Understanding Jesus: Hate Your Family & Count the Cost

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In the second half of Luke 14, we find Jesus making many extreme statements which can easily be misinterpreted to mean that He is impossible to please.  And yet when you know that you sincerely care about pleasing God, and something you read in the Bible makes you feel like a spiritual failure, that’s your cue that you’re letting demons guide your application.  Demons always lie, and when it comes to souls who sincerely care about pleasing God, their top goal is to beat such souls down into hopeless despair.  The basic strategy of demons is to constantly push a reversal truth.  When they see a soul is pleasing God, then they heap on the condemnation.  When they see that a soul is being rebellious, they heap on the encouragement.  So which group are you currently in?  You know whether you care about pleasing God or not.  If you do care, and all you’re hearing in your head is an unending refrain of how displeased God is with you, is that message really coming from Him?  Nope, it’s demons trying to sell you a reversal of truth.  Demons are very good at accurately assessing your soul’s attitude towards God.  They know who He’s pleased with and who He is displeased with.  So if you want to know the truth about how God feels about you, just listen to what demons are telling you and reverse it.  If they’re telling you that you’re a total spiritual zero, then you’re probably doing very well.  If they’re telling you that you are a spiritual superstar, then you’re probably neck deep in rebellion.  Demons always lie, and we can use their consistency to our advantage. Continue reading

Understanding Jesus: Take Up Your Cross

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Sadism is a dysfunctional mindset in which a person takes delight in inflicting suffering on others.  We are all born with the necessary components to turn into vicious little sadists.  When someone wrongs you, and you secretly delight in seeing them suffer later on, you feel like your joy is justified because they wronged you first.  Among humans, it’s very common to pretend that sadism is not sadism as long as we’re calling it by the labels of revenge or justice.  But justice is supposed to be about keeping morals alive in your society so that order can be preserved.  The point of executing certain criminals is to protect society from their poisonous influence.  There are many ways of quickly executing a man so that he ceases to be a threat to others.  And yet in real life, human societies often refuse to use the most efficient methods of exterminating threats to social order.  Instead, we seem to take delight in coming up with ways to prolong the suffering of our victims as long as possible.  We also like to turn executions into public shows that everyone can watch.  In America, the absurdly complicated electric chair is just one big sadism fest.  Instead of instantly killing a man with a bullet to the brain, we film him being electrocuted to death and then we invite others to watch the whole thing live.  Or we go for lethal injection, in which we use toxic chemicals to make a body shutdown in stages.  We could just use one drug that works instantaneously, but instead we put together a ridiculously complicated cocktail of hard to get chemicals just to drag the whole show out longer. It’s sadistic, and sadism is sick.  Promoting sadism also has a very detrimental effect on human societies by encouraging citizens to celebrate and wallow in their basest instincts.  Continue reading

Returning to the God You Divorced: Guidance for Christians

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

When we first begin our relationship with God, we bring a list of ultimatums with us.  That list contains a bunch of behaviors which we won’t tolerate God engaging in.  That list defines the limits our of willingness to be dominated by Him. Sure, we’ll stay as long as God doesn’t engage in some unpardonable sin.  But if He does cross certain lines with us, we’re divorcing Him, and it will be all His fault. Continue reading

Sicking Jesus on the Devil: The Christian Addiction to Bossing God

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You’ve got a beefy guard dog who you want to teach to attack anyone who irritates you.  First you need to choose a special phrase that is going to be your attack command—perhaps an old standard like “sic ‘em!”  Then you need to spend many hours teaching your dog to associate certain behaviors with that special command.  It’s a lot of work training animals to behave the way that you want them to behave in certain moments.  How convenient it would be if your dog came pre-trained.  Imagine if the first day you met him, he said to you, “Hey, if you ever want me to attack someone for you, just say sic ‘em, and I’ll take them down.”  How sweet would that be? Continue reading

Understanding the Purpose of Terror in the End Times

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All humans want to believe that they were created by a benevolent Being.  How else can we feel safe?  Clearly the Being who created us and everything else in existence is One whose power, abilities, and intelligence are such that we can’t begin to be His equal in any area.  If we have no hope of besting Him, then we have no hope of controlling Him, and that leaves us feeling totally vulnerable and defenseless.  This is why it is so imperative that God be good in Character.  If He’s not good, then He becomes such a terrifying threat to our well-being that we respond by actually trying to pretend God doesn’t even exist.  Continue reading

Real Talk for Angry Rebels: Negotiating Your Return to God

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Once upon a time, you called yourself a Christian and you believed in the Christian Gods: Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Then some nasty thing happened to you, your quality of life tanked, you blamed God, and made your best attempt at cutting Him out of your life.  Now a bunch of time has passed, your life is still lousy, and you’ve decided that this no God thing just isn’t working for you.  So you want to come back and take another run at Christianity.  If God would finally agree to play nice, you and He could get along well, right?  Well, no, this isn’t how it works.  God isn’t going to agree to play nice, but He is going to say that if you don’t submit to Him as the Supreme Authority in your life, you’re going to end up in a situation that makes your current troubles seem like Heaven by comparison.  Still want to come back? Continue reading