February 20, 2008

I read an article in the Sunday paper about the “Bodies” exhibits. There are a few things that no one is pointing out about those exhibits that really bother me.

One thing is even if you did not want your children to see the gross displays, because of all the ads, TV commercials and shows like 20/20 they can’t help but see them. The ones they show in the ads must be the most gross of them all. I can not imagine any way to make them even a bit more macabre.

I read in another article that the bodies were unclaimed for at least 4 years. My immediate thought was “Who keeps unclaimed bodies for four years?” Then I wondered how a body could be posed after 4 years.

The process as I understand it is the silicone is injected, the body is posed, and then it hardens. The only way that is possible is for the body to be treated immediately after death, when it is still supple enough to be posed. Then I am supposed to believe it is kept 4 years for someone to claim? After someone invests in the process they wait for someone else to claim the “product”? Who would have the authority to defile a body that is unclaimed even before it has stiffened from rigor mortis? Don’t quote me, but I believe rigor mortis is complete in about 12 hours.

Then I question who has the right to authorize the display of a body in this manner at all. Everyone in the family including the deceased would have to agree. I have been alive long enough to know that is not possible. These “Bodies” are not mannequins, but real people with real sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. I can not even imagine a mother giving permission to display her child in such a manner, or a child giving permission to display their mother, or father. It should be obvious that consent would not be given whether the body is claimed or not.

Don’t we have laws against publicly displaying sexual organs? Is “art” the magic word that changes everything? Can a flasher claim “art” as a defense? Or “education”? Isn’t the one who displays a sexual organ to the unsuspecting child as guilty as any flasher? Where are those who are suppose to enforce the law and protect the citizens? Can’t we, at the very least, protect the children! Parents are encouraged to bring children to view this atrocity! And they do!!!

I can picture the flasher standing before a judge saying “But your honor, it is “art” and merely for the education of the child”. Whereupon the judge replies, “I don’t doubt you when you say it is “art”. After all, the only requirement for defining “art” is the word of the artist. And I don’t doubt that it was educational for the child, though not beneficial, but you have committed a grievous offense against society. Don’t you understand that no one made any money from your display? I’m going to have to give you six months to think about this so you can learn how to make money from your “art”; like those wonderful museums and promoters”.

Well, it is a stretch to imagine a judge, or anyone else being that honest or understanding, but I don’t understand how anyone could be fairly prosecuted for exposing themselves or defacing a body after these displays.

No sooner than I wrote this than it occurred to me that if someone would gather a group of flashers, dress them in designer coats, place them in a museum, and call it art that they could, not only get away with flashing, but get paid for it!!! Can’t you just picture the ads? The side view of a flasher with his coat almost fully extended and women and children standing in front of him with their eyes wide, and an occasional ooh and ah. It could be called “The art of the uncommon man”. I could think of some funnier names, but I have already gone too far with this.

If you are laughing and I hope you are, don’t laugh to hard. If I described “Bodies” just a few years ago you would have been just as amused and unbelieving that it could really happen as you are of “The art of the uncommon man”.

I believe the “Bodies” exhibit proves beyond a doubt that some will do absolutely anything for a buck (That other master) and also that others will ignore any moral code in order to satisfy a morbid curiosity.

The “law of the land” has evolved into one rule. That is, anything that consenting adults want to do should be allowed. Those who sin do so because they want to. If everyone sets their own standards for what is right or wrong, because it is what they want to do, then there is no standard. Many before me have made this observation. I am just pointing out that the “Bodies” exhibit is proof of the problem; because some adults consent all children are abused.

Because we all come from Adam and Eve these people are related to me and I have not given, or would I give my consent for this atrocity. I might add that God is the Father of everyone and I am quite sure He has neither given His approval, nor is He amused with this “art” and “education”.


February 14, 2008

If you follow the comments on this blog, you may have read that Mike made the point that there is more than one basic underlying mental attitude in which a person approaches worship.

After reading and considering Mike’s comment I visited Minds 2 Mentes web site and Krista was writing about the condition of the Church today. I believe that both Mike and Krista have good points about the Church, and I also believe that if we followed the teaching of the Bible both points would be reconciled.

All of our problems stem from not following the advice of our Father. We are told how to conduct a proper meeting in First Corinthians. It seems as if it usually gets glossed over because either one is studying “Tongues”, or a women’s role in church.

Disregard the word “tongue” in these verses and consider what they say. (I removed 27 and 28 and the last part of 33 so that my point it is clearer)

 (1 Cor 14:26 NIV)  What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

What these verses say to everyone is that everyone is to participate. In the services today the only time all of the people are invited to participate is with a hymn. The person in the pew is given no chance to speak a word of instruction, revelation, tongue, or interpretation during the service. As the verse says, “All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” and it is only logical that if these things are not done then the church will be weak; and it is.

The kind of service that God wants is a big Bible study, so that everyone can openly ask questions and everyone has a chance to answer those questions.

In the church service today everyone sits down, shuts up, and listens to what one man says. One man that is “supposed” to understand almost everything about the Bible. The problem is that all men are flawed, and no man understands everything about the Bible, so part of what is taught is going to be wrong and because no one is encouraged to speak up we end up with a weak church.

Can you picture anyone standing up in the middle of a sermon and saying, “Wait a minute: that doesn’t seem right!” If you even say in private that you believe the minister is wrong about something you are thought to be trying to destroy the church and you better not try to tell a minister that he is incorrect about anything: no matter how gentle you try.

If you believe that the church of today is weak I would agree, because it teaches about man and what man wants in this world. It should be teaching about God and what God wants. Blessings do not come from understanding mans wants, needs, or desires, but from understanding what God wants. Of course one must do what God wants, but if you don’t even know what God wants you probably will not do it.

People are no longer taught that there is a Hell, because it doesn’t fit with the wants and desires of man. It is unpleasant and therefore not what man wants to hear. It seems that those who are in charge of the church today think it is more important to get people to attend church than to teach “all” of the truth. I cite this example only to illustrate that the church is indeed weak.

The church will not become stronger if we continue to ignore the full teaching of the Bible. We should be changing the format to two or three “leaders” and encouraging everyone to speak up in the service with their questions and comments. This format would do much to keep one man from becoming a leader that others follow instead of following Jesus.

One does not learn to play a game by watching someone else play. The only way to really learn is to get in the game. You can not learn the Bible by listening to someone else explain what they have learned, or think they know. You have to get in the game and play yourself and the minister, preacher, leader, or brother has to give everyone the opportunity to play. The way things are set up now the congregation is not permitted to play. I also might add that if you are playing you will not go to sleep!

I have heard great preachers explain to the congregation that they should not follow them, but follow God. If the format for the service was correct there would be less of this, because the congregation would not be relying on one man to supply all of the answers.  Also the pressure on one man that is generated when he is supposed to have all of the answers would be relieved.

There is a place in the Church for one main leader. Someone should have the authority to make the decisions that are necessary for the advancement of the Church.

I do not believe that many established churches would change their format, because of that other master “money”. Those who exploit others are definitely not going to change, but even good ministers would be intimidated by the idea. If the congregation has bonded with a leader that leader is always well paid, whether he is genuine or not. It would devalue the position monetarily, because the leader would not be in the limelight and that would make it difficult to get a raise, or possibly just to keep the same salary.

Though there would be many problems in changing the format of the Church, because the Bible outlines the proper procedure, it should be changed and if a new branch of the church is embarked upon it should begin with the proper format.

 What do you think? You may not be encouraged to speak up in church, but you are not in church you are here.


February 6, 2008

(Mat 12:40 NIV)  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 

Both the Greeks and Hebrews had a word for “tomb” (mnemeion & qeber) and if Jesus meant tomb He would have said so! They both also had words for death.  That is physical death. I don’t think any language has only one word for spiritual death.

He said that he would be three days and three nights “in the heart of the earth”, so what does that mean? I believe it means on the earth without his Father, which is true death, and at the end of the three days and three nights he would be raised up to heaven to be with his Father again. God was always with Jesus (John 8:29). That is until he gave up His Spirit on the cross.

The Bible is a book about spiritual things first. It uses physical examples to teach spiritual lessons. After all physical, or worldly things are all we know, so if God sees that we need an example to teach us something it has to be a physical example.

Death is such an example. We know that to be without God is real death. Those who walk this earth without God are truly “Dead men walking”. They are already dead, though they can be raised to real life. The day Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he died. He didn’t die physically, but God left him and he died spiritually. Physical death is only a physical example of real death: a state of being where all is lost.

Jonah was used as an example of what Jesus would suffer, so compare his experience to that of Jesus. Jonah suggested that those who were in jeopardy throw him into the sea in order for them to be saved. In other words he had to be sacrificed in order for others to be saved. When he was sacrificed the sea was calmed and those on the boat were saved.

Jonah 1:17 (NIV) says, “But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” It does not say that Jonah was dead. As a matter of fact it says that Jonah prayed to God from the inside of the fish (2:1).

If he were dead could he have prayed? There are some that claim Jonah was dead, but if that is true one can see that he was not dead all of the time he was in the fish. After Jonah was “raised” from the deep many others were saved because of his sacrifice.

I believe that you can see that the two stories of Jonah and Jesus have many simulates: except for physical death. Jesus was sacrificed for many and those who were close to him and knew that he was innocent did not want it to happen. Jonah was sacrificed and those who were on the boat and knew why the sea was raging did not want an innocent man to die. Both were “raised”, Jonah from the deep to the land and Jesus from earth to Heaven and many were saved by both.

 Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed and gave up the Holy Spirit on Friday (Day one), was interned Friday night (night one), Saturday (day and night two), left the tomb Sunday (day three), and reveled himself to the Disciples Sunday evening and was raised to Heaven, to be with his Father that night (Night three). 

Because we Christians thought that the verse meant raised to physical life and did not understand that the verse meant raised to Heaven, or spiritual life we have been trying to defend a false understanding and of course it is not possible to defend something false with the truth.

 Want more understanding? Look at John 20:17. Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to touch him (KJV). I always wondered why he said that, but now I understand. It defiled anyone that touched a body and Jesus was spiritually dead. Mary would not have understood that she was touching a dead body and therefore would not have purified herself. Look at Numbers 19:13 (NIV) “Whoever touches the dead body of anyone and fails to purify himself defiles the Lord’s tabernacle. That person must be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean; his uncleanness remains on him.” Perhaps both Mary and Jesus (The Lord’s Tabernacle) would have been defiled if she touched him!

I must add that part of a day is usually considered the whole of it. If I say that I am going to the store tomorrow I don’t usually mean all day and those who hear it do not usually take it that way. If I meant all day I would have to say all day.

 Well, what do you think? Have I missed something, or perhaps twisted something?