Friday, November 27, 2009

Just Some Music

If you don't like heavy music these artists might not be for you. But I like these bands and they all have positive lyrics.

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Demon Hunter's Website

Chevelle's Website

The Showdown's Website

Haste The Day's Website

Showbread's Website

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oddballs Part Two – Jesus Loves the Oddballs (How Jesus Changed the Social System)

The New Testament changes all of these old rules around. Jesus, a Jew who was expected to follow these old rules, comes and screws everything up for the pious church leaders (A.K.A. The Pharisees). Jesus came and worked (miracles) on Sundays. He touched dead bodies (and resurrected them), touched a woman who had been bleeding for years (and healed her), he talked with “slutty” women (and sent them to be missionaries), and he talked with Tax collectors and lepers (and either healed them or asked them to be his followers). Jesus ignored all of rules and chose these “dirty” actions. Because of these actions of Love Jesus was given the death penalty.

Jesus death broke, deleted, and ended, all of these laws. Jesus came to destroy the separation of people, and to destroy The Law (Old Testament Rules). Paul, one of the Jewish Men (who originally was thankful for not being a Gentile (another race), slave or a Women wrote these status quo breaking words after a transformation through love of Jesus: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

When the temple walls broke and the curtain separating the Holy of Holy’s tore upon Christ’s death, all of these separations were broke and there was a new law. This new law is the one that Jesus gave to us in the Gospels (The New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). This new law consisted of loving those that were “dirty” and not deserving, under Jewish Law, to be loved.

Oddballs: Part One – No Oddballs Allowed (A Brief Description of Old Testament Rules)

The Old Testament is composed of many types of writing and various topics such as prophecy and laws (The Law). Many of the laws separate the Jews from the Gentiles (all other races) and Pagans (non Jewish). These laws include not eating certain things and determine who can sit where in church. There are many reasons that God may have given the specific laws that he did. Some of these reasons include the health benefits such as avoiding certain diseases and overall bodily health (the Jews were the healthiest people group in the world in Bible times). The laws may have also prevented people from getting mistaken for Pagans because some Pagan rituals involve eating certain animals.

In Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace there is a chapter titled “No Oddballs Allowed.” This chapter proposes that the animals that the Jewish people could not eat were the animals that are different i.e. one cant eat land animals that don’t walk on 4 legs or birds that don’t fly. In addition to not eating these animals, the Jews could not sacrifice the imperfect animals to God. God could only be surrounded by the best and the same went for his Jewish followers.

In addition, this idea seems to explain how people were treated and interacted. The ones that were not perfect were not “clean” the same as the animals. The Jewish men prayed daily, thanking God “who had not made them Gentiles, who had not made them slaves, and who had not made them women.” Even these Jewish males could not commune with God directly even though they were toward the top of the spectrum. Only the one person (a priest) a year could talk to God by entering the Holy of Holy’s, the room that God lived in.

Philip Yancey's website

Friday, November 20, 2009

Religion is sick.

Why is Christianity sick and what remedy (ies) can nurse her back to health?

Christianity seems to be ill. She is not what she was meant to be. She is not the grace that Jesus talked about. She is not the love that Jesus showed. She is rules and rituals. Christianity uses the bible to get what she wants. She uses the bible to justify slavery, and hate. This is clearly not the same Christianity that claims to follow Christ (the much loved and respected rabbi). This is the religion that is gaining a reputation of judgmental, ignorant, and hateful people throughout the world.

Looking at “religious people” today, it seems like Jesus would not be happy with us. Not because of the things we do but because of the things that we don’t do. We don’t feed the hungry; we don’t clothe the naked. We instead fight to keep people that are different than us out of the church. We fight to keep those who aren’t clean, like us, out.

Jesus was the one that went to eat with prostitutes and gay people. He sat with the homeless, and prayed with the social outcasts. He exploded at the money changes in the temple. He held Christians accountable while at the same time loved everyone else.

People of the time didn’t understand why a rabbi showed the grace or picked the followers that he did. But we now understand that a Christian is not meant to be an outstanding student, or a perfect person, but rather Christians are called to love the unlovable above all else.