Life, God, Techonology, and Randomness

Category: Theology

“Excellent” Propaganda – a review of excellence

Marriage, divorce, creation, evolution, slavery, dogma, Islam, Egyptians and science; these are just some of the hot topics that the most recent effort from Propaganda touches on in his newest album Excellent, no  forgiveness required for asking

You would be hard pressed to find a better word to title this album as it is in a nut-shell, Excellent. In a world full of overproduction, auto-tune and sampling this stands above the rest in my recent memory. The beats — simple, the lyrics — thought inducing and the questions posed and left debated hit hard while focusing our thoughts both toward God and toward the world that we live in currently.

Throughout the duration Propaganda switches seamlessly from Spoken Word to rap and back with no noticeable change of pace. It’s the first time I’ve heard it done so well and it honestly leaves you feeling a bit taken aback by the simplicity of the delivery combined with the simplicity of the beat. From the beginning track to the last there is a story told (one worth listening to) that points to the struggles that we all have in life and in being a Christian. He takes us to a place where we are often afraid to go and leaves you feeling welcomed to the discussion without feeling embarrassed for having similar thoughts.

To be succinct I’ll just say this: in a world full of albums that speak of nothing but self it would be a disservice to not grab this album. Not to mention the album can be gotten for free here or through iTunes. Set aside an hour of your life and really just listen to it…I know I don’t regret it.


Jesus Never Said He Was God

Did Jesus ever say I AM GOD? This question was literally thrown at me recently and it’s a huge question with just as huge implications weighing in the balance based on its answer; Let’s dive in.

There are many ways to proclaim any given fact, multiple proofs if you will (think mathematics here) by simple context. To prove that I am a father I could simply just say: “Hey! Meet my son and daughter, she was just born isn’t she cute?”, or I could also just flat-out say that I am a father in one grand declaration. Either ways work and both are equally relevant. So while it’s important to understand what Jesus, himself, said it’s just as equally important to understand the context as well as what the people who He was speaking to believed He meant depending on what He said. Let me show you just a few examples.

There are many references where Jesus calls himself the Son of Man here is one.

Mark 14:60-64

Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

Notice that they accuse him of blasphemy for saying he is the Son if Man, but why…I am the son if a man? It’s in reference to Daniel 7:13-14.

I’ll let you look that up on your own but he is basically saying that he is the divine authority.

His claims of deity are just as numerous, here is an example.

John 10:24-33

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me? The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

The last sentence there is think hits it home. His enemies are the ones that claim he is God, Jesus never implicitly says it much like it’s not necessary for me to implicitly claim I am a father. There is enough other corroborating evidence to support it without me laying it out kindergarten style. Moreover, Jesus does something that only God has the authority to do, like the forgiveness of sin spread throughout the Gospels leading up to the Gentlemen on the cross next to Him at death.

It’s important to see the overall context and the audience that Jesus is speaking too when answering this question. Did Jesus ever flat-out say he was God? No. Did he explain it in other terms? Absolutely.

These are just a few examples and I challenge you to seek out your own answers.

Be blessed.

You’re just not good enough…Seriously

I have found opportunities quite often lately to speak to people I interact with daily about my faith. I don’t know if it’s me being more bold or them being more curious or something in-between but I welcome it. It has made me study more and try to gain knowledge. There has been one common thread/thought though in the people that I have spoke with. A misconception I think really but one that bears addressing. It usually goes something like this

Overall, I’ve been a moral person, so I should be good with eternity.

This is simply just Read the rest of this entry »

Were there Christians before Christ?

Recently I’ve been studying Abraham and his life throughout the Bible (mostly Old Testament) and I’ve been learning very much. There is so much to learn about God and how we should approach him, most importantly I think about faith.

Promises were made to Abraham and his wife that were pretty hard for anyone other than God to fulfill. Promises I wouldn’t

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The KISS method of Christianity

I hope that you are familiar with text KISS acronym for it would be a horrible assault on mankind if you weren’t. Just to fill in the gaps though it stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling you stupid at all. I didn’t make the saying so it’s not my call. Some motivational speaker probably made it up, but I digress.

As Christians we get hung up on too much “stuff” these days. Stuff like Calvinism, Gifts of the Spirit, predestination, blah, blah, blah You hear things like: “Oh you’re not a 5 pointer? Not Christian!”, “Your not Baptist? I’ll pray for you.”, and the like. We add things to the top of the gospel and on top of Christ, we start making Christianity harder than it really is.

Recently we had some snow here where I live and my son had a great time in it. Later that week I was driving my son to daycare and he asked me a quick question and the whole series went like this:

Him – Dad, who makes it snow?
Me – The clouds.
Him – Nope, God does.

He set me up and I walked right into it. Punk. It’s amazing what children understand.  In this world it really is all about God (and if you ask him he’ll tell you God is Jesus and Jesus is God) and we as adults tend to pile things on top of that. We forget that it really is simple just follow and trust in Jesus. Nothing extra is required. No Calvinism, no denominational spats, no dogma what-so-ever. Just a simple and enduring faith and taking Jesus/God at his word, just an understanding that the whole Bible is about Jesus and that all answers to all questions (even about snow) should point back to Him.

When it comes to Jesus we all need to learn to keep it simple.

I have been so blessed to be given a child and oddly enough I learn so much from him and from his innocence.

What Christianity is and what it is not

Hello all! I hope you have had a great start to the new year. It’s been awhile since I posted but mostly that is due to the ruminations in my head. I’ve thought and thought and this is what has come out. It will be, possibly, abrasive; depending on how you want to take it and where you are currently in life. Still interested? Read on

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Church. Are we doing it right?

Hello World,

It’s been awhile since I last wrote, I know. If you enjoy what you read here then I truly am sorry and will try to be more punctual, if you don’t like it then you probably loved the “vacation”.

Anyway back to the post:

Yesterday I spoke with a good friend from college (University as they say over the pond) ,who is currently church-planting, about what Church looks like today vs what it looked like at it’s inception. I gave him my opinion on how I thought church should work and ways that it’s broken. It has me thinking though; am I the only one that has the same opinions? What’s good about the way churches are set up now? What’s bad? Where should we focus, where should we emphasize? Are we doing what Christ called us to do? Are we even truly worshipping if we aren’t?

All big questions…wanted to get the temperature of the readers.

So hit up the comments and let me know your views.

*Disclaimer* keep it bashing here. I really want to have a productive conversation.

Yet another reason the church is still relevant, alive, and kicking!

I had the privelage of attending part of the 7 Tour over this past weekend. My amazing wife bought us both tickets and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. That concert in and of itself is the reason for this post.

Earlier this month I wrote, a post, about why the church is relevant in today’s day and age. The post was a call to arms for the youth of America to be involved in “church” more actively. While I was jamming with John Mark McMillan, Gungor, Chris August, and DC*B, as well as my wife a memory hit me. You see the concert was at Liberty University which is where I went to school and the thing was almost filled (save for the seats behind the stage) with people there ready to worship Christ. I was spoiled by attending that University as 3 times weekly that arena was filled with people actively ready to worship and I hadn’t been around that many people of faith in awhile.

By the time Crowder hit the stage the place was very loud and ready to rock. That band then led worship for an hour. Yes it was a rock concert and yes I paid to go to it. But the fact remains that at moments the sound of the crowd as a whole literally drowned out the sound of the band and you could hear the corporate voice over all the loudness singing as one body to our Lord. It was amazing; at one point David Crowder (while transitioning instruments which is always me) said:

Man there is no place better to be than in a room filled with people worshipping God…no better place to be than right here.

He was right. This is why it’s so important for the church to remain relevant. Scripture is filled with the importance of congregational worship and it’s not always at a “church”. It’s in your car, bathroom, closet, and life and it’s there at all times.

Don’t be afraid to sing/shout at the top of your lungs and drown everything out!

Sing loud and sing proud…to heck with singing on key!

Shadow Proves the Sunshine

Switchfoot is an amazing band and their lead singer, Jon Foreman, is straight money lyrically.  They have this one song though that gets me called The Shadow Proves the Sunshine.

The lyric that gets me is part of the chorus

We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight,
Dry eyes in the pouring rain
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Here’s the deal. We are all born crooked souls and many people try their whole life to walk a straight path. That’s easy enough to see day in and day out. My question to you is this: Does the shadow prove the sunshine (or in other words…does sin prove grace/salvation)?

Let me know

Here’s the song for your reference:

Self-righteous and Judgemental

That person is too fat! Sinner! Not Christian.

They said something I don’t approve of! Sinner! Not Christian.

They speak in tounges! Sinner! Not Christian.

Did you hear this? They did this? I can’t believe this!

They have a bad witness! Sinner! Not Christian.

_____________ [fill yours in here].

Now go read these, I will wait here: Matthew 7:15; Luke 6:37, John 8:7

Hard to argue with that. Should we habitually sin if we can help it? No. Should we use grace as a get out of sinning card (Romans 6:1-2)? No.

More importantly should we judge our brothers and sisters in Christ (that we usually hardly know, seriously name five birthdays you can’t and neither can I) and infer where we think their walk with the Lord is? Absolutely not! It’s dangerous, demeaning, divisive, and destructive.

Stop. Just stop. You don’t know me don’t judge me.

Soap-box over.