When Job asked you the question,
You responded, “Who are you
To challenge your Creator?”
Well if that one part is true,
It makes you sound defensive
Like you had not thought it through
enough to have an answer
or you might have bit off more than you could chew
There is beauty in vulnerable, honest anger. We’ve been trained to think that we aren’t allowed to ask questions, shake our fists at the heavens, and proclaim our questions to the Most High. This way of thinking is toxic. The Lord can handle all of our emotions, like he handled the Pslamist and his rebellious spirit. The Word of God is a constant, redemptive story of just that: God’s people rebelling against Him for the way they have been treated and God reminding them that they have been in his bosom all along. The answer isn’t: more faith! more praise! The answer is honesty with He who made us. We have a beautiful Savior who knows, feels, and sees.
“I am not afraid of my 2 year old son when he hits me and screams in my face. God is not afraid of you when you scream at him, either.” -B. Hughes
We stop moving forward when we stop believing that Christ actually related to us. We stop moving forward when refuse to feel. We stop taking those tiny steps forward when we refuse to see the full, incomprehensible, majestic, glorious, abrasive beauty of King Jesus.
a place of quiet truths
and humble belonging
debating with the air
stumbling off of my tongue
truth tale truth myth
phalanx bones quaking
the stuttered static murmur:
but in the tremor of my bones
It’s been a while since I have posted on here. But, I’m feeling convicted, and so here I go:
Almost everyone at this point knows that I am going to seminary next year. I can’t describe how excited I am for this new journey in my life. I hear people constantly say that seminary was a spiritually difficult time in their life. I am hopeful, and even somewhat confident, that this will not be the case for me. Because of my love for learning, and my desire to study, I think this will be a great time in my life. More so, it will give me a structured, hourly basis of spending time with the One that created everything. And I am so thankful for that, considering the fact that I struggle with it daily. Everyone knows all of this.
But, what I haven’t told anyone is what I plan on doing with my education. I decided to post it on Tumblr because it would create less of a buzz, and less of a fury. So here I go, as you know the URL to my Tumblr is I Do Not Know You- based off of Matthew 7. In these verses, Jesus is discussing the many people who will proclaim to be Christians. They will worship Jesus, cast out demons, go to church every week, serve in the church, sing to Him, and the list goes on. When these people die, they will meet Him face to face, and he will say to them ” I never knew you, depart from me.” The meaning behind this is clear: some people will think that they know the Lord with all of their heart- but in reality never no anything about him, at all.
With that being said, after graduating seminary, God has laid it on my heart to plant a church in Utah, I think. I have a heart for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I want to share the gospel with Mormons in this area. I love them, and I have a lot of close friends and acquaintances who would label themselves as Mormons. I do not want the day to come where Jesus tells them that he never knew them. Instead, I want them to go to the pearly gates, and enter into Heaven with Joy. I love them, and I hope you do too.
Christ is all,
To be perfectly blunt, I have a big anger problem. The smallest thing can set me off. If I feel too warm, if I am too tired, if someone is chewing so loud, or if a professor is over-dramatic- I will transform into a giant rage. All of that, I admit, is unrighteous anger. It is a sinful heart, a depraved soul. However, in the rarest of times, I’ll have what Christian theologians will call ‘righteous anger’. That is, anger that is justified, reasonable, and ‘okay’. An example of this is the complete and utter misuse of Scripture. You’ve seen it. Someone quotes the Bible on their Facebook, Twitter, a T-shirt, Bumper Sticker, whatever. It’s corny, it’s annoying, and it makes all of us (Atheists and Christians alike) hate Christians. I am just stating that most of the time, when your nominal Christian decides to ‘cling to Jesus’ because of a heart break, death, or loss of job, they attempt to use the Bible without any type of knowledge.
Here’s what I mean:
Have you ever seen anyone ever use this verse for comfort?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28
I don’t want to burst your bubble, but this verse isn’t saying to ‘not worry because everything will be fine.’ Nay, Paul’s point here is that God is sovereign and in complete control of everything. Yes, everything. And with that comes the understanding that God does all for our best interest even if we don’t agree with it.
Here is something else I saw a few days ago:
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
With this text, my point is different. When we read something like this, we don’t understand the full context. Now, I’m not saying that we need to know about the author (Paul), when it was written (AD 50s) or even necessarily who it was written to (Christians in Rome). All of those are important…but there is something else that is important. Romans is a letter, but it is also a book. The Bible is 66 books inside one big book. So, if we treat Romans as it should be treated, let’s continue our logic with an observation of the verse we just looked at. Go all of the way to the end. Keep going. Okay, stop. It says Romans 5:1-5. So, that is the book of Romans, Chapter 5, Verses 1 through 5. CHAPTER 5.
If I were to give you Brave New World, To Kill a Mockingbird, or even Animal Farm and told you to read from the fifth chapter to the end, how would that work out? I have no doubt you would understand some of what was going on, but generally speaking, your head would hurt, you’d be lost, and maybe even quite angry. So why would you decide to open up Romans and go to Chapter 5. In verse 1, Paul uses this word: therefore. That should be our first clue that we do not understand what is going on in the text. Therefore implies that there is much that has already been said. Therefore means that there is something before this sentence. Four chapters of words, to be exact! The first four chapters are heavy, depressing, and somewhat scary. It discusses our great God’s wrath and anger towards us as sinners who have ignored Him and decided that we can save ourselves. Then Paul goes on to discuss the poison of religion, which is that we attempt to do good deeds in order for God to approve of us. He uses examples of Jews and Gentiles alike, and condemns both as sinners who are unrighteous in front of the Lord. The thesis, I would say, is that religion is deadly, poisonous, and destructive.
Instead of religion, Paul says that a true relationship with Christ comes from faith, not by works. The verses right before Chapter 5 tell the story of Abraham, a faithful servant of the Lord who was not saved because he was circumcised but because he had Faith in God. Thereinafter, Paul goes on to state that it is because of our wickedness and Christ’s love that he died on the cross to justify us in front of the Heavenly Father. THEN, Chapter 5 comes. Doesn’t that put it all into perspective? We don’t just have peace in God, like Chapter 5 verse 1 says. We have peace BECAUSE of who we are and what Christ has done for us.
Bible reading is so important. It should, for the most part, be read just like any other book, if not given even more respect. Flipping the pages open, and plopping something on a car is not only wrong (if not done correctly), but I believe disheartening to our gracious God who allows us to have the intellect to read, worship, study, and know more about Him.
Why is it that You chose me?
I spit on Your name, mock what you’ve done.
I knowingly walk, ignoring the deeds of your Son.
If You’re there, why do I struggle to believe?
Father, I’ve sinned against you.
For You to compare me to a filthy rag,
Doesn’t do justice to my own heart’s plague
Even my lips are unworthy in calling you ‘Dieu’
I don’t deserve Your grace,
Sometimes I think You’ve made the wrong choice
to see me as one of your own boys
Oh, how I long to see your face
Yahweh, justify me
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2
I sometimes wonder how we can be unashamed of the Gospel if we don’t even know the Gospel. It’s important to know your holy book before you comment on what it says.
Oh, and how this includes me, a sinner in the hand of a just God.
Paul, in numerous letters, warns the church of heresy and their seeking for Truth. Sadly, this day has not ended. So, what exactly should our goal be? It should be to purify the church. We need to thank God for every Reformation.
Where are all of the faithful young men?
My concern is this: at what point do we go after a denomination within Christianity and tell them that they are wrong? At what point do we call them a heresy? Food for thought. Though, we (especially myself), always have to be careful to make sure we are doing it in a loving way.
My hope and my yearning is that in everything I do, I glorify Jesus Christ. This is no exception. If one person reads this, or if seventeen thousand read this, all that matters is that lives are touched. I want God to touch our lives, and I want to see him on a day to day basis- transforming others. (Romans 12)
So that brings me the goal for this blog: that we wrestle with our ideas and in the end, glorify God.
The HTML for my blog is idonotknowyou… I Do Not Know You. This is a reference to Matthew 7 in which Jesus is talking to his disciples on the matter of salvation. Jesus, very bluntly, says that many people who say they believe in me will die, and once they are, they will be expecting heaven. They will defend themselves saying that they lived their life for Christ, when truly, they didn’t understand what his teachings were all about. Christ’s response to these people is: I do not know you, depart from me!
Perhaps these are the most chilling words in all of scripture. To further my point, I want this to be an area that can further stress us KNOWING Christ so that we don’t have to live out Matthew 7.
Please join me in cherishing Him for who He proclaims to be.
Whether I be blogging about videos, stories in scripture, or even critiques and pleads for other sects of Christianity, I hope that you will always be hoping for Joy in your Father.
For the joy of all people,