Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Philosphical Thoughts

The part in quotes I wrote one night after a long period of thought. The part outside the quotes I wrote after a long conversation with a buddy of mine, Kris Loper, and a grande Chai tea latte.

"...God help me to articulate these thoughts. Time is an illusion perpetuated by our minds' ability to record on a medium, our brains, events that occur. On top of that physical objects follow predictable paths governed by dependable, constant laws that are expressed using the concept of time yet however do not in fact exist independently of a conscious observer. Now humans consciously observe many things including our own bodies and the objects around us. However when these things are not in observation they follow the previously mentioned laws yet are also in the constant observation of the omnipresent God. Therefore I propose that reality is not only created in origin by God but it is constantly sustained from not existing by the ever watchful eye of God. (In Him we live and move and have our being). Now prayer, I propose, is a strange mixture of time travel and conscious observation. By requesting something of God through faith we are placing ourselves in one of infinite alternative time-paths that God has set before us. As an example I posit Abraham, when God tested him in the sacrifice of Isaac. There was Abraham's faith and its very thought, word, and deed placed Abraham in the universe where a ram spent hours climbing a mountain and was subsequently caught in a thicket. God can use the natural laws that he instituted at creation to cause miracles. This is why nothing is impossible for God. He can at any moment shift all of your being into a time-path where the reality you have faith for is the one you inhabit. Retroactive, time constrained answers to prayer are entirely possible. Entire limbs can be restored by this mechanism. People's physically dead bodies can rise from death because there is no boundary for God between the universe where they're dead and the universe of natural laws and material exist where they're alive. Faith directs you personally into and out of these time paths for the purpose of revealing God's glory and his mastery over the material world."

"All of reality is being recorded in only three places. God's being, your being, and the material world itself. The rocks age and show successive bits of decay. The stars wain in brightness. Seas rise and fall. Our brain records a thought. All are material world recordings. Two copies of these things are being made, one in your spirit, of your conscious observation, the other in God's spirit of His conscious observation of everything. The only reason time is perceived to exist is because this world changes. To make sense of successive events we made a concept to measure and record "When" things happen. Much of our language is time laden. However, God and our spirits are independent of time. They exist somewhere else. Some"what" else I don't know. Our spirits are temporarily attached to these material bodies in this material world. What our spirit wants and what our bodies want are often two different things because they are in a competition for control of dominance. Many scriptures reflect this, namely Romans 7. Living by the spirit is actually an act of preventing our material components from being in control of our time independent spiritual core, which is immortal. Directing the free will toward the conscious observation of that which the spirit desires, and what God's spirit desires subsequently alters the material body. The body will eventually want what the spirit wants. In addition prayer and God's power to place us on a time-path where we are physically less addicted to something is there. He can accelerate the process if necessary."

Now of course falling asleep puts us in conscious observation of our internal thought processes which, thankfully, aren't powerful enough to cause anything in this reality to happen. Our dreams don't come true, at least not quickly. Also, I think somehow our brains internal processes that work whether we're thinking about them or not, also serve as a sort of "sustainability" to the reality of our bodies. In other words, we don't have to think about our heart beating for it to do so, in the same way, we don't have to consciously observe our fingernails for them to exist (and grow), it happens "naturally."

While I was typing this I started to think of the implications this has for more than just individuals. That it could just as easily happen for entire groups of people. That as a church prays for things to happen they all move in the time-path that God is giving them faith for. Which brings me to think "How" this could be the truth. If each time I think a certain way and God ordains that to be the "universe" I'm in, does everyone else come with me? Or am I alone in an alternate universe with sustained copies of everyone...weird!

Is everyone literally "in their own world"? Is that why it feels like that's the case quite often? Maybe God sustains the "background," so to speak, and allows us all to be in self-contained self-willed universes. And the reason why it's so difficult for people to become Christians is because they're really giving up so much more than just lives, their giving up their God gifted mastery of their universe! Of course they don't want to give that up! When we become Christians we're, moving from a dead-end, yet self-governed universe, to a glorious-end, God-willed one.

Redwood Growth

Yesterday I watched a short video that, although not spiritual, when spiritual-ized gives an interesting picture of Christian growth. Redwood trees, also known as the Giant Sequoias, trees like General Sherman, become the largest trees in the world. In Santa Cruz and Sierra Nevada they grow solid and strong and live to be thousands of year old.

Now, what this video told me is that when they are allowed to grow in an urban environment, unopposed and unchecked they wreak havoc. They lift up the foundations of nearby buildings, they get into septic systems, and sometimes they fall. These huge, highly respected trees, fall. Why do they fall? Because their insides are hollow.

In their natural environment they are forced to grow at a pace that gives them time to form a structurally sound base. But out in the open, with plenty of water and sunlight, they can be dangerous. When they are cut down for lifting up a foundation, it is revealed that the base of the trees are riddled with gaps, huge hollow areas in their foundation.

This is such an amazing picture of a church, or a person that grows too quickly. They are structurally unsound, their doctrine isn't firm, their spirit is untested, un-weathered, and they are vulnerable to a fall.

I thank God that he has grown us, at Fenway Church slowly, at least by the world's standards. That it has taken us a few years to get going. Because without this period of preparation, our base wouldn't be able to hold the influx of people from the world. We would have been totally unprepared for the coming trials and crushing forces.

Praise God for his sovereign knowledge and preparation!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

23 Minutes in Hell

This is scary

Here's the text.

Jesus and Hell are real.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ye Shall Know the Truth

I honestly can say that the more I learn about Hell, the more I want to stay away from there. I listened to Mark Driscoll's sermon on the crucifixion of Jesus (Christ on the Cross: Jesus Died in Our Place) and, oh boy, let me tell you, I am scared of Hell again. I'm also afraid of/more respectful of Jesus. Partially because of this sermon about God reigning, but also because of the portrayal of Jesus being so awesome. His robe is completely white, except for the edge dipped in blood, he'll come on a white horse, a sword will come out of his mouth, and he has a tattoo on his thigh.

Rev 19:16:"On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

On top of that he'll come riding with an army of white horsemen. If you show up to a battle arrayed in white you're pretty confident how the fight's going to go.

And reading about Hell, how it's foul odor is unbearable, how there's worms in it that eat and never die, how it will be forever and ever...all of this gave me a healthy respect for God's judgment again.

Have a listen guys.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Good Samaritan

I was thinking about the good Samaritan tonight, after hearing about him from David W, and although I didn't exactly get what he was trying to say about him, I got something else. Mainly, that Christians ought to be people that stop, consider, and minister to those in need. This includes on your way to work, on your way to bible study, on your way to another church meeting or whatever. If you show up 45 minutes late to a meeting on worship, it's not a big deal if your excuse is that you were helping a homeless man. People will understand...and if they don't, they should. Because it is our job to be a friend to the friendless. It is our job to consider the needs of others especially those who are our social unequal.
1 John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Not that giving a homeless guy something to eat is "laying down your life" but it is similar. And if you're doing acts of love like this continually, then you are continually laying down your lives for others.

Jesus did the same for us.