Monday, September 27, 2010

Perspective, God's perspective and the perspective of people

If you watch one of the many versions of Law and Order on television you may have seen the characters talk about how unreliable eye witness testimony is. You may have watched scenes where several different witnesses give very different accounts of the same incident and found out later every account had some truth in it, and that none of the accounts was “true”.

This is because people have different perspectives. We all see things differently and as a result we judge situations differently.

The other day at church my wife and a friend put some caramel dip into a bowl and filled a plate with apple slices to dip into the caramel. The caramel was really thick and kind of difficult to work with. I pointed this out and suggested we nuke the caramel to soften it. Our friend mentioned me criticizing the dip. This was an interesting twist, I pointed out a potential issue and offered a possible solution. She felt it was criticizing. Very few ate the caramel, if you dipped an apple slice into it the caramel didn't stick to the apple and it was so stiff the apple slice would break if you tried to “scoop” some caramel up. Rather than try warming the caramel they just let it sit there in a fairly unusable clump.

This is pretty typical of human beings. When faced with what we feel is criticism we often would rather stick with what we have than consider the suggestions useful.

Christians point out issues with societal behavior and in very much the way our friend at church ignored the issue with the caramel people ignore the suggestions of the Christians.

My friend at church would feel it was her duty, and Biblical rightly so, to point out issues with someone's Christian walk and yet she behaved the same way the secular community does. Was she wrong to put out the caramel without heating or “improving” it? No. Was I wrong to point out that it could be more useful if we heated it up? No. Was she wrong in criticizing my suggestion as criticism? No.

People don't like to believe or accept they are “wrong” even though Christ tells us no one is Good except God. Who was “wrong” in our caramel discussion at church? Neither of us.

Truthfully mistakes are important to make because in making mistakes, recognizing mistakes and learning from them is the most important thing we can do.

The issue is that it is almost impossible for multiple people to agree on what a “mistake” is because of the different perspectives.

Here is a kicker. Which one of us does God think was right?

Neither of us. God does not have the same perspective people have.

Lets look at a different situation. I worked with one of the guys from Church during a time I was reading the Bible for the sixth time. This version had been published by the Jehovah's Witnesses. This guy criticized the version of the Bible I read, he criticized some of my actions, he criticized my performance as a CNC programmer, my skills as a tool maker, pretty much everything. In fact a lot of the people at that shop criticized me for a lot of things.

As usual I thought about what people were saying, I accepted the criticism I felt was useful and I ignored the criticism I felt was useless.

One issue pretty much describes the vast majority of criticism. This was back in 1998. I had brought in my laptop and I was working on a math problem on my computer. One of the guys brought up a calculator and said, “I use this, I never had a problem I couldn’t figure out with this'” I looked at the guy and said, “I am sure there were people who felt the same way about their slide rules. I ain't one of them” and I went back to working on my laptop.

Who was right? Who was wrong? My perspective is that people who do not adapt and use new technologies eventually stagnate and die. His perspective was that the fancy new tool was no more useful than his old tool. In reality we were both right, based on our individual perspectives.

From my perspective computers had proved their usefulness and place in society by 1998. For others it took much longer to adapt to the new technology. It had to become cheap enough and easy enough to learn that they believed their investment would be returned. Heck, I was sure in 1984 that computers would be household tools. I just couldn't afford one back then.

Don't think I am always right, at one time I thought CF cards were the shiznik and now I own SD cards. Most people seem to own SD cards, micro SD cards, mini-SD cards.

Everyone makes guesses at where technology is going. The people who invest in the winning technology first end up making the most from their investment.

People who jump in too soon and make the wrong pick end up with the wrong digital media card.

People make choices based on their perspective. In reality there wasn't a wrong choice about when or what to get into computers, or digital media cards. There were learning experiences that helped people become better people, or not.

In religion, once we accept that everything we know, everything we are is wrong we become like children and we look to God for everything and we quit depending on our own understanding.

The realization that we are wrong about everything, that every person is wrong about everything is the most important realization a Christian can make because without the realization that our perspective is wrong and so everything we understand is wrong we never become as dependent on God as a child is dependent.

God's perspective is so different that we cannot possible understand it until we “are older”.

This is why Christ tells us we are not Good. This is why Paul tells us that we are all sinners.

You don't start looking for what is right until you know what is wrong.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reading Total Crap published about the Bible

One day at Choir I mentioned a Bible passage, 2nd Corinthians 2:15 & 16. This passage tells us that Christians smell bad to non-Christians. You can look it up at which will give you the passage in a bunch of different versions of the Bible. Our Choir director mentioned that while he had read the passage he had never really thought about it.

I consider the aroma to be more like what we call a “vibe” these days, but, I also believe that there are some damned people who really do think saved Christians smell bad. I believe this because there are actually posts on the internet discussing how Christians smell bad.

I am currently reading a book that is pretty stupid, but, interesting because it represents the search in the secular world for understanding in the religious world. In fact, this guy presents a lot of the things I originally believed when I first became saved and began seeking understanding. The book is called “Who Really Goes to Hell”.

The basic idea behind the book is that Christ never taught that all humans sin and believing in him was required for going to heaven. This is just something Paul taught and none of the four gospels mention it.

Total crap of course. Christ tells us: Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

So Christ does tell us that none of us are Good. I could go into the Greek here, agathos, which means honorable, good, happy, noble, etc. Taken in the negative we could also say that all of us are the opposite of good. All of us are sinners, as Paul put it.

Of course that does not address the idea that all must accept Christ to go to Heaven. There are a lot of places that Christ tells us that he is that path and no one can get to the father except through him. The best known of course are the passages that are behind Communion. People believe that Communion goes back to the last supper. Not exactly true, it does and it also goes even further back to John 6:53
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Unless we engage in Communion, the accepting of the path which the Mosiach, the Messiah, Christ has laid down we can not live.

This guy wrote an entire book of ridiculous crap that people probably read and accept as well researched, well documented fact. Essentially he did the same thing most of us do, instead of accepting Christ he tried to “figure” it all out. I remember doing that. I look back at all the time I spent studying the Hebrew and Greek, the different versions of the Bible and I have to laugh at myself. I hope someday you can look back and laugh at your self and this guy can look back and laugh at himself.

God tells us that Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Something that the author of this book and I have in common is the search for knowledge. We love knowledge and we study. God sometimes hides the obvious things from us, from me, from the author of this hilarious book “Who really goes to hell” and from my Choir director. That does not make us fools or hypocrites. It means we are still seeking knowledge and fear of the Lord. It means that some of us want to just accept Christ for who Christ is and accept people for who people are without trying to figure out and understand all the quirks and the angles and the motivations.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Koran burning and Mosque building

If you follow current events you are aware of two news stories making headlines these days, a small church of 50 people in South Carolina is going to burn some Koran's and a group of Muslims in New York city are trying to build a Mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

Don't hand he the “community center” crap, every Church, Mosque and Synagogue is and always has been a center for community activities. Including a Mosque inside of a community center is ridiculous.

We used to have a basket ball hoop out n the parking lot at Church. Some of the membership became upset because kids in the community were using it so they took it down. This is not typical of a Church trying to grow. This is typical of a dying Church. Growing Churches attract community involvement. Dying Churches reject community involvement. A successful religious institution will always become a center for community activities. Every place of worship is a community center.

Not every community center is a place of worship. They become a place of worship when you include facilities for worship inside of them. Not every fruit is an apple. Every apple is a fruit.

The people building this Mosque are going to do what they want regardless of what other people think and they have every right to.

The people burning Koran's are going to do what they want regardless of what other people think and they have every right to.

Personally, I think both groups are screwed up narcissistic jerks

As people we belong to communities. We all belong to multiple communities and we balance what we do against the greater good for these communities. Very few people or groups are so narcissistic that they totally ignore what other people in their various communities think.

At the same time, I also believe that God may have his hand in this. God may very well be leading the Pastor of the SC Church to burn the Koran's and the media groups to create a news sensation out of this situation because it does appear so narcissistic, exactly the way the Mosque at Ground Zero is narcissistic. Remember that Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of God. (Jeremiah 27:6)

Our “scareddy cat” “fearless leader”, Obama, is claiming that the organized burning of Koran's will result in terrorist attacks. Oabama's entire campaign has always been based on fear. Make people fear the status quo and demand change. Make people fear terrorism and eliminate freedom of speech. Make people fear terrorism and help narcissists build Mosques where ever they want. Obama has not taken a position on the Mosque in New York because he is afraid. Obama has taken a position against the Koran burning because he is afraid.

I am disgusted with Obama and his fear and anti-free speech sentiments. I am disgusted with narcissists building Mosques and I am disgusted with narcissists burning Korans.

I don't believe that any of this serves God. God can call on his servant to make a burnt offering and then at the last minute call on the servant to not light the fire. Is this God's plan? Maybe. I don't believe God would call on anyone to actually burn Koran's anymore than God would call on people to sacrifice their kids.

Not all of God's servants are followers of God. Satan, for example, serves God by managing those who choose the chaotic anarchism of Hell over the directed order of Heaven.

I hope that the narcissists in New York stop their disgusting actions. I hope the narcissists in South Carolina stop their actions. I hope Obama quits preaching and living in fear.

In the end I expect the US government to live in fear because Obama is afraid. I expect the Mosque to be built. I expect the Koran burning to be stopped.

As long as the people in the US elect leaders who make choices based in fear the US will continue down a path of destruction.