It’s Sunday all over again.

Back in the day, which would be a couple of years ago now, I would spend Sundays on my blog sharing my thoughts about my faith. Please, don’t turn the channel yet. This particular post won’t exactly be faith sharing as one might think of it. It’s more like explaining, and that’s to Christians as well. We can all learn a little something we thought we knew already.

It’s Father’s Day here in the USA and in an article I read yesterday a celebrity of sorts was quoted as saying “It’s God first and family second.” I’ve seen and heard that phrase plenty during my years as a Christian, but when I read it this time, it occurred to me, for the first time, that many people probably misunderstand what that really means, including the Christians that say it. That brings me to my purpose for writing today.

I believe that a large majority of Christians today haven’t been taught properly about what being a Christian is, because I don’t see them being Christ like, and if you talk to them about Christianity, they can’t do what is called defending the faith. Meaning, they can’t explain why they are a Christian or why certain things are the way they are in the Bible. Even those who think they know it all continue to learn every day. And if they aren’t? They might need to be checked on by a brother or sister in Christ. No, there isn’t a Christ Cops airing on TV busting backsliding Baptists.

Christians are at various stages in their life as a Christian, ranging from Baby Christian, which is what I was at 23 when I was saved to Mature Christian, where I feel comfortable in saying I am now. Not telling you my age. But age don’t mean a thing when it comes to your walk with Christ. Here are some things any stage of a Christian’s maturity level in their walk and knowledge should think about when reading the Bible.  Or for non-believers who hear people quoting scripture to prove how evil Christians must be.

1) The Bible is a text book. More precisely, a History book. It’s not a book of fairy tales or approved by God events. If that were the case, the Bible would be a lot shorter. As with any text book, the author, God doesn’t have to, and most likely doesn’t, approve of every last fact in the Bible. God either directly told, as to Moses, what to write, or He inspired someone to write, as in the New Testament, those feelings and put them in to words that God approved of. Normally in the New Testament these are letters to either churches, mentors, or students who are helping a church.

2) The Old Testament is the history of the Jews and is included in the Bible to show us why Jesus had to come, and thus Christianity begins. That’s correct, Christians don’t follow the Old Testament. Christianity doesn’t begin until the New Testament. We don’t follow or believe in or even like the idea of the laws/rules that the Jews had to live by. There are some denominations of Christianity that do follow parts of the Old Testament, but they are in a very small minority but always seemed to get picked by media to represent all of Christianity.

3) All you really need are the words of Jesus to follow. If anything else in the New Testament disagrees with the words of Jesus then those words are incorrect and are just an opinion of whoever physically wrote those words. Usually the author will say, in some way, they are giving their own opinion.

4) If you are reading the Bible or hear a verse from scripture you need to keep these things in mind; where, when, and why (WWW). That goes for any historical text you might read.  I’ll give you an example. 1 Corinthians 14:34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” These are the words of Paul writing to the church in Corinth.

Where and When: Corinth, first century A.D.. Why is Corinth important? Because it is a Roman controlled city, under Roman law.

Why: Corinth is having problems with all sorts of members who are doing things to draw the attention of others.

Results of WWW: Roman law during this period forbade women from speaking in public gatherings and many other things. They couldn’t even own property. The house was their domain and that is where they were expected to talk and ask questions about anything from church to politics. Thus in order to keep the young Christian churches growing and spreading, it was important not to give Rome a reason to break up or give problems to a church. The use of the lowercase L in law is important here, as if Paul were referring to Jewish Law he would normally use the uppercase L, as he does earlier in the same portion of the text, not the lower which normally referred to Roman or local law.

I hope you see why the WWW is important to know when reading or interpreting something in the Bible. I’ve never really heard people outside of fellow Apologists who explain details like that. With Jews writing these letters, it is important to remember how important word selection and letter case is.

5) The Bible we have was put together by man. Man chose which letters and text to include in a unified book form. Constantine order for Bibles to be made for the Bishop of Constantinople and the churches in the area around the city. It is believed this may have been what prompted the idea of having just one version of the Bible that could be used, although some Bibles, even today, have a few extra books outside of what was finally decided upon. Some say it was divinely inspired as to what to include. Perhaps. I leave that for you to decide. I just know I stick to the words Jesus said, and I know I’m doing good. Although I still mess up in some way every day.

You are probably wondering what all of this has to do with “It’s God first and family second.” When many Christians see or say this, they really put God before the family in such a way that it interferes with family. The truth of it is, if you are following God, following Jesus, then you are not allowing what I call pollutants to contaminate your life and interfere with your relationship with your family. When you put God first you really are doing so in order to be a stronger and better person for your family. No, you won’t be perfect. No one ever will be. The whole point is for you to know that and keep trying, talk to God and ask for His help to give you strength to get through whatever might be giving you problems. Don’t confuse God and church as the same thing. I know people, like myself at one point, who thought if I am doing everything that I’m asked to do for the church then that’s what God wants me to do. But that can interfere with your family life. You can put God first everywhere you are and at any time.

It’s God, Family, then church.

Well, I hope I helped someone out there understand a little bit more about Christianity, at least how I see it. I’ve experienced a lot, learned a lot, and led a lot. I’ve fallen even more than all of those three put together. God isn’t about a building or what a preacher says to you or about a clique or club inside the church. God can’t be contained by a building. The only time God is in a church is when his followers are there to talk to Him, to worship Him, or praise Him. Because each believer/follower, has a bit of God in their heart.

I end with a New Testament verse that I live by and an Old Testament I live by that is still relevant for we Christians.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;” 46:10a This helped in my time of great confusion, distress, and fear. We all need to learn to be still. Pick our battles. Choose our moments. And let all the other insanity be. Do what we can, and let others do what they can, and be happy with what we have done while still living our life by living it not existing it.

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Drinking from the Carton-Father’s Day.

Well, it’s Father’s Day here in the United States. Yes, that day when men all over the country have an excuse to eat as much meat as possible, watch sports, and scratch themselves wherever and whenever they feel like it.

Normally a person takes a moment to speak about their father, but I’m not such a normal person, am I?

However, I am a father, so let’s talk about a person that should be talked about today, my boy “B”.

If you think about it, without him, I would just be a man doing all those things I mentioned at the beginning and be considered an uncouth, animal hating, pig. I thank B for giving me a reason and an excuse for all my man behavior. Picking my teeth in public is a way to keep from getting cavities, scratching deep inside my ear and then staring at the results is a health check, and drinking from the carton of milk is water conservation, energy efficient, and less labor intensive than dish washing.

All those aforementioned things are life lessons as opposed to bad manners. The real reason for writing today is to say B is the reason I live. He’s the reason I found myself wanting to wake up and keep going after my accident. He’s the reason I maintain sanity at times. He’s the reason I remain a reasonable adult when I would rather throw things and say bad words, two things I haven’t done since finding out he was on his way into this world.

I love my boy B. Children are amazing to me. I run across some that I claim as my own at times. I like to try and be an example and a good male figure in their lives. Sometimes I succeed, while other times I fail. In other words, I’m the real thing.

Love to all the children out there that make Father’s Day happen.

Ronovan

A Father Leads You Through This World…not just brings you into it.

A Father Leads You Through This World…not just brings you into it.

by: Ronovan

 

I met my father in the second grade. No, it wasn’t that he had been away for so many years or anything like that. My father is what you would call a step-father. Too me, he’s the real thing.

Father

The person that brings you into this world isn’t always a parent. It’s the person that raises you and helps you become what you are that is your parent. That could even be a grandparent really. For some that is who raises them. My grandmother, who I wrote about in Maw Maw’s Lovin’ raised two of my cousins.

 

But my father showed up in the second grade. He never tried to push any of his own thoughts onto me. In fact years later when I became heavily involved in church he said he didn’t know how it ended up happening because I didn’t get it from him. It’s not that he wasn’t a Christian it’s just that we didn’t go to church. My mother wasn’t a Christian so my father didn’t want to force anything on anyone. I never stepped foot inside a church until my 20s and that was on my own. He had been a Deacon and Sunday School Director and all of that. Oddly I ended up doing the same.

 

People have seen him, my step-brother and me together and say how much my father and I look alike and that my step-brother, his actual son, doesn’t favor him at all. I think it’s the mannerisms mostly that show a resemblance. Well that and we both can cook anything. I get my adventurous foodie from him.

 

I’m proof that it’s not just your DNA that makes you what you are, but your environment as well.

 

One of the stories I like best that he tells is about his time in the military. He doesn’t talk about it much though. But he and some men were flying into someplace. It was a smaller plane and the front landing gear wouldn’t lower. The pilot made them all move to the very back of the plane so as they landed the weight would keep the plane on the back wheels and slowly lower the front of the plane down as they slowed.

 

Another thing about him, and this isn’t really a flattering story but it does show something about him, is that every time he was promoted in the military, he would go out and ‘celebrate’ and be busted back down the next day. He didn’t want positions and promotions. That’s not why he was in the military.

 

He’s in his 80s now, but you would swear it’s his 60s. I know someday it’ll be a last Father’s Day. He’s been through some heart problems and now has diabetes, but he’s actually one of the healthiest people I know. He stays active and is in church.

 

Years ago he came close to dying…again…because of some medications he was given in a hospital. I called my pastor after having visited him because he had wondered why no preachers had been by his room. Back in the days a preacher would have come around to visit, but there are rules and laws now.

 

It was a Wednesday and my church has services on Wednesday nights and youth activities. Well, I called my pastor and told him what was going on and asked if maybe he could visit him the next morning because he was going into surgery and was asking about a preacher.

 

I came back the next day and my pastor had dropped everything on Wednesday, driven an hour away, sat with my father and talked, and then made it back for church. As soon as my father was able to drive again he was back in church for the first time in over 30 years. Sometimes people think that God does bad things for good reasons. But that’s not it. God takes bad things and turns them around to make good things happen.

 

On this Father’s Day I just wanted to say that it’s not who brought you into this world, it’s who helped lead you through it. If you only have a mother, wish her a Happy Father’s Day today…from me as well as from you.

 

Much Respect and Much Love

Ronovan

 

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