Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love Loses, I can't believe it!

In the following entry there will be no terms used that the average adult does not understand. Although I know and understand a few of the terms that seminary types like to throw around, they are for the most part unnecessary. While they have some place in keeping discussions short, I find that they are mostly used to try and rebuild the Temple Vail that was said to be torn in two.

Since I was a small child I have been told this basic story or narrative about whom God is and why we, the folks that reside here on planet Earth, were created.

It starts out rather simple and innocent, if you can get your mind around; There is a God that has always been. But in this realm of infinity, there was a very specific time (about five to six thousand years ago) that God decided he wanted to be in communion with a being that was made in his image, but was definitely no deity.

So what will this creature be, what does it mean to have communion or a relationship between God and this newly created human thing. I was told that love between man and God can only exist if there is freewill. If you cannot choose to love or not to love God, if it is instead somehow hardwired into you, how can you really call it love? (That always made a lot of sense to me)

So it was that God made man and woman and their freewill inevitably caused them to fall out of fellowship with God. This was done through disobedience, which we call sin.

In the next 1,000 years things went from bad to worse:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of the rulers saw the daughters of men that they were pretty; and they took as wives all those whom they chose ... The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.' [Genesis 6:1-2, 11-12]

Yep, that’s everyone (except Noah and his family). If you are a fundamentalist, then you must believe that the balance of the population of the world has for the last four to five thousand years been suffering unimaginable torment. And, by the way, they are not one moment closer to being finished with that torment than when they started.

It does not make much sense for me to chronicle the next 400 years till Abram becomes Abraham or the following 2000 until the New Covenant or the last 2000 years, because the bottom line is the same. What is that bottom line? It is this:

God, whom we say is Love, created creatures for the purpose of relationship, even though he knew that the vast majority would reject him in one way or another. He also knew that He, being all good, was left with no other option but for these failures to endure nothing short of a complete and eternal separation from him (Hell) upon their death. The question of how big a majority the eternally damned are depends on the severity of your fundamentalism. While some groups believe only their micro-sect will be enjoying the bounty of Heaven, other generous groups feel as though most Christians will make the cut. Either way, the majority of humans that were created by God and for God, will be eternally tortured. That God is not a God who loves me or one that I could love. That is, most simply, why I cannot be a fundamentalist.

Well there, I said it. It is what I have known / believed for some time. If you yourself are a die-hard fundamentalist then I have no doubt just jumped to the damned side of the equation, but really, there are so many, does one more really matter?

If you are not a fundamentalist, you may be asking “Steve, have you lost Faith?” The answer is a resounding NO!! I have, however, lost faith in simplistic answers to complicated questions. I’ve lost faith in those that pretend a book full of mystery can be simplified into 5 verses (that, by the way, can be printed on a large ballpoint pen that scrolls through them as you click it). There is a God. And now that I realize that I don’t need to fake a blind acceptance of a narrative that does not point to a loving God by any reasonable definition of Love. I am more excited than ever to know Him and be known by Him.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hello..Hello..Hello...Is there anybody out there

Its been two years since I've blogged....I was curious if this is still on anyone's list. I wanted to get the answer before I wrote anything. Just hit comment so I will know.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Draw of Politics

Why Does It Matter so Much,

There is a disturbing thing happening in the open minded emergent Christian movement. I believe that, in general, the leaders are starting to hitch themselves to the Democratic wagon. I heard that Donald Miller was opening the DNC convention with prayer. After some soul-searching I realized that I truly was not disappointed because it was the DNC, its because he felt it necessary to align himself with either party.

In the last few decades religious leaders have traditionally been Republican, with the hot topic issue of abortion on the front burner. But when you apply the WWJD question to many other planks of the party, they fail miserably.

Now as young Christian leaders align themselves with the Dem's because of a perceived compassion, they may want to ask themselves if fatherless homes and generational poverty is what Jesus would want, as that has been an obvious outcome of FDR's new deal.

If we look to either party to further the kingdom I think we are looking in the wrong direction. Should we vote - probably - maybe, but if we think that this kingdom (The USA) is going to do anything to further Christs Kingdom I believe we are fooling ourselves.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Struggling Patriot

Its been over a year since my last post so I doubt that anyone still looks here anymore. But Here it goes anyway.

I am a patriot -I bleed red, white, and blue. I was raised on Air Force bases across our Country. As a child growing up on the headquarters of Tactical Air Command, every day was like an air show. All I had to do was look up into the sky and there would be multiple F-15's doing cool things in tight formation. My dad was an influential scientist / developer known as the Czar of SAR (synthetic aperture radar, I could explain but then I'd have to kill you.)

I am a patriot - but for a couple years now I have been struggling with the possible conflict between my patriotism and where and how God wants to direct my life. As most of you know I am on a journey attempting to follow The Way of Christ as he reveals it to me.

Christ was apolitical and could certainly not be called a patriot. I have previously dismissed the divergence between myself and Christ in this respect, because I live in the frigin' US of A. I mean those Romans were evil, bad dudes and our country was founded by Christians right?

At my church we are talking about the Kingdom of God and this has renewed my struggle. Can I be a patriot concerned about the USA's Kingdom and at the same time be 100% sold out to God's Kingdom. There was a time when I thought they (the two kingdoms) could not be in conflict so it doesn't matter, but I have a tough time believing that anymore. It even seems to be similar to serving two masters.

As always I'm more interested in your thoughts than mine - what about civic duties? Civil obedience? the military? so many questions

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Christian Leadership

Who speaks for you?
Who speaks for Jesus?
Who is Leading Authentic Christianity?

Please watch the following You-Tube videos in full.

A. Bono - U2

B. Dr.Nina Gunter Nazarene General

If you choose "B", Please read the Gospels and return to quiz, Repeat as necessary.

I'd love to hear your thoughts - Steve

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chastity and Self Control

Those of you who know me, understand that I should not come at this in a pedantic manor. In fact my lack of self-control hangs over my size 40" belt for all the world to see.

With my fundamentalist background, it is very hard for me to not see things in black and white. Is it sin or not. If it is not sin, it is permissible - lets do it.

There is another line of thought that is of some interest to me. If we cannot control these earthly vessels, which are certainly capable of being controlled, how is the Creator to entrust us with a heavenly body. Similarly if we cannot handle our current financial situation, how are we to be trusted with untold riches. (for more on this point see Matthew 25:14-28)

So if we are to abstain from alcohol, trans-fat, or a wild spending spree, maybe we should do it with the above paragraph in mind. Not because a Pizza, a Rum & coke, or a designer suit are sin.

As always - I'm interested in your thoughts.

Thursday, April 26, 2007