Self-Punishment By Offense

“You’re an idiot, a prideful prick, and useless jerk who can not even think straight!” Said Jorge’s beautiful wife, who married him a few months ago. Interestingly enough, a few months into dating and in the moments preceding such commmitment, in Johanna’s eyes Jorge was a godly man! He would work as hard as he could to pay his bills, would visit his mother in the hospital, donate some money to the poor, and even sing at the Church’s choir. “Such a dedicated man,” is what Johanna used to think about him. Admittedly, some times he thinks that, but those thoughts don’t last… Why?

It happens that Johanna was passionately in love for Jorge. Her hormone levels were not as they used to, and consequently, her mind was just not thinking straight. How does one goes from godly man to useless jerk? Easy answer! They got more intimate and her hormone levels went back to normal (which sounds very much like an oxymoron when we are dealing with females but whatever). All the suspense, the curiosity, the desire faded away. Of course he would still visit his mom in the hospital, but only now she realized he does so begrudgingly. He still donates his money to the church, but man that guy spends tons of cash on Xbox games too! Sure, he sings at church, but now she knows he actually hates the guy who leads worship and thinks he is a jerk! Now, she sees his flaws. But that is not all, that is not the point.

Johanna now, unconsciously, sees what will be with her for the rest of her miserable life. One day she will be the one in the hospital, will he visit her with joy or will he feel that is a burden? His Xbox games are so stupid! Of course he should spend that money on clothes and makeup for her! And since he has some issues with leadership, how will he handle issues with her when she is the one in charge? No, she is not perfect either. She graduated in psychology so she thinks she knows everything about his life and how he rationale works. Since she was always a natural leader and people everywhere (normally people who were not under her charge) encouraged her about her natural skills, and now she has problems with him. Why? Because since he does not respect his church leader, how will he respect her? I know you might be thinking, “isn’t she the one who is suppose to submit to him?” Well yeah, but remember, she is perfect, he is the “useless prick.”

What she is facing is not his problems, but hers. What she is dealing with is not with his personality, but how his personality will have an affect on her. See? Is not about him, is about her? Guess who is the prideful one now, huh? See the thing with couples is that it really seems like a bad joke. God changes your hormones so that you do not see the other person as she is, but as you wish they were. I mean, you have got to fulfill your mom’s wish list for your husband and your have got to win your daddy’s approval right? How could you live without someone’s approval? That would be terrible… for your ego… Anyways, once God puts you in this unchangeable matrimony he opens both of y’all’s eyes and now you both see how terrible the other person is. “It was the wife/husband you gave me that did that, Lord.” Isn’t this a sick joke? Well, the issue, again, is that we do not think that.

We rightly recognize that God does not have anything to do our hormones, and he does not “open our eyes” when we start living with (what used to be) our loved ones. We are to blame! We did not analyzed the other person carefully enough, we were the ones who projected someone else into that person. Actually, we are to blame even more, for we all need to recognize that we lie and fake our lives to an extend in front of those whom we are trying to conquer. Is a fight thing, we try to look bigger, more confident, but in real life we are just skinny, broken, and scared teenagers. So she is even more angry not because Jorge is a prideful prick, but because she married a prideful prick! I really laugh at this, and this is why I do not plan on being a counselor. When you call your spouse _____ you are also admitting your stupidity, for you married a _______ person! See how life works? It always slaps you in the face, whether you like it or not, honey.

So we have one big pile of messiness in a house, and after dinner you both need to go to the same bad. Johanna is mad because she is stupid. I mean she married a sinful person, how dumb is that? And Jorge is mad because she can’t even see her flaws, is like she’s blind or something; just as he was for her before they got married. Guess what? Jorge is mad at himself too. Both of these useless pieces of brainless beings need to go to bed together, they need to eat breakfast together. And for real, even if they avoid each other’s presence, they will have to face each other at some point. Now here comes the sick joke:

Johanna and Jorge are Christians. They are going to Church next morning. They need to smile, and they will. They need to “worship” (term used in churches with bad theology referring to singing songs about how much God loves them, followed of several bridges, guitar solos, and “ohhhooohhooohhh” moments), and they will. They will fake their lives to their bones. Both of them will now, together, fake together. The beautiful union initiated by God and a priest is now a union of both people sinning together. How gorgeous is that? No, no, my dear friend. Marriage is messy, it is not what Instagram shows you, so get out of there! Rousseau was right! Comparison screwed us over! This fake couple will go to church and look at other couples and see how happy they are, and remember how happy they used to be. What they do not know is that those cute couples walking around your mega church o Sunday morning are as messed up as you are. We are all lost. We are just to afraid to admit. I mean, what if God actually decides to heal us?! That would be terrible, for we would have to deal with our problems. And we live in the XXI’st century, we don’t do that. We check social media, we listen to music, we watch Netflix, but heck no! We do not solve things between each other!

What can this and all the other couples on earth do to solve their problems with each other? You are with a sinful person. That sucks, I know. But remember, you are sinful too, and I bet you can’t stand yourself and your sin more than your spouse can stand his. Why would you throw his flaws on his/her face? Do you assume he/she is comfortable with his sins just because sometimes he/she doesn’t seem to work on his problems? I guess you always look like you are trying so hard to improve, right? And if you do, I bet that is so because your goal is to please God, and not to preserve your good image in front of other people right? You are worried with what God thinks about you, not other people, right? Let’s us both cut the crap. Jorge and Johanna, you guys suck. You both do, and you both know it. I have an idea, do not throw each other’s problems on each other’s faces. I’m pretty sure that will work well. And if you go back to acting like a stupid child with no control over your tongue and no care for your loved one’s heart, read some James. Your tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness, and it has the power to send your spouse to hell (James 3:5-12). If you fail to think about each other with love, repent and pray together. That sucks, I know. It hurts your ego, ashames both of you, and make you both feel like you are naked in front of each other. But that is the goal. For happiness in a shameless physical relationship in your bed will only happen when you both are comfortable with each other’s flaws: both physical and behavioral flaws.

Do you want to lose your relationship and destroy your spouse? Keep up, my friend. Do not admit your flaws and move on with your game. You are too good for this anyways. I am pretty sure you are amazing and you will find a thousand of girls/boys in a snap of a finger. And they all will be even more amazing than your spouse. “Trust your ego,” isn’t that what Jeremiah 17:5 says? Well, if you don’t want to lose your spouse, but want to lose your ego, because God “opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), then humble yourself before the mighty hand of God and at the proper time he will give you favor (1 Peter 5:6). And after cooling down and praying, go talk to your spouse. Fix things with your loved one. That is how relationships persist. There is no short-way for growing. It is painful and slow. But don’t worry, God is with you.

Why is the Creation Account the First Narrative in the Bible?

The biblical narrative introduces itself with a couple of enormous presuppositions: God is real and YHWH is the only God who deserves worship. It is undeniable that Scripture affirms other gods. It does not affirm that they exist, so to speak, in some sort of spiritual location where they fight against each other. Scripture affirms that these other gods are real, but not true. To give them some credit, they exist, while YHWH is. God’s own being should be enough reason to awe and wonder before his existence. He is the essence of being, the supreme structure of all that there is. As if that was not enough for us to trust him, one more other reason can be given: he is the Alpha (A) and the Omega (Ω).

God is the Alpha, the beginning, the origin of all things. While pantheism affirms that everything is an extension of the gods, Christianity affirms that YHWH is the origin of all that there is. The merism “heaven and earth” found in Genesis 1:1 expresses that there is nothing that has been actualized that does not find its grounding origin in the Alpha. Paul also states that all things, both visible and invisible, came from Him (Colossians 1:16-17), affirming John’s words concerning the Son of Man in John 1. His creatorship is included in the well-known fact that every act God performs is intentional. God created all that there is because he wanted people to have a relationship with him. This creative act is proof of his libertarian freedom, for he could have created different, and could have restrained from creating, and yet nothing would be considered as loss or gain to him. God is transcendent in his way to create, but immanent in the intentions and relations with created things.

When the Bible depicts God as the Omega it is clarifying God’s role in the end of history since the beginning. World history has found its cataclysmic apex in Christ, the Redeemer of all. It logically follows that redemption is inherent in God’s being and role. God redeems all that was lost in the fall, which he passively decreed in order to display his glory through the Messiah. The New Heavens and New Earth are just two examples that God is actively involved in his plan to redeem all peoples to himself.

It is very important, then, for the Bible to start with these two ideas and flourish its message from there. If Genesis 1:1 affirms that God created all that there is (time, matter, and space), the question “why?” is inevitable. The answer is provided later on, and the reader can see God’s desire to be among his people when he graciously provides clothing for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). In a very anthropomorphic language, God creates clothes using matter (for the first and only time in the Old Testament) in order to cover their sinfulness and implicitly predict what Christ would do: to definitively cover the sins of all who accept Him by faith.

Scripture starts with creation to preset God’s intentions with it, and doing so, it implicitly prognosticates God’s plan to redeem a people for himself, in order to have a relationship with them in the heavenly Eden (Revelation 22:1-2). It is a two-chapter introduction that sets the scenario to everything that will take place. This theological treatise presents a God who is in control of everything, who is the structural foundation of everything, and who is willing to redeem all who have sinned against him.

Christian Without the Trinity?

Romans 10:9 guarantees us that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (NKJV). It seems, at first, that if you simply confess (i.e. repeat or say something) Jesus and you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, then you are good to go, right? Well, not so fast.

Is it possible for one to confess Jesus as Lord without knowing what the word “Lord” means? I would argue that yes. If that confession fits the guarantee of Romans 10:9, I will bet to differ. To confess Jesus as Lord is to publicly affirm that he is your master, and you are his slave. Jesus, then, has all authority over your life, heart, emotions, desires, passions, etc. If this person fails to provide testimony of his or her words, then his testimony was false, and should not be regarded as having truth value. If is not possible to confess Jesus if we do not understand his role in our relationship with him, how would it be possible for someone to be Christian without believing in the Triune God?

“Well, ‘believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead’,” seems very simple. The matter here is, who raised Christ form the dead? Was it the Father, as Galatians 1:1 indicates? Or was Jesus himself, as John 2:19-21 asserts? Could it be the Holy Spirit, as Romans 8:11 affirms? The One who raised Jesus from the dead was the Triune God! All three were deeply involved in this action. If one affirms that one God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, he would be ignoring Biblical passages.

The God of Scripture is the Triune God. Any worship or serving to other type of God is idolatry. If one recognizes that there is a God because of creation, he too is a heathen. Why? Because he worships a “creator god” and not the Triune God. “Unless you believe that I AM HE you will die in your sins,” said Jesus in John 8:24 (ESV). The ESV adds the word “He” to the regular “ἐγώ εἰμι.” This adding is unnecessary, for other passages like Deuteronomy 32:39, and Isaiah 41:10, or even verse 58 in this same chapter, affirm that “egō eimi” refers to God, and therefore affirm his deity. If one denies that Jesus is God, he is not doing heterodoxy, as some like to identify themselves, but he is going against what Jesus himself taught. If to us that is unacceptable, I see no Biblical reason for why the Triune God would accept that.

I would argue, though, that the doctrine of a person might not always be as accurate as his or her faith in his or her heart. One might believe in the Triune God, yet having a weird speech regarding how he organizes that in his mind. Praise God that we are not saved by the accuracy of our theological communication, but by our faith! Most of us, if not all, would be damned if we were to be judged by that standard. I do not know, however, how far God’s mercy goes in this matter. I prefer not to take any unnecessary risks.

One thing is not to understand the Trinity but accept it by faith, another thing is to deny it when you have knowledge of Scripture. Perfect articulation of this doctrine is not necessary, faith in the God revealed in Scripture is.