Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
Recipe for Life
We set goals in our lives, then follow some sort of plan to accomplish those goals. One common goal of Christians is to gain eternal life, but many do not follow the plan (Recipe) God gave us to get there. Oh, they think they are, mostly because their pastor says so, but the very real evidence shows that they are not.
The Bible is a set of instructions God has given us to guide us to a goal, and some stories to let us know what happens when we don't follow these instructions.
What do you think?
It's like baking a cake
Say you want to bake a cake. You would go to the cupboards and get some crackers, some oats, some chocolate syrup, and some pepper. Then you would go to the refrigerator and get some nice, cold orange juice, a couple of slices of lunch meat, and some bread. Right? Then you would mix them together in a bowl and put it in the oven for 6 hours at 500 degrees. Voila! Dessert!
OK, maybe not. In order to make a cake, you would likely open the recipe box, or book, and follow the instructions for making a cake. You would get the ingredients listed in the recipe, follow the instructions, and then you would have dessert.
That's what the Bible is - some history and a recipe for gaining eternal life. The result of following the instructions, exactly as given, are life with Jesus and His Father. If you don't follow the instructions, as much as humanly possible, you will not end up with the desired results.
What if you don't follow a recipe?
Like any other project, if you don't have a plan and just do what you feel, you might wind up with a work of art or a pile of junk. When you don't have experience at something, first you learn how to do each of the step in the project, then put all the steps together to get the product you intended. You follow the recipe for learning to express yourself in whatever medium you will use for the project.
If it's art you are learning, you don't expect a Mona Lisa on your first project. You will likely develop a style of your own, changing the basic steps of the recipe a little to fit your style, then wind up with a unique result. Your goal is to express your "inner self". When people see it, some will like it, some won't because it depends on their feelings, taste, or opinions.
However, if it's a specific goal in life we are learning, if we even have a particular goal, we still have to learn the fundamental steps to living life with that goal in mind. If you want to be an engineer, you follow those steps in the recipe that works for becoming a successful engineer. You won't be attending art school to become an engineer.
What if you change the recipe?
Sometimes you can change a recipe and get some awesome results. You add chocolate to a recipe instead of vanilla and get some great cookies. You add a different spice to the meatloaf and bring out some delicious flavor.
However, there are some recipes you don't change. The recipe for rebuilding an engine, for example, would not work very well if you changed the 3" bolts to 1" bolts in order to save money. Using peanut butter instead of engine oil might cause some unintended consequences. Some recipes, including the Bible, are like that.
Many think that the recipe for life in the Bible was changed when Jesus died for us. Well, OK, it did change a little. Before Jesus's actions, there was no way for us to be "saved" except for the mercy of God. But, wait! That's still true. Back then, people had to conform to the Recipe in order to remain in God's will. That's still true as well.
No more "work"?
Ah, there's the difference. People think that we no longer have to follow the Recipe because God has done that for us. Somehow, the Recipe has magically been changed so that we can have a cake without having to gather ingredients at all. Normally, that is accomplished by going to the store, but many feel that we can do that without any money and still get the cake.
In fact, many people feel they can actually do the opposite of what the Recipe recommends, and get the results they want. Don't think so? OK, let's stop talking about cakes. What about churches that accept gay pastors? What about eating what God said not to eat? What about changing a holy day without any word from God to do so? People feel they can sin without consequences. People feel they can condone sin in others without consequences. Even worse, they feel they can sin all day and still get the answers to their prayers.
Oops...went too far?
Immediately, the objections start. "No, we don't!", or "C'mon, that's ridiculous." You can hear them all the way over here. If you really feel that way, prove it. Take a look at the "accusations" on the pages of this site below and let me know where they are off base:
There are a lot more, but this will give you the idea. People in general feel that Jesus has given them a free ticket to paradise, regardless of their actions. They have no recipe to follow, no action to take, but still get to eat dinner. If you still think I am kidding after you read these few pages, please let me know why you feel that way.
All I ask is that you show me some Biblical evidence of approval of changes in God's expectations. Not your pastor's opinion, but Biblical evidence.
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