Evidence 101

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Swiss Cheese

I've been having a rough time of sorts lately and I am getting hit by all sides.

I have many questions.

If you have stuck around here long enough, you would know I am a Christian. I belong to the E.L.C.A. Lutheran church. After moving away from Wyoming, I have attended a nondenominational church which is fundamental Christian. I did this in hopes of going to a church close to home since ELCA was a farther drive and I am upper poor. So below are my dilemmas.

Here goes. I am ready for some rock and roll. Let the opinions fly!

I believe in treating all people with respect and dignity...all walks of life.  If you permeate that Golden Rule by treating me like crap, I might treat you as you treat me. I have friends who are Muslim, Jewish, gay, black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, Republican, Democrat, American and foreign.

My steadfast heart of rights is being challenged in this church and I feel I might need a separation. Bug is also questioning things. We feel we are constantly being preached to and degraded. Below is the basis to this...

1) Leviticus. Several times, the minister will preach about being gay and how sinful it is. In Levitcus, gays were slain. Obviously, this is a conflicting moral dilemma. Do we kill people because they are gay? It's a hate crime in most states and a murder in all of them.

I believe a sin is a sin, no matter how big or little. I don't agree with everyone's life choices, lifestyles, religious beliefs, moral decisions, immoral decisions, political platforms...etc. I am sure there are several people who do not agree with me either. BUT...it doesn't mean I condemn them for it. It also doesn't mean I won't fight for what I think is right. I guess I was forced to be Switzerland in so many instances in law enforcement, that I became the country and I look at things through a different lens. At the same time, police often made judgments. What is right and what is wrong? And why? Or were we just called peacemakers and all that judgy stuff goes out the window?

Blessed is the peacemaker.

2)Shall not eat meat which is unclean. This is in reference to pork. My family are pig farmers for Pete's sake. Which one of us is going to give up bacon? Isn't it true pork is acceptable protein in most instances. I do know many Jews and Muslims who refuse to eat anything with pork. I also know at work, we have to provide vegan and pork free alternatives to honor all religious and personal choices. I asked this question of the change in the fact that many Christians eat pork and posed it in church and got, "I don't know."

3)Thou shall not lie. Police lie and use trickery all the time in law enforcement in order to find truth and fight evil. Well??? Is this not sinful?

4)Halloween. I love Halloween and not because I practice Paganism or demonic resurrection or black magic. It's a secular holiday and I was raised it was just a costume party of treats and games. I do know the extent of all the history in Celtic and German culture, Pagans, and Christian Reformation of the day. I am so worn out by it being brought up every Sunday as "the devil's holiday" and the fact if you attend any haunted houses, corn mazes, or decorate...you are the devil's spawn and condemned. In fact, this topic was so predominant in church, several of the congregation were getting up raising their hands to the sky and yelling "amen" each time the minister said Christians who "practice" Halloween and believe it is harmless are rudely mistaken and sin. Now, are there those kids who vandalize and use the holiday for mischief and evil? Yes. Is it the norm? I don't think so. I think most adults make it a costume party. The minister also went on to talk about how adults use the holiday for a drinking fest. Well, getting drunk is not good for anyone. Have I done it before? Yes. In my college youth and some of my cop days, I drank too much. I have a very different view of it now.

(5) I like The Walking Dead and sometimes I like to watch horror flicks. It does not mean I practice nor condone evil, black magic, or summoning the dead. Yikes. Apparently, I am being frowned upon by this entertainment viewing.

(6)All political parties aside...we are not talking of my liberal conservative thoughts or my conservative liberal thoughts. These are things in my heart. If we want to delve in politics...we will be here all day.

(7) Oh, and in one sermon, the minister suggested that when Jesus turned water into wine, it was actually grape juice and that when it wasn't consumed fast enough, it went rancid and fermented, thus, became a drink of evil. He goes on and on how evil drinking alcohol is and he goes on and on how he has never drank a drop of alcohol. He even suggested one drink leads to drunkenness.

I'm starting to believe I don't belong here, although I love many of the parishioners and they are kind people.

It's funny how many people have brought up the fact if Democrats are liberals, they are non-Christian and if you are Christian you are Republican. SUCH A mis-statement. This makes me angry. Don't go there.

But if  a sin is a sin, why are Christians weighing so hard on gay legislation? Because of the Bible? Why is it OK to eat pork now? Aren't we to love one another...love thy neighbor? Why is it OK for cops to use trickery or lie to fight evil and do good?

It might be argued both ways...(1) it is a civil rights violation and what does it hurt those who do not believe? (2) just because I support gay rights does not mean I practice their lifestyle. I just think all should be treated equal. Call me a gay lover. Yep. I love gays because they are my neighbor. I bet they don't condone all my sins, but treat me as a human with equal rights. (3) I don't understand the Muslims and all their beliefs, but I don't think they should be made to eat pork. I don't think Christians should be killed because of their beliefs here or there or any country.

I also see a lot of problems in the international realm with other cultures condemning Americans, but taking advantage of our educational system. And why are they here? Why would you get a college degree from people you despise? And why do we take their money? Why do we allow them to disrespect our flag? Why do we work so hard not to offend anyone? Ok. Getting way far off the mark.

Here is another issue. I truly loved being involved in the church activities and attending because of the tranquility, peaceful worship, and singing. Now I fear it has turned into a political platform every time I attend. It also feels I get drilled for not being in church every Sunday and Wednesday.

Maybe I need to suck up the gas bill and go find an E.L.C. A. Lutheran church.

And so we sit here, missing morning church, debating on whether or not to attend this evening or go seek out a new church. Maybe I secretly hope for world peace.

Can anyone help me make sense of these questions without hating on Christians or hating on others? In other words...a reasonable voice from Switzerland? Ok. You know me. I'll take all views. Hopefully I can make sense of the confliction in my heart and in my head.


Coffeypot said...

Here is one of the problems I have with all this religions bs. People interpret the Bible to suit their needs. Also, IF Christ died on the cross for us and we use His name (without royalties other than tithes), then we are not Jewish. The old testament is null and void. Even the Jews do not offer animal/bird sacrifices anymore. As a Christian I believe the only book you need to follow is the New Testament. Being gay is not a sin in my book. One is born that way, most of the time, and have no sayso. If being gay is a sin, it is a sin God created. I mostly prefer my association with God and His mercy and love to any religion out there.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

+1 Coffeypot. A clear statement on what it is to be a Christian.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Momma Fargo;
I will touch on a few things...
I hope you still love me afterwards...
First off, the gay thing...I am a firm believer in "Freedom of choice" thing. It talks in the bible about that...the freedom to choose...that is what God gives us. That being said, I could care less if somebody is gay....remember the freedom to choose thingie I mentioned...That is their choice. What I don't like is the having it shoved in my face and that I am a hateful asshole because I tell them " Don't shove it in my face." The tolerance thingie that isn't followed anymore. Also many churches are pushing back against the gay movement because of it being shoved out there. For right and wrong...that is what it is.
If the Church makes you uncomfortable, then change....If you don't get warm and fuzzies when you walk in...then you are in the wrong church.
As far as the pork thing goes...the problem is that the muslims don't like it....all and well...but they don't want me eating it either...and I have a problem with that. You want me to be tolerant of your beliefs...good..be tolerant of mine. But that is the problem now...We in Western civilization have gotten used to being the dammit doll for the world, every thing is our fault...We have to listen to others denigrate our civilization and our flag...because the political correctness forces us to...the Western civilization that has done more for the human condition than anybody else...the only philosophy that prizes the individual...all others prize the group. But we have been cowed into silence for fear of "being a meanie".
And yes I do think of you when I drive by some of the film sites for the walking dead. Keep on loving halloween, the jerks try to call it a pagan holiday...perhaps it was at one time...but to a kid..it is a magical time where you can be somebody else for a night.
I hope I didn't chew up too much bandwith for you;)

Old NFO said...

Yep, time to move on... Period...

Tennessee Grammie said...

If one attends church, it should be uplifting, not make you uncomfortable or give you the feeling of being verbally battered. With the attitude of beating the flock over the head with THEIR interpretation of the Bible it is not going to change. With the amount of anguish this is causing you and Bug, it's time to worship on your own terms and beliefs, not those of others. Many of us were taught to GO TO CHURCH, but I ask "why do I need to go to a building to worship when there's really not much to glorify God within its walls?" All I have to do is look at all the beauty the Earth and heavens has wrapped around me and I don't need walls, a roof or someone else telling me what and how to worship...

A. Nona Moose said...

Move on from the Church. If you are not comfortable with what they are teaching, then you should not be there. I don't think you will ever find a church that you agree with 100% of the time, but you have to be comfortable with the place, and make peace with those disagreements.

They should not condone you either.

Halloween is so much fun for me, it is the one time of the year when I look normal!

Dee said...

Church isn't about making you comfortable or fitting in with your beliefs.... okay, to many it is. But that isn't what God intended it for. God intended it to share HIS word and what HE wants you to know/do/follow.

Granted, humans often interpret His word how they want it to be, to fit their lifestyle - so if something that is being preached in your church makes you uncomfortable, get out your Bible and read it. Does it follow God's word? If so, then even if it makes you uncomfy, well.... you're the one who needs to look within yourself to change.

If what the pastor is preaching does not line up with God's word, okay, consider switching churches. But you must consult God's word and not just rely on what makes you uncomfortable.

God's word isn't soft, easy or comfortable. But it is worth it.

Robyn Campbell said...

@ Coffeypot and Well seasoned fool: Please know that the Old Testament is NOT null and void. If you're a Christian then you MUST believe the entire Bible. The Old Testament mentions Christ a BUNCH of times. For me it is a sin to live a gay lifestyle. It just is. God made Adam a partner. EVE. A woman. Period. But I disagree with some of what your pastor says. I don't hate gays. But they're living ungodly lives. But then again, so am I. I try to live as Christlike as I can, but I sin everyday. Still yet, God did not make a mistake. Traditional marriage is how He wants us to live.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
I can understand your dilemma.
I was brought up Methodist, went to a Presbyterian church and was a deacon (later) at a Christina & Missionary Alliance church...been to a few high masses at some of the BIG Catholic churches in Philly, too (Police & fire breakfast prerequisite of sorts...lol)

I stand on what the good book says and what I have learned in all the years I've been around.
Golden Rule - works every time (on both sides of the fence, too).
--What was written in the OLD testament, however is a point of contention - that was under the DISPENSATION OF THE LAW.
Since the advent of Jesus and his death (and resurrection) we are NOW under the DISPENSATION OF GRACE, for "by grace are ye saved".

There are some sects that cam become TOO fundamental, and while that works for them, EACH of us have to travel the journey with God in the way that HE wants us to do, and in a manner that follows that which HE has provided us through HIS teachings.
(that's the preacher in me speaking...sorry.)

Granted, humanity has fallen VERY far from grace with God, and Lord knows it will take a change of BIBLICAL proportions to swing things back for the better.

MY Father always said that ANY church is "just a building", and that the TRUE church of God resides in the hearts and minds of people.
Those who are mindless and/or heartless speak to that end easily enough.
I like the way he put it, and many pastors agree with it.
We ALL fall short of the glory of God...but we can always "work on that".
And if you are getting a feeling you should move on...then leave that particular church.
It's in HIS hands, after all.

Hope this helps somewhat (and you're on the prayer list here)

Very good post and comments.

Roll safe down there, dear.

RussianBear said...

1) Do we kill people because they are gay?

No. Nor do we encourage them to follow in a "lifestyle" that we believe to be sinful. Up until 50 years ago, homosexuality was considered disordered. It is now being promoted as a normal, acceptable lifestyle choice.

If you love some one who is sinning, do you change the definition of the sin, or help them to stop?

Same-sex attration is not a sin. Sodomy and masturbation, mutual or otherwise, are sins of lust. Celebrating and normalizing these sins do not make the acts unsinful.

God made people different. He even made the psychopaths and child molesters. Should we normalize those behaviors as well?

2) Eating pork.

A lot of Leviticus has dietary rules/laws that make sanitary sense given the time frame. Kosher agriculture and cooking are the modern day result. From the gospel according to Mark,

Mark 7:18-23
He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

“But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles.
From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”

3)Thou shall not lie. Police lie and use trickery all the time in law enforcement in order to find truth and fight evil. Well??? Is this not sinful?

Just because something is legal does not make it moral. Dry humping the couch and drinking myself into oblivion inside my home is lawful, but not without sin. Are you saying that the ends justify the means?

4) Halloween.

This is an American Oktoberfest. I think he is confusing Halloween with Devil's Night. Halloween is the day before All Souls Day. Devil's Night is when Detroit burns.

5) Horror flicks.

Why do we watch them? Is it to scare ourselves and overcome those fears, or do we think Leatherface is a cool dude? Do we really need a reminder that evil is real? I'll refer back to the quote from Mark above.

If watching horror films encourages evil thougts, then stop watching.

6) Not seeing a question here.

7) Wine. No basis for what he is saying here, even the steward said this was a good vintage. Would Christ lead some one to sin? No. See quote from Mark above. Now, if in consuming alchohol, you have a tendency to become unchaste, licentious or arrogant, then you should probably abstain.