Even A Blind Squirrel Finds A Nut Once In Awhile

My daughter Rebekkah recently wrote a post entitled An Answer For Everybody which was her response to all the differing opinions offered up to my post An Answer For Arkenaten. Since she has graciously allowed me to borrow her laptop since mine died a truly horrible death, I have been reading the comments to her post to her over the phone.

The battle of comments rages on even now over these two posts, and tonight Arkenaten wrote the following:

“Reborn Christians are some of the most uneducated of the Christians sects, having little or no true understanding of the history of their faith or the bible, and are even less inclined to ask pertinent questions.”

Now, on the one hand, I find this statement to be merely an opinion thrown out to insult the person he was debating with. But, when I read what Ark had written to Rebekkah, her response was, ” That’s true.” I was very taken aback when she said that, chastising her a bit for her seeming callousness. But when she explained why she felt this was a fair statement, I had to reluctantly admit that she was right. But not before I snarked back a little. I hate all-encompassing stereotypes. I really do. I did mention I am the Queen of the Knee-Jerk Reaction, remember?

I don’t agree that Arkenaten has thrown out this tidbit out of any real knowledge or wisdom, but like we Southerners like to say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. So at last, he finally gave me something to think about.

One of Rebekkah’s points that I couldn’t argue with is the severe lack of knowledge of what the Bible says and where it says it. A few years ago, Chef was working at a restaurant in a corporate park, and some of the people who would frequent this place were students of the Rhema Bible College, located here in Tulsa.

Now, I absolutely do not want to insult any Christians. I merely want to get people to ask themselves if they truthfully know why they believe what they believe. If this message doesn’t pertain to you, please disregard it. Not everyone falls into this category. I speak only to those who tend to rely on other people — teachers, preachers, friends, parents, books.. — but have not studied the Word of God for themselves. With so much in print, both in books and on-line, added to televised media, we are inundated by information. But all of that information needs to be secondary…The Bible needs to be the First and Last Word on everything.

I had numerous conversations with people in that restaurant, and many of them were with people attending the Bible school. And while they seemed ready to hit me with some form of “Shock and Awe” theories designed to impress with dry quotes of philosophers and some real twisting of random verses, they seemed woefully lacking in the basics of the Bible. For instance, I have been instructed in detail how we were already living in Jesus’s 1000 year reign, but that same person couldn’t tell me why he believed this. He quoted professors, and offered up some random bible-sounding stuff, but when I inquired about where these verses were in the Bible, he said he would get back with me. I never saw him again. One woman tried to tell me that Mary was not a virgin, and went into a long diatribe about her theories on that little tidbit. That one made me sad, because you simply can’t cherry-pick what you want from the Bible and then throw the rest out. There seems to be a real wave of Cherry-Picking theologians coming out of Tulsa right now, and I find this really, really disturbing. But doesn’t the Word say in Hosea 4:6:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”

Knowledge of what that Bible says is paramount to our walk with the Lord. A person who truly knows why they believe the way they do is not easily shaken from their beliefs. And satan is a worthy enemy. He knows how to attack us in our weakest points. By knowing the Word of God, we close down a lot of his abilities to attack us using our own minds; hence, the Word of the Lord is how we are able to carry our Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:17.

Over the years, I’ve had many, many conversations with many, many Christians, and I would have to say that it is only a small amount of them that seem to have a firm grasp on what they believe and why they believe it, with scriptural references to back their beliefs up.

There are many excellent teachers of the scripture, both in the real world and here in Blogosphere. But as Romans 9 instructs us to do, we should study to show ourselves approved. An unbeliever should never know more about that Bible than a Christian does, unless a Christian is just starting out. But for those of us who have been followers for years, the Bible should be written on our hearts, a quiver of spiritual arrows, ready for any surprise attack satan would launch at us.

I don’t necessarily agree that Christians are the most uneducated, or that we don’t as a whole, ask pertinent questions, or know our faith’s history. But I do believe that there is always room for improvement, and seeing that the days of the end are getting near, I would encourage all of us, me included, to brush up on our Biblical knowledge, or if necessary, begin anew to commit God’s words to your heart. I don’t mean to randomly memorize verses, but instead, read the Word of God as a whole, so that the Holy Spirit will be able to bring to remembrance His instructions to us when we are really in need of it.

Tonight, when I read 2 Timothy 2, I also found these verses, and they seemed a clear instruction to me on how to handle the many, many debates raging on those two posts on my site:

14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,

17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

That tells me that these sorts of conversations are not useful for me, and I am fine with leaving them to other people.

I hope you all have a peaceful evening!

— Bird

 

Thanks, God, But I Don’t Think You Understand…

Today, I’m thinking about forgiveness. Not forgiveness for other people, but forgiveness for yourself.

To me, forgiving myself has always been my number one stumbling block. I have no problem forgiving other people for failing me, or God, or other people. Call it a self-esteemissue, or whatever, but I didn’t used to set the

For better self-flagellation...Here's a clue: No matter what you do to yourself, physical or emotional, your blood is worthless. Only Jesus's was worth anything.

bar all that high for my fellow human beings, so when they failed, I almost just expected it. Satan hates us all, and he’s been doing his job a lot longer than any of us have been alive. It would be embarrassing for him if he wasn’t a master at it by now! And I know how much Jesus loves all of us, so it was with heart-felt sincerity that I would lend a hand to lift my brothers and sisters up, dust them off, and encourage them to keep on trucking down their proverbial road.

But that same courtesy just didn’t apply to myself, as I felt that I knew what I was supposed to be doing, feeling, saying…but when I didn’t fulfill whatever it was I thought God wanted of me, I would plunge into a self-hatred, despairing emotional valley, and lick my wounds for days down there. And it was in one of these dark little valleys that Jesus stepped in and shone His light on what was really happening. And you know, He only had to say one word to me for it all to become crystal clear — Pride.

You see, somehow I had elevated myself over other people by thinking that while they were doomed to fail, and Jesus’s sacrifice was complete and perfect for them, somehow God expected more from me…why? Because I was better? Because I was special? And then I would fail and fail and fail. I’d hide away in my little pity party, refusing to be comforted, refusing to answer my God’s voice. And by hiding down in my valley, feeling sorry for myself, I was telling Jesus, “Hey, thanks for dying on the cross and all, but Your sacrifice just wasn’t good enough to cover my sins.” What a big, fat lie from satan, and he snuck it past my ever vigilant brain quite easily.

I deal with my shortcomings differently now, by focusing on how Jesus taught us to pray. I am always paying attention to those tiny little voices that try to convince me that I have something to be proud of…pride is too easily introduced to me, so I pay very close attention to anything that would let satan slip that one past my guards. And when I pray, I embrace the humility of being an imperfect child of God, and then forgive myself, not giving it more importance than any other sin should be given. Jesus was pretty clear in His Word, even our good works are like dirty rags to God. Nothing to be all that proud of down here… 🙂

So, today, I’m starting out my day by asking God’s forgiveness for my ever-present failings, and then I’m forgiving myself right after, and I’m going to start my day with a fresh slate — both in God’s eyes, and my own.

Hope everyone has the best day of their lives today!

— Bird

Today I wrote this What’s In A Name? at 20 Lines A Day about how I insulted a biker… 🙂