To anyone out there, that will care about someone only as long as they agree with every minute detail of their theology (no matter how poorly their theology is built and supported) – all I have to say is “goodbye and good riddens”.

Mat 23:13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

Mat 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Mat 23:16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’

Mat 23:17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?

Mat 23:18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’

Mat 23:19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

Mat 23:20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.

Mat 23:21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.

Mat 23:22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

Mat 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Mat 23:24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Mat 23:25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Mat 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Mat 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.

Mat 23:28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Mat 23:29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.

Mat 23:30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Mat 23:31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.

Mat 23:32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

Mat 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?


Should church goers use musical instruments?

Someone asked me recently if I would be comfortable worshiping with a group of Christians that use Musical Instruments in their worship; when, as far as they could tell, the scriptures were silent on whether instruments are an acceptable form of Worship in the New Testament Church (even though they used them in the Old Testament, and they are using them in the Intermediate Heaven, even as I type).

Let’s just say – although I don’t think I would agree with that position of Musical Instruments being wrong [On my scale of certainty it’s about a 1 – that is; I wouldn’t teach it openly that it’s ok; but I won’t say that it’s wrong either] – so back to the discussion – let’s just say that using Musical Instruments during the Church Service is wrong, because we should be ‘singing with our hearts’ (although, I think you can still sing with your heart, even with an instrument, or even without literally singing, because the idea of the ‘heart’ transcends the tongue).

If you look over, and the person two pews down from you is not singing, rather listening, and you feel that they aren’t doing what you think God wants them to do – do they cause you to sin? What if the person playing the musical instrument isn’t singing, and they are displeasing God, does that cause you to sin?

How about in the case of someone sitting three pews down from you that was drunk on Saturday night; or recently slept with someone they aren’t married to, and they are back in services on Sunday morning singing right along with you, does the fact that you are singing with them, cause you to sin (we’re not talking about whether or not you should approach them in love, and talk to them about changing, just whether their actions cause you to sin)?

It’s not that I would normally take this argument; because I think if there were people in a worship service with pictures of Satan on their shirt, I wouldn’t feel comfortable whether I was wearing the shirt or not – but I guess what I’m saying is (And my wife said that she has always felt that way) – is that our worship to God, while done collectively, is also an individual thing; we can’t know the hearts and minds of anyone else in the building, nor can we, or should we judge the actions and motives of things that are not clearly violating scripture, as Romans says that we will all stand before God and give an account to God, and we can stand, because the power is in the Lord to make us stand.

Anyway, just a thought…

Scary…. but he survived….

If you didn’t see it on the news thursday night, my older brother came close to death in a motorcycle accident on I95 on his way home from work…

He was half way passing a Tractor Trailer at about 70 miles per hour, when it veered into his lane; forcing him off the road; hitting the rumble strip, loosing control of his bike, being thrown into the air and landing face down; bike going one way – him going another.

My father who was in front of him on his bike saw the whole thing in his rear view mirror and thought he had been killed.

“oh my God, oh my God” was his words of desperation, which is ironic, as it was the first thing I said hearing that he had been in a serious accident on I95 (I knew he never wears a helmet).

It’s scarey how life can be be pulled away so fast, so unexpectedly, it’s scarey to think this morning when I woke up, that I could have been waking up to a new day without someone who has been part of my life for the last 30 years.

It’s scarey to think that his wife and children may not have had a father if just one little atom was placed differently in that whole accident.

It’s scarey to think that someone might have had to tell his children or wife that he had died there on I95 a little after 4 in the afternoon, unexpected and instantly.

It’s scarey because any day it could happen to me or my father; as we both ride bikes too, and someone would be telling our families in our abscense.

It’s scarey – because he is my brother – and of course I love him.

It’s all scarey, but praise to the Lord that he has survived!

He has multiple fractures in his back and neck, and a broken wrist. He has shattered one ankle and had to have it replaced with hardware as well as his other ankle (which he is still waiting for surgeury on).

His life will never be the same again, but he is alive, and for that I am thankful.