Monday, March 26, 2007


Another post by GED Nate...

Although I do not totally agree with some of what he says [he seems to skip over some verses in Scripture], I do think he is on the right path in some of his thoughts.

So here we go!

"The consequence of Privileged information."

The Receiving End of Sirens "The Evidence"

It seems to come around every year without fail, stewardship month. A month full of Pastors begging for its members to dedicate X amount of dollars for the year. How much, and how many times are we to give our tithe? But how important is tithing? What about giving to the poor?

First lets get the actual definition of tithing so we are all on the same page: the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy.

First, how many times are you to give a tenth of your earnings?

Deuteronomy 26:12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

Amos 4:3-54 "Go to Bethel and sin;
go to Gilgal and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three years.

So right from the begging the commandment if for every 3 years during the year of tithe. This is something I have never heard sitting in front of a pulpit. My question is when did it go from a 3-year thing to a year or every month commandment?

Secondly, giving or tithing to the poor.

Acts 10:4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

Its seems that when we give to the poor, or are asked to give it is supposed to be an offering above and beyond the tenth that is dedicated to the church. But as this verse clearly states’ giving to the poor is giving to God.

Why does giving to the poor have to be a secondary gift, when we are commanded over and over again to give to the poor? When did we make the distinction of giving to the poor is different from giving to God?

Thirdly, how important is tithing?
Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men robbers, evildoers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke 11:42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. (Also see Matthew 23:23)
When you place such an importance on tithing you are in going against the commandments of Jesus himself. Taking one month out of the year solely to focus on tithing seems to me to be doing just this.

The thing we have to remember is that tithing is not the greatest commandment.

1 Corinthians 13:2-4 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Now I must state that I am not against giving to the church, the church needs money to operate. Tithing is a commandment of God; there is no question of that. My question is how did we get this new definition of tithing. The way the church, or at least every church I have ever been to, speaks about tithing is unbiblical.

Tithing was not established for churches to buy new projectors or a fancy new pulpit, it was meant to benefit the people who attend the church. It is meant to do God's work, which I simply don't think is new comfortable pews for the people to sit in.

Maybe if more Pastors would preach tithing as giving to do the Lords work, and then the people saw the church doing God's work, they would be more interested in giving.

GED Nate

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm Impressed

By a comment made by GED Nate...

I just don't see how we can think God created a world, tells us to enjoy the world, died for this world, and yet we are to have nothing to do with it.

I think we need to stop looking up, and start looking around the corner at the people suffering.

We need to see the difference in loving a world of sin, and loving a world of people who sin.

[We may just have to give him back his honorary doctorate]

Sunday, March 18, 2007


School of Hetero

This is a questionnaire that was presented to a middle school sometime last year.

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When did you decided you were heterosexual?

3. For those you have disclosed your heterosexuality, how did they react?

4. How do you know you are not attracted to the same sex if you have never slept with them?

5. Do you think you have simply not met the right same sex partner yet?

Now as humorous or outlandish these questions must seem they prove a valid point. When the word homo is replaced with hetero it shows how foolish the questions must seem to a gay person.

Its basically the "walk a mile in their shoes" theory. I think that everyone especially Christians should do this. Before you write off a homosexual person as an "evil person" or a "fag" think about what they must feel like.

Same with abortion. Now, I am not for abortion, and I do believe homosexuality is wrong, but I think we always have to remeber the greatest commandment. Which is love.

Before you judge, you must first love. Before you correct, you must first love, because love is the greatest comandment.

By Master Nate [He has been upgraded from GED Nate to a Master's of Debating Nate after this interesting post]

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More Thoughts On The Future

Here are a few thoughts on the future by GED Nate:

Apocalypse is not in the Bible, Armegedon is only mentioned once as a place not a time, tribulation mentioned once with no seven year time laps:

Rev. 7:15 And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them."

The rapture not mentioned, millennium nope, antichrist is only mentioned in 2 John and the verse does not point to one person:

2 John 1:27 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist, as well when it does point towards one person it also points to someone already on earth:

1 John 2:22 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

Notice the plural antichrists

[His doctorate from Oxford was recently revoked]

Friday, March 16, 2007

A More Positive View?

"Christian eschatology must be broadened out into cosmic eschatology, for otherwise it becomes a Gnostic doctrine of redemption, and is bound to teach, no longer the redemption of the world but a redemption from the world, no longer the redemption of the body but a deliverance of the soul from the body. But men and women are not aspirants for angelic status, whose home is heaven and who feel that on this earth they are in exile. They are creatures of flesh and blood. Their eschatological future is human and earthly future – ‘the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come’.”

--Jurgen Moltmann, The Coming of God

If your like me, a bit slow, you have to read Moltmann twice to really understand what he is saying...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Most Positive View Of The Future?

Is dispensationalism the most positive viewpoint for the future of our world?

We get to be raptured and watch all the horrors from the safety of heaven...

Dispensationalists in their own words:

“God will destroy this earth that is so marred and cursed by Satan’s evil. He will include the atmospheric heaven to guarantee that all semblance of evil has been cleared away.”
[Tim LaHaye]

“John was hurtled by God’s Spirit through time up to the end of the twentieth century, shown the actual cataclysmic events of the Tribulation, then returned to the first century and told to write about what he had witnessed”
[Hal Lindsey, The Rapture: Truth or Consequences, 101-102]

“We are seeing in my judgment the birth-pangs that will be called in the future the beginning of the end. I believe in my mind that the Third World War has already begun.”
[John Hagee, BBC Interview]

Rayford Steele, Left Behind’s hero, is given multiple opportunities to thwart or destroy the evil Antichrist early in the series. But he refrains from doing so because he views the Bible as a preset script dictating that the Antichrist “must” live for seven more years.
[From Soul Harvest, The World Takes Sides, Volume 4 in the Left Behind Series]

“Scripture had come to life. This was the Red Horse of the Apocalypse. Next would come more death and famine and plagues until a quarter of the population of the earth that remained after the rapture was wiped out.”
[LaHaye and Jenkins, Nicolae, 108]

“The first time He came to earth, Jesus was the Lamb of God, led in silence to the slaughter. The next time He comes, He will be the Lion of the tribe of Judah who will trample His enemies until their blood stains His garments, and He shall rule with a rod of iron. Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
[John Hagee, Daniel to Doomsday, 239]

“That old curiosity was back. Rayford couldn’t shake it. No way he could be this close to Armageddon—he guessed less than seventy miles—and not do a flyover. It was crazy, he knew. He might find himself in an air traffic jam. But the possibility of seeing an aerial view of what he had been hearing and reading and praying about drew him like an undertow.”
[LaHaye and Jenkins, Armageddon, 234]

The new heavens and new earth won’t waste any space with oceans or mountains or deserts, since such landscapes are uninhabitable for humans and are therefore “worthless.”

Monday, March 12, 2007

Adam Threatens To Go America...

Yesterday Adam threatened to "go America" on me if I didn't give at least a little hint as to my views on eschatology. Since I don't know what "going America" entails, I'm assuming that it's not the least bit pleasant.

So in order to escape my imminent fate, here are a few thoughts [These are taken from a book I am engaging with right now: "The Rapture Exposed" by Barbara Rossing, pg. 41] The book challenges the "dispensational" interpretation of the book of Revelation.

1. There is no mention of a rebuilt Jerusalem temple anywhere in the New Testament, including Revelation
2. Neither Daniel nor Revelation uses the word Antichrist
3. There is no record in Revelation or Daniel o the Antichrist making a covenant with Israel
4. There is no record in Daniel or Revelation of the Antichrist breaking the covenant with Israel
5. There is no mention that Jesus will set up an earthly throne in Jerusalem

I hope these points will be taken into consideration anytime one seeks to properly exegete the book of Revelation.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

For Your Enjoyment...

Romans in a few words...

This post is borne out of a discussion on the topic of Romans 9 God loving some and hating others...

Here are my brief thoughts on the book of Romans as whole, eventually getting around to Romans 9 and the issue of God's giving mercy to some.

The book of Romans has often been called “Paul’s most systematic theology”. The book is often times divided into neat little divisions, 1-3; 5-8; 9-11; 12-16, and given titles for each section. Often times as readers we approach the book of Romans as if it were several different books with different subheads. I think that reading of Romans is what has lead people to read Romans 9-11 with what I call 21st century glasses, and ignore the overall context, and message of Paul in Romans.

One of the main issues, if not the issue for Paul and the early church was the admission of Gentiles into the people of God. The Jews were the chosen people of God, saw themselves as “in”, and the Gentiles were most certainly out. Throughout the book of Romans Paul addresses this issue.

Romans 1:5 “Through Him and for his name’s sake we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles”
Romans 1:16 “[The gospel] is the power of God first for the Jew and then for the Gentile” [Side note: I don’t think this verse explains the gospel, but rather shows the power of the gospel. Too often people assume that Romans 1:16-17 is Paul’s definition of the gospel, I disagree, but that’s another story for another time]

Paul then goes on to show the sinfulness, and lost ness of every man. Carefully outlining that both Jew and Gentile are sinners in need of God
[1:18-32 — the depravity of all people] [chapter 2 both Gentiles and Jews are sinful. 2:14, 17-29 is especially enlightening]
In fact in chapter 2 Paul goes on to show that just because you are a Jew and have the law it doesn’t mean that you are better than someone else.
3:9 Paul comes to the conclusion that both Jew and Gentile are both under sin.

So we can see here that Paul is weaving this argument throughout the entire book. Jew and Gentile are sinners; neither can claim that they are in because of race alone [nor could they ever do that].

Romans 3:28-29 “Justification by faith” Here is where I follow Wright

Justification in this passage, and the “works of the law” are not referents to the fact that the Jews were trying to earn their salvation by their outward actions. Rather what Paul is referring to here in observing the law is the fact that the Jews believed that their Torah obedience was a badge of membership that set them apart from the Gentiles. It was how you could tell one was a real Jew. Paul challenges them here in this passage stating that God is the God of both Jew and Gentile. Their works of the law were not Pelagian self-righteous works. Once again the Jew/Gentile divide is clear.

Romans 4 — An appeal to Abraham. He was justified before circumcision [Jew vs. Gentile]

Romans 5 — Adam, all are sinners regardless of race. [BTW Romans 5:18 seems to hint at universalism — threw that in there for Nathanael]

Romans 6 — No longer under Law but under grace for all

Romans 8 — The spirit comes to all through faith, not through racial privilege [as if it ever did]

So then we come to Romans 9 [I know this is a real short synopsis of the first 8 chapters, but I don’t want this to go on forever in the hopes that you may actually read it]

We must keep in mind Paul’s central thesis of Jew vs. Gentile [he makes this clear in vs. 7 where not all Jews are Abraham’s descendents]

When we read passages like “Jacob I loved Esau I hated”. Both were Jewish sons of Isaac. Jacob received the promise Esau did not. Is Paul making a referent here to the fact that one was elect and the other not? One was destined for hell and the other not?

I think a better way to read Paul would be to understand that in Romans 9-11 he is outlining his sorrow for the Jewish nation. He wants them to believe in Jesus, he wants to shake them out of the belief that they are on their way simply because they are Jewish [9:1-2; 10:1]. His point is that God has called some who are not Jewish to be a part of his people [9:24-26]. Esau was a Jew, yet he was rejected, the same fate can await you.

He continues in chapter 10 with that thought in 10:11-13 [whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved, Jew or Gentile]

Chapter 11 he continues with the grafting in of the Gentiles into the branch further accentuating the fact that the Gentiles are now apart of the “chosen”.

So when someone comes along and tells me that God elects some for heaven, some for hell, and that Romans 9-11 is a clear example of that, I think they are not reading the entire context, and they most certainly are reading the passage through our 21st century eyes. Just because you are a part of Israel does not mean that you are Jacob, you could be Esau. Israel had hardened their hearts, and needed them to be softened so that they could respond to Paul’s call to salvation.

Well, there in as brief a format as possible is my reading of Romans. I skipped a lot of important info as I’m sure will be pointed out. But I think we have to ground any discussion of election in this argument of Jew vs. Gentile. We often times assume that this was not an issue for Paul, and that has led us astray for the most part in my opinion.

And if you read all of this you get a gold star!