Image is Everything
January 31, 2009, 10:19
Filed under: Uncategorized


So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen 1:27

The question on the table is what does it mean to be made in the image of God?
The word image is translated from the Hebrew word ,Tselem.  The Definition given on Blue Letter Bible is as follows:
a) images (of tumours, mice, heathen gods)
b) image, likeness (of resemblance)
c) mere, empty, image, semblance (fig.)        In my words, we are a model.   We are a representation, [or should be, or could be] of something much greater than ourselves. 
If we are a work of art, God Himself is the subject we are modeled after. Now a model of a 747 CAN’T FLY, AND NOBODY CAN SIT IN IT, Because IT IS A LESSER REPRESENTATION.  
Please do not say God made us little gods and please do not say that I said that, that is not the point. We are little models of God. What does that mean? Well, as God can create, so can we. As God can imagine, so can we.  As God can emote, so can we; and, the biggie, we are Triune beings. We have a body, we have a soul, and we have a spirit. You can’t argue with me on the first as you are corporeal, the second one is the basis for most religion and discussed a lot in the bible, and what animates and feels love, rebellion, happiness , etc. is your spirit . Blessed are the poor in spirit said Jesus and Deut 2, God hardened Sihon’s spirit, etc. 

So here we are little models of God sitting around wondering if the model maker exists. For this reason I find the tragedy of Atheism almost humorous.
So if we are in His Image we should be capable of being like, and thinking like Him, right? Well, that was what the Devil said in the garden, you can be like God, in fact that is the cry of the cults still to this day, be like God in___ easy lessons.  Our first parents ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we can be like God!
That did not work out for us.  The world we live in today is a result of people thinking they know right from wrong better than God. We call that Sin.
God then gave us rules, so we would know right and wrong, and although that did not work to have His models act like Him, it did show us what sin was, and is. Jesus came not only to teach, not only to provide Divine forgiveness, but He came so He could go, and in leaving this realm physically , to send back a Helper who would do something amazing, give us a God like Heart, be our conscience when our conscience fails, to teach, guide, assure, reveal, guide us into repentance, and so fulfill the prophecies that our hard hearts would be transplanted with hearts designed closer to the original model, that we would have the mind of Christ and the heart of God. For us to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and thereby really be an image of our Creator, we need to stay in the Vine that is Christ,(John chapters 14, 15, 16, 17). That pleases God!  We then bear fruit.  Not through our striving or our efforts, but through abiding in Christ.  (Submit to Him by trusting Him for all.)
During the World Wars, from what I  have read, naval officers and lookouts studied recognition models, models of ships at various scales, so that when something appeared on the horizon they could recognize it.  I wonder, if someone used me for a recognition model, would they get an idea of what my God is like?   

Hebrews 1:3 in speaking about the Messiah says:”Who being the brightness of [His] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”  Christ was an express image.  The greek suggests a printing engraver’s plate that stamps out the same image when pressed into a medium, in other words, when the world pressed the Savior He left the image of God.  If you want to know the character and characteristics of God look at Jesus.  In fact the Greek word for image in this verse, charakteer[sp], is where we get our word character.  If we are serious about being an image the way we were designed to be, we should pray. 

Heavenly, Glorious, God, may we model Your love and compassion for all mankind and never reflect to the world in such a way that would make You look bad.  This is impossible for us, but all things are possible in Christ, so we pray in His name for the Spirit to mold us daily, Amen .


Close the Church of Christian Criticism
January 27, 2009, 09:11
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Internet has been a real blessing to me.  It has enabled me to continue my education,  expand my Christian contacts [like you, I hope, dear reader], entertain myself with youtube and blog-reading and even help me to witness the Truth in love and minister to those in need. It also drives me right out of my mind.

In  the past I could ignore those groups of people who say they are Christian, and may well be , yet practice something I find disturbing, like snake handling, or legalism.   Now I am exposed to things I formerly  was able to ignore.  At the top of my personal  Ignorance list was the existence of a cottage industry full of vehemence and bile, that group of people who say they are Christian and spend their lives criticizing everything that happens in a building with a cross on the roof.  Don’t get me wrong,  there are some loose wingnuts on the wheels of modern Christianity,  and pointing out the insanity is healthy!  I am not talking about those of us [me] who desire to point out wackos and frauds;  I mean people who take on whole denominations, entire -faith-groups  of mainstream believers, or really well known figureheads of the faith. 

Is there any point in declaring Billy Graham to be anathema?  All right he is old and says some odd things today, but have you read his stuff? Did you see his track record? If we were all anathema like Graham there would be a lot more Christians.  Is it necessary for the Kingdom to declare John Macarthur a heretic?  I have problems with dispensationalism, the whole Jesus just making a touch and go but not really landing is odd to me; I don’t own a Scofield,  but MacArthur preaches the gospel!  If you do a little googleing you can find somebody against anybody!  It is not only individuals that get the indictment of heresy,  the Southern Baptist Convention is working for the devil if you listen to some.  Now I have been in the SBC tent for 12 years,  there are issues.  Are they apostasy? Are they anathema?  Again, if you look you will find some group nailing away at another group as if they get paid a quarter a word. 

Has the discernment of God’s people so decreased that we can not tell a Todd Bentley from a Ravi Zacharias? We  can’t perceive a difference in message from Benny Hinn to Tim Keller? We can’t see a change in group dynamic from C.M.A. to the K.K.K.? 

We need to read and follow Paul’s advise to the Philippians, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”  I listen to a lot of sermons.   I am not seeking an error in another’s ways, I am seeking to be fed on the word of God.  If there is something on the plate I do not like, I don’t throw the whole dish to the ground and condemn the cook,  I take what I like and praise the meal. 

Please look out of the box you live in.  Look at Europe.  Can you call it Christian?  Have you seen England?  Do you think we live in an age where we can pick each other apart without serving the Enemy?  It just can’t be that hard to separate the wheat from the tares.  People my age will remember the Supreme Court decision on pornography.  In attempting to define it one judge said, “you know it when you see it.”  That definition did not stick, but come on, you know it when you see it.  I do not think you need a PhD in theology to know good doctrine from false.  Good doctrine may not be perfect doctrine, but it is not purposely false.  As for false doctrine, you know it when you see it, it is a lot like porn.

Tasers for Christ, Shocking Love
January 24, 2009, 11:29
Filed under: Uncategorized

There is much talk on the web these days about church discipline, as well there should be.  There is also a lot of information on youth ministry.  So with tongue firmly in cheek, I offer this imaginary blog post.  It was inspired by  a post, by a true servant of God who is in youth ministry.  Pray for him,  it is a rough job!  The following has no basis in reality, but I hope brings a chuckle.  

YouthMinister Blog says…

We had a lock in last night.  27 youth were confined in the church basement with pizza, games, cool Christian movies ,and surround sound Casting Crowns and News Boys.  The pastor organized the event, but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict with his Christian Bridge Club.   I have never been invited to this club, it must be about bridging the gap to the unbelieving, I think.   

Things went well.  No one died.  I had 5 Red Bulls to keep going and I still feel great.  The shaking is subsiding.  There were a few problems.  Two 7th grader girls were hanging on an an 18 year old boy and try as I might to communicate the undesirability of this they refused to cooperate.  One girl who is a member of the church and should know better was just behaving poorly.  It was a bit frustrating.  Well I am going to the clinic now.  My wife says it is not a good sign to have nose bleeds and facial tics,  but the other youth ministers have the same simptoms so it can’t be bad.  Maybe we should have prayed before we started the night off. 

Willohroots responds:

Ah, an opportunity to teach church discipline!  Good luck with that.  We live in a culture without discipline, hence your problem.. I used to do teen ministry.  I am thankful  that it is past tense.  I would suggest using a Taser, since I am not in your church and will not be there when it all breaks lose.   I will read the news on the blogosphere, “Youth minister Tasers two 7th graders for raging hormones and an 18 year old just because.    He then Tased a member of his own church and held the button down till the battery died. ”   I guess you can’t do that, but would not Student Ministry be more enjoyable if the most heard quote was, “Don’t Tase me man, don’t Tase me!” ?  I mean more enjoyable for you.    I’ll bet we would get a lot more volunteers to work with youth if we issued Tasers.   Hey this isn’t like adultery is it? You know where Jesus said don’t even think about it? Naw, can’t be. After all there is no commandment “thou shall not Tase.”  Can you not think of a young person that a few thousand volts administered at the appropriate time would not be a blessing?  Spare the volts and spoil the child.  Tasers are small, relatively inexpensive and their use takes little training.  Life Way will soon offer Tasers at a reduced cost to SBC churches.  AoG churches offer their own version,” Slain in the Amperage”, which has the added feature of causing the target to speak in strange tongues while voltage is applied.  The Methodist model is not recommended, as it consists of a recording that says, “Imagine you were Tased, Hurts doesn’t it?”   Shalom,, and you better pray before you open the doors to youth!

Watch your Tongue!
January 24, 2009, 01:30
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tongues in today’s church.  One more divisive issue.  I just posted this at a nice guy’s site. I am now looking for opinions.  The name has been changed to protect the innocent only by Christ’s atoning blood.  It was part of a larger discussion on the Gifts of the Spirit, my partner in converstion is a Pentecostal, and a really nice guy.

  1. Theophilous , does your church meeting sound like a cacophony of Geese? Would some one coming in think you were drunk?  I don’t know, I’m asking.   These were Paul’s concerns.  Paul clearly says that tongues is the least to be desired gifts, far less valuable than prophesy.   I wonder why everybody wants it?
    I am with you on spiritual gifts, there have been times I just wasn’t right with God and preached a real stinker, cause it was me preaching without the Spirit. Humbling.
    I think of the words of the Lord, “you evil generation always desiring a sign.”  I also read the scripture this way:  Mat 6:7  “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”  Here is the Greek for vain repetitions,

strongs#  g945  βατταλογέω battalogeō
bät-tä-lo-ge’-ō (Key)
Part of Speech
Root Word (Etymology)
from Battos (a proverbial stammerer) and G3056
 Outline of Biblical Usage
1) to stammer
2) to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words, to babble, prate.


This word is  onomatapoeia, a word made from a sound. Jesus is saying do not pray by saying,” batta,batta, batta”.   I swear I have heard just that sound out of people “slain in the Spirit”.

I hope you see my skepticism, and it has a base in scripture.   I would feel more at ease if someone became able to preach, or teach, or help, or became a good helper or administrator etc.as a Spiritual gift,  as I could see these gifts being useful to the church . It seems Paul also thought that  1cr.14:12  “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”
Paul didn’t seem to think tongues was all that with a bag of fries.  1Cr 14:1 ”  Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.”
The first thing that got me is still my main sticking point,  1Cr 12:30  “Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”  
Why would everybody in the church get the same gift?   I get the impression that Paul was not a great fan of speaking in tongues.
Well there is a lot I don’t understand and I do not expect that to change. this is not an issue I would break fellowship over, but it is good to talk about between believers.
I agree we must share our walks, we are after all on the same Path!

Source, Blue letter Bible,  KJV cause I am in a KJ mood this morning.


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    Who is Not invited to Fellowship
    January 19, 2009, 19:16
    Filed under: Uncategorized

    There was good discussion here about who is a Christian,  and now it is time for the obverse.  Who would you not sit with in Christian fellowship.   I am not in anyway playing the “who is saved ” game.  Salvation is of God, and the role of Judge is His alone.  Let me put this in a setting that maybe less offensive, but still allow us to put a point across.  

    We are all in a distant land on the mission field.  After a safe, productive year we are having a Thanksgiving feast.  We are going to thank God and have a good time in fellowship.  Who is not on your list of partisipants.  Who,  just by being there, would ruin the mood of Christian love and brotherhood for you.   It is like we all are planning our guest list,  who is not on the list?  We don’t hate these people,  we just are not going to let them join the club because…..

    Don’t be shy,  let us know, tell us why. 

    It is my pool, I will dive in first.

    1. Todd Bently,  I will use youtube as my why.  Come on people!
    2. John Crowder , and anybody who “tokes the Ghost”.  I knew cannabis,  I know Jesus, if you don’t know the difference you don’t know nothin’.  No turkey for these turkeys!
    3. Anybody who belongs to a denomination that is assured I am going to hell for my denominational affiliation, and actually believes it.  If you don’t think I will be with you in heaven you can’t be with me at this dinner.  We are celebrating an eternal fellowship after all.  I love these guys anyway, I will send them a plate of  left overs, with gravy,  but no seat at the table.
    4. Anybody who ever held a sign that says “Jesus Hates Fags” or the like and has not repented.  Homosexuals need a Savior, so do you and I.  This includes anybody who ever protested a heroes funeral for any reason.  Not a drop of cranberry sauce. 
    5. Benny Hinn.  [Unless this guy could shout , “fire!” at the stuffed, cooked, bird before us and have it fly away.]  How much damage to the Word can one guy do? 
    6. Anybody who says that the Bible meant something a long time ago, but it means something completely different now.  We have no common ground for dinner conversation.  I have a guide book and compass,  you have suggestion list.  I’ll save you a wing.
    7. David Cloud.  He wouldn’t come anyway.  This man is more sure of being right and inerrant in his hermeneutics than any Pope or council of bishops has ever been.  It was his separatist,  super holy group that was the monster that ate my friend Frank,  ruined Frank’s marriage , killed his two churches, and convinced a good man he was not even saved.  He was told to keep serving communion, however, as he was probably most closest to saved of anyone in North East Pa.   I got a score to settle.  Not good dinner company.   No soup for you!  You very, very bad man! 

    Well that is my list.  It is my party, I can invite who I wish.  I have no idea of the state of their souls,  I am judging their company.  Will you join me now in saying Grace?

    Dear Almighty Father,  bless our fellowship and strengthen our souls with Your Spirit as this food feeds our bodies.  Give me your love, as I have trouble loving the uninvited, even though I know I should.  Shape me closer to Jesus who loved us all.  Help those at this table get a good true message out to the world.  In Jesus name we pray, amen.

    Harding Church of Christ and Judo
    January 14, 2009, 08:26
    Filed under: Uncategorized

    willohroots, on January 13th, 2009 at 7:31 pm Said:
    I must share this story in love with you. 30 years ago I had a Pauline experience, repented of my sinful ways, [I was a scoundrel] and sought out a church. Now churches were not a part of my former life, so I was in total ignorance. I went to a Roman Catholic Church and was thrown out for attempting to steal the host when I admitted i was not Catholic. I went to a couple mainline churches and did not hear enough Gospel. I wandered into a rural church during a business meeting. They were voting to buy false teeth for a widow. i looked around and saw a baptistry,
    and oh how I longed to be baptized like my Savior, and i saw they had no organ or even a piano.
    Thank God I cried! I have found it, these people are true Christian, they provide for the poor and can not afford a piano! I joined on the spot. Yes, it was Harding Church of Christ a non-instrumental work. I stayed with them for years even after the false start! I loved them. They threw me out when I won a Judo championship for my college. I am now an SBC Pastor, indebted to those great people who taught me so much. God does work in mysterious ways!
    Jay Guin, on January 13th, 2009 at 8:09 pm Said:
    That’s a great story. But why would they kick you out for winning a judo championship?
    willohroots, on January 14th, 2009 at 7:55 am Said:
    Jay, it was a long time ago. the brothers were concerned about Mysticism creeping into the church. I tryed to tell them it was Japanese wrestling done in bathrobes, but they would not buy it. There was at the time a TV show called “Kung Fu” and it accented the mystic parts of martial arts. Judo was developed in the 1900’s is very modern. bowing is not worship, but cultural, just a sign of respect. So I was given a choice, stay on in Judo or give up being a Lay Preacher, song Leader. With heavy heart i left.
    The pastor and the people changed so greatly that in the same building in the 80’s, I was able to hold meetings for the “Harding Church of Christ Judo Club.”
    Times change. Our God does not.

    What do you need to know To be a Christian
    January 13, 2009, 09:56
    Filed under: Uncategorized

    Thank you for the input on the question.  The depth of thought and biblical base of those who answered the original question is both humbling and satisfying.   Now here is my take on the situation, aimed not at the pulpit but the pew.

    1. There is a God. [I feel today we must start at this point.   Socially we are in an age far distant from God.] 
    2. God is singular, an individual with a personality,  goals, thoughts, feelings, all so far above us as to be mysterious and beyond our full comprehension.  He is Perfect, Loving, Just and Merciful.
    3. This God not only created everything but as in “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,” desires a relationship with us.
    4. Humans, by their own choice and nature of rebellion within each one, have failed to live up to the standards of a perfect God.  This has resulted in death, pain and suffering.  We are separated from God by sin.
    5. Jesus Christ,  Yeshua the Messiah, fulfills God’s  desire for a relationship with us, His creation, “but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.”
    6. In the greatest expression of Love ever conceived Jesus walked among us as a man, led a sinless life and paid our penalty on the cross. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, ”                                                                     
    7. Those who acknowledge God’s authority,  repent of their sins, cry out to Jesus to forgive, cleanse, make whole ,guide and lead them in a new God honoring path, will be accepted without fail, and will never, ever, be abandoned by a loving Savior, who will send them the Comforter in this life and bring them into the next eternal existence of the Joy of God’s presence.