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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Mel's Odd Stuff Welcome Guest
    Mel's Odd Stuff
          Just a bunch of odds and ends. Life is strange sometimes, so this will probably be strange, too...

    Wed, Feb 28th - 10:51PM

    If God Was One of Us



    Alanis Morissette

    If God had a name, what would it be
    And would you call it to his face
    If you were faced with him in all his glory
    What would you ask if you had just one question

    And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
    yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

    What if God was one of us
    Just a slob like one of us
    Just a stranger on the bus
    Trying to make his way home

    If God had a face what would it look like
    And would you want to see
    If seeing meant that you would have to believe
    In things like heaven and in jesus and the saints and all the prophets

    And yeah yeah god is great yeah yeah god is good
    yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

    What if God was one of us
    Just a slob like one of us
    Just a stranger on the bus
    Trying to make his way home
    He's trying to make his way home
    Back up to heaven all alone
    Nobody calling on the phone
    Except for the pope maybe in rome

    And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
    yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

    What if god was one of us
    Just a slob like one of us
    Just a stranger on the bus
    Trying to make his way home
    Just trying to make his way home
    Like a holy rolling stone
    Back up to heaven all alone
    Just trying to make his way home
    Nobody calling on the phone
    Except for the pope maybe in rome

    Since I posted one that upset me, I felt I should post one that, surpirise! offended someone else.  I remember that this woman, out of the blue started ranting about the 'slob like one of us' part of the lyrics.  It caught me off guard.  I guess that didn't really get to me, but reading the full lyrics, the part that makes me uncomfortable is that part saying 'Back up in heaven all alone'.  But if We don't talk to God, I kind of get that I, Mudd feeling.  So I pass over my objection.  And to the offending 'slob like one of us', I reply:

    35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

     37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

     40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:35-40  NIV)

    I am a 'slob like one of us', a somewhat colorful way to say it, but since I write poetry myself, for me to judge based upon the colorfulness of the phrasing would be hypocrisy of the worst type. But this did offend someone.  Strange to think about.

    Hmm....

    In Truth,

    Mel



    Comment (5)

    Wed, Feb 28th - 2:23PM

    Imagine



    John Lennon

    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today...

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace...

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world...

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    I heard this song recently.  I don't like what it says.  My opinion, it is pure sophistry -- in other words:  it's crap.

    Imagine a world with no religion.  When the curtain goes down on your life, you believe it all fades to black -- if you have no religion.  The best of you that remains is a faint echo.  Friedrich Nietzsche would love you!  'Eat Drink and be Merry, for Tommorrow we Die!' would be the most common philosophy.  Those adhering to Hedonism (or at least some of them) would make some attempt to gain peace, so that they could enjoy life, either with or without vices, with less worry.  But unless all adhered to that (and I ask you to look to human history to ascertain the likelihood of that) you would have those who do not, thereby enjoying their ephemeral stay more than others.  Some would adhere to the philosophies of those such as Machiavelli, Hitler, Stalin, or others. Those who seized what they could would be better off than those who did not.  The wolves would have a field day!  Opportunism maximization would be the way to increase your pleasure to the fullest.  What perversions would this lead to?  Having sex with whatever you want while drinking newborn baby's blood?  You don't think anybody would go there?  Think again!  If someone thought it was pleasurable, why not?

    But wait!  Wouldn't the police stop that?

    Why should they?  Who would minimize their own pleasure to protect you?  It is all for no matter, is it not?  Humans are no more than higher thinking animals, so what is the point?  So you want to wait on "The Man" to put down the people who ruin your little utopia?  Good Luck!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To quote their Prophet:

    "Imagine...It's easy if you try"

    Oh, I am imagining...

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Someone got in my face today about being in the military and how 'evil' I was.  That set me off!  And, no, I am not being at peace with this, because it flat out opposes God!

    In Truth,

    Mel



    Comment (12)

    Wed, Feb 28th - 1:50AM

    Busibodies...



    Paul talks only a couple of times about busibodies.  What is a busibody?

     11As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. 14So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.  (1 Timothy 5:11-14 NIV)

    10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

    11We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 NIV)

    I gather from these two scriptures that being a 'busibody' means what you do is not productive.  You may do things, but what you do is not needed.  It talks in the first case about women who are young widows, who if supported by the Church, might not have enough productive things to do with their lives.  They are young and active and desire to 'do' things.  You can appear to do something, but in reality do nothing at all.  The second is more general, so apparently young widows are not the only ones who fall prey to this.

    Jon covered this a bit just a day or so ago:

     38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

     41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

    And I add this one as well:

     1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

     4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

     7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. " It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." (John 12:1-8  NIV)

    Jon noted "Martha was doing a good thing. She was putting on a dinner for Jesus. She was being a hostess. What she was doing was good, but it wasn't the best thing. You won't hear this in a church, where we live on the efforts of people volunteering, but good things aren't the best things."  Let me add this: Even something as noble a wanting to helping the poor may not be what needs to be done at any given moment. (although that was not Judas' motivation, and the motivation is important as well.)  I'll go so far as to say this:  When Jon shares about being asked off the Elders Board, I feel he may have been taking on the responsibilities abdicated by others in the body.  In other words, he was wrapped up in the 'doing' of things, not bad of itself, but a subtle trap.  He was being made into a busibody by the excess of it.  What he was doing may have needed to be done, but not by him at that time.  The perfume being poured on Christ was not seen as needed, and yet here we are!  Parts of the body.  Different functions.  When one tries to take on the role of another, it does not do so well.  When all parts do as they should, the body functions just fine, even if the hand does not understand the purpose of the lips or the eyes that of the ears.

    When I clean house, I do so because I percieve a need.  My wife needs it cleaner than I do, so my threshold for cleaning being absolutely needed is not reached as quickly as hers.  So I rarely clean.  More often than not, the need I percieve is her need for it to be cleaned and not having the energy or motivation to do so, and I know her self image is tied up in how clean the house is.  When the compliment is given 'I just love what you've done with..', I get some small sastisfaction, I'll admit, but not so much as my wife does.  When I do anything, it is generally because I am aware of a need, many times only for me.  I do think this is part of that whole 'men are fixers' thing.  I think my wife, on the other hand, does things at times for the 'doing' of them.  Too much of this 'doing' and you are not really 'doing' anything other than being a busibody.  When you do a job, is it because you see a need (especially of others) and feel qualified to do the job?  Or does the doing of the job more define your own self worth?  In other words, are you a servant, or self serving?  Don't look with too harsh an eye on this, but be aware and check your motivations from time to time.  You don't always need to do so much, but don't be an idler, either!

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (7)

    Tue, Feb 27th - 10:27AM

    Are we 'Engaged'?



    This is a play on words folks. We did a Business Culture Survey and just yesterday started discussing the results. One of the things covered is the idea that there are 3 basic types of employees. There are those who are "Actively Engaged", participating and contributing at a level in line with their abilities. There are those who are "Not Engaged", not really helping out a whole lot but not dragging the company down, and at least contributing something now and then, although not in line with their potential. They are just sort of sitting in neutral, waiting for a 'push' to get them going. Then there are the "Actively Disengaged", who are a detriment to the company. They do nothing or worse are trying to destroy the whole social fabric, and having them is worse than a vacant position. I just found that the two ran together on the word 'engaged', when thinking about Christ and His Betrothed, the Church. It got me to thinking. I don't think we are all "Acitvely Engaged". This is a rudimentary thought at this point, and I may not run with it. But if no-one else does, I might.

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (3)

    Mon, Feb 26th - 3:55PM

    What I see between men and women



     1By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away! (2 Corinthians 10:1 NIV)

    If we were face to face, I would be more circumspect in this, I have a feeling, and writing this, I am more bold.  These things that I talk about get vicious glances from my brothers and sisters, glances and whisperings that cause great pain.  Why should I choose to endure these things?  But for Christ, I would not, and even then I am weak and do so insulated from those glances and whispers (which should not be!) although I can still perceive them even now.  It is pain I endure for Christ, paling in comparison to what he suffered for me and you and indeed, all who would welcome or even yearn for his call!

    Of the differences between men and women, I am sure that they exist and were part of God's plan from the beginning.  Just what they are, I may have only a dim conception, but dim as it may be, it is better than that lie that men and women are the same!  This lie is codified in many cultures.  It is fleshly, secular, worldly 'wisdom' and yet we drag it rebelliously into Christ's Family, His Body, His Church!  It has no place there!

    We are to submit to one another, and yet further than that, wives are to submit to husbands, and this is with a purpose in mind: That we may see a living example of what submission we are all to have to Christ!

    You may choose to argue this; if it is my wisdom you argue against, it is of no matter which of us is right.  There is probably a great deal more freedom than I ascribe to in those points where I may be wrong, but it is the side of the issue I feel is correct enough that were I to lean the other way, I would have more chance of error and harm I would cause.  This is not an easy one for me to fathom, and I do not declare that I have the final and complete understanding of this.  Yet, if this is God's wisdom that I reflect, or probably more properly, where I reflect God's wisdom in this, you argue against it in rebellion against the Lord!  Set clearly in your mind which of these it is!  Where you argue against me as a man, you are correct to do so.  Where you argue against me as one speaking God's truth, you are not!  And I do not discern this!  Only God can judge in these matters, or in any matter!   I am trying to advise and admonish, not condemn and criticize.  This is difficult, at best, and I do so with all humility in knowing that I may be judged by the words I speak!  Yet to not speak is worse in that I would perceive of it as condoning what I do not see as right.  Have you ever wondered about the pain of those who see the wrong that others are doing, even when it does not affect them directly?  I did.  I asked for understanding of this, and this might be the answer to that request, that I should be grieved by the wrongdoings of others, and not just my own failings!

    Back on subject:

    If a husband loves his wife to that extent that Christ loves his Church, i.e. he literally would lay down his life for her, this should become an easy burden to bear.  Likewise, if a woman was to submit herself to her husband to the extent that she seemed (though still independent and self willed) to be as much as possible an extension of himself, the burden to love her this way would only be a natural consequence.  But for the perversity of sin, this would always hold true!  Christ has a yoke for us, but it is light and easy to carry.  Do you take up that yoke and learn from him?

    About yokes, I have a different passage to consider:

     12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

     15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?  (1 Corinthians 7:12-16 NIV)

    In this passage, what I see is a responsibility to stand by the same values with a non-believer just as much as you can.  For women, I see the same submission.  For men, the same need to love their wives.  Considering that in this instance, the other side of the equation may not be fulfilled.  Unevenly yoked.  A donkey and an oxen.  (see: Deuteronomy 22:10)  Sure, you can make it work, but it is not that easy.  A greater sacrifice is called upon for the believer.  And their faith will be tested in this, I am sure!

     14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
     17"Therefore come out from them
          and be separate, says the Lord.
       Touch no unclean thing,
          and I will receive you."
     18"I will be a Father to you,
          and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV)

    I don't see this as contradicting what Paul says about staying with an unbelieving spouse above.  Rather I see it as an admonishing to not enter into this burdensome relationship, which likely as not, we will suffer for in this world.  On this I stand.  Whether my little girls will see this as I do has yet to be seen.  They are only 6 and 8.  However, rest assured, because I love them and wish to spare them such pain, they will hear this from me.  None of this 'but I love him and he loves me' is going to satisfy me.  Love covers many sins, but I will ask them to qualify and quantity the aspects of this love.  If it is just an ooey gooey feeling and has no substance, it is not truly love.  That is a deception of this world!  And I hate that deception!  I sincerely believe that God does, too!

     2Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

     3"What did Moses command you?" he replied.

     4They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."

     5"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. 6"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

     10When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." (Mark 10:2-12 NIV)

    Divorce is not the plan. However, I understand just what Christ was saying here.  "because your hearts were hard"  Says it all.  Say you serve love with a hard heart, and I will have a hard time believing it.  But I will not judge.  I do not walk in your shoes.  I understand that a burden I carry may not be one you can bear, even for Christ, although it is my hope that you would.  The way I see it, the one who initiating the divorce is the one acting like an unbeliever.  Does that mean that they are an unbeliever?  No.  I also see that failing to fulfill marital duties (submission of the wife, and love from the husband)  as defacto divorce, even if the little piece of paper has never been signed.  That being the case, the paper is only this world's recognition of the fact that is already in place. Is this in line with the higher standards of the heart in the New Testament versus the harsh and unbending shadow of it in the Old Covenant?  I think so.  Furthermore, I think we are held to the concept of reconciliation.  If one sin after becoming a Christian is enough to break our relationship with God, who among us has any hope?  Certainly not I!  What is the standard Christ set for forgiving your brother?  Should this not be applied in even greater measure to our spouse?  Forgiveness does not mean lack of consequences.  It does mean giving a person as much of a chance as you can.  Many reasons can be given for divorce, and I cannot argue with them.  I am only saddened that the point is reached where it seems to be the only choice for some.

     10The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

     11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." (Matthew 19:10-12 NIV)

    I am not sure what to make of this.  My feeling is that there are many enticements in this world that being married might help us resist.  Those stronger than I could resist this successfully without being married.  These things are a careful twisting of God's design of us and why he made us male and female.  The world we live in prostitutes itself in many ways to sell us this or that.  And it is hard to not buy the goods being offered.

    Gender benders of all different kinds would have us believe that men and women are universally interchangeable.  Flat out, they are lying!  We are not the same.  Homosexuals and Lesbians depend upon you believing this lie, for if you buy into the interchangeability of the sexes, what difference is their perversion of the roles anyways?  In truth, they are no worse than any others who would tell you men and women are the same.  Their lies are both the same ones!

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (4)

    Fri, Feb 23rd - 3:07AM

    About laying our lives down for each other...



    Not much can cause me to not be able to sleep.  That annoys some people at times, that I might sleep while they can not.  This, strangely enough, was causing me to need to post, tired as I am.

    Now then, we are told to lay our lives down for each other in love, and that our love for one another is a telling factor in discerning who is Christ's and who is not.  Sheep and goats.

    Our human and fleshly response is:

    'So and so is not laying their life down for me, why should I do it for them?'

    Take this attitude to its extreme.  If all gave in to this fleshly response, where would that leave us?  The truth is, it happens way too much.  We are all waiting for someone else to lay down their life for us.

    Why are we so blind?

    Someone already has laid down their life for us.

    If we fully realize what this truely means, I think we should be shamed by our selfish desire for our brother or sister to lay down their lives first.  I just do not think we are aware of this when we do it.  I don't think this is a conscious choice people are making.  Now we should consciously make the choice to fight this.

    I have no pragmatic way to tell you how to do this.  If that comes to me, I will share it.

    May we be the blessing that God would have us be,

    Mel



    Comment (6)

    Wed, Feb 14th - 3:46AM

    A Valentine's Day Message



    You know, this is all about men and women.

    I know you've heard this one somewhere along the way:

    Ephesians 5:22 (NIV)

    22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

     

    Some guys can't get enough of that one.  I'll admit, I kind of like that whole idea, even taken to an extreme.

     

    But there is this one that gets thrown back, as it were:

    Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)

    25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

     

    Yup, ladies, you have a leg to stand on if they can't do this.  Pretty tall order, if you ask me.

    Funny, but there is another one that is so close to both of these, that it shouldn't be missed but often it is:

     

    Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)

    21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

     

    And this one is right before Women submitting to their husbands.  Why do we miss this?

    Hmmm...

     

    Ok, and then there is that thing in Proverbs ( I am going to make you dig for this one) that pretty clearly is speaking of Christ metaphorically in the feminine.  What is that all about?

    In Heaven there is no husband and wife.  Remember the trap question that Jesus answered on that subject?  How many brothers?  Now we are confused a bit.

    And that thing about women covering their heads.  Is that literal or figurative?

     

    Paul writes to Timothy about some of this, and that is where I have settled looking for the moment.  The NIV translation of 1 Tim 2:11-12 uses the word "should" instead of "must".  The word translated as "silence" in many translations seems that it might be better translated as "quietness", which does not imply utter silence, but a more demure sense of deference.  The key phrases are those translated as usurping the authority of men, which seems to indicate domineering of men, putting them "under their thumb", so to speak. There is also talk about women, not men, being "busibodies" later on.  Why not men?  There is something here I think.  Unfortunately, I am not a scholar of the Greek, so I am still struggling with the exact subtleties of the shades of meaning that could be expresed here.  Paul structured the phrase in 2:12 with the distinct meaning that he did not allow such a thing as teaching but also mentioning the domineering of men in that self same phrase in what seems like rather strong terms.  And I know that he said "Follow me as I follow Christ", but the way he said it leaves that part open to being interpreted as a personal choice that is a good idea to follow rather than a mandate.  And the word translated as woman, could mean more narrowly and specifically a wife.  Was it broadened out in the translation? It is not so very clear as to the extent to take this.  Some ignore this teaching.  I am certain this is wrong.  Some take this one to the wall.  I am not certain they are right.

    I am still searching this one out.  Comments would be good.

    I'll get back to you with more of my thoughts on this.

     

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (11)

    Fri, Feb 9th - 7:16PM

    What Idol is this?



    Ok.  No one seems willing to broach this subject, so I will.  First of all, I am not trying to lay a burden on you so that you will not participate in Christmas in the way that you are accustomed.  That is not my aim.  However, some of you, in light of what I say may feel compelled to change how you view the Secular Trappings that currently surround Chistmas and change the way you celebrate.  This is a matter of your consious on this, not mine.

    To begin with:

    1 Corinthians 8 (NIV)

     1Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3But the man who loves God is known by God.

     4So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

     7But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

     9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

    Two things here I have highlighted.  First is the way I view those who puff themselves up with a little bit of knowlege of the evil roots of Halloween and what it must therefore mean to a person.  The second is the acceptable response, in my mind as why one might personally choose not to participate in Halloween.  The Halloween decorations and trappings can indeed be seen by some as idols of sorts.  For this reason a person may decide they will not particiapate, or despite their own knowledge contrary to this, forego it for the sake of his brother (or sister) so as to not cause them to stumble.  I have no problem with this suggestion.

    As an aside, I would participate in the 'Harvest Parties', and other substitutions for Halloween that some churches do at times, whether they were my church or not.  I would probably not participate in a church sponsored 'Haunted House' even if it were to raise money for the hungry and homeless.  I would not deny anyone else that ability, but would probabaly voice concerns on the matter if the church I were a member of were to want to do such a thing.  I do let my children participate in the ritual of going around and 'Trick or Treating'.  I do not let them dress up as just anything they want to, although I have not had any real challenges in that area yet.  This position is one of what I see as my freedom in this matter, and I could change my mind on this.  I could do it for various reasons.  It won't be because I am browbeaten on the matter, however.

    So then, my problem is not with the actions of others in this matter.  It is in the way they decide that this is a matter that all must act exactly as they do, because they have discernment beyond that of others.  (hint: re-read the scripture passage above and ask 'who has the knowledge and does it give them bondage or freedom?')  A person with Godly Knowledge is not bound up by this, but rather will bind himself (joyfully, it is my hope) at times for the sake of his brothers and sisters in Christ, with not a lot of browbeating and crowing about their superior understanding.

    Enough!  I hear you crying this, but you must hear this:

    What, I ask you, is the root meaning beyound that Icon of Christmas (in America, at least) the Christmas Tree?  If you do not know, it comes from a very Pagan Fertility Celebration/Sacrifice/Ritual that has nothing to do with Christ!  And yet we blissfully put gifts in front of this IDOL and furthermore partake in these gifts.  I know this means nothing, but were I to have in my presence one who this did mean something to, I would cause that person to stumble by my knowledge.  So then, if you are so quick to condemn Halloween, why not Christmas as it is practiced?  Look to other celebrations like the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving, and if you look hard enough and deep enough, you find some shocking things about these holidays that no-one dares to challenge like they do Halloween with such absolute vehemence.

    Romans 14:5-8 (NIV)

     5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

     

    If I hold a day special, I hold it so for the Lord.  If you do not, it is not a great division among us.  Stop straining gnats to swallow camels!  If you read the whole context of this second passage here, you will come to realize that more is being discussed than just food and days, but if food and days is all you get out of this, than at least get that much, I pray!

     

    This is what we should be:

     

    1 Corinthians 9:19-22

     19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

    Those of you who do not participate in Halloween to not cause one to stumble, I commend you.  Those of you who do to reach others for Christ, I commend you as well.  Those of you who arbitrarily attempt to foist your 'good ideas' onto the shoulders of your dear brothers and sisters, a burden that may be easy for you carry but not so for them, you need to first examine what you ask and see if there is any hypocrisy in what you say.  If a child can see it, you should be like that child.

     

    This is about as gentle as I can get, and it sorrows me to feel the need to bring this to your attention.  I do not doubt that much of what happens that bothers me was done with the best of intentions, but intentions are not enough to justify us trying to judge what we should not.

     

    Let us go forth in God's Full Grace, secure in knowing that all of our mistakes are indeed covered by the blood of Christ.

     

    In His Name,

     

    AMEN!

     

    Mel



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    About Me

    Name: Mel Miller
    ChristiansUnite ID: lylejr
    Member Since: 2005-09-28
    Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I've been a christian for some time, but squandered my time and talents 'in a foreign land' I have been in the military (active and reserves) for 33 years. (now retired) I have two lovely daughters, and life seems to often be strange to me.

    Feb. 2007
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