The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Taking the Apostles off the Pedestal: Power Struggles in the Early Church

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Have you ever found yourself in the company of Christians whose commitment to God is so great, and whose good deeds are so innumerable, that you feel reduced to a carnal dirt clod just by being in proximity to them?  How do you feel when you’re sitting in a prayer group, waiting for your turn to speak, and some spiritual superstar speaks out a prayer that is far more eloquent than anything you could ever come up with?  Makes you want to pass when it’s your turn to pray, doesn’t it?  Read more of this post

Rethinking Genesis: Is God Really Threatened by Us?

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Joe brings your friend Rachel some flowers.  When Rachel tells you about it, she says, “Guess what?  It turns out that Joe is attracted to me just like I’m attracted to him!  Look, he brought me flowers! Obviously he is hoping to date me.”  This is Rachel’s interpretation of the flower event.  And you assume that her explanation of Joe’s motivations is accurate.

Well, later on that day, you run into Joe at a coffee shop.  You say, “Hey, Joe, I heard about how you gave Rachel flowers.  So you really like her, huh?  When are you planning to ask her out?”  Read more of this post

Cultivating Submission: The Impact of Reverence, Dependency & Trust

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God says that He is the Supreme Authority over all created things, and you’re not going to get far with Him by treating Him like this isn’t true.  And yet once you acknowledge that God is the Supreme Authority, that demands a certain response.  Here’s where we come to the soul attitude of submission. Read more of this post

Taking Moses Off The Pedestal (Jude 1:9)

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The short little epistle of Jude has a lot of issues.  One of our discerning readers came across this strange little reference in Verse 9 and wisely questioned what was going on:

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)

So what is Jude referring to here?  Is it really true that Michael and Satan got into a tussle over who ought to get jurisdiction over Moses’ earthsuit?  No, it’s not.  This legend about Moses is complete hooey.  In fact, Jude’s epistle has a lot of hooey in it, which makes you wonder what was wrong with the folks who voted to include Jude’s letter in our sacred Scriptures.  But since we’re now stuck living with their choices, we might as well use Jude’s silly book for discernment practice. Read more of this post

Recognizing Your Conversations with God: Lesson 5 – Body Talk

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In our last lesson, we did our first round of script analysis.  We showed you how to take a string of your own thoughts and rearrange them into a multi-party dialogue between you, God, and a mysterious group of naysayers who seem to be invested in discouraging you, countering what God says to you, and emphasizing the negative.  Just who are these pills and how are they getting so much access to your mind?  Well, it’s a surprisingly complicated answer, but we’re going to break it down into little steps.  Read more of this post

The Contradictory Convictions Con: What To Do When God Can’t Seem To Make Up His Mind

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Suppose Jesus were to suddenly materialize in front of you and say, “Quick!  Sit down on the ground!”  So you do because, after all, it’s Jesus.  But as soon as you get settled onto the ground, Jesus says, “No, no, get up again—hurry!”  So you scramble to your feet, only to have Him then say, “Quick, sit down again—hurry!”  So you do, and at this point, you’re feeling quite confused.  But soon that confusion is paired with exhaustion as Jesus keeps having you hop up and down for no apparent reason.

In this post, we’re going to deal with the issue of contradictory convictions.  Now and then some eager-to-please soul comes to us for help because the God they’re trying so hard to please just isn’t making any sense.  One minute He tells them to do something that seems rather bizarre and usually quite inconvenient.  The next minute, He tells them to do just the opposite, and the end result is usually some kind of loss or embarrassment or misery.  As if one round of this isn’t confusing enough, some souls find themselves getting caught in what feels like an unending cycle of God double talking them.  They usually hang on for a while, dutifully obeying every order He gives, no matter how much of a hassle it is.  But after a while, they get so frustrated that they start to wonder if maybe they’re missing a piece of the puzzle.  And they are, because the truth is that they’re being duped by a rather nasty little game that demons love to play with serious Christians.  In this post, we’ll explain how the game works, how to see through it, and how you can get yourself off of the exhausting treadmill.  Read more of this post

A Mouthy Messiah: Why the Jews in Nazareth Tried to Kill Jesus

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In Luke 4, we find an interesting sequence of events. Jesus stands up in a synagogue, reads a portion of Isaiah 61, and when He sits down, everyone’s staring at Him like He just said something shocking.  What’s that about?

Well, first realize that there wasn’t an “Isaiah 61” to the Jews because their Scriptures weren’t divided into chapters.  Isaiah’s entire book would have been one long scroll for them.  Chapters were not added to the Bible until the 13th century A.D., and verses were then added in the mid-16th century.  All of the stuff you read about in the New Testament happened during the 1st century.

Now even though there weren’t chapters, Isaiah’s book is a series of visions and speeches which are stand alone thoughts.  To understand the context of a single verse, you need to find the start of the speech that it’s a part of, and read the whole speech.  Chapter headings can actually get in the way because they make you feel like a new speech is starting when sometimes the chapter break happens in the middle of the speech.  Either way, in the case of Jesus, He didn’t come anywhere close to reading a whole speech.  He just read a few lines from the middle of a long speech.  He really wasn’t modeling a good use of context—but then again, that wasn’t His purpose.  Read more of this post

God, Terrorism & You

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As solo terrorist attacks dominate the daily news headlines with increasing frequency, it’s a great time to think about what you are supposed to be learning from all of these suicide bombers, random stabbers, and crazed gunmen.  The psychological factors that turn Average Joe Citizen into a screaming assailant really aren’t so mysterious.  People always have logical reasons for what they do, and whether it’s revenge, desperation, or dreams of a better life in eternity, the final results look the same to the public: some random guy violently assaulted a bunch of people without warning and now some people are dead and others are so horribly injured that they wish they were dead.  Terrorism is, well, terrifying.  So how is it affecting you when you pull up the news and read that another attack has occurred?  Have you ever been caught in one of these gruesome events, or have you known someone who was?  Noticing your own level of angst is quite important, because the more upset you are by these events, the more there is for you to learn.  You see, when it comes to your own spiritual development, there’s a principle that’s quite useful to bear in mind: if it upsets you, then it’s partly about you.  Read more of this post

Unlocking Divine Secrets: Understanding How Intimate Knowledge of God is Acquired

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There are two ways to approach trying to learn more about the Beings who created us.  Which approach you use will depend on how you view your access to the information you want.

If you want to know who someone’s biological parents are, what do you do?  You get on the internet and start digging for birth certificates.  When it comes to finding out information about humans, a lot of data is out in the open.  The person you want to know about can’t control how data about them is stored.  Maybe they don’t like the fact that so much information is considered “public record,” but they’re stuck with it.  As long as people are  broadcasting personal facts about others into public data streams, anyone can dip into that stream and sift out the data they want.  In this situation, that data is out in the open–you just have to find your way to it.  All that is required is perseverance on your part.  You don’t need permission from the person you’re researching before you can learn things about them.  Instead, you can go around them and find out things that they don’t even want you to know. Read more of this post

God, Evil, & Human Choice Q&A

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What is God’s relationship with evil?  Just how important is human choice?  These two questions alone have been the source of endless debate within the Christian community, and they will continue to cause division until this world is destroyed.  When you’re at a point in your own spiritual journey where you want to start really chewing on these topics, it can be tough to find any serious discussions that don’t just do the usual “God is good” brush off.  Because questioning is a critical part of spiritual development, we enjoy helping you dig deeper into topics that you’re currently wondering about.  The purpose of our Q&A posts is to provide answers to series of questions which are often asked by souls who are pondering certain topics.  God’s relationship with evil and the significance of human choice are the themes we’ll be talking about in this post, so now let’s get into it. Read more of this post