Sunday, December 6, 2009

THE Ultimate Sacrifice


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There is no doubt in any Christians mind that what Jesus did while on the cross was a pivotal point in history. We stand in awe of our Creator God, who was willing to hang on a cross after a severe beating, until dead. He even went so far as to forgive his tormentors and murders while they were still mocking him and spitting at him.

We call that the Ultimate Sacrifice. And we all benefited from that history changing sacrifice.

But was that The Ultimate Sacrifice? It is written that he died once for our sins, so we can only assume that if there was another sacrifice, it wasn’t one of death. It would have been one of a physical life.

John 1:1-10 tells us that Jesus was the Word that was with God from the beginning. Jesus was the God of the Old Testament that spoke to the prophets and spoke the universe and all that was in it, into existence. When God spoke, it happened.

For Jesus to become human, he first had to come up with that idea, to think it through, and then be willing to strip him self of the glory he had from eternity, and become not only human, but a helpless child in a womb of a very young and inexperienced mother who was still a card carrying member of the broken human family.

Of course, the Holy Spirit, God, was with him the whole time. There was never a time Jesus was not in constant communion with the Father. But to allow him self to be divested of all things God, that was a sacrifice for humanity of galactic and biblical proportions! It was unheard of, never before attempted! Knowing he will die by the hands of humanity, he still allowed him self to be “down graded” to human, to a fetus, to be carried and born a child of a poor family. From a being who owned it all, literally, to owning nothing.

So what does that mean to you and me? Everything! We praise God left and right for his sacrifice on the cross, and he should be praised! But with Christmas coming up, I think there is a lot more to his first coming as God/Man than we first see. It’s a sacrifice worth paying attention to!

If Jesus had not become fully man, we would never have a God that came down all the way, and he would not have died on the cross. So he had to become fully man, he had to die on the cross. Death had already called his name the day we sinned. Actually, earlier than that if you read Revelation 13:8: “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (or cosmos).” He decided to become flesh and die, so we can put on immortality and live.

Now why do I call it The Ultimate sacrifice? It is true that he made that death sacrifice on the cross, but the ultimate one? Is death the ultimate one? As a human being, we see death as permanent, so we think of it as an ultimate sacrifice (if we made that sacrifice). Or in some cases, we call it a “permanent solution to a temporary problem” we have trouble facing.

What makes it ultimate to God? After all, death was not permanent, but a beginning to eternal life! Resurrection was just a few days away! He was to become immortal again; back to his old glory he had once before! Then what was so “ultimate” and for that matter, “sacrifice” about that?

And what is so ultimate about his becoming humanity? Because, though he died, he did live again, with more glory, but when he became human…








Pay attention now….










Read this carefully…







Ready??...









HE NEVER STOPPED BEING FLESH; HUMAN!




That’s right!! Though he was resurrected back to incorruptible glory, he was still human even after he was raised again!

WHAT?

Remember, he told the disciples and specifically to Thomas in Luke 24:39 “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

The Message bible says it this way: “Don't be upset, and don't let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it's really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn't have muscle and bone like this." As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet.”

Muscle and bone? Flesh? Jesus, with what we would consider as "corruptible" flesh? Apparently so. Jesus' flesh is, of course, incorruptible, and we will share in that incorruptibly of Jesus at his coming! Does that mean that Jesus has a naked human form like us? Yes. And does that mean that Jesus sits at the right hand of God naked? I have no idea. But he could if he wanted to I suppose! But it sure does bring up an interesting thought of humanity and our reality of our created being.

So we have the good news that Jesus is still human, still flesh, yet he is still fully God. God has always been with us the whole time! (Emanuel, God with us) Look at the humanity around you. Do you now see a different humanity? You should. Jesus became human, flesh, for our sake, made that Ultimate Sacrifice, making a permanent solution to an eternal problem. He brought humanity; flesh, to sit at the right hand of the Father. And the Father is sitting right next to Humanity in Jesus’ humanity!

Wow!

When the Father looks at Jesus (His son in whom he is well pleased) he sees humanity. And when he sees humanity, he sees Jesus!

Now what do you see in the manger? Jesus? God? Humanity? Yes, all three. He is the creator of all the created order, so when we see this baby in a manger, we see all of creation in one place, though he was not created.

Now that does not mean we are God of course, but what a wonderful position humanity has been put in to! The moment Jesus became a physical human being, all of humanity had a physical connection to God, the Creator of the universe! In fact, all of creation now has a connection!

So believe that. Take seriously the part in your connection to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for Jesus has overcome the world! The whole world! When Jesus as man did not sin, Man (in Jesus) did not sin! Though we (man) do sin, Jesus became that Man for us, in our stead, to be a sinless being. That is why God does not hold sin against man, because Man (The Second Adam; Jesus) did not sin for God to hold it against him! 2 Cor. 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.” Notice, reconciling was to the world, not to just certain men.

Because of The Ultimate Sacrifice, all I can say now is:





“Merry Christmas to all of humanity, and to all of humanity, good night”




Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Second Adam

1Corinthians 15:21-22

"So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life." New Living Translation

"For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." Revised Standard Version

"For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." New King James Version

Bible Verses Bold; Quotes from the Bible in Light Blue; Jesus words in red.


Jesus was in so many ways referred to as a "second Adam" or the "other man".

Adam in Hebrew simply means "ruddy" or "red", "man", "mankind". Why call him red? Reminds me of people who used to call me "Red" because I'm red headed, well, was anyway! The earth was probably red clay that God made him from. I would say that is a good a theory as any!

The important question is, why was Jesus associated with Adam? Was it because Jesus was red? I don't think so. He might have been, but I doubt that was the reason.

It says in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (I am paraphrasing here) that Adam brought death into the world, Jesus took death in our stead for sin. If we, coming from Adam are sinful, then we again coming from Jesus are cleansed from sin. So sin, the curse of Adam, is no longer a part of our lives as a way of life. We can sin (without Adams help), and unfortunately do sin, but we go to Christ for our forgiveness, which overcomes anything that the original Adam (or we) has done.

Both the original created Adam and Jesus (born of God) came to this world in a sinless state. But Adam sinned for all of humanity, whereby the Second Adam, Jesus took the sins away from humanity. Adam's sin has been taken away for all of humanity.

See also 1 Corinthians 15:45 "And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." (NKJV)

The New Living Translation says "The Scriptures tell us, 'The first man, Adam, became a living person.' But the last Adam--that is, Christ--is a life-giving Spirit."

Of course, this last verse was talking about our resurrection into life as spirit as well as a renewed life in the flesh. That does not mean that the flesh or human body is somehow evil or that Jesus is ashamed of our bodies. In fact, just the opposite! Jesus did resurrect back into his original (human) body, though he had eternal spirit life.

So where does that lead us?

Again, like the original Adam, Jesus was found in the garden the day of his resurrection. It appears he likes gardens, since it was in the garden that he prayed before his crucifixion. He could have gone anywhere, but decided to stay in the garden. Unlike those paintings where it shows Jesus coming out of the tomb while all of his followers looked on, they were actually off somewhere else. So he stayed around and waited until the women showed up. They first went to the tomb where they discovered that he was resurrected. Then as they went out to tell the others, they found whom they thought was the gardener. After questioning him of the whereabouts of Jesus' body, he revealed to them that he was Jesus himself! You can read this in John 20:1-18. Matthew, Mark and Luke each gives a slightly different perspective of the account. The important message, good news or gospel, (which were first given by women) was that Jesus is risen and alive!

There are some similarities in the four gospel accounts as well as differences. One account has Jesus in the Garden, while another has him walking to Emmaus. One says that Jesus came up to Mary from behind.

The similarities show the angels all wearing white robes, even though there was only one angel mentioned in one account and another says two angels. But they all do agree that they (the angels or "men") were wearing white robes.

It is interesting that none of the accounts mentioned what Jesus wore. They all did agree that he left his linen wraps and face cloth behind...neatly folded of course.

In Luke 24:12 Peter had to go see for himself. He ran to the tomb and found "the linen cloths lying by themselves".

Hmmm, I wonder...if Jesus left the cloths behind and no one mentioned what he wore, could it be possible that He may have worn nothing? Can that even be possible? If so, then how? And if not, then why? I do realize that just because it is not mentioned, that it does not necessarily mean that he wore nothing.

However, we have this human idea that somehow our bodies are evil and must be at all times hidden from view of any other person. That is a Gnostic belief that Paul had to resist and teach against. In our human perspective, Jesus cannot possibly be naked! "Not MY Jesus", we say self-righteously.! Is that true? Is it even biblical? Would Jesus allow himself to be caught without clothing? Let's ask it another way: Is Jesus in need of clothing at all? After all, he was sinless and clothing will not help him resist sin. We think we have to wear clothing because we sinned. He did not sin, so why should he? He overcame the world and it's ways and thinking. Then did he have a body to hide?

Luke 24:39 "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have."

(Again, he was resurrected with a human body, flesh and bone, without robes)

This reminds me that Jesus was not ashamed to wear the body of a human being, before or after his resurrection. He is not a sinner, and he is worthy to take away our sins, even as a naked man made of flesh and bones. Since Jesus is not ashamed of the human body, why are we ashamed? Are we to become like Jesus? He said that he has overcome the world. The very reason we should not fear is because of Him. John 16:33 "...but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Why do we still live in fear? Wasn't that the exact sentiments of Adam? Gen. 3:10 "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And we have been afraid ever since then.

God of course was not pleased with them. He wanted Adam to come out and spend time with Him. He was expecting Adam and Eve to be exactly as He left them, which was naked.

Since we have accepted Jesus' love and mercy, then how can we live in fear?

We now come back to Jesus in the Garden. When Jesus left the tomb, he left behind the cloths that covered his body. As we have just read, He was resurrected back into a human body, with flesh and bones. The disciples can see and feel that he is flesh and bones.

Here is another clue that we can use. The women thought in one gospel account that he was a gardener. John 20:15 "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, 'Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.' "

Now what in the world does being a gardener have anything to do with this? Lets take a look at another clue: John 21:7 shows Peter fishing on the boat and was naked because he "stripped for work." Or we can put it another way, Q: "Why was he naked?" A: "Because he was working."

Jesus was thought to be working in the garden. Therefore they thought he was a gardener. Again, the original Adam worked in the garden and he was naked.

History shows that working nude in the day of Jesus was quite common. Men in the fields were known to work nude. Carpenters worked nude on hot days. (Wasn't Jesus a carpenter?) Slaves often worked nude. (Weren't we called to be slaves of Christ?) Women were known to work with just a cloth around their waist, with their breasts exposed. Women openly breast-fed their babies in public (Motherhood was honored in those days). Nudity was not considered a crime. So to see a carpenter, field worker or a gardener working without clothes was not uncommon or shocking. (This does not imply that everyone worked nude, but as a whole, is not uncommon either)

Now being God, as Christ was and is, do you think he really needed clothing? No, of course not! He was born of the Holy Spirit, which came from God and not from the Adam who sinned.

So to see Jesus as a second Adam, restoring the relationship between man and God, thus removing the clothing that hid us from the beginning, is not a stretch of anyone's imagination. Adam brought sin into the world and Jesus removed sin. Adam hid from God; Jesus removed the covering for sin.

When Jesus died, the curtain or cloth in the temple tore from top to bottom. This is symbolic in several ways. Matthew 27:51 "Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split." A custom of the day when someone died and family or friends are in great grief, they would tear their garments or "rend their garments" as they would say, by tearing it from the top down to the bottom leaving themselves in a sense or even literally, naked. So the first symbolism is that God the Father "tore his garments" in grief at the sight of His firstborn son dying. The second symbolism is that God opened up the way to Him by removing the cloth that separated us from Him in the Holy of Holies. The third is that God never put them back on! It is still open to this day. In fact, God does not even live in a man made temple anymore. He lives in us by using us as a temple. 1 Corinthians 6.19: This passage refers to the body as a temple. Our naked bodies, as God created them, are His temple. Then why do we keep our clothes on as a symbol of shame? Is it to separate us from God and each other? Is it to hide God's glorious temple? God removed His cloth, why can't we remove ours?

Are we still stuck in our man made temple of cloth?

If someone were to ever see me casually naked, he or she might possibly ask, "Have you no shame?" My answer would have to be "No. My shame was taken on the cross and never to enter my life again."

Jesus is the second Adam, who got it right.

An afterthought: After reviewing this article before publishing, I started thinking: in view of the above idea, is calling a preacher a "Man of the cloth", an oxymoron? Sounds to me like they want to stay hidden behind the cloth, rather than ripping it off like God did.

Original copy of this is located at The Second Adam on Boyd Allens Christian Naturism

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is Nudism a Religion?

Many wonder why I'm a nudist, a Christian Nudist at that! (And some just don't care)

In reality, I'm a nudist, not because of some religious dogma, but from a lack of it. Simply put, I just don't like to wear clothing.

So why are we making a "religion" out of it? We aren't. All we are doing is answering the religious zealots who insist on making a religion out of wearing clothing. So we have to drag religion into it to make sense out of it. To answer their condemning questions.

To help you out a bit, below is an excellent article called Acceptance by someone who is not a nudist, and who is not promoting nudism, but who does know I am a nudist (I told him when we were talking at a meeting one time) and found it very "interesting".

This Acceptance is about God willing to accept the reality of what happened in the garden of Eden and though does not approve of their broken ideas, accept that reality and work from that point forward. It helps explain our understanding of why humanity wears clothes even though God never made that a command.

I hope to hear some comments from here and there as well.

Boyd

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Am Afraid of What Others Might Think

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I heard that many times in life, and have found myself using it as well. That has stopped many people from enjoying life, moving forward and taking risks. Including me.

But what does this mean when we look at it in the reality of who and what we are in Christ?

I will go over each word individually, but also as part of the whole. For every word spoken in this sentence, adds more problems exponentially.

I: "I" is a big word.  It is all about Me.  Me, myself and I.  MeMeMeeee! The first thing we do is start off with “me” when we should be starting off with the Triune God.  So we say “I” instead of saying “Our Father”.

I am:  Like Adam, we begin to replace God, the Great I AM, with our own version of “I am”.  (Gen. 3:10) We have ideas of what we are outside of who and what we are in Christ. If we start with the true “I AM”, the Trinity, then we would not be so focused on this broken "I am".

Afraid:  Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). So right off the bat, we are not using the fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love.  The very first words of Adam to God after he took of that forbidden fruit were, “I was [am] afraid”.   Fear sums up all of the troubles and sins of humanity.  And the first victim of that fear was God.  Adam and Eve found a new fear and hid themselves from God.   But Jesus Christ removed that fear.  So why are we still hiding from God and from each other?  We still hold on to that fear because we are still seeing ourselves as “I am” rather than seeing God.

Of What:  Yes, of what?  What are you afraid of?  An unknown?  “I am afraid of what” is a good question.  We too often don’t even know what we are afraid of, so we lash out against God and everything and everyone else. 

Others:  That committee of others.  Whoever they are. Like the “what”, we don’t even know "who".  We have yet to meet them.  So we just call them “others”.  What is so detrimental about this is that the “others” might be your family, friends and neighbors!  Why are we afraid of them?  What have they done to deserve such a critical view of them?  It shows how critical and accusing we have become.  Again, like Adam who blamed God and Eve for his fears and troubles.

Might: Not will, just “might”. We are not even sure that they will think or not think. We just stop our lives in mid stroke just based on a “might”, a "maybe", a “not sure but just in case”.  There is no reality to this fear except our own.

Think:  Not do, just "think". Now when did the thought of others actually hurt you?  The only way the thoughts of others can hurt you is when they act or speak out those thoughts.  But we have not gotten that far yet. We are still just on “think”.  Maybe they did think these things (whatever it is that we think they thunk), and IF they did, they may have changed their thoughts immediately and started thinking right (called repentance). Or maybe their thoughts were very good towards you (Like God’s thoughts towards Adam and Eve were good), but we are afraid of them anyway, even though they may not have thought them at all.

Put them all together and you are revealing a whole mess of broken theology at work in your lives!

When you really think about it (speaking of which), you will find that our fears are based on selfishness and believing that others are taking their valuable time and concern and negatively placing it towards you and that what they think are actually evil thoughts!   In reality, they are actually our evil thoughts towards them!  How dare we to stop living based on our misconceptions of our family, friends and neighbors. And who said they were thinking about you anyway you selfish “i am”?  They have their own concerns!

Who knows?  The "Others" may want to support you in your mission in life! And if they don't, that is their life, not yours.

“I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 Yes, Jesus said “might” (KVJ), but not because Jesus is holding back, but because we still allow our selfish, paranoid fears to hold us back from the reality of who and what Jesus is and our wonderful relationship we have with God.  We can now live back in His garden, living off of the Tree of Life, who is Jesus.

“I am afraid of what others might think” is so wrong on so many levels!

If Jesus thought like that, he never would have walked on water, or healed on the Sabbath, or picked grain on the Sabbath! He is the real "I AM" and I AM is not afraid of what others might think!

I will admit that some people do have broken relationships with someone thinking negatively towards them, but chances are, they are thinking negatively towards a lot more than just you and the life you are living in Christ. It is them, not you.


Boyd

Monday, October 19, 2009

Round and Round We Go!

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One of the things we need to question in our evangelical quest to “save as many souls as possible before all hell breaks loose" is, who, how and why.

But I keep going back to what Jesus Christ said about himself and the Father. “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.” John 6:65.

Well, that’s fine and dandy, except, what if the Father never calls this person? What do we do then? I suppose we tell them “Tough luck kid, I guess you’re going to be punished in hell for the next zillion years even though you didn’t have a chance to begin with!”

That doesn’t seem to be fair, especially from a loving God and for such a short, miserable life this person had. And how would we ever know if God is calling them later or not? Should we give up? Try to save them ourselves? Wait on the Lord as some would say? (Waiting is not a bad idea by the way)

But we are still in panic mode trying our best and hope to God all these otherwise nice people don’t go to hell.

What work we do! What love for these people we must have! What commitment, zeal…and full of ourselves! What a waste of time! And God seems to be doing absolutely nothing unless we act!

Seems foolish to me, considering how weak and broken I am. So I am reminded of the foolishness of God which is still far wiser than mans wisdom. 1Cor. 1:25 Maybe we are missing something here.

Because yet another verse, which seems to contradict the first one, says, “No one can come unto the Father except through [Jesus]”. John 14:6

Stop the car! Pull over! Let’s pull this map out and read it again! First, we can’t go to Jesus unless the Father draws us to him, and we cannot go to the Father except through Jesus, whom we cannot go to unless the Father, (which we cannot access without Jesus) draws us to Jesus!! What gives?




If the only way we can access the Father is through Jesus and the only way we can access Jesus is from the Father invitation, then we can only assume we are already in contact with both, Father and Son! How? By the Holy Spirit that was sent by the Father through the Son!! NOW we see the connection! Because the Holy Spirit was sent to earth (and by default, to humanity) by Jesus, we are complete in Jesus if you understand that the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity as God, (Emanuel; God with us). This was done already a long time ago! There is nothing we can do! If we try to save people thinking they have no access, then we are bypassing what Jesus AND the Father AND the Holy Spirit has done already! We were not told that we can come to Jesus through evangelism, though by evangelism, we come into the knowledge of our existence in Christ.

Either we are already in Jesus because of what they did, or there is absolutely no hope for humanity: saints and sinners!

Now what is the evangelist to do? Or have we misunderstood what we are to do? We think we are called to save souls. Well, to a certain limit, yes, but for what, and for whom? It isn’t a matter of saving people from, but for. Isn’t our main priority to announce the Good News of God’s Kingdom which, if I’m not too far mistaken, Jesus is King of right now? If Jesus is the King of a Kingdom, then we can only assume there are subjects (citizens) of that Kingdom. And Jesus’ Kingdom includes all of humanity. So the real question is, what are we “saving” them, or better yet, leading to them understanding, for?

All we are called to do is to announce the Good News of this Kingdom and teaching all nations (peoples, who are already a part of this Kingdom) to observe and learn their role in this Kingdom! And to help people see who Jesus is, who they are in Jesus, and to help them receive (not get) the understanding (via Holy Spirit) and accept the “already done” into their daily lives.

Either we are going round and round trying to save people (just in case Jesus missed a few), or God has already resolved this circular puzzle.

May this circle be unbroken.

“Lord, please open our eyes to your Kingdom already at hand”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If at first you don't succeed, let Jesus do it!

I got this interactive analogy I like to use on people.

I pull out a set of keys or a quarter and lay it on my hand and then tell them to try to take it out of my hand.

They are expecting me to close my hand, so they quickly grab it. Since I did not close my hand, they easily got it, then I would say, “No, try to take it out of my hand”

So again, they would reach for it, and again, I don’t close my hand, and they easily take it out of my hand.

Again, I say “No, TRY to take it out of my hand”

By this time, they are confused. How can you try to take something out of someones hand when they don’t make it difficult? All they are doing is just taking it out of my hand, when I told them to TRY to take it out.

Naturally, they are confused because they expected a struggle and hardship, but realizing that it’s more difficult to try to do something that should come easily to you.

Like letting Jesus do the work and celebrate our existence in Jesus reality. We work too hard trying to "get saved" or saving others as if Jesus needed us to do it.

I think it takes more faith and more work just to trust Jesus to do it than it is for us to try hard. Maybe that is why so many work so hard for their salvation, they don't trust Jesus to take care of their salvation! They lack faith!

Do you really want more faith? Then quit trying so hard!

  • “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try” ~Yoda

Boyd

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Holy Spirit and the Brain

Pinky: “What are we going to do today Brain?”
Brain: “The same thing we do every day Pinky, try to take over the world!”
Warner Brothers “Pinky and the Brain”

What do the human brain and the holy spirit (sent from heaven) have in common?

  • We don’t use either one of them enough.
  • God isn’t sending any more.


My wife likes to use this phrase when confronted with human idiocy. “Why don’t they use the brains God gave geese?” As you know, sometimes geese don’t seem to have enough brains as it is. (She often uses “common sense” as well). Yet sometimes we go through life not even using that much. At best, geniuses use 9, maybe 10 percent at best. Wile Coyote, a Super Genius uses 10.5% So we get on our knees and ask God for more brains.

Lately, I have been confronted with the idea that there is a second phase to the holy spirit gifts. The holy ghost. That is supposed to be the second power or special gift God gives to those that are holier than others I think. An example I was given was the apostles asking the people who among them were filled with the holy spirit (holy ghost in the KJV) to be raised as deacons to serve the widows in the church. (Book of Acts)

Personally, I just think these people are picked out not because they were given a second gift or experienced a “holy ghost” thingy. I just simply think they are using the holy spirit in their lives, participating in the work God gave them to begin with. The people recognized their faith and life as being in line with God’s plan for them. The others are just receiving what they are serving already. Basically speaking, they were already doing the obvious work of deacons.

We sometimes find churches calling out for the holy spirit (holy ghost) to “come down” and expecting an “experience” of the holy ghost. As if, for some reason, the holy spirit was not at church at that moment! So far, I have not seen any examples of that happening except where the holy spirit was first sent to the disciples in the upper room where they waited as Christ asked them to. Then later in a gentile location, a church who have not heard of the holy spirit was given a sign of the power when given to the whole church at that location. Outside of that, nothing was “called down” nor was the holy spirit invoked. It just simply was given by God in a unique way.

We are given (not get) the holy spirit/ghost by God when Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father as promised. What are we expecting? An experience? He never promised that.

Jesus came to earth once. Jesus became human once. Jesus lived, suffered, died and was raised once. (He died once for ALL of humanity) Jesus ascended to heaven once. We are baptized once. And he sent the Holy Spirit once.

So what do we do now? Ask God to help us use what he has given already, to use the fruits of the holy spirit (see Gal. 5:22) in our lives now. Make ourselves open, vulnerable and naked before God to allow him to work with us where we are now. Faith is putting our trust (what little we have) in God to do what he wills in our lives. Let God open our brains (the other 90%) to recognize the holy spirit and all that it has at work in our lives already.

Pinky: "So how does one get more holy spirit?"
Brain: "The same way you get more brains Pinky, you use it!"!

“If you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains” – Jesus

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Oh, The Humanity Of It All!

There was this old couple who for years, lived a healthy and modest life. They ate the bran and drank healthy water, exercised, you name it, they did it. They also pinched pennies. They budgeted everything so in their retirement, they lacked nothing. They watched their diets and spending habits to perfection. But as the way of all people, they eventually died and went to heaven.

When they approached the gate, they saw how magnificent and beautiful heaven was! It was far more than they expected in this new life and of course, never in their earthly life!

So the first question was, how much? It has to be expensive! Of course, the Gate Keeper welcomed them and assured them that this is Heaven, and it is FREE!

Wow, that was nice. So they went on to see wonderful sites and options, plenty to do, it was all FREE!

Then they were shown a huge buffet, food of all kinds, rich, wonderful food! And they asked about all the cholesterol and getting diabetes, all human problems. Of course, they can eat what they want, when they wanted with no problems! They are in heaven after all!

Then after being reassured that all their problems they had on earth does not exist in heaven, and it was all free, the man turned to his wife and exclaimed, “What in the world were we doing all those things? Eating all those bran muffins and exercising! Why, we could have been here over ten years ago!!”

Is being human something we need to strive to "overcome"? Is flesh something we should literally despise and work hard to get rid of? Is heaven our goal and something we must work hard to go to? If so, then why do we work so hard preserving our physical lives, resisting death, and why are we not rejoicing when someone dies? We should be celebrating physical death, looking forward to dying!

But we don't. Why?

When God first created humanity, what was his plan for us? What was his command? To overcome humanity? Get rid of flesh? Despise who and what we are as flesh? Make a mad dash for heaven? Was it to preserve flesh and avoid death at all costs?

Of course, we need to overcome our "Sinful" flesh, but Jesus became flesh for us and lived a perfect life while flesh, yet without sin, for us. So what is our original directive?

Genesis 2:15, The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Then after he created woman, Genesis 1:28 "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

All this time, Genesis 2:25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

So where does that put us today in relationship with God? When Jesus came to earth, he became naked FLESH! He became what he was later called in scripture the second man or Adam. He was the perfect man, the perfect Adam that we are NOW modeled after.

If Jesus did not come as fully man, then we would not have been adopted in him and redeemed. We would not have a man on our behalf.
If Jesus was not fully God, then God had not come and saved us in our darkness. It would have all been a lie.

Jesus, the son of God, the "Word" of John 1 (In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God) came fully as human, a child, a flesh and blood being with bones.

When Jesus died, he fully died as human, and when he rose, he rose bodily, in his original body (that is why there was no body in the tomb). Later to his disciples in Luke 24:38-40 "He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.

If Jesus is still fully flesh, then for the first time in history of God, human flesh is sitting at the right hand of the Father! And for God, that is like five minutes ago in our time line! The earth is over four billion years old, the universe over 15 billion years old, and the existence of humanity is like one inch against over a hundred million inches, so two thousand years is less than that! It is only a sixteenth of an inch by comparison! So humanity has JUST NOW sat down at the right hand of God!

Two thousand years may be a long time to you and me, but to show how much we are INCLUDED in Jesus' humanity, it was done, by comparison, just a few minutes ago!

So YES, YOU ARE INCLUDED! And your humanity, your flesh is NOT BAD! Humanity as God created it is NOT EVIL!

Gen 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Did you see that? Very good, not just “good” as in previous verses about the creation.

And he said that (and gave the directives) while Adam and Eve was STILL NAKED!

Boyd Allen

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm Curious


Is anybody reading this blog?

There are comment options at the bottom of each article, so you can put in your comments.

Boyd

Monday, June 1, 2009

In Christ Alone? Really???

Has anyone ever noticed, in order to avoid sin, we cover our bodies with the by-product of sin? (And you know what they say about by-products in foods! Yeeeuuuch)

And has that ever worked? Nope.

“It is a great sin to think any sin little; but it is a greater sin to think the righteousness of Christ is not above all sin. Our disobedience is the disobedience of man; but Christ’s obedience is the obedience of God: therefore, our believing in Christ doth please God better than if we had continued in innocency, and never sinned. The least sin is unpardonable without this obedience and righteousness of Christ; and the greatest is pardonable by it. Therefore, O seek in to Christ, to be clothed upon with this righteousness.”

- Ralph Erskine, “And Walking in Him, Opened,” in The Works of Ralph Erskine, p. 332, vol. 24.

And we even sing our well dressed churches, "Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne" (Christ the Solid Rock) and "Come just as you are", yet condemn those who take this literally.

I found this web article interesting, though it is not written by a nudist!
http://www.rodbest.com/devotional%2023.html

Some may ask why I am a nudist. I ask in turn, why are you a clothist? (Is that a word?) If you consider yourselves a Christian living in Christ alone, and no longer under the curse of Adam, then why do we live as though we are still under the curse of Adam?

Is the sin of Adam greater than the righteous atoning works of Jesus? Or is Jesus enough? Literally? Absolutely? No doubt about it! The old way is dead, Jesus is the Life and the full atoning of all sin ever committed from Adam to the last human ever to be born!

Boyd

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Swimming in Christ

Anyone here who has gone swimming with us, knows about our struggles with our 6yo daughter when it comes to pools. She stays by the steps and "swims". She refuses to come out even in water that goes up to her waste, let alone further.

Even our attempts to give her flotation devices, water wings, etc, does not give her security. I try to get her out by carrying her, holding her, embracing her, encouraging her, yet she screams and yells and carries on so much that I have no choice but to stop, fearing "child abuse" accusations.

And a large pool arena does not help, with all the echoing of her screams.

She wants her "secure" pool side steps. Then claims, "when you and mommy are not looking, I swim across the steps". Sorry kid, that does not count!

I told her, you need to learn to trust me to carry you.

Then an epiphany came to me.

Those steps are our church, our religion. We have more faith in that than in Christ.

Those steps cannot nor is willing to save her if she took a misstep (sin in life) and fell face first into the water. In fact, those same steps may crack her head open if she hits it hard enough.

Yet, I am willing to protect her and save her if necessary if she would just trust me. Especially since most of the time, being over 6' tall, I am standing on the floor of the pool anyway.

So seeing that, I see us struggling in church, by the pool side, sitting on the steps (pews) taking in what others are doing in freedom. We are much safer in Christs arms in the deep than we are sitting on the steps alone.

Christ is out there, swimming, enjoying life and inviting us all to join him. Some get out there Olympic style and swim and play volleyball and have a great time! Some are hanging on to a partner, others use flotation devices and others can swim to their hearts content, but all are out there, weak and strong.

But those who sit on the side will never enjoy the real Jesus and his enjoyment of life when we do not trust him outside of our church and reality.

Now that is not to say church is wrong, steps are necessary to get us into the pool if we cannot dive in. But staying in one place when the purpose is to "swim" in Christ, is our danger.

Boyd

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Kindom of God is Like a Bear In a Zoo

Once upon a time, there was a man who was given the task of running the zoo and caring for its animals. He was called The Zoo Keeper.

The Zoo Keeper walked the grounds of the zoo and observed the animals and their surroundings. He was not pleased with what he saw. He saw caged up animals that were not in their natural environments. He heard their cries and gnashing of teeth, and sometimes he heard nothing at all as they lay sleeping their lives away.

One particular animal took his interest. It was a bear that slept in one corner of his cage, and when he was hungry, he would get up slowly, walk over to the opposite corner to eat the food that was given to him. He would then walk back to his corner and lay down to go back to sleep. He was unhappy and unhealthy.

So The Zoo Keeper decided to change things. He told his servants of a huge project which would involve acquiring new land, expanding the environment and building natural landscapes for the animals that would be similar to what they would enjoy in the wild. The elephants would live in an environment similar to what is found in Africa, and the monkeys would swing from real trees, and the polar bears would enjoy large cold water tanks and rocks. The servants rejoiced in hearing the Good News, and began the work. When they accomplished the renovations, the Zoo Keeper said, “It is good.”

They then took the cage with the bear in it and set it into his new environment along with the other bears. They opened his cage door and waited. The bear sniffed the air, looked around, then walked over to his food, ate it, and then went back to his corner and laid down to sleep.

So the Zoo Keeper said, “Take down the walls of the cage and carry them away from here. The bear does not realize that the door is opened to him, that he is free and has a new environment in which to live.” So they took down the walls of his old cage, carried them away leaving the bear sleeping. When the bear awoke, he looked around and noticed something different. But his hunger took over, he got up as usual and walked over to where his food is accustomed to be, ate his food and then went back to where is bed was, and laid down to sleep. Even though there were no walls to confine him, he did not move beyond the confines of his belief of where his walls once stood.

So the keeper said, “Take his food away from him. Give him better food, food that has strong smell that will attract a bear, and put it several feet away from his normal area, and let us wait.” So they took the food away and set out a feast that only a bear could truly appreciate, and they put it several feet away from his usual place, away from his usual confines. Eventually the bear woke up, walked over to where his food once sat, and did not find it. He sniffed the air, and smelled the strong food and flavors that would attract a bear, yet not seeing it, he turned back to his bed and laid there and slept, but this time, hungry.

Those with ears let them hear.

Notice that though the bear is in his new kingdom, a member of that kingdom, yet he denied his freedom and allowed the walls of his mind and beliefs to hold him to his old environment. He did not see nor cared that the other bears are free. All he knew was his old environment. Was the bear destroyed or punished for his lack of understanding? No, but he suffered needlessly because of his disbelief, continuing his crying and gnashing of teeth. But daily, the servants of the zoo came to patiently lead him away from his old confines until he eventually was able to enjoy his new environment.

It is written that those who live by the law will die by the law. The old law, like the cage, has been taken away. But if the bear believed that he is still confined to that area, he will live and eventually die within the area of his existence. But the Zoo Keeper was compassionate and loved the bear. Instead of letting the bear sleep his life away, he sent in his servants who encouraged the bear and showed what his freedom would bring to his life. He eventually found a new place to sleep and eat, but more importantly, he found enjoyment in his new environment along with bears of his kind.

Then the Zoo Keeper said, “It is very good”.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How to get rid of your enemies and make more friends

I thought Allen Parker wrote a nice blog about loving our enemies.
http://nakedforchrist.blogspot.com/2009/03/love-our-enemies.html

Often, we get caught up in our zeal for the kingdom of God by condemning the world to hell. It's as if good news (gospel) cannot be told without speaking of hell. As if God cannot exist without the devil. Good news is just that, good news, fresh water to a thirsty soul. There is no such thing as too much grace. Jesus did not tell us to preach about hell, he told us to preach about the Kingdom of God, and by contrast, hell no longer looks so appealing.

I just read the book, "What Is So Amazing About Grace" by Phillip Yancey. There is so much grace that is needed in this world. So many people trying to live out their lives by working for the kingdom instead of living the kingdom of God right now in their lives. We do not need to be always searching for the kingdom "sometime in the future". We need to let the holy spirit live in us and bring us the kingdom of God in our lives and out to the lives around us, including our enemies.

We have no problem saying that our enemies live in the same country, state, city, town or block as we do. But we think they are not a part of God's kingdom. Just because they are our enemy does not mean they are not reconciled by God through Jesus Christ. They just don't know it yet.

How many people do we send to hell every day in our thoughts not realizing that they have been praying to the same God every day in tears about their personal problem we feel is hell worthy? Many people come "out of the closet" about their problem, and instead of showing them grace, we condemn them! They come out crying for help, we push them back in saying they are not worthy. We make enemies out of them instead of brothers. And that includes those that hate us simply because we are Christians!

As Allen Parker suggested, lets pray for our enemies. Even Abraham Lincoln had it right when we suggested we get rid of our enemies by making friends out of them.

Boyd "Live Nude and Prosper" Allen

Friday, March 20, 2009

CNC Theme: Reconciliation

Our CNC (Christian Nudist Convocation) Theme this year is Reconciliation.

But I am surprised to see that this term is alien to many Christians. I wrote to a friend who questioned me about this "reconciliation" and how it pertains to Nudists who are Christians. So I wrote the following:

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (New International Version)

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Romans 5:11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

I wrote this to a question about reconciliation on the BACN Forum when the person thought restoration was the main theme of God, not reconciliation. He used Jesus in the garden after the resurrection as a sign of restoration of all things. Which is true, however, as I replied here:

..................................

"Restoration is a theme as well, but for humanity itself, reconciliation has to come first. Restoration is the result of reconciliation. We are reconciled for restoration (taking broken humanity and restoring it through reconciliation)

If you restored a city to it's former glory, but have not reconciled to the people of that city, it is just patching the world, but not the relationships. War will continue, and the city will be destroyed again.

Reconciliation is about relationship. Restoration is the result of good reconciliation.

1Cor. 13:1-3 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains (restore cities), but have not love (reconciliation), I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames (to works), but have not love, I gain nothing."

1 John 4:20 "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother (not willing to reconcile), he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen."

*(parenthesis are my additions for subject clarity)*

Jesus in the garden was a sign of restoration of all things, which is true, but reconciliation came first from the moment the holy spirit took Mary and impregnated her, then the garden.

Everything Jesus did was an act of reconciliation, thus restoration. "God with us" (Restoration) or "Emanuel" is the result of the act reconciliation."

......................................

I am really surprised that this theme of reconciliation has met such resistance! It's the whole theme of the bible from the time man took to himself what he thought was good and evil. God has been in that act of restoration through reconciliation from the beginning.

In the old testament, God prophesied through Hosea the reconciliation of humanity:

Hosea 3:1 The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes."

So how does reconciliation affect naturists? In every way. God is with us in everything, in every aspect of our lives! Jesus promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us. These naturists has been rejected by the Church and forced to "live in colonies" like they were lepers. Jesus went to these people, lepers, harlots, thieves, all, showed healing, mercy, fed them and gave them reconciliation, and turned towards the righteous pharisees and condemned them! He turned against the religious establishment and turned his heart towards humanity.

As it says, we are given the ministry of reconciliation. That is where we begin. We are the Christians they feel have abandoned them and pushed them aside. There is much to reconcile, and much to repent of and to forgive. We realize that reconciliation is a two way street, but God crossed the street first. He sent Jesus as an act of reconciliation long before man knew what was going on. The light didn't turn on for us about what God did to and for humanity until a good 50 days after Jesus was resurrected! His whole purpose was reconciliation, thus restoration of all things.

We are too busy condemning the world as bad, when Jesus said that no one is good except God. So we are all bad, there are no good people. We are just bad people who have seen the light of reconciliation and have taken on that ministry and bring the good news of salvation by showing reconciliation towards one another. There will be no peace or salvation without it.

Racism and wars are a result of broken humanity who has not seen the light of reconciliation. Church VS the people of this world is a result of a lack of reconciliation. It's time for the Church to take on that ministry of reconciliation and peace.

We cannot wait for others to love us or love God. A child knows nothing of love for its' parents, but the parents love that child. The helpless baby does nothing but cry, sleep and poop (or so it seems to us at times), yet our love for that child is priceless. Is God's love any less for humanity? Is God waiting for humanity to love him first before he stands in for them and reconcile them? Are we better with our children than God is towards his children?

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me (with the reconciliation of Jesus who has already reconciled us to himself, as per Rom 5:11)

Be Reconciled (Live a reconciled life)

Boyd

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Newd Blog for Christ

I was inspired by another blogger who created a Christian Nudist site called NakedforChrist.

He is a personal friend of mine, but also a supporter of another group I am working with called Christian Nudist Convocation (CNC) and my original website, Boyd Allens Christian Naturism (BACN).

So, what is all this about? First of all, one is wondering what in the world does being a naturist (which is a fancy name for a nudist) has to do with Christianity? I suppose we can ask the same question, what does clothing, which is a by product of sin, has anything to do with Christianity?

So I decided to try this blog area to see if we can reach out to new people and back to our old naturist friends. I do have a forum that is related to my BACN site that has been going for almost ten years now.

Christian Nudist Convocation is a nationally growing group that gives us an opportunity to bring Jesus Christ into the nudist community.

So come on in, take off your clothes and join our movement to reveal the real Jesus and who we really are in Jesus Christ!

Boyd "Live Nude and Prosper" Allen