Hot Topic- The Duck Dynasty “Phil”

The Duck Dynasty Guys

OK, I know this is going to hit a nerve with people. But for some reason, I just do that a lot, lol.  This topic is about the guy from Duck Dynasty. Shoot, I only watched it twice and not really too sure who he is or what the family is about. But there has been a lot about this guy in the news and how he voiced his opinion and beliefs.

From what I’m reading A&E had suspended Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Louisiana family, over comments he made about homosexuality. I guess from reading different comments and articles Phil Robertson was asked in an interview what his thoughts were. Well, now this is a total setup when they are interviewing a Christian.

Phil basically paraphrased Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”  I knew that the Robinson family were Christians from the little I know about them. But now I wish I would have watched them. I have nothing but respect for someone who is willing to speak up for what they believe. Even when they are backed into a corner and asked questions like this. As if the interviewer wouldn’t know what the answer would be to begin with.

Some people say they are happy that this guy got suspended and that they are racists and so on. I don’t see that. I think they were asked what they believe and since they are Bible-believing Christians, then that’s what they believe. And it isn’t like he just chose to talk about homosexuals, he also pointed out all sinners. I don’t see an ounce of hate for anyone here. I see him stating what the Bible says and that is what he believes.

On ABC this is what they posted- “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he added. “We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus, whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?”  Phil may have worded it this way and maybe not the way others would have. But he said it the way he did and that is that.

The media has a way of turning things around and targeting Christians. There is no way that A & E and GQ  didn’t know what this family believed. And to make this into something so dark and hateful is terrible. All people have sinned and fallen. There is not one of us that is blameless. And thankfully Christ paid the price for our sins. God loves us all and that includes the sinners and that would include me and you.  I don’t see where the things he said is vile or hate filled.

I have a problem when people turn something like this into something hate filled. As a Christian, I believe all of what the Bible says. I don’t agree with what other peoples choose and I don’t get it either. But that doesn’t mean that I hate them or have nothing to do with them.  I respect their choices and have no room to judge others. What they choose is up to them, not me. And ultimately God is the only one to judge.  Some of my best friends are gay or lesbian and they know how I feel and that I don’t hate them in any way, shape or form. But they know where I stand and love them just the same. Same thing goes for religion. I may not agree, but I respect.  And on my good days, I’m pretty vocal.

This is a total setup by a magazine and the media. What better way to get readership then to get people fired up about a topic like this or abortion? When I see messages and people post about how hate filled this guys comments are, I see they don’t understand the bases of what the Bible says. We shouldn’t pick and choose what we want to believe in. If we believe in what the Bible says, that means we believe in ALL of what the Bible Says. I may not like certain parts of the Bible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It just means I don’t like it. The book of Job is my least favorite book of all in the Bible. But there is something we can all learn from it, even me.

This is no different than what they did to Kirk Cameron, Chick Fil A, Paula Deen and so many others. Do they think they are going to lie to them if asked a question. I can see that one now all over TV.  They can’t ask a question and not want the answer. Total set up I say!  And they do have a right to their opinion and beliefs just as much as anyone else.  One of the things I do notice about his family is they tell it like they see it and they come from a place where they aren’t part of the main stream way of thinking. They live in the bayou and they are who they are.

Many groups say they respect what Christians believe, but I don’t think that is all the way true. If that was the truth, they wouldn’t be flying off the handle every-time a Christian said what they believe. They want to hear what they want to hear. They don’t want to really know what a person thinks it if doesn’t go along with what they believe.  I also think that many groups target Christians in the media to increase the awareness for their own agenda. I’m not talking about individuals, but the media for the most part. Then everyone gets their panties in an uproar and then out comes the haters from this and that group. It’s garbage in my opinion.

Everyone should be respected and has the right to free speech.  Eventually stars age going to stop doing interviews because of the way interviewers set them up. People want us to accept and respect them and their ways/choices and not want to accept/respect ours.

Are Churches too Tolerate or Not Enough?

Religion Heading

This is a little long and I want to thank those who read it and it isn’t meant to upset people. This is my personal views and thoughts about Tolerance, Intolerance and Inclusiveness. Whew, those are big powerful words.

Are we as a society too accepting of other people and faiths? At what point do we draw the line, if a line is needed to be drawn?

Tolerance has become a favorite word lately when it comes to the media, churches, godlessness, crime, and alcohol and just about anything else.

I came across a blog and I loved what it had to say. ” Many churches and Christians have become Americanized and ended up with broad spectrum of religious truths and tolerances. They have become like your favorite puppy, warm and cuddly and, if you don’t move too fast, they will keep up and follow you where ever you go.”

Churches and Christians have become empty and bland. For the most part we want to fit in somewhere. We want to be loved. And if we belong to Christ, we will be hated and persecuted from what the Bible says.  When it comes to being a Christian, I wouldn’t want my pastor or church leader to be broad-minded. I want him to be narrow-minded when it comes to His convictions on what the Bible says.  Our very lives depended on it.  I don’t want sugar coating and my ego stroked. I want to be sure to make it to Heaven, and we shouldn’t want a yes man/woman when it comes to Christianity.

transformed_renew_mind_thoughts_thinkingMany people have the feeling that Christians are intolerant of other faiths and belief systems. Christians are under pressure to tolerate sinful nature and acts. We are told to accept things that the Bible condemned.  I’m a Christian and I try my very best to not come off as a hell fire and brimstone kind of person.  Jesus did command us to tell people about Him, and at times that may mean pointing out the sins of our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we should do this in a loving way. Jesus pointed out sins of others because He loved them! We should not abuse the Gospel by giving into tolerance and doing away with what happened on the cross. Jesus spilled His blood for us and He was perfect and blameless.

Now!  I have friends and family that are from all walks of life. And not a one of them is perfect and blameless. If I see something that is going on and they can’t see it, I try in a loving way and not always the correct way (hammer) to show them that they need to stop what they are doing. And I would hope they would do this for me too. If you love and care about them, you should want to point them in the right direction. Condemning people to hell every chance you get is NOT going to convince a person to stop a particular sin.

4dbe5a54fb47329ad1a0db9df50651a7I also think that no matter what others believe that they should be respected. Not all people will agree with what I believe and that’s OK. I know that for the most part those I know respect me for my faith and I respect them in return. Even when I disagree, they still deserve respect.  At a very basic level, we should treat others with the same degree of respect as we would like to be treated ourselves. I am grateful and humble when it comes to my friends and family of different faiths. They accept me for who I am and what I believe, and I in turn do the same. They have very much enriched my life.

OK, back to my thought process. What I also have been thinking about is tolerance towards other faiths. I am the kind of person who loves to learn what other faiths believe. I have friends of many faiths and belief systems also.  I live in a community that is mostly Mormon and I have many wonderful friends that are Mormon. I have friends that are Jehovah Witnesses, Wiccan, Christians, Agnostic, and Atheists and so on.  Even though I have friends of all faiths, that doesn’t mean I always agree with what they believe in or attend services, but I respect them for what they have chosen to believe in. They don’t always agree with what I believe and I wouldn’t expect them to. God gave us free will and He allows us to decide for ourselves. And it bothers me that people will stay away from others because they don’t agree.  I would be pretty lonely if I did that.  Shoot, when I stand before the Lord, I am pretty sure there are many things I got wrong. Through these different belief systems, I have become stronger in my faith. I have to know what I believe and why.

Jesus loves and has been known to associate with all kinds of people. He wasn’t tolerant of their choices though. Think back to what happened in Sodom and in the temple when people were trying to get rich by selling goods. Now what kinda gets me is how many will focus on and point out the sinful nature of homosexuality instead of paying attention that there are many other sins that we all are guilty of. Jesus confronted all sinful behaviors head on. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20).”

Jesus didn’t accept all faiths and religions as being true. When He said,  “Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)” then we should do this. When I think of this verse, I think of how God is saying that Jesus is the ONLY way to God.

So what does this mean about being tolerant of others? I guess for me, I feel I am tolerant to others and at the same time intolerant. I love people and I know that only through Christ can they be saved. Only because Christ died for my sins can I be free. Yes, one day we all die, but we will have perfect bodies when we are with Christ. I can get a bit over zealous on things and especially when it comes to sharing the good news of Christ. But it is only because I want everyone to know this same kind of love and have that assurance that they can live forever.

Now, I do have to admit there are some things that really bother me and that is that we have become way too accepting and tolerant of anything and anyone. There comes a time when you or I have to stand up for what is right and what we as Christians believe. One of the biggest things is when Christians try to justify doing certain things in the name of love and community.  Love is all grand and we all want to have those warm and fuzzy feelings. But at what cost?

When I look around and hear certain things, I think as a world and community we are being desensitized. We want to accept anything because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Some may say that it is prejudice or we are too intolerant. I guess for me, I would prefer to be intolerant on things then to be overly accepting of things. When God puts something on my heart that is wrong to participate in or I get the gut feeling I shouldn’t be there, I need to listen. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it right. I enjoy taking part in community events and have gained a great deal of knowledge by participating.

I do want to somewhat touch on the term,”all inclusive”. The reason I want to is that our church years ago decided to separate from the American Baptist Church and we are now with Transformation Ministries. The reason for that is that many of the churches didn’t believe that they should be ordaining gay and lesbian pastors and clergy.  Our church stands by the Bible and what it says.  Even though our church doesn’t ordain gay and lesbians, that doesn’t mean that they can’t come and fellowship. God loves all people, just not the sin. Now there are a whole lot of other sins and I don’t like to pick just one.  We need to look at our own plank in our eye when it comes to sin instead of throwing stones at other ways people sin. But I do want to say that church is for the sinners and that would include me.  Gods Words are for everyone, from all walks of life, race and so on.

I have big issues when I go into places that say they love God and they are open to anyone or anything, I have a problem. I can’t see God so accepting of sinful behaviors and ways. I can’t see God being happy about worshiping other Gods. I can’t see God wanting us to Love Everything and Accept Everything. There is only ONE GOD and there is only ONE WAY to God and that is through Christ.

Last year I went to the Prayer over the City here in our little town. I didn’t really have a problem with it until a couple of the speakers that shared a prayer set wrong with me.  Something about their prayers made me feel like I shouldn’t be there. Theirs gave me the hebbie jebbies. I know prayers are great, but I do also believe that we need to be careful who we pray to and what we pray about. We need to be careful of our association with others too. I don’t feel comfortable at all with the Scientology Church and I don’t feel comfortable with the Unitarians belief system and others. I believe that no matter what, we should only be praying to the ONE TRUE GOD. I know some may feel differently and that is OK. We all have a right to believe or not believe.

When I think about association with other groups or people. Until I moved to St. George, I didn’t really think about associating with other people and groups much. But when our family joined our church, I had a moment when the light-bulb came on. When we joined our church, we went over the bylaws and doctrine. And as I did that and read more about out church, there were some things that bothered me. I have always been part of the Nazarene Church. They are much stricter than the church I go to now. We weren’t allowed to participate in certain activities because of the temptation through association that could arise. I guess it is sorta like being in the car with a bank robber and you are in the passenger seat. You get pulled over because the driver just committed a crime. But you will go on trial and be found guilty by association.  I didn’t understand that until we moved to Utah.

As I was reading the information about our church, I got to thinking about how when we join a church or participate, we are giving the seal of approval and acceptance of whatever it is that is going on. We will be judged by those we affiliate with. A lot of people know me because I was the president of the Community Services Expo. I loved reaching out to the community and raising awareness. But one thing stood out when it came to churches that didn’t want to participate and that was that they didn’t feel that God was calling them to be there because of some of the groups/churches that were present. And I have respect for that, but I couldn’t figure out what the big deal is. And that was when I thought back to when I went to the Nazarene Church. I do think it is important to get to know those around us and learn about other faiths. But there comes a time when you have to pay attention to what your gut and God is putting on your heart.

I do still go to many community things and I love our community and the people from different churches. But when God puts it on my heart that I shouldn’t be there, then I need to pay attention to that prompting. And I have to say that when I hear prayers or the teachings from Scientology or Unitarians and so on, I think twice about going. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, but some things are not in my comfort zone and not Biblically based.

Unitarians according to Wikipedia:

Unitarian Universalism, or Unitarianism, is a liberal religion characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed, but are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. The roots of Unitarian Universalism are in liberal Christianity, specifically Unitarianism and Christian Universalism. From these traditions comes a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love, so that currently individual congregations and members actively seek inspiration in and derive spiritual practices from all major world religions.

The theology of individual Unitarian Universalists ranges widely, including Humanism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Pantheism, Deism, Christianity, Judaism, Neopaganism, Buddhism, and many more

Christmas is Coming

ImageChristmas according to the calender is December 25th. This Christmas has been a bit different though. We are going to be celebrating Christmas on April 20th though. We will be celebrating the birth, death and the resurrection of Christ at the same time.  That isn’t the reason for this blog post though. I’m thinking more of the true feeling of Christ,as.

When I think of Christmas, I think of how Jesus Christ came to us as a child so we could be saved. Things have gotten so far away from what my idea of Christmas should be about.  Things I know about Jesus;

  • I know in my heart that Jesus died for my sins and for all of mans sins.
  • I know without a doubt that Christ loves me and I have been forgiven for my sins.
  • I know that I’m far from being perfect and never can be perfect. Christ is the only one that is perfect and because of sin He was crucified and died a horrible and horrendous death.
  • I know that even though my health is bad that He is there for me. My health may never be restored but I have peace in knowing that one day in His Kingdom my health will be perfect.
  • I know that because of Christ I can make it through the day. And at the end of the day, I know everything will be fine, no matter what. Even when I don’t understand what is happening.
  • I know that people don’t have to suffer and feel unloved because Christ is the meaning of love.
  • I know that if I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ that I wouldn’t want to be here. He gives me the strength to get through each and every day and hurdle I have to come across.

These things are things that I think about this Christmas. It isn’t about money or gifts. It isn’t about who is going to have the biggest present under the tree. We didn’t even buy gifts except for my family in Arizona. And that is something, I am glad I did send them gifts because it seems like it may be the only bright spot for them.

I try not to go into personal family problems on my blog. But this has been bothering me and I truly feel that if they knew Christ and the true meaning of Christmas they wouldn’t be going through what they are right now. When I watch how things are tearing my family apart all in the name of greed and selfishness, it hurts. I hurt for them more than I ever could for myself. At-least I know that things will get better and that things work out.

Now, my parents and some of my family doesn’t have that same belief. Just this week, my parents have split up and they are living seperatly. They have been married for 56 years and they are being torn apart because of greed. My feelings is that all the fighting and bickering is a way to control who gets what after my parents die. The police came to the house to issue restraining orders against my brother and then in turn my mom did one against my dad. My dad cries because he loves my mom and he knows he has made mistakes. My mom cries because she doesn’t understand what is going on. Neither one should be going through this. My dad’s birthday is today, so he sits in a house with a room space heater and alone.

ImageThe lives they built together is being torn apart. I talk to each of them and they say they both love each other. And my thoughts is that whoever is coming between them should be ashamed of themselves. They should be thinking about how the parents are being treated and loosing everything in the name of greed. The way I see it is that whoever or whatever the problem is should open their eyes and see the damage that is being caused. I’m not pointing fingers. But whoever is, should know what they are doing. I know for myself if I seen I was the problem and about to destroy my parents and everything they have, I would be relocating and removing myself from that situation.

I know my parents love all of us kids. But we are all adults now and should be taking responsibility for ourselves.  There isn’t anything wrong with kids going to live with parents. But to destroy and cause all these problems is unthinkable and selfish. I don’t get why someone would think it is OK to do as they want and to keep the hate and tension going.  I think for me this Christmas if I could get one thing it would be for family to be family and realize the harm and destruction before it is too late. I wish they could understand what real love and forgiveness is all about. The kind that can only come from Christ.

I hope that they can figure it out and have a Merry Christmas that is filled with love, compassion and understanding. All people deserve at-least that much.

Christmas Gift Giving

Ontario Police- I think they are having a bad day… Meaning Santa, lol

Christmas cheer or get run over by a reindeer? I guess that would all depend on your perspective.

Black Friday kicked off the holiday season and the season of giving. Actually from reading the news it was the season to get trampled and ran over by stampedes of people rather than reindeer’s.

I love Christmas and I love getting that special gift for that special person. For me when I get a gift, it isn’t about what I spend, instead it is the joy they receive from said gift. I must not be a serious gift giver though because I refused to trample someone to find that ultimate awesome gift that is bigger and better than anyone else could give. I don’t think it is worth getting hurt over to save a few bucks. And if someone is so shallow that I couldn’t get them the perfect gift that has a huge price tag, then so be it!

According to the Daily News, “Some bargain hunters around the country appeared to turn violent leading to incidents including a stabbing in Virginia, shooting in Chicago and possible Taser attack caught on video in Philadelphia.”

Really people! Is that certain item worth it? I would hope not, but that is my irrational thinking I think. Actually this year we are doing Christmas a bit different. So I will be able to get after Christmas sales. We are doing Christmas at Easter. We will be celebrating the Birth, Crucifixion and the Resurrection all at the same time. Since Christ wasn’t born on December 25th, I don’t think it will matter.

downloadNow, the way I feel about Christmas gifts is that if someone wants to give a gift than fine, if not, it isn’t a biggie. Many times people feel like they have to be guilt-ed into buying for someone they really don’t want to or have no particular use for. I have a few of those on my list. I don’t feel that people should feel like they HAVE to buy a gift just because it is a holiday and everyone else is. That isn’t what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about Christ and Christ alone.

What really bothers me the most about Christmas though and I didn’t really think much of it till my daughters got married and I worked in a grocery store is that people will skip paying bills and go hungry to get a gift for someone. I may be wrong about this, but not thinking so. But I would think that putting food on the table and a roof over your head is much more important than buying a gift for someone who may or may not appreciate it. Plus I don’t think that Christ would want us to do that either.

imagesSince Christmas is suppose to be about Christ, why not do something that He would do. Why not help someone out or pay for a meal. Maybe the person before or behind you in line has barely enough to buy a gallon of milk. What a difference it would make to the person who had to scrape up change to feed their baby. These are things that are more like what Christ would want us to do on HIS day.

Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people they are anything but many times they are filled with stress and anxiety. Many experience loneliness and feeling unfulfilled.

Man Charged with Punching Salvation Army Worker, Stealing Cash

What gets me too is that people will resort to almost anything during the holidays. I have seen some pretty strange things. Let me see! How about how people give coins at the registers to help kids that won’t have a Christmas and someone comes by and steals the money. They must have more important things to do I guess. How about the person who robs the Salvation Army buckets? Then you have those who write bad checks, card fraud and stealing from the blind and poor. Shoot some many not just steal the money, but the rip of merchandise just so they can give that special gift.

I know I may be sounding a bit like the Grinch. But I think we have gotten so far away from what Christmas is and Who it is about. I guess I have images of Little House on the Prairie when Laura and Mary had very little and Pa couldn’t afford much. But on the Christmas morning the joy in the faces of the children when the got fruit and nuts in the stocking was pure excitement. Mary made a homemade shirt for Pa and he was overjoyed. What ever happened to those kinds of Christmas’s? The kind where it wasn’t about how much a gift was or how much bigger one gift was over the other. Click here for video

In my way of thinking, I guess Christmas has gotten too far from what it should be. It is overly commercialized and Christ is far removed. When I hear people that celebrate Christmas and they say it is all about family, I get upset. Because while families are awesome because we all have families and we all want them happy and joyful. But Christmas quite simply put is about Christ.

I have no problem when gifts are given, but give within your means. And if you have to go without food and rent, then think of something else. Giving of time is an awesome gift to so many. We have lost the gift of just visiting and talking to our friends and neighbors.

There are countless ways to make a difference in someone else’s life during the Christmas season. While looking online about ways to make Christmas more about Christ, I came across this from a father.

If we make Christmas all about our children and give them everything on their Christmas lists, then they are going to believe Christmas IS all about them. 

  • They will expect more and more every year.
  • They will never be happy with what they have.
  • They will never understand that they are not the center of the universe.
  • And they will always be discontent, selfish, and egotistical.

But, most importantly, our children will never know Jesus. 

feeding_homeless_012So, in an effort to keep Christ at the center of this Christmas Season, i listed a few things you can do to keep focused on the true meaning.

  • Adopt a family by providing a Christmas Dinner and a few gifts.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter or food bank- This can be an all year round thing also
  • Visit a neighbor who may be living alone
  • Bake cookies for your neighbors
  • Visit a nursing home- There are many who spend day after day alone with nobody to talk to.
  • Forgive someone who done you wrong (Maybe you need to ask to be forgiven too)
  • Pray for those in need
  • Send a card to someone that is in the military. They would love to hear from someone and know someone cares about them.
  • If you have the money, pay for the person in front of your line at the store or restaurant. If you are first in line, pay for the one behind you.