Monday, 29 June 2015

Don't Believe Me Just Watch

To quote a line from Uptown Funk.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made gay marriage legal in all 50 states. Now first let me say I am not opposed to gay marriage in the secular world. In fact I am neutral. It was inevitable and something that was obviously going to happen. But I have a few thoughts.

First of all, gay marriage will not destroy the institution of marriage. The hetero world has already accomplished that quite well, thank you very much, thanks to adultery, easy divorce, internet porn, the acceptance of common law relationships as equivalent, etc.

But let me tell you a few things that will happen as a result of this decision.
  • The record of discrimination will be flipped to the B-side. Whereas in the past there was no doubt discrimination against people of same sex orientation, the case will not now be that discrimination will cease. It will just be reversed. Those who, in conscience, feel they cannot approve of same sex marriage, will now suffer the discrimination. And it's not only the ones who feel they cannot bake cakes, or take pictures for gay weddings, but even voicing a dissenting opinion (the one that until relatively recently was held by both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama) will earn you accusations of hating and personal vilification. Just look at any comment board where the prevailing opinion is in agreement with the Supreme Court decision.
  • Pressure will mount for the government to remove the charitable status of any church or organization who does not toe the new line. Not to single out gays, but there is a tendency on what I will call the progressive side not to tolerate anyone with a different opinion. Disagreement cannot be tolerated but must be vilified, even penalized.
  • New movements of various sexual proclivities will now push for acceptance. This has already begun. I was actually wrong in my prediction some time ago that paedophilia would be next, because we've already seen the next issue - that of gender identity. One now already, it seems, has the right to decide whatever gender, or even, I suppose, non-gender one wants to be, regardless of what plumbing one was born with and even whether or not one decides to keep it or lose it. But paedophilia will almost certainly be coming. Already there is a move to have it labelled a sexual orientation, and once that happens, the courts will almost certainly have to include it as such as a human right. This is not to say that the same people who fought for gay rights will be the ones lobbying for, "intergenerational sex," as its proponents are wont to call it. There are paedophiles of both homo- and hetero- persuasions, but the advances accomplished by gays will no doubt embolden the paedophile community. I don't know when we'll see the first adult/child love relationship on prime-time TV, and it's hard to imagine right now, but I won't be surprised when it comes.
Having said all that, let me say that I'm not a campaigner, just an observer. As Jerry Seinfeld said in one of his routines, "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'"

 Here is a very helpful and well thought out article, linked to by my friend Terry. The author makes five basic points, all of which we as Christians would do well to ponder and remember.
  1. The church has always been counter-cultural.
  2. It’s actually strange to ask non-Christians to hold Christian values.
  3. We’ve been dealing with sex outside of traditional marriage for a LONG time.
  4. The early church never looked to the government for guidance or lobbied it to change policies.
  5. Our judgment of LGBT people is destroying any potential relationship.
There are two kingdoms, that of the world and that of God. Only one will last. We Christians would be far better spending our time working to see people transferred into the latter, than harping about what's wrong with the former.

Take Care

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

I Keep Sayin'

From Here...
China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years.
Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976

One of my Favourite predictions. I've been saying it for years. China will be the next great Christian nation. The sooner it becomes Christian the sooner it will become great and the greater it will become. We are on track to be replaced.

How long will it take? I don't know. How long has it taken for our own society to sink to it's present position, with more sinking to come?

What's in store for the West? Another prediction: as Christianity is chased from the public square it will not become godless, it will become Muslim, eventually.

Just sayin'.

Take Care #RunAlpha.

I Saw A Sex Tape

Before I go any further, I must try to explain. You may accept my explanation; you may not. After all, this is a faith-based blog, and I am taking a large chance even talking about this video, let alone admitting I saw it. You may choose to read no further, because even my description and opinion of it may be considered too graphic to some. I post this only as my reflection on how far we have fallen as a culture and as a society, and why I despair for our future.

You may remember Emma Sulkowicz, the co-ed at Columbia University who claimed to have been raped, but which accusation later proved to be false.

Nevertheless, she carried a mattress around with her in protest wherever she went, even on to the stage at her graduation. In spite of her lying about the alleged rape, she has been hailed as a hero among feminists and those who claim to be concerned with the, "rape culture" ostensibly prevalent on college campuses.

Well, Ms Sulkowicz, in my opinion, has set her cause well back with the release of a sex tape, made in her dorm room, of a fairly mechanical sexual encounter between her and a male partner. I would think this would discredit her in the minds of any reasonable person, and in all but her most blinded admirers. Needless to say, I'll not link to it here.

Now, you may think of describing porn as revolting, repulsive or disgusting, but this video wasn't even porn. The best way to describe the video was, "pathetic." Rather sad, actually. All the intimacy of an overweight bull servicing a cow. He might just as well have masturbated and she might just as well have been a piece of Kleenex. After he was finished he didn't even bother to get dressed. He just got up, gathered up his clothes and left the room - naked. That may be an interesting insight into the culture of the college dorm, that it may be quite normal to see a guy leaving a girls room naked, with his clothes gathered up in his arms. If this is an indication of the current college hookup culture, one should despair for the future of our society. At the end of the encounter, she rolled over into a fetal position facing the wall and remained thus for a time. It is almost like she was ashamed, or perhaps unfulfilled. In other words, one might imagine that such impersonal sexual encounters on campus may be an attempt to find love or intimacy, but which encounters ultimately fail and disappoint.

And this was in a college dorm room. There was a bookcase clearly visible with NOT A SINGLE BOOK ON IT! You can tell by just that fact, that this girl's focus was probably not on any particular higher level of learning. In fact, Ms Sulkowwicz's final thesis for her visual arts course, was to do nothing more than carry this mattress around the campus. And she graduated! The university graduated her! I'm not sure anything more need be said.

In the end, to bring us back to the subject of faith, there is really only one relationship that will ultimately satisfy - one with God, our Creator, through His Son, Jesus Christ. If only those who search so earnestly for it in all the wrong places could just see. We Christians should be doing all we can to help them do just that; see the truth. #RunAlpha.

Take Care

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Heroes




This is the former Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn. She has been selected as the winner of ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award. I'll not dispute that. I'm sure Bruce's decision to undergo what procedures he has have been traumatic and heart-wrenching. From his point of view it probably did take a lot of courage. But now he is a she.

Below is a picture of Noah Galloway, a double amputee who lost his left arm and left leg in Afghanistan. He seems to have overcome and coped well with the challenges of his disability.


 
There has been quite a bit of online chatter concerning the perceived idea that ESPN chose Ms Jenner over Mr Galloway for this award, but ESPN denies that. They say that they merely chose Ms Jenner, and that there was no, "second place."
But of course, the fact that they chose Caitlyn means that all other potential heroes were considered no better than second place, so their protestations seem a bit hollow. But my point here is just to make what I think is an interesting observation:



How times have changed, and how quickly! We are seeing, as a new era of, "gender rights" is now following on the heels of the already accompli, almost passé issue of, "gay rights," that a person who follows their feelings of gender confusion with physical (and irreversible) procedures, is encouraged, even lauded as a hero. Meantime a person with same-sex attraction who wants help addressing what they may see as confusion over their orientation - it is seen as hateful, perhaps even illegal, even to help that person with counseling.   

Just sayin'

Take Care

Sunday, 10 May 2015

An Author, An Idea, A Story

Having attended the 2015 Alpha Global Week and Leadership Conference in London, Eva and I were able, through a combination of Air Miles and hotel and car rental points, able to add a short holiday to our time in the UK. Our first stop was Oxford, a fascinating city, with some buildings close to a thousand years old, and the many Colleges of Oxford University.

One story I found fascinating was this:

One winter evening, when a rare snowfall fell gently and covered the ground, a gentleman, an Oxford scholar, walked out of this, the side door of St Mary's Church;

which led him into this narrow laneway;
 
where he saw this door on the opposite side of the lane;

with a lion's head crest on it. Turning to his right, a few feet away he saw;

this solitary lamppost, glowing in the darkened, snow-covered laneway. The seed of a story was planted.

The story was, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." The gentleman was C. S. Lewis.

Take Care




Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Another Jehovah's Witness Question

A passage from the Jehovah's Witnesses own New World Translation of the Bible:
But Peter said: “An·a·ni′as, why has Satan emboldened you to lie to the holy spirit and secretly hold back some of the price of the field?   As long as it remained with you, did it not remain yours? And after it was sold, was it not in your control? Why have you thought up such a deed as this in your heart? You have lied, not to men, but to God. (Acts 5: 3-4, NWT)
This is just another bit of evidence for the Trinity, at least for the personhood and Divinity of the Holy Spirit.

In Watchtower theology, the holy spirit is not a person, but an impersonal force. So, I would ask, how does one lie to an impersonal force. And Peter makes it clear that when Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit he lied to God.

Just another question to ask.

Take Care

Monday, 30 March 2015

We Will Never Have To

I heard Ravi Zacharias say something that I thought was quite profound:
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me." Jesus spoke these words so that we would never have to.
 This Passion week, ponder what Christ has done for us and be grateful.

Take Care

Saturday, 28 March 2015

It Was Nice While It Lasted

I'm reading a rather fascinating book, "Biohistory, Decline and Fall of the West," a book sent me by its publisher for review. I'm nowhere near finished it, but already the author is developing some very interesting theories, backed by genetic evidence. Two of the factors contributing to the decline of a society are decreased sexual restraint and increased permissiveness with children, two of the very factors we are seeing today.

It all has to do, in part, with the overall general level of the hormone testosterone in a society's citizenry. High levels, as I understand it, lead to more aggressive, self centred people. Slightly lower levels are associated with people with more patience, more willing to work toward a yet-unrealized goal, more willing to focus on the common good. Therefore, successful long-term civilizations tend to be made up, counter intuitively perhaps, of those with generally lower testosterone levels. Not radically lower, but only slightly, as a societal whole. Factors in slightly lower levels are delayed sexual activity and increased self discipline. Most world religions have similar views on sexuality, tending toward restraint, so religion has a role to play in building a successful society, and falling away from, or rejecting religion, as we see happening now, tends to lead toward that society's decline. What I believe is the increasing self-centeredness, selfishness, lack of moral restraint and power given to the young we see today are also factors in our slow but eventual decline.

Will we be able to reverse these two factors? I'm not betting on it, but I suppose anything can happen.

I may report further on this book as I progress through it.

Take care