Categories
The Vault

Life Is Change

Life is change. When I was a youngster in kindergarten, I wanted to grow up to be a pizza maker (a dream inspired by my father, who has managed or owned several Domino’s Pizza locations).* A few years later, I wanted to become a naturalist (or even an entomologist), and read countless books on nature… even if the majority were above my head.

Another few years later, because of the movie Stargate, I found interest in Egyptology which grew into a very rich interest in world mythologies, particularly Norse, Greek, & Roman (these three also being the ones that were easiest to find books about at our local library, these being the days before having ready access to the Internet).

Interest in mythology grew into an interest in a wide array of paranormal topics: parapsychology, ufology, witchcraft, and paradoxically enough, Christianity. I have participated in psychic ability tests (which I failed quite thoroughly), I have seen two unidentified flying objects, I have participated in a group spell with a couple of good friends, and I have performed an exorcism with a larger group of friends. I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for anything.

To further add paradox, at the same time as these, I became interested in physics & exotic sciences, for which I largely blame Star Trek. For several years, I fancied myself a future “theoretical astrophysicist,” although I doubt I could have told you exactly what that meant. Surprisingly, the high school counselor had a career profile available for it, so I at least knew how much I’d be making were I to actually pursue it.

But the biggest, most enduring change happened when I fully embraced Christianity a little over nine years ago. I pretty much did whatever was necessary to feel like I was doing right by my understanding of the Bible, including cutting ties with the vast majority of my unbelieving friends, choosing rigid adherence to my convictions over getting along well with my family, and so on.

I’ve softened up significantly over the years — as one would expect after I left behind the “independent, fundamental Baptist” descriptor — and rather than being a “holier than thou” snob, I went down the path of intellectual snob.

I threw myself into the Bible. I challenged everything I heard coming from the cacophonic voices throughout Christendom, and I spent countless hours wrestling in debate with those who would disagree with my conclusions.

Most every debate sharpened my mind, and I was continually learning how to think. (The world would be a vastly different place if more people would take time to learn to think!)

From the standpoint of my Christian faith, I went too far. I progressed to the point that I recognized in myself none of those traits which the Scriptures unequivocally state will be present in believers’ lives.

Perhaps more jarring than that was my failure to recognize those traits in the vast majority of Christendom. And where I do see those traits exhibited, they are nearly always coupled with a very poor understanding of biblical theology; in other words, they have orthopraxy (right living) down, but they have failed to obtain orthodoxy (right belief).

I’ll let the philosophers argue over which is more important — practice or belief — but the fact of the matter is that the Scriptures require & speak highly of both.

So faced with the question of what was wrong with not only me but the majority of Christianity, I came to a rather troubling conclusion: either the biblical testimony is a lie and that if there is one or more deities, he/she/they are not that which is described in the Bible… or I am not one of the elect (and if I am, I am up till now unconverted) and am incapable of exhibiting the traits required of Christians as a result.

Life is change, and this is a big one. I am casting off the mask of Christianity which I have worn for so long, freeing myself from the bondage of what I have come to see is a broken system so that I may be open to simply think, to examine…

I know the arguments for Christianity. I know the apologies & the answers to objections & how to evangelize folks of a variety of beliefs. What I no longer know is what I believe.

KingdomGeek henceforth will be my journey of examination, of discovery. Toward what discovery, I don’t know. Of course, “kingdom” will no longer refer to the “Kingdom of God”; perhaps it now refers to the “kingdom of thought” or “of reason.”

No doubt my audience will change noticeably as time goes on. Still, you’re all invited to join me on this journey. The more the merrier, as they say!

* For a brief period of time, I worked at Domino’s Pizza… the same location that both Mom & Dad worked at, leading to their marriage. I think I only made two or three pizzas during my stint there. Still, other than answering the phone and taking orders, it was an enjoyable experience!

18 replies on “Life Is Change”

You are embarking on an important and necessary search for anyone who is going to live honestly and thoughtfully. You may or may not realize that you are a Christian, but no genuine Christian avoids these issues. Only you can become what you are.

The Bible says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” – Proverbs 3:5-7 KJV

It appears to me that you are leaning on your own understanding, assuming that it is not possible for you to do what God is asking of you. Thus, the problem has nothing to do with Christianity, but with your disbelief in the power of God to save your from your sins.

Rather than delving into the recesses of your thoughts it would be better for you to reflect on the testimony of Jesus Christ. Who ever lived up to His reputation? The greatest minds combined are but a grain of sand in His presence. There is no better life to examine than His; there is no better path to pursue than that which follows in His steps.

Satan is having his way with you now, and if you continue to entertain such thoughts you will truly regret it. Look to Jesus for answers, not within yourself. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Be not deceived by it.

Your failure to live as God wants you to is not God’s failure. You have allowed the distractions of the world to keep you from seeing the truth. Let Jesus put the light back in your life again and you will find rest for your soul.

By the way, people aren’t elect because they are sinless, they are elect because they know Jesus. And even those who know Jesus can stumble at times. Yet His grace is sufficient to raise us from the dead!

I encourage you to watch this seminar: http://www.discoveries08.org/schedule

I appreciate the thoughts, Chris, but it’s nothing I don’t already know… nothing I haven’t already told others throughout the years who have gone their own way.

I know I don’t live up to the Bible’s codes of conduct; nobody does. I take issue, however, with a god who goes to great lengths to tell me that I’m made in his image and that I’m valuable and that I’m worth dying for… but that my own creativity, my own logical faculties, my own anything is worthless. If the only thing worthwhile about us is our reflection of Him, then truly we have no value and weren’t worth dying for, for that god doesn’t truly want us but instead wants mirror images of himself — of like mind, of like action — to surround himself with for all eternity.

That seems a little, well, pointless to me.

As I said above, I know the arguments for Christianity, and I know just about anything that a Christian may say to me in this situation. I’ve told myself the very same things over the past few months.

But the system doesn’t hold water. It’s broken. And I’m tired of spending my time teaching the Bible when nobody cares in the least about what it actually says (about churches meeting in homes, about only apostles/church planters doing evangelism, about the Bible supporting polygyny, and so on). I’m tired of wasting my time teaching the Bible trusting that “his word will not return void,” watching it repeatedly fall on deaf ears. It is not the sign of a healthy psyche to keep doing the same thing expecting different results, so I’m done. I’m going to try something different.

And sure it’s radical, but if whatever god formed me didn’t want me to use the rational faculties of my brain, then he/she/it/them should have withheld them from me.

Rick, If God didn’t value our creativity then He wouldn’t have created us with a free will. Wasn’t it God who gave Adam an opportunity to name the creatures that He had made? See Genesis 2:19-20. That certainly doesn’t sound like a God who wants to dictate our every move. He even looked upon him as he named them. Thus, God demonstrated that He was pleasantly interested in hearing what Adam had to say.

It’s not that God doesn’t value your creativity; rather, He wants you to use it in a way that will bring about joy in your life; He wants it to be reflective of love. Could that be such a bad thing? Therefore, being created in His image is not about control, it’s about God telling us that He wants the best for us. It’s about love.

But we have fallen into a state of sin and are therefore in need of direction for right living. We think that we know what’s best, but we keep making messes. And because God loves us He gives us direction. He not only tells us how to clean up a mess, He helps us clean it up. Of course, His direction doesn’t always make sense at first, but it always turns out good in the end.

I know that you are in a dark place right now, but don’t be discouraged. Rather, examine the life of Christ and seek to walk in His steps. You will find that His words also fell on deaf ears, many times over. Yet He didn’t give up. And you shouldn’t give up either. God loves you, and He will help you clean up your mess if you ask Him to.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 KJV

P.S. Being a witness is not about knowing the arguments for Christianity, it’s about embracing the love of Christ. Again, I encourage you to watch the seminar that I told you about.

I appreciate your concern, Chris, but I’m far from a dark place. I’m more at peace at the moment not knowing what I want to believe than I have been in a long time as a Christian.

Rick, it appears that you have indeed recognized the deadness and impotence of what passes for modern churchianity. You obviously have a sharp mind as many of your arguments make very good sense and many are even consistent with scripture on the subject of polygamy. It has been said however that the easiest person in the world to deceive is yourself. The Bible alerts us to those who are ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth. It also tells us that God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and the base things to bring to naught the high things. Solomon, who had a thousand wives tells us that we should attain wisdom and embrace it. But we know that the wisdom of man is foolishness to God. Paul said that there are not many called who are high, strong, noble or wise in this world. Sometimes a person with a sharp mind and a sharp tongue can convince themselves that they are good enough to go to heaven on their own merits just because they can’t find anyone around that is willing to argue with them and they beat everybody on the debate team. But the trap is set because a man of understanding holds his peace. If you really want jewels of wisdom, you are going to have to get it from the ultimate teacher who is the Holy Spirit. Yes, you can blog in hyperspace and there will be a few who will answer and try to point you in the right direction, but just because a noteworthy pastor of a big church says something doesn’t make it the truth. You have just exposed your biggest problem in understanding and learning when you embraced the feminist and satanic idea of our day that somehow it is a problem that God created you to reflect Him, instead of allowing you to be your own self and do your own thing with your own identity. Feminists don’t want to take their husbands name either. You need to focus on Jesus Christ and let Him develop you into what He wants you to be instead of going in your own way and exalting self. That feminist attitude is why we have so much divorce in the churches and everywhere else nowdays. But then again, most earthlings have the idea that heaven doesn’t want them and hell is afraid they will take over.

PS. Did you ever notice how it is the feminists and the homosexuals who hate polygamy the most? The Bible says that in the last days it would be as in the days of Noah where they were marrying and giving in marriage. But it also says that false teachers would forbid marriage in the same time period. How can this be? The fact is that while gay marriage would be legalized, true marriage as it was done in the Old Testament will be forbidden. Homosexuality and true Biblical polygamy cannot peacefully coexist in the same society. A man can commit adultery all day long with as many women as he likes and the law judge will do absolutely nothing. But if that same man attempts to do the paperwork and marry those same women instead of carry on serial monogamy one after another, he goes to jail. The same goes for homosexuality. Sodomites can be as active as they wish in this God forsaken society and the judges will do nothing except entertain the possibility of legalizing gay marriage in order to please an America that has become homosexual to the core. That’s why a polygamist goes to prison and a homosexual goes free down the street to sodomize yet another day. I do not believe that Biblical polygamy will be practiced in America or the world until after God destroys most of mankind in the tribulation. Think about it. God gives good gifts to His children. Polygamy is not a gift given to a nation of sexually promiscuous reprobates.

Rick, I’ve been through many of the same things you have, but more. Intellectually, you’ve barely scratched the surface, and your rejection of Christianity is based upon failure of human beings, not God. You have focused on the failure of those that profess to be Christians, while ignoring the Biblical statements that indicate that few really believe the truth. Part of the problem is that you never really followed “Christianity” per se. You followed Calvinism, which preaches another gospel, a false one, and is destroying the lives of millions of believers on a regular basis.

Freethinking humans follow evidence and reason, not the results in the lives of fellow humans that fail consistently. The great discoveries of humanity weren’t made by the majority. They were made by individuals. Among the billion or so Christians on Earth–or even among the 7 billion people of any religion–only a small handful would stand out as “perfect” in the opinion of the masses. Realistically, there are a total of zero perfect people out there. So condemning Christianity based upon the sins of many is a foolish and illogical move.

Did you consider the goodness of Christianity? Did you consider only the actions of those OBEYING Scripture? No, you focused on their sins, not what has been done in righteousness.

Now if you examine my life, you’ll see sin. You’ll find it in EVERY LIFE ON THIS PLANET. Why? Because we are all SELF-ish. We consider our own needs. It’s a given, because we first know ourselves and seek our own needs until we are able to work with others.

But we don’t have to be that way, and even atheists, murderers, and worse do good to their neighbors and brethren.

The existence of this Universe and life are enough to provide more than enough rational evidence for the existence of a God that created mankind (whether one wants to believe it happened via evolution or special creation). Based solely upon logic and evidence, ALL WE REALLY KNOW is that it is irrational to believe that (A) Everything came from nothing–despite Stephen Hawking’s posturing to the contrary, (B) That order comes from disorder or chaos, (C) That entropy was so low as to result in the energy we have available in the Universe today, and (D) That the Universe is eternal.

There is no evidence that things come from nothingness. The contrary is evidentially true. We ONLY have seen evidence–even in quantum physics–of things coming from something else.

There is no evidence whatsoever that order comes from chaos, even by chance. Order has a very fuzzy definition, but we generally understand it as a lower level of entropy coupled with discrete patterns that contribute to progressively higher levels of order itself. While that may be a tautological definition, it is descriptive of what we know of order, as opposed to chaos–which is non-discrete and has a high level of entropy. There may be no clear defining line–like the boundary between day and night is a twilight zone of various levels of darkness and light–but the difference between order and chaos at either end is stark and extreme.

There is no evidence that entropy reverses itself, or that time can flow backwards–none whatsoever. This Universe started out with a suspiciously high order of negative entropy–for no good reason we can fathom (other than God). This has been consistently inexplicable to science.

Likewise, there is zero evidence that the Universe is eternal. All the evidence points to a Universe that began in time and will die a “heat death” (and other things like “information death”) at some point in the future.

All this evidence put together indicates something extraordinary that every person ought to decide for themselves if they have the intellectual ability to do so. It is my opinion–and knowledge, I will claim (because while one cannot know everything, one can personally know God, and know His truth from Him)–that the Universe indicates the hand of a Creator that was Himself uncreated.

This is something I have studied all of my life. Being in the stratosphere intellectually above my peers, I am convinced that God exists and that He is the Christian God as described in the Bible. I am convinced that God is the only god both possible and probable, and infinitely more probable than the explanation of an atheistic Universe.

I am so convinced of this that I would happily discuss this with any rational person who was willing to honestly discuss and consider these things–regardless of their current level of belief and knowledge–and have the opinion that any such person would eventually through the logical processes come to the same conclusion as I have.

The fact is that there can only be one Truth. That truth corresponds to reality. Reality is within our grasp to a certain extent to be able to examine and consider. I challenge anyone to seriously consider opening their mind and heart and be willing to dialogue with me about the Universe. You won’t be disappointed, because I KNOW the secrets, and if I don’t, at least I’m closer than most…

John: The Bible teaches Calvinism. That much I know 100% to be true, and I’ll happily defend that fact still.

You say I’ve barely scratched the surface, but much of what you mentioned was actually stuff I’ve gone through numerous times over the past decade. If being a Christian or believing the Bible requires that much intellectual finesse, then the Bible is a lie… “foolishness of the world”; ha!

Well Rick. I think we probably both agree on the doctrine of predestination and election, but I’m not certain that we do because I don’t know you that well. Where we probably disagree at the moment is on calling it Calvinism as most do-it-yourself freewillers call it. Calvin name is not in the Bible. We don’t want to get into the trap of “I am of Paul, or I am of Apollos.” You might want to look a little deeper into John Calvin and everything else he believed before you sign on with him in full to call yourself a Calvinist. Calvin had a lot going for him doctrinally, but I prefer to call myself a sovereign gracer, advocating predestination and election, than an outright Calvinist. Although I had one individual tell me that I was going to hell for believing Romans chapter 8 and 9. Go figure that one. Feel free to email me if you like.

Calling oneself a Calvinist only implies one believes the doctrines traditionally called “Calvinism,” specifically TULIP theology. It has little to do with everything else he may have taught. “Calvinism” is just a label, as is “sovereign gracer.” ;)

In general, it is true that Calvinism identifies you with the TULIP theology. However, speaking from experience, I can tell you that when you get into a debate with someone who is adamantly against the Biblical concept of predestination and election, they will stop at nothing in making accusations that link you with the rest of John Calvin’s beliefs and practices in order to discredit your belief in Romans chapter 8 and 9.. If you are not familiar with Calvin’s other positions, it could become embarrassing unless you just divorce yourself from the Calvinist title altogether. But then again, most of the great men of the faith in history strongly believed in predestination, so there is no need to add to your liabilities in the debate by calling yourself a Calvinist. At that point, it is best just to tell people that you believe in Biblical predestination and election and name off the undisputed great men of the faith who are in agreement. That’s most of them with few exceptions. As you would expect, they went against the tide in their day too.

Jay and Rick, the doctrine of predestination and election are not part of Scripture–at least the way Calvinism portrays them.

Rick, that’s why you’ve gone off-track. To so plainly state that you KNOW that the Bible teaches Calvinism tells me that you have missed the forest for the trees–and it helps to explain why you have given up on Christianity.

I’m sorry, but you are both quite incorrect, because of the major gaping holes in the Calvinistic teachings.

There is no such thing as true predestination–because the future is unknown even to God. It happens as choices are made. That’s plainly taught throughout Scripture from beginning to end in more than 11,000 passages.

What is CALLED predestination is actually predetermination, which is an entirely different thing.

Calvinism is completely incompatible with God’s love. One cannot presuppose an loving God that punishes people that don’t really make their own choices, but die in ignorance–because an all-powerful God doesn’t bother choosing them or providing the information they need to be saved. Such a thing is contradictory to what we know of love. If we then reconfigure our idea of the meaning of love, we get a pseudo-love that has no real connection to what we instinctively KNOW to be love.

In Calvinism, God arbitrarily picks those puppets which He wishes to choose, and condemns the rest. They have no free choice to “choose the good and eschew the evil”, because God–being omnipotent and omniscient–has CAUSED them to make the choices they make. The onus of good and evil falls upon God Himself, then, in the false logic of Calvinism.

Calvinism ignores all Scriptures to the contrary in its narrow, illogical, and unBiblical viewpoint. It postulates a God nothing like the God of Scripture, who loves, sorrows, feels, asks, and does many other things associated in human minds with weakness. His greatest weakness is His love for us, in that He gave HIMSELF to be sacrificed, because of His love.

God commands us throughout Scripture in two commandments–the only two to cross from the Old to the New Covenant–to “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

Now if WE can love our neighbors as ourselves, but to God we are less than worms, then God is NOT as loving as we are. He HAS to love us as He loves Himself.

However, such love is not possible with beings that are nothing more than glorified puppets.

Think logically about this: Under Calvinism, God has all knowledge of time, from beginning to the end. He KNOWS every time you will sin. BUT, He also has all power. Now having all power means that He necessarily use that power. If the Universe can operate outside of His power, then not only is He unnecessary, but the Universe would be independent of God.

In Calvinism, God must literally moves every particle of the Universe to its intended destination, from past to future. He cannot possible not know something, or even give such an appearance, because it would be both deceitful and a lie. So, we have a case where God knows and causes the future IN TOTO. Not one bit of what happens is independent from God’s control.

BUT, Calvinists also say that God is a loving God–a complete contradiction. Love is based upon performing acts of love. Love isn’t simply a feeling to be felt absent action. Now if I see my neighbor fall into a well, and not help him out when I am able, then I’m responsible in God’s eyes for my neighbor’s injury.

So, just turn that around: If God sees people about to sin, then HE is responsible for their sins if He does not keep them from sin. But He cannot FAIL to keep them from sin, because He is ALL-powerful. Therefore, by failing to prevent sin, God is FULLY responsible for sin. This is the God of Calvinism. He is unloving and responsible for sin, because He has the power to stop it and won’t.

THIS ISN’T THE GOD OF THE BIBLE. Calvinism doesn’t demonstrate the God of the Bible, but the imaginary God consistent with the unchanging Islamic God, not the God of Scripture.

The claims I’ve made for a different God than that presented by Calvinism are easily backed up by Scripture. If you are open to learning something you may not have heard before and are up to the challenge, I’m willing to prove these things to you. Your turn…

Jay, predestination is not possible, because the future is unknown even to God.

The historical presumption has been that time is laid out a bit like frames in a film. God, being outside time, could just look at every frame and see what would happen.

But time isn’t that way. There’s not a shred of evidence that indicates such a thing. Instead, time is change–that’s all. There is no past or future, there’s only the “now”. The future is the “now” that has changed from this moment until then.

The future is based upon the movement of particles in indeterminate paths. Mankind has an effect upon those paths, as shown by quantum physics. The paths themselves are not determinate, therefore, the future is an unknown quantity.

Now God indicates such a thing throughout Scripture. He rests, He asks unnecessary rhetorical questions, He changes, He is sorrowful, He is pleased, He love and hates, He fails to stop sin (which is His own creation), yet He also loves human beings who are created in His own image. None of these things are compatible with total omniscience and omnipotence. Too many people INVENT an imaginary being and call Him God, while ignoring the God of Scripture.

The true God is omniscient in the sense that He knows all that is knowable. The true God is omnipotent in the sense that He has infinite power, but not that He overrides the personal choices of human beings that He loves, unless it is contrary to His plan. The God of Scripture changes. He doesn’t change His judgments, nor does He lie or sin, but He does change. He changes His actions from love to judgment to breathing to sorrow, and so forth.

This is a true and loving God, the God of Scripture. NOT the God of Calvinism.

John, when you say that the future is unknown to God, you have just told me that you do not know God. What god are you believing in. Certainly not the God of the Bible. Your problem is that you believe in yourself and god is just along for the ride wherever you decide to take him. You are like Timothy McVeigh who said that he was the captain of his own fate and the master of his own destiny. In other words, you believe that you are god. That is why you have a problem with Biblical predestination and election. You need to repent and come to know the True and Living God of the Bible. Not some self-serving illusion that you have dreamed up in your head.
http://www.cfdevotionals.org/devpg00/de000905.htm

Jay, read Scripture. The BIBLE tells us God does not know some things. It’s not my own interpretation. It’s the most natural sense of the words in both English and the original languages.

You’ve got it all messed up, because you are relying on a Greek philosophical version of God that is the basis of our modernistic thinking. I’m not saying that such a logical basis is wrong, but rather than the premises that led to your conception of God are incorrect.

This is based solely upon Scripture, while your comment to me “…you have just told me that you do not know God…” is based solely upon your own opinion. You’ve certainly never studied the possibility, probably because you’ve been taught differently. Your mind is obviously closed to the possibility because of a philosophical belief you have.

Now I can SHOW you plainly what I’m saying is true. But you have to be willing to look. If you are going to just pop back with useless rhetoric of the equivalent to “No it’s not!”, then there’s little point in discussing anything with you.

I’m perfectly open to hearing your side of the story if you want to talk about it. I’m open, but not ignorant or manipulable. You’ll have to be fairly logical to convince me of something, particularly something that I’ve studied for many years.

We all are the captains of our own fate and the masters of our own destiny–under God’s hand, of course. We are limited by our nature and by the wills of others who “get in our way”. Nobody is free of interference in their choices but God.

You are putting the worst possible spin on things rather than considering the matter. It would be wiser to think before speaking, and take some time to learn rather than rant. Even if I am not right in your determination, you could learn some valuable things that you don’t know.

Your characterization of my nature couldn’t be further off the mark. You know nothing about me nor my beliefs. Saying that I believe I am god is not only offensive but patently false. In your opinion you think I believe that I am god, but the truth is that is not true in any way. Until you ASK my opinion, and find out what I believe, you are simply speaking foolishly. The information I’ve given you is nowhere near enough to justify the statements you’ve made.

If I were to jump to conclusions about you, I’d have to think you were a wicked, godless man because you are a Calvinist and believe in a god that is wicked and unloving. But I at least give you the benefit of the doubt and I believe that you are simply mistaken about your beliefs, because you have been taught false things. I don’t assume the worst and find out the best. I assume the best and discover the worst you have to offer. That’s the way Jesus treated others, and that’s the way all Christians should treat others–lest we condemn the righteous in our zeal for righteousness and find ourselves to be liars…

So if you’d like to discuss these things in an amiable manner, I’d be happy to do so.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments must be made in accordance with the comment policy. Use your Gravatar-enabled email address while commenting to automatically enhance your comment with some of Gravatar's open profile data.

You may use Markdown to format your comments; additionally, these HTML tags and attributes may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>