Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Double Standard

Stacy and I were at the mall the other night. We happened upon a decent looking man and woman who appeared to be a couple. We stopped and made small talk with them. Eventually the discussion turned serious and we decided to ask them to come over to our apartment later that night, but there was a catch. When they did come over she needed to wear some suggestive clothing, nothing to revealing but show just enough to keep a man interested, and he needed be dressed accordingly as well. Once they arrived we wanted her to just lie in the floor so we could look at her and then we wanted them to begin to make out in the living room floor while Stacy and I sat on the couch and watched them. If they felt like it they could even have sex while we watched.

This is such an absurd story and scenario that it most of us would never allow or think of doing such a thing. Can you imagine how much gusto you would have to work up to even ask a random couple to do such a thing?

Now tell me what the difference between the above scenario and say, Survivor, Grey's Anatamoy, Amazing Race, Friends, NYPD Blue, My Name is Earl, any number of movies, Redbook, Vogue, Maxim, Cosmo, Vanity Fair, etc...

Would you consider us to have a double standard when it comes to real life and television?

How about men? If we even think that our wives might be getting affection from another man it takes about 1/1000 of a millisecond to get enraged at even the thought, yet we get satisfaction sexually from 'just looking'. After all what does it hurt to look?

Would you consider this a double standard?

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 We don't even have the right to consider putting ourselves in these type situations. Now I am not saying that because you watch those shows you are sinning but why even take the risk of having those images in your mind? Ever been in church and had an image from a movie or TV show just 'pop-up' in say..during the Lord's Supper? But don't worry, I can handle these shows. The images of two people making out in a break room on Grey's Anatomy never pop up in my mind; images of women wearing 'tube tops' on a remote beach never pop up in my mind. I can watch shows with racy scenes and not ever have the sex drive in me get just a little excited?

How about for the women? Do you consider the fact that your husbands are driven visually? That even though you might like these shows, because you 'get to know the people', it could cause your husband to struggle in his sexual purity?

What would we do with out the TV shows and movies? Crap we might have to talk to each other or *gulp* read, AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

'Secular' View of Non-Violence

This happened at Harding University this past Friday at an ASI lecture. Read this article and tell me what you would have done. Searcy Daily Citizen

Friday, September 22, 2006

Larry James

Thought Larry James' post today was interesting since lately there has been some discussion about why it is easier to go to the Baja and help the impoverished there than it is to drive over to the church on Seminole street and get involved in the impoverished lives of people less than 5 miles from where we worship.

Change of Focus

Should we really want the world leaders that preach the annihilation of America dead? I mean look at how some of the leaders have the ability to focus an entire nation for a single cause. Let me clarify the next statement: In NO way shape or form am I condoning the actions of these people. Look at the 'radical' Muslims. How focused are they. They are so intent on their goals that they are willing to die for them. Are we as committed to the call of the cross?

What if we, someone, could change their focus. Just their focus, not their tenacious desire to achieve a particluar goal?

Look at Paul. I can't help but think that some Christians wished something would happen to him so that they would not be persecuted anymore. Well something did. Did his ability to be completely focused on a cause change? No. Did his desire to see something come to fruition change? No. Did his ability to influence people to follow a cause change? No. So what changed.

His focus. God shifted his focus from persecution of the christian faith to the spreading of the same faith.

I can't help but think about things that we are passionate about that are in conflict with God's will. How much more good could be done in the kingdom if we merely changed our focus?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Saturday

Just to copycat off of Kenny's reality spoof.

Saturday morning: had workday at inner city church - got alot accomplished Good

Saturday midday : sliced arm open on metal shelves at inner city - Ouch

Saturday afternoon : went dove hunting and stuck 3/4" barded wire fence in my inner thigh - Ouch

Saturday afternoon : was taking aim on a dove and my left ankle burst into flames
- why you ask - I was standing on a fire ant mound - OUCH!!!!

Michigan beat ND - Good
OU got screwed(sorry Jamey) - Ouch
Florida beat TN - Good

Monday - went to doctor
- Got a tetanus shot - Ouch
- Some how got epididymitis - WAY OUCH ALL THE TIME!!!! (feels like getting kicked 'there' about 20 times a day.

Tuesday - got meds for epididymitis - WAY BETTER!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Patriotism

So after reading many others blogs about patriotism and Christianity I have decided to post my own thoughts about these matters. The oddity of it all is that this discussion has happend among Christians when every major war has happened. Civil War, Spanish-American, WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, and today.

Disclaimer: You are encouraged to voice your side to this issue, however you must have some scriputral refrences for your view. All views will be respected. All views can be challenged respectfully. As for my view, it is a fledgling one that is constantly be changed and refined.

After reading a blog about a man wrestling with the idea of writing a letter to exempt his daughter from saying the 'Pledge of Allegiance' I began to wonder about what that pledge really meant. Were we placing America on an even keel with God's plan, or were we simply giving homage to the land that we live in? I came to support the latter. My support comes from Romans 13 specifically the parts in bold.

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth-. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Am I way off-base here in reading that we are a blessed nation because of how we were founded. Now, before any more arguements erupt here, there is substantial evidence shown in our founding that we had 'christian' ideals as that basis for our government and religious freedom was the entire purpose of the pilgrims coming here in the first place. To say that we are still blessed today because America is "the nation whose God is the LORD," is not true, yet I believe that we have been blessed by God because we are Christians and we serve a risen Lord. This last point I believe is seen in the second bolden part of the previous scripture. God looks down and sees all mankind. He sees us here in America and blesses us inspite of the fact that America is no where near a nation with christian morals.

One big problem I have with other blogs is the absolute statement that it is idolatrous to be patriotic and pro America. Do Not call me an idolator. Let's look at what exactly and idol and idol worship is.
Idol : a representation or symbol of an object of worship
- don't see this applying to the idea of supporting America
: an object of extreme devotion
- America is not perfect in the least, don't support everything, perhaps this particular definition should be reserved for the Muslims.

Worship : to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
- America is neither so we can perform this act.
: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion
- now here we can address some issues. Again we place such emphasis on the first definition that we miss the second definition entirely. Look at last bold section of the following scripture. Here is another passage that warns us not to get caught up or mincing words:

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 2 Tim 2:14

Pauls states that God has set up the governments to be His servant. There is nothing scripturally or morally wrong with saying the 'Pledge of Allegiance' as a way of paying homage to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in the country that we do today. I am also not and idolator because I love America and the freedom that she stands for after all if the government was put in place by God then shouldn't we respect it.

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Now as far as the recent blogs about non-violence. We can all agree that out and out criminal action is not right, but how can God be about non-violence and yet setup governments that do "not bear the sword for nothing". If we were to have complete non-violence then get ready for more Rwanda's and to have another 800,000 people hacked to death. God knows that man would run amuck and cause such destruction if there were not boundaries and those boundaries enforced, physically enforced if need be. For me non-violence needs to become the first thought but I don't believe that we need, would, or are commanded to carry this to the point of allowing harm to come to us or our families.

The view that I am uncertain where I stand for sure is that of being involved in politics. You have to be reminded of what Peter says in the verse below:

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Yes we don't belong to this world but if there are plenty of Christian men involved in politics but the problem is to be sure that we/they don't get so involved that the sight/vision of our mission on earth is lost and takes second place to the goals of the political party.

If you dont' want to be involved with the military/politics/America then you need to stop paying taxes because as Paul writes "This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing" The taxes we pay support our troops and the political agenda of the government wether we agree with both or not.

Well, that is my position. Now feel free to shoot holes in it if you like but refer to the disclaimer at the beginning of this post before doing so.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Break

I think I'll take a break from the posts about sexual purity for a couple of days.

Try this one on for size.

You are in a room on one end of a house and there is a room on the other end of the house with 3 light bulbs in it.
There is no way to see the other room without leaving your room and going to the other end of the house.
In your room there are 3 light switches, each one controls one of the three light bulbs in the other room. The order of the switches has no bearing on which light bulb is turned on.
You can only leave the room one time to go the other room to check on the light bulbs.
How can you tell which switch controls which light bulb?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Homosexuality = Heterosexualtiy

Things that make you say Hmmm...

First let me interject here about this, previous, and subsequent blogs. Most of this is written from the stand point of looking in the mirror and some deep introspection. I hope that it causes the same in you.

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

Back to the topic.

What I am talking about here is that we don't place the same emphasis on heterosexual impurity as we do homosexuality. If I ask you to rate on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most disguted) where would you rate your feelings about homosexuality? 10, 20, 50. It's a no brainer. When you watch a movie and 2 guys kiss you immediately cringe, cover your eyes, and look for the fastforward button to get past that scene. Why? Because it is unnatural and we are taught to despise it from an early age.

What about heterosexual impurity? How would you rate it on a scale of 1-10? Be honest now, don't give the pat 'church of christ' answer here 'Oh, well that's easy a 10 for sure'. 2, 4 maybe even a 6 if we had some distain for it.

I can't help but believe that God is just as disgusted with homosexuality as He is with heterosexual impurity. After all isn't heterosexual impurity a perversion of what God has created. Yet, we don't hate it. Do you? Did you? How much did you hate it when you were dating your wife, or other girls in college. You hated it so much that you drove to your 'spot' 2,3,4 times a week to gratify your sexual desires and lusts?

How about in movies as in the first paragraph. Do you fastforward a scene? rent the movie with a scene in it? Here is my problem with movies with sex scenes, we rationalize them to be okay. We say 'Well they are married in the movie." WHAT!!! One, they are not married in 'real' life so you are watching two people committ adultery right in front of you and you paid to watch it. Two, you would be called a voyeur and thrown in jail if you peered through your neighbors window to watch them. Three, you should only be getting sexual fulfillment from your wife. If you get aroused from the scene then you have sinned.

Why do we accept one and loathe the other?

"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me."

Do we really hate heterosexual impurity? I bet we do when it comes to our children. Are we raising our children to detest this? Are we setting the example for them? can we? Do we hate it enough in our own lives to 'purify' ourselves and consecrate our eyes, mind, and heart to sexual purity for the sake of our wives and children?

-Will you raise your boys to have the sexual integrity that might have been lacking in you?
- Will you set the example for your girls to seek acceptance from God and not a man; give them a Godly view of what to look for in a man and how they should be respected?

Do you hate it that much?

Friday, September 08, 2006

One year ago to the Day

It is hard to believe that it is already one year since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. So in light of this I have posted my emails that I wrote to remind myself of what I saw.

Friday, September 9, 2005

There is no way that I could ever give you a mental image of the disaster that has happened here. We are in Ocean Springs which is about 8-10 miles east of Biloxi. There was some flooding in many of the homes here but at least they have homes. I got the opportunity to travel with one of the elders to biloxi to pick up a washer and dryer for the youth home so that those displaced would have a place to wash clothes. The sites that I saw are as I said simply indescribable. There was one street where there were no longer any houses. The tidal surge simply wiped out all of the walls and left only the roof to sit on the ground. There is a middle school that looks as though a bomb was dropped on it. We got to drive along hwy 90 right on the beach, or where the beach used to be. The east bound lane is under about 1-2 feet of sand and the west boud lane has been completely picked up and moved about 15-20 feet inland. There is a golf course that has an 80 foot tall steel lighthouse that is now 100 yards away from where it originally stood. The true example of servants are the people of this church. Many have been at the church since Sunday 2 weeks ago and have not gone home either because they don't have one or there is simply too much to do at the building. There is an unbelievable amount of supplies here for the community. Most of it has been given away twice over. People wait in the lobby while the women fill up cases and cases and sacks and sacks of supplies (i.e. all manner of canned food, personal supplies, paper supplies, and cleaning supplies). All of us got the experience of cleaning out a woman's home today. She lives 50 ft from a canal and had water 10ft deep in her house. The water floated up dressers, fridges, and a piano and left them in complete opposite places from where they started. The stench of a flood is also indescribable. The only thing I could compare it too would be a slaughter house on a stale hot humid day with no wind moving to take the smell away. This woman like many others has nothing left in her life that she has accumulated over time (heirloom furniture, years and years of personal journals, pictures, keepsakes, etc....) It really makes you think about the priority that we place on things that can be wiped out in a flash. It is about 11 pm and we have been working non stop since we arrived, I am beat but it drives me forward to see people who have nothing left in life to be working every day to help others rebuild there's. Where your heart is there your treasure is also. Feel free to share this with anyone who has an interest in what is happening here. There are so many stories of things that have happend not only today but in the previous weeks that I couldn't possibly tell them all. I will write again tomorrow about the experiences that lie ahead. Pray continually for everyone here and for the strength of the church.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Kay Zorn, Kathy Darby, John Osco three names of people that I will never forget. I doubt they will remember the names of some 18 people from Huntsville, AL but they will never forget what 18 people did for them one weekend in September, nor will we forget all that they did for us by letting us bless them and be blessed by them. We finished Kay Zorn's house this morning. Yes, the smell was still there and a little worse after another day of soaking, but yet this woman was still at her house at 7:30 in the morning trying to look through her entire life to see what was salvagable. It still isn't real that we emptied a persons entire life out into her front yard because water that was there for no more than 1 hour completely destroyed it. At several points the reality set in on Kay and she had to walk away as tears of frustration and grief came pouring out. There are no words to console someone who has just lost everything. When we had finished with moving everything out of her house she thanked each one of us with tears in her eyes. She couldn't believe that 8 people whom she never met and most likely will never see again took a weekend to come and help her try to get on with her life. We also worked on John Osco's aunt's house because his family was living there since theirs was completely wiped away in the ocean surge. This house was right on the beach and had about 3 ft of water in it. We ripped out all the sheetrock and insulation and wood flooring in the 1st floor of the house. John's house sat on a penisula out into the bay and the water rose from the ocean side and bay side and met at his and a 100 other houses completely wiping them off of their foundation. At his aun't house was a massive live oak tree that had been ripped out of the ground not because it was broke but because its base wasn't planted in a firm foundation. ( How many devotionals can you get from that.) The last house I helped work on today was Kathy Darby's. They have a 2 story house that had 5-6 ft of water in the 1st level. We had to take the laminate wood flooring and kitchen cabinets out but didn't have time to take out the sheetrock.

There is so much work that has yet to be done, yet there are so many more people to come do the work. There are many more stories that I, and everyone else that came can and will tell. I saw this statement on an email : God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.