Friday, August 20, 2021

To be clear - I had never heard of Billy Crone. A family member started recommending him as a smart, educated Bible Scholar and hilarious preacher. After watching a few of his videos, I felt the need to comment - on this one specifically, for many reasons.

This is my my Biblical rebuttal to every point brought up by Billy. He actually makes it easy, because by his plagiarism of the 'Got Answers' list of 'Why a woman cannot be a Pastor' website, and pretending it's his teaching, he also incorporates every mistake they do, both Biblically and Historically. Billy's 'copy and paste' type 'study' is in fact, our first clue into his inability to grasp a topic as profound as this, as we will see.
So thank you Billy for providing the template whereas we can provide a final definitive answer on the mystery of 1st Timothy, 'Let a Woman learn in silence'.


Billy Crone provides here a teaching.
https://youtu.be/RVh0PPKoWHc


It’s couched in a regurgitation derivative of John McArthur’s book ‘Charismatic Chaos’ and Hank Hanegraaf’s similar work but make no mistake. The REAL teaching here is clear,
that a Woman cannot be a Pastor, Biblically.

Billy, quite apparently as you watch - believes in his mind that he cleverly and more importantly Pre-Emptively brought up - and then answered himself - every single Theological and historical existing position regarding how Women are allowed to serve the Body of Christ.

“A Woman, CANNOT be a Pastor!”
He stands there - his eyes, how they gleam! - smiling at his own intellect, shivering in elation that his 'gotcha first so you can't bring it up' exposition of points was pure genius, and congratulates himself on his 'iron clad' teachings... as the highest, and only, authority in that room.

But something happened... it happened so quickly you may have missed it. But once you see it, it becomes very obvious... so obvious your head may hurt for the next 11 minutes from facepalming so hard.

What Billy did is obvious. He mangled Scripture*. In fact, he mangled it so badly, that only his interpretation could work in it's context. It's actually that simple.
But wait, isn't this series of his about that? What he is calling out others of doing, calling those who do this very thing, Cults? Wait, didn't he say in his opening a̶d̶m̶o̶n̶i̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ prayer that these scripture twisting 'believers' in fact God WILL NOT bless?

But... Ol' Billy has made his case iron clad! Right? His joy was so full, his tongue slipping around in his mouth so fast he could barely get the words out, "I’m just quoting the BIBLE!!"; his voice pitched as a high as his hard core metal head banging music days, melodically wiggling around the phrase in his euphoria...




"Hijuskotabile!!!" (Translation, "I’m just quoting the BIBLE!!" @ 14:11) he bleats, looking around at the real work of the women under his authority... beautifully vacuumed rugs, tidied cupboards and arranged chairs, the hand washed coffee cups in the sparkling sanitized church kitchen, where the multiple trays of freshly made sandwiches await, cut just the way he likes them (diagonally, not in half)... He marvels how his scriptural male authority has done more for the women of Sunrise Baptist than even Good Housekeeping Magazine! Oh! Speaking of Scripture...

Billy Crone, as was mentioned, had to mangle scripture to make his 'teaching' valid. because, without doing so, the entire teaching falls on it's face, and Pride comes before a fall (... wait, that's Ooooold testament!)

With forethought and intent - Billy Crone purposefully takes a verse, reinterprets it, and then fits the reinterpretation into his narrative. Wait! Did he mention Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons?

*The Mangling. (This could be the title of Billy’s next explosively relevant motion picture, of which he would have a starring role, of course - check out his movie roles)

To be sure, @ 26:30 Billy Takes the word Overseer (then goes full bilingual – contradicting what he said moments earlier @ 11:50, where he MOCKS anyone deep diving into Biblical Lexicon) decodes it in Greek episkopos - which IS correct for Overseer – make note of seer), BUT THEN exchanges it with the term Elder, which is a completely different Title/Word/Office/Translation (it is the Greek presbyteros, which translates – literally - in taking age into account, in a literal ‘elder’ sense), but it still doesn’t satisfy Billy! So he then takes his new meaning of the Greek Overseer - which he changed to Elder - and reinterprets those two Greek words into a completely different Language! A Latin word!! – Pastor (poimén – a Latin word which shows up only one time didactically, in Ephesians 4, strewn in a list of giftings where it is defined firstly in it’s actual sense of Shepherd, aka farm laborer as one who carries feed) !!

Ok – lets take 2 Greek ingredients, a liberal dose of Latin, and throw it in a blender set to Mangle - and you get Billy Crones Theological Slurpee he calls ‘Pastor’. But at 26:40 Billy himself makes it very clear that he knows what he is doing – he says these three words of multiple languages are in fact the same word! Forget drinking the Kool-Aid, you got Billy’s Slurpee – sure to induce (Billy) Crone’s Disease! Schlurp!

The Gift of Shepherd – which is a gifting, not a Title - is actually not once mentioned in the Book of 1st Timothy.

BUT -
@ 13:50 Billy simply says: Authority = Pastor.

Wow Billy, it does? Then, here's this for a giggle. According to the Strong's Greek Dictionary the main use of the word 'Authority':

 

exousia: power to act, authority 

Original Word: ἐξουσία, ας, ἡ 

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine 

 

...is: Ta da! Feminine. But to be fair - The added part to to the Timothy verse is that women are not to be 'domineering' in their authority. Domineering doesn't mean you do not have authority, it means you do not abuse your authority. Likewise, MEN are not to be domineering either, 'Lording it over others',  2nd Corinthians 1/24, 1st Peter 5/3, Matt 20/25, etc. 1st Timothy 2:12 is the ONLY instance of this use for women - so look into it. The translation is 'Domineering', of which many non 'pastor' women actually are to their Husbands! So you don't need to be a Pastor, to be a domineering woman, or man for that matter.

BTW, Timothy 2:12 is not referencing the gift of Pastor in any capacity. To say it does is a grossly and disturbing twisting of, and addition to, Scripture.

It is Billy who equated the word ‘authority’ as a direct translation to Pastor, again at 26:10  Freudian slips tell us so much about a person!
He is going to wake up screaming that it's a feminine noun.

So Billy takes the gifting of Shepherd, which isn’t mentioned in 1st Timothy – inserts it into 1st Timothy – then takes principles contained in the text concerning other matters and directly applies them – out of context – to ‘Pastors’, the gift of which is not referenced at all in his ‘reference’ passages. Whew!

Now without going into the fact that the ‘Office of Pastor’ is never defined in Ephesians 4 – the only place it is mentioned Didactically, because it is in fact not an office, rather a one-of-many-giftings; as simply one gift in a long line of gifts, nor is it described anywhere as an ‘Office’ or even as a position of ultimate authority – or any authority in the Bible - adding to the fact that even in 1st Timothy we may see qualifications required for Overseer and of Deacons (of which it says women can be - Deacons, gasp..faint), but Paul proceeds to never explain what these positions would even do in any capacity, after this lengthy qualification process! Weird, eh?

So, ultimately - what do we see through Billy’s ‘Straw Man’ Argument? Billy creates his ‘iron clad’ argument by propping up a scarecrow and then swiftly knocking him down, with laser sharp precision, mind you. He’s the smartest guy in the room. Good job – except – the passage is not talking about Pastors. Schlurp!

But what about his other iron clad points? As Billy rightly points out, Ephesus was wrought with a female cult that was morally destroying itself both figuratively and literally – read the historical times of Ephesus when this letter was written to Timothy and you will be stunned. What was happening? The polite family friendly version is that the Artemis/Diana Cult was infiltrating the Ecclesia, pretending to convert, only to then take over the teaching and distort The Way with their aberrations, misleading believers, causing the falling away of many into sin and false gods.

But Billy’s got you covered - he says @ 34:50 that we are in NO WAY to take the historical context of this happening as any consequence to what Paul was writing to Timothy.
Nope – just woman – shut up, Dudes be ‘splainin!

What an amazing rare coincidence!! I mean, for Paul to randomly write a letter to a city – one demoralized and led astray by a female cult, where the cult females infiltrated the Church and led them into sin – and just randomly weigh in on disruptive female leadership – whodathunk?  But WAIT -

Is Billy right when he says NOT to look at the historical context of what was happening historically at the exact same time in Ephesus?



 As Billy’s "Hijuskotabile!!!" (I’m just quoting the Bible) still rings in the ears, why don’t we do exactly that, and quote something else from this Book, like say, 1st Timothy. Let’s quote from the introductory verses that set up the context for the admonitions that follow, so we may know how exactly to interpret them (exegesis):

 “ To Timothy… Just as I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, to remain on at Ephesus so that you would instruct certain people not to teach strange doctrines…rather than advance the plan of God, which is by faith, so I urge you now…” 1st Timothy 1/2-4

Wait, what? Paul is urging Tim in a historical, contextual way?

Hey, remember when Jesus was bamboozling us with his weird stories and he would always say, ‘There was a certain man…’? Well, what does that mean? Oh, it means a certain man. The focal point of the story – a character to put in context, to define this certain person from anybody else.

So?

Paul couldn’t be… no – could he…? Be providing context? But Billy said no way!
"...
to remain on at Ephesus so that you would instruct certain people not to teach strange doctrines…"

Wait – you’re saying Paul in this verse which sets up the entire context of the book – can be looked at exegeticaly? What does that word even mean, Exegesis?

“Exegesis or the Deductive Approach to Bible study simply means “draw out,” extracting objectively, in a systematic study, what a text is actually saying to its original intended readers in their language, culture, and setting before we can discover what it means. The Exegetical method or exegesis does not mean going to a passage with a presupposition, idea, or agenda and looking for it, that is Isogesis or “reading into the Scriptures” as in to introduce into the text one’s own presuppositions, ideas, and thoughts while ignoring what is actually there in order to satisfy one’s own agendas and opinions. In practice, this is using our personal interpretation, agenda, or presupposition, inserting or expressing our own ideas and bias, seeking what we want it to mean rather than the actual, intended meaning of the passage. This ignores the language, context, and culture, leading us to incorrect conclusions, inconsistent understandings, and also leads to heresies and false teachings. This method enables us to read into a text what is not there and draw out what God is not saying. Isogesis causes us to think this way: In other words, don’t confuse me with the facts; I have already made up my mind, I want to think my way, not His Way.”

Ok, so rewind:

- Paul is teaching and telling Timothy to instruct CERTAIN people NOT to TEACH their Strange Doctrines… 1st Timothy 1/3

- Ok, so how do we know that the ‘certain people’ were the Ephesian Cult women??

- Because, in 1st Timothy, the only people that are being told NOT to TEACH are the women.

Oh, I see - ALL women from 62 AD to 2021.

 No… CERTAIN women... the women in Ephesus, the CERTAIN women who were the culprits of teaching Strange Doctrine. Because no one else in 1st Timothy is told not to teach – the whole reason Paul told Tim to stay in Ephesus at that time!

Through exegesis, deductive study, inductive analysis, and hermeneutics it produces the perfect ‘Occam’s razor’ that this instruction is for the the Ephesian Women, and the Ephesian Women that ‘taught strange doctrines’ only, at that time, historically. Get it?

Really – think on that. Because by Billy skirting around the most basic of Bible study tools, the context, he is doing a shameful and harmful thing. He says so himself @ 45:20 yet he is doing it himself. How’s your Slurpee?

Billy Crone says there absolutely are no Prophetess in New Testament at 14:20, and mockingly at 53:00 – where he hisses the ‘S’s’ like a snake (funny enough, a Benny Hinn teaching).

Well – here is where Billy’s  fervor is getting the better of him, and he goes full false teacher.
A direct contradiction of Luke 2/36 and Acts 21/9!! The New Testament Scripture names these women as Prophetess, and by the way – Billy is going to love this – Acts 21 is in the NEW Dispensation! Ouch! How could the most authority filled man who knows every thing in that room have possibly missed this? He didn’t. He knows… He is now simply misleading you with false teaching. On purpose – denying Scripture to fit his agenda.

Hey Billy – there ARE New Testament Female Prophetess’ - you know how I know? 'Cause:
"Hijuskotabile!!!" (14:11)



Also Luke 1/41-42 shows Elisabeth, a woman, prophesying by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Dang it!

Billy gets close to the truth when he talks about out of control feminism in todays culture, and goes to the Genesis account @ 13:25, as it also does in 1st Timothy 2/13. But here comes that awful context, rearing it’s head, and seemingly going over the head of the smartest guy in the room! It is referenced in the verse here due to the direct historical context of the time – as The Artemis Cults actually taught a different creation narrative, one that taught that Eve was created first by a Goddess, and never sinned, but was ‘enlightened’. So, 1st Tim 2/13 is a direct refutation of the current ‘Strange Doctrine’ referenced by Paul in this context, being taught by the Female Cultists in the Ephesus gatherings. Paul corrects this by the historical Judaic account, that Male was created first, and that the ability for Females to fall into Sin in rebellion to God is what happened, not ‘enlightenment’… Maybe I should repeat myself like Billy and say ‘CONTEXT’ 15 times in a row, in a ‘Funny’ voice. But I know enough Bible to not keep on babbling thinking I will be heard because of my vain repetition. "Hijuskotabile!!!"


                                     

37:25 Billy says you cannot quote the ‘The Old Testament’ to show women who taught men, because then if you do -  if you quote that Oooooold Testament  - you are now indebted to fulfilling the entire Old Testament, build the Temple and make sacrifices again!
I think he's referring to Galations 3/10.

Oh Billy. I’m starting to really feel sad for you.

Why then, Billy, do YOU reference Old Testament Malachi 3/8 in your plea for Tithes and Donations on your Church Website!? Not only are you referencing that useless old goat of an – insert Billy’s ‘Funny’ voice – Ooooold Testament, but you are taking it out of context exactly like the Word of faith Teachers do.

https://galministries.org/beliefs.htm - under 'XIII - Stewardship'

So Billy – you bash others over the head USING OT Scripture Didactically, so people TITHE to your Ministry, yet condemn those who would quote the old Testament when it doesn’t suit you. Ok – got it. You can have it both ways, but not others. The point about referencing OT Female Positions Of Authority is simply observing the Historical Narrative, but Billy imposes Didactic Teaching on the Narrative, which is a Biblical No-No. What's strange is that he himself then imposes OT Didache, in the form of tithing, unto himself.

Billy – this was fun at first, but now you are beginning to scare me.  
 

Billy glosses over that Priscilla INSTRUCTED Apollos, a MAN, in Doctrine. His voice raises in pitch, he darts his eyes back and forth proclaiming that ‘But…she was not a pastor!’. But here we have Women instructing Men, in a ‘more excellent way’, meaning a better way than they previously believed – they were improved by the women’s teaching. Billy doesn’t know how to handle this seeming contradiction to everything he has just taught – this New Testament precedent of Women teaching Men. So he keeps repeating:

‘But…they were not pastors!’

As pointed out above in Billy’s Multi Language/Context/Scripture Blender Mangled Slurpee – an Elder is not the gifting of Pastor  - because there is no Title of Pastor, just a gifting of an actual Shepherd and feed carrier – let alone seeing anything like a current westernized Las Vegas-ized Baptist ‘Pastor’ in 62 AD, But That Elder’s, Overseers, and Deacons are the only ever mentioned ‘positional’ attributes given – and each are their own, and distinct from one another.
Paul, as other teachers, have a habit in the NT by calling those at which point they give instruction, “My Children”, or ‘Children’ in general. An affectionate term for the flock they attend to.

I wonder… I mean, I really wonder -  who then exactly is the Book of  2nd John referring to?

From the Elder...

To the Elect Lady, and HER Children?

What? Wait, there’s more?

Greetings from ANOTHER Elect Lady, and HER Children? Multiple Elect Ladies and their Flocks??

But, these letters are written to local gatherings – the Church - to be read aloud by, and instruction given by, the Reader – who fit the criteria as Overseer authorized to teach!

Remember when Billy was so scared you might actually educate yourself on original texts, context, etc, that he mocked you openly @ 11:50 if you were to dare go full Berean, like – test his teaching against Scripture - but then suddenly forgot throughout his teaching as he not only hits you with his own bilingual ability – he even has the gifting of cramming 3 languages into one!

Well,

Elect Lady.

Eklektos and Kuria. This means nothing more or less than, “properly, selected (chosen from, out of), choice, select, the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians”, and combined with “Female, A Lady,  A Literal Woman”

And John  - an Elder, wrote this, and wait – LOVED IT: “to the Elect Lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth”.
John, an Elder – is saying that he 100% accepts this Elect Lady in her position, a position held in TRUTH - of which you can derive Overseer due to the fact that she is one addressed to read this letter to her ‘children’ (congregation, to go full Billy Crone). And then – ANOTHER, ADDITIONAL - Elect Lady, or Properly Chosen Female IS REFERENCED! And everyone who LOVES TRUTH accept her as Overseer.

BUT, the “Bride of Christ is a female word for the Chur – “The ‘Bride of Christ" is a phrase that NEVER appears in the Bible. If it did, it would right be beside 'God helps those who help themselves"... to be sure, Rev 21/9 should clear up that matter on the Bride

So much for Book of 2nd Opinions, eh Billy?

Billy Crone loves his Calendar – he said you cant say anything about Women teaching Men before 62 AD, because that’s When 1st Timothy was written. 1st Timothy you see, is later in the ‘dispensation of unfolding Truth’ so it supersedes what has come before!

Fine. 2nd John was written in 90 AD, so according to Billy’s logic – it supersedes 1st Tim by a good 30 years! With MULTIPLE Female Overseers.

Billy – you are just another in a long list of people who teach and believe what your itching ears want to hear.
I was having fun with this – but as I systematically went through it – I just got very sad for you, and became increasingly shocked at your utter incomprehension of the facets of Bible Study, historical illiteracy, and then your simple, willful misleading of the Flock. You, in fact, are the one twisting Scripture.

I mean – 1st Timothy 2/9 says Women also are not to have ‘elaborate hairstyles’ or adorn themselves with Jewellery – yet there I saw a picture of your family with you wife’s hair all crimped up wearing a huge necklace!

Mat 23 – “
They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them”.

What was that part about getting your own house in order?
 I say this because you have judged yourself.

What about Jan Markell?

She sells your videos so you happily go on her shows as recently as June 2021 where the title is “Jan Markell PROPHECIES”! Good grief, Billy! Blown with the breeze?! Make up your mind! What are you doing on a show with a woman teacher who prophecies! I dare say it sounded like she was instructing you on her show, not sitting in silence while you instructed her. I have nothing against Jan instructing a man, but you certainly do, you just spent an Hour and a Half saying why she couldn't!

False teaching, with a heaping load of hypocrisy.

Billy Crone's video was really supposed to be about Cults.
So how does Billy's own personal Church stand up?

Sunrise Baptist has a very interesting way for you to be part of the Body of Christ, actually. You gotta be eligable! Being saved enough? No way - that just opens the door of eligibilty! To abide with Jesus in Heaven? No, you fool - to an even more supreme club - Billy's Club! This was particularly enlightening:


SECTION 1 - ELIGIBILITY
Any person who accepted Christ as Savior, has been baptized by immersion subsequent to salvation, gives assurance of his desire to live a consistent Christian life and is in agreement with the Constitution and the doctrinal and moral standards of this church shall be eligible for membership.

SECTION 2 - PROCEDURE IN ACCEPTING NEW MEMBERS
A. Each applicant shall receive instructions regarding the doctrinal position and moral standards of this church.

B. Applicants for membership shall appear before at least two Elders. Applicants shall give testimony of their salvation and water baptism by immersion subsequent to salvation. Those applicants who have not been baptized must be baptized in the above manner before acceptance into membership. When the Elders are satisfied that an applicant has met the requirements for membership as provided in Article V, Section 1 of this Constitution, they may recommend such person for membership in this church.

C. The new member shall be publicly welcomed at a regular Lord's Day service and extended the right hand of fellowship.

D. When the applicant is a member of another church, the church clerk of Sunrise Bible Church will notify said church of their membership in this local assembly. This notification will include the request that this person(s) be removed from the membership roll in the other local assembly.

From 'Article V - Membership'
https://www.sunriselv.com/beliefs.htm


Simply, you cannot be a saved functioning part in the Body of Christ at large, in which Jesus himself is the head, oh no. At Sunrise Baptist, they recognize that there is only ONE True Church , one expression of the light of the Holy Spirit, and that is Sunrise Baptist itself, Las Vegas, through membership and through the personal work of Billy Crone, Resident Nicolaitan.

But as tight as he domineers his exclusive club, poor Billy's proves his lack of discernment by getting fooled by a pretend 1930's Cartoon, that he started sharing on his social platforms and in his teachings. A fake so obvious, and so easily found - and he perpetuates it by showing it on his various platforms. Now, regardless of the cartoons content - he repeats the lie that this was a prophetic warning straight from the vaults of 1930's film. It's not - it's a fake and a fraud. Can a Spring produce both the Sweet and the Bitter? It's just an example of Billy Crone's acceptance of proven propaganda simply because it fits his narrative.
(I actually agree with the content of the cartoon, but I know it is a modern edit and clever combination of old rare footage with additions. Billy preaches it is a lost 1930's prophetic warning of the future. It is easily proven it is not)

A conversation Jesus once had:

"
Sir,” the woman said, “I see that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where one must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, but only with an eligable membership to Sunrise Baptist Church, Las Vegas. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Genesis says that Woman was Mans 'Helper', which folks like these always keep reminding us in some sort of subordinate way - but teachers like Billy forget that the Bible also says that God and Jesus are our helper, too. Is Jesus 'subordinate', because he is described as Man's 'helper'? Of Course not.

If the Feminine is not to teach the Maculine - regardless of Billy's dispensational 'line in the sand', then we have lost one of Christianity's greatest educators of all time:

The Lady Wisdom of Proverbs 8.


So don’t bother correcting mockers;
    they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
    and they will love you. 

 Instruct the wise,
    and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
    and they will learn even more.

I’ve instructed you in love, Billy – the time for Repentance has come.

- Richard Cummins





Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Isn't it so?

Christmas has come and gone from in and around the Castle, and after all the festivities there is one thing that I find, as I come across them, utterly abhorrent.

Old decorations, whether they be Christmas, or perhaps even summer string lighting. Nonetheless, wires and strands of plastic coated cabling awkwardly strewn about and tangled in everything. These strands sit in broad daylight, drooping from naked, leafless, tree branches - and they look gawdy. Then, at night when it's dark, they are not seen, or perhaps an out of season decoration is on anyway - blazing away describing with utter perfection the utter ignorance of the one who dwells there.

Then - I think of 'The Church'.

How silly the strands of followers look, when they are not plugged in. A lifeless strand that you know should be doing something, twinkling, what have you. But no, this is how it seems to be in the modern Church. Either you see this unplugged strand, that you know can produce marvels - but is not, or you get the other - a blazing and irritating light completely 'out of season', yet blazing anyway, without any concern for things like time and place, or more importantly, being 'in and out of season'.

Yes, we shine brightly in some seasons, and other seasons, like those with vitamin D deficiencies, we must bask ourselves in the light, from a much more powerful source.

Anyway..

This I know - an unplugged cable not only does nothing, but has the added bonus of ugliness. A light properly plugged in, yet poorly timed is not only beyond useless, but delves into hilarity as one mid summer day, Sun clear, hot, and strong, finds someone wandering the yard with a flashlight, or better - a 10,000 watt theater spotlight, and he is swinging it all around managing to blind you from the Sun itself.

Ah, but Christmas... and the warmth, joy, and wonder of a well timed light in the world.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't Worry Jesus, We'll help!!

Getting supplies to the castle can take long periods of time, but I am able to write again with fresh ink... ...which makes me ponder prophecy - which is indeed similar - a quill, or pen, is only useful if supplied with ink - the ink being the prophecy, the pen being the humble instrument on which the ink of God flows. But, alas, back to my original thoughts...

Let's see.

There is One God, and yet so many millions of people depending on him. Poor guy! How does he do it? Running from one calamity to the next, one request after another - you remember the scene of an anxiety ridden Jim Carey trying to handle God's work in the film 'Bruce Almighty' with every request taking the form of a 'Post It' note until he himself is utterly engulfed by them.

God must be so busy that certainly my trivial daily needs must be so inconsequential that I fear they will be overlooked! Hey, I have an idea! I'll help him out. That way he can look after that real problem down the street and I'll feel a lot more confident that everything I need will be looked after.

You know, bless our friends for their input - I still have learned more from those in my life who have offered up real criticism than from those with pasted on smiles where everything is "Great!".
But in careful listening and weighing of the input some interesting traits can be exposed.

One I find most curious is the revealing "Let's help Jesus!" mentality.

Now before you start imagining who these people are and making judgments in your mind - take a moment to pause, and lets look at our daily attitudes.
I'll choose one attitude in particular that was mentioned that stirred my thoughts in this direction:

Alarms.

The setting:
There are certain things in everyone's possession that could be easily stolen.

The recommendation:
"Whhhaaaat?!? Hey - you need to alarm all your stuff!!"

Yes, alarm companies offer a service that they sell as deterrents or even guaranteed safeguards against theft related situations regarding auto, home, business, etc, etc. Some say it is a wise and shrewd person who chooses to utilize and pay for services of this nature. You know - so the stuff that you eat, drink, wear and drive will be exactly where you left them in the morning.

Whew! Hey, Wow! What calm assurance and worry free living the alarm companies have given me!

Someone else once said something quite different:

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Pagans eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Taken from Matthew 6.

I could write paragraphs of exegesis on the preceding being not spiritual issues, but real pragmatic, material things, the 'stuff of life' we need to live - but I think the passage speaks pretty good for itself (after all, it is the Bible).

Yeah, the same 'stuff' your friends rebuke you for - for not looking after good enough.
(Oh, ME of little faith?)

Let's not just look at alarms - you who easily agree - let's look at all of it. What about your 401k, Investments, Real Estate Holdings, Contingency Funds, Retirement Plan, Pensions, and everything else you have toiled to preserve for yourself so that day by day you will have the things that one day Moth and Rust will destroy?

Oh, and don't forget -
Coming Soon To A Residence Near You:
A Thief In The Night, that no alarm or security can keep out...
and on this night,
your most intimate and personal of possessions,
indeed your very soul,
will be required of you.

Remember the the persistent widow and the friend at midnight? Through their persistence they saw completion of their needs - keeping in mind their persistence was in dependence on God through fervent prayer.
Jesus went as far as saying the widow would not only see justice served, but that she would see it 'quickly', or in this life, not just in some disconnected spiritual sense.
Luke 18:1-8, Luke 11:5-13

Let's shift to an aside for the moment - Career Christians, Pastors, Churches, Television Evangelists, in fact let's lump them all together.

What's funny is that for all the Church Alarms, Church Investments, Pastor Salaries, and On and On Ad Infinitum, there is the one area that Career Christians seem to 'forget' about 'Helping God'.


YOUR MONEY.


That's right folks, for all the other areas where Christians 'Help God' (because you know, if someone wants to break into your Church and steal a couple 100 Bibles - that would be tragic, now wouldn't it? Why, they might even READ one of those stolen Bibles... they might even BELIEVE the very words of God... but thank Heaven! We have alarms on the Church Doors!), they seem to forget that the same initiative it took to seek out and hire an alarm company to provide calm assurance and peace of mind concerning Church possessions and Christian Businesses, and the same initiative that it took for them to seek out financial advice from investment bankers concerning the millions of dollars in Church holdings; yes, that same initiative could be utilized to 'Help God' by actually obtaining gainful employment to pay for all their ever important and endless 'ministries'.


But no - that's when they cleverly 'remember' to 'act in Faith', which really means sit back and let you pay for all their grand ideas and schemes.


"We must not be self righteous! We must let the Lord of Hosts provide our needs!"


But somehow, the cheque never quite falls from Heaven... but money does appear out the sagging, sore backs of the heavy laden work force ('Laity' is just church jargon for unspiritual regular joe working stiff church attendee) of janitors, welders, steel workers and plumbers to 'provide' the nice office that the Pastor 'Needs' to accomplish his Christianity. (By all means feel free to read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12. Could someone please explain why there are a class of 'privileged' christians who need not work for an income?)


Needs.


Funny word...


So the office the Pastor needs, needs to be alarmed.


And one 'need' is provided by 'Faith' (to be sure: Faith = Your Wallet), and the other 'need' is provided by way of 'Helping God' by purchasing an alarm service.

I can barely describe or contain the agonizing anger and shame I am filled with having to live under the blanket term 'christian' when the Church so blatantly lives in hypocrisy and the abuse of it's own beleivers believers.

And then I remember Jesus.

"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you NEED before you ask Him."

Do you really believe Jesus knows your needs? And if you really believe that, do you turn that belief into reality by acting in true Faith?
Or are you like the lowly and derisive 'Them', who 'run after these things'.

So what comes directly after Jesus makes this great statement on needs?

"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you NEED before you ask Him."

Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

But of course, who am I... to argue with those... smarter than Jesus?

Hypocrites, who allow God to provide one moment, but have no Faith He will provide a mere moment later.

Do you not realize your life is not characterized by the moment, but always the moment after? For that is reality.

From the ink of my pen,
Richard from the North Country

Friday, October 8, 2010

Larry Norman - My Brother

My dear brothers and sisters of the outer world...

...for I am still captive

Larry Norman - who has traversed from this region to another land - may be gone...

...but those who truly loved him and knew him - who touched him in embrace or conversation...

send love...

a reworking -

an embellishment of song...

...for a small circle of friends


with love to Larry Norman - a songwriter who accidentally led me to see the secret saviour... who appears to the vulnerable, the small, the weak...

Recorded by Phil Keaggy, Mark Walker (original drummer on original recording on 'In Another Land' ) Richard Cummins, Ted Aukerman - and Randy Stonehill who refused to play with Phil keaggy on this one when asked... even though "Mystery Highway" was just completed by the two... he must have really hated Larry in his heart - though 'God only Knows' as quoted by Brian Wilson..


Phil Keaggy, Richard Cummins, Mark Walker, Ted Aukerman - Song For A Small Circle Of Friends - Larry Norman .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jeremiah 29:11 Christians, Part II

Re:
my good friend and full time Missionary Paul Hudson wrote a response to my original post, "Jeremiah 29:11 Christians" and apparently my response was too long to fit in the comment reply field, so upon review I think there is enough meat to qualify as a post of it's own.

To read the original article and response go here:
http://sirrichardthelionheart.blogspot.com/2009/11/jeremiah-2911-christians.html


Paul - hey my Brother! Long time again... it always seems that way.

Paul you know me personally that God has used that very same scripture in Revelation, John 3:15 very personally with me as well (though I didn't immediately produce a thousand cards to be printed and sold based on that - imagine that product line!), Which led me to think long and hard about my view, your critique, and the nature of scripture itself.

In fact it reminded me of an old George Jones song which basically says:
"There's my story, your story, and then there's the cold hard truth"
which about sums up my sentiments exactly.

In fact Paul - you ended up saying it best of all:

"Anyhow, the fact of the matter is that God can use the words of the bible the way He pleases and I think we need to respect that and let God be the one who picks and chooses what He wants to say through His Word, not ourselves."

Good enough for me, which led me to the critique of this verse being insanely elevated in the first place.

By Who?
PEOPLE.

My point is the thousands of cards written to be handed out to people like it is written specifically for them! God isn't choosing that, people are.
Remember the warning of saying God has spoken to you when he hasn't in fact spoken to you?: Jeremiah 23:16-40

That is definately worth a read to those of you who flippantly throw Bible verses around like old popcorn after a movie.

Imagine sending a card like this through 'Camel Back Post Services' to Peter because of his persecution and he receives it... and with hands trembling and rattling the chains that bind him he reads the words of Jeremiah 29:11... rejoices at the Lords favor... and then is promptly lead out to his public execution and is cruely crucified upside down in utter agony.
Or to Paul of Tarsus, just before his violent beheading.

How goofy and then profane does it seem if we take 'Foxes book of Martyrs' and then insert this verse before every sacrifial, literally agonizing, life threatening, prosperity killing, physical execution and act as described therein? Even a child would call us out and say there is something very wrong with the promise offered and the events that took place.

Christian bookstores preprinting 100,000 cards with this verse in them is unwise and completely biblically illiterate, biblically ignorant at the very least (not to mention the sleaze of selfishness that it exudes out of context; 'Prosperity, ease, etc), and brings excruciating judgement at the very worst (Jer: 23:16-40).

So, I actually stand with you when you say, "... let God be the one who picks and chooses what He wants to say through His Word, not ourselves..."

And...

It's very simple to see how He in fact already has when that very verse is completely and categorically explained in detail in 29:1 :

"These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon... It said: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:..."

I for one will not succumb to say God Says when He didn't say - either because of a divorce, loss of a loved one, or any any other reason why christian bookstores sell these cards by the boatload to give 'comfort' - what comfort could there possibly be in giving someone an out of context verse if God has in fact designed a hard road for them? (This statement alone may shock and bewilder most christians)

And what, you may ask, do we do in the extremely rare event when God does want to use you in the office of an encourager to someone, perhaps with this passage? Then put pen to paper my friend and make sure you tell them - but that doesn't excuse the fact that someone has preprinted a zillion of these beforehand, "just in case".

Like you said yourself, "... let God be the one who picks and chooses what He wants to say through His Word, not ourselves..."

NOT OUR SELVES.

Who makes these cards, trinkets, and graven images?

Ourselves.

Then, it becomes very easy to up and buy one, you know, the typical christian 'pat' answers and knaively presume to 'speak for God'. And those that do are commiting the worst arrogance possible on Planet Earth - 'Thus says the Lord' when it really is 'Thus says ME'.

How small would God have to be if He only had one answer for your troubles, and at that an answer He delivered thousands of years ago to someone else!

Paul - you and me - we are musicians - try to tell your wife that this gorgeous love song your singing to her was actually written for another woman - but that, well, it's good enough and besides you can't be bothered to come up with something fresh to say to her.

So you keep singing of passion and flame that was originally intended for someone else as she sits there politely listening but also somewhat unnerved wondering, 'Should I feel blessed by this? He's so creative - why doesn't he say something personal based on our current experience? Doesn't our relationship inspire any passion in him to say something personal to me now?"

If we are true people of faith, and in true relationship to God, there will be no lazy utterences, no need for false comfort - but a steadfast knowledge that I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. That I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

And God will let you know this - HIS way.

Content While hungry?!
Content while in need?!

Try selling that!

Your Brother Richard

For Reference - Jeremiah 23:16-40

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see and to hear his word,
or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
Behold, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has executed and accomplished
the intents of his heart.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

"I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.

“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.

“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the Lord.’ And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ I will punish that man and his household. Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”