My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the month “June, 2015”

America

Early American flag with 13 stars for the 13 states

Early American flag with 13 stars for the 13 states

On July 4th the United States will be celebrating it’s independence. The celebration will most likely includes fireworks, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Some communities will even have a parade.

But how did all of this get started? Some say America started with Biblical ideas. Others say there was no thought of God at all in the beginning. So what’s true?

One of the things that many people say is that there is a separation between church and state. In a way there is, but not the way many want you to think.

From the Bill of Rights we get:
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
.

The government is not to make laws against Christian belief. And yet sometimes they do. Like stopping Christians from praying in school. Or even trying to stop Christian chaplains in the military from praying in the name of Jesus.

I have heard that there was no Christianity or any religion in the beginning of this country. Yet the Declaration of Independence says: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Modern American flag with 50 stars for all 50 states

Modern American flag with 50 stars for all 50 states

There are some who believes there there is no Biblical law nor should be any Biblical law in the United States, except for don’t steal and don’t murder. But is this true?

Some time ago the restaurant Subway got into trouble because their foot long sandwiches were not a full foot long. When I go buy fuel for our car, I would see a sticker on the pump with a Washington State seal on it, saying its scales are certified to be accurate. This goes along with Leviticus 19:35-36:
“Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume. Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

What about bribing the police? In this country it’s against the law. Exodus 23:8. In some countries bribing the police is very common. But in those countries there may be a lot of corruption.

What about rape? In so many countries and cultures around the world, the poor woman who gets raped, also gets killed. Why? Deuteronomy 22:25-27 says: “But if the man meets the engaged woman out in the country, and he rapes her, then only the man must die. Do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no crime worthy of death. She is as innocent as a murder victim. Since the man raped her out in the country, it must be assumed that she screamed, but there was no one to rescue her.”

These are just a few of the laws here in America that are based on Gods word.

Martin Luther King Jr – Wikipedia

Martin Luther King Jr – Wikipedia

Some say Christians must not voice their belief in government. That Christians should not try to change a law. They say that would be very bad. Really? Then why do many of the same people celebrate what Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. did back in the 1960s?

“Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Even though this was first for the Israelites, I believe it could also apply to other countries. I believe this is why the United States has been blessed over the years. Yes I know we’ve blown it from time to time. But for the most part, in the past we have honored the Lord. But are we still honoring the Lord?

Something to think about as we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, parades, barbecues and other actives. My wife and I will be with friends enjoying a car race.

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Family Of God

Sign For Family in ASL

Sign For Family in ASL

A few weeks ago my wife and I went to a memorial. The man was deaf. What was interesting was I was a minority, but not because of skin color. At least 2/3 of the people were deaf. The others were hearing. I was neither. I’m hard of hearing.

During the service the deaf pastor preached in ASL, (American Sign Language) the deaf family members talked in ASL, and the interpreter spoke in English.

The problem was I didn’t know enough ASL to follow along, and I couldn’t hear enough to follow along that way either.

Afterwards during the reception I said in broken ASL I said to a man, that I felt I didn’t belong because I didn’t fit in either group. Hearing or deaf.

He said I was wrong. He said because of Jesus, we all belong in the same family of God. We belong together in that group. We’re family.

Movie: San Andreas

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to see the movie San Andreas. I know it didn’t get that great of a review, but I enjoyed it. But there were problems with it.

I’m sure you have heard from the experts that the San Andrea fault line would not and could not act like it did in the movie. OK. I don’t know any better so I wouldn’t comment about that. But what about other problems?

While watching the movie, after the big earthquake was of course a tsunami. Big waves coming in to destroy everything. But neither my wife or I remember the waves going out carrying anything away. But maybe it was there and we just missed it.

When the earthquake hit Japan back in 2011, the tsunami washed away people, cars, and many other things. Two years later things from Japan were washing up on the shores of Canada and the United States.

Another thing I noticed about the movie was a naval ship washed on shore. Of course the ship was damaged. But it seemed to be damaged wrong. I remember seeing holes at the top of the hull where sheet metal was missing. It looked a bit like holes broken into a brick wall. Not like torn steel.

Many years ago I was on a US Coast Guard ship just south of Alaska. A 500 foot (150 meter) Taiwanese cargo ship was without power and was just drafting. We were only 230 feet (70 meters) long, but we were going to tow the Taiwanese vessel anyway. The seas were very rough. About that time the Taiwanese were lifted up on a very large wave. I remember looking up at the bottom of that huge ship just before it came down on top of us. It nicked the side of us leaving a large dent in our ship.

I can’t tell you the damage done to the other ship as its damage was under the water line. And even though our ship had a dent in it that was maybe 3 feet (1 meter) wide, and maybe a foot (30 centimeters) deep and I don’t know how long, (from the top of the hull to the water line or below) there were no holes in either ships.

If there were holes created by the impact, I believe it would look much like a tear in a car body caused by a bad impact. This is why I say the damage done to the navel ship in the movie looked fake.

Another thing I had problems with, involved a small boat. I don’t want to give away anything about the movie but, there was a scene where a boat ran into a building at a high speed. My question is “Why wasn’t that boat damaged?”

Yet at the same time I was reminded of Revelation 16:18-19. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble. The movie is tame compare to what John says is coming. So many people dying. Sad and terrible.

So if there are so many things that are not true or correct in the movie San Andrea, why did I like it? I don’t know. Maybe for the same reason I liked The Planet of the Apes, from 1968 or Jurassic Park from 1993. By the way I happen to have both movies on DVD. And even though Closed Caption is worthless in the trailers, they’re very good on DVD.

Judging

Speed Limit 60

Imagine being a passenger in a car speeding down a highway. You pass a speed limit sign says SPEED LIMIT 60 MPH (100 KMH). But the driver is going 90 mph (150 mph). You tell the driver to slow down. The driver replies “But I’m born to speed!”
“You shouldn’t speed”
“Stop being so judgemental.”
“Come on man. Going this fast is wrong. Someone could get killed.”
“You’re so judgemental. You’re such a hateful bigot against speeders!”

There are so many ways to go with this. I would like to say all I’m thinking, but I don’t want to write a book. I also don’t want to bore everyone to tears.

Pointing out a wrong is not judging if it’s a law. Either man’s law, like speeding, or God’s law like murder or homosexuality. I know I will get into trouble for saying this. So listen up!

Galatians 5:19-21
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Everyone on this planet is a sinner. Everyone. And once a sinner always a sinner. All sinners fail to meet God’s standards. Whether you have told a little lie or stole a small inexpensive item, to if you are a mass murderer, or anything in between, you have failed to meet God’s standard. The good news is we can all be forgiven. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, then rose again physically. John 3:16 says, For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Remember, pointing out somebody’s sin, is not being judgemental any more than pointing out to someone they’re speeding. Be careful though. Be sure your facts are correct.

Years ago I was leading a Bible study and I came up with a little story. Here it is.

Every Friday afternoon Mr. Jones who happens to be a head Deacon at The First Something Church would enter a bar on Fourth Street. This happened every Friday at about 3:00PM. Sometimes he’d stay in that bar for 20 minutes, sometimes as long as an hour or more. Some of the people of First Something Church were beginning to talk. Saying Mr. Jones must be a sinful drinking man unfit to be a head Deacon of the First Something Church.

The truth is Mr. Jones is a salesman. He enters the bar to sell napkins and paper towels. After he takes the weekly order he visits with the bar owner and some of the drinking customers. Mr. Jones has actually lead one beer-drinking man to the Lord. And although the bar owner never became a Christian (yet) he would still once in awhile visit the First Something Church.

Before you start accusing somebody for doing something wrong, be sure you get your facts straight first. On the other hand if you know someone is doing something wrong, point it out, lovingly.

Luke 17:3
So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.”

There is another kind of judging that I want to talk about. The kind that everyone has done at one time or another. And that’s judging someone because of there looks, disability, religion or whatever.

Boeing 747-8

Boeing 747-8

I have never met a person who is not guilty of being judgemental. I hate to say it, but I’m guilty of it. Many years ago I met a man who didn’t talk much and was always hunched over a little. And because of his looks, I didn’t believe he was a very smart man. Later I found out he’s a mechanical engineer at Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company.

I myself have been the victim too. So many people seem to think that hearing loss means brain loss. Anyone familiar with this blog knows my thinking and reasoning skills are just as good as anyone else.

This brings up an interesting question. I know that there some who believes that if someone is disabled, in a wheelchair and unabled to use their muscles or talk, they can’t be very intelligent. So here’s the question. How do they explain Stephen Hawking?

Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”

Something to think about.

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