The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: His Wildness & Unpredictability

Serving a God Who Lies

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

God has a long history of lying to human beings.  This is one of those uncomfortable truths that none of us want to deal with, so we try to ignore it as long as possible.  But when God calls you to function as one of His prophets, you end up forced to deal with the lying business, because you’re the one He’s very likely to do some of His lying through.  Who wants to look like an idiot by prophesying something that doesn’t happen?  No one.  But prophets aren’t the only ones who get affected by God’s deceptiveness.  If you pursue God long enough, it’s only a matter of time until He lies to you about something you really care about.  Then what?  You’ll feel all bitter and disillusioned, of course.  There’s nothing fun about the first time God hits you with some bit of crushing disillusionment.  It’s rather like a first heartbreak—it’s really miserable and it permanently changes you.  Of course it’s a lot easier to get sympathy for a broken heart than it is for God lying to you.  Among Christians, it’s taboo to use the phrase “God lies,” and souls who are caught in this stage with Him often end up shunned, harshly criticized, and blamed for all sorts of things.  This is one of the reasons we discuss the topic of God lying in such depth on our site: because when you’re dealing with it for the first time, it’s a very lonely road.  Read more of this post

Untaught Lessons of the Cross: Facing the Dark Side of God

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“For Yahweh loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

In the world of Christendom, the cross has become a powerful symbol of love. This is quite right, for Jesus clearly associated His crucifixion with an act of great love on the part of both Yahweh and Himself. But Jesus never said that the cross was only about love. In fact, He also taught His Old Covenant Jewish disciples to associate His death on a cross with an atonement sacrifice for sins, and by doing that, Jesus turned the cross into a most disturbing conglomeration of lessons—many of which we carefully avoid discussing in the Church. So let’s discuss them now, because it is the untaught lessons of the cross which have become most important for modern day Christians to learn. Read more of this post

Learning to Feel Safe with an Unpredictable God

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Suppose you try to take a vacation to a lush tropical island, but on the way there, your plane gets hijacked and forced to land in a country that’s in the middle of a war. Everywhere you look there are soldiers with huge guns and angry looks on their faces. Bombs are going off in the distance. People are rushing around looking scared. Now and then a military tank comes driving down the street. You’re scared out of your wits, but your friend who was on the plane with you says he knows someone who can help you both out. You go with your friend to a creepy looking bar that’s filled with nervous looking people and lots of soldiers. Your friend leads you to a corner table way in the back where one soldier is sitting at a table with a drink. When your friend calls out a greeting, the soldier stands up. He towers a whole foot over you, he’s broad framed, and he’s so muscular that he looks like he could kill you with one punch. The dark expression on his face gives you the feeling that the man is dangerously unstable. He’s wearing a military uniform and he’s loaded with ammunition. Your heart is racing with fear as your friend introduces you. “This is X. He’s the best guy ever. We’ll be safe with him.” X? What kind of a name is that? You can feel X’s dark eyes drilling into you while you give your friend an alarmed look that he doesn’t seem to notice. Then your friend tells you to stay with X while he goes back to the landing strip to find your luggage. Before you can answer, your friend dashes out of the bar, and you’re left alone with X. “Don’t worry, you can trust me,” X growls. Are you feeling convinced? Read more of this post

Why doesn’t God always grant requests that are in His will?

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GOD’S GENERAL WILL

As you go along in life, the Holy Spirit educates you about God’s general will. He wants people to love and respect each other. He wants parents to protect and nurture their children. He wants laws to be just. He wants all souls to repent and spend eternity in Heaven.

Being educated about God’s general will gives us confidence in His goodness. We agree that the things He wants sound very pleasant and positive. But when we look at the world around us, we see that many of the things that God says are in His will aren’t happening. Government leaders are corrupt. Laws are crooked. Children are abused. People are cruel to each other. Here is where we should start to suspect that our education on God’s will is not yet complete. But instead of encouraging us to go to the Holy Spirit with our troubling questions, the Church teaches us to take on the role of God’s supervisors and guide Him in fixing a situation that has clearly gotten out of hand. This is when we start praying for Him to soften the heart of our unsaved neighbor, to relocate abused children to better homes, to make prodigal Christians repent, and to replace corrupt leaders with good ones. Because our requests align with the rosy picture of God’s general will, we feel justified in saying we are praying in His will. And if we’re praying in His will, God is supposed to answer us, right? Right. So why doesn’t He? Because the reality is that we’re NOT praying in His will. It turns out that God’s will is far more complex than we realize. Read more of this post

How the Cross Broke the Law

How the Cross Broke the Law

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We Christians like to celebrate Jesus as “the Lamb who took away the sins of the world.”  Yahweh presents Jesus’ death on a cross to us as an act which atoned for the sins of the entire world.  In other words, Jesus was the ultimate sin offering.

Now under Yahweh’s Old Covenant, there were different types of offerings.  Each offering had specific rules and regulations attached to it.  If these rules were not strictly adhered to, the whole offering was considered null and void. Let’s look at some of Yahweh’s requirements for a sin offering. Read more of this post

Jesus: The Illegitimate Lion of Judah

JESUS: The Illegitimate Lion of Judah

Ironically, we know nothing about Mary’s family tree from the Bible. One popular rumor you might have heard is that one of the four Gospels provides us with Mary’s lineage, but this just isn’t true. Look for yourself and you’ll see that only two of the Gospel writers (Matthew 1 & Luke 3) give us a lineage for Jesus, and both only talk about His ancestry on His father’s side by saying “Joseph was the son of…” No one talks about who Mary’s father was. Her parents remain conspicuously unidentified. And yet you will often here Jesus referred to as “the Lion of Judah”—a title which refers to the fact that He descended from the tribe of Judah. Well, if He did, there’s certainly no evidence of it. Read more of this post

Present Convictions vs. Past Commands

Present Convictions vs. Past Commands

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God’s direct convictions to you must be viewed as superior to any other command you have received from Him in the past or read in the Bible. Convictions always trump commandments. Those who pleased God in the past learned this principle and we find examples of them applying it in the Word. According to the Old Covenant Laws, prostitutes were to be publicly executed. They were certainly not to be slept with or married. This was a clear command which Yahweh had given His people through Moses, and yet later on He told the prophet Hosea to go out and marry a prostitute named Gomer. Because Hosea understood that personal convictions trump written commands, he immediately obeyed God. He didn’t sit there saying, “No, God, I won’t disobey Your commands.” This is what Peter said when God spoke directly to him about eating unclean meat (Acts 10). At first Peter responded the way many of us respond today when the Holy Spirit convicts us to do something that counters a previous command of God. Read more of this post

Statistics & Probability: Learning from the Patterns of God

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In this world, we are surrounded by patterns. Every time I hit my thumb with a hammer, it hurts intensely. By observing this pattern, I learn many things. I learn about the amazing neural system in my body which allows instant communication between distant parts of my body. Every time I hit my thumb with that hammer, my brain receives an instant update about what’s happening even though my brain and my thumb are so far away from each other. My toe is even farther away, and yet when I hit it with a hammer, I find its communication is just as swift. This is a very miraculous thing, and it makes me appreciate God’s genius in designing such an intelligent body. But this is just one thing I learn from hitting my thumb with a hammer. I also learn about different types of matter in the universe. I learn that metal is stronger than flesh, therefore I am not the most powerful thing on this planet. If I keep hitting my thumb, I will discover another important lesson: humans have different sets of skills. We’re not all good at the same thing. Some of us are better at driving nails than others, and if I want to spare my thumb, I need to dispense with silly pride and call on someone else to help me complete my task. Read more of this post