God

Just a Lil’ Chat about Simplicity

We once went to a church where they gave the members a quiz about what their ministries should be.  To the pastor’s surprise, the second on my list and the third on Eric’s list was “voluntary poverty”.  He had never had anyone get that on the quiz, let alone a couple.  At the time, we didn’t have much, and still we didn’t really care about “things”.  We tried to live simply, but comfortably.

My husband has a pretty good job, at the moment.  As humans, we don’t know how long this will last.  We have some creature comforts, but about 6 months back, I was getting annoyed with all of the clutter and “extras” that we had.  So, I went through and got rid of some stuff.  Once I did, I was able to think clearer and it was easier to clean house.

At one point in our marriage, my husband and I went through a process of spiritual elimination, as it were.  All of the “extra” theologies that people often argue about weren’t something that we wanted to delve into.  We’d ask ourselves, “Do we really care about such-and-such happening in a church service?” or “Do we want to take time to discuss about….?”  Most of the time, we didn’t.  We had a bad church experience where we were indoctrinated with some foul theology.  We needed to reset.

We decluttered our spiritual temples of all of the opinions of the leaders that we had previously had.  It wasn’t that all of their theologies were bad, but that we had to learn to think for ourselves.  Another thing we did was study the Bible while listening the voice of the Lord, as opposed to how we thought whatever popular preacher would study it or how our former pastors would preach about it.  We discovered that we needed to strip down to the essentials.  We got it down to the following:

  1. God is Creator of all things, plus a bunch of other awesome attributes that the human languages don’t have words for.
  2. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for us, because He loves us, to cleanse us from sin. 
  3. The Holy Spirit was sent to help us and comfort us, as well as convict us.
  4. Love all of the above, plus everyone else.  

(If we were ever to add another one that we feel is important, it’s this:  We are not gods.  I won’t get into that discussion right now.)

Since that time of getting down to the basics, we’ve added back some things, a little at a time.

What are those things?, you might ask.

Does it really matter on the whole? I’d reply.

 

Give to God What is God’s

When it comes to the worship community, I think some people get a little too upset whenever others don’t always give what’s considered a godly answer to all the compliments directed their way– regardless of whether the compliment itself was godly or not.

All the time, I hear people give compliments that are very based in practicality, or the opinion of the world. For example, if someone were to be complimented on their voice, and the complimented person was to reply with a simple, “Thank you, I’ve been practicing a lot,” some would think that response inappropriate. They would perhaps perceive the answer as vain or egotistical or indifferent, at the very least. Some would wonder why the glory wouldn’t be directed to God instead of themselves.

And I think that thought-process has some reasonable sides to it. The glory should technically go to God. He gives each person a voice, and usually, he also gives each person the inspiration and strength to practice and improve it. But try looking at it from this light: the way people state the voice should sound is not the basis of worship music, or worship in general. It is only the decoration, the cherry on top to make it more appealing at first glance. The real stuff is underneath. In fact, vocal merit is a musical demand imposed on us by the secular world. From the practical perspective, it’s more pleasant and profitable to have someone with an amazing voice as opposed to someone who doesn’t.

That’s why it seems a little confusing to me whenever some people reply to “Wow, your voice is amazing!” with some reply like “Oh, to God be the glory!” To me, it seems backwards to glorify something that we improve mostly because the world demands it of us. We don’t improve our voice just because of God. Honestly, we just want to sound good. And that’s okay! I think it’s reasonable to want to sound good; more people listen that way. But I think things that are imposed on us by the world should be replied with an answer just as worldly. The world says, “You have a great voice!” The world replies back, “Thanks, I’ve been working really hard!”

Now let’s consider compliments that are not based in what the world requires. Say someone approached a member of a worship team and said, “The last song really touched me.” It becomes obvious that an answer like “Thank you, I’ve been working really hard,” doesn’t quite fit the bill anymore. I think this is because this is a case where the glory does go to God, in a way that is undeniable. Being touched by God has absolutely nothing to do with us. We may be vessels (our voice is a part of that), but what that vessel holds is not from us. God touching us has nothing to do with the world or what it requires. It becomes clear that a “godly” compliment (“this song touched me”) should be a kind of question that is replied to by directing the credit to God.

“Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. – Mark 12:17

Post by Lilly Kopp

We are BECOMING Righteous, NOT are.

We are NOT the righteousness of God. We are BECOMING the righteousness of God IN Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21, because of faulty translations, is often misused to fit incorrect doctrine. I’m not sure if this is intentional to fit a more deceptive doctrine later on, or if it is just a lack of study on the behalf of the teacher. Either way, it makes me go “hmm”.
 
The Interlinear Bible which is the direct Greek translation of Scripture of 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that we are “becoming” the righteousness of God in Him (Christ). This becoming is “ginomai” which means to “emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another. According to Strong’s Concordance it’s not the same as the verb “eimí” which means “to be”, as in a state of already “being”. “Ginomai” denotes growth into a different state.
 
Also, the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 5 talks about what we WILL attain someday, as in we aren’t there already. We are NOT the righteousness of God right now. We are becoming it as we choose to do what is right. We do have to choose to put on His righteousness, (Romans 6:16). We have mortal bodies that sin, (Romans 6:12). While we no longer are under the law of sin and death, because of salvation (Romans 8:2) we do still struggle against it, (Hebrews 12:4).
 
This doctrine that we ARE God’s righteousness is sly and deceptive. To reiterate, right there in the actual Greek translation, it says we are “ginomai” or “transitioning” into righteousness IN CHRIST. There are many Scriptures which talk about putting ON righteousness, that fit along with what I am saying. We are not righteous, as in a state of being righteous like God is. That is a different verb in the Greek, “eimí”, and isn’t used in 2 Corinthians 5:21.