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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A DANGEROUS GOD IN OUR IMAGE

    You can twist the Bible.  You can make it say whatever you want.  You can do a quick google search and bam. Typing whatever you want to believe and requesting back up verses and that’s everything  needed for today’s Christians to create their own doctrines and theology’s. There are many blessings in having thousands of Biblical resources at your fingertips, but there is a danger in being able to build and form your world view and slapping God’s endorsement on it, while not being willing to go in depth in your studies.    We could make up any foolish theology and google a few verses to back it up, and in depth study is either rejected or viewed as overkill.

   Why do I say it’s dangerous to be able to make up your own world view and slaps God’s endorsement on it?  Because you could be wrong, maybe just a little bit wrong on a minor issue, but maybe you’re way off on a crucial doctrine.  What would be even worse is if you are sharing this wrong thinking with others, while saying you have a biblical backing for what you believe when you’ve only read a few verses that might back up what you’ve said.

  But shouldn’t we have the freedom and liberty to believe whatever we want?  Yes, this is a free country we live in, and you can believe ANYTHING, but it is a dangerous trend to form your own doctrine in your head first and consult the bible second, and only looking for a few verses that back up what popped in your mind.

Why? Because our mind and opinions are flawed.  Let’s look at our opinions.  Where do they come from?  Our opinions are formed in our minds, and our influenced by how we are raised, by life events, people we meet, and by the knowledge we embrace.  Now opinions are not bad, and everyone has one.  But opinions are flawed, and we all have at least one wrong opinion about something or someone. Not all are bad, but some are. This is why we must require of ourselves an honest look at the Bible before settling the matters in our minds.   

     Let’s use Hell as an example.  Hell is a very controversial subject right now. Some believe it’s a fable, some believe it’s 100% forever, and others believe it’s just for visiting.  Now, the best thing to do if you were to study Hell would be to google something like “Verses about Hell” or using your concordance to find verses about hell and just read the verses straight up.  If you get on a blog (like this one) or a commentary, it’s just a man’s opinion (In this case mine).  However, just by reading the verses alone in context, and digging as deep as you like, you can form and opinion and be confident that you’ve not been influenced by man’s opinion.  If you had an opinion that Hell was a fable, and searched “Verses about Hell not being real” by only searching for those verses, you might be able to construct a doctrine that fits your view, but by searching only a few verses about Hell, you’re missing out on a lot of verses about it that may be helpful to you search.  When I’m curious about something, I read EVERY verse I can find about that subject before even considering making up my mind anymore because I’ve found it’s easier that way because I have been wrong so often!.  I sometimes wonder if what I already believe is true since I can’t quote a scripture to validate it, so I’ve found many times looking at it objectively helps me the best to either confirm or dismiss my own opinions.  If I believed Hell was fake, I would try to build a case against what I think and then another case for what I do think, and see what the bible actually says in the context of all the verses on the subject.

  In case you didn’t catch on, I love studying.  Anything really, but including the Bible, and not all of you find life in it and will not want to go in depth as I always do, but by looking honestly and objectively, you’ll grow.  You don’t need to go crazy if you really are pushed for time, but looking at the Scriptures with an honest opinion will get you far. I always say that if you’re not finding out ways you’re wrong on a regular basis when you read the Bible, you’re not reading it enough!

What motived me to write this blog that is no doubt one of my more boring, less interesting blogs?   Romans 1:21-26

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts…
When I look at facebook or hear some pastors preach, and I hear and see verses taken out of context, it makes me worry about the shape of the church, where we just construct a God in our own image, rather than coming before Him humbly with our questions and searching His word.  I truly long to see a generation form to the image of the uncreated God, but I see how we are so easily forming and fashioning god’s of our own minds and wills to tickle our ears and allow us to do as we please.   A god made in our image is dangerous to us, and it’s dangerous to our generation simply because a god in our image is wrong and will lead us deeper into deception and immorality, 100% of the time.  Our generation does not literally build or create new gods, but rather, we modify the One we have, till we have nothing left of Him, and are left with an empty religion of death and opinions.  We do create new gods in the sense that we make God into whatever we want, and if you read every verse about God’s people creating their own god’s, it always, 100% of the time, ended up in bondage and deeper deprivation and a loss of contact with God.  

  When I write this blog, I refuse to simply look up verses that endorse my understanding.  This blog is an outlet for me to grow and stretch and it requires me to go in depth.   There have been times when I had my mind made up about a subject, but as I studied it for posting here, I realized I was wrong, and had taught others wrong, and I had to research and re think life long held values.  That’s a part of growing.  I see so many times people believing something, and their beliefs never evolve.  They may die, and their   knowledge never grew. Being wrong is not bad, as long as you are willing to admit it, accept it, and search for truth.
   
  As I write this year, and start posting videos, I plan to post A LOT of scripture references at the bottoms of my blogs and videos because I want you to be able to see where I get my thoughts, what is shaping them, and why.  I want to expose how we embrace man made theology, and I want us all to be able to recognize it in our own lives as we grow more familiar with the word this new year

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The rambles will continue soon.

So I have not blogged in a while. I've thought about it, and I have quite a few things typed up and ready to go, but life has been happening in full force and my sit down and blog time has shrunken. But it's a New Year and time management is something I would really love to focus on this year, so yea, you're going to be hearing a lot more rambles about Jesus from me.

Since I last blogged, so much has happened.  I've had experiences with Jesus, angels, and more. I've had some experiences that I'm sure I'm allowed to share, but won't just yet because of how insane they really sound.  I've experienced things that have surprised me, while they were happening I was thinking, "Is this really happening?".  If I were to just blurt these out, I would be written off as a lunatic.   Not that those opinions are going to stop me, but I'm just going to wait till I feel led to share these things.  

This year, some of the things I really am excited about blogging about are angels, homosexuality, dreams and visions, grace, negativity vs positivity, and why I'm confident about  the Bible being something I can live my life around.   I'm planning on posting something by the end of the week, and trying to post every Friday night this year.

I really look forward to continuing this blog this year and hope that some of you are looking forward to it as well.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Doom and Gloom

Hi, my name is David.  Most anyone who reads this blog already is aware of that.  But I want to make people aware of one simple fact.  I'm not a very important person. I don't have a big title, I'm not  head of any major company or ministry.  I'm just me.  I started to say that I'm just normal, but that's not at all true.  I'm not normal by any means.  I just work at Taco Bell, and I'm not even really important there. I just work in the drive thru. This might really bother some people, but I'm actually content with my life.  It's not that I'm not motivated, I'm just not motivated by earthly things.  I'm the only Christian at work.  I'm the only light they see.  If not me, who else?  Not only am I really not an important person with a big title nor do very many people know who I am, I plan on keeping it that way.  I have no intentions of becoming more "important".  I have no plans to further my own name or influence in this world at all. I just plan to cultivate my relationship with my God, find how who I am, and continue living on.  

    In this blog tonight, I plan on sharing some important words that I feel like God gave me,  I'm just me, but I am a friend of God.  He speaks to those that walk with Him, but the thing is this.   Every single one of you have the same access that I have.  You can talk and hold conversation with Heaven.  Because maybe you're like me.  Maybe you're not important in this world by it's standards. But you are treasured in Heaven.  You're a child of the Good Father.  And you're important to Him. I'm saying all of that to say that anything I say or feel like God said to me, you can pray about it, ask Him about, and discuss it with Him.   I'm not saying I'm 100% right, but I do believe that what I'm saying here is what I've heard or felt from God

  This blog is going to have two major points.   The first is my honest opinion of "doom and gloom" prophets and many of the prophecies that are out about the end of the nation and the end of the world.  The second is a word I feel like I have about the times we live in and what I feel like might be coming.


 So first, let me share how I feel about the "pro judgment" crowd.  When I say "pro judgment" crowd, I mean people who saw Katrina hit New Orleans and were happy, and maybe even said "I saw this coming" People who saw that as an act of God.   People who maybe saw 9/11 as punishment for our wicked ways.  People who like to stand on street corners shouting out to random strangers "You're going to Hell" or maybe "God hates FAGS" or something like that.  I think in general, those people are idiots.  I think the exact term would be bastard. I don't mean that in a swearing way at all!  I don't cuss, but I mean that in it's literal meaning as "illegitimate son"  and I feel that I can say that with somewhat certainty because these people are acting like they have never met their Father. They bear their Fathers name, but they act nothing like Him.  They have a Father who is love,  yet they live in hate and criticism.  These people misunderstand the heart of the loving Father that we have, and they actually hurt the Kingdom they are trying advance in some cases.
    Fear is not a tool that we use to gain people into the Kingdom.  We use love and peace.   The Bible says in 2 Tim 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of fear.  So if we are trying to use a spirit of fear to gain control over people, where did we get it from?   Fear does not motivate people to repentance.  Romans 2:4 actually says that it's God's grace that is intended to being us to repentance.

            Let's take a look at the the "Doom and Gloom" prophecies of the Bible.
  We see the first one with Sodom and Gomorrah.  Even here, we see the grace of God.  Abraham kept pressing God, "what if there were this many?" and "what  if there were that many" . And every time, God agreed that if there were that many righteous were in the city, it would be spared. All the way down to if there were two, the city would be spared. Now if you read it, it really seems like he could have kept going!  It really seems like Abraham could have asked, "What if there is only one" And maybe Sodom and Gomorrah would have been saved?  Who knows, and that is clearly just my speculation.  
  But we read in Exodus 32 that God was angry.   He was furious with Israel and was going to destroy all of them.  He did not say "If you pray, I will save them" or "If you repent" or "If you fast"  He simply said He was going to wipe them out.   He told Moses this.  BUT Moses pleaded with God. Moses begged God. And the Bible actually says "The Lord changed His mind"!!!!!

    This makes me ponder, what if all of the Old Testament prophets had done this?  What of all the doom and gloom prophets were begging and pleading with God?   God did not provoke Moses to plead, as far scripture tells. Moses did it on his own human accord, and God responded with grace.   Who's to say that  God would not have responded the same way to any Old Testament prophet?   I do strongly believe that in a lot of the doom and gloom prophecies out today, there is a little bit of truth, if not more.   But it's how we respond to the truth.  Maybe God is going to allow evil things to happen to this country, it would indeed be surprising if He did not with the leaders we have put in place and the morals we uphold.  But what should we, as the faithful, do about it? I say pray for one more hour.   Pray for one more month.  Keep praying.  God's grace is beyond measure. And revival could break out.  We could pray for revival that causes our leaders to repent and one that changes the heart of this nation.   It's possible!!!   God is alive and well and can move today!

  Now onto what I feel.   Last year I shared on Facebook and with many friends about a coming shift.   I included that terrorism  had a new face.  It was going to start attacking movie theaters, elementary schools, and sporting arena's, and it was going to it us where it hurt.  This was only a few day's before the shootings at the Batman movie, and it was a few months before the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the schools there.  Obviously, that did happen.  I'm not saying "I'm right, believe me"  And I'm not saying that the fact that one single word happened to be right validates me in anyway.  What I am going to point out is this.  There have been no sporting arena attacks.  But in the vision that included the other two attacks, I saw stadiums and coliseums covered in blood. I also feel that it was a live event, and a big one that many people were watching and that's what made it such a nice target.  I believe that this is something we should pray against. The fact that the first two parts of that vision did come to past makes me feel strongly that I need to be praying for peace for our country, and over all the sports fields.   I really feel like for this season we need to pray for two things.  Grace, and readiness.

    We need to be praying that the best will happen, but ready for the worst.  At least that's how I feel on a personal level, and  I would appreciate it if all of you who read this would pray about what God is telling you.  As I said at the beginning, we all have the same Holy Spirit living inside of us and all can ask and converse with Him at any moment.  He is ready and willing to talk with you.  I have not shared anything with the goal of scaring you, nor with the goal of making my self more important in anyone's eyes.  I wrote this post, as well as all the others I've posted, just to help expand our minds and to ask questions that aren't always easy.  

   I know many of my friends who will read this will not be happy because they are either doom and gloom or they are ultra grace and believe that anything happening is out of the question.  I feel like both of those are extreme views, and I hold neither.I really hope that NOTHING happens, but I do feel that SOMETHING is going to happen. And I feel that we might be unprepared in some ways.  But if I am to look honestly at our lack of preparation, I must look at God, who is able to prepare us!  I do believe that in this moment we live in, God is preparing. He is preparing the hearts and minds for something.  Something big.  And I think it's revival.  I think it's a big one.  A never ending one.  A great one.  At least that's what I'm hoping for.  But again, if I look at revival, I must say that the first verse to come to mind is in Exodus,  The more the Egyptians persecuted the Hebrew's, the more they multiplied.   I really believe that in this issue, it could easily be both "sides"  or both opinions, are right in some ways.    

Thursday, September 12, 2013

True Worship

   Worship has been my favorite part of church service for a long time.  I've never cared about the music, the worship leader, or anything else. I've always just loved being in the room with everyone seeking the same thing with the same heart and experiencing God.  As I've experienced more of Him, I would say my definition of worship has changed. You see, I no longer view worship as a set of songs on Sunday.  I don't even connect it with music in the same way I once did.

  I really feel that the definition I went by is what most of the church knows.  What I thought was that worship was a song, or songs, about God that we sing at church.  While that IS an expression of worship, it's a very shallow understanding and experience of what the reality is.
I believe worship is not only a song, but a lifestyle. I was worshiping and praying in my bed room maybe five years ago when I looked up and saw a demon above my bed.  It was white, and it was beautiful. It looked like a living flower.   It smiled at me and said "Worship me".  I of course said no.   However, God showed me how I HAD worshiped it.  It  was a spirit of lust and perversion, and by entertaining lustful thoughts, I was feeding the demon.  Just like blood in water attracts a shark, this demon had been attracted to my lustful thoughts and had come to feed.

     I believe we are worshipers all the time.  It's in our DNA to worship.  We can't stop.  In fact, science has discovered that on our most basic molecular level, we are music.  We are each a unique song that is actually shaped by our emotions!  There is a whole science behind this, and I really would love to go into a rabbit trail here, but I'm trying to avoid that!   I just wanted to mention it because I feel it supports my view that we are ALWAYS worshiping.  Maybe not always God, but I believe every action is an act of worship at the most basic level.   Maybe we are worshiping our cars, or families, our houses, or maybe our jobs.   We can look at what we are most anxious to please, what we are laboring for, and where are our life is pointed.  I think most people worship money or things.  Many worship sex.    I even look at Jesus's temptation with Satan differently.  The whole  "worship me and I'll give you kingdoms"  temptation really stands out in new light with the understanding that our sins feed into the spirit world. Satan could have received any sin as worship, and what he was actually tempting Jesus at the time was doubt.  That's why he said , "IF you are the son of God"
  You see, the "science" of angels is that they feed off of the will of God.  They get substance and strength from doing His will.  Demons, which are just fallen angels, need substance and strength as well.  They obviously do not sustain themselves from the will of God, so therefore they must look else where, which is why our sinning in so important to them! This is why Ephesians 4:26-27 says do not give the devil a foot hold, because by sinning, your are worshiping them and giving them strength.  It's also why James 4:7 says that if you resist the devil, he will flee!  When we are no longer feeding him, he has to go get fed elsewhere.

 This is why Satan and the demons with him want you to sin so badly.   Not only is it a slap in the face of God, but it's also the only way they can get strength.

But this is not suppose to be a blog about the science of demons by any means.  I just wanted to share how crucial it is to stay focused on God and worshiping Him. Worshiping Him really does start in every area of your life!  You don't even have to change most of the things you do, you just have to change the motives.  

Eating!!!!  Your eating can be an expression of worship! Start eating healthy, so that you can serve God with your body for years to come.  Give your body substance and take care of it so that you can use it to further His Kingdom. Things like even working, you can be at work, extending the Kingdom of God and you can use the money you earn there to do the same!   Even TV and movies!  Yes, your mind needs to be ministered to as well!  Allow your mind to be refreshed and entertained so that you can rest better and enjoy time with your family.  Your mind being ministered to is good stewardship of what God gave you, and is therefore, worship, as long as it's done with decent tv and not in access.

  I really do believe that every action we do is worship, and it's important to change our motives and actions in a way that only blesses God and furthers Heaven.  Yes, it's radical, but are we called to be anything else?  Radical Christianity is the only Christianity endorsed by the Bible!
  True worship is not a song we sing, but a life we live, and the sweetest worship we can give is how we live when no one else is watching. Integrity is worship.  This is really convicting to me in a lot of ways to see how I have worshiped demons and entertained them with our meaning to. However, conviction is not my motive, and I don't want anyone to feel a heavy burden or feel terrible for entertaining demons! When you fall, Jesus will stop you from drowning, but it's important that you try and stop.  It's important that you try and walk forward. When you fall, fall forward, into the arms of Christ!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bad choices

  I had two dreams a few nights ago that were really interesting.   In the first one, I was a teacher.  A music teacher for advanced musicians. My room was at the end of a hallway and half of it was blocked by partitions and was being used for storage.  My half was open, I had the students desk all facing mine and mine facing them.   When they arrived, I was surprised that I was a teacher. I kept thinking "Me, the craziest person in this room haha"  I was being my normal weird self, and than I woke up as Justin was heading to work.   I fell back asleep, and had another short dream.  In this dream, I was a student.  I was taking a test and I knew I needed to write perfectly.  It was like the way I wrote was more important than the answers them self.  I was carefully writing my name, very very neatly, when I woke up to get ready for work.

  I walk to work, so I had some time to think about these dreams, and although there are parts of both I don't fully understand, I think I grasp most of it.  In the first, I was where I'm going to be, and in the second was where I was.

I feel like I'm being tested for what the next season is going to be like, and I'm not sure I've been doing so swell to be honest. I've been failing at some parts, making bad choices on everyday things and improvement seems to be so hard for me.  I really have been making pretty sorry choices for things, and I know they are bad, and yet I make them anyway, and afterwards I always feel depressed.   A pastor once told me Satan is with you through out the temptation process but leaves you when you've sinned, and that's why you feel so alone and down.   I actually think he stays with you, and THAT's why you feel so bad.  I think he not only wants you to mess up, he wants you to feel to bad to get better.  He wants you to settle.

  I know God still loves me, He is love and that's what He does.  His opinion of me can not and does not change.  I am still His child.  Yet I still need to step forward, I can not molest the grace of God, otherwise I manifest my love for sin is greater than my love for Jesus.  And Jesus will give me over to which ever I truly choose to love.   I can not have two masters, and eventually, I will choose one or the other.   The whole reason I'm writing this right now is to keep my self on track.   I'm choosing to serve Jesus.  I'm going to make less bad choices tomorrow.  And even less the next day.  And maybe I'm writing this hoping that one of you will read it and need to know someone is  broken and at the feet of Jesus just like you.  

  Our lives are alabaster jars.  Let's just all shatter them at the feet of Jesus and let him take the burden.  He wants to take it.  There is no need to labor anymore.   Let him take the struggles, the depression, and the sin.
I will make better choices tomorrow because I'm giving up on messing up.  I am walking with Jesus, because He will remain my one and only master.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Focus on the rest

Focus on rest


So, I was in a cold hearted season.  I felt no passion, it was hard for me to get into the word or worship.  I was angry, depressed, and struggling with things that I had not even thought about in over three years.  I was not just sitting around letting these things beat me up either.  I was fighting them full force WHILE they were beating me up.  I spent so much energy into fighting being depressed that when I continued to fail, I was even more tired and more depressed and had no energy for anything.  
 I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO COUPON.   Anyone who knows me knows that if I’m too worn out to coupon, something is really wrong with me.  Of course, Justin was more than happy to oblige and allow me to take a rest from the couponing haha. After exerting so much effort into myself repair, I became even weaker.
  

I really want you to understand, I put every effort into fighting my sadness.  It was not until a friend messaged me and described what she was going through, which was exactly what  I was going through, that I realized all of the junk that was going on really only symptoms.   Symptoms of complacency, distraction, and ignorance.   I know that sounds harsh to say to myself, but what had happened is I just got distracted and the illusion of my past struggles sprung up as a warning sign that my attention was off focus.   I became ignorant of a fact that I cherish.   I’m restored.  Jesus died, and Jesus said “It is finished”  The works of the cross are already complete inside of us all, and there is no depression inside of me.  The struggles that rose up were just lies.   Jesus took my sinful nature into that grave with Him, but only Jesus made it out.  That’s not just my opinion, take a look at Romans, Ephesians, and 1 John, and you’ll see that the works of the cross are indeed 100% finished, and there is no more work to do, and you’re also see that our sinful nature was present, killed, and buried with Christ.  And it’s also important to note that only Christ made it out three days later.
 
   I got distracted from my identity in Christ.  From who I am and the wholeness that I have with the Divine.   I fell back into effort based religion, where I was trying to fight my way to a victory that was already mine.   And all the crap that I felt, it was only a light in the dashboard telling me to take a look under the hood. It wasn’t something that I needed to fight, or resist.  All I needed to do was surrender to Christ.  Fighting sin will do nothing for you, but there is victory when you surrender to Christ.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Godly Discipline.

Godly Discipline.




  After I started writing this blog, and while I researching, I flip flopped on this issue in some huge ways. I had the entire thing written, but after doing some reading up, I believe I have completely changed my heart on this issue.

  Let me start off asking you a question.  Do you want your children to obey you out of love, or out of fear?  Do you want them to do right because they are wise, or just because they fear punishment?   Choose one, and it will greatly impact how you discipline your child.

   Discipline absolutely must be present in the life of a child, and it must be present in the life of believer.  The Bible says in Hebrews 12:6, Deuteronomy 8:5,  Psalm 94:12, Psalm 3:11, Proverbs 3:12, and Revelation 3:19 that God does discipline.  It is very clear, and I put so many verses up so that if you are like me, and value the voice of Scripture above all, you do not have any room for debate.   All of these verses also say more than just that God disciplines. They all say clearly that it’s a good thing that He does, and also they say He does it out of love.  Always.  

  I’ve talked so many times about the love of God, and about how He is love 100% of the time.   Even in His discipline, the above Bible verses leave no room for any other fact than God disciplines those that He loves, and that His “wrath” is not separate from His love.  If I go into more of the details here, we’ll get distracted, but this is something I’ve blogged about before, so please go and read my past blogs if you want more understanding of what I’m saying.


   But since we can conclude and read that God only disciplines from the deeper motivation of love, than we should align ourselves the same way.   Our discipline should look like the Fathers and should only be done from a place of love.   I have said before, and offended people, but I’ll say it again.  Any form of discipline done out of anger is child abuse, and it’s the lack of self-control manifesting itself in your life.    No one has power over your emotions except for you.   Only you have the power to allow yourself to become angry, your children have no power over your mind or emotions.   You might blame your lack of self-control on them, but it’s not their fault you got mad and “lost it”.  You allowed yourself to get angry.    When I say any discipline, I mean it.  If you are doing anything out of a fit of rage, you’re not thinking clearly.   If you’re not able to think clearly than you need to exercise self-control.  I’m not just talking about hitting your children out of anger, but spanking them on their butts, locking them in their room, yelling at them and anything done out of anger is wrong because you’re doing it from the wrong motivation.  It's not wrong because of the action, it might be the appropriate action, but if it's the wrong motivation, you are in the wrong.   Your discipline, which your child does need, must come from a place of love.  They must understand that even in their discipline, your love for them is not conditional. You’re the first picture of God that they paint in their heads, and discipline is a biggie.  

  People have told me that they just get so angry, they HAVE to send them to their room for a few hours to cool down and then, after they have cooled down, they discipline the child.   They say it’s better than just hitting them in anger.   Yes, it’s better than just hitting them, but you should still be working on your self- control.   Remember, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and anyone who is a Christian and has the Holy Spirit living inside of them has immediate access to self-control.   Controlling your temper is your job, not the child’s.  This is something we should all be working on in other areas of our life anyways for reasons like lust, addictions, distractions, or other emotional problems.  Self-control is needed in every area of life, but it is crucial in raising and discipline children.

If you choose to discipline your children out of anger and a lack of self-control, than you have opted for fear based obedience instead of loved based.   Let’s remember Jesus said “If you love me, you’ll obey me.”  He was intentional with His wording here and could have included fear, but He made it clear the obedience He is looking for is love based.   If that’s what God wants from me, than that’s what I want from my future children.  People always want to cling to Proverbs 9:10 here where “fear is the beginning of wisdom.”   I don’t think most people who've read it and quoted it actually read it as it is written.  It says fear is the BEGINNING. It’s not the end result.  It’s a decent starting place for wisdom.  It is chapter one. We need the fear of the Lord or realize our own sin, to repent, but we don’t stay here. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.   I cannot stress the wording enough here.   BEGINNING. Not the end result.  We go on to read in 1 John  4:16-18 that  “…God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them.  This is how love is made complete in us so that we will be confident on the day of judgment.   In this we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love, because fear has do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. “

I posted as much of the context that would fit in this post without distracting from the main point.   John was clearly talking about the fear of God, even talking about the day of judgment, saying that we would not fear on that day because of the love of God. It says that love completes us.   While fear is a good starting point, if you read through 1 John, you see clearly that love is the ending point. We have arrived to completion when we live in love.  When we walk in love, and are wrapped in His love.


    Now that we've established the need for discipline, and established love as the only motivation that constitutes proper discipline, and also that self-control is a crucial ingredient, let’s talk about patience.
Patience is also a fruit of the spirit, so again, it’s something every Spirit-filled believer has access to.
Let me ask you another question.   Do you want to discipline your children the easy way, or the effective way?  The effective way being the one that produces a love based relationship.  Sometimes that might be the easy way, but many times the easiest thing to do is just spank them.  Now this is where it gets controversial, at least for me.   I really want to challenge the current national mood on discipline here.
  Now scripture does say “spare the rod spoil the child.”, but let’s look at the context of this verse.   Proverbs 13:23-25   The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food, but without justice, it is swept away.  The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.  A righteous man eats until he is satisfied, but the stomach of the wicked is empty.
So let me ask you, is the stomach of every wicked man empty on this planet? Is the stomach of every righteous man full? Does every property owned by all poor people produce an abundance of food?   No.  Righteous men starve to death, and there are wicked men having feast right now.   Does that mean this section of scripture is not true? Without a doubt they are 100% true.  But it means that it they are not a literal truth.  It’s a metaphor. A poetic way of writing a 100% truth. We can agree that the first sentence is a metaphor, and we can all agree that the last line was one as well, so does it make sense that there would be a literal truth sandwiched between to metaphors?  Not logically.
  The truth that permeates from this passage is clear  “It is an injustice for the poor to go without basic necessities, discipline is crucial if you love your children, and righteous man lives a life  of satisfaction while the wicked man always wants more and more. “


When a friend of mine and a mother of one, Nichole Furr read this verse today, this was her response which I found very eye opening and insightful.
"The first line says The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food, but without justice, it is swept away. - he is talking about the POTENTIAL the field has being wasted if the right amount of work is not put into it
the next line says - The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.
this is him defining 'who' the field in the previous sentence represents - if you love your child you discipline them to help them reach their potential otherwise all of it is wasted
the best part is the meaning of the word discipline here - it means to teach, instruct, to make a disciple it has nothing to do with punishment
it has to do with training up your child and helping them reach their god given potential and then the last line sums up what happens as a result
a righteous man who has trained up his child "field" gets to enjoy the fruits of his labor where as the wicked man who doesn't is left always struggling and hungry for their child's potential that was left unmet"


  Everything in this scripture is true, but not literal.  And these are metaphors which are chock full of real and relevant truth.  But we can all agree that taking a literal rod and beating your children is out of the question. However, this verse makes it clear that if you do not discipline in some form, you actually HATE your child.

  My point in that is this. There is not scripture that literally says “hit your child”.  Spanking is something we do in the south, and we take the above verse out of context to excuse it.  Let’s look at some facts about spanking.  Now, let's look at the facts below with an open mind.

  Over 90% of American families report having used spanking as a means of discipline. 
  I don’t know anyone who was never spanked.  At least that I know of. Spanking your children is not unusually cruel, and it’s not necessarily going to scar them for life, but let’s continue looking the facts.

68% of American parents think spanking is essential to child rearing.

90% of parents spank their toddlers at least three times a week; two-thirds spank them once a day.

One in for parents begun to spank when their child is 6 months old, and 50% percent when their child is 12 months old.
   *at this age, the child has not developed reasoning skills, and cannot discern cause and effect.  In other words, all they know is that they are being hit by you.  They cannot, at this age, discern why.  Therefore, at this age, it is not an effective disciplinary tool. Again, patience, love, and self-control are the tools you, as a Christian, should want to use. Spanking at this age might be the easiest thing, but it cannot possibly be effective if the child does not understand why.   

Studies show that parents are more likely to spank when they are irritable, depressed, fatigued, and stressed. 

  In 44% of those surveyed, spanking was used as punishment because the parent at “lost it”

About 98% of parents expressed moderate to high anger, remorse and agitation while punishing their children. 

Although 93% of parent justify spanking, 85% say they would rather not if they had an acceptable alternative.

One study found that 54% of mothers said that spanking was the wrong thing to have done in at least half the times they used it. 

There is a 93% agreement in scientific studies that spanking is harmful to children.

Children who are spanked are twice as likely to develop alcohol addiction and other drug abuse problems.

Multiple studies show that children who are spanked are more depressed, have more drug problems, more alcohol problems, than children who were not spanked.

According to researchers at the University of New Hampshire, spanking by parents can significantly damage a child’s mental abilities and results in a lower IQ later in life.

And kids were physically punished had up to a five-point lower IQ score than kids who were not, and the more the children were spanked, the lower their IQ’s.

Also, every serial killer and murderer in America was spanked as a child.  When analyzing criminal minds, rather or not the suspect was spanked as a child is considered a factor. 

What does this all mean?  Does it mean that everyone who was spanked falls into these statistics? No.  But they are not just pulled out of air.  They are factual and relevant.  Just because you were not affected negatively in the long run does not mean that these statistics are not true.  After looking at all this information, there is no way I could endorse spanking.  I believe the only way you could is because “Hey, my parents did it, and I’m fine” or just because it’s a convenient form of punishment.   But convenient is not always best.   There are alternatives to spanking.  They just require more self-control and more patience.   I really believe communication and repetition are more relevant to a child. 

If you are a parent who spanks, I want you to understand, I did not post all of these factors to say “YOU’RE WRONG”.  I do not believe I have authority to tell you spanking is wrong, but I can say it is wrong if you are doing out of anger or just because it’s easier than communicating with the child.   I can also ask, why you feel it is ok to spank your child?  Why do you WANT to?   Just because our culture agree that it's a good thing is not a valid reason.   Do you feel it's the best way to discipline your children?  Do you feel it's the most productive?  Is it because you can't find valid alternatives?   Is it because of your anger?   I don't have the answers to those questions, they were only intended to really make your look what the action of spanking actually is and does.  But I will add this, I posted this and was actually intending to right in 100% defence of spanking.   AFTER doing research, talking with a number of parent, and praying, I have have not come to any logical reason to spank. Again, I'm not the ultimate source on the matter and I'm trying to tell you that it's 100% wrong, but I'm asking you to really think about the productiveness of it, and to watch the video at the end in the comment box which has a lot more information about spanking than I wanted to get into here.   The main point of this post was not to talk about spanking, but to talk about disciplining out of love.

 Keep in mind, 100% of the time, spanking produces fear in the child, and it a violent act by definition.. Also by definition, I have to add, it does not cause permanent physical harm and is intended to hurt the child without lasting physical harm.   If spanked on the butt, there is actually extra padding there.

 By taking the time to communicate with children at young ages about why they are being punished, you are building their reasoning skills.  There is whole generation that has a lack of reasoning skills. I believe personally that this has a lot to do with parents reaching for the more convenient belt over a logical conversation about right and wrong. If you say, "I spank because they don't comprehend the conversation about right and wrong"  than you don't need to spank because if the child can not comprehend right and wrong, he will not comprehend why he is being hit.    So if you are to spank, there must be clear communication as to why this is going to happen when the parent is calm. It’s ok to tell the child that punishment is coming after you cool down, but you need to remove yourself from the child.  Today, most parents who know they should not react out of anger still will send their child to their room until the parent cools down.   However, this is still an anger based reaction.  It’s not the child’s fault you have poor self-control.   You need to be the one to day “This punishment is coming, but I have to leave the room and cool down because I love you too much to react to anything you do with anger. “

 Now what about yelling?  Yelling is a signal of danger. It is a warning that something bad is about to happen. Hearing someone yell at you has an immediate effect on the chemicals in your body, telling you danger is coming, and causing you to immediately get defensive. In nature, yelling is warning that a predator or some danger is coming, and the animals react in the same way we react when we are yelled at.  When we scream at a child, it automatically releases adrenaline and makes the child afraid.  The child might manifest that fear  that your pushed on him as anger, being defensive, or just crying, but yelling at them as punishment as no logical benefits.  When I worked around children, we were told to only yell when there was danger.  This was so that if the child heard me yell, they knew they needed to pay attention because something bad was going down.   I never yelled at a child except for when a dog entered the playground.  When they heard my voice yelling, they knew something was wrong and they immediately paid close attention to everything I said.   The dog turned out to be super friendly and I ended up taking “Sugar” home with me, but still, the children were able to get out of potential danger quickly.

 Yelling can be very damaging to a child’s mind and developmental skills. 

These are both the most common punishments in the South, if not America as a whole, but how logical are they?  And how often are you able to spank your child or yell at them with a motivation of love, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, self-control,  goodness, and self-control, as  Galatians 5:22-23 states are the fruit of the Spirit of God living inside of you? 

 Every action directed towards your child, if you are a Christian and believe the Word, needs to be saturated in these fruit.   I would be only thinking rationally and logically to say that any action that is outside of these parameters is outside the will of God for your life in any area, and the includes child rearing.  

 I believe that God knew what He was doing when He made it clear that obedience out of love is better than fear, so why change that?  Why not apply that to your own child rearing?  I think it will make a happier home, a more productive way of punishment, and more enjoyable and meaningful relationship.

You do need to be creative in your discipline. Every child is different, and you will need to raise each one different.  Grounding, taking away toys, etc, will all have different effects on different children.  Not all children will care if you take their toys away, but that will get the point across to others.

In closing, I would ask a few more probing questions.  Why would you want to spank out of anger?  Why would you want to perform any discipline out of anger?   I once was at a church event where the pastor’s wife began spanking one of her children on the back hard. She smiled as she did it. She was extremely angry at the child, and wanted to punish him.  It reflected the current mood of punishment in our nation.  We view punishment as the end result, but really a better person should be the end result.  Our prisons would be a lot more empty if we were more concerned about rehabilitation than punishment. Most parents, according to studies, view punishment as the end result, and do not plan in advance whether it will advance the child's perception of right and wrong or not.   You should never have a desire to harm to a child, there is no reason, and it’s just demonic to actually desire harming your child.  Your punishment cannot come from a place of anger or agitation; it must be a clear logical and rational choice.  It must reflect the Love of God,  however the looks to you.