Friday, August 26, 2005

Diotrephes & the spirit of the Age

We know that in these last days many will fall under the influence of the spirit of the Age, which is antichrist, but ~ do you know it when you see it?

I've been noticing scriptures that speak to this issue and will probably have a book worth's soon. Figured I'd share a piece of it.

This reflection comes from the epistles of John:
7 For many deceivers have entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver, and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1 :7-9 WB 1833

Here is one of the first ways to tell one who believes from one who pretends to believe. They don't really believe Christ, the sinless son of God, came in the flesh and made atonement for us by his sacrifice. You'll meet many who have decided that much or all of scripture is allegorical. Others say that Christ was a child of God and/or a prophet, but not more so than many other spiritual leaders.

The allegorization comes most often from those who have been succesfuly indoctrinated with the repeated claims that scriptural accounts of our Genesis, the exodus, the fall of Jericho, and other events are not born out by 'scientific study.' Therefore, they accept the secularist, humanistic, atheistic accounts for these events and the evolution-based psychology as a rule for personal living rather than scripture. Some even denounce believers who dare to base their worldview on the Bible alone as ignorant extremists, which is what THEY mean by 'fundamentalist.'


the support for NOT taking the Bible literally comes from biased research & selective studies.

For some decades most, if not all, funding from public sources has been only to those who accept an evolutionary framework for their research. Supposedly this is because their case is long since proven. Never mind that many of these 'proofs'~ cited in law-changing cases like Scopes ~ were in time shown to be frauds. Ever heard of Piltdown? Nebraska man? Those were some of the 'proofs' that instituted evolution in public classrooms. I'm serious.

& Has anyone ever told you that such famous skeletons as the "Lucy" standing ape had pieces so small and flattened you could have formed them into any shape you wished?

The historic studies haven't been much better. As a lay historian, let me give you an example. The official chronology is the reason that Jericho is called a non-event in spite of the existence of a layer of damage completely consistent with the Biblical account. Good archeological method says that when an account matches evidence but not your timing, then your scale must be the thing out of whack, but this is often not the approach used when the subject is the Biblical account.

The chronological framework for ancient times is extremely shaky before the institution of Anno Domini. Few methods of dating objects or even deciding the relative reigns of ancient kings (the old dating method) are beyond criticism. Even dendrochronology (though better than most of the carbon-dating methods of the 20th C) isn't as solid as most have been lead to believe. It is not certain trees grow exactly the same sorts of rings every year under all conditions.

Meantime many more people have developed well-reasoned doubts about the fairy tale of the steady progress of mankind we all grew up with. There are huge, ancient monuments all over the world that tell of civilizations and times of which we know little or nothing. For all our 'progress' we'd be hard pressed to recreate any of them full-sized. There are ancient stone cities underwater in various parts of the world. One former harbor is now way up in a mountain range in South America. All of this supports the idea that we have had catastrophic changes and lost more information in them than we have retained over the millenia. Add in the records of catastrophic flooding on more than one occasion, (some may well have been from meltwater behind glacial ice dams that caused the sea to rise globally by some meters) and you have a scenario that easily accounts for many instances of suddenly drowned flora & fauna becoming fossils under floodwater/sediment pressure. It could easily explain the creation of large canyons as huge amounts of water flowed down overland from glacial sheets. It would also explain why these canyons aren't everywhere. If they were formed by slow, gentle, natural forces, they should be.

Official academia is well aware of the effect that would be produced if they allowed the official dates and theories to fall (on which so many built their names & credentials.) Secularist humanism has become a religious belief system that holds positions of power and acknowledges no rivals for the ultimate revelation of truth ~ but its wrong just the same. It has depended on political authority and indoctrination to maintain itself for too long now.

Once the real truth is finally acknowledged, the Bible's version of history will become more plausible, but so will other belief systems that mentioned these catastrophes. I support the scientists who are trying to show the plausibility of Genesis but I hope they remain aware that this will only convince those to follow Christ whose hearts were open to the idea in the first place.

But for those who accept the Bible as truth, the quest is to follow God's will for our lives. It is important that we test every spirit, and leader, by God's word to see whether their walk reflects Christ or his opposition in this world.

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
6 Who have borne testimony of thy charity before the church: whom if thou shalt bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou wilt do well:
7 Because for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may be fellow-helpers to the truth.
3 John 1:4-8 WB 1833

Implicit in these verses is positive evidence of a Christian walk. Here we see the good fruit of believers. God's children seek to walk in truth and love (charity) to each others and toward strangers. Their efforts for Christ do not focus on gaining wealth or position from non-believers (the world). Christians trust their God to provide what they need and put them where He wants them. The attitude is one of service and humility towards your fellows, as Christ said to his apostles when they asked
which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them, are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at table? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Luke 22:24b-27 WB 1833

This compares sharply with what someone influenced by the spirit of antichrist will be like.

9 I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content with that, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
3 John 1 :9-11 WB 1833

Will you look at this guy??? He joined the church only to take over the local body 'to gain pre-eminence.' He sounds ambitious. As a matter of fact, he probably only made a profession of faith in order to forward his desires, seeing an opening for his ambitions. New groups are usually fairly open (trusting) and not organized into any formal hierarchy. If they are not devoted to democratic principles this makes them easier to take over.

Once Diotrephes had gained the leadership position he desired, he set his aims yet higher. Now you see him striving against, even slandering, the apostles whose word he supposedly was following in becoming a follower of Christ. It gets better. Those who oppose this goal he has thrown out. Those who come from the apostles he refuses to receive. He won't let them speak to the church and shows no hospitality toward them. Those who oppose him in any manner he seeks to excommunicate from the body of Christ in his community. He even ignores a letter from John, an apostle chosen by Christ himself!

Quite a snake, eh?

but despite what must have been some considerable personal charm, not everything is going his way, even locally. John himself tells us that some in the area are trying to show hospitality & act as Christians to their brethren & sisters in faith ~ beyond this fellow's influence. He praises Gaius for being one those who refused to turn on his fellows to please Diotrephes.

Diotrephes made divisions, sought to rule, & once established, sought to punish (as far as he was able) those who opposed his goals. He was not above using lies to turn others against each other, to cause people to do his bidding.

This letter also tells you of the end of Diotrephes ambitions within the larger church. John plans to come in person and appoint a new leader of the real church in the area.

"For whoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 14: 11 WB 1833

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cruising at a slower pace

For the past few weeks we've been 'living from appointment to appointment,' as Tom put it.

One of the big happy thingys this month was a very nice visit with Tom's sister who came from where her family is stationed in England. She said she tried to come right after the surgery but couldnt get an opening until the week she came. She also reassurred us that life in the UK has remained generally peaceful, despite the weather & man-made shocks since she's been there.

The daily routine plus adjustment periods for each 'step down' of equipment, medicine, and treatments has eaten most of every day. Found little time for the net and less for doing much else.

Not to say that there has been no time for fun at all. Mom has continued to take the children over to Busch Gardens & Water Country on good weather days. I went out with my children to see March of the Penguins and the new Willy Wonka. Both movies were a bit better than I was expecting. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the penguin movie on dvd later

Finally said a limited amount about some of the garbage thats been directed at us as a warning to others who might be impacted similarly. That upset a few people, but it was high time I did. I begin to think I have been quieter than has been beneficial to the public good.

Mind you, many people are talking in those circles, and many are upset with things that have gone on in the past couple of years. Covert warfare by slander had become the example of some of the leadership, greatly influencing community to take that form of retribution when angered about anything, but now the 'cold war' mentality is developing hot spots. Somebody or several somebodies has been targeting Myst-related fan sites over the last eight months, maybe more. My own Myst site was attacked just before Christmas (at the same time as Ryan Warzecha's & a couple of others.) It might have been coincidence that someone targeted several Myst-related servers at one time, but the problem has definitely been on the increase since then. Any number of Myst fan sites have had 'technical' &/or 'server' trouble since then, usually in waves. Seemed to hit a peak this month when several major Myst fan webboards were shut down at once, according to posts on the Lyst. Not all these sites have the same philosophy regarding Cyan, Uru, & Ubi. None of the sites were kept down long. IMO These attacks are as futile as they are senseless.

Perhaps someone wishes to stop discussions at certain critical times. Perhaps the one behind it all is the same someone who has made 'begging to bully' their regular modus operandi. (I'm helpless *sniff* you gotta insult/beat up so-and-so for me *boohoo* Remember all the bad stuff I said about them that made this sound like a noble thing to you? If you don't support me in this you aren't my *cry* ffrriieennddd.. and you know how I feel about those who aren't my ffrrriieendd... *more crocodile tears & gnashing of teeth*) It is also possible that it began with a random act of stupidity from an outsider and has been escalating as those affected war against those they think are responsible for their own reverses (and others react just as they did.) D'no

but I will be very surprised if someone doesnt find out, eventually, who is behind all this. Wouldn't surprise me if it was the same people behind the attacks on the original Lyst & fan communities.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Biting off more than...

Tom has his own blog now, but is still unable to sit at the computer long enough to share his latest parable, so I'm doing the honors.

'I had a friend with some of the silliest cats you ever saw. They were well-fed, never looked like they had been much harmed by anyone, but they were fearful, greedy, and would turn mean fast..especially if there were any good foods around that could be stolen.

One afternoon my friend and his father returned from an excellent day of fishing and crabbing, and set all the buckets and crates of (mostly live) seafood on the porch while they got set up to process their catch.

First the neighbor's dog took to nosing up to the containers. He was called away over and over but kept trying to catch something anyway. Finally someone got annoyed enough to flip a live crab at him (to encourage his departure). The crab landed on his rump, and took a good hard grip and.... yyyyyyyyyeeeeeooooooowwwwww!!!!!!! The pup howled, hopped, and skipped about in circles trying to shake his dinner. When that didnt do it he finally yelped his way over to one of the people to get help, and thereafter, took off running

Meantime one of the parent cats (all their cats were related) had captured a live mullet and was attempting to eat it whole. The problem was that the fish was way too big for one meal, and was still alive! If anyone, or any other creature got anywhere close the cat would growl, hiss, and choke itself on the fighting fish. They thought it was going to choke to death for sure.

Seeing this cat with a huge fish hanging out of its mouth encouraged the others to try for something just as good, or better.

One cat mewed, got a bait fish, and went away happy.

One pawed surreptiously into one of the buckets and caught a fish hook.

The last one went for the biggest thing moving in the crates

It caught, or rather was caught by, a rather substantial blue crab who definitely liked the idea of eating cat for dinner. That also made for some interesting noises! Mr Crab wasn't the least intimidated by all the hisses, yowls, and clawings that had served Ms. Kitty so well in the past. Catching the dancing dervish pair proved no easy feat, and Ms Kitty was rather bruised by the time she was rescued.

Eventually we were able to help the ambitious felines. The one with the hook needed to go to the vet. One didnt eat anything much for nearly a day because it couldn't eat the fish in its mouth and wouldn't drop it until its prize was thoroughly rotten

Only one cat had a good day. The one that was happy with the little bait fish.

Its best not to be like the greedy kitties... or that thieving dog.'