Tag Archives: bible

I <3 the emoji Bible

About a year ago, I started tinkering with the idea to create an emoji/text abbreviation Bible.  Basically I wanted to make something that would be easily translatable to text messaging, social media, and would speak to the digital generation. screen-shot-2016-05-24-at-17-33-02-504x396I wish I would have jumped on the idea because they have now created the emoji Bible. Here is my disclaimer: I have not had the chance to preview it, but the way it has been described and the samples I have seen they have taken the KJV, the old Standard of Bibles, the Authorized translation of most denominations and added emoji and abbreviated texting to represent the words.

It is really an interesting concept and I really love the idea. Nevertheless, there are many Christians calling this effort to reach the digital age heretical. Some of the comments stated that it was dumbing down the word of God and that the Holy Spirit is supposed to be the only thing we need to understand God’s word. My answer to this, then we need to get rid of the English, Spanish, and other translations and every one buy a Hebrew and Greek Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to help us understand it. Everyone knows that sounds stupid, but it makes as much since as this argument.

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The second argument is that we are taking sacred things and making them secular. Sadly, that is a pharisee or Old Testament way of thinking. Jesus went to the lowest of the low and ministered to them in a way they would understand. He told parables and gave insight into the word of God that everyday people were unable to grasp. He dumbed it down for the people and they understood and accepted him.

Another argument was, how is this different than taking the Bible and creating a Gay Bible that supports Homosexuality. Again this has no merit. The Gay Bible is promoting a sin, but an emoji Bible is not promoting anything. It is offering a translation that help common people understand. Much like the work of Martin Luther when he made the first German Bible in the language of the common people or when William Tyndale made an early English translation that predates KJV.

Basically, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

So what do you think about this?

Bible reading

Recently we turned over a new leaf. I wanted to regain my bible reading time with my kids. Since I have been working in the evenings it was impossible to regularly read the bible to them. Finally, with taking a teaching position I have been able to do so. I can’t say that it has been an every evening thing. Mainly during the week and taking the weekends off. I realized very quickly that the little kids were not able to maintain focus but the bigger boys have begun getting into the routine. We are actually reading the entire bible in chronological order. Last time we made it through the whole bible in 6 months because the boys loved it so much. This time we will not move as fast, but I look forward to the time together.

What does the Bible Say About Tattoos?


There is a very big debate in the Christian world about Tattoos. Some people think that Tattoos are harmless as a piece of self expression and others believe that they are reprehensible. For generations tattoos were seen as trashy and any one choosing to get a tattoo would be degraded. In cartoons we saw people like sailors and pirates with tattoos. Also many times criminals and thugs were portrayed with tattoos. Also bikers and gang members wore tattoos to display their accomplishments.

However, today tattoos are becoming more and more the norm. Socialites brandish their tattoos in public. Movie stars and athletes have no qualm about letting the world know about their ink. Even preachers and ministers have been known to have marks on their body. So then is it alright.

Not according to the Old Testament law. Leviticus 19:28 says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” Many people would say that settles it. They would side with the Old Testament and declare tattoos as unGodly and leave it at that. Those same people must also be keeping the Sabbath Day, avoiding pork and food that still contains blood, and stoning those who commit adultery.

People like to pick and choose the part of the Bible that they want to use. They try to find things that will support their prerogative, but ignore what they don’t want to hear. Paul is very emphatic, if a person is living by the law and breaks even the smallest part then he or she has broken all of the law.

We are not living under the Law of the Old Testament. We are living under the law of Grace. So then New Testament Christians would say, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” And they make a good argument. It is not Old Testament, but New Testament. It is also not about sacrifice but grace. Nevertheless, they are again choosing passages out of context. If you read this passage it is planning referring to sexual immorality.

So then where is the answer to the question? We find it in 1 Corinthians 10:23: All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Basically it says, “Under grace there are many things that I can do and know that I am still under the grace saving power of the cross. But not all things are beneficial to me.” The question should not be are tattoos Biblical; the question should be are the beneficial?

Before you choose to get a tattoo you need to prayerfully go before God. Just like any other major permanent decision that you will make, you need to receive God’s guidance. You need to also check your motive. Are you doing it as a way to rebel or make a statement that should not be made? Finally, think about what it will look like in 50 years. I have seen some tattoos that looked good in old pictures but when the person was elderly and had saggy skin or had gained substantial weight the tattoos no longer looked good.

Once you have taken the time to think about it, then you can effectively make a decision if a tattoo is right for you.

Has Holiness gone too far

I recently was at a Church where the minister had talked to a female singer about her low-cut dress. I agree there are somethings that we should not see in church, but it was not the clothing complaint that bothered me. The Preacher said, “You can tell that she was not raised Holiness.”

When was Holiness perverted into a standard people should live?

The only standard that the Bible mentions is to live like Christ. No one can live up to the standard of Christ even with a set of rules. So there must be more to it than a set of rules.

The Bible says that Holiness is a way of life that comes from a devotion for God. It is being set apart for God’s use. Furthermore, Paul made it very clear that one person’s understanding of holiness should not be forced on another person.

Holiness is not a level to be achieved. If it were, we would be adding to the work that Christ has already done. Legalism always says, “I can add to the work of Christ.” It is a precursor to pride, arrogance, and then a fall.

Holiness on the other hand is a natural demonstration of God working in one’s life. In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says that we are saved by grace, not by works. If we were saved by grace we could boast about it. He wraps it up by saying in verse 10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

He juxtaposes our works to us being the work of God that he prepared for us to be. The changes of our heart come from God working in us not by our attempts.

In other words, the closer our relationship with God, the more the acts of God will be demonstrated in our lives.

BTW:

If a church sees fit to mandate the dress code for people on the platform they have that right. But it needs to be on the premise of continuity and decency, and not because of rules.

God, I am angry

You know, I remember when I was younger it was always recommended not to get angry with God. My mother did not like the thought of her child being angry with God. She acted as if being angry with God would unleash the terrible wrath of the almighty.

As a child I really took that to heart. I did not want to be angry with God. Nevertheless, there were times that I did question God and even become frustrated with him because I did not understand. I was again told that this was not safe. I was told that this could cause God to be angry with me.

As an adult, theologian, and author, I now highly disagree with this previous belief. My question: do I really think that God is so small and so needy that he can not handle me questioning him, or dare I say, being angry with God?

Is God really that weak that he is offended or hurt when I get angry or even when I doubt? Is God really that miniscule that it angers him when we get upset? No!

Our relationship can actually be strengthened when we have these emotions towards God. First, when we become angry at God our faith is at its height. We can not be angry at something that we do not believe in.

Secondly, when we are questioning God, it gives God the chance to demonstrate his love for us. He proves to us that he really cares for us. God has a way of demonstrating his compassion for us when we are in need.

Third, the more we struggle with our beliefs the more we grow spiritually. It forces us to grow up and understand what we believe instead of just believing what we are told to believe.

Nevertheless, there is a problem. Even though it does not hurt God when we become angry or when we doubt, it can hurt us. Some people will become angry with God, and then just give up on God. When we are angry with God we have to keep moving forward with our relationship with God.

Some people get angry and then turn their back on God. We can’t do that. We need to love God enough to continue pushing forward when we are struggling with our faith. Hopefully, when we are angry with our spouse or significant other we would not give up on the relaitonship. In the same way if we get angry with God keep pushing forward. Furthermore, we need to give God the chance to prove himself to us.

My new car

2014-06-12 19.31.30Does God cause something bad to happen just so that he can make something good come out of it?

Recently, my vehicle was in a very bad hail storm. It knocked out the back glass, the front glass was shattered, every location on the body was pitted, and even the trunk was full of water because it breached the seal. The car was history. There is no recovery from that.

The Insurance company paid off most all of the vehicle. I was left with a balance of $700 which included my deductible. I was able to go to the local Ford dealership and found the exact car that I wanted. Went into the bank and they took care of the rest.

It was a wonderful blessing. I got a brand new car. It is perfect. It begs the question though. Did God send the hail storm because he wanted to bless me with a new car?2014-06-12 19.32.51

There are two basic schools of thought. One says, God causes bad things to happen so that he can give us good things in return. These people also believe that their children are molested because God wants to give them a testimony and help other kids who are molested. And yes, there are really people who believe that.

This mindset takes what Jesus told the disciples in John 9 to mean that God caused the man to be born blind so that the glory of God could be revealed. He never said that God cause the blindness, rather the man was born blind so that the glory of God could be revealed.

2014-06-14 13.09.25God is not the author of evil, James makes that very clear. Instead, Romans 8:28 explains that God makes everything work together for the good of those who love him. He is not the author of evil, but he takes the evil of the world and makes it turn out for our good. Even Joseph in Genesis told his brother’s, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”

In other words, God didn’t send a hail storm to wipe out half the cars in the area where I live just so that I could get a new car. In the same way, God does not let bad things happen just so that we will learn from it, and he does not cause children to be molested just so that they can have a good testimony. We live in a broken and battered world. People do some really bad things. However, God can pick up the pieces and put them back together. God is Love and He loves you.

Christian Jihad

With out getting into the complexity of the Muslim understanding of Jihad, most Christians see Jihad as the Muslims attempts to war against unbelievers. They fight against unbelievers in an effort to force conversion to Islam. In some countries Christians are tortured and killed because they are not Muslim.

As Christians we do not authorize murder, but how many times do we declare Jihad on unbelievers. We attempt to cram our beliefs and understandings down the throat of unbelievers, pagans, homosexuals, other religions, etc.

Where is the love? I don’t get it. Where is the willingness to connect and build relationships?

You want to know why the world is going to HELL, it is because Christians will not shut they fat mouths and extend a helping hand instead. They will not stop propagandizing long enough to express true compassion. The Church rolls over and plays dead, while its people masquerade as holiness, and run around raping and pillaging the poor of humanity.

Why does the world hate Christians? Because we have treated the world like we hate them. Sadly, we have turned evangelism into nothing more than Christian Jihad.