Category Archives: Religion

Is God Constant and Unchanging?

Ever heard the phrase, “All change is not improvement but all improvement requires change”? I see God wanting to bring about a new creation on planet Earth. I don’t see the current world as the culmination of perfection, so I think there is room for improvement.

I hear people occasionally say that God is constant and unchanging. But is this so? If God is 100% constant to the point that he will not or cannot change, then how do we as Christians explain away Exodus 32:14 (quoted here in context)?

7 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

9 “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”

11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ ” 14 Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

“Relented” in verse 14 sounds like a “change” word to me. Moses even violated God’s direct commandment to leave Him alone to accomplish His divine wrath in verse 10, but God does not hold it against him.

There are other nebulous passages too like Abraham’s pseudo-sacrifice of Isaac. God told Abraham to kill his son, but stopped him at the last moment. So I don’t think God is 100% constant and unchanging in every situation. God certainly let Moses sway His opinion of the Israelites – though some bible scholars see this as more of a test of Moses than a reflection of God’s personality. Personally, I fail to understand why it must be one or the other. I think this beautifully illustrates both the character of God and Moses’ love for his people. God brought this out by putting Moses in this situation. Thus, I think it’s clear that God is more complex than a mere description of His being constant or unchanging accurately reflects.

Furthermore, until Jesus’ return, I believe God uses human beings to accomplish His will and it is God’s will that I consider improvement. He in fact chose us to partner with him in transforming and restoring our world for Him and to Him. We can do nothing apart from Him, however, but he does use us. Therefore, until Jesus’ return, we are the vessles of change in our world.

Democrat or Republican: Christians and Voting

There’s an underlying assumption in political circles. That assumption is that voting Republican means voting Christian values and voting Democratic does not. That’s simply not true. I don’t think the Republicans have a retainer with God even though there are some who’d like the American people to think that.

It’s a very difficult election decision, isn’t it? We have only two real choices. A vote for a third party would be simply wasted, so what do you do? On the one hand we have Barack Obama who clearly is in favor of abortion. Abortion is most certainly wrong in God’s eyes, so we can’t vote for him. The other choice is John McCain who divorced his first wife (after he returned home from the war to find her disfigured from a disease) but God hates divorce! (Jesus’ words, not mine.) So we can’t vote for John McCain either. Logically, we can’t vote for either one because both have violated God’s will so should we not vote at all? That would mean the non-Christians would have a free-for-all and get to choose the type of government we have. That’s no good either and we’re left with our original choice: Obama or McCain?

I don’t know for certain who will become president or who would even be the best choice. I personally believe that the track record of the current Republican administration has been disastrous on a number of levels. People who think we’re better off now than 8 years ago should probably vote for John McCain. People who think we are worse off now should probably vote for Obama.

I read the following article just this past week. It better highlights some of the issues facing Christians when voting. It’s objective and well written.

What’s Wrong with the Democrats (and Republicans) and “The American Dream”

I trust everyone will pray about their vote and be an informed voter.

Warren Buffett: The Rich Need to Pay More Taxes

Billionaire Tells Congress the Tax Code Is Unfair to Lower-Income Americans
ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3869458&page=1

An honest rich man! On national news, no less! Jesus talked about these kinds of people as being extremely rare in Matthew 19:23-26:

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (KJV)

Do you think you’ll ever hear about someone like this again? And regardless of your political persuasion this IS a commentary on the current political situation. It seems to me that the American people, particularly those of faith, have a very difficult decision this election.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – attributed to Edward Burke

Cell Phone vs Bible

Gadget Bag January 2006

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

  • What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
  • What if we flipped through it several times a day?
  • What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
  • What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
  • What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
  • What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
  • What if we used it when we traveled?
  • What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go: “Hmm. Where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill! And no dropped calls!

Makes you stop and think “What are my priorities?

Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/41894168820@N01/84294702

Lakeland Revival with Todd Bentley

Is it real? Is it fake? Here are some of my thoughts based on my personal and past experiences.

On http://www.charismamag.com/news/archives/042208d.html it says: “Prophetic minister Bob Jones told Bentley he believed the angel’s name was “Winds of Change”–the same angel, Jones said, that visited healing evangelist William Branham in the 1940s.”

I dated a girl in college who followed the teaching of William Marrion Branham and Branham denied the trinity. He emphasized that God was One and not three. Is this enough to make the modern-day followers of William Branham a cult by most Christian standards? I don’t know. I also don’t know anything about this Todd Bentley, but I have heard of Bob Jones and the article says that Jones identified the angel as the same one that Branham claimed.

Scripture says that we should always test the spirits to see if they are from God. Angels are merely messengers from God (both words translated from the Greek are actually one and the same!) and will never seek their own glory like the angel in Revelation when John bends down to worship him. The angels always point to God and give him the credit AND from what I read God is being glorified. Since God is being glorified (at least in word) it seems to contradict that this is not real. I truly don’t know how this fits in because none of the accounts I’ve seen so far are firsthand. They all seem to be at least secondhand. It really matters what Todd and Bob are saying and of course what they really believe.

Now, can God use anyone for His purposes? The answer is yes because we have Cyrus, a pagan, in the book of Daniel. God also used the Assyrians and Babylonians to do his bidding so you can’t flat out deny what’s going on just because these men may not have their beliefs straight because of an association I read in one report. Still, it makes me stand back and question whether this is all real, partly real, or something else.

One other thing, nowhere in the bible does it ever state that there will be this big revival right before Jesus returns that I am aware of. (If anyone knows of any scripture passages that speak of one, please let me know.) In fact, one can infer that a reason God has to come back to Earth in the book of Revelation is because man degenerates to such a low point that all life would cease if He did not return. That doesn’t sound like there’s going to be a revival to me although some people still believe one will take place.

I would like to see this through. I’ll pray tonight about this. I welcome your comments and discussion too. Again, it would be wonderful if it is true and that God is performing a mighty work in our time. However, the dangers of how people will be turned off from, and even hostile toward, Christianity if it is not true when this revival is all over is too high a price to pay to be wrong. I think a pinch of skepticism in this is both wise and valid. Remember the crook televangelists.

BTW, three paragraphs down from the quote above it says: “The boy lay motionless on the platform, and his father bent over him, pressing his forehead to his son’s. “I feel he’s in some kind of vision or something,” Bentley told the crowd. When the boy got up five minutes later he said bright angels had come to him and “put their hands on me.”

Now, every time I hear about angels – and in particular, “angels of light” – I am reminded that Satan is an angel of light and impersonates God. I am not trying to be pessimistic in this. This could truly be a miracle from God. I am merely trying with my limited capacity to “test the spirits”. Please join me in this and put this revival to scrutiny based on your own understanding of God and scripture. God actually commands us to do this! Ask Him to reveal the truth to you. That’s what I’m going to do.

Fresh Fire Ministries is the official web site for Todd Bentley’s ministry.

[Update! I no longer have any doubts about this not being a move of God. I believe this is a massive deception of Satan. Read the comments for more information.]

The Prayer of Jabez

About the 6th of April, I began praying the Prayer of Jabez each day. I learned about the prayer from a book by the same name. I must say that my life has been enhanced from making the decision to pray this prayer. It’s not the words, of course, it’s the meaning behind the words that makes the difference. The Prayer of Jabez is a commitment to God and to a higher way of living. It’s that commitment that is the subject of this post.

The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Bruce H. Wilkinson explores the relationship that this man Jabez had with his God. The prayer naturally divides into four parts and the book provides a commentary for each part. I think, however, that the last part when Jabez prayed that he might not cause pain should stand on its own as perhaps a fifth part. For me it is just as important to include this in the prayer as the four main parts.

You see, the only thing some people have is their reputation. Consider the story of Ruth. She had no possessions, but she did have a good reputation and it was this reputation that allowed Boaz to love her and ultimately redeem her and Naomi. Therefore, it matters a great deal whether a person causes pain to another whether intentional or not. Memories of past pain or the expectation of pain caused by the reputation of an individual will most certainly have a negative effect on both concerned. To leave out the part of the prayer asking God to not allow oneself to cause another pain is to leave out an equally important part of the complete prayer of Jabez.