Agree or Disagree: Christians tend to act more like the Pharisees than Jesus


Agree or Disagree: Christians tend to act more like the Pharisees than Jesus

If you are not familiar with this group, this is The Barna Group. What they do is observe trends within Christianity. So they do study on some perceptions of Christianity. One book you might want to read is a book called UnChristianThat was a book that did some extensive research about what is going on in Christianity.

As you can see with the report, this question comes from this. Do Christians act more like Jesus or the Pharisees. According to the article, the way they conducted the research was with 20 statements. 10 statements that they would use to examine Christ-likeness. And 10 statements that they would use to examine Self-Righteous. They then divided the 10 into 5.  They are Actions and Attitudes of Jesus and actions and attitudes of the Self-Righteous, or the Pharisees. 

From the article here they are

Actions like Jesus:

  • I listen to others to learn their story before telling them about my faith.
  • In recent years, I have influenced multiple people to consider following Christ.
  • I regularly choose to have meals with people with very different faith or morals from me.
  • I try to discover the needs of non-Christians rather than waiting for them to come to me.
  • I am personally spending time with non-believers to help them follow Jesus.

Attitudes like Jesus:

  • I see God-given value in every person, regardless of their past or present condition.
  • I believe God is for everyone.
  • I see God working in people’s lives, even when they are not following him.
  • It is more important to help people know God is for them than to make sure they know they are sinners.
  • I feel compassion for people who are not following God and doing immoral things.

 

 

Self-Righteous Actions:

  • I tell others the most important thing in my life is following God’s rules.
  • I don’t talk about my sins or struggles. That’s between me and God.
  • I try to avoid spending time with people who are openly gay or lesbian.
  • I like to point out those who do not have the right theology or doctrine.
  • I prefer to serve people who attend my church rather than those outside the church.

Self-Righteous Attitudes:

  • I find it hard to be friends with people who seem to constantly do the wrong things.
  • It’s not my responsibility to help people who won’t help themselves.
  • I feel grateful to be a Christian when I see other people’s failures and flaws.
  • I believe we should stand against those who are opposed to Christian values.
  • People who follow God’s rules are better than those who do not.

 

As you will be able to see in the graph, according to the questions, the perception is Christians would be classified under the Pharisee attitude. By a margin of 51%, they tend to have an attitude of self righteousness.

While this study was done in the USA, I have heard this as a perception in Canada as well. And perhaps if you re not in Canada or the USA, you may have a similar experience.

But if you are a Christian, how do you react to this research? And if you would not classify yourself as a Christian, how do you react to this research?

Agree or Disagree: Legalize Polygamy


Agree or Disagree: Legalize Polygamy

Just in case this is something that seems outlandish, there is some actual discussion about this.

I present exhibit A as this article which you can read as to why this lady feels this way.

Now, I’m coming into this with an open mind. I’m sure there will be good and valid points each way.

I also look forward to the discussion we are about to have.

Agree or Disagree: At times, we take our friendships for granted


I know some of you may think that the only reason that I’m on Facebook is to how do we put this…….”stir the pot”

 

But I do actually follow what many of you do and say on Facebook. I’m curious about what many of you are out there are up too.

 

Some have you are promoting Outrage Free Friday’s. Yes that is true. Look it up.

 

Some of you are having babies.

 Some of you are engaged.

 Some have you have moved.

Some of you are trying to sell your house.

Some of you are starting new jobs.

But I do notice these things. And when I read your updates, I smile at your success. I am sad for you at your downs. I’m also intrigued by your ideas. And laugh at your funny photos.

What is really interesting is how I am able to know what is going in some of your lives. It use to be, I would pick up the phone, give someone a call, and personally find out what has been going on in your life. Now, if I really want to know, all I need to do is do a quick search on Facebook for your name. Then, I can explore your photo’s, read your profile, and I can assume I’m caught up with what is going on. Oh, and there is no doubt you are happy  and excited with your lives. Your smiling profile picture is proof of that.

A friend of mine made an observation recently. He was speaking that if you go to church every week and the fact that our weeks fill up so quickly with busy activities, that in a sense we have actually lost the need to call people. We know, or are really confident that we will see them and catch up with them at that point in time. There are so many opportunities  to catch up, that you don’t actually need to catch up.

One of the reasons many of you use Facebook is to keep in contact with friends that you have naturally lost contact with. Friends from school. Friends from work. Friends from church.  For whatever reason, the circumstances in your life changed that you lost constant contact with them. But you feel like you are still connected with the power of Social Media. You wish them a Happy Birthday when Facebook reminds you. You are assured that everything seems ok.

But then, all of a sudden it seems, something changes. You might notice a significant life change. You see they are sick, not with the cold, but something much tougher. Or they lost someone close to them. Or, they are gone themselves.

I reflect on that because this week because I actually experienced it. There was a group of us that spent a lot of time together. We played cards. We laughed. We ate. We walked. Over the years, life moved us away from each other. But we in this group were saddened to learn that we lost a friend to a car accident this week. With the sadness brought back some memories of events from the past. Old photos were looked at with us together.

It also was a reminder that over the years of living, I have known some of you for a long time. Some on different levels. Some of you, I have just learned to know. But I think I’m grateful for knowing you in whatever way I do. For that, I say thank you. I hope to not take that for granted.

Because the world is better that you are here. And will miss you when you are gone.

Agree or Disagree: It takes Ten Thousand Hour of doing something to be an expert


If you haven’t read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, then I would recommend that you do.

In the book Gladwell does a study of the reason for success. It really is fascinating.

One of the things he discusses, and you can listen to part of the idea in this interview with Anderson Cooper, is the 10,000 hour rule.

The concept is that it takes up to 10,000 hours of practice of anything, music, sports, newscasting to feel like you are to be considered an expert.

If you remember last week we discussed that there is no such thing as natural talent.While some of you disagreed, Gladwell would actually seem to agree.

He would say the more you practice something, the better you are. And that seems like it comes across as natural.

I’ll leave it to you to respond.

Agree or Disagree: Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord


sub·mit  (sb-mt)

v. sub·mit·tedsub·mit·tingsub·mits

v.tr.

1. To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.

2. To subject to a condition or process.

3. To commit (something) to the consideration or judgment of another. See Synonyms at propose.

4. To offer as a proposition or contention: I submit that the terms are entirely unreasonable.

v.intr.

1. To give in to the authority, power, or desires of another. See Synonyms at yield.

2. To allow oneself to be subjected to something.

It started with me reading this article http://thechristianpundit.org/2012/08/15/it/

The title of that article is called It Matters Whom You Marry. It is written by someone who is called The Christian Pundit. She has written this article warning young women of the importance of who you should marry. She warns of the dangers of so many levels of the type of guy you should marry. And the type of guy you should not.

Since this was posted on Facebook, I decided to comment on this. To be frank, I see some issues in what was written. I stated in a nutshell that while I understood the intent of the post, I thought it put some unfair expectations on men. And I also thought it come across condescending. Read that and see what you think.

A girl responded to me and said if I didn’t like this post or saw issues with it, that “this post would not bother a man unless he recognizes falling far short in his own attitudes and actions.” 

So, I decided I was going to break this article down and explain why. Them after thinking about it more, I decided this.

This is where I need to be honest.

 

Although this verse  and this concept seems to be a common thought amongst many of my Christian friends, this is not something I’m comfortable with.

 

I’ve been in “leadership” of many things. Teams, groups, projects and committees. I have directed plays. At no time did I feel like I wanted people to understand they were under my authority. I have tried to be a collaborator. Gain ideas from all involved and make the best decision.

 

And yes, I have dated before. I have never felt that I my relationships that I was the “leader” of the relationship. I haven’t sensed that the woman wanted , or quite frankly even should submit to me. And to be really honest, I don’t want her to feel that she should. I’m also not comfortable with the idea that I am in charge of the entire spiritual dynamic. So when I read a thought like this  one from the article for example…

“If the guy is a believer, is he a strong one? Will he lead you in prayer, Bible reading, family devotions, and public worship? Or will you be on your own? Is he going to make spiritual growth a priority or do other things come first? Is he going to ask you how it’s going with your soul so he can help you grow in holiness and love for Christ, or will he leave that to your pastor? Is he going to lead the children in this, or will you have to spearhead that? In church, is he going to help the kids sit well, pray, find the hymn, or will you be the one pointing out what is happening next and helping the family keep up? Many women have married spiritually immature men, thinking that it wasn’t a big issue, or that the man would change, and they were wrong. They bear the scars.”

That actually scares me that there is this type of expectation from women.

 Now reading that for some of you, particularly if you are a Christian women, probably isn’t something you want to hear from a Christian guy. You probably desire that. And that might have disqualified me or any guy who thinks that from your dating options. But this is my personal issue and attitude towards that.

Now, you might ask why? Why would this bother you

Because it feels like I’m applying for a job. I’m applying to be a qualified candidate in a small company. I need a resume. Have an interview. Or two interviews I have some duties roles and responsibilities . She has duties, roles, and responsibilities.  

However, in spite of what many people spin it, it does not feel too me like it’s love. I know I’m not in the relationship. So I’m speaking in a distance.

I feel this whole concept of men in leadership and women in submission loses me on some important parts. We are doing things together. We have dreams, desires and goals. We struggle together and succeed together. We individually have our ups and are there for each other. We have our downs and are there for each other. And maybe it gets messy and not what it “should” look like. But we recognize that God was there with us even when we missed Him.

Am I missing something? Is the idea of man being the “Head of the house” and women “in submission” the best way for a marriage to work? Are my obvious shortcomings and attitudes the issue?

Or is there a different way to think of this?

Agree or Disagree: You would support torturing the “enemy” if it met saving lives


At the beginning of the movie Zero Dark Thirty,we see a man being tortured by people in masks. Slowly, the masks are being removed and we realize that the “torturers” are actually American. As the scene continues, Maya played by Jessica Chastain, watches in shock.

This act in this movie led to the end result of the movie. The capture of Osama Bin Laden. An enemy of America and man that killed many innocent lives around the world. A man that was willing to do it again.

In the above video, NY Republican State Senator Greg Ball made a case to torture who he called on Twitter “Scumbag #2″

“So, scum bag #2 in custody. Who wouldn’t use torture on this punk to save more lives?”

And although the above video is getting play because of the behaviour of Ball, the question hasn’t been answered.

For some perspective, we should refer to the guy that looks awkward in this video. His name is Alan Dershowitz. He is discussing this issue in this video involving torturing people to get information for Osama Bin Laden.

So, does the end justify the means? Do you support torture if we are able to save innocent lives?

Agree or Disagree: You would consider a sculpture of Jesus the Homeless inappropriate.


There have been some obvious iconic photo’s of Jesus.

Photo’s like this….

Image

 

Or a photo like this…..

 

Image

 

 

 

Both of these pictures are comfortable. They give you a sense of what Jesus came for. He bled. He died. He rose again.

However, what about this one?

Image

 

This photo is a sculpture of Jesus the Homeless. It was created by artist Timothy Schmalz. And this sculpture was rejected by two prominent Catholic churches because he was told “it was not an appropriate image.”

This is another quote from Schmalz about the response.

“It was very upsetting because the rectors liked it, but when it got to the administration, people thought it might be too controversial or vague.”

You can read the article here http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/04/13/sculpture_of_jesus_the_homeless_rejected_by_two_prominent_churches.html

When I was sent this, I had to take it in. It is not an image I instantly think of when I think of Jesus. However Scripture does state He was a man without a home.

So,As you sit and let this photo of Jesus the Homeless sink in, do you think it is inappropriate? If you saw it in a church, how would you react?

Moreover, how do you react now?