How to explain the Gospel to children

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

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The most important thing you can do for a child is to teach him or her the good news about how to be right with God, how to be forgiven of sin through the person and work of Christ.

Over the years, many have asked me, “How can I explain the gospel to children in terms they understand without toning down the hard demands of Christ? Must a child understand Jesus’s lordship to be saved?”

Certainly children are limited in their ability to understand spiritual truth, but so are adults.

Very few people intellectually understand all the gospel truth at the moment of salvation. Fortunately, the essential truths are basic enough that even a child can understand. Jesus Himself characterized saving faith as childlikeness (Mark 10:15). True belief is not a function of advanced intellect, sophisticated theological understanding, or complex doctrinal knowledge.

Children old enough to be saved can grasp…

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The Snowflake Downfall

So here I am like everyone else in the aftermath of the civil war that was the election. Like the end of every war, the victors are feeding off the tears and blood of the losers. and the losers are wagging in a few last stands before their inevitable demise.

But I want to look at the left a moment a bit critically. They are rather interesting,  especially if you understand something about psychology. They are displaying all the symptoms of  Cognitive Dissonance.

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Those on the left never engaged anyone outside of the left. They isolated themselves only with people who agree with them, and promoted with each other out of touch ideals about the world…. In their own minds, they assumed for so long that everyone obviously just agrees with them. So within their own circles, they created their own little reality that never went unchallenged by someone who disagrees… and indeed it often shows, just on facebook – they are not use to people disagreeing with them, they don’t even know how to comeback with anything other then insults, like children.

Now Trump wins the election. and look at the left riot, insult people, burn buildings, crying in streets. Shocked and stunned to learn that there is actually a lot of gay republicans out there saying ‘Democrats don’t represent me’…. They are confronted with the simple fact for the first time, in a long time, beyond any shadow of a doubt that their ideas… are all wrong.  :-O Their entire world view is just a popped bubble :-O

Everything were seeing with the left is what happens when a person faces Cognitive Dissonance.  Irrational angry behavior of people powerless to confront the truth even while looking at the face of it.

On this wide scale case of Cognitive Dissonance were seeing another trend within the Democratic party called ‘De-alignment’. (That is a very bad word in politics)… The party is a sinking ship. Conservative democrats are starting to re think their progressive leaders. Meanwhile the progressive leaders are growing even more insane then they ever were before. So what happens in De-Alignment is there’s a huge divide between the party leaders and the base. The more detached the leaders become, the more they shake off life long supporters.

Unfortunately with the Democratic party, this divide has actually been there a long time, it’s only become noticeable to many democrats once the bubble was popped. Unfortunately the party is not in position to realign – the leaders are too detached from everyday people and they are established in their positions for some time to come….

It will be a long time until we see the democratic party make a comeback. The only thing Republicans have to do is maintain the ability to be “the lesser of 2 evils”, speaking only to the peoples plain reason.

So That’s the Democrats….

 

Spiritual Touerettes Syndrome

Sometimes in my thoughts I think of a sentence about god… and in my inner monologue something like this happens. “Jesus is NOT my king”…. Written out, this could not sound more blasphemous, however the word ‘Not’ is in bold and italic for a reason…. I didn’t think that…. I was thinking ‘Jesus is my king’…. It’s kind of like the word ‘not’ is a separate entity that chimed into my inner monologue at just the right time to change the sentence….  It doesn’t even have the same voice as the rest of the sentence. This dysfunction happens to me alot – Even in prayer this sort of spasm happens while im talking to god himself. yet it only seems to happen when i’m thinking of spiritual things or praying… I was eventually so frustrated with it I prayed about it..

I told god: I don’t know why this happens, it’s like Touerettes lord. It doesnt feel like me,  it doesnt even sound like me. do not hold this against me because these things are not what im saying to you. I have no desire to be against you, though I know it sounds like it when these spasms in my mind and prayers are everything against you.. even better please make it stop. If it is a demon then please banish it, remove it please…

So then I fell asleep to the bible on audio book and had a dream:

I was at beautiful white sandy beach, there were no waves and the water was beautiful but eerily clear/calm like glass. I was drinking a margarita out of a coconut when a man came from behind me. This is what he told me:

Everyone has this Touerettes, god knows it isnt you nor does he hold it against you, nor is it a demon as you suppose – rather it is yourself but not really, its your flesh that rejects God. That voice that happens to you is the sin inside of you.This same voice you have observed also causes you to do other sins your not even aware of. It will be taken away someday, though I know it causes you grief, it cant be taken from you just now – but it is good you despise it, so does god – and its why all need Jesus.

so then I woke up and my audio bible was still playing and came to the book of Romans at just about what seems like an appropriate message :

“Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” – Romans 7:17 – 25

So what I get out of all this experience is, even Paul had this internal psycho dynamics of; “my will vs my sin that’s within” in regards to Christianity. We are wretched and wicked creatures – rotten to our very core. our flesh and blood is inherently evil in more ways then just lust (which is usually when its most apparent).  Even when we are saved, we are only made perfect via technicality – only marginally are we bettering ourselves by carrying some of the holy spirit. Truely the good fruit we produce  is not from us its from the spirit inside us. We ourselves can only sin and wrestle with ourselves as we keep sinning. In a way, we are like broken robots disfunctioning with our hardware. Our minds are short circuiting continuously against our flesh and blood. I myself cant wait for the day God fixes my spiritual touerettes short circuiting among other things 🙂  though I have a feeling I know atleast generally when that day will be 🙂

Maybe I sound crazy at this point. maybe I sound like a prophet…. nonetheless this is what happened to me, and so it is recorded.

Understanding Paganism, From a Former Pagan

Since my conversion to Christianity it’s very noticeable Christians don’t understand a thing about Paganism. Normally this is very noticeable when we’re talking about the old testament… they have a pretty shallow view of the pagans mentioned in scripture, though scripture itself has a lot of depth in what Paganism is.

1. The concept of ‘God’s’

To start the entire concept of ‘god’ is different. It’s very agnostic actually. Pagans don’t worship gods the same way a christian worships God…. In every pagan culture they are seen as higher spirits. They are basically like people with different jobs at different companies that just so happens to be spirits. When a pagan prays/worships these gods it’s in the same way a Catholic friend of mine described how catholics pray/worship Mary. It’s about intercession, not so much about ‘devotion’… in every pagan culture there is one creator God, this God is ussually the oldest God in any given pagan culture – some christian apologetics even believe he is the very same God of Abraham… However, to pagans he is… too high… too powerful to be reached so theres no point in praying to him. The logic of Paganism isn’t too unlike catholicism again in this sense, they think they must intercieve to the saints so that the saints may negotiate with the ‘Most high God’ on their behalf… What is different from catholicism is the gods don’t have to negotiate with this God, things are within their jurisdiction or they can negotiate with other gods outside there jurisdiction. The consensus view is that the ‘Most high God’ just created everything, whilst sits around in the background somewhere not doing anything or talking to anyone… so just don’t bother with him at all.

2. Idol worship.

In my experience there’s 2 types of pagans. Materialist, and Humanist. Materialist view idols as a physical representation of a diety, they rely on physical objects for a lot of things. The Humanist tends to look down on idol worshippers for them it’s about knowledge and hidden mysteries… though selling idols to the Materialist is a means of control… Think of it as the white collar guy controlling the blue collar guy. In scripture this is represented well just about every time a pagan king erects a statue of either a god or himself and demands the people to pray to it.

The white collar pagan says: The little people are too stupid to understand higher things, but their easily controlled via some form of propaganda… aka a statue.

The blue collar pagan says: the king is so great to build this statue for us so we may be able to get rid of our unwanted babies and maybe molech will give me prosperity in return.

So there’s nuance in regard to idol worship… It means different things to different types of pagans. In scripture, very often, you can see the dynamics at play very well between the rulers and the peasants. Alot of Paganism is indeed about control, but it depends on which perspective the character in scripture is coming from.

The king, you may notice never bows to the statue… he actually is the physical  God on earth. By his point of view, by giving the peasants the statue, he’s making political allies with the other god…. It’s kind of like when the government sends a gift to another country, or puts their embassy in another country or arranges a special trade agreement. They are showing friendship and sharing resources… in molech case, the king is sharing the unwanted babies of his country as a trade agreement. This way the king can use molech to fight off his enemies in times of war.

3. Paganism is cruel

Just with the first 2 things mentioned, I gather you didn’t think before just how cruel Paganism actually is. Its particularly cruel when it is a theocracy. It gets even crueler considering how apathetic pagans are to other people. Everything and everyone in pagan cultures is just a tool to be used for someone else’s advantage. Even love itself is ment to be a means to gain from someone else.

This isn’t just a primitive concept our modern societies have long since left behind. We still do these thing all the time everyday across the globe. What Paganism is… It’s the human sinful condition.

Something I think that’s very interesting about Revelation is towards the end an angel crys out – “Fallen, Fallen is that great city Babylon”. It describes babylon as a present tense society even though the scripture is talking about the end times… even though babylon was long gone already, even at the time revelation was written…. We very much still exist in a Babylonian society even to this day – the world hasn’t changed at all, even under christendom.

4. Magic

Magic is the fun part of Paganism… but it’s a broad subject. The very computer your reading this on is by pagan definition “Magic”…. It’s a bit more mundane then a christian might expect…. which… Don’t get me started on our modern society being Babylon again, because it is…

Magic is anything people can use to create something. Whether a hammer, Electricity, spiritual energies, winking, translating the bible… so basically it’s everything people do. Spell casting specifically is viewed as simply using spiritual energies to transmit information towards a desired goal. The modern pagan view is we do this all the time when we post a Facebook status – and indeed, it’s entirely the same concept…. however the bible doesn’t talk about spell casting, not even once is it mentioned.

My christian brothers, scripture talks about “witchcraft”. This is an important difference. Because witch craft isn’t a pagan concept parsè it’s a jewish one. It’s the jewish view on how pagans manipulate and control each other.

Alot of Christians have it their minds spell casting and witch craft are the same thing. There is a reason, but it’s not from scrilture, rather from old catholic inquistors propaganda looking for protestants reading the Bible. Over time this belief witchcraft and spell casting blended together. But it’s origin is from the pagan Catholic Church calling people reading the Bible “pagan manipulators”… that’s the ethomolgy that’s distorted our view on scripture…. so you tell me if theses verses make a bit of a different sense now that you know this… in your mind replace the word “witchcraft” with “control and manipulation of other people” :

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

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1 Samuel 15:23

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

2 Kings 9:22

And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

Micah 5:12

And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

Nahum 3:4

Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

Galatians 5:20

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

5. Paganism is convoluted 

In some ways I think it’s a good idea for Christians to study paganism and the concepts therein. At the same time I know full well there is a lot of junk a person would have to sift through before getting to anything worthwhile… There is a lot of abstract concepts, many of which have convoluted foundations… It’s ‘wisdom’ is like a house of cards in many ways. However, of one thing I am sure of, our enemies are well versed in these concepts, and so should we.

Truely I tell you when I said “modern society is babylon”, I really ment it on personal experience from a life of studying Babylonian ideals and just watching the world at work around me. It’s a bit like coming out of the matrix once a person is aware of this… knowing everything you thought you knew is a lie… A rabbit hole I don’t think most Christians are really ready for. If most people knew just how much engulfed we are, and just how much we continuously reject God…. even in a so called “Christian Nation”.

The good news is because Paganism is so convoluted, like a house of cards, it falls very easily. After that terrible day christ will reign. And so, it amounts to nothing to study such things. You would only be fighting temporary battles of an army that’s already lost the war. 😉 our purpose as christians is simply to be here, do our work and wait for our bosses return.

The Incredible Conversion of Bob Marley

One of my heroes, a christian brother Bob Marley, the international godhead of getting high… actually became a christian. What is really amazing is the impact this one man had in the modern world. A Reggae artist, a freedom fighter, and evangelist of christ.

Here’s the thing about Rastafarianism – well to start it’s not an “ism”. It’s a religion that’s also not an organized religion rather a philosophy. It’s a blend of Judaism, Ethnocentric black people, tribalism, magic Marijuana, and a dash of communism…. Conformity in Rastafari is fround upon, it often depends on who you talk to as what it’s actually about – the answers to all the big questions is entirely up to the individuals imagination – including even what the big questions actually are. What made Bob Marley so great in Rastafarianism was he gave this ideology a prophet – and so a sense of unity among its followers all over the world.

As communism was spreading through the Caribbean, Africa, and even Polynesia. Bob Marley stood against it with his music.

His music reached far and wide before  communism could completely engulf these nations. The people assembled and stood against the state in Rallies, protests, elections all across the globe. The people whom were first deceived by communism, took back their country. This rendered Bob Marley an enemy of the state in Jamaica, and so he fled to America for a time.

As a fugitive Bob Marley did what he knew best. Produced music. And while he made it big in America, the communist government in Jamaica couldn’t fight the imports of records sold in the country. He became louder and louder – spreading like a wildfire from a spark leaping a camp fire! Meanwhile he remained in constant contact with the capitalist movement in Jamaica as well as other countries. As Time went on, Liberty won and he was able to come home. He thought he would retire, but God had other plans…

He began questioning Rastafari… he did not see the point in a faith that had no consistency. In his questioning on religion It was revealed to him Africa also had a church… See a lot of people who reject the church, often really reject the status quo of conventional knowledge about it… Until they find out there’s nuance and Jesus is actually very liberating compared to the teachings of the world..  Bearing in mind Bob Marley also had a bit of an African Ethnocentricity streak himself, What he learned  was the first church was actually in Ethiopia – not Rome. Immediately he gravitated towards it… And well I’ll let the very Archbishop whom he spoke to take over from here:

Having so much of the peoples hearts, and minds this single conversion spread to millions!! Where once christianity was a very small minority (less than 1-5%), today countries like Jamaica have demographics of 90-99% of the population as christian. Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, the Bahamas.. even as far as the polynesian Solomon Islands! The people of these Countries found Christianity through just 1 man’s influence.

Praise be to Jesus!

As the Archbishop tells us towards the end of his life, Bob Marley earnestly sought the wisdom of scripture and did everything he could to be right with Jesus. He encouraged his fan base to look to scripture instead of himself – as it wasn’t about him it was about God. And so they did…. It was on his deathbed he requested to be Baptized….

Here is what I’d like the reader to take from this man. God uses all kinds of people, even when they themselves don’t really know it. He also uses sex drugs and rock n’ roll believe it or not. Just think, this one man from the little island nation of Jamaica had a political and religious voice loud enough to cross oceans and lands some never heard of.

In all things Love…

Getting lost on the internet I joined a christian group on facebook, and to my surprise it was filled with communists. Trust me when I say, every fiber of my being couldn’t be more opposed to communism, in fact I’ve often found I’m more pro free market then most republicans to the point I don’t even think we need the government. I couldn’t be anymore complete opposite to communism even if I tried – and yet here I am in a communist filled christian group….

I believe it was Joseph Stalin who once said “Capitalism is just a means to Communism”. To which this eludes alot people, but I could see why he would say that. We tend to think of the political spectrum as a line, when in fact it’s a wheel. There is a point on the wheel where the far right and far left meet.Where the line is between absolute communism and absolute capitalism on the wheel – puts a staunch capitalist and communist right next to each other. What I found interesting, me and the communist agree on a whole lot of things, in fact we sound exactly alike on just about every political issue. However, listen closely and you’ll see, our solutions are very different and our answers come from very different directions. Our structure of how things should work are also very different. It’s because of these subtleties communism and capitalism can never mix even though we seemingly agree on just about everything. It’s like oil and water – they only mix when heated – which creates a very unstable society I’m afraid.

The subject of Christianity bearing no exception. I have found the communist a worthy advisory in scripture and I can also plainly see they truly carry Christ’s spirit. However, misguided they might be. Let me just show an example the best way I can:

Thou shalt not steal

Communist- No one owns property in communism, therefore no one can steal unless an individual owns property apart from the collective. This verse proves communism is Christ’s model.

Capitalist- in order to steal one must own property for someone to steal from another. Otherwise there would be no need for this commandment. This proves Capitalism is Christ’s model.

From this simple example, I maintain the capitalist contention – and truly it’s the stronger argument. However, the communist is coming from the point of view, Christ inspired communism to create a way for people to be unable to steal. Indeed, We can all share each others stuff – theft becomes impossible unless an individual owns property.

What I think of communism is it has to be learned. Otherwise, by our natural conscience (gods inscribed law) capitalism is about simply common sense. We don’t instinctively read ‘thou shalt not steal’ and automatically come up with the communist answer. It takes a lot of creative scripture twisting to come up with it infact. In all communism is learned where capitalism is man in his natural state.

Though ideologically we are opposed I still love the communists. It’s because I love the communists I welcome them to look at the fruits of communism. Look at how each communist society first used Christians (appealing to their best Intentions) to establish communism, then slaughtered the Christians. Yet they explain to me “christ inspired communism”. I fear for my brothers and sisters that they have a wolf in sheep’s clothing among them.

I realize capitalism isn’t perfect, but it’s much harder to abuse then a collective style system is. Scripture guarantees us NOTHING in this world is perfect. Everything man creates – government structure or otherwise – is corruptible due to our fallen nature. Therefore we must almost always be forced to choose between the lesser of evils until Christ comes. I regret the communist only seem to recognize this statement in regards to the atrocities of Russia and other former communist places.

In love, I see their point of view on many things. In love I completely agree the best of socities exist on a small scale, not a large scale. In love, I agree we must have voluntaryism. In love I can agree to disagree as I can plainly see no one will go for either of our models anyway as they are too extreme. In love I pray for them – And in love I’m willing to stay in the Facebook group and talk about random stuff and things.

The Bible Is Not an Instruction Manual

This post comes from Crossway Blog

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Ever heard the Bible explained that way? It’s a handy mnemonic device that certainly has some truth to it. But does it get at the heart of what the Bible really is? The way so many of us treat the Scriptures—as God’s “how to” book—doesn’t seem quite right when we carefully look at what its own pages say. And I fear that the way we use the Bible in this way actually accomplishes the opposite of what we intended.

If the Bible is not essentially an instruction manual for practical application, then, what is it? If it’s not mainly about what we need to do, what is it about? If it’s not about us, who is it about?

The Bible Is about Jesus

About Jesus? Well, duh,” you’re thinking right now. That goes without saying. And I agree. It has been going without saying. But we need to keep saying it. We don’t “go” without saying this. The Bible is about Jesus. Front to back, page to page, Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, the written Word of God is primarily and essentially about the saving revelation of the divine Word of God.

Jesus himself said so. In Luke 24, we see two of Jesus’s disciples walking on the road to Emmaus and discussing the report they’d gotten of Christ’s resurrection. Suddenly Jesus himself sidles up next to them. He asks them what they’re talking about. They don’t recognize him at first, so they explain that they are discussing the matter of Jesus, expressing their confusion about his having been given up to be crucified when all along they thought he was the one sent to redeem Israel. And they also weren’t sure what to make of this astounding claim about his resurrection. Then Jesus does something very interesting: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

In 2 Corinthians 1:20, Paul tells us that all the biblical promises “find their Yes in him.” The book of Hebrews is a great sustained example of this truth, showing us how all that led up to Christ was preaching Christ from the shadows, as it were, even reminding us that the mighty acts of the great heroes of the Old Testament were not about themselves but about acting “by faith” in the promise of the Christ to come.

Indeed, everything the Bible teaches, whether theological or practical, and everywhere it teaches, whether historical or poetical or applicational or prophetic, is meant to draw us closer to Christ, seeing him with more clarity and loving him with more of our affections. The Bible is about Jesus.

The Primary Message of the Bible Is That the Work Is Already Done

One night on the way home from small group, I listened to the guy on the local Christian radio station give a ten-minute presentation of what he had learned in church the previous day. It all boiled down to an appeal to make Jesus, in his words, our “role model.” It was all very nice and inspirational.

There is indeed no better role model than Jesus. You won’t find me arguing against that. But the problem with this fellow’s recollection of his pastor’s sermon was that it showed no indication of actual gospel content. It could have been delivered by the Dalai Lama. The buddhist actor Richard Gere thinks Jesus is an awesome role model. So do many atheists. The majority of the thinking world acknowledges that Jesus is a good role model, and in fact, most of them wish Christians would act more like Jesus (or at least, more like their perception of Jesus).

This ought to hint at the inherent deficiency in the “Jesus as role model” message: “Be like Jesus,” by itself, is not good news. The gospel is not good advice, it is good news. The emphasis in our churches must be on God’s finished work through Christ. To be clear: We should be exhorting our congregations to live in more Christlike ways. But if the emphasis of our preaching is on being more like Jesus and not on the good news of grace despite our not being able to be like Jesus, we end up actually achieving the opposite of our intent. We inadvertently become legalists, actually, because we are more concerned with works and behavior than with Christ’s work on our hearts. The primary message of the Bible, as it heralds us to Jesus Christ, is that the work is already done.

The Bible’s News Is Much Better Than Its Instructions

The Bible is incredibly practical. We don’t have to make it that way. It’s already that way. There are lots of practical things in it, and we do need to teach them. But we must never teach the practical points as the main points. The practical stuff is always connected to the proclamational stuff. The “dos” can never be detached from the “done” of the finished work of Christ in the gospel, or else we run the risk of preaching the law.

In 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 Paul is recalling the giving of the tablets of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. As Moses would go up and commune with God, the glory of the Most High was so intense that it would continue to radiate off his face when he came down. The radiant glory was so intense that Moses covered his face with a veil to shield the children of israel from the intensity. But as stark and intense and awe-inspiring as that glory was, Paul says, it is eclipsed by the ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of righteousness, the ministry of the gospel of Jesus.

This helps us to see that the essential message of the Bible is the gospel, and that therefore the gospel needs to be central to all we say and do as a church, whether in the worship service or out. This means many of us need to wrestle with the reality that the gospel is not just for unbelievers. It is for the Christian too.

Perhaps we need to see how versatile and resilient the gospel is, how much deeper and more powerful than the dos and don’ts this message is. Maybe we need to see that the gospel does more than the law could ever do. It goes further than the law could ever go. If the instructions come with glory, Paul says, “will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory” (v. 8).

The good news of the gospel is so much better than the instructions! It is better because the news actually saves us. The gospel is the ministry of righteousness because it announces not just the blank slate of sins wiped out but the full credit of Christ’s perfect obedience credited to us!

The Power of Salvation

As we look out at the world and into our churches, we think we know what will fix everything. We’ll just tell them to get their act together. Thus all the instructions.

But what will really save the lost world? Let me tell you: none of our complaints against it.

What will transform the hearts of the people in your church? No amount of your nagging.

What will motivate people to real life change that begins with real heart change? Not all the helpful tips in the universe.

According to the Bible, only the gospel is the power for salvation (Rom. 1:16). We must stop treating the gospel as though it were power enough for a conversion experience but falls short of empowering all the practical matters of faith that come after.

Taxation is Theft

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” – Jesus

Whenever I hear a fellow christian justify paying taxes, the first thing that always comes out of their mouth is “Render unto Caesar…”

First of all, We don’t live under roman law anymore, Caesar, Emporers/Kings in general, is

no-king-but-jesus1
When our founders said “There will be no king in America” They meant “Jesus is the King, therefore there is no room for another king”, And they meant it literally. This is why they instead established a government centered on public servitude and voluntarism…. that is – a society of people that do things for each other on their own without the government involved.

a distant memory – so distant infact, none of us remember them. Our government structure in America is based on a concept, Jesus himself introduced into the world, called “Servant Leadership”…. We no longer kiss kings rings, instead their job is to work for us,  the people. For this reason and many others, America is a Christian Nation. Though I know Satan would beguile you to believe something different and lead our nation into bondage. With that said; Say we had a servant who took our money from our checks every week automatically without even asking. Then, deliberately and consistently disobeyed virtually everyone of our orders…. In ancient Israel, such a wicked servant would not have been tolerated.

This is precisely the arrogance of our politicians and level of corruption in today’s America. It’s so bad infact, we the masters of the servants have been tricked into thinking our public servants are actually the masters… Yet, this very verse christians use to defend the servants is in itself taken well out of context. Which leads me to the next point…

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s. OK, everything comes from God so if I render everything to Him, I have nothing left to render unto Caesar. Caesar owns nothing, but neither do I unless given to me by God. – anonymous

Heres the trouble with “Taxes”, if I may get a bit philosophical. The government views YOU as THEIR property simply by you being born as a ‘citizen’. That means, they view the product of your labor also belongs to them. Yet YOU the individual, have no debt to the government, you just happened to be born. Get it? if not, then I’ll spell it out another way – It’s called Slavery. The spirit of the law’s very foundation and view point in regards to taxes is the individual is property of the state via birth. This is contrary to the US constitution in it’s entirety which is based on the principle of ‘self ownership’ – that is you own yourself legally speaking. Thus we see how uncle sam is violating both the law of the land as well as scripture. And what happens if you don’t pay?…..    But only The Mafia or even common criminals resort to coercing their targets to comply, not Government Bureaucrats :O

Does anyone remember when Obama said: “If you got a buisness, you didn’t build that buisness. Somebody else made that happen”…. I’m not sure how else I can spell this out except from the horses mouth.

Romans 13

Another one for paying taxes that always comes up is Romans 13…. Yet again I would find myself explaining what I already explained about “Servant Leadership” style government – the rule of law in this country is The United States Constitution – not The Roman Republic under Caesar… Since I’ve already explained that, I wont bother mentioning it much further.

None of this chapter has anything to do with taxes  in fact it states clearly we are only obligated to Christs law – as defined. If your getting ready to tell me about “tributes”, It’s actually illegal for any government office/branch to demand ‘Tributes’ or even accept gifts in this country, (don’t give them Ideas either). Further, none of us owe the government a cent from birth and so we have no debt with the government to fulfill in accordance to Romans 13. The only laws  as Christians we are bound to are Christs law as it is described in this very chapter. Otherwise It’s pointless to even bring this misnomer up.

However, in regards to this common misinterpretation of Romans 13 let me ask you, whats wrong with Romans 12 and Romans 14? Paul wasn’t saying to the Romans “Go along with whatever the government says we have to go along with”. If that were the case, under the laws of ancient Rome at the very time he wrote his letter to the romans, Christians could not legally be christian, therefore the entire religion would not exist today as it would be DOA. Every early christian would have said:  “Paul says we have to listen to caesar, and caesar says we must be pagan. So since God ordains we follow the roman law, so much for Jesus and salvation and eternal life”

Paul was more or less saying what Christ said about” be as gentle as doves, and as wise as serpents”…. It has nothing to do with “We must go along to get along” – Infact EVERYTHING in Scripture is contrary to “maintain the status quo”. So excuse me if I sound a bit like a radical here, but I am nothing more then a devout christian… In regards to Romans 13, its another example of their being a whole book surrounding a single verse. context Context, CONTEXT!!

What about the Roads!!

What If I told you, that you pay 3000 times over for the roads? Your paying Taxes to pay the state government to pay a private company to pave the roads! Plus, your paying federal taxes to pay the state Road Department ‘to equalize national inflation’. The asphalt company pays taxes to make the asphalt. The equipment manufacturer pays taxes to make the things to put the asphalt on the road. The delivery company pays taxes to deliver the asphalt and machinery to the construction company. AND the construction campany pays taxes on their income received from the government! To top all this off, The government doesn’t even need to charge any taxes for a funding as their the ones printing all the money! (which in itself is a whole other article)

All of these taxes pile up on the end expense, which is an invisible number that comes to YOU as a percentage of your income.

All I’m saying is; Imagine if we cut the middle man out and paid for the roads directly much like we do the water bill or garbage bill… your looking at about $50 a year, verses whatever percentage your paying in income tax… Oh I’m crazy right… Its true, we don’t even need to pay taxes to pave the roads. This was in fact how we built the roads in America, where they are in the first place!!

 

I am just going to end all this with a verse I think speaks to volumes on the matter of governments impact on today’s average christian life. For anyone whos first instinct is to say “Render unto caesar” in regards to taxes. They ignore scripture and the history of this nation’s ideals, and the almighty gods hand at work in our Revolution – which started over a 3 cent tea tax. Their go along to get along answer, vastly resembles:

But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. – John 19:15

Screw Society, I’m getting a Boat!

I have always dreamed of living on my own sail boat, I thought I’d write down my vision so I don’t atleast forget what boat brands I like. The thing is, I don’t really consider 60 hour work week just to pay bills a life. I don’t expect just about my entire generation to even retire including myself. When it comes to society in general, I find it highly over rated, and can I just say I hate traffic, the government…. PEOPLE!

My dream began many years ago when I was looking into off 2246956618_408014ced9grid living ideas. Initially, my thought was getting a piece of land and building some kind of cabin with a little farm. Yet, along the way I ran into Liveabording, and found living on a sail boat much more appealing and dare I say pragmatic! Boats are vastly cheaper to maintain then a house and land, Solar panels have really changed the life style of living on a boat, there’s fish to eat everywhere, and the entire world is unlocked to become my oyster!

I have always owned a boat before I moved to Buffalo, ny, but they were always small boats. What I’m Looking at – I think I will need to take a class for, but the basic mechanics of the thing I understand perfectly. Here is a list of Boats I’m looking at getting:

1. Leopard 38′

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The leopard is a catamaran, What I love about this boat is it has a fantastic open layout. (which is all to important). I find catamarans very appealing, in that they are stable and can handle rough (very Rough) weather without capsizing. There’s other manufacturers similar to Leopard, however leopard is well within my projected price range wheather it’s the 38 or 48 foot. What I also like is whether I got the 38 foot or 48 foot, the living space is just about the same, only the 38 is significantly cheaper. (about $50k cheaper). Though I really love, and am leaning towards, catamarans in general I don’t really consider it a sacrifice to get a monohull…

2. Hans Christian 33′

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The Hans Christian is a very traditional style boat, and for how small they are the use of space is incredible. This brand of boat hasnt been manufactured since the late 80’s, so any  I would get are going to be old…. Yet age to me is peripheral as I’ve also noticed people with Hans Christian’s take very good care of these beauties- and yet they don’t seem to need a lot of maintenance anyway.  Though these are a little on the small side, it does make sailing easier – with such a great use of space for the cabin I don’t think I would feel cramped. I would be curious however if there are larger sizes.

3. Island Packet 44

island_packet_44_photoisland

Truth be told, I love the island packet series from 38 foot to 48. The only thing about this particular boat, is it’s very slow due to the wide hull. Somehow I could see myself looking around that. This manufacturer designed a fantastic layout for a mono hull – In addition the lines for the sails are right at the helm which makes it very easy to sail. Layout is everything as far as I’m concerned, Island packet (as a brand) Is one of the rare mono hulls that consistently delivers.

4. Chris White Designs/Jeff Schionning/Jaguar Catamarans/Charter Cats/Scionning Designs

There is a reason #4 has 6 names. It appears to be a from an independent designer (Jeff Schionning) who sells his design to multiple small manufacturers. Nonetheless it’s absolutely everything I’m looking for in a catamaran, particularly the model’s in the 90’s. The 90’s design puts the kitchen in one of the hulls, which just adds space to the living room. Honestly im rather indifferent where the kitchen goes, as long as there isnt all these bathrooms taking up precious space.  below are photos taken from a listing for a 36’2003 Charter Cat Jaguar. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about this layout, it’s perfect in every way imaginable though tricky to find. It seems to be more prominent in Maryland then anywhere else.

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What I’m looking for in a boat

Bathrooms:  One thing I hate is almost every boat out there has 2 + bedrooms and 2 + baths…. The thing is, Id rather just have 1 big bathroom, and 2 + bedrooms. In a house it makes sense to have multiple bathrooms, on a boat it’s just awkward. I feel like a bathroom for each bedroom is such a waste of space, id rather gut a few out and make them closets.

Speed: I don’t consider speed a factor, which might seem odd. Every sail boat I’ve seen has a max wind speed of about 10 kph. As slow as that is, they atleast come with autopilot and I can drink whilst I drive 😛

Size: is a factor, Its just I don’t think I could handle anything bigger than 50 ft – Ive never tried, nor do I really want to. Yet if its too small, how on earth can I live in it? 40 ft +/- seems reasonable, but its also why use of space is so important…. You can have a small space feel big, and I think the boats I’ve got my eye on really use their space well enough. Being small also has the advantage of it’s easier to find a parking spot at a marina – and its significantly cheaper to go to marinas. Plus the maintenance is cheaper and easier… So smallish is ideal – but I wont ramble…

Condition: I don’t mind doing a little work. but if it’s things that would take longer then a month or more then $20k… NO, and I think that’s very generous to be honest. When I buy a boat I wanna be able to take it out asap.

New or Used and The Bottom Line

The thing about boats is they have an AWFUL resale value. Much like a car, the minute you pull a brand new boat off the lot, you’ve just burned $50,000. So, getting a brand new boat just isn’t going to happen – and yet that’s not a bad thing. Used boats tend to have things added that don’t come standard. Solar panels, water purifiers/desalters, A/c units, etc etc… Getting a used boat is not only significantly cheaper, it honestly just makes sense. The trick I’m thinking is waiting until the boat value drops to its lowest, which is usually about 10-15 years old. Unlike a car, a hull on a fiberglass boat will last just about forever and there isnt too much on it that exceeds $10,000 worth of repairs. Getting an older boat may mean some work, but to me it seems any boat I would get is going to need some work and customizing.

My current plan to make all this happen is wait a bit, fix up my house, sell it, buy a Condotel or 3 to rent out to tourists and buy my boat. This way I will have income and be able to travel the world with out any debt. Really I’m not reaching too high for the stars, getting a $150k boat isn’t unreasonable if all goes according to my plan 😀 There will always be taxes and insurance and other things to think about – but I’m not there yet.

Where do I want to go?

Honestly, I just want to go everywhere!! Tokyo, Caribbean,  Antarctica, The Nile and Amazonian River, around the Mediterranean, Tonga, The Rhine, Haloong Bay…. If it has a beach or marina of somesort, that’s where I wanna go. and I’d like to be able to take my house with me, why not 😀

The Future of Angle Fish Blog!

I’m entering my 3rd year with this blog, I have a great following, and wrote many articles – Needless to say I wont be going anywhere 😉 But someday soon, the day will come this blog will be reinvented to document my travels as a captains log. I just don’t see the need to start a whole new blog site. The only reason I started “Angel Fish photography” was just so I didn’t load up this site with a bunch of pictures. My writings will be with my writings, my photos will be with my photos – I’m just going to keep it plain and simple: maintain my focus of not really having a focus with my writings and writing about whatever inspires me  🙂

*** as a foot note, This Article will be the first I categorize as “Captains Log” even though I havnt even a boat yet. Where else can the log begin without chronicling first the dream to get started?

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