Paul and Don’t Judge the Non Christians.

Yesterday I wrote a somewhat controversial article. Reactions have varied but I have found them to be of the expected so far as of the writing of this article. I removed the article because I decided I don’t think it quite got my message across the way I wanted to and it has affected me a bit. Now after some thought I decided to put it back up. I figure, my blog, my thoughts, so why not? 🙂

Thus, I am taking my time for my Sunday Thought to make some things clear to Non Christians and Christians alike. Because I think both need to understand something that has not been emphasized enough in churches and the public domain.

1 Corinthians 5 NIV
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”~Paul to the Corinthians

The only people Christians are to hold accountable to New Testament teachings are other Christians. Paul’s verses above followed a section where he had to explain something.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (Purple text refers to a fellow Christian.)

Don’t get these verses wrong. Not associating comes a long time after Christians attempt to help the fellow Christian to see what they are doing and get back on track. It’s not like, oooo we caught you at something and now you are to be gone from us you bad boy you.

Now, don’t get me wrong about not judging Non Christians, that doesn’t mean a Christian should say, “Hey, that’s awesome,” when seeing something that is against our faith.

Just like Non Christians may say, “It’s fine for Christians to believe what they want, but don’t expect me to applaud what they believe.”

A commenter mentioned it was offensive for Christians to proselytize and tell people they are wrong and bad. I think Christians understand the feeling when we are told we are wrong and bad daily in the media and by our government.

And please, don’t confuse Jehovah ‘s Witnesses’ dogmatic ways of Saturday morning door-to-door knocking and telling you that you are wrong with how Christians are supposed to do it. They even tell Christians they are wrong. Most of my family are Jehovah’s Witnesses so I get it. They and I have had some interesting talks in the past.

I taught my youth group to simply listen to people and if a reason came up to share their faith then do so, otherwise don’t. Forcing never works.

But back to the verses mentioned. Paul had a great way of bringing the focus of the early Christians back to where they belonged. Whenever the early church began whining about everyone else, he always said don’t worry about them right now, worry about yourself and the church first.

Romans Chapter 1 is one of the most misrepresented chapters in the Bible. Why? Because a letter was divided into chapters. Paul talks about what certain things are sins in Chapter 1, then in Chapter 2 he points out that the church members are doing those things so shut up and take care of yourselves instead of yelling about others. But because of the Chapter break people tend to study that first Chapter as a separate piece instead of looking at the whole.

Romans 2:1 NIV
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.~Paul to the church in Rome

Gotta love it, right? Paul sure had a way with words. So Christians, the next time you begin to judge a Non Christian by our Christian standards, think about these verses in this article today. 

For Non Christians I hope there is an understanding that the majority of Christians don’t have problems with anyone. In fact our very faith teaches us to love everyone, no matter who or what they are. Sometimes Christians forget that part, I think it’s partly because it’s not taught enough or mentioned enough in the churches. And I hope people understand that more and more Christians are being told they are bad and wrong as a whole because of a vocal minority that gets the attention and brings negativity to us.

In closing I will say this, do not tell me I cannot speak my my beliefs. I don’t ridicule others, and I expect the same in return. Learn the difference between hate speech and a belief. I may say something is a sin but it does not mean I hate someone who does that sin. You shoplift, you are  a thief, you have stolen, you have sinned. I tell you that you have sinned. That is not hate speech. Oh, sorry, the government says it’s bad, so I guess I am covered…for now.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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I am what I say I am.

Ever been told by people that you mean something you didn’t mean? Perhaps this sounds familiar, “I know what you really meant. Don’t lie to me. You’re all alike.”

I am unique, as is everyone. I would like to speak about something that bugs me in a major way. And if you are honest with yourself you might admit it bugs you as well.

I don’t like my actions or words being judged based on a person’s experience with other people or especially with how they would act in a situation. Some people are scum. Sorry to use that word but it’s more polite than a lot of words that could be used. To think that I would think or intend as they do just because I am of a similar something or other ticks me off.

For example, if I were to say I thought someone had great hair, that doesn’t mean anything other than I think that person has great hair. But in the past I’ve had people tell me that I must be interested in someone for paying a compliment or even noticing someone. Hair usually isn’t the thing. I may like a shirt or shoes. I don’t see a reason you can’t compliment someone on something. I mean perhaps your significant other may not like it but anyone else doesn’t have a reason to even bother.

This carries over to articles and my beliefs. Some people think that because I am a Christian that I must think a certain way. They also think because I am male, white, and live in the South in the USA, I must have certain opinions and if I say something they develop an opinion of it based on those factors.

I’ve learned over the years to observe and that’s it. I say words and those words about a subject should be taken as they sound, not as one thinks they must be intended. I find myself explaining things in my writing to head off these crazy ideas people have.

Trust me, as a person of the various criteria above I have become accustomed to heading things off. But it’s also helped me take what other people do at face value. I get the discrimination people get because of factors. Surprised that I could be discriminated against? Surprised I would dare even use that word?

Every person can be discriminated against for something. Some people think Christians aren’t discriminated against. Try being a teacher these days and be openly Christian. Read a Bible during your lunch time and you get punished. It’s my lunch time. Go talk to the football coach watching porn on his school computer. Oh, sorry, his team makes money for the school. My bad.

You may think my article is negative and be surprised considering my blog is focusing on positivity, but it’s not negative. It’s about being who you are, and for other people to treat you for who you are not what they think you are. Don’t think you do the discrimination thing or judging thing? Ever said to someone about your friend, “Don’t take it seriously, he’s just a guy. You know how they get sometimes,”?

Much Love, Success, and Respect
Ronovan

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My Sunday Thought: Bill Cosby–Torn between Two Worlds

Bill Cosby.

A few weeks ago by putting that name at the top of my Sunday Thought would have made people think of something like, Fatherhood, Family, Morals. Now, if you have been following the news or haven’t been hiding in some Super Walmart fitting room you might have another thought about where I would go with it.

Just for a brief explanation:

A comic, who I had never heard of, decided to make as part of his routine or perhaps as a spur of the moment thing the bringing up an old case about Bill Cosby being accused of drugging a woman and then raping her. This was then caught by the media and things caught fire with women coming out saying Bill Cosby had done the same thing to them.

The case mentioned was settled out of court. Now before you decide that Cosby must be guilty if he did that, think about how you would fill if your entire life, entire sexual life were going to be exposed to the entire world during a trial. He might have went along with his attorney who came up with the idea. “Bill, a few thousand dollars or your name becoming a joke for a while? Take your pick.”

Or you might think, if the woman was really after justice she would not have settled out of court and wanted Bill Cosby found guilty. But then she might have gone along with her attorney in a similar situation as Cosby went through.

In the Bible they had Judges who would determine if you were guilty of something after hearing everything. Usually the offenses were settled between the two involved and often times no one ever even knew anything happened.

With the media today grabbing onto anything possible, especially if it would tear down a moral icon like Bill Cosby, we as people not even involved are making judgements in this situation for or against Cosby and the women coming forward.

From my understanding the limitations have passed for the trying of anything even if guilt is true.

My opinion:

Bill Cosby knows the truth and so does God. One day he will have to stand before God and give an account of all he has done. Bill Cosby is no saint. He cheated on his wife and had a child that he financially supported. She stayed with him after finding out. I look at his wife sitting beside him through a recent interview and her support of him and that says a lot to me. But it does not say he is innocent for certain.

I have no say in his guilt or innocence. Some reading this will say that I should rail against him with anger in defense of women since I claim to respect and cherish women so much. I do respect and cherish women, but I also respect and cherish the word of God. I only speak to build people up, not to tear them down. I don’t know all of the specifics and the supposed realities from both sides. This is not my case. There is no case actually. There are simply people saying things that can’t be proven or dis-proven after all these years. How can I make a judgement without knowing everything that needs to be known?

Corporations are cutting ties with Cosby left and right without even knowing any facts or hearing anything other than the media circus, afraid of the fallout.

I saw  a clip from a morning panel type talk show where the issue was discussed and it was an interesting and disturbing piece. Some were attempting to be logical, so I thought, and then there was the side that seemed to automatically believe in Cosby’s guilt. Disturbing. Imagine if I met one of them and then months later came out and said they had done something to me, would there be an immediate thought of guilt then?

Well I have rambled a bit. I know this is a sensitive subject. As I say I am not saying Cosby did or did not do it. I am simply saying I don’t know, I don’t know facts, but God will sort it out since the Law of the Land, which we are supposed to follow according to the Bible did not find him guilty.

Yeah, we all have our opinions of it. Some are mixed, and that is probably the most accurate thing to say here. If not guilty then disgust at what is being done to him, if guilty then disgust at what he did. Torn. that’s the word, torn.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

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Sex and Hell: My Sunday Thoughts, Enter at Your Own Risk

You ever notice I have strange ideas about things? It’s Sunday and that means Bible thoughts are swirling through the old lost mind. Christians annoy me. They really do. What? That surprises you to hear me say? Well keep reading and see what the old amnesiac has to say.

Sex.Couple kissing and embracing hands on faces

  • If you have it and you’re not married then you go to Hell.
  • If it occurs outside a man woman marriage then the people go to Hell.

You know if I had thought of that in my early to mid twenties when I started searching for a church I would have just said, “Forget it, if I’m going to Hell already then I ain’t gonna bother with it.”

Oh I know, you are thinking, “Ronovan, you forgot about the part where if you get Saved by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you’re okay.”

No, I didn’t forget it. Nope. Thought about it the entire time.

So here is where I am coming from. Do we all sin? I know some of you are saying you don’t believe in sin and so forth, but okay then. Do we all do bad things, like breaking the laws and such?

Yeah, I see some of you nodding your heads, trying to stay awake and it’s not working. Just like in a church on a hot day right before lunch time and the pastor is preaching the same sermon he has 5 times before and he’s been there less than a year.

If you break a law and you go to court, you end up paying a fine of some sort, be it money or time in jail. Now after you get out of jail or have paid a fine then you are free to go on your way.  That’s because that’s what the rule book says, the law.

Well Christians we have a rule book, a book of law so to speak. Yeah, the Bible, the Word, the Good Book.

  • It says in the Bible that Jesus came for ALL of our sins.
  • It says in the Bible that if you accept Jesus then your sins are thus forgiven.
  • It says in the Bible you have to be perfect from that point forward to stay Saved.

If you agreed to that last one we might need to have a little talk. Because there is a verse in there that says . . . hold on let me find it.

Here it is, John 10: 27-30

27″My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”-Jesus

Notice that, “No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” No sinner can snatch you, not even yourself. Once you are in the Father’s hand you are His. You may slide back into a life that you crawled out of, but all the Father asks is that you try to be better. That you try to do better. No one can be perfect, if they could then Jesus would not have had to come in the first place.

Now I am talking to my Christian friends here. We need to stop judging and fudging. Stop judging people and stop fudging the Word of God. “But Ronovan it says in Romans 1 that . . .” Stop right there. Have you ever read Romans 1 and 2 together without the chapter breaks that later man put in there? Without verse numbers? No? Give it a try and then see what is being said.

If you do you might see that Paul is laying into the early Christians of Rome not to judge those that people today condemn in Chapter 1. He is telling them that if they do then they are judging themselves.

What society do you think made up those first Christians in Rome in the first place?

Yes, sex outside of man and woman marriage is a sin as the Bible says. A touchy subject I know. I am a sinner. Yep. Throw me to the pits, oh, wait . . . I accepted Jesus. I . . . and I don’t . . . I don’t judge other sinners.

“But Ronovan you’re judging us for judging others.”

Nope. I am sharing the Word of God.  “But you judged.” No, what I did was point out something that we have all been taught for so long is more of a ‘tradition’ in the church than an actual fact of the faith.

Pastors around the  world today are preaching on Romans Chapter 1 right now as an end all and be all, because it’s what they’ve been taught according to ‘traditions’.

Does the scripture above mean I can go out and sin all I want to and be fine? Technically yes, yes it does. “Then let me sign up now before I go get with the neighbors wife.” It doesn’t work that way. You have to be sincere. Over time things happen and there are outside influences and life situations and all sorts of things that cause one to do this or that. Ask forgiveness and then try to do better.

“Ronovan, do you still think people that have sex with someone other than who they are married to according to the Bible marriage plan is sinning.”

Yes I do. And guess what. I don’t think that sin is any greater than any other sin. There isn’t a tier system. Jesus died for each and every sin, not just what we consider the baby sins.

 

So what inspired me to talk about this today? I really don’t know. I was going to speak on suicide after a popular video was shared with me but then this hit me. Oh, now I remember, it was part of a conversation I had. I think there was a discussion on monogamy.

Did I say things today to encourage people to go out and have sex with other people? No. Did I say they were forgiven if they had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Yes.

I am sure there are some reading this now wondering about me. “What is Ronovan talking about? I thought he was a Christian. He must be one of them Liberal so called Christians.”

I think it’s odd when a person says they believe in something the Bible says that disagrees with “traditions” they are automatically labeled a Liberal. I actually said something in all of that which would make people say I am a Conservative as well.  My actual party if I were to proclaim one is Christ Led.

Not sure if I said anything anyone learned from today. But this is me on a Sunday, sharing my thoughts of how I see what the Bible says. Not everyone has to agree with me, but I am glad I got that off my chest.

Praying you all have a good week and see you next Sunday.

Ronovan

 

ron_bloglovin2

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The Disguise of Contentment

Stephen Hawking

 “I can’t disguise myself with a wig and dark glasses – the wheelchair gives me away.”-Stephen Hawking

 

 The Disguise of Contentment

by: Ronovan

Do you have certain thoughts when you see an elderly person slowly getting out of the car in the handicap spot at a store? What do you do when you see an elderly person in a store having to use a walker to walk with? What about those with obvious disabilities?

 

If you were to think about it honestly, you probably don’t give it a second thought. That’s who is supposed to be using those parking spaces and walkers, right?

 

I recently changed my Profile Picture back to my real photo. I was hesitant to do so because I was worried it would take away from the impression one gets from my writing. I know how when I read someone’s work the image used does sometimes add or take away from what I am reading but eventually I no longer even see the person as I read more and more of their work.

RonovanWrites

Now, look at my picture. You see a man that’s 6’1”, fairly clean cut, broad shouldered, some say rugged looking. I think rugged means someone who has been out in the rugged weather to much and is worn out looking, but okay, I can agree with that. When I wish I can assume the role of a bulldozer in crowds, politely so and people tend to get out of my way. This has usually occurred in the past when someone has held onto my shoulder and others are holding onto them in order to follow me through the crowd. Teenagers love me for this.

The rugged guy is leaning on a rail over a beautiful river, and somewhat smiling at the camera or at least not frowning. In other words you see the picture of contentment.

 

Arthur Erickson

“Illusion is needed to disguise the emptiness within.”-Arthur Erickson

I’m the one that gets out of the car slowly from the handicap spot. I don’t use a walker in the grocery store, I lean on the cart instead. I’m the one that walks slowly forcing anyone with me to take their time. I’m the one that people have to get things from the bottom shelf for.

 

I’m the one that people look strangely at as he gets out of the car. I’m the one they look strangely at as he shuffles through the store. I’m the one that gets left behind as people walk on ahead. I’m the one that can’t get anyone to help get things from the bottom shelf.

 

I’m the one leaning on the rail for support. I’m the one hoping he doesn’t fall into the river as spasms of pain shoot through his body. I’m the one holding his dark glasses so he can have a normal picture of himself while hoping the earplugs blocking out the sounds don’t show up. I’m the one hoping the smile reaches the eyes in time before the click of the camera happens.

 

But what do you see?

 

Do you get yelled at as you get out of the car because you ‘look’ healthy? Do people stare at you as you shuffle through the store because they think you are on drugs or drunk? Do store employees chuckle when you ask for help as they walk away believing you are in jest?

 

Did you have to spend two hours of pain in a car . . . one way . . . to have your picture taken over a river? Do you have to hear the grinding of neck bones and the snapping and cracking of back bones every time you take a step?

 

Do your fingertips ache and hurt and feel like nails are being hammered into them every time you hit a letter on your keyboard? Is that keyboard your only escape and healing and chance at distraction and happiness? Do you pound the nails deeper or give up happiness?

 

I didn’t write this as a complaint about some of what I go through. I wrote this to show you that you don’t know what is on the inside of a person. I don’t go around wearing my illness and pains on a t-shirt or make it obvious. Just know that when you see people that there is a reason they are the way they are. Maybe it’s not a physical thing, it might be they are shy and don’t want to be bothered. There is a reason for it. Respect it. I walk slower, I move slower, but I ‘look’ healthy. And I am fine with that.

 

 

But here are some things I am not fine with:

  • A relative, knowing about my amnesia telling me to not forget about my family and then saying it was his attempt at a joke.
  • A person assuming that if I build up the courage to ask for help that I am just joking
  • A person assuming seeing me walk upright at a decent pace means I have been faking it
  • A person assuming because I have a blog and type a lot that I must be okay
  • A person assuming that because I can type that I am not exhausted and barely hanging on
  • A person assuming that because I can give words of encouragement and love that I must not feel pain inside
  • A person assuming that because I feel pain inside that I cannot give honest words of encouragement and love

 

Two things made me think to write this, one was a comment recently and the other was a thought I had.

 “Friends may not know who you are, but they’ll never forget who you were.”-Ronovan

 

“The best live among us in disguise.”-Louis Dudek

 

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