Are Clothes Necessary?

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Why do we wear clothes? Those in the North may be stating the obvious, “You may cover up to avoid frostbite.” But seriously, what is the big deal about modesty? There are no commands in Scripture for the New Testament believer regarding how high, low, or tight clothing should or shouldn’t be. While this has caused many issues and some tension especially between generations, I believe this “lack of limits” has actually given Christians a higher standard to strive for.

God wants a greater principle than have I covered that which is required, He wants to use our clothes as a picture of our relationship with Him. How we dress probably says more about who we serve than any other area of life. After all, clothes are the first thing people see when we met each other.

Your clothes are a walking billboard advertising who is in control.

Before diving into a few principles God has laid forth, it is important that we answer the question, “Why do we wear clothes?” *

The first pair of clothes was actually a human invention. In Genesis 3:7 after Ada008-adam-eve-fallm and Eve sinned, they sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. Why did they feel the need to cover up? They were covering up their sinfulness. Who were they covering up from? They were not only covering up from God in their jungle camo, but they felt the need to hide their sinfulness from each other.

Their clothes were an acknowledgment of their sinfulness. After God talked with them in the Garden, they were still clothed in their own attempt at covering sin. God then killed an animal to cover up their true problem of sinfulness. The very fact that mankind is in need of spiritual covering should be foremost in any discussion of clothing and modesty.

Clothes are a tangible picture of my need for spiritual covering.

After understanding mankind’s need of a Savior and spiritual clothing, we as Christians are commanded to follow certain principles of clothing. These principles show that we have been covered by Christ.

The first principle to consider is that of being clothed in meekness. I Peter 3:4 explains how we are to show our allegiance to God by adorning ourselves in meekness. The word ‘meekness’ was used in Greek literature to refer to a horse who had been broken. Interestingly, nothing changes physically about a horse when it is broken. It still has the same strength and power, but the power is able to be guided and used for the benefit of the master. When God commands us to be clothed in meekness, He is telling us that our clothing is to be under His rulership, and everyone who sees what we wear should easily understand, that person is controlled by God.

My attire should show everyone that I am submitted to God. This submission has two aspects. First, does my attire show I am submitted to God regarding what I should keep covered? Without going into details, men and women have divinely given and distinct body parts. We must dress accordingly. For women it would mean that meekness would not draw attention to distinctly feminine body parts, and men should not draw excessive attention to manly parts. It seems that the unbelieving world understands the innate attraction better than most Christians as shown by the advertising industry.

The second aspect regarding submission to God that must be considered is, “Am I trying to deny what God made me?” Many people dress in a way that is not honoring to God based on a sense of false modesty and are denying what God made them to be. Men with feminine hairstyles, women with overly baggy clothes, limp wristed men, and women with manly hairstyles… All deny a spirit of submission to who God made them to be. (These examples are given simply to illustrate a point not horses to ride into battle.) In this world of gender confusion, our clothing should reflect the idea that Christian’s are not confused. In denying the gender difference in our attire, we are denying the God who made the difference

There is a difference between advertising, and accepting who God made you to be.

Advertising shows off what God created. Accepting seeks to use the body for its intended purpose. As Christians, we lost the cultural sex battle. I believe the battle was not lost because the world kept advertising their sexual liberation, but because Christians did not call out the counterfeit by giving a better example.

In the same way, I feel Post-Millennial Christianity is losing the modesty battle by not pointing to a proper acceptance of our place and God ordained differences. As a general rule, people should not have to wonder what gender you are by your clothing.

Normally the women are the ones getting hounded regarding modesty. I think men share more of the blame by not applying principles of modesty to our wardrobe. As men, do we dress with the primary motivation of bringing glory and honor to God? Do we spend time honoring the women who have chosen to dress modestly in a pagan culture? Or do we subtly tell our modest sisters in Christ to get lost by spending more time and attention on those who come to worship in yoga pants and tight shirts?

Another aspect that must be considered is, “What does the culture say?” The cugangster-539993_960_720lture should never define a Christian, yet it does give a context for conversation. Jesus wore a dress (seamless robe), but there were no cultural connotations attached to robe wearing. A man wearing a dress today would make a different statement. What is the culture pushing with skinny jeans, tattoos, or muscle shirts?

Today’s Christians have the prevailing mentality that we convert the world by looking like the world. We show them that we can love Jesus and be in love with the same designers, rock artists, and Hollywood hairstyles. We let them know that being a Christian has all the same side benefits as being an unbeliever, but with a better fire insurance policy.

Am I trying to tell people that in Jesus I can be just like them, or because of Jesus I can be delivered from what they struggle with?  

I realize that the modesty conversation cannot be contained to a few hundred words. I am simply wanting to bring out some ideas for discussion regarding the supremacy of Christ even in something as mundane or flashy as our wardrobe (I Cor 10:31).

Here are a few questions that I have found helpful in dressing to the glory of God:

What do my clothes say about my relationship with God? (Primarily His set apartness I Peter 1:15)

Who does this outfit reveal I am submitted to? (Satan or Christ)

Does this outfit deny who God created me to be?

Does this outfit align myself with any worldly groups or ideas?

Does this outfit show I am more excited about my eternal body then this temporal one?

Is this outfit more about my pleasure or my holiness?

Is this outfit determined by people around me or the character of God?

 

I would love to hear your thoughts regarding the supremacy of Christ in dress.

 

 

* Special thanks to God for Dr. Andrew Hudson who first posed this question to a student body in chapel.

 

Super Hero Training: Part 1

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If you could wake up tomorrow morning with any super power, what would it be? What would be the ramifications of having such power? What would change in the world if you had that power? How would you change if you had that super power?

As I thought about the first question, I realized, I already have super powers. The first one that came to mind, through Christ, was that I am immortal. That’s right, nothing can kill me superman(Titus 1:2). The worst that an enemy’s arrow can do (under the watchful eye of God) is remove this fading outer body and unleash my full potential.

I have the power of super sight. Even though I cannot see through brick walls, I can see past time and see the objects of which this temporal world is only a shadow (Hebrews 11:13). This power of sight, lets me see reality and find bad guys and servants of evil (Mat 7:13, James 3:9).

I have a super weapon that was forged by God in Heaven (Eph 6:17). This adamantine blade can never be destroyed (Mat 5:17) and causes the Prince of Darkness to flee (Mat 4:1-8). Whoever wields it must first conform to its commands (II Tim 2:15) and then follow where it leads.

As I ponder, I realize that sadly not much has changed because of these super powers, and it is not the super power’s fault. I have not consistently lived like I have super powers.iron man

Who hasn’t been enraged by the negligence of a super hero (see Metroman from Megamind for a case study)? Even worse is the abuse of powers for personal gratification (this is why I struggle with Iron Man, no hate speech please). I could rant on about heroes that failed to meet up to our expectations, but to make it personal, what about us?

What super powers has God given you as a believer, and what should you do with them?

Let me know what other super powers God has given Christians.

Failing Less, Winning More

Would you be satisfied if you were guaranteed a 95% in every area of life?

Would you be satisfied if you were guaranteed a 95% on all projects and tests for the rest of your life?successful-1078183-m

Would you be willing to trade your chance of perfection for a guaranteed 95% in everything you do?

95% is a whole lot better than my free throw percentage, 95% is a whole lot better than my comprehension rate, or even success in relationships. Even still, there is something incredibly unnerving about shackling the soul with a 95% success rate.

I am not so much bothered by the fact that 95% success dooms me to 5% failure as much as I am bothered by the inability to strive for perfection. Personally, I think the ramifications of 95% success are unlivable.

It would make life very predictable and dull. We all enjoy complaining about failed tests, bad pick-up lines, and dumb decisions, but frankly our failures are what brings a sense of mystery and excitement to our lives.studying-ahead-642559-m

It would negate any sense of accomplishment. What student has not felt the rush of accomplishment after hours of intense study as they look down at their grade on a project? The fulfillment of the grade does not necessarily come from a perfect 100%, but after working for a grade the ensuing accomplishment is a priceless gift.

It would destroy growth and the motivation for change. Failure is incredibly motivational. After losing a race, a motivated athlete trains longer, and works harder. Without a realization of our weakness, we are not motivated to grow stronger. I am thankful for failures, because in my failure, I am able to see that I am not, yet He is. Maybe that is part of what Paul had in mind in II Corinthians 12:9-10, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

For those reasons and many that you all could list, I hope your life consists of more failure in order to become more than a 95% person.

Don’t eat the Cookie!

Can you resist...?

Our desires seem like assassins who know us so well, and at the end of the day, they are waiting for us when we least expect them.  

Have you ever sought to please God and vowed to stop a particular sin? Then the next time you are tempted your spirit and mind undergo an intense battle, and you are left broken and bleeding as the enemy carries off your banner of righteousness and mocks your very existence?

   I remember an intense battle with lust as a college student. I had memorized Scripture verse after Scripture verse that told me of the wiles of the devil (I Peter 5:8) and the end of the sinner (Proverbs 7), but even though I wanted deliverance, it seemed like I was trapped in quicksand and the more I fought, the further I sank.

This battle continued to rage until one afternoon as I was preparing for my first youth sermon on the joy of knowing God from Psalm 34:8. God graciously opened my eyes to the truth that I was fighting the wrong battle. The Psalmist declares, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” I was trying to outthink and outmaneuver my desires, nothing I produced or program I could come up with would be powerful enough to overcome the flesh and the devil. The only thing that was going to deliver me from temptation was a desire for God to fill my “stomach” with Himself. This is where the fork meats the table, because my taste buds had been trained to follow after “junk food.” I had forgotten the taste of God. This principle was dramatically portrayed one night when I was making a batch of cookies.

I would like you to imagine someone in your home gets the desire to make some cookies. You hear the clinking and clanging of ccookie 2ookie sheets and bowls as the cookies are being prepared. You happen to walk into the kitchen hoping to get a bit of the dough, and before you are showed out, you notice that the chef has doubled the recipe and added twice as many chocolate chips before wrapping each ball of dough around a piece of caramel. For the next few hours the smell of cookies permeate the house, and all you can think about is the gewy tenderness of fresh baked cookies. You enter the kitchen once again, this time with a new strategy, you ask if you can help in exchange for a tender morsel. Once again you are unceremoniously showed out of the kitchen and told that under no circumstances are you to touch a cookie.

For a few minutes you might be able to block the thought of a cookie from your mind until the oven opens and a fresh batch of cookies sends its aroma seemingly straight to the core of your being. It almost feels as if the cookie is beckoning you to simply hold it in your hand and feel the warmth it exudes and begs you to pull it apart as the chocolate and the caramel drip from its cookity freshness. I would venture that right now you are having a hard time not thinking about a cookie. If I were to pause this story and ask you not to think about the aroma of a freshly baked cookie with luscious chocolate chips and caramel mixed together in a perfect blend of chewy goodness, you probably would be thinking about the dessert I just described.

Temptation works much the same way. We cannot will away our temptations and choose not to think about them. Just like thinking about how you are not going to eat the cookie draws your thoughts toward the cookie, thinking about resisting a temptation will cause us to desire it. There may be times where we will feel we are starting to forget or have victory, but then someone opens the oven door and with a squeak we smell a fresh batch of temptation, and the cycle starts all over again. Are we to just limp along in our Christian life hoping that someday we will find a strategy to win over our sinful desires? No! God has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, the secret is to change our desires.

Let’s go back to our story. As you are sitting there trying your best to not think about cookies, you are told you cannot have a cookie, because your family is planning on going to a Brazilian steakhouse. Now if you have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse let me describe in miniature what such a restaurant entails.

They are more than an all you can eat bonanza. After you proceed through the salad bar which is loaded with delicacies such as, fresh mozzarella cheese which squeaks in your mouth, Grecian salads lightly tossed with seasoned oil, shrimp mixed with an endless selection of dips and sauces, fresh vine ripened fruits and vegetables, you continue on to the hot plate section and smell the fragrance of a myriad of creamy soups prepared by award winning chiefs. Once your plate is loaded with the finest from around the globe, you go to take your seat and are offered a red and green, laminated piece of paper about the size of a coaster. As long as the paper is green side up, waiters in tuxedos walk in time with live violin music holding onto skewers with freshly cooked meat. There are fifteen different kinds of choice meats, all of which have been marinated and seasoned to perfection. Filet minong wrapped in bacon, so tender you could cut it with your soup spoon, leg of lamb soaked in mint sauce, pork roast seasoned and broiled to perfection, roast beef slathered in its own gravy, salmon and halibut complete with homemade sauces, slow roasted chicken dripping with flavor.

After sampling these fine meats and finally having thirds on your favorite, you push your lobster soup and Italian bread aside and flip the little piece of paper to red, signaling you have had your fill. All the while not once thinking about your lack of cookie.

   If my strategy for resisting temptation is simply trying to ignore it, I am doomed for failure. However, if I shift my focus off of my sin and unto my Savior, then I can go to the buffet line of God’s goodness time after time, and feast on His goodness, and mercy, and dwell on His holiness, and feel his love, and see His wondrous blessings. I will not only have fed my soul with the choicest of meats (Psalm 63:5), but I will have no room for another morsel of temptation.

In regards to some desires (wealth, fame, intimacy, happiness, etc.) God may even decide to allow me to have a cookie, but only after I feast my soul on God’s greatness. If I follow after God and seek His face, I have access to the buffet line of God’s greatness, with or without a cookie I therewith will be content (Psalm 23:5).

 

Holiness cannot be an end of itself, God is our destination, and holiness is a result of pursuing Him.”

 

Is God’s Will Knowable?

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     If you could ask one question of God, and He guaranteed an answer, what would it be? If you could ask Him one thing about your future what would it be? 

Genesis 24 sets forth a great pattern for those who would seek to do the will of God.

     Follow the Words of God. In Genesis 24 the servant of Abraham, Eliezer, is commanded to seek out a wife for Isaac. God specifically stated that Isaac was not to marry an ungodly women (Gen 24:2-4).  Eliezer listened to the commands of God.  God will not give you a map of tomorrow if you are not willing to listen today. Following involves studying and applying God’s Word. It would have been much easier for Eliezer to disobey God and find a wife near home for, but it would have been partial obedience.

I should not expect that God will show what He wants for my future if I am not willing to follow what He is showing me today.

I must realize that disobedience has consequences. If I am not willing to obey, then I lose the blessing and power of God (James 4:4). I lose the help of God. If I am considering something that is ungodly, God will not help me. It would be like a terrorist asking the United States government for money. In disobedience, I lose the peace and surety of God.

Obedience and preparation walk hand in hand along the road to success and accomplishments. Abraham’s servant, expressed his concerns about the low chances of success regarding his quest of wife hunting (Gen 24:5), but then he prepares himself and obeys.

In order to achieve God’s guidance, we must be willing to prepare ourselves for God’s blessing and that is done through obedience to what I know to be true today.

The best time to prepare for the future is today. The best time to prepare to be a good husband or wife is before you are married. As I pursue my marriage to Christ, I will unlock understanding that is needed in my human relations. A lot of Christians know God in the same way that someone can swim through taking a correspondence course.

In our preparation, we must never forget to depend on God, “And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.” (Gen 24:12) If I am not depending on and seeking God, how will I know if I am in His will? Eliezer sets forth a pattern that is worth following of dependence and prayer. I can only rely on God, because my heart is going to fail me, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9 )

We must be doing. It is impossible to steer a parked car. We so often wait and treat our service to God like a menu. We sit down and look at what God has to offer and decide what we will take. “I being in the way, the LORD led me… (Gen 24:27). God will not reveal tomorrows plans, if I am not willing to follow today’s. We often step into subtle rebellion. We do not outright deny God, but we wait to see if it is safe. We sit and stare at the stop light like a 15 year old getting his permit afraid to go in case the instructor might flunk us, and forget that our hesitancy is more dangerous (1Sa 15:23).

God rewards the diligent (Mt 25:28), one of the ways God rewards us is with bigger tasks. Eliezer had been diligent and sacrificed for God. Eliezer was going to lose out on some big time temporal blessing for helping Isaac. Before Isaac, Eliezer was going to receive Abraham’s wealth (Gen 15:2). Because of his faithfulness, Eliezer is able to play a part in assisting the line of Christ, and now has his name memorialized in Scripture.

     Eliezer was successful in his journey and God revealed to Him His will as he faithfully followed the Words of God, and got busy doing what he know to be true.

These dual ideas of following God and doing His will are reflected in another character in this passage.

Genesis 24:16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.”camel-737239-m

Rebekah was busy doing. She was from a wealthy family, yet she was doing servant’s work for her family, and she volunteered to serve others. Men, if the women you are interested in is not currently serving, run! Rebekah was using her body and her resources for others. These wells often were over 100 feet deep and all she had was a 3 gallon pitcher. A camel can consume up to 10 gallons of water apiece. If you do the math, she would have made over 30 trips and drew over 100 gallons of water for an old guy, unbathed servants, and 10 ugly camels. Rebekah was busy using the things she had for others. So to make it personal: 

What things do I have that could bless others?

What talents do I have that could bless others?

How have I been using these to bless others?

We not only see that Rebekah was busy doing, she also was faithful. She was pure, “And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin.” (Gen 24:16). God specializes in using unclean vessels such as Rahab, but God will not use a vessel that is not committed to Him. Purity does not come by accident, purity is a choice to put God above everything else.

In the end of the story, Rebekah finds a godly husband (Isaac is worshiping God on the mountain when she finds him) becomes fabulously rich, and is immortalized as a women of faith. Because of their faithfulness Eliezer and Rebekah both found the will of God, not only for themselves, but their actions still play out in the lives of every believer, because Rebekah was the great… Grandmother of our Savior.

What does God want for my future? Exactly the same thing He wants for my present. He wants me to follow Him in every command big or small, and get busy doing. I being in the way, the Lord led me…

The beginning…

Why Wait God?

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Have you ever wished God would take the guesswork out of following Him and that He would give you a map of the next 20 years? Those who have studied the Scripture know that the goal of a Christian should be to glorify God, but it is difficult to know what that looks like as a college student facing graduation, marriage, or even the possibility of singleness.

God is more concerned with who we are than what we get done.

The prophet of the Lord, Samuel, anointed David as the king over Israel (I Samuel 16: 1-3), and then for fifteen years David waited, was hunted by the Royal guard, lived in enemy territory, hid out in the rocks and desert wilderness all the while waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled.

What sort of doubt do you suppose tried to creep into David’s life as he waited? Especially since he originally started out defeating the # 1 bad guy in the land (I Sam 17), was married to the King’s daughter, and originally had the support of the people before going into exile as a condemned fugitive.

While David waited, God was doing amazing things in David. He became the man God needed Him to be in order to rule with a heart after God’s. God will not do anything great through you, until He has done it in you. Many times God will make you wait, and it will seem like Heaven is silent, but it is in those times that God is up to something great.

Have you ever felt like God is not answering or fulfilling His promises, wait on the Lord and be of good courage. God’s promises will always be fulfilled, but often, He has a different goal than we do.

Leave a comment telling us how God worked a situation to grow you.

Little Changes Big Results

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Little changes make a big difference. Little changes create huge impacts. In college, my brother Luke and I switched to drinking skim milk, and between the two of us in a year at college we cut out close to 60 pounds of pure fat from our diet. That’s the equivalent to eating 240 sticks of butter. This principle of little changes has ramifications for good as well as evil.

My little habits and choices toward sin may not seem earth shattering but with time they can grow and become disastrous hindrances to my Christian walk (Gal 6:1-7). It does not take long for small choices to grow and soon begin to hinder us.   A single bacteria cell by binary division can multiple to become 9 x1030 in 24 hours. (Think of that next time you want to reheat a pizza that was left out all night or watch a movie that God would not approve of, or harbor bitterness, or self-justify.) Sin will multiply quickly. Although it does not take long for the effects of sin to inhibit us, it also does not take much to stop the work of sin if we submit to God.

My little habits and choices toward God are able to stop the spread of sin in my life. To follow our bacteria illustration, if I had put the pizza in the fridge after baking, it would cut the bacteria down to 2. A small change grows to big results. I may not feel like I am making life altering decisions, but every small change puts me either closer to or further away from my goal in life.

Imagine the immense changes in your life today if you had decided ten years earlier to be a better worker, a better student, or a better Christian. Just imagine if a 10 year old decided to commit to reading the scriptures for 30 min a day, by the end of his lifetime he would have spent 14,600 hours before the presence of God. That’s like way longer than the Lord of the Rings extended edition! (I should add that it is a grave fallacy to equate Scriptural intake as the only sign of holiness as the Pharisees memorized the first five books of the Bible, and still crucified Christ). I am simply trying to point out that a small decision over time yields phenomenal results.

So how about you? What decisions are you making that with time will result in significant results? What changes are you glad you made and can share with the rest of us?

 

 

A Parable of the Modern Church

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There is a story told of a well in the middle east. It was in the desert, and some travelers came across it. camel2They hadn’t put any work into it nor did they know where it came from, they just knew that it met their needs and so they stayed. It was the only place for miles were people could get water. So they set up their tents and made it home. After a while children were born and those children had children. The oasis grew until it became a small village.

And the well kept providing. It seemed to those in the village that the well had always been there and they gave little thought to the source of the water.  Soon desert nomads came to visit and brought with them exotic wears and expensive spices. As time passed Caravans laden with dainties and precious treasures, became more and more frequent.

But a problem arose and the clan leaders all got together and had consul in order to decide what to do. Someone had voiced concerns that with the size of the village and all the caravans that the well would dry up. “That is impossible!” One of the elders cried out. “It has been here since before we got here and it will continue.” But questions grew and it was concluded that no one really knew how long it would last.

So a decision was made to ration how much water was given to the visitors. Almost instantaneously the council reconvened to discuss another horrendous problem.

“The caravans have stopped and our trade carts lie empty and I fear we may never get them back.” One man said. “It is because we have selfishly horded our water.” An elderly founder said with a cracked age ridden voice.” “Nonsense, what do those with expensive jewels and leisure want with water, there is nothing special about our well, and besides they are used to the finest wines in all the land, they have no interest in our water. What we need is to offer them something that would attract them.” “We could build a bizarre under a great tent with all sorts of trading goods and music, and torches by night.” “Yes, Yes!” The council erupted.

And they began to build. Shortly before they finished the grand bizarre, they sent men on camels to all the major trade routes to alert the mighty sheiks of the completion of the bizarre.tent

What a day it was. There were animals from all four corners of the globe, and feasting and wine, the village had never made so much money before and the coffers were full to overflowing. But just as suddenly the village grew quiet as once again the caravans failed to come. And dust collected under the mighty shelter of the once bustling bizarre.

Then a fierce drought came to the land and the villagers were drawing water from the well to water their crops, and once the council found out, they quickly posted guards at the well to monitor the water. Stating, “We cannot have ordinary citizens using our well, for their best interests.”

With time the guards soon become the only ones to draw water from the well, and people started to leave the village until the only thing left in the village was the abandoned huts, and a well that had never run dry.

What is the symbolism?  List your thoughts in the comments above.    grass

The Monsters of My Heart

Recently, I have been praying more consistently for young people as they enter the dangerous and often frightening journey of reflecting into one’s own heart.  I too have been delving deep into my heart this last year trying to bring the light of Scripture to bear on my thoughts, motives, and desires.  In some way I understand Gandalf’s hesitancy to go through the dark mines as Saruman puts it, “You know what the dwarves uncovered in the darkness.”  I know that if I search my heart long and hard enough, I will come face to face with the Balrog of my desires that I would rather keep hidden.

I would like to add a few encouragements as well as cautions regarding heart searching.

First, it is a frightening and humbling experience, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” Prov 18:12  The further I delve into my heart, the more frightening the creatures and desires become.

Second, it is an honorable pursuit.  The fact that we feel unprepared is ironically the first step in preparation.  This first step is needed before I will realize that I am in grave danger and in need of help.

Third, it is a treacherous route.   Satan has two strategies, either he will keep us from ever looking inward and questioning heart motives, or he will continue to allow evil to be revealed in such massive quantities that we will become overwhelmed and allow ourselves to give up the fight. In both scenarios evil reigns.  See Luke 18:10 for a visual representation of the too good or too bad principle and how to overcome it.

Fourth, we need proper light.  Nowhere in Scripture am I told to search my heart alone (Jer 17:9).  The only way we will safely navigate through the heart and keep from being swallowed up in darkness is by continuing in the Light.  God’s Word illuminates the path we should go. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psa 119:105).  Not only has God given us the surety of Scripture, He has given Himself.  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” ( Psa 23:4)  God never brings us to a valley, He is not willing to journey through with us.  In fact, many times He takes his children through the valley so we will learn to trust Him alone.  Do not waste your valley times, earnestly, intently look for Him.

Fifth, it is a lonely route.  Many people will disagree or even try to make us fail or second guess ourselves (James 1:8).  The only way we can be certain and therefore have boldness is to get so close to God through His Word, that we begin to hear the heartbeat of God.  Soon His desires become one as our heart beats in time with His, and nothing shall move us.

Finally, it is the only route.  God does not take his children through flowery beds of ease, because He wants to show us how great He is, by showing us how frail we are.

Personal Works Cited???

 

It is an observable truth that those who refuse to learn from stupidity are bound to repeat it. That is why I wonder at the works cited paper. In this post we are going to focus on the question, “Does the works cited paper truly increase learning?” We will be examining three basic realms in which the research paper falls miserably short. It is proposed that the research paper is a waste of time, is inaccurate, and bound to previous learning.

The works cited paper is a colossal waste of time. The very idea that a student is required to research a field or topic that has already been researched is insane. The very phrase, “Personal Works Cited Paper” is oxymoronical in nature. The student is required to write his own thoughts on other people’s thoughts? If they have already written on the topic, wouldn’t it be more profitable to write on a different topic or if the teacher insists on a certain topic let them read what is already written? Does this logic apply to any other area in life? Imagine going to the local car dealer and after examining ten to twenty automobiles you are told in the interest of fairness and research to go build your own? Similarly, why should the student write his own paper when there are many references already written? If I am to write a paper and truly call it my paper, I shouldn’t be using anyone else’s ideas. (1)

This leads to my next point. Research papers are grossly inaccurate. They are the philosophical equivalent to a grungy buffet where you have no idea where the food came from or who (if any) washed their hands before handling your pizza. Because a research paper must have different sources the student is left with a huge variety of unhealthy ideas from a myriad of perspectives only one of which can be right. Supposedly this is to help the student be discerning in their study, but apparently that tactic didn’t work because there are still undiscerning people writing alternative papers (who ironically had to read various viewpoints).(2) If a student is required to write based on the research of others, what if the sources are wrong? Furthermore, as a student studies, he is invariably placed in a position of compromise, as he may be incapable of discerning a matter and may purport several untruths based on the research of faulty individuals. Research papers are also based on outdated material as the materials studied have all been written in the past.

Finally research papers are cyclicic, as they continue to plunge mankind into a sort of vacuous whirlpool of ideas. A student may have a completely new thought but in order to meet the criteria for the paper must suppress and smother the spark of intellect. (For actual case studies the writer recommends checking out the lives of persecuted geniuses such as Galileo, Edison, and the guy who invented Totinos pizza). This fact is one which all students should be intently concerned about for the simple reason that all intellectual progress is hindered by it. It must be asked, where did the source get its source? If we follow this idea far enough, someone started it all. Someone had to not cite his sources! Why is a student required to cite his sources, when the sources he cites from originally where not cited?   The implications of this fact are immense. Someone is in control of our entire intellectual system and therefore created the works cited as a tool for his own diabolical scheme. (3)

The world is being held in darkness as students everywhere are wasting precious time on inaccurate research determining preconceived conclusions. The only way to stop such a mad menace and deliver the thinking mind from certain doom is to ban the work cited paper. I realize this is no easy task, as it has grasped the intellectual world in a strangle hold (4), but there are subtle ways to let your mind shine and carry the truth to our needy world. Next time you write a works cited paper, you must determine what you are to write on before-hand and simply add those who agree with you, or if needed add the most ludicrous and unbelievable source you found and add it out of context, at the very least, write your paper and then add an outline. This is the only sane way to recover what we have lost in circles of academia worldwide.

 

Bibliography

1: Live Your Own Life, N.O. Learning, Shortsighted Press 2001

2: Never Trust a Book, S. N Eacky, Whatever Publishing house 2009

3: The Schizophrenic Guide to the Universe, Al. Fraido, Basement Publications

4: Sunday Morning Comics, Marmaduke goes to Space