Sunday, September 18, 2016

Copyrights

While I'm here, I wanted to point out something else. It annoys me to no end that people will actually copyright their translations of the Bible. Or... maybe it's the publishers' doing, I don't know. But a lot of these Bibles will include notices about how you can't share too many verses from them; for anything more than (a certain portion of the text), you need to ask the publisher for permission. How could you possibly do that in good conscience? The Bible should be shared with as many people as possible. People should be able to share the entire thing without question.

It also annoys me that people will apparently charge money for others to use their hymns / sheet music in church services. That's just disgusting to me, putting a price on worship. I can understand it a bit more (a bit more) with bands who release their music on CDs or something, because those are original recordings. You can still cover the songs as long as you don't claim the songs to be yours (which would be dishonest/sinful anyway) - the copyright is on the recordings themselves. I still don't 100% agree with that, but at least it makes more sense. It'd even make more sense if these were just generic secular love songs that were insincerely written by professional songwriters, just getting popular recording artists to record their songs to get extra money, etc, but hymns are supposed to have a deeper, sincere meaning to them - my church should not have to pay a writer of hymns, songs worshiping God, to use their songs. If they don't want their songs used in church services, I can respect that. I'm an artist and while I honestly think a lot of "artists" get a little carried away with it, I can understand being picky about things you make and how they're used. But in that case, just flat-out ask people not to use them. Don't hold your emotions, your feelings, at ransom.

This stuff just bothers me.

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

Various Church Thoughts

"So it seems we all have different skills - 
 *stands up*
 Did you see how quickly I got up there?! Pretty good!"
  - guest reverend, 18 September, 2016

Hey guys, so today in church, we read even more verses that aren't necessarily "pleasant". Come to think of it, I'm not sure how many people actually make the claim that churches "avoid the less pleasant verses in the Bible", but I've seen the claim a few times and it continues to bother me. So since we read some this week, I wanted to share them. From Psalm 79:

O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; they have defiled Your temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. They have given the bodies of Your servants - the flesh of Your faithful - to the wild animals. They have poured out their blood like water, and there was no one to bury them. How long, O Lord! Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealous wrath burn like fire? Pour out Your anger on the nations that do not know You or call on Your name. For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation. Do not remember against us the sins of our ancestors; let Your compassion come speedily to us. Help us, O God of our salvation; deliver us and forgive our sins.

Also in church today, I saw an elderly woman I kind of know. She's getting older and a bit forgetful, but when she was younger, she apparently knew most of, if not the entire Bible. I've heard the claim several times that "reading the Bible will make you an atheist", so I find it interesting that this woman is still a Christian, and still attends church after reading the Bible and knowing it well enough to surprise our pastor. Come to think of it, what exactly do the "reading the Bible will make you an atheist" people think pastors/reverends do, anyway? What do they think any theologian does in a given day? ... They tend to read the Bible! What gives? The answer is simple, reading it doesn't diminish one's faith, it teaches and instructs. My faith is deeper as a result of reading the Bible. What diminishes one's faith is oneself - refusing to listen to those teachings, and specifically looking for reasons not to follow them. It's why people claim, for instance, that God "hates" homosexuals, despite the multitude of verses stating that God does not want anyone (ANYONE) to perish. This actually leads nicely into the last thing I wanted to mention in this post. Usually when I mention "the multitude of verses stating that God does not want anyone (ANYONE) to perish", I mention Ezekiel 18, either verse 23 or 32. There's also 2 Peter 3:9, I'm sure there are others that I can't think of off the top of my head. But today in church, I learned another one! Technically it's two; it's a single sentence that, for some reason, is split into two verses.

1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.


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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Untitled

Society annoys me so much. People put each other through so much needless suffering in this world. There was a musician I liked. Out of respect for him and people who knew him, I don't want to give names. Anyway, he went to college/university. Of course, the way society is set up, many people are put in a position where they feel they need college/university to "get ahead" in life. The work gets stressful after awhile, but of course, people "need" to do it. There's no reason students need as much work as they get, it's ridiculous. The stress of that (among other things, I imagine, since life is overall pretty stressful!!) caused this person to go driving one night, very tired, and they ended up getting in a crash and dying.

Do people realize how easily avoidable this was? Now, yes, I know half of the world (at least, half of the people who read this blog?) is going to point fingers at the musician I liked, going, "He shouldn't have gone driving! He should have gotten some rest!" Contrary to popular opinion, responsibility for things like this doesn't always lie 100% with the individual in question. People don't always think logically 100% of the time, and I can guarantee this applies to anyone reading this. Driving, I happen to know, was something this musician did to relax, to get away from the stress in his life. But that still wasn't enough, and it didn't need to be this way. Society doesn't need to be so stressful that a sleep-deprived individual feels the need to go driving late at night just to feel okay. This could have been avoided.

Just today, I read a post from someone who is concerned about their health. They've been having chest pains and high blood pressure. A family member of theirs died from a heart attack. This person, however, can't "afford" to take time off work. Why? Because society has this completely ridiculous, nonsensical, pointless, resource-wasting, convoluted system called "currency". It's absolutely ridiculous that someone can't get basic medical attention because they need to continue working so they can "afford" to live. Living should not come at a price. Necessary medical treatment shouldn't have a "price". It's a pointless system anyway. Think about this: you need a poster made. You pay a company to print the poster for you. The company pays ink companies for the ink. The ink companies pay other companies for the machines. Those companies pay other companies for the parts. While all this is going on, all of these people are paying for food and water, provided by people who have to pay the machine-making companies for things like farm equipment, and it all just keeps going on and on. Toward what?

NOTHING!

Because it's a constant cycle of complete nonsense that doesn't end. The money just keeps going around and around, and never reaches a destination. People themselves never achieve the happiness that this currency is allegedly meant to provide, because there's never enough. One might be tempted to point out the extremely wealthy CEOs as exceptions to this, but even these people can't just purchase literally anything they want. Even they have things that they want, and cannot have. Should they have things that cost that much? Probably not, but see, that's not the point. The point is that money is a needless burden on all of us. People work so hard, not for survival, but for currency, which can be used to survive. Working hard doesn't guarantee survival, because survival isn't the reward for work in our world. The reward is some meaningless quantity of "currency". And make no mistake, I'm not just saying that physical money is the problem. I'm aware of the mark of the beast. The problem is the idea in general that we need to spend our time working toward something that we may not get anyway.

Life doesn't need a system of currency to keep going. It's something people use, and become accustomed to. But it's everywhere, so it's very hard to get away from. And it shouldn't be.

These are not things that God has told us to do, or implement into our world. God does tell us to "work", yes, but God does not tell us that we need to work in order to receive payment through an imaginary system of perceived "worth". Life does not need to be as stressful and painful as it is. God does not tell us to live in a system where we work to the point of insanity and end up killing ourselves in car crashes. SOCIETY DOES THIS. Society imposes these things on us. And by resisting them, I'm not saying at all that we need to all run off and live in the forest and eat bugs. That's part of the problem too, that people are so quick to switch between one extreme and the other. It's possible to still live in a civilized society without imposing insanity-inducing stress on us, or putting our health in constant danger.

But we need people to be willing to change it. How is that going to work? I honestly have no idea right now. I'm just extremely annoyed right now that I have to sit here, knowing I can (currently) do nothing to help all of the people being affected by the nonsense of this world, and needed to finally rant about this. And don't get me wrong - there's much more that's wrong with society than just money and putting "work" above other, more important things, but these are just two examples that stick out at me. I genuinely hope and pray that this post becomes the beginning of some kind of solution. I may not have one at this very moment, but this should not be mistaken at all for "just whining about something that will never change". IT CAN CHANGE. It's all completely needless. It all can change, the way society is isn't just some "fact of life". It can change.

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

Saturday, September 3, 2016

" . . . do not oppress the alien . . . "

When I read this from Jeremiah 7 today:

For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place . . .

... I thought of how all those people from Honduras (mostly, if not entirely children) tried to flee to the United States, and the US government actually sent them back. Those people were fleeing places like San Pedro Sula with huge murder rates and poverty, yet because they didn't go through some man-made process of legally immigrating to another country, they were specifically sent back into those dangerous conditions. It just disgusts me that the so-called "legal" system works that way.

I know Jeremiah 7 is directed at ancient Israel, not the United States, but the principle still applies.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

God Is the ONLY God

I've heard some people say that Christianity is polytheistic for various reasons. For instance, I've heard once or twice that the ancient Israelites worshiped other "gods" in addition to God Himself. And while there was a lot of idolatry in ancient Israel, people's actions are not a reliable way of determining facts - as I've said multiple times on here. The Bible proves time and time again that God is the only god, no matter what human beings did. God is not part of mythology, He is not changed by stories. God never had a wife. (Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. - Exodus 34:12-13)

This post is going to list various verses that state, beyond doubt, that God's original message was clear, that He was, and is, the only true god in existence. I'll add some now. I'll probably find more to add later.


"I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God."
- Isaiah 45:9a

"that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other."
- Isaiah 45:6

For this is what the LORD says . . . "I am the LORD, and there is no other. 
- Isaiah 45:18




And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me.
- Isaiah 45:21

I am God, and there is no other. 
- Isaiah 45:22b


I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
- Isaiah 46:9


You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.
- Deuteronomy 4:35


Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD--with the first of them and with the last--I am he."
- Isaiah 41:4


Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.
- Deuteronomy 4:39

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 
- John 17:3

"The most important [commandment]," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 
-Mark 12:29


Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 
- Isaiah 43:10

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

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.