A Proactive Paradigm for Contemporary Ministry

The next twenty-five years may present great opportunities for humanity to alleviate some human suffering, and we Evangelicals are positioned to seize the day.

Right now we are in two major transitions in the medical field. First, Prior to this generation, our physicians have focused on healing us from diseases, sicknesses, and the results of accidents. Increasingly, though, our physicians are working on making us happier, helping us live longer, and improving our cognitive abilities. Secondly, when we visit doctors, we are dependent on their knowledge and the expertise of their team. However, within a few years, Watson, a super computer that will possess data from thousands of similar patients as well as the results of the most current research, will assess our symptoms and assist our doctors in determining the plan that will work best for us.

Soon we will be able to lower the propensity for many diseases in our children because of breakthroughs in assisted reproductive technology. For example, if there is a heart problem in Dad’s family, or a tendency toward cancer or mental illness in Mom’s, we can identify that risk and improve the odds for greater health in our children, even before they are born. This development is not bad or evil. It’s beneficial for alleviating suffering.

With the explosion of innovation all around us, we Evangelicals need to be intentional about motivating our children to fully participate in cutting edge scientific development because we want intelligent Christians in the room as these advances are taking place. It will not serve anyone well for them to be outside critiquing the newest innovations after the fact.

When I was a little boy my Dad, along with many other evangelical Christian conservatives, was not supportive of Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights’ movement because King was an adulterer and opposed the Viet Nam War. Now we know that King probably kept America’s cities from burning because King, a Baptist preacher with an earned doctorate in Systematic Theology from Boston University, provided leadership for non-violent protests to challenge racial inequality. If King had not been dominant, Malcolm X, the violent Muslim civil rights leader, would have led the movement and we might have had a second civil war. My Dad missed the point: winning civil liberties for all was more important than King’s shortcomings.

I do not mean to minimize the importance of personal holiness, but I do believe we evangelicals have been sidetracked. Many of the developments of modernity have proven to be the friend of the human race, yet we evangelicals often ignorantly position ourselves as resistors when humanity is on the brink of improvement. I thank God King was able to move race relations forward, even though for the most part evangelicals didn’t help him. Likewise, we Christians are lackluster and lagging behind in support of the benefits that will come from human genome research, or even self-driving cars that will help the poor like few other innovations.

We Christians have enjoyed being the creative force of the world in the past. Christianity promoted the idea that all humans were equal before God, thereby influencing human political structures, social hierarchies, and even gender relations. Furthermore, we elevated Jesus’ teachings that God favors the meek and oppressed, thus turning the pyramid of state power on its head, and providing impetus for generations of revolutionaries against tyranny, as well as the underpinnings for democracy as we know it today.

In addition to the many social and ethical reforms that sprung from the hearts of God-fearing Christians, economic and technological innovations are also rooted in Christian ideas. The Catholic Church established medieval Europe’s most sophisticated administrative system, and pioneered the use of archives, catalogues, timetables and other techniques of data processing. The Vatican was the closest thing twelfth-century Europe had to Silicon Valley. The Church established Europe’s first economic corporations — the monasteries — which for 1,000 years spearheaded the European economy and introduced advanced agricultural and administrative methods, and were the first institutions to use clocks. Furthermore, for centuries monasteries and the cathedral schools they operated were the most important learning centers of Europe, helping to found many of Europe’s first and finest universities.

Many of the ideas that constitute civilized society sprang from biblical theology: care for the disabled instead of believing them cursed, care for the sick instead of believing them demonized, universal education because all are created in the image and likeness of God, orphanages because of the biblical exhortation to care for orphans, social safety nets because of the biblical exhortation to care for the widows and the poor, etc.

Now we are teetering into a time period where understanding biotechnology and computer algorithms is going to be key to success and influence. The main products moving humanity forward in the twenty-first century will be bodies, brains, and minds. I think it’s time for our youth groups to teach more than abstaining from sex before marriage, and teach our sharpest and brightest that they can use the moral compass instilled in them by God’s Holy Spirit to advance the human condition through technology and economics. Many in our current leadership lack the breadth of understanding to encourage the teaching of technological innovation and creation-care (environmentalism). Because of it, our students are often blind-sided when expected to understand why we need Watson in every medical facility and self-driving cars to help everyone travel safely.

Frankly, when I read the posts or comments of many Spirit-filled Christians, I think they are ideologues who have no idea where the Cheerios come from in their local grocery store. Christendom laid the foundation for the enlightenment, representative government, and the scientific method, and the benefits we’ve received from innovation, creativity, the growth of representative government, free and fair trade, law and order, and an inventive and productive marketplace. But the gap between those who know how to engineer bodies, brains, and minds and those who limit their Scriptural exposure to passages predicting future disaster and collapse will widen.

Those who use ideas and insight that comes from God’s Spirit within to learn, study, grow, invent, produce, and create will move the human race forward. Those constantly obsessed with the morality of others, the destruction of the world, and the demise of 1950s values will be the cave dwellers of the future — totally irrelevant.

The human race is moving forward. It’s time for our churches to be catalysts for think-tanks of innovation and creativity again in order to improve human existence, rather than producing reactionaries capitalizing on every opportunity to raise a concern, criticize, and blame. We’ve been beating the same dead horses for two generations now. It’s time to move forward.

Researchers say 70% of the students who grow up in our church youth departments walk away from their faith during their university training. Why is that? I think it’s because many of our church leaders subtly believe innovation and the future are our enemies. God is an orderly God. He created the heavens and the earth so the scientific method works, he has given us intelligence to understand and produce in order to bless all, the godly and ungodly alike. Because of this we evangelicals should make positive contributions to help alleviate human suffering in the time we have on planet earth rather than waste our lives as nay-sayers scrutinizing the sinners that surround us.

Let’s move forward.

 

Recommended Reading: How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt.

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15 thoughts on “A Proactive Paradigm for Contemporary Ministry

  1. Dan Krause says:

    Thank you Pastor Ted for these thoughts. I so agree with the need to embrace changes in society for the advance of the kingdom, which hopefully is reflected in my own blog – http://danielgenerationmatters.blogspot.com/.

    There is one huge question with all the new technology and various advances you mention: who will be able to pay for it, a point made by investment banker Daniel Alpert in his important book, Age of Oversupply. (2013). As he notes, this problem is often ignored by the scientists and technologists advancing these wunderkind innovations.

    Related to this problem economically is the rejection of fiscal, stimulus-based economic solutions (Keynesian economics) by evangelicals. If Alpert is right, and the real problem is too much supply, then we need to fire up demand. But the latest high school textbook from BJU Press, the gold standard curriculum for Christian K-12 schools, just dismisses Keynesian economics out of hand.

    Hopefully President Trump will fire up the economy so that more people can afford these many wonders. Most economists from both sides of the aisle agree that a properly done massive infa-structure upgrade (a Keynesian solution) would be just the ticket.

    Just a few weeks ago Gallup released an important study, “No Recovery” which indicates that most Americans have less discretionary income, not more. The study makes the important observation that innovation should result in lower prices on everyday expenditures. If robots are putting together my next iphone, will Apple charge less for it – or just make more profit? We will soon find out, because three plants in China have the goal of being fully run by machines by the end of this year.

    Point being: Income inequalities, the poor, taxes, all are moral issues which, in my opinion, we don’t see many Evangelicals talking about. And Jesus cares!

  2. rfarrell63@att.net says:

    You said little of bible study, teachings etc

  3. Brebowers says:

    This is great! The Bible is indeed filled with progressive innovations.

  4. Jay Arnn says:

    “However, within a few years, Watson, a super computer that will possess data from thousands of similar patients as well as the results of the most current research, will assess our symptoms and assist our doctors in determining the plan that will work best for us.” You missed a few steps, primarily genetic sequencing, and as intelligent as Watson may be, it can still only wade through information which is placed in its memory by man. Secondly, thank God for doctors, who on the most part do good work, but as Christians we really on the one physician who has healed us all. In Deuteronomy, God lays out the blessings for the Hebrews who follow His commandments and He also lays out the curses – 54 in all, I believe, but the final verse is the most chilling: The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you. – offered as slaves, but no one will buy you. Well – here is the absolute good news about that: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” – the latter is quoting Deuteronomy 21:23 which was written long before the Phoenicians thought of the cruel punishment and the Romans adopted it as their form of punishment and cruelty. Read Galatians in the NLV: Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from the Law. In that way, the Law could not punish us. Christ did this by carrying the load and by being punished instead of us. Freed from the curse of the law by fulfilling it for us – where no one would purchase us as slaves, Jesus purchased us with His own blood and calls us bride (one who has an inheritance), sons, daughters and friend: John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
    While I do agree that Christians need to lead in this world, we also need to know that we are King Priests in this world, those who have faith in Jesus, how much, as much as a mustard seed – who like our Savior – can speak healing, can speak wisdom, can speak financial blessings all through Christ Jesus.Luke 17:6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
    So do not let satan rob you of your inheritance or talk you out of your faith – speak your problems into the sea – seek wisdom from God – yes go to school – yes get an advanced degree but remember the true cornerstone of our faith – Jesus and through faith in Christ all the Jesus in you to be revealed and the fruit of that revelation will produce good works for your brothers and sisters – regardless of who they are and the condition they are in. Remember, satan has no authority over you – Just as Goliath could only stand and shout obscenities at Davis and the Israelites at Ephes Dammim (meaning boundary of blood) the blood of Christ continuously and forever covers you and has redeemed you from the curse.

    “The human race is moving forward. It’s time for our churches to be catalysts for think-tanks of innovation and creativity again in order to improve human existence, rather than producing reactionaries capitalizing on every opportunity to raise a concern, criticize, and blame. We’ve been beating the same dead horses for two generations now. It’s time to move forward.”
    First, remember who and what the church is – if you are thinking of a building you’re really missing it! You are the church – you have been placed into Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit in you and when two or three come together in agreement – Jesus is in the midst. And guess what – our team has the smartest person in the universe and He is willing to bestow His wisdom on us – all we must do is receive it through Christ Jesus. The best way to improve our human existence is the reveal Jesus at every opportunity and to show how much He values each and everyone of us – how do you know this? Matthew 13:46 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Who is the man? – the Man is God – what is the treasure in the field? – that my friend is us – all of us. What did He sell with Joy? He sold His only Son who paid the price for us. How awesome is our Father in Heaven who has joyfully sacrificed His only Son to purchase your freedom. That is what God thinks of us.

    No Ted, 21ST CENTURY EVANGELICALISM is the same as 1st Century – How do I know this – simple Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. And how do we know for sure that Jesus is God? John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” is but one example.

    Researchers say 70% of the students who grow up in our church youth departments walk away from their faith during their university training. Why is that? I think it’s because many of our church leaders subtly believe innovation and the future are our enemies.
    I believe you are dead wrong here – many walk away because they are taught that only through works can they win the heart of an approving God, that their salvation relies on their loving God with all their heart, with confession of sin, with repentance of heart. That when things dont go our way or we dont hear from God that it must be something you arent doing – not going to church enough, not reading your bible enough, not praying, you must be sinning or you havent done enough to move the will of God – all rubbish by the way. I heard a very learned minister talking with a group of his parishioners: one asked about a family who prayed to God constantly, who loved Jesus and raised their family in the church only to be killed in a horrible accident. The minister simply stated “it was the will of God.” Well I can tell you it is not God’s will that people die – how do I know this? John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” This my friend is the will of God: That all His children will believe in the finished work of the Son – Jesus Christ.

    Ted, please do more to reveal Jesus to those who listen to you, God wants to use you as a mighty instrument of truth, and to a degree what you are saying is truth – but you need to put God back into the equation – you need to reveal Jesus to those who truly need Him – and that my brother is all of us. The drowning man doesnt need a supercomputer to tell him he is drowning – he only needs a Savior.

    The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

    You are a son of Abraham, you have an inheritance – not a servant but a friend of God – a bride being made ready for the wedding – you are loved.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn

  5. Aaron says:

    Thank you for mentioning The great rev. King. Now more than ever its clear that evangelicals use the bible to support their racists ways. I feel that hate is at the core of resisting change. Be it young people, non-whites, or other religions Christians have a long record of hating them.

    • Jay Arnn says:

      Aaron, I would agree with you that too many religious Christians are taught incorrectly to use the Gospel ( Euaggelion in Greek, meaning the good news) to divide and exclude rather than make whole and include. When we worship God – nagash in Hebrew or proserchomai in Greek, we draw near to Him – that is worship – to draw near to Jesus. If more Christians understood this, they would understand that the Gospel was not meant as an instruction manual to separate ourselves from others, but rather to reveal the most powerful Healer, King, High Priest, and loving Father to all. During Jesus’ time the Pharisees were thought to have the most correct knowledge of the Torah – Nevi’im and Ketuvim, However, Jesus said of them in Matthew 22:29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
      It seems, that those same issues are alive and well with many who preach a doctrine of hate or exclusion. To be clear, I do not have a universalist viewpoint. There are many who are not saved, but it is not up to me to exclude them or judge them – it is up to me to reveal a loving Savior to them through the word and allow them to accept or reject the message. There are two ways to salvation: Adhering to the letter of the law (all of them) according to God’s Holy definitions (not mans) or through belief in the finished works of Christ Jesus. It doesn’t matter if you are the most pious or the most wretched – you are a child of God and His will is that you believe on His Son: John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
      I believe that is why so many young people seek to find spirituality in other false/man made religions, because of the hate rhetoric and incorrect teaching that is completely rampant today. I would confidently state that most churches in America are teaching incorrect and in some cases anti-Christian doctrine, including the church that Ted Haggard founded.

      • Aaron says:

        Thank you for your reply. I would also say that while your knowledge of the bible is impressive, one who is not blinded by faith would ask “where is Jesus today”? with each mass killing or police beating a non-believer would have to ask “when”? when would God step in? Over 2000 years of pain and suffering and nothing? even after the holocaust? These are some of the reasons young people seek spirituality at places other than church.
        There is reality and then there are stories from the passed. How does religion connect the two?
        Thats one of the reasons I like listening to Ted. He’s at least trying to make that connection.
        Aaron

  6. Jay Arnn says:

    Aaron, faith does not blind, or is not blinding – only ignorance, fear, guilt and condemnation blind – but never faith. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. – this is what Ted was writing about in his original post – but we seek all wisdom and knowledge from God. John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” How do those who have not seen Jesus, believe? Through the word of the Gospel John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. To John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. This is how, at least, I have faith, through His word and the knowledge and wisdom I ask from God who is all things. As for the happenings in the world, the darkness which surrounds us but does not touch us, the evil things we see or hear which surrounds us but does not touch us, Jesus said: Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
    But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” – Matthew 15:12-14. Now – the power of many and the power of one: You may be familiar with the battle of Dunkirk during the early days of WWII, where hundreds of thousands of British troops were surrounded by the Nazis on three sides and the English Channel at their back. Inexplicably the Germans halted the attack which allowed the British to evacuate over 300,000 soldiers. Winston Churchill called it the Miracle of Dunkirk – in fact when asked about the experience many of the soldiers recounted that a large number of them started to pray Psalm 91 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler; And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge. While in the midst of prayer they witnessed an armada of fishing, pleasure, working, and military boats emerge from the mist to rescue them. Later, during the bombing of London, one night an entire city block was demolished save for one house. Concerned for the occupants the local fire brigade went in to find the elderly lady sitting calmly with her morning cup of tea. When asked if she was ok and how on earth she weathered the bombing, she replied: The Lord promised me, “A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.” She was quoting Psalm 91:7. As for my people, the Jews, who do not accept Christ Jesus as Savior, the holocaust goes back many centuries to 70 AD when the temple was destroyed. Prior to Jesus’ crucifixion the Priests were instructed from the beginning with Aaron, the first high priest, on the sin sacrifice. This was the temporary payment for sins of the individual and for the nation of Israel. In the same sense that a check is a promise to pay, but is not payment of ones debt unless the legal tender is available to cover the check. Jesus was our over-payment: God said one drop of His holy blood would cover our sins forever, yet He spilled all of His blood for us. After the crucifixion of Jesus the Jews who rejected Jesus still offered God sacrifices of bulls and goats – Would you accept a bad check when payment had already been made in full? Neither did God – He destroyed the temple and scattered the people. It sounds harsh, but it is a consequence of the law and the law is a curse and the only one who can redeem you from the curse is Jesus – who is the perfect sacrifice – so those who believe in Jesus utilize the perfect sacrifice for all times, even in their darkest sinful moment, those who utilize the perfect sacrifice, Jesus, can confess their righteousness with God and God records their names in the book of the living. My poor Jewish brothers, who reject Jesus, have no intercessor, no petitioner, no covering of blood, no Holy Spirit only the curse of the law – which time and time again they have failed to uphold. If you want to know more about the curse of the law read Deuteronomy 28:15-68. This is specifically to the Jew under the law, not the Christian under grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. So what about those who believe on Jesus, in His finished works – here is what the Lord promises us: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:4-8. So you see now where is God – where He has always been and those who believe on Jesus are in Him and He in them and all are seated on high with Him who is on the right hand of the Father. The world is a dark place, it was entrusted to Adam who sinned against God and the world fell into the hands of satan, but by one man’s sin another Man’s sacrifice redeemed us from the world – therefore we are in the world but no longer of the world and that darkness, no matter how horrific it is, no matter how close it gets, cannot touch us because we are one with our Lord and Savior seated at the right hand of the Father, on high. Not blinded by faith but freed by faith from the curse and whether it is by the fruit of one or the fruits of many we can reveal the truth about God to the multitude who are blind.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn

    • Aaron says:

      Thank you for that impressive reply! I am no where near the writer you are my friend (obviously).
      Two things (of many) struck me as relevant to my comment in your reply.
      “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted” and
      “But God, who is rich in mercy”
      Did God not create all things? Also, have you watched a pro football player thank god for a touch down he scored lately? Pro athletes are truly blessed don’t you think? Health and wealth truly plenty to be thankful for. So why does God turn his back on the starving kids in Africa? Or worse yet, the kids that were shot to death at Sandy Hook elementary school? What does the pro athlete do that the others didn’t do in Jesus’s eyes? Not seeing these things can surely be interpreted as “blind”
      Also world war 2 and all wars for that matter, how can a God “rich in mercy” allow wars like we’ve already seen happen? And if it is part of his plan for millions of innocent to die, why would anyone worship Him?
      I hope you can see that ignoring questions like these and many others can be viewed as being blind regardless of what the scriptures say. I also think evangelicals should address these type of questions specifically. Young people ask these type of questions and don’t get good answers.
      Thank you!
      Aaron

  7. Jay Arnn says:

    Aaron, I’m not sure I have a good answer for you – but I can tell you what I believe based on what I have read in the bible and from listening to wiser people than I. First, to look at why innocent people die, we need to exam the first recorded murder when Cain, the first born of Adam and Eve, murdered Abel. What we know to this point is the God made man in His image and gave man dominion over the world and all the things in it – then man sinned against God and God cursed the earth. Cain, firstborn tilled the ground (the cursed earth) and offered up to God the fruit of his (Cain’s) labor. However, Abel, tended sheep and would offer a suitable sacrifice to the Lord (Yehovah) This is important because the first name of God we see in the bible is Elohim – when man comes into the picture the name of God is listed as Yehovah (Lord) this indicates the covenant between God and Man. Elohim creates and the Lord holds the covenant with man. This was a covenant of grace because the law was yet to be written. Under grace the Lord accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but did not accept the offering of an imperfect man offering cursed fruits to a Holy God. This made Cain angry and he rose up against his brother and killed him. Why? Free will. That is the best that I can do as an answer to your question – free will. God (Elohim) created man with free will. We are free to choose life or death. I know this seems simplistic but that is what free will boils down to. The Lord God (Yehovah) is Holy, Just, and Cannot Lie. Therefore, if God were to intervene to suspend free will – it would make him a liar, unjust, unholy and that state cannot exist within God. No one deserves to die and it breaks out hearts to hear of incidents like Sandy Hook Elementary, but God did not turn His back on those children any more than He did with 6 million Jews who perished in WWII. We live in a very dark world, where men elevate themselves at the expense of others, where wholesale murder and destruction takes place in the name of god – I use little g because these actions are misguided acts carried out by religious zealots who are misguided and do not know or understand the heart of the true God (I Am). My very own people perish because they have rejected the Savior and fall under the curse of the law – which is severe. At Mount Sinai, the Hebrews stood at it’s base and cried out to God; “Whatever you ask of us, we will do!” Not as an act of humility but as a boast of their own ability and their own power against God. Therefore, God gave them the law – not as an instruction of holiness but as the example to man why he needs a savior. Because man, imperfect as he is, cannot uphold the law to God’s standard of holiness. We need a Savior, we need God – without God man is blind and when blind men lead other blind men they fall into a ditch. Why would we worship the Lord God? Because, when we know the truth, we understand that it isn’t God who is causing the pain and suffering in the world, but man. We understand, in order to change the world, we worship (draw near to) God. That in the midst of suffering there are those who offer help. The families who hid Jews during WWII come to mind, Schindler, the average citizen who took a family in after Katrina, the countless people who volunteered at ground zero after 911 – the Holy Spirit is in us who confess belief in the finished works of Jesus and find rest and refuge in His arms. Those that go their own way, who build themselves up at the expense of others will eventually fall, but as history is repleat with these people we know it comes at a heavy price.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn

  8. Aaron says:

    Thanks again Jay,
    You are exactly correct about “free will” that IS it in a nut shell. Its still very hard to not ask why. The suffering caused by “free will” back in the times of the old testament were enough to cause a reaction from God big enough to be written into the bible. No suffering today is worthy?
    Anyway, Thank you!
    Aaron

    • Jay Arnn says:

      Aaron, just because a book is finished does not mean mankind suffers in vain. From the very first word of the bible we see Jesus written throughout the old testament with images of things to come and why the old testament points toward Jesus. The very first Hebrew word of Genesis 1:1 in the Torah is B’reshit (Bara-sheet) spelled Bet-Resh-Alief-Shin-Yod-Tav The ancient pictographs of each letter in order would be House-Head-Ox-Consume-Works-Cross. So one might put together that the first word in the bible which is translated as ‘In the beginning” actually points to the deeper meaning of “From the House of the Lord comes a Sacrifice consumed by the works of man on the cross”. From the very first word to the last verse in Revelation: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen. (Greek) Charis hēmōn kyrios Iēsous Christos meta hymōn pas amēn. Amen is the final word and it means the surety of a thing or something that is done. So by the sacrifice of our Lord Christ Jesus, His grace is a surety for all who believe on Him and He is with us through all the days of our existence. Never to turn His back on us because He was forsaken at the Cross and that debt was paid for us then for all time. At the cross the Romans inscribed on a board which they nailed above Jesus’ head: YHVH which meant Yeshua ha-Notzri u Melekh ha-Yehudim – which means Jesus of Nazareth and King of the Jews. The Pharisees saw this and demanded it be changed but the Roman Centurion said: “What I have written stands.” YHVH in Hebrew spells Yehovah or Lord God – thus in His own crucifixion, the Romans unwittingly revealed to every Hebrew who they were crucifying that day: The Lord (one who holds a covenant with man) God. My point is – from the beginning we know the purpose of our Savior and until the end of time we, as Christians, have the surety of the word of God that our salvation is through Christ Jesus by the grace of God and that Jesus was in fact God who hung on the cross for all mankind. God bless you brother Aaron, Amen.

      Kind regards,
      J Arnn

  9. Jason says:

    J Arnn, look up the word “brevity” in the dictionary.

    Thank God for technology. I liked what Ted had to say.

  10. CS says:

    MLK wasn’t even a Christian. He denied Christ’s deity as well as the bodily Resurrection. Pretty sure those are required beliefs to get in to heaven.

    He also denied the virgin birth and was more than just an adulterer. He hired prostitutes and was a homosexual communist. Do your research.

  11. timtak says:

    This post sounds not a little self referential suggesting that the good Reverend still may have not been able to move forward from his own trial. I hope that he finds the strength to forgive himself completely and move forward with the shining purity and beauty of the world.

    I was interested in the Reverend since like many others I saw his interview with professor Dawkins and felt the Reverend came across the better, saying things like “You will realise that you are right about some things and wrong about others” “your grandchildren may look back and laugh.” He seemed more confident and yet less arrogant that the professor.

    I wondered about source of the Reverend’s confidence especially since I once had a spiritual experience when I confronted my homosexual side. At the time I did not understand it very well but now after having re-read the Bible it seemed to me that it explained to an extent the sin of Adam, that I still carry with me. I wonder if Reverend Haggard has had a similar experience.

    I note that x-President Bush paints pictures of his lower body in the bath, and wondered whether that might have anything to do with the spiritual advice that he received from Rev. Haggard. It reminds me of an infernal joke. Why are people afraid of spiders? Because they have eight legs.

    Anyway, I wish Reverend Haggard the best for the future.

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