Monthly Archives: January 2022

GETHSEMANE REFLECTIONS

There was never a moment when Jesus trusted His Father more than in Gethsemane and the hours before the cross and yet He had to ask for relief to bear the suffocating weight of a killing sorrow (Matt. 26:38; Mark 14:34-36; Luke 22:41-43) and His Father gave it to him by sending an angel to strengthen Him. (Luke 22:43). These texts need to be read several times, carefully—Jesus never asked for exemption from the cross (see Matt. 16:23-24; John 12.27; Acts 2:24-28; Matt.16:22-24; 20:22-23 ). Anyone who opposed His speaking about His going to the Cross was satanic. See how He rebuked Satan in the wilderness.
“My soul is greatly troubled; shall I ask My Father to deliver me from the cross?” He won’t hear tell of it. “I came into the world for this hour,” He said. “Do you know why My Father loves Me?” He asks and answers (John 10:17-18). “Because I freely go to the cross. I go there to lay down my life that I might take it again!” He goes there to kick Satan out (John 12:21) and condemn Satan’s ‘world’. His crucifixion was purposed before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:19-20). It’s nonsense to have Jesus ask exemption from the crucifixion! Before Gethsemane He had occasion to rebuke Peter as satanic and after He had occasion to rebuke Peter for sword-wielding. “If I just asked my Father would deliver me from being crucified,” he said. “He would do it.”

There’s no possibility that He asked to be given permission to walk away from the crucifixion. The shadow of the cross stretched all the way back to before time and the Hebrew writer said He endured the cross with its shame because of the joy laid out before Him (Heb. 12:2). Ah, yes, but He was human and He was buckling with fear. Knowing who He is and what he did and how He called on others to happily lay down their lives for Him—knowing that and then having Jesus so afraid that He didn’t want to go to death is almost obscene.
He never asked His father to keep Him from the cross but He asked for help with such a depth of sorrow and distress that He his perspiration was so profuse it was falling like heavy drops of blood though the night was cold ( John 18:18).
He knew what His nation was soon to do and the unending anguish and loss was to begin in His generation and continue until now. More than a million was soon to be crushed and His offfering Himself was the catalyst that led to its destruction. He sat and sobbed (Luke 19) over the nation annd lamented in Matthew 23 as a mother hen panics over her children when danger is on them. This unfathomable love began to affect His body and He felt like he would die and He asked His Father to help Him with it if that was possible. and He was heard. (Heb. 5:7?)

Thank you Lord God for coming to us in and as Jesus of Nazareth and bleeding for us (Acts 20:28)

To be continued, d.v.

jim mcGuiggan

GOD CANNOT LIE

“I fully accept that one reason why the world regards us as irrelevant and introverted is because of our morbid obsession with the state of the Church. Not only are we prone to judge the proximity of the Kingdom of God by our membership statistics—when we grow, it is at hand; when we are in decline, it tarries. But more seriously, we use the Church as a thermometer by which to measure the state of God’s health. To put it crudely, there are sincere church folk who appear quite convinced that should the last member of their church expire, God will disappear in a puff of purple smoke.” So said Colin Morris.

Will we ever get over that way of thinking?

Whatever we say in our pain or in our frustration about what God isn’t doing that he should be doing, or what God could do “if only we would help him”—whatever we say under those circumstances, however sensible it sounds and however understandable it is that we would say it, when we turn around in our high-strung state there stands Jesus.

The former and late atheist, Anthony Flew, remarked in his New Essays in Philosophical Theology that the entire religious question wouldn’t be worth bothering about, “if it were not for that one life lived”—he was referring to Jesus.

When the wise ones in the Enlightenment period had made up their minds to dissolve the Bible and everything in it in their critical acids Jesus stood stubbornly in their way. What were they to do with him? You simply can’t make sense of the Bible as a whole without Jesus and He won’t let you “explain” Him away in respectful speech or sideline Him with respectful nods. They shuffled off and Jesus remains—Bible and all.

The Lord Jesus not only saves people; he “saves” God. Since He is the image of the God we can’t see and the fullness of GOD is embodied in Him of you hear Him saying things like, “If you know Me you know the Father. If you see me you see the Father who sent Me.”

Say God doesn’t care about sin and then look at Jesus (Romans 3:23-25; John 2:13-17). Say God doesn’t care about people and then look at Jesus (John 3:16; Romans 8:31-32; ACTS 20:31 ). Say God is powerless in the face of corrupt powers and death-dealers and then look at Jesus (Acts 2:23; 4:24-31). Say God doesn’t keep his promises and then look at Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). Say God doesn’t know how to deal with the world and its satanic ways and then listen to Jesus (John 12:31; 16:33). Say God will grow tired of us and walk away from us and then look at Jesus (Hebrews 13:5-8).

Though I’ve had a life with comparatively little to complain about I think I know at times what it really means to be tired and down so I can guess in the right direction how it must be for people who know real trouble, day in and day out for years and with no hope for change. People for whom wise words settle nothing, whose nerves are frayed, whose spirits are close to broken and whose strength has all but ebbed completely away. They’re so troubled that even our wise and good words, kindly spoken—and they should be spoken—they don’t immediately help a lot. Sigh. But Paul spoke the right kind of truth to very anxious people: “Comfort one another with these words.”

David Livingstone knew what prolonged misery and hardship was lived much of the time on his knees and wrestling with loss, loneliness, hunger, fatigue and recurring disappointment. Faced with death and the thwarting of his purpose he wrote in his Journal one evening in January 1856, “Felt much turmoil of spirit in prospect of having all my plans for the welfare of this great region and this teeming population knocked on the head by savages tomorrow. But I read that Jesus said, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all the nations, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ It is the word of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honour, so there’s the end of it!

That man Jesus doesn’t lie and He is God revealing Himself.So you, poor bruised soul, where does that leave you? If there is to be no change for you right now, trust HIM there’s a new world coming.
jmcg

HEAD COVERINGS & SHORT HAIR (2)

It was once believed that there was a serious problem facing the Corinthian church and that Paul addressed it in 1 Cor. 11:2-16. Now some scholars carried away by a ‘Liberation’ tide assure us the problem was not the Corinthian Church—the problem was PAUL!  

“How can you believe him,” one unbeliever said, “even the scholars that make a living teaching him don’t believe him!”  That’s an old and powerful argument that is successful with many people. See John 7:47-49.

The writer of 1 Corinthians 11

The writer of 1 Cor. 11 is Paul: the divinely chosen witness of and for the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus. He was personally chosen by the glorified Lord Jesus to be His teacher to the nations of the world to deliver them from the darkness of error and Satan and bring them into the light of life and forgiveness and hope (Acts 9, 22 & 26).
                 He is the one who established the Corinthian assembly and taught them for eighteen months (Acts 18) and knew all about what was going on at Corinth while modern students continue to work to know what he knew. He is the man who was taken up into heaven and shown things too wonderful to tell or things he was not permitted to tell (2 Cor:12). He was the chosen one who established congregations all over the Greco-Roman world, working miracles everywhere he went and in doing that vindicating his apostleship (2 Cor. 12:12) before those who spent a while reading his writings in schools of learning before publicly undermining his Spirit-superintended truth by pronouncing him “wrong, wrong” about sexual orientation, slavery and women!

He was he man who said, “If anyone thinks himself to be a ‘scholar’ or spiritual let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord (Jesus.) But if anyone is ignorant let him be ignorant.”  1 Cor. 14:37-38.

This was the Paul who could have pulled off his shirt and showed the whipping ‘brand marks’ that said he was a genuine and devoted servant of Jesus Christ who wouldn’t buckle under the theological and political power of an evil society and culture. He was the Spokesman of God who suffered humiliation and pain arranged by those who sat in comfortable conferences and synagogues studying and working up ‘the courage’ to undermine his authority and influence with believers and non-believers. (See Gal 6:17; 2 Cor. 6 & 11.)

Such people were afraid of losing their Church numbers (John 11:45-50) but the shrewder ones were afraid of their national Church being completely destroyed and their losing their exalted status so under pressure they “came out” and showed themselves. This kind of people, ‘religious politicians’ weren’t as much troubled by miracles as they were about preaching, speech, talk. They tried to beat the Church into silence. Note this especially in Acts 3–5). To get popular backing the scholars did to Paul’s Lord what was done to Paul then and now. They told lies about Him, accused Him of being a drunk, an  enemy of the True God, a false-teaching Samaritan and such.

It isn’t ‘convenient’ now to say evil things about Jesus but you can gouge the special servant that the glorified Jesus chose and empowered. Paul’s critics tell lies about him. They search (and search) for ‘suitable’ texts that can allow them to say he is a misogynist—woman hater. They call him a “half-liberated legalist (Samuel Terrien an influential professor of Brueggemann). But they don’t stop there—unable to explain away the obvious meaning of scriptures Paul used—boldly and in a flood they attack the Holy Scriptures. From there the GOD presented in Holy Scripture comes under attack. It still hasn’t dawned on a number of the ‘enlightened’ that if we attack the Holy Scriptures we’re attacking Jesus who read, used in His teaching and obeyed the same Holy Scriptures we read today and if we reject or malign the God of the OT that we are rejecting and maligning the God that Jesus revealed, loved, and trusted even as He died; the God He called His Father and His God (John 20:17).

One of Paul’s daily burdens was his worry about the churches he established (2 Cor. 11:28 and read carefully 1 Thess. 2:13—3:14.) In writing to Corinth and Ephesus (see 1 Timothy)  where he spent three years (Acts 19) he was writing to two cities super-saturated with gods and goddesses. In liberating these new churches in those two cities from idolatry and the goddesses he sends them both to the same Genesis section which shows how glorious womankind is as GOD’s creation; a section that shows how they were being robbed by the lies of the ‘god of this world’ (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 4; John 8), the prince of demons and the true father of of all the gods including Isis, Aphrodite and Diana (Artemis)—‘mother goddesses’ of Corinth & Ephesus.

If there was ever an age when we men and women needed to be delivered from the worship of the gods and goddesses this one needs deliverance from Mars/Ares, Bacchus/Dionysus, Isis and Aphrodite+++  

God enabling I will work with the text of 1 Cor. 11:2-16.

jim mcguiggan

I AM LAZARUS

For my purpose I’m making use of the second stanza of G.K. Chesterton’s poem THE CONVERT. Chesterton had in mind his conversion from atheism to faith in God.

To my mind the poem creates the picture of a man who is enjoying a pleasant evening walk and comes across a group of wise men, experienced in life and serious in their conversation. They’re discussing the possibility not only of life after death but the possibility of resurrection from death to renewed life. The walker stops and listens intently to the various arguments made by these wise men. By and by they reach a consensus: there is no life after death and there is no possibility of resurrection from the dead. Their arguments prove it with mathematical certainty. The walker smiles, thanks the sages for allowing him to listen in and moves on saying to himself:

 The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.


And that of course leads me to imagine a group of Sadducees proving to one another with mathematical precision and logic that there is no life after death and certainly no resurrection much less resurrection to immortality. And wouldn’t you know who (incognito) is out for a pleasant evening walk and walks off smiling.

Be ready always with an ‘Answer’ 1 Peter 1:3-5; 3:15
“There’s nothing more stubborn than a fact.”

jim mcguiggan

A BAG OF CHEMICALS MEETS JENNIFER

A critic of Jesus Christ, the Man in and through and as God has revealed Himself to humankind says to Jennifer, a Christian woman who is wrestling with a fierce cancer, “So what’s your explanation of this; How do you explain this cancer experience if God loves you?”
“I don’t explain it,” she said with a steady gaze at her well-educated critic, “I don’t feel the need to ‘explain’ it so I don’t attempt it. In any case people like you are never satisfied with an explanation. Next there’s your: ‘But what about ..’ “You ask an endless string of questions. There’s no end.”

“So you don’t have an answer for this awful pain you and countless others endure?”

“You don’t listen well, do you,” Jennifer a Christian woman said. “I didn’t say I didn’t have an answer. I have an answer. I didn’t even say I have no ‘explanation’. I said I didn’t feel the need to ‘explain’ so I don’t waste my time ‘explaining,’ to an uncaring enemy who would have no time for an ‘explanation’ even if I offered one.”

“I’m not your enemy and I do care for you.” the well-educated man began to say before she interrupted him. “Of course you are my enemy! I have more respect for Hitchens who insisted he was an enemy of believers in Jesus Christ. You can’t take my life from me but you would take from me what gives my living meaning and inner assurance and peace. You would do it to me and countless others; to the young and old, the living and the dying, the bereaved and those who have just begun to build a life of love together in marriage that will produce much-loved children. You  deny justice to multiplied millions in generations gone who died in misery beyond belief at the hands of depraved and heartless tryrants.” You say there’s no justice for them.

“I’m not your enemy and I do care. I’m just offering you truth.”

And why would I believe you? Why would I believe you are a lover of truth? What if I believe you adore yourself as a bold thinker who while you might use ‘logic’ well at times your aim is to gain a name for yourself? I might believe it isn’t truth you love but what ‘truth’ (knowledge) might gain for you—a reputation and praise. Why would I think you are a lover of truth when you openly make yourself an enemy of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who was and is the embodiment of Truth?”

“Well, so you don’t have an answer for why God allows you to suffer this way if he loves you.”

She had some difficulty breathing but no difficulty believing in God and so she said, “Listen to yourself; you ‘truly’ care for me but when you’re in the right company you sneer and jeer at what I have believed and lived by all my life; you sneer and jeer at what has given me strength and peace through many difficult times and losses and you gloat at how you can ask questions that silence Christians or at least make them fumble for adequate responses to your brilliant logic. You do all this and more to me and a numberless host but you ‘truly care’ for me.”
The enemy said, “But surely it’s better to accept truth than nonsense or at least ‘unprovable’ stories and dogmas.”

“You mean it’s better to accept your ‘truth’ though it ends with: ‘All is pointless. Humans exist as a result of chance and they must accept the ‘truth’ that humankind will perish as pointlessly as they appeared. They are each a bag of reacting bio-chemicals whose ‘highest thoughts are nothing but chemical reactions’ (Weinberg, Wolf Singer, pathetic Sam Harris and co.). That’s the ‘truth’ you say humankind would be better with?”

The enemy sighed and rose to end the meeting, “I’ve been totally insensitive; I’ve taken advantage of you in your illness, expecting you to be able to give me an answer under the circumstances and off the cuff. I need to go, I have a lecture to deliver at an acclaimed academic gathering.”

Jennifer, a Christian woman, managed something of a chuckle and said, “You really are ignorant aren’t you despite your education! You think you have taken me unprepared for people like you? People like you have been jeering and sneering at us for two thousand years and one of our brothers, Peter, speaking by the Spirit of Christ, said, “Always be ready to give an answer to those that ask you a reason for the hope that is in you in Jesus Christ…”
People like me have been ready to deal with enemies like you from the beginning. Everything you people say ends up wrecked on the Rock that we know to be Jesus of Nazareth, the now resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Big-hitters’ like you asked Peter questions about the truth (Acts 4:1-13) and while a once-crippled ‘Bo Jangles’ danced in the temple, they gave an answer that was: “the risen Jesus Christ.”
Often we waste our time trying to show you that your ‘truths’ are shallow as well as illogical and self-contradictory. But in our wisest and happiest moments, together we reflect on Him and hope in Him. Our answer, in the end, can be summarized with Paul’s, “Now is Jesus Christ Risen!” or with Peter’s’, “You slew Jesus but God raised Him from the dead…because it  was not possible for Death to hold Him.”
And to his fellow-believers he said: “You have been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, reserved in  heaven for you…”

I don’t know why we spend time speaking one to another about all this. Your ‘truth’ is: we are just two bags of bio-chemicals. So, off you go now and parrot words you learned from those before you who parroted words they heard from those before them who  parroted words…….sigh.

We credit you as more than you call yourselves but at best you’re an ‘amateur’ as the firm believer GB Caird remarked. Everyone is an amateur.

But you! Your faith is that you are a bag of mindless reacting and chemicals yet you strut as if you weren’t. You’re not a ‘thinker’—your faith is, “I am a bag of reacting chemicals.” ‘Thought’ is nothing but a chemical reaction. There is no “I” that thinks—there is only a chemical reaction that reacting chemicals call “thinking”. So go to your acclaimed Academic meeting and ‘react’ there the chemical reaction that other chemical reactions trigger in you.

Our answer to you when we have the good sense and time to talk to you is one name: JESUS OF NAZARETH! ‘Explain or react that truth truthfully to yourself.”

JimMcGuiggan Jennifer the Apologist

EVE SAID, “HE’S A LYING RASCAL.”

A woman is not a man’s idea! A woman is not a woman’s idea! A woman is God’s idea! Unless a man agrees with God about a woman, he is wrong about a woman! Unless a woman agrees with God about a woman she is wrong about a woman. Unless society agrees with God about a woman it is wrong about a woman. Unless the CHURCH agrees with God about a woman it is wrong about a woman.

God created out of love (Psalm 136) and though the first phase of His creative work was material (universe) and mortal (humankind) that was only the first phase of His completed purpose. “Before time began,” that is, before God created time as part of the material universe he purposed ‘eternal life’—immortal and incorruptible humans (Titus 1:2) . 
God created all things in, by and unto (for) Jesus Christ. (Col. 1:15). Humans as mortals were not His ‘end game.’ Glorified, immortal and incorruptible humans reigning over a glorified creation as God’s companions was the purpose of The Living God in whom alone is  immortality (1 Tim. 6::13-16). In and as the mortal, resurrected and glorified Jesus of Nazareth God revealed Himself and His creation purpose for the ‘new creation humans. Jesus modeled it all.

The first mortal pair, male AND female, the parents of mortal humankind were created male & female to be the image of God and have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1) but stupidly and sinfully we grasped to be God or His rival and created a cosmic wreck (Genesis 3).
Jesus of Nazareth, the man God is being was (and is) the true image of God. God created Him from a woman and not a man and a woman—just a woman (Luke 1:26-35; Gal. 4:4; “made” of a woman” rather than “born” of a woman.”) This is precisely in contrast with Gen. 2 where the woman was made from the man so that the two were one flesh (Matt. 19:4). In the man Jesus who is now the glorified Lord of all we have a new creation, a new image of God and in Him in a day of God’s appointing, dominion will come to all humankind embraced in God’s redeeming work. The dominion that humankind rejected by spurning GOD and welcoming evil into human experience and did not gain and still don’t have (Heb. 2:5-8) is to be regained in Jesus Christ who for a while was made lower than angels (that is, a mortal human—see Psalm 8:5) so He could to die with and from and for humanity. We see HIM (Heb. 2:9). He who in Himself represents the embodiment of glorified male and female!

Those believers who insist that women are degraded if they aren’t permitted to exercise some places of ‘authority’ (a now despised word) in Christian general assemblies) have folded under the pressure of a truly strident feminism and robbing themselves of the true glory of womankind that the Creator and Redeemer has given them in the Lord Jesus, even now.
“I will be truly honored and acknowledged as glorious if I am permitted to speak at a general assembly now and then and seen as a man’s equal in every way by being allowed to do all that a male can do.” Sigh. Schussler Fiorenza doesn’t want ‘permission’ or ‘agreement’—she wants a woman’s ‘world’ and a woman’s ‘Church.’ She says so!

When a woman does not accept her already existing glory as woman it’s only because she has been conned as was Eve. “You are being robbed of glory. If you only knew more you’d go for more and more.” The great news about Eve was, with just a few words with God she immediately turned on the Satan and denounced him for the liar that he was and is (John 8:44).

To be continued, d.v.

Jim mcguiggan

HAIR CUTS & HEAD-COVERINGS

All around us women are marrying women, men are marrying men and for social reasons both are swapping genders and blind senseless (and some of them heartless) parents are doing it to children. By and by a citizen in a democracy will be given the ‘legal’ right to marry their son or daughter or father or mother or sister or brother (the ancients did it).

Ben Guertzel, (a leading light in strong A1 and the robotics business) said that before long we will have to allow humans the legal right to become machines if they choose to. I don’t doubt that before long someone will sue for the legal right to marry his/her pet. What’s to stop them?

All that and Paul takes half a chapter in 1 Cor. 11 to talk about men’s hair length and women’s head coverings?

You think that’s what he was talking about?

Some nuance that and tell us he is teaching women to wear a covering and men to shorten their hair to keep from offending the social habits of Corinth.

The social habits of CORINTH? Of Sin City where gods and goddesses (Aphrodite & Isis ++) were celebrated in stage- plays and worshiped up on the ROCK? And children in school were taught history via mythological stories about Tantalus and Sisyphus?

 CORINTH? where Church members were lying with temple prostitutes and sniggering at open and crass immorality by their members (1 Cor. 5 & 6 & 10)? All that and Paul is saying women should wear a head covering when leading in prayer or prophesying, and men should shorten their hair to keep from socially offending?

That’s his point and that’s why he argues from Genesis about the way God created humankind and what that means?

That’s why he opens the entire section with 11:1-2?

(To be continued, D.V.

jimmcguiggan

GROANING, LONGING, GROANING

I’m not trying to impress non-believers. Nor am I interested in criticizing non-believers. I mean to speak to believers who take the Holy Bible to be truth about God that comes to an unending climax in the ‘Word of God’—Jesus of Nazareth, the now glorified Lord of all who currently chooses to rule in the midst of His enemies until the Day He rights all wrongs when He judges the world in righteousness. I’m as sure about that as I am that GOD raised Him from the dead to immortality and has appointed Him to be Judge of all (Acts 17:31.

In regard to human capacity for and the practice of heartless vicious cruelty and injustice no book is more realistic than the Holy Bible. When it speaks of that it speaks of it as SIN. (Note what sly David thought about his adultery, his murder of Uriah and all the troops under him and his heartless response when he was told the job was done (2 Sam. 11:25) . Later, convicted by a truth-teller his ungodly behavior haunted him and in prayer to God he said, “Against you and you only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight,” (Psalm 51:4).

Understandably, sensitive non-believers may well think  that is a profound insult to Uriah, one of David’s acclaimed and loyal military leaders (2 Sam. 23:8, 39). Some believers feel the same way. The entire Psalm needs to be read to sense David’s change of attitude. Understand! David was no, Joseph or Jeremiah and he was certainly no Jesus Christ!

But He wasn’t insulting Uriah when he said what he said in 51:4. He could find no other fitting description of his abominable evil than to make it a personal sin against GOD alone. “I must have been born evil and destined to behave like that,” he said (51:5). Nothing less than that could explain it—all other excuses—they couldn’t come near. How deep can we humans sink? How deep did we sink when we screamed, “Crucify him!”?

Christians in their right minds don’t make less of Dachau, the Gulag, the rape of Nanking when they speak of the horror of the legal murder of Jesus Christ. They’re making more of those hellholes and satanic behavior that every nation justifies. It isn’t the amount or nature of physical suffering that we handed out at Golgotha to the young prophet. He never claimed it was nor did any of His witnesses or divinely appointed teachers. It was WHO we did it to. We laid hands on God and broke His heart, made Him sob and made Him bleed (Acts 20:28; Luke 19:41-44). Christians call their evil  behavior SIN because anything less than bringing GOD into the picture is  too little. They don’t deny what Auschwitz was; they say it is more! Worse! They say it was worlds in Collision and it is satanic and demonic—it is gods against GOD and His created children (John 3:16-17). It is what ‘blind’ Nietzsche saw in his more lucid moments—we unloosed our earth from the ‘Sun’ and we just continue to spin deeper and deeper into ‘night,’ a darkness we can’t fathom and a freezing cold there is no deliverance from.

For all their realism the Holy Scriptures have no despondent tone. In Romans 8 the creation groans waiting for its deliverance from its inability to be what God made it for. It will not be jettisoned but glorified, made more wondrous than it was before. Those in the Lord Jesus Christ groan as they wait for their full redemption from mortality to glory and immortality and the Spirit of God assures them that in their groans for a better, lovelier, purer mode of being He approves of that longing for it is indeed His work within them that leads them to groan and long rather than to be content with less than the  glory, adventure, mystery, joy and unending LIFE as God’s companions. (Titus 1:2)

The creation, groans;
the People of God of all the ages groan:
The Spirit of God— all groan
All like a woman in great pain, ready to give birth to new life!
AND LOOK!  Look how Paul ends chapter 8!  31-39

Holy Father help us your People to bear in mind a wise and challenging observation that “The Church can repent but it must not whimper.” In the Lord and Savior’s name we pray,

Jim mcguiggan

JESUS CHRIST & EVERLASTING & CEASELESS TORTURE

A mouse showed up in my basement. I chased it but…

I got some traps, set them down. No luck. I was moving stuff out from under the sink and found a trap I didn’t know was there. It was set by a vermin man many months earlier. It was one of those black sticky ones. And there lay the poor wee thing, dead on it; a slow traumatic death. Maybe they can’t reason but they can suffer and I attribute to the little creature the panic I judge it must have felt and it’ll be a while before I can like what I see in the mirror.

I don’t live where such creatures are a threat to me and I have no criticism for those who must deal with them as disease carriers. It’s the world we live in and we must deal with threats of this kind for many good reasons. Finish this off for me so I can move on without further discussion of it.

The sight of the mouse with its limbs outstretched to the limits, striving for freedom, and now the memory of it, still troubles me. If you were to write and criticize me for having the trap I won’t complain. Currently I feel I deserve all the criticism I’d get. Later I’m sure I’ll calm down and reason my way to my “freedom” but I’ll have to say it hasn’t arrived yet.
But the incident has led me to think about the doctrine of everlasting, conscious and ceaseless torment inflicted by God on unrepentant sinners (a doctrine I cannot and therefore do not hold).

There are kind, generous and deeply religious people who fervently believe that God is going to everlastingly and ceaselessly torture human beings. These are not insensitive people; they hurt, and weep over people in far-off lands who go on hurting day after day without hope of change. They sometimes sob over people that live much nearer; people born in stinking tenement buildings, vermin infested, oppressed, unemployed and often unemployable. Many of these sincere believers are kind even to their enemies and they do them good. And yet they believe that God will everlastingly and ceaselessly torture humans and they believe it because preachers and writers teach them that this is what God has said He will do; the God and Father of Jesus Christ is the kind of God that would do such a thing? And Jesus is such a Person as would approve of His beloved Father doing it and doing it in Jesus’ presence; this endless torment will go on in Jesus’ presence? (Revelation 14:10-11 is used to prove the doctrine). Sigh.

These sensitive and kind people see the brutal and unrepentant torturers of fellow-humans and are horrified and then believe that God will keep humans alive forever so He can ceaselessly do to them what vicious and heartless troops in war did to their enemies; the kind of thing that horrifies us even to watch in a documentary. Jesus approved of that by His Holy Father? Jesus, the One who said, “When you see Me you see Him”? Jesus, the Man in whom God was revealing Himself approves of that?—what does this say about that Jesus? Jesus, the One who died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2)?

This the teachers say He will do even to multiplied millions who’ve never heard and will never hear anything about God and His glorious Son, Jesus Christ. They will only come to know this loving Father and His loving Son on that day when He consigns and subjects them to endless and unceasing conscious torment because they sinned? Sigh. Don’t be afraid to doubt such teaching!

All who knowingly and unrepentantly choose Death in knowingly rejecting the Savior who says, “I am…LIFE “ they get what they insist on having: They die never to live again  and so they miss the LIFE that they could have.

I’ve been reminded more than once “but they won’t know it, they won’t suffer missing it if they are forever dead.” That’s true; but it is still true that they miss the glory, the joy, the adventure, the mystery, the fellowship in a ‘new world’ with the experience of everlasting peace and love of righteousness in a new mode of being in which humans can be God’s companions forever. “I won’t miss any of it,” is already ‘death’ and love of profound darkness and that qualifies us for unending loss. God’s inexpressible gift is there to be missed. Godless and ungodly wretches who feed on the lives of others, who despise life, they earn Death. All who unrepentantly reject God and His offer of life experience everlasting destruction (compare 2 Thess. 1:8-9) in that day when God judges the world in fairness (righteousness) through Jesus Christ, the Man God raised from the dead): Acts 17:31.

I wonder if it is significant that I (we) can feel pity for a little mouse’s passing anguish but can live easily with the doctrine of ceaseless and everlasting torture of sinful humans who were once born innocent babies. But more pointedly: Can we really believe and love and commit to a Jesus who adores and serves a God who will forever and ceaselessly torture humans? Better by far to love and commit to the Jesus who says, “Father forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” And this, while He is dying for them.


Write me if you wish:   email: holywoodjk@aol.com