I just saw in the news that a baker in Texas for not serving two men a wedding cake. This bothers me on two levels.
Why doesn’t this couple just go somewhere else? Why do they have to make a scene? There are plenty of other bakeries that will serve them and do it willingly with a smile on their face. Why does this couple feel it necessary to make it a national issue?
From what I understand of capitalism, if people stop shopping there because of whatever reason they will go out of business. I have been mistreated at restaurants. I’ve been kicked out of stores in a foreign country because I was in the military. I didn’t cry to my commanding officer, and I didn’t go on national news and talk about how I was mistreated. I also didn’t demand that they treat me differently. If someone wants to be mean that’s their prerogative and I don’t have to give them my business. So I have chosen not to give my money to places where I’m not treated with respect.
I understand what the baker is saying that he has religious convictions and he doesn’t want to serve them as it’s against his convictions. I have a problem with this because I guarantee you he serves a person or two everyday living in some sort of sin. Did they bake a cake for the heterosexual couple who are living together or are having sex before marriage? That is against the Bible. Are they serving the man addicted to porn? Are they serving the wife who’s cheating on her husband? I am extremely bothered when the Christian base cherry picks which sins they are going to deem egregious. I’m pretty certain that if we stand before God He’s not going to send us to Hell because we baked a cake for someone.
If Jesus were dealing with these two people I believe his message would be the same. “Love your neighbor”. The homosexual should not be vindictive and out for blood but maybe buy him a cup of coffee or buy a muffin on his way out the door. The baker should not be so pious and understand that everyone battles some sort of sin on a daily basis and they we all are no better than anyone else. I’m not advocating universalism however I am advocating that we all do a better job at loving our neighbor as Jesus directed.
My wife finds it a bit disturbing how I can watch shows about serial killers. For me, it is mind boggling how a human being makes the jump from having lunch with someone to dismembering another for a late night snack. In the case of a serial killer, there is clearly a disconnect from reality. I would imagine the question for most doctors is how did they get to that point and better yet how do we prevent those complete breaks in reality.
A marital cheater does not take a life, at least not normally. While a serial killer destroys life a cheater often destroys a marriage. If not the marriage, then relationships around them have been damaged. If I choose to kill someone the the consequence of that sin is death to someone. If I cheat then the consequence is death to my marriage or other relationships.
The question I find asking myself is what makes a cheater cheat? In the last 20 years I’ve been taught that if you just go to church and put God first in your marriage you won’t get a divorce. If you look at pornography you will become an addict and get divorced. Statistics prove that money is the number one cause of divorce. I now think all of those ideologies are untrue. If we look at Ted Haggard, a nationally known pastor who was paying to have sex with men. Tiger Woods had an amazing looking wife and more money than numerous people combined still found it necessary to have sex with several other women. Ben Affleck, Josh Duggar, etc… This list goes on. If we have men who claim to be followers of God yet that doesn’t appear to be enough. If we have men who have beautiful spouses and are financially independent and that’s not enough then what is? I know men who don’t go to church and have been married for decades and have never cheated. I know men who look at pornography and have never cheated. So if it’s not money, beauty, pornography then what is driving men and women to be unfaithful?
On February 4th Ken Ham and Bill Nye debated whether creationism or evolution were more correct or absolute than the other. Although I missed the debate I did read several reviews on it and much of them stated the same issues. You can view it here
I’ve watched the series Answers in Genesis with Ken Ham and I’ve seen Bill Nye through his science education episodes so I am familiar genres of both men. I’m not concerned with what they talked about or even how. I’m most discouraged at the rhetoric that followed on social media by the followers of each view.
I can agree that both men have their shortcomings when it comes to arguing their point to certainty. Both men came up short as Bill Nye had no idea what happened before the Big Bang. While Ken Ham had a just because type argument. While both men did raise legitimate questions concerning the other’s points both men left unmoved on their own position.
They may not have been successful at converting one another but they were successful in carrying out a dialogue without degrading each other personally. Nye may disagree with Ham but it doesn’t make either man unintelligent, or mentally handicapped.
Just because one believes in God and an intelligent design does not make one crazy, mentally handicapped or unintelligent. The same can be said for an evolutionist. It is quite possible for missing information to exist that may bring both sides to a blended middle ground.
One must have faith to get to a point in creationism where reason and science is lost and trust is placed in God’s intelligent design. In the same manner science leaves a hole before the Big Bang and between ape and man. So if both have gaps where the proverbial “I don’t know” statement has to be overcome then how can either side be so sure that both don’t overlap.
Could it be possible that God had a hand in setting evolution in motion? Could it be possible that the complexity of DNA, the human body’s homeostasis prove something bigger than an explosion had a hand in how we simply arrived?
Creationists need to be open to the possibilities that God is bigger than they may think. Evolutionist need to be open to something bigger than themselves. No one needs to give up their beliefs to be respectful. Instead of tearing apart the other side lets legitimately look at the objections and search for answers. It is in this search where we can learn from the evidence, the faith and each other. Let us search in peace for the answers of our existence.
Recently a great deal has come up about gun control and our constitution. A great deal has also been brought up about politics. I find myself left confused over many of these issues.
There are times I find myself enraged over the gun laws that our commander in chief wants to enact. The biggest problem I have with any law is that any law that gets placed on the books, it is only going to affect the law abiding citizen. When gangsters and other groups who have no respect human life let alone a law, are still going to kill. What happens when those very bad people resort to car bombing? Explosives do much more damage to a lot more people.
The problem I have is that I don’t want to be ignorant and say nothing needs to be done but I don’t want to do something for the sake of doing something. I don’t want to be like the angry white redneck who cries “from my cold dead hands” nor do I want to be like the left wing liberal that cries “take them all”. Why can’t we find a middle ground?
I also struggle with my faith through all of this. Jesus, in my opinion, was a pacifist and did not condone violence under any circumstance. Jesus even put on a severed ear after an attempt on his life. Jesus also spoke of forgiveness amidst his beatings.
I say all of this to say is why does it feel like our society/government/country is demanding we pick sides. Not only do I feel that they’re demanding sides they demand we fight the other, with fervor until the opponent is broken.
Why do we have to choose a side why can’t we meet in the middle? What would Jesus choose?
On a local radio station they have an ad campaign about making a drive thru difference. They ask that you pay for the car’s order behind you when you pay for yours. I think this is a easy non threatening way to get in the habit of giving with no strings attached. I’ve paid for patrons meals in restaurants when they didn’t know I did and I’ve done the drive through difference before but what I didn’t realize until recently is just how unbiased that kind of giving really is.
There are plenty of people that I wouldn’t mind paying for their meals however there are some that I would probably think twice about buying anything for. The amazing thing about the drive thru difference is you don’t have the luxury of knowing who you’re paying for.
They may have had the worst day and you just made it brighter or they may be leaving the house from having an affair and you’re blessing them. This type of unbiased blessing is where we probably should be giving from instead of qualifying those we choose to bless. The issue that arises in my opinion is that we tend to give only when we are confident of who we are giving to deserves it or is going to be grateful that they received it. The fact that we could possibly bless a sex offender, adulterer, thief, or worse is hard to justify.
If we are honest with ourselves this concept of unbiased giving is exactly what God wants to convey to us. In the drive thru of eternity God has paid for our meal. Knowing full well the poor choices we’ve made in the past, God chose to bless us none the less with His only Son to say I love you.
I found myself as of late trying to grow closer to God in relationship, and in deed. One way that I’ve been doing that is by trying to make sure that his agenda comes before mine. I sometimes catch myself talking about things that I want and how great that would be. And sometimes I get a check that says “but, is that what he wants”. Prayer should not always be requests of what we want but some of “lord, are we on the same page”.
In the next few weeks we’ll be bidding on new shifts at work and with those new shifts come new partners. So as I was driving home I began to pray about what shift I wanted and who I’d like to be partnered with and then it hit me. Why not ask “what shift do you want me to be on and who do you want me to work with?”
I have decided to indulge myself in the world of the wordpress blogoshpere. We’ll have to wait and see how this transpires. I have gotten onto twitter, google+, facebook, klout and now this is the 2nd blog I now have. I look at this way, nothing ventured nothing gained. If I get myself involved in some of this type of media I am able to ramble out my thoughts whether someone wants to read them or not. I also am able to grow as I read inteligible comments as well as constructive criticisms. How wet can one become by being submersed versus using a microscope to look at the ocean?