One Nation Under God #3

The three local libraries that I frequent, all have a bookstore of used books.  These books usually cost 50 cents to $2.  Sometimes you can find some really great resource books for yourself or copies of the Bible or other books you already own that you think would be great to keep on hand for giving to others.  One such book I found recently is In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee.  It’s mostly just compilations of quotes from America’s founding fathers, presidents, and key reformers and ground breakers demonstrating that the God we trust in is not some generic, withdrawn, unknown deity, as many liberals want us all to believe now.  These quotes also show that when America used to be called a Christian nation, we actually were.  Does that mean we don’t have massive sins and flaws in our history, such as the Trail of Tears that starts in my home-state, TN?  No, it just shows that we as all people and nations are sinners and led by sinners, but at least, for a time, our nation was largely Christian, trusting in God alone for our salvation and provision.

Here’s a quote from Daniel Webster from a speech he gave before the HIstorical Society of New York, Februrary, 23, 1852:

If we and our prosperity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect His commandments, if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; and if we maintain those institutions of government and that political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one thing, that while our country furnishes material for a thousands masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibon.  It will have no decline and fall.  It will go on prospering and to prosper.

But if we and our prosperity reject religious institutions and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

What is Wicca?

A blog called CA Psychics wrote about Wicca.  The opening line of their blog says, “In 1990, the American Religious Survey found 8,000 people who identified themselves as Wiccans. In 2001, that number was 134,000, an incredible growth!” http://blog.californiapsychics.com/blog/2011/01/the-growth-of-wicca.html/

I first met a Wiccan when I was in high school.  I forget how it came about, but I met him sitting around a campfire.  I knew nothing of the religion, besides what was mentioned about Wicca in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The guy referred to himself as a warlock and said that he did practice magic.  He also was a palm-reader.  He explained to me that he believed everything in the world was connected through a divine energy, and that it was the harnessing and directing of this energy that was the practice of magic.  I asked him if it was like the Force in Star Wars.  He said that was a good description.  So I asked him if I and the fire were connected if I could magically extinguish it, or if I wanted another drink, I could just open the cooler and have one float to me like Luke Skywalker.  He laughed and told me no.

At the Christian university I went to, I met two Wiccans living on campus.  I had some very interesting conversations with them.  Maybe they knew more about Wicca than the guy I spoke with in high school, or maybe I just knew more because I had studied it a little bit and knew better questions to ask.  The one shared that she did practice magic, and that the black magic comes back on you three-fold, so she doesn’t practice that anymore.  She only does white magic, and she claims it works.

Basically, Wicca seems to be a lot like Hinduism.  They believe in reincarnation.  There is a divine essence in all things.  They believe in a moral law of cause and effect that is similar to Karma.  Rituals can be practiced as the individual practitioner desires and sees most beneficial.

And I do believe there are connections with the growth of Wicca, the New Age Movement, and the many Psychic shops I see popping up around America.  It’s disheartening!

Here’s a video that shares a lot more of the Wicca religion that some students of mine created:

Rainbow – Catch the Rainbow

I got a live Rainbow CD last year, and I was really impressed with the song, “Catch the Rainbow.” Nowadays with the rainbow being a symbol for homosexuality, some people might be embarrassed to say that they listen to a band named, Rainbow.  And it’s pretty incredible how much culture has changed over the past 3 decades. A rock band of heterosexuals would never call themselves Rainbow today.  It’s inconceivable.  But not in the 70s, especially since the early Rainbow catalog with Ronnie James Dio as the singer focused on fantasy lyrics and artwork with songs about castles, kings, wizards, and setting captives free.

As Christians, we shouldn’t be afraid to have rainbow decals on our cars.  We shouldn’t be afraid to have rainbow decals on T-shirts!  We shouldn’t be afraid of the colors of the rainbow!  The rainbow was a promise, a sign from God, to Noah, to us, that he would never again destroy the world through water.

GP Logo
Click the image to order a sticker and get the message of the rainbow.

Catch the Rainbow!  Chase after God and his promises.  That’s not what this song is about; I’m pretty sure, but that’s what I think about when I listen to the song, that and how amazing Ritchie Blackmore is on a guitar and why in the world is this band not as well known as Blackmore’s first band, Deep Purple.

Contradict #11 – What Does “Co-exist” mean?

The “Co-exist” bumper sticker is pretty vague in its meaning.  It could mean that all religious fanatics who actively stir up hate and dissension and cause violence in the world due to different religious beliefs should stop, and learn to co-exist!  It’s possible to co-exist and still maintain stark differences, even contradictions, that’s why it’s called co-existence, and tolerance, and not just existence!

Some people have argued that the “Contradict” bumper sticker goes against “Co-Exist.”  It does, and it doesn’t.  It depends on how you define “Co-Exist.”  I have heard from people that “Contradict” is hateful, arrogant, superior, and not loving or peaceful.  I wonder if they actually watched the first Contradict Movement video, which is on the homepage of the Contradict Movement site?  The opening to the video says plainly, we need “Co-existence” if we are to live as humans without hating each other, or worse harming each other physically, spiritually, or emotionally.

However, “Co-existence” has other meanings.  It also means that everyone is right, that no one is wrong, unless of course, your belief happens to disagree by saying it is the only absolute truth and other beliefs are wrong!  The people that claim “Contradict” is hateful, superior, and not loving fall into the “Co-existence” camp that believes religious pluralism.  I have had some people deny this, saying that “Co-exist” in no way means or implies religious pluralism.

Here is a video that explains otherwise, setting the record straight on what “Co-exist” actually is and what it means:

Order a Contradict Sticker

Rush – “Something for Nothing”

I recently saw the band Rush in concert.  The audience was almost all male and 30+ years in age.  Pretty, funny.

rush 2012

They didn’t play my favorite songs, “Working Man,” “Take a Friend,” “Here Again,” or “The Necromancer.”  But at least they played part of 2112.  So I made a burn CD for my car, I know I still burn CDs, and before that recorded mixed tapes, so I could hear the songs they didn’t play.

I decided to put most of Rush’s album, 2112, on this burn CD, including the song, “Something for Nothing.”  Here are the lyrics to the song:

SomethingForNothingI disagree that “you can’t get something for nothing.”  Grace that comes from God is free to us.  But I’d agree that nothing is free!

Grace is free!  True or False?

Uh, yes, and no!

For us, God’s grace is free.  For God, grace is not free.  The Father had to send his Son.  The Son made the ultimate sacrifice of taking on flesh and being made in human likeness, despite the fact that he is by very nature, God!  That alone is massive sacrifice.  To imagine, God himself, creator of all, in the person of Jesus Christ, defenseless, helpless, as an infant, babe in the arms of his mother.  Imagine, God, who never grows tired or weak, sleepy, thirsty, and hungry, through the incarnation of the person of Jesus Christ.  God who cannot die, who cannot bleed, innocently, cruelly, being beat, tortured, dying, a humiliating death on a Roman cross at the hands of creation, FOR HIS CREATION.  No Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) is not FREE!  Not for God.  Free for us, yes, but it’s not for God.

Just some thoughts I had listening to Rush last night in car.

Contradict – They Can’t All Be True #8

This video provides a more detailed explanation of the “Contradict” message. “Contradict” on its own does not say which religion is true, if any any. It only points out that they can’t all be true. To know which religion is true, if any, investigation must be done and more information must be shared.

This video also addresses two complaints that I have received regularly using “Contradict” to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are: “You can’t know the truth concerning God.” and “You are being arrogant and thinking you are superior when you claim to know the truth concerning God.”

I read Colossians 1:15-23 in the video. The key is that in the person of Jesus Christ humanity has seen God and we can know God through his interaction with us in history. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=colossians%201:15-23&version=…

If you want to know more go to http://www.contradictmovement.org for more videos, a blog, a Facebook link, and a page to order a Contradict sticker for yourself and friends.