7 episodes

For approximately 2.5 billion people, the Bible is considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans. This collection of sacred texts or scriptures are held as the inspired and inerrant word of God by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafarians, and several others. It is the source of their religious beliefs.

The Bible is widely considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time, and is has certainly had a tremendous influence on literature and history. The Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. Estimated total sales are over 5 billion copies, and approximately 100 million copies are sold annually.

This translates to nearly everyone, whether believer or atheist, having at least one copy. Yet few who have or believe in the Bible have actually read it. The Bible is not an easy book to read, nor is it a short book to read. So it is not surprising that that those who begin reading at Genesis rarely make it past Leviticus. Most tend to leave this Bible reading business to their pastor/priest/rabbi. Which portions of the Bible you hear recited generally depends heavily on which House of God you attend. in any case, usually only a fraction of the Bible is ever referenced. I intend to remedy that with you here and now.

Bible Study Rehab Matthew Perry

    • Christianity

For approximately 2.5 billion people, the Bible is considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans. This collection of sacred texts or scriptures are held as the inspired and inerrant word of God by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafarians, and several others. It is the source of their religious beliefs.

The Bible is widely considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time, and is has certainly had a tremendous influence on literature and history. The Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. Estimated total sales are over 5 billion copies, and approximately 100 million copies are sold annually.

This translates to nearly everyone, whether believer or atheist, having at least one copy. Yet few who have or believe in the Bible have actually read it. The Bible is not an easy book to read, nor is it a short book to read. So it is not surprising that that those who begin reading at Genesis rarely make it past Leviticus. Most tend to leave this Bible reading business to their pastor/priest/rabbi. Which portions of the Bible you hear recited generally depends heavily on which House of God you attend. in any case, usually only a fraction of the Bible is ever referenced. I intend to remedy that with you here and now.

    Genesis 3

    Genesis 3

    “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:” “But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” “And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?” “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.” “And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:” “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;” “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;” “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.” “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”



    {Genesis 3:1-24}

    • 39 min
    Genesis 2

    Genesis 2

    “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” “These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,” “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.” “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” “The name of the first [is] Pison: that [is] it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where [there is] gold;” “And the gold of that land [is] good: there [is] bdellium and the onyx stone.” “And the name of the second river [is] Gihon: the same [is] it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” “And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates.” “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:” “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” “And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.” “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;” “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” “And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”



    {Genesis 2:1-25}

    • 32 min
    Genesis 1

    Genesis 1

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” “And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.” “And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.” “And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.” “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” “And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.” “And the evening and the morning were the third day.” “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” “And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.” “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.” “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,” “And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.” “And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.” “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” “And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.” “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    • 43 min
    Christ minus the Christianity

    Christ minus the Christianity

    “Christianity began as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When it went to Athens, it became a philosophy. When it went to Rome, it became an organization. When it went to Europe, it became a culture. When it went to America, it became a business.”



    I find this very true indeed. As much as I strive for the ‘personal relationship’ model, I usually end up very close to the ‘philosophy’ model. As far as the organization, culture, and business goes, sour grapes all around. As much as I believe in the philosophy of Christianity, I struggle to functionally have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Our society is filled with sermons, songs, and corny wall plaques that remind us that we should love Jesus {John 8:42}, God {Deuteronomy 6:5}, and that our relationship should be that of a friend {James 2:23, John 15:14-15}. It’s not so much about the conversation. {Matthew 6:5-7} I don’t struggle with using the King’s English when I pray. I pray with the same accent and slang that I’d use to order a bowl of chili. (As a side note, if you ever find yourself in Springfield, MO, you must eat at Casper’s Chili Parlor. You can thank me later.) I’ve heard people speak of falling in love with Jesus, and I’ve seen folks that I honestly believe had a closer relationship with God than their own parents, siblings, or spouse. I’m just not sure how they got there. Maybe it’s a matter of imagery. I can’t say that I’ve ever fallen in love with another guy. Maybe if all the imagery of Jesus was in the form of a 6’5” Hispanic woman who spoke with a Russian accent I’d have an easier time. In accordance with my trust issues, I have difficulty having a relationship with God in the same way I would find it difficult to carry on a relationship with someone who had died and was no longer tangibly present in my physical life. I wonder who actually had a harder task. The disciples had a physical, tangible man to talk to, hang out with, eat with, walk with. However the consequences of being a “Christian” were a bit more extreme then than they are now. I can’t remember the last time I witnessed a beheading, stoning, crucifixion, or the like. The social consequences of being a “Christian” are now usually little more than mild annoyance. I would surely enjoy having a physical, tangible man to direct all my questions to, preferably over a bowl of Casper’s chili. I guess my struggle is with trying to relate to someone like Superman in the same manner I’d banter with a simple farm boy like Clark Kent. This is an unlimited being that I have trouble comprehending, much less asking to help me with some work around the yard. Yet part of me wonders if I would believe it if this wish were granted. {Luke 16:31} Usually folks who show up on our porch and claim to be God incarnate, here to help us with all the issues that life brings, are met with skepticism and a straitjacket. That said, I continue to work toward this goal, and when asked about my beliefs I choose to say that I’m trying to be a follower of Jesus.



    I say ‘trying’ because I’m not sure that with all my human faults, I could ever attain or accomplish ‘Christianity.’ I struggle with it daily. Growing up, we used to sing a song, “Ain’t it grand to be a Christian.” Its folksy exemption from the rules of grammar aside, I have problems with its implications. On the surface it implies that by becoming a ‘Christian,’ your days of struggle are erased from existence and you get a ticket to Freeridesville, complete with rainbows, unicorns, and entire groups of people bursting into joyful song and dance through the streets. Perhaps my experience has been, yet again, of the anomalous variety, but in the words of my grandpappy, “Don’t pee down my leg and tell me that it’s raining.” My grandpappy gave me other nuggets of wisdom, usually

    • 13 min
    Be Blessed

    Be Blessed

    God truly does move in mysterious ways. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to wake us from the unreality of our reality. Our eyes have been blinded to the blessing all around us. Our hearts hardened to the love and joy that encompass us. Our minds distracted from the truth of who we are, what we are, why we are, how we are, and where we are to be. Sometimes we grow so comfortable in the lies and deceit that the world feeds us morning, noon, and night, that we fail to be aware of the reality of our existence. {Jeremiah 16:19} Sometimes it takes an outside party to wake us from this false nightmare of a life we have grown so accustomed to. In the same manner that people who are born and raised within a cult can grow accustomed to lies, deceit, and theft of their worth, character, and humanity, so can we become brainwashed by the lies, deceit, and theft perpetrated on us by our culture, society, media, even friends and family. Likewise, we often need someone outside our circle of experience, to point out the truth of our situation. We are not built for this place, this world, this circumstance, this life. We are truly aliens in a foreign land. Our residence in this country does not make it our home. {Philippians 3:20} Our residence in this life does not make it our home {John 18:36}.



    Am I now void of the disappointment, confusion, anger, and fear that started me on this journey? Not at all. However they have all been redirected. I’ve learned that this universe, this dimension, this life that we currently occupy is one of balance, of harmony, of equilibrium. Negative emotions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, situations, and circumstances are not bad, but rather simply one side of the equation. They are just as valid, important, necessary, and useful as their positive counterparts. For every up there is a down, for every in there is an out, for every left there is a right, for every plus there is a minus. You can’t have black without white, on without off, song without silence, light without dark, sweet without sour, hard without soft. Until this place is no more, until the rule book is thrown out, until this existence is changed, these truths will continue forward {Matthew 5:18}.



    Use everything, leave nothing. For every problem there is a solution. I remain confused by why we allow ourselves to be sold a bill of goods that we don’t want, didn’t order, and then suffer the effects of misplaced loyalty. I will never lose the righteous anger that I feel when I see princes and princesses treated like slaves and objects, sometimes of their own free will. I still fear that if we don’t wake up soon from this illusion, that we’ll become so indoctrinated into its lies and misinformation, that we will find ourselves farther down the wrong path, and so lost that we fail to notice how many are following us in the wrong direction.



    Despite what you may believe about yourself or those around you, we are all who we are for a reason. {Exodus 9:16} Get out and find your reason for being. Take no hostages, accept no substitutes. Sometimes we are unhappy with our lives, because we’re trying to be something that we are not. Don’t give in to the pressure from all the elements around you to be someone that you are not, but rather embrace the reality and truth of who you are and be proud of who you are, what you are. Whatever you learn about yourself on your journey, don’t discount its significance. Even a negative truth is a truth. Use it to find the positive truth that is longing to balance the problem you face.



    I was slowly learning and following a false impression of who I was, and thus becoming less satisfied with the life that I was creating for myself. I was on a goat path to nowhere, and at a fairly significant clip. It may take losing a grandparent, parent, spouse, child, sibling, pet, or perhaps a country, house, car,

    • 7 min
    Credo

    Credo

    Let’s get something straight, I have trust issues. There are two ways to look at my distrust. Maybe I trust only myself, or perhaps it’s only myself that I distrust. Why do I worry as I drive through town? Is it the other people’s lack of focus, or lack of skill that I distrust? Or merely my own ability to react quickly and correctly to their actions? They both lead to the same symptoms of behavior. So in the interest of taking the responsibility on myself, we’ll make this my inability to trust others.



    As a child, I was raised under a “Christian” roof. Specifically the Assembly of God variety. Let me state first and foremost that I’m generally put off by the whole concept of “religion.” I find that religions are simply groups of beliefs that have been categorized for the benefit of self propagation. I have a hard time with this because it limits the ability to be truthful about what you believe. I’d like to believe this, but I’m a Baptist. Maybe if I weren’t Catholic I could believe that. What if the “this’s” or “that’s” are the only things standing between absolute truth and ignorance? I also find that this subdividing of beliefs usually doesn’t lead to any kind of interpersonal harmony. Sure on a small scale it might make me feel better about you because we go to the same place of worship. So surely we’re more alike than not, and surely that helps us fit in with each other comfortably. If reading religious texts has taught me anything, it is that most of the major religions don’t favor comfort. I can’t remember any wise proverbs about how becoming comfortable gets one closer to attaining any semblance of holiness or truth or wisdom or enlightenment.



    Perhaps this is where the roots of my disappointment, confusion, anger, and fear can be found. There are so many things that we all stumble across in life that beg a countless number of questions to be asked. Most of these questions go unanswered. So which religion is the real deal? I have studied all of the more established religions of the world to find an answer that I could trust. Ultimately I seek truth. {John 8:32} This is a tricky quest, especially when you have trust issues. To add another level of difficulty to this quest is my tendency to favor a simplistic black or white view of life. Shades of gray have no place in my quest. Shades of gray are nothing more than degrees of justification for those who can’t handle truth. Since truth is what I’m searching for, gray is out. Whereas I view the Heinz 57 varieties of every major religion, usually termed “sects” or “denominations,” as nothing short of shades of gray, my view of these should fast become apparent. Despite all this, I have come to a certain set of beliefs that I hold to.



    As some might suspect, this set of beliefs don’t fit comfortably under any particular religion’s umbrella. I believe that there is a certain amount of truth in each and every holy book. The problem I have is that I find more than a fair share of outright bologna in most of them as well. As one who enjoys philosophy, I far too often find myself following some random goat path to nowhere. I am constantly reminding myself to keep on subject. That said, forgive me if I stray in my attempt to literate the set of beliefs that I hold myself to.



    God? This is where my quest begins. I believe in a God who is first and foremost, unlimited in any and every way. This lends to such philosophical puzzles as “Can God create a rock so large that He can not lift it,” and the like. These puzzles stem from the basic truth that people are limited, and we can’t wrap our heads around anything that isn’t. Right from the get‐go we have a bit of a dilemma. In order to continue beyond this, we have to come to the understanding that even our language and its ability to discuss the limitless

    • 32 min

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