So there was that viral video of the soldier coming out to his father over the phone. As you may or may not have expected, the comments for that video are a mix of uplifting and grotesque. At one point in the ever growing list of comments the topic made it’s way to Christianity and God. I took a moment to state that you can be both gay and Christian. I was responded to, by someone who will not be named, with this: “no you cant it is an abomination to God and Jesus”.
I think most of my followers are aware of how I feel about this particular topic, but if you would allow me to explain why I think this person has made a fatal error, not only in their view of homosexuals, but in their general theology.
Firstly, making a clear distinction between “God” and Jesus is rather fuzzy. There is certainly a strong distinction between God the Father and Jesus, but there is not a distinction between Jesus and “God”. Jesus is God. If something is an “abomination” to one then by definition it is an “abomination” to the other. To claim that is is an abomination to both is in the very least redundant, and brings me to wonder if they understood the trinity.
Second, this argument does not make theological sense in even the most traditional understanding of scripture. To be a homosexual does not imply any sense of sexual activity, rather it is a simple classification of the gender identity that you are attracted to in reference to your own gender identity. Because I am gay does not mean I am having sex anymore than being heterosexual might mean that you are having sex. In scripture the only mentioning of homosexuality is in clear reference to sexual acts. There is no scriptural backing to make the claim that homosexuality is in anyway a sin, as homosexuality is an orientation not an act itself. so regardless of which side of the fence you fall with more modern reexamination of the passages in question, you cannot make the claim that homosexuality is a sin because the scripture makes no comment on the orientation of a person only the actions of that person. I imagine that this person assumed that homosexual meant “gay sex” but it just doesn’t. I have never even kissed a boy and yet I am quite certain of my sexual orientation. A heterosexual can be a Christian even if they have the ability, or even the want, to have premarital sex. To have a double standard in regards to gay Christians is revolting. Being gay has no impact on my moral integrity or my ability or inability to follow scripture. Being gay has no effect on my ability to love God, and certainly has no effect on Christ’s ability to love and reconcile me. So yes, you can be gay and Christian, regardless of wether or not you believe it to be sin or otherwise.
Every Christian is also a sinner. If one believes homosexuality to be a sin, and then claims that you cannot be both gay and Christian, then they have a serious theological problem to solve. How can they be Christian? If being gay is a sin, an “abomination” if you will, and gay people cannot be Christian for that reason, then no one else can be a Christian. Period. No one who experiences lust, greed, envy, pride, or any other form of sin can be a Christian by that standard. The only way one could argue this would be to ignore the entirely of Christ’s message, and the vast majority of the First Testament. In fact, the only parts of the Bible that you could keep would be the laws and the punishments of the Torah. You could not keep any of the narrative parts of the Torah, passages that show a God who cares for and loves the marginalized and abandoned. If gay people cannot be Christian because they have a sinful nature, then Christ’s sacrifice is void. Christ died for everyone. His sacrifice was for all people, He was a gift for all people. The whole basis of forgiveness of sins through the cross is that you were a sinner, and are a sinner, but that you are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice. If gay people cannot be Christian, then you must assume that Christ’s sacrifice did not work. Christ did not pick and chose the people he would reconcile and those he would not bother with. His reconciliation is either for all or none. Once someone comes to Christ and accepts his forgiveness then it is irrelevant the sin they had. Yes, it is true they must try and avoid the sin from that point on and be actively changed by their acceptance of Christ’s love, but as I have said, the being gay is not the sin no matter what the position you take in the homosexuality passages.
I think in the long run the larger evangelical community needs to educate itself on just what it might mean to be a “gay Christian”, if for no purpose greater than avoiding statements like this that are founded in personal bias and scriptural misunderstanding rather than an intent and humble search for God’s truth.
Rant over. I apologize for writing so much for such a little thing. But statements like this are not just harmless opinions. That was an attack on the very core of my existential understanding. My faith is my life. I am a Christian wether or not some “Christians” believe I can be or not.
I love you all!
Ethics of a Heterotroph
Veganism is not against the killing of living things. We all kill living things. It is what we have to do in order to live. Humans fall under a category of living beings called heterotrophs, this means that we are incapable of producing our own food, and thus have to eat other things in order to get the things we need to live. Most plants on the other hand are autotrophs, meaning that they produce their own food, i.e. photosynthesis. And so vegans can’t be against killing any living being because if we were, we would die. We eat plants because we have to eat something. The question was never about killing something that was alive, but rather, killing something that consciously wanted to live.
A plant, while alive, is not aware of its life in the sense that an animal is. Animals are unique form of creation that are capable of observing and contemplating their own existence. Now, I could never prove that other animals are capable of metacognition or the like, but just as much I cannot prove that any other human is capable of that either. The only thing I could ever be sure of is my own thought, and even that is something I could logic out of existence. I look at a person sitting next to me and I don’t know that they are thinking or are capable of thinking or feeling, but I believe that they can and do. The only way to accept the existence of anyones thought but your own, requires a leap of faith that their thoughts and minds exist. In that same way I can observe a non-human animal and conclude that they too have thought and feeling based on the same reasoning that I could conclude so with a human. Animals react emotionally; they play, they mourn, they scream, they cry, and show excitement. Just because they cannot speak to me with words does not mean that they are not talking to me. Marc Bekoff writes: “It’s because animals have emotions that we’re so drawn to them; lacking a shared language, emotions are perhaps the most effective means pf cross-species communication.” Emotions are not a division between us and “beasts” but rather they are a unifying condition that we can use to communicate with them. For all the reasons that I can assume other humans have emotions, I can find in animal behavior as well. The idea that non-human animals are living machines, that simply react to external stimuli that would appear to mimic emotion, is an old one, and one that is all but gone from the scientific community.
So, if we are to talk of morals that we owe to one another to uphold, then why do we draw the line of moral application at the rigid boarders of our genetic code? The boundary of our species is not means for moral inclusion and exclusion. We respect one another, or at least try to, not because we are “human” but because we believe that not doing so would harm the other person’s spirit. We acknowledge each other’s emotions and respect that fragile balance of emotion that we are all struggling to keep level. It is not our species relation that we respect in each other, but our humanity. Humanity as in our sense of being, our ability to acknowledge our own existence and act on that knowledge, mindful that those around us are trying to do the same thing. When animals show that same humanity in themselves, we mark it off as coincidence or ethically irrelevant. This injustice is where you would find the basis of veganism. Treating animals well because they are aware of how we treat them. Loving animals because they are capable of loving us back, and resenting our abuse.
Killing life is unavoidable, as an inherent part of the human condition. But killing life that decidedly wants to live is what we can avoid. If there is no moral imperative to not kill a dog, a cat, or a cow, then certainly there is no imperative to not kill a human. All of those beings, human and not, are capable of an emotional spectrum that is the basis for why we feel it is wrong to kill any of them. Are “pro-life” activists concerned about people killing fetuses because those fetuses are human or because they believe that they are people? It was never about the species, but about the emotional existence that we feel we must believe in in order to accept anything about us. That is one example that many people might not relate to due to the fact that they are not “pro-life”, but the concept may still stand even without an agreement about that particular example.
If we accept that all life is “just life” and that we as heterotrophs must kill to live, then it is true that there is not moral difference between killing and eating a carrot, or a cow, or a human. Now, please understand that I am not in favor of cannibalism, but likewise I am not in favor of killing anything/ anyone who is capable of wanting to live. That is the all important separation between the life of animals and non-animal life, that we animals can want to live. And we aught to respect that.
Racism: noun, the belief that all members of each race posses characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
- Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief
Sexism: noun, prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex
Thats so weird, I didn’t read the part where only white people are capable of being racist. And yes, sexism is typically and almost always against women, but that does not exclude men from being possibly victimized. White people can be a victim of racism and men can be the victim of sexism. People overlook this fact because they seem to forget that racism and sexism are issues that do not start and end with our socio-economical status. The basis of these issues are prejudice, which is a human condition not a white male condition. it is truly unfortunate that western culture has developed in such a way that these prejudices became the norm and thus somehow acceptable. And so I am in no way excusing the actions of the white male past, nor the current injustices that our curent society is filled with. I don’t think it is okay that women don’t get as good of a pay as men for the same job, and I don’t think that it is okay that POC are being victimized by law enforcement for no better reason than suspicion based on skin color. I don’t think that these things are okay. But to turn the tides a perfect 180 and start discrediting the opinions of others because they are male or white, or God forbid, a combination of the two, is beating people down with the same stick you acuse them of hitting you with. White male privilege exists. That is undeniable and unfortunately so. But we can change things. Things have been changing, and they need to change faster. But to pretend like women and POC are the only one capable of being victimized, as if they are the only ones capable of being hurt by it, is wrong and equally unjust. We can’t solve the problem by putting the blame on another and giving them a “taste of their medicine”. I will continue to fight against sexism and racism. And just because I am a white male does not mean that my opinions are less valid or that my feelings are less significant. I just want justice for you and me.
One thing I really dislike about Glee is the episode where the “God Squad” sings for Santana and Britney. I don’t mean that part in particular of course but the rest of the episode where they talk about if they should sing for them. Whom ever writes the scripts for shows like this tend to clearly not understand Christianity and yet comment on it thusly. The only parts of the Bible that they (or any other major show as far as I have seen) mention are from Leviticus. Things where the “Christian” characters say things like “other things that the Bible calls an abomination: shellfish, sowing two types of plants in the same field.” The reason I can’t stand this kind of talk is it makes it look like no Christians follow the Bible. That we can and do just cherry pick what we agree with and find convenient from the Bible. Yes, many people do that. But that is not what Christianity is about. The mass media needs to realize that Leviticus is not the only book in the Bible, that the good arguments against homosexuality don’t even involve those passages. Christians don’t follow the old law, not because ‘we just don’t want to’ or because ‘those are just old laws for the jews not us’. We don’t follow the old law because Christ fulfilled that law. Christ freed us from it’s power when he died and was resurrected. We who are saved in Christ are not bound to the old law. We still need to read it and the First Testament is still important. But only an ignorant Christian would recite Leviticus 18:22 when arguing against homosexuality. There are three significantly more convincing passages in the Second Testament.
I am sorry if this seems random at all. But it truly bothers me that the major media does little to help us Christians who are trying to overcome the stereotype of “Cherry-picking” Christians. Leviticus 18:22 does not apply to me for reasons far more significant than me “not liking it”. I can plant corn and wheat in the same field if I want to and I can get a tattoo. And that has nothing to do with the Bible being inconsistant or the Church ignoring things that they don’t think applies any more.
I suppose I am just upset because I am tired of watching my faith portrayed on television as a haphazard ‘believe what I like and forget the scripture’ mockery of Christ’s teachings
Please excuse me for my outburst. But It was on my heart.
Love you all
Today at church I sang Beautiful City from Godspell (the 2011 revival version).
I don’t know how many people in the congregation know I am gay by now, but certainly the youth, my youth pastor, and several adults do. The reason this is a big deal to me is that I never imagined that I would do something like that. Stand on that stage infront of my congregation singing a song about moving forward. A song about how, no matter how bad things get, God has a plan. God has brought me to the point where I can praise him without being worried about people judging me for who I am or people wondering about me. For the first time in a long time I feel like myself at church. Completely honest. Praising God because it doesn’t matter that I am “different” because we are all different and God loves all of us despite any of that. And I finally feel like maybe my life won’t just be some act that I play for the people around me. Maybe I can be myself now, even with the people who might not agree with me about this. I feel like I can finally move forward and God has done that for me. A beautiful city is coming and I can be a part of building it. And so can anyone else.
I have learned that it doesn’t matter what it is that make someone feel inadequate or worthless because our opinion is not God’s opinion. What we might hate about ourselves might be what God put in us to make us His child. I used to be so afraid of who I am. But I can honestly say that I don’t think I would be Christian now if I wasn’t gay. Being gay, and all the fear and self loathing that came along with that is exactly what got me to pray. It got me to want God and hear His answers to my questions. I love God with all my heart and that is because He is the one who carried me through those times.
So now I am ready to move forward. Not as a “gay christian” but as a follower and brother of Christ.
Just a friendly reminder that I love you. I love you and I will never question that. I will never second guess it. I will never think the oposite. I love you with every ounce of me, and that is irrevocable. If you ever start to wonder if anyone cares. Know that I do. Know that I love you. No matter what your faith, political stance, race, size, nothing will change this. I love you and so does the God I believe in. And you should know that. No matter how dark life gets, know that I care. And that you are not alone.
Coming Out to The Church
Yesterday evening through this morning was a lock-in at my church. Basically a bunch of the youth locked ourselves in the church all night to spend time together in fellowship and fun.
After all the games were done we did Worship and open mic in the church library. Our youth pastor shared his testimony and a few people shared songs that they wrote. The entire time I had this feeling that I had to say something. More testimonies were shared, and I just got the feeling that I needed to share mine. But I just couldn’t. The largest part of my testimony is reconciling my sexuality with my faith. To be honest I did not trust my peers not to judge me for it if they knew the truth. Then a boy got up and gave a little talk on trust. He said that trusting people is something that he has never been good at, and something that he still has so much trouble doing. That is until he found someone that he could really confide in. He said that trusting is a whole lot easier than we think it is. That hit me to the core. Here I was thinking about how I couldn’t trust them, and he gets up and basically says that we need to be able to trust people.
I walked out of the room and cried for a little bit. It was just too much to tell them but I felt like God really was telling me to. The mother of one of my friends comforted me and prayed for me that I might do what God wants me to do.
So I got some water and walked back into the library and asked if I could speak. I got up on the stool infront of everyone and I told them my testimony. I started by talking about Paul, about how he said he had a thorn in his flesh, something that was killing him day by day. But he never said what the thorn was. He never told us. And I hate that. I hate that Paul didn’t tell us. And I was tired of living that same way. With a thorn in my side and a secret to cover it. I told them about how I first learned about Christ back when I was little and how I had to stop going to church. And I told them that I was gay. I told them about those nights where I would lie there begging God to tell me why and how I wanted to kill myself. I told them all of that. But most importantly I told them that it was okay. That I don’t care that I am gay, because I love Christ more than I could explain, and the Christ I learned about just wanted that. Just wanted me to love him and others unconditionally. So It doesn’t matter my orientation, because I love Christ with all my heart and I don’t plan on that ever changing.
I told them that I didn’t want to talk about all this just yet, and asked them to not try to ask me about it.
So when I finished people came up to hug me and told me that they loved me. And then we worshiped. And It was the best worship I can remember.
I’m not sure what all their opinions of me are now. But I am glad that I am not walking with a lie any longer.
And I am thankful.
Every single Christian has reasons to feel like they don’t deserve love and acceptance. We all have struggles that make it hard to believe in God’s all consuming love. What makes Homosexual Christians unique is that when they doubt wether they are loved, the loudest voices in the church seem to be telling them that they are not.
It is okay to not agree with homosexuality. That is your right, and I don’t think less of you for it. I love you just the same :)
There is a difference between disagreeing and being hateful. Not agreeing with it is not the same as being bigoted or hateful to homosexuals. So if you simply disagree with homosexuality, then I am not saying that you are being hateful. You are having/ expressing an opinion. Perfectly fine :)
However, my point is this, When you (a heterosexual christian) have doubts or fears because of something you have done, some sin that you have that makes you feel inadequate, or that God’s love might not be reaching you. I think it is fair to say that most or all of us have been there at some point or another. But when you get to that point because maybe you are too effected by social opinion, you have an eating disorder, or maybe you self harm, or maybe you just feel like a hypocrite during church sometimes and you feel just like such a failure that God shouldn’t love as much as he does. When you get there, you have a church that is telling you that you are loved, that your sins are forgiven, and that you are accepted by Christ.
What makes gay Christians unique is that a lot of us don’t have that. If I walked up to any member of my church and said that I feel like i’m unsaved (for some example explained above) they would sit me down and tell me how loved I am, and how I need to just feel God’s love again because I am wonderful the way I am. If I told them instead that I am gay, they would sit me down and tell me how I have to repent, how I have to commit to celibacy, or pray to be straight, they might mention that I am still loved, I will give them that credit, but they will look at me with less compassion I think than if I had told them much anything else. When gay Christians start to feel that we are rejects or unloved, the loud voice of many church leaders reinforce that thought instead of helping us. The difference between disagreeing with homosexuality and showing hate how loud you are with your disagreement.
The concept of the film Prayers For Bobby is that even if you don’t mean to show hate, if you don’t work hard to show love then you might as well be showing hate. Wether the church likes it or not, us gay Christians are here. There are probably gays in your congregation, silently praying that know one will notice or that their feelings will go away and they can be normal. And every time you say something offhandedly about homosexuality being “a disease” or “an abomination” or “lost” then you are giving us gay Christians less, and less reason to pray at all. It undermines our hope, and makes us feel even more like rejects. Christianity stops making sense, and stops feeling good. And God stops seeming like a loving God.
We all have sins that weigh us down. We all fall short of the glory of God. Gays just have a unique curse to have all their doubts and fears reinforced by people they are supposed to have fellowship with. That is the problem I am trying to highlight. That gay Christians feel less able to talk to other believers about this, because thus far in my life at least, the most and the loudest of what I have heard from people, is that I am sick, that I am possessed, or that I am a threat. And that is not fair. And that is where disagreement becomes hate.
So I am not saying that you have to agree with homosexuality, but if you are Christian, then I expect you to be very clear that you love, and have compassion for homosexuals. Because showing love is the single most important thing us Christians can do.
Love you all!
This is what really gets to me about the whole thing with companies supporting or not supporting marriage equality. It seems that every time a company announces that they support it, tons of Christians go off on how they are never buying from them again, or if a company announces that they are against it, then tons of Christians get all excited and say that they are going there from now on.
I think that both responses are completely absurd and frankly, insulting. Not because I am gay, but because I am Christian. I am insulted that people are using the faith that means everything to me as an excuses to spread hate. And there is nothing about this that has to do with love or compassion, or really anything that Jesus actually taught. Not eating Oreos does not make you a good Christian, it makes you seem hateful towards people that Christ told us to love. And geting all exited and eating at Chick-Fil-A because they said they are against gay marriage does not make you a good Christian, it makes you seem like everything that people say you are: bigots.
Honestly It doesn’t really bother me all that much if you think that being gay is a sin. I would love to talk to you about it sometime. But to act so hatefully in the name of Yahweh is not something I can just sit by and watch. If you think that being gay is a sin, fine, but Christ said that he came to be with the sick, not the healthy.
If you think that me falling in love with a man is an abomination then fine, but Jesus said that Love is the greatest of the commandments. Acting this way is immature, it is bigoted, and it is anything but loving. Don’t forget that Paul wrote that you may have a faith to move mountains, but if you don’t have love then you have nothing at all.
Boycotting Oreos and eating exclusively at Chick-Fil-A because of their views does not show love. It shows that you are afraid of anything that is different from you and it confirms the belief that the Christian church is just a bunch of bigoted, self-righteous, homophobes, who are more concerned with who they buy their junk food from than helping the poor and the needy. I know for a fact that this is not true. But how can we expect people to come to Christ when the only time they hear about Christians it is when they are boycotting something or waving God hates fags signs, or preaching at some abortion rally?
So please, if you don’t agree with homosexuality then you don’t have to; but don’t spread hate in the name of Jesus. You are just pushing people away from God, the same people who Christ said to go and make disciples of.
I love you all. I just wish you could find it in your heart to love back, and not just with saying that you do, but acting like you do.
How sin helped me
So Right off the bat this sounds really weird, but bear with me. I do not mean to imply that sin is a good thing by any means, but I do mean to say that perhaps it was part of God’s plan and not just some silly mistake that soiled creation as the book of Genesis might read. The problem with sin being nothing more than human mistake is that it removes either God’s omnipotence or his compassion. If God is omnipotent then he would have known that Eve would have eaten the fruit, and if he had really desired to prevent sin then he could have just not made the tree of Good ad Evil in the first place, no fruit= no sin. But since God is omnipotent, for him to have made the tree knowing we would fall implies that sin coming into the world is by some account God’s doing. This might make is seem like perhaps God is not the loving, caring God that the Bible tells us about. But if sin has a purpose, if sin has a reason to exist, then God can still be loving, still be omnipotent, and everything works out. Here is my theory: God allowed sin to enter creation because sin was necessary for our relationship with him. We had to separate from God so that we would long to be with Him, having the knowledge of the pain that comes from being apart from Him. I have to be honest, most of my theory is based on personal experience, so to help you see where I am coming from you will need to know my testimony.
I grew up in a non-religious home. My mother was raised Methodist and my father Lutheran, but neither of them retained their faith into adulthood. I was never taught about God by my parents and I never even had a Bible through those younger years. But I knew even then that something was missing. I had the fortune to grow up in the middle of thick woods along Mt. Hood in Rododendron Oregon. Up there I had to spend most of my time alone in the woods. All my school friends lived too far away for me to go see and my brother and I didn’t exactly get along. So I spent my time entertaining myself in the trees. it is there that I become enamored with animals and the environment. It is because of living there that I love the planet as much as I do. It is also because of living there that I have a strong imagination and can spend hours by myself without getting bored. I entertainend myself through those years playing with sticks and rocks pretending to fight battles and saving people. When I was about the age of 6 or so I remember standing on the roots of a tree looking out over the cliff onto the floodplains of the river behind my house. I looked at how green the leaves where in the sun, and how sweet the cotton woods smelled, and the roaring lullaby of the river that I fell asleep to every night. I stood there and wondered how could any of this have happened by acident? I felt in my heart that there had to be something more. No too long after I became friends with the sons of my mother’s friend June. They told me about how they go to church and about God. I started going to church with them, I went to sunday school, watched veggie tales, and eagerly took in every word of the sermons I heard. I had finally figured out what was missing. But around third grade or so June and her sons moved away and I stopped going to church. I would wear a cross and pray to God sometimes, never losing my faith in the God I had discovered, but never getting the chance to really grow in that faith. Not until high school did I start going to church again. I had made friends with a girl in my jazz choir and she and her family brought me to church each sunday. I still go to that church today. Little did they know I had been suffering through some of the darkest periods of my life. Because in the sixth grade I had discovered that I was gay. I spent a good year trying to convince myself that I was bisexual, but to no avail. So when high school came around I was deep in depression for the fear that God did not want me and that people would hate me if they knew. There were times when I seriously considered taking my life, but I lived because I didn’t want to let God down any more than I had. Only this last year have I found out things that have changed my opinion of homosexuality and I am now more confident in who I am than ever before. But each and every sin that I commit, each and every one, fills me with a guilt and a pain that makes it feel as though I have made no progress at all. But I can remember back to those nights when I prayed to God to fix me, when I prayed to God to make me better. That guilt, that sin, was the only reason I had to even talk to God back then. Now I have better reasons to talk to him, but back then it was the pain that drew me close to him. Being gay has taught me to be compassionate to other people, the fear of what others would think made me more willing to think highly of others, and show kindess whenever I could. All those years of suffering have made me a better person, and a stronger child of God.
So I have come to believe that God allowed sin, because without it we would not want him. My life was great, I have loving parents, great friends, no illness, food on the table and a roof over my head. And with my love for science the only thing that kept me believing in God was that need for forgiveness and love. Sin made me need God. God could have made us perfect and never allowed sin and we would all worship him the way we are supposed to. But God does not want a bunch of worshiping robots, that is what the angles could be for. He made us, and gave us struggles so that we would want Him, need Him, and love Him. He wants a real relationship with us, and to get that we have to suffer. We suffer in sin because it makes us stronger, and it makes us more compassionate. We have seen the dark chasms of our hearts which makes the light of God’s love all the more appealing.
James 1:12 reads “A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
The trials are God’s test, sin is God’s test. And it makes us want him, or at least those who choose to believe.
That is just my opinion, but I believe with all my heart, that If were not for my trials, and if I was not gay, then I would not be Christian. They are what drew me to Christ, they made me need him, they made me love him. And so I would not give up a single one of those trilas for anything in the world. And I would go back and be straight If I had the chance. Because that is why I am who I am. And that is why I love God. Sin helped me love God.
Feminism and misandry
I am by all means a “feminist.” By that I mean that I believe that women are equal to men, that they deserve all the same rights and privileges that men do. Women are not lesser than men and should not be treated as anything but equal.
That being said, I just saw a post in which case feminist women were bashing on a man for saying that “misandry” exists because of a definition of rape claiming that it is an action committed by men.
Firstly, this definition is wrong because it does not leave room for the possibility of a woman raping someone. I am aware that it is most common for men to rape, not women, but it is not impossible for a woman to rape someone. And secondly if we say that misogyny exists (which of course, it does) then we have to say that misandry exists; because it does.
Sexism includes any discrimination against someone for their gender. And if men can be sexist, then so can women. Feminism can go too far, and that is when it becomes hypocritical and attacks the other sex. I am not defending the actions of men or what they do to women. But Women can be just as bad, to pretend otherwise is hypocritical and ignorant.
Rape is never okay, and neither is misogyny. But to act like men are the scum of the Earth and incapable of being victimized is wrong. I am not whining about being “oppressed” by women. I am simply calling out the feminist movement for being highly hypocritical in this particular instance. Women are equal to men, and the oposite is also true.
The Faith of Science and an Objective God
*disclaimer: I am sorry if this post doesn’t make sense. I am still trying to work it all out myself. But I am posting this because it is where I am right now in my understanding, and I thought I would share.
I am one of a unique breed. I am a scientific mind with a passion for finding the logical truth in the world around me. My college major is biochemistry and I subscribe to various aspects of string theory, M.O. theory/ VSPR theory, and even evolution. That being said, I am also a devote Christian who loves God more than I love my own intellect. I have faced opposition more than once in my life from scholars saying that God could not exist (or at least not in the benevolent character that I claim), and from Christians saying that science is a false road that destroys faith. I would like to start by saying that I disagree with both of these arguments against myself and my beliefs.
Firstly, people of education who maintain an atheistic or even agnostic stance in the field of religion often claim that people like me are falling into some form of ignorance by accepting a leap of faith as justification for my beliefs. It is very true that I can neither touch God, smell God, hear God, or experience any of the forms of direct observation that science is founded on. However, as a chemistry major I have done study in atomic theory and the properties of it. I can neither smell, touch, or taste an atom, not in the sense that I would anything “observable,” and yet I accept the existence of atoms and continue to study their significant role in life and creation. I accept the existence of atoms because although I cannot observe them in the traditional sense, I can observe what they do. Just as I cannot see the wind, I accept that it is there because I can see it move the leaves. In each of these cases however, I am in fact taking a leap of faith that I am not gravely mistaken in what is causing these things. The evidence tells me that wind is caused by change in atmospheric pressure causing the air to move from one area to another, and that atoms exist because all the evidence identifies with a base building block at which point matter can no longer be split with out losing it’s identity. But I am nonetheless taking a leap of faith in the end, and just because it is said in a classroom instead of a church, people are more likely to accept it as fact. When it comes down to it, scientists of virtually every field, take these leaps of faith that are no more bizarre than believing in God.
Truth, despite what some might think, is neither arbitrary or subjective. What people believe to be true can be very subjective, but what someone believes about something does not change the reality of it. This is where many Christians have failed in there defense of the logical existence of God. Many people of the faith might say that God is truth because they believe in him. Unfortunately that argument makes no sense. An atheist can make the same claim that God does NOT exist because they DON’T believe in him, but both the atheist and the Christian can not be right at the same time. Neither Christianity nor science can operate in a subjective reality. The scientific method explains that you don’t just start with a belief and try to prove it, you start with evidence and try to make sense of it. As such I do not believe the Bible to be true because I believe it; rather I believe in the Bible because I think it is true.
At this point I would image that a lot of people would be shaking their heads as if I had truly gone crazy. Because it is one thing to believe in God, but to declare Him as fact, the same way I would a scientific theory, is a little harder to swallow.
It is true that scientific theories cannot be “proven” but that does not make them untrue. In science the word “theory,” doesn’t mean what it does to other people, in science it means a hypothisis that is heavily backed by scientific inquiry. Evolution for example is a theory because it is not something that can be directly observed, but is something that the evidence leaves little room for alternative explanation. In that same way, we can approach the existence of God as a scientific theory. Although we can not directly observe him the way we might want to, it is still possible for him to be objectively true.
Christianity, despite what has been believed by the educated community, is not founded in faith alone but in facts. As with my earlier examples, the leap of faith is the last step in Christianity not the first. Christianity is a system that is based in historical, scientific, and eye witness evidence that would be enough to get any other scientific theory into the curriculum, but because it involves the word “God” it suddenly becomes illegitimate. Christ existed wether you believe him to be the son of God or not. He is a well documented human being that people had a lot of different opinions about. But people also think a lot of different things about Obama, but no one will be arguing his existence once he is dead. Jesus the man, was a living breathing human being 2000 years ago son of God or not. His story is documented by multiple authors with a shocking level of continuity between them. The writers of the canonical gospels wrote at different times and in different places. Despite those facts their stories are in many ways identical, often times down to exact quotation between them. If a historian found documents of that level of continuity concerning any secular topic they would have significantly less opposition as to the validity of their content. But because these documents are about the son of God they are subject to a higher level of academic scrutiny.
The Bible teaches that we have no excuse to not believe in God because He is evident in the natural world around us. And that is true even within the context of scientific explanations of natural phenomenon. Having studied various fields of science regarding this, I think you would be hard pressed to find a scientific explanation of creation any less absurd than the creation story of Genesis. Yes, the various scientific explanations for how the universe was made make sense, as I said I subscribe to string theory, but even though the evidence leads us to those kinds of conclusions does not make the answer any less crazy sounding than just saying “God did it.” Think about it, String theory sugests that every but of matter now found in our universe was at one point condensed to a single space about the size of an atom itself. What caused that? what caused the release? And how do atoms, after being manufactured at the Cores of stars find a way not only to form bodies of earth and plasma, but also form in organic beings that have consciousness and can study these things? I am well aware of how the physics of it all work. But does it not sound absurd to think that inanimate bits if matter can form together into living breathing creatures capable of self examination to that extreme of a leve? If you were to pick up the Bible and one of the latest scientific journals the things you would read in each would be no more ridiculous than the other. Christianity is not disprovable because it sounds crazy, because frankly, so does everything else.
There is historical and archeological evidence proving events and places described in the Bible. No one can academically argue the existence of the town of Bethlehem, it existed at the time the Bible says it did. The Jewish history is a rich one, and one that is well documented and supported by objective truths. Truths founded in historical inquiry that is the basis for more than most of the scientific theories we have today, evolution being a prime example.
Historical truths are what make up the majority of the Christian evidence locker. The most important aspect of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is an event of such significance that without it, the Christian faith would be impossible to maintain. It is also an event that is exceptionally well documented by the Biblical authors and was professed to be true by hundreds of witnesses who converted to the faith as a result. Those claims are of a historical significance, that under any other field of thought, be it art, or war, or science would not be as easily disputed as it is because it is of religious agenda. To this effect, the scientific community has allowed themselves to immerse themselves in the one thing that they try so hard to avoid: bias. To disregard evidence because it does not fit into your paradigm of the universe, or to allow yourself to blindly object to logical arguments for an objectively true God, is the kind of bias that scientists praise themselves for avoiding.
Like all scientific theories, Christianity as a backing of objective evidence that does not actually disprove or even object to the vast majority of other scientific beliefs. It is not impossible to believe in Christ and also believe in the big bang, in fact I think God fits perfectly with such a concept, and frankly Science is beyond hope in proving that theory which is of their own design. The creation story of Genesis describes the world being void of life and without form, which coincides with a scientific description of the Earth’s early years. In fact when you stretch the language of that first chapter of Genesis it can fit quite nicely with a scientific progression of creation events. In John Sailhammer’s novel “Genesis Unbound” he delves into the deeper meaning of the creation story, showing that it has more continuity with the scientific world than either side would easily admit. For instance the Bible begins with the phrase “In the Beginning” but the Hebrew word of Beginning, רֵאשִׁית (ray-sheeth’) does not necessarily mean ‘the first thing ever to happen’ but is more a word for the beginning of an era. Sugesting that maybe there could have been something before Genesis chapter one. The Dinosaurs perhaps? Either way we are left with questions that cannot be answered by observation, that does not however, make our opinions subjective. With these kinds of topics there is a right answer. So our claims are objective, though they could be objectively wrong.
We have to face the reality that science is just as limited in it’s explanation of the world as religion is. Because both involve looking at hard evidence and taking a leap of faith to say “this is what I believe.” As a Christian I believe in the God of the Bible to be an objective reality, not a subjective understanding.
I don’t belong In Heaven, Heaven is not my home. This is my home
Okay, it is one of my biggest pet peeves when people say that “I can’t wait to go home to Jesus” or “Earth is just my temporary home.”
I have a problem with this because basically it has virtually no Biblical evidence and Jesus certainly never talked about us dying and going to Heaven. The Second Testament does not talk about escaping this horrible world so that we can live a more perfect life in heaven. No, the Bible talks about resurrection. The hope of Christ and his disciples is a New Earth, not going to Heaven. It is a widely publicized notion in the moder church that we die and go to Heaven or if we were bad we die and go to Hell. Do we really have any idea what either of those two words mean?
Hell, is really the word genna which would mean a place of everlasting punishment.
Heaven, is really the word ouranos which would mean either the sky, or above the sky (celestial), or the abode of God.
Now that word for hell is found 10 times in the Second Testament (and “Hellfire” twice) so a total of 12 times. It however is not mentioned even a single time in the First Testament. So does that mean pre-messianic peoples don’t have to worry about hell? No. Instead the Jews of the old testament referred to a place called Sheol, also could be called “Hades,” which would translate to be a place of the dead. The Bible tells of a time when Christ will come again and judge the living and the dead, so they will be judged same as the rest of us, but it shows that hell and heaven are not necessarily the places we wait in until that time of judgement.
The word ouranos however is mentioned approx. 226 times throughout both testaments always referring to the same thing, metaphorically or otherwise. Not a single of those times is it used in reference to good Christians dying and ascending to there. No, almost every time it is used in the Frist Testament it is in reference to the home of God or some blessing or rage pouring down from it. Not once did the prophets or minor prophets, nor Moses in the Torah mention dying and going on to Heaven. In fact the only time the mentioned a life directly after this one was in reference to Sheol. So are you sure that you are going to heaven when you die? Almost every time heaven is mentioned in the Second Testament it is in the context of the kingdom of heaven. And the others are in the same context as their First Testament brothers. But not once does the Bible say something about Heaven being our home. Never once does the Bible say that we must escape this world to join the next. Those are simply not Biblical concepts. The verse that people often credit to this idea is John 14:3 “if I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to myself so that where I am you may be also.” In this situation however Jesus is not talking about making you a “home” in heaven, but instead the greek word for “place” in this verse is topos. Topos is a word that means a temporary place of dwelling, like a room that you would rent or lease for a period of time. So even if Christ meant that he will bring you to heaven after death he meant it only for a time until the second coming of the messiah.
It is true that the Bible teaches us to put our minds on heavenly things and not earthly ones, but that is not talking about looking to it as a destination, but instead, as a place to find guidance and light. When Christ mentions the kingdom of heaven he is less talking about heaven the place, and more so heavens influence and power here on Earth. Christ said that the Kingdom of Heaven has come near! (Matt.10:7).
The Kingdom of God is what Christ is describing in virtually all of his parables, and to an extent is most everything he ever said. Just about everything (to be conservative) Jesus says is about the kingdom. His teachings about the kingdom are bout being loving, and faithful to god, and making this world a better place. Because when the prophesies of Revelation come you see that it is the kingdom (the church) who will be the bride of Christ. In that tale it is not us dying and going to heaven but heaven coming down to us.
This is the hope of the Bible. Not us living Biblical lives, dying, and going to heaven leaving everyone else to suffer behind us. But us playing an active role in Gods plan of redemption and blessing. We are the kingdom of God shining to the world to show them that God is the goal and Christ is the way and the truth. And then on the day of the Lord (as is said in Jewish tradition) God will finish the work he is doing in us now, and recreate this world, bringing heaven and Earth together making a New Earth.
So I am sorry. But heaven in not my home. Heaven is God’s home, Earth is my home. If heaven was my home I would have been created there. Earth is my home; according to the Bible that is going to be a true statement for as long as God lives and as long as His word reigns.
Too often Christians use this false idea of heaven being our home to excuse the way we treat this planet. But that simply does not compute with the biblical story. The Bible teaches to have reverence towards God’s creation. Because this world, This world is our home.
Love you all!