This month's Series is on I John. There are several reasons for this...
1. Last year I asked for ideas for this year's Series. We have covered all of the recommendations except for I John...and we only have three months left in this year.
2. The pattern on this blog is to alternate Series between books of the Bible and topics. However, the previous four months consisted of three topical Series that led into each other:
Spiritual Warfare (two months)
The Two Universal Strongholds: Leadership and The Roles of Men and Women
Men With Women
The result is that last month was the most active month in the three year history of this blog...both in unique visits and page views. Remember, these last three Series grew out of covering my favorite book of the Bible: Daniel. While it is rewarding to think that more people are getting exposed to the information on this blog, the information people most need to be exposed to is The Word of God. That's why In the last year, we have covered the following books of the Bible:
Of all the books of the Bible that we could be covering, I don't think there is a better one AT THIS TIME than I John. Like I stated at the end of the previous Series, the greatest aphrodisiac is a Man teaching his Wife the Word of God. This month's Series will help couples experience this because the book is relatively short AND deals with FOUNDATIONAL material in a FOUNDATIONAL way...which leads to my third and final reason.
3. Doctrine and Philosophy
I John is focused on Doctrine and presents the material through Philosophy. We have seen that Doctrine are the Causes...so there are NO BETTER Causes for a Man to teach his Wife other than Doctrine. The entire book values THINKING...which means I John is the PERFECT APPLICATION of the last four months of material on this blog: Spiritual Warfare (thinking), Leadership, Men, Women, and Men With Women.
Most experts believe that John wrote I John more than 60 years after Christ's death. The REASON (WHY) John wrote I John was to deal with believers' struggle with the Doctrine of Jesus' Nature! There were two man-made doctrines that were becoming popular. Here is how my Amplified Bible states what John was dealing with:
John dealt with "two false theories concerning the person of Christ - Docetism, regarding the human Jesus as a ghost (that is, the view that Christ only seemed to have a body), and Cerinthianism, making Jesus a dual personality, at times human and at times divine."
John wanted to help believers understand the doctrine of Jesus' Nature...that Jesus was Fully Man AND Fully God.
We will see that John's explanation is philosophical. He is going to stick ONLY to what is known for sure...and from that build a logical explanation. This is different than how St. Paul wrote. Paul tended to build a logical explanation using the Scriptures. Paul would quote one of the Old Testament prophets as PROOF of what he was stating. I call this approach "theological". John, didn't do this in I John. He dealt COMPLETELY with facts that the reader personally experienced or has personally learned to be factual.
John writes in a style that is VERY unusual for today's believers. Almost all "Christian" books being written today are "theological"...they support their statements with the Bible. If I John were written today, I don't believe "Christians" would recognize it as Christian!
The last Christian book that I'm aware of written in this fashion is "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis...which is more than 60 years old. There are no scriptural quotes with chapter and verse references in the entire book. Mere Christianity is a completely philosophical book...it requires you to think.
Philosophical books REQUIRE you to think. Theological books don't require you to think. In fact, "theology" is the study of God. Yet, today's courses in theology DON'T tell you God's Nature...let alone Jesus' Nature.
Remember, Jesus is Fully Man and Fully God. In order for a person to EXPLAIN Jesus' Nature, they MUST have an explanation for God's Nature...and an explanation for Man's nature. A person must be able to have a definition for God and Man...and the ONE COURSE that OUGHT to give us a definition for God (theology) is ACTUALLY a history course. Today, theology courses present the HISTORY of other peoples' definitions for God. In fact, most theology courses state almost immediately that we CAN'T have a definition for God!!!! Clearly, "theology" does NOT REQUIRE people to think. In fact, it seems to give people a reason NOT to think.
I have experienced this firsthand...
In July 2007, my first book (Modeling God) was published. It was the culmination of over a dozen years of prayer, revelation, research, discussion, correction, etc. I had read "Mere Christianity" over forty times and I felt led by the Holy Spirit to write a book that removed the contradictions...that brought a fresh revelation to today's believers. The first draft of Modeling God was completely philosophical. By the time an agent got a hold of the manuscript, Bible verses (over 140) were incorporated.
I originally wrote a philosophical book. The agent and publisher tried to turn it into a theological book...but it still required thinking.
Most people who like to think, rejected the book because it contained Bible verses.
"Christians" rejected the book because it required them to think.
True believers were able to handle the Bible verses AND thinking...the result is they wanted to read their Bible more (because they now understood the Bible) and they heard from God more clearly and more often.
I thought pastors would endorse this book because most pastors seem to state they want people to read their Bible more and they want people to do allow God to direct their life. However, despite reaching out to dozens of pastors, I couldn't get one pastor to respond.
Eventually, a pastor did respond. He wrote a refutation of Modeling God that contained over 200 factual inaccuracies. He misquoted Modeling God...then he justified his right to misquote the text! He would not meet with me to discuss his misinterpretation of the text. He wrote a "review" on Amazon and other book sites that falsely made CLAIMS about what I "teach". His website APPEARED professional...and this deceived a lot of people from realizing the inaccuracies. His refutation deals more with ME than the book.
The biggest fallacy is that our dispute is over what he believes versus what I believe.
Most people didn't appear to be smart enough to realize this wasn't a dispute between what he believed and what I believed...which would be covered by Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. This is a dispute about what he publicly (mis)represents as being my beliefs. He did it with the intent to harm me. He even put a link to his refutation website titled "lenharteatsrocks.com". Despite numerous people telling him this was ungodly behavior, he did not take it down. All of this behavior is ACTUALLY against the laws of our country.
He initiated the attacks.
He made this public.
He involved other churches...both pastors and congregation members.
He convinced a group of pastors to issue a letter against me and people who are teaching this life changing material. This secret group of "ministers" won't divulge their members. The two leaders who signed the letter on behalf of the group did so without their church's knowledge...AND neither of them read Modeling God! In fact, the majority of the members did NOT know the leaders had issued a letter on their behalf!
Again, the letter purports to be about theology and belief, yet makes false statements about my beliefs. Only one of the members of this group has been willing to meet with me to understand what I believe and teach. He has stated he has no problem with what I believe and teach...and we've met several times. The rest of the group flatly refuses to meet with me.
One of the signers of the letter asked us for factual information refuting their letter because he hadn't read Modeling God. We supplied him with the information. His response was to say he will never apologize for writing the letter!
It was like I was the man who was attacked in the story of the Good Samaritan and I couldn't find one person to be a neighbor to me.
I could not find one wise person in the Fox River Valley to mediate this dispute. ALL of the religious "leadership" in this area of the state either "crossed to the other side of the street" (ignored the situation) or came over to my side of the street to kick me (blindly supported the attacker) because I was still alive.
For the past year I had been rehearsing Tim Snell sharing with me "the flaw" in Modeling God with factual information. A year ago, I wrote him an e-mail telling him he needed to support the CLAIMS he has made. Tim has written me an e-mail saying he doesn't have to support the claims he has made. However, I thought if anyone could prove Modeling God wrong, it MUST be the person who is railing at it the most. I needed to him to support his claims...perhaps he would teach me "the flaw" in Modeling God.
I have been rewriting Modeling God with two people who have been teaching the material. I believe it will make the book more accessible and conversational. In fact, one person who met with Tim Snell told him that I am rewriting Modeling God. His response was that he wishes I wouldn't! What is his objective?
I have been out of work for two years this month. I have applied for over one thousand jobs. It appears that potential employers are interested until they google me and read Tim's website. No one seems to want an executive that has been publicly defamed. As part of the process of declaring bankruptcy, a bankruptcy lawyer told me I had to pursue everything that legally appears as an asset. This defamation claim was something I was required to pursue.
I met with a lawyer. He told me that defamation is extremely rare. Two days after looking at all the facts, he congratulated me for "accomplishing something in this life" and "having arrived". He stated that defamation can ONLY exist if:
1) you do something GOOD (if I initiated this dispute by doing something bad to Tim, it would disqualify this for defamation)
2) the person makes false claims
3) the person communicates them to a third party
4) the person intends to do you harm.
It is so rare to find someone who will go out of their way to willfully communicate false information about a person who has done something so GOOD that it makes someone jealous enough to defame the person. The lawyer (who is in the world) was telling me people rarely do things SO GOOD they make someone SUPER jealous. (It turns out John states the SAME criteria for PROVING that you are a Christian: doing something so GOOD that it leads to the world treating you like it treated Jesus! But we will see this towards the end of this month's Series.)
My lawyer ended up writing Tim Snell a letter. Tim immediately removed the lenharteatsrocks.com link the day after receiving the letter from my lawyer. Two Sunday's ago, Tim had an elder tell the congregation FROM THE PULPIT that the link was meant as a light-hearted jab and that the pastor had contacted me to say it was a mistake. Tim Snell has never admitted to me that he has done anything wrong. Tim wrote me an e-mail 18 months ago telling me where to find the link. I had heard about the link from someone else that Tim had PREVIOUSLY told...and who told Tim that it was wrong. Yet the link remained up for 18 months. He had 18 months to remove the link and consistently justified it to the numerous people who told him it was wrong. However, the day after getting a letter from my lawyer, Tim removed the link. Tim is PROVING the ONLY way to reach him is through a lawyer because EVERY OTHER avenue (elders, pastors, congregation members, etc.) has failed.
Last week I got a letter from his lawyer documenting his support. It turns out that his formal support for his defamatory claims in the Amazon posting are the result of his inability to interpret text. I now know he has nothing to offer me in the way of improving Modeling God. He has not identified any flaws. All he has done is given people who are uncomfortable a rationalization to stop reading Modeling God when it causes them to grow.
I also now know that the religious "leadership" in this area of the country is COMPLETELY UNABLE to resolve a dispute that was COMPLETELY BASELESS. There would have been nothing simpler than asking Tim to support his claims AND meeting with me. WHY was that BEYOND the ability of the "religious leadership" in the Fox River Valley?
I have written several posts on this blog throughout this ordeal. By the end of this month, I hope to bring this almost two year ordeal to a conclusion.
One of the areas that I have been misrepresented in is my belief that Jesus is divine by Nature...which is the REASON (WHY) John wrote I John!
So, this month is the perfect time to cover I John AND update the readers of the blog on the latest developments in the struggle to make this life giving information more accessible to the church.
Tomorrow, we will begin covering I John.
If you are interested in the background information on this blog concerning this dispute, here are some links:
Tim Snell begged me to write about this dispute and put it on the front page of my blog. Here is the post along with the transcript of Tim Snell endorsing himself while posting under another name!
Here is the The Rebuttal to his refutation that he asked me to write
List of Factual Inaccuracies (Part I)
List of Factual Inaccuracies (Part II)
Tim Snell on Amazon
Portions of e-mails to Tim Snell
There are a lot of wild "spiritual" events going on in the Fox River Valley that were put into motion more than ten years ago. When people hear the story, they don't believe it. Then they check the websites and blogs of the main characters and they are speechless. If you like an interesting and outrageous story, you may want to make your way through these posts...
This set documents my three books and the initial background for the events in the Fox River Valley
This set of posts documents the situation leading up to the events of this summer:
The Wildest Rationalization
The Godless Christianity Movement
The Cause of the Controversy
Modern Day Prophetess
Bringing Prophecy to Pass