Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some Post Christmas Thoughts

I’ve always been struck by the “Christmas Story” as it’s told in the Bible. 

In modern terms we’d put it something along the lines of “some girl from the ‘hood gets knocked up mysteriously.  She says she hasn’t had sex, and that God made her pregnant.   Her folks aren’t thrilled with this turn of events, but her boyfriend marries her anyway.  The IRS decides everybody has to go back to where the first person in their family came to our country and set up a home.  So she and her boyfriend hitchhike all the way from Harlem to Camden New Jersey.  She goes into labor when they get there and there isn’t a single motel that will let them stay there since they are all full with people complaining about the @#$%@###  IRS.  The owner feels sorry for the kid in labor and says they can sleep in his garage.  The baby is born and they wind up clearing out the beer cans from the back seat of the motel owners Chevy and wrap the baby in some clean grease rags from the workbench.  While they are marveling at the fact that they got through the ordeal of the birth without any help, a crowd of escapees from the local halfway house for paroled felons tromps into the garage with them unannounced and say that a bunch of singing ‘Angels’ told them that the Messiah was born here and they decided to come and praise him.  Mary takes all this into account and treasures these things in her memory and later tells this story to several of the men who become the followers of her Son, who is eventually executed on trumped up charges of treason and sedition as a result of his teaching a philosophy of loving God and Loving your neighbor.  He is deemed psychotic since he also claims to be God, but is an unusual twist of Supreme Court logic is publically executed anyway (with hour by hour coverage of the event on MSNBC.)  Oddly enough, later, stories begin circulating on the internet that he rose from the dead and was seen by his followers.  Most people discount the stories, but a few ardent followers set forth to spread the news to the world.”

Honestly, that is about how it happened.  The story was recounted by shepherds and women, who were counted as so lowly and dishonest that their testimony wasn’t even allowed in court actions.  Yet from this humble beginning rose a God/man that changed the course of history more than all the other people in the world have throughout time.  His wise messages and his actions in life of healing the sick and raising the dead are still discussed, and though witnessed by hundreds of people and attested to by dozens, he is still questioned. 

So what do we all do with this Jesus of Nazareth?  People don’t die for a lie they know to be a lie.  Though the men claiming they witnessed that he performed miracles and rose from the dead all were killed for their beliefs, the world still mostly rejects Him.  He is called wise by many who disbelieve the claims of his miracles and his being God.  I think calling Him wise is the one thing we can’t do.  Either He was God on earth, or He was a lunatic.  Calling a lunatic wise makes no sense…so I’m going with the “God” thing, if you don’t mind.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Koko and Betty White

The Bible is pretty silent on any discussion about the fate of animals in this world.  Do they have souls?  Certainly there are those of us who are pet owners who marvel at the intelligence and personality of our pets.  In some cases the animals are clearly self-aware and intelligent enough to communicate in a sense that we as humans would equate with members of our own species.  To demonstrate this, I recommend that you go to this website link and see for yourself:


I've always felt the Bible was God's message to humans and that animals existed under a different code altogether.  I try not to be God, and I figure I'll leave the question and fate of those animals I call self-aware and intelligent up to God and not me.  In the meantime, those animals need special treatment.  We can't even treat other humans very well in many cases, and animals often fare far worse.

I'm not here particularly to advocate a PETA stand, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on animals.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

God's Plan?

I have a theory that when God made the angels it was his first pass at the idea of having fellowship with other beings.  He gave them free will and eternally immortal bodies.  The fellowship thing was going pretty good for a while until a few of them decided they wanted to be in charge.  Satan led them in revolt against God.  So after God tosses them on their ears and they get to rule earth, He creates mankind for his fellowship.  However, learning from the experience of giving eternal life to Angels who didn't all want to be in fellowship with God, He makes Mankind of limited life span with an expiration date--with the option to do a one-time offer of extension upon death.  That offer of extension was contingent upon proving oneself a faithful child of God, believing in his Goodness and promises.  God figures if they can hold up to that in relatively blind faith under the stressful and tempting conditions of a fleshly existence on earth, they just might be good for eternal fellowship in Heaven with Him.  He attempts to get them to sign on the dotted line, and not surprisingly most of the humans decline the offer.  So it proves up his plan to select only the ones that will be in eternal fellowship with Him gladly.  

Having said that, I have implied that an all knowing and all powerful God made a mistake when He created the angels.  But if He did it knowingly, He apparently had a reason for a better outcome.  I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

Monday, January 12, 2015

God's Software?

The Holy Spirit is one of the most neglected and strange concepts in Christianity.  I suspect most scholars wish people wouldn’t ask questions about the “third person of the Trinity.”  I don’t blame them, I am often baffled by the whole business myself. 

I especially have a problem when I read Paul in his letter to the Roman church where he says “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us" (Romans 8:26.)  It makes it clearly sound like we aren’t capable of praying and talking to God.  Frankly, it is made to seem like we need a mouthpiece akin to having a shyster lawyer in court to argue our case.  Paul makes it sound like we are too inept to even know what to pray about.  I find that completely inconsistent with life and certainly inconsistent with my experience.  I suspect you do, too.

Is the Holy Spirit then some kind of translator mechanism…a Dragon software for speech to spirit instead of speech to text on your computer?  I doubt it.  Jesus taught us how to pray and never mentioned anything about needing it translated.  He just said keep on asking.

I heard it expressed once as a kid that the Holy Spirit is more like a phone line that carries communication to God, and for me that seems to work best.  Paul didn’t have the concept of a phone line to use, so I’ll give him some slack that he was trying to express it as best he could.

Share your thoughts on the subject if you'd like!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Quote for the New Year 2015

"God has reasons for not quarantining evil right now, you need to develop virtues for this life and the life hearafter.  This earth is an uncomfortable home, but it's a great gymnasium for the hereafter."   
                                                                          ...from Frank Turek and Norman Geisler.

The Wedding At Cana

I keep coming back to my fascination with the story of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.  Here they are running out of wine and Jesus’ mother is concerned and wants Jesus to do something about it.  Now to get to this point we have to assume that she already knows that Jesus has special abilities.  How does she know that?

Did Jesus cause a wind to vacuum the cave they probably lived in?  Did Jesus decide to take shortcuts in carpentry and just tell the wood to take the form it needed to for the customer?  I mean really, some reason is there for her to go to Jesus and tell him to do something to solve the “no more wine” problem.

I also get a kick out of the fact that she tells him to fix things and then just walks off expecting him to do what she said…even though he said it wasn’t time for him to show himself.  Now that is a typical mom, tell your kid to do something and then just walk off.  And what does he do?  He does what mom says.

Why wasn’t it time for Jesus to show himself?  I am still mystified by that.  Did you know that the Bible predicts exactly when the Messiah will come (check out Daniel 9:25-26 which predicts 483 years ‘til the crucifixion in the year 33 A.D.)  I didn’t realize that until recently.  It’s very specific to the very year.  I’m thinking that Jesus knew that as well and was very careful not to have his public ministry start too soon.  The time frames for his crucifixion were to fall exactly within the predicted timeframes of the Old Testament predictions for the Messiah.  

Newsweek, Once Again A Disappointment

As we start the new year, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that failing magazine, Newsweek, has sunk to new journalistic lows.  Publishing Kurt Eichenwald’s article attacking Christians is patently hate mail and lacking in any journalistic effort.  It presents no research by a writer who has no qualification to say any of the things he says.  No effort is made to quote any experts in the field as it puts forth its vitriolic spew.  It is filled with factual error throughout.  We live in a free society and he is entitled to his opinion, but what makes this important is that Newsweek published it and obviously in a desperate attempt to gin up failing circulation.  Sadly, it typifies the journalistic quality of the magazine.