G-d Can’t Be Pro-Life, ‘Cause He Killed Babies…Or Can He (An Analysis of Some Texts, Using Other Texts)?

AN INTRODUCTION AND SOME CUSTOMARY PROVOKING STATEMENTS

Because New York passed an abortion law or some such thing, people all of a sudden have started to talk about and exegete the news.


It has been raised as an argument against those who might be pro-life that G-d cannot be pro-life, since, in the Bible, and specifically, in the Torah, he killed babies.


I rarely discuss current events at the same time they are happening. But today I will make an exception.
ollie north
Check that. Two exceptions.


#elliotabrams

It is uncomfortable to talk about how unrighteous our government’s actions are in the area of abortion and talking about how righteous a pro-life stance is, while turning the blind eye to the warhawking anti-life nature of conducting police state actions overseas, that are the purview of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Back to what I was talking about, seriously. Sometimes we want to excuse our government’s stupidity by an appeal to one issue, when there are a breadth of issues at play. And such exegesis gets sloppy.

Some days, our exegesis, which can turn to support one group or party over another, is only painted with broad strokes that Scripture does not use.

And when it comes to Scripture, sometimes our exegesis boils down to making sure that the G-d in the right hand side of the Bible apologizes for the actions of the G-d in the left hand side of the Bible.


But here is how I would processionally explain the actions of the G-d on the left hand side of the book, in seven elements.

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

PREFACING THE SEVEN ELEMENTS: IS HE REALLY AS MEAN AS SOME SAY?

Consider also the fact that the “kinder, gentler” guy on the right hand side of the book, at the end of the right hand side, plagued the whole earth and wiped out a million here and there, in case we think the guy on the right hand side has more reformed ways.


Translation: parsing the Old Testament G-d and the New Testament G-d out from each other as distinct causes the whole book to fall apart greatly. Truly, they are one and the same. Revelation teaches us that. And His Judgment is His mercy.

BACKGROUND TEXTS FOR RECONCILING THE TWO PARTS

G-d, on the other hand, as Scripture RELENTLESSLY teaches throughout both the Tanakh and the New Testament, gives space for people to repent and reform before He executes against them.


Cue cluster of texts that show G-d’s mercy and granting people space and breathing room to repent before He judges.

  • Jonah 3-4, where G-d relents/repents after the capital of the flaying Assyrians repents.
  • Revelation 2:21, where G-d gave Jezebel space to repent
  • Genesis 15:16, where G-d gave the Amorites space to repent, that He didn’t have to, and would have caused something to work out between Israel and the Amorites had they repented.
  • Genesis 18:17-19, where G-d debated what he would share with Abraham, knowing Abraham’s righteousness, knowing Abraham’s heart to cry out for mercy, and knowing that Abraham was able to affect G-d’s heart because Abraham was the friend of G-d in only the way Givers can be.
  • Deuteronomy 2:9 and Judges 11:17, where G-d gave Moab their land, and commanded Israel not to harrass them, even before Moab fought against Israel (Joshua 24:9). This could have led to Moab’s national repentance and a reconciliation and commerce between Moab and Israel. And even when the national reconciliation did not take place, G-d STILL played out the drama that should have been between Moab and Israel in the story of Ruth and Boaz.
  • Genesis 46:4, where G-d SENT Israel down to Egypt, and G-d DWELT WITH Israel IN Egypt, and during which season, Israel had centuries to get to know her G-d, and the Amorites had space to repent and prepare the land for the ISRAELITES, which could have happened instead of their destruction.
  • Genesis 47:6, where Pharaoh gave favor to Israel in the land of Egypt and with the pagan ruler of Egypt.
  • Isaiah 19:24-25, where the L-rd will ultimately bring about redemption of the Egyptian nation, and the Egyptian nation will occupy the first place. SECONDLY, <GASP>, pagan, flaying, barbaric Assyria. And third, Israel.
  • Exodus 4:22-23, where G-d first reveals to a pagan nation His name of “Father”. He then commands, before the first drop of water turns to blood and before the first frog touches the land and dies, Egypt to LET HIS SON GO. And then the judgments start and increase.
    • And yes, one can argue G-d kept Pharaoh from repenting, because of Exodus 4:21 and 7:3, but to merely argue that is to see only part of the whole narrative. Psalm 115:16, “the highest heavens belong to the L-rd, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.” G-d has given people free will to choose what they will or will not do. He does not always get what He wants.
  • From the point above, through the entire sequence of issues, the L-rd showed the Egyptians what they had done in infant genocide towards the men of Israel (Exodus 1:22, note the waters turning to blood in 7:17-21 revealed the death that was in the water and the blood that was on the Egyptian hands). The Tenth Plague was the progressive outflow of the response of the Egyptian injustice of Israelite genocide. Again, there are causes and effects. And when you sow the cause, you will reap the effects.
  • Let me point out also the counsel of G-d in Exodus 9:19; He told the Egyptian people to gather their flocks and herds to keep them from the hail. Some listened, and some did not. There were Egyptians who had livestock that kept them in from the hail and their livestock was spared. This opened the door for some of them to turn. G-d uses every circumstance to bring people to Him, including His judgments.
  • Recall also Exodus 12:49, which could plausibly imply that, during the plagues, there were some Egyptians in the nation that chose to follow the G-d of Israel, and chose to align themselves with Israel, and celebrated the Passover. Even if there were none that did actually align with Israel, He still made provision for that.
  • The book of Joshua is completely devoted to the destruction of whole nations while the Israelites possessed the Promised Land.

Element 1: G-d’s decisions, even those decisions that result in human death, are ALWAYS executed in the context of His mercy and His justice, which are the twin facets of His love. What will drive His children to seek Him?


Element 2: G-d’s purposes are aimed at a long-game strategy. He weighs all decisions with an eye toward redemption and how they will impact eternity and His house.


Element 3: G-d aims to eradicate sin, rebellion, iniquity, and abomination from the earth.


Element 4: G-d’s yearning desire is to walk among us, be our G-d, and for us to be His people. Whatever keeps that community from happening He may remove from us.

Element 5: G-d looks for the fruit on the tree. He looks for fresh water or salt, hot water or cold, humility or assertion, upness or downness, filiality or bridality. He looks for consistency that He can utilize. He looks for and brings organized sequence.


Element 6: Sin twists and perverts the good, and that twisting is revealed in the fruit of the tree that is planted. G-d despises things that twist and mar.
Element 7: Everything G-d is, does, or permits to happen is ALWAYS with an eye toward straightening out the twistedness.


Look, it is not like G-d on a bipolar whim massacred millions of innocent babies in an unprovoked rage.

He gave all of these nations, including Mizraim, CENTURIES to repent. And when a culture of death and murder is embraced, somewhere down the line, death is going to be result, and the empire that embraces death is going to self-devour.


He exposed the Egyptian culture for the death-bringing culture it had become. Blood was already in the waters before the first plague. He just forced the nation to see the blood that was in the water. He untwisted the reality of the waters. And in so doing, He allowed all of those baby boys’ blood to testify (Hebrews 12:24).


The Golden Calf is an example of a culture self-devouring. The Levites massacred 3,000 of their own families and so were ordained through G-d’s warring against the defiled spirit of idolatry.


National sin has national consequences. Longstanding sin has consequences. G-d even showed longsuffering toward the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities on the plain, and Lot interceded for Zoar, and as a result, G-d spared that city.


And one of the names of G-d (Exodus 34:5-6) is The L-rd Who Is Longsuffering.


G-d is not Hitler, G-d is not Pol Pot, G-d is not Stalin, and G-d is not Mao.
And it is not really the church’s job to justify the behavior of G-d to others. G-d can work in, around, and through our objections and the obstacles. But we have to recognize that the principles of Scripture do work. Sexual sin has sexual consequences, murderous sin has murderous consequences. Abortive sin has abortive consequences. Actions do have reactions. Sum of the Forces, Newtonian approximations, and all that jazz.

And Jezebel’s genocide resulted in her blood being shed.


And Naboth’s Vineyard landed on Ahab’s head.


The Principles work, without prejudice, and without caring what you think about how nice G-d or anyone else is.

And ultimately, G-d can work every situation to His glory.


But for us, now is the time to wake up, acknowledge reality in the stead of hiding from it, and bless New York, as we should have, instead of cursing it.

G-d was there first, and this decision on New York’s part is not helped by cursing New York. Rather, gang, let’s not carry on with eighty-five reams of conversation, and instead work with what we know about the Giver and Exhorter design of the state and Manhattan, respectively.


Bless the Giver and the Exhorter dynamic of that state.
Just some thoughts here, gang.

Some Thoughts On Leviticus 7:8

The text reads:

And the priest who offers any man’s burn offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered.

Leviticus 7:8 ESV

This is the only time the hide of the animal is mentioned as being gifted in the text of Scripture.

For me, this has stood out for a few weeks, and I have been pondering why the skin of the burnt offering?

What is being done here?

The whole offering is being offered to the L-rd, so why is the skin so special here to be singled out as a gift.

Skins turn to leather, which has a boatload of uses. Perosnally I love the smell of tanned leather.

So, let’s grab some commentators and see what they have to say.

Roy Gane mentions nothing about the skins (NIV Application Commentary). Richard Hess only mentions the fact of the skins transferring to the priest with no exposition as to why (Expositor’s Bible Commentary). Allen Ross, author of “Holiness to the L-rd: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus) mentions the L-rd took care of the practical needs of the priest in the offering. “Not only did they eat the meat, but they also received the skins. In addition to providing clothing for the families of the priests, no doubt a lively trade could have been sustained from the skins taken from the sacrifices. G-d takes care of those who minister thorugh the giving of worshipers.” There, in the sacrificial system instituted by Moses, is found “spiritual satisfaction [for] the worshiper and practical needs [for] the priest in service” (Ross, 176).

And finally, Jacob Milgrom says nothing as to the purpose of the hides, though he does mention it is passing, and talking about the volume of hides produced from personal burnt offerings, he menitons these all belong to the priests.

So What?

What is the purpose of the hides from the burnt offering.

Being left to speculate with my gut based on the rest of the text. I will note that the L-rd covered the first man and his bride with skins from a sin offering:

And the L-RD G-d made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21 ESV

I wonder if the L-rd’s assignment of hides from the burnt offering to the priests was designed to be a perpetual reminder of his mercy to the first couple in the garden, a memorial of His mercy. And as we hand Him everything in that portion called the burnt offering in recognition of all He has done, as the children of Israel handed the L-rd the whole of the burnt offerings in regonition of His transplanting and sustaining the nation of Israel in Mizraim, perhaps it ws a reminder of the extent of His mercy in making sure the priests, and we by extension, as members of a royal priesthood, are covered, regadless of our behavior, perpetually by His mercy. The burnt offering is also the only offering that has to be executed morning and evening regardless of the state of Israel. The other offerings are only executed WHEN an event happens. The burnt offering, however, is mandated without respect to event. Therefore, baked into the process of the burnt offering is a picture of Father’s unfailing love toward us.

This is speculation, but it is speculation that makes sense.

Consider this today as you read the text, that His mercy and his love must always burn, and there is never a time when that fire does not burn out (Leviticus 6:13), and that fire is powered by the never-faiing burnt offering, morning and evening.

Why Some of Us Are Tired of the Popular Tripe Regarding the Angelic Realm: From The Desk of Michael Heiser

Dr Heiser writes,

This is some of the most solid work on the topic of angels. Dr. Heiser’s book on angels adds a welcome weight of obsession with the canon of biblical text that counterpoints our touchy-feels, charismatic foolishness.

Indeed, what is needed is more of an understanding of the fullness of what Scripture is saying, not less, and not necessarily more merely of what the traditions of Christianity and Judaism are saying apart from the informing plumb line of the canon.

Mike Heiser is precisely the exegetical breath of fresh air on a number of topics that we need.

From the Desk of Stacy Sims: Women Are Not Small Men

Plyometrics and Resistance Training….

Principles Vs. Correct Thinking/Philosophy/Doctrine

For a biblical studies blog, it might seem unusual to y’all for me to post a video that deals with kinesiology. But, if you will look at the category of this post, you will see it listed under “Principles”.

A principle is a universal, non-optional, cause-and-effect relationship.

So, let’s explode your thinking that your prime job is to correct false theology and bad doctrine. Your job is to build the right thing, and fight the right enemy. True, exposing false teaching is a part of the Christian/Jewish experience. But it is only a part. And many of us have come to believe that it makes up most or all of our job description as Jesus’ followers.

The Bible teaches a principle-based faith that executes beyond mere doctrine, what we believe. We move past expounding on what we think, and we move into expounding on how we respond, act, grow, and build, in response to what we believe.

We move into the arena of cause-and-effect.

Stacy is countering a lot of bad thinking. She is verbally warring, and in her life, practically meleeing, against improperly-executed principles: widely-held, cause-and-effect relationships that are completely unrelated (message to women: eat soy and engage in low-impact cardiovascular activity in response to not losing weight during perimenopause). And she combats it with real execution of real principles that have brought real results.

And principles are what we are followers of Jesus Christ build with. Not theology. Not doctrine.

Protecting Fences Vs. Using Them and Building Other Things…

Do we erect fences at times? Yes.

But do we build everything in our lives using the materials that are designed only for fences? Absolutely not!

Theology and doctrine are a fences. They are not a comprehensive set of building materials.

And fences make a great boundary marker, but a lousy airplane.

As Christians, we need to move merely beyond protecting theology and defending theology. We need to move into using principles to build with.

Again, what are principles?

Answer: Universal, non-optional, cause-and-effect relationships.

If we are so interested in how false everybody else’s theology is, but we are not interested in doing anything that is of practical value, we cut out about 90% of what we were designed to do with Scripture, which is FULL of principles, and all of Reality, which is also FULL of principles, and we reduce the life Christ purchased for us into an anemic shadow of merely erecting a dead edifice that is only constructed of the propositions we agree to, and we don’t bother scaling the mountain the culture has placed before us by using the principles to build the ladder, rope bridge, or carved staircase.

And how do we use the principles (ALL of the principles) to effect and produce change.

We need to desperately understand the principles Scripture teaches, such as:

  1. how women teach and preach, vs. how men teach and preach,
  2. how men parent vs. how women parent,
  3. how singles parent vs. how marrieds parent,
  4. how we connect with one another differently based on sexual differences,
  5. how we connect based on our varied designs from man to man and woman to women,
  6. how we weave the principles together to build: an auto, an airplane, a ship, and a shoe,
  7. how we each connect with various aspects of creation,
  8. those who connect with animals or plants vs. humans,
  9. those who connect with individuals vs. groups,
  10. how different people lead their companies, churches, countries, families, and schools differently, based on their unpacked design (Saul’s leadership vs. David’s Leadership, vs Solomon’s Leadership),
  11. how woundedness stunts our growth vs. how sin affects our growth vs. how demons, Leviathan, Nephilim, unclean spirits, or alien human spirits affect us (NEWS FLASH: it is not one or the other, but it frequently is facets of a couple of things. Your over simplification of a problem to only all sin, or only all demons does not help matters,
  12. and why a man’s body responds differently than a woman’s body when exposed to identical activities.

How Change Comes

If we want to produce change, we do not accomplish it by building more fences in order to show others how we are different from or better than them.

If we want to produce change, we do that by building cities, buildings, roads, professions, vehicles, communities.

Take the analogy, listen to. this video, and consider where you have been erecting fences instead of building homes, gang.

We Preach What Jesus Is Preparing…And It Ain’t Merely Fences

To finish, consider the following. Jesus never said, “I go to erect a fence in heaven to protect my very vulnerable kingdom”, nor did he say “when you preach, make your primary focus showing others their fences are in the wrong place and showing them how your fence is superior to their fence”.

And, before you shout at me, yes, I know there is a wall in heaven, and a fence, and a gate to keep undesirables out.

But that was not the sole focus of Jesus discourse on the kingdom.

Kingdoms are all about building, building blocks, and other masculine-type work.

They are not merely or only or primarily about fences.

Rather, the focus is:

What does that wall protect?

Instead, Jesus said:

I go to prepare a PLACE for you…

That place, though protected by a boundary, is, in fact, a home not built with fences, but a whole host of raw materials.

Gang, are you only erecting fences, or are you making a difference? For the focus has been on building fences. And it has needed to always be, instead of fenses (see what I did there?).

Are you driving others and impacting them to focus on returning home, or to merely obsess over whether or not they are engaging with the fence the way they are supposed to be?

Are you building with fence pickets, or are you using EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOU?

Are you incorporating both the fence and the building blocks.

It is time to grow the whole property, and the whole of what he has given you.

Not just the fence, which is a fraction of what Father has given you, but also the home he has given you the raw materials to build.

What are you protecting? The protection device, or the building and city inside? And what percentage of your time should be devoted to protecting the kingdom instead of preaching its nearness and impact? I dare say…..
Very little

What Time Is It?

“Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.”

1 Chronicles 12:32

If you understand time, timing, and seasons, then there is something else that will fall into place. Naturally, these three items can be critical when it comes to handling money, resources, relationships, and your personal and professional life.

However, we may not have an understanding between the three, and not knowing that distinction can hurt us, especially if we are just going to yell “semantics”!

Granted, semantic differences do need to legit be called out, but if there is an important distinction we are missing in calling something semantic, it can hurt us.

So, without further adieu, let’s dive in.

TIME

Time is the natural progression of existence. It is tied to the flow of events that make up the past, the present, and the future. It is measured with clocks or chronometers, and it is constantly moving. It can feel relative to our age, which is why time seems to flow faster as we age, because a proportionally smaller segment or percentage of our lives are moving into the past.

TIMING

Timing is the moment in which an act occurs relative to some question of whether or not that act was supposed to happen or not. When something was supposed to happen in a given moment, we call it good timing. When something was not supposed to happen in a giving moment, we call it bad timing.

The rightness of an act with respect to time. For example, the timing for a bird migration, or the timing for a whale gestation and subsequently calving. Those things must occur in the right moment in order for the birds and the fish to grow properly.

SEASONS

A season is a temporary period of time. It can be regular, or irregular. Vegetables, fruit, plants, and other things must be grown or done according to WHEN they will grow best. You do not plant corn in November hoping for a March harvest, because corn was designed to largely be planted in March through June for an August through October harvest, depending on where in the world you live. And that is just the Northern Hemisphere.

If I were to make a distinction between each of the three items of time, timing, and seasons, I would say the following.

  • Think of seasons as the chapters in a book.
  • Think of time is both the pages in the book, and the flow of conversation and description: all of the words in the story.
  • Think of timing much like you would think of a particular comment made within a given chapter, at a given moment.
  • Put to sports analogy, a football game lasts 60 minutes of regulation (3-4 hours depending on timeouts, penalties, commercial breaks, etc. That is the time.
  • Each quarter is a segment of interactions. That is the season. Also, the general speed of a player, which enables Antonio Brown to receive the ball and engage in any of his massive plays.
  • Each particular play in a quarter relies heavily on a confluence of well-timed factors (timing). And what sets apart a good running back or receiver from a great running back or receiver is quickness as opposed to speed: movement and reaction time. Herschel Walker, Barry Sanders, and Calvin Johnson each had an uncanny ability to maneuver and sidestep all sorts of defensive measures, which gave the film of their work a sort of grace and fluidity to it, as with a dance. They each had, what we would call, an anointing for timing.

A failure to embrace seasons, means attempting to enjoy things when they were not designed to be enjoyed. Seasons also bring a regular rhythm, and a regulation that should be present in us.

A SIDEBAR FOR THE EXHORTERS IN MY TRIBE AND AUDIENCE

For those of you that read my post on the Redemptive Gift of Exhorter, I neglected a massive part of the Exhorter’s design, and I am correcting it. Look at this following passage from the Fourth Day of Creation.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,

Genesis 1:14

The Exhorters who are flamboyant, like Tony Stark…

and the Exhorters who have flair, like Tony Stark…

and the Exhorters who engage with pizzazz, like Tony Stark…

and the Exhorters with all of their presentation, social butterfly, and brilliancy skills, like Tony Stark, in order to move a crowd to act…

are also the Exhorters who are designed to be the most rhythmic and regulated and predictable of the gifts when it comes to keeping seasons. There is a seasonal component of their design that functions as a timepiece for the body of Christ.

Do not pass over this massive piece (which is noticeably absent from most of the teachings on the Exhorter), because they are so butterfly, and socially maneuvering, and because all you see is their capacity to win a crowd and move people to their way of thinking, and because of their manipulations, or their new revelations. They were designed, from the outset to be normalizers for seasons.

Seasons, time, and timing: Exhorters, this is your arena. Strike while the iron is hot and provide the rest of your tribe with some massive regularity of these three things. You have the capacity to win big and lose big with your mastery of these three items.

My friend in South Africa who is a master chef, I am going to say this one for you specifically. I think this is for you specifically. Deep in the wells of your spirit is a capacity to walk in high numbers in this area. Take hold of all that God has for you, and help regulate your fellows around you by taking hold of the excellence in these three areas.

Bobby Fischer, chess grandmaster, excelled in the area of timing in his game, which was how he was able to execute well for the brief period he played professionally.

I have a friend who spoke to me in the broad scope of my calling recently, and she asked me, “what time is it?”

In other words, am I capable to discerning what is the appropriate grace to this season?

Some of you in my audience have this thing for timing (right place, right time, right moment in time). And some of you have this thing for time (making sure that time is stewarded well). And some of your have this thing for seasons, and all three of you get hammered and labeled with OCD by a culture that doesn’t value these three things, because many times, and this is a weakness for the Prophet culture, we argue, “if it is right it will be right 5 minutes or 5 years from now, and thus it is right to to now”, and some of you are designed to engage with creating the response “it might be good and right now, but in a few days, the iron will be hotter and your timing will be better. Some of you belivers are hardwired to differentiate between good time, timing, and season, and BEST time, timing, season. And those of you that can read those market reports, we would do well to listen to your counsel so that we can reap the better return on investment.

So, my exhortation to each of you is to ask “are you paying attention to these three elements?” And if so,

“what time is it?”

My Overarching Issue With the Majority Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement

Since I first connected with the P/C movement in college, I have struggled with a number of issues. Things like elitism, condescension, pretenses of intimacy, control, manipulation, covering, the fivefold ministry, and many of these I have written about.

But, a pattern has arisen that I could not verbalize until just a few minutes ago.

And I finally put my finger on what it is….

What it is that drives so many of my generation from the usual corporate expressions of worship….

What it is that keeps us who want and yearn for relationships with groups of other believers….

What it is that keeps us from moving into depth one with another….

What keeps us from fulfilling any sense of duty to one another (Greek αλλαλους)…

And, maddeningly, what keeps us from becoming a body….

This quality has kept us from behaving cohesively…

It is a sense of entitled secrecy.

Presentation Vs. Vulnerable Reality

We have failed at humility, transparency, honesty, and straight-shooting, in favor of slicked-up presentation, and appearances. And my generation is sick of those presentations that do not find root in bare reality.

Because of a presentation that is nothing more than a distraction from what is really happening behind the scenes, I despise the phrase “brother” and do not usually reciprocate in kind.

That bald-faced fakery is why I despise being called Dave by anyone other than those who respect me.

Secrecy, and the hidden hand. Guile, shrewdness, and all kinds of glad-handing, verbal barfing account for my sickness with most of what passes for “fellowship” (gag!).

It is as if we are more interested in coming off or appearing to be real and tender and affectionate with each other than we are in actually BEING real and tender and affectionate with each other.

A Possible Reason Why

Perhaps part of the reason we do not engage in reality is that we have been so wounded and damaged (cue Plumb’s cut called “Cut” from Chaotic Resolve) that we are fearful of exposing ourselves again. We get castigated repeatedly for not belonging to the church, and for picking expressions of the church that are not part of established and recognized congregations, and yet, those traditional routes for corporate expression are precisely the routes that brought us to a place of shipwreck.

And we are sick of hearing expressions that tout the fivefold as the right expression for church leadership that have not apologized for the toxic abuse of the extant forms of the fivefold.

Back to the entitled secrecy.

Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Todd Bentley, and The Passion “Translation”

Jimmy Swaggart helped initiate Jim Bakker’s downfall.

Jerry Falwell, evidently offered Bakker one thing in exchange for his help and then did another.

Swaggart, the second time he was caught in infidelity, said “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business.”

Todd Bentley never came clean with what happened to his first wife, and why he was justified biblically in divorcing her.

And finally, when straightly asked to identify and name the members of his translation team, Brian Simmons refused to. He talks about a translation team, by calling himself a “lead translator” and then fails to identify the group he is leading. By comparison, the translation teams for the NIV, the NLT, the NKJV, the ESV, the NRSV, the NASB, and even the KJV are all known.

I don’t care how you slice it, that sequence of events where we evade those for whom we are responsible is a twofold sin. First, it is secrecy of things that should be brought to the light, and secondly, it is either arrogance or fear of rejection that will create a natural gulf between leader and followers.

It’s as if, in each of these situations, there is either a an elitism or a massive wound that the leader is guarding, that keeps Charismatics or Pentecostal leaders from putting any “skin in the game” when it comes to humility or vulnerability or following through with Paul’s injunction to “be subject one to another out of reverence for Christ.” Where is the subjection that is the leader’s portion to those he is supposed to be serving?

Does anyone wonder why we are so riled up when Todd Bentley’s name is mentioned? It has diddly squat to do with a demonic spirit of vengeance and zip to do with our opposing his being restored to ministry. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with his refusal to repent and expose this crap, and be truly and biblically restored to his G-d and his family.

This right here is my guff with the Passion “Translation”. The refusal of a man to be vulnerable and authentic with those he is leading and placing the manuscript of the New Testament in alignment with the Greek originals.

Greek Is Only The Language of The Mind and Philosophy

The marketing rhetoric of the Passion lands as if Greek is a language of the mind and is devoid of emotion and passion. Let me say this. The nation of Greece has the Redemptive Gift of Prophet. When was the last time you knew of a Prophet by Redemptive Gift that was devoid of emotion and and zeal and heart. Are Prophets not the volcanoes of the body of Christ?

To sum up, I have witnessed a pattern in Charismatic and Pentecostal circles where, when leaders do put something forth for us to grasp, it costs them very little; it is a plastic extension, but not part of them. They extend very little of their own flesh and blood to us, and as a result, we never get to know them as they really are and there is therefore little intimacy, while we parrot “brother” and “we need to connect” and other triteisms. But the end result is, instead of the real unity and vulnerability to which they exhort us all, a farce and a show.

Gunning For Real κοινονια and στοργε

κοινονια is the Greek word for “community”.

στοργε is the Greek word that is described by maternal affection for a child.

You cannot make much of your accomplishments when you won’t also accept a complimentary amount of the priority of humility and submission to those whom you serve. If there is no risk, there will be no reward. If there is plastic risk, then there will be a plastic participation reward. If there is the risk of gold, silver, and precious gems, then the reward will be that valuable.

They are practicing terminal non-reality and expecting a massive harvest of community.

Be not deceived. G-d is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that also shall he reap.

If you plant corn, you reap corn. If you plant plastic, don’t expect cotton and life.

Expecting to reap much without embracing pain, vulnerability, humility, and submission to those whom you lead, the end result will usually be tragedy.

Concerning Fathering: My Perspective On What Is Missing

Matt. 13:12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Matt. 21:43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

Matt. 25:29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

What I am going to say is doubtless going to cause some who view spiritual fathering as the great takeaway in this generation of the church to be greatly disappointed.
I have a spiritual father.
The sad thing, is that, I have always had him, and he was always available.
So, let me explain below.
A FATHERLESS GENERATION THAT NEEDS A FATHER
The fact remains: We have a generation of unfathered men and woman, and it has been this way for decades. I don’t need to cite stats because many of y’all already know them.
In an attempt to stave off this culture, many believers in our generation, Jew and non-Jew, have affirmed the following broken model.
THE BROKEN MODEL
“I don’t have a father. I will ask or beg this or that person to father me or mother me. That person agrees to it.”
And we blissfully proceed down a path to paradise, because, now after all, we have a spiritual father.
THE BAD EXPECTATIONS AND THE NEGATIVE OUTFLOW
What we didn’t explain or understand is that there are these sets of expectations that we bring to the table in a fathering relationship. The “father” has one set of expectations, and the “son” has another set of expectations.
The problem arises when we insert the broken model of fathering that we call “covering” into these relationships. This perverse teaching flows from the spirit of antichrist, and I will cover that in another post.
And what is missing from a lot of these fathering relationships, which I will cover in this post, is the foundation and impetus for fathering relationships: the presence and acknowledgement of the one thing that, as a believer, you and I already have: access to and a relationship with a perfect, loving heavenly Father. 11354
MY INITIATION INTO FATHERING
As a matter of fact, when I became a follower of Jesus, back in 1984, it was precisely in the context of a fathering/filial relationship.
Jesus showed up in my bedroom (whether it was a dream or an open vision that detail is fuzzy to me). He was wearing a plain linen robe and that was pretty much it. Very simple. There was no mistaking who this was. He then asked me, “what do you want?”
Hello, blank check.
Solomon, son of David.
And I can still remember the words falling out of my mouth, though I can tell you to this day, that those words did not come from a wound or any place of my soul; they were just the most logical words I ever spoke. And because of the simplicity and non-woundedness of them, I am believe they came from my spirit.
“I want a godfather.”
And His response, which I won’t easily forget was this:
“I will be your G-dfather.”
From that moment, I was clearly able to articulate that Jesus was the Son of G-d. I was able to say He was the Son, but I was not able to clearly articulate why. In short, this was when I was saved.
So for those of you that like to spit and say, “there is no way, because this or that is how you get saved and it works for everybody”, I can only respond as a Mercy would respond:
“That. So. Doesn’t. Work. For. Me.”
Yes, I am not a Mercy, but I had a whole host of unusual experiences that happened to me that have some Mercy flavor.
See, some people cannot understand that not everybody who becomes a Christian does so through saying a sinner’s prayer at an altar with someone else.
Now, do I have an awareness of sin? Yeah. I grew into that awareness, pretty quickly, and the repentance that followed, I also grew into.
THE IMPETUS AND REVELATION OF WHAT I WAS GIVEN IN JESUS’ INVITATION
But what it took for me to really grasp the idea of the Fatherhood of G-d was a series of very painful, broken relationships that happened after I left the Methodist Church for college. I hooked up with a CP (Classical Pentecostal) Denomination while in college and as many people in the late 1990’s got sucked into a perversion of the fivefold ministry and the “covering” nonsense, and the garbage that came with that. And it came at a high price to the end that I spent 14 years trapped in a combination of a Philistine Curse, the Negative 5th Head of Leviathan (where people could not hear my heart rightly), the Mesmerizing Spirit, and a number of negative Spiritual Structures.
During those years, a set of spiritual structures was set in place by my spiritual mother at the time that caused other people to see me as “crazy” and “unstable”. Those came in the form of a straitjacket in the spiritual realm and sedatives that were pumped into me and labels.
And that nonsense was only broken after I rejected the “spiritual parents” that parented by control, rejected that Mesmerizing Spirit, understanding the one thing I needed was something I already had: namely, that I already have a Father (many joyous thanks to Sandy Landry for helping me there), and breaking up the spiritual structures that affected me deeply (thank you, Megan Caldecourt for the language to explain what those things were).
TO THOSE WHO HAVE…
Today, here is what I know through principle. We don’t need spiritual parents.
Yeah, I will let that bomb explode and then expand on it.
We do not need to go to anyone and beg them to father or mother us.
Now, let’s expand on this.
We started this walk with Jesus as a personal relationship. We love to emphasize, in Protestant Christianity, the notion of “personal relationship with Jesus.”
But, more often than not, we reject it in practice. We have this idea that Jesus saved us, but we are often not interested in cultivating the relationship into a relationship. Many times, we are not willing that He should influence the stuff of our Monday through Saturday reality. We don’t want Him in our job, or marriage, our parenting, our errands, our chores, our lawnmowing, our feeding the birds, our our Facebooking.
And on that last point, so Facebook turns to Faceb****. And so much of our life remains much the same as it did before we met Jesus, because we don’t let that relationship impact our lives.
The passages above say it clearly. If you have, more will be given, but if you don’t have, then what you do have will be taken from you.
Hey, gang of Christians, you have been given a personal Father already. He is spiritual. He lacks no resources to parent you, and yet you are running after this person or that person begging him or her to father you or mother you, when Father wants to be your first spiritual father and your first place of dumping and your first place of crying and your first counselor.
THE REST OF MY PERSONAL STORY
When I hunted for a spiritual father and mother, the relationship with the one Father I had stagnated. Everything was taken away and devoured in many areas.
But when I recognized that I had Him as a Father, then He added to that package some precious people as fathers and mothers, not to suck them dry, but to get some other perspective.
He added and grew the connection between me and Arthur Burk (who is the closest thing I have to a good male counselor/mentor/father type person in the flesh, and the expectations that are there are in the context of Matthew 6:33). Arthur talks honestly and openly about stuff, and there is more of a two way thing that happens there. It’s healthy, at least as how I see it. I act as a son of the Heavenly Father, and hunt for my own resources, and when I have a nut that I can’t crack on my own, I ping Arthur, who says “have you checked over here or here”. And back to tooling I go. Because I am first and foremost a son of G-d.
And the Father also grew the connection between me and Sandy Landry. There is a precious bond that has multiplied there, that is without words. She has…spoken with dignity to me and helped me to receive of the Father’s embrace such that I could become a father myself.
And I am growing into a place where I am able to father others.
THE PUNCHLINE
If we don’t act like we have, then what we do have will be devoured. But if we as believers stop and recognize that we have a Father already, and EMBRACE HIM HAS OUR FIRST AND PRIMARY FATHER, then He will begin to add other things to us.
But the key is that we stop acting like we are slaves and servants, and embrace our identity as His sons. “For we are His offspring” (Acts 17:28).
In Him, not in others, we live and move and are (Acts 17:28).
And we are His workmanship, not the workmanship of another human being (Ephesians 2:10).
Gang, you already have a Father, and He is available.
Until you can receive that Father, you need to stop chasing after this or that person to parent you. And recall that Malachi 4:6 says that in order for someone to father you, their heart has to first be turned toward you. It’s not your begging that makes someone a father or a mother. It’s their connecting with you first. Begging is a sign of the orphan spirit, that can only be displaced.
And that can only have it’s right perspective IF you first have the right Father in the first place. And what better Father can G-d give you than He Himself?
And if Father gives you no-one for a season or permanently, so that He can show you how He directly fathers you, then you might have to go without a human being for a season, so that Father can show you how to receive directly from him.
What does He lack with which to father you?