No, this is not a ‘Happy New Year’ post.
I’ve struggled for some time as to what to call these types of posts. “Admin” sounds too stuffy, “Announcements” makes it sound like something handed down from above even if it is just a personal announcement, “Status” sounds like something to put you to sleep, and “Personal” sounds semi-gossipy or filled with TMI. I sort of object to “Personal” also on the grounds that this blog, for better or worse, fits the definition of “personal blog”, since it is not backed by any organization whatsoever, and the views given here sometimes purposefully do not reflect the teachings of any organization I do or may have attended.
However, I think I like “Person to Person”, seeing as it’s more of blog posts about the blog, status, direction, general interest, and not really about doctrines, organizations and such. It would, frankly, only be of interest to those who follow the blog regularly vs. someone who stumbles upon it.
I suppose some idiot will come along and say I am celebrating New Year’s Day by acknowledging the page turn on the standard calendar. And why should I be any different, since there are idiots who claim that certain COG organizations celebrate Christmas just because they don’t tell their members to stay at home, lock the doors and fast on Christmas Day? I do find it interesting, however, that in a world where living on the lunatic fringe seems to be more and more the norm that religion still attracts more than its fair share of those people.
Speaking of lunatics, one idea for an upcoming article is a follow-up to “Would You Hire This Prophet?” called “Would You Hire This Teacher?” I did forget to mention something in the previous article. Billy Graham talked about reading the Bible in the one hand and the newspaper in the other hand to illustrate that prophecy is news foretold in advance. Certain “prophets” seem to think that is their main function, as every time Angela Merkel sneezes or Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is mentioned in an article, out comes a repetitious uninspiring regurgitation of geopolitics. At least, that isn’t as bad as every mention of sun spot activity leads to an article on how the entire electrical grid might be someday knocked offline.
I’ve been quite busy of late. I just finished slogging through an online “refresher” course in computer science. Actually, only half of it really was refresher, as technology continually changes. It was a demanding course, and I finished all but the final project, which is OK for two reasons: 1. The course was audited, as I cannot afford the fee for their little certificate, and 2. My main impetus was to sink my teeth into newer technology that directly impacts this website. IOW, this website is my “final” project, and you are my guinea pigs. 🙂
It was quite demanding. I felt at times, especially when I got really sick for a couple of weeks, that I was drinking from a fire hose. So, as a little reward for finishing it up by the end of the year, I treated myself to watching “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”, a movie I hadn’t seen since it was in theaters. OK, the humor might be a bit too dark in some places for some, but the scenes are so outlandish as to cause me to bust out laughing more than once.
The character Meryl Streep played would have made a good blogger, spreading outlandish fear to all who will listen. Stoves? “I’m afraid that the stove will burst into flames.” Refrigerators? “Come away from the fridge. If it falls, it’ll crush you flat.”
If you think about it too hard, though, it will certainly give you a headache. Every single one of her fears becomes actualized in that subplot of the film, to include a visit from realtors (you’d have to watch the movie). In spite of that and all of her precautions, though, it is her fear (and selfishness) that does her away in the end.
That is worth repeating! In spite of all of her precautions, her fears come true and do her away in the end. Her warnings and fears were all grounded in saving her own butt, for which she is willing to sacrifice the futures of the children she was supposed to protect.
The Bible has a lot to say about the fate of people who work from selfish motives. It also has a lot to say about false prophets. Even if something a prophet says comes true, that doesn’t mean they were sent by God!
So, if you were looking for something akin to a resolution that I would pull punches this year, guess what? It ain’t gonna happen!
Speaking of resolutions, I’m surprised that a search of the blog doesn’t come up with what is wrong with New Year’s resolutions. My previous pastor used to do a sermon about resolutions vs repentance every few years, so I’m not sure why that is lacking around here. I guess I need to write one. 🙂
A local teen recently took their own life, and it has become an international story. The story of a transgender teen feeling compelled to commit suicide is blaming the parents for its death. In the 1970s, it was not uncommon to hear about cases where children were ripped away from parents for “abuse” simply because they were following their religious convictions, and there may yet come a day when raising a child in a godly environment will be considered abuse by the authorities. You can go to any anti-COG website and read stories of supposed abuse, and in many cases they are expressing nothing more and nothing less than the feeling of having to be different. Being different is not abuse. In fact, being forced to conform can be. Lying to your children certainly is abuse.
At any rate, the hypocrisy the world expresses at such things never ceases to amaze me. We pass laws to not “abuse” animals by tattooing them. On the one hand, the UN infamously puts forward “sexual rights” for children, but society locks up pedophiles. The whole thing is weird, and if you think organizations like the North American for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) isn’t watching how “gay rights”, including “transgender rights”, plays out, you’d better think again. Just like gay rights activists watched how blacks asserted their rights (and often intentionally blurred the lines in order to gain acceptance), so too will various others try to gain acceptance for their particular perversion.
I don’t know if this is worth an entire article or not, though. One thing that I want to make clear, and it hasn’t always been made clear by the Church overall in the past, is that we don’t want to either promote or demonize one sin over another. Premarital sex, extramarital sex and divorce are so rampant and common that we often don’t say anything at all about them, yet these things are still offensive to God.
Just because they don’t have shock value doesn’t make them any less of a sin. In fact, I would argue that the overall growing acceptance of unbiblical models for sex and the family (including the killing of unborn members of that family) is second only to our country’s overall disregard for God Himself.
Actually, what I might do is write about the family itself. We often think of the “traditional family”, sometimes called the “nuclear family”, as the norm. However, it is not the norm in most of the world, and it isn’t even necessarily the norm we see in Scripture. If you think the nuclear family is God’s model for the family, I have news for you: It too is an invention of human beings.
Nature and the Bible can both teach us something about what God truly intended for families, if we allow it. In fact, just knowing God’s plan overall should make us doubt the so-called nuclear family to begin with.
Trust me, I once saw it as the ideal model, but I see now that the notion that a family consists of a mother, father and two children is just an invitation for disaster, loneliness and despair. It was a model that evolved, and I mean evolved, as it wasn’t even considered the norm by people who built this nation. Rather, it is the byproduct of the pioneer spirit and modernity. It is one of the causes for the “need” of socialistic welfare states, as something must step in to fill the void caused by a rearranging of the family.
Yeah, that might be a better article, and some side notes on the deviations. Why concentrate upon the exceptions instead of the goal?