I'm a recovering puritan. For about six months a decade ago or more, God would ask me if I was a Puritan. I didn't know how to answer and got frustrated when asked. Based on my limited knowledge of the Puritans, I came to an answer and said yes. I want purity as well. God said in my heart, "At least now you know." I didn't understand what God was saying to me at the time.

I have a cultural understanding of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Puritans and not a complete historian view. The Puritans are best known for being the sect of pilgrims that sought purity in all things, even to the point of seeing a demon behind every rock, hence the Salem witch trials. Puritans, in its name, suggest purity. The Puritans even banned Christmas here in the United States for many years because it was filled with impurities.

The Puritans were a godly people but maybe also a miserable people because life was so impure it was impossible to live pure for Christ. Reform was always on their mind. And when reform wasn't creating the society they wanted, they took their bat, ball, and glove and separated, extinguishing their light in the world.

Puritans then and now see life as black and white. And I think so, too, with the thought that sin is sin and righteousness is righteousness, but it goes gray regarding the thoughts and motives of the heart and mind. It gets complicated living in a fallen world. What is to be kept and protected, and what needs to be cut off?



God is sovereign. Is humanity sovereign as well? We are made in his image and likeness. How about when we become Christian? Do we become sovereign or free agents to do whatever we will?

God created angels as sovereign beings. He gave them wisdom that Satan had corrupted. God gave the angels a light that differs from the stars in the sky that Satan uses to deceive man. God gave incredible power to the angels and then zipped them up to do his will, but they do the will of Satan. After the angels came man. Some translations read a man was created a little lower than the angels or a little lower than God.

Man was created lower than God and the angels. This man was not given the wisdom, light, or power that angels were. This man wasn't given anything except the opportunity to grow into the image and likeness of God and someday be exalted to sit on the throne with Jesus. This man was created as an empty vessel to be filled with whatever he allowed. Be careful how you hear because it is what you will become if you accept it. Loose and bind accordingly.

The man brought nothing into this world. There is nothing we have that we didn't receive. We haven't anything to boast about. Maybe the scripture where an angel asked God, 'Who is the man that you walk with him?' was a little jealous; after all, angels were created much more spectacular than man. We were created from the dust of the earth and the breath of God.



We are saved by Christ alone. We have our doctrine correct, but our message is not Christ alone. We add a lot of water to Jesus to dilute the true gospel because we can't or won't drink the cup of suffering that goes along with the consecrated life of a disciple. Like Andy Stanley, who has the correct doctrine of a marriage between one man and one woman, but his fruit bears LGBTQ+ meetings in his church, so goes much of the church in the Western world; biblically sound statement but a tree that is not producing the fruit of the spirit or true seed-bearing disciples of Christ. Jesus claimed He is the true vine for a reason.

Christ alone is the truth, but we don't preach Jesus crucified in our churches. We preach a message mixed with whatever itching ears of people we wish to influence. Our Jesus has become a Barbie Jesus. A different Jesus that fits our crowd. A political Barbie Jesus, a social justice Barbie Jesus, a country club Barbie Jesus, a new age Barbie Jesus, a group therapy Barbie Jesus, and even a Barbie goes to Hollywood Jesus.

Last week, the church had another wrinkle and spot on her wedding gown. There was a fallout between two ministers at the 'Stronger Men's Conference.' I'm not taking sides of either because my point doesn't have to deal with the ministers but rather the state of what we call the church. I don't understand why Jesus isn't enough for a man to be strong enough that we need to include Vegas entertainment in a Christian conference. There is plenty of time in a week to see a clean Vegas event. Why must we upsell Jesus after an entertaining event or whatever else we can conceive?

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