I began my meditation yesterday on my way home from the Arby’s on 28th street and Taft. (I live on Burlingame and Blanchard, so it is about a 15-20 minute walk to my house.) I put my headphones in my ears and cut out everything in the outside/physical world. For some reason all I could think about was God during my journey home. I started out by telling God how sorry I am for all the things that I have done that haven’t shown my love for Him, as well as all the things I do daily that don’t reflect his perfection. I then asked Him to forgive me for all of these sins and I told Him that I promised He would always remain a big part of my life. I promised God I will never be just a nominal Christian, I will try my hardest to claim Christianity everywhere I go. Lastly after minutes of silence and admiration, I came to the last street before my house. I told God that I will leave everything in His hands, that includes education, relationships, and basketball. I told Him to use me, and if He continues to bless me in the areas He has, I promised that He will get all the glory He deserves from me. God knows where my heart is, and He knows that I know that my talents come from Him.
December 7, 2012
Response to January Series: Gabe Lyons
Gabe Lyons started out by commenting on how skeptical current day Christians are. “Skepticism towards certainty,” were his exact words. We are always known to be very antihomosexual, judgemental, and skeptical according to non-christians and other religions. As Christians we are declining in almost every aspect we are supposed to be striving in. This has been shown to decrease more and more as generations come. Currently, there are two ways that Christians are known to react with current culture: Separating themselves, or giving in and being a Cultural Christian, or a culturalist. Separatists isolate themselves from the rest of the world and only associate with those like them. Cultural Christians, or nominal Christians, just claim to have accpeted Jesus, yet they act normally as though Christianity is just a title. They don’t go out and try to spread the word of God willingfully, they do so just for the sake of being called a Christian. They don’t care about the people they preach to, they are only interested in saving them. God wants us to love and care about our neighbors more than ourselves, but this has been forgotten since this current generation is reffered to as the “Me” generation. Our duty is to be “Restorers” which are people who live out the gospel and strive to help those who are not saved, for more than just the purpose of salvation. Restorers have wisdom, clarity, and the realization that they themselves cannot convert the hearts of nonbelievers, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit can one truly be saved. A true restorer also provokes what he knows is evil, creates things and solves problems in this world, and recognizes they were called by God to so. If we have more restorers in the world than seperatists and culturalists, then Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is that much more meaningful. God made this very clear in 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 and Colassians 1:19-20.
Father of Lights
As we watched, “Father of Lights,” there were many things that stuck out to me within this movie. One of those things was a the incredible story of Robby. After nearly committing suicide at age 17, he heard the voice of God once and it changed his life forever. It definitely goes to show that God does reveal Himself differently to certain people. The video also cleared up misconceptions I had thought about God and made me look at certain things a different way. First of all, I thought it seemed very challenging to be one of the people testifying and trying to reach out to people, yet all those people just walked by and just ignored them. It’s shocking sometimes to see how many people really don’t care about Christ or all things Christian. This movie also showed a different side of God. Many of us are so certain that God is constantly mad or disappointed in us, when in reality He cannot and will not stop loving us. No one loves us like God does. What makes this revelation better is that God doesn’t need anything from us, except love. It was also shown throughout the movie that God can and does reveal himself through people. These can be miracles, or visions, or anyway He feels He needs to reveal Himself. God truly does work in mysterious ways.
Though there were many different Christians throughout the movie, they all showed their faith differently than each other. One of them spoke in a very populated area trying to get people to convert to Christ, vocally. Another individual walked around and spoke to those whom he felt God had drawn him to converse with. He then prayed with them, blessed them, and shared God’s love with them. There were other methods as well, but all of these Christians shared one thing in common, The Heart of Evangelism. This is when Christians try and help convert nonbelievers by going out into the community and spreading His word. They take the word seriously, “We are supposed to love everyone.” After hearing all this and seeing the movie, it makes me want to tweak a few things in my life. I struggle with showing my faith in certain places, so I want to work on letting my faith shine more. It is one thing to believe in God, but living for him requires perseverance and courage like many people in the video demonstrated. We all can work on being bolder Christians.
Paganism is the worst threat to Christianity, even today. There are two types of Paganism, Old Paganism and New Paganism. All Paganism means is religion in its natural, fallen state. Along with Christianity, the two religions used to be the biggest things in the world. The three great ingredients of Old Paganism were piety, the Tao, and the awe at something Transcendent. New Paganism is different because it does not share these three ingredients. New Paganism believes in mankind being divine and relativism and subjectivism. Because of these traits, and the fact that its aim is building a heaven on earth, New Paganism is also referred to as humanism. There are no views on God because he doesn’t matter(According to their beliefs)! Man makes values and the moral law is also written by man. Your god can be anything that you choose it to be. The New Paganism is cleverer than the Old because it does not oppose the church. Also the beliefs of New Paganism are a combination of humanism, polytheism, and pantheism. The only religions that explain divine reality are atheism, humanism, polytheism, pantheism, and theism. Though there are many believers in this religion, God proclaims, “The New Paganism will soon be as dead as the Old.”
Founded in India 2,500 years ago, Buddhism remains the dominant religion of the Far East and is increasingly popular in the West. Buddhism teaches an impersonal, universal feeling of compassion, or karuna. This religion branches off of Hinduism, and takes on some of their beliefs, but takes certain things in a different direction. One main belief they have is that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God, he was merely another great prophet who taught God’s word. In addition, they hold a strong belief in Buddha, who was a prophet and did not claim to be divine, but many buddhists portray him as a god. To Buddhists he is the man who “woke up” because all Buddhists believe we are spiritually asleep. Buddha is not the foundation of Buddhism, without him the religion could still be, unlike Christianity where Christ is the number one factor in our belief. Buddhists they follow the “Four Noble Truths” which were discovered by Buddha. Desire is the main cause of suffering, which also happens to be the Second Noble Truth. Buddha and Jesus Christ had many similar motives. They both wanted to transform human nature for a better good. Finally, Buddhist do not disclaim God, but they are very quiet about Him. He is not the main focus in their religion, they are more focused on soul. Our soul is supposed to develop karuna, so that we perform selfless deeds.
Favorites and Least favorites
Definition of Art: Works produced by such skill and imagination.
Favorite: Elephants. It was very detailed.
Least: Sojourn. It was weird, didn’t attract me at all.
Favorite: More or Less. Very unique.
Least: Song of Lift. Expected more
Favorite: Bird Feeder. Took something simple and made it attractive.
Least: Sisters. Didn’t like because its too simple.
Favorite: Our President. Took our country’s leader and made it something very complex.
Least: Impression. Not art. Seen this in many other forms or areas.
The piece that I believe showed the most morality in the Artprize was Three Portraits of Human Rights Activists. This grouping of portraits combines Father Theodore Hesburgh, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Morality means, “Behavior as it is affected by the observation of these principles.” I think this piece showed that through the work of even a small group of people, a greater good can still be achieved. It affected me because it gives off a feeling that no matter who you are, you can do something to contribute to something more. Something great.
The moral philosophy that makes the most sense to me is the philosophy of Aristotle. The downfall of Aristotle philosophy is that theres not much to it, its very simple and short and doesn’t go deeper into the core of what morals it agrees with. This theory can be seen as being very broad and not going into much detail. More importantly this moral doesn’t mention God relating to morals and ethics when I believe he should be in fact centered around it. The philosophy I believe thats its interesting and I must disagree with is the Social Contract theory. The main reason I disagree with this philosophy is the fact that it said said no morals or God is needed and that ethics are based on our own needs,interests and desires. I believe that this is not true, we do need God and morals, and are ethics are based on what standard God has set for us. The three moral philosophies i believe show up most in our culture is, social contract theory, Utilitarianism and Aristotle.