Archive for February, 2009

repentance

Posted: 2009/02/28 in Austen, christianity, sin, struggle
Tags: , ,

how do you teach a 5 year old repentance?

 

i don’t know if my heart has ever been so broken.  Austen has entered into this phase of his life where he knows all the right answers when he is in trouble but the look on his face is so blank.  he got in big trouble yesterday for a rebellious act.  we “discussed” it.  today he got in trouble for the same thing…twice.  dumb.  he doesn’t get it.  tonight (the last time) when he got busted he knew it was bad…but his “sorry” never left the stage of “crap, i just got caught.”  can you teach a kid to have a repentant heart?  am i able to teach him that being sorry is not about the trouble you’re in or about how “firm” i am.  the most emotion i got tonight was when he started crying because i got firm with him.  dude, it’s not about how disappointed i get!  it’s about being sorry that you broke your mom’s and my heart bro.  it about loosing trust.  it’s about never wanting to go down that road again.  

i can not change his heart.  only God can change his heart.  i can love him, teach him about sin, embrace him, teach him about the glorious things about God…but i can’t change him.  

God save my little boy.  change him from the inside out.  break his heart when he breaks ours.  God teach me the same thing about my own sin in how it breaks your heart.  thank you for allowing me to struggle through this only to teach me about “a Fathers love for me.”  

I love you Jesus!

i’ve been thinking theoretically about my last post, how we as humanity may display the innate knowledge of God and His wrath.  after i have made my point biblically i can’t help but think how this might have or is currently playing out in human history.   

simply i believe this point is played out in humanities passion for defining the spiritual world.  the truth is, everybody believes something.  even the atheist viewpoint of nothing is a belief against something…it a spiritual stance.  we as humans find it necessary to define what we believe even if that belief is nothing.  is that too confusing?  hope not!

i took a Living World Religions class at a secular college in which the teacher was not a believer in Christ.  during the midst of the class i found it VERY interesting that from the beginning of recorded history every people group that has ever been discovered has defined the “spiritual” to the best of their ability.  that’s crazy if you think about it.  no one needs prompting to think about the spiritual side of this world…it just happens.  

i have never met a spiritually apathetic person.  i have met overwhelmed people but not someone who just doesn’t give a damn.  people are quick to make their judgements about how the world came to existence, if their is a supernatural force that oversees ‘creation,’ if their is a supernatural force what is he/she like, and what happens to us after we die.  even agnostics answer this question in their stance of unknowing/unable to be known. 

isn’t that the premiss of my point backed by Romans 1:18-32…that God has created all creation (including all humans) with a deep understanding of His divine nature and eternal power and also with a deep understanding that if you break His decree you deserve death?  through sin we suppress this truth that was instilled in us at birth.  this truth is hidden under the core of our fallen nature and we do our best to answer the questions that burn our souls in our unrighteousness.  until God reveals the truth of himself to us we (as humanity) will continue to flail in our drowning and grasp on to anything that makes sense to us.  without God superimposing on us His righteousness…we will never fully know the complexity of God or the simplicity of His grace.  

to what purpose did God instill in us this deep understanding of His eternal power and divine nature and His wrath against sin…”So they (creation) are without excuse.”  

what’s our response to this understanding (in our unrighteousness)…what does our suppression look like: “For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:21-22

 

i beg us to pray that God would depressurize the suppression that we have on His truth…that we would become wise in our understanding and be molded into the likeness of His Son.  i pray that we pray the same prayer for those we share the gospel to.  we all have the same disease…it all takes the same remedy.

Theology pt. 6

Posted: 2009/02/21 in theology

* continued from my previous blog site.  

remember: i am not posting these blog’s as fact but as discussion starters to help form and solidify my (and your) theology. i love hearing all points of view and having good healthy discussions (feelings aside). leave me comments. molding my theology is my life long process so let’s get started.

 

Humanity’s Subconscious Knowledge of God:

i have embarked on a forever long study of the book of Romans in Scripture.  i have spent since then end of December studying Romans chapter 1.  wow, it has been intense but VERY fruitful.  the latest “wow” moment came yesterday as i was closing up chapter 1.  

in Bible classes that i have taken and in sermons i’ve heard in the past i’ve been taught theories into what it means to me made in the image of God.  in theory they make sense but the different list i’ve been given make me question their biblical backing…apart from theory.  i wholeheartedly believe we have to be careful of theory and look for hard core evidence, of any theory, backed up by Scripture.

this one point brings some “up in the air” questions “down” for me.  again, i am not stating them as fact, just recording them as i see them to help me process through it.  any readers opinion is welcome.

the apostle Paul, in the amazing book of Romans, is opening this book in stating his purpose for writing and giving a foundation for what is to come.  many theologians believe that Romans 1:18-32 parallels Genesis (the creation of the world and the fall of man).  i must agree, to a degree, but i don’t think its a direct/purposeful correlation.  i believe simply that Paul is stating the nature of God and the nature of man and it so happens to follow along the lines of the beginning of Genesis.

with this soft parallel i think it is safe to compare the statement of “being made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) with how God created man (all His creation) with an underlying knowledge of Him, that we supress in our fallan nature (Romans 1:19-20,32).

 

the problem i am facing right now is…where do i start with my scriptural explanation?  here goes nothing.    

 

the question i am raising here is “does all humanity (being a part of Gods creation) have a knowledge of God – His divine nature – and a knowledge that breaking His perfect order (sin) causes death?  when i mention all humanity there is no condition; from the remotest village in the world to the guy down the street from you who carries the strongest atheistic worldview to you and me.  do we ALL know there is a God and that breaking His order is called sin and it deserves death.  

a weird question i know…but profound if it is truth!

 

the biblical backing

Romans 1:19-20 “For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them.  For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”  

Romans 1:32 “Though they  know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” 

 

Interpretation

Paul is speaking of those who are ungodly and unrighteous as we see in v. 18.  but more specifically who is “them;” who are these ungodly/unrighteous people.  as we see in v. 16-17 this is all humanity. So the continuation of chapter 1 is talking about humanity.  

if this section in v. 18-32 is talking about all humanity (who are unrighteous apart from Him) then it is saying that He has instilled, in the innermost working of all humanity, the knowledge of Him and that (our) sin brings death.  the greatest truth about this reality is that God does not leave us hanging with this uncontained truth.  He contains is pretty nicely for us.  he states (in v. 19) for those who deny the existence of God are people who suppress this truth that lies deep in their knowledge.

why is this truth profound?  

think of the most atheistic or agnostic person you know.  if you were to have a conversation with this person about this truth, that they, deep down inside, have a knowledge of God…they might laugh in your face and discredit this comment/belief…STRONGLY.

think for me for a moment, how does conversion happen.  do we convince anyone of anything?  does someone become a believer in Christ because we said something smooth?  no!  does someone become a believer because Christianity stood the test of 3500+ years? no!  someone becomes a believer in Christ because God stirs in the heart and reveals the things that are already there…he begins to depressurize the suppression.

God saves people, we don’t.  everyone has a deep understanding of God and His wrath.  we just suppress it (which is our continued sin even as believers).  all God’s creation has a deep understanding of His existence to the point that even the rocks are ready to cry out!

 

i truly believe the being made in the image of God means that we all have a knowledge of God but that sin fractured that knowledge and made us suppress this truth.

 

* This insight came from this study: Click here