Shalom.

It is a very popular Hebrew term, used as a “hello” and “goodbye” for the comings and goings in life.

Yet like most words, English cannot encompass what magnitude and depth this word contains. Following what the Strong’s Dictionary tells me, it means more than just the “peace” that people imply. Peace is a poor English word to describe what a huge expanse this word entails. Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord (7965). Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

When used in the Hebrew, it is the fullness that is comparable to a debt that is paid. That is, the debt is not partially paid, but fully–there is a sense of the completeness and the efficacy of the shalom being complete, and requiring no further action.

Keeping this in mind, I wonder when we read the words of Jesus, he often uses the greeting: “Peace be unto you,” a translation of shalom aleichem, what that would mean to us.

If it is, that Jesus is calling for our debts to be paid, and ourselves to be made whole through the freedom from the bondage of sin. What if shalom meant more than just peace, as we have understood it to mean, but Jesus continually inviting us to drink of the Living Water and eat of the Bread of Life? Applying this, are we seeking more than just peace, but are we looking for the debt of our sins to be paid fully.

Moreover, if we greet our brothers and sisters with the greeting–shalom–do we wish them completeness, wholeness…etc. ? Do we hope and pray for the utmost of graces and love to be lavished upon them, because Jesus certainly did for the people he encountered. To have the heart of Jesus is to know love other as you would treat them, and to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.

“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1v.7

Advertisements

Joyce Meyer and False Confidence in Self

ImageFor starters, this post has been breaking my heart the past few weeks. For large amounts of time I had locked away a portion of my heart, convinced that people that listen to Joyce Meyer do not exist. The only people that listen to Joyce Meyer are ghosts and people

It confounds me that for all the advances of feminism and the empowerment of women in modern culture (which I’m all for), that we still have women that allow themselves to listen to this. I am honestly convinced that Joyce Meyer is an insult to the intelligence and theological brevity of all women in the world. She is evidence that we, as the human race, have not gone far enough in the elimination of inequality between sexes because people still listen to her mind-numbing ignorance.

I seriously believe that. The same goes for men, that we have sure a derelict of godliness and Berean spirit that we listen to Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar e.t.c. It confounds me, that we as a human race, have catapulted technologically so far in the past century, but still follow these ritualistic, materialistic gods of wheat and rain. Never before in history have we had so much access to theological resources, but we seem to be in the greatest times bereft of seeking after God.

The Confidence in Self

Anyway, upon recommendation, I was listening to some Joyce Meyer the other day. The talk, I deign to describe it as a sermon, was on “Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman”.

I didn’t really understand the structure of the talk. The talk seems to be a lot of stories told in succession like a comedy routine. I guess it was entertaining, with chuckle or hint of laughter was merely another soul going to hell.

It was only thirty minutes in that the seven steps began. Of which, the first step toward becoming a confident woman was “knowing that God loves you”. She was very adamant on how important it was: Read more of this post

From “Affliction” by George Herbert.

“Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me
None of my books will show:
I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree;
For sure I then should grow
To fruit or shade: at least some bird would trust
Her household to me, and I should be just.”

– verse 10

Affliction” by George Herbert.

The Ripple Effect of Abortion

“Abortion seems to be the only medical procedure that people want to deny you based on how you got in that situation.

Drove drunk, got in an accident and need an organ transplant? No problem.

Messing around with a gun, accidentally shoot yourself in the leg and need surgery? Of course.

Smoke tobacco for most of your life and need treatment for lung cancer? Yep.

Climb a tree, fall out and break your leg? We’ll fix that right up.

Have sex and get pregnant when you don’t want to be? YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO THIS SITUATION AND YOU DESERVE NO MEDICAL HELP OR COMPASSION! THIS IS YOUR FAULT AND YOU WILL DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES!”

—– Worry About Your Own Uterus (via quoilecanard)

I don’t normally care a lot about people arguing about abortion. I feel there is a lot of baggage associated with the pro-life, pro-choice debate. In that, I don’t think a lot of pro-choice arguments are about whether a baby is being killed in abortion, but the whole issue is intrinsically tied with feminism. Therefore, it is difficult to engage the abortion debate when the two sides aren’t talking about the same thing.

Regardless, I stumbled across this little tib-bit on tumblr. There is obviously a great amount of hyperbole, and a bit of irrelevance. I don’t think that a hospital is really a good idea of what is morally right or wrong.

It also disturbs me that the writer has compared having a baby to: [having] lung cancer”, “breaking a leg”, or “[receiving an] organ transplant”. Moreover, that having sex is like “smoking tobacco”, “driving drunk”, or “falling out of trees”.


The Ripple Effect.

The core of my problem with this argument is that none of those examples given involve a life outside of the person’s own life. It’s not very much like you drove drunk and got into an accident because that is all about your own life’s preservation.

Abortion has a much greater far-reaching impact on not only yourself and whatever you’ve done to yourself, but your own unborn child. It has not been engaged with properly by the author, but some rather fantastic analogies have been given for an abortion.

The Reality.

The reality goes more like this:

It’s more like you were driving home from a dinner with your girlfriend. You had a few glasses of wine, but not that much that you thought it wasn’t safe to drive home. On the way home, you didn’t stop at a red light. It somehow slipped your mind as you were thinking about work the next day. The car door has been wrenched open, where you T-boned the car at the intersection.

You start mumbling in a drunken haze:

“WHYYY ARE YOU IN MY WAYYYY?!”.

You then begin to explain your conditions. You expect the person to pay for the repairs to your own car, and not to call the police or anything. Basically, you begin to demand to the body that they don’t interfere with your life and to pretend that nothing happened. After a while, when the body doesn’t respond you realize that the person you crashed into is actually dead and you’re actually just talking to a bloodied corpse.

Maybe the corpse is on fire and the clothes have burnt off leaving a naked body. You shake the limp body and ask for compensation for your own mistake and lack of foresight.

After a while, you become sober, and you walk home. The police never come knocking at your door. The whole car disappears overnight, the midnight bells have caused the carriage to revert to its former state. The shards of broken windshield scattered on the road the night before is no more when you drive to work the next day. It’s almost like it was a dream.

It is blatantly obvious if you drive drunk, you have an increased chance of crashing into someone and causing loss of life. If you have sex with someone without a condom, you have an increased (well, almost 100% greater) chance of having a baby.

There is a risk taken. Abortion immediately assumes that there is a positive and negative side to this coin flip. It has this idea that life is always great or unimportant according to someone who doesn’t know anything about the person they just crashed into.

The Solution.

Christians fail in this department. More often than not, they are too willing to condemn babies born outside of wedlock because it makes them feel good about a sin they are not guilty of. More often than not, there needs to be a sense of humility and service to people that are unlike us.

On the reverse, the condemnation they dish out, they create an environment that distances rather than draws sinners close. Admittedly, I am one of those who would be more likely to be standing outside abortion clinics, but you would never see me supporting the single mothers. You never see me play an important part of raising these babies not judged as interference to life. It’s so much easier to wave signs and say sermons to people for a short time, rather than invest a lifetime into seeing someone grow to value life and what a gift that God has given.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Don’t miss the babies for the political stance.

The Church needs to be that vehicle the gives the help and the compassion.

Pornography and Our Insufficiency In Discussions

In this post, I am mainly referencing this post by RELEVANT Magazine.

I tweeted a few days ago (a few weeks ago now) that the natural conclusion from a post from RELEVANT Magazine on pornography was to never have sex again because it could cause us to become addicted to dopamines. The post is centered around the idea of the brain producing dopamines when we are stimulated by various activities. In this particular post, Internet pornography was targeted as producing dopamines, and through repetition, we slowly are wired into a routine in our mind.

To break out of this routine is increasingly difficult, as the brain “learns” to act a certain way, causing compulsion and addiction.

Read more of this post

The Invention of Truth

I’ve been catching various fragments of the Invention of Lying

My brother has been watching it on the hard drive recorded off the television. It is a relatively old movie and was released quite a while ago, but I haven’t mustered up the inspiration to sit down and view the entire movie.

The premise of the show is set in a world where no one knows how to lie, and this is fraught with philosophical impossibilities that I don’t really understand. The idea of the movie is that “telling the truth” is limited to speaking frankly, and without restraint. This limits the idea of truth to an impossibly small circle, whereas people are not allowed to be genuinely mistaken. Moreover, what if people know the truth, but are not compelled to voice the truths? Is that not considered lying, unless we are all naturally gossipers and to not gossip is to lie to our human nature (I could live with that).

Anyway, Ricky Gervais lives in a world where everyone tells the truth, no one has discovered how to lie yet.  Read more of this post

Building Contentedness Every Day

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

These words came from King David in the Psalms, it speaks of the thankfulness he has toward God, because He is the source of all things (Psalms 118:24). And whether, this thankfulness is arising from the circumstances at the time that he found himself in, or in the greater goodness and grace that God bestows on us continually. David shows how there are a great many things we can be thankful for. It is this thankfulness that arises from answered prayers and knowledge of the saving hand of God.

Through the notion that God is the source of all things, he proclaims that we should rejoice. The context speaks of a cornerstone that was rejected and the builder tossed aside. While this could apply to his own situation, that it seemed to him that he was the stone that was ignored and set for destruction, God saw him and lifted him out of his sin. Read more of this post