Dysphoria & Identity Crises Today

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This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. ~Genesis 5:1-2 NASB

Look at any news channel or report and you will see something going on with someone and their identity crisis with their gender. They do not know what they are, they seem to identify with the opposite sex, or some other species on this earth. So much so that they are being pushed toward some kind of gender fluidity or non-binary creature. Someone, somewhere, is trying to make a headline for themselves, or  their parent is choosing not to label their son or daughter as male or female, because it is their (the child’s) place to do so. Ahhh, WHAT? Talk about enhancing and enabling a dysphoric or identity crisis where actually none exists until they created it! Admittedly so, there are those who have an identity crisis of such a magnitude because there is no one to help guide them on their path in life. Such as a man for a male child, or woman for a female child, in order to mentor them in life.

Even as a parent, I have made my share of mistakes. Unfortunately, since the advent of the politically correct (PC) wave in this country, let alone in this world, things have only gotten worse. Look at the UK for a moment. There is a rise in transgender reassignment surgeries, as of October, 2017. Rita Cooper was the UK’s youngest transgender reassignment surgery at 15, back to a man at 18, and is set for a third reassignment…

Sadly, if you desire to think about it, the fact that God made two sexes, male and female. Consider this, if you are a college/university student: College student kicked out of ‘Christianity’ class for saying there are only two genders. Yes, there are only two sexes because each complements the other through procreation, companionship, psychological, emotional, physically, etc.

Practically, the concept of complementarity has proven versatile and effective. It offers an explanation of human sexual difference that provides individual men and women with a firm sense of identity within their equal, yet distinctive, experiences of human life. It provides a foundation for a positive vision of sexuality and marriage that avoids the deep-seated negativity and suspicions of earlier eras. And it affords a rationale for defending traditional sexual ethics…” ~Did God create men and women to complement each other? By Jacob Kohlhaas

There are those who will posit that there is homosexuality in the animal kingdom; I would retort that this is usually in order to vie for Alpha male status, or Alpha female status within a pack, or group of animals. I have yet to see truly plausible scientific research where the homosexuality within the animal kingdom, or natural law, where two become long term mates in order to set up a same sex marriage, of sort, and adopt children of other packs or groups, thus creating a familial unit & bond.

Ben Shapiro, a Conservative Jew and a Political Analyst for the Daily Wire, has on numerous occasions asserted, rightfully so (I might add!), that Caitlyn Jenner is a man. Why do I say rightfully so and why does Ben Shapiro say this is so? Caitlyn Jenner was born Bruce Jenner, the same one who won the 1974 AAU title and in 1975 he was PanAm champion and set a world record (8,524) in the triangular meet with the USSR and Poland. In 1976, Jenner won his second AAU title and crowned a brilliant career by taking the Olympic gold medal with a new world record of 8,618 points. The charismatic Jenner became a television and movie personality as soon as his competitive days were over. After splitting with his first wife, he married Linda Thompson, who was Elvis Presley’s girlfriend when that legend passed away in 1978. He later identified himself as Caitlyn in July, 2015. And progressively changed his gender (September, 2015) through gender reassignment surgery. And soon was awarded Woman of the Year on November 9th, 2015. Ironic isn’t it??

Considering the fact that this country, as well as the entire world, has moved so far away from the moral ethics of Biblical teaching and have steered toward the relativistic moral ethos of the self…this world is destined to go down hill much as the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  ~Romans 1:26-27 NASB

When one person who was born as a man and then surgically becomes a woman and advertises himself as a woman and then becomes involved with a man during the course of his life, whether in a long or short term relationship…they (the two involved) are committing an act of homosexuality which is an abomination to God. The fact remains this…though you change your appearance through any means, you are what you were born to be. Your genetics never changed. Though scientists or medical professionals may find a way to alter genetics at some point in time…you are still what you were born to be. Man or Woman, Male or Female…you see, there are still only two sexes!

In the end it is a matter of confusion. Though you may be confused about who you are, this does not mean I am confused about the matter. I am not obligated to be sucked into your dysphoria, or your inability to identify yourself properly.

Sometimes, regardless of our personal thoughts, we must speak & stand up for what moral truth is. I am friends with many who are persuaded to these unnatural ways. But if we believe in the ONE TRUE GOD, then we must be willing to stand alone at times, for the truth of God. Godspeed to each and every one of you!!

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. ~Galatians 5:1 NASB

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. ~1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB

But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. ~Matthew 24:13 NASB

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. ~Psalm 119:89-91 NASB

You may be thinking that this post is about judging others, that could not be further from the truth. The Bible is an edict from our Creator on how to live and act. It is also a history of man and where he came from and where he is headed, his purpose and vision. I believe the Bible tells us that God loves us, He wants what is best for us, and that we must love our brothers & sisters, to love them and warn them of God’s judgement. That we are to love the dinner and not the sin.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

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How Burdensome Are Keeping of the Commandments?

Jesus once said, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:30 NKJV

Take My Yoke1

Yet, Jesus was both man and God, He was without sin. Jesus, being both fully man and fully God was far and away better capable of enduring the temptations of this world than we. We, on the other hand, are wholly the species of man and are born into sinfulness. As reminded to us by the Apostle Paul and King David, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10 NKJV) Now, I do not mean to, nor intend to, contradict the bible; however, I will speak some things here which will appear to do so, but in actuality are things that we people tend to think and say without further research.

To follow these commandments of the living God is a burden to the species  of man. Why is it so? Because we seek the easy way out of every situation. Sometimes that entails lying…yes, we learned to do that when we were young. “No, I wasn’t taking the cookie out of the cookie jar…I was getting it for you!” And “No, that wasn’t me you saw taking that stick of gum, it was someone that looked a lot like me.” And so on, and so on… We tended to turn lying into an art form, even though everyone could see through our lies. We learned this task quite easily because we thought it would keep us out of trouble. It comes easy to us because we are steeped in sinfulness. Instead, we just got into deeper troubles throughout our lives. Until, of course, we came to God and gave our lives to Jesus. Though, it may have become easier, overall, but because of our history with lies and other sinful behavior…it was a new way of life. Much likened to quitting smoking or some other bad habit. Now-a-days, telling the truth is the new hate speech.

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” ~Matthew 23:4 NKJV

We have even learned the fine art of sinfulness from those who mentor us. Our parents made a great number of mistakes, but we learned from them both good and bad. We have learned from certain church leaders, pastors, priests, deacons, etc. They have all had a hand in teaching us both good and the bad. But instead of using these moments for good teaching moments, those great teaching moments were brushed under the table and it seemed to be another Monty Python moment…

It would be far greater a learning experience if our parents and leaders alike would use both good and bad moments to teach us right and wrong. Unfortunately, most parents and leaders tend to not use those moments because they do not desire to be seen as doing wrong and therefore do not see those bad moments as failures, but rather as moments of righteous indignation.

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” ~1John 5:3 NKJV

Keeping God’s commandments is tough enough, especially coming from a background of sinfulness. If we were to take a daily tally…we each would be on the losing end! Completely because of our sinfulness. At any given moment, we are thinking sinful thoughts and bombarded by sinful behavior from the television.

The fact is this, we can do nothing by which we can deserve our salvation through Christ other than to accept such a gift as grace from God, through Christ, and to do our best to follow Christ. Which means we will try to live as Christ mandated us through the Great Commission:

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV

We shall never be able to live up to such a high moral standard of perfection, it is the perfection of Christ which is in us that allows us to stand in God’s presence. We do have our victories, at times. Sadly, we must look at our sinfulness and our failures as learning and teachable moments…to ourselves and those around us. Consider what the Apostle Paul said to us:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV

This has always seemed to be quite the conundrum to me. But when you look at how we act individually, you can better understand it. Especially with an objective mind!

To dwell on our sinful failures on a daily basis, if dwelt upon too deeply, can either drive us to depression or suicide. But that is not the point, is it? No, it is not! The point is this: That by giving our lives over to Jesus and accepting His gift of grace and salvation, Jesus took our sins upon the cross and He was judged guilty in our place as a substitution for ourselves. He hung on a cross two thousand years ago, before we were ever born. But God knew we were to be born because God formed us in the womb, He formed our inward parts.

It becomes less burdensome to fulfill God’s will, in our lives, when we accept the fact that Jesus carries us through all of the muck and mire. Yes, we are going through it all, but we can rely on Jesus to guide us through it all…even at our weakest moments. Why? Because God loves us, all of us…Jew and Gentile alike! He abhors our sins and our sinfulness but He loves us as His creation!

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We will, all so often, wonder why the church or it’s leadership would cast upon our shoulders such heavy burdens that they themselves would not aid us with, nor would they acct accordingly. Jesus spoke on this subject within the warning to the Scribes and the Pharisees: “Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees” (Matthew 23 & Luke 11.) Sadly, man, regardless of his position tends to enjoy power and has no desire to give up such power. This is just as true for those who are in positions of authority within the church. There is but a small segment who will yield their power, or command over others. It takes a man of strong moral guidance and position to do so. The unfortunate truth about humanity is that they have the desire to feel important. even if that importance is false and at his own doing.

No matter how you look at it, we (the species of man) still have a long way to go and a long road to follow in order to learn about God’s humility. Our purpose is to glorify God, but our bravado consistently gets in our way…doesn’t it??

As mentioned before, none of us is perfect. The only way we can stand justified before God is through the perfection of Jesus. By accepting Jesus into our hearts and to Lord over our lives it is His perfection that God the Father sees…yes, even through our wretchedness. Even as wretched as we are, God loves us and gives us chances beyond our abilities to comprehend. That is the love of our Creator! We have until our dying breath…and that includes our church leaders. It is up to them to teach us the ways of God, but it is also up to us to learn those ways and read our bibles daily! It is up to each of us to check & challenge our leaders, in love, thus ensuring that we and they are on the same path. God wants each and every one of us to enter into the Kingdom through truth!

desires all men to be saved

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV

We can surmise that by reading 1 John 5:1-5 a way of choosing the right and moral path!

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” ~1 John 5:1-5 NKJV 

Earlier in 1 John we were warned not to love the world.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” ~1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

If we will separate ourselves from loving the world and the things in this world, our faith will grow stronger and our hearts will be bound with great strength to Our Lord & Savior, Jesus. This is how we separate ourselves from our sinfulness and sinful behavior…by not setting our sights on the things of this world! Much like dieting or beginning a new routine for your life, it is burdensome in one respect because you are not accustomed to living that way. But once the habit is solidified and set in place, there is no longer a burden…because it is a part of your normal routine of life.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

Why Such Heavy Burdens Upon Our Souls?

Sisyphean toil (3d isolated characters on white background series)

The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” ~Acts 15:6-11 NASB

“Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth. “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.” ~Acts 15:27-29 NASB

But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ~Acts 16:28-31 NASB

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. ~Matthew 23:4 (NKJV)

And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. ~Luke 11:46 (NKJV)

Politics as UsualThree different authors, 2 Gospels, and one historical document later we see how burdens are placed upon us in different ways. We also see that no one from the church leadership, of Jesus’ time, did not aid the people in helping the people. Rather they only aided in the surmounting of the problems being placed upon the people.

The Sanhedrin are as much a political body as the Roman hierarchy, or Jesus’ time, or perhaps between the Republican or Democratic Parties of our time. The Machiavellian Theorem of the time (i.e., THE PRINCE) states:

It is precisely this moralistic view of authority that Machiavelli criticizes at length in his best-known treatise, The Prince. For Machiavelli, there is no moral basis on which to judge the difference between legitimate and illegitimate uses of power. Rather, authority and power are essentially coequal: whoever has power has the right to command; but goodness does not ensure power and the good person has no more authority by virtue of being good. Thus, in direct opposition to a moralistic theory of politics, Machiavelli says that the only real concern of the political ruler is the acquisition and maintenance of power (although he talks less about power per se than about “maintaining the state.”) In this sense, Machiavelli presents a trenchant criticism of the concept of authority by arguing that the notion of legitimate rights of rulership adds nothing to the actual possession of power. The Prince purports to reflect the self-conscious political realism of an author who is fully aware—on the basis of direct experience with the Florentine government—that goodness and right are not sufficient to win and maintain political office. Machiavelli thus seeks to learn and teach the rules of political power. For Machiavelli, power characteristically defines political activity, and hence it is necessary for any successful ruler to know how power is to be used. Only by means of the proper application of power, Machiavelli believes, can individuals be brought to obey and will the ruler be able to maintain the state in safety and security.  ~Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Niccolò Machiavelli, 2. The Prince: Analyzing Power

In a nutshell: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! This mind-set lord-acton-power-corruptswas upheld by the writings of Murry Rothbard in Anatomy of the State where it is discussed that the purpose of the State (whether it be the Federal, state, or local governing authorities) was to maintain or increase it’s power in order to stay in existence even at the demise of those who yielded their rights to create the government in the first place. (Slightly paraphrased, but close enough!) Sadly, man has this propensity to increase his power over others in order to ensure their survival in their position and maintenance of of power and control. There was an adage during WWII in Germany where “it was not Hitler you had to worry about, but all the little Hitlers that were created along the way.” It seems to be much the same within all religious factions, once you get to digging into their histories.

This behavior was reiterated in the Bible, in that while at the end of the period of the Judges in the Hebrew peoples history when the people called for a King to be among them that they could be like other nations.

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. ~1 Samuel 8:6-7 NKJV

The-patriot-pictureBy rejecting God, we have rejected His guidance and leadership. And thus we were to be led by men and all their corrupt ways, if they so refused to be led by the ethics and righteousness of God. It is by our poor decisions that our burdens become so heavy, and once day, as I mentioned in a previous post:

I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.” ~Benjamin Martin, opening monologue of ‘The Patriot’ [Posted on 6/11/2018 in “When Men Run From God”]

In this respect, our sins [or past decision] will return to visit us all, and in some cases the cost to each of us may be too much for us to bear! Sadly, we all run from God or the church for varying reasons, usually we are running from God because of the politics within the church…which is not a good reason, at all! We tend to justify ourselves, but wrongly so. All to often the church, or the church leaders to be more specific, are making greater demands on the people that are not biblical…yet, they themselves do not uphold these demands on themselves, as they are the ones in power.

We all have our reasons for doing just about anything and we find ourselves being able to justify our arguments. But rarely will we go deeply into prayer over any particular matter. Which is one of our downfalls, as was for Joshua when he failed to consult God over some travelers.  THIS is one of man’s greatest downfalls, we do not pray enough or seek counsel of God near as much as we should!

In my post, on 5/7/2018, in Prayer is the Foci of All Things, I spoke heavily on our need for prayer and God’s good counsel. Unfortunately for us, we fail to see how our poor decision making skills desperately need God’s counsel through prayer until after the fact. If we could just learn this one thing early in our lives, we could avert many of our problems and many more of our future poor decisions which tend to visit us later on in our lives! But we just want to get through this particular problem…and lo and behold, the problem crops back up on us. Why you ask? Because we do not seek counsel of God, because we do not pray for guidance or aid, because…because…because…

Often times, the load(s) placed upon us is a test of our character or ethics, because God knows that we can carry such a load, or because there is someone in our future with whom we will cross paths and we can help them. Yes, God does prepare us for those moments, just as God places the words in our minds and in our mouths for those arguments and debates for His greater Good!

The final synopsis of all this is:

FEAR IS OVERCOME WHEN WE LIVE WITH COURAGEOUS FAITH! ~Pastor Scott Beckenhauer, Calvary Christian Church

In the sermon given by Pastor Scott Beckenhauer, on 5/20/2018, one of the Lessons we learned was “Courage is not the absence of fear bu moving, in spite of fear!” the second Lesson was, “Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what God can do!” Now, these are not new lessons for us to learn, but they are age old lessons. Going back to the book of Genesis. Use them well, my brothers and sisters, remember them and pass them on to your children and grandchildren. We should not allow such teachings to be forgotten!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

…avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…

While on Facebook, someone wrote a single question:

Pls share your opinions. CAN A CHRISTIAN LOSE SALVATION ?

Foolish businessAnd foolish me…like so many others like me, responded. Boy-Oh-boy, let the games begin! You just wouldn’t believe it…you would think it was a political posting of some sort! I guess looking back at it in hindsight, I was really not all that surprised by what was to happen. Christians are as social, argumentative, and crazy as anyone else on the face of this earth…sadly, me included! We each will battle to justify our position and our argument, to sustain it’s viability. And if that is not bad enough, we will denigrate those who we think answer us rudely, even though they are just answering a question that we posed. [I don’t think I went that crazy!] But I was asked/told that something I stated was not in the bible, my response was it was in the bible and the scripture. When I responded with that I was accused of arguing…HUH?@#$!

At another point in time, I came to some semblance of sanity and stated/posted:

I have come to the conclusion that this is one of those “…foolish disputes…” (2Tim 2:23-26)that Paul spoke of that we should avoid as children of God! WOW!

I received several comments, some of which were “we aren’t arguing,” and “I wouldn’t characterize the end of time as a foolish or ignorant topic.” Which was not really the topic of discussion anyway. The topic, overall, was what did you (the respondent) believe? Therefore, the question went to the heart of one’s doctrinal beliefs. And trust me…there were a plethora of discussion threads! What was stated by me was that the argument was foolish, in that, we were instructed to avoid such disputes as we are to be of “…one mind…” as written:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4 NKJV

How can we be “…like minded…” and of “…one mind…” where we are arguing over doctrinal issues that, in my opinion, should have been settled long, long ago! And while arguing, we treat others as though they are heathens and tend to answer curtly, coarsely, and denigrate one another in order to show our dominance over their “ignorant beliefs.”  WOW! Just wow! That is all I have. I am of the mind to argue and my wife will attest to such. However, there are times where I will just attain that “AH-HAH! Moment” that we all seek. And often are hit with at one of the most inopportune moments…you know…when you are winning the argument…er..eh hem…spirited debate. [Yeah, that’ll work for me! LOL]

YES! God does work in very mysterious ways, but why couldn’t He wait a few more posts cause I was winning?

So, my Christian friends, can’t we all just get along? What is it that makes us so different, yet very much so the same as all others in this world? As I have mentioned in a previous post, where I was looking into other platforms but Christian oriented, might not be such a great idea after all. Why? Because we each still possess a propensity to argue, as Tony Robbins once stated, because we knew we had to win! We were right after all and that opponent of ours was but a heathen.

Guess what? We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, which also makes us adoptive brothers and sisters. We are a family and we should be able to get along in these matters. Why, you ask? Because if we cannot get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ…how can we think that we will get along in the heavenly with God? Or even with Christ Himself?

The more I learn, the more I find out I still have a very long distance to go before I get to be even a halfway decent Christian…and that still doesn’t make me a good one! We each need to take a step back from time to time in order to see, or assess ourselves, as to how good we are as Christians. And YES…I do mean an HONEST assessment of yourself! We, as the whole body of Christ need to be:

bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-6 NKJV

Sometimes we may take a little longer than usual to get that “AH-HAH!” moment to slap us in the face. You know the drill, some of us just aren’t very sharp or quick witted! Yes, I’ll own that! There will come a point in time, usually during your discussion, where you will note that the argument is foolish or ignorant. So the bottom line is this:

Do you continue on with the argument until you win, or cease arguing and acknowledge to foolhardiness of the argument?

foolish-positinionMany of us have that propensity to fight on until we win [standing on sinking ground in a foolish position] and others are struck with an ethical roadblock [which is not a bad thing]. But there is that small segment of the population who, despite that ethical roadblock which crops up on them, can and will continue the argument until they are victorious. Which type of person are you? Sadly, I have a lot of work to do as I am of the ilk who has, in the past, continued on until victorious…which still makes me the loser in the long-run!

Please learn from my mistakes, that you do not have to go through life wondering why things are the way they are?

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Original posting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilovebeingachristian/permalink/330412207486570/?comment_id=330965957431195&reply_comment_id=331074717420319&notif_id=1526187331985687&notif_t=group_comment&ref=notif

Attack Your Problems Head On

david-goliath

I was listening to a podcast of CARM on my way home one night and heard a commercial for Harvest America Moment with Greg Laurie which said of David,

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. ~1Samuel 17:48-49 NIV

We are to attack our problems as David attacked Goliath, the Philistine. We each have our own problems and shortcomings, but God at that moment had told me through one of those great AH-HAH! moments that it wasn’t the problem itself but my inability to obey that holds me back. Think about that for a moment or two!

attackAll too often we feign an attack, ultimately to no avail, because of our inner fears and insecurities. We constantly and consistently fail to push forward to glorify God in all we do all due to fear. We fail to have faith in God and His ultimate power. Who could be more powerful than God? The very one who created our very souls, our spirit, our bodies, the very world upon which we now live! It just get any better than that, don’t you think? Our God loves us and empowers & equips us to do His will. (1 Corinthians 15:9–10, Hebrews 13:20-21)

And do not think I am pointing fingers at you, only…I have to stare at myself in the mirror and do it to myself, as well! Yes, I am guilty of such failures! Remember the

There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 & Psalm 14:3

We are each guilty, in some small way, or grand… I am 57 years old this year and I am having more “AH-HAH!” moments within just this last year than I have had in a very long ah-ha-moment3time! IF, and that is the qualifier, I stay on this path…could you imagine all of the other ah-hah moments I am destined to have in the future? There is so much more to learn, so many difficulties to overcome, so many problems to solve, and so many challenges to overcome! But we each must persevere our plight of doing what is right and just and good in God’s eyes. We each must set our minds on things above and not our earthly plain. For the earth will come and go, it will change from one day to the next, but the heavenly realm we seek shall never change, excepting only the increase of those elected by God to be saved!

I was watching a clip of Legends & Lies, by Bill O’Rielly, about Stonewall Jackson. He was of such a mind that he did not concern himself about such trivialities of how he would die, because God had ordained such a thing. He was one of those individuals that took chances, chances that others would think foolish but he saw as necessary, and if he were to die such was the determination of God, Himself.

Sometimes God will use a show on television to teach us something. Sometimes we learn from that all encompassing ah-hah moment by reading a biblical passage, or verse. It is different for each of us, because God can use all things for His good! We are all called by God to do His will, but not all have responded to that calling. Remember the passage?

For many are called, but few are chosen.” ~Matthew 22:14 (NKJV)

We all have to learn to make those difficult choices in order to accomplish what we must, to God’s glory. At times it may be something on a small scale, but at other times it is on a grand scale! We must be willing to make that leap of faith! Believing that God is behind us desiring us to do our best to His glory!

No matter your position in the working world, nor in your youthful stage in life…God desires you and I to do our best at all times. Why? Because we are, potentially, a light to others who need to see God and we are the light for that person, or those people.

LightUntoTheWorld

Sometimes, and this may be difficult to grasp, WE are the only ones who will cross someones path for God’s sake…there is no other they will meet to bring such a light in their lives.

Think about that for a moment! That is a heavy load to bear for others in this world, but there are times it is true. It is for this reason that we must each challenge ourselves to face our problems head on! We each have a Goliath or a problem or , perhaps, a challenge (or two, or three) in our lives…WE MUST FACE EACH ONE DIRECTLY AND HEAD ON.

Such a thing is much like falling off one’s bike, we need to get back on that bike. Problems and challenges are the same exact thing…we must never stop facing them, because they will always be attacking us throughout our lives until our dying breath.

I hope this was helpful to you, my friends! Godspeed!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

God is with you wherever you go

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:7-9 NKJV

crossing the Jordan joshua

While we are no longer under the law, but grace, Jesus gave us the guidance that summed up all the law and the prophets:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

But should we not know the word of God? Yes, for the short answer! It is easy to glean from the bibles we have. And so many believe we cannot truly know that the bible is what it was, because we have copies. But we can know. With all of these copies existing today, we truly can know. First off, most of what was stated was first leaned via the oral tradition, which meant it was memorized (to a certain degree) but provided you maintained the intent of the speaker. In oral cultures like this people often memorized LARGE amounts of material. Passing on information orally was the NORM in ancient Palestine. This means that people living in such an environment developed memory skills that sound amazing to our modern ears. Next we can ascertain the understanding and the original from what was printed ,also gleaning from the text that were anomalous mistakes from other comparative copies. The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest known copy of the Greek Bible, written approximately 1600 years ago. You can use this, too, in order to understand what was written, even though it was written about the 4th century. There are several other concerns that are brought up in debates, or arguments, over the validity of the bible. Topics such as:

  • We don’t know who wrote the bible.
  • Bible not written by eyewitnesses
  • Bible was written late.
  • etc., etc., etc.

There is very strong evidence that the case for traditional authorship was valid and true. The external evidence throughout history accepts and promotes that each of the Gospels were written by those who have entitled them. [I.e., Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke, and John wrote John.] Papias (60-~130 AD) and Irenaeus (120-202 AD) support it. The internal evidence is rather indicative of it’s truthfulness:

  • The criterion of Embarrassment suggests traditional
    authorship for 3 of the 4 Gospels

    • Matthew wasn’t an apostle but was a tax collector –
      regarded as suspect – thus probably not invented Many of the specific events concerning the life of Jesus can be historically verified such as the Last Supper, the death by crucifixion, and the discovery of the empty tomb.
    • Mark wasn’t an apostle, why make him an author?
    • Luke wasn’t an apostle, why make up that name?
    • So we have three relatively “unspectacular writers”
      Why would someone make up names like this? Why
      not make up a more authoritative name? Peter? Paul?
      James? Thomas?
  • Furthermore, details in Gospel of John suggest the:
    • Author was a Jew with detailed knowledge of Hebrew
      feasts customs and scriptures
    • Author was a Palestinian with his knowledge of local
      geography
    • Author was an Eyewitness – given the repeated compelling
      references to people, places, etc.
    • Author was an Apostle – given his acquaintance with
      the activities of the Twelve.
    • All of this sounds a lot like John!
  • All of this amounts to a very strong case for traditional authorship!
    So whoever says “we don’t even know who wrote the Gospels” would have to shoulder a tremendous burden of proof to go against all of this evidence.

~Scott M. Sullivan, PH.D., How to Defend the Bible, pages 8-9

Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the evidence remains strong that the Gospels were written by the authors to whom they are traditionally ascribed – apostles or close associates of the apostles.” — Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, p. 41.

objections-gospels

The objection of the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses is false, but is irrelevant even if it were true. Why is it false? Strong evidence suggests that Matthew and John were actual eyewitnesses and is supported by evidence of traditional authorship. The Gospels by Luke and Mark are not eyewitnesses and they do not claim to be, their purpose was to present the truth.

Now, why this objection wouldn’t matter even if it were true? How many of our history books were written by eyewitnesses? Relatively few, at best. Why? Because you do not need to be a witness to present factual truth and history. Also, Mark and Luke had access to eyewitnesses. Mark was a follower of Peter and because of his closeness to him he also had access to other Apostles which were also eyewitnesses. Luke, on the other hand, was close to Paul and followed him. Now, many will claim Paul was not an eyewitness. Yes, this is true, to a degree. However, Paul had a special relationship with Jesus and was truly touched in a different way. But those who disbelieve in Paul cannot overcome the sudden transformation of Paul from Christian killer and executor to martyr for the cause of Christ. Also, Paul had access to the original Apostles.

The objection that the Gospels were written late is a bit of a fallacy. “Late” gospels-greekis a relative term. When someone says “late” ask them what they mean. What the average person on the street usually means by “late” is a few centuries. This is flat out not true about the Gospels. There are strong arguments for a relatively early composition of the Gospels (showing that all of the NT was written before 70 A.D.!) but we don’t need to even go into those since the commonly accepted “later” dates do not pose a problem
for historical accuracy. According to the most commonly accepted later dates the Gospels were written about 35-65 years after the death of Jesus.

Consider this: Most of what was written about Alexander the Great was written 4 centuries after his death. That is a long time between his life and his death. But most people believe that he existed, that he lived and that he was a great leader. The biographies about Jesus (the Gospels) were written within 35-65 years after His death. But there is evidence that would push that even earlier (approximately in 40s AD) than the conservatively accepted dates of their writing.

This was but a topical overview touching on only a few objections. There are a great number of resources out there, especially within the topic of apologetics from which you can learn much.

Think about this for a moment more, if you can get beyond the objections that prevent you from reading the bible; then you can start reading the bible and start believing what it says and the promises espoused within it! That is a big jump, or leap in faith, for anyone. But grasp that concept and begin your journey of reading and believing. Your life will change, though you may be riddled with doubts during your journey…do not fear! God is big enough and powerful enough to help you overcome those doubts. There is always someone near to you who can guide and help you understand what causes you confusion.

I hope and pray this was helpful and interesting to you!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

Man…Is of few days and full of trouble

Man

Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.

~Job 14:1

We each were born and from that moment forth we began to die. Our demise was and is inevitable. It will come at different times for each and every one of us, but our death is certain and sure. On that same note we were born with sin on our hands, our very nature is that of sinfulness if not kept in check or if not guided. Without the outward guidance, we each would find ourselves in a relativistic immoral vacuum. Without a moral law giver, how could it be anything but immoral? Consider this: 1.  Everything that Hitler and his cronies accomplished was according to German law; 2. Everything Joseph Stalin accomplished was according to Russian law; and 3. Everything Mao Tse Tung had done was accomplished according to Chinese law. [The list could go on and on.] The fact is this, without an outside moral force (something personal and outside our plain of reality) to create our moral code for us, would simply create a relativistic vacuum where we would see that all things are permissible if our moral law giver does not exist…hence, God.

In either case, our lives would be full of trouble because of and wholly due to our sinful nature. We naturally want to press that red button we are not suppose to touch…it is in our nature. No cookies before dinner, or you will lose your appetite! And you get caught, or not, with your hand in the cookie jar. Again, the list could go on and on…

These are sins in God’s sight, Why you may ask? Because our parents are our elders  and our trainers and we are to “Honor your father and your mother…” (Deuteronomy 5:16 NASB) Our parents, together, are our first sight of the God who created us and we are to be trained up in order to learn our place in this world. We need to learn who God is and how He fits in our lives. And must learn the purpose for which we were created, how we can glorify the God who wove us in the womb of our mother, AND how we can attain salvation.

Once you turn your life over to God, in Jesus’ care and by counsel of the Holy Spirit…you are on the road to both inward and outward change. In time, time may vary in comparison to others, you will outwardly act in a manner which will glorify God, and God will use you and I. God has a tendency to use those who are weakest in their tribes to do great & wondrous things.

Thinking parallel, the same YOU who chooses not to turn his, or her, life over to God has other avenues of living. To live without God is to live without a moral lawgiver. To live without a moral lawgiver you live without recognition of sin & wrongdoing in your life…and hence, as mentioned earlier, without God then all things are permissible.

Consider this: If there are religions and there is the possibility that any one of TUITthem may be true, then we have a duty, for our own soul’s sake, to research them and determine for ourselves. If God exists, we have a duty…perhaps even an obligation to seek Him out and then to glorify Him and praise Him. Most people are of the mind that they will get to it later…much later. And sometimes that time never comes because we never got a round tuit! Guess what? Sometimes you will never receive a round tuit to get things done, YOU just have to do them on your own accord…me…I am pretty bad about such things. I would like to think I am working on it, but I fail at every turn. But we each must grab ourselves by our bootstraps and get up and GO DO IT!

Most of our lives are filled with turmoil, trials, tribulation and troubles…this is mainly because we try to do things without God. Even in the little things and small decisions…we need God. But we fail, miserably, at recognizing that even in those little things in our lives…God wants to be in on such things.

God is concerned for even the birds of the air, and you are a step above them as He knows your name and He knows your needs before you do.

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. ~John 16:23 NASB

There are times you will ask and things do not seem to be happening. Sometimes the answer is no, it could be because you ask with wrong motives, or it is not God’s will for such a thing to happen. We consistently revert back to that angst filled teen that complains and whines because we did not get what we wanted..but get this, it may not be something you needed. God grants what you need. Don’t get me wrong, there are times He will grant you things that you want, but as a good Father in heaven…it is what you need that you will get. Sometimes we need to learn patience, or that we just won’t get all that we ask for. But God is always there, He will never leave you nor forsake you!

No matter how hard you try to be good or righteous in act or deed…you, along with me, will always fail in some way shape or form. As it is in our carnal nature to sin. We were reminded by the Apostle Paul:

“as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 NASB

Which was intimated to us centuries ago by by King David:

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” ~Psalm 14:1 NASB

We each have a problem, that is, we are human and very carnal creatures. We want what is easy, we do not want to work hard for anything, and if at all possible…we would love it to just be given to us. But this is not the way life works. While there is an uprising of those who are entitlement crazed, for you to have something is not necessarily a right…even if it is espoused by a political or religious leader.

We are in desperate need of a return to ethical and moral living, a reminder that God who supplies us with every breath we take and the moral laws that we should be living by. We need to go back to the old ways; while they may be harder, but more often than not it is better for our character.

Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.” ~Psalm 37:34 NASB

“He strikes them like the wicked In a public place, Because they turned aside from following Him, And had no regard for any of His ways; So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him, And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted—” ~Job 34:26-28 NASB

Things don’t always have to be troublesome, just turn to Him and pray for His guidance!

There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.” ~Deuteronomy 4:28-30 NASB

 

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD