Archive for the ‘church’ Category

Yes, you read the title correctly. A Yes Vote on California’s Proposition 8 means you are going to hell.You might be thinking I got Proposition 8 wrong. After all, it is mostly “religious” people who are proponents of Proposition 8 here in California. However, these are mostly Christians lead astray by false leaders who are interested in power, control, and vanity.

These might seem like harsh words, but nothing is more harsh than the oppression of your fellow man, and the Bible makes it very clear that we should not oppress any other human, even ones we don’t understand or agree with.

Exodus 22:21
Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9
Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Those versus above might look and sound familiar. That is because they come from the long list of commandments from God that are frequently shortened to the top 10 list a la The 10 Commandments.

Exodus is perhaps the most straightforward of any book in the Bible. It makes it very clear what is wrong and what is right.

Oppression is clearly bad. But what is oppression?

The Bible isn’t designed like a dictionary. It doesn’t state what every word means. Wikipedia gives us a great explanation of oppression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppression

However, we can look at the dictionary definition of oppression: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppression
unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power b: something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power

One might argue that by changing the constitution of California to limit who can and cannot be married, it would remove the unjust portion of this definition because justice (by definition) would be that only a man or a woman could be married. However, we are stuck with the cruel exercise of authority or power portion of the definition.

Humans limiting the civil rights of other humans is designed to inflict pain and grief, plain and simple. If you don’t want to let gays have Catholic weddings, that’s one thing. But limiting a civil marriage based upon any criteria other than being human is absurd.

Civil law in America is not religion dependent. Instead, American law is based upon the principle that all men are created equal (save the major slavery screwup written into our constitution).

Now, I’ve had Christian friends tell me that gay marriage must be stopped because the Bible clearly states we must protect our houses of worship. I agree. Your church can (and by any reasonable interpretation of the Bible, should) not allow gay marriage. But you are not worshiping the state of California are you? If you are, you have much bigger problems with God than you do with gay people.

Yes, the Bible states that homosexuality is an abomination and that a man laying with another man as he does with a woman is a sin. There is no surprise there. It is pretty clear that gay people are sinning (as are we all). So…

Will not allowing gay couples to marry rid them of their sin? No

Will not allowing gay couples to have the same civil rights as other couples rid them of their sin? No

Every Christian knows that there is One Way and ONLY One Way to be absolved of our sins. Christians should be focusing on spreading the word of God, not limiting civil rights of our fellow man. Our judgment and condemnation of another human here on Earth means absolutely nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Null.

Christians need to remember that our faith without deeds or vice versa is pointless. Believing that we should “love thy neighbor as thyself” and turning around and saying that our gay neighbor can’t get married is false faith. Go read James 2.

Now, does a Yes vote on Proposition 8 get you into hell? That really depends on what God means by poor. I’m betting poor doesn’t just refer to money. Poverbs 14:31 makes it abundantly clear what it means to oppress the poor. In short, it is blasphemy. Done in the name of God, this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, to which there is no forgiveness.

I was at a church a while back and the pastor was talking about how selfish babies and children are as an example of the sinful nature of humans. He used the example of a baby crying for milk late at night to demonstrate how selfish babies are. Needless to say, I havenā€™t been back to that church since.

I’ll paraphrase my favorite quote:

May baby son is so selfish at night. He could be lying there in his crib thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t cry because mom and dad need to wake up early in the morning”. But instead, he’s selfish and starts crying, because that’s the nature of human beings. We are selfish.

The only thing selfish I saw was a supposed “man of God”, a very popular pastor in America, spouting out a bunch of selfish righteousness.

Eyeballs and swimming pools don’t mix. That’s why I’ve been wearing goggles during my triathlon training. However, there is only one thing worse than bare eyes in the water. It’s a pair of friggin goggles that leak!

My eyes are bloodshot now because the pair of TYR goggles I have don’t seal my eyes. They did when I first got them, but they don’t any more. Time for me to switch back to Barracudas. After all, it is Water Wednesday. Three sessions of water drills doesn’t just require goggles… I’m going to get prune hands

Blog coming soon… Selfish Righteousness. It’s a new term I’ve come up with after I’ve heard a few people tell me that babies have selfish intentions when they are crying at 2AM in the morning.

I’m going to see NickVujicic this Sunday with some friends. I can’t wait to see him. If you ever thought you had it rough growing up… This guy will inspire you! Check out his website: LifeWithoutLimbs.org. He really is someone you have to see for yourself. Be sure to checkout one of his videos. This guy is totally cool!

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Originally Posted on my Myspace Blog

I was leaving my Team Management & Leadership classroom on Friday night when my friend Cecil asked me if I could give him a ride. I know what public transportation is like in Los Angeles. I used to travel via train and bus from my house to the OC 3-4 times a week several years ago. For those of you outside the Los Angeles area… Public transportation in Los Angeles is severely lacking.

Back to Cecil. I asked him where he needed to go. He says, I’m about 10 minutes down La Cienega in Inglewood. Now, if you are not familiar with Los Angeles, Inglewood ain’t exactly Beverly Hills. But hey, if The Dog Whisperer can make it in The Wood, why can’t I? Plus, the LA Center for Landmark is one block west of Inglewood, so I’m eating lunch there regularly.

We started driving down La Cienega and got to talking a little bit. He’s from Houston, and he came out here for music. He’s a singer and musician. He’s a really good guy, and he’s giving a lot of himself to make a difference for others.

I remembered back to the first time I met him. He had just started his Introduction Leaders Program at Landmark, and I was finishing mine up. We were assisting with setting up some of the rooms for the introductions. We made a good team with getting things together. Now, here I am driving him to his apartment and talking with him about his career ambitions and what difference he wants to make in the world.

Really cool guy. I told him that he better invite me to his church when he gets back into singing on Sundays. Hopefully, I’ll be making another trip to Inglewood in the near future.

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You don’t realize it yet, but in the next 3 minutes you’re going to learn why God has not been answering your prayers. Before I get to that, I’m going to share with you an experience that I’ve had several times in the past and, most recently, this morning. My confession is that this is something that I have done myself. What I’m about to share is something that we have all done at some point in our life and then pondered why the outcome is so different than how we thought God had intended it. So what is the secret to God answering our prayers?

A good friend of mine was sharing about her experience with failing a test necessary to received her teaching credential. She had taken the test last year and failed. She was devastated, but she picked up her chin and started studying again to take the test this year. She spent hours studying and doing what she felt was needed to ensure that she passed the test. Then she began telling me about her conversations with her higher power, God, regarding her journey.

She had made several requests to God that if he did not want her to pursue this goal of hers, he should make sure that certain milestones were not met (such as receiving scholarships, early rescheduling, etc.) Yet, everything fell into place. My friend was clear that God intended her to take *and* pass the test this second time around. She was riding high in faith that she would pass the test. I remember her talking about how positive she was trying to be about the test. She was trying not to think about the last test. She had asked God for guidance, and it was clear to her that he intended her to pass. She failed the test earlier this week.

Almost everyone has heard of this happening to someone. Or maybe you have experienced this for yourself. You called upon God to give you guidance, and he has given you a path that is as clear as the hand in front of your face. To my friend, God has shown her exactly what she was supposed to do by supporting her pursuit of her teaching credential exactly as she knew it should happen. Now, she was upset with God for having not protected her interests. After all, she had made the requests of God, and he had put everything in place for her. I’d venture to guess that you’ve had this experience yourself.

So, why is it that God can appear to answer our prayers one day and not answer them the next? I know that some of us have it that it is all part of God testing us. However, that God is testing our faith by baiting us with cheese of our wants being fulfilled, only to take the cheese away at the last minute is a bit obscene. Bait & switch, deceit, and lies are very human type games. What is more likely than God playing some faith testing game with us is that we have fooled ourselves into believing that our wants and pursuits are supported by God at all. We do this by making demands on God like my friend, “God, if you really don’t want me to pursue this then you should not allow me to receive the scholarships I need.”

Many of us have it that we are so important that God is listening and reacting to every request and demand we make of him in the exact way that we want him to. There are a lot of assumptions we are making about our conversations with God:

  1. He’s actually listening
  2. He takes action in response to our requests
  3. He responds and alters the universe in a way that makes sense to us

Don’t be offended by any of these three assumptions. I’m not suggesting that God does not listen to us. I’m also not suggesting that God doesn’t take any action in response to our requests. I personally believe in a higher power that is always listening and responding to everything that everyone thinks, says, or does. So where does that leave us with the final assumption? The one that God responds and alters the universe in a way that makes sense to us.

As this blog rolls to an end, I invite you to consider that the answer
to the question at hand lies in the realm of responsibility. We project onto God that which we believe to be what he is “revealing to us”. Take a moment to soak this up. Put another way, we see the actions unfolding in our life as God’s response to the requests we are making of him. Like my
friend has experienced, God will not make you pass or fail in life. So, then, why do we make God responsible for the outcomes we experience in life? Stay tuned to my blog for more.

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‘Tis the season for some news about Christianity. I was reading an article on CNN about the son of Jim Bakker (remember that swindler?)

I saw an ad on the side of the page with the headline: Davidic Christianity Christian Polygamy. The text ad read: Davidic Christianity seeks to fulfill the prophecy of Amos 9: 11-12 by… Perhaps it was my red-blooded American curiosity that got me clicking. I mean, David was hooking it up.

Now, typically, I don’t blog, bulletin, or otherwise comment on material that I don’t want to promote. After all, all press is good press. On top of this, I suspect that the folks at House of David Ministries paid good money for their ad on CNN. I’m now giving them additional value for their spend on CNN. But the message they are trying to convey is of great importance.

The folks at House of David Ministries claim that they are trying to convey a message of God. Please, by all means, read the article they have crafted about Biblical Marriage. This is slick idea! Hell, if God supports polygamy, I’m all for it. Any man stupid enough to try to take on fulfilling the needs of more than one woman deserves what he’s going to get. Then again, the “Biblical” concept of marriage is the transfer of ownership of the bride from her father to her husband. So, I suppose that there’s not a whole lot of focus on fulfilling any of her needs when it comes to “Biblical” marriage.

My personal favorite is the Conclusions section. Honestly, this is a rather well written article. Yes, it is filled with authentic Biblical gibberish. Yes, it is entirely too long for anyone in their right mind to read in a single sitting. In fact, I encourage you to read it over several bathroom visits. There are plenty of Bible quotes that truly prove that either (1) polygamy is established through the word of God to be not just acceptable but honorable *OR* (2) parts of the Bible can be used to support any idea someone can come up with.

Read Conclusion #8. The first 8, please, not the second. At the time I wrote this, there were two 8’s. Will the House of David Ministries change it by the time you read this? I’m not sure. I suppose it depends on how many people waste their time reading my blogs šŸ˜€

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