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Paradigm change…..

Paradigm is a word that I always say is one of my favorite words to use, mainly because it is event changer! lol

I use this word for alot my illustrations in biblical senses and also in just real life occurrences. This blog I hope gets you thinking about the subject of “Paradigms”, in mainly the subject of what it actually is, and then also of if you see ‘it’ in the scriptures of the Bible.

I read alot. When I read a book that is telling a story of say a historical narrative, there are always ebbs and flows of that historical story, especially of a long one. Sometimes in the story there is a ‘Major’, or ‘surprising’, or ‘unsuspecting’ occurrence that you would of never seen coming. It is this ‘thing’ that We will be talking about.

Let’s start with what I consider the obvious one of ‘different’ boundaries in objectives that are set out for us. This one, I am talking about is the differences we see in the bible, in that, it is divided into two parts, The Old testament, and the New Testament, It is here that I believe that it is the source of misunderstanding of what it is all about. The old testament, is a story of a people under a covenant to God, The New Testament is a story about a new covenant to ‘all people’. (Note-using ‘testament’ and ‘covenant’, is key to ‘hearing’ the right story in the bible. These two words mean different things, they are not interchangeable. We must use ‘covenant’ to ‘see’ the story right.)

The old covenant had boundaries, They were for the people of Israel, they had laws to abide with, their identity was shown in their ‘eating preferences’ and of the males being circumcised, and They kept Saturday as their ‘Holy’ day of God. This covenant was the description, the identity, the sign that they were of God’s people. Upon seeing an Israelite in the market shopping for food, and their selections did not include pork and sea crustaceans, meant that they were of Jewish belief. If you did not any of your friends on friday eve, meant that they were celebrating their ‘sabbath’ in worship. It was these things that were identity markers of the Israelites in that day.

Let’s now identify the New Covenant’s identifiers. Now first I am going to show the ones that are being used in our christianity model that is prevalent today. I will then suggest something different, and righteous. Let me just start out by saying this is sorta foggy from an outside perspective looking in, but let’s give it a try. I would like to start from the street angle first. I am not sure we can ‘identify’ a ‘christian’ (as opposed to an Israelite of the old covenant) it seems that the ‘christian’ has blended in with the rest of the crowd to as they were led to believe that if I mingled with them, I would be able to ‘be’ at their level and to talk to them about ‘Jesus’ and lead them to salvation. This is a problem. But there are a few that you can tel with mannerisms or subtle talking that can deduce a ‘difference’ from the normal society. There are no markings on a ‘christian’ to distinguish that they are one. They have no selective eating habits so to speak, unless it is one of preferences. The one that is still used for identity, is the one that they ‘see’ as Holy is the ‘Day of Sunday’ as God’s Day for worship.

Standing at a street corner and looking to identifying a ‘christian’ now is very hard. Unless it is a Sunday and you are standing on the church corner.

God chose identity markers for the Israelites for a special reason. Because they stood out, they ‘were’ different to other people’s eyes and ears.

It is still relevant for the ‘New Covenant’. Our current model is not of God’s identity markers. It is of ours.

God chose one identity, It was the “Holy Spirit”, this then would be producing the Love of God, and Love to others.

Let’s look at this and why.

The Promise of the Spirit

           28      “It will come about after this
     That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
     And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
     Your old men will dream dreams,
     Your young men will see visions.
           29      “Even on the male and female servants
     I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The Day of the LORD

           30      “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
     Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
           31      “The sun will be turned into darkness
     And the moon into blood
     Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
           32      “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
     Will be delivered;
     For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
     There will be those who escape,
     As the LORD has said,
     Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Joe 2:28–32.

Now, if we were walking down the street of downtown ______________, You would be astounded at these people who were filled with the Holy Spirit and their wonders and ‘Life’ that they had of their God. Their ‘identity markers’ were not of a physical or action of the flesh but one that was coming from inside their being showing what their God is!

Maybe we should rethink the Paradigm that we ‘think’ is supposed to identify us to the world, and just let the Holy Spirit of the Lord do the talking for Us!

So, What do you say? Ready for a Paradigm shift!!

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Deeper Understanding

As always, it is when you are studying the scriptures in a more in depth kinda way, you ‘see’ things that want you to say “I hadn’t thought about that,before”! Or it could of been the tenth time you read a certain passage and seen something that you hadn’t thought about before.

It is this thought that I have come across some things in the deeper reading of the book of Galatians, thru the new commentary by N.T. Wright. Now, any book by Wright is usually a page turner of wealth of ‘deeper understanding’, but It was when I thought of both sides of the coin of a subject of ‘two shall become one’ in the commentary of Galatians, with the confrontation of Paul and Peter at Antioch over the subject of circumcision of the gentiles to become christians(ala, first a jew in it’s identity of jew before being a christian)

The subject has always been about what must the gentile do to become the ‘christian’, this is also the storyline of christianity in today’s church’s and theology. But I being the inquisitive type, asked my self why was there not much discussion on what it was to do for the Jewish person to become the said ‘christian’. When I thought about this for a moment, my thought was, What is good for goose is good for the gander, right? If the gentile was to be freeing its self from all god’s,freeing itself from all ritual ceremonies, that are not of the God of Abraham, then so to must the Jewish community!

But what does that entail? It comes down to the big three. It is food laws,circumcision, and the Sabbath laws. Now, All three of these are biggie’s in the Jewish laws. It was the circumcision law of set the mark of the Jewish community of the men in their communities. This was the big discussion that Paul and Peter were setting the formalities of the ‘new life’, this was settled with Paul’s chastising Peter in the confrontation. The food laws were also a discussion between them when Peter steps away from the table with his friends of gentile friendship. This was a big no-no for Paul when the whole argument was that the two groups will become one, and separate when it comes to eating with each other.

It is when we get to the third one that is really dicey. You see I haven’t seen or read anything explicit or implicit that says anything about the sabbath laws. It is this that I wish to step out on a limb, and put a couple of things together to say in for arguments sake, is the answer. My bold statement is one that I believe that has prolonged the start of the ‘New Creation’, but God, in his due time will start the motion for this, and that until the Jewish community and the Nation of Israel realize that God’s place of residence is not in the temple, but in his ‘all’ his people on earth gentiles and for the true realization of His people of the old covenant, the Jewish Nation.

Their are two key verses in the scriptures(there are more that point to this conclusion) that I will use as references and they are the following:

It is with the three things of the Old covenant, that defined the people of God is now defined as three very distinctive new ways. God is All in All, He is in all of His creation, and He is Lord,King,Creator, and God of All!

Matthew 12:6 and Romans 8: 10,11 both of these are key to realizing that the ways of the old covenant are improved into the new covenant that is salvation, and righteous loaded and ‘Life’ giving to all of God’s people, Jews and Gentiles!

Hallelujah!!

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Wisdom

I am frustrated.

I am frustrated in that ‘christians’ have not disciplined themselves to ‘search’ the scriptures for they point towards God.

I am a very inquisitive in alot of things pertaining to Theology, The Study of God. With that criteria in my belt, I watch alot of debates across alot of subjects of God,church, and theology. I have recently watched and listened to two debaters and their expertise knowledge of the bible and its words. The knowledge of the scriptures is there in the commentary of the debaters, This speaks admirably for the knowledge of the word. But it is the Wisdom of the Knowledge of the Word that is most important.

I am going to reiterate ‘my message‘ concerning this subject of wisdom of God in the scriptures. So please bear with me. Unlike an ‘Oreo’ cookie the best ‘stuff’ is not in the middle of the bible! It is on the outside(the cookie, itself) that actually is where the Best is, or where the meat is!

I, For to long have heard the ‘messages’ from the pulpit, tv, on the corner, and internet all about the issues in the middle of the cookie, this has not gotten us very far in knowing God and His Purpose. Lord knows the speakers have had alot of weekly admonishments to hand out to everyone week after week. It seems that also that they have used alot of those weekly speeches hundreds of times on the same topic over and over and always spoken to the ‘choir’ to hear. Why?

It seems that the middle is all about the ‘bad’ of mankind, over and over again. Telling us, showing us, and giving us examples of where either ten generations back or just last week we failed to live up to our ‘ideal’ self according to the ‘word’. It’s like reliving a bad dream over and over again, every week.

It’s like ‘they’ or ‘us’ or both are in a rut! I wonder why? “The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results,” Its no wonder ‘Christianity’ is at a standstill with no end in sight!

What ‘Christianity’ should do, is “EAT” the cookie on the outside!!

The ‘cookie’ which in this instance is Genesis 1-2, and Revelation 21-22 and ‘see’ and ‘hear’ what God design for Man was, and just ‘BE’ it!! after all this is what He is wanting for Man. Genesis, was and is the ‘beginning’ of His Eternal Purpose for Us! Well, I wonder what it would look like if it was to continue on from Genesis 2 had, you know what happened?

Revelation 21-22 is the Last scene in the story of God, that ends with the greatest crescendo of a story you have ever read or heard! It is the culmination of everything working together as a Great orchestra of all time put together and performed for all the world to hear.

It is when God is Totally,Absolutely,Irreconcilable, King of Kings, Lord of All, God of All, and We are in Him!

If we only could ‘See’ and ‘Hear’ that in the scriptures?

Oh, Yeah, We can. Take out the bible, dust it off and read Genesis 1-2, The Start of God’s Garden.

Now, Read Revelation 21-22, The Garden in all it’s Glory, God and Man, together again!

Can I get an AMEN!!

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It has to start somewhere

Working in retail most of my life, I feel that I can say these things in great assuredness that I have seen very little of the christian’s ‘mark of proof’ that they have instilled in their ownership.

Let me expound on this. It is the little things. Christians are everywhere(I hope), but I cannot ‘see’ them because they look and act just like everyone else in the world.

You see, it’s the little things that should be noticeable in their daily lives that should let them stand out in crowds or just in their everyday lives, that make them different. It should be that time in the store that some older lady is having problems picking up a box of food, and can’t quite pick it up and out of nowhere a man comes up to pick it up for her and puts it in her basket. It could be a time when some friends are talking about their home projects that they are starting and bob says that he has a big job of putting in new cabinets in his kitchen and it is a two man job, and without hesitation all the friends come to his aid the next day to his house.

It is that mentality of it’s not about me, but it’s everyone around me that matters. I struggle when I work, that I have a particlure job description, as does everyone else, but it seems that we as humans see ‘us’, me,and you as the only ones that can do it. No, everyone can do the kindness, the my needs can wait, lets work on your needs first. It is this unselfish ‘nature’ of a christian that should be ‘lighting up’ this world as it says in the scriptures, for christians are to be ‘different’ to stand out, to be called out to be different. But are we? Why not?

Is it because we don’t know what it is, or how it’s done? Is it because we do know, but we never do it, out side of our comfort zone? Is it just to be used in that institutional place that we go every week? Why not? Do we really know how to be different? Are you different? Are God’s people different? These questions need to be relooked at in our lives, but mainly in the christianity’s mission of who we are. What God designed us to be, and are we the image of that design?

In the end we must revisit what God’s people were designed to ‘be’ and why. Christianity has strayed from it’s vocation that God gave them in the beginning. It hasn’t changed. Even tho, there was a little hiccup along the way, It is still the same. Start with Genesis 1 and 2. Then look at Rev. 21 and 22, that is what it looks like when completed.

It starts with the little things.

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How do you,Read?

For those that take reading the bible seriously, I mean in a more serious bible study of your own, in what lens do you read from? ( You won’t see this at church)

For most people that are serious in real bible study will come from usually come from either from their upbringing traditions, which is reading the scriptures from an all ready theology mindset, and when the word is read it will ‘fit’ their story.

This mindset has been in effect for quite awhile in the christian main stream, which will give it its own direction and outcome. I would unpack this scenario now but this is not the road for today.

Where as the road today is pointing to the road less traveled is the one of the critical Historic method of which the storyline is kept in context of history, and using the social, personal, and historical truth describe the origins of ancient texts in order to understand  ‘the world behind the text’.

This method ‘critical historical method’ is one that is being used more aggressively it seems the last thirty to forty years in the educational realm, which has brought about some new and different light to the scriptures. In my opinion it is the more truest form of extracting the ‘message’ of the scriptures. In the way of ‘theological methodology’ the scriptures are skewed because you are being biased in your reading and mindset. It is only because you are set in your ways of ‘seeing’ the bible or that it is thought to be the only way to read it, or it was the way that your church sees it.

It is a safe way to start from scratch with out any preconceived notions on anything and just take the text for what meant to the person,persons or people on a social understanding to stay within the context of the story. Go deeper into God’s people, who they were,why they were chosen, what were they to do? This will get you on a good path of God’s storyline for ‘His Chosen People’!!

 

 

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