Today, we offer some constructive criticism to those self identifying as Christians.
G K Chesterton (died 1936) lamented that “Christianity had been found difficult and was left untried.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), 130 years ago, claimed that Christians lived their lives no differently than pagans.
There is a lesson here.
The deceased have passed on. Thus, funerals are more for the living than for the dead. Do not wait until a person close to you is dead to show your concern for them. Spend time with loved ones who are in hospital or in hospice care. Take the time now. Don’t wait until it is too late and the opportunity is lost and gone.
Life is what you make it, or are you what life has made you?
We often hear the saying “life is what you make it”. While we can make our life what we want it to be to a certain extent, the saying is rather simplistic, if not a half truth. We are all confronted with constraints, many of which we cannot change or remove from our lives. We have to learn to adapt to living with these onerous constraints. Consider the child who is born blind or with cerebral palsy, or the victim of an accident or of violence or war-time injury that maims or cripples or paralyzes his/her body. As well, we have to accept constraints upon our behavior and actions in society so that we are not incarcerated or placed in an institution for the mentally or psychologically ill. We confront limits each and every day in the struggle which is life. These limits serve to shape or influence our expectations.
Our experiences do indeed affect us greatly, especially the painful, trying experiences. Tragic, traumatic and painful experiences suffered through when one is young can and do leave rather lasting effects (scars) on us that we may not even be fully conscious of. These experiences shape our thinking, our view of the world perhaps more than we care to admit to ourselves.
Pastor Jonathan Gentry is a passionate speaker who is very concerned with crime in the black community here in the US.
His classic line: “I am going to tell you what you need to hear as opposed to what you want to hear.” – is appropriate and describes his message well.
These 2 short videos on YouTube are important to consider.
From IMDB (the Internet Movie Data Base site), we have this blurb:
A documentary focused on Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.
zero days info on IMDB
A terribly disturbing yet thought provoking comment on a Christian marriage blog is the impetus for this post. Before providing the full quote of the comment (below), let us pose the relevant questions.
Is a sexual incompatibility of the spouses reasonable grounds for seeking a divorce? Can married couples achieve a more harmonious and mutually fulfilling and satisfying sexual life over time through effort and sacrifice? How important is good sex to the strength and success of the marriage? Why are the Christian churches largely silent on this challenge present in many marriages today? What about the harm, the very great harm, done to children who suffer through a dissolution of their parents’ marriage? A final question could be: Why do women play the role of refuser or gatekeeper when it comes to being sexually available for their husband?
Our feature image was captured last May (2016) while on holiday in Arches National Park, Utah.
Or, as the late Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) would say “awe before the mystery of being”.
Consider this mystery for a moment. Our pet cat is sitting behind me taking a bath (as we say when cats clean their fur with their course tongue). This behavior is hard wired (instinctual) in the cat’s small mammalian brain. Does the cat even “think” about it? This behavior may be automatic to cats similar to how we humans often forget the actions of tying our shoe laces or washing our hands and do these “automatically” so to speak as we are not fully conscious of doing these. (Animals do have a certain level of consciousness or sentience to be sure. It is a pity that they, too, must suffer in the struggle which is life.)
My point is how wonderful and awe-inspiring much of the world around us truly is if we briefly step back and look at it. We praise God for the beauty and mystery and majesty of His creation. God’s handiwork is revealed to us in a lowly animal’s routine behavior.
copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com
We recently finished reading The Work of All Ages – The Ongoing Plot to Rule the World from Biblical Times to the Present, by Peter Christian, published by The Barnes Review (2010), softcover, 230 pages.
Here now is our review of this “controversial” book, lengthy of necessity.
If some accounts or sections in the Bible were (are) allegorical or metaphorical in nature and not literally accurate, would that cause your faith to come crashing down like a house of cards?
While perusing other blogs, I came across a blogger who spends much time attempting to prove that the Earth was created in 6 days and also to disprove the accepted science that the Earth is billions of years old. He disputes that there are mountain chains many millions of years old today on the planet. Basically, this man is insisting on a literal interpretation to all that is in the Bible.
Our feature image is of low lying clouds over the bay seen from the Bay Bridge in early twilight.
Democracies are peaceful, these spread peace and are the answer to a war-torn world. Toppled dictatorships ought to be replaced with democracy for a more peaceful planet.
Let’s take a closer look.
There is an idea that we as individuals may be a part of a larger conscious entity that is simultaneously living multiple lives in different realities, or on different planes of existence or different dimensions. This raises the possibility of multiple versions or editions of ourselves. One may wonder what the purpose of such multiple lives might be. Perhaps the more rapid harvesting of the lessons gained from diverse experiences for the “over mind” is the purpose.
As to this idea of predestination in Protestant circles of mental speculation, we do not buy it.
Because it negates human free will. You cannot have both free will and predestination.
Here is how we see it. As Boethius (died circa 521 A.D.) wrote that God exists outside of time, it follows that He sees past, present and future all in one glance so to speak. But God’s foreknowledge (remember we are taught to believe that God is all-knowing) of what we will choose does not condition or necessitate that choice. God knows how we will freely choose, but His advance knowledge does not make us choose what we choose.
We need strong families in these times of social decay and societal fragmentation. The threats to our children are many and diverse in our toxic culture. Parents need to protect their children.
Strong families, intact marriages, 2 parent households are necessary for a harmonious society. (As we have blogged in the past: the purpose of sexual morality is to protect and promote stable marriages and thus stable families.)
Why can there be subjects of historical inquiry that are off limits?
It is currently illegal in many European nations to question the official or generally accepted account of the holocaust of European Jewry during the Second World War. This is no distortion nor exaggeration. European readers are well aware of these restrictions.
Our purpose here is not to dissect the official holocaust story, but rather to question the possible reasons or motivations for restricting objective and open inquiry into the official history of the holocaust, and stifling open discussions of the results of such inquiries that are made.
what circumcision does not do
Allegedly a panacea, or at least an effective preventive measure, for everything from masturbation caused epilepsy * to cervical cancer to now the spread of AIDS (HIV), circumcision has nothing to do with any of these things as the foreskin’s presence or absence does not affect cervical cancer rates **, has nothing to do with masturbation habits or practices, and does not play a significant role in transmission of HIV (we have looked over some of the “studies” purportedly showing circumcision as a factor in reducing transmission of HIV and these studies have some serious limitations and flaws). Amputation of the foreskin (and that is what circumcision in the US is) is not medically necessary nor justified.
Today, Western Civilization appears to have lost its identity, lost its soul. It is under constant attack from many quarters. By “western civilization”, we mean those ideas, values and traditions that have come down to us through history from ancient Greece and Rome and the rest of Europe and have been greatly shaped or influenced by Christianity.
Perhaps, our question could be rephrased as: Can Western Civilization survive its current crisis of identity? The crisis, the pressing existential drama, seems to be inexorably progressing towards a climax.
“There is no God.” – is a statement of faith, not of science. Really, the statement is an assertion.
People who self identify as atheists often think that science supports their chosen position or is “on their side”. True, many in the scientific community are atheists and others say they are agnostic. And, that is the danger. Those people of science have much prestige and command much respect in today’s world. Yet, science has its limitations. (Gasp) Yes, it really does have limitations albeit you rarely hear such talk from those in science.
This post is in answer to the many comments on Christian marriage blogs by wives who lament, justify and rationalize their unwillingness to give oral sex to their husband.
Do we really know about the nature of God?
Well, yes, we have the revealed religions to tell us of God’s nature.
But, some may wonder: do we humans impute our hangups, our biases, our character traits (or even character flaws) on to God, or at least on to our concept of God?
What is the real purpose of sexual morality?
There are no doubt many opinions about this. In this essay, we give our thoughts on this topic.