Monday, September 15, 2014

An Observation on Parents and Grandparents

I do not know if this is specific to Eastern cultures, but after observing multiple sets of parents, I came to the realization that:

  • parents and grandparents do not want to repent for wrongs and sins they have done to their children or grandchildren. Parents do not want to apologize to their children.
  • parents and grandparents do not want to have honest discussions with their children or grandchildren where their wrongdoings and sins are opened up for discussion.
  • parents and grandparents do not want to be held accountable by their children, for their wrong attitudes and actions.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Christian and the death penalty

This used to be my written opinion on the death penalty:

God supports the death penalty. Not just because He prescribed it as punishment in the Old Testament, but because that is how He chose to have His Son Jesus, die for us. Jesus did not die in an accident, nor was he murdered, die of natural causes or disease. God did not waive the penalty.
                                               

In the Old Testament, God prescribed the death penalty to pay for sin. Bulls and lambs were sacrificed for the sin of the people. To pay for our sin, Jesus was executed. To me this affirms God’s support for it.

I still have the same opinion yet... I have been wondering about what happens when there was a wrong death penalty decision in the Bible. 
For instance...


Deuteronomy 21:18-21
New International Version (NIV)
A Rebellious Son18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

What if the parents were wrong? There is no indication of a fair trial, nor do we see instructions for a fair trial.




dwell on the positive

Last Sunday, we attended Life Changers Church, a mega-church in Hoffman Estates. The sound volume was so loud that we could not sit inside for fear of damaging our hearing. During the offering, the pastor used manipulative tactics to pressure people into giving 10% of their salary. He told a story of a businessman who was going to give a check to the pastor when someone came and gave him bad news. He reached out and took back the check and tore it up. Then he wrote a fresh check for double the amount, saying 'this is what it will take to get me out of this mess'.

However, I must say that two ushers were very helpful and understanding. They were in obvious fear of saying anything to the leadership about the damaging sound. Yet, there was hospitality - first time guests receive a free sandwich lunch.

I realized something important. Both are facts, Good and Bad. I will never visit that church again because it seems to be a church that exploits its members.

One must not deny the truth - both Good and Bad. However there is a choice in what one dwells on. I often would have been stewing over the negative - and ruin my mind. The Bible says, "As a man thinketh, so is he". One must also look for positives in one's experience. In other words, acknowledge and briefly discuss the negatives in this case, but allow ones mind to dwell on the positives.


Friday, April 25, 2014

article: "Cashing in on Jesus"



"Does the church teach tithing to scam us into overpaying staff and constructing lofty cathedrals?" Glen Guyton.

I was frankly amazed to see a church official a Chief Operating Officer (of the Mennonite church), no less, say this.
Here is the link to his article but since it may not last long, I am quoting the entire article.

CASHING IN ON JESUS

Glen Guyton is director of finance and convention planning for Mennonite Church USA.
Glen Guyton is chief operating officer for Mennonite Church USA.
By Glen Guyton
“You give your tithe as a spiritual duty, the same way you breathe. When you give without looking for results, you are giving openly. That giving is rewarded secretly. That secret rewarding may come as a flash of insight into the heart of God.”
— John-Roger, DSS
I must confess that views on tithing and church stewardship have changed. For years when people asked me, “Why should I tithe?” My reply was, “Because God said so.”  If you are reading this blog I am sure you have very strong opinions about tithing and stewardship.
The lead-off quote has probably made you furiously sort through the file cabinet of your theological knowledge to come up with arguments against mandatory tithing. Is tithing really a spiritual duty?  Does paying 10% of income to a church guarantee that God lets me behind the velvet rope to His secret blessing room? Does the church teach tithing to scam us into overpaying staff and constructing lofty cathedrals?
While writing this blog I came across two tithing websites that approach the issue from two very different angles.  Tithing.org approaches tithing from the viewpoint that God’s is our partner and we need to “cash-in” on that relationship. The tithe, or 10% of your income, is the magical key into unlocking those benefits.
Tithing.com says that their goal is to “help inform and encourage Christian believers about following biblical giving that is not bound by tithing, but is sacrificial and cheerful… [breaking] from the bondage to legalism and encourage[ing] everyone to embrace sacrificial giving led by the Spirit of God.” Who knew tithing was so controversial?
In Mennonite Church USA we don’t use the “T-Word” much. We talk more about stewardship and as an Anabaptist I like how that feels. Stewardship is about the 100% of who we are.  C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:
“Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.”
We don’t owe God 10% we owe God 100%. As good stewards we are called to manage all resources responsibly, not just our money, but our health, time, and talents as well. We unlock the power of God by giving Him our best, not a tenth of it.
My old football coach used to ask for 110%, but I don’t think that was even possible. In some sense stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all encompassing. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Apostle Paul worked with his hands, Lord Jesus worked with his hands.

The only time when Apostle Paul and Lord Jesus did not work with their hands, is when they were working on the gospel, day in and day out.

Acts 20 at Ephesus, to the elders
33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Acts 18 at Corinth
1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

1 Corinthians 4:12
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;

1 Thessalonians 4:11
11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

In Thessalonica, worked with his hands, also received from Philippians
Philippians
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.

2 Thessalonians 3
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.

Ephesians 4:28
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

-----Jesus--------
I have a book with the interesting title, "Our Work Loves Our Neighbor: Did Jesus Waste Most of His Life?" I do not agree with some of it, but it says some interesting things: for example, Jesus spent probably 80% of his career doing a secular profession - carpentry. Perhaps God considered it to be important enough that His son Jesus spent so much time in a secular profession?

1) when he sent out disciples, he told them to accept food and shelter in return for their work; he said workman is worthy of his wages.
2) Jesus also needed food and shelter and clothing
3) Jesus was a tekton
'To be clear, we don’t have any record in the New Testament about Jesus working with wood, laying stones, or helping his pop out in the shop. The only references we have to Jesus’ vocation are the two times when He’s called a tekton or the son of a tekton (the word often translated “carpenter”).
“Is not this the carpenter (tekton), the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?” (Mark 6:3).
“Is not this the carpenter’s (tekton) son? Is not his mother called Mary?” (Matt 13:55)
Now, tekton could refer to a carpenter or a stonemason, but the word simply refers to “one who works with his hands.” If someone wants to describe a carpenter, the phrase they’d use would be “a tekton of wood;” if a mason, then “a tekton of stone.” The absence of either stone or wood as a modifier indicates that the gospel writers didn’t specify which occupation Jesus and his father were engaged in. Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 simply say that they worked with their hands—they were laborers who performed physically demanding and socially shameful jobs.
And I think this is the point. In highlighting Jesus’ occupation, the point is not that Jesus was a carpenter and not, say, a fisherman or a mason (or a mason and not a carpenter, etc.), but that Jesus was a blue-collar workerand not a white collar worker; a peasant and not a noble; a man of humble origins and was not born into a family of high social standing.'

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How the Holy Spirit handles disagreements in the New Testament and in the church today

In the Old Testament, God's direction was clear and sometimes calamitous.

God spoke clearly - and not just in visions, and dreams but through supernatural miracles like the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day, live angels appearing to speak to people, a loud voice from heaven. Fire raining down. Signs and Wonders.

Thus when the sons of Korah wanted  a different direction to worship, God stepped in; the earth swallowed them up!
Sin was punished with judgement. If someone fell sick or had disaster befall them, it was because of judgement.

Contrast what happened then, with what happens now and in the New Testament.

1) Matthew 18. Jesus specifies that when there is irreconcilable disagreement or conflict, separation must occur.

2) The apostles Paul and Peter have a sharp disagreement - about Peter treating gentile believers worse than Jewish believers - that becomes a quarrel.

3) The apostles in Jerusalem believe that people are still under the Mosaic Law; apostle Paul and the gentile believers think it no longer applies. There are at least two conflicts

a) Acts 15 where the Jerusalem elders (apostles) agree that that OT law (almost all of it) no longer applies to the gentile believers.

b) Acts 22 where the Jerusalem elders (apostles) are angered that now Paul is teaching that even the Jews should not practice the OT law; which ends in Paul being imprisoned and ultimately beheaded.

The truth is, Jesus did not specify clearly whether the Old Testament Law would still apply - perhaps it was so that (as Jesus himself put it) the Holy Spirit would "guide you into all truth".

4) apostle Paul and Barnabas have a sharp disagreement that becomes a quarrel.

5) apostle Paul speaks of false teachers in the church. The instruction is to rebuke and to "stay away from"
Romans 16:17-19
New International Version (NIV)
17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ,but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 

Notice that in each case, the theme was separation until the Holy Spirit resolved it. There was no lightning from heaven to make clear, who was right and who was wrong.

In the case of the doctrinal disagreements, 300 years later when the Bible was compiled from its sources, the Holy Spirit oversaw the process and only what was approved by God got included in the holy canon.

So how does this apply to us today?

When there is disagreement, conflict or even abuse, do either:
1) seek justice by discussion, confrontation, or even reporting to authorities,
OR
2) choose to ignore the matter.

Separate from the other person so that conflict is reduced. Do not harbor bitterness, hatred, anger, malice or slander.




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lies some pastors preach

Most pastor-driven churches in America have fundamental flaws. 
From 1997 till 2000 we attended a Southern Baptist-leaning megachurch in Colorado Springs, Woodmen Valley Chapel (WVC). From 2001 till 2008 we attended a charismatic church in Olathe, KS, Church of the Harvest (COH).Whenever I remember these two churches, I have a sense of having been swindled. A racket. 
Although they were quite apart in theology and denominations, here are lies we experienced; some in WVC, others in COH. I am certain that if you show this list to someone in the leadership, they will strenuously object. But although they may even teach the opposite, what they actually practice is the key.

Lies

1) Trust us to interpret God's Word (the Bible) correctly. If you see anything we do or teach that contradicts what the Bible teaches, trust our explanation instead.

2) Submit to your church leaders and obey them even when what they command is different from what the Bible commands.

3) The senior pastor is "God's man on earth". The senior pastor is the head of the church.

4) Only some believers (like the pastor and leaders) are anointed.

5) If the pastor prays for you, you have a better chance for your prayers to be heard by God, and for your requests to be granted.

6) You must give at least 10% of your income to the church. When you give to the church, you are giving to God.

7) Trust us with the finances. Do not ask us for the details. They are burdensome for you. Auditors have seen the details and certified them.

8) summary: When you give to us, you are giving to God; when you obey us, you are submitting to God. When you serve us, you are serving God.

Refutations of the lies

please read my article  (https://sites.google.com/site/mydreamchurch/) for a detailed refutation of these lies.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What does it mean to 'bless our enemies' and to 'love our enemies'?

Jesus said we should love our enemies, bless our enemies, and pray for those that persecute us. What does it mean?
In our modern culture, to love someone is to have warm gushing feelings, a yearning desire to be in their presence, and above all, to want the best for them.

A few weeks ago while driving to work, I turned on the radio and heard a preacher (Ray Pritchard) say that we should pray for our enemies the same way we would pray for our loved ones and our family. I have heard similar themes before, repeated many times by preachers.

Frankly, this is misinterpreting scripture. Why?

A real enemy of Christians is North Korea. Christians are imprisoned in labor camps even today. There are stories of horrific abuse of prisoners in labor camps. (if you google for keywords: BBC UN human rights violations North Korea you can find some very disturbing news reports).

Should Christians pray for Kim Yong Un to "be blessed, to overcome obstacles in his work, to be protected from harm and attacks by the devil, to have God's favor resting on him, to be prosperous, healthy and live long"? In other words, we would be praying for the triumph of evil and the continued persecution of the followers of Christ. These are perverted prayers.

Should American Christians pray for Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran to "be blessed, may God establish the work of your hands (to successfully build a nuclear bomb), may no weapon formed against you prosper (may Israel and America's attempts to thwart you fail)"?

I believe that you should always bless your enemies with salvation and repentance.

How come Jesus never blessed his enemies while he was alive? (I do agree he never harbored bitterness against them even though he was very angry with them).

When I read the gospels, I see Jesus angry at his enemies.
He called them, "blind pharisees", "white-washed tombs", "blind leading the blind", "hypocrites", "your father is the devil".

One time, he made a whip and violently drove those out, who were corrupting the temple with their business dealings.

Of Judas who betrayed him, Jesus said, "one of you [Judas] is a devil".

I do not see any mushy gushy love.

Nor did Jesus ever pray for their long life, health, wealth, success in all they did, and protection from harm.

Yet when he was dying on the cross, he had no bitterness nor hatred towards his enemies.

"Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing..."

So what does it mean to love our enemies and to bless them if Jesus himself did not demonstrate the traditional feelings of love towards his enemies?

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." (Matthew 5:44)

He was in fact, echoing the theme from the Old Testament book of Proverbs, the passage,
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you. (Proverbs 25:44)

An important clue is seen in the parable of the Good Samaritan which Jesus told to demonstrate what it meant to love one's neighbor, AND love one's enemies.

The Good Samaritan was an outcast, a mixed race person, considered illegitimate, and a lesser human being by the Jews. But more than anything, they were the enemies of the Jews (read this article by historian Amy Levine http://conversasaovento.blogspot.com/2012/01/many-faces-of-good-samaritanmost-wrong.html)
Since the man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho, he was likely a Jew. The Good Samaritan showed love to his enemy and blessed him, by binding his wounds and taking him to the inn where he could recover, and paying for his stay.

In other words, Love is practical action, not gushy feelings, nor ridiculous prayers.

If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. (Exodus 23:4-5)

Jesus healed one of his enemy a few hours before he would himself be murdered by them.

And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:51)

In the end, Jesus blessed his enemies with salvation by dying for them. Even so, God does not forgive his enemies unless they repent. If they do not repent, He casts them into Hell.

Again, I do not see mushy love, but a willingness to set aside bitterness and hatred and help an enemy in need.

Conclusion: If your enemy is sick or mortally wounded, help him - this is practical love for your enemy. Pray for your enemy by blessing him with repentance and salvation - so he will stop doing evil and the power to do evil will be taken from him.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

ginger beer recipe from my grandparents

ginger beer recipe from my grandparents G.W. and Eliamma Benjamin


Saturday, July 13, 2013

A different understanding of the antichrist and God's Temple


2 Thessalonians 2
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.



Much of Biblical end-times interpretation assumes that the Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Politically, this is impossible because Islam's third holiest shrine, the Dome of the Rock is built on top of it.


For 2000 years, much of Christendom has focused on the rebuilding of King Solomon's physical temple in Jerusalem. This event would trigger the rapid beginning of the end.


However I believe this is a giant mistake by Bible scholars. It is similar to how much of Judaism rejected Jesus because he wasn't a macho warrior (in the expected mold of King David or the rebel Judas Maccabeus) who would set his people free from the shackles of the Roman Empire. 


Instead, I believe that passages like this instead refer to our bodies or to be more specific, our minds.


(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body," 

Recently there has been a flurry of advances in mind control. Without using surgical implants, just wearing a cap with electrodes, these are possible:

1) Your mood can be gauged (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22263019)
2) Your thoughts can be coordinated to control devices. A wheelchair, toy helicopter, video games (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22263019)

I believe that the last piece in the puzzle is to release hormones to induce pleasure or pain. This will happen again, through non surgical means such as an interface to the skin or a metallic tattoo made up of circuitry.

In other words, when the antichrist "sets himself up in God's temple", it will be on the throne of our minds and control of our bodies.

Perhaps like Pavlov's dog, people will be trained; reading of the antichrist's writings or listening to his speeches will trigger intense pleasure from the hormones released into the system. Similarly, pain will be induced when one reads the Bible or says things against the antichrist.

Imagine if he is set up in one person's temple (or mind/body) and extend this to millions or billions of followers. Their thoughts, actions and feelings will be slave to their master. Devices and gadgets - even weapons will be interfaced with their thoughts; how powerful!

This will be another type of temple - the collective temple of his followers. A hint is given in this verse

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[Or into a temple of the Spirit] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
the antithesis of this holy temple of the Holy Spirit would be the temple of the antichrist's followers formed by their minds and bodies. When this happens, I believe that God will come to save His people.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Thought for today - 0

"I will take with me into Today, only those thoughts that will make a productive and positive day. The rest, I shall leave behind in my Yesterdays."
Anil Philip

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

Saturday, June 15, 2013

thoughts on honoring our parents - with the truth

When children are growing up, christian parents often quote famously from the Bible, "honor your  father and mother" and "children, obey your parents" to get them to obey and submit.

Often these are the only scriptures they will quote. However this becomes a blanket license for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts to be unaccountable for their wrongful actions and attitudes, because small children especially are helpless and dependent on them.

 These scriptures are true but are not the whole picture. These can be misused to allow parent figures to get away with physical abuse and emotional abuse and neglect of their children.

 While children are to obey and honor their parents, their parents do not realize that they also have scriptures saying how they should behave - it is the entire Bible. Passages like "be kind to each other", "be patient with everyone" (1 Thessalonians 5) apply in parents' dealings - not just with their adult peers, but with their children as well. Since God is our father, we are all spiritually, brothers and sisters. Hence all the passages that apply in our dealings with each other also apply in our dealings with our children.

 Parents and adult relatives in the family usually disallow any uncomfortable discussion of the truth where they have behaved wrongfully, by saying that it is dishonoring and disrespectful of them. Again, we honor parent figures by speaking the truth in love. Recently, a tree in my garden had rot in its bark. termites had burrowed deep. I had to dig out the rotted wood and spray harsh chemicals on it. It was not easy but probably saved the tree. Similarly when there is rot, disease and dysfunction in a family, covering up does not heal. Correctly using the sword of the Spirit - the Word of God to clean out the wounds and dress them with bandages of love and care is necessary for healing and restoration.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Not a 'wonderful cross' at all.

Today is Good Friday, when we remember Jesus' death on the cross.
Famous musician Matt Redman's worship song goes, "Oh, the wonderful cross...". It is difficult for me to sing the words because I believe the cross was not from God, but from Satan.
God is not a sadist. Satan is the sadist. God sacrificed His son, but the means of death was from Satan. How do I know?
see an earlier post "Was the cross from God, or Satan?" http://juwo.blogspot.com/2010/11/was-cross-from-god-or-satan.html.
There is nothing wonderful about the cross. The only thing wonderful about the crucifixion is the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Letting go of the dog to be euthanized.

Our dog Kacey, has kidney failure and we are faced with putting her down (euthanasia). Not an easy time. She has been with us 13 years of her 14.5 year life. Her legs are weak and she has to almost be carried to go do her potty. She has to be force fed through a tube. We used IV bags to give her subcutaneous fliuds. Yes, she is only a dog - yet, she has been a companion to us.
 
I used to get irritated at people spending so much money on their dog's treatment, because many people including children cannot hope for even a fraction of such care. Each morning we say, we'll take her to be euthanized; each morning she shows a little spark of strength that puts us off from doing it. By evening, she is weak as ever and suffering. The leaves were falling from the trees. Last weekend, I watched the flurries of dead leaves fall from the trees. Kacey was staggering around in the yard on bent legs. I thought to myself, "The leaves are falling; the dog is falling". Today, the leaves are all gone, and I am raking them into bags.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mitt Romney on the redistribution of wealth




Mitt Romney said a while back that the redistribution of wealth is alien to America.
The voluntary redistribution of wealth is intrinsic to America. Forced redistribution is foreign. Voluntary redistribution is also known as Philanthropy; forced redistribution is Taxation.
Incidentally, this is also the reason that capitalism succeeds in only in America. People are not interested in building dynasties - wealth by inheritance - hence they have given so much away. This is true not just for the Gates, Waltons and Buffets, but also for the robber barons like Carnegie. I have a theory that 3rd world poverty is due to selfishness. If you want to learn more, do an internet search for "Can microhelping defeat 3rd world poverty?"

Saturday, May 12, 2012

pornography?


"The latest cover of Time magazine has caused outrage. Under the headline "Are you mom enough?", a young woman is pictured having her left breast suckled by a boy who appears way beyond usual breastfeeding age.The woman, it turns out, is Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year old mother from Los Angeles, and the boy is her son Aram, aged almost four."
This is pornography under the guise of social commentary. Slim attractive woman. Boy is shown standing, to accentuate his height - not the pose for normal breastfeeding - and wearing 'tough guy' camouflage!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Dream Church

After attending evangelical churches in the USA for 16 years, I am disillusioned and cynical. Here, I describe My Dream Church from my study of the Bible.My Dream Church

False Arguments On Tithing


Pastors often mention Jesus affirmation of tithing to the Pharisees. However this overlooks a crucial fact - Jesus was under the law just like the Pharisees.
He observed the Sabbath, Passover and even at his baby dedication, sacrifices were offered.
In Acts 15, at the council at Jerusalem, it clearly says the law does not apply to us any more. This is also in Colossians 2:15 where the law was nailed to the cross. In Galatians, Paul is angry with the 'foolish' Galatians because they want to practise the law.
I have heard pastors and leaders preach things like: 'one must give at least 10%', 'give knowing that it is all God's', 'how much should God get for giving His life for me?'
Certainly it can be a personal principle but in churches today, it is closer to a command.Yet they overlook a simple fact - why wouldnt the Holy Spirit simply say through Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:6 and the other Bible authors in the other books, 'give at least the tenth of your income to your house church'? Yet, He didn't. So aren't today's leaders adding to God's Word things that are not there?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Death

A few weeks ago, Jenny a coworker, passed away from a long struggle with cancer. It made me realize that we should be grateful for our lives. Even if non-Christians do well and consider their advances as the fruits of their labor and their talents (and it is true that our labor and talent will affect how well we advance in our careers), we should look to gratitude to God as the giver.

Steve Jobs died last week. It is amazing to think that despite all his billions and having the best medical care in the world, no one could extend his life by a single minute.  Steve Jobs was a Zen Buddhist and unfortunately, lived a very selfish life - according to what we read about him by those who knew him. The words of Jesus come to mind. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

Another coworker was telling me that he lost his parents, and a friend, within the space of an year. I asked him a leading question, "What happens to us after we die?". And he answered with a straight face, "It depends on what you believe". I was dumbstruck. If I were to jump off a building, my beliefs would have no effect on what would happen to me.
But there is truth to what he said - we all take the after-life on faith. Even Christians are unsure whether we go straight to heaven, or stay in the ground until Christ returns. I have no clue.


For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)


and contrast with...

 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8)
Regardless, we put our trust in him.
As in the song below, "...your name is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are saved"


Steve Job's death

Steve Jobs was a Zen Buddhist and unfortunately, lived a very selfish life - according to what we read about him by those who knew him. The words of Jesus come to mind. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?".