I don't know about you, but I tend to believe that God isn't actively trying to lie to us by doing shit like creating a young universe that only appears to be fifteen billion or so years old.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Good advice, advice that I have not been following recently.
Sorry Hal, I wasn't calling you a bigot; not unless you were in those pictures. If you were, I have no problem calling you a bigot, because it would be a statement of fact.
If you believe the people photographed were in the right, then I suggest you find your nearest black person and say "Hi, nigger". The word "fag" is derogatory, plain and simple.
And God most certainly DOES NOT hate "fags" as their posters proclaim. He loves them! They're His creation, after all! To say that God hates these people is, literally, a damned lie.
The reason for linking to your entry was as part of the over-all theme of the post. I can see only damage being done by those who throw hate in the name of Christ, and see as dangerously misguided attempts to convict people of their sins without a serious evangelistic effort (these are two seperate points). Why would anyone who does not believe in Christ believe that they were sinning? The very definition of sin - that one has missed the mark that God has set for us - requires a belief in God!
Emphasising particular sins is not a great way of preaching the good news, primarily because it gives the false impression that Christianity is really all about following a particular set of rules and laws. But why follow these laws if you do not believe in God? Why would any rational person believe these laws had any validity if they do not believe in God?
If a man where to pledge to never commit a sin again, for the rest of his life, and somehow he achieved this impossible aim, what is the worth? His past sins are already counted against him. He must be cleansed of his sins, but first he must accept Christ.
These are the primary reasons I hate this finger-pointing nonsense. What is the consequence? We come across as self-righteous and judgemental jerks convinced we are better (not better-off) than non-Christians.
I'll give you an example. Evangelism is something that is pressing more and more upon my heart. I met a girl once, whom after telling her I was a Christian asked "You think I'm a slapper, don't you" because she had had sex before she was married. Yet she had no reason to act any differently! I would be doing the same if I didn't believe, and what reason would I have not to?
If God doesn't exist, then truly the best policy is to eat, drink and be merry; because tomorrow we die. Now, both you and I know that God exists; but it is foolishness to follow His teachings (in fact, follow Him) without believing He exists.
And, are we really going out with a heart to help these people, or is our heart set on making sure they act "like good Christians"?
This is my problem with such actions as wearing a t-shirt saying "Homosexuality is shameful". What is in our hearts? What are the consequences?
But beyond that, does it really matter if a person has had homosexual sex or not? Every person has committed more than enough sins in their life to require God's grace, homosexual sex or no; we all naturally tend towards sin. The particular vice I suffer from is a strong urge to have sex before I get married. If I wasn't a Christian, I would be having lots of sex right now. If a Christian came up to me, and tried to convict me of lust, why would I pay any heed to him or her?
Being a Christian is hard. Right now, my walk with God is pretty much in a shambles. I'm going through a rough time in my life at the moment, so I feel pretty horrible inside. Unfortunately, when I feel down I try and do something that probably won't help to fix it, and since I've given up alchohol my brain wanders elsewhere. As I've realised that an appreciable number of hot women do find me attractive, pre-marital sex has proved extremely tempting.
Aside from desperately wanting to get laid, my biggest frustration is how people view us Christians. A lot of people think we spend our days judging the world, looking around and gleefully pointing out the failings of others. You know, like this guy. Had sex before marriage? Sinner! Taken drugs? Sinner! Homosexual? Sinner! But everyone has fallen short of the glory of God, including us Christians. Especially us Christians. We know we're sinners. We should be smart enough to avoid throwing stones in a house we know is very much made of glass.
But do you know what doesn't help? These guys. I'm not talking about the gags pulled by the Something Awful crew, I'm talking about the guys holding signs reading such wonders as "Fags doom nations", "God hates fags" and "God hates fag enablers".
Yes, I believe that homosexual acts are a sin, and I can back that up with reference to the Bible. But crikey, so's being disrespectful to your parents. Am I going to have a posse chasing me around with signs reading "God hates you for talking back to your Dad"?
These guys make a lot of noise, and have a fairly high profile for themselves. When a lot of people think of Christians, they don't think of aid workers in foreign countries. They don't think of people helping out the homeless. They think about people like these guys.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to share the news of God's amazing love for people when what they associate our God with is hate?
Whose fault is it that people have this mistaken idea about us Christians? I'll make this very clear: it is our fault.
Let's clear at least this one up for the benefit of those reading this: God loves "fags" as much as He loves everyone else. I know He doesn't want His people to go around and hurl abuse at homosexuals. Is this what Jesus would do? If you think it is, I'd ask you to examine His character a bit further, particularly in these passages:
Here's another inspiring story. It's labelled "They hate you because of me". I don't know about you, but I think "They hate you because you're acting the spa" would be a more accurate lead-in. This isn't what we should be about, people!
Here's a little thing I learned a long time ago. This world is a pretty sinful place. If we're going to start finger-pointing sins, we're going to awful busy; and in the end, it's counter-productive. Even if you point out every sin a person has, what can they do about it? Only Jesus Christ Himself can make a real difference in their lives, and finger-pointing only makes these people think our Lord and Saviour is an asshat.
I can feel myself rambling. I'll leave you with a picture, and for those fellow Christians reading this, a challenge: is this what we want people thinking when they hear the word Christian? Heck, is this what we want people thinking when they hear the word Christ?
In my church, we have a bookshop. Some of the books make bizarre theological claims or goals, such as "Pokemon are stealing the souls of our children", or the good old "Let's accelerate the second coming!".
But sometimes I'll come across gems like this. I don't know if the copy is any good, but the cover is freakin' brilliant. The expression on the little girl's face is priceless.
In other news, I'm now officially on the sound team for church. That means I get to sit down at the back and twiddle with a 28 channel mixer. And Jay Wilson's "The Daniel Song", which we recorded during the gap between services last Sunday, sounds fantastic.
My friend Conall and I have a problem. We are both Christians who are extremely dirty minded, and who enjoy the company of women with a similar interest in sex and sexuality. Unfortunately, these women seem to be few and far between in Christian circles; at least those who are openly so, and if they are not openly so then we can't have a conversation with them on the topic, can we?
I have an incredibly dirty mind. Take the image attached to this entry. Most people would probably see a two-pixel black line on a white background. When I see this picture, it triggers the same things in my mind as the word vulva. This is only the start of it.
To be honest I reckon a lot of female Christians do have dirty minds, but feel that it's somehow wrong to be interested in sex (or at least express that opinion in public). There's a strange set of taboos hanging around, masquerading as "Christian ideals" when in fact they are either neither Christian or non-Christian, or completely unbiblical.
There is something appealing about a woman who can flirt back, even if it is just for the laugh. So, primarily because of this, Conall and I seem to be mainly attracted to non-Christian women, but we're:
So, where are all the dirty-minded Christian women at? They have to be hiding somewhere. Is there some uber-cool liberal church somewhere around Dublin?
And to Conall: there's your long requested mention. It's a pity it couldn't have been in relation to the website I'm designing for your racing team.
Dan Boreham and Paul Mills were in the studios the last two days here in the office recording the guitar overdubs. Very loud, and very cool. This is definitely a heavier album than Mercy.
Dan plays with a band called Kindle, and wasn't too happy to see what we were using their debut album for: propping open the toilet window, eh, when necessary.
My first official radio show is on this Sunday, between 4 and 5 pm, on 89.9 Spirit FM. You should be able to hear this station all around Dublin city.
Looks like I was Spirit FM's first DJ. From 2pm to 3pm today I played some songs, and talked a little crap. Songs in my playlist included:
It was only a test broadcast, but it was a great laugh. We had a moment's silence for the tree that was sacrificed for the sake of our uplink (we have a 2.4GHz microwave link from the studio in Stillorgan to the transmission site on Three Rock), which was cut short by "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys.
Maybe I'll do it again.
Former male model Dave Heffernan is set to launch Spirit FM, Ireland's first Christian radio station, at midnight this Friday. It will be on 89.9FM.
I work in the same office as Dave, and it has been very busy. On Tuesday we had the microwave uplink installed (it waves quite a lot in the wind I can tell you), and today they had a test broadcast from Three Rock.
You should be able to hear Spirit FM anywhere in Dublin, on 89.9FM, every weekend for the next three months. You may even hear myself and Paul, but I think our ideas for a radio programme might increase the libel insurance premium.
By the way, Dave says, "all donations welcome... kerching".
You know, sometimes some of my fellow Christians really freak me out. The site Guideposts for Teens published an article titled "100 Things to Do with Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend... Instead of it", which has been widely linked to by many other blogs, mainly because of how freakin' wierd it is. Even the title is amusing, avoiding the use of the word "sex" by means of the uncapitalised "it".
Another point of hilarity is the fact that a fair proportion of the points on the list could easily lead to sex. Come on now, Twister? Play hide-and-seek in a cornfield? And of course, the number one cause of sex: talking. I must confess my dirty mind had a good laugh at number 31: "Eat something you have never tried before".
But even stranger is another article on their site: "How to Answer the Boyfriend Question". Ms. Brzowski gives ten snappy answers for young girls to explain why they don't have a boyfriend, all of which are about as funny as watching a clown die of cancer.
Actually, that's pretty funny.
But seriously, if and when I have a daughter, I hope I remember to teach her that it's okay to not have a boyfriend. I also hope I remember to teach any sons I might have that it's okay to not have a girlfriend. Heck, I don't have a girlfriend. Don't get me wrong, I'd certainly like to have a girlfriend (particulary a tall and sarcy mynx), but this idea that you must have a partner to be complete is completely off the wall, and quite frankly, unbiblical.
If someone asks me do I have a girlfriend, my reaction is threefold. First, suspect their motives. If anyone has to ask that question, they don't know me enough for me to feel comfortable about them asking that question.
Second, get embarrased about the answer. I'm never going to erase from my mind the feeling that I'm not a complete person without a wife or girlfriend, no matter how unreasonable that is. That doesn't mean I have to let it rule my decisions, as it once did.
Third, answer "No". Just a plain and simple "No". That's all that I need to say. If they ask me why, I'll have to restrain myself from lecturing them. A girlfriend shouldn't be a thing you go out and get because you feel you need one.
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