Celebrities Voicing Their Opinion

            Most of the time, you can turn on the news and find a new report of some celebrity giving their opinion on some political views.  They are either for the war, against the war, for same sex marriages or against, want to bring our troops home, or just hate President Bush.  But is it okay for celebrities to voice their opinion in this manner?  It is fine that they express their opinion because we have the right to, but a lot of the time they do it in a disrespectful and rude way.  They almost appear to attack people who disagree with them.  Take for example when the Dixie Chicks bashed President Bush.  It is fine if they do not agree or like Bush, but it is not okay for them to say hateful and rude things about him.  Another example that has happened recently is with the fight between Rosie O’Donnell and Elizabeth Hasslebeck of the daytime talk-show “The View.”  O’Donnell seemed to attack Hasslebeck when Hasslebeck did not agree with Rosie on her view of the troops in
Iraq.  I think it is completely acceptable and in their right for celebrities to voice their political views, but I just hope and wish that they would do it in a respectful manner. (P.S.  I do not believe that every celebrity voices their opinion in this way, just some.)

I Want to Be A Pirate!! ARGGHH!!!

This past weekend was the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean 3.  If you don’t already know I work at a movie theater and it was insane!!  Some people lined up 6 or more hours before their shows started just to make sure that they get that center spot in the theater.  Fanatics dressed in full pirate garb complete with eye patches and peg legs.  I am not personally hardcore about Pirates but I do find it enjoyable.  One of the nights I was selling food inside the theater (yes my theater actually sells the food inside the actual auditorium) and I had a few minutes to relax.  My mind started to drift and I started to think about a lot of different things.  In our Christian society why don’t we approach God with the same earnestness as these “pirates” do to see a movie?  The passion some of these people show is overwhelming yet we don’t see much of that in our churches or even our Christian schools.  I’m not speaking as a general rule of thumb but typically many teens (including myself) haphazardly approach church with a “just here to get my brownie points” type of attitude. How can we do this?  God has so many rich things to reveal to us if we only reach out to him.  We need to approach God with the same passion and long to read the Bible, and pray, and go to church.  There is so much to be found out if we only rely on God. 

America Desensitized

It seems like America is becoming more and more desensitized to the immoral behavior in our society. Most of the movies that come out now have excessive violence, language, and sexuality, yet we have no second thought about going out to see them. Alot of the music that is being produced has alot of explicit lyrics, but we listen to it anyways. Even T.V. shows contain very offensive material , that 10 years ago would never be allowed to be shown on television, especially during prime time. Now, even the video games that are being played by our nations youth are filled with violence and sex. Its sad, but it seems like America’s morals are headed in a downward spiral, and few are standing up for what is right. We have become numb to violence, and it is accepted in our country. Our country’s media shows more violence than any other of the countries in Europe. We have to be more careful and aware to what we are setting before our eyes and hearing with our ears. We must become more sensitized to what is going on around us, so we can help put an end to it.

Christianity and Dialogue? You tell me.

A couple evenings ago I was catching up on the news via Yahoo! News while trying to watch my usual Grey’s Anatomy. After the usual intense closing shots of the characters in distress I reopened by Apple and started reading a very interesting article about Christians and atheists communicating calmly. Yea thats right, calmly. The article addressed a growing trend of open dialogues between Christians and atheists over the internet and in person. Live discussions and conferences are sprouting up around the country calling for atheists to speak up about what they feel Christians are doing wrong or right. Church leaders like Phil Wyman, pastor of The Gathering, located in Salem, Mass. are inviting atheists to voice their opinion on why they don’t like church. Many pastors like Jim Henderson, a former Evangelical pastor form Seattle, are setting out to learn how the unchurched respond to various kinds of worship services.

Oddly enough, I have been working with my youth pastor on organizing a community wide program that would work with other churches on striking up this open dialogue between atheists and Christians. Instead of holding youth groups inside church walls, where people must come to us, we instead meet them where they are, their communities. Parks, parking lots, malls, whatever we can manage to get, we will go and talk. Simply share the gospel and actively engage with nonbelievers. Along with talking I wanted to just serve. To get out in the community and make it better. Plant, paint, fixing peoples yards, fix anything, meet the needs of the community. My hope is that many churches will join the campaign and come together as one and work together on correcting our communities “ideas” about Christianity. So many people think churches hate each other, or that Christians don’t care about the environment, and the list goes on of generalized myths. By being a presence in the community serving and talking I want our dialogue to pin point these myths and straighten them out so that people see who we represent, Christ.

So now that you know that this whole idea has been on my mind alot lately, I’m going to tie it back into the article. Doing a little investigation I found that most of these groups are affiliated with a movement entitled “the emerging church.” This movement carries along with it a heavy reliance on postmodern beliefs. It seeks to deconstruct and reconstruct Christian beliefs, standards, and methods to fit in the postmodern mold. One of the biggest ideas that this movement pushes is dialogue because it leaves room for a “natural progress” of doctrine as they might call it. Emergents see theology as an “icon” pointing to God rather than as a definition of God. By this they mean that they do not see any doctrinal expositions as definitive. The whole idea is very dangerous and could cause a huge avalanche.
But I think open dialogue, especially including people of other faiths is very beneficial to learning and discovering truth. But by no means do I think that truth is based in the interpretation and experiences of man. Truth does not hinge on a communities experience but only on the word of God. Yes culture has changed and it is far different from that of the Biblical times, but the truth has not. The metaphors may not make total sense at first glance like they may have in centuries past, but that is what dialogue is for. To pick apart the truth weaved into the analogies and to make it more clear. If used properly I think dialogue can strengthen peoples beliefs in the truths of scripture rather than tear it down and rebuild it. Its the motive of dialogue that I think truly matters, to either use it to make truth or to understand truth is what must be decided.
Now I want your opinion, can this work? Do you think this community project will help Christians better understand how to reach nonbelievers and help nonbelievers understand Christ through dialogue?

A Violent Necessity: Part Deux

Comment by fitnessfortheoccasion on April 17, 2007 11:29 pm War is sometimes necessary, but that cannot mask how utterly counter-productive the so called war on terror has been.Those “eggs” marcelonicus refers to are human lives. Human lives lost. Human lives ruined by displacement, torture, and violence without end.Do not try to stoop to religion to boost your argument for war either. There is nothing of God in war, and there never will be. War is a human necessity, one we ought to avoid, not pursue with fake patriotism, false piety and bloodlust.And for the love of God, do not speak for the dead. How dare you presume those lost to war would speak in its favor!

In Response, meant to be polite but of a differing opinion:

            The War on Terror has been counter-productive? I guess that means I was foolish to think that the removal of Saddam Hussein was a positive event. And what of the elections that took place last year? Does not the freedom of the oppressed in at least a small way strike a blow at the terror-makers in that region?

            And yes, people- entirely innocent people- have died as a result. While the living will mourn their deep losses they do see the results. Their children are able to attend newly built schools. Their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters have been given protection and a voice in society. And Saddam Hussein is no longer able to slaughter the differing groups of Muslims. Great things are happening. There is still much to be done, but it has to begin somewhere.

            Human lives indeed, but human lives with a hope for an existence better than such wretchedness. These lives are ‘ruined’ by the evil already running rampant within their streets. This evil is shedding blood, and will continue its slaughter until the brave and hopeful shed their blood to stop the evil in its entirety.

            I am sorry, but in all respectfulness, I hardly wish to acknowledge the very disrespectful comment about ‘stooping to religion.’ If religion is what comes when one stoops, than I hope that I may stoop to the ocean’s floor.

            War is fake patriotism? It seems rather foolish to so extensively pretend to love something that you would lay your life down to accomplish its means. It is not blood the courageous are lusting after, but the hope of freedom, justice, and equality.

            I would be willing to assess that the dead would gladly die again so that their children, spouses, friends, countrymen, and future generations could live, grow, and thrive in a world that was safer, freer, and without a doubt better than the one they left behind. I know that I would be willing to make such a sacrifice.

The Bible’s SEXIEST Book???

I recently read an article on “the Bible’s sexiest book.” The author begins the first paragraph by comparing the Bible with his grandmother’s basement and ends the paragraph by comparing Song of Solomon with a description of erotica. From the beginning of this article I read how ridiculously the author described the Word of God, yet I had to finish the article in order to see what would possess anyone to so foolishly take a beautiful collection of love poems between a husband and wife, which celebrates the sexual fidelity God intended for marriage, and measure it down to nothing more than a seductive article in a magazine found at any newsstand.“According to the most common interpretation, the Song of Solomon is a collection of love poems between a man and a woman. God established marriage, including the physical union of husband and wife (gen. 2:18-25), and Israelite wisdom literature treasures the aspect of marriage as the appropriate expression of human sexuality (Prov. 5:15-20). This kind of love between husband and wife creates a bond that is ‘strong and death’ (Song of Solomon 8:6), and the Song of Solomon celebrates such passionate love.” According to the author, the Song of Solomon contains “lusty images and panting verses” which have nothing to do with religious orientation. “This is sexy time. This is the Last Tango in Judah.”

What’s more, he refers to a woman’s virginity as something to be “careful” with; only give it away when you “fall in love.” In other words, virginity is a gift to the person you are ready to give it to, regardless of marriage. He takes this verse extremely out of context with the passage, because it is clear that that the true author of this passage is intending that sex should be a gift to your husband and husband only (or wife).

I continued to read through the article and time and time again I was shocked by the many misinterpretations of this beautiful book. I was not only shocked, but saddened by this man’s blindness to the beauty which God intended sex to be. Sex is one of the most sacred things between husband and wife, and should not be taken lightly. In today’s society virginity is taken very dispassionately. We live in a world which incorporates sex in everything we see and do (hence, the Bible’s sexiest book), but we must not fall into the ways of this world. For the ways of this world will only lead us to destruction.

http://www.slate.com/id/2164361/

College

The price of college has sky-rocketed to outrageous amounts in the last few years.  The prices “average more than $22,000 for private schools and almost $6,000 for state schools.”(Fox News)  This has caused many people to speculate if the students should get a “free ride through college” or if they should pay for some of the cost themselves.

I think it is important for the students themselves to pay for a portion of their higher education.  For most of our lives from birth to high school we have been taken care of by our parents.  Most of us never had to pay for our own food, clothing, shelter, etc. But as a result we have learned to rely on our parents to take care of our every need.  As we make the leap into the adult world of college, we need to sever that tie to our parents.  It is fine to still require them sometimes, but we need to become more independent and responsible so we will be ready for the “real world.”  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,259584,00.html