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    A Fish Is A Fish And A Dog A Dog

    Sunday, October 27, 2013, 12:58 PM [General]

      When The Spirit Of God moves among the people and things happen and new ideos and collectives are formed, it's important to remember that a thing is just that thing and not another.  What do I mean by that?

     

      The Evangelical section of Xtrianity has, in the last decade or two, either become absorbed into the so-called "Neocon" politics of America or has become the religious branch of the Republican party (which personally I think is a bunch of bologna, I'm Evangelical and I'm not a lackey for the elephant!).  When a new group of people start out and the idea that unites them is that God has done something among them and they want to particpate (and continue) His' work, than soon enough they will find themselves pulled in several directions.

     

      Should they become politically involved?  If so, should members of opposing parties be denied access to their meetings?  If they fight for the Pro-Life cause, are Pro-Choicers denounced and excommunicated?  If they decide to be nothing but a "spiritual movement," what do they do when Hindus and Buddhists show up?  What if a person or people start hammering away at a list of rules one must follow or believe in order to be a member?

     

      I'm not saying groups shouldn't get involved or do any of the things I'm stating.  I just think that people, especially those precious small groups of dedicated people, need to understand from the get-go the general pathos of what God is doing among them. 

     

      I think the Pentecostals learned this the hard way here in America: in the beginning many of their groups were assimilated and absorbed utterly by pet causes, rival 'denominations,' and politics (some of the early Pentecostal leaders segregated fellow black pentecostal leaders, as in the case of Charles Fox Parham). 

     

      If you are blessed with membership in a group of people who feel God is moving among them and they must do something collectively, you don't need to write a code book on what you have to do to be a member.  But neither should you ignore this collective work and drift in and out of the cause.  You (plural, all of you) should have a basic understanding of what God wants (ie, you must all discern His' intentions together).  Only then will your group work like a team!

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    Difference Between Good Xtrians And Really Good Xtrians

    Saturday, February 23, 2013, 9:12 PM [General]

      Good Xtrians try hard to live up to the standards of other Xtrians, to win the respect and standing they want within Xtrianity.

     

      But truly good Xtrians don't care.  They life for God, even if all the other Xtrians didn't like them (hypothetically speaking) they would still serve God.  They have taken their relationship with Jesus and made it truly their own.

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    It Is The Child's Mind That Considers Evil

    Saturday, February 23, 2013, 9:07 PM [General]

      In some way, evil is linked to immaturity. While I would say that it is a gross oversimplification to say that evil is an issue of adolescent development, I think an argument can be made that it is the childishness within people that thinks that in any given scenario evil is greater than good.

      Evil is never better than good.  While evil often assumes the appearence of being the better option, generally because weak humans preffer the quick and easy over the hard (and being good is hard, at least the two are associated in the popular mind), it is prudent of us Xtrians to remember that evil's gains are an illusion. 

      This is what the childish simplicity inside all of us needs to hear.

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    How To Explain Spiritual Exeriences Outside Of Xtrianity

    Saturday, February 23, 2013, 8:58 PM [General]

      Pastors should talk more often on this issue.  Spiritual experiences come from spirits (shouldn't take a genius to figure that out).  But there are many spirits besides God and His' angels. 

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    Maybe They Shouldn't Be On Welfare

    Thursday, January 3, 2013, 10:35 PM [General]

      The Welfare Issue has become a real hot button topic, and why not, it's only a source of major financial strain on our country.  I won't bother trying to convince anyone, I think we can all agree that welfare, while it does some people good, is also a major source of curroption.  Perfectly healthy people lie and cheat about nonexistant physical frailties in order to recieve free money from the government, siphoned from our pockets. 

      In my thinking you don't clean a social system with litigational reform: you do it with social reform.  If it becomes socially unacceptable enough, people will not want to be associate with welfare.  If people who abuse welfare are depicted in movies and TV as leeches it will make it that much harder for them to stomach it. 

      Of course it will have the drawback of driving away the needy families and single-moms for whom it was actually created for.  I don't claim to have all the answers on this one, I am merely offering some thoughts and ideas, namely that to solve the welfare issue requires not the enaction of new law but the mobilization of the perceptions of the commonwealth.

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    Praise 4 Christian Disunity?...

    Thursday, December 27, 2012, 9:43 AM [General]

      Now wait - before you raise your eyebrows skeptically, let me explain.

      It has always been held that Christian unity is of the utmost importance, and rightly so.  It shows that we are a family, the family of God, and that we share a common lineage (Christ) and we can work in unity toward common goals.

      But I was reading a book on Church History the other day by Dairmaid McCulloch, and I was thinking...  If critics of Xtrianity believe that down through the ages all Xtrians have conspired to change Christianity to their own immediate benefit, doesn't the fact that we've had multiple churches from the very first centuries of the Christian era debunk that notion?  If the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox and Presbyterians and all the others all have the same Synoptic Gospels, doesn't that show how it hasn't changed?

      Yeah, there have been grammatical changes, but these changes are just that - grammatical.  The overall reading is the same with the most basic things unchanged (remember: early Church had Creeds to totally prevent theological degeneration, especially the Apostolic Creed).

     Let me be clear: Xtrians should strive towards unity.  All I'm saying is that, in unity or disunity, we can still prove Christianity. 

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    A Niche For Christian Pessimists

    Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:55 PM [General]

    People might say that pessimism has no place among Christianity, but such thinking is flawed.  It lacks a subtle understanding of a major public criticism of Xtrianity, that we Xtrians are so happy-go-lucky hippie-types that we mindlessly swallow anything thrown at us so long as it is couched in religious terms.

      Let me put it anotherway: many people like to think that we Xtrians are stupid and only follow this religion, or any religion, because we aren't smart enough to criticize actual religion and so we follow the hellfire sermons of power-hungry preachers.

     

      Well, Pessimist Christians break that stereotype rather efficiently.  I consider myself something of a pessimist and I can say with confidence that anyone who knows me has never considered me the kind of person who mindlessly swallows "feel-good religion." I just don't trust people, because I expect the worse.  Why?  Because I'm a pessimist!  I wan't proof, logical reasoning to reassure me that this is going to work!   

      Pessimism and optimism are both to be sought after and nurtured.  They both have something to offer the Church and can be of use. 

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    Gossipers And Pack Instincts

    Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:35 PM [General]

      In my workplace I've always noticed that people who backstab and gossip always have an eye for identifying and linking up with other people who love to gossip and backstab.  This makes sense - people who gossip need information on those around them to pass on, thus they seek out the best source of such information, and who better than fellow gossipers?

      Gossips are easy to predict: they always go for a person's personal life, particularly flaws (real or imagined).  If you want to beat a gossiper, the standard Meta is to show no pain or self-doubt at their barbs.  Indeed, laughing in the face of criticism is like kryptonite to even committed gossipers, since gossipers (having accustomed themselves to character assassination on a social level) come to hate seeing other people happy.

      Gossipers can teach us Xtrians a good lesson: we should strive to mingle only with those who behave and share values like ours.  Obviously I mean other Xtrians, but even non-Xtrians who hold honest values should be sought out.  Gossiper's are stronger in packs, but then so are those who resist them.

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    On Seeing Jesus Face In A Cloud

    Friday, November 16, 2012, 6:24 PM [General]

       Where I live there is a surviving culture of old-world European Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Xtrianity.  A large part of their culture is a history of religious miracles and symbolism that is a little far removed from American strains of Christianity (ie, Evangelical Fundamentalism, etc).  A few years back rumors ran that the Virgin Mary's image could be seen on the side of a garage somewhere.  Local newscasters investigated and local religious leaders had to issue statements to their flocks on the official theological position they held regarding the potential Marian apparition.

      Now, just the other night, a major fire burnt down a housing complex or some such and a photo snapped of the fire purports to have Jesus face as a ghostly echo on the film.  What do I think?

      I'm not inclined to believe it, but I won't come out-and-out and say it's not true either.  

      Who am I to limit God?  If God chooses to act in a strange way (strange to me, anyway), what on earth am I going to do to God? 

      Now, like I said I'm skeptica of such a thing.  How does Jesus image on a photo help people?  The newscasters are saying only a Bible survived the fire - well, I doubt that.  More likely it was the only item recovered that somebody bothered to claim, and the news reporters simply broadcasted that the Bible itself was solely saved from the fire (when it fact it was the only item re-claimed, not the only item undamaged).

     

       I really don't know one way or the other.  But I do know this, I don't want to speak against God accidentally or hurt other people's genuine faith, so I keep my tongue and let people go about their work.  Only if I have reason to believe that a thing is detrimental to Christianity will I speak out against it.

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    Why Scholarly Evangelism Is Failing In An Age Of ADHD

    Sunday, October 14, 2012, 10:58 PM [General]

      There's a reason why Wikipedia is a more commonly respected, and sought out, source of 'academic' knowledge than the websites of actual universities and accredited think tanks of the intellectual world.  Because Wikipedia is fast, it provides pictures and plenty of headings to help distinguih between parcels of information, and above all - all explanations are done with as little wording as possible.

      We live in an age where information is full to overflowing.  When past generations wallowed in a lack of data, not knowing much about the world beyond their own home country, the people of today face the exact opposite problem - data overload.  The human creature responds to this by developing ADHD, the "habit" of jumping quickly from one data stream to another in life.

      Christians today, ever determined to prove the fullness of their faith, often present wonderful tomes of scholarly work complete with footnotes and diagrams.  But how many people do these tomes reach?  How many people, in the throes of spiritual struggle, are going to wade through webpages of information on Biblical background info when what they really need is a one-hit answer to their immediate crises?

      Now, I'm not saying we should abandone all scholarly research!  I'm just saying...  here in the wonderful land of the Internet...  Our answers should be short and to the point.  Be like Wikipedia - if the people want more, give them links to more scholarly and indepth answers, but don't expect newbie truth-seekers to know where to begin in the middle of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica!

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