Showing posts from April, 2018

He's come to set the captives free

Jesus said. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18

The United States is known as a Christian nation.
The united States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Both of these statements cannot be true at the same time.

Cuba and Russia and China have lower incarceration rates than the US.
Post genocide Rwanda has a lower incarceration rate than the US.
Racially-divided South Africa has 1/2 the incarceration rate of the US.
Post-Christian Europe, the bogeyman of fundamentalist preachers has 1/6 the incarceration rate of the US.
Muslim Egypt has 1/6 the incarceration rate of the US.
Muslim Indonesia has 1/6 the incarceration rate of the US.
Non-religious Japan has 1/10th the incarceration rate of the US.
Muslim Pakistan has 1/15th th…

conditional unconditional love??

Three of the things I'm really grateful for from my experience in the Vineyard churches was the emphasis on the unconditional love of God, the grace of God, and the loving, fatherly heart of God. These principles undid a lot of the spiritual damage I had acquired in my upbringing. However, one of the things I had to hold with cognitive dissonance was the condition placed on God's unconditional love. Here are a few analogies I was told to explain this.

It's a free gift, you just need to unwrap it.It's a blank check, you just need to sign it.Will you consent to be loved?
I turned to Calvinism for a while to break this log jam in my brain. Today's Calvinists will say something along the lines of, God knew I would unwrap/sign/consent from eternity past so I really had no choice it was all God's work. But Calvinism creates so many more problems than it solves and I eventually dropped it.

One of the pushbacks from non-Calvinists is the analogy of divine rape. "If…

stock markets and global warming

Today is April 2nd and 5 inches of snow fell in my yard today. At least half of it has melted away this afternoon. An April snow storm does not mean that global warming is a hoax, played by mean scientists on poor Americans. But I think an analogy would be helpful for dubious Americans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is used as a representative gauge of the economy over many decades. Today the DJIA fell 458 points. However, that is only a 2% drop. In ten years the stock market index has grown over 300%. The impact of 2% on one day is massive for someone just starting out, but for someone who has been invested over 10 years, it's merely a hiccup.

Today's spring snowfall is like today's drop in the stock market. The temperature of both fell, but the upward trend is undeniable.
A heated up stock market can be a good thing for most people. A heated up planet can be a good thing for a few people. But for most people a hotter planet will be a bad thing. And it's not just r…