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Archive for February, 2009

Limbo!Today a friend of mine randomly asked me “What do you think happened to all of the Old Testament people after they died? Did they go to heaven even though Jesus had not died for their sins yet?”

Now this was far from the subjects that we were discussing, but this was something that was bugging them for quite some time and they wanted my opinion on the matter as someone who is currently studying theology.

So, I gave her the accepted bible school answer. Basically that all of the “righteous dead” who died before Jesus went to some kind of limbo or purgatory. Although now scholars generally refer to it as the Bosom of Abraham.

Luke 16:20-23
And [there was] a poor man, by name Lazarus, [who] was laid at his gateway full of sores, and desiring to be filled with the crumbs which fell from the table of the rich man; but the dogs also coming licked his sores. And it came to pass that the poor man died, and that he was carried away by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. And the rich man also died and was buried. And in hades lifting up his eyes, being in torments, he sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

They also teach that this is the place that Jesus was referring to when on the cross when he said:

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Especially since according to their theology it was not the appropriate time yet for man to be able to be in heaven.

(However, please note that in Luke 16:20-23 Jesus is telling a parable. He was not discussing theology or telling an actual story. A parable is a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson – it is not fact, and should never be taken as one. The fact that a parable somehow made its way into Christian “facts” on the afterlife is beyond me.)

I also explained to her the church teaches that after Jesus died he went to this limbo and preached the gospel to the dead. Those who chose to believe in him were then able to enter heaven.

As a child I also remember being told this in church and asked lwhat happend to any Old Testiment figures that did not acccept Jesus while in limbo? I was just told “That didn’t happen, they all accepted him. Stop asking questions!”

This is the scripture to justify the rationale that Christ went to limbo to convert the dead:

1 Peter 4:6
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

At this point my friend laughed at me, and stated that I was making all this up. They said that maybe old school Catholics think something like this, but there is no way that people in our modern churches think such things. I then stated and showed that this is the popular belief among most Christian scholars and church denominations to this day. Yes, even your non-denominational, Baptist, Pentecostal… whatever church most-likely still adheres to this teaching.

“But that’s crazy!” they said. Well let us think about it then – if this is crazy then what is rational? Is the flood rational? The ark? Talking snakes, and women being created out of rib-bones? Elijah riding up to heaven on a fiery chariot?

So if you do not want to believe in this theory, then what is option number 2? Option number 2 comes from the Apostle Paul’s teachings in Romans. Paul states that even without hearing the gospel of Christ, God is still known by all men in their hearts.

Rom 1:19-20
since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

He then states:

Rom 2:12
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

Rom 2:13-16
It is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

So the basic concept of option 2 is that people who die without having the chance to know Jesus will simply be judged as good or evil based on how obedient they were to their own consciences or their own religions.

My friend liked this option a lot better, and said that it made much more sense to her.

But we need to look deeper at this theory. Let us examine it a bit further before we say that this is the answer that is “logical”.

Maybe it sounds nice to us that to all the Old Testament peoples, they got judged by a different standard and got to heaven or hell based on this standard. However, if it were possible to even get into heaven without Jesus then why did we even need a Christ at all in the first place?

Seriously, the whole point of Christ was that all of mankind is sinful and unable to please God or enter into heaven without the Christ. Our bible even states that even someone who obeyed ever letter of the Law was still not good enough and was going to hell.

We even preach a doctrine of original sin which states that at conception/birth we are sinful and are not worthy to enter heaven since no sin can be in heaven/the presence of God.

As a side-note if this is true ask yourself why the heck Satan is chilling out in heaven talking to God in the book of Job.

We also have to take into consideration that what Paul is writing was referring to all people groups and time periods, and not just pre-Christ. So what does this actually mean if it is true? Does it mean that everyone is going to heaven or hell based on how they acted according to their own hearts, laws, or religions? No, we say that it says that if someone does not hear the gospel then they are judged by this other standard.

So let me get this straight… If someone was a devout Hindu, a kind and good person who lived a good life, and who loved their God – and they did not hear the gospel of Jesus they would die and go to heaven.

Conversely, if the same person right before they died was presented with the gospel of Jesus and did not accept it – then would then die and go to hell.

Are you kidding me? If that is the case then what is the point of evengelism anyway? Would not people be better off if they did not know the gospel of Jesus? Heck, if this was the case then all Jesus did was make it harder to get into heaven then it was before he came along.

My friend then chimed in and said – “If we are born sinful then and are born unworthy to get into heaven then what about babies that die?”

Well for that we created something called the “age of accountability“. This basically is us saying that God would be a real jerk if he sent babies and handicapped people to hell, so there must be a way around it. So we preach that God will let beings into heaven that died before being able to rationally accept or reject the gospel.

This is a cute theory, but it is not scriptural and goes against Romans 5:12, many other scriptures, and the churches stance on original sin. In fact the church went as far as to declare the idea that to not believe in original sin to be heresy. This notion championed by Saint Augustine was a primary catalyst for the whole invention of Purgatory in the first place. Since we started teaching that dead babies can not get into heaven – we had to create some kind of place for them to go to that was not hell and some kind of way to then pray them into heaven.

So what is the right answer? I do not know but, I’d like to point out how all of our accepted answers are a bit crazy, and offer up the idea that maybe we are making it a lot harder to get to God than we were supposed to in the first place.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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Fat ChristiansI am sorry, but I have to let this one out.

I can not count how many times I have seen Christians waddle up to some poor kid with piercing, tattoos, weird hair, or clothing that does not meet their approval and wave their fat little fingers in their face and quote:

1 Cor 6:19
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

Seriously though, are these people really this blind? They are implying that this verse states that our physical bodies need to be in pristine physical condition, because anything less is not fitting it being a temple of the Holy Spirit. That it is a sin to not take care of our physical bodies. That it is a sin to not have a body that does not physically look like it is fitting for God to dwell in.

If that was the case, then Christians should be the most physically fit people on the planet. If we truly believed this, I do not think that any Christians would be without a gym membership. Heck, we would be handing them out at the alters upon conversion.

It would be like:

“Welcome to Jesus! Here is your gym membership. You need to drop about 20 pounds and start dieting. We recommend running 2-3 miles a day to start, and please come by on Wednesday nights for weight training.”

Oh by the way, maybe a few of you should get some plastic surgery done as well… cuz you may be a bit too ugly for God to live in as well. You are a temple you know.

So that you know, to this verse does not have anything to do with your physical appearance. It was actually talking about not sleeping with hookers. If anyone uses it against the way you look, they are making mistakes on many levels.

Yet there are many verses in the bible that speak our against the fat, the lazy, over eaters, sloths, and gluttons. The bible does declare it to be a sin, and it is classified as both an addiction and a sign of a total lack of self control.

In a churches do they allow a person that is openly struggling with drug abuse to be a leader? Would they allow a sex addict to lead, or someone who is abusing their spouse or children? No, of course not. Although all leaders are not perfect, they do expect them to have some of the basics down. Self control is one of these basics, and so is not being a slave to addictions. So why are you allowing gluttons onto the pulpit?

My dad tells a funny story from when he was a new believer. He drove all the way across town to some church to hear a guest speaker talking on “Self Control”. When my dad walked into the service the speaker was already on stage. The man was hefty – grossly overweight. My dad just took one look at him and walked out the door. “Seriously” said my dad “how can this man teach self control?”

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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DionysusSurprisingly enough the title of this post was not something that I said today, but instead it was from a fellow bible school student that I had lunch with. He is a good student, he loves God, and he is a youth leader in his local church. He runs a home-group, and the current youth pastor is phasing out and this guy is stepping in as the new leader soon.

So here I am feeling bad because I have all these doubts, and I come to find out that just about all of us have them. Heck our pastors and professors have them.

We were eating lunch and started talking about things we are learning (we take different classes) and he started talking about things he is learning in his Old Testament class. He said that his professor was going over the book of Genesis (creation story) and mentioned that it really was just a myth and should not be taken literally at all. The Professor then pointed out that the story of Genesis is basically just a common creation myth of the whole Mesopotamian region. Basically all the people groups / religions of that area tell and re-tell the same basic creation story over and over again, but simply tweaked it to fit their cultures.

We come to find that our Christian creation story was told hundreds and in some cases thousands of years earlier in other regions and religions, but some of the names and places are changed to account for different gods and goddesses. We are encouraged to simply look at the creation story as a story, as a myth, and not as something factual or divine. In fact, we fully acknowledge that it was just folklore that was taken from other pagan religions of the area.

He was told to simply think of this and other stories as “moral fables” that help teach us lessons about life, inspire us, or help us better understand the nature of God.

You can apply this to all kinds of things if you think about it: What about the entire story of Job? The Flood? Tower of Babel?

That was when my friend said “You know, it’s funny… The longer I am in bible school the less I believe in the bible.”

After this point, what is it I can do? I guess I could try to reassure him of the validity of his bible. Maybe I could condemn him for having doubts? Or maybe I can open up to him as well, and let him know that he is not the only one with doubts and concerns.

Sometimes just knowing that you are not the only one out there with an issue is quite helpful.

I told him that I never at any time that I could remember considered the bible to be a literal piece of historical literature. I always have considered it to be a blending of historical fact, personal opinion, political opinion, divine inspiration, and common mythology of the region. I tend to read it as an entire book, and look at the larger point that it is trying to make as a collective work – getting to know the personality of God, and how to know him more.

Heck I think that the apostle Paul was a sexist, and a bit of a jerk. Most churches, for example, read his writings on the role of women in the church and have one of 2 reactions:

  1. They take his words literally, and think women should not be allowed to be leaders in church, preach, teach, and even try to make them not wear makeup, certain clothing, and keep their heads covered at all times.
  2. They try to explain away Paul’s words with elaborate, imaginative, and speculative commentary. They can not declare that something in the bible is wrong, so instead they try to explain away what it says. Basically, oh it may say that, but it does not really say that. Maybe we do not know the whole background story, or we translated it wrong… etc etc.

I like approach number 3 better myself. Approach number 3 is simply saying – Yes it totally says that, and I disagree with it. Paul was wrong. He is being a bit sexist here. He was from a different culture, and a different time period. He was just a man. Not everything he said was sacred.

I then opened up to my friend, and let him know that although I did not know about this whole Genesis creation story thing, I was aware of the debate going on as to if the story of Jesus was actually just a re-telling or Jewish adaptation of the story of Mithra (or Dionysus).

I said that it was refreshing to hear that in our schools our pastors and professors are teaching that certain Old Testament stories are just borrowed stories from earlier religions – adapted to Jewish culture. But what about the New Testament? I find it funny that we can take such an open minded stance on the Old Testament, but the New Testament is totally off limits.

There is overwhelming evidence that the story of Christ is just a rehash of other Christ stories from earlier religions.

Based upon the facts that we know now, we can easily say that the creation story in Genesis was borrowed from other religions in the area. That it was common mythology for the Mesopotamian regions. We then say that it does not matter in the end. It does not get in the way of the point we are trying to make. It does not change our religion.

But what do we do about Christ? We have just as much proof that he too is just a borrowed story, a re-telling of the Christ story – passed down and picked up from various towns, peoples, and generations. The idea or ideal of Christ was simoly common myth in that area. It started in one area, and as people spread out the story was adapted to different people groups.

It is most-likely that there was no Jesus Christ as we know him in the bible. Either the historical Jesus was totally fabricated, and was simply a Jewish take on the worship of Mithra; Or he existed and later after his death people merged his teachings in with common fables of Mithra worship in an attempt to create a religion.

However, what does this realization mean for me as a Christian? As a Christ- ian? Sure I can easily dismiss a flood or a 7 day creation and say I can still be a Christian, but what about the knowledge that there was no Jesus?

Does that matter, or can we one day come to terms with that and realize that this as well does not take away from the greater concept or purpose of the religion?

Right now I am studying the Gnostic Scriptures, and am starting to consider the possibility that they were the first true “Christians”. I am open to the idea that the Gnostics had various myths that they adapted from region to region. These myths were not sacred to them – they were just stories to get people to become aware of some greater truths.

The Gnostics adapted the story for the Jewish culture, and in time we got Gnostic Christians. Some of these followers missed the point and took the story literally, and division occurred. Another option is that the orthodox church as we know it – knew it was a myth but intentionally wiped-out the Gnostics anyway for money and power.

It became a controlling religion with a power structure – bishops, popes, priests, repentance, penance, money, power, government – and so they wiped out the originators of the religion who stood in their way or exposing the myth for what it was – simply a story to help inspire us to take a first step to be better people, to realize that deep-down we are all spirit, and we are all son’s and daughters of God. If people had that revelation and knew they did not have to go to church, pay money to the church, and be controlled by the church – the church would loose it’s power. This power was also tied into the State government at the time (Rome), so the myth had to be preserved or even amplified.

I hate being this confused on the matter of my faith. What also concerns me is that none of this is new revelation to our church leadership and it’s teachers. The majority of the people in charge know this information in full detail – better than I do. They know, but they teach contrary to this knowledge anyway. In fact, some of them do not even have faith anymore, but they stay in positions of power to keep their churches or careers going.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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that-is-a_trap_star_warsI think we have all had fake friends before that we can think of. Maybe to some of us we have to think back to High School, or for others it was as recent as yesterday. The “friend” who just liked you because you had a car. The “friend” who really just wanted to date your hot older sister. The ones who wanted money, popularity, sex, drugs… whatever. Either way, we all know it blows.

It may seem like a “High School” thing to do, but adults do it as well. Except most of us don’t need rides since we have our own cars, and already banged your hot sister.

We all have been through it, and we all know that it hurts.

However, it is the next great evangelism tool coming your way! In fact, odds are that you are already someones friendship evangelism project.

In Bible School, in our leadership courses, training seminars, retreats, and youth meetings – we are all being trained and equipped with all the necessary skills to go out there and make a “friend” with the soul intent of using that friendship/trust as a powerful way to reach you and evangelise the hell out of you.

I’m taking classes right now on how to effectively evangelize you all. They talk about all the old ways that failed and then the teacher informs us that 67% of teenagers said they would listen to someone talk about religion if they were friends with them first. In fact, if people are friends they are more likely to trust you and your advice. People trust their friends advice more than parents, teacher, or leaders. Also, people desperately want friends and are open to their suggestion, approvals, and opinions.

Put that all together and we now have something awesome! We finally found a good use for peer pressure! We can use it to lead you to Christ.

Then the questions come up in class as to how to make these deliberate friendships. I am sitting there in classes hearing people say things”How can I make someone think I care about them?” or “How can I act like I am someones friend?”. Then I raise my hand and say “You could actually care…” but that just normally gets me a laugh and a pat on the head.

Maybe its a jerky thing to do. Maybe its manipulation, but the end justifies the means. We are not after your car or your sister – We are getting you to heaven! And all we get in return is another notch in our belts, and another jewel in our crown that we get in heaven. I think the size of the crown and the number of jewels is directly related to how many people I win to Christ and I will be damned if I let Mike beat me again this year!

We need to get people to think we are their friends first, we need to get up close and into their hearts. Sooner or later one of a few things are going to happen. The person is going to have a weak moment, a moment of total vulnerability, and that will be our cue to pounce! Maybe your boyfriend will break up with you, maybe your dad will die, mom gets cancer, brother moves away, or you finally open up to us about your abuse or eating disorder.

This moment will happen eventually, in fact we are praying every night that something like this does happen to you so we can use it to brind you to the Lord.

Finally God has delivered you to us, and all my hard work pays off! You are hurt, you are crying, you need a friend and I am there to tell you that you need Jesus!

I will tell you now all about Hell, and maybe that God kinda hates your sin. I will also inform you that the reason why I seem so happy and nice, and the reason why I am such a good friend to you is that I have God and you don’t. If you act now – you can have Him too.

This concept isn’t anything too new. Sure they are teaching us all new techniques and methods on how to “friend you” now for our cause, but years ago we called it “chasing” and I was trained in it by the best of the best.

These guys were so good, they would target people that they said had the largest spheres of influence for Jesus. So basically they would go into an area and look to see who the leaders were. Who were the popular kids? The pretty girls, the sports stars, the kinds in bands, the ones with the most influence – we need to target those ones with our friendship.

If you get the popular kids the rest of the ones generally follow. We were also taught that our time was precious and we needed to make the greatest impact possible, so we were discouraged from targeting or helping the unpopular, hurt, poor, and outcasts. A leader can only do so much, so why not make what you do count?

We show up to your games, and read your school news. We even have scouts looking for an “in” with you all. Then it happens! A car accident happened last weekend, and it was the captain of the football teams brother who was behind the wheel! This is what we were praying for church, and it is time to move in and get him. By the way, we hear that he has a thing for blonds so make sure Sara comes along when you talk to him and tell her to wear her low-cut shirt. If Sara complains again just tell her it is for Jesus.

We got him by the way. Got the whole football team eventually. Had one of the largest youth groups out there. I left that youth group saying that I would never work for a church again. I was through with all of this nonsense. I spoke out against their practices and was asked to leave to protect their image. Years later the leader was fired for misappropriation of church funds. They left and started a new church, and now again have one of the largest youth groups out there.

Now I am just trying to do it right. I am disregarding all of the tips and the advice I have received, and I am just out here to try to see if I can maybe help some people.

Oh, and if you and I are friends please know that it is not to get you “saved”, or about your sister. Although, if she asks about me I don’t see the harm in letting her know that I think she is kind of cute.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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trinity1

Confused about the Trinity? Or how God can be Jesus and not Jesus at the same time? How can he be God and man, and all that other fun stuff?

Well, don’t worry – odds are that your own pastor doesn’t really understand or believe it either.

For example:

Watch this recent video I found of Pastor James Schwab speaking at Converge 2009 (Saskatoon, SK). He makes some very interesting remarks on the nature of Christ, which are quite misguided for a licensed PAOC minister and bible college graduate.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ZOaB4LfEo&feature=related

Pay special attention to these two parts:

“For God so loved the world that He came in the form of Jesus…”
In “Leave Your Pain With God – Part 3” From Converge 2009, about 3mins in.

Then states that in Matthew 27:46 at about 4mins 30seconds in the video that on the cross: “Jesus became only man because the God part of him separated.”

James Schwab was a graduate from Horizon College & Seminary in 1998, and is now a minister with the PAOC at Lac du Bonnet’s Abundant Life Chapel in Manitoba.

For those who actually study Christology or even just entry level Church history/apologetics you will notice that his statements go against the Nicene Creed where The Council of Nicaea defined that Jesus was fully divine and also human, and the Council of Chalcedon. The Council established a ruling on the doctrine known as the hypostatic union. In short, this doctrine states that two natures, one human and one divine, are united in the one person of Christ.

James Schwab’s statements seem to fit along the lines of the Adoptionists who taught that Jesus was born fully human, and was adopted as God’s Son when John the Baptist baptised him. Or, even another group known as the Ebionites, who taught that Jesus was not God, but was a human messiah/prophet that was endowed with God’s Spirit.

I was thinking at first that his statement of God coming to earth in “the form of Jesus” at first seemed like early gnostic sects which taught docetism. Docetism says that Jesus was fully divine, no part human, and his human body was only illusory. However, when combined with his last statement of the God presence leaving Christ – making him just a man again, we see that this is more of a case of Adoptionist theory and Unitarianism.

These views can also be described as Unitarianism  since they go against the belief of the Trinity and show just one God (The Father) empowering or coming upon a man with His power, or God The Father coming down to the earth in the form of Jesus – one God but just different name for Him.

These views, which directly relate to how one understood the Godhead (Trinity), were declared heresies by the Council of Nicaea.  In the modern era, a number of denominations have rejected the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity, including the Christadelphians and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Mainstream Christian churches usually regard these groups as modern versions of the Arian heresy.

Long story short – most people do not understand or agree with the idea of the Trinity or the nature of Christ’s divinity.

Furthermore, question if your preachers are fit to be preaching.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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2198231-a-jesus-buddha-01In councelling class today we started going over basic fundamentals on how to conduct ourselves while in sessions with people.

Ok so here are the 6 basic skills for counseling:

  1. Building the relationship
  2. Attending
  3. Empathy
  4. Listen beneath the words
  5. Theory guided responding
  6. Facilitating insight

Then we broke down each of the 6 into further points of discussion. For number 1 (Building the relationship) we watched some videos, had some readings, and had a bunch of sub-points… basically spent the whole class just going over skill 1.

Now all of this was very interesting for me. But, as in most things in life, there was one little word or sentence that “hit me” and my mind took off on it’s own tangent path. It was just something said in passing during one of the points, and I instantly was captivated by it and decided that it was a matter of personal interest for me. I am going to have to study this idea that everyone else glossed over so easily in my own time.

So one of the sub-points of “Building the relationship” was to: Respect the other person’s dignity.

Respect the other person’s dignity…

Someone in the class asked how you can look at someone and do that in cases where you can not relate to or are even taken aback by the others issues or choices.

The teacher said that in those cases to realize that all of mankind was made in the image of God. Then we all moved on to the next point.

Well not “we” – since I was now mentally stuck on this whole image of God thing. We all were created in the image of God, and even though we are now fallen there are remnants of that image inside of all of us. So what we need to do to show that person dignity is look for the remnant of God that is within them and focus on and talk to and respect that part of them

We do need to see the reminant of the image of God in others and in ourselves. It is there… ever so faint, but still there. The fall of mankind, all our junk and baggage certainly can get in the way of it shining through, but it is still there waiting to come out.

It is in the depressed man, and the violent man. It is in the saint and in the sinner. But it goes beyond councelling, if this is true it should effect our every day lives.

It is in the poor man on the street – begging for change. In the starving, the cold, the sick and dying. In all these people is the image of God and they deserve dignity and respect.

In councelling we need to be able to see this, and in life we need to see it as well. Do we realize that when we treat a person kindly we are treating God kindly in return? Is the opposite true then as well?

Open up the Bible to Matthew 25:35-40

35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  36  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  40 ” The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

In Buddhism we cup our hands together and bow to eachother a lot. Seems kind of formal and respectful, and I certainly liked the tradition of it. Then the other week I was told that it represented something. When you do it you are to be mindful of the fact that you are bowing to a Buddha to be. To help us be mindful of this fact some say in their minds “A lotus (or flower, rose) for you, a Buddha to be”. The palms of the hands touching are forming the lotus flower (bud) by the way for those of you who don’t get that….

Anyway, at the time that I heard this I thought to myself “Oh, so I am believeing in or seeing the desire of this person to one day be a potential Buddha.” I was however missing the point entirely. It is not that I am reminding myself that they are “working on” being this way – I am acknowledgeing that it is already inside them. The image of God is already instilled in this man/woman/child, and I am bowing to it.

Well everyone out there, I bow to you.

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300-stu20611The closer I get to God the less I want to eat meat.

That’s about all I got on this one for now. Yup, that’s about it. That is where I am starting with this thought; that as I experience God I get filled with compassion and gentleness; the more convicted I am about all kinds of social and environmental issues that I never cared that much about before.

I believe that I am experiencing God’s heart on the matter, and now it is becoming time for me to work out my apologetics on the issue and make my case for those who misunderstand me.

People automatically get defensive at this topic. They look at it and automatically think as to what my statement may imply. For me to say “the closer I get to God – the less I want to eat meat” implies to them that I therefore think that I am closer to God than they are since they eat meat. If I say that I think I am feeling God’s heart on the matter it implies they are far from his heart or are unfeeling. It instantly gets put into the perspective of the “I” and becomes some kind of guilt, or matter of offense to their pride.

All I know is that after spending a day in God’s word or his presence I loose the ability or desire to cause harm to an animal, or to sponsor or enable such harm. I am simply trying to make sense of my own convictions first, and later I may make an educated plea for it towards my peers.

So where to begin? Any advice would be appreciated.

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