Tag Archive: FREEDOM


Are cookies, coffee and calories sinful? Is it wrong to put a spoiler on your minivan? Are drums from the devil? Will you become an alcoholic and go to hell if you allow a drop of alcohol to pass your lips?  Is it wrong to watch secular movies? Will you become demon-possessed if you dare to look at paintings by the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh?

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Is it always wrong to generalize?

I’ve used the British spelling of “gray” ( g-r-e-y) in my title: I hope you can indulge me. If you can’t, you really do need to read this post.

A Christian comedian who was very popular a few decades back, Mike Warnke, once described legalistic Christians as being “so narrow that they can see through a key-hole with both eyes”. Not only do some people want to avoid enjoying their lives, but they don’t think anyone else should enjoy theirs either. I don’t think…I hope I’ve never been that extreme in my zeal for God. Such legalism is usually-but not always-a sign of self-righteousness and a holier-than-thou attitude. This attracts no-one to the faith or to us.

THE ULTIMATE REDUCTIONIST/ MINIMALIST

When I first became a Christian I was so intent on parting myself from my former way of life and all that I perceived to be “of the devil”, that I purged myself of almost everything I possessed, everyone I knew, and all I had previously enjoyed.

I cut myself off from all my former influences and pleasures. Friends thought I’d been brainwashed by some American cult (cults from anywhere else in the world were perfectly acceptable). In fact they were so “concerned” about me that they avoided me like the plague. Perhaps this was a sign that I was actually on the right track, because:

“What fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Having been a bass player by profession, I sold my bass and my amp. I detached myself dramatically from my musical and theatrical contacts. I disposed of all my books, memorabilia and photographs, and my entire record collection-all the music I had loved, enjoyed and been influenced by for years.

For a time I was terrified that if I so much as puffed on one cigarette ever again or had a single sip of beer I would be cast immediately into the lake of fire. God would reject me, the rapture would pass me by, and I would be “left behind” to suffer all the evils of the Tribulation and subsequent judgment.

All that remained of my possessions and my former life was a bed and a Bible…and I was considering getting rid of the bed.

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SWINGING BACK AGAIN

About two years later I underwent my first and my deepest bout of backsliding. Disappointment with God’s performance-the one I expected from him-made my heart sink a million miles. I didn’t reject the Lord in my life: I just put him to the back of my mind so he wouldn’t become a hindrance. The cause of this pendulum-swing turnaround was my own loneliness. I was so hurt that God would not give me a lover, a family and some Christian friends as he seemed to do for everyone else, that I intentionally allowed myself to slide at least part way towards that perdition, in a quest for company and for a girl.

Now I’m going to disappoint some of you by fast-forwarding to the present without sharing the intervening juicy details (for details, send a check or money order for $5000 to the address below…)

IN THE MIDDLE

Now, many years later, I find myself enjoying things which some Christians would consider unacceptable, un-godly, too worldly, and maybe even damnable. In fact, I regularly thank the Lord for what he allows me to enjoy and blesses me with.

No, I’m not one of those people who gets high every day and has a string of live-in lovers. Such things are among the “black and the white” things of life as far as I’m concerned: the things we can know are wrong in the eyes of God. As Paul said after listing some of the real sins of life:

“…those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Instead of those damnable lifestyles, I’m speaking here of things which are not forbidden or perhaps not mentioned in the Bible, but which some self-appointed judges among Christians decide are sinful, shameful and damnable.

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COOKIE-CUTTER CHRISTIANS

“Cookie-cutter Christians” is another of Warnke’s terms, which describes the product of some in the Christian world who, if they had their way, would have us all be identical to them or their favorite preacher in every detail. Even the discussion of grey areas is out of bounds in their eyes. If we were really Christians, they think, we would all be just like them: bored, boring and dispassionate.

FREE TO BE GREY (NOT GAY)

God has called us to freedom within his clear laws, not to a regimented tyranny (2 Corinthians 3:17). Yes, I agree that it’s sinful and damaging to indulge in certain things perhaps not mentioned directly in scripture, such as cannabis and over-graphic movies. And yes, he wants us to spend our lives in worship of him and loving and caring for our fellow man and those around us, rather than in serving ourselves. But it’s a big beautiful world which our God made: he didn’t make it to be ignored. He didn’t design our incredibly complex, inventive, creative human nature just so that we can cower in a corner and be bored out of our brains until we die.

It’s not God’s desire for us all to be the same (and how boring life would be if we were). Why does our DNA contain so much potential for variation, if we’re supposed to be cookie-cutter humans? This variety in our genotypes and our phenotype and our personalities, is there for a reason.

CAUTION

Grey areas do require some thought and prayerful Biblical consideration: are they really grey areas or are we just trying to excuse our disobedience? What kind of guidance does the Bible give for our consideration of grey areas?

 

“Everything is permissible for me-but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me-but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Paul advised care for others as our ultimate guide in those grey areas:

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak… “…so this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge” (1 Corinthians 8: 9, 11).

We must consider others in the out-working of our freedom. We don’t all have to conform to the life of the ultimate Christian reductionist in order to avoid creating stumbling blocks, but rather those things not forbidden in scripture which we may allow ourselves and which others are not able to enjoy or accept, should not be flaunted in front of others whose faith may be damaged.

In recent months I’ve made myself a promise: I refuse to snore and to fade and to fizzle out until I’m dead. I intend to make fireworks and go out with a bang. God gave us life. Life is beautiful-let’s not waste it. Let’s live it to the full!

Good news, dear people! Now that we’ve finally rid our world of those awful and arbitrary gender designations (see note 1 below) we will be moving ahead with further ground-breaking changes…

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Dear citizens, Our Wonderful Person has announced a new alteration to our language, formerly known in Dark Days, days of colonialism, bigotry and Trumpism, as “English”.

Our Wonderful Person wants us to remove a certain rancorous and disgusting three-letter word from permitted vocabulary due to highly offensive specificity and exclusivity. An ugly, sadistic sequence of letters, an offense around us, begins with a “t”, quickly progresses without shame to an “h”, and then abruptly ends itself with an “e”, offering no apology whatsoever. Oh, expression is almost TOO HORRIBLE TO CONTEMPLATE! Expression makes OUR WONDERFUL PERSON FEEL SICK! Expression makes me WANT TO DIE! AAAAAGH! OH NO…! I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!! GET RID OF EXPRESSION…NOW!!!!!!

I apologize for emotion, dear people. I will duly punish myself.

Our Wonderful Person also wishes me to announce further forthcoming revisions for which we must all prepare or face consequences. Since a certain expression discussed above transgresses our new and glorious Book of Permitted Vocabulary, so others with similarity will soon be extricated from daily use. Here they are, though I am SICK AND DISGUSTED TO USE THEM OR EVEN MENTION THEM…

“It”…”in”…”on”…”under”…”at”.

UGH! OH NO!! THEY ARE JUST TOO HATEFUL AND DISGUSTING!! GET RID OF THEM!!! NOW!!!!

Ahem…

There is one more expression, or perhaps more…or less (depending how many you believe there are) to be dealt with around a very near future, according to Our Wonderful Person. An expression known as (gulp) “word”. Yes, good people, I’ve used a expression twice-give or take a few times-through my report, and for them I sincerely apologize. BUT BELIEVE ME: A PROFOUND NECESSITY OVERTOOK ME!

An above “w” expression (you know, “w…o…r…d”) must soon be removed from our books (and even our lips and our minds, dear people) since such an expression discriminates greatly against non-w…o…r…d expressions.

Around a place we will use far more inclusive and less stereotypical expressions, such as “ugh”; “hmm”, or “grr”. Our Glorious Book of Permitted Vocabulary will now be filled with happy, positive, loving and inclusive “ughs”: a far more earth-friendly, citizen-friendly prospect.

NOTE 1

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4043394/First-ze-Mr-Mrs-BANNED-Oxford-University-tells-colleges-remove-gender-specific-titles.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/05/colleges-trend-toward-gender-neutral-pronouns/71780214/

 

 

Just a few years ago it seemed impossible and unthinkable that we would legalize gay marriage and accept is as “normal”, and facilitate the adoption of children by homosexuals. In the same way it may only be a very short time before another “unthinkable” becomes reality: America bowing to the religion being passed onto it.

Don’t believe me? I only have to look at my country of origin, the United Kingdom, and how-although few admit or even realize -it has already submitted to the point that it would take a miracle to stop the slide. Bear in mind that the goal of Islam is to bring the entire world into submission, then realize that the nation Churchill helped save from Nazi Germany  now has Sharia law courts. Mosques have replaced  many churches, people have been fired from their jobs or even arrested for expressing alarm, the media kowtows to the movement without question,and the majority of people have for some time been of the opinion that the only enemies of world peace are the United States and Israel. I’ve heard it myself from the lips of many of my former countrymen.

Americans have for so long lived in smug dominance that they are oblivious to the fact that their way of life could be “fundamentally” changed from within, as it surely is being. Couple that with the mainstream media’s blanket and unquestioning support for the current administration and politically correct ideology, and it seems that the slide into amorality could soon be followed by a slide into submission to the religion which plans to take over the world by fair means and foul.

At present there remains a measure of freedom to express and think outside of the PC box, but that freedom is shrinking, and has disappeared in some circles. The self-proclaimed standard bearer of Freedom, the US, is in serious danger of having its torch snuffed out from within.

In a world where we’re all expected to think that everyone’s understanding of truth is valid no matter how contradictory, there are an awful lot of laws being passed to enforce the politically correct view of truth.

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ALGORITHM “Cumulus”

Consider an example from the new business climate uncomfortably reminiscent of that of a fascist state, in which a small family business which once baked wedding cakes had to close their store and face fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars, simply because they wanted to live by their own politically incorrect Christian convictions http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/01/21/christian-bakery-guilty-violating-civil-rights-lesbian-couple/

The owners were essentially told that they were free to believe what they wanted to, but not to live out their beliefs. Where is the logic in that? And in truth, we aren’t allowed to even have our beliefs in our mind, because the state through such institutions as the education system strives to convince us that there is no God and that we all evolved from a puddle. Try to work against that and you will get fail grades and be turned away from many professional positions.

The empire which prides itself on its “freedoms” seeks to impose its ideas upon the rest of the world. Gone (or going anyway) are the Christian freedoms which brought more dignity and light to the West than communism, paganism, fascism and religionism ever managed to destroy by brute force. In their place is a creeping upside-down set of values, beliefs and morals which achieve more than Marx ever even hoped to achieve in the overturn of history and morality: There is no right or wrong that the State does not decree or consent to; the state now blesses immorality and the things God calls “an abomination”; there is no individual who is not subservient to the State; there is no higher power than the State; the State has the unchallenged right to lie and call it “truth”; there is no God to save us from ourselves; there is no fixed understanding of right or wrong; there is no hope of an afterlife, but only the assertion that our bodies will push up the plants a little faster for the “other” animals to live and evolve.

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All of this is consistent with Biblical predictions of “last-days” life on earth, and it’s called, at times, “lawlessness”.  The use of this word in the NIV version aptly sums up related words in translations such as the KJV.

Somehow it doesn’t seem to make sense that a society which passes thousands of new laws, rules and regulations annually could be called “lawless”, but the Biblical use of the word is very different to our every-day use of it. John summed it up for us in a very concise and clear way:

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).

John goes on to express the good news found in the gospel, that Jesus Christ came into the world to take away our sins. However, we have to turn from them. It’s the failure to turn from them, and more than that, the determination to embrace them, which the NIV translates to “lawlessness”. And lawlessness is declared to be the hallmark of end-times humanity: the determination to embrace sin in defiance of the law of God.

In the Bible lawlessness is frequently contrasted with righteousness. For example, Peter contrasted “righteous Lot” with “the filthy lives of lawless men” (2 Peter 2:7-10).

It’s no good attempting to redefine sin, or to claim that God changes like we do- an indecisive doting old man sitting up there in the clouds who becomes more and more human, who wants us to do just whatever makes us feel good, and who waits for us to tell him what is right and what is wrong. No, the creator and sustainer of the universe has his own very precise set of values and requirements, and doesn’t change or evolve any more than the laws of nature do.

THE LAWLESS ONE

The Bible goes further than warning of a lawless age: it speaks of a specific individual who will be the epitome and the ultimate expression of lawlessness. The word “lawless” in relation to this man’s character, means in the original Greek:

“Unprincipled”; “wickedness”;  ”without law”; “transgressing law by not regarding it”; “free from law”.

(See 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11).

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This “man of sin” leads the world in lawlessness, and the world in its foolishness agrees with him and the philosophy he espouses. He has no qualms about lying and calling it truth. He calls the killing of the innocents a good thing. He redefines the institutions of God. He calls wrong right and right wrong. He seeks to “change times and laws” (Daniel 9) He seeks to turn the world’s morality and view of life and history upside down. He seeks to divide God’s land- the land of Israel. By his actions and his beliefs he betrays commitment to a god of his own preference, but defies the true and living God.

Could we, oh could we possibly have any candidates for this position in our world today?

MIND-BURP MONTHLY… Issue 1

 

GOOD-BYE FREEDOM, HELLO FREEDOM, (PART 2)

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Revolting against taxation without representation, against brutal control from afar, and against a lack of freedom in general, founding fathers of the United States made such statements as this one:

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

― Patrick Henry

http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/giveme.cfm

Now, just a few generations later, Americans slouch on the couch as their tax burden continues to climb (remember that one supreme-court justice swung the court’s power behind Obamacare by calling it a “tax” *). Their representatives,  busily spending their taxes, are increasingly distant and out of touch. They are numbered, filed, scrutinized and directed from before birth to after death, as their phone calls, emails, texts (and blog posts) are recorded and scanned. Thousands more laws are created annually. Americans get deeper and deeper into national debt, spending money that even their grand-children haven’t  begun to work hard for yet (17 trillion dollars and rising) and deeper and deeper into personal debt, while only a few are aware or caring of the fact that:

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).

Socialism is not the answer to this problem, because in it you will still have a ruling elite who take your money and your freedom to line their own nests, while preventing you from prospering.

In a land which once prided itself on freedom of speech, voices are increasingly silenced by political correctness.

Patrick Henry and his contemporaries would be horrified to see the results of their blood sweat and tears. A modern version of Henry’s statement may go something like this:

“Give me liberty or give me at least two hundred channels”.

*SEE http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/28/supreme-court-upholds-individual-mandate-obamacare-survives/

SOCIETY OF TODAY

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I rarely like songs – I prefer instrumentals – and this song isn’t exactly on the cutting edge of newness. But it’s refreshingly relevant and really hits a spot with me:

(EVO-LUTION “Society of Today”- KL Dark Recordings)

CHRISLAM OR CHRIS-SPAM?

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Every way you look, humanity is searching for lowest common denominators, and this is no exception. “Chrislam” is a present-day attempt to merge Christianity with Islam, or at least to find common ground and bring the two together in harmony.

Islam holds that the Trinity is a blasphemous heresy, and that Jesus Christ was a prophet only.  In direct contrast the Bible, written long before the Koran, states very clearly that

“No one who denies the Son has the Father” (1 John 2:23).

It tells us that Jesus, the Christ, the “Messiah”, called himself the “I AM”, a title only God can ascribe to himself (Exodus 3:13-14). Jesus said:

“I tell you the truth…before Abraham was born, I am!”(John 8:58)

Jesus was crucified because of his claim: the unbelieving Jews had Jesus killed because he made himself equal with God:

“Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’

‘We are not stoning you for any of these…but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God’” (John 10 31-32).

“Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied…

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses?”

“He is worthy of death,” they answered (Matthew 26:63-68).

Further than that, Jesus said:

“…if  you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24).

Only the Son of God can pay the price of sin. The deity of Christ is not something you can toss away to suit your agenda.

And if you throw away the Bible’s testimony, you’re wandering into the territory of creating your own religion or cult…of creating God in your or someone else’s image. But don’t tack the name of “Christ” onto it in an attempt to buy respectability. You can’t join the gospel of Christ and the beliefs of Islam without denying both.

COME ON DOWN, PLANET X!

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Some alternative thinkers out there somewhere believe that there’s a huge, unwelcome and unseen member of our solar system, nick-named Planet X. It’s a brown dwarf – ignored, denied and hushed up by the government and NASA. Planet X, they say, is on a near-collision course with earth. In the next year or so, say its followers,  it will pass by us so close as to cause enormous tsunamis, earth-quakes etc., devastating the population of our frail little home. The ruling and super-rich elite are in the know, and busily building shelters for their own survival (I can believe that part).

Well, after looking around at the world of men my view of Planet X is this: let it do its work-it’s time to start over anyway!

BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO OLD HYMNS?

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Am I the only one to feel this way about hymns, or are they really being hijacked and then brutally abused? After declaring hymns to be out of date, out of touch and boring, the “Contemporary” Christian music industry digs them up, sticks a rhythm onto them- usually half-timing them (i.e. slower) –  and gets a handsome guy or a cute gal to sing them with enough melodramatic huff and puff to pop (excuse the pun) a weather balloon .

At Christmas time it’s now almost impossible to sing a rousing carol without watching some wanna-be pop star watching you back and wondering why you aren’t wiggling to the beat.

Please, if you can’t revere the song and its inspiration write your own, don’t cash in on someone else’s!

COME BACK SMAUG-ALL IS FORGIVEN!

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I wonder how many pet lizards have been named “Smaug” in recent months? My son’s Smaug, a bearded dragon, hasn’t yet learned how to breathe fire-unfortunately. I say “unfortunately” because it’s been so cold here a few fire-breathing dragons would be most welcome. Whatever happened to global warming?

There’s been a record increase in the polar ice cap:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10294082/Global-warming-No-actually-were-cooling-claim-scientists.html

Icebreakers have been getting stuck:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/icebreakers-fail-to-free-russian-research-ship-stuck-in-the-antarctic-9028604.html

“Antarctica sets low temperature record”

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/12/10/antarctica-sets-low-temperature-record-1358-degrees/

“The Coldest Jan. 7 Ever: 15 Record Low Temperatures Set By The Polar Vortex”

http://www.ibtimes.com/coldest-jan-7-ever-15-record-low-temperatures-set-polar-vortex-1531012

Not to worry-I’m sure dear Mr. Gore and his pals in the Whitehouse are keeping toasty warm anyway, as they plan more taxes and laws to impose upon us in order to “combat climate change”, and as they BLAME THE ARCTIC FREEZE ON GLOBAL WARMING!

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/08/white-house-global-warming-probably-responsible-for-polar-vortex-record-low-temperatures-across-u-s/

Ohh! Of course! It’s been so cold because it’s getting warmer! Why didn’t I think of that?

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