I’m a Christian….


I’m a Christian.

I’m fortunate to have a lot of great friends.

Yes, some of my friends are Christians. They are great people. I love them dearly.

I also have a lot of friends that are atheists. They are great people.I love them dearly.

Many of my friends who are atheists have a high level of ethics. Some, quite frankly, a higher level than I’ve seem from some Christians. Including myself.

So, for those Christians that think today was the day to say I told you because of an attack by an atheist.

I would remind you we Christians still have lots of planks to get out of our eyes.

#CapitolHill

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast -An Adult conversation around GSA’s


Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo, Jojo Ruba, and Jeff White discuss the issues around the Gay-Straight Alliances, Bill 202, and Bill 10.

Derek wrote an excellent blog about having an adult conversation on GSA’s. You can read that here.

Terry, if you remember, left his role as VP of communications for the party Calgary- Glenmore constituency association. This was because WRP members didn’t pass an expanded statement on equality rights on their last meeting.

Jojo and Jeff represent Faith Beyond Belief. They exist to help Christians become effective ambassadors for Christ.

One of the observations Jojo made was that many moderate Christians voices haven’t been a part of the conversation. They feel that they have been shut out of the conversation.

Listen to the Podcast here

Topics we cover include;

Some benefits and concerns about GSA’s. Particularly those involved in a Christian school.

What was missing in this conversation?

Parental rights

Religious rights

The silence of Gordon Dirks and how it impacted both sides.

Why the PC government mishandled the situation so badly?

A possible solution going forward.

Follow Derek Fildebrandt at Fildebrandt.ca

Terry @calgarydreamer on Twitter

Faith Beyond Belief at faithbeyondbelief.ca

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@kevole
@AorDThePodcast
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Before you start criticizing Islam….


The Islamic Bulletin

Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.”

Yoda.

Before you continue with this reading, I would like you to take a second to have a look at the link above. It’s from the Islamic Bulletin. It’s a list of Christians that have converted to Islam.

It’s an interesting list. There is a District Judge, Human Rights Activist, Scientist, Politicians, Theology Lecturer and a Musician. In their own way, have made a significant positive contribution to society. The list includes Cat Stevens and Malcolm X by the way.

Now, you might argue that this list is obviously bias to make Islam look good. However, we know that there have been Doctors, Scientists, Professors, Engineers, Nurses, to name a few professions, that have converted to Islam from a various of different perspectives. They have also made a positive contribution to our communities and society. Some have saved lives. Some have profound thoughts. Some make sustainable changes.

What we don’t see is the news stations like CNN showing 24 hour coverage discussing how these will positively impact our culture. And made a difference in our world. We also don’t see a spectacle of comments on Social Media discussing how this changes who we are as a nation.

We also know that there are Muslims that are Doctors, Scientists, Professors, Engineers, Nurses and others in a variety of professions who have made a significant difference in our world. Some in Canada. Some in America. Many all over the world.

What we don’t see is news stations like CNN showing 24 hour coverage discussing how these actions will positively impact our culture. And made a difference in our world.  We also don’t see a spectacle of comments on Social Media discussing how this changes who we are as a nation.

Today, we are learning of a gentleman named Michael Zihaf-Bibeau. He is a man that shot and killed a Canadian Soldier at a War Memorial in Ottawa. He then proceeded to walk into Parliament Hill and opened fire until a man named Kevin Vickers stopped him. Eventually, Zihaf-Bibeau was shot and killed.

What we have learned according to the RCMP, and other news agencies is that Zihaf-Bibeau converted to Islam. He came to Ottawa to deal with a passport issue. And despite reports to the contrary, he acted alone.

What we are seeing is news stations like CNN showing 24 hour coverage on how we need to be concerned of “Radical Islam”. And how the “radicalization” has changed our country for ever. We were also discussing the steps we need to take to stop this “radicalization”. This has created a spectacle on Social Media.

This is in spite of the RCMP making it clear that there is no indication Zihaf-Bibeau was connected in anyway with the radical group ISIS. Even though the RCMP, who are paid to investigate crimes by the way, says no, there are some “experts” that say yes.

The “experts” are trying to remind us of the very real threat “Radical Islam” is. What they forgot to tell you that, in spite of the media coverage and the questions, that Muslims ,converts or not, have made a significant positive impact on society. And the contributions, far, far outweigh the atrocities.

Let’s be clear. The actions of this man, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Atheist or any other perspective was awful. Men and women will be deeply affected by what happened. A mother and a father lost a son. Dogs lost their master. People were locked down and away from people that they hold precious. We must never lose sight of that.

But before we make assumption that this was about a conversion to a faith, let’s remember first, Michael was a human. A human that it appears mat have got caught up in fear. The fear led to some anger. The anger led to some hate. The hate led him to the actions of yesterday. That has happened to many, many humans. Not just an apparent converted Muslim.

Speaking of Muslim, before you start assuming you know something about the theology of Islam, might I suggest you do some research.

As mentioned, there are many Muslims who are devoted to their community, and embrace our culture. Remember Calgary, one is a Mayor of your city. There are many Muslims who spend more time praying for our world more than many Christians do quite frankly. They also know their Scripture far better than many Christians can claim to know theirs.

Speaking of Christians, this is where I get Jesusey on you.   Yes, Jesusey is a word.

Jesus said this. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”.

Note what Jesus and even Yoda said.

Their quotes have nothing to do with being a part of a religion.  They don’t claim if you are this or that, that you will do good or evil because of your faith or religion. It speaks to the humanity of you. In other words

You can be Muslim and do good.

You can be Christian and do good.

You can be an Atheist and do good.

You can be Hindu and do good.

You can be Human and do good.

The decisions we make generally, come down to our maturity, character, perspective and outlook on life. Not necessarily because of the religion we follow.

We would do well to remember that before we start criticizing.

Question: What is a Christian?


hands_holding_bible-6327

A while ago, I was part of a panel discussion with about the topic of Worldviews.

There was an Atheist,  a Baha’i, more of a conservative Christian, and me a “Progressive” Christian.

On Saturday, I’m going to be part of a panel discussing the future of Christianity. There will be a “Progressive” Christian, an ex-Christian, a new Christian, and a Conservative/Traditional Christian. This should be an interesting conversation.

One of the first questions we are going to discuss is this one. And, I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on this.

If you were asked what a Christian is, how would you respond? You don’t have to be a Christian to answer this question. As a matter of  fact, I welcome those who aren’t.

Normally I post an Agree or Disagree at this point….But this is a must read.


I typically post a an Agree or Disagree at this point.
However, we have debated and discussed forever about the relationship between Christians and LGBT. We have criticized many Christians behaviour and actions.
However, this is some kudos. Read this response from a Christian Pastor if he found out his kids were gay.

And of course, discuss.

Read here.

Sorry Matt Walsh, but you are wrong. There is no double standard against Christians.


 don’t have much. I have a small apartment. I don’t own a vehicle. But, I considered myself privileged.

 

Why?

 

 First of all,Because I’m a Christian.

 

As a Christian, I get to experience some special things.

 

I can pray and read the Bible in public.

 

I can wear a shirt with a Bible verse on it.

 

My “Christian” holidays are honoured.

 

I’m also not hired or fired based on my faith.

 

I’m also privileged because I’m a heterosexual male.

 

Why?

 

Because I can get married anywhere at anytime.

 

I can hold hands with my girlfriend or wife if I had one.

 

I have benefits if I want I can support my wife and family. I never have to fight for it. They are given too me if I’m married.

 

If I choose, I can adopt children.

 

I’m not rejected because of my sexuality.

 

Speaking of sexuality, let’s talk about that. Actually, let’s start by talking about Matt Walsh. You know, the Matt Walsh who thinks he’s funny. The Matt Walsh who’s a hipster. The Matt Walsh that apparently speaks for the conservative movement. The Matt Walsh who is a Christian. The Matt Walsh that thinks he is always right.

 

Well, he’s wrong.

 

What about?

 

Well, for this we need to have a conversation about sexuality, religion and football.

For this we need to tell the story of Michael Sam.

 

For those who do not know who Michael Sam is, he is a Defensive Lineman. He attended the University of Missouri. He’s big and tough. He’s talented. He was good enough to be the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. If you know anything about college football. you know that is the best College Football in the United States.

 

As an aside, he’s gay. He announced it on ESPN on February 9. While there was many who supported him, there was the usual cast of opponents. Westboro Baptist Church and other organizations expressed their opposition. To both Sam and the University of Missouri.

 

Last weekend Michael Sam had a special moment. The moment many football players dream of all their life. He got drafted in the NFL. Now, he was the second last player picked in the draft, but he was picked in the draft.

 

Why is this a landmark moment? Because he is the first openly gay football drafted in the NFL. This got coverage everywhere. Including a video of the call that he was drafted. When he was drafted, there was video of him crying. His boyfriend shared a kiss on national TV.  A kiss where most of us heterosexual can share with no issue. But a kiss that got a reaction.

 

 Now, Sam has got some attention and has been embraced. He received an endorsement deal. He is also getting a reality show on the Oprah network. He is a celebrity and in general has received some acceptance. He is being praised by some for his courage.

 

I said some. Because now we bring in a CFL Player named Maurice Price. He is a Christian and he tweeted this.

 

My faith won’t allow me to ACCEPT what took place over the weekend #AdamandEve #NotAdamandAdam

 

Now we bring this to Matt Walsh.

 

Matt Walsh has expressed a concern there is a double standard. See Matt thinks that while we are celebrating Michael Sam for his expression, a man named Tim Tebow, who is Christian was being marginalized for expressing his.

 

For those who don’t remember Tebow. He was the guy that had Bible Verses on his face while he played football. He was extremely vocal about his faith.

 

Now, this would be the point that I would link you to Matt”s blog so you can read. But this time, I won’t do it. Why? 

Well, Matt said any time you click on his blog that he is going to donate money to what he calls “pro traditional family organizations”. Smarty pants Matt, you forgot others could read. If you want to find the blog, it’s not hard to find.

 

I’ll summarize it this way. He reminds that football players wished Tebow would “shut up about Jesus”.

 

See, Matt says. We can talk about people’s sexuality, but not religion. Proof there is a double standard. Right?

 

Wrong.

 

While we privileged heterosexual Christian males are enjoying our freedoms, here are the some of the battles people like Michael Sam have been battling.

 

 

Public rejection.

 

Criticism of public expression and who they love

 

Hiding who they love

 

Hiding who they kiss

 

Identity issues

 

The right to have spousal benefits

 

The right to  adopt children

 

The right for employment based on ability.

 

That’s right. Matt must have forgot what happened with World Vision. How a group of Christians expressed their anger over a Christian organization hiring people who are in a same sex marriage. We also discussed earlier this week a Christian University being under scrutiny for they way they handle that.

 

 

Matt also must have forgot the protests, the signs, the reminders some Christians have told the LGBT community that they will not be accepted. We forget the specific references  and policies we have on if we will hire ands based on their sexual or relationship preferences. We call it biblical values. We forget the verses about gossip, slander and others. We don’t have a specific policy on that. 

 

Matt  forgot the fact that we have a position of power. We have been put in a position to in a sense, control someone’s fate. A fate that has led  people to silence because of a fear of reprisal. A fate that has lead for many, much worse.

 

The reason people celebrate people like Michael Sam, Ellen Page and others that come out are being praised for their courage is because it  IS courageous. The reason it’s discussed is because someone, somewhere may be able to share where they are at.

 

In order to be a double standard Matt, there needs to be an equal standard.

 

A standard where all are equal.

 

Clearly that’s not happening.

 

So you are wrong. 

Agree or Disagree: Faith based schools should lose their accreditation because of policy on homosexuality


  You might have heard what has happened at Trinity Western University. Perhaps, like me, you know some people who have attended there. 

You also might have heard some good things about the school. In Christianity, they have a really strong reputation.

Unfortunately, they are in some current trouble. I fear that the impact of this decision could impact future faith based schools.

You see, Trinity Western University is planning to open a law school in 2016. The problem? Because of their stance on homosexuality, provinces like Ontario and Nova Scotia do not want to give TWU students accreditation.

 

Their stance? Well, like many conservative Christians,  marriage is between a man and a woman. 

What is their stance? Well, actually it’s not just about homosexuality. They have their 3,600 students sign a covenant that they will not participate in ANY sexual activity until they are married. 

Now there a couple of things that are really clear to me.  The first thing is, I’m guessing a high majority of the students that have been or go to TWU are aware of their policies. Many in the Christian community that attend publicly agree with them. I say publicly because it is possible that some… violated the covenant. That is a separate topic. But the students made a choice to better themselves with an education at Trinity Western University. To better their education and their faith.

The second thing is this. Trinity Western University is not the only institution in the world that has this policy. There are many. Too many to count. If you are going to threaten or challenge accreditation, how many more will you challenge?

The third thing is this. I know I said two, but there is an important point.  The stances that TWU represent are not only in TWU or in a Christian University. It would be anywhere. How this “policy” is challenged going forward will be interesting.

Now, it’s that I agree fully with TWU’s policies. However, I do respect the freedom for them to have them. If they are providing a quality education for students, why should they have their accreditation challenged?

I leave that for you to Agree or Disagree with.