How did the Westboro Baptist Church find my blog? The last time I saw them they were busy tormenting a family's funeral protesting with their signs "Thank God For Dead Soldiers", "Thank God For IED's", "Pray For More Dead Soldiers" . . . .
Meanwhile, where was I? Oh yeah, I was sharing some encouraging ideas and techniques I've found useful to help with practicing loving one's enemies, dying to self, and returning good for evil . . . .
It's funny in a way . . . because I actually don't personally have that strong of an opinion regarding whether a Christian can serve in the military. I believe they can and do, but I am also still open to biblical arguments that they can't and shouldn't.
What I DO object to and have little doubt about . . . is the destructive, violent, anti-Gospel, anti-Christ spirit of legalism which comes in where someone (like a Westboro Church type) demands that their "biblical" opinion ("No, a Christian CANNOT be in the military!") becomes my, or someone else's, OBLIGATION to follow.
I myself wouldn't join the military at this time considering the agendas and types of people who have, I believe, mostly taken it over and are NOT using it for self defensive purposes; although I certainly believe that a people or country are biblically allowed to have a military for defensive purposes. Though I wouldn't consider myself in a position to judge those who still do join or families who have members enlisted.
My oldest son went into the military. He knew I didn't think it was a good idea because of the forces and interests which infest it these days. While he was in it, he came to see what I meant and he was able to get out, based on conscience, without any demerit, which we all thank God for.
I must assume that those who vehemently disagree on my position then certainly must not pay taxes, as taxes support the military. Also, those who deny a right to self defense, also must not pay local taxes which support the police department (making them complicit). Also, I must assume that if the same are ever assaulted or under threat of assault, they will NOT call the police . . . . And, if and when an invading enemy comes to rape, torture and kill your family, you will stand by and watch.
Anyhow, I want to get back to what I was writing about before being so rudely interrupted :) . . . but want to answer some of the accusations, libels, smears and insinuations . . . .
Wife is injured in an accident and will have to spend several months recupperating. Christian husband has sexual needs and can commit adultery if necessary to fulfill them because he doesn't want to be a legalist. Really??
The unregenerate mind needs and looks to rules and laws to keep them in line. What we want, and get, through the Gospel and living power of Holy Spirit . . . is a changed mind--a new mind . . . which operates from love. A disciple of the Lord . . . under the influence of the Holy Spirit, for one thing, will be far less inclined to in the first place to have the kind of compulsion or "need" for sex in the way described. So, it may not even come up as an issue. If it does, the disciple, operating from love . . . would, of course not want to do anything which would dishonor God (which adultery surely would) nor hurt his wife.
Understanding the Gospel, we know that even THINKING about and pursuing in mind . . . the adulterous liaison . . . is the same as if the man actually ACTED on it. So, what we want, is to get to that place of spiritual regeneration (sanctification) where the very notion in the first place does not occur.
The legalist thinks that it's not so bad to think about the sex, so long as they don't act upon it, hence the great emphasis on following the rule/law . . . . Jesus says, if you are even THINKING about adultery, you have sinned, so just following the rule is missing the whole point.
What is the "donate" button for? You do this for money or is it for a charity?
This one's pretty funny, intimating that I'm "in it for the money." LOL.... When I first started blogging about 7 years ago . . . it was almost a year into the writing before I realized there was even a comment option on the blog. People had been commenting for months . . . a few, like you, attacking and impugning me . . . and I didn't even know it! I was just writing away, blissfully unaware (and somewhat unconcerned) if anyone was even reading my blog. I felt terrible though, realizing that some of the appreciative folk's comments were seeming to be ignored and unaddressed.
Anyway, point is, I write . . . about God and current events . . . because . . . well, I always have. Before the internet, I would write essays, notes, "white papers", "pamphlets" . . . long letters . . . and send them to people . . . or many have just piled up in boxes . . . or for school . . . because I have always been focused on spiritual matters and also how they relate to current events.
In the present time . . . I spend 1-3 hours nearly every day . . . writing this blog. For vocation, I am a laborer of sorts, so my time is my money, which means that time NOT spent out working has a definite impact on providing for my family. I have two adult boys with disabilities still living at home--my wife, needed at home, does not work . . . and so, though I work hard and constantly, I am almost always on the brink of going under. Money--love of money . . . has never been one of my problems. To a fault, I believe, I have never been that concerned with it and have passed up several opportunities to "sell out" . . . but couldn't and wouldn't . . . because of spiritual concerns (ie., could have worked in the movie business as a composer . . . I passed on a rock star/recording contract . . . I do not practice law, though I have a law degree etc.) As it is, virtually every cent I make goes to support others and ministry efforts.
Besides the 1-3 hours I spend writing (on mostly Godly topics), I spend an average of 2-3 hours per day in related discussion and research . . . and about 8 hours of bible related study (listening to exegesis, apologetics, preaching, and/or watching the same.) Some of this I do while I'm working . . . . I have deliberately kept myself a lone worker (not expanded my business with employees in order to make more money) because as it is, though tight, I am able to spend more time studying and learning the Word, while I work, rather than mess with accounting, tax forms, managing etc.)
It's pretty much all I do . . . and have done for years now--immerse myself in matters and thought pertaining to God. In fact, I should be gone from the house and working right now, but . . . I'm writing . . . . THEN I will get to the job . . . and stay later if needed.
There are basically two models for survival in ministry work. One, which churches like the Mormon church and Purpose Driven types use, is a corporate business model, relying on secular mass-marketing methods . . . and it works (to make big, wealthy, powerful churches.) The other, is for the evangelist to rely on the provision of God where Spirit-led people willingly contribute, as they can, to help the one called to so serve. I am for the latter approach . . . .
I am feeling a strong call to go full time into the service of the Lord and am praying that He will make a way as I consider some options how. In the meantime, the fact that sometimes people are led to send some help--well, I am deeply appreciative, humbled and inspired by it. Pastoring or teaching or evangelizing . . .is all I have really ever wanted to do . . . and should have long ago . . . but, better late than never, and the urgency of the hour impresses me now more than ever to commit even deeper and fuller . . . to said calling.
I haven't been on a vacation . . . heh . . . for 4? . . . 5? years . . . and thus, nor has my wife . . . . I can't remember the last time I bought some new clothes . . . . Work pants, yes, maybe one or two a year . . . . I am able to stay working . . . because I bid my jobs very low to ensure that I get the job, but then do the quality as if I had bid it high . . . .
And so on and so on . . . . I thank God there are some folks out there who appreciate what I am doing, however meager it is here, to encourage, edify, inspire, if possible . . . and it is likewise an encouragement when they are so led to offer something along the way, part of which we use to help others we know of in need . . . . I spend almost all my waking hours to studying, teaching, spreading, ministering, living . . . the Gospel, as His grace provides . . . and pray that if anything, I will be able to do so even more . . . .
For what it's worth, BJ . . . .
Well . . . I have more notes written . . . in response to that spate of comments . . . but, really, must get going and so will continue . . . and then, Tabbycat, back to your touchingly honest questions and seeking, which relate to the topic I was delving into before the sidebar issues of Christians and self-defense/the military . . . and personal accusations . . . crashed the scene. Although I'm taking the bait a bit . . . because it also provides opportunity related to the same prior issues of how the legalist and works-based spirit responds versus . . . the higher and deeper approach (and humbler, paradoxically) of being led by the sanctifying power of Holy Spirit . . . .
Back shortly, and God bless you all--
brother in belief, thomas