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Response to “House Churches”

This is a blog response for a post that was put up back in November. GDB has been out of commission for a while so we have a lot of catching up to do. You can’t find the original post on rough-hewn blog. It is written by David Hoopingarner and you can follow this link to get to it, http://javaman56.wordpress.com/house-churches/

First off I want to say that I am extremely blessed to have read the article. It is great to see that there are other people out there who share my passion for ministry and my ideas for discipleship. The one thing that is driving me crazy is that I have never been to a house church before. I wouldn’t quite call what we do at GDB to be a house church but we do meet weekly to talk about our faith, grow in fellowship, and enjoy the company of friends, family and the Lord.

We at GDB have seen first hand the incredible positive affects of this kind of group and my favorite portion of the article “House Churches” talks about something that we have been trying to get at for a long time, the alienation of new coming Christians within the mainstream evangelical churches. David talks about going to new churches and sitting in rows, “… politely waiting for the service to be over.” It might seem ridiculous for me to rhetorically ask if that’s the kind of service we want to be having but it is constantly the kind that we are putting out there. The personal relationship between the pastor and his congregation often ends abruptly at a handshake.

It really makes me sad to know that for most of my life I have experienced this kind of relationship with my pastor. Until just recently when I moved from Colorado to Arizona I knew my pastor as, “The preacher man that talks loud on Sundays.” When I transitioned to the new church I realized that I had a much more personal connection with my pastor. We go shooting and talk about guns, and then stop to get coffee and discuss theology. This kind of relationship has definitely caused incredible changes in the way I view how a church ought to be run.

I’m extremely excited to see that David is on the same page with GDB and hope to have more exchanges with him in the future. If you haven’t checked out his blog then you definitely should and make sure to check in with GDB next week for our continuation of “The Bible is Not a Text Book.”

 

~Arayl

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Bible, church, disillusionment, Failure, Religion

 

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Is God Logical?

Lets get straight to the point.  All of us cling to traditions that were part of our lives growing up and now some of us are challenging those traditions.  Whether these traditions are religious or just other ways to live out life.  I’m going to attempt to add to what James was saying about looking at the Bible and reality.  I’m going to add culture to the equation (which is part of biblical interpretation) and try to help us all understand this difficult cluster of life’s crap we are all trying to balance out.

First, let me make clear that I believe all of God’s decisions are logical.  Lets not forget that we are merely human and God created logic and reason (if you believe in a God).  In life we all experience moments that seem so illogical to us that it must be certain that God forgot what he was doing.  This brings us to ask questions about religion, God, the Bible, eternity, or whatever we put our faith in.  God wants us to ask question and use the brain he gave us to grow in our faith and challenge ourselves as well as others. If we just go through life never questioning our own beliefs than shame on us.

Now that we have gotten to the point of questioning our belief system, as Christians we look to the Bible first.  We look to the Bible to find answers. Guess what? Most of the time we find the answers we are looking for.  The problem is that we find answers that we want to hear and stop there. Again shame on all of us for doing this (I’m including myself).  This is where bad traditions in the church and the “Christian life” come from and start to screw everything up.  We misinterpret the Bible and create a belief based on false foundations.

As Christians we distort reality or distort the Bible to fit our liking.  I became a writer of this blog to stop this from happening.  I’m sick of the “Christian life” and living the way the church tells me to live.  These ways of living are distorted and have created so much turmoil among the Christian community it makes me beyond angry.

Now this is where culture needs to get added to the equation.  The reality is that culture changes and since the Bible was written culture has changed a lot (that is an understatement).  I will use slavery for an example since it was used in previous comments on the last post.  Slavery in the Bible never seems to be a problem or a sin but we choose as American Christians that slavery is wrong. I totally agree with the previous statement and I’m sure most people do.  This is a great example of Christians using their own brains and questioning their beliefs.  The problem is that we stop using our brains when defining the correct way to live out our lives as believers in Christ.

I want to challenge Christians to reevaluate their traditions, church culture, and walk with Jesus.  Actually read the Bible for what it is and keep it in context.  See how the Bible can work in today’s reality and culture.  Talk to people with a different belief system and learn more about life outside the church and Christianity.  Question ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.  I also want to challenge people of others beliefs to share your ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.  Share with us how you perceive Christians and dialog with us.  The GodDamblog Team wants to here everyone’s thoughts.

~K.R. Morris

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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Bible, church, Logic, Religion

 

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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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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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Doubt is not an Epic Fail

For some reason believing without question is completely fine within the Church, and in fact is almost praised. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard adoration or even jealousy given to those that never experience a hint of doubt in their walk. While some of these cases may be true gifts from above, I fear that the vast majority are not and are either delusions or self forced piety. Either way it’s not good.

We as Christians need to band together to strive for a different type of faith. A bolder faith, a more secure faith, a faith that has foundations beyond “It’s always been this way”. Doubt is a precursor to questioning and questioning is essential to finding truth. If we never ask the questions for ourselves how can we ever expect to answer them for someone else?

Take for example a common argument amongst believers and non-believers;

NB: Why do you believe in God?

B: Because the Bible says He exists

NB: Why do you believe the Bible?

B: Because God says it is true

NB: Where does God say this?

B: In the Bible.

For anyone wondering this is an EPIC FAIL at using basic logic.

​If we sit back and simply say “the Bible is true because it says so” we are foolish and in fact disobeying God by not using our great logical brains he gave us.

Now I’m not aiming at starting a conversation on apologetics, I’m sure that will happen anyways. I want us as Christians to realize one important thing:

IT IS OK TO QUESTION YOUR BELEIFS!!!!!!

You are not a sinner, or less holy, or anything negative because you happen to question something (even the most basic beliefs like “Is there a God?” of “Did Christ exist?”). We are promised several things by God and one of the bigger ones is that if we go searching for Truth (read; searching for Him) we will find it. God is not going to hide truth from us. He wouldn’t be completely benevolent if He did. In asking questions you will accomplish two great things; 1. You will make your faith stronger by reinforcing the things that are true and pruning things that are not or that you cannot conclusively call true based upon the research and 2. You will equip yourself for ministering in the real world to non-believers who are getting better and better at demeaning the Bible and God every day.

This is a call to arms of sorts because right now almost the entire non-believing world is banded together to be up to date about the newest inconsistencies in the Bible or the best ways to prove that God isn’t who we claim He is. Yet believers have deemed it almost unholy to engage in equally as aggressive tactics. I’m not calling for us to start attacking sinners, no I only want to see believers use their God given minds to find truth, seek it aggressively, and then use it to dispel the lies and tricks of this world.

-Asher

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in Bible, Doubt, Failure, Logic, Philosophy, Religion

 

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You Have Got to be Kidding Me!!!

(Religious Addiction Part 1)

I’m sure that most of us have been involved in someones life or heard stories of others addicted to a substance (drugs, alcohol, sex, ect.). When I see situations such as these my heart breaks and I cant image the struggle these people are going through. But this isn’t the type of addiction I want to address. There are many types of addictions in this world that are not recognized or even discounted from the realm of addictions. The addiction that I feel effects our culture more than any other is Religious Addiciton.
Know let me explain what I mean by Religious Addiction. You might be asking yourself if that is even possible but I warn you that its more serious we can imagine. I even fear that it is one of the main reasons for turmoil that occurs in our Christian culture today and is pushing a younger generation away from local churches. Generation after generation, all the way back to the beginning of the church, we have looked at the teachings of our Lord to guide us in our everyday lives. From those teachings we came up with ideas, mindsets, and traditions to help us. Now don’t get me wrong Im not bashing any of the past ideas to live a life that pleases God but I am concerned that we wont recognize that these ideas, mindsets, and traditions will need to change with time.

Culture plays a huge role in our Christian lives and culture will always shift as time goes on. When reading the bible its widely known that its extremely important to look at the context of the passage. Part of that context is culture and we need to see how people back in the Bible days would have interpreted these teachings. Once we understand the culture and interpretation during there time, we can know bring that teaching into our time and culture for reevaluation. Not changing any doctrine but taking that doctrine and applying it to our everyday lives.

This process has been in use since the beginning of time and during times of a culture shift people hold on to the ways of past methods. Now this is when religious addiction starts to form. Most of the time when an addiction is forming in ones life its because of some event that is life altering. In the case of religious addiction there is a shift in church culture or culture in general. Let us use the simple example of drinking alcohol. The past few generations of the church have made the consumption of alcohol known as a way of rebellion against the church and against God. I do not believe this was the initial idea behind that fact that alcohol should not be used but it made sense to Christians that it may not be honoring to God to be involved in this act. Is this act wrong? NO! May I say this agian. HELL NO! For all those people out there that think Jesus turned water into grape juice, you are living in a fantasy world. The consumption of alcohol was a cultural custom in the days of the Bible. Drinking alcohol is not wrong but abusing alcohol and getting drunk is.

The mindset of the church todays still says that the consumption of alcohol is wrong whether people want to admit it or not. Pastors and leaders in the church are made to sign agreements that do not allow them to drink alcohol and Christian colleges make students over 21 years of age sign a contract that they will not consume alcohol during there time in college. This is the start of a religious addiction at its simplest form. The church says not to do something and people end up doing it anyway. Guilt and shame sink in, which leads to a state of depression. From this depression it leads to a recommitment to not drink at all and the individual will spend more time serving in the church to make up for what they did. Then it is obvious about what happens next, the cycle starts all over again. Now let me remind you that drinking is not a sin but by putting an unnessasary rule or method in place it creates a mindset that says if we break a rule made by the church we need to work off our wrong doing. This act of service then becomes ungenuine and the believers heart is not focusing on God but to please an unbiblical rule made by man. I believe that this leads to a dark place in a believers life and from this more sin will occur.

Let me leave you with one question: How many times have you felt judgement from the church because you did something wrong according to them?

~ K.R. Morris

Part 2 of Religious Addiction Coming Soon!

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Addiction, Religion

 

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