Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Oprah is NOT a Christian, Her New “Church” is Very Anti-Christ

April 28, 2008 6 comments

Here is a short video where Oprah says that there are millions of ways to God, not just one through Jesus, and shows what she believes as being very New Age. It’s very disturbing stuff. It isn’t anything I haven’t heard before, but her amount of influence is what makes it worrisome.

Blue Like Jazz

April 6, 2008 2 comments

I’m reading a book a friend let me borrow called Blue Like Jazz (by Donald Miller).  I haven’t read a lot lately, short of the internet and the bible.  I go on reading binges now and again, mostly the latest Grisham or Crichton novel…but this is a non-fiction account of a man and his realizations about God and how he became a Christian, so it’s a welcome change of pace.  His testimony is so different than what I’ve experienced (growing up in the church and believing that God was real from a young age), that his perspectives are changing the way I think about God.  I learned about God in an institutionalized atmosphere.  Sunday school, Psalty the Singing songbook, McGee and Me, the Bible itself; you get the picture.  It wasn’t as experiential as I would have liked, but I was young.  I do remember a few times that I experienced God in a tangible way as a child, but now that I’m older, I understand the world around me better, why we need a Savior, and what selfishness and “the flesh” really is, so I am experiencing God more now than I ever have.  Especially during these trying times with life stuff happening (Bryce’s heart condition, being married with two kids, ministering in the church, realizing I’m still selfish and needing to reach out to others more, that the Cubs won’t ever win a world series in my lifetime, and that the Hokey-Pokey ISN’T what it’s all about).

What I like about Don’s account is that he didn’t approach Christianity as a get-out-of-hell-free card, like the Gospel seems to be sold so often.  He understood that there was something in him that wasn’t right.  That he was doing things that felt wrong, and he had guilt, and a nagging feeling that the problems in this world were due to people’s self-absorption.  Wars, genocide, racism: it’s all a direct result of sin and people’s selfishness.  He finally equated this selfishness with sin.  This, in turn, pointed him toward God, who forgave his sins and loved him unconditionally.  He speaks of his struggles as a Christian to accept God’s grace (always feeling, like I have at times, that he needs to be self-disciplined in his own strength to be sinless, in order to be loved by God, and if he sins, he feels bad and condemned all the time, not allowing God’s grace to set him free), and to accept God’s love so he can love others.  Sorry for the run-on sentences, it’s late, and I’m a business, not an English, major.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far I like it, enough that I want a copy for myself so I can write in it (I have a bid on a used copy on Ebay right now…”Shop Victoriously!”).  I hope that I can take some of the truth that he found about God and apply it to my life.  I’d like to change my thinking and understanding of God to fit the truth more closely.  I feel I have a partial truth and I know my whole life will be spent pursuing the complete truth of who God is, and what He wants for and from me.  It’s refreshing reading other accounts of how people “found” God.

There is so much he’s covered that I wish I could relate.  I want the book so I can read it again, because I have a tendency to read something, really like it and want to remember it, and then forget it soon afterward.  It’s frustrating!  Wow, long post…gotta get to bed.

What is the meaning of life?

April 3, 2008 3 comments

I had a really good conversation with a friend of mine tonight…it got me thinking. I’ve been a Christian since I was a little kid. I remember vividly giving my life to Jesus when I was about 6 years old, listening to a radio program on a sunny day in our newish house. Since then, I have rededicated by life a few times in my pre-teen and teen years. I grew up in a Godly home, not that it was always easy, but in general, I have had a great life. I’ve attended good churches; very large ones, and very small ones. Both good and bad. I’ve read a lot, been taught a lot, and even went to a private, Christian college. Even with all of this, I’ve been lacking a big part of the true Christian life…

We were talking tonight about the whole prosperity message that’s being taught constantly on TV and in big mega-churches. The idea that God is going to bless you, especially if you “sow the seed”, etc. That a good Christian doesn’t suffer, and if you are, it’s due to sin, or not enough faith This has always got my blood boiling. I don’t agree with it, and I think it’s detrimental and destructive to the faith. Life as a Christian isn’t all roses and money and good times. It can be, and is, great. However, we will suffer in our lives, and that’s Biblical. We will suffer for our faith! We should rejoice in our persecution. We won’t be automatically rich because we give our lives to God. We won’t be driving Mercedes and wearing Rolex watches like the guys on TV. We shouldn’t strive for those things. I digress, and I apologize for the stream of consciousness post. It’s late, and I wanted to get this down. Anyway, this blessing message has also lulled people into a false sense of what it means to be a Christian. We seem to be so caught up in playing church, that we never leave their walls.

What do I think I’m lacking? Well, I fell into the trap of modern Christianity, which seems to be very self-absorbed. We minister in the church, and to our families. We expect to be blessed. We listen to the music, we read the books, we do a lot of good things! But, and this is where I’ve failed, we neglect to really reach out to others. To the people that need Jesus. Why is this? Fear of rejection maybe, apathy, our comfortable life, maybe just the fact that we haven’t really thought about it. What am I talking about? Reaching out to the people that Jesus would reach out to if He lived today. My coworkers, people that are hurting, our neighbors, abused children, you name them. Just showing them love, and that I care, and acting different, opening the door to being able to share what God has done in my life, and what He can do in theirs. Not standing on a soapbox and shoving the Bible down their throats, condemning and judging them for their sin, but being strategic and looking for opportunities to minister practically to the lost.

I can picture Jesus working as a carpenter, and doing the best work He could, and treating customers with integrity and respect. I can picture Him talking to his friends about their struggles. I can picture Him doing things with people that I may feel uncomfortable around, in places where I may feel uncomfortable, or even places where I think I’d be judged by friends or Christians for even being there. Homosexuals, drug addicts, people that I don’t relate to. These are the people that really need God, and the transformational power that He brings. It’s something I haven’t done well. Sure, I’ve gone on the missions trips, I’ve Marched for Jesus…but I’m talking about a daily walk, exuding love, looking for opportunities to help others. I have been too selfish, too comfortable behind church and home walls. It’s going to definitely be a work in progress, and difficult at first, and I know I won’t change overnight, but I want to be more Christ-like, and I think I’ve allowed myself to believe too much in the Hollywood version of Jesus, rather than the Biblical one. Of a man who was rejected, but continued to minister. A man of lowly means, not great looking, a laborer; but what He accomplished was incredible. We have the power of God too, and the ability to change lives. My prayer is that I can get to know Him better, so that I would be more like Him, and in the process, reach others. I also need to start now, so that my kids can grow up with this being integrated into their being, so they know that it’s a standard part of being a true Christian. In hindsight, I see that my parents did this in practical ways (foster parenting, for example), but I didn’t, for whatever reason, make it a part of who I am. I need God for that! I need to break down the barriers. We need to set goals as a family. It’s all worth it in the end. I don’t want to die leading only one or two people to Christ. Not for selfish reasons, but because of my love for God and others. Hope this all makes some sense.