Who is this Jamin guy anyway?
I am the husband of one and the father of nine. I was created to sing, to worship, to encourage, and to be steady. I am the Owner & Executive Director of Trinity Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary Arts Center in Eastern Tennessee, and the President of Trinity Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on funding arts education and performance. I've been involved with four music projects in my life -- Hot Pink Turtle, Spin Radio, Stand Like Stone, and of course, Jamin Rathbun.

In 2013, I added my Twitter feed to this site (below). To view the old content, just scroll down past the Twitter timeline. To keep in the loop on new posts, thoughts, and updates, just follow me on Twitter using the button below. Thanks!

Tweets by @jaminrathbun

box_stuff stuff

How to discover your life purpose in about 20 minutes.

Steve Pavlina is an author (and blogger) who specializes in personal development. I stumbled across an article of his on polyphasic sleeping, which led me to an article on discovering your life purpose in about 20 minutes. I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on mine but -- I like what he had to say so... I'm going to follow his advice and see if I experience an epiphany. = ) Here's what he suggests:
  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processing application on your computer.
  2. Write at the top, "What is my true purpose in life?"
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. (It doesn't have to be a complete sentence.)
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.
I'm not endorsing this guy in any way. I don't have any idea who he is or where he's coming from. With that said, he is an interesting character and seems to have some creative ideas. By the way, if you haven't read my post from last Friday -- it's related so... you might check it out.

box_bible bible

Hell, eternal torment or just not much fun?

This topic has come up twice in the last three months so... I thought I'd throw my two cents into the ring and share some thoughts on the subject.

First things first...
Let's establish that Hell is eternal and is very bad. This is defended by the following:

Matthew 25:41
Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:46
Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Revelation 20:15
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Mark 9:43-49
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. Everyone will be salted with fire.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power

Revelation 14:10-11
He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.

Also: Luke 16:19-31, Jude 1:7-13

With that said, I believe that what makes hell bad isn't the severity of punishment or the form it takes (eternal fire, gnashing of teeth, etc.) What makes it intolerable beyond any other possible form of punishment is the eternal separation from God. In this life, everyone (even the sinful) enjoy many benefits of God's grace (sunny days, friends, food, emotions of joy, beauty, laughter, etc). Once judgement is passed -- that ends. They are eternally cut off from every good thing. There is no worse punishment than that. Not burning, not torture, not pain, not loneliness -- ETERNAL separation from the only one who brings any kind of good thing IS the punishment.

As part of this same discussion, I've heard others use the language that "I believe God is just so... he'll treat the lost with compassion, according to the severity of their sin." This can't be the case.

In the context of deserving death... There is no sin greater than another. Each of us deserves the exact same punishment apart from God. Period. You can't argue grace-based freedom on one hand and then works-based punishment on the other.

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.

Let me repeat myself... You can't argue grace-based freedom on one hand and then works-based punishment on the other.

Here's what the Christian Research Institute says about it:
"If there were no hell, the atrocity of sins against the very character of God would be minimized."

My Dad had this to add (paraphrased):
We tend to begin our theology with the fall of man, allowing us to "excuse" our sin as result of our nature, almost deflecting responsibility for it. The reality is -- our relationship with God began at creation. The reason for our state of sinfullness and death is that original act of sin in rejecting what God had given us and what He had created us for -- perfect communion with Him.

THAT REJECTION OF GOD ALONE DESERVES DEATH. If it doesn't... then God's creation has no value, God's will has no value, and God has no value. There must be a consequence for our rejection of Him, regardless of what other sins we may commit along the way.

Let me close by repeating the verses I wrote about on Thursday:

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.

God's message is a message of hope.

© 2006-2010 Jamin Rathbun & Superdink.com. All rights reserved.
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