Sunday, May 27, 2007
Yesterday my wife and I visited historic Silver City Idaho. Its not your typical pseudo gift shop old west town. The road is challenging and takes hours. You really need a truck or other off road type vehicle to get there. This town has no indoor plumbing to speak of. Very little electricity, no phones (except one for emergencies) and only 1 year round resident. Some of it has been restored but not commercialized. It really is like stepping back 100 years. Back in 97 we tried to get there in my Honda Civic and didnt make it. Finally we got there.
Being there was peaceful. The cares of our modern world are removed for a short time when you are there. I highly recommend it, but dont expect anything modern here.
Here are a couple of pictures of Silver City
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I just read a book by Ron Martoia called Static. Its a decent read. I dont 100% theologically agree with him. I think he goes too far with making salvation a process and redefining the Bible. I do agree that packaging is wrong though. To some extent, I think Ron was trying to repackage the item, but in the end he gets it right. I learned myself that being Christian and evangelism is not about preaching. its about relationships.
In America, we have understood Christianity in a very capitalistic mentality. We (the Church) are the company that provides the goods or services (in this case, eternal life). In order to provide such services, we have to market (evangelize) and sell. Closing the sale is a huge part of sales. So the POS (point of sale) of Churchianity is the altar call. At this point we try to ram Jesus down peoples throats to close the deal so we can rack up some more numbers for the Kingdom. I think this approach is highly unbiblical. Yeah you can get your numbers up but God is not a capitalist, Church is not a business and salvation is not a product. The front of the Church is not a heavenly checkout stand where you trade your money (in this case the sinners prayer) for the product, the ticket to heaven. Maybe its more of a train station than a store, but you get the point.
Why not do what Jesus did. Get over the obsession with conversions. Get out there and live a good life. If people want to become Christians they will do so because they see us a real not because we try to sell them something. This is NOT FREAKING AMWAY people.
I also believe that people of all faiths or no faith are worthy of mutual respect. We are not an exclusive club. We buy our Jesus coats and were ready to go.
Relationship is where its at. If someone says hey you seem to have it figured out. What do you believe, then we can tell them. If they want to be a Christian at that point, we can explain what that means to us.
There is more than enough condemnation in the world. Dont forget Jesus said he did not come into the world to condemn it but to save it. Slight paraphrase.
Anyway, thats my thought of the day
Monday, May 14, 2007
Bibliolatry is the worship of the Bible or any other text regarded as inerrant scripture. The word is a conflation of the words "bible" and "idolatry," and though it may also refer to an extreme devotion to books in general, it is more often used as a derogatory reference to extremely literal interpretation of a holy book.
There may be no one who actually claims to worship the Bible itself, but those who believe in biblical inerrancy and biblical literalism are often considered to be bibliolaters by those who take a less literal view of scripture. Many Christians believe that God is revealed only through the Bible and that everything about the Bible reveals God. Some contend that this is essentially worship of the Bible, and that God is also revealed through the study of nature, reason (Logos), traditional practice and individual experience (see the Wesleyan Quadrilateral), all of which must be taken into account when deciding how to truly follow God and how to properly interpret any scripture.
Often used as a smear word to label one's theological opponents as too extreme or close-minded, the word frequently appears in exchanges between different Christian sects or different wings of a Christian sect or church. In his book Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages (ISBN 0-670-03385-5), Jaroslav Pelikan writes of Unitatis Redintegratio 21, "the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic church of 1962-1965 could speak with a mixture of genuine admiration and ever-so-gentle reproof about a 'love and reverence, almost a cult, for Holy Scripture' among the 'separated Protestant brethren'." Southern Baptist Dr. William Merrell published an irate denial of the charge of bibliolatry by the Baptist Faith and Message Committee in 2000.
24. This premised, let it be observed, that this doctrine represents our blessed Lord, "Jesus Christ the righteous," "the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth," as an hypocrite, a deceiver of the people, a man void of common sincerity. For it cannot be denied, that he everywhere speaks as if he was willing that all men should be saved. Therefore, to say he was not willing that all men should be saved, is to represent him as a mere hypocrite and dissembler. It cannot be denied that the gracious words which came out of his mouth are full of invitations to all sinners. To say, then, he did not intend to save all sinners, is to represent him as a gross deceiver of the people. You cannot deny that he says, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden." If, then, you say he calls those that cannot come; those whom he knows to be unable to come; those whom he can make able to come, but will not; how is it possible to describe greater insincerity? You represent him as mocking his helpless creatures, by offering what he never intends to give. You describe him as saying on thing, and meaning another; as pretending the love which his had not. Him, in "whose mouth was no guile," you make full of deceit, void of common sincerity; -- then especially, when, drawing nigh the city, He wept over it, and said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, -- and ye would not;" _EthelEsa -- kai ouk EthelEsate_. Now, if you say, they would_, but _he would not_, you represent him (which who could hear?) as weeping crocodiles' tears; weeping over the prey which himself had doomed to destruction!
25. Such blasphemy this, as one would think might make the ears of a Christian to tingle! But there is yet more behind; for just as it honours the Son, so doth this doctrine honour the Father. It destroys all his attributes at once: It overturns both his justice, mercy, and truth; yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel, and more unjust. More false; because the devil, liar as he is, hath never said, "He willeth all men to be saved:" More unjust; because the devil cannot, if he would, be guilty of such injustice as you ascribe to God, when you say that God condemned millions of souls to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, for continuing in sin, which, for want of that grace he will not give them, they cannot avoid: And more cruel; because that unhappy spirit "seeketh rest and findeth none;" so that his own restless misery is a kind of temptation to him to tempt others. But God resteth in his high and holy place; so that to suppose him, of his own mere motion, of his pure will and pleasure, happy as he is, to doom his creatures, whether they will or no, to endless misery, is to impute such cruelty to him as we cannot impute even to the great enemy of God and man. It is to represent the high God (he that hath ears to hear let him hear!) as more cruel, false, and unjust than the devil!
These are the words of John Wesley. Few nowadays would call him a heretic, yet I feel that some would like to see me burnt at the stake for my take on predestination and election.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Four more years of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and Slavery is Freedom.
Four more. May all your interventions be "Humanitarian".
Four more years of pay-to-play politics, power and influence.
Four more years of legalized bribery and served corporate interests.
Well its been four years since Mission accomplished. I think it really is. Its not the accomplishment that was a lie. Its what the mission was.
Overall I am more content with things. Other than being broke now, life is good. but I am suffering from an unexplainable fear. I worry that everything will crash and burn. I look for the hook in what everyone says and does. I experience deep dread that something awful will happen. Though I must remind you that on the surface things are fine. I think I am a slacker. I think I can tdo anything right. I feel like if everyone else figured it out, they wouldnt want me around. Deep down, I think I am messed up and am good at hiding it from the world around me. I feel like a faker. Like an imposter in my own skin at times. Like I am faking it. If they could only see in, they would not like what they see. Now if I can just figure out who they are.
I feel better having written this.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
What does the word mean? Many think it has to do with AA. Or the serenity prayer (invented by AA., Just kidding) Heres the definition
- Lack of emotional agitation: calm, calmness, peace, peacefulness, placidity, placidness, quietude, tranquillity. See calm/agitation.
- An absence of motion or disturbance: calm, calmness, hush, lull, peace, peacefulness, placidity, placidness, quiet, quietness, stillness, tranquillity, untroubledness. See calm/agitation.
I find it essential to obtain serenity to ponder the things of God. Or is it that pondering God makes me serene. Either way, they seem to go hand in hand.
I have been challenged on what my issue with Calvinism is. Its above. Now I admit I found this on the net and I will take the advice of someone who posted a comment and read the actual works of Calvin when I find them and have the time. However, I am not sure how you can take the statement "All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; "
How can you not think Calvin believes God created people to burn.
My thought is yes he does know who will get saved and yes He knew that and created them anyway. why? Because God gives us freewill. I believe that he wants NONE to perish. Some choose damnation. God wont stop them but it greives him when they do. Its not aha I made this one choose hell.
I beleive all are CALLED to be the elect. Those who accept the office of Christian actually get elected.
Chew on this for a while