Tag Archives: christian faith

Weigh The Meaning Of Value In The Balance

QUESTIONING VALUE

I’ve been thinking A LOT about the significance of “value” for a few weeks now… “what does it mean? How is it defined? When I wake up and decide to drink some water, take in sustenance; I don’t naturally think to myself… “why am I doing this?”. I just do it. But thinking about it now, it feels as though I’m a slave to this…“value system. Things just don’t add up. “Is this our purpose in life?” Wake up and use the restroom, drink water, eat food, calculate your contribution to life and go to work. “Where is the value?”, I wonder. I’ve decided to detach myself from what I think the meaning of value is in the world and take on a different approach. “What if I choose to go to work without earning money?” The idea is to work as though I wasn’t going to receive a paycheck, that may sound stupid but in principle, it’s not. Money is not God, it is a necessary tool of prerogative for not offending the world governed by such a value system (as though it is God). Let me explain.

In the gospel according to Matthew 17:24-27; my understanding from research is that the temple tax collectors came to Capernaum and confronted Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax (that apart from the priests every Jew 20 years and above was required to pay) which is basically contributing to the upkeep of the temple (where God dwells). And seeing how Jesus and the apostles were not considered priests of the temple, they too were required to pay this tax according to the custom of old testament law. However, let’s investigate what Jesus says and does about this temple tax collection considering how Jesus is actually, the ultimate Priest. The power of the priest is found in virtue, not money. Observe…

24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25 He *said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

Now according to google and the coinmill converter, a shekel today is worth 0.29 cents of the United States Dollar. There is so much I want to dive into with this idea of currency, but what fascinates me presently is the measure of value exchange between the Israelite’s and their temple priests collecting this two-drachma tax at that time. According to my research—specifically amazing discoveries—in Exodus 30 and Numbers 3 we find the reason for this contribution to the temple.

11 The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.(Exodus 30:11-14)

44 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD. 46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” (Numbers 3:44-48)

But why did Jesus make a point to question Peter about the collection of customs? Who are the kings of the earth? And why did Jesus say that the sons are exempt? It sounds to me like Jesus is clarifying a point for Peter to recall later. Are all Israelites exempt from such customs? The answer is yes, but it was not time for that answer to come into fruition yet. The next phrase from Jesus is of most importance because it gives revelation to the meaning of value. “However, so that we do not offend them…“, but why? Why not offend these collectors with the truth about the pointlessness of this contribution?

Can This Post Feed 5,000?

Featured photo: The Chosen  (Season 1 Episode 3)

Has there ever been a time in your life where you had food prepared and ready to go for work but woke up late? You just left it thinking by some hope of providence, you’ll get fed. And it just so happened the boss brought donuts just for you to have an excuse to break that diet and get through the work day!

Or perhaps there was a time in your life where food was expected, but not given? Your friends invite you over for steak, you get there… no steak. What the heck! Turns out no one really cared about your appetite, and the lack of consideration is quite discouraging so you plot to kill em all.

Not really. But still! Not only is that plot idea relevant to this post, It’s time for some new friends, don’t you think? because true friends will treat you like a king or queen. And this post is about to become your friend.

BECAUSE YOU ARE A KING QUEEN!

Alright friend, let me take you back in time! lets hit the rewind from A.D. 2020 to peer into the time of A.D. 27 through A.D. 34! Who and what are you thinking about when this history comes to mind? For me… it’s about Jesus and what he did!

There was a time in history that maybe you’ve heard of? An event where 5,000 people went hungry for food after watching and following a man capable of doing miraculous signs. They of course knew this man as Jesus of Nazareth, until this event nearly changed everything!

They didn’t have vehicles back then so Jesus walked to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias) up on this mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. See now… Jesus knew these people needed to eat and had a plan to feed them, but how in the world was he about to feed 5,000?

Even his disciple Philip was like, yo, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them” to even receive a little. But the point of all this was to concern themselves for the people, to feel and have compassion for these people traveling to see and experience these miraculous signs that Jesus is doing.

The reason for these signs is much more than just proof that Jesus is the Messiah, but an expectation for the King of the Jews.

Now that the hearts of the disciples were focused on compassion for these people in response to Jesus’s’ prompting question, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”. Thankfully one of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, *said to Him,  “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” That’s like me asking…

What is this post for so many people?

Jesus knew what he was about to do and how it was going to reveal to compel their idea to make Jesus the King of the Jews, but not for the reason the Jews anticipated… which was to deliver them from the oppression of Roman governance.

So as you can see, this “lad”… had a significant role to play in bringing the 5 loaves and 2 fish because it is through this selfless act of provision that the miracle of feeding 5,000 persuades the crowd to force Jesus into becoming the King that delivers them. But that is not the reason Jesus was to become King, do you know what that reason was?

You might want to sit down for this… considering that was the instruction of Jesus at that time for all these people, “Have the people sit down.”. Gaw… I love this, because in it we can recognizing the work of God! This act of communion bears so much meaning and symbolism to the body of Jesus being broken on the cross… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Jesus is already the King, but desires these people, his inheritance, the chosen of God to share in His Kingship. Behold Israel! For salvation is from the Jews! But because these chosen people so strongly desired deliverance from Roman oppression, missed the reality of their own sin.

And so this Prophet who is to come into the world withdrew himself from these people to be alone on this mountain. He was like, “yo Pops, I need some new friends up in this house, these people aren’t cuttin-it”. No… of course he didn’t say that, it was more like, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

So now here comes the question, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”! Can you imagine eating your favorite donut without the side affects forever free, or how about a nice juicy steak for free whenever your appetite calls for it? I think that’s what these people had in mind, like yo…

FREE FOOD FOREVER!

But that wasn’t what Jesus was communicating and to their defense, they didn’t have a personal relationship with God through the seal of the Holy Spirit at that time to understand God intimately. That is what it meant to follow and believe in Jesus, to understand the heart and mind of God. But they just wanted the ability to have free food.

So then what is the answer to that question, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Well… it’s this, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” It’s quite simple really, believe in Jesus Christ. If you do believe, you’ll find that breaking open your Bible to John chapter 6 is where your spiritual meal is waiting.

LET’S EAT! I’M FAMISHED!

labelled by “labellers”

Encouragement to believers labelled by “Labellers”


As I travel through the land of the internet in the work of an Evangelist… I’ve come across some very disturbing insights. There are certain believers within group discussions on Facebook regarding soteriology (“doctrine of salvation”) such as Calvinism and Arminianism which quickly become destructive in nature because of a spiritual condition known as “ego”.

Now… I’m picking on “Calvi’s” and “Armini’s” for the sake of exposing the spiritual issue (ego), if you’re reading this and happen to identify with either of these please know that I’m not telling you ‘it’s wrong to identify as a calvinist or arminianist’. I believe there to be a spiritual discourse between predestination and freewill out of genuine concern for correct teaching on the doctrine of God—based on my observations.

However, it’s come to my attention by associating myself in these two groups—


  • Soteriology 101 Discussion

  • Soteriology 201


—That there is also a “label calling” issue. I’m guilty of this as well, but am learning more and more the sin that is involved. An example would be something like this …

Nathan: Richard, that view of scripture classifies you under  __________ and that is where you’re in error, because  __________ is false doctrine and if you continue in that view you’re continuing in unrepentant sin.

Richard: Nathan, that’s unfair for you to “classify” or label me as __________ when I didn’t claim such and such _________. Just because you hold to  __________ and _________ view does not mean that view is superior to my understanding which according to you is a continuation of “unrepentant sin”… (meaning….not truly saved?).

And let the arguing begin. This arguing did not occur because of the creation of the group, it’s an issue of the heart… a condition of sin that needs looking into because it’s a cancer that influences the mind, “ego”. We need to stop doing this, there is a wise and constructive way to handle our language to edify the Body of Christ (individual members of the same faith in Jesus).

I pray this message finds you well and with peace. If you happen to be a part of the two group discussions listed above (on Facebook), please don’t leave the group… on the contrary, join the group and love on people with the example of Jesus Christ. And if you’re just learning about these groups, I encourage you to join in on the discussions.

If the environment to the discussion groups you’re part of is too toxic, then I encourage you to join this group Soteriology | Salvational Engineering! And if you’re young or old in the christian faith, even of a different faith, or don’t have a faith , you’re invited to that group! Let’s discuss and debate our belief systems in a healthy constructive manner.

In love,

Nathan Dooley


When I First Read The Gospel | 2

You know, thinking back on it, I think I was baptized 4 times. But the point is I’d gone through the appropriate steps to be certified “Christian”. I remember making enough sense of the gospel to wonder “what’s the point of my education” if this life is meant to end for another to begin; it was more important for me to understand life after death than high school, but the reality of this life hits pretty hard when gravity throws a hook to the face a few times.

Next thing I know I’m well on my way in life with a good job working to get a “B” license at a waste water treatment plant in Wichita Fall Tx hoping to have a family of my own. I was ready baby, lets do it! At least, that was the appearance. The truth was, I wasn’t well on my way, issues within my personal life dealing with family consumed me. I was really ready for two things, death and taxes, okay not taxes, but was definitely ready to bounce up out of this life because no miracle of salvation happens for me. I didn’t experience the gift of power that would liberate me from sin and transform my life. I just got confused by what was expected of me by people who weren’t even practicing what they preached!

One thing did not change…my curiosity about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Somehow I knew it wasn’t this book’s fault for all the bad that’s happened, so one day in my early 20ies living in a duplex apartment with my step-brother, read through the gospels for myself and won’t forget the “ahhhh” moments as I read. But here is the thing, I’d already gone through what technically makes me “Christian”. Why was I now experiencing these “ahhhh” moments?

Oh just wait, this gets good!

These “ahhhh” moments reflected my heart ready to receive revelations for life change like seeds planted in fertile soil ready to germinate. But guess what, the testing of my faith began and it was ugly. There was opportunity after opportunity to experience so many different kinds of pleasures in the name of christianity because I didn’t understand the birth of my faith. It’s like, like a baby not understanding why he or she is screaming until milk shuts em the hell up [don’t tell me you hadn’t thought it you sinner] (humor recalibrated). But I didn’t have anyone to give me milk, so due to misunderstanding am ready to exit this life time and time again. Malnourished faith left me vulnerable to sin and desire for exiting life questioning my salvation.

While the testing of my faith is not over and am eating meat with my milk now, have the environment needed to grow and understand my service in this life. My service is you. You need to understand your salvation in Jesus Christ because if you don’t believe in God’s plan for salvation, you’ll find yourself ashamed that you didn’t listen nor seek after your own salvation given in believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you believe in a life guards ability to save a person drowning? Do you have respect for life guards on duty prepared to save everyone willing to be saved? Then have respect for God by giving Him your full attention in reading the gospel of Jesus Christ  because He has saved you already if you’ll believe with faith.

When I First Read The Gospel | 1

I’d grown up in church and heard the gospel. I would say that a fearful understanding of hell occurred around the age of 8 and desired salvation every night asking Jesus into my heart just to make sure I was accounted for, because the sensation of burning alive felt real as the enlightenment of truth met my soul.

But was I saved?

I’ve been baptized 3 times just to make sure the appropriate steps were made for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. I was baptized by two pastors one being my stepdad; to publicize my proclamation of faith, and last exclusively by my wife in the bathtub; turned out she was just trying to kill me, talk about literal death to resurrection (totally kidding).

But do I have the gift?


to be continued…