Trichotomy of Man

Every human is made up of their own trinity. Like our God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the human is a body, mind, and soul. In order to function optimally we must take care of each area.
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The Body
Our flesh is only one aspect of ourselves. Some people take care of their outer shell but neglect their inner self. People go the gym ritualistically, obsess over their diet, spend hours grooming, shopping and decorating themselves but they don’t do any inner work. Modernity has brought about a time where people snap countless “selfies” and showcase their outer shell but we never know what is going on inside. I have always been far more interested in a person’s inner depth. Playing with our physical appearance is fun but we must, at some point, move pass the surface.

The Mind
Our brain is our control center. The health and function of our mind will dictate our behaviors. The mind is very mystical and tricky. Our mind can create imaginary situations. This is why we must go to God. Without holy protection we fall victim to our mind. But in the same way, our mind can be of great help to us. Like acquiring knowledge and adjusting and regulating positive behaviors. Our mind can help us overcome once we train it to do so.

The Soul
The soul is immortal. At death the body and mind pass away but the soul will live on. Our Bible tells us of an afterlife that will include either heaven or hell. It will be our soul that experiences these states. During life we are able to feel a touch of the mystical soul. Every human can sense a feeling of otherness. This is the soul that they are sensing. We know that we have this invisible thing inside of us. It is important that we seek God during our lives. It is God who knows about the soul. God is the only being who can truly educate us about our souls.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:23, New American Version). This verse shows the human as a triune being. All three parts are present. I believe they used the word ‘soul’ to mean the mind so that they are saying the “spirit, mind, and body”. Counselors can approach clients with this mindset. We can think of people in terms of their layers. This will help understand why some people are stuck in a situation or trapped in an addiction. When one area is damaged, the other areas will malfunction.

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The Church is Not Dying

Steve McSwain (2015) opines the that church is dying. His reasons for this unfortunate death are: because of a continued belief in a divine book, the refusal to align with science, and refusal to accept homosexuality. I argue that Mr. McSawain’s reasons for death can be used as reasons for the life and vibrancy of the church.

First, Steve McSwain calls for the church to stop acting like the bible is a divine, God inspired book. If the church were to stop treating the bible as special, it would cease to be the church. Without the bible, there is no church. I opine that a “church” is a gathering of believers around the holy book. This gathering can take place anywhere; a basement, living room, garage, or even a strip club. Yes, even in the midst of sin, God can show up and change lives.

Second, McSwain says that the church should embrace science. I counter that we already have. This article was penned in November 2015. I am not sure where Mr. McSwain has been all this time but the church has more scientists than university. I have read countless articles from Christian scholars who firmly believe in the bible, Jesus, and the scientific method.

Third, the author says that churches pretend to love people but they contradict this love because they will not accept homosexuality. This is postmodern code for if you disagree with me, you hate me. This is absurd. An institution is not required to accept and agree with everyone they love. I certainly do not agree with everyone that I love…and I love a lot of people.

Reference
McSwain, S. (2015). Is the church dying? Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-mcswain/is-the-church-dying_b_8498804.html

Phantasmal love

Many people talk about and declare Love, but the demonstration of Love is what lasts. Our wise God knows that Love demonstrated is better than Love merely mentioned. People remember more of how someone made them feel versus what someone said.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Romans 12:10

However, there is a boundary to this Christian quality. Many people in today’s postmodern world have embraced, encouraged, and idealized practices that are not of God’s will. This is what I like to call phantasmal love. This type of thing is not ordained by God, however it appears to be. But getting people to see that something that feels like love isn’t real is hard to accomplish. But as counselors we can attempt to help others discover for themselves what is real and what is not.

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Theism

Many people believe in God. But Christianity says that it is not enough to simply know that God is there. Once a person accepts that God is real, one must accept that God is in control and must begin to read the Word of God, which is the Holy Bible.

According to Author David Case (2000) deism is when an individual believes in God but doesn’t think that God hangs around to monitor human life. Beliefs of this manner indicate that God is somehow uncaring and unconcerned with human life. The deist makes no allowance for miracles or supernatural phenomena. To the deist, God is far away, unconnected, untouchable, and unfeeling.

The Christian believes, however, that God is feeling, concerned, and connected with human life. The Christian lifestyle is one that is built around theism. Theism is the belief that God is in and beyond the world, that God created the world, and that God is supernatural (Case, 2000, p. 11).

In contrast to deism, theism paints a God who is active and has personality. The theist will say that the sun rises each morning because of the grace of our God. The theist will also believe that God is a transcendent being who is beyond our meager human comprehension (Case, 2000).

Theism holds that God created something out of nothing. Without assistance from anything God created the heavens and the earth and earth’s atmosphere, and the stars, and the planets, and every other astronomical probability. This means that God is not just simply a credit to our world, but rather that God is absolutely necessary to our world. Without God there would be no humans or earth or anything.

And because we have such an essential God we are required to give Him due respect, honor, and praise. Of course, a God who is massive, mighty, and essential can never be truly repaid by our human efforts.

The idea of theism is to get to know some of the things that God requires of us. Prayer, which is talking to God and devotion, which includes reading the Holy Bible are some of the activities required to show commitment to God.

Author Mike Erre (2014) warns that the committed Christian shouldn’t get too comfortable or complacent because “life in a fallen world is hard” (p. 21). We are frequently reminded that we are not yet in heaven.

Because of what happened in Genesis, our human life will continue to be a struggle. It is up to us to choose if we will struggle with or without God in our lives. By following a theistic worldview we will fill our lives with things that bring glory and honor to God.

God requires faith, and in order to be faithful one has to be obedient, and in order to be obedient one must simply act. I think God wants us to be active by doing things like attending church services, speaking to people about Him, but more importantly, living a life that others can emulate.

So reframing from body pollution like drinking alcohol, smoking, or taking drugs, exploitive sex and violence are heavenly requirements yet they are things that frequently come up in our lives. These are the things people use to fill the void in their lives, Christians included. That is why it is critical that we attempt to stay on track with continual communication with God.

To believe in God is to believe in miracles. We know that God has power since he made this entire universe. But the theist should also note the hundreds of small miracles and blessings that God grants each day.


References

Case, D. A. (2000). What we believe: A layperson’s guide to Wesleyan theology. Self-Published.

Erre, M. (2014). Astonished: Recapturing the Wonder, Awe, and Mystery of Life with God. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.

American Christian Crisis

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Two Christian extremes have been developing in American for quite some time.

1) The overly judgmental mean Christians who treated gays and Muslims like the store clerks did Julia Roberts in that shopping scene in the movie Pretty Woman. This standpoint says that if you aren’t with us, you are scum, please leave and come back when you’ve found Jesus.

2) The overly accepting non-judgmental Christians who have erased the idea of consequences and are basically humanists who choose to discuss spirituality. This standpoint says that we can do what we want, morals are relative, and God exists, but feel free to imagine him in a fedora smoking a cigarette if it makes you more comfortable.

Real Christianity is somewhere in between these two extremes. Christians, who haven’t lost control of their faculties, don’t treat non-Christians disrespectfully. Christians, who are not dismissive of the Holy Bible do not turn Christianity into a build-your-own-dystopian world club.

The rise of postmodern Christianity

There are copious amounts of new literature about this new Christianity. The new Christianity mostly embraces the second extreme. They are postmodernist and humanists who feel that morality is relative.

It is an existential idea that we all choose our reality. Yes, well we can choose our own reality, to some degree, but we are horribly unqualified to do so. Of course in this postmodern climate its sounds “cultish” to say something like this. Everyone is so enraged about people trying to “run their lives” that they are missing the point of Christianity.

Counter, non-religion religions have been established as an alternative to Christianity. Some non-religion religions include: Humanism, Atheism, and Existentialism. These theoretical orientations have found Christianity to be to judgmental, mystical, and just all around kooky. Many of these standpoints enjoy the stability that reliance on science and reason provides. But even so, they all admit, because it is reasonable to confess that something’s simply cannot be reasoned and science cannot explain it.

Christianity!

Christianity can close the gaps that scientific data cannot.