Having recently discussed the idea of “Healing in the Atonement”, I find myself needing to go back and research the topic once again.
Continue reading Healing in the Atonement
Recently I heard a message on 1 Corinthians 4 entitled “Servant Leadership” that I found disturbing. I’ll present an alternative interpretation of this passage.
Continue reading Servant Leadership: A Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4
In his article “The Bait and Switch of Contemporary Christianity”, Richard Beck hyperbolises the problems inherent in turning Christianity into a religion of tasks rather than the total transformation that it really is.
One can fill a life full of spiritual activities without ever, actually, trying to become a more decent human being. In fact, much of this activity can distract one from becoming a more decent human being… Many churches are jerk factories.
Take, for example, how Christians tip and behave in restaurants. If you have ever worked in the restaurant industry you know the reputation of the Sunday morning lunch crowd. Millions of Christians go to lunch after church on Sundays and their behavior is abysmal. The single most damaging phenomenon to the witness of Christianity in America today is the collective behavior of the Sunday morning lunch crowd. Never has a more well-dressed, entitled, dismissive, haughty or cheap collection of Christians been seen on the face of the earth.
Performing spiritual/religious activities does not inherently make you a better person. Really becoming a better person is something that can only be done by Jesus.
We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We [Jews] tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. …I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man.
Galatians 2:15-16,19 MSG
Beck is clear: there is nothing wrong, and much that is right about private devotions, bible study, prayer, fasting, et cetera. It just can’t be a substitute for being a decent human being. We need both. What we don’t need is our churches perceived as being “Jerk Factories”.
I just read an excellent description of why I choose libertarian politics. The description was written by a London, Ontario rabbi.
Continue reading A Rabbi Explains Libertarianism
I feel that our current political climate is moving more and more towards homogenisation of thought rather than celebrating diversity. Oh, we SAY we celebrate diversity. But not diversity of thought, belief, value system, et cetera. The stereotypical political/religious right versus the atheistic left versus the religious left versus I-don’t-know-whom. Greedy politicians questing evermore for increasing power wooing narrowminded sheeple that espouse the kneejerk “There oughtta be a law” reaction to anything they dislike that day. The lonely voices of the libertarians and Ron Paul supporters seem like the “voice crying in the wilderness” while the rest of the world demands that the heavy hand of the law suppress all dissent.
Currently in vogue is the notion that global warming is caused by humans, and the only way to prevent imminent global catastrophe is to grant politicians absolute power over what lightbulbs you buy and how much toilet paper you use.
Pity the poor, dissenting scientist who questions the current mindset…
(found on Fark.com; not sure where it came from originally)
“Liberal” thought would allow for meaningful dialogue and respectful disagreement. “Scientific” thought would challenge preconceptions and question everything. Religious, fundamentalist fervor would seek to quash dissent wherever possible, backed by the Power of Law from the self-appointed thought police.
Awhile back, CBC Radio interviewed Sam Harris on his book, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. I was actually shocked at how neutral the interviewer was: not once did he speak as though he assumed Mr Harris’ views had any validity whatsoever. All the same, I found myself finding bits and pieces of Harris’ message that were actually valuable.
Continue reading Faith and Reason