Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An Awesome Blog

Please check out this blog by a friend of mine.  I'm so impressed with his arguments and agree 100 percent.  I believe in free will, not an elect.  I believe that Christ died for ALL mankind, not just a chosen few.  Check it out:

Another thought for today.  Jesus was truly revolutionary 2000 years ago, and His ideas are revolutionary today.  Love God, Love Others (even those who are difficult to love), forgive, be a servant to all.  Gandhi once said he would be a Christian if he had ever met someone actually living according to the teachings of Christ.  Why?  Because it is revolutionary and we all fall short.  But that is the standard we should be attempting to achieve.  Be a Revolutionary.

Viva la Revolution!


Monday, May 20, 2013

What do Methodists believe?

Methodists DO have beliefs.

We believe in openness regarding doctrinal issues.  Wesley encouraged a “catholic” or universal spirit for all Christians, a willingness to be open to other ideas, and to work closely with, those we differ with in matters of worship and teachings that do not detract from the essence of basic Christian beliefs.

Methodists do not believe we are the one true church, but that we are a movement with a particular mission among the broader body of Christian believers.

The Bible is the primary source and testimony for our faith.

We do not teach the “infallibility” of the Bible as we realize it has been translated many times from the original scripts and that while it was originally written by Jews using Hebraic thought and language and then was translated into other languages using western thought processes.  We do believe that the Bible is the revelation of God’s teachings for us, and that the truth of life according to God’s revelation is found within.

We believe in the established traditions of Christianity as well as our own personal experiences with God.  The Bible is the primary source of learning, but it is not solitary, and we are to use reason, tradition, Biblical teachings, and our own personal experiences to understand God and have a personal relationship with Him.

We believe in the unity of the Bible, as we believe that the Bible tells us a single, unified story that focuses on man’s inability to reach God, but God’s great love for us, and His Grace in the solution that Christ offers every human being.

We believe that God is still active in our lives and in the Church today.

We affirm the ancient Christian Creeds.

We believe that God’s gifts of Grace and our own reason is available to all persons to assist in our discernment of God in our lives and the need for moral responsibility and illumination from study of the Bible.

We believe in personal experiences regarding God’s active love in our lives.  This allows divine illumination of our personal gifts, and when combined with our reason allows us to clarify the truth of the scriptures.

We believe in the Weslayan Quadralateral for Christian growth.  The Bible is primary, but not solitary for study, and that we also have reason, tradition, and experience to help us understand God’s will.

We believe in the Trinity of God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  One in three parts, such as ice, steam, and water are all part of the same whole.  God is without body or form and that Christ is of one being with the Father and is both fully human and divine.

We place an emphasis on the intensely personal nature of worshipping God, and believe that all Christians should constantly seek a deep, personal relationship with Him.

We cannot save ourselves.  We are sinful and that we are only saved through God’s gift of grace.

We believe that Grace is available to all human beings, so that all may be saved through it.  We do not believe in the Chosen or the Elect.

We believe in free will as a result of God’s Grace.  We are free to choose Him or reject Him.

We believe God is universally available to all, not just to an elect.

We reject predestination as we believe salvation is available to all people.

We believe that good works are signs of God’s Grace at work within us.  In other words, we do good works because we are Christians, not to be a Christian.

We believe that God’s initiative in salvation allows for, empowers, and requires a free human response to God’s amazing Grace.

We believe that we can understand God’s Grace in Prevenient, Justifying, and Sanctifying manners.  Prevenient Grace is God’s everlasting love for us, the idea that he loved us so much as to die for us even before we were born.  He is constantly wooing us, loving us, and supporting us even before we have accepted Him as our savior.  Justifying Grace is the moment we accept Him as our savior.  We are then justified in the sight of God, as all our sins are forgiven (past, present, and future).  Sanctifying Grace is our ongoing development in our Christian walk growing closer to Him, developing a personal relationship with Him, and allowing Him to work through us.

We believe you can lose God’s Grace and justification only by choice.  If you reject Him after knowing His Grace, than you have fallen from Grace.  We reject the totality of the “once saved, always saved” idea.

We believe Christians should seek personal piety by serving the two greatest commandments of Christ:  Love God, Love Others.

We believe in the universality of Grace, salvation, and the Church as a body of believers (not denominations).

We believe that all baptized Christians are called to ministry or the Priesthood of all believers.

We believe in the means of Grace that develop our personal relationship and worship of God.  These include attending worship services, preaching, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, study of scripture, and fasting.

We believe in two sacraments:  Baptism and Communion.

We believe that the Communion table is God’s table, not a Methodist one, and that all Christians are invited to accept Communion and worship.

We believe in frequent Communion to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us.

We believe in a final judgment of all mankind, and that those who are saved shall attain heaven with God, while those that reject him will suffer eternal condemnation and separation for the love and truth of God.

We reject the idea of Purgatory.

We believe in living a methodical way of life regarding study of scriptures, prayer, and worship to grow in our sanctification, and that our lives should reflect these Christian ethics of life in the community, personal morality, and seeking social morality as well, by avoiding evil, doing good, and keeping to the ordinances of God.

We believe in the openness of Christianity and reject the idea of secret societies.

We should guard our speech and always seek to heal and reconcile, not hurt or inflame.

We believe in sexual intimacy in marriage only.

We believe that every individual should earn all the money they can, save all they can, and give away all they can.

We seek social morality by charitable giving, seeking justice for the oppressed, and mercy for all.

This is why I am a Methodist.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kairos Letters

The following are abstracts taken from letters written by the men of Kairos 54. This is what we are called to do.   “Love others as yourself.”

“It has truly been a life changing experience….and although this feeling I am experiencing now might not last forever I know in my heart that the memory will!  Though I am behind these walls today I am truly free.”

“I’ve learned that no matter how fare one goes off into the ocean of despair, God is always faithful to save you when we call out to Him to rescue us!  Such amazing grace!”

“I got to know God.”

“…just to remind you of the very words Christ spoke—“very well done thou good and faithful servant.  You made a difference and I want to say God bless you…”

“Your Christian actions have inspired me to take on a personal relationship with the Lord.  To better myself so I can be able to motivate and inspire others by what God has done for me.”

“Kairos has given me the light of forgiveness and a taste of real love, Unconditional love, His Love!”

“I am a 340lb 6’4” Black man.  I have 40 years to do.  I thought I was too manly to come to Kairos.  Now I feel like more of a man.”

“I came here a non-Christian to become a true Christian and now I’m ready to give it my life.”

“…I know I am free….I believe in the faith of Jesus Christ, the Real Jesus Christ now, and that these four days have opened the door to everlasting joy!”

“It has taught me how to grow in Christ and how I can promote God’s works to everyone I come into contact with.  I have witnessed God’s incredible power at work, turning hardened criminals into soft mounds of warm loving clay wanting to be reformed into what God wants them to be.  The transformation of lives and the love I have witnessed has been overwhelming.”

“I know that it will help me become a better person by the time that I get out of this place.”

“Because of you and others like you and others like you, I’ve enjoyed a sense of peace and tranquility in a place where bad things and bad situations produce bad attitudes and bad people.”

“This has created an excellent opportunity and environment to reach the unreachable, to touch the untouchable, and to love the unloveable.”

“Dear Brethren—here is a poem to show my appreciation:  I Wake

I wake to breath
The hope fraught air
Of dream reborn
Of gone despair
In every facet radiantly
The dawn is breaking there…
I wake to find
Deep meaning sown
Within a heart
Of crumbling stone
A bright and Shining vision of
True love that bids me home…”

“I have been a Christian for most of my life.  Kairos has showed me that Christianity is not a personal, passive thing.  It has showed me the need to be God’s ambassador and servant to the men around me.”

“As a candidate of #54 Kairos I thank you for helping to change the weeping of my night, to joy of the morning.”

“When a man comes from a past that is as filthy and ragged as mine, it is hard to understand the love that has been shown to me.”

“I learned that even a reject like me is loved by someone.  I learned forgiveness.  I can honestly say, that I have never forgiven anyone before.  But last night I forgave every hurt I was holding in my heart.  All the hate, pain, heartache, stress.”

“Seeing the love of God work through all of you is living evidence that our Lord Jesus Christ was expressing to us during His short time here.  It is very much a reality to me, even more so now than ever before.”

“I exist in a very dark place, prison, and I have great faith that enables me to face each day.  I know what loneliness is, I know what despair is.  God shows me what love is, what hope is….When light walks into a dark place the darkness must leave. “

“It is rare that people like us (inmates) get to step away from the everyday life of prison.  The constant tension, repetition, and stress.  These last four days have made me feel human again.  Thank you for letting me feel this agape love.  I’ve watched men torn down and built back up to be what God wanted us to be.”

“Over the last four days, we felt so much love.  I’m talking about a love that I didn’t think still existed….I thank God for giving me the opportunity to experience this love so I can be able to share it with others.”

“The experience of me being here in “Kairos” has touched my heart and made me see the big picture on life.  I found out that if we accept Jesus into our life, he will never leave us or forsake us!  I truly believe that.”

“Sometimes a person feels alone and it’s tough to open up to someone you don’t know or haven’t seen before.  But you did that without any judgment in your soul.”

“Many lives and hearts are now changed and that we can move in the right direction.”

“My heart cried out when I was given blessing, prayers, letters, and as the fellowship was shared and stomach filled, so was I filled with the Spirit you guys and women and children have given me. “

“This experience has given me a fully illustrated vision of the bigger picture of life and has given me the motivation to get back on the right track…this movement creates vision and hope for those in need of spiritual guidance”

“I was finally able to forgive a man that I had no intention to forgive, “ever” who I had hated for almost 17 years but against my will God has taken that from me!  Imagine that?  What a wonderful feeling, to be able to forgive, and even better feeling that God give us a glimpse every now and again to see the love that our human forms cannot contain but that is waiting for us after we leave this place to join Him….I have been crying and weeping over everything (Love) and it is so nice to be able to experience emotions again.  God is Good!”

“The love that [is] generated through this program is unbelievable.  And as an incarcerated individual the love that was provided this weekend we don’t see often.”

“I was able to remove a big load of unforgiveness towards myself and others.  I was able to open the door to my heart and let the Lord in.  I will be able to be a changed man, and be better to my wife and my kids.”

“A lot of us growing up are taught that familial (family love) is the greatest and never ending love, only to come to prison and find out, that if you mess up bad enough family will abandon you too.  Then sets in bitterness, regret, hostility, etc.  Due to the rejection…Only to one day find out people that never knew you in life, cares about your life, and this is done by the example of WWJD.  So we begin to see, to wonder, to ponder.  What is life like as a sincere Christian as a new creature at the hand of God and His Guidance”

“Your efforts speak love to the soul of the lonely, oppressed, and stricken person.”