I lived in Gaborone, Botswana for 7 years, and in that time there was almost no entertainment in the place. It’s a land-locked country with a population of 1.8 million people, 98% of it is desert. Summer temperatures reach a high of 50C during December, winters are mild.
The entertainment that existed was as follows:
- Go to the local dam, Gaborone dam and either get mugged or eaten by a crocodile.
- Go shopping at one of the two major malls, and I’m not a mall rat.
- Take the dog for a walk. I didn’t have a dog.
- Go out for supper. The food in that place was something to behold – calamari you couldn’t get a knife through, eggs you could bounce off the walls, and bread as hard as a brick. It was a local joke.
- Stay home and surf the internet until your eyes turned square.
- Watch Digital Satellite TV until you gnawed at the arm rest from pure boredom because of the repeats.
- Go to the local Game Reserve and wreck your car because the roads were so bad. Besides, I’ve seen enough Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Raptors, Baboons, monkeys, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, and that would include the Big Five.
- Talk to your cats. My cats got bored.
- Clean the house and do the laundry. I worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and snoozed on my day off.
- Make dinner – it’s no fun cooking for one, besides you have half a dozen pots and the meal takes 15 minutes to eat. Who wants to spend time washing dishes? I was never good at that – it’s boring. To save on washing dishes, I used to eat directly from the pot. Bad habits of a bachelor.
- Take a dip in the pool. Swimming pool looked like a swamp – didn’t have enough time to clean it. There were creatures in there I didn’t even recognise. Scary.
- Go to the movies – there are only 2 cinemas in that place and after you’ve seen every movie on circuit – then that’s it – have to wait another 2 months for something new to show, besides, people who cannot eat their popcorn in a remotely humane manner and talk on their cellphones just ain’t my cuppa tea. I’d be arrested.
- Traveling in rural Africa is dangerous, especially at night as cattle sleep in the middle of the road, goats, horses, buck and donkeys run out in front of you. It’s nobody’s cow until you hit it with your car – then it’s everybody’s cow because they want compensation.
So I turned to jogging at 5am every morning before the daytime temperatures reached 50C, I went to an air-conditioned gym and I studied my Bible, but not at the same time. In fact that was my first priority – I was determined to understand the Bible.
When I got home, I’d cook a meal for one (don’t even ask), then I lit up a cigarette, went to go and sit on the stoep to watch the sunset behind the Acacia trees, sometimes I had an ice-cold beer, sometimes I didn’t. Yes I smoked for a short period in my life – mainly due to stress (the job, the job, the job).
Then I’d be at my desk with my notebook, pen and the Bible. I’d start at the beginning, but then it got kinda boring, so I skipped the first few books and went onto the Old Testament prophets, and lo and behold, it wasn’t long until I could match up scripture from the Old Testament with scripture from the New Testament. And I thought I was a genius lol. Then I signed up on forums to show off my newly found ingenuity. And…….. no-one was impressed, they were all stuck in their signs and wonders rut, and I had become a “cessationist” at that time and word soon got around that “I didn’t have the Holy Spirit, so beware”.
I still didn’t understand the Bible though, and I knew it. I tried fooling everyone else, but I couldn’t fool myself.
I then used to search the internet, researched various denominations and their beliefs, tried them, tested them and they all fell apart, why, I even tried keeping the Sabbath on a Saturday – now that was truly hilarious. It always became “next Saturday” I’d fare better. Ya right.
Soon I stumbled on a Baptist site (believe it or not) which proclaimed to rightly divide the word of truth and came across articles written by a man with the surname of Roodt or Root. I read some of his articles and they made total sense and I wondered why I didn’t see the differences in the Bible that he had mentioned. These Baptists (based in Scotland) rightly divided – believe it or not, but only to a certain degree, obviously, because they weren’t dry cleaners.
I didn’t stop there though. I now knew it was called rightly dividing the word of truth, so I googled the term and I was in heaven, I was so enamoured by all the information at hand, I didn’t know where to start, I was like a kid in a candy store and soon I came across a website (can’t recall the name) which proclaimed the gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and I read it over and over again because I was so enthralled by it – I had never heard it in my life before, and I believed it immediately. It was like music to my ears.
My first hurdle was overcoming the urge to run away when I heard there was more than one gospel in the Bible – it took courage to stick around and see it through. Although I had thought that I had turned my back on my denominationalist beliefs – I obviously didn’t because the “there’s more than one gospel in the Bible” scared me. Old habits die hard.
In hindsight it’s rather funny knowing there are baptists out there who rightly divide up to a point and are unable to discern the different types of baptisms in the Bible, and that water baptism is covenant theology, it’s a work whichever way you look at it. You’re doing something as part of the salvation plan.
I’ve basically lived in a few different cities in my life and have traveled and met the good, the bad and the ugly of religiosity, and the most dangerous kind are the subtle ones who fly under a righteous banner and do good works, therefore they look absolutely like they wouldn’t harm a fly – so what can be so bad about them. Think again.
If I’m told to go upfront and confess Jesus as Lord in order to be saved, and give my testimony of how the Lord saved me out of a predicament – they can forget it. Only faith alone in the gospel of Christ alone (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) saves a person’s soul, regardless of how some go on the deep end to try and prove that 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 isn’t the gospel, same people profess to be kind, upright, honest, joyful and “I’ve got my stuff together at last” – but they deny the saving power of the gospel. Now that’s subtility. And guess who is subtle? Who was subtle in the garden of Eden?
This is the very reason why I stay away from evil which is wrapped up to appear good. One has to scratch the glitz and glamour off the surface to see the reality, and the reality denies Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection for one’s salvation.
Christian denominationalism might preach Christ’s death for sins and His resurrection from the dead, but they do not preach it solely or entirely for one’s salvation. They preach it in the context that since He died for your sins, you need to be forever grateful and indebted, so you better behave yourself in order to be saved, concerning His resurrection, they preach it in the context that since He rose from the dead, you too can have life, and have it more abundantly – on this earth – materialistic things, by being “blessed”. That’s not salvation = it’s misappropriation.
Then they argue blind that all churches preach the gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – hence the reason why having faith in it doesn’t save. Makes one wonder from under which rock they crawled and at what level their basic understanding is.
The point of this blog is to make you think – not to stroke your tail feathers and dish out false love – any conformist can do that – it’s easy. “How to look good in the eyes of thousands – appear to care for people” when in fact you don’t. It’s like visiting a preacher in a denominationalist church – it’s stilted, it’s pretentious and he doesn’t give an iota. All he sees is $$$$$$$ – how you can assist in having the next extension to be built to his church, to extend the parking lot, to plant the lawn, to make him look good. Tralala. Let’s all hold hands now and bear hug/group hug.
If he didn’t care about money, even a plain old hired hall would do for his Sunday church services, after all the building isn’t the church, the congregation is, but this is only confirmed in what he/they believe to be the gospel of their salvation, otherwise they are simply posers, meaning, they aren’t really the church if they don’t believe the gospel of Christ.
My experience tells me that when certain grace believers get cheesed off with someone, they wish them “grace and peace” but they themselves are fuming. Grace and peace aren’t ammo to use against your enemy before you trot off in a bad mood, grace and peace is what God offers people – grace first, then peace because peace comes with grace and saved people have both. Grace is offered to the unsaved and then they have peace when they are saved – peace with God.
My thoughts on the “grace and peace” brigade which I learnt really early in the Pentecostal movement is that it’s used to slice and dice any person they’re having a disagreement with or anyone they dislike. Yeah, grace and peace……. not likely, not unless you mean it. It’s like walking up to ISIS in the desert and saying, “grace and peace, dudes”…………… meanwhile you’d rather want to aim a heat seeking missile at them and press the button. Either way they’re going to chop off your head. So much for your version of grace and peace – it’s the same line of thinking which happens in Groups and Forums. Everyone is saying “grace and peace” but there is none.
How about that?