We have no free will. Read it and weep.
Month: March 2007
Grapes Of Heaven
When life serves you lemons, make lemonade, which is just as bad as lemons.
A fine sermon on how to deal with crummy parts of life.
Chocolate Jesus Cancelled
Well, the chocolate rendition of Jesus stirred up too much controversy and has been eliminated.
Catholics with too much time on their hands demanded the display be removed.
Bill Donohue, head of the watchdog Catholic League, said it was “one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever.”
Well, you know besides lighting Christians on fire and stuff.
Martin Luther went nuts in his later years. My theory is that he was a sarcastic man, which is why I like him (!), who felt a need to fight about everything. One of the reasons why he was such a good reformer was because he found problems with everything.
When you fight for everything you often lose sight of what it was you were originally intending to get across. Luther seems to have done this and I know of other church leaders who had similar problems.
On the opposite end is the church leader who fights for nothing. People walk on him and he goes nuts too. We were made to fight for something.
The problem is: what do we fight for?
The tendency is to fight for yourself. I think Luther fell in to this to some degree, the battle became more about him near the end. He wanted to be martyred very badly and I think he was discouraged that it never happened, forcing him to be weirder and weirder.
Jesus Christ shows the perfect example of what to fight for: He never fought for Himself, as a sheep before his shearers is silent. But He fought to the death to edify others through love.
Let em do what they want to the body; fight for the soul.
Squidoo is an Internet site that allows users to create a lens, a brief look into a subject. It’s a neat little tool. I used it to create a lens about Martin Luther, a place where I can keep all the information I want to keep about him.
I hope to do these for several Church History guys as well as other biblical topics, so stay tuned for that.
If you have any other good info about Luther, send it along to me: jcweddle1 at juno.com
Here I Stand
In my brief research into Luther biographies, this one kept surfacing as the best one, so I went for it.
It is very well written and he certainly gives you a good grasp of the man with many first-hand quotes from Luther’s voluminous writings. Luther was incredible for the amount of stuff he accomplished in life.
The book bogs down some with all the church squabbling that Luther created but had nothing to do with, but it was necessary to show all that.
Luther was a funny man, a bit sarcastic and always battling something. Bainton admits that most biographers skip the last 16 years of Luther’s life because he went nuts and got carried away in his vitriol. He called for the removal of Jews and the killing of Anabaptists. Oops.
Luther was also a man who struggled with faith and depression, yet he kept going in his quest to show people their justification through faith in Christ without the trappings of the Pope.
If you want to know more about this fascinating man, read this book.
No Point, Just A Thought
Most of us are aware that Jesus predicted His resurrection by pointing to the sign of Jonah, buried in the fish for three days. We know there is a picture of Christ in Jonah.
Maybe I’m just dumb, or wasn’t paying attention, but there are other similarities between the two guys.
Both were sent to preach salvation to lost people.
Both slept in a boat during a storm.
Both calmed the waters of a storm.
Both had plants that were cursed and died.
Both were apprehensive to carry out their mission.
Both did their mission anyway.
Both were buried for three days.
Both were resurrected.
Both saved a multitude of people after their resurrection.
As with all pictures of Christ, the only perfect man, there are vast differences between the two, but I find all the similarities to be intriguing. I’m sure there are some more.
“It has been said somewhere that the whole Law, according to the Jews, was given to Moses in 613 precepts, that David reduced them in the fifteenth Psalm to eleven, that Isaiah further diminished them to six, Micah to three, Isaiah in a later passage to two, but Habakkuk condensed all 613 into one,—’the just shall live by faith.’”
I got this quote from this blog piece, which goes on to point out that “the just shall live by faith” is also the summary of Paul’s explanation of the Gospel in Romans 1:16,17. Faith is the essence of our relationship with Christ.
Somewhat ironic that said blog post devolves into an argument in the comments, but alas, so goes the point.
Rock The Vote
Senator Fred Thompson is supposed to be the hot conservative presidential candidate right now. Apparently James Dobson is not impressed.
Dobson said he would not support Thompson, however, because, “Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for, I don’t think he’s a Christian; at least that’s my impression.”
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson’s characterization of the former Tennessee senator. “Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. “He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”
Long underwear is great!
Vote Mormon in ’08!
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary
Mary Winkler now faces more problems. Not only is she to be on trial soon to be sentenced for killing her pastor husband, but now the deceased husband’s family is suing her for $2 million!
I am currently reading Here I Stand, the best (allegedly) biography of Martin Luther. I will finish it soon so my review will come later, but I wanted to share a few good quotes I just read.
The man cracks me up.
“If Luther did not say that children, church and kitchen are the province of women, he did say that women have been created with large hips in order that they should stay at home and sit on them.”
“Christ said we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Dear God, this is too much. Have we got to become such idiots?”
And on that, the Catholic Church took a tumble.
Mmmmm. . . Chocolaty
On April 1, artist Cosimo Cavallaro will unveil a 6-foot-tall, anatomically correct rendering of Jesus in milk chocolate at a midtown Manhattan hotel.
Let me preface this post with this: I know I have a bad attitude, but seriously.
I accidentally listened to Christian radio today and heard the tail end of a song where I heard the following line six times in its last 30 seconds.
When He was on the cross,
I was on His mind.
Oh, gag, aaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkkk.
What a load of pompous drivel that is. Who does this woman think she is that she was on Christ’s mind on the cross? I mean seriously, read the Book, nothing that came out of Christ’s mouth leads me to believe that Christ had this woman on His mind at that point.
What I hear is that Christ had His Father on His mind.
Oh, the abject theological poverty of modern Christian songs. It’s all about me, me, me. Get off yourself. Learn from Christ, who did not live for Himself or for me, He lived to do the will of His Father. Let’s follow His lead.
What It Is
Hell has often been described, even by me, as “being completely separated from the presence of God.” Heaven is the joy of being in His presence; hell is the pain of being out of His presence.
I’m not sure this is true. Consider:
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalm 139:7,8).
The problem is that the word “heaven” and “hell” can be used very loosely. “Hell” (sheol) can just mean the grave, the pit, the place of the dead and “heaven” can mean the air or the realm of angels. But they can also mean the place of torment and the place of reward.
Any time the Bible speaks of people being taken out of God’s presence it refers to a judgment on the Land of Israel. It is not referring to hell.
Hell is part of God’s creation, there can be no part of God’s creation that He is not sustaining. For hell to truly be hell it implies God’s presence—unholy things in the presence of pure holiness is pain and suffering.
“As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice” (Psalm 68:2,3).
For the believer, being in the presence of God is all joy; for the unbeliever, being in the presence of God is pure torture. God is present in hell and so are people who can’t handle it. Eternal torment is the result.
(I will gladly stand corrected if someone can show me the verses that say hell is being out of God’s presence. It will make my previous statements right!)
More Big Jesus’
Need some more big Jesus sights? Perhaps the world’s largest Ten Commandments? Large crosses or praying hands? Giant Mary’s?
You can find it all on one convenient page right here!
Gotta love the internet.
Want to know what Christ’s resurrection body looks like?
“. . . artist James Lynch was commissioned to render a fiberglass and styrofoam over metal frame depiction of Christ after the Resurrection looming over the Baptismal Pool. The figure was completed in September 2004.”
Teaching God’s Word
A couple readers sent me this link to a Time and CNN lengthy piece on teaching the Bible.
The gist of the piece is that teaching the Bible is a good thing. It’s the best selling book of all time. It is the source of good literature and many Biblical concepts were prevalent in historical events.
Bottom line: it seems highly uneducated to completely ignore religion in public schools when religion has shaped our world and a proper understanding of it is necessary to understand many happenings of today. Teach the dummies the Bible. Even CNN can see that.
Tying It Together
In Christ, we’re already dead (Galatians 5:24).
In Christ, we have begun eternal life (Galatians 2:20).
In Christ, this world is dead to us (Galatians 6:14).
Here’s what that means if you tie it all together: we’re already living in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
What would your life look like in heaven? (Revelation 21:4)
Live that now (Romans 13:11,12).
Bring Out Your Dead
Lion Crest Inn has a post refuting amillennialism based on Revelation 20:4,5.
Happily Ever After
Tom at It’s Kinda Confusing has a post on the fallacy of fairy-tale Christianity.
Give Em What They Want
One of the central tenets of Christianity is love, which means to put others above you.
One of the central tenets of the world is putting you above others.
This is one time when Christians are supposed to give the world exactly what they want.
The world screams “Me first!”
The Christian is to respond, “OK, go right ahead. Love ya man! Peace!”
Sweden is publishing a magazine, “Bible Illuminated, Gamla Testament: The Book,” that is publishing the Old Testament in magazine issues with sensuous photos, text boxes and sidebars.
He noted that millions of magazines are sold every month in Europe and hopes that presenting the Old Testament in magazine format will give it a greater appeal to readers.
“It’s closer to the way people read today,” said Söderberg. “People prefer a text that is journalistically laid out: split into articles, with headlines, quote boxes, pictures and captions. This way they can more easily pick the parts they’re interested in reading.”
They plan on making an English version as well as a New Testament. I can hardly wait.
Wisdom Of Solomon
Solomon wrote three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. These books are very strange when you compare them with each other.
Proverbs–everything is rational. There’s a right and a wrong way to do things. The choice between being a fool and being a wise man is up to you.
Ecclesiastes–pretty much everything is stupid.
Song of Solomon–irrational exuberance with life and with another person is awesome, dude!
How in the world does all of this come from one man?
Because it comes from God and there are many sides to God and they all must be taken at one time to make any sense of life.
A controversial new public relations campaign by animal-rights group PETA proclaims Jesus Christ to have been a vegetarian, and portrays the Last Supper – complete with 12 “disciples” including Beatle Paul McCartney and lesbian country-music singer k.d. lang – as a spectacle meant to inspire mankind to forsake eating meat.
The outreach has been built into a 28-foot 1955 Silver Streak Airstream trailer wherein the “Last Supper” is re-created, surrounding Jesus with famous vegetarians.
Jesus, however, did encourage cannibalism, John 6:54,55, which is meat, so they might want to revise their campaign a bit.
Keepin It Real
John Stossel had a report on 20/20 last night about Rusty Leonard, a guy who gave up his lucrative financial job to start a ministry that examines how Christian ministries spend their money.
It was interesting, although if you’re a regular reader of this blog there was nothing too surprising. You can check out the complete 20/20 story here and his watchdog website here, that ranks ministries on financial accountability.
Ministries that failed their transparency rankings (not telling anyone how donations are spent) are:
Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Crystal Cathedral, Rod Parsley, TBN, Kenneth Hagin, TD Jakes among others. Shocking.
My son has really gotten into Teletubbies lately. It happens to be on while he’s eating his lunch and he seems to enjoy it thoroughly.
Since I often eat at the same time, I too have seen a number of Teletubbies episodes.
You’ll never believe what goes on during that show. That purple one is gay! I can’t believe no one has noticed this before. He’s purple, has the deepest voice and carries a purse. I mean, hello, he’s practically on fire.
Where is the outrage?
Carting The Horse
It is my contention that people have sins they want to do and then they devise a theology to surround it to make it OK. When Adam sinned he pointed at his wife, she pointed at the serpent. No one wants to take responsibility for their sin.
So we get busy finding justification for it. The best way to justify sin is to find a loophole in the Bible that seems to make it OK, at least OK enough for you.
Take Rev. Craig X Rubin for example. He founded a church, Temple 420, out in California (of course) that was recently raided and busted for using marijuana. Rubin is suing for his right to use marijuana as a religious practice.
His unique take on why he needs marijuana goes a little something like this:
“Our congregation mandates members study the Bible, have faith in God and regularly burn the herb cannabis (The Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible) as sacrament.”
You can use scripture to support pretty much anything, as long as you’re willing to ignore most of it. The tough part is reading and believing the whole book and allowing The Book to form your theology and thus your practice.
Never start theology off of practice. Justifying practice has pretty much been the source of all heresy.
As Jesus Did
Commissioned II Love (C2L) is a Christian ministry on the campus of Savannah State University. They’ve gotten themselves in trouble for violating the harassment/hazing policy of the school because they wash the feet of new members to the group.
According to the complaint before the U.S. district court in the southern district of Georgia, several SSU students organized a petition to have C2L shut down, accusing it of having a “cult-like mentality.”
So, C2L has decided to sue for their rights, again following the example of Jesus. Several Christian legal defense groups have joined the fray so they can send out scare-tactic fund-raising letters about how secular colleges don’t like Jesus.
Of course this is stupid but it’s also expected. Suing for your rights is never how Christians were told to respond to “persecution.” Count it all joy and praise God, people!