When I was a kid in the Catholic church I remember that the priests and nuns took a vow of poverty. That is they put their obedience to God above monetary gain. That seemed like a noble thing to me. Of course I have come to realize that this vow of poverty did not mean that the Catholic clergy lived a lifestyle of the poor … Continue reading A Vow Of Poverty…
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.“No one is good—except God alone. Mark 10:17-18 These words have always troubled me to one extent or another. Let me explain why. The story which they came … Continue reading Except God Alone….
Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there. I first heard the above quote many years ago but have never tried to learn its source. I looked it up and here is what I found: According to research by quote maven and Oxford English Dictionary contributor Barry Popik, the earliest verifiable use of this insightful saying seems to be as a … Continue reading Fear of Death….
I have been thinking lately about the words of Jesus and how he interacted with those he came across. Except for some of those in the religious establishment I couldn’t find any instance where he chose to automatically exclude from his saving grace or the wisdom of his teachings. He treated men and women pretty much the same; he welcomed all to his ministry. The poor … Continue reading The Practice of Exclusion…
Here is an extended quote from the second chapter of James for our discussion today: You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made … Continue reading Fire Insurance???
I got to thinking recently about what did Jesus teach us about where we were supposed to come together to worship God. As I have mentioned before there is actually almost nothing in the Bible about this topic. But I can take the many other words of Jesus and postulate what he would likely say if he had addressed this area. Here is what I … Continue reading Today’s Church Building, What Would Jesus Do……
When we insist that our version of God is the only true one are we putting God in a Box? That is are we limiting him to how we currently perceive him or maybe just want him to be? I think that is the case with many Christians today. Here are some examples of putting God in a restrictive box: The Bible contains everything we need to know about … Continue reading Putting God in a Box….
Trying to determine the nature of God is something many who are much smarter than I am have been doing since our very existence. I don’t pretend to have any answers that they have not considered. But, I have been looking at a different understanding of God at least from a personal perspective. This new approach came from a comment on a previous post here on … Continue reading The Nature of God….
I’m sure according to the theologians I have the wrong word in the title but in this post I want to spend some time pondering the duality of Jesus. That is Jesus the man and Jesus the God. Here are some words of a Quaker friend of mine: It is not that Jesus is God more than he is human, or human more than he … Continue reading The Duality of Jesus??
Given the large loss of life due to the Goplin Missouri tornadoes recently I got to thinking about why we call tornadoes and other such events an act of God? Isn’t it really just an occurrence in nature? Did God really conger up these weather events to kill so many people in that city? Many search throughout the Bible for the answers to these types of questions and they … Continue reading An Act of God???
Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42769004/ns/travel-destination_travel/ The above article is about the ten most beautiful churches in the world. Since I take my life lessons from Jesus I went to his words to find his opinion about building monoliths to God. I did not see anything that remotely suggested that God wants us to spend massive amounts of our resources in monuments to Him. Quite the opposite appears to be … Continue reading Christian Spending on Massive Churches???
It has been a while since I have done any “deep” posts so this post will start a series on how I view the Bible and how that might differ from some mainline denominations today. The first two post are about how I personally view the Bible and other related Christian text. The third post is about how some of these belief are contrary to how others, … Continue reading About The Bible — Part 1… What I believe
Why did God go to all the trouble to create the universe? By any standards that was a massive undertaking. I am one who believes in the day age interpretation of the Bible. In the last century or so God has given us the scientific understanding to know that the creation of the universe took millions if not billions of years to complete. Why did … Continue reading Earth As A Proving Ground???
It is strange how we choose different words from the Bible to latch on to. Yvonne and I just returned from a two-week vacation through West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. We visited some historical sites there and some mentioned the Appalachian Baptist who made the foundation of their faith handling poisonous snakes. They centered their religious experiences on the Bible verse that goes “and they … Continue reading The Words We Choose….
A question came up during a Bible class I attended some time ago about the differences between the different main religions of the world. Those include Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, Hindu,and Buddhism. Looking at Wikipedia there seems to be about a dozen other large ones but let’s concentrate on the five largest. The question was: “Are we all praying to the same God?” I mentioned that … Continue reading Are We All Praying to the Same God???
It is, I have learned, far easier to ask forgiveness of a god we can’t see than from a person we can see. Perhaps this is why many religions are vertical in nature, focused on pleasing and placating God. That orientation has usually entailed sacrifice, the notion of giving God something—our time, our attention, our praise, our skill, our money—and, in extreme instances, our children, … Continue reading Being Estranged From Others….
A fellow blogger who happens to be a Quaker asked an interesting question recently. It was “Why didn’t Jesus write a book while he was on earth and settle this thing once and for all?” I know Jesus, like most of the twelve apostles was probably illiterate but I’m sure he could have written a book if he thought it was important. Why didn’t he … Continue reading Why Didn’t Jesus Write a Book??
Divorce is one of those things that gets very different treatment in different Christian denominations. The red letters are pretty clear as to what Jesus thought of it. Matt 5:31-32 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes … Continue reading Divorce–A Christian Perspective
The concept of the Trinity was something that was invented many years after Christ’s ascension. It did not originate from Jesus but was invented more than one hundred years after is resurrection. It has, however, become a bedrock item in much of the Christian church. But it seems many church denominations have now replaced the Holy Spirit with the Bible. From my studies on this substitution … Continue reading The Father, The Son, and the Holy Bible
Here is an excerpt from a book entitled “If the Church were Christian” by Philip Gulley. Several years ago I visited a museum and saw the skeleton of a dinosaur. As I read the plaque, I learned only a handful of the bones were original, that the remainder had been fabricated based on a paleontologist’s extrapolation from the authentic bones. In many ways, this is … Continue reading Is the Church Christian?
I am having trouble with my project of comparing what Jesus said to what Paul said. There are several reasons for this difficulty. They, for the most part, didn’t appear to address very many of the same issues. There is so much baggage associated with this topic it is hard to not be prejudged by it all It seems I must extrapolate the two men’s … Continue reading Jesus and Paul Comparisons – Harder than it looks..
That is a question that has been on my mind the last few days. I have lived for more than six decades on this earth so I have been exposed to probably millions of different situations but what is the saddest? The list initially was quite large but the more I have thought about it the more it shrinks. I think I am finally down … Continue reading What is the saddest thing in this world???
Recently I seem to be asking questions that I was previously very reluctant to consider. I know I am not supposed to test God but I just can’t understand why he has not shown himself more directly in more than 2,000 years? Even according to biblical standards this is probably the longest period of time without a direct and powerful intervention from God. Why are … Continue reading Why, God??
Happy New Year’s everyone! God has given us another year to show the Lord’s love in our lives. Let’s not waste it! This will just be a short post from something I have been reading this afternoon. It is an article in the January 2011 issue of Friends Journal – Quaker Thoughts and Life Today. The article is entitled The Meaning of Universalism by Phil … Continue reading Why Did You Tell Us?…
Speaking up in church is something that varies widely in the Christian world. When my wife and I joined a small startup church eight years ago everyone there felt welcomed to speak up after the service. Since the church was a liturgical one speaking up during the service was a limited to chanting the required verses as they came up in the service text. But … Continue reading Speaking up in church..
RJ’s Comment Wouldn’t it be great if Christian billionaires got together to make a similar pledge except in Jesus’ name and for even more? How about 90%? For that matter why not Christian millionaires too? Wouldn’t that send a message to the secular world? Continue reading How about it Christian Billionaires??
This is a quick post with a question that popped into my head. I see from an article I read a while ago that scientists think they are getting closer to being able to confirm that there is life elsewhere in the universe. I wonder what the Christian beliefs are about this possibility? I suspect that as with almost everything else in Christianity it is … Continue reading Life in the Universe?
Some people probably think that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy applies only in the military. In reality it applies in several places in our lives. One of those is our local church. That is if you are a member of one of the churches that demand a high level of compliance to their beliefs. I was up until recently a member of one of … Continue reading Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell
Here we are in the Christmas season so the virgin birth will be mentioned many times in the coming weeks in both our Bible readings and our hymns and songs. Let’s take a 21st century look at this phenomenon and also ask some first century questions about it. Let’s start with the first century questions. There are some things in the bible that require us … Continue reading Virgin Birth…
In a recent exchange of comments with a reader of this blog he made the comment that I was demeaning other Christians when I say we are not doing a very good job of following Christ’s examples and words. By pointing out a supposed weakness in someone’s walk with Christ am I putting them down? Am I demeaning them? I think not. Am I possibly … Continue reading When you tell someone that they could do a better job of following Christ are you demeaning them?