Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...







Monday, October 27, 2014

Quandary

Quandary: a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation.

Thank you for all the responses so far on Swiss Cheese. It has been enlightening to get every one's input and thoughts. Here are some things for me to clarify about myself since I think I left holes or questions. First, may I say, I have inquired with a pastor at an ELCA Lutheran church nearby. I am also involved in a dialogue with my current minister. Bug and I have thought perhaps we might continue to go to adult Bible study (Wednesdays) at the current church and help out in the activities when needed, but progress toward the other for youth opportunities and worship. It's a thought. Bug is the only yoot at our current church. Plus, I guess we are used to communion every Sunday, the Lord's Prayer, Nicene Creed, Apostle's creed, sharing the peace, confirmation classes, and other church activities. We miss those things.

A) It's funny how when I was first a cop, I never lied. I never even omitted things to anyone. I had a lieutenant tell me I would never make it as a cop if I didn't use the tricks of the trade. I defied his orders for a long time. He was right, actually. I was ineffective with the bigger thugs. Then, I viewed it as an act. I was an actor going into the interview room and the one who played the game the best won. That was literally ineffective as well. In 2003, I found my way to being a very effective interrogator and interviewer. I did lie sometimes. Sometimes I used props like face videos, audios, or evidence which really wasn't found in order to sway the bad guys' thoughts and often it would be effective in getting a confession. Did I feel good about it? No, not at first. Later, it didn't bother me. I don't think that is a good thing. I think it posed a conflict with me, but I just kept keeping on. I put a lot of bad guys in jail. We also saved a lot of children. In that sense, I can only ask God's forgiveness. Is that wrong to celebrate those achievements, knowing how they were accomplished? I did nothing illegal. I did nothing wrong in eyes of the court. However, was it against God's law? Yes. 

B) Halloween-American Octoberfest.  Thank you, Russian Bear. That is how I have tried to describe things to the pastor, but he disagrees. It has ended up with him heated and angry and me deflated, Bug sad. I guess that is how it goes.

C) When I talked about politics in church, I should have expanded. I attend Bible study once in a while and I go there to study the Bible, the book. Often, it gets interrupted for their views of election favorites, judging only on the candidates Christian background and bringing up other world political topics. Now, some of this is just going to cross over because of Christian organizational efforts around the world and the conflict in the middle east. ISIS has been brought up every time. I can live with that. What wears on me is when I walk away from Bible study with no discussion or study on the book itself. This is something I am bringing up to the minister. I have tried in the past, but there are a couple that just go off on tangents and you can't stop them. Bless their hearts.

D) As far as gay rights. I don't think we exclude them from church if we are to love our neighbor. I also think condemning them loudly by pounding on the podium is awful and hateful toward them. Why would they attend church? At one time it was classified as deviant behavior by modern medicine and has since been taken out of that definition.   I love my gay friends. I also believe in the Bible. Yet, how can I do both? They are who they are. So here is the dilemma--you can't change a gay person's sexual orientation. That is who they are. It is God's place to judge. So if you preach to them every Sunday to try to "fix" them or "change them", you are going to completely alienate them. What do you do? 

E) Criminals in church, sex offenders in youth groups.  I don't advocate for any sins-big or small. However, we cannot exclude the people who sin from church. That is why they are there. They bring in homeless people and people fresh out of jail and do not preach to them every Sunday about crime, alcoholism, or whatnot. Sure, some specifics get brought up from time to time when it applies to the sermon or the story in the Bible. I just think you alienate someone when EVERY sermon targets that particular sin. It's like every sermon lately has been to denounce Halloween. That is why we didn't go last Sunday. I didn't want to hear it again. Maybe I'm wrong about that. 

F) I actually persuaded my church to protect the children and itself from liability during youth activities, VBS, and church camps, that they should do background checks on chaperones and teachers. They did not hesitate. I was proud of this. I also did some training with them so it would not appear to be offensive to any parishioner. No one disagreed and all was and has been well. 

G) Confirmation classes. I want Bug to go through confirmation classes and she has been asking about that and youth activities. If she is embracing those things, I don't want to deprive her of it. I want to give her the opportunities which our current church does not have. 

H) The water into wine thingy with the minister. This is something I don't agree with his interpretation. I also agree Jesus would not lead us to sin. I don't think drunkenness is good at all. I also do not have a problem with the minister not drinking any alcohol. It just gave me a sinking feeling that the story in the Bible was changed to fit someone's belief and not really how God intended or at least how I was brought up and how I learned the same story. Maybe I am also wrong about that. 

The other stuff is work mixing in with my Christian beliefs. I am really getting worn down on being politically correct to the point that we allow foreign students to disrespect the American flag or don't take action when they do things that are illegal or display dangerous behavior. That is the cop and the Christian in me. 

6 comments:

RussianBear said...

"It just gave me a sinking feeling that the story in the Bible was changed to fit someone's belief and not really how God intended.."

Reminds me of when King Henry VIII, who, after executing Thomas More for refusing to uphold his annulment, commissioned an English translation of the Bible, that omitted parts he did not like. Of course that was so 479 years ago...but go ahead quote your KJV, I'll call and raise you a Douay-Rheims.

In essence, every man-made religion is just so much twisting of Truth to fit one's own proclivities, Luther included.


"At one time it was classified as deviant behavior by modern medicine and has since been taken out of that definition."

Who changed the definition? When? Why? Cui bono? You're a smart woman, MommaFargo, what answers do you find?

Even if you throw out the Old Testament, you still need explain Romans1:26.

"What to do?"

Matthew 18:15
[15] But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.

[16] And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. [17] And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

So...have your gay friends offended against thee? If not, there is nothing to do. If you truly love them, urge them to be chaste, it is only their immortal soul at stake after all.

Here's a post you may find helpful. It is written from a Catholic prospective.

http://www.barnhardt.biz/2014/10/21/sorting-and-sifting/

Momma Fargo said...

Russian Bear,

Yes, the King James' version was created to his direction. I have seen other versions trying to convert it to be easier for children to understand also seem to lose the context and meaning, although good intentions.

The minister also seems to skip over some verses when it is in reference to concubines, many wives, gruesome areas, and such. It's not that he is afraid of it, it seems he doesn't want to discuss it with "women" in the room. I could go on about how "old-fashioned" and when he was telling some of the male members of the church with me present also that he needed help on the farm, I offered. I offered to help cut down ash borer infested trees because I am an arborist and used to do it for a living. I offered to drive tractors for him, mow the lawn, whatever he needed. He dismissed me and said it was not for a woman to do and he appreciated the offer. I was somewhat miffed and offended but moved on. They started a Proverbs club a year ago for some teens in the area, trying to make a difference to some troubled kids. Boys went with the pastor to learn mechanic work and fix the church. The girls learned how to cook in the church kitchen. They also had Bible study and choir. I thought it would be nice that Bug learned how to change a tire. I was told "no, they could call for help." SMH. Ok.

Now back to the post. Homosexuality was reclassified from a disease that could be fixed and a great paradigm shift to include a new medical and psychological classification due to political and social views and medical evidence to show homosexuality was of genetic origin. I would say this is where it was "normalized" as people refer to the change. There is still a debate among some of it being a deviant behavior but it cannot be classified as a mental disorder or treatable, curable disease. I remember taking deviant behavior classes back in the day where it was included on the list and latter years where it was removed.

So does that go along the same line as a change of the times? We don't sacrifice animals either. We eat pork. I understand fully that shift in consumption.

I do not think we should throw out the Old Testament.

I do expect ministers to have explanations for most of my questions about theology and interpretation of the Bible. I don't want "their" version, I want "THE" version.

I don't go well with fire and brimstone form of teaching. I guess that is why I fit well into the Lutheran realm. I agree with much of what everyone has said that church is not a building. I also have to go where the message and worship place is not twisted or used for a political agenda. I am there to worship God. I am not there to discuss ISIS or which Christian candidates I should vote for. Bug also needs to thrive in a positive environment to learn the Bible and walk in her faith. Right now she is not enjoying it and I am losing her. She loves a lot of the people there, too, but does not like the judging and constant harping on fire and brimstone.

I can't urge gay people to be chaste. I don't know what they do in their privacy nor would I ask. Perhaps it is just as wrong of me to go about my way and wish them peace, but not preach to them about their sexual behavior. I would not know if a married or unmarried man and woman couple next to me practice unlawful sexual practices either, nor would I ask.

To be continued. Ran out of space.

Momma Fargo said...

Continued...

In his time, around the 1500s, Martin Luther had antagonistic views toward Jews, and thought physical action toward removing their homes, money, etc...I do not believe that toward them and modern Lutherans do not either. However, Lutherans believe in one catholic church which many do not understand is not the Catholic religion, but In short, the catholic Church is a universal Church. Mark Dever argues... “According to Scripture, the church is a universal entity, and anyone can be a part of it,” he writes. Consequently, it includes all believers in Christ, regardless of denominational affiliation. Dever therefore warns his readers that Christians must not draw denominational boundaries too sharply; doing so is to deny the catholicity of the Church."

Protestants, Catholics, and Jews are all going to have differing religious views, except for we all worship God.

Momma Fargo said...

By the way...to all readers...I am enjoying all the comments about Swiss Cheese and today's post and the discussion. Nothing is offending me. Keep it coming if you wish. I do have a funny post on Bug I am holding off until tomorrow.

Momma Fargo said...

Oh, I realize talking religion makes some uncomfortable or may have different thoughts and religions. I welcome all of the discussion. It's all learning and growing. In the end, we may all agree to disagree. We may all agree on some things and not others. I know one thing...we won't burn any of you at the stake. At least not until Halloween. Mwahahaha. That was a bad Halloween joke.

Momma Fargo said...

And so does religious beliefs evolve...Here is the ELCA view on denouncing Martin Luther's teachings on anti-Semitism."In the spirit of that truth-telling, we who bear his name and heritage must with pain acknowledge also Luther's anti-Judaic diatribes and the violent recommendations of his later writings against the Jews. As did many of Luther's own companions in the sixteenth century, we reject this violent invective, and yet more do we express our deep and abiding sorrow over its tragic effects on subsequent generations. In concert with the Lutheran World Federation, we particularly deplore the appropriation of Luther's words by modern anti-Semites for the teaching of hatred toward Judaism or toward the Jewish people in our day.

Grieving the complicity of our own tradition within this history of hatred, moreover, we express our urgent desire to live out our faith in Jesus Christ with love and respect for the Jewish people. We recognize in anti-Semitism a contradiction and an affront to the Gospel, a violation of our hope and calling, and we pledge this church to oppose the deadly working of such bigotry, both within our own circles and in the society around us. Finally, we pray for the continued blessing of the Blessed One upon the increasing cooperation and understanding between Lutheran Christians and the Jewish community."

So I ask, also, is it not OK for religions to evolve with times and circumstances. Is it too much? Are we straying?