Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Frank Again....Almost done!

As I am reading Frank, he finally got a hobby horse of mine. Frank begins to talk about Bible prophecy and the end-times. Allow me to quote:

“Attention young Christians: You can get ridiculously obsessed with rapture fever! I was taught, “this is important. We have to know prophecy. We must study prophecy. 90% of the Bible is prophecy. We have a duty to understand it. “ ………….But I made a discovery. All those hours that I spent pouring over Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation…trying to put the end-time puzzle together…did not help me one iota to come to know my Lord better. It was a largely academic, intellectual exercise. And a sterile one at that!” (page 262)

So, what are your thoughts about this one?

BTW, found this quote and had to laugh!

Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent don't care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them. (Lou Holtz)

46 comments:

Louise said...

March 8th - hey there! WALES was 13 years ago today :) Just thought I'd haunt you and say hi! Hope all is well in Winterpeg?! Our snow is really melting today so I hope that SPRING has sprung! Take care & say hi to Sharon.

kenny said...

Hmmm, for me I am sad that he found it just an academic exercise and a sterile one at that. I realize you can get rapture fever and go over board, but I also think that in the end times (and I believe that we should always think of it as the end times)The church (that is each one of us) needs to prepare themselves. Part of that is with studying the word and pouring over scripture. Yes, prophecy is important. It is good to know. It is good to prepare. I have been reading some Mike Bickle's books and am fascinated by the level of understanding and knowledge. Yes, he is end time focused, yet it is all about relationships. It is all about breaking down legalism and religiosity, and embracing who we are as the bride of Christ. When I read over Daniel, I loved it, I read it with an understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit living inside me, giving me wisdom and revelation. I know that people can be obsessed, but I think I would like to be more obsessed with the word of God, and ask that God let it come alive in me and to teach me, each time that I read.

Just my thoughts!

Brad said...

Wow, I'm up far too late, especially with the time change, but what the heck...

The end times is not really something I think about or study about. It does seem that there are lots of people that are all jacked up on end times talk, though. My opinion is that many people use the end times as an excuse. As in "The end is coming, so why should I care about ______ issue?" That's a popular stance when it comes to the environemnt, I've found out.

I also find it weird that people are content to "sit back and wait for Jesus", so to speak. It seems there is this popular attitude that we should look forward to Jesus' return because he'll put all those wicked sinners in their place.

I just think this attitude is a horrible way of looking at it. I may be wrong, but is the end not supposed to come when we've essentially screwed the pooch for good? Do we really want to eagerly await the moment of our complete failure?

Stephanie Getachew said...

Hobby horse, eh??? Do I dare address the topic? Its a hobby horse of mine as well.

Yes, it is sad that the author found the Bible prophesy a sterile, acacemic, intellectual exercise. To those of you who know me well enough, I'm sure my voice will echo through your heads... "OOOOHHHHH, yes... I have opinions!!!!!"

Isn't it an amazing thing to sit and watch the news and to see China, Russia and Iran unite with a common goal to wipe out Israel? My husband told me about 6 years ago that China, Russia and Persia (Iran) were going to be rallying together in the end times... And we talked and pondered about how it could possibly come about. Now, only a few short years later, Russia and the U.S. are no longer "buddies", China and Russia are supplying Iran, etc., etc... Ok. You don't see the relevance? I am not as articulate about this topic as my hubby, but when he starts talking about the end times, my heart begins to ache with longing to see Jesus. I can't wait. I love seeing the signs that He's coming soon.

Does it make me want to sit and watch the sky? No. Does it provide excuses for me to stop being a useful human on earth? No. It keeps me focused on eternity, which is my very reason for being on earth. When I see something on the news, it makes me grab my Bible and flip through it, searching for God's opinion on current events. It makes me want to tell everyone I see that Jesus loves them and He's coming soon. Because He IS coming soon.

And while I can do a pretty good Rexella impersonation, ("OH, Jack. hee hee hee") I can't mock or discredit her or Mr. Van Impe's calling, whether their style is mine or not. (It's not, by the way.) I think God puts different extremes and passions in people to bring balance to the world, and we need these people who are practically obsessed with different things, so they can spend their lives studying it and give us the summary to pique our interest.

Oooohhh yes, I have opinions.

Oh - and I'm not too worried about global warming. Earth's gonna get REAL hot... when it burns up. I can't wait to see the new heaven and earth.

Stephanie Getachew said...

I'm back - sorry. I missed that last sentence from Brad's blog... "Do we really want to eagerly await the moment of our complete failure?"

Moment of failure? That's not what my Bible says. And it is truly sad that some people say that they look forward to the end to put sinners in their place. That is not God's view at all. He says that He does not want any to "perish" but that he has so much love and is slow to become angry. He wants all people to know Him, and hell was made for Satan and his demons. God cares so much more than we ever could for those He created, and He mourns over each person who does not choose Him.

But right now I'm too tired to think at all... I'll spend some time tommorow finding some clear, succinct verses on that, and get back to you in the next couple days, unless someone else does first...

ISmith said...

I have to throw my 2 cents in here... forgive the long quote I'm including but it's one of those things that really helped me out.

Years back when, as a naive evangelical, I first encountered different thrusts within Christianity, I was a bit lost. This section from Francis Schaeffer's "the New Super-Spirituality" gave me some much-needed perspective.

It is interesting to see how heresies function and how the Devil wins out. Let us say the complete body of Christian teaching consists of points 1-100. Now, then, we must realize that this Christian teaching is not just dogmatic, but meets the needs of man as God has made him and as man now is since the Fall. So, in order for the whole man to find fulfillment, he must have teaching from points 1-100. If you study church history, I think you will find that heresies arise like this: the church begins to fail to preach, or preaches very weakly, say, points 40-50.

Let us say, therefore, that points 40-50 are unstressed. Two things follow. First, the situation is unbiblical. True Christianity is a balanced whole. Second, Satan takes points 40-50 out of the total Christian framework and encourages someone to overemphasize them. And this becomes heresy. In other words, points 40-50, instead of being kept in line and in relationship to the rest of Christian doctrine, are moved out and away from the whole system. Being out of place, they somehow become inverted or reversed.

But why does Satan win? He wins because there is a longing, a need in the human heart and mind; points 40-50 are needed because the whole of Christian teaching is needed, not only to give one the right Christian system, but to meet the needs of total man as he is in the fallen world. Satan wins because when people recognize the lack of points 40-50 in their church and suddenly see someone stressing them, they go to that group not realizing that the points are being overstressed, and they are caught in a net.

One group is stressing points 40-50, but in an overemphasized way, out of relationship to the whole of Christian doctrine. Another group, on the other hand, sees this overemphasis on points 40-50 as a heresy, and so they retreat in the opposite direction. They preach points 40-50 even less than they did before in order to be safe, in order to be seen clearly as not being a part of a heresy or wrong teaching. Satan fishes equally on both sides, and he wins on both sides.


I think over/under emphasis on prophecy is one of those things. It's not an area of scripture I really enjoy exploring - so I'm probably in the camp that's missing those points and need to look at how it fits into my faith. But I still won't be reading the Left Behind books anytime soon. :)

One question I do have... what should be our goal in reading Biblical prophecy? To predict what's going to happen, or to recognize it when it does happen? Could the Christ who came have been predicted based on the Old Testament prophecies? The prophecies back him up - you can recognize they were about him. But could they have predicted what he would really be like?

Like I said, maybe I haven't studied enough prophecy to know.

Stephanie Getachew said...

Right now, while my kids are young, I'm teaching them what's true. I read them the Bible. I teach them from the Scriptures. Why? Because if they know the truth, they will recognize the false.

When my husband was young, he was taught at home until he was 7, but then was sent to a school where they were required to take a course on communism/athiesm. He came home laughing to his mom when he was told that people used to be monkeys. How did he know it was false teaching? Because he was well-grounded in the truth.

The Bible says that "False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect-if it were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time". (Mark 1322-23)

Two things from this passage:
1. He says that He has told us everything ahead of time. I guess that would mean that we should be able to predict what will happen, or at least we better be able to recognize it when it is happening.

2. False prophets are going to be doing miracles and signs and it will be very deceptive. I think it would be a good idea to be firmly grounded in the truth.

I know what it is like to slide into a web of heresy. It's not hard to do. I was in a church that started out really good... and slowly, heresy that was very close to the truth trickled in. Lies that resemble truth so closely are pure poison. Thank God He revealed the truth as we searched the Word, and we could see through the deceit, but there are a lot of people who were not grounded in the Word who are still stuck and can't figure out why they are living in defeat. From that experience, I have learned to pray Isaiah 54:13 for my family, "All your sons will be TAUGHT BY THE LORD".

So, we can read the Bible and study prophesy and read the novels, etc, but if its just an academic exercise, and not seeking to know our Father and His plan for mankind, then it is futile. If we seek Him, we will find Him, and He will reveal the truth. I love what Kenny wrote about when he read Daniel. That it was the Lord's Holy Spirit, giving wisdom and understanding, that brought life to the Scriptures. That's the only way we can read with understanding, or even with one iota of interest.

Brad said...

"Oh - and I'm not too worried about global warming. Earth's gonna get REAL hot... when it burns up. I can't wait to see the new heaven and earth."

It deeply saddens me that so many Christians have taken this attitude towards global warming and the environment, instead of taking responsible action like God has told us to in Scripture.

Stephanie Getachew said...

Where?

Stephanie Getachew said...

Oh my...here I go again...

First, does the Bible say that we should worry about global warming and the environment??? I can't find it...

Second, there is no proof that global warming exists. There are weather patterns that throughout recorded history have been shown to fluctuate over many years. Just because Al Gore says (from his energy-sucking mansion) there is global warming doesn't mean its so. Just because David Suzuki toured Canada (in his big deisel pusher that emits more gunk in a day than most cars do in a year) in a quest to tell us about the "catastrophe that is about to ensue", doesn't mean its so. I was incredulous when I heard someone on the news liken denying the existence of global warming to denying the existence of the holocaust. And now there is talk about making belief in global warming a legal matter. If a meteorologist doesn't believe in it, he could be fired, is the apparent latest wackyness coming from the media. Oh my goodness.

God has said in Ps. 8:6, "You made him (mankind) ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas."

Are we to care for our part of earth? Of course we are. We need to be conscientious to make our world as clean and beautiful as possible and be good "stewards" of what we have been given. Please don't litter. But spending billions of dollars to try to make earth last a little longer when it might not even be a problem in the first place, when it is going to end long before our resources do, when there are children dying of starvation right now who could use that money for food, does not make sense to me.

Funny, how the Bible tells about increasing weather disasters in the end times. Maybe its God???

"Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door... Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" Mark 13:29-30.

Brad, I don't know you. I do respect your opinion - I just disagree with it and I can be a bit mouthy at times. I'm sorry if I got preachy. I think that sometimes we believe things without knowing why, and it is good to look deeply into what really is the facts. I get the feeling that you maybe haven't been a believer very long, and maybe I've been too hard on you. I'm sorry if I have offended you, and anyone else out there with a different opinion than mine.

Oh WHY WHY WHY do I care so much about these things????

Brad said...

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." - Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

The word dominion used here is translated from the Hebrew word radah. To give context to this word's meaning, here is Ezekiel 34:2-4:

2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?

3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock

4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

The word ruled in verse 4 is also translated from the Hebrew word radah.

So I would suggest that spending the billions of dollars we've extracted from the Earth's resources to help take care of the environment and the numerous species living in it is exactly what God expects us to do.

I don't want to clutter up Gerry's blog with wild tangents, so please, feel free to head over to my blog if you want to further this debate.

ISmith said...

"First, does the Bible say that we should worry about global warming and the environment??? I can't find it..."

There are a lot of things it doesn't say explicitly. It appears to have nothing to say on the subject of flossing, for instance. Or about operating heavy machinery after taking a few gravol.

Some things are common sense - don't pee in the well, so to speak. And a great deal comes out of loving your neighbour as yourself. So, don't pee in the neighbours' well either. There's a lot more scripture to support that, but I don't think we need any more than that.

I don't mean to be flippant or offensive. As you say, "Oh WHY WHY WHY do I care so much about these things????" - I have the same problem about different issues.

Stephanie Getachew said...

Ok. Here's my last comment on the subject. I can use the same verses to support my view, by the way, and maybe I will head to your blog, if you wish. Why don't we strengthen the weak (feed the poor would be one example), heal the sick (ummm... really, heal the sick in Jesus' name), and bind up the injured (provide care for people who need it)? If we were doing the things that God has told us to do explicity in the Bible, then we wouldn't have to try to find worldly ways to try to solve our problems. Oh yes, people have been given authority to rule over this earth.

In any case, I find it a beautiful thing that we are all God's children, and He loves us no matter what our stance on these things.

Jimmy said...

There is nothing more annoying than people who call themselves Christian and don't take the time to read the Bible and find out what it says. Then, when they do read a passage, they try to make it fit what they want it to say.

This is to the Christian environmentalists:

Here is what the Bible says. 2 Peter 3:7: By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction for ungodly men.

This is what awaits our so-called beloved earth that has become the object of worship today all over the world. I don't understand why people get so excited about a little increase of the temperature, when fire is what awaits it already! Christians need to wake up and smell the end times for this is the setting of the stage so that the antichrist can ease himself into the world. So please, if you call yourself a Christian, and you want to be passionate about a cause, let me suggest some worthy causes:
-33000 children died today of malnutrition
-10411 became orphans
-518 children died because of conflict
-in 2006, the world's richest countries donated 267 million dollars to the people of Darfur, Sudan, when in the previous years they have been donating 750 million dollars. Their solution to the short funds? Cut the calorie intake of these people from 2200 per day to 1100 per day. Oh, by the way, in 2005, the U.S. alone spent 36 BILLION dollars on pets.
-2000 people die every day because of unclean water.
-9 billion gallons of water is required to meet the water need of the 6 billion people on earth every day. Oh yeah... we use 9 billion gallons of water around the world per day to water the golf courses.
-Yes, off the top of my head I can go on and on and on....

If you really want to know what the Bible says to do regarding "taking care of" it means taking care of PEOPLE, not "mother earth".

Please, do not be brainwashed by hypocrites like Al Gore who live in a 20 bedroom monster-sized house, that takes 20 times the electricity per year than the average U.S. home.

Let's talk about our hollywood hypocrites who want to preach to us morality according to the environment. They drive their V12 sports vehicles, and they want to accuse us for using the stove to feed our children.

Brad said...

"If you really want to know what the Bible says to do regarding "taking care of" it means taking care of PEOPLE, not "mother earth"."

Except that verses like Genesis 1:28 explicitly mention "replenishing the earth" and to look after "the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth"

And a deteriorating environment is definitely a PEOPLE issue, as poor air quality, contaminated drinking water, and overworked and contaminated soil all contribute to health problems, hunger, disease.

"Please, do not be brainwashed by hypocrites like Al Gore"

This has been something I've been studying and researching for years now. I didn't learn any of this from Al Gore's documentary. This all comes from years of discussing the issue with professors, writing papers and researching various ecological issues. As an engineering student, part of the curriculum is to learn the potential impacts my decisions as an engineer can have on the environment. When I started school, the state of the environment was not fresh on my mind. After learning about what's going on from courses in chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, energy utilization, anthrpology, ecology, etc., I became quite concerned with our environmental record.

Even if Al Gore is a hypocrite who lives in some sort of monster mansion (I read its twice as much electricity as the average home on a two building complex), that speaks nothing about the legitimacy of global warming or the deteriorating environment. That simply means Al Gore isn't a great person. It's like basing my entire view of Christianity on the actions of someone like Ted Haggard.

Jimmy said...

I'm sorry for offending your intellectual ego. The things you mentioned above, the professors that you spoke to, the various research regarding ecological issues that you've studied, things you've learned in school - chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, energy utilization, etc... - all sound very impressive. You know... I too have sat in classrooms and have been taught some of the things you mentioned above. If I had never been in these classrooms, I probably would just shut my mouth and move on. But, remember, the thing that is highly valued in society - "science" - is the same thing that wants us to believe that we came from monkeys. There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end will lead him to destruction. You may base your facts on what you learned and what you have read but it does not make it the truth.

You are obviously very educated in the world's system, but "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so the he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight." (1 Cor. 3:18-19).

Remember, many men in the Bible (Moses, John, Zechariah, etc), who never went to our sophisticated universities, were shown in the Spirit much more than we could ever learn with our little brains.

I pray that you find the truth and its not found in the things that you can see and feel.

Anonymous said...

OK
I come into this debate at this point.

From Prophecy to global warning....

At this point I must show my true colours...

There are extremes in both camps...I am against extremes.


There is some importance to looking at prophecy in scripture, but give me a break when it comes to Rex and Rexcella!
As for global warming, simply put...we are destroying our enviroment. (PERIOD) To deny it is plain stupid. As believers we are required to take care of what GOD has entrusted us...and it is this that many believers are doing badly. Global warning needs constant debate...I do not believe that some who post on here are "all for GORE" but rather calling attention to the fact that believers need to take specail attention to the things that they can control.

My thoughts...be careful as to how you "talk/type" to each other!!!!!


Soulpastor

Jimmy and Stephanie said...

Concerning prophesy, "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophesy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near" (Revelation 1:3). We don't believe there is "some importance to looking at prophecy in Scripture". We believe that it is of utmost importance to study it as much as it is of utmost importance to study the rest of Scripture.

Concerning destroying the environment... We're not destroying our environment, we are UTILIZING what has been given to us by God. We live in Winnipeg, which during much of the year is a very cold city. How are we supposed to warm up our homes, or drive our vehicles without the use of fossil fuel? God has given us the earth to use it. "He also says, 'In the beginning, O Lord, You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed.'" (Hebrews 1:10-12) When we are done using the earth, that is what the Lord will do to it.

So, our question is, Why are so many Christians worked up about the earth which is going to perish at the appointed time, instead of paying attention to the needy of the world? We find it interesting that nobody commented about the statistics Jimmy mentioned above. Are we avoiding the subject because it would cost us enough that we would have to sacrifice? But talking about the environment costs us nothing. I know we all have our sponsored child to ease our conscience, but really... we throw a little bit over a dollar a day to a child in a third world country, and we call that giving?? Why don't we Christians in North America do what He has told us to do? Why don't we have a passion for the forgotten people of this world?

Why do we care so much about our stance on global warming? Because what one believes about that reveals where their heart is. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

SoulPastor said...

Garbage Theology
Findings of a Garbologist/Theologian/Environmentalist

by John E. (Jack) Swanson

Archaeology has been a boon to the understanding of the Bible by giving insights into the language and culture during the time of the writing of scripture. A science that has emerged today using basic archaeological principles is called "garbology." It is the study of the language, culture and behavior of the contemporary world by sifting through and analyzing smelly, pasty, moldy, wet trash.
Garbologists have an advantage over the archaeologists. They can interview the human trash producers. It is here that the study of garbage makes its best contribution regarding human behavior. The garbage makes its best contribution regarding human behavior The garbologists' most significant find is that what their research in the landfills reveals is not congruent with what people say they are doing.1
It is the intention of this essay to dig into our garbage to learn what it tells us about our attitudes toward natural resources and how it reflects what we believe about ourselves and about God. It will also suggest a revision of our understanding and treatment of garbage based on an understanding of the Christian faith.
Garbage is something everyone produces. It is estimated that in the Untied States each person produces 3.5 pounds per day. It is a viable source of information regarding human behavior. In the garbage can or landfill we see evidence of our insatiable desire for convenience, our indifference to the other (both human and non-human) and personal laziness. Values that have been shaped by and emerged from such behavior have led to the disregard for and disruption of the balance of the natural world, glorified the use rather than the love of the natural world, and ignored the necessity of biodiversity
In a landfill we find these items:
Paper 41%
Yard/Garden Waste 18%
Metal 9%
Rubber, Leather, Other 8%
Food Waste 8%
Glass 8%
Plastic 7%
Other 1% 2

What might the excavations of a landfill tell us about our attitudes toward the environment?
1. We live with abundance. We take more than we need. We have more than we need. We confuse our wants and our needs. We have a compulsion to consume.3 Landfills show that when there is not a shortage of a commodity there is more waste, and that the greater the variety in a diet, the more the spoilage.4
2. We impact our natural world with poisons to create a "perfect" piece of fruit and throw the produce in the dumpster behind the market place when it "spoils." We will pay the price for unblemished produce.
3. We are heavily dependent upon technology. As magnificent as this is, Thomas Berry warns: "The immediate danger is not possible nuclear war, but actual industrial plundering."5
4. We are reluctant to acknowledge limits upon our system, and we wear blinders to the population explosion. This becomes apparent when we begin to run out of space to put garbage.
5. Advertising and packaging contribute to products in the landfill. They indicate our obsession with health, sanitation and the safety of products. Tamper-proofing, quality and cleanliness are all "good" reasons for packaging.
6. A corollary to the above is what advertising and packaging tell us about the competition in the market place, the lack of trust in the human community and the absence of personal discipline with regard to the way things that belong to others are handled.
7.
8. Communication in the written form has taken over. Over 40% of the landfill is paper. Ironically, even the environmental groups produce volumes of printed matter to campaign "against the use of certain highly visible and famously odious forms of garbage."6
9. Products have short-term use. How often does a polystyrene cup get used before it is pitched?
10. A manicured environment is important to many people. Grass clippings and dead leaves in plastic bags fill landfills. For the sake of appearance we deny one type of natural cycle and create a problem where recycling is virtually impossible. Measurements are being taken to minimize this problem.
11. It appears that science exists for the benefit of technology, the welfare of the human species' medical needs and the fulfillment of the "good life." It is just within recent history that science is being directed toward the care of the earth.
Here is a "theology" that emerges from the garbage dump.
1. God is the "good life" in whatever way that is derived for each individual. In this paradigm God is providential. Faith is grounded in the "goodness" of God. The "good life" might be defined as that which is healthy, sanitary, convenient, safe and cooperative. "Good" is an extrinsic, not an intrinsic value.
2. Human beings believe in their ability to manipulate the earth. There is sufficiency of resource an the technological skills to adapt the resources. Good stewardship of the earth is expeditiously and rapidly moving natural resources to the trash heap.
3. Evil is more powerful than goodness and is perceived as succeeding. There is fear of destruction, invasion of privacy and contamination. Thus, people strive to rid themselves of what is wicked to them as efficiently as possible.
4. Time and space are for one's use. Each person decides one's values for oneself. A common criterion is that time is finite (the end will be soon), and space is infinite (there is more than enough, and it will take care of itself).
5. Hope is grounded in an earth that can supply and technical skills that can discover and invent. Comfort and convenience are words used in place of "salvation." When the word "salvation" is used, it refers to something beyond this life.
6. The sacred is that which is unblemished and manicured. The profane is the unkempt which must be pushed aside. (This is what the garbage person collects.) A sacred space is a setting which is garbage free for communion with God.
7. The creative and redemptive processes are for the benefit of humans to compensate for the sinfulness of the human species. Sin is inadequacy rather than rebellion against God an God's creation.
8. Stewardship is measured and motivated by the Gross National Product.
9. God's creation is to be consumed.
10. The use and value of non-human entities are determined by the use rather than the used.
Theology can be defined as a dialogue engaging the concrete world and the teachings of the faith. One could call theology the intersecting of the divine, the human and the non-human. From a Christian theological point of view, what alternate understanding of the garbage dump can be perceived?
1. What God creates is good. (Note Genesis 1 and 1 Timothy 4:4.) In the natural order, that which is discarded by one organism is useful for another organism. Garbage must be seen as a part of the "goodness" of God's world. Convenience as the "good" must be challenged.
2. There are no sinless alternatives. Humans do not have ultimate knowledge of the consequences of any deed. TO think they can dispose of garbage and forever never need be concerned with its nonsense. Humans are committed to managing garbage, both what we create and what others create.
3. Jesus Christ is the reconciler of the world ,restoring relationships. This is the intention of God. Garbage must e treated within God's reconciliation plan. It is done by recycling (returning to the natural cycles what we have used) and re-streaming (making second and third uses of the items humans produce that cannot be returned to the natural cycle). Humans cannot be indifferent to anything they produce.
4. What does it mean to love one's neighbor? It means to reduce the amount of garbage that is created and to consider others when seeking solutions to the disposal of garbage. For this, an attitudinal change is needed. Humans have treated garbage and where it is disposed of as the despised, the unwanted. Humans must learn to live in community with all of creation. This requires effort, not ease.
A look at a garbage dump or even a garbage can brings to mind three Bible stories.
The first is the story of the rich man (Matthew 19:16-26) who asked Jesus what he should do to attain eternal life. Jesus instructed him to give up his possessions. However, he went away grieving because he had great abundance. TO obey Jesus would mean to do without his conveniences.
The second is the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). This text is a reminder of people in Third World countries scavenging the garbage dumps for food with dogs at their heels. The chasm between the two men was not poverty and wealth but the rich man's indifference.
The third is the parable of the man who entrusts his property to three slaves before he goes on a journey (Matthew 25:14-30). Two of the slaves put their talents to work while the third slave buries his in the ground. When the master returns he commends the two slaves and condemns the third for his laziness. The most repeated reason for putting things into the garbage is because one does not want to make an effort to do anything else.
What do people see when they look in their garbage can? What does it reveal about what they really believe about God, the care of the earth, and the values that are shaped by convenience, indifference and laziness? It is time Christians make a greater effort to be congruent about what they believe, say and do. They can start with the garbage. John E. (Jack) Swanson, M.Div., is the Director of the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, Illinois. He is the author of two books about the environment and Christian life and faith: Birth of the Earth - Natural Wild Free and What Did Noah Do About Trash?
End Notes
1. William Rathje and Colleen Murphy, Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1992), 245.
2. Paul Connet, Waste Management: As if the Future Mattered (St. Lawrence University, 1988), 3.
3. Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 188), 115.
4. Rathje and Murphy, op. cit., 62.
5. Berry, op. cit., 72.
6. Rathje and Murphy, op. cit., 106.

ISmith said...

"We find it interesting that nobody commented about the statistics Jimmy mentioned above. Are we avoiding the subject because it would cost us enough that we would have to sacrifice?"

It's irrelevant. They're horrible statistics, and Christians should do something about it. There are a lot of things we should do something about, but fighting hunger and protecting your environment are not mutually exclusive. You are using those statistics to justify ignoring other wrongs which are being committed.

War/Hunger/Famine/Golf - bad.
Poisoning your environment and your neighbours - bad.
Hiding one behind the other - well, that's something else entirely.

I'm no Gore fan, and I'm far from a tree-hugging leftie, but I cannot accept that Christ would have us poison our world. I love nature and the outdoors and I want something left for my kids and grandkids, whether or not Jack van Impe thinks I'll get to have any. :)

Not to mention all the poor souls who have to live with the effects of our pollution today - those who can't afford to live anywhere else.

Jimmy said...

The best advice I have ever received is from my Mother: "Never listen to what a man tells you about the Bible - READ the Bible and ask God what the Bible says."

Now I know why that is the best advice... because people have the amazing ability to twist Scripture to fit their own agenda.

In all the Scripture quoted above, I did not see any of it used within the context it was meant for.

In regards to environmentalism...
Christianity and environmentalism are opposite ends of the spectrum. It is impossible to fit the two together.

Christianity looks forward to the return of Jesus to save us from a decaying world. Romans 8:21-22 says, "the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God". We do not belong on earth. We are aliens here. Christianity provides hope for a better place... it provides SALVATION.

Environmentalism looks to people to solve their own problems. Environmentalism supports the theory of evolution by saying that mankind, who has "evolved intellectually" can bring about a better world. Environmentalism attempts to put a bandaid on a hopelessly decaying world. Environmentalism says... I can do it myself. I am not in need of a Saviour.

We do not have an environmental problem. We have a curse problem that came from sin. Genesis 3:17 - "Cursed is the ground because of you". The problem with the Christians in the developed world is that they are too "intellectually" sophisticated to be teachable when they read the Bible. That's why they are so easily deceived by worldly teaching that sounds "intellegent" and why they twist the Word to fit their own world view.

The earth is going to be destroyed. God Almighty will reign on His throne. Forever. PERIOD.

sooperanonymous said...

Jimmy;

When the Hudson River in New York City caught on fire it was clearly because of man-made problems. Now they have passed laws to clear up the pollution and many of those problems have been alleviated.

There is an obvious sin in knowing that you should do good and not doing it, and making the air and water around people safe for them to breath and drink is good. There are people around the world - in third world countries and in the most advanced cities - who are dying every day from smog that could easily be controlled, from tainted water that could be kept safe if people took responsibility for their actions.

It should not require an overabundance of faith to grasp that your position is not a reason to ignore that children are dying of diphtheria or asthma from man-made causes. If a man causes death, that is murder, and we have a duty to prevent it.

There are children dying from starvation on land that has been robbed of its ability to support crops. As a farmer, I have seen what happens when people, when CHRISTIANS, ignore God's mandate for humans to have STEWARDSHIP of all he has given us.

And as the Biblical steward who did not invest what he was given had his taken away, so we must heed God's command to invest, wisely invest, what he has given us. And he has given us this earth, and when he returns to this earth he will hold us accountable for what we have done to it.

May your walk with God be strengthened,
-Me.

Anonymous said...

is global warning a problem? See this.

http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/

Anonymous said...

warming not warning. Sorry

kenny said...

Not sure where to begin on this one? It kind of saddens me to think that we as Christian's cannot even unite together for the sake of the earth. I agree that the earth is in decay mode...and yes, we have dominion over the earth and everything on it. That makes us responsible does it not? What does responsibility look like?
Care for the earth...don't mess it up? SUV's, cabins, power boats, HUGE homes, exotic trips...to get away from the hustle and bustle of work life, extort products from the poor, ignorantly buying from slave labor...and the list goes on. There is over 15 million AIDS orphans in the world...12 million in Africa. There is an increase in HIV/AIDS in our aboriginal communities. There is prostitution in our neighborhoods, drug lords capitalizing on immigrant youth who entice them with money and things. We live in a pleasure seeking, pleasure driven western culture. Who is taking stands in their communities...be it here or globally, because we are all one community. We sells their home to live in the inner city, so they can impact the people around them? Who sells their vehicle and takes a bus? Who rather than go on an exotic trip someplace to relax, actually go and serve in the community or go on a mission trip. We all have a purpose that God ordained for us. He knew that when he created us...and often times, he sits and waits for us to step into the purpose he has for us.

Quoting Mike Bickle (Rewards of Fasting)
Creation's Groans and Travails:
We see this manifested in earthquakes, violent weather patterns and more. There is a mysterious but glorious connection between the actions of the human race and the condition of the natural creation, such as land and vegetation. When Adam sinned, a curse came upon the land (Gen 3). That curse has been escalating as man's sin escalates. The Earth's convulsions will increase as sin ripen (Is 24:19-20)
God is calling the entire human race to repentance. it is of particular importance, however, to have clarity regarding the church's response because we are the first line of defense in the day of shaking. God said, If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then i will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chro 7:14). Peter also expressed this in 1 Peter 4:16-18 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God.

We have a calling on our lives, to live it all or nothing...challenging us to get out into the streets to share the good news of Jesus Christ, to look after the widows, orphans, sick, dying, and the earth (being good stewards) which challenges us to think beyond getting our own pleasures met.

Gregg said...

"Environmentalism looks to people to solve their own problems. Environmentalism supports the theory of evolution by saying that mankind, who has "evolved intellectually" can bring about a better world. Environmentalism attempts to put a bandaid on a hopelessly decaying world. Environmentalism says... I can do it myself. I am not in need of a Saviour."

Alright so environmentalism is wrong. In saying so you better back your words with a lifestyle that can live in a world without any of your daily comforts that I'm sure you exhaust and squander. Enjoy you water cus without environmentalism drinking water would cease to exist. I hope you enjoy your car because with environmentalism the proper mining of metals and oil would cease to exist. I hope you enjoy the air you breathe cause with out environmentalism you would simply be breathing toxic fumes.

Wake up! Don't be so ignorant and opinionated to the point where you toss out all common sense. If environmentalists didn't exist your world today would not either! It's foolish to think that because we are Christians we have no need to take care of the earth.

You say that environmentalism looks to ppl to solve their own problems that "I can do it myself I am not in need of a savior."

Well im sorry but as much faith in God as you have he isn't going to swoop down and pick up ur trash then fly over and clean up that oil spill then double back and make sure your tucked in bed comfortably. "Be wilt thou know, o vain man, that faith without works is dead." (James 2:20)

Yes this world will die. But until the day it does which is unforseen to me. The need for environmentalist will be there!

Stephanie said...

Are you sure I exhaust and squander my resources??? I guess you don't know us very well. I can almost guarantee that we are "greener" in our conservation of resources than many (or even most) environmentalists. Sadly, so many people in the world are living without any of our daily comforts that the Western world definitely exhausts and squanders. It has a lot more to do with materialism and greed than lack of concern for the environment. Although if you know me you would be able to say confidently that I live what I preach when it comes to taking care of what I have been given, I admit... I still use more than I need, I still eat more than I need, I still run the shower two minutes more than I need... I still buy a coffee from Timmys once a month or so even though someone in Africa could live and go to school for a whole day with the money I spent on one unnecessary coffee. I don't believe in simply tithing... I believe in sacrificial giving. How can we give only 10%, sponsor our third-world child, recycle our paper and then pat ourselves on the back??? I do believe we need to take care of our world, for the sake of the people in it. I do not believe we should spend money to save the seals or to shoot sulfur into space. I thoroughly disagree with whole world view of environmentalism. Environmentalism remains in contradiction to Christianity. Good stewardship does not.

I am bothered by the article that Soul Pastor posted for a few reasons, one of them being the assumption that if you are not an environmentalist, you must believe the list of things that the author of the article presents by saying "Here is a 'theology' that emerges from the garbage dump".
So, the author is saying that I believe that God is the good life... that which is healthy, sanitary, convenient, safe and cooperative??? HUH??? He says that I apparently believe that evil is more powerful than goodness...that I have fear of destruction, invasion of privacy, and contamination??? WHAT?? That comfort and convenience are words used in place of salvation?? UMMM - I think not. That the profane is the unkempt which must be pushed aside?? That "a sacred space is a setting which is garbage free for communion with God"?????!?? I think I might puke. (OH - I better not... that would be unsanitary and make a mess in my clean sacred space) PULEEEZZZZ!!!

Maybe you're not condoning this article. You didn't say one way or the other.

I bawled when I saw the blatent and sickening misuse of Scripture. That was sad. Not a single verse mentioned in that article was used in context. Wow.

Ok... One more thing. I appreciated Kenny's comment (although he probably doesn't want to be mentioned in a comment from those "extremist" Getachews). That's a Mike Bickle book I haven't read yet. I think I might go find it. Kenny, I admire your calm, peacemaking, gentle way of communicating your opinion. Maybe I should take lessons :)

ISmith said...

Hi Stephanie,

I appreciated this last post of yours, it clarifies your position a bit - it's especially encouraging to see that you do take personal responsibility for the world around you.

I think I can set your mind at ease about the article that SP posted - the section you were concerned about was not proposing a theology but presenting a theological framework that people might reconstruct if they were to dig through our garbage. The points in there are poignant because it's not how we as Christians would like to present ourselves or our faith! I found a version on the web that has easier formatting than blogspot allows, if you're interested you can check it out at http://www.webofcreation.org/Manuals/krause/swanson.html

I think our positions will remain at odds concerning environmental concerns. While I don't believe in any sort of big-E Environmentalism - I suppose that one could develop a "theology" out of that which would conflict with scripture - I do believe that we don't know the day of the Lord's coming. Scripture couldn't be much clearer on that. It could be tomorrow or it could be a really long time yet. And if this world is going to be around another thousand years, I believe we need to be very careful what we leave for future generations. I also know that a lot of people live in unthinkable conditions right now because of damage to the environment where they live and I believe we have a God-given responsibility to look out for those who can't look out for themselves.

I am curious about two things, somewhat unrelated, from your postings -

1) What *would* you agree with spending money on in terms of conservation and cleanup? I can see that seals are right out :), but are there issues where you would want the government to spend money, at least on research?

2) Both you and Jimmy have discounted a lot of the Scripture that has been quoted in the above posts as being "out of context", but have posted no specifics as to that. Scripture is often misused out of context, but is equally often dismissed as being out of context when it simply doesn't fit with one's worldview. I don't mean to accuse you of doing that, I would just welcome the opportunity to explore those issues in terms of the Scripture that has been quoted or what was in the article that SP posted.

Regards,

ISmith

Scott said...

Wow, Jimmy I dont know what to say.

anyways...

As for global warming, there isn't enough evidence to suggest that Co2 alone is the biggest problem, and what are we supposed to do, kill off millions of people. I mean humans are the number one contributers to Co2. Instead we should stop driving our SUV's high performance cars, and use less electricity and live under a rock.

It's sad that we don't listen to more people other then Al Gore and David Suzuki, i mean what education do they have on this subject anyways. Suzuki studied animals in college, and Al Gore was a political major. As Christians it seems we rather not listen to scientists that actually have studied and have been educated in this field. Why? Are scientists the anti-Christs.

Kenny, i don't agree that all Christians should unite to fight for global warming. Especially when facts are blown out of proportion, lies are told, and the only people we see advocating this are people on their last breathes in the media field. Al Gore has his own political reasons for this, and don't fool yourself into thinking he doesn't. Suzuki ran out of things to say about every animal ever and thus must do something new.

As a christian i have the obligation to do my part and look after the earth, and i have no problem doing that. But which one of these people talks about God in their speeches? Why do the facts have to be blown up to make it look worse then it is. Instead they give us useless facts, most of which don't mean anything to the average Joe, yet people are sucked into it because it is mainstream, its on TV, it must be right. Its these fools who also think reality is what they see on Reality TV.

Now as Christians should we all be driving hybrids. Are SUV's really that bad that we are kicking mother nature, and God in the gut at the same time. I guess so, Gore said it.

We seem to put a lot of faith into Gore's words, and we put none in what God could do in this situation. But of course, its just the norm when it comes to this stuff. Why should i care about this stuff? What realistic solutions do people have for me? What realistic solutions does anyone have to stop this problem.

And if this was such a huge deal, why don't people care? I for one wont be buying a hybrid, or buying some land and making a hut on it to live in. Why do i have to be inconvenienced in the name of something that hasn't been proven. There is so much debate on this subject that there will never be a common ground. We beat the proverbial dead horse into a pulp, what do we do when there is nothing left?

I'm not too sure if i really believe that the earth God created for us, would be so easily destroyed by mere humans. But who knows, no one does. It's time to move on, get on to issues that really matter. Theres millions of people dying, each day even, and we rather waste our time, and even blame that on global warming. I think its sad as Christians that we get so caught up in a lose-lose argument, that we are missing opportunities to help people now. But who cares right, lets all go hug a tree! Yay!

Jimmy said...

Ismith, you asked how the government should spend the money... I don't have any suggestions as to how the government should spend their money. The Lord commands us to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to pray for him. Christians, not the government, are the ones who have the mandate from the Lord to care for the sick, poor, hungry and widow; and most importantly to tell them the good news, not only through our words but also through our compassionate actions.

Ismith, as for the misuse of the Scriptures... you and I both know that will only lead to another intellectual excercise to stroke our egos in proving/disproving opposite points of view. So lets not go there.

Yes, Gregg, you are right. "Faith without actions is dead". So, have you ever skipped a meal so that someone else can eat? Have you ever, in your life, stood in line in the hot sun for 9-12 hours holding a rusty soup bowl, weighing 34 pounds at age 9, only to be told, "sorry... no more soup. Come back tommorow"? Have you seen with your own eyes people who are only skin and bones because of hunger? Have you ever sat next to a mother who watched her three kids die one by one because she had no food to give them? Have you ever eaten a cockroach or mud just to fill your stomach? My guess is no. I have lived in the midst of a famine-ravaged country. Believe me, if you all had too, you would not be talking about the environment, but you would burn with anger about the hypocritical, indulgent lifestyle we Christians enjoy in the developed countries. While the Lord's 33000 precious children died today and another 33000 are lined up for tommorows slaughter, we are gorging ourselves in restaurants and asking God to give us more money to build our mansions. I have relatives who are dying because of malnutrition and they just happen to be Christians like you and me. The Christians of Canada are not more precious than the Christians in Ethiopia. Christians in the third world pray to God asking Him, "Where are the Nehemiahs, Josephs, Daniels of our time who can have compassion on our situation and make a change?" The answer to that question is that the Lord does have people in high places. Its US. Remember the words of Mordecai to his niece Esther... "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14). The Lord put Christians in rich countries not to become environmentalists, but to become evangelists who help the forgotten people of this world. Woe to us who turn a deaf ear to the cry of the hungry and forsaken, while we spend our time, energy and money on issues that don't have eternal value. Proverbs 21:13 says, "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered". What if the table turns tommorow, and we end up like them and they end up like us? Would you want them to discuss the environment or send us bread?

Scott said...

Jimmy instead of trolling around on here, why aren't you out doing something about this? The solution doesn't lie in what you say on here. Actions speak louder then words my friend, i suggest you do this.

You are also assuming without knowing anything, and we all know what an assumer is....

"The Christians of Canada are not more precious than the Christians in Ethiopia."

What was your first clue?

Jimmy we are blessed people over here, we don't have to endure certain hardships that others do. But don't fool yourself into thinking we don't have our own problems. We have depression, finances, marriage, friendships, loneliness, death, anxiety. We live in an over sexualized world that is being pushed upon us. We live in a world over here that is filled with Darkness.

Jimmy, we have to soon help ourselves. Otherwise what happens is that we neglect ourselves, and we become unable to help others anymore. There is only so much we can do for people that need more then we give. Its a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. How can we please 6 billion people and teach them all about God? Your solutions aren't going to accomplish this.

"The Lord put Christians in rich countries not to become environmentalists, but to become evangelists who help the forgotten people of this world. Woe to us who turn a deaf ear to the cry of the hungry and forsaken, while we spend our time, energy and money on issues that don't have eternal value."

Is environmentalism not a God issue? De did tell us to take care of our earth. His creation. Does creating a better environment for people not help God's people? (Look at me im hugging a tree for once, lol, dont say a word Brad)

"What if the table turns tommorow, and we end up like them and they end up like us? Would you want them to discuss the environment or send us bread?"

This wont happen, its not even worth it to think hypothetically. Nuclear War would be the only way to obliterate us so much that we would need this. And in that case, we would all be more then likely dead.

Stephanie said...

*sigh*

I am coming to my husband's defense, because one thing he is NOT is a hypocrite. He rarely speaks up about anything... he doesn't normally "troll around" on blogs (in fact these are his first blog entries ever). He cares about these things... and I have never met ANYONE in the world who lives out what he believes like I see Jimmy living out his faith.

Did you know that he gave his ENTIRE inheritance away to the poor of his country??? It was not pocket change. He has had people TELL him to stop giving his stuff away... Since we married we have given thousands of dollars away to people in need... we have given away two cars... etc... etc... This was because of my husband's generosity to the poor. His actions definitely speak louder than his words, since for years and years he has consistently given sacrificially of what he has... and this is the first time he has spoken up about his opinion. I can confidently say that if all Christians gave as generously as he has, THERE WOULD BE NO HUNGER IN THE WORLD.

And much healing of our own "issues" can come from helping others. Looking outward is a good thing. I think we've helped ourselves enough. Yes, of course, we have hard times that those around us can help us through, but we know that is not what we are discussing. Since when would living in an over sexualized world stop us from giving to the poor??? Just turn off m.t.v.

Scott said...

Wow, that is ridiculous. Do you tihnk your husband is better then me because what he has done? Does what he has done make him any better in God's eyes?

It seems the only thing that his giving has done is stroked yours and his ego.

And your mixing up what i said. I didnt say that MTV and sex has to do with poverty. I was saying there is problems here that we have to deal with. Why havent we done anything for poverty here? Why are there still poeple on street corners here in 40 below weather? If we cannot help here what makes you think we can make a bigger difference on a much bigger scale over there?

Lets be realistic here, saying that poverty would be abolished by Christians giving generoulsy is idelaistic, it doesnt represent what actually happens.

And one more thing, MTV isnt the only place where sex is now. Do you shop for food? Do you turn your TV on ever? Read a magazine lately? Learn the culture that you live in first beforing labelling MTV as the only sexualized thing in society.

Gregg said...

oh boy oh boy.

Have I ever thought of skipping a meal to help a starving person somewhere else. Genius because that will defenitlely work. Would you like me to ship that meal by fed ex. And yes I have seen starving people people in a line waiting for food. I've seen abused kids with no family scrounging for food on the streets. Guess where? Winnipeg! I've spent countless hours in the inner city where help is needed here and now! So many of quickly focus on far off countries cus of all the videos you see of starving children when you fail to realize they are here in our back yard. I understand you've given and that's great good for you. You don't need to defend the amounts of money you've given. That's between you and God. If you want an award im sure someone around here will be willing to give you one. But money doesn't fix things money has no heart. I'm sorry but this has now just turned into a pissing match of whos done what and ect.

Stephanie said...

I'm sorry you feel that way. Really. It makes me sad. The opinion that if the world won't be totally fixed by my actions, then I won't bother, is heartbreaking. That's a major reason that the world isn't changing. No, most Christians giving generously is definitely not what actually happens. Why don't we start and be a good example? By the way, there ARE people doing things for poor people here (and abroad. There are people who have given all they have, both their time and their resources. It's just not the majority, like it should be. That's not a good reason to stay in blissful oblivion to the suffering around you.

I defended my hubby because his integrity was questioned. He didn't ask me to do that. And I only did it to show that he IS living what he preaches so that aspect can no longer be questioned. This blog is actually the first place this has ever been said. And I believe it was necessary.

So... you don't think the table could turn and us end up starving? Only in nuclear war? Really? Read Lamentations chapter 4 to see how fast it can happen... "In a moment". Look at Katrina... look at the rampant crime, the chaos, the disaster. And that was only one city. The rest of America was there to help for Katrina - what if the nation was kaput? Who do you think would come to our rescue? Probably no one. What if bird flu really went wild? What if there was a big natural disaster? I'm just saying, don't count on your security living here. The stock market crashed in a day in 1929, didn't it? Drought occured at the same time. Why could that not happen now?

If you think that shopping has to do with sex, then you're obviously a young man... and young men around the world have the same "problem", except when they're starving. Then they just care about survival. Just be happy you have had enough to eat to be a healthy young man. Let's leave it at that, shall we?

OK... I am DONE. (everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and get their last words in... I won't be responding anymore. This last one was exactly one too many, but I'm posting it anyway)

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SoulPastor said...

OK
Enough...I have had some emails from other people who read this blog and have been following this thread.

Ready for the rebuke?


And I quote:
"Gerry,

Hate to say it but your bloggers on "Frank Again...Almost done!" are getting very unruly.
Correction-are unruly.
You've got members of Soul ready to cut each others throats.

It's very embarassing and sad. But maybe I should expect anything less of us?"

And from another reader:

"Interesting how those in "community" can slam each other online. I can see the face to face being very different. Wouldn't it be fun to introduce them?"

So with this in mind, I ask that those in this discussion take a step back, breathe deeply, and think before you write and not react. If we are believers, we are on the same team are we not? Our values may be different but our direction is the same.

Move on to the next few threads...BTW no one has posted on Meat Loaf!!!!!

SoulPastor said...

Interesting video...

http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/player.jhtml?ml_video=83004&ml_collection=&ml_gateway=&ml_gateway_id=&ml_comedian=&ml_runtime=&ml_context=show&ml_origin_url=%2Fshows%2Fthe_colbert_report%2Fvideos%2Fcelebrity_interviews%2Findex.jhtml&ml_playlist=&lnk=&is_large=true

Stephanie said...

Hello Everybody,

Well... During my time with God today, He really convicted me about this blog, and the way that I communicated. I just want to say I'm sorry for speaking in a rude, judgmental manner to everyone who opposed my worldview. I ask your forgiveness. I still believe what I believe, but I was wrong in the presentation... right from my first statement that earth was going to burn. I did put it in to create dialogue, but I didn't think it would end up like this! I'm sorry for my sarcasm throughout my comments. I wish that I had been more gentle and considerate so that you could have heard the heart of what I was saying, but I chose to be contentious instead. Will you all forgive me??

Brad said...

I sort of bailed on this thread many posts ago, as I started to sense things were breaking away from productive debate, but I just wanted to post a few final thoughts on several of the issues that were raised, and ironically none of them are about the endtimes. :)

First off, I truly think its wonderful that Stephanie and Jimmy have dedicated so much of their time, energy and resources into helping poor and hungry people throughout the world, no matter where these people live. The most important parts of the Bible, in my opinion, are the words of Jesus, and Jesus spent not a small amount of time talking about caring for the hungry and the poor. Whether those people live here in Winnipeg or across the ocean, they are still hungry, starving people that are not having their needs met.

The environment is not the only issue I'm concerned with and I'm most definitely not blind to the issue of hunger and poverty. Whenever I'm given a chance to vote, I often vote for a government that will spend money and resources caring for those that need it. I am also quite greatful that there are people that are talented and gifted in giving and donating to the cause of hunger. It's clear that God has spoken into Stephanie and Jimmy's hearts as to this matter.

I think the environment is an issue that God has been speaking to me about. I know my talents and gifts and I realize that they could be put to excellent use in this field, which is why I've been focusing alot on this area lately.

The one issue I did have was with something I believe Jimmy had posted, and I'm not sure if it was a heat of the moment thing or not. That was that the environment and Christianity are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I would disagree and instead suggest that the environment is closely interrelated with many of the same issues you are concerned with. One of the major issues in poverty stricken regions is drinking water and air quality. Quite often, there is plenty of water, but it is often contaminated with mismanaged human waste, pesticides, factory outputs, etc. The same goes for air quality in large, overpopulated, industrial urban centres. Pollution from factories and power production plants creates very harmful air conditions and smog, which increases asthma and other respiratory problems.

Usually its the poor and poverty stricken that bear the weight of these byproducts of our consumptive ways. Rich and middleclass folk can easily move to a nicer part of town (or a new country) when the water becomes undrinkable or the air starts becoming hard to breathe. The poor simply do not have this option. They are essentially stuck where they are and they are the ones forced to deal with the problems.

I think its ironic that in North America, bottled water is a multi million dollar industry, despite the fact that it is no different from our tap water (my friend had to test all kinds of water in school and showed me the results....city water was actually cleaner than a large number of bottled water brands!), while millions of people have no clean water at all.

The biggest message that resonates with me when I read through the Gospels is that while we are here on earth, our number one job is to look after those who do not have the means to support themselves. I also think this is one of the areas that North American Christianity could improve in greatly. Could you imagine how much good the "Christian" nation of America could do if they spent their war on terrorism money on helping feed and care for people instead of killing people? Some people may label me an idealist for this line of thinking, but then they would probably have had to label Jesus an idealist, too.

ISmith said...

"Ready for the rebuke?"

This post really bothered me. I can pretty much handle anything the internet can throw at me and I've got a pretty thick skin but this did not sit right with me at all, so much so that I've pulled out of other discussion on the site. I've thought about this for a couple days now and it's been weighing on me perhaps more than it should.

Now, I think SP was totally right to intervene at that point, and I'm reasonably certain that no one found my posts too terribly offensive so why should I care?

What bugged me were the e-mails that were posted. I can handle being misunderstood, misrepresented, baited, flamed, trolled, deleted or censored and I can generally keep my cool. But being rebuked by some nameless, faceless individual who has the luxury of sitting back in safety and judging those who have stuck their necks out is a little too close to the abusive church situation I recently left.

When our world begins to veer from the nice, ordered system we're used to because the people around us are a little too human, do we really need to e-mail the pastor and direct him to rein those people in? I don't blame SP for stepping in, he had to at that point. And as the blog owner, he had a right, maybe even a responsibility, to. I'm reasonably certain, though, that he didn't need to get those kind of e-mails to tell him so. Personally, if I'd been him and received those e-mails I'd have been pretty annoyed. Perhaps that's why he's a pastor and (thankfully, I'm sure) I'm not. :) Whether or not he found the e-mails inappropriate, I did, in particular the first one.

Maybe it's just a personal thing, perhaps coming out of the situation I did I'm a little too sensitive to this kind of judgmentalism in the church. If so, I guess that's my own cross to bear but I'm afraid that for now it means I'm pretty hestitant to stick my neck out, even here where I can be semi-anonymous.

I'll happily delete this post if it upsets anyone. I suppose I just couldn't let this one slide without saying something.

ISmith

SoulPastor said...

ISmith

First, I am not annoyed, rather I welcome people giving me a lot of feedback from off the site. (emails)

Secondly, I was getting ready to move in myself and I felt that I had to remove someone’s post.

Third, when people are in the heat of a discussion, sometimes we forget that there are people on the outside looking in...that is what this blog is all about. This is a friendly reminder that many other people are involved in a lurking sort of way.

Personally, I think you are taking this too personal...don't...you talk about being semi-anonymous...yet in my opinion you are totally anonymous. I have no clue who you are! But you are welcome to the conversation with your point of view.

Every once in a while things go a little crazy on here, and I always hope that it will take care of itself…and there are times that it does not.

ISmith….keep in the conversation, your heart, opinions and eloquence are appreciated!

Jimmy said...

I have finally come to my senses. I have been thinking, and talking to the Lord when He showed me that my responses were said in anger instead of love. When He asked me, "Why were you so angry?", I realized that I wasn't angry because of the suffering of the poor, but rather, I'm angry because I'm an angry person. True love does what its supposed to do without multiplying words. The way I communicated on this blog is far from loving. The working of the Lord is amazing. Here I am, thinking I'm defending the defenseless, but in the meantime, the Lord was revealing what was really in my heart. I would like to say I'm sorry to every person that I commented about. What right do I have to judge another person?

The crazy thing is - I don't even like talking. I don't know why I ever posted a single comment!!

Boy... I hate being exposed like this... but if it is the only way I receive healing for my anger, then so be it!

Scott said...

I will also apologize for comments made. I don't take particularly well to comments directed at others though, especially when they are friends of mine. I accept your apology however and i offer mine.

Things do get crazy sometimes on here. I guess its how you approach the situation and where you have come from. As for the environment, its something no one will ever agree on. It's hard in some cases to agree to disagree but in this one it is the only solution. Its great to be passionate about something, but sometimes passion takes control in weird ways. I guess what i take from this is its about self-control. Once that is in place in an argument its much easier to share your opinions effectively, and their merit will hold up because they were said with respect for the other person.

ISmith said...

Thanks SoulPastor.

I guess it just struck a raw nerve. Like I said, I am used to internet discussions - it's an area closely related to my work, so very little surprises me.

I suppose I was just not expecting the added dimension of those who lurk but use other avenues to respond. I'll have to step back and consider that for a while I guess.

I'm not generally this..., er, flaky. :) It caught me off guard in an area I'm still a little sensitive to.

younghands said...

I was at the local Starbucks yesterday with a friend when I came across, The Way I See It #236 - "Scientists tell us we only use 5% of our brains. But if they only used 5% of their brains to reach that conclusion, then why should we believe them?"