Abandon All Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘theology’

[Whodunnit] Killing In The Name Of…

Posted by Lex Fear on February 26, 2009

I have been debating an atheist called postsimian over at The Friendly Atheist but it’s getting far too long and off topic now so I’ve decided to post a response back here.

I said I’d respond if PS persuaded me of his/her arguments and after reading his/her last response there are a couple of things I do have to concede. Yep shock horror.

If you want to follow the debate from the beginning, head over and read the comments on Hermant’s post: Foxhole Atheist Jeremy Hall Tells His Story.

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Posted in Apologetics, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

[Asinine] The Dangers of Literal Interpretation of the Bible

Posted by Lex Fear on July 3, 2007

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Braaaaaaiiiiiinss…” Matthew 70AD

…Sorry.

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[Amateur Theology] Predestination

Posted by Lex Fear on June 2, 2007

Time to visit this old cherub. I’ve been doing a bit of digging through my old computer files, seeing if anything can be updated or cast into the nether. I came across an old ‘apologetic’ I wrote.

It was written pretty soon after I had become a Christian, so you may find it a little over-simplified or a flawed exegesis. I’ve tried to remove most of the cheese. As always, comments welcome.

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[Immorality] Big Brother In Christ

Posted by Lex Fear on March 5, 2007

Respect to Reverend Richard Moy who seems to be the only one in the Church of England Synod who is grounded in reality (no pun intended).

“Wait, what is that muffled noise I hear? oh, it’s just the God squad moaning about society again”

Isn’t it about time the Church actually tried to engage in society rather than make a moral stand against it (even when it has nothing to do with immorality, it’s just not polite).

If they would just look a bit deeper they may find that Big Brother has more in common with faith than they realise. Yes I try to avoid it but every year I end up getting pulled in, here’s why…

A group of people enter a house, locked in for 3 months, no contact with the outside world, all they have is the character they came in with and a big Voice that descends from the microphones giving them daily instructions, providing food and occasionally someone to talk to.

Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” – Exodus 17:4

Just as God watches over us, interacts with us and provides for us, so does Big Brother the housemates (admittedly sometimes mischievously). Just as we pray to God in the secret place, the housemates enter the diary room to chat to Big Brother about the things that are bothering them, to ask for something, or to simply share how their day is going. They ask for gifts, and sometimes they get them, but sometimes there is a task or mission that Big Brother wants them to achieve.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6

From the point they enter the house, they have entered a smaller version of the world- where character and culture are bound to clash. Big Brother watches ocassionally intervenes, and so do we watch and vote. We watch the good, the bad and the ugly. We are able to see everything that goes on, every conversation that happens. We can see when someone is being deceptive, when they are gossiping and sniping. We can also see the genuine people and we admire them, we cheer them on.

“…from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth – he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” – Psalm 33:14-15

But they don’t hear us, they don’t see what we see. Just as in this world, people go about their daily lives, some think they’re ok, they’re not harming anyone, some try their best to win without concern for others, and then there are some who suffer unfairly. We don’t see it happening, we don’t see how others see us, but God and the Angels see it all and they cheer or they growl.

“God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.” – Psalm 7:11

I believe that Angels intervene also, just as we are given a vote, the Angels are given authority to intervene in our lives on occasion to bring us hope, or put down enemies.

Some housemates think they are a popular characters, though they have treated the others with contempt. What they have done with their time in the house, how they have treated the others has been on display for all to see, and they get ‘justice’ served (in the form of boos). Those who have acted with integrity, who have challenged the cheats, or risen above get the cheers. There are even times when one housemate in particular undergoes terrible persecution in the form of bullying- and they are cheered on, unaware of the army of supporters they have on the outside.

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:10

Condemning shows like Big Brother and the contestants that take part, it’s almost like condemning humanity- since that is what it is at it’s worst.

Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Churchianity, Dark Side of the Light, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, The Purpose Missing Church | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Inspiration] Ulterior Verse of the Day – Christian Airways

Posted by Lex Fear on December 3, 2006

My congratulations go out to Nadia Eweida on her ‘win’ against her employer, BA over wearing her jewelery at work. Well done for showing them that being a Christian isn’t about a life devoted to Christ, or being forgiven and set free from religion. No, instead, it’s about making sure we wear a piece of jewelery to symbolise every religious thing we stand for.

Now before anyone decides to leave a comment and kindly inform me this has been already been covered and is ‘old news’, I haven’t had an Internet connection for a while and I have something to say about the matter from a born-again Christian perspective, so siddown!

This is my piece- Nadia, you’ve sold Jesus short, you’ve sold us all short! You used the logic that because other religions are allowed to wear their religious articles, that you are entitled to wear your religious article! The whole point of being a Christian is being free from religion, being free from religious and sacrificial requirements! Those other religions are not free, they’re in bondage because it is a requirement they wear certain articles of clothing to keep themselves pure/faithful and sinless. We are free from this bondage and so no Christian has to wear stupid jewelery or clothes!

Why not take a leaf out of St. Peters book and wear an upside down cross? Peter was crucified upside down, why? No it wasn’t because it had anything to do with Satanists, that’s another group of dumb asses who don’t know reality. It was because he requested this, he felt he was not worthy of being crucified the right way up like Christ. So question your conscience, question your worthiness. Perhaps you should be putting more effort into your character to show those around you that you are a Christian, rather than relying on a piece of jewelery. If you have to wear a piece of jewelery so people know you are a Christian, something has to be missing.

Today’s Ulterior Verse is dedicated just to you:

“Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be happy with you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you will. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law and religious expression, you have been made one with Christ! You are fully in God’s grace.

We who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by religious expression the righteousness God has promised us. For when we express our religion, there is benefit in being circumcised. What is important is expressing faith through circumcision.” – Galatians 5:2-6 NLT

Posted in Dark Side of the Light, Laymans Theology, Pharisees, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Seriously] So you want to be a Christian?

Posted by Lex Fear on October 1, 2006

Rev. Simon Peters of University of Southampton Chaplaincy has stepped over the line with 10 reasons to be a Christian.

I’m not going to recreate them here as I believe they are far too oppressive towards people of other faiths or groups like the GPA, but they’re worth a look.

And if anyone is reading this, I’m going to put a twist on the question, feel free to comment:

Why do you call yourself a Christian? or
Why aren’t you a Christian?

I’m also going to add a few random tags to snag drive-by visitors.

Negative feedback welcome!

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Posted in Blogidarity, Dark Side of the Light, Laymans Theology | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

[Infallibility] Ulterior Verse of the Day: Romans 3:22-24

Posted by Lex Fear on October 1, 2006

“We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in the Pope to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.

For everyone but the Pope have sinned; fallen short of the Popes’ infallibility. Yet now the Pope in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through the ex Cathedra, on this occasion..” – Romans 3:22-24 NLT

Is an apology a sign of admission of error? Depends on whether you are the Pope and you are speaking ex cathedra or not. Today’s Ulterior Verse of the Day was inspired by an article from BBC Magazine. So is the Pope infallible, and just how infallible is he?

It seems to me that you can be both infallible and fallible dualistically, depending on how many people or religious groups you offend.

Some people may question a dichotomy such as this but I can see the benefits of such a theology. I’ve been dying to tell 18-35’s Pastor how much his preaching sucks, and now I think I’ve found a way.

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[Created Image] Gods First Command

Posted by Lex Fear on September 27, 2006

“Where the heck was Adam when Eve was being seduced?”

A little while ago I watched a documentary on Channel 4 called Pram-Face. It was a documentary about young single mothers on benefits- a fly on the wall view of the unglamorous reality of bringing up children alone and on benefits.

Single mothers on benefits, or Pram-faces, get a bad press here in the UK. Generally looked upon with similar disdain reserved for asylum seekers. But something that one of the mothers said, and I’m only quoting from memory, made me stop and think about this particular underclass and their relation to society:

“Ever since I was young I just wanted to have children. I never wanted anything else, I never aspired to anything, just wanted children.”

That’s enough to make a Daily Mail readers’ blood boil. I also know many fellow Xians who would be quick to pick up their stones of righteousness.

In the UK, we live in a society that predominantly looks down upon people who rely on state benefit, particularly if they show no aspirations towards improving their life. We disapprove of young women who seem to have no higher goal than to get pregnant. We class them as a lower intelligence and a lower caste, however I have to question.

Have we as a British society got it the wrong way round?

I’m going to be taking my lead from the Bible, so if you’re not a believer this may not mean much to you, that’s fine. However, to those who connect themselves to faith, God, Jesus or the Word in anyway, it’s time for us to rethink our prejudices.

When I think about the words of the young lady above, I wonder where that desire comes from- where that “low” aspiration and “low” standard was conceived. Then, after some thought, I found the answer, it’s in Gods first command to us human beings:

“So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.” – Genesis 1:27-28 NLT

It occurs to me that young girls whose only aspiration on leaving school is to have babies are not aiming low, they’re actually following the highest command given to us. They are following the natural instinct placed in us by God. Does that mean that they should have a baby straight away and out of wedlock? Obviously not! But it we also should assess our values and our treatment of those who aspire to be mothers. It is women who pursue careers, or possessions, or passion without love or commitment who are unnatural- and I mean that only in a theological sense.

So a young women with a desire only for motherhood is not necessarily wrong, certainly not sinning or a moral failure. However it is clear there is something wrong with society and with young women bringing up children alone and on benefit. Unfortunately the media, the culture and the religious right have focused on the victims rather than the perpetrators. The question I have to ask is…

Where are the men?

Rarely do we see a man or young man condemned for the increases in young single mums on benefits. Yet it is young men impregnating young women and not taking up the responsibility of fatherhood. We are becoming a nation of orphans, a nation without fathers, and it is men who are responsible, not single mothers.

Men have abused their position. Whilst a young girl may get frowned at for getting herself pregnant, a young man will get a pat on the back from his mates for ‘nailing’ her, possibly even older men in his life also.

Why is it as a society we don’t hold fathers and sons to account?

We are allowing men to get away with not taking responsibility for their actions, re-enforcing the idea that sex is something they gain as a reward and not something they give to a life-partner. Going from female to female with no thought for the consequences of their actions, boasting of their conquests down the pub.

Religion is partly to blame for this, the sex-culture has taken over but historically religion has misinterpreted Gods intentions. If we read on in Genesis, Eve eventually sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. God then explains the consequences of their actions, the curse. Mens’ innate lack of responsibility is evident even here:

“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
“Yes,” Adam admitted, “but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the LORD God asked the woman, “How could you do such a thing?”
“The serpent tricked me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly. From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Then he said to the woman, “You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master.”
And to Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return.” – Genesis 3: 11-19 NLT

The second line I have highlighted is a line that has been responsible for much suffering and injustice to women down the ages, ever since it was spoken. It has been used and is still used today by men in authority who do not want to take responsibility or show compassion: though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master.

I believe mainstream religious authorities have gravely misinterpreted this bit of scripture. Why? Look at Gods original intent for Eve. An equal with Adam, a partner, a lover. What happened? Eve was seduced by the Serpent, and through that seduction she made a gross error. God now puts Eve under Adams authority. Therefore we must ask why God put Eve under Adams authority? Was Gods intention that Adam should lord over Eve, that he should now have some sort of advantage?

For a start, just look at Adams response to being confronted by God. He blames Eve, tries to absolve himself of the responsibility for his actions. Eve can then only blame the Snake (a possible allegory? …only kidding). But there is a
more pressing question that needs to be asked:

Where the heck was Adam when Eve was being seduced?

I reckon God put Adam in authority over Eve for responsibility. God was basically saying to Adam, look you can’t lay blame on someone else, I’m making you responsible for any mistakes in your marriage. God was ordering Adam to care for and look after Eve, to work hard for her, to protect her from the Snakes that are out there.

So as a society, how does God want us to respond to these single mums on benefits? Just as God made Adam responsible for caring, protecting, and working hard for Eve… Perhaps we as a society should be seeking to hold men accountable to the women and children they have abandoned, or are simply too selfish to bring up. Perhaps the Church should seek the opportunity here to lead the way in restoration towards women in general?

I reckon that old and young men who have neglected their father and husband responsibilities are going to have a lot to answer for when they finally meet God.

Thoughts?

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Posted in Apologetics, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, Smear Campaigns, The Purpose Missing Church, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[History Rewrite] The JFK Seminar

Posted by Lex Fear on July 15, 2006

Following the success of The Jesus Seminar, like minded theologians, historians and political analysts have decided to apply their collective wisdom to another historical event which is surrounded in controversy and doubt.

Using a simple colour-coded voting system, The learned intellectuals and academics of The Jesus Seminar found it was possible to take eye-witness accounts of historical events and simply remove most of the parts they didn’t agree with. Realising that this system of deciding what historical facts you want to agree with seemed to work, they have applied it to the event surrounding the assassination of President John F Kennedy. They hope that they can finally settle the myths and conspiracy theories once and for all.

JFK Seminarians used the same technique they applied to the events of the gospels. They worked through each sentence of the press and government reports of the event and applied the following colour-coded system to decide:

Red: The historical reliability of this information is virtually certain.
Pink: This information is probably reliable.
Gray: This information is possible but unreliable.
Black: This information is improbable, it is largely or entirely fictional.

After hours of painstaking listening and then voting (guessing) on each sentence of the report, the JFK seminar finally released their own report which they held to be more accurate than the eyewitnesses, reporters and people who were there at the time.

The following is a summary of their account of the JFK assassination:
John F Kennedy was born in Massachusetts in 1917, He served in the Navy from 1941-1945. He was a catholic. He may have been the 35th President of the United States. and is thought to have sanctioned the Bay of Pigs invasion into Cuba and later negotiated the release survivors from the invasion but it may not have been a great number. There may have been some issue or crisis over nuclear missiles and the USSR, but since we are on friendly terms with Russia in modern times, that’s probably based on personal views at the time. The Peace Corps were founded largely on the belief that Kennedy was a President. He most likely backed the civil rights movement.

In 1963 it is held in wide belief that Kennedy was assassinated, but who the assassin was is unclear and since we have not had an assassination of an American President for a very long time, it is highly unlikely this event actually happened.Since both The Jesus Seminar and The JFK Seminar are held in high esteem amongst many intelligent people and academics, it will come as no surprise that even the current American and British governments have employed their methodology for determining policies and the truth in such matters as WMD in Iraq, link between Iraq and terrorism and success overall in The War Against Terror.

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[False Choice] Justice or Mercy?

Posted by Lex Fear on June 7, 2006

Mercy is not the opposite of justice, in fact, it can be argued that mercy compels us to fight for justice.

There is a false truth being propagated in the Church today, you may have heard it already.

I don’t know the exact source this has come from but it goes that people tend to fall into one of 2 categories: Justice (Judgment) or Mercy. Whichever side of the line you fall will influence your decisions and interactions with people.

I would go so far to say this is a lie and it has come from the enemy. For a start, God through Jesus is the only judge, he repeatedly reminds us in his word:

“For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” – Hebrews 10:30 NIV

Secondly, mercy is not the opposite of justice, in fact, it can be argued that mercy compels us to fight for justice. In fact Jesus repeatedly reminds us not to judge, in the word:

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:36-37 NIV

and

“…because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” – James 2:13 NIV

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