The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Maturity Priorities: How much does God care about swearing?

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Suppose you have an old, rundown house that you want to majorly fix up.  What do you do first?  Do you fill the rooms with nice new furniture before you start tearing down the ratty wallpaper and ripping up the stained carpet?  No, you start with the foundational issues first.  You upgrade the wiring.  Then you paint.  Then you carpet.  Moving in new furniture is the last step that you only get around to after the core issues have been dealt with.

In your relationship with God, your soul’s attitude towards Him and your understanding of who He is are core issues which God feels are far more important than surface niceties.  Classy, inoffensive speech is a surface nicety—it’s something that makes you more attractive to other humans but it really doesn’t have much to do with your relationship with God.  Just as your house guests neither see nor appreciate all of the pipes and wires that you upgraded inside the walls of your home, other humans don’t notice or celebrate when your soul starts improving its attitude towards God or gains some new insight about how He views you.  As is so often the case, God’s priorities for you differ quite a bit from other humans’ priorities.  The challenge then becomes for you to choose the right set of priorities to focus on. Read more of this post

Movie Review: THE SHACK

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The Shack is based on the bestselling book that was published in 2007.  Christians did a lot of griping about the book’s theological problems, and the film version will no doubt be met with a fresh batch of complaints.  And yet for Christians to accuse The Shack of being theologically off base is pretty unfounded considering how well the movie depicts the beliefs of mainstream Christianity.  In fact, the film version—which is the only version this review is discussing—presents a passionate defense of three great lies which are truly central to mainstream Christianity: God has nothing to do with evil, God is emotionally dependent on humans, and God yearns to be our buddy, our friend, and our big, cuddly, teddy bear who we can snuggle up to, knowing that His heart breaks with ours.  Read more of this post

Exorcism Q&A

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Q1: HOW DO PEOPLE GET POSSESSED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

What people call demonic possession is a case of demons gaining temporary control over someone’s earthsuit.  Your earthsuit is the miraculous machine that you see when you look into a mirror.  It has three main components: a brain (which is like the computer that runs the whole thing), a body, and emotions.  When demons possess your earthsuit, they can force your earthsuit to do things that you don’t want it to do.

Your earthsuit and your soul are two entirely separate entities.  If you think of your earthsuit like a car, then your soul is the man driving the car.  While the driver is not the car, he will feel very upset if the car starts malfunctioning.  Read more of this post

Discernment Essentials: How to Benefit from Harshly Worded Messages

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In this post, we’re going to teach you how to digest harshly worded teaching on spiritual matters without getting dragged down by a bunch of false conviction.  False conviction—which Christians often think of as condemnation—is when you think God is expressing negative feelings towards you when He isn’t.  False conviction comes from demons and the folks they target the most with this particular attack strategy are souls who sincerely care about pleasing God.  Because demons want spiritual rebels to stay rebellious, they give them the opposite of condemnation by constantly encouraging them in their ways.  It’s just the souls who really want to please God who get pounded on with false conviction, and if demons see that you’ve got no defenses in this area, they’ll pound you relentlessly.  Whether you consider yourself an actual Christian or not, if you sincerely want to please the Gods who made you, then you’re going to be a prime target for false conviction, and at some point, you’ll need to learn how to defend yourself from it.  Read more of this post

From Monster to Marvelous: Why You’ll Eventually Thank God for Putting You Through Valley Hell

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When Christians say that they are going through a spiritual valley, they mean that they are in a period of life during which their personal relationships with God have hit an all-time low.  Now a man can have a bad day and still be in a good place with his wife, or he could have a bad day while he and his wife are locked in a bitter battle of wills.  The second scenario is far more miserable than the first, because the man’s relationship with his wife has such a big impact on his personal stress load.  As long as he is at odds with her, he feels he can’t rely on her to give him any kind of support or encouragement.  Instead, someone who should be his closest ally is operating like his worst enemy, for no other human knows how to knife him better than his spouse.  Read more of this post

Why You Shouldn’t Gloat When Your Enemies Go Down

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You consider yourself to be a committed Christian.  You’re the good guy.  You’re on the right side.  So when that jerk who has been hassling you suddenly gets hit with some brutal trial which causes him to get off your back, you find yourself wanting to do a victory dance.  After all, isn’t God exalting you by smacking your enemy down?  Clearly when the bad news is being poured out on the heads of the people who oppose you while your path is being covered in blessings, then that means God is for you and against them, doesn’t it?  Not necessarily. In real life, things are a lot more complicated than this, and in this post we’re going to discuss what some of those complications are. Read more of this post

Why Christians Shouldn’t Celebrate Communion (aka The Eucharist)

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Holy Communion.  The Holy Eucharist.  The Lord’s Supper.  These are all names that Christians use to refer to a religious sacrament which involves a group of believers coming together and sampling two edible elements: some kind of bread product, and some grape related liquid.  Sometimes a loaf of bread is passed around and everyone rips a bite sized piece off of it.  Or sometimes a plate of small crackers are passed around like an offering plate and each person takes one.  Sometimes the liquid element is actual wine, other times it’s just grape juice.  Read more of this post

Rethinking Christian Rituals: Water Baptism

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THE ORIGIN OF BAPTISM

Read through the Old Testament and you won’t find a single mention of baptism.  The bizarre tradition of a grown man briefly dunking individuals into water first shows up in the New Testament with a guy who made such a career out of dunking people that he became known as John the Baptist.

Now John was an ethnic Jew and a devoted follower of Yahweh.  The religion he practiced was Judaism, and he lived in the land that had once belonged to the nation of Israel, back when she was a sovereign nation.  But Israel had lost her independence centuries ago, and in John’s lifetime, she was considered part of the territory of the Roman Empire.  Read more of this post

Salvation Q&A

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As a human, you were created by three non-human Beings, who we refer to as Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  These are not three personalities of a single Entity.  Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three separate and distinct Divine Beings.  They are actively involved in your life today, and when you die, They will control whether your experience of the next life is nice or awful.  Since these three Gods control the quality of your existence, it’s in your best interest to stay on Their good side.  So how do you do this?  Christians would say that you need to obtain eternal salvation.  But what exactly is eternal salvation?  It’s a very simple concept which Christians have turned into a royal mess.  The purpose of this post is to clear up some of the confusion. Read more of this post

Recognizing Your Spiritual Dependency On Humans

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Jason’s father is the pastor of a mega church and a very dominant personality who has most of the Bible memorized.  When Pastor Jack declares that God disapproves of something or someone, Jason feels like God Himself has spoken.  The problem is that Jack is a hard man to please—impossible, in fact. Jason has spent his whole life trying to earn his father’s approval, only to have Jack constantly find fault with him.  Today Jason is convinced that he’ll never succeed at pleasing God unless he manages to please his demanding father, because he’s convinced that the two beings think alike. Read more of this post