Friday, June 24, 2016

Snapping a picture of your hotel room could help stop human trafficking

(Note: If I recently emailed you about reading "my newest post", this is not that post. Please click [here] to read that post. Thanks!)

Onto this post, I thought this was really important and wanted to share it.

Help stop human trafficking... by taking pictures of hotel rooms!

[More info here]

The app is free! And is available on "iPhones, iPads, and Android devices".

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Information vs Propaganda

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Quick note: If I sent you an email recently asking you to read "my newest post", please click [here] to read it. Thanks!
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So I've been reading the comments on the new YouTube video about "equality", and something is becoming clearer to me: the line between "information" and "propaganda".

See, as I've said several times on this blog, the Bible does NOT tell us to hate LGBT individuals. The Bible also does not say that homosexual people aren't saved. What the Bible says in the New Testament is simply that homosexuals who are unrepentant need to repent, just like heterosexuals. Now, the Bible does command us not to have sex with people of the same biological sex. This is easier for bisexuals and heterosexuals, because they are attracted to people with whom it's permitted to have sexual relations. But keep in mind, the rules don't just suddenly change for them. Not having sex with the same biological sex is a universal rule. In the case of heterosexuals, no, they don't experience that attraction anyway, but the rule still stands. Think, for example, of the CrAaAaAzY sTuFf you may get up to if you're drunk. Also, adultery is still 100% forbidden, too. The list goes on. It becomes evident pretty quickly that these rules aren't actually focusing on hating gays or something.

So what's going on, exactly? Why are the rules considered "hatred" then?

Something I noticed in the comments was an overabundance of a mix of the words "love" and "hate". The term "love" of course, applied to anything LGBT, while "hate" referred to basically any hint of disagreement. The enemy here becomes a vague term that explains nothing in particular, which in this case is "hate". It's time to stop the "hate". It's time to let people "love" whom they want to "love". People just want to "love", but other people "hate". It's too bad that the situation is obviously not that simple. Now, there was a lot of genuine hatred in the comments, but that is NOT Biblical Christianity. Listen very carefully to that last statement if you're one of the people calling LGBT people "diseased" or "freaks" something like that. But getting back to the main point, I think it's extremely obvious that not everyone who disagrees with LGBT principles "hates" LGBT people, but remember, this vague "hate" isn't clearly defined. So whether you're literally throwing gay people off buildings or if you're just stating your opinion, that you disagree with gay marriage, you can still be guilty of "hating".

And what are you "hating"? "Love".

What you're "hating" is this beautiful, world-changing "love" that's bursting at the seams and is held back by your "hate". What you're "hating" is a group of people (remember I said "people") who just want to "love" each other, and you're "hating" on that.

This is propaganda. These words make it so that it's all or nothing. But disagreeing with an LGBT lifestyle does not equate to hating LGBT people, but people will be quick to assume that you must hate "people" anyway. Also, "love" is another vague blanket term. Do you see what that word choice does? People who disagree with an LGBT lifestyle aren't holding back "love" as some kind of universal concept, nor are they even trying to. And we are not necessarily vocalizing our thoughts to "hate". In fact, for many of us, disagreeing is love. Because we care about your eternal life, and want to warn you of sins you may be committing. It's tough love, yeah, but it's out of love. Out of caring.

Another thing I've noticed is the flamboyance. You have the rainbow. You have the stereotype that "gay" is "fabulous". And what are you if you disagree with something that's "fabulous"? You're dull. You're a dusty old boring person who just hates when people are happy. You don't know how to loosen up and have fun. You're sitting in your room reading your archaic old books instead of being "FaBuLoUs". Do you see where this crosses over from reality into propaganda? LGBT isn't intrinsically "fabulous" and neither is heterosexuality. Biological wiring isn't "fabulous" no matter what. It's just... there. And once again, disagreeing with an LGBT lifestyle does not mean that you're just a stuffy old has-been. I'm 21 and I disagree with gay marriage. Yeah I do research but that's because I enjoy it. Doing research doesn't mean that I'm somehow now afraid of bright colors or people being happy or *gasp* "things I'm not familiar with" as if I haven't left my house since the Civil War. I'm on the internet after all, I think I'm used to "things I'm not familiar with" by now. I also listen to metal and watch My Little Pony. I joke with my friends. I do artwork. I procrastinate on artwork. I write music. I shouldn't even have to explain this. But again, LGBT is "fabulous", and you're "hating" on it. See how easy it is to distort the issue with a few simple words? Also keep in mind that the LGBT community isn't universally loving, either. In reading those YouTube comments, I also saw a lot of bigotry coming from the LGBT side as well.

The point here is that there is undeniable propaganda in discussions like these, and it needs to stop. Yes, as I said above, I know there is genuine hatred against LGBT people, and I don't approve of it, you shouldn't either, and it does need to stop. But guys, we need to face the facts here. The term "hate" is way too vague, and it severely distorts the issue. You have tons of people who genuinely think that simply disagreeing with gay marriage is somehow equal to hating someone. This word choice that seems so prevalent in these discussions distorts the issue more than I think a lot of people realize, and it needs to stop.

There is information on "hatred" against LGBT people. Check out the link I posted above about ISIS throwing gay people off of buildings. That's information. Homosexuality is illegal in many countries. That's information. But just pulling the "hate" "love" card or attempting to play up LGBT as being more glamorous than it really is? It doesn't accurately represent what's going on. It's propaganda, pure and simple, it distorts both sides of the issue, and it's not right.

It's pretty much inevitable that people are going to take this post the wrong way according to their personal biases, so let me clear it up right now: this is not meant to "hate" LGBT people. Please refer to all of the places in this post where I said "hating" LGBT people was wrong, and that the Bible does not support that hatred. Also, if I happen to attract any far-right readers (KKK, Nazis), I want to clarify to you that my disclaimer here isn't simply a cleverly-devised cover for some kind of real hatred that I'm trying to hide to be politically correct. I mean every word I said here, and according to the Bible which is God's word to us, you need to repent as well.

So this post was pretty disjointed and I'm honestly not in the best mood as I'm writing it, but I hope you all can extract the meaning of what's written here. And understand that I myself wrote this post out of love. I don't really enjoy writing most of these posts. I write them out like this because they contain important things I want to get across to all of you. And I ask you to consider what's written here.

PS: Take careful note, I never disclosed my own orientation in this post.

PPS: Also note I never claimed to be perfect. I feel like I should point this out whenever I call anyone out. The stereotype is that I, calling someone out for sinning, must think of myself as this high-and-mighty individual. That's not the case at all. I'm just stating facts. I'm not saying I myself am perfect at all. I'm not.

May God bless you all and guide you according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Future of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Hi, guys. A few quick disclaimers. 1) This post comes from 100% caring and concern. I never want to cause offense. 2) Take careful note that I am ONE CHRISTIAN. While several Christians would probably agree with what I'm about to say, be very careful not to let yourself stereotype anyone, or put words into the mouths of other people. But I do feel genuinely led, by God, to write this post.

That said, I've been thinking about something for awhile now. Right now, it seems pretty hard to deny that the fandom, and show itself, are... struggling a bit. Fan activity has definitely seen a decline, and ratings are down.

But none of us want to see that happen, do we? Well, what if I told you there is a solution? What if we could bring things back to their 2010-2012 glory which I've seen so much since I became a fan in 2014? It is possible. But I do need you to be open-minded about the solution I'm about to present. I may sound insane in this post. But I am writing this out of love for my fellow fans, and for the show, and I urge you to take this message into serious consideration.

I heard somewhere that Lost Treasure of Griffonstone was the last episode to have ratings as high as it did. We (apparently?) haven't had an episode with ratings that high since that episode. But even if I'm wrong on that, the problem clearly at least started somewhere around that point. Now, I admit this isn't the strongest point to start with, but while we are talking about Griffonstone, that episode did rub me the wrong way a bit. The whole "you don't need some dumb idol to do that, you just need each other" line seemed... out of place? And it had this kind of air of... secular humanist sentiment? But I admit I can be paranoid, and nobody else seemed to take issue with that episode, even other Christians. So I just shrugged it off and assumed there was something I was missing and that I was reading into it too much, which is definitely a possibility. But what if I wasn't? I don't know the person who wrote the episode, but what if some sentiment like that was weaved into the episode? Keep the possibility (possibility!) in mind as we continue here.

Let's move on to something that's an undeniable fact: there is a lot of clop art in the fandom. I've written about the brony fandom in the past, and I've mentioned the R34 end of it. It honestly seems difficult sometimes to find a quality artist who doesn't have several NSFW images in their galleries. Don't get me wrong - there are many artists who don't. This fandom has a lot of amazing artists! Maybe I'll link some of them here eventually. But a lot of art in this fandom is clop, or at least really, really suggestive. All it honestly seems to take is a few clicks on "More from . . ." or a couple people's collections on DeviantArt, and you already start to find borderline NSFW art. This isn't an isolated incident - it's happened to me several times. Keep this in mind also.

Now, let's address the elephant in the room: episode 100. Lyra and Bon Bon. Now, let me take one quick detour to explain something very clearly here: God does not "hate" LGBT people as the Westboro Baptist Heretics claim. While, yes, sex with the same gender is forbidden, this is not God "hating" LGBT people. God forbade a practice, not a person. So with all that in mind, you'd, very understandably, wonder what the issue is with Lyra and Bon Bon. Well, for starters, watch 0:00-0:15 and 1:23-1:27 in this clip. Keep in mind this is a cartoon originally meant for kids. No heterosexual couple in MLP ever behaved this way. Not Cadance or Shining Armor, nor the Cakes. No matter if this were about a gay couple or a straight couple or anything else, the clip I just linked shows very questionable behavior, especially for a kids' show. And yes, I know it never states outright that they're a couple. But let's be honest with ourselves, all the "best friends" comments on every single post about them speak for themselves. The clip itself speaks for itself. And ever since this episode aired, Lyra and Bon Bon have always been shown together in the background. There used to be a time when they weren't. You would see one of them, with other people. Now it's nearly always them, together. If you ask me, that actually paints the LGBT movement in a very bad light, given that, apparently, two mares literally slapping their butts together was required to get the point across to viewers, whereas with heterosexual couples, they just... you know? Existed like normal characters? But this carries stronger implications than just a misunderstanding of the LGBT movement's [claimed?] intentions. I've done research on what the Bible says about "homosexuality" and "LGBT" issues, and (CONTROVERSY ALERT) I just cannot find where it says, outright, in plain words, that gay marriage is actually forbidden. Sexual relations are forbidden, yes, but marriage itself? I can't find it. I also can't find where the Bible says it's wrong to date someone of the same gender if sexual relations are not involved. But, and this is crucially important, I still oppose gay marriage and dating someone of the same gender. Why is that? Because one thing the Bible does make clear is that we should not promote things if they may lead someone into temptation. And, controversial it may be to say, the concept of "dating" someone of the same gender is a textbook example of what 1 Corinthians 8 is talking about. The temptation will eventually arise. The two will eventually want to move forward in the relationship, which will lead to sin. And yes, I'm aware of asexuality. But even if we're talking about homo- or biromantic asexuals, it's still a textbook example of something that can lead others to temptation when they see the two together, and don't fully understand the situation, no different than Christians in the first century AD eating food meant for idols. And this is where the issue persists with Lyra and Bon Bon. Even if we ignore the clip in episode 100, persistently pairing them together like this still promotes a practice where it's way too easy for people to misunderstand and be led into temptation as a result. It's way too easy in society for people to see a same-sex couple, and then be under the mistaken impression that the unquestionably sinful activities in the LGBT community are suddenly "okay", too, and so 1 Corinthians 8 definitely applies. KEEP IN MIND, I did not, at any point in this paragraph, disclose my own orientation. It's a personal thing I just do not want to talk about. But you may assume, since I disagree with gay marriage, that I'm a heterosexual. Take this paragraph as it is - don't just assume that it's written from the point of view of a heterosexual. A homosexual or bisexual etc can still disagree with gay marriage! Just read the paragraph as it is.

Now, remember what I said about Griffonstone? Compare the message of that episode to the message of "Feeling Pinkie Keen", a much earlier episode, where a staunch skeptic is forced to question their skepticism in the face of blatant evidence of supernatural truths. Now, yes, the episode itself uses the example of superstition (which is false in our world) rather than a belief system that has an actual basis in reality, but the basic point of questioning one's skepticism is still addressed. I'm not trying to suggest at all that the old episodes were some kind of modern-day scriptural parables, just that the overall message and tone the show wanted to convey was much different than what it often seems to convey now. And that ever since the show really got away from that, there has been a very obvious problem growing.

But wait! What about "Hearthbreakers", where Pinkie's dad says, "May providence favor thee well"? Providence is a word that refers to God's will. There was also the recent episode "A Hearth's Warming Tail", where Starlight (can't remember the character portrayed by her!) is faced with an ultimatum, and things aren't resolved until she apologizes for her actions. Very comparable to seeking forgiveness for one's sins. So yes, there are still Christian-friendly messages to be found in the show, and they seem to be very blatant when they appear. Now, I admit I don't watch a lot of fan reactions to things. I do watch a couple brony analysts, but not a lot, really. But, and this is where things start to get very important, it really genuinely seemed to me that people responded really well to the two aforementioned episodes. The fandom, from what I generally see of it, seemed to really like those two episodes. 

Why?

It's time to start putting the puzzle pieces together.

Why did the show do well when "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was released, and drop almost immediately when "Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" was released? Why did people respond well to those two episodes at a time when it seems a lot of people really seem to be pretty bored by a lot of episodes? 

Because this is simply a modern example of an ages-long occurrence. Hebrews 12:6 says that God "disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son." In ancient Israel, there were many times the people fell to idolatry, and God punished them for it, allowing other countries to take over them. This, once again, is not to be taken as God being cold-hearted or cruel - QUITE the contrary! God allows things like this in order to tell us that something is wrong, so that we can learn from it. Sin harms us, and God disciplines us in order to teach us, and to help us get away from things that will hurt us. And the conclusion I've been left to draw here is, simply, that the same is happening with MLP. What does that mean?

We need to refocus MLP. What began as, yes, a show that was not overtly Christian in nature, but was almost exclusively great for Christian viewing, has begun taking a much more sinful direction, both in canon and in fan work. And I understand that you may not agree with this conclusion. But I have to ask, then, what other possibility there could be at this point. Things just seem to add up so perfectly. Yes, I do understand the basic idea that some people may simply be losing interest in the show. Yes, I did think of that. But something, as I just explained in the very long post above, is now missing from the show, and it's something we need to bring back. And given the specific times when the show began declining, and just everything in general here, there are just too many coincidences for me to believe there isn't some kind of message to be found in all of this. 

While it may sound silly at first, we need to repent. Yes, we're talking about a TV show, but there are still things here from which we all need to repent. Things need to change. We need to allow God to work in MLP. I myself allowed God to work in my life again when I was suicidal, when I was wandering aimlessly in life asking questions I never thought I'd get answered, when I was still involved in occult practices and almost completely lost in spiritual lies, and God helped me. God showed me answers to all of my questions, God got me away from my suicidal feelings, God got me away from the evil I had allowed into my life... All this is just a small example of the power of God. With God's blessing, who can begin to imagine the possibilities? ... With God's blessing, the show that we love so much, from which many of us have learned many life lessons, which we enjoy in this world of stress and hate and intolerance... this show can become something amazing, and can be used with God's gracious power to work amazing things in our world. 

I want MLP to continue for a long time. There are very few things in life I'm passionate about, but MLP is one of those things, and it seems I'm not alone in that sentiment. But guys, we need to accept that there's a problem with the way things are now. Maybe you genuinely don't see it. Maybe you do, and just don't want to hear "some" "religious" "person" "complaining", or something. But I sternly, with all caring and sincerity, urge you to consider what I'm saying. Every time I took my troubles to God, every time I welcomed His assistance, things only got better, and every time I tried to ignore His voice, things only got worse. Not to say that life is perfect for believers - Jesus Himself was crucified and abandoned by His own friends! But... I suppose it's hard to explain. Having faith in Jesus, allowing God's help in your life... It's just wonderful. And I want to see that same wonderfulness shine through MLP. I don't want MLP to go down the route I went a few years ago. Rather, I want MLP to go the route I went almost exactly 2 years ago, in June 2014, when God began to break the final shackles the darkness had on me. I wouldn't be here today if God hadn't been there to help me. I would have either accidentally died or just flat-out killed myself at some point. But I didn't. I'm alive, and even though I do still face struggles, things are nothing like they used to be, things are so much better. 

I care about MLP, and I care about the fandom, and I care about the community and friendship we have, and I want to see all of that thrive in the same way as - no, even better than - what I've experienced. And I know that you guys want all of this to continue to thrive as well. I am more active in the community than I might have accidentally implied earlier in this post. I do see a lot of comments. I see how much you guys care about MLP and about the fandom, and you care a lot. And so in light of all this, I very, very, very, very, very, very, very strongly urge you all to consider what I said here. We don't want the show to continue to decline. And the only solution I've seen people really bring up is to go into a state of panic or just jump ship altogether. ... Which is what my answer to things used to be! But if we allow God into the picture? There's no reason at all to worry. 

But guys.

We.

Need.

To be willing.

To take that step.

Are you willing to take this step?

I'll end the main (mane) part of this post with a quote from Hebrews 12:11:
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
 

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Now, for those who are interested in taking this step, I just want to quick list a few things you may want to check out. A small list of Christian brony resources I have found. I hope to add more as I find them, but here they are for now:

[Facebook group - Christian Bronies]

[YouTube channel - Shady Oak Ministries]

[Tumblr - Gospel According to MLP:FiM]

[Tumblr - MLP Bible Blog]

[DeviantArt - Christian Bronies group]

[DeviantArt - Bronies for Christ group] (this one seems to be more active)

[YouTube - A Christian brony death metal song!]

I hope and pray that this is enough to get you started! 

May God bless and guide you all according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.  



PS - Are you skeptical about Jesus?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tongues

The Greek word for "tongues" in the New Testament refers to languages, like Greek, Hebrew, etc. 
 
The word "tongues" does not refer to unconscious gibberish or supposed "languages" that humanity does not understand.

"There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning." 1 Cor 14:10

I myself used to "speak tongues" (the gibberish kind) and they were definitely not a gift from the Holy Spirit, which some allege the ability is. It was demonic in nature, and thankfully, God delivered me from it. If you practice speaking such tongues, you should stop, as soon as possible.

God bless you all, and guide you according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Untitled

So on one hand, Christianity is allegedly an "archaic, outdated belief system" that's "full of obvious contradictions" and followed by "ignorant people" who "didn't understand how the world really worked".

And yet on the other hand, Christianity is allegedly "created by evil geniuses" who "wanted to control the masses", despite the fact that these "archaic" cultures were full of "ignorant people" who "didn't understand how the world really worked". These same "diabolical masterminds" who are smart enough to invent a convincing-sounding religion, are the same people who are said to be too ignorant to know better.

So, which is it exactly?

Is it a bunch of ignorant randomness strewn together by archaic clowns, or is it a plan devised by meticulously-planning, cunning, observant geniuses for nefarious purposes?

Could it be that there's an extremely obvious contradiction in both of those claims?

Could it be that it's neither ignorant randomness, nor a diabolical plan?

Could it be that Christianity is... truth?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Math

- Parents need to stop pushing their views on mathematics onto their children. You need to let your children think for themselves. Who is to say that 2+2=4? That's a pretty ridiculous assumption, don't you think? I have a serious problem with parents who expose their children to mathematics before they can even think for themselves and decide for themselves which numbers equal which!

- Mathematics is like a penis. It's okay to do, it's okay to be happy with it, however! Do not pull mathematics out in public! Do not write laws based on mathematics! Do not think with mathematics! Do not show your mathematics to children!

- Mathematics is the #1 cause of wars throughout history. Did you know that nuclear bombs were literally developed with mathematics? Nuclear bombs, no joke! I just don't think we can live in a civilized society as long as we continue to allow mathematics to influence our lives! 

- I just can't believe in mathematics without any proof. I mean, all we really have to go on is the words of ancient mathematicians written in old books. I mean, lawl, how can something possibly be true if it was written a long time ago? Clearly Pythagoras (if he even existed!) was just a crazy guy in some old, barbaric, outdated culture that had no idea how the world worked! Plus I've never seen even the most basic of addition taking place in real life. Have you ever seen 2+2 being added together? No, all you've seen is numbers being written on papers, or typed on computer screens, well I need to see the real thing! Some people claim that numerical values are nonphysical things and thus, we can't see them in real life. What a joke! How can you believe in something you can't even see? Well, I refuse to believe in mathematics and any so-called "numbers" or "Numbers" (capitalized, lol) unless I can see them right in front of me!