Archive for Christians

What Brad Pitt, Will Smith, David Beckham and Me (in a Pantry) Have in Common

Posted in Humorously Speaking with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by andeeroo

So Today was “Call in Gay” day.  Not sure that taking free time in protest and leaving others to do extra work is the way to change the point of view of your workmate.  Move (ing) On.

This isn’t going to be easy. Telling the truth seldom is. But here goes: I’m HAPPY.

I can hear the gasps of astonishment and shock cum anger already. I realize coming out about my HAPPY lifestyle is far from acceptable in our politically correct society. But frankly, I was tired of hiding the truth.  My wife has decided to come clean on living this lifestyle as well. She is also extremely HAPPY.

Our lifestyle choice seems to have fallen so far out of favor that it is nearly unacceptable in tolerant society. This has left us hiding our lifestyle in the pantry (the closet was taken).  It seems every time we tell others about our sexual orientation (“exclusive” sex between opposite genders), our fidelity (twenty-eight years), and our desire to remain life partners (good and bad, til death do us part), so many people roll their eyes and remark how our HAPPY lifestyle is so “nostalgic,” “quaint,” even archaic. Yeah, just like David and Victoria Beckham, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith . . . all of us incredibly renaissance in our sexual lifestyles.

Well, with all due respect to live-ins, one nighters, same sexers and every other fashionable lifestyler;  I will be silent no longer. Not only am I proud to be out and part of the HAPPY community, I want the world to know just how HAPPY I am. I’m thinking a few protest marches are in order. A legal defense organization: the AHLU, and an international organization: The HAPPY Liberation Movement.

Maybe some slogans for bumper stickers like:

“Married People Do It to Death.”

“Great Sex Comes From Happy People”

“Passion AND Procreation: whatta country!”

” I’m a Happy, Hetero Homosapien”

I’m feeling better already. My wife and I are so out of the closet that we’re  raising our children to be openly “HAPPY.”  My wife and I live our “HAPPY” lifestyle right in front of them and all the world. If our kids choose a “HAPPY” lifestyle, so be it. We’ll love them and support them all the way.

Who knows? Perhaps even Hollywood will take up our cause. The next thing you know, we’ll see major actors portraying marital fidelity in major motion pictures – blatant happiness in full color and dolby digital sound.

Maybe there will be a “Will and Grace” reunion where Jack falls for Grace and ends up walking the aisle with her (Hey! It could happen, if Hollywood writers were just a little more creative and open-minded). Or we might even see a wacky reality series on television about the romantic reward and emotional satisfaction of saving your virginity to share with your one, true love:  “Survivor”.

Calling all “HAPPY” people hiding their lifestyles in the pantry.

It’s time to come out. Start flaunting your commitment and satisfaction with the ones you love. Let the world know how HAPPY you really are!

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Would God Pollute or Protest the Condition of Creation?

Posted in For Heaven's Sake! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by andeeroo

I just finished reading a powerful report from a journalist who followed the length of the Ganges River is India. tributary stretches from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. It holds tremendous cultural and religious value to the Hindi people. Yet it has become a toxic disaster, flowing with deadly chemicals, disposed bodies and the polluted sewage of cities and towns. India’s Center for Science and the Environment confirms “Polluted river water is the biggest cause of skin problems, disabilities and high infant mortality rates.”

Reporter Joshua Hammer notes the most devout are risking their lives in honoring their beliefs: “They want to touch the water, rub their bodies in the water, sip the water,” he said, “and someday they will die because if it.”

Of course the Ganges is just one example of the troubles people are causing around the globe by not showing proper stewardship for the planet God has given us.  Our drive for resources and profit often outstrips the nobility and responsiblity of making sure each generation leaves the earth in healthy working order for our descendants. Over several generations, someone finally ends up with a shop-worn Terra firma that can no longer provide the world’s inhabitants their daily bread.

When we look at Isaiah Chapter 24, a potential picture of our environmental condition and future reveals itself in verses 4-5:

The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers,  the exalted of the earth languish.

The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.

Are humans disobeying God’s innate laws for care taking of His creation?  Are we defiling our mountains, fields oceans and rivers? Is the earth and all the wonderful blessings it provides us in an irreversible decline?

If God walked among us again, would He take interest in how we care for His creation?  Or would He leave the role of environmental stewardship to “Greenpeace” and “The Sierra Club?” 

The Apostle Paul says “Pray for Barack Obama”

Posted in For Heaven's Sake! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by andeeroo

The election has concluded. While there will many with sore feelings, everyone who walks under the banner of Christ must come together and intercede for Barak Obama. We are specifically instructed to do so in the word of God. During the Clinton Presidency, Christians spent more time criticizing and hating the man than lifting him before the Lord. While he made mistakes in his personal life and Presidency, we failed the man and faltered in our duty as believers.

Why does Barak Obama need your prayers?

#1 He will make decisions that influence countless people in signficant ways.

#2 He faces incredibly difficult challenges in our economy, as well as two difficult wars in the Middle East. Barak Obama is an ordinary man who will require extraordinary wisdom and strength to deal
with these serious issues.

#3 He will be surrounded by many people who have their own agenda or simply want to be “yes” men to him. We must pray for wise counsel and truth to be presented to Barak Obama as he leads the nation.

#4 No matter what I Timothy tells us to do as believers, plenty of saints and sinners will slander and attack Barak Obama because he was not their candidate of choice or he does not represent all the policies they hold for government. The Bible clearly states that “the heart of the King is like a river in the hands of the Lord, that He turns whichever way He wishes.” Prayer changes things – hate and slander only fuels evil.

#5 There will be many temptations that the new President will have to face. Power, wealth and compromise. Still others will wish him ill. We must pray that the Lord guards his heart, protects the President and his family and steers him on the path of truth and righteousness during his time in office.

The Bible is full of examples of leaders who knew the blessings and guidance of God almighty and others who made the mistake of accepting bad counsel, falling to temptation or simply going their own way. Still others appeared to be ready to take nations on a path to destruction but found God’s blessing, direction and favor.

The next President of the United States is Barak Obama. The leadership he provides and decisions he makes are waiting to be affected by the prayers of the saints.

What will you do to honor God’s direction in I Timothy and help write the story of the next four years in America?

Blinded to Ghandi’s Legacy, Hindus Turn to Terrorism

Posted in The Hell You Say! with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by andeeroo

by Andy Freeman

Having just returned from shooting documentary footage in Northeast India, I am acutely aware of the dangers and violence taking place in several regions there. Thankfully, I filmed in Misoram, a majority Christian state in India where billboards remind citizens that true Christianity is shown by loving your neighbor, no matter their religion.

Compare the tolerance of the Indian state of Misoram with the nearby state of Orissa. Today’s London Times reports that Christian Aid workers in Orissa identified a bounty program being run by Hindu extremists to assassinate pastors and torch churches. Weapons and gasoline are even provided to those willing to commit these heinous acts in the name of Hinduism.

67 Christians have been killed and countless homes and church destroyed by Hindu terrorism. Over ten thousand Christians are now living in refugee camps in the district of Kandamal; fearing if they return home they will be forced to convert to Hinduism or be murdered.

This religious campaign of terrorism is the result of the assasination of a hardline Hindu Swami: Lakshmanananda Saraswati. The Swami had been outspoken against Christian missionaries outreach and evangelization of impoverished Hindus.

His self-identified killers are a group Maoist militants. Yet Hindu extremists blamed Christians and acted with bloodthirsty vengence against innocent people. Now Christians have been warned if the killers of Saraswati are not caught by December 15 the Hindu terrorists will kill more Christians on December 25.

Local Catholic bishops believe all these actions are a “preplanned masterplan to wipe out Christianity from Kandhamal. . . establishing a Hindu nation.”

Keep in mind that India’s culture is historically based on a caste system. While discrimination based on caste has been officially barred for years, it survives outside of major cities.Those who live at the bottom of the caste ladder have responded in greatest numbers to the gospel message. By becoming Christian they discover equality among fellow believers that eludes them in rural Indian society.

Hindu extremists manage to prey on the fears of fellow Hindus point to Christians as a dangerous group whose open faith is changing Indian culture. This is nothing more than a straw man argument in a state where Christians are a peaceful minority.

The real question to be raised is how far have these Hindu extremists strayed from the teachings of their religion and its greatest leader, Mahatma Ghandi? The question requires two answers.

If Ghandhi were living, he would vehemently protest these extremists. His hallmark was change through non-violence
to gain the independence of India from Britain – for the liberation of Indians of every religion and no religion at all.
His credo was clear when he stated: “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no cause that I am prepared to kill for.”

While he remained a faithful Hindu, Ghandi learned much from the teachings of Jesus Christ and applied these truths vigorously throughout his leadership of the Indian people toward independence. In her book, “Ghandi: the Man,” Millie Pollak points out how Christ’s Sermon on the Mount were a constant inspiration and source of quotation for Ghandi and a portrait of Christ hung over the desk where he worked.

The second answer requires considering teachings in the Hindu holy book, the Bhagvad Gita and how they can easily be misused.
No doubt they are quite different in their message than the one that Mahatma Ghandhi preached. Consider the setting of the story about to be quoted is war and the warrior Arjuna is struggling with his reasons for fighting and conquering his enemies. Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) tells Arjuna:

“O Arjuna, how can a person who knows that the Spirit is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and immutable, kill anyone or causes anyone to be killed? (2.21)”

“O Arjuna, the Spirit that dwells in the body of all beings is eternally indestructible. Therefore, you should not mourn for anybody.” (2.30)

One can see how easily this type of philosphy can be used to justify religious killings or any other type of killing. If one believes the spirit is reincarnated, they are coming back anyway. As an extremist you are performing an act of justice and providing the spirit another chance to return and get their life right next time.

Krishna goes on to tell Arjuna:

“Considering also your duty as a warrior you should not waver like this. Because there is nothing more auspicious for a warrior than a righteous war.” (2.31)

“You will go to heaven if killed on the line of duty, or you will enjoy the kingdom on the earth if victorious. Therefore, get up with a determination to fight, O Arjuna.” (2.37)

If terrorizing and killing non-Hindus is presented as a righteous war, you are coherced into violence; otherwise you lose honor and end up a coward and outcast. But the benefits of righteous fighting include heaven if you are killed in action or the spoils of victory here on earth. This type of teaching is comparable to the Koranic teaching used to drive Islamic extremists to violent acts against non-Muslims.

So, these Hindu extremists face a gaping disconnect between the teachings of a modern Hindu leader like Ghandi who declared:
“My position is that it does not matter what faith you practice, as long as the soul longs for truth.” This belief is no longer being lived out among the Hindus of Orissa as they rape, burn and murder those who do not match their brand of religion.
Instead, easily swayed Hindus are steered to violence by thoughts of righteous war and the warning from Krishna to Arjuna:
“If you will not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your duty, lose your reputation, and incur sin.” (2.33)

When we pause to consider that Mahatma Ghandi was killed by a former member of a Hindu extremist faction, we know
our prayers and political action must be vigorous on behalf of Christian believers and the leaders of the nation of India.

Jesus called us to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us. I’m sure is far easier to cite these truths living in America than caught in the midst of religious violence.

Ghandi’s words echo loudly when we consider all these troubles within India, as well as Africa, the Middle East and so many parts of our world: “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”