Monday, December 22, 2008

Conservative, Christian, Pro-life, Pro-gun, Pro-death penalty

I can't believe this exists.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Homosexuality and Christianity

I read an article today that upset me a little. I wanted to comment on it and so I did.

For anyone that knows, this is where i found the article and as soon as i commented my comment was "buried" which means that the people online at the time hated everything about it. Surprisingly enough, the guy who eventually decided he liked what i said and "revived" my comment had previously stated some pretty negative things towards christianity in the posts above mine.

Here is my comment (Please go read the article to understand fully what I am saying here):

I want to apologize to the author of this article and to anyone else who feels the same way that he does towards christianity. I think that America has done some pretty horrible things with our religion. We are at a point where our religion has become more of a manipulation technique in the midst of politics rather than a way of life. Jesus taught ways of peace and love to all of humanity, not just those of a certain race, sexual preference, or nationality. The issue isn't whether or not being gay is wrong, the issue lies in the fact that christians are called to be lovers. I believe the author of this article as well as many other members of humanity have been extremely misinformed about what it means to follow Jesus and possibly very hurt. For this I apologize. Regardless of the way politics has sadly reversed our gospel, may it be known that Jesus Christ lived and died for the sake of everyone, everywhere.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Patriotism and Christianity

There are some things I have been dealing with recently and I feel like I have finally explored this issue enough to comment on it.

The issue(s) at hand is whether or not christians should be patriotic, whether patriotism has a place in the church, and the "unpatriotic" individual.

I have tried to take a very objective stance on this issue during my time of exploring it and I must say that I do not believe a did a very good job of that. Regardless, I will try to make this commentary as objective as possible.

I have been through my fair share of rebellious stages in life. Sometimes, I even feel like I do the exact opposite of what I see everyone else doing, just for the sake of being different. In discovering the obsession/torture that is politics near the end of my senior year in high school, I developed a pretty strong distaste for government and nationality. Then, like was stated earlier, it may have been just an attempt to be unlike everyone else. But over the years I have developed pretty good (in my opinion) reasons as to why I am unpatriotic and unhappy with government. I had some pretty nice ammunition for debates with people. I was ready for debate anywhere I went, desperate to spread my distrust of the government and nation. As of late, though, I have realized that being cynical does not change anyone nor does it help anyone. So I decided to explore the patriotism of Jesus and the things we can learn about being patriotic in the bible.

One of the biggest arguments that I heard during my debates with individuals on this subject was that Jesus was not, in fact, unpatriotic. As a matter of fact, Jesus never went and protested against wars, or rallied for renewable energy sources or plotted to overthrow the government. There is even a story in the bible about the Roman empire trying to pin Jesus for not paying taxes and they ask him if he is going to pay taxes with his money. In response to this Jesus asks them to look at the money and tell him whose face is on it. Of course they see Caesars face and then Jesus goes on to say let Caesar have what is rightfully his (Matthew 22:15-22). Last year I wrote a series of letters to the newspaper back home about how income taxes were unconstitutional. When I came across this story in the bible, I was a little stunned. I didn't know what to think at first. After fighting it for a while, I finally realized that these people I was debating were right, Jesus is not unpatriotic. He may not be the most patriotic individual, but he certainly was not unpatriotic.

Here, we arrive at the core of what I want to convey through this post. If you are casually reading this and not paying a whole lot of attention, please read these next words carefully and take them into consideration. Jesus was not against the empires, but the empires have always been against him. The thought on everyones mind now, of course, is America. I think that we can collectively agree that while we may be the "greatest nation in the world", we are still largely evil and corrupt. This is human nature. During the act of communion in churches, I have realized that we tend to largely discuss that the bread and wine (or juice) is symbolic of Jesus' suffering that took place for us. However, this story only begins to hold meaning when we see which side of this story we were on. We are the Romans. We are the reason Jesus suffered. And during his suffering he cried out for us "Father forgive them, they know not what they do". Jesus was murdered because his ideas posed a threat to the empire then, and this is no different today.

Every time I think of presidents, I struggle with the things that God says to Israel during their downfall. "You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against me, against your helper. Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'? "(Hosea 13:9-10). God tries to warn us over and over again in the bible of the evil that empire brings, of the oppressive nature it has and always will have. I think that what I have come to know recently is that patriotism isn't bad, it's the idolization of patriotism that so many individuals fall into that skews our vision of God's kingdom. I urge every individual to carefully be aware of what it means to pledge allegiance to a nation. In America, a lot of the things that we do are good and honorable, however, still quite a few of those things are very against everything God teaches us. It has become apparent to me that we are, as a country, beginning to rewrite a lot of what God teaches because it doesn't fit into our agendas as the strongest country in the world. A nice example of this is something we can see in our wealth as a country. When Moses is leading the Israelites out of egypt and into the promised land, they begin to starve in the desert. During this time they pray to God for food. God then rains down manna from heaven for them to eat and he instructs them to only take "their daily bread". He says don't take more than you need to survive for one day basically. What we can see in this is that God wanted the israelites to rely on him to provide for them. Instead of doing this, the Israelites take more than enough (just in case they run out I suppose) and God then sends maggots to devour their bread that they took and as a result a ton of people die of starvation. We are at a place, as a nation, where it is possible that we need some maggots to come and show us that materialism is not the way of Jesus. It amazes me that things such as the "health and wealth gospel" even exist. This is proof enough that at least some christians are losing themselves in patriotism. Health and wealth is the american dream, not the gospel of Jesus.

It is my prayer that we begin to question what it means to be truly free. May we begin to reject the ideas that America will bring justice to the world, especially through force, and begin to rely solely on the only true king to redeem our broken world.

Hopefully my comments have been insightful. Please feel free to give your opinions in a comment.