About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.



The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.



Scroll through the page and stop to read any of the articles you wish. If you like what you see leave a comment, then tell someone where they can find this site. If you don't like what you read then leave a comment reflecting your thoughts and I will read them when I visit the site from time to time.



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Sunday, August 29, 2010

God’s gaze










Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Restored by forgiveness

In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul presented an argument that those who live an unrighteous life outside the life in Christ will be condemned. He even said that those who may do good works are not really “good” enough to earn salvation if the person remains outside the Gospel of Christ. Paul goes even further and says that being part of the “Chosen” people of God as in being Jewish is not good enough outside of the blood of Christ. In fact, Paul said that no person in the entire world could be saved outside of the blood of Christ. He culminates his argument by saying that all have sinned and fall far short of God’s glory, and of course, the wages of sin is death.



The Apostle Paul affirmed his faith in the Gospel of Christ and the power it has to save us. He openly confirmed his belief and preached it without shame. He said,

“16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ’The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17 KJV)


As we continue to live by faith in Christ and put our trust into Him and the work He did on the cross, we are safe in His arms. God is always ready to make sure that we are loved. Paul reminded us of that by telling us just how loved we are. He said,

“37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.


38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,


39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39 KJV)


Now, sometimes Christians can begin to live in ways that brings separation between God and that Christian. Choices to live in faith in Christ Jesus are constant; we continue to choose each day, perhaps even multiple times per day. But even when we move away from Christ we are still loved by Him. We can revive the sin nature within us and drive away the Holy Spirit from our lives by the choices we make and the life we choose to live. We can even deny Christ, and in a sense, re-crucify Him.


If we continue in that denial of Christ we are in danger of being lost; or we can return to Him and be restored by Him because He continues to love us even when we have denied Him. We have two distinct examples in the Gospel accounts. Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was lost because he never came back to Jesus for restoration. Instead he hanged himself, thereby separating himself from that love forever. Peter, on the other hand, denied Jesus three times on the very night that Judas betrayed Jesus.


Peter had recognized his denial, and had bitterly wept because of it. But the moment he heard that the tomb was empty, Peter ran to investigate. When Jesus was resurrected from death, He appeared to Peter and the other Disciples during a forty-day period. We don’t know for sure everything that went through Peter’s mind during that period when Jesus walked and talked with them. But it may be that Peter often thought about that night when he actually denied his Lord with a curse for the third time.


Luke, the physician, is the only one of the Gospel writers that records at the very moment that Peter denied Jesus the third time; the Lord turned and looked at Peter.


“60And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.


61And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.


62And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:60-62 KJV)


Sometimes when we are in the very act of denial of our Lord we can feel the impact of His soft, gentle, piercing, but loving eyes gaze our way. He looks directly into our heart even as we deny His existence. Yet when we feel that piercing in our spirit, we know there is still hope. His message is that He still loves us and wants to restore us to Himself.


We know that because we have seen that restoration. We simply look at Peter and his denial of Jesus. The Apostle John preserved for us the account of Peter’s restoration to Jesus.


“15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.


16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.


17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17 KJV)


Three times Peter denied Jesus and three times Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to reaffirm his love for Jesus. Notice the words that are used in this passage. Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him more than those people or things around him. Peter answered Jesus by saying that he loved Him. Jesus asked Peter again with the same response. Finally, a third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. This time Peter is a bit grieved, and said in essence, “You know, Jesus, I love you.”


There are two different Greek words for love used in this passage. One word for love is the word Agape which denotes a form of love that God has for mankind. The other word used is the form of the word Philo. This word is a good word and may also be used to express the love between God and man, or man toward God. However, it also has a slight variation that means the same as a love between family members, like brotherly love or friends. Some believe that the Agape is a much stronger word than Philo. Jesus used the stronger word in this passage, and Peter never used the stronger form of the word. Using the words as they are in the original, the conversation between Peter and Jesus would be like the following:


Jesus asked Peter if he truly loved (Agape) Him like God would love Him and Peter replied to Jesus that he was His friend (Philo). A second time Jesus asked Peter if he truly loved (Agape) Him and again Peter replied that he was Jesus’ friend (Philo). The third time Jesus asked Peter if he was His friend (Philo); even though this grieved Peter, he still replied to Jesus that he was His friend (Philo).


The outcome of the conversation was that Jesus restored Peter and lifted him to great heights in the ministry. Peter preached the first message on the day of Pentecost where three thousand accepted Jesus and were baptized into Him. So Jesus stands ready to restore any of us who might want to return to Him and live in faith through Christ.










Friday, August 20, 2010

Husbands have greater responsibility


Not too long ago I visited a Church congregation in one of the Southern states and found myself listening to a fine Christian minister talking about the women in the church being “under subjection” to the man in a marriage relationship. When he had the folks turn to the passage in Ephesians 5:22-24 and began to read, I couldn’t help but notice a few of the men glancing with a superior grin toward their wives and nudging them to pay attention.







The King James Version renders this scripture as a familiar one for sure,






“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)










To drive this point home, another scripture was read:






“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18)






Finally, to anchor the point solidly, the final scripture was read:






“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:11-14)






Taken out of context, these passages suggest that subjection is not only demanded, but subjection in silence is required. In fact, it is almost a punishment being applied since the woman “deceived was in the transgression.”






Having been “raised” in the Church I have actually heard sermons based on those scriptures that outlined this position many times through the years. In fact, the remnants of this position are still maintained in some facets of church life, especially in some main-stream religions throughout the world. From a prohibition of female public prayer or teaching anyone other than children within the church, to the complete dominance of men in all aspects over women practicing the Islamic faith, the subjection of women to men is regarded almost as absolute.






To be fair, many fine ministers of the Gospel have explained this man-woman relationship over the years in a way that has expanded the interpretation simply by putting it in context with the full scripture that also explains the responsibility of the husband. By placing it in the context (and this is why context is so important), it provides a balance of responsibility for both marriage partners that otherwise is absent. Ephesians 5:25-33 records,






“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”






Likewise, continuing on with the passage in Colossians 3:19, in context it records,






“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”






Well, husbands, you might want to reconsider that little elbow in your wife’s ribs when the “subjection” topic begins. It seems that your responsibility goes well beyond the responsibility of your wife. Her responsibility is only to submit herself to you; YOUR responsibility is to die for her.






This idea was perfectly outlined in a book written by Dr. M.R. De Haan entitled Portraits of Christ in Genesis. In that book Dr. De Haan explained that it was indeed Eve who sinned. She first ate of the “forbidden” fruit by listening to the Serpent’s word over the word of her husband who had told her what God had commanded. But when Adam approached his bride in the garden he was surprised at what she had done. Not only surprised, perhaps, but extremely saddened






Adam and Eve had been in a face-to-face relationship with God up to that very moment. Prior to that, when God had made Eve from Adam’s side, Adam had declared Eve as “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23) But had very quickly realized the special relationship he was to have with his wife and declared, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) But now, Eve had sinned and had fallen out of that relationship and had fallen under the condemnation of God’s edict of death. At that very moment, however, Adam remained in his face-to-face relationship with God, but was lost in his relationship with his bride. The only thing that he could do was to “give himself up for her” and join her in her sin. Adam died for his bride in order to save her. But God knew that even Adam’s sacrifice for his wife was not enough to extend to the entire human race. It would take much more than that.   The death that Adam experienced was to bring death into the world through his sin. But God, later brought life back to the world through the death of His Son.






When God joined the two of them again He found that they knew they had sinned against Him. It was then that God revealed for the first time a hint of the great sacrifice that would come. In Genesis 3:15 we read,

“And I will put enmity between thee (Serpent or Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (Christ) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his (Christ) heel.”

We usually attribute this passage as foreshadowing the sacrifice of Christ. Formally the two had been naked and not ashamed (Genesis 2:25), but now, in the presence of God, they had covered themselves because of their sin. Adam remembered, and knew that he had left his Father and will now always “cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)






Paul picked up on that in his great passage in Ephesians 5 when he interpreted that passage as

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

For us it has forever been declared that even in the beginning God was speaking of the relationship between Christ and the church.






To bring that home even further, Paul declared in Romans 5:14 that Adam was a “figure” of Christ.






“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”






Christ is the one who ultimately gave the blood sacrifice that restores us to the saving relationship with God. And it was Adam who first died for his bride as a way to join her in the transgression. Therefore, although Adam did not die a physical death immediately, he died the ultimate death of separation from God as he participated in the disobedience to God by following his wife’s sin, even though Adam had heard the command to not eat the fruit directly from God’s lips.






Therefore, for each of us guys who may have a tendency to expect “submission” from our wives, we need to first examine our own willingness to lay down our life for our bride in the same type of love that Christ gave the Church. We need to yield to the realization that husbands have a greater responsibility. Although it is likely that we will never be called upon to demonstrate that level of love, but we should nevertheless be willing to reflect that level of love.

And if our love for our wives reflects that responsibility, then there will never be a problem of willing submission from our wives.










Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Freedom and independence (Part 2)










Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Freedom and independence (part 1)










Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mosque at ground zero

My friend sent the above picture that was said to have been taken at some NASCAR event. I am sure the painter of that picture and the owner of that truck intended for people to see the truck and picture and think about what happened on 9/11. More than that, however, they were making a statement about a religion that is shared by millions of people around the world.







Many might say that the word “Islam” should not be depicted in the same picture that shows the horror of the burning of the World Trade Center on 9/11. It seems to paint a broad picture that perhaps unfairly, microscopically narrows a religion practiced by millions of people to a relatively small group of extremely radicalized zealots whose aim is not to worship, but to destroy.


Perhaps it was only coincidence that the email with this picture’s sentiment arrived in my mailbox on the day President Obama raised the national debate of the building of a Mosque and Islamic Civic Center near the 9/11 ground zero site to the level of the Oval Office. Nevertheless, the President moved it from a “local” debate to a national one. The news story reported the following:


“WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama forcefully endorsed allowing a mosque near ground zero, saying the country's founding principles demanded no less.







‘As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.’






Obama made the comments at an annual dinner in the White House State Dining Room celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.”






“It was already much more than that [a local issue just at New York City], sparking debate around the country as top Republicans including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich announced their opposition. So did the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group.”






The President’s statements in support included,






"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country."






"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable." And finally, "Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us – and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today."






“President Obama elevated it to a presidential issue without equivocation.”






It seems like our President knows a lot more about Islam than that guy who painted this truck. I just wonder if in other world capitals where Islam is the national religion if they are willing to be as tolerant toward Christians.






Let's take the President's words and see if the Muslim world leaders would repeat them about Christianity:






"As a citizen, and as a leader of Islam, I believe that Christians have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this [Islamic] country," And again,






"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Mecca, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," the Islam leader said. "This is Saudi Arabia, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable." And finally,






"Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us – and that way of life, that quintessentially Saudi Arabian creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked the United States on that September morning, and who continue to plot against them today."






If the President believes that those Islamic capitals and leaders will follow suit by his example, then perhaps this debate can turn into a victory for Christianity.