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Friday, February 25, 2011

LXI. Behind the Eyes

Challenge
Find someone you know that will be willing to do the following:  Stare into their eyes without saying a word for two minutes.  Try not to let any thought go through your mind, at least anything judgemental.  It's okay to blink but every time you are done blinking remain focused on the person you are staring at.  Then stop for a little bit and this time stare at them for two minutes and think of the person they are.  Think of what they like to do.  Think of what makes them who they are.  Do not focus on their attractiveness or any bodily features. Then stop for a while.  This time stare at them and only have thoughts about things you want to tell them.  Think of things that you want to share with them about your feelings, desires, and dreams.

Here is the problem.  You won't be able to get through the first two minutes and that is a shame.  Why?  Your mind will start to wonder because two minutes will become a very long time just to stare at someone.  Or you may start to laugh because you think the exercise is silly.  Or you just can't do it because it makes you nervous.  You will never get to the second set of minutes.  You will never get to ask yourself if you know the person in front of you.  Or if you actually get to this point you will come to find out you don't know that much about them anyway.  Why?  Because we are too self-involved.  We only care about what we see and feel, not what other's see and feel.

The point is we don't know how to look into each other's eyes and understand who the person is we are looking at.  We don't know how to take the time to get to know them because we are too focused on ourselves.  We have become so cold in the way we treat each other it's all we know how to do.  All the texting, twittering, and facebooking we do waters down our relationships.  We take short cuts to say I love you.  We post private things thinking public expression will solve or enhance these issues.  We hide behind the ICON or avatar thinking there are no consequences by what we say if we don't say them directly to a real person.  We have lost the art of empathy.  And then when we try and have a relationship with something or someone we are not ready for the reality of life.  When someone is hurting we don't see the scars life has given them because we can't look at them.

Plumb, Cut:
  • I'm not a stranger.  No, I am yours.
  • With crippled anger and tears that still drip sore
  • I may seem crazy or painfully shy and these scars wouldn't be so hidden if you would just look me in the eye
Too many of those around us who are close to us are hurting and we are too busy being electronically gratified to notice.  Take the time to look behind the eyes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LX. Ozzy Chewed Off Bat Heads

Ozzy Osbourne used to bite off the heads of doves or bats. KISS wore make up. Bill Clinton said he was black and played the sax on the Arsenio Hall show.  McDonald's has Monopoly.  Geico has that stupid little gecko and thise even more inanely Twilight Zonish excerpts on saving money in only 15 minutes.  And then you have those free credit reports that make you pay a fee to actually get the free report.  Or electronic stores saying that they are having a 25% off sale only to come find out that they had raised the prices 26% before the sale event happened.  What is it about gimmicks, limericks, dumb hicks, and risky shticks?  Well, they work!  But how long does the effect last?  Eventually the person falling for these things has to find out one day if the product that suckered them in was worth anything or if it was just all hype.  Sure word of mouth is good for business and it brings people in but if your product is lousy you can have all the Hollywood endorsements you can get, all the catchy jingles you can think of, and all the funniest commercials one can come up with and it will still be lousy, like anything David Hasslehoff sings or acts in.  On the other hand, does McDonald's really need monopoly to get people to eat there?  Uh, no, as long as their fries are cooked correctly and not limp then they will always be at the top.  So if what you are selling is good and/or even perfect then why do you need a gimmick?  So if that is the case then why do churches feel the need to do things like businesses?

That brings us to the poll from last month:  Should Churches use gimmicks to bring people into the doors?
  • 50% said No. There are more important things for the church to be doing.
  • 22% said It doesn't matter if they do or not.
  • 13% said Yes. But only to get people to hear the word of God.
  • 9% said No. It is very un-Biblical.
  • 4% said Yes. It is a good technique.
  • 0% said Other.
If you add these together, 59% said something is wrong with this type of activity.  22% said it didn't matter, and  only 17% said it was okay to do and more than half of those said only to get people in the doors.

First of all what kind of gimmicks would churches use?
  1. "Come on in and get a free sin".  Well, probably not, although that is what the Catholic Church did for a long time with the idea of indulgences.
  2. "Come on in and play pin the tail on the devil.  Have some fun while you put the blame on where it belongs".  Sounds good but what does it prove?
  3. "Come on in or we will come to you".  Enough said?
But there are some real ones and some quite serious ones that are being used in the Church today.  It used to be free concerts and/or festivals.  But now it is free donuts and coffee.  Charity funds with membership.  Win a car (seriously!).  Silent auctions.  Passion plays.  Some churches have even gone the casino route if you will, making bets but calling them challenges instead so as not to confuse or offend those who think betting is a sin.

Where is the line that is drawn? There isn't anything dramatically wrong with a friendly bet but when you use to it promote your church or to raise funds in a non-steward way, wouldn't it become wrong? Just because the money may be used to help certain groups of people, it should not be the focus. If we really wanted to help people then why doesn't the church staffs take pay freezes, or have messages from the pulpit be more about giving from the heart!  Is there something fundamentally wrong here or is this making it into something larger than it is?  The problem is the 17% who believe nothing is really wrong with this type of activity is the leadership.  A great person once said, the church is only as strong as its leaders.  If the leaders think that the Word of God has to be watered down to gimmicks then it is no wonder why atheism is growing faster than Christianity.

Now, it really isn't anti-scriptural as 9% said.  There is nothing in the Bible that says we can't do these things.  Paul even states that he didn't care how the message was brought to the people as long as they heard it.  But, he probably didn't mean that we should offer free coffee and donuts as a substantial gospel message segway.  Wow, donuts and salvation.  How could you lose?

Why not have something called "split the pot"? You go to church buy a ticket for $5 and get a chance to get half the tithes and offerings.  That would really bring people into church. A chance to win money and be saved! Even better than donuts.

All Jesus told us to do was basically lift Him up.  So maybe gimmicks aren't all that bad.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

LIX. The Antitheory of Evolution

A thesis is a statement that needs to be proven.  An antithesis is a word or phrase that shows a negative connection between two things, to err is human.  A theory is an explanation that has been tested and has shown a connection between facts and guesses.  If these are all true then that means evolution is an antitheory; an explanation that needs to be proven but contradicts its guesses and facts, or the lack of facts to be more exact.  Now this (antitheory) of course  is not a real word (anti theory of something though is real) but nevertheless is a real concept.

Here is a little math lesson for you to help explain the whole concept.
  • 1+1=2  and   2+1=3  and   3+1=4  and   4+1=5  and  5+1=6
And so on.  One should get the picture.   There is a progression, a natural progression, to get from one number to the next by adding the same element.  You can not get from 1 to 6 in progression by going straight from 1 to 6.  There are steps in between.  Evolutionists find 1 and they find 6 very easily.  They may even find 2, 3, 4, and 5 as well with research and artifacts.  But they forget there may be infinite rational numbers in between 1 and 2, such as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3678, and 1.976544324565.  All fall in between the two whole numbers of 1 and 2.  Evolutionists find the whole numbers only and say that the theory of evolution is the only reliable collection of facts there are.

In other words, they have been searching for the "missing link" or should we say "links" since the study began.  They think they have found all they need because they have 1-6.

Here is the problem in reality:  they may have found different species that look like they were once related, but they didn't.  They have only found the "whole numbers".  For evolution to work and become a law of nature each stage of evolution has to be found.  Each and every minute mutation has to be found.  And they are not.  There are only bits and pieces of one species and bits and pieces of another completely different species and then they try and connect them.

If evolution was real here is what it means.  Two species have an offspring.  The offspring either picks up a recessive gene or for some unknown reason has a brand new gene, a mutation, that no other specie has had before.  Now this offspring will find a mate and have an offspring of its own.  Somehow this recessive/mutated gene gets passed on to where it eventually becomes the dominant gene or the mutation becomes the norm, not only in its own family line but apparently other family lines.  This single mutation, which is now a common characteristic, makes a new species and the process starts all over.

Over after millions of years and mutations do we finally get modern man.  We have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.  But where is the 3.2?  Evolutionists have only found the "complete" stages of the process.  They have not found all the intermediate stages to fill the gaps.  Oh, some will say they have by claiming they have transitional fossils with the truth etched in them.  Or they will state that they have found groups of species with the same mutation to prove that communities of these species flourished and not just a fluke, thereby proving the evolution process.  They will usually tend to leave out that there are still way too many gaps. Donald Prothero, professor of Geology at Occidental College, said that the total number of species of all kinds known through the fossil record was less than 5% of the number of known living species.  95% is of unknown origin.  (http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/12/donald_protheros_imaginary_evi029041.html)  And by the theory of Darwinism, as defined by http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwinism.html, Multiply by "budding" into  new species.  Budding of course meaning one species splitting into a new species by retaining as many characteristics as the original species while developing something different to make a new species (1, 1.1, 1.2...).  However, is there evidence that shows how an amoeba became a man with every step of mutation/evolution accounted for by budding?  No.  Why?  Because it isn't the answer.   
Multiplication of species. This theory explains the origin of the enormous organic diversity. It postulates that species multiply, either by splitting into daughter species or by "budding", that is, by the establishment of geographically isloated founder populations that evolve into new species.
Now none of this is saying that two people with blond hair as a dominant gene can not have a baby with dark hair to where eventual dark hair will become dominant.  But they are still people, not another species.

Evolution is a antitheory, an explanation that needs to be proven but contradicts its guesses and facts, or the lack of facts to be more exact.

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