Category Archives: Bible

Depression and Anxiety

This morning I read from one of the people I follow a short, concise list of comparing Depression and Anxiety. It is quite good to read over, but I think it is quite lacking in its explanation. Primarily limited from the 280 character posts on Twitter.

I feel like I have authority to speak on this subject because I am the son of a medically-diagnosed bi-polar manic depressive and my other parent is anxious about living in the perfect climate known as San Diego, California. To say that I know what depression and anxiety look like would be an understatement. Not only have I observed it in my parents, but I have had seasons where the struggle between the two extremes was real in my own life. Now, as a parent, I view some of the struggles that I have seen in my parents and my own life beginning to surface in my children.

How does one overcome anxiety or depression? Here are some solutions:

  1. Find an anchor. An anchor is one that does not change over time. Some like to put their anchor in a schedule, in a relationship, in a religious set of beliefs, or in a church; however, those are false anchors.

    The only true anchor is God.

    David wrote, “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.” (Psalm 62:1-2).
  2. Belong to a church that develops your connection to the anchor. Some like to evaluate this position to mean that the church has a ton of programs going on. However, the way to evaluate this section is if the pastor gives a sermon (or brings in men to preach on his behalf), that equip you to become better attached to the anchor. This is amplified through opportunities to use this attachment.

    Sadly, it is increasingly common to find a church in America that preaches republicanism where Trump is god or wokeism where everything must be accepted. If you increasingly feel better equipped to attack the other side rather than develop the peace which is in God (John 14:27), it is time for you to find a different church.

    Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:17-19)
  3. Understand: depression and anxiety are temporary seasons (Ecc 3:1). If you are finding that they linger longer than expected, you might have to seek medical help. Medicine is the use of God’s created resources to aid in the sustainability of His creation.

    Anxiety is relieved when that particular worry is completely let go to be cared for by God (1 Peter 5:7). It is a difficult practice to learn, but God’s outcomes are better than mine.

    Depression has many causes and it is complex to even identify the reason for the depression. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to hide this depression from others. Seek help when necessary from your pastor or a Nuethetic Counselor he recommends.

    What makes me get into a depressive mood is when I am overwhelmed with tasks. I feel like I am drowning and there appears to be no deliverer. This is often caused by my own doing; therefore, it is solvable by me without the help of others. I have to remove tasks from my workload through completing them or not taking as many on as I would like. In recent days, I have discovered a new thing that contributes to my depression – a lack of sunlight. Whereas this only affects those who live in the earth’s extremities, the solution is easily known – take Vitamin D.

    When it comes to depression, one should not seek to self-diagnose or fix by one’s self. Depression is exaggerated when there is no one to help you. However, to this seemingly impossible season, the Bible is the source giver of hope:

    “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13 – memorize it if you have not already done so!)
  4. If you are not currently going through a season of depression or anxiety, help someone who is.

    “And the Lord said,
    Simon,
    Simon,
    behold,
    Satan hath desired to have you,
    that he may sift you as wheat:

    But I have prayed for thee,
    that thy faith fail not:
    and when thou art converted,
    strengthen thy brethren.”
    (Luke 22:31-32)

The complicated positions of the KJV

Every year among Christians, one will eventually bring up the topic of using the KJV. Whether it be social media or blog posts, everyone is attracted to give their biased opinions on the subject. In the last 12 months, I have seen at least 4 large discussions on the use of the KJV.

Opinions of the KJV are often given spiritual qualities, which has caused many Christians I know to idolize this particular translation. The main culprit to this particular trend is Peter Ruckman, whose philosophy I was influenced by for the first 15 years of my life.

Whereas if anyone could give credence to ditching the use of the KJV based upon faulty teaching or upbringing, I think I would qualify as one of those which have authority to do so. However, in 2023, I have decided to continue using the KJV for personal study and primary instruction in the English language. Primarily for these reasons:

  1. My mother tongue is English and the KJV is written in English.
  2. I have signed my name to a document stating that I would use the KJV as my primary method of instruction in the English language. I have a desire to keep my word through integrity.

    These two reasons are enough for me to continue using the KJV until I die, but others in the debate want to know more. For those, I have added a few more reasons below.
  3. Ministries that have properly used the KJV have developed budgets and procedures to ensure the sustainability of the church. (This includes non-Baptists.)
  4. From my perspective, Fundamentalists, who hold to the view of literal interpretation of Scripture, which have left the primary use of the KJV retain less youth who are committed to fundamental doctrines – virgin birth, blood atonement, visible return, a real hell, etc. This is not to say there are no retention issues in other camps. I would say the statistic is 25% retention in KJV-kept churches and 5% in non-KJV churches, but this is only a guess.
  5. The more I learn about language, the more I realize that the KJV translators understood how to master the English language. It is quite satisfying to my nerdy self when the linguistic details shine through from the original language to the complicated-by-design English language. The scholarship also shines forth from their message to the readers. I also find the words under the heading REASONS MOVING US TO SET DIVERSITY OF SENSES IN THE MARGIN, WHERE THERE IS GREAT PROBABILITY FOR EACH rather insightful [link]. Particularly the words, “…it hath pleased God in his divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern salvation, (for in such it hath been vouched that the Scriptures are plain) but in matters of less moment, that fearfulness would better beseem us than confidence…” [emphasis mine] and “They that are wise, had rather have their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than to be captivated to one, when it may be the other.”
  6. Current-day English is more expressive, requiring more words to describe the underlying Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, yet newer translations employ the use of more words to obscure the text than to clarify it.

    For example, the compass direction for east is expressed in Greek as “the portion in the sky where the sun appears in the morning.” This Greek idiom is known by modern intellectuals as the east compass location. However, some newer translations decide to impose a west rising star in Matthew 2 by transliterating the word east instead of translating it. This adds to the confusion of where the star was located in the Saviour’s birth by lending credence to a western rising star. There are several key details which show that a western rising star is not possible. First, Matthew knew the word west (Matthew 8:11, Matthew 24:27). I am certain he would have used the word west to indicate direction here if that happened to be the circumstance. Second, the text shows the magi describing their location in the east and looking east at the star. Lastly, if Matthew was trying to convey the scientific phenomena of a western rising star, why did he not at least try to explain it with more words? He certainly took liberties when the star moved to where the child was.

    If a translation is willing to be excessive in areas which are not required or already easily clear, what other new changes does it bring?
  7. I have become lazy in my use of English. Learning a new language where actions convey direction or manipulation of an object has revealed how lazy I have become in my native language. It is easier for me to describe the reception of salvation by using the KJV John 3:16 verb rendition believeth than expressing it in its current-day English mapping (is believing, has believed, or believes). Nor do I want to promote the ambiguity salvation becomes when updating this particular verb to a current-day equivalent. (Although, I think the choice of has believed would do equal damage to the Calvinist and Arminianist positions.)

As I sit back and look at reasons 3-7, the arguments given can be categorized as opinionated and can be manipulated for use with any other translation. This observation has produced many questions within myself as to why I still use the KJV. For the last 6 years, I have been researching this specific topic for which I have no good answer.

The use of the KJV is just an opinion, which can be defeated by any other opinion. For this reason, promoting KJV use also employs argumentation about textual variations or some other hobby horse. Nevertheless, having other debates inside another debate is problematic. Not only does it fuel reasons for continual debating, but it adds more questions to the table while removing none. (Perhaps in the future, I will attempt to share my research on why I like the Textus Receptus method of Greek texts rather than the Academic method of Greek texts.)

My opinions above are definitely shallow and have no depth to sway anyone to use the KJV over another translation, but they only need to be sufficient to convince me to continue using it.

Incarnation Haiku

God became a man.
He experienced life.
A life without sin.

He, unworthily,
Received punishment for sin.
God the Son had died.

Three days have now passed.
And Jesus did not stay dead
He came back to life.

It was His power.
Without the help of others.
Life came back to Him.

By resurrection,
Jesus says, “Place trust in me.”
“I make all things new.”

This event declares
And even more loudly proclaims
Flawless victory.

Impossible to define

It is impossible to define a complex thought with one sentence. Even the previous sentence demands further information. What kind of thoughts do I mean? What is the reasoning for saying such a thing? Context adds further information to the reasoning behind such a statement. It also sets the stage for the real reason for the statement or provokes further thought.

If one considers the previous paragraph to be accurate in its message, then one should not settle for a single verse to explain a complex doctrine, such as salvation.