Saturday, July 25, 2009

What does it mean to be unspotted from the World? A blog discussion shared.

How good is good enough? What is Godly/unGodly and to be unspotted from the world?

Have you ever asked yourself the question in regards to overcoming and becoming perfect in the sight of our Creator, "how good is good enough?" Of course you have, but to what extent...

I think we can quickly answer that question on the basis that we will continue to be challenged and shown what we need to overcome in the course of a lifetime. As soon as we overcome one obsticle, it only seems that measure of growth has allowed us to see all the more clear, our shortcomings in other areas. Needless to say, we are only perfect in the sense of us conscientiously seeking the will of the Father and accepting the sacrifice of our Savior.

However, James 1:27 instructs us to be unspotted from the world.

My question to you is, in relation to what we do on a day to day basis, WHAT IS OF GOD that we encounter in the course of life in this world? And what is NOT of God? And for whatever is NOT of God, are we abstaining from that aspect, or at least recognizing that fact and trying to abstain from it?

My point is there are a many "things" that we encounter on a day to day basis that can and are perceived and quite literally are in question as to whether they are sanctioned by our Creator. We've heard the saying, "what would Jesus do."

I'd like for us to dig deep into our conscience and be honest and ask ourselves, would doing this activity please the Father. And if it wouldn't, why do I pretend to shrug it off, turn my head to the notion and act justified in doing it?

I will give us some examples to get started...please don't get hung up on these. There are many.

1. Participating in and spending our time in various forms of entertainment. I.E. Movies, TV, Sports, etc.
2. Smoking/drinking, whether legal or illegal drugs.
3. Taking pharmaceuticals.
4. Driving a car.
5. Living in a city or country.
6. Listening to music.
7. Having traditions.
8. Speaking to anyone other than the perpetrator on a matter.
9. Eating sugar.
10. Your turn to add...

You may think some of these topics are ludicrous. They're meant to be an example. But again, the point here is...of the things we do, are they OF GOD, and if they aren't, how do we justify doing them? I'm sure the point of moderation will be a strong point to emphasize, but I'd like your opinions.

John 17: 1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 "But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Reader #1: My opinion: seeking to please God is a good thing. Twisting it into legalistic "salvation by works" is an error and nearly always leads away from God and His purpose for us. We cannot earn anything with God. Salvation is past perfect passive tense. We got it as a gift. What we do afterwards does not add to that a whit.

That said,
11. Work
12. Dealing with spouse & family
13. Spending money
14. Spending time
15. Sacrifice (of any kind)
16. Reading

Reader #2: Salvation is a gift, one we cannot earn and one we definitely do not deserve. I believe the enemy takes the "how good is good enough" thought process, which we as human beings struggle with daily in every area, and uses that attack against our spiritual walk. How can we possibly measure up? We cannot, we alone never will, no matter what we do or say here on earth. Yes we are to be the salt and the light, yes we are to be Christ's example here, yes we are to die out daily to ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Christ, but I believe that if someone want's to find fault with us or our example, they will, no matter our walk. Does this mean why even try? No, it means evaluate for whom we are really trying. We must understand that when we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives we became perfect in the eyes of our Father because the precious blood of His Son covers us completely and when He sees me, He sees Jesus. For that very reason I will be an imitator of God........ will I be good at it? Probably not. Will I struggle? Yes, definitely. Will I fall? More than likely on a daily basis. Will I keep pressing on toward the prize? Yes, in Jesus name.

17. Thoughts, if my thoughts aren't pleasing to Him most likely neither are my actions.

Author reply: Yes, grace covers us...thankfully. "For that very reason I will be an imitator of God........"

I'm speaking specifically to actions that we either pass off or ignore and do anyway that may not be imitating God and yet we don't really want to fess up and admit why we still do them. Or maybe we're ignorant to the fact that society accepts them and therefore they must be ok. It's a challenge, I know. Maybe this topic isn't of interest to many.

Reader #3: If we receive God's grace based on anything we do (or don't so) then it may be alot of things but, by definition, it's not grace. When we work for it ourselves, like anything else, we'll eventually get tired and take our breaks because, if we're earning it, it's on our terms. If we don't relate to God (and others) in terms of grace then the Church will become a self-righteous and/or self-indulgent mess (oops, too late). The fruit doesn't make the tree good. The tree makes the fruit good.

Reader #4: To "measure up" would be to BE the same footprints in the sand, which we are perceived as having by grace alone, because we cannot be Him except He be in us. Still, we must walk in those very same footprints in the sand, no matter how small our feet may be in comparison. The One who made those steps did not JUST hang on a cross to pay the death penalty for us, nor did He JUST rise to eternal life at the side of the Father. Those footsteps can be found for 33+ years on this earth before becoming the slain Lamb. Those footsteps go back even farther than that as shown in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, and other scriptures.To justify in any way, by any other form of concentration in any of the points given, to use them outside of those footprints is no justification at all. So, if we fall out of step, it is our job to repent (yes, even after accepting salvation), and ask God to bring us back in step, because that is truly where we want to be. We have a part to play in conforming to Christ.

Author reply: You reminded me of Rom. 12:1 which speaks to my point:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Emphasis on verse 2.

Reader #1 reply: All our best righteousness is filthy rags. It isn't our righteousness that God desires at all, but His own. So, no matter what we do, it doesn't truly "please God". The best thing we could do is pray God does His own will through us. I pray He continues to change my contrary, dissatisfied, and anxious heart. Then just step aside and trust Him do His will.But still, this doesn't contradict any desire to live a more selfless and Godly way of life. Just keep in mind that it isn't earning us anything. It's all about Christ!

Author reply to reader #3: This may be missing the point, but isn't it the fruit that determines whether the tree gets whacked down or not? :)

Reader #3: It's been quite a while since we've had one of these conversations hasn't it? :)

The most important part of that passage (Rom 12) is the first word of verse 1. "Therefore". Paul spent the first eleven chapters discussing doctrine:

1 thru 3:20 - All are under sin
3:21 thru 5 - We are saved by grace alone
6 thru 8 - This salvation produces sanctification (i.e. holiness)
9 thru 11 - It's all according to God's sovereigntyAfter he explains what we've been given in Christ he starts chapter 12 with his famous "therefore..."

When we have a revelation of the grace we've been given through Christ alone, our only response is to offer our entire lives to God. And that includes the transforming of even our minds. There lies the growth. When we weigh our every motivation we can't help but conform to His image. But it has to be in response to the hope we have, not in order to get it.

Good observation but we have to put the horse before the cart. it's the tree that's the problem. The fruit is simply evidence to what kind of tree it is. We're saved by faith alone but true faith is never alone.

Author reply: It's nothing to do with what we do, it's everything to do with what we do. Or something in between. Let me approach it with a question...We're all conscientious about what we do on varying degrees, yes? As we grow and God's spirit slowly replaces our own, we become ever more like Him. In the process, we face ongoing dilemmas daily of what is Godly and what is not.

Reader #3: Absolutely.

Reader #5 under separate note: Very interesting discussion. I think we all want to do better - and its a daily struggle. I often look at others and think (in my mind - I KNOW) they've got it all together ... they're on the inside track and living a life that is pleasing to God. But the truth is, the only heart we can be sure of is our very own. I've been thinking a lot about John 10:10 as to the "how" is it that Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly? And I believe the key to that verse is in our need to surrender entirely to Christ. When we make decisions according to our own will, as mankind has done since the beginning of time, we are choosing the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil over the Tree of Life in every instance.We will never be "good enough" in this life - but when Christ is allowed to work in us and through us according to His will and we are guided by His will, often in opposition to our own will - that is good enough.I think that's why we have a lifetime - it takes a lifetime to learn how to submit to the will of God rather than to do what seems right in our own eyes. I wish I found that process easier - but my mind wrestles with the knowledge that true freedom means complete submission. I strongly identify with Paul's struggle (Romans 7).It's definitely a thought provoking topic. :)

Author reply: "true faith is never alone" You mean there are actions required? Oops, I said a bad word, required.

Reader #3: It means that true faith results in action. If we think we're making ourselves holy then yeah, it's required. But how you look at your salvation will determine how you fight this battle. If I say something vile I can 1) try to clean my mouth up so I can be right with God or 2) realize that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" and go to God in repentance, let His light shine on me and ask "what's wrong with my heart" and let Him change me. One way makes us good on the outside and is the way of every other religion. The other way is Christianity. That's what I mean with the "tree makes the fruit good". Works to be saved is nailing apples to trees. It doesn't change the tree. Gotta go. Can pick this up later via email if you want.

Author reply: "It means that true faith results in action."I agree completely. Because of my spirit being replaced with His, it naturally results in being changed and "wanting/desiring" to do what is of God. However, the process of overcoming and growing in His nature continues and as someone who just wrote me privately, it takes a lifetime.

Reader #1: "You mean there are actions required?" No and yes. No: Nothing is required for salvation but to trust in Christ (faith) and proclaim His name. Yes: if you have God's Spirit in you, as a natural result you will be demonstrating that faith through good works. (eg. a repentant heart will not continue to steal, etc)Even so, that is not to say they are "required" per se, but if your heart is changed then these things will flow from you. And not because of you, but because of God's grace in you. A "requirement" implies an external law that does not flow from the indwelling of the Spirit in a repentant heart. But what a Christian life entails is sacrifice, and that unavoidably means something(s) will be done. To say we have nothing to do is, IMHO, a misnomer.

Reader #4 to Reader 3: I think I understand what you are saying, but it seems you are making a distinction where there is none. I don't believe the author is suggesting in any way we can earn anything of our own ability, but there is plenty in the new covenant that demands we "work to make our calling and election sure". Peter even emphasizes that is why he "will always remind you of these things". It's not a question of our ability, but our effort. God does not tell us we are running a race to be in first place. He tells us to run the race to completion. We run the race. He doesn't, but it is Him in us that gives us the heart to try. And it is by His grace that we are seen a perfect even though we are not (but only because we try). We have brains/minds that must make decisions and must take actions.conform - Act in accordance of expectations; act like others; To be in accordance with a set of specifications

In Romans we find we are conforming to one camp or another.

Holy = Set ApartThe reason we are to be holy because He is Holy, is because we must take action (I Peter 1:15-16).

Reader #4 to Reader #1: I like the way you explain the "yes" and "no" response. It seems, though, when "law" and "requirement" are used together, I find a lot of human reasoning to distinguish between the two. I agree that to the human nature, God's law is an external requirement. But, I also believe that, to a person led by the Holy Spirit, the "requirement" is internalized.The very fact that it becomes internalized (let's say, "written on our hearts") should not render the word "requirement" to any longer mean a "burden", but, instead, "not a burden". I John 5:3.In my estimation of it, God's law (ways) have not changed, even as they apply to mankind. What changes is the mind of the converted to understand that God's ways are not actually a burden but a blessing.It's not about qualifying for anything by doing these things, but about reflecting a way of life that is no longer a burden to us because we have given up the natural mind for the spiritual.

Reader #6: I find this very interesting, and very simple. Christ lived a completely sin free life, gave that life on the cross for all mankind’s sins. Through this grace we are redeemed, and only by this grace, works are worthless for salvation. However..."And you shall know them by their fruits" , I believe works are the product of salvation, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and an incredible urge to repay Christ for his unconditional Grace (even though we know there is no way to repay). Does salvation mean we will do no wrong? Nope, so I agree we should be ever vigilant in our attempts to imitate the Lord as best we can. Just don't be surprised when you fail, keep trying and know that the Lord still Loves you.

Author reply: We can talk about being covered by grace and/or works until the cows come home. Does anybody want to speak to individual battles of evil that we are confronted with? Everyone decides in their own mind, just the way it is, as to what we face day to day, in regards to what is evil and what is good.It's funny, we have a problem putting a label of evil or good on anything. Are we afraid of labeling something as evil and thus giving us no excuse to continue enjoying it?

I personally battle things that are time wasters or diversions of my attention...and there are a lot.I personally battle things that are time wasters or diversions of my attention...and there are a lot.

Reader #6 to reader 4: I truly appreciate the insight, but the Law no longer holds any more significance, to any end, other than guidance.Christ's sacrifice removed the need for the Law. I will agree its a great template to guide you through life "a blessing" as you say, but important for Salvation, or even "required" at all, no. God already knows our hearts, start to finish, outward works can be faked, the law can be broken in private, but you can't hide your heart from God.
Reader #4 to Reader #6: Your last statement is why we have the following:Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Author reply to Reader #6: Not that this is a thread to discuss whether the law has been done away or not. But by what means do you determine how to live your life? Did you come up with it on your own? Who told us not to kill? And if that law is done away, then what prevents us from killing? And if we killed, would we say we have not broken any law? Oh, but to kill was one reiterated by Jesus Christ, right?

Reader #4 Hebrews 9:9 It will not be like covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. 10This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Hebrews 10:15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16"This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds."[a] 17Then he adds:
"Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more."

As to the author’s comment, I have trouble breaking it down, because I believe ANYTHING, seemingly good, bad, or indifferent can be the subject of our minds putting ourselves above God and neighbor. Your list of 10 already suggests that, though.

Author: I wonder how much of an outcast we would view Jesus Christ as if he were walking among us in the flesh today? You think he'd sit down and watch TV with us, go to a ball game, listen to some AC/DC, smoke a joint? Just pondering....:)

Reader 4: LOL! I've wondered the same. I think I'd just ask Him what He wants to do, and can I come along?

Author: What I'm suggesting, and it's not going to be very popular, and I will also add that I'm probably the worst example to be stating this, is that we may very well be wasting our time with peripheral things, whether they're good or bad. If we are truly wishing to be "about the Father's business", and some will say that was just for Jesus Christ, then we really don't have time for anything else but work, to provide for our families and serve others.What I'm suggesting is that we live in a world that dumbs us down, seeking creature comforts, or busying ourselves with nonsensical stuff that, to this society, is "life the way it's supposed to be." There is amazing fulfillment in devoting our lives to helping others. I've experienced it. I desire it. Unfortunately, I still have obstacles that I allow in my life I hunger for obtaining the “fullness of Christ”. Unfortunately, I’m too great a hypocrite and I’m still working on my terms.

Reader #7: It seems odd in light of some of the above comments that the servant that did not even lend out for usuary the single talent he was given, had the original talent taken away from him.

Reader #2: What about a glass of wine or a cold beer? I can't see Jesus scoring some weed, but would He have a cold one? Should we? Seriously wondering....

Reader #4: Absolutely! Especially if it's Chimay. Of course, we would have to wait until he returns to establish his kingdom, because he said he wouldn't drink the fermented stuff again until he returned.Luke 22:18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."I could be going overboard, though, because he was just referencing the "fruit of the vine". ;-)The real question for me would not be whether to partake or to abstain, but how much is "moderation".

Reader 4 to author: I think you bring up something that we must each ponder. I agree there are many distractions, most of which we tell ourselves, "I wasn't going to be doing anything, anyway." At the same time, you would have to be a roving spirit finding the person needing a flat fixed, needing soup from the kitchen, needing to hear encouragement from the word of God, etc.I suppose the trick is to not waste our time on irrelevant stuff when something relevant is also available to do.????? Just as our brain needs sleep, it probably needs periods of the unnecessary.By no means would I suggest we need time spent on things that are sinful, but sin is the transgression of law and nothing else.We can talk about what reasons the two men walked around the robbed and injured man, but the bottom line is, as they were walking by the way, they saw somebody in need and chose to do something else. It could have been important. It could have been to go fishing for fun. They made the wrong choice.

Reader 4: The "Absolutely!" post was in reply to something that is no longer there. Maybe I imagined it. Should I remove it?

Reader 1 to 4: I think you were responding to my post that I somehow deleted, not sure what I was trying to do but that wasn't it!.... I agree! The church I attend now does not agree at all. In fact there isn't room for even a discussion of it. I myself am of your same opinion so for the most part I keep my opinion to myself. Plus I have learned that it really isn't the church doctrines that lead and guide me but it is my relationship with the Lord. Even He Himself brought the "good stuff" out last:) You guys have a good night, I am out for now:)

Author: Reader 1 told me I could repost her comment:What about a glass of wine or a cold beer? I can't see Jesus scoring some weed, but would He have a cold one? Should we? Seriously wondering....

Reader 3: "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguished good from evil" ~ Heb 5:14Christianity is full of gray areas. But that's where the maturity is. If having a beer results in bad fruit in our life then a beer is sin us. If it doesn't then it's not. ...unless you're drinking it in front of a brother who would be offended or would be emboldened to partake even though he's convicted against it.(Rom 14). Then it's not love and therefore sin.Gray areas abound don't they? But it's better than a list. Lists appeal to our fallen nature that loves to compare itself to others. Minimum requirements beget minimum compliance. It's just how we're wired. The growth is in being completely intellectually honest with yourself and making the good and beautiful decision based on love.

Reader 8: I have to believe that Jesus would love to sit at a ball game and maybe even have a cold one.

Reader 6: Wow, I leave to mow the lawn and get trampled. My statement is not to disregard the laws teachings, not at all, but to suggest that we need to follow it for the purpose of Salvation is wrong. The fact that you suggest we be wary of the world and its devices is truly valid, but when you start listing what you believe to be right or wrong I believe you can lose focus on what Christ was teaching, worshipping the Lord and Loving your neighbor. You can toss as much scripture at me as you want but you can't deny Matt. 22:37-40.

Author: "Minimum requirements beget minimum compliance."I agree completely. If we knew of the day in which we were going to die, we'd probably live life invariably wrong until that final day of repenting. Inevitably it's why die daily. I don't particularly care for lists of right or wrong either, but I respect that it is the way we started out as babes in order to understand boundaries and gradually grow to the point that they became inherent.

Reader 3: I truly could (and have thought about doing so) write a book on this subject. After striving for my salvation for years I finally got the whole Abraham connection (Rom 4; Gal 3; Heb 11; Jms 2) and got a grasp on how huge grace is and what an amazing change that happened to me. I started serving the Lord because He saved me as opposed to doing it in order to be saved. What peace it brought to my life. It made me look at God so differently. He's no longer the taker who wants us to perform for His approval. He's truly the complete giver and I have His approval so I give him my life in response which has produced infinitely more righteousness in my life than threats of losing my salvation if I don't do enough (i.e. the title of this thread)Gotta get some stuff done so I'm out of this one (unless someone directs a question to me). I'll send you a friend request. Maybe we can catch up.

Reader 1: My 2 cents: whatever you do, do it to the Lord. Whatever you abstain from, abstain from it to the Lord.These 3 things remain - faith, hope, and love. Be motivated by love, and you can hardly go wrong.

Reader 3: Can you appreciate the order those are in? By faith we have the blessed hope which produces the love (Titus 3:4-7)

Reader 4 to 1, 3, and 6: Your comments about faith, hope, and love, about grace and salvation are agreed to at least where you back them up with God's word. These are a given fact. I'm very confident the author nor myself feel any justification by law. We are very well aware that we cannot save ourselves or do enough good to meet the demands of an unforgiving God.I believe what all of you seem unwilling to face is the very meanings of the words you are bandying about like catch phrases. Those words have real definitions and only validly defined by God's Word, the whole word of God. You don't want me or somebody else quoting scriptures to make our point. Is this supposed to be some battle of the "catch phrases"?I believe the author is wanting to discuss something far deeper than catch phrases and feel good'isms. He wants to discuss how we practice God's way. To just say, follow your conscience and do the right thing means absolutely nothing without definition.

Reader 1 to reader 4: do you keep the whole law?

Reader 4: I take from the author's initial point that we don't come up out of the water fully understanding righteousness. We might have some past time, hobby, interest, even sin for which, initially, we think we are doing pretty good in God's sight, good enough.Understand this is from the basis of already understanding Jesus died for all my sins, but with it comes the understanding that I must GROW in grace (God's favor) and knowledge (His KNOWLEDGE).As we go along, our growth may reveal to us that what we thought was "good enough" isn't because we are still putting things ahead of God, or justifying a sin simply because the old man being dead in spirit is all too alive in practice.He’s asking us, as he asks himself, what is good enough? Thankfully, we've each got as long as God thinks we need to grow in grace and knowledge, for we would probably implode or explode if we knew the distance our own righteousness is from His.

Sorry if I've misunderstood your purpose for the post.

Author: Let's be conscious, self included, of just what and how we try to impress a matter on the other. We can easily prove ourselves in a way they we may not want by "getting the better, or one-upping, of the next person."I'm all too familiar with getting wrapped up in a debate such as that. It's not my intention.

For the most part, yes. But as I mentioned in the main part of the note, I think we've got the "how good is good enough" concept understood. Rather than take the title and try to answer it specifically, I'm using it as a springboard to discuss how you say "we are still putting things ahead of God, or justifying a sin simply because the old man being dead in spirit is all too alive in practice.”

There really is no need for debate on the subject of grace, but then again, I don’t want to really squelch what people want to talk about. But I would ask that my words not be twisted to mean otherwise.

Reader #1: I appreciate what reader #4 is saying, and I'm not offended. I know that God is love. And I can see that he deeply loves God in the way he understands. I will never begrudge a person that.I would hope we all could concentrate on what we agree on rather than what we disagree on.For what it's worth, I think deeply meditating on areas of our lives where we could improve is not a bad thing!

Reader 9: Live and let LIVE.

Reader 6: It’s never been my intent to one up anyone or win a debate, only for my posts to be understood correctly. I'm not even sure what catch phrases are being used. Besides the point is unimportant, I'm not sure about the other J's, I only know how I feel. Obviously there are those who feel very strongly about their beliefs, and I have never attempted to begrudge anyone theirs. I only wish for "my views" to be understood as I have meant. If I have offended anyone I apologize. Love and God Bless!

Reader 3 to Reader 4: It's hard to go over this stuff via internet. First know that I used to believe that I was saved by grace but maintained grace by works. Abraham was the arch type of what true faith was. When you can connect his encounter with God (the firepot in Gen 15) with Rom 4; Gal 3 &4, Heb 6; Heb 11; Js 2. God swore by himself that he was going to perform what he promised while Abraham was sleeping (resting). Fast foward to Gen 18 and Abraham gets circumcised. Go to Gen 22 and Abraham obeys God and God says "because" you have done this I will confirm the covenant. But the thing is, God swore by himself already (Gen 15/Heb 6). God knows what real faith is. Rom 4 explains that he was justified by faith alone. Heb 11 shows he had faith that God could resurrect Isaac from the dead (just like he made Sara's dead womb live). James uses Abraham to show that true faith (a living faith) produces fruit.

Author: No worries guys. I just know how I can get off track. It's get the better of me sometimes. I'm not making any accusations. I appreciate everyone's input.

Reader 3: It's not just a tomato/tomaato thing. How we look at our salvation affects how we handle our sin. We're either saved by grace or we're saved by grace and works. If we sin we'll handle it one of two ways (see the tree/fruit comment somewhere above). In the Roman world, a slave could live in the house of his master as long as the master felt like it. That was the extent of the relationship. If the slave messed up, he could legally be disowned. If the master decided he loved the slave and adopted him, then legally, there was no way to un-adopt the slave. When Jesus and Paul talk about becoming sons, this is what they meant. The slave would then relate much differently to his new father. Not out of fear but out of love (Rom 8:14-16; Gal 4) In the Old Covenant, the promises flowed from their obidience. In the New Covenant, our obidience flows from the promises. Grace is the difference. When we feel this grace, we extend it to others as an overflow coming out of us like..well fruit.

We're all passionate about this which is cool. My apologies if I came across as unloving, k?

Author to reader 4: I just reread what I wrote and wanted to make sure I wasn't getting on to you and saying you were misrepresenting my point. I think you did expound on it well.

To Reader 3: unloving? :) No. You should write that book though.

Reader 10: We all have shortcomings. We all want to think we are more Godly than we really are. We want to be good. We want to love & be loved. I believe as long as we know this, look to God for guidance, heartfelt effort in our growth, we are then fulfilling our purpose on this earth. This approach is expansive in life. It is also my belief that God knows what is best for each & every one of us. Why do so many of us then continue to struggle & have the fight seems almost impossible to "win". God knows when the time is right for all of us. Many of us have to go through many more of life's lessons before we truly get it & then can truly learn to LOVE. We can worry about right & wrong all day long. Focus on accepting the love & sacrifice of Christ is the issue, & the rest He will take care of. He is in control - not us & our humanly efforts.

Reader 2: Ok, so on my 55 minute drive to Talequah I had some time to "ponder" this thread and I had to smile as I don’t think any of us actually responded to what our good friend really asked. In my daily life what do I encounter that may not be of God, and how do I handle it, well......let's be honest.....I guess that all depends on how bad I want to do whatever it is, or what kind of mood am I in at the time, am I prayed up and ready for battle or am I tired and not really interested in taking the high road at that moment? Working with the public is a great example of many situations that are definitely not of God. In handling people do I choose to be compassionate and kind no matter what or do I respond to them as they are treating me? That's hard because honestly I would rather slap them in the name of Jesus than show them Jesus by loving them. Does that make me a hypocrite? I struggle with language, when I was away from the Lord I picked up many bad habits and one was a foul mouth and honestly I have to ask the Lord daily to put a reign on my tongue because to people I am around there isn't anything wrong with cussing, it is basically socially acceptable, but I know it is not acceptable to my Father and I have to consciously choose not to do it. You asked why we pretend to shrug off what I would call conviction if we know something would not be pleasing to Him and do it anyway and be justified while we are doing it......because we are rotten to the core!:) I wonder on some things do we really even ask ourselves would this action be pleasing to Him because we know the answer in our heart and to ask would then mean we would have to act upon the answer when it would really be easier to just do it and then worry about it later.... I’m just being honest here.....I would like to put myself in the category of abstaining or at least recognizing and trying to abstain.....certainly not trying to justify, just putting myself out there daily so God can take what I have to give and use it to His intended purpose. I thank Him for taking my trash and turning it to treasure:) I would give more examples but we have to save something for later right?! :-) Goodnight!

Author: I had pretty much given up on us getting to the point I was wanting to discuss, but Reader 2 has resurrected the essence of the topic. Thank you.

It's difficult to fess up on the day to day battles, and though I'm not necessarily trying to bring out the "confess your sins to one another," aspect, I certainly welcome anybody who dares. It's so much easier to get into a debate over faith, works, grace, law then to actually talk about our walk. It's humiliating, revealing, humbling, incriminating. Our battle with principalities is no small matter.

Reader 2: I agree......I also think that is exactly how the enemy would prefer it. I mean, if we never open up to one another regarding struggles we are having because it is "humiliating, revealing, humbling, incriminating", we in a sense isolate ourselves in our struggle and open a door for more self condemnation and self doubt. Satan loves for us to think "am I the only one who has this problem?" Do I really WANT to tell you I struggle with something? No, I WANT you to think I am Super Christian and have no worries. It really comes down to a pride thing. I know that 21 years ago, if I had layed down my pride and talked with someone about my personal struggles, the battle going on in my mind, I more than likely would not have left my husband and my home, I gave the enemy a victory at that time. I know that is why it is written in Ecc4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Seriously, should we band together or what?

Reader 5: "Wow! I've been following the thread. Great discussion and insights. Way to stimulate our minds regarding the "reality" of what this life is truly all about."

Reader 1: I often deal with impatience. I think that this high-tech world has made certain things so fast, I personally don't like to wait at all anymore. Satan finds an easy way to get at me in that.I also have a huge problem with talking to people in person. I want to get to the point and get it over with. People who go on and on with idle chit chat.. I just lose interest and I stop listening. I would like to do better, but the way I do not find. I just don't know how to make myself stay in the conversation when someone is going on about something I don't care to listen to. Like when someone spends 15 minutes telling me about shopping for a cell phone. I can't make myself pay attention to that.

Reader 11: I think about this subject often. I think as someone mentioned earlier, as you learn more of God's way and he opens your mind you become more aware of the things you personally are doing that are time-wasters or 'idols' (e.g., anything that you are putting before God). Would Jesus be on Facebook? :) I sometimes spend too much time on here but mostly I just look out here to unwind. You need to have some diversions. For myself I feel that watching TV and movies is a big time waster. There are many other things I could be doing (sending cards to the sick, visiting sick people, teaching my children more about God, etc). I've often thought about eating sugar since it's a personal weakness. I know it's not healthy but eat it anyway. I don't justify it but just ignore it mostly. God says our bodies are temples to the living God. Obviously sugar is not good for you and many diseases are related to overconsumption.

I think as God works with you to open your mind to the things you are doing that are not helping you grow, you also have to pray that he give you the 'will' to change these things. I know we have freedom to choose and 'free will' but I also think praying to God and asking him to help strengthen our will (if we truly desire to change and can't seem to muster the strength on our own to change), that he will help us...

Reader 10: I think many are saying parts of the same thing. I know its not my strong suit to be able to just sit down & expressively write my thougths & opinions. Guess that's why I mainly got B's on my term papers - Oh well. I'm just saying that worrying about our shortcomings for some can be a religion. I think we have all been there a time or two. If worry is the underlying motive to search & discuss - no real growth will occur. On the other hand it can be a great benefit to discuss faults w/a beliver because it can bring awareness. Since open minds are discussing His way of life, God is pleased, & thus awareness comes from the God through His Spirit. This leads me back to my final 2 sentences in my last comment. Many of us in the past, present, & future as well worry about being the fine "Ming" pottery, but all God wants is moldable clay.*** I have to admit, writing is still easier than living it on a daily basis.

Author: On the subject of Godly and unGodly, I'm trying to prepare myself for when my kids become teens, and I'm curious as to how parents rationalize allowing their kids, or even themselves, to dress provocatively, in such a way of exposing themselves to any degree. I guess what I'm asking is cleavage Godly? Or is it just unGodly for an undesirable sort to be enticed by such? Is it because it is perceived to be socially acceptable, the cleavage that is?

I realize this gets into a cultural matter of what is socially acceptable and I ask the question, why is this acceptable? I think it’s pitiful how young girls personify people of the likes of Britney Spears or Hannah Montana. Don’t get me wrong, the men are not innocent on this matter. I mean, the world has problem enough with rampant pornography.

Reader 2: Start praying now........! The boundaries have been pushed so far back they are barely seen. To be the parent that say's no, that stands firm, that sets boundaries and keeps them is hard, because it seems like there aren't that many anymore. I think most parents rationalize because it's easier than being inconvenienced, and much less painful than being "hated" by your children. As far as cleavage being unGodly, that all just comes down to motive. If you are setting out to entice then I think you are wrong, even if it is "socially acceptable". Call me crazy......

Reader 5 to author: To your last comment, I'm totally there. My oldest is turning 16 next month. I think you will do well in your family by talking about all issues as a family - have regular discussions in front of your children about inappropriate clothing, actions, even appearances. A week at the beach is an opportunity for countless discussions! Just don't wait until they're teens - they've already developed their opinions at that point, and if they haven't heard their parents' opinions, then these opinions come from other sources. Scary, isn't it?

Reader 12: Great dialogue and thought provoking on many levels. Thanks for posting.
Author: I don't think you can talk about what is Godly/unGodly without bringing up the opinion that "grey" areas exist. In other words, speaking to a matter that we really don't have or don't want to answer to. We all remember decades ago when the churches would mandate how one should dress. Like a woman's skirt length not being above the knee. And today, well, I can’t say that there is much discretion made.

Interestingly, yesterday, I was discussing with my study group and the subject came up about distinguishing between church dress and how we would dress when one would, say, go out, maybe to a club. And the fact that there should be a distinction. I ask, should there? Is it quite hypocritical to say that we should dress more modest when going to church as opposed to dressing in such a manner as, “here I am, pick me up. “ Are we trying to live double lives here?
And back to what I allude to earlier...when a friend's daughter dresses in such a way in which her breasts are exposed, what is it that prevents someone from actually commenting, whether complimenting or expressing disapproval. I mean, and I know this is crude, but to get the point across...say it was you or me and our friend's 16 year old is revealing herself, I know it’s completely inappropriate, but really, they put themselves out there to be noticed, what prevents us from saying “nice breasts.” Well, I’ll tell you, right now, it’s because it’s not socially acceptable...yet!

It’s just unfortunate that there is an outcry about the perversion and sexual offenses while we allow our daughters to go out dressed as they do. And we wonder why these things happen.

I didn't mean to get away from the subject of "grey" areas, but wanted to ask the question here: Are "grey" areas of a moral/spiritual matter legitimate? Can they truly exist or does everything really need to be either Godly or unGodly?

Again I ask what does it mean to be unspotted from the world?

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Real Reason for Digital TV?

Ex-IBM Employee reveals TV Abandoned Analog Band to Make Room for RFID Chips

According to a former 31-year IBM employee, the highly-publicized, mandatory switch from analog to digital television is mainly being done to free up analog frequencies and make room for scanners used to read implantable RFID microchips and track people and products throughout the world.

So while the American people, especially those in Texas and other busy border states, have been inundated lately with news reports advising them to hurry and get their expensive passports, “enhanced driver’s licenses,” passport cards and other “chipped” or otherwise trackable identification devices that they are being forced to own, this digital television/RFID connection has been hidden, according to Patrick Redmond.

Redmond, a Canadian, held a variety of jobs at IBM before retiring, including working in the company’s Toronto lab from 1992 to 2007, then in sales support. He has given talks, written a book and produced a DVD on the aggressive, growing use of passive, semi-passive and active RFID chips (Radio Frequency Identification Devices) implanted in new clothing, in items such as Gillette Fusion blades, and in countless other products that become one’s personal belongings. These RFID chips, many of which are as small, or smaller, than the tip of a sharp pencil, also are embedded in all new U.S. passports, some medical cards, a growing number of credit and debit cards and so on. More than two billion of them were sold in 2007.

Whether active, semi-passive or passive, these “transponder chips,” as they’re sometimes called, can be accessed or activated with “readers” that can pick up the unique signal given off by each chip and glean information from it on the identity and whereabouts of the product or person, depending on design and circumstances, as Redmond explained in a little-publicized lecture in Canada last year. AFP just obtained a DVD of his talk.

Noted “Spychips” expert, author and radio host Katherine Albrecht told AMERICAN FREE PRESS that while she’s not totally sure whether there is a rock-solid RFID-DTV link, “The purpose of the switch [to digital] was to free up bandwidth. It’s a pretty wide band, so freeing that up creates a huge swath of frequencies.”

As is generally known, the active chips have an internal power source and antenna; these particular chips emit a constant signal. “This allows the tag to send signals back to the reader, so if I have a RFID chip on me and it has a battery, I can just send a signal to a reader wherever it is,” Redmond stated in the recent lecture, given to the Catholic patriot group known as the Pilgrims of Saint Michael, which also is known for advocating social credit, a dramatic monetary reform plan to end the practice of national governments bringing money into existence by borrowing it, with interest, from private central banks. The group’s publication The Michael Journal advocates having national governments create their own money interest-free. It also covers the RFID issue.

“The increased use of RFID chips is going to require the increased use of the UBF [UHF] spectrum,” Redmond said, hitting on his essential point that TV is going digital for a much different reason than the average person assumes, “They are going to stop using the [UHF] and VHF frequencies in 2009. Everything is going to go digital (in the U.S.). Canada is going to do the same thing.”

Explaining the unsettling crux of the matter, he continued: “The reason they are doing this is that the [UHF-VHF] analog frequencies are being used for the chips. They do not want to overload the chips with television signals, so the chips’ signals are going to be taking those [analog] frequencies. They plan to sell the frequencies to private companies and other groups who will use them to monitor the chips.”

Albrecht responded to that quote only by saying that it sounds plausible, since she knows some chips will indeed operate in the UHF-VHF ranges.

“Well over a million pets have been chipped,” Redmond said, adding that all 31,000 police officers in London have in some manner been chipped as well, much to the consternation of some who want that morning donut without being tracked. London also can link a RFID chip in a public transportation pass with the customer’s name. “Where is John Smith? Oh, he is on subway car 32,” Redmond said.

He added that chips for following automobile drivers – while the concept is being fought by several states in the U.S. which do not want nationalized, trackable driver’s licenses (Real ID ) – is apparently a slam dunk in Canada, where license plates have quietly been chipped. Such identification tags can contain work history, education, religion, ethnicity, reproductive history and much more.

Farm animals are increasingly being chipped; furthermore, “Some 800 hospitals in the U.S. are now chipping their patients; you can turn it down, but it’s available,” he said, adding: “Four hospitals in Puerto Rico have put them in the arms of Alzheimer’s patients, and it only costs about $200 per person.”

VeriChip, a major chip maker (the devices sometimes also are called Spychips) describes its product on its website: “About twice the length of a grain of rice, the device is typically implanted above the triceps area of an individual’s right arm. Once scanned at the proper frequency, the VeriChip responds with a unique 16 digit number which could be then linked with information about the user held on a database for identity verification, medical records access and other uses. The insertion procedure is performed under local anesthetic in a physician’s office and once inserted, is invisible to the naked eye. As an implanted device used for identification by a third party, it has generated controversy and debate.”

The circles will keep widening, Redmond predicts. Chipping children “to be able to protect them,” Redmond said, “is being promoted in the media.” After that, he believes it will come to: chip the military, chip welfare cheats, chip criminals, chip workers who are goofing off, chip pensioners – and then chip everyone else under whatever rationale is cited by government and highly-protected corporations that stand to make billions of dollars from this technology. Meanwhile, the concept is marketed by a corporate media that, far from being a watchdog of the surveillance state, is part of it, much like the media give free publicity to human vaccination programs without critical analysis on possible dangers and side effects of the vaccines.

“That’s the first time I have heard of it,” a Federal Communications Commission official claimed, when AFP asked him about the RFID-DTV issue on June 2. Preferring anonymity, he added: “I am not at all aware of that being a cause (of going to DTV).”

“Nigel Gilbert of the Royal Academy of Engineering said that by 2011 you should be able to go on Google and find out where someone is at anytime from chips on clothing, in cars, in cellphones and inside many people themselves,” Redmond also said.

To read Redmond’s full lecture, go to this online link:

Full Lecture – Click Here