Trying to think of something witty.

Location: Oregon, United States

Here is why I put my long(er) ramblings, well, at least the stuff I pretend the think about BEFORE posting. Here is my primary site.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Love the sinner, hate the sin

Those words are debated as being an example of how Christians should live, and as an example of the watering down of Christianity. Simply performing a Google search on those words will easily provide both sides of the argument. Each side provides biblical passages to support their view. Each will argue the use of language and of the Hebrew and Greek words, and their definitions and context will be pointed out. Discussions of the interpretation of passages, and which has greater precedent abound.

If you look at those who proclaim the "love the sinner, hate the sin" mantra, they are often the "nice" Christian who wants to be the friend of the non-Christian so they may be a good witness for Christianity. On the other side of the isle, you often have the fundamentalist Christian. They hold that sinner and sin are one, and are to be shunned. Their belief is the only sinner that can be witnesses to, is the one who realizes they are in sin, and is looking for help.

Many would argue that there are vast differences between these two Christians. They will use arguments of Christ's love, or God's divine judgment. People will argue details of religious dogma, and the interpretation of scripture. However, the difference comes down primarily to one simple difference, at least a simple difference to the non-Christian.

The fundamentalist Christian is being honest.

The nice Christian who wants to be a friend to the non-christian, really thinks that the non-christian is damned and going to hell, but doesn't want to say so. Rather, they want to live as a good example for their friend to follow. However, in any friendship, there comes a time that the people involved has to do one simple thing; accept the other person for who they are. The non-christian happily accepts their Christian friend for who they are, a good person. The problem is, the Christian, can not accept their non-christian friend for who they are, because that involves accepting their sin.

Simply, if a Christian believes in sin, and that Christ has saved them from that sin, then there are other things that they also believe in, even if they haven't said so. They believe that sin exists, and that there are consequences to that sin. They also believe that the consequences are great enough to require the death and resurrection of Christ to overcome. Finally, only those who are saved, will not suffer those consequences.

Those consequences range from eternal death kind of hell, all the way to the fire and brimstone hell. Those who are saved are going to heaven. However, there can be only one way to heaven, there can not be multiple ways. Therefore, the non-christian is going to hell, end of story.

Now in the progression of any friendship, there are certain stages that we go through. One way of looking at that development is the social penetration theory. Even though this might not be perfect, it still provides a decent model to use. With any friendship, progression through the stages is inevitable. Somewhere in the Exploratory stage, people start to disclose beliefs and attitudes. With that disclosure, comes the expectation of acceptance.

Now, the nice Christian who has decided to be a friend to the non-christian faces a dilemma. As the friendship progresses to the point of sharing attitudes and values, what do they do if the non-christian refuses to accept their beliefs. The Christian has limited possibilities:

  • limit the friendship to the orientation stage only, therefore merely pretending to be a friend

  • not accept the person's values and beliefs, but pretend to be their friend anyways

  • end the friendship

The Christian who claims to have non-christian friends, under the guise of "love the sinner, hate the sin" is either lying to themselves, or their friends.

Personally, I prefer the fundamentalists. At least I know where I stand with them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brief History of the World, according to Christianity

The Beginning

There was God. Yep, that was about it. But seeing that God is omnipresent and omnipotent, there is always God. However, this situation was just God, nothing else.

Around 4000 BC:
God made light. First day done. The next four days he spent making heaven and earth; the land and seas; plants; the stars and planets; then the sun and moon; marine life; and birds. On the sixth day, he created the insects, land animals, and men and women.

We now get to chapter two of Genesis, where, either it is retelling part of chapter one, or God is now making Adam after he made men and women. Even if he had already made men and women, Adam was placed in the special garden God had made just for him. Now God told Adam that he can eat from every tree except for the tree of knowledge, if he eats from it, he will surely die. Then God decided that Adam was lonely, so he made the beasts of the garden to keep Adam company. Finally God made a woman for Adam, from Adam's rib.

Now, in early Hebrew texts, God made Adam and a woman named Lilith out of the dust of the ground at the same time, and they were equals. However, Adam got smarmy and tried to boss Lilith around and she told him to suck it and left. Then God made another woman for Adam, to be submissive to him.

Still around 4000 BC:
Now, there was this talking serpent with legs... no, really. This talking serpent convinced the woman that if she eats of the tree of knowledge, she won't really die, but become like God, knowing good and evil. She ate it, and gave some to Adam. Wouldn't you know it, they didn't die, but gained knowledge of good and evil.

Well God comes by looking for Adam and doesn't find him. Calls out for him, and has to ask him why he is hiding. Well, it seems that Mr. Omniscient isn't all that knowledgeable. God gets pissy, and announces a curse upon them all. Adam finally names the woman Eve because of all of this. Then, God mulls over the situation, and he is either talking to himself, or other gods, when he says that Adam and Eve have eaten the tree of knowledge and become like them. Well, God says that Adam and Eve can not be allowed to eat of the tree of life and become immortal, so he kicks them out of the garden.

Well, he we are, with God letting on that not only did he lie that they would die if they ate of the tree of knowledge, but that they were already mortal, but could gain immortality with the tree of life.

Now, this is what is normally referred to as the "Fall of Man." This fall of man incluced:

  • sorrow on women during child birth
  • women's sexual desire of men
  • man will have to till the ground for food and fight with thorns and thistles
  • men and women will die and return to dust

Well, I have some issues with this curse:

  • Doesn't every animal have pain during child birth? So humans were going to have it easy?
  • If women's sexual desire was going to be for men, does that mean that lesbians are not cursed by God?
  • Does the tilling the ground part mean that vegans are more cursed by God, while the meat eaters get to cheat the curse by eating other creatures that fight the thorns and thistles?
  • Wasn't man already mortal? Is keeping him mortal really a curse, or an attempt to dodge what God already setup?

So, Adam and Eve are kicked out of Eden and sent on their way. They have two boys, Cain the gardener and Abel the rancher. Part of the requirements of man to get back in God's good graces was to provide a sacrifice of their labors. Cain brought the fruit of the ground and Abel brought meat. Well, God liked Abel's offering and not Cain's. God then tells Cain that, basically, he hates vegans and they should start eating meat to be good God-followers.

What does Cain do? He goes and kills his brother. Did God see that coming? If so, why didn't he warn Abel, or admonish Cain about doing the right thing while he was talking to him just before this incident?
Around 3000 BC:
About a thousand years after the fall of man, we get to Noah. Noah is given the command to build an ark, and save a male and female of every kind of land animal. He does this, along with his three sons and their wives. That boat must have stank, and I am really wondering what kinds of animals were lost forever during that boat ride, because what was the carnivores eating? Finally, the flood recedes, Noah starts making wine, gets drunk, Ham comes in and sees him this way. Because Ham saw his naked father, Ham's son Canaan, and all of Canaan's descendents, was cursed to be servants.

Around 1000 BC:
Well, over the years, men continue to give sacrifices to appease God. God, finally announces that he will send his son to fix things, sometime over two thousand years after the flood, over three thousand years after the fall of man. Well, this was just the prophesy. The actual coming wasn't for another thousand years, or so.

Why did it take so long for God to get around to a permanent solution about the entire "people going to hell" thing? We are talking about 4000 years before this was taken care of. I don't know, maybe God was working on his TPS reports. Damn those new cover sheets.

Around 0 BC:
Finally, we are up to Jesus. Now, since this guy is supposed to be the savior for everyone, this should be a big deal. This birth announcement should be shouted from the mountaintops and across the heavens. Across all of the earth, all of the people that would be affected by this, who is it revealed to? Some shepherds from around Bethlehem, and three astrologers from North Africa. That's it folks.

Whoop-de-doo! One of my best friends just had a little boy, and I can tell you that way more people than that was told! This is supposed to be the salvation of all of mankind, and what, like a dozen people were told. Oh yeah, they told others, but wouldn't angels going througout all of Judea, hell, the whole world, do a better job, rather than some half-drunken shepherds? Don't forget the three astrologers who came to see the "King of the Jews." They weren't looking for their savior, but the savior of the Jews only. So, did they show up, give their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (which are all spiritually potents items), and went about their way to die unsaved?

Around 0 AD:
Jesus grows up, gets killed, and is raised from the dead. How many people are told about this significant event, something like a dozen. If this guy was supposed to be so damn important to all of humanity, why wasn't a little more effort taken to get the word out? Yeah, the followers were told to go an spread the news, but face it, some half-crazed (possibly even drunk) followers of Christ proclaiming that he died and was risen from the dead, is not going to do as good a job as angels proclaiming from on high.

Around 2000 AD:
Fast forward two thousand years, going through significant changes to the religion that sprouts up to worship Jesus, we get to the modern day. There are Christians of great charisma trying to live a life of love and devotion and be a good example to others. Then you have guys like Pat Roberts, Ted Haggard, Jack Chick, Jerry Falwell, and others like them who run about being douche-bags Christians, or stinky old bags of water pre-occupied with women's vaginas (with the exception of Haggard, et al, who seem to be more interested in where men are putting their dicks).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Today's Quote!

I know it's early, not even 8:30am here, and I have what i believe is a good quote for the day:

"How about I limit the number of ways I can screw up the server to a bare minimum?"