Friday, March 09, 2007

My Leadership Abilities...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I hate that which I am. Introduction

In my opinion a mirror is the scariest thing in the world. Not because I am so ugly I scare myself, but because when I look into a mirror I am looking at myself and I've found that who I am scares me.

I guess I should start this little journey with where my desire for this series began, my hypocracy. I can not stand hypocracy. That is one thing that always makes me angry. When people claim a code and then act outside of that code yet think that they have done nothing wrong.

Here's the problem though, I'm a hypocrite. I came to this realization one day while driving down Valley Mills (if you're from Waco you will of probably experience this same sort of situation). I got stuck leaving Wendy's. I never turn left across Valley Mills at lunch rush hour because to do so would be to commit suicide, so there I am in the right turn lane out of Wendy's. I'm sitting there looking and waiting for an opening for me to turn right onto the Valley (as those of us native Wacoans call it) when this woman driving and F250 superduty pulls up next to me in the left turn exit. Now I can't see anything that's coming (since I drive a little '99 Accord) so I get ready to wait for her to turn out so I can once again resume my exiting status. I sit there for five minutes waiting, I've seen holes go by me that I know I could of gone through, yet since I had no idea that cars weren't coming I couldn't of gone. I'm starting to lose my patience when the lady finally starts to pull out, I look over the bed of the truck when the lady suddenly turn right into the lane directly in front of me. I got so angry. I had just wasted give minutes waiting for this lady to turn left when all she was wanting to do was turn right. So once again I am blocked in and still waiting in the Wendy's exit because of this stupid lady that obviously doesn't understand how to drive. And that's when it hit me, how I'm such a bad driver too. I hate it when people speed past me, ride my bumper, don't use turn signals, and are generally bad drivers, but I myself speed, tailgate, don't use turn signals, and am generally a bad driver. I realized how hypocritcal it was of me to judge her driving when my driving was no better.

That's the starting point for me for this series of posts. I want to recognize those things that I see in others, but that I myself have that I hate. But further than that, I want to scrap my hypocracy. All of things I plan to talk about in this series-greed, pride, ignorance, arrogance, etc..-I must first aknowledge in myself lest I continue being a hypocrite.

That's where this idea began. But the idea goes further than that. I go to the local community college and in my english class this semester, we had to write a critical essay in response to an essay written in favor or same-sex marriage. It surprised me how ignorant some of my classmates were. In our in-class discussions, people kept referring to homosexuals as "them gays". Ignorance. Also in my sociology class we somehow got to the subject of the war on terror. One class member decided to englighten us with, "all them terrorist muslims deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth". Ignorance.

In case you didn't know, ignorance is another quality that I hate. Ignorance isn't even a bad thing, it just means you don't know, but when people act on their not knowing -i.e. labeling "them gays"or all muslims as terrorists- ignorane becomes dangerous. So I decided to wage a war on my own ignorance. I read up on the reasons for and against same-sex marriage, and I went out and bought a copy of the Qur'an because I no longer with to be ignorant to these discussions. I want to be able to open my mouth and actually talk about the subject as an intelligent individual, and not some ignorant fool who just runs his mouth and his actions on his uninformed ideas.

This series of posts is also something along that line for me. I no longer wish to have those qualities that I despise. So this is my way of taking them on. This is my way of starting to change. With that said, I would like if if you would join me in this little journey into myself (and hopefully yourself as well). All of the topics I have lined up for this are in each and every one of us. Every single one of us has a little pride in us. Every single one of us has a little greed in us. That doesn't mean we have to like it though. I want to change. Let the journey begin.


Friday, February 09, 2007

On Christmas Music

I think it may be that I am just getting older, but for some reason Christmas music just seems so cheesy and superficial to me this year. I guess I just don't understand the majority of Christmas music. That has to be the reason. I mean there must be a reason that it's important for us to sing a song about someone roasting chestnuts over an open fire. Maybe they just never told me why. But I personally have never dreampt of a white Christmas, much less felt the need to tell the world about such a dream through song. I just don't get it.

Another thing I don't get is how we have tried to create a romantic scene of Jesus' birth. We sing songs about how the cattle are loing (what does that mean)and how Jesus just laid down his sweet little head. Maybe the writers of these songs have never been around cattle. Maybe they've never been around when a child was birthed. I have no way of knowing, but they must be clueless as to what any of those experiences are really like to write such sweet, soothing, soft, gentle music.

Just imagine with me for a second. Your Joseph (I'll pick this role because I identify with him more being a man) and your wife is in her third trimester about to give birth. You've just had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem on foot. Now you've just gotten to bethlehem and what do you find out, there is no room in any of the inns for you and your wife to stay, but your desperate for a room. So you finally find a little cave where an inn-keeper has allowed you to spend the night with live-stock. So now your in a close-quarters environment with animals and all of their various smells (not many of which are very pleasant) and your wife starts to go into labor. So now here you are, tired from the long trip, sitting in a room with livestock, your wife's going through labor, and the last thing your going to think of is anything romantic.

I just don't see the romantic side of this. I do however recognize the power in the reality of the story. Jesus was human. He was birthed same as I was. He had to be bathed same as I was. He cried same as I did. He grew up same as I did. He experienced the same feelings I feel. He had the same emotions I had. He was just like me except for one aspect... He was also God.

That's the power of this story to me. The fact that He was almost no different from me. Why do we raise him up to such a level that we ignore the fact that he was just like we are? Why do we sing songs of how romantic his birth was when that wasn't how it happened at all? Why do we try so hard to create reasons why Jesus wasn't like us at all? That's where I see beauty in this story. I see the beauty in that I can relate to Jesus on a personal-everyday-real-life-He-knows-what-I've-experienced level. That's amazing. That's awesome. That's mind blowing.

So I'm back to where I started. Is it just me or does our Christmas music create this cheesy, weak, pale expression of what we have actually come to celebrate?

Leave your thoughts.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Atheist Christian?

This is a quote from an interview with Brian Flemming, the director of a documentary debunking Jesus' very existence.

You refer to yourself as an "atheist Christian." What do you mean by that?

Brian Flemming: Once you're a Christian, I don't think you ever shake being a Christian, and personally I don't want to. When I realized that the first-century science that Christianity proclaims is basically completely wrong, that didn't mean Jesus was evil. It didn't mean Jesus was bad. Jesus is in many ways still a great character. As you see in the movie, when he calls for everybody who doesn't want him to reign over them to be killed, that's not the Jesus I'm talking about. But the Jesus that I hold in my mind as the Jesus who taught me my moral values in many ways, I don't want to lose that. I like Jesus. When I see a picture of Jesus that doesn't make me feel bad, it makes me feel good. I'm an atheist because I only believe those things that can be demonstrated and proved. I don't believe that faith is a good thing at all. But I'm a Christian in that I love Jesus

Now tell me if that makes any sense at all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Theistic Determination

Theistic Determination – If GOD knows “The Future” (what you will do), then how can you possibly do anything other than what you will do.

If you believe in GOD, then you believe that GOD is omniscient,omnipresent, and omnipotent. If you believe that GOD is omniscient then you believe that GOD knows everything. If GOD knows everything then GOD knows the future. If GOD knows the future then GOD knows what you will do. If GOD knows what you will do then how can you do anything other than what you will do. If you can do nothing other than what you will do then how can you have a choice?

So basically all Theistic Determination is saying is that GOD knows every action and every decision that you will ever make, and if GOD already knows every action and every decision that you will ever make, then how can you possibly choose to do any other action or any other decision that what GOD knows. Therefore you have no choice. Everything you will has already been decided for you.

My first problem with this view is that I see it as limiting GOD’s omniscience. This view says that GOD can only know of one future for my life. What if when I am born I am born with an infinite number of possible futures? What if when I am born there is an infinite number of possible paths my life can take?

If this is true then every decision I make shaves off any possible futures that depended upon me making that choice. For instance, when I was ten I chose to become a Christian. The moment before I made that decision I had an infinite number of possible futures that led both ways, down the Christian path and down the pagan path. But as soon as I made the decision to become a Christian all of the possible futures that I had that depended on me being pagan were shaved away.

So how much harder is it for GOD to know all of my possible decisions and actions before I do them? If GOD is omniscient then he already knows everything, and if I am a part of everything, and if my decisions are a part of everything, then all of my possible futures are a part of everything. Which GOD already knows.

My second major problem with Theistic Determination is this. Let’s just say that I buy into this concept that GOD already knows every decision and every action that I will ever make. Who decides what I will do? I’ll assume that it’s GOD who makes that decision (since GOD is omniscient and omnipotent he therefore has the knowledge and the power to make my decisions for me). So what about sin? If GOD is by definition “good” and sin is by definition “evil” then how can an all-good being force me to do evil?