Categories
Life

What Doctrine Can’t You Wait to Learn More About?

In heaven, Christians will be satisfied with the continual, gradual, joyful revealing of God to us for all eternity.  With that will come layers and layers of learning about all the doctrines that make us scratch our head on this side of eternity.

One thing in particular that intrigues me now, that I can’t wait to learn more about for forever, is the perfect, loving, glorious relationship of the Trinity.  We only get the tip of the iceberg with this doctrine.  And there’s an infinite amount of ice underneath the surface for us to discover.

What about you?

10 replies on “What Doctrine Can’t You Wait to Learn More About?”

The trinity is intriguing in all its mystery, that is true. I sometimes wonder, though, how bringing life into the world is connected to the trinity, as often the trinity is only perceived of as all male.

Like

I’m interested in the link between the intoxicating drugs God created here on earth and the Spirit world. Morman pastors would blow their top at the suggestion of using an intoxicating stimulant, but we must choose whether to believe them or to believe God who, in Genesis 1:29, said “all the seed bearing plants I give you for food.” As with so many things in life, moderation in use is the key. Caffeine is technically a stimulant and an intoxicant. Slight overdose will make a man jittery and his thoughts run a little too fast. A big overdose can cause psychosis and kill. But just the right amount of coffee is a blessing.

The Old Testament mentions kanehbosm (the ancient Hebrew word for cannabis) in the recipe for the Holy anointing oil recorded in Exodus 30:22-23, which the priests would apply to themselves topically. The oil seems to have included over nine pounds of flowering cannabis tops (Hebrew “kanehbosm”, sometimes pronounced “kanehbus”) extracted into a liter of oil. It would have been a very potent mixture. I personally have made a smaller amount of the recipe, and it is quite potent indeed even applied topically.

“Fragrant Cane” (or “sweet flag” or “calamus”), as most English Bibles translate the word, is actually a mistranslation from our good friend King James. Calamus, a common marsh plant with little monetary value, does not have the qualities or value ascribed to kanehbosm or the other ingredients in the ancient oil recipe. In any event, even if we trust King James’ translation, Calamus itself is a dangerous, intoxicating drug anyway. It contains an ingredient called aserone. This is a hallucinogen which is metabolized as trimethoxyamphetamine. This is all very true; look it up if you like. I personally think the oil contained cannabis, not calamus. Cannabis is a much safer drug then calamus. Calamus is very poisonous in large amounts. Cannabis, on the other hand, is impossible to overdose on.

Duet. 14:26 mentions wine and ‘fermented drink’ as a blessing from God. While we all know that drunkenness is a sin, the only description of being “drunk” that Scripture gives is in Proverbs 23, and there the person can’t see straight, can’t walk straight, and is totally numb. That is hardly the simple buzz that moderate alcohol use, or cannabis use, gives. Truly it seems that God has given us alcohol “to make the heart glad” (Psalm 104) and cannabis to help make us holy. Isaiah 25:6 says God is aging wine for us to enjoy in heaven. I can’t wait to taste this wine, to feel its effects in heaven, and to find out more about how moderate substance use brings us closer to the Spirit.

Like

Food for thought indeed. Literally. Cannabis has long been known as a drug that spurs thought and imaginative, creative ideas. Much like how coffee is known as the productivity drug, or alcohol the socializing drug.

It is no coincidence that many of the greatest artists and musicians ate, inhaled, or otherwise ingested kanehbosm while creating, and also the priests who used the holy kanehbosm oil were also the artists (musicians) who worshiped before God. See 1 Chron. 6 and 2nd Chron. 7:6.

Like

It might just be me…cause I know nothing about this stuff…but is this taking place of the primacy of the gospel and how Christ has redeemed, and is redeeming, his people?

I mean, it might be food for thought and an interesting discussion, but should we really devote any time to discovering how far we can go with intoxicants in place of seeking how to pursue and enjoy Christ?

Like

I understood the post to concern things we want to learn more about in heaven, when we have all the time in the world, and not necessarily the most important topics for the here and now. As far as the here and now, the most important thing to talk about (especially with the lost) is the gospel of peace, of salvation through faith in Christ. But as far as things I look forward to learning more about in eternity, this topic is up high on my list. The use of the oil itself is so far back in time that no one really has very much information about it.

Plus, I do think intoxicating substances have an important application in there here and now as well. Christ asked us to remember him every time we eat the bread and drink the wine. Wine, an intoxicant, is an important part of Christian living. I actually think it can play a huge part of spreading the gospel, and is probably meant to.

I was reading a friend’s blog the other day. He is a missionary in Europe. He was writing about how the people he was trying to reach kept trying to have a drink with him. “A” drink. He wrote about how, “of course”, he had to continually refuse to have a drink with them. He is a Southern Baptist, and many of those types of Christians are opposed to any alcohol or wine use whatsoever.

That fact may have something to do with the near 0 conversion rate my friend is rather sad about. That is especially true in Europe where the link between social relationships and alcohol goes back to way before the time of Christ. Spreading the gospel is highly intertwined with social relationships and friendships, and in most of the world so is alcohol. Many friendships are formed and made deeper around it. Christ even drank it with his boys around his table, and his boys asked the next generation to simply avoid “too much.” (1 Timothy 3:8, Titus 2:3, Proverbs 23:20).

I personally believe demonic deception is a likely reason that some of our most dedicated missionary forces have been deceived into thinking moderate alcohol use is forbidden (see 1 Tim 4 vs. 1 and 3). That deception only makes Christianity that much less attractive to the world. Beyond that, many churches have been tricked into practicing the Lord’s supper with a thumbnail size glass of grape juice and a tiny morsel of bread. Yum! What great fellowship around the wine of Christ that is!

Not only that, but many churches forbid unbelievers from partaking. They cite 1 Cor. 11:20-33 and warn any unbelievers present to abstain from even their meager droplets of grape juice. However, from the introduction to the conclusion of that passage (“so then when you come together to eat, wait for each other”) the topic seems to be about recognizing the significance of the body and blood *by being courteous during the supper*. To read anything else into that passage goes beyond Scripture. Even a “seeker” present at the supper who may not have trusted Christ personally can recognize the significance of what is symbolized and be polite and respectful. For if, as the passage says, believers who have trusted Christ can be guilty of not recognizing the body by being rude and inconsiderate to each other during the supper, I would think even unbelievers who are polite and respectfully inquiring about Him can partake in a worthy manner.

The church I envision as being most effective at reaching our world is one that embraces Scripture, intoxicating substances and all. It means welcoming the world to enjoy with us that which God has made for us and says “makes the heart glad” (Psalm 104:15). As we welcome the world to partake with us, in the gladness and friendship that develops, sharing Christ with the world will become that much more effective.

Like

Kane,

I certainly agree with you that alcohol can be a good form of social interaction. People drink, so yes, we should use it for good. We should redeem alcohol. I agree. I do drink. I’m just suggesting that perhaps an over-emphasis on it can be a bad thing. It’s good, but it’s not a focal point. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not even on the fringe of focal points.

Now as for your view on the Lord’s Table. People may cite that passage in 1 Corinthians, but non-believers aren’t welcome because it’s a sacrament that Christ gave to the Church — not non-Christians! It is to be done, yes, in reverence, with repentance and in remembrance of what Christ did for his Church. People who aren’t in the Church don’t get that, and therefore, shouldn’t partake. I’ve never (ever) heard anything otherwise.

james

Like

Christ also gave singing to the church (he sang a hymn with the disciples, and Scripture exhorts us to sing to one another). But we don’t ask believers to keep their mouths shut at that part of the church service, do we? You’re last statement is classic, James: “I’ve never (ever) heard anything otherwise.” So many Christians do things a certain way simply because that is how tradition has deemed it to be done. That is a horrible reason to do something, if you ask me. For hundreds of years tradition deemed burning Protestants at the stake to be the right thing to do!

Before we offend a bunch of unbelievers by passing out food and drink and asking them to abstain (how much more rude does it get?), we might want to find a *clear* biblical passage that says that is what should be done. I’ll go ahead and tell you though, we won’t find one! Scripture speaks of unbelievers coming into church services out of curiosity, and it never once asks us to warn them or ask them to abstain from certain parts of the service. Any effort to do so is based purely on human reasoning or tradition… not Scripture.

Like

The reason that “I’ve never heard anything otherwise” doesn’t make it the right thing. I’m just point out that theologians and pastors (who are Protestant, mind you, and don’t burn people) have never given communion to non-believers.

There are only two sacraments for the church: communion and baptism.

We don’t baptize non-Christians. Why should non-Christians be welcome at the Lord’s table? They shouldn’t be invited until they become a Christian. Communion is about proclaiming the Lord’s death. It makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE for a non-believer to partake of something they don’t proclaim or confess. CAN they do it? Sure. SHOULD they? No. If they do, they are certainly doing something that does not mesh with their convictions and beliefs. In that sense, they are only drinking themselves into more judgment.

Like

Actually, there are quite a few churches that have open communion (communion open to all present). The Catholic Church doesn’t, and Protestants of course are an offshoot of Catholicism. So many Protestants have closed communion. But I’ve been to numerous churches that are open.

This language you use, “sacraments”, is, again, found nowhere in Scripture. That type of talk is all bound up in and stems from tradition. Tradition has no authority in my life (nor should it). If an unbeliever wanted to be baptized, then I would have no problem doing that. It makes no sense, you are right… but it would be a great opportunity to explain to him or her why it makes no sense. No one would likely want to be baptized for no reason though, unless maybe they wanted a bath. In that case, hey, I’d be happy to give him a free dip and explain why the true spiritual significance of the act doesn’t apply to him unless he believes in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins.

However unlikely that situation is, it *is* likely that someone would want some wine in church. Especially if churches started actually drinking wine by the cup instead of thumbnail amounts of grape juice. And I would see no reason not to share. Again, it is a great opportunity to explain what the wine symbolizes and also to share a blessing from the Lord with a neighbor.

One battle cry of the Reformation was Sola Scriptura, which makes it ironic that so few Protestants truly practice it.

Like

Comments are closed.