Sunday, August 5, 2012
Let us change the name of the franchise really obviously, Pork-fil-A, the other white meat. They are proudly Atheist owned they have been promoting values of personal freedom for years and as a result discriminating against Christians because they believe in authoritarian values that go against their deeply held company philosophy. A prominent kid’s show partners with them by providing toys for their kid’s meals, both profit. The prominent kids show pulls said toys at a moment’s notice saying it is because of Pork-fil-A’s discriminatory practices against Christians. The owners of the kids show are pro-religious freedom and cannot abide with partnering with a company that discriminates against people due to their religious affiliation. Pork-fil-A openly claims it was not due to the values issue but because kids were getting hurt by the toys, people argue about it.
Two camps are formed: One Atheist saying those toys were dangerous and Pork-fil-A has a right to not encourage those hateful, crusading, personal freedom denying Christians. Religion is a choice, they choose to believe in bigotry and hatred and endangering the values of personal freedom this country was built on. The other camp is those Christians so much persecuted since the Roman days feeling pushed down again feeling like the kids show had stood up for them and their rights to believe what they want and live how they want. After all religion is not a choice, really, when God speaks you listen and follow. How could you deny God? It is their identity after seeing the living God they can’t help it. They realized Jesus was the way and against oppression and unbelievable prejudice and possibility of persecution they came out of the religious closet and declared they would not live a lie anymore and be honest about who they were. Then the Atheist activist camp decides to support this brave company and all go there and buy sand witches en masse. I mean they are good and support the cause of personal freedom they believe in so much and they need to be supported. Meanwhile the Christians feel persecuted because the company that is anti-God, anti-Christian is being so publicly supported for their discrimination of who they are. They see it as an act of hate against them. They live in a society that says: Be quiet about who you are and what you believe in because if you are honest you will not be given the rights to be who you are, but Crist told them not to hold their light under a bushel and they want to let that light shine and not to live a lie. These people are rallying at Pork-fil-A to say: Lie, don’t be who you are and suffer the depression and anxiety that comes with being a closet believer.
Well, maybe that helps. God gave us the ability to see the other side to walk in the shoes of others. Jesus went and ate and talked with sinners and Samaritans and got to know them and to understand them as people and why they were the way they were. Why shouldn’t we? If we are unable to see why homosexual people are feeling discriminated against by the dollar vote we are not looking at the issue as Jesus would have. We are ignorant and doing hateful things out of love, twisted isn’t it.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
As I have mentioned I am in the middle of a project to live in faith. It was going really well, I was feeling happy and balanced and I felt like I was making some real progress in my efforts to be more forgiving and getting rid of all that anger I have stored up inside of me from all the times I have been hurt by other Christians. Then I stopped praying every day and I started getting angry again and stopped being productive. During the time I was praying every day I was able to keep my house clean for the first time in my life. I read a ton and not just the Bible either. I started writing a novel and got to 30,000 words.
This is very sad news, but I have to tell you about it. On August 2nd homosexualists want to organise the gay parade in Jerusalem. When I got this info my heart was so sad! How can it be in Jerusalem – the holy city of King of Kings?! Our role is to be high priest and to prepare the way for returning of the King of Glory!
If you are jealous for Jerusalem and the atmosphere in the Holy city please join us in the prayer for Jerusalem! We are going to meet on July 23 in the evening at 19.00 in the center of Jerusalem. I have some info about where the gay parade was pland to be (in which streets). We can walk the same streets and pray and proclaim the word of God and to devote these streets to God that unclean spirit can not touch this land and holy city! We are called to stay in the gap for Jerusalem not only in the physical world, but also in the spiritual world. It doesn’t matter which language you speak, but if you live in Jerusalem or other cities of Israel you are welcome to come and join us!
Our role as the high priest is to pray also for forgiveness of these people, who are homosexualists, and to confess their sins before God, because our war is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph.6:12) And more that this, we have special authority from God to do it! "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you (Lk.10:19).
You can invite your friends to pray with us in the streets of Jerusalem. If you do not live in Israel or if you can not come to Jerusalem, we want to encourage you to pray alone or to organise a special prayer meeting with people from your church in this day.
“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.” (Ps.137:5-6)...PLS INCLUDE THIS IN YOUR PRAYER CLOSET ...Thanks
I am just absolutely overwhelmed by the ignorance and intolerance. This parade is actually an annual event that has been going on for over 13 years and has seen its share of violence with participants having been stabbed and otherwise attacked. I will be praying for the safety of the participants.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Is a tittle of a book but it is also a world view some people have that I don’t. Some people see the world, literally, as a battle ground between the forces of good and evil, angels and demons. People like this hear demonic voices whispering to them. Everything wrong with everyone is cause by demons. Think Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
When I was praying the other day, before writing about my experiment I believe I felt the presence of God and also that I got told to go to the prayer meeting, Other stuff happened too actually. I addressed my resentments with the church to the Lord. I felt Him telling me I should be more patient and loving and forgive and as that happened I realized that I had never forgiven. I always thought I did. I merely forgot about it but at every reminder the resentment bubbled up. True forgiveness is not given for the sake of the other person but for the sake of our own wellbeing and I realized that I am not sure how to forgive. The list of grievances keeps growing and none are taken away through genuine forgiveness on my part and it is poisoning me and stopping me from enjoying the benefits I can receive through genuinely forgiving the wrongs I have experienced.
I am a particularly bad case because I take offence for impersonal things. Someone at church makes a racist comment about Muslims, well, I take it personally because I seem to have internalized the Martin Luther King Jr. quote about injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere so they might as well be talking about me. I felt the need to pray for the ability to forgive, because I am not sure how, and they keep in bits poisoning me. I cannot truly learn from the experience until forgiveness is brought about, then I can use my past experience in an impassionate way and know how to enact change.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Well, none of you must be dying to find out what happened at the prayer meeting: Nothing spectacular. It was just like most other Pentecostal prayer meetings I went to minus the war vet freaking out due to his PTSD (he is a great guy and looks so sad all the time, I try to talk to him and greet him often but we have a language barrier, his Finnish is not the best and also he is shut off and I don’t know what to talk about with him).
I felt a little silly about it the next day after hearing God but I went anyway because, well, if I am going to live in a way that I allow God to lead me, I better follow even if nothing comes of it. So I went. As I expected, the praise and worship was boring but I like singing so I sang along and enjoyed it but as always was not able to connect to God. I can never feel God when I am singing along to P&W songs because I am concentrating on singing, not worshipping. So the P&W songs came and God was not in them. We prayed, but God was not in that either. I am not comfortable connecting to God with other people making noise around me. This really bothered me after I moved here leaving behind my Quaker congregation with its nice silent worship. I was starting to think by the time the sermon started that God would not show up for me. Then the music pastor started to talk about receiving the Holy Spirit and how it may not be something that happens all at once so we need to extend out our metaphorical cups and just wait and say: “God I am here, I am waiting.” We wait and if it does not fill we say: “Okay not today, but maybe tomorrow, I am here Lord.” Then we wait patiently and keep praying and extending out cup out. I thought that was an interesting contrast with the typical impatient Pentecostal attitude that you pray and strain like you are about to poop a bowling ball to receive the Holy Spirit RIGHT FREAKING NOW!
After the sermon we prayed some more and some people prayed in tongues, at low volume like whispering, this was a great contrast to most Pentecostal churches where the point is to get God to listen to you by seeing who can yell gibberish loudest through their tears. There was no overwhelming experience for the Skeptigirl of shaking in the Spirit or speaking in tongues but I think I know why I went and the journey continues.
So, if you read this far, time for the fun part. Let me tell you about the usual cast of characters at the prayer meeting, other than my PTSD friend. There was the token drunk guy. The actual drunk guy changes from meeting to meeting but there is always one. Sometimes he is disruptive and has to be escorted out by security but this time he was merely warned and did not get more disruptive than yelling out flowery but repetitive compliments for the praise band about every one of their songs. He sat in the back so we all heard them and the P&W band was amused and complimented. Then there were of course the proper Pentecostal disapproving old ladies who took a look back at him and scowled every time he piped up. He snuck in a twelve pack of beer somehow, and while I never saw him drinking it he was missing six cans by the end of the service. Then there were a few ladies dancing unobtrusively in their places a few people raising their hands and a developmentally disabled guy who was really, really into it.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I think I know what some of them are but I have never seen a convincing case of any of them. I have been going to a Pentecostal church of one sort or another majority of my life. I have heard tongues but I have never been convinced about them (read my post on tongues to find out more). I was wanting to write a post on prophecy called: ”Prophecy: The Most Useless Gift” I think that sums up my attitude on that point. I still may write it as a part of my experiment series of posts.
Monday, June 25, 2012
I am an extremely logical and practical person with in my spiritual frame work. I am not easily persuaded by signs and wonders and no Christian charlatan will get on over me. I have decided to start on an experiment. I am going to try to live more "intuitively" or not exactly. I do not believe in intuition and there is no evidence for it in double blind studies. There is something else that there is no evidence for in double blind studies either but I believe in it, at least in concept, the Holy Spirit.
As I said that I have been feeling a bit down. I have been feeling better and the empty feeling in my chest has dissappeared either through prayer, or through something else, while correlation does not imply causation, I have been praying a lot. I have also been reading a book called Chasing the Dragon (by Jackie Pullinger) and it is about a woman who just does what God asks her to do and succeeded as a missionary in a pretty tough place with some tough people.
I have decided to ask for God's guidance and see where it takes me. God has created me a skeptic, he wants me to be a skeptic, but I think he also wants me to try out the mystical side of faith and get deeper in the the wierd. I felt what I think is the Holyspirit, can't say for sure but we will see what happens. I also got this feeling I should go to the next service my church holds. Lately I have been not going because I am getting nothing out of it and on top of that the next service is the Tuesday night prayer meeting FMI (excuse the unchristian abreviation). I hate Pentecostal prayer meetings, so many people praying at once that I can't even hear myself think in the cacaphony. The Spirit seems to be taking me to the unlikeliest meeting my church offers, let's see where this goes.
|In the mean while I hope you enjoy this dove with lazerbeams coming out of its bellybutton :)|
Thursday, June 21, 2012
There is no getting over it. The Skeptigirl is starting to get depressed. I only admitted it to the Skeptiboy last night when we got into bed. I haven’t been depressed for several years now, maybe three or four. Sure I have felt down but I have not been able to sustain it and I have bounced back. Everything has been getting really hard lately. I am panicking at night about small stuff I have to do and haven’t done. Well, I go through phases like that but overall it was the reason I failed out of college. I also feel lonely and empty inside my chest, now that is not a phase, it is only something I feel when I am really truly depressed. This makes me worried.
I am not exactly sure why I feel this way. My first guess might be to think it is because a recent string of disappointments and failures I have had like being rejected from the program of study I applied for, or the financial troubles we had because I messed up on my paperwork and lost my unemployment benefits for over a month, or that I cannot get job practice positions I want because other people do not think I am as awesome as I do. That still should not cause this. My depression has never really been circumstance related, especially since I am still optimistic about my future and have plans for it.
I also have trouble feeling God listening when I pray. I am not sure why but when I really settle down for a long conversation I just feel like I am talking to the walls. Also my disappointment with the people of God is rearing its ugly head. I am getting nothing but plain old friendship and company from my church community. There is just one guy who is a bit “special” in whom I feel the spirit of God (you know people who are just a little abnormal but completely functional and normally intelligent, just different). Seeing him and talking to him really encourages me. The rest seem kind of plastic. Actually I see no difference in them, or feel it for that matter, from the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons. I don’t feel the true spirit of God in any of them. I know “feeling” the spirit of God is vague and I am not authoritative gauge of God’ Spirit and the problem could be with me. An atheist would say “You aren’t feeling it because it is not there, idiot!” I think the best way I could describe how it feels is a feeling of gentle love and genuine concern. It is in the way a person listens and takes an interest in another and opens themselves up and acts out of love. I feel that in me sometimes when I help others and take a genuine interest in them and truly love them unconditionally. I am not good with that, I have never been, but sometimes I manage to love the way God intends.
In conclusion, I am depressed and having a religious crisis and getting nothing out of my church fellowship. Also, as Ghandi is thought to have said: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” (source, the disputed section)