Arthur’s Confession – “I’m Adopted”

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Hey TD,

Most of you probably have never thought about me in this way … and in a way, I’m glad … but sometimes, it’s good to come back to the truth of things and to remind myself (and you) that … I’m adopted.  It’s true.  And it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. Adoption is beautiful, life-saving, life-giving, and life-transforming.  I am proud to be adopted.

I live the life I now live, with the confidence, and empowerment, and joy, and purpose, and delight, and hope, and love, and enthusiasm, and fulfillment, and opportunity, and perspective, and blessing, and richness, and family, and friendships, and fellowship, and satisfaction, and peace, and … security … I now live with, because of one simple fact:

I’m adopted.

You see, my natural father did not teach me how to live the right way.  He taught me how to lie, cheat, steal, and live for myself.  He taught me to compete against people and get my worth from outdoing others.  He didn’t teach me to rest and be satisfied in doing my best and in empowering others to do theirs.  He didn’t teach me to know THAT was success.

Nor did he teach me the right way to view the opposite sex, with sacredness and honor.  Instead, he taught me to look at them as a means of titillation and self-gratification, like he did. He wanted me to use them, not serve them; to lust for them, not love them; to idolize them, not cherish them.

I could go on at length about my natural father, but I’d rather not.  I’m actually still working out and undoing his pervasive influence and its effects in my life.  It’s still going to take a while, but it’s happening.  My adoptive Father is making sure of that; and I love Him for that.

I could go on and on and on about my adoptive Father.  In fact, I have and I do. For hours at a time. In a group called Total Devotion. A few Fridays a month. For thirty-three years.  And I can’t stop!  There’s so much more to tell you!  He is THAT good!

Here’s how good my adoptive Father is:  He wants to offer His Fatherhood to you as well.  Here’s how impactful He’s been at my heart level: I don’t feel threatened or jealous by Him wanting to share His love with you.  In fact, I want you to experience it too!

I was introduced to my adoptive Father by my biological father, Kuo-Chen Hsieh.  I owe my biological dad so much for insisting that I go to church so I could meet my eventual adoptive Heavenly Father.  My life has literally been changed forever.

I’d love to do the same for you.  If you want to get to know my adoptive Father, I’d love to introduce you to Him.  He’s amazing.  Just let me know and I’ll arrange a time for all of us to meet!

My old life with my natural father:

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

“The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” 1John 3:8-10

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” Eph. 2:1-3

My new life with my adoptive Father:

“And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2Cor. 6:18

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Rom. 8:14-17
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” Gal. 4:4-5
I sincerely hope my real Father adopts you soon! – Arthur
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The Pernicious Truth

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Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!  Only read this essay all the way through if you want to know the Enemy’s plans of attack on you, and only if you want to know why you are stuck in spiritual mediocrity.  If you don’t want to know “what’s under the hood” and you want your relationship with God to remain as is, DO NOT CONTINUE READING!  You have been warned.

If you do continue reading, then please let me know your thoughts and responses are.  Thanks. – Arthur

Pernicious.  1.  Causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful.  2.  Deadly; fatal.  3.  Evil; wicked.

While the definition of pernicious is easy to state, it is not so easy to pinpoint in today’s postmodern mindset, where things once thought obvious no longer are.  Once you invoke terms like harm, hurtful, and evil, you invoke a moral reference point with which to measure one’s thoughts or actions by.  What is that point?  Says who?  This ultimately is a matter of truth, and truth, by definition, is exclusive.  British author GK Chesterton astutely noted that there are many angles by which you can fall, but only one angle at which you can stand straight.

Therein lies the challenge for God’s people living in an age with pluralism as its king; finding that truthful angle at which we can stand straight, and then committing and subjecting our very lives to living at that angle, the Angle of Truth.  Even the slightest tilt of the angle leads to a fall … even if that angle seems much “straighter” than other angles.  Though it is often difficult to discern a straight angle from a slight one, it IS possible, as long as all of life’s angles and options are measured against the one straight angle, the truth of God’s word.

Theologian RC Sproul describes truth as that which corresponds with reality … as perceived by God, because God’s perception of reality is never distorted.  It is perfect.  Our problems arise when we set even the slightest gaze of our eyes upon other norms and standards in addition to God’s word.  It’s what I call “Christ AND … theology,” where we look to Christ AND this, where we want Christ AND that, instead of Christ alone.  In reality, as RC says, only God’s view of life is perfect and complete.  Any addition to it (or subtraction) at all, and you’ve got that tilted angle – no matter how much Scripture you have as a base.  God alone, and Scripture alone stand straight.

To the one whose values are not clear, this is more easily deciphered in concept than it is in practice, for Satan is masterful at blurring the lines of distinction, giving you nourishment, while at the same time diminishing you in the process.

It is said that if you drop a frog into boiling water, it will jump out instantly, but if you drop it into room temperature water and very slowly bring it to a boil, it will boil to death before it has a chance to figure out it’s being boiled.  The Bible warns us that Satan will come as an angel of light (2Cor. 11:14), not fire!  He will try to imitate light.  He will promote virtual light, if you will – illuminating but only so far, enlightening but incompletely, keeping our focus on the image and the visible, leaving out of sight the infrastructure and the foundation upon which the illuminated façade is built upon.

Aaahh, that is so Satan.  He aims to keep us entertained, tickled, and warmed, keeping us at eye level with incomplete, sensory, on-the-surface truths while boiling us within, deadening our senses, and making us dependent upon our feelings and insecurities for our decision making.  Little by little, step by step, we rely less and less on the sharpness and razor-like precision of the Word of God to carve out our paths.

Satan is no dummy.  If he’s going win his battle for our souls, he’s got to somehow find ways to neutralize our strongest weapon, the Word of God.  For the non-Christian and the “flimsy” Christian, that job is easy.  Discredit the veracity of the Bible at the hands of human brilliance and seemingly empirical science, pluralistic philosophy, or just plain doses of sensual hedonism (note that sensual is referring to being led by the senses – this is not only sexual).  The classic lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. (1John 2:16)  Suck them in with pernicious lies.

But what about the serious and committed Christians; those of us who don’t fall for the obvious pernicious lies; the ones who recognize those ploys?  For that, Satan must neutralize the word of God WITH the word of God, substituting out the best for the good, fighting fire with fire.  He sucks us in with what I call … pernicious truth.  Pernicious truth?  It sounds like an oxymoron, but propositional truth that isn’t rooted in the Person of Truth is harmful, hurtful, and spiritually deadly.  It is pernicious truth.

Put on God’s lenses and you’ll see your enemy’s strategy. Make the living waters ever-so-slightly murkier.  Introduce a virtual word of God, which looks the same in content, but not in intent, and start creating micro-tears, slowly disconnecting the “strong” Christian’s biblical head from his sinful heart.  Subsume “committed” Christians to secondary “wholesome” and “harmless” forms of encouragement, edification, and entertainment.  Slowly but surely dull the razor’s edge.

When one begins to believe that things unreal are really real, we say he is going insane.  Yet, when the masses begin to believe in things that are not really real (i.e. virtual communities), we call it normal, and call it a cultural shift.  With whole-hearted thanks to God, we have His word preserved – the perfect, powerful truth –

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).  

There’s the rub.  Are we going to go under the knife and cooperate with the Surgeon of our souls as He completes the needed surgery of sanctification, right down to the deepest parts – changing all of our thoughts, all of our attitudes, all of our actions, or are we going to play doctor and just say we did?  It’s true that most people won’t even notice, but God will … and so will Satan.

– Arthur Hsieh