Geeky, Free and Biblical

… Freely you have received; freely give.

~ Mt 10:8b (NIV)

I now have proof that the universe goes on without me being around. Smile

This week has been pretty hectic, but yesterday particularly so.  I have decided to switch over to Ubuntu on my laptop because Windows is getting tedious.  Actually, there are other reasons as well, and as many of them (if not more) have to do with the annoying way some companies write Windows software as with Microsoft itself.  Not only that, but virtualization technology has gotten better over time, which will allow me to contain badly behaved programs (at least until I can find a substitute).

Of course, the plan was to do that and get everything situated more or less by the end of the week when I got interrupted by one – no make that two – no make that three – OK, I’ve lost count … of things that got thrown my way.  Therefore, I have written a total of two articles this week (not counting the previous announcement about getting interrupted).  The impact upon my time and money this week has resulted in quite a lot of tension.

Stress.  It’s what’s for breakfast.

So, I got on Facebook late last night, and I was amazed at how many postings there were that day.  Yeah, life goes on whether I’m there or not.

Thankfully, this is Friday, and tonight is the Sabbath.  It is a planned and welcomed interruption to the week.

Usually at services, I use the excellent e-Sword program, which I can use to both look up Scriptures and take notes.  It is free, but there is no native Linux version, so I started looking for a replacement.  I finally came upon Bible Analyzer, which looked like the only one in which I could actually take sermon notes as well as do lookups within the same program.  It looks like it has excellent features, some even better than e-Sword.  It even has a Windows version, which makes it nice.  However, it isn’t clear to me what translations it offers, so I guess time will tell how well it stacks up.  This is far from a recommendation or endorsement, but it looks promising.

One thing caught my eye, though.  They quote Matthew 10:8 and state:

A main theme that can be found throughout the Scriptures is the concept of free. Adam was freely offered access to the Tree of Life (Gen 2:16), Jesus Christ freely gave His truth and His life for mankind (Joh 8:36), and man will be freely offered the Water of Life in the future (Rev 22:17). Thus freely giving is a godly endeavor.

In an attempt to share in this spirit and to aid believers and ministries in their service for the Lord, we are providing our application Bible Analyzer by download free of charge. It is not crippled, time-limited, or encumbered with annoying nag-screens. It is the same application we offer in our Bible Analyzer Suite CD-Rom.

They acknowledge that the majority of the work has already taken place in the form of scholarly research of original authors, whom are no longer still alive.

Which leads me to where I’m going today.  It’s a topic near and dear to me.  Occasionally, the topic comes up as to whether or not individuals should profit or recoup expenses.  After all, you look at things like Grace TV, which I had never even heard of before UCG put their program on it, and all they do is peddle and sell.  It’s the American way, right?

Herbert W Armstrong (HWA) had some strong feelings on the topic.  Notice what he stated:

   I felt then—and I know now—that God was leading me in this. My reading audience would be the general public—not those who considered themselves Bible students.

But how would I publish it? I had no money—in fact my family was actually going hungry—my advertising income had been cut to $75 per month from one client only. And how would I gain subscribers? One thing I settled then and there. Since it would carry God’s TRUTH, it could not be sold. God’s Word says, “Buy the truth, and sell it not.” …

~ HWA, “Personal from Herbert W Armstrong”, The Plain Truth, Feb 1980

Publish it he did!  While his ministry certainly had its ups and downs, in the end he stayed faithful to enough of what really mattered that the work was prospered under his guidance.

I look around at some people doing this, that or the other, and many of them claim to be following HWA’s steps, yet I could tick off several items where they really are not.  Seems to be the wrong focus, anyhow, but at least judge yourself by the same standard you use to judge others.

This blog is not about a church, it is not about HWA, and it is not about raising money or promoting a money driven enterprise.  I ask for no donations.  I believe HWA had the right idea: God’s truth should be given away.  I believe this blog should be free and independent, although that obviously will not automatically eliminate all bias.

So, sometimes it just pays to get back to your roots to make sure they are still there and not rotting.