Tag Archives: holy Spirit

ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

WHAT IS THEOLOGY?

ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN

Theology is neither a nine-to-five job nor a career. To know and speak truly of God is a vocation that requires more than academic or professional qualifications. The image you should have in mind is not the professor with a tweed jacket, but rather the disciples who dropped everything to follow Jesus. Becoming a theologian means following God’s Word where it leads with all one’s mind, heart, soul, and strength.

Theology is the study of how to speak truly of God and of all things in relation to God. But theologians can’t approach the object of their study the way biologists study living creatures or geologists the earth. God cannot be empirically examined. God is the creator of all things, not to be identified with any part of the universe or even with the universe as a whole. Speaking of God thus poses unique challenges. If God had not condescended to communicate to creatures something of his light, we would be in the dark.

BY GOD, OF GOD, TO GOD

Are you familiar with Thomas Aquinas’s definition? “Theology is taught by God, teaches of God, and leads to God.”

By God. Only God can make himself known. We’re simply children who love their father and want to know him better, who trust their father’s wisdom: And He (Jesus) said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”                                                                     Matthew 18:3

Of God. Theology is thinking hard about what God has taught about Himself and all things in relation to Himself.

To God. Theology is ultimately about cultivating godliness, in oneself and one’s community. A theologian is a certain kind of person, whose created intelligence has been illumined by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS: the TRUTH

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS

Most people know little about the Seventh-day Adventists beyond that they worship on Saturdays, not Sundays. But there’s more to this unique sect. 

The Seventh-day Adventist church traces its roots to American preacher William Miller (1782–1849), a Baptist who predicted the Second Coming would occur between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Because he and his followers proclaimed Christ’s imminent advent, they were known as “Adventists.” 

When Christ failed to appear, Miller reluctantly endorsed the position of a group of his followers known as the “seventh-month movement,” who claimed Christ would return on October 22, 1844 (in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar). 

Ellen White gained recognition in Adventist circles as a prophetess and became the church’s leader; she claimed to receive the first of several hundred visions in December of 1844.

Often Adventist-related publishing houses conduct mass mailings of their literature to every home and post office box in a community. Much of the published material comes from White’s single most popular volume, The Great Controversy. Continue reading SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS: the TRUTH

CARE OF THE SOUL

Materialistic life can be so absorbing that we get caught in it and we forget about spirituality. Many don’t believe in the soul and therefore many don’t give it any place in the hierarchy of values. What we need is soul in the middle holding together mind and body. A spiritual life of some kind is absolutely necessary for psychological ”health”.

CARE OF THE SOUL

Psychology is a secular science while care of the soul is a sacred art. We separate psychology and religion, therapy and spiritual practice. Psychology and spirituality need to be seen as one. Psychology is incomplete if it doesn’t include spirituality in a fully integrated way. When the soul is neglected, our problem doesn’t just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of meaning.

The emotional complaints of our time that are heard by therapist: 

  • Emptiness
  • Meaninglessness
  • Vague Depression
  • Disillusion about marriage, family and relationship
  • Loss of values
  • Yearning for personal fulfillment
  • A hunger for spirituality

OUR QUEST

All these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves. We cannot solve our “emotional” problems until we grasp the mystery that honors the Divine.

We yearn excessively for entertainment, power, intimacy, sexual fulfillment, and material things. We think we can find these things if we discover the right relationship or job or therapy. We strive to attain alluring satisfaction in great masses, thinking that quantity will make up for lack of quality.

Yet, without soul, whatever we find will be unsatisfying. What we truly long for is the soul in each of these areas. Soul doesn’t pour into our lives automatically. It requires our skill and attention.

We cannot care for the soul unless we are familiar with its ways. We need to make the necessary changes revealed by depression and anxiety. These problems make it felt because the soul needs attention.

care of the soul

 

ILLNESS AND HEALING

Doctors are learning that there is an actual correlation between psychological experience and physical ailments. For example, one’s colon is unhappy. Doctors know that there is a relationship between repressed anger and colitis. If cancer cell growth has gone berserk, is there something that has been disordered?

The word, “disease or dis-ease” says it all. It means without ease and disease emanates from stress. Disturbances created from marriage and family can be more stressful to the soul than conditions of work.

Modern medicine is hell-bent on cure and has no interest in anything about the soul. Maybe our lives are too secular and in need of such a visitation through the soul. Do we know what can be speaking silently to us in our body? “Recognize what is before your eyes, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.”    Gospel of Thomas Continue reading CARE OF THE SOUL

HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

“Live by following the Holy Spirit.”                               Galatians 5:16

“The true children of God are those who let God’s Holy Spirit lead them.”                                                                                    Romans 8:14

HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

To simplify this, the Holy Spirit is the Presence of God in our lives, carrying on the work of Jesus. The Holy Spirit grants us all the fruits of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23.(“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”). If the disciple teaches, it is the Holy Spirit that teaches the disciple. Luke 12:12 (“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”)

If the listener is convicted, it is because the Holy Spirit has penetrated. John 16:10 (“Concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no longer”) If the listener is converted, it by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:11 (“He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”)

If the new believer matures, it is because the Holy Spirit makes him or her more competent. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”                                            1 Corinthians 6:19

 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”                                                                                                                                                          John 14:16-17

How have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in your own life?

HOW DO YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT?

HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

“As I (Peter)began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 11:15,16  There are four different ways, which can be used by the minister of baptism:

  1. Laying on of hands: “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. ” Acts19: 2-6
  2. Praying : “When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ”                            Acts 8:15,16
  3. Speaking: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.”                   Acts 10:44-45
  4. Breathing: Jesus commanded that the disciples receive the Holy Spirit, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”                                            John 20:22

The most important part of the rite is that the person being baptized in the Holy Spirit be in acceptance:  ” I receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.”

What to expect with”Baptism of the Holy Spirit”

Continue reading HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

ECONOMIC STRUCTURAL DISORDER

There are profound problems with our economic system – a structural disorder of the system itself. We need a critical analysis of the essential dignity of human labor and its priority over the maximization of profits—not just through handouts. Cosmetic changes are not enough.

We need to look at the humanizing role of labor and the equitable distribution of the world’s goods. We need to look at the full value and meaning of work.

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

We have an economy that continues to serve the needs of the rich nations at the expense of the poor. This is not to be considered an antagonism toward the rich, but the defense of the defenseless: the uneducated, the native poor and the immigrant poor who have no voice to speak for themselves.

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

 Do we run a risk that some of the economically oppressed nations of the world will rise in judgment on the rich nations?

WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?

Continue reading FAITH AND SOCIALISM

HAVING TWO MINDS

TWO MINDS

When Neymar’s Brazil won gold in its home Olympics in 2016, Neymar took the podium to receive his gold medal with a headband reading “100% Jesus.” Yet this ostensible display of devotion caused controversy, given the star player’s out of wedlock son and public love life. Fame and fortune are always dangerous to the Christian. 

TWO MINDSThere are those who have two minds because one is wavering or inconstant. This person has no settled principles. He is controlled by passion; he may be influenced by popular feeling. In other words, he is inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and now to another. “A man is of two minds, unstable in all his ways.”      James 1:8 

TWO MINDS

David of the Old Testament commanded that Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, be put at the front lines of the battle and that the troops be pulled back from him. Just as David had hoped, Uriah was killed. David then took Bathsheba as his wife.

David’s behavior presents a perfect example of a double-minded man. Even though he had God’s Life in his heart and had been “a man after God’s own heart,” he nevertheless chose to go with the tide and follow the lusts of his own flesh over what God was prompting him to do.

TWO MINDS

A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Are you unstable about your relationship to Christ?

If you lack wisdom, you must ask for it. 

Continue reading HAVING TWO MINDS

TRUE MIRACLES

BEING OPEN TO MIRACLES

It is the will of God that we should be healed. It is the will of God that we should be awake to love and aware of God’s goodness in our lives. What is the miracle in your life that you need to pray for?

TRUE MIRACLES

If you want to believe in miracles, there is overwhelming evidence from physicians, who witness “life after death” experiences. In 2014 a four year study was made of over 2000 patience, who had some kind of awareness before they were revived from what appeared to be death. Over 46% of the patients experienced seeing light, feeling at peace and having thoughts. Sixty-three of them (2%) had out of body experiences where they could describe in great detail what was happening around them. The scientists who conducted the survey more favorably believed in life without a physical body after death: rather than simply believing that this life is all there is. Continue reading TRUE MIRACLES

PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

A NOISY MIND

An immoral mind is a noisy mind because it is filled with the clatter of one’s own ego. Other noisy minds lose its center because its energies are scattered over a multitude of concerns: multi-tasking. This is the big flaw of our culture.

PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

When the mind is quiet, things become clearer. We become aware of what we must do. We must learn to slow down our minds to become more focused and more sensitive to God’s presence.

PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY?

Dr. Victor Cline (1996) posited four progressive effects of pornography:

(1) Addiction, where the need to view pornographic materials leads to a loss of free control over behavior;

(2) Escalation, where the person delves into progressively harder pornography, usually to attain the same level of sensation and arousal;

(3) Desensitization, whereby the user is no longer morally sensitive to the shocking, repulsive, perverted, or immoral quality of the material, but instead views it as acceptable and begins to look upon others as objects; and

(4) Acting out, where the fantasizing becomes overt behavior. This includes normalized aggression towards women in sexual and other interpersonal encounters. Pornography kills love!

The issue of sexual addiction is catching society unawares. All around us marriages are beginning to fall apart; husbands are getting caught with pornography, in affairs, and visiting prostitutes.

On a more serious note, there is a proven direct correlation exists between crimes of rape, child abuse, and the physical abuse of a spouse, and the proliferation of pornographic materials in a community (Uniform Crime Report, 1990). One out of every six persons in our federal and state prisons is a sex offender, and sex crimes are second only to drug crimes.

What is the basis for Jesus’ position on pornography?

Continue reading PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN

OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN

A NEW LIFE IN HEAVEN

We tend to look at the resurrected life in heaven as a great mystery. Yet, the resurrected life is to be found in the present moment.

When the fetus leaves the womb, we call this birth. Once born into the world, the child is more fully alive in new way of living. In the same way, it would make no sense for people of this world not to be born into eternity. The swift aging of our bodies tells us that our hold on earthly life is short.  Our bodies speak to us about impermanence. This tells us that we may not be really at home in this world: our destiny lies elsewhere.

Perhaps the most powerful image of transformation in nature is the butterfly, which is really a transformed caterpillar. Caterpillars appear to have a fairly pleasant life feasting on an almost inexhaustible salad bar right under their feet. One day the caterpillar spins a web around itself. Slowly a change takes place. Suddenly, the tomb-like cocoon opens to reveal a creature that has been totally transformed. The butterfly actually looks quite beautiful. Now instead of only a view from the surface of the leaves, the butterfly sees the entire garden.

OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN Continue reading OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN

LOVING PERSON OF THE SAME SEX

loving same sex

WOMAN IS CREATED FOR MAN AND MAN IS MADE FOR WOMEN.

Man and women were not created as solitary beings but as the ones who would recognize each other as flesh of their flesh and bones of their bones, as the ones who are capable of friendship and total surrender to each other, as the ones who are capable of life-giving acts in its many forms. God intended complementary and interdependent relatedness of men and women. God ordered the right proportion so that not one of them would infringe improperly on another. Women are the other side of man, as complementary, rather than inferior.

Of course, man and woman in their sexual union and begetting of children can become co-creators with God. Their love and action can mirror the Love of God. They are to be partners like body and soul which God joined together as one. Yet, sexuality is often encountered as lust or abusive and not life-giving.

God also intended this union to strive to build a spiritual marriage. Couples with a strong shared faith do have an advantage over those who don’t. Husbands and wives who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are in touch with the Life that pulses at the center of the universe in a way that others can never be.

loving same sex

THE  DILEMMA 

Continue reading LOVING PERSON OF THE SAME SEX