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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fight Me

I continually find myself completely amazed at the ignorance and intolerable pretentiousness of modern Christians. Though judgment and criticism of other worldviews is extremely common there is also a brawl going on within the church. I wouldn’t quite call it a war because there aren’t sides. The fighting is not just occurring on a day-to-day basis but also on a conversation to conversation basis. These theological fist fights are breaking out all over the place. The issue is that, instead of arguing, people are fighting. If that doesn’t quite make sense I’ll explain myself.

Argumentation is a style of conversation and it has a purpose in life. This purpose is growth. This is a specific type of argumentation however and is not what you usually see in the world. What I’m talking about is a conversation where I sit down and try my best to understand your side of the conflict and why I disagree with it, as well as explain my side of the conflict in a way that might help you understand it more and figure out why you disagree with me? It’s interesting how, nine times out of ten, if you simply listen to what the other person is saying you will find that they usually agree with you about 90 to 95% of the time. With this type of conversation we may reach a point where we disagree on something and we must part ways. IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!!!! We will both continue to live our lives and may be better enlightened about other views or even our own.

The issue is that this type of argumentation doesn’t happen any more. Even with some of my closer friends and mentors I find it increasingly difficult to reach any sort of conclusion with them because all they do is antagonize and… well… fight. This isn’t helpful for any one and it doesn’t get us anywhere. If we could sit down and I could hear you out without being attacked and you could hear me out without attacking, we could reach enlightenment together.

This will to introduce extreme conflict, which doesn’t belong, into the daily conversations about our Lord and our Bible is destroying people’s ability to communicate. The other day I found some one who had never heard of Old Earth Creationism. Since I thought it was an interesting concept I explained to him that some people believe that the earth was created by God over a long period of time based on the fact that the Hebrew word yom means time period and not necessarily “day” as it has been translated into English. This argument doesn’t stop there. People also believe that we judge time by the rising and setting of the sun and moon however the Bible says that there was evening and morning three times before the sun and moon were even created. In fact I told him it was interesting to find that there is much more support for an older earth or some weird combination of days and years which were about the time that God created the world in.

When I was finishedtalking about it I asked him what he tho

ught and he replied rather contemptuously with, “that’s wrong.” I flinched for a second.

“Um… No it’s actually right.” I said as I showed him a few verses and researched some Greek. He refused to read the literature I had pulled up on my computer and spat out again.

“That’s wrong.” Frantically attempting to figure out why he was so opposed to hearing this interesting bit of news I asked him.

“Why do you think that?”

“Because it just is,” after a quick pause I blinked, “and you are a moron if you think that.” He finished and walked away.

First of all I’d like to point out that old earth/new earth doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with how we live our lives or how we understand God’s creation of the world. The passages about the creation were about CREATION, not really important how long it took. The reaction to an argument is what I’m getting at here. His particular reaction might have bothered me if I didn’t know this.

We are Americans and as Americans we have certain inalienable rights. Among these rights are the right to our opinion, our right to despise intellect and enlightenment, and our right to viciously commit ad hominem if any one says something we dislike. Maybe the constitution doesn’t read that way but it’s what people in America have come to believe is correct.

~Ray

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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Bible, Logic, Philosophy, Religion

 

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Don’t Judge Me!

The other day I received a phone call from a friend of mine who I used to go to community college with when I lived in Colorado. I had recently moved to Arizona and this was the first of my friends that I had heard from. Since I hadn’t spoken to her in quite a while she didn’t know that I had moved and was wondering if I wanted to do something with her that evening.

“Hang out, have some beers, and talk about old times.” She said rather excited to see an old friend again.

“I can’t.” I said sadly. “I’m in Arizona.” I explained quickly.

“Why are you in Arizona.” The question I knew was coming and the serious wish that I wouldn’t have to answer it hit me all at once.

“I’m enrolled in Bible College.” I said reluctantly.

“Why?” She asked as if I’d gone insane.

“Well… because I’m a Christian.” Again reluctantly.

“How long has that been going on.” She continued as if it was a phase.

“Pretty much all my life.” I said still feeling rather ashamed.

“Wow I would never have guessed.” She said again. Feeling like I had, for one reason or another misrepresented my God when I was around her, asked why she wouldn’t have guessed and I got an answer that has stuck with me and changed the way I think about calling myself a Christian.

“You didn’t judge me.” She said outright. “When I talked to you about how I was living with my boyfriend you didn’t tell me that I was going to hell because I’m a sinner. You talked to me about how my decision was not good and that I would have issues in the future with it and you explained your view but you didn’t judge me. All the time I knew you, you didn’t ever condemn me for my unbelief of God. You didn’t treat me like an outcast when you saw that my arms, back, and neck are covered in tattoos and you never once thought that you were better than me. I would never have guessed that you were a Christian.”

I realized after this answer that I didn’t hate calling myself a Christian because of the fact that I was ashamed of the gospel of Christ which is the power of God for the salvation of all those that believe (Romans 1:16), I’m not ashamed to identify myself with Christ because even in my relationship with this friend I told her that I believed in a creator and why logically I thought that was the only answer. Even after this conversation she wouldn’t have thought I was a Christian. Because I know that I’m not ashamed of God I have come to the conclusion that I am ashamed to identify myself with a race of Christians who judge people.

To this race of Christians I say “you have no excuse, oh man; every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” (Romans 2:1) If you take this verse to any Christian or any person they will inevitably say… “I don’t judge people.” Every time some one says that I feel like they are saying, “I’m not like those that judge people. That would be bad.” I’m not sure if you all noticed this but that statement is judging people who judge! Do you understand my frustration?

A "What Would Jesus Do?" (WWJD) bracelet

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I am reminded of a popular saying that I heard for the first time in high school which was something to the effect of “Don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or roll with those who do.” Its interesting to me to realize that the same people who brought this little rhyme to my attention also had another common expression referred to as W.W.J.D. standing for what would Jesus do. Well, assuming that Jesus continues the patterns that he began in the bible, he would walk right up to Zacchaeus and ask him to hang out some time. This makes me wonder, where it is in the Bible that says I shouldn’t do things with sinner and if it isn’t in the Bible (I dare you to look for it) then where in the world did our youth group leaders come up with this idea?

~Ray

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Bible, Religion

 

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Church… What’s Happening?

Religious Addiction Part 2

Attention: If you have not read “You have got to be kidding me?” (Religious Addiction Part 1) read it first!  This may not make any sense if you are not familiar with my prior blog entry. This is a Part 2!

I finished part 1 of this topic talking about rules and traditions that people in the church have come up with to help them in there walks with the Lord.  There was a time and place for these rules and traditions.  Time has passed and now we need to move on with new methodologies. What I call “religious addiction” occurs among Christians who fail to see a shift in culture.  Unfortunately, these Christians are leaders in the church and are dragging down the entire congregation in the process.  The teachings of these leaders continue to tell people the “right and wrongs” of the Bible, which is total bullshit.


If the church continues to teach that; sex is BAD, alcohol is a sin, rated “R” movies lead to sinful life, life will be great if you trust in God, tattoos are from Satan, and any other made up rule that goes against the teachings of the true leader of the church, Jesus Christ.  A television evangelist named Pat Robertson on the 700 Club (who is unfamiliar with cultural shifts and part of a generation that continues to push the younger generation away from church) has been giving prime examples of made up doctrine and rules that are not biblical at all.  His latest nonsense suggested that if you are married to a person with Alzheimer’s then that is a biblical reason for divorce (I literally wanted to punch myself in the face).  Sorry Pat Robertson but I think you have Alzheimer’s, or you think you are some kind of Pope for evangelical Christians that receives new revelation from God. There are only two ways in which a divorce can happen and that is adultery and death of a spouse. Another claim that Pat Robertson made on television was that hurricane Katrina was sent by God because of all the gay people in American.  I don’t even need to explain how stupid this is.  I am embarrassed to be a Christian; it makes me beyond angry to hear things such as this on national television.  This stuff needs to change.

For those of you who have a problem going to church because of other Christians who have been sucked into religious addiction, I am right there with you.  Church in America today is on a path of destruction.  If the church continues to put wrongful ideas in our heads then there are two paths Christians will choose.  One path is to fall into religious addiction; these people will feel too guilty to leave the church and live a life of shame based on false teaching.  The second path will lead people totally away from the church and they will never be able to trust church leaders ever again.  We have a huge problem!

I wish I could finish up this blog post with joyful news about some progress we have made with religious addiction and false teaching.  Churches in America need to recognize this issue but it’s not happening.  One thing we can all agree on is that more and more youth and young adults are walking away from the church.  There is a problem in Christian culture today and it runs deeper than we can imagine.  My hope is that the church in America doesn’t fall into the same issues that have plagued most, if not all, countries in Europe (possibly around the world as well).  Let’s start changing our character as Christians and not living our lives based on actions.

 ~ K R Morris

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Addiction, Bible, Religion, Sex

 

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Welcome to the God Dam Blog


If you’re reading this blog it’s probably because you are curious and that’s totally understandable. You might be asking yourself, “Why would someone have a blog called God Dam?”  “They didn’t even spell it right?” “Plus it’s kind of tacky and it might even be a little offensive.”

Well, here’s the truth.  We didn’t spell it wrong.  What we are referring to with the term God Dam are the barriers, walls, or dams that have been set up theologically and culturally which tend to exclude people from fellowship in the church.  These dams are often built with the greatest of intentions, but are more often than not, built on tradition and pious doctrine. They are rarely, if ever, helpful in the endeavor of encouraging current Christians and/or reaching out to the lost.  The goal of the four authors and various guest authors of this blog is to break down these barriers by asking the questions that aren’t allowed to be asked, challenging the doctrines that aren’t allowed to be challenged, and creating a community where genuine fellowship and dialogue can take place in a safe, fun and stimulating environment.  We want to give Christians, ourselves included, an outlet and opportunity to vent frustrations with the church, discuss difficult theology on both a philosophical and practical level, and fellowship with other people struggling with the same, or similar questions.It might get tacky, It might get offensive, and it will probably get intense but the desired goal is authentic discussion and fellowship.  In a culture that is so focused on answers, we want to take some time to ask the questions.

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the God Dam Blog by e-mail.  Just click the button to your right that says, “Let’s do this thing”

~The GDB Team

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Bible, Logic, Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized

 

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Failure is NOT an Option

As my first post for this blog I thought it necessary and beneficial to lay some groundwork as well as clear the air. I want to make it clear to all our readers that failure is not an option. I think that it’s only honest to let you know that I’m talking about all kinds of failure here. Moral failure, physical failure, spiritual failure, grammatical failure, philosophical failure, etc… etc… etc… In your comments to our posts, in your daily life, and even in your drive through orders at McDonalds – Failure is simply not an option – It’s a requirement.

One of the most liberating statements that I heard during my journey through Bible College was that failure was a requirement. We, as fallen individuals, will fail. There is no way around it and that’s okay. I had spent the majority of my life fighting failure. I spent countless hours working to avoid failing a test, a relationship, a moral conviction, and especially my parents. And I spent countless more hours lost in grief because I had failed at not failing.

Hearing that failure was a requirement and realizing that this concept wasn’t new revelation but that it was the foundation of the gospel was a breath of fresh air. Scripture had been trying to get this through my brain for years. “All fall short of the glory of God”, “There is no one righteous, no not one”. Scripture had told me that I was a failure from the beginning and I had ignored it. Now don’t accuse me of being a Calvinist yet. This post is not my stance on Total Depravity. I had ignored the fact that I was destined to fail but I had also ignored the magical, brilliantly beautiful, gospel truth that failure was okay. That it was covered by Christ’s blood.

This renewed realization of the simple rudiments of the gospel changed my life, ministry, parenting philosophy, and self-esteem. It gave me freedom to fail and then learn from that failure rather than wallowing in self-pity and grief until the shame cycle drove me back to the same failure that had started the whole process. Now, instead of surprised or disappointed by my own failure, I almost get excited because I know God is and will continue to use failure in my life to teach me and mold me into the person he wants me to be. You see we often learn more from our failures than from our successes. As frustrating and counterproductive as that may seem on the surface it’s true.

 

Batman Begins

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In the last couple of years I’ve adopted this phrase in my home, in my ministry and even with my peers. Failure is a requirement of life. When students in my ministry fail morally or spiritually, I jump at the opportunity to encourage them and teach them to grow through failure rather than be controlled by it. When friends fail I do everything that I can to be the one that is there to dust them off, pick them up and send them on their way. In the movie “Batman Begins“, Bruce Wayne continually remembers a quote from his childhood that His father had told him; “And why do we fall, Bruce?… So we can learn to pick ourselves up” (I bet when you started reading this you didn’t realize that Batman’s father and I are super close and have the same parenting philosophy.)So… as you continue to read this blog, as I hope you do. And as you continue on your own journey through life, always remember that Failure is never merely an option… It is a requirement.

~James

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Failure, Philosophy, Religion

 

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Life Sucks, but don’t worry

 

     There is an idea in our Christian culture that if we continue to follow Jesus Christ in our  daily lives then our life will be filled with joy.  But what if God calls you to live a life that is  full of hurt and disappointment? How about going through life and never making enough  money to pay the bills?  Maybe never to get married or have children? Having to grow up  in a horrible family situation? What if your life is going to be the biggest pile of shit ever?  Serving the Lord all of a sudden doesn’t look so joyful. This thought has been racing  through my mind for the last few months.  There are many Christians around the world  that live in these situations everyday and continue to serve the Lord diligently.  Then on  the other hand, many Christians are blessed in so many ways.  Is there something wrong  with the believers who live in a shit hole, and the blessed people are better Christians? Does God play favorites? Does God even have a plan for every Christian?

You probably have already asked these same questions over and over again. Now I’m not here to answer these questions because I don’t know the answers.  I’m sure I could go on and on about some theological view and bring up a bunch of bible verses that show God is full of grace, mercy, and compassion.  We have heard it all before that we need to trust in God and everything will work out.  This leads me to another question: Does God have any sympathy for his follows beyond the cross? Now I’m not God obviously but part of me thinks that God doesn’t have much sympathy for His followers. Now I say this because WE GET TO GO TO HEAVEN!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! Who cares if your life on earth is going to be as if you are swimming in an infinite pool of cow shit.  You get to spend an eternity with the creator who showed grace, mercy and compassion on the CROSS. He sacrificed His son for you and not just you but Jesus died for everyone. I think that is plenty of love. Perfect love.

Now I know God shows grace, mercy, and compassion in other ways as well.  I am just so tired of people getting it in their minds that God will bless them if they live a life worthy of our Lord.  Everyone needs to get it through their think heads that nobody will live a life worthy of God, now let me repeat, NOBODY WILL LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF GOD.  Jesus did all of that for us!!!  I believe that as long as our hearts desire is to glorify God then no matter how life works out, we will be greeted at the gates of heaven with the most loving arms our minds can’t even imagine.  My encouragement to everyone is that no matter if your life is horrible or full of blessings; God gave us all a gift that can never be matched.  Don’t beat yourself, because God beat himself up for you.  Keep living diligently for the Lord, it pays off in the end.

~K.R. Morris

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Philosophy, Religion

 

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Rise Today

I love metal.  I listen to it all the time and drum along in my truck as I revel in the glory that is all things heavy.   Let me paint a picture: lane lines are passing by at a sluggish rate, tail lights are as far as the eye can see, vehicles move forward for half of a second then suddenly stop.  It’s a Thursday and this is traffic. Twenty-five minutes to work and I stare at the back of the same SUV until I slowly make my way off the 202, two more right hand turns, then into the office parking lot.  The monotony of it all would leave anyone without motivation to even step out of the vehicle, but I step out energized and ready to face the world. Why?  Back up twenty-five minutes…..  As I back out of my parking space I reach for a cd, and the obvious choice is Alterbridge’s Blackbird album.  The amazing rush of full bodied vocals, some of the most tasteful drumming, and screaming guitar solos that can boost whatever bad mood I was in, all of these make the most incredible musical fusion that takes me away from the mundane.   I slam my steering-wheel to match the fills of Scott Phillips and I am ready to ditch work and just get behind some drums.  But then the next track starts.  The hard hitting riffs are toned down on this song, a little more somber now, but the pulse is the same.

Myles Kennedy Live San Antonio

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Myles Kennedy hits incredible vocal notes as the message comes out…”I wanna Rise Today and change this world.”  A great message of calling this society to impact the world; a man’s statement to declare his longing to not let the world around him stay the same.   Amidst the celebrities who define self-centeredness it does seem nice to see some who have thoughts of global improvement; and it is refreshing to witness.   Maybe it’s just the musical genius attached to the lyrics but this song seemed to hit me, “Rise Today and change this world.”  I began to think critically, as I often enjoying do,  and started wondering what drove this musician to such a thought, what brought Myles Kennedy to think about the state of the world and long for its improvement?  Of course I understand the doctrine of total depravity and often think about the fallen state of the world, but an unbeliever, a celebrity, realizes it as well.

Something has gone terribly wrong with humanity.   There is no denying it whatsoever.   Even those who despise religion, those who don’t believe in sin, even the person who looks at what we call sin and says “that is nothing but a creation on the part of religion to control others,” even that person has to see it.  I look at a news story from west Texas where a middle-aged man kicked in the door of an elementary school and put a bullet in the back of the head of 11 4th graders, and at this moment we have to note the fallen state of man.  Even the one who would say “that does not exist,” looks at that situation and says “that is wicked!!!!”  The staunchest atheist looks at that and has no choice but to say “something has gone wrong here!!!!”  The issue then seems to be what to do with this state of humanity.   The band mentioned here is calling man to action, to wake up and strive for change, to not let this world simply be what it is.  Upon witnessing man in his current state, even the unbeliever knows that there must be something better than what we have now.

I begin to think about man’s attempts to better the world: some attempts good, others made their way into history books as atrocities.  I think about the meta-narrative of the world, how has it changed?  Are their fewer wars today than 1000 years ago?  Is there less hunger than 200 years ago?  With all of the myriads of organizations doing great things throughout the world, is disease dropping off the face of the planet?  Has the world become united?  Do we wake up and think about the growth and movement of the world?  Do we contemplate the amazing changes we are seeing?  No.  There is not great change.  Wars are being fought, people are being slaughtered, children still die.  So I ask, what change has actually occurred in the world throughout history?

(Disclaimer:  I am not downplaying the efforts and successes of great organizations across the globe that accomplish great things to better the lives of impoverished nations and meet the needs of those who desperately need such aid. I am simply noting that though these are great and necessary things to happen, they are not solving a problem, only treating symptom.) 

I have seen only one sincere change in the world as I look throughout all of history.  A change that made such an impact on the world that history itself is centered around it, and a simple two letters that demonstrate this change: A.D.  (or C.E.)  The advent of the Christ severed the timeline of history and offered a resounding change in the world which boasts effects still running in our world today.   I contemplate the works of Christ, the message that offered the only true hope our world has ever seen.  Then I find comfort in his last words:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

If change is going to happen, Christ gave us the methodology here.  If the fallen state of man is to be impacted at all, it is not going to happen by the means of man himself.    This is not to be a conclusion that robs us of joy, but quite the contrary.  The state of the world is seen by even the unbeliever to be in desperate need of change, and yet only those equipped by the Holy Spirit are in fact capable of causing real change.  Only us marked by the gospel have the ability to offer true hope, to offer a message of good news.  Only those who find their identity in Christ can partner with Him and “Rise Today.”  I find a great deal of duty, as well as honor in these thoughts: that though the rest of the world may even be able to see the need for hope, for change, only the redeemed have it.  This is not to be some power wielded arrogantly, but instead it is a charge placed to us by Christ himself with His last words.  We have our calling, and the harvest is great.  I look to my Lord for strength, direction, and encouragement as I leave my vehicle.  Oh God, help me rise today.

Aaron

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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