Jesus showed who his Father is…by not “Grasping”

Originally posted on The Religious Vortex:

If Jesus is the exact representation of God (Heb 1:3), then God is not only nonviolent, but God does not grasp to be more than he should be. Some would ask, “why would God grasp at anything when he is almighty, all powerful, and everywhere at the same time?” This is an excellent question, but what I would like to propose is that God thinks more about you than he does about himself. Or better yet, God thinks you are more important than himself. That’s a big statement….and I truly think it is possible when we see Jesus representing “God’s very nature”. The verses I will focus on are again in Phil 2, god_is_love_by_riikardo-d70clskwhich say,

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  

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Sunday Bun

Peter D. Goodgame:

A good word from L. A. Marzulli

Originally posted on L.A. Marzulli's Blog:

BunSo God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27

We are all made in the image and likeness of God…. period.  The moment we move away from this fact we create the problems that face us in today’s world.

It is God who made us and in His sight we are all equal.  It doesn’t matter what the color of our skin is, or if we’re tall, or short, fat, or skinny, or blue.  It doesn’t matter.  When we look at another person, no matter what he or she looks like, we must remind ourselves that that person is made in the image and likeness of God.  If we practice this how can we have a racist bone in our bodies?  If we embrace this, how can we fall into the trap of thinking one…

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Rising Stars

Jesus promises in Luke 8:17 that one day every mystery will be revealed. I think that most people see this as being fulfilled after the Second Coming and after the Resurrection, but I don’t think so… why not here and now?

Why are we so afraid to dig into the many mysteries that still remain? Yes, the Bible offers some brief words about human origins and about the heavenly destiny of the redeemed, but these words are really very limited. For many Christians these words act to mark the extent of our seeking and put our religion in a box, rather than causing us to wonder and to explore with an expectation of learning new things.

It is with this questioning sense of awe and wonder that I offer the latest article in my ongoing New Exodus series:

Rising Stars: The Stellar Destiny of the Redeemed

Peter Goodgame
Kailua, Hawaii
June 7, 2015

www.redmoonrising.com

Sapiens

I am just finishing up a brilliant book that is an epic overview of the human race, although from a secular perspective. The book is called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, written by Yuval Noah Harari, a history professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, published in February 2015. Back in March I mentioned him in a blog post, and I have finally got around to finishing the book.

I want to share something of his which I feel is a very important insight into the state of human society today, which is rather unappreciated by most people, even by those who are supposed to be seeing things from a grander perspective. I’m speaking as a Christian and I’m talking about the leadership of the Church today, which claims to hold both a mantle of authority and leadership, along with a prophetic vision to chart a course for the future according to God’s plan.

For goodness sake we are supposed to be able to see the world from a position above the cultural attitudes and prejudices that draw carnal people to and fro! We are supposed to know who we are, where we are, and where we are going in relation to the greater plan of God! This is why I really enjoy taking in a Big Picture perspective such as the one offered by Harari. Sad to say, he seems to possess deeper insight about “where we are” than does 90% of the popular prophetic voices celebrated in the Church.

But enough of my rant, here is a short passage near the end of his book, where he offers some commentary on the global shift that has just recently overtaken human society. In the past human social organization revolved around the family and the community, and it was through these close relationships that people became grounded in their identities, realized personal fulfillment, and met their basic needs. However, now we are dominated by the Market and the State. At one time we all tended to recognize that we lived within a close network of mutual obligations, but…

“All this changed dramatically over the last two centuries. The Industrial Revolution gave the market immense new powers, provided the state with new means of communication and transportation, and placed at the government’s disposal an army of clerks, teachers, policemen and social workers. At first the market and the state discovered their path blocked by traditional families and communities who had little love for outside intervention. Parents and community elders were reluctant to let the younger generation be indoctrinated by nationalist education systems, conscripted into armies or turned into a rootless urban proletariat.

Over time, states and markets used their growing power to weaken the traditional bonds of family and community. The state sent its policemen to stop family vendettas and replace them with court decisions. The market sent its hawkers to wipe out longstanding local traditions and replace them with ever-changing commercial fashions. Yet this was not enough. In order to really break the power of family and community, they needed the help of a fifth column.

The state and the market approached people with an offer that could not be refused. ‘Become individuals,’ they said. ‘Marry whomever you desire, without asking permission from your parents. Take up whatever job suits you, even if community elders frown. Live wherever you wish, even if you cannot make it every week to the family dinner. You are no longer dependent on your family or your community. We, the state and the market, will take care of you instead. We will provide food, shelter, education, health, welfare and employment. We will provide pensions, insurance, and protection.’

Romantic literature often presents the individual as somebody caught in a struggle against the state and the market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. The market provides us with work, insurance and a pension. If we want to study a profession, the government’s schools are there to teach us. If we want to open a business, the bank loans us money. If we want to build a house, a construction company builds it and the bank gives us a mortgage, in some cases subsidized or insured by the state. If violence flares up, the police protect us. If we are debilitated for months, national social services steps in. If we need around-the-clock assistance, we can go to the market and hire a nurse — usually some stranger from the other side of the world who takes care of us with the kind of devotion that we no longer expect from our own children. If we have the means, we can spend our golden years at a senior citizens’ home. The tax authorities treat us as individuals, and do not expect us to pay the neighbors taxes. The courts, too, see us as individuals, and never punish us for the crimes of our cousins…

But the liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives. States and markets composed of alienated individuals can intervene in the lives of their members much more easily than states and markets composed of strong families and communities. When neighbors in a high-rise apartment building cannot even agree on how much to pay the janitor, how can we expect them to resist the state?

The deal between states, markets and individuals is an uneasy one. The state and the market disagree about their mutual rights and obligations, and individuals complain that both demand too much and provide too little. In many cases individuals are exploited by markets, and states employ their armies, police forces and bureaucracies to persecute individuals instead of defending them. Yet it is amazing that this deal works at all — however imperfectly. For it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements [which] designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.” (Harari, pp. 358-60)

Please think about this, and recognize that it is a combination of the Market and the State that has created the Beast that rules the world today. We can’t be blindly anti-State and look hopefully for some “free market utopia” to solve all our problems, and we can’t be purely anti-Market agitating for the downfall of Capitalism as the entry point into some future egalitarian hippie holiday. Its much more complicated than Left vs. Right, and neither the Tea Party nor Occupy has the answer, because the Market and the State have always worked together. There would have been no Big Government without the increased production of global commerce, and there would be no global Capitalism without the protection of Big Government. These two monsters always go hand-in-hand.

Our job, on the other hand, is to move forward into the future as a prophetic colony of the Kingdom of God, not merely reacting or protesting, but moving forward with the plan and the vision of God.

I leave you with an insightful quote from author and pastor Brian Zahnd, which comes by way of the Culture Shock podcast from May 15:

“The Beast knows you by number, but the Lamb knows you by name.”

The Mysterious Tree of Life

This morning I was compelled to write what promises to be the entry point into an incredible line of research. It will be very controversial and it touches upon some very sensitive subjects, yet I also feel that digging into this mystery is absolutely necessary in the 21st Century.

You see, if you have been paying attention you know that modern science has been making great strides in developing its own version of human origins ever since the human genome was decoded in 2003. You can read a good overview of this progress in an article from the Wall Street Journal here.

In the face of these recent developments I think it is time to think outside the box and to deliver a new perspective that affirms the truth of the Gospel and the absolute necessity to reconcile Man with God, with Jesus as the only mediator bringing that reconciliation about.

That’s what my new series will be all about, and you can step into part one here:

The Tree of Life: The Mysterious Symbol at the Heart of the New Exodus

Peter Goodgame
May 19, 2015
Kailua, Hawaii

Tim Bence in Hawaii

For the next few weeks Tim Bence will be visiting the island of Oahu as well as the Big Island.

Readers may remember Tim Bence from his interviews with Rob Skiba on the subject of “Canaanite Altars and the Federal Reserve.” You can listen to these amazing conversations here for Part One and Part Two. Tim is like a Special Forces soldier for the Kingdom of Heaven and his stories and preaching are always inspiring!

We plan to join Tim when he will be sharing on Monday night at 7pm on April 6 at Regal Bakery on Beretania Street in Honolulu. After that Tim will be flying to the Big Island to spend some time in Kona.

On April 22, Wednesday night at 7pm, we will be hosting Tim Bence at Center of Light Church in Kalihi Valley on the outskirts of Honolulu. The church is located at 1776 Kalaepaa Drive. There is plenty of parking and all visitors are welcome!

 

Technology: Our Future Savior ?

Are you ready to expend some intellectual energy and listen to some of the biggest challenges currently facing the human race? Are you ready to look at the big picture perspective? Well then set aside a half-hour or so of your time and either watch or read the interview found here:

http://edge.org/conversation/yuval_noah_harari-daniel_kahneman-death-is-optional

The conversation is between historian Yuval Noah Harari and economist Daniel Kahneman, and they discuss the future of human society. Harari is a brilliant atheist, and he will challenge you and make you think. 

After you finish absorbing many of the uncomfortable prophetic statements given by Harari (even as he continually insists that he is not making any predictions), then take a look at the response to this conversation given by columnist (and brilliant Christian) Ross Douthat of the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-the-case-for-old-ideas.html?

Harari speaks of the future when human brainpower, which is currently limited to the biological realm, will be merged with the technological realm. He believes this soon will lead to eternal consciousness for the planet’s elites who can afford to pay for it. He calls this future and inevitable merging the “Singularity” that is fast approaching, and I have heard this term mentioned often in scientific futurist circles.

However, I am convinced that the true “Singularity” occurred on the day of Pentecost in 33 AD when the Spirit of God was released from heaven to merge with those who repent, renounce sefishness, and turn to Jesus Christ and the example of His life that was lived and sacrificed on our behalf. All other attempts to possess eternal life will fail.

You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.  (Isaiah 14:13-15)

As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’ For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”  (Revelation 18:7-8)

 

Peter Goodgame
www.redmoonrising.com
March 15, 2015