Saturday, December 31, 2016

Re: "White People Need a Non-White Jesus"

The American media keeps trying to pit races against each other under the guise of "equality" and "tolerance". In reality, their goal obviously isn't "equality" or "tolerance", it's division.

Now I'm fully aware that God's word will cause division - it's mentioned in God's word. But that division comes from discernment between righteousness and evil. It's division that's ultimately necessary. But division based on things like race, sex/gender, etc is NOT necessary, yet wedges keep being put between all of us based on these things. Case in point, this article I found last night, which I'll be quoting according to fair use: "White People Need a Non-White Jesus" (Source: sojo.net)

The article does this really passive-aggressive thing, where it acknowledges that racism is wrong, but then immediately afterward, makes some glaring generalization about people.

Merritt points to the universality of Jesus, focusing on Christ’s availability to all, to individuals from “every tribe, nation, people and language.”
Yet in pointing to the universality of Jesus, it is easy to pass over his particularity to a certain time and place.

You can already see where this is going. It's basically saying, "Yeah, Jesus died and rose to save all people regardless of color, buuuuuuuuuuuuut!" Look, the only way Jesus' "place" matters is in terms of Old Testament prophecy. Jesus had to be born to Israelites to fulfill what God said about a "righteous Branch of David". David was an Israelite, so Jesus was born an Israelite. That's the ONLY time Jesus' race matters. Because He had to be born to a certain race to fulfill prophecies. That's it. Jesus was born to Israelites, but Jesus is the only begotten son of God who died to pay for our sins and rose from the dead.

If Jesus were an American, he would more likely identify as an undocumented immigrant or other poor, oppressed class.

No He wouldn't. Jesus wouldn't identify as an undocumented immigrant. Jesus wouldn't identify as a poor, oppressed class. Jesus wouldn't identify as a middle-class factory worker. Jesus wouldn't identify as a white congressperson. That's not how this works. If Jesus were an American... First of all, that would contradict prophecy, but anyway, if we want to play pretend and say we needed an American Jesus instead of an Israeli one, then we don't know what "class" Jesus would belong to. Don't make assumptions like that. Jesus belongs to none and all of these classes simultaneously, because Jesus is the savior of people in every one of these classes who choose to seek and accept Him.

Although Christ may transcend race, he also descended into the racial context of the New Testament.

They're doing it again. "Y-Yeah guys, Jesus m-m-might have t-transcended race BUT LET'S JUST TALK FOR A MINUTE ABOUT THE RACIAL CONTEXT OF JESUS". Acknowledging flaws in your arguments doesn't make them go away. You're still bringing racial division in where it doesn't belong.

drawing a parallel between the black experience of lynching and Christ’s death on the Roman cross.

This article honestly seems more racist toward "blacks" and undocumented immigrants than anything else. Yes, of course "blacks" and undocumented immigrants face discrimination. Nobody's denying that. But by taking a certain race or demographic, and painting the ENTIRE GROUP as this poor, oppressed, needy, "least-of-these" pitiful little victimized minority, you're not helping anyone. In addition to spreading blatant propaganda and causing racial division, you're actually hurting the people you're claiming to help, by talking down to them. By demeaning them. By patronizing them. "OH, DON'T WORRY YOU POOR PATHETIC LITTLE BLACK PEOPLE! JESUS IS HERE TO SAVE YOU FROM THE BIG MEAN WHITE PEOPLE! ... OH YEAH AND PAY FOR YOUR SINS OR SOMETHING. WE'RE NOT RACIST, REMEMBER!" This isn't the kind of representation that's going to end discrimination. This is the kind of representation that's going to further propagate it. Not only because you're painting one race a certain way [the very definition of stereotyping], but you're painting obvious lies, which only serve to marginalize discrimination when it really pops up. Whenever a white reader sees a non-white individual after reading this article, they're not going to see an individual. They'll see skin color. They'll see a "poor me" mentality. They'll see a victim. They won't see a person. I genuinely don't understand how the people who wrote this article can't see it. But honestly? I wouldn't be surprised if they can see it, and just don't care. If they just want to further their own racist agenda. I know nothing about this "sojo.net" website, but if they had good intentions with this article, they need work. Definitely.

If Christ is indeed closest to the least of these, then it is not white people who should save people of color. It is Christ in people of color who will save white people.

"People of color" need to be saved by Jesus Christ, because "people of color" are sinners who are born with:
1) a sin nature that causes them to sin and will lead them to Hell
2) the ability to comprehend this, and the ability to choose to reject this sin nature and begin a journey with Christ

"White people" need to be saved by Jesus Christ, because "white people" are sinners who are born with:
1) a sin nature that causes them to sin and will lead them to Hell
2) the ability to comprehend this, and the ability to choose to reject this sin nature and begin a journey with Christ

The point is not that Christ is not a white man, for Christ is in every person. The problem is that the white Christ often strips God of God’s identification with underprivileged people, for the white Christ has been established hand-in-hand with empire and white supremacy.

Christ is in every person who has faith in Him and accepts Him as their lord and savior. Anyway, could you guys please stop doing this "we're not racist, but..." thing now? It's very annoying. "Yeah, Christ died to save all people BUT PAINTING JESUS AS WHITE PROPAGATES WHITE SUPREMACY YOU KKK LOVING WHITE SUPREMACIST BLACK-HATING EGOISTS!"

*breathes in*
*breathes out*

Look. There are paintings where Jesus is depicted as white. There are paintings where Jesus is depicted as black. Did you know there are paintings where Jesus is also depicted as being Asian? It's true. Google "Woonbo Kim Ki-chang". He made a bunch of paintings where Jesus (and the disciples, etc) are Asian, and are surrounded by traditional Asian architecture. The point of these paintings isn't to pit one race against another. The point of these paintings isn't to say that one race matters more than another. The point of these paintings is to show that Jesus can identify with us individually, and that Jesus didn't just die to save Israelites, but people from all cultures and races. However, the important thing to note is that Jesus can identify with us individually without knocking down other races or putting other races on a pedestal, something this article is completely unable (or unwilling) to do.

white churches need to learn from and seek after people of color who have experienced and know Christ’s suffering directly.

Bite your tongue. Literally and physically clench your teeth down on your tongue. Churches need to seek after and learn from, not people of certain races or groups, but JESUS CHRIST.

Spell it out with me, J E S U S  C H R I S T.

Yes, there's a lot to learn from other human beings as well. Of course. There's a reason Jesus sent the disciples, who were human beings. The "white people" can learn from "people of color", and "people of color" can learn from "white people". But the article needs to find a better way to say this... unless that's not what it was actually trying to say, as I still suspect?

By the way, if you're wondering, I've been using quotation marks when referring to different races in this post because I hate those terms. "White people". "People of color". It's just unnecessarily divisive, but I guess I need to use those terms to explain the article correctly. Know, however, that I personally do not make these distinctions because God does not call us to make these distinctions.

And yes, I know some people claim that "not making distinctions based on race is microaggressive" or whatever, but I really don't care. I know what the word "racism" means (making distinctions based on race), and I refuse to take part in it no matter what people try to call it.




So, in conclusion, this article is completely wrong and infuriating. I'm so sick of the media trying to pit people against each other under the guise of "equality". You've heard by now about Buzzfeed and MTV and whoever else, being racist/sexist toward white men. Some people say it's not racism/sexism because white men don't face as much discrimination as women or people of other races. To that, I would point to a white person I know (who hopefully doesn't read this blog), who is currently struggling a lot with depression and has been suicidal a few times in just the past month. They're on anti-depressants and will just start crying and get urges to kill themselves if they don't take those anti-depressants regularly. Are we really going to downplay this person's struggles just because they may not face the same types of problems that another person of another race may experience? Depression is depression. Being suicidal is being suicidal. This isn't how we achieve equality or tolerance. This is how we propagate racism and sexism, and further pit people against each other. It starts with subtle nudges like the one in this sojo.net article. Then it becomes people looking for little hints of "racism" or "sexism" where there actually aren't any. Then it becomes a battle of who's more oppressed and who's more "privileged". Before you know it, actual racism and sexism come back and divide us further. JESUS DOES NOT WANT THIS. This is not the mentality we are supposed to have. We're supposed to acknowledge each other's struggles. Of course we are, it's part of our calling. Just look at the parable of the good Samaritan. Jesus clearly wants us to care about each other and help each other. But we can't, WE CAN'T let our struggles become badges for us to wear. We can't keep looking at people of other races as "privileged" or "oppressed". If there is oppression taking place, we need to address the oppression in the system itself, not look at it the way this sojo.net article is painting it.

It's not about race.

Don't let it be about race.

If you see racism, stop it.

But don't make everything racist.

Don't let yourselves be divided based on race.

Don't paint people as victims or supremacists. Both are generalizations. Both are wrong. There are "black people" who are not victims. There are "white people" who are not supremacists. Both types of people are everywhere. DON'T LET RACE GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR VIEW OF OTHERS. THE MEDIA WANTS TO PIT YOU AGAINST OTHER RACES. DON'T LET THEM. VIEW OTHER PEOPLE AS JESUS DOES. THEY'RE NOT "BLACK" AND THEY'RE NOT "WHITE" AND THEY'RE NOT "UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS". THEY'RE NOT RACES OR CLASSES. THEY'RE PEOPLE. THEY'RE CREATIONS OF GOD WHO EITHER ARE GOD'S CHILDREN, OR WHO NEED TO HEAR THE GOSPEL.

Please take this into consideration. May God bless you all, according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.




PS. Note: I never gave out my own race anywhere in this post. By now, most of you know that I'm male. But I never gave out my race. I refuse. I'm not a "race". God doesn't want me to be a "race". God wants me to be His servant and follow His teachings, even if I'm not always very good at it. I'm a Christian, not a "race". My "race" died when I was born again.



















And finally,

it is people of color who know most experientially what it means to bear the cross of Christ.

WE'RE NOT RACIST, BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Complacency

Something I've noticed this recently is that I've found myself becoming "complacent" in my beliefs. I've thought a lot lately about late 2014, when I was ZEALOUS about God. Openly denouncing flaws in Catholicism, writing extremely bold lyrics, writing posts directed to the secular scene, etc.

At first, I reverted to a thought pattern I'm often guilty of - trying to capture the emotions / feelings / "essence" of that time period (the music I listened to, the things that I did, the places I went), instead of trying to understand the meaning behind them. It's a very misguided thought process that I used a lot back in the old days. But I finally caught myself, and thought about it again. I think the actual reason I was so zealous back then was because the contrast between good and evil was more obvious to me, since I was just leaving the occult stuff. I was even having nightmares about it: listening to evil music and finding a dead demon hanging in a doorway; the devil trying to break down my bedroom door in the middle of this rather terrifying storm; etc. Contrast those nightmares with all the research I was doing on [Christian] theology, along with my regular reading of the gospels and Revelation.

But over the past year or so, I feel like I've become too complacent in the comfort I feel now that I'm no longer being directly plagued by demonic forces. Nowadays, each day sort of just becomes another "day", where I'm not being directly threatened by anything. Also, I feel like I've forgotten just how bad the evil made me feel, and how great it was to be free of it. But I've become accustomed to this way of life now, and I feel like I've just lost a lot of understanding because of it. Back in 2014, even though I knew snippets of the gospels, sitting down and reading them for myself was new to me. It was so powerful and, ultimately, quite wonderful to read the words of Jesus (written in red!) and to not only learn things, but to be convicted by things He was saying that I disagreed with at the time, and had trouble accepting. It was great to ask God for understanding, and that God taught me how those teachings actually made sense and were correct. But nowadays? That sense of wonder is largely gone; I'm used to the Bible being in my life now. I'm used to reading it frequently. It doesn't mean as much to me as it once did.

So, what should we conclude here? That we need a "sense of wonder" to be good Christians? No, not at all. It's not the "sense of wonder" itself, it's the meaning behind it: that I had a fuller appreciation for God and for His word, and the complacency I've felt lately has hindered that. I don't feel as strong of a need to repent from anything; I don't have as much incentive to run to God, because there isn't as much that I need to run from. But that's not how our faith journey actually works. It's a constant battle. We may be safer in God's word, but by allowing ourselves to become complacent in it, we're still putting ourselves in danger. The devil and his demons may not be able to harm us directly after we accept Christ, but they can still tempt us and mislead us. We need to constantly be aware of this. We need to always acknowledge the significance of what God does for us - that He gave us His word in the Bible, that He sent Jesus to pay for our sins, that He will let us live in His kingdom for eternity where every tear will be wiped from our eyes... This is very powerful stuff!

The reason I'm bringing this up in a blog post is because I want this to reach other people who feel this way. I'm hoping that by posting this, I can bring their complacency to their attention as well, and hopefully/prayerfully give them some incentive to talk to God, and to get their lives back on track. I've hated this complacency, whether I was aware of it or not, and I look forward to leaving it behind and getting back to what God wants from me. Even though, just like my journey was in 2014, this will probably be a struggle.

But it'll totally be worth it.

And it'll be so much better than the alternative.

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

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cliches

People wonder how a Christian can believe in something that seems "too good to be true". After all - good wins in the end. Of course it does. It always does ... doesn't it?

We get to spend eternity with loved ones whose earthly lives ended before ours. We don't have to leave them again, nor do they have to leave us - eternity. It's a gimmick... isn't it?

I think part of the problem with some people's perception of Christianity at this point in society comes from the fact that many of its principles have become cliched. At best, some Christian principles have been adapted in various forms of media to the point that the morals or plot points become tired. At worst, they're parodied to the point that basic Biblical terminology becomes a punchline and its significance is lost.

Picture that you live in a world without movies or books, without any kind of historical records. All you are used to is babies being born, and people being killed or dying of old age. It doesn't even have to be a primitive society - it can be a modern, scientifically-oriented one. Somebody tells you that there is, to put it simply, an invisible part of that person that does not die, but is sent somewhere else, and that you too will go there and meet that person again when you die. Is the idea still ridiculous to you? Is it too good to be true? It'd be an unfamiliar idea to you and your theoretical society, so of course it'd be met with some skepticism, but on what grounds? The idea that you haven't thought about it. That you haven't had any time to think about it. Not the grounds that it's somehow intrinsically "too good to be true", because you have nothing like it to which you can compare it - remember that you have no fantasy novels or mythology. "Too good to be true" is a conclusion drawn from a situation where there are already a bunch of "good" (read: pleasant) ideas that end up being untrue, a situation where idealism becomes tired, and has eroded one's perception of what's possible. The fact that Christianity presents an idealistic view of life after death doesn't negate Christianity itself, and the fact that Heaven is idealistic doesn't negate the idea of Heaven. The only reason to doubt it on those grounds is a repeated pattern of hope/expectation and disappointment - but see, that's subjective. It's not even anecdotal - it's just subjective. Even though reality, as we all know, is generally worse than we would like it to be, reality itself doesn't function in a state of perpetual disappointment. People fail, but people succeed. People lose, but people win. People struggle, but people thrive. This happens in varying degrees of extremity - some minor, some monumental - thus, ultimately, there is no such thing as "too good to be true". Good wins in fantasy novels, but that doesn't mean good can't win in real life as well.

There's also the issue of Biblical concepts and terminology becoming cliches. What does that mean? We esteem anyone who is "nice", or "generous", or "gentle" in any regard, to be an "angel". We esteem anyone with whom we disagree, or who wrongs us, to be "the devil". The word "sin" is a joke. Does the average person in a first-world nation really think of the word "sin" in the same way that they think of genocide? That is, as a serious offense? Or do they think of "sin" as a silly metaphor for any kind of indulgence that would rile up people with values the see as "traditional"? The kind of indulgence that harms oneself, but not others, so it's deemed "okay"? Anybody who assists another person in some way is a "Savior". Anyone who is good at something is a "god". There are plenty of fictional characters who come back from the dead. Plenty of fictional characters who play a role in stories that's similar to the role God plays in the real world. After awhile, these words and basic ideas that are crucial to the gospel message begin to lose their significance, and the gospel is reduced to a bunch of cliched exaggerations of everyday phenomena and commonplace story elements. Of course I'm not saying that romantic hyperbole is destroying Christianity; we probably don't need to worry about being "sinful, hehe!!", there it is again, by referring to significant others as "angels". It's about the broader mistreatment of these ideas, linguistically and otherwise, by a society that largely doesn't understand them, which makes them subjectively lose meaning. And subjectivity vs objectivity doesn't mean a thing to most people: if it's cliched in our society, it's cliched in general.

There's also the less interesting, but equally relevant point that Christian principles are often thought of as synonymous with "conservative" or "traditional" values. The idea is basically that all the things one finds unpleasant about their conservative relatives, or about the society in which they live, etc can all be traced back to the role Christianity allegedly plays in it. This idea is a lot easier to refute: use the Bible as a litmus test, not people or cultures which claim to be Christian. View it objectively and with prayer - don't cherrypick a random verse where somebody is killed, and stretch its meaning until it lines up with whatever you're opposing. The ideas in God's teachings do not line up with what our world has become. People know less about the Bible than they think they do.

Take all these things into consideration. And as always, may God bless you all and guide you according to His perfect will! In Jesus' name. Amen.

[Archive.org] Reverorum ib Malacht interview

(Update Dec. 2016, I changed the title a bit to clarify that this is an old interview)

Seeing that this link was removed from their "additional notes" on Metal Archives, I wanted to make sure this was still available somewhere.

Now, as I've said before on here, I don't agree with Catholicism. I think it's full of unbiblical principles (rosaries, purgatory, etc) and gives undeserved authority to human "popes". However I still think this interview contains a lot of intelligent and thought-provoking ideas and theology (even if I disagree with the Catholic influence on the details). Not to mention it contains a lot of information that fans of Reverorum ib Malacht would probably like to know.

That being said,
http://web.archive.org/web/20140414014831/hammemit.wordpress.com/malacht

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ezekiel 22:6-18, 20-29 with the word "Israel" replaced with "the United States"

The following passages from Ezekiel 22 are from the NASB translation, in their entirety.
All I did was change the word "Israel" to "the United States". Nothing else was changed.
Just something to think about.


“Behold, the rulers of the United States, each according to his power, have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood. They have treated father and mother lightly within you. The alien they have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you. You have despised My holy things and profaned My sabbaths. Slanderous men have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood, and in you they have eaten at the mountain shrines. In your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. 10 In you they have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you they have humbled her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. And another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you they have taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression, and you have forgotten Me,” declares the Lord God.
13 “Behold, then, I smite My hand at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken and will act. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and I will disperse you through the lands, and I will consume your uncleanness from you. 16 You will profane yourself in the sight of the nations, and you will know that I am the Lord.”
17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18“Son of man, the house of the United States has become dross to Me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver.

 20 As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My wrath and I will lay you there and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in the furnace, so you will be melted in the midst of it; and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out My wrath on you.’”
23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her, ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. 26 Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.

Monday, October 17, 2016

1/3 of the World

The statistic was brought to my attention again that "nearly 1/3" of the world is Christian. Some people, I fear, may be content with this number. But there are two problems with this.

The first problem is that, as far as I know, we don't know if this 1/3 is all Christians. Many, many people claim to be, but choose to believe in lies / heresies that go directly against God's word, or twist God's word to fit some personal agenda of theirs, or live carelessly / unrepentantly sin and make no attempt to grow or seek God.

The second problem is what that number implies: nearly 2/3 of the world is not Christian. And when I say "not Christian", don't be confused. I'm not saying that "nearly 2/3 of the world has a different opinion than me" - I don't care if people agree with my opinions, I've explained innumerable times on here, and elsewhere, how Christianity is factual - I'm saying that 2/3 of the world is not saved. 2/3 of the people on this planet right now will end up in Hell the way things are right now.

While it's certainly encouraging that 1/3 of the world is (presumably) saved, and that is a large number, twice that number is not saved. That's troubling. I'm not sure what exactly to do yet, but we have to do more. I'm aware that we won't be able to help everybody, but we have to do more. Definitely pray about this. Ask God what you can do. I definitely will. I know this blog doesn't bring in a lot of traffic, but for whoever reads this, I really wanted to bring these numbers to your attention.

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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fairness

But the house of Israel says, 'The Lord's way isn't fair.' Is it My ways that are unfair, house of Israel? Instead, isn't it your ways that are unfair?" - Ezekiel 18:29

People can't decide how God should judge.

Some people think that God just shouldn't judge at all - everybody should be allowed into Heaven no matter what they believe or do in their lives. Al-Qaeda? Heaven. ISIS? Heaven. Greedy corporate executives? Heaven. Corrupt politicians? Heaven. Serial rapists? Heaven. No forgiveness or repentance necessary; they think God should just ignore everything people do anyway.

Some people think that God should judge in a way that's similar to how the legal system judges - that God's judgment should depend on their actions. If people commit "small" sins like lying or something without turning away / repentance (things that generally aren't punishable by human law), they still shouldn't be punished at all for them. They're going against God's clearly-defined and clearly-explained rules, but if they're just "small" things, then God shouldn't judge them at all for it. If people "try", then they should go to Heaven, no matter what. That if they openly reject God, and continually sin, as long as they don't do anything that's really really bad (according to their local culture/values) and still give a few dollars to people outside of stores, etc, then God should still let them into Heaven. But if somebody commits a "really bad" sin like murdering an innocent person, etc (things that generally are punishable by human law), then God should send them to Hell by default. It doesn't matter if they genuinely repent, seek forgiveness, do good things later on in their lives ... They maintain that those people should still go to Hell forever.

There are other things as well, but it all boils down to the idea that the way God judges according to the Bible is unfair.

However, the way God judges us is fair. God explains to us what He wants of us in the Bible. Although our society is in a pretty rough spot right now and people disagree on a lot of things, the basic principles remain the same. We need to believe - in God, and in Jesus. We need to accept Jesus as the atoning sacrifice in our lives, our Lord and Savior. And it's not some impossible thing God wants of us here - God has written the law on our hearts, God has created a world that in itself, is evidence of Him, God regularly sends people out into the world to share His word with others. Look - you're reading this post right now. You somehow ended up on an entire blog about Christianity. An entire blog about theology, spirituality, apologetics ... inspired by God. There is tons of proof of His word that can be found with a simple Google search. People who refuse to listen after everything God does, have no excuse. God does punish sin, but in His fairness, understands when a wicked person truly repents, when they truly turn away from what they did. God looks at the situation objectively. God knows what's in their hearts; a human government, or a human legal system, can't look at things as clearly as God does, and so people are just coldly given a prison sentence they have to serve, whether they truly deserve it or not. With God, our sins are forgiven through Jesus. Thus, God does judge fairly. If God sends someone to Hell, He has a very good reason to do so; He doesn't want anybody to die. God is merciful. And on the other hand, God reproves/"punishes"/corrects those He loves - because that's how we, stubborn people that we are, learn. God reproves/corrects us so that we can become better people, learning the ways of righteousness and turning away from sin.

God is fair.

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

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Lyrics

Here are some more lyrics I wrote. Like the other ones, I hope to use them in songs someday, but if not, here they are:

Picture them standing a short distance away from you. 
Picture them coming closer. 
Picture them with weapons. 
Picture them with swords and clubs. 
Picture them baring their teeth at you. 
Picture them staring into your soul. 

Now picture God standing next to you. 
Now picture God putting His foot directly in front of you. 
Picture all of their weapons suddenly vanishing. 
Picture them backing up in fear. 
Picture them running away. 
Picture the safety you feel in that moment. 

Now picture this: God's not gonna walk away when they leave.
God's gonna stay with you.

I wrote this for those who get caught up in worldly stress - such as myself:

You cling so strongly
To the stress that keeps you alive
You're afraid to die
Arms clung to Earth, eyes look up high

Send a prayer, let go
Surrender to the grace of Christ
Earth's games seem so small
Given back the rest of your life 

I can't remember if I shared the rest of these here already or not.

1)
So many people will end up in Hell.
So many who would rather live wicked
Than even attempt to change, to improve.
And for what?
Hate than love
Murder than cure
Steal than give
Covet than rejoice
Die than live
So many people will end up in Hell. 


_______________________________

2)
The resurrection of Jesus
Was not borrowed from mythology
It is a historical fact
Known from the time it happened

The historicity of the resurrection
Shows its reliability
The Jews of the time are evidence
Of the truth it holds

There was no empty tomb
In the story of Osiris
Yet for the Jews there was one
That they could see themselves

The word was preached to all
Who saw it all firsthand
While others outside Israel
Mocked the resurrection!
[1]

A Pharisee converted
Though so much he learned
Would he not have known
If the parallels were so obvious?

A tomb the women saw
Martyrs dying for this truth
It makes no sense to suggest
This was based on mythology

If it were all false
The Israelites would have known
The Gospel would not have survived
In the city where it all took place

The resurrection is founded
Upon historical events and facts
Jesus Christ was resurrected
To pay for our sins!
[2]

Even the Jewish authorities
Who sought to bring Christ down
Passed it off as sorcery
But told of the truth of His miracles!
[3]

^ I have various notes sprinkled through these lyrics, here they are:
[1] " 'For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.' When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, 'We want to hear you again on this subject.' " - Acts 17:31-32

[2]
http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2006/09/external-evidence-ephraem-syrus.html
http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2004/11/external-evidence-irenaeus.html

[3] "On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu (of Nazareth) and the herald went before him for forty days saying (Yeshu of Nazareth) is going forth to be stoned in that he hath practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel. Let everyone knowing aught in his defense come and plead for him. But they found naught in his defense and hanged him on the eve of Passover" (Babylonia Sanhedrin 43a). - "Eve of Passover."

___________________________________

3)
Reject false doctrine
The Bible is the only source of spiritual wisdom
Build up your treasure in Heaven
And tear down all false teachings
They would mislead us
Through paths that would confuse with nonsense
Nonsense that is contrary to reality
Confusing the mind by distorting its inherent perception
The law is written on our hearts
The world itself is evidence of God's truth
The very fabric of the universe is written by God
Mankind has no excuse left
Measure your experiences by God's standards
And see the tricks demons plan

Where can you find the answers
For the questions they put in your head?
In Holy Scripture!
And it never seems obvious
When you ask for so long
And it never seems so correct
Until you take that first step

God's truth is a pathway
Stepping on it shows you what you had not previously seen
Following God's truth means ignoring the other path
Jesus Christ is God's truth
Thus Jesus Christ is the only way, truth, and life
Thus no one can go to the Father except through Jesus
Reject the lies all other forces will feed you
No being deserves your prayers but God
None of them are worthy but God
Tear down their lies
Let none of their sick mind games infect you

Reject false doctrine
The Bible is the only source of spiritual wisdom
And it never seems obvious
When you ask for so long
And it never seems so correct
Until you take that first step


4)

Where is my joy, my peace?
Why am I worrying so much?
And why do I still fear
Though I have God's holy touch?
I know who tries to take it
I know which wolf attacks
You can prowl for awhile
And your sins will be paid back

You tried to take my peace
You held it back
Now you're held back
You tried to take my peace
You held it back
Now you're held back

I tried to find a working cure
But falsities abound
How many more will suffer
With all the lies around?
Even if my choice was right
And with those two succeed
How many more will suffer
How many will you mislead?

You tried to hide the cure
You held it back
Now you're held back
You tried to hide the cure
You held it back
Now you're held back

You can try to mislead us
But Revelations shows
How with a few you may succeed
But will fail when you're thrown
Into the eternal fire
And no longer can attack
How many will look down on you
And nevermore look back?

You tried to take salvation
You held it back
Now you're held back
You tried to take salvation
You held it back
Now you're held back


5) I wrote this... September-October 2014. I used to be... just full of hatred, and my worldview was obviously very distorted by the things I used to believe and practice. I wrote this one day, some time after I left behind all the occult stuff, when I went for a walk and ... really saw the world clearly for the first time... in years, if not the first time ever. Very personal.

I still felt a bit choked up when I read this again. Two years later.

Today after so many years
I looked at the world, and I saw it clear...
Today, I looked at the woods
The darkness once felt may be gone for good...

Today, the veil over my eyes
Was lifted as I looked toward the skies...
Today, the darkness of shade
Isn't so dark anymore when God's presence pervades...

I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
Jesus is Lord and I saw it today...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
The darkness, the hidden, will all fall away...

Today people were walking again
All around me and I didn't hate them...
Today it didn't feel wrong
The hostility at the humans was gone...

Today the realms of the mind
Were finally something I could leave behind...
Today I felt what they described
I felt compassion for the people nearby...

I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
Jesus is Lord and I saw it today...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
The darkness, the hidden, will all fall away...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
God and the Holy Spirit lighting my way...
I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved
Jesus is Lord and I saw it today...

Today I saw what I missed then
God's hand can make the evil break and bend...
Today it all fled behind...
The world is much clearer than what's in your mind...

If you believe, please spread the word
The blessings you've known and you've seen
If for no other reason than what you saw
Evangelize for those who were like me... 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Alt Right / Left

I want to briefly talk about a concern I've been having lately. I'm sure if you use the internet often enough to find out that this blog even exists, you already know about the impact the SJW movement is having on society / internet culture.

While I, like many people, respect many SJWs' claimed motives, but disagree with many of the things they've actually done and said over the years, my concern here isn't actually with them very much.

My concern is what I've seen in internet comment sections.

When a group comes along and panders to people, or tries to appeal to a very sensitive, and easily-hurt group of people by censoring something, the far-right will come along and make comments that, in comparison, make a lot of sense. Their comments often (though not always, of course) come from a more calm and logic-based perspective.

However, my concern is that with people seeming to take note of this, it seems like more people are starting to lean more toward the far-right, or the "alt-right" as some have started calling them. Personally I don't really care for the term, but we'll use it just so the message is clear. What's crucial to note in all this, is that just because the "alt-right" isn't full of censorship or extremely sensitive people, doesn't mean that they're right. Many people can speak in a reasonable manner; any person can make a few correct observations about life - it doesn't automatically mean that we should accept their stance on everything else. Many core principles of those claiming to be "alt-right" directly contradict the Bible, in the same way that what they oppose also often contradicts the Bible. Now, can one be "alt-right" and be a Christian at the same time? Technically, yes, since the "alt-right" doesn't have any official doctrine of its own yet. In theory, one could be an "SJW" and be Christian as well. But the racists / supremacists in the alt-right movement? Those individuals' ideas contradict Biblical teaching; refer to the parable of the good Samaritan; and to Leviticus 19:33-34; 1 John 3:15; Galatians 3:28; etc.

The alt-right is not a solution to the problems in our society. The movement may reverse the censorship brought on by the SJWs, but at the quite severe cost of bringing its own problems into the picture. It isn't a "solution". Neither one is. The solution is to look at issues Biblically - to not look to our own understanding, or our own movements to solve problems, but to look to God Himself for advice, and for help. Acknowledge that liberalism has flaws. Acknowledge that conservatism has flaws. God does not. Only in looking to Biblical teachings can we truly "progress" as a society. All else will fail, and is already failing all around us.

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.

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.
 

____________________________________________________________

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.