For God So Hates Everyone That Is Different.

God loves 2

Racism is beyond common sense and has no place in our society.
Steven Patrick Morrissey

This month is Black history month and it reminds me of so much prejudice that still goes on in America.  I remember a few years ago, my wife and I took in a biracial child into our home.  Very few people outside the kids at church took time to get to know him.  I’m guessing because he did look African American.  After all the church did reach out to other white kids that we took into our home.  So what made them not reach out to this child?  One board member even told our family that he “needed to be with his own kind.”  It is sad that this still goes on in the world and especially sad it goes on in the church.  The church is supposed to show God’s love to all mankind.

Shortly after Obama was elected president I ran into some prejudice against him.  A family member said, “We brought them over here and now they are taking over.”  What kind of talk is that?  Another relative has said several times that they wished Obama would be killed or commit suicide.  Both of them would both say they are Christian.  Again what kind of talk is that?!  I am not a huge fan of Obama.  I think he’s average at very best.  However, I was raised to love all mankind no matter what they are like, yet some family members reject that ideology.  When I read posts comparing President Obama to Hitler and comments like he’s trying to be a dictator, I wonder what in the world they are thinking.  There has certainly been something that has happened in their lives that has obscured their view of the world.  I know that these thoughts are not simply in my family.  There are many Obama haters and I wonder if it is because he’s not a WHITE conservative.

What is it about others that make us afraid of them?  Differences should be embraced but instead they are rejected and build divisions.  Right?

Coke released an advertisement during the Super Bowl with many different people and languages singing “America the Beautiful” and there was an uproar about that.    Seems to me this was nothing but prejudice.  The quotes I saw were very hateful toward immigrants and yet unless you are a Native American your ancestors were immigrants.  Seems to be fear that these immigrants will take something from us instead of adding to our already rich culture.  Also, I must ask why this is different than the old Coke commercials “I want to teach the world to sing?”

The Olympics are going on in Sochi, Russia.  There has been a long discussion on the problems Russia has had with its laws on homosexuality.  Yet the Olympics are supposed to be about bringing the world together.  How can this world be brought together when it treats one another with such contempt.  In America there is a fight over whether homosexuals should have the right to marry.  Recently there was a gay couple on “Good Luck Charlie” and death threats were sent to the 5 year old who plays the role of “Charlie”.   Closer to home I have had people say that they wished “all homosexuals would die.”  That from a children’s teacher at a church.  I wonder if they taught love or hate to those kids.  Too often very hateful things are said like this, and all too often in the name of God.  No people, God does not hate gays, but just maybe you do.

There is a store in our area that my wife and I call the “scary mart”.  Not because it is scary, but because a member of a church we no longer attend talked about how scared they were to get gas there.  What may have been scarier were all the people who nodded in agreement with them.  I was offended.  Those people are simply poorer than that church.  The same church where another leading member said of the poor “The poor choose to be poor.”  Obviously a division caused by prejudice.  I can say this because my work is less than a mile from that store and I am in contact with the people all the time.  They are not scary, they are nice people.  If they had money like the above people then I guess that would make them ok instead of scary.

Prejudice still runs deep in our society.  Whether it is another race, sex, class, language etc…   We have a long way to go.  If you want to truly leave this world a better place for the next generation than it is you and me that have to change.  To truly start treating each other like we want to be treated.  With love and respect, no matter what our differences are or how right we think we are.  You see, when a person thinks they are right, most likely they are like the people I mentioned above.  They all thought they had it right, they just couldn’t see it from another persons point of view and that is where prejudice begins and ends.  Within us.  Within you.

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Confessions of a Pepsi Drinker

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It seems that there has been big controversies about the Super bowl add that Coke a Cola put out.  Here is the link in case you have not seen it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8uSVUiniWQ&feature=share

I guess that since the Super Bowl wasn’t too super that we have to stir up something to talk about.  I watched the advertisement when it came on as I was sitting with friends but no one thought a lot of it.  It was simply a commercial selling Coke.  It wasn’t funny.  Those are the ones that we look for during the Super bowl.

However it did really spark an interest with people who tend to think that Americans should only speak English.  Often we think that America was settled by the people from the British Isles.  It was, but not simply by only them.  The Germans came, French, Spanish and so much more from Europe.  Then many came from Africa.  Mostly by force.  The U.S. only became Englishized (if that is a word) through treaties and wars. 

Here are a few things people said negatively.

 http://pulsefeedz.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/you-hate-america-if-you-hate-cokes-super-bowl-commercial/

From the beginning America has been a melting pot of different cultures and yet 200 plus years later we still can’t get along.   At different times in our history we have had problems with immigration.  Most of those problems came from people being scared that their lives would change because there were too many Irish, Asian or Mexicans coming to America. 

I find it ironic that this commercial would come out during Black history month.  This is supposed to be a time where we celebrate the diversity in America.   Yet it seems that we have not really come very far from the 1950’s.  Sure African Americans are somewhat more accepted, but we have just taken our racism from them and placed it on another group.  The problem is still there and needs to be fixed.  It will never be fixed though by hating those of different race, religion, language, sexual preference or toe nail paint. 

Some people will find hate no matter what.  The rest of us need to show the love and acceptance of others and stop dividing America.  We should not have Red and Blue States.  We should be Purple.  We should be one nation working together and not ripping apart. 

 America does not have a national language and there is no reason to have one.  I find it fun to learn another language, customs etc… of others.  I have lived in three states and all of them are different even though they are near each other.  That is how we learn.  If we want simply to stagnate and fall apart then we can try to make everyone just like us.  However I don’t want to be a clone.  I want to be free to explore and learn and change and grow.  That is what we should be like. 

So let us get off our high horse and find someone that is different and get to know them.  Buy them a Coke, have a good time.  It will change your life and probably theirs too.

The Heretic is us

heretic

Heresy is the youth of truth.
Orthodox is descript old age.
Heresy is thought.
Orthodoxy is habit
Heresy is initiative.
Orthodoxy is inertia
Heresy is self satisfied and intolerant of orthodoxy.
Orthodoxy is equally self satisfied and intolerant of heresy.
The orthodox should think better of heretics.
And the heretics should think better of the orthodox.
For every orthodoxy was once a heresy.
And every heresy is fated to be an orthodoxy.
All countries were founded by traitors.
All our churches were founded by heretics.
The patriotism of today glories in the treasons of yesterday.
In our churches we bend the knee in cushioned prayer,
To saints who were once dragged before
The tribunals of the orthodox and condemned,
And hung for their belief or unbelief
Half of us are heretics.
The other half worship heretics.
Not even the orthodox worship the orthodox.
Every orthodox faith is founded on some old time heresy.
The men who conform to the old
Never win immortal palms

(Author unknown)
From the book, “Thinking and Talking about
God”

I really like this poem.  I think it basically of sums up the life of the church or believers.  If we were sent to the time of the Reformation we would be more heretical than Luther or Calvin.  Heretics are our heroes.   They are St. Francis, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Wycliffe and Jesus.  They all made huge waves in their day, but not without consequences.  When we look back they are our heroes, but those who are heretics today are the enemy or on their way to Hell.  Same things said about our heroes.

All of the great reformers or heroes of the faiths would have been considered heretics or at least liberals in their day because the norm would have been orthodoxy.  By definition, Orthodoxy is “authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.”  In other words it is what is normal in the church.  Heretics are not normal.  They push the boundaries and we don’t like them just for that thing.  We want everything to be normal.  We are comfortable in our little churches doing our little things, following the way it’s always been.

“The way it’s always been.”  That’s kind of funny.  It’s probably only been that way for a few years.  Why do you go to church at 10 or 11 a.m. every Sunday?  Jesus didn’t do it that way.   Heck, Jesus and all the disciples went to the synagogue on Saturday for their entire life.   Luther liked to sleep in as he got older. That’s why we meet at that time.  We meet on Sunday because Christians were kicked out of Judaism in 90 C.E.   Until then Christians were members of Judaism and worshiped in the synagogue on Saturday.  After Christians were kicked out of Judaism Christians decided to change to Sunday since Jesus was raised on Sunday they would worship on Sunday, a day of work, not rest.

Do you hold on to the Rapture theory?  That got going in the 1830’s.  You mention the Rapture to St. Paul and he’d think you were a nut job.  He expected Jesus to return in his lifetime.  No rapture, no tribulation, not for Paul.

Most of us grew up with Sunday school but that is only 200 years old.  The church building was introduced after Constantine first made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire.  Christians took over Pagan worship sites and used them for their own purpose.  The church choir soon came out of those Pagan rituals.  The pulpit, offering plate, the typical worship order, and bulletins all came from the reformation time period.

The theology of the Trinity came from the late 4th or early 5th century.  It was not something that was taught in the early church.  It wasn’t even clear to all groups that Jesus was God until this time period.  There were many groups who looked at him as an anointed person or prophet that God gave great abilities to because of his closeness to God.  Those groups were all killed by the “orthodox church”, led by Constantine.  (Maybe that is one argument against a church run state but that’s another blog)  So, you could say that the orthodox church is only the orthodox church because they won.  Or you might say it was because we didn’t have a Bible yet.  But what bible should we follow?  The protestant with 66 books?  The Catholic with 73 books or the Greek Orthodox with 76?

For those who want to have church like Jesus had it would not want it.  We would not recognize their service and they would not recognize ours.  If you think something is heresy, maybe it is you who are simply holding on to your own theology or traditions and not onto where God is leading his assembly of believers.  People today are no different than the Pharisees that hold on to their traditions.  These traditions were only a few hundred years old.  Not really things that Moses or Abraham really did.

So I think by now you get the point.   Almost everything that we hold as essential to our beliefs or worship was once thought of as heresy.  Theology changes, rituals change and we change as we grow and learn the better way.

St. Francis was called before the Pope one day to testify as to why he was doing this odd thing.  Taking care of the poor.  When St. Francis told the pope what was happening he was sent off with blessings.  Not all heretics were or will be so lucky.  Many were killed, jailed, or kicked out of the church because people had to hold on to their traditions.  Today is no different.  People will be standing up for where the church needs to go.  They will be despised, cursed, condemned by those holding on to the past.

About every 500 years the church goes through major changes.  We are due.  What will you do?  Will you hold back yourself and others?  Stand firm on your theologies and traditions?  Or will you make a mark on your world.  Stand up for change and take the real Christ into this world.  The world that he loved so much.  Be a heretic.  Make a difference.

Here is a link to letting go of our theology and loving people like we should.

http://sojo.net/blogs/2014/01/22/when-christians-love-theology-more-people

In his own words

Nelson

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Typically I write about things in my life, but today I want to pay tribute to one of my heroes.  Nelson Mandela has truly been a one of the greatest individuals that has lived in my lifetime.  I’m guessing that many people have looked up to him and we should.  He brought such great change to the world, not simply South Africa.

How easily it would have been for him to get angry while he was in prison.  He could have wanted vengeance on those who put him in there.  Most of us would have wanted to get back at those people.  We could have easily learned to hate.  Many of us would have plotted to do the same things to anyone and everyone in our path when or if we ever got out.  While I am guessing Mr. Mandela did have some of those thoughts, he did not act on them. That is what makes a difference in the world.

While, I could say one thing after another about this great man, I simply want to leave you with some of my favorite quotes of his.  If I left out one of your favorites, please leave it in the comments.  Mr. Mandela will never die as long as we remember what he stood for.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”

“Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”

“I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort.”

I got my quotes from the following sites, please visit and enjoy his wisdom.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/7-nelson-mandela-quotes-you-probably-wont-see-in-the-us-medi

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/15-of-nelson-mandelas-most-inspiring-quotes

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/nelson_mandela.html