Saturday, August 22, 2009

A License to Sin · is that what the grace of God is about?

A very good message on the Free Believers Network blog, it's a bit long but very good. Here are a couple paragraphs that I particularly liked, but you may resonate with other parts of it.
For any relationship to be authentic, it must start with a forever covenant of eternal security. Unfortunately, today, most relationships don’t have this one foundational element and they are plagued with secrecy, uncertainty, and shallowness. I think that more than anything, today’s relationships are saturated with control. I have found that control is humanity's antidote to insecurity. This is where the heart of today’s Christian thinking exists.

Teachings about accountability partners, spiritual leaders, submitting to authority and church covering are widely accepted with little or no resistance. When a loving God is made to look unpredictable and not so loving, people submit to someone who they think might know better than them. They lose confidence in themselves and their ability to please an unpleaseable God, so they put themselves under the care and control of others in an effort to find security again.

It doesn’t surprise me that when the grace message is preached today, the first thing that comes to mind with the average Christian is sin. The grace message is spoken of as a “license to sin” and the mere thought of that scares people to death. It goes againstlicenseeverything they think the Christian life is about. Finding out that God loves you whether you sin or not, is a bit scary because people aren’t sure what they’ll do.

Part of giving someone freedom, is giving them their choice back. Christianity today has stripped us of our choice to sin. When we are told that sin separates us from God and we will be punished, our choice in the matter is taken away. We have an entire generation of people who quit sinning because of the outer voice of their religion rather than the inner personal voice of their heart. In other words, their quitting didn’t come from their heart; it came from their head. The grace message gives people back their right to sin, and it provides an atmosphere in which they can grow spiritually right and find truth in the center of themselves rather than in a system. A license to sin is not an encouragement to sin, but it’s the right to sin. Take away that right, and you take away relationship altogether.

"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything." --Paul--

Without a license to sin, I don’t believe people will ever know their own heart, much less the Heart of God. The problem is that in the process of molding themselves to fit religion'sknow self requirements, a person learns to deny any and all inner emotions of the heart that might cause them to sin. Things like anger, passion, lust and greed are shut down and the result is that they lose contact with self and eventually forget who they are altogether. Sadly, Christians today stand adamantly against sin, but they have no idea why. They don’t feel a thing in their hearts about sin, other than the memorized knowledge that “it’s wrong.” They believe it’s wrong, not because their heart sings that truth, but because that’s what they’ve been taught. When you shut down some aspects of the heart, you end up shutting down ALL aspects of the heart.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The EFT and SW website has a new look!

I guess it's been a while since I've posted anything here, hasn't it? Time flies when you're trying to figure out new software! During my switch from Win to Linux, and searching various message boards for answers, I discovered there is software that is also 'open source' like Linux for the purpose of website content management, called CMS. (CMS = content management software).

Since my previous web pages were mostly plain html pages, I didn't think they looked terribly professional. But I don't have the budget to pay a web-designer so I've tried to dress things up as well as I can as I learn how to do various things in html. Then when I discovered CMS, and did a little research and decided to try Drupal. I realized I should probably figure out how to use it and configure layouts and that sort of thing on my home computer before I sent it to the web hosting server. I spent 2-3 weeks just learning a bit of Mysql and installing server software and then installing and configuring Drupal.

Then when I did upload it all to the web hosting server a week ago, things didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd hoped; mostly because Drupal is written primarily to run on Linux (Apache) server software and my web hosting is using Windows server software. I couldn't get the theme and colors I wanted to show up; and my pictures weren't showing either. Thanks to information I found on the drupal forums, I think it's finally presentable -- though there are probably a few more tweaks and changes I'll make in the future.

In addition to the cleaner and more professional look and layout, it has a built-in ability to have people leave comments on articles, so I don't have to use the Google 'friend connect' gadget. One thing I didn't like about that gadget is that unlike the comments on the blog; it doesn't give me an option to have an email notice sent about new comments so I had to remember to log onto the friend connect page to see if any comments have been left and I keep forgetting to go over there. Another feature about drupal that I liked was the built-in option for people to sign in using OpenID. Yet another feature is a built-in user discussion forum, which is nice to have even if it doesn't get used by most visitors.

So please stop by and say hi, and feel free to leave a comment or suggestion over there or on here