We Have What We Need

No matter what happened to us in the past, right now we can take responsibility for working compassionately with our habits, our thoughts and emotions. We can take the emphasis off who hurt us and put it on disentangling ourselves. If someone shoots an arrow into my chest, I can let the arrow fester while I scream at my attacker, or I can remove the arrow as quickly as possible. In this very lifetime, I have what it takes to change the movie of my life so that the same things don’t keep happening to me. ~ Pema Chodron (“Taking the Leap”)

I love this teaching. This is the realization that we are stronger than we often think and we do not have to look outside of ourselves for strength to get through whatever is in our life at the moment.

Church People Say Some Dumb Sh*t

In recent blog banter with some Christians on Tony Jones blog there were some things said that just make me shake my head.

I’m not righteous Steve, only Christ was righteous (and because He took my sin, so am I by extension). ~Darius

Seriously, this guy said he wasn’t righteous and in the same sentence claimed righteousness. This particular blogger was calling out the evil actions of another which I said was pretty typical of people who claimed to be righteous. This was his defense. Now that’s some dumb sh*t.

I’d prefer that he preach THE Gospel AND live it out. That would be ideal. Second best is to preach THE Gospel and not always live it out (which is applies to pretty much every Christian). Third best is to not believe THE Gospel. Worst is to preach a false Gospel. ~Darius

This is in response to banter surrounding Jim Wallis where Darius had said he didn’t care if he (Jim Wallis) lives out the gospel, if he’s preaching the wrong one it doesn’t matter. For the original post go here. Anyway, I just think it’s crazy for anyone to claim to know what’s what when it comes to religious beliefs. It’s belief not certainty. The best you are doing is making an educated guess based on your viewpoint and limited (very limited) understanding. We are all doing the same thing.

It’s amazing how much church people are subject to their own language. But I’m know it’s a cultural thing. I work in IT and I know that we have our own internal language. Same goes for the people within varying industries and other professions. My teenage son says things to his friends and I am certain they are speaking a foreign language sometimes. But the difference with a lot of church people is they supposedly have a message that they want to proclaim to the world in a relevant way. It’s their mandate to proclaim this message to others. Problem is, it only makes sense to them. Now that’s some dumb sh*t.

Romans… and the entire New Testament is pretty clear on this point. That’s not to say that there aren’t other facets to the atonement, such as Christus Victor, ransom theory, etc. But those all stem out of PSA (penal substitutionary atonement), at least as it regards how one can be saved. In another sense, CV is the main component of the atonement since the Bible seems to state that God’s primary purpose in creating humanity and dying for it was to make Satan look bad in the end and show just how glorious God really is. ~Darius

Huh? Damn, maybe it’s not dumb sh*t after all. This guy sounds pretty smart huh? I guess I’m too stupid to be saved.

“You can’t miss it…”

“…when I tell you it’s there.”

That’s a quote from this talk from TED featuring Michael Shermer. He is the publisher of Skeptic Magazine and here he discusses “Strange Beliefs”.

UFO’s, Mother Mary on a cheese sandwich, tributes to Satan in music lyrics… all of these can be traced back to seeing whatever you want to see. The mind can be tricked easily and it’s really a shame if we don’t recognize that.

The church often takes advantage of these principles when presenting their weekly messages and music presentations. Weekend retreats and camps can capitalize on the phenomenon. The revival pastors of my youth made a living on “telling us it was there”.

This video is an entertaining and light-hearted look at the subject of “belief” and the ways we are actually programmed to see what we want to see, even if it isn’t there.