My Tweet Archive

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Welcome to the Tweet Archive of Martin Pierce! This page contains my tweets from 2012-2014, which are also archived in Twitter. While it’s inevitable that other people may have conveyed similar thoughts in different words before, what you see below are my original words.

I prefer that people follow me on Twitter instead of only reading my quotes here. I constantly send new quotes on Twitter. In addition, I send web links, pictures, quotes from other people, and Bible verses.

I maintain three Twitter accounts, including @RTGbook, @CEpub, and @mrtpierce. I invite you to follow any or all of them. I always follow back, except in the case of spam accounts and inactive accounts (60 days or more).

You are welcome to resend any of my quotes with the proper attribution to my full name. On Twitter, you may refer to me by one of my account names.

Martin Pierce’s Tweet Archive

#Wisdom : Practical, looks to God for revelation. #Philosophy : Mostly theoretical and human-centered.

Christians should feel at home because God is always with us, but homesick because we’re not in Heaven.

Christian, if anyone asks when you were saved, say it happened 2,000 years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem.

When we choose the “lesser of two evils,” we get what we deserve. Evil triumphs when Christians do nothing.

The most often repeated command in the Bible is, “Don’t be afraid.” God is so demanding, isn’t He? 😉

God, who knows every heart, is able to humble the proud and exalt the humble.

[A few RTs.]

Jesus calls Christians to build God’s kingdom, not our personal fiefdoms.

Keep apologies brief. The more you talk, the more you may reframe the reality to justify whatever you did.

Since we trust that Jesus will raise our dead bodies, can He not free us from all other forms of bondage?

Jesus is not going to become the Lord of all at some point in the future. He already is.

Thinking of a negative experience from your past? Thank God for it today because He can bring good out of it for you!

Perfection is a battle against excess, whether it be belly fat, hoarded stuff, excess verbiage, etc.

Godly people accept responsibility for their words. They admit when they’re wrong or explain their position when misunderstood.

Even when people who live in glass houses only throw nerf balls, people often retaliate with stones.

Bad news spreads around the globe at the speed of light. Good news usually travels more slowly.

What’s sadder than having someone write “Wash me!” on your car?… www.twitpic.com/bi598l

What demands an explanation is not blindness, but the fact any of us can see at all. The same is true of spiritual perception.

[A few RTs].

Don’t follow a well trodden path. Instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail.

[Many RTs].

A man complained to a stewardess: “You said these were complimentary peanuts, but they haven’t said anything to me!” (Cont.)

You may be the only nut who can give someone the encouragement they need today. 😉

Human rights are contingent on the concept of human dignity, which westerners learned from the creation of man in God’s image.

True mercy begins with recognizing that God put His image on every baby in the womb.

I’m gr8ful 4 all my Twitter followers. If I write something that offends, pls let me know. I want to encourage & inspire!

Soldiers don’t get to choose who’s in the foxhole with them. Christians should work together because we’re in a spiritual war.

Why everyone needs “tweets.” Under age 30: short attention spans, 30-50: too busy to read much, over 50: nearly senile.

Unbelievers drift between extremes of freedom & bondage, love & hatred. God, however, sets us free to serve Him out of love.

I’m thankful that God hasn’t always respected my understanding of what He “should be” like. His love and grace are amazing!

We can feign humility by not acknowledging our talents, or we can draw attention to them by using them to be a blessing.

There’s no such thing as a “rags to riches” story. People with hope and perseverance are already wealthy in God’s eyes.

Don’t credit only yourself with any success you achieve. We always owe a debt to God and others.

I was literally crucified with Christ, and now He literally lives in me! (I like to use “literally” in a figurative sense). Gal 2:20

God will never think He made a mistake about anyone whom He has chosen for salvation–He doesn’t make mistakes.

Biblical literalists (fundamentalists) don’t fully account for the fact that God is infinite and incomprehensible.

Why do we find the word “fun” in “fundamentalist”? #LifesMysteries

SciFi started with aliens on this earth, then this solar system, then distant galaxies. God has always been much more interesting!

“It’s only by forgetting yourself that you draw near to God.”~Thoreau & “Forgetfulness of self is remembrance of God.”~Al-Bistami

Drawing near to God makes us forget ourselves. The natural, selfish mind cannot forget itself.

Someone expresses emotions such as of having been hurt, and someone else “disagrees.” #thingsthatdontmakesense

Christianity isn’t complicated. We ask in faith according to God’s Word. God gives. Out of gratitude and joy, we can give to others.

Doubting God, blaming people, and wallowing in guilt are all costly substitutes for the acceptance of personal responsibility.

Trials may come because God knows you’re faithful or has chosen you to be blessed, not as a punishment from Him.

Fred (“Mister”) Rogers knew that Christians act either as accusers or advocates. He chose to be an advocate. How about you?

Science helps us master the material world, but God helps us master ourselves.

The claim that Christianity came into existence with no resurrection is like saying a rocket got into the sky with no launch.

Though all sin is outside the will of God, everything affecting God’s children should be accepted as coming from His hand for our good.

Life is like a big box store. If you don’t like something, don’t buy it. No need to raise a big fuss every time.

If you want to be a good writer, don’t overdo wit. #pun

Christian apologist: Someone whose job it is to fix bad theology.

Jesus first recorded words were that He must be about His Father’s business. His last: “It is finished.”

God is concerned about who we are, not only about what we do.

“Help me Jesus” gets 24.9 million global monthly searches on Google. “How to obey Jesus” only 1,300. God has no website, people!

Attention, people Googling “help me Jesus” or “help me God.” God loves you. Please find a Christian, read the Bible, pray to God.

If you’re trusting both in the blood of Jesus and your good works, you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)

Businesses pay limited wages based on our labor, but God freely grants salvation based on our faith.

The four cherubim constantly sing “holy, holy, holy,” yet they’re closer to God than anyone. (Rev. 4:8) #Ironic

Children don’t have to cajole and beg decent parents to give them food and shelter, nor must we do so with God.

The children of Israel didn’t gain one inch of the Promised Land until they stopped wandering and faced their enemies.

Do you need to worry about a few things? No! Philippians 4:6 says be anxious for nothing.

Our trials and burdens would diminish if only we would see God at work in every circumstance.

The Christian walk is a journey in understanding the good news of God’s salvation.

God doesn’t always hold our hand–not because He needs proof that we believe in Him, but because we need to know it for ourselves.

People like to make snap judgments, but God is known for the Final Judgment. He gives us every opportunity to prove ourselves.

The gospel (“good news”) isn’t about conditions and qualifications, but about unconditional love.

God’s grace is sufficient, not always abundant, but trials help us grow.

If you want to better know your child, provide $ & a list of charities. Who they give $ to reveals their priorities.

Nero didn’t fiddle while Rome burned, but he did play the liar (lyre). #pun (What, you mistook him for Charlie Daniels?)

Hezekiah didn’t care about the next generation as long as he was okay (Isa. 39:6-8). #soundsfamiliar

Must Christians always obey the state? Any “yes” answer amounts to a rejection of Christ our King.

We confuse children and steal from their self-identity if we tell them boys and girls are the same.

Seek to live life from one miracle to the next.

God uses trials to humble us, get our attention, help us empathize with others, and lead us to find purpose and fulfillment in Him.

What’s more important to people than their freedom, values–even friends? For many, it’s whatever the media tells them. L

God saved us by grace to be His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. (from Eph. 2:8-10)

Devotions without action is dead, but action without spirituality is empty. Faith + Works = Salvation

Even if your faith is weak and you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t lose hope! God never forgets His children.

Animals seem to develop more feelings when they’re not in the wild struggling to survive. I think the same is true of people.

God told Gideon he was a mighty man of valor (Jdg. 6:12). What God tells you will often contradict your life experience.

We go to church hoping to see Christ-like people, but that’s a “factory floor” full of works in progress, much like ourselves!

Faith precedes understanding. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” Heb. 11:3

You want to be a success in life? Great! Just make sure you don’t leave God behind.

God didn’t give us prayer as a substitute for doing whatever we can for people.

Though we all make mistakes, life DID come with instructions. The Bible reveals God’s way of salvation and His commandments.

Don’t let momentary anger lead to permanent regret.

We’re all sinners, and yet God put His image in each of us. We shouldn’t forget either of these great truths.

If God grants you influence, it’s not about you, but about what you can do for others.

If you have joy, tell your face! =)

I don’t think tattoos are sinful. It’s a question of what a tattoo represents.-Rev. 3:12 “I will write on him the name of My God”

You may tremble on the Rock, but the Rock won’t move under you. #Jesus

Sex isn’t a tension that needs relief but a desire that requires responsible self-control.

From – to +.We confessed our sin -. God erased our debt 0. By faith, we have Christ’s righteousness + J

Those who count all things as loss for Christ have nothing more to lose. (Phil. 3:8)

A growing awareness of our sinfulness doesn’t mean we’re falling away from Christ, but that He’s calling us higher.

It’s not power that’s bad; only lust for power and the abuse of it. The same is true of money.

When I was young, they told us to think of the starving people in China. Now, kids only have to look out the window. #USA

Before calling us to fight spiritual enemies, God raised us to heaven and seated us with Christ. (Eph. 2:5-7, 6:12)

Our many pain receptors serve as evidence that life is worth suffering for. Conversely, it must also be worth enjoying!

When we’re in the will of God, we may be tested in areas such as faith, finances, friends, and family.

Jesus was not only a sacrificial Lamb, but a Warrior who was martyred for opposing hypocritical religion (Matt. 23)

We can think more clearly if we first clear our minds of negative emotions like worry, fear, and bitterness.

Like a diamond, love is unique, rare, beautiful, precious, reflective, transparent, and forged under intense pressure.

The only limit on God’s ability to work miracles is our faith. (Mark 6:4-6)

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God isn’t planning to give up on this world!

For Christians, our identity in Christ matters more than what we do. That’s grace. God must judge unbelievers by what they do.

In order to be like Jesus, we must look beyond our temporary struggles to the joy that lies beyond them. (Heb. 12:2)

As God provided stars to guide people in darkness, He’s faithful to guide us even when our spiritual path is dark.

The first rule of interpretation is that we shouldn’t necessarily expect the Bible to say what we think it should.

Moses thought he’d be recognized as the deliverer after killing an Egyptian, but doubted it when God spoke to him from the bush!

Lessons from Moses’ life: 1. Trust in God, not your own judgment. 2. Wait on the Lord and do things His way, in His timing.

Instead of wondering why God chooses to depend on fallible Christians, we should accept this mystery and be His witnesses.

Non-Christians don’t stand a chance resisting God’s love if He reveals Himself to them. #pray

Justification by faith leads to peace, grace to stand, joy in hope, joy in suffering, patience, character, hope, and love. (Rom. 5:1-8)

Christian tweeps, if you have an egg icon, a real picture can help you gain more followers, respect & influence on Twitter.

Since Jesus is Lord of all, our best course of action is to submit to His Lordship without hesitation.

The Church is a grapevine–not for spreading gossip, but for telling others about what we’ve learned from Jesus, the true Vine.

Since Jesus was chastised for our peace, He’s definitely able to relieve our stress. (Isa. 53:5)

Now matter how frustrated we may become in life, we should always be respectful toward God. (Num. 20:1-13)

Be careful putting limits on your plans to do good lest you also limit God.

Jesus gained our salvation through victory, not through compromise.

If we don’t think God’s Word is true in every detail, we’ve misinterpreted it (Matthew 5:18).

A worse problem than teeth that aren’t straight is a mouth that is seldom curved. (Smile!)

If you think building God’s kingdom is laborious, imagine the overtime that Satan must be putting into the evil empire!

Secrecy doesn’t make sin any less harmful. #abortionclinics

God cares, but the frustrating truth is that He doesn’t do a whole lot if Christians don’t pray and act.

Why are some things sinful? 1. God is God. 2. He said so. Why not sin? 1. God is God. 2. He commands us not to sin.

When Jesus returns, He won’t care about who has the most money, but who has the most faith. (Luke 18:8)

If your heart is still wrapped up in something or someone, you haven’t yet turned the situation over to God.

The worst sin of unbelievers isn’t abortion or homosexuality, but their refusal to believe in Jesus. (John 16:8-9)

All who are in Jesus are not condemned (Rom. 8:1). The accusations against us were nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14).

The gospel forces us all to choose between God & Satan, love & hatred, and good & evil.

It’s good to be a perfectionist if you know when to do your best and when to accept “good enough.”

You’re God’s answer! – The perfect person to carry out His wonderful plans for your life! :-)

You’re the answer to someone’s problems. You just need to figure out who they are, and what’s the problem. :-)

Jesus didn’t return to His Father empty-handed. He died for sinners so that we can be with Him, even in this life.

Our words can mean the difference between worthless religion and perfection in the eyes of God (James 1:26, 3:2).

God allows enemies into our lives for a purpose. If you have enemies, ask Him to help you understand why.

We can’t become entirely free of negative emotions, but we can learn to assess them in the light of God’s love and faithfulness.

God’s truth trumps experiential knowledge, yet we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss people’s experiences.

We can either forgive and learn from hurtful experiences or hold grudges and never move on.

The distinction between the angry Old Testament God and the loving Jesus is false because Jesus and the Father are one (Jn. 10:30).

John the Baptist set a great example through his simple message: repent of sin and follow Jesus.

God is the ultimate “alternative energy” Source. He gives us spiritual light, living water, and Spirit wind.

God cares when a petal falls from a flower, and has numbered the hairs on your head. Think about it…

While some people reject the Bible outright, others are content to twist its teachings.

Are your conversations more filled with complaints, or with gratitude and praise for God’s wonderful works?

If you know that Jesus CAN do what you’re asking in His name, trust also that He WILL do it! (Mt. 8:5-10)

We should set the best example we can, then say, “Don’t do anything Jesus wouldn’t do.”

Life isn’t so short that we can’t let someone in front of us talk to the cashier or hesitate at the green light.

Faithful service leads to eternal blessings. Sin offers temporary pleasure, but comes with an eternal payment plan.

Too many American Christians let evil go on because we think God will save us in the end.

The Hubble telescope lets us see light where we never dreamed that it existed. God can do the same for us.

It’s not about how other people treat you, but about how you respond to them.

Inspirational writing helps us get thru the day, but real theology is good for a lifetime.

Every human fetus has a Father. So does every baby, child, and adult.

Even pain and fear can benefit us by helping to guide us in a positive direction and gain maturity.

We can’t identify God’s ministers by whether or not they receive pay for ministry. Every Christian is called to minister.

Theos = God. Logos = Word, logic. Theos + :Logos = theology. We’re all theologians!

Satan wants to keep Christians divided and confused. Effective Christian leaders unite us and expose false teachings.

We can always find ways to justify an unloving spirit. People with low self-esteem may even help us with that. #sad

Faith is uncommon, yet conspicuous. For example, out of 12 spies, only Joshua & Caleb said Israel could defeat the Canaanites.

Can other people see evidence of faith in your life?

Do you think unity isn’t important? Israel didn’t defeat the Philistines until after David had united the twelve tribes.

Jesus showed on the cross that meekness and submission is not the same as powerlessness.

Success depends not only on actions, but also on attitude.

If God puts you in a situation where you need to trust Him, remember that it’s called the Christian FAITH.

True self-awareness is a Christian virtue because knowing that we’re sinners will keep us humble.

Being unhappy with the state of the world means nothing. To make a difference means everything.

Great men inspire their followers. Only Jesus Christ can also empower His followers.

We can’t fill our souls with Jesus while simultaneously feeding our sin nature.

Like a fat belly wanting more food, the sin nature is never satisfied.

If we truly love Jews, we won’t refuse to tell them about Jesus. #JohnHagee

The hardest things to say: I love you. I’m sorry. I was wrong. Help me. Forgive me. I forgive you. I trust you. I’ll do it.

If God wanted us to rely mainly on seminary-educated ministers, they wouldn’t be so divided amongst themselves.

Some people spend their respectability the way politicians spend money.

Haughty people want to have their cake (put others down) and eat it too (gain respect for themselves).

Though we all have different gifts and callings, all believers share in the ministry of glorifying God.

Pessimism is the opposite of God-centered faith.

People who know they’re sinners, and who earnestly seek God’s righteousness will receive it. Jesus promised us that (Matt. 5:6)

Suffering makes us more fully human.

A church doesn’t exist to extend the denomination’s mission, but to help fulfill God’s purposes in the congregation & community.

Who says kids today aren’t interested in history? Clearing browser histories is a top priority these days! 😉

Sign seen in a shop window: “We buy junk. Antiques for sale.” | God can turn your “junk” into something valuable!

It must not be very sinful to be a “false teacher” since that term can only be found in one Bible verse. #badtheology #badlogic

I believe in paying my taxes with a smile. :) The only problem is that the IRS wants cash. :(

God isn’t a prior-a-TEE in our lives if we don’t put Him prior-a-TO our other interests and commitments.

Legislation can never take the place of evangelism and discipleship.

To regret that we’ve sinned is human. To repent and trust in Christ’s mercy is divine.

Even though our reputations matter, the gospel is about Christ’s righteousness, not our own.

People can’t say they stand for justice if they let their government get away with criminal activities.

A quick formula for finding out how rich you are: Add up everything you have. Now subtract everything death will take away.

Are you “saved”? God saved Lot’s family but think of what happened to them (Gen 19). We need faith AND works (Ja. 2:17).

USA’s unlucky number: 1913. The income tax and Federal Reserve were instituted that year to siphon money from working Americans.

It doesn’t bother me so much that God sends trials, but that so many Christians are available for that purpose.

It takes much more than voting booths to form a good government. The people must be virtuous.

God called the creation “good.” Adam and Eve’s presence made it “very good.” Are you helping to make the world a better place?

Salvation metaphors. No work: Getting a free gift. Work: Digging to the bedrock and building a house (Mt. 7:24-27).

If you ask for patience, you’ll have to wait. For wisdom, you’ll have to think. For strength, you must experience weakness.

If people reject you, don’t let it affect you every time. They may actually be rejecting God.

Even though a moral question may not be relevant to us, it can help us develop our sense of morality.

If you’re amused rather than saddened by other people’s ignorance and sin, the joke will be on you in the end.

I believe Christians will have a limited understanding of the Bible until we take a serious interest in Hebrew poetry.

God’s wisdom leads to eternal life, but the wisdom of this world leads to sorrow (Eccl. 1:18, 1 Cor. 1:20, 3:19, 2 Tim. 3:15).

I’m learning to be more positive-minded-not only for psychological reasons but because I’m understanding the Bible better. :)

Everything seems to make the news except poverty and unemployment.

Our faith in Christ shouldn’t be so weak that we refuse to hear opposing views for fear of being led astray.

If you’re a Christian, you’re always God’s witness, whether it be for better or for worse.

A true friend won’t leave you during tough times, or when you admit to a weakness.

If someone trusts you enough to share something personal, it’s probably wrong to just walk away. Who else will they have?

When  you become full of yourself, the first part of you that gets filled up is your ears.

If you judge people for not conforming, you surely would have judged Jesus.

God is not ashamed to see you working on your gift or calling, despite any past sins or failures. (Rom. 11:29)

If you proclaim the name of Jesus, He’ll proclaim your name to His Father. If not, He won’t. (Mk. 8:38, Rev. 3:5)

The difference between a secular and a sacred action is mainly in the motivation.

God holds mercy and justice in perfect balance. Which side of the scale do you lean toward?

God’s kingdom is palatial and populous, but it lies at the end of a narrow, often lonely road. (see Matt. 7:13-14)

Unbelievers’ favorite but most misunderstood Bible verses: 1. Judge not lest you be judged. 2. Turn the other cheek.

Be known for having a big heart, not a big head. “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Cor. 8:1).

Hardships help us learn true worship.

Political Speechwriting 101: Qt the Bible; Mention “our children”; [insert lies here]; Qt a founding father, “God bless America.”

You don’t have to be greater than your problems. Only trust in Him Who is greater.

You don’t have to know everything, but you do have to know the One Who does.

If you were nobody special, Satan wouldn’t work so hard to convince you of that. Christians threaten his evil reign.

God won’t test us beyond what we’re able to endure, but He may take us to that limit (1 Cor. 10:13)

God made some trees higher than others, but none reach the stratosphere. We aren’t all equal, but neither is any of us a god.

Anyone who is willing to oppose totalitarianism has something to hide from government snoops.

God’s offensive, yet good news is most effectively communicated by non-offensive, joyful people.

Nobody can be a Bible prophecy expert without first being an expert on the language of the prophets–Hebrew poetry.

God’s Word tells us over 365 times to not be afraid.

Don’t be afraid as Job was. | “What I fear most overtakes me. What I dread happens to me.” – Job 3:25

Have faith in God. He has no desire to take advantage of anyone because He’s good; and no motive because He needs nothing.

We can appreciate an artist & his work without arguing over details like the method used & time spent. #creation #genesis1

Most people would rather be lied to than hear truth. Exhibit #1 is the U.S. Congress, which we Americans elected.

If innocent people never suffered, we wouldn’t be able to understand the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

Jesus came to forgive sinners and call us to repentance. There is no greater love and no higher standard.

If one member of the body of Christ does well, all of us benefit. If one member hurts, we all suffer. (1 Cor. 12)

Some prayer requests aren’t entirely in God’s hands, but directly answerable by the pray-ers.

All who have repented of sin and received God’s grace will (super)naturally want to be gracious to others.

Singles who want lasting marriages can gain experience by valuing friends and not betraying or abandoning them.

Since God forgave us, we have permission to forgive ourselves.

Our bodies are merely commodities if we own them. In fact, they’re sacred vessels because God owns them.

If we are merely material beings, it stands to reason that one person can own another.

Whoever trusts in God for protection will see no need to entrust the state with god-like powers for this purpose.

God has forgotten about me. #LiesfromHell

God is happy to see me suffer.

God doesn’t want me to enjoy life. #LiesfromHell

God can’t possibly care about the minor details of my life. #LiesfromHell

People who disagree with me must not like me. #LiesfromHell

God is happy to see me suffer. #LiesfromHell

I’m too sinful to attain salvation. #LiesfromHell

Wealth and possessions are a measure of God’s love for me. #LiesfromHell

I’m the worst person in the world at/because of ____________ #LiesfromHell

I’m afraid of certain people, and/or of Satan and demons. #LiesfromHell

Nobody cares about me. #LiesfromHell

I’ve missed out on God’s plan for my life. #LiesfromHell

In order to lead someone to Christ, I must convince them that I’m right. #LiesfromHell

God has nothing important to say through Christians who aren’t in professional ministry positions. #LiesfromHell

People who disagree with me must not like me. #LiesfromHell

Every Christian is a prince or princess, born anew into Christ’s royal bloodline.

Jesus couldn’t sign a petition or vote in an election, but He was political enough for the Pharisees and moneychangers.

1/3rd of a message is in how you say it; 1/3rd is in how ready the recipient is; 1/3rd is the message itself. (My guesstimate)

In the Old Testament, God used barren fields and wombs to teach men and women to trust in Him, not in themselves.

We can best weather the storms of life by finding out what’s weighing us down and tossing it overboard (Acts 27).

The surest way to see God work is not through buildings, programs, or teachings but through prayer.

Few people want to be the 1st to do something, yet nobody minds being the millionth. The few are the change-makers.

We have 3 choices: 1. Pray & do nothing. 2. Get frustrated & say, “Thanks Lord, but I’ll do it myself.” 3. Pray AND Act!

We would have fewer questions about God’s will if we would regularly surrender our wills to Him.

All the sin and shame from your past is covered by the blood of Christ.

At death, we lose not only possessions, but also the ability to invest love, talents, and knowledge in other people.

We got our complex, tripartite government with its checks & balances from deep thinkers, not crowd-pleasing politicians.

Popularity is no substitute for brains.

Learning to accept yourself as you are is far more important than learning how to fit in.

Fear and courage are choices. The Bible repeatedly commands us to trust God and not be afraid.

Think not only about education and goals, but also about what personality traits you need to succeed.

Who you’re with is more important than where you are. Walk with the Lord. (Psalm 23:4)

If your conscience condemns you, introduce it to Jesus.

God didn’t instruct Israel thru Moses to build a temple in the land. He wanted David to think of it. We can all have inspired ideas. J

In the OT, the tithe was mostly intended to help the poor. If a tithe drives poor Christians further into poverty, that’s #ironic.

People who are into the prosperity gospel will say that can’t happen – that a tithe can only add wealth. Hooey! lol

Wherever you live, did you know that you can keep the polar vortex out of your house by being kind and respectful to others?

If “hooey” means nonsense, what is the meaning of Dewey and Louie? Answer: They are animated ducks, silly! #lol

Our lives aren’t complete if we don’t reflect back on them. That’s why God gave us Sabbaths & old age.

Doctrinal balance isn’t a place of freedom from heresy, but a place where every possible heresy is equally likely.

We should especially love our brothers and sisters in Christ because we’re in covenant with them, not the world.

You can serve either God or money. Just know that money is fleeting, and can’t love you back.

The prophets dreamed of worldwide peace and justice. :) We mostly dream about buying more crap that we don’t need. :(

Preachers need donations, but Christian artists and writers gladly work for free. #sowethink

Challenges and trials make us stronger. Everything that God does or allows is for our benefit.

It’s far too easy to look intelligent in most churches. We need only to read the Bible, as we should.

People who are willing to stretch the truth or lie have an unending stream of arguments.

Humility is essential to learning because know-it-alls have nothing left to learn.

If you only use new information to confirm pre-existing biases, you’re not learning.

Don’t let false or immature followers of Christ get you down. We’ve all been where they are.

The zombie theme is found in the Bible. People are dead before they come to Christ. Some even attend church.

One reason why I find the zombie film genre fascinating is because I might be a good enough actor to play one. #haha

Conformists often consider any person with new ideas to be arrogant.

We can distinguish between someone who’s having a bad day and another who’s full of hatred and slander.

The more I learn about the Bible, the more I see the good news in it. :)

Some people know enough about Jesus, not to become Christians, but to become angry at Christians.

Nobody ever gained knowledge by scorning the wise, or money by envying the rich.

We mostly look back on who we were, but God looks ahead at who we will become.

If you see someone in a downward spiral, don’t wait for them to crash and burn. Reach out to offer help.

When corporations are required by law to maximize shareholder profits, corporate social responsibility is criminalized.

If a government convinces citizens it has the power of life and death over them, they will be submissive. #StockholmSyndrome

Knowledge is power, but our public education system turn people into “sheep” instead of providing a real education.

There will always be people wanting to scare us. Fearful people can easily be manipulated and controlled.

If God’s will for you almost always coincides with what you want, you might need to reexamine the relationship.

Public opinion is powerful, but it can’t make you any less or more than who you are in God’s sight.

In our society, the pressure to conform to worldly norms is greater than any pressure to be a Christian and live a godly life.

A shoutout to all the Christians who are being faithful under pressure. May God bless you and deliver you out of your troubles.

We can guard against pride by knowing that we’re unprofitable servants, wholly dependent on God’s grace (Lk 17:10).

God doesn’t call us to understand our trials, but only to give Him thanks and praise in the midst of them.

The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. The Lord isn’t choosy about who helps with the harvest. (Matt. 9:37, 20:1-7)

Since Proverbs 25:16 says not to eat too much honey, imagine how God must feel about sugar & artificial sweeteners.

One reason Jesus went to the cross is because He foresaw that many would die to their self & live for Him. Are you one of them?

Thank a teacher for any success you have in life. If you fail at anything, we are not responsible. ~ Yer Local School Bored

We want God to be distant when we sin, and close when we are in need. That’s not really how it works.

We should use our abilities and influence to serve others, not exclusively for our own interests.

The ancients often shared beliefs, and even architecture. RT @Earth_Pics: Coincidence or Connection? http://t.co/yG55iIGJx8

# of times you need to get up = # of times you fell + 1 #BestMathEver

If you ever want to quote me without doing an RT, please end the quote with: ~ @CEpub

Have you posted anything on Twitter? If so, congratulations! You’re a published writer. 😉

Ordering our priorities from thin to thick: lawn care (water), family (blood), pancakes (maple syrup), cars (motor oil). #lol

Commercialization and commoditization always capture the true value and essence of a person or thing. #NOT #lol

Sometimes, Christians need to turn OFF the arguing and turn TO the Bible. Plenty of good stuff there about loving one another.

People judge us by our outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

God’s Word is the sign post; faith allows us to see the path; and by God’s power we walk in it.

If you’re a Christian who’s not representing Jesus, you’re repressing Him.

Originality is often adored in children, but often despised among adults.

Instead of being afraid of failure, trust in Jesus and His ability to fulfill His purposes in you.

If you teach children to respect elders, they will have low self-esteem. #kidding #LieFromHell

Your honor, sorry I didn’t pay those parking tickets. Madness took its toll and left me with no change. 😉

If you were a radio, would you be putting out too much noise or taking in too many (or the wrong) frequencies?

Radical individualism is incompatible with Christianity.

If you can’t answer a question or even an accusation, there’s no need to go into attack mode.

If you can’t respond to people, how will you answer to God? Just telling you #truth.

Accountability is not legalism.

Lord, when you call me to go on the offensive, help me to not be offensive.

One nice thing about Twitter is it’s seldom worth the bother to confront anyone. #IMO

Both God and the world can teach you a lot. Do you want to learn from our good Creator, or from His fallen creation?

We’re all free to tweet our own beliefs on Twitter. Anyone who strongly disagrees with me can unfollow. Anger is the wrong response.

Saints like the Apostle Paul and Martin Luther appreciated grace because they first knew the severity of the Law.

Can a Christian who has never struggled with guilt and condemnation fully understand grace? (see Rom. 7)

The disciples couldn’t simply follow @Jesus. Instead, they gave up everything to follow a real Person.

Would Jesus follow you on Twitter or would He be ashamed to see some of your tweets?

I’ve never eaten enough fruit and vegetables, but hey, farmers need to get better at marketing! 😉 #lol

Everything is about money today. Almost nothing is purely about God.

We should like things and love people. Loving things and disliking people is twisted.

If you love food, also love the people who helped produce and prepare it.

A Christian blogger said to me, “I’m not accountable to you or anyone, only to God.” Not so. Teachers are especially accountable.

Any fellow Christian who gives appropriate correction is an authority. We Christians are one body.

The stars in the sky aren’t perfect, but God put them there. Our authorities also have faults, but still God put them there.

Don’t obsess too much over imperfections and mistakes. Remember that even the earth has its faults. 😉

When the Bible says Christ freed us from the Law, it’s referring to the Law of Moses, not the laws of logic.

If you keep seeing the same fault in others, it may be a reflection of what’s in you (Romans 2:1).

Even if we don’t always feel loved, we can be certain that God loves us because Jesus died for us.

Christ + your effort = defeat. Christ + faith = victory.

If you can’t say anything good about someone, you can always choose to be silent.

Sinners often prosper and righteous people often suffer. That’s why we must live by faith, not circumstances.

If Jesus returned now, He’d have billions of fans. Then He would start talking, and that would quickly change.

The problem is not only that power corrupts, but that corrupt people seek power.

I mess up a lot in life, but God forgives and renews me by His grace. Let’s trust Him and get back up whenever we fall.

When arguing, follow gunfighters’ rules: Try not to fire all your ammo, and remember that someone could get hurt. J

Why rejoice in suffering? God loves us, but also knows about our sin nature. He puts it to death so that we may live in Him!

Sometimes things get so bad that you know Satan is overplaying his hand. When that happens, look up because God’s victory is near.

If you’ve hit rock bottom, it means you’re working on the foundation. Nowhere to go but up. J

If Jesus had judged people by their occupations, we wouldn’t have Matthew’s gospel. [Matthew was a tax  collector].

VIP: Any Christian who is serious about doing the will of God. J

A body in motion tends to stay in motion. The same is true of conversations & relationships. Progress comes from moving forward. :)

Isaac & Jacob knew they were blessed because of God’s promises to Abraham. We’re children of God through Jesus Christ. Enuf said.

If you find your brightest rays of sunshine in other people’s failures, you’re living in darkness.

As pictures are worth a thousand words, a word picture can say much more than a literal description.

Lord, if our government can’t be moral, please make it incompetent and clueless. Oh, done! Thank You.

People don’t always see our needs but, thankfully, God does.

Let your past sins be a source of grace. Tell the Lord you’re sorry, and ask that you may never be like that again. (Rom. 5:20, 8:28)

Older people wish we were in our teens or 20’s, but young people have many difficulties in those years. Trust God to see you through!

Atheists have only proven the biblical truth that we can’t know God through worldly or material knowledge.

The Bible leaves no doubt about how God feels about you. He loves you, and He never changes.

Faith is not like a crutch at all, but more a pole that helps us vault over obstacles in our way.

Faith requires that we have courage to overcome challenges instead of backing away from them.

Education can’t turn a fool into a wise man. Only God can do that.

If we have repented, God can use even our past mistakes for His good purposes.

When we don’t see with the eyes of faith, we get an inaccurate and often gloomy picture.

God left a trail of evidence that leads to Him. Sometimes that fades, and we must seek Him again.

Small minds discuss persons. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss theology. :)

The idea that evangelicals could transform society through individual conversions was appealing, yet false.

The idea of transforming society through politics is equally false. People look for simple solutions, however shallow.

Politics doesn’t have to be about seeking power. It should be primarily about leadership for the good of all.

If Jesus is only the Lord of your prayer closet, you have put Him in a closet!

Americans who only criticize the president don’t quite understand how our political system works. #BigBusiness #BigBanks

If you find something to do for Jesus, though you may see no personal benefit, keep doing it!

I never snooze in church. I just meditate on God’s Word. 😉

There’s an easy road through life. It’s called the “highway to Hell.”

When you meet someone with “baggage,” please be gracious. None of us came with a delete key.

Try to respect people’s opinions. They could choose to be silent or lie instead. (Not saying you have to agree).

Jesus died to give us spiritual food and drink, His body and blood, that we might live to Him and give of ourselves.

Let’s enjoy the glimpse in Genesis 2 of the glory of Adam & Eve walking with the LORD instead of only thinking about the Fall.

Plagiarism only became a crime in the modern era. Have you read Matthew, Mark, and Luke lately?

Ever wonder how William Shakespeare’s children understood what he was saying?

Once you achieve success (or if you have), be sure to let people know by not responding to personal inquiries. #sarcasm

Americans aren’t terrified of death, but darned if some terrorist is gonna kill us. That’s why we surrendered our rights to the govt.

Each of us will die when God says the time has come – not a moment sooner or later.

We cannot, nor do we need to know the reasons behind everything. That’s why God gave us faith, imagination, and dreams.

In one of His first encounters with man, God performed surgery. If God wounds us, it’s for a greater healing (Hos. 6:1).

As much as u can, let your life story be good and God-glorifying. Scrooge and the Grinch both changed, but people remember the bad.

Do you think the overall spirit among professional Christian ministers is one of cooperation or competition?

Always be careful what you say because God will be the first to hear your words. (Psalm 139:4)

If someone is worth listening to, it’s because they’ve been willing to change their mind on countless occasions.

One of the unrealized tragedies of our time is the popularity of the strictly literal approach to God’s Word.

To summarize my beliefs, the gospel is good news for all people, in all ways.

The Gospel isn’t like a legal contract with lots of stipulations and warnings in the fine print.

I fear that by the time I figure out how to properly boast about myself, it won’t matter because by then I’ll be senile. 😉

Every new author’s struggle: It takes a second to look at a painting, a few minutes to hear a song, but hours to read a book.

It’s illegal to say that Vitamin C can prevent any disease – except in history books!

Conservatives and liberals were around in Jesus’ time, but His moral positions didn’t fit those pre-made boxes.

Christians face an uphill battle on religious freedom when we are easily dismissed as the “religious right.”

Let’s not be divided among ourselves, nor fellowship with unbelievers.

“Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” | Yes, but not as simple as it sounds. Most poor people want to work.

Why is most soup not condensed any more? Big soup cans have a huge impact on the environment.

Who you dance with is who you’ll go home with. Do you choose Satan or Jesus?

99 percent of all political pundits know what side their bread is buttered on.

Eggs must be extremely popular in America, considering how so many of us are walking on eggshells. #lol

From what I see in the Bible, faith and holiness are more important than popularity and success.

I unfollow all who haven’t tweeted in the last 90 days. If you want followers, send a tweet at least every 30 days even if it’s an RT.

Compliments cost nothing, and are not a known cause of death or illness.

Some attempted compliments have led to injuries, however. Example: “That dress makes you look thin.”

Some speak of the cross as a reason to expect defeat, but Paul saw God’s provision in it (Rom. 8:32).

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? – Rom 8:32

You can control conversations by asking questions, but not if you are judgmental.

Old age has made me wiser. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!… Now, what was I saying?…

Scientists have discovered that neutrinos have mass. I didn’t even know they were Catholic! 😉

Old age has made me wiser. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!… Now, what was I saying?…

It’s an injustice that Jesus died for any of us, unless we live for Him.

WWJD? Tough question since Jesus has two roles in prophecy & history: suffering Savior and conquering King.

If accepting science means abandoning faith, I’m not clear on where that’s supposed to have started. Fire? The wheel?…

Don’t chew food with your wisdom teeth cause they’re considered to be vestigial and non-functional. 😉

Who are we  to question much of what we’ve been taught? The answer: People of noble character! (Acts 17:11)

3 Reasons to Forgive (from lowest to highest priority): 1. For their sake. 2. For yourself. 3. For Jesus.

Famous Person: I am humbled by this honor. Master of Ceremonies: Oh, should we have dumped a load of crap on you instead? #lol

You can face adversity as a whiner, a wino, or a winner. Your choice.

Trials help us learn and grow. God wants us to be happy, but not by always making our lives easy.

God makes some extreme introverts, but society often helps keep them that way.

Diversity doesn’t mean we all take sides and war against other groups. It means we think for ourselves instead of letting others define us.

The Bible says more about seeking wisdom for life than about seeking God’s will for specific decisions.

I confess I lose some respect for Christians who disagree with others by quoting a scripture passage completely out of context.

Please do fellow Christians and unbelievers the courtesy of reading the entire context of a passage before quoting it to them.

If we’ve been gently rebuked even once for having misinterpreted the Bible, it’s something we should have taken to heart.

I want to represent, and be represented by God, not by an alleged victims’ group demanding special privileges.

Anyone who wants to bring you down knows that you’re in a higher place.

How to find out if the media is lying to you: 1. Is your TV on? 2. Are you watching the news?

We tend to think we’re like gophers on the Internet, but companies like Google track what holes we’re popping out of. #lol

What most Christians say: “Follow Jesus, not me.” What Paul said: “Follow me as I follow Christ.” The world needs living witnesses.

When we say, “Follow Jesus, not us,” unbelievers may think, “Where is He?”

The term “anal-retentive” is vulgar, offensive, and Freudian – based on falsehoods. Alternatives: persnickety, fussy.

Be persistent! Never give up! There’s no other way to reach your goal. ~ a sperm cell #lol

I’ve met many struggling Christian authors, but not many people who are willing to read or review their books.

Struggling authors aren’t all about money. Many will give you a copy of their book if you consider writing a positive review.

Sometimes, I believe God takes a step back to let you know what people are like. He alone is faithful.

One reason for denominations is so that we can “know” which Christians are on the inside and which are on the outside.

Evangelicalism is supposed to be a giant “in” group, but many Christians (including myself) are not greatly impressed.

Since this world respects and seeks power, it’s only logical that false shepherds may put politics before the Bible.

We shouldn’t form political opinions first, then find scriptures to justify them. Instead, we should start with the Bible.

Ain’t it funny how some of the most ignorant people see themselves as “know-it-alls”?

The jaws of power are open to devour all who cower at the critical hour.

This was a rewrite of: “The jaws of power are always open to devour…the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”~John Adams

The doctrine of original sin doesn’t place the blame for evil exclusively on the people you love to hate.

You may be the only evidence of God’s love in someone’s life today.

Why so many fools in the world? Most people don’t seek wisdom, but look for what might serve their self-interest.

Some people say they only want to tell the truth, but it looks like they’re spreading hatred.

I’d compliment you, but I don’t want you to get the idea that you’re superior to me in some way. #satire

As I’ve said before, compliments are not a known cause of illness or death.

The problem with RTs is that they dilute the acclaim that would otherwise go only to myself. #satire

Gates’ Law: If one program on your computer is “Not responding,” it’s the one you’re trying to use.

Mom: Do u have room for dessert? Child: Sugar is like heroin to me, and my stomach can expand. Any more questions?

Mom: Do u want dessert? Child: Let’s just say I’m not letting you take away my steak knife until you serve it up!

Instead of worrying about your eternal destiny, rejoice that your name is written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)

When I found out how much a dentist wanted to charge for fillings, I decided to avoid him like the plaque. #haha

If you help others, there’s no “law of success” that says you’ll be financially rewarded for it. Do good anyway!

If you want to overcome your fears, you’ve got to stop, turn, and face the music.

Preachers these days say all kinds of things that divide Christians, and we take it in stride. This is “normal.”

If you’re on the political left or right, did it ever occur to you that in nature, a single mind controls both left and right?

All the puppeteer has to do when changing between liberal (left) and conservative (right) presidents is change hands.

As I see it, we can either admit that we’ve been stooges, or accuse some people of being crazy conspiracy theorists.

We read our books quietly and alone. The ancient Hebrews and Greeks read theirs loudly in public, often from memory.

We think of poetry as a quaint, needless pastime. The ancient Hebrews and Greeks used it to shape views of history and politics.

I have hope for today, tomorrow, and every day.

I believe in the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.

I love God, fellow Christians, family, friends, and enemies.

Repentance doesn’t just mean “believe in Jesus.” It means turning away from sin.

Repentance means to change one’s mind or heart. Have you made a change we can believe in?

Christians, don’t let an Antichrist take over the world! | It was for freedom that Christ set us free… (Gal. 5:1)

When a preacher sets a date for Christ’s return, the church finance committee should adjust his retirement account to match it.

Libs: USA is corrupt at the head. Govt-corporate ties. Cons: USA is corrupt at the feet. Welfare state. God: USA is corrupt head to toe.

The most enlightened people can see the shortcomings of both liberals and conservatives.

If u want to be in a church choir, u must believe as the pastor does. That way, he doesn’t have to preach to the choir. #haha

Unbelievers talk about oil and gas “deposits,” but don’t recognize that Someone must have deposited them there.

Oh, I suppose the dinosaurs “deposited” themselves. #lol

I don’t get it. If global warming causes my house to become a beachfront property in a warm climate, won’t that be a good thing? #satire

I suggest caution when counseling perfectionists. Our chief end is to glorify God, and perfection is a quality of God.

God loves perfection, but He also likes to see us get things done. :)

God has given us enough wealth that we shouldn’t always have to do things in a half-assed way. Unfortunately, the top 1% own most of it.

Moral perfectionism is when a person is easily overcome with guilt. This is also a tightrope walk for counselors, imo.

If Christians were more like Jesus, fewer would be leaving churches and more would be (figuratively) overturning tables inside them.

Failure reveals to everyone who we are. This is all the more reason to learn from our mistakes and change.

We can’t allow God’s blessing to flow from ourselves to others without being blessed in the process.

Samson did not commit suicide, as some allege. He died as a warrior. That’s why he’s mentioned in Hebrews 11.

I thought that I came up with a word, but it’s already in the online dictionaries… googlable

Let’s see. Ishmael was like a wild ass; TF all Arabs are like that. Arabs founded Islam;TF all Muslims are like that. Okaay..

I Googled the keys to success, but there were over 10,000 of them so I gave up. #kidding

If someone speaks out against evil, perhaps it’s better to consider the evil than to critique that person’s every word.

How some Christians make me feel. Me: I have a problem… Them: Repent of sin. Is there anything else I can help you with?

The early Christians proclaimed Jesus’ Lordship not as “personal,” but in a way that made the Caesars feel politically threatened.

The early Christians were martyred because they believed that Jesus’ Lordship rightly extends to all people.

There’s a big difference between explaining a scripture passage and explaining it away.

Perception depends on what you’re lookin’ at.

Lies have no power unless we believe them. That’s why Satan has no real power.

BREAKING NEWS STORY!: Here’s what we know so far. We know diddly and squat.  Stay tuned for updates!

If we would honor and pray for our rulers, God would hold them to a higher standard.

It’s impossible for all of us to be destined for greatness, if only because great would become the new ordinary.

People who say we’re all destined for greatness are full of it, but could still be right about you. So, what are your plans?

It can be hard to pray for rulers, but even harder to live under their rule if we don’t pray.

The Pharisees were the fundamentalists and conservatives of their day. The Sadducees were the modernists and liberals. #FYI

It was different then? Not really. God’s ways are not man’s ways.

So banal and callous! RT @thequote: [Babies are] a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. – Ronald Knox

Let’s not always look at what people are, but at what they can become. :)

I’m excited about heaven, but also happy to know that God loves this world and wants me to make a difference here.

It’s not easy for most young people to learn how to relate to others, but they *should* find models of great relationships in the church.

A big “thank you” to all the people, especially married couples, who model great relationships for the rest of us.

I can believe in human potential because I believe in a God Who is greater than us all, and Who is committed to our salvation.

Don’t laugh at someone’s troubles. If God isn’t laughing, we shouldn’t either.

Paul was not the only NT author who wrote about salvation. In fact, his words must be reconciled with Jesus’ own teachings.

Christian: Lord, I don’t understand some Bible verses. God: I will provide for thee a study Bible. #thingsgodneversaid

Life is like riding on a train. Things in the world don’t have to affect us, and all will eventually pass.

IMO, Christians ought to be careful what they read on patheos.com. It’s a “religions” website, not a Christianity website.

We never compromise the gospel by befriending another person. (We can share the gospel later).

When asked whether the snake in the Garden of Eden was a literal snake, Karl Barth replied… (Get ready for it)

“Zee more important qvestion iss vhat vas it zhat zee snake said?” 😀 LOL

These phrases have saved me from a lot of awkward situations: “Not to boast but” and “No offense but”. #JustKidding

I bet some people on Facebook really get annoyed by 140-character cross-posts from Twitter. They’re like, “Where’s the picture?”

You have to imagine things. It’s like reading Lord of the Rings before the movie came out. Tough times. 😉

Social media is a great place to get compassion and sympathy whenever you want to complain about something. #kidding

Something that you try to do for others might not matter. But God sees you trying to make a difference, and that does matter!

God opened the Bible by flipping on the “light switch.” After that, the light of His revelation keeps getting brighter.

QUOTE followed by MY TWEET:

In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians. ~ Karl Barth

If a theologian is someone who studies the Bible, why should that intimidate you as a Christian?

If you think our nation can somehow run on autopilot, just be aware there are politicians in the cockpit!

Politicians are servants. Either they serve an informed citizenry or an elite group of the wealthiest people.

Politicians are usually so busy arguing about bills that they have no time to read them!

You can’t believe in the need to think about issues if you believe in letting politicians handle them.

In real life, the Titanic was mainly just a tragedy, not a romantic tragedy.

If people condemn you, they may be guilty of that same sin in their hearts, if not in their actions.

In my experience, most arguments are contrived by people who don’t want to admit where they’re wrong. So they find something to refute.

After he died, a rich man wanted to warn people to repent & believe in God. God said no, the gospel will spread thru the Word, not séances.

That was my summary of Luke 16:19-31

Lord, even if we don’t know much, help us be bold about what we do know (John 9:1-41).

Darkness only helps astronomers get a better view of the stars.

Since we can only see the blue sky during the day time, some aliens could be hiding between the Earth and the Sun. 😉

When they say “Some banks & corporations are too big to fail,” what they’re really saying is “Behold your gods!”

The worst event for mankind is war, but it’s the most lucrative event for international bankers.

Some people lack wisdom because they prefer to be clever.

The reasoning process of sinful people: What this person is saying makes me feel bad. Therefore, he or she must be wrong.

Asking why a polar bear is swimming in the Arctic Ocean is a little like asking why the chicken crossed the road.

It’s unbecoming of a Christian to be quick to accuse others.

Even though God knows all things, He withholds Judgment until the end of time.

In medieval times, kings had to let knights go when they couldn’t pay them. They became known as free lancers. 😉

You do gain something by not risking anything: a dull, ordinary life.

I like to study church growth principles from megapastors, especially ones who have studied business management. #kidding

We experience salvation when we cease from our own labors and trust in the finished work of Christ. This is true rest. (Hebrews 4)

You have to do something to get something from God: Only rest in Christ’s finished work.

With personal happiness comes personal responsibility.

In Proverbs, Wisdom calls out to simple-minded people, not only to people with high IQs (Prov. 8:4-5).

When Christian teachers say they love finding types of Christ in the Old Testament but reject allegories. #makesnosense

The temple and everything in it was so much about Jesus that it isn’t even present in the New Jerusalem! (Rev. 21:22)

Paul defended allegory by asking, “Does God care for oxen?” Certainly! But the Bible is mostly about theology. (1 Cor. 9:9)

Someone should write a book, “How Olympians feel after winning gold” because that’s a great question we all wonder about. #satire

S.S. Question | At the last supper, they ate unleavened bread. | So that was like, gluten-free, right? | Yeah. They had allergies. 😉

I think finding & RT’ing good tweets is a ministry to the Lord that blesses our followers.

Q: How do you know when you’ve been on Twitter too long? A: You feel like going on a retweet. 😉 #lol

So, I bought one of them “dutch ovens.” How am I supposed to turn on the heat? 😉 lol

Thank you, Lord, for all the wonderful people You’ve put in my life. May I also give people reason to be thankful for myself.

If you preach to others while being neither obedient nor convicted, you’re arrogant and hypocritical.

No matter how much you may try to be ready, life is bigger than you. Trust in God to see you through.

If you repeatedly tell yourself you can’t do something, don’t expect to pull off a last-minute miracle.

I might have considered being a Gnostic if I didn’t have to ignore so many active tense verbs in the Bible.

Paul’s missionary activities show that he didn’t just “receive” the Kingdom of God, but actively established it.

We are “reckoned” to be good through faith in Christ, but also keep this in mind. http://t.co/KAAj0psoSo (Picture is titled “A Good Person” & is saved on my computer).

Hummingbirds use a tremendous amount of energy to fly like helicopters, but they do stop to smell the flowers. Are you doing the same?

Watch the ALTITUDE of your ego because that will always affect your ATTITUDE. 😉

I shook up my toner cartridge, and now it has a brand new life! Maybe that’s why God “shakes us” sometimes. :)

If God shakes us and bad stuff comes out, that’s to purge us. It helps us know ourselves so that we can instead trust in Him.

Some Christians seem to be more interested in contemporary human stories (“faith journeys”) than in the Bible’s stories.

I know that our spiritual father, Abraham, had an authentic faith journey. I’m less certain about what your story can teach me.

Sectarians do whatever is right in their own eyes. Coming together to worship in spirit & truth is doing right in God’s eyes (Dt. 12:5-14).

God told Israel to build roads not for trade, military, or even religious use, but so manslayers could flee their avengers (Dt. 19:3).

Science is purposeless and directionless without philosophy or, more accurately (from a Christian standpoint), theology.

When restrained, sex strengthens marriages. Unrestricted, it divides the genders.

I would be much more popular if only I had a decent robot.

God gives us no extra credit for wearing a long face as we endure trials.

If fat can “melt away,” why are there so many fat people in hot places?

God doesn’t only command us to live virtuous lives, but empowers us to do so through faith in Christ.

Theology that prepares us for heaven will also serve us well in this life.

Careful what you pray for. After I prayed that someone would turn to God, he joined an eastern religion. Now says he’s a god. j/k

Bumblebees used to be called humblebees. Like honey bees, their population is declining.

Mr. Algebra teacher, do you have relationship problems? | No. Why? | You’re always asking us to find your “x.” 😉 haha

It’s God’s job to make decisions about eternal matters. Our job is only to know, trust, and follow Him.

Even if other people can’t relate to whatever you’re going through, God always can.

You don’t have to apologize for everything but when you do, take 100% responsibility for your actions.

You already know this, but it bears repeating. If Christ forgave you, you should forgive others.

Some ppl get angry at ppl on welfare who shud be working. If someone uses drugs, work no longer matters cuz they shud rot in prison.

I’m as cynical as anyon. The hope that I see for mankind is in the Bible and the grace of God.

I wouldn’t want to read people’s minds. Motives can be too ugly.

There aren’t good Christians and bad Christians. There are just Christians, saved by grace.

Don’t let your eternal fate depend on what other people say about God. Study the Bible for yourself!

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~ Hippocrates

Some people learn the language from talking; others from reading. The difference is that the first group doesn’t know how to spell. :)

Even the least among us has something to offer that God values highly – a broken heart.

[include next FIVE tweets with this].

The least among us can also complain to the Lord if we mistreat them… and He definitely hears them.

If someone isn’t even aware that we mistreated them, God still sees it.

That makes me fear God (see last 3 tweets).

Deuteronomy 24:15 is about poor people who cry out to the Lord against rich people who withhold wages.

I don’t think the Bible endorses the attitude of, “One day, maybe I will repay that person the favor.” What can we do today?

My last 6 or 7 tweets could have become a blog post, but they take so much time, it may never be. :(

I don’t think Americans in general are gluttonous and lazy. I think it’s the mutant wheat. http://t.co/6Nqx9TmpiQ

God put it in our hearts to help other people by doing good. Computer games often simulate that.

The Bible is much more than words. People, including the Son of God, prayed, sweat, cried, and bled to make it all happen.

There are three kinds of Americans: fundamentalist conservatives, bleeding heart liberals, and the ones who see through that BS.

Man is not only God’s highest creation, but also His lowest. | “I am a worm and not a man.” Ps. 22:6

Jesus was no “worm”, though that statement is found in prophecy (Ps. 22:6). We are the worms because of our sins.

When Christians write a lot of snarky opinions about TV and culture, I wonder why they are taking so much of it in to begin with.

The Titanic is going down, but at least we get to sit in our deck chairs and criticize the captain. #makesnosense

When a Christian writes a lot of snarky opinions about TV and culture, I wonder why they take so much of it in to begin with.

A: I’m tired of working and arguing w/people. B: Oh, we have a game for u. A: What’s it got? B: Simulated work and fighting. @@

Don’t tell children they will become hyperactive after eating sugar, or they may (placebo effect). It’s a myth. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52516

Two things are important in life: The things you do and the reasons why you do them.

We can honor veterans without glorifying the military-industrial state. They are two different things.

Please don’t steal my tweets. RTs with my @ are fine. Stealing can lead to a Twitter suspension.

The Chiffon commercial (from the 70s) warned us that Mother Nature can be a bitch…

The Chiffon commercial was ironic: Don’t try to fool Mother Nature, but eat fake butter instead of real thing. Can our bodies fool nature?

Sad but true. http://t.co/qBLEDmhYFw

The Jews told Jesus, “We know what to do: Toss out the Romans!” Jesus replied, “No, war isn’t the solution.” #paraphrase

Sometimes I imagine what Jesus would say. That isn’t the same as falsely claiming that it is Scripture.

No sissy could have become rabbi and Lord to Peter, the “sons of thunder,” an anti-Roman zealot, and a despised tax collector.

It’s not so much that Americans aren’t protesting in the streets. It’s that very few are looking for solutions to our problems.

It takes no faith for a Christian to give up on this world and hope that Jesus will come back for them. Butt-sitting is not faith.

My blog and book are very much about seeking answers in the Bible, such as this article: http://www.premodernwisdom.org/economics/plan-restore-sound-money-prosperity-1/

Don’t spread fear and tell me it’s faith.

The communists used public self-criticism as a means of control. We need to be humble, but not go too far. Balance in all things.

If you don’t have hope, you’ve already lost.

In Greek mythology, evils roam the world but hope stays in one place. Our hope should be entirely in God and His salvation.

When you look ahead in life, you may see rivers and gorges. When you get close enough, you’ll see the bridges.

Job interviewer: Have some toast… Now place it upside down. Applicant: No. I know what side my bread is buttered on. Interviewer: You’re hired!

Johnny: Mommy, I’m bad at math. | Mom: Never say you’re bad at anything! | Johnny: OK, let’s not say anything bad about this “F”. #lol

If you appreciate something, share it with others. Yep, that includes tweets! :)

Everything’s ethical as long as you’re making a buck. #LiesfromHell

One advantage of tweets being so short is that anyone who responds has probably gone to the trouble of reading it.

Yogurt is the result of someone saying, “If my milk is going to spoil, I want to use this bacteria that makes it still taste good.”

If, on social media, you often share posts from celebrity pastors, but seldom like or share posts from family & friends, shame on you.

We all have some good things to say, and everyone needs some attention.

It’s not two-faced to be nice to people you don’t like. It’s called being civil.

Evangelism is about more than “Pray this prayer,” and discipleship more than “Come to our church.”

When we wrongly judge someone, we become blind to good qualities that God has put in them.

This isn’t self promotion, just the truth. People don’t share good content as much as they should. Talking about Christians.

Some people unfollow because they don’t agree with 100% of my tweets. Overall, we’ve become intolerant people.

We’re intolerant because we’ve been politicized by political extremists, and denominationalized by dogmatists.

If truth hurts, you may choose to stop listening, but it isn’t going to go away.

Most people would rather let themselves be manipulated than accept the burden of thinking for themselves.

The only thing more disgusting than a zombie is one who dances and shouts, “Praise the Lord!”

Sometimes God is more interested in cries for justice than in shouts of praise.

Atheists mock because many Christians give the impression that God only wants to be praised.

If praise lifts you up, that’s wonderful. Praise is good. Have you spread that blessing by lifting up someone else?

Since the USA tries to impose our morality on other nations anyway, we should ask them to not persecute Christians.

We can’t always be religiously pluralist and morally neutral at the same time.

When someone sins against us, we must forgive them and work with the Holy Spirit, Who convicts the guilty.

Don’t think to yourself, “God created us to pursue our own interests. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

If someone rejects the gospel, that doesn’t mean it was never good news for them.

Introverts are sensitive to the negativity in social interactions. Extraverts are more mindful of the positives.

Like a bird, I tweet to please the Lord, not people. #lol

Only one sperm cell breaks thru to fertilize an egg, but many others help. So we all should do what we can even if we don’t see the fruit.

Heaven is known for glory all around, but we can safely say there’s a shortage of it in this world, even for those who deserve some.

Paul referred to fellow believers as saints because church officers had thoroughly investigated their works & canonized them. #kidding

Because I love Jesus, I care about exposing threats to our freedoms, which includes freedom of religion.

Give millions of dollars to research institutes and PR firms, and you can make a lot of people believe in lies backed by nonsense.

The Old Testament contains shadows of future events, as if the brightness of God’s glory shone back from Christ into the past.

Though my body suffers from bad food choices, it has never judged me for anything I’ve eaten. It just makes the best of it. #thankful

I try to eat good foods so that I don’t abuse the precious body that God gave me. :)

I wonder how people were able to stay hydrated before they invented disposable plastic water bottles. #mystery #jk #lol

If I miss my Bible reading, I pick up again where I left off. Failure to attain perfection is no excuse for not doing what we can.

Many people only want to be challenged to a point where they can feel pleased with themselves.

Christians, I don’t care if your website url has your name in it, but I don’t want to see a giant picture of you on every page.

If a doctrine is new, then it probably isn’t true. #Dispensationalism

Peace making is not just about settling arguments. It’s about trying to bring people closer to God.

Perhaps one reason why some Christians get theology wrong is because for them it’s little more than an intellectual curiosity.

If your theology leaves innocent victims in its wake, maybe it’s not biblical. #militarism #fascism #prosperitygospel

If Jesus had had to rely on His resume and standard #HR practices, He would have been a carpenter all His life.

Jesus could heal, but He could never have gotten a job as a doctor.

Jesus gave people hope and spiritual life, but He could never have been hired as a psychologist.

Jesus was (and is) God’s Son, but He wouldn’t have met formal qualifications to become a pastor.

Jesus didn’t fit into any of the boxes that people had made for one other.

Right now, people are praying to receive things that you and I probably take for granted.

If people working to reform our society have a victory, the media (if they report it) act as if we have a well functioning democracy.

Demanding an address and phone number on job applications is biased against the homeless. UK only lets them ask for email.

If people working to reform our society have a victory, the media (if they report it) act as if we have a well functioning democracy.

Every possible issue in framed in terms of Democrats vs. Republicans, as if that’s always relevant.

God doesn’t want us to accumulate too much stuff, though I’m hoping He’ll make an exception when it comes to books. 😉

I should make & try to sell Twitter blindfolds for all the times you don’t know how your tweets are being received.

You could wear the blindfold while creating your next tweet, and while hitting the [Enter] key.

If someone gets rich selling Twitter blindfolds, remember that you saw it here first. :)

God blesses the “seed of Abraham,” which is Christ. We aren’t here to sow our own seeds.

Spreading “my” ministry and “my” teachings is sowing our own seed, which is spiritual fornication.

Our own seed produces weeds, but God’s seed produces bountiful harvests.

Joshua told the people of Israel, “God will conquer Canaan for you!” Then they all sat and waited. #notwhathappened

You know you’re in a real relationship with someone if you can’t click a button to “unfriend” them.

No one thing you do will change your life, but a lot of small things will.

However, if you do need to change your life, become born again if you’re not already.

If you honor Jesus in your heart, you will honor His ministers, regardless of whether or not they are celebrities.

Some people on Twitter only follow me if I follow back. What’s worse is people who only follow Jesus if He does things for them.

A lion may be able to kill a deer, but haters have no power over us that we don’t grant them.

Hannah’s prayer makes it look like God had appeared and taken over the world. In fact, she had gotten pregnant (1 Sam. 2).

“Small” miracles CAN assure us that God will ultimately defeat all evil.

Even a “non-miracle,” such as baptism or the Lord’s supper, can become a source of hope and faith.

1 & 2 Samuel reveal the fulfillment of Hannah’s prophetic expectation in David’s song of praise (1 Sam. 2, 2 Sam. 22).

People are so egocentric that we even have a tendency to make theology revolve around ourselves.

I am thankful that Jesus understands our temptations and helps us overcome them.

We shouldn’t be fat and junk-food absorbed. Neither should we be fit but self-absorbed.

If someone says, “to be honest with you,” it doesn’t mean they normally lie. It means they are being open about a difficult topic.

Older people shouldn’t judge younger people as if they have the same economic opportunities we did. Sadly, they don’t.

Young people, older folks may annoy you with advice but we don’t want you to waste years of life as we have. Please be polite.

You don’t know that you can’t do something until you’ve tried it.

Do you want This is why God’s wrath is being poured out on us. #1 reason.

God is fed up with this: “I don’t care about the sins of my neighbors and this nation. Forgive my sins.”

If nobody would accuse you of “wasting your time” on prayer and Bible reading, you’re surely giving it too little time.

People often worry about follow counts, but during Jesus’ ministry His “follower count” fluctuated wildly. 😉

The desire to count followers threatens to make politicians of us all. Excuse me while I vomit…

The only thing certain about anyone’s life is that it will end.

 

This list was last updated on March 26th, 2014.

 

The Greatest Town Ever: Christmas, Sports, and Glory

Bethlehem - V Polenov 1882

Bethlehem by Vasily Polenov (1882)

We know the day of Christ’s birth was a glorious day, but what could Christmas possibly have to do with sports? Christian theologians generally have little to say about sports because frankly, the Bible tells us virtually nothing about sports in ancient Israel. Even so, I’m about to reveal a hidden connection between sports and the Bible, and even between sports and Christmas!

The Common Thread

The connection can be found in one word: rivalry. Sports is very much about rivalry. This happens to be a very familiar topic in the Bible. Rivalry begins with the rival sons of Adam, and continues with the sons of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and so on through the Bible.

Even Jesus’ own disciples competed with one another. Our Lord didn’t discourage rivalry altogether. Instead, He steered His disciples in the right direction. He told them that whoever wanted to become the greatest should become the least of all (Lk. 9:48).

We all find it easy to turn our noses up at these past rivalries, mainly because they don’t involve us. Perhaps you are a mostly cooperative person rather than a competitive person. If so, that’s fine but let’s face it…

We all want to be the victor sometimes. None of us is content to always come in last. This all goes back to mankind’s ancient struggle to find food; find a mate; and otherwise do whatever was necessary to survive.

Rivalry in Ancient Israel

God knows that just as each of us is drawn to rivalries as individuals, so it is with communities. Think of all the rivalries among our sports teams and their home cities today. Like myself, you probably have some favorite sports teams, starting with ones that are in or near your home town.

Although ancient Israel didn’t have professional sports, the Israelites took pride in their religious heritage. For example, the Judahites looked forward to becoming the home of the prophesied Messiah. Judah was known for having produced great rulers such as David, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekian. Indeed, God had chosen that tribe for this role since the day that the patriarch Jacob had blessed Judah in these words:

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. (Gen. 49:10)

How God Honored Bethlehem

You may now be one step ahead of me, knowing that Bethlehem was the birthplace of our Messiah, and therefore can be considered the “greatest town ever.” However, let’s walk through this one thought at a time…

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know there’s always some hometown pride, and always some rivalry with the neighboring towns. God may not care much about our sports rivalries, but He clearly took an interest in the conversations that must have taken place in the towns of Judah.

People must have wondered, “From what family will the Messiah descend?,” and “Where will He be born?” The people of Jerusalem may have thought to themselves, “Surely, the Messiah will be born here, in King David’s royal city.”

As you know, three wise men came to visit Jesus, our Messiah, soon after His birth. They first went to Jerusalem and asked where the Messiah was to be born. King Herod was frightened at the thought that someone might rise up to threaten his rule. When Herod passed the question on to the Pharisees, they quoted this prophecy from Micah:

And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
For from you shall come a ruler
Who will shepherd my people Israel’ (Matt. 2:6)

Herod thought he could defy God by thwarting the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Thus, he had his soldiers kill all the baby boys in and around the town of Bethlehem.

After this slaughter, Bethlehem surely must have seemed like the least of all the towns of Judah. Everyone must have wondered, “How could God have allowed this to happen to us?” and “Where is God’s Messiah in this hour of need?” This was the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy:

Thus says the LORD:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more. (Jer. 31:15)

God permitted this tragedy so that evil could reveal its monstrous face. This includes not only King Herod, but the demonic powers that tempted him. Those murdered infants surely hold places of special honor in Heaven. In addition, we honor that ancient town of Bethlehem upon every remembrance and celebration of Christ’s birth.

Since God used even that horrific event for His glory, you may rest assured that He can also use your past sins and setbacks for His purposes.

The Bible indicates that victory often comes in the midst of a heartbreaking event. This happened not only at Christ’s birth, but also at His crucifixion.

Herod was correct in his supposition that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. However, by the time he killed the infants, Joseph and Mary had already taken their Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to safety in Egypt.

How We Can Benefit From Rivalry

As for our present-day sports rivalries, I think we all know the “score,” so to speak. God routinely uses them to show us the power of virtues such as leadership, teamwork, perseverance, faith, and discipline. For these reasons, I think God can and does bless sporting events, as long as we don’t idolize either the sports or any of the athletes involved in them.

The story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem directs our attention to the noblest motive for engaging in rivalry. The highest honor comes, not from winning any trophy, but from ushering our Savior into the world and welcoming His Holy Spirit among us. Like Joseph and Mary, we can be willing vessels for God to use in honorable ways. We can choose to let Jesus shine in and through us so that the world will know that He is alive and enthroned at the right hand of God.

Jesus’ disciples engaged in rivalry because they sought glory and honor. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve greatness, but each of must first be willing to become the servant of all.

The Best Way to Help the Poor

Debt-Free Money Will Help Us All

(and Why Libertarian “Solutions” Won’t Work)

Money-WikimediaCommons 545x400

 

Christians have a duty to help the poor since this is a biblical mandate (Deut. 15:7-11). Unfortunately, our monetary system is designed in such a way that it redistributes wealth from the poor to the rich. Thus, no matter how generous we may be, we’re caught in a losing battle. These days, even the middle class keeps getting poorer. (If you have any doubts about this, you can learn more by watching this 6-minute video about the wealth gap in the United States).

You may be wondering how our monetary system redistributes wealth from the poor to the rich. Briefly stated, wealthy people own the biggest banks. These banks create money as debt through the Federal Reserve Bank. This debt is owed by us taxpayers, and we pay billions of dollars in interest on it every year. Money has to be created, but it makes no sense for it to be created as debt that you and I owe to the banks? I don’t think so.

When there’s something so fundamentally wrong with our economic system that it results in widespread suffering and even death for people in poverty, that’s a biblical concern. Therefore, this article on how to fix our monetary system should be of interest to all Christians.

I will explain for you, in non-technical language, how our debt-based money system works, and why some popular, proposed “solutions” will not work.

In our debt-based money system, private banks operating through the Federal Reserve System have been granted the right to create and lend money that has never before existed. As a consequence, even though the United States claims to be a sovereign nation, we need foreign countries such as China to buy our debt so that our own Congress can continue to spend money.

This makes no sense since our Constitution gave Congress has the sole right to issue the currency. Out-of-control spending is bad, but it’s much worse when we have to borrow money from a foreign country to do it. The intention behind this scheme was not for the U.S. to borrow money from foreign nations, even though that is the outcome. The system is designed to allow the Federal Reserve to obtain money from any and all lenders.

Under the Federal Reserve System, any person, organization, or government can profit by buying bonds and receiving free interest at taxpayer expense. For 2013, this amounted to a $415 billion transfer of wealth from mostly middle class U.S. taxpayers to wealthy bondholders. We get dollars—the right to our own currency—in exchange for becoming debtors. Later, our creditors get our dollars back in repayment of principal and interest. This is like a hellish merry-go-round that gets us nowhere.

Under the circumstances, we shouldn’t be surprised that America’s middle class is slowly disappearing. Every American is enslaved with debts totaling more than $186,000 for every man, woman, and child.

These matters should be of the utmost concern to each of us, especially to Christians.

I’ve studied economics, currencies, and other investment-related matters carefully, and always with an eye on what the Bible teaches. In the Old Testament, God forbad the charging of interest (which was formerly called “usury”) because it was a primary means of defrauding the poor. God condemned those who practiced usury through His prophets, who were wise to their schemes.

Rich oppressors, both in ancient times and today, start by “generously” lending money to all. They ended up taking possession of property and land. Mark Twain described the nature of bank lending in these words:

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

The Israelites didn’t observe either the seventh-year Sabbaths, or the Years of Jubilee, when land was supposed to have been returned to the original owners. As a result of their disobedience in this and other important matters, God sent the people into exile.

When it comes to moneylending, the end game hasn’t changed since Old Testament times. Debt, ranging from credit card debt to interest payments on national deficits, is a leading cause of poverty in our world.

We’ve hoped in vain that our nation, together with the world as a whole, would return to prosperous times. We need genuine economic recoveries, not “jobless” recoveries and further banking scandals. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible under the existing monetary and financial systems.

When currency is issued as debt, the public as a whole cannot prosper. For example, a bank may loan you money to buy a house, but who is providing the interest money needed to repay that loan? You may reply that you will provide that money through your labor. However, the real question is this: Who is putting the money needed by you and other borrowers into the economy? The answer is, nobody. That interest money doesn’t enter the economy, except as someone else’s debt. This is a harsh economic reality, which inevitably forces many borrowers into default.

I hope you are a hard-working person with outstanding qualifications, and that you can either avoid debt or always pay your debts. Regardless, my point is that our economic system is inherently unfair. It is designed in such a way that everyone can’t possibly pay their debts. In fact, as more people repay their debts, less money circulates in the economy, and the economy gets worse. Thus, the remaining debtors find it that much harder to obtain the money they need to repay their debts.

Many taxpayers are poor, and none should have to pay interest (through taxation) on the money our government spends. God cannot favor a system such as this, in which working people are needlessly saddled with a debt-based currency.

As I had mentioned, the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the lawful right to issue the currency and regulate its value. As I will explain, this is a moral right that belongs to the people of every nation, through their lawful representatives.

Alternative Banking System Proposals

Everything written above highlights the need for a new monetary system in the United States, and in other nations throughout the world. You’ve probably heard about some proposals for an alternative monetary system. I will examine two popular ideas and explain why they haven’t worked, and indeed cannot work.

Problems With the Gold Standard

Many “experts” today, including Ron and Rand Paul, have come up with nothing more original than the tried-and-failed gold standard. Since I explained in Part 1 of “A Plan to Restore Sound Money and Prosperity” why this isn’t a good idea, I will only review this briefly here.

One problem is that the gold supply is limited and inflexible. The same is true of silver. Gold, silver, and other precious metals are needed for industrial purposes and for jewelry. Therefore, we simply can’t afford to divert the world’s supply into coinage and warehouses to back our currencies.

The thought of a gold-backed currency captivates people who like the shiny stuff. However, please be forewarned that elitists can easily afford to buy gold in large quantities. Under a gold standard, this gives them power to manipulate the economy, swindle the taxpayers, and profit at poor people’s expense. Other problems with the gold standard are explained at this Wikipedia article.

Let’s also keep in mind that a lack of hard money was the original problem that resulted in the creation of paper currency.

We all know (as of this writing) that the U.S. dollar has value, but have you considered why this is so? It’s not because dollars are backed by gold, for they certainly are not. Rather, it’s because each one represents a small portion of the United States’ economic output, as well as the stability of our government and other factors which I’ll soon explain. This is real value, as long as the supply of dollars is limited. It’s easier to limit the supply of a currency than to endlessly dig holes into the ground looking for gold. (Miners have already dug 2.4 miles into the ground in this South African gold mine).

Problems With Private Money Creation

The famous Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek proposed in “A Free Market Monetary System” that private bankers should issue currencies in a competitive marketplace, and let the public decide which currencies to use. He reasoned that, whereas governments are always undisciplined and untrustworthy (cf. Rom. 13:1-7), we can trust private enterprises to do what is right (cf. Gen. 6:5, Mic. 7:2-4). Hayek wrote:

I am more convinced than ever that if we ever again are going to have a decent money, it will not come from government: it will be issued by private enterprise, because providing the public with good money which it can trust and use can not only be an extremely profitable business; it imposes on the issuer a discipline to which the government has never been and cannot be subject…. (boldfacing added)

This is a bizarre statement for a couple of reasons. First, in the same lecture Hayek gave us three examples of governments that kept their currency stable because they listened to “good economists.” They all did so by restricting the money supply, which begs the question of why Hayek insists that we can’t trust any government to do this. Second, Hayek failed to address past and ongoing problems with private entities issuing currency, as the Federal Reserve System does in the United States. In case you didn’t know, the Federal Reserve is a private corporation that is owned and controlled by a banking cartel. It makes no sense to put the blame for our Federal Reserve System entirely on the government, and not at all on private bankers. Anyway, to continue…

If Hayek was only suggesting that people and organizations should be free to create and exchange “money,” I would agree in principle. People should be free to exchange bus tokens, casino chips, cigarettes, Bitcoins, or any currency they wish. Apart from anti-counterfeiting laws, a government shouldn’t have a monopoly right to issue money. So for me, it’s not a question of whether people should have the freedom to exchange things, speculate, and experience gain or loss.

If Libertarians go further by arguing that governments or publicly-owned banks or treasuries should not be allowed to issue money, or that they should have to “level the playing field” by accepting funny money, I would disagree. I’m using the term “funny money” in reference to privately-issued money that has no proven record of widespread acceptance and relative stability.

The history of private currencies is even more dismal than that of government-issued currencies. Let’s consider four of the biggest problems…

1. Currency Supply is a Natural Monopoly

I could go further and say currency issuance is naturally a government monopoly. Private currency issuers, having neither military forces nor tax collectors at their disposal, have a greater initial burden than any but the weakest of governments. The issuer must convince people that it will limit the currency supply. Historically, banks have had to back their paper currency with verifiable assets such as gold or interest-bearing loans.

Interestingly, Americans got the Federal Reserve System and income taxes in the same year—1913. It would appear that bankers hate to have to back a currency with their own assets.

When private currency issuers compete with one another, chaos reigns. Imagine going into a grocery store and trying to find out how much you can buy with say, 4.21 in Citibank dollars, 3.62 in Goldman Sachs dollars, and 5.37 in JP Morgan Chase dollars. In addition, you will likely have had to throw away some money after the issuing bank, whichever one it was, declared bankruptcy. Under a “laissez faire” money system, we would constantly have to be in “buyer beware” mode—not just at the Walmart, but with our life savings!

We all like to have a choice of where to shop and what to buy. With money, on the other hand, we prefer a lack of choice. Instead, we want convenience and stable value.

Currency competition doesn’t lower costs, but greatly increases the cost and time involved in financial transactions. Having to choose among many currencies makes speculators of us all.

The ideal scenario is a monopoly in which everyone uses a single, relatively stable currency. Producers, merchants, and buyers all want to lower their costs by finding the best currency and, if feasible, rewarding the issuer with a veritable monopoly.

Of course, private banks understand this perfectly well. Consequently, big banks such as (to borrow from my earlier example) Citibank, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase might merge their operations to issue a single currency. We shouldn’t be surprised if this new banking coalition strangely begins to resemble the composition of the private banks behind the Federal Reserve.

Perhaps some Libertarians anticipate that as soon as we set out to change the currency regime, the big banks that they (and all of us) complain about will simply give up and go away. The burden is entirely on them to justify such an unreasonable and naïve expectation.

Incidentally, this is the problem with many academics. They tend to become so preoccupied with theories that they fail to respond to what’s going on in the real world.

Since currency issuance is a natural monopoly, we need to explore the ramifications of private banks being in possession of a currency monopoly. The quick, logical answer is that things wouldn’t change much from the present conditions. However, let’s examine the question in more detail…

2. A Monopolistic Currency Will Become a Fiat Currency

When a private currency becomes so widely accepted that it dominates the marketplace, the general public will once again have a convenient, universally-accepted medium of exchange. The nation could have spared itself the trouble by immediately obtaining this advantage through a publicly-owned central bank. Again, however, many people have been indoctrinated to believe that governments are always bad and untrustworthy.

The issuing bank will now hold the dominant place in the nation’s economy. The currency, which started out as a private asset, has also become a vital public asset, essential to the nation’s economic health and security.

The currency issuer, no matter how wealthy, will surely not have (or not be willing to put up) sufficient assets to back the enormous amount of money that will now be in circulation. Practically speaking, there isn’t enough gold in the world to back very much paper money.

Initially, the bank will quietly lower any real asset backing behind the currency. Then, like a snake that has difficulty swallowing an elephant, the issuing bank will look for outside help.

Predictably, the bank (or banking cartel) will turn to the government with a perfectly reasonable argument. It will warn the government that if the general public makes a run on the currency, it can’t possibly redeem all of it for gold (or for whatever is supposed to be backing the currency). The issuing bank will remind the government of the need to support the economy and protect the national security. Having twisted the government’s “arm,” the bank is likely to make at least two demands:

  1. That the government make it mandatory for everyone to accept only that currency as legal tender;
  2. That the bank be allowed to drastically lower, or entirely eliminate asset backing of the currency.

Now, the issuing bank no longer has to worry about currency demand because that will have been guaranteed by government decree. In addition, it will no longer have to worry about a bank run. It will still be collecting profits, but will no longer be risking anything.

The bank will further seek permission to engage in fractional reserve lending, assuming that this had appropriately been banned. Personalities in the media and academia can be expected to pave the way by talking about what a good idea this is.

Libertarians will surely rise up and blame everything on the government. However, the true source of the problem will be the private banks that the Libertarians themselves will have empowered.

The public will now have a national currency that is also privately issued, and that is fiat money. We’ll be back to “square one” since this will be very much like the existing Federal Reserve System. As predictable as this outcome appears, most Libertarians say they are against government involvement, fiat currency, fractional reserve lending, etc.

3. A Monopolistic, Privately-Issued Currency Will Lead to Further Inflation and Financial Crises

Again, once a particular currency is both universal and mandatory, the door will be open to unrestricted inflation. It’s true that Hayek had hoped that private banks would seek profit by keeping their currency stable. However, that’s “small potatoes” compared to the kind of profits that can be obtained by gradually  inflating a currency. In fact, the potential profits and power are so enormous that Jesus’ words are applicable: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?” (Mark 8:36).

It does no good to treat a wolf like a lamb when it has already revealed its true nature. Similarly, it’s unreasonable to expect the wealthiest banks to lower their expectations when they’ve already proven that they want it all. Uttering words like “liberty” and “free markets” won’t change anything.

The big banks will repeatedly seek to be in a position in which they can control a single currency, which they will then debase through inflation. They have many potential ways to reach that goal. One could be by letting people experience the chaos and financial losses that go along with any unregulated, free market currency experiment. This could easily leave people crying out for a single currency at any cost.

The banking cartel’s goal will be to eliminate the competition and control both the currency supply and interest rates. Once these goals have been accomplished, we can’t expect them to be managed in a way that serves the public interest. Instead, the bankers will rob the public by continuous inflation, and by creating massive financial bubbles that lead to one economic crisis after another..

Notably, the currency issuer will have no incentive to not inflate and debase the currency. After all, inflation brings direct profits to the bank that issues the money. Libertarians can’t argue with the fact that businesses exist to earn profits.

The issuing bank’s primary concern will be how to divert the public’s attention from the inflation, and from its economic and financial manipulations for as long as possible. The media will gladly cooperate because that will be profitable for them. Anyway, the public has already been conditioned to accept boom and bust cycles, not as the result of financial manipulations, but presumably as inevitable stages of a healthy “business cycle.” We also have been taught to welcome a limited amount of inflation as “normal.”

Many people even hold the misguided view that inflation naturally contributes to and/or results from economic growth. While it’s true that economic growth requires an increased supply of money, this doesn’t have to be inflationary.

4. Private Currency Issuers Steal from the Public

I’m familiar with Libertarian warnings against envy, and against making judgments about wealthy people. However, this has nothing to do with personal judgments. For argument’s sake, we could be talking about people who are like Jesus Christ in nearly every respect. Regardless, private currency issuers inevitably steal from the general public. I will explain why this is so.

As I described our not-so-hypothetical scenario, the currency issuer may have started with a gold-backed currency, but later withdrew all guarantees of redeemability. The currency’s value will now be upheld entirely by trust, and by government-enforced, universal demand.

The currency issuing bank will have received its original gold investment back, and much more besides. Henceforth, while putting no assets at risk, it can freely profit by issuing more currency every year, and by timing its investments during the boom and bust cycles that the bank itself creates.

It should be obvious that this activity amounts to stealing from the public. This is no hypothetical example because it describes what the Federal Reserve System is doing even now.

I will provide further reasons why this kind of monetary system is rooted in theft…

Anyone who has monopoly power to issue a nation’s currency occupies a highly privileged position. Such a bank has the exclusive right to print money and put it into circulation for obscene profits.

A “free market” supporter may reply that the public will owe the private bankers these privileges because they will have gone to the trouble of earning our trust in the currency. (A publicly owned and accountable central bank could much more easily earn, and less easily betray the public’s trust, but I’m responding to the “free market supporters” here).

Private currency issuers engage in theft because any widely accepted currency’s value is mainly derived from public sector resources, not from the resources of any private bank or group of banks. In fact, regardless of who issues a national currency, nearly 100 percent of the value will be derived from factors such as these:

  • The nation’s economic strength, resulting from countless, individual contributions
  • Economic indicators such as the employment rate, the CPI, and industrial production
  • Community values, ranging from inventiveness to entrepreneurship, to respect for contracts and obligations
  • Public and private sector savings vs. indebtedness
  • Governmental recognition of a currency as legal tender
  • The government’s foreign currency and gold reserves
  • The nation’s military strength and border security
  • The legitimacy and political stability of the government
  • The nation’s external trade balance
  • International investment in the currency & liquidity
  • Current and expected rates of inflation
  • Current and expected interest rates
  • Ultimately, God’s blessing gives value to all people and things.

If we set aside the last item as one that most economists won’t acknowledge, we can see that a nation’s citizens are directly responsible for nearly the entire value of their national currency. The people can further strengthen both the economy and the currency by electing trustworthy and capable leaders.

Even though I included gold reserves on the list, by no means is this as important as the “gold bugs” make it out to be. In fact, it’s non-essential!

When people have extra cash, they seldom want to exchange it for gold. Instead, they want to put it in a demand (i.e., checking) account or an interest-bearing account (e.g., savings or bonds); or they may invest it in the economy (e.g., stocks). For anyone who wants to “invest” in gold, that commodity will always be available at some price.

In the final analysis, gold has no magical, economy-stabilizing properties, but is simply another commodity. Suppose that we were to exchange things like gold, cigarettes, and laundry detergent instead of electronic digits and paper notes. In that case, we would have a barter system, not a real currency.

To put it in the simplest terms, a currency’s value is determined by supply and demand, not by any intrinsic value.

In the earlier quote, Hayek cited the “extreme” profitability of money issuance as a reason why governments shouldn’t issue money. In fact, the opposite is true. More and more currency can be issued as an economy grows through such factors as increased productivity and higher employment. No private business has a right to claim this money as its own because it will have been earned by the general public. Those profits should go only to a representative government that is obligated to spend any and all revenues for the public good.

Libertarians who, like Hayek, think governments are fundamentally incapable of being accountable and doing good, are greatly mistaken. I’ve learned from the Bible that God has provided all things for our benefit. This includes governments which, like the church and the family, are divinely ordained institutions. The same God Who raised up kings such as Cyrus of Persia to do His will can also give us good governance. For our part, we as citizens must have the wisdom and fortitude to not only elect good leaders, but also put systems in place to hold them accountable.

Christians who think that Satan is the ruler of this world, and that he somehow has control over all governments have accepted false doctrines. With tragic consequences, they deny the Lordship of Christ and the sovereignty of our God in this world. Lest anyone think me guilty of devising clever, yet humanly conceived arguments against this false teaching, I’ve compiled this list of Bible verses that refute it. I explained in my post on Joseph’s Rise to Power why God’s children ought to, as much as possible, be optimistic and act accordingly.

Christians should set the example to the world as people who uniquely reflect God’s righteous character. Though we have been guilty of this, we must no longer approach politics in a worldly manner, as power-seekers. Instead, we should be servants with meek and humble hearts. We need to be proactive and dominion-oriented so that we may do the will of God. Our Lord desires to do that which is in the best interests of all people.

Jesus recognized the state’s right to issue money (Mk. 12:13-17), but He forcibly evicted corrupt, private money changers from the temple (Jn. 2:14-15). The history of money is informative, but that can’t be discussed in this article.

Pious Christians may wonder why I, or for that matter any Christian, should study economic issues from a biblical perspective. However, if we show no interest in systemic changes that can help poor people and/or society in general, we neglect one of the things that Jesus was most passionate about. Some Christians not only ignore Jesus’ prayer that His Father’s will should be done on earth as it is in heaven, but actively oppose Christians who try to fulfill it. These hypocrites relegate Heaven to the afterlife, and teach that while we’re here, we should do our best to accommodate Hell on earth. These irrelevant, self-righteous, anti-intellectual slackers spend much of their time complaining about unbelievers, even while they themselves do little or nothing to change the status quo!

God has called all believers to get off our behinds and do good in the world. This isn’t about trying to be justified by works because we’re already justified by faith. I believe we need to take the Old Testament more seriously, and also think more seriously about concepts such as “dominion,” “law,” and “justice.”

The thought of Jesus driving out the money changers caused me to stray from my main topic. Jesus didn’t want to multiply bread and fishes for poor people day after day. Instead, He wanted to establish mercy and justice at every level of society, through believers such as those who are now multiplied throughout the world. With that being said, I will now wrap this up…

When we allow private individuals and corporations to issue our currency, we put misplaced trust in them and resist God’s established order. God warned us through the prophet Jeremiah,“Cursed is the one who trusts in man” (17:5).

The idea that any private entity can add significant value to a paper currency merely by issuing it is absurd. A prime example can be seen in how our Federal Reserve issues money out of thin air, as interest-bearing debt!  Does the Fed actually do anything to earn this money? No! It only creates financial bubbles, which lead to debt implosions, bank failures, economic crises, and compulsory taxpayer bailouts for big bankers. Throughout this process, the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer.

A currency issuer can only add value by limiting the amount of currency in circulation, and/or by promising to redeem paper or electronic money for a fixed amount of assets such as coinage. We can’t count on a private bank to fulfill these promises indefinitely, but only until it has achieved its nefarious purposes.

According to Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” As this passage suggests, we should resist debt slavery of the kind we can expect from private money creation and money lending. Yes, even pious Christians who want us all to “suffer like Jesus” should resist a being subjugated to a state of servility to the evil powers of this world. God never revoked the call to take dominion (Gen. 1:26-28), but only changed the strategy at Christ’s appearing. (There I quoted from the Old Testament twice, and used the word “dominion”!)

Theft-Free, Debt-Free Money

Since the people who use a currency also give it value, they should profit from its issuance, not any private issuer. Again, currency issuance should therefore be the responsibility of the congress or legislature, as was required under the U.S. Constitution. The legislative body may choose to delegate some authority to a publicly-owned central bank, but only if that helps to ensure maximum accountability. No private bank or banking cartel should be the least bit involved in issuing a nation’s currency. In addition, no currency should ever be newly issued as debt. Money may be created out as needed for the public good, but debt must never originate from thin air.

True, I am saying that the Congress should be able to create money out of thin air. However, there’s no other way for money to exist.

Let me illustrate this point through some rather absurd questions. Have you ever worked so hard and so productively that dollars simply appeared before you?… If someone gave you a vault full of gold, would dollars suddenly appear?… In either instance, would extra digits suddenly appear in your bank account? These examples show that wealth creation is not the same as money creation. When money is first created, it always comes from nothing.

This fact should give us all the more reason to regard money issuance with the utmost seriousness. We must be careful about who issues money; who benefits; and how to ensure that new money is justified. Money should be created by the government to fill an economic need for currency stability and liquidity, not to enrich the money creator.

Under a free market currency system, big banks can initially be expected to do everything they can to earn the public’s trust in their banknotes. In the long run, however, their goal will be to maximize private profits at the public’s expense. They will organize and gain monopoly powers; print money in excess; lend irresponsibly; and manipulate interest rates, financial markets, and the overall economy for their own gain.

Local and community banks are not the problem. It’s the “too big to fail” banks that routinely experience largely unseen conflicts of interest with the public. These may involve corrupt executives, big shareholders, competitors, large depositors, financial services clients, government bureaucrats, federal deposit insurance, lawyers, Wall Street, or its own lending and derivatives portfolio. Big banks, especially when working in conjunction with one another, can easily gain sufficient financial strength to manipulate outcomes in their own favor. That said, the absolute worst abuses of power occur when private banks are involved in money creation.

I hope this has helped you to better understand where our money comes from, and why this topic is of vital importance to us all. If we want to know how to help the poor, we can’t simply ignore the monetary system and how it functions.

You may understandably feel as if there’s nothing that you can do about this situation. However, seldom is this ever true, especially if you’re a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ. You can pray about this and share this information with others. Finally, when God gives our nation an opportunity to replace the present system after it crashes like a freight train, you can one of a select few people who speaks out and becomes a voice for positive change.

If you would like to know more, you can read about the best way to create new money in Part 1 and Part 2 of my Plan to Restore Sound Money and Prosperity.

Why We Need Bible Poetry

William Blake-Psalms

Illustration by William Blake; Edited to include Psalms cover page

In my last post, I made the case that by His own choice, God needs Man. You may want to read that if you haven’t already. In any case, I will briefly explain what that had to do with Bible poetry, and how it led to this post.

Whether we realize it or not, we’ve all focused mainly on the literal teachings of the Bible. However, the non-literal parts are equally, if not more important. While explaining how God needs Christians, I had to rely heavily on a parable and a paradox. Since paradoxes are neither literal nor logical, literalists generally try to avoid them. Thus, my study of why God needs us indirectly supported the idea that we need not only the literal teachings, but also the literature of the Bible.

If you’ve been reading other posts on this blog, you may have noticed that I’m against biblical literalism. My purpose is not to be argumentative or divisive, but quite the opposite. I want to help unite Christians in terms of how we understand the Bible. Unity in doctrines and beliefs will eventually lead to real unity.

In this post, I’ll use words like “stories,” “literature,” and “poetry” somewhat interchangeably. Each is a form of literature, and each stands in contrast to literal statements. In addition, we often find that stories and narrative accounts in the Bible are structured in a poetic fashion.

Are the Bible’s Literal Words More Important Than the Stories?

More specifically, I will respond to the this question:

Since Scripture passages containing stories, poems, and figures of speech seldom make a direct, literal point, are they less important than the literal passages?

My position, as stated earlier, is that regardless of whether the Bible expresses an idea literally or in figurative language, truth is truth.

Here are some reasons why we should pay close attention to the Bible’s literature, not only to the literal statements:

  1. The Bible mainly consists of stories and poetry, not propositional truth statements.
  2. God communicates to us through His Word in non-literal ways, especially through typology in the Law, imagery in the psalms, symbolism in the prophets, and parables in the gospels.
  3. Like most people in ancient times, the Hebrews saw poetry as the language of the Universe, not merely as a quaint pastime. This point is substantiated not only in Return to Genesis, but also in James Jordan’s book, Through New Eyes.

The authors of the Bible would have had no problem expressing ideas in literal terms. Instead, God inspired them to create figurative and poetic language.

Even the physical Universe takes shape in patterns as matter and energy obey the laws of physics. The Bible also contains patterns and symbols that we describe as poetry, though it’s not like western poetry.

As you probably know, the Bible contains great literature. Even the historical accounts don’t only recount facts, but trigger our imaginations in deliberate ways. The Bible’s authors wove experiences and ideas into lively tapestries that subtly reveal the underlying providence and wisdom of God. In the process, they made use of creative elements such as paradox, poetry, parallelism, personification, metaphor, analogy, anthropomorphism, irony, hyperbole, and symbolism.

I intentionally listed “paradox” first because God expects every Christian to understand that reality is often paradoxical. Our need to accept that two seemingly contradictory truths can both be true begins with our faith in the unity and trinity of God, and in the humanity and divinity of Christ.

Jesus intended for us to take His every word seriously, without devaluing His use of parables and other non-literal communication methods. Jesus also recognized and appreciated Old Testament metaphors and allegories, such as the symbolism behind the three days and nights that Jonah spent in the belly of a whale (Matt. 12:40).

In written form, this all comes under the rubric of literature. Since God, in the person of Jesus Christ, appreciated inspired literature, you may be wondering…

Why Literalists Don’t Appreciate the Bible as Literature

Poetry-Marcantonio Raimondi 251x300

Again, Christians with a literalist mindset generally neglect the Bible’s literary forms and expressions. They ascribe more value to the intellectual content than to that which appeals to their imagination. They do so despite the fact that the Bible’s literature can and should contribute immensely to our understanding of biblical theology.

 

Poetry by Marcantonio Raimondi (1480-1534)

Christian literalists dislike the very term, “Bible literature.” They seem to think that this term somehow makes the Bible comparable to, say, Shakespearean literature.

If they were to apply the same faulty reasoning to their belief that the Bible presents mainly propositional truths, that must make the Bible like other nonfiction books!

In fact, that’s their objective, isn’t it?… To present the Bible as a book that contains no errors of any kind, and that is in full conformity with our modern sense of reason and logic. I believe the atheist movement today is, in large part, an understandable reaction to these absurd ideas.

Since literalistic Christians understand God to be a supremely rational Being, they feel that the Bible must be reducible to an academic textbook. From this perspective, the poetry and literature can only be there to accommodate readers by appealing to our baser instincts, which are more emotional than rational.

Literalists devalue creative, emotive, and aesthetic elements of the Bible because they perceive them to be carnal, sensual, fictional, and/or mystical. However, none of this is necessarily true. Obviously, literature—especially that of the Bible—is not inherently sinful.

Fundamentalist or literalist Christians don’t like to bring creativity to their theological studies. They see themselves as “rational” people who isolate and analyze the literal truths of the Bible.

Literalists can’t deny that Jesus and other biblical figures came up with creative insights based on allegorical interpretations. They attribute this to divine inspiration, but insist that we not do theology that way today. However, if we’re beyond that, shouldn’t Jesus have also been beyond it?

Biblical literalism is a modern phenomenon that, without a doubt, was influenced by the rise of the scientific method. The question is…

Does God Want Us to Always Study the Bible in a Literalistic Way?

Biblical literalists seek to discover the mind of God in the Bible. In the process, however, they have substantially missed out on the heart of God. The mind of God is conveyed primarily through the literal and intellectual content, and the heart of God through the imaginative content, which we find in the poetry and other literary expressions.

We may also think of the literal and non-literal passages of the Bible as being comparable to latitude and longitude. Navigators need both measures to plot their location on the earth. In like manner, we need to understand both the literal and literary elements of the Bible to know our place in the world, in relation to Heaven.

In my experience, I’ve found the Bible’s literal statements to be like trees, and the literary-poetic language to be like the forest. Poetry gives structure to the text, and thereby helps us see the big picture. In fact, the Bible’ many “word pictures” convey much more information than what we might have gained from literal explanations.

The phenomenon of biblical literalism reminds me of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. When given the choice to receive either knowledge or life with God, Adam and Eve chose to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Given the connection between knowledge and power, this was a choice between grasping for power and an immediate reward, or choosing to grow through their relationship with God, in His time.

I can explain in only two sentences how biblical literalism is related to the Fall. Biblical literalists bring an Enlightenment perspective to the Bible. The Enlightenment is comparable to Adam and Eve’s Fall because it enshrined the falsehood that Man no longer needed God, whether it be for knowledge, power, wealth, or anything else.

I’m not pointing a finger only at biblical literalists. We’ve all been indoctrinated into Enlightenment views of knowledge and reality. To one degree or another, we’ve all been literalists.

Biblical literalism has turned out to be little more than a fig leaf covering serious doctrinal errors. Fundamentalist and Dispensationalist Christians have used it to selectively choose what they want to believe in the Bible. They freely criticize Christians who find analogies, allegories, and metaphors in the Bible, yet they themselves find such language where they will!

Biblical literalists often present themselves as sole defenders of the grammatical-historical method of interpretation. In practice, however, that isn’t their foremost concern. They selectively comb the Bible for literal passages that appeal to their intellects and square with their presuppositions. These, they distill into assertions or propositions. Such statements may be included in doctrinal statements and systematic theologies, and may also be highly flammable fuel for arguments and divisions within the body of Christ.

Summary of My Views

As I had mentioned, I’m opposed to biblical literalism because I’m both for a more complete understanding of the Bible, and for Christian unity. I am (and we all should be) particularly sensitive to sources of strife and division. Biblical literalists tend to be dividers. However, by no means are they as doctrinally correct as they imagine themselves to be.

Any statement of belief that is not fully true can easily become a source of strife and division. As one example, the statement, “God doesn’t need anyone,” seems to be undeniable. Nonetheless, as we learned from the earlier post, it isn’t fully true.

I do believe in taking the literal words of the Bible literally, and in affirming essential beliefs through doctrines and confessions. Therefore, to make my position explicit: Anyone who begins to minimize the Bible’s literature has gone too far.

We all need to better appreciate the Bible’s literary and poetic elements. They help us understand that God doesn’t only issue decrees and judgments, but fully identifies with humanity, even in such mundane activities as wordplay and storytelling.

God became fully incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ, but He has always manifested Himself through people, especially the writers who labored to give us the literature of the Bible. What better way to find true inspiration than in knowing how God inspired them!

Far from being mundane or expendable, Bible poetry and symbolism is heavenly, powerful, and needful. It is, after all, the language of creation, and of prophecy.

We can’t be good theologians (and we’re all theologians) if we continue to neglect the Bible’s literature. The more I research the phenomenon of biblical literalism, the more convinced I’ve become of this. You can read more of my thoughts about biblical literalism in the free download that you can receive by signing up to my newsletter.

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts below, and to share this post with others.

Does God Need Man?

image

Without question, people need God. We desperately need Him because He is our Creator, Savior, and the Provider of all good things. That is uncontroversial among Christians, but I’m about to consider the question, “Does God need Man?” I will argue that according to the Bible, our Lord has chosen to rely on believers in some ways.

You’ve likely been taught that God is self-sufficient in every possible way and that, therefore He has no need of Man. While it’s true that God is self-sufficient in the sense of having no needs within the Trinity, He has chosen to rely on people to fulfill His will. An example of this can be found in Matthew 21:2-4. There, we find that Jesus needed an unidentified person to supply a donkey and her colt so that prophecy could be fulfilled. While sending His disciples on this errand, Jesus told them, “If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them.’”

Before Jesus needed the donkey’s owner, He needed Mary and Joseph. Later on, He needed someone to carry the cross for Him.

Even beyond Jesus’ earthly lifetime, God needed believers to act in faith. God led Peter to preach on Pentecost to get the church started, and Paul to spread the gospel among the Gentiles. Bible prophecy had to be fulfilled, and the canon of Scripture completed. Today, God needs His saints to fulfill His plan of the ages by carrying on the ministry of Christ in the world and completing what is lacking in His afflictions (Col. 1:24).

Before continuing, let’s consider some reasons why Christians might reject the idea that God could need any of us:

  • A desire to be “right” and authoritative by taking what appears to be God’s side.
  • An assumption that anyone who speaks of God’s need for people can only be motivated by pride, not by having read the Bible.
  • A reluctance to hold seemingly contradictory truths in tension, together with a preference to brush aside mysteries of the faith when possible.
  • A failure to appreciate that God can accomplish His foreordained, perfect will through human weakness; and that His grace is greater than our sin nature. (In fact, we could have no fellowship with God if we were still “evil”).
  • A desire to be accepted among a clique of fellow believers who emphasize God’s absolute sovereignty.
  • A perception that the idea of God needing us can only be true in a figurative sense, not a literal sense.
  • A subconscious desire to avoid responsibility by supposing that God doesn’t really need us to do anything.

Unfortunately, many Christians think the Bible’s literal language is more important than the figurative language. I feel that, regardless of whether the Bible expresses an idea literally or in figurative language, truth is truth. This inspired a separate post, Why We Need Bible Poetry.

As you can see, I listed responsibility avoidance as another reason why we may be tempted to dismiss some of the Bible’s poetic language. For example, we may not particularly want to see Jesus in the face of a homeless person. Even so…

 

Christ Identifies With the Needy

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Kids in Rishikesh, India (Wikimedia Commons)

I repeat: By His nature as our Lord and Creator, God doesn’t need anyone. Nonetheless, He has chosen to rely on redeemed sinners to fulfill His will and purposes in this world. In other words, God doesn’t have to depend on people, and yet He does. This kind of apparent contradiction is known as a “paradox.”

The Bible gives us many examples of paradox. For instance, even though God is not a man, He chose to become human (Num. 23:19, Jn. 1:14). Also, even though God is the Source of life, He allowed Himself to experience death.

The most prominent illustration of God needing humanity can be seen in Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46). Through this story, Jesus prophesied concerning His future role as King of the nations. Jesus said that after separating the sheep from the goats, the King will say to the sheep:

“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

Jesus seems to have said that He needs us, and yet this same story depicts Him as the Judge of Mankind. Hence, we must bring a nuanced perspective to this paradox.

Jesus’ roles as both servant and Lord are also apparent in His proclamation, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13).

By “the First and the Last,” we are meant to understand that even though Jesus is the Lord of all; He identifies with the least of all. Jesus even became the least of all by having suffered unjustly through the torture and humiliation of the cross.

The prophet Daniel had no problem with the idea that God needed him to pray in order to bring about the fulfillment of prophecy (Dan. 9:1-3). We’ve assumed that prophecy comes true on its own, but Daniel took this burden upon himself.

The Bible tells us that all Christians belong to one body—the Church. Therefore, we must not imagine that we don’t need one another (1 Cor. 12:15-26). Every husband and wife also need one another because they have become “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). By the same token, I can’t imagine Christ declaring that He has no need of the Church, which is both His body and His bride (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27).

To offer a practical example of how God might need you, suppose that tomorrow you lead someone to faith in Christ. God will have foreknown and predestined that event, making it impossible for that person not to become a Christian (Rom. 8:29-30). God will therefore have needed you to do that.

This example is not intended to downplay the importance of other good deeds. Consider again the parable of the sheep and the goats, or of Lazarus and the rich man.

Christians who emphasize the sovereignty of God may respond by insisting that we have nothing to gain from the idea that God needs us. They may say that even without this motivation, they wholly desire to obey the Lord. Hence, they focus only on their need for God, not the reverse.

To counter this possible objection, I will explain…

 

Why We Need to Know We’re Needed

Hand-of-God

First, we can’t always take seriously what people say about their motives (Prov. 20:9). I already explained how literalists can have unbiblical or selfish motives. Moreover, I don’t think it’s self-evident that people don’t need to feel needed. In fact, I think the opposite is true.

In the real world, saintly people have seldom devoted their life to a ministry because of having been educated; having heard a voice from heaven; having read an inspirational quote on Facebook; or perhaps least of all from having read a denomination’s statement of beliefs. Instead, they they saw people with desperate needs and felt compelled to respond.

In my opinion, no movement is likely to transform the world unless the followers understand three things:

  1. People have very real, urgent needs.
  2. We alone can meet those needs.
  3. We find our life purpose in meeting people’s needs.

We know this is God’s world, and that God alone can satisfy human needs. He has chosen to work primarily through Christians because we represent Jesus in the world. I believe most Christians will eventually come to understand these essential truths:

  1. The world needs the Church. The Church is not an independent, nor a united voice in the world today. We are greatly divided, promiscuously affiliated with secular political parties, and overly impressed by the “wisdom” of this world. The world needs the Church to proclaim God’s Word in relevant ways, beginning with the message of salvation.
  2. Every Christian is needed. This brings me back to my main point. If people need you, God also needs you, if only because He identifies with people. Paul explained the primary motive behind Christian ministry in the words, “Christ’s love compels us” (2 Cor. 5:14).

If a great number of Christians came to understand these truths, surely we would transform the world for Christ. Will you take up this challenge by seeking to become the kind of Christian who understands and pursues your identity and calling in Christ?

This information is intended to motivate you to serve and glorify God, not to become a source of pride. I urge you to see God calling out to you through people whom you can serve through your ministry gifts, whatever they may be.

Should you take this the wrong way, and begin to think God Himself needs you personally, I pray that He will humble you and help you see that you desperately need His mercy and grace. Know that we are dependent on God for our every breath, and for all things.

Incidentally, this post was inspired by a Google Plus discussion about the question of whether God needs us. You can see that discussion, including my initial response, here.

I also felt personally inspired to write on this topic. I’m ashamed of this, but even though I’ve been aware that God had given me gifts such as knowledge and wisdom, I didn’t want to share them with others. Among my worthless excuses, I had told myself that God doesn’t need me, and that He can always use someone else instead. I had also told myself that I had failed God too many times for Him to use me. Despite my excuses and failures, God was faithful to me, and never withdrew His calling.

Please don’t let any excuses hold you back. God is more gracious than you can possibly know. Anyway, the Lord won’t accept any excuses at the Final Judgment. He’ll expect each of us to have done what we know we ought to do.

I’ve made the case that God needs us because people need us, and that we’re at our best when we recognize and respond to needs. We aren’t useless creatures who can do nothing for God. Rather, we all have value because we can serve the living God in meaningful ways.

Conversely, when Christians fatalistically see ourselves as just another competing and struggling religious group, that’s all we’ll be. We won’t do much for a world in need, except for leading some individuals to a “personal” salvation.

Perhaps you are among those who find it hard to accept that God has called Christians to transform the world for His glory. Many deceivers have sought to convince us that the Church will have a diminishing influence in this world. They say Satan will prevail over God’s people to such an extent that he will successfully institute a worldwide reign of death and destruction. I have previously responded to the false teachers in these writings:

Dominion in Genesis Dominion in Genesis, Part 4/8: Three Perspectives on End Times Prophecy
Dominion in Genesis, Part 5/8: Joseph’s Rise to Power
Dominion in Genesis, Part 6/8: The “Missing Link” Between Adam and Jesus
God’s Dominion and Christ’s Kingdom
Part 3 of Return to Genesis
See what others have written at my Bible Prophecy Collection

I welcome any comments, and especially your sharing of this important message!