Friday, November 25, 2011

An impossible fix

     Today Tyler and I explored downtown LA. Can you believe that I've been here for almost 3 months and this was the first time I've been downtown? Well I'm sorry to say that it isn't anything special. I like Hollywood much better. The Disney Concert Hall is pretty cool, and it was interesting seeing Occupy LA and Skid Row. We've driven by skid row but I had never been outside and actually walking through it. Just seeing it through your car window is sad enough but you definitely don't get the full experience. To smell the smells of sweaty bodies, urine, shit, and trash, and to hear the conversations of people with mental issues and drug addictions... it's all just unreal. It's really messed up.
     Walking through skid row can cause the opposite effect of how you would think most people would respond. It makes me want to give up even trying to help the poor and homeless. How can this almost impossible to solve problem actually get resolved? I know a way. What if every upper class household took in just one person and gave them shelter and food until they could find a job and support themselves? But I don't think that's gonna happen. People aren't THAT nice...

     Want to know a secret? I'm guilty of worrying about something that I hate when other people worry about. And that is the whole issue of worrying whether you're gonna go to Heaven or Hell. In fact I think that is the source of my frustration of unanswered questions. If there is even the slightest possibility that I'm going to spend an eternity in Hell, I want to know exactly what the best way to live my life is. I hate, hate, hate not knowing what is and isn't right! I don't think there is a hell based on the type of god I choose to believe in but even if there is a .00001% that there is a hell I'm willing to consider worrying about it. I am a sucker for pain. I don't want to spend an eternity (and that means forever) with nothing but pain. That would suck hardcore.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Creative Title

     I never know how to start these blogs. Let's get right to the point, shall we? You all know my roommate Ben Adam? He's a very unique guy. Here are a few words to describe him: he's passionate, a theologian, and an anarchist. He's awesome though. I've been learning a lot from him (and Tyler but I wanted to focus on him for this post). From him I heard the best answer to my "why me and not them" question.
     Last night me, Tyler, and him were discussing theology as we often do. A topic we were discussing was if God still performs miracles today, such has healing people. Of course I brought up, "Well if God does still heal people, why does he heal some and not others? Why me and not them?" He responded, "That's a good question. But I think the question should not be 'why me?' but 'what should I do now?'" He said that basically it's pointless if you are helped by God to just praise God for it and not go and try to help others. You have been healed for a reason. Your job now is to go and help others in need the same way you have been helped. That makes more sense to me. It's not proof that God does actually get involved with the world today but if he does, this is why.

     The other thing I wanted to talk about is that I am still struggling with self worth. I don't think I am appreciated anywhere whether it be at work or in the home. I always ask myself "How am I contributing to the benefit of the whole?" and I can't find the answer. Whatever talents I have I don't feel like are being used enough at work. Don't know how they can be. And at home I just struggle with not feeling a part of the community due to my quietness. I don't want to be quiet. I just don't know how not to be. The only thing that comforts me is the part in 2nd Timothy where it talks about how we're all members of the body of Christ, each having our unique gifts and usefulness. The eyes are not the nose but they are no less important. Just different. Like I said I don't know how I am useful but I can only hope and trust that I am contributing to the world somehow in a positive way.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our inconsistent father in Heaven

     What if God changes his mind? What if he decided that he was just gonna accept everyone from now on? What if he just said "Fuck you, Satan. They're all mine." Impossible you say? How so?
     Let's first talk about the whole God conquering Satan thing. This is a question I've always struggled with. If God is all powerful why not just get rid of the whole devil thing? Or is Satan more powerful than God? That would be scary. I've heard the whole "but then we would have no free will" thing. Does that mean we won't have free will in Heaven? I think it's possible to have free will but always be able to make the right decisions (that is with no devil of course).
     Now let me explain why it's obvious God can change his mind. The flood that covered the earth of course! How obvious is that? God didn't like how man-kind had become and so he wiped out the population (except Noah and his family) with a massive flood. Yes he did send a rainbow as a promise never to do it again, but is that really gonna cut it for us? Are we really convinced that he can keep that promise? Promises get broken all the time. Well... okay maybe I don't think God will flood the earth again but obviously it still shows that we don't have a consistent god. He's not as ALL-KNOWING as we think.
     Let me just put out there something that you might find offensive. I'm just saying what I truthfully believe. I think all people deserve to go to Heaven when they die. Yes that means some of the most "evil" people in history (that includes Hitler). Nobody is just evil. Nobody wants to be evil. Nobody thinks that what they are doing is a bad thing. Everybody is just misinformed. It's how people were raised. Every little thing someone else said to a person contributes to who they are as a person. Also any kind of tragedy or significant event changes a person drastically. It is said that a flapping of a butterfly's wings can trigger a tsunami on the other side of the planet. I'm sure most people have heard of the butterfly effect.
     I'm just tired of how unforgiving people are these days. We all make mistakes. It's just some mistakes have greater consequences than others. Nobody is perfect. Just recently the assistant principle at my old high school was accused of sexual abuse to students. They're just accusations now but even if it turns out true he isn't all of a sudden a bad person. There are still many good qualities he has. Same goes with people like Kobe Bryant, Mel Gibson, etc. Why do we love to focus on the bad? The lord's prayer (depending on the version) reads "... and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us." Should we expect God to forgive us if we can't forgive each other? Obviously he will no matter what but we need to try our best to be like him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This blog post is God breathed...

     Last Sunday I visited Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. I'm not gonna lie when I first walked in there I was turned off. Too traditional for my liking. Huge sanctuary with stained glass windows and pipe organs. The pastor was dressed in a robe and his voice echoed with great intensity in the large room. I am not used to this type of service. But then I heard a sermon from the old shouting preacher. A sermon that I have never heard preached in a church setting before. A sermon I will never forget.
     I have always longed for a person to agree with me and say, "Yeah, you're right. A lot of the Bible does sound like utter bullshit and there's no way that it can all be 'God breathed'. People just use that verse to pick and choose their favorite verses that help them discriminate and judge." Not exactly what the pastor said but it was along those lines.
     Basically what he preached is that the words God breathed are often misinterpreted. He likes to read the verse in the English Revised Version because it sounds most like the original Greek text. It reads, "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for corrections, for instruction which is righteousness." Focusing on the part that it doesn't say Every scripture IS inspired of God it just says that the scripture THAT is inspired of God is profitable for blah blah blah... Which then you can assume that not all scripture is inspired of God. Scary huh? Which ones are then? That's the new big question. That leads into the rest of my questioning (which I will go into later if I haven't already).
     Before I decided to write this blog I did my research. I read other commentaries on the verse. Most people using their lifelong biases and refusing to believe that not all scripture is of God. Some had some good arguments but obviously I'm still not convinced. Even if the original Greek text did intend for it to say that All scripture is of God, who's to say the person writing that just wanted us to think that? He could have just made it up. Just because someone says it doesn't make it true. If someone wrote a book of the bible today most of us would be like "Yeah right." But what if they said "but all scripture is of God, remember?" We would have to believe them, right? Obviously not. Just because someone said it back then compared to now doesn't make it true.