Episode 29

Disciple Up #29
Always Be Questioning
By Louie Marsh, 11-1-2017

ABQ – Always Be Questioning.

This episode started when someone I hadn’t heard from in years got ahold of me recently. I won’t use her name but she’s an old friend of mine from High School. She was part of my Youth Group – call the Key Teens (yeah, the title hasn’t aged well but then neither have I! – and she’s working with others who in the Group to start a FaceBook page and work on getting us all back in touch.

In her message to me she said in part: You were such a big part of opening discussions in our Bible Studies/other occasions, questioning things most of us would not have thought to question. I will always appreciate that.

Imagine that. It’s been about half a century and she still remembers and appreciates me mouthing off with all my teenage questions! Pretty amazing and it just goes to show you that you never know what kind of an impact what you say and do will have on others – and like most things that works for good and ill.

So todays podcast is dedicated to someone I’ll just call Mrs. KeyTeen, a lovely lady who was a good friend and who I had a my first HUGE crush on, but never acted on it because even then I knew she was totally out of my league!

And with that let’s get on with the show!

What Should I Question?

As a teen I came into Christianity from a pretty secular background. I questioned creation VS evolution, the truth of the Bible, etc. In those days during the Vietnam war I also questioned if Christians can fight in the military.

I questioned so many things – which shows I didn’t know or understand much, but I wanted too. Now some 50 years later, I’m still asking questions and this episode is my attempt to get you to do the same thing as well.

Question Everything!

Things to question: Faith and the Bible – YES! BUT, also question the culture you live in and all the strange and often contradictory things it demands you believe.

Doesn’t the Bible Say Questioning God is Wrong?

NO!!

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (ESV)

As an old Pastor once said to me, and he said this at a Key Teens summer camp called Planning Conference: “Doubt your doubts.” It was good advice then and even better advice to the moral and spiritual morass that surrounds and penetrates us today.

11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

God not only commands us to question – He honors and approves it.

It’s our culture that forbids questioning. It, like all cultures, demands submission to whatever it’s saying this week and only wants you to question others, not itself. As I’ve said before in other shows of Disciple Up, this is the nature of all culture. Conform and submit. I felt that demand as a teen and I feel it now even though the culture has changed so much that what I’m supposed to submit too has radically changed and in some cases are the exact opposite of what I was told then.

God knows the only way to learn is to question.

Like culture, most religions also forbid questions and demand unthinking obedience. But Jesus wasn’t that way. When Christians and churches forbid honest and sincere questions they are sinning. Just look at this encounter Jesus had.

Quotes: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/questioning.html

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. Elon Musk

Religious belief, like history itself, is a story that is always unfolding, always subject to inquiry and ripe for questioning. For without doubt there is no faith. Jon Meacham

The marvelous thing is that for thousands of years people have continued questioning and searching and ultimately concluding that reasons for certain occurrences are not given to man to know. Robert Vaughn

http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/faithquotes.htm

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. –Paul Tillich

The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. –G.K. Chesterton

21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Mark 9:21-27 (ESV)

Why Don’t People Question More?

• Taught not too
• Hard work
• Don’t know how – find the resources you can use
• Set priorities

Disciple Up Low Down

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Episode 25

Tim Keller Quote from last week:

“When you listen and read one thinker, you become a clone… two thinkers, you become confused… ten thinkers, you’ll begin developing your own voice… two or three hundred thinkers, you become wise and develop your voice.”

Disciples of Jesus have ONE and ONLY ONE Lord – Jesus.

But that does NOT mean we don’t need to listen to and learn from a multitude of others.

14  I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15  For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16  I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17  That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18  Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19  But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20  For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21  What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 (ESV)

10  I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11  For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12  What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 (ESV)

Those I Consider Disciplers

Watchman Nee

Dr. Walter Martin

Francis Shaffer

Rick Warren

Tim Keller

John Stott

CS Lewis

Chuck Smith

Personal friends including my father

“A man went into the ministry and said he was going to be original or nothing, and he was both.” – Rick Warren

The metaphor of dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants (Latinnanos gigantum humeris insidentes) expresses the meaning of “discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”.[1] This concept has been traced to the 12th century, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Its most familiar expression in English is by Isaac Newton in 1675: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”[2]

 My advice to people today is as follows: if you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out. Timothy Leary
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/timothylea158268.html?src=t_advice

Like every great religion of the past we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and the worship of God. These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present — turn on, tune in, drop out.[3]

1  But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3  for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4  For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5  What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8  He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9  For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10  According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11  For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12  Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13  each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15  If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:1-15 (ESV)

The Disciple Up Low Down On Multiple POV’s

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Episode 24

Disciple Up # 24
Unity, 9-27-2017
By Louie Marsh

We talked last week about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. One of the big issues that flows from this historic event is divisions in the church. They didn’t start with the Reformation, but they certainly accelerated because of it. So today I want to talk a little bit about the topic of unity, why it’s important and some overlooked aspects of it.

http://reformingcatholicconfession.com/

http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/september/how-many-churches-in-america-us-nones-nondenominational.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenism

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Last_Will_and_Testament_of_The_Springfield_Presbytery

Unity Quotes:

https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/15-powerful-quotes-about-unity/#axzz4tkD2Ife2

One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always. – A W Tozer

Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it – Joni Erickson Tada
Unity without the gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of hell. – J C Ryle

Jesus prayed for unity – why?

 20  “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21 (NIV)

 It’s essential if we are to reflect God’s nature – unity in truth, and essential if we are to win the world.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  Romans 14:19

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  Eph. 4:3

ANY attitude that causes disunity is sin.

Col. 3:15, 1 Cor. 1:10, 2 Tim. 2:14, Pr. 17:14, 2 Cor. 13:11, Phil. 1:27; 2:1-3, Col. 2:2, Phil. 4:2, 1 Peter 3:8, 1 Cor. 14:33, John 13:34-35, 2 Tim. 2:23, Rom. 12:16-18, Col, 3:13-14, Ps. 133:1.

“In Essentials Unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things love.”

It comes from an otherwise undistinguished German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius. The phrase occurs in a tract on Christian unity written (circa 1627) during the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), a bloody time in European history in which religious tensions played a significant role.

 Source: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/essentials-unity-non-essentials-liberty-all-things/

  • In Essential Beliefs – We Have Unity.

There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Eph. 4:4-6

  • In Non-Essential Beliefs – We Have Liberty.

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand…So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God… So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.  Romans 14:1,4,12,22

  • In All Our Beliefs – We Show Love

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  1 Cor. 13:2

Disciple Up Low Down on Christian Unity

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Episode 22

Disciple Up #22
Scripture & Out of Control Clergy
By Louie Marsh, 9-13-2017

The Power & Purpose of the Bible

Given as An Objective Source of Truth & Authority

5  Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6  Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6 (ESV)

16  For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18  we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19  And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20  knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV)

God Challenges Us to Study It – Using the Mind He Gave Us.

14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)

14  Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16  But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 2 Timothy 2:14-16 (ESV)

You Can Only Make the Bible Say Anything If You Either Ignorant, Lazy Or Biased.

 15  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV)

11  Command and teach these things. 12  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14  Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16  Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:11-16 (ESV)

BIBLE QUOTES:
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/bible.html

Over the centuries, and even today, the Bible and Christian theology have helped justify the Crusades, slavery, violence against gays, and the murder of doctors who perform abortions. The words themselves are latent, inert, harmless – until they aren’t. Amy Waldman
The violence in the Bible is appalling. Christopher Hitchens

The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs. Bill Maher

The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature. Alfred North Whitehead

If one were to take the bible seriously one would go mad. But to take the bible seriously, one must be already mad. Aleister Crowley

Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy. Frank Sinatra

However, the Bible is called the Word of God because the whole transcript is an inspired, faithful, and infallible record of what God determined essential for us to know about Himself, the cosmos in which we live, our spiritual allies and adversaries, and our fellow man. Walter Martin

It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. Mark Twain

Out of Control Clergy

 Condoning Violence

 Being A Pundit Instead of a Pastor (or a Pope)

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/09/11/pope-francis-says-daca-repeal-not-pro-life-and-refutes-climate-change

The Disciple Up Low Down

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Episode 18

Disciple Up Podcast #18
Thinking Things Through #4
Decision Making
By Louie Marsh, August 16th, 2017

Thinking Through our Decisions:

David & Bathsheba

Think Through 

The possible impact of your choice on others & yourself

Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

What your true – often hidden – motives in this.

Psalm 51:6 – Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

The Law of unintended consequences.

Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

QUOTES:

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/decision.html

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. – Theodore Roosevelt
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. – Plato

Think 100 times before you take a decision, But once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man. – Muhammad Ali Jinnah

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead! – George S. Patton

We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the centre: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork, you must make a decision. – C. S. Lewis

Questions to Ask:

Does this bring glory to God?

31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

Is this decision consistent with both the letter & the spirit of the Scriptures?

13  And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, Isaiah 29:13 (ESV)

Is this the right time to do this?

1  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

Do I have all the information I need to make this decision?

29  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30  would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, 31  therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. Proverbs 1:29-31 (ESV)

1  My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2  making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:1-2 (ESV)

The Disciple Up Low Down on Decisive Discipleship

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Episode 11

Disciple Up #11
Why Doctrine Is Vital
By Louie Marsh, 6-27-2017

Segment 1: Why Doctrine is important.

What is doctrine anyway? The word just meaning teaching. The way we use doctrine is to describe what the Bible teaches and what Christians believe.

My history with doctrine. As a teenager and a new Christian I thought you didn’t need it. But as I matured I discovered how wrong I was. Today lots of people will say we don’t need it – because that’s a perfect fit with the Spirit of the Age we live in.

No doctrine, no Christian faith. If we don’t have a clear grasp of basic Bible doctrines then we have no real Christian faith. It’s everyone for themselves or as the Bible says 25  In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25 (ESV). Judges 17:6

17  I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. Romans 16:17 (ESV)

11  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)

In the New Testament there was a clearly understood body of teaching (doctrine) that Paul often appeals too.

Note these carefully:

3  As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:3 (ESV)

10  the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10 (ESV)

Segment 2:

Common doctrines denied by almost all cults:

  • The Trinity

There is only one God:

10  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. Isaiah 43:10 (ESV)

8  Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8 (ESV)

3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3 (ESV)

Father, Son & Holy Spirit All Called God:

Father – 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11 (NIV)

Son 1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NIV)

30  I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 (ESV)

Holy Spirit – 3  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?4  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:3-4 (ESV)

6  And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7  And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them…10  And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:6-7, 10 (ESV)

Then – the 3 persons are the one true God.

  • Identity of Jesus (God in human flesh)

14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

  • Salvation by Grace

12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

5  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:5-10 (ESV)

20  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (ESV)

  • Inerrancy of the Bible (extra-Biblical authority)

35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 (ESV)

14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)

The Disciple Up Low Down on the Danger of Doctrine

Closing

 Next week we’ll look at why the cults attack these doctrines and focus on Discipleship & the truth.

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Episode 10

Two Sides to Spiritual Growth

 My side – spiritual disciplines

  • God’s side – the work of the Holy Spirit

Where people tend to disagree is who does what and how much and how often.

The Two Extremes:

  • Those who teach it’s pretty much all up to me
  • Those who say just “relax and go with the flow” of the Spirit since it’s all a work of God in me.

Both Extremes are Wrong:

  • There’s plenty of evidence in the NT that God expects us to practice spiritual disciplines
  • There’s also plenty of evidence that it’s God who transforms us not ourselves (fruit of the Spirit)

The Real Answer is Both and Neither

12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13  For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12 -13(CSBBible)

  • The transformation of the disciple into the image of Jesus is something that both God and the disciple does – together.
  • We are partners!

9  For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9 (CSBBible)

One Last Fatal Flaw

  • Both sides in this act as though you can actually know who’s doing what when we spiritually grow. Really? I don’t think so.

28  We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me. Colossians 1:28-29 (CSBBible)

Segment 2 – Quotes:

 Sources: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/discipleship

 “The “show business,” which is so incorporated into our view of Christian work today, has caused us to drift far from Our Lord’s conception of discipleship. It is instilled in us to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes.”
― Oswald Chambers  (24 July 1874 – 15 November 1917

“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

“One of the consequences of sin is that it makes the sinner pity himself instead of causing him to turn to God. One of the first signs of new life is that the individual takes sides with God against himself.”
― Donald Grey Barnhouse   March 28, 1895 -November 5, 1960

“We advise disciples not to follow anyone. Let them follow themselves. Each one should follow his resplendent and luminous inner Being.”
― Samael Aun Weor,  March 6th, 1917 – December 24th, 1977, The Major Mysteries: The Gnostic Jesus and the Path of Initiation 

Segment 3:

“No one accidentally grows in Christ.”

Really? Maybe but…. My story of transformation on my first trip to Myanmar

The Disciple Up Low Down Multifaceted Discipleship

Closing

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Episode 9

 Disciple Up #9
Tube Float Discipleship & No Safe Spaces
By Louie Marsh

Some Rambling thoughts on community involvement to open up the show.

 Quotes:

“I would like to encourage you to stop thinking of what you’re doing as ministry. Start realizing that your ministry is how much of a tip you leave when you eat in a restaurant; when you leave a hotel room whether you leave it all messed up or not; whether you flush your own toilet or not. Your ministry is the way that you love people. And you love people when you write something that is encouraging to them, something challenging. You love people when you call your wife and say, ‘I’m going to be late for dinner,’ instead of letting her burn the meal. You love people when maybe you cook a meal for your wife sometime, because you know she’s really tired. Loving people – being respectful toward them – is much more important than writing or doing music.” 
― Rich Mullins

“Luther says that vocations are a “mask from God. That is, God hides Himself in the workplace, the family, the Church, and the seemingly secular society” 
― Gene Edward Veith Jr.God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life

“A few nights after his conversion he asked how long this Gospel had been known in England. He was told that we had known it for some hundreds of years.
“What!” said he, amazed; “is it possible that for hundreds of years you have had the knowledge of those glad tidings in your possession, and yet have only now come to preach it to us? My father sought after the Truth for more than twenty years, and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner?” 
― Hudson TaylorA Retrospect

“Often our influence in our communities extends to church programs, musicals, or weekly services. While those things can help present the Gospel, God desires for us to personally be influences on the world around us. Spreading the Gospel isn’t solely the church’s job; it’s the job of every Christian.”

– Paul Chappell

https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-witnessing/#ixzz4jetoYpiY

Jesus & Community Involvement:

There’s basically 5 times when Jesus is shown interacting with the community of “sinners” in the Gospels. Here they are:

  1. Matthew 9: 9-13, Mark 2:13-17 & Luke 5:27-32
  2. Matthew 11: 16-19; Luke 7:31-35
  3. Luke 7:36-50
  4. Luke 15:1-2
  5. Luke 19:1-10

The Disciple Up Low Down On Tube Float Discipleship & No Safe Spaces

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

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Episode 8

 

Karma’s Not A *itch Because Karma Doesn’t Exist

From all sides you hear about Karma today – why I’m doing this episode – Christians say it too!

What is Karma?

  1. (Hinduism) HinduismBuddhism the principle of retributive justice determining a person’s state of life and the state ofhis or her reincarnations as the effect of past deeds
  2. (Theology) theosophythe doctrine of inevitable consequence
  3. destiny or fate

(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

Source of above: http://tinyurl.com/y7258mjx

 Popular understanding:

There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone. Sylvester Stallone

I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good. Sandra Bullock

I believe in karma, and I believe if you put out positive vibes to everybody, that’s all you’re going to get back. Kesha

What it really is:

Problems or successes, they all are the results of our own actions. Karma. The philosophy of action is that no one else is the giver of peace or happiness. One’s own karma, one’s own actions are responsible to come to bring either happiness or success or whatever. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Every single unfortunate thing that happens, including, for instance, the murder of my parents, I am responsible for. I am responsible for being the son of two people who got murdered. I didn’t cause their murder. But if I’m suffering because of it, it’s my karma that I have manifested in this lifetime in this particular set of circumstances. Patrick Duffy (Buddhist)

Karma is only in space time and causality. Your real self resides non-locally. Deepak Chopra

Karma brings us ever back to rebirth, binds us to the wheel of births and deaths. Good Karma drags us back as relentlessly as bad, and the chain which is wrought out of our virtues holds as firmly and as closely as that forged from our vices. Annie Besant

Attachment and aversion are the root cause of karma, and karma originates from infatuation. Karma is the root cause of birth and death, and these are said to be the source of misery. None can escape the effect of their own past karma. Mahavira

Karma is inseparably linked to reincarnation – that’s who you “get what’s coming.” Your return isn’t for this life – it’s in the next. YET – you don’t know how you lived so how can you learn from the experience?

There is no grace in Karma, only the wheel of death and rebirth that crushes you and grinds you into nothing eventually (the end goal of Hinduism is to realize individuals don’t exist, we are all part of the divine, like a drop of water realizing it’s just part of the ocean.). 
Source of these quotes: Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/karma.html

 Dr. Walter R. Martin Quotes waltermartin.org

The moment you enlist in the army of God, you personally become a target. You need to remember that if you’re living for and walking with Jesus Christ, the powers of darkness are aligned against you.

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/walter_martin.html

Controversy for the sake of controversy is sin. Controversy for the sake of truth is a divine command.

When people say, ‘I believe in Jesus’, look them straight in the eye and ask, ‘Which one?’

Truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false.

It should be carefully noted that Jesus did not say, “I am one of the equally good ways” or “I am a better way than the others, I am an aspect of truth; I am a fragment of the life.” Instead, His claim was absolute, and allegiance to Him as the Savior of the world, was to take precedence over all the claims of men and religions.

Text without context is pretext.

http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1335719

Is karma Christian? No.

 7  Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:7-10 (ESV)

Note the differences –

  • A personal God is in control of this and can shorten or extend the time of reaping if he chooses
  • There is forgiveness which can (but doesn’t always) cancel the debt and you don’t reap what you’ve sown.
  • There is grace, forgiveness and love in sowing and reaping, There is only an impersonal  wheel that crushes you in karma.

Reincarnation Is Not True:

 1  As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2  And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3  Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4  We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5 (ESV)

 27  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28 (ESV)

What should disciples do?

21  but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)

In the book, Bono: iIn Conversation with Mishka Assayas, Bono commented, “I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge… I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross…”

Source of Bono quote: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-s-the-difference-between-grace-and-karma.html

Episode 5

Let’s look at what the New Testament says about God’s will from the perspective of a disciple of Jesus.

Knowing Jesus:

 35  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35 (ESV)

16  So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17  If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. John 7:16-17 (ESV)

Circumstances:

21  But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. Acts 18:21 (ESV)

10  always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. Romans 1:10 (ESV)

32  so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. Romans 15:32 (ESV)

5  and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 2 Corinthians 8:5 (ESV)

Holy Spirit’s Ministry:

 27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27 (ESV)

Cool Quotes:

Martin Luther

http://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/martin-luther.html

 This IS God’s Will For Me:

2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)

3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (ESV)

18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

15  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 1 Peter 2:15 (ESV)

19  Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)

17  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:17 (ESV)

Wrap up

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