The Bragging Rights of Born Again Christians

Much is said today of Born Again Christians.  This is said as if we had at least two types of Christians:  Born Again and Non-Born again.  What other types are there but born again?

Of course, I believe I can argue quite effectively that no Christian becomes born again until the resurrection. That’s a new born experience that thus far only Jesus as experienced, but to brag about being born again, this is I think rather a fundamentalist proclamation.

Thus, converting to Christian as a Born Again Christian takes on a power all its own and is something to be treasured, so we are to believe.  Yet, I find all of this silly.

Either a person is a Christian or they are not.  I don’t read of any Christian possessing status over another.  And while we can argue over what constitutes baptism, how are we going to ‘prove’ this born again claim?

While I realize this post is not going to settle the matter, I at least think we should begin discussion on the matter.  It seems to me we as Christians are all in this process, this journey on earth together and should therefore be working hand in hand in performing the Great Commission.

In that sense, as brothers and sisters, no one is greater than the other and there is no separation or real bragging rights that one Christian is saved by one methodology and another differently.  Certainly Christians are not separated by mechanisms that grant bragging rights for those who are ‘Born Again.’  I believe that ALL Christians are Born Again or at least in the process of renewal.  In actuality, the real bragging should never be on the person, but for all rights, on Christ and Christ alone.

The rest of us as Christians can await for that great day when we are all called home together.  And in that day, it matters not what stage of birth we are at—only that our new birth will be received among the angels and within God’s Heavenly Kingdom.  And at least on that day, we can clearly say we have all been born again.


The Truth is in the … (separating families)

Considering all of the American people in Prison and separated by children, I wonder…

For those who feel this is so bad, and it is…how many Christians are looking after those of whom they say they care so much?

For those on the border…how many Christians are intervening and proclaiming the righteousness or wrongness of the deeds of America?

It seems when it comes to addressing the policies of our country, it is easy to assess the sins of our government.  When it comes to the absence of Christians and our work…where are the words?

Heck, we can’t even get many to assume the rightful responsibilities for the homeless, how can we expect more, more insomuch we go beyond our American homeless population of which we neglect so we can neglect even another population.  I don’t know.  It just makes me wonder about all the indignation.

Calling into Question: The Sinner’s Prayer

I can really think of nothing more innocent than a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ to salvation.  Yeah, I know already someone is going to throw in a plug that we are saved by grace and there is nothing we can do to assist that along.

Sure, yeah.  Right.  Acceptance is one thing we can do and it is also a requirement.  And yes, I also know what Calvin had to say about it, but then again, Calvin is not the beginning of Christianity nor the end.  He’s a good guy, alright, but not the final word.

And whereas more or less the Sinner’s prayer began with Moody and then later spilled over to Billy Graham, there is nothing but virtue for a sinner to ask for atonement through His prayer.  And from here we can argue until the cows come home that a person is not ‘saved’ until he is baptized.  Even that isn’t enough for some Christians as we can also argue about what consists of baptism. Okay, so let’s say we go beyond all of that…. I’m saying there is nothing wrong with a sinner on his kneels asking God for forgiveness.

If nothing else, this is a good starting place for a sinner and one in which a person might ‘meet’ God through His son, Jesus.

Too, I think for those who oppose the ‘sinner’s prayer’ one should be cautioned about slipping into a fatal legalism.  Somehow, I just don’t think common people have to adopt the vocation of a lawyer in order to understand the rudiments of being a Christian.  As far as I can read it, over and over again, it requires belief in Jesus and in His name. And while there would probably be some around who know and understand the Latin and the Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic and whatever else scriptures there are, this is how I see it. So then, until I am much wiser than what I am now, I’ll continue to encourage lost sinners into God’s kingdom with the lowly but effective, ‘Sinners Prayer.”

Rwandan Prophecy — Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Originally posted on Fat Beggars School of Prophets: In his book Mere Discipleship, Lee Camp tells us that at the time of the Rwandan genocide (1994), Rwanda was “‘the most Christian country in Africa,’ with as much as 90 percent of the population claiming some Christian church affiliation.” This is particularly shocking when you consider…

via Rwandan Prophecy — Fat Beggars School of Prophets

There are NO answers: there are pathways

As westerners we are raised with the idea that for any question or for any problem, there is an answer.  This question answer paradigm is mostly a westerner thingie as many Asians simply do not approach life as such, seeing life as a journey rather than a series of questions.

For better or worse we might also see Christianity as such too along those lines of continuums rather than as a right wrong answer response.

Often in the scriptures we see the disciples eagerly questioning Jesus for answers or ‘solutions’.  Jesus let His disciples know life’s response was NOT a multiple choice or true false test but was based on relationships.  In this case, the important relationship was based on Jesus and on the Father.

Even with Peter, we see where Jesus asked him to identify the Christ and while Peter did, it was not enough to carry Peter through his journey to the end. More was required.  It required engagement and his personhood to exist and to endure for Jesus.  This is more than a mere answer.  It is a lifestyle.

And so it is also true for us.  We seek answers.  We want answers and demand answers and often agonize for the lack of them.  Yet, the real mystery here is not in the answers but in acting out faith:  or thus, the lack of answers:  rather an expression of substance.

In this sense, being a Christian is a pathway.  We are NOT answers.  We are not a onetime plug in to alleviate your woes. No, we are pilgrims in the midst of a journey and in that journey we are cog elements tied to other pilgrims, our brothers and sisters in Christ who go from day to day with hope as participants and as those who experience even with the LACK of answers.  For you see, our pathway, our journey is to be part of that existence:  while we may not be able to fully explain it or to understand it: we know we are to submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus, Christ our Lord.  And with Him, we go well beyond answers and into the source of life

You are a (fill-in-the-blank) No, you’re not!

At least one idiosyncrasy of man is that we tend to label and categorize things. In that sense we like to think that we are whatever label we aspire to.  In other words, when a person describes himself say as a policeman, that role or particular designation becomes almost something as ingrained as a species.  Another way of saying it, is that they become a cop as if this were an ingrained intrinsic attribute or character provided by dna or genes even.

Such is the case in negative terms:  a person is a crack-head, a bum or any other slur we cast upon people among all types within our nomenclature of terms and definitions.

So we have teachers and nurses and doctors and lawyers and ball players and soldiers and moms and dads so forth:  this we declare is who we are.  More importantly, if these are favorable traits, we plainly state that is WHAT we are.

Enter the great equalizer:  Jesus.  With Jesus, once introduced, we soon learn our true identity as a sinner. And however true this is, Jesus is far greater than that and does not leave us there as a helpless sinner.

With Jesus we learn that our true identity is one as an adopted bastard child:  one that enters through a process of a free gift of grace.  Too, we learn that the mechanism by which we are judged is not by way of men, but vis-a-vis through the heart. We learn also that the higher plane of our identity rests only in reference of who we are in Christ. To that extent aside from Jesus, we are nothing for in the morality and mortality of a sinner there is no worth:  only the resultant aspect of death.

Hence in stating who we are and what we are we should embrace only the humility of the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus for all arrows will point to Him and Him alone.  It is through Him our best expression we are no longer a cop or teacher or any other representative of earth except with the sole task as CHRISTIAN. This best expression illustrates Jesus as the Alpha and the Omega.  He is the first and the last and the highest above anything else.  And with Jesus as the highest, everything beneath that is below Him.  That is where we are as His child.  No other term but CHRISTIAN is sufficed to fully cover who we are and finally, this term is defined not by men but by GOD.

Virtual God, Virtual Christians

In the wake of our new wave of technology it is easy to get caught up with all our virtual gadgets.  In the process, we also now have a tendency to see God in a figurative or virtual panoramic view. Part of this engagement is to express your experience with Jesus as a personal relationship with God.

While I love this entire idea, I think we should be careful how we express it.  Sure enough our relationship with God is NOT non-personal.  It’s personal enough, but come on, now.  We don’t have Jesus sitting at the breakfast table with us in the morning drinking a cup of coffee.  That is personal.

I think some of this is as such where when we carry Jesus with us in our heart, we lack the very words to express it.  We possess an inner peace, a sense of strength and communication that is beyond intimate:  it is soul attaching.

And thus it is easy to get caught up with our efforts to strive to be close to our maker and with Jesus, our redeemer and friend.  With Jesus, there is a desire to close the gap between Him being there, and us being here.  We wish to merge ourselves with Him.

Yet, the truth be told, we are separate in many ways.  Our spirits are personal, but our bodies are disengaged and thus that presence is there only virtually.

The dictionary defines virtual as being the state of a thing existing in essence or effect but not in actual fact.

And that’s more or less our relationship with the Lord.  Some will claim much more in terms of closeness of relationship, but in truth they have no more stake or skin in the game than anyone else.  We are all eclipsed by what we don’t know of the Lord and any special claims to his personship should be entered with caution.

One day we’ll enter that path of Glory that goes beyond virtual and into the full realm of truth. This is our promise.  This is our hope.  And when that time comes, we’ll go beyond what is virtual and into all that which is real:  that which is into the presence of God Himself through His son, Jesus.

For the Love of it all (Have you no sense of decency?)

Times being what they are, we must deal with real problems.  All around us we see and experience situations one never thought would ever happen.  It was bad enough with the introduction of the Cabbage Patch Dolls, but in more recent times, we’ve lived through the so-called breakup of Ken and Barbie and even Miss Piggy with Kermit the Frog.  Oh, so much for Americans to enjoy with trivialities.

In the early years of the 50s senator Joe McCarthy, after accusing many Americans as communists without proof was called out by the Secretary of State:  Have you no sense of decency?

Obviously, not.

But what makes this stand out is the fact, which back then, this was a single issue and a rare one at that which offended the majority of Americans.  Today, we see this type of event daily.

One theme or factor in common with all of this is that it is all driven by the media:  The big players today are Trump and Hillary: The Swamp, liberals vs. the conservatives and a cast of thousands enlisting other themes and causes.

We all know it’s bad when a former porn star is able to access the White House and successfully lobbies a pardon from the President of the United States.

Aside from all of that we see states such as California thumbing their nose at various Federal Laws:  stating they will do it their way with threats to leave the union.

We witness the extremely bias news organization, Fox News, against all the rest extremely bias news organizations with a constant dribble of diatribe—a constant non-stop war of virtual hate.

Enter the Christian:

And no, we cannot stand idly by. We too must make our mark and somehow do so while avoiding the lure of becoming wrapped up in politics.

For Christians here there is a virtue and at least one part of that virtue is for patience and tolerance while noting the danger of tolerance to the point of selling out.

For once we have sold out our virtues and commitments of God’s laws; the world in turn asks us the same question demanded to the worst of them:  Have you no sense of decency?

Certainly our answer in turn must be pronounced in the affirmative.  And that affirmative is possible only by not selling out in total tolerance.