What’s Your Reality? by Ps Michael Podhaczky

We hear a lot about really these days. For example, reality TV, people ask ‘What is real?’ or say, ‘The sad reality is…’ and advertising tells us to ‘Make your dream a reality today, buy such and such’ etc. But what is reality? Well, the Oxford dictionary states that one aspect of it is,
“The state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.[1]

So, what is your reality? What is the state of things as they actually exist to you? Maybe it is your life, family, possessions, faith or you just don’t know. For many, it is that we exit and live here on earth and see everything from that perspective. Albert Einstein said that,
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”[2]
Then John Lennon highlighted that,
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”[3]
While Dr Seuss said that,
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”[4]

But there has to be more to reality than a merely subjective perspective. Has the Bible got anything to say on the matter of reality? Yes, it does Jesus said that,
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (in reality)” (Jn 8:36 ESV).
So, according to Jesus here in this verse is that our freedom in Christ is a reality and merely idealistic or a notion. Therefore, our life that Jesus Christ has given us is our certainty, as He is our reality. It is not something out there in the world somewhere.
Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over


[1] “Reality.” https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/reality (28thFebruary 2019).
[2] “22 Interesting Quotes About Reality.” https://ineedmotivation.com/22-interesting-quotes-about-reality/ (28thFebruary 2019).
[3] “22 Interesting Quotes About Reality.” https://ineedmotivation.com/22-interesting-quotes-about-reality/ (28thFebruary 2019).
[4] “22 Interesting Quotes About Reality.” https://ineedmotivation.com/22-interesting-quotes-about-reality/ (28thFebruary 2019).

What’s in a Name? Part 2 - by Ps Michael Podhaczky

In the last blog, we began by looking at ‘What’s in a name?’ particularly ‘bigot.’ It was asked, “Have you ever been called a bigot? Or Have you ever called anyone a bigot?” We saw that the name has evolved to mean, “One who is narrowly or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions and prejudices.”[1]It was also mentioned that there is considerable subjectivity with its usage these days. Evennow it is more a weapon to do as much damage to someone’s reputation as anything else.

What is interesting is how the name bigot has become equated with Christianity. Just try the following experiment, go somewhere that is decidedly non-Christian in worldview and say that you are a Christian. Then see what response you get, maybe you will be called a bigot. For many, it has become trendy to label Christianity and Christians as bigots. If we are honest though, sometimes there are those who, well, let’s say, engage their mouth before thinking. So in some cases,it is justified to take them to task.

According to the above definition, anyone can be a bigot. Yes, even a person who is not a Christian. That is to say; logically anyone can be narrowly or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions and prejudices, Christian or not. If two groups (that are not Christian), are opposed to each other they can also be called bigoted in their attitudes and reactions. Furthermore, if a person or group uses this name for a Christian/s, then they may also be bigoted. This is because; they are also narrowly or intolerantly devoted to their opinions and prejudices towards Christian/s.

In light of what has been said here, in a previous blog titled “Really?” (Dated 5th of February 2019) it was stated that,
“Fake news. Social media outrage. Political polarization. Ideological bullying. These are just a few of the centralizing characteristics of our current social climate It should not surprise us, then, that our collective cultural head is spinning as we simultaneously attempt to hold together a persistent insistence on ideological tolerance and a call for radical justice outrage social bullying and bigotry.[2]
So, before getting caught up in the social fad of labeling others with demeaning or shaming names stop and think. Think about what you are about to say. Would you like to be called a bigot and be ‘Hate Bombed?”  That is, “Hate Bombed” by faceless and cowardly people who run with the crowd and who you have never met and may not know? You know the ones, those whose split-secondimpulses on social media and in the groups around you who jump on board the bandwagon cause misery. This is especiallyif someone is unable to defend themselves, from the faceless and raging mob. I have coined this phrase ‘Hate Bombed’ since we can experience being devastated when the name callers are howling for blood.

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over


[1] “bigot.” https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bigot (20thMarch 2019). See also, “Bigot.” https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bigot (21stMarch 2018).
(21stMarch 2019).

What’s in a Name? Part 1 - by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Have you ever been called a name that was demeaning or shaming? How did you feel, and how did you respond? In all honesty, did you think that you needed to defend yourself, or did you just let it go? There is a lot of this happening these days, in the media, social media and even amongst friends. If someone does not agree with another person or group, then they may default to name calling. We have all heard the names like ‘Bigot,’ ‘Hater,’ ‘…phobe.’ etc.

I would look at one of these names, i.e. ‘Bigot.’ Have you ever been called a bigot? Have you ever called someone a bigot? But, what is a bigot if it is a go-to name for so many. Today, the word has evolved to mean, “One who is narrowly or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions and prejudices.”[1] However, the etymology is not so clear cut.[2]It has been said that,
“It used to mean ‘hypocrite; someone who professes his religious views with excessive zeal.’ Today a bigot is a fanatic, a dyed in the wool adherent of some political doctrine (which, as pointed out, does not coincide with ours) Of all the conjectures on the etymology of bigot, I find the one by the French linguist Maurice Grammont (1866-1946) the best Grammont proposed that bigot is a shortening of Albigot. Albegensian heresy flourished at the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century in southern France, that is, exactly where and when the word bigot seems to have turned up for the first time.”[3]
The Albegensianheresy was,
“A heretical Catharist (meaning ‘pure’) sect of southern France in the 12th–13thcenturies, believing in a form ofManichaean dualism with an extremely strictmoral and social code.[4]
While Manichaean dualism believes that it is,
“A dualistic religious system with Christian, Gnostic, and pagan elements, founded in Persia in the 3rd century by Manes (c.216–c.276) and based on a supposed primeval conflict between light and darkness.[5]

However, as we have seen these days, it means something different. There is considerable subjectivity with its usage these days. It is more a weapon to do as much damage to someone’s reputation as anything else. Thus, we can see from this blog that ‘Bigot’ today is not what it meantin the past. As with many English words it has evolved to take on a new meaning. So let me ask you again, “Have you ever been called a bigot? Have you ever called anyone a bigot?” So, before we use words to demean or shame others, we need to stop and find out what they mean first. We also need to ask; as a Christ-follower by using it, would I glorify our Heavenly Father.
Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over


[1] “bigot.” https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bigot (20thMarch 2019). See also, “Bigot.” https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bigot (20thMarch 2018).
[2] “The London Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Letters, Arts, Sciences, Etc: Bigot.” No 272 (April 6, 1982). In The London Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Letters, Arts, Sciences, Etc. (London: B. Bensley, 1823), 217. “Bigot.” https://www.etymonline.com/word/bigot (20thMarch 2018).
[3] Liberman, Anatoly “Nobody wants to be called a bigot.” (2011) https://blog.oup.com/2011/10/bigot-2/ (20thMarch 2019).

The Social Trinity Part 2 - by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Last blog we began looking at the social Trinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate to each other. From the literature that I read, the work of Leonardo Boff a Brazilian theologian stood out as he attempted to understand God. He championed liberation theology and a social gospel for the people (although this was based on Marxism) with social effects. This aside (as I think he missed the point using Marxism), his thoughts were quite well-developed and insightful regarding the Social Trinity. He saw the love between the three divine Persons as essential for the communion to be the infinite God.[1]  Consequently, for him “God is communion precisely because God is a Trinity of Persons.”[2]

However, this was not the first time that the Social Trinity had been mentioned. For example, there are some instances where the Eastern Orthodox Cappadocian theologians,mentioned the Social Trinity. They were, Gregory of Nyssa [335-394], Gregory of Nazianzus [329-390], and Basil of Caesarea [330-379]) who all alluded to the Social Trinity. But these instances were scant, andone will need to search for them. So, it is not a new idea, but there has been recent study in this area. As a result, it has become more popular of late.[3]

There is an ever-present danger that if the Social Trinity is pushed too far it may lead to Tritheism, that there are three gods. This is the case when the idea of distinction of the persons within the social Trinity is overstated. Another implication is that the Trinity may be depicted as merely a communion of love. 

Moreover, divine love should not be used to fulfil social agendas. God should not be used as a basis for social programs regardless of how noble they may be. Every social agenda should be subordinate to God, and not the other way around.
“So, what does this all mean, should we acknowledge a Social Trinity or not? I am more comfortable with holding to the idea that the ontological God has always been in the most loving and intimate triune communion, rather than holding hard to a social Trinity model. But, if it is to be called the Social Trinity, then caution is needed, so as not to enter into the extremes... I think that some timely advice here would be that ‘The Trinity establishes and proclaims the mystery of God; it reminds us that we cannot fully fathom the unfathomable…yet, the mystery of the Trinitydoes not mean we know nothing definitive about God since ‘it’s all a mystery.’”[4]
Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over


[1] Boff, Trinity and Society, 2, 3,5, 81, 88-89, 98, 123, 128, 128-134, 133-134, 137, 172
[2] Boff, Leonardo. Trinity and Society. Trans. by Paul Burns. (Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Burns & Oats, 1992), 133.
[3] For example, Plantinga, Cornelius Jr. in “Social Trinity and Tritheism,” in Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement:
Philosophical and Theological Essays. eds. Feenstra, Ronald J. and Plantinga, Cornelius Jr. (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), 27, 28. Also Volf, Miroslav. In “‘The trinity is our Social Program:’ The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Shape of Social Engagement,” Modern Theology 14.3 (July 1998): 405. Rohr, Richard, with Mike Morrell. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. (London: SPCK, 2016), 31. Etc.
[4] Seamands,Stephen. Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service. (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2005), 101, 103.

The Social Trinity Part 1 by Ps Michael Podhaczky

As one considers the teaching of the Trinity, it becomes clear that there are differences of opinion regarding the matter. However, it is commonly held that God is one, i.e. there is one God revealed as three persons, which is known as the Trinity. These three divine persons are distinct by the way their relationship to one another. Nevertheless, this does not break their divine unity. The Father is God Phil 1:2, as is the Son Titus 2:13 and the Holy Spirit Acts 5:3-5, but there is only one God, Deut 6:4. The teaching is,
“That God is One in essence and subsists in threeness of Persons (or the Trinity) was one of the first teachings established in the Church.”[1]

It is becoming popular to consider that; theTrinity is social in relation to each other. That is, there is a depth to God as a loving social communion. This is known as the Social Trinity and can impact our lives in a deep and meaningful way if better understood. Its basic idea is that the three persons are deeply unified as God who is one being (essence).[2]This can be an illuminating truth regarding God and our relationship with Him.

God is so intimate in relationship that, there is complete oneness in this unity. This goes beyond our grasp to fully understand it and is a mystery, but it is still a reality. That is, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one in their loving communion. Although, there are three divine persons, who are distinct there is nevertheless one God and are perfect love. As it has been said,
“Each of the Three perfectly loves and is perfectly loved.”[3]
Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over



[1] Hoeksema, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics. (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1985), 131.
[2] Letham, Robert. The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology and Worship. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2004), 502.
[3] Rohr, Richard. “The Beloved Community.” https://cac.org/the-beloved-community-2018-05-08/ (13thFebruary 2019).

How Do You Respond? by Ps Michael Podhaczky

We can tell a lot about people by watching how they respond in certain situations. In fact, others can tell a lot about us by watching how we respond in certain circumstances. They can pick up on things like attitude, frame of mind and maybe even our motives.

Whether we realise it or not, our attitude, frame of mind and motives are always on display to God. There is a story that Jesus told at the end of His Kingdom teaching in Matthew chapters 5-7 that brings this out. In Matt 7:24-29, Jesus speaks of two houses and two responses; then Matthew says,
28 “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, 29 for He taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law” (Matt 7:28-29 NLT).
What does it mean, “Jesus taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law”?  Typically, scribes taught by quoting what earlier rabbis had previously said. However, when Jesus taught, it was direct and authoritatively citing and reinterpreting Scripture. For example, He used the phrase “You have heard that our ancestors were told, but I say…” or something similar throughout Matt 5-7.

In Matt 4:25 it says, “Great crowds followed Him from Galilee, and from the 10 Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and from east of the Jordan.” Then chapter 5:1 began by saying, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on the mountainside…” Jesus did not use the traditional rabbinic teaching methods; rather, He used a thought-provoking approach of Kingdom teaching to draw out a response from the listeners to agree or disagree with Him.

The message is still relevant today; it is still thought-provoking and seeks a response from you, the listener, to agree or disagree with Jesus. Our frame of mind and even our motives still tell us today about ourselves. Remember, these are always on display to God, as He wants us to grow and become His Christ-like children.

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over