Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

Archive for the ‘restoration’ Category

Who’s the Liberal?

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Hear O Israel, the LORD thy God, the LORD is one, and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy mind. The second is like unto it, that thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets.

It has been said that if a young man is not a Liberal he has no heart, and if when he is older he is not a Conservative he has no mind. In the Church we may have the opposite trend.

The young Christian finds it easy to believe the most hidebound dogma from whatever the tradition he finds himself. A Brethren convert will most adamantly support that group’s teachings, and a Pentecostal theirs. Their Bible was delivered from God in just that form, leather binding and all.

As time passes, young Christian hears and reads a lot of differing opinions: The Bible is a contradictory collection of outmoded tribal traditions and priestly forgeries. Jesus learned His teachings from Indian Buddhists. All roads lead to God, however you imagine “God” to be. Sometimes young Christian believes that claptrap, and falls into all kinds of despair, even enlisting to spread that claptrap to others out of anger at being told that simplistic first story to begin with.

So who, really, is at fault here, and what can be done to change things? The first culprit, of course, is the one who started the first dogma. Does God demand Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 17 October, 2008 at 13:13

Curing Apostasy

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There is a major problem in the Church today. Whether we are talking about the Roman Catholic, United Methodist, or Independent Baptist, Free Presbyterian, or the various Brethren churches, there is a problem that is costing the Kingdom countless lives every day; and the greater the problem grows the smaller it gets in the eyes of the leadership. Sadly, this is not even a contradiction.

Looking at a website a few minutes ago, there was a mention of praying for American bishops who had yet to come to faith in Jesus Christ. The sad news is that there likely are some. The sadder news is that they are probably quite few. Why is this sad? It’s an old truism that a convert to Liberal Christianity is a rare bird to find. Liberalism just does not have a lot to offer that the average sinner does not already have. Freedom to sin? Why even call it sin? A broad range of opinions? Go to any pub, flower club, or lodge! Tight camaraderie? Stop by your local Kiwanis, Rotary, or motorcycle club and get all you can handle! So why would an unbeliever want to convert from agnostic to skeptic? Liberal Christians, especially the clergy, are seldom “made,” but far more often unmade. Talk with, say, an Episcopal priest about how he or she came to enter the clergy, and you will hear the same kind of “calling” story you would hear from, say, a Congregational Methodist. Later in the conversation, though, the Episcopalian might go on to reveal just how open he or she is Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 14 September, 2008 at 19:20

Posted in faith, growth, hope, restoration

Free Thought?

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It’s interesting, no, really crucial, to think of what it means to be human. Despite all the Hollywood glitz to the contrary man is the only creature on this planet with the ability to reason. The so-called “dumb animals” can react or respond, or follow hard-wired instincts, but as one anthropologist offered, after years of primate studies, the highest chimpanzee is intellectually closer to the cockroach than to humanity. Not to disparage our four-legged neighbors, but let’s consider this:

God has made us in His image and, though the perfect image has been deeply scarred, we do still have such marks as an attraction to goodness, desire to love and be loved, and the ability to reason and to create. The Bible tells us that “the world, the flesh, and the devil” are at odds with the God Whose image we bear, and so is intent on destroying that image. How do we see that? All around us are enticements to set aside any idea of love as being more than using others for personal thrills, or of goodness as more than self-preservation.  Our reasoning itself seems to be the greatest target, and the greatest threat to that three-fold attack on our humanity. Even the so-called “free thinkers,” more often than not, merely cluster around a popular myth, and if any hold a differing opinion, launch personal slanders against them and pride themselves on their “critical thinking.”

The truth is that, if God has indeed given us these divine “markers” in our lives we have a holy responsibility to use and develop them. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Wednesday, 10 September, 2008 at 10:10

The Billy Generation

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The “Boomer Generation,” also known as the “Love Generation,” and the “Beemer Generation” among others, born between 1946 & ‘64, has done the most, good or bad, to shape the contours of America-as-we-know-it. This generation has written the schoolbooks, movies, sitcoms, and newscasts, and shaped current social trends and Government policy. According to recent polls, nearly 80% of Americans acknowledge a “born again” experience. By all rights, this should be the most authentically Christian nation anywhere, and any time, in history. Yet in the past thirty-five years over fifty million lives have been violently extinguished by abortion, more children nation-wide are growing up in single-parent homes, chronically neglected by absentee fathers (or sometimes mothers) as they learn to esteem the “thug life” as honorable, and homosexuality is being pushed as a new normality,

What has gone wrong? We can go into particular causes for a lot of that stuff, but the root to it all is Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Monday, 1 September, 2008 at 14:59

Life as we (Don’t) Know It

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We last looked at the principle of the New Birth. One thing about Jesus’ teachings that impresses me is that if something were a parable, a story offered to illustrate a point, then He would say at the first, “the Kingdom is like thus and such. If there were a true story that He used, then, “There was such a man…” If He was saying that something is this or that way, then that’s what would come out. Like when a group of Jews “believed on Him” as far as opinions go, but still cherished their own sinful attitudes and ambitions, He told them that “You belong to your father, the devil.” God, the Father, has no part with such deceits, and those who hold to them have no right to call Him, “Father,” because it is the devil that is “the father of lies.” So, then, if we are to belong to God, and hear from Him, we need to be born again, by His Spirit, by faith. Faith, in this sense, is more a continuing process than a momentary decision; and the New Birth is, like natural birth, an event that marks a life, and not the whole life in itself.

Because of this, we don’t say that the New Birth is the Main Point, or the Final Experience, for anyone’s life. Two terms Jesus used for the New Life Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 24 August, 2008 at 0:36

Planet of the Walking Dead

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Dead inside? Did INXS sing, “..every single one of us is dead inside,” or did I just keep hearing it wrong? If they did, they were right. Almost. When Jesus told the Jewish elder, “You must be born again, ..of the Spirit, to enter the kingdom of Heaven,” He wasn’t just using a figure of speech. Sure, for years the Jewish Establishment had been using the term for when someone of the goyim (nations) became a Jew through mikveh (water immersion), that he/she was “born again” as a Jew, but that’s another story for another time. When God warned innocent Adam that if they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (well, evil, really. They already knew good!) they would immediately die. When they were still walking around the next day, we guess God was just kidding, or making some kind of parable that really meant something else. Nope. God has a wonderful, original, sense of humor, but death and sin aren’t funny. Their very next encounter with God shows something had changed drastically. A careful read shows that to that point they were wise, happy, and fearless. Now they were stupid (wrapping themselves in gummy, prickly, fig leaves!), miserable (hiding in the bushes), and cowardly (shifting blame). When God made Adam, He breathed His own Spirit into the man, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 22 August, 2008 at 9:21

"Only Believe!" Or, not. . .

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“Believing is more important than what we believe.” It’s strange that nothing seen allows such an approach, yet we like to think that the Unseen is the same as the Imaginary. A child once thought that everything was just as it appeared. A box, with knobs and dials in the right placement, would play music. Another box, with the right markings, would tell the time. What he did not see made all the difference, didn’t it? An unknown belief or attitude in one’s fiance can make a world of difference in one’s life over the years, and a charge on a small bit of wire can change one’s whole outlook on life in an instant. When it comes to faith, it is just the same, only more so. In Romans we read that, “the gospel of Christ is the power of God for salvation.” Now, if one’s doctor says, “The instructions on this medicine bottle are crucial for your recovery,” how wise is it to leave that bottle on the shelf, or apply the medicine according to mood, opinion, or hearsay? Is merely possessing the medicine enough to restore health? If we will take the doctor’s advice on earthly matters so seriously, when the best he could do was allow us a few moments to this life, what of a message, that is proven by the life and resurrection of the Son of God, that promises us eternal life? What, exactly, is that message? Is there anything in this world more important than finding out? Rather than leave this hanging on such a precipice, we do have some definite signposts to follow. Please stay tuned for some crucial particulars!

Written by Robert Easter

Tuesday, 19 August, 2008 at 21:38