know what you believe

Last night I was watching a National Geographic special on the recent discovery of the so-called “Gospel of Judas”. If you know anything about the Bible, then you know that Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. His name, however, lives in infamy for the only thing he is recorded of in Scriptures. Judas is the disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and subsequently hanged himself out of remorse. Judas’ betrayal was the event that lead Jesus to the cross and although his betrayal was evil, it caused the single most important and glorious event in the world’s history. But nonetheless, Judas betrayed Jesus Christ to the Jewish authorities for a bag of coins. His sin is considered so great that in the classic poem “Dante’s Inferno” by Virgil, Judas is reserved the deepest circle of hell and endures being devoured by Satan over and over.

The program on the Gospel of Judas was able to authenticate the manuscript as being 1700 years old and not a forgery. Once the document was authenticated it was time to begin the arduous task of piecing the 1700 year old flaking pages to decipher the ancient words. These words were not new to the church however. In 180 AD the bishop Iraneus of Lyon condemned the gospel as heresy. Iraneus also condemned almost 30 other gospels as heresy including the gospel of Philip, Thomas, Mary,Bartholemew, and etc…

The early church was riddled with different views of what Jesus’ life was and what He really said and did. Different people wrote their accounts of Jesus’ life and different churches and groups adopted different gospels. Therefore there was widespread confusion about what the good news really was. Iraneus’ job was to determine which accounts were truthful and divinely inspired. This is where we get Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The stories in these four gospels are the most similar, contain the basic message of life, death,resurrection, and ascension. These accounts were determined to be divinely inspired because they are all about Jesus instead of man. After it was deciphered, the gospel of Judas was determined to be extremely man-centered and does not contain anything about Jesus’ crucifixion.

But perhaps the most disturbing part of the gospel is the way Judas is portrayed as the good guy. As the author of Judas claims, Judas was the disciple Jesus loved the most and was His most trusted and faithful disciple. And when it comes to his act of infamy, the gospel suggests that Jesus planned his arrest and asked Judas to carry it out. This requires a huge sacrifice on Judas’ part because everyone would hate him. Judas was also privy to the greatest secrets of heaven that even angels didn’t know. A completely different portrayL of Judas than we see in the synoptic gospels.

I’ll close with a commentary. It’s amazing how Satan tries to derail the faith of millions! The involvement of Satan in the discovery of this ancient text is apparent. The forces of darkness will, for all time, try to deceive the faithful and lead people astray. But if you know what you believe and it is grounded in the Bible and in the knowledge that God has inspired the texts in the Bible and that all we need to know for salvation, life, and righteousness is contained in Genesis to Revelation. Anything not contained in Scripture is not of God and is made by man without inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God has promised us that some will be led astray by every wind of false doctrine and teaching but if we build our houses on the Rock of God’s word then we will be secure for eternity and be able to stand against the all the attacks of the Devil.

Autumn is cool now!

For 21 years of my life the season of autumn was always bittersweet.  It was sweet because autumn is football season and I have a ridiculously strong emotional connection to the Ravens.  For me the fall season really begins in early September when week 1 of the NFL season starts; it ushers in a new season of passionately laughing and crying over the Ravens.  The glory of the gridiron at M&T Bank Stadium is a wellspring of joy or depression every Sunday.  Perhaps there are some sin issues I need to deal with regarding my attachment and idolatry of the Ravens, but not now, I’m writing a blog now so I can’t worry about that!  Maybe God’s Spirit will convict me of that one day, but it is now today.  I also love the weather of the fall!  The temperatures are cool and the beauty of nature is wonderful to behold!  The glory of God in nature is clearly evident when the leaves begin to change color.  But autumn was always bitter because of the ever-looming presence of the beginning of the school year. School was always the bearer of bad news in my life during this time of year.  It was a real autumn party foul to have to go back to school during such a wonderful time of year and prevent me from fully enjoying the otherwise awesomeness of autumn!

But this year is different.  I’m done with school so there is no bitter taste in my mouth anymore!  I didn’t have to worry about giving up my freedom of the summer to go back to school this year and now I am free from the tyranny of professors and homework and ridiculous three hour night classes!  The beauty of the fall is mine to behold in full and I plan to take advantage of that this year!  Part of that will involve studying the Creator God who causes the beauty of the fall months.  I hope to use these upcoming months to love my Savior more and to search for career opportunities.  I also hope to train myself in spiritual disciplines such as study of the Word and journalling.  Most of all I pray that this season would be fruitful in my service of God’s kingdom and witness of Jesus Christ.

When God gives you a detour

I remember about 5 months ago I was so excited about beginning my career with Aflac because I was pumped up about the potential to make a lot of money.  But now that I’ve got more than 3 months of working under my belt I’m not so sure that I’m quite cut-out to work in this business.  I don’t think it really fits my personality, and I’m fine with that because I feel like God has potentially opened up a big door for me.  God awoke in me a desire about a week ago to use my college degree in a ministry capacity to serve the church of Jesus Christ.  I found a job opening at Mars Hill Church in Seattle for a Marketing Campaign Manager and I feel that God lead me to that position and I’ve been working on getting my resume ready and I plan on applying early next week.  It’s totally insane how this has come up so quickly over the last week and I’m trying to discern if this really is God’s will.  I’ve been a fan of Mark Driscoll’s ministry at Mars Hill for a while and I love his preaching and the mission of his church.  I have been seeking the Lord over the past week to make sure that my desire to apply to this job is in alignment with His desire for my life.  I’m definitely prepared to make the changes in my life if I did get the job.  I definitely need prayer though, to help me to seek God’s plan for my life because this is a major life-changing decision!