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CHRISTIANS SLANDERING CHRISTIANS: WHAT PART OF “DO NOT JUDGE” DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND?

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       “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]

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        When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.

         “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]

THE SLANDER BRIGADE

        Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.

          Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.

           To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:

         “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:43-44]

          Now look at these verses:

         “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]   

         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]

SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS

         It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:

         THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.

         Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.

         I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.

IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”

         In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.

       Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] [1]

        By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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WHERE IS THE LOVE? Identifying Christian Pharisees

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

         How does one identify a real Christian Pharisee? Like their spiritual forebears of the first century, a Christian Pharisee is initially known primarily by one thing. And this one thing is both an indicator of such a person’s heart, as it is at the core of his or her being, but is also on the immediate surface, and often boils forward to said surface in a rapid flash which defies any possibility of impulse control.

         The first indicator of a real Christian Pharisee is therefore no secret whatsoever in that it reveals itself without restraint in all its unchecked fleshly power as it rises quickly for the kill in response to any perceived sleight or lack of absolute respect demanded by such a one for otherwise arbitrary reasons.

         Here it is: CHRISTIAN PHARISEES ARE EXTREMELY AND VERY EASILY OFFENDED AND ARE WILLING TO FIGHT ANYONE ANYTIME ANYWHERE AT THE DROP OF A HAT TO PROTECT AND HONOR THEMSELVES AND THE BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS THEY HAVE BOUGHT INTO AND SOLD OUT TO WITH NO REGARD WHATSOEVER FOR THE GOLDEN RULE OR HONORING THE LORD JESUS.

         They refuse to engage in any rational dialogue in the sense of arriving at greater truth because they believe they already possess all truth. They refuse and deflect any form of possible persecution by always beating the other person to said persecution and thus becoming the epitome of the persecutor. Their method is one of insistence that they are right, have always been right, and will always be right, and insist that anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe can just as soon go straight to hell.

         They believe with all their hearts that they have captured and possess the very top of the pyramid, that they are superior to all, and that all others must comply with their religion or belief system and every part of it, both in dogma and practice, or be remanded to a state of total rejection.

         They then project this attitude upon the “god” of their choosing and insist that “god”, their god, is absolutely on their side and only on their side and is also against the same people they are against. They will go to any lengths to destroy anyone who even slightly touches their massive sacred cows and golden calves as if simple murder is nowhere close to being good enough and doesn’t do proper justice to the immense offense perpetrated upon them.

         This very thing happened to the real God, the only God, the God of all Creation, when He showed up here as one of us, as a human being, to save us and set us free. Of course, they couldn’t touch Him until He willingly laid down His life on our behalf. Once He made Himself vulnerable, however, His enemies wasted no time in inflicting upon Him the very worst they could offer and if they had the opportunity they would have tortured Him and murdered Him many times over.

         It’s right there in your Gospels. It’s all over the New Testament. It’s infused throughout Christian history. It is why the real saints of the Lord always took it on the chin while doing the real work of the Lord and teaching the real Gospel. The incredible and completely unjustified persecution against them identified them as real disciples who acted out of love and for the truth, and it also perfectly identified the haters who would always rather gossip, slander, libel, and defame, and even murder, maim, destroy, and generally go stark raving nuts in defense of their evil hearts and ungodly agendas.

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? [Matthew 23:33] [1]

LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW

         Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

         Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8]

         Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

         Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [Romans 13:8-10]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

          Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Happy Fifth Birthday, Real Christianity!

         I created this site five years ago in anticipation of the Great Awakening in America. The Lord Jesus revealed to me a few decades ago what the future of America would be, but much more than that, what the future of American Christianity would be.

         Although there have been many people who received similar reports, there have been relatively few who have received reports from the Lord concerning the changing nature of Christianity in America, how it happened, how it would continue to happen, what to prepare for, and how to get back to the original—Real Christianity.

         There was so much information coming in. I had been telling people for years just exactly what I was seeing but most paid little attention. I had always been curious, since my incredible born-again experience, why so few Christians cared so little about spiritual reality and actual New Testament truth. I saw that most Christians were on a closed-minded routine track and were well-conditioned to reject anything that didn’t line up with their chosen beliefs and church practices.

         It was no different in the first century.

         I reached a point in which I had to start recording all that the Lord was showing me. I am not claiming to be anything more than what I am, but I discovered long ago that the Lord blessed me with the ability to see things. Right after I was born again I had an insatiable desire to read the Word of God and could not read fast enough. I even spent my lunch hours at work reading the Word. I worked very hard, but for little pay, and couldn’t afford much. I lived in small apartments. I had no television. There was no internet.

         I was given a small paperback Bible by a friend who had also been gloriously saved a few months before. Later, with my hard-earned cash, I bought a new Thompson Chain Reference Bible and a Strong’s exhaustive concordance. A friend gave me a large paperback, the complete works of Josephus, for Christmas. I was on my way.

         As the years passed I began spending all my free time reading and doing in-depth research. I had my job in which I earned money, but I also had my real job, my vocation, that which drove me and motivated me. It was what the Lord called me to do.

         It was my desire to be a preacher, as that was the only possible ministry choice back then. I preached some, taught Bible studies, and did a ton of witnessing. I had yet to understand that the great majority of the Lord’s ministers are not the one’s in pulpits, however. I didn’t realize that my desire to be a minister had already been achieved, but because I was not an official minister, I was not respected as one, even among my own friends. That was a hard lesson to learn.

         I never stopped. I have been loyal to the Lord all these years.

         As I said, the time came when I was receiving so much information from the Lord Jesus, including by revelation, which can only be received directly and not through reading or study, and had gained so much knowledge, that I had to do something with it.

         I told a very good friend one day, “Someday I’m going to write a book and call it Real Christianity.” Well, for those of you who have not written a book, I can tell you that it is very hard work, especially the kind of book I would write. Everything had to be footnoted and supported with facts. Everything had to line up with the Word of God. It was, however, a true labor of love.

         I eventually achieved the dream. The book was no small read and contained about 330 pages. It was extremely well-written and documented. I expected big things, that I would get the word out. But to my great disillusionment, my book was not received. In fact, it was largely rejected.

         Now, I knew this was only because of one reason. It was the same reason that so much of what I had shared in the past was not received. People just could not see what I could see. I was almost always ahead of the curve and most of the time WAY ahead of the curve. I spent so much time and effort working toward the gaining of truth, at my own expense, that I left most people behind. I did have some friends, of course, who also saw some of what I saw, and we were accountable to one another. I knew what I had was real. Nevertheless, I continued to attempt to gain official legitimacy for my work. I was never afraid of anyone on the planet challenging me on what I learned. That was not the problem.

         The problem was trying to get other Christians to get it, to see it, to want it, to get engaged, to wake up, to break out of dead traditional molds, and to have a real love for the real truth.

         When I completed the book, before it was printed, I made a very handsome copy and presented it to my church. I had been a faithful, tithe-giving, official member of this church for almost six years. I had a great reputation. I got along great with the pastor and elders. One of the elders was assigned to look over the book and get back to me. I had been believing all along that this would help birth me into ministry, at long last. I had proven to be a faithful servant on all accounts. We were giving large amounts of money to the Lord through the church. And I was doing so much work regarding writing and research in addition to my job…

         They rejected it. The elder assigned to read it suddenly turned on me. The news spread fast. In a short time, after all my faith, hope, and very hard work, I was suddenly trashed and rejected. This man destroyed the Golden Rule. I found out yet again, even in doing things so well and in establishing an extremely good record over many years that Christians will turn on you in a heartbeat. This man, an otherwise very good guy, was no Berean. It is the same with many Christians. In case you’re wondering, the spiritual dynamic of which I speak works this way:

         The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

         Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

         But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds. [Acts 17:10-13] [1]

         The Lord had me stay in that church for almost another year. I remained a good guy. But it was obvious that the leadership had changed their tone toward me. I kept tithing (large amounts). I stayed faithful. They grew more and more distant. I kept thinking, “If only you would read this book with an open heart toward God with a good attitude. If only you would be noble-minded and eager for truth…”

         But they refused. The time came, after the Lord gave them much time and opportunity, again, almost a year, that the Lord told me it was time to leave. I heard this very clearly. I left on the best terms possible but because I had become relatively invisible due to their rejection and cold-heartedness, it was a quiet exit.

         That was many years ago, of course. Since I started this site I have discovered that many of you have had similar experiences if not the exact one. I have received an absolute ton of support here, but lately, that support is waning. This is why:

         I keep putting more and more very deep and solid Biblical truths on this site and it causes a falling away simply because of the same dynamic above. Yet, this is what the Lord called me to do. Because I have worked so hard over the years, have done so much research, have prayed, fasted, attended a million church services, and have written extensively, I have gained the fruit of my labors. I have received much insight, revelation, and knowledge. I have put it all to the test, and have also been thoroughly tested. I have seen the future.

         But when I show the future, it looks very different from the present and is usually rejected. There have been umpteen times when what I present is rejected, but when someone else presents exactly the same thing it is accepted. Many people finally see what I see years later, and accept it, but they curiously continue to give me no credit. (This is a completely different spiritual dynamic!) The main thing, of course, is that the Lord Jesus gets ALL the credit. Suffice it to say that all real Christians, however, will be able to relate to His sufferings. Just give it time.

         For those of you who are still with me and support me, I have a request. I could use your help. I have made my book extremely easy to buy. It is available in E-Book format for about $10. The print book is available for a little more. Just click the icons on this site. It is how you can help me financially.

         I never ask for money. I do not take donations. I never have, except on extremely rare occasions. I work for a living. The oil field, in which I had been working, is pretty much dried up. Many people are hurting and are without jobs. I have returned to construction, but a past injury has recently flared up and makes it a tad bit of a challenge, although I have been working through it and will continue. I also mow yards.

         If this causes you to lose respect for me there is nothing I can do about that. I remain a genuine minister of the Gospel. It is my calling and is why I’m on the planet. Most genuine ministers operate the same way. I continue to write and post as I am able. The Lord is GOOD and He sustains me. I am blessed.

         The time will come when all real Christians will be in heaven but for right now there is much work to be done! I work to earn money not just for survival but primarily to support the ministry the Lord has called me to do. I am the only one supporting it financially. Thanks to all of you who read and who have bought the book. I appreciate it. I request your prayers. If anyone may have a clue regarding how I can do a better job of getting the word out and honoring the Lord Jesus, please let me know. All of us have our own individual challenges but I know the Lord will see us through.

         May each of you, my dear readers, be blessed super abundantly and grow ever-closer to the Lord Jesus. He did it all for you. Thank you for the last five years.

         Onward.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


PLEASE NOTE:

          You can locate every article prior to this year through the above Article Archives tab, organized both by category and calendar year.

          There is also the Reader Favorites tab right next to it listing links to the 30 most popular articles.

          On the top left is the Author/Book tab which gives a brief description of the book this blog is named after, as well as many comments.

          All 2016 posts are in the Latest Articles—Feed Your Spirit column to the left (scroll up/down).

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          If you’re interested in gaining some perspective regarding the last five years, I’ve included links to each prior anniversary, as follows:

Happy First Birthday, Real Christianity (5/10/12)

Happy Second Birthday, Real Christianity (5/10/13)

Real Christianity: Three and Free (5/10/14)

Happy Fourth Birthday, Real Christianity! (5/10/15)

The Reality of God’s Relational Love: Thus Speaks the Heart (1)

         God’s love is relational.

         If one is filled with the Spirit of God one expresses godly love toward others.

         Why? Because as I relayed in the former series, On the Threshold of Heaven, God is love. This means God is loving. All the time. Toward everyone. It is His nature. It is impossible for God to be unloving because God cannot be what He is not.

         This fact should not be so hard to ascertain.

         God is love.

         Some people, however, are impossible to love because they never give love, not to anyone, and certainly not to God. So it’s not the Lord’s fault if people don’t love Him back. It’s like talking to a wall.

         The results of this lack of love among so many is readily apparent. We see the results everywhere. Everyone on the planet, regardless of political affiliation, culture, belief system, religion, or perspective, knows that the human race in general is capable of engaging in some pretty bad stuff, stuff that is not loving and has nothing to do with love.

         There are people who greatly appreciate this planet. They do not like what has happened to the planet. They are against all the pollution and chemical poisoning and destruction of species and habitats, and argue very strongly that we as a race are slowly destroying our only home and better get our act together.

         I agree with them 100%.

         I support them 100%.

         And I believe God is without doubt on their side of the argument. He doesn’t appreciate His planet getting trashed either.

         Imagine if someone were to pollute their own house or backyard—the yard their innocent unknowing children play in. Imagine if a person poisoned their domicile and never cleaned it. Imagine if someone never took a shower…

         Pretty bad, I know. Some people are like this. But the clear fact is that humanity as a race is exactly like this. It’s what we do. All one must do is look around. According to the apostle Paul, the planet is groaning under the weight and pollution of humanity:

         For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. [Romans 8:19-22]

         We know the planet is filled with pollution. We know there are people living on gigantic mountainous trash dumps in places. There are whole societies that either do not have the knowledge or resources to live better, or simply don’t care, and they live in filth. And because of that their bad consequences are off the scale. We must help them.

         I saw a show the other day about the tuberculosis epidemic of a century ago. People who lived in polluted cities all crammed together and getting their lungs full of bad bacteria were dying in droves. Some people thought their health might be better served if they got out of the dirty city and into the open countryside with fresh air. Some got better. Amazing! What a coincidence.

         It used to be said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Many people take great care in their appearance and grooming. It takes work to keep one’s place cleaned up, organized, and in good repair. Life is much, much better when one lives in a healthy environment.

         But regarding the planet, we as a race are creating so much garbage, industrial waste, and extremely dangerous and disease-causing byproducts with no place to put all this junk that it must result in something eventually too evil to imagine.

         Even though we have made great strides in the last fifty years from a time when America was especially extremely polluted by a bunch of unthinking nitwits who only cared about their own greed, the planet itself is presently being polluted by so many other industrial nations with no plans to keep it clean that the earth is quickly becoming the equivalent of a massive trash pile.

         I could go on. People have bought into the lies of the hiders and distorters and refuse to face facts or do anything about it.

         But what about human bodies? Why are diseases and sicknesses going through the roof? Why are so many people ill and dependent on pharmaceutical drugs to stay “healthy” and alive? People do very well to groom themselves outwardly but many inwardly are pretty messed up.

         We must get healthy without AND within, and not merely put forth the outer appearance of health. Some people think it’s better to look good than to feel good. That’s why we have massive landfills that grow like their own hill country and are eventually covered up with a layer of soil and grass to appear somewhat good, but we know what’s underneath.

         Maybe it’s the best we can do.

         But have you ever noticed how nature in and of itself recycles everything? Natural waste is transformed into more pure nature. Take humanity off the planet and it’s a perfect ecosystem lasting for billions of years.

         No major mammal, or fish, or bacteria, or any other organism can mess it up.

         NATURE IS SELF-CLEANING.

         It should be obvious though, that humanity is not. Humanity in general pollutes. Many of us try very hard to keep things clean. Many succeed. But until everyone gets on board pollution will continue.

         Was there pollution during the Lord’s time? Undoubtedly. Yet, the Hebrews had been taught by God in their early history to be clean, and the Lord codified within the Law of Moses exactly what that meant.

         He gave them laws regarding personal cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation. He was very specific. It’s in your Bible. The majority of Christians have always traditionally rejected these laws to their own peril. His purpose toward cleanliness was designed to keep individuals clean and also so the community as a whole could be clean. Because of this, the ancient Hebrews were perhaps the cleanest people on the planet—as long as they obeyed the laws.

OUR HEARTS

         When the Lord Jesus came, He certainly touched on these things, but the one thing He was most concerned about cleaning up was the human heart.

         In our day, many people are having increasing problems with their physical heart. Because of bad diets and self-pollution (eating chemicals, smoking, ingesting drugs, etc), hearts are being stressed in a major way. Arteries get clogged up. The heart is a blood pump and must work at peak efficiency and all parts must work correctly. People should know to take care of their hearts instead of taking them for granted.

         But much more important are our spiritual hearts. All of the pollution within a human being eventually ends up there. That’s where it is deposited. The spiritual heart is the final location for all the bad stuff. It has nowhere else to go.

         The uncleansed heart is exactly the same as a parcel of land with a little landfill on it packed with garbage. All expressions coming forth from a person come through this polluted place to one degree or another and influence anyone in the vicinity.

         How?

         Through SPEECH.

         Through our VOICES.

         It is through the mechanism of our SPEAKING that brings forth whatever may be resident in our hearts. Our words reveal whatever is hidden there:

         “…For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

         “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

         “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

         “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” [Matthew 12:34-37] [1]

         Based on this, it is imperative that our speech be cleansed.

         But our speech can never be cleansed until our hearts are cleansed.

         And it is only when our hearts become cleansed that God is able to tame the tongue…

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

[Please bless others with these messages according to whatever the Lord may place upon your heart. Thanks.]

The Worst Violators of the Golden Rule

         God is LOVE, and love is what makes the whole thing work. His entire kingdom is based on love and on His people loving one another.

         Love must be expressed. It must be shown. The Lord Jesus commanded us to love.

         Yet, there remains a giant disconnect regarding this clear command and it stems from the false teachings of those who falsely represent the Lord.

         John said it this way:

         If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:20-21]

         We know, though, that God showed up among us, and did His best to teach us all to love, and did love. But this world exposed itself for what it really is by what it did to Him. He was murdered, as was Abel, by His own.

         By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. [1John 3:10-12]

         There are thus two different types of people in this world: Those who love and those who hate—those whose deeds are righteous and those whose deeds are evil. And much of the evil perpetrated upon the righteous is done in a backhanded manner by any number of duplicitous Cains and Judases, exactly as it happened to Abel and the Lord.

         Thus, if one cannot handle multiple knives in the back traveling the Christian way, one will never make it to heaven.

         Though the expression “backstabbing” originates much later in history, the proverbial illustration of betrayal by “loved ones” might presently be seen as certainly one of the wounds suffered by the Lord, as those suffered during His crucifixion. The Lord Jesus was not only betrayed by His people in general, but specifically by one of His own men—a disciple He selected—and it is not necessarily true that Judas was personally destined to betray Him.

         Someone would, of course. Such was prophesied in holy writ long before. And Judas Iscariot became that man. And the Lord warned us that such vile two-faced betrayal would also happen to His disciples.

         The apostle Paul was betrayed. And though it is not necessarily recorded, all of the original eleven were undoubtedly betrayed in some way by other “Christians.”

         Indeed, “Christianity” in general has certainly betrayed the Lord Jesus. His pure and complete teachings are most often picked over and particular parts here and there are selected as appropriate while much of his curriculum is rejected as unpleasant and non-applicable.

         Denominations make their own distinct choices and build up unique “statements of belief” to make sure everyone knows just what it is they choose and what they reject. In other words, instead of simply stating that “We believe the full teachings of the Lord Jesus, support them, and apply them to the best of our ability,” they actually only support what they deem supportable.

         Excuses are made for all they reject, citing various explanations and flawed reasoning, and when such is done over a few centuries, their man-made doctrines become etched in stone. And when the inevitable revisions come, they always remove more of the Lord’s pure teachings and adopt more man-made teachings.

         And incredibly, most Christians not only end up believing and supporting false doctrines, they effectively insist that it is not they who are wrong, but the Lord Jesus. Or the Bible. Or people who do not believe as they do.

         This is the mark of closed-minded religious exclusivism. Such belief systems create hardened, hateful hearts regardless of outward expression. And such hearts routinely violate the Golden Rule.

         How ironic is it then, that the worst violators of the Golden Rule on the planet are “Christians?” And how strange is it that the most likely individual to engage in backstabbing a Christian is another Christian?

         Now, for all those who have never been betrayed, you might want to recheck your beliefs, because the Word of God says that two things will certainly follow real believers: The first is signs, wonders, and miraculous evidence of the real Gospel when properly presented and lived out, and the second is persecution, highlighted by the enemy’s favorite method employed well by Judas.

         Concerning the evidential conduct of real Christians, the Lord said:

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

         The above was an addendum to the following:

         “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

         “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:36-40]

         And to make sure everyone fully understands the concept and that a Christian’s love for others must be universal, He taught:

         “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:43-48] [1]

         In all of this, we see that there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for disobeying the Golden Rule, and that it must be extended even to one’s enemies who engage in persecution, especially if the persecutor is a former trusted one who took advantage of a lack of defense by the one who loved and shot his or her friend in the back.

         And to show how incredibly vile this practice is—this violation of the love commandment—and that it is most often found in the realm of religion, “Christians” who make personal attacks (anti-love) on fellow believers, acting as if they have somehow garnered the spiritual high ground and that those they attack and condemn are worthy of such, often have no remorse whatsoever for their actions and never repent.

         Indeed, they believe they are fully justified to lash out at whoever does not believe according to their “different gospel.” In this, they are more evil than Judas Iscariot.

         At least he went out and hung himself.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Tied To The Whipping Post

         For the few people on the planet who go through life as living a fanciful dream with no worries or pain, having all their desires indulged and living in a state of bliss, ignorant or otherwise, good for you.

         For everyone else, theres a reason people sing the blues.

         I subscribe to a few blogs that deal with the issue of abuse. The people who author the blog posts therein have been through some bad stuff. Those who read their blogs have a place to go to read of the plight of others and know they are not alone. I consider these people heroes for not being defeated, for rising up as best they can, and for trying to help others find healing and a new life.

         The people on this planet who have suffered terrible abuse by others—people who have no concern whatsoever of the great pain they instigate or the tremendous suffering they cause—know that this place we call Earth is not some idyllic wonderland. Their ongoing suffering and the memory of horrific events perpetrated against them tells them every day that we are all surrounded by enemies, acknowledged or not and perceived or not, and such enemies must be dealt with.

         This is why all of mankind’s cultures throughout history have created societal laws or a system of laws. Such laws were created as a form of protection, to keep people from engaging in crime against those who do not, and to bring justice against evil people who act out on evil inclinations and desires. Of course, since sin was and remains endemic to all, all had evil inclinations and desires, though not everyone acted upon them. People were still blessed with a conscience to know right from wrong, though many individuals destroyed their conscience through ongoing willful sin with no remorse.

         Ever since sin entered the actual idyllic paradise God did originally create, mankind became the enemy of mankind. People could no longer trust one another. Everyone was watching his backside all the time. Thus, families did their best to gather together and remain together, and even grow with the addition of new generations. They did this to create some form of community where the goodness of humanity might exist and prevail. If their law contained the law of love, they were often able to remain bonded and life became better.

         For the individual, though, it was pretty rough. And for those singled out for abuse not because they necessarily sinned in some minor way as did everyone else, but because they were seen as deserving of abuse because they were different, they had no recourse toward love and protection.

         To relate this to the present day, imagine someone giving their life to the Lord Jesus and thereby violating the family code or leaving the family religion. Though most people living in a pluralistic Western society might not understand the violent reaction often received against such new believers, there are real Christians all over the planet who understand it directly, as they are treated with such vile contempt they are deemed worthy of complete rejection and extermination. Their treatment is based on the laws of the society or religious culture. In other words, had the new believers not violated the laws put in place to protect the members of the society against other beliefs, they would not be treated so harshly.

         We see the same reaction in the West, of course, but because we have freedom of religion in places like America, one doesn’t generally get killed for choosing to become a disciple of the Lord. One still receives their share of outright hatred and rejection, however. If they come from a family that professes no certain faith, one that is largely secular in attitude and belief, then the new believer will be seen as an idiot for “getting religion” or “joining a cult.” If the new believer comes from a religious family, it is worse. And if the new disciple comes from a Christian family or group of one sort or another, they will often be treated the worst.

         Why? Because religion contains the worst laws. Religious laws are not based on love. They are not based on fairness or justice. They are not based on the best outcomes for individuals. They do not consider the individual. They have little to do with honoring a person’s heart, good intentions, or dreams. And most of all, they have next to nothing to do with assisting an individual in finding his or her place in the Lord.

         Perhaps this is why religions love large congregations of submitted “like-minded” people where individuals are perceived as mere faces in the crowd who toe the mark and never question squat.

         Unreal Christianity hates the Lord Jesus though it openly avows love and honor toward Him. Because it is counterfeit, the love of the members is counterfeit. Their concern for others is counterfeit. Like other religions in the world that do not take kindly to someone casting aspersions upon it or rejecting it, the members of one of the various forms of Unreal Christianity will only accept you into their group as long as you abide by the laws, precepts, and cultural understandings of their religion. Barring that, one must at least remain one of them in name (which qualifies as a form of honor), though one rarely practices or honors the unique rituals or specific observances and bylaws.

         But the worst thing one can ever do is leave and become a real disciple of the Lord. This immediately puts one’s former religion in a bad light. It puts one’s former culture in a bad light. It puts the members thereof in a bad light. And unless a new believer formerly hung out with a bunch of cool people who try real hard to love everybody and never judge anybody, and usually never make a big deal of someone moving on toward whatever they may seek, the new believer cannot help but suffer some form of rejection. It simply goes with the territory. Real Christianity demands a full commitment. By accepting the Lord, one must say adios to any group not subjected to the Lord to which he or she formerly belonged.

         If you’re wondering about the title of this article, the Allman Brothers wrote a song called Whipping Post forty-five years ago. The way I felt today reminded me of it.

         I saw them perform live in a former life. They were an exceptional band and their music calls to mind a better time when the country was a tad more idealistic. The members did not necessarily live according to Christian morals, and in fact were hell-raisers. But they sure made great music. I quit listening to their stuff a long time ago, but I listened to that song today for the first time in decades.

         I can’t be sure, but I think Gregg Allman must have been thinking of the Lord when he wrote it. Either that or he was influenced by someone else. Back then almost everyone still had Biblical knowledge to various degrees from childhood, unlike today. There was a respect for the Lord then, even among sinners. Whipping Post is about a strong man getting his heart destroyed, something many people can relate to.

         Returning to the narrative, the whipping post was a further place of the Lord’s suffering toward the ultimate place, before they at last offed Him and got rid of the Man who kept making them feel bad about themselves and their sinister little arrangements, both religious and monetary.

         The Lord Jesus had also in effect left His family religion, so to speak, and prophesied of His nation’s destruction rather than come to its defense as a mighty warrior throwing off the Roman oppressors. The ruling religious leaders hated Him for that and deemed Him an anti-Messiah.

         Toward that same characterization, He engaged in way too many diatribes against the clergyites of His day and nation who foisted upon the people a fake belief system, but one in which the religious leaders deemed perfect. He exposed them for their complete lack of love and mercy, and their insistence upon religious legalities. He railed against them for putting the people of His nation in religious bondage and forcing them to remain there upon fear of excommunication.

         Thus, when they finally got their chance at administering the deadly 39 stripes they exulted in it. Tying the Lord to the whipping post and watching Him get ripped was a turn-on for these idiots. No doubt they exclaimed, “You reap what you so!” and “Serves you right!” and “That’s what you get!” and “We tried to tell you what would happen but you didn’t listen!”

         Such hateful rhetoric just adds to the affliction of the abused, as if their innocence and righteousness was the sanction of their suffering. How many abused people are told their maltreatment is their own fault?

         The same ill-treatment generally happens to real Christians in one form or another at one time or another. Yet, if a real Christian somehow manages to live life without suffering such things, I am not questioning their standing in the Lord and never will, but there is the question of effect. The New Testament clearly reveals the suffering of saints at the hands of non-disciples of the Lord. Each had their own form of being tied to the whipping post.

         Paul had a contract on his life pretty much his whole life after giving His heart to the Lord Jesus. He continually suffered abuse way off the scale. It was as if his enemies believed him to be the worst enemy possible and they must eliminate him at any cost or be eliminated. Maybe they had a point.

         We know real Christianity always wins the war though it may suffer loss in various battles, and though it often looks just the opposite at any point in time. Since the lives of individual human beings are infinitesimal in relation to the planet’s history, it is no wonder few can behold the long-term trend of real Christianity’s success. Yet the Lord is a winner, always was and always will be, and will not be judged according to a flawed standard.

         It is not about numbers and never has been. If the Lord ends up with three people in heaven He will be happy. He blessed us all with a choice and the choice is ours, not His. He did everything for us that He can possibly do, and honors our free will and individual choices always. This is something mankind’s religions never do. Their protocol always involves force and fear, and trying to cram as many scared and ill-informed people into their paradigm as possible. The leaders thereof then use them and their resources for their own purposes which is all part of creating a religious elite and maintaining its power.

         Step out of line and see what happens. You could be directed to the nearest whipping post.

         Always remember, though, that the Lord survived the post. They killed Him but He didn’t stay dead. And because of the love and power He grants to His children in this world, neither do they stay dead, even if they’re still drawing breath. We know it is not easy, and for some it is very difficult. But there is always the strength made available to get back up, get healed, and live again. It involves using the authority on our part to love our enemies anyway, and forgive them, and pray for them. It requires being filled with the Lord’s strength and love, and an ongoing refreshing of the Holy Spirit.

         The Lord forgave His enemies from the cross. He had the same attitude at the post. We must do no less.

         “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” [Luke 6:35] [1]

         Hang in there. Be strong. Love everybody. The Lord will see you through.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

God is Love

          We all probably have different definitions of love. Some have love all around them and do not realize it. Some have none at all.

         Life can be cold. Circumstances can be hard and unforgiving. Survivors make the conscious decision to press on regardless. They know they must keep moving or will be swallowed up in pity and despair.

         People all over the world are celebrating love today. Those with loved ones and close relationships are blessed, and should take the time to count their blessings. Millions of others are not so fortunate, though, and be it a matter of their own mistakes or the coldness of others, it is not a good place to be.

         There is something profound in the heart of people that rarely sees outward expression, and has a distinct timelessness to it, as if we have all lived for thousands of years. It plays out like an ongoing flicker of faded pictures and bright, sunny, and colorful moments, when all was so good and joyful one wore a constant smile and felt filled up and satisfied with an undefined goodness.

         But such a thing is always fleeting. I think it is somehow connected to eternity, and to a long ago distant time before sin and evil entered the world, when life was the opposite of carrying around a load of bricks all the time, as if one could almost levitate due to the lightness of being.

         How is it that human beings are so resilient?

         In answer to our hearts, with regard to the timelessness of our souls, and with great respect for these feelings we have of goodness that once was and that which we long for again, someone has done something none of us could ever do.

         We have our great cultural epics and sagas, traditional stories handed down over many centuries that address these particular desires of the human heart that go beyond time and present limitations, and they somehow keep the spark of wonder alive and keep us going.

         We have these hopes articulated in popular song every once in a while, and they stand out, as if someone expressed a thought from a different place that turned heads and caused people to stop in their tracks at a notion they know but do not understand. Millions of lyrics float past and then one hits a nerve in our minds. A show, a movie—and there’s that theme again. It is rare and maybe most don’t notice: “Is there a heaven?” “Oh yeah, it’s the place where dreams come true…”

         And we hold onto that, and we wait, and we hope, and we try to do our part to get there, and we remember when it was easier to get there and actually be there for seemingly long stretches. For those who are fortunate to have such long stretches last a lifetime they should be overjoyed to the point of helping others get there as well, and many do. There are philanthropists in this world who do great favors for others, giving millions of dollars toward worthy causes, and sometimes anonymously.

         That’s the best way to give, you know. Give in such a way that no one knows you are giving. But also, to give in a way that directly helps your fellow man.

         This can be harder than it seems. Some will take advantage. Some are not looking for help to get beyond a particular hard place, but an ongoing dole. Some institutions rake in billions of dollars but never actually touch the heart of mankind. Churches and ministries are grossly guilty of this as well. So much giving is going on but mankind remains throttled by bad circumstances, incredible need, and a massive deficit of love.

         It is the lack of love that is most glaring but it seems it cannot be answered through our own efforts, at least not anywhere close to the way it must. Many of us do a lot of good things, expecting nothing in return, and do it in a quiet way. And this is very good. But we know we need something more. We need something or someone from beyond this realm.

         Everyone knows this, but many shunt it aside as the dream of a child with no bearing on reality. This is a sad thing because it promotes a hard heart and a cynical attitude. It seems most people reach a point where they put such hopes aside, leave them behind, and face the hard facts of life with a dark exterior and a hardened heart.

         Indeed there are times we must do difficult things. There are times we must reach way down and somehow find the strength to keep going and complete certain tasks, and go for broke, and step on anything that has to do with sappy qualities like love and hope. It is the picture of a man going headfirst against the raging wind into the teeth of a mighty blizzard.

         But one cannot exist this way all the time. One will burn out. The greater qualities of life will die off and shrivel away. Hopes will be dashed and cast away never to be found again.

         If someone thinks this is too strong then one needs to connect with people who are going through hell at this very moment and see that it is true. And to show how resilient such people are, one will see that many face great difficulties but decide to soldier on, and the greats somehow do it with a wonderful attitude and a smile. They know that even though their bodies or lives or marriages or families may be broken, they will do their best anyway. These are the ones who face the blizzard with joy, who even take it as a challenge, and who refuse to be defeated.

         But they need our help. We all need each other. And once we get to a place where we can dream again, we realize there must be more. There must be a way to build a field of dreams, or get off a lonely island, or get out of the rat race, or off the merry-go-round, or away from constant pain and heartache.

         We need someone from way out there somewhere to step into our difficult and often pointless lives and show us the way we know exists but simply cannot find. We need a celestial teacher, a guide, a revealer of how things are done, a mentor to patiently explain things to us who will love us and help us and rescue us and take the time to be with us.

         And he said, “I love You, O LORD, my strength.”

         The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

         I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

         The cords of death encompassed me, and the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.

         The cords of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me.

         In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.

         Then the earth shook and quaked; and the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry.

         Smoke went up out of His nostrils, and fire from His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it.

         He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet.

         He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind… [Psalm 18:1-10]

 .

         We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment;

         Because as He is, so also are we in this world. [1 John 4:16-17] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.