Episode 206

Disciple Up #206
Welcome to the New Christian Minority
By Louie Marsh, 4-7-2021

Articles Referred to or Read:

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/march/gallup-church-membership-decline-minority-nones-us.html

https://www.christianpost.com/news/1-in-5-churches-face-closure-within-18-months-due-to-covid-19-shutdowns-barna-president.html

http://democracyweb.org/majority-rule-principles

https://religionnews.com/2021/03/24/the-nones-are-growing-and-growing-more-diverse/

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Episode 205

Disciple Up # 205
Christians & Cohabitation
By Louie Marsh, 3-31-2021

Article I read from:

https://tipsyredfox.com/news/2021/03/22/the-cohabitation-dilemma-comes-for-americas-pastors/

At least three ways to look at marriage:

  • Legal
  • Traditional
  • Biblical

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:22

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27

32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph. 5:32-33

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Episode 204

Disciple Up #204
Greater Than – Jesus the Greatest of All Time!
By Louie Marsh, 3-23-2021

1Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” (Hebrews 3:1–6, ESV)

Partakers (μετοχοι [metochoi]). See Luke 5:7 for “partners” in the fishing, elsewhere in N. T. only in Hebrews (1:9; 6:4; 12:8) in N. T. Of a heavenly calling (κλησεως ἐπουρανιου [klēseōs epouraniou]). Only here in the N. T., though same idea in 9:15. See ἡ ἀνω κλησις [hē anō klēsis] in Phil. 3:14 (the upward calling) – Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Heb 3:1). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

Consider (κατανοησατε [katanoēsate]). First aorist active imperative of κατανοεω [katanoeō], old compound verb (κατα, νους [kata, nous]), to put the mind down on a thing, to fix the mind on as in Matt. 7:3 and Luke 12:24. – Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Heb 3:1). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

The apostle and high priest (τὸν ἀπόστολον καὶ ἀρχιερέα). In calling Jesus apostle, the writer is thinking of Moses as one sent by God to lead Israel to Canaan. Comp. LXX, where ἀποστέλλειν to send is often used of Moses. See Ex. 3–7. Often of Jesus – Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, p. 410). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

The Apostle and High Priest of our confession (τον ἀποστολον και ἀρχιερεα της ὁμολογιας ἡμων [ton apostolon kai archierea tēs homologias hēmōn]). In descriptive apposition with Ἰησουν [Iēsoun] and note the single article τον [ton]. This is the only time in the N. T. that Jesus is called ἀποστολος [apostolos], though he often used ἀποστελλω [apostellō] of God’s sending him forth as in John 17:3 (ἀπεστειλας [apesteilas]). This verb is used of Moses as sent by God (Ex. 3:10). Moffatt notes that ἀποστολος [apostolos] is Ionic for πρεσβευτης [presbeutēs], “not a mere envoy, but an ambassador or representative sent with powers.” – Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Heb 3:1). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

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Episode 203

 

Disciple Up # 203
A Disciple’s Identity, Pt. 6; A Singular Heart
By Louie Marsh, 3-15-2021

Intro.  A quiet week – windy day as I record – sorry!

My YouTube Wargaming Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYGrYPesAp1eiXgGRjfxnQw

Other episodes in this series: Part 1: #185. Part 2: #188, Part 3: #193, Part 4: #197, Part 5: #199

 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (ESV)

Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure. They will see God. – GOD’S WORD Translation.

8 ‘Happy the clean in heart—because they shall see God. Young, R. (1997). Young’s Literal Translation

1) What does it mean to be pure in heart?

  • Pure = SINGLENESS, ONE THING.

καθαρὸς τῇ καρδία – Greek Pure-  Katharos –  cathartic, cleansing,

“the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions” – Dictionary.com

Hebrew – bar lebab –  בַּר‎  לֵבָב‎

 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24:4 (ESV)

  • Not being PERFECTor a goody-two-shoes, holier than thou, etc.

The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes is a children’s story published by John Newbery in London in 1765. The story popularized the phrase “goody two-shoes” as a descriptor for a person or do-gooder who constantly virtue signals. Goody Two-Shoes is a variation of the Cinderella story. The fable tells of Goody Two-Shoes, the nickname of a poor orphan girl named Margery Meanwell, who goes through life with only one shoe. When a rich gentleman gives her a complete pair, she is so happy that she tells everyone that she has “two shoes”. Later, Margery becomes a teacher and marries a rich widower. This earning of wealth serves as proof that her virtue has been rewarded, a popular theme in children’s literature of the era. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_Little_Goody_Two-Shoes

  • Heart is the center or CORE OF MY BEING, the center of my soul.
  • Pure in heart = singleness of heart– living for an AUDIENCE OF ONE

http://www.parkerliveonline.com/2021/03/12/column-pastor-louie-gets-the-vaccine/

singleness of heart, the honesty which has no hidden motive, no selfish interest, and is true and open in all things

2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV)

2) When & how do I see God?

  • When Christ returns or I die then I’ll see Him.

 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is1 John 3:2 (ESV)

  • Being focused on Jesus I SEE HIMworking in my life.

27  Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. Philippians 2:27 (ESV)

 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. Galatians 2:8 (NIV)

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Episode 202

Disciple Up Episode 202
Do I Have a Soul or Am I a Soul?
Louie Marsh, 3-10-2021

Intro:

This episode sparked by an e-mail from a listener named John, who wrote:

Please check out my biggest and best book – Everyday in the Spirithttps://tinyurl.com/3fct42zn

I was listening to a podcast called “The Bible Project” and the guys on there bring up a point about the word in Hebrew that is translated into English as “soul” doesn’t really mean what we think. They say we are translating it wrong and that we don’t have a soul if you translate the word correctly it means the throat. The gateway to your innermost part of your body. I am confused about what that means as far as if I go to heaven or not when I die or what

Great question and indicative of a lot of what some people are saying these days about the soul and after life. So on this episode we’re going to dive in and check out what some scholars say about this and how in the end the Bible Project guys and I agree, but we disagree with how to get there.

Link are in the show notes to what I’ll be referencing as well as a link to the Bible Project so you can listen and decide for yourself.

Links:

Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson, Baker Books – https://tinyurl.com/25635e3z

Commentary on the Old Testament by Keil-Delitzch, – https://tinyurl.com/pbdyyach

The Bible Project; https://www.stitcher.com/show/the-bible-project

Bible Project Episode Description (bold & underlining is mine)

You Are A SoulThis is our first episode related to our new word studies video on the Hebrew word “Nephesh” which often gets translated as “soul” in English bibles. In Hebrew the most basic meaning of the word is “throat.” Which seems weird to us. So how did we get “soul” from “throat”? Tim and Jon discuss.

In the first part of the episode (0-12:30), Tim and Jon outline where the word “soul” comes from (Old English), and why most people think that a core teaching of the Bible is people “having souls.” Jon asks how much you can really separate the ideas of a person’s “mind, soul, and body.”

In the second part of the episode (12:30-41:20), Tim explains that the Hebrew word “Nephesh” is an extremely common word in the Hebrew Old Testament. It occurs over 700 times, but less than 10% of the time is it translated as “soul.” It also gets translated as “life”, “heart”, “you”, “people” and several other words.

Tim outlines some famous verses in the Old Testament that use the word soul. Like Psalm 42 “ As the deer pants…My soul thirsts for you” the original meaning is Hebrew is “my throat thirsts for you.”

Tim explains that the word Nephesh is designed to show the essential physicality of a person. Whereas “soul” connotes the non-physicality of a person.

In the third part of the episode (41:20-end), Tim says “Nephesh” isn’t just used to describe humans, but also used to describe animals and what the land produced in Genesis. “And God said ‘Let the waters teem with living Nephesh.’”

The bottom line, biblically, is that people don’t have souls. They are souls. They don’t have “nephesh” they are “nephesh.” And the ultimate hope for Christians is not a disembodied existence living as souls, but an embodied existence living in their Nephesh.

Thank you to all our supporters! Check out more free resources on our website: www.thebibleproject.com

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

Hebrew Word: ‏נֶפֶשׁ‎

Transliteration: nepesh

Phonetic Pronunciation: neh’-fesh

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV:

soul 475
life 117
person 29
mind 15
heart 15
creature 9
body 8
himself 8
yourselves 6
dead 5
will 4
desire 4
man 3
themselves 3
any 3
appetite 2
miscellaneous translations 47
[Total Count: 753]

from <H5314> (naphash); properly a breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstract) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental) :- any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, × dead (-ly), desire, × [dis-] contented, × fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath, × jeopardy of) life (× in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (× she) will, × would have it.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words.

Life

Usage Number: 1

Part Of Speech: Noun

Strong’s Number: <H5315>

Original Word: ‏נֶפֶשׁ‎, nepesh

Usage Notes: “soul; self; life; person; heart.” This is a very common term in both ancient and modern Semitic languages. It occurs over 780 times in the Old Testament and is evenly distributed in all periods of the text with a particularly high frequency in poetic passages.

The basic meaning is apparently related to the rare verbal form, nāpash. The noun refers to the essence of life, the act of breathing, taking breath. However, from that concrete concept, a number of more abstract meanings were developed. In its primary sense the noun appears in its first occurrence in Gen. 1:20: “the moving creature that hath life,” and in its second occurrence in Gen. 2:7: “living soul.”

However, in over 400 later occurrences it is translated “soul.” While this serves to make sense in most passages, it is an unfortunate mistranslation of the term. The real difficulty of the term is seen in the inability of almost all English translations to find a consistent equivalent or even a small group of high-frequency equivalents for the term. The kjv alone uses over 28 different English terms for this one Hebrew word. The problem with the English term “soul” is that no actual equivalent of the term or the idea behind it is represented in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew system of thought does not include the combination or opposition of the terms “body” and “soul,” which are really Greek and Latin in origin. The Hebrew contrasts two other concepts which are not found in the Greek and Latin tradition: “the inner self” and “the outer appearance” or, as viewed in a different context, “what one is to oneself” as opposed to “what one appears to be to one’s observers.” The inner person is nepesh, while the outer person, or reputation, is shēm, most commonly translated “name.” In narrative or historical passages of the Old Testament, nepesh can be translated as “life” or “self,” as in Lev. 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for [yourselves]….” Needless to say, the reading “soul” is meaningless in such a text.

But the situation in the numerous parallel poetic passages in which the term appears is much more difficult. The Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate both simply use the Greek and Latin equivalent “soul,” especially in the Psalms. The first occurrence is in Psa. 3:2: “Many are saying of my soul, There is no deliverance for him in God” (nasb). The next occurrence is in Psa. 6:3: “And my soul is greatly dismayed; But Thou, O Lord, how long?” (nasb). In both passages the parallel contrast is between nepesh and some aspect of the self, expressed as “him” in Psa. 3:2 and not expressed but understood in Psa. 6:3. There is no distinction as to whether it appears as an “A” or “B” word in the parallelism. However, since Hebrew rejects repeating the same noun in both halves of a poetic line, nepesh is often used as the parallel for the speaker, primary personal subject, and even for God, as in Psa. 11:5: “The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence [he himself] hateth.” Such passages are frequent, and a proper understanding of the word enlightens many well-known passages, such as Psa. 119:109: “My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Thy law” (nasb).

The versions vary widely in their readings of nepesh, with the more contemporary versions casting widely for meanings.

Usage Number: 2

Part Of Speech: Verb

Original Word: ‏נָפַשׁ‎, nāpash

Usage Notes:Nāpash means “to breathe; respire; be refreshed.” This verb, which is apparently related to the noun nepesh, appears 3 times in the Old Testament (Exod. 23:12Exod. 31:17). The other appearance is in 2 Sam. 16:14: “And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.”

Genesis 2:7

7then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7, ESV

7Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his nostrils. The man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, GW

7And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7, ASV 1901)

7Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, NASB95)

7And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7, KJV 1900)

7And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, NKJV)

7God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul!” (Genesis 2:7, The Message)

Psalm 42:1-2

Terrible suggested translation:  Like Psalm 42 “ As the deer pants…My soul thirsts for you” the original meaning is Hebrew is “my throat thirsts for you.”

1As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1–2, ESV)

 The Root Fallacy: (D.A. Carson)

 Soul – GW, NASB, YLT, NIV, KJV, ASV, Darby,

I – HCSB, NLT, LB, The Message,

Vol. 5, Page 55: “The poet compares the thirsting of his soul after God to the thirsting of a stag.”

 Aside from the root fallacy there’s the fact this is a metaphor. The writer is comparing a deer’s thirst for water need to survive with his soul’s (self, inner person, etc.) need for God.  The physical is contrasted with the spiritual.

Literally, it was never intended as “throat,”  That’s horrible and reflects a misunderstanding of metaphor and language as well.

BOTTOM LINE:

 My soul is saved because I am saved! In the end I’ll be reunited with my body, but that body will be changed.

 The bottom line, biblically, is that people don’t have souls. They are souls. They don’t have “nephesh” they are “nephesh.”

 42So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 15:42–46, ESV)

 So yes, you ARE a soul who inhabits a body and in the end Christ will redeem both!

 

Episode 201

Disciple Up # 201
Christian Skepticism
By Louie Marsh, 3-3-2021

Intro. Where this came from – the forbidden episode??

 This episode came from two Mike Rowe posts on his FaceBook page and a lot of things that have been rattling around in my head from nearly day one.

Because let’s face it – Hello my name is Louie and I’m a skeptic, and I don’t think I’ll ever recover or want too!

Define the Term:

skepticism noun

skep·​ti·​cism | \ ˈskep-tə-ˌsi-zəm  \

Definition of skepticism

1: an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object

2a: the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain

b: the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics

3: doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)

Basic Premise: We All Need to Be Christian Skeptics!

“…certainty and truth have nothing to do with each other, and credibility is a very fragile thing.” – Mike Rowe

16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.” (Matthew 10:16–19, ESV)

24But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people” (John 2:24, ESV)

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

1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” (1 John 4:1–3, ESV)

10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:10–11, ESV)

Links In This Episode:

https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe

His February 26th and March 2nd posts.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 200

Disciple Up #200
Looking Back To Look Forward
By Louie Marsh, 2-24-2021

Intro – Open, then play the opening of episode #1.

The Value of History – a Christian view of history – watching God and man act, as God slowly works out his plan for the age in spite of our sin and folly.

First Episode Discussion of the word Disciple

DISCIPLE

(1) Usually a substantive (μαθητής, mathētés, “a learner,” from manthánō, “to learn”;

Latin discipulus, “a scholar”):

The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts. But it is good Greek, in use from Herodotus down, and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher

In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct.

The word has several applications. In the widest sense it refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life. Thus the disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 9:14; Luke 7:18; John 3:25); also of the Pharisees (Matthew 22:16; Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33); of Moses (John 9:28).

But its most common use is to designate the adherents of Jesus. (a) In the widest sense (Matthew 10:42; Luke 6:17; John 6:66, and often).

42And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”” (Matthew 10:42, ESV)

It is the only name for Christ’s followers in the Gospels. But (b) especially the Twelve Apostles, even when they are called simply the disciples (Matthew 10:1; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 12:1, et al.).

In the Acts, after the death and ascension of Jesus, disciples are those who confess Him as the Messiah, Christians (Acts 6:1-2, 7; Acts 9:36 (feminine, mathétria); Acts 11:26, “The disciples were called Christians”). Even half-instructed believers who had been baptized only with the baptism of John are disciples (Acts 19:1-4).

The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as “one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example.”

Jesus used the term disciple but never Christian. The first instance of the word Christian is found in the book of Acts: “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Most Bible scholars agree that it is unlikely that the believers themselves thought up the name “Christians.” The early church had other names for themselves, such as “disciples” (Acts 13:5220:121:4) and “saints” (Romans 1:71 Corinthians 16:1Ephesians 1:1) and “brothers” (1 Corinthians 1:91 Peter 3:8).

The name “Christian,” meaning “belonging to Christ,” appears to have been invented by those outside of the church. It was most likely meant as a derogatory term. Only two other times does the word appear in the New Testament (Acts 26:281 Peter 4:16). The idea that the term Christian was originally a pejorative finds some support in 1 Peter 4:16: “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Thoughts on: Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ

  • What does this mean to me?
  • What does this mean to my listeners?
  • How can I improve on this – how can I communicate this better?

 THE “DISCIPLE UP LOW DOWN” From Ep. 1

The Low Down on the “Christian Ghetto.”

When it comes to engaging culture as a Disciple or followers of Jesus there’s several errors that we see over and over again in church history. You can sum them up in three words – Capitulation, Isolation, Communication.

Capitulation.

This is probably the most common response of the church to culture. It’s common because it’s unconscious. We are so absorbed by our culture that we don’t even see how we are surrendering the Gospel to the culture. You can see this in the church of the south that taught slavery for blacks was God’s will. You can see it in the churches in Germany who supported Hitler. Today we see this in churches that almost automatically accept and seek to advance whatever the cause of the moment is. From women’s lib to ecology all the way to gay marriage it’s most common in theologically liberal churches but can be seen everywhere as well.

Isolation is the exact opposite of Capitulation. This occurred quickly in church history. All the monks and people who fled into the desert to live alone or in a small community are examples of this.  All of the pole sitting monks – like Simon the Stylite (now a saint in the Catholic church) who lived on top of a pole for decades. They were known as Pillar Saints and were deemed holy because they disengaged from their culture as much as possible. Ironically in so doing they created their own culture of asceticism. Links on this in the show notes on Discipleup.org.

Isolation comes in degrees of course. There aren’t many people who can completely disengage and live in a monastery.  But we can create a subculture within our own and that’s exactly what we do. We have Christian versions of just about any business you can think of. From Christian music, books and movies, to Christian stores, people are pressured to only partake of those and shun all the bad stuff the world is putting out.

Steve Taylor captured this brilliantly in his song, “Guilty By Association” on his Meltdown album way back in 1984 – when they still made albums by the way –  when he said…

“Only drink milk from a Christian Cow”… what else can I say to that but halle-moooo-yah! Links to Steve’s music are in the show notes at discipleup.org.

My name for this is the Christian Ghetto. By cutting ourselves off from the culture we make it all but impossible to obey Christ’s commands to “make disciples.” Now you might respond, “Hey if we build it they will come.” I say not only is that unscriptural but it’s been tried for centuries and has failed for centuries as well!

And then there’s communication. This of course is what we’re supposed to be doing. Being in the world but not of it. Engaging our culture, understand and taking part in it when and where we can with a clear conscience. Being light in the ever increasing darkness instead of hiding our light under a basket that’s hidden inside our little Christian Ghetto.

Communication is rare because it’s hard and complicated. We won’t always agree with each other about what we should be doing. How do we show our world that God loves them but does not approve of what they do?

We must engage and engage with them in way that they find meaningful. If that makes us feel uncomfortable then that’s the price we must pay to really love the world that way Jesus does. The incarnation and redemption on the cross was anything but comfortable or acceptable for that matter.

If we really are followers of Jesus then we must be willing to go to any length to, in the words of an old hymn, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

In the end engaging the culture isn’t about the culture or you and me at all. It’s all about them, those outside of Christ. They are ones we must bring to Jesus. Their souls are what’s at stake. We cannot and will not be able to do that if we choose to remain safe, sound and comfortable in our little Christian Ghettos.

So disciple – are you willing to Disciple Up, what are you willing to do to rescue the perishing?

And that’s my Disciple Up Low Down on the Christian Ghetto. Let me know what you think by e-mailing me at louie@discipleup.org.

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Episode 199

Disciple Up # 199
Mercy, Tolerance & the Loss of Focus
By Louie Marsh, 2-17-2021

 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

Synonyms for merciful according to Thesarus.com:

Charitable, compassionate, forgiving, gracious, humane, lenient, beneficent, bleeding heart, indulgent, liberal, softhearted, tenderhearted, tolerant.

To Stay focused I must think MATURELY.

20Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Corinthians 14:20, ESV)

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9, ESV)

Three Ways Not to Think:

 Tribally

  • Emotionally
  • Faddishly

3) I need to learn how to think BIBLICALLY.

God calls disciples to think Biblically not culturally and not to simply follow my feelings or to go by my instincts. No, God calls all disciples to think clearly, critically (I mean analytically not to be critical of others).

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

Our first impulse should not be to either accept or reject but to test!

Word test here is one of Paul’s favorites. It was used of testing coins or metals in order to see whether they were genuine and of full weight.

Test everything – especially things that make me feel good while sending me off in a slightly different direction in life.

This kind of testing, comparing everything to Scripture – needs to become a deeply ingrained habit that the disciple does automatically!

1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (ESV)

  I become merciful through Jesus’ GIFT OF MERCY.

 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

God is angry at my sin (so I need mercy) because he’s a God of love, not because he isn’t.

18  Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18 (NIV)

I don’t want to accept this because I’ll lose control of my life.

 16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)

You will never feel accepted till you know you are accepted at your worse.

I admit I’m dying for acceptance – unconditional acceptance – that can come only from God.

I give the mercy I received from Jesus but do not deserve to others because I know I don’t deserve it.

4)I FREELY GIVE to others the mercy I receive but do not deserve from Jesus

 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

Shyness and bragging are both gone.

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Episode 198

Disciple Up # 198
The Christian Faith & Freedom
By Louie Marsh, 2-10-2021

Articles Quoted in this Episode:

 https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/09/17405/

 https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/chuck-colson/weve-been-lied-christians-not-enlightenment-invented-modern-science

 What About Myanmar (Burma)?

 What Does the Bible Say About This?

Not much. What the New Testament has to say about Government isn’t a lot. The main passage on this topic, fittingly enough, is in the book of Romans. Paul, writing to Christians in the capital city of the Empire, talks for a bit about what Government is for, why God wants it and what our attitude towards it should be.

1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:1–7, ESV)

Notice that Paul says government exists to establish justice, punish wrong doers and reward those who do good. So we must pay out taxes so that it can do these vital things.

But what if they cease to do these things, or indeed do the opposite? As an American I have a point of view on this since my country was created by a violent revolution against the government of that time – the British.

Is There Something Special About Freedom?

I believe there is and that this verse, and probably others as well, hint at it.

1For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, ESV)

The word free of 4:31 is the translation of the same Greek word rendered liberty in this verse. The word is dative of advantage. The teaching is that Christ died on the Cross to give us the advantage of having this liberty or freedom. This liberty consists of the Christian’s freedom from the law. Under the law, the person has no more liberty than a child in its minority under a guardian. The child has no freedom of action nor right of self-determination. He must move within a set of rules prescribed by his guardian. He is not old enough to act alone. He must always act under the restrictions of his guardian. So is it with the person under the law. Here were these Galatian Christians, free from the law, having been placed in the family of God as adult sons, indwelt by the Holy Spirit who would enable them to act out in their experience that maturity of Christian life in which they were placed, now putting on the straight-jacket of the law, cramping their experience, stultifying their actions, depriving themselves of the power of the Holy Spirit. They were like adults putting themselves under rules made for children. – Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 3, p. 136). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Christ didn’t set us free to be self-actualized, or happy or to have a good self-image or be rich or healthy or any number of other things. No He set us free for the very sake of freedom!

 What does that mean?

 How does this tie into what’s happening around the world and especially Myanmar right now?

 FAILURE IS THE ADVANTAGE OF FREEDOM!!

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Episode 197

Disciple Up # 197
A Disciple’s Identity Pt. 4: Staying Hungry!
(Plus the Coup In Burma)
By Louie Marsh, 2-3-2021

1)    I seek God’s righteousness NOT MY OWN since I have forsaken self.

 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

 This is the key stone in the arch of the Beatitudes. A Christian mourns his own righteousness and seeks that which only comes from Jesus. If I have His righteousness then no one else’s matters

21  But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: Romans 3:21-22 (ESV)

  • What is righteousness? Righteousness = approved; Rightness = accepted
  • I don’t hunger for BLESSINGSbut for righteousness.

We hunger for a righteousness we don’t have. It is not our own.

  • This cannot be part of my character if I’m a moralist.

Moralist – very upright, smug, self-righteous

Christian – meek and moral, humble and at peace with God and others

Moralists can do the first 3 beatitudes but not the 4th.

2)    My hunger is huge – I want ALL GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Accusative case here = whole loaf

Genitive = of  – this mean perfect righteousness not just partial.

21  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21 (ESV)

30  And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)

35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 (ESV)

We all sense the truth of this passage before we’re taught to ignore it.

Article Sited:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/january/covid-19-religion-survey-pew-pandemic-strengthened-faith.html

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