Pepsi

By: Michael Lilborn Williams 
 
It’s been over 20 years now.
 
My life was being ripped, shredded and literally torn apart once again.
 
How do I accept who and what I am? What will happen to my family, my wife and our three young girls? I was being persuaded with such wonderful truth about the Gospel. When would it come erupting unbridled from the depths of my own heart?
 
When would the truth about Mike Williams finally come out?
 
My prayers and confessions of sheer desperation went unheeded by God. For the very first time in my struggle, I could not escape through yet another stay in the mental institution or by the repeated introductions and invitations to the stage as a “delivered” homosexual or America’s foremost authority on “demonology”.
 
Reaching out and reaching up had run its course for good this time.
 
In the midst of all of this, I found myself driving back from another meeting. Still in my suit after stopping at Taco Bell with an extra large Pepsi held cautiously between my legs, I drove. I felt like I was literally coming apart on the inside. The inner-conflict I experienced during that day’s meetings I felt could not be hidden to the eye. I felt like it must have been like seeing a dirty bum on a filthy street corner pretending he was in a suit of armor at the moat of his castle waiting for the bridge to be lowered.
 
As I reached to pick up the Pepsi it suddenly exploded in my lap as the top collapsed out of its unsecured plastic lid! The Pepsi was not only icy, cold and wet but it had to stay there for the entire three hour trip home because I had no other clothes with me.
 
Looking back it was as if a conductor was standing poised with wand raised in hand ready to release his orchestra to play. The only problem was that when the wand was dropped in a circular deliberate motion to commence, the orchestra was not ready. And all that was heard was a primal scream and a cry that came ripping out of me from the deepest part of my being. It suddenly had nothing to do with the frosty liquid all over me. It was that my life that was spilling out in gushes all over myself.
 
Torrents of rage, confusion and anguish exploded out of me. Like the Pepsi all over me, I realized I had no choice but to sit in it, all of it—my mess, MY LIFE! I had no one to turn to, nothing to pray about, nothing to do but to finally accept this royal mess. The suit of armor vanished. The castle evaporated before my eyes. No bridge to be lowered. The next step was simply into a dark deep trench. And I was about to tilt right over its precarious edge, already in filthy clothes.
 
Without any prompting these words came unrestricted from within me. “Send the song! Please send the song! Let this all make sense! Like Elton John singing Good Bye Yellow Brick Road, please let the Gospel come out like a beautiful symphony from someone worthy to carry it!”
 
As these words came almost involuntarily from my mouth as the screams and crying muddled my speech. I knew everything had changed.
 
Now I knew that reaching inside me was my only option. I had reached “up and outside myself” my whole life, swatted every fly, stomped every viper, head butted every obstacle, rebuked every devil and nothing had changed for Mike Williams.
 
For the very first time in my life I reached inside.
 
Now, after more than 20 years, I keep on finding treasure in this earthen vessel. I find “other” things in there, too! LOL! Ya know what I mean? But now I know how to sort them. Sorting is one of the keys to happiness! Do ya know what I mean?
 
And, oh, can you hear it? The orchestra seems ready to begin! Seats, instrument and music stands are getting situated! There’s a hush over the crowd! I am sure I just heard the tap, tap, tap of the maestro’s baton…
 
Each and every one of you has had the “Pepsi” explode in your lap, too.
 
Now enjoy what’s coming out of you! I can hear it. And I love it and I love YOU!
 
Michael Lilborn Williams

A Response to Chris Harrison

 

 

𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨 𝙃𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙨𝙖𝙮𝙨; 
𝙋𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙢? 𝘽𝙖𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩? 𝘾𝙖𝙡𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙢? 𝘾𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙢? 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙞𝙣 𝙚𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙚𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙧. 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩, 𝙄 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙙𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙢𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙢. 𝙎𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙞𝙩 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙢𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙢 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙚 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙢. 𝙅𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙒𝙞𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙨 𝙗𝙤𝙡𝙙𝙡𝙮 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙨 𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙢𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙢𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝘽𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙮 𝙗𝙤𝙡𝙙𝙡𝙮 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙩. 𝙏𝙝𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙞𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝟯𝟬 𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙚 𝙞𝙩. 𝙄𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙝𝙪𝙧𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙮 𝙤𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙨𝙤 𝙄 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙛𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨. 
RESPONSE;
Chris Harrison and myself are friends. We have spent time both over the phone and face to face, discussing the various aspects of what he covered in this lengthy, reasoned essay. I am what Chris refers to as a “Redemptionist”.There are three noteworthy things raised in this first paragraph. 
(1) Baptist Chris will readily identify as a Protestant, but NOT as a Methodist. How so? Because Chris knows that the term “Protestant” is simply an umbrella term for multiple belief systems, of which one happens to be known as “Baptist”. Others identify as Brethren, Presbyterians, Salvation Army and so on, multiple thousands in fact, (all of which claim that the same Holy Spirit led them to their highly divergant positions from which some would gladly murder others as their tragic history of self righteousness clearly shows).. Even so “Universalism” is simply an umbrella term for multiple belief systems, of which one happens to be known as , “Redemptionism “.
(2) Chris says here that redemptionism can hurt the truth. In other words, Chris is plainly saying that while the tenets of Redemptionism hurt the truth, what Chris himself believes constitutes absolute truth. He positions himself as a truth bearer as opposed to the lies of redemptionism, (or the UNtruth of Redemptionism – same difference).
So it is from Chris Harrison’s opening claim that we will proceed to analyse his following statements. We love Chris dearly, and find that in that atmosphere of shared love, to which he also refers, “iron sharpens iron” as ther old Bible saying goes, and thus we all win in love.
(3) 
It is a truism, that a person whose income is dependent on being heard to “believe and say the right things”, can be truly relied upon to live and die by party politics, or in Chris’s case, right and proper Baptist thinking. That by itself,is deeply troubling, for many reasons, most of which are outside the orbit of this response. I am not casting aspersions on Chris’s character, but rather simply observing a factual situation into which Chris fits. Updates on these responses may be found at www.gospelrevolution (.) com https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/redemptionism

Having Severe Red Butt

It’s disconcerting when people disparage God as being a mass murder when they’re ignorant of the historical context. Let’s get that straight so we can focus on loving each other.

180605 Bible Study

Welcome! It’s The Gospel Revolution Tuesday Night LIVE!!! Let us know where you’re logged on from, ask any questions you have, please consider making a donation to the cause below, share this feed with your friends and ENJOY!!!!

Posted by Mike Williams on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

180428 – Bible Study

Welcome to the Christianity-free Bible study brought to you by The Gospel Revolution || Have your questions answered live every Tuesday night at 630pm (EST)

Posted by Mike Williams on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

In All Things, Love

In All Things, Love. There’s a saying that goes something like this: “In essential things unity, in non-essential things liberty, in all things love.” There are thousands of denominations that can’t agree on what is essential in the Christian religion. Therefore, Christianity isn’t unified.

The Tower of Bull Sugar

The Tower of Bull Sugar represents Christianity’s gospel. Bull Sugar aptly describes a gospel that says, “God loves you, but will make you suffer in hell forever for rejecting his love.”

Janus: The Two-Faced God

Gods like Janus have personalities disorders. One religion claims its god is a god of love as it throws living people into hell to suffer forever. Oh, the insanity!

 

Apostolic Sucksession

This video is about the beginnings of Apostolic Succession and the fake gospel of works plus grace that’s found along side of the true gospel of love.

180508 Salvation and Personal Belief

Tuesday night living room Gospel Revolution

Posted by Mike Williams on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape?

Why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape?

Why do people stuck in religion

make no attempt to escape?

 

1

Reason number one why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

Mental laziness

 

I don’t know one Christian, who does not have unanswered questions about their religion. But Christianity is not a religion of answers; it is a religion of if’s, and’s, but’s, and maybe’s. When Christianity cannot answer a question with a simple straight response, suddenly the answer becomes, “oh well that is a mystery”. How self-servingly convenient! But reality doesn’t work that way.

I remember when I was in the word of faith movement, asking why physical healing was such a hit and miss thing. Dishonest preachers invented all kinds of reasons; my faith wasn’t strong enough, the person wanting to be healed, had sin in their life and hence God could not heal them. The reasons proffered went on and on. When push came to shove, it suddenly became a mystery; “God works in mysterious ways, don’t you know?!”. I started to realize, that if faith healing was to be trusted at all, and if it was a work of God, then the results would at least be consistent. I realized, that if I dropped a pencil from my hand, it would travel downwards to the floor, every single time.

 

But so much of Christianity cannot be relied upon for consistent results. Take answered or unanswered prayer, for example.

Christianity demands different results over multiple thousands of belief systems practiced by multiple thousands of denominations. Statements of belief, differ from sect to sect, and there is no unity in that, only disunity and dualism.

Orthodoxy is that which decides who to call a heretic, and who to call a believer, on the basis of ever-changing rules, that it makes up as it goes a long. Orthodoxy was founded in division, decided in pools of blood and swordplay, and maintained with murder, character assassination, and anything but the love described in 1-Corinthians 13, and easily disproving any positive answer to the prayer of Jesus, who prayed that we would be one. So Jesus doesn’t get his prayers answered, but you do?

Voltaire famously said, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” This holds especially true for religion. Anybody who persistently asks a Christian leader any given question about why that church believes what it does, knows exactly what I mean. If you want to survive in Christianity, do not ask questions. Yes, religion always makes the best liars. Without any question, Christianity survives on unanswered questions, easily as much as on unquestioned answers. That in a nutshell, is either intellectual bankruptcy, or deliberate deflection and manipulation.

In a digital age ignorance is a choice, because sustained inquiry, together with using one’s own intelligence, cannot help but magnify the holes in many church doctrines. Devotion to Christianity, means that you are being manipulated by the two most basic and successful human motivators, which are, the hope of gain (heaven), and the fear of loss (hell). Quite naturally, Christian leaders will tell you that they didn’t invent these motivators, but that God did. So apparently God says, I love you so much that I invented hell just in case you didn’t love me back. Does that make any sense to you at all?

Knock knock!

Who’s there?

Jesus!

What do you want, Jesus?

I want to save you from what I will do to you, if you don’t open the door.

 

And then there is heaven, and haven’t we all got our own picture about heaven, despite the fact that so little is written about it in the Bible, and that the only person that the Bible says can go there, already must previously have descended from there? Not to mention the fact that the only person to return from the dead never talked about it afterwards.

The Trinity is another such doctrine (I speak as a nominal Trinitarian).

Or ask the average Christian, where babies go when they die? They will offer you nothing from the Bible, except cut-and-paste, hit and run bait and switch inferences emanating from their own emotional comfort zones. They hate to think that God would possibly consign a baby to hell, even though Jesus plainly said, “if you don’t believe, then you are condemned already”.

There are black and white things in the Bible that every Christian tends to ignore because it simply does not agree with their emotional comfort zone.

 

The most common form of theological manipulation is reading out of context. Any Texan will know what a longhorn is, and we used to use a term called Longhorn preaching – a point here and a point there and a lot of bull in between. Christianity hardly knows how to support any of their doctrines without proof texting; that is to say, taking a verse from here and a verse from there, and hey presto we have a new denomination, a new theology, a new way to divide otherwise happy people, and yet another hand reaching into your pocket. The next method of theological manipulation is the clever use of logical fallacies. Strawman arguments, red herrings, ad hominem attacks, bandwagon appeal (ad populum), begging the question, Hobson choices, and circular arguments are all fair play in the mind games of Christianity. They will say that the Bible is Scripture despite that which Jesus clearly identified as Scripture; that is to say, the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. The New Testament was canonised over the dead bodies of those who disagreed. Go ahead, research it. Surely the truth.is not going to hurt you, or is it?  They will point you to a verse in Paul’s Epistle to Timothy that says that all scripture is inspired by God. So here is the argument.

The New Testament is Scripture.

Why?

Because the New Testament says it is Scripture.

Therefore the New Testament is Scripture.

Why?

Because the New Testament says it Scripture.

Therefore the New Testament is Scripture.

AAAAAaaaarrrrgh! The lunacy of at all is truly breathtaking.

 

 

2

Reason number two why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

The fear of a wasted life

You would be surprised how many people get to their old age or even their middle age, and are so afraid that they may have wasted their life on wrong beliefs, that this alone is sufficient to decide them on keeping to that which they either know or strongly suspect to be wrong. .

This needs little more by way of explanation, and is probably the most understandable of all the reasons why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape. Of course, it goes without saying, that this sets yhe individual up for the most horrible “what if” scenarios. On his deathbed, the famous comedian and atheist, W. C. Fields, was asked by his wife, why he was thumbing through a Bible. His return quip was, “just looking for loopholes dear, just looking for loopholes”. But while this is the most poignant and perhaps understandable reason, why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape, it also involves a clear level of dishonesty, that is at odds with the religion they espouse

 

3

Reason number three why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

If I am wrong about this what else could I be wrong about – better be safe than sorry – so let’s stick with orthodoxy, or at least my version of orthodoxy!

Back when Christians were killing each other openly and boasting about it, over nothing more than theological differences, (and don’t think that Catholicism was the only culprit here, when Protestants were every bit as guilty), this excuse would have carried a lot more weight when your life depended on it. Today though, with all of the free Bible tools we have, along with the Internet, we can read the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, any number of different languages, and good Bible dictionaries to tell us what words actually mean.

And what is the best thing they can come out of this? You may, if you are at all interested, discover for yourself, what the Bible actually says. Why is it important? Because you must ask yourself why there are over 900 versions of the Bible in English alone, and the obvious answer is, because they don’t agree with each other, so a new one is written to espouse either this theology or that theology. Why is hell mentioned in the King James Bible so many more times than in the NIV Bible? The best thing that can happen is it you will find out what the Bible says accurately, and the worst thing that can happen is that you will upset your Christian leaders when you start asking questions about it.

 

4

Reason number four why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

Historical ignorance

it is truly remarkable, that for people so devout, that for people who claim to want to know the truth, for people who are willing to be ostracized or even killed for their version of their pet truth, that Christians are so comprehensively ignorant of the history that produced them, their public holidays, and their favourite doctrines, high holy days, and saints.

Christian history covers a span of some 2000 years. The Roman Catholic Church is reputed to have over 1500 miles of counter space and shelving containing books and manuscripts, independent examination of which they refuse. The Roman Catholic Church has been what it is today, for approximately 900 years, prior to which, it was involved in numerous schisms, the most public of which was that between the Roman Catholic Church,, and what is today recognized as the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholic Church, you will note, is called the ROMAN Catholic Church, not the holy Catholic Church, nor simply the Catholic Church, nor even the Christian church, but it is called the ROMAN Catholic Church. Why do you suppose that is? Why not the Jerusalem Catholic Church? Why not the Ephesian Catholic Church? These were both very active centres of Christianity in the first century. The answer is really quite simple. Rome, in the early days of Christianity, was the equivalent of today’s Washington, New York, London, Berlin and Moscow. It was in short, the seat of global political, military and even religious power. Rome was where the money was. But in those early days the Bishop of any one geographical region,  was exactly equal, in power, voting rights, and honor, to the Bishop of any other area. But for Rome to achieve the preeminence in the religious world, that required money. And Rome was where the money was. The Bishop in Rome had both the influence and the cash to bribe smaller churches elsewhere. Let’s say that a certain r4egion was choosing a bishop. Rome could offer either political or financial capital, on condition that the Bishop they voted in was one that was amenable and acceptable to the church in Rome. Of course, the bribe was made as a gift to give help to the poor, or build a new cathedral. Whether it was used for that purpose or not, was irrelevant. The church in Rome had access to slaves that no other church had. Imagine the advantage it would give you, if you were offered a deal where freed slaves would be assigned to your church, together with the obvious income that would provide as those slaves became employed freemen. You certainly did not want to cross the church in Rome, and you did want benefit from its gifts.

Move ahead to the sixth century, and we see the church in Rome de-sainting saints they had previously honoured and touted as leadership examples. Why? Because the church’s theology had grown ever more restrictive, it’s political power more weighty, and it’s leadership more concentrated, with effective power at the top and the great unwashed masses at the bottom, just like a modern corporation, and like any corporation, the bottom line was profit. The church had been re-invented as a pyramid, and  this in clear contravention, to the biblical convention, that the church was built on Jesus as a chief cornerstone, then the apostles and prophets, and then the church in that order. By now Rome had converted, subverted, and inverted God’s blueprint.

Move ahead to the 11th century and we have the biggest schism of all time in the Christian church. Move ahead to the 16th century, and the Roman Catholic Church is now offering people the first version of true greasy grace, as the priests in Germany would quote a little poem, “when you’re coin in the box you fling, then your soul into heaven will wing”. These were the tele-evangelists of the 1600s, making money out of promising escape from Purgatory. It was the straw that broke the camels back, brought on the Reformation, and birthed the rebellion against the Catholic Church that had been brewing for 1000+ years.

Fast forward to the continued discovery of the new world, and we have the doctrine of discovery, promulgated by the Pope of the time, and embraced by all Catholic and Protestant nations alike. The doctrine of discovery states that if any nation discovers a previously unknown land,and the inhabitants of that land do not worship Jesus, then genocide is a God-given option, in the subjugation of the natives and the theft of that land. Not only did this become international law, but it was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1823, in the case of Johnson versus Macintosh. Australia, the Americas both north and south Africa and India all suffered as a result of this hellish doctrine. Marry that doctrine to the doctrine of just war, first enunciated by almost all churches poster pinup boy, St Augustine, and again revived during the Middle Ages by St Thomas Aquinas,, and you have the perfect recipe for the horrendous and disproportionate murder of native peoples worldwide. If you are a Protestant then this is your history. I know that you claim that you are the member of a religion that is as close as possible to the early Christian church. If that is you, you probably need to read a book called Pagan Christianity by two well known Christian leaders and sells for only a few dollars on Amazon. It is written by Frank Viola and George Barna, but you really don’t want to read this if you are not interested in historical, factual, evidence.

Somebody once wisely said words to the effect that if you do not know your history you will be doomed to repeat it. Most western Christians are either unaware of the part that their own church leaders played in the inhumane horror of slavery. Australia, America, the United Kingdom, and countless other nations profited handsomely from this ungodly doctrine promulgated and supported by the Church. It was only in 2006, that the largest protestant denomination in the world, the US Southern Baptist Convention, publicly apologized for the role it had played in the maintenance and financing of slavery. But it wasn’t alone. Almost every Protestant church in the USA at that time, were complicit in the illicit use and murder of slaves both black and white. Carl Sagan once famously said, “The fact is, that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus, and Mohammed, than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Many people don’t like that statement but few can argue with it.”. That was true when he said it, and is true today.

 

“When the missionaries arrived the Africans had the land and missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them they had the land and we had the Bible.” ~ Jomo Kenyatta.

 

5

Reason number five why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

Self righteousness

This is perhaps the most despicable of all the reasons we have outlined here. Self righteousness is the act of relying on your own intelligence and actions to be considered righteous, either by God, or other people. It can take many forms, but it can be boiled down to one thing; I am right because I say I am right. Far from mental laziness, this is invincible ignorance at work using selective segmented salvation as its justification. Depending on the denomination to which you belong, the steps to achieving and maintaining your “salvation” will differ slightly, but almost always includes something that you must do to become righteous in either God’s eyes or men’s. This could amount to something as simple as saying a magic prayer to get you born again, up to weekly confessions with suitable penances and other good works as espoused by the Roman Church and others. This is institutionally supported, but individually earned, self righteousness at work.

Every single denomination also has an excommunication clause, which is invoked when you have surpassed what the institution deems to be acceptable behavior, and may infect the rest of the flock if you are allowed to stay. This is variously called, excommunication, reading out, putting out,  disfellowshipping, shunning, and various other terms. In every case, when this is invoked, you are judged not to be sufficiently righteous in a kind of kangaroo court, and, like a gangreneous limb, must be removed to ensure that good health of the rest of the “flock”. This is institutionally supported, group endorsed, self righteousness at work, but you must never underestimate the power of sheeple in large groups.

 

When it comes to staying fixed in the same religion or political party that your parents raised you in, or when you say, I was raised a Presbyterian and I shall die a Presbyterian, as though that was some badge to be worn with honour, it only puts on display, your disability to think for yourself. Never forget, that terrorist suicide bombers were taught to never question their religion. What do you teach your children? It may be done out of honouring one’s parents, but it’s most likely done out of mental laziness and self righteousness. Self righteousness makes us proud of what we have done. The gospel makes us proud of what Jesus has done. In the strictest sense, self righteousness occurs when you convince yourself that you can be righteous before God without God, depending only, or even partially, upon yourself or your behaviour. Self righteous people have to pretend you’re either wrong or a bad person, so they don’t feel guilty about the things they say about you, or do to you. God forbid they be accountable for their own crap.

Another way of exercising self righteousness is when you anthropomorphize God, by presuming him to be just like yourself, and judging him based on the norms of human behavior. Many people do precisely this, and in doing so, throw the baby out with the bathwater. A good example is how people will say that the angry God of the old Testament could not possibly equate to Jesus in the new Testament. Their presumption is as foolish as an ant judging a human. If the whole of universal knowledge could be put into a container, we would discover that the smallest component would be that knowledge that we know that we know. The next largest component would be that knowledge that we know that we don’t know. But the overwhelming component would be that knowledge that we don’t know, that we don’t know. For you or me to judge God, we would have to be in receipt of all knowledge, which clearly we are not. When you judge anyone from a limited knowledge base, you are exercising self righteousness and self righteousness is a stinking canker on the carcass of religion.

 

6

Reason number six why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

The Stockholm syndrome.

Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors, as a survival strategy during captivity. These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” The FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly eight percent of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.

 

7

Reason number seven why people stuck in religion make no attempt to escape.

Deception deceives.

Somebody who is being deceived, does not, axiomatically, realize they are being deceived. That is what makes deception, deception. Many people elect to stay in religion that is robbing them of freedom and wounding them permanently with spiritual abuse, because they are deceived into believing that by doing so they are pleasing God and justifying their beliefs and behavior.

 

CONCLUSION

The human brain is an amazing organ. It keeps working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 52 weeks a year, from before you leave the womb right up until you find religion.

The story is told, of a farmer whose neighbor came to visit him. As they were chatting, a hound dog lying on the floor, let out a quiet wail. The neighbor asked the farmer what the problem with the dog was. The farmer replied, “Oh he’s sitting on a nail”, to which the neighbor replied, “then why doesn’t he move?”. The farmer said, “because it doesn’t hurt him enough yet”.

Like the hound dog, most people stuck in religion aren’t hurting enough yet to leave. This would not be such a bad thing if church was merely a social event, a club, or somewhere we find or maintain meaningful relationships based on mutual trust and respect. But as much as that would be nice, that is NOT what we find in religion. Religion depends for its very existence on distrust of ones-self and others.

 

The hamster is dead but the wheel keeps turning. The hound dog isn’t hurting at all because its mind has already turned to jelly.

All of these reasons why people stick with their religion, in spite of the lack of any evidence that it is helping them, and with the certain knowledge, that more atrocities have been carried out in the name of religion than anything else, can be found in the words of Jesus, when he rebuked Peter; Matt 16:23-24 (KJVA) Jesus turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

There it is in a nutshell, “you don’t care about the things of God, but you prefer to care about the things of men.”.

When one care’s enough about pursuing truth, they will follow Jesus, and their religion will fall away from them, but until then, they need to stay in religion until they hurt enough.

If your religion doesn’t challenge you to care for people you might otherwise be dismissive about, and instead reinforces your negative feeling about them, you don’t have a religion; all you have is a formalized structure for institutionalizing your biases.

Stephen Colbert said, the if this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just a selfish as we are, all we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition, and then admit we just don’t want to do it.

The Church industrial complex in the USA alone is a $600 billion a year industry, yes, that’s billion with a B, and yet still only 1% of all that money, hits the ground running in countries that have never heard the name of Jesus, but are aware of the Coca-Cola symbol. Join your own dots.

 

Don Bartlett for www. gospelrevolution.com

2018/04/28

 

 

The Fallacy Of Faith

Background

In John chapter 6 verse 28-29, Jesus is asked the question what do we have to do to work the works of God. The verb they use is “ergazomai”, a Greek word meaning to toil or to expend energy at doing something. The noun used is “ergon”, the Greek word from which we get our English word ergonomic, and it means a working occupation invoking effort. So the question Jesus is asked, has been fairly well translated as “what shall we do that we might work the works of God?”.
Jesus then answered them, and said, “this is the work of God that you believe on him whom God sent”. In other words, Jesus referred to believing, as a work. Paul said, “for by Grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast”. Now the word “works” that Paul uses is precisely the same Greek word “ergon” as Jesus used. so it seems unarguable, that in the eyes of Jesus and in the teaching of Paul, believing is a work. Note also, that Paul’s statement says you have been saved by grace through faith and that not of yourselves. What is not of yourselves? Everything that went before that statement. That is to say, neither the grace NOR the faith had its genesis in or by you. If the faith was yours, then you are depending on your works to save you, and we all know how fragile faith is. Just look at Peter walking on water, and you get a pretty good idea, of just how faith works. Thank God all the faith that was needed for my salvation and for my redemption was found in Jesus.

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
I have no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Criticizing Christianity

When some people observe the Gospel Revolution Or Mike Williams Ministries beimg critical of Christianity, they automatically presume that the Gospel Revolution is hostile to Christians. This foolish notion is a natural consequence of confusing the organization of Christianity with the individuals contaminated by it. Christians love to say, “hate the sin, but love the sinner”. This statement typifies the convoluted logic of a religion that judges others, whilst excusing themselves, the very thing that Paul says is a sign of people being a law unto themselves. (Romans 2:14-15)
That statement, “hate the sin, but love the sinner”, is of course, the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. Jesus taught us to love the sinner but hate your OWN sin.
This example typifies the hypocrisy of Christianity. In fact without hypocrisy, Christianity could not operate at all.
Tony Campolo, once famously said at a Christian conference, “last night while you were sleeping, 30,000 children died around the world from malnutrition, and most of you don’t give a sh*t”. Then he continued, “but here is the real tragedy, that you care less, that 30,000 children around the world died last night from malnutrition, than the fact that I said sh*t!”.

Jesus taught us that the Church is an organism. Christianity teaches us that the Church is an organization. Jesus taught us that love is the final and fruitful product of righteousness. Christianity teaches us that judgment is the full and final product of righteousness. The Bible tells us to forgive our enemies but Christianity tells us that God is going to torture his enemies, eternally, for 70 years of mistakes down here. Jesus prayed that we should be one. Christianity is fractured into multiple thousands of versions, sects, and warring factions that have often been only too glad to murder each other.
When the Gospel Revolution criticizes Christianity, it is criticizing that level of hatred and judgment. When the Gospel Revolution criticizes Christianity it is not criticizing Christians. It is criticizing the organizations whose hypocrisy has led to our current fractured state of affairs. Christianity has had 2000 years to prove its worth, but all it has to show for it are creeds demanding belief or excommunication, and blood knee deep. At its very best, Christianity is nothing more than a shame based behavior modification system, and at its worst, the exact opposite of love. It depends for its success on the two most basic human instincts; fear of loss (hell) and hope of gain (heaven), and there is not one sect within Christianity, of which I am aware, that does not practice, to some degree, this protection racket.
Lastly, when Jesus criticized the Pharisees, he did not mince words. He called them a den of Vipers, or on another occasion whitewashed graves full of dead men’s bones. We haven’t yet gotten to Jesus level, even though we can think of a few people claiming to be Christians, rather deserving of those titles.

Do I Believe The Bible?

As a biblical scholar, after I have uncovered a particularly unsavory truth about the biblical text, I am inevitably asked, “So are you saying you don’t believe the BIBLE?” And here is my answer.

“I believe the Bible…

enough to seek to understand not only what it says but what it means.

enough to study the context of the text.

enough to honor its original languages, the fact that words don’t always mean the same thing over time and that some words do not translate.

enough to realize that the King James Version contains wonderful poetic language that inspires and comforts but it also contains horrendous translation errors.

enough to know that the Bible did not fall out of the sky, leather-bound in the King James Version.

enough to attempt to understand that the text without context is a train wreck.

enough to know that councils of men, often with political agendas, fought over which books would be included in the Biblical canon. As is often the case, those with less power lost. (The Gospel of Thomas got some GOOD stuff.)

enough to know that God didn’t stop speaking when they closed the canon.

enough to know that the Protestant Bible is not the oldest version of the Bible.

enough to see the Bible as a tool of liberation and not a means of oppression.

enough to know that Africans had God before they had the Bible.

enough to recognize that when it was written, women were property and slavery was acceptable. Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t make it right.

enough to know that it never claims to be a science book.
enough to know that it is not a manual on all things related to sex and gender.

enough to know the the Bible is not God.

enough to realize that the full revelation of God does not begin and end with Genesis & Revelation.

enough to realize that theologies and religious perspectives have histories that can/should be explored and critiqued.

enough to realize that God is big enough to handle my questions and problems with the text.

enough to realize that my denomination of origin did not always give me permission to ask the difficult questions of the text.

enough to realize that being a faithful Christian does not necessarily equate to good interpretation skills.

enough to realize that devotional Bible reading is not the same as Biblical research.

enough to realize that racists used the Bible and their narrow view of God to justify slavery — and not much has changed.

enough to believe that the letter can and has killed many individuals – but the Spirit gives life.”

© Kendal Brown
2017

Paul; Liar? or The Lord’s Man?

The Apostle Paul, who was especially commissioned by both God (Romans 1:1-5) AND Peter, James & John (Gal 2:7-8) to preach the gospel to the NON JEWS, claims at the end of his life, that he had declared the ENTIRE COUNSEL OF GOD (Acts 20:27).

The options presented here are limited to either (a) ALL of the counsel of God is contained in Paul’s teaching, OR (b) Paul was somehow delusional.

Take, for example, the subject of “Hell”. If Hell is real how could Paul never have warned of “Hell” in any of his letters, IF in fact, he had declared the ENTIRE COUNSEL OF GOD? If Hell is real, wouldn’t Paul, of all people, warn of it repeatedly?”
The same goes for any other difference of opinion between Paul and the other “apostles”, no?

Peter, James, John And The “Seven Churches”

It seems apparent in any logical exploration of the New Testament, that Paul stood at odds with the other writers.

 

JAMES ~ It is easy to forget that James was never an apostle, and was never a follower of Jesus during His lifetime, in fact, James belittled and derided Jesus (John 7:5). At one time he, and others, even presumed Jesus to be insane (Mk 3:21).  Then later, James, without any recorded conversion experience, was press-ganged into the top job (probably by his mother), as was the custom in the middle east of the times, after the death of the CEO, Jesus.).

 

PETER was the Apostle who saw a vision of a sheet let down from heaven (Acts 10:11) and the voice of God saying, “do NOT call unclean that which I HAVE CLEANED!  Past Tense! PAST TENSE!!!

When he reports this back to the other leaders at Jerusalem, Peter accurately recounts the vision, but as is clear in Acts 17:11, they all (Peter especially), chose to see salvation not as a finished work, as God had already said (cleaned – past tense), but chose to see it as a future possibility based on the response of the listener to the gospel.

 

JOHN ~ was the Apostle, who, after God had plainly stated that the gentiles had already been cleansed, insisted on the Old Testament doctrine of the confession of sins.

The writer to the Hebrews said this, “Heb 6:1-2 (KJVA) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”. These were all Old Testament doctrines, including, when on the day of atonement, Yom Kippur, hands were laid on a goat to transfer sin from the people to the sacrificial goat and confession was made of sin. That John, like James and Peter, were fully convinced that Jesus was simply an addition to Old Testament Law, can be clearly seen in the 7 letters to the 7 churches in Revelation, in which, the divide between Paul and the other 3 becomes even clearer.

Notice please, that in the so-called letters to the 7 churches, we learn the following;

  1. PLEASING GOD IS ALL ABOUT YOUR WORKS; faith has no place in pleasing God whatsoever. Elsewhere, Hebrews 11:6 says, “… without faith it is impossible to please God …”

But in these letters, it is all about Works; Works; Works! In these 7 letters to 7 churches, the word “works” is mentioned 11 times, while the word “faith” as relating to the readers, is mentioned only once. Join your own dots. Note Rev 2:23 (KJVA) And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I WILL GIVE UNTO EVERY ONE OF YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKS.

 

  1. ALL THE SINS MENTIONED ARE OLD COVENANT SINS

Just as in the book called “James”, all of the sins enumerated in Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation, are peculiarly, Jewish sins, and they were all apparently sufficient to get your salvation annulled (Rev 3:5) As an example; “Eating food offered to Idols” Rev 2:14 (KJVA) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Also Rev 2:20.

Rev 2:5 (KJVA) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

What are the “first works”? For a Jew, they are always the Mosaic Law, PLUS Sacrifices, Circumcision, Offerings, Tithing and Sabbath Keeping (S.C.O.T.S.). All these preceded the Mosaic Law and they were all terminated in the death of Christ when He became all these things, in which a small portion was removed in order to sanctify the remainder. In Jesus, a small piece of “flesh” (Jesus) was cut off from the land of the living, in order to sanctify all the remainder of human flesh. He became our circumcision!

  1. YOUR SALVATION IS ALWAYS IN DOUBT.

Rev 3:5 (KJVA) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will NOT blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  If God is well prepared to blot selected names out of the “book of life” then according to Christian doctrine and Rev 20:12, you will be judged by your works (and NOT your faith) and then (Rev 20:15) consigned immediately to Hell.

  1. GOD’S GREATEST ATTRIBUTE IS THAT OF UNRELENTING VENGEANCE RATHER THAN A MINISTRY OF MERCY.

Refer: Rev 2:23 (KJVA)  23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.  Sounds like Jesus to you?

  1. THE TARGET OF THESE LETTERS IS NONE OTHER THAN PAUL HIMSELF.

What do we actually know about the “Judaisers” who followed Paul around to reconvert Pauls converts (Jews and Gentiles alike) to Judaism plus Jesus?

(a) We know that Paul withstood at least one of them to the face for duplicity in Gal 2:11 (KJVA) But when Peter was come to Antioch, I (Paul) withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

(b) We also know from Paul that the Peter, James & John, forced Paul’s gentile travelling companion to be forcibly circumcised; Gal 2:3 (KJVA) But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

(c)  We know that Paul had very little respect for the gang of 3 and their followers; Gal 2:5-6 (NIV) We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. As for those who seemed to be important whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance those men added nothing to my message. Can you taste the sarcasm here? “As for those who seemed to be important” And just in case we missed the sarcasm first time around, Paul cutely reminds us in; Gal 2:9 (nkj) And when James, Cephas, and John, who SEEMED TO BE PILLARS, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Check out the greek here and you will find that a better rendition is, Gal 2:9 (nkj) and when James, Cephas, and John, who thought themselves to be pillars, etc. (G1380 δοκέω dokeo (dok-eh’-o) v. 1. to think Strongs Bible Dictionary)

 

(d) We know that James was personally responsible for the discord that occurred in Antioch; Gal 2:12-13 (KJVA) For before that certain CAME FROM JAMES, Peter ate with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. (Dictionary definition for dissimulation = to conceal one’s true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically.) Sounds like Jesus to you?

To understand the full gravity of this statement, read that again carefully, and note that James sent those who were practiced in the art of hypocricy! James was either willfully coming against the gospel, OR he was a very poor judge of character in choosing hypocrites as his emissaries. Either way, James was a jerk, and Paul was well and truly his target for correction.

 

 

(e) We know that the gang of 3 (Peter, James & John) were SO successful in hijacking the gospel and morphing it into a Jesus PLUS, shame based behavior modification system, which in Modern Christianity, it has remained to this day.  2Tim 1:15 (nkj) This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. And when we read the 7 letters to the 7 churches in Revelation, WHERE WERE THOSE 7 CHURCHES?????? That’s right! ASIA!

 

(f) Who else in the whole Bible is recorded as saying that eating meat of any kind is permissible so long as you have faith to eat it and that you do not cause your brother to stumble in doing so. PAUL ALONE! And yet what are the deadliest of sins found in these 7 letters? That’s right eating meat offered to idols! Rev 2:14 (KJVA) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. This “sin” is repeated to more than one of these churches.

Here is a passing strange thing. When you enter an Asian restaurant, Chinese or otherwise, look around yourself and you may well see a little shelf on the wall with incense burning and an apple or an orange in a saucer. What you are looking at is meat offered to idols. And Christians happily ignore this instruction by John, as that fruit will be in your meal tomorrow. Religion is so amusing.

 

  1. IMPLICIT REFERENCES AGAINST PAUL

Lastly, let’s look at the implicit references to Paul, in these 7 letters. Who called himself an apostle, who was never a disciple during Jesus’ lifetime? That’s right, Paul. With that in mind, let’s read; Rev 2:2 (KJVA)I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which SAY THEY ARE APOSTLES, AND ARE NOT, and hast found them liars:

Rev 2:9 (KJVA) I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of THEM WHICH SAY THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, BUT ARE THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN.

Rev 3:9 (KJVA) Behold, I WILL MAKE THEM OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHICH SAY THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, but do lie; behold, I WILL MAKE THEM TO COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THY FEET, and to know that I have loved thee.

In this verse we have a double header. Even if we do not think that this verse is referencing Paul, there is no escaping the clear and simple fact that John here is claiming that Jesus is saying that some humans will be forced to worship some other humans. Sound like Jesus to you???

 

  1. UNFULFILLED PROMISES

Rev 2:26-28 (KJVA) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.

Question; Humans here are promised that they shall rule someone with a rod of iron. Sound like Jesus to you?

Question; Have you or anyone you know seen this promise ever come true?

Question; WHO is the morning star    Isaiah 14:12:   says it is satan.

 

I Was Called To Preach By A Monkey ~ Shean Smith 

My mother died soon after I was born in Ecuador while my parents were SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) missionaries there. The incident was due to doctor error. My mother died after I was born became a monkey on my back.

The ape was the continual implication that my mother died so I could be born. My birth mother’s death was touted as my the supreme sacrifice so I could be born and become a great preacher.

I grew up believing I had to do something great for god because of (what I was led to believe) the supreme sacrifice my mom paid for giving birth to me. My life was supposed to make my mother’s death mean something for the rest of my family. I was supposed to validate my mother’s death by becoming nothing less than a great preacher in the mold of Billy Graham.

The ape on my back got bigger month-by-month and year-by-year. It rode on my back like a wild monkey on a bicycle. My life felt like an ape cage filled with swinging, screaming monkeys.

I wanted to be free from the monkey zoo. Somewhere in the midst of monkeys hollering, I swore I heard Jesus calling me to be his preacher. I came to my wit’s end and decided to become a preacher on a Spring Sunday morning in 1998.

I had hoped that preaching and going to seminary would relieve me of the monkeys, but I was switching zoos and getting into a different cage, one that was filled with angry gorillas. These gorillas were happy to be angry at society, each other, and everybody looking in the cage.

The seminary I attended was a good cage for me to learn the ways of gorillas. It motivated me to question all gorilla doctrine and accept nothing simply because gorillas had been around for a long time. I jest, sort of.

Seminary was a good fit for me. Seminary developed my research skills, which made me unsatisfied with anybody else’s answers but my own. My research created more questions, which led to even more questions.

I learned to trust my answers only and not take someone else’s word as truth. I wanted to know the true meaning of life. I knew I was the only one who could find answers to the plethora of questions that religious tradition created in my mind. I tried asking learned theologians questions, but their answers were fraught with circular reasoning with no logical conclusions. I felt as though the monkeys were telling me to ask the gorillas, and the gorillas were sending me to ask the monkeys.

I was able to narrow my search for the meaning of my life down to one question: “Do I know who Jesus Christ is?” After many years of searching, my answer crystallized with all clarity one day, “Yes!”

The answer I discovered came down to one Koine Greek word for fish, “Ichthys,” which is pronounced, “Ick-thoos.” Ichthys is the Koine Greek word many used as an acrostic thousands of years ago that means, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”

Ichthys is what I live by today; it reminds me that Jesus Christ beat death to death with his stick, the cross. It reminds me that Jesus Christ came back to life, which is significant because it means humanity lives beyond the grave. If Jesus lives, all humanity lives. If Jesus does not live then humanity is dead meat.

What I love about Ichthys is that a person knowing nothing about Jesus Christ is as just as alive as I am. What I really love is that even those who do not believe Christ ever existed are just as alive as the most religious person on earth. Belief or disbelief does not make Ichthys any more or less real, nor does it make people more or less alive. Ichthys is who makes all people alive by what he did on the cross and by his resurrection from the dead.

In conclusion, Ichthys knocked the monkey off my back, which freed me to be myself–an independent, responsible, moral agent. I may act like a monkey at times, but that is just me being myself, ooh, ooh, ooh. And that’s no bull!