Friday, April 25, 2008

Am I Cynical?

I've been thinking about my last post from last week, and wondering "Wow. Maybe I'm being too harsh. Where did that come from? Maybe I should remove it. But, maybe nobody is reading it! Just in case though, it would be the 'Christian' thing to do to just take it down. Do I really want to offend my Christian brothers and sisters?"

Hmmm… YES!

Here's a few reasons why:

Mathew 23:5-7

(Jesus talking about the Pharisees) "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'

Matthew 23:15

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. (Jesus again… Ouch!)

Matthew 23:25-26

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. - (yep; Jesus)

Matthew 23:27

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." - (Jesus)

There's more, but I'll stop there.

The interesting thing about people in general – Christian or not – is that they tend to spend a lot of time judging "sinners" and outcasts. The interesting thing about Jesus is that he spent a lot of time bashing the "holy" and those "set apart", and treated "sinners" – that would be me and you in case you're wondering – with grace and love.

So, Christian readers, as you go into the weekend and make plans to go to church on Sunday, know that I will be right alongside with you in spirit, worshipping our God (whether you believe that or not is entirely your issue). If I have offended you with any of my blog posts in the past, I will not ask for forgiveness for the same reason Jesus did not ask for forgiveness.

He was right.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Expelled - you know, the Ben Stein documentary PRAISE GOD!!!

Soooo... I found out today that Christians all over America are 'urging' fellow parishioners to go see the new documentary, "Expelled", a Ben Stein production, in an effort to 'get the word out' and support the film. Group tickets are being sold. Church and small group leaders are telling church members to invite their 'unchristian' friends.

Support the film? Get the word out?

I don't get it. And if you read my blog, you can assume that yes, I am a Christian.

I love the premise of this film, and I'm not judging it or Ben Stein at all. I love Ben Stein (he had me at "Bueller?... Bueller...?"). He's basically investigated and uncovered something that has been known for years about Social Darwinism and, as he calls it, the "no intelligence allowed" scenario that exists in our universities, colleges, and schools.

But here's my problem (not with the film; with Christians):

SUPPORT THE FILM... what does that mean? Are Christians hoping that evolutionists everywhere will say, 'hey... maybe there's something to this movie that we should take a look at. Look at all those mid-western white evangelicals wearing "Real Men Love Jesus" t-shirts standing in line to see it.... hmmm... maybe, just maybe there's something about this movie I need to see...."? I don't get it.

GET THE WORD OUT... what does THAT mean? What word? That people prefer Social Darwinism over the idea of a creator because it allows them to SEEMINGLY be lords of their own lives? That because they want to be lord and master of their own destinies, they snub their noses at deists, Christians, or anyone else who even implies there is intelligent design? I'm sorry... don't we know that already?

So I'm going to wait for this documentary to come out on DVD. I'm really looking forward to seeing it. But the last thing I want is to pay $9.00 for a ticket to see this film in a theater, and have to hear shouts of "amen!" or "Hallelujah!" every time Richard Dawkins or one of his lemmings is nailed for saying something patently emotional and ridiculous. The image of a fat pasty red-headed woman standing up with her hands raised in the air in praise in the dark as the movie is playing because Ben Stein says 'loving God', as much as I believe it, is something I can't chance seeing.

I'm looking forward to seeing this movie... later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I Read Today.

Psalm 116, from "The Message", a paraphrase of scripture:

I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy.

He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn't know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: "Please, God!" I cried out. "Save my life!"

God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

I said to myself,

"Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you've been rescued from death;
Eye, you've been rescued from tears;
And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling."

I'm striding in the presence of God, alive in the land of the living! I stayed faithful, though bedeviled, and despite a ton of bad luck,
Despite giving up on the human race, saying, "They're all liars and cheats."

What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me?
I'll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!

... Halelujah!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Remembering Chile '07

My wife taking a walk on Las Dunas de ReƱaca along the coast in Chile. Sigh...
Have a blessed weekend.