Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not Your Average Christian

I see in the news a lot about the Westboro Baptist Church. I've had my own experience with church groups like this when I visited Las Vegas a couple years ago, and I've had experience with other church groups which have their own brands of evangelism, all of which I can't agree with.

Groups like the WBC, and the one I encountered in Las Vegas, I flat out cannot support. Yes, I know where they're coming from. I understand why they are doing what they are doing. I don't agree with it. Quite honestly, I'm not all that certain that to guys or two women getting married is such a bad thing. But that's a topic for another post.

The group in Las Vegas was holding up signs which stated "God Hates Fags", and "You're going to Burn in Hell." This was at a gay pride parade. I see what they're doing, and I can't make it mesh with what I've read about Jesus. The only time Jesus showed this level of anger was when religious officials were making a mockery of God's Temple, and this was towards people who should have known better.

Jesus' main way of doing what he did was by establishing relationships with the people he was teaching. The religious officials had a hard time reconciling the fact that he would hang out with prostitutes and other ne'er do wells. When they brought it up to him he basically told them that he was here to help those who needed him.

I say I'm not your average Christian because I don't go out and evangelize. Now, if someone asks me, then I'll talk to them about it, however, I'm never the one to initiate such conversation. I think the one exception to this rule is when I get into discussions about evolution.

The emphasis to me has always been more along the lines of discipleship. Teaching to those who have become Christian, more about just what Christianity means. This stems from when I younger, and became Christian, the church I attended effectively said, "okay, we got him, he's going to heaven, let's get the next guy." They didn't actually say this, but this was kind of the perception I got about it.

I've heard stories of camps where 500 kids get saved in one night. I always think, well hey, that's great, what are you doing to follow through with them? A lot of the time, if I bring it up, I get blank stares as if they wondering what more could I want?

I've had customers when I worked at Meijer try to hand me gospel tracks, and then refuse to listen when I tell them that I'm already Christian. Or I've been to festivals where there's a booth set up, and I don't know what it is, but every time I pass near one, I get stopped and I hear the same set of questions every time.

It seems like every time, even though I explain I'm already Christian, they feel the need to continue to witness to me. It's at this point where I start having fun with them and play Devil's Advocate.

I just think that Church groups could be a much more effective in learning how to interact with people and win them over to their belief by simply examining how Jesus did it, rather than placing "GOD HATES. . ." or ". . . WILL BURN IN HELL." First of all, the only thing God hates is sin. Jesus told us that the greatest commandments are love God, and Love your neighbor as yourself. We would do well to remember that.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hat tip to Blogfather Harvey over at Bad Example. This is a really uplifting video and is definitely a great watch.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TSA: Keeping America Safe. . . From It's Own Troops

A friend of mine on Facebook just shared this article.

I tried looking this up on Google to see if it were actually real, and came across this report of the same instance, but with a little different information.

According to the first article, about 233 members of the United States Military were returning home from Iraq, the second article states that everyone had already been searched for bombs, ammo, and other weapons. Everyone had guns, all of which were unloaded.

The second article goes on to state that they had a stop in Indianapolis to let off about 100 National Guard members (So in actuality, before this stop, there were over 300 people with guns [unloaded] on the plane.)

Despite having already been searched, TSA insisted that everyone exit the plane and be searched again, they also administered swabbing for explosive residue. One serviceman had his multi-tool taken, another lost, of all things, his nail clippers, because apparently, in some way I haven't been able to imagine, they can be used as a weapon.

When the serviceman in question pointed out that he had a rifle, the TSA member dismissed it as being safe as you can't take over a plane with an unloaded rifle. The guy ended up relinquishing his clippers so that he could continue his journey.

Oh, and the explosive residue test? Everybody failed it. Who would have thought that people returning from a war-zone would fail an explosive residue test?

Also, while I haven't undergone formal military training, I'm more than certain that people are taught that a gun makes a great blunt object with which to hit your enemy (should it come to it) If not, chances are they've seen enough movies to know that it would serve as one.

Apparently, This thought has occurred to no one at the TSA. Never mind the fact that these men and women were just risking their lives to protect our country, only to be treated as potential enemies by members of the TSA. How about we treat these men and women like the heroes they are, rather than as the terrorists that they protect us from.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Republicans in the House

Lately news has been somewhat slow, as the new congress has just come into power. The Republicans held a reading of the Constitution on the House floor. Basically it was meant to be a shout out to the Tea Party for supporting them in the last election. It's also the first time that the U.S. Constitution has ever been read on the House Floor.

Let me start by stating that I think it was a nice gesture, but to be completely honest, I don't care that this was done. I'd rather have them not read from the Constitution and hold to it, as their constituents want them to. I'll hold off whether or not I'm glad that they're now in power until I see what they do with their power. I hope that at the very least, we have some kind of barrier against the out of control spending we've been experiencing for the past two years.

So while reading from the Constitution is a nice gesture, I'll leave you with this sound bit of reason: "Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie."