Discouraged? Quit?

Blog #61, July 08, 2023

The world today does not trust the God they are offered by the churches of the world, and rightfully so. In the world they are offered one of two understandings of creation and the nature our creator. One presents us with a creator of omnipotent power that demands all the time we can give Him, all the money we can afford, and absolute tenacious obedience to all His rituals and all His traditions. It offers us a creation filled with toil, criticism, judgment, and shame. The other presents us with a gracious kindly soul that understands all of humanities weaknesses and accepts them for who they are, honors their right to be an individual, and will bend and adjust the needs of both creation and the creator to the needs of each of His children. The odd thing is that though they are polar opposites in all of their concepts, both entice humanity with promises they cannot keep. They both foster their own brand of ignorance, which can cause their membership to fall short of the truth that is God's Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. With great skill each achieves their own particular goals by building their beliefs on a foundation that is not quite a lie, but is far less than the truth.

To begin with, let's consider according to scripture how important truth is to the very nature of both God and His creation.

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalms 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

Ether 1:75 And he answered, Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.

It appears that the best way for us to describe God is for us to grasp the full nature of truth. 

DC 90:4b Ye (speaking of Jesus Christ) were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth; and truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; and whatsoever is more or less than this, is the spirit of that wicked one, who was a liar from the beginning.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me;

DC 90:5b All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also, otherwise there is no existence.

As cryptic as these verses are I hope it leads us both to the same understanding. Truth is the very core of all that is God. If truth were not the same yesterday, today, and forever truth could not be true. By application, if God changed those things that are truth, God would cease to be God. Can God work and live outside of truth? The point has been debated many times but the scriptures, testimonies I have both heard and read combined with my own personal revelations say that if He were to lie, God would not be God. He would be something else entirely. 

Ether 3:100 And it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people; for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of alllies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents;

Now, with all this being said and accepted what does it mean to you and I? It opens my mind to consider that the church I attend and utilize to help me grow closer to God must respect and reflect absolute truth, or it is not of God. For my own protection, I must become knowledgeable and aware of how the fundamental truths of a church compares to the truths of God. First of all let's look at the church that brings us a judgmental God and ask ourselves this question: Is God of the Bible really a God that is ready at the drop of a hat to send me to eternal judgment for the slightest offense? I mean, the God they purport doesn't seem to like anyone very much. In fact He hides from mankind behind traditions and rituals that offer only bondage. There is no growth because there is no need to grow beyond what the traditions and rituals demand of them. It keeps fear alive by insulating His people from Him and Him from His people. This is not the way of the God we seek. This is not even the God of scripture.

John 3:16-17
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish; but have everlasting life.
3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him

The essence of these verses seems to point me to a God of love. It also leads me to consider that as a believer seeking oneness with God I need to love as God loves. How does that compare to the church that continually burdens me with the fear of God's condemnation. The truth is it doesn't. John 3:17 leads me to believe that Jesus Christ's whole mission on earth was salvation, not condemnation. Evidence in scripture cause me question the veracity of a church that is so dependent on judgment that it condemns everyone who believes differently. If none are allowed to openly question their beliefs, how can anyone find proof that truth resides there? If none are allowed to grow, who will ever be good enough to leave this life and go to God in Heaven? Is there any who follow a God of judgment that dare to have hope?

Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.

Now let's examine the church that I call "The Church of It's OK". Scriptures are plentiful that deny the veracity of a church with no standards, but to begin with I would like to offer a testimony that I feel brings us a very valid truth. There was a time that high schools were in the practice of handing out free condoms to the students. In a newspaper interview with students one student replied that she found that deplorable for a reason that surprised me. It offended her that anyone would question her ability to decide on her own what was right and what was wrong. She expressed this very eloquently when she said, "What do they think I am some animal bound by nature to do nothing more with my time than continually rut with another animal? Don't they think I have a brain and the integrity to decide how I use my body?" 

I think this pretty much describes the overall weakness of " The Church of It's OK". They are bringing to the world a God that seeks to destroy growth. Their God hides from the people behind the concept that humanity is incapable of growth. They want us to believe that the truth of God is so mutable, He will accept our sin as just a part of our nature. By those standards God owes an apology to the people of Noah's time as well as Sodom and Gomorrah. By those standards each of those groups had no capacity to be anything other than who they were and God had no right to condemn anything they did. In fact it denies the very definition of truth and the scriptural assurance that God is truth. No wonder the people of our day are walking away from any form of organized religion. Can you blame them? I can't. Does God have a better way? Yes, indeed He does.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Christ's ministry faced and sought to change a belief system in Jerusalem as judgmental as any this modern world has produced, but even He professed that there has to be standards. 

Luke 10:26-29     
10:26 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
10:27 He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?
10:28 And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
10:29 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.

Consider the true wisdom in all that Christ brought in this passage. First things first; Christ replaced mandates with choice. Love can only come about by choice and in choice we find growth. Laws seek to limit choice and in that limiting authority they destroy both love and growth. The next wisdom of note is for us to choose to love God completely. The third wisdom is to love our neighbors as our self. Let's deal with two and three then we comeback to number one. 

1John 4:20-21 
4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

See the wisdom offered to us without the glorious tomes of law that mankind holds up with such pride. We cannot truly love our brother if we don't completely love God. And, We can't claim to love God if we don't love our brother. Both of these certainties underline the truth found in Christ's answer to the lawyer's question. We must choose to love God and our neighbor. This is not a mandate from God nor is it an enforceable law. This is not something that can be achieved by self-discipline. It is a choice. We choose it not because somebody requires it of us. It is something we desire. We want it. Is our ability to choose important to God? Let's go to scripture and find out.

Genesis 7:40 And in the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency(his ability to choose); and unto thy brethren have I said, and also gave commandment, that they should love one another; and that they should choose me their Father.

Genesis 2:19-22
2:19 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat;
2:20 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;
2:21 Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it;
2:22 For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Yes, our agency, our freedom to make a choice, and the need for us to be properly informed that we might choose correctly are all-important to God. In fact, our choice is so important to God that denying us that choice was half the reason Satan was expelled from Heaven.

Genesis 3:4 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him; and also that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan.

Choice is not something taught in the churches of the world. One church burdens us with traditions and rituals that destroy the need. In the other, the lack of any ideals makes choice irrelevant. The churches of the world have failed to teach us all we need to know. Where does that leave us? Are we to join the vast number of peoples that have decided to just turn their backs on God because of what man is attempting to do to His church? According to Christ our prime example, walking away is just not an option. We must search for what is right, make it a part of our lives, share it with others, and gather together with the aim of becoming the bride that is acceptable for Christ our Savior. Even David had these questions in His heart. He sought to know God and to fill His heart with those attitudes and hopes that were worthy of God's Kingdom. In short, He humbled himself to the ways of God and gained eyes that could see and ears that could hear. Here is some of what David discovered.  

Psalms 15
15:1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in they holy hill of Zion?
15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.
15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord; sweareth not falsely to hurt any man, and changeth not.
15:5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

As I absorbed all that I read in this Psalm, I saw no defined representation of either the judgmental God or the church of "That's OK". 
Verse 15:2 tells of people who have God and His truth deep in their heart. 
15:3 condemns condemnation. It demands that a people form their opinions of others based on the truth of God. 
15:4 speaks of standards, but those standards are again based in the truth of God. 
15:5 gives us a good example of how the truth of God and its ideals can direct our lives away from the lust of pride and toward the love of God. 

Psalms15:1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in they holy hill of Zion?

When this Psalm of David found my eyes it underlined for me that God's virtue and His truth can and will overwhelm me and who I am. It will change me if I but choose to allow it to happen. As I may have repeated too many times, the righteousness of God is not a coat you put on when you think you need cover up who you really are. It is instead a concept that grows like a fire within your heart and cleanses you from the inside out like the authority it is. As you grow in righteousness it will become the vey foundation of all you are. It will become the truth that defines you, and in that truth you will become one with God. But, you can't make it happen, you must choose to allow God to work in your life and accept the truths He offers. This is not a man thing anymore than it is a woman thing. In fact it is not even a human thing it is of God, for God, in God, and with God. 

Don't quit.
Reach out seeking others of like mind and bond with them in the name of God


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