Mark 17…yeah bro, I swiped this from your Facebook status.

I swiped this from my brother’s Facebook status (It’s either he’s smarter than me or i’m just getting old, go figure).

A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Several went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

Some reflections on this:

1. It’s either these people did not own a bible or they don’t have access to the internet, or don’t know how to use Google.

2. The minister really knows his congregation.

3. The congregation doesn’t bother to listen to the minister. They just attend church because its church.

4. Or, this is simply a case of Lying FAIL.

5. As my brother told me…”This is just a joke.” Cool man, I know.

dreams were meant to share

“in the event of my death”
he said
“please bury with me my dream.”
“why…” was the response
given to his request
“…would you do such a thing?”
the question beckons him,
“it would be good if you would shared it,
cause then your dreams,
it would live on,
now wouldn’t that be bliss,
to have,
your rememberance
it will forever be taken in?”
He repilied, with a cynical smile,
I don’t think that’s my thing,
I’d rather be buried with it in tact, cause only i would know,
for dear God, the value of my dreams!”

then years passed by,
and reaper came,
to take those whose time
was up,
the man who wished,
to be buried
with his dream,
I imagined,
his lifeless body clutching,
if he could,
his dreams from,
leaving him.

But alas,
if you want to know,
the ending of this poem,
read up now by clicking this link,
and you will know,
the moral of this story,
dreams were meant to be shared.

If you hold too tightly to your dreams and not wish for others to cherish it by giving it away…chances are, someone else, a stranger will pry it from your resting place. True Story 🙂

A whole new way

Inner needs become digital,
a whole new way to hurt,
pain before was a knife to the heart,
now just texts and words.

Befriending people with a click of a mouse,
if they look ugly I’d have to consider,
going out by staying in playing house,
A whole new way to be friendlier.

Expressionless laughs
And smileys, sad faces
These project our deep welled feelings
Words that convey everything you just name it
A whole new way projecting our heart.

Conveying things that hurt us
We paste them on a wall
From whatever to a recent burst
A whole new way to curse

At one point being single
And then we were no more
At another point being married and singing jingles
But later on divorced
A whole new way to tell I’m available.

I read a line somewhere about the problems Facebook creates. So I tried to convey it above. I’m not so happy at how I projected it. Probably something I’ll rewrite later but the them of the whole poem is “a whole new way.”

Theologian and Scholars, I Despise Thee

Christians have all sorts of questions. That means I have them too since I’m a Christian. But problems arise when people try to answer this question based on studies carried out by scholars and theologians. These people make things complicated they say. They make what is simple into gibberish musings or the classic; come up with unbiblical definitions.  Theologians and scholars just mess up our faith.

Instead, they say, it’s better for us to go back to the Bible. Since what the bible teaches is simple and obvious. God is not complicated. It’s the theologians and scholars. They come up with these theological renderings. Take trinity for example. That’s not found in the Bible. So they advise, to simply get back to the Bible and see for themselves what God says.

And these people talk about atonement, they get so caught up in rapture (is that word really found in the Bible?), they talk about the ‘concept’ of original sin, they discuss about Jesus’ nature (fully divine fully man). They discuss about all these things that, unknowingly, acknowledging what theologians and scholars have been developing in history.

If you wanna church out theologians, might as well chuck out sola scripture (scripture alone-authority of scripture), chuck out justification, chuck out whatever doctrines we have. Since it was theologians and scholars who developed them.

Chuck out the Bible as well and read the original text. Why depend on work of scholars who have labored for years to bring us translations, only to be spit and kicked on, when people disregard their devotion. Go ahead, just throw away that English bible. Read Hebrew and Greek instead.

And when you’re done with that, go and flog yourself. Because you are a theologian as well silly. Theology simply means “the study of God.”

How To Turn Off Youths From Anything Spiritual

Pied Piper with Children
Image via Wikipedia

I could have posted something that sounded much more spiritual than this but sometimes posting up something provocative carries the meaning more than sounding correct and spiritual.

So here is a guide, albeit not an exhaustive one, on “How to Turn Off Youths From Anything Spiritual.

1. Preach in a way that you were taught in seminary, quoting important theologians and always bringing out the important details that you considered during your studies. “WoW” them with theological jargon to make you sound smart and brilliant. So, when no one understands what you preached, you have achieved your goal.

2. Any opinion given by youths are baseless and they do not know what they are talking about. They have little grasp of the bible and doctrine or have no clue about ministry. So, your best approach to their opinions is to listen with the left ear and let it out through the right ear. Appear as if listening intently, nodding every few minutes when you see them getting exited when sharing their thought. Then after that, say in your most polite way, “Lets just stick with what we’ve been doing before.” After saying that, with the nods and polite way of response, you have done your work in putting a face and somehow done enough to gain their puny trust.

3. Continue to do things like it was done in you’re era, when youths were better than they were now. Anyway, that’s how you were trained and formed until you’ve arrive at a mature stage spiritually. If the old method worked for you, it sure as h@#$ will work with the present group of youngsters.

4. For leaders, stick with the older group. Well, the veterans that is. Youths can’t do anything. They are irresponsible and childish, immature and un-spiritual. What do they know about the bible. So entrust leadership roles to the old folks.

5. Make the meeting as boring as possible, without games, laughter, jokes and all that acquainted with youthfulness. I mean, you’ve already accommodated their rock sounding music. So that’s as far as it goes. Anything beyond that is heresy.

6. And most importantly, amidst all this, keep telling them that they are the leaders of the future, when in fact you and your group are monopolizing the ratio of leaders.

So, good luck in actualizing these steps to further enhance the demise of youthful vigor in church. Do this often and you will soon achieve your vision. I-kid-you-not.

How to Really Go Green

Tips on really going green

1. Forget about that new green washing machine and wash your own clothes manually.

2. Chuck away that dishwasher and do it manually.

3. Forget about buying those green light bulbs, conserve energy by turning the lights out early.

4. I think it is really absurd if those who have mansions and being proponents of green. Chuck out your mansion and live in a place fit for going green.

5. Using green vehicles does not add up for being green. What you are doing is merely lessening it. To really do something about it, use a bicycle instead.

There are other things but the main point of going green is lessen your appliances, those so called green things. I just find it ridiculous that the really rich are talking about green when they are the main contributors of not going green with their mansions and cars.

Classical Theism vs Open Theism

I was once comfortable taking in the Classical Theism view where God is seen as sovereign, transcendent, omnipotent, omniscient. I was at home with this view and never sort of questioned them. I was, in what it seemed that time, in a comfort zone. God was boxed in those terms, even if they implied a reality much larger than a box.

Not until a tragic accident that involved the passing of a dear youth member and friend that, the Classic theistic view somewhat crumbled. Some people were telling or at least implying that God is the author of life and if that is true, my friend’s death was somewhat authored by God. As I thought about it, far be it that I accepted that frame work for God. If I believed in a God who cared why then would he author a tragic story for my friend like one a novelist would do to his characters.

Enter Open Theism. This is a view which responds to Classic Theism. This view believes that God does not know the future exhaustively, leaving the future open for us to partner with him. Hence this view is a strong argument for the proposal of why prayer is important. Since the future is open and God does not know exhaustively, we partner with God in ways that we somehow can change his mind.

For a period of time, I guess in a subtle manner, my views gravitated towards open theism because it somehow showed a God who can show love to his creation rather than one who has already written about your whole life and somehow you are stuck in that story he wrote whether you like it or not. Somehow classic theism did not really resonate well with a God who is loving. I mean sure you can say that God knows what’s best but there is no room for free will here.

So with all these issues plunging in my mind, it seemed to me that open theism held more sense than a mechanical, detached sovereign God.

But with that, if God is too open how then is he sovereign? If God is unchanging how then why would he thus change his mind? Some things still does not resonate. Somehow open theism seemed a reaction against some form of radical or misguided understanding of God being uncaring and leaving no room for free will. So again, it seems we hit a brick wall at which view can be trustworthy in explaining God.

During the theology class I took last week, listening to the lecture and thinking through classic theism and open theism, both have their grounds of arguments. So where should we strike a balance between them. There are no clear cut answers but I seem to resonate with the notion of combining the two views together looking at it from Jesus’ suffering perspective.

In Jesus’ life, coming to the end of his ministry, in the garden of, he prayed if it was possible to avoid the way of the cross even at the point of telling his disciples beforehand that he was to undergo suffering, death and then resurrection. In that depiction, Jesus could have disbanded the pursuit of going to the cross and be crucified but he knew also the will of God. But the will of God for Jesus, although prophesying that he will suffer and die did not paint graphic pictures of the nature of his death. God is seen as the author but not in the way a novelist does things. God is in control not in the way of a master puppet but in the way that his servant obeys his command and way.

Jesus’ obedience was not something that was forced but something that he willingly undertook in response to the compelling love that the Father has bestowed upon him.

Here in the suffering and death of Jesus depicts both the sovereign act of God as well as the ‘open’ story to be completed. They are not divorced, but meshed. The sovereign God at work in humanity is always the meshing of sovereign and human dimension of viewing God. Somehow to gravitate to an extreme form of classic theism denies the mystery of Jesus’ humanity and to gravitate to the extreme in the open theism camp leaves out the overall plan of God in knowing the future. Again the mystery of the incarnation somehow forms a marrying of the two views in a mysterious way.