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Church History- Philosophy- 2013

CHURCH HISTORY- PHILOSOPHY- CURRENT- 2013

 

 

 

1989  WHO SAYS YOU CANT GO HOME- Bon Jovi

 

2-22-13

 

Sold the Van yesterday.

 

Yeah- at least I took the NY-NJ trip before the sale.

 

 

I bought the van new in 97- never actually used it to sleep in on a road trip.

 

 

This past year I met a friend who hung out at the mission- Will.

 

 

He had a van similar to mine and he was traveling the country and living in the van.

 

I envied him- sort of like a bucket list thing.

 

I took the trip a couple of weeks later and even parked in the Wal mart at the bottom of the hill I grew up on.

 

 

To my old friends from N.J. – it’s the one at the bottom of 91st street- by the NB swimming pool.

 

 

I slept in it for one night at Wal Mart.

 

Cool!

 

 

A couple of weeks ago I put my classic 1966 Mustang [GT- 281- 4 barrel Holley- the works!] on Craig’s List.

 

 

My kids are like ‘you’re selling the Mustang?’

 

 

Yeah- they knew at that point that I was really heading north.

 

 

So- that’s that.

 

 

I finished the Victor Frankl book- Mans Search for Meaning.

 

I did like it- its’ a classic.

 

I guess the only other point to mention from the book was how Frankl observed the 3 stages that the Nazi prisoners went thru.

 

The initial stage was shock.

 

Then they went into a sort of ‘dead zone’- where they got used to it- as much as one could.

 

But some- upon release- did not respond well right away.

 

 

Their minds were so tormented- they were so devalued by their captors- that they did not immediately regain a sense of hope.

 

 

Frankl noted that those in the camps who lost all hope- they died before the others- even if they were in better shape physically.

 

 

Hope- to have some meaning in life- to see a purpose to our struggles.

 

 

These are the things that keep us going.

 

 

When you take hope away from a person- no purpose to what they are going thru.

 

Then they die.

 

 

But- if you see a purpose- even in great difficulty- then you can pull thru.

 

 

The book of Hebrews says ‘who for the joy that was set before him [Jesus] endured the Cross- despising the shame- and is set down at the right hand of God’.

 

Isaiah says ‘I have seen the travail of your soul and am satisfied- I divide to you the spoils with the great- because you were numbered with the transgressors and bare the sin of many’.

 

Hebrews again ‘every priest chosen from among men struggles with the dame difficulties that those he prays for also struggle with- so he may be able to identify with them’.

 

 

Yes- see a purpose in your trial- in the end- it is more valuable than gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1985

 

2-16-13

 

 

 

‘Mans Search for Meaning’

 

 

Just started reading the Victor Frankl book- Mans Search for Meaning.

 

Frankl was a prisoner of the Nazis during the war and he wrote this short book on the way men handled their experiences.

 

 

He developed Logo therapy-  a psycho therapy- a way to deal with human issues.

 

 

Frankl was a Neurologist and he used his time in the camp as a personal experience in dealing with the heart issues of man.

 

As he observed his fellow prisoners he noticed that those who survived were those who maintained hope for a future.

 

They looked forward to a day when better things would get better.

 

 

If they held on to a greater purpose for their suffering- then they could survive.

 

 

Those who lost all hope- even if they were in better shape physically- died.

 

 

Frankl’s approach was called Logo Therapy.

 

 

[Note- as I looked some of this up in Wikipedia- they had a wrong definition for the Greek word Logos. They said it meant ‘to know’. Actually the word Logos means ‘WORD’. The word for knowledge in Greek is Gnosis. I did correct it- surprised they took my correction- I was not even logged in. But be careful with Wikipedia- anyone can say anything I guess?]

 

 

Frankl countered Freud’s philosophy of Hedonism.

 

 

Freud [who Frankl read] said the purpose of man is to simply maximize pleasure.

 

 

But how could a philosophy like that help the Nazi prisoner?

 

 

His life is one of little- or no pleasure.

 

There needed to be a greater meaning behind life in order for the prisoner to survive.

 

 

Frankly did like the words of Nietzsche ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any How’.

 

 

One of the great insights of Frankl was man can abuse men- take away all he has [they were stripped- literally- of all they had- their identities were taken from them].

 

But there is one thing others cannot rob you of- that’s the way you choose to respond.

 

 

Of course Frankl was Jewish- and the bible- Old Testament- does contain these truths.

 

 

The story of Job- especially chapter 7- speaks of man in utter hopelessness.

 

 

A few years ago while praying regular for my friends in prison- I began identifying with those who were given seemingly hopeless penalties.

 

Sandra Briggs- a woman I have never met or spoken to- she owned a jewelry store.

 

I read about her case in the San Antonio paper.

 

 

Her husband was shot and killed during a robbery a few years ago.

 

 

She had a few drinks at an older type bar one night- sort of like a watering hole for older people

 

 

On the way home- in the dark- there was a car parked in the road.

 

Of course she did not see it- you would not have to been drinking to have not seen it.

 

 

The car was involved in an auto accident and when she hit it- the vehicle ran into an off duty officer who was there to help.

 

 

She killed him.

 

 

When she got out of her car she had no idea someone died.

 

At the scene she spoke to the cops- and thinking no harm was done- she waited with them there- almost grateful that no one was hurt.

 

 

But she did not know that the off duty officer was killed- half of his body was lying over the side rail.

 

 

She thought he was bending over looking for something.

 

 

In court they portrayed her as laughing while she cut the man in half- who was RIGHT THERE!

 

 

Like she knew of the death.

 

 

This lady- around 65- was given 45 years in prison.

 

 

 

Okay- that’s one case- I pray for this lady every week [along with hundreds of other cases like this that I have collected over the years].

 

I began to identify with them.

 

She must feel hopeless.

 

She will die in prison.

 

 

Frankl said that when we lose hope- then we lose the will to live.

 

 

 

But the prisoners who somehow were able to ‘see’ a future- a time when they might get out.

 

 

Then this carried them.

 

The book of Romans says ‘we are Saved by Hope- but hope that is seen [already achieved] is not hope- but we hope for the things that we don’t have yet’.

 

 

The book of Proverbs says ‘without a vision the people perish’.

 

 

Those who were able to see a purpose in their suffering- they survived.

 

Those who saw no purpose- no future- these died.

 

 

 

Are you going thru stuff?

 

 

Are things difficult for you?

 

 

Find purpose in the suffering- don’t seek an immediate release.

 

 

The Psalmist said ‘It was good for me that I was afflicted- before I was afflicted I went astray- but after I kept thy word’.

 

The writer of Hebrews says ‘no discipline for the present seems to be joyous- but grievous- never the less after it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who go thru it’.

 

 

Try to find purpose in your struggle- God will turn it into gold.

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1978

 

2-9-2013   40 DAYS

 

In a few more days the historic church begins the Lenten season.

 

 

Every year around this time I always felt like if I did 40 days abstention from any habit- that it would be a breakthrough.

 

 

Problem?

 

 

Heck- who can do 40 days!

 

 

Well- by Gods grace- this year Lent will begin- for me- with the first 40 days of the year as a sort of a self imposed Lent.

 

 

Yes- I’m almost at my 40 days of being clean- and it will be the first time in many years.

 

 

Okay- yesterday I spent the day with the guys at the halfway house.

 

 

My ‘co-founder’ John David [who will read all these posts when I’m done- I have been telling him I’m going to post this whole journal at once- and I want him to read it.  As a side note- I love David as a true brother and friend. He was one of the original homeless ‘bums’ on the streets where I live.  As of now- I must confess- he’s the ‘best’ fruit from that field.  Henry too.]

 

Me and David hung out at the building where we meet for the AA meetings [We take the guys at the halfway house to this meeting a lot- it’s sort of our Home Group].

 

 

David was getting a little depressed- he dropped off a good friend of ours at Detox- and we found out he never made it in.

 

 

We were not sure if he walked away on his own- or if he had some medical problem that kept him out.

 

 

At this Detox- called Charlie’s Place- if you are too sick- or withdrawing too bad- they won’t accept you.

 

 

Either way- David was letting it get to him- I prayed before I left and I think all will turn out well.

 

 

Once again [yeah Brother- I know I’m telling on you a lot in this journal!J] we got into another ‘heated’ discussion.

 

 

 

Every so often David offers me the ‘whole program’.

 

 

He does his best to do what he feels is his calling- to gain recruits into AA.

 

 

 

At this time- I tell him ‘thank you David- I’m doing good- for various reasons that I will explain later [like in this journal] but just give this some time’.

 

 

In yesterdays ‘talk’ I told David- again- that there are many former alcoholics who have ‘stopped drinking’ for good [without AA].

 

 

He tells me he thinks God has ordained AA- in this time- to be the program to free people.

 

 

I tell him I do agree that it’s a tool- but when you say ‘I believe you will go back to drinking- even after many years/months of being sober- unless a person submits to the program’.

 

 

This approach is very legalistic- and to be frank- makes me feel like ‘going out’ [drinking].

 

 

Okay- enough of that.

 

 

Let me share a verse the Lord impressed on me this last month.

 

 

I forget where it is in the bible- but it says;

 

‘I have delivered you from the things your soul lusted after- you will find them no more at all’.

 

 

As I approach my 40 days of abstaining from addictive behavior- I do sense a sort of freedom from the nagging thoughts- images- that embed within the mind [soul] after years of acting out.

 

 

 

Now- I do pray regularly- read scripture- do outreach to friends- I do- and have done- lots of the things that 12 step programs recommend.

 

 

But I think the biggest reason for not ‘seeking after’ sinful desires- is God’s grace- and going thru a period of not doing the act.

 

 

Yes- much of the stuff I’m reading on addictive behavior does say that after a period of not doing an act- anywhere from 21 to 40 days- that there will be an actual change in the brain/mind- and ‘your soul will not find those things anymore’.

 

 

My experience has been- even during past times of abstaining from an addictive behavior- that initially you might have constant thoughts [temptations] of doing the act.

 

 

But- after the 30-40 days- that goes away.

 

 

Now- you might be thinking ‘o- how I wish that were true’.

 

 

Well- it is true- there are many thousands [hundreds of thousands] who will tell you that this is true!

 

 

That’s why- in some scenarios- the well meaning AA friends- without realizing it- might be hindering true freedom for some- by telling them that they think- or know- that others will drink again- unless they submit to the program.

 

 

In this case- we all need to be careful.

 

 

Share your experience- strength and hope.

 

 

And I am sharing information that maybe you have never read.

 

Heck- I just picked up 3 books from the book store on addictions- and there are many stories of people who have done this short 30 day test- and got free- for good!

 

 

 

‘John- can I really stop sinning- for real’?

 

 

Yes.

 

 

I’ll quote the apostle John to you again.

 

 

 

‘My little children- these things write I unto you that ye sin not’

 

 

‘He that is born of God does not practice sin’

 

 

 

‘By this we know the children of God- they do Gods commandments’.

 

 

I quote these verses- not to make you feel guilty- but to give you the biblical narrative- the ‘experience- strength and hope’ in the bible.

 

 

 

Yes- being free is a free gift of grace.

 

 

Many have been finding this- long before the days of 12 step groups- before Detox clinics- before all the very well meaning programs that are out there.

 

 

Yes- believe- you can be free- if you want.

 

 

NOTE- many of the Detox programs do a great job- they give people the tools to have their first 30 days [ or 28 days- many Detox centers are referred to as 28 day programs] of being free.  My feeling is many relapse because when they get out they have no structure for life itself.  That’s where AA comes in as a useful tool for many. The program offers Life Structure to long time addicts whose whole life- even their social life- revolved around using.

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977  CONFESSION  .

 

 

2-8-13

 

Just started studying the 1st letter of the apostle John.

 

 

John- the disciple of Jesus- wrote the gospel that bears his name.

 

 

He also wrote the 3 short letters- 1st, 2nd and 3rd John.

 

 

And the book of Revelation [some scholars think another John might have written Revelation].

 

 

Now- 1st John fits in well with the current study we are doing on addictions.

 

Over the years I have read the letter lots- and as somewhat of a student- I’m aware of the various schools of thought on John.

 

 

For instance- he says- alot- things like;

 

 

‘Those who are born of God do not commit sin’

 

‘By this we know the children of God and the devil- those who sin are not of God- those who keep his commandments are of God’

 

 

 

John uses language like this all thru out the letter.

 

 

So- this has caused some teachers thru the centuries to try and ‘water’ down what John said [meant?]

 

 

Why?

 

Because the human experience seems to tell us that humans- while in the flesh- will never be totally ‘sinless’.

 

Okay- but there are those who say yes- we- as humans- can reach a point of being ‘sinless’.

 

Others say that John was just saying ‘constant sin’.

 

Sort of like these statements that those who are of God CANNOT SIN- that it really means ‘they don’t do it all the time’.

 

 

Okay- what one is it?

 

 

I have sided with those who have said John is not saying we can achieve perfection- total perfection- in this life.

 

 

Yet- I also think others [in this group of thinking it does not mean sinless] have kind of used this as an excuse.

 

That is- John is clearly saying that when we are united with God- we will reach a point of overcoming sin- addictions- and that we can live without actually being addicted.

 

 

 

Okay- a few points.

 

 

How do we achieve this state?

 

 

 

Both John- and James [the letter in the New Testament that I covered last] give us biblical principles that help.

 

 

 

One of the reasons the 12 step movement does indeed work- is because they practice the biblical principle of what I call OPEN COMMUNITY.

 

 

Huh- what’s that?

 

 

In these letters- as well as the whole bible- we as believers are told to CONFESS our faults one to another.

 

Yes- after the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century- many Protestants [of which I am] abandoned this practice.

 

 

For 15 hundred years most Christians practiced Confession- yes- to a Priest.

 

 

Now- the original reformers [Luther- Calvin- etc.] did not reject confession to a priest.

 

It’s important to know this- because many Protestants seem to equate their protest against the Catholic Church along with the idea ‘I don’t need to confess to any man- Jesus is my Priest’.

 

 

True as that is- yet the New Testament does indeed tell us to confess our faults [which does include sin] to one another.

 

 

 

Okay- this practice- of Open Community- of having others that your are accountable to- is practiced in 12 step groups.

 

 

You tell others- openly ‘I have been clean so many days’.

 

 

Others ask you [whether sponsors or fellow AA’ers] ‘are you clean’?

 

 

 

I have told a good friend- a few times already ‘yeah- my Birthday has not changed’.

 

 

 

See- this is a biblical thing- a practice that is often not practiced in protestant churches because of what I just explained.

 

 

 

So- how do we apply the teaching of the Apostle John- he did say that ‘by this we know we are the children of God- everyone that does what is right- who keeps God’s commands- who DOES NOT SIN- these are of God’.

 

 

 

I think a key is this Open Community ideal- we admit to each other our faults.

 

 

 

Now- in this journal I’m doing- I have been more open than many about addictions that most of us hide.

 

 

 

Let’s be real- It’s easier to say ‘my name is so and so and I’m an alcoholic’.

 

 

Than to say ‘I have an addiction to porn’.

 

 

See?

 

 

So- as we move forward with this journal- as God leads- maybe this will be an opportunity for others to ‘sign on’ so to speak.

 

 

 

 

Okay- that’s it for today- remember- the bible teaches us to be open with each other- of course you need to also be careful with whom you choose to ‘confess’ to.

 

 

 

AA does teach that there are some things that you need to share with at least one other person.

 

 

 

But to be careful not to cast your Pearls before swine.

 

 

That is- sometimes it’s not helpful to tell too many others about your hidden sins.

 

 

 

So- let God lead.

 

 

 

 

Also- the 1st letter of John is indeed calling all of us to live free from habitual patterns of sin.

 

 

It is not simply saying we have been forgiven [which is true].

 

 

But John is saying if we are of God- born of him- then we will eventually show it by keeping his commands and ‘not sinning’ any more.

 

 

That is- we can indeed overcome our addictions- all of them.

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1963 NO BULL

 

 

Let’s talk a little about this past week- and if I have time maybe hit on today’s House [of Rep’s] vote on the millionaire tax increase [which should be an Obama dream come true!]

 

Okay- over the weekend I had one of the street guys stay over.

 

 

Huey fell and probably broke a few ribs- he’s been struggling in the camp and called around 4:30 pm on Friday.

 

 

I was sitting at the halfway house- which I helped start with Huey’s brother- John David.

 

 

I was talking to my friend who has terminal cancer- and was getting ready to go home and take the weekend off from ministry stuff.

 

 

That’s when Huey called- so to be honest it was a sacrifice to bring him home- and give the weekend to ministry stuff.

 

 

 

But- earlier in the day Henry mentioned the story of the Good Samaritan- how he put the man up- paid for his bill at the hotel [Inn] and went out of his way for the man.

 

 

When I got the call- I knew I was supposed to do it.

 

 

It’s funny- every time Huey comes over- if he leaves some type of trinket- there is always a sign to the thing.

 

 

 

Because he’s homeless- he has his stuff all over the area- maybe some clothes at another friend’s house- he’ll leave his guitar over here [hanging on the wall].

 

 

So- when I came back from my trip to N.J. – I brought back a walking staff/stick that I found in the park where I grew up.

 

 

I stuck it here at my house- in the room I use for the street guys.

 

 

I have all types of biblical nick knacks in the room- verses on the wall- stuff like that.

 

 

So- I was looking for a couple of little angel pins a few weeks ago- was going to use it on one of these walking staffs that I made [not ‘girly’ angels- but saint Michael the Archangel- you know- tough stuff!]

 

 

So- Huey spent the night a while ago- the next day I go I to clean the room- and sure enough- he left a hat on the stick- and the hat had 2 angel pins on it [I could not find them on my own by the way].

 

 

 

So- after this last weekend stay- before I clean the room after the guys spend the night- I usually write and do my blogging in the morning.

 

 

That morning I read some of the Psalms and wrote down a verse about Bulls.

 

 

 

It’s a common theme in the bible- it actually fits in with the posts I did last week.

 

 

The Psalm says God is more pleased with the sacrifices of praise and worship than he is with the offerings of ‘Bulls and Oxen’.

 

 

Okay- the point is God did not really want animal sacrifices- he wanted our hearts.

 

 

 

Today- in the New Covenant church that we all belong to- we have no more animal sacrifices- Jesus died for us on the Cross and he was the final sacrifice for the sins of man.

 

 

The apostle Peter writes we now offer the sacrifices of praise to God- the same theme we read in the Psalms.

 

 

 

 

So- I write down the Psalm on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall.

 

 

 

I start cleaning the room- and Huey must have broke a belt buckle- he left the 2 pieces of the broken buckle in the room.

 

 

They were 2 Bulls.

 

 

 

After I hung up the Psalm- I stuck the bulls to the wall.

 

 

Yeah- true story- no bull.

 

[Actually ‘no bull[s]’ means we are now living in a new age of grace and praise- no more need for animal sacrifice- get it?]

 

 

 

 

Okay- I have not written much about the news lately- though there is always stuff going on.

 

 

 

I mentioned a few weeks ago it looked like the president was really not looking for a deal with the House Repubs- not like in the past.

 

 

He seemed to have abandoned the idea of serious cuts to entitlement programs- and simply wanted to win a political feud to raise taxes on- quote- ‘millionaires and billionaires’.

 

 

Now- in reality- the president and many other Dem’s have said that they just want to raise taxes on the ‘rich’ and not do any cutting.

 

 

But the Repubs have never agreed to this.

 

 

So- the last few weeks that’s what they have been haggling over.

 

 

It looked like Obama was gonna go over the ‘cliff’ and let the Repubs take the blame.

 

 

So- as a counter punch- the Repub house is going to try and pass a bill today that will raise taxes on millionaires- and that’s it.

 

 

Huh?

 

 

In essence- the bill would let the Bush tax rates expire on everyone else- except ‘Millionaires and Billionaires’.

 

 

Look- I have watched this stuff for years- if Obama really means what he says- this is looking a gift horse in the mouth- this is what has said he wants- and in the past he would never- ever get a deal like this- without entitlement cuts.

 

 

 

Is he going to take the deal- by making the Dems in the senate vote yeah?

 

 

No.

 

 

 

He said it’s a game- a ploy- and they are already saying it’s no good.

 

 

 

This tells me he really does not want what he told us- ‘millionaires and billionaires’.

 

 

No- at this point- he wants to win the game.

 

 

Sure- we all know just raising the tax rate on millionaires really won’t raise enough revenue- but he has not played it that way this last year.

 

 

He has the average American thinking all he wants is to raise taxes on millionaires.

 

 

Well- if that’s what you say you want.

 

 

Then Merry Christmas Mr. President- from John Boehner.

 

 

NOTE- in Revelation chapter 4 we read about a beast vision that the Apostle John saw- the image had 4 things to it- 2 of them were a Calf [bull] and an Eagle.

 

 

One of the church Fathers taught that these images are types of Christ- sort of like the 4 gospels can be seen in these images of 4 beasts.

 

 

I find it interesting that Huey has left me 2 of these 4 images already [Bull and Eagle].

 

 

Let’s see what’s next.

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1961 What is the main message of the bible?

 

 

I want to continue with the strain of thought from the last post.

 

 

But first- some politics.

 

 

Yesterday Susan Rice pulled herself out of the race for Secretary of state.

 

 

Obviously the president felt it would be bad to have her at the center of a huge nomination process- being she’s at the heart of the Benghazi scandal.

 

 

Okay- what’s the big deal?

 

Yes- once again- some on the left side of the aisle [not all] have accused the other side of not being ready for a Black woman secy of state.

 

Huh?

 

 

Yes- the pundits were out saying ‘when will the Repubs ever be ready for anyone but a White male holding the office’.

 

 

You know- for the money these guys get [MSNBC] you think they would maybe educate themselves on the main subject of their job.

 

 

We haven’t had a White- male secretary of state for around 20 years [last one was Larry Eagleburger].

 

As a matter of fact- the last one a Repub president had- just happened to be a Black woman – with the last name of Rice! [Condi].

 

 

Sad- these race baiters are destroying the fabric of the country- and they are doing it on the altar of vanity.

 

 

Sure- they think [make it sound like] they are the defenders of the minorities- but they hold an elitist attitude- one that has scorn for the rest of the country [outside the media market of NYC].

 

 

At the end of the day- they misinform their viewers- they believe that their racist charges are true- and they incite a sort of ‘reverse racism’ by creating an underlying distrust of those who are not like them.

 

 

 

 

Okay- in the last post I discussed the main message of the bible- what the main purpose is.

 

 

 

Over the years- as Christianity developed- the church had councils and meetings to hash out various controversies.

 

 

Over time- these meetings produced the historic creeds of the church.

 

Now- as a Protestant- I am not an ‘anti- traditional’ one.

 

 

I have read- taught- studied the creeds and the councils- and I’m on the side of those who hold to the creeds.

 

 

But- this has tended to cloud the main message of the New Testament.

 

 

Which is called The Good News.

 

 

What was the message  the Apostles preached in the book of Acts?

 

 

The bible says they ‘preached the word’.

 

 

This was not simply a ‘bible message’ per se.

 

That is- they were not doing what many modern preachers do- simply going thru the bible to find various verses- about all types of subjects- and then making application.

 

 

No- they were preaching Christ- they were telling the world of their day that Christ came as the promised Messiah and died and rose again.

 

 

Then they told the people if they had faith- and they became followers of ‘This Way’- they would be justified by God- in a way that the law would not be able to do.

 

 

 

This is the heart of the New Testament message- that people are now saved by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ- as opposed to the old way of Law.

 

 

 

This is the basic message- what we call the good news.

 

 

But- like I said above- in the world of politics and religion- this simple message has been obscured.

 

 

Many people reject Christianity because of the hard line creeds and statements that came out of the church councils.

 

 

 

Many object to the way the Church has defined the doctrine of the Trinity.

 

 

Now- I’m with the creeds on this- but I do understand how Muslims- Jews- and even many Christian ‘groups’ have also had problems with the historic definition.

 

 

 

A friend asked me the other day about the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

Now- at first I had no idea why he asked- but I told him I try and take a much more gracious position then you might hear from the average Christian teacher.

 

 

I told him they did break away from the historic position of the Trinity- but I also told him there have been many believers- all thru the history of the church- that have done the same thing.

 

 

I did a quick review of the Arian controversy [not Aryan- like the racist group].

 

In the early centuries of the church there was a famous Catholic bishop by the name of Arias.

 

 

He held to the same belief that the present Jehovah’s Witnesses do- that Jesus was not God- in the same sense that God the Father is God.

 

 

Okay- eventually the church overruled him- but there was a time where this belief was widely accepted- and taught- in much of the church.

 

 

Till this day there are entire groups of Christians that never rejected this initial belief- and they have been around since the days of Arius.

 

 

So- when discussing this with my friend- I tried to say I do understand how other religions have a problem with the historic way we have defined the Trinity.

 

 

He then told me his dad- who was a heathen his whole life- married a wonderful Jehovah Witness woman later in life- and he has become a devout believer.

 

 

So- in a way he was glad to see that even though the church does not believe the same way his dad believes- yet at the same time- there have been- and continue to be- many sincere believers who have had the same ideas as his dad and step mom.

 

 

 

Okay- said all that to say this.

 

 

Many good Muslims- who try to serve the Lord to the best of their ability- they see this doctrine as the major point of Christianity.

 

That is- they do not see the main message spoken about in the New Testament as the simple truth that God sent Jesus as the Messiah- more than a prophet- though a prophet he was.

 

But he came as the fulfillment of the promise that God made all thru out the history of Israel.

 

That someday a Messiah would come and he would not just die for the Jewish nation- but for all people groups.

 

 

And that all those who are struggling to please God thru their own obedience to the law- they are now free from ‘the law’ and can come to God based on the obedience of Christ.

 

 

 

Now- this would later become a debate- both in church history- and in the pages of the bible itself.

 

 

We read in the New Testament that some were accusing the apostle Paul of teaching that we can go out and sin- break the law- because we are now under grace.

 

Paul defended himself against this charge- and said we- as children of God- do God’s will.

 

 

He did not teach it was okay to break the commandments.

 

But- he did teach we are not justified- made acceptable in the sight of God- thru our doing of the commandments.

 

 

He taught that this system of trying to please God thru the obedience of the law was flawed from the get go.

 

 

Simply because all men are sinners- and no man could ever keep the law 100%.

 

Therefore God made a New Covenant with man [as opposed to the Old Covenant which was based on the law and works].

 

In this new ‘deal’ Jesus dies for the sins of the whole world- and all who now believe are forgiven by God and have eternal life.

 

 

This is a free gift that God gives to man based on the death of his Son.

 

Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son- that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life’.

 

 

This is the Good News- this is the main message of the bible.

 

 

When I hear people of other faiths- or even people who have joined various sects of Christianity- when I hear them have sincere objections to the Trinity- or to some other doctrine- I try and bring them back to this main message of the bible.

 

This simple message of Christ dying for the sins of men- and freeing man from the struggle of trying to please God by keeping the law- that’s the old Testament that is no longer in force.

 

 

Paul the apostle wrote the Corinthian church and he said he was worried that satan was blinding their minds form the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.

 

 

I have found this to be true over the years- many people have all types of objections to Christianity.

 

 

Some have to do with politics and the Western world.

 

 

Some have to do with the way the church has come to define certain doctrines.

 

 

But for the most part- many of these well meaning objectors have never really understood what I just showed you- that none of these things are the main message of the bible.

 

 

No- the main message of the bible is that because of Christ we now have a New Covenant with God.

 

Not one that is based on our ability [or inability] to keep the law.

 

No- that was doomed from the start- no man could do it.

 

But this New Deal we have is completed in Christ- we can come boldly to the throne of grace- because Jesus made the way.

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1957 TODAY I HAVE TO GO- DON’T WORRY.

 

 

Which way to go?

 

 

 

Yeah- today I have lots of things to write about- but must pick one or 2.

 

 

 

Yesterday I spent the day with David- my buddy who started the halfway house.

 

 

I picked up Henry in the morning- he was at a weekly breakfast that a local church sponsors.

 

 

I actually posted the pic yesterday- the plate looked like a Denny’s thing!

 

I don’t eat breakfast or lunch- though I’m regularly at these spots- because that’s where I have met lots of street guys in the past.

 

 

Me and Henry stopped at brother Rey’s [pastor of church without walls] and he donated a couple of real nice cots to the halfway house.

 

 

 

At the halfway house we took in a new guy- John.

 

 

Yeah- I was with John David- I took John Henry- and we added another John.

 

 

That has come up a lot these last few months.

 

 

 

I also posted his pic on Facebook.

 

 

Please pray for him- he has liver cancer real bad- has been sober for a while- but he might die while at the house.

 

 

Okay- I really did not plan on spending the whole day helping with the halfway house- but once we started- I felt that was the plan for the day.

 

 

As we left the halfway house and headed back to David’s little apt. – he wanted to stop at McDonalds- the one close to the area where all this is happening.

 

 

As we sat inside- I relayed to David and Henry that the last time I was here was about 8 months ago.

 

 

It was the beginning of my involvement in this area of town [downtown Corpus- most of my homeless/street friends live on the south side].

 

 

I told the guys that I took a ride one morning- prayed for the Lord to open some doors- and stopped right here.

 

 

There were 2 homeless guys sleeping on the bus benches outside.

 

 

It was early- about 6:30 in the morning.

 

 

I bought a couple of breakfasts and woke the guys up- they were grateful for the meal.

 

 

I spent about 4 hours with the guys- hanging out- telling them about the ministry and all.

 

 

 

I never saw them again.

 

 

I did go back to look for them- but like many others- they just moved on.

 

 

 

But- thru a series of events- we are now doing the halfway house right in the area- and sitting at the same McDonalds that I bought the breakfasts from.

 

 

So yes- God did open some doors- in ways that I did not see in the beginning.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday as I was reading the paper I came across a sad story.

 

 

When I read my papers every morning- I glean from the both current events- which I write about lots.

 

But I also write the names of severe crime cases- people being sent to prison for life- or upcoming death penalty guys.

 

 

I write the date of their execution on my calendar- I pray for them thru out the months [along with lots of others].

 

 

And if I remember- I pray for them on the day of execution [I’m not praying for them to get ‘spared’ though that did happen one day- but for them to die ‘well’. If they are indeed guilty- to ask forgiveness from their victim’s families if they have not done this. Or if they have denied the crime- to confess- to go out well- and to ask God for forgiveness].

 

 

 

I started this a few years ago- I felt the Lord leading me into this strange type of prayer group- you know- people who are now dead.

 

 

 

Almost seemed like a waste of time- I mean who ‘collects’ these dead ones?

 

 

 

Anyway- in yesterday’s paper I read about Niko [the San Antonio news].

 

 

They had a picture of him sitting on the beach- by a pier.

 

 

He is [was] 11 years old.

 

 

Niko was an ambitious young kid- smart- and had big plans.

 

 

He liked soccer- and wanted to attend Harvard one day.

 

 

But Niko was diagnosed with cancer- and died.

 

 

The story went on.

 

 

His family were visiting him at the hospital once again.

 

And he said to them ‘Today is the day- today I have to go’.

 

 

He died later that day.

 

 

As I read Niko’s words- it was so sad.

 

 

The end of the story said his last words were ‘don’t worry about me’.

 

 

 

I have Nikos story right here- when I’m done typing I will post it here in my study- along with the names of my ‘prisoners’ who have died.

 

 

Yeah- in some way I feel like this little community that I live amongst- homeless buddies- friends in prison- and some who have died.

 

That they are all part of this group.

 

 

I have had many confirmations about this over the years.

 

 

 

I’ll end with just one.

 

 

 

A few years back I did an on-line teaching about the other books that never made it into the bible.

 

 

Many years ago I bought some of these- and when you study church history and theology- well- these are an aspect of that type of teaching.

 

 

So I commented on them- gave the reasons why we don’t have them in our bibles.

 

But I also said that when I read some of them- I have found some are actually quite good.

 

 

 

One of my favorites is called the Epistle of Barnabus.

 

 

But there are others as well.

 

 

 

Some in the early church actually had a couple of these that were included in some of the early bibles- others were never given a 2nd thought.

 

 

 

By the way- in this field of study- I come down of the conservative side.

 

That is I don’t hold to the ideas of men like Bart Ehrman- the more liberal scholars.

 

 

They seem to give more credence to the books that never made it into the canon- and cast too much doubt on the bible we have today.

 

Anyway- the few that I do lile- when I re-read them as the years go by- there have been times when God did speak to me.

 

 

 

Here’s one.

 

 

As my prayer time developed into this inclusion of dead folk [above].

 

I felt much more awareness of my friends who have died- as being amongst us during prayer.

 

 

Now- I don’t ‘pray to them’ but I have a greater sense of praying ‘with them’.  I mention their kids and all- because these guys- some- were actually friends of mine- who came to my church meetings I started years ago.

 

 

So- I painted a spot on my wall- it was dedicated to this group.

 

 

I simply wrote a few things- stuff that reminded me that these were those who have gone on- and are yet ‘here’.

 

 

Sort of like my ‘friends in prison’ type of thing.

 

 

Prison represents those who have died- and we are not so sure where they are- to be honest.

 

 

 

I’ll explain it in a moment.

 

 

 

So- right after I painted this little altar area- I read in one of the ‘lost books of the bible’ [I think it was in the Revelation of St. Peter?].

 

It said ‘have you preached to the spirits in prison yet’.

 

 

Meaning- have you included those who have died yet- have you yet ‘learned this’ son?

 

 

That was the type of sense I got.

 

 

As I read the verse- I simply said ‘yes’.

 

 

Now- I do know the source is from one of the early books that is not in the bible.

 

 

But this reference- even if it is a copy- or a fake- does come from our bibles as well.

 

 

It’s in the letter of Peter [I think 1st Peter 3?]

 

 

And it’s one those texts that scholars haggle over.

 

 

But Peter is speaking about some who died before the days of the world wide flood [Genesis 6].

 

And he refers to these dead people hearing the gospel- by Christ himself- after he died and rose again.

 

 

And they are called ‘the spirits in prison’.

 

 

So- that’s the same thing I felt/understood as I began seeing those who have gone on- well- they are still with us in a way.

 

 

 

Yeah- in a few minutes I will post little Niko’s picture up on my wall.

 

 

I’ll look at it as time goes by- as I see all my friends- both living and dead- and I will read his words.

 

 

‘Today I have to go- don’t worry’.

 

Yes- Jesus said out of the mouths of babies thou hast perfected praise.

 

You think?

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1957 TODAY I HAVE TO GO- DON’T WORRY.

 

 

Which way to go?

 

 

 

Yeah- today I have lots of things to write about- but must pick one or 2.

 

 

 

Yesterday I spent the day with David- my buddy who started the halfway house.

 

 

I picked up Henry in the morning- he was at a weekly breakfast that a local church sponsors.

 

 

I actually posted the pic yesterday- the plate looked like a Denny’s thing!

 

I don’t eat breakfast or lunch- though I’m regularly at these spots- because that’s where I have met lots of street guys in the past.

 

 

Me and Henry stopped at brother Rey’s [pastor of church without walls] and he donated a couple of real nice cots to the halfway house.

 

 

 

At the halfway house we took in a new guy- John.

 

 

Yeah- I was with John David- I took John Henry- and we added another John.

 

 

That has come up a lot these last few months.

 

 

 

I also posted his pic on Facebook.

 

 

Please pray for him- he has liver cancer real bad- has been sober for a while- but he might die while at the house.

 

 

Okay- I really did not plan on spending the whole day helping with the halfway house- but once we started- I felt that was the plan for the day.

 

 

As we left the halfway house and headed back to David’s little apt. – he wanted to stop at McDonalds- the one close to the area where all this is happening.

 

 

As we sat inside- I relayed to David and Henry that the last time I was here was about 8 months ago.

 

 

It was the beginning of my involvement in this area of town [downtown Corpus- most of my homeless/street friends live on the south side].

 

 

I told the guys that I took a ride one morning- prayed for the Lord to open some doors- and stopped right here.

 

 

There were 2 homeless guys sleeping on the bus benches outside.

 

 

It was early- about 6:30 in the morning.

 

 

I bought a couple of breakfasts and woke the guys up- they were grateful for the meal.

 

 

I spent about 4 hours with the guys- hanging out- telling them about the ministry and all.

 

 

 

I never saw them again.

 

 

I did go back to look for them- but like many others- they just moved on.

 

 

 

But- thru a series of events- we are now doing the halfway house right in the area- and sitting at the same McDonalds that I bought the breakfasts from.

 

 

So yes- God did open some doors- in ways that I did not see in the beginning.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday as I was reading the paper I came across a sad story.

 

 

When I read my papers every morning- I glean from the both current events- which I write about lots.

 

But I also write the names of severe crime cases- people being sent to prison for life- or upcoming death penalty guys.

 

 

I write the date of their execution on my calendar- I pray for them thru out the months [along with lots of others].

 

 

And if I remember- I pray for them on the day of execution [I’m not praying for them to get ‘spared’ though that did happen one day- but for them to die ‘well’. If they are indeed guilty- to ask forgiveness from their victim’s families if they have not done this. Or if they have denied the crime- to confess- to go out well- and to ask God for forgiveness].

 

 

 

I started this a few years ago- I felt the Lord leading me into this strange type of prayer group- you know- people who are now dead.

 

 

 

Almost seemed like a waste of time- I mean who ‘collects’ these dead ones?

 

 

 

Anyway- in yesterday’s paper I read about Niko [the San Antonio news].

 

 

They had a picture of him sitting on the beach- by a pier.

 

 

He is [was] 11 years old.

 

 

Niko was an ambitious young kid- smart- and had big plans.

 

 

He liked soccer- and wanted to attend Harvard one day.

 

 

But Niko was diagnosed with cancer- and died.

 

 

The story went on.

 

 

His family were visiting him at the hospital once again.

 

And he said to them ‘Today is the day- today I have to go’.

 

 

He died later that day.

 

 

As I read Niko’s words- it was so sad.

 

 

The end of the story said his last words were ‘don’t worry about me’.

 

 

 

I have Nikos story right here- when I’m done typing I will post it here in my study- along with the names of my ‘prisoners’ who have died.

 

 

Yeah- in some way I feel like this little community that I live amongst- homeless buddies- friends in prison- and some who have died.

 

That they are all part of this group.

 

 

I have had many confirmations about this over the years.

 

 

 

I’ll end with just one.

 

 

 

A few years back I did an on-line teaching about the other books that never made it into the bible.

 

 

Many years ago I bought some of these- and when you study church history and theology- well- these are an aspect of that type of teaching.

 

 

So I commented on them- gave the reasons why we don’t have them in our bibles.

 

But I also said that when I read some of them- I have found some are actually quite good.

 

 

 

One of my favorites is called the Epistle of Barnabus.

 

 

But there are others as well.

 

 

 

Some in the early church actually had a couple of these that were included in some of the early bibles- others were never given a 2nd thought.

 

 

 

By the way- in this field of study- I come down of the conservative side.

 

That is I don’t hold to the ideas of men like Bart Ehrman- the more liberal scholars.

 

 

They seem to give more credence to the books that never made it into the canon- and cast too much doubt on the bible we have today.

 

Anyway- the few that I do lile- when I re-read them as the years go by- there have been times when God did speak to me.

 

 

 

Here’s one.

 

 

As my prayer time developed into this inclusion of dead folk [above].

 

I felt much more awareness of my friends who have died- as being amongst us during prayer.

 

 

Now- I don’t ‘pray to them’ but I have a greater sense of praying ‘with them’.  I mention their kids and all- because these guys- some- were actually friends of mine- who came to my church meetings I started years ago.

 

 

So- I painted a spot on my wall- it was dedicated to this group.

 

 

I simply wrote a few things- stuff that reminded me that these were those who have gone on- and are yet ‘here’.

 

 

Sort of like my ‘friends in prison’ type of thing.

 

 

Prison represents those who have died- and we are not so sure where they are- to be honest.

 

 

 

I’ll explain it in a moment.

 

 

 

So- right after I painted this little altar area- I read in one of the ‘lost books of the bible’ [I think it was in the Revelation of St. Peter?].

 

It said ‘have you preached to the spirits in prison yet’.

 

 

Meaning- have you included those who have died yet- have you yet ‘learned this’ son?

 

 

That was the type of sense I got.

 

 

As I read the verse- I simply said ‘yes’.

 

 

Now- I do know the source is from one of the early books that is not in the bible.

 

 

But this reference- even if it is a copy- or a fake- does come from our bibles as well.

 

 

It’s in the letter of Peter [I think 1st Peter 3?]

 

 

And it’s one those texts that scholars haggle over.

 

 

But Peter is speaking about some who died before the days of the world wide flood [Genesis 6].

 

And he refers to these dead people hearing the gospel- by Christ himself- after he died and rose again.

 

 

And they are called ‘the spirits in prison’.

 

 

So- that’s the same thing I felt/understood as I began seeing those who have gone on- well- they are still with us in a way.

 

 

 

Yeah- in a few minutes I will post little Niko’s picture up on my wall.

 

 

I’ll look at it as time goes by- as I see all my friends- both living and dead- and I will read his words.

 

 

‘Today I have to go- don’t worry’.

 

Yes- Jesus said out of the mouths of babies thou hast perfected praise.

 

You think?

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5

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