Honestly Thinking

Honestly thinking (& rethinking) about God, the universe, and everything in between

Sorry, Fellow White Conservative Males, I’ve Got to Separate Myself on This

First, to settle this up front. I still call myself conservative.

I’m still with you on the importance of personal responsibility and limited government.

I’m still with you in contending that free market capitalism offers the best opportunity for everyone.

I’m still with you in advocating for the life of the unborn and holding that traditional families are the building block of our society.

I’m still with you in endorsing the freedom to express one’s faith and in believing that scripture, like the constitution, should be interpreted according to the authors’ original intent.

But as I’ve watched your various responses to the recent events in Charlottesville…

…as I’ve observed many of you simultaneously try to distance yourselves from the racist alt-right while also minimalizing it by pointing fingers at the media and the counter-protesters and their “inaccurate” understanding of confederate symbolism and historical facts…

…as I’ve witnessed you defend a typically no-holds-barred, “un-presidential,” unconcerned-with-facts leader as he suddenly became more reserved, “presidential,” and concerned with facts “on both sides” with this particular group…

I have to be honest…

Sorry, fellow white conservative males, I’ve got to separate myself on this.

In fact, it is my conservative belief…

…that the intent of the constitution was to give the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”

…that the intent of scripture was not only that you love God but also “love your neighbor as yourself”

…that absolutely demands it.

I know I may not be describing all of you in regards to your recent responses, but what I’m talking about is actually much bigger than just this one event.

I’ve observed it particularly over the last year and half.

I’ve observed it in your various responses to different events.

Perhaps it’s just gotten worse, or perhaps the problem’s been there all along and I’m just beginning now to wake up.

What I’m talking about is either your inability or absolute refusal to listen to and believe other people’s stories. Continue reading

Words

The words felt good.

Just a few simple words replying to comments on someone’s post

enough to knock them down a few inches and build my own self worth.

Then sit back and count the number of likes,

never minding who gets hurt

…in my war of words.

Words that were so filling and yet so          empty.

Words.

Funny things they are

just utterances of sounds

and a bunch of .dots and lines and curves

and yet so powerful in everything they do.

They start wars and bring peace.

They destroy relationships and make best friends.

Whisper “I love you” and you build a new bond.

Utter “I do” and you start a new life

write We the People and a whole new nation is born. Continue reading

Jesus and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Woman Caught in Adultery (as told by the church)

Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, but there is an alternate version of this story that is often told by many in the church. Though they may not use these exact words – for it is usually in actions, misplaced theology, or thoughts – it is told, nonetheless.

And whether it is intentional or unintentional or a problem with what was communicated or the filters we receive it through, it is the story all too often heard.

The following is that version:

Jesus and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Woman Caught in Adultery (as told by the church)

Continue reading

13 Ways You Make God Too Small and the 1 Reason Why

I previously shared an article titled “We’ve Made God Too Small.” This was based on a thought process I went through and a major revelation that not only changed my life but also sent me on a spiritual, philosophical and scientific journey, essentially leading me to rethink how I think about God.

I also shared in my very first blog article, “Not Gonna Lie,” how I am a hypocrite – because half of what I state here I have trouble believing myself.

It is with that understanding I present the following list. Even though I say “You” I could just as easily say “I.” I have been guilty of every one of these at various points and continue to struggle to this day.

But I also know I am not alone. I have seen this kind of thinking problem in practically everyone I’ve met.

And so I give you…

13 ways you make God too small: Continue reading

We Should be Naked: Why Religion is a Symptom and Not the Solution

Bouguereau, The First Mourning, ca. 1888

Back in 1974, Ray Stevens released a popular song titled “The Streak” about a guy running around town naked. At the time, as a 6-year-old kid, I thought it was just the funniest thing – and so apparently did millions of other people, putting it at # 8 for the whole year on the Billboard charts (weird…yeah, I know).

I guess the idea of people running around in the buff in public just made us all snicker.

Modesty is such a weird thing for us humans, especially in Western culture. With debates about public breastfeeding and yoga pants juxtaposed against Victoria’s Secret signs and popular TV programs that show a lot of skin, it is clear we don’t have any real consensus on exactly what is “too much.”

But it gets even weirder when I tell you this:

We’re all supposed to be naked.

Yes, seriously.

It’s even scriptural.

Now don’t be jumping to conclusions here and think I’m advocating we all start trotting around in the literal footsteps of Ray Stevens’ song. I’m not.

But it’s right there in the Bible and is something that even the most prudish followers know but don’t care to admit. Continue reading

A Trump Protester’s Insider Look Within the Evangelical Trump Supporting World

The Meeting

I wanted to throw up.

Here I was sitting in a room full of well-known evangelical leaders saying positive things about then- candidate Donald Trump, talking as if he was the best hope for all Americans.

Of course, none of them could publicly “endorse” him, but their exuberance for him was obvious.

How could they be so blinded? Did they not see what I could see? Did they not see Trump was contrary to everything they stood for…so contrary to Christ?

Many of them I highly respected. Many were mentors in the faith – ones who had taught me so much about hearing God.

How is it they were hearing something so radically different than me? Especially after I had clearly heard the complete opposite.

Some of them talked about the many private hours they had spent with Trump and how he really listened to them and was respectful. They talked about his love for ALL Americans.

What? You’re kidding me, right?

I wanted to stand up and shout, “You fools!!! Don’t you realize he’s manipulating you? As soon as he wins, you’re all gone. You’re just pawns!”

Of course, then they’d know my secret. Continue reading

Trump, Hiroshima, and the Casualties of Politics

On Aug 6, 1945, a U.S. B-29 plane, under the authorization of President Harry S. Truman, dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, followed by a second one, Aug 9, on the city of Nagasaki. This action was credited with causing the surrender of Japanese forces, effectively ending World War II.

Some estimates place the death toll from the bombings upwards of 100,000 people, mostly civilians (including children). Add in the number of injuries and the numbers rise to over 200,000 casualties.victim_of_hiroshima_atomic_bombing_3

Since then, the bombings have been the subject of great moral debate as to whether such an action was necessary and worth the cost in casualties. Proponents then and now have argued that it avoided a prolonged battle with an enemy committed to fighting “to the bitter end” – which, in turn, would have cost a projected “half a million American lives and many more that number in wounded” as well as an equal number or more of Japanese lives.

In his public address, President Truman stated, ““Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.”

In addition, many supporters have argued that the brute force of the bomb served as a demonstration to the Soviet Union, consequently keeping them in check for years to comes and saving potentially millions more lives.

Today, a different kind of war is taking place on actual U.S. soil – what has often been called the “culture wars.” Now, while I do not pretend that what is going on here even compares to the tragic loss of lives in physical war, it must be admitted there are still costs.

For politics, like war, is dirty…and people get hurt.

Consequently, amidst all the politicking arose another great moral debate.Faced with the prospects of either selecting a vitriolic person of questionable character to lead the country or continuing to battle against a political enemy whom they saw as destructive to our future, conservatives and many independents were forced to make a difficult choice.trump-vs-clinton

In the end, the majority decided the former was worth the cost.

Thus, on November 8, 2016 a bomb was dropped on half our population…

…a bomb known as President-elect Trump. Continue reading

If I Were the Devil, This is How I Would Lead the Elect Astray

In speaking about the end times, Jesus told his disciples, “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive (or ‘lead astray’) even the elect, if that were possible” (Matt 24:24, BSB).

Now I have never been big on getting caught up in end time prophesies and often find it funny that so many Christians live in constant fear trying to point out who might be the Antichrist as though to try and stop him (after all, aren’t we promised it’s going to happen no matter what?), but when it comes to the end times there are two questions that fascinate me:

1) Why do so many END TIMES prophesy sites always resort to using such terrible fonts???

and…

2) How is it that the elect could actually be led astray?

After all the “elect” are the chosen ones, the faithful followers of God, the ones who have devoted their lives to being disciples of the real Christ.  It includes the kind of people who know their Bibles backwards and forwards and can name every book without having to sing a song and the kind of people who sickeningly get up at 4am every single morning to study and pray.

It includes the leaders you’ve come to know and respect, the ones you rely on to separate the truths from the lies, and the kind of people who lament about the continual deception going on in the world.  How is it that they get deceived? Continue reading

I’m a Christian and I Don’t Believe Something is True Because the Bible Says

bible-in-sky-flare

Before discussing the main point of this article, let me be clear up front:

There are no other writings that have had greater impact on my life than the collection of writings we commonly refer to as “the Bible.” *

Though I’m as human as everyone else and often get too busy, too tired, etc. I try to make it a discipline to read portions of the Bible – whether it be a chapter, a paragraph, or sometimes even a single word or sentence if I get hung up on it – every single day.  No other work have I read as many multiple times.

Single readings have literally altered my life.  A single verse forever changed my career direction, certain verses have gotten me through some of the most desperate, hopeless-seeming situations, and a single sentence once literally caused me to quit my job, uproot my family (back when we had two small children) and move to another state without a new job or specific place to live.

I do not regret any of those decisions or moments because to this day I have no doubt that God was behind them and specifically led me to those verses.

And though I think there is much carelessness and confusion when we use words such as “inerrant,” “infallible” and “authoritative” in relation to the Bible, and though frequently passages have been interpreted outside of culture, context, and literary form – often abusively – I do believe there is something miraculous about how the writings have been preserved for us through all these years to be able to read today.

I do believe there is power behind the words.

And I do not take lightly the fact that there are people out there in parts of the world who would give anything just to have a copy and that many have died just for possessing it or for trying to get copies to people who don’t.

With that made clear up front then let me say it…

I do not believe that something is true because the Bible says. Continue reading

Hillary and Trump: Why We Love and Hate Them

Hillary and Trump

The word has been out for quite some time,

they’re the most hated candidates yet.

With everyone pleading we must choose

whomever provides the littlest threat.

 

Hillary or Trump are the two that rose to the top

and now give us such a scare.

But at some point we’ll all have to admit

it was us who put them there.

 

But how could that be when we dislike them so much

as we try to think and delve.

The truth is out there for all to see;

they’re just further extensions of ourselves. Continue reading

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