Monthly Archives: February 2010

Where is “good”?

Jesus vs Christianity – Jesus Hates Religion

So I found a book that expresses a lot of my thoughts. It is by a Canadian Pastor named Bruxy Cavey. He wrote “The End of Religion” in 2007 and it seems to be very similar to the thoughts I was having. There is also a website from a church in Tulsa, OK that experiments with the idea. Its www.jesushatesreligion.com and there are tons of posts from people around that area and all over posting their opinion on the topic. This seems to be a relatively new idea (at least in the public), but when looking at scripture it seems so obvious. I am going to be pulling things from the messages of the church in Tulsa, the book, and some of my own ideas in an attempt to explain just how irreligious Jesus was/is.

Jesus hates Religion

The opposite is also true…

Religion hates Jesus

First I want to address a common misconception. People immediately get offended because they think Jesus can’t hate. Jesus is love, so how can he hate anything, right? Well, let me correct that notion. There is one thing that Jesus clearly hates. First read Revelation 2: 1-15. Jesus hates the “Nicolaitanes”. It is not known for sure who these people are, but it is for sure that they are people. They have clergy and beliefs, therefore we can deduce that they are a religion or sorts. This doesn’t prove that Jesus hates all religion, but it does prove that Jesus can hate. Therefore saying Jesus hates something is not wrong, otherwise the Bible itself is blasphemous. It also shows that of all the things in the world, the one thing that Jesus definitely hates is a religion.

Next I want to establish a definition for religion. People like to say that if Jesus hates religion or is against it than he is against religious people. NO! That couldn’t be more wrong. Just as the idea of “hate the sin, love the sinner” separates the two you can settle this debate by saying…

“hate the religion, love the religious”

So what is religion? The literal translation means to re-join or re-connect, but that doesn’t help us much. The connotative definition of dictionary.com is, “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” Here is the key. “a set of beliefs…involving devotional and ritual observances.” A later definition says this, “The practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.”

So I point out those definitions to say this. Man has made religion a practice…something you do. A set of rules, ideas, or laws you have to follow to “live right” or get to the ultimate destination of freedom or peace. Jesus broke all these rules by teaching against the ideas of the Eastern Religions and doing away with the laws of the Western ones. When you look at the details of Jesus life you will see how obviously “subversive” his teachings are. You will notice how all the details show that Jesus hated Religion. The point I am trying to make is that if Jesus were alive today he would hate Christianity (what it has become) just as much!

To see this clearly all you have to do is look at the details…

This is from the website from Battle Creek Church in Tulsa, OK

Jesus vs Christianity

Irreligious, scandalous, and radical are not three terms used when talking about people you want to be like, but they are the words that describe Jesus of Nazareth. Irreligious?!? Yes, I said it. Jesus did not start Christianity. In fact I think Jesus had no intention of starting any new religion. This is what I am going to be diving into. A new perspective on the life of Jesus that just makes sense when you look at his life with an open heart.

Jesus came to end religion, not start a new one!

Before Jesus came God had tried everything to free us from ourselves. Starting with Adam and Eve. No religion and no laws existed in The Garden. We had one boundary given in order to provide free will (this creates love). Without at least one boundary a true relationship (love) would never exist. And everyone knows our fate. We screwed it up. Then Jesus picked a group/family as a case study for humans. He gave them land boundaries and we screwed that up. He gives them rules to live by, we added rules and broke the ones that existed. He gave them Great Kings to rule them, and we rebelled and picked our own rulers. God only asked for a tent, but we had to build Temples to worship, so He let us. We began making idols and using the Temple for commerce (prostitution, exploitation, etc.) Notice a common theme? All those things we screwed up.

God is smart. He realized we weren’t getting it. We needed something radically simple to get us back to The Garden. He had exhausted all options even letting us choose how we should live. In His Grace He sent Jesus. Jesus flipped everything upside down (physically and metaphorically). Jesus came so we can bypass all the religious processes. God sent Jesus to show us, and teach us love! GRACE!

I’m going to be writing some posts on my take on Jesus’ life and why He came to end religion. This will tell why I think Jesus looks at Christianity and laughs.

Once again, we are screwing it up…

Being PC Is Gay

Political Correctness is where its at. From the media, to the streets, we can’t go a week without someone saying some ignorant statement that gets plastered all over the airwaves. This week its Palin and Emanuel feuding over the term “retard”. By the way… politicians feuding over words are retarded to begin with, but Palin… seriously… just give it up.

First Rahm Emanuel used the term “(blank)ing retards” when talking about other politicians, and Palin (who has a son with Down’s Syndrome) goes in the media to call for Emanuel to step down. OK, so I could see why she’s upset, but here’s where it gets gay. Rush Limbaugh then attacks Palin by agreeing with Rahm Emanuel’s freedom to call people who are stupid “retards”.  And I quote, “There is nothing wrong with calling a bunch of retards, retards.” Here’s where Palin messed up. She then said that Rush was ok, because he used it in satire. Now come on Palin, that’s just retarded.

This is what is wrong with political correctness. Who we think can and can’t say it. A gay person can call their gay friend queer, but strait people can’t. A black person can use the “N” word, but I can’t. So if Sarah Palin’s son wants to grow up and call his friend retarded its ok, but we can’t.

Why do we care so much? We don’t like these words used because they usually have implications of disrespect, inferiority, or even hatred toward the group, but I can verbalize just as much hate toward anyone and not use politically incorrect words. Why do they carry so much hate? Who do certain words harbor disrespect? I’ll tell you why.

Because we let them.

Here’s how you get rid of a politically incorrect term. You say them. You let them be said. You embrace it in all its incorrectness. You stop labeling it as incorrect. If people would stop being so upset of these words, then people who are looking to upset you will stop using them.

OK, don’t get me wrong. Saying hateful things is wrong. No one should hate, but any word can be hateful. It shouldn’t matter if a person is being hateful using the “N” word or the “B” word or if he’s being hateful using African America. Its just wrong.

Maybe you have a different point of view. Its ok, but if you think that a word shouldn’t be said because of it underlying meaning then don’t be a hypocrite. No one should say it. Not just one group. Don’t say that a word is derogatory and then think its ok for you to say it with one person, but not another. Or its ok to say it in one context, but not another. That’s just retarded.

Forget the Mortgage, I’m Paying My Credit Card Bill (Yahoo.com)

By Luke Mullins , On Monday February 8, 2010, 2:49 pm EST

Amid high unemployment and sliding home prices, a growing number of struggling consumers are doing what was once considered unthinkable: paying their credit card bills instead of their mortgages. A recent study developed by TransUnion found the percentage of Americans who were current on their credit cards but behind on their mortgage increased to 6.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009, up from 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, the share of consumers making mortgage payments on time but behind on their credit cards moved in the opposite direction, sliding from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent over the same time period.

The data reflects a “fundamental paradigm shift” in the way consumers prioritize payment of debt obligations, says Ezra Becker, of TransUnion. “This is dramatically different,” he says. “It is a clear manifestation of the dynamics that lead up to the recession and the recession itself.”

Before the housing crisis, bankers typically operated under the assumption that homeowners would do whatever possible to remain current on their mortgage–even if that meant falling behind on other bills. “It used to be that the mortgage was sacrosanct,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com. “You paid it before anything else.” But a combination of factors linked to the current economic mess–falling home prices, high unemployment, and tight consumer credit–have lead many consumers to prioritize credit card payments above mortgage bills. “This sort of thing is what keeps bankers awake at night,” Gumbinger says.

The development is rooted in the housing bust. When home prices turned south–falling roughly 30 percent from their peak in the second quarter of 2006–a great deal of borrowers watched the value of their homes drop below what they owed on their mortgages. Today, roughly one in four homeowners finds himself in this position, which is also known as being “underwater.” Without equity in their homes, such borrowers are more likely to default. “They don’t see any value in putting money into an asset that has lost that much value and will probably never regain that value to offset the mortgages,” says Celia Chen, of Moody’s Economy.com.

[Check out Home Prices Stabilize Further, But More Drops May Be in Store.]

At the same time, the breezy credit standards of the first half of the previous decade worked to reduce the psychological investments that consumers made in their properties, Becker says. “A lot of people were able to get their homes with very little down payments or no down payments,” he says. “So there was no real [sense of] ‘I worked really hard to achieve home ownership.'” Instead, “achieving home ownership came very easy,” Becker says.

But while walking away from a mortgage–even, at times, when borrowers can afford it–has become a less radical prospect, remaining current on a credit card has grown increasingly important for many Americans. First, credit cards can be used to pay for basic necessities, like food, gas, or clothes. And with the unemployment rate remaining near double digits, purchasing such items with credit has become more and more essential. At the same time, the tighter credit environment has made credit cards more difficult to obtain, Becker says, so consumers have become increasingly concerned with hanging on to the cards that they have. “It is hard to operate in our society without a credit card today,” Gumbinger says.

Still, another key factor is the disparate consequences associated with defaulting on a mortgage versus those for falling behind on a credit card. National anti-foreclosure efforts have worked to significantly extend the time period between a borrower’s initial mortgage default notice and the foreclosure itself, says Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae. “The last thing you have to worry about at this juncture is paying your mortgage because by the time they foreclose it could be six months, 12 months, or a year and a half down the road,” Pinto said.

A credit card, however, can disappear much quicker, Becker says. “If you go a couple months without paying your credit card bill, they are going to close your account,” he says. “You won’t be able to access your credit.”

A credit card’s ability to finance basic necessities–and the swift consequences of default–make the trends highlighted in the TransUnion study less startling, especially in a time of high unemployment and widespread negative equity. “For a borrower who has got a significant [cash] shortfall, it is a completely rational decision [to pay off a credit card bill while defaulting on a mortgage],” Gumbinger says.

Still, Becker notes that none of these decisions are simple. “When you hear about strategic defaults, and people choosing to walk away from their mortgages, nobody is flip or carefree about that,” Becker says. “Decisions about who you are going to pay and who you are not going to pay are incredibly stressful.”

Affluenza

First, watch this video. Its hilarious.

This past Sunday at Journey, Will finished up the first three week set of our 9 week series on how to ruin your life. The first three weeks was on “How to ruin your financial life”. He talked about what the Bible says about spending and giving.

He used a term to describe how American’s (especially us in the Lake Norman area) have been lost in their blessings. We suffer from “affleunza”. We have been blessed beyond comprehension. We struggle with the battle that materialism and over-consumption wages against God.

You cannot serve two masters…

Money is not evil, but just like all other possessions it competes with God for your heart. Who will win your heart?

“… Again I tell you, it is easier for a rope/camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 19:24

Who do you serve?

Ice House

No, not the beer. We just received our first full month gas bill. Let me preface this by saying that we live in a 1300 sqft ranch house. I close the vents in all the rooms except the master bedroom, kitchen, and living room. Its just me and Jes and we leave our thermostat on 69. Our bill came and it was $217!!!

So Jes and I are making some changes.

1. Thermostat stays on 65… yes 65

2. Hot showers are now warm showers

3. Dogs sleep in the bed so they don’t freeze at night and to provide extra body heat for all of us (kinda like we’re foreigners)

4. Thermostat goes to 63 during the day while we’re gone. Sorry Jake.

5. All doors and windows stay closed when dogs are outside.

So, we aren’t quite that cruel. We put a heating pad in Jake’s bed and a little electric heater by his crate in the bedroom. We also added blankets to every possible place in our house. I never knew one family could own so many blankets. I counted 9 blankets for two people. This doesn’t include sheets and comforters. This is just blankets.

9 BLANKETS! Really…

So we are all huddled together trying to keep warm and here is alley, stretched out on our freezing cold floor.

She loves it. It takes a lot to keep her from being happy. That’s why I love my Alley.

I’ve only found one thing that makes her sad and that is being left alone. She hates being alone and I hate having to leave her, but every time I get home she is waiting on me with a huge smile. It makes my day.

Waiting for your turn.

I’m sitting in class, listening to our instructor lecture on listening. What makes a good listener? Who do you think is a good listener? Why? These were the questions our teacher was asking our class. Yet, somehow this turns into a debate between classmates as to what defines a good listener. As the debate got heated one person would be sharing their point as at least three others would raise their hand, or just burst out into objection.

As they debated their ideas of a good listener they were failing to even hear the person before them. Many people were arguing a complete different point than anyone else had even brought up. Have you been in this situation? This brought to mind one of my favorite quotes. I don’t know off hand who said it, but it shows great perspective.

“Are you listening or are you just waiting on your turn to talk?”

As Christians we need to be listeners. Jesus listened. The trendy term of today is to be an “effective listener”. Listening doesn’t always require a verbal response so don’t feel you have to talk to listen. Sometimes the most effective way to listen is to not speak.

Like in a classroom, why is it important to share your opinion? Will it really change anyones mind, or will it just make you look like a know-it-all. Probably the latter.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, sometimes the way to be the best listener is to just shut your mouth and listen. As Christians we feel we need to defend our point of view, or speak up to justify our belief when a lot of times we are doing more harm than good. Know your place and know that you probably aren’t going to change someone’s life in a classroom debate, or a work meeting. Just shut up and listen, God will give you an opportunity to speak. It may not be then or there, but it will come.

Live, Love, Leap…

My Commitment

I have been thinking about what I can do to track my successes and failures in the goals I have set for myself. I found some older papers I had written about my goals and found it extremely insightful and inspiring to read my own words. So I have decided to update my blog more frequently. A modern-day journal of sorts. 

I will be posting updates on my new goals for fitness, religion, school… life. I will be including pictures and journaling my activities.

I want to make this clear. I am not doing this because I love myself. I am not doing this for the people reading it. I am doing this for myself and maybe for my family who wants to keep up with my progress in life.

Let the fun begin…

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