Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hell-pful Answers

Do you like the pun in my title? I think its pretty corny. I don't really like it, but Nate and Austin will. They are the epitomes of corniness. Dorks!

I would like to be like Dr. Willsey and ask answerless questions, but I promised answers, or attempts at answers, and so I must deliver.

1) Is Hellfire literal or a metaphor?

I tend to think that hellfire is a metaphor. But the metaphor does mean something and I think that it must include the idea of physical torment. What does this torment include? Why can't it be much like the physical torment we experience on earth, just without the grace of God? Jesus wipes away all of our tears and there will be no more pain or death etc.... Hell retains these results of the curse but without any evidence of God's spurned grace. Of course this is speculation but is it reasonable speculation? Can we inform our understanding of hell with our understanding of heaven and vice-versa? I think ultimately we don't really know. I do believe that hell will be a place much worse than this earth. God's grace here sends rain on the just and the unjust. Hell will have no remaining evidence of God's love or grace.

2) If those entering hell are judged by their works (seen clearly in Rev. 20 and elsewhere) can we assume that there are different levels of hell?

I think there are clearly different levels of hell. Judgment by one's works has no meaning if all receive the same punishment. Language like 'it will be worse for you than tyre and sidon' also imply this. How extreme are the differences? My guess is that the differences are extreme, but I have little data to draw from. What will all the factors be? Thankfully God will work all of that out. He understands justice much better than I. I am confident, however, that when he judges, I and all who witness his justice will not dispute that it was, indeed, justice.

3) Is God being hypocritical to tell us to love our enemies when he tortures His? Why or why not?

I don't think so. Why or why not? I have something to say here... but later. Be patient.


4) Is there any room in Scripture for Annihilationism (notice I am not asking you if you believe in Annihilationsism....)?

I don't really think that there is room for annihilationism, but I do think that the arguments for annihilationism are not completely unfounded. I can see why someone could take the forever and ever as not referring to eternal suffering in hell but eternal damnation, the banishment from God's presence.

5) As I tried to remind yall about earlier, we are not looking forward to eternity in heaven but upon a new earth. That being remembered, how similar to the earth is Hell actually? We may not be able to say anything here really- just speculate.

Again more later.

6) For those with a very 'nice' view of God, here's a question for you, does God love those in Hell? If so, tell me what that even means. For those who say that God only loves the elect (or for some, perhaps, the Elect), does God only love some of His enemies whereas we are to love all of our enemies? Or are we only to love our e/Elect enemies?

I have a real problem with God loving people in hell. It sounds good to say that God loves everyone for all eternity but I do not think it is taught thus in Scripture. I'm not getting into the limited atonement debate here.

7) (new 11/23/08) What about babies who have not yet received the gospel?... harder than you think....

This is another topic that I intend on addressing later. I do not see an exegetical basis for the age of accountability and the automatic ushering of children into heaven. I wish I could teach it but I can't. Since nothing in Scripture forces me to accept that children that die early go to hell, I am willing to leave this a mystery that I trust God will deal with justly and in accordance with his nature.


8) Or does Scripture really not give us very many answers about Hell and we really just have to say we don't know. In other words, my questions are pointless and I'm wasting your precious time.

I don't think I'm wasting your time. What do you think?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hellish Questions


Just because I am posting a new blog does not mean you, dear readers - whoever you may be, do not have an obligation or invitation (the latter is nicer I guess) to comment on the story I posted directly prior. I really want interaction, suggestions, critiques, reactions, complements, and insults. So suffice to say, if you haven't read it or commented please do if you have the time. Thanks Brenda for your reaction. I am awaiting the thoughts you are chewing on.

But let's move from creative writing to dull writing (or fiction to nonfiction if you prefer those terms). What all do we really know about hell and the eternal state of the wicked? I'm going to pull an Austin Surls here and just ask some questions instead of offering answers. But I'm going to be Austin Surls on steroids because I have more than one question to ask. Unlike Surls however, I'm going to give some of my own thoughts after I ask these questions, just not today. I do want to learn from yall (forgive my 4 years in Virginia). Let us begin a dialogue then my friends. Here are some questions (JUST QUESTIONS don't burn me for heresy... yet!) for us to discuss:

1) Is Hellfire literal or a metaphor?

1a) If the latter, does hell involve physical punishment? Or just separation from God?

2) If those entering hell are judged by their works (seen clearly in Rev. 20 and elsewhere) can we assume that there are different levels of hell?

2b) If we do assume that there are different levels of hell, how extreme are the differences between the worst person in hell and the 'best' person in hell? Or do these questions even make sense?

2c) If we are assuming different levels of hell, what are the factors that determine how bad your hell is? Works would seem obvious... Does how much 'light' you had on this earth factor in? Does much suffering experienced on the old earth lighten your suffering in hell at all? Or does the person who lived a life of luxury and the person who starved to death receive the same level of punishment?

3) Is God being hypocritical to tell us to love our enemies when he tortures His? Why or why not?

4) Is there any room in Scripture for Annihilationism (notice I am not asking you if you believe in Annihilationsism....)?

5) As I tried to remind yall about earlier, we are not looking forward to eternity in heaven but upon a new earth. That being remembered, how similar to the earth is Hell actually? We may not be able to say anything here really- just speculate.

6) For those with a very 'nice' view of God, here's a question for you, does God love those in Hell? If so, tell me what that even means. For those who say that God only loves the elect (or for some, perhaps, the Elect), does God only love some of His enemies whereas we are to love all of our enemies? Or are we only to love our e/Elect enemies?

7) (new 11/23/08) What about babies who have not yet received the gospel?... harder than you think....

8) Or does Scripture really not give us very many answers about Hell and we really just have to say we don't know. In other words, my questions are pointless and I'm wasting your precious time.

You may assume many things about me because of the questions I am asking. Don't. I'm just asking questions about a difficult issue. Unfortunately I think it is too often treated as a clearly defined cut and dry issue.

(If 8 questions are too many for you to handle just tackle 1 or 2)

The lake of fire, methinks, is murkier than we think....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apology of Hell, Chapter 1

What follows is the beginning of my attempts at an apology of hell in the format of a story. I need feedback, positive and/or negative. If it is good, if you like it, tell me. I need to know if I have anything going here. I also want to be able to improve it, so I also need constructive criticism. Honesty is virtuous.... I don't think I'm an overly sensitive/fragile person, though I am a little nervous posting this!

Also feel free to interact with the ideas behind the story. Obviously this is not meant to be a mere bedtime story.

Nate and Crista,
I think I showed this to you before. The beginning is much changed but the bulk of the middle and end is the same. I value your opinions and would like to hear them again, even if already expressed, whenever you have the time.

Everyone else,
I will take your advice and critiques seriously. Your suggestions will probably lead to edits and changes. Think of this as a rough draft. More will come as I write it.



Remembering...

Dying is a blur. I remember the fading but little else. But as to the details of living, my memory is much stronger in death than ever it was in life. Every forgotten, murky, and trivial strand is now remembered as vitally important, clear and distinct, and finally irreversible. In the last days of my life I had difficulty remembering much I had forgotten. Now I am trying hard to forget everything but I am unable to forget even the smallest detail of my existence.

What follows is my past, present and future. There is nothing coming to change my existence. My past created my present and determined my future. My story is not intended to frighten you, though it may. I describe my life now to reflect upon that which I cannot change. I wanted to argue my case. You can judge whether I have one.

The fruit of the eyes

Awake again, I found myself in a small room, empty and devoid of furniture, color, doors, or windows. I was naked, but was neither hot nor cold, I could not even tell if there was a temperature in the room, but I was both sweating and shivering. I was afraid of the emptiness and of being alone but was terrified when I saw a creature appear in front of me. It, like me, was naked. It seemed human but had no organs from which one could distinguish its sex. Its face was without a hint of an expression. Throughout all of our talks it never smiled and it never frowned. It spoke to me in a voice unlike anything that I had heard. It was clear and distinct and I do not think one could have ever misunderstood any word it spoke, but to describe it further is impossible. This expressionless, sexless, and descriptionless being studied me briefly without speaking and then introduced itself.

“I am Immer-Messe. I am here to explain and enlighten. Do you know where you are or why you are here?”

He asked, but I think he knew I was ignorant of either answer. When I had managed a weak ‘no’ he went on.

“You are here to reap what you produced in life. Here you will eat what you have fed to others and wear what you have given to others. Whatever god you have chosen to worship for will repay you for your service, if it is able.”

“You will now reap the fruit of your adultery,” it continued after a pause for a reply that I did not have ready.

It was wrong. I argued his claim, “I never cheated on my wife. There has been some mistake.”

“You dispute that you are a cheater?”

“Yes I do.” I replied confidently and indignantly.

“You never desired other women?” He asked peering deeply into my eyes, “Never undressed a woman in your mind? Never looked at images of women other than your wife? What you do with your mind, even if never acted upon, still bears fruit here.”

This creature was infuriating and intrusive but I was compelled to answer and found myself unable to lie,. “Uh…” the words were stuck in my mouth, “I might of done so on occasionally. No more than anyone else. But that didn’t harm anyone. My wife didn’t mind much. She never really lacked my love. I was good to her. I was faithful to her. How can you accuse me of adultery by charging me with a victimless crime?”

“Victimless? We will allow you to judge whether it is victimless. You will see and you will judge. Here now, is the harvest of your adultery!”

He and the room slowly faded. I found myself in an old bedroom. I was standing in front of the mirror but the image looking back at me was not my own, but that of my first wife. Judging from her face this was a late in our marriage which had begun to strain. As I (?) looked in the mirror I felt fat and bloated. I began to feel ugly and unwanted. Tears began to flow steadily down my face leaving my eyes red and blotchy and I felt even more ugly. I then turned around and sat down at the computer in our bedroom. On the screen was a picture of a twenty-two year old model with the perfect body. As I looked at her I compared her assets with those of the image in the mirror. The comparison again made me feel ugly and worthless. I felt ashamed of my body and of myself. Who could ever love anyone so unattractive? On the desk was a wedding picture. My hand (or my ex-wife’s hand) took it and smashed it against the wall. My shame turned to hatred, my hatred turned to back to tears. I made another trip to the mirror but the image was too disgusting to endure. I walked into the bathroom and found the scale. 138. Somehow I knew this meant I had gained another pound. The feelings of frustration and despair were overwhelming. I went to the toilet and knelt down in front of it. I began to make myself throw up….

Slowly, although I cannot tell how or when, the scene faded. I was no longer in my wife’s body, but the emotions I had been suffering remained. I was back in the same small room. It had changed however since I had left it. On one side of the room was a great table, with no end of my favorite meals. The wall opposite the table was one giant mirror. Against the third wall was a toilet and nothing else. On the last wall was a computer. At the desk sat my ex-wife, and on the screen was the ideal male body in a double bicep pose.

As time progressed, I felt more and more hungry and I helped myself to the fried chicken. The chicken tasted exactly as I remembered it but as I ate, I could feel my body expand and the feelings I had while I had been in my ex-wife’s body returned. The desire to be attractive to my ex overwhelmed me as the hunger had earlier. I turned from the chicken to the mirror to the man on the screen. I felt disgusting. I shouldn’t have eaten the chicken. I crawled to the toilet as if by habit. Throwing up was miserable. As I threw up I felt my body begin to shrink back to its original size, but I couldn’t get the taste of my own vomit out of my mouth and I felt disgusting. I looked at my ex again, hoping that she would take notice of me. She didn’t. She continued to stare at the man on the screen. I looked back at my reflection. I was still disgusting. Now the feelings of despair and hopelessness returned. I collapsed in the middle of the room and was overwhelmed by tears of sadness, anger, and frustration. They were interrupted by an intense hunger and desire to eat….

I cannot remember how many times this cycle repeated itself nor can I remember how or when it finally ended. Whether the shift was gradual or sudden, I cannot say. All I know is that eventually one scene faded or ended and another scene began.

I was in the center of the same small room. Instead of a mirror for one wall, the walls, ceiling, and floor reflected my own image. The image that I saw was much improved from the last scene. I was young (twenty-one or two) and in perfect shape (better than I’d ever been in my life). In the previous scene, the only attention I got from my wife was a glance of disgust. Now I was surrounded by women and I was the obvious center of attention. For the first time of my stay in hell, I felt good.

The women, however, never approached me or talked to me. At first I could not catch what they were saying, but I began to catch comments occasionally. They were making lewd and vulgar comments about my body. When I realized what they saying, I was embarrassed but slightly pleased at the attention and rather proud that my body could attract such attention. I waited, hoping that finally one of them would come and talk to me, but my patience bore no fruit. At last, rather frustrated and overcome by loneliness, I began to call out to them, hoping, longing to have an actual conversation, but none of them responded. As my loneliness grew stronger, so did my frustration. I began screaming and shouting. I finally realized that not only did they care nothing about me, but that as far as they were concerned I didn’t exist. My body was just an image for their pleasure. The real me; my character, my thoughts, feelings and well-being, meant nothing to them. I was a picture, nothing more.

Slowly, I became aware of a disturbing sensation. My body was changing. As I watched in the ever-present mirrors, I began to age. My face, which had been perfectly smooth, began to wrinkle. My muscle tone lost its definition. My waistline began to expand. For the first time, I noticed that there were other men in the room. I don’t know if they were there before or not, but there they were. They were as young and fit as I had been earlier. The women became bored with me and the crowd around me dwindled as they spread out to the other men. I was filled with despair and as my body continued to deteriorate, so did my self-worth. I tried everything I could think of to catch the attention of the women in the room but nothing worked. I was powerless. No one paid me the least bit of attention. I was worthless. All I wanted was someone to talk to, someone to complement me, someone to care about me. But of course, they didn’t, I was nothing. To them, not only did I not now exist, but I never had.

Again the scene faded, and I found the room as it had been at first, empty and without door or detail. In front me appeared that same strange creature with whom I had previously conversed.

“You have just begun to taste the feast you have made for yourself,” he looked at me directly in the eyes but I could not return his gaze and looked away. “Now you know the after taste of lust. You have yet to complete your punishment, and you never will, but it is sufficient for now. For now it is finished. Was your punishment unjust? Are the accusations false? There must be no questions of justice.”

I tried to answer it but I could not. I wanted to protest and argue that I did not intend to hurt anyone, but the words would not come out. I wanted to lie and deny that I had ever been guilty of his accusations, but I could not. I knew that penalty had been fair and no words could leave my lips.

“Do you accept the justice of your punishment?”

My head had already drooped in shame and I could not look at the creature. After a brief pause I could do naught but nod and hang my head in shame.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Responding to my Reading with my Reactions to my blogging brothers

Some of you may read my blog and not realize the reason I started this thing to begin with. This started as an idea between Nate Duriga, Austin Surls, and myself as a way of dialoguing and sharing ideas about Theology and the Bible. Everyone else is MORE than welcome to join in on the dialogue. Austin invited several of his old Masters buddies to join in and there is always room for more. As this blogging community grows this will become more difficult, but for now I am going to react to each of their blogs once a week (on Sunday) and post my thoughts on their thoughts here. So without further chit chat, here are my responses to their latest blogs.

Nate's last few blogs
have focused much on the persecution of Christians around the world and the effect our political decisions have upon world hunger. These reminders are good for us and much appreciated. Life is so easy for us here and apathy comes very naturally. If our friends and family were being killed or were starving to death (not to mention if WE were) it would matter much more to us. We would probably more readily make sacrifices for their well-being. But this is very bad theology. These are our brothers and sisters! This family called the church is more important than the physical family into which we were born. Those relationships are temporary. The relationship we have with each other through Jesus Christ is everlasting. We have do not have more obligation to our American brothers than we do to our African brothers. Ignorance and apathy are normal and easy but unacceptable.

Austin Surls' blog asks the question: "How should we use the word "religion"" This is a very good question and it kind of bothers me as well. (btw the following is basically the same as I posted under the comment section of his post, you dont have to read both!)My pastor uses the phrase all the time: "Christianity is not a religion, its a relationship." But is that really true? And what is religion? And what do people HEAR when you say religion? The second question is probably the most important and the most difficult. I think Christianity is actually a religion. James says "...pure and undefiled religion before God is this..." Paul on Mars Hill doesn't try and argue that Christianity is in a different category than their false gods but answers their unanswered questions and that the true God is completely different 'god' and with different expectations than they would have believed. But I think that the difficulty is understanding what people in your coffee shop think of when they think of religion. I think people think of religion as not having any correspondence to truth or reality. Its just an feel good thing. It doesn't demand or require anything of you. So if saying that Christianity is a religion communicates something different than what Christianity really is, should we use the term? Hmmm... But is Christianity only a relationship? And what do people hear when you say that? Unfortunately I think that we will run into the same issues. What does it mean to say you have a relationship with God (for your hearers)? I don't think this communicates what you want it to mean either. Does worldview do better? I'm not sure it's perfect because it doesn't communicate the obligations that a relationship with God requires. Ultimately I'm not sure I'm helping you a lot. Can you say that you have a relationship with God that changes the way you view the world? Or is that too long... and still incomplete? I'll just say that I don't think that defining Christianity as a relationship with God is any better (and maybe worse) than calling it a religion.

As more blogs join our blogging community I'll respond to their thoughts as well. I enjoy this dialogue! Thanks Nate for your response. I wish I knew how to exactly draw lines on applying these issues without spiraling into legalism. So hard!

Richey

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Deluge in Drizzleland

Instead of the promised blog here's another poem I wrote this morning (2am 11/12/08). For those of you who don't live in Washington, we've had some uncharacteristically hard rain lately...

Deluge in Drizzleland
Matthew Richey

From the dry indoors I see,
A deluge in drizzleland.
Huge drops at high speeds drenching and drowning,
Their prey: a poor persecuted parking lot
Accustomed only to the familiar dripping of dawdling drip-drops.

From the dry indoors I love,
Watching puddles form pools
Sipping coffee so safely sheltered
Knowing my God won’t drown us again

From the dry indoors I dread,
Seeing my car much too far away
Knowing that soon I must venture into a battle I cannot win
We drizzleland dwellers do not don umbrellas

From the dry indoors I know
God is good. He,
Sends rain on the godly and ungodly, the righteous and unrighteous,
And provides, for the despairing and the drowning, dry land.

From the dry indoors,
I am happy and content, safe, sound, and secure.
Because the rainmaker is the sunsender
I am not afraid.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Moth

I have a blog coming soon. Here's a poem I wrote a year and a half ago that is basically a true story. I mean something by it but I can't quite describe what that is to you. I guess I'll be a good postmodern and let you figure out what it means to you. I would like honest positive/negative feedback. It's very hard to judge your own stuff.

I do, btw, have stuff from my novel/apology of hell written but I can't get the first part right. It's very frustrating.



The Moth

Matthew Richey

I spied a moth resting upon the wall
I decided to kill her- no reason at all.
Into the water, innocent, I caused her to fall
Watching her struggle; her odds were small.

But it seemed so sad; senselessly to murder her!
What right I to decide she should swim?
That just because of some random whim,
She should die, but I the killer- the guilty- live

So I pulled her out from the water
Saved her life- I could not watch her die.
To call me her savior indeed would be a lie,
Because I never did see if she could still fly



















Moth picture found here

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Towards a more complete pro-life position

Something of a disclaimer...
This is not going to be a political blog. I think I spend too much time thinking and talking about politics already. Politics are important but as I have to continually remind myself (especially as the candidates I voted for are all about to lose): my faith is not in politics.
But our faith should effect our politics and, unfortunately, our political positions often effect our religious views. The dominant evangelical political issue has been, for as long as I can remember, the abortion issue. Many Christians have been accused, probably fairly, of being 'one issue' voters. Because we are prolife we are automatic republican voters, or so it seems. For better and for worse those of my generation are bucking these stereotypes and are becoming concerned with a much larger breadth of issues. We aren't forsaking our pro-life stance but are bucking principles for pragmatics as we realize the long term futility of this battle.
I'm not going to talk about the candidates. I'm not going to talk about the election. I'm not even going to talk about all of these issues that younger evangelicals care about. I'm only going to talk about the prolife position. Should we continue to be prolife? What does it mean to be prolife? How should our faith affect our politics in this area?

Ok another disclaimer and then to talk about what I am here to talk about...
I just have to say I really really hate the fact that evangelicalism and republicanism have become so closely identified. I do not see the two parties as being in a titanic struggle between good and evil (as my parents do). They are two worldly unchristian organizations who have different opinions and philosophies about running the country. Neither has a Christian worldview (hereafter: CWV), they both are worldly and, in some sense evil.

That being said, just because neither party espouses or follows a CWV, does not mean that there is really no difference between the two, that we should just stay home, or that neither is more conducive to a CWV. I voted already and the candidates I voted for were overwhelmingly from the same party. But I will not identify myself with a political party I see as an unchristian organization pursuing a worldly agenda.

Okay, hopefully that will be the most I ever have to say about politics on this blog ever!

Finally the point...

The abortion issue

Being prolife, of course includes the abortion issue. How could it not? When our country kills millions of defenseless children, we, as Christians, should be ashamed of ourselves if we do and say nothing. I am afraid that younger evangelicals may be becoming numb and apathetic to this issue. I can understand why. This has been legal in the U.S. for over thirty years, I am twenty-four. It's normal. We don't have the shock of realizing that babies are legally murdered in this country everyday. It's just something that happens. Every day. All the time. There has also been increased sympathy for the women who seek abortions. Most of them are poor and without a man to help care for and raise the child. Many of them are teens. A few of them are victims of rape or incest. To tell these women they must go through with their pregnancy seems cruel, especially when abortion is so readily available and normal.

Evil should never become normal to us. God did not create the world to be this way. Sin, death, and the curse were not a part of God's original creation. They are foreigners and alien invaders who will someday be vanquished and gone forever. The world as it is now is messed up. We look to the day when normality will be restored with a new earth. We have no concept of what normal is. The new earth will never fade away. Some day in eternity future, our time on this earth will be nothing more than a blip on a screen. We live in the abnormal phase. Let's never accept evil, which will hold influence for only a very short time, as normal or acceptable. Let us never become callused, used to it or lose our horror of it.

But there are other prolife issues...

War

War is sometimes a necessary evil. But if there is one thing wrong with American evangelical politics, I think it is our quick acceptance of war as an acceptable way of dealing with our enemies. I was shocked at how strong and enthusiastic Christian support for the Iraq war was in 2003. I don't want to argue about the WMDs, Saddam Hussein, or terrorist connections (though I imagine some of you will want to argue with me). We went to war without any real provocation, without any real proof of threat, and without thoroughly pursuing other options first. The results? About twice as many Americans have died as died in 9/11 and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. I can't imagine any plausible scenario in which this turns out to save human lives. Whether we are directly responsible for their deaths or not, our decision to go to war had a horrific human toll.
*** btw... I feel I just have to make clear my own position here. I was against the Iraq war in 2003 and still think it was a mistake. But once we took away the country's structural support, the nation was flooded with terrorists, and was left without a functioning government, I felt we were obligated to stay and clean it up. Pulling out of a mess we created doesn't seem right to me.***

If we truly value life, war should not be something we are quick to support as a solution. In a fallen world, war is often a necessary evil. But let us not forget that war is evil and that we should support peace whenever and however we can. Human life is precious. Let's be slow to shed it. As Christians, we should be vocal in our opposition to unnecessary, unjust and hasty wars.

A very difficult and complicated aspect to war is so called 'nation building'. The specter of Mogadishu Somalia looms large. Even though I was little when it happened, I still remember the images of dead U.S. soldiers being dragged through the streets. But even more sickening to me is the time we did absolutely nothing in Rwanda and 1,000,000 people died (one million for those who have difficulty with numbers). We should stop the slaughter of millions of civilians whenever possible. American lives are not more important or more precious than African lives. I'm afraid too many American Christians think that they are, although they would never say so in so many words. There is nothing Christian about being American. America is a wicked secular nation (and always has been- we have never been a Christian nation, study your history). We have more in common with our Christian brothers and sisters in Africa than we do have in common as fellow Americans. You being my fellow American means nothing to me. You being my brother or sister in Christ means everything, no matter where you are from.

Movies and Entertainment

Here is something that I have not applied perfectly in my life. I am afraid that we, as American Christians, too easily accept violence as entertainment. A kid in my youth group once protested when we were talking about evaluating movies we watch, "there's nothing wrong with violence." OH YES THERE IS! Violence is evil. Violence is part of a sinful world, but should not be a characteristic of a Christian. We should never 'enjoy' violence. When we watch a movie and get joy out of watching violence and bloodshed, when we play computer games and enjoy killing digital representations of human beings we are taking pleasure in evil. Just like pornography when we are not actually committing adultery physically, we are doing so with our mind.

This is not to say that watching violent movies is always wrong. In fact some movies which increase our horror of violence are probably good for us to watch (Hotel Rwanda for example). But we ought to evaluate ourselves as we watch them. Are we deriving pleasure out of evil. Do we love it when the protagonist takes out revenge on his enemies? Do we become giddy as we get a 'triple kill' when we play Halo? Just asking questions....

Towards something of a conclusion...


Hopefully I still have some friends. Not everything I said is politically correct in American evangelical circles. I want to admit straight up that I am still something of a hypocrite on the last point. But if we are going to emphasize life's preciousness and sanctity, as we should, and claim the prolife label, let's be wholly prolife. Let's defend the defenseless, oppose war except as a last resort, and live lives that reflect the belief that life is sacred. Being anti abortion is important because abortion is evil and destructive of human life. But let's strive for consistency regardless of what the positions are of worldly unchristian organizations; regardless of what they believe or tell us to believe. Do not let your faith become the republican or democratic party's whore. Think 'Christianly' not politically.

Peace out ;-)

About Me

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Tacoma, Washington, United States
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." Fyodor Dostoevsky. I'm a Northwest Baptist Seminary graduate (MDiv) and current student (ThM). I plan on someday going to Africa and teach Bible and Theology at a Bible College or Seminary level. I hope to continue my studies and earn a PhD, either after I go to overseas for a few years or before. I'm a theological conservative, but I like to think outside of the box and challenge conventional thinking and consider myself a free thinker. I am currently serving in my fourth year as a Youth Pastor at Prairie Baptist Fellowship in Yelm Washington. My blogs will reflect my thoughts on both seminary and ministry life, though not (of course) exclusively. I enjoy literature and occasionally try my hand at writing stories and poems. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..." Paul

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