This is the 21st year that I’ve celebrated Father’s day with my dad. I don’t know that I could be more proud of him. He’s been an example to me in so many ways… many he doesn’t even know about. My personality is shaped by him, my faith is molded by him. He’s been a father and a friend. I’m truely blessed to have him in my life. Our relationship is in a changing stage right now where we’re moving from him being in a more decision making role to being more of a mentor. It kinda scares me, because he’s helped me make some pretty significant decisions in life, but I’m beginning to realize that I have passed the point where he can be so involved and it be healthy. I need to begin making my own life and creating my own family. Its exciting and frightening all at the same time.
Interesting story, also on a Father’s Day note, I was searching for free wireless (which is not as easy to come by in memphis as it is nashville) and I came across a Krystal. I sat down inside, plugged up my computer and began checking my email. Soon, an employee walked up to me. I’m thinking, “crap, I have to buy something to use the internet” but she began to talk to me about things unrelated, so my fears were allieved. Anyway, I mentioned that I’m going to my grandparents for Father’s Day tonight to which she added that she is 22 years old and has seen her Father 3 times in her life. I had to ask again to double check that’s what she said. One of the three times she saw her dad it was on the corner of the interstate, I can only imagine, begging for money or food. It gave me another reminder of how blessed I am, how fortunate I am, and how God has given us freedom to help those who are stuck in a cycle of poverty that causes broken home after broken home. The woman I was speaking with is named Monique, so if you’d like, say a little prayer for her. I can’t imagine only knowing a father from three specific incidents. I can’t imagine how that feels on father’s day.
God, I’m not one for blogging my prayer, but this time I feel led to. Help Monique be comforted and strenghten in any way you can. Help give us boldness to help those who are less fortunate than us. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
I’ve been thinking about these two concepts a lot today because of a conversation going on over at the Myspace C of C forums about eternal life? You know, what is it? How do you get it? Can you lose it? One guy was bringing up the point that you’re saved when you believe, and others say you’re saved when you have faith that is manifested in baptism. Anyway, its heated, and I don’t really agree with anyone over there, probably because my definition of salvation is different from theirs.
“Following Jesus isn’t to get salvation. Following Jesus IS salvation,” I heard Jeff Walling say a couple months ago. It struck me. I was reading some about the Kingdom of God at the time, and since have read even more (Just a little plug, if you haven’t read “The Secret Message of Jesus” you definitely should). Anyway, the point was made on the forum that even believing or having faith is a work, just the same as being dunked or repenting, or confessing. I didn’t disagree with that, and it really throws a wrench in the theology of those that believe the “salvation is a free gift from God” mantra. You know, the pray the prayer folks. And there are plenty of verses to back up the “free gift” idea. But then there are things we are told to do as well. Maybe we’re missing something here. Maybe.
Is it possible that Jesus’s death forgve everyone, and they just didn’t know it, and that evangelism wasn’t to “get people saved” but to tell them their forgiven and teach them how a forgiven person lives? Maybe the judgement that Jesus talks about isn’t judging where he says “you… heaven, you …oh man, I’m sorry, you’re going to eternal torment. bye now…” Maybe there is this concept that even though we are all forgiven, we are still judged, not for punishment, but just for judgement sake. Someone has to point out where we are wrong for us to be forgiven.
Maybe judgement and forgiveness go hand in hand?
Here's an interesting editorial about Al Gore's film "An Inconvienent Truth" in the New York Post. Check it out here.
Also, christiancadre has a different perspective on the Left Behind game here.
After reading Christian Cadres remarks, I realize that some of my remarks may have been a little harsh. Think2Action's article was somewhat biased, and my lack of research resulted in my spreading what it seems now isn't true. I apologize for that. However, I still disagree with Left Behind's theology because I believe its dangerous and I still think that the video game is probably in bad taste.
Sometimes I turn on TBN or the 700 club just to see what’s going on in the world of crazy christianity. (I’d like to call it something else, but nothing comes to mind).
The other night, I was watching one of the many Christian stations in Nashville when a feature came on starring an african american lady. She began her story talking about how poor she was and how she was watching Oral Roberts on television. He mentioned in his show that the Holy Spirit was a He. Apparently this struck said lady so much that she decided to call the prayer line. I’m not sure why the HS’s gender struck her so much. I was always under the impression that it was gender neutral, being as its not a human, but whatever works for Oral I guess.
Long story short, she talked to a prayer partner and they gave mailed her some pamphlets from OR that explained step by step how to receive the Holy Spirit. Once again I learned something new, apparently if you follow the directions carefully the Holy Spirit will enter right in, but if you don’t know the code, he just kinda floats around. After following the instructions carefully, said black lady was very excited because she received the Holy Spirit. What did this Spirit tell her to do? SEND ORAL ROBERTS MONEY!
Well, they don’t call it money on that broadcast. I think they called it a “seed gift” or something to that effect. I’m sure you can guess what happened when she “planted” the seed right? Yep. You guessed it. She just randomly graduated from college and got a job. The holy spirit apparently sent her a diploma in the mail and sent her resume to some jobs. Anyway, she continues to give more money to Oral Roberst ministries ( isn’t he dead) and of course she just gets more and more money from the Holy Spirit.
These kind of things make me angry. I feel like they are so misleading, and really kinda fraudulant. Sure, we receive more than we give, but what we receive is not necessarily monitary. Sometimes, its part of what the bible likes to call “eternal life” or “life to the full”. God knows that money will not make us happy (despite what Oral Roberts and friends will tell you) but he knows that living a life where you aren’t so concerned about your own desires as with helping others will bring you joy.
Now, back to watching sportscenter.
Andrew Sullivan directed me to an article about a new Left Behind video game. You know, the series of Christian books about the rapture? Well, a new game is coming out in October of this year. You can check out the articlehere. I do warn you, this will most likely make you angry. I dislike those books enough because they are just downright bad theology, but this game takes it over the top. The players are in new york city, where people are rioting and buildings are burning (some smoke coming from tall buildings) and the object is to convert people and then, I kid you not, shoot them if they don’t convert. And to top it off, after you kill the infidels (you know… catholics, buhddists, muslims, etc) the character yells “PRAISE THE LORD” Oh yeah, Rick Warren is involved in this too. Wonderful.
Excuse me, while I throw up.