Archive | October, 2011

History – The Version we Like.

31 Oct

Happy Halloween.

This post was a seed planted in my brain, while driving across the bridge to get to work today.

History – I have found that if you dig deep enough in history, whatever traditions you thought you held onto had a different meaning, whether good or bad. Let’s take Thanksgiving – that’s a very good Christian holiday. Obviously, we take opportunity to thank God for His blessings. Also, it was when the Puritans extended their hand of friendship to the Native Americans. If you dig deep enough though, you’ll find that Thanksgiving had roots from very pagan events. You see, History is funny like that. Even before the Pilgrims, before the settlers, before the native americans, many people used to celebrate that same event to thank mother earth, or some other deity for the plentiful harvest. But we never think about that part of it. We choose the part of history we like, and we roll with it.

Now, something more relative: Halloween. Obviously, from our very innocent minds, we were taught that Halloween is evil – that witches who practice black magic were burnt at the steak. We were taught that spirits and demons danced around on this very day. We were taught that Halloween is something a Christian should participate in – even to the extent of carving a pumpkin, or dressing your child up as a super hero, or giving away candy to cute ballerinas and ghosts. BUT, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find that Halloween’s history didn’t have anything to do with evil things.  Actually, if you take world history, many other celebrations and events happen on this day. BUT, we pick and choose the version of History that we know, and we can use to wield our traditions. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter – if you dig deep enough, you’ll find a version of these traditions that are so far off from what we thought they were.

So, what do we do? Is it right to pick and choose? Can we judge according to History? I think not. But I’m afraid people are too steeped in their version of History, there’s no possibility of changing their mind. I hope to have a world view – to judge these traditions for what they really are, and not value them above their worth.

Happy Halloween Christians.

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Friday Bloggin’!!! Occupy What? and maybe its Time to Move On.

29 Oct

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Well two topics today, and real quickly too, I’m on my way out of town.

Occupy Vancouver has been on going now, disrupting business downtown. They’ve decided to occupy the entrances of banks, and other places that represent capitalism. First of all, it’s not fair to demand Freedoms for free. Freedom and rights have come at the cost of something – sometimes life. I don’t understand how we ca n just demand the government for things. We want free housing, we want free food, we want an injection site, we want clean drugs from the government. We want we want we want – but no one wants to work for it. What kind of mentally is this? If a man will not work, neither shall he eat. Don’t get me wrong. I am opposed to wrong government. I am opposed to suffering and I think there needs to be balance in our social and political systems, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t have time to occupy the streets of Vancouver. I don’t have time to whine and complain because I have a job and I need to provide for my family.

Secondly, I have figured that after some experience and wisdom – I am discovering who I really am- who God created me to be. The fact is that I will never like the hokey pokey “ensembles” that these bible colleges are highlighting on their CDs. And I am beginning to accept that person and beginning to let that person breathe. It is time to move on.

my frustration with IFB’s approach to music.

27 Oct

If you’re part of an IFB church, you probably have dealt with the matter of music. You probably sing hymns, and run for your lives every time you hear a contemporary tune, or a new song. I am so frustrated with our approach to music! Let me just lay my frustrations out.

HYMNS ARE JUST SONGS!!!!! Good grief! We hold on to hymns like they’re some divine revelation from God himself. Its like they came straight from the mouth of Jesus Christ! Hymns were songs written by MEN and WOMEN, INFLUENCED BY THEIR OWN TASTE AND STYLE!!!! Most of the music of that day all sounded the same because the cultural taste of music was different from ours. I just hate that we put hymns on a pedestal above new songs! Its like pastors are telling me that we are unable to creatively, spiritually, and emotionally express ourselves in song – that we have to sing what the old people sing. Let me just say that for the most part, I HATE HYMNS, especially Victory in Jesus. Every time I hear that song I tune it out, its been overplayed, over-sung, and to me, its a worship killer. Yes, there is doctrinal depth in hymns – BUT HYMNS ARE NOT DOCTRINE!!! They are not inspired, they are not supernaturally preserved. They only reason we have them is because of people who keep going back to these archaic songs. Now, I do have to say that there are hymns that I absolutely love – because they are beautifully composed, and the lyrics are very complimentary of the style of song, and the truth in it just magnifies more the effect of worship and the atmosphere of praise.

OUR FEAR OF NEW SONGS. What bothers me the most is our attitude, and approach to songs. Most people hold to the view that ‘if it’s new, then it aint True’ , and ‘if it’s True, then it aint new’. If we are unable to find a way for our people, for our day to worship, then I give up. If God will judge us by the hymns we sing or don’t sing, then I don’t know this God.

I just believe that my God is much more than that. I don’t know… I don’t think He really cares whether we sing hymns or not. I think He cares whether we glorify Him Biblically, and we worship Him Biblically. But are we going to stand before Him and be judged by whether we sang “Bringing in the Sheaves” often enough? If He is this God, then I don’t belong here, in this belief system.

Content

26 Oct

What do you do when you’ve run out of things to say? Do you write for the sake of writing? Is it an indictment on the quality of life you’re living. How exciting it must be, when you’ve got nothing to write about, or anything worthy to write about.

Worth, value, quality. Things that can be considered content. Or I can just treat this as my daily journal. A record of things going on in my life. Like, for instance, last night we decided to carve our pumpkins. Honestly, I’m in my late 20’s and that was probably the first time (I can remember) carving a pumpkins. Obviously, growing up through my teen years, Halloween wasn’t something we celebrated. Actually we were taught to stay as far away from it as we can. I don’t know if it was intentional, but I was given this image of Halloween as pure evil and demonic influences through and through.

Now that I’m older, much older, I have the opportunity to really evaluate what Halloween really means. I’ve changed, even since last year. I guess, I got sick of living by someone else’s idea of standards and rules. I can, and I will evaluate all things using this amazing tool that God has given me — my brain. Halloween does have some roots in witchcraft, but very few people know that it was originally a celebration of the Harvest. Even fewer people will tell you that our Puritan forefathers probably gathered in celebration. I guess, to North American Christians, Halloween can be a scary thing. I have the luxury of growing up in a foreign country, and not be swayed by what USED TO BE. To me, Halloween isn’t about spirits coming out of the ground to haunt us. Its not about worshipping the devil if you decided to put out a carved pumpkin. I really don’t even care about kids trick or treating – actually, I love it. To me Halloween is just another event, that may or may not have had clean history, BUT, it has lost so much meaning, and we are so far removed from what it used to mean, that I really don’t care to judge it. Its an event. Just like Valentine’s Day. Christians don’t celebrate Halloween, but they’ll give out Valentine’s cards, even have banquets, and dress up, and actually celebrate the occassion. That’s fine and all, but don’t they know that St. Valentine was a catholic priest. HE WAS A HERETIC WHO PROBABLY PERFORMED CHILD BAPTISMS AND OTHER CATHOLIC RITUALS. But no, we don’t care to talk about its history, because we’ve ACCEPTED IT.

Funny how that so many things I thought I knew, are totally different. If I had just used my brain sooner in life.

How Music Used to Sound Like.

25 Oct

Yesterday, I finally set up my turntable and receiver system. The system is newer than I would’ve liked, but when someone offers to give you a $1200+ stereo system, you just don’t say no.

I couldn’t figure out all the wiring to the speakers, so I had to settle with plugging in my Sony Monitor Studio Head Phones. I plugged it in, all the lights turned on, the turntable started spinning. So, I took out my only Frank Sinatra record and got it turning.

In an instant, I was transported to a different time. As I heard the crackle, the spin, the wobble, and then the pure sound, I was transfixed. I couldn’t believe how amazing it sounded.

And if you think I’m just trying so hard to be a hipster, and that you can get the best sound out of your Beats by Dre Headphones, I will tell you that, its not about the look. Although, I know there are people out there that think its “cool” to listen to old stuff and own and wear old stuff, that’s not what this is about. There are hipsters, and I hope I never knowingly put myself in that category. I just have this desire to get back to what music was meant to be. Whenever we turn on the radio in the car, we surf through the stations constantly saying – NOPE, NOPE, NEXT, What is that? We don’t even the song 3 seconds to play through our system. At the first sound of a synthesized beat or some sound effect or drum machine, it has lost its chance and potential to be a descent song.

Just the other night, I sat infront of my TV watching a taping of the Dave Matthews Band playing at Red Rocks Colorado. If you’ve never heard of this venue, it is probably one of the most amazing places to hear real musicians play real music. Going to see a live show at Red Rocks in Colorado has been added to my Bucket List. I sat there and thought – no music music video, no producer behind a glass window pushing buttons on his iMac to make a sound, no CD track playing in the background – musicians, playing musical instruments, playing real good music.

Now that my turntable is set up, I can start looking for more records – mainly blues/jazz and funk, mainly artists like Al Green, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, or newer artists like Corrine Bailey Rae.

Monday Drag. Next Reading in Hosea.

24 Oct

How appropriate that my reading this morning was in Hosea 10 and 11. I say appropriate because we spent the weekend with our friends at the hospital, as they cared for their newborn child. My friend said something that hit me. He said, “I knew my dad loved me, but I never understood how much, until now.”

Wow.

In Hosea 10, God takes the first person dialogue and calls Ephraim and Israel and Judah His children. He really reaches down and gets really personal with His people. Not only did they have this amazing honour to be God’s people, but God chose to extend His personal Love to them. I love my nephews and nieces, but that is not the same love as a father to his children. We are not just some distant relative of God. We are His children, and He is our Father.

While the chapters were mainly negative, I did find hope and encouragement in this truth I found today.

Friday Bloggin’………. It’s the End of the World…. again!

21 Oct

I’m sure a lot of us never thought twice about today’s significance. Today is actually a very special day. Remember our friend Harold Camping? Well, if you don’t, he was the guy that spent a reported $100,000,000.00 on an advertising and caravan campaign to spread the news about the Rapture.

I love these guys! They always start out with Scripture like, “we know the Bible says , ‘No man knoweth the hour’……but…..” Wait a minute. God’s Word is purely preserved for eternity right? Wait a minute, doesn’t Jesus Christ Himself warn against those that add to his revelation? Be careful of guys that say things that are far off from Scripture. They have different agenda’s and a different doctrine.

So, back to the end of the world. May 21st came and went, and I can imagine the heart break in all of Camping’s followers. There’s nothing like having your spirit broken, your faith fail, and your resources depleted.

Its really sad when I come across people who once believed in God, went to church, but because of a heartbreak. Maybe God didn’t heal their mom, or maybe God didn’t save their unborn child, or maybe God didn’t keep their parents together. We have legitimate problems and hurts, and there are times when I do question God’s plan, and maybe feel that God’s being unfair to me. I hope that in any situation, my faith in God wouldn’t fail.

Okay, that was so — not what I was going to talk about, so let’s get back to the end of the world. I hate most about this is how Harold has made all of us Christians look CRAZY! We’re not CRAZY! We’re normal functioning human beings that are part of this society, that add to its goodness. Yes we do believe in the rapture. Yes we do believe in the 2nd Coming of Christ. Yes we do believe that this world is going to end. This is our faith. This is our hope. This is our longing. But we’re not weird. We just have faith.