Shout out to the Bloggers!

I have discussed a lot of issues with a lot of bloggers and one thing is certain, a good discussion. I have heard every view in the last few months and many have passed on pieces of knowledge they picked up. I add my 2 cents in and try to figure out where the issue is heading towards. Must say, blogging is in it’s own right a great way to get some feedback on your issues. So I decided to make a blog on the issues of the day.

ET: Not ‘ET go home’ but ‘ET go to hell’
This is a never ending debate on the ideals of torment and plainly asks God ‘would you?’. I have read many blogs on this issue and the majority vote is ‘no God would not’. The scripture argument is that hell either ‘doesn’t exist’ or it is a ‘cleansing’, but not eternal. I mean the argurment for no ET is quite sound and the argument the other way seems a little…harsh. Some of that is based on ‘feelings’ and some on interpreting the word ‘eternal’ in the NT. Nonetheless, the majority of churches across the world interpret ET as exactly that, forever. Is torment forever or is it a type of ‘purgatory’? Or is it just on earth that ‘hell’ applies to? Can there be an effective rep for God on the issue? Shouts out to YBMT (bruced), Steve, Kenneth, Geo, Tom Reindl, Don R, Cliff, Nancy (and the others I missed) & Curious Girl for bringing this to my attention.

War – What is it Good for? Absolutely something!
The issue of war will always be a two-edged sword. On the one hand we hate war, on the other hand we need it for neccesary protection of the world. Christians have taken both sides on the issue and some say ‘war is neccesary’ while others say ‘war is not godly’. Now war will always exist and of that we are sure (a good look at history points that out). But just because it exists does God deem it ‘the right thing to do’? Is God on a ‘side’ in a war? Should we always defend Israel no matter what? What was the biblical stance on such an issue? Shouts out to Demerging, Jimmy Bob, Head First, Unclarity, and others for shedding some light on this issue.

Fundies and liberals, are they eating off the same plate?
Fundamentalism has become a thorn in the side to the liberal religious believer, I mean all that extreme zeal just rubs them the wrong way. Fundies have their share of crimes (abortion clinic shootings, gay-bashing, war in the name of God, etc) and the liberals aren’t smiling. The problem is they read the same book. So fundies grab this interpretation while the liberals are grabbing another, who is right? Are the liberals ‘selectively’ choosing what they believe? Are the fundies ‘adding in’ something they want to believe? Who is interpreting the scriptures right? Is religion the problem here or is it the books we base our faith on? Shout out to Edge of Faith for asking the questions many of us never confront.

Religion and Politics: Our Intelligence shows they like to sleep together.
The clash between religion and politics is as old as religion itself. Israel was founded on a ‘theocracy’ and Islam claims the same ideal. Christianity is not exempt and hasn’t been since Constantine put a cross on his shield and went to war in 300 AD. It’s an age-old argument that states God is part of the political structure whether we like it or not. Politics is a man-made system that bases a majority of it’s ethical virtues on scripture. Does politics have a place for faith within it’s realm? If so, is politics and nationalism based on that faith directly? Which defines which, politics define religion or vice-versa? Are they really one in the same? What does your scriptures say about politics? Shout out to ninja-nun for raising the issue.

Religion vs. Faith – Is the baby really bathing in that bath water or just drowning?
This is the ultimate battle of religious structures vs. religious ideals, they aren’t matching up. Some are calling for an ‘end of religion’ while others seem to think the church must endure and stay the same. Religion seems to put some emphasis on religious duties while faith is asking ‘who made that duties list and why?’. Religion seems to be saying ‘if you are not with us, why not, get with us and be saved’. Faith says ‘no church has the true salvific plan’. Does faith run contrary to religion, are these two different things we speak of? Is religion becoming too ‘trapping and exclusive’ to the detriment of others? Is faith becoming too loose and free that it denys biblical ideals? Who will win, faith or religion? Also, will the son of man find ‘faith’ on the earth when he returns? (a 2 point question). Big-up’s to End of Religion, Ironic Observances, Stupid Church People, and the hoardes of others that share on this issue daily.

Salvation – a pro-choice debate on the sanctity of life everlasting.
Will all go to heaven or will only ‘some’ go to heaven? If only some go to heaven then we have free will and a choice to make to accept Christ. If all go to heaven then Jesus’ death on the cross was for everyone and God made that choice for us. Both sides use the same scriptures and developed varying ideas on eternal life. There is proof for both arguments concerning free-will, the cross, our sinful nature, and God’s intervention. Does the scriptures prove we have no free-will? Does Jesus’ death signify a ‘once for everyone’ salvific act? Is sin wiped clean because of the act or do you have to choose to accept that salvific act to become clean? And the age old question, was Adam really that fond of apples? Big shouts out to YBMT (Bruced), Kenneth, Steve, Geo, Nancy da Joo, and the hoardes of others that brought this to my attention.

So those are the issues of day in the blog-a-sphere. I would also like to commend Chris Ledgerwood for his insight (a great friend), Jolly-Beggar (the reason I love blogging), and everyone that makes blogging fun by adding in their 2 cents…gives me food for thought so I never go hungry. Also the religious-right for their tender support of me on every issue I support of theirs and their utter condemnation of me when I don’t support them. Let’s learn to like one another, please.

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The ‘Be a Certain Way’ Attitude’s

I was recently thinking about the first teachings to come out of Jesus’ mouth, according to the book of Matthew, in chapter 5. It got me thinking, is this the ‘gospel’ Jesus taught and all things would flow around these teachings? They call them the beautitudes, must mean something about ‘being blessed’. The teachings are as follows and I think they represent a fair portrayal of what Jesus altogether taught through his life.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is the ‘poor in spirit’? Luke pins/defines it by saying ‘the poor’ (leaving out spirit). It seems that Christians would identify themselves as people that care about the poor (ex: depressed, poverty-stricken, diseased, hospitalized, oppressed, etc). Following Christ seems to mean ‘helping/serving’ the poorer parts of our society, identifying with them and actually caring about the needs they have. Jesus’ whole ministry included the poor in his society (lepers, blind, poverty-stricken, diseased, demon-possessed, prostitutes, drunks, etc…).

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Mourning, the act of sorrow and contrition. I guess the opposite of this would be holding in and harboring pain, resulting in much stress and anger. It seems the release of your problems and your sorrows is key with moving forward in life, to finding answers, to finding comfort. Bad things will happen in life around you and it will change you, will you deal with loss or build animosity? It seems Jesus points to this and says ‘this is normal’ and comfort will come from all angles if we accept, not reject our sorrow.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
What does meek mean? Meekness is interpreted as ‘gentle’, ‘kind’, ‘quiet’, and ‘reserved’. Being meek means to exemplify the message of Christ, kindness and compassion. These are the people that ‘do not lord it over others’, they act as ‘servants’, and ‘love & accept others’. Meekness is seen as the opposite of proud. This statement is true about inheriting the earth. The more accepting and compassionate you are the more friends you gain, who in turn trust you (sometimes with everything). Little do you know that by your kindness you have safe-guarded your life.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Satisfaction can only come by seeking and ‘hungering’ for the truth or the ‘right’ answer. Ignorance is bliss, but the truth is satisfying. Asking questions and seeking the answers to problems is key to growing and becoming a responsible person. If you quit seeking and asking you run the risk of becoming apathetic and complacent…you make yourself irrelevant. Getting the ‘right’ answer is not an easy process but it will help complete your life (ethic, ideas, paradigms, answers, actions, etc).

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
This is the idea that if you treat people with mercy (forgiveness) they will in turn do that for you when you wrong them. It also speaks to respecting others and your outlook on judgment (do you judge too critically?). The call is to be someone who can forgive others because sometimes ‘they know not what they are doing’. It is also the higher principle in judgment, having mercy as your basis for judging others and not condemnation.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Pure in heart? This seems to relate back to the last point ‘treating others as you want to be treated’. It’s about developing ethics based on these ‘blessed’ statements and developing an attitude of salvation (you can actively help others) and not judgment (being critical of others to their detriment). It is a pure thing to have a vision of seeing humans as God’s creation and then treating them thusly. Not only are you seeing the human side of a person but you recognize their link back to God (as His creation)…so you do see God in helping them and sharing with them. This statement directly relates to Jesus’ parable on the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
This speaks to the heart of the gospel (Jesus’ teachings), it is called the ‘gospel of peace’…meaning these words of Jesus should always reflect peace and nothing else. It plays a reference to knowing God in that being called a ‘child of God’ is being called part of God’s family (there is no higher praise for a human than this). So the child of God is a child of peace and decides in all situations that division, destruction, violence, hate, seperation, and war are all ideals of a human mind-frame (limited thinking). There is nothing greater than knowing you partner with God in any situation that brings peace.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
It is a little known fact that some people will not like you for the sake of ‘doing the right thing’, as proven in history, which comes from seeking the right answers to tough questions (ex: segregation, in-equality, racism, class systems). Doing the right thing doesn’t always mean people are going to hold your hands up as a champion, no…they might hate you if it is too hard against the status quo (ex: see the civil rights of African Americans in the 1900’s). Helping others on a personal level might mean you are subject to harsh criticism’s, judgment by friends, avoidance, and outright dislike towards you (it does happen). This can happen once you decide to help the oppressed, down-trodden, poor, depressed, criminal, etc..and fly in the face of the norm.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
This is the same speech as the previous one and means the same thing except for one little addition ‘because of me’. This means you are standing up for the ‘right things’ (same as above) but you also are recognized as a follower of Jesus (more for it’s time period 1st Century AD). But the fact Jesus taps his name on the end of it does mean He is aware of the animosity people will have for these teachings (and following Jesus’ teachings can make you a target). What is also different is the fact these people might be ‘killed’ for what they believe (that’s what happened to many of the prophets who claimed to have messages from God). Rejoice in the fact you are hated? Points to a central teaching of Jesus, everlasting life or a heaven (resurrection & life after death). So focus your effort’s on earthly situations, but your reward is from beyond this earth.

The Fool Says ‘There is no God’

I just finishing watching a video for the Edge of Faith boys about this scripture ‘The fool has said in his heart there is no God, they are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good‘ (Psalm 14:1) The person who made the video tried to make a point that these people aren’t fools and they do good so this scritpture is wrong. Point noted. But it got me questioning the intentions of humanity behind the sciences (since I was told religion should hold up to science if I want to see if it is valid). This is where the premise gets murky.

There are various fields within science: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Studies, Medicine, Physics, Computer Science, Social Sciences (ex: history, Psychology, Sociology), Political Science, and even the math’s have been considered part of the equation. Now I have learned a lot from the sciences and I do place value upon their findings, however I also admit there is drawbacks. Science is not altogther an ethical stronghold to say the least. The question I put to science is ‘does the good outweigh the bad’?

In the field of Biology we have come to determine that humans have evolved. We have classified animals, mammals, plants, reptiles, birds, etc. The greatest quote from evolutionary minds is ‘only the strong survive’. What exactly is strong supposed to mean, I have heard that quote twisted in many ways so as to determine certain strong characteristics will remain while others dissipate due to weakness. Oddly, enough our belief in God must not be a ‘weak’ charateristic since it has remained with us from the beginning of civilizations. Even if we have less proof for God than we think the fact is the belief has remained. Evolution proposes no real ethic either which is problematic. Following ‘only the strong will survive’ and the belief we are nothing better than a ‘mammal’ to the Nth degree leads to a shallow ethic…an ethic where scientists cross the line with no regards for humanity.

Chemistry, what can I say about you? I like the fact we know the chemical make-up of things on this planet but this has nonetheless opened a ‘pandora’s box’. In one hand we like to know the chemical processes behind our universe while on the other hand we have discovered new ways of war and pollution. The use of chemicals in warfare proposes such a crazy threat, unheard of in history, that all kinds of new diseases will appear from warfare. As much as I like the use of bathroom fresheners the use of chemicals in spray bottles was our first wake-up to the fact the ozone is depleting. Not to mention the use of pesticides and other forms of poisons used on weeds and agriculture that we breath in not knowing what the outcome of that will all be. We do know of certain cases in the past where chemicals have caused deformity in child-birth yet we persist that our mass use of chemicals in this age will do nothing. Cancer has spiked in the last 2 decades – along with hordes of other diseases, we can blame Mcdonald’s all we want but take a good look at the amount of chemicals you use on a daily basis, I’m just saying it’s worth looking into. Also I could care less about uranium and it’s make-up but some physicist did.

Physics is the ‘creme de la creme’ of the science world. Not only do we get wonderful ideas about the universe from it, there is quantum physics, the idea of time travel, gravity, etc. Now some of these are the greatest discoveries of all time but one discovery really takes the cake, it’s the one that has caused mass hysteria in humanity since it’s inception…the evolution of energy. I am talking about atomic, hydrogen, and the nuclear family. If it wasn’t for this discovery we wouldn’t have nuclear reactors and energy sources that power plants could use that for one, completely kill the environment. Since it was so safe for the enivronment we decided we should make a human version of it, we called it a nuclear bomb. This little baby and the amount of them on earth have anough power to wipe humanity (and life in general) clean off the face of the planet not once, not twice, but 7 times over. This is the most horrific weapon known to humanity ever and is the one weapon that is both being used to control it & ensure it’s destruction. It even had the inventor prophesying ”Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”. If the inventor never questioned the intention then why should you. Thank you Robert Oppenheimer and all the other greats who added to his work…now we are assured the earth will never be a safe place. Add physics + chemistry + biology + no foundational ethic = Oppenheimer’s prophecy.

Medicine is one of the great sciences. It has produced both cures and prescriptions for human ailments throughout history. Medicine seems to be one of the scientific fields excelling at ‘doing good for humanity’. Science used in the right frame of mind can create productive outcomes. But the field is only playing catch-up to the ills the other sciences created and it’s losing by a long stretch. There is no cure for cancer, Aids, multiple sclerosis, parkinsons, dementia, schizophrenia, Post-traumatic diseases, Lupus, and a host of other diseases we have discovered. We can get pills to prolong our life but we cannot cure these ills. This field also helped to develop meth, speed, riddlin, steroids, LSD, lethal injections and other drugs that can mess up the human system. Not to mention there is host of pills on the market (just watch for the commercials) with side effects causing heart rate exceleration, side effects to pregnant mothers, nausea, severe headaches, blurred vision, and of course diarrhea. I’ll also tap on anti-depressants and drugs to get me hard for 4 hours…which seem to be an emphasis these days. So I like medicine but to say it’s a saviour of some sort is benign, like this tumor they can never cure.

Lastly, the social sciences & Political science, brothers from the same mother…human ideology. Now social sciences & political science have helped us to evaluate the human mind & function, our role in society, our history on planet earth, and human thought. I think these fields have tonnes of knowledge to offer and anyone wise would check it out immediately. However, the call to ethics for science comes mostly from these fields and that’s also noteworthy. Psychology is alright for stating the human condition & development but beyond that it offers answers only found in medicine, okay great. I still know some pills will help balance the schizo, depressed, bi-polar, and post-traumatic but never fully cure them (and we’ll settle for that). Sociology will state how we behave in societies and the problems we develop but it will turn to ideology to solve them (ex: crime, punishment, sexism, bigotry, etc). Where does ideology come from, usually a governmental system.

Political science will pose alternatives on how to live in a civil manner amongst one another, monetary beliefs, war, punishment, etc. Political science is the field that invented ethnocentricism (colonialism), poverty/class systems, slavery, warfare & the reasons behind it, land and country, nationalism, law making & court systems, land division based on a ruling system, Facism, etc. Ethically the system is flawed and will never devise something fitting for the human race, since politics is becoming more the rule of the leader and less ‘for the people by the people’. I don’t expect political science to hold answers to the biggest questions anyways and all they are concerned about is human existence within the structure (which may mean stripping you of freedoms like speech, religion, and ownership). However, it is this science that controls the rest of the sciences since they control the means of production – money. They both regulate business and decide on investment. So if they demand of a science they will get results, which smacks of a bias on a poiltical viewpoint. How do you think the ‘bomb’ came into existence? Who decides whether ‘stem-cell research’ is appropriate? Who will decide if euthanasia is acceptable? When the political scientists get the ‘wheels’ spinning they will get what they are looking for and that my friends is called an ‘agenda’.

So in the end we ‘the fool says in his heart there is no God, there ways are corrupt and vile, and there in none that does good’. It may appear as if there is some that do good but in the end it is humans that control the sciences and where it will peruse next. In that searching we will find the answers to many of the social ills facing society but it will also produce the next batch of dilemma’s. You see we developed a bomb in a war to stop Hitler & Japan but now that bomb lays dormant waiting on it’s use (which is why they build them). Even in that act of good I see the evil waiting in the wings. In my opinion science without ethical virtue is like a human with the bomb. Maybe in the end of this journey we will find out what was really meant by the ethic ‘only the strong survive’.