The Man I Want To Be.

Am I a Christian?

Am I a rebel?

Am I a waiter?

Am I a motivational speaker?

Am I a conservative?

Am I a liberal?

Am I Italian?

Am I a brother?

Am I a fiance?

Am I a follower?

Am I a leader?

Who do you say that I am?

Although Jesus asked this question with the most legitimacy, I think it is a fair question for us to ask those around us. Who am I to you? How do you see me? What is your perception of who I am?

This run of questions has played out in a number of different ways in my life; at times I have led people to believe that I am conflicting men. At times I have been viewed as conflicting men. I use the term men, because it is perceived that I am not clinging tightly to one or the other, rather straddling the line of both.

I posted a blog very similar to this when I was asked to not speak at a Christian camp this summer because I have tattoo’s and am comfortable drinking beer. [If you are interested, you can read that blog HERE] This is something that has come up again and again. I was recently denied a speaking engagement at a public high school because I am a Christian. Once that information was out there, my reputation didn’t matter, my level of professionalism didn’t matter, nothing mattered.

This becomes somewhat frustrating in the pursuit of what I want to do with my life, which is: speak. To anyone. Everywhere. Whether that is a public school, church, camp, it doesn’t matter, to me. It does matter to those who have the power to employ me… Because I am a Christian that holds to some conservative views and attends church every Sunday I am often viewed as this:

There is also another side to me, I am tattoo’d, I drink beer, I hold to some liberal views, I am pro-choice and that often has me viewed as this:

Both of these judgments are completely unfair and make it extremely difficult to create a marketing plan for my life and the information that I want to share with students [and adults].

So, if you’d be so bold [even if that means anonymously], how do you view me? Who am I? This is how I see myself:

I hope you are having a great day, thank you for taking a few minutes to hangout with me a bit. Be bold… tell me what you think. While you’re at it, who are you? Are you the man/woman that you present to the world?



30 thoughts on “The Man I Want To Be.

  1. You are an amazing young man who wants to share Jesus with the world! Don’t be conflicted, BE BOLD! Be who you TRULY are, you have rights, yes, even the right to drink BEER! *Cheers*

  2. Who am I you ask? I’m a person who lives the life, shares the joy, but refuses to judge or condemn others for walking / living their own path.

  3. I realize that abortion wasn’t the point of this entry; however, I would be really interested to hear how you can hold a pro-choice view as a Christian. Believe me when I say that I’m not trying to offend, but abortion is despicable to me as a human and as a Christian. I don’t know if you have addressed this issue on past entries, but I would like to hear your justification for this belief.

  4. Eric,
    Thank you for inquiring about my stance on this issue, questions like this help me to explore my own opinions. I would love to hear your thoughts to my reply.

    Making a choice to follow and rely on Jesus Christ isn’t the same as using a number two pencil to select your political party. So I won’t answer this question in regards to the way it was asked “how can you be a Christian and…”, however, I will explain my reasoning behind why I have chosen to support a pro-choice community.

    Take a quick trip [not to be confused with the convenience store] with me… I am seventeen years old and fresh into my senior year at Westview high school in Avondale, AZ. I received a call one day informing me that my ex-girlfriend was indeed pregnant, with my child. After sharing this information with both of my parents [who were divorced] and her sharing with her mother, a decision was suggested for us. My father and her mother agreed that aborting the child would be the best decision for both her and I. We accepted their advice; as our parents we assumed that they would lead us into a healthy decision. We were wrong. At that point, what was done, was done… I hope that doesn’t sound heartless, it is a decision that I have wrestled with for many years and have had to forgive myself of. Due to God’s judgement of our hearts in the act of salvation, I am not sure if I was in fact a Christian at that point or not. Although I am unsure about that day, I am sure about today. More than ten years after this act, I am a Christian, I do rely on Jesus and have been transformed supernaturally by my relationship with Him, by the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Now that you have a little back story…

    I have made the decision as a twenty-seven year old American male, who lives his life for the sake of others to the glory of God, to support the mother of the unborn child to CHOOSE whether or not she is going to keep or abort that child. I do NOT support the act of abortion and when asked if it is a feasible option, always respond with “no”. There is a difference here, a difference that the “Christian” community is purposefully ignorant to. Standing as pro-choice does not make you pro-abortion… All that it means from my life is that I support the FREEDOM that we have been given by God as well as our government to choose, even if we choose incorrectly.

    I would encourage you, my friend, to be cautious of using phrases and questions such as, “how can you _______ as a Christian?” or “Christians don’t do/support/participate in ________.”

    So, my stance is for the support of freedom, not the encouragement of abortion.

    As I think you would agree, there are a number of things within our lives that are not beneficial and yet we are free to choose or deny.

    Again, Thank you for the inquiry! I would love to continue this conversation.

    dennis alan gable jr.

  5. I wouldn’t have asked the question in the way I did if I didn’t truly have a hard time believing that one could be a Christian and support a pro-choice agenda. For instance, I wouldn’t ask, “How can you be a Christian and believe in amillennialism?” I believe that this is a debatable issue. However, I don’t believe the same way about abortion. I can see your argument about the difference between supporting abortion and supporting the freedom to choose, but this just seems like semantics to me. It makes me think we probably don’t have the same opinion about the severity of abortion. Do you think that Jesus would sit idle as babies are being slaughtered? Do you think we should have the freedom to choose life or death for an innocent human? I respect the freedom given to us by the government to have an abortion, meaning I’m not going to go and physically stop a women from having one; however, my support stops there. Abortion is an atrocity and I’m ashamed to live in a country that allows it to go on.

  6. Eric,
    I really appreciate your conviction and willingness to converse!

    Please, if I may, let me remind you of my back story. I’VE BEEN THERE. I think I can agree with your statement that “we probably don’t have the same opinion about the severity of abortion.” Because, unless you too have walked this lonely, painful, shameful road, then you can not understand the severity of the act, or it’s consequences.

    I do however, as aforementioned appreciate your conviction to the issue.

    You pose this question: “Do you think that Jesus would sit idle as babies are being slaughtered?”
    Answer: He does… Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, heartbroken knowing that He sacrificially gave Himself for that very act [as well as ALL other sin committed by our fellow man]. So, yes… He sits idle as unborn children are unspeakably taken from the womb of their mother. He sits idle as children are forced to shoot their parents and become soldiers in an army of hateful rebellion. He sits idle as young women are raped. He sits idle as men are brutally beaten and killed in the streets of “urban” America. He sits idle as my young, forty four year old mother died from lung cancer. He sits idle as my father abused drugs and alcohol for thirty years only to have his life suddenly taken by a stroke/aneurism just over two months ago. There are a great deal of tragedies happening in this world, my friend. I would urge you to not stay so attached to one but rather, broaden your scope globally and see that although abortion is an atrocity, it is far from lonely. For example, Arizona is the nations number one hub for sex trafficking, another heinous crime happening in our local malls and business’. For more information on this check out

    According to your words, we view the issue very similarly, as we agree the woman’s right to have an abortion should not be stripped from her, however, we are disappointed that such an act would take place in our back yards.

    And to just for the record, so I am not misunderstood. By “idle” I simply mean that Jesus is not physically coming down from heaven to intervene. Jesus is actively changing hearts and lives as He graciously did for you and I.

    dennis alan gable jr.

  7. Dennis,

    You and I share the same views on abortion. I am adopted myself. I am thankful my birth mother was able to CHOOSE, and not have someone else take her rights from her. Another issue that’s just as controversial, if not more, is gay marriage. While I don’t like the idea of homosexuality, but yet accept them and love them as I should any other human on this earth, I don’t think they should have their rights taken from them. Thus I support gay marriage. I’m curious to see if you agree with me or not on that matter.


  8. Hmm…Dennis, I think you make extremely good points. And they are difficult to argue with because they are such good points.
    However. Being a mother, being a Christian….I still have to disagree with your opinion.
    I can also say I’ve been down that road. When I got pregnant with my son…EVERY single person I knew tried talking me into abortion. I was not ready to have a child in any way ANY time soon, nor was I healthy enough. It could have killed me. My parents even offered every..single…day to pay for the abortion up until my third trimester when they knew I was firm to sticking with my choice. And that was to keep my child. And my reason was simple. I knew my child….was not mine. He was not MY property. He was a child of God. It may have been my CHOICE to have sex, even protected sex, and get pregnant unintentionally….but it was HIS choice to place that baby in my womb. HIS child. I am simply his mother, his caretaker. To raise him correctly, the way he is supposed to be raised. People think too much that mother’s should have these “rights”. But these children…even though we birth them and carry them for 9-10 months in our womb…are not OURS. Over and over in my head for many many months the scripture kept coming to my mind…”before I formed you in the womb I knew you”. I believe that is in Jeremiah. Now…that is not God just talking about that ONE person. That is ALL of us. He knew us ALL before we were even formed in the womb.
    So to say that you would support the freedom of choice…doesn’t exactly sit well with me.
    I’m only speaking this from a Christian point of view right now. It doesn’t sit well with me because by saying you support the woman’s choice…whether she chooses right or wrong. And our freedom from God and our government to make our right or wrong decisions…to me is just an excuse to not try and sway either way. As people we should stand firm TO what is RIGHT. Regardless of who it is…and whether or not we have that freedom to make right or wrong decisions.
    If someone makes a bad choice….you can bet your butt I would say they were wrong to their face. I wouldn’t sit back and say…”well praise God that Jesus died for your sins! I don’t have to worry about your mistakes! So praise God for having your freedom to make that bad choice!”

    This is lengthy, sorry. So very opinionated. ;o)
    I…also said that I had been down that road. Not because I chose to HAVE my son. But because I have been pregnant more than once. Being Christian does not mean you are perfect. We are sinners who are to be obedient in TRYING to be Christ-like. But like every other person, non believers….we will make the same mistakes. We will have sex, we will curse, we will do drugs, we will drink. We will fall. And we will fall many times. This is why I am bothered by a lot of people who call themselves Christians, because they are most often the most judgmental of them all. And we are NOT to judge.
    I went through a period of my life where I was extremely lost, extremely depressed. And I hated myself. I did not value myself…I was sick and tired of guy after guy not wanting ME, but wanting sex. I got to the point where I felt like it was all I’d ever be good for…My parents didn’t want me…nobody wanted me…nobody KNEW me. I was just a walking vagina.
    I ended up having unprotected sex with 3 different guys within the same few weeks. And I didn’t care. I didn’t like them. But felt…if that was all anybody wanted from me…just give it to them….
    Until I found out I was pregnant. Before even THINKING….I got an abortion.
    The only thing I thought was “Oh hell no, I am NOT going to be one of those women on Maury not knowing who my babies daddy is!”
    Not sure if you were there when you were a teen and your ex got an abortion.
    But…they give you an ultrasound, they SHOW you your baby. Then, they proceed to ask you if you are sure you want to go through with it. And if you cry…or show any signs that you do not want to or are unsure, they will not do the procedure.
    Well, I’m pretty thick skinned. I saw that baby…I saw the heartbeat…I saw my that helpless child…And when they asked me if I was sure…I clenched my jaw, and I said absolutely.
    Biggest…mistake…of…my…life. I still was not ready for ANOTHER child in any way! I would have went nuts! But there were other, better options than killing that child that was NOT mine.
    It should not be our choice. It’s murder, plain and simple. And one of the 10 commandments.
    And there is absolutely NO way to justify it. At all.
    Common sense…pro-choice, pro-life. It’s one or the other. There’s no in between, and no getting around it. You are either FOR the freedom and choice of a human being having the option to murder another human being. Or you are AGAINST the freedom and choice of a human being having the option to murder another human being. Plain and simple.

    I can understand trying to find a way to justify it, to stay in the middle, as your goal is to be a speaker. Having too many strict opinions may turn off a lot of who you want to target in the world.
    But honestly though…just like God saying you are either for me or against me, it’s the same thing. There’s just no middle.
    It’s one or the other, and the words and meanings can not be twisted.
    I’ve done the pro-life. I’ve done the pro-choice.
    And I can tell you right now…when my day comes to stand before the Lord and take account for my sins, that will be one REALLY tough one to explain to the big guy!

    I hope I made sense. It’s really late here. hah!

  9. Oh, and also. Jesus may be sitting idle at the moment. For he is not PHYSICALLY here. However…WE are here on earth for a purpose. Jesus died for our sins. And it’s OUR purpose to make a MOVE. To NOT sit idle while these things go on in this world. It’s why the world is the way it is. We have free will. And we have the “choice” of having faith in our God. Religion is crap. A relationship with our Father is what people should have. And in having that…the people who DO have that, should NOT be sitting idle. But to be moving in the Lord and showing the people who are ignorant and blind, what is right…and what is not right. It’s the job of a follower of Christ to teach others to be like him, by showing God to them THROUGH us. And in that…will come better decisions and choices in this world. Not by sitting back and being partial or accepting. We are not Jesus, won’t ever be, and not ever even close. We are to try and be, but never will be. He died so we could live…and in that. We should be so grateful in that…that we do what we SHOULD be doing. And that’s doing what would be right to Him.
    Also, just to clarify…there is no “heaven” that Jesus will be coming down from. haha Read and study the bible carefully…The heaven’s is our minds. People even misinterpret Revelations. There will be none of that. There will be no people disappearing from the rapture. There will be no Jesus coming out of the skies.
    It says when Jesus comes…the churches will be sleeping. Look at the world and our churches today, what are they doing? …sleeping. The war in the heavens…it’s our mind. The bride of Christ is what?…The church.
    God’s temple is what? Our bodies. The lamp of our bodies- our eyes. The heavens…our mind. Jesus is not going to drop from the sky on a pretty white horse. He is going to make his return through US! Through the people who are NOT sleeping. The people who have the relationship with God they are supposed to have.
    Our bibles are not going to be taken away like so many people believe it will be…they think physically it will be ripped from our hands. Nope…look at our bibles now. Our bibles will be taken away how? ….by being re-written over and over. Watered down. The furthest we can go back and have is the KJV. Look how many times it has been redone to be more “simple” to be read by people. Think about how much the words are changed and how much has been left out over time. THAT is our “word” being taken away.
    *sigh* People have it all wrong. God’s word is God’s word. If not studied correctly and read correctly…so many people will be in for a big shock when the time comes.
    That’s why I said God is in the process of restoring hearts and lives. For those who have been reading His word correctly…we don’t have much time left. He will be on his way, and we will be alive to see it. And if we aren’t ready, well…he’ll pass us by.
    Just like the story about the ten women with the oil lamps. I believe it’s in Matthew. That story basically explains what I’m talking about the church. Sleeping. That story so well fits how everyone is these days.
    It’s sad. But it’s coming! ;o)

    Ok I’m done. It’s 3am. Past my bed time.

  10. Jackie,
    first and foremost… I have a feeling I was misunderstood, I take the stance of pro-choice. That is actually what started this whole conversation.

    I have read all of your replies and will offer my thoughts when it is not 2:17am.

    Thank you for contributing!

    dennis alan gable jr.

  11. Josh, my man!

    I will surely offer you my thoughts and opinions on that topic tomorrow, thank you for joining in and keeping the conversation going!

    dennis alan gable jr.

  12. Hahaha yes, I do apologize about the time. I was up late. 3am ramblings. I’m sure my comments would have been much shorter and easier to understand had I typed em up at a more decent hour. ;o)

  13. Dennis, whats up man, I hope your doing well. We have had many conversations about these issues, you know where I stand and I know where you stand. I do agree with Jackie about the abortion issue. Its actually a very simple issue. The key is… is an unborn child a human at conception( which christians believe) or is it not. if it is then its non other than murder. In the mist of using that word and all the emotions surrounding that, at the end of the day it is what it is if we are being honest. So as christians( or non christians for that matter) why are we “supporting” the “freedom” to end a life. its absolutley crazy!!! If its not a human yet then why limit abortion at all if its just a “freedom of choice”. Just because God allows us to make bad choices( like abortion) does not mean its compatible with a christian worldview. I did notice that when justifying your “pro-choice” position you appealed to your expirence rather than scripture!

    Jackie, I like your passion but I found your interpretation of heaven, the bible( KJV reference) and Jesus’s second coming odd. please describe your views more please. I don’t know where you got those from. one quick question, Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for us, was he going to prepare a new heaven and earth for our minds at some later date? Also its the book of Revelation. its not plural its a single revelation.

    Dennis thanks for starting the conversation where everyone can share and learn.


  14. Hahah yeah sorry…seriously when I typed all that I didn’t re-read it and it was 3am (I’m used to having to get up early with my son, so I was tired) and I had taken Tylenol pm. I wasn’t sure how much sense I would make. ;o)
    The way I said all of it was very quick, pretty out of order and not really explained in detail. And in fact it probably would be hard to explain in detail anyways. It’s mainly just that a lot of people are not in the spirit when reading the word. It makes a huge difference in what you are reading and how exactly you are learning.
    You kindof have to think of Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths”.
    That should be practiced in everything we do, including reading our bibles–one of our main sources of information. Because these days we have to remember we can’t solely depend on a pastor of a church for our “knowledge”. They are human just like us.
    Our brains our made a certain way, with a certain way of thinking. A lot of the bible is read in a literal sense. Which is how most read it. When reading while not in the spirit you will find that you could have read the same story 10 times and thought you understood the story completely. Then read it another time in the spirit and you will see a whooole different meaning of it. The bible is a book. And so often we read it as one. When in fact it’s a tool. And a difficult one at that. And we have to view it AS a tool and not a book. So many things have to be read, well…the whole bible has to be read with a different mind than our own. It’s incredibly deep. And when read correctly…it will begin to make sense and the beautiful symbolism that is used in the bible to explain exactly how we should live and who we should be is revealed. Sometimes you have to go way back, and I mean way way back to find the oldest, most accurate forms of the bible you can find to understand. Because there are things left out of the bible that a lot of people don’t realize. It helps to have that information on hand to understand some stories in the bible. Because a lot of it is very vague. And a lot we don’t fully understand because those days were so different from ours. And the reasons behind why people did things are often unknown.
    But to answer your question…yes. Jesus does prepare a new place for us. It’s called our hearts. ;o) God made us in his image, correct? Man…I wish I had a bible on me so I could better explain, it’s so hard to explain this without a bible to skip through. Where does God say he dwells? In US!
    Jesus is not sitting up on a cloud up in the sky. People always look up to look for God. But really…he says he lives in us all. In the highest place. Where is that? Our mind. When we are attacked by Satan…where is the first place he begins? With our mind. His way of attacking our world is through our mind. A vacant, open mind lets him in so quick. Which is why Satan has little interest in attacking the unsaved. And why it says that by living a godly life…it’s going to make your trials and life a lot harder than it was before you were saved. Why? Because Satan is out to destroy God’s people first before anyone else. He has no worries for a person who is already out worshiping someone/something other than God….that person is already not walking with the Lord! If you really think about what the devil is all about…lies. How often do we lie and have lies in our life? He is a liar. It’s all mind games.
    When they talk in the bible about a war in the heavens…there will be. That battle is in our minds….the highest place in our body is our mind correct? Which is why it’s incredibly important to know the word of God like the back of your hand.
    Because in the end times, we will be battled and tried like none other. A fight between Satan and God…in our own minds. I’m really trying to explain it in a way that can be understood. haha So hard. But we are already battling that NOW. But it will get worse. It is those that are strong in the lord that will win. We have free will. We have the choice of good or evil. It’s who we give in to that’s going to matter. That’s why we are faced with so much temptation. We are being put to testing right now.
    You have to look at it more in a spiritual way than physical, that makes it easier to understand. After all…so much of it, is what we can’t see with our own eyes. Only faith.
    When Jesus makes his return, we will ALL know. He will manifest himself IN us to those who are ready at that time, obedient, and walking with the Lord. But we have to be completely 100% in him. It says he will come like a thief in the night. Nobody will know, or expect it. Does anybody expect what I just described?
    It’s vital to always, always pray before reading the bible. It’s extremely easy being human to forget or to take things lightly.
    But so many will be in regret when they wake up to find that they were left in the dark. It’s nobodies fault. But our churches are becoming worse and worse by the day these days. And it’s sad because we don’t have good teachers to teach us what we need to know.
    For example. The church I go to right now…my pastor, every Sunday…gives his sermon out of a book. Okay, that’s fine and dandy. You can get some nice, inspirational stuff out of that. However. As a pastor…he should be praying and what not throughout the week, asking God what he, as a pastor, as a leader and teacher of his church…should be preaching and teaching his church. But…that’s “too much” for a lot of people. It’s much more simple to teach a sermon out of a book right? ;o) And THAT is our churches problem. NOBODY is hearing from God. We’re left now only to fend for ourselves for the absolute truth, and to rely on church for communion, to be with other followers and for support. It’s sad. But it’s what this world has come to.
    If the churches were lead correctly, a lot more people would understand what I’m talking about. And you wouldn’t find it confusing or “odd”.
    How many people walk out of church Sunday’s and Wednesday’s and go back to being just a normal person? It should stick with you not just when you’re warming a seat, but always.
    Our churches, are sleeping. They need to be woken up.
    If you go to church, or the next time you do go. Sit in the back and look around. I do apologize, I have the gift of discernment and it’s easier for me to be shown things like this in churches.
    But if you look around at the church as a whole and each individual. Does it not look like a show? Does it not look exactly the same as EVERY Sunday before? If you can pick up on the people who are truly living for Christ…you would be able to see and feel that so much of it is an act, or someone or is blind. (not literally) I’ve visited a lot of churches in the process of finding a home church when I moved here. And I can say out of all of them…say 400 were in the building, as regulars. I’d say maybe 10% of those people were truly walking with the Lord. The rest were warming seats.
    The fire in peoples hearts is dying out. People need revival like nothing else right now.
    And where I got all that from also…the bible of course. ;o) And the same one you probably read also. haha It’s just a matter of how you read it.
    Re-read the whole thing. Pay close attention to the way things are described. Most everything is not literal. And many things God describes are in reference to our very own minds and bodies. Every story has a much deeper meaning than what we are seeing. Analyze the things you read, pray about them. And it will just hit you out of nowhere and make complete sense. You’ll be shocked by the things you overlooked or misunderstood. Not all the bible is that way. Some books in the bible are meant for understanding, or encouragement, for history. Or to understand our creator. And a lot of it…is for learning. Everything we need to know is laid out in front of us clear as day. We just haven’t trained ourselves to read it right. ;o)

  15. I want to start by saying that I have wrestled the question of legality of abortion myself. Likewise, I have personal experience at age 17 when I was told I was to be a father with a girl that I was not in a relationship with. Her Plan was to go forward with an abortion but through prayer and the goodness of Gods Mercy the appointment was averted by one day and my son is now a freshman in college. Praise God. It shutters my soul to think of any other future than the one that played out.

    The onus of burden question is often placed on the state as if the decsion for Life and death of an unborn baby rested with them. However, for the believer the decision of life or death is with God only. One of the sad statistics is that being a “believer” has little influence in whether a child is aborted. In other words ending a pregnancy is a decision that church attending people are making. As the church, we need to understand that the question of abortion in not just segmented to the question of its legality. The Body needs to understand that if abortions happen in the “body of believers” then the ethic of Life has not pervaded in the actions that we as belivers take. We are easy to judge state laws and women for allowing and having a abortions and so afraid and inedpt to help those who are in the midst of deciding.Although some will choose abortion despite support, how many women who are deciding will feel full life support if they were to keep the baby. Emotional and Psysical support. We can be a people that adopt children, mentor girls, not be afraid of talking about sex, counsel those who have had abortions and keep our Men accountable to be support and the meet resposibilty head on.In plain language, while some may be called to carry signs outside clinics and vocalize the tragedy that is happening, other may find the glorious calling carry a cross with a young women and seeing her through a great ordeal.

    However, while we need to understand is that being Pro Life is more that a stance on abortion, we need to be sober to what it takes to eliminate the need for abortion.some question should be asked if we are to proceed. Will abortions be more rare with or without a Government law? Can we personally advocate for the legality of something that correlates to more babies dying? Are we as a church truly willing to stand with young women despite the law?

  16. Jackie, Thanks for your imput, you sure do type alot:) What exactly do you mean by read in the “spirit”. When one becomes a christian, they are given the holy spirit, and have it 100% of the time forever. Sin can “interupt” that from time to time… When a believer is walking with God they are always “in the spirit”. every believer has discernment, scripture tells us 10 times over that all we have to do is ask for it. what do you mean by saying we have to go way back to find the oldest and most accurate forms of the bible? the bible we have today is the most accurate. they are translated using the oldest and best original manuscripts we have found. they are translated into english from greek and hebrew. Having a working knowledge of both greek and hebrew in my opinion the NASB is the best bible for studying. of all english translations it is the most closely translated word for word from greek and hebrew. Most of the bible is meant to be interpreted literally!! thats where so many christians go wrong today. we get weird views of scripture today cause alot of christians “spiritualize” the text too much and where its not intended. i would suggest taking some time and study church history and the church fathers. when you do that for a while its easy to see alot of the errors out there today( i.e TBN).

    Jesus went to prepare a real physical place for us. He will physically return one day to take all the believers to that physical place forever. All believers already have a new heart. we got one when we were saved. The highest place for christians is our spirit and soul. our bodies now are temporary thats why we will recieve a new body like Christs when he physically returns.

    I agree that alot of churches are weak today. Too much false and weak teaching. They only care about numbers not teaching. Having had seminary training and given the state of the church today, I think most christians would benefit from formal bible classes. It would correct alot of bad teaching and views of scripture/issues. we do have a number of great churches and teachers in Arizona. unfortunatly the bad ones out number the good ones. The Bible is so rich that we can read the chapter 10 times in a row and see something we missed the last time. Thats why we can study it every day for our whole life and not know everything. God is great isnt he?

  17. Not necessarily. Just because you got saved does not mean the holy spirit is with you at all times. But then you know what…everyone can have a different view as far as “religion” is concerned. I was saved when I was 15. However there was a good 3 or 4 years that I was not daily walking with God. Now…that’s not to say that during those years that He was not with me. He said he would never leave nor forsake us. However…allowing the holy spirit to dwell in your heart…to guide you in your life…that’s a different story. You can be saved and not do so. I was saved. But if God were to have taken my life during those times, would I be going to Him? I’d say absolutely not. I was not living my life for God. Being saved does nothing. Anyone can get saved and go out and be the same person they were the day before. Getting saved is not an automatic ticket to heaven or a reason to believe we are “safe”. You know when you are in the spirit. And when you are not. If everyone who has been saved is living in the spirit 24 hours a day just because they were saved. Then heck…where was I?
    It’s a daily walk with God, that should be renewed each and every day.
    Because we can go astray. That leaves us vulnerable to many things that are not Godly and aren’t good.

    I have read and studied up plenty on church history and all of the above. Which is why I say the things I do with confidence without having to worry about feeling dumb as if I don’t know what I am saying.
    Our bibles are NOT the same. I wasn’t suggesting that people go back and find the oldest bibles they can find in order to get the real word.
    I’m saying our bibles have been watered down so much over the years it’s pathetic. There is no possible way that a) it can be translated exactly the way it was written. Therefore even going back to our older bibles, we still are not fully getting the most accurate reading. But it has been redone time after time. The wording is very important. So many times you can lay bibles right next to each other. And have the newer “easier to understand” bibles say things in “plain english” so we can understand better…however, sometimes you will see that it was worded so differently, that it had changed the whole meaning of a sentence. That’s what I’m talking about.
    I’m not saying either that they are terrible to have. I mean heck, it’s a great place even for teens to start if they want to start reading and getting into the word. I mean I even own a NIV bible that’s sitting next to my bed at this very moment. But it is definitely more beneficial to try and learn and read it in the most original form we can have. The history is so very important. And a lot of that…we don’t have access to. The internet is definitely a good tool in doing research and getting more accurate information and there are plenty of books out there. It’s the extra knowledge that I think people need. God looks at our hearts before anything else. So the type of bible we choose to read and learn by really does not make any difference.
    However, just as anything else…I would want to be well educated in something that I was very much into. Wouldn’t you?
    For me, that’s not settling with a bible that has been re written and translated numerous times.

  18. Yes we can all disagree at times and still be brothers and sisters!! You are right that God will NEVER leave us or forsake us, praise God. His Gift of His spirit that He gave us when He saved us will always be in us no matter what. How great is it to know that. at times we all will sin and turn our backs on God but he will always lead us back.

    Its true that we dont walk in the sprit 24/7, sometimes we walk in the flesh but that does not mean the spirit isnt in us 24/7. He cant leave us. Thank GOD!!

    Im glad you have studied church history, its very rich. Our bibles ARE the same as the early church. We have the exact same original manuscripts, always have. Actually we have found even more. Almost 6,000 greek manuscripts in fact. They show that the bible is the same today as it was then. We christians should take comfort in the fact that we can trust God’s word has not changed.

    ofcourse they arent “exactly the same” because greek cannot be translated “word for word” into english cause they have words and meanings that english words dont convey.

    The bible has never been “redone” in a negative sense, except for the JW’s bible and the book of mormon where they took the real word of God and “re did it”. the english translations have to be updated every so often cause the english language changes. its not cause the word of God has changed. thats the purpose of “revisions”.

    The reason you can lay two different bibles( i.e NIV and NASB) next to each other and they “appear slightly different” is cause the bibles like the NIV are meant to convey a “thought for thought” method of translation while bibles like the NASB are meant to convey “literal” method of translation. thats why the NASB type bible appear to read a little “choppy” cause of the translation issues going from greek to english. Thats also why the NKJV is better than the KJV. we actually do have almost all of the history of the church. as said before we have over 6,000 greek manuscripts found over the last 1900 years that prove without a doubt we today have the unchanging word of God. Praise God.

    For me, because of the education i have recieved, I have comfort knowing i can read the bible knowing it is the unchanging powerful word of God. i just pray that all christians would find comfort in that as well.

  19. wow… I had so much catching up to do! This is incredible, I love to see the tension between brothers and sisters.

    Before I comment on anything else, let me first answer Josh’s question to me regarding homosexual marriage.

    I have to believe that the most beneficial and God glorifying way to be in a marital relationship is to be obedient to the created design. It is obvious that there is an extremely intelligent design within the creation of the male and female bodies in regards to the way they fit together. I don’t simply mean this specifically in the act of intercourse but in the outcome. The penis was created to enter the vagina and we have been given the gift of ejaculation, where thousands/millions of sperm swim to the death, only for one [in extremely rare cases two] to slide into the uterus and meet the egg that is patiently waiting at the finish line. This funny looking tadpole looking super swimmer then starts to grow fingers, finger nails, eye lids etc. The beauty and perfection of the whole process leads me to believe that THIS was the design.
    I am often asked if I think that people are born gay… I don’t have a direct answer for that question, however, I know that people are born disobedient to the specific design that God intended for His creation. This disobedience is played out in a number of ways, through EVERY human who has ever walked the earth [besides Jesus].
    I have a number of theories as to why men and women would choose to be sexually or emotionally intimate, relationally with the same gender.
    So, the same way that I have to be at least slightly uncomfortable with any form of disobedience to God’s design both within myself and the individuals around me, I also have to be uncomfortable with the movement and progression of two people of the same gender being involved intimately in the form of marriage or domestic partnership.

    Now, more than my right to be uncomfortable is my call to love and accept all. The action of and intention of my love should not be conditional based on lifestyle. Friends of mine who have chosen a pattern of substance abuse are not loved any less and if we are being really honest there is no difference between the heart of an addict, a homosexual, or a pathological liar [or any other pattern/lifestyle of disobedience to Gods design].

    Here is the real tension… I don’t think it matters if we agree with or support any of these issues, however, it DOES matter how we love individuals who find their home within these subcultures or life altering decisions. Maybe I feel this way because I fit into this category, but, I don’t recall Jesus caring that Zacchaeus was a tax collector, He simply cared about the condition of this heart.

    As followers of Jesus, we should pay less attention to the issue and more attention to the hearts of the individuals who find themselves within these issues [because we are often that individual who is in need of being loved].

    Josh, I hope that answered your question.

    dennis alan gable jr.

  20. Joey,
    I did/do use scripture in the decision of my stances… I admitted that I made a poor decision by following through with the act of abortion in my personal life and also that I would not encourage or support someone having an abortion because I firmly believe abortion is disobedient to God’s design. HOWEVER, if we have the freedom to choose whether or not we are going to drink [abuse] alcohol and drive drunk, sleep with a stranger, abuse people that we love then we should also have the freedom to chose abortion, homosexuality, murder, whatever it is we choose, right or wrong. This is the consequence of our sin and God in his grace allows us to choose any number of obedient or disobedient activities and lifestyles.

    I hope that makes sense.

    I love you my friend and I have been so blessed by the hours of conversation that we have shared in the history of our friendship. You are responsible for pushing me towards thinking of some of these topics and having to truly choose a side because I am convicted not because my “culture” encourages it.

    dennis alan gable jr.

  21. The first comment was not done when i was entered. my mistake.


    All I can say is WOW! I have been following you convos for a few days now and i must say that they are truly amazing and admirable. I admire the way that you can take into consideration your own life expeirences and apply them to all of these controversial questions and topics that people bring to you every day. I wish I was older and more mature so I could feel that I have a stance on abortion but I have yet to figure that part of myself out. Homosexuality on the other hand I feel I understand more. My stance is very similar to yours in that i believe God’s design of a woman and a man is what he wants his children to obey. And although some undividuals may believe differently, homosexuals are welcome in our world even though they are bending what God intended for his people. These are his children either way and should be looked at for thier heart and not their sexual preference.
    I praise and thank you for sharing this outlook to the world about this extremely sensitive topic. And I look forward to many other intreguing convos on this website. Thanks again for being so open to everything all questions and shring your personal stance.
    Sincerely- Rita M.

    (p.s. CONGRATS on the engagement!)

  22. Dennis, I love you too. I know you use scripture to form your convictions. Im sorry if my post implied that you do not. That was not my intention at all. I was making an observation of what you wrote in that specific post. I too have been blessed by our conversations. Its nice to talk with someone with differing opinions(however slight) and who thinks “outside the box”. it truly is iron sharpening iron.

    I agree that we should have and do have freedom to choose whether right or wrong. But making wrong choices( i.e abortion/homosexuality/murder, etc.) doesnt make it right nor should we “accept it”. I think the Church should stand up(get some balls!!!) be more vocal about what God’s word actually says and take a stand. The church today is way to “wishy washy” on these issues when scripture is crystal clear. The church must stop “condoning” sin in any form under the umbrella of “acceptance”. its killing the church today. the state of the church today and many of the “church leaders” today would make the giants of the church from just a 100 years ago puke!!! Nothing frustrates me more than that.

    by the way congrats on the engagement!!!!

  23. Eric, you really sparked some great conversation, thank you!

    I agree with you my friend… however, I think the bigger issue is that the “church” should actually preach the Gospel rather than an agenda. As you truly preach the Gospel there is no room for “wishy washy” living, you are either obedient or you are disobedient and although we are able to look at the people in our churches and point the disobedient finger how much more can we point that finger at ourselves. It is that understanding that we are all depraved and at that, we are individually the most wretched human we will ever encounter!

    i’ll continue later but my time at the coffee shop is up 🙂

    dennis alan gable jr.

  24. Pingback: Christian Politics? «

  25. You came to my school this morning, and I want to thank you for having the courage to tell the world your story. You gave me a different insight into what could have gone wrong with my life, and a somewhat better way to deal with.
    You are an amazing person with a story that changes lives, and I applaud you for that.

  26. Who do you say that I am?:
    You’re an inspiration.
    Regardless of personal aspirations. Regardless of personal beliefs, bias, or thoughts; one thing will always remain constant with you.
    You are a sign of change, hope, and character. Keep to it, there’s other people that need to hear your story.
    I know from the small group that you spoke to today, you have changed many people’s opinions.
    By the way: Sorry for laughing at the Abercrombie catalog joke earlier today.

  27. Pingback: 2010 In Review [Transition to 2011] « .Love.Pray.Talk.Heal.Live.

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