Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A "Road To Damascus" Moment

To not have confidence that people can change, one only needs to read about the story of Saul of Tarsus and his transformation to Paul, the Apostle to the gentile world. From a persecutor of Christians, a man that consented to many people's death, this man was made into a great Apostle and was the largest contributor to what is now known as the New Testament.

Meet Mmoja Ajabu. His "Road To Damascus Moment" is well chronicled in this MLK Day article.

Mmoja Ajabu didn't always embrace the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy that protest should be peaceful.

When he led the Black Panther Militia in Indiana, Ajabu specifically left open the possibility that armed conflict might be the answer to black oppression.

When he wanted to bring attention to his concerns about a black man's impending execution, he burned an American flag on Monument Circle.

When his son was being prosecuted for a triple murder in Carmel, Ajabu was jailed for making threatening comments toward court officials.

Ajabu, a man disillusioned by his tour of duty in Vietnam and bitter about racism he saw upon his return, thought more along the lines of Malcolm X, who asserted that blacks should seek justice "by any means necessary."

He was an angry man.

What follows is the story behind this man's change of heart, attitudes, and actions. While you read it, consider that this man was in the news, a lot. He was angry. He had a radical agenda that was disruptive and potentially volatile, for years. And for 10 years or so, he hasn't made a peep.

Now, I am not comparing him to Paul. Paul was Paul, he had his calling, and this guy has his. But this guy has really implemented a distinct change in his methods and behavior. Like Saul/Paul was converted, so was Ajabu. Now, instead of intimidating, he is persuading. Whether he realizes it or not, his personal experience was very similar to the Apostle's.

How can this be? Can people filled with this kind of anger and hate genuinely change so drastically? I think they can.

But know this, I cannot personally attest as to the true intentions of this man (or anyone else, for that matter). But I can say this with a surety, it's been many years since this man has made front page of the Indianapolis Star (that is, until yesterday).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

God and Sports

With the NFL Playoffs currently in progress, I thought now would be a good time to bring up a discussion about God and Sports.

I can remember when the Dallas Cowboys were nicknamed, "God's Team". Why? I do not know, but that's what they were called. Notre Dame, being a Catholic school, has always had playful media references to the tune of "divine" intervention, in many last minute victories in South Bend. And, there are still many teams that engage in a generic locker room prayer, before games.

But, Bob Knight once said something along the line of, "I don't believe God cares about sports. When you ask Him to help your team win, you are asking Him to screw the other team". One could then assume, he thought the better prayer would for the health and safety of all players in the game, or he didn't care about any prayer at all. But one thing he appeared to be certain about was that God is not an unfair God.

What do you think? Does God care about who wins and who loses sporting contests?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Prayer

Dear God,

Please help me to be half the person that my dog thinks I am.


- Author Unknown

Monday, January 08, 2007

Clearing The Air

People make mistakes. We are certainly fallible creatures.

Technology is made by humans and as a result, it is sometimes faulty. Sitemeter is a technology that was developed by fallible beings and is at times, faulty to the say the least.

Anyone that had any lengthy amount of time in the blogosphere well knows that Sitemeter, sometimes does not provide accurate information, especially in regards to location of some visitors. Why is that? Beats me. To find the answer, you'll have to ask the fine folks at Sitemeter.

I while back, a blog friend of mine that lives in a certain town began showing up as visiting my site from a town almost 200 miles away. At some point subsequent to that, my location was being read as a town 200 miles away, or so (on my sitemeter as well as others). I never cared to pursue the issue much and still don't care to. But there has been an incident of a commenter accusing of me and another commenter of being the same person, due to the mere fact that both of our locations show up as the same town.

Never mind that the service providers are different. Never mind that our ISP addresses are different. Never mind that my service provider probably does not service the town in question. But that doesn't seem to matter. This person seems to have it in her head that because Sitemeter says it is so, it must be true. All confidence has been thrown to the faulty technology made by fallible human beings and none has been given to the host of this blog, when she was told this information.

Let's be clear here. I am not a liar, a sneak, nor do I go to other peoples blogs for the sole purpose of making accusations and stirring trouble. I may be wrong, mistaken, and I may even miscalculate (I am one of those fallible humans that I speak of). But make no mistake whatsoever, I am not a liar. I do not have time for these kinds of childish games.

Anyone certainly can ask me a question and I will reply, in one of two ways:

1. I will answer the question honestly and truthfully, to the best of my ability.

2. I will not answer the question at all, by politely declining.

One thing I will NOT do is lie. You can count on that.

So let it be known now, I am not here to play silly games. The vast majority of my readers are not here to play silly games either. We are all adults, I expect that when we post comments here we do not make unfounded accusations against me, or anyone else.

As this (or any other) blog grows, there will be people that for whatever reason have found it hard to trust others (probably based on past experiences on other blogs) to filter through here, on occasion. But I can without a doubt assure all of you that there is no attempt to cause any kind of deception here, or on PYY. There never has been and there will never be.

Most of my regular readers already know where I live, but for those that do not, it is in a suburb of Indianapolis. I have lived all over the world, have seen many places and things throughout my life. But right now this is where I live. I do not, will not, nor will I ever have any desire to represent myself, as anyone else in the blogosphere. And accusing me of such childish behavior, will not be tolerated.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

In The Beginning: Understanding Creation And Who Created It

Well here it is, my first original post with some of my personal views. Please keep in mind that these are only my views. As always, please feel free to express yours as well, in spite of the fact that you may disagree with me.

Not all posts will be as in-depth, not all will use scripture as a pretext. But I feel that before I can share any other thoughts and views on other topics, I must give all who read this blog, some background of some things that may help explain other things later on. As I said, I am not mainstream. I am not locked up in traditional doctrine. But that doesn't mean that I am locked in to my views, either. I can and do reserve the right to change my mind, as often as I deem prudent to do so.

Many that have read the Bible have historically believed that the first verse in the book of Genesis, is the beginning of all creation by the Almighty.

Gen. 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

But in my extensive readings, I have found that the actual beginning of creation is described in the Gospel Of John.

John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Let's break this down a bit further starting with verse 1:

In the beginning was the Word. Most biblical scholars have believed this to be Christ and I am in agreement with them on this point. But while it's not disputed by many in Christianity, the rest of this verse has historically been a source of disagreement in some factions.

...and the Word was with God, and the Word Was God. With God? Was God? Sounds confusing doesn't it?

Most Christians have believed that God has always been in existence. There's no more scientific proof for that, than there is for His very existence. But nevertheless, that's the story we have adhered to.

Knowing this, we can surmise that God, in existence for eternity past, seemed lonely and wanted to create something for someone, through someone. So if we are to infer this accurately, we can say this: God created Christ for the purpose of creating the heavens and the earth and for companionship.

There are some people that have interpreted this scripture as God and Christ, being one and the same. They contend that this is one place in the Bible where God reveals that they are both the same entity. Groups known as "oneness people" take a few scriptures, like this one and others where He speaks of He and His Father being one, as evidence of them both being the same entity. Naturally, I disagree.

Most Christians believe in the Holy Trinity. In fact, most of the "oneness people" were offshoots of the Assemblies Of God Churches, when the AG adopted the Holy Trinity as part of their church doctrine. Out of an estimated 2 billion Christians worldwide, "oneness people" make up only approximately 4 million. The rest are for the most part, trinitarian and assign separate status to God and Christ, as well as the Holy Spirit.

But I differ with trinitarians too.

In the Holy Trinity, we are taught the nature of God in the form of three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, with each assigned equal status. I differ with that theology for a couple of reasons.

1. God is not the Son, Christ is the Son. God created the Son, as I have shown in this scripture from John. Even though it says the Word was God, Christ had a distinct separate life after His creation, both in Heaven before He came to earth, and afterward.

2. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a personified entity. If Christ were here physically on this earth right now, He'd have to be somewhere. Japan, Europe, America, my garage, He would have to have a specific location. I would not go so far as to say that He would have to travel as we do, He probably could just say the word and He could be anywhere. But my point is He couldn't be in two places simultaneously. I believe that the same holds true for God. But the Holy Spirit can be. This is I believe, that the Spirit of God can be with Mary Ellen, Mustang, and here with me at the same time. It is a spirit, not a person.

So with all of this said, I do not believe that Christ is God, I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, I believe that the Holy Spirit is the life force and personality of God that emanates from both. It originates from God and flows through Christ and those that believe in Him.

Imagine this scene:

God is lonely and wants to have a companion (not a conjugal companion). He has an idea in his mind to create that companion (The Word was God). He then speaks the word and by His command there is a Son (The Word was with God). And through this Son, He creates the entire world and universe.

We can safely determine this, if we read further into Genesis where we see the scripture where man is created (emphasis is mine):

Gen. 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image , after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Looks like their were at least two entities involved here. To me, it's easy to see that Christ was of the same mind and spirit as God, but the one and the same. All of the scriptures that said that He and His Father were one were true, but in a metaphorical sense. Obviously there is much more to creation than just this part, but here is where it all begins. And it is my feeling that to understand anything else, one must (at least) consider this explanation, if nothing else.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Some Noteworthy Theological Posts

Since the "Welcome" thread has just about expended its energy, I wanted to call your attention to two posts written by two good blog friends AC and Mustang.

The first is by Mustang of Social Sense and is entitled, In The Name Of The Father. In it, he poses some very thought-provoking questions that many have asked, for years. It starts out like this:

There are obvious disagreements among scientists and theologians about the origin of our world and the people in it, although to be fair, not all scientists disregard the existence of an all powerful deity, in whose image we are created. Between these two groups of people, the underlying differences involve questions of fact versus faith; this is something we can all understand, and I think we generally accept such differences as simply “the way it is.”

But what about disagreements among those who do believe?

To get the entire message you will have to read the entire essay, yourself.

The second piece is by AC at Fore Left and is entitled, Pat Robertson's Murky Vision.

It isn't long, but it draws attention to more of the televangelist's outrageous remarks that are usually better left unsaid. You may recall that Rev. Robertson called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, awhile back. Well, he's back in the news again saying that God told him that there will be another deadly attack by terrorists in 2007, this time with even more people killed.

I am reminded of the Oral Roberts scam a few years back, where he said that God told him that if he did not raise a certain amount of money to keep his hospital open, God would call him home. Some wealthy benefactor gave him the money, but with one caveat. He should seek psychiatric help. For a list of this false prophecy and some of his others, you can look here.

My point here in this, is simple. It is this kind of activity that will ultimately turn people off to Christianity. Prophets, they are not. Scammers, are more likely the more accurate term I would apply to them.

So read these two pieces and see what you think. I hope to have an original post up by week's end.

Thanks to all that read here and at PYY.