Tag Archives: God

Dad and The Pastor; Trinity – Part 6

th9HMH573O(Continued from yesterday.)

“Certainly there is a word to describe it,” Dad said. “It’s a perfectly good word, but God chose not to use the word even though it was there for his use or disposal; it is trinity. It is not found in the Bible nor was it ever on the lips of Jesus, the prophets, or Apostles, nor was it on the finger tip of God.”

“You ignore all the scriptural proof,” Bowden said despondently.

“You know as well as I do that translators have tweaked the scriptures to benefit a Trinitarian point of view wherever they could,” Dad said. “They have been caught with there hands in the cookie jar more than once.”

“An example if you don’t mind,” Bowden said.

“1st John 5:7,” Dad said. “A planted scripture to bolster a crumbling foundation and used as the cornerstone and paradigm of Trinitarians everywhere until proven a fraud. The scripture inserted by one libelous reprobate of the lowest order.”

“Strong words,” Bowden said.

“Softer than heresy, for which you came within a hairbreadth of declaring me such,” Dad said, “Yet when you consider the enormity of that misdeed and how it has mislead, there is little else to revive his reputation in light of the closing word of the Bible, the one who takes away or adds to the Holy Writings, such will be taken from him or added.”

There was quiet.

“Bowen,” Dad said. “Colossians 1 verses 15 through 17, he is called the ‘first-born of creation.’

“Ah!” Bowden said. “That’s it! He is the first-born.”

“Your exuberance and prejudice blind you, Bowden,” Dad said. “The scripture defines Jesus as ‘of creation;’ in other words a part of, not before or during. It clearly defines him as a created being.”

“You clearly don’t have the capacity to understand what is clearly before your eyes,” Bowden said.

Dad was not a sarcastic man. I theorize, though, he saved all his sarcasm for Bowden.

“I suppose next you will be able to produce photographs, snapshots, and even a fuzzy 8 millimeter film of the trinity,” Dad said. “I shall be happy to add it to my collection along with Loch Ness, Big Foot, and Elvis sightings.”

“It is time I leave,” Bowden said disdainfully.

When I heard Bowden leave I darted from my peach next to the vent above Dad’s chair.

Dad stood at the door watching Bowden drive away. Dad rocked from toe to heel sipping his coffee.

“What do you think, Dad?” I said.

“About the time these fields dry out that will about the time Bowden figures he’s been right all along,” Dad said.

“Didn’t you show him enough proof?” I said.

“Strong debates over doctrine are useless to the debaters,” Dad said. “No matter a mountain of evidence in one direction or another each man leaves the debate more convinced than ever he is right and his opponent is a simpleton. And if you‘re not careful the real loss can be the respect for the other person.”

“But, you got a little smart with him?” I said.

“Bowden has a serious flaw,” Dad said. “He’s too smart. I’m no psychologists, but you got to bring a stubborn mule to his knees before you can begin to train him.”

“So are you training Bowden?” I said.

“He likes the sarcasm,” Dad said. “He comes here to be challenged. He likes the good fight. We haven’t seen the last of him. That’s what I like about him.”

“Do you think he likes you?” I said.

“Yeah,” Dad smiled and sipped his coffee, “just one of the many things he’s not aware of yet.”

(Continued tomorrow.)

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Dad and The Pastor; Too Wet To Plow  – Part 5

thNSC145S6(Continued from yesterday.)

With the rain and melting snow the fields were drenched in water. Some fields looked like lakes. Dad was sipping coffee. It was mid afternoon and he was looking out the kitchen window at the back of the house.

Dad’s equipment was in the barns ready to go as soon as the weather eased and the fields drained and dried. I heard a car pull into the drive way. It was Bowden.

I went into the kitchen. “Dad,” I said, “it’s Bowden.”

Dad quickly prepared a tray of coffee, cream and sugar. He placed it next to Bowden’s chair. Bowden knocked and Dad let him in. Bowden removed his shoes. Dad greeted him and gestured to the living room.
Bowden sat. “Is the coffee for me?”

“Yes,” Dad sad, “if you prefer tea that will be little problem.”

“Coffee is fine,” Bowden said and sat.

“Not a good day to be out, wouldn’t you agree,” Dad said.

“Miserable,” Bowden said. “I bet you can’t wait till the weather dries up so you can get started.”

“I’m ready,” Dad said easing into his chair.

I scurried to the perch in my room.

“I’m sorry for the way I left the last time,” Bowden said.

“That’s okay,” Dad said. “We all have our days.”

“I would like to talk to you about something, today,” Bowden said. “It’s about the very nature of who God is; the central theme of our faith and the Bible.”

“Well if I understand you as well as the church‘s teaching,” Dad said, “you are referring to the trinity?”

“Yes,” Bowden said, “the very nature of who God is; his substance.”

“It is pointless to pursue it,” Dad said, “because it comes down to me arguing there is no such thing as leprechauns and you saying just because there is no evidence of their existence does not mean that they don’t exist.”

“It is a fact just as sure as there is an existence of God,” Bowden said.

“The trinity is and invention, an apparition,” Dad said, “it is made up out of thin air; the imagination of mystical priests and latched hold of by theologians with little intellectual or scriptural gumption.”

“How can you say that!” Bowden said. “That is heresy; such offenses have been met with…”

“Persecution,” “Dad interrupted. “If they persecuted me they will persecute you Jesus said. No greater persecutors than the church.”

“Bah!” Bowden said. “The trinity is the cornerstone of the Bible and any teaching to the contrary is easily refuted.”

“Then refute away,” Dad said. “It’s too wet to plow.”

“Let us, us, make man in our, our, image!” Bowden said emphatically as if there could be no possible rebuttal.

“Well,” Dad said. “Your exuberance registers little. It has no more staying power than the hot air from your breath. The word ‘us’ proves what, two or do you imagine it means equality? Let us walk down the road; us does not indicate equality nor does it trinity. It may be two, it may mean three or twenty. You toss out an argument akin to slick-haired shyster lawyers full of pomp, but use only empty rhetoric and bluster.”

“Than how do you counter the words of John 10 verse 30?” Bowden said.

“Is that the scripture, is that the one you are offering as the ultimate proof of the trinity?” Dad said.

From upstairs I could feel the heat and overload of Bowden’s brain at work.

“Well, is it?” Dad pried.

“Yes,” Bowden said. He crossed his arms and sat back in his chair.

“You are no more than a trickster and charlatan, Bowden,” Dad said. “You take words beyond and out of context. Jesus is talking clearly about works; that is the context. They are of the same mind, purpose, and goals just as Jesus said a man and wife would be one in Matthew chapter 19. The use of the word one has no more or less significance than used in John. Jesus also prayed in John 17 that even the Apostles would be a part of that oneness.”

Bowden moved forward and spoke condescendingly to Dad. “It is difficult for we mortals to understand the God, Son and the holy ghost being coequal, coexistent, and coeternal. There are no words to describe it.”

(Continued tomorrow.)

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A Night For Boys and God – Part 2

(Continued from yesterday.)

thA5E4XSM4Looking For God In The Mirror

“It’s what’s in your heart,” Bart said defending Sammy.

“Yeah,” Sammy said. “And I believe with all my heart.”

“What about you Bart?” I asked.

“I go every Sunday for church and Sunday school too.” Bart said.

“But how do you know if there is a God?”

“It’s faith,” Sammy said. “You just know.”

“Is that how you feel?” I asked Bart.

“That’s it,” Bart said, “Either you got faith or you don’t.”

“How can I get it?” I asked.

“By going to church,” Sammy said.

“You treat it like catching a cold,” I said. “I know you two exist because I can see you, feel you, and hear you.”

“You need help,” Sammy said.

“You’re in deep trouble with God,” Bart said. “I don’t even know if I should be here with you.”

“Look you guys,” I said. “I think it’s great that you know. I want to know. I want to know how to know.”

Both looked at me as if an infidel.

“You act as if I’m different. I’m the same person today as I was last week,” I said. “I’m just being honest.”

“If my mom knew this about you she’d never let you see me or come to the house again,” Bart said.

“Me too,” Sammy said.

“Suppose you guys didn’t think your Dads were your Dads,” I proposed. “How would you go about proving it one way or another?”

“I’d ask,” Sammy said.

“Me too,” Bart agreed.

“What could either of your fathers offer as proof?” I said.

“I’d believe them,” Sammy said.

Bart stroked his chin. “Are you trying to get us to deny God?”

“No,” I said. “I want you to help me believe in God.”

“Maybe that’s for a preacher,” Sammy said.

“It’s for Rich,” Bart said.

“Thank you Bart,” I said. “That’s a start. I just can‘t have somebody tell me to believe. Do you remember the experiment Mr. Mahaffey did with salt water. He said salt does not dissolve. You said it does. You dissolved salt in water and then he poured it through filters until it was pure. The salt collected in the filter. You had to have proof.”

“This is making me feel creepy,” Sammy said. “Satan may come for you tonight.”

“Let’s go back to our fathers. You would ask your fathers, right?” I said.

“Right.”

“Right.”

“I think your Dads would take you by the hand and lead you to a mirror and say, ‘See how we look alike.’ That’s proof. I want God to show me proof that I am one of his children by taking my hand and showing me how we are alike. We reflect our God like we reflect our Dads. I don’t want to be like my Dad. If God wants me to be like him, he will have to show me how. I don‘t do bad things, but I feel I‘m bad. I don‘t feel like I even belong here with you guys, but look at you guys when Sammy‘s Dad said something about window peeking at the Johnson‘s, a vision flashed in both of your heads. You were both to the point of drooling.”

“That’s natural,” Sammy said defensively.

“Why does the Bible say not even to look lustfully upon a woman than,” I asked.

Sammy and Bart were clearly uncomfortable. We laid down and soon fell asleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep before needing to urinate. Quietly I lifted the flap of the tent and instead of taking advantage of the invitation extended by Mr. Tuttle to use the bathroom inside I walked the extra few steps and went into the woods. On my way back I looked into the sky wondering if the displeasure of God had been incurred by blasphemous reasoning or words.

 

 

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A Night For Boys and God (Part 1)

thLSK1XG2SAs nightfall was well along the three of us reclined around the low yellow flame of a kerosene lantern. We sipped our pop, munched on potato chips and marshmallow pies. We talked of girls, love, sports, teachers, the future, and life. These are times a young man can for the first time articulate his thoughts to others without reproach of a scolding parent or know-it-all teachers. It’s a testing of ideas and concepts that will shape a boy’s future. It trains how to interact with a world that will soon change from boyish aspirations and idealism to adult realities and brutal disappointments. A cruel and unforgiving world awaits just beyond the flap of that tent. We did not know that then.

We spoke of making right choices in life, what will guide us, who will influence us, and what code we will live by.

“What is your code to live by?” Bart asked Sammy.

“Live for today, plan for tomorrow,” Sammy said. “How ‘bout you Bart?”

“Do to others as you want others to do to you,” Bart said. “And what about you?” He said looking at me.

“I don’t know,” I said.

They frowned and shrugged their shoulders.

“The key is belief in God,” Bart said.

“God can help you make good decisions,” Sammy said confidently.

“He can make all your decisions turn out good,” Bart said.

“What do you mean?” Sammy said.

“Let’s say you went some place your Mom and Dad said not to go. And something bad happened there; like a fire. God would allow you to save everybody,” Bart said.

“He makes bad things turn into good, if your heart is right and you believe in him.”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s right,” Sammy agreed. “I know what you mean. Things like that happen all the time.”

There was a moment of silence. Sammy and Bart waited for me to proffer a theory to the stew of philosophical and religious discussion.

“Does that mean you can do anything, like anything and it will come out right, because God doesn’t want you to screw up?” I finally said.

“You’re being ridiculous,” Sammy said disgustingly.

“I don’t think so,” Bart said. Bart thought deeper and seldom spoke without thinking. “I think what you are saying is that you can spend a lifetime of jumping in front of cars or off skyscrapers thinking its all going to turn out good and that‘s tempting God, which we shouldn’t do.”

“You ever heard the one about the guy who jumped out of the fifty story building and each widow he passed on the way down he said, ‘so far so good?’” I said. “Just because things seem to be going okay doesn’t mean that we’re on the right course. It can’t be left to chance.”

“My head is hurting,” Sammy said and we all laughed. “God keeps your head from hurting.”

“How do you know there is a God?” I asked.

“For god’s sake what are you saying?” Sammy said.

“You got to believe in God.” Bart said. “Are you a communist?”

“God will punish you for that,” Sammy said.

“I’m not saying I don’t believe in god,” I said. “I ask how do you know.”

“You just know,” Bart said.

“It takes faith,” Sammy said.

“Maybe you should go to church,” Bart said. “Do you go?”

“I’m not so sure that has a lot to do with it,” I said. “Look at the people around us that go and those who don’t go. Look at Chet Winters, he treats us good and pays for more than we do. He said that ministers preached troops to go into battle to die horrible and painful deaths. He said he hasn’t been in a church sense before the war except to get married and go to his kids’ weddings. He’s the most honest man around. Have you ever worked for Orville Higgins? He’s a deacon in the Brethren Church. I caught him resetting the counter on the baler and he deducts fifty cents a meal if his wife feeds us.”

“No matter, you got to belong to a church,” Sammy said.

“What churches do you guys belong to?” I asked.

“The Methodist’s,” Bart said.

“Baptist’s,” Sammy said. “What about you?”

“I suppose a Lutheran,” I said.

“Suppose!” Bart said. “You’re not sure?”

“I’ve been to one Easter service and two weddings. That’s it. How often do you go to church?” I asked Sammy.

“I go about once a month,” Sammy said.

“Could you call yourself a student if you went to school once a month?” I asked. “That makes you a truant.”

(Continued tomorrow.)

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Who Rules The World Now?

If I Ruled the World

You’ve been given the superpower to change one law of nature. How do you use it?

Any law of nature that is changed in the slightest would be catastrophic.

Since an opinion was asked for, I will give it; man cannot live independent from God. That is a law of nature. It seems a part of our being; man has always had a desire for spirituality and yet as one desire tugs us toward it another pulls us away. The last writer of the Bible expressed it simply this way, “the whole world is laying in the power of the wicked one.” (1st John 5:19) So the short answer is to remove the wicked one; the force that is against the most important law of nature; mankind’s search for God.

My short story for today continues with another tale about the legend, John Smith. Here is the link to No Camels, No Love. 

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Beware of This Prompt

Reason to Believe

In Reason to Believe,, Bruce Springsteen sings, At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe. What’s your reason to believe?

Like many lyrics they are meaningless and have very little content – “Baby, baby, baby.”

This prompt is so open… Believe in self, your writing, others, God, karma, etc?

Likely what we might grasp for in this exercise is what we most doubt exists. It gives an opportunity to fortify a weak assumption or belief. So to reiterate what will be chosen is what we doubt most.

We are in constant need of affirmation in all things we do. That’s why we seem to cluster to people who like us. They affirm in our minds our value and we reciprocate.

I believe Mr. Springsteen is selling recordings and empty ideas (and doing quite well, I may add).

Here is a link to a short story, The Brilliant Norman Sebastian. Everything he did was brilliant… at least that’s what he believed and others did also.

 

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Pride and Joy: Relationships

Pride and Joy

What’s your most prized possession? GO!

Admittedly I don’t take the prompts serious. I have fun with them. Fun has its limits and never would I want to give a false impression for the sake of being funny. This is, to me, a serious subject.

My most prized possessions are relationships with people. I really like them. That’s why I aspire to be one someday.

First there is my wife. If that doesn’t exist life is somehow a little less full. There are times I look at here and see the girl I dated as a teen ager. Her hopes, he dreams, her vulnerabilities, her fears. She makes me smile and feel not so alone. She knows my thoughts, my feelings, and who I am (and loves me still).  Then comes my children. I really like them. Of course I love them, but they are really likable. (This includes grandchildren, sons-in-law, and daughter-in-law, it’s a package deal.) They are easy and enjoyable to talk with. My mother, who is now 100 and at present not doing well. But we talk daily and it means much to both of us. I have friends far and near. One I call perhaps once a week and others less often, but that in no way indicates any less attachment and regard for them. Most importantly is my relationship with my Creator. Without his direction, examples, and teachings none of the above would even be remotely possible.

Here is a link to my daily short story, The Kellen Moore Selfie at Billy Bronco’s.

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