© November 14, 2018 | Schulter Etyang And having seen the crowds He was moved with compassion concerning them because they were exhausted by their troubles and their long, aimless wanderings, and had thrown themselves to the ground in an utterly prostrate condition as sheep not having a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 (Wuest – The New Testament: An Expanded Translation) Our world is full of exhausted people. From Wall Street to K-Street, boardrooms to the warehouse floors, father to the newly born baby, pulpit to the Children’s Church. We are an exhausted world. The two Greek words used for fainted and scattered in the KJV version are eklyo and rhipto, which mean to become weary (exhausted), to the point of fainting and to throw down, respectively. Imagine the Rock’s Rock bottom move in WWE. That is what it means to be thrown to the ground. Where does this exhaustion come from?
© November 7, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Hey kid, Yesterday, I wrote a post advising your parents to view you through the lens of grace because you are a sinner. I’m hoping that by doing so, they’ll go easy on you, a tad easy. It’s not your fault you are a sinner. It’s Adam’s fault – Adam, the progenitor of humanity. We are in this mess because of him and his wife, Eve. You are a sinner and you sin. You do you. Your parents, however, don’t get it. I alluded in yesterday’s post that they are dumbfounded, paralyzed, angry, and harsh towards you because they underestimate the strength of sin, and most forget they are sinners. This post though is for you. And by you, I mean all of us. We all are kids. Most of us still have our parents around. Some, though, their parents have died yet have hangovers from their upbringing.
© November 6, 2018 | Schulter Etyang I’ve been fortunate enough to associate well with older and younger people alike. Throughout the years, I’ve been privileged to lend an ear to parents and to their children within the same family. I get to hear both sides of the story. This happens often in spite of the fact that I have no children of my own. The same is true with Jenny. A father or mother would inform me what they think is wrong with their child, and when I listen to the child, the child gives me a different view of the same situation. Sometimes, those views are as varied as chalk and cheese. Many children who come from families where the parents are Christians find it very difficult to relate to their parents. Christian parents are the most challenging to relate to because they are so blinded by their own spiritual experiences and jargon. These words are so familiar, “We didn’t raise this child like this, we taught them the right way, do they realize the sacrifices we‘ve made …
© November 2, 2018 | Schulter Etyang It is a common thread in my posts to read these words – Jesus’ ministry was under the law and his ministry was primarily to the Jews, first. Occasionally, he would be interrupted by a gentile woman or officer, but his audience was primarily the Jews. When you get these two things mixed up, you will misinterpret who Jesus is and what he did. In misinterpreting who Jesus is and what he did, two things happen. Firstly, we become proud and self-righteous because we believe we are living in obedience to everything Jesus said. Alternatively, we are overwhelmed with guilt and condemnation, if we have failed to live up to his words.
© November 4, 2017 | Schulter Etyang This week we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On 31st October, 500 years ago, a German monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the All Saints Church. He also sent the theses with a letter to Albert of Brandenburg the Archbishop of Mainz. His one-act sparked religious, intellectual, political, and cultural change that completely altered the Church and the then world. What took place was earth-shattering, to say the least. The Catholic Church splintered, and the Protestant movement was formed with the after-effects still being felt to this day In his 95 theses, he argued that faith in Jesus alone and not selling of indulgences or good works was the only way to obtain pardon for sin (sola fide). He also argued for the sole reliance on scriptures (sola scriptura) as the foundation for the beliefs in the Church. Let me not get you tangled up in the weeds. Basically, his action was summed up in this – …
© October 18, 2018 | Schulter Etyang When Jenny and I celebrated our seventh-year anniversary, I wrote a blog on some lessons that we had learned through the years. You can read the blog post here. One of the lessons we shared was this – we are on the same team. In this lesson, I indicated how early on in our marriage, we were highly competitive – competitive that we demeaned the other, subtly or at other times openly. A simple game of squash would end up with angry outbursts and simmering tension that would brew for days. When a friend of ours read the post, she remarked that I was being a bit touchy about the competitiveness and that she liked to compete. In the conversation, she spoke of how she played simple games with her daughter and loved the competition. What I didn’t tell her is that for us, a simple game of squash would bring out the competitive nature in us, and the ensuing tension would simmer for days.
© October 16, 2018 | Schulter Etyang I think the founders of every major religion in the world, roll in their graves when they hear how their words are misconstrued by religious leaders. Every major religion in the world has had some form of their religion misinterpreted with brutal consequences. Within these religions are theologians, teachers, custodians of the traditions, etc. who have to constantly grapple with the threat posed by heretical interpretations and teachings of their faiths. At one stage in history, the Christian faith had to grapple with the Crusades. The Muslim faith is presently dealing with their own version of “the Crusades” namely ISIL/S. ISIL/S is the “Crusades” of the Muslim faith. Here’s the point – the Crusades and ISIL/S were formed out of misconstruing the words of the founders of their faiths, which led or has led to untold suffering to millions, even billions around the world.
© October 12, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Jesus, in the book of John, introduced us to this symbiotic relationship that he had with his Father. (John 5:17-47 NKJV) The Greek word pater, is the equivalent to the Hebrew word Abba, for father. Jesus was, of course, speaking in Aramaic, and he would have used Abba in reference to his Father. The Jews heard this phrase and instinctively knew he was making himself equal with God and that made them mad. Mad is an understatement. They made plans to kill him. Jesus, then, described this symbiotic relationship he had with his father. And in his long discourse, he made this shocking and improbable claim. John 5:25 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
© October 5, 2018 | Schulter Etyang In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2 (NKJV) The Greek word that John used for the Word is logos. When John wrote these words, the Greeks believed in the logos. The Greeks defined logos as the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning. I will not go into detail in trying to explain how the logos evolved within Greek and Jewish philosophical thought. Needless to say, the simplest definition of logos is this – logos means reasoning or logic gathered together in the mind, and expressed in words, that gives our lives meaning. In our times, the Greek logos is ideas, principles, keys, steps, and how to’s.
© September 27, 2018 | Schulter Etyang In all of us is a Haman. Haman? Who is Haman? Haman in Jewish folklore is the man who plotted against the Jews, to destroy them. He hated the Jewish people and conjured a plan to have all of them destroyed. His real irk, however, was against Mordecai. Haman had been promoted by the king and had a seat above all princes. Whenever the king’s servant saw him they would bow down before him to show respect. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he became mad. And it’s at this point when he came up with a plan to destroy the Jews – a plan that was later sanctioned by the king. This same scene plays itself out later. Haman was invited to the palace to a banquet. He was the main guest. As he left the party, he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling …