The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

Understanding Repentance

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TWO WAYS TO JUDGE

God judges you by your soul’s response to Him.  Once God establishes a relationship with you, you constantly make choices about how you will treat Him in that relationship, and those choices are what determine whether God is pleased or displeased with you.

Humans judge you by how you behave—especially by how you behave towards other humans.  Humans have strong opinions about how you ought to treat them, and if you don’t meet their expectations, then they dislike you.  Read more of this post

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

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

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

Understanding Your Complete Loss of Faith: Great News for Devastated Christians

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One of the most thrilling moments in a serious Christian’s life is when he suddenly finds his great confidence in God crumbling to dust right in front of him.  As his faith melts away like ice cubes in a pot of boiling water, the Christian is left feeling completely helpless and unable to stop the erosion process.  In a horrifyingly short period of time, he goes from being totally confident about so many things to being in serious doubt about everything–even the reality of God.  Beliefs that used to have such a clear ring of truth suddenly sound so ludicrous that the Christian can’t talk himself into accepting them any longer.  His doubts become so intense and his faith so non-existent, that he feels he has no choice but to thrust the whole concept of God away from him and find some way to try and deal with the dark, meaningless existence that fills the place where his confidence once was.     Read more of this post

Interpreting God: Recognizing Errors in Your Method

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Joe is a man who carries around a bag that is well-stocked with medical supplies.  Inside of his bag are all sorts of surgical tools, syringes, and drugs.  With the components in his bag, Joe could really help a lot of people.  But he could also use the same components to do horrible things to people.  Joe is well equipped to do great good, or great harm.  If Joe should set his bag down in your presence, open it up, and start selecting certain components, what would his intentions be?  Would he be planning to help you or hurt you?  Just looking at the specific items Joe pulls out of his bag won’t give you the answer to that question, because the same items can be used to accomplish drastically different goals.  Read more of this post

Miracles in the End Times: The Mechanics & The God-Honoring Response

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Humans do not have supernatural powers.  They can’t perform miracles, their spells and curses are nothing but noise, and they can’t see into the future.  They can’t read minds, and they can’t separate their souls from their earthsuits, much to the chagrin of many astral projection addicts.  We could spend this entire post talking about what humans can’t do, but no matter how true it is that humans are impotent little specks who aren’t even smart enough to understand how much they don’t understand, most people would think we’re wrong to paint humans in such an unimpressive light.  Do you know why?  Because humans are such undiscerning dopes that you can get them to believe anything if you just toy with their senses and tell them what their egos want to hear.  Now don’t misunderstand—we love humans.  Humans are the most precious element of this creation and the only part of this world which God is going to keep when He wipes this place out.  If humans were content to be the dearly loved, powerless specks that they are, we wouldn’t need to bother with this post.  But because humans refuse to accept how limited they are, they insist on putting their faith in fantasies.  From the very beginning, humans have been seeking out ways to try and lessen the difference between them and their Creators.  Why did Adam and Eve sample the forbidden fruit?  Because they thought it would expand their abilities and move them one step closer to being equal to God.  Why do we constantly do what God warns us not to do?  Because we resent the whole notion of Him putting limits on us.  How dare He.  Who does He think He is, anyway? Read more of this post

Spiritual Maturity: Learning From A God Who Loves To Teach

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God always initiates in His relationship with you.  This means that it won’t even occur to you to submit to Him or to change the way you talk to Him until He brings those subjects up with you.  God talks to you in many forms.  Often God talks to us through things that other people write or say.  However God chooses to introduce a new idea to you, you need to realize that He is the One who is inviting you to the next stage of maturity in your relationship with Him.  You also need to realize that God is not the least bit disappointed that you’re not already at that next stage.  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

Romans 10: Paul’s Racism, His Pride & His Beautiful Feet

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The apostle Paul was an ethnic Jew.  In his day, ethnic Jews—especially Jewish men—were taught from the cradle to believe that they were far superior to everyone else.  Jews referred to non-Jews as Gentiles, and being called a Gentile was not a complimentJews liked to refer to Gentiles as uncircumcised dogs which, in their cultural context, was like a white man calling a black man a nigger today.  It’s critical that you appreciate how deeply racist the Jews in Bible times were.  You need to understand that these folks had completely blown off Yahweh’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Read more of this post