“Gay” marriage legality is inevitable

The Supreme Court will now decide whether or not “gay” marriage will become the law of the land in all the fifty states.  And of course, in a divided ruling of probably 6-3, the black robed tyrants will force the perverse will and morality of less than 2% of the American population down the throats of the other 98%.

The homosexual juggernaut that has been sweeping across the fruited plain (no pun intended) for the last ten years is unstoppable; it will continue to pulverize everything decent, moral, holy and Christian in its perverse path of redefining the very essence and fabric of what America once stood tall and mighty for.

Here is a typical—and wholly self-centered, false and incorrect—viewpoint from one of the LGBTQ lawyers litigating this case, taken from the article previously cited:

“We are excited obviously for our clients and for the many thousands of couples like them in Michigan, but we are also excited for the entire nation,” added Dana Nessel, a lawyer for the Michigan plaintiffs.

Excited for the entire nation?  Do you mean, Ms. Nessel, that you, in the perverse little world of LGBTQ where you live, that you believe that this shameful ruling will be greeted with excitement and joy for the vast majority of Americans that despise what your immoral agenda will soon accomplish, the redefinition of marriage and family,  resulting in the further dismantling and ultimate disintegration of our society?

Again, this ruling in favor of unnatural and wholly perverse gay marriage is set in stone.  Read the gushing praise from Eric Holder for this travesty of justice soon to become a reality:

“It is time for our nation to take another critical step forward to ensure the fundamental equality of all Americans – no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love,” Holder said.

Far from being a “critical step forward,” this shameful ruling will only result in America’s grave being dug that much deeper.  It will seal America’s doom and there will  be absolutely nothing we can do as a nation to bring us back from this free fall into destruction.

When I speak with college students, I am always amazed whenever we seriously discuss this issue.  Gay marriage?  Two men or two women getting married?  This is like seriously discussing the reality of finding a living and functioning society on Mars, or that George Bush and the CIA were the ones actually responsible for 9/11.  Some topics are simply too nonsensical to give serious credence.

But such is the times we live in, and when the Supreme Court gives it’s expected decision in early summer, I will try not to say, “I told you so.”

I am not Charlie

Though I find it abhorrent that the staff of the Charlie Hebdo magazine were ruthlessly murdered by fanatical Muslims, I can’t hold up a pen with the masses and announce, “I am Charlie.”

While many will disagree with me, I feel there are limits and boundaries that we should not cross in our speech, video making, and writing.  Expression of any kind must be balanced, with the understanding that what and how we express ourselves can have profound impact on others.

I am no fan of Islam but this does not mean that I will go out of my way to offend Muslim sensibilities in my desire to expose the problems of this religion.  Drawing satirical cartoon figures of a naked Muhammad to make my point would be unthinkable, and not only because I would be in fear that I would wake up with my head next to my torso.

No, I feel it is wrong to offend in this way and not “loving your neighbor as yourself.”  Muslims, like Christians, Jews and every other faith member, have strong and passionate beliefs.  Whether or not we agree with everything a member of another faith believes, to mock, ridicule and demean the faith of another is not an effective bridge builder.

Charlie Hebdo is a fireman that seeks to put out fires with gasoline, a peculiarly unwise methodology of fire suppression.   Their over the top “free speech” and complete disregard for the feelings and passions of all religious people make them a target of the kind of people that went on that deplorable rampage.

And they don’t seem to learn; now, they plan to print 3 million copies of their magazine when their normal print run is 60,000, showing a cartoon of a crying Muhammad, further inflaming the sentiments of Muslims worldwide.

This is foolishness.  Twelve members of their magazine have already been murdered, yet they double down and print more of the same offensive material that resulted in the untimely deaths of their fellow journalists.  Where is the wisdom in this?  It’s craziness and sheer folly, more gasoline poured onto an already raging bonfire.

Freedom comes with responsibility.  One of the glaring weaknesses of a society that enshrines “freedom of speech” is that some throw commonsense out the door and believe that saying or writing anything about anybody is permissible, no matter how offensive.

But in our daily interactions with people, we intuitively know that this does not work.  For example, if two people are in an argument and one person calls the other person’s mother or daughter a slut that sleeps with every man in town, what will be the expected reaction?  That’s right…a trip to the hospital or the morgue.

The cartoonists and writers of Charlie Hebdo need to step back and grow up, before there are no more hands to hold the pens that draw their cartoons.

How do you spell hypocrisy? “LGBTQ”

Please remember one important fact:  those who shout the loudest for “tolerance,” “diversity” and “acceptance” are the very ones who deny it to others.  And few groups in America are more hypocritical in their actions than the LGBTQ community.

For just one small sample of the gay communities blatant double standards, look no further than the story of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, fired from his position because of his Christian faith and viewpoints toward homosexuality.

I grow weary of hearing about homosexuality, gay rights, gay marriage, transgenderism, ad nauseam.  With all the press coverage this tiny minority of people get, you would think they would occupy more of the population of the United States than the less than 2% they actually do.

But what is more irritating than anything else is their hypocrisy:  they demand everybody tolerate their perverse lifestyle but utterly refuse to tolerate any one that does not agree with them.  For all of their bluster over those whom they deem as “haters,” they are the greatest haters of them all.

Allow me to quote from the article above, from the mayor who fired Chief Cochran:

“I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” the mayor wrote. “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”

Did you catch that?  Do you see the dripping hypocrisy of these statements?

Let’s break it down:

“I profoundly disagree with…”  Profoundly disagree, mayor?  But I thought you were all about tolerance and inclusion, right?  When you say that you “profoundly disagree with” someone, are you not doing the exact opposite of what you profess?

“…and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community…”  “Deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed…” mayor?  Again, if you are all about “tolerance” and “acceptance” of others, how can you say what you just said with a straight face?  It is fairly obvious to me, mayor, that “tolerance” is a one way street with you…your way or the highway,   which is not very tolerant at all.

What the mayor is actually saying is this:  “I have a certain standard of what I believe ‘tolerance’ should be, and it applies predominantly to members of the LGBTQ community and their sexual proclivities.  And if you don’t agree with me, then you are a hater, a bigot and a homophobe.  Case closed.  No discussion allowed.”

And this hypocrisy, of course, is not limited to the mayor, but includes members of the LGBTQ community as well.  Alex Wan is an openly gay council member, and when he was informed of the Chief’s viewpoint on homosexuality and that he was fired, released the following statement supporting the termination and said it “sends a strong message to employees about how much we value diversity and how we adhere to a non-discriminatory environment.”

Well, like the mayor, Mr. Wan values only certain kinds of diversity, and if you happen to not agree with his very narrow definition of what qualifies as diversity (i.e., sexual perversion in all forms), then he will certainly be open to discriminating against you by being fired.

Again, the double standard is shocking, and it seems most of the world is blindly following the mayor and Mr. Wan, unable to see just how hypocritical the entire situation actually is.

 

 

Transgender folly causes another suicide

The recent death of an Ohio teen has brought the debate over whether or not transgenderism is real back into the spotlight.  

This case is tragic, regardless of whether one believes or disbelieves in the current pop myth of “transgendered people.”

Let’s start off by defining “transgender”: “… of, relating to, or being a person (as a transsexual or transvestite) who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.”

In my world, individuals who seriously identify themselves as “transgendered” are mentally ill.  One writer, Gina Miller, perfectly sums up my beliefs in this article.

I refuse to call this male teenager who committed suicide by his “transgendered” name of “Leelah.”  He was born a male, his parents named him Joshua, and nothing he believed to the contrary will alter this fact:  he remains a male and I will call him by his male name and refer to him as such.

America long ago dropped down the proverbial rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland lore.  So many in this once great and moral nation now believe and embrace astoundingly stupid and inane beliefs…like someone born one sex can magically wake up one day and decide they are actually the other.  If you google “Joshua Alcorn,” you will see many writers who are comfortably opining these ridiculous beliefs from the rank smelling bottom of this particular putrid rabbit hole.

Those who pander to the delusions of those unfortunates like Joshua help nobody; and certainly Joshua’s mental illness did not receive the needed attention from those who chose to indulge him in his fantasy that he could actually believe he was a female born in a male’s body.

One of the facts that most Americans refuse to admit is how weird and strange people are who identify themselves as homosexuals, transgendered, transsexuals, ad nauseam, the whole perverse alphabet soup of the “LGBTQ” label that seems to add another letter to its ever increasing train every year.

When I write “weird” and “strange,” that is precisely what I mean:  these unfortunates are people that, when they walk down the street or engage you in conversation, you know you are dealing with someone who is off, abnormal, different and unusual in an unhealthy way.

But today, to suggest such a thing is considered politically incorrect, insensitive, hateful and homophobic.  The preferred route is that we treat these bizarre individuals as special and precious because of their aberrations and vice.  Truly, we have dropped down a dark and insane hole.

It is astounding what people will believe once they reject that God exists.  Belief in God and the Scriptures is an anchor to sound thinking, but once we jettison this belief system, we expose ourselves to thoughts that, in many cases, are dangerously delusional and unhealthy…like Joshua did when he began wearing women’s clothes and putting on their makeup.

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The twisted psychological platform that the LGBTQ rests upon is the real reason for the suicide of Joshua and not because of the tired reasoning that states his death came about because of societies rejection of his perverse lifestyle choices, and until we deal with this, many more deaths like his will be reported in the world news outlets.

Merry Christmas!

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21 (NIV)

All over the world, people are gathering with family and friends, exchanging gifts, attending church and celebrating Christmas.  It is a wonderful day, full of meaning and significance: the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world.

I urge my readers to gather your families around the Christmas tree and read the Christmas story, found primarily in two places in the Bible:  the first two chapters in the Gospel of Luke, and Matthew 1:18-chapter 2.

Oftentimes the stress and busyness of this unique day can cause us to lose sight of the true “reason for the season.”  And that reason is the gift of God to sinful mankind with the precious birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

I thank God I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness

Truly I am, because being in this cult is one scary place to be.

One of my Youtube videos that has received thousands of views is about the false prophecy made by JW’s concerning the 1914 generation.  Here it is below:

For anyone who doubts that JW’s are brainwashed, read some of the comments JW’s post and you will soon learn just how deep into denial and deception they actually are.  Here is one that I received today from a typical deluded member of this cult:

“The Watchtower never made “false prophecies” because they never actually made “prophecies” to begin with.     Those were simply surmisings of what’s already there IN the Bible.  This is what apostates and anti-JW cornballs don’t grasp.    Jehovah’s witnesses only went by calculations of prophecies ALREADY THERE IN THE BIBLE.      (Sighs…)  As for the WT article that says “prophet in your midst”, if you read the whole article and points, carefully and honestly, which anti-JW ranters never do, in their hastiness, sloppiness, and bias, you’ll see that that’s “prophet” in the BROAD sense of the word of simply speaking on God’s behalf IN GENERAL.    A witness of the Lord, in general.    That’s how the word “prophet” can also be referred to or what it can also mean.    Not some infallible thing directly from God in the miraculous sense.    But from what’s already written, and NOT NEW inventions or revelations or “predictions” that were ever claimed to be divinely inspired.    NOT “prophet” in the Deuteronomy sense.    Which is always sloppily and stupidly mis-applied onto them, desperately.      Jehovah’s witnesses, from the very beginning, NEVER claimed to get “inspiration” in the sense of the actual inspired prophets in the Bible…but always clearly DIS-claimed that.     Russell from the beginning said:

“these are not prophecies, but surmisings”

and

“we don’t claim to be perfect or without mistake”.   

There is CLARIFICATION OF UNDERSTANDING, among God’s true servants.   That’s not the point about Jehovah Himself “not changing”.      (Sighs…)    The point is that in the past,Jehovah’s witnesses merely offered an interpretation of Biblical prophecy that was already there in the Bible; they did not give actual prophecies of their own.   But simply expounded what they believed was stated in the SCRIPTURES already.      Not some separate thing.     Some of the understandings were of course mis-understandings and inaccurate.     So?      That doesn’t mean “false prophet” in the Deuteronomy sense, though jackass pagans like to wrongly think that, and mis-apply that onto them.    When that has nothing do with it.     It’s simply misunderstandings, at the time, in CALCULATIONS in Bible chronology.     NOT THE SAME THING.    (Though you desperately want it to be….lol)

They said clearly that they were NOT divinely inspired infallible prophets.     Very clearly.    Only blind wombats and dishonest trolls don’t see it and don’t want to see it.

JWs keep on the watch….and they don’t have “so many false teachings”…but they’re all pure and Biblical.     Despite clarifications or mistakes or refinements in understanding.      They never claimed (ever) to be infallible or “inspired prophets” in that sense.     I don’t have time or patience (I’ve been on this road before with you pagans and apostates and whiners) to educate you…or correct your overblown belly-aching.     You’re a drone.   And barf up the same sloppy nonsense.    JWs said from the get-go (from Russell onwards) that they are NOT infallibly inspired…in the Deuteronomy sense, that you keep idiotically wrongly quoting and mis-applying.   You WANT JWs to be a uhhh “false prophet” and harp and whine on dates (exaggerated), because it suits you better.   It means you get to celebrate pagan Christmas and violate Verse after Verse (both “Testaments”) and mix in the world’s politics, and avoid the “narrow road”.       Roy, you’re such a sad and sorry drone-tard pagan Protestant loser, whose so “part of the world”, and on a demented soap-box with no life.    Get a grip, kiddo.    Seriously.    The world is a mess, and we ARE in the “time of the end”.     Would you honestly deny that prophetical and Biblical fact?”

There is so very much wrong with this comment that time forbids giving a thorough answer to even half of what needs to be rebutted.  Also, it is hard to take someone seriously who resorts to juvenile name-calling, but thinking people understand that those who resort to such tactics usually do so as a defense mechanism.

This comment perfectly portrays your typical brainwashed JW, and reveals the depth of deception that JW’s have fallen into.  It is akin to you and I walking out into a summer day at noon, the sun blazing in a cloudless, blue sky with the temperature being a blistering 105 degrees.  As I wipe the sweat from my brow, I say to you, “Gosh, what a hot and sunny day it is today!”

But you turn to me and reply, “What do you mean ‘hot and sunny’?  It’s freezing out here, and I wish these dark clouds would disappear so the sun can come out and melt this four feet of snow off the ground and warm me up.”

There is no denying that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society claimed to be a prophet; the evidence is overwhelming.  Here is a video offering one small piece of evidence supporting my assertion:

The deluded soul who wrote the above rant is truly a sad case.  If this individual honestly believes what he wrote is truth, he finds himself in the unfortunate position of being self-deceived; such a person needs both our pity and prayers.

But there may be a darker side to this poster:  he may be fully aware that his comment is a lie, but he is a JW apologist and defender who spends his time seeking to keep other JW’s in the dark by posting known lies and fictions such as this one.   There are holocaust deniers  who fit into this latter category and these are dangerous individuals.  If so, this poster is a deceiver and must be exposed as being one.

As I say to many JW’s:  “Thank Jehovah I’m not a JW!”

 

Man murders ex-wife and her family

William Stone, involved in a protracted custody battle with his ex-wife over their two children, committed suicide with a sword after killing his ex-wife and four of her family members.

As tragic and gruesome as these slayings are, they are not unexpected; I am surprised these type of murders are not more commonplace.

For those fathers involved in similar custody battles for their children, the “justice” system they often face in Family Law courtrooms across this nation is anything but.  Fathers are routinely stripped of their parental rights, and in the worst cases, these fathers will lose all contact with their children.

Fathers are under a grand delusion who think they are going to get a fair shake when they walk into your typical Family Law courtroom during their divorce.  Typically, these men are not there because they either want or choose to be there; most divorce cases are initiated and filed by the wife, so these fathers are playing defense.

It is well-known that women are favored during divorce proceedings and are usually awarded primary custody of the children.  There is an unfounded presumption that the mother is the better caregiver and that the “best interests of the children” are realized when the mother has them in her care, custody and control for most of the time.

Though today’s blog is not the time to debate whether or not this basic presumption is accurate, the fact that mothers are given a significant edge in custody disputes can set the stage for this kind of violence.

Clearly, Stone was a psychological basket case to have committed such a heinous crime.  His gruesome suicide with the same sword he used to hack up several of his victims only supports this allegation of mental instability.

But something drove this Iraq war veteran, on medication for his mental health issues, over the edge, and though his death forecloses the possibility that the public will know for certain his reasons and motives, it is clear that the years long battle for their children was the main motivation.

The article stated that “Stone and his ex-wife, Nicole, 33, filed for divorce in 2009 and had an ongoing custody battle over their daughters, aged 8 and 5…Stone asked a court on Dec. 5 to grant him emergency custody but was denied.”

These facts are significant.  This couple was battling in court for their children for almost five years.  The reference to Stone asking for emergency custody on December 5 is also significant, but the fact that he was denied this emergency custody is even more telling.

Why did he feel it was necessary to seek this emergency custody?  Did he feel his children were in some kind of danger with his ex-wife or her in-laws?  Apparently, this is why he was seeking “emergency custody” because a parent usually does not go into court seeking this unless there is a reason to do so, whether real or imagined.

One article alleges that the ex-wife had recently sought treatment over her drug abuse problems:

“In recent months, Nicole Stone had sought treatment for drug abuse, friends and family members said.

When her ex-husband learned of that, he redoubled his efforts to win custody of their daughters, 5-year-old Kayla and 8-year-old Shannon, who spent much of their time living with their mother at her apartment in Harleysville…”

Certainly this could have been a valid reason to seek such an emergency order.

And he was denied.  This is perhaps as significant to understanding why he chose to go on this murder spree than anything else.   Was this denial just another defeat for him in court that followed many others like it after five years before the same family law judge?  Was it the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”?

Stone’s ex-wife, Nichole, was quoted as telling neighbors and friends that her ex-husband was going to kill her.  Why?  At this point, no one knows, but a reasonable answer would relate his death threats to the ex-wife over the ongoing custody battle over the children.

Was the ex-wife poisoning the children against him?  Refusing to allow him to see the children?  Interfering with their parenting time?  Filling the children’s heads with nonsense and lies about their father?  Driving wedges between them?  Since the ex-wife’s family were also targeted in this mass killing spree, what part, if any, did they play in this custody dispute?

For anyone who has gone through what is called a “high conflict divorce” where the custody of the children are a reason for much of the litigation, intense emotions are part and parcel of the environment.

Unfortunately for this fractured family, those emotions are now the cause for an unimaginable amount of tragedy.  Let’s pray for the innocent children left to deal with losing the people they loved the most and who will have to deal with the horror and trauma of such a tragic event for the rest of their lives.

Victory against Planned Parenthood

Spears v. City of Tucson. On September 12, 2014, I filed a “civil rights action” lawsuit against the City of Tucson because myself and Edwin Lo were threatened with arrest for ministering there on September 16, 2013, virtually a full year prior to the filing of the suit.

The City of Tucson, the Tucson Police Dept. (TPD), Planned Parenthood, and Tucson Medical Center (the hospital that allows PP to have this death mill as a tenant in part of their private medical complex) all claimed that the public sidewalk that Edwin and I were ministering on (directly in front of the clinic) were “private” and that we were trespassing. We were ordered to leave or face criminal arrest.

We contacted Nate Kellum of the “Center for Religious Expression,” a Christian law firm based in Memphis, TN that is experienced in first amendment cases. Mr. Kellum expressed particular interest in this case and offered to take it on “pro-bono,” meaning I did not have to come up with the money for the litigation. Praise God!

The interesting part of this case is that this PP is indeed in a private medical plaza. Tucson Medical Center (TMC) is a highly regarded hospital here in Tucson and they own a vast medical complex along with their hospital. They own and maintain all the grounds: the streets, sidewalks, buildings, etc. The City of Tucson does no maintenance for TMC in this medical complex where PP carries out their gruesome business.

For years and years, Christians have gone to this particular PP clinic on a sporadic basis and sought to minister there, and from what I understand, each time the private security firm hired by TMC to patrol the grounds ordered all of us off the grounds, using the same legal basis that the area was private.

But on September 16, 2013, I decided to make a stand and refused to leave when ordered by the private security company, believing that we had every right to be on the public sidewalk, regardless of any claim of these sidewalks being “private.”

The police were called and the TPD officer, after consulting with his superiors and the private security firm, confirmed that we were on private property and ordered us to leave or face criminal arrest. I respectfully disagreed with him and explained that, on the contrary, we were not trespassing and had every right to minister on that sidewalk.

He wasn’t in the mood to discuss this and ordered us off the property or get arrested, forbidding us to return on the property again unless we needed medical services. Wisely, we left before the handcuffs went on.

My attorney, Nate Kellum, did an excellent job in researching this issue and discovered that, yes, this was indeed private property, but here is the interesting twist: the sidewalks that make up this private medical complex were indistinguishable from any other public sidewalks in Tucson, and nothing about them would make anybody using them think they were anything but regular, public sidewalks. There were no signs around the medical complex alerting people coming onto the property that they entering private property.

As a matter of fact, many people use the roads in this complex as a shortcut and do not use the medical facilities. Pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, and dog walkers use the roads and sidewalks to go about their business and many are not patients of the medical service providers.

After much research, it was finally determined and confirmed by TMC that yes, these sidewalks were “within the public right of way” and now, I would no longer face arrest for trespassing if I desired to engage in conduct protected by the First Amendment. This was provided in a letter dated December 5, 2014 from the City of Tucson, of which I did not receive until today.

What does this mean? Christians can now freely go to this notorious death mill and “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves” in the hope that some abortion minded moms will choose life instead of death for their unborn, defenseless and innocent pre-born sons and daughters.

For years and years and years, Christians have been bullied and lied to by these people and, threatened with arrest, have avoided ministering at this clinic. Backed by law enforcement and the “big guns” of the City of Tucson’s legal department and well-paid attorneys, these babies have been butchered without anyone to speak up in their defense. Hopefully, this will now begin to change.

I want to encourage everyone to pray that a regular and consistent pro-life outreach will now begin to take root in front of this PP clinic. Please spread the word about this astonishing victory in Tucson, and let’s not waste this opportunity. Truly, to God be the glory!

The clinic name and address is:

Margaret Sanger Health Center
2255 N. Wyatt Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85712
520-408-7526

Religious hypocrites: Part Two

In my last post, I wrote about the dangers of religious hypocrites and how easily highly religious people can be deceived into thinking they are close to God when, in truth, they might be as far from Him as the devil.

I mentioned a prayer that I often pray, knowing that I am in danger of religious hypocrisy myself:  “Lord, where am I deceived at this moment in my faith?”

If you believe yourself to be a Christian, let me ask you whether or not you have ever prayed a similar prayer?  Hopefully, you are enough of a developed soul to understand that you, a zealous, bible believing, Scripture quoting, moral minded man or woman, can be as deceived as the Devil.

I speak the truth.  And if you are one of those unfortunate believers in God that have deceived yourselves to such an extent that you believe yourself immune to deception because of your strong faith and close walk with the Lord, then you are a person utterly deceived in some place in your faith.

Strongly held beliefs are a two-edged sword.  On one hand, such rock solid beliefs are necessary to stand the innumerable times of  testings that come to each believer.  But on the other hand, strong and rigid beliefs can blind us to truth that we may never consider.

At one time in my Christian walk, and in particular in my early to mid twenties, I was what some might describe as an “on fire Christian.”  I devoured the Bible, reading and studying it for hours during the day. I prayed, fasted and regularly attended an evangelical, mainline southern Baptist church.

If you and I were talking and you brought up a verse in the Bible, I could finish it before you finished the quote and probably give you the exact book, chapter and verse you were referring to.

I was zealous for sharing this faith to anybody that would listen.  I started and led a large Bible study with many young people my age, even leading worship in this group.  It was a glorious time of my life and, even today, decades later, I look back upon these times with fondness and am grateful to the Lord for Him allowing me the experience.

Was my faith perfect?  No; I had my struggles, but I believe, with all that is in my heart, that my faith was genuine and sincere; I had a true, living relationship with Jesus.

Back then, I did not think I was deceived or capable of it.  I felt that my evangelical faith was based on sound biblical principles and was never guilty of straying into any bizarre unorthodoxy, like handling live, poisonous snakes and believing if they bit me that I would not die.

In my thirties, I began to seriously question some of my strongly held and cherished beliefs.  These doubts increased in my forties and it was around this time that I began to first pray that prayer about being deceived.

And it was this Scripture that I believe the Lord used to open up my eyes that there was some areas in this strong faith that needed some reflection and serious adjustment:

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'” (Matthew 9:139(a) NASB)

Highly religious people who posses strong faith can be particularly susceptible to the sin of pride; we can, astonishingly, be proud of our great faith in the Lord, as paradoxical as this seems.  Strong faith can lead people who posses that faith to have hard hearts and be harsh towards others who they perceive as weak in the faith.  Mercy is often lacking in such people.

This lack of mercy extends to our belief in the character of God, and now I will get to the crux of this post:  I began to seriously doubt my long held belief in the concept of an eternal, never ending, burning hell that most people get tossed into when they die and from which they never have a chance to escape.

Please let me pause here and point out that I realize the significance of what I just wrote.  I am questioning one of the foundational doctrinal beliefs of evangelical Christianity and reexamining a strongly held belief that I adhered to and believed in unquestionably  for decades of my faith.

My doubt of the typical belief in hell will brand me as a heretic to the vast majority of evangelical Christianity in America and throughout the Western world.

I will continue this in my next post.

 

Religious hypocrites: Part One

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  Jesus, Matthew 23:27-28

Jesus reserved His harshest condemnations for religious hypocrites.  Not for prostitutes and tax collectors, but people who quoted the Bible and walked around praying all day, peppering their daily conversations with “Praise the Lord!”

For me, this has been the source of never ending fascination.  I could write a myriad of blogs on just this topic because faith plays such a huge part in my life.  And I have to ask myself a tough question:  am I a religious hypocrite?

The reason I have to ask myself this question is because I have learned something:  people who are very zealous for God are often some of the biggest hypocrites in existence.  There is nobody so blind or harmful as a Pharisee, a person walking around who carries the Bible and quotes memorized Scripture as easily as they breathe.

The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were the men who stood above the masses when it came to religious duty and adherence.  They were esteemed as being pillars in the community for their community service and generous tithing to the Temple.  When they prayed, you could feel their intensity and no doubt hear them from a long way away as they shouted out their praises and petitions.

But make no doubt about this fact:  they were men of cruelty, and while it is possible they loved animals and treated their own livestock with care, they despised people, especially “sinners.”

For these men, it was the letter of the law and not its spirit that was all important.  If it was the Sabbath, and a desperately ill man needed to be carried in the arms of his friend to the doctor for lifesaving treatment, well, this could not be done.  After all, the Pharisee reasoned, the Bible forbids working on the Sabbath, and certainly one man carrying another fits this obvious prohibition.

In these men’s minds, you can seek treatment for your illness on any day but the Sabbath, especially if you have to be carried in the arms of your friend.  Tough luck if you’re dying on the holy day.  Suck it up and wait until the next day, then you can seek your healing.  And if you die waiting, well, praise the Lord!  You obeyed His commandments and you will receive your reward in heaven for being faithful and obedient.

If you think I’m out in left field on this, read Mark 3:1-6 and you will see what I mean.  This story is so incredible that it almost seems unbelievable.  How could these Pharisees, in verse two and identified in verse 6, actually be so hard-hearted toward this poor man with the withered hand that they would not want him to be healed on the Sabbath?

These Pharisees did not want this man to be healed on the Sabbath and reacted so cruelly due to their “hardness of heart” (verse 5).

Those of us who truly believe we are Christians, particularly if we are unusually zealous for the faith, face dangers of falling into the same trap as these Pharisees.  There seems to be nothing more deceiving than this tendency for super religious and devout people to be guilty of hard heartedness.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are picture perfect examples of  modern day Pharisees.  One only has to look no farther than their evil and cruel doctrine of “shunning” than to verify the truth of my statement.

“Shunning,” in case you are not familiar with this, is when a JW, at one time a faithful member, suddenly finds themselves at odds with something in the organization.  Perhaps this JW is seriously questioning some teaching of the organization, like the ban on blood transfusions, and can no longer support it, believing it to be a man made doctrine and not something supported by the Bible.

If this is brought to the attention of the elders and found to be true, and this particular JW is then asked to repent and cease from going against the teachings of the Governing Body on this issue, he has only two choices:  repent or be disfellowshipped.

If they abide by the convictions of their conscience and stick to their belief, they will be kicked out of the organization and the other members must, and will, “shun” them.  They will become invisible to the other faithful members and be treated as if they no longer exist.  No friendly “Good mornings!” if they are met in the grocery store, no speaking to this disfellowshipped member as they walk down their neighborhood streets, etc.

And this even applies to parents.  In other words, a mother or father would also be shunned in this cruel, perverse and unbiblical manner by a son or daughter.  Such is the awesome power of the Pharasaic spirit that rules the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, blinding all of their members to such wicked and evil behavior, even toward parents; all because that mother or father simply chose to exercise their conscience in a minor biblical matter.

If there is one prayer I pray as frequently as any other, it is, “Lord, where am I deceived at this moment in my faith?”  I must understand that I, too, can be deceived at any part of my faith, even over strongly held and cherished beliefs that I have held over a lifetime.

I will discuss one such strongly held belief in the next post.

 

Fiat Lux: "Let there be light."