A Word of Explanation
My writing style and teaching method is unusual in that it seeks to teach many different subjects, in diverse areas, while presenting information on a singular topic.
It has been described as going down a road which has many rabbit trails during the course of the journey, taking many diversions before arriving at the destination.
There is a thought within Christian philosophies of education, that the human mind is so ingeniously created, that it can learn many different things, while addressing a primary focus on a singular subject (This is not multitasking, which may be problematic for some; yet is multi-subject oriented, which can seem confusing at times). This is the premise behind most of my presentations.
Concerning the Physical Presentation of Text in these Articles
Within this writing style, wherein one of the tools to convey indirect information on the subject, as well as to give more detailed information; the author utilizes parentheses that are colored light gray, as well as words which are colored as well, such as:
1) The parentheses are presented in a light gray font [such as this] so that the reader, as they are reading information concerning the subject matter in the black font, can continue reading by skipping over the gray font, and not lose your train of thought. Then if they choose they can go back and read the inserted parentheses text which gives further information or references. If the font color within the parentheses were black, all the information would be presented homogenized, and become overwhelming to the reader.
The light color gray is meant to separated text so that the reader does not lose the main text. I have produced hundreds of articles this way, and have been advised that when the parentheses text is too long, that individuals have a hard time reading it.
I am attempting to darken the parentheses where these inserted text are large in volume [such as below, as seen in the paragraph headed by: "Faith only grows"], but will maintain the lighter color fonts for smaller inserts.
Also, as the premises is meant to be an inserted 2nd level of information, more in-depth; [there is also a 3rd layer which would appear with them brackets, with the color been a violent. This information is meant to be more in-depth concerning what is in the parentheses. Somewhat like a footnote to a footnote] The exception to this rule concerning the color within parentheses brackets is grammatical terms addressed next, as well as words in other languages, such as transliterations.
2) Also, when grammatical terms, words, and codes, are used: [such as: verbs, nouns, verbal nouns, prepositions, conjunctions, participles; as well as: tense, mood, voice, person, gender, number, case, etc.] they are identified by non-italicized and non-bold light blue fonts.
3) Foreign language words [Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin] are shown in italicized and bold light blue fonts).
Some people are put off by what seems to be a preoccupation with rabbit trails; however this is done on purpose; therefore, it may be helpful if the reader is mindful of the fact that these divergences are intentional and temporary, as I will return to the original topic.
This teaching style is not for everyone. And many times the subject matter I cover seems strange or abnormal; therefore, those that are more easily offended by this may find this ministry is not the best fit for them.
Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
To indulge in controversies, folklore, curiosities, or other tantalizing subjects for the sake of enticing those with itching ears is wrong. However, humans become far too comfortable when things are always uniform or standardized. God does not do things according to what we are comfortable with, and many of God’s dealings are beyond our comprehension, and in fact when examined closely they appear quite unusual.
Becoming Dull of Hearing
How hard is it to explain God’s demand for Abraham to sacrifice his own son? We become dull of hearing, concerning this story, yet in reality if we put on a fresh perspective, this story becomes very uncomfortable. It was the pagan false religions that practiced child sacrifice, which God Himself abhorred and condemned. Was God being a hypocrite?
The obvious answer is no, because He stopped Abraham from completing the act. God did this to exercise (which is the process to grow faith) the faith of Abraham, which caused his faith to grow in the process. God does things according to His own choosing, as He interacts with man, and especially as He chooses how to exercise / grow man’s faith (Faith only grows when it is stretched by tribulation [which are: problems, tribulations, hard times, difficulties, calamities, trials, and testing; they're all synonymous concerning the "trying of our faith"]. Faith can only grow incrementally, as more and more is demanded of it. This is because trust is a process contingent upon experience, as someone proves they are trustworthy situation after situation, we trust them more and more. In this way faith is analogous to a muscle which must be torn before growth can occur. Therefore, we must always realize and therefore understand that testing is NOT done simply as a process whereby God attempts to validate the existence of our faith, or its degree, which might appear cruel on the surface. No these trials are necessary for faith to grow, and that without these trials, it is impossible for faith to mature ~ James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12, and please God ~ Hebrews 11:6 – these trials are not meant in the same way that the English word is understood where an individual is either proved innocent or guilty. God does not place us in trials in order to find out if we are potentially guilty, only to prove up the fact that we are innocent – but trying of our faith is not meant to be a proof, it is a matter of purifying. When gold is tried in the fire of tribulation, it is not to prove that the gold is pure. The trying of the gold is where fire is used to burn away the impurities in to make the gold more pure, of greater value. It is not to prove in the sense that we normally use the word, it is to purify and to make of greater value. When God puts us through a trial, it is for our good – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28, KJV)
God has a habit of not repeating Himself too often in the way He may do something, or the types of trials He places us in so that we do not become used to the form, style, system, or way that He does things. This would be synonymous with changing the test questions concerning a subject that is repetitively taught, in order to guarantee that the student really learns the lesson, and not just what the answers are on the test sheet.
God seems to be doing the same thing concerning the types of trials He places us in so that we do not simply respond to Him according to that type of trial, but that we display that we truly do trust Him. It is also obvious that God has a tendency to not just change the type of trials He places us in, but has a propensity to change the way He does things within His own creation.
God Will Not be Put in a Box
How often have churches or whole denominations become dead in their worship and ministry because their perception of God which places Him in a box, and have systemized their responses to what God would have them do, or go through, as opposed to trusting Him in faith, and therein keep fresh their relationship with Him.
There is an old story that concerned Jesus speaking to a man, and the man becoming healed, and those that witnessed this miracle started the “Speak and be Healed” ministry. Later, Jesus touched a man, and the man became healed, and those that witnessed that miracle started the “Touch and be Healed” ministry. And even later, Jesus spit upon some dirt, made mud and placed it on a man’s eyes, with the man becoming healed; and those that witnessed this last miracle started the “Spit and be Healed” ministry.
The point is all three groups had witnessed miracles at the hand of Jesus and were correct in understanding that Jesus could use all three different methods in healing people, yet when they placed Jesus in the box by demanding that it was only the way that they had witnessed, that was appropriate for the healings, they deviated from the truth. This is a constant problem for believers, and may be one of the reasons there are so many denominations.
The Potter has no responsibility to function according to what the clay considers to be orthodox.
Consider the Unfamiliar
Therefore, it is our willingness to color outside the lines (review and even overturn man’s traditions ~ Matthew 15:3,6; Mark 7:8-9), to consider the unusual, to go where the evidence takes us, and to see what God would say to us in spite of our own objections because the subject matter is uncomfortable.
But we must also remember that God never violates His Word. So this is the key, and yet another reason to study and understand the God’s Word; especially the grammar of the Greek. Because as we dig deep into God’s Word, we should stay alert to the diversity in which our God chooses to act – He is the Potter.
With this in mind, I teach on subjects which are even strange to me, in order to remind myself that God cannot be put into a box. Yet, I do so vigilantly in checking God’s Word, in context; both Scriptural and Biblical as a whole (God repeats Himself across the wide spectrum of His Word, validating doctrine with doctrine; “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” ~ Isa. 28:10. The Bible is a singular volume wherein context must be maintained across all 66 books – textual isolation can devastate doctoral understanding). Because many have compromised the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and His Word by not following the Biblical principle of using to scripture to interpret Scripture. The Bible is its own best commentary.
To conclude, it has wisely been said:
Because all of us are subject to the limitations imposed by the presuppositions we bring to a topic. It may be essential to step back out from time to time and reestablish a fresh perspective. Because:
The only certain barrier to truth is the presumption that we already have it. (Thank you Chuck Missler for this expression).
The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ the pig was ‘committed’.”