Thursday, April 24, 2014

The "C" Word is the new "F" Word

I was watching a YouTube video of a science series that I enjoy. The female host does a wonderful job of explaining current happenings with intelligence and flair. And as an added bonus, she has an accent (I know, we all have accents, but hers isn't mine), which makes listening even that much more enjoyable.

On this particular episode, she was reading some of the YouTube "hate mail" she has received. Why? To show us, her audience, what kind of morons are out there. Very little of what she read dealt with the content of her videos. There were a few, but no one provided any form of opposing viewpoint: just vitriol. The comments were of a very hateful and personal nature.

What surprised me the most was NOT the flagrant use of the "F" word (you know the one: rhymes with "truck"). Nor was it the use of the "C" word (that one rhymes with "hunt"). It was that the "C" word was "bleeped", whereas the "F" word (and about every other known swear word) was used outright. (I'm reminded of a comment by the comedian Lewis Black: "You might think I use the word f*** a lot. Well, I don't give a s***. I'm from New York, and in New York "f***" is not a swear word; it's a comma!")

Which brings me to the point: the "C" word has become the new "F" word. Maybe we as a society have become so desensitized to the "F" word that we no longer find it offensive. My question is, why are any words still considered offensive? In a society of openness and acceptance (okay, maybe not across the board, but it's getting closer), should anything anyone says be considered offensive? Doesn't it fall more upon the hearers than the speakers? And if so, doesn't that say something about the attitudes of the hearers?

I could get all sensitive at this point and cry out against the fall of culture, but frankly, I really don't give a f***.

© Emittravel 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ashamed to Be a Christian

I've come to the point in my life where I have to declare that I'm ashamed to be a Christian.

I was listening to a podcast where a well-known astrophysicist was talking about Copernicus, and how he had moved the sun into the center of the universe, and how this was heresy, because the Bible declares that the earth is the center of the universe. Now, he wasn't considering Copernicus' viewpoint as heresy, the Church was. Since this astrophysicist is well known, a lot of people who listen to him will go away with the same viewpoint: the Bible is an archaic book that is scientifically flawed, and Christians who claim the Bible to be without error are flawed as well.

I've read the Bible through a number of times. I've read the King James Version (more times than I can remember), The Living Bible, The New King James Version, Youngs Literal Translation, the Douay-Rheims Version, the Modern King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the Weymouth New Testament, the Voice in the Wilderness Bible, the Amplified Bible, and am currently reading the Darby translation. I've been a devout Catholic, been in the Charismatic movement, the Word and Faith movement, and the Prosperity movement. All that and I've come to the realization that I'm ashamed to be a Christian. Am I ashamed of Jesus the Christ? No! I'm ashamed of Christians.

Christians have done more to push the world away from Jesus than anything the world can come up with on its own. Christians have taken the Bible to be this inerrant book that has ALL of the answers to life within its pages, and have trumpeted it to the world. Really? All you need to do is watch the recent "debate" between Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham (young-earth Creationist), and to read about current "trends" in Christianity (like "Grave Sucking"), to find yourself trying to remove the fish from the back of your car.

I will go into a lot more detail in an upcoming post called "Science is the Answer. What's Your Question?", but to touch on at least one point:

The Bible is best viewed from the 5,000 foot level. When looked at from this vantage point, you see what the overarching topic of the Bible is: God's relationship to Man, and Man's relationship to God. The problems come when we find ourselves dissecting every verse and creating doctrines out of them.

Let's take the "creation" account in Genesis. Again, I will go into much greater detail in "Science is the Answer … ". Do you really think God was trying to get across a detailed description of how everything started so we would understand the intricacies of the universe? Go up to the 5,000 foot level. From that vantage point you see that the "creation" account is to give Man a starting point to the relationship - a rough synopsis, if you will.

Look at this example: "Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth'; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.' - Genesis 1:14-17 (NKJV) Let me ask you: what was the greater and lesser lights? Think about it. Take your time. I'll wait. I've been taught that the greater light was the sun (to light the day) and that the lesser light was the moon (to light the night) - and the stars are referenced separately.  Think about this: The sun is the greater light for the day. The sun actually PRODUCES light. The moon is the lesser light for the night. The moon DOES NOT PRODUCE light - it only REFLECTS that from the sun. And besides that, when the moon is in the New Moon phase, there is NO light reflected - there is NO light for the night. So, either God was wrong, or the Bible was not trying to lay down scientific explanations.

The passage above does reference time and seasons, but no details are given. Why? "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,  But the glory of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV) God WANTS us to explore and understand. He gave us the very intellects, and hunger to know, to search out His creation. The Bible says that all creation shows forth the glory of God. That is ALL creation: from the micro to the macro. God does not give details concerning the speed of light, neutrinos, the atom, or the cell in the Bible. He DID give us the tools (brains) to seek those things out. Like a parent watching their child open a gift at Christmas, the joy for the parent is not the gift, but it is in the discovery FOR their child.

The Bible is NOT a scientific treatise with detailed information on the universe. It is a relational book first and foremost. If you parse it too much, guarantee you will find yourself in grave-sucking error!

I've heard it said that you should always look at scripture in the context in which it was written. Again, look at the scripture from the 5,000 foot view and see if it lines up with the overarching story. If it doesn't, you may not be lined up with what God is trying to tell us.

So, please, if you are a Christian, STOP giving the world excuses. I, for one, do not want to be the reason someone does not get to know Him.

© Emittravel 2014