Theology In Progress

Theology In ProgressTheology In Progress

About a month ago a friend asked me if I would help him and another friend setup a website, and of course I said I would. I didn’t immediately catch what their vision was at first but I was committed to providing the resources they needed to get it going. In talking with these two men of God over the last month I have understood their vision and am honored to be a part of it.

Today is the launch of Theology In Progress, more than just a website and more than just a blog. It is a place for Christians to come in order to converse about theological ideas. The goal is to make this a safe place for everyone to express their thoughts and opinions. We all have doubts and questions regarding the Christian life. Instead of pretending they do not exist, we have chosen to embrace them. We believe they can be better dealt with out in the open. Conversing with others in the Christian community shows that we are not alone in our struggles, and that there are people out there that are willing to join with, encourage, and help you better walk the Christian life we are all striving to live.

Join The Conversation

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Stop Interpreting Prophecy Through American Eyes

I was reading comments about the Affordable Care Act on a local news stations Facebook page today and I was shocked by some of the stuff I was reading. I was expecting everybody to share their frustrations with the prices, sign-up process, or website security, but I was not expecting people to bring up the mark of the beast. There was verbiage in one draft of the Affordable Care Act that made people believe they would be forced to have a RFID chip implanted in their arm. Most credible sites have said the ACA doesn’t force RFID implantations, but that’s another topic for another day.

There were several people on the Facebook post saying they wouldn’t sign up for the ACA  because they would be forced to have an RFID chip inserted into their arm, and that the RFID chip was the mark of the beast. People must stop reading their Bible’s through their American eyes. It seems like people think all end times prophesy will be fulfilled through America. I think just about every recent President has been accused of being the anti-christ by one group of people or another. We can be pretty sure Barack Obama is not the anti-christ prophesied about in the Bible.

I suggest you watch the video posted below:


Now that we have established that Barack Obama is probably not the anti-christ, although an argument could be made that he has the spirit of anti-christ, he is not the end times anti-christ. A few things the video didn’t mention is the anti-christ will have great political and religious authority. Obama doesn’t have either, any world leaders submitting to him? Where does he have any religious authority? The mark of the beast also coincides with worship of the beast.

Revelation 13:15 The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 13:16 He also caused everyone (small and great,rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead.

Revelation 14:9 A third angel followed the first two, declaring in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand, 14:10 that person will also drink of the wine of God’s anger…

Not trying to offend Catholics but a pope fits the profile of anti-christ better than any US president. The pope could be from the proper region of the world, not to mention his global religious authority, and political influence. It’s just something to think about.

The anti-christ, the beast, the mark will all be global events. Every time we get a bad president people think he’s the anti-christ and the end is soon. Whenever a freedom is taken away we cry the same thing.  Our economy goes in the toilet and people say the tribulation is starting. Remember the collapse of the Soviet Union? There were Christians in the Soviet Union and Jesus didn’t come back when they were being persecuted and were going through trials and tribulations. Stop putting America in the center of everything. America will probably have a very small role to play in the end times, we will just be along for the very bumpy and tumultuous ride. Christians in American might even have to go through real persecution before Jesus comes back, maybe long before the tribulation starts. I know that is not the popular thing to say, but it quite likely. Jesus said persecution would happen, why do Americans think he will come back before we face persecution? Jesus didn’t save his disciples from persecution, are we more special than they were?

Anyway, that’s my rant. I haven’t let go and ranted like that in a while. I hope it gave you something to think about. Just remember, especially when reading prophecy… America isn’t God’s chosen nation.

 

P.S.

After saying all of that, I won’t get a RFID chip inserted into my skin, not because I think it’s the mark of the beast. At some point I’m sure people thought UPCs, Social Security Numbers, and Credit Cards were the mark of the beast.  The idea of having a chip in my skin just creeps me out. Not to mention the security problems. You can’t stop somebody from scanning a RFID chip. Some guy could walk around the mall with a RFID scanner in his pocket and steal the data on hundreds of peoples’ chips. Even if it’s encrypted the encryption will be broke eventually and all that data will be available to the thieves. So, that is my main concern…

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Be Relevant, Be Real, or Be Holy?

There is something going on in the church, I’m sure it’s not a new thing but it seems bigger now than ever. You hear things like this church is relevant, or the pastor of that church is real. We are told to reach the culture we need to be relevant. To reach our family, friends, and coworkers we need to be real. These labels are becoming a concern to me, because of what they seem to mean…

Be Relevant

When you hear the word relevant in regards to a church you can be fairly sure of a few things, maybe not all of these things but usually at least a few. They have a light show and fog machines during the “worship experience”. The band will be loud and generally guitar driven. Once a month, every other week, or maybe every week the band will play a secular song to introduce/drive home the sermon. The sermon will have multiple points the pastor wants you to take home and apply, and typically these points are mostly reinforced by the pastor’s life experiences or anecdotal stories and not so much the Bible. The sermon will probably be more self help, than teaching the word of God. At least once a year you will hear a sermon or sermon series inspired by a movie, song, or TV show.

Be Real

Something that seems to be going around more recently is that Christians need to “be real”, or I’ve heard that some people like their pastor because he is real. In my experience being real boils down to showing the world that we are just like them, that Christians have problems just like the world. Can’t stop swearing, don’t hide it just be real. I’m amazed at pastors that swear from the pulpit, and some people actually think it’s a positive thing. “He’s a real person, he talks just like we do, he’s so real.” “Being real” in this definition only helps people justify their own actions, because everybody at some points judges themselves against the people around them. Don’t be ashamed of the movies you watch or the music you listen to, just be real. Christians do have problems. We aren’t perfect, but isn’t part of the problem that the world looks at Christians and says ‘oh they are just like me, I don’t need what they have. We talk the same, we walk the same, we listen to the same music, watch the same movies, and play the same video games‘?

Be Holy

I don’t really wanting to dig into what I think may be right or wrong about these trends, but I want to point out that it seems being relevant and being real has replaced being holy. I know nobody reading this is holy, nor can they be. A lot of people reading this strive to be relevant and real, yet it is ‘be Holy’ that is commanded in the Bible (1 Peter 1:15,16). ‘Be relevant’ and ‘be real’ are not commanded in the Bible. I heard a sermon recently on Holiness. It was one of the most real and relevant things I have heard in a long time. The pastor spoke with passion and tears in his eyes as he testified of God’s conviction in his life and he repented of the very things some churches have said makes us real and relevant; our music, movies, games, and language. Churches don’t need to emulate the culture to be real or relevant. We have the gospel, and that is the most real and relevant thing in existence! I believe if we preach the gospel and strive for holiness God will build His kingdom, and change the culture. We have the largest churches we have ever had in the history of the world, yet look at our culture and the rampant immorality. That is because the church is effected by the culture instead of effecting the culture. That is because there are churches that worship the god of self. That is because American Christians aren’t concerned about holiness.

We need to stop pandering to the culture. We need to be less concerned about being relevant and real and strive to live a holy life. In doing that we will be more effective at spreading the Gospel that is real and relevant for all people at all times.

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GHOULISH DISCOVERY ! Fema Prison Found ??? Mass Grave Preparations & HEINOUS INSTRUMENT of DEATH!!!

GHOULISH DISCOVERY ! Fema Prison Found ??? Mass Grave Preparations & HEINOUS INSTRUMENT of DEATH!!!

I watched this video on Youtube, and did some basic research the author didn’t do. And it seems she won’t approve my comment debunking her on her youtube channel so I decided to write a blog about it.


So first of all I have to say this is not a FEMA death camp prison. This is the Arizona State Prison in Yuma. She repeated denies this in the comments on her Youtube channel, but here is the proof.

Visit the Yuma Prison Website at http://www.azcorrections.gov/prisons/Prisca_Prisons_Yuma.aspx, scroll to the very bottom and you will find these directions to the Arizona State Prison Complex – Yuma.

From Phoenix: Take I-10 west to exit 112 (Gila Bend, SR 85). Travel south on SR-85 to Gila Bend. Exit on I-8 West to Exit 7 (Araby Road/SR-195) in Yuma and turn south. Travel on SR-195 South approximately 18 miles to Avenue B (you will see the prison complex to your left) and turn left. There is another 4-way stop, continue straight to the next stop sign, turn left to the main gate.

Follow those directions and you will find yourself at the prison complex in the video.

Here are links to the area she is talking about in the video:

Google Maps

Bing Maps

Yahoo Maps (Images seem to be older than Google and Bing)

She is also mistaken on the location. She says it’s in the middle of the desert, east of Yuma Arizona. It’s actually south of Yuma and far from what I would say is the middle of the desert.  It is surrounded by highways, roads, and fields.

She makes assertions that there are FEMA vehicles all around the compound, but there is no proof these are FEMA vehicles. They are white vans or buses, prisons use vans and busses, there is no indication they are FEMA related at all.

She also makes the assumption that the fields North of the prison are associated with the prison. I am puzzled by these pits, but they seem to be some kind of quarry or mine. To the west closer to the road there are more of them with their access ramps still in place. The platform in the fenced in area she talks about is actually a building not a platform. The black part is the shadow, if you look at the map with north pointing up you can tell it’s a shadow of a building. If you look on Bing Maps the photos aren’t as washed out and you can tell it’s a building, not a guillotine. These pits look to be more than 6 feet deep, and it appears there is a series of tubes and pumps sitting on the banks of the pits either to pump water in or pump water out of the pits (again you can see this better on Bing Maps or Yahoo Maps), which is another reason I think it’s some sort of quarry or mine that may be abandoned.

If we assume these are killing fields and people will be killed by guillotine. If we give each dead person an area of 6×3 for burial  and each pit is roughly 250×120 (using Google Maps measuring tool) that means about 1666 people can be buried in each pit with no stacking, so about 106,624 for the whole field. That’s a lot of people. Let’s say it takes 5 minutes to kill a person by guillotine by the time you prep them, fight against them, and do the deed. That means it would take about 370 days to fill all of these pits if a single guillotine runs 24/7 with no breaks, that doesn’t take into consideration distributing the bodies to the pits furthest away. That seems like a pretty inefficient way to commit genocide.

Thanks to Thief in the Night and the Left Behind series everybody seems to assume that the beheadings mentioned in Revelation will be by guillotine. But let’s stop and think for a minute. What group of people do we know that are currently sweeping across the globe at a rapid pace, that routinely behead their enemies or their own people that leave their faith… that’s right…. Muslims. When the things as atrocious as asserted to in the Youtube video happen, I have great doubts it will be at the hands of FEMA and the US Government. Not because I don’t think our Government isn’t capable, but I just don’t think they will have the chance. I think the US Government will have fallen by the time these things come to pass and we will be at the hands of a Muslim theocracy putting to death those that oppose Allah as they are already doing in other countries.

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A Few Observations about Prayer

When I started this post it was supposed to be a continuation of The Circle Maker series I wrote in July 2012. Since it’s so far removed from that series I decided to start a new series.

After writing a few posts that were critical of The Circle Maker I thought it would be constructive if we looked at what the Bible does say about prayer since Part 1 and Part 2 of the series pointed out what the Bible doesn’t say about prayer. The Bible says quite a bit about prayer. Although it never gives us a formula that guarantees  our prayers will be answered, I believe we can learn about prayer by looking at prayer in the Bible.

Approach God Humbly

I think when we talk about prayer we should start with the Lord’s prayer. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. I think when God is asked a questions and we have an opportunity to directly hear the answer we should listen. This was his answer from the gospel of Luke:

11:1 Father,  may your name be honored; 

may your kingdom come.

11:3 Give us each day our daily bread,

11:4 and forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins  against us.

And do not lead us into temptation.

The first thing that came to my mind after reading this passage was Ecclesiastes 5:2 “Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart to bring up a matter before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth! Therefore, let your words be few.” Good advice about approaching God from the teacher in Ecclesiastes. Jesus gave similar advice preceding the recording of the Lord’s prayer in the gospel of Matthew chapter 6. Jesus says, “When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard.”

Another thing I thought of regarding this prayer is humility. This simple prayer gives honor to God, asks for basic needs to be met, asks for forgiveness, and asks not to be led into temptation. It’s humble. Hebrews 4 says we can go before the throne boldly or confidently, but that doesn’t mean we don’t go before God humbly also. What is humility? It’s not “I’m worthless, I’m a horrible person, I’m a failure, I’m not worthy”. I couldn’t define humility on my own so I looked it up and it really opened my eyes. It’s not a sense of no self worth like I fear we think it means, someone with no self worth isn’t necessarily humble. Humility is the quality of being modest and respectful. Our word Humility comes from the Latin word humilitas which is related to the Latin word humilis which you can probably guess is where we get the word humble, but it can also mean grounded because humilis is derived from the Latin word for earth, and that is what really caught my attention. Grounded… we can approach the throne boldly yet we must remain grounded in the fact that we are sinners and God is holy, and only by Jesus’ sacrifice do we have the right. That ties back to the verse in Ecclesiastes above. I think it’s key to be humble, in fact the Bible tells us we can’t approach God proudly. Proverbs 3:34 says God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, He doesn’t just ignore the proud or let them be, he opposes them.

Pray With Persistence

After Jesus gives us the Lord’s prayer he tells a story about persistence. In Luke 11:5, Jesus tells of a man going to a friend’s house at midnight asking for bread. At first he is refused because the friend and his family are in bed and they don’t want to be disturbed, but the man persists and the friend finally opens the door and gives him some bread. I think it’s interesting that Jesus says, “I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s  sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.” In this case even though the people in the story had a relationship, it wasn’t a matter of the relationship that caused the friend to open the door, but it was because of his persistence. That struck me as odd at first, but after I thought about it I realized I have initially refused doing things for family/friends/relatives until they ask a second or third time. The Bible tells us God acts in a similar way to our persistence.

Another similar story is found in Luke 18:1 about a persistent widow. This widow repeatedly approaches a judge, who does not fear God or respect people, to give her justice against her adversary and finally the judge gives in and says, “…yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice…”. Jesus says even though this judge who does not fear God or respect people will give a widow justice because of her persistence how much more will God give justice to his chosen when they cry out day and night.

 

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