their borders

They were weak and unable to defend themselves

And no one came to their aid

So they have engaged in a cycle of revenge

This has even sometimes inspired genocide

 

The US is often unfairly caught in the middle

When we try to fix other nations

They both take it as an insult

And they often unite both sides of the conflict

Against us until we completely leave their country

 

The US came late to the game of history

Americans have been very naive and simplistic

We think all nations are honest and upfront

Because we are unwilling to study

Other cultures and other religions

Other histories and other languages

 

We are at a big disadvantage

Many nations have learned

Many techniques over the centuries

To get what they want out of us

 

If we would only study the humanities

By both valuing and funding them

We would learn that no one is good

Nations always adopt policies

That help out their nation or people

Regardless of their impact on others

 

Many countries have extreme national pride

And are literally willing to anything for their country

Many countries value religion so much

That this is what determines their entire foreign policy

Taking no other factors into account

Most other countries outside the US and Europe

Put national pride and religion

Above economics in importance

 

They do not respect us

For buying their leaders off

Many nations we want to be friends with

Want nothing at all to do with us

 

Many nations see our entire way of life

As hedonistic, selfish, and violent

Our foreign policy used to be

To stay out of foreign affairs and wars

 

Then World War II happened

And then 9/11 happened

Then we continued to rapidly increase

And continue to accelerate our aggressiveness

In every part of the world

 

Most branches of our government

Have adopted this policy

At both local and international levels

These policies support rich donors

At the expense of everyone else

 

It turns out that without huge subsidies

From the tax payers money

Oil would not be cheaper

Than green energy options

 

But modern society depends on oil

For many other things as well

Like modern medicine

And everything that uses plastics

This along with computers

Are supported by a brittle infrastructure

 

The entire world economy depends

Upon a US presence in the Middle East

And good relations with China

These groups are as opposed to our way of life

As it is possible to be

One approach we use is to pay them off

The other is to intimidate them with our military

 

This puts the enlisted soldier

Into a very dangerous, vulnerable, and lose-lose situation

The enlisted soldier has to suffer

Because of the ignorance, poor judgement, and arrogance of our leadership

 

We should never hold police officers, soldiers, or customs agents

Accountable for what their upper management

Require them to implement

If you do not like following a law

Or a country doesn't like our foreign policy

It is unfair and ineffective

To take it out on the weakest and least powerful

In the entire system

 

It is also unfair and unreasonable

To put these who serve faithfully

In such a position

And then do little to nothing

To protect them from the obvious dangerous situations

Caused for the sake of maintaining

Our one world government

 

In a Star Wars analogy

We are the evil empire and

The resistance are hackers and terrorists

Unfortunately those who are

Targeted most by these groups

Are the poorest and weakest amongst us

Who have no control over what their leaders do

 

It all goes back to the time around World War II

Where every major product sold

With any decent degree of profit margin

Has been marketed as making our lives easier

And making us happier

 

Even though many would laugh

At the ridiculousness of this idea

You stop laughing

When your job depends on it

 

Most people then follow these

Unaware of where the ideas came from

If the message is repeated often enough

This is called advertising or propaganda

But can be used for good purposes too

 

Do not shoot the messenger

The soldier, police officer, or customs agent

Who are not the source of your problems

The lobbyists and congress are

The banks also run our economy in America and internationally

Not the president

 

To fundamentally change our world for the better

We would have to dismantle modern society

The best way to do this is to

Let the system break down slowly

This is what will be happening

For the next 50 years

 

Instead of a brief apocalyptic world war

Our society will slowly unwind itself

Because both powerful people and peons like us

Both benefit from this approach

 

As the powerful people stay in power

And we avoid being in the same situation

Happening in Africa today

Where leaders promise they will be benevolent

And then loot the country and persecute the people

 

I agree with the sentiment

Of the environmental approach

But successfully communicating to the public

About the gravity of the issue

And our current situation

 

Would only inspire people to give up

And become paranoid

We in America go from there is no problem

Directly to lets give up

Because we have no hope

 

Wars and Fighting

 

Everything has to be proven

Nothing can be taken for granted

Any type of reasoning is accepted

It does not need to make sense to everyone

 

Philosophy questions everything

Nothing stands by itself

There must be a reason

For everything there is

But you must be consistent

 

Philosophers work alone

For a reason

It is not a group project

They also inspire disagreements

 

And other philosophers

Take your same ideas

To argue the opposite point

These ideas work like toy bricks

That can be stacked on each other

In billions of different configurations

Like the letters in the alphabet

 

Anything can be drawn from

For instance there is the classical example

You see a chair in the room

You cannot just assume it is real

 

So when I work with theology

It is not limited to theology

I start outside the Bible

And I do not include any other absolutes

 

I do not work out of any tradition

I also do not assume anything else

Like our assumed idea of time

Or our assumed logic

 

Sure I have read many ideas

From many sources

But I do not adopt

Anyone's ideas fully

I created my own philosophy

 

I do not follow a particular philosophy

I think philosophy itself should be studied

But I don't want to promote

Any one philosophical school

That said, I do have my own definite opinions

I do not claim to be objective at all

It is not something I strive for or value

 

One of the biggest explanations

That helps me understand the Bible

Come from the idea of paradox

As understood by the Chinese

 

You have often heard of the yin and the yang

The little dots on each side are seeds

So that the seed of one

Is contained in the other

The 2 sides flow into each other

From opposite directions

 

The yin and yang represent

Opposing ideas or values

The relationship are complimentary

Like male and female

It does not represent good and evil

 

On reflection over many years

As well as my natural inclinations

I think all the most important ideas

Of the Bible are paradoxes

 

Many outside the faith

See these as contradictions

And many inside the faith

Have divided the church over it

 

One of the biggest driving factors of this

Is to understand the Bible rationally

As much as possible

And to use faith to fill in the rest

 

The Church has done an excellent job

Of presenting Christ in a very

Efficient, analytical, and highly precise manner

Which is effective with many people

Because this reflects our current culture

 

The thinking is that the Bible

Needs to be explained and proven rationally

The Bible is reorganized, recategorized, and marked

To an astonishing detail and thoroughness

 

Everything factual about the Bible

And its culture and history

Are put under a magnifying glass

And combed through like an archaeologist

 

They feel a need to give a rational argument

For every doctrine

They also believe you have to have

Only one interpretation for every doctrine

 

They are obsessed with the earliest Church

Thinking because they had the same culture as the Bible

They then understood the Bible better than us

And that this lack of understanding

Is what keeps people from Christ

They also believe that poor doctrine can be avoided

By making better explanations

 

Remember the pharisees rejected God

And they understood all of this better than any of us

The majority of the Jewish people

And the nation of Israel itself

Was constantly unfaithful to God

 

Jesus said numerous times that the Old Testament

Gave enough information for people to have saving faith

Sure it only was possible for this to happen retroactively

And Jesus Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection were

Essential for God's plan for salvation to work

 

But the patriarchs are all saved by faith

According to grace as proved by their

Actions following in obedience

It also could be said they obeyed God

By having faith which counted as righteousness

 

Sure the Bible is true

And we have proven it

About as well as can be done by people

And yet our culture knowing this

Has completely rejected God

 

Many churches are still divided

Over things I think are the same

Just explained differently

Many disagree on what is essential or not

Even people with a lot of education and sincerity

 

I think the Bible even though

It is incredibly complicated

Is also very simple to understand

To practice the faith

 

I also believe that just as God is

Fair and merciful with us

He has not gone to all the trouble

To die on the cross for our sins

To let people fall away

Because of a lack of understanding

 

I also believe this so much that I believe through

Prayer, reflection, listening to God

And then following what He says

Are the only critical elements to faith

As far as understanding Scripture is concerned

Which is required for salvation because

We are starting from scratch

 

The big obstacles to the faith

Are not lack of understanding but stubbornness

Most people do not follow God

Because they do not find spiritual things important

Or they want to find an easier way

Not because they misunderstand theological concepts

 

These unbelievers can figure out

How to follow God from the Bible

What we need to instill in them today

Is a desire to please God

 

People need to accept that

They are bad and God is good

They need to understand

Why they need to follow God

And should want to follow Him

 

Today many non-Christians

Are seeking sincerity and authenticity

If they are suspicious

That you are using formulaic approaches

Or you move too fast

They distrust you

 

Too many people have run

Too many scams

In the name of free things

As well as many people are just distrustful in general

Because of all the American cults

And general divisions in society

 

I think giving the impression

That salvation is free, fast, and easy

Sounds too much like

The way many products are sold today

That does not mean compromising

The message of salvation

And how we cannot earn our salvation

 

But just because God gives it to us by grace

Does not mean we do not need

To work hard to humble ourselves before God

Or to prove our faith to ourselves, God, and others

By taking our faith to its logical conclusion

Which is the fruits of the spirit

As the Holy Spirit works in our lives

 

We are too much in a rush in America

God will give people sufficient time and resources

To find Him and repent of there sins and

Accept Him as savior before they die

 

Without going through the process so fast

That they haven't really had time to understand

The gravity of what they're deciding on

We have to prepare the soil well

Before we can plant anything that will take root

 

That is the normal process God has created for us

But He wants us to make it possible for people

Who don't have the time before they die

Or who have really bad health

 

So if a person is dying soon

You can move faster in conversions

Or if someone has bad health

You can modify the kind of baptism

 

If you cannot seem to make a theology

Without accounting for all these

What some call edge cases

You will end up with a theology

With so many clauses

That no one actually reads it

Even amongst church members

 

The confusion over this

Has gotten ridiculous

I am mentally ill

And understand it

Use common sense

 

The Bible will not be a legal contract

Even though it would make many happy

The Bible opens a can of worms

And you cannot just put God in a box

 

He is going to challenge you

And challenge you on many levels

If you can't understand

Why God would make exceptions for people

Than you don't know much about God

 

God cares about your attitude most of all

You should want and follow through with baptism

Because part of faith is

Following through with your decision

The point is you have accepted God as your leader

And now want to please Him

 

So while salvation can occur

In a one minute prayer

If you are not on deaths doorstep

You will have works to show for it

 

These are connected and natural things

Like getting a baby after being pregnant

Not every time does that happen

And we should never intervene in between

But that is what you should have been planning on

James 4

World English Bible

 

Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don't they come from your pleasures that war in your members?

You lust, and don't have. You murder and covet, and can't obtain. You fight and make war. You don't have, because you don't ask.

You ask, and don't receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously"?

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."Proverbs 3:34 7 Be subject therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Don't speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge another?

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow let's go into this city, and spend a year there, trade, and make a profit."

Whereas you don't know what your life will be like tomorrow. For what is your life? For you are a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.

For you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will both live, and do this or that."

But now you glory in your boasting. All such boasting is evil.

To him therefore who knows to do good, and doesn't do it, to him it is sin.

 

Time of Job, the Patriarch

 

Many Christians in America

Consider themselves patriots

They often try to make some connection

Between America and God

 

It is true we are wealthy and powerful

As a nation

But I have a hard time seeing

How being physically rich

Means we are more spiritual than Africa

Which is materially poor

 

Certainly the apostles never made this connection

And especially never advocated duty to any country

 

The US does not appear in prophecy

Unless it is what is referred to as mystery Babylon

Or the places we escape into the hills

From persecution by the anti-christ

 

In fact the idea of God and Country

Is a pagan concept from Latin

Literally meaning from altars and hearths

Referring to the altars of the spirit of the house

This refers also to the family home

 

This idea was merged into Christianity

In the "Summation of Theology"

Done by Thomas Aquinas

These are his ideas on piety

And have weak scriptural support

 

Much of similar lore has been developed by America

Has been done for rich empires

Like Pagan Rome and the British Empire

 

Part of this lore is that

The world was at peace under their rule

Probably the parts within or controlled by the empire

Were at peace with each other

While they followed the orders of the emperor

 

Ironically the words God and Country was

The first title for the film later released as Zero Dark Thirty

Depicting the killing of Osama bin Laden

 

One of the reason why it is hard to get proof

For what the US is doing is much of this is classified

 

Although much of it has been released and well explained by Edward Snowden

There were others who released the same information before

But it was more poorly explained or they were caught

Before they talked to the media

Because they didn't go directly to Hong Kong

 

It is sad and inexcusable that he left

With so much information

So that there are likely agents

Captured and killed because of him

But he did get enough information

To substantiate what he says

 

Some others including the person who created

The computer systems they use for this

Spoke out against it

But did not reveal any classified information

 

And now they are blacklisted

For employment anywhere

In the entire commercial technology field

You can watch these things on Discovery Channel

 

The US empire or now world corporation

Is just a natural continuation

Of the military industrial complex of the cold war

 

Basically the entire government is in the process

Or has been outsourced to corporations

Just like our blue collar jobs have been

Outsourced to the third world

 

This allows both to do things

They might get in trouble with otherwise

The big threat is called terrorism, COVID, or hacking

 

But the real concern is that once people find out

What the US is doing behind the scenes

This will dismantle a lot of support for the government

And make it harder to raise money and soldiers for the military

 

Our entire world is in a very fragile balance

Because we favored efficiency to such an extent

That we didn't consider resilience as important

 

So as much

As it is downright evil

It is also necessary

For the world economy to work and

For the technology we enjoy today to exist

 

And taking it down will probably

Bring worse people to power

And it is actually slowly unwinding itself anyway

 

It is all driven by the technology, economy, and weather

We think we are in control but we are not

This will become evident for most

Over the next 50 years

 

The US rules as much by ideology

As it does by military power

As any empire has throughout history

If too many people won't follow the government

There are never enough police

 

Most people are not aware

Because they have not watched Burn Notice

But basically the job of a spy is to commit crimes

And other immoral actions in other countries

To manipulate other countries

Into doing what America wants

 

Every country does this

But it is based on concepts of

The greater good is better than the individual

That the ends justify the means

And that we are the lesser of two evils

 

All these are morally ambiguous at best

And have been used to justify

Many bad things throughout history

The Bible itself speaks much against

The ways of the world

And how Christians are aliens in this world

Because how we work and how God works

Is counter to the way people work

 

We have an entirely different ethical system than any country

We are called to follow the country's laws

And obligations like jury duty

 

This does not mean we should seek out ways

To expand the power of the one world government

By re-enforcing these pagan concepts

Our country is based on

 

The military and church support each other

Much as the church supported

The kings, emperors, and tzars

In Western Europe and Imperial Russia

It has never ended well and it will continue

To have bad unintended consequences

 

Many Americans Christians see the time ahead of us

As a time of judgement by God on liberals

I see that we are going through a testing time

For Christians like in the life of Job

 

Most people would agree that

We are going to become outsiders and sidelined

And many may even be persecuted in some form

I believe we will be tested like Job

 

Just as Job was blessed by God with wealth

Then God allowed the devil to inflict pain on Him

To prove Job followed God because

He loved God not because God made him rich

 

The Church does not need to try

To support the one world government

Many people are aware and planning the transition

To a post western ideology world

 

When the enlightenment fully works

Its way through society

The enlightenment ideas will bring about its own destruction

Standing behind America blindly

Does not encourage people to adopt the Gospel

In the Third World or Global South

 

But many there have figured this out already

And that is why the most effective evangelizing in Africa

Is being done by indigenous churches

Not ones affiliated with western ideology

 

Many of these policies that benefit us in the Empire

Are at the expense of fellow believers in Africa

Soon we will be forced to choose between

American ideology and God

What I Believe

I said in my heart, "As for the sons of men, God tests them, so that they may see that they themselves are like animals. For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-20 WEB

But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. or if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don't even the tax collectors[l] do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:44-48 WEB

There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful, and mirth may end in heaviness. The unfaithful will be repaid for his own ways; likewise a good man will be rewarded for his ways. A simple man believes everything, but the prudent man carefully considers his ways.

Proverbs 14:12-15 WEB

Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshiped. He said, "Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked will I return there. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away. Blessed be Yahweh's name." In all this, Job didn't sin, nor charge God with wrongdoing.

Job 1:21-22 WEB

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you," says Yahweh, "thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future. You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you," says Yahweh...

Jeremiah 29:11-14 WEB

If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart will be there perpetually.

2 Chronicles 7:13-16 WEB

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. For by this, the elders obtained testimony. By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible... Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:1-3,6 WEB

How shall I come before Yahweh, and bow myself before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Yahweh be pleased with thousands of rams? With tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my disobedience? The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:6-8 WEB

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn't know God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe. For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God; because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things that are strong. God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that don't exist, that he might bring to nothing the things that exist, that no flesh should boast before God. Because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: that, as it is written, "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."Jeremiah 9:24

1 Corinthians 1:20-31 WEB

...that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed."Isaiah 28:16 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him. For, "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."Joel 2:32 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Good News of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"Isaiah 52:7 But they didn't all listen to the glad news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"Isaiah 53:1 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:9-17 WEB

Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. For I say through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith....Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another; not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer; contributing to the needs of the saints; given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don't curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Don't set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Don't be wise in your own conceits. Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord."Deuteronomy 32:35

Romans 12:1-3,9-19 WEB

This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don't tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we haven't sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:5-10 WEB

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won't fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, that you may not do the things that you desire. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God's Kingdom. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,[a] gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let's also walk by the Spirit. Let's not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.

Galatians 5:16-25 WEB

Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. Don't be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don't grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn't fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. "Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning. Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the wedding feast; that when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those servants whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you that he will dress himself, make them recline, and will come and serve them. They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch, and finds them so. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don't expect him."

Luke 12:29-40 WEB

I waited patiently for Yahweh. He turned to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Yahweh. Blessed is the man who makes Yahweh his trust, and doesn't respect the proud, nor such as turn away to lies. Many, Yahweh, my God, are the wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are toward us. They can't be declared back to you. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be counted. Sacrifice and offering you didn't desire. You have opened my ears. You have not required burnt offering and sin offering. Then I said, "Behold, I have come. It is written about me in the book in the scroll. I delight to do your will, my God. Yes, your law is within my heart." I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly. Behold, I will not seal my lips, Yahweh, you know. I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart. I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation. I have not concealed your loving kindness and your truth from the great assembly. Don't withhold your tender mercies from me, Yahweh. Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head. My heart has failed me. Be pleased, Yahweh, to deliver me. Hurry to help me, Yahweh. Let them be disappointed and confounded together who seek after my soul to destroy it. Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt. Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, "Aha! Aha!" Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let such as love your salvation say continually, "Let Yahweh be exalted!" But I am poor and needy. May the Lord think about me. You are my help and my deliverer. Don't delay, my God.

Psalm 40 WEB

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's chosen ones, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who can't lie, promised before time began; but in his own time revealed his word in the message with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior; to Titus, my true child according to a common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior... To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess that they know God, but by their deeds they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.

Titus 1:1-4,15 WEB

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Say these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one despise you.

Titus 2:11-15 WEB

Remind them to be in subjection to rulers and to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all humility toward all men. For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men;

Titus 3:1-8 WEB