Archive for the ‘ Orthodoxy ’ Category

VerseD: Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2, ESV

It is impossible to rightly serve God if we are not focused on Him. Loving others will fall apart if we are not rightly loving Him, even if we are trying to help others but stay focused solely on physical needs and worldly issues.

VerseD: Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8, ESV

God desires to teach us in how to live, and He has given us to primary sources:

  1. His Word (the Bible, but also Jesus),
  2. His Church.

Listen to both to live rightly.

a simple (re-)Intro

Hello, world! … again …

Things are gonna be changing around here! Watch the video for a full explanation.

The highlights?

  1. The website will be going through changes.
    1. For starters, the “.wordpress” has been removed, so that the site is now https://asimplemanofgod.com
    2. The site might also have some visual changes. Including … VIDEO
  2. There is now a way to e-mail us! Whether for questions, comments, or a way to get in touch for any other reason.
    together@asimplemanofgod.com
  3. I have invited some other men to come alongside me in producing content
    1. Blog posts – collaboratively or individually
    2. Videos – we are on YouTube!
  4. The focus will always be helping people see how simple theology can be:
    1. What does the Bible mean?
    2. How can we apply the Bible and theology to our lives?
    3. Apologetics – how can we defend the faith?
    4. What theology is in our music?

It may be a bit shaky at first – all of the changes, getting content posted consistently – but here is to a new start … on the weekend of the Day of Atonement! (A post coming just a little later on this!)

Blessings,

Daniel

Running Around in Circles with Everywhere To Go

Get yourself over to Proverbial Thought for some wise exposition!

I will keep this short, and hopefully you get the point!

I used to regularly update an online journal called DanDantheGodman, which was a nickname given to me during my year working for McDonald’s. My tagline for this journal was “Running around in circles with everywhere to go.” I eventually used it on my MySpace page, as well (another thing I rarely ever think about let alone visit or update).

As a Christian, it occurred to me that it might not be the best tagline.

At the same time, it occurred to me that might be the best tagline to describe much of Western Christianity (though by no means all!)

Think about it for a moment:

The Church is supposed to fulfill the two-fold mission issued by our Lord.

  • Go into the world making disciples and teaching them all the things He taught (Matthew 28:18-20).
  • Promote justice and help those in need (Matthew 25:31-46, and Isaiah 58 is the most beautiful expression of this).

Yet, we see so many churches, congregations, and ministries that seem to promote taking care of ourselves more than taking care of others. Promoting this means they are teaching self-preservation and gratification rather than the things that Jesus taught.

In other words, many Christians in our culture are “running around in circles with everywhere to go.”

Put another way, many Christians are not putting their faith into action. They attend their churches, give donations and tithes, and attend small groups, but they rarely if ever teach the Word of God or reach out to non-Christians.

Are you running around in circles or stepping outside of your circle?

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
James 2:20-24, NIV

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 01/19/2014

Act on the call of wisdom and head over to Proverbial Thought!

Lepers have always been cut off from society. Almost no one wants to touch them, and they can become social outcasts from the idea that they can transmit their disease to others.

Jesus was the only one who would touch lepers. His touch could make them whole and able to rejoin society. The change He made in them then changed how people thought and acted.

In many churches today, there is another form of leprosy that must be healed. We are a people who need to have our thoughts and actions changed.

We must turn to Jesus for this healing and change!

______

leprosy

 leprosy

numbness

 have we become a nation

a people

a world

of emotional leprosy

“I don’t feel God in my life”

“I got nothing from the service”

“I cannot love anymore”

we cannot seem to feel

we cannot seem to feel God

are we emotional lepers

there is a cure

we must cut ourselves deep

we must cut ourselves to get clean

this is by doing

stop reading about acts of faith

act

stop wishing for miracles

be the miracle

stop praying for the world to change

change

and change the world the Bible

do Jesus

do God

and

heaven will come down

God will move in power

your leprosy will be healed

The Core Values: Engrossed Existence

Here is another friendly reminder to head over to Proverbial Thought for today’s devotional thought from Proverbs!

We now continue our look at the Four Core Facts and the Four Core Values, having examined the desperate pursuit of God, diligent prayer, and a consecrated heart.  If you are interested in a more in-depth look at the Core Facts and the Core Values, look up my wonderful youth pastor, Jesse Bollinger, at Fervent Youth.

As I said before, all of the Core Facts and Values flow together. The Values are useless without the truth of the Facts. Without a desperate pursuit of God bathed in diligent prayer creating a consecrated heart, we play a dangerous game with the fourth Core Value:

A Focused Life

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified . . . For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7

Why would I say we play a dangerous game with a focused life without the Core Facts and Values?

Perhaps you have heard that line that goes something like “Those who believe in nothing will fall for anything.” People can devote their lives to just about anything out there (read the tabloids, news, and/or history books).

Some people even dedicate their lives to God without considering the possibility that God will come collect. Then they are surprised at what God wants.

It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider his vows
Proverbs 20:25

This is why we need a foundation based on the reality of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of God, and a value-system based on the truth revealed in the Bible.

FOCUS!

Have you noticed how easy it is to be distracted? Humans have always found a way to distract themselves, but Modern Man has really excelled in this area.

We have access to an entire world in ways barely imaginable 100 years ago, from cars to trains to airplanes.

We have access to an entire world through the internet.

We have access to endless entertainment through books, movies, television, video games, sports, the internet, and various other entertainment-industry options too numerous to list here.

We have access to friends and family any time of the night or day around the world through telephones, cellular phones, e-mail, Facebook, the internet (noticing a theme?), and so many other things.

We have more than enough to distract us, and we have even made it possible to stop using our own imagination.

But what do the most successful people in our world have in common?

Focus.

Their lives are dedicated to one major thing (which can include many smaller things, but usually related things), and they do not let anything get in the way of their dreams and goals.

They each have a focused life.

This is basically what God has called all who would follow Him to do. Be focused.

On what?

The answer comes in a rebuke of Peter by Jesus:

“You must follow me.”

We have to focus our lives on Jesus.

However, I will take this a step further.

There are a lot of people who claim to follow Jesus, and they show up to church regularly, tithe, donate, and volunteer.

They live good lives.

While their lives are engrossed in Jesus, I would posit that their entire existence is not engrossed in Jesus. (See the title of the post worked in there?!)

In truth, these people (and even many people engrossed in following Jesus can succumb to this) are distracted by serving.

How do we know when we get distracted by service?

One of two things is usually what happens:

  1. We are not going where Jesus is going. We find ourselves in the church building all the time, or at church functions, and we know everyone we see or know someone who knows that person well and we are all Christian. We rarely encounter anyone who is hurting, mourning, in desperate need, or stuck in sin (of which we are aware).
  2. We are exactly where Jesus is, but we are “pulling a Martha. Sometimes, we are so busy serving Jesus that we forget about actually serving others, and we are surrounded by people who really need Jesus.

The Problem and Solution

We are not fully engrossed in following Jesus. That is just the way it is.

This is where the other values come in. To be fully engrossed we must desperately pursue God by reading the Bible, learning what it means through teachings and fellowship, and seeking where God is working. To effectively pursue God, we must be in constant communication with Him through diligent prayer, and this helps us grow in a desire to study the Bible and find where God is going. As we pray and study, we find our hearts are growing ever more consecrated to God, and our desire to seek Him and talk with Him grows. The more consecrated our hearts become for God, the more we find our life being focused on God.

The only other step is that we must put it all into practice.We must be with those who are hurting and in need. We must show love and grace. We must forgive ALL people.

We must effectually become like Jesus Christ.

Our focus in life must be to be completely engrossed in living and loving like Jesus, pushing aside distractions and pushing on in faith, grace, and love.

Next week, I will briefly discuss The Core Mission.

What are your thoughts? How are you doing?

What Religion Do You Follow?

Everybody follows a form of orthodoxy and religion.

Religion I have covered previously. Orthodoxy means right thinking or correct thinking. Therefore, if you are orthodox, you have a way of thinking that is correct.

Most people claim to have some form of truth … except of course for all the post-modern thinkers who claim there is no absolute truth. (Seriously think about that. They make an absolute claim there are no absolutes.)

Are you a Secular Humanist? Is humanity the highest form of life on Earth after millions and billions of years of evolution?

Are you a Theistic Humanist? Is humanity the highest form of life on Earth because a deity created us or effected evolutionary processes to get to us?

Are you an Atheist? Is there no possibility that there is deity of any sort?

Are you an Agnostic? Is there a possibility of a deity, but anything is possible?

Are you Muslim? Is Mohammed the last true Prophet?

Are you Jewish? Are certain things Kosher and others not?

Are you Christian? Is Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God?

What do some of these have to do with orthodoxy and religion?

Everybody who follows any of these has to put a faith in the parts they do not understand or for which they do not have empirical proof.

We do not have missing links for evolution, so faith is needed.

There is no proof denying the existence of God, but there is no empirical evidence of most biblical miracles. Again, faith is needed.

Many hold claim to truth, all offer proof of what they hold to be true (or hold some things to prove nothing can be proven), and all have to start with an idea of what they hold to be true or should be true. This means we all need some faith to believe what we hold to be true.

What we believe to be right (orthodoxy) shapes what guides our decisions and actions (religion/orthopraxy) which define the way we interact with life.

And now for an in-your-face, controversial statement:

If you claim to not have an orthodoxy and/or religion, you are a liar and a hypocrite.