Monday, May 21, 2007

Sheer speculation...

After the events of 9/11 there was a time when I was prompted to consider this scripture:

Lu 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.”

Now I realize that most biblical scholars associate this scripture with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. I do, too. I have found, though, that it may also point to another event. Depending on your exegesis of all the scriptures that relate, it would appear that other major events, including the second coming of Jesus would/could follow shortly thereafter. Those other events didn’t happen in 70 AD or soon after. Therefore, I’ve had to consider other scenarios.

After 9/11, the USA was bombing Afghanistan and going after the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. At some point, it looked as if Israel might follow the USA’s lead and start doing its own bombing of its enemies. I don’t think the USA was too thrilled by that proposition. At that point, a thought came to mind. What if Israel offended the USA by its actions, and lost its support? An extreme example might be that Israel used a nuclear bomb. That might effectively polarize the nations is such a way that indeed, all nations would be against Israel. Pretty scarey stuff.

I have a healthy fear of God. I don’t plan on being part of the ‘against’ Israel group. I can see living in a nation that takes a stand against Israel…but not me personally. Am I in favor of the use of nuclear weapons? Not at all. Could I condone such an action? It wouldn’t be easy. Could you?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Chronic homelessness...

I hate to see anybody homeless. Though I have never personally experienced it, it sounds absolutely horrible to me. I don’t know what the answer for it is, though. It’s complicated because the reasons for chronic homelessness are so diverse. Some of the homeless are truly and obviously disabled and society should provide for their needs. Some of the homeless are disabled but not so obviously. Some disorders are hard to recognize/diagnose even when they exist. Some of the homeless are obvious drunks and drug addicts. How should society deal with that? Some of the homeless may just be undisciplined and lazy. The list could go on and on. The dilemma is that if the typical homeless lifestyle wasn’t pretty uncomfortable, how many more people would give up on convention (because it can be extremely hard) and jump on the wagon? I’ve heard people say that there should be government provided private housing for the homeless. I mean…if being unwilling to care for and provide for yourself just meant someone else would do it for you…that would sure take some of the drama out of the equation. I can only imagine that the homeless numbers, as well as the cost to society, would rise.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Opportunities...

When you really get down to it, life is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to invest. You can invest in the temporal and you can invest in the eternal. Self indulgence might be an example of investing in the temporal. Selflessness might be an example of investing in the eternal. Parents find themselves investing in providing for their family. This can be either temporal or eternal…depending on what they teach those children. If they teach their children the importance of investing in love and selflessness, if they teach them the importance of being a light in this dark world, then they are investing in the eternal.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Gas prices...

Caught between a rock and a hard place. Currently, we need fossil fuels. There is only so much of it and it’s located wherever it’s located. Its quantity is finite. In a capitalistic society, if you own a piece of it, you will want to make as much money as you can from it. That’s the way you do business. If the consumer uses less, the owners will just charge more for less. It’s a win/win for them. If you use lots of gas, they will make lots of money, if you use less gas, they will make even more money. Bottom line, if they can get you to conserve, they can make the most from their finite supply.

I remember the ‘energy crisis’ some years back. Lots of people cut back on electricity. Lots of people bought energy efficient lighting, heating, refrigeration, increased their insulation, etc. What happened? The cost of energy went up. Your bill went up even though you conserved. Same thing will apply with oil. For the consumer, it’s a lose/lose.

There is a balancing act, though. The oil industry has to find out just what the market will bear and still stay healthy. They wouldn’t want the bottom to fall out of the economy. If they get too greedy, that could come back to bite them. If they are smart, they also wouldn’t want to upset the powers that be. That could also come back to bite them. An economy is like a circulatory system. If that circulation is impaired, the life [style] that economy provides is impacted. Some countries might get aggressive to preserve a ‘way of life’. I can think of a few ways that countries could get aggressive. They could impose new regulations, the government could take control (like Chavez is doing in Venezuela), they could wage war against a country that is controlling oil pricing, or they could attempt to assassinate the key players.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A shunt in the circuitry pt2...

Okay…I believe we have established that there is a definite shunt in the collective circuitry when it comes to intercommunication (understanding one another). I have speculated that that shunt may have gone deeper than just intercommunication and affected our very thought processes and abilities to understand generally. But there is another shunt. The individual shunt. We all have limitations of one sort or another. These can be viewed as shunts in the circuitry as well. On a scientific level you might say that the DNA is the circuitry and it’s not all optimized the same for everyone. This is again…what I do best…stating the obvious. Some people are born prodigies and other people have a hard time learning how to tell time or tie their shoes. Not their fault. It’s in the circuitry. Do you ever wonder why?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A shunt in the circuitry...

I’ve spent a large portion of my life trying to understand the big questions. What is the purpose of life? Who are we? Since God knows the end from the beginning, why did He put Satan in the garden of Eden to begin with? What exactly is God’s plan for us? What happens after we die? What truly motivates human beings? The list goes on and on. What I’ve discovered is that no matter how hard I try, my little pea brain cannot fathom, cannot pierce through the veil and truly understand any of these things. I can speculate, but I can’t ‘know’ for certain. That can put a person in a place of insecurity, or it can put them in a place of faith. I find myself in a place of faith for a number of reasons. As you may have read in previous posts on this blog, the magnitude of the glory of life on this planet alone, to me, speaks volumes of a creator. My little pea brain cannot fathom how life could possibly be an accident. It’s too complex, too diverse. Personally, I think it takes more faith to believe it was an accident than it does to believe it was created.

This brings up my main topic…the shunt in the circuitry. I keep looking at this scripture:

Genesis 11:7…Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.

Could this be where it all began? Now don’t take this the wrong way, I’d never insult God purposefully. But, did God dumb us down so that we couldn’t understand? He surely did when it came to intercommunication. Could this scripture go deeper than just intercommunication, though? Did this confusing the language affect our internal language as well so that we would have difficulty with understanding and conceptualizing?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Submit yourselves…

1 Peter 2:13…¶ Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

Romans 13:1…¶ Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Who is our ‘authority’? Obviously, from the above scriptures…kings, governors, and governing authorities that are 'instituted' for sure. But what about your pastor, or your boss? Are we to submit to them for the Lord’s sake? And what exactly does that mean…to submit to them? What if your pastor tells you to do something that you don’t agree with? Do you have to submit to them to be a good Christian? I don’t think so. I think a good Christian is going to do what they think is right, not necessarily what their pastor tells them to do. If you find that your boss is unfair, unreasonable, makes lousy decisions, is a jerk, or whatever, are you commanded by the Lord to submit to them? Not really. You have choices. You are not a slave per se. You can choose to confront the boss and address the issues. You can quit. Of course, if you confront your boss, you risk offending them and suffering the consequences. That is your choice, though. Imo you are not being a bad Christian in doing so. There is no law that says you can’t confront your worldly boss, or quit a job.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A man reaps what he sows...

I used to see this as a simple and black and white concept. If you did good things, you would reap good things. If you did bad things, you would reap bad things. But, it’s really not that simple. First off, there are two occasions of reaping…the here and now, and the hereafter. Secondly, what is good in the here and now is subjective. I think Christianity is good, but if I tried preaching the gospel in a Muslim country, I might reap a beheading. I think speaking against injustice can be a good thing…but you could reap some dire consequences for that. So, ultimately, you do reap what you sow, but if you want to reap only good things in the here and now, you need to carefully consider if what you are sowing would be universally recognized as good.