Ok, here we go. So a lot of people love to add onto God's personality. Which is, what I believe, the reason there are a lot of haters and unbelievers, besides the fact that Jesus said, "there's gonna be some haters, because of me" (paraphrased).
So when you add or take away to God's character, he becomes just a god. A god, being a fictional creature. If people started saying "Isaac is 5 feet tall" that's the minute they are talking about a different Isaac than myself.
So it's like, people believing that horses exist and some believers have some problems with the horse. So they add a horn and some wings, then they start believing, and God forbid, preaching and teaching unicorns. Of course some people with the guts to ask questions are going to start questioning the existence of a creature with wings and a horn. Then find how untrue that is and reject it all together. Now it would help if some people just called a horse a horse and a unicorn a unicorn. But nope, they still wanted to be in the horse-believing-club and believe in unicorns a the same time. So basically, the most unbelievable part of the horse are human contributions to this horse, like the horn and the wings. So they go around telling people that they have proved the horse wrong, when really they have just proved the unicorn to be false.
You are allowed to make up your own religion but you need to stop calling it Christianity when you do. Unfortunately, people still claim their newly made religion is Christianity and it's just confusing. If you are Muslim, don't eat pork. If you want to eat pork, then don't claim yourself as a Muslim because you are going against a part of that religion. If you don't believe in Jesus as the son of God, then you aren't a Christian. You are fine to believe what you want, but there is a point it's no longer Christianity.
People add different characteristics of God's that end up being something that is easy to prove wrong and it just ends up confusing people and not really helping anyone.
One of the many examples of this would be the prosperity gospel. The lie that tells people that if you obey God you'll have riches and no trials at all. Which is highly unbiblical. Someone has written me a letter from a response to one of my blogs that I wrote about going through some trials and "dark nights of the soul" and they rebuked it saying, "the holy spirit is with us and we'll never doubt or have hard times". Yea, tell that to John the Baptist and the rest of the disciples that got slaughtered. What about Jesus? Did he not sweat blood from stress and get on his knees three times begging God to "let this cup pass" and then "not my will but yours be done". The idea that the Christian walk is a cake-walk is laughable if it wasn't so tragically inaccurate. But back to my point, people add these lies to God and make him into a god (lowercase).
They do it to pull people in, and it works, but it eventually pulls people away farther than they would have been before. I always say, that Christians with bad theology are like jellyfish, they are spineless and they paralyze anyone that comes in contact with them.
So let's put this in a scenario. Tell someone "go to church or do this and you'll have riches" that is a hypotheses you can prove wrong. I can obey and do all that and then say "welp, I guess that God isn't real". No, actually, it's just that that god isn't real, he never was. That is a made up god, a unicorn that can be proven wrong. Prove the horse wrong, not the creature people created.
The best way that I can explain Christianity: Humpty Dumpty wasn't an egg. There is no line in the whole nursery rhyme that says he is an egg. But everyone assumes that he is. Humpty Dumpty was a type of canon that was on the castle's wall and people made up the song to mock one of them falling a breaking, to show how helpless the king was without his precious canon. Some guy eventually made a book at drew an egg along with it. So everyone assumed they knew what they are talking about.
So it's very easy to prove that humpty dumpty as an egg never existed. But it's not so easy to prove that humpty dumpty as a canon didn't.
So what's my point? Well, I'm glad you asked that. My point is that we have made the Bible submit to church culture instead of church culture submit to the Bible.
What made me start thinking this? Man, you are asking so many great questions! Well, a lot of people have been asking me my opinion on "the gift of tongues".
So I think I just made this blog that would have been a pretty good blog to send to your 'unsaved' friends because it started out with apologetics and now since it's about tongues I just ruined those chances huh? But I think how we think and live are the best apologetics for the world to see than some blog.
I will talk a little bit about tongues and some other topics, because I think these have become canons into eggs. First off, I'll say, what does my opinion have to do with tongues? Let's look at the Bible. I think 1 Corinthians 14:1-33 sums up my whole opinion. It's funny that there is so much confusion about one of the most blatant parts of the Bible. He not only explains how it should be done but that we "should eagerly seek the gifts of the spirit". Sadly, we eagerly avoid them.
I believe that Paul's letters to the church aren't just for the church in the title of the book, but it's also for the church today. Who gives anyone the authority to say what no longer applies to the church of today? Once you think you have that authority, you can apply it to whatever part of the Bible that you want. Unless the Bible says "by the way, this command, suggestion or instruction expires on 200 AD" then we shouldn't treat it like it did say that. I know someone can certainly be a Christian without speaking in tongues or even believing in tongues. But I think they are on a dangerous path of their Christianity when they start turning a blind eye to certain parts of the Bible. When they start taking away or adding things to the Bible they start making it a unicorn . It might be small now, but I think this mindset will start allowing you to think "well that whole Jesus being the son of God doesn't apply anymore", then you've got a problem.
I have and do speak in tongues, but not nearly as much as I prophecy. I prefer prophecy because not only, like Paul says, it edifies the church, but it edifies the speaker. Basically, if prophecy is God using a layman to speak to the church, the laymen is going to learn also. I don't think it's possible to hear from the God who is Truth and not learn from Him. It's from lot of people speaking their minds without praying for the spirit to speak through them, that's when we start getting unicorn gods instead of the powerful God that he is. I think our problem has been running from the Holy Spirit, because of weird stuff like tongues and now trying to speak on only knowledge instead of the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit. We need to start "eagerly seeking the gifts" and edifying our brothers and sisters with prophecy, instead of our opinions.
Tongues need interpretation. If there is no interpretation, then shut your mouth and pray in tongues privately. Tongues have been a great way for my spirit to cry out to God when I was too distraught to find words, then later God shows me what was going on in my spirit.
Once people start saying that healing, tongues, spiritual gifts, alcohol and sex are either wrong or there is no place for them in the church, then they are no longer reading the Bible. Once people say that certain things that are in the Bible don't apply to the church of today, then they pretty much can start taking whatever else they want from the Bible and saying "that no longer applies". I don't think they are being malicious, but I think it shows an immature Christian, that maybe shouldn't lead or speak about such things until they gain more understanding from God.
Alcohol is a great example. We have demonized it away from the way God views it. Let's stop looking at church culture and to the Bible. It wasn't juice back then. If it was juice, how did Noah get drunk and naked before his sons, how did Lot get drunk and sleep with his daughters, why would David try to hide his adultery by getting Uriah drunk, how was Jesus accused of being a drunk? The American churches view of alcohol is so unbiblical that it's allowed us to start using it as a platform to judge others that partake.
Sex is another example. "Missionary Position" came from Missionaries telling tribes that sex is to be had 'face to face' only. Which is also unbiblical. Song of Solomon anyone??
It's funny because a huge problem that a lot of non-christians have with the church is when the church says that something as much of a gift as alcohol and sex shouldn't be enjoyed at all. When Biblically, they are meant for our enjoyment, but included with moderation and boundaries.
I know it's not easy to swallow, I've recently gotten into a conversation with a good friend about healing, which I'm a few steps away from. I know what the Bible says, and I believe it's for today, but I have some heart issues and doubts. This same thing happened with alcohol a few years back, I knew what the Bible says, but I had a huge problem with seeing Christians drinking. So I'd pray that God would mold my heart to His word. This is where I'm at with healing. I keep praying the prayer from the guy in Mark 9 "I believe, but help my unbelief". I believe that God is true and I believe in the Bible, but I have some problems with things in the Bible and I have some doubts or misunderstandings, and with the little faith I have, I ask for more faith and with the little understanding I have, I pray for more understanding. It's not easy, I still am a few steps away from healing, but certainly a few steps closer than a was a month ago. I don't want to live my life with my worldview, I want to submit to God's.
Christians: Please, please, start submitting your worldview to the Bible instead of submitting the Bible to your worldview. You are slowing making this powerful canon into a weak little egg.
Non-Christians: Forgive us Christians that have sold you an egg, get rid of that egg and trade it for the powerful canon that God is. It's very easy to mix in Christian opinion with what the Bible says, I pray that you can detox those opinions we've told you.
PS send your tea-totaling hate-mail to Isaac[at]tubopopcorn.com but please, just read the Bible a bit before you do.