Tag Archives: religion

GetReligion.com on "Kellerism" - once i trained myself to look for these things, they become obvious.


on gay "marriage"

Now, slowly yet undeniably, evangelicals are changing their minds.

Well, sure.  All you have to do is broaden the term "evangelical" until it's meaningless, then everything changes.


Books to read since...forever.

I'll put them on my list...because...classics.

And (these are "new" fiction...I'll add these because...brain candy.

and another list...


Why I’ve Stopped Singing in Your Church


'“Islamophobia,” which, like “homophobia,” is a way to pathologize those who disagree with a dominant narrative'

I first learned these in a philosophy class, and answered the question "Is Buddhism a Philosophy or a Religion" here.

As I read through the "Noble Truths" I was sad - What is missing from these "truths?"

As a Christian, the answer leaps out at me - grace.

The short version is "life's a bitch, and then you die."

The first noble truth:  Life is suffering.

There's physical suffering, we all know what that is.  There's mental suffering, whether it's a job you don't like, an argument with a neighbor, grief, or simple unhappiness.

Even when you have joy and happiness, it just leads to more suffering; a break from suffering, at best.

Suffering is a fact of life. There are four unavoidable physical sufferings; birth, old age, sickness and death. There are also three forms of mental suffering; separation from the people we love; contact with people we dislike and frustration of desires. Happiness is real and comes in many ways, but happiness does not last forever and does not stop suffering. Buddhists believe that the way to end suffering is to first accept the fact that suffering is actually a fact of life.

The book of Ecclesiastes affirms (sort of) this thought, although in a more balanced way.

The second noble truth: the Cause of Suffering

First - craving.  Whether you crave health, food, a new car - if you want something that you don't have, that's "suffering."

And craving is rooted in ignorance - the inability to see the truth about "things"

What is ignorance? Real ignorance is not just being uneducated, or not knowing many things. Buddhists see ignorance as the inability to see the truth about things, to see things as they really are. This ability to see the truth is not a question of either eyesight or education. Buddhists believe that there are many truths about the world that people are ignorant of, because of the limits of their understanding.


The Buddha said that overcoming craving and ignorance leads to true happiness and Enlightenment.

I'm going to leave this topic here...and visit the other two "truths" in a couple of days...


1 Comment

I have a relationship with Christ.
And my boss.
And my landlord.
And my president.
And Satan.

All are "relationships" so they're all equal. (We'll most likely agree that's incorrect.)

My point is that the word "relationship" is meaningless unless you know what the relationship is defined by.

My relationship with my boss is defined by my contract.
My landlord...my rental agreement
My president...the Constitution.

My relationship with Christ is defined by the Christian religion.

Religion (Merriam-Webster, in part)

the service and worship of God or the supernatural

I serve and worship God. This is a good thing.

a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Attitudes and beliefs:

Belief in God (there is no such thing as an atheistic Christian)
Belief in Christ’s deity and humanity (1 John 4:2-3; Rom. 10:9)
Belief that you are a sinner in need of God’s mercy (1 John 1:10)
Belief that Christ died on the cross and rose bodily from the grave for our sins (1 Cor 15:3-4)
Belief that faith in Christ is necessary (John 3:16)

And practices

Corporate worship

This, in part, defines my "relationship" with Christ.

He's not my landlord, He is my GOD.

I cannot reject "religion" without rejecting all He has done.

Lactantius, in his "Divine Institutes" (IV, xxviii.) wrote, "We are tied to God and bound to Him [religati] by the bond of piety..."

Augustine, in his treatise "On the True Religion", says: "Religion binds us [religat] to the one Almighty God"

And we turn to Scripture:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world

This is what you deny, when you deny "religion."

If you still want to reject "religion," then reject our shared beliefs, our shared practices, reject worship and service of God, reject being bound to Him.

(By the way, this "religion" also defines my relationship with Satan. I was his...now I am not. He s my enemy and he is defeated by Christ.)

I guess what gets me is that if one of the ways to develop an understanding of the question is to look at the way the sides treat the other, there's something interesting going on with this one.

It's a relationship. I hate religion. It's man made and it kills and it's bad.


It's both. You can't have Christianity without a relationship with Christ...but you also can't have that relationship if you don't have the terms of that relationship - defined by the religion.

Religion: worship of a deity - a set of common beliefs about that deity. Augustine wrote about "religion" having the meaning of "being bound fast"

As a people of God, we are all bound fast by our common beliefs in God: The deity of Christ and the death, burial and resurrection of Christ being central.

"Religion" is "us-centered." We are one church, one bride, one family of God.

"Relationship" is "me-centered" - my Jesus, my relationship. (note: that's not a bad thing, that personal relationship is as necessary as the "us" piece.)

I saw a baby dedication this past weekend. The thought struck me then: if there is no "bound togetherness of shared beliefs" - why have the congregation commit to helping the parents (the "us piece" bring that child up in those beliefs?

It's got to be both? You have a relationship with your spouse; it's the marriage covenant that defines what that relationship looks like.

You have a relationship with Christ; its the terms of the Christian religion that defines what that relationship looks like.

1 Comment

Christian who is politically conservative?
Christian who is theologically conservative?

My Political Views
I am a right social moderate
Right: 3.54, Authoritarian: 0.54

Political Spectrum Quiz

I am, first and foremost, Christian.

Theologically, I am 100% Reformed.

Based on the chart here, I'm a theological conservative, but on others, I miss the mark on 7-day creationism.

I find it interesting the (generally and broadly) those who fall mostly in the "liberal" description are not willing to identify with that descriptor.

But if a person who fall into the "conservative" side gets called "conservative, their reply is more likely to be "thank you."

I started this post a few days ago, and honestly don't remember where I was going with it.

Probably because I do post on theology and I do post on politics.

For me, "conservative" is a handy way to let folks know up front what mind set I'm working from.


I love religion. I know it's popular to parrot the "I hate religion" mantra these days, and I understand what those saying it are trying to say - they don't like it when people abuse religion for personal gain, whether that gain is financial, personal, or whether it just to make themselves feel better.

But to say "I hate religion" is an abuse of the word "religion," which is actually a pretty morally neutral word. To assign a neutral word a meaning that it was never intended to carry is an abuse of the word.

We don't want the political gay agenda to change the meaning of the word "marriage" - well, don't change the meaning of the word "religion." When somebody abuses it, reclaim it.

    - the service or worship of God (If you - generic, not specific "you" hate that, I'm not sure what to say)
    - the commitment or devotion to religious faith or devotion - again, I'm not sure why anyone would hate that.
    - a personal set or institutionalized system of religious beliefs, attitudes or practice. Our Christian beliefs that connect us with nearly 2,000 years of people of faith who have gone before us? Yeah...those


I love these things that add up to: religion.

I am committed to, and devoted to, the service and worship of God - that is, my religious faith.

What spurred this post, is the book "Affirming the Apostles' Creed" by J.I.Packer. That institutionalized system of beliefs is best summed up in the "Apostles' Creed"

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN

and can I hear another AMEN?

what part of this would any Christian hate?

While anti-religious rights folks scream that "the mandate" hearings did not include women, or pro-mandate witnesses, the back story reveals a lot.

  1. there were women, just not at the first sitting
  2. The committee at the hearing involved advocating for religious rights.  Why do they consider women more (or less) capable of advocating for rights that affect us all?
  3. what goes around comes around.

If the hearings included no women (even "forgetting the claim is false) - the committee that wrote the thing...

According to the research from Human Life International (HLI), the panel behind Barack Obama's contraception, sterilization, and "morning-after" pill mandate was dominated by pro-abortion organizations.

According to HLA, the members of the panel leading to the Obama mandate included (among other):

Claire Brindis is a member of the Board of Directors of the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, as well as a member of NARAL’s Pro-Choice California “1969 Society,” which has been called by NARAL “a group of our most steadfast and generous donors.”

Angela Diaz is a former board member of “Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health,” an advocacy group that “work[s] to improve access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion.”

Paula A. Johnson is the Chairwoman of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts...

Magda G. Peck is associated with a host of organizations that advocate for abortion and free access to contraception, and was on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs and served as both vice chair and chair of the board.

Linda Rosenstock, committee chairwoman, has since October 2004 donated over $40,000 to pro-choice political candidates including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and the Democratic National Committee.

Alina Salganicoff is the Vice President and Director of Women’s Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a major proponent of abortion and contraception on demand.

1 Comment

this Resurgence post, "You Are Not Jesus" nails it.

the more I hear fake gospels, the more I long for the real one.

The gospel is the good news that God sent his perfect Son Jesus Christ to live, die, and resurrect on behalf of sinners, to save their souls and reconcile them to God.

As important as it is to do good works, care for the poor, nobody becomes a Christian and enters into eternal life because we gave somebody a sandwich; They get saved because they hear the preaching of the news of Jesus.

I love the way Paul explains it in Titus 2:10-11.  He gives the "law" (to do list) and then gives us the "done list"

"...but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people..."

It is because we have Christ, that we do good works.  But our good works are not the good news.