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Thursday, June 25, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Giving.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define giving and how the Jesus defines giving.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Are all Religions the same?

One common claim I hear a lot is that All Religions are the Same. But one thing they are differ on is who Jesus is? Jesus is typically show by all as a Good teacher. Well that Good Teacher taught that he was God but people go to lengths to discredit him. Here are two views of Jesus. One from the Jehovah Witnesses and the other by the Mormons. Both Videos are quite entertaining.

Mormons:


Jehovah Witnesses



If you want to read about Scientology, The St. Pete Times did an excellent piece this crazy faith.

Here is a video of recent history:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gay Animal Kingdom

One thing I am often surprised by is rational, evolution minded, scientists make a case for homosexuality when from an evolutionary worldview, it doesn't make sense biologically. Typically, one of the arguments used to defend their position is that we see it in the animal kingdom. I've always thought some animals mate by showing their butts to one another and/or eat their partner after sex so does that mean we should do those things as well?

Well, today I read a time article from secular source ask the same exact thing in regards to homosexuality in the animal kingdom. John Clouds writes:
What all these theories [regarding the occurrences in animals] have in common is that same-sex sexual activity is either an accident or a quirky genetic method of helping males impregnate females. Which raises the evolutionary question of why men and women who are exclusive gay and lesbian exist. One answer is that exclusive gays and lesbians are a relatively new creation: the concept of exclusive homosexuality barely existed before modernity; even a century ago, most same-sex-attracted men and women got married and had kids.
So does this mean that there should be no such thing as Gay Marriage then? If nature shows you are only going through a phase, why scientifically should we fight for this right? The author then goes on to offer this question out of another evolutionary psych book which I think is valid and could be correct:
Will "the liberation of homosexuals, which allows them to come out of the closet and not pretend to be straight" actually turn out to "contribute to the end of homosexuality?"
Just because we are born a certain way, does that mean it is correct? Could the idea of gay marriage exist in a purely scientific community without the psychological advantage of a world saturated with a Christian message of love and tolerance (since this is also absent from the animal world)? Is the relative newness because People have stopped "dancing to their evolutionary drive" in favor of something different? Would true science condone birth control because it is impeding the evolutionary process of natural selection among offspring? If natural selection has worked so well to this date, why should care about changing our biology? I've heard Richard Dawkins say that we as Humans can rise above our evolutionary desires but I wonder what right do we have to mess with natural selection?

If you cannot tell, I am fascinated by the lack of a true evolutionary worldview among those that claim that Christian worldview is false. While at the same time, these same people seem to hold to a Christian worldview tighter than some that call themselves Christians. My aim is to only point out that those that think all of this have to consider how they believe what they believe and see if they are being consistent. Could they actually be believing there is no God but living like there is? I know I tend believe there is a God but live like there is not. The difference is in the Christian worldview that is expected to happen while in the other, it is not.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Sin.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define sin and how the Jesus defines sin.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ricky Gervais on becoming an Atheist





Interesting Interview. At least he is honest. How would you respond to this?

My thoughts is that there is more under the surface than what he is letting on.

I do think it is curious that animal cruelty is up there with religious zealots. the questions is what in nature would lead us to believe that nature is that kind to one another that we should be kind to one another? How does he know that his Brother was not lying to him?

If atheist would apply the same standard of proof that they require for the Christian faith, would they still look at Atheism so tightly? I find a lot of the non Christians (and Christians for that matter) will only quote/read people that support their opinion. If they quote the other side, it is usually a German poet on history or a dentist on earth science (meaning someone affirming their few from a semi-scholar) and call their opinion facts.

Both sides will rarely engage with the BEST representative each side has to offer. I've been recently listening a lot of debates recently between Richard Dawkins (atheist) and John Lennox (Christian Physics Prof at Oxford Univ). You can google the debates but you can find John Lennox talking about this issue at http://johnlennox.org/index.php/en/talks/.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Christian.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define Christian and how the Jesus defines Christian.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hats off to Stephen Colbert

Say what you will about Obama, Colbert and the US Military but You have to agree this is a classy way of people with possibly different political view coming together for a common cause. Reminding us all that we have it easy here and the men and women in the Persian Gulf deserve a little more press than say Jon and Kate. Watch this clip:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama Orders Stephen's Haircut - Ray Odierno
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This week at Payne Church


This week- Redefine: Jesus.

When you hear words, you give them a definition. Are you right? This week we look at how we define Jesus and how the Bible defines Jesus.

Come Sunday at 9:30 AM to 220 W. Merrin in Payne, OH to find out more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jon minus 9 and Gender roles



Since I don't have cable, I have not seen this show very much. In case you don't know, Jon meets Kate. Kate has PCOS. Jon and Kate gets fertility treatment. Jon and Kate have a set of twins and a set of six. (Go to Stuff Christians Like for a good funny recap EDIT: and the Soup for the new show title - HT to my Twin).

The first time I saw it, I didn't like it. I thought Jon was bullied by Kate, Jon was passive and it was just about Jon and Kate get this thing or that thing. Also, when I found out they were Christians, I got even more upset because it hit too close to home (meaning it is a good look at how Christians families are run today- too focused on the kids). Being a multiple from a divorced family, I can understand the stress being parents of multiples can cause on a marriage.

What I find curious is that Christians didn't start questioning the show until the questions of cheating arose. Christianity Today points out: "We evangelicals tend to be easily impressed. We cheered on Jon and Kate's decision to carry all six babies to term but rarely considered the prior question: Was it right for them to undergo risky fertility treatments in the first place?" (see CT for whole article). We don't like looking at things critically through the lens of the Bible as it is (especially when we slap the word s christian on it. Matt Johnson offered a good guide today at the Resurgence).

My first thoughts was that the reasons for much of the problems in the home today are Men just aren't leading their homes. We have been seduced by the myth of egalitarianism that says that men and women are 100% equal and should share in the decision making process.

In every organization, someone practically rises to the top to make decision and be the major influencer (see any leadership book). Usually, it is the more charismatic or the one that has the asset that is most demanded. Charisma could be found in either sex, so there is no "natural" advantage but does one have a resource advantage by nature (if we assume men aren't head by birth)?

When money and sex are concern, is there really equality? We are sinful and like to rule our own roost. That CAN'T be denied by anyone.

In most homes today, it is joked about that the woman is really in charge. Why? They'll jokingly say in most homes that she will "turn off the faucet" as I've heard it put. In the past, men been able to counter balance it because they were the "bread-winners" but now that is not the case. Women are working and don't need men to bring home the bacon. Men don't want to either because we have simple needs. All we want is sex and something to excel in (like video games, sports, business, etc.). We have then have no need to be at home for fulfillment. Because 99% of sex will beat money, women by nature (as in past) can and will always have an advantage in the home if A) Men aren't using their brute force to intimidate (historic way) or B) if it is a same sex couple. Plus, the children are always closers to Mom (since she birth them) so there is another check on the power side for the XXs. It is a nice though but in reality egalitarian though is a just fancy way of saying that the wife rules the home practically.

Why do I say all of this in relation to Jon and Kate? I think Luke MacDonald says it best:
The show became more about the parents and the kids having these great adventures than about pure survival. It didn’t take a pop-culture genius to see the problems in the Gosslein’s marriage slowly seeping in. It was obvious that John didn’t like having to take a backseat and let his wife be (in essence) the sole provider. I could write in-depth about a myriad of different problems that were predictors of future problems. It is interesting to note that as tensions rose in the home, the public pushing of the family as Christian role models increased. (Ht to Harvest)
But the problem arises when two parties are fighting over this role because they can't agree who has the final word. So unless both agree (or some outside force like the Bible) appoints one, it will be at best unhealthy and at worst a failure (see current marriage stats). The Bible appoints men simply because it does even the playing field more and it reflects Christ's love for his Church.

I have argued before that "egalitarian" relationship/marriage are more like joint ventures then a covenantal relationship Ephesians 5 talks about. Seth Godin today describes why they fail. He writes "Because there isn’t one boss, one deliverable, one person pushing the project relentlessly, [the venture] stalls" (HT to Seth). Not only are they not clear on success (what the venture hopes to obtain - which is another reason why marriage fail/unclear goals) but they have not one to drive the relation towards that goal.

While talking about businesses, he says the answer is "One side buys the right to use an asset that belongs to the other." The two remain separate but the venture "belongs to one party" for the use they determine. The man agrees to a venture involving low commitment and sex and the woman allows the man his freedom to whatever he wants. He then works "hard" to make sure that this venture is a success. When time to upgrade, he will then move on to find another asset to meet his business model. Woman will do this with the idea of having kids. Enter into a relationship with guy in order to get a father and then when kids come, forget about him. Oversimplification? Maybe.

When two people who aren't married live together (especially for financial reason), aren't they just doing the same thing? Isn't that the scenario that just play out above and in most homes today. Man wants sex so man gives money to an apartment/home for use of woman (asset). He will let woman do whatever she wants if he A) still gets sex and B) has success outlet. Take away one, partnership dissolves and the woman is hurt. However, if man is told he is responsible for the marriage and the home, watch him laid down his life and watch it succeed.

Objectors will say, "marriage isn't a business and shouldn't be run like one." But who says marriage is a democracy? Obviously, we can see how good some democracies work. My response, if it is good enough for a healthy business how much more should it be in a marriage/family which is FAR more important. This may sound cold and harsh but when people talk about the marriage/dating decisions in terms of money/sex/children/job alone, aren't they ignoring the spiritual/relational/social consequences of these decisions? When people reduce marriage to simply sex (of which I was guilty as a single man) or something else and call it love, we are ignoring the ramifications of any poor decision could have on other aspects of a relationship or life. At that point, we are simply using others for our "business" needs rather than using the Gospel example to transform relationships.

I don't want to vilify Jon and Kate. My heart breaks for them. I wish they would stop the show, travel to CCEF in Philly and get help. I wish Jon would man up and fall on the sword and stop bar hopping. I think they forgot what is true success.

As a whole, regarding all of this, I would rather see two people be honest about their decisions then try to vale it in "Christianize" or politeness to downplay the other possible effects it could have. While living together before you get married might lead to higher divorce rates, could the reason for that be because bad habits are being set up where money and sex dominate decision making rather than Christ's glory in the home? While women working outside of the home is good, could it be a problem because man/woman still see each other as man + woman rather than one unit? Finally, while equality is good, could the reason for pushing a certain theology be due to our desire to take an easier road than what the Bible has called for?

The Bible says that one man gave up his life, took the responsibility for his bride (the church) so that the two could be joined as one forever. Why don't our families look like this.

(Sorry if this seems unorganized: i had to get a lot off my chest).