Christian Alternatives

Note to readers

Do not patronize any advertiser on this hub unless you know for a fact that the advertiser is Christian. How can I say that and scare off any possible profit for me from this hub? Easy. There are no commercial advertisers in a church, so why should there be any at my hub? Besides, I never signed up for Google AdSense. They are godless and there is too much tax hassle. I have never seen one penny from any of my Hub Pages. Normally, I don't care but since this is Christian Alternatives, why give the devil any of your money?

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"Be edified."


Alternative to Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law states:

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. And at the worst possible time. Things will take longer than they look. Everything will be harder than it seems. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong."


As Christians we can choose to be positive as God commands or be negative and pessimistic.


Personal note from your editor: I have consciously and unconsciously accepted Murphy's Law all my life as my personal philosophy. As a child, I figured that I should prepare for the worst, you know, the Scouts' motto of "Be Prepared." As adult, I figured that since I am a realist and a pragmatist that I should concentrate on the worst and not the best because good outcomes will take care of themselves. You know the old adage of good news can wait but bad news cannot. Take care of emergencies now because important matters may not be urgent. The problem with this philosophy is that you are always putting out fires and not dealing with important matters that God created you to do.

I heard a sermon in which the minister specifically mentioned Murphy's Law and pointed out the hidden pitfall. Murphy's Law is true—for pessimists. However, we are Christians and that mandates that we be positive. That is, if we wish to be good people, if we wish to get advice for better living, and if we wish to have the best possible life (this is what God wants for us); then we have to change our personal philosophy. I cannot tell you what your personal philosophy should be. Even God does not tell you that, but God does suggest that bad, evil, negativity, stupidity, and insanity does not work. Notice that I am not talking about religion or spirituality (although your spiritual life should benefit as a by-product) or morality. I am talking about your personal philosophy. What you create for yourself is entirely up to you. If your old personal philosophy is not working out for you, then consider formulating a new one.


Just a suggestion.


"the World, the Flesh and the Devil"

You have heard the above phrase. What does it mean?

The world can mean either the physical planet or our society or our culture.

The flesh means your physical body.

The devil is the personification of evil.


Frequently Asked Question: Toni, how come you do so many hubs on space and so many hubs on ecology and on the environment and on social problems?

Answer: See the first sentence above. We Christians are not of this world. Therefore, it is our job to

  1. Be good stewards of this planet. The household chemicals you use in your kitchen, the chemicals you swallow (prescriptions & over the counter drugs), the chemicals you wash with, the chemicals you apply to your lawn/garden/farm, the chemicals that leak out of your car, and the chemicals you use at work all go down the drain and end up in your drinking water—even if you drink bottled water. Some of this stuff is not filtered out by conventional filters and some is dangerous down to parts per quintillion! If your car or factory puts out fumes or smoke or emissions into the air, then you may not care but you are poisoning your family, friends, and favorite neighbors. The chemicals of industrial plants and fracking operations soak into the ground and poison well water that you get back in your bottled water and your tap water. Many farmers are giving up agricultural chemicals because they get cancer like everyone else. You cannot poison the soil and not expect immediate blow back. These days you do not even have to wait decades for the consequences. They happen sooner than you expected. All those parables of Jesus about stewardship were not children's story time.
  2. Recognize that The Creator created creation. Make sense? God did not make the Earth and other worlds just to throw them away. That is waste. Revelation about an Apocalypse in which the Old Earth and the Old Heaven are thrown away was prophetic warning to not be fools or face the consequences. Revelation is not a command to be fools. I keep thinking of that Christian I knew who threw litter on the ground. I told him to pick it up and put it in the trash. He said: "Why bother? This world will end soon anyway." Does anyone really believe there will be litterbugs in heaven throwing trash on the golden streets? Duh. [Sometimes in the Old Testament, people listened to prophets and averted disaster. We know what happened when they did not. Prophecy is not about fatalism. It is like your parents telling you not to drink and drive. You ignore them and wrap a car around a tree. So you learn to listen to your parents if you have any wisdom.]
  3. Turn the dead lifeless worlds that astronomers are discovering into living worlds with green land and blue ocean and clean air and, ultimately, into paradises and gardens of Eden.
  4. Keep the land green, the ocean blue and the air pure if a given world is already in that state.
  5. Learn from history and not repeat our history of genocide if there are other people. It would not be the first time that we discovered people living in peace in forests, on plains and in places where we did not expect people. Calling new people savages or barbarians or aliens or extraterrestrials is just another way of saying to God: "I am going to start a fight or otherwise justify my slaughter of these people because they do not look like me and because I want to steal their land and their stuff. In the name of Jesus, Amen." What do you think God thinks about such a prayer? This is the history of the past two millennia. It is a wonder that anyone wants to be a Christian with this sorry record. The Native Americans must surely be the most spiritual people on Earth because they have put up with unbelievable criminal abuse that continues to this very day in the Amazon. The aborigines of Tasmania were completely wiped out of existence. Africans were made into slaves. Slavery and genocide are at the rock bottom of worst sins. And now our government has invented new sins: Mind Control (MKULTRA) to destroy free will. Together with Big Business, we have the additional sins of turning people into gadgets (cyborgs) and the destruction of privacy which would have horrified the Founding Fathers of the USA. All I am saying is that we should explore and settle other worlds but with a strong ethic of humility. If it is inhabited or claimed, then back off. Noninterference, Prime Directive or whatever you want to call it.
  6. Change our death culture into a life culture. This means that the eternal life Jesus promised is now within reach. I do not mean just eternal youth pills and biotechnology giving us lifespans that soar past three score and ten (Psalm 90:10) but lifespans that soar past that Methuselah and simply go on into infinity. I am not knocking pharmacology, it has its place in the health sciences but we have to stop thinking like drug addicts and expect pills to solve all our problems. We already know that we have to eat health food not junk food because you do not put junk in the temple of God (your body) any more than you throw litter on the streets of heaven. We already know that we need to exercise and to get a good eight or so hours of sleep. But we need to go much much further into other areas. What good is it to be perfectly healthy and have eternal youth (always looking 23) and then step off the curb and be hit by a truck? Get away from the creeps who whine about the Nanny State when the government is just doing its job of getting the air clean enough to breathe (without giving you asthma), the water clean enough to drink, and food clean enough to eat (FDA and USDA). Whenever I hear someone knock these agencies or OSHA or the EPA, then I know that they are a criminal polluter and that they belong in prison. I take names and license plate numbers of these criminal sociopaths. Decent people (that means especially Christians) not only should cooperate with efforts to make the world safe and crime free and preparing to avoid man-made disasters but should lead the way. If the government requires your factory's smokestacks and conduits to be parts per billion, then you should aim for parts per trillion to do more than the law requires. Safety engineering is what will make our personal efforts to exercise and eat right worthwhile. When we step off the curb, the electric car of the future may be like the Batmobile and instantly stop to avoid killing you. This is the future.
  7. Get used to it. Accept it. Embrace it. And finally, lead the way because Christians are supposed to lead the way to better things.
  8. Stay away from people who say negative things about "The Social Gospel". Such people are unethical and actually want poverty to be even worse for the working poor in slums and the working homeless who have no mobile home (and may not even have a car to live out of). People who are anti-Social Gospel sell alcohol. They contribute to crime, particularly pollution. They tend to be mean, ignorant racists. They are clueless about germs (having never looked through a microscope) and do not bother to wash their hands before and after using the bathroom. They see nothing wrong with child labor and are anti-trade guilds and then they actually wonder why Americans have no marketable skills when there are few or no apprenticeships. They are against good public schools because they want voters to be stupid and vote for the candidates that the Supreme Court (the most anti-consumer court ever) lets them buy and because they know that without good public schools, freedom and democracy is not possible. They are also against education because they themselves are stupid and short-sighted. The same science that they bash is warning them that they will die along with everyone else if we do not stop pollution. Cancer does not appear by magic. It comes from carcinogens. If you reject the social gospel, then you reject the Lord's Prayer -- "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10):
  9. Listen to the peace churches. While I do not personally approve of every position that the three peace churches take, they are absolutely right that war is wrong. There is simply so much unclaimed and uninhabited real estate in the universe that squabbling over this planet just makes no sense. The peace churches are the Brethren, the Quakers and the Mennonites. Some people also add the Christadelphians and Molokans. I would not be surprised if some 21st Century version of the Amish reformed the problems reported by those leaving Amish life, shunned the technophobes, kept the respect for tradition, built spaceships, and headed out without looking back. Or maybe the Bruderhof or Hutterites might do this.
  10. Spend the time you obsess on the devil thinking about God instead. For every minute you spend on thinking about the devil, compensate by thinking about God for two minutes. After awhile, your better thoughts will crowd out your bad thoughts. I am not saying to spend all your time at church or all your time reading the Bible and neglect work and study (of other books) and recreation (physical and mental exercise). Obviously there is more to life. There are atheists who have no problem believing in the devil. There are some unchurched people who believe in hell but do not think that there is a heaven. No wonder all of my hubs and writings elsewhere come as a shock to them. They literally cannot imagine anything good or beautiful or true because all they know is evil, ugliness and lies. Think about God.


Stained glass in a church dieoase.wordpress.com
Stained glass in a church dieoase.wordpress.com

Your God Is Too Small

Our concept of God is evolving. I say that to shake up the people who cannot wrap their minds around evolution. Not my problem. God can create the universe any way He wants to do it. He just happened to create the laws of nature and the laws of physics and, since He is a law-abiding God, He decided to obey His own laws. That is a working definition of Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

Some people think that smart people cannot believe in God. The smartest man who ever lived, Albert Einstein, believed in God. Some people think that educated people cannot believe in Jesus and then they have to explain away the existence of Christians who are scholars, academics, and scientists with PhD's. With this in mind, let us consider the progress of humankind as told in the Bible or as told in secular history books.

We started out with primitive ideas. We looked at the night sky and could not understand why it differed from the day sky aside from light and dark, sun and moon. What were those points of white light? Why did some points of light move over the months and others remain in place? Astronomy was the first science but astronomers were forced by kings to waste their time with astrology and horoscopes. [To this day, there are delusional people who believe in the pseudo-science of astrology and other occult nonsense while rejecting real science when it warns of climate change.]

The ape-men came out of the trees and the cavemen emerged from an ice age. Some people got tired of migrating with the herds and probably some missing link mate or some cavewoman told her mate that she wanted to set down roots. "This seems like a good place. You hunt and I will gather fruit, nuts, herbs, and roots." No one knows who got the idea from watching ants plant seeds to get humans to plant seeds but it took someone (male or female) with good observational skills over a long period of time to figure out that if you put this thing (later called a seed) in the ground and water it, then you will have some control over what grows nearby. Thus taming herds and planting seeds began agriculture. Someone probably said: "Forget all the travel. We can finally settle down." You can take the Adam & Eve version. I do not really see a conflict.

From little groups came big groups of people. Agriculture allowed this. Villages became towns and there were even cities the size of New York. The Bible talks about one that took days to travel from the outer suburbs to the center. All this complexity allowed people to specialize and exchange goods and services. Money was invented. People looked at the sky and imagined that the night sky belonged to the gods. One God in particular gained traction because His followers thrived (not always) but often enough that only fools crossed them. They were called Hebrews (later called Jews). Christians decided to worship the same God especially since Christianity started out as the first Reform Judaism before gentiles began to outnumber Nazarene Jews. Some gentiles were smart enough to realize that the Jews were on to something. However, some gentiles were very stupid and forgot that Jesus was Jewish and began anti-Semitism and pogroms that continue to this day. The second wave of diasporas (the first waves happened as the exiles and conquests in the Old Testament) started with the Roman Empire's destruction of Jerusalem.

By the Middle Ages, people were beginning to surmise that the sky full of clouds in the day sky was first heaven, the night sky of stars was second heaven, and wherever God and the angels lived was third heaven. There were more elaborate ideas of seven or more layers of heaven but the word "heaven" itself was over-applied. The sky is the atmosphere. By the time of World War Two, it was known that second heaven was better labeled outer space.

We now arrive at the present. Our idea of God is no longer the stone idol of a primitive. But our idea of God has not progressed much beyond that. Someone topples a statue, it breaks and they declare God dead. God could hit them with lightning like the ancient god Zeus but God probably considers that too obvious in this day and age.

If there are civilizations out there that are hundreds, thousands, millions or billions of years more advanced than us culturally and technologically, what would be their concept of God? They would regard us as ants. We would regard THEM as gods. Not comic book gods like Thor nor one-dimensional gods like the Romans and Greeks and others worshipped. Think of The Q-Continuum on Star Trek (Trelaine in the original series and the Q in nearly every other TV incarnation). All that ability is not magic, it is simply their technology. WE would be considered gods to ape-men and cavemen.

Like the Pacific cargo cults, we would soon learn that their people were like American GI's although the shopaholics among us would be impressed by the cargo planes. However, I am not talking about cultures separated by a few centuries or a few millennia of technological change.

I am talking about separations of millions, billions and even trillions of years if they come from some other universe that physicists say could exist. I have to side with Christians who think our universe is young although my idea of young is a little less than fourteen billion years. This comes from hanging out with God. It tends to stretch you and make you less tolerant of stupidity like war and pollution and crime. So if the physicists are right, then there are other universes and their Big Bangs could have happened long long ago. There are undoubtedly universes much older than ours just as there are universes much younger than ours and some universes that have not been born yet. Therefore, there could be civilizations out there that are trillions and even quadrillions of years older than ours.

Why do I care? Simple. I want to know their concept of God. Is their concept of God bigger than ours? I certainly hope so and I am willing to hope that it is. When I was a child, I used to think about what a god's concept of God must be. After all, with all that massive intellect, they would correspondingly have larger imaginations than me. [Hard as that would be to my ego] The caveman was happy just to have some luck dodging a saber-toothed tiger and getting out of a sudden blizzard and hoping the family back in the cave had not let the fire go out since the last lightning or lava lit the last fire because they had not discovered how to make a fire yet. We demand more of our God than luck. We want answers to things that perplex us and so we create schools of theology. No caveman could imagine that.

Why do I speculate about more advanced civilizations? Do I plan to bail on Christianity? No. It is a weak faith that fears. Fear is the opposite of faith. I have faith that if I traveled not only to other stellar systems but other galaxies that God would lead me to advanced people passing through this universe. I am in it for the wisdom as Solomon would be when he sent out trade far and wide. I would like to compare spiritual notes with an advanced extraterrestrial who is not intent on putting me in a zoo for display. I am not an insect. I return to that comparison because the Bible calls ants a people. When it dawned on me as a child that ants were social insects and had homes to go to at night no matter how dull I think their little lives are to eke out a living in the dirt, when I had that insight, I stopped stepping on ants. I would not want a more advanced being to step on me and so I extend that courtesy to a fellow traveler in life.

Why do I care about advanced life out there? Someone must be getting it right and eliminating war and crime without tossing out freedom and privacy. The human race is very depressing though I have not given up on it. I would not be writing this hub if I had given up on my fellow humans.

I remember writing some article where the topic came up: Would you change citizenship if a more advanced civilization offered you a job or some other means of income so that you could buy a home on one of their worlds? I think that answer is obvious. Who, except someone cowed by fear, would pass on the opportunity to better their circumstances and offer a better life for their family? We are not talking about some weird aliens in flying saucers who get off on abducting people against their will and hypnotizing them and performing proctological and gynecological exams on them. [I say let the Pentagon loose on such unethical cultures]. But even the lunatic fringe claims in their literature and on their websites that there are many cultures (nords and greys for example). I don't buy any of this of course but it makes sense that just as not all humans are Americans or Zambians. Some are Australians and Zimbabweans. If one culture misbehaves, that does not mean every nonhuman is a monster. We cannot hide on Earth because if extraterrestrials exist (I hope not but I am prepared if they do), then they have maps and can find us. The less advanced ones are probably unaware of our existence. The more advanced probably have us catalogued.


The more advanced, the more interesting they are.

However, the more advanced, the less interesting they may find us. (ants)


We will not find God or heaven in the Milky Way nor any other galaxy. We might find god-like beings but we will not find THE God. Nor will we find God or heaven in any other universe, though we may find celestial cities and utopias and places that seem to our low standards to be THE heaven. This is a direct slap at Star Trek V and some being pretending to be God. Even the Q Continuum of the Star Trek fictional universe were not limited like the "god" in that movie, or at least not limited at that scale. There may well be civilizations out there that make the Q Continuum seem primitive by comparison. What might their concept of God be? What are their problems of existence?

I do not think that they will be bored. Any civilization that can get past their atomic age and their AI age and their robotics age and their genetically modified age and their nanotechnology age (and all the other technologies threatening to dehumanize us) will be made of sterner stuff. We Americans have a lot of faults. People have written whole books listing and describing them all and still missed a few faults. But we Americans give generously and we volunteer. Other nationalities have their weak points and their strong points. One can get bored if one is born to wealth (or wealth in comparison to some people suffering a disaster) but life has a way of winnowing out such people. They fall to drug addiction and other vices and the Grim Reaper gets them young. Heaven boring? I think not. Civilizations that are godlike in comparison to us full of bored citizens? I think not. They would simply have different problems.

What do you do when machines are doing all the physical work and all the mental work? What do you do when a machine replaces an arrogant incompetent and greedy CEO with a machine that has no ego just skill? You find honest work.

The Japanese have robot teachers. Robot students who are there to learn instead of text cannot be far behind.

Even in recreation, our video games may soon be created by machines. Will machines not only do our work and our study but play for us as well? All that is left is machines being sick for us. Robot patients that train paramedics and dentists already exist. I have seen them.

So why do we need humans? In fact, we don't. However, people like me are asking the hard questions that others are avoiding. Humans are needed to be better. Humans are needed to be the best. Lazy humans and stupid humans may go the way of the dodo. They will not be able to keep up.

Christians need to be technologically savvy and to learn bioethics so that there is someone to say no when some government agency or some corporation wants to clone humans, patent them and create a race of slaves. Bad idea. Twins are nature's clones and any twin can tell you that slavery is bad. Every ethnic group was a slave back in Roman times. Slavery is bad.

Likewise, we Christians have to say that turning humans into gadgets and cyborgs is a really bad idea. I wear glasses but I know that glasses are the opening wedge into adding artificial parts. Metal hip implants, dentures, pacemakers, where does it all end? It does not end until there is nothing biological left. There is no soul in a machine. Soul and spirit is Christian territory. You as a Christian have to think about this whether you want to or not. God will hold you responsible for not speaking up. Just as God will hold responsible all those people who let the Holocaust happen and did not speak truth to power against Hitler.

Nanotechnology can be so small that it can invade your body against your will. It need not be weaponized to be a threat. Christians have been asleep at the wheel far too long. We let the morons and the racists speak for us and now we Christians struggle just to articulate the obvious. Putin wants to repeat the history of Hitler by annexation. The Chinese meanwhile got away with genocide against the Tibetans in plain sight of the world. A couple of billionaires buy the Tea Party and, by extension, the Religious Right, and all progress in reversing climate change is halted. People are dying of climate change by the thousands but the news media cannot seem to report this fact. We healed the holes in the ozone layer by banning CFC's but a few deniers cannot accept the same reality about greenhouse gases. I could go on with several other major world problems but Christians need to bone up on science so that they can lead. We are supposed to be the head not the tail.

Whether we are talking about immediate problems like climate change or interstellar travel or terraforming or First Contact, we Christians have to lead. We cannot lead if we are dummies.

The first step to getting the mind of Christ is to look for a bigger God than the god of the mean ignorant racists.


Conservatives claim to be the only Christians

and deny liberals can be Christians.


How often have you seen that?


Nancy Reagan practiced astrology.

Ronald Wilson Reagan: Six letters, six letters, six letters. 666.

Karl Rove planned the Republican wilding known as The Patriot Act.

Rush Limbaugh condemns drug addicts and says that they should go to prison while he is using drugs.

Dick Cheney is an advocate of torture.

And you don't want to know about Bush Jr. during his college years. Nor what he did while Kerry volunteered to serve in Vietnam (and earned medals). Nor what he did to steal the presidential election from Gore.

I am no big fan of President Obama but . . . these folks have the gall to question the President's baptism and his testimony that he is a Christian and then call him a Muslim.

There is a saying: What's good for the goose is good for the gander. You cannot question that liberals and even radicals can be Christians and not expect push back. I am a moderate myself with no real care for either the Republican or the Democratic parties. Where is it in the Bible that says God is a conservative Republican? The last time we had such warped thinking that "God is an Englishman", we had Victorian British soldiers slaughtering people in India and Rudyard Kipling writing racist poetry such as "The White Man's Burden". Eurocentric Christianity led to genocide and slavery. Today, the conservative mindset is leading to mind control.

Jesus Himself gathered The Apostles which was a diverse group that included fishermen, a tax collector, a Zealot, a couple of Pharisees, and maybe even other children of Joseph and Mary. That ran the gamut of the political spectrum of the First Century. Jesus' own family while in Egypt probably lived among the Essenes or Therapeutae. The disciples included women.

The only group that never came over to Jesus were The Sadducees.

The cluelessness of the religious right

The author of this article, while right, that is correct, missed the most important point. President George Bush made more than fifty references to "freedom" and "liberty" in a speech of two thousand words. And then signed The Patriot Act to remove that freedom and liberty.

Last time I checked, I have never rammed a plane full of innocent passengers into the crowded World Trade Center nor the Pentagon. So why am I being punished instead of the terrorists? Why were my Constitutional Bill of Rights taken away by Congress? Why has The Supreme Court gone along with this travesty and outrage in every test case since The Patriot Act was signed into law?

They wrap themselves in the flag, they claim to identify with the Founding Fathers of this nation, and then they proceed to undo everything that the soldiers of Valley Forge bled for -- namely freedom and liberty. Either clueless or deliberately evil or stupid or hypocritical. Take your pick.

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

-- John 8:32

Christianity is founded on free will and freedom.


Information

Question: Where do I go for information about Christianity?

Answer: This hub is a good place to start. There are links to take you to your specific interests.


Question: Since God is all powerful, everything is His fault. He let the Holocaust happen. Christians are responsible for all the wars, the Crusades, and bigotry. Shouldn't I become an atheist or a Muslim or a Satanist or none of the above? After all, God is an absentee landlord. He never speaks and never acts. The world is going to hell.

Answer: If everything is God's fault, then you are denying your own existence as a being with free will and you are denying the existence of other people. You can do that but then you are part of the problem and helping "the Borg" and the mind control powers that be take over. This business of Christians being powerful is true. However, history begs to differ with us "responsible for all the wars". We have not started all wars but we indeed do defend ourselves. As for bigotry, you need only read my stuff to know that I and other Christians are constantly condemning bigotry. You can become an atheist but communists and other atheists have killed far more people than those assumed to be Christians. Read the article in this hub titled: "Who is a Christian?" The basic illogic in becoming a Satanist is that if you believe in the devil and hell, then logically there must be a God and heaven. However, there are people who can easily believe in the former but not the latter. Go figure. Some people are masochists and enjoy pain and perhaps hell is built for them. The atheists, meanwhile, believe that it is all fantasy and that no spirit, no soul, no afterlife, and no meaning to life exists. At least the atheists are asking the right questions. The problem arises that when you toss out Christianity, then you also toss out the moral code and ethics and the concept of law. Chaos results. This entire answer is in response to the question about the world going to hell because God supposedly does not speak nor act. You know the old joke about the person saying God is dead and God responding: "No. You are dead." In seriousness, God is saying that He agrees with you that there is a mess and He is asking: "What are YOU going to do about it?" I heard that when Bono of U2 prayed many years ago, he (Bono) said that God replied this way. "What are YOU going to do about it?"


Question: What can I do?

Answer: Joining a church only really serves to divert your energy and money and time into an organization whose sole purpose is its own perpetuation. And finding and picking a good church can be a full-time job that takes a lifetime. Every Christian denomination has its strengths and weaknesses. Regarding most ministries and Christian nonprofits: ditto previous remarks about churches. Joining a Christian intentional community is an option and another is simply living in a geographic location that has the kind of people who can support your spiritual walk. I am not talking about finding a town where everyone looks like you. That could be very racist or lead to lazy habits of mind. I am talking about, for example, a town with a zero crime rate. The kind of place where cops don't carry guns and people don't need to lock their doors. Such towns actually exist. Look for places that match your philosophy and that match the kind of person you want to be. Finding a Christian college is more than simply finding some backward mud-water where the "professors" at Diploma Mill College don't believe in evolution. In fact, you want to avoid creationists. They think the Bible is a science textbook. It is not. What can you do? A far better use of your energy, money and time as a Christian is doing something positive. For example, you see a problem with the world that needs solving. No one else will solve that problem. Only you. You can wait for others to act on climate change but no one will. You have to reverse climate change even if your first act is to pull out the internal combustion engine and fuel tank in your car, sell the metal for scrap, and use the money to install an electric motor and a battery rack. Your second act might be to install solar panels on the roof of your house so that you can charge your car. I guarantee that whatever act (no matter how small) that you take to solve a world problem will have ripple effects. We Christians are world changers. The world does not change us. We change the world. Another example might be that you see the world as headed for a new Dark Age unless you work to increase privacy rights, abolish agencies like the NSA, fight corporate Big Data, and work against CIA mind control and torture. These are Goliaths and you are a little David. What can you do to protect privacy from these powerful entities? You might start a petition with the signatures of your friends. How useful is this? Won't the police break into your home while you are sleeping, put a sack over your head and make you disappear forever? Maybe. Maybe not. The Bible tells us to be as sly as foxes. You might have plans in place to cause a real stink in the worldwide press if you were to disappear. You might document twelve ways from Sunday that you live a clean life and do not use drugs in case they decide to smear you. You might collect one hundred million signatures in your petition drive. You might end up a Senator on an intelligence oversight committee and have friends in Congress who cut the budget of these bureaucracies to zero. A privacy industry might spring up wherein consumers pay for products and services to protect themselves from the government and corporate snoopers. You never know where God will take you when you take the first step in a thousand mile journey. You only know for sure that God has your back as long as you use your brains and your wisdom. And with a little help from your friends. What can you do? Pick a problem and solve it. This is the definition of Christian.


Who Is a Christian?


Some Jewish people think that all gentiles (non-Jews) are Christians. Some Jews thought that Nazis were Christians. In fact, Nazis were pagans. Do your own research. Some white people and some people in Africa, think that Europeans and white people in general are all Christians. I won't even bother to unpack the stupidity of that. Some non-Americans think that all Americans are Christians. Any American knows better. Just look at any reference book that has statistics on religious affiliation in America and Europe. Many famous conservative Republicans are assumed to be Christian. I have a whole link list on this in this hub. Even the Apostles of Jesus were not Christians. They were Nazarene Jews. Hebrews from Palestine if you prefer. Jesus Himself was not a Christian. He was a Jew and probably an Essene Jew. The disciples were all Jewish until the number of Hellenized Roman citizens began to outnumber the Jewish followers of Christ.


Do not assume anyone is a Christian. Only Christ knows that. For practical purposes, you should use two tests: What do they say when you ask them if they are a Christian? If they say, yes I am a Christian then look at their life and if they live in a Christian manner, that is, "Christian" in the best sense of the word, then you can know that they are telling the truth. The New Testament itself says "by their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:16). A serial murderer, a mass murderer, a participant in genocide, a slave owner, a government official participating in mind control, a polluter of the air/water/land, and those who show no concern for this world nor any other world in the universe cannot be "Christians" because Jesus talked about not just obeying the law but the spirit of the law and because Jesus talked about stewardship. Jesus always had good manners. The one time Jesus lost His temper was over bringing commerce into the spiritual realm (moneychangers in the temple).


I have nothing definitive to say about injustice but I cannot see Jesus siding with the KKK over, say, some minority family struggling to survive when the night riders come to burn the family out in the middle of the night. I base this reasoning on the statements of supremacists themselves who often make anti-Semitic remarks (Jesus was Jewish) and who burn the cross upon which Jesus died. Racists who lynch innocent people for no other reason than they are not white versus Jesus who never killed anyone? That is a no brainer. Jesus led no civil rights movement within the Roman Empire because He was not a political leader and He said so. However, if His followers, under no restriction against engaging in politics, do not apply their Christian ethics, then come Judgment Day, we all have a lot of explaining to do. If you see a man on the side of the road obviously in distress, then you become a Good Samaritan. That is what all those parables and sermons on mounts were about. Lastly, Jesus said that what you do for the least, you do for Him. If you want to call it charity, then you can. But the crux of Christianity is love.


Jerusalem, Israel

Christian Right Has Major Role in Hastening Decline of Religion in America

Soon, there will be more atheists and agnostics than Christians.


It is simple psychology that if you fear something, then you may bring that very thing upon yourself. Some Christians have a fear fascination with . . . The Fall of Christianity and the Rise of The Antichrist at a time of Tribulation when Right Wing Christians will be tortured to renounce their religion. So get your blow torches, your waterboard, and your cattle prod ready. Just kidding.

I suspect that just as many Left Wing Christians as non-Christians relish the idea of finally shutting up the annoying racist remarks, climate change denials, anti-science tracts, and other embarrassments coming from that camp. As fellow Christians, liberal Christians must accept conservative Christians but it gets very hard when the conservatives pronounce that liberals cannot even be Christians. They deny our existence ("our" meaning moderates and non-conservatives) when even Kingdom of the Cults author Walter Martin delivers a widely accepted scholar's opinion (within mainstream Christianity) of who is in and who is not. He finally had to accept us Catholics since we are 2000 years old while most Johnny-come-lately Protestant denominations are barely 200 years old. We number one point two billion while all of their myriad splintered denominations together barely total half that. Moreover, we view Jesus as our founder and we do not worship Mary despite what our detractors say. I was raised Catholic and am still Catholic and I never worshipped any statues. Granted in Hispanic cultures (I am not Hispanic) they over-emphasize veneration (that's different from worship) of Mary, perhaps to offset their otherwise macho attitudes and patriarchy. When I would come across an anti-Catholic book growing up, I would have a good laugh at the inaccuracies. Where our detractors are correct is the church being too forgiving of bad priests. I say throw them out into the waiting arms of the police. The bad priests should enjoy prison.

As for Jehovah's Witnesses, my experiences with them have been negative and therefore I refuse to pronounce upon them out of fear of my own bias. Unitarians have done a lot of good despite their shaky theology. Mormons (Latter Day Saints) cannot out-run their history (Book of Mormon based on an earlier work) nor their theology (we are all gods). This last part is Biblically true but misapplied with the Fundamentalist Mormons who would run roughshod over women. Moreover, one fears what would be the result if they got biotechnology, added eugenics, master race ideas and the racism that the Salt Lake City main church later rejected. The result would make Hitler's Nazi Germany look like a picnic -- the Southern KKK type of picnic. People burnings instead of book burnings and blood feuds. No thanks. And every, repeat every Latter Day Saint I have ever met has been polite, decent and nice. I have no problem with individual Mormons but as a group, whoa. Except for the Christian Scientists (the denomination not scientists who happen to be Christians), that's the outliers of Christianity.

The "Christian' Identity are way beyond the pale and would lynch Jesus if they saw Him because they hate people of color including Jews and are apparently unaware (as are many in the Religious Right) that Jesus, the Apostles, John the Baptist, the Prophets and the Patriarchs were Jews and Hebrews.

Jesus was from Palestine, grew up in black Africa in an Essene community (the Hasidim of the time) and spoke Aramaic (as well as Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Egyptian). The Bible says His hair was like wool. That's nappy hair for those who need a translation. Even Ashkenazic Jews from Germany do not always have straight hair. But Jesus was neither Ashkenazic nor Sephardic. He was Mizrahic most likely. Go to Israel today and get an education. Even relatively light-skinned Jews from North Africa (lighter because Arabs invaded the Berbers who invaded the Sahel Africans) are darker than Northern Europeans. Turn back twenty centuries and even the Romans are swarthy Mediterraneans. What color do you think the people of ancient Israel and Judea were? Forget the pictures of blue-eyed blonde Jesus from Sweden as cast by a Hollywood mesmerized by Eurocentric Christian art produced in the centuries after Peter and Paul inexplicably moved the church center to Rome (Babylon) with predictable results. The Europeans did an extreme make over and made over Jesus in their image. Fine people to be sure but Jesus was a man of color. Not black as a Nubian but dark. The Egyptians and pharaohs next door had cornrows as anyone with eyes can see on the wall paintings and hieroglyphics.


The upshot of all this ignorance of history is Right Wing Christians who act like Jesus came from Stockholm down the River Jordan to London and wrote the King James Version. Is it any wonder that people with no clue or grasp of First Century Hebrews, their religious culture before the real rise of rabbinical Judaism (this was still Temple Judaism), the cruelty of the Romans, the reality of desert life (not like forests in America or green landscapes in England) and concepts like covenants and other things embedded in the Aramaic language and history of the Hebrews over previous millenia BC and a dozen other matters; is it any wonder that people with no grasp of all this misread the idea that Yeshua was about grace and not legalism? That Yeshua, thoroughly immersed in a legalistic culture, could use that same legalism to reach beyond it? Almost as if He foresaw existentialism and romanticism and Ritschlianism and rationalism.

Right Wing Christians who are extremists are a problem. The link is to an article that says that they are hastening the decline and fall of Christendom. Every atheist must be thanking God (or thanking whatever) for the Christian Right because they are doing the devil's work for them. Funny how people can believe in a devil without believing in God.



Tired of mean ignorant racists representing Christianity?

Now there are alternatives!


Actually these alternatives have been around for a long time but they do not get the headlines because non-Christians want Christianity to be seen in the worst possible light and so reporters report on mean ignorant racists and toss stories about kind Christians and Christians who are geniuses in the trash.

But God uses everything for good.

  1. Our horrible reputation in the minds of non-Christians makes them under-estimate us.
  2. It keeps us humble which is good because people with big egos screw up. You know, pride goeth before the fall and all that.
  3. It drives out pretend Christians and nominal Christians and pseudo-Christians who don't want to be associated with Christ or anything embarrassing. I mean the guy was lynched by Romans, for Christ sake! Who wants to be connected with some Palestinian Jew? Palestinians are terrorists who kill Americans. And Jesus and the Apostles weren't even Christians. They were Jews! Zealots who rebelled against Rome and betrayed each other. Everyone knows Jews and Israelis and Israel are bad. (that was humor, let it go ;)
  4. The Christians who decide to stay with Christianity generally double down and try to be kinder (think Ned Flanders). Not sure about smarter.


Why do some Black people leave Christianity?

Why do some Africans in Africa and some Blacks in America bail on Christianity? You won't like the answer.

Too bad.


Tired of the same old movies, music and books?

Tired of carnography from the secular world?

Tired of boring Christian movies?

Tired of boring Christian music that sounds like elevator music?

Tired of Christian books that are not having a powerful positive impact on your life?

Tired of boring Christian art that keeps Christ on the cross instead of showing an empty tomb?

Do you suspect that imagery is exactly what the devil wants? Lynching instead of life? Red blood instead of resurrection?

There are alternatives.


look for beauty everywhere
look for beauty everywhere

Homeland, Legs on the Wall

Sky Diving Ballet

Rock (The Rock) and Roll (Holy Rollers)

the symbol of Christianity ought to be an empty tomb

He Is Risen

credit: Coptic Network
credit: Coptic Network

Christian immortalism

Your editor looked and looked high and low for any sign anywhere in the world for a group of Christians into the life extension movement. In fact, quite a few Christian ministers and Christian ministries deal with health and some of them stress the long life found in Bible promises. But specifically Christian groups for those into radical longevity and extremely long lifespans? Not that I could find.

So I started a group and a website at

http://christian-immortalists.weebly.com/

To be clear, we are talking about Christians who consider themselves to be immortalists and immortalists who consider themselves to be Christians.

Also, if you have any knowledge of the life extension movement and you are also a Christian, then feel free to email me tips, links, material, suggestions and anything else that you think might be helpful.

Intelligence Increase

This capsule is still in research. The title of this capsule refers to the secular futurist movement that aims to increase one's IQ by various means.

The world, it seems, is rather illiterate, poorly educated, brain damaged (all those legal and illegal drugs), mentally ill, and averages a very low IQ. This partially explains why the world is so poorly managed and why we humans cannot seem to solve rather simple problems like stopping war (ecotourism, peace studies, space colonization, treaties, the UN.etc.), overpopulation (stop having babies you can't feed), pollution (arrest the polluters), and crime.

The last one is easy to solve. Arrest the biggest crooks (leaders of nations and CEO's of polluting corporations) and then work your way down to petty stuff like breaking windows. All this is obvious -- except to morons and imbeciles. These are terms used by psychological professionals.

Jesus Himself was so educated that even as a child, He could debate learned men. So constantly correct any simple-minded Christians you meet who are anti-intellectual or who worship the idol of stupidity. Use wisdom not carping to correct them, to educate them, to edify them, and, when necessary, to rebuke them. This world is dying. This world does not need mooks (brainless males) or bimbos who think that all they need to do to follow Christ is to make fun of scientists, play sports, listen to music, and burn books. Anyone with even one brain cell knows that this belief makes a mockery of Christ and Christianity. This kind of ignorance is why I made this Hub.

Do not publicly humiliate mooks and bimbos. Take them aside and, in private, nudge them toward some ministry that will use their talents in a positive way rather than sinking into creationism, flat Earth, belief that the moon landing never happened, climate change denial, and Holocaust denial. I was trained in scientific method and never saw any conflict between my studies and my faith. Nor is there any reason to look for conflict -- unless one wants to be perceived as a crank, crackpot or kook.

All this said, one can understand that the individual can feel overwhelmed in a complex world full of colossal institutions (like Big Government and Big Corporations) that seem intent on grinding down the individual and turning her or him into a cipher or a cog in a machine. And again, this is where Christianity flies to the rescue and announces the good news that a human is more than protoplasm and programming by DNA. We have spirits and souls and free wills and thoughts and feelings and our bodies are temples of God.


"There is more to life than dying when government orders us to die and buying when corporations tell us to buy." -- Toni Roman



Isn't it interesting that Jesus stood up to the Roman Empire, stood up to the moneychangers, stood up to the religious establishment, stood up to a storm and told it to calm, and stood up to Death Itself? Is anyone really surprised that a crushed and occupied people like the Palestine Hebrews flocked to hear Jesus preach? Is it really surprising that early Christians who were slaves said no to Roman perversions and were willing to die in the arena than recant? Is it really surprising that two millennia later, real Christianity (not the crap that you were told is Christianity) is still a breath of fresh air to a world population aghast at the prospect of cloning, being assimilated into machines, hearing terrorists used as an excuse for privacy invasion, being felt up at airports, being watched by cameras everywhere, and learning of technology that can read our thoughts. If that is the future that government and corporations want, then you should not be surprised that Christians stand up against the machine and say NO.


"Jesus freaks"

I did a Squidoo lens on being a hippie. It was removed by them. I suspect it was my nonstop preaching against drugs. I'm a hippie myself and proud of it. I have never ever used drugs. I actually listened to all those "just say no" public service announcements and thought their message made sense.

I once owned a book about alternatives to drugs. It had about two hundred alternatives. Only an idiot uses drugs.

One strange but true fact. Just as squares were becoming addicted to drugs, many hippies from the Sixties were quitting. The fact that so many of that generation are still around is proof that many (if not most) did quit because if they hadn't, they would be dead. There were drug casualties enough to warn the others of the folly of addiction.

Another fact. We know that the illegal drug industry is huge. Could a few stoners support such a colossal industry? No. Most of the users and addicts today are squares.

Along with being drug-free of illegal substances, the person trying to live with clarity of mind and cleanliness of body (the temple of God) should recognize that alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and sugar are addictive substances that should be cast out also.

Beginning in the Sixties, many hippies began substituting carob for chocolate and non-caffeinated tea for coffee and traditional tea. Cola and other soft drinks they gave up altogether and the filtered and bottled water craze was born. Hippies were and continue to be trend setters in this regard by not accepting the way of the world nor traditions that make no sense.


Peace Churches

The Church of the Brethren, The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and The Mennonites are the three traditional peace churches. You can add two more that still exist. These additions are Christadelphians and Molokans.

NGC American Colony Meet The Hutterites

Hutterites versus Old Order Amish

Unlike the technophobic Nebraska Amish, some (not all) Hutterites use technology or else there would be no Hutterite websites.

Driven to Sustain - The Hutterites

We used to know they were nuns. Now we wonder if they're Muslims.

Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

People You Might Never Guess Are Christians

  • Jean-Bertrand Aristide -- was the democratically elected president of Haiti before the US government deposed him and installed a corrupt dictator. He also was a Catholic priest of the Salesian order.
  • Tetsu Katayama -- a prime minister of Japan
  • Leo Tolstoy -- I threw this name in because you should know that this Russian writer was a devout Christian
  • Barack Hussein Obama -- not the first time that someone with a Muslim-sounding middle name got himself baptized in a United Church of Christ congregation. Michelle had a similar journey of faith at the same time. He only speaks about his faith when his guard is down and that is not often. His last name is African, not Muslim, from the Luo people of Kenya. You will never guess where his first name comes from. The Book of Judges Chapter Four in the Bible.
  • Peter Boyle -- the late actor studied to be a priest
  • Stephen Colbert -- this Comedy Central host, despite rumors, does not worship Satan or other things of the far right. He is a Sunday School teacher.
  • Jane Fonda -- actress, activist and Christian (this one surprised even me despite the fact that I know she was married to Ted Turner)
  • Professor Cornel West -- socialist, philosopher, faculty of Princeton, and Christian
  • Johnny Cash -- his public persona was the man in black and he gave concerts in prisons
  • Micheal Moore -- documentary filmmaker
  • Martin Bashir -- journalist (I had always assumed that he was a Muslim because of his last name, stupid huh?)
  • Charles Dickens -- writer of increasingly gloomy novels and Christmas stories with ghosts, who would have thought?
  • J.K. Rowling -- author of Harry Potter books of sorcery did not really tell her readers that she attends the Church of Scotland because then fans would guess the end of the series
  • Philip Agee -- CIA officer. If anyone is hell-bound, then surely the monsters who spy on us. He died in Cuba of all places.
  • Hugo Chávez -- Marxist and late president of Venezuela informed interviewers that he was a Christian and that Jesus Christ and liberation theology shaped his life. At one time, he intended to be a priest but that did not work out.
  • Bono - lead singer of the rock band U2.


Scientists who were or are Christians

Isaac Newton
Anglican (rejected Trinitarianism, i.e., Athanasianism; believed in the Arianism of the Primitive Church)
Neils Bohr
Jewish and Lutheran
Charles Darwin
Anglican (nominal); Unitarian
Louis Pasteur
Catholic
Galileo Galilei
Catholic (Editor's Note: Why? After they humiliated him, tortured him, and put him under house arrest; why would he remain Catholic?)
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier
Catholic
Johannes Kepler
Lutheran
Nicolaus Copernicus
Catholic (not only Catholic but a priest as well)

Evangelicals who are scientists

There are evangelicals who are scientists and who accept evolution as the best scientific explanation of the diversity of life on earth. Science as a human enterprise actually has a strong ethical code. A couple of its principles are honesty in reporting research and full disclosure of methods and results so that knowledge claims can be tested by anyone. Obviously, as humans, individual scientists fall down sometimes, but the community of scientists is quick to sanction them. The instances of transgression are heavily punished by the scientific community.


Editor's Note -- This is a paraphrase of comments made at

http://mvohio.net/index.php?topic=28240.0

Former Christian Fundamentalist: How Science Made Me Lose My Religion

Science did not make him lose his religion. He never had any religion to begin with. What he had was conservatism masquerading as Christianity.

Mark this: I have no problem with believing in the Bible (literalism optional). I have no problem with the creation story. I have no problem with any denomination that bans drinking alcohol. I think it is great because alcohol kills brain cells and destroys livers. I have no problem with banning dancing even though David danced for God. I personally think it is a bit over the top but we have religious freedom. So I have no problem if a sect chooses to ban dancing as a way of being pure in their world view. I have no problem with banning the watching of television. A lot of rich folks and smart folks are too busy living to have time to watch the garbage on TV -- PBS being an exception. I certainly have no problem with banning the wearing of earrings (on men or women -- pirates excepted) since I am not into bling. And since I think school is for academics not nonsense, I have no problem with banning school sports. Play sports at home for exercise or, better yet, do some physical work and get off the couch. I have no problem with marrying only within your own sect (might lead to inbreeding and genetic problems long term though).

As for believing that God should decide how many children they have, God does not change diapers nor quiet crying babies while one is trying to get some sleep after a long exhausting day at work when you have to get up and do it all over again to support the extra mouths to feed. That is not a slam at God. That is simply stating that God lets you live your life just as God lives His life. It is called free will. People who do not believe in free will cannot call themselves Christians.

As for eleven children, thanks for nothing big family advocates. We live on an overpopulated planet and squirting out litters of babies while saying with a straight face that humans are not animals is just being divorced from reality. The world is overpopulated by some six billion souls and I am against war and man-made disasters (pollution and human caused climate change) as a means of population control. I think family planning, birth control and contraceptives would eliminate abortion when frightened girls would not wait until the third trimester to use some common sense. You prevent unwanted pregnancy from ever happening in the first place. You practice abstinence. You educate girls (and boys). You improve the health of girls and women. You improve the economic conditions of women. You do these things and the problems will solve themselves without war and without pollution. And God does expect stewardship of His green Earth.

Not surprisingly, conservative billionaires are the first to demand that families with eleven or more children be cut off from food stamps and welfare. They claim not to believe in evolution and yet practice social darwinism (survival of the fittest) and situational ethics (chopping off the fingers of those trying to get into a lifeboat). Hypocrites. No wonder Jesus lost His temper and went after them with a whip. Thank God for Jesus.

Summing up, science did not make you lose your religion. Stupidity made you lose your religion. Don't blame it on science. Don't blame it on Christianity. Don't blame it on Christ. Don't blame God. When did God tell you to be stupid? Answer: Never.

I am a Fundamentalist and I was trained as a scientist. I see no conflict but I see something missing from the minds of people who do see conflict.

Grow up my fellow Fundamentalists! Put the fun back into being a Fundie. Science is fun and Christians created the scientific method. Look it up.


Kristian H Resset, Norway This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Kristian H Resset, Norway This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unalike your Christ." — Mahatma Gandhi

© 2014 Toni_Roman

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