Saturday, October 27, 2012

Empty Words (and other devices of destruction...)

“Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.” ~Homer
"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient."
Ephesians 5:6 (New International Version (©1984))

The three single greatest failures of Christianity (IMHO), are these:

1. Misunderstanding of the character of God (in all three flavors with distinct personages)[Note: I fail in this as well, so do not expect a great treatise on the person-hood of the Holy Trinity]

2. Eisegesis v. Exegesis: Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς "into" as opposed to exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι "to lead out") is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text. The act is often used to "prove" a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda. Eisegesis is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. While exegesis draws out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discover-able meaning of its author, eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective. [From Wikipedia]

3. Empty words.

I will briefly address the first two today, but want to concentrate on the last one here.

1. Depending on the denominational flavor you possess, the person of the Holy Spirit is greatly ignored (or at least under represented/taken for granted or inversely carried to a mostly prominent position among the Three). I am currently reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. His premise supports my observation. [Not giving myself kudos for this, just see it in my own life and reflected by the church.] The source I will use is Galatians 5:16-25, primarily focusing on the listing of the "Fruit of the Spirit" in verses 22 and 23. Paul lists the works of the flesh and follows up with the Fruit of the Spirit. His final comment in the highlighted verses is "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

How many times do we see a complete lack of Fruit in the Body, yet fully displayed in someone who is "lost?" That embarrasses me and humbles me. I know I lack the fruit, but desire to reflect the Spirit in my life.

2. I have heard many sermons (NOT pointing fingers, for I can be just as guilty if left to my own devices-and I have assisted someone in an Eisegetical exercise to support his views when he voiced a non-PC stance and needed to write a rebuttal supporting his position to avoid disciplinary action). It is said that you can piece totally unrelated verses and portions of verses to support nearly any "doctrine", but Scripture needs to be measured against context and that is where things begin to fall apart.

Related to this issue is the lack of depth many people have when it comes to Bible study (again, not pointing fingers, as I am guilty as well). When we are young and courting, we read and reread the love letters from our Beloved many times and nearly have them memorized. The joy it brings us to read those words. Why should our relationship with God be any different? Should we not digest every morsel of the Word in order to come to a greater understanding of the One who Loves us more?

3. Empty Words. How often have we said to someone who voiced a need, "I will pray for you," only to forget the request no sooner than we turn away? Watch children. They will overtly disobey, counter with "I'm sorry" and go right back to the disobedience. Are we not very similar to the children? Do we not "repent" from our pet sin, only to repeat the action (through omission or commission) not long after our pleas hit the Heavens?

Do we not bathe those we care for with "I love you's" only to hurt them or act outside of what a truly loving relationship should be. Love is a verb and should reflect a servant mentality to those we love. Many of us (NOTE: the use of the word US, I am including myself in this group) do not know how to love as we should. Either through a selfish spirit, or never having had it modeled in a healthy manner in our life as we grew and were impressionable. This boils down to the ignorance versus apathy argument. One is not knowing how, the other is not caring to. (The old joke, "What's the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care." Both are equally damaging.

God loves us. If we could just look to His love and model it in our relationships (love sacrificially, love completely, love forgivingly, love eternally)... I have a lot to learn.

Heavenly Father, show me Your truth of Who You are. Teach me to demonstrate Your characteristics, to love, be gentle, have peace, have mercy, patience, joy, faith, meekness, goodness, and temperance. Teach me to walk in Your Spirit. Help me to be a man of few words, and to mean those You lead me to speak.

General areas:

Had chemo session number 9. Uneventful (no negative reactions), though lab tests show elevated liver enzymes which are affected by damage to liver cells. May be getting a new set of scans sooner than expected to figure out what is going on there. This is a difficult issue for me (not the scans, don't bother me), as we are concentrating treatment on the colon cancer in the colon, and it seems to be negatively affecting liver function. I admit, I have some fear. Pray for peace and healing in this area.

After treatment, I went to grab a bite to eat and broke a tooth (lower right side molar). Normally, no big deal, just head to dentist to get it taken care of. Issue is I am banned from dental work until off chemo (1st or second week of December?) due to the likelihood of infection in my immune-suppressed system. Thankfully, there is no real pain, just sharp edges and annoyance. Pray for a resolution to this issue before it aggravates anything.

Family is heading out to Texas after the Election (she is registered to vote in Georgia and will exercise her civic duty there prior to departure). Looking forward to sharing time again with them (even though I will be working) through Thanksgiving and until we can celebrate the final chemo treatment of this cycle. I will not have many days off (one every two weeks since the other 3 are occupied with treatment), but we are both aware of this and will make the best of it.

While I was in Georgia, we had family photos taken by Holly Brown Photography. Now, I admit, I am not a real big fan of having photos taken of me, but this photo shoot was a blast. Holly made it fun! I look forward to seeing the finished photos soon and maybe posting one or two here for you all. If you are in Central Georgia/Atlanta metroplex, look her up, you will not be disppointed.

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