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Book Excerpt - The Curious Elephant

Riding Rogue Ponies Into The Apocalypse, The Curious Elephant

At its most fundamental level, the story contained in the Biblical record is quite simple to understand as the Flow Chart at the back of the book shows. [Also see the chart at the bottom of the Feature article, A Tale Of Two Covenants]. It is totally and completely related to the two covenants, the one made with Abraham and his Seed, Christ and the law covenant made with the children of Israel and the relationship between them both through Christ.

Not understanding our place in Biblical history, we’ve lost track of who we are and our relationship to both covenants. Perhaps this is why one Christian author made the point that Christians disagree as to how to best go about following Christ in our everyday lives. What gets in the way of our understanding are the rogue ponies, the false traditions and fables that have ridden their way into Christianity over the past twenty centuries.

The Curious Elephant is devoted to getting us back in sync with Christ’s faithful and true teachings from the first century. Many common practices of Christianity today were not recognized or sanctioned by Christ and the apostles, as they did not exist in the first century. And in our ignorance, and our apathy for the love of the truth, we justify our wayward pious actions whether they are of commission or omission. Much of this stems from the fact that over the past two millennia theologians and pastors have gotten away from the truth of what Christ in fact said. Too long we’ve been riding the rogue ponies toward the sunset that is our Apocalypse. [See Rev. 19:11-16; 16:1-21].

Today, these traditions of men, the fables have more credibility than the truth. We need to let the Biblical record speak for itself. We need to get back to basics. After all, we can’t be expected to master the calculus of prophecy when we flunked the arithmetic of the covenants. And these fundamentals are all found in the Biblical record.

The Old Testament, as canonized by Ezra after the House of Judah’s Babylonian captivity, is comprised of three divisions, the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, with 22 books and occur in an order different than what is found in Christian Bibles. The original order is listed in Appendix One of The Hijacked Elephant. By 150 BCE, the Old Testament was considered complete and recognized as such by contemporary scholars and acknowledged by Christ. [See the Sneakers article, Our History In Context; also Luke 24:44].

The New Testament was written only by those who walked and talked with Christ, and were directly taught by Christ, including the apostle Paul. [See Gal. 1:12]. No other books or writings merit inclusion to the canon of the New Testament organized by the last of the original apostles, John. Thus, the Biblical record is our complete source text. [See The Feature article, Moving Forward].

Our goal, therefore, as Christians in studying and living our faith with the love of the truth is to dutifully separate the Biblical word of truth from the rogue ponies, which is essential in order for spiritual growth to occur. While our natural inclination is to avoid the growing pains associated with this process, we need to be rigorous in our pursuit of the truth. Under the outward guise of zeal for Christ and the truth, we’re tempted to keep riding the rogue ponies, following the fables and other similar and comforting opinions to support our personal preferences without accurate Biblical substance to support them.

This duplicity has dire consequences. “There is a way which seems right to a man but the end thereof is the way of death.” [Pro. 14:12]. While our traditional beliefs may feel natural because we’ve ridden them so long now, getting back in the saddle of the word of God in faith is vital despite any unfamiliar feelings it may initially engender. Faith and works go hand in hand.

Mankind has the proclivity to project onto God our personal, human limitations. And it’s because we don’t grasp or respect the perspicacity of God that we tend to heap our human weaknesses and shortcomings on him. Rather than put forth the effort of elevate ourselves to the level and standard established by God, we indolently take the path of least resistance. We filter God through our diminutive selves thereby creating a god in our own image and likeness. Collectively, this tendency has given us a flat Earth, created in six 24 hour days 6000 years ago, which was then placed at the center of our solar system. [See the Sneakers article, Artificial Intelligence Is The New Golden Calf]. At one time these beliefs were held sacred. Hindsight has shown us they were nothing more than rogue ponies.

In our study of the Biblical record, it is wise to be mindful of this tendency, and place it aside. It impedes spiritual growth. While we may not understand all that God says or does, some of which, initially may seem contrary to our human reason, by living in faith continually seeking light, the first principles of the word of God, understanding and wisdom emerge from our spiritual growth. The more light we gather, the more we grow. For Christians, that Light is the word of God. Each of our lives, then, is a matter of priorities: Spiritual growth versus the cares of this world.

As the apostle Paul notably pointed out, the flesh and the Spirit have opposite polarities. [See Gal. 5:17]. We can’t be both hot [on Sundays and holidays] and cold [the rest of the time] for the word of God. It appears, however, that many people have convinced themselves otherwise. The end result of these compromised efforts is being spiritually lukewarm, which is not a good place to be. [See Rev. 3:16; also the Sneakers article, Seven Prophecies, Seven Churches].

Consequently, our modern day version of Christianity has lost its relevancy for many people due in part to our imprudently humanizing the authority and power of God. Yet, when we objectively examine in faith what is written in the Biblical record rather than riding rogue ponies [see Mark 7:6-9], we find a remarkable abundance of relevancy pertaining to our lives in the 21st century.

Our love for Christianity must be a love for the truth not blinded by tradition. Holy curiosity and critical thinking are great tools. But they exist only when used.

The above is excerpted from the Introduction, The Curious Elephant. References to Feature and Sneakers articles are not in the book. Be sure to read our Feature article, Back To Square One.

Ed. note: The Curious Elephant book is not posted online because we made the editorial decision to go to a digital format rather than print shortly after it was published. In doing so, we used content from The Curious Elephant to seed the original online publication of Thus, all the chapters in the book are found online as articles, which since have been edited and updated over the years.

Italics and [ ] are the author’s.

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