Talking about what no one wants to talk about.
Talking about what no one wants to talk about.
Here is a truly disgusting development. According to this article:
Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.
Sounds made up doesn’t it? Or something in some pseudo-civilized futuristic movie where every aspect of everyone’s life is controlled by the elites (like in Gattaca). Unfortunately, this is true.
These ‘medical ethicists’ published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.
They call it an “after-birth abortion.” I suppose this makes them feel better, since it is nothing less than murder.
Regarding the most vocal objections, the journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said these are “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.
So this is what a ‘liberal’ and ‘enlightened’ and ‘civilized’ society comes to? No, we don’t eat our young. We just kill them because they are a bit too inconvenient for the level of luxury we desire for our lives.
Disgusting. Lord forgive us for entertaining these ideas.
So I’m going to Nashville today to Stand Together Fest. I’ll be doing an old Strongarm song Trials with an awesome band called Debtor and doing the song I wrote with Venia entitled The Call. Looking forward to Roadtrippin’ with the family.
Anyway, just for fun here is the worst guitar solo EVAR! You gotta make to the end:
Nothing is truer.
>If you are doing Christianity correctly—if you’re taking it seriously and really devoting yourself—it is very difficult.
It is hard to say ‘no’ to going out for drinks after work with the gang, so you don’t predictably end up doing something you shouldn’t. Maybe you think you can be a ‘good influence’ or even assume the role of designated driver. But it always ends with some regrets.
It’s hard to break up with someone you love, get along great with, and have tons in common with. It’s hard to finally face the fact that this person is not a Christian. He or she may be ‘Jesus-friendly’, but it just isn’t enough.
>If you’re faith doesn’t have regular and reoccurring moments of difficulty, you may be doing something wrong.
I’m not saying to be a contentious and cantankerous person. Don’t make things harder than they need to be. But taking a stand when it would be easier to be passive and ‘go with the flow’ isn’t easy.
It’s hard. It’s supposed to be.
Taking a stand singles you out, because Christianity is harder than you think.
Just when you think you’ve heard everything, something pops up that manages to surprise you. There is a new controversy with a new Bible translation. This article points out:
A controversy is brewing over three reputable Christian organizations, which are based in North America, whose efforts have ousted the words “Father” and “Son” from new Bibles. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers are under fire for “producing Bibles that remove “Father,” “Son” and “Son of God” because these terms are offensive to Muslims.”
So what is the big deal. Let’s see some examples.
First, First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”
Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.” For example, the verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiahand his Holy Spirit” instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Perhaps, this should passage should be called the Great Omission instead?
Third, Frontiers and SIL have produced a new Turkish translation of the Gospel of Matthew that uses Turkish equivalents of “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”
I get it. I get contextualizing our faith and message in order to reach people groups. But at what point are we destroying the essentials of the Gospel message. At some point, God calls us to change.
How far does this go?
Some people are even offended by mentions of God and Jesus. Maybe we should make a Bible with “Cosmic Force” and “Cool Dude” instead. Imagine John 3:16 now:
“For Cosmic Force so loved the world that Cosmic Force gave Cool Dude, so that whoever believes in Cool Dude should not die but have everlasting life.”
Isn’t that really rad? No.
At some point we missed the point and ruined the message. The Father and Son will be a stumbling block to some. Remember?
This is very bizarre. This pastor throws his shoes at a mock-up of the Devil. And then everyone in the church follows his lead. The best is the lady at the end beating Satan with her crutch and the other walloping him with her purse. I wish I knew all I needed a pair if Adidas to defeat evil.
As a result, there is a tendency to rely on yourself, your experience, and your wisdom. Now, that’s not all bad or even ill advised, but it can be a problem.
>When no one can speak into your life, it is a problem.
When we rely only rely on our own wisdom and experience it is dangerous. It is a disgusting trait when someone has no curiosity or desire to learn about new things. This is called complacency and be sure to drive it far from your character.
That’s not to say you don’t have a unique perspective that is valuable. Or that you don’t have a singular vision in certain situations. You do. It just means that you need to be sure to glean wisdom from others as well.
>Gather what you know, ask others what they know, and move forward. And do this for the rest of your life.
So be teachable. Please be teachable.
You know them well. It’s the group from the church that holds up those terrible signs at soldier funerals and other highly visible events. They are from Westboro Baptist Church. Most people hate them. They even mad it into my book.
In any event, here is a heartbreaking news segment from a young lady who they banished. It’s terrible. Most importantly, these people are awful representations of Jesus and I have nothing in common with them. Watch it:
Here is bizarre video depicting people waiting to get raptured. My favorite part is the flying at about the 6:00 mark. Enjoy!
Last week there was a big atheist coming out. It was called the Reason Rally. It was held in Washington and where thousands of Atheists gathered to, well, I don’t know…come out against religion I suppose. I other words, it is ‘unreasonable’ to believe in God.
According the the Reason Rally website:
- The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it!
- This will be a positive experience, focusing on all non-theists have achieved in the past several years (and beyond) and motivating those in attendance to become more active.
Now on to their own words…
There were many speakers. Several of the featured names were famous folks who sent in videos: Penn Jillette, Bill Maher and U.S. Rep. Pete Stark. Others, popular in the Internet niche of skeptics, free-thinkers and atheists, came to the microphone to address the soggy crowds in person. A sampling:
- Friendly atheist blogger Hemant Mehta urged people to run for office, any post from school board to Congress to dogcatcher.
- Greta Christina, author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry?,attacked every major faith, even the teachings of the Dalai Lama. In a long litany of what makes her angry, she got all the way back to Galileo (overlooking the modern Catholic Church’s restoration of his reputation). A bit ironic.
- Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel, said there really is someone who loves and protects him and watches over his actions — “It’s me!” Christians do that too. It’s called responsibility and accountability.
David Silverman, Reason Rally organizer and American Atheists president, also spoke. His words were a thundering call for “zero tolerance” for anyone who disagrees with atheism.
Headlining was famous atheist, Richard Dawkins. So was he ‘reasonable’. You decide.
Dawkins called on the crowd not only to challenge religious people but to “ridicule and show contempt” for their doctrines and sacraments.
But now is a good time to poke a little back at Dawkins. Here is my favorite Richard Dawkins quote in which he says he cannot be sure God does not exist. Just thought you should see it. It’s very interesting, nonscientific, and unreasonable.
Or perhaps it’s the most reasonable thing he’s ever said. Watch it here:
Today I’m talking about current events. So I was minding my own business this weekend reading the news and looking forward to seing the Hunger Games when I stumbled upon something that shocked me.
What was it?
I came upon this official Obama/Biden campaign shirt with cussing. And not just cussing. The king of cuss words:
Can you believe it?
Now, I’m not a prude. I’m not afraid of controversy (I mean, look at the title of my book). I appreciate the humor of the shirt. I appreciate them not running from the Joe Biden gaff this obviously refers to. I would be fine with it coming from third party company or independent campaign organization. I’d laugh and retweet it.
>But this is completely inappropriate coming from such a prominent leadership position–coming from the preeminent leadership postion in the world, even.
This office of president is something that should be handled with dignity, class, and the highest degree of character. It’s not a place to be crass, petulant, or petty.
I would be equally disturbed if the GOP came up with a shirt that said: Obama, WTF?!
This is just shameful and embarrassing. The office of president is something to look up to, something that should set the example, something I should be able to tell my kids about and how there is nothing higher or important to aspire to.
>Leadership is not a place to act like some trendy teenager chasing cool.
Does our culture need to grow up a little? Leadership is a big deal. We should treat it as such. It deserves a higher standard, especially when we claim to be a Christian (like both the president and vice-president do). No?
Just a thought.
This is a teaching on heaven from the 60’s (I think). It is CREEPY! Watch it because it gets even weirder as you go on. VERY strange part at the 2:19 mark. See you in heaven!
I’m not uptight. I’m not one to take issue with things that push the limits. Recently, Red Bull made an ad with Jesus in it. Yes, I do find this one to be in bad taste. Especially the part where Jesus cusses (takes his own name in vain).
So yesterday Andy Stanley preached an amazing sermon at North Point Church (as usual). He is doing a series called “Christian” and what that term means. My wife is convinced Andy read my book because some points sound so similar. I even have a chapter called “Christians” in which I challenge the Christians to not call themselves a Christian for a short season. You can read excerpts in my post called “Lose Your Religion, Christian.” I assured my wife I probably stole my ideas from Andy or someone else.
In any event, yesterday (Part 2), as an illustration Andy spoke about the famed vampire novelist Anne Rice becoming a ‘Christian’ and then leaving ‘Christianity.’ Clarifying, Andy highlighted what Rice wrote:
“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me…But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”
Who could disagree? Being a Christian is different than being a follower, or disciple, of Christ. Rice is correct.
>But Andy Stanley left something out about Anne Rice in his sermon.
Rice’s comments are nearly 2 years old and, subsequently, the core illustration is incomplete. Rice has since gone a step further.
Anne Rice is no longer even a follower of Christ as defined in the Bible. In a recent interview regarding her new book The Wolf Gift Rice admitted:
“Everyday, I’m asking myself that, because my faith in the Christian belief system totally collapsed. I realized a lot of what I believed about Jesus was rooted in lies and falsehoods. What I’ve tried to preserve is a love for and a trust in God. Jesus coming here is the most beautiful love story I’ve ever heard.
I know I feel a palpable God — with a human face. I can’t really tell another person what I believe that is. I believe that there is a maker of the universe that knows every hair on our head — and has made this entire universe and is very aware of us and I hope and pray this maker of the universe loves us and — and I think he does.”
She says she remains “committed to Christ.” While I respect her views I’m not sure what that means anymore. It sounds a bit more like the Christ consciousness that New Agers speak of. This all-roads-lead-to-heaven spiritual vanilla is not what Jesus lived, spoke of, or died for. Jesus spoke of following Him and a narrow path (or road), but I guess if you don’t believe the Bible anymore, it is irrelevant.
Although I would not judge Rice’s heart, based on her comments, I question if she is still a follower, or disciple, of Christ. No, that is not essential to the sermon illustration, but it is some information that is important to know.
*sigh* Here is a rap that (it seems) some dudes from some church doing a series on giving put together. It is about tithing. And it is bad, bad, BAD! I wish I could laugh, but I can’t. I can’t even get all the way through it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something like this, “I don’t have to go to church in order to be ‘saved.’” Many people hate going to church and I get it (as I’ve written about).
Often people will cite reservations of ‘organized’ religion in defense of statements like this, as if disorganized religion makes any sense. And why is that people get defensive when saying things like this? That should tell you something about your spiritual state, shouldn’t it? Plus, what do you think people who told me this when I invited them to church were doing during church?
It is true. You don’t have to go to church to be spiritually maturing or growing, but most of the time it helps. It’s supposed to. It creates fellowship and accountability, as we say. We need this. Lone Ranger Christianity just doesn’t work to well.
>As I look over last 25 years there’s no way for me to separate my spiritual health from my church attendance and involvement.
There is a direct correlation. And I challenge purveyors of these statements to be truly honest with themselves about their actual spiritual state and maturity. Often, self-awareness is lacking.
In Hebrews it says,“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Sure, there are many different contexts to accomplish this. Be it one-on-one friendships or small groups of fellow believers sharing life together and gleaning from each other’s experiences.
>But there is also something very healthy about regularly meeting in a large group setting: learning together, singing together, and hearing from an experienced and seasoned teacher of God’s word together.
It’s different. It’s good. Going to church matters. It just does.
There is a disturbing new development between the Catholic Church and the White House and what religious freedom will mean in America in the future. This is something that hasn’t gotten much attention for obvious reasons.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about Catholics who are standing against the healthcare mandate that forces employers to cover contraception and morning after type medication (specifically, sterilization, abortifacients, and chemical contraception).
Although I have no particular problem with birth control per se, I do not support the morning after medications. Like Catholics, I believe this to be defacto abortion.
Either way, I support the right of Catholics to religious liberty. They should not be forced to cover these things if they feel they conflict with their own religious convictions. For the government to mandate this, is a violation of the First Amendment.
>In this issue, we Christians are all Catholics, as they say.
Last week, the White House had a private meeting with Catholic Leaders. In a letter released by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he communicated the nature of this meeting as the White House wanted to allegedly “work out the wrinkles” on this issue.
Dolan reveals in his statement that the White House staffers, “advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation…”
Wow. There it is.
You principled religious folks are ‘unenlightened.’ That’s how it always is. Frame your opponents and detractors as evil or idiots (or both) in order to bully them. It’s a common tactic. People of faith are often unfairly labelled as sexist, racist, bigoted, or homophobes. That’s not the case here. It’s a matter of funding not access. Women still have access.
>This is simply a moral objection–a matter of conscience. It’s why the freakin’ Pilgrims came here people!
Far be it from the White House to lecture Catholics on caring for women and children. Catholic organizations and churches care for more woman and children than anyone else.
Just thought you should know what’s going on. If this gets a hold, it sets a precedent for undermining religious liberty in many other ways.
Well, Pat Robertson is at it again. I once commented on him saying Alzheimer’s was a valid reason for divorce. Now he’s saying the tornadoes in the midwest could have been prevented had people prayed more. He said this week:
“If enough people were praying He would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms,” Robertson said on CBN’s The 700 Club.
That right! The tornadoes so far have killed 39 people and caused untold millions of damage, including erasing entire towns, but that number could have been a bit more palatable if those people prayed lots and lots.
And that toddler who was ripped from her family’s arms and dropped ten miles away, may have lived if those parents just prayed more.
What a horrible and naive thing to say, Mr. Robertson. Why do you keep saying these things?
Once again, Mr. Robertson, this is not one of your finer moments. I understand how you get to this conclusion when reading through the Bible, but it is a delicate and inconsistent premise that you present. Philosophical and painful situations like this require some more study, tact, and thoughtfulness. You seem to miss this at important times. It’s not easy, but it must we done.
I know I am not perfect by any measure, but with regard to this issue, I am ashamed to share the label ‘Christian’ with you.
>Sometimes, as a Christian, it’s okay to just simply say, “I don’t know,” or “I’m not exactly sure.”
Sometimes that’s the most honest and accurate answer. Shame on you.
Here is the segment. Watch it yourself and decide.
Here is an heated news report from the land down under and to the right a little (New Zealand). It is a segment about a church that has put “Jesus Heals Cancer” on it’s billboard outside (pictured to the left).
The sign has created quite a stir because some people say it is false advertising since there is no way to verify this claim. And they are trying to get it taken down via government regulations to that end.
In particular, there is a mom in the report whose son has leukemia. Obviously, this is a grievous situation for any parent to deal with. Since Jesus didn’t or isn’t healing her son, she wants this sign taken down forcibly.
Also interesting is the second half of this segment. It really brings into question what free speech is and to what end the government, with regard to faith, can curb speech for the sake of the ‘safety’ of the general population. You know, because religion only hurts society since it holds and promotes ideas that allegedly can’t be proven.
It makes you wonder how far this can all go. If you have 7 minutes definitely watch it below.
When helping someone move, everyone avoids the boxes labeled “books”. Why? Because they’re so freakin’ heavy, of course. Eventually, you’re all stuck moving the book boxes all at once—and it hurts and you get tired real fast. But it gets even worse. Then you have to move them all again when you get to the new place.
>Like books, unforgiveness will weigh you down.
You’ve got to learn to let things go:
When people hurt you, you have to let it go. Even if you’re 100% absolutely unequivocally right, you have to let it all go.
It’s not easy, but you have to.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should forget about it. You have to learn from it. The old “forgive and forget” motto is wrong, though . That’s dangerous, but more on that another time.
>Unforgiveness will weigh you down, make you grumpy, bitter, and jaded.
Ever been around someone who keeps bringing up wrongs from 10 years ago? If so, then you know exactly what I mean. Like in a funhouse, they are a distorted ugly mirror image of what they once were.
Let it go. Let it all go. Or it will destroy you.