The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Church Life

Understanding Verbal Blessing & Cursing: So Much Hype, So Little Power

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In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the human practice of verbally blessing and cursing other humans.

HOW HUMANS VIEW BLESSING & CURSING

There are two main ways that humans view blessing and cursing.  For non-serious users, the phrase “Bless you!” is the same as saying “Thank you!” or “I like you!” or “Wow, you seem like such a nice person that I hope things go well for you in the future.”  Alternately, to say “Curse you!” is a way of saying “I hate you!” or “You’re such a jerk!” or “I hope rotten things happen to you because you’ve upset me!”  For non-serious users, blessing and cursing people or objects is just a way of expressing personal joy or anger. Read more of this post

Shady Shepherd Tactics: Gaining Rank

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In the vast world of Christian leaders, there are those who sincerely want to help you, there are others who sincerely want to harm you, and there are others who don’t care about you one way or the other—they’re just using you to benefit themselves.  When it comes to the tactics that Christian leaders use when they engage with you, some are good, and some are shady.  Good tactics encourage you to keep your focus on God and to pursue the right spiritual goals.  Shady tactics discourage you from focusing on God while they encourage you to pursue the wrong goals.  The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with certain shady tactics that are commonly used by Christian leaders today so that you can become less affected by them. Read more of this post

Imitating the Idolatry of NT Jews: All Scripture is God-Breathed

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Why do Christians today say that the entire Bible is God-breathed or Divinely inspired?  Where do we get that idea from?  We get it from the apostle Paul.  Paul once said to Timothy:

All Scripture is Divinely inspired and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. (2 Tim. 3:16)

Of course when Paul said this, he was only talking about the Old Testament, because that was the only “Scripture” that he knew.  But today when we quote Paul’s words, we pretend that he was referring to both the Old and New Testaments, even though the New Testament that you know today wasn’t compiled until long after Paul’s death.  It simply doesn’t matter to you that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Hebrews, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation were all written after Paul had died.  You still insist that when Paul said all Scripture was Divinely inspired, he was including documents that he’d never personally heard of.  Are you starting to get a feel for how ludicrous the modern day application of Paul’s words is? Read more of this post

Problematic Worship Songs: THIS I BELIEVE (The Creed) by Hillsong

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In an attempt to steer souls away from lies and to educate them about what the most essential doctrines of Christianity are, human leaders in the early Church got together and invented a set of creeds which could be passed down from generation to generation.  Some of those creeds became forgotten over time, but the Apostles’ Creed  became extremely popular.  Making a song out of something is a good way to remember it, and over the years, different Christian songwriters have taken a stab at turning the main sentiments of the Apostles’ Creed  into a set of catchy lyrics.  Of course adjustments get made here and there, and songwriters sometimes tack on some extra concepts that the original creed doesn’t cover.  But the point is that all of these songs are trying to answer the question: “What does a true Christian believe?”  Read more of this post

Idolatrous Worship Songs: HOUSE OF THE LORD by Jeff Pardo

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Honesty is a critical part of spiritual growth.  You can’t get closer to God by lying to yourself or Him, and yet when we’re so used to giving the answers that we think we’re supposed to be giving, it often takes effort to dig down and think about what our honest answer to a question really is.  The question we’re about to ask you is one that you need to give serious thought to, because your honest answer to this question is having a profound impact on how you perceive your personal dynamic with God.  So here it is: Do you think that God makes Himself more available to you when you are physically standing in a church or in a crowd of other believers?  Don’t just throw out a quick answer.  Really think about it.  Read more of this post

How the NT Epistles Define Christ: Not God, Just Another Flawed Human

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Our Gods are obsessed with variation, and because of this, we find Them relating to us in different ways.  Today the Holy Spirit relates to you in a different way than He does with your neighbors, friends, and family members. But why?  Why does God talk to some people in dreams but not others?  Why do some people see God while others never see Him?  And of all the people who have seen God at one time or another, why aren’t they all seeing the same image?  To some, Jesus shows up wearing a tunic and sandals, but to others He looks very different.  To some, Jesus never shows up in any visual form, but instead He communicates to them in non-visual ways.  Some people say they talk to God all the time, while others feel God never speaks to them.  Everywhere we look, we see endless variation in the way that our Creators interact with us, and this has been true from the very beginning. Read more of this post

It’s Biblical: God Talks to People Without Using the Bible

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If you want to know God’s will for your life, then you need to read the Bible.  If you want God to talk to you, then crack open the book because, hello, it’s the Living Word of God.  Every word in the Bible is inerrant and God-breathed, so if you want God breathing on you, you need to part His lips for Him, and that means opening up those sacred Scriptures.  If you don’t do this—if you slack off and don’t read the Word every single day of your life—then how do you expect God to take your interest in Him seriously?  You’re obviously not serious if you aren’t doing those daily devotions. Read more of this post

Sacrificial Giving: Why You Should Be Glad That It’s Not Working For You

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When Christians talk about sacrificial giving, they are referring to a doctrine or teaching about God which is 100% wrong.  Simply put, the doctrine is that we can control God with money.  If you want God to bless you, just pay Him by dropping money into the offering plate at your church.  The more you give, the more you’ll get in return.  Sacrificial giving is promoted as a kind of magic investment system in which you can get God to turn your cash into other forms of blessing, such as a spouse, a fancy car, or a big house.  This system appeals to all human beings for two key reasons. First, it says that we can get a God of infinite powers to do our bidding.  Second, it says that we can make all of our carnal dreams come true in this life if we just do a little upfront sacrificing.  But because we’re guaranteed to always get back more than we give, it feels like a risk free investment.  Unsurprisingly, sacrificial giving is enormously popular among Christians, and it also has a strong appeal to unbelievers who figure they can’t go wrong taking a shot at bribing God. Read more of this post

Understanding Systems of Belief: Doctrines, Theologies, Denominations & Religions

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When Christian leaders and teachers throw around big words like doctrine, theology, and heresy, they can sound both smart and intimidating if you don’t personally understand what those terms mean. Since we don’t want you to feel intimidated by us or by any other human teachers, we’re now going to explain what these big words mean so that the next time you hear them, they’ll make sense to you. Read more of this post

Rethinking Your Christian Rituals

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Fasting. Tithing. Signing the cross. Kneeling when you pray. Honoring a Sabbath day.  Daily devotions. Kissing pictures of Jesus.  Bowing before crosses.  Taking vows of silence.  Taking vows of celibacy.  Prayer retreats.  Setting up prayer closets.  Memorizing verses.  Attending church.  Taking Communion. Using formal language when you pray.  Hanging crosses on your wall and around your neck.  Going to confession.  Praying the rosary.  Praying with other believers.  Dressing your best on Sunday morning.  Attending Bible study.  Doing community service.  Witnessing.  Getting Jesus tattoos.  Putting a fish on your car.  What is the purpose of doing these things?  What does Christianity mean to you?  Why are you engaging in Christian rituals?  Whose benefit are you doing these things for? Read more of this post