Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Life Is

I have recently read a blog entry by Joseph Tkach III relating his views on belief, faith and Christianity (http://www.livejournal.com/users/jeva/34028.html). He writes clearly and calmly.

Unfortunately, I am much less eloquent, and looking after a 1 year old baby means that I must write very succinctly.

However, I have read and heard people use similar arguments for "god"--pick a flavour--and creation. They say things like, "Well, everything seems to work so well in the universe, so therefore the only reasonable explanation is that some super-being designed it." Or things like, "I have such a strong belief that there must be another existence after death, otherwise what would be the use of living?" They call that belief, without proof, faith. There they remain, happy with their faith, and content that it is impossible to really know. They feel safe and secure.

This is a dangerous example of human-centric thinking. The earth is teeming with life. Is that life useless? Does that life exist solely to benefit humans? Unfortunately, that has been a foundational belief behind many religions and non-religions alike. We are seeing the results of that thinking in pollution, global warming and other trends.

Life is not useless because a human mind thinks it so. Nor is it useful. Life is.

We make many assumptions to reach the above conclusion. For example, we assume that the universe was designed by a super-being. We assume that the creation exists for humans. We assume that as humans we have custodianship over the earth as a responsibility to god. Some assume that if we screw things up badly enough, God will rescue us and give us a second chance.

And as a wise man once told me, to assume makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me". Then we end up sending thousands to religous leaders who fly around in planes and drive in limos...

Don't close your mind to the possibilities. Examine the things that could make your assumptions fail along with those that make them possible. Is there a God? Could be, but I just don't know. What makes me ask that question in the first place? Obviously something in my brain chemistry triggered it. Some people say that it is an outside force--God's calling through his Holy Spirit--could be. Or maybe it's the "human spirit". Neither have been seen nor measured and for either to be acting on our brain, wouldn't they have to be measurable? If Gerald Flurry had an MRI of his brain, what would we see that would differentiate him from the average human?

Could the Bible be speaking symbolicly or metaphorically? Maybe it's a development of evolution that puts that thought there. Maybe some part of human psychology and being raised in a family/tribe over thousands of years.

The point is, the more we learn, the more we know. And the old answers just don't cut it any more. Faith has to change along with knowledge and understanding, so stay flexible or Santa won't be coming to your house this year.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Dark Star

For those reading Ambassador Watch, here's a link to one author's web site containing information on the possible link between astronomy and the symbols of Revelation.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

This is a quote from God's leading man on planet earth, Dave Pack.

"...it is not the purpose of God’s true Church and Work to “repair” or “fix” a world cut off from God—a world He is punishing. His people are supposed to recognize—and deeply understand!—that what is happening here is that a loving God is punishing His disobedient children. God’s people should always think of it this way. Like any parent chastising his child, God does not want interference with the punishment of His children. More than any others, true Christians should understand this! God’s people must not fight Him. What human parent, when he is disciplining his child, wants a neighbor interrupting by trying to comfort the child in the middle of the process, thus muting—directly countering, in effect—at least some of the punishment? Regarding the world, with its affairs, difficulties and disasters, Christ taught, “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22). The Church once understood this meant let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead! Further, Christ is also saying, “Do not interfere with any so-called ‘love,’ when punishment is the kind of love necessary here.”

The job of God’s Church is to warn about and explain why the punishment!

In addition, recognize that God does not want what are His tithes and offerings, which are designated solely for preaching the gospel, for warning modern Israel and for feeding the flock, to be spent directly FIGHTING HIS PURPOSE."
(taken from ambassadorwatch.co.nz)

Notice the nice tie-in to tithes at the end. How fitting for a man of God.

Do you ever get the feeling that the Bible is used to pretty much validate every point of view, opinion and abuse of power? Mr. Pack can site a quote to seemingly approve of ignoring your neighbor when bad things happen, but anyone with a casual knowledge of the New Testament can also remember Jesus commending "good Samaritan" acts, and condemning those who publicly acted righteous. Remember love towards neighbor Dave?

Jesus was a man of action. Jesus was a man of the people. He went among them helping and serving and healing. Jesus did not stand far away shouting a "warning" while calling for "tithes and offerings". Jesus does not sound like Dave Pack.

Remember what Jesus said to those that asked him about the tower falling and killing some very unfortunate folks. He said that they were no more wicked or evil than any other man on the street--it just happened. Faulty engineering Dave, not a spanking from God.

The stark irony is that the very qualities Jesus came to teach us, and those that the coggers insist will be enforced in the coming Millennium, they preach against. Giving to your neighbor, helping others, sharing your wealth to give someone a hand up, protecting those in danger, healing the sick. Can you imagine a world with those ways of life practiced by mainstream society? Yet when these old school coggers have the opportunity to "let their light shine" and teach others to do the same, their ministers shout, "No! Don't help those people. It's God's punishment! Just send in tithes."

It's like they have given up, gone off in a corner shouting with some sort of pathological self-righteousness. What would they do if the trouble was right next door? "Sorry lady, I can't rescue your dying children from that fire, it's God's punishment you know. I can't interfere. But maybe you would like a copy of Mystery of the Ages?"

Hurricane Katrina was a catastrophic disaster to the Gulf Coast of the United States. Hurricanes are natural events, they occur every year in the Atlantic. As far as I know they are not supernatural occurences. The flooding in new Orleans was caused by engineering that failed, not an angel of God with a shovel. Man built the levee system, man caused the marshland around the delta to disappear, man built a city below sea level. Man built buildings and homes that could not withstand winds at hurricane level.

People need your help to restore families and lives that were devastated by this hurricane. Don't send help to Dave, he's got God on his side.