Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prayer before meals.

Growing up Catholic, we would always have someone lead a prayer before a big family gathering meal.  This occurred maybe 3 times a year at best or whenever a priest came to visit.  I understood this as more of a thanks for everyone being able to gather together for this meal.  As I find out in the bible now that I study it, there are only a few instances where Christ gives thanks, and that's in Matthew 14:19 after feeding 5000, Matthew 15:36 after feeding 4000, and Matthew 26:27 when he gathered with his disciples.

I notice now how diligently Christians pray before meals and how this came to be.  I have yet to begin this habit, for I feel like I would be doing it out of pressure instead of out of true gratitude.  If I truly felt gratitude for every single meal I ate, I would feel the same gratitude for every car drive I take, and for every time I enjoy watching the television, or every time I see my parents.  If I felt the truly ungrateful for eating without a prayer, I find that I would feel equally ungrateful for most events of my day.  What sets food apart?  Does a small snack count?  Does the number of Christians gathered together at that meal count? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Are we any different than Westboro Baptist Church?

It's very easy to slam Westboro.  Their methods are extreme, but what exactly are they doing wrong?  It is understandable that their position on God's views on homosexuals is wrong when they state that God hates gays.  This is not true. 
What I do wonder is if their picketing of funerals for gays is wrong.  Is sending a message to those at the funeral and to the world that homosexuality is bad, incorrect?  Is this something God would look down upon?  Is it because we are imposing our judgment on others?  Is it because we are casting stones at others before looking at ourselves?  Is it the emotional damage that we are delivering on others by doing these pickets that is seen as wrong?
That brings me to gay marriage.  How is voting against gay marriage any different?  You are putting your judgment on others.  You are emotionally damaging those who want to live a normal life with the person they love.  You are casting stones at their sins without looking at your own.

I have voted for the rights of gays to get married.  By my religion I don't condone it, but I will not fight it.  I believe that if a Christian does not support gay marriage, they don't have to vote for it, but a vote against it is no different than picking up that stone.  Just walk away.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It's the day after Valentine's Day.  I think on this time of expressing love, I want to tackle the topic of homosexuality.  There is a giant rift in our government as of today on whether or not we should allow gay marriage.  Growing up in a very liberal democratic household, I had no question that this was a clear sign of inequality among us as people.  The hard part about this topic is that the fighters of keeping their rights suppressed are the religious right, and their argument is almost strictly religion based.

I wanted to understand this better, so looking into what the bible says, it's very clear its stance on homosexuality from old testament (Leviticus 20:13) to new testament (1Corinthians 6:9).  With that said, it is also clear that the bible states marriage as a union with a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6).  I can understand people's opposition to gay marriage for these reasons, but what I don't understand is how they are centrally focused on this issue, rather than the broader idea behind the opposition.  The idea is that a union should not be permitted, because it goes against the word of God.  When you think of it that way, any marriage not done under Christian views should be condemned as well.  A Hindu marriage, a Muslim marriage, a Buddhist marriage, all of these should be condemned, because even though they are a marriage of a man and a woman, they are a marriage that is not sanctified in the eyes of God.

Does God stop these marriages from being done?  No.   No sin is greater than other sins in the eyes of God.  Romans 5:8 shows that even as we are sinners, Christ died for us.  God loves every single one of us, and wants us to love each other.  Judgment will come for each person, but I am not the one to pass that judgment.  No church has to marry anyone that they do not see fit to marry, even if it's a man and a woman.  I would just imagine the pain we would suffer not having the ability to get married, and I wonder if I would want to pass that suffering onto someone else.  Would you?  Would God want you to pass that suffering to someone else?  Someone who may be pure of heart but is just different in their beliefs?

I don't believe homosexuality is a choice.  I know a lot of people who have struggled with homosexuality because of their beliefs.  I don't think they would put themselves through such suffering if it were merely a choice.  I have heard of people who have converted from homosexuality to being straight, and I just feel like they were either bisexual and can make that choice, or they are simply denying themselves what they psychologically desire.

I welcome any thoughts on this topic.

Friday, February 11, 2011


On a recent visit to the church, the pastor had a short talk on tattoos.  This is an interesting subject to me, because it spans the overall idea of what messages are to be taken as part of that time period and culture, and what are universal messages?  According to a friend, different churches have different views on tattoos.  I myself, coming from a Catholic background, always saw tattoos as taboo, but without fully understanding why.  Now I believe I don't get tattoos because of fear of commitment.  :)

What I understand is that having tattoos are not bad, the bad part is the message you are portraying of yourself to society.  Tattoos were deemed bad in Leviticus 19:28 but nowhere in the New Testament.  As tattoos become more and more mainstream, how different is it in the end than wearing fancy clothes?  Can we deem one worse than another when both are not done in the glory of God?  It is hard to imagine everyone living strictly by the word, and if so, they would have a very puritan lifestyle.  A lot of this can be spanned into multiple conversations, even things like watching movies.  Again, we can revisit this in another post.


A heavy subject to start with, but one that is very important to me as far as starting this journey.

I loved dinosaurs growing up.  I had all the science books explaining their coming and walking on this earth.  I was 12 when Jurassic Park came out, and that made me love them even more.

I never faced any contradiction to what I knew about dinosaurs until I hit high school and I was enrolled in a biology class.  I was surprised to hear that the teacher had to explain that what he was teaching does not have to be supported by everyone, but answer the questions as they are taught even if you don't support the theory.

Never had I heard such things coming out of a classroom.  This is what prompted me to start looking into this first.  Let's start with Christian belief before going into the bible passages.  What I understand is that Christians support micro-evolution, or adaptation.  This explains things like different breeds of dogs, or different looking humans.  Macro-evolution is not supported, which is saying one species can evolve into another.  I guess to me, who is to say what is the spectrum of a species?  Science has elaborate family trees per species explaining each ones' origin.  Yes, a dog will never turn into a kangaroo, and they didn't share the same origin, but something as distinctly different as kangaroos and koalas do.  Diprotodonts are a class of animals that share some of the same traits, and from their country of habitat to their methods or raising young, you can see similarities in 2 creatures that are vastly, visually, different.

Now onto the bible.  It is easy for me to accept Jesus and turn a blind eye to what I feel contradicts logic, but if believing that the bible holds the answers to everything, there should be no disconnect between the miracle of harmony in nature brought by science, and the world of the Lord.  Let's start with bible biology.  Leviticus 11:20-23 talks about 4 legged abominations which is presumed to be insects.  Most of us know that insects have more than 4 legs, so what can we understand from what is written here?  There are many similar errors throughout the bible.  Are we to assume that there are logical errors to bible biology?

What I find already is that there are many errors that Christians and non Christians alike can agree on in the bible.  The problem with evolution, is that it would call out large sections of the bible as errors.  This would be throwing out completely the story of Adam and Eve, and  Nephilim giants walked the earth with humans is false.  What can I support at this time?  Should I turn a blind eye for now?  We'll revisit this topic again later.

For now, the best Christian theory I've heard is the "trees in the garden of Eden theory."  As far fetched as this might sound, it's the closest theory I've heard that doesn't go completely against science.  What is theorized is that if you cut down a tree in the garden of Eden, it will have age rings just like any other tree, dating back to its time of origin.  With that said, it's as if God made a time before time's beginning.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 1

So, this being the start of the journey, let me begin with a short list of my beliefs and where I am coming from.
  1. I believe in evolution.  I believe that the earth is billions of years old, and was created like all other planets.
  2. I believe that homosexuality is not a choice, and they should have all the rights as the rest of us.
  3. I believe in a woman's right to choose based on certain circumstances when it comes to abortion.
  4. I believe in birth control, smoking, drinking, and gambling.
What I hope to gain from this journey is a better understanding of Christians, and a better understanding of the book that is the foundation of our US government.  I don't expect this to be an easy journey.  Lots of questions are going to pop up, and in the end this blog will be mostly questions that I hope other Christians are asking themselves on their beliefs, and I believe that's what Jesus would want you to do.  Ask questions and get educated.
Growing up Catholic makes this transition much easier for me compared to others who are atheist.  Making a conscious decision to pursue Christ with no beneficial expectations is a hard thing if you can't even understand believing in an invisible deity in the clouds.  Keep note though that I'm a horrible example of a Catholic.  Don't base other Catholics on myself.